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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Grand Jury Handling Potential Indictments In 2020 Election Probe Selected Today In Georgia; Trump Lawyers Ask To Delay Classified Docs Trial; First Hearing In Classified Docs Case Set For Next Week; Trump Leads Field In First National Qualifying Poll For August Debate; Gov. Burgum Offers $20 Gift Cards For $1 Donations; Ramaswamy Offers To Pay Supporters A Cut Of Money Raised For Campaign; Trump To Skip Key Iowa Event For Evangelical Voters. Northwestern Univ. Student Paper Cities Former Players Who Allege Culture Of Abuse Within Football Program; Research Details Companies Still Conducting Business In Russia After Pledging To Leave After Start Of War; California Homeless Population Rises Despite $17B Spent To Ease The Problem. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 11, 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: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
TAPPER: This hour, Northwestern University's head football coach fired after 17 seasons over hazing allegations. We're going to talk to a former player, as well as one of the student reporters who broke the story, detailing the alleged hazing rituals that allegedly involved sexual coercion.
Plus, one state has spent 20 billion of your tax dollars to try to fix a growing problem. But instead, the problem has gotten worse. How does that even happening?
And leading this hour, there is a brand-new grand jury being empaneled that could be tasked with whether to indict Donald Trump. Twenty-six men and women in Fulton County, Georgia will now decide if the former president and his allies will be charged with trying to overturn the 2020 election and related crimes. This is in addition, of course, to the federal charges for his handling of classified documents. Those charges have already been leveled, the pending New York trial and the Storm Daniels hush money case, and then, of course, there's this potentially other special counsel indictment connected to January 6.
So, where does Georgia fit in with all of that? Among other allegations, there's the now infamous Trump phone call to the Georgia secretary of state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITES STATES: So, look, all I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more that we have because we won the state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: CNN's Sara Murray has been following this story since the very beginning.
And Sara, the jurors in Fulton County, Georgia, the Atlanta area are sworn in. So what happens next?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, for the next couple of weeks, they're going to operate like a normal grand jury would in Fulton County, which means they're probably going to hear cases that are murders, that are carjackings, that are robberies, that kind of thing. And then at a certain point, the DA's team is probably going to come to them in a couple of weeks, walk into one of those grand juries and say, OK, today you're going to hear a different kind of case. And then will likely present their evidence against Donald Trump or any of the allies that they want to try to bring charges against before this grand jury. Remember, a special grand jury spent months and months collecting evidence in this case, interviewing witnesses, getting documents, but didn't have the ability to indict. Now we are at a point where these grand juries that have been empaneled can bring indictments if that is what Fani Willis decides to do, Jake.
TAPPER: And Sara, who could be in legal jeopardy in this investigation? Presumably, maybe Donald Trump. Anyone else?
MURRAY: Well, yes, Donald Trump is at the center of this investigation, so of course he could face legal jeopardy. We know there are a couple of people who have been told that they're targets in this investigation. Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's former attorney, is one of those. David Shafer, the head of the Republican Party in Georgia who served as a Republican fake elector and has not taken an immunity deal, to our knowledge, at this point, is another potential target. But we know they've been scrutinizing a number of people who were around Donald Trump in this post-election time, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Sidney Powell, who was working on these election challenges, and she's looking at conspiracy charges. So there could potentially be a long list, Jake.
TAPPER: Sara Murray, thanks so much for that update. Let's turn now to a different Trump investigation, there are many of them, of course, the unprecedented federal charges against the former president and his top aide, Walt Nauta, for allegedly unprecedented actions. Attorneys for the two men seem to be asking for a major delay in the classified documents federal case, suggesting in that legal file -- any illegal filing that it might need the prosecution to wait until after the 2024 election. CNN Senior Legal Affairs Correspondent Paula Reid joins us now live to discuss this.
Paula, when will the judge make a decision about whether or not this will be delayed until after the election in 2024 or when there will actually be a date?
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, it's unclear exactly when we'll get that answer, but we know this is a key tension right now between prosecutors and the Trump team. Jack Smith says, look, I want a speedy trial. He suggested that this should go to trial in December, which, given the complexity of this case, that would be speedy, indeed. But the Trump team has said, look, we want to raise a lot of different legal questions.
You should expect a lot of litigation around this case. They want to raise questions, including whether the special counsel even has the authority to bring these charges. Questions about whether these documents were actually classified. Now, Jake, it's unlikely they're actually going to succeed on the merits of any of those questions, but those questions, even being raised and litigated, will have the effect of delaying this. And each delay gets this closer and closer to the presidential election, which raises a whole new set of constitutional questions.
It is an unprecedented issue, Jake, but at this point, they're making the legal argument that, look, it's his right to raise a lot of these questions, and they also have a significant amount of discovery evidence to go through. At this point, they already have nine months of surveillance footage and hundreds of thousands of documents. And they say, you know, December is not likely that they're going to be able to do it by then. And at this point, they believe it's premature to even be able to name a date when they might be able to be ready to bring this to trial. So this is going to be a constant tension, right, the desire to move this along quickly, versus the Trump team desire to at least push this past the election.
And the referee here is Trump appointed judge, Aileen Cannon, and the parties will go before her for the first time next Tuesday in a hearing that was delayed just a few days.
TAPPER: OK. So, Judge Cannon, that's the classified documents case. Then we talked about the federal -- not the federal, the Fulton County grand jury, and that's the Georgia case. And I apologize to all our viewers out there who might be confused. There are a lot of criminal charges against Donald Trump.
Let's tackle this third case, the special counsel's investigation into Trump and his allies' efforts to overturn the 2020 election, not just in Georgia, but nationally. Now, two of the prosecutors in that case were seen at the courthouse today. Does that mean anything?
REID: Well, it caused a lot of excitement, sort of on Twitter. The people who follow this case very closely, what does it mean? But, Jake, instead of just trying to read tea leaves, we're going to rely on our actual reporting. We know in recent weeks there has been sort of an urgency from prosecutors who have reached down to certain witnesses wanting to move things along quickly. But we also know from our reporting that they're still scheduling interviews with witnesses.
So while all signs and all of our reporting suggest that they are nearing the end of this investigation, we also have reporting that suggests they're not quite done yet. So people shouldn't read too much into the fact that one of the prosecutors who works two of the prosecutors who work on this case, who go before the grand jury were spotted at the courthouse. Our reporting suggests at this point, they still have a little work to do before they bring charges.
TAPPER: All right, Paula Reid, thank you so much.
Let's bring in Tom Dupree, he's the former principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President George W. Bush.
Tom, let's start with this argument being made by Trump and not his defense team that they don't think it would be possible for there to be a fair jury to be convened during a presidential campaign where Donald Trump is running. The question here is not if that's philosophically accurate. It's -- is it a solid legal argument that the judge might find convincing? Is it?
TOM DUPREE, FORMER PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTY. GENERAL: In my judgment, Jake, no, it's not. I don't think the judge would throw this case out or postpone this case on that basis. For one thing, look, choosing a jury is going to be a challenge, no getting around it. You've got to find jurors who at least claim that they can be impartial, who don't know all the ins and outs of these cases and who haven't been following the case. But at the same time, I wouldn't go so far as to say it is impossible to select a jury during the campaign season or before the election.
And even if you were to postpone this trial until after the election, I'm not sure I see how the political concerns would dissipate. People who would have difficulty adjudicating this case before the election, I think, would still have the same problem after the election.
TAPPER: So Judge Cannon, the Trump appointed judge who's hearing this case, she set the initial date for the trial to begin in mid-August. That was widely seen as just a placeholder. Do you think she'd actually be willing to postpone this case until after the election next year?
DUPREE: I do think she'd be willing to do that. And, look, it's clear the way that things are shaping up right now, the Trump team is going to do everything they can to push this after the election, Jack Smith is doing everything he can to do it early. My sense is that Canon is probably going to be inclined to listen to the Trump team's arguments and take them seriously when they say they have serious, substantive legal arguments, they have a right to present. They may or may not be meritorious, but they would say, look, any criminal defendant is entitled to raise these, and we have a right to our day in court to careful consideration of these motions and to give us ample and adequate time to prepare these arguments. I'm not saying it's a certainty that she's going to postpone it, but it wouldn't surprise me if she is receptive to their argument that this trial needs to be further bumped back.
TAPPER: If -- I mean, just to state the obvious, if she agrees to push the trial that far after the election, 2024, and then if Donald Trump wins the presidential election, I realize that's two big ifs, but if those two things happen, the case goes away, right?
DUPREE: Absolutely. I mean, I cannot imagine, you know, God's green Earth, the Justice Department, under a Trump administration continuing this prosecution. If Trump wins the election, then I think this case dissolves. So if there hasn't been a trial by the election, Trump wins, the case gets dismissed on January 20.
TAPPER: Tom Dupree, thanks so much for your expertise, as always.
Just in to CNN, former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten is now a free woman. Van Houten was released from prison earlier today. She served more than 50 years for her role in the killings of a supermarket executive and his wife. Van Houten was 19 when she met Charles Manson and joined the murderous cult known as the Manson Family. California's parole board first recommended her release in 2016, but two separate California governors blocked her release multiple times.
Please let us in now, that was the plea from Ukraine's president to NATO. But did the other world leaders open the door to Zelenskyy, coming up.
Plus, when Putin first attacked Ukraine, hundreds of companies pledged to stop doing business in Russia but not all of them left. Which one stayed, and how is business? Stay with us.
TAPPER: And back with our world lead, extraordinary developments from world leaders at the NATO summit in Lithuania after Turkey finally made way for Sweden's membership, Ukraine's President Zelenskyy made a splash, slamming the powerful military alliance's lack of clear time frame for Ukraine's accession into NATO as a way to pressure them. While back in Zelenskyy's country, Ukraine, Russia was attempting to bomb the capital, Kyiv, shelling the southern city of Kherson, and launching drones at the port city of Odessa, igniting one of the buildings where critical grain is being stored, according to the Ukrainian government.
CNN's Nic Robertson is watching all of this from London for us. And CNN's Alex Marquardt is inside Ukraine's capital of Kyiv.
Alex, let's start with you. Put today's attack on Odessa into perspective, is this Putin's way of making waves while Zelenskyy's at the NATO summit?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Jake, it's very hard to say it is certainly possible. There have been so many waves of missile attacks and drone strikes or attempted drone attacks. What is clear, though, Jake, is that Russia was aiming these drones at two very critical areas, the Kyiv region, of course, where we are, and the critical port city of Odessa.
Now, there were around 30 of these Russian drones that were sent, we believe, from southern Russia. They're actually most of them, these Iranian made Shahed Kamikaze drones that were targeting Kyiv and Odessa. Most of them were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses. At least two of them got through in Odessa. Thankfully, no one was killed but debris from the drones that were shot down did set two of the grain terminals on fire, those fires were put out.
But Jake, we are closely watching Odessa, it is a very sensitive area. That is where Ukraine ships, all of its grain out of to the war old it ships it under an agreement with Russia. Russia allows it to be exported through the Black Sea under that agreement. But that agreement is ending in just a couple of days time, and there are indications that Russia may not want to renew it. But as far as these attempted strikes go, Jake, there's so often no rhyme or reason to what Russia is doing beyond wanting to sow terror in Ukraine.
TAPPER: Nic, NATO put out an official announcement, it's called a communique that said in part, quote, "Ukraine's future is in NATO." But NATO also knocked down Ukraine's membership process as happening imminently. Yet they also reduced it from two steps to just one. However, none of this seems to fully please Zelenskyy.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLAMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Zelenskyy seems to want the war on the door on the water closed and the door to NATO to open immediately. And that's just not the way it's going to be. Look, he's got form on handling his differences with NATO this way. Full of bluster coming in hard, right?
You know, whether it was on tanks, whether it was on fighter aircraft or surface to air missile defense systems et cetera, he was always way ahead of where NATO was, and certainly he is right now. He seems, number one, to be trying to make the point, look, Putin went into this war saying I'm going to stop Ukraine joining NATO. So, he's saying this just incentivizes Putin to keep the war going at some level, because if Ukraine can't join because there's a war, therefore keep the war going, and Ukraine will never become -- never get into NATO, there's that. And there's this other issue that Zelenskyy seemed to outline where he seems to be genuinely concerned that somehow that when there comes to this final negotiation with Russia, and let's just say it's not going -- the war is not going as well as he wants it to and he's being pressured now by his NATO partners to say, look, make a deal with Russia, end the war. His concern that there'll be some part of the negotiations at the end of the war ahead of perhaps where he and Ukrainians want it, which says look, you can come into NATO on this path but you've got to pause and stop the war here and make peace.
So he seems to be really concerned about that. Or there's another administration let's say in Washington or somewhere else at NATO that drags its heels on Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. So he kind of -- he wants to lock it in now so there's no ambiguity and uncertainty when it gets to that moment.
TAPPER: Yes, I mean, it certainly seems possible that if the next president is Trump or DeSantis, they'll view this whole situation quite differently.
Alex, we're also hearing about this high profile Russian military leader who was killed in a Russian occupied area of Ukraine. Is Ukraine claiming responsibility for his death? What do we know about that?
MARQUARDT: Not the Ukrainian government per se, Jake, not the senior most levels of the Ukrainian government, but there are some Ukrainian officials who are making this claim. We saw missile strikes on the Russian occupied city of Berdiansk today. That is on the Sea of Azov, that is on the southern front. We saw these missiles hitting well beyond enemy lines both in the city and nearby. And there is a Russian military headquarters where a Russian general is reported to have been killed. CNN has not independently confirmed this, but this has also been picked up by widely read Russian telegram channels.
And this would be the most senior Russian general killed so far in the Ukrainian campaign. His name is Lieutenant General Oleg Tsokov. He is the deputy commander of the southern military district in Russia. There are four different military districts. So, he would also deprive Russian forces of one of their most seasoned commanders and would be the latest in a long line of Russian commanders, Russian generals who have been killed at the front, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Alex Marquardt in Kyiv, Nic Robertson in London, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
Give a dollar and get $20 in return. That's what one Republican presidential candidate is promising donors. But is that legal?
TAPPER: In our 2024 lead, the first national poll that could be used to qualify for the inaugural Republican presidential debate next month has come out. Eight candidates in this poll meet the required 1 percent threshold in this new poll from Morning Consult. Those eight candidates, Trump, DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Pence, Christie, Haley, Scott and Hutchinson, now, all eight will need to hit that 1 percent or more level again in two additional polls to qualify for the Milwaukee debate in August. Frontrunner Donald Trump, of course, continues to dominate the field. In this poll, he has 56 percent among Republicans, leading Ron DeSantis by nearly 40 points, DeSantis with 17 percent.
Let's discuss all of this with Ashley Allison, former National Coalition's Director for the Biden Harris campaign, along with Scott Jennings, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. Thanks to both you for being here. Appreciate it.
Scott, Trump clearly remains in commanding position right now. He had previously suggested that he might skip the first debate. If he continues to lead this field by margins this big, do you expect he's going to follow through with that threat?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I wouldn't go to the debate if I were him. He doesn't have to. He doesn't have to do anything. I mean, you know, he doesn't have to go out and do the normal, you know, hit the campaign trail kind of stuff that everybody else is scraping and clawing at. So, no, I wouldn't go if I were him.
Now, he may not be able to resist a television show, but he might just be content to sit it out and then let the other campaigns bang on Ron DeSantis which is obviously what they would do if Trump weren't there. So, smart play would be to sit it out, but we'll see if he can resist the attention.
TAPPER: Ashley in addition to the polling requirement to meet the threshold to be in the debate, candidates have to reach 40,000 donors to make the RNC debate stage. Donations can be as small as $1. Now, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who is running for president, if people out there don't know, he has an estimated net worth of more than a billion dollars. He is offering to send $20 gift certificates to any donor who sends his campaign money, including if they send as little as one dollars. So you can send him a dollar and get a $20 gift certificate. What do you make of that?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't like it. I don't think it is what elections should be about. I mean, there's only a handful of people in this country that could even afford to do that. What he should be presenting are policies that make people want him to be in the running for being president or even the nominee. He's not in that top eight. He doesn't have name recognition.
Spend that money on running ads, talking to voters. You don't have to -- you shouldn't have to pay people to donate. He's not even paying people for votes, he's paying people just to donate. And he doesn't even really need the money because he has his own money in and of itself, he's just doing it to qualify.
So, it's kind of sad to me. It's a signal that he doesn't have the momentum he needs. And so maybe that should be a signal to drop out the race and this isn't his year.
TAPPER: Scott, the Burgum campaign is trying to spin this move as altruism rather than political opportunism. He is very wealthy. They're saying they want to help people hurting from, quote, "bidenflation." You buy that?
JENNINGS: No, I don't. Let me have my old man yells at cloud moment. I hate all of this. I hate this, I hate the Ramaswamy commission. I hate the text messages I get that say 100 X match to your donation.
I think political fundraising, what's happened to it, these rules that have been set up, it has made a mockery of the entire thing, and it forces these campaigns to do so. You get stupid rules and you get stupid outcomes, which is what this is. I hate all of it. I think it debases them, and it's not -- it's just it's not great.
And I don't like that he has -- I know why he's doing it because he wants to debate and he thinks he -- you know, to get on that stage, it's his best chance to make a move. But I mean, come on, just terrible, awful.
TAPPER: I mean, 40,000 donations is not in the world of donations, really, that many. Ashley, Vivek Ramaswamy, who's running for president, has come up with a unique way to raise money for his presidential campaign. In a tweet, he wrote, quote, "Today we're launching the Vivek Kitchen Cabinet," this is what Scott was just alluding to, "starting today, anyone can fundraise for the Vivek 2024 campaign and make a 10 percent commission. If someone else is getting rich on this, it might as well be you," unquote. What do you think of that?
ALLISON: Well, he's basically saying, pay for access. I'm not even the candidate, but if you want to have access to me, again, help me raise money, and I'll give you a little access. I think it's very similar to the governor's attempt. Forty thousand donors is not a lot of people. When you think about how many people we will need to have even vote for you to become the nominee, let alone the president of the United States, if you cannot muster that, you do not need to be in the race. That is why we have elections, because you need to convince people to raise money.
So I think this ploy from Ramaswamy is not worried about other people getting rich. That's not why he's doing it. It's not, to the governor's point, an altruistic incentive. It's selfish, and it's an attempt to gain more attention and maybe raise in the polls, but it's not -- he's not doing it for the people, I can guarantee that.
TAPPER: Scott, the Family Leadership Summit is going to host a forum in Iowa for presidential candidates this Friday. This will be a chance for candidates to speak to a key voting bloc for Republicans in Iowa, Evangelical conservative voters. DeSantis, Haley, Pence are all going to be there, Trump is skipping it. Trump is skipping it. What do you make of that? Do you think that's a bad idea?
JENNINGS: I mean, look, I think that he doesn't have to do the same things that everybody else has to do. He is what he is. He couldn't say anything on that stage that would make his fans love him anymore or his detractors hate him any more than they do. And right now, he's got, you know, according to that poll you put up, 56 percent of the party. These other candidates are scrapping for less than half. people fight out for the table scraps here, which won't be enough, of course, to take him out of the nomination.
And also, he's an incumbent president. I mean, he had four years. He's got a record that he can point to evangelical voters and say, I gave you the Supreme Court justices, I did the other judges, I did these policies. And so he's not really up there presenting any plans, you know. He is who he is, and we all know everything there is to know about him. So I don't blame him for skipping this stuff, honestly. He's in a different universe than the rest of these candidates.
TAPPER: Scott and Ashley, thanks to both of you. Good to see both of you.
The head football coach at Northwestern University is fired after an investigation into hazing in the football program. Now the coach says he was not aware of it. Coming up next, we're going to talk to a former Northwestern football player and one of the student journalists who helped break the story in the school newspaper. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our Sports Lead after 17 seasons, Northwestern University's head football coach Pat Fitzgerald has been fired after allegations of hazing within the football program. The school learned about the alleged hazing at the end of 2022, and the university launched an independent investigation which concluded that hazing had indeed happened, but there was not enough evidence to prove that the coaching staff was aware of any of it.
Then Northwestern student newspaper published a report on Saturday detailing players' accounts of the hazing and claims that Coach Fitzgerald may well have been aware. Last night, Fitzgerald released a statement emphasizing that he did not know about the hazing, he says.
And joining us now is Nicole Markus. She's one of the student reporters at "The Daily Northwestern" who helped break this story. Also with us, Ramon Diaz, Jr. He's an offensive lineman on the team. He was from 2005 to 2008 and is the first former player to speak publicly about the alleged abuse he experienced. Thanks so much to both you for joining us. Nicole, tell us more about how this story came to light and why it was important for you and your colleagues to publish it?
NICOLE MARKUS, SUMMER EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE DAILY NORTHWESTERN: Yes, thanks for having me. I think after the sanctions were announced Friday morning, it was really important for us to kind of look into what those sanctions were revolving around, you know, kind of figure out what the behind the scenes were in that process. And we received a report from the original whistleblower who reached out to university officials in November.
And so I hopped on a call with him, got his account of everything, and kind of that's where everything started. We looked into making sure we corroborated his identity so that weren't publishing anything that was incorrect and then worked from there to gather other sources, talk to the university and kind of bring this story to light. Because I think a lot of people were pretty confused about the sanctions, not knowing what had actually happened within the football team and kind of wanted to get to the bottom of that. So that was our motivation behind publishing the story.
TAPPER: And Ramon, you described some incredibly horrific abuses that you say have caused you PTSD. You say you were forced to shave the word Cinco de Mayo into your hair at one point. You played for the school in the 2000s. Why did you now decide to speak publicly about the allegations?
RAMON DIAZ, JR., FORMER NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL PLAYER: Thanks, Jake. That's a great question. I know I'm very well connected with some of the teammates who, specifically a couple of teammates, experienced similar, if not more egregious, treatment than I did. And one thing that we all agreed on, and this is part of the systemic issue that I have shared with other reporters, that the environment that was created on campus, within the athletic department, among really everyone. I mean, the team atmosphere is one that we felt, and even now we felt, to this point, like we couldn't share.
I never felt the goal that if I were to share, what would happen, and I didn't feel confident that anyone would believe us. I was quite relieved on Friday when the news broke, I received a text from a very close black teammate of mine who I played with, and I took a huge sigh of relief. I got very teary eyed for a little while just because my immediate gut reaction was it's finally happening.
And I felt like I needed to support the two whistleblowers initially and especially as some of the responses have come really unfortunate so.
TAPPER: Well, I'm glad that the feedback you're getting is largely positive. As you know, Ramon, the football team is saying that the allegations are, quote, exaggerated and twisted into lies, unquote. And they continue to claim that Coach Fitzgerald was unaware and not involved in the alleged incidents.
Coach Fitzgerald himself released a statement saying that the independent investigator, quote, reaffirmed what I have always maintained that I had no knowledge whatsoever of any form of hazing within the Northwestern football program. Therefore, I was surprised when I learned that the president of Northwestern unilaterally revoked our agreement without any prior notification and subsequently terminated my employment, unquote. What do you believe in terms of what the former coach is now claiming in terms of his awareness?
DIAZ JR.: Yes. So this question has been posed to me by several different reporters, and I think it's an important one. So in hindsight, I have a lot more language to this, and I think that's one of the reasons I was willing to speak up as well. I'm a clinical therapist now, and I'm working on a doctorate in neuropsychology. And so I have quite a bit of language around why people react the way they do in terms of when there are some pretty stressful situations.
And when you have a narrative that's in response to a dissenting opinion and it's very black and white that nothing happened. And the letter was very unfortunate. And I felt even more compelled as letter came out from the alleged entire football team. When I felt like that was speaking to me on my part, I felt like I needed to speak up as well. Because when you say exaggerated, I can't speak. Why they would write that, whoever wrote it, the alleged writers but when you even say exaggerated in that context, you're assuming that the events did take place in some point sometime.
So what they -- whoever wrote it, I don't know if they caught themselves when they did state that premise in the argument. So I want to make sure the viewers understand that they somehow implicitly acknowledge that something did occur. The second point is, you know, the question about Pat and whether he knew or not. I'm not going to speculate. I don't know what was going through his mind. I do know that two coaches who did most of the -- who spoke to me the way they did and create an environment for me that left me ashamed, embarrassed, left me in a place where I had to figure out how to reevaluate who I was leaving Northwestern, left me in such despair.
Those two were part of his coaching staff. So again, I'm not going to speculate. But I do know that it went on and no one acknowledged the issues with the shaving of the head or the racial slurs or the treatment for my black teammate, and it was all egregious and nobody stepped in to help at any point.
TAPPER: Nicole, have you or any other student reporters from "The Daily" heard from any additional former or current players with similar stories?
MARKUS: Yes, we've been talking to former and current players throughout the past couple of days who have come forward with their stories. Obviously, you know, their perspectives on what happened are varied, and I think it's really important for the entire team, all of us who are talking to these players, to kind of get their perspectives and making sure that we're relaying all the different stories of what happened in any way we can.
TAPPER: Do you believe, based on your reporting, that the coach was aware of the hazing or at the very least created a situation where there was no accountability for him to find out about it, no way for anybody to bring it to his attention?
MARKUS: Yes, it's hard to say because I wasn't in the room. I wasn't there when any of these things were happening. So I don't want to comment one way or another what I believe. What I will say, is that the people who we've talked to believe that Coach Fitzgerald knew what was happening. And so that's what we reported that was their belief. And, you know, it was several people who relayed that to us, not just one or two.
So, you know, again, I wasn't in the room. So I can't speak to, you know, what I personally believe, but we just want to make sure that we're giving the players the platform to express their beliefs.
TAPPER: The appropriate response from a journalist. Congratulations on the big scoop. And Ramon, I'm sorry you went through everything you went through. Thanks to both you for telling us your stories. And a reminder for viewers right now, if you or someone you care about needs any help, please call or text the Suicide and Crisis lifeline at 988, that's 988.
In our Money Lead, days after Russia invaded Ukraine, more than a thousand companies pledged to stop doing business in Russia. Did they follow through? CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look at some companies that appear to be breaking that pledge and why pulling business out of Russia might be more difficult than it seems.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Russia marched into Ukraine, hundreds of companies from other nations announced plans to march out of Moscow, hitting Vladimir Putin's government in the pocketbook and hobbling his war effort. But one year, four and a half months after the invasion, some others are still doing brisk business in Russia, according to Yale Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.
JEFFREY SONNENFELD, YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT: These are companies that said they were leaving and then reneged, saying, oh, it's too much trouble, it's wartime profiteering, and it is actually aiding, sadly helping to fuel Putin's war machine.
FOREMAN (voice-over): His research finds although many companies followed through on their pledges taking millions of dollars out of Russia, some big players did not among them, Heineken. Sonnenfeld's researchers say the Dutch company has seven facilities in Russia, 1,800 employees, and is still launching new brands there. Heineken calls the war a terrible human tragedy and says the company remains committed to leaving, but so far has not secured Russian regulatory approval to sell its assets.
Also on the list, Mondelez, the company that makes Oreos, among other things with 3,000 employees and products still moving in Russian markets, the company is being boycotted by some Europeans. Even as it said in a statement last month, it is scaling back in Russia. And there are more. Unilever has called the war brutal and senseless. Philip Morris has said the situation is complex.
Nestle last year pledged to sell only essential items, but Yale researchers say nonessential items are still being sold. And all of those companies continue doing business with the Russians. Many suggest divesting themselves from Russia is more costly and complicated than outsiders might imagine and they don't want to hurt their Russian employees. Sonnenfeld's response.
SONNENFELD: The whole point of the sanctions and the business exits is to put pressure on the average Russian so that the humanitarian thing is to motivate them to act.
FOREMAN: To be fair, some of these companies on their websites make the point that they really do care about the Ukrainian cause. They want to send money to it. It's just a very, very complicated thing they're trying to deal with. Sonnenfeld and others say, look, you got a lot of good press when this first happened by saying you would stand against Russia. You need to fulfill that pledge now, even if it does cost you some money. Jake?
TAPPER: Yes, that was the whole point. Yes, that was the whole point. Tom Foreman, thanks so much.
California has spent billions, billions of tax dollars on the effort to fight homelessness. So why is homelessness only getting worse in California? We're going to take a look, next.
TAPPER: In our National Lead, California is shelling out tens of billions of dollars in an effort to fight the problem an epidemic of homelessness. But is it actually helping those in need? CNN's Nick Watt crunches the numbers.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): $17.5 billion, that's what California spent fighting homelessness over the past four years. At the same time, the homeless population of the state grew by around a third.
JASON ELLIOTT, SR. ADVISER ON HOMELESSNESS TO GOV. NEWSOM: The problem would be so much worse absent these interventions, and that's not what people want to hear. I get it. We get it.
WATT (voice-over): Here's some reductive back of the envelope math. With 17.5 billion in theory, the state could have just paid the rent for every unhoused person in all four years.
ELLIOTT: It is reductive. And can I say why with respect, perhaps that would work for me, because I don't have significant behavioral health challenges.
WATT (voice-over): My reductive math did leave maybe 3 billion for mental health and other services. But even if the state did just offer to pay the rent, there just aren't enough affordable houses to go around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are we supposed to go? I mean, this is what poverty looks like.
WATT (voice-over): Dr. Margot Kushel was just commissioned to find out who is homeless in California and why. In the hope her data might fine tune the state's response. Her survey has busted some myths. Myth number one most homeless people don't want a home. Not true. Participants overwhelmingly wanted permanent housing. Take Daniel and his disabled son who live on L.A. skid road.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You would take it if they offered you housing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I would. Yes, we would, together. Yes. I'm his father, and we need it.
WATT (voice-over): Myth number two, many homeless people here aren't from California. Therefore, the state owes them nothing.
DR. MARGOT KUSHEL, DIRECTOR, UCSF CTR. FOR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: Nine out of 10 people lost their stable housing here. These are Californians. We have to create the housing for all Californians.
WATT (voice-over): There is a state plan to build 2.5 million more homes by 2030. A million among them must be affordable. But when it comes to housing, zoning is ultimately down to local government.
ELLIOTT: We've got communities in this state that are refusing to build low income housing because they say it's all just rapists and child molesters. So that's the dynamic that we're facing.
WATT (voice-over): Past two or three years, the state, they say, has built 13,500 affordable housing units. Baby steps. Christina Smith just moved into one after five years on the street.
CHRISTINA SMITH, FORMERLY UNHOUSED: I thought it was fake. I'm sorry. Until they gave me the keys, and then I was like, this is real. You don't believe it after a while.
WATT (voice-over): Now to the why. Why do so many Californians become homeless?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even when we did have a job and we tried to look for housing out here, it was, like, impossible.
WATT (voice-over): Rent is too high because housing supply is too low. And many who fall into homelessness say it's really not by much.
KUSHEL: One of the surprising things was how optimistic people were that relatively small amounts of money would have prevented their homelessness. And for a lot of them, that $300 to $500 a month would do the trick.
WATT (voice-over): But bigger picture, longer term.
ELLIOTT: At the end of the day, if we want to truly solve homelessness in America, we need to build more housing that starts with us.
WATT: Now they say this is a problem decades in the making, that politicians of every stripe are to blame, and that the fix will not be quick. But at least this current governor in California is now focusing on the issue, is spending money on the issue, is thinking differently about the issue. They're going to overhaul the entire mental health system in this state. They also say that for here in California and elsewhere, they need federal money to help. Jake?
TAPPER: All right, Nick Watt in Los Angeles, thanks so much.
Coming up, Ticketmaster says there's been a glitch, but can fans shake it off? More on the millions seeing sparks fly next.
TAPPER: it's a cruel summer for more than 1 million music fans today after yet another issue with Ticketmaster. The site paused sales for all of Taylor Swift's upcoming tour stops in France, saying in part, quote, this morning's sale was disrupted by an issue with a third party vendor who is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. The debacle is nothing new for Ticketmaster after running into major issues with ticket sales for Taylor Swift's American concert dates last fall.
I have a brand new thriller out today. It's called All the Demons Are Here. It is a novel and a wild ride through a bizarre era for our nation, the 1970s. It features Evel Knievel and Elvis, post-Watergate, mistrust of government, cults, disco, the Summer of Sam, UFOs, the rise of tabloid journalism and more. I'd be honored if you'd check it out. It's in bookstores, real and virtual right now.
Until then, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Twitter, Bluesky, if you have an invite. The TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. Our coverage continues now with one Mr. John King. He's in for Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room." I'll see you tomorrow.