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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Tonight: Trump Faces Voters As Jury Finds Him Liable For Sexual Abuse; NYT: Trump, Who Is Primarily Responsible For Supreme Court Overturning Roe V. Wade, Now Privately Ambivalent About It; Blinken Faces Contempt If Afghanistan Doc Isn't Turned In By Tomorrow; Rep. Michael McCaul, (R-TX), Is Interviewed About Antony Blinken, Withdrawal To Afghanistan; Production On Several Popular T.V. Shows On Hold Amid Writers' Strike; Florida Rejects Nearly 35 Percent Of Social Studies Textbooks For K-12. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired May 10, 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: And leading this hour, there is just one day left until Title 42, the Trump era pandemic policy expires. Title 42, introduced by Trump, adopted by Biden, allows border officials as of right now to expel nearly all migrants without giving them a chance to seek asylum using the pandemic as the excuse.
But today, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reminded folks that it's about to expire tomorrow. And it is stern warning for the 1000s, 10s of 1000s of migrants looking to enter the U.S. in the next few hours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Do not risk your life and your life savings only to be removed from the United States. We are making it very clear that our border is not open. That crossing irregularly is against the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: CNN's Nick Valencia is in Brownsville, Texas, right on the southern border, where officials are working with buses and airlines to try to get migrants out of that city. Nick, is that working?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we got some clarity from the city just a short time ago, Jake, and we asked them exactly where they're going to be sending migrants to and they said the destinations that migrants are asking to go to and that the city is going to help them get to include Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Brooklyn, Denver and Miami.
And though the city has known for quite some time, along with the state and really the nation, that Title 42, this policy is going to end in less than a day, they're still working out the specifics of their plans and things that they want to avoid, according to city officials, are scenes like those that we've seen play out in El Paso, where up to 2,000, migrants were sleeping outside of a church on the streets there. That scene has played out here in Brownsville, but on a much smaller scale, Jake.
TAPPER: Shelters and centers in Brownsville say that they're already at capacity, they're packed. Is the U.S. government helping them get the resources they need to handle all of the migrants that are getting processed there?
VALENCIA: Well, let me show you one of those centers and just how packed it is. You see this line waiting outside, these line of migrants waiting to get help. This is the Team Brownsville, the main nonprofit that's helping migrants get basic supplies, food, medicine, over the counter, things like that, you know, they are at capacity, they're stretched thin and they are getting help from the city and other officials here in the city.
But you know, the city officials, they want to really try to manage this. And it's been an increase in the last two weeks, Jake, 800 to 1000 migrants that they're processing per day, that's what Team Brownsville says that they've been processing. Yesterday it was 844 migrants that included 30 children.
And we've heard the President say that it is going to be chaotic, the end of Title 42. What is certain is that in the near term, it's cities like Brownsville that are going to have to learn to manage that chaos. Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Nick Valencia in Brownsville, Texas, for us, thanks so much.
So, just how many migrants theoretically could try to cross into the United States when Title 42 expires tomorrow evening? Let's bring in CNN's Priscilla Alvarez, who's been tracking this for months, years, and certainly all day. Do we know how many migrants are across right on the border right now waiting to go in?
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: We do, Jake. Just let me go through some of these numbers. There's more than 155,000 migrants, according to U.S. federal government estimates that are on the northern Mexico border. That means they're just sitting across from the U.S. southern border. Now, what we know anecdotally from some of the migrants who are there is that they want to cross.
In other cases, they are waiting for a CBP one appointment to present at a port of entry. And frankly, they're also at the whim of smugglers, which is something that the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recognized today. But here are some other numbers I'll tell you about. A Homeland Security official tells me there was more than 10,000 encounters of migrants just yesterday. I was reporting earlier this week it was 8,000.
So that just gives you a sense of how quickly it's climbing. And there are more than 28,000 migrants in Border Patrol custody, so that strains their resources and capacity. Put all this together, it is a logistical and political challenge for this administration. Now, when you talk to officials, they say that they're bolstering their capacity, CBP is opening up two facilities.
You also have -- you know, they're trying to send federal agents down to assist, but the reality here is that they're going back to decades old protocols when this goes away, and it's at a time of unprecedented mass migration.
Processing is going to take longer, there's more people that they have to work with. And all of that together just puts the entire system under strain.
TAPPER: Yes, and of course, we've known this was coming for several months. All right, Priscilla Alvarez, thanks so much.
Meanwhile, in El Paso, Texas, federal agents are making it clear to migrants who enter the U.S. unlawfully turn yourself in. And hundreds are already following suit. However, many others are too scared and confused about what might happen once they surrender themselves to immigration authorities. CNN's Rosa Flores spoke with some migrants who fear they will be deported.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was dark when plain clothed federal agents who didn't identify themselves woke up migrants sleeping outside sacred Hard Church in El Paso to give them flyers.
BECKENBAUER FRANCO, MIGRANT FROM VENEZUELA: Bendiciones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was (ph). Amen.
FLORES (voice-over): The migrant who said blessings in Spanish to an agent was Beckenbauer Franco from Venezuela.
(on camera): Did it surprise you?
(voice-over): The abrupt wake up turned to fear when he read the document asking migrants who skirted border authorities when they entered the U.S. to surrender for immigration processing.
(on camera): What happens if he returned you back?
FRANCO (through translator): We don't know. If we can return to Venezuela. We don't know.
FLORES (voice-over): Fear that the next time agents won't be leaving empty handed.
(on camera): He says that there's a lot of fear.
FRANCO: The feeling that you can't eat. The feeling that they don't have a way to survive. Sorry.
FLORES (voice-over): Too emotional to speak, Franco flashes on the day he said goodbye to his 12-year-old daughter and his aging parents in Venezuela. What hurts the most, he says, is that his parents don't have money for food.
As daylight came, fear spread. Franco, an attorney who says he earned $5 a day in Venezuela, and his friends anxiously debated about what to do.
(on camera) You're afraid of being deported? Have you been expelled before?
(voice-over) Expelled under Title 42, the pandemic rule that didn't punish migrants for repeated attempts to cross illegally, but that rule expires Thursday. The minutes rolled by, and so did immigration vans and trucks, a taunting image for an already scared group of migrants.
FERNANDO GARCIA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BORDER NETWORK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: Well, I think this is the promise of a raid.
FLORES (voice-over): Fernando Garcia, the executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, rushed to the scene.
GARCIA: This threat of enforcement. So where this is coming from? Is this Biden? Is this the promise of a better policy? Is this a humane policy that he promised?
FLORES (voice-over): In small groups and one by one, migrants started turning themselves in, especially after agents returned, this time verbally asking migrants to comply.
(on camera): Take a look at the line of migrants waiting to turn themselves into immigration authorities. If you take a look, it even turns the corner, many of them scared and nervous.
(voice-over): And walking up to the end of the line.
(on camera): You decided to turn yourself in?
(voice-over): Franco, with his Bible in hand, reading Psalm 121, praying he will be allowed to stay in the U.S.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FLORES: I've tried reaching Franco and I have not heard back and he did not return back here to the church. And if you look around me, you'll see that most of the migrants who turned themselves into immigration authorities didn't either. Jake.
TAPPER: Rosa Flores in El Paso, Texas, thank you so much. We are just hours away, of course, from a CNN presidential town hall featuring Donald Trump. What does the Republican frontrunner think about his competitors as heads into 2024? We're going to go live to New Hampshire.
[17:11:47] TAPPER: In our politics lead fewer than three hours from now, former President Donald Trump will come face to face with voters in New Hampshire, as well as CNN's Kaitlin Collins. Mr. Trump, we expect, will face some questions, tough questions perhaps, in this New Hampshire town hall just one day after a federal grand jury -- federal jury, rather, found that Trump had sexually abused E. Jean Carroll in 1996.
Let's discuss this with the "New York Times" Maggie Haberman and CNN's Political Director David Chalian, who's at the scene of tonight's town hall in the beautiful Granite State.
Maggie, so, the timing for this not optimal for Mr. Trump. Just yesterday, the jury found him liable for the sexual assault of E. Jean Carroll, ordered him to give her $5 million for the battery as well as for the defamation. Seems like something of a risk for him to appear in the town hall tonight.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK TIMES": Of all of the questions, Jake, that he is going to face tonight, potentially, and there are a lot of subjects to cover with him both by CNN and by the audience, this is clearly the most fraught one and it's the one that he would rather not be talking about. It's not just what the verdict was, he's been talking about the verdict on Truth Social, his social media website, they put out a statement, he said he's going to appeal. He's arguing this means he can't get a fair trial in New York.
I think there's another issue, which is his deposition in this case in which he doubled down on his comments on that Access Hollywood tape. And I think that is going to come back as a fraud issue for him as well.
TAPPER: Yes, he said that stars are getting -- the stars get away with sexual assault. Unfortunately or fortunately, he said, as if there's any world in which people getting away with sexual assault can be a good thing.
David, Trump is the obvious, clear, decisively so frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary race as of now. He's polling, on average north of 50 percent in national polls of likely GOP primary voters, also in state polls.
His nearest potential challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not yet declared that he's going to run, is earning slightly more than 20 percent of the Republican primary vote on average, nationally. None of Trump's legal controversies have seemed to impact his polling at all. In fact, you could make a case that the contrary is true. What do you make of the stakes here as he steps into the arena?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, you certainly can make a case the contrary is true. In fact, even the DeSantis camp noticed a considerable boost in support for Trump after that Manhattan indictment a month or so ago, Jake. Listen, there is no doubt, as you just pointed out, he is far and away the formidable frontrunner in this race. But I would not necessarily say at this point where it's just getting started, that he's the inevitable nominee. That is sort of a conversation I'm sure you're having with your Republican sources as well where there is concern in some quarters of the Republican establishment that maybe this is already done.
I would just caution, we're at the very beginning of this race. We do not know how it will unfold. He begins it in this formidable position, but given everything around him, given that this race is not yet fully engaged, I would not suggest that this race is already a done deal.
TAPPER: And, Maggie, you report that the Trump team has spent a considerable amount of time discussing the politics of abortion, which is obviously emerged in a huge way since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And you say that privately, Trump himself has been ambivalent about the consequences of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But I have to say, with the possible exception of Mitch McConnell, there is no human being on this planet more responsible for Roe v. Wade being overturned than Donald Trump. How does he walk the line of acting as if he's ambivalent about something that he led the charge to do? He made it clear he was going to have litmus tests for his justices.
HABERMAN: What you just said is a point we made in our very story. Jonathan Swan made this, that other than Mitch McConnell, there is nobody more responsible for the demise of Roe v. Wade than Donald Trump because he picked the justices who were involved in the decision.
But cognitive dissonance has never exactly been something that stopped Donald Trump in the past. He has been saying since the initial Dobbs decision that undid Roe v. Wade leaked before it was actually voted on by the justices or ruled on by the justices, he has been telling people privately this was bad for Republicans. He has continued saying that.
I actually think he is going to try to calibrate a remark to make social conservatives happier. I don't think you're going to hear him say this is bad for Republicans. I think you will hear him say Republicans didn't, conservatives didn't campaign hard enough in 2022 and try to triangulate that way, but he is still going to get pushed on this issue.
You know, he did have a meeting with a leading antiabortion activist at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week. He emerged feeling more supported from that, she issued a positive statement. I don't know that that's going to be enough, and we'll see where it goes tonight.
TAPPER: Yes, I remember Maureen Dowd from the "New York Times" asking him if he had ever paid for an abortion, and it was a question he did not answer. Generally pretty easy question to answer.
David, take a look at how some of Trump's potential Republican primary opponents have reacted to the verdict, in the E. Jean Carroll verdict. Some straight up condemning him, including Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, and Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, just decisive criticism of Trump, this reflecting that he should not be president.
Some deflecting Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, both of them refusing to weigh in. And then others basically defending Trump, including his somewhat estranged former vice president, Mike Pence. Bottom line, just as a political observer, I can't imagine this happening, an opponent who wants to defeat Donald Trump, not saying, here you go, more evidence he shouldn't be the nominee, and yet that's not the reaction overall from his -- the people running against him.
CHALIAN: Exactly, Jake. This to me is a perfect distillation of the conundrum that is Donald Trump for his opponents, both actual and potential opponents here who are still to get in. They are clearly you just went through the entire range of responses there. They are clearly as a field of opponents still trying to figure out how to navigate Trump, how to take him on. And I don't think there's a clear agreed upon answer inside the Republican Party, inside even the group of his primary opponents about exactly how to do that.
TAPPER: David Chalian and Maggie Haberman, good to see both of you. Thanks so much.
We're going to see how Donald Trump responds to it all tonight. He's going to take questions from CNN's Kaitlan Collins and New Hampshire Republican primary voters. The CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall starts at 08:00 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.
The chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee is getting ready to hold the Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress. And that chairman, Republican Congressman Mike McCaul of Texas will join me live next to explain why he doesn't want to have to do that.
TAPPER: And we're back with our politics lead. The Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky says he has the receipts, bank records that he alleges prove that President Biden son Hunter pocketed millions in payments from foreign entities in China and Romania, including when Biden was vice president. But as CNN Sara Murray reports for us, this will be an uphill battle for Republicans to prove that these payments were in any way illegal. And they still have not shown any evidence that then vice president, currently President Joe Biden was directly involved in any of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): House Oversight Chair James Comer offering new details to bolster his claims that members of Joe Biden's family, including his son Hunter, received millions of dollars in payments from foreign entities in China and Romania.
REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY), CHAIRMAN, OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: I want to be clear, this committee is investigating President Biden and his family's shady business deals that capitalize on Joe Biden's public office and risked our country's national security.
MURRAY (voice-over): Committee Republicans cited new bank records it obtained via subpoena that include payments made to companies tied to Hunter Biden.
COMER: Many of the wire payments occurred while Joe Biden was vice president and leading the United States efforts in these countries.
MURRAY (voice-over): Republicans also allege Hunter Biden and his associate used family ties to facilitate a 2016 meeting between a top Biden adviser and a Serbian national running for United Nations role.
REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: These people didn't come to Hunter Biden because he understood world politics or that he was experienced in it, or that he understood Chinese businesses. They wanted him for the access his last name gave them.
MURRAY (voice-over): But so far, Republicans have failed to unearth any payments to Joe Biden while he was vice president or after leaving office. And their report today does not suggest illegality in the payments from four sources. The president has repeatedly denied any involvement in his son's overseas deals.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've never once discussed this issue with Hunter while I was vice president. And the reason is to keep this wall between me and anyone involved with me at all, whether it's family or otherwise.
MURRAY (voice-over): But that hasn't stopped the GOP's investigations.
COMER: We're pretty confident that the president was very knowledgeable of what his family was doing.
MURRAY (voice-over): Republicans took aim at Joe Biden for railing against corruption as vice president.
BIDEN: Corruption SAPS (ph) the collective strength and resolve of a nation.
MURRAY (voice-over): In the same nations where members of his family were allegedly profiting.
COMER: While Vice President Biden was lecturing Romania on anticorruption policies, in reality he was a walking billboard for his son and family.
MURRAY (voice-over): Hunter Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, says there's no evidence of wrongdoing by his client, "Today's so-called revelations are retread repackaged misstatements of perfectly proper meetings and business by private citizens."
(END VIDEO TAPE)
MURRAY: Now, Comer had also subpoenaed the FBI for an internal document that Republicans claim shows Joe Biden was involved in a criminal scheme involving a payment to a foreign national while Biden was vice president. Today, the FBI declined to hand that document over or even confirm that it exists.
They said that these kinds of reports include leads and suspicions that are unverified. They come from confidential sources, and they said, you know, if we put this out here, essentially it could harm the reputation of people who are later exonerated when we do further investigations. It could also potentially harm ongoing investigations.
The White House, of course, have said there's no evidence to back up these allegations against Joe Biden in the first place, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Sara Murray, thanks so much.
Also on Capitol Hill tomorrow is U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's third deadline to hand over a key document on the Afghanistan withdrawal or risk being held in contempt of Congress. The document is a classified dissent cable, and the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee believes it is key to its committee -- his committee's investigation into the chaotic withdrawal.
The cable apparently detailed a stark warning from some U.S. diplomats in Kabul to Biden administration officials that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was imminent if the August 2021 U.S. troop withdrawal went as planned.
Blinken believes sharing that cable means that the protected channel for U.S. diplomats to voice concerns with the administration would be forever tarnished. We're also told that they are afraid of diplomats becoming embroiled in politics. The Republican congressman and chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Michael McCaul, joins us now to discuss.
Chairman McCaul, good to see you. So you say the State Department's summary of the dissent cable, the summary of its official response, and the classified briefing on this document that they did give to your committee were not enough? Why not? What information is missing?
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Well, I mean, basically we got a filtered summary narrative from the State Department as to what they would like to show us or in the cables themselves. And I have to say, Jake, I think I've been very patient, very accommodating, we offer to redact the names of the dissenters to protect them, if that's the secretary's concerns.
In fact, secretary and I, you know, get along fairly well, that this is critical. This is not a political stunt on my part, I'm doing this for the veterans and the gold star families who are entitled to know why did 23 members in the embassy dissent from the policy of the administration as to what was going on a month before Afghanistan fell?
And we've given him three extensions of time. We have till tomorrow, that's a deadline. And if he doesn't comply, I'll have no other alternative but to proceed with contempt proceedings. I would prefer not to do that. And you know, and the way it goes is you have a markup at a committee and you have time on the floor. This will be the first secretary of state to ever be held in contempt of Congress.
TAPPER: What do you make of the argument that the very process of dissent cables is there so that people can speak candidly without it becoming public, without it becoming a political football?
MCCAUL: Well, again, we're willing to protect their identities. We need to know the state of mind at the embassy and the response, quite frankly, of the secretary of state to the dissenting cables as to what was actually happening at that time. Why did it go so badly?
And so, I know there's this institutional argument out there, but they cite a case going back to Henry Kissinger dissent cable from an ambassador of Greece at that time who supports our position that the Congress and the American people deserve to know the truth here. There is no executive privilege that he can maintain or assert in this case. And that's why I've been patient. We hope he'll still comply with this, but we are prepared to move forward if necessary.
TAPPER: I want to ask you about refugees in the United States because there's a bill called HR 2, the Secure the Border Act. It's set to be voted on tomorrow. Congressman Gonzalez, your fellow Texans has been working very hard on it. Now, critics say that this bill effectively would eliminate the process of humanitarian parole, which grants temporary permission to folks to enter the U.S. for urgent humanitarian reasons. You're an original co-sponsor. So I want to get your reaction to what some of the critics of this provision of the bill have to say, including your colleague on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Democrat Joaquin Castro, who said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): The Afghans who fought alongside the United States and were evacuated from Kabul in August 2021 are largely in the United States through humanitarian parole. If we pass H.R. 2, they would lose the ability to remain in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I know that you care a great deal about the Afghan allies who did so much for our service members in Afghanistan and the debt that the United States owes them. This bill could hurt them.
MCCAUL: Look, I respect my friend from San Antonio. He's on the committee. And as I point out, the Rules Committee, that's just absolutely not right. I mean, we put in H.R. 2 in a provision that says that everyone who's already paroled into the country, that provision would not apply to the Afghans paroled by humanitarian reasons into the country. And we talked about the Ukrainians, you know, as well.
Usually paroles on a case by case basis, and then you also have political asylum claims, you know, also. So, you know, I beg to differ with my colleague. I would do nothing to damage any of the Afghans we got out of that country. And by the way, Jake, we left a lot behind, not only citizens, but Afghan partners. We left behind the biometric devices that the Taliban is using to hunt them down.
MCCAUL: And I'm having a roundtable with the women of Afghanistan as well.
TAPPER: So just to put a fine point on this, because I know you care deeply about this, do you think it's possible that you, Congressman Gonzalez, Congressman Castro, working with the Senate, can make explicitly clear, regardless of parole or people already in the country that this would not include our Afghan allies that are still -- many of them still over there, many of them in refugee camps that have fled Afghanistan, still trying to get over here to have the better life that the United States military promised them?
MCCAUL: A 100 percent. You know my position on this. And we promised them we would protect them special immigrant visas. They have not gotten out of the country. They're being hunted down by the Taliban with the biometrics we left behind. And we owe them that. And I will do everything to protect them from the Taliban.
TAPPER: All right, sir. Good to see, as always. Thank you so much. The Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee Michael McCaul of Texas.
Coming up, the FDA move that could lead to a first for all women in the United States. Plus, we're taking a closer look at how the writers' strike is impacting some of your favorite shows, including one where you might have seen a familiar face. Yes, that's me and my boy Jack on "The Rookie." That happened. It actually happened. That's next.
TAPPER: In our National Lead and what authorities say drove the gunman who killed eight people and wounded seven at a Texas shopping mall. We now know that investigators believe that the shooter, Mauricio Garcia, had an account on a Russian social media site in which he used to convey support for Nazi ideology and other extremist garbage. Surprising, perhaps, because he is apparently Latino, but it is not actually all that unusual these days, regrettably.
So where are individuals like this disturbed Texas gunman, where are they getting this poisonous and harmful ideology of Nazism and White Supremacy and the like? Well, in addition to promoting his anti- Semitic and White Supremacist positions, Garcia used that account, investigators say, to boost other people. Proponents of such odious positions, including Nick Fuentes, you might
know that name. He hosts a White Supremacist conference that has featured such speakers as Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene at a White Supremacist columnist.
You might also remember Fuentes was the Holocaust denying bigot that Donald Trump and Kanye West, another anti-Semite dined with at Mar-a- Lago in November last year. Shockingly, Trump would go on to say he does not know anything about Fuentes, though he assuredly did not condemn Fuentes' thoughts, his hideous ideology, or Kanye West, for that matter. None of that, of course, is stopping, perhaps surprisingly, Trump's Golf Resort from hosting other individuals who spew vile, anti-Semitic, hate filled rhetoric.
Tomorrow evening, the Reawaken America tour kicks off at Trump National Dural Resort in Miami. Featured speakers include a slew of former Trump officials such as former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, My Pillow, conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, and many more. Also scheduled to appear, according to the convention's website, are two blatant anti-Semites who have repeatedly promoted, literally pro Hitler propaganda.
The first, Scott McKay, he hosts a streaming show on Rumble where he, among other things, promotes a bizarre anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about what these particular anti-Semites call the Khazarian Mob. The Khazarian Mob is, well, the ADL describes it as a theory involving certain kinds of Jews who have a secret agenda to undermine society, enrich themselves at the expense of others, blah, blah, blah.
The ADL also says that McKay promotes the deranged QAnon conspiracy theory and praises Hitler. I'm going to show you this clip. I'm doing so reluctantly, but I think it's important that you see and hear what this guy is saying about Jews.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MCKAY, HOST OF A STREAMING SHOW ON RUMBLE: People are going to learn a lot about World War II and Hitler and the Nazis. They're going to learn about Hitler was actually fighting the same people that we're trying to take down today. Again, history is written by, quote, unquote, the winners. These people are so elusive and slippery and cunning and capable that we ended up having World War II. Afterwards, you know, the Nazis won the war. The Khazarian mob won the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Yes, it's not particularly subtle. Also scheduled to appear at the Reawaken America tour at Trump Dural, again, this is, according to the event's website, is another Jew hating host of a Rumble show, this one's named Charlie Ward. Ward has posted on social media praise for Hitler for, quote, warning us about Judaism and Jews, also blaming Jews insanely for creating viruses such as AIDS and COVID. Now, we reached out to Eric Trump. He's an executive at the Trump organization and the president's son scheduled to speak at the conference. And Eric told us this afternoon that when he learned about McKay and Ward and the anti-Semitic comments they have made, he told the organizers of the Reawakened American tour to uninvite those two individuals. And Eric says he had been told that they have been uninvited. Now we reached out to Reawaken America, and we heard back from them just minutes ago.
Clay Clark, the organizer of the conference. Clark told us he could not confirm if Wards and McKay's appearances had been canceled. We checked the event's website just a few minutes ago. They are still listed on the speaker schedule, despite Eric Trump asking the organizers to uninvite those two bigots.
Turning to our Health Lead today, advisors to the Food and Drug Administration took groundbreaking action to make women's access to birth control easier. Two advisory groups to the FDA voted unanimously in support of making a birth control pill called Opill available over the counter.
Doctors overwhelmingly agreed the pill is safe for most women and is in fact, safer than other common medicines on the market, such as Benadryl, Tylenol, ibuprofen. The FDA is expected to make a final decision on the pill this summer. Usually it does follow its advisors recommendations.
In our Pop Culture Lead, it does not look as though either side, as of now, is close to budging as the Hollywood writers' strike enters its second week, late night shows sadly remain dark. Production is halted for popular series such as Apple, "Severance" and Netflix's "Stranger Things." Oh, man. Adam I'm sorry. Disney's, creator of the "Star Wars" series "Andor" said he stopped all non-writing producing duties for the show.
Now the Writers Guild of America is arguing that streaming services plus other radical changes in the entertainment industry have transformed how writers are paid, leaving them struggling to make ends meet. And the talks with major production studios are still at a standstill.
And joining us from the picket lines outside Paramount Studios in Los Angeles are actors Niecy Nash and Nathan Fillion and the executive producer and showrunner of ABC's "The Rookie" and "The Rookie: Feds," Alexi Hawley. Fillion currently stars in "The Rookie." Nash is leading the way in the spinoff series "The Rookie: Feds."
Full disclosure, full disclosure, my son Jack and I absolutely adore the series. And these kind people were nice enough to let us have a cameo for last year's Halloween episode. So just so you know that.
NATHAN FILLION, ACTOR, "THE ROOKIE": You did an excellent job too. You did an great job.
TAPPER: Laying all the cards on the table. So, Nathan, let me start with you. Why is it important for the three of you to be out there supporting the writer strike?
FILLION: Because what happens to the writers is going to happen to all of us, the actors included. This is going to be a trickle-down effect. And this is an attack, an unprecedented attack on fair wages and working conditions. And we're not trying to get rich here. No one's trying to get rich. What we want here is fair wages for our writers.
TAPPER: Alexi the alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that's the big corporate behemoths representing the major studios. They say their argument is, hey, we've offered pay more than double what was said was offered. They're open to further negotiations. They say, hey, the WGA, you're asking for a hiring quota. It's incompatible with the industry in this new era of streaming and shorter runs of T.V. shows, how do you respond?
ALEXI HAWLEY, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND SHOWRUNNER, "THE ROOKIE": Well, I mean, for the last 50 plus years, T.V. has been a training ground for writers through writers' rooms and being able to go to set, to learn how to produce episodes. And that's being stripped away like those streaming shows, they have these mini rooms that are completely divorced from production. And so there's a generation of writers who are not learning how to make television. And that's really what this fight is about, is trying to ensure.
And part of the way we're doing that is through asking for minimum writers rooms because there's no guarantee that a writer even gets, a showrunner, even gets a writer's room. And so we're trying to fix a system that they've slowly been breaking over the last five years.
TAPPER: And Niecy this standoff between the Writers Guild and these major studios, it could last months. I mean, I'm hearing people talk about August, September, October, the strike in 2007, 2008 that lasted more than three months, 100 days. What are your concerns if this current strike goes beyond that?
NIECY NASH, ACTOR, "THE ROOKIE: FEDS": I would be more concerned if our writers didn't get this all worked out. I mean, we can't act from a blank page. So we are in standing in solidarity with them to just get a fair contract. And so whatever -- however long it takes, we will be out here helping them fight a good fight.
TAPPER: Nathan, what differences, if any, do you see from this strike versus the one in 2007, 2008? And are you hopeful that a deal can be made sometime soon?
FILLION: I am certainly hopeful. In my mind, I always see us doing these negotiations with it like a cartoon Scrooge McDuck, the way they go. What I'm seeing this year as a difference is more solidarity. More people are recognizing how this is going to affect all of us. If the writers don't get a fair working wage, this whole thing shuts down, the whole system breaks. Everything goes down without writers.
TAPPER: Alexi and then Niecy, how do you see the strength impacting shows such as "The Rookie" and "The Rookie: Feds?" HAWLEY: Well, look, it's unfortunate, obviously. I mean, "The Rookie" and "Feds" are actually still, you know, good places to work in terms of network television has the best fees. Writers have a tendency to get more than the minimums. They get to produce their episodes because we shoot in L.A. But we're more of a rarity these days. And so, you know, as hard as it is for us to, you know, go dark and wait for this to be over, it's really important to the health of the business going forward.
NASH: Yes, I agree. I mean it's necessary. All these people behind us are out here for the same reason and all of them are writers. We're all in different guilds. But it's the solidarity that is so beautiful and that's what we're going to lean into. And I am hopeful, just like Nathan, I'm hopeful that we're going to get to the right place. We have to. Oh, I said the right place. You see what I did there?
TAPPER: Well, we're hearing a lot of support for you from the people with the horns driving by you. Alexi Hawley, Niecy Nash, Nathan Fillion, thank you so much. Good to see you. And as always, we appreciate your time.
NASH: Thank you.
FILLION: An absolute pleasure. Thank you very much, Jake.
HAWLEY: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up next a look at what was inside dozens of Florida social studies textbooks that were just rejected by the state.
TAPPER: In our National Lead, Florida once again has made a controversial decision about what students grades K through 12 can and cannot learn in the classroom. Yesterday, the state's education department rejected nearly 35 percent of the social studies textbooks there. CNN's Carlos Suarez is live for us in Miami. Carlos, what is the problem with these textbooks?
CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so Jake, Florida education officials said that some of the material in these textbooks were, quote, not aligned with Florida law. And while the Department of Education offered up some examples of passages that were rejected, the Department did not provide the title of the books where the passages came from, and they didn't say if any of the approved books were updated before they were adopted.
Now, in one example in a book for students in kindergarten to fifth grade, a reference to how some people take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racism was removed because education officials said it was not age appropriate. The passage was on symbols that represent America and Florida and described what you should do during the national anthem. The passage, though, goes on to encourage parents to talk to their children about the military and how they sacrifice their lives for us.
Now, in another example in a book for students in grades sixth to eighth, an entire passage that talked about the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter Movement was removed because education officials said it was, quote, an unsolicited topic. The passage talked about the impact that mobile devices and social media has had on the spread of images of police violence sometimes deadly against black Americans. That's an exact quote.
And just how the BLM movement has called for an end to systemic racism and white supremacy. Now, we e-mailed the Education Department asking for more information on the unsolicited topic concern. However, we have not heard back. Jake, yesterday we did get a statement from Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, who said, quote, to uphold our exceptional standards, we must ensure our students and teachers have the highest quality materials available, materials that focus on historical facts and are free from inaccuracies or ideological rhetoric.
Jake, the list of rejected materials included books on American history, the holocaust and genocide. The state said that those books did not meet the state criteria.
TAPPER: All right, Carlos Suarez in Miami, Florida. Thanks so much.
Still ahead, how a Tulsa massacre survivor is hoping to celebrate her 109th birthday. Plus ahead on a special edition of The Situation, Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett are talking to the Republicans at senator from Ohio, J. D. Vance about what he thinks Trump needs to do in tonight's town hall.
TAPPER: May marks 102 years since the Tulsa race riot. The Tulsa race riot you might not have learned about in school. It was when a white mob rampaged the city's Greenwood district, killing hundreds of innocent black people. Viola Fletcher was seven years old, and today do the math, she's 109. And one of only three known survivors of the Tulsa riot.
The massacre destroyed the area known as Black Wall Street, as well as links to generation wealth. For years, Fletcher has pushed for reparations for the families directly impacted. She's even testified before Congress today on her birthday. A judge reportedly said she'll decide next week if the reparations case can move forward. Either way, happy Birthday to an American hero.
I'll see you tonight after the CNN Town hall. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett.