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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Sen. Feinstein's Office Says Senator Suffered From Shingles Complications, Including Encephalitis and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome; Disney Scraps Billion Dollar Project In Florida Amid DeSantis Feud; Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Is Interviewed About Montana's Ban On TikTok; New Mexico Police Release Body Cam Footage From Monday's Rampage. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired May 18, 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: The Florida governor has, of course, repeatedly targeted Disney, which is the state's largest taxpayer, over the last year. That's after Disney publicly criticized that Florida law that limits classroom conversations about gender identity and sexual orientation, originally from just K through three, although I believe it's now K through twelve. CNN's Natasha Chen is digging into this story for us.
Natasha, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, he threatened to cancel the development, and guess, it turns out that Iger was not bluffing. What is Disney specifically saying about why it's pulling this project?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, I received a memo from a Disney spokesperson today written by the Disney Chairman of Parks Experiences and Products, Josh D'Amaro, not naming DeSantis, but I do want to read you part of that statement because they give this reason, "Given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, including new leadership and changing business conditions, we have decided not to move forward with the construction of the campus. This was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it is the right one."
And so, there were already some of these 2,000 people who already started to move to Florida, they said that they would work individually, case by case for their options, including the possibility of moving back here to Southern California, where those employees will remain in Burbank in the Los Angeles area. You use the word mousetrap, that is actually also the terminology used by the Trump campaign on Twitter. They posted about this as well.
Now, to make a point from this memo, D'Amaro also wanted to mention that they will still invest $17 billion and create 13,000 jobs at Walt Disney World over the next 10 years. So, really saying that they are committed to this flagship resort. This comes actually on the same day of a separate announcement that they're shutting down their Star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser. It's only been open for about a year, a premium experience where guests spent two nights voyaging through the galaxy, and that was a surprise decision to close that down. So, a lot of different messages coming out at the same time today, Jake.
TAPPER: Well, that sucks. I wanted to do that.
Has Governor DeSantis responded at all to Disney's move about this $1 billion, 2,000 job project being pulled?
CHEN: Yes. A spokesperson from his office responded to our colleague Steve Contorno with this statement saying, "Disney announced the possibility of a Lake Nona campus nearly two years ago. Nothing ever came of the project, and the state was unsure whether it would come to fruition. Given the company's financial straits, failing market cap, and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures."
Now, of course, local leaders have also spoken up about this, including the Florida Democratic Party Chair, Nikki Fried, who said that Florida just lost 2,000 jobs and millions of dollars in revenue because of Ron DeSantis', quote, "unhinged, personal vendetta against Disney." So, a lot of different voices speaking up about this there in Florida, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Natasha Chen, thank you so much.
Now to our other top political story, Senator Dianne Feinstein's office confirming that she suffered from complications from shingles including encephalitis or swelling of the brain and Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which affects your facial nerve. CNN's Manu Raju and Dr. Sanjay Gupta are with us.
Manu, what are you hearing from sources and from Senator Feinstein's office about her diagnosis?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Senator Feinstein's office has not provided many details about her condition ever since she was gone in mid-February, suffered the shingles, had shingles and the 89-year-old Democrat was gone for several months, didn't return until last week and there still has not been many much information. Then the "New York Times" reported earlier today that she did have broader complications related to shingles, encephalitis and the Ramsay Hunt syndrome. I heard from a source familiar with the manner afterwards who confirmed the Senator had that -- was diagnosed with those two issues.
Then, she talked to our colleagues on Capitol Hill, Kristin Wilson and Jessica Dean, and she denied having any broader complications, simply saying she had a very bad flu. Then after that, Jake, her office put out a statement confirming the "New York Times" report saying, "The Senator previously disclosed that she had several complications related to her shingles diagnosis. Those complications included Ramsay Hunt syndrome and encephalitis. While the encephalitis resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March, she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome."
Now, there have been questions for some time about Senator Feinstein's health. She passed up being the president pro tem, which is in line to the presidency because of her condition. She also was pushed aside by Democrats and not become the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee because of questions about her fitness to serve in that position. But when I asked senators today about whether they believe she has continued to fit and serve as senators, they sized up that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): We're all human, and we all have health issues. And right now, she is performing as the United States senator doing her job.
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): If you think she ought to resign and you think that these things that they're all saying anonymously are true, then, by God, go to Amazon and buy a spine online and stand up and say it publicly. Be a man or be a woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Yes. And, Jake, as I asked the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, right out of the Democratic lunch today, whether or not he was aware of Feinstein's diagnosis, he declined to comment. And the said number two Democrat who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dick Durban, told me that he was not aware of any of these issues, Jake.
TAPPER: Yes. And as you alluded to, Manu, there have been questions about her cognitive abilities for several years now.
Sanjay, how difficult is it to diagnose encephalitis? And what does that mean? What does Ramsay Hunt Syndrome mean?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so it can be challenging to diagnose encephalitis. Encephalitis basically means inflammation of the brain. People often hear meningitis, that is inflammation of the layers, the outside layers of the brain. But with encephalitis, you're actually getting swelling in several different areas of the brain.
Now, it can be challenging to diagnose. Usually you have some suspicion, as Manu mentioned, she had diagnosed shingles. Shingles can sometimes lead to encephalitis, inflammation of the brain. You have several tests that you'd start to do to try and figure that out. Imaging tests, for example, EEG, electroencephalogram would be another test, and even a lumbar puncture where you'd actually look at fluid that bathes the spinal cord in the brain and see, look, is the virus in there, are there indications that there's a swelling and inflammation around the brain? That's how you'd make that diagnosis.
Sometimes it's hard. People have fever, they may have headache. Sometimes those symptoms will resolve. The people may be left with memory, sort of, difficulties. So, it can be challenging. Jake.
TAPPER: And what about Ramsay Hunt? What is that? GUPTA: So, when someone has shingles and a lot of people know what shingles is, typically it's a virus that you may have had chickenpox when you were a child even, the virus doesn't leave your body, it stays sort of hanging out around nerves. At some point in adult life, it can get reactivated. That's shingles.
If that reactivation, occurs around the face and specifically around the facial nerve, and I think we have an image here of what the facial nerve sort of -- yes, see the yellow area there, the facial nerve, if that becomes inflamed as a result of the virus, you can develop weakness of that side of the face, you can develop lesions even inside the ear, difficulty with hearing, difficulty with vision, it can be inside your mouth. It can be very painful. People who have had shingles know how painful it can be. Imagine that same sort of thing happening on your face and possibly affecting the nerve that gives your face its movement.
It can resolve if it's treated early, and it's typically treated with steroids and antiviral medications, if it's recognized early and treated early, people can resolve but it can take a while. By the way, Jake, just quickly, it's different than Bell's palsy. With Bell's palsy, you can get similar symptoms. We don't always know what causes Bell's Palsy. With this, Ramsay Hunt it's almost always that virus that causes shingles.
TAPPER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Manu Raju, thanks to both of you.
Let's talk about this with my political panel.
Zolan, let me start with you. So, one of the issues going on here is well, first is the issue that she doesn't want to step down, and apparently her staff doesn't want her to step down, and no one in her family wants to make her step down. Beyond that, there is the issue of like, well, OK, who gets the job?
There is a very competitive Democratic primary going on right now in California to get that job. Adam Schiff is running, Congressman Adam Schiff, Pelosi likes him. There's Congresswoman Barbara Lee, very favored by people in the San Francisco area. There is Katie Porter, very popular with progressives. And unfortunately, all of this is playing a role.
ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": And also the governor of California has made a commitment also to fill that slot with a black woman as well.
TAPPER: If he gets the opportunity to, yes.
KANNO-YOUNGS: If he gets the opportunity to, yes. Right now, I mean, absolutely, I mean, one, you have the question of, as you noted, is she going to step down, is the senator going to step down? But after that, you're going to have a certain contest here of this different sort of allegiances and relationships that have been built by these different members of Congress already to fill that seat.
But first, I mean, I think really the pressure is on some of these Democratic leaders, two base on whether or not they are going to talk to the Senator about stepping down. You talk -- my colleagues reported on that story today and they talked about how this puts Senator Schumer in a certain spot and really increases the pressure for him, especially with the evidence that we have that there was one person there in an interview, one of the Senators mentioned, well, her job isn't impacted. We do know that she has a lighter schedule here as well.
TAPPER: Of course, her job is impacted.
KANNO-YOUNGS: Of course, her job is impacted. I mean, you have the LA -- the exchange with an LA Times reporter as well, where he was -- basically she did come off as confused and appeared to not remember some of this as well. So, her job is impacted right now, and it'll be interesting to see how Democratic leaders basically respond to this report as well and see if they do ask her to step down.
TAPPER: I've heard Democrats and Republicans say it is an absolute tragedy, this is what she's going to be remembered for and not her trailblazing career.
MARIANNA SOTOMAYOR, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Absolutely. And you've heard that for years. That has really been a concern for those around her, for her staff, that this is really going to lead a potential obituary one day instead of all of these things that she's been able to do. And I will add one other pressure point, I think for Democratic leaders, especially Schumer, is just look at how narrow that margin is in the Senate.
TAPPER: One vote.
SOTOMAYOR: Literally one vote. So even if she were to step aside, that makes everything way more difficult. And we are looking at the debt ceiling, government funding, so many more different things. And I will say, completely different situation, but even on the House side, you see it with the pressure for Kevin McCarthy, doesn't want to get rid of George Santos, totally different situation. But the margins really matter to these leaders and really motivates them.
TAPPER: Let's turn to the Florida situation. Ron DeSantis obviously has been in a feud with Disney. How do you interpret what happened today? Obviously, lots of Democrats are saying, well, you heard Nikki Fried, the Democratic leader there in Florida, saying this is because DeSantis has these temper tantrums against Disney, he can't control himself. I mean that's a lot of jobs. A billion dollars and 2,000 jobs is a lot to lose.
SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Definitely. And I think DeSantis has built this brand of being a culture warrior. But this fight in particular I think is kind of a swing and amiss considering now it's actually having consequences with 2,000 jobs in the state of Florida moving and that's a big deal that's impacting people's lives and their livelihood. And I think people would rather see him focus on the everyday issues impacting them the most rather than kind of picking this fight with Mickey Mouse.
TAPPER: There's something interesting going on also, this proxy battle in the Trump versus DeSantis. Trump, obviously, is slamming DeSantis today for this Disney move. Trump's pick in the Kentucky governor's race, Daniel Cameron, the attorney general, defeated DeSantis's back candidate. Cameron then took a swipe at the Florida governor in his victory speech over recent comments DeSantis made. DeSantis talking about how Trump, not using the name, but basically suggesting Trump's a loser in terms of electoral victories. First, this is what DeSantis said last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We must reject the culture of losing that has infected our party in recent years. The time for excuses is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: An allusion to Trump presiding over the loss of seats in 2018, losing in 2020, and then obviously 2022, a lot of his candidates losing. This was Trump backed Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL CAMERON (R-KY), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Let me just say the Trump culture of winning is alive and well in Kentucky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: What do you think?
ROHINI KOSOGLU, FORMER DOMESTIC POLICY ADVISER, VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Well, I think this is not going to be the last of what we've seen of Trump going after DeSantis for endorsements. Whether these are, you know, as people have mentioned, some of these are overlapping endorsements, but I think that Ron DeSantis will continually be put in this position to have the answer for who he endorsed, whether that person won. And it's something that I think that his team is trying to think through and they're not taking lightly. You saw that they were putting forward Florida endorsements that they had, but I think we can expect that in the future. Every time that we go through different people that Donald Trump has endorsed, he will call this out and he will make this a part of the campaign.
MATTHEWS: I would like to say on the Daniel Cameron endorsement, I think he's a rock star and the future of the Republican Party, so I was happy to see him come out successful of that primary in Kentucky. But what is kind of interesting is that Daniel Cameron is a former staffer for Mitch McConnell. He's a McConnell loyalist, too. So, I think it is kind of funny, particularly on this endorsement to see Team Trump touting it as a win, considering he's the establishment candidate and Trump prides himself in being anti-establishment. And so, I just thought that was kind of an interesting dynamic with that endorsement. TAPPER: You know what's funny also, so there's this article in Newsweek suggesting that DeSantis backs a lot of losers. This is, you know, his candidate for mayor of Jacksonville lost, and Trump is pushing this article on Truth Social, in press releases, there's this list of 16 candidates DeSantis endorsed. But if you look at the list, 11 of the 16 Trump also endorsed, and, in fact, was a much more prominent endorser of Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Kari Lake in Arizona, Herschel Walker, Trump basically picked Herschel Walker. I mean, it is bizarre for Trump to push this, it's like, look, this guy backs losers. You backed 11 of the 16 losers yourself.
KANNO-YOUNGS: I mean, yes, I feel like it was just months ago after the midterms where were having the same conversation about whether Trump's support and his endorsements really carried value here. I'm not sure that a certain level of hypocrisy has ever factored in, though, when it comes to Trump, you know, criticizing some of these officials. But it is interesting that you also have this moment where DeSantis does seem to actually start -- he's starting to actually point that Trump directly.
I mean, even in Iowa, you saw this on a call where he seems to be foreshadowing an announcement as well. He talked about how voters tend to support Trump policies, but maybe not necessarily the values. I'll be watching to see how he walks that fine line going forward.
TAPPER: Let's see if he uses the name Trump.
TAPPER: That will be a first. Thanks, one and all, for being here. I appreciate it.
Coming up, the findings have been released from a Navy investigation of an upsetting trend at naval facilities. And then police just released the body cam video from that deadly mass shooting in New Mexico where the gunman targeted homes and cars. Stay with us.
TAPPER: And we're back with our health lead. The U.S. Navy today admitting failure in a new report. Since last April, there have been at least seven military suicides at naval facilities in Hampton Roads, Virginia 3 on board the USS George Washington within the same week and four in a month at the Navy's Mid Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center. Now the U.S. Navy is releasing the results of a month's long investigation into these deaths. And CNN's Oren Liebermann joins me live to discuss.
Oren, what's the big takeaway from the report?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Jake, after going through this report, there's no individual or group of individuals or commanders who are held responsible for the conditions that contributed to the number of suicides you just mentioned, three on board the crew or of the crew of the U.S. George Washington while it was going through refit at a shipyard back in April, and then four more at the same facility in Norfolk, Virginia, in December. The Navy found there was no connection or correlation between this group of suicides. But there's a much bigger issue at stake here, and that's where the Navy acknowledges it failed to provide sailors, particularly in shipyards, but elsewhere as well, with what it calls quality of service, that's quality of life plus the work experience. It degraded over years, if not decades, and the Navy simply failed to address it until it was essentially hit with this series of suicides and had no choice but to address it.
On top of that, the Navy failed to provide the necessary mental health resources. The Navy did acknowledge its own failure. Admiral Daryl Caudle, the commander of Fleet Forces Command, said this, he Said, "It was pointedly obvious that the Navy had failed to George Washington through a host of things that we put that ship into." So, there is certainly an acknowledgment of a failure here.
The question, of course, what to do about it? And that's where the Navy's goal here from the secretary as well as the Chief of the Navy, is to institute and determine a basic quality of service, a quality of life, to offer sailors first at shipyards and then expand that to the whole fleet, as well as making sure there are the mental health resources available.
In addition, Jake, they point out that sailors should not spend their entire first term on board a ship that's not at sea, stuck in a shipyard that has its own host of problems. They believe, and they'll try to make this happen, that sailors should have the opportunity to do what they're supposed to do, and that's be out at sea.
TAPPER: Oren, what are families who have lost loved ones to suicide while they were serving in the Navy, what do they have to say about this report?
LIEBERMANN: Jake, you and I have talked several times about the Brandon Act, and that's named after 21-year-old Brandon Caserta, who took his life back in 2018, also in Norfolk, coincidentally, his parents, the Casertas, essentially went after the Navy and got the Brandon Act passed a couple of years ago, and that was to demand mental health resources, but it was delayed until it was signed just earlier this month. That delay lasting for more than a year, but this is exactly what they were going after. Listen to what their son was going through and why they felt this was important.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAT CASERTA, LOST SON TO SUICIDE: He said, I'm depressed. They said, suck it up and get back to work. And you can't have that. That's not how you deal with that.
TERI CASERTA, LOST SON TO SUICIDE: His letter led us to this. He wanted us to do something about suicide and the toxicity that happens in our military system. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: A lot of this is an effort to simply address the same issue, the mental health of not only sailors, but service members. And, Jake, all of this is getting after that. Of course, the challenge is, it requires more resources, more money.
TAPPER: Oren Liebermann, thanks so much.
And if you or anyone you care about is struggling, there is help, there is help for you, there is love for you. Please call or text 988. Call or text 988.
Coming up next, a closer look at the first date to ban TikTok from the phones of everyone. And a look at how that would even be enforced.
TAPPER: In our tech lead today, Montana has become the very first state in the U.S. to ban TikTok outright. The state's Governor Greg Gianforte signed the ban into law last night. He said it will protect Montanan's private data from the Chinese communist party. But as CNN's Tom Foreman reports, the ACLU is already arguing this is a blatant violation of the first amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My money don't jiggle, jiggle, it folds. I like to see you wiggle, wiggle, push --
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nearly half the country 150 million Americans turn to TikTok for inspiration, information and entertainment. But now Montana is turning it off, banning the app and potentially slapping $10,000 a day fines on app stores making it available. The governor says, with TikTok owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance, the ban is to protect Montanan's personal and private data from the Chinese communist party. TikTok is pushing back, saying the Chinese government is neither a partner nor party to information in the app.
ERIC EBENSTEIN, TIKTOK SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC POLICY: To be clear, there's never been any evidence, never any proof about any kind of information sharing. And we've steadfastly denied that.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Yet, big sky country is not alone, more than half of U.S. states have put some restriction on TikTok, for example, by banning it on government devices. Many are talking about taking it further. And some federal lawmakers are also up in arms.
REP. BUDDY CARTER, (R-GA): The Chinese Communist Party is engaged in psychological warfare through TikTok to deliberately influence U.S. children. FOREMAN (voice-over): The chief fear is that the app could serve as a gateway to peddling anti-American ideas, meddling in elections, and spying. Again, TikTok disagrees.
SHOU ZI CHEW, TIKTOK CEO: We will firewall protect the U.S. data from unwanted foreign access. TikTok will remain a place for free expression and will not be manipulated by any government.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Some suggest worries about TikTok are overblown.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): It poses about the same threat that companies like Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and Twitter pose.
FOREMAN (voice-over): And free speech advocates see a big court battle brewing.
ASHLEY GORSKI, SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY, ACLU NATIONAL SECURITY PROJECT: The ban is blatantly unconstitutional. It's an act of political theater, it is rooted in xenophobia, and it is trampling on the free speech rights of hundreds of thousands of people in Montana.
FOREMAN: Unless a court steps in, Montana's ban will go into effect next January, and it contains no provisions for punishing individual users, only companies providing access to TikTok. Still, tech folks say enforcing this ban could prove difficult, in part because the United States doesn't really have a framework for this kind of stepping on the internet, like, say, for example, China.
TAPPER: It's difficult to see how it's constitutional.
FOREMAN: And difficult to see technologically how you do it.
TAPPER: Yes, I should note, by the way, just because I've been outspoken about this on the show, I have reinstated TikTok on a burner phone. I do take the national security concern seriously about China, the Chinese government having access. I bought a burner phone and I have TikTok on it.
FOREMAN: Your dance videos dance videos are very good.
TAPPER: There are no dance videos. That's fake news. Tom Foreman, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Joining us now to discuss Democratic Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado. He's a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and as well, the Cybersecurity Caucus. Senator, good to see again. You just heard from CNN's Tom Foreman reporting on Montana Governor Greg Gianforte passing this law that will ban TikTok from operating within the state of Montana.
The ACLU responds to the ban saying it has, quote, trampled on the free speech of hundreds of thousands of Montanans who use the app to express themselves, gather information, and run their small business in the name of anti-Chinese sentiment. We will never trade our first amendment rights for cheap political points, unquote.
Now, you have called for a nationwide ban on TikTok. How is that constitutional?
SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): Well, Jake, I think the concern I have is a national security concern, as you were describing. That comes from the work that I've done on the Intelligence Committee. The fact that there are 120 million Americans or so that spend a month on TikTok every single year, that whenever TikTok wants to use its algorithms to have a completely different news feed on Hong Kong or on the Uighurs or on Taiwan or anything else, they can do it.
I think that puts us in a horrible position with respect to Beijing's use of that technology. We're going to obviously have a debate about the First Amendment issues that are at work here. We should have that debate. That's not a reason to not have a conversation about whether it's a great idea for Beijing to beam this technology into America or among the American people. And I'll say beyond that, I just want to be very clear about this, that I feel extremely strongly that we should be regulating the large American digital, you know, platforms, which we haven't done.
And our poor kids in this country who have had to rely basically on their student councils to do those negotiations need somebody who's going to stand up and negotiate with Zuckerberg and the rest of these guys on our privacy rights, on our economic interests, and on the civil liberties in this country. We haven't done that either. So I don't want to stop just because the ACLU says this is a bad idea in a press release.
I think we need to have this debate in our country, and I particularly think we need to do it for the national security issues that are at stake and because our kids mental health have been affected in a profoundly negative way by a decade of completely unregulated social media. Whether it's coming from Beijing or it's coming from Northern California. That particularly part of it doesn't matter to me.
TAPPER: So, I mean, I don't disagree with you that your colleagues are rather weak in terms of their willingness to make basic demands of social media companies, in terms of disclosure, of sharing data, in terms of transparency. Why is Congress so weak? Let's exempt you from my criticism. Why?
BENNET: You can throw me in your --
TAPPER: OK, fine. Why are you all so weak?
BENNET: There's all these fancy marvel pillars.
TAPPER: Yes, no, why are you all so weak? It just because they give so much money? Like, why won't you regulate?
BENNET: No. I know. I don't think that's the reason. I think it's because we move at a snail's pace. We move at a glacial pace. This is why I believe, and I've said this for years now, I've just reintroduced this bill, actually today, that we should have a new federal agency in Washington, like the Federal Communications Commission, like the Food and Drug Administration. Staffed by experts who can help not just get the data you're pointing to, which is so important because we don't have the data to make the kind of assessments that need to be made that in any other era.
We'd have for a consumer agency, but in my view, to help us make the judgments about whether we want to accept and I don't these algorithms to addict our kids to social media. So we are slow to act. We are painfully slow to act. I think there's a consensus emerging now around the advent of AI that is calling the question on Washington and on the American people.
And I believe, you know, we're going to move past this daily discussion about TikTok and into a world where we're saying, what do we have to do to protect our democracy? What do we have to do to make sure the American people's privacy rights are protected and to make sure that we put the American people into a negotiation with, you know, Zuckerberg and the rest of these guys about what the economics ought to actually be.
TAPPER: Yes. No, I agree. I know you want to talk about the fact that Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama is currently blocking about 200 military promotions from going through, flag officers, generals, colonels, admirals. He's saying he's not going to support them until there's a floor vote on a Pentagon policy that allows individual service members to be reimbursed for their own travel and time off or their dependence to get abortions if they're in a state where they can't get one.
Is this affecting national security, do you think, I mean, all these promotions not going through?
BENNET: It's staggering. Look, see, you don't have to take my word for it. Seven former Secretaries of Defense, Republicans and Democrats, wrote a letter last week saying, Senator Tuberville's hold, which is on all flag officers promotions in the DoD, is hurting our readiness. It's hurting our national defense. And why is he doing it? He's doing it because in the wake of the first constitutional right being stripped from the American people in our history since reconstruction, a women's right to choose.
The Department of Defense is trying to make it a little less miserable for people that are serving in DoD who have not picked to serve, for example, in Alabama, where abortion is banned, no exceptions to rape or incest, where if you're a doctor who's performed an abortion, you could go to jail for 99 years. What the DoD is saying is, under those circumstances, we'll actually allow you to travel.
We'll allow you to get paid. We'll allow you to take paid leave. Tommy Tuberville is saying, I'm so mad about that I'm going to do something no senator has done in the history of America, which is hold up 230 flag officers that are waiting for their appointments to post all over the globe, all over the world. This is extreme, substantively, because his position is way out of whack with where America is on the issue of a woman's right to choose. But he's also chosen a procedural mechanism that is compromising, seriously compromising the readiness of our armed forces.
TAPPER: Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, good to see you, sir. Thank you so much.
BENNET: Thanks for having me. Good to see you.
TAPPER: Police just released body cam video from a deadly mass shooting in New Mexico, where the gunman used three different guns, all of them legally purchased. That's next.
TAPPER: Just into CNN, body camera footage from yet another indiscriminate mass shooting in the United States of America. The video you're about to see warning you now, it's disturbing. It shows the moment a police sergeant in northern New Mexico was shot after responding to the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was Monday in Farmington, New Mexico, after an 18-year- old high schooler shot nine people in his neighborhood. Let's get right to CNN's Josh Campbell. Josh, walk us through what we're seeing in this video.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake. So the police there in Farmington just wrapped up a press conference. The chief described this as a, quote, assault on our community after this 18- year-old opened fire indiscriminately, shooting nine people, three of them fatally. Now, police walked us through and said basically the first victim, who was 79-year-old Shirley Voita, she's driving through this neighborhood. The suspect opens fire. Two other elderly women drive up.
Police say they attempt to render first aid. They are also fatally shot. And the suspect just continues on this rampage. I'm about to show you the final moments of this incident. Again, I'll warn our viewers that this is graphic. This is the police forming this contact team going to confront the shooter, ultimately taking him down. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you good?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm good. Subject is down. Subject is down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL: Now, in that exchange of gunfire, two of those officers were among those who were injured. Police say that they are still working to indicate a motive in this investigation. They say that this 18- year-old suspect purchased one of these weapons an AR-15 just a month after his 18th birthday. He apparently had an arsenal of weapons inside of his home. I just asked the police chief a short time ago if any of the family members may face potential criminal liability, particularly because this suspect was apparently known to have mental health issues.
The police chief said that is certainly a possibility as their investigation continues. And of course, as that investigation continues, yet another American community, Jake, is mourning after a suspect opened fire indiscriminately with an AR-15. Jake?
TAPPER: Josh Campbell. Thank you so much.
Coming up, the Supreme Court weighing in one of the most impactful art controversies in years.
TAPPER: The Supreme Court ruled today that this series of silk screens created by the late Andy Warhol based on a photograph of the singer Prince, infringed on a photographer's copyright. The seven to two decision upends the so called fair use doctrine that permits the unlicensed use of copyrighted works in certain circumstances.
Joining us now to discuss, University of Michigan Law School professor and media and intellectual property attorney Paul Szynol. Professor Szynol, thanks for joining us. You wrote an article for "The Atlantic" last year warning that a Supreme Court decision against strong fair use protections could wreck American art. Is that what you think happened today?
PAUL SZYNOL, MEDIA AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY: So, you know, the good news is, I don't think it's quite as extreme as that. I think that the Court very deliberately limited its focus to a very specific aspect of the argument and so -- and kind of deliberately bypassed that deeper question about whether Andy Warhol actually infringed on Lynn Goldsmith's copyright by virtue of doing what he did.
So the results are not quite as extreme as I think a lot of people and the creative community were worried about, but they're still problematic, you know. Do I think fair use has been upended? No. But it is troubling and, you know, it sets a dangerous precedent.
TAPPER: One of the concerns you expressed in your article was that the Supreme Court could prevent their ruling, could prevent artists from having the basic building blocks to create their own original work. Explain that for us and whether or not you think it sounds like you don't think that happened here but explain the argument. SZYNOL: Well, yes, I think everyone today is aware of more or less how copyright works. And so, you know, generally it gives you a set of property rights that are akin to owning a house. You get to control what people do with your copyright at work, and fair use is an exception to that under certain circumstances. All of us can take copyrighted work and use it, you know, so. A good example of that, for instance, is a search engine.
You know, if you -- I haven't done it, but probably if you search for Prince Warhol photo, you'll see both, you know, the original photo and you'll see Warhol's work and, you know, you'll see the thumbnails. That's fair use, right, because those thumbnails are not replacing the original work. They make the original work accessible on the internet. They make it easy for people to find content.
So that's an example of fair use. And in some cases, you know, fair use allows creators to take existing copyrighted work and incorporate it into their new work. And so when I'm talking about building blocks, you know, nothing is done in a vacuum if you're creating something, you're using existing materials. If some of those materials end up are copyrighted, the question becomes, how can you incorporate them into your work?
The cleanest, easiest way to do it is to ask for permission. But that's very expensive. A lot of the time here in this case, it's kind of set up as a David and Goliath sort of scenario where there's, you know, a poor artist on the one hand, you know, starving artist stereotype, and then a big foundation with a lot of money. What fair use is actually something that really the proverbial little guy really needs, right, because I work with filmmakers all the time. It's very expensive to license stuff from networks.
And a lot of time, production companies can't afford it if it's small indie film. And so they have to rely on fair use. And if you kind of tighten fair use to a point where, you know, it becomes so narrow that filmmakers and creators in general can't rely on it, then the only other option is spending money. And if you don't have that money, that speech preemptively goes away. And that's the cultural harm.
TAPPER: Yes. Paul Szynol, thank you so much. Appreciate your time and your expertise. Appreciate it very much.
TAPPER: Coming up in our Sports Lead, a big announcement from tennis star, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal. Then, of course, Wolf Blitzer is getting ready in The Situation Room. Wolf, who are you talking tonight?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: As tonight is the youngest member of Congress, Democratic Representative Maxwell Frost of Florida. He's only 26 years old. I'll ask him about his concerns over efforts to crack down on TikTok, which Montana, as you know, just banned throughout the state, even on personal devices.
[17:54:30] I'll also get his thoughts on the feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney, which is apparently costing his home state thousands of jobs after Disney pulled the plug on a major $1 billion project. All of that much more coming up right here in The Situation Room at the top of the hour.
TAPPER: In our Sports Lead, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal announced today that for the first time since 2005, he is not going to play in the French Open. The 22-time Grand Slam champion suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open in January. Initially, Nadal had hoped to be back on the court within eight weeks, but in an Instagram post today, Nadal said that his recovery was unfortunately taking longer than anticipated and he will be out for the next few months. That means the 36-year-old could also possibly miss Wimbledon in July. Nadal also noted he wants to be in peak performance next year, which could be the last of his professional career.
You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bluesky if you have an invite. And I'm back on TikTok now on a burner phone, you can tweet the show at the LeadCNN. You can also follow me on Instagram. If you ever miss an episode of the show, you can listen to The Lead wherever you get your podcast. Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room. See you tomorrow.
BLITZER: Happening now breaking news, as fighting rages in Ukraine, the United States is now signaling to allies that it won't, won't block them from sending F-16 fighter jets to aid the Ukrainians.