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The Lead with Jake Tapper

AG Garland: People Will Be "Held Accountable" For Attacks On Democracy; AG Garland: DOJ Asking For Access To All January 6 Committee Transcripts; House Passes Deal To Avoid Freight Rail Strike; Russian Lawmakers Unanimously Pass Harsh Anti-LGBTQ Law; Family Members Of "Catfish" Murder Victims Speak Out; U.S. Women's Team Will Earn More From Men's Team This Year Than The Two Year's It Won The Women's World Cup Combined. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 30, 2022 - 16:00   ET


SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's a huge trust deficit. This might help deal with that.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Yeah. Well, thank you both for helping us just, you know, parse through everything the attorney general announced. You're right. I mean, he is not somebody who often touts their work. But he made a point of doing so today.


CAMEROTA: Sara, Elliot, thank you.

And THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KASIE HUNT, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Kasie Hunt, in for Jake Tapper.

We do start today with our politics lead. Moments ago, Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke about the landmark verdict in the Oath Keepers trial, calling the decision a significant victory for the American people.

His remarks come after a jury found the founder of the far right Oath Keepers and his deputy guilty of seditious conspiracy for their role in the Capitol insurrection. Those two and three others were found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding, a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison.


MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: As the verdict of this case makes clear, the department will work tirelessly to hold accountable those responsible for crimes related to the attack on our democracy on January 6, 2021.


HUNT: Let's get straight to CNN senior legal affairs correspondent Paula Reid.

Paula, what was your biggest takeaway from the attorney general's remarks today?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Kasie, here we see the attorney general seizing the spotlight and really taking a victory lap for these two significant but also very unique victories for the Justice Department over the past 24 hours, the first being those convictions on seditious conspiracy, a significant victory for these prosecutors. These have been the most serious charges filed in the over 900 cases brought related to January 6th. Here a jury found this violence was not spontaneous, but the product of an organized conspiracy.

This is really expected to embolden prosecutors as they continue to work on cases already on the pipeline. And then as they contemplate other cases to potentially bring.

The attorney general also wanted to highlight the Justice Department's work in Jackson, Mississippi, to try to protect and defend safe drinking water there. He said it was really important civil rights work, and he noted that this was a kind of thing that they're working on every day that does not get that much attention. And, Kasie, I can tell you over the past decade or so, of covering the Justice Department, they do get frustrated that's a lot of times what gets the most intentions are these high-profile political investigations. Beat Hillary's emails, Mueller, the current investigations into former President Trump.

So even took the opportunity to check off some of the other things that the Justice Department is working on, including elder fraud, crimes against children, terrorism. But, of course, Kasie, he is going to get some questions as you would expect on some of these high- profile investigations, including his recent appointment on special counsel Jack Smith.

He was asked if he had met with Smith and what was going on with an investigation. And he didn't say too much, but he did confirm that he had met with Smith. He said that he was working at the team. He noted that Smith is already gotten his work underway. Or proving some of the arguments the prosecutors made last week in Atlanta before a court of appeals. So it is a great opportunity for the attorney general to highlight some of the day today, the bread and butter work they do, and also a great opportunity for reporters to ask some questions about the other work they're doing.

HUNT: Good opportunity for questions, although the answers were brief, and not terribly illuminating.

But, Paula Reid, thanks very much for that report.

Let's bring in now, CNN's Evan Perez. He was in the room for Attorney General Garland's press conference.

And, Evan, you asked him about the department's coordination with the January 6 committee. What did we learn? EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kasie, this is

been a point of contention between the January 6 committee and the Justice Department, which has been asking for access to all of the evidence. They want access especially to the transcripts of some of the witness testimony that the committee has received because, you know, obviously if you are going to put people on trial they have to be able to know what those people said to the committee that could play a role in discovery issues and people being put on trial.

The attorney general said that the committee -- that the Justice Department is still pursuing access to all evidence to all of the transcripts from the committee. He would not say what the process or progress is in those negotiations. We know, Kasie, that the committee has been hesitant to turn over everything. They say belongs to the committee, that in some cases they are going to share some things with the Justice Department.

But it appears that that is still a process that is ongoing. It is clearly not a resolved issue, and, of course, Kasie, you know that the committee has probably just a few more weeks to go before they cease to exist. We'll see whether the Justice Department can get those transcripts.

HUNT: Yeah, no, it is a very interesting question important that you asked. Evan Perez, thanks very much for that.

And speaking of the January 6 committee, they are expected to meet this Friday to discuss whether not to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department over the insurrection. And that referral list could include Donald Trump.

I also want to bring in CNN's Katelyn Polantz.

Katelyn, does the Justice Department, do they pick up where the committee leaves off once they're disbanded? Or what's next for this?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Kasie, that's what the committee is certainly going to hope for. This key meeting that will be happening on Friday is a subcommittee of the House Select Committee. And what they're going to be talking about is making possible criminal referrals to the Justice Department. So, they are going to assess all the evidence that they gather, and decide whether they think that they want, whether they want to ask attorney general to bring charges against people.

That could be them asking for there to be charges brought against Donald Trump for the large amount of evidence that they collected over his interest in overturning the election results. They've been very clear that they think there would be a crime there. That is something that the Justice Department may already be looking at. They don't actually need the house to speak up and ask for an investigation into that. But there are other things that may have occurred during this House Select Committee investigation, Kasie, that really could prompt the Justice Department to get involved and look deeper, things like possible obstruction, possible perjury, possible witness tampering. So, we are going to have to wait and see what the committee does. It

is all part of their wind down phase, writing the report. They wrapped up their very last interview today. And then those criminal referrals, there is going to be a outstanding question of whether not the committee makes a move there and said something publicly to toss it over to the Justice Department as this Congress ends.

HUNT: Really high stakes few weeks.

Katelyn, you have also learned that has Democrats now have Donald Trump's tax returns?

POLANTZ: They do, indeed. We just got confirmation a few minutes ago from the Treasury Department that the Treasury Department complied with a court order last week. The Supreme Court basically said, no, we're not going to step in. We are going to agree with other courts that all sided with House Democrats.

House Democrats have been trying for years now, Kasie, to get access to Trump financial details in many different ways. By my count there have been many maybe six different or more different ways that they have tried. This one was a very clean request that the house committee made in 2019, what they asked for was six years of Trump's tax returns, including the years he served as president. His personal, returns also returns around eight of his different business entities.

And the courts, Trump was trying in court to block both. The courts ultimately all said, no, the House has this power. And those tax returns did go from the IRS to the House Ways and Means Committee. We are going to have to watch and see what the House Ways and Means Committee does next.

HUNT: A fascinating turn of events here, last day of November 2022, after this was asked for in 2019 and we got another presidential campaign underway.

Katelyn Polantz, thanks very much for that.

Let's discuss this all with our august panel.

And, Tom Dupree, let me start with you. I mean, you just heard the Justice Department, the attorney general, talking about how they did -- they want all this information, all the transcripts that the committee's been gathering for months and months and months.

What is your understanding for why there is a challenge here and why is the coordination so important?

TOM DUPREE, FORMER PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I think the big question is, what happens all the material the January 6 committee has collected once it is dissolved as we all assume it will be in the next months ahead. They have been pounding the pavement for months. They've gathered documents, talking to witnesses. They are going to produce a report.

But I think the question is, when they passes baton to the Justice Department what happens then? I expect that today's biggest race verdict is significant in terms of what happens next. I think it sends a signal to law enforcement and the Justice Department specifically that it is possible to convict the leaders of the January 6 attack on one of the most serious charges in the United States code, namely seditious conspiracy against the United States.

HUNT: Andrew McCabe, what's your sense of -- do you agree with that assessment?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yeah, totally agree. To some degree the referral will be theatrical more than anything else, right? The DOJ is not required to follow up on any referral that may be given to them. It is opportunity for the committee to put an exclamation point at the end of this process, declaring exactly how they feel. Specifically that they think the people engage in criminal conduct.

However, if they turn over a referral to the DOJ, I think it's going to make that much harder for them to resist giving the evidence and the transcripts, as well. You can tell you what I investigated prosecutors people but I'm not going to show the evidence I have with you. So --

HUNT: You can see why I think that, right?

MCCABE: Exactly, exactly.

HUNT: So, let me ask you about what we saw on the Oath Keepers trial. Do you think the events of the last 24 hours of changed the calculation for the Justice Department in terms of whether not to prosecute the former presidents are able to secure this conviction?

MCCABE: Yeah, no question, in a couple of ways.


This -- the comments about the Oath Keepers verdict by the AG is a little bit more than just the chest-pounding session. He is sending a message to the attorneys who are currently represented the other Oath Keepers, whose trials are coming up, and the Proud Boys, and whoever else might be in the wings later that, we can do this. We can put on these complicated, high stakes political cases and get verdicts against you. So rethink whether not you want to cooperate with us now, provide evidence, and seek an easier path. I think that's --

HUNT: That's very interesting.

MCCABE: And it's a very loud message to those folks who are in leadership positions to maybe being looked out for their role in organizing and instigating the attack, and first among those, of course, is the former president.

DUPREE: And I agree with that. I think yesterdays' verdict is going to be a bellwether for everything that follows, the Oath Keepers upcoming trial, the Proud Boys upcoming trial. At the same time, I think one thin what will not escape the notice of

the Justice Department is that this jury did quit the majority defendants on seditious conspiracy. So I think that is going to tell the Justice Department is that they have to make sure that they have evidence with everyone they prosecute for seditious conspiracy that shows that the conspiracy extends to those people. Just because you are involved in something, isn't necessarily going to be enough to convict. The jury is going to look at the evidence that you have.

HUNT: You better prove it.

DUPREE: Exactly right.

HUNT: Abby, what is your take on what Director McCabe is saying here in terms of sending a message to people like potentially former president and how do you think politics and political situations weighs on the attorney general?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I definitely think garland is attuned to the politics of the situation, and I think that that is why these convictions actually help him in a way that he wants to be helped. It gives him a little bit more backing to say, we can proceed forward.

But this issue of cooperation is really important. One of the difficulties of this environment, especially frankly the Trump environment, is that a lot of people around Trump have not felt compelled to cooperate with congressional investigations, with special counsel investigations, and all kinds of a investigations for a number of different reasons. They stall. They assume that convictions are not coming.

And I think that this idea that now there is a prospect of convictions on the table. I think it is a lot to change people's calculus. And then on top of, that there is always the prospect of what is coming.

I mean, the real issue here is that this is perhaps not over, and that it is not going to be the last time that we see another attempt to potentially subvert another election. And it sends a strong message to those people to, frankly, not tried again.

HUNT: Yeah, it's really important point -- Shan.

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, this is a must win conviction for the Justice Department. I mean, if they got a bunch of acquittals here, it would've been disastrous for them.

And it does send a message to the other people. There's also a lot of lessons to be learned from the acquittals. And it is not so much, in my opinion, whether they have the evidence. And they found the evidence for a while. I think the DOJ has is going to proceed with their charging decisions matter what this verdict was.

But, from a trial aspect, it can teach a lot about how to present that evidence. I think it is noteworthy that all of them were convicted for the obstruction of the official proceeding. To me, that says it's a little bit of an easier concept to grasp. Seditious conspiracy may sound very overwhelming like it is a real coup that might succeed.

They need in the future to translate that into much more pragmatic step-by-step points of, this is seditious conspiracy. If you do x, y and z, it doesn't have to look like something in the movies where the army's advancing in the Capitol. I think that is a lesson that the trial operation people are going to gather this.

MCCABE: I think that's right. It's entirely possible that the postmortem of the verdict, of the convictions and the acquittals will point them to you realizing that they save seditious conspiracy for the two people with the highest level of culpability and also the two people whose conversation and communications prior to January 6th laid out the clearest picture of pre-planning, of where their minds were in the weeks leading up to it.

That is particularly relevant, if you are someone who has now alleged to have been involved in the planning of January 6th. And that includes not just the former president, but people like John Eastman, and Rudy Giuliani, any others who are in around the White House at the time.

HUNT: That's a very good point.

DUPREE: That's one of the things he jumped out at me, look at the evidence came in. If you message engage in seditious conspiracy, don't text about it. Don't put your intentions in this text message.

PHILLIP: But I don't want to be the first bringing the glass, that is really important point to. There's so many people who were involved in this maybe they didn't break down the doors. These convictions really say, there are consequences for that.

HUNT: That's the thing that really interest me informs the former president as well. As you creep towards the seditious conspiracy question, the one person obviously, Stewart Rhodes, did not break the glass. He specifically did not go in there trying to object that proceeding, but he did inspire, the jury found.


Let me ask you briefly before we go, Shan, what's your -- we just learned that they are finally going to get Trump's tax returns at the Ways and Means Committee.

Now, granted, Democrats are going to lose control of the committee in like four weeks.

So how big of a deal is this at this stage?

WU: Well, the stage brought -- from the Andrew's standpoint, it's a big deal. I mean, this allows them to connect a lot of doubts. I mean, just one small area, he's listed these five and plus LLC that he puts all his businesses into. This can tell you how those LLCs are actually working. Are there foreign assets there? How does he treat that income from the LLCs? Those are all potential bases for criminal charges. So it gives you a lot of evidence of what that will do with that in the timeframe. Not sure.

HUNT: Who knows? And, of course, there's no guarantee that the public will get to see.

All right. All of you, thank you so much for being here to help us handle this breaking news today.

Up next, the House passes a deal to avoid a rail strike that would derail the nation's economy. Up next, is the Senate and the new information that we are learning about how soon they may take up the bill.

Then, the world's largest volcano erupting, and now lava is inching closer to a major highway.

Stick around.



HUNT: A deal to avert an impending rail strike is on the way to the Senate after the House voted to pass an agreement brokered by President Biden earlier this year that would keep rail companies and employees.

CNN's Phil Mattingly is at the White House with what's next for the agreement and why eight Democrats voted against it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The joint resolution is passed.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A bipartisan vote that marked a critical step and furious effort to prevent economic disaster.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Today, we are here to safeguard the financial security of America's families, to protect American economy as it continues to recover, and avert a devastating nationwide rail shutdown.

MATTINGLY: President Biden, a crucial win in the behind the scenes effort to avert rail worker strikes that could cripple U.S. commerce. The White House locking in 79 Republicans in support of the bill, a window into a complex problem cutting across political and ideological lines.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The middle class built America. And unions built the middle class.

MATTINGLY: One that has pitted at the White House and Democratic leaders against their close allies in the labor movement.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Now we're at a place where the president has been very clear that we have to avert a roll rail shutdown, and he is asking Congress to act.

MATTINGLY: And major business groups are lining up behind the administration in support.

The fear of economic collapse trumping long-standing allegiances after several unions rejected a deal the White House helped drive in September, primarily due to the agreement's omission of paid sick leave.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): I was going to come here to the Senate.

MATTINGLY: White House officials now keenly aware, they're most acute challenge lies ahead.

SANDERS: Do we stand with workers in the rail industry and say, yes, you are right? Working conditions are horrendous. We cannot continue a process by which you have zero paid sick leave.

MATTINGLY: The House, voting to pass a separate bill to include paid sick leave. Senator Bernie Sanders pledged his own effort in a fiery for speech. Biden set to dispatch his top two cabinet officials, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, to meet behind closed doors with Senate Democrats on Thursday, a meeting, White House officials say, will focus on agreement they say includes cochlear winds for union workers, including the largest pay increases in more than five decades.

Democratic sources say they are cautiously optimistic Biden will get the votes with Republican agreement on moving forward.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Leader McConnell and I both want to pass it quickly. We understand the time deadlines and will be working together to figure the best way to get it done quickly.

MATTINGLY: But they also acknowledged, the clock is ticking toward a December 9th deadline for action.

PELOSI: Time is of the essence, we must act now.


MATTINGLY (on camera): Kasie, that optimism that this will get over the finish line in the Senate is starting to grow to some degree. As to when that final vote may actually happen, what amendments if any will be in line here, that is very much a subject of internal debate between Republicans and Democrats. President Biden and his top officials who made clear on Capitol Hill, in their phone calls and meetings that they want this done by Saturday at the absolute latest.

Right now, senators in a process, Kasie, you know better than most very much trying to figure out when they can get this done, how do you get this done, it doesn't seem like a question of if they are going to get it done, Kasie.

HUNT: It's quite a tight rope. Phil Mattingly, thanks very much for that report. And historic day on Capitol Hill with House Democrats electing Hakeem

Jeffries as head of the Democratic Caucus. Jeffries will be the first Black person to lead a major party in a chamber of Congress.

CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju joins me now.

Manu, what is the reaction on the Hill to this vote today?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it has been expected, a smooth transaction in the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi announcing a few weeks ago that she would step aside as the leader of Democratic Caucus that she has dominated for the past two decades.

Hakeem Jeffries himself has been a member of Democratic leadership for the past several years, one who is viewed as likely next Democratic leader, assuming some of the other people who are under Nancy Pelosi decide to step aside. That is what they decided to do.

Pelosi's number two, Steny Hoyer, opted not to run to the top Democratic position of the new Congress, neither did Jim Clyburn who is currently the number three. Instead, they paved the way for a brand new leadership team, marking a new generation of leaders, a younger crop of leaders. Under Hakeem Jeffries, it will be number two, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, and follow by her will be Pete Aguilar as the number three.

There are still some leadership fights will happen beneath them, but nevertheless, the top three members have been sorted out and as Jeffrey said today, that he believes that that they are simply temporarily relinquishing the majority to the House Republicans who are expected to have a narrow majority in the new Congress. A sign here that Jeffries and his new Democratic leadership team sees their chances of getting back at the majority as pretty strong headed in 2024.


And, undoubtedly, that will be their focus in the two years ahead -- Kasie.

HUNT: It is pretty remarkable just to see the pictures that these three new leaders after however many years you and I have both been covering the old three. Pretty stark there.

Let's talk for a second about Republicans because Kevin McCarthy is still pretty much in the fight of his life to become speaker of the House in January. What's the latest? Where do you think things stand with him?

RAJU: He is fighting both my vote, trying to get to where the magic number which is 218 votes. He doesn't have much room for error because Republicans are expected to have 222 votes in the new Congress. That means that he can only lose four at most in order to reach that threshold since all other Democrats are expected to vote for Jeffries, we're not vote for McCarthy. And already handle of the more conservative members of a friends had

indicated that they plan to vote no. Some of them have suggested an openness to negotiate, and that's what McCarthy's team hopes ultimately will convince them to support him, pointing to his efforts to help Republicans retake the majority, and also some of the discussions about some possible rule changes to allow them more power over the leadership to give the rank and file more influence.

And, Kasie, in a sign of McCarthy's effort to try to appease the right to show that he's not going to bow down to the Biden administration or Democrats, he sent a letter today to the January 6 Committee saying that they should preserve all records as he is they're suggesting that they may turn the tables and investigate the January 6 Committee that is investigating the insurrection that happened in the Capitol in 2021, a sign of his focus assuming he becomes speaker -- Kasie.

HUNT: Wow. OK. Manu Raju, thanks very much for much that. You got your work cut out for you the next couple years up there.

Coming up next, the family of a teenager lured online by an adult man posing as a teen has a warning for other parents after the deadly deception shattered their lives.



HUNT: Topping our world lead, an envelope addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador in Spain exploded at the embassy in Madrid today. Officials say -- officials there say an employee has minor injuries after handling the letter. While police investigate who sent it, Ukrainian officials have stepped up security at all their embassies.

Back in Ukraine, despite pressure on the power grid because of relentless Russian strike, Kyiv's mayor insists Putin will not be allowed to steal holiday joy.

Unlike this tree, which was connected to the electric grid in this picture, taken several years ago, this year's tree will be powered by a generator. The quote tree of invincibility in downtown Kyiv will never go down and it will include a nearby charging point so people can power up their phones. Very convenient.

Now, in Russia, even as Putin falters with his so-called special military operation in Ukraine, his government is keeping an almost obsessive focus on limiting rights for the LGBTQ community in Russia.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow where Russia's upper house of parliament unanimously voted to criminalize what it describes as propaganda about LGBTQ issues.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): For years, being gay has been extremely tough in Russia. Now it's about to get even harder. After Russian parliament passed what it calls the LGBTQ propaganda law, claiming, in part, it's a defense against U.S. influence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I cannot put it any other way. The United States of America has become the global center of this sodomy. Let them live there, don't touch us.

PLEITGEN: Antigay tirades are often embedded into coverage of what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine on state TV, making the war out to be part of a larger battle of Russia against the West of its alleged moral decay.

Yarolslav Rasputin, a gay rights activist in Moscow, says he feels singled out.

YAROLSLAV RASPUTIN, LGBTQ ACTIVIST (through translator): This is the information noise that we are becoming victims of. We are being used as scapegoats to distract attention and redirect the hatred of the electorate that supports Putin and the war.

PLEITGEN: Russian President Vladimir Putin often portrays himself as the savior of traditional family values even equating Western LGBTQ freedoms to devil worshipping.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Such a total denial of a human being, a rejection of faith and traditional values. Suppression of freedom begins to look like a perverted religion, outright Satanism.

PLEITGEN: The new law bans praise of what the government considers nontraditional sexual relationships or otherwise suggesting those relationships are, quote, normal.

But LGBTQ activist Renat Davletgildeev who has fled the country says the law will essentially make it illegal to be openly gay in Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The only text that I can now show publicly, according to the law in Russia in my social network on the street, in a newspaper, or in a movie, is, gays are outlawed, gays are bad, and lesbians should be in jail.

PLEITGEN: Not a single Russian legislator voted against the bill. Punishment includes fines of up to thousands of dollars for individuals. Foreigners could be jailed for up to 15 days and deported.

Vladimir Komov heads an organization providing legal aid to the LGBTQ community.


And he fears the lawyers might soon be targeted as well with significant fines for legal entities.

VLADIMIR KOMOV, HEAD OF DELO LGBT (through translator): There are fears among lawyers that if they defend political cases like rallies or alleged gay propaganda, this may be turned against them in the future. PLEITGEN: But activists and lawyers fear that even more of Russia's

LGBTQ community will come to the conclusion that their only way to live openly will be to flee the country.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And, Kasie, at a meeting last week, Vladimir Putin said he believes Russia, for too long, has been living by the rules of others. He has made clear he believes the LGBT community is something that's essentially incompatible with Russian values.

Vladimir Putin is, of course, the final stage. He has to sign it for it to take affect. There's no doubt he will do that. It's sending chills through what's left of the LGBT community here in this country, Kasie.

HUNT: I'm sure. Fred Pleitgen in Moscow, thanks very much for that report.

PLEITGEN: Let's turn to our world lead. A tea party in Boston, this time hopefully no intentional spills. British royals William and Kate formally known as the prince and princess of Wales, are Stateside today to present an award for William's foundation, Earthshot, which awards innovators fighting the climate crisis.

CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster is in Boston.

Max, welcome to the U.S. of A. This is their first visit to the U.S. in eight years. What are they hoping to accomplish?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they arrived in Boston. They are heading this way. And they're going to give a speech or Prince Williams will give a speech behind me in the rain. All the umbrellas are out.

This is all about a buildup to Friday, which is the Earthshot Prize. It's all about finding solutions to climate change and

accelerating those solutions. So, the winners receive million dollar prices. He sees it as his Super Bowl. They see it as the biggest prize there is going in climate change. It's about building up to that.

And Caroline Kennedy will be here. She'll be supporting and throughout the next three days, there will be events building to that. There are big crowds here, I have to say. Most of them telling me they are more excited about seeing Kate than William. It will be interesting to see how they treat these new royals.

It's the first time they come here as a prince and princess of Wales. There's so much legacy with those titles through Diana and Charles.

HUNT: I suppose I'm supposed to stay unbiased, I would be personally be very excited to see Kate, the Princess Catherine. This is a bit overshadowed because we are hearing a Buckingham palace staffer resigned after asking a guest where she was from and then refusing to believe the guest who was a Black woman and refusing to believe she was a British nationality. Have any of the royals responded to this?

FOSTER: This guest tweeted a transcript. The aide asked her where her people are from. When did she arrive here in the U.K.? And this was a British national. It's very difficult. The palace responded to say that they are investigating and that she stepped down straightaway.

Also, Prince William spoke saying there's no place for racism in society. This was the right thing to do, to step down immediately. So, they tried to deal with it quickly. Of course, it speaks to all of the allegations of racism within the palace that we have heard before. It doesn't help.

HUNT: All right. Max Foster with the royals in Boston. Thanks very much for that report. We appreciate it.

Coming up next, a warning for parents, from the aunt of a teen caught in a horrific catfishing scheme that ended with her grandparents and her mother dead.



HUNT: The family of a teenager catfished online is speaking out today, sending a warning to other parents to watch and educate your teenagers.

It comes after police say a 28-year-old former Virginia state trooper met a teen online and pretended to be a fellow teenager. Authorities say he then traveled to her home in Riverside, California, killed her grandparents and her mother and then fled the scene with the teenager. The suspect later died in a shootout with police. The teenager was physically unharmed.

Today, her aunt is speaking out.


MICHELLE BLANDIN, VICTIMS' RELATIVE: Please, parents, guardians, when you are talking to your children about the dangers of their online actions, please use us as a reference. Tell our story to help your parenting.


HUNT: It's devastating. The teen victim is in protective custody and receiving medical treatment.

I would like to bring in chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, John Miller.

John, thanks for being with us.

This is absolutely terrifying to parents across the country. What are some tips you have that you think parents could use to prevent their teenager from being catfished online?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, first, there's too many to list. I would say to parents, go to IC3 at the FBI, the IC3 website. Go to NCMEC, which is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They have tips for online safety for different age groups.

But let's get down to business. Most vulnerable are teenagers. When you look at kidnappings by non-family members, 80 percent of them aren't little kids who are 5 or 7 years old. They are kinds from 12 to 17. So, those years are particularly vulnerable.

It requires being engaged with your kids at a time when trust is always a challenge.


Teenagers don't want you mucking through their business. I think what we have gone through in my house, if we give you the phone and we're paying the bill, we get the password. If we don't get the passwords, then you don't get the phone. And, you know, occasionally, we will go through it with them.

The last piece of that is, having access to the device doesn't give you access to their world. The platforms and apps have their own entrance ways and their own passwords. So, at that point, you have to engage with them and tell them what to look out for.

HUNT: It's scary. Let's turn to another incredibly difficult story, which is the unsolved murders in Idaho. It's been more than two weeks since the four college students were stabbed to death in their off- campus house. Police have not identified a clear suspect. They haven't found a murder weapon.

Investigators said there was no threat to the community, but then they had to backtrack. What are you thinking at this stage as you watch this investigation unfold?

MILLER: I am thinking that you are looking at a complex but not atypical murder investigation, which is you go into it with maybe a strong suspect. That suspect washes out. You know, as we get into three weeks, though, we are entering a critical period because the crime scene evidence is coming back from the lab. The medical examiner is coming up with information.

So, what does that mean? That means that they have gotten the DNA from the victims. They have run that. They matched that to blood and physical evidence there. Now they have gotten the DNA from the two surviving victims and those known to visit the apartment.

So, what they are looking for is an unknown sample of DNA that they can match to a subject. This is around the time when they would start to have those things.

At the same time, talking to people who are working on this case and around this case, they have some very encouraging leads. I think they have some people that they are looking at that they are interested in. But I have been in these cases.

And today's prime suspect can be tomorrow's back burner. A new individual can emerge and things can develop quickly, or it can drag on. This is a complicated and difficult business.

BURNETT: It sure is. All right. John Miller, thanks very much, as always, sir. We appreciate your time.

MILLER: Thanks.

BURNETT: Up next, the U.S. victory over Iran at the World Cup wasn't just a win for the men's team. It also means a huge payday for the U.S. women's soccer team. We will explain why, coming up next.



HUNTER: It turns out, winning pays off, and it's not just the U.S. men's national team making bank after their victory yesterday. The U.S. women's national team earned at least $6.5 million, thanks to a landmark equal pay agreement that was forged earlier this year.

Joining me live from Doha, Qatar, is CNN's Don Riddell.

Don, how significant is this, don?

DON RIDDELL, CNN HOST, WORLD SPORT: This is hugely significant. It is an extraordinary story, Kasie, that the U.S. women's team has made that much money without kicking a ball. But it goes back to the stand they took to say, look, we need and we deserve to be paid more money.

So they struck a deal with the men's team. The men's team and women's team agreed to share whatever they make when they perform in the World Cup. Famously the women do better than the men but the men's World Cup is worth so much more money.

This was incredible last night. We saw the United States men's team beating Iran with that one goal, that Christian Pulisic goal, that was the difference between the teams. If it wasn't for that goal, the U.S. team would be out. And because of that goal the women's team stands to gain $6.5 million, because getting to the knockout round of this tournament is worth 13 million and now it's half each way.

Just to give you some context here. That $6.5 million is more than the American women earned for winning both the 2015 and 2019 tournaments. And, of course, if the U.S. team goes further, if they can beat the Netherlands on the weekend. It's going to get better and better for all of them.

HUNT: I'm so glad you underscored that because to get $6 million for completely winning the whole thing for the women it's a discrepancy between what the men got for moving ahead.

RIDDELL: Right. HUNT: Let me ask about another historic moment there's a match

between Costa Rica and Germany tomorrow, and all the referees are going to be female. Tell us about that.

RIDDELL: Yeah: This is another historic moment. Stephanie Frappart is a 38-year-old French referee, very famous in the game. She refereed some big European games before, refereed world qualifiers but this is a big day. Not just Stephanie with the whistle in the middle. She'll be supported by Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico.

And she's spoken before about what it feels like to be making history. She said she's just doing her job. They say if you're a good referee, nobody notices you, they don't see you on the field but it's hard not to be noticed making history and Stephanie is doing that.

HUNT: It sure is.

All right. Don Riddell, thanks so much for that report. We really appreciate it.

Up next, new images of the latest volcanic eruption in Hawaii are coming in as the lava flows inches closer to a main highway.



HUNT: Wow. That is lava flowing from Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano. It is edging ever closer to a major highway on Hawaii's big island. The U.S. Geological Survey says lava is now -- the lava is now 3.6 miles from the roadway. It's flowed nearly a mile since yesterday.

The world's largest active volcano began erupting Sunday night for the first time since 1984. It's currently not a threat to communities that neighbor it, but officials warn of poor air quality caused by the volcanic gas and ash. Wow. Just unbelievable.

I'm Kasie Hunt, in for Jake Tapper. You can always tweet at me @kasie, or tweet the show @TheLeadCNN.

Our coverage continues now with Alex Marquardt in "THE SITUATION ROOM."