Return to Transcripts main page
The Lead with Jake Tapper
Warnock And Walker's Final Call To Voters In The Georgia Runoff; Russians Joins Ukrainians To Defend Against Putin; A Dull Start To Trump's 2024 Campaign; Trump Calls For Termination Of The Constitution; McCarthy Tweeted Last Month He Plans To Read Entire Constitution At Start Of New Congress; Children's Pain Relief Medicine In High Demand As Respiratory Illness Rise; CDC: Nearly 20,000 Americans Hospitalized Last Week With The Flu. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired December 05, 2022 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: -- would help Democrats pass more of what they want. Our coverage today starts with Eva McKend in Georgia where Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are making their final pitches to voters.
EVA MCKEND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the Georgia Senate contest in its final hours --
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Hello, Georgia Tech!
HERSCHEL WALKER, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE, GEORGIA: Tomorrow is a big day.
MCKEND (voice-over): -- the candidates rallying their core supporters to vote for them once again.
WARNOCK: Don't you all have exams?
MCKEND (voice-over): Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock focusing Monday on turning out younger voters, campaigning with Gen Z Congressman Maxwell Frost.
REP. MAXWELL FROST (D-FL): We know young people don't make up the biggest voting bloc right now, but we are the bloc that matters.
MCKEND (on camera): Senator Warnock, why this emphasis on young voters in these crucial final hours?
WARNOCK: Young people have little tolerance for inauthenticity. They keep me inspired, they keep me on my toes, and I'm proud of the ways in which the young people all over Georgia are showing up.
MCKEND (voice-over): Republican challenger Herschel Walker hitting five campaign stops with a focus on deep red north Georgia.
WALKER: You can know you've got a champion in Herschel Walker. You always have a champion in me because I love you all and we're going to win this election and get Georgia back together.
MCKEND (voice-over): Tuesday's fiercely contested runoff coming after neither candidate, received more than 50 percent of the vote during November's general election.
TRAVIE LESLIE, GEORGIA VOTER: There's a sense of accomplishment to come in and get it done early.
MCKEND (voice-over): Both campaigns now laser focused on turning voters out Tuesday after early voting ended with over 1.8 million ballots being cast, including a one-day record of more than 350,000 last Friday.
WARNOCK: Are you ready to do this one more time?
MCKEND (voice-over): As the candidates make their closing arguments, both campaigns up with new TV ads, making a final push to get out the vote. Warnock touting his work ethic and dedication to serving Georgians, arguing the race is primarily about competence and character.
BRAIN KEMP, GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: Who is more motivated? Is it them or us?
MCKEND (voice-over): While walker enlist the help of recently re- elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to make the case for his campaign, and argues he would be a necessary check on President Joe Biden. Democrats have more than doubled Republican ad spending for the runoff, $55.1 million to $25.8 million, as the parties square off for one final Senate showdown of the 2022 midterm election.
WALKER: So, who all has voted already? And who all has got to vote tomorrow?
WARNOCK: Call ladi dadi and everybody, tell them it's time to vote.
MCKEND (on camera): And former President Donald Trump will hold a tele-rally for Herschel Walker later this evening in response to Senator Warnock dismissing Walker as Trump's hand-picked candidate. As for this criticism that Warnock is too closely aligned with President Biden, he swatted that away as well today on the campaign trail arguing he has a record of bipartisanship in Congress.
Senator Warnock ends the day here at this brewery at a rally in Atlanta. Herschel Walker ending the day in Kennesaw, Georgia. Jake?
TAPPER: All right, Eva McKend in Georgia for us. Thanks so much. Joining us now to discuss is Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. Secretary Raffensperger, good to see you. So, Georgia has broken some records for single-day early voting, but overall, in aggregate, the number of early votes cast is far less than in the 2021 runoff, because this runoff has had fewer days of early voting. Doesn't that suggest that this new law is hurting the cause of enfranchisement in encouraging as many Georgians as possible to vote? BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, actually, Jake,
four years ago I was in a runoff and we had 1.5 million total votes show up. Already we're at nearly 1.9 million, over a million probably tomorrow, so we'll be at 3 million so I think we're still going to have strong turnout.
And historically, not the same number of people show up for runoffs as show up for the general races, but we've had strong one-day totals. Tomorrow we'll have strong turnout. The counties will have all of their precincts open and we've really worked hard to keep those lines short and we're expecting strong turnout tomorrow and we think that we'll keep the lines short. I think we have movement through there and people to exercise their votes.
We've actually already had over 80,000 people that voted in this runoff that didn't vote in the fall at all. So, that's what's you're really seeing. Those people that were kind of sitting back and watching things are getting engaged in this race. So, we think both sides are energized.
TAPPER: Herschel Walker criticized you and newly re-elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp after the November 2020 election, criticized you two for certifying Georgia's election results for Joe Biden.
Is your office prepared if Walker does not accept the results of this election?
RAFFENSPERGER: Oh, absolutely, because we're going to do an audit of this race. We've already talked to the counties about doing that. We did one for the fall race. We've also did one back obviously in 2020. But we do (inaudible) audits on a statewide race and this one will be obviously the only one left, will be (inaudible) to our race and we'll verify that the count was accurate and that the votes, you know, are what the votes are.
TAPPER: Right. But, of course, you did that after the 2020 election and it didn't satisfy Donald Trump and Walker, Herschel Walker, would retweet Trump's election lies after November 2020, and he spread false theories about voter fraud in Georgia. Do you think someone like that belongs in the Senate?
RAFFENSPERGER: I think now that people have had the facts, had time to re-look at it. I wrote a letter to Congress. I wrote a book really clarifying all the facts and the facts are out there. But tomorrow, we just want to make sure that we're going to get focused on this election making sure that the voters have the opportunity to vote.
We get those results posted quickly at the end of the day, and we will do an audit to verify who won this race. At the end of the day, we expect whoever that is will abide by the results because the voters will speak tomorrow.
TAPPER: Your governor, Brian Kemp, has obviously forgiven Walker because he's out there campaigning with him. He started a new ad to drum up support and turnout for him. Would you campaign for Herschel Walker if you were not secretary of state serving this role as the top election official?
RAFFENSPERGER: Well, I'm secretary of state so that's hypothetical. But I deal with governors out there and I saw the governor's ad and it was a fantastic ad. I'll take off my (inaudible) hat, put on my partisan hat. And that's the kind of ad that really will energize Republican voters (inaudible) to vote.
But likewise, I know that the other side is doing the same thing. So, like I said, I'm going to keep my secretary of state hat on right now because that's what we're really tasked to do, to make sure I stay in my lane. We're going to make sure we have an honest and fair election and I fully expect at the end of the day that people at both sides will abide by the results because this is the people speaking on who they want to be their next U.S. Senator.
TAPPER: Do you think Georgia is a purple state now fundamentally or is it just that in 2020, 2021 and 2022 Donald Trump has turned it into a purple state by turning off so many moderate voters?
RAFFENSPERGER: I think that we're a competitive state and I really think it shows you, like the governor's race and my race this fall, that we won and we won very convincingly because we had a message that was broad-based. And I think that's really the way forward for anyone. If you build broad-based coalitions, you'll do well in the state of, you know, Georgia. And that goes all the way back to some of the senators that we've had in the past that, you know, worked for us in the runoffs that they won on their own merits because they had the right tone.
So, you look at like Senator Isakson, look at Senator Saxby Chambliss on our side and then also Senator Sam Nunn. Those men, you know, were people of strong character and they didn't have to worry about having runoff races because they had broad-based appeal. And so, at the end of the day, I think the governor and I both showed this fall. This is how you win going forward, having broad-based coalitions that can really carry a state.
TAPPER: All right, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, good luck to you tomorrow. I'm hoping for an event-free and smooth sailing day in Georgia. And you at home, be sure to join CNN tomorrow for our special coverage of the Georgia runoff and the results. Coverage starts at 4:00 p.m. eastern and we'll go until we have a winner for you.
Coming up, Russians fighting against Russia in one Ukrainian town, even killing soldiers from their own country to stop the Kremlin's barbaric advance. A CNN exclusive, next.
Plus, every family fights but the new Harry and Meghan documentary appears to be taking the royal feud to a new level. Stay with us.
[17:10:00] TAPPER: In Ukraine, this winter is all about survival. A new wave of Russian bombing targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure has put the country on a brink of a humanitarian disaster as millions of innocent Ukrainians could potentially face winter without electricity or heat or running water. CNN's Sam Kiley is in Kramatorsk for us with a CNN exclusive on how some Russians are now volunteering to fight with Ukrainians against the Russian army.
SAM KILEY, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Caesar is Russian, He's taking a break at a monastery from fighting Russians in nearby Bakhmut. It's a relief from scenes like this, Bakhmut's Ukrainian field hospital. He's been defending this Ukrainian town from Russia's most intense assault along an 800-mile front.
Artillery duels and trench warfare have almost destroyed Bakhmut as Russia throws its army at a bid for victory after months of defeats to the north and south.
Defending against his Russian motherland is a religious imperative for Caesar.
CAESAR (through translation): The fighting is very brutal now, he says. There are very few prisoners.
KILEY (on camera): When you see those Russians in your gun sights, what do you think and what do you feel?
CAESAR (through translation): I believe that these people who have broken the law of man and the law of God, I have no pity for them. I take them prisoner if I can, but most often I just have to kill them.
KILEY: So, have you killed a lot of our countrymen?
CAESAR (through translation): A dozen and a half.
KILEY: This is the remains of a Russian Orthodox monastery. Now, for Vladimir Putin, the Orthodox is absolutely central to his vision of the Russian world. For some Russian's though, that's a world they don't want to live in. Indeed, they don't want it to survive.
(Voice-over): Ukraine's Orthodox Church broke with Moscow three years ago. This is all that's left of a rebranded Ukrainian Orthodox Saint George's monastery after nine months of war.
CAESAR: Putin says that he defends traditional values, yeah? That is what he's defending. A ruined old monastery.
KILY (voice-over): Vinnie has been fighting in Bakhmut for weeks against mercenaries from Russia's Vagner company, many of them convicted criminals.
VINNIE, RUSSIAN FIGHTING FOR UKRAINE (through translation): It's obvious, he says, when private companies hire criminals and convicts, imagine, a man kills once and they put him in jail, then he kills a second time and he becomes a repeat offender under the law. Then he gets let out of jail and given a gun. That's not a person. That's a beast.
KILEY (voice-over): After a former Vagner deserter, Yevgeny Nuzhin was murdered in a video that was praised by Vagner's boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Vinnie is in no doubt how he would be treated if captured.
VINNIE (through translation): It will be the end, 100 percent, but it will just be more painful.
KILEY (voice-over): The Russian Legion does claim to be in the hundreds and it says many more back home are trying to join Ukraine's army. Alongside their Ukrainian allies, the Russian Legion is focused on the battle for Bakhmut. The aim of the war after is more ambitious.
CAESAR (through translation): He says, I'm doing my military and Christian duty. I defend the Ukrainian people and when Ukraine is free, I will carry my sword to Russia to free it from tyranny.
KILEY (on camera): Now, Jake, Bakhmut has been the center of the most ferocious fighting since at least the fall of Kherson, if not before that, more than -- about a month ago. And one of the interesting things, I'm just speaking here in the last 24 hours to an American volunteer who has bang on the front line if you'll excuse the pun, in Bakhmut. And he said the incredible thing is that the Russians are sending out wave upon wave of infantry.
He's talking about killing 30 to 40 men a day. And every now and again, somebody gets through and invest (ph) takes over a house and they're slowly moving forward, gaining ground at immense cost to the Russians. Of course, the Ukrainians are suffering almost as badly, too, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Sam Kiley, thanks so much for that report.
Coming up, new CNN reporting about Donald Trump's 2024 campaign and why even many of his allies are disappointed. This is the former president, said he essentially wants to tear up the U.S. Constitution. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our "Politics Lead," allies of former President Trump say that they are worried about the lackluster start to his third campaign for the White House, nearly three weeks after he launched his latest bid. Trump has yet to hold a public rally in an early voting state or even leave his home state of Florida, baffling many who experienced the frenetic phase of his previous campaigns. CNN's Kristen Holmes is following this for us. Kristen, what are you hearing from these Trump allies about why they're worried? KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Trump allies and
advisers say that while they do believe that Trump is the undisputable frontrunner in 2024. This isn't really a time he can squander particularly given that there are so many Republican heavyweights who seem more than interested in knocking Trump off of his throne.
And this inactivity in the campaign has many of these allies wondering is Trump's heart really in it. Are we going to see some kind of surge, new energy in 2023, or is Trump not going to be able to meet this new political environment.
And Jake, when you look at the campaign and what's happened since, there really only been three notable events. The first one was one that was unintended and actually dreaded by Trump's team and that was Attorney General Merrick Garland announcing a special counsel to oversee those investigations into Trump.
And Trump's announcement actually seemed to be the catalyst for that. The other was a dinner with a white supremacist and a neo-Nazi. And the other one after that was Trump calling for the termination of the Constitution. I want to read to you what one former Trump adviser told Gabby Orr, our colleague, who worked on the story with me. They said, "So far, he's gone down from his bedroom, made an announcement, gone back up to his bedroom and hasn't been seen since except to have dinner with a white supremacist."
And again, this was a former Trump adviser. And when you talk about those GOP heavy-hitters who are looking to knock Trump off of his throne, part of the reason we were told by so many sources that he announced so early was in order to freeze the field and that has really had seemingly a lack of impact in that effect.
Just days after his announcement at the Republican Jewish Coalition, a number of Republicans came out, several of them just lashing out at Trump, others, former allies, indicating that they were willing to take him on in 2024. And Jake, I will note that according to the campaign, this is all intentional. They are taking a breather and planning for the next two years. And that of course, is a plan that these allies are looking forward to seeing.
TAPPER: All intentional to go from the Republican Jewish Coalition Convention to a dinner with two holocaust deniers. Sure, that makes perfect sense. Kristen Holmes, thanks so much.
Staying in our "Politics Lead," don't believe your lying eyes. Donald Trump is now falsely claiming he did not call for the termination of the U.S. Constitution in order to return him to power in response to his baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen, except that's exactly what he did in a Truth Social post on Saturday to, quote, "A massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution," unquote.
This dangerous call from the former president is drawing crickets from many Republican officials, but not all. CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju is live on Capitol Hill. And Manu, you are hearing some criticism from Republicans about this today.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right. They just got back from Washington. I've caught up with several of the top Republicans as they headed to Mitch McConnell's office for an evening leadership meeting, and some of them are criticizing Donald Trump.
They're doing it after being asked by reporters like me including Senator John Cornyn who called this an irresponsible statement by the former president. John Thune, the number two Republican saying he certainly couldn't disagree more with the former president. Rick Scott, a member -- the current head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, defending the Constitution.
But one of the -- all three of them, none of them would say that this disqualifies Trump from being president. All of them stopping short on that question, Rick Scott saying that's up to the voters to decide. Now, this has given some potential Trump opponents in 2024 an opportunity to go after him, including his former vice president, Mike Pence.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think everyone that serves in public office, everyone that aspires to serve or to serve again should make it clear that we will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
RAJU: Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, has not yet weighed in. He was asked about this by our colleague, Ted Barrett. He said to us that there would be -- he'll make some comments tomorrow at his weekly leadership press conference, assuming he is asked about it. And no comment yet also, Jake, from the top Republican who wants to be the House Speaker with the support of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy.
TAPPER: That's a shock. What are Democrats saying about this outrageous call to terminate the Constitution?
RAJU: Well, they're calling on Republicans to say more. That's what we heard from the White House. We also heard that on the floor today from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Finally, Donald Trump cannot seem to go a week without doing or saying something disgusting, dishonorable, and frankly disqualifying for high office.
It's as if Donald Trump is on a mission to find new ways to sink lower and lower to the detriment of America. How can anyone hope to take the presidential office, oath of office, to preserve and protect the Constitution, while simultaneously calling for the Constitution's termination. It's wholly disqualifying on its face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: And of course, this is a familiar pattern that Republicans have faced throughout the Trump era, controversy after controversy, trying to sweep it under the rug and move on to the next issue hoping that will be the same situation here. The White House, Senate Democrats also trying to make that not happen here. The White House putting out a statement saying that it should not be a heavy lift for congressional Republicans to denounce these comments.
TAPPER: Yeah. It shouldn't be a heavy lift to denounce holocaust denial either, but there you are. Our Manu Raju on Capitol Hill. Here's just, by the way, historically a taste of what Donald Trump has said previously about the importance of being a president and upholding the Constitution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I have no higher duty than to defend the laws and the Constitution of the United States.
We will support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
We believe in the American Constitution.
Our beloved Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPERS: So that was then, but now, Gloria, and the rest of the panel, Donald Trump wrote, and I'm just quoting him -- this is his words --
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: In all caps.
TAPPER: -- referring to the massive fraud, and I don't know if that's about Hunter Biden's laptop and Twitter suppressing the story or about election fraud that didn't happen or whatever. "A massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles even those found in the Constitution."
BORGER: And then he came out and said I never said what I said, I never said what I wrote. It's getting absurd. It's ridiculous at this point. And Larry Hogan, Republican governor of Maryland for now, who is going to probably challenge him for president, tweeted today, "I can't believe this even has to be said, but the Constitution is not the problem." And Ambassador John Bolton by the way, former National Security adviser, came out today and said if nobody will challenge him and say this is un-American, I'm going to run for president myself, if nobody is going to repudiate him.
So, at some point, as Chuck Schumer said, somebody in the Republican Party has to you shouldn't be president of the United States. JOE WALSH, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE OF ILLINOIS: Jake, that's it. I just
-- as a former Republican, I just want to see Republican outrage. Forget about the reaction for a moment. He called for the termination of the United States Constitution. That's what he said.
WALSH: And damn it, there is zero Republican outrage. None.
TAPPER: Well, there's some, to be fair. To be fair, here is the incumbent, freshly re-elected governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS SUNUNU, GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: It's outrageous and it's just driving even more people away from him in terms of his race in '24 because he's proving day after day that he becomes more -- or I should say less and less electable in November of '24.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALSH: Good to hear. I disagree with him that this is making Trump more -- less electable. It's certainly strengthening him within the Republican Party. But McCarthy, nothing, Ron DeSantis, anybody else who wants to be president, nothing.
NAYYERA HAQ, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE SENIOR DIRECTOR: Because they don't think they have anything to gain for primary voters who have supported Trump regularly and continuously. The majority of the electorate is independent, more than 40 percent. But Republicans have to make a play for a base that has been taken over by Trumpism.
And let's call it what it is. This is an authoritarian play by somebody who lost and does not like it.
It is the type of play that we have seen in the developing world where they suspend constitutions, they suspend parliament and they try to come back to power, usually with violence, as we saw on the insurrection of January 6, and the Democrats were the ones who dominated the message of democracy is on the ballot. That was not a Republican play this time around. I don't know how you come back and recover that ground of Reagan's beacon of hope of democracy to the world.
TAPPER: Exactly. And just -- I just want to -- I don't want to put you on the spot here, but you know what, Kevin McCarthy, who was probably about to be the new Speaker of the House, what he said, the very first order of business would be for Republicans after they've taken over.
LEIGH ANN, CALDWELL, CO-AUTHOR, WASHINGTON POST'S "EARLY 202": To read the Constitution of the United States. They are criticizing, Democrats saying that this has not been done in years, and so Republicans are going to be the ones to restore the Constitution and the sacredness of the Constitution. But yet, they aren't able to criticize the leader of their party when they say the Constitution should be dismissed.
Now Republicans have over and over again had an opportunity to dismiss Trump, to say he is not the right person to lead their party and they have refused to do so over and over again. So when you talk about plays around the world, this is also a similar play that's happened in this country over and over again after January 6 when there was a violent attack on the Capitol, they tried to disrupt the counting of electoral account vote or votes. They could have gotten rid of him then, but they chose not to.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But its point it's in their own self-interest, that's when they're going to maybe --
JOE WALSH, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, ILLINOIS: Yes.
BORGER: -- start to sort of push him aside. And you know, you have a runoff in Georgia, if his candidate loses, that's one more thing against Donald Trump. But you know, we've seen this over and over again after January 6, et cetera, et cetera. Now, if they start to see that he's hurting their own reelection chances --
BORGER: -- and their political careers, maybe they'll --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he already has.
TAPPER: I want to ask you a question, because big bad mouthing the Constitution is just one thing from this last couple of weeks. Forget the investigations for a second, forget Merrick Garland, you have terminate the Constitution. You also have Donald Trump not only dining with two anti-Semite Holocaust deniers, but refusing to condemn them in any way. And I read a story in The Guardian the quoted two people close to Trump saying that Donald Trump thinks that condemning them would hurt him with his base.
Do you think that's what's going on? Do you really think there are enough Neo Nazis in the Republican base that Donald Trump condemning these two freak shows would hurt him?
WALSH: Yes. As someone who comes from the base and engages with the base every day, they have no problem with what Trump has done these last few weeks. And they're more bent out of shape now at Twitter suppressing the whole Hunter Biden story. The scary ugly truth is, McCarthy and any other Republican official is scared to death of where this base is. And Jake, this base is now fully radicalized.
TAPPER: It's not a surprise, because remember when Trump came out and said that he wanted to block all Muslims from entering the country in 2015, it's a very short distance from being anti-Muslim to anti- Semitic.
HAQ: It is a very short distance from being -- just being racist.
TAPPER: Yes. HAQ: Right? This is the ultimate conclusion and natural conclusion of opening up Pandora's box of saying the quiet parts out loud. It's not a dog whistle now, we've seen the evolution of how racism is open and public. The idea that people can be called vermin, once again, all of this that we should be exterminating vermin from whether it's through caravans or whether it's based on religion --
HAQ: -- this is part of the cycle of history. We've seen it in Europe, we've seen it in the United States, and it has not been forcefully condemned by a major political party in our country.
BORGER: Well, I think the Democrats are condemning it right now --
BORGER: -- in terms of Donald Trump. And I think tomorrow, Mitch McConnell, as Manu was saying, is going to go the floor of the Senate. And I have a sense he's waiting till people are maybe, you know, the -- he's got the runoff in Georgia, he would like to win that seat. But let's see what Mitch McConnell says. He's no fan of Donald Trump.
BORGER: Let's see if a leader will finally come out and say --
HAQ: He is a fan.
BORGER: -- this is disqualified.
TAPPER: Of power --
HAQ: He is a fan of having these federal judges --
HAQ: -- of pushing back on abortion --
HAQ: -- and gay rights.
BORGER: But I think he's had it with Trump up to here, just saying, but let's see.
CALDWELL: Well, McConnell last week had an opportunity to say after the anti-Semitic --
CALDWELL: -- thing that he wasn't going to support Donald Trump if he were the nominee. Manu asked the question --
CALDWELL: -- he refused just explicitly.
TAPPER: He said something like people who are meeting with white supremacist aren't --
TAPPER: -- going to be or like to become president.
CALDWELL: Not, that he would not support them.
TAPPER: Well, he didn't -- he -- I mean, Donald Trump leveled what seemed a racist, anti-Asian attack on his wife.
BORGER: That's right.
CALDWELL: And there was silence.
TAPPER: And he didn't say anything after that either.
CALDWELL: Because -- yes. This was also before the election. I'm not justifying it, I'm just saying this was before the election he was hoping to win --
CALDWELL: -- and not upset the base. But I think what this last election has proven, is that the base is softening and splintering a little bit. There are races across the country that Republican Trump supporters have lost because of their extreme views. Mitch McConnell, if they lose Georgia tomorrow will probably blame Trump for the second time losing Georgia and the Senate as a matter of fact.
So we are seeing a shift among Republicans, it's softening, I think it's going to be that. But when that is becoming clearer, I think that's when you're going to see Republicans actually diverse.
WALSH: But we don't know if it's permanent. It soften for two weeks after January 6 --
WALSH: -- and then it's strengthened again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
TAPPER: Do -- so you think that a significant part of the base is anti-Semitic and racist and --
WALSH: I'm going to pair -- I'll answer that. I think a significant part of the base has no problem with what he said and has no problem with him having did --
TAPPER: So, they can be -- they're tolerant of racism. But that's not this -- OK.
WALSH: Yes, exactly.
HAQ: This is an American problem.
HAQ: We had white supremacist, anti-Semitic presidents in the not too distant past --
TAPPER: Yes, of course.
HAQ: -- as part of our history, right? So, this is --
TAPPER: We also elected a black president, though, twice. I don't --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
TAPPER: -- want to be naive, but I'm just saying like there is, you know --
HAQ: And we saw the backlash.
TAPPER: -- the arc of the moral universe has bends towards justice.
HAQ: And we saw the backlash to that, right?
HAQ: The idea of, well, maybe we have become too woke and accepting and that in a Florida court run, DeSantis, his team, said that they defined woke when asked by a lawyer as believing that systemic problems, the United States about injustice need to be dealt with, right? So it's -- that is -- it's effectively anything dealing with civil rights is now been denigrated.
WALSH: But Jake, even with everything we're talking about right now, he's still the odds on favorite --
TAPPER: Yes, no he absolutely is.
BORGER: Well, and here's the question, when will Republicans stop making apologies for Donald Trump? He didn't know who was having dinner --
BORGER: -- with him, et cetera, you know, that's the question --
TAPPER: Kevin McCarthy falsely claimed that he denounced four times, he didn't.
BORGER: Right. TAPPER: Not even once.
BORGER: Stop apologize.
TAPPER: Thanks to all.
TAPPER: More than -- what a depressing conversation. More than three weeks and no answers, now the father of one of the Idaho college slain victims is speaking out. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Tonight, we're hearing from the father of one victim and two of the surviving roommates after the horrible slain of for Idaho college students. It's been more than three weeks and police in Moscow, Idaho have not made any arrests or named any suspects. As CNN's Veronica Miracle reports for us now, this comes in investigators are starting to get results from forensic tests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been more than three weeks since the murders of four University of Idaho students and police are starting to receive toxicology reports on the victim's hair, fibers, blood and DNA, according to law enforcement, all considered critical evidence from the crime scene. The case remains unsolved. Police still have not found a murder weapon or named a suspect frustrating at least one of the families of the victims. The father of Kaylee Goncalves is speaking out, making an appearance on Fox Sunday morning.
STEVE GONCALVES, VICTIM'S FATHER: I do not feel confident and that's why I pushed the envelope and say a little bit more. I hate to be that guy. But you know, there's a job to do for -- everybody has a job and a role to play in this colludes. This is my role as the parent.
MIRACLE (voice-over): Goncalves saying he is trying to make sense of the information that police have given him.
GONCALVES: I can kind of tell by my daughter's texts messages she did call 911. She wasn't saying anything along the lines of like she heard something or she was in fear. So, I'm just putting the dots together. As far as the investigators, they're very tight lipped and they're keeping everything close to their best, and I understand that.
MIRACLE (voice-over): But investigators saying today they are trying to provide information while protecting the integrity of the investigation. Saying in a statement, "we firmly believe speculation and unvetted information is a disservice to the victims, their families and our community."
The stabbing deaths of these four students has created turmoil at the university and in the quiet community of Moscow that hasn't recorded a single murder since 2015. On Friday at a memorial service, a local pastor read letters from two surviving roommates Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke.
CHRIS GWINN, PASTOR, REAL LIFE MINISTRIES: And this is from Bethany, Maddie, Kaylee, Xana and Ethan were truly all one of a kind, they all lit up any room they walked into and were gifts to this world.
MIRACLE (voice-over): Expressing the sentiments of so many others who have gathered to honor the victims.
GWINN: I just want you to know that I will always love you and miss you forever.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
MIRACLE: And, Jake, throughout this investigation, there has been talk that Kaylee Goncalves may have had a stalker. Well, police came out today and said they looked into an incident in October and they can confidently say it is not related to these murders. However, they are still looking into the possibility that Kaylee may have had a stalker. They're asking for information and tips on that just like they are for this entire investigation. Jake.
TAPPER: Veronica Miracle in Moscow, Idaho, thank you so much.
Why some parents are struggling to find vital children's pain medications. That's next. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our health lead now, some popular children's pain medications are in high demand right now frustrating some parents as the flu, RSV and COVID spread. Kroger, one of the nation's largest grocery and pharmacy chain says it's seeing constrained inventories of children's acetaminophen and ibuprofen used to treat fever and pain. Joining us now to discuss, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
Elizabeth, this is alarming I'm sure for parents, the idea that pain relief for kids is in short supply.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've -- you know, at least if you're going to Kroger that's the case. We're also hearing from Seattle Children's Hospital, Jake, that they're having trouble getting acetaminophen and ibuprofen products for their young patients. If this continues, if this gets worse, it's going to be a real problem. Hopefully they can nip this in the bud and it won't become like say the infant formula shortage that really kind of got out of hand.
But let's look a little bit at what's behind it. Take a look at this map, every state in red, which is almost every state has high or very high levels of the flu, only six states do not have high or very high levels of the flu. And that is part of what's going on here. It's just it's a lot of sick people wanting these medications.
Also, unfortunately, COVID numbers have been spiking back up. Still relatively low the week of November 26, there were 33,000 people admitted to the hospital with COVID, 33,000, and that's up 27 percent from the previous week. So, you know, really, what you can do here is make sure that you are up to date on your COVID vaccinations, make sure that you get a flu vaccine. And really, that's all you can do. And hopefully they can manage to nip this in the bud early.
TAPPER: And Elizabeth, we know that children have been hit hard with the respiratory virus, RSV, this season. How are kids doing with the flu this season?
COHEN: You know, there's also some pretty high numbers for the flu. Jake, I think that sometimes people forget that children get the flu.
Let's take a look at this graph and you'll understand what I mean. That top line, that red line, that's flu hospitalization rates for the elderly, for people over 65. But right next to it, right the next line under is the yellow line, which is children, hospitalization rates for children ages zero to four, the littlest children for the flu. So, unfortunately this virus hits the very old and the very young.
And when you see this you it makes sense that in some places, you might be seeing these shortages. We're also having these supply chain issues still lingering after COVID.
TAPPER: All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much.
A Family Feud gets the royal treatment, Harry and Meghan tell all in a new documentary, but will it backfire?
TAPPER: A royal feud that appears to be the storyline revealed in the new trailer for the upcoming Netflix documentary "Harry and Meghan." Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really hard to look back on it now and go, what on earth happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you hear that? That is a sign of heartbreaking all around the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's becoming a royal rockstar.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything changed. There's a hierarchy of the family, you know, there's leaking, but there's also planting of stories.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a war against Meghan to suit other people's agendas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about hatred. It's about race.
PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: It's a dirty game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution, this feeding frenzy.
MEGHAN, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: I realized they're never going to protect you.
PRINCE HARRY: I was terrified. I didn't want history to repeat itself.
No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
TAPPER: Yikes. CNN Royal Correspondent Max foster joins us.
Max, Harry and Megan complained initially about a lack of privacy. The media wouldn't leave them alone. And now they are giving -- they gave a film crew access to their lives. And already I see response in the U.K. that they're hypocrites. And it seems like there's some sort of backfiring going on.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean is the hypocrisy this often pointed towards them by some particularly in the British tabloids that they are talking about protecting their privacy all the time, very keen to protect their privacy, have a right to protect their privacy, but then use the media to reveal very intimate parts of their lives. And that is an accusation, but it's also feels like a mission to them. I mean, you're hearing there how Prince Harry talks about the pain and the suffering of women who marry into the royal family and the royal family has a duty to protect those women and they failed in that duty. And in fact, were planting stories to undermine the Duchess of Sussex.
All of these things, of course, the palace, the wider family absolutely deny. They say they did protect and welcome Meghan into the royal family. But we'll have to see what's in this documentary to back up these claims.
And no one's seen the full documentary here in London as far as I know. So we don't know what's in it. So it's very difficult for the family to respond at this point. But I think they're very nervous, frankly.
TAPPER: And we haven't seen this kind of access to members of the royal family. I don't believe since the 1990s. Buckingham Palace must be preparing for the worst. FOSTER: Yes. And you know, you're referring back there to the famous Diana panorama interview, also an interview that Prince Charles gave to the BBC, it was seen as a massive mistake, and it backfired, exposing too much light on the inner workings of the British monarchy, taking away the mystique from all of that. And there's a fear that this will do the same again.
But there is no control over this couple. They've left the royal family. They don't owe the royal family, anything as far as they're concerned.
The traditional way of dealing with all of these issues is not to respond to them by the Royal Family. But we'll have to see what happens this time, Jake, because the late Queen has now passed, the king is now in control. Charles will now decide how to respond to this.
Prince William has also been elevated to the Prince of Wales. I get the feeling that they're pretty fed up with all of these accusations sitting unanswered particularly from the Oprah Winfrey interview, for example. And I think they may respond this time, but they want to see what's in it of course first. We get to see that for the first time on Thursday.
TAPPER: And Prince Harry also has a memoir coming out as well.
FOSTER: That's right. Yes.
TAPPER: Max Foster, thank you so much. Appreciate it. I guess they're bracing for the worst at Buckingham.
You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @jaketapper. You can tweet the show @theleadcnn.
If you ever miss an episode of the show, you can go to THE LEAD from once you get your podcast and you can download it and listen to it there. our overage continuous now with one, Mr. Wolf Blitzer in a place I like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM". See you tomorrow.