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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Right-Wing Media Spreads Antiemetic Language; Rep. Daniel Goldman, (D-NY), Is Interviewed About Right-Media, Antisemitism, Vandalism, Hamas, October 7, Israel, Biden's Response To Terror Attack; Rep. Goldman's New York Office Vandalized; Democrats Divided Over Biden's Response To Terror Attack; Trump Audio Describes What He Wanted To Do On Jan. 6; Trump Legal Team Complains Judge In NY Civil Fraud Case Is Trying To Censor Him; CNN Poll: NH Dems See Biden As Party's Best Shot To Win WH; Right Now: Pro-Palestinian Rallies. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired November 17, 2023 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
Off the top this hour, the breaking news is shooting at a hospital in New Hampshire. State officials there said the suspect is dead, the situation is contained and tragically there are multiple victims. Police are doing a sweep of the hospital right now. We're going to stay on top of the story and bring you the facts as we get them.
Plus, newly reported audio of Donald Trump just two months after the January 6 insurrection discussing what he expected if he got his wish, and had been able to join the mob at the Capitol that day.
And leading this hour, antisemitism pushed by right wing media figures with little apparent pushback in their conservative circles. The vile comments viewed by some of the biggest names with major megaphones beginning with the richest man in the world. Now we've heard a lot from the Jewish community since October 7 about how shocking it has been to hear so much antisemitism from traditionally progressive places such as liberal organizations and Ivy League schools. They're not talking about criticism of the Israeli government or the IDF military campaign in Gaza, they're talking about praise for Hamas is savage terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish citizens on October 7. The New York branch of the Democratic Socialists of America called those October 7 attacks on civilians, quote, "resistance," they have since apologized.
And then there are multiple incidents on college campuses praising those terrorist attacks. On October 8, one Columbia University professor wrote an essay that uses language that sure sounds a lot like praise for Hamas's attacks including for a, quote, "Innovative Palestinian resistance, which early on Saturday morning launched a surprise attack on Israel by air, land and sea." Almost all of the essay launch the attack as a great, quote, "stunning victory of the Palestinian resistance over the Israeli military" as a, quote, "historic event."
Now remember, this is an attack where 1200 Israelis, Americans and others, most of them civilians, were slaughtered, including babies and children and the elderly, where women and girls were rape, where an estimated 240 individuals, most of them civilians were kidnapped, but this was apparently worthy of praise for innovation by an Ivy League professor. When that Columbia professor was asked about his comment, he argued that we were taking his words out of context, that the words were meant to convey the surprised nature of the attack and that he decried the horrifying toll on all sides.
At Cornell, an associate professor said he felt exhilarated with the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What has Hamas done? Hamas has shifted the balance of power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hamas has punctured the illusion of invincibility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was exhilarating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're just saying it's lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was exhilarating. It was energizing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: It was exhilarating. It was energizing. That professor has since apologized. He has said he opposes antisemitism and he has taken a leave of absence according to the Cornell review. But amidst all of this from the left, there has also been quite a bit of antisemitism exploding on the right among conservative media figures, mainstream Republican officials and Elon Musk voicing some pretty nasty antisemitic tropes about powerful Jews supposedly waging a war on white people.
White replacement theory, for example, this is the same deranged theory that led to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, the deadliest act of antisemitic violence in the history of the United States or the just as deranged theory of white genocide, the crazy theory that there is an organized plot to get rid of whites through intermarriage and through mass murder. And again, the deranged idea that the Jews are behind it. It is insane. And even worse, it's dangerous because there are fragile simple minds that believe this junk and then they take these matters into their own hands, too often, violently.
TAPPER: We asked our media reporter Oliver Darcy to take a look into all of this for us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All went on work --
OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER (voice-over): Antisemitic rhetoric is finding a home in right wing media since the onset of the Israel Hamas war, a handful of influential talk show hosts has spread antisemitic tropes to their millions of followers. One of the main charges, the disgraceful notion that a spike in antisemitism is merely Jewish people getting a taste of their own medicine, after supposedly supporting anti-white sentiment, a reprehensible conspiracy theory that has been denounced by the anti-Defamation League.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any more comments?
DARCY (voice-over): Take Elon Musk, one of the world's richest men who has supported a host of right wing conspiracy theories. Musk replied to a user online publicly endorsing that notion writing this week, "You have said the actual truth." It's not just limited to Musk, right wing media figures Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens, and Charlie Kirk, have also peddled this idea.
CHARLIE KIRK, RIGHT-WING COMMENTATOR: It is true that some of the largest financiers of left wing anti-white causes have been Jewish Americans.
DARCY (voice-over): Kirk has also floated the conspiracy theory that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew about the October 7 terror attack but chose to do nothing.
KIRK: I'm not willing to say that goes so far that shame that Netanyahu knew or there was intelligence here. But I think some questions need to be asked, was there a stand down order? Was there a stand down order? Six hours? I don't believe it.
DARCY (voice-over): Meanwhile, Carlson and Owens have criticized Harvard donors for supposedly supporting anti-white racism, framing them as hypocrites for now being upset over antisemitism.
TUCKER CARLSON, RIGHT-WING COMMENTATOR: Well, wait a second, if the biggest donors that say Harvard, have decided where we're going to shut it down Now, where were you the last 10 years when they're calling for white genocide?
CANDACE OWENS, RIGHT-WING COMMENTATOR: And that's the question.
CARLSON: You were allowing this and then I found myself really hating those people.
OWENS: People that are asking the question is where were you --
OWENS: -- as we have endured all of this?
CARLSON: You were paying for it actually.
CARLSON: You were paying for it.
OWENS: You were paying for it. You were OK with it.
CARLSON: As you were calling me my children immoral for their skin color. You paid for that. So why shouldn't I be mad at you? I don't understand.
DARCY (voice-over): Some conservatives have pushed back against the antisemitic rhetoric being spread by their peers. Ben Shapiro, co- founder of The Daily Wire, which employs Candace Owens, ripped her earlier commentary as disgraceful during a recent speech.
BEN SHAPRIO, THE DAILY WIRE CO-FOUNDER: The question was about Candace Owens. I think her behavior during this has been disgraceful. Yes. She still works for my company. And I think she's been absolutely disgraceful. I think that her faux sophistication on these particular issues has been ridiculous.
DARCY (voice-over): Owens appear to fire back and response drenched in antisemitism, suggesting Shapiro opted for a wealth of a virtue coding a Bible verse saying, "You cannot serve both God and money." CNN reached out to The Daily Wire for comment and has not gotten a reply.
The rhetoric comes as antisemitic attacks are surging across the U.S. and around the world. Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the ADL spoke out against the commentary coursing through right wing media. Responding to Musk, Greenblatt said, "At a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world, it is indisputably dangerous to use one's influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories."
DARCY (on camera): And Jake, this is really ugly rhetoric. It never used to be voiced by some of the loudest people in right wing media. But now it's all too common. And I think we're getting numb to the fact that you have someone like Tucker Carlson or Candace Owens, people with millions of followers who are just spreading this type of hate to their to their fans.
TAPPER: Well, not just that, I mean, these are all people who are very influential when it comes to major Republican office holders or presidential candidates. I mean, very, very powerful people. But I just want to understand something, is the argument that I just heard there that because maybe there's some Jewish alumni who gave money to Harvard because they're just trying to be philanthropic to their alma mater, that that was funding white genocide, that that was insulting white people? I don't -- just to give money to a college to help fund scholarship programs or a -- that -- is that put the argument is?
DARCY: It sounds absolutely crazy and unhinged to people who are not immersed in the right wing media universe, but that is effectively the argument that they have been supporting Harvard, as Harvard has supposedly been waging this anti-white, you know, campaign on the college campus, and now they're upset when they're seeing people voiced anti-Israeli sentiments, but that they did nothing supposedly when this supposedly anti-white campaign was being --
TAPPER: Just by giving alumni donation?
DARCY: By giving alumni donations, yes.
TAPPER: That's just crazy.
DARCY: It is crazy but it is common now in this right wing media space. I mean --
TAPPER: But we have literally seen the deadliest act against Jews in this country because of that crazy white genocide white replacement theory because people were spreading it. Some insane person, Robert Bowers went into a synagogue and killed more Jews that have ever been killed in this country before. We've seen that, and people are still pushing this.
DARCY: Yes, I mean, you've seen time and time again, to be frank here, Tucker Carlson voicing or giving voice to dangerous conspiracy theories, theories that experts have said, can lead to violence, and he does not seem to care and a lot of other people, frankly, do not seem to care about the repercussions that their words can have.
TAPPER: And these are false also, we should note. These are false theories.
Oliver Darcy, thank you.
Let's go now to Democratic Congressman Dan Goldman, who represents New York. Congressman, I just want to first get your reaction to the report we just did, which started with voices on the left, including at Columbia University and Cornell University, the Democratic socialists of America New York branch, spewing praise for Hamas or what sounded like praise for Hamas in many instances. And then, of course, these right wing media figures pushing white replacement theory white genocide, blaming that on Jews, you're a prominent member of Congress, who's Jewish. What's your reaction?
REP. DANIEL GOLDMAN (D-NY): Well, we've known that there's been this strain of antisemitism on the right for some time, Charlottesville being the prime example of that. What we have seen over the last six weeks is a latent antisemitism bubbling over into the public sphere that's coming from the far fringe left. It's sort of the horseshoe theory that meets around antisemitism, where you have the extreme left and the extreme right, both of which, for different reasons, seem to hate Jewish people. It is incredibly disheartening, Jake, that in the aftermath of the most brutal, horrific attack, genocidal terrorist attack on Jews in Israel on October 7, that rather than rally around the Jewish community and Israel, what we are seeing on college campuses and elsewhere, all around the country, and certainly in New York City is a rise in antisemitism. And it is somewhat bewildering and perplexing for me. And it's very deflating and disheartening to see.
TAPPER: No, obviously, there are a lot of people who don't support what the Israel Defense Forces is doing in Gaza. Overnight, one of your offices was vandalized, I'm not saying that this is an appropriate response, but overnight, one of your offices was vandalized, phrases such as blood and your hands, free Palestine spray painted on your office. What can you tell us about what happened? What's your reaction to that? And then separately, I would like to know what your response would be to a rational person coming to you and saying, I really disagree with your position on the Israeli response to October 7.
GOLDMAN: Yes, and that's a conversation that I really want to have with my constituents in my district. And unfortunately, they're using vandalism and various attacks and harassment against me on my office. My staff showed up this morning to see that. My staff is there every day trying to serve the constituents here. I signed up for public office, they did not. And it is egregious and dangerous for people to be doing this in a threatening way to public servants who are trying to help the community in every way possible.
The reality is that there is -- there was that horrible terrorist attack on October 7, Hamas has shown us who it is, both by that attack, and by the statements that their leaders have made afterwards that they will continue to do that over and over and over because their sole objective is to eliminate Israel and kill Jews. That means Hamas is not a feasible partner for peace or is to a two state solution. And because of that, Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defeat Hamas and eliminate them. And that will not only be better for Israel, but it will be better for the Palestinian people.
Hamas uses their own people in Gaza as human shields. They put their military equipment in hospitals in schools, in tunnels they have siphoned off billions of dollars designed to go to the people for their own terror network and Israel has to be careful because notwithstanding all of those war crimes that Hamas is committing, it is tragic and devastating to see the loss of innocent lives.
So Israel has every right and obligation to go after Hamas, and to eliminate them within the framework of the laws of war and making sure that the civilians are protected as much as possible and get humanitarian aid. But Hamas has been in control of Gaza for 15 years, and they have led the Palestinian people into this despair and this destitution that is so crushing to them. So, the silver lining here, Jake, is that if Hamas is eliminated, then hopefully we can rebuild Gaza with a viable government interested in peace and interested in a two state solution but Hamas is not that.
TAPPER: And then lastly, you sent a letter to President Biden touching on something that we discussed at length on Wednesday on the show, which is what Ben Gvir and Smotrich, these two far right anti-Arab bigot Cabinet members in the Netanyahu coalition are permitting in the West Bank and in Israel when it comes to the repression and even killing of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. And I'm wondering if you could talk about that, the letter that you wrote about the West Bank to President Biden, and how that does not -- that's not going to allow a two state solution either.
GOLDMAN: That's right. And Senator Booker and I wrote the letter together, the two of us were the only members of Congress who were in Israel on October 7, and we both are strongly in support of Israel, its right to exist, its right to defend itself and the important need to eliminate Hamas. However, Hamas attack from Gaza, and that's where the war is and that's where the ward needs to stay. There can be no vigilante justice by civilians or settlers of the extremist nature, and Ben Gvir and Smotrich, as you mentioned, are their leaders. They cannot be permitted to use their own means and methods to try to take advantage of this situation to kill Palestinians, to expand their settlements, and that there is no room for error here.
Israel has to be very strategic, they have to be very targeted, and they have to be very focused on what the job at hand here and that is eliminated Hamas, it is not to start a multi front war in the West Bank. And ultimately, the overarching objective, as we just discussed, is a two state solution. And it is essential that Israel demonstrate that it will be a viable and meaningful partner to any other Palestinian government that is willing to be a good faith partner as well in a two state solution. And this kind of vigilante justice in the West Bank is very counterproductive to that goal.
TAPPER: Congressman Dan Goldman of New York, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Coming up next, Donald Trump's legal team is bracing for bad news, a possible decision that could be announced any minute now and impact his 2024 presidential campaign. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our law and justice lead, former President Trump's legal team is bracing for a loss in a 2024 ballot disqualification case in Colorado. A judge is expected to rule today on whether to disqualify him and keep his name off the state's presidential ballot. Joining us now CNN's Kristen Holmes to explain.
Kristen, this is certainly the longest of long shots regardless if it's an initial loss for Trump. KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. And that's why Donald Trump's team is optimistic in the long run. Now, as you say they are bracing for a loss today. So much so that I'm told by sources that they've already written out in appeal that they plan to file immediately if and when the court rules against them. But they do believe that this could be or will be turned over and appeal.
One source telling me they think it could even go all the way up to the Supreme Court, but that will eventually get overturned. Now the reason for that is there's a few, one being that they point to these other cases similar to this that were brought in New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, none of them made it to trial. They were all dismissed before that. They also have an argument with the fact that the cases in Georgia and Washington, those election subversion cases are still ongoing. Trump has not been convicted in either of those cases and he's not been charged with the crime of insurrection.
Now, no surprise, Jake, they have accused this judge of being politically biased. They asked her to recuse herself over $100 donation she made to a liberal group that was formed in the aftermath of January 6, she refused to do so saying that she did not know the group's mission and that she believes she could still rule thoroughly. Again, they are bracing for a loss today, but in the long term, this is something they think that they will prevail on.
TAPPER: All right, Kristen Holmes, thanks so much.
There is new reported audio of Donald Trump recorded two months after the January 6 insurrection. Hear what he thought would happen if he did manage to get to the Capitol and say something to the rioters. Stay with us.
TAPPER: When our law and justice lead coincides with our 2024 and political leads, it's a safe bet that the subject is one, Donald Trump. "The New York Times" Maggie Haberman is here with me to share her insights into Trump world in a way that only she can really.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, thanks.
TAPPER: I think.
HABERMAN: I appreciate that, Jake.
TAPPER: That's OK. So Trump tweets -- he keeps trying to rewrite the history of what happened on January 6. So I want to play a recording of what he told ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl's new book, it's called "Tired of Winning, Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party." So this is about Trump's suppose a desire to go to the U.S. Capitol during the riot. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: You told them you were going to go up to the Capitol. Were you just --
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I -- no, I was going to and then Secret Service said you can't, and then by the time -- I would have, and then when I get back I saw -- I wanted to go back. I was thinking about going back during the problem to stop the problem, doing it myself. Secret Service didn't like that idea too much.
KARL: So, so what --
TRUMP: And I could have done that. And you know what? I would have been very well received. Don't forget, the people that went to Washington that day, in my opinion, they went because they thought the election was rigged. That's why they went.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: There's so much to like --
HABERMAN: Go out there.
TAPPER: There's a lot to -- first of all, they thought the election was rigged because he had been lying to them about for months about the election being rigged. I love also how he calls the insurrection a problem, the problem, but he never really says what he was going to do there. Do you know what he was going to do there?
HABERMAN: No. And I find it slight--- Look, I do believe that he wanted to march initially, before the riot broke out, I think that is true.
HABERMAN: All of us have had reporting on that we had reporting on it in real time. The idea that he thought that he could go back because he was thinking he could maybe make it better. I don't know why he wouldn't have just said more of that on Twitter at prime if that was actually --
TAPPER: Yes, that's revisionism.
HABERMAN: -- what he was thinking. So I think one piece of that is real. And one piece of that sounds not at all comporting with anything else, we know.
TAPPER: I wish -- I really want to know what he thought he was going to do.
HABERMAN: I don't think that he necessarily had that thought before he was articulating it to John Karl, it's -- I don't know that we will ever know the answer. I actually was struck by that audio that were -- he says in my opinion, in the middle of it. Well, no, because he has been -- he's been leaning on in my opinion a little bit more recently since the indictment.
TAPPER: Oh, in my opinion, they weren't because they thought the election was rigged. That's why they weren't.
HABERMAN: Yes. And I'm a little -- I'm struck that he was using that language that early, because that interview was in 2021, I believe --
TAPPER: Oh, in my opinion interesting.
HABERMAN: -- in my opinion.
TAPPER: And he calls it the problem.
HABERMAN: Right. Well, it's -- that's -- that is a euphemism. Yes. It was.
TAPPER: So related to the federal judge presiding over his election subversion case, today denied his legal team's request to remove languages in the indictment about the January 6th riot. They heard it's inflammatory. Do you think any of these cases are going to go to trial before the election?
HABERMAN: I do. I think that the -- was -- something has happened in the last couple of hours. One is that Fani Willis in Fulton County, Georgia has asked for the trial to be set, I believe on August 5th in that case. What's fascinating about that is it suggests that she thinks that the documents case in Florida is not going to happen at all before the election, because there's going to be a hearing on that in March about whether to move it.
I do think that the federal trial on election subversion charges is going to happen in March or April at the latest. And I think we will see several months of a trial. I don't think people have quite gotten their heads around what it's going to look like when there is the potentially the presumptive frontrunner for the Republic nomination -- Republican nomination, sitting in a courtroom every day. You have to attend as a criminal.
TAPPER: Yes, in March or April.
HABERMAN: In March or April for many, many weeks going forward.
TAPPER: And this is the classified documents case.
HABERMAN: No, that's the J6 case.
TAPPER: It's the January 6th case.
HABERMAN: That is the January 6th case before Tanya Chutkan in Washington. The documents case, which is Aileen Cannon, which is in Fort Pierce --
TAPPER: Oh, that one she's delaying.
HABERMAN: That one, I believe she will delay that past the election.
HABERMAN: If the Georgia one goes ahead, and I'm skeptical of that in this timeframe of August, then that would basically mean Trump is on trial, the entire general election. And that's an astonishing thing to get your head around.
TAPPER: Yesterday in New York Appeals Court lifted the gag order that's supposed to keep Trump from talking about the court staff, like the clerk, et cetera, for the ongoing, this is the civil fraud trial. I really and I have to apologize to people. I'm sorry. There's so many court cases --
HABERMAN: There are a lot. And there's two gag orders. I mean, you're talking about one.
TAPPER: It's very difficult. And we really -- I'm sorry to be this -- it's tough, it's tough to keep all this straight in your head. I have a difficult time. And it's my job. Anyway, today's Trump's lawyers filed papers arguing, quote, silencing a presidential candidates core political speech at the height of his political campaign is the essence of censorship. I mean, they have a point. But by the same token, he does say things that put people's lives in danger.
HABERMAN: He has gotten more leeway than almost any criminal defendant. I'm not saying with similar circumstances, there have never been sort of similar circumstances. But any criminal defendant who was making these kinds of statements would almost certainly see some kind of a gag or and see some kind of a crackdown from a judge.
TAPPER: If not jail time.
HABERMAN: Or see jail or see fines. And he has actually gotten an enormous amount of leeway. Now, the circumstances are what they are. He is the front running candidate for the Republican nomination. And so it is against the backdrop of a political campaign, although it's a campaign he chose to run, but it's not surprising. He's doing it that way. You're seeing every time that one of these gag orders is staid and a judge sets it aside pending another decision. He immediately starts making the same attacks that he barred from doing before. And I think he thinks that plays to his advantage.
TAPPER: And the idea that this clerk has anything to do, I mean, the judge is the person making these decisions. The judge is the one calling the shots. Not this woman but he loves to attack women, young women especially.
HABERMAN: I think that there is a lot that is very different in the New York State trial than there is going to be in the federal.
TAPPER: One last thing, the man that violently beat former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been Paul with a hammer was found guilty in federal court. David DePape now faces decades in prison, as well as the state trial where charges include attempted murder and Trump continues to make light of the attack. Here is just one example.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will stand up to crazy Nancy Pelosi who ruined San Francisco. How's her husband doing by the way? Anybody know?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I mean, the guy is going to be charged for attempted murder. What is remotely funny about that?
HABERMAN: Trump finds a punch line and a lot of violence. This is not the first time we have seen it. We have seen him glorifying violence since his first campaign. It has now become so mainstreamed, that it almost doesn't resonate, although it is very jarring to hear people laughing at that line. And to your point, he is making fun of somebody who received a really dangerous and potentially life-threatening injury during a home invasion. If the same thing was done to Donald Trump and anyone dared to make a joke about it, you've never heard the end of it.
TAPPER: I think that is one of the things that is even worse now than it was in '16 and '20, which the weaponization of his rhetoric.
HABERMAN: I think everything is treated by him as fair game in a way that is even more expansive than it was then.
TAPPER: Yes. Maggie, always good to see you. Thanks so much.
We're keeping to pro to -- an eye on two protests happening on Friday evening. Major citizen who's posted on the left, you see a pro- Palestinian demonstration near Union Station in D.C. And in New York City, another pro-Palestinian rally at Bryant Park in Midtown. Expect more scenes such as these over the weekend. We're back in a moment.
TAPPER: In our 2024 Lead, queue the music, if we can. Less than two months into, oh, we're going to go right now into look at those live pictures of the protests. We have pro-Palestinian rallies going on. On the left side of your screen that is outside Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. And on the right side of your screen, that is New York City. A lot of passionate voices going on right now obviously propelled by the Israeli war against Hamas in Gaza, which was prompted.
If you abide by the October 7th attacks, Hamas attacks on Israel. And we believe the IDF attacks on Hamas began that day Saturday, October 7th, which have tragically led to a great deal of loss of innocent Palestinian life. Israel says that that is because Hamas embeds with the -- within the civilian population of Gaza, which United States Intelligence agrees with. And but other organizations have condemned for since the war began. We're going to squeeze in a quick break. We'll be right back.
[17:45:59] TAPPER: The election music, you know I love it, 2024 Lead, less than two months until Iowa's first in the nation Republican presidential caucuses and primaries come after that. Most of the candidates are converging on Iowa. Right now three of them are participating in a family discussion in Des Moines, part of an Evangelical Christian Thanksgiving forum meant for a moderated, friendly open discussion. Missing from their festive table is former President Donald Trump.
Let's bring in our panel. Alyssa Farah Griffin, let me start with you. You are former White House communications director for the Trump administration. Trump keeps snubbing these events with his rivals. He's instead going to hold his own rally in Iowa tomorrow. Is he at all taking Iowa's evangelical voters for granted? Or are they just already in his pocket?
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he's certainly not showing up for them. But I think that he's just so confident and is standing that he doesn't think he needs to show up. And he doesn't think he needs to give equal billing to people who are polling 20 or so points behind him.
I think it's offensive to voters. I think you should show up regardless of where you're polling. But his calculation is, why am I going to put a Nikki Haley or DeSantis on equal footing with me when they're not even in striking distance. Now where that's different is New Hampshire, and open primary where I think you've seen Nikki Haley climb in the polls, and if independents do come out for her, that could actually become a competitive race.
TAPPER: Let's turn to the Democrats because there's new CNN poll out today that shows Democrats in New Hampshire think that Biden is their best shot at winning the White House, 65 percent of likely Democratic primary voters putting the right in his name on the ballot, which is important because he's not participating, his name on the ballot as traditionally first in the nation primary because the DNC moved the South Carolina. They're going to do that one first.
Jamal Simmons, you were former comms director for Vice President Kamala Harris. Are you surprised seeing Dean Phillips polling at 10 percent? And you must feel good about the 65 percent right in?
JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And so I think that 65 percent is a good number for the President. Dean Phillips is going to get some of that because, right, there's always somebody who's going to say they're not happy. I think right now we're seeing people who are looking at a Bluesky. They're saying, OK, it's just Democrats on Democrats here. I'll pick the Democrat that I may like.
Now, when you get down to Trump versus Biden in a general election, I think that's sobers up a lot of people's minds. And you'll see that they move. There's -- "New York Times" had this poll last week about that had Kamala Harris, the Vice President, pull them a little bit better with Democrats than President Biden.
But then yesterday, they were going to -- where they go back and they call some of these Kamala Harris, but not Biden voters, they ask them questions. And by the end of the interviews, they're like, well, I mean, I'll probably vote for Joe Biden, right? So this is a matter of Democrats, when they actually think about their choice that's on the ballot. I think they move.
TAPPER: When likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire were asked how they would feel about Biden, only 26 percent are enthusiastic, 46 percent say they're satisfied with him as a nominee. That is good enough. Look how it breaks down by age, though, this is interesting. Only 10 percent of likely Democratic primary voters under the age of 50 are enthusiastic compared with 41 percent for those aged 50 and older. So he's got a lot of work to do, Biden, to bring up the enthusiasm gap for young people. And that's important in terms of getting them out to actually vote.
SIMMONS: He's got a lot of work to do. So do all the field operation organizations that are out there who are going to be figuring out how to, you know, turn and drag these voters to the polls, his entire infrastructure on the Democratic side that is completely focused on finding these voters, talking to these voters and then literally driving them to the polls so that they show up.
TAPPER: So Alyssa, we did a -- we've led the hour with a look, Oliver Darcy did a look at and all the prominent right wing media figures, Elon Musk and others. People were very prominent with Republican officeholders and presidential candidates like Elon Musk, Charlie Kirk, who are saying very anti-Semitic things. Elon Musk yesterday, espousing basically white replacement theory. Take a listen to Charlie Kirk defending Elon Musk on his program on this white replacement theory nonsense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE KIRK, RIGHT-WING COMMENTATOR: Now, I don't like generalizations, not every Jewish person believes that. But it is true the Anti-Defamation League was part and parcel with Black Lives Matter. It is true that some of the largest financiers of left wing anti-white causes have been Jewish Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I mean the anti-white causes, a lot of anti-white causes means like, supporting, like immigrants.
GRIFFIN: Correct. So listen, I think the last month or so since the war in Israel and Hamas broke out, we've seen that there is a deep seed of anti-Semitism on the far left in the far right in this country. I actually think that it's much bigger and more widespread than I even imagined that it was. But where does this come from? Donald Trump at the top.
Just this past week, he came after "ABC's" Jon Karl for his new book, where he made it a point to come after Kim Kardashian but say Kanye West, a noted anti-Semite who had said some of the most deeply offensive things I won't repeat about the Jews, and said that, you know, that's a better person than she is. When you have somebody at the top dabbling in that, not even dabbling, embracing it and meeting with people disgusting human beings like Nick Fuentes, it gives license to these other characters who are all part of this ecosystem of right wing media where they print money off of it.
At the end of the day, we've kind of allowed it there's sort of this permission that's been granted. And I think it's incumbent on elected officials to be responsible about who they communicate with what platforms they appear on. I'd remind you, the House Judiciary Committee had that Elon Musk-Kanye West tweet up for months, even after Kanye West said he was going to go DEF CON on the Jews. That is so irresponsible at a moment when tensions are so heightened and it needs to be denounced.
TAPPER: It's a problem on the left too, right?
SIMMONS: Well, the problem on the left is that people on the left aren't being very clear about what they're saying. And maybe some of them don't meet it. I don't want to get into their heads. I was in D.C. yesterday with a bunch of candidates who are running for Congress who were at the DNC when that big protest took place outside and the police and the protesters went back and forth. It's uncomfortable for people.
There's something happening inside the Democratic Party that's very real. And I think we're going to have to reckon with the fact that a lot of young people who are -- who don't like seeing images of babies who are dying in Gaza --
TAPPER: No one likes that.
SIMMONS: No one likes that. But they won't acknowledge the fact that babies also were killed on October 7th. And I think if people could just talk about both of those things at the same time, we could probably have a better conversation.
GRIFFIN: And I think if I could just note that there are statistics that show the younger generation, Gen Z, doesn't even necessarily know about the Holocaust in the way that other generations do, when your generation that primarily is getting your news on TikTok in 90 seconds, that doesn't provide the history and the nuance to understand something as complicated as the crisis in the Middle East.
TAPPER: Yes. All right, well, you guys should run for president.
TAPPER: Thanks to both of you.
SIMMONS: Only if you, are you coming with us?
TAPPER: No. But I will vote for both of you.
The latest on protests in U.S. cities, we're back in a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
TAPPER: You are looking right now at live pictures at -- of D.C. pro- Palestinian rally. It's outside Union Station, I believe, in Washington, D.C. There's another one underway in New York City. And I think Miguel Marquez is there. Look at that. There he is. Miguel, free, free Palestine. I'm hearing that as a chant. Where are you in New York?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are in Penn Station. I can show you exactly where we are 34th street and 8th Avenue walking toward 3rd Street. It looks like they're stopping now at Pennsylvania Station. There are several 100 protesters out who started at New York Library over there, Bryant Park, and then marched down 5th Avenue shutting down traffic.
I mean, you can see in this area, the amount of traffic that has been stopped now even on -- major disruption if you are trying to get somewhere in New York right now. The main chants we have not heard some of the more anti-virulent or the more virulent anti-Semitic chants that we had heard earlier at other protests, but the chants of free Palestine.
There are some signs from the river to the sea. There are some signs of claiming that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. People are angry and upset but also coming out. I mean, there are -- it grew very, very rapidly. It was a tiny number around when your show started around 5 o'clock today. And then within about a half hour, groups -- that joined -- today is shut down different businesses they say are complicit or assisting Israel.
So BNY Bank -- BNY Mellon Bank here in New York, the protesters were there today. Several were arrested. And different media outlets they've gone to as well. And it is not clear what is on the agenda tonight. They had tried to go to the Grand Central Station on previous nights. This is about as big as some of the protests have been.
We've seen much larger ones here in New York. There's another one scheduled for tomorrow in Brooklyn as well. So this is going to be from the people I've talked to tonight and ongoing protests until they see a ceasefire. Jake?
TAPPER: All right. Miguel Marquez, outside Penn Station, and I'm sure we are all hoping for a free Democratic Palestine someday, free from Hamas for sure.
An update in the hospital shooting in Concord, New Hampshire, state police say that the suspect is dead and then another person was shot inside the lobby of the building. We do not know the condition of that person. But we do know that the shooting, according to police, was contained to just the lobby area. They also say all patients inside the hospital are, thankfully, safe and that there is no threat to the public currently. We expect to get more updates from the police soon. Coming up Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern for the latest episode of the whole story with Anderson Cooper, CNN's Nima Elbagir has a person report from her home country of Sudan were stories of brutal war crimes and other atrocities remained out of reach for most Western media organizations. We showed you a clip of this earlier in the week, but I really do recommend that you watch the entire piece going home, the war in Sudan. Watch it. Follow Nima's emotional journey to her family home this Sunday 9:00 p.m. only here on CNN.
Sunday morning, I'll be on State of the Union, the guest, 2024 Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. That's Sunday morning at 9:00 Eastern, and again, at noon here on CNN. I will see you Sunday morning. Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer. He is in "THE SITUATION ROOM". See you Sunday morning.