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The Lead with Jake Tapper

U.S. Braces For Government Shutdown As Deadline Looms; First Guilty Plea In Major Trump Legal Case; NYC & NJ Under State Of Emergency Due To Flooding; Arrest Made In Connection With Tupac Shakur's 1996 Murder; Dianne Feinstein, Longest-Serving Femal Senator, Dies At 90. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 29, 2023 - 16:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: It is not a question of will a federal U.S. government shutdown happen, it is how long will the shutdown last?

THE LEAD starts right now.

So, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy could not even deliver a spending bill to be rejected by the Senate. This afternoon, 21 House Republicans voted against a bill he put forward and now, McCarthy's dilemma, will he cut a deal with Democrats to get the government up and running, and risk losing his job? Or will he make a sacrifice to prevent the government shutdown and help federal workers keep their paychecks?

And New York City under a state of emergency, more than a month's worth of rain in a few hours, creating a life-threatening situation.

Plus, a major arrest in the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur 27 years after he was gunned down on the Vegas Strip.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We're going to start today with our politics lead. Utter dysfunction among House Republicans means that the United States is likely headed for another government shutdown. This afternoon, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy suffered another embarrassing loss as his caucus failed to pass a short-term spending bill to keep the government open.

There are now just under 32 hours left for any kind of deal and frankly the reality is bleak because any deal has to pass both the Republican-controlled House, and the Democratic-controlled Senate. The Senate already put together a bipartisan deal to try to avoid a shutdown but House Republicans threw cold water on that plan only for party infighting today to sink all of their proposals as well as.

Now, you might be thinking, wait, didn't Democrats, Republicans and the White House agree to a budget deal earlier this year? And yes, yes, they did but Speaker McCarthy then walked away from that deal because of pressure from his right flank. So, where does that leave us now? Well, more than three million

federal workers and active duty troops will immediately feel the effects of any shutdown. Some federal employees will have to stay on the job without getting paid, others will be furloughed. Union leaders say many of these workers live paycheck to paycheck and there could be drastic impacts across the country, not just for them but for you and your family as well. Hundreds of TSA agents called out from work during the 2019 shutdown, leading to significant delays and longer wait times at airports.

Government agencies might have to stop inspecting some food and some drinking water, low income families could lose access to the government assistance upon which they rely for food. But do not worry, your members of Congress will continue to be paid. I do not want you to worry about them.

Members of Congress make $174,000 a year. Speaker McCarthy makes $223,500 a year and those paychecks will keep coming.

U.S. service members, no. Border Patrol agents, no. Capitol police, no.

And some Republicans are even acknowledging how this might look to you.


REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): Yeah, very much a critic of our work ethic here in Washington, D.C. You know, we start meetings around 10:30, and take a couple hours for lunch and kick off at about 4:30 then tell America we've been working hard when they've been working all day and frankly it disgusts me.


TAPPER: CNN's Melanie Zanona is live for us on Capitol Hill.

Melanie, Speaker McCarthy is huddling with Republicans behind closed doors right now about what comes next?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Jake, Kevin McCarthy is the only one, who knows the answer to that question because even his own leadership team tells us they are in the dark about what the next steps are here. But my colleague Haley Talbot did catch up with Speaker Kevin McCarthy a little bit ago, and he said it's not the end yet. I have other ideas.

So, presumably Kevin McCarthy will reveal these mystery ideas during this closed door conference meeting. The reality is, Jake, he does not have a lot of options because he's still refusing to work with Senate Democrats, that is something that his hard-liners have warned that if he reaches across the aisle they will force a vote to remove him. So, Kevin McCarthy is standing firm that they will not work with Democrats who have their own bipartisan plan in the Senate.

And then we've also seen that his effort to work just among Republicans has yielded little to no results. They defeated this bill on the House floor today with 21 Republicans, voting against it. That as a pretty sizable bloc of Republicans who are against this short- term CR that was already loaded up with conservative priorities.

So it is a question of what comes next? We're hearing that some lawmakers are pushing for them to stay in session, to keep voting on those long-term spending bills. But again, those are going nowhere in the Senate would do nothing to avoid a government shutdown now just one day away, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Melanie Zanona on Capitol Hill, thanks. In a moment, I'm going to speak to the leader of a union for hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

But, first, let's bring in Republican Congressman Ken Buck of Colorado. He's here in studio with me. Thanks so much for being here.

So, House Republicans are meeting right now as we speak. A meeting that your House Speaker Kevin McCarthy convened. You voted against the bill that Speaker McCarthy put forward, why did you do that?

REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): Simple, Jake. We've got to stop the pattern that we've been on for so long. Every year we end up with a bill right before shutdown or right before a default on a debt ceiling. I'm voting to make sure that we pass all 12 appropriations bills. We go and meet with the Senate. We agree on those 12 appropriations bills and move forward.

The idea that a group of four leaders on either side of the Capitol can being come up with spending bills without the input of 435, 535 members is just wrong.

TAPPER: So what do you think McCarthy is telling the House Republicans right now and what would you say to him if you were there or when you go there?

BUCK: Well, I think this was a no -- this was a no confidence vote. This was a vote where people didn't have faith that Kevin McCarthy was going to do the right thing. We passed a bill on the debt ceiling. He went and negotiated a significantly higher number with President Biden. People don't have faith that when it comes time to negotiate, he's going to do the right thing with Senator Schumer over in the Senate.

So, right now, what he is telling -- I believe he is telling Republicans is we will go to work for the next two weeks. We will pass as many appropriations bills as we can. And we'll deal with this shutdown towards the end of next week -- or I'm sorry -- the following week before federal workers are going to receive their paychecks again.

TAPPER: So he's saying the government is going to shutdown, and then we'll just keep doing the appropriations bills and keep sending them to the Senate, you think that's what he's saying?

BUCK: I know that's what he's saying. And what's sad is we knew this was happening in June. We could have started passing appropriations bills months ago. We didn't need this brinksmanship that we have right now.

TAPPER: So, you voted, it's a weird situation we have here because even if what you voted against had passed the House, the Senate was not going to vote for it. The Senate was not going to take it up so this is all just a weird kabuki theater because Kevin McCarthy walked away from a deal that you opposed also, but now he has nothing.

But what's your message to the private in the Army, anyone who makes $23,000 a year, who is now not going to be made until you and your colleagues get your act together? She just got her last paycheck and told the government shut down is over.

Let's assume that she agrees with everything you're saying but she also just wants to be paid and she needs to be paid to do her job?

BUCK: And she will be paid on October 13th because the shut down will be over and what's more important is that when it's time for her to receive Social Security, it will there be. When it's time for her to receive Medicare it will be there. And when it's time to pay back this $36 trillion of debt that we're going to have at the end of next year, we will do it in a responsible way.

TAPPER: But the solution to the bigger problems that you're talking about. You're not talking about this before, the idea that as a government we spend more than we take in, the idea that some other people are voting against the bill because of mess at the border, that there's a border crisis. Also, let's just pause that it's true and more needs to be done there.

This situation is not helping to solve either of those problems, this government shutdown. I mean, what needs to be done is Democrats, you need 10 Democrats in the Senate to stand with you on something and pass that will then force their hand and then force President Biden's hand.

BUCK: Yeah, to me, Jake, it's more of an institutional solution that we need to look at. We need to make sure every committee has a subcommittee that's looking at spending in those agencies. We need to actually address the elephant in the room and not just because I'm Republican, but the elephant in the room that these Social Security and Medicare are costing us so much. We have avoided those tough issues because we're afraid of what the voter is going to do in the next election, we can't keep avoiding those issues.

TAPPER: Congressman Matt Gaetz, your colleague from Florida says that he's going to force a vote on ousting the Speaker Kevin McCarthy next week. There's a lot of talk out there about other possible replacements like Tom Emmer of Minnesota and others.

Will you vote if that -- if he offer as motion to vacate to get rid of Speaker McCarthy, would you vote to support that?

BUCK: Well, I think a lot of people voted today as I said earlier, as a vote of no confidence. I will not for something until I see what's going to happen in the next five, six days.

TAPPER: So in other words, you wouldn't vote, that's 21. You think the 21 votes against this bill were essentially 21 votes no confidence against McCarthy, but you can't -- you won't commit to voting against him until you maybe know who the replacement would be?


BUCK: Well, I want to know what his plan is. And I -- just doing more appropriations bills isn't the plan. What's the CR going to look like?

And if he passes what the Senate sends over, that has various aid packages associated with it, that's something he's going to need Democrat help for and that's going to be a strike against him.

TAPPER: All right. Republican Congressman Ken Buck, thanks so much for being here. Really appreciate it.

Let's bring in Everett Kelley. He's the president of the American Federation of Government Employees. That's a union that represents 750,000 U.S. government workers from a nurse at your local V.A., to a Park Ranger at your local national park.

So, Mr. Kelley, you just heard Congressman Buck says say he thinks Republicans will let the government shut down and try to get a deal made to reopen it before federal workers miss a paycheck by October 13th. What's your response to that?

EVERETT KELLEY, PRESIDNET, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: I think that's absurd, because, you know, I think that there is no reason why the government has to shut down. I remain hopeful. I think that, you know, it's likely, I believe that, but also I think it's avoidable.

I think that Congress need to get their act together and get a bill passed and get funding for this country because I don't think that it sends a message to the rest of the world that our Congress cannot get themselves together and fund the government, which is the richest country in the world.

TAPPER: Explain to our viewers how a shutdown might impact your members or will impact your members because I guess have you been through this a few times?

KELLEY: Absolutely. Well, you know, I have to think about the members that I represent. I think about last night, I had a call with thousands of members, and they were talking about the types of issues that were facing if an event of a government shutdown, such as I talked to one particular person about they were single mom. And they said, no, I got to go and explain to my children that I will not be able to do the things that we had planned because the government is going to shut down.


KELLEY: I talked to one particular law enforcement officer who makes less than $50,000 a year has five children and says I can't see how if I miss one paycheck how I will be able to adequately care for my five children. I mean it's just more and more of this type of thing that we keep hearing over and over again. When you see federal employees shed tears because they know what they went through the last shutdown -- you know, it's a terrible feeling for me, I care, I genuinely care. And I want to make sure that we make the whole country aware of the fact that this government do not have to shut down.

TAPPER: Yeah, my mom was a nurse at the V.A. in Philadelphia. Well, I mean, the other thing is like what a lot of people well, they probably know these are not highly compensated people in a lot of instances.

KELLEY: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, some of our members make on an average $34,000 a year.


KELLEY: OK, and our people are no different -- the people that I represent are no different from the rest of the U.S. You know, 60 percent of the American workers live from paycheck to paycheck.


KELLEY: Sixty percent. Okay? And our members are no different. They live from paycheck to paycheck and one missed paycheck can mean a lot. Now, you imagine.

TAPPER: And a car that is reposed, it can mean an eviction from your home, I mean all sorts of things.

KELLEY: All sorts of things. Just imagine, and I ask Congress to imagine this for themselves. Payday come but there's no paycheck. And if there's no paycheck, in some instances, there's no food to put on the table. In some instances, the cupboard is bare, and that's something that I think everyone needs to think about. No paycheck, no food.

TAPPER: The human cost of this.

Everett Kelley, thank you so much.

The Republican frustration is getting louder. There's another name party members are blaming for this hot mess. It's not Kevin McCarthy. We're going to talk about.

And breaking news, just in, the first guilty plea in one of the major cases involving Donald Trump. This is the Fulton County case alleging a conspiracy to steal Georgia's electoral votes. We're back in a moment.



TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you now. The very first defendant has pleaded guilty in the Georgia election subversion case, that case that includes Donald Trump and its long list of defendants.

Scott Hall, today agreed to take a deal with prosecutors he pleaded guilty to five counts in the case.

CNN's Nick Valencia joins us live.

Nick, what exactly is Hall admitting that he did?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Scott Hall is a former jail bondsman who was part of this alleged scheme to illegally access voting data equipment in rural Coffee County.

That bail bondsman Scott Hall was caught on surveillance video going inside a restricted area and part of this alleged scheme by Trump operatives to prove that there was voter fraud, widespread voter fraud in Georgia. And just a moment ago, Jake, in an impromptu hearing in front of a presiding judge, Scott McAfee, Hall and his attorney entered this guilty plea, admitting that there was a factual basis for the charges against him. Now he admitted to five counts. He was charged with seven counts, he admitted to five counts. All of them are misdemeanors, each of them carries 12 months of probation, so he's going to be on five months of probation as well as face a $5,000 fine.

There's also several other conditions as part of this. He's not going to be allowed to communicate with other defendants, that's part of it. He's going to have to write a letter of apology, as well as 200 hours of community service. But this is very big news for a case that we've been watching closely over the last several months. Scott Hall, the first person to turn himself in to the Fulton County jail after this sprawling indictment was leveled by the Fulton County district attorney's office. Now, Scott Hall, the first person to take a plea deal and cut that deal with the Fulton County district attorney's office -- Jake.

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

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig joins us.

Elie, are you surprised already a guilty plea in the case?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Jake, it is quick to get a guilty plea. It's definitely a win for the Fulton County district attorney.

But when you charge 19 defendants at once, this is what happens. They start taking care of their own interests. They start taking pleas, they start turning on each other.

And I think the big question here is in the course of this deal that Scott Hall has now struck with prosecutors, will he agree to testify? Typically, when you see this kind of consideration, given when someone who was looking at prison time, as Scott Hall was, is given a probation deal, that involves testifying. And the person who needs to be most worried about this in this case is Sidney Powell, because Scott Hall is charged in the scheme to access voting equipment.

And Sidney Powell is also charged in that count. So if he's providing testimony, then she's going to be implicated.

TAPPER: And I would think, Elie, being the first defendant to agree to a deal with prosecutors has its advantages?

HONIG: Absolutely. We prosecutors always tell defendants in the multi-defendant case like this -- first one in the door gets the best deal because you need that information most. It's a buyer-seller market. It's a supply and demands issue.

And when you have nobody on board cooperating, you need them most as a prosecutor. So, here's Scott Hall stands to get the best deal, the biggest benefit because he's providing them with that first break into that world of information that they need to know.

TAPPER: All right. Elie Honig, thank you so much with the breaking news. I appreciate it.

Let's go back to our politics lead and the dysfunction in Washington. Even worse than you're used to. We are less than 32 hours away from a likely shutdown of the U.S. federal government and the whole Speaker McCarthy dug for himself seems to only be getting deeper.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is now reaching out to House Democrats, including progressive caucus chairwoman, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, to help him oust McCarthy as speaker. "Politico" is reporting that Jayapal is telling Gaetz, quote, we're not planning to save McCarthy.

Let's bring in our panel. Democratic strategist Nayyera Haq and Lanhee Chen, a fellow with the Hoover Institution.

And, Lanhee, Congressman Gaetz reaching out to Democrats to oust McCarthy, at the same time Gaetz was threatening to oust McCarthy if McCarthy worked with Democrats to keep the government open.

LANHEE CHEN, FELLOW WITH THE HOOVER INSTITUTION: Yeah, it's an unholy alliance now that has been created. The funny thing about this is this is going to be the shutdown over absolutely nothing, right?

And Matt Gaetz is one of these nihilists who is basically decided he's going to shut it down because he feels like shutting it down. It's not like they're getting concessions. It's not like they're getting closer to policy aims. This is really just about the ambitions of a few people to do more so that more people recognize who they are, and now reaching out to Democrats, not even moderate Democrats but progressive Democrats, mind you, to oust the only person who probably could do this job right now. It's ludicrous.

TAPPER: And it's not just Lanhee saying this, Nayyera, as you know. Congressman Mike Rogers of I believe Alabama told "Politico", quote, there is something between them and I don't know what it is it's not policy driven it's personal, talking about Gaetz and Speaker McCarthy. We've had shutdowns in the past over the border wall. We've had shutdowns in the past about Obamacare. I'm not quite certain what this one is about although it's certainly the animus between Gaetz and McCarthy is definitely playing a role. NAYYARA HAQ, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It has to be really challenging

to explain to the American public why the government is shutting down. They are the party in power right now in Congress, and they cannot have a message about helping the American people at this time.

Ninety percent of Americans have savings. Those same people cannot cover $1,000 in emergencies.

I had a nephew hit me up this week trying to figure out what was going on with the shutdown. He's a tech sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He has two children, said, auntie, how long is it going to go for? I said, you should prepare for two weeks. Are you going to be okay? He said, I don't know we'll figure it out.

I have no answer for him other than it's football season. They're playing football with your paycheck.

TAPPER: Yeah, and it's clear there are Republicans in the House getting frustrated with Matt Gaetz although he's not the -- I mean, there are a lot of authors of this shutdown, but take a listen to New York Congressman Mike Lawler.


REP. MIKE LAWLER (R-NY): There's only one person to blame for any potential government shutdown and that's Matt Gaetz. He's not a conservative Republican. He's a charlatan. And as far as I'm concerned, when you're working with Democrats to try to vacate the speaker, you're a joke.


TAPPER: Do you think Gaetz is entirely to blame?

CHEN: I don't know entirely, he's certainly one of the prime instigators here. But there's a group -- I mean, to think about the Freedom Caucus as a unified bloc I think is a little misleading.

TAPPER: Gaetz not -- Gaetz is not in the Freedom Caucus.

CHEN: But there's been this blame ascribed to this group of hard right legislators. The reality is you have a subset of this group. Matt Gaetz is probably one of the folks who certainly is in a leading role but it takes more than just one person in my view to make what we've got right now. Matt Gaetz is a principal instigator in this but the notion that he alone is responsible I think is probably a little bit generous to him.


TAPPER: And, Nayyera, how do you think Democrats should play this, just sit back and let them kill each other?

HAQ: Listen, there's not much power Democrats have in Congress right now other than standing up for the principles and ethics and values of the institution. So, they are. They're going to let the Republicans who wanted speakership so badly manage this and figure this out on their own.

TAPPER: One of the things that's so weird about the shutdown is even this bill that failed the McCarthy put forward, was not going to avert the shutdown. I mean, that's what's so strange by the, right? McCarthy had cut a deal with the Senate and the White House in I think May, and then he was getting pressure from his hard right caucus that he was agreeing to too much spending. So he walked away from the deal that he, himself, agreed to and now he's in the spot he puts forward a spending bill that the Senate was not going to take up.

I mean, none of this was going to work and it's all ridiculous.

HAQ: Well, the challenge is most people don't understand the Rules Committee and how things actually go-between the House and the Senate and the deals that have been cut and McCarthy isn't that type of leader to go past that misunderstanding.

TAPPER: What you mean by that type of leader.

HAQ: He's not been able to build a coalition within his own party. His agenda is about staying in power, right?


HAQ: He was willing to go through more than a dozen votes just to be speaker. The fact he had to go through so many indicates that he did not have a coalition that could actually make decisions.

TAPPER: Lanhee, just a quick question here, Speaker McCarthy, weaker speaker you've ever been seen? Or what do you think?

CHEN: I think he's been dealt the hardest hand of any speaker I've ever seen. I don't think it's fair to say he's the weakest speaker. I think, in fact, again, he's the only person in the current situation that can even deal with this group. And we'll see if we can.

TAPPER: All right. Lanhee, you are being very charitable today, on Friday.

Lanhee Chen and Nayyera Haq, thanks so much. We'll bring you back later in the show to talk more.

Coming up next, the state of emergency right now in New York basements underwater, roads washed away. The rare weather event unfolding in a city not quite used to flooding.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul will be here. Stay with us.






TAPPER: That's a passenger's understandable reaction when floodwaters filled a New York City bus.

Just one of hundreds of scenes like that across the region as a month's worth of rain fell in matter of hours. Fire crews rescued people from stranded vehicles and high water filled parts of New York's LaGuardia Airport.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is in Brooklyn, New York.

Polo, New York City remains under state of emergency at this hour. New Jersey's governor has also just declared a state of emergency for his state across the river?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Jake, when you get such an incredible amount of rain in such a short period of time, this is the result. You basically see parts of the city that had been flooded earlier this morning.

What looks like rushing creek behind me, Jake, is actually the entrance to Brooklyn's Prospect Park. I show you these pictures because this actually goes to show that even now that we do have at least a small break in the rain, that all of this water is essentially draining out of the park and spilling onto the roadway. The reason why I show you this, Jake, it does speak to you on treacherous travel still is in and around New York City, particularly in Queens and in Brooklyn which is we have heard from New York City officials and also state authorities, warning people, especially those living in basement apartments to still be on alert especially into tonight as inconvenient. As inconvenient as it is, though, Jake, it's not proven deadly yet with authorities here having no reports of any fatalities or injuries yet.

TAPPER: All right. Polo Sandoval, thanks so much.

Joining us now to discuss, New York's Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat.

Governor, you warned New Yorkers should expect heavy rain and flooding to continue through out the night. What are your biggest concerns right now?

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D), NEW YORK: Jake, my biggest concern right now is that people will see a little lull in the rain and feel confident and go out in their vehicles. The number one cause of deaths during a massive flooding event and this is an epic event. This is historic and we're still in the throes of it, is that they will go out in their vehicles and get swept up in these roads that turn into rivers and they'll be loss of life. That is the number one reason for people lose their lives people are not listening to us as I'm watching the videos of the cars filling up with vehicles, filling up with people and people going out in the street.

So, that's my concern. We have been on top of this before the first drop fell because we know how to do this. We sent out warnings. Thank God it was a Friday because so many people did not go to work today they stayed home. And my other concern was getting school children home safely today because the subway system has been so disruptive. In New York City, a lot of children, especially teenagers take the subway to get to school. So we've been working on getting buses, working with the city of New York to make sure they get home safely.

Now we're concerned about the commute. We have a massive disruption in the train lines heading north, Metro North. Grand Center Station is overflowing with people, trying to find a path outward. We're trying to work with the MTA to get more buses.

We have so many buses that are now functioning so that's a safer route than taking the subway. So, a lot going on we have some rescues going on and people in places like Nassau County. Elmont Community has a nursing home that was filled with water.

I just spoke with all the mayors in Westchester, there's eight to 10 feet of water in people's basements. So, this is going to go on for the night. But the main point I want to make, it is a dangerous situation. It is a flash flooding threat and the reality is those flash floods have arrived.

And so, people need to be aware, especially people living in basements.


That is the most vulnerable place as you start seeing the water creep up. Don't wait until it's over your knees or up to your waist, you must escape as soon as possible. I was a governor for literally a week, a couple weeks ago, first major hurricane, and the loss of life is cataclysmic of people who are trapped in their homes. So, that's a warning I want to give to New Yorkers tonight.

TAPPER: Yeah. So, New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended his administration's response today, amid criticism that he did not do enough in advance of the storm or respond quickly enough. Are you satisfied with how New York City has handled this?

HOCHUL: We have been working closely with New York City. Our teams have been engaged since the first forecast thought that this could be a record-setting storm. So, our emergency measure team works with FDNY, the NYPD, their emergency situations. So we are joined at the hip to make sure that they know they have the resources of the state to support them.

So, the mayor and I did an event this morning. We have been on the phone, communication. So, as it unfolds, it's always, you know, interesting to be able to point fingers. My job and the mayor's job is to just make sure we protect public life and property.

TAPPER: Subway services disrupted and water made its way into 150 of New York City's schools. Is -- are you going to be able to fix this quickly enough or for the subway service and schools to be operative next week? HOCHUL: Well, the schools, we were able to get the children out of

the schools safely which is the number one concern, and basically to deploy pumps all over the state to dry out these schools. I believe they'll be in good place for next year but we'll wait to -- next week, so we'll wait to see what the school's leadership says about that.

With respect to the subways, people really need to be contacting our MTA website, check it out. Go look on for unfolding developments. Literally, I just off the phone with Janno Lieber, the CEO of the MTA, and there are some updates that are a little bit more positive. My last briefing we were looking at almost a full shutdown of the public transit system in the New York City area during this commute. So, plenty of buses.

We encourage people to stay away from the subway trains because you don't know what you are going to encounter. So our Metro North lines starting from Grand Central has been literally flooded. That's something that happens periodically when we have these massive events, but it will stop you from getting home safely unless you take a bus.

So, more to be reported on that in the next half hour when we get another briefing. But it's pretty much an unfolding situation --


HOCHUL: -- and very dynamic. So people make sure they have current information before they venture out trying to get home for the weekend.

TAPPER: All right. New York's Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, thanks so much for the update. Really appreciate it.

HOCHUL: Thank you.

TAPPER: Coming up next, the details just in from police as they make a major arrest in the 1996 murder of rap star Tupac Shakur as he left a boxing match on the Vegas Strip.



TAPPER: In our pop culture lead, a potentially major break in a case that changed hip-hop. An arrest has been made in connection with the murder of actor and rapper Tupac Shakur. The rapper was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996.

This was seen as something of a watershed moment that defined the feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers. It was fueled by the murder of Biggie Smalls, or the Notorious BIG a year later.

This morning, Las Vegas police arrested Duane Davis, known as Keefe D in connection with Tupac's killing.

CNN's Josh Campbell is here to bring us the latest detail. Josh what are we learning about the suspect? JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is someone who

had been known to police for quite sometime but it wasn't until recently that they had enough evidence that they believed to move forward with charges. This suspect as you mentioned Duane Keith Davis, he was described as the shot caller of a gang here in Los Angeles. This is where the timeline comes so important.

What police announced is that back in 1996, nearly 30 years ago, that at this boxing Match Tupac Shakur and one of his associates had allegedly assaulted Davis' nephew, and then police allege that Davis then orchestrated this retaliatory-type of attack afterwards, actually going so far as to give someone a gun that was used in that alleged murder.

And so, again, all of this happening over the course of nearly three decades. Police gathering this information conducting numerous interviews. They say that a grand jury has been in panel for quite sometime going over this evidence. And today, police announcing this man now arrested. He's also been charged with murder.


LT. JASON JOHANSSON, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: But it wasn't until 2018, that this case was reinvigorated as additional information came to light related to this homicide, specifically Duane Davis' own admissions to his involvement in this homicide investigation that he provided to numerous different media outlets.


CAMPBELL: And that point that you just heard there was also so important because they're saying that essentially it wasn't that something that this person tried to hide his alleged involvement, but he was out there talking. He actually wrote a memoir in which he detailed life a street gang member. He detailed events surrounding the murder of Tupac Shakur.

Two months ago, authorities went to his house in Nevada and search it, carting out all kinds of evidence, including computers, including phones, including that memoir that I mentioned. And, interestingly, and again this, you know, doesn't seem to be the crime of the century, this guy was out there saying that he was in the car that pulled alongside Tupac Shakur's car.

One thing interestingly that he said he was in the front seat. He said that the shots came from the person in the back seat. He refused to say who that person was.


What we did hear prosecutors say just a short time ago, Jake, is that under Nevada law, you don't have actually be the person to pull the trigger in order to be charged with murder.

So we're seeing a lot of these elements line up leading to these charges today. TAPPER: And, quickly, what's next in the case?

CAMPBELL: Authorities say within a matter of days, this defendant will be presented before the court, before a judge. We don't know what type of plea he will enter, whether he will plead guilty or whether this actually go to trial. Authorities say that they're ready for any type of eventuality, but really the wheels of justice at least for him truly starting now with him in police custody.

TAPPER: All right. Josh Campbell, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Another huge story the death of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the longest serving woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate. Her death may create some contention in her home state of California.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Back with our politics lead here you are looking at the U.S. Capitol's flags at half-staff in honor of the longest serving female U.S. senator in American history, California's Dianne Feinstein, who died last night at the age 90.

CNN's David Chalian and Jamie Gangel are with me now.

We have seen an outpouring of tributes for Senator Feinstein and her indelible mark on politics. I wanted to bring up this remarkable moment from the Senate floor in 1993. It really -- it really says something very special about her ability to be quick on her feet and show that she can do the job. She was just elected in 1992. This is her first year as a senator, that she can do the job just as well if not better than her male colleagues.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the gentlelady from California needs to become a little more familiar with firearms and their deadly characteristics. And I say that because it is --

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): A personal privilege for a moment please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, certainly.

FEINSTEIN: I am quite familiar with firearms I became mayor of a product of assassination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm aware of that.

FEINSTEIN: I found my assassinated colleague and put a finger through a bullet hole -- bullet hole, trying to get.


FEINSTEIN: I proposed gun control legislation in San Francisco. I went through a recall on the basis of it. I was trained in the shooting of a firearm when I had terrorist attacks with a bomb at my house when my husband was dying, when I had windows shot out.

Senator, I know something about what firearms can do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, I am not accusing you of not knowing what I'm accusing of you is not broadening the issue to understand the debate.


TAPPER: Hamana-hamana-hamana. I think -- I think she made her point quite clear. I do hope that people remember that Dianne Feinstein, the quick witted, strong, eloquent advocate for her point of view. Whether or not you agree with her on these issues, and not more recent years.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: That is classic Dianne Feinstein and she was, unflinching fierce, direct, you saw it all there.

Point of personal privilege it's one of my favorite moments all-time in the Senate. I think what's also going to be missed about her though in the Senate she was a mentor. She was generous. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told me a story when she was first elected to the Senate, she was really a very new member of Congress and she wasn't sure what to do and Dianne Feinstein took her to lunch, and said, how can I help you? And Senator Gillibrand said I really could use some advice.

And Senator Feinstein gave her a memo, a very detailed memo, I'd like to know what was in it, she said it was confidential. But Senator Gillibrand describes it as one of the most generous and helpful things that anyone had ever done in her career.

TAPPER: So, David, let's get to the crass politics of it. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of California now has a seat to fill. He has publicly said, Newsom, that he plans to appoint a Black woman to the role there's a chasm in the Senate because Kamala Harris is now vice president and she had the California Senate seat. And he also said --

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And he didn't appoint a Black woman to replace her, yes.

TAPPER: For Padilla.

CHALIAN: Exactly.

TAPPER: Padilla has a seat now. He said he also wants to be a caretaker, not somebody who is going to want to say in that seat because there's an active Senate race going on right now. So, that rules out the mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, because she would want to stay in the seat. It rules Congresswoman Barbara Lee who's running for the seat. It rules out Congresswoman Maxine Waters who sure as hell would want to stay a United States senator if she were made one.

What about somebody a little less well known as California's current secretary of state, Shirley Weber, could be that a likely replacement do you think?

CHALIAN: No doubt. She's atop every list when you talk to anybody out in California. I don't know that she'll be who he appoints. But he did appoint her to secretary of state, because Alex Padilla was the secretary of state. He appointed him to replace Kamala Harris. He received a ton of backlash because of the dearth of Black women in the Senate that he wasn't replacing Harris with a black woman.

And he appointed Weber to Padilla's seat as secretary of state he has already appointed her once perhaps he will appoint her again. By the way, she went on to win north of 60 percent of the vote in California for her own term.

TAPPER: First Black woman as secretary of state. Yeah.

CHALIAN: Exactly.

So, I would definitely look at that. I think it's interesting that he has ruled out anybody who is currently run. He says he doesn't want to put his finger on the scale that there's gong to be this primary that there is this process. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, Barbara Lee are running, as he wants to rule them out, to not to give anyone an advantage as the state sorts out who they want their next senator to be.


TAPPER: And, Jamie, Senate Democrats now have an even slimmer razor thin majority, 50-49. How critical is it that Newsom does this quickly? I would imagine, he needs to do so in the next day or two maybe.

GANGEL: I think as soon as it's appropriate.

TAPPER: Right, after she is -- well, she was Jewish. So tradition would be that she gets buried soon, within 24-hours. Yeah.

GANGEL: In 24 hours. On the other hand, he's also a VIP. People are going to want to fly out for it. But I think that my guess would be days, David?

CHALIAN: I would imagine.

GANGEL: Quickly. They need to get these votes.

TAPPER: And one would think, David, that Newsom has been preparing for this.

CHALIAN: Yes, though I have not seen any indication nor do I have any reporting that says he has a list of already vetted people so he will want to go through some kind of vetting process before he names them.

TAPPER: All right. David Chalian and Jamie Gangel, thank you so much.

And, of course, a sad day for her family, for her friends for the U.S. Senate and we are sending our condolences and our thoughts to all of you.

Moments ago, Ken Buck told me that today's failed vote in the House of Representatives was essentially a no confidence vote on Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Up next what McCarthy just told his Republican caucus in a closed door meeting?

Stay with us.