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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Ohio Residents Demand Answers On Chemical Leak From Train; P.A. Governor On Recovery Efforts Following Train Derailment; Pennsylvania Gov. Shapiro On Holding Norfolk Southern Accountable Following Disastrous Train Derailment; Gov. Shapiro Asks Pennsylvania Lawmakers To Abolish Death Penalty; Physician Says Biden Remains "Healthy" And "Vigorous"; Rep. Barbara Lee Files Paperwork To Run For CA Senate Seat; Family Of Unarmed Black Man Shot And Killed By Police Views Video Of Incident; U.S. Police Officers Share Their Experiences In New Book; Deepfakes Being Used To Target And Harass Women Online. Aired 5- 6p ET
Aired February 16, 2023 - 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: Governor DeWine of Ohio says an emergency response team is working on a containment plan. Our coverage starts today with Jason Carroll, who's in East Palestine, Ohio, where the anger among citizens is understandably only growing.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody that came here expect to help a lot more than what we're getting right now.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Frustration, anger, and unanswered questions in East Palestine, Ohio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are my kids safe? Are the people safe? Is the future of this community safe?
CARROLL (voice-over): The mayor leading the meeting, at times speaking through a bullhorn to answer questions from distressed residents still worried about returning to their homes despite evacuation orders being lifted last week.
MAYOR TRENT CONAWAY, EAST PALESTINE, OHIO: The railroad did us wrong, so far they've worked with us and they're fixing it. But if that stops, I will guarantee you I will be the first one in line to fight that.
CARROLL (voice-over): As many residents are demanding more testing of air, water, and soil.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to let them stop the testing until you're satisfied.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the new testing.
CARROLL (voice-over): Not present at this community meeting, Norfolk Southern, the company that owns the train that derailed, sent a statement saying, "we have become increasingly concerned about the growing physical threat to our employees."
KELLY FELGER, EAST PALESTINE RESIDENT: OK, well, if you're afraid that somebody from Palestine is going to hurt your employees, what exactly did you do to us?
CARROLL (voice-over): It's not just the absence of Norfolk Southern that has some upset.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is Pete Buttigieg? Where is he at?
CONAWAY: I don't know. your guess is as good as me. yesterday was the first time I heard anything from the White House.
CARROLL (voice-over): The head of the EPA, Michael Regan, toured the derailment site and met with a resident overcome by what has happened.
KRISTINA FERGUSON, EAST PALESTINE RESIDENT: We need help. We do. We need President Biden. We need FEMA housing.
People were getting sick. We should not have been, like, back into town until all of this was done.
CARROLL (voice-over): Regan vowed to stay the course.
MICHAEL REGAN, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: We will be here for as long as it takes to see this process through. I want to assure the people of --
CARROLL (on camera): I just want to say, when you say as long as it takes, I think the question is long term. Is someone going to be here a year from now, two years from now to come back, test the water, test the soil?
REGAN: I'm very clear when I say as long as it takes. We will go through this process with the citizens of East Palestine for as long as it takes. The federal government will be here for as long as it takes.
CARROLL (voice-over): This morning, Ohio's governor spoke with officials at the White House to request more federal assistance, including help from the Department of Health and the CDC. As cleanup continues, results of air quality tests inside 474 homes were released. About 75 initially showed elevated levels of toxins in the air, but further testing showed no contaminants.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CARROLL: And, Jake, you heard there in the piece there was talk about where Secretary Buttigieg stands in all this. The Transportation secretary has been tweeting about the derailment, saying that there will be accountability. He also talked about in his tweets about the need for Congress to get involved and address rail safety. But I think from what we're hearing here on the ground is a lot of folks here in this community would like to have FaceTime with the secretary to address their concerns. Jake.
TAPPER: Jason Carroll, thank you so much.
Let's bring in CNN's Bill Weir.
Bill, Norfolk Southern, the railway in question, they made billions in profit last year, yet they are handing over a paltry million dollars to the citizens of East Palestine to deal with this crisis. Why could the brake system, do you think, have played a key role in what went wrong in East Palestine? Tell us more about that.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the train that derailed there and caused this catastrophe is actually using brakes that were designed around the civil wartime. Air brakes that break the train from the front all the way to the back one at a time. Sometimes on a really long train, it can take two minutes for that signal to reach the back, so it turns into this giant slinky from hell as the back cars slam into the front.
Of course, there is advancement on this in the 21st century. In the early 2000s, they developed electronically controlled air brakes where the brakes on every car fire simultaneously and they began encouraging industry to do this. Norfolk Southern tried this early on and raved about it as a safety mechanism. Even lobbied transportation officials say if we put these brakes on a train, you shouldn't have to inspect it at all. It's that safe.
But when Barack Obama tried to make them mandatory in 2014 after a series of derailments, at least for the explosive cars, industry fought it. The chemical industry, the railroad industry, they lobbied it down. They fought against speed limits. It did exist on those explosive carcinogen tanker cars until the Trump administration later in 2018 rolled it back altogether.
TAPPER: And Bill, tell us more about Norfolk Southern because they were bragging in their press releases about how many billions they made last year. And yet I'm really kind of unimpressed by their refusal to show up at the town hall and the paltry offerings they've made to the citizens that are suffering from this spill.
WEIR: There's nothing to stop the CEO from joining them via Zoom, Jake, that would be safe. If he's afraid of going there's nothing to stop him from a live video things like we do all the time now.
But, yes, they move a lot of mass to the tune of a $55 billion market cap. But just for perspective, back in 2015, they crashed a train in South Carolina that killed nine people. They had to treat 851 people. In the end, after fighting with the EPA, they paid a $4 million fine and then had to restock the lake with some fish.
TAPPER: Yes, $4 million. That's like change in the sofa at Norfolk Southern. Bill Weir, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Let's bring in the Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro.
The Palestine train derailment happened less than a quarter mile from the Ohio Pennsylvania state line. Governor Shapiro, you just announced that Pennsylvania will be conducting independent water sampling to monitor the possible contamination related to the train derailment. Are these tests that are already being done or are these going to be new tests?
GOV. JOSH SHAPIRO (D-PA): That's right, Jake. We have been providing the good people of Pennsylvania with the data that we're getting on any air monitoring, and we felt that it was important now to add to whatever is being done at the federal level or whatever Norfolk Southern is doing our own independent testing of water done by our Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Those tests will begin within a day or two, and we'll be providing all of the readings to the public.
We think it's really important to get those tests underway quickly so we can get a baseline reading. And then continue to do those tests at regular intervals. So if we see anything concerning, we can notify the public on the Pennsylvania side of the border immediately.
TAPPER: You wrote a letter to Alan Shaw, that's the President of Norfolk Southern, in which you outlined a series of mistakes you think the company made in the immediate aftermath of this crash, including, creating an environment of confusion, resulting in a lack of awareness for first responders, giving inaccurate information, and an overall, unwillingness to explore alternate courses of action to the proposed vent and burn. Is Norfolk Southern cooperating with you at all in the aftermath of this attack?
SHAPIRO: Well, I tell you, Jake, I think Norfolk Southern's conduct has really been shameful. You know, they load themselves up with lobbyists and lawyers, and then they give the middle finger to the good people of Pennsylvania. They made this process much more difficult than it needed to be.
Let me explain specifically. When you're dealing with an emergency situation, Jake, a snowstorm or train derailment, you name, it's imperative that we create what's known as a unified command structure. This was complicated a bit because we're dealing with two states, but I must say that Governor DeWine and our partners in Ohio cooperated greatly, and we worked really well together.
The hitch in all of this has been Norfolk Southern. They refused to really participate in that unified command, which created extra work. It added confusion. It made it harder for us to get the information out. It wasn't insurmountable, but they were not good stewards, good participants in this process, and they need to be held accountable.
Not just now, with this current situation in East Palestine, Ohio, and the potential effects it could have on Pennsylvania, but they need to be held to a higher account when it comes to federal policy. They work with such arrogance, such disregard for local communities and local residents. That needs to change, and I hope it does change as a result of this.
TAPPER: You did something interesting today that I haven't seen a lot of politicians do. You changed your mind on an issue. Today you called on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to abolish the death penalty in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania's last execution was carried out in 1999. In 2015, your predecessor, Governor Tom Wolf, announced a moratorium on executions.
Here's a clip of you announcing this decision to change your mind on this issue this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAPIRO: Two critical truths became clear to me about capital sentencing in our commonwealth. This system is fallible and the outcome is irreversible. I will not sign any execution warrants during my time as governor of the Commonwealth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So, you were elected as something of a law and order kind of Democrat. You got the endorsement of a lot of police unions and such. A, are you worried about this decision undermining that at all? And B, why did you change your mind?
SHAPIRO: You know, Jake, this isn't about politics or any particular constituency group. This was a matter of conscience and candidly, Jake, something I struggled with for quite some time.
You know, when I ran for attorney general back in 2016, I was very outspoken that I thought the capital punishment system was just. I thought it should be reserved for the most heinous of crimes, but I thought it was a just punishment. As time went on as attorney general and cases came across my desk, I found myself unable to ever seek the death penalty.
In a private conversation I had with my then eight, nine year old son, he asked me, you know, dad, how is it that killing someone as a punishment for them killing someone else, how is it that's OK? And you know, Jake, I couldn't look my kid in the eye and answer that question.
And then, in 2018, when a murderer went into the synagogue known as Tree of Life in Pittsburgh --
TAPPER: Let me interrupt you right there. Let me interrupt you.
SHAPIRO: -- a murderer --
TAPPER: Let me interrupt because I want to show the clip that I think you're about to refer to, because in 2018, right after that horrific Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the deadliest act of antisemitism --
SHAPIRO: Yes. TAPPER: -- in the United States history, 11 people killed, six wounded, you were attorney general and you came on the show and you told me that you wanted the death penalty for the shooter. I confess -- I've known you for a long time, I confess I was surprised by your position. Let me just roll that little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: The shooter is already facing 29 federal charges, some of which could theoretically be punishable by death. Do you want the feds to seek the death penalty?
SHAPIRO: I do. I think that this is an appropriate case for the feds to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So, go ahead. I'm sorry to interrupt.
SHAPIRO: Yes, no, I'm glad you played that clip. I referenced that in my remarks today at the church in West Philly where I made this announcement. It was after that. A combination of those cases coming across my desk as A.G., my inability to look my own son in the eye and explain my position to him. And then, I witnessed the courage and the grace of the families in Pittsburgh who had a loved one killed while they worshiped, who said to me, please, please discourage them from pursuing the death penalty.
If they could take that position after suffering what they did, then I certainly needed to rethink my position, and I did. I spent a lot of time rethinking. I know a lot of times in politics we get criticized for thinking -- rethinking positions, maybe changing their views, but I must say it ultimately came down to what I said in that clip you showed before, our system is fallible, and the outcome is irreversible. And I just fundamentally could not justify as governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that we be in the business of putting people to death.
And so, it really was a journey for me in many ways, a spiritual journey, one inspired by the good people in Pittsburgh, by folks I've met along the way, by my own son challenging me on a position that I honestly held for many years and realizing that it was not really a just position.
I must say, Jake, I didn't stand up in that church today and call on the legislature to fix our capital punishment system. I think it is not fixable. Instead, I ask them respectfully to come to the table, Republican and Democrat, and join me in passing a law in Pennsylvania to abolish the death penalty. And that is where I stand, and that is what I believe in. And that, to me, is a matter of conscience --
SHAPIRO: -- and morality. TAPPER: It's two different things, though, right? One is the idea, the fallibility of the system, which you don't have to convince me of that - I mean, I just don't believe that we've never, as a country, have put an innocent person to death, I just don't believe it, just knowing how often people -- innocent people go to prison and are later freed because of the Innocence Project and on and on. But you're also saying, like, even if there was a way to guarantee that every single person who faced capital punishment was in fact guilty undeniably, which is, of course, impossible, but you're also saying you don't -- you still don't believe in it?
SHAPIRO: That's exactly right. I think to me, it comes down to an issue of morality and the fundamental belief that our commonwealth should not be in the business of putting people to death.
And listen, Jake, I'm someone, as attorney general, who have -- has put people behind bars for the rest of their lives. I believe in stiff sentences. I believe in making sure that victim's interests are heard in a courtroom and at sentencing. I believe in making sure we take dangerous people off the streets.
SHAPIRO: I'll take a backseat to no one on that. I just don't believe that the Commonwealth should be putting people to death.
TAPPER: One last question. You and I went to the same high school, a conservative Jewish day school. I'm older than you, so we're not classmates. But the death penalty is fine according to the Old Testament. There's no problem with the death penalty in Judaism.
And you talk about your faith a lot. You talk about being an observant Jew a lot. What you're doing right now, I wouldn't call it contrary to scripture, but it's not exactly what we're taught in the Bible.
SHAPIRO: Yes. It's interesting you raise that. In many cases, I reflect on my faith. Not so much on individual cases, but really on something that drives me into service.
And in fact, I reflected on my Jewish faith when I was at a Jesuit law school, at Georgetown Law School, and wrote a paper about the death penalty and actually drew on Jewish law to talk about how there were instances where capital punishment could be carried out. It required a certain number of direct eyewitnesses and a very high evidentiary standard, but it was still allowed. I thought about that when I contemplated my position on this, as I entered public service, and I guess perhaps it did drive my position early on. But as I evolved on this, as I thought about it more, as I reflected on my own conscience, maybe not the literal writings in our faith, I just found myself in this position that I announced today where I could not, in good conscience as the Governor of the Commonwealth, ever sign an execution warrant, and instead I'll be signing reprieves.
TAPPER: And you also know that eyewitness testimony is pretty much garbage quite often, as you have risen through the ladder from law school. Not always, but often it's unreliable.
Anyway, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, you've obviously given a lot of thought to this. We appreciate you talking to us about it. And thanks so much.
SHAPIRO: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: Russia gives Ukraine a preview of its new offensive with a massive missile attack. What this means as we approach one year since the start of the invasion. Then, Tesla announces a major recall over an alarming safety risk. Stick around.
TAPPER: Topping our world lead now with just eight days until the one year mark of Putin's brutal illegal invasion of Ukraine, Russia launched a, quote, "massive missile attack overnight." At least 36 missiles, according to Ukrainian officials. One Russian strike demolished an older couple's house in the eastern city of Pavlohrad. Local official described the husband and wife as quiet and friendly. They said they liked to grow grapes. The 79-year-old woman died on the spot.
Let's bring in CNN's David McKenzie in Kyiv for us.
David, do officials there think this type of assault is going to continue every day until and beyond the one year mark?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think the short answer is they do think that, Jake. There's been this strike of missiles overnight. And most of those, at least half of them taken down by air defenses here in Ukraine, you saw those horrible pictures from east of where I'm standing of civilian areas destroyed by those missiles.
There's also been very fierce fighting around Bakhmut in the eastern zone of this fight. A Ukrainian official saying that they are fighting hard, they're digging in, that the Russians are getting resupplied in that area frequently because of the rate of attacks. President Zelenskyy tonight saying that they have to withstand this fight, this pressure they're feeling before this anniversary, and then possibly fight back. Jake.
TAPPER: David, we're also hearing there was a significant prisoner swamp today?
MCKENZIE: This is a bit of good news. You see these images of 101 prisoners, 100 soldiers, one civilian. It speaks to just how long this has been going on. The civilian was the deputy mayor from an area south of where I'm standing. He's been in custody, well, as a prisoner of war for more than 330 days.
This will be seen as a win for Ukraine, but there are many more POWs in Russian hands right now as people wait and anticipate to see if those probing attacks from the Russians will break through those front lines, particularly in the east of this fighting, which is very, very fierce indeed. Jake.
TAPPER: All right. David McKenzie in Kyiv, Ukraine, thanks so much.
Coming up, President Biden just had his physical. What we know about the hospital visit and the one number that the President reportedly hates discussing. Stay with us.
TAPPER: President Biden back from Walter Reed Medical Center after undergoing a routine physical earlier today, his second one since becoming president. I think it's his first since turning 80, though. CNN's Phil Mattingly is live for us at the White House.
Phil, because of the President's age, which we're supposed to -- he's very sensitive about it, a lot of attention is placed on his medical visits. You have some new reporting about how sensitive he is whenever his age, which is 80, is mentioned. Tell us about that.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, when you talk to advisers, they acknowledge it's an obvious reality one the President is very aware of. He's the one who wakes up every morning at the age of 80. And yet, part of the reason there's a level of sensitivity there is because they believe and he believes so much has been accomplished in these last two years. He's been able to get most of his agenda passed. He's been able to move things through Congress, deal with COVID work on a different foreign policy than his predecessor had. And perhaps that's diminished by discussion about whether or not he's too old either to serve her office or to run again.
Now, we just a few moments ago got the results, a memo from the President's physician related to that visit to Walter Reed, that first physical, as you noted, Jake, since the end of 2021. And those results say President Biden remains, quote, "healthy and vigorous." It also says that he is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.
So, a good news report for the President, there's no signs it would be anything other than that. But when you talk about a president and a team preparing to announce a reelection campaign, which they very much are behind the scenes, what's interesting is the point that they believe while they understand there is a perception related to his age, they see the polling about people maybe not wanting him to run again because of his age, they don't believe it's a reflection of who he is behind the scenes. As one advisor told Isaac Dovere and I as we are reporting this out, it's part of who he is, as much a part of his -- as his record legislative accomplishments in the last two years, as much a part of his empathy and his connection with people.
They believe that when it comes down to it, when he runs for reelection, it'll be a choice, not something about his age. Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly at the White House for us.
Let us discuss this. Margaret, let me start with you. So Biden's doctor may have given him a clean bill of health. By the way, has a White House physician ever given whatever the President, I mean, ever in the history of White House physicians. I'm sure George Washington's --
TAPPER: -- great teeth. Perfect teeth. Anyway, but this doesn't put to bed the questions about the fact that he's 80 years old. Phil Mattingly and Edward-Isaac Dovere write, quote, while top White House aides bristle at any suggestion that the President's age is a liability. Others in the building quietly worry that this may be actively underplaying the concerns that they're hearing from their own friends and family members."
MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
TAPPER: You know, so it's interesting, Margaret. It used to be whenever you brought this up with the President, he'd say, watch me, watch me.
TAPPER: When I interviewed him last October, he didn't say that. He said something like, but look at my record.
TAPPER: You know what I mean? It was a different answer.
TALEV: And that's because perceptions matter. And part of the reason I think the White House is sensitive to this is because the coverage and the online coverage also matter. I'm going to give you a preview, but save the details so you can read it yourself tonight.
Axios does a monthly focus group with swing voters. These are people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and then Joe Biden in 2020. The latest one was out of Michigan. The story will be tonight. This is Alexi McCammond's focus group that she watches each month. These are 13 swing voters.
13 of 13 said they would like Biden to face a primary challenger. And their primary reason was concerns around his age. Many of them say that he gives them kind of a frail vibe. Now it's 13 people. Focus groups can become leading if one person convinces the others. It's not a poll, it's not scientifically, you know, important, but it gives you some nuance about the conversations that are going on and how people feel.
And there are a couple of other things about this focus group that really stood out to me. One is that no one had any clear alternative on the Democratic side. It's not like those 13 people were like -- TAPPER: In Michigan, they weren't thinking of Gretchen Whitmer.
TALEV: They were not thinking of Gretchen Whitmer. The only person who could name anyone was someone said Cory Booker. I don't even know where that came from. But like -- so there is not a groundswell for alternative X. And that, you know, I guess, helps Biden. On the primary side, on theoretical general election side, the concern was that when they were sort of describing their -- someone who they would leave Biden for in a general election --
TALEV: -- they liked the idea of a white male governor who's a Republican and non-controversial. Tell me who that person is and we can do (INAUDIBLE).
TAPPER: I mean, I've had answer for you too. You said non- controversial. I would have said Ron DeSantis, but he could be controversial, although not in Florida. Yes?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: 13 out of 13 people who don't understand politics that much I can say, because 13 people who think that it would be good for the Democratic Party or Joe Biden to have a primary --
POWERS: -- don't understand how it works. That is a recipe for losing. Like so -- so maybe if these are people that don't care about that and they're totally fine with Donald Trump becoming president --
POWERS: -- or Ron DeSantis becoming president, then it's a great idea. And I think, Margaret, you hit on like probably the most important point, which is they don't have an idea of anybody -- other person. And so, what --
TAPPER: That's the problem.
POWERS: -- what are people doing? What are Democrats doing in particular talking -- not talking, but talking like, we're so afraid to talk about it, but we're going to talk to everyone --
TAPPER: Are these 13 Democrats?
TALEV: About -- a little more than half are, but then others are independents. There's only a couple of Republicans here. And it's not about strategy, it's just about what's your gut feeling.
TALEV: You embrace Biden, you know, in 2020, would you embrace him again?
POWERS: What I'm saying is they don't -- I don't mean it even as a criticism. They're not supposed to understand necessarily the ins and outs of primarily. The point is, if they understood what that meant, you know, that is almost handing it to a Ron DeSantis, and maybe they support Ron DeSantis.
TAPPER: Except Ron DeSantis is not a guaranteed Republican nominee.
POWERS: Right. Well, I'm just saying whoever the Republican is, it's like having a primary for Biden would leave him either extremely bloodied, you know, or somebody maybe would win also extremely bloodied and not with incumbency.
TAPPER: So -- but Doug, I think Donald Trump is 77.
DOUG HEYE, FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yes.
TAPPER: I believe he's --
HEYE: 76 going to be 77.
TAPPER: Going to be 77. So he's not exactly, you know, fresh daisy either. And listen to Nikki Haley -- well, I don't have the clip actually a lot, but Nikki Haley, in her speech announcing, I assume jokingly suggested that politicians over the age of 75 need to have a mental competency test. Now, I'm sure her people will say, oh, that was aimed at Joe Biden, but come on, that was also aimed at Donald Trump.
HEYE: When you're talking about generational change, it's very clear that you're talking about more than one person at a time. And there are two big dogs at this point. There's Donald Trump on the Republican side and Joe Biden on the Democratic side.
People can hear what they want to hear, but very clearly, the Trump people are aware of this. They know what she's saying. They know how she's saying it. And it's going to be interesting to see if Donald Trump can continue to hold back as these criticisms are being veiled. Because if she takes that one or two steps further and actually calls out Donald Trump, we know what he's capable of. It starts with nicknames, and it ends up in real bad places for whoever challenges them.
TAPPER: And Nic, I mean, I would say that those who question Donald Trump's fitness are looking at different characteristics than those who question Joe Biden's fitness, but both of them could be related to age.
NICHOLAS WU, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Right. And what I find interesting about this whole conversation, as someone who covers Capitol Hill every day, is how the age conversation plays over there, too. It's really not a chamber of the government that's known for being particularly young or sprightly, and Democrats over there just went through a huge generational change of their own.
The trio of Hoyer, Pelosi and Clyburn passed torches on to a generation that was decades younger. At the same time, they're not willing to say that they want to pass the torch at the top of the ticket either, right. Democrats that I've talked to, you know, are saying that they value the amount of institutional knowledge over there, whereas, Republicans, you know, the conversation is starting to shift a bit.
TAPPER: Although, I mean, what's related to that, Margaret, is Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who yesterday or the day before announced that she is not going to seek re-election. She is old. But in addition to old, she has had serious memory problems for years that have been covered in The New yorker. They've been covered all over the place.
She hasn't done a live TV interview in a long, long time or any, even a tape TV interview in a long, long time. Just having formerly been a Capitol Hill reporter, I mean, I'm old enough to remember Strom Thurmond wandering the halls, and he clearly was not necessarily 100 percent aware where he was at any given time.
TALEV: Yes, although, you know, I think there's two things. Number one, when you're a senator, right, you're one of 100. That's different than being the president. So I think a different level of scrutiny is placed on the senator. Those are -- but on the other hand, I think it's a real -- it has been a real problem, something that Democrats have been talking about.
The other thing that we are seeing, and we're seeing it now, not in politics, but in pop cultural with the sad news about Bruce Willis today, is you don't have to be 90 years old to be going through memory problems or dementia.
And I just think the competency test at 75. Why not make it a competency test at 35? There are plenty of --
TALEV: -- older people who are -- have a lot of mental acuity, plenty of younger people who are either dealing with temporal problems or it's not about dementia, they just, you know, and that's up to voters whether they have the skills to hold the office.
POWERS: The issue that I have with this conversation about Biden's age is that it's always just about his age. It's not really about, oh, he wasn't able to do x, he wasn't able to do y. He has a great record, right? And even the Democrats who are talking about his age would say he has a good record. He's done a lot of great things.
So it's like being 80 is not a disqualifier. Being any age and not having the mental competency to be president is a disqualifier.
TAPPER: Thanks, one and all, for being here. I appreciate it.
Coming up, the world's bestselling author lets police officers tell their stories. The good, the bad, the ugly. James Patterson will join me live. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our national lead, another family's grief after police shot and killed their loved one. This time in Shreveport, Louisiana, where 43-year-old Alonzo Bagley died 13 days ago. Police say they were responding to a domestic disturbance. Bagley jumped from a second- floor balcony and ran. He came around a corner and was shot in the chest by Officer Alexander Tyler.
Police say they did not find any weapons on Bagley. This was not Bagley's first run in with Shreveport police. In 2018, he filed a federal lawsuit against the department, accusing them of punching him in the face while he was handcuffed.
CNN's Ryan Young has been following the story in Shreveport, Louisiana. And Ryan, you just spoke with the family?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we spoke with the family, we spoke with the mayor. We even spoke with the police chief. Look, we got the details about this, Jake, maybe a few days ago when someone called a source and said we needed to see this video. The video was finally released. The LSP has been the lead of this investigation. After this police involved shooting, the state investigation took over because they wanted to make sure this went the right way.
And I can tell you, people have been on edge in the city because, obviously, Mr. Bagley was unarmed. And the video that we can't show you just yet, because we are redacting parts of it because it is very graphic, you can see when the officers arrived, there's a discussion, and then Mr. Bagley jumps from a second story balcony, and then there's a foot pursuit.
Well, what we've noticed in this video is that Officer Tyler had his weapon drawn, and at some point, they meet when the two kind of almost bump into each other, and the officer opens fire, it's one single shot. And I can tell you, with the video, there's a lot of discussion about where the hands were of Mr. Bagley. His hands were empty.
Were they up? Were they down? That's been a part of the discussion. But for this family, they've obviously been torn to pieces. Take a listen to Mr. Bagley's brother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
XAVIER SUDDS, ALONZO BAGLEY'S BROTHER: I'm looking ahead at Alexander Tyler like, dude, why is your gun drawn in the first place? Why you feel so threatening in the first place about this? He could have wrestled him down. He could have, you know, yelled anything, but you chose to take my brother life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Jake, a lot of pain here. One of the things that stood out to this family, though, is the mayor didn't apologize or didn't call for the first few days. The mayor actually apologized for that just a short time ago. Jake?
TAPPER: And Ryan, it was announced today that the officer who shot and killed Bagley has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide. Tell us more about that.
YOUNG: Yes. We also got a heads up about that too, Jake. So yesterday went to the officer's house, and we had a short conversation with him. He told us his attorney would be talking for him. And today, the attorney basically laid out the fact that he doesn't believe that this is negligible homicide. He believes that he was running behind Mr. Bagley.
You can't see what was clearly in his hands. Obviously, he's trying to fight for his client. This officer was in court today, and actually, he was in the jail, and they did a video conference, and he was in an orange jumpsuit. But take a listen to the lawyer right now talk about just why he believes his client should eventually beat these charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DHU THOMPSON, ATTORNEY FOR OFFICER ALEXANDER TYLER: The mere fact that an argument is being made by the investigator in court that he was unarmed does not necessarily mean he's not a threat to the officer. There's not a requirement that every suspect has a weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Jake, so much has happened here. You had LSP put this out. You had them arrest this man. You had the mayor come out and basically apologize to the family. You had the entire city council here. Obviously, the city is worried with the rising crime rate that is experiencing how they move forward as a city.
TAPPER: All right, Ryan Young in Shreveport, Louisiana, thank you so much.
As we continue to cover police shootings and put a spotlight on disturbing power-driven demeanor, some officers exercise when they put on their badge. Bestselling author James Patterson and co-author Matt Eversmann want to remind us that there are a lot of really good selfless law enforcement officers out there as well.
In their newly released book "Walk the Blue Line", they tell some of those stories. And joining us now to discuss is James Patterson. Thanks so much for joining us, James. Really appreciate it.
JAMES PATTERSON, AUTHOR, "WALK THE BLUE LINE": OK, yes.
TAPPER: So I mean, at a time when there is so much coverage of bad police behavior, why did you and Eversmann think it was important to write about the heroic police officers as well? PATTERSON: That is -- I don't think that's what the book is about honestly. I had a sleepless night last night, especially between 3:30 and 5:30, worrying that I would not be able to communicate the importance of this book in five minutes. And this is the truth about cops. And it's not about good cops. It's about good cops and bad cops, and just how difficult it is.
If you read this book, in my opinion, you will understand Memphis a whole lot better. You will understand Minneapolis. I don't know about Shreveport, because, you know, one of the things with cops is if you compare it to the military, Mogadishu or Kabul or Baghdad, nobody blames the soldiers for the problems in those cities. And so many people, they're going to blame Chicago on the police. That's just not accurate.
If you read this book, you will just see how difficult it is, how it weighs on cops. But there are cops that are cowboys in this book. And the one thing about good cops is nobody hates bad cops more than good cops. We taught -- we had 7,000 pages of interviews and over 150 cops that we talked to, and not one of them had anything but negative things to say about the guy in Minneapolis.
TAPPER: Right. And let me read --
PATTERSON: Everybody, every single one of them said, I got no time for that guy.
TAPPER: Let me read an officer's excerpt from the book where he talks about crooked cops. He says, "The truth is, the vast majority of us go about our jobs honestly. But dirty cops exist and they are worse than the people we throw in jail." And that's the point that you were just making.
Many people --
TAPPER: -- especially those in black and brown communities, feel targeted by police, view them as corrupt. But no one hates bad cops more than good cops.
PATTERSON: But the other piece of it is, people don't realize how dangerous is even with the Shreveport thing. And I have no idea. I don't know Shreveport, I don't know, you know, whether they have a lot of trouble there or not.
But we did a ride along with the sheriff at one point. I've done a bunch of ride alongs. One of the things that the sheriff said, he said that in that past year, they had a million 200,000 cries for help just in that county. And there's a lot of mistakes that can happen. You got 1 million, 200,000, you just don't know -- you go to somebody's house, you don't know what's going to happen.
You have to pull over a car that's, you know, somebody's driving erratically, you don't know what's going to happen. And one of the things that they do with civilians in the county is they'll bring them in those things where you have to in two or three seconds decide whether you're going to shoot or not. Everybody who does that goes, oh my God. Now I understand how difficult that is.
TAPPER: It's an incredible --
PATTERSON: And I think it would be great for people in the media, go do that, man. And suddenly you go like, OK, I'm beginning to understand this. People will understand cops if -- and people think they do, but they don't. You read this book, you really, really, really understand.
But once again, it's not a defense of them, it's just laying it all out there.
PATTERSON: You won't make your own judgments on what you think of cops.
TAPPER: Another story in the book touches on the stigma that officers sometimes face or feel when struggling with mental health. There's an officer from Louisiana you quote --
TAPPER: -- saying, "If I seek out a different resource like a therapist, I'm going to have to pay for it out of pocket and keep it a secret. Another burden I'll have to carry". Is this an issue a lot officers talk about?
PATTERSON: It's huge.
PATTERSON: It's huge. And the military has done a decent job, especially with veterans dealing with PTSD and not with police and not with teachers either. It just needs to get dealt with. It needs to get out in the open. You know, Matt Eversmann, who's an Army ranger, my partner in this, and, you know, when you get deployed, you have time off.
You know, cops from the beginning -- from when they get in, they have no time. They're not deployed, they don't get rest time. It's just a constant day after day. And that needs to be dealt with if the police are going to get better and better. And most cops want to get better. They want reform, they want change, they want to do their jobs as well as they can. They want to protect and serve, most of them.
TAPPER: The book is, "Walk the Blue Line: They Walk the Line Between Life and Death" by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann. James Patterson, thanks so much for joining us. Always good to see you.
PATTERSON: Thank you. Thank you.
TAPPER: The book is out now and I appreciate it.
Coming up, the dark and hidden dangers of new technology. How women are unknowingly being used in deepfake porn videos. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Our tech lead now, you might have heard about deepfakes, the hyper realistic but false videos made with the help of artificial intelligence. They could be harmless and silly. Here's one of Tom Cruise, though not really Tom Cruise tripping in a shoe store. Or they could be used for something far more nefarious, such as targeting, harassing, and abusing women.
CNN's Donie O'Sullivan talks to one woman who was horrified to find that her face had been replicated into pornographic videos.
SWEET ANITA, TWITCH STREAMER: It's very, very surreal to watch yourself do something you've never done.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Streamer Sweet Anita has almost 2 million followers on Twitch, where she plays video games and openly talks about having Tourette syndrome.
SWEET ANITA: I tend to say something inappropriate that I don't mean to, and I'm not thinking.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): She was horrified when she found out her face was being used in so called deep fake porn.
SWEET ANITA: Well, I watched some of one of them, like a few seconds, and I was like, no, I can't do this. I can't watch through all of these. Like, this is too much. It's often hardcore pornography, but it's also usually degrading or aggressive sex acts.
SAMANTHA COLE, REPORTER, VICE MOTHERBOARD: It's extremely traumatic when this kind of thing happens.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Samantha Cole was one of the first people to report on deepfakes.
COLE: Deepfakes actually comes from the username of someone on reddit who was taking people's faces and putting them on former's bodies using AI algorithms.
SWEET ANITA: It's so hyper realistic, it's genuinely scary.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Deepfakes are made using artificial intelligence technology.
HANY FARID, PROFESSOR, UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY: These days there are apps on your phone. You can go to and upload either a single image, and AI technology will re-render that image with the person without their clothes.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): When deepfakes first came on the scene around 2017, there was concern they would be used to make it look like politicians said or did something they didn't do, like this deepfake demonstration of former President Obama.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): But so far, this technology has primarily been used against women.
COLE: From the very beginning, the person who created deepfakes was using it to make pornography of women without their consent.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): First, the focus was on female celebrities.
COLE: And then that's kind of how it spread and how it became huge, because everyone wanted to see basically a fake sex tape of their favorite celebrity.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): But now it's moved beyond movie stars.
SWEET ANITA: There are people who just want to see someone be humiliated that they personally know, and that's a market for it. This could just flip around and be found by your students if you teach or like some patients, if you're a nurse or a doctor. Like, this can affect your standing.
COLE: They're using women's images as if they're, you know, stock images of fruit. That's how detached they are from the reality of their people behind these pictures.
SWEET ANITA: For the people who create this, I feel like a lot of them dehumanize us and don't actually realize we're real people who live in the consequences.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Some lawmakers have sought to crack down on non-consensual deepfake porn, but Alisyn is developing at breakneck speed.
FARID: We haven't even solved the problems of the technology sector from 10, 20 years ago. And this field is moving much, much faster than the original technology revolution.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): This is an issue that goes beyond the halls of Congress and Silicon Valley.
COLE: I don't know what the actual solution is, other than getting to that fundamental problem of disrespect and not consent.
SWEET ANITA: I want to push for a world where there are more consequences for the perpetrator than for the victim. No one knows him. He created this, and he created all these consequences for all of these women, and now he's just booth gone. No one knows. (END VIDEOTAPE)
TAPPER: And our thanks to Donie O'Sullivan for that report.
Our coverage continues next with Pamela Brown in "THE SITUATION ROOM".