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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Supreme Court: Twitter Not Liable for Terror-Related Content; House Conservatives to McCarthy: Don't Make Concessions; Trump Attorney Responds as New Evidence Could Undercut Trump Claims; NRA Sues Maryland Governor After He Signs Gun Safety Legislation; Contentious March Attracts Thousands in Jerusalem's Old City. Aired 4- 5p ET
Aired May 18, 2023 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: I'm just here to be sad for the bird. That's my role here.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: As I'm watching, I'm thinking like when players get hit by pitches, right, which they do all the time.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: All the time.
SCIUTTO: And you're thinking, you see what it does to a bird. It's dangerous. You're throwing 100 miles an hour.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, wrong place, wrong time, poor little guy.
KEILAR: Oh, definitely. All right, guys.
SCIUTTO: It did happen in 1983, though, but these guys are too young to remember. Dave Winfield -- you've got it go back 40 years for that one.
KEILAR: All right, let's go to Jake Tapper now.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the all- powerful tech giants can remain relatively unaccountable for what people post on their sites.
THE LEAD starts right now.
Twitter and Google not responsible for what folks post on their websites, not even if it's a terrorist organization like ISIS posting pro-terrorist propaganda. Does today's Supreme Court ruling mean that the Wild West online just got even wilder?
Plus, her office said that she had shingles, but Senator Dianne Feinstein and her office never mentioned encephalitis and swelling of the brain. What a source tells CNN today about the senator's previously undisclosed health condition and what that means for the tens of millions of citizens in California. Plus, this afternoon, the Disney-DeSantis feud taking a new turn as
the entertainment giant just announced it is scrapping a billion dollar plan to build a major complex in Florida, costing Florida thousands of high paying jobs. How much do they blame Governor DeSantis?
TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We start today in our tech lead with major legal victories for Twitter and Google today in lawsuits that legal experts had warned could have upended the Internet. The justices unanimously decided Twitter will not have to face a lawsuit, accusing the company of aiding and abetting terrorism when they allowed tweets created by the terrorist group ISIS.
The court also dismissed a similar case against Google which had been accused of aiding and abetting terrorism by aiding ISIS-related videos to be posted on YouTube which Google owns. Critics argue that platforms need to be held accountable for what people share on their sites but supporters of the tech giant says that exposing companies to more liability could make it difficult for many websites to even function.
CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider joins us live now.
And, Jessica, let's start with the Twitter decision. It was a unanimous decision. What was the court's reasoning?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, unanimous written by Justice Clarence Thomas. It really centered on this theory of aiding and abetting. So the statute that this family of this person who was killed in an ISIS attack in Turkey, the statute that they sued under does allow lawsuits against people or entities that aid or abet an active international terrorism. So, that was the legal theory that the court seized on.
But the court really saying here that the family just didn't prove its case because social media companies didn't do anything actively. They just merely passively led people to post on their platforms. So Justice Thomas writing this in the opinion, saying that it might be that bad actors like ISIS are able to use platforms like defendants for illegal and sometimes terrible ends, but the same could be said of cell phones, email or the internet generally.
So, the court tying back to other forms of communication. What was interesting, though, they also dismissed one of the plaintiff's arguments about algorithms. These families had said, well, you not only let them post, but then you actively suggest content via your algorithms. And the court really dismissed that notion. They said that this is just simply part of the infrastructure of the social media companies.
TAPPER: Interesting. Jessica, the court also dismissed this lawsuit against Google but that was just a brief order. Tell us about that. SCHNEIDER: Exactly. So, it was stipulated between the parties in the
Twitter case that if the court did not find in their favor in Twitter that they would dismiss the Google case. So, this was a huge sigh of relief for big tech companies because by dismissing it, it means that the court did not even touch that section 230 issue, and what's that issue?
Well, the family in the Google case had said that section 230 should be totally chipped away. And, of course, that creates broad exceptions of liability for tech companies that allow third parties to post. So, they are not responsible for any of the content that the post. And tech companies were very concerned that if the Supreme Court weighed in on section 230, especially if they chipped away on those protections, it could really up in the way that the Internet is run.
So the Supreme Court is totally skirting that issue, dismissing the Google case and leaving Section 230 at least for now completely intact. I will mention that the judiciary committee chairman, Senator Dick Durbin, he put out a statement. He said, well, you know, the Supreme Court didn't do anything on Section 230, and now Congress needs to. We'll see.
TAPPER: Hmm. All right. Jessica, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Let's discuss this with "Axios" senior reporter, Sara Fischer, media commentator Kara Swisher, and former homeland security official, Juliette Kayyem.
Kara, obviously, big victories for tech companies.
KARA SWISHER, MEDIA COMMENTATOR: Yeah.
TAPPER: Are they -- are they victories for the people who use Twitter and Google?
SWISHER: Well, this isn't the right case to bring before it. I mean, I think that what Senator Durbin said is correct. This is Congress's job to do something about 230 since they passed 230. And so, I think that the Supreme Court was like this is not our deal and in fact, it was unanimous.
And so, all the justices agreed in fact that Justice Kagan had said that. It's like this is just a court. We're not exactly technology experts. And so, they didn't want to come up against 230 because they do believe it's a congressional mandate to do something about this if they really believe this is a problem.
TAPPER: Sara, do you think this ruling, this decision makes it nearly impossible for individuals to sue tech companies for what is shared on their sites?
SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: It makes it very difficult, Jake, and the reason being, Section 230 is written very clearly. And so, the role of the Supreme Court is to interpret these laws. And so, by basically saying that this is not our job, we're not going to interpret it. it's clear and punting it back to Congress.
The only way the consumer would be able to sue a tech company for something that was posted is to Kara's point if the law were to change. And given Congress's, you know, previous history of getting tech bills signed, especially this Congress with a split house and split Senate, I just don't see it happening that this law changes which would invite an opportunity for people to be able to sue tech.
TAPPER: Juliette, let's talk about the national security implications of this because the court ruled that just because these sites host general terrorist speech, including from actual terrorist groups like ISIS, that doesn't create legal responsibility for specific terrorist attacks.
How much do terrorist groups use media sites, social media sites to recruit?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: A lot. And they're not just recruiting. There's a whole infrastructure that terrorist groups are taking advantage of. And so, part of this and I agree that this is congress's problems, not the court's problem. Part of this is that Section 230 was written at a time when everyone thought, oh, these social media platforms, they're like -- they are just blank slates, it's just like producing ink. So you are not going to go after the ink production company because somebody wrote something bad, or some terrorist used the ink.
What we have now seen is that they are more like a theory of law which is called the dram shop rules, which are essentially they are like bars that are serving drunk, dangerous people and keep serving them, and then those people go out and they do bad things. And the law has recognized that the bar can't say, oh, we're just serving alcohol, we're not responsible for anything.
I think that's a way for Congress to think about it, is that these platforms are being used not just for recruitment, for fundraising but for something as important. It gives the individual, the so-called lone wolf, a sense of identity, a sense of support, a sense that they will be supported by the pack.
There's no lone wolfs on Twitter. There is no lone wolfs on YouTube. They have their community and the social media networks are providing the bar for them.
And, Kara, how strict are the rules on sites like YouTube or Elon Musk's Twitter about what kind of terrorist speech can be posted and what cannot?
SWISHER: Well, this has been the problem for a long time. They have been very random about how they enforce the rules, even against people like Alex Jones. And so, they keep making decisions and then changing them and not enforcing them.
And so, you know, and then it just goes on and on. You have to remember, this is a very small group of people making these decisions. They certainly can take this material off just because they feel like it. It is a private company.
They just don't do it or they feel nervous about it and they get attacked by it, and so, it gets sucked up into these First Amendment arguments which it's not necessarily related. And so, it becomes a mess. And if they miss one thing, and they often do, it can result in the problem.
And so, again, these are very small people making these decisions and even though they do have rules, they are not enforced, and it's sort of like having no stop signs all over a city, just keep those floating all the time.
TAPPER: So, Sara, you have to give credit to the U.S. Supreme Court for knowing their limitations at the very least in terms of Justice Kagan saying like, you know, she didn't put it this way, but, you know, we basically -- we barely know how to use a mouse.
But do you think that Congress is up to speed when it comes to being able to actually revise or create new legislation?
FISCHER: That is a good question. I think Congress has a long way to go in figuring out what to do. You have very progressive folks who are saying we should abolish section 230 altogether but the problem is, Jake, there is no alternatives that have been put forward if people agreed that they would be able to supplement that loss.
To Kara's quick point, though, on whether or not tech platforms are making these decisions, right, I completely agree with her. But one of the challenges is to us, or people in America, we might consider one group to be a terrorist group with terrorist ideals and then another group, in another country might not agree that that group is necessarily affiliated with terrorism. And so, that also gets to the heart of why these are such difficult decisions.
These are not just American companies that are looking to uphold American ideals around terrorism, and our viewpoints, they have to operate globally, and sometimes those things don't align.
TAPPER: All right. Thanks to this brilliant panel. Appreciate it. I could talk to you all day. Thank you so much for being here.
Coming up next, the new tone from a group of conservatives who may force House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's hand just as the speaker is saying the negotiations in the debt fight are making progress.
Plus, the response from Donald Trump's attorney to some CNN reporting. How it is a likely avenue for a legal challenge in the president's classified documents investigation, the investigation of him.
And I will speak with the governor of Maryland after his state tried to tackle the gun epidemic this week with some new laws and the NRA quickly responded. Stay with us.
TAPPER: We are back with our money lead.
A new gauntlet has been thrown down in that debt limit fight. The House Freedom Caucus, a bunch of conservatives, this afternoon called on Speaker McCarthy to stop negotiating with Democrats if it means anything less than the GOP's current debt ceiling proposal. That proposal, of course, cuts federal spending by $4.5 trillion although with no specifics. It blocks the president's student loan forgiveness plan, rescinds new IRS funding, toughens work requirements for people on Medicaid and repeals clean energy tax credits that are in the Inflation Reduction Act.
That's part of the debt negotiation.
CNN's Melanie Zanona is live for us on Capitol Hill.
So, Melanie, this stance of this group of about 40 hard line conservatives, it's not new but now it's official.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: That's right, Jake. The House Freedom Caucus took an official position today urging Speaker Kevin McCarthy to not negotiate with President Biden and instead to standby the plan that the Republicans passed in the House, which would raise the debt ceiling but also enact deep spending cuts and a whole host of other demands. The Freedom Caucus put out a tweet today saying no more discussion on watering it down, period.
So, Jake, this really is a sign of the challenges that Kevin McCarthy is going to face in trying to sell any deal negotiated with the White House to his right flank. Even though GOP leaders have been trying to work behind the scenes internally to temper down expectations about what a final product could look like, but he does not necessarily need conservatives in order to pass a bipartisan bill because presumably that's narrowed the would be Democrats who would vote for it, but for his speakership and his political future McCarthy does need a healthy amount of Republican buy in.
So, he's going to have to walk away from negotiating table with something he can say is a big win for Republicans.
TAPPER: Melanie, the timing is interesting because earlier today, Speaker McCarthy sounded pretty positive about the direction of the debt limit talks maybe for the first time.
ZANONA: Yeah, it was really interesting and striking actually to hear Kevin McCarthy say that. That signals to me that he feels pretty confident that these talks are trending in the GOP's direction. I mean for starters the White House is, in fact, negotiating on the debt ceiling which they said they wouldn't do. And all the things being discussed according to our sources are Republican priorities, whether it's spending cuts, permitting reform, even some form of work requirements appears to be on the table.
But I would caution that there's still a long way to go. There are a lot of details still to iron out and not a lot of time to do it, so plenty could go wrong between now and June 1st. But as of right now, a lot more optimism than we've heard in the last few days and even weeks, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Melanie Zanona, on Capitol Hill for us, thanks so much.
Turning to our law and justice lead, an attorney for Donald Trump is responding to new evidence that may undercut Trump's claim that documents he took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago had been automatically declassified when he did it. National Archives officials have informed Trump that they're set to hand over 16 records to special counsel Jack Smith. Documents that could show Trump and his team were aware of the correct way to declassify documents, which does not include just, quote, thinking about it, unquote, as Trump has claimed.
Here's how an attorney for Donald Trump responded to our news on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM TRUSTY, ATTORNEY FOR FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: He is aware of a bureaucratic process that can be used, but at the end of his presidency, he relied on the constitutional authority as commander in chief, which is to take documents and take them to Mar-a-Lago while still president as he was at the time and to effectively declassify and personalize them. He talked about declassifying them but he didn't need to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Here to discuss CNN's Jamie Gangel and senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.
Jamie, the process that Donald Trump's lawyer described there, is that how it works?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: No. You also don't effectively declassify something. There is a process.
Yes, presidents have broad authority, but I will tell you I think former President Trump's lawyer may have just done him a disservice with an admission, again, that he knew how the process worked.
Let's just take a look back for a minute, Jake, at how -- you know, how those documents got to Mar-a-Lago. And when they were found, there were hundreds of documents. There was chaos. They were in boxes.
When the president's lawyers went to the archives eventually to find out what was in the boxes, they did that because nobody knew what was in the boxes. So you can't effectively or otherwise, you know, wave a magic wand, think it over and suddenly all these documents are declassify. It just doesn't work that way. TAPPER: Elie, if the special counsel does decide to ultimately pursue
charges against Donald Trump in this case, will the defense he's using now, what you heard from Jim Trusty and what you heard from the president, will it hold up in court?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think so, Jake. I think it's a dubious defense and here's why. There is a constitutional school of thought that holds the president is not just the head of the executive branch, he is the executive branch. And as such, he holds unilateral authority to declassify at will. And he does not have to follow any particular checklist or form that may have been formatted by bureaucrats.
There's some legitimacy to that, but then it becomes a factual question, which is did the president actually use that power, did he actually declassify while he was in office?
And to that end, there is just zero evidence that the president actually did declassify. As Jamie said you cannot declassify by magic or by telekinesis. And, in fact, to the contrary, there's quite a bit of evidence that the president did not do any sort of automatic declassification.
We've seen 18 different former White House officials who have come forward some by name some anonymously who said that claim is and I quote laughable, ridiculous or B.S. So, it's an interesting theory but doesn't hold up on the facts.
TAPPER: And, Jamie, you point to several -- several parts of this letter from Trump's legal team that don't add up. Tell us.
GANGEL: So, this was a letter that was sent to the House Intelligence Committee by former President Trump's lawyers. And, again, this was just last month. They are pointing out in this letter and let me read part of it that when the boxes were sent to NARA from Washington that Trump never even reviewed them. So, quote, however, due to other demands on his time, President Trump subsequently directed his staff to ship the boxes to NARA, the Archives without any review by him or his staff.
If you don't know what's in the boxes, it's very hard to say you declassified them. There's another part of the letter where the lawyers say we've seen absolutely no indication that President Trump knowingly possessed any of the marked documents or willfully broke the law. Here it goes on: Rather, all indications are is that the presence of the marked documents at Mar-a-Lago is the result of haphazard records keeping and packing by White House staff and GSA. President Trump has directed us to immediately notify DOJ of the discovery of marked documents at Mar-a-Lago, and we have faithfully done so.
That seems very clearly to be an admission that, oh, we didn't know these documents were there. So, again, how do you declassify them if you don't know they're there? TAPPER: Elie, the National Archives could hand these 16 documents that
are suggested would show Donald Trump did actually know the declassification process, they might hand them over to special counsel Jack Smith on May 24th unless they are prohibited to do so by a court order.
Do you think Trump's team is going to try to challenge this in court and bring the court order?
HONIG: I think they're very likely to do so, Jake, because they've done so in virtually every circumstance that's come up before this.
There was a moment in early 2019 when Donald Trump went out to the White House lawn and said, quote, we're fighting all the subpoenas. He meant it. He has gone to court claiming executive privilege more than any other president in our history. He has lost in court on executive privilege more than any other president in our history.
And the reason he keeps losing is because executive privilege is designed to protect legitimate policy and strategy discussions, military policy, diplomatic, that kind of thing. The Supreme Court has said generally speaking the privilege does not keep important evidence in the criminal case out of the hands of prosecutors, and that's why Donald Trump has lost on executive privilege on everyone from Mike Pence to Mark Meadows to the Trump Organization itself, and I think he'll reach a similar result if he challenges this one.
TAPPER: All right. Elie Honig and Jamie Gangel, thanks so much.
Coming up next, a special request from a Navy officer's wife to President Biden specifically timed with his G7 stop in Japan happening right now.
TAPPER: In our world lead today, President Biden kicked off his truncated visit to Asia to meet with fellow world leaders at the G7 summit in Japan. The leaders of some of the world's largest economies are expected to try to keep a sharp focus on China's growing aggression globally and on Russia's brutal war against Ukraine.
But as President Biden shakes hands with fellow presidents and prime ministers, one American family is urging President Biden to address another issue close to their hearts. They're asking President Biden to press harder on Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to release an American navy lieutenant who's imprisoned in Japan.
Lt. Ridge Alkonis been behind bars in Japan for nearly 100 days, part of a three year sentence for what Japanese courts called the, quote, negligent driving deaths of two Japanese citizens in May 2021. Lt. Alkonis says he suffered from acute mountain sickness as he was driving from Mt. Fuji with his family, and he became unconscious behind the wheel and that led to the tragic deadly crash.
Joining us now for an exclusive interview from Japan is his wife, Brittany Alkonis.
Brittany, good to see you again.
Quickly if you can, remind our viewers why you think that this three- year sentence is unfair and undeserved.
BRITTANY ALKONIS, WIFE OF U.S. NAVY LIEUTENANT IMPRISONED IN JAPAN: What happened on May 29, 2021, was absolutely a tragedy. However, he was mid-conversation with my daughter when he lost consciousness. He couldn't be awoken. A crash happened. That didn't wake him.
He did not fall asleep. He was not negligent, and so, I understand what happened was a tragedy. He said from day one that he wanted to make sure that the family was taken care of, but he's also maintained he was never tired and he did not fall asleep, and there's no evidence that suggests that he did.
TAPPER: So your husband sent you a letter a couple weeks ago that you shared with us. I want to read part of it.
It says: I'm not doing that good. The walls and bars seem to be making my cell even smaller as of late. I get sick to my stomach thinking about whether 30-minute meetings through a window is helping or hurting the kids and you. I feel closer to an animal than a human being right now.
Just -- just awful. Tell us your reaction when you read that, if you would, Brittany.
ALKONIS: I was heartbroken. You know, I've been with him for 12 years. He's really good at doing really hard things, things that people just don't want to do without complaint, with a good attitude. And to hear his spirit just kind of breaking, it breaks my heart and also it makes me mad.
TAPPER: Yeah. How are your kids?
ALKONIS: You know, it depends on the day, but they're hurting. They try to make sense of this. We talk about it all the time. But my son asked me the other day he said, mommy, you said the president is getting daddy home, then why isn't he home yet.
And, you know, if daddy suffered an emergency why is he in jail? And those are questions I can't -- I can't answer. You know, when my daughter says, mommy, I just want to hug daddy. I can't do anything to fix that.
But they're good natured kids. They're wonderful, and, you know, they're doing the best they can.
TAPPER: So you -- that's a reference obviously to the brief discussion you had with President Biden after his State of the Union speech in February. He promised you he wouldn't give up, and you have praised the White House for engaging with you. Is the Navy helping at all? Is the Pentagon?
ALKONIS: No, absolutely not. They've done nothing but work against us.
TAPPER: In fact, you've accused the Pentagon of conducting a whisper campaign in an attempt to convince some people that your husband, in fact, got a fair trial in Japan. And you say you even have some e- mails that would prove Pentagon officials are pushing this narrative, and they're lying. But you're not going to release those e-mails now. Tell us more about this.
ALKONIS: You know, we have the e-mails outlining the Status of Forces Agreement violations that were committed in the investigation. Letters have been sent out to members of Congress. We've gotten ahold of some of those. People have given them to us and said, hey, this is what DOD is saying, it's not quite in line with what you're saying.
I've taken those letters into CNFJ legal, gone over them point by point, confirmed with them that they are false, and yet these things continue to be said.
And I just -- I understand that the alliance with Japan is important. I do not believe that it is so weak that we need to allow Japan to unjustly imprison our naval officers.
TAPPER: Brittany Alkonis, thank you so much. Keep speaking out, keep talking. We're going to keep having you. We're going to keep talking about Ridge's case. We really appreciate your time.
ALKONIS: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up next, the NRA's new lawsuit against the state of Maryland as lawmakers try to restrict the number of guns flooding into their state. Maryland's Governor Wes Moore will be here with his response to the NRA lawsuit.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our national lead gun violence is the top concern in America. That's according to our new Axios/Ipsos polling which saw the issue surged ahead of the opioid crisis, and as the U.S. endured more than 220 mass shootings this year. So far, that's more than there have been days.
In response, at least in part, Maryland's governor just signed several gun safety measures into law with new criteria for who can carry firearms in public, new restrictions as to where permit holders can bring their weapons including polling places, preschools, hospitals, and stadiums.
In response to that, the National Rifle Association is now suing Maryland's Democratic Governor Wes Moore, calling the law unconstitutional, and Maryland Governor Wes Moore joins us now.
Governor, in the wake of the Supreme Court's June 2022 decision, which was a ruling basically against New York's concealed carry law and basically expanded the interpretation of the Second Amendment -- because of that, the number of people now allowed to carry concealed guns in public in Maryland has tripled.
Your new law is in response to that. The NRA lawsuit challenges the idea that Maryland can prohibit legal permit holders from bringing their guns into a vast array of public and private space.
Do you think your law will hold up in court even if it's challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court?
GOV. WES MOORE (D), MARYLAND: I do think this law will hold up. We were working in partnership with the office of the attorney general who believes that this law will hold up.
But also importantly, these are common sense gun laws. They're common sense gun laws that are simply saying that people should not be allowed to bring firearms into a nursery or into a government building. You know, we passed common sense gun laws that are saying someone under the age of 21 should not be allowed to purchase a firearm. Common sense gun laws that's saying a person with a mental illness and a history of violence should not be able to purchase a weapon.
We're dealing with as you said the number one health concern of people in our state, and our state is saying enough, and we're not going to wait for the federal government to make adjustments and be able to keep our people safe. Public safety is my number one concern, and we are going to keep the people of this state safe.
TAPPER: So the law will clearly make the process to legally carry a firearm more complex, and when a permit is approved carrying the weapon into some locations will just be off-limits. An NRA official in Maryland said this, quote, you know who isn't going to do all this to get a permit and who isn't going to worry about where it's legal to carry, criminals. This law will only prevent law-abiding people from exercising their rights, unquote.
How do you respond to that?
MOORE: I respond by simply saying that we are going to address the issue of gun violence full stop in the state. And if you look at the budget that we proposed, we propose and we have now in our budget an increase of $122 million going towards local law enforcement, that we have historic funding for mental health supports, that we're taking a full and all of the above approach when it comes to dealing with the issue of gun violence and public safety.
It's the reason we've put a core focus on restricting and eliminating ghost guns, making them illegal in our state, that we made historic funding and doing things like enhanced license plate readers in coordination between jurisdictions so we can keep these illegal guns out of our neighborhood. But it is also saying that we cannot stop with just simply having an approach that's dealing with legal guns. We've got an issue of violence within our society. And being able to have background checks on who's purchasing weapons and knowing why and being able to know that people should not be able to bring firearms anywhere they want to in our state is something that our state is not going to stand for. We have an all of the above approach in the way we're dealing with public safety, and this is a component.
TAPPER: So most states that have strict gun laws have lower than average rates of gun violence, but the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety ranks Maryland as having among the nation's strictest gun laws but nonetheless above average gun deaths.
Why do you think that is? Where is that disconnect? And do you think your new law will address that?
MOORE: Well, it's true. I've been governor for -- for five months and here's what I know. For the past eight years we have seen how the homicide rate in the state of Maryland has nearly doubled. We've seen how the rate of nonfatal shootings in the state of Maryland has nearly doubled over the past eight years. We are dealing with something that is almost a decades long challenge and problem in the state of Maryland and something that I ran that we are not going to let sit back now that I'm governor.
And I know we've taken aggressive measures of being able to increase coordination. We've taken aggressive measures in making sure that we are getting and keeping these violent offenders off our streets. We're taking aggressive measures in making sure we're tracking and eliminating the problem of illegal guns within our neighborhoods.
So we know that the all of the above approach in the way we're dealing with public safety, supporting mental health and supporting mental health capacities, making sure we're doing more investments in our schools and our job training programs, that's it's not just going to be about sentencing for gun laws. That the way you're going to deal with public health and public safety in our society is making sure you're dealing with not just all the root causes but all the root challenges that our society continues to face.
TAPPER: The U.S. Supreme Court this week just refused to intervene when it comes to Illinois' ban on what they call assault weapons, semiautomatic weapons. That's the latest example of justices kind of just like staying away from Second Amendment related disputes. Do you think that that will be how the court looks at your law?
MOORE: Well, I think the -- you know, you look at the state of Maryland, where we have had a banning on assault weapons and weapons of war inside of neighborhoods. And it actually has had a distinct impact that we've seen. But we also know we're still dealing with that challenge, where just a few weeks ago in the city of Baltimore, we had a young person who was killed by an assault weapon.
So we know this is still a very real challenge that we face in the state of Maryland. But the thing we do know is that we are going to be aggressive when it comes to making our communities safe. We're going to be aggressive when it comes to keeping these type of weapons out of the hands of people who do not need them and in places where they do not need to be.
And so we'll be working with the office of the attorney general to not just ensure measures of constitutionality but also working with all our local jurisdictions and law enforcement to make sure we have proper enforceable mechanisms that are going to keep our communities safe.
TAPPER: All right, the governor of Maryland, Wes Moore, coming to us live from Indianapolis, thank you so much. Good luck.
MOORE: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up next, the clues found in a remote rain forest giving crews hope that four children may be alive after a plane crash more than two weeks ago.
TAPPER: Turning to our world lead, in Israel today, a sea of flags, most with the Star of David and a few with far right symbols, and a region on edge after a period of intense clashes between Israelis and Palestinians.
CNN's Hadas Gold reports from a mostly peaceful Jerusalem where some of the violence was unfortunately directed at journalists.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the thousands they came, nearly all in white, waving Israeli flags. For these marchers, this is a celebration of when Israel took control of East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war, giving Jews access to their holy sites in the old city.
For Palestinians, it marks the beginning of the occupation of East Jerusalem. But in recent years, the march has also become more like a right-wing nationalist rally and a pretext for violence between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, who make up most of the population in this part of the city.
While most marchers were peaceful, some groups sing songs about getting revenge on Palestinians, erasing their names. Others going even further chanting, "may your village burn".
They were emboldened by the presence of right-wing government ministers like National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir who marched alongside them through the old city and to the western wall.
Thousands of police showed how tense the situation was even before the marchers started, using heavy-handed tactics to clear the route, including on senior CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What are you doing? We're press! We're press!
GOLD: The marchers too targeted the press, throwing rocks, bottles and cans at our position, forcing reporters to cower for cover.
But Jerusalem Day has seen much more serious violence than this. It was in 2021 as thousands of Israelis made their way to the old city that the Palestinian militant group Hamas fired rockets toward Jerusalem, setting off an 11-day war. Hamas and Islamic Jihad threatened the march again if any of their unnamed red lines were crossed.
But this year, most of the drama stayed on the ground in clashes and scuffles and not rockets in the sky.
GOLD (on camera): And, Jake, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a speech today essentially taking credit for the reason why he says militants didn't target the march, saying that Israel dealt heavy blows on the militant groups last week and that he believes the message, quote, was received. But we'll see how long that lasts -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Hadas Gold in Jerusalem for us, thank you so much.
Coming up, new evidence of hope that four children may be alive after a small plane crash 17 days ago in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest. Here's why there's reason to hope -- discoveries of scrunchies, plastic wrapping, even a baby bottle.
CNN's Stefano Pozzebon is in Colombia where this massive search is currently under way.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A glimmer of hope. Colombia's president tweeting that four children on board a single engine aircraft that crashed in the jungle on May 1st had been found alive and well. Rescuers using scattered debris to trace them. But on Thursday, the president's tweet was deleted, saying the information, quote, could not be confirmed. Government officials blaming poor communication.
And the head of the country's children welfare authority later saying she was, quote, very confident about their rescue. She said, quote, we're still missing that very, very last link that confirms all our hopes. Until we have the photo of the kids, we won't be stopping. We're not underestimating the information we received, but we want to confirm directly ourselves. The Colombian armed forces have been using dogs to search for the
children. The plane had taken off from the remote area of Araracuara bound for San Jose Del Guaviare. Rescuers from the military and local indigenous communities aren't giving up hope to bring home the little ones as they follow a trail of small objects such as hair scrunchies and baby bottles, even bringing in a recording of the grandmother to at least one of the children to help in the search.
But efforts are difficult given the rainfall in dense parts of the jungle.
DAVID CANTERBURY, SURVIVAL EXPERT: Once rivers start to swell and you have areas that are rapid it makes it more difficult to navigate. Obviously, as I said, rivers are kind of the highway. So they're going to be using those waterways to get to and from places obviously to extract the survivors out and things of that nature.
POZZEBON: The Colombian aviation authorities say they found another three bodies inside the small aircraft. But those have yet to be recovered.
POZZEBON (on camera): And, Jake, CNN has just learned minutes ago that those bodies, the three bodies have indeed been recovered and they've just arrived in the hands of Colombian authorities. They were the bodies of the three adults on board of that flight, two indigenous passengers and the pilot. Still, no words on the whereabouts and the status of those four little children which makes this frantic search even more frantic, Jake.
TAPPER: Stefano Pozzebon, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Coming up next, Disney's big announcement this afternoon. They are scrapping a billion-dollar plan that could have created 2,000 high- paying jobs in the state of Florida. How much is this about the state's governor, Ron DeSantis?
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
This hour, Montana becomes the very first state in the United States to ban TikTok from everyone's phones. Not just government devices. How does that state even begin to enforce that?
Plus, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that involves a photograph of Prince and a famous Andy Warhol piece. Why this decision could impact every piece of American art.
And we are leading this hour with two major stories in our politics lead. Senator Dianne Feinstein's office confirming that she suffered from previously undisclosed health complications including swelling of the brain while battling shingles. The 89-year-old senator has only been back on Capitol Hill for one week after being out since February. We're going to have more on that in a moment.
But we're going to start in the state of Florida where it looks like Governor Ron DeSantis is caught in a mouse trap in a way. Disney just announced it is scrapping plans to build a new $1 billion campus outside of Orlando that would have brought 2,000 high-paying jobs to the state.