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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Protests All Around China Over Zero COVID Policies; Kherson Liberated And What Russia Left Behind; Unprecedented Number Of Voters In The Atlanta, Georgia Runoff; Few Republicans Condemn Trump's Dinner With White Supremacist; Pence: "Trump Was Wrong To Give A White Nationalism, An Antisemite And A Holocaust Denier A Seat At The Table"; Univ. Of Idaho Students Returning As Quadruple Killings Remain Unsolved; Israeli-Palestinian Violence At Levels Not Seen In Years; U.S. Soccer Team Manager Does Not Apologize In Response To Iran's Outrage Over Social Media Flag Controversy; Security Source: Iran Threatens Families Of National Soccer Team. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired November 28, 2022 - 17:00   ET




SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Shanghai, they chant for freedom, democracy and end to COVID lockdowns. Even targeting the communist party and the supreme leader himself. Unprecedented protests are erupting across China, from major metropolises to elite college campuses, even far-flung cities.

Searing nationwide anger triggered by a deadly fire in China's far west Xinjiang region. Water unable to actually reach the fire blazing from the high floor of the apartment building. Videos indicate COVID restrictions prevented fire trucks from getting close enough, apparently blocked by fences and metal barriers normally used during lockdowns.

In the building's chat group, a mother pleads, "Help us, my kids are dying. We don't have enough oxygen." At least 10 people died. The nation grieving the deaths of victims that likely spent the last months of their lives trapped in that building.

Most of Xinjiang has been locked down for more than a hundred days. The protests even spilling into the capital.

(On camera): They're chanting that they don't want covid tests, they want freedom. And many people are also holding white papers in their hands, which is a sign of solidarity against censorship.

(Voice-over): They sing and cheer, shout to be unsealed, and some even break down into tears. A man with a loud speaker shout, "We always support the communist party, but we want democracy and freedom." I asked a protester how he was feeling. Overwhelmed, he said. All conscientious Chinese people should come here and stand together. I said, you realize there's a risk being here? Of course, there is, he responded.

(On camera): And if we just turn the camera around, you'll see there is a row of police.

(Voice-over): Hours later, masses of police filed in pushing the protesters back. Demonstrators shout toward the authorities, "We are not your enemy. We are in this together." These are unbelievable scenes in China where public criticism of the party can lead to prison time or even worse.

In Shanghai, police arrested, roughed up protesters, violently dragging them into cars. No protests of this scale demanding political reforms have been seen since the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests in 1989 that led to a massacre of unarmed protesters.

These demonstrators know what they're risking, but they're determined to make their voices heard.


(On camera): And, Jake, at that Sunday night protest in Shanghai, police arrested a BBC journalist. He was held for several hours before being released and the BBC said journalist Ed Lawrence was beaten and kicked during his arrest. Video show him being led away by police officers while he shouts "Call the consulate now." And it wasn't just him. A journalist with Swiss broadcaster RTS was also briefly detained while reporting live from Shanghai. The protest I witnessed was peaceful, but that's not happening in all the cities, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Selina Wang in Beijing for us. Thank you so much.

Americans in China, it's time to stock up on at least two weeks of food, water and medicine and prepare for possible family separations. That message comes from the U.S. embassy in Beijing where diplomats say they have regularly raised concerns about the harsh COVID restrictions to the Chinese government leaders.

Let's bring in CNN's newly promoted chief White House correspondent, Phil Mattingly. Chief, are White House officials supportive of the Chinese protesters?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Jake, it's important to look at the language and what they're specifically saying here because it tells a story. That story is that there's some caution as they watch what's going on, on the ground. And they've made very clear they're watching closely what's happening on the ground in China and that they support the right of the Chinese people to peacefully protest, also continuing to raise questions about the viability of the zero COVID policy that China has pursued.

However, they are not echoing some of the things we've heard from protesters particularly as it pertains to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. They're also not trying to get in front of anything that they've seen on the ground. And in part, that has something to do with what we saw just a couple of few weeks ago. President Biden sitting down with Xi Jinping, the first in-person meeting since his administration began and securing some concrete, if small, steps forward to try to ramp down tensions between the two countries, the two most powerful countries in the world.


As things go forward, White House spokesman John Kirby said earlier today at the briefing, they are going to be watching things very closely. They don't have any great information more so than we've seen on social media, that everybody is watching at this point in time.

I asked Kirby if the results of that bilateral meeting would have any effect on the U.S. approach to these protests going forward, and Kirby made clear they want to keep in place the steps they were able to make, particularly communication channels between the two sides that they were able to secure during that meeting as to what would happen if there was a harsher crackdown. Kirby said only that they were going to continue to watch closely and see what happens going forward, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly at the White House for us. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Let's bring in Robert Daly. He is the director of the Wilson Center's Kissinger Institute on China and the United States. Robert, you served as a U.S. diplomat in Beijing. I'm wondering from your perspective, since Tiananmen Square, have you seen protests like this in China of some citizens going as far as calling for political reform?

ROBERT DALY, DIRECTOR, KISSINGER INSTITUTE ON CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES: There are many protests in China every year. Sometimes there are tens of thousands, but they're all small and local. They have to do with things like land use rights or prices or local government abuse. This is the first time since Tiananmen that there have been national protests. They're not really nationwide. There are about 16 different provinces about one issue. They're not yet on anything like the Tiananmen protest in 1989.

TAPPER: How long do you think this uprising will last considering the Chinese government's relentless censorship policies, not to mention the crackdowns?

DALY: Well, the discontent and the anger that's reflected are continual and probably growing. But the protests are not ongoing. To the best of our knowledge, there were no protests at any of these sites on Monday. The police presence is large. Some of the sites, for example, in Shanghai where the protests had been some of the loudest have been walled off. And so as of Monday, there was nothing. And of course, once protests like this lose momentum, it gets that much tougher to start up again because now the government is more prepared. So, we don't yet know whether this was a weekend of demonstrations or something that can be sustained.

TAPPER: Top U.S. health officials say the long-term lockdown is not an effective public health strategy, of course, Chinese officials insist that their zero COVID strategy is, quote, "scientific and effective." In the last hour we heard Dr. Fauci talk about why this doesn't make sense unless it's being done for a particular purpose. Why do you think Xi is so stubbornly clinging onto this policy? DALY: Well, both Chinese and foreign and including American

immunologists have said that if China had an America-like regime, that would result in 1.5 million Chinese deaths and Xi has said that he is not willing to do that, but he is willing to harm the economy to save lives.

And that has been part of his claim not just to domestic legitimacy within China, but it's been part of his claim to provide wise governance that should give him a table in international decision- making bodies as well. So, the effects of zero COVID, it's both about the communist party's legitimacy at home, but also about its claim for influence worldwide.

TAPPER: Well, you heard Fauci also say in the previous hour that the Chinese are too proud to ask for help when it comes to getting a more effective vaccine. One of the problems in China is that their vaccine is no good compared to the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna, for example.

DALY: Yes, that's true. And when about two years ago, China was in negotiations with the Europeans to get Pfizer and Moderna in. China insisted as a condition that the Europeans also licensed China's not very good jabs. There's also an element of nationalist pride in this. Given the friction between the United States and China, what really amounts to kind of a new cold war, Xi Jinping does not want the Chinese lives to be saved by western or American medicine.

TAPPER: We're also seeing protesters in Hong Kong holding up blank, white piece -- white sheets of paper, which symbolizes the oppressive censorship in China, that nothing is written on there and that's all that needs to be said. You've said China is moving from authoritarianism to techno-totalitarianism. Tell us what that means and what does a fully censored Chinese society look like?

DALY: Xi Jinping is now using ubiquitous Hikvision cameras all over China which are linked up to artificial intelligence systems. He's using big data such that they can look at a crowd in China, scan a crowd with a camera (inaudible) there, know who they're speaking to on their social media, know where they live, know what they buy.

And they are also getting involved in what is called predictive policing, looking at things like posture and other physical signals that somebody might be seen as dangerous, to really exercise more total control over China.


That's what I mean by techno-totalitarianism. It's the surveillance state. It's one of the things that the Chinese are quite fed up with. They're afraid that post COVID, the government will continue to track their actions as they have during the pandemic, although not this time for the sake of their health but just to make sure that they are toeing the party line.

TAPPER: So many American companies and corporations are in bed with the Chinese government because they want that Chinese money, whether it's Disney or the NBA or, I could go on and on. Is there anything you think that we as consumers could be doing to help the protesters when it comes to protesting ourselves, the companies that go along with this?

DALY: Well, boycotts historically almost never work. South Africa and apartheid are the one exception that (inaudible) the rule there. American consumers, had they wanted to vote with their pocketbooks against (inaudible) transactions had many, many chances to do so after the past several years as you just mentioned, and they haven't done it.

It would really take pressure from the Beijing government or from Washington for increasing decoupling for countries to reassess their profitability in China. The American consumers probably can't do it. And we have to be a little careful. The more support Americans show for the protests, which again may already have ended, we don't know yet.

The more support we show, the more credibility we give to China's leaders who will say this has all been orchestrated by outsiders and there's a color revolution fomented by the United States, which is what they say about Hong Kong, what they've said about other places within China. And so, we don't want to give credibility to that.

Phil Mattingly just mentioned the caution of the White House. I don't think it's just about upholding agreements that Biden and Xi Jinping reached in Indonesia. It's also about not appearing to be behind these protests because that's something that Beijing would use instantly as a weapon against these demonstrators.

TAPPER: All right, Robert Daly, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, the Russians are gone but the pain and suffering is far from over. What life is like for the Ukrainians returning to newly liberated Kherson?

Then, the suspect in that racist Buffalo grocery store shooting rampage appears in court today. What that means for his sentence. Stay with us.



TAPPER: And we're back with our "World Lead." The U.S. State Department says that Russia has, quote, "unilaterally decided to delay key nuclear arms control talks with the U.S. with no specific reasons cited." While over the weekend, mothers of Russian soldiers launched a brave anti-war petition inside Russia, tired of what Putin calls a special operation, which in their words has brought only, quote, "grief, blood and tears." CNN's Matthew Chance traveled to the recently liberated region of Kherson in southern Ukraine under heavy missile fire from Russia just weeks after Russia's humiliating defeat.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The devastation Russia's retreating forces left behind. A village in southern Ukraine torn to shreds, and until now abandoned to this war. (Inaudible) told me he's lived here 51 years, and after evacuating for eight months, his home to stay, even amid this wreckage.

It's like a stone weighing on my soul, he says. We built everything here with our own hands. It's hard to look at what those Russian scum did to us here.

A short distance away in newly liberated Kherson, a pool of blood where Russia is attacking the city it just left behind. Four were killed when this grocery store was hit, now one desperate resident picks through the debris, looting scraps of food and toilet paper. Is everything so bad, we asked. It's not good, he responds.

(On camera): All right, well, getting basic supplies in Kherson has become a massive risk. We've come to the seaport, well, it's the riverport really, right on the Dnipro Liver, with this woman here, Tatiana (ph) from Kherson, to collect water so she can do her washing up and wash her clothes and go to the toilet and things like that.

The water supplies have been completely cut off by the Russians. This is the only way -- and you can hear the artillery shells going off in the background -- this is the only way she can get water for her house. And it's dangerous because this is basically the front line. The Russian forces have retreated to the other bank, right? (Speaking in foreign language).

UNKNOWN: (Speaking in foreign language).

CHANCE: Yeah. So, the Russian forces are just across the river.

(Voice-over): But the risk is one that has to be taken. What can we do, Tatiana (ph) asks. We can't live without water. There's little electricity, either, and people are cramming into makeshift charging stations like this one just to stay connected.

We found defiance here, too, in the face of hardship. There's no water or power, Hannah (ph) tells me, but also no Russians. So, we'll get through this.

(On camera): What do you think? (Speaking in foreign language)? I think our enemies will all die soon, says Nastya (ph), who's only just turned 9. We'll show you what you get for occupying Ukraine, she says.

For many, the hardships are already too much. Roads out of Kherson crammed with residents trying to leave. But for those who stay, it is a desperate struggle to survive.


CHANCE: Yeah, Jake, and that struggle continues because tonight the Kherson region and the city itself is still short of power and water and making life very hard for the residents there who are leaving, as we saw in that report, in droves, amid persistent Russian attacks on residential areas.

[17:20:03] In fact, the presidential administration within the past few hours has said that there have been 258 attacks on residential areas of Kherson and the surrounding neighborhood in the past week alone, making life there for ordinary people unbearable, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Matthew Chance in Ukraine for us. Thank you so much.

With just over a week until the Georgia Senate runoff, the big political guns are descending on the peach state, except one or two notable exceptions are missing. Who are they? Let's find out next.



TAPPER: In our "Politics Lead," tens of thousands of voters cast ballots in the first and only weekend of early voting in the Georgia Senate race between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. Today early voting begins statewide after some counties got a head start. CNN's Eva McKend is in Atlanta, Georgia where we are just learning about Donald Trump's plans for the runoff. Eva?

EVA MCKEND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, former President Donald Trump will not be campaigning for Herschel Walker. That is what we are learning tonight. He won't be coming here. He will hold a tele-rally for Walker like he has done for many Republican candidates. But we also have not heard about President Biden coming here in support of Senator Warnock as yet as well.

Former President Barack Obama will be here later this week to stump for Senator Warnock. I want to get to the numbers, though, because that is where the news is tonight. So many Georgians coming out to vote early. More than 239,000 today alone across Georgia's 159 counties. Today was the first day by law that every county in the state was required to provide early voting -- 87,000 on Sunday, more than 70,000 on Saturday.

And this is potentially good for both Democrats and Republicans because when you talk about runoff elections, it's really a turnout game. And what we're seeing is that the electorate here is engaged. Take a listen to Gabe Sterling with the Secretary of State's office.


GABRIEL STERLING, GEORGIA ELECTION OFFICIAL: We have never seen a Sunday that big. The previous record Sunday was October 25th of 2020, kind of a big election year and it was 37,000 voters. We saw nearly 90,000 voters yesterday, 130 percent more voters altogether. So, that was a huge day. Saturday was nearly 80,000 voters. So, it shows excitement about the race. It's a Senate race. We anticipate that. I mean, the lines today and the turnout today has been tremendous.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MCKEND: We're in Atlanta at the Roxy Theater where Senator Warnock is

going to be joined on stage by the Dave Matthews Band. Herschel Walker campaigning in Cumming, Georgia tonight. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Eva McKend, in Atlanta. Thanks. And be sure to tune in next Tuesday for CNN special coverage of the Georgia runoff. We'll bring you the results as polls close. We'll be on all night.

And let's talk about this. First of all, let me just say to the citizens of Georgia, whoever they're voting for, you know, great work, good to see it. Democracy, you love to see it. Can you -- is there anything to be seen into who is voting and where they're voting as to how this might go?

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL- CONSTITUTION: Well, we know over the weekend it looked like because voting was optional in the counties and all the lawsuits and everything over that Saturday voting, most of the counties were Democratic leaning, those larger heavily Democratic counties. The Republican counties tend to be smaller.

So, going into the statewide early voting, you would think that Warnock had a little bit of an edge, but now that we see every county, all 159, there's robust turnout statewide, which you would expect because it's such a condensed period. So, instead of having two weeks of early voting in multiple weekends, you've got one. And so, it's clear that this is an option that voters enjoy.

TAPPER: All right. Well, it's good to see. And Doug, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who cruised to victory earlier this month over Stacey Abrams, he's campaigning with Herschel Walker, even though he kind of Heisman him during the general election when they were both --

DOUG HEYE, FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: You chose that randomly, did you?

TAPPER: -- during the -- when they were both on the ballot. He's also featured in a new Herschel Walker campaign ad. Take a look.


BRIAN KEMP, GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: We cannot rest on our laurels, everyone. You're going to decide who our senator is. This is going to be a turnout election. Who is more motivated? Is it them or us?


TAPPER: Do you think it might work?

HEYE: Every election is a turnout election. We hear that every two years. Look, Brian Kemp had his own race to run, so he was doing what he had to do as a candidate. We saw some of that in Pennsylvania as well. And if you're running against Stacey Abrams, the amount of money she brought in means you might have cruised, but you couldn't have hit cruise control on your own campaign. So, he's now putting the effort for Georgia Republicans but

Republicans are still nervous because, you know, in football, but also in politics, the time of possession matters and Herschel hasn't been offense really since this -- since we've moved to a runoff. He needs to get on offense very quickly. Brian Kemp is his best advocate to do so, much better than Donald Trump who is staying away.

TAPPER: Yeah, Donald Trump is staying away and I want to talk about that, I'll let you weigh in too, but so is President Biden, at least as far as we know right now.

ALENCIA JOHNSON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, BIDEN CAMPAIGN: Yeah. Well, you know, I think you have a candidate and Senator Warnock, who is running his race, who he knows what Georgia voters want to hear. The turnout game is what they are all playing. You know, their campaign is focused on door knocking. Their campaign is focused on that voter contact.

And so, thankfully, President Obama -- President Obama will be down there. Look, President Biden has a lot of work to do here in Washington, D.C. in this lame duck congress, and so I think they're being strategic about how they're getting support from the current president and the previous president, Obama.


TAPPER: What's your take on it?

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. I mean, I think the challenge for Walker is that there were clearly a lot of Republicans who showed up and couldn't stomach voting for him last time around just a couple of weeks ago, right. And they've got to figure out how to overcome that campus trying to help them with that.

I mean, I think I'm sure there are some voters out there who were control of the Senate on the line might actually be willing to be like, OK, I'm going to swallow my doubts here. I think, if anything, the Democrats that I've talked to are more optimistic because this isn't the 50th seat. It's the 51st for Democrats.

TAPPER: And the other big topic right now in the political world is Donald Trump meeting, having dinner with two notorious antisemites. Ye, aka Kanye West and Nick Fuentes. We just heard that Vice President Pence just criticized Donald Trump for doing it. Very few Republican officials have done so. I guess I was told Thune and Cornyn -- Senators Thune and Cornyn just did.

You told me that Ernst, and --

DOUG HEYE, FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I don't remember. Sorry, I don't remember --


TAPPER: The point is, it's, you know, just a couple handfuls of them. It's not exactly a rush. But Mike Pence did. He said -- well, let's take a look.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table. And I think he should apologize for it. And he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.


TAPPER: I mean, I have to say credit where credit's due, that is one of the strongest condemnations I've heard from a non-Cheney-Kinzinger Republican.

HUNT: I mean, part of me is looking at that and thinking, when did it become so hard to say what Mike Pence just said. It seems like what we all should be saying all of the time. But the reality is, he's out there almost by himself right now, among Republicans, and --

TAPPER: Chris Christie did I think.

HUNT: Chris Christie did as well, yes. I mean, but as -- I guess I should say, he's out there almost by himself as someone who has otherwise been willing to embrace --

TAPPER: Right.

HUNT: -- Trumpian politics at certain turns. Obviously, they had a break after January 6, but you know, he's not an anti-Trump Republican --

TAPPER: Right.

HUNT: -- across the board. And we're not seeing a lot of other people do it and good for him.

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL- CONSTITUTION: Right. What I thought was interesting is even some of the Republicans when they put out statements, they criticize like, no, we don't believe in antisemitism. Antisemitism and racism has no place. But they did not make the bridge to say, and therefore Trump was wrong.

TAPPER: Right, no names.

MITCHELL: Yes, no names and just broad generally -- generalized statements. And so for Pence to say, Trump was wrong for meeting with antisemite --

JOHNSON: Well they've gone along with it for the longest, because it was politically advantageous for them. At this point, it's not. And so they are going to come out and talk about why we shouldn't have meet with antisemites. But at the same time, they're being kind of careful with how much they're going to talk about Trump because they might need him to win elections. HEYE: Republicans could have said everything that Mike Pence said so many times, because these groups, and these extremists have had a place at the Trump table, whether it's in the White House or the hotel or wherever else for a long time, but they're operating think of House Republican politics right now. They're operating an atmosphere where they know that Donald Trump is not somebody who gives points, he only takes him away, one at a time. And if you want to survive, you're still playing the Trump game. And Trump knows that.

HUNT: So what I think is the most interesting about what Pence is doing here is that he is setting the stage for what we know is going to be an intense Republican primary fight with the former president. And over and over and over again, we have seen people who have taken the tack of not going after Trump directly, they tried to do in 2016, they all got hit over and over and over again. And people have been very careful about how they've engaged with him.

This says to me that Mike Pence is making a decision for how he is going to engage with the former president. And it is quite frankly, a different approach than the one Pence took even as recently as campaigning in the midterm elections. Now, maybe this is just an issue that's so beyond the pale to him.

Remember, this is a very real personally religious man who, you know, remember evangelicals have very close ties to Israel very often, think a lot about the Jewish people in the context of our politics, and other things like that. So perhaps that's what's driving Mike Pence here. But I think strategically, it's a really interesting choice.

TAPPER: And I don't -- I want to give him more credit than that. I don't think it's just a pro-Israel because evangelicals want me to be. I mean, that's -- it seems like a very just like moral --

HUNT: No, I mean, I think for most evangelicals, it's a moral --

TAPPER: Right.

HUNT: -- it's a moral connection.

TAPPER: Right.

HUNT: I'm not trying to say that the evangelical piece of this is political.

TAPPER: Yes, no, he is making a calculation though, which is I am just going to say the starkest bravest thing I can say about this, and we'll see what happens but he is differentiating himself because other Republicans Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Elise Stefanik, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pompeo, like they -- we haven't heard yet, yet anything from them publicly --

HUNT: It has several days to be clear.

TAPPER: It's been six days since it happened and I guess it was Friday that it was reported.


JOHNSON: Right, right. And they should be saying something that shouldn't be what happened with Trump. Honestly, he wouldn't have said anything had Kanye not put out a video people started talking about this meeting. And so, it will be interesting to see where a lot of Republican leaders will fall in this. Will they fall in the Mike Pence camp or will they toe the line trying to think of their political future?

TAPPER: Yes. All right. Thanks one and all. Appreciate it.

No arrests, no suspects announced, no weapon. A killer remains on the loose two weeks after four college students were murdered inside their apartment. And now students are returning to campus. Do they feel safe? Stay with us.



TAPPER: Thousands of students are returning to the University of Idaho's campus today even though a killer remains on the loose. It has been two weeks since four University of Idaho students were killed. Police have not yet made an arrest. They have not yet named a suspect. They have not yet, as far as we know, found the weapons.

CNN's Veronica Miracle is live for us in Moscow, Idaho. Veronica, what's being done to address any safety concerns that students might have?

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, for those who are returning back to campus today, there is a heavy police presence, whether it's hired security or patrol officers. They're just trying to make students feel a little bit more comfortable. The University of Idaho is also allowing students to stay at home for the rest of the semester.

There's two weeks left of classes. And so if students want to stay at home, they can learn virtually. They're not tracking how many students have stayed at home. So far, they're letting them come and go as they please. But based on our conversations with students around campus, it does seem like people are taking advantage of this opportunity.


AVA FORSYTH, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO STUDENT: I just know that if I stayed home, I wouldn't get any work done. Plus, I feel safe in my dorm. I know a lot of people don't but, you know, there's two doors you have to get through.

HAYDEN RICH, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO STUDENT: It's kind of quiet. Most people are friendly, but now it's just kind of, I don't know, people are kind of sketched out. Not really aware of the situation.

MIRACLE: Does the campus feel emptier?

RICH: Yes, definitely, definitely.


MIRACLE: That sense of fear and uncertainty, certainly understandable. It's not just police that are trying to make students feel comfortable. A former University of Idaho students actually raised $19,000 to buy personal security devices for students, everyone pitching in trying to do what they can. Jake?

TAPPER: Where does the investigation stand as far as we know?

MIRACLE: Well, the Moscow Police Department hasn't released anything. In the last few days, they say that they're making progress. They've received about 1,000 tips. And a third of those are security videos and images and they're asking for more surveillance images, but still no new information about a suspect and motive why this happened and who could have done it. Jake?

TAPPER: Veronica Miracle in Idaho, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

The white man accused of killing 10 people all of them black and injuring a dozen more in the racist shooting rampage at a grocery store in Buffalo pleaded guilty to state charges today. 19-year-old Payton Gendron admitted guilt and multiple murder charges and hate motivated terrorism charges. The guilty plea means he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Back in July, you might remember he pleaded not guilty to separate federal hate crimes and firearms charges that could have carried the death penalty if he had been convicted of those.

Iran is now demanding that the United States be expelled from the World Cup tournament after U.S. Soccer gets a little political, that's ahead.



TAPPER: In our world lead now, 2022 is not yet even over, hell, it's not even December. And it's already the deadliest year for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank in decades, according to a CNN analysis. And that does not include Palestinians killed in Gaza, the site of several wars between Israel and Hamas, or Israelis killed by Hamas rocket fire.

As CNN's Hadas Gold reports, you have to go back to the final years of the Second Intifada 2004-2005 to find a death count higher than this years in Israel in the West Bank.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These have become frequent images this year across Israel and the Palestinian territories. Funerals last week in Nablus for 16-year-old Ahmad Amjad Shehada and to Jerusalem for 15-year-old Canadian Israeli Aryeh Schupak, both killed on Wednesday on their way to school. In another world, they might have been classmates. But here, they are the latest victims of a decades old conflict that is rearing its head to new heights.

With a month left to go, 2022 is already the deadliest year for Palestinians and Israelis across Israel in the West Bank since the early 2000s, according to a CNN analysis of official numbers from both Israel and the Palestinian authority, setting up alarm across the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): I hope that Israeli and Palestinian authorities take this search for dialogue to heart in a greater way, building reciprocal trust, without which there will never be a solution for peace in the Holy Land.

GOLD (voice-over): 150 Palestinian combatants and civilians have been killed so far this year in the occupied West Bank in Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Well, Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were militants or engaging violently with their soldiers. Human rights groups say dozens of unarmed civilians have been caught up as well.

The Israeli government says 31 Israelis and foreigners have been killed in Palestinian attacks, a number that includes soldiers and civilians during shootings, stabbings and ramblings. And then last Wednesday, twin bombings killed two in Jerusalem, a type of attack not seen in years. The U.N.'s Middle East envoy warning that the situation is running out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mounting hopelessness, anger and tension have once again erupted into a deadly cycle of violence that is increasingly difficult to contain.

GOLD (voice-over): That hopelessness partly a result of a politics on both sides that seem as far apart as ever and increasingly unpopular Palestinian authority. It's ageing leader Mahmoud Abbas recently pilloried for attending the World Cup while new militant groups rise up at home, claiming to be the true representatives of the Palestinian Street.


And in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu soon to take power once again. But this time with a sharp turn to the right, alongside coalition partners like Itamar Ben-Gvir, and other far right settlers who've called for an even stronger response to Palestinian attacks, and are vehemently opposed to the two-state solution, as the violence on the ground continues with no end in sight.


GOLD: And Jake, Netanyahu is still forming its government but he's already announced that Itamar Ben-Gvir himself once convicted of anti- Arab racism will take over a newly created roll called National Security Minister that will put them in charge of police in both Israel and some policing in the West Bank. This is a situation that the outgoing defense minister Benny Gantz has called a sure recipe for harming security, one that he said will cost people's lives, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Hadas Gold in Jerusalem. Thanks so much for that report.

Coming up in our sports lead, Iran throwing shade at the U.S. off the field ahead of tomorrow's World Cup showdown. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Politics is dominating the upcoming World Cup match between the United States and Iran. The United States Soccer Federation erased the Islamic regime emblem from the Iranian flag and a social media post, trying to show support for the women protesting in the streets of Iran for basic human rights.

In response, Iran and its very fragile ego apparently called for the United States to be expelled from the World Cup. Today, the U.S. team manager tried to bring the focus back to the game itself.


GREGG BERHALTER, U.S. SOCCER TEAM MANAGER: The staff, the players had no idea. Of course, our thoughts and when people, the whole country, the whole team, everyone, but our focus is on this match.


TAPPER: USA Today Sports Columnist Christine Brennan is here. Christine, were you surprised by the team managers response today?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: I was, you know, on it. To be able to say that you're for the Iranian people, you're for Iranian women, you are for the protesters, that's a good thing. And I was surprised that the U.S. coach basically, you know, walked back because it's already been out there. It's the U.S. national team, the men's national team, it's U.S. Soccer. They have -- this has been their whole World Cup. It's been about issues, about talking about societal change, talking about political issues. There's no reason to back away from it now. So that did surprise me.

TAPPER: Yes. And this isn't politics, like tax policy, right? I mean, this is about whether or not women in Iran have basic human rights, whether the regime is correct for shooting protesters, peaceful protesters in the street, it's not politics, per se.

BRENNAN: Oh, without a doubt. I mean, he -- the U.S. is on the right side of this issue. U.S. Soccer has been on the right side of this issue. Frankly, Jake, when the Iranian team did not sing its National Anthem in its first match, it was also protesting. So the U.S. is actually on the side of the Iranian team --

TAPPER: Right.

BRENNAN: -- in a sense that they're protesting. And of course, this is a U.S. Men's National Team that willingly gave up money so that the women would have equal pay that was earlier this year. There are a lot of issues that these guys are on the right side -- TAPPER: Yes, own your righteousness for God's sake.

BRENNAN: Yes, exactly. Security source tells CNN you talked about the Iranian team, not singing the national anthem, presumably protesting the regime, supporting the people in the streets. Security sources tell CNN Iran has threatened the families of the national soccer team. How does that impact them, do you think?

BRENNAN: I think when they go home, that's not a good situation. And what courage they showed in not singing that anthem knowing that they knew that, from the get go, they didn't have to be told that, they knew that they would -- could be in jeopardy. Obviously, whoever wins this big match tomorrow, Iran or the United States, the winner moves on to the round of 16. The loser goes home.

The U.S., of course, in American sports fans, many watching us right now, they don't want the U.S. to lose. But think about what happens when the Iranian team goes home and faces potential penalties, who knows punishment, what they're going to get for having protested that first match.

TAPPER: So Jason Rezaian, he's the Washington Post journalist who was imprisoned in Iran unfairly now free, thankfully, he writes, quote, "This moment deserves attention, and no global stage is bigger than the World Cup. Billions we'll be watching. The longer Iran stays in, the more recognition its people and their movement will receive."

Obviously, again, we're all rooting for team USA here at the lead. But does that motivate the Iranian players do you think? Do you think that we need to stay in this because we represent Iranian pride, but not pride in the regime, pride in who we really are?

BRENNAN: I think it does motivate them. And frankly, you'd probably ask the U.S. players, they want to win desperately. But the idea of having the spotlight, that glare of that spotlight, Jake, focusing on these issues for another few days, that would be fantastic. And of course, being in Qatar, all of these issues in that country, LGBTQ rights, the migrant workers and all the people who were killed building these stadiums having to have the event in December -- in November, December, not in the summer, because of the heat, the money that was paid under the table.

All of these issues come to light when you do have an event like this in that location, just to say the Beijing Olympics, you and I and others were talking about human rights in Beijing back in February because the Olympics were there. So I do think that the location and the fact that you can stay in that spotlight as long as possible can be very helpful.

TAPPER: What's at stake for the U.S. in this match?

BRENNAN: You know, the U.S. men have obviously not been as good as the U.S. women. And they would like to be able to say, hey, we moved on to the round of 16. They've done it before, but it's been a while. It's a young team. It's a new generation of American men who are very much pro-women, pro-social issues, cultural issues, and I think that they would love to make a statement on the field as well.

TAPPER: It's great to see soccer bringing attention to these issues of freedom and equality. Christine Brennan, good to see you --

BRENNAN: You too.

TAPPER: -- as always.

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Our coverage now continues with Brianna Keilar, who's in for Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM". See you tomorrow.