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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Trump's Deposition In E. Jean Carroll Defamation Case Released; Washington Post: Justice Clarence Thomas Wife Received Thousands In "Hidden Payments"; Moscow Warns Of "Open-Armed Conflict" With U.S.; Wagner Chief Blames Kremlin For "Tens Of Thousands" Of Casualties; Final Preparations Underway For King Charles' Coronation; World Health Organization: COVID-19 No Longer A Global Health Emergency. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 05, 2023 - 16:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: So many great memories for sure.

That does it for us at "CNN NEWS CENTRAL". But don't go anywhere. THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Donald Trump's deposition from that civil trial has finally been released, quote, unfortunately or fortunately, unquote. You'll know what that means in a second.

THE LEAD starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: She's accusing me of rape, of raping her. The worst thing you can do, the worst charge.


TAPPER: Rather interesting comments revealed today from the former president of the United States as the world finally gets to see what Mr. Trump had to say about E. Jean Carroll's rape allegations.

Then, a fake warning? The Russian mercenary group Wagner says they will leave the war-torn city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. This as a top Russian official says relations with the U.S. are so bad right now, the two countries have never been closer to war.

Plus, we're talking to that 16-year-old who was accepted to more than 185 colleges and offered more than $10 million in scholarships. He's made his decision.


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

We begin today in our politics lead, with newly released footage of Donald Trump's videotaped deposition in that battery and defamation case brought to civil court by writer E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Mr. Trump of raping her in a department store in the mid 1990s. That taped deposition recorded at Mar-a-Lago in October of last year includes Carroll's lawyer pressing Trump about his comments from that infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, in which Donald Trump boasted in 2005 about groping and kissing women without their permission, grabbing them by the genitals.

And as you'll recall, Trump used some pretty crude language in that "Access Hollywood" video.


TRUMP: You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. You just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy.


TAPPER: The release of the deposition comes as Trump's legal team rested its case Thursday without calling any witnesses. But a New York judge gave the former president extra time until Sunday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. to change his mind about not testifying.

Let's bring in CNN's Kara Scannell.

Kara, so the "Access Hollywood" video is relevant because it seems to describe what Trump allegedly did to E. Jean Carroll. How did Trump respond when pressed by E. Jean Carroll's attorney about his comments?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, you remember when this "Access Hollywood" tape first came out in October of 2016. Trump dismissed it as locker room talk. But in this deposition, when E. Jean Carroll's attorney is pressing him on this, she makes him go almost line by line to explain what he meant when he said those words.

Take a listen.


E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: In this video, I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the pussy, you can do anything. That's what you said, correct?

TRUMP: Historically, that's true with stars.

E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: It's true with stars that they can grab women by the pussy?

TRUMP: Well, that's what -- if you look over the last million years, I guess that's been largely true, not always, but largely true, unfortunately or fortunately.

E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: You consider yourself to be a star?

TRUMP: I think you can say that, yeah.


SCANNELL: Now, Jake, also in this deposition, Trump is asked specifically about the rape. He denies it vehemently. He's also asked about these statements that he made that are part of the defamation claim in this case, and Trump doubles down on this, repeatedly saying in the deposition that he never met E. Jean Carroll. He calls her rape allegations a hoax, and he says repeatedly that she is not his type -- Jake.

TAPPER: A quite stunning for him to describe stars being able to grab women by their genitals unfortunately or fortunately. But I'll get back to that in a second. Trump has based what his defense is in this case, much of it, around the idea that in his view, E. Jean Carroll is not his type. Putting aside obviously the fact that rape and sexual assault is about power, not necessarily attraction.

That claim seemed to be undermined by himself during the deposition.

SCANNELL: Yeah, there's this moment in the deposition where Trump is being shown a photo of him and his then-wife, Ivana Trump, at some gala with E. Jean Carroll and her then husband John Johnson. So Trump is looking at this black and white photo, which we have seen before.


And he's, you know, being presented like this is E. Jean Carroll back at the time period. This is just a few years before the alleged assault. So he's being shown this photo. Take a listen to his reaction to it.


TRUMP: I don't even know who the woman -- let's see. I don't know who -- it's Marla.

E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: You're saying Marla's in this photo?

TRUMP: That's Marla, yeah. That's my wife.

E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: Which woman are you pointing to?

TRUMP: Here.

E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: The person you just pointed to was E. Jean Carroll.

TRUMP: Who is that? Who is this?

E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: And the person -- the woman on the right is your then-wife, Ivana?

TRUMP: I don't know. This is the picture. I assume that's John Johnson. Is that Carroll? Because it's very blurry.


TAPPER: As you see there, Trump is confusing E. Jean Carroll from the early '90s with his second wife, Marla Maples.

Later in the deposition, he is asked by Carroll's attorney, are all of your wives your type? And Trump says, yes, they are. This is something that Carroll's team wants to use to undercut his argument that she wasn't his type, and that that statement was a lie, which goes toward one of the defamation claims in this case.

You know, it's interesting because Trump, as you said, has waived his right to testify. He has not attended any of the civil trial, and he's not required to. But this will be the only words that the jury will see, the words and Trump's reaction to the questions as they consider this case, and they could get it as early as Tuesday -- Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah, and the jury will also see, of course, that the photograph is not blurry at all.

Kara Scannell, thank you so much.

Here to break down what we learned from the Trump deposition today are two former federal prosecutors, Renato Mariotti and Jennifer Rodgers, who is also a CNN legal analyst.

Jen, let me start with you. So, let's start with where Kara just dropped -- Trump has said he couldn't possibly have sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll because, and I'm quoting him now, she's not my type. Here we have him mistaking a picture of E. Jean Carroll with his ex- wife, Marla Maples, who obviously is his type.

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, it's a huge blunder on his part. Listen, of course as you mentioned before, Jake, rape is not really about sexual attraction. It's about power and domination and control. But even assuming for a second that's his defense, you know, you might expect his defense to be, of course, I didn't do it.

But secondarily, you might expect someone in this scenario to say not "she's not my type", but instead something along the lines of I would never do this. My character is too good. Let me bring forward dozens of witnesses to tell you about this is not the sort of thing I would never do.

He can't do that here. Why? Because that is not his character. He couldn't find any witnesses to say that. And, in fact, quite the opposite. There would be then dozens of witnesses on the other side to testify to the contrary.

So he's left with this ridiculous defense of, gee, I don't really find her attractive. Now that's not even really available to him either because he's mucked it up with this photo.

TAPPER: And, Renato, the jury did hear from E. Jean Carroll and another woman who accused him of sexual assault. Trump's lawyers presented no witnesses of their own.

What do you make of this strategy?

RENATO MARRIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, you can see why, right, Jake, after watching some of these clips why they might not want him on the stand. It comes at a very serious risk. The defense you'd expect from a defendant here would be, I would never do this. This is awful. I'm just so outraged and concerned that I am being accused of committing a very serious, violent crime.

But instead, I think, not only is he not appearing to testify in person, which means the jury is really never going to have any sort of emotional connection there with him, but, you know -- and be able to really assess that, but he's not there during the proceedings and really I think is giving the jury the impression that he's not taking this seriously. And so, if they -- unless they totally disbelieve everything Carroll has said and the other witnesses, I think that really Trump and his team are putting themselves in a position to lose this case.

TAPPER: All right. Let me get back to one of the most shocking quotes from his deposition. Trump is heard on the "Access Hollywood" tape, back from 2005-2006, bragging about how if you're a star, you can grab women by their genitals whether they want it or not. During the deposition, he was asked about it. He said that stars can do that, and then he says unfortunately or fortunately.

Or fortunately? I mean doesn't that lend credence to the idea that he thinks that sometimes it's a good thing that stars can get away with grabbing women by their genitals whether they want them or not.

RODGERS: Yeah. I mean, I --

MARIOTTI: I don't know --


TAPPER: Jennifer, I'm sorry. Jennifer.

RODGERS: Yeah. I mean this is another missed opportunity for him. If I'm Trump's lawyer, I'm telling him to keep going with this, you know, locker room defense.


It was just talk. I really don't mean it. That's a terrible thing.

Instead, he doubles down and says, yeah, sure, stars can do whatever they want, you know, for a million years now. So, you know, he is a terrible witness. That's why we'll never see him on the stand voluntarily.

But even these clips demonstrate how he doesn't listen to his lawyers, and to the extent he has any sort of hope of appearing to have a decent shot at undercutting E. Jean Carroll's case, he just flubs it every time. TAPPER: And, Renato, unlike in a criminal case, this is a civil

matter. So it just -- E. Jean Carroll just needs to succeed and prevail by a preponderance of the evidence. It does not have to be beyond all reasonable doubt.

That's something important for people to remember here. The standard is lower for a civil case.

MARIOTTI: That's right. She only has to prove by essentially 51 percent of the evidence, and of course the evidence is all on her side of the ledger here. It's really going to be a lot of argument, I would say, on the defense side.

I do think she has put herself in a position to potentially get a verdict in her favor, which is really something because there were challenges in her case. Obviously, this happened long ago. You know, there's no physical evidence.

So definitely some challenges there, and I think Trump's team and his own decisions, including some of the very problematic, disturbing testimony we just heard, I think contributes to that.

TAPPER: Yeah, not a slam dunk by any means. Who knows what's going to happen, but it seems like Mr. Trump helped her a lot today.

Jennifer Rodgers, Renato Mariotti, thank you to both of you.

Coming up, it seems they are no longer untouchable as yet another revelation involving the Supreme Court justices and their families is raising questions about potential conflicts of interest, and a complete lack of an ethics code.

Then, the royal watchers already camping out, lining up to see history across the pond. We're just hours away from the coronation of King Charles.



TAPPER: Washington, D.C. is currently embroiled in a debate over what ethical standards U.S. Supreme Court justices should be held to, if any. "The Washington Post" now reporting that Ginni Thomas, the conservative activist and firebrand and wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, received tens of thousands of dollars in hidden payments for consulting work.

"The Post" reviewed documents that showed the payments to Ginni Thomas were set up by conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo. Leonard Leo may not be a household name where you are, but Leonard Leo helped pick every single one of Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice appointments as well as dozens of conservative judges with lifetime appointments to the federal bench.

During a Senate judiciary hearing this week on ethics in the Supreme Court, or lack thereof, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse described Leonard Leo this way.


SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): This guy doesn't have business before the court. His business is the court.


TAPPER: According to "The Washington Post," in January 2012, Leonard Leo told conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway to bill the judicial education project nonprofit. Leo then instructed Conway to give Ginni Thomas another $25,000, and the documents show he emphasized there should be no mention of Ginni Thomas in any paperwork. Never good when someone tells you not to put something in writing and then puts it in writing.

Leo told "The Post," quote, it is no secret that Ginni Thomas has a long history of working on issues in the conservative movement. The work she did here did not involve anything connected with either the court's business or with other legal issues, unquote.

When asked why he wanted to keep Ginni Thomas' name off the paperwork, Leonard Leo told "The Post," quote, knowing how disrespectful, malicious, and gossipy people can be, I have always tried to protect the privacy of Justice Thomas and Ginni, unquote. Apparently the belief that transparency and accountability for the highest court in the land are just gauche and rude.

Let's bring in CNN senior Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic, along with the former director for the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub.

Joan, people out there might not realize how huge a role Leonard Leo has played in so much of what the court has done, including overturning Roe v. Wade, in turning what we assume is going to be the dismantling of affirmative action and higher education. Walk us through the kind of influence he has.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SENIOR SUPREME COURT ANALYST: You cannot overstate the influence of Leonard Leo on the Supreme Court. In fact, I've described him as someone who, once you get beyond the White House or Congress, he has had arguably the greatest effect on our federal bench. You mentioned the three Trump appointees that he essentially handpicked through the years. He also, every single Republican appointee on this court was approved by him one way or another, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who met with him.

John Roberts probably would have been selected anyway, but he did meet with Leonard Leo. He is the consummate networker. The Federalist Society goes all the way back to the early 1980s, but it was in 1991 when Leonard Leo became a director, that he began raising all sorts of money.

In high school, his nickname was mister -- you know, moneybags. He is a terrific networker. He's very effective on what he wants. He worked very closely with Mitch McConnell, the Senate leader, in selecting people. And he was very close to Don McGahn in the Trump White House.

And most recently, he secured a $1.6 billion donation that will help him be even more powerful going forward with money.

TAPPER: So, Walter, Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California tweeted, quote, Leonard Leo directed fake invoices to be made so that he could secretly line of the pockets of the wife of a Supreme Court justice. This is corrupt, unquote.

How is it corrupt? Obviously it doesn't look good, but it's not as though Leonard Leo is secretive about what he wants the court to do. It's not as though he's -- they're making decisions like at "The Pelican Brief" where he stands to make millions of dollars from land acquisitions in Florida.

I mean, how is it corrupt, if you think it is?

WALTER SHAUB, FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS: You know, I think his own actions demonstrate there was an awareness that it at least appears corrupt because you wouldn't work that hard to hide the source of money if you didn't worry about how it was going to appear. Now, he talks about people being malicious and gossipy. I think the other way to spin that is the public is concerned about who's paying members of the Supreme Court and their spouses, or, rather, or their spouses.


TAPPER: Yeah. So, we're in an era now where there has been more scrutiny of the U.S. Supreme Court probably in the last month or two because of "ProPublica" and "The Washington Post" and CNN, than it feels in its history before then.

We now also have -- there's been some stories about how two Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch, did not recuse themselves from cases that came before the court involving a specific publishing company that has paid them lots of money in lucrative book deals. Former Justice Stephen Breyer, who's also received royalties from the same publisher, he did recuse himself.

How do you see this?

BISKUPIC: Okay. Well, this involves a case -- several cases where Penguin Random House, the conglomerate that all three, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch all have big contracts with, contracts that they have disclosed over time, and two of them did not recuse themselves from cases that were on the list of many, many petitions coming to the court.

This is something that fix court, a watchdog group, and then "The Daily Wire" had talked about, focused more on two of the justices. The reason Stephen Breyer -- it could have been frankly I don't know why they didn't recuse because they didn't say. We tried to ask them, why didn't you recuse yourself from cases? They were cases that were not heard by the court. So -- and they did report their income. I do want to mention, though, Jake, that Stephen Breyer, who did recuse, likely didn't recuse because he had gotten money from a subsidiary of the publishing house. It's because his family had owned some stock in the publisher.

So this area is not of the magnitude of other things we've talked about. But what we've tried to do is bring all these things to public light as they've come up because it is important to say it's not just Clarence Thomas, even though his involved so much money.

TAPPER: Right.

BISKUPIC: There are other justice who's have had concerns.

TAPPER: Because there's also this information with Mr. Crow, who has been funding Thomas, who is a friend of his, funding his vacations, buying land from his family and letting Clarence Thomas' mom live there, helping with a kid, a relative that the Thomas family has been taking care of.

Defenders of Thomas and Harlan Crow say this is just a friend doing a nice thing for another friend.

SHAUB: You know, here's the problem. We are in a situation where the Supreme Court has no code of ethics whatsoever. There's no rules on what kind of gifts you can take, and there's very little oversight of their disclosures. So they're not even complying with the transparency law that there is.

Back in about 2011, Chief Justice Roberts began pushing back more aggressively against the idea of a code of ethics.


SHAUB: I think where we are now is the inevitable result of that. It's proof of the axiom that absolute power corrupts absolutely. These individuals are not subject to scrutiny. They haven't subjected themselves to a code of conduct. I think this is the beginning, not the end of these problems.

TAPPER: And I saw a tweet suggesting that, you know, one of the issues -- Joan, I think you're one of the best Supreme Court reporters in the country. Nina Totenberg, a longtime Supreme Court reporter for NPR, she was criticized by NPR's public editor in 2020 for not disclosing her decades-long relationship with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

And this might suggest that one of the problems here is a lot of the journalists who have been covering the Supreme Court, again, not you and not a bunch of other really excellent Supreme Court reporters like Jan Crawford and others. But some on the right and the left have formed such close relationships that you really have to wonder about their journalism sometimes.

BISKUPIC: Yeah, it is a pretty intimate group of people. I always kid that justices are appointed for life. Journalists are appointed for life too. We come to this beat, and we don't leave it. But like anything else, you want to be friendly with the people you cover, but you don't want to be deep friends. If you have deep friendships, then you try to be careful with your coverage on that.

And I do think that there has been an insularity that we fight against and it's been important to always be able to scrutinize these justices in various ways, which frankly I think many of us have. But these recent stories, they're coming from investigative teams.

TAPPER: Right.

BISKUPIC: Really strong. And I want to give credit where credit is due, really strong investigative teams, especially at "ProPublica".


BISKUPIC: With those people, they may have never set foot in the Supreme Court to cover a case where someone like me is going to be in there reading the briefs all the time. Again, I think the more coverage we have, the better.

TAPPER: Yeah, more coverage the better, and more transparency. I don't know if they're listening at the U.S. Supreme Court. More transparency.

Walter Shaub and Joan Biskupic, thanks to both of you.

A warning to Putin, the leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner fighting in parts of Ukraine makes an announcement about the battered city of Bakhmut. That's next.



TAPPER: In our world lead now, tensions continue to rise between the United States and Russia as Russia's deputy foreign minister told local Russian media that the two countries are currently on the verge of, quote, open-armed conflict.

This comes as CNN's Nic Robertson reports the Wagner Russian mercenary group said they're going to pull out of Bakhmut next week, as the head of the group posted an explosive video criticizing the Kremlin for not giving his mercenaries enough ammunition.


YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, HEAD OF WAGNER GROUP (translated): These guys here are Wagner men who died today. The blood is still fresh. Film all of them.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Russia's top mercenary is turning on Moscow again with a vengeance.

PRIGOZHIN (translated): You **** who aren't giving (us) ammunition, you b****** will in hell have your guts eaten out! ROBERTSON: Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin screaming at President Putin's defense minister and army chief of staff, accusing them of killing his troops in Bakhmut by starving them of ammunition.

PRIGOZHIN (through translator): We are pulling out of Bakhmut. We have only two or so kilometers left to capture out of 45.

ROBERTSON: Hours later, an ultimatum -- send ammo or he'll pull his troops out of Bakhmut just as they are close to taking it.

Also troubling for the Kremlin, Prigozhin hired Mikhail Mizintsev as a Wagner deputy commander. Until last week, he was Russia's deputy defense minister. It hints at a pending Wagner/Kremlin showdown.

Ukraine's military spokesman says Bakhmut could be at a turning point if Russia doesn't fix its ammunition supply problem. He also says that Prigozhin cannot afford to continue losing troops at this rate. If he does, the spokesman says, Wagner will be destroyed. Prigozhin, he says, has no option but to pull out.

Prigozhin's machinations having no impact on the fighting around the devastated city Friday. Both sides still feeding men into the front lines known as Ukraine's meat grinder.

And the fighting not just on the battlefield. In Turkey, a Russian diplomat rips down the Ukrainian flag and is quickly punched at a parliamentary assembly intended to get both sides to agree to an extension to the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain deal.

Russia's diplomats also hitting out at the United States. Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov announcing the U.S. and Russia are on the verge of open-armed conflict, a further escalation of recent unsubstantiated Kremlin rhetoric claiming the United States directed Ukraine to fly drones over the Kremlin in an attempt to assassinate President Putin, an allegation both Kyiv and Washington categorically deny.


ROBERTSON (on camera): In a new development this evening, Ukrainian officials are saying that Russian-backed administration in the Zaporizhzhia region they control are busing civilians out of a number of towns and villages that are quite close to front lines. The Russian-backed administration say that those towns are taking heavy shelling at the moment. Ukrainian officials say that this looks like what Russia did before their offensive in Kherson, where they shipped a lot of civilians out, many of them children, took them to Russia against their will.

TAPPER: Yeah, war crimes accusations from The Hague on that one.

Nic Robertson, thank you so much.

Also in our world lead today, fans of the royal family are already gathering in the streets of London. They're saving spots ahead of tomorrow's coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Members of the royal family, including King Charles, Prince William, Princess Kate greeted members of the public outside Buckingham Palace earlier today. They're going to be joined by William and Kate's three kids tomorrow, as well as Prince Harry. Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, and their kids did not make the trip for their ceremony.

Joining me now is the founder of "The Daily Beast", Tina Brown. She's also the author of "The Palace Papers" and a legendary editor.

Tina, so good to see you. So King Charles --


TAPPER: -- he's been waiting five decades, five decades for this moment. What do you think this coronation day means to him?

BROWN: It's the absolute apotheosis of his life. It really is. I mean, unlike his mother and his grandfather, who were sort of accidental monarchs because the abdication of Edward, he's been training for this for his entire life, literally from the cradle. And his life -- you know, he had to make for himself a big niche essentially as prince of Wales and he did it with the philanthropy work he did, you know, with the prince's trust where he's raised $100 million, and he's helped hundreds of thousands, millions of people, including people like Idris Elba, who credits the prince's trust for a grant that changed his entire life when he lived in dire poverty.

So, this -- you know, he's had this other life. Now he takes over, and for him, it's being in the real sun at last. You know, he's had to be the support player all of these years, including to his former wife, you know, Princess Diana. So this is the moment when he is in the spotlight, and he is actually loving it as you can see in the last six months.



BROWN: He's just loving it.

TAPPER: And yet, interestingly, he has greatly scaled back the ceremony. He's only invited 2,000 guests. He shortened the ceremony to about 90 minutes.

Do you think this signals in any way how he intends to scale back on glamour and expenses of the monarchy?

BROWN: Yes, because he has said for quite a long time that in his time, he will, you know, slim down the excessive members of the family who are -- you know, used to crowd out that balcony, you know, the royal balcony, in this massive crowd scene.

He understands we're in a different age. We're in a tremendous financially, you know, challenging time. He does not want the monarchy to get the sort of -- the backlash essentially of that.

And, of course, the government plays a role too because it's the government actually that pays for the coronation. So it's a synergy really between the government saying, hey, wait, wait, we don't want to look as if we are squandering money at a time of great harshness.

And, secondly, he's smart, Charles. He knows it's got to change. I mean, so many palaces. You know, he knows the Windsors are overhoused -- you know, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Sandringham, Balmoral, I mean, they have all these houses.

And you see him recently sort of redeploying all that real estate. He just ejected Prince Andrew from the queen mother's old house, Royal Lodge, where he's been living for the last 20 years. He's basically said, no, you're going to move into Prince Harry's recently vacated cottage and other things are going to happen to the queen mother's old house. So, he's very, very biggie right now about expense cutting.

TAPPER: And you just touched on another part of the challenges he faces, the fact that the royal family has been really plagued by scandal.

Andrew, as you note, has been stripped of his titles after these allegations of sexual abuse, which of course he denies. Prince Harry, who along with wife Meghan Markle live in California. They chose to leave the royal family.

How do you see King Charles addressing this going forward?

BROWN: Well, he'll address it by not addressing it, which is what he did. I mean, there was a lot of people when "Spare," Prince Harry's memoir came out, just excoriating his own family, a lot of emotional sort of, you know, requests, like Charles should make a statement. He should say something.

Actually, he's following totally the playbook of Queen Elizabeth II, which is never explain, never complain. And, actually, it worked really well for him during that period. What happened is by saying nothing, telling the rest of the family get out there and do as many public engagements as you can, smile, smile, smile, look gracious, this too will pass.

He's used to it really with -- you couldn't go through worse than what happened with Diana in terms of the tremendous years of scandal. So he's pretty much a veteran of scars and scandals. You know, his attitude is you say and do the public work. And, actually, so far, it is paying off for him.

TAPPER: Tina Brown, such an honor. Thanks so much for being here.

BROWN: Thank you so much, Jake.

TAPPER: And you can watch every moment of tomorrow's historic coronation right here on CNN. Our coverage starts at 5:00 a.m. Eastern.

Still ahead, breaking news on the fate of an Oklahoma death row inmate. We've told you his story for months now. He's scheduled to be executed in just 13 days, but the U.S. Supreme Court just weighed in. We're going to talk with the inmate's attorney and his wife.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our health lead today, COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency, at least not officially. Today, the World Health Organization officially ended its declaration, which was in place for more than three years. WHO officials say the threat of COVID seems to be here to stay. It's just now a lower level of concern.

COVID death rates are the lowest they've been in three years. Still, more than 3,500 people globally died just last week from the disease, including more than 1,000 here in the United States. Overall, nearly 7 million have died since the start of the pandemic, more than a million of those deaths in the United States.

Also in our health lead, more than 40,000 men and women are suing Johnson & Johnson over the pharmaceutical company's talc baby powder. They claim it is responsible for their cancers.

Chief investigative correspondent and anchor Pamela Brown investigates their stories for CNN's new Sunday night prime-time series "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER."


GINA POWLESS-BUENROSTRO, SUING JOHNSON & JOHNSON: I'd always buy me Johnson & Johnson baby powder, whether it was a little bottle or, you know, the big bottle. I always had it. It just was that comfort, that trust.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: But then these allegations starting coming out that that baby powder contained asbestos.

TIFFANY HSU, THE NEW YORK TIMES: We know that asbestos is a carcinogen. It has these tiny dagger-like fibers that penetrate very deeply into human tissue. But Johnson & Johnson says flat-out there is no asbestos in its baby powder and that its baby powder does not cause cancer.


TAPPER: CNN chief investigative correspondent and anchor Pamela Brown joins us now.

I used Johnson & Johnson baby powder when I was a kid and teens. You talk to so many people impacted by this. What are people going to learn from your reporting?

BROWN: They're going to learn a lot. Look, this has been going on for years and years, these lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, against its iconic product, the now discontinued talc baby powder. So, what we did is we rolled up our sleeves and we dug into the science. We looked at what the plaintiffs argue is proof that there was asbestos in Johnson & Johnson baby powder, including internal memos from inside Johnson & Johnson from the 1950s, where executives talked about the concern of liability from potential asbestos in its baby powder products.

We look at the FDA finding that there was asbestos in one sample of baby powder back in 2019. Now, Johnson & Johnson, we sat down with one of its key lawyers, outside lawyers who has defended it in the courtroom, and we presented all of this to her. And she says flat-out there has never been asbestos in any of its baby powder, that its baby powder does not cause cancer.


In terms of that FDA finding, she said the FDA's lab was contaminated, and that is what caused the finding of asbestos. And she said the internal documents from the 1950s show they were aware of the possibility or the concern but that it's not proof that it actually existed.

So it's really going to be an in-depth look investigation into all sides of this story following the journey of these three women with cancer, ovarian and mesothelioma cancer, filing suit against this multi-billion dollar company. Then we're going to hear from the company itself about why it is so firm and vehemently denies these claims.

TAPPER: I'm reminded of that scene in the film where they bring the water. The big whistle-blower story played by Julia Roberts.

BROWN: Oh, Erin Brockovich.

TAPPER: She brings the water to her. I'd love to bring some talc to these people --

BROWN: Right.

TAPPER: -- and put it on your babies.

BROWN: Well, I did ask the lawyer, I said have you ever used talc? Would you? She said, yes, I would. That was one of our key questions.

TAPPER: Saying it is one thing.

BROWN: But also big picture, I know you have to go and, Jake, this impacts you too because you wear powder for TV. We all know it. We look at how cosmetics really are not as regulated as much as other consumer products and how it's really the onus is on the companies to verify the safety of their products, that they should be examined.

TAPPER: Very important reporting, and I can't wait to watch.

Pamela Brown, thank you so much.

"Shaken: Baby Powder on Trial" premieres Sunday May 7, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN. Still ahead, it's hard enough to get into one college. Imagine getting

into more than 185. We're going to talk to the 16-year-old who did just that, and now he's announced where he is heading in the fall. What's the lucky campus?

Stay with us.



TAPPER: A story that make you smile in our national lead. After getting into more than 185 colleges, you heard that right, 185 colleges, and receiving more than $10 million in scholarship offers, Maliq Barnes, the 16-year-old high school senior from the International High School of New Orleans, he has made his decision.


MALIQ BARNES, 16-YEAR-OLD ACCEPTED TO OVER 185 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: It is an honor and privilege to be accepted to the Ivy League, Cornell University's College of Engineering.


TAPPER: Cornell is a great school, my sister went there.

He plans to get a dual degree in computer science, and criminal justice this upcoming fall.

And Maliq Barnes joins us now live.

Maliq, if first of all, what an incredible achievement. How do you even begin when you have 185 colleges to pick from? What led you to pick Cornell?

BARNES: I mean, I know that when I was looking for a school, I was looking for a school that would set me up the best. I was looking for a school with a quality education, and where I think I will fit in best and be more comfortable.

After taking into consideration all of my options, Cornell seemed to fit that description, and I'm looking forward to attend the school.

TAPPER: So, I did a summer program there when I was in high school, and I will just tell you, I don't know what the winters are like in Louisiana, but you need to buy some long Johns and some coats and socks, and stuff. I hope you're ready for that. Okay, just you can't go there with New Orleans outfits, all right?

BARNES: I definitely understand, it is colder down here.


BARNES: Yes, it can get real cold -- I mean, it can get real hot in New Orleans. TAPPER: Yeah, it gets real cold in those Cornell winters.

Why a dual degree in computer science and criminal justice, that seems like an interesting combination?

BARNES: So, it is interesting. I wouldn't necessarily do a dual degree as a bachelor but I would like to pursue computer science from my bachelor and move on to law school. I say that because I know that dealing with computer science it's a development technology where you have intellectual property, and FTs, those are things that are going to need lawyers rules and regulations to be represented in court. So, I would like to be a part of the development of that law and the technology of the stuff. So, that's why I chose that combination.

TAPPER: And what kind of lawyer do you want to be?

BARNES: I would like to deal with law in technology. I would venture out into getting into other kind of laws but as of right now, my focus is on technology.

TAPPER: Your success has garnered national attention, international attention. It's inspiring a lot of young people, inspiring adults. What does it mean to you personally?

BARNES: It means a lot to me, and I'm -- I heard you say that your sister went there, and you were encouraging me. That's definitely encouraging. Really have me looking forward to it.

I'm happy to hear good things about the university, all of the attention, all of the advice that I've received, recognition and celebration from, like you said, nationally, internationally. I'm definitely, it means a lot to me. I'm very appreciative.

I'm happy to have broke the record and I give God all glory, honor and praise.

TAPPER: I got a lot of friends who went to Cornell. They absolutely loved it.

Malik Barnes, we're all -- I have no right to be proud of you, but we're all so proud of you right now. Thank you so much. Good luck in Ithaca.

BARNES: I appreciate it.

TAPPER: A man's life in the balance, facing execution for a crime that new evidence and the leading prosecutor now say he did not commit. What the U.S. Supreme Court just did, they weighed in. That's next.



TAPPER: Welcome to the lead, Jake Tapper, movie and television studios are out with a new response to the writers strike, are your favorite late night shows any closer to returning to the air.

Plus, Washington, D.C. can be a place of alliances and allegiances and partisanship, down in Florida state lawmakers are teeing up a Ron DeSantis presidential campaign, with a slew of new laws, many of them controversial.

And leading this hour, a supreme lifeline, the U.S. Supreme Court today halting temporarily the execution date of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip, just for now, they're going to consider whether to take up his case.

Glossip's conviction, so legally flimsy, that even Oklahoma's current attorney general says he can no longer support it. Ask Republican or Democratic lawmakers in Oklahoma, it doesn't matter, they list multiple reasons why Glossip should not be executed, let alone in prison.