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The Lead with Jake Tapper

One-On-One With Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu; Videos Contradict Initial Police Report On Tyre Nichols' Arrest; White House Tries To Cast McCarthy As An "Outlier" In Debt Standoff; More Witnesses Called By State Prosecutors To Testify In Day Five Of Alex Murdaugh Murder Trial; Police Investigating Suspicious Incidents At Dallas Zoo; CNN Obtains Video Of Trump Deposition In NY Fraud Investigation. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired January 31, 2023 - 16:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: On sacred and scarred land, is the Middle East on the cusp of a surge in violence?

THE LEAD from Jerusalem starts live right now.

The world on edge, fearing recent violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Could once again spiral into bloody chaos. This hour, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu one on one in a CNN exclusive. How Netanyahu plans to address the violence, how he responds to criticism about his newly-formed right wing government, and the actions he might take that could have ramifications worldwide.

Plus, new contradictions after the horrific police beating of Tyre Nichols. The initial police report what video recordings actually show.

And the big announcement today on Capitol Hill from embattled Republican Congressman George Santos after all the lies.

Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper live in Jerusalem, where recent violence has become the center of international geopolitics this week.

Just minutes ago, I wrapped an exclusive interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is back in office for unprecedented sixth term. I pressed him on his long-term plan for any semblance of peace with the Palestinians.

His formation of the most hard-right government in Israel's history, and his proposed changes to the Israeli judicial system, changes critics say could undercut a key part of Israel's democracy. You'll hear some of that exclusive exchange in just a moment. The full interview will air tonight in CNN primetime special at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

This all comes at the end of the bloodiest month in Israel and the West Bank in years. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on day two of his trip to the region. He met with Netanyahu earlier. He met with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank earlier today where he pressed for de-escalation.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: Palestinians and Israelis alike are experiencing growing insecurity, growing fear in their homes and their communities and their places of worship. We believe it's important to take steps to deescalate and to try as well to create the foundation for more positive actions going forward.


TAPPER: Beyond the borders, Israel is believed to be behind a drone attack on an Iranian military installation, according to "The New York Times" and "Wall Street Journal." That drone attack comes as the U.S., Israel and other allies fear the Iranian government could be rebuilding its nuclear weapons capabilities.

But first let's bring in Hadas Gold who is also in Jerusalem with me, of course, because this is her beat.

Hadas, how did Secretary Blinken's meeting goes with Abbas today?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't think we got any major breakthrough, this visit was about calming things down as much as possible. Nobody was expecting to have Secretary Blinken come up and say here is my ten-point plan how we're going to fix everything. Now, we heard from the Palestinian Authority after the press conference.

The Palestinian Authority presidential spokesperson was on CNN international a few hours ago. He said, listen, we were happy to hear him talk how they want Israel to stop settle and expansion and have Israel stop demolition, stop legalization of what Americas consider illegal outposts, but they still said they are not going to go back to security coordination. This is something the Palestinian Authority cut off last week in the wake of all of this violence, something the Americans immediately said they thought was a bad idea.

They see this as something that's vital to keep the conversation going, to keep some sense, some tool they can have to keep the calm. And they said even after all of these meetings, you know what, as long as Israel is doing what it's doing, we're not going back to security coordination. Now, Blinken did say his senior members are staying in the region to continue working. I think that is an important thing to note.

And so, likely one of their main goals will be before those senior staffers leave to get that security coordination back on the table.

TAPPER: Blinken reiterated support today for the two-state solution. Netanyahu did not say anything, although he was polite. Does anyone believe that the two-state solution is even still on the table? Or could even be inched towards?

GOLD: I think the Americans have to say that they believe in the two- state solution, but even Secretary Blinken himself was acknowledging that the horizon for it was shrinking and not expanding. [16:05:04]

And he would even admit it. He said, you know, we are under no illusions that we can very quickly calm the situation. But for them, it's important about the symbolism to show that the Americans are trying to push for this because without the two-state solution, what is there going to be? What is the answer?

And for everyday Palestinian, while they are pleased to hear from the Americans things like more money for the U.N. agency, 4G, reopening of the consulate, what they really want to hear is how are we going to get a two-state solution and what the Israelis want to hear is how are we going to get towards a point where the violence has calmed down, where not everyday there's some new violence. Same for the Palestinians.

That is what everybody wants on both sides. We haven't yet heard that sort of grand plan. Nobody expects it to happen. But what's really important now is just to calm things down a little bit and hopefully, as Secretary Blinken said, get to the point where they can then start putting those steps in place. But when you look at the political situation in the Palestinian territories, in Israel, I don't see how those two sides can come together any time soon.

TAPPER: You know, Abbas is weaker than ever. Netanyahu's government is more conservative than ever.

Hadas Gold, thanks so much.

Blinken's trip comes after weeks of violence in Israel and in the West Bank. I sat down exclusively with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where I asked him about his meeting with Secretary Blinken, concerns over plans for more Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Biden administration's fears that peace between Israelis and Palestinians will never be possible.

Here is a snippet of the interview which we will run in full at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The Jewish people have been here for 3,500 years. The fact that Jews live here and will continue to live here and Palestinians will continue to live here and we're going to have to live together. We're not going to ethnically cleanse the heartland of the Jewish people. We're not going to ethnically cleanse Israel.

Twenty percent of Israel's population is Arabs. We're not going to say, we're not going to have peace until we kick out the Arabs from Israel and we're not going to have peace until we kick out the Jews from these areas, which are disputed.

They're not illegal. They're disputed areas. And the only way to resolve that dispute is to have peace negotiations with the Palestinians consistently refuse to enter. Now, I think we can get hung up on this. And we have in the past.

People said, you know, unless you resolve this issue, and unless you have peace with the Palestinians, you're not going to have a broader peace with the Arab world.

So, for 25 years, the Palestinians who don't want peace with Israel want to see a peace without Israel, who don't want a state next to Israel but a state instead of Israel, that, in effect, veto on Israel's expansion of the peace -- circle of peace around it.

I went around them. I went directly to the Arab states, and forged with a new concept of peace for peace. Peace through strength. I forged four historic peace agreements.

TAPPER: The Abraham Accords.

NETANYAHU: The Abraham Accords, which is twice the number of peace agreements that all my predecessors in 70 years got combined.

TAPPER: Well, let me ask you about it, because I know you're so committed to the Abraham Accords, which are a huge achievement, by President Trump and by you. I know you want to keep going.

What happens when let's say the big prize is -- I mean, I know Sudan is on the table, some of these southeastern Asian countries are on the table, but the big -- the big prize is Saudi Arabia, obviously.

What happens when Saudi Arabia gets the U.S. to go along with some of the things that they want from the U.S. in terms of security measures, but they say, look, Mr. Netanyahu, they probably call you Bibi, I need something for the Palestinians in order to go along with this. I can't just do this around the Palestinians. That's important to me and to my constituency.

What are you willing to give? Are you willing to let people in the West Bank vote? Are you willing to let the 300,000 Arabs who have residency in East Jerusalem vote?

NETANYAHU: Well, I'm certainly willing to have them have all the powers that they need to govern themselves, but none of the powers can threaten us. And this means that Israel should have the overriding security responsibility because every time we moved out, say, from Lebanon, basically Iran came in with its proxy Hezbollah. We moved out of Gaza, another radical Islamist, the Hamas, took over.

And if we just talk away, as people suggest, then you'll have Hamas and Iran move into the hills around Jerusalem overlooking Tel Aviv.

That's -- so I think there's a formula for peace, but my view is because of the fact that the continuing, the persistent Palestinian refusal which goes back a century, to recognize Jewish state, a nation state for the Jewish people and any boundary, that persistent refusal persists. If we wait for them, we're not going to have peace.

People said you have to work your way outside in, first, inside out. First, peace with the Palestinians, peace with the Arab world, I think realistically, it's got to be the other way around.

TAPPER: But are you --

NETANYAHU: If we make peace with Saudi Arabia, depends on the Saudi leadership, and bring effectively the Arab-Israeli conflict to an end, I think we'll circle back to the Palestinians and get a workable peace with the Palestinians. I think that's possible and I think that's the way to go.


MARQUARDT: All right. We have just lost the signal with our Jake Tapper in Jerusalem. We will be working on getting him back momentarily. This interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was wide ranging. You will see a fuller version of that interview tonight in its primetime special at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time right here on CNN.

We'll be right back.


TAPPER: We're back live from Jerusalem. And moments ago, you saw just a clip, an excerpt of my exclusive interview with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, which will air in full at 9:00 p.m. Eastern this evening.

Joining us now to discuss Yaakov Katz. He is the editor in chief of "The Jerusalem Post".

Thank you so much for being here. Really good to have you.

So I asked Netanyahu about whether peace was possible between Israelis and Palestinians after this period of heightened violence. He's pretty -- seems pretty committed against any sort of two-state solution under no uncertain terms even though that had been -- I mean, he hasn't been talking about two-state solution in years. But at one point, every Palestinian -- and Israeli and Palestinian politicians talked about it.


Now, it seems to be off the table.

YAAKOV KATZ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE JERUSALEM POST: He even threw his own support behind it. Remember, there were speeches he gave back during the Obama administration was under pressure and he's endorsed the two-state solution.

This government that he's currently in is the most farthest right in conservative government that Israel has ever had. No one in this government wants to see a two-state solution. No one wants to see a Palestinian state and Netanyahu who might understand that when faced with the dilemma of do I want a one-state that gives all of these Palestinian Arabs millions on the West Bank, unless we want apartheid, which we wouldn't want.

TAPPER: Right.

KATAZ: That would give them citizenship and equal rights and ability to vote and the whole demography in this country would completely alter the Jewish majority of the state of Israel, and this Jewish homeland would be at risk, I would bet that he wants a two-state solution and prefer to give them independence. But he can't right now. His hands are tied with the partners that he has gone into bed with this coalition. They would never let something like this happen.

TAPPER: So, one of the other things we talked about, again, we'll air the whole interview at 9:00 p.m. Eastern this evening is -- his desire -- he says he's working out/in, from the outside in. Meaning I'm making peace with UAE and Bahrain and Morocco, and blah, blah, blah, and like hopefully I'll have the entire Arab world allied and with normalization of relations with Israel. At some point -- at that point, the Palestinians will have to agree.

Do you think some part of him thinks and maybe the Saudis or Jordanians can be in charge of making sure there are no terrorist attacks on us? I mean, do you think that's his view? Or --

KATZ: I don't think his view is that we would outsource Israeli security. His whole thing is that Israel needs to retain its own security, needs to be able to go into these places and fight where it needs to stop terrorist attacks. But I think what he does believe is exactly what you said, Jake, is that he goes to the Saudis, he goes the Omanis, he gets other countries to come to the table, normalize relations, like we said with the Abraham Accords, with UAE, with Bahrainis, with Morocco, for example.

He thinks that if he can get the Saudis, maybe that would get the Palestinians. One thing people would push back is the Abraham Accords were about two and a half years ago. Anything changed with the Palestinians? No, it's gotten worse.

So, if we thought we presented the vision of how normalization can look and do something and see there's benefit to a diplomatic resolution with the state of Israel, that hasn't happened. So will it happen in another year? Will the Saudis make that difference? I don't know.

But we do have to have some sort of engagement with the Palestinians. And currently, this government is not going to be the government that's going to be able to do that.

TAPPER: The other thing that's so interesting and we talked about some of the extremists in his government. I mean, real, one of your ministers, Ben-Gvir, had a picture of Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli terrorist who killed a whole bunch of Palestinians who were praying decades ago.

He had a picture in his living room. Before he ran for office he took it down. That's the kind of people that -- these people make bb --

KATZ: This guy is in charge of our police force right now. He is the police minister. TAPPER: Right. These people make Bibi look liberal.

KATZ: Bibi is the most left wing member of his coalition. I know that's hard for people to understand, because people tend to look at Netanyahu as this being hawk, right wing conservative leader.

TAPPER: You can argue, he is the most conservative prime minister in the history of Israel.

KATZ: He is also pragmatic. If you look throughout his 15 years as being prime minister, he's always been -- he's hesitant and cautious. He's not quick to use military force. He's not quick to make big decisions.

When we talk now about, for example, Secretary of State Blinken warned against annexation. Netanyahu could have done it numerous times but he refused to. He is in a tough spot because he has no one else to the left of him and I think that actually who is to the left of him is the United States. He is hoping -- Blinken plays an important role here because he can then go to these other guys and say, look, you heard what Blinken said.

I can't do what you want on annexation. I can't do what you want on illegal outposts and can't give you all these other things because I got the Americans and we need America.

TAPPER: But his argument, again, you can see the whole interview tonight, that his argument is when I bring up these extremists, you heard this a million times, I'm the one with my hands on the wheel, I'm the one with my hands on the wheel, basically saying if it comes down to it he will overrule his cabinet ministers.

How practical is that when something is going on and the Israeli domestic police force is out doing their thing or one of the other extremists is going to be running administration in the West Bank?

KATZ: Right.

TAPPER: How practical is that?

KATZ: It's not so practical. You can say his hands are on the wheel. We're a coalition system. This is a parliamentary system. He's got 64 seats right now as a majority. That's just 3, 4 over what you would need to retain and not go to election.

So, if he doesn't give these guys what they want, they're coming with clear ideology. They have desires. They want to see their policies and their visions --

TAPPER: Anti-Arab ideology in some cases.

KATZ: Well, it's -- I don't know if I say anti-Arab, but it's more to expand the settlements, to expand Israel's control over the West Bank.

[16:20:05] That is against, of course, what the Palestinians want. And therefore, if he doesn't give them that, they could always bring down his government. And that's the last thing he wants, especially now when he's on trial.

He's facing a court hearing. He's under indictment for three different charges, bribery, fraud, breach of trust.


KATZ: He needs this coalition. He wants to stay prime minister.

TAPPER: Yaakov Katz, thanks so much. Great to have you here. Really, really appreciate it.

You can see more of my exclusive interview with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this evening. It will air in its entirety at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

Turning to our national lead, more fallout from the death of 29-year- old Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee, including the revelation of information in the initial police report that is quite at odds with what you can actually see on the videos. This comes after the firing of three Memphis EMTs for their response to the fatal police beating of Nichols. And now, another officer has been put on leave, making that at least two relieved of their duties just this week.

Here is CNN's Nick Valencia.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A bundle of contradictions between what the world witnessed and the video showing police beating Tyre Nichols and what's reportedly found in the initial police report about the incident. First reported by "The New York Times," a photo of a police report was posted online by a Memphis talk show host. The district attorney's office tells CNN the D.A. does have a report that has that same account of events.

The report suggests Nichols was pulled over after police say he veered into oncoming traffic. It says he was violent, sweating profusely and irate when he exited the vehicle. And quote, started to fight with officers at one point grabbing one of the detective's gun.

Things not seen in the body camera and sky cop street camera videos, but the very things officers talked about during the encounter.

POLICE OFFICER: He's as high as a kite.

POLICE OFFICER: I hit that man in so many pieces and he coming for more.

POLICE OFFICER: So y'all got him -- stopped him on a traffic stop?

POLICE OFFICER: He drove into oncoming traffic.

POLICE OFFICER: And he's going for my gun too. So I'm like --

POLICE OFFICER: He grabbed my gun (INAUDIBLE).

VALENCIA: The report also says Nichols was struck with a department issued baton while given verbal commands to stop resisting. It notes nothing about the multiple times the officers kicked him while he was lying on the ground.

The Memphis police department still hasn't officially released the report all these weeks later. The Shelby County sheriff's office also listed in that report image posted online releasing a statement saying, the release of reports in connection with the investigation is unauthorized. And the sheriff's office cannot comment.

JUSTIN HANSFORD, PROFESSOR, HOWARD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: This issue of leaving police reports on their face as they're immediately released is something we also need to reconsider.

VALENCIA: Officials announced more firings and disciplinary actions against public servants at the scene. In addition to the firings of the five Black Memphis police officers now facing second degree murder charges, three Memphis fire department personnel have been let go. And two sheriff's deputies have been put on leave, along with the two additional Memphis police department officers also on leave.

STEVEN MULROY, SHELBY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We are looking at everybody who had any kind of involvement in this incident.

BEN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR NICHOLS' FAMILY: Everybody who is on that same who contributed in any way should be held fully accountable.

VALENCIA: As Tyre Nichols' family prepares to say their final good- byes tomorrow.

JAMAL DUPREE, TYRE NICHOLS' BROTHER: My brother was an innocent person. Everybody knows that my brother was filled with energy. He was like the light of the room.


VALENCIA: And today, we're learning that the vice president will be in attendance of Tyre Nichols's funeral on Wednesday. She will join other senior level officials from the Biden administration -- Jake.

TAPPER: Nick Valencia, thanks so much.

Coming up next, the big meeting without specifics spelled out. The commitments the White House is pushing for today before Speaker McCarthy arrives for talks with President Biden at the White House tomorrow.

Plus, we now have never-before-seen video of former President Donald Trump being deposed by the New York attorney general's office. You can hear it for yourself. That's coming up.


TAPPER: Topping our politics lead today, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden are publicly sparring ahead of their big meeting tomorrow about the debt ceiling and spending cuts. McCarthy says Biden's unwillingness to negotiate is, quote, irresponsible. While Biden's top economic advisers are accusing McCarthy of being an outlier when it comes to Republican speakers and having no budget plan to speak of.

Let's go to CNN's chief White House correspondent Phil Mattingly.

Phil, does Biden have a plan to try to win over McCarthy?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Jake, it's a high-stakes meeting with rather low expectations heading into it, and win over might be really aspirational at this point. White House officials acknowledge that they are setting the bar lower, saying the president is really going to detail two things he wants from the new speaker of the House.

The first is a commitment he will not engage in any back and forth as it relates to the debt ceiling. Basically, not negotiating just want a clean debt ceiling increase and second is that house Republicans will introduce their own budget proposal.

Now, McCarthy made very clear the first ask of the president is something he will not agree to. That at least at this point is off the table. The budget, of course, is still an open question as House Republicans still get in order with their new majority. I think what this meeting underscores is just how far apart these two sides are and just how little room there is at this point in time to see a path forward.

Now, keep in mind, Jake, there are several months before they reach that June deadline when the debt ceiling is expected to be breached. However, when you look at how the battle lines are more or less being drawn at this point in time, it is very clear that White House officials show no signs of moving off their current position of no negotiations, and House Republicans, though they haven't coalesced around a single proposal or single thing to put on the table, are also making clear they are not going to agree to any clean debt ceiling increase.


How that plays out over the course of the next couple of months remains an open question. This meeting will be a critical first step in that process, one that will be driven mostly by political positioning and posturing and also by the idea that as the President says, he's not willing to negotiate -- Jake.

TAPPER: Phil Mattingly at the White House. Thanks so much.

Joining us now to discuss, Utah Republican Congressman Chris Stewart who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.

Congressman Stewart, thanks so much for joining us.

So, President Biden has said he is not going to negotiate on this period. Speaker McCarthy says he's not going to play, quote, political games. Raising the debt ceiling on a bipartisan basis has been happening for decades I don't need to tell you. In fact, under Trump, a majority of House Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling two out of three times.

Why this year for Republicans to take this stand, this year when we're teetering maybe on a recession and people worry that we're -- this action, you know, defaulting, could bring about an economic apocalypse?

REP. CHRIS STEWART (R-UT): Well, Jake, it's not just this year that Republicans have taken this stand. We have used this opportunity of increasing the debt ceiling limit to negotiate and to get some concessions on spending many, many times in the past. And honestly, Jake, I can't imagine the president saying -- and then having to defend to the American people, I'm not even going to talk about it. I'm not going to negotiate a single dollar.

And to remember or to remind the American people, little more than ten years ago when there were negotiations between the Obama administration and Speaker Boehner at the time, it was Vice President Biden who was responsible for those negotiations. In fact, we called him the Biden negotiations.

So, this is something he's done in the past. Something he's advocated for in the past. We're just asking -- we spent 10 -- I'm sorry, $12 trillion in the last two years. Are you telling us there's not a single dollar that we can negotiate over and some spending cuts? Of course there are.

So, I think this is an opening salvo. It's not where they're going to end up. The president is going to have to negotiate with us. And hopefully we get to some concessions that we can say to the American people, yeah, we're trying to be fiscally responsible.

TAPPER: You know, but you're proving my point because you just talked about how you did use this situation to force spending cuts and discussion on it during the Obama years. But I believe about a quarter of the current national debt was rung up during the Trump years. And I guess my question is, why not take the stand then when you had a guy from your own party in the White House?

STEWART: Yeah. And I actually advocated at the time we did have president Trump in the White House. We should be initiating some spending cuts. And honestly, I mean, the former president just wasn't interested in that. It was one of the things that frustrated some of us who were fiscal conservatives.

He was a leverage New York businessman. To him, debt wasn't a problem. It was a feature. And I'm disappointed that we have this spending that we did under the former president. But that doesn't advocate the responsibility I have now in the position we have to once again try to advocate for some spending cuts and for fiscal responsibility.

Once again, Jake, $12 trillion in two years. We can find some places we could be more fiscally responsible to the American people and to our children.

TAPPER: So, so one of the things Biden is saying is I'll show you my budget. You show me your budget. Where is the Republican budget? Do you know which programs under House Republican budget would face spending cuts when that budget is finalized?

STEWART: Well, I think a lot of things are going to be on the table. I think there's some that the speaker made clear and that is we're not going to try to do any reforms in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. So it will be the discretionary side. It will take a little time, as you said in your introduction. I mean, we're just barely organizing our committees.

That once again will take a little time, probably several months before we have a budget. And probably about the same amount of time before the president has a budget. And -- but one thing I worry about, Jake, it worries me that we get to June when these supposed extraordinary measures run out.

We should be working with urgency now. We shouldn't wait until we're right up to the deadline because then you have this countdown the clock to default. It adds all sorts of pressures that make the negotiations, I think, less productive during those times. We should be doing this with urgency now and take the threat of default off the table completely by finishing this early.

TAPPER: Right. I don't disagree. So here is the question because I remember asking Congressman Chip Roy about this right after McCarthy was elected speaker.


Like you know this is coming down the pike and after this one is over, there will be another one. Why don't you on the appropriations committee and some of the other House Republicans that want to spend more within the means of the U.S. government go find some Democrats in the Senate, go find some people in the White House council -- council on economic advisers and whatever and actually start working on some sort of plan that everybody can get behind instead of these public showdowns, you know?

STEWART: Yeah. Well, no doubt about it. And they do become public because they're so critical that we have success. I mean, default on the U.S. debt would be an enormous consequence. I mean, that would be something that everyone is aware of.

So, by that factor, kind of driven to the public, but there are negotiations like this taking place. There are the kinds of conversations that you suggested. Now, I got to tell you, some of them are between just little old guys like me, you know, just congressman from Utah. Those are helpful, but it has to be among our leaders. It has to be between the speaker and the president. Those two are the keys to making this thing and bringing it to a conclusion.

TAPPER: Before you go, sir, I want to ask you about the legislation you're set to introduce. It would ban kids under the age of 13 from using social media platforms. You cite this growing evidence of the link between kids using those apps and the negative effect on children's mental health. I -- I don't know if it would be constitutional. What's your plan to breakthrough the powerful big tech industry to get this passed?

STEWART: Oh, yeah. I mean, we're going to have opposition to this to no doubt. Your comment about constitutionality, we think we written it in such a way that it is and, of course, I want it to be. But oh my gosh, Jake, if you're a parent of young children now and you see the rise in anxiety and depression, we're nearly 40 percent of kids between age 14 and 24 are clinically diagnosed with anxiety and depression and you have something like at the high 20s who have contemplated suicide and we know that there's a direct correlation between social media engagement when the average 13-year-old in the United States spends nine hours a day on social media.

Oh my gosh, we protect our kids from drinking and from smoking, we don't let them have a driver's license until they're 16. Can't we protect, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13-year-olds from having their minds wired with this -- what Chinese develop with TikTok which is just emotional heroin and we know that it is.

So -- and this is bipartisan as well. The White House has been speaking on this recently. The surgeon general spoke on it just today. We think there's bipartisan effort that can be made here.

TAPPER: All right, Republican congressman from Utah, Chris Stewart, thank you so much for your time today. Good to see you again.

STEWART: Thank you, sir.

TAPPER: Next, cross-examination today in the murder trial for Alex Murdaugh that raises ne questions about the weapon used to kill his wife and son.



TAPPER: In our national lead, another busy day of witness testimony in day five of the double murder trial of disgraced former attorney Alex Murdaugh, including a cross-examination of a special agent who interviewed Murdaugh three days after the murders of Paul and Margaret Murdaugh.

CNN's Randi Kaye was inside the courtroom today in Walterboro, South Carolina.

Randi, what did this special agent say?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we learned a lot from this special agent. He said that none of the weapons that were seized from the Murdaugh home were the gun that was used to kill Paul Murdaugh, his son. None of the ammunition matched either and the same witness testified that he wasn't sure if the murder weapons were even ever recovered.

Here is some of that exchange.


JIM GRIFFIN, ALEX MURDAUGH'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: In fact, none of the shotguns that you brought yesterday, according to the ballistic report, your lab analysis, fired the shots that killed Paul, correct?


GRIFFIN: Have you ever found the murder weapons?

CROFT: Not that I'm aware of, sir.

GRIFFIN: Are you aware, sir, that the shot that blew Paul Murdaugh's head off was Winchester, Drylok, steel waterfowl 12 gauge ammunition and you didn't find any similar ammunition on June 8th or any time after that, correct?

CROFT: I did not, sir.


KAYE: And Jake, there was a whole lot of talk in court about this interview that Alex Murdaugh did with investigators back on June 10th of 2021, a few days after the murders. In that interview, this witness said that he heard Alex Murdaugh say about his son Paul I did him so bad but the defense says he actually said they did him so bad. The witness was basically saying it sounded to him like a confession but he wanted to follow up on that. He wanted more information.

So they replayed that clip of that interview, Jake, in court. They slowed it down by a third for that witness, hoping he would change his mind. He stuck with it. He said again, I hear I did him so bad. They decided that they'll let the jury decide what he really said, Jake.

TAPPER: And what more do we know about this two shooters theory?

KAYE: This is something that the defense put forward. They floated it out there in court. They're trying to establish that Alex Murdaugh could not have done this because Maggie Murdaugh was killed with a rifle and Paul Murdaugh was killed with a shotgun. So, how could it be Alex Murdaugh using both of those weapons. They also as you know didn't recover the murder weapon. So it's hard to say.

But we know from the defense they are trying to put this theory out there, maybe float the idea there was somebody who came in, maybe there is a lookout, somebody else was involved. But, of course, the prosecution is not buying that, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Randi Kaye in Walterboro, South Carolina, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Turning now to a bizarre story out of a zoo in Dallas.


Is it monkey business or something more nefarious? The zoo says two Emperor Tamarin monkeys were stolen Monday after their habitat was intentionally compromised.

And this is just the latest incident that has happened at the zoo since January 13th.

CNN's Rosa Flores is following this.

Rosa, help us understand this suspicious activity and the potential crimes that may have been committed here.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. These could be potential crimes. There's been four since mid-January. The latest one you mentioned, the disappearance of the two Emperor Tamarin monkeys that happened yesterday. And police say that their enclosure was compromised.

Then there's the case of the clouded leopard named Nova. Nova is considered a vulnerable animal. There's only 10,000 of them left in Southeast Asia. Now, in that case, the animal went missing. The zoo was shut down.

Nova was found but police also found that her enclosure had been compromised. They do think it's intentional. On that same day, there was another case, another enclosure where monkeys were being kept, specifically a breed named Langur. Those monkeys were also compromised but they stayed in their enclosure. It was compromised but they didn't go anywhere.

And then, finally, there's the death of a 35-year-old endangered vulture named Pin. Vulture died. Police say the cause and manner of death has not been determined but they are investigating. According to the zoo, Pin did not die from natural causes, Jake.

And so there's a lot of things circulating at the Dallas zoo right now. They're trying to figure out exactly what happened -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Rosa Flores, thank you so much.

Coming up next, Trump on tape. The deposition video released today revealing why the former president said he would be a, quote, absolute fool not to plead the Fifth.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, newly released video from the deposition last August of former President Donald Trump as a part of the New York attorney general civil investigation into fraudulent practices at the Trump Organization.

CNN's Kara Scannell is following the story for us.

Kara, what does the video show?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we got a 38-minute portion of this deposition that Trump gave to the New York attorney general's office in August. This is part of a civil investigation that ended in a civil lawsuit files one month later. Now, in this deposition, the portion that we've seen is the start of the interview where General James is there introducing Trump. It's a tight shot of the former president.

He's famously said only mobsters take the Fifth and innocent people don't use their Fifth Amendment rights against self-protection. Well, in this deposition, Trump does assert the Fifth Amendment and here is the reason why he said he did. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool. One statement or answer that is ever so slightly off, just ever so slightly by accident, by mistake such as it was a sunny beautiful day when actually it was slightly overcast would be met by law enforcement.


SCANNELL: Now the former president said time and again same answer, same answer when he was asked more than 400 questions by the lawyers for the New York attorney general's office. Now, she did sue him for $250 million. Trump has call that lawsuit and the investigation a witch hunt -- Jake.

TAPPER: So this is just a portion of the hours-long deposition. Are we able going to see the rest of it?

SCANNELL: So, the reason we got this portion is the attorney general's office put into the court record just this piece of the testimony to get on record the former president asserting the Fifth Amendment. Now, we have put in a request asking for the full deposition to be made public to us so we can see it and see the questions that her lawyers asked him and we'll see him repeatedly asserting his Fifth Amendment to not answer those questions -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kara Scannell in New York, thanks.

Coming up on THE LEAD, live from Jerusalem, the recent violence between Palestinians and the message delivered by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the West Bank today.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper, live from Jerusalem.

And this hour, formal charges in the deadly "Rust" movie set shooting. What court documents filed just moments ago revealed about Hollywood star Alec Baldwin.

Plus, new vote counting that puts Speaker McCarthy's plans in jeopardy as he tries to take Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

And leading this hour, we're live from Jerusalem after my exclusive conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The interview came only hours after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the West Bank and reacted to days of deadly bloodshed in this region. Blinken met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, urging a de-escalation in violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

CNN's Nic Robertson was also in the West Bank where some Palestinians fear Blinken's calls for peace may amount to nothing but words.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Weather matching the mood in the West Bank, gloomy, a rain drenched venue for Secretary of State Antony Blinken's meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Expectations steeped in past disappointments.

I'm 40 years old. I've seen it all before, this coffee vendor tells us. Many leaders here come and go and the situation remains the same.

His neighbor running the nearby nut store even more down beat.

It's from bad to worse, he tells us. Someone who is against our cause, what can we expect from him? Even experts in the art of diplomacy here see irony in Blinken's visit, that ultimately weakens their leaders.