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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Trump Subpoenaed for Records After Recording Surfaced of Him Discussing Classified Doc on Iran; U.S. Added 339,000 Jobs in May, Exceeding Estimates; CIA Director Visited China Last Month as U.S. Seeks To Reduce Tension with Beijing; Police Find 45 Bags of Body Parts; Arizona Limits Construction as Groundwater Disappears. Aired 4- 5p ET
Aired June 02, 2023 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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DEV SHAH, 2023 SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE CHAMP: It's pretty important because it could be used as a backup plan, too, because when you're on stage, the nerves do get you, even though if -- or even though if spellers don't show, the nerves do get to us, and pressure does get to us. So if you forget a word, you can still piece it back together like a backup plan.
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BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Congrats to him, but they know that there's spell check, right? It's a commonly known thing. You just --
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Hey, some people do the hard work and study. The roots of words.
SANCHEZ: THE L-E-A-D WITH JAKE TAPPER starts in just moments.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Makes you wonder if there are other missing classified documents.
THE LEAD starts right now.
Exclusive new reporting from CNN, two sources say Donald Trump attorneys have not found the classified document Trump described on that recording federal prosecutors got a hold of. That's even after a subpoena.
Then, a Texas man reaches out to police, and it tells them that he killed two people. Now investigators say he is a suspected serial killer who may be behind a dozen other murders.
Plus, the nation's fastest-growing city is now limiting new housing construction, because it is running out of a key resource -- water.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome to THE LEAD, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Jake Tapper.
We start today with our law and justice lead. A new fallout from that tape of former President Donald Trump discussing classified documents. CNN has now learned prosecutors subpoenaed Trump after obtaining that recording, during which the former president talks about keeping a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran.
Trump lawyers turned over some materials in response to the subpoena, but they were unable to find the document itself, leading to a whole host of new questions. Is a document about a potential U.S. military attack still floating around Trump's New Jersey golf club? Was it ever turned over to the government? And how many other classified records can be found?
CNN's Paula Reid starts off our coverage today with more exclusive reporting about how all of this impacts the special counsel's investigation.
REPORTER: Mr. President, why did you take classified documents concerning General Milley?
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN exclusively reporting former president Donald Trump served with a subpoena in mid-March, seeking any records related to the same U.S. military document he talks about on tape just six months after leaving the White House.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everything I did was right.
REID: Special counsel Jack Smith, Attorney General Merrick Garland's pick to oversee investigations into Trump, trying to track down any additional classified materials still in Trump's possession. The former president's attorneys turned over some material, in response to the Justice Department's request, but not the document in question, the one Trump was recorded discussing in July 2021, at his Bedminster New Jersey golf club.
On the tape, he acknowledges he held on to a classified Pentagon document about a possible attack on Iran.
TRUMP: There is no crime. You know, there is no crime.
REID: That tape, now in the hands of prosecutors, prompting them to subpoena all documents and materials related to Iran and Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
JIM TRUSTY, TRUMP LAWYER: I am not going to try the case that's being set up by leaks that I don't believe are accurate.
REID: Trump's attorney declining to address where the document is.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Has the document been returned to the National Archives? TRUSTY: Same answer.
REID: Throughout the investigation, prosecutors have expressed skepticism about whether they have gotten everything back from Trump over the last year. Trump's attorneys turned over 15 boxes to the National Archives, the FBI recovered more than 100 classified documents from their search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, and Trump's team found additional materials in subsequent searches of other Trump properties.
TRUMP: They become automatically declassified when I took them.
REID: Trump denying any wrongdoing. And when asked if he ever shared classified information with anyone --
TRUMP: Not really. I would have the right to. By the way, they were classified after --
COLLINS: What do you mean not really?
TRUMP: Not that I can think of. Let me just tell you, I have the absolute right to do whatever I want with them.
REID: In contrast, his former vice president striking a different tone after retaining classified materials.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those classified documents should not have been at my personal residence. Mistakes were made.
REID: The Justice Department informing Mike Pence Thursday he will not face criminal charges for his handling of classified materials.
PENCE: And I take full responsibility.
REID: After a small number of classified documents were found at his Indiana home.
REID (on camera): A special counsel, of course, also looking into the possible mishandling of classified documents found at two locations connected to President Biden.
But our reporting this week, especially on that audio recording that we know is now in the hands of investigators, and the fact that it's unclear that the government even has the classified document that Trump claims to have on that tape, may underscore how much greater the legal jeopardy is for Trump in that investigation -- Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Paula Reid, thank you.
And here to discuss is CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig. Elie, always to great to see you.
So, if you were a prosecutor in this case, what conclusion would you draw, given that you now know that this document was not turned over by Trump's attorneys?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, so this is really confounding. And it's really important. So, sometimes as a prosecutor, you have to try to piece together the puzzle. I see a couple different scenarios.
One, there might not be a classified document. It's possible, consistent with our reporting, that Trump was sort of puffing or exaggerating, I have this document right here, but he didn't actually have one, that's possible.
It's also possible that DOJ already has the document, but wanted to make sure that they swept up any copies or drafts from Trump's team.
It's also possible that there is a document, that DOJ has not found that Trump's team doesn't know where it is, and it's also possible that Trump has this document and is withholding it or has gotten rid of it.
So all of these possibilities are deeply problematic to varying extends for DOJ, and for Donald Trump. The DOJ needs to figure this out.
GOLODRYGA: Will prosecutors ever know at the end of the day whether they've gotten all of these classified materials and these documents?
HONIG: Probably not. Because of the nature of the way our classification system works, and the fact that Trump took a sort of unknown quantity of documents, which ended up to some extent in Florida. We now know potentially to some extent at Bedminster, New Jersey.
It's important to understand, our classified documents system does not operate like a library, where every document has a unique number and you can say, oh, were signed out by so-and-so. It was returned on such and such a date, if only are classified system was so neat, then they would be able to know. But it's much more open-ended and less organized.
GOLODRYGA: We've never been in a situation like this, to be fair.
HONIG: Yeah. These documents -- I mean, boxes upon boxes of documents were taken from the White House, down to Mar-a-Lago, and it's -- once they're out there, it's really hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
GOLODRYGA: In a minute we will talk about the difference between this investigation and the investigation of former President Pence, which was just closed. And also the ongoing investigation into President Biden. But from where you see Jack Smith's investigation into this case in
particular, and then the information that we've learned just this week alone, what does it tell you about the status of this case and where prosecutors are taking it?
HONIG: So, first of all, the story that Paula and the team broke about the video -- the audiotape is enormously important for prosecutors. There is no better evidence than tapes.
Defense lawyers, good, smart defense lawyers would approach me on the day of the arrest and say is this escapes case, do you have this guy on tape or not? There now is a tape or he is acknowledging that he has a document that he says is still classified after he left office. So, it puts the lie to all of his claims that he declassified everything. That's a crucial piece of evidence. It does feel to me like Jack Smith has to be in the sort of latter faces here.
Let's remember, he doesn't have the final word. When Jack Smith is down with this work, he will make a recommendation to the attorney general, who then has to review it, deferred to Jack Smith, but not automatically, and then we'll get a decision.
GOLODRYGA: So this has been going on for quite a long period of time at this point.
GOLODRYGA: Now, countered that with what we've heard about the vice president in the investigation to his holding of classified documents, that case has been closed and no charges will be filed. Are you surprised at how quickly they came to that decision?
HONIG: I'm not surprised at the decision itself there's no criminal charges involving Mike Pence, I'm not surprised at how quickly they did it, because the quick question is not just did this person have classified documents. You have to get into, as a starting point, did the person know?
And Mike Pence has denied that he knew. He turned over all the documents voluntarily, and it's clear now from DOJ's decision that they found no evidence that he knew. And so in that case, there is no crime, and so you end it.
GOLODRYGA: And I mentioned the ongoing investigation into the current presidents holding of classified documents. We don't hear much about special counsel Robert Hur. This investigation is continuing, how does this differ from not only President Trump's case, but also the former vice president?
HONIG: Yeah. So, the Mike Pence case to me looks like it's more similar to Joe Biden's case than Donald Trump's case. Pence and Biden both have a much smaller number of documents, Pence and Biden both came forward with their documents voluntarily, turned them over to archives and DOJ versus Trump who was not cooperative, and potentially obstructive, and there is still no evidence that either Pence or Biden knew it. They both denied it, and, again, we don't know publicly of any evidence to the contrary. Donald Trump clearly knew he had the documents, he talks about it constantly.
So would it all surprise me if the Biden case ends up being resolved the same as the Pence case, but yes, there is a special counsel on the Biden case who has been very quiet as a prosecutor should be.
And so, we don't know what they are developing behind the scenes. But based on what we know, it looks like it's headed in the same direction as the Pence case.
GOLODRYGA: Intent also another important factor in all of these cases.
HONIG: It's all about intent. Yeah.
GOLODRYGA: Elie Honig, always great to see you. Have a great weekend.
HONIG: Thanks, Bianna. All right. You, too.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you.
Well, a look at how the new monthly job numbers are playing out on the 2024 campaign trail. That's next.
Plus, dozens of bags tossed into a ravine full of human body parts. New details about this very disturbing discovery.
GOLODRYGA: In our money lead, help is clearly wanted. The U.S. labor market isn't slowing down at all. Employers added 339,000 jobs in May. That number is a job from the number of jobs created in April and also far exceeds the number estimated.
One chief economist told CNN the jobs report, quote, shows an economy that's certainly not in a recessionary mode and perhaps is growing at a healthy pace.
Well, in our politics lead, the 2024 race is full steam ahead, as a parade of Republican presidential candidates make their way through early voting states.
And on the Democratic side, the sitting president is ready to take a victory lap in the Oval Office, addressing the nation tonight in that setting for the first time ever after avoiding a catastrophic U.S. default on debt.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Des Moines, Iowa, and chief White House correspondent Phil Mattingly is at the White House.
Phil, to you first. What is behind the president's decision to address the nation from the Oval Office? I understand that part of it, but for doing it tonight, on a Friday night at 7:00 p.m. for the first time ever. PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you know,
it's an interesting question. One, because this will be his first Oval Office address, obviously a format and forum that is rife with significant history over the course of presidencies, but also on a Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
And it underscores when you talk to White House officials: one, they wanted to wait until this was all done, until the president weighed in, actually a lot of criticism from House Democrats in particular that the president wasn't out more, wasn't talking more. That was intentional. If you wanted to give negotiators face to get something done, he touched on a regular basis, briefings and discussions with his negotiators, but didn't want to be the one that was out driving a message or repeating a message, or attacking Republicans on a day-to- day basis.
This will be the moment to kind of put everything together. First, make clear just how high stakes and high risk this moment was. I think there were so many of these over the course of the last decade, there is some concern perhaps that people don't understand just how much of a high wire act this was, and the ability to get this done, and get this done in a bipartisan way. I think it's something the White House very much wants to focus on, very much believes it's the president's kind of brand and what he brings to the table, not unimportant things, given the fact that he is officially a candidate for reelection of the presidency.
But I also think that you're going to hear, and I think talking to officials, they make this clear. This is a cloud in terms of the debt limit that's been hanging over not just the U.S. economy but the White House, the presidency, all of Washington, over the course of the last six or seven months. It is now removed.
You talked about those economic numbers. Combine those two things together and there is a pretty clear runway for progress when you talk to officials. That's something, too, that the president wants to highlight, Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Karine Jean-Pierre saying today that the president may sign that debt bill as soon as tomorrow.
Jeff, turning to you. Iowa's recent Republican visitors have included Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and today, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. This Sunday night, Nikki Haley is there for a CNN town hall hosted by our own Jake Tapper.
What is the mood among Iowa voters today?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, Iowa Republicans, quite frankly, are beginning their shopping season, if you will. They're looking at all the candidates, just about a third or so perhaps, a little more, you know, are strong supporters of Donald Trump. But many others are looking for an alternative.
So right now, obviously, the Biden policies that Phil was just talking about are very much on display and a topic of conversation here, but in the reverse. The criticism of them really is the anthem of these Republican political campaigns. So these candidates, by next week, there are going to be ten Republican candidates in this race. Of course, the map of that makes it benefit former President Donald Trump, because, of course, he has his core group of supporters and the rest of the electorate is simply divided up.
So that is one sense of worry here among some Republicans, who believe that to win back the White House, Donald Trump is not the answer to that. But again, this is the beginning of this primary process. Most of the candidates will be here in Des Moines tomorrow, speaking at Senator Joni Ernst's roast and ride, she calls it. It's her annual event were some politicians ride motorcycles, and give speeches.
So they are coming here to simply show that they can run against Donald Trump and be as strong as him. So, that is where this race stands now. But again, the Biden policies, even the ones that Phil was talking about, are still front and center on this side of the race as well. The Iowa caucuses, which opened up that Republican nominating contest, are likely to begin next January -- Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Of course, we'll be watching that town hall with Jake and Nikki Haley, as we mentioned, this Sunday as well.
Jeff Zeleny, Phil Mattingly, thank you to you both.
And here to discuss, CNN political commentator Mondaire Jones, former U.S. congressman of New York, and CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover, host of PBS "Firing Line".
So, Mondaire, I'll ask you the same question I asked Phil. I understand why the president would want to take a victory lap. You've got stellar jobs report. You've got this debt deal that appears to be ready to be signed tomorrow, largely in the Democrats' favor.
But I -- again, I don't understand why he would do this. For the first time from the Oval Office, on a summer Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.
MONDAIRE JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, far be it from me to get in the minds of folks at the White House, but I do think that the White House considers this achievement to be historic enough or important enough to do it on any day of the week. And so, that's why you are seeing it happen tonight.
I will say, I can't get over the process it took to get to this point. I mean, I worry about now validating the hostage taking that we saw from Republicans when it came to the American economy, and the global economy. And there were concessions. There were concessions in this.
And I think this could have been avoided, by using the 14th Amendment or something to that effect.
But the narrative thus far that the White House is pushing and that liberal commentators have been pushing is that this is something that only this White House could have done, and so, I think that you're going to see them -- you can hear them talk about that tonight.
GOLODRYA: You are right to point out concern that we will likely pay back here in 2025, this is a two-year deal. A lot of concern is whether we will go over the cliff given how tight these negotiations have been.
So, Margaret, I want to ask you to respond to what Peter Baker wrote in "The New York Times". He said the president calculated that the more he bragged about the debt ceiling bill was the good one for his side, the more he would inflame Republicans on the other side, jeopardizing the chances of pushing the agreement through the narrowly divided House.
Now, Democrats may have miscalculated up front, thinking that Republicans would be divided over coming to an agreement on a specific deal. That didn't happen, but do you think that the strategy has worked out well for the president, after the fact? After the fact that they maybe -- didn't do well the first time around, in assuming what Republicans would do this time around, did he handle it well?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there's a deal. We are not defaulting. I think that the proof is in the pudding.
Joe Biden is a creature of Washington for better or for worse, and in this case, it was for better. I mean, a little bit reminds me, Bianna, of George H.W. Bush, when the Berlin wall fell down and he's sitting in the Oval Office and everyone is saying, come on, do a victory lap. You know, communism has fallen and democracy has won.
And he refused to put a nail into the coffin. He refused to take that prideful, gloating victory lap because that wasn't the point at that moment, and Biden knew that he could have compromised the win if he had done a victory lap. So that's what he's going to do tonight.
And you know, it's not the White House's job to predict what's going to happen on ratings Friday night versus Monday night. It's the White House's job to take credit for the victory that they actually -- I mean, this is a bipartisan victory lap.
So I will be very curious if Joe Biden's commentary tonight is a message of, I am delivering what I promised, government that can work again because, in some ways, he bested Kevin McCarthy. While they -- the Republicans did get very substantive progress on some of the policy improvements, Joe Biden gets to say that he stopped the default on the country's debt.
GOLODRYGA: And Kevin McCarthy still keeps his speakership, so that says something, too. I mean, there were concerns, legitimate concerns about where that would have gone.
HOOVER: This is, for all of its fraught, government working. This is a process of bargaining and negotiation, and Mondaire and I might not agree on the substance of the agreement, but they got it done.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, government working. It happened sometimes.
GOLODRYGA: Let's talk about these jobs numbers, Mondaire, because any other president would be more than thrilled to get a report like this. This is an embarrassment of riches, to once again get a stellar numbers, 339,000 jobs, the unemployment rate 3.7 percent. But this isn't an according -- ordinary economy because we are still dealing with inflation.
How much of a concern is it for the administration as a balance, to see numbers like this, but also still know that the economy is still rather hot, and that might lead to another rate hike by the Fed?
JONES: Well, you said it. This president has historic job creation. No one can contest that reality. And yet I think this is a president who knows intimately the pain that every day Americans are feeling. And he speaks to that. And people in the White House and Democrats in Congress have been speaking to that.
Inflation is still way too high, it's obviously a global phenomenon, I think the United States objectively has weathered that storm better than the rest of the country because of Democratic policies. But I think you won't hear as much bragging as you might expect about this record job creation it because people are still hurting every day. You feel it at the grocery stores. You see it at the gas pump, and so on and so forth.
GOLODRGYA: Margaret, let's turn to the Republican presidential primary, where things are heating up between the feud between former President Trump and Ron DeSantis over really ridiculous issues, including how to pronounce Ron DeSantis' last name.
Let's play something for our viewers on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You don't change your name in the middle of the election. Change his name in the middle of the election, you don't do that. You do it before or after, but ideally, you don't do it at all.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's so petty. I think it's so juvenile. I don't think that that's what voters want. I think that's one of the reasons he's not in the White House now, because he alienated too many voters for things that really don't matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: So, all these years later, do you think, Margaret, that this is the issue that will alienate voters, Trump?
HOOVER: What it actually does is it represents what the new cycle will return to, if we repeat 2016 and have a divided field on the Republican side with 15 candidates in it and Donald Trump emerges as a victor with the plurality of the votes.
I mean, if you want to talk about the pronunciation of DeSantis versus DeSantis versus DeSantis, I mean, that's what we're going to be reduced to, rather than what Mondaire and I was just talking about, job reports, work requirement changes, $1.5 trillion being saved in spending over ten years, according to the CBO.
I mean, we can do substantive policy news, or we can do at inanities like the bread and circus for the -- for the crowds if we have Trump.
So Republicans need to really think carefully about this primary season as we started in Iowa. There are substantive candidates who are entering this race --
GOLODRYGA: A lot of them.
HOOVER: Many of them, and Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Pence, Christie. Christie is going to get in next week. Former Vice Mike Pence will get in next week.
Republicans are going to have to see who has staying power, and ultimately consolidate around someone other than Trump.
GOLODRYGA: All right. Mondaire Jones, Margaret Hoover, thank you so much.
And join Jake Tapper this Sunday night in Iowa as he will be moderating a CNN Republican presidential town hall with former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. That is at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, only here on CNN.
And then on Wednesday, Dana Bash heads to Iowa to talk to former Vice President Mike Pence in another CNN Republican presidential town hall. That will be at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.
Well, America's top spy made a secret trip to China. Who the CIA chief met with and what it means for the tense relationship between the two nations.
GOLODRYGA: A surprising revelation tops our world lead, that U.S. official tells CNN the head of the CIA, Director Bill Burns, made a secret trip to China last month.
Let's bring CNN national security correspondent Kylie Atwood with more on this.
So, Kylie, does this secret trip have to do with efforts to cool tensions with China?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, one U.S. official really stressed that this was an intelligence to intelligence engagement. This was not a diplomatic engagement. Another U.S. official said that the CIA director really did stress to the Chinese, to his counterparts, the importance of maintaining open lines of communication in the intelligence base between U.S. and China.
But, of course, Bianna, the backdrop to all of this is that there has been tension across the board when it comes to engagements between the U.S. and China. We saw that after, of course, that Chinese spy balloon traversed over the continental U.S. this year. U.S. officials acknowledge that that led to a pause in regular communications between the two countries. They have been working to get that pause back to normal pace of engagements between the two.
We know that administration officials are working towards a series of in-person engagements for U.S. officials, including the secretary of state, to travel to Beijing. Of course, he was supposed to travel earlier this year but when that balloon came over the U.S. they had to postpone that trip. They're working to get that rescheduled right now.
But we should also note that just this week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was rebuffed by his Chinese counterpart when he asked for a meeting with him in Singapore. Now, they did briefly meet today on the sidelines of the meeting in Singapore, but they didn't have a substantive conversation. That's according to the Pentagon's spokesperson.
Substantive conversations are what U.S. officials are really looking towards right now. And they are saying that there was a productive engagement between the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and his Chinese counterpart a few weeks ago in Vienna, of course, we saw the Chinese commerce minister here in Washington and in Detroit, just earlier this week.
So there does seem to be some forward movement in trying to reestablish normal, diplomatic relations, engagements between the two countries. But the concern is that if the Chinese continue to rebuff outreach from the United States, that things could veer into territory where there is a miscalculation that spirals out of control -- Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, we just showed a video of Lloyd Austin shaking his counterpart's hand there, but no substantive meeting as of yet.
Kylie Atwood, thank you.
Also in our world lead, a gruesome discovery. Police found 45 bags containing human body parts outside of Guadalajara, a major city in western Mexico.
As CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports it's likely connected to the disappearance of workers at a phone calling center.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bodies were found in bags, discarded in a ravine, grisly murders that have shocked even Mexicans, wary of years of rampant violence, often connected to drug cartels. Investigators say at least 45 bags were found containing human remains outside Guadalajara, Mexico. Some of those bags have been broken open. LUIS JOAQUIN MENDEZ RUIZ, JALISCO ATTORNEY GENERAL (through
translator): All the bags that we found are closed, and obviously taped. We found some segments on the precipice, ravine, that we believe that when they were placed or thrown there, some banks must have torn. And that's how we found some segments.
In a preliminary manner, we can say that there are female and male bodies. But we need to wait for the institute to confirm.
OPPMANN: Officials say that the bodies appear to match the characteristics of some of the seven missing employees of a call center in Guadalajara. But it's unclear how many victims there are.
Missing since late May, the family members have demanded police investigate their disappearances.
We want them alive and well, say family members, as they marched in the streets before the discovery of the bodies, calling on Mexican officials to do more. The families say their relatives went to work like any normal day, but then their phones went dark.
GABRIELA HERNANDEZ, GIRLFRIEND OF MISSING MAN (through translator): At 2:50 p.m., my messages and calls didn't go through. It was only voice mail, and the phone was off. After that, there was no more communication.
OPPMANN: Mexican officials say the investigation have uncovered alleged criminal activity at the call center, but they have not said that if there were any suspects.
ROSA ICELA RODRIGUEZ, SECRETARY OF SECURITY AND CITIZEN PROTECTION (through translator): The first indicators are, involves people carrying out some sort of real estate fraud, and some kind of telephone extortion.
OPPMANN: The sad reality is disappearances and brutal mass killings have been all too often in Mexico, where tens of thousands of people, according to human rights groups, are believed to have been murdered and buried in unmarked graves.
Just in Jalisco state, where this latest massacre took place, 1,500 bodies have been found since 2019 according to prosecutors. And throughout Mexico, more than 110,000 people are missing. And while this latest grisly massacre has generated more headlines and outrage, there are no guarantees family members will receive justice.
OPPMANN (on camera): And Mexico's president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has resisted calls to confront the cartels directly. He said -- which means hugs not bullets, but Mexicans were just so tired of this kind of out of control violence, you know, they have acknowledged that that has been a complete failure and are calling on the government to do more. GOLODRYGA: It's just a horrifying discovery.
Patrick Oppmann in Havana, thank you.
Phoenix is the fastest growing city in America. So why did officials just put a limit on new housing construction? We'll tell you, up next.
GOLODRYGA: In our Earth Matters series, officials in Arizona are limiting new construction projects in Phoenix because the groundwater that supports the area is rapidly disappearing. Years of water over use and climate change driven drought are all part of the problem.
CNN's Stephanie Elam joins me now with more on this.
So, Stephanie, how concerning is this?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's definitely something worth paying attention to, Bianna, because it shows you that there is just a lack of water in the southwest. What we are seeing in Arizona is that they are making this decision that right now, 4 percent of the current groundwater demand could not be met in the next 100 years. So they are saying, why should we go ahead and allow for more permits to build homes out further into these desert areas if the Metro Phoenix area if we know that this is a problem.
In fact, take a listen to Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs on this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. KATIE HOBBS (D), ARIZONA: That's why, as required by law, we will pause approvals of new, assured water supply determinations that rely on pumping groundwater, ensuring that we don't add to any future deficit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: And she talked about that assured water supply. That's what they're looking at here, and they're saying this is why they are not going to permit any more housing developments for now.
Now, ones that have already been permitted, they can continue on with the building, but any new construction company that wants to build a development, they have to prove that they have that ushered water supply if that does not rely on a local groundwater, and it can I be there to supply these homes for 100 years.
This is a big development because as we know, the groundwater is one thing, they can pump as much as they want, there is no regulation, but they have a problem because of the Colorado River not having enough water, and that's where they get some of their water as well, like six other states. This is why this is so telling for what we see here in the southwest overall, Bianna. GOLODRYGA: Yeah, in Arizona, though, we know along with California,
did receive a ton of rain earlier this year. Does that make any difference at all in solving this drought crisis, at least temporarily?
ELAM: Temporarily, it could take away some of the strain and some of the usage by California on water coming out of the Colorado river. They are still digging out snow up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, still a ton of snow up there.
However, what we know from scientists is that these droughts that we are seeing, these long term droughts between those rainy years are getting longer, and the hot days are getting hotter. That means there's going to be more difficulties to find these water sources, and that's what we have to keep looking to recycle, bring in other ways to tamp down the amount of water we're using.
But overall in the long term, this is an issue that needs to be addressed because there is not as much water out here as there used to be.
GOLODRYGA: And it's not limited only to Arizona either.
Stephanie Elam, thank you so much for bringing us this important story.
Well, you know him from shows like :West Wing" and "Scandal". Well, now, actor Joshua Malina is in a very timely Broadway play. He will join me live to talk about it.
GOLODRYGA: In our national lead, a case of art imitating life in a way that raises some disturbing questions about where we are as a society. Right now, actor Joshua Malina, a veteran of hits like the "West Wing", "Scandal", and "The Big Bang Theory", is performing on Broadway in a play called "Leopoldstadt". It's about the rise of antisemitism in Europe during the early 1900s. It is a play that is just as relevant today.
Last week, the Biden administration released the country's first national strategy for combating antisemitism, given the record spike in reported incidents of antisemitic assault, harassment, and vandalism here in the United States.
And Josh Malina is here with me on set.
It is such a privilege to have you here.
JOSHUA MALINA, ACTOR: Thank you for having me.
GOLODRYGA: We began communicating after I saw you in this really a production of "Leopoldstadt" a couple of weeks ago and I really wanted to get this conversation started about the significance of this play. For those viewers who aren't familiar with it, tell us a little bit about it.
MALINA: Well, "Leopoldstadt" by the incredible writer Tom Stoppard takes place in 1899, covers 60 years approximately of a well to do, intermarried, what you say interfaith, Venice family doing very well.
I play the patriarch of the family. Herman Merz is a textile factory owner. He has renounced his Judaism. He's actually been baptized Catholic as a way for upward mobility and to do better. It's not necessarily that he's just turning in his back, but it's a way to rise in Venice culture.
And there is a discussion at the beginning of the play about antisemitism, I'd be given a pamphlet, "Der Judenstaat" by Herzl, about the need for Jewish state, and my character is essentially putting forth the argument that things are pretty good.
MALINA: Things are changing. Prejudice is still there, but things are looking good for the Jews, and we may not have political power but look where we are culturally and how we're doing and society?
And it's easy to watch the play and think, wow, that guy is really off-base as indeed, he will prove to be.
But I think it's also possible to sit in the theater in 2023 as a Jew, or as a member of any group and think, secure -- feel secure in your position in society and maybe it's best to leave and contemplate our own complacency, because things change.
And I wish it were a museum piece, I wish it were --
MALINA: -- about how bad antisemitism used to be. But I wake up, just today, I read an article about the Anti-Defamation League saying that anti Jewish hate crimes, assault, and vandalism, and hate --
GOLODRYGA: And threats in general are all up.
MALINA: -- are higher than they have ever been, since they've been keeping track of the statistics, since 1979.
GOLODRYGA: And not only -- and not even here in New York on Broadway where you are working is immune. I mean, just earlier this year, neo- Nazis protested outside of the show "Parade". It's a show centered around the only known Jewish lynching in American history.
You are fighting antisemitism by talking about it in the past since. How do you do it given that it is playing out in real world America every single day now?
MALINA: How do I personally? I mean, a big part of the play to me is an opportunity to start a discussion, and to say, look backwards in order to look forwards. And I hope that young people are seeing -- because I also know education about the Holocaust and what happened is on the way in, and we are approaching a situation where we don't have many survivors of the Holocaust anymore.
So I think it's important to look at what has passed in order to take a look also at what is happening today.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. I think it would be really important for younger audiences to come see this play that closes --
MALINA: It close on July 2nd, and I definitely encourage people. It's not just a Jewish play, or a Jewish story and as universal themes and I hope anyone would come --
GOLODRYGA: It's a human story. What's next for you know when this play closes?
MALINA: That's a good question. July 3rd, unemployment. And co-hosting the university's leading Jewish podcast "Unorthodox".
Well, I follow you on Twitter. You really go back at the trolls that attack you.
MALINA: I do, I will take on all comers. I will immediately drop to people's level.
GOLODRYGA: Is that a relief when you do that? I mean, do you think that's effective?
MALINA: Well, it's some form of catharsis. I don't know if it's productive in any way, but it passes the time.
GOLODRYGA: Well, this play -- this play is indeed very productive, and as you mentioned, very timely. It was a gut punch, but it is a reminder that the one up in the past can happen again.
GOLODRYGA: And here as well, in the United States. God forbid.
Josh Malina, it's a wonderful play. Thank you so much.
MALINA: Thank you. Shabbat shalom.
GOLODRGYA: Shabbat shalom. Have a good night.
Well, coming up, Texas police say a man called and told them that they were looking for him, and now they say he is a suspected serial killer. That's next.
Then ahead in "THE SITUATION ROOM", a new look at the Iowa apartment building just moments before it collapsed.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:57:21]
GOLODRGYA: In our national lead, police in Austin, Texas, are looking into whether a double murder suspect could be a serial killer. Raul Meza Jr. led police on a five-day manhunt after he confessed to killing his roommate. Following Meza's arrest on Monday, police then discovered he could be tied up to ten additional killings.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is following this for us.
So, Ed, what did this double murder suspect tell the police?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, on May 24th, Raul Meza Jr. who is 62 years old, calls the Austin Police Department and asked to speak with a detective, an investigator. And the phone call starts off with him saying, my name is Raul Meza, and I think you are looking for me.
And according to an arrest warrant affidavit, that sparked a 14-minute long conversation where investigators say Meza essentially confessed to these two murders. The first being the murder of 80-year-old Jesse Fraga in Austin area, which happened in early May.
The second goes back to May of 2019. A woman by the name of Gloria Lofton who was 66 at the time, and a neighbor of Meza were in the neighborhood where he lived back then at that time.
Now as you mentioned, investigators say since then, they have been able to come to the realization that perhaps Meza is connected to at least 8 to 10 other murders, and he said that he has his long history of been in and out of the prison system in Texas. His first murder he was convicted, I was back in 1982 when he was accused and convicted of murdering an eight-year-old girl.
He was released from prison on good behavior about 11 years later, and he's been in and out of the prison system several times since then. But what is most chilling for investigators is that when he was arrested five years after making that phone call, they said he was found on the bag that had duct tape, zip ties, and a gun. He said he was willing to continue carrying out more murders -- Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Wow. Well, hopefully, those victims' families can finally get the closure and justice they desperately need. Ed Lavandera in Dallas, Texas, for us, thank you.
Well, coming up this Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION", Dana Bash talks to Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin and Republican Congressman Ken Buck. Plus, Shalanda Young, the director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. It's a packed show, it's at 9:00 a.m. and Noon Eastern on CNN.
Thank you so much for watching, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga, in for Jake Tapper.
Our coverage continues now with Alex Marquardt, in for Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM".
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Happening now, more exclusive reporting from CNN on Donald Trump's handling of classified information. Sources saying the former president's attorneys have not been able to find that document about a potential attack on Iran, that he discussed in a 2021 audiotape. The search coming in response to a subpoena from federal investigators.