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The Lead with Jake Tapper

DeSantis: Trump Lost Because He "Alienated" Voters; DeSantis On Campaign Trail Slams Trump For Trusting Fauci But Trump Began Criticizing Fauci Before DeSantis Did; Biden Falls At Air Force Academy Commencement; Former Playboy Model Accuses Bill Cosby Of Drugging And Raping Her More Than 50 Years Ago. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 01, 2023 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: DeSantis is promising to counter punch against Trump's many attacks in the 2024 presidential primary race. Of course, the question is, will counterpunching be enough? Or does he need a knockout? CNN's Jessica Dean is in Manchester, New Hampshire ahead of DeSantis' next event.

And Jessica, we're seeing something of a pattern emerge when it comes to DeSantis' approach and all things Trump related.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. As we follow him along on these first swings as a candidate through these early states, we were in Iowa, now we're in New Hampshire, Jake. And what we're seeing emerge is when he's on the stump, he's talking indirectly about former President Trump, he's never naming him, it's when he gets off the stump and talks to media that we get those more direct hits, that he's taking it at him. And that seems to be kind of the needle he's trying to thread right now. Because remember, a lot of these voters he's talking to may have potentially voted or most likely voted for former President Trump in the past, so he has to kind of walk a fine line here.

And what we're also seeing is how he is pitching himself to voters. And that's really starting to come into focus. And what we're seeing the lane, they're really carving out for him and that he's carving out for himself is that of a sitting executive. He's not a former anything, he is a sitting governor in Florida, and when he talks to voters he's really going through and outlining what he and his team have referred to as the Florida blueprint. And he goes through and talks about all of his accomplishments, what he's done in Florida, how he believes that could apply to the entire country. And he really focuses on results.

And again, one of those kinds of indirect swipes that we heard today, and it's a line that he repeats over and over is how he believes that running for president and being president isn't about entertainment, that it isn't about building a brand, and you can see who he's directing that ad, but it's about getting results. And really that is what he and his team are focused on pitching to voters is that he can get results. Now whether or not voters will respond to that, of course, that's the big test out here on the road.

And he takes it to South Carolina tomorrow. Again, it'll be his first trip to that state as a presidential candidate. And Jake, telling us a lot, he ends the week right where he started back in Iowa. He'll be there with Senator Joni Ernst, and we do expect him to continue to hit the campaign trail pretty aggressively. He's done four stops, this will be his last stop of the night here in Manchester, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Jessica Dean in Manchester, New Hampshire. Thanks so much.

Continuing with our 2024 lead, Ron DeSantis has also been attacking former President Trump for once trusting Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease physician.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he did great for three years, but when he turned the country over to Fauci in March of 2020, that destroyed millions of people's lives.


TAPPER: CNN's KFILE has found some comments that DeSantis himself made about Dr. Fauci at that very same time during the pandemic. CNN KFILE Senior Editor Andrew Kaczynski is here.

Andrew, the Florida Governor has not always disparaged Dr. Fauci. Tell us more.

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN KFILE SENIOR EDITOR: Yes, that's right, Jake. Some pandemic revisionism from the DeSantis campaign attacking Trump for comments praising Fauci saying he turned over the country to Fauci and that's despite that Ron DeSantis was actually praising Dr. Fauci at the exact same time saying in campaign events that he would defer to Fauci's guidance on the pandemic. He -- when he even advocated policies that DeSantis now criticizes as lockdowns. Take a listen to this clip of DeSantis from late March 2020 talking about Fauci.


DESANTIS: You have a lot of people there who are working very, very hard, and they're not getting a lot of sleep, and they're really focusing on a big country that we have. And from Dr. Birx to Dr. Fauci to the vice president who's worked very hard, the surgeon general, they're really doing a good job. It's a tough situation, but they're working hard.


KACZYNSKI: So what's actually ironic here, Jake, is that their views on the pandemic were largely the same. You know, DeSantis was one of the first governors to reopen. Trump was urging those reopenings in April, and then he praised DeSantis for doing that.

Look at this quote that we got from the spokesperson for the DeSantis campaign when we reached out to them, we asked them about this. And what they told us was that, "Like most Americans, the governor initially assumed medical officials were going to serve the interests of the people and keep politics out of their decision making. When it became clear that this wasn't the case, the governor charted his own course and never looked back. Governor DeSantis would have fired Anthony Fauci."

TAPPER: Yes, and I see the DeSantis campaign today on Twitter attacking Donald Trump for standing by the COVID vaccine. It's very, very interesting. Andrew Kaczynski, thank you so much.


Today, Donald Trump returned to Iowa to rub shoulders with locals at a much smaller gathering than the large rallies he has traditionally been known for. His arrival coming after his chief rival, Ron DeSantis, crisscrossed the Hawkeye State this week in his first campaign appearances as an official presidential candidate. DeSantis, obviously, now in New Hampshire. CNN's Kaitlan Collins joins us live with more on this.

And Kaitlan, back and forth between Trump and DeSantis, it keeps going on. During today, both of their stops, they're going back and forth attacking each other. Tell us about that.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and I should note, based on what Andrew just reported there just a few moments ago, the Trump campaign sent out a link to his article basically flagging those comments that he found that DeSantis made about Fauci in the past, but it is in Iowa, which is the latest stage where they have been treating these threats or these insults, I should note, to one another. You're really seeing DeSantis, who, for months, kind of absorbed a lot of the insults coming his way from the former president is now counter punching using one of Trump's favorite words.

Trump himself is in Des Moines today, Jake. He also was going after DeSantis several times, talking about the disparity in their polling, how far ahead he is of Governor DeSantis when you look at the average of those polls right now nationwide. But also talking about Iowa, specifically, with the former president saying that he believes there's no way that they could lose Iowa, obviously, it would be incredibly devastating if he did given, he's the former -- sitting or former president and the Republican front runner at this time.

He also, Jake, went after DeSantis for those comments he made recently, basically arguing that if Trump was reelected, he'd only have one more term in office, while DeSantis would be able to potentially have eight years in office and the difference that he could make with Republican priorities on that. Trump pushed back on that today.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But when I heard DeSantis go out and say and talk about eight years, we need eight years, you don't need eight years, you need six months. We can turn this thing around so quickly. If you need eight years, who the hell wants to wait eight years? You don't need it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former President Trump said he could do it in six months.

DESANTIS: Why didn't he do it in his first four years?


COLLINS: Now, it's clear that this is what this is going to look like. Obviously, DeSantis has to walk a fine line when it comes to this because he was trying to get Trump voters to vote for him and to come into his circle. But also, you're really seeing him go after Trump in a way that we had not seen before his official campaign launched last week.

TAPPER: And Kaitlan, you were part of the terrific reporting team along with Paula Reid and Katelyn Polantz that broke that story about special counsel Jack Smith obtaining a recording of Trump discussing how he had a classified document about an attack on Iran by the U.S. that he took with him from the White House. Tell us about Trump's response today.

COLLINS: He's not really responding much at all. Our Jeff Zeleny tried to ask him about it. He did not answer the shouted questions from CNN in response to this reporting, didn't engage. Of course, we saw his Attorney Jim Trusty last night talking about it publicly, but not really offering a lot of clarity about this document about whether or not it's been returned to the National Archives or why it was taken to Bedminster in the first place.

Trump did comment to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. He called the reporting fake news. Obviously, it's not just been confirmed and written by CNN but also confirmed by other outlets. But you didn't see Trump responding to it on camera.

He did make a comment today when he was speaking at that smaller event that you referenced to the investigations into him. He said he is, quote, "the victim of many things." Obviously, that's how he views it. The question, though, is whether or not he has greater legal exposure following that reporting and what we now know the special counsel has in their possession.

TAPPER: All right, Kaitlin Collins, thanks so much.

Let's discuss with my august panel. Abby Phillip, Trump is known for using derogatory nicknames for his political adversaries. He's created a litany of them, of Ron DeSantis. Today, the Florida governor responded, that's part of why voters did not return him to the White House, take a listen.


DESANTIS: I think that's one of the reasons he's not in the White House now because I think he alienated too many voters for things that really don't matter. So I don't care what they say about me in terms of name calling, although, you know, I would say he needs to call me a winner because we've won in Florida over and over again.


TAPPER: Have voters actually soured on Trump over the name calling? Is there evidence of that?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: I think that what DeSantis is referring to is a different set of voters. I think, the general election voters, the Independents, the persuadable the people that a Republican nominee would need to win in order to win the presidency. There is evidence not just in the presidential election in 2020, but also in the midterms in 2018, in 2020 -- the congressional races in 2020, and then also even in 2022 that voters are kind of at souring on the divisiveness, they think both sides are pretty toxic. But in particular, I think Trump's toxicness was damaging to him.


But when it comes to the Republican primary, that's a different set of voters that DeSantis has to contend with. And this is where it gets tough for him, because Republican primary voters, they kind of do like Trump's, you know, kind of fighter instincts, the way that he is sort of entertaining and how he makes nicknames out of his opponents. And DeSantis is going to have to figure out how do I deal with that? He's trying a logic argument. We'll see if that works. But I think folks need to come to terms with the fact that Trump's entertainment factor is a huge part of his appeal to Republican voters.

TAPPER: And former Congresswoman Mia Love, Donald Trump campaigning stood by the COVID vaccine said, a lot of people out there appreciate it. He stood by even though one of the voters took them on saying that they didn't like the jab. DeSantis is aligning himself with the people who are anti-vaccine. What do you make of that?

MIA LOVE, (R) FORMER U.S., REPRESENTATIVE: I think DeSantis, this guy, he's making some choices, some good, fight back was good, some to fight against or attack Donald Trump on criminal justice reform. Those aren't good. Obviously, there are people who we are looking -- we see what the COVID vaccine has done and how many lives it's saved, that's not a good thing for him to fight him on. I mean, he's making some choices. And some of those choices aren't going to work with mainstream Republicans. And he's got to get the mainstream Republicans.

TAPPER: Karen, more and more Republicans are teasing possible presidential runs, including Mike Pence next week. And I want to get your reaction to what New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who is also considering running, he says about that.


GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): Come November, December of this year, if you're not polling well, get your butt out of this race. Let's narrow it down to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. SUNUNU: -- a couple candidates. That's more fair to the process. And I think that's going to be the discipline not just for the candidates, but for the donor base, they have to tell their candidates to get out, right? They -- and I think they will, and this is not going to be a repeat of 2016.




TAPPER: -- that -- he said something similar to me, Karen, on Sunday, what do you make of that, the idea of like by December you need to start clearing the field?

FINNEY: Well, no one's -- I think very few will actually do that. Because the whole point is you want to get to Iowa, see how you do and see if you can get some momentum. And given that, you know, in a number of instances, the person who wins Iowa is not necessarily the person who ends up being the nominee. So I doubt that many will, you know, take that advice.

But clearly the concern he's trying to put forward here is that the more people who get into the race, the more fractured the vote becomes, which could create more of an opportunity for Donald Trump, which is, you know, as you know, one of the reasons that people like former Governor Chris Christie is thinking about getting in with the idea of someone needs to take Donald Trump on more directly and as our own reporting indicated, not just off camera or off the stage, but on this stage, more directly challenge him. So, I don't think many of the candidates or potential candidates will heed that message from Sununu, but it was a nice try.

TAPPER: Abby, there are a lot -- Abby, there are a lot of concerns among voters, Democrats included, about President Biden's age and about his ability to serve for six more years, five more years. And then there was an incident today, we shouldn't make too big a deal out of it, we're told that he's not hurt, but it certainly doesn't help, he fell, he tripped while walking during the Air Force Academy commencement ceremony today. He tripped on something either a sandbag or some sort of cable or something. This does come as he's facing growing scrutiny about his age and wherewithal.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, look, this is not good. It's not anything that the White House or his campaign wants for two reasons. One, the optics of it are absolutely bad. But secondly, I mean, in general, it is not good for the President, especially one of President Biden's age to take a fall. Falls are dangerous, actually, from a factual perspective. And so look, this is not good news for the White House. They don't want to be dealing with this narrative.

I've also been hearing from a lot of Republicans who are very eagerly sending around old clips of, you know, articles talking about when Trump kind of tiptoed down at a slope and seem to be worried about falling in a situation and how that was interpreted by the media. I think the White House is now going to be dealing with something they've been dealing with, which is concerns about the President's age, but also Republicans in particular trying to make this a contrast between Trump and Biden. And that's not the conversation they want to have at all.


So, it happened, they'll have to deal with it. But it's certainly not something I think the White House is particularly happy about, though they couldn't do anything about it.

TAPPER: Yes. It reminds me of a very different dynamic when Bob Dole who was the presidential candidate in -- for Republicans in 1996 fell off the stage and the media made a big deal out of that. Obviously very different age contrast with incoming President Bill Clinton.

Thanks to all of you. Appreciate it.

This Sunday, I will be in Iowa, hosting a CNN Republican presidential town hall with former South Carolina governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. That's at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Then on Wednesday, it is the CNN Republican presidential town hall with former Vice President Mike Pence. That's June 7 at 9:00 Eastern only here on CNN. That one will be with Dana Bash.

Coming up, unexpected side effects, some of the welcomed outcomes for patients who took medications such as Ozempic trying to lose weight, that's ahead. Plus, a new sexual assault lawsuit filed against Bill Cosby by a former Playboy model who says she was motivated by E. Jean Carroll's case against Donald Trump.



TAPPER: Turning to our national lead now, it is the first day of June, which mean is the official start of Pride month, a time dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the LGBTQ community which has been demonized for centuries. In Florida, some pride events are being significantly scaled back or canceled altogether. As CNN's Victor Blackwell reports, some organizers of these Pride events say a new state law targeting drag performances is to blame.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Right across Florida will be noticeably less colorful this year. Festival organizers are making significant changes or canceling altogether some LGBTQ plus celebrations. They fear potential consequences from Governor Ron DeSantis' new law that many believe targets public drag performance is a mainstay of Pride events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome, welcome to St Cloud's first Pride event.

KRISTINA BOZANICH, COORDINATOR, PRIDE IN ST. CLOUD: It is very disheartening -- BLACKWELL (voice-over): Kristina Bozanich, coordinator of Pride in St.

Cloud canceled the Orlando area event that was planned to include drag performers. According to the new laws signed by DeSantis just weeks ago, local governments are banned from issuing public permits for events that include some adult live performances, venues risk steep fines and losing licensing if a child is present, knowingly admitting a child would be a first degree misdemeanor.

BOZANICH: Once the bill was signed, I said we can restructure the event we'll make sure it's only 18 and up for that portion. They went and talked with all the performers and came back to me and said, we're really sorry, but we just don't feel safe.

BLACKWELL (voice-over): Organizers in Port St. Lucie canceled its annual Pride parade. They reached an agreement with the city to host a slimmed down festival. Drag performers were welcome but anyone under 21 was not.

STEPHANIE PEYMAN, STUDENT: I was in the closet for so many years and I still face hatred and oppression. And I can't even go to my own Pride fest?

BLACKWELL (voice-over): Kissimmee Pride is on but drag indoors only.

STEPHANIE BECHARA, COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER, CITY OF KISSIMMEE: For example, Drag Bingo will be taking place inside of our civic center. And it will be an event where we will be requiring IDs and we're also asking folks to go ahead and pre-register online to participate.

BLACKWELL (voice-over): John Paonessa's Orlando restaurant Hamburger Mary's host drag shows most nights, he's filed a federal lawsuit against the state. He claims he's losing business because of the new law. DeSantis's office has not responded to a CNN request for comment on the lawsuit.

JOHN PAONESSA, OWNER, HAMBURGER MARY'SMERCONISH: We have a street party with a stage with it performers out front during Pride, we usually get three or 4000 people on the street watching. That's something we can't do.

BLACKWELL (voice-over): At the start of a month, that's in part a celebration of visibility, some feel that the Sunshine State is shoving them back into darkness.

PAONESSA: Now with the governor stepping in and the legislation that's going through, it's we're moving back in time. And it's unfortunate for us and everybody else in the state because what they're doing, it's heartbreaking.


BLACKWELL: And these are the beginnings of gay days here in Central Florida. More than 150,000 people from around the world are coming here to celebrate Pride. You'll see them in their red shirts at the major theme parks. The organizers says that they are working with hotels to try to make sure that their events do not run afoul of the new laws. However, if you go to their website, there is a Drag Queen Bingo event that has in big bold letters highlighted open to all ages. So we'll see how that happens. They say they have invited the governor to attend Drag Queen Bingo, he's unlikely to do so. Back to you.

TAPPER: All right, Victor Blackwell in Orlando, Florida, thanks so much.

The show will not go on for one drag performance in Nevada. The Pentagon is preventing a previously approved drag show from happening at the Nellis Air Force Base, stopping what would have been its third annual performance. A Pentagon spokesperson said drag shows are not an appropriate use of U.S. military bases. The sudden move comes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's comments to lawmakers during a hearing in March, where he said quote, "drag shows are not something the Defense Department supports or funds," unquote.

Jean Casarez is here now to talk to us about our lead having to do with the growing questions surrounding Donald Trump following blockbuster reporting. We're going to bring that to you next.



TAPPER: In our law and justice lead, Bill Cosby the man once regarded as America's dad, that was long time ago, is being sued in a new sexual assault lawsuit. The civil lawsuit was filed today in Los Angeles by former Playboy model Victoria Valentino who says that Cosby drugged and raped her more than five decades ago.

Cosby is now 85 years old. He's no stranger, of course, to facing accusations like this of rape and sexual assault or prison time for that matter. In 2018 he was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.


In 2004, Cosby was let out just three years later after Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction based on a prior agreement that had been made with the prosecutor's office. CNN's Jean Casarez is following his latest civil lawsuit. And Jean, tell us more and tell us about the law that allowed this woman to file this lawsuit based on something that happened so long ago.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victoria Valentino is 80 years old. And this law just came out it is the California Sexual Abuse and Accountability Act. Victoria Valentino knew about this, but she said it was the E. Jean Carroll trial that really gave her the courage to come forward. And she is alleging that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her and sexual battery in 1969. And she said that she was a young actress that she was auditioning for a role. She was in the trailer of Bill Cosby. He was there. Her young six-year-old son had just died. And I remember her telling me this story because she was every day at the Bill Cosby criminal trial in Pennsylvania. Every day she had flown out from California, she was in that courtroom. And he had -- it was very traumatic because he had drowned in a pool. And so she then later in 1969, saw Bill Cosby again at a restaurant she was with her girlfriend, and he said look you need, because she was still emotional, you need to go to a spa. I have a treatment.

My chauffeur will pick you up a little bit later and we'll all go to dinner. So she and her girlfriend went to the spa. The chauffeur picked them up. They went to the restaurant. Bill Cosby takes out pills. She is alleging this complaint. He put a pill next to her dinner plate next to her girlfriend's dinner plate. He took a pill. But she doesn't think he actually swallowed it. But she thought he took one I'll take one. So she swallowed it. She started to feel dizzy. He said let's go to my office. I want to show you some of my awards.

Next things she remembers, she wakes up. He's trying to sexually assault her girlfriend. She moves into stop. He turns around and she says that's when she was sexually assaulted. We've got her statement she says, by breaking my silence and speaking my truth. I hope this serves as my legacy to my family and shows those survivors who have yet to find their voices that hope and healing are possible.

Bill Cosby has issued a response and he says Victoria Valentino has skirted from town to town promoting her alleged allegations against Mr. Cosby to anyone who would give her platform without any proof or facts. However, it is more deeply disturbing and disappointing that our lawmakers would push forward these look back windows. He also says what graveyard can Mr. Cosby visit in order to dig up potential witnesses to testify on his behalf? Jake.

TAPPER: Pretty sick, calm and considering the circumstances of her losing her son. Jean Casarez, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Today, Donald Trump is refusing to directly answer questions about a recording now in the hands of federal prosecutors where Trump is, according to what we've been told, talking about classified materials that he kept after leaving the White House and knew they were classified. Let's bring in former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers to talk about this. So how much does the revelation of this tape, Jennifer, how much does it raise the stakes in terms of the legal liability Donald Trump has in this case?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's hard to say without hearing it, Jake, but if it is, as has been reported, it could raise it quite a bit. I mean, there are a few issues here. One is that it expands the scope of the investigation. We've been talking about documents found at Mar-a-Lago in 2022. Now this is a conversation had perhaps a document possessed in Bedminster, New Jersey in 2021. That means potentially a whole new set of charges and those charges could be based in New Jersey.

So prosecutors may actually have choices here as terms of where they bring this case, and they may have a whole another set of charges based on not just this document if they can figure out what document it is. But of course, the testimony surrounding the meeting and the document and whatever else they find any investigation. It's also of course great evidence of knowledge and intent, which are things that they need to prove.

And finally, prosecutors love recordings. If they have Donald Trump on recording that they can play for the jury, jurors are persuaded by hearing a defendant say in his own words, and with his own voice, that he did something that prosecutors have to prove.

TAPPER: So earlier in the show, I spoke with former Trump attorney, Tim Parlatore. He was Trump's attorney, one of Trump's attorneys until a few weeks ago. I want to get your reaction to one of the many interesting comments he made. Take a listen.


TAPPER: So when the Trump legal team sent a letter to the House Intelligence Committee at the end of April and you were part of the team at this time, the letter said in part quote, we have seen absolutely no indication that President Trump knowingly possessed any of the marked documents or willfully broke any laws that doesn't seem to be true, based on this reporting. And I guess I'm wondering, are you concerned at all that the Trump team made a false statement to Congress?


TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: No. What we put in that letter, everything that's in that letter was certainly true at the time that we wrote it. If some other information comes out, that shows that portions of it were inaccurate, you know, that's a different issue.


TAPPER: That's really interesting. What do you make of that, Jennifer?

RODGERS: I'm kind of surprised by the way, he responded honestly. Because by using the words knowingly and willfully, they're kind of protecting themselves against an argument that they lied. I mean, that's lawyers speak. That's the same thing. They would say honestly, if they were standing up in a closing argument and arguing to a jury that the Trump did nothing wrong.

But what he said is, oh, well, maybe we didn't know everything that's known now. So that, to me is almost an admission that in fact, they didn't have all the facts when they were first consulting with their client. And that a lot more as known now that may change their opinion, so it's a surprising answer, I mean, I don't think anyone's going to be brought up on charges of lying to Congress because of that letter, but I think it's a revelation what he said actually.

TAPPER: Yes. And he only left the Trump legal team two plus weeks ago. I mean, it's not like it's that much time has passed. Jennifer Rodgers, thank you so much for your expertise. As always appreciate it.

Coming up, death zone rescue see the harrowing act to save a climber clinging to a rope in one of the most dangerous areas of the very dangerous Mount Everest.



TAPPER: In our World Lead, a climber on Mount Everest is home safe after he was found freezing and clinging to a rope during the mountains summit. A Sherpa found that climber 27,932 feet above sea level in an area called the death zone of Everest, where the air is too thin for humans to breathe and temperatures can dip to negative 86 degrees Fahrenheit. That's Sherpa abandon his ascent up the world's tallest mountain and carry the climber on his back to safety. CNN's Isa Soares has the details of this harrowing and extremely rare rescue.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the ominously named death zone of Mount Everest, during one of the deadliest climbing seasons on record. Nepali guide Geljie Sherpa carried out a rare and almost impossible rescue mission. It was midnight when he saw a Malaysian climber clinging to a rope shivering in freezing temperatures just over 1,100 feet away from the 29,000 feet high summit. The air too thin for humans to breathe, and for helicopters to land.

GELJIE SHERPA, EVEREST GUIDE (through translator): It was important for us to rescue him even from the summit. Money can be earned anytime. Left like that, he could have doubled. We have saved his life by quitting the summit.

SOARES (voice-over): Geljie convinced his client to abandon this summit climb attempt, so they could say the Malaysian climber's life. Geljie wrapped the stress climber's sleeping mat and hold him down with another guides help.

SHERPA (through translator): We had brought him down from Camp 4 carrying him on our backs because dragging was impossible. It took me five to six hours to get from 8,500 meters to 7,900 It was very difficult.

SOARES (voice-over): From there, a helicopter lifted the climber down to basecamp. The favorable spring weather is gradually turning even more unpredictable due to climate change. Eleven people died on Everest in 2019, a climbing season that saw unprecedented traffic and long delays in the same death zone near the summit.

This season, Nepal issued a record 478 climbing permits. So far, 12 people including an American have died. The highest number for eight years and another five are missing. The unidentified climber was put on a flight back to Malaysia last week. Thanks to Geljie. His name was kept off the list of the mountains victims. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: And Jake, experts say this was a rather daring rescue by this brave Sherpa. And just to add some context to this, the death zone is the last and the most difficult as well as the highest part of the Everest is where the limits of human survivability are severely tested where oxygen levels are so low that they can actually affect the climber's judgment while speaking about the rescue. This hero Sherpa said that saving one life is more important than praying at the monastery. Jake?

TAPPER: Thanks to Isa Soares for that report. Plus this Sherpa who saved that climber's life will be joining Anderson Cooper this evening to share his story that's an AC360 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Be sure to tune in.


Coming up next here on The Lead, what is it in medication such as Ozempic that is helping some people kick some very difficult to break bad habits. Could it be a solution for others?


TAPPER: There are some early, early indications that some weight loss drugs might help some people cut out addictive behaviors. Some people who use Ozempic say they have started to drink and smoke less. And researchers are studying to see whether these weight loss drugs could even potentially help mitigate use of fentanyl. CNN medical correspondent Meg Tirrell reports.


MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These days, Cheri Ferguson has swapped her vape pen for an Ozempic pen.

CHERI FERGUSON, OZEMPIC PATIENT: I thought I'm not enjoying vaping so I may as well just put this into the battery been at work. And I'll see how long I can go without it. And that was 54 days ago.

TIRRELL (voice-over): Fergusson started using Ozempic 11 weeks ago to combat weight gain during the pandemic but she says was increasing her risk of diabetes. A smoker for much of her life, Ferguson switched to vaping last July. But after starting Ozempic she says something changed.

FERGUSON: It's like so ones just come along and switch the light on and you can see the room for what it is and all of these vapes and cigarettes that you've had over the years it just they don't look attractive anymore. It's very, very strange, very strange.


TIRRELL (voice-over): Ferguson is one of many patients taking drugs like Ozempic for weight loss, who say they've also lost interest in some addictive behaviors. Doctors told CNN that patients most commonly report an effect on alcohol use. It may be because these drugs and a class known as GLP-1s have an effect not just in the gut, but also in the brain. It's something being studied at the National Institutes of Health.

For researchers just published a paper showing semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, reduced what they call binge-like alcohol drinking in rodents.

DR. LORENZO LEGGIO, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH RESEARCHER: We believe that at least the one of the mechanism to how this drug reduce alcohol drinking is by reducing the rewarding effects of alcohol, such as those related to a neurotransmitter in our brain, which is doubling. So these medications are likely to make alcohol less rewarding.

TIRRELL (voice-over): And it's not just alcohol and nicotine. Patients have even told "The Atlantic" it has effects on behaviors like nail biting, and online shopping.

LEGGIO: There is a lot of overlap on the neurobiological mechanisms that regulate addictive behaviors in general. So it's possible that medications like semaglutide, but acting on this specific mechanism in the brain that may help people with a variety of addictive behaviors.

TIRRELL (voice-over): Clinical trials in humans are needed to prove that. One said is underway at the University of North Carolina, looking at semaglutide effect on alcohol and tobacco use. Cheri Ferguson says Ozempic has helped her lose 38 pounds even better, she says is how it's made her feel.

FERGUSON: The weight that it takes off your mind is far greater than any pounds that can come off of your body.


TIRRELL: You know reached out to the makers of drugs like this Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly, which makes a similar drug Mounjaro They are not currently running clinical trials looking at these medicines in addiction, Jake. This traditionally has not been a market that pharma has been that interested in back to you.

TAPPER: Meg Tirrell, thanks so much. Appreciate it. Our Politics Lead brings us back to Philadelphia where history will be made this fall in the city's mayoral election, either the first woman or the first Asian American will take the city's top job. Last week we interviewed Democratic nominee Cherelle Parker. Today, we're going to talk to the Republican nominee David Oh. David, thanks so much for joining us.

And the obvious question, Philadelphia hasn't had a Republican mayor. I don't think since the 1950s. You're running in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans, seven to one. You've made your number one campaign issue crime, understandably, crime is out of control in Philly, your opponent, Cherelle Parker, told us on The Lead last week that public safety was also her number one priority. So how are you going to break through on this issue given that your Democratic opponent is also talking about it? DAVID OH (R), PHILADELPHIA MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I think it comes down to credibility. I mean, a year ago, she had a very different position. She signed the letter to defund the police. She voted against the police funding in two budgets. And she has changed that position, which is fine, except it just raises the question of whether it is credible or not. I mean, I think it is right to want to support law enforcement. I think it's important to answer the public's call for public safety.

However, she also sponsored a referendum against stop and frisk, and recently said that she is for a constitutional type of stop and frisk, which I oppose, because there is no such thing. There is constitutional stop and frisk. It arises. But you cannot instruct the police to go out and manufacture those circumstances. Therefore, it is important that when we use police that the police do not break the law, they abide by the law and they protect the constitutional rights and civil rights of people.

TAPPER: One of the big arguments she had for her candidacy during the primary and since is that she has a strong connection to the community of Philadelphia. Take a listen.


CHERELLE PARKER (D), NOMINEE FOR PHILADELPHIA MAYOR: My lived experience is closest to the people who are feeling the most pain in our city. The most pain of gun violence and neighborhood blighted, struggling schools and lack of opportunity. But now, Jake, without when, in me, these communities are now closest to the power.


TAPPER: You also grew up in Philly, how is your lived experience different or is it?

OH: I grew up in a section which is a high crime area. It's an African American area of Philadelphia. I've lived on the same block since 1963. I've lived through the gang war years through the crack epidemic through many of the ills that occurs in Philadelphia I'm quite familiar with that type of living, I went to public school. I was in public school until I went to Central High School and then Dickinson College.


So I live there today with my four kids. People asked me why you don't -- why don't you move out it's a very dangerous area. But as a public official, and also as a son of a pastor who started his church and community center in that area, I am staying in the community as part of trying to revitalize it and make sure that we appreciate the community that we live in.

TAPPER: All right, David Oh, thank you so much. Appreciate your time today. Can you hear me now Alexa's big ears are going to cost Amazon millions of dollars.

Plus, coming in the Situation Room, Senator Chris Coons on the last crucial vote to pass the debt deal before it's too late.



TAPPER: In our Tech Lead now, Amazon has agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle a pair of federal lawsuits.