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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Urgent Manhunt For Texas Shooter Accused Of Killing 5; I-55 Closed In Illinois After Numerous Crashes Caused By Dust Storm; Trump Attorney Continues Cross-Examination Of E. Jean Carroll; Hunter Biden Ordered To Answer Questions About Finances, Art Sales; JPMorgan Chase Buys First Republic's Assets In Rescue Deal; Thousands Try To Escape From Port Sudan; Yellen Tells Congress Debt Limit Could Be Reached By June 1. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 01, 2023 - 16:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Eating the banana was performance art itself, right? Eating the concept of the banana is very heady, I know, it's a complicated stuff.


SANCHEZ: But, listen, $120,000, we could split that money. We could split that money.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: If we get an offer first for that, I'll be your volunteer tomorrow.

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That does it for "CNN NEWS CENTRAL".

THE LEAD starts right now.

SCIUTTO: Oh, my goodness.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The manhunt for a suspected killer in Texas is now expanding.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Where is Francisco Oropeza? Police say that the man previously deported four times killed his neighbors execution style after they complained about noise from his Friday night gunfire. And now, agents at the border are being told to be on alert, as authorities admit they have no idea where he is.

Plus, E. Jean Carroll, back on the stand after aggressive cross examination of Donald Trump's attorneys. Her answers to some of their challenging questions, as they seek to undermine her credibility.

And, the second largest bank collapse in U.S. history. First Republic taken over by JPMorgan Chase earlier, are more banks in jeopardy of going down? How secure or your deposits? And how secure is the U.S. economy?


Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we start today with our national lead and the urgent manhunt to find the suspect behind the massacre. More than 200 law enforcement officers are currently searching for the man they say murdered five people on Friday night at a home outside of Houston, Texas. Police say they don't have any real leads, 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza.

Sources tell CNN that federal officers patrolling the southern border have been told to be on the look out in case Oropeza tries to flee to Mexico, he is after all, a Mexican national. And a government sources he had been deported from the U.S. at least four times before. Survivors of the attacks say Oropeza shot up his neighbor's house after they asked him to stop firing his weapon so close to the property because their baby was trying to sleep.

The murdered included nine-year-old Daniel Lazo Guzman and his mother Sonia. Police say all of the victims appeared to have been shot execution style.

CNN's Ed Lavandera starts off our coverage from Cleveland, Texas, where the other innocent victims have also been identified.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is day three of the manhunt for 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza, accused of shooting and killing five people in Cleveland, Texas, on Friday night.

And according to the FBI, they still have no leads in the shootings of nine-year-old Daniel Enrique Lazo Guzman, his mother, Sonia Argentina Guzman, Diana Velazquez Alvarado, Julisa Molina Rivera, and Jose Jonathan Casarez.

JAMES SMITH, FBI HOUSTON SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: What we need from the public is any type of information because right now, we're just going into dead ends.

LAVANDERA: There's an $80,000 reward for information leading investigators to the suspect, who the FBI calls armed and dangerous. While officers searched door to door in neighborhoods north of Houston.

SMITH: We have almost 200 law enforcement personnel from federal, state, and like local agencies trying to bring this subject into custody.

LAVANDERA: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Oropeza has been deported at least four times, the first in March 2009, and was convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2012. The local sheriff said Oropeza had been drinking before the violence on Friday begin, detailing the events that led up to the shooting.

SHERIFF GREG CAPERS, SAN JACINTO COUNTY, TEXAS: The victims came over to the fence, hey, do you mind not shooting in the yard, we have a young baby that's trying to go to sleep.

LAVANDERA: Wilson Garcia, whose wife and nine-year-old son was shot and killed Friday night, says they called 911 five times that night. They asked the gunman to shoot away from his property.

He said, instead, the gunman started shooting inside of the house, where 15 people, including at least four children were present, only ten survives.

CAPERS: Everybody that was shot was shot from the neck of, almost execution style.

LAVANDERA: Multiple people were found dead in different rooms, authorities say that they believe that two women died shielding children.

Garcia says as his wife laid dying, one of the women helped him jump out of the window so that he could survive for his two other children.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott unleashed a firestorm of criticism after the shootings, when he tweeted, I have announced a $50,000 reward for info on the criminal who killed five illegal immigrants Friday.


At the same time, the sheriff gave an emotional response about the term used to describe the victims.

CAPERS: My heart is with this eight-year-old little boy. I don't care if he was here legally.


LAVANDERA (on camera): And, Jake, a neighbor of Francisco Oropeza, also detailed a violent outburst that happened at a neighborhood party in baptismal celebration about a year and a half ago. This neighbor says that Oropeza and his wife and family were invited to the party, and then a deejay playing music in the front yard. A

nother neighbor asked him to turn down the music, and that made Oropeza, according to this woman and, neighbor so angry that he pulled a nine millimeter handgun in front of everyone and emptied a magazine full of ammunition into the grant. She says that after that, the families did not communicate very much -- Jake.

TAPPER: Ed Lavandera, thank so much.

Joining us now to discuss, CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell, who used to work at the FBI. And also Juliette Kayyem, who served at the Department of Homeland Security.

Josh, we're going on nearly three full days the police say that they have no credible leads. What is going on behind the scenes as they try to locate the suspect? Are you surprised three days later that there are still no leads?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very difficult work. We know that initially, Jake, police were able to locate the suspect's cell phone and track it for some period of time. But then on Saturday, the day after this horrific shootings, they found this phone that was recovered by authorities. He no longer had it on his person.

We also know that he used bloodhounds to try to track him. They eventually lost the scent. Now at a dead end, and were told by officials that they're going door to door, actually trying to ask people in the area if you have seen this person, do you have a ring doorbell camera footage for example that can help us put this person in a particular location at any given time?

Multiple law enforcement sources say that officers on both sides of the border, the U.S. Mexico border on alert for this person in case he tries to flee to Mexico. Of course, Jake, police doing what they say so often, appealing to the public, offering an $80,000 reward, hoping that somebody will see something and pick up the phone to call 911.

TAPPER: And, Juliette, on the Mexican side of this, the suspect is a Mexican national, he was in this country illegally, he was previously deported four times for being in this country illegally. I would think that would complicate the search. But

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It absolutely would. It means that he has relatively recent ties to Mexico. He's not been here for 20 or 30 years, and he's just been trying to get underneath the radar.

There's so many questions about his status, and his ability to cross the border. If you look at 2009 to '12 -- 2012, 2016, how he got in most recently, it's not at all clear.

But he is having interactions with law enforcement. We know in our reporting about this party, we know that there were concerns about him. It just goes, in some ways, to the permissiveness, not just of our borders, but also anybody that's been down to that part of the country who knows that there is a different attitude about like legally and illegality, and I think we heard that from the sheriff, the this system is understood differently there than the sort of legalistic aspects that I think we tend to view it as.

I think this is going to have to be explained about how he was able to get in here. And then of course, what was happening in Mexico, because if he has families, ties still, their chances are he got there relatively quickly.

TAPPER: Josh, a source told CNN that he had -- a suspect had a collection of weapons. But if he was indeed in the country illegally, which he, was he could not legally purchased those firearms. Is that not a problem if you want to get a gun?

CAMPBELL: No, it certainly is. I can tell you, a native Texan, somebody grew up involved and youth shooting sports. It's so easy to get a gun in Texas if you're buying it from a private seller. If you buy it from a licensed dealer, you're required to go through a federal background check.

But again, if it's a person to person sale, you meet somebody on Facebook, you decide let's meet up, I want to buy your gun. Or you sell your gun to a friend, you don't have to go through that background check. Although you're right, Jake, those people that are in this country illegally cannot purchase a weapon. These point to point sales between private sellers and purchasers create a lot of loopholes.

TAPPER: Juliette, some advocates and Democrats have been criticizing Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott after Abbott posted, quote, I've announced a 50,000 dollar reward for the information on the criminal who killed five illegal immigrants on Friday, unquote, referring to the five victims as illegal immigrants. The governor's office has acknowledged that at least one of the victims might have been in the U.S. legally.

But, as we heard from law enforcement officials just a minute ago, these are five victims. Does it matter if they were in the country illegally or not?

KAYYEM: No, no. I take a different approach to this.


Look, I mean, obviously, the governor knew what he was doing, he knows what the term illegal means, rather than using the appropriate term, which is undocumented.

But I want to pose a different challenge the governor has related to, and it might go to why we are not able to find him. He is now put this as an illegal or legal immigrant issue, in other words, part of the hunt. You saw what communities are likely aware of this suspect, and it's going to be people whose status is not known, or whose status might be unlawful.

Now, anyone -- Josh knows this, anyone in law enforcement knows that what you need to do is create trust with that community, and say, look, we're not using this for deportation reasons, we're not using this as a ruse to get you out of the country, we need your help. And so, while the sheriff is saying that everybody, help us, these are populations of people, undocumented people, that Abbott just completely undermined that by putting in in the lens of, they are illegals. Putting it in the immigration lens.

I think that we should be challenging Governor Abbott, not just on a politics of immigration, but also just how this might possibly be hurting the very manhunt that all of us want, whatever our immigration status is.

TAPPER: Yeah, Juliette Kayyem, Josh Campbell, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it. We have some breaking news in our national lead now. Police are reporting multiple fatalities as a result of a dust storm in central Illinois. That interstate that you're looking at right now is now shut down. Details just coming into CNN, we'll bring that to you next.

And Hunter Biden in court. The paternity case in Arkansas that likely has the Justice Department and House Republicans taking notes.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you now. A dangerous dust storm has unfortunately turned deadly in Central Illinois. The state police say that multiple people are dead, at least 30 others have been taken to the hospital after low visibility lead to multiple pileups on the interstate. Police say anywhere between 60 or 80 cars and tractor trailers were involved in those wrecks.

Let's bring in CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

Chad, what caused the storm?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Low pressure center in a cold front that came over the weekend, brought very cold air. We know that. Also on the map behind me, everywhere that you see red, that is a 40 mile per hour greater wind gust coming right now, coming in from the west, right across a north south highway. So here's a wind coming in, and i- 55 is like that. In the wind blew right in front of the interstate and made that terrible, terrible dust storm. Here is Springfield, Illinois, right through here. Here is i-55.

Now, I'm going to zoom in to show you what else, not just the wind, made this event. Farm fields, all of these plows going through the farm fields this time of year, mixing up the dirt. It is not just one packed layer just -- all the sudden you had all of the farmers with their disks in their plows making this dust loose. When the wind blew today, 45 miles per hour, the dust from that equipment made this dust.

TAPPER: With fatal consequences. Chad Myers, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Turning to our world lead. Today in Paris, May Day, labor rallies for May 1st were instead wide scale protest. Some turned violent. At one point, police even used water cannons on crowds.

CNN's Melissa Bell is in Paris for us.

Melissa, the retirement plan, that's a done deal. So, can these protests have any impact?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is happening from September, Jake, the French will be working longer than they had been in the past. I think that the point of the union today is to really get the numbers

on the street to show that even if this particular pension reform has gone through, any of the reforms that Emmanuel Macron may have been planning as legacy reforms for his next four years, they are going to conjure up these protesters on the street to make that as difficult as they can.

It's a clean up operation going around me. This is one of the buildings that burned throughout the day here at the plaster that national, or rather what it is left of it. It was a day of -- was how quickly it escalated. That was because you really have far more of those black block, the extreme left wing protesters who come out seeking confrontation with the police, but also what we saw was very heavy-handed police tactics, at least a couple of times, very elderly women being manhandled as they were taking off into police vehicles.

So, the events of today here in Paris really would have done nothing to calm the minds of anyone. In fact, the unions are now working out what to do next. They'll be meeting tomorrow morning to decide whether the next big day of protests will be Wednesday or whether they will wait until June 8th, which is when the opposition parties come together to work out how they can get this pension reform repealed.

But that is their point. That they keep getting people on the street show that the amount of popular anger that has been excited by the manner in which this pension reform has been pushed through, is here to stay and will continue to make things difficult as the unions can for Emmanuel Macron going forward -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Melissa Bell in Paris, France, for us, thank you so much.

Coming up, the line of questioning from Donald Trump's attorneys today as he try to challenge the credibility of E. Jean Carroll, the woman accusing the former president of both rape and defamation.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Topping our national lead, writer E. Jean Carroll who accuses Donald Trump of raping her in a New York department store in the mid 1990s wrapped up her third day of testimony today. The civil trial is not just about the assault, per se, she accuses the former president of battery, but also of defaming her, by denying her allegation of sexual assault. Trump's defense team aggressively challenged Carroll's motives in cross-examination today.

And CNN's Paula Reid is outside the courthouse for us.

Paula, what stood up to you from Carroll's testimony today?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, actually moments ago, Trump's defense attorney just wrapped his cross examination of Carroll in the courthouse, right behind me. He questioned her over two days for around seven hours.

I was in court today and what really struck me was, unlike last week's testimony, which was very emotional at times, she at times would answer questions through tears. Today was much more technical. They were very often presenting her with evidence, asking her to respond. Now, their goal here is to undermine the credibility of her story, and trying to prove that she was politically motivated.

Now, among the things she was asked about today, some Facebook post, including one where she said she was a fan of "The Apprentice".


Another one where she asked people if they would have sex with Donald Trump for $17,000, if they got to keep their eyes closed. She responded saying yeah, she was a fan of "The Apprentice", she had friends on the show, and yes, she indeed did make jokes about Trump.

They also asked her about portions of your book, specifically, why she hasn't sued a former CBS chairman Les Moonves, who also denied her account of alleged assault. She responded by saying, well, he just denied it. He didn't call me names and drag my face through the mud like Trump did.

Now, she was also asked, as she has been asked repeatedly, why she didn't report this alleged assault to the police. They pointed to her own advice column, where she advised women who have been assaulted to report, she said she was just ashamed. It was not something she could report.

But, Jake, there are so much riding on her testimony, specifically on this cross-examination, because at this point, we do not expect the former president to testify. Carol's attorneys do say they will use some of his deposition in their case.

TAPPER: So the judge denied Trump's attorneys request for a mistrial earlier today. What was that about?

REID: Look, Jake, this was a formality. The judges made several rulings that were not admissible to defense. They have been frustrated. They haven't been able to question Carroll the way they would like to.

So, in filing this motion, they were able to make a record of all of these decisions, so that they eventually appeal, they will have that record. We didn't expect that the judge would come out and say, you're right, I have not done a very good job and grant this motion.

So, it was a formality. It was a blip. Everyone moved on quickly.

TAPPER: All right, Paula Reid outside the New York courthouse, thanks so much.

Let's go to another courthouse, in Arkansas. Hunter Biden, President Biden's son, appeared before a judge today. He is seeking to reduce the child support payments that he had previously agreed to a settlement, payments for his four-year-old daughter Navy, whom he has never met, and whom the Biden White House, as far as we can tell, has yet to publicly acknowledge.

Biden's lawyer claims he is paying the child's mother $20,000 a month, totaling more than $750,000 so far.

And as CNN's Sara Murray reports, the judge ordered Hunter Biden to provide additional answers today about his finances.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president's son appearing in an Arkansas courtroom today. The hearing related to a year's old fraternity dispute, after the mother of a child, London Roberts, accused Hunter Biden of ignoring earlier corridors in withholding evidence.

Now, the judge says Hunter must answer more questions about his investments, art sales and other financial transactions as part of the child support case. He will also sit for a June deposition, where he will be questioned under oath. You can't say, these are my tax returns. Good luck. You figure it out, the judge said, ordering up details on his taxes. This cryptic, hide the ball game isn't going to cut it when we get to trial.

What began as 2019 fraternity case, morphing into a battle over Hunter's overseas business dealings, the now infamous laptop, and other financial issues, all as Hunter faces scrutiny from both criminal and congressional investigators. Republican lawmakers have launched a sprawling probe into the Biden's family business deals, seeking many of the same financial records London Roberts is trying to access.

REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, we've found a lot that's certainly unethical. We've found a lot that should be legal. The line is blurry, as to what is legal and not legal, with respect to family influence peddling.

MURRAY: Last week, Hunter's lawyers met with Justice Department officials, as prosecutors weigh whether to bring charges related to failure to file taxes, tax evasion, and a full statement charged relating to a gun purchase, sources say. Hunter has maintained his innocence.

HUNTER BIDEN, PRESIDENT BIDEN'S SON: I am absolutely certain, 100 percent certain, that at the end of the investigation, that I will be cleared.

MURRAY: As for the paternity case, Hunter initially denied fathering the child, but a DNA test confirmed he is the biological father. Under has since agreed to pay child support, paying $750,000 to the mother so far, his lawyers say in court.


MURRAY (on camera): Now, the judge also told Hunter's attorneys that they must make more of their court filings available to the public, she said she has been generous in allowing many of the sensitive details of this makes to remain under wraps. But the judge said in court today, quote, I can't gag the whole world -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Sara, stay with us.

I want to bring in former assistant U.S. attorney and CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig.

Elie, so the judge today ruled that Hunter will now have to answer more questions under oath about his finances. The judge also chided Hunter Biden's legal team for, in her view, overly redacting their filing, hiding information that should be public.

What do you make of that? Is it significant?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Jake, the single most valuable asset that any lawyer or any party has in any case is credibility, and here, it now seems that Hunter Biden and his lawyer have lost some credibility with the judge who said, on the record, that they have, quote, played game with some of their evidentiary obligations.

And let's keep in mind, Hunter Biden opened this door. He's the one who went back to the court and said I want to pay less in alimony.


And so, now, as a result of these rulings, Hunter Biden, A, is going to have to sit for an under oath deposition, and, B, turn over more documents about his dealings, including his sale of so-called artwork and any income that he received from any foreign sources. That -- some of that information will be available to the other side and also publicly.

TAPPER: Less in child support, not less in alimony, right?

HONIG: Right. Sorry, yes.


Sara, it's hard to separate politics from this case, because you see the mom here is represented by lawyers who were part of Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election. In addition to a former Trump White House aide could play a key role in this case.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. There is a former Trump White House aide, Garrett Ziegler, London Roberts attorneys want to call this person as an expert witness. This is someone's website, and has publish materials reportedly related to Hunter Biden's, you know, laptop. And the Hunter Biden team has been more aggressive and how they are dealing with this. You know, one of them have sued him, they're talking about potentially trying to and get investigations opened into him.

So they're really grappling with how you deal with people like this, people who are in the wrong wings fear, have spread right-wing conspiracies, or in the Trump orbit, and now are part of this paternity case.

TAPPER: Elie, Hunter Biden is already under investigation by the Justice Department, into his taxes and financing, finances. Does this case complicate things for him at all?

HONIG: It does, Jake, for sure. Hunter Biden has bigger problems than this, starting with the ongoing criminal grand jury investigation of Hunter Biden for potential tax fraud. And now he has opened the door by going back into his court for others getting access to his financial documents, including prosecutors, including Congress.

So, it's a questionable decision. I am really astonished that Hunter Biden, given that he has a pending criminal investigation and given that there are pending congressional investigations, would go back into this court and try to reopen this Pandora's box.

TAPPER: Sarah, Congressman James Comer, who is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he has been talking to Hunter Biden for a long, long time now.

He says that Hunter Biden's legal team has been intimidating possible witnesses in his committee's probe of Biden's business affairs. What do we know about that? Is there any evidence for that charge?

MURRAY: Well, you know, I think what we have seen over the last few months, Hunter Biden's legal team has been much more aggressive, they have -- encouraged them to open investigations, to look into a bunch of people that were related to this Hunter Biden laptop. You know, they even got a congressional ethics office, and said, you guys should investigate or review Marjorie Taylor Greene's comments related to Hunter Biden.

So, I think that they have sort of seen the way this has played out over the last few years they want to be aggressive. Is there evidence that they are actively intimidating witnesses? We haven't seen James comer put that forward yet.

Again, Comer said he is looking not only into Hundred Biden's business dealings but the whole Biden family as well as the president and his potential involvement in any out of Hunter Biden's foreign business deals, which Joe begun has denied. James Comer has made a lot of lofty allegations. We're waiting to see what kind of meat he's going to have to back them up as this investigation continues.

TAPPER: Elie, Hunter Biden's lawyers met with Justice Department officials last week, which could theoretically indicate that the criminal probe into Hunter Biden's business of financial dealings is ramping up. How likely do you think it is that he is going to face charges?

HONIG: This one feels like a really close call to me, Jake. This case has been pending investigation for five years, dating back to 2018.

Now, that could be because nobody wants to make a call that will be politically unpopular either way, or it could be because the evidence is a really close call. It was an obvious case that had to be charged, presumably would've been charged within five years, if it wasn't obvious declination, presumably would've been tossed out without a charge while before this. Jake, that meeting that happened between defense lawyers and prosecutors, nothing at all unusual or improper about that. Those meetings happen all the time, they do tend to happen when we are towards an end of a case, when prosecutors are at that crucial charge or don't charge moment.

TAPPER: All right. Elie Honig, Sara Murray, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, what the second largest bank failure in U.S. history might mean for the money in your own bank account, and for the U.S. economy.

First, a major programming, a CNN presidential town hall with Donald Trump next Wednesday, May 10th, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, moderated by Kaitlan Collins.

We'll be back in a moment.



TAPPER: In our money lead, the second largest bank failure in the history of the United States. First Republic Bank has been pulled out of its death spiral as JPMorgan Chase is buying most of its assets. Federal regulators first control the First Republic overnight -- then immediately announce the sale to JPMorgan.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich joins us now.

Vanessa, explain how this all came together so quickly, should Americans be worried about the security of their funds?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, this deal closed in less than 24 hours. The FDIC held an option yesterday with this to be entered by 4:00 p.m., ultimately, JPMorgan with the winning bid. But overnight, about 800 employees from JPMorgan worked to close this deal.

And what does that mean from customers of the First Republic Bank? Well, it's largely the same experience, just with a different owner. The main thing people want to know is, is their cash safe, are their deposits safe? The answer to that is yes.

As part of this deal, JPMorgan, Jake, assuring all deposits and all loans of First Republic -- Jake.

TAPPER: So, Vanessa, I mentioned that First Republic is the second largest bank failure in U.S. history. The largest, of course, was Washington Mutual in 2008, for those wondering. But, as JPMorgan Chase takes over first republic, it is causing concern, a concern we have heard before. The banks are getting too big. YURKEVICH: Certainly. After the 2008 banking crisis, banks

consolidated. And then, on today's news, you are seeing more bank consolidation. JPMorgan is the biggest bank in the United States. And it just got bigger today. And that is also partly because, over the last seven weeks, people moved their deposits, $50 billion worth, from other smaller banks, into JPMorgan over concerns over a banking crisis.

But Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, was asked about this in a media call earlier today. Take a listen to how he responded to this question.


JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: You need large, successful banks. And anyone who thinks that it would be good for the United States of America not to have that should call me directly.


YURKEVICH: He also went on to say that he believes that community banks and regional banks are essential to the banking sector, that diversity, he said, is very important -- Jake.

TAPPER: So, as Kendall Roy might say, how are the markets reacting?

YURKEVICH: It was a quiet day on Wall Street. Stocks dipping just slightly at the close. But investors really don't like to be shocked by news. And they weren't really shocked by this news today. That is why you didn't see a lot of market volatility.

But investors are really turning their focus, Jake, now to the next two days, as the Federal Reserve meets, and ultimately, on Wednesday, makes its decision about just how much to raise interest rates. Ultimately, Jake, what happened today with JPMorgan and First Republic is going to be play into that. That's why investors will be focused on for the next two days -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Vanessa Yurkevich, great reporting, appreciate it.

Turning to our world lead now in Sudan, where after a week of mounting frustration, the U.S. government has finally been able to help private American citizens stuck in Sudan get out.

Today, the third U.S.-sponsored convoy reached the port of Sudan to escape ongoing violent clashes between Sudan's warring militaries. It's killed more than 520 people so far, and left many more without food, without water, without electricity.

CNN's Larry Madowo is with Americans who have escaped Sudan, who know that they are the lucky ones.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the first Americans to arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the U.S. naval ship Brunswick. It's small comfort after an anxious two weeks of conflict in Africa's third largest nation.

MOHAMED KHALED, SUDANESE AMERICAN EVACUEE: I'm not going to lie to you. I don't really like it. If it was up to me, I would have stayed to see things off, but unfortunately it just got too bad, you know? And the situation just got, it got worse and worse by the minute. You know what I mean? There was no water, there's no electricity.

MADOWO: This port city has become the main route out of Port Sudan. Several broken cease-fires later, people are desperate to escape.

REEM, AMERICAN GRADUATE STUDENT, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: I am basically doing a masters, so I was in the Sudan to do research, ironically, on these very same topics.

MADOWO: How is your family? You have family back in Sudan who can't leave, because maybe they don't have dual nationality in other places?

REEM: Yeah, yeah. Of course. That is the reality for most people that are in Sudan currently. Because of the hierarchy of citizenship, the way that it works, obviously, a lot of people couldn't even afford to leave Khartoum because of the prices of bus tickets.

MADOWO: U.S. officials say 1,000 Americans have been evacuated since the calm -- land, sea or air, after initially saying it was too dangerous to get private citizens out.

This operation only brought 100 U.S. citizens across the Red Sea, but there are so many people still stuck in Port Sudan, hoping for transport like this to get them to Jeddah.

FARIS ASAD, U.S. CONSUL GENERAL IN JEDDAH: We've been working very closely with international partners around the world, and here in Saudi Arabia with our Saudi partners.

MADOWO: Will there be more U.S. chips today or in the next few days?

ASAD: Not that I know of.

MADOWO: As families escaped the fighting, there are lots of moments as even in war, kids will still tease their parents.

How do you feel about having left to ban?


MADOWO: How was it? Was it scary?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I wasn't scared. But she was scared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She absolutely handled herself 100 percent.


TAPPER: And Larry Madowo joins us now live from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Larry, great reporting. How many more Americans remain and need help leaving Port Sudan?

MADOWO: Jake, just as three convoys that have arrived from Khartoum over that 500 mile journey to Port Sudan, that's at least 700. But that is very likely on -- officially helping the response and helping evacuate them over ground.

And just one more thing, there are so many kids living through this. I met 9-year-old Omar today who told he never wants to go back to Khartoum because he's afraid he might have to go back there and something happens and he get out, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Larry Madowo in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, an important story. Thank you so much for reporting it for us.

Coming up, when a steady salary just isn't enough, what some school districts are doing to try to keep teachers on staff and make sure that they have a place to live, that they can afford.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our money lead, the nationwide teacher shortage is prompting creative methods to attract and retain teachers. In Arizona, some districts are actually building homes right next to schools, solely for the teachers who would work those schools. The incentive is drawing applicants.

But as CNN's Gabe Cohen reports, some are worrying that the same districts employing these teachers will now be their landlords.


GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like so many teachers, Luisa Gamboa is sacrificing more and more for the drop she loves.

LUISA GAMBOA, ARIZONA TEACHER: Give me one work that starts with the letter q.

COHEN: That's why she lives with three other teachers in a three bedroom home.

GAMBO: We're on our way home to Prescott and --

COHEN: And carpools 30 minutes to her special ed classroom in Chino Valley, Arizona.

That was the closest to affordable houses.

GAMBOA: Yes, yes. And that's the only available one.

COHEN: Has it been difficult making it month a month?

GAMBOA: It's very difficult. [16:50:00]

Almost nothing to spare.

COHEN: The combination of low salaries and increasingly little affordable housing has worsened the teacher shortage in states like Arizona.

So desperate to attract educators, Chino Valley unified school district is breaking ground on a teacher housing project, also known as a Teach Ridge, building ten tiny homes behind and elementary school where teachers will pay well below the market rate for rent.

JOHN SCHOLL, SUPERINTENDENT, CHINO VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: If they can save $100, ultimately what could make the difference. It is a matter of money.

COHEN: Jason White, a 50-year-old high school's English teacher living with his parents near Phoenix, heard about Chino Valley's project and applied for a job.

Do you think you would take a job there to get that housing?

JASON WHITE, ARIZONA TEACHER: I wouldn't. And it is not a think or not think. I simply wouldn't because they couldn't afford to live there.

COHEN: At least eight Arizona districts are creating their own Teach Ridge, with some help from a federal grant.

This vacant school near Sedona will be turned into 11 apartments.

In Prescott --


COHEN: Six modular homes will sit behind an elementary school.

TENNEY: I hate to compare this, but it's like the Hunger Games. Having something like this available may be put -- gives us a leg up on the competition so to speak.

COHEN: Teacher housing projects are popping up across the country, from California to West Virginia. But some are skeptical of teacher ridges.

MARISOL GARCIA, PRESIDENT, ARIZONA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: I think our concern would be that a professional educator would not only work for the district but the district would be their landlord.

COHEN: Marisol Garcia heads the Arizona Education Association, the union that represents public school teachers. And she sits on the governor's new Educator Retention Task Force.

GARCIA: We are treating a symptom and not the illness. That is, we don't have enough educators who want to enter the profession and want to stay in the profession.

COHEN: A recent study found more teachers than usual left the classroom last year. At a time when students are still recovering from a steep pandemic learning loss. Advocates blamed a range of issues like workload, student behavior, politics and school and most of all, salary.

MEAGAN BROWN, ARIZONA TEACHER: It shouldn't have to be about poverty to be a teacher and that is what it feels like.

COHEN: Meagan Brown is leaving her special ed classroom next month after 12 years of teaching. She and her husband, a firefighter, live with her parents, struggling to save money to buy a home and start a family.

BROWN: We can't both be in helping professions. So I decided to leave.

COHEN: What is backing away from that life?

BROWN: I'm really proud public school teacher and it is hard. It's hard to know I can't do it anymore.


COHEN (on camera): And, Jake, a lot of districts have given teachers pay raises since the pandemic, but a new report found that the average public school teacher salaries only going up about four and a half percent over the past two years, four and a half percent. That is well behind the high inflation that we have seen, and so financially, Jake, life as a public school teacher really hasn't gotten better. If anything, based on that report, it has gotten worse.

TAPPER: Gabe, do you know any school districts doing this kind of thing outside of Arizona?

COHEN: Yeah. We are seeing proposals across the West, Las Vegas, Hawaii, really all over California, in addition to those teacher apartment buildings that have opened up in the Bay Area and West Virginia. It is really happening in these more populated areas, where housing prices have just skyrocketed.

TAPPER: Yeah. I know college and universities do such thing. It's so interesting that it's come to this for high school. Gabe Cohen, thanks so much appreciate it. Great reporting.

A new warning, just in, from the Treasury Department, from the secretary of the treasury Janet Yellen, on when the U.S. will start to default on its debt unless Congress takes action. It's a matter of weeks. That's next.

Plus, two Republicans are going to join me. I'm going to ill speak with Congressman Tony Gonzales of Texas about a key immigration policy ending next week. What, if anything, can Congress do?

Plus, Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina will be here. I'm going to get her response to Democrats who say the GOP spending plan is going to cut critical U.S. services.



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

This hour, the cheese has been placed in the trap but has Florida Governor Ron DeSantis bitten off more than any country when it comes to taking on Mickey Mouse?

Plus, horrific scenes in Illinois, where multiple people were killed and at least 30 injured during a dust storm. What is driving the dust storm?

And leading this hour, the U.S. government could run out of money in just a matter of weeks. That is the latest warning just minutes ago from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who says the U.S. government could hit its debt limit by June 1st, one month from today.

I want to bring in CNN's Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, as well as CNN's Phil Mattingly at the White House.

Phil, this is a pretty stark warning and a pretty deal for the U.S. economy.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Look, there's no question about it at all, Jake. I think the real question that every one in Washington has been wondering for the past several months is, when will this get serious? When is this going to get real?

When are lawmakers, the White House, both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, going to grasp the consequence of what is happening right now. This should be that moment, for some reason it hasn't transpired yet. And that is the reality of the debt limit, and the reality of most of this, all of this, process right now, since we have already reached the statutory debt limit, which the Treasury Department's been doing for the last moments. It is extraordinary measures, trying to keep stretching things up for lawmakers and administration officials to find a path forward here.

That is entirely tied to tax receipts every single month, of what you can only project and don't always know with exact certainty when they are coming in.