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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Fed Lifts Rates By Half A Point, Signaling Inflation Is Easing; January 6 Committee Abandons Efforts To Subpoena Some Phone Records; Multiple Tornadoes Strike Southern States In Deadly Outbreak; Zelenskyy: Ukraine Shot Down 13 Drones, Air Defense Is Working; American Soccer Journalist Grant Wahl Died From Aortic Aneurysm That Ruptured; Club Q Survivors Blame Republican Rhetoric For Nightclub Attack. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired December 14, 2022 - 16:00   ET



PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: The scenes there in the French capital city of Paris, along the Champs-Elysee and in the heart of the French capital, they know all too well the meaning of the word victor.

Back to you.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Listen, Morocco, that team can go home proud. They accomplished so much at this World Cup.


GOLODRYGA: All right. Patrick Snell, thank you.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The Fed says along with lower inflation will come more than a million Americans losing their jobs.

THE LEAD starts right now.

The cost to borrow up again. The Federal Reserve raising interest rates for a seventh time this year alone but this go-around easing its pace. The big questions, can the U.S. economy avoid a recession? As the FedEx presses new unemployment fears.

And Ukraine on defense. Claiming to shoot down a series of drones that took aim at its infrastructure.

Plus, cracking down on TikTok. The powerful voice is pushing to restrict if not force you to delete the app.


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

And we start today with our money lead, and a sign of optimism about the economy this afternoon from the Federal Reserve. The Fed just raised interest rates another half a percentage point, which in normal times could be alarming, but today's announcement is lower than the record setting rate hikes we've seen play out multiple times this year, signaling that the Federal Reserve seems to think inflation is generally headed in the right direction, going down.

But the Fed is also predicting a rise in unemployment next year, meaning more than a million Americans would lose their jobs and Fed Chair Jerome Powell is predicting a long road to recovery ahead.


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: It is good to see progress. But let's just understand, we have a long ways to go to get back to price stability.


TAPPER: Let's get straight to CNN's Matt Egan at the Federal Reserve. CNN's Phil Mattingly is at the White House as well.

Matt, walk us through the big takeaways from the Fed announcement today?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Jake, the Fed is still pumping this economy with tough medicine. It's just lowering the dosage a bit. It's going from 75 basis points in the last four meetings to and interest rate increase of 50 basis points. And, you know, there is an acknowledgement in some ways that the Fed thinks that it is tough medicine is working. That inflation is cooling off.

But the Fed is also making clear that their job is not nearly done yet. The Fed statements that inflation remains quote, elevated. Fed Chair Jay Powell said that more is going to be needed in terms of cooling inflation before their confidence ventilation really is on a downward trend.

And, listen, I think that makes sense, 7 percent inflation is better than 9 percent inflation that we saw earlier this year, but it is still 7 percent inflation. That is still triple the Fed's goal here. No victory laps at the Fed. And so, that does mean that interest rates are probably going to be going higher. The Fed's penciling in another 75 basis points of race increase creases next year that the entire borrowing costs for everyone, mortgage, rates credit cards, car loans, and it also means that the Fed is going to continue to put downward pressure on this economy.

Jake, the question remains, will they stop raising interest rates before they cause a recession?

TAPPER: And, Phil, you have some new information about the feeling inside the White House as they watch this new economic data coming in?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, well, it is difficult to take great pains not to weigh in on Federal Reserve policy decisions, but this day really marks the capping of two weeks of economic data that underscored that what White House officials have really been aiming for of the better part of the last seven or eight months is finally coming to fruition to some degree. And that may lead to a very real possibility of that idea of a soft landing in the future.

Now, keep in mind, there has been the kind of resilience on the economic front for the better part of that period of time. White House officials costly talk about job creation where jobs numbers continue to land, wages, and how consumers are continuing to operate. The piece of it they did not have was clear deceleration on the inflation front. That is consistently shown to be occurring over the course of the last several weeks.

The Fed's action today, well, White House officials won't speak out specifically, certainly reflects that as well. There is a long road ahead. But the idea that they can finally thread the needle or figured a way to thread the needle to maintaining some stay type of strengthen the economy while not, while also Reagan inflation, as more real now that I think it ever has been before for White House officials.

TAPPER: Except, Matt, the Federal Reserve is also predicting more than a million job losses in 2023. Explain that.

EGAN: That's right, Jake. The Fed darkened their economic projections for next year across the board. They now see needs or zero GDP growth. They bumped up their inflation forecast and they now see the unemployment rate going from an historically low level today of 3.7 percent to 4.6 percent next year. That is not high overall but it does translate to the loss of roughly 1.6 million jobs.

That is another reminder of the pain here being caused by not just high inflation but the Fed's war on high inflation. Now, Jay Powell says that he doesn't think that this new forecast suggests a recession because they are still calling for positive growth, but Powell also conceded that no one knows for sure for whether the economy is going to avoid going into recession, and if it does go into recession, whether it would be a deep one or a mild one -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Matt Egan and Phil Mattingly, thanks.

Let's bring in Brian Deese. He's the director of President Biden's National Economic Council.

Brian, good to see you.

You heard the Fed chair talk about the unemployment today. Right now, it is a 3.7 percent. The Fed is now predicting 4.6 percent. Higher than earlier predictions, and obviously, that means more than 1 million Americans will lose their jobs if abduction comes true.

Do you agree with that assessment?

BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Well, I think to assess where we are and where we're going, we have to look at where we've come. And over the course of the last six months, there's been a lot of projections about where we might go. But what we've seen is a continued resilience in the American economy, consistent growth, job growth that is slowing and cooling, but continuing to move forward. Business is continuing to invest in the United States and, importantly, inflation coming down and coming down in ways that people can actually feel and see in their lives -- goods, household goods, toys, things like that of the holiday season, p+rices actually coming down.

The price of gas at the pump, obviously something that you and I have spent time talking about of the course of the year. Now down almost $1.70 since this summer. That is about 200 bucks in savings a month for a typical family. That's savings that can translate into trying to cover other expenses.

And, so, I think at the end of that all of that, what you say the last several months is what we are seeing is that we are making progress going in the right direction. And the economic plan that the president has put into place and has worked deliberately over the course the next couple -- the last couple of years is working.

TAPPER: Uh-huh.

DEESE: Now we have to stay at it, and as the president said yesterday, we still have distance to travel. There are so risks. But it's working and even as we face is near term challenges, we are also seeing businesses invest in the United States at record rates --

TAPPER: Right.

DEESE: -- in areas from semiconductors to clean energy. That's a kind of thing that can keep this momentum going, even as we navigate through this transition.

TAPPER: Yeah, so I didn't you answer the question. Do you think that the Fed is correct, as they predict more than a million American job losses next year? Do you think that's right?

DEESE: Well, what we have said consistently as we look at the labor market is that we do expect a cooling in the labor market. The president said that several months ago. We've seen that cooling down from about 600,000 jobs added every month to closer to 200,000 jobs.

But I also think that everyone has to come and look at projections in this labor market with humility. This labor market that we're living through doesn't bear resemblance to prior recessions in part because of the way that the pandemic affected things. We still have still 10 million job openings in the United States and most economists believe you'll see some cooling on that front. And so, what you could see is cooling in the labor market without the kind of traditional pain that you've seen in prior downturns.

That's something that we have been watching closely. That's something we've seen sustained across the course of time. Certainly that's what we want to see going forward as well. And we continue to believe that that's possible. And one of the things that will make a difference, one of the things that will matter on that front is whether we can continue progress on the policies that will keep business investing here in the United States, creating jobs here in the United States as well. TAPPER: President Biden was asked yesterday when he expects prices to

return to normal. He said, quote, I hope by the end of next year we'll be much closer. That's not, of course, saying, by the end of next year, we'll be back to normal.

Am I right in assuming the White House is not expecting prices back to normal in 12 months? And when do you think they will be back to normal?

DEESE: Well, I think, you know, just to pick up on what the president said. We have a ways to go. We still have a ways to go, and inflation is too high, unacceptably high right now. And so, that is going to take the course of time for that to work through the system.

I think that -- but it is a very important question whether we're moving in the right direction and whether we're seeing prices come down and then -- or inflation come down and the pace at which it's coming down. And so, some of these things you can look forward and see. For example, in the housing market we know one of the big drivers of price increases, the data we're seeing now, reflects circumstances in the housing market because of the way the data is measured.


So, we know that over the course of the next 6 to 12 months, we'll see some of the pricing -- price declines in housing and new rents that we're seeing in the market today reflected in that data. So, we certainly expect to see that. We hope to see that normalization over the course of time.

And, of course, for people out there, a lot of this data can feel very abstract. But in concrete terms the price of things that matter, like the price of gas or food at the grocery store, those are things we can see and feel in more real time terms. You know, price of gas, good example, we're now lower today than we were a year ago, and we're approaching $3 a gallon. So, that's the kind of normalization we want to see and expect to see over the next several months.

TAPPER: But food inflation is obscenely high, 10 percent, right?

DEESE: Well, food inflation has been way too high over the course of the year. Over the last couple of months, we have started to make progress. We need to see more reduction in the cost of food at the grocery store. But we've seen significant cooling in the rate of increase in food inflation over the last couple of months compared to prior months as well.

So that is a place where some of that is working through some of the supply chain bottlenecks that affect food as it moves through the system. We need to make sure we're doing everything we can on things like fertilizers and others to make sure we have a good growing season next year.

So we have to make more progress on that front but again it is a positive sign that we're seeing a deceleration even in food where prices remain too high. TAPPER: Brian Deese, thanks for your time. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, what new court documents reveal the subpoenas from the January 6th committee as the panel prepares for the final report. We're going to talk to a member of the committee.

Plus, the elevated threat for severe weather one day after devastating destructive tornados.

And strong words on Capitol Hill from survivors of the Club Q massacre. Who they blame for the attack on the LGBTQ nightclub.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: And we are back with our politics lead as the January 6th committee winds down its work, it is abandoning efforts to subpoena phone records from some of Donald Trump's top allies.

As CNN's Sara Murray reports for us now, that includes former White House aide Stephen Miller, conservative activist Roger Stone and some of the January 6th rioters.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The House committee investigating January 6th dropping p pursuit of phone records for several Donald Trump's allies as the committee winds down its work.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): This is crunch time for the committee.

MURRAY: The lawmakers are abandoning subpoenas related to phone records for Trump allies who contested them in court. Including adviser Sebastian Gorka, Roger Stone, and White House aides Stephen Miller, among others according to court records.

SEBASTIAN GORKA, TRUMP ALLY: Everything to do with my phone, and all phones associated with it on the account, that includes my wife, my children, must be data dumped to the January 6th witch hunt committee.

MURRAY: Leading the committee to wrap up its work without some of the information that had been fighting for in court.

After more than a year of investigating, roughly 1,000 witness interviews and for the subpoena to the former president,

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion.

MURRAY: The January 6th panel is set to hold its final public meeting December 19th, and release its final report two days later. REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The report will be for both the president

and the future. So people understood, I understand exactly what we learn. The role people played, a lot of the granular detail and evidence that we uncovered.

MURRAY: At the meeting, lawmakers are expected to unveil five or six buckets of referrals, including referrals to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution, referrals for possible state bar discipline, referrals for potential campaign finance violation, and referrals for the House Ethics Committee.

LOFGREN: We are very concerned that members of Congress that we issued subpoenas to, because they have relevant information, refused to comply. And that is a legal obligation. So we are going to be addressing that on Monday.

MURRAY: While the committee winds down, the special counsel probe into the January 6 and efforts to overturn the 2020 election is expanding. After previously seeking information from fake electors across seven battleground states, Trump contested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All 16 electors have been advised by the governor staff and we're going to be here to vote in electoral college and have been checked and already did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But these are the rest the electors?


MURRAY: Prosecutors are now seeking information from local officials in the same swing states -- Nevada, New Mexico, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.


MURRAY: Now, we have heard a lot, Jake, about the Feds looking into the scheme. These new rounds of subpoenas give you an indication that they want to know more about contacts that Donald Trump the Trump campaign, a number of his allies had with these officials in their efforts to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

TAPPER: All right, Sara Murray, thanks so much.

Joining us now to discuss, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a member of the January 6 Select House Committee.

Congressman, are you confident that your committee will present a full and complete report even without some of the phone records you went to court to try to get?

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Yeah, I'm confident. I think, look, we have presented I think a very compelling story over the summer, which is, hey, it is not just the day of January 6 that mattered. What mattered is what led to it, and frankly, the fact that not much has really changed since. And, so, we've told that story. We will go into some more detail.

Certainly, I wish we could have gotten the phone records we requested. You could've had more of the people we asked to come in.

But, I think we are going to have a very fulsome story to tell with recommendations, which is our job. And now, really, the torch to an extent is passed to the Justice Department as it appears they're investigating as well.

TAPPER: And you're going to be presenting the case for criminal referrals during the hearing on Monday, but the Justice Department has to decide whether to act on those referrals. If they decide to not prosecute, will this all have been a waste?

KINZINGER: No, I don't think so, because the information of who is responsible, that's very important. The showing the American people the true nature of what happened, that is very important.


What I think this work is going to actually echo the loudest, though, is not even necessarily tomorrow, not even if the Justice Department does -- it's going to echo through the history books. It is going to be something that in 10, 20 years, we look back on the work of this committee. We know the facts of what happened on January 6, and anybody out there who believes in the conspiracies today, their kids and grandkids will not, and in fact will be embarrassed that anybody ever to believe it.

And I think that's due largely to the work we've been able to do on this committee.

TAPPER: After everything you have learned as a member of the committee, on a personal basis, so not speaking for the committee, but just you personally, do you think that Donald Trump has committed a prosecutable crime related to January 6th and the attempts to overturn the election?

KINZINGER: Look, I have to caveat it with I am not a Justice Department official. They have different levels of standards. I think that he is guilty of a crime.

I mean, look, he knew what he did. We made that clear. He knew what was happening prior to January 6. He pressured the Justice Department officials to say, hey, just say the election was stolen and leave the rest to me, and the Republicans. All you do to do is put the stamp of approval on it.

And then you look at 187 minutes where he sat in his office, not indecisive. I think indecisive would be, probably complimentary to him. He was actively resisting pressure from his family and from his staff to stop that from happening. And when he finally saw that low enforcement had turn the tide, and that the occupation wasn't going to succeed, only then did he tepidly come out.

I think he is absolutely guilty. If he is not guilty of some kind of a crime, I mean, what we've basically said is presidents are above the law, and they can do everything short of a coup as long as it doesn't succeed.

TAPPER: Your chairman, Democrat Bennie Thompson, said that in addition to criminal referrals, there could be other categories of referrals as referrals to the House Ethics Committee for ethics violations. CNN has reported the Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry, for example, want to the federal government to quote, seize -- to, quote, preserve voting machines. He wanted them seized.

Marjorie Taylor Greene told Trump she wanted -- she told Mark Meadows that President Trump should impose martial law, which she misspelled.

Congressman Norman also, martial law, which he also misspelled.

Are these kinds of people that might be getting ethics committee referrals?

KINZINGER: I mean, certainly, if they resisted the subpoena, that's the kind of things we're going to consider.

Look, we know. We're coming to the end of the term here. Republicans are going to be in the majority. But I think it's important to make a standard, which is, look, you are in a body here, an investigate body at this point. And we're asking for information from you, and you didn't obey it. You didn't follow through on that.

Now a lot of these people that you just named will be leading investigations themselves and wondering why people won't react to subpoenas. It's a power that we have that's important. Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to pursue much deeper because of the end of the term.

But I do think, again, the Justice Department is probably look at what they need to look at and, I wouldn't feel too comfortable if I was somebody going for martial law, a United States congressman calling for martial law.

TAPPER: Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, thanks so much for your time today. Appreciate it.

KINZINGER: You bet, Jake.

TAPPER: Particularly dangerous situation, that warning today with more tornadoes possible in the South as other parts of United States brace for snow and even a nor'easter. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead, you're looking right now at what used to be a mobile home park in Union Parish, Louisiana. It was obliterated by a tornado that swept through overnight, injuring at least 20 minutes. About 100 miles from that scene, at least two people, a mother and son, were found dead. This as the same storm system is hitting the Central Plains of the

United States, leaving behind a deluge of ice and snow.

As CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam reports for us now, the severe weather threat is far from over.


DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): A tornado over New Liberia, Louisiana, caught on camera this morning. Just one of a string of over a dozen tornados in the past 24 hours wreaking havoc across the deep south.

SHERIFF DUSTY GATES, UNION PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE: We had quite a few homes damaged and destroyed. We had approximately 20 to 25 known injuries from minor to a couple people in critical condition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at the top of my house, y'all. House just gone.

VAN DAM: Overnight in Farmerville, not far from the Arkansas state line.

CADE NOLAN, PIO, FARMERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We had several mobile homes that have been blown out into the nearby woods. Multiple apartments damaged, multiple vehicles, and a whole trailer park pretty much demolished.

VAN DAM: Beth Tabor survived by sheltering in a bathtub, covering her roommate and her roommate's baby with her own body.

BETH TABOR, LIVES IN FARMERVILLE, LOUISIANA: It's sounds like what they say, it's a freight train. It was pretty bad. Just hearing all the -- everything flying around and you can do anything about it.

VAN DAM: To the southwest, families in Keithville scrambling for safety.

TAMMY SEPULVADO, LIVES IN CADDO PARISH, LOUISIANA: We got in the shower and by the time we got hunkered down, it was gone. The roof was gone.

VAN DAM: The storm being blamed in at least two deaths. According to the sheriff in Caddo Parish, a mother and child were killed.

In Four Forks, mobile homes destroyed, belongings strewn throughout the neighborhood, trees uprooted, and first responders helping guide people to safety from their crumbled homes.

Just hours earlier, parts of Texas taking a beating.

In Parker, a tornado tore apart troops, leaving metal siding hanging in trees.

MICHAEL LOPEZ, LIVES IN PARKER, TEXAS: I literally opened the door to go and look outside, and I noticed the tornado was literally passing right next to us.

VAN DAM: And in Oklahoma, too, where residents survey the damage left in the storm's path. With the storm system on the move, severe weather warnings have been issued across the Deep South. Government offices and schools closed in Mississippi with over 14 million people under a tornado or severe weather threat.

Meanwhile, out across the plain it's a deluge of snow and ice. In Wyoming, a white out. In South Dakota most state offices are closed. And in parts of Minnesota, blizzard warnings are in effect as the massive front pushes eastward.


VAN DAM (on camera): Jake, I'm standing on what used to be the foundation of a mobile home that was thrown over a football field's length behind me in the forest. Just incredible to see the destruction and the horrific scenes that were left behind from this devastating tornado.

Back to you.

TAPPER: Derek Van Dam in Farmerville, Louisiana, for us, thank you so much, Derek.

Tracking all the severe weather for us is CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray. Where is the biggest tornado threat right now?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The biggest tornado threat right now is southeast Louisiana into Southern Mississippi a lot of the storms are pushing east, we have the tornado watch in effect for the next several hours. All of these hot pink boxes these are active tornado warnings, meaning there could be a tornado in progress. Look at this one.

I want to zoom down in particular. This is just to the southwest of New Orleans. If this storm holds together it could potentially bring a tornado into the New Orleans area, and so very dangerous situation here. If you are in the New Orleans area, you've got to get to your safe spot right away.

Here are the tornado reports that we've seen and this number is growing. We saw tornados beginning yesterday, continuing today, and we could see them into tomorrow.

So as the storms go forward to the east, you can see stretching all the way from the Florida panhandle and through Atlanta through Wednesday and this will push off the eastern sea board by the time we get into Thursday and then eventually head into the northeast bringing the potential for snow and ice to that region.

Still, blizzard conditions going on, or the potential thereof across the northern section of this. This has been a huge storm and still ongoing.

TAPPER: All right. Jennifer Gray in the CNN weather center, thank you so much.

Ukraine's air defenses are on alert once again. As a Russian drone attack targets the capital city. We're going to go live to Kyiv next. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Topping our world lead now, two waves of Iranian-made drones launched by Putin's army rained down on Kyiv today. But Ukraine's air defenses seem to be working. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 13 of the Russian drones were shot down.

One of them had the ominous message scribbled across it, quote, for Ryazan. That's an apparent reference to an alleged Ukrainian last week deep inside Russian territory on the Ryazan base.

CNN's Will Ripley is in Kyiv where earlier today, a Russian strike blew up a soccer field.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A terrifying way to wake up in Kyiv. The buzz of another drone attack on the Ukrainian capital, caught on camera.

The rumble was like from a moped. That was the sound it made, says Svetlana. It fell behind the houses and then a strong roar and explosion.

Some buildings left on fire. Hit by remains of the destroyed Iranian- made Shahed as they fell, some landed near on a local soccer field.

Did you hear the explosion?

ANDRIY SHAKHOV, DYNAMO KYIV FOOTBALL CLUB: Yes, of course, we all wake up. There's one here, first spot, and then the second one the train base and the third one near the forest.

RIPLEY: A few hours later, the consequences could have been much worse.

And you have kids playing soccer here?

SHAKHOV: No, it's 6:00. Not now but --

RIPLEY: They would have been here had it happened later?

SHAKHOV: Yeah, later, yes, we have a tournament here.

RIPLEY: Authorities say Russia launched the drones towards Kyiv on Wednesday aiming them at the battered power grid to sow fear and chaos and potentially plunge millions into the dark and cold. This time, all the drones were shot down. Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says the terrorists started

this morning with 13 Shaheds. According to preliminary information, all 13 were shot down by Ukraine's air defense systems, well done, he says, I'm proud.

Ukrainian defenses less successful in Kherson. Authorities say multiple Russian rockets hit this administrative building in the heart of the southern Ukrainian city. Authorities say nobody was hurt. Inside, the damage severe. Entire sections destroyed.

Ukraine says attacks like this and the one in Kyiv aimed at wearing down the Ukrainian people trying to break their spirits, reduce support for resistance against Russia. But here in Kyiv, people refuse to give in.

You are brave people. I can see that.

SHAKHOV: Yeah, children, parents, women, old men, it doesn't matter. They're so brave.

RIPLEY: Bravery on and off the battlefield.


RIPLEY (on camera): This is the first attack in a number of weeks here in Central Kyiv where you get used to the sound of air-raid sirens you can pretty much fall asleep to them. But a lot of people in this particular area near our location woke up to the sound of explosions this morning which is startling to even though who lived through nine months of this war.

The Kremlin is responding to CNN's reporting that Patriots will be arriving in Ukraine likely in the coming weeks after our Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon was first to report that story.


They're saying these Patriot systems will be a legitimate target for the Kremlin even as the Kremlin continues striking, Jake, so many illegitimate civilian targets, civilian infrastructure and attacks that are deliberately designed to inflict suffering on millions of people as temperatures continue plunging here every single day.

TAPPER: Will Ripley in Kyiv, thank you so much.

And our health lead today, the widow of American soccer journalist Grant Wahl says her husband died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Wahl suddenly collapsed last week while covering the World Cup in Qatar.

His wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, spoke to Gayle King earlier today on CBS.


DR. CELINE GOUNDER, WIFE OF GRANT WAHL: It's just one of these things that had been likely brewing for years and for whatever reason, it happened at this point in time.


TAPPER: Gounder added in a statement that no amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.

Sanjay, help us understand how this happened. Is this common for somebody who is only 49 years old?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it's not common at all, really at any age. But if it is it happens in people over 65 more commonly. It's rare but unfortunately catastrophic, Jake, when it does happens. And as Dr. Gounder, Celine, was sort of talking about, it was not -- there was no way he probably knew that this was happening. He may have had this for some time, was having these symptoms of cough and thought he had bronchitis.

Let me show you what was actually going on now based on what Celine was describing. The heart and the thing in the middle is the aorta. On the left is normal. You can see the aorta there. On the right you can see it's sort of ballooned out as it comes out of the heart. That's the first part of the aorta.

When it balloons out like that, Jake, it can become very weak. This is the biggest blood vessel in the body, becomes weak it can rupture, meaning there's bleeding in the chest cavity and that's what likely happened to him, it sounds like, from what she was describing.

Again to your question, rare. I think in 2019, there was around 9,300 people who died -- 9,900 people, excuse me, mostly among men. Things like smoking that increase risks for certain types of aneurysms but probably no way he would have known this. Even a family history, it's unlikely to be passed on generation to generation.

TAPPER: All right. Interesting, tragic, though. Meanwhile, you're also out with this new essay, two years to the day since the first COVID vaccines in the U.S. and you're stressing the need for them even today.

GUPTA: Yeah, look, one of the headlines I think people are reading is more people who are vaccinated are dying of COVID versus unvaccinated, a study that came out that you covered on your program saying how many lives have been saved over time but this is the headline they see, 13,000 deaths occurred in September, how many were vaccinated, 7,800, 5,200 unvaccinated.

But what you have to do when you look at the numbers is compare them by the right denominator. There's a lot more vaccinated people, so it's not surprising the deaths will be in vaccinated people. If you look at the rate, it's 38 deaths per million among the vaccinated, 95 deaths per 1 million.

This is called base rate fallacy, something that comes up in statistics quite a bit but this is the numbers you have to pay attention to. Also, quickly, Jake, Simpson's paradox, delighted to talk about this on your show. It basically says if you are older you are more likely to die from COVID-19, we know that. If you're older you're more likely to be vaccinated from COVID-19. They're the most vaccinated group.

It does not mean that vaccination is more likely to lead to death. So, these are the points I wanted to make, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

GUPTA: Yeah.

TAPPER: Coming up, TikTok crackdown. The push to scrap its teen rating, plus whether your data can be still accessed even if you delete the popular app.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Our politics lead now. Powerful testimony today from a group who survived the massacre inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. A man opened fire in club Q last month as you might recall, killing 5 innocent people, 22 others injured.

Today, survivors of that shooting went to Capitol Hill and many of them specifically blamed conservative anti-LGBTQ voices, including elected officials for the deadly attack.


MICHAEL ANDERSON, CLUB Q MASSACRE SURVIVOR: To the politicians and activists who accuse LGBTQ people of grooming children and being abusers, shame on you.

MATTHEW HAYNES, CLUB Q OWNER AND SURVIVOR: We are being slaughtered and dehumanized across the country in communities you took oaths to protect.

JAMES SLAUGH, CLUB Q MASSACRE SURVIVOR: The hateful rhetoric you heard from elected leaders is the direct cause of the horrific shooting at club q.


TAPPER: Let's go to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.

And, Manu, survivors called on lawmakers to take action and protect lives of LGBTQ individuals. Did that get any response from Republicans in the room to hear the testimony?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there was a Republican in the room during the hearing, James Comer who's poised to become the next chairman of the committee. He said while Republicans condemn this horrific attack he criticized Democrats for holding this hearing, saying that Democrats are using today's hearing to, quote, blame Republicans for this horrendous crime. He went on to say this is an effort to try to blame Republicans for what he contended were Democrat's soft on crime policies.


Democrats pushed back. They said these were designed to show the attacks on LGBTQ individuals are not isolated and what happened at Club Q is part of a larger systemic problem in American society. And that's what James Slaugh, who survived that attack, told lawmakers that the violent rhetoric that he's hearing across media platforms need to stop.


SLAUGH: Hate rhetoric from politicians, religious leaders and media outlets is at the root of the attacks like at Club Q, and it needs to stop now. Rhetoric that makes people less than for being different, rhetoric that threatens to silence what sports we can play, what bathrooms we can use, how we define our family and who I can marry. We need elected leaders to demonstrate language that reflects love and understanding, not hate and fear.


RAJU: The witnesses also, Jake, called for action on guns, specifically to ban semiautomatic rifles at this attack -- during this attack, the killer used an AR-15 style weapon. They called for a ban on the weapons but in this Congress, that will simply not happen. Their votes aren't there and won't be there in the next Congress, as well.

TAPPER: Manu Raju on Capitol Hill for us, thanks so much.

Let's turn to our tech lead now. The Chinese owned app TikTok saw a rise in popularity during the pandemic with nearly 100 million U.S. users in 2020. But now, the governors in eight states, seven in the last two weeks, are banning the app on government devices citing data privacy concerns.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen Republican attorneys general called on Apple and Google to remove the label in the App Store that deems TikTok teen appropriate.

Let's bring in CNN tech reporter Brian Fung. Brian, even some senators are sounding the alarm.

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECH REPORTER: That's right, Jake. You have some lawmakers who are raising concerns about the potential for TikTok's U.S. user data to wind up in the hands of the Chinese government.

And one of the senators who has introduced a bill to ban TikTok in the United States, Senator Marco Rubio, explained his rational for introducing the bill this way. Let's have a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): I want to ban TikTok for a very simple reason, they allow the Chinese communist party to gain access to all the private data on any device in America that's using TikTok. That's our kids, that's phones connected to our kids' phones, and that's a national security threat.


FUNG: And the same day that that bill was introduced, as you said, there were 15 attorneys general writing letters to Apple and Google calling on them to stop listing TikTok as teen appropriate over concerns of mature content on those apps, things like, you know, eating disorder or promoting alcoholism and stuff like that.

Why now of course? You know, there's been this ongoing debate and discussion between TikTok and the U.S. government whether or not TikTok can continue to operate in the United States. The federal government hasn't reached a resolution in the negotiation and according to Senator Rubio, that's a reason why he's introducing the bill.

TAPPER: Is it enough to delete TikTok, delete the app from your phone if you're concerned about your data privacy or take further steps and maybe get a new phone, maybe even launch a whole new -- there is the cloud and everything else.

FUNG: Yeah, well, Jake, any time you use a social media app or any digital service, you are putting information into the hands of a third party and that involves a little of a loss of some control. So I would say if you're concerned about your data privacy, you might want to rethink how you engage with all digital platforms, not just TikTok, not just social media but all digital platforms you may use.

TAPPER: All right. Brian Fung, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

One week and counting until a Trump era border policy expires. Coming up next, the struggle to keep up with the migrant surge before that deadline and the push to get the policy extended.

Stay with us.



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

This hour, new information about the violent attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband Paul. Who else did the alleged attacker wanted to target, including a beloved Oscar-winning actor?

Plus, how the leading architect of Trump's anti immigration policies turned to targeting Black farmers and female restaurant owners. And leading this hour, the clock is ticking on a looming crisis along

the U.S.-Mexico border. A bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to the Biden administration demanding that the administration extend the Trump era Title 42 border policy. That policy that ends next week essentially uses the COVID crisis to allow asylum seeking migrants to be expelled from the United States.

Since this weekend, thousands of migrants have crossed in the El Paso, Texas region. Right now, shelters are completely full there and they are forced to turn airway migrants.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is near the border in El Paso, Texas where he visited a shelter today struggling to keep up with the demand of the influx of migrants.


JOH MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OPPORTUNITY CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS: We can get the women over to the rescue mission.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iit's a frigid El Paso night and John Martin is coordinating an out reach team trying to figure out where newly arrived migrants have been released on the city's downtown streets.

MARTIN: They're working with the new arrivals that came in within the past hour.

LAVANDERA: So there is a lot of confusion right now?

MARTIN: To a great extent, I'll get myself in trouble. I think confusion is an understatement.

LAVANDERA: Martin helps run a homeless shelter program in El Paso. Three of the shelters are open to migrants.