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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Kim Jong-Un Heading To Russia To Meet With Vladimir Putin; Nikki Haley Calls China Enemy; President Biden And Saudi's MBS Shake Hands At G20 Summit; Trump Asks Judge To Recuse Herself In His Election Subversion Case; Trump Warns Indicting Opponents If He Wins Presidency; Hurricane Lee Update; Union Workers Threaten Strike Against "Big 3" Automakers; Gov. Suspends Right To Publicly Carry Firearms In Albuquerque; American Rescued From Cave In Turkey. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired September 11, 2023 - 17:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And leading this hour, global concerns front and center as President Biden lands back in the U.S. from his trip to Asia where Russia and China were no shows in terms of their top leaders at the G20 Summit. Plus, the Republican presidential candidate who sees China as, quote, "the enemy" and at this moment North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is en route to Russia at Vladimir Putin's invitation.

The U.S. thinks the notorious leaders are looking to make a weapons deal as Putin seeks to arm his military for his drawn-out and brutal war against the people of Ukraine. CNN's Will Ripley has been to North Korea multiple times. Will, we just got some new video of the train that we believe is carrying Kim Jong-un.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so the timing seems to indicate that this is right around the time that this green train, this distinctive green train, a massive Soviet-era train with bulletproof glass and bomb-resistant steel, basically traveling at about 37 miles an hour maximum speed, it should be rolling across the border from North Korea into Russia right now. And that's what this video appears to show, although it is not confirmed. We have no way to independently verify it.

But we do know that Kim Jong-un is believed to be on his way to Vladivostok. He wouldn't have arrived there yet. But if the train has now crossed into Russia, then this is just one step closer, creaking along the rails there, to a pretty significant meeting with Vladimir Putin. Not the first time he's met with Putin, but this is the first time that Kim Jong-un has been asked by Putin to this meeting, where it is believed that they're going to be talking about some sort of an arms deal, which of course is music to Kim Jong-un's ears, because he can sell his stockpile of ammunition and weapons and get cash in exchange. And also, even more valuable for him potentially, Russian intelligence and basically know-how on developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, which is something that is obviously at the forefront of his ambitions as he's been launching missiles at a dizzying pace. Not to mention, Jake, the alliance with Russia, which has veto power at the U.N. Security Council basically buffers Kim from any further international sanctions if he does conduct more nuclear tests, missile launches, that sort of thing.

So, these two authoritarian global pariahs are now banding together, certainly not the position that Putin might have imagined himself in, say, you know, a few years ago. But here he is standing shoulder to shoulder with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. And I can guarantee you the North Korean is pretty happy about that, Jake.

TAPPER: And Will, the White House repeatedly urged North Korea to not go through with this arms deal, North Korea and Russia. They're both already under pretty harsh U.S. sanction regimens. What else can the U.S. do?

RIPLEY: Well, the U.S.'s options are really limited here because when President Trump was sitting down with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, when that same train rolled to Hanoi, Kim Jong-un was previewing that summit on North Korean state media before the talks even happened, which was really unprecedented at the time.

And when President Trump essentially stayed for a short amount of time and then walked out and left Kim standing there at the lunch table with the, you know, the -- basically the lunch uneaten and empty- handed, having to take that train back to Pyongyang with egg on his face, it was a very difficult moment for Kim Jong-un, a humiliating moment, and members of his inner circle were punished severely for what happened in Hanoi.

But he certainly learned his lesson and has ever since basically veered away from diplomacy with the United States, grown his missile program at a really fast clip without worrying about what the United States thinks. And now he's bolstering this partnership with Russia and has a pretty good relationship with China too, Jake. North Korea not interested in diplomacy with the U.S., giving the U.S. very little leverage.

TAPPER: Yeah, Will Ripley in Taipei, Taiwan. Thank you so much. Former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Governor and current Republican candidate for president Nikki Haley offered a stark rebuttal to what President Biden called maintaining stability around China at the G20 in a possible White House foreign policy preview. Haley insisted China was, quote, "an enemy." Here's what you had to tell me on "State of the Union" yesterday.


NIKKI HALEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, how much more has to happen for Biden to realize you don't send cabinet members over to China to appease them. You start getting serious with China and say we're not going to put up with it. They keep sending different cabinet officials over Jake and it's embarrassing.


TAPPER: A day after world leaders were unable to agree on wording that would flat out condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine for the G20's final declaration or communique, Russia deemed the gathering a quote, "unconditional success" and Ukraine condemned the communique. Here is Governor Haley's take on that.


HALEY: It was a win for Russia and China. They're celebrating today. I mean, what we should have had was Biden should have really pushed hard to acknowledge what he acknowledged a year ago, that Russia invaded a pro-American, freedom-loving country.


And that's a fact. And to deny a fact a year later is giving a win to Russia, and China is gloating because they're looking at Taiwan as this is happening, and it's a shame.


TAPPER: Today, Governor Haley attacked Biden for not attending some 9/11 events in the continental U.S. as he travels back from Asia. She told Fox Radio, quote, "the American spirit always needs to take priority." Former Secretary of Defense under President Clinton, former Maine Republican Senator William Cohen joins us now. Secretary Cohen. So, you are a Republican who worked for a Democratic administration. Obviously, Ambassador Haley and President Biden have very different views on foreign policy, and specifically on the best way to deal with China. Whose approach do you think is the better way?

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY, CLINTON ADMINISTRATION: Well, I think the way that President Biden is going about it is the preferable way, from my point of view. China is not getting a real signal from this that they can celebrate in the square. What I think President Biden was doing is, as all the other G20 members who were there were doing, is accommodating the needs and the, I'd say the needs and the reputation of their host.

I think it would be very embarrassing for them to be condemning Russia while in India itself, given the fact that Prime Minister Modi has been doing business with China, continued to do business. I don't think they wanted to put him in the position of hosting this event and then criticizing his relationship with Russia. That said, I think most of the people there will still condemn Russia. I don't think Russia can take any solace from this. I don't think China can take any solace from this.

I think it's a question of accommodating Prime Minister Modi and not wanting to embarrass him on his home turf. That will be my reading of it. I think from my perspective, I would love to have G20 come out and condemn both, certainly Russia, but also to say that we disapprove of any country selling weapons, including whether it be China in the future or North Korea now.

TAPPER: Sticking with Asia, I want to get your take on a possible arms deal between North Korea and Russia. It's clear that Russia needs more supplies for its war against Ukraine. For North Korea, this might be an opportunity to get their hands on weapons that have been out of reach due to Western sanctions. How worried are you about this possibly growing in North Korea's nuclear weapons capacity?

COHEN: I think it's a real concern. I think the fact that they are going to meet, I think Kim Jong-un is looking for love in all the right places for him, all the wrong places for us, the fact that he could strike an arms deal. He'd be violating certainly U.N. sanctions as well as U.S. sanctions, but the problem is enforceability. There are violations taking place right now, and yet Russia is able to circumvent that and that's something we have to close down and close down on North Korea as well.

So, I'm not sure we can impose more sanctions. What we have to do is enforce the ones that we already have. I don't think we're doing a good enough job on that.

TAPPER: Candidate Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia a pariah because of MBS ordering the murder of Jamal Khashoggi the "Washington Post" columnist, not to mention the human rights violations, not to mention the alleged role in 9/11. What do you make of President Biden's smiley handshake with MBS that we saw just two days before the anniversary of 9/11?

COHEN: Well, I think what he's putting above all else is the overall national security and strategy posture of the United States by trying to bring peace if it can ever be achieved in the Middle East. And that will take Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel and others. And I think he has been putting that in the forefront. I don't think he's changed his mind or position personally about MBS as such.

I don't think he changed his mind about Saudi Arabia. I think what has changed is he's trying to develop a peaceful program, getting people together, and that is, quote, "trumping everything else at this particular moment." But I don't think he has changed his personal opinion, but he's acting as President of the United States, saying what's in the best interest of the United States of America. And I think that's what he's pursuing right now.

TAPPER: All right, Secretary Cohen, good to see you as always. Thank you, sir.

COHEN: Great to see you.

TAPPER: This just into our "Law and Justice Lead," former President Donald Trump has asked federal judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself from the 2020 election subversion case. This is one of the two cases brought by special counsel Jack Smith that is playing out in Washington, D.C. CNN's Katelyn Polantz joins me now. Katelyn, why is Trump asking for Judge Chutkan to recuse herself?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Donald Trump is trying to get Judge Chutkan off of overseeing this federal case against him because he says she might not be fair and it could undermine the public's confidence based on what she's done as a judge already related to January 6th cases.


So, this is a filing coming in today in this case that she's overseeing. And so, Donald Trump is asking Judge Chutkan to remove herself, recuse herself from a case. This type of request is rarely successful. Judges often are looking at themselves regularly on whether they should recuse and making that determination before a defendant would need to ask.

But Trump is going to the court of Judge Chutkan and saying, please take yourself off this case. We don't think that you're the appropriate person to see this case to trial, the January 6th federal case against Donald Trump. And the way that he is explaining it is that he's saying that she was not fair in her sentencings of other January 6 defendants, rioters, toward Donald Trump that she essentially was prejudging him in some way, basically saying that Trump may need to be charged or others above the January 6 rioters may need to be charged or could be charged in the investigation.

One of the things he writes is, although Judge Chutkan may genuinely intend to give President Trump a fair trial and may believe that she can do so, her public statements unavoidably taint these proceedings. So that's the general argument he's making. And then one of the statements that Donald Trump highlights in this filing about Judge Chutkan is something she said at a sentencing in October of 2022 of a January 6 rioter, just one of the Trump supporters on the Capitol grounds that day, when she said to that person, the people who mobbed that Capitol were there in fealty, in loyalty to one man, not to the Constitution.

Obviously, that one man she would have been referring to at that time was President Trump. And they say that's enough for Chutkan to consider that she needs to remove herself from the case. She'll look at this and make that call, Jake. And it could be something that Trump could try and challenge further, maybe have an appeal later on.

But right now, this is one of those things that appears to be largely a public statement from Trump in court about this case, something that really would play to his base, and talk about whether or not this judge is going to be fair at a time when there's a lot of questions over what his extrajudicial statements are, the things that he's been saying publicly. Now, he's saying these things, accusing the judge of potentially not giving him the possibility of a fair trial in a court filing as well.

TAPPER: All right, Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much. Donald Trump giving an extreme preview of what his second term might look like. Should voters believe what he said? That's next.

Plus, hundreds of thousands of auto workers could go on strike by the end of this week. What it might mean for car prices.




DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We will fight together, we will win together, and then we will seek justice together.


TAPPER: Donald Trump delivering something of an ominous speech on Saturday night, providing a bit of a preview of what a second Trump term might look like with him back in the Oval Office. Trump accused Democrats of allowing an invasion of migrants and trying to restart the COVID hysteria. And then there was this moment where Trump suggested if president he would bring charges, nonsensical charges, against political opponents.


TRUMP: Remember, it's a Democrat charging his opponent. Nobody's ever seen anything like it. That means that if I win and somebody wants to run against me, I call my attorney general. I say, listen, indict him. Well, he hasn't done anything wrong that we know of. I don't know. Indict him on income tax evasion. You'll figure it out.


TAPPER: Scott Jennings and S.E. Cupp join us now. Scott, that moment, Trump suggesting he would bring charges against a political opponent even if he hasn't done anything wrong, I'm sure that his supporters will say he was just joking. What do you make of it?

SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think this is all just a reflection of the campaign that he is running and intends to run next year if he's a Republican nominee. And it looks like a lot of Republicans agree with this.

And that is basically we want a referendum on Trump. All of it. Russia, COVID, January 6, the legal issues that flowed from that. We want a final apocalyptic referendum. And there's no way we could possibly lose to Joe Biden. And then we're going to settle all scores.

That's the pitch. You see it reflected in the campaign rhetoric. You see it reflected in the promises. And right now, it looks like about 60 percent of Republicans say, yeah, why not? Let's just have the final battle here because, hey, we can't possibly lose to Joe Biden. The trouble is Democrats also want a referendum on all this stuff too. So, it's the one unifying thing for both parties in Washington right now.

TAPPER: S.E., what was your reaction when you heard this language?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITCAL COMMENTATOR: Well, sure, it's extreme, but where else do you go after you've incited an insurrection to overturn a democratic election? I mean, it's as extreme as it gets. And then when you're pinned to the wall, where do you go when you're facing 90- plus indictments or criminal charges and four indictments?

I mean, I don't think he feels chastened by any of the things that he's done. A normal person would say, well, maybe, you know, the indictments and the impeachments, in 2020, losing it all for Republicans. Maybe this is all a reason to change behavior, but Trump isn't rational and he knows his voters aren't here for moderation, for regulation, for restraint. They're here to see more of the Trump show, even if it sends him to prison, even if they're voting for him while he's in prison.

TAPPER: Scott, Trump's language suggests that he might try to challenge standards, laws, customs, traditions. even more in his second term than his first. And we've heard individuals like former Trump Communications Director Alyssa Farah talk about how the only thing that constrained him in the first term was the idea that if he did X, Y, or Z, he wouldn't get re-elected. So, you know, Katie barred the door for the second term. Are you worried at all about what this might mean for American democracy given what we saw in January 6?


JENNINGS: Oh, I'm quite worried about American institutions and have been for quite some time. I mean, the reality is there's a rising cohort of Americans and I do think many of them are Trump supporters. But honestly, I think there's a lot of them that are also on the American left that think our institutions are inconvenient and they want what they want and they want it now and they're ready to bypass those institutions.

He's obviously promising to do that. And, you know, the average Trump supporter might say, well, Biden bypasses, you know, our laws and institutions so why shouldn't Trump if he gets back in. So, we're on this slippery slope, this death spiral whereby institutions just fall by the wayside. So, yeah, I'm quite concerned about the whole thing and what it might entail no matter who wins the '24 election to be honest.

TAPPER: Okay, I get that Scott, but I mean, Trump supporters staged -- they tried to overturn the election. I mean we all saw it. I mean, there -- I have plenty of critics on the left. I get that there are unpleasant people on the left, but there's no one on the left who is actually trying to overturn a presidential election.

JENNINGS: No, I'm not arguing that they are currently trying to overturn a presidential election. I'm just arguing that for institutional integrity whether that's in the policymaking sphere or what have you. There are lots of people in the United States involved in American politics that would like to go around a normal institutional processes. They don't all exist on the right. They don't all exist as Trump supporters.

TAPPER: Sure. No, of course.

JENNINGS: And you well know -- and you well know what my views are on January the 6th.


JENNINGS: I think you -- I think you know where I stand on that matter.

TAPPER: Sure. No, of course. Fair enough. S.E., other Republican primary candidates have largely shied away from criticizing Trump on the campaign trail. I spoke with Nikki Haley yesterday, Ambassador Haley. This was her only criticism of Mr. Trump.


HALEY: I think the majority of Americans know we need a new generational leader, that we need to leave the negativity of the past behind us. The majority of Americans don't want to see a rematch between Trump and Biden. That's been very clear. And the majority of Americans think that we need to go with younger faces, younger voices, and we've got some work to do.


TAPPER: It was interesting. At one point, I asked her about the fact that a candidate who has 91 indictment charge or facing 91 counts of indictment, that he's not been convicted of anything, might not be the best standard bearer for a party that considers itself law and order based. And she said, you know, he hasn't been convicted of anything, et cetera, et cetera. He gets his day in court. Obviously true. Do you think Republican candidates might start to criticize Trump more if he's convicted? I mean, what do you think is going to be the thing that breaks the dam?

CUPP: Oh gosh, I don't think anything will break the damn. And we should say Chris Christie has been swinging at Trump pretty hard.

TAPPER: Right. Absolutely. As has Asa Hutchinson, yes. And Will Hurd.

CUPP: Right. But just as -- one of Trump's favorite criticisms of late is calling someone milk toast. And this was a pretty milk toast way of going at Trump, saying we need to leave the negativity behind. What about the authoritarianism? What about the criminality? What about abuses of power? What about the gross rhetoric?

The problem is for these people to implicate Trump means they also have to implicate his voters. And none are willing to say, listen white nationalists, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, we don't want you. The Republican party is not your safe space. You will not find comfort in a Nikki Haley administration.

They won't say that because they all still want to win and they all still want, seemingly, somehow seem to think that they're going to get Trump voters if they don't swing at Trump more vigorously. But they can't, they're not going to win the cult of Trump over. It's just not going to happen. There's only one of him for a reason.

TAPPER: Yeah. S.E. Cupp, Scott Jennings, thanks to both of you. We just got an update from the National Hurricane Center on Hurricane Lee. We'll bring you the latest on its intensity in its potential track next. Stay with us.



TAPPER: A brand new forecast is in for Hurricane Lee, which is holding as a major Category 3 storm in the Atlantic and could impact parts of the United States. CNN Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is in the CNN Weather Center for us. Jennifer, the National Hurricane Center just issued an update on Lee. Tell us what it is.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right. A 5:00 advisory winds down to 115, was at 120, but it's still maintaining that Category 3 strength. So still a major hurricane. It has gusts of 140 moving to the west northwest at only 7 miles per hour. So, this storm is moving very, very slowly and is expected to do so over the next two days or so. And you can see maintaining that Category 3 strength and then taking a sharp turn to the north.

So, this is the million-dollar question of where the storm is going to go once it makes that turn. It is expected to weaken as it travels to the north. It's also expected to really accelerate in speed so it's going to be moving much quicker. Here are the forecast wind gusts over the next couple of days and you can see majority of the winds are staying well offshore away from land.

But once we get into, say Saturday into Sunday, that's where a little bit more uncertainty lies and so we could see some stronger winds say impact portions of coastal New England, so that's going to be something to watch. We'll have a much better idea of exactly where this is going to go by the time, we get into say the Wednesday, Thursday timeframe.

But as of right now, the probability of tropical storm force winds across portions of New England is about 10 to 20 percent as of right now. Could that change? Yes, possibly. But as of right now, it looks like that's what's it's going to be. So we also have some cooler water, the wake of Hurricane Franklin, if you remember that one. So that's going to result in further weakening of this storm as it travels to the north as well, Jake, but a lot to watch over the next couple of days.


TAPPER: All right, Jennifer Gray, thanks so much for that update.

And our Money Lead, four days or else, we are just four days away from more than 140,000 union workers possibly going on strike against the big three automakers. Those are Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. Stellantis is the international company that now owns Jeep, Ram and Chrysler. Now, those contracts expire just before midnight Thursday night. Among the issues the union is pushing for are a shorter work week and a 40 percent hourly wage increase over the course of four years. We're joined now by United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain. Sean, thanks for joining us. A week ago, when you spoke with my colleague Bianna Golodryga on The Lead, you said the big three hadn't even put any counter proposals on the table. Now, since then, my understanding is that they have. Ford and GM have offered a 10 percent pay hike. Stellantis offered a 14.5 percent pay hike. There's other stuff there as well. Does UAW have a counter?

SHAWN FAIN, PRESIDENT, UNITED AUTO WORKERS: Yes, we've been countering. We've been meeting. And first off, thanks for having us on here, Jake. Yes, we've been meeting. We met through the weekend. You know, first off, I want to say it's a shame that we gave our economic demands to these companies over -- well over a month ago, almost five weeks ago, and didn't hear anything.

And from the onset of bargaining, we've told them we want to do things differently. And we do not expect them to wait until the last minute and then want to settle everything. And so, unfortunately, they didn't heed our advice. They waited till the last week we had to file ULPs at two companies to get them moving.

And so, you know, we've made progress, a little bit of progress. It's still slow, but we're moving. So, you know, we have a long way to go.

TAPPER: What other sticking points are there? Obviously, 10 and 14.5 percent raises are not 40 percent. But other than that, what other sticking points remain?

FAIN: Well, I mean, wage increases, you know, cost of living allowance, job security for our members, you know. And our members are being left behind not just with the transition to EV, but just with product placement, retirement security, you know. So there's a lot of issues feeding into this, and that's why, like, as I said up front, we pushed the companies that we wanted to get serious early, so we didn't come down to the wire and have to settle a lot of things to last minute. Unfortunately, that's where we are. That's where the companies chose to put us. And, you know, we'll see how the next three days play out.

TAPPER: Is this an industry wide strike? In other words, is it possible you might come to terms with one of the big three and strike the other two? Or is it just all three or nothing?

FAIN: We have been firm with all three companies that September 14th is a deadline, not a reference point. And so we expected to get agreements by the 14th. If we get an agreement with the company by the 14th, that's great for them. But if there's other companies still out there, then there will be action. We have never wavered on that. We've been firm about that from day one, so there's no excuse to not be there.

TAPPER: When you spoke with The Lead a week ago, you made some headlines by declining to say when or if you will endorse President Biden for reelection, saying that the union's endorsement has to be earned, I assume. Is that still how things stand? FAIN: Yes. I mean, it's, you know, we have a lot of work ahead of us, a lot to be done. And, you know, as we say, our endorsements are going to be earned, not freely given, and actions are going to dictate endorsements. So we'll see how things continue to play out, and we have a lot of issues to resolve. I mean, there's a lot with the EV transition that has to happen. And there's, you know, hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars that are helping fund this, and workers cannot continue to be left behind in that equation.

TAPPER: President Biden considers himself to be the most pro-labor president ever. Do you see him that way?

FAIN: I think there's a lot of work to be done in that category. I mean, I look back at FDR and presidents such as that time frame, and, you know, that did a lot of work for labor, so, you know. But I don't want to turn this into a debate about President Biden. That's really not what we're here about. I'm here to talk about our members and where we've got to get, so.

TAPPER: Analysts say a prolonged strike will push up auto prices and dramatically hurt the economy. Are you worried about either of those possibilities?

FAIN: You know, it's amazing to me how analysts when workers ask for their fair share, it's always the end of the world. And, you know, no one, you know, the last four years in general, OK, in the last decade, these companies made a quarter of a trillion dollars in profit. In the last six months alone, they made 21 billion in profit. In the last four years, the price of cars went up 30 percent.


CEO pay went up 40 percent. No one said a word. No one had any complaints about that. But now, God forbid that workers actually ask for their fair share of equity in the fruits of the labor and the product they produce. And all of a sudden, it's the end of the world, so, you know. If the talking heads, the pundits, the companies want to say that, you know, if we strike it and wreck the economy, it's not that we're going to wreck the economy. We're going to wreck their economy. The economy that only works for the billionaire class, it doesn't work for the working class.

TAPPER: Hear that, analysts? All right, UAW President Shawn Fain, thanks for your time today. Appreciate it, sir. We did invite the big three automakers to come on. They declined. The invitation is open.

Why some gun control advocates are calling the Democratic governor of New Mexico's new gun policy unconstitutional. Stick around.



TAPPER: In our National Lead, the legal challenges and protests are swiftly escalating after a controversial and potentially unconstitutional new public health emergency agency aimed at curbing gun violence in New Mexico took effect last week. On Friday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham banned open and concealed firearms in public spaces in Albuquerque and the state's most populous county for the next 30 days. This is in response to a string of recent deadly shootings.

Now, two gun rights organizations have already sued New Mexico's governor, arguing that the orders are a clear violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And U.S. Supreme Court rulings have affirmed the legality of New Mexico's legislatively passed open permit laws.

Joining us now is CNN's Nick Watt. Nick, this law targets those who hold open and concealed permits. Have there been a rash of acts of violence or any acts of violence in New Mexico committed by gun owners who have these permits?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the governor, Jake, is not being that specific. But she is calling the gun violence in her state an epidemic and has declared it a public health emergency. Specifically, she's talking about an 11-year-old boy who was shot dead outside a minor league baseball game in Albuquerque last Wednesday. She mentioned a couple of other children who'd lost their lives to gun violence over the past few months and two mass shootings in the state earlier in the summer that claimed six lives.

So she is, as you say, outlawing public concealed and open carry of weapons and that is proving controversial. But she says listen, you know, people in the state are scared, so something is very, very wrong. And she points out that in terms of mortality rates from gun violence, New Mexico is third worst in the nation. Jake?

TAPPER: In the press conference, the governor acknowledged that she expected legal challenges. So how did she justify enacting this temporary ban?

WATT: Well, listen, she says that they need basically a sort of 30-day pause. That's the point of these bans. Thirty-day pause so they can just figure out, OK, what do we do in the medium to long term to try to get a handle on this epidemic, as she calls it, of gun violence. She was kind of expecting legal challenges. That is clear.

And it seems like she's trying to, you know, spark a debate on this issue. You know, it's working, I suppose, in that you and I are talking about it. Plenty of people are talking about it. But after every mass shooting, you hear officials say, let's spark a debate. And of course, people talk for a little bit and then usually very little if anything actually happens. Jake?

TAPPER: Republicans in both houses of the New Mexico legislature, they've announced they plan to challenge this ban in New Mexico court. Two gun rights groups have already also filed suit. What can you tell me about those challenges?

WATT: Well, the challenges are based around the Second Amendment. I mean, they are saying that what Governor Lujan Grisham is doing is unconstitutional because it's infringing on American's Second Amendment rights. You know, those suits were filed very quickly. One of them was filed over the weekend. And I'll read you a little excerpt from one of them which says that, you know, the state is going to have to demonstrate, quote, that this suspension is consistent with the nation's historical tradition of firearm regulation.

And lawyers for that organization say that is an impossible task because these suspensions, these bans just do not stack up with the history of gun regulation in this country. You know, it's also interesting that the police chief in Albuquerque said he's very glad it's actually state officials who are going to have to enforce this. And the county sheriff, he also said, listen, I understand the urgency, he understands where the governor is coming from.

But he says this, that her suspension, her ban, her temporary bans challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold. It's also worth noting that we've had Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu and also David Hogg, the gun control advocate, also coming out and saying, this isn't constitutional dial back. They are also opposed to it. So a fascinating debate. Let's see where it goes. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Nick Watt, thanks so much.

Let's bring in CNN contributor and founder of the Reload, Stephen Gutowski. I mean, as Nick just noted here's, David Hogg's tweet, David Hogg a famously a gun safety advocate, he says, I support gun safety, but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution. And it's pretty stunning to see him and the NRA both criticizing this ban. But I mean you might not like the law. You can't just say them suspending it.


STEPHEN GUTOWSKI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, that's essentially the core of these legal fights that are going on right now. These suits filed against the case, there's actually up to five now. They filed so quickly, it's been a real flood. And it's due the nature of this order, which really has pushed the limits as far as attempts to restrict guns in this country.

TAPPER: You and I have talked about this before. It seems like, look, there is a gun violence crisis in the country. There is. But where there areas where there does seem something could be done, such as the intersection of people with mental health issues, people that are a danger to themselves and others, those people, and gun purchasing or gun ownership.

Instead of focusing on that, sometimes legislators just grab whatever they want to grab. And again, I understand the frustration that the governor is experiencing, but where's the evidence that people with gun permits open carry or concealed carry are doing anything wrong?

GUTOWSKI: Yes, in fact, the evidence points the other way. Generally, when we look at crime rates among permit holders in other states, some states release these statistics. And oftentimes they commit crimes at much lower rates than the rest of the population. Which makes sense, right? Because they are people who go through the background check and do the training to get the permit in the first place.

So I think that's one of the reasons why you see so much agreement that this is perhaps not the right path forward. And of course, that's before you even get to the constitutional question. Given that the Supreme Court just had a major landmark ruling on this last year.

TAPPER: Yes. What would remind people what that was because that was in New York law.

GUTOWSKI: That was a New York law and the ruling was based around how much you could put in the way of someone trying to get a permit. So this goes much further than that. Obviously, just outright bans anyone from carrying a gun in theory. And the Supreme Court found in that case, of course, that the Second Amendment protects a right to carry a gun in public for self-defense.

So here you have this situation where the governor is kind of just straightforward rebuking that ruling with her actions. And it's very unlikely, I think, to stand up in court if it survives that long, because she did put that temporary 30-day limit on it.

TAPPER: It does seem on its face to be unconstitutional, just to be able to just suspend a law because you don't like the law and especially one that has passed the legislature and has been found legal by the U.S. Supreme Court.

GUTOWSKI: Yes, the governor is using her emergency powers to do this. So it kind of harkens back to some of those debates we saw at the beginning of the COVID pandemic as well with emergency powers. But also she kind of justified that by saying, all rights are limited. And even her oath to uphold the Constitution is limited in her view, apparently from comments she made during a press conference. And, you know, I don't know that a federal judge is going to agree with that. And we're probably going to find out pretty soon if the cases move fast enough, that is.

TAPPER: All right, Stephen Gutowski, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

We just got an update on the American trapped in that cave in Turkey. CNN has learned he has been rescued. The details on this breaking news, next.



TAPPER: Breaking news and for once, some good news that American researcher trapped thousands of feet deep in a cave in Turkey, trapped there for more than a week. He has been rescued. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us with this breaking news on the phone. Jomana, tell us what you're learning and how he's doing.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, we are hearing from Turkish rescue officials from the Turkish Caving Federation who have been on the scene of this complex rescue for days now that Mark Dickey is finally out at 12:37 past midnight local time. They say that this operation came to an end, that he was taken out of the cave.

An official from Turkey's Emergency and Disaster Management Agency AFAD telling us that he is now in the hands of the rescue workers. And he says that at first look, he seems fine. They are going to put him on a chopper right now and they're going to move him to Mersin Hospital in southern Turkey.

Of course, this operation that began on Saturday, Jake, a very, very complex one because Mark Dickey fell ill. He had gastrointestinal bleeding at more than 3,000 feet below the surface down the third deepest cave in Turkey. And it was such a difficult operation to try and move him out of there, to get him into stable condition where they were able to put him on a stretcher and get him out through these very narrow passages and winding passages out to the top of the cave.

I mean, you had a multinational effort, more than 180 rescue workers from different countries. And what they did was set up different camps at different levels. Seven phases of this rescue operation since Saturday. They would move, stop, get some rest and then start moving again. And in the past couple of hours, we had heard from the Turkish rescuers on the scene that they believed that this was going to come to an end soon.

And we understand that Mark Dickey was in stable condition, that he was in good condition, that his situation had been improving over the past few days and they had been consulting with doctors before they were able to move him and get him out. But -- and we heard that from Mark Dickey himself in a video statement he made as well over the weekend, saying that he was alert, he was OK, but that he hadn't healed on the inside yet.

So right now he is going to be headed any moment now to that hospital in Mersin as they get him on that chopper, get him out of there where he will be receiving medical care that he really needs right now. Jake?


TAPPER: And I know he got ill, but again, how did he get trapped in the first place? Was he by himself in the cave?

KARADSHEH: No. Jake, he was part of an international and a local expedition. He's a researcher. They had been working in this cave for a few days. And we understand just over week ago, he fell ill. This is a cave that's about more than 4,000 feet deep. And he was at more than 3,000 feet deep when he fell ill. We understand it was gastrointestinal bleeding. He lost a lot of blood.

But over the past few days, we understand that they were able to get some medical attention to him. They were able to carry out a blood transfusion while he was inside the cave. At least six units of blood, that was one of the updates we had gotten from Turkish officials. And he was alert, he was walking. He was in good condition. But they still had to be very, very careful with this very complex operation to try and get him on a stretcher and get him out of there. Because, Jake, we understand that it would take more than 15 hours in ideal conditions for an experienced caver to walk out of that cave.

TAPPER: All right, Jomana Karadsheh, thank you so much.

An update from Pennsylvania on that manhunt for the fugitive who escaped from the Chester County prison 12 days ago, that's coming up in The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. I will see you tomorrow.