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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Biden Not Sure He Would Seek Re-Election If Trump Was Not Running; Ukraine's White Angels Are A Lifeline For Those Who Stayed Behind; Former Israel Hostages Describe Torturous Conditions Before Being Released By Hamas; IDF Spokesman: Two Civilians Killed For Every Hamas Terrorist Would Be "Tremendously Positive" Ratio, Given Combat Challenges; Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Is Interviewed About Dems Plan Resolution Condemning Hamas' Use Of Sexual Violence; Fossil Fuel Industry Nearly Quadrupled Climate Summit Registrations In One Year. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired December 05, 2023 - 17:00   ET



DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: But as Biden is wanting to do in these scenarios where he's behind closed doors, he kind of reveals his innermost thoughts. And what we're seeing here is a real clearly defined rationale for Biden pursuing reelection despite his current political standing, which is not that great in the polls, obviously, the conversation about his age and concern among Democrats, if he is the best candidate to put forward.

What Joe Biden is making clear with these comments, he clearly thinks because he said also Democrats cannot let Trump win as a part of his compensate. He clearly thinks he is the single best Democrat to be able to defeat Donald Trump because he did so once. We'll see if it plays out this way.

I would also say, Jake, it raises the question, I know he's the big front runner. What if Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee? Does that mean President Biden is going to reconsider his reelection effort if that is the key rationale for his running?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Is this the kind of admission a candidate should be making?

CHALIAN: Well, it clearly is going to provide Donald Trump an opportunity here to talk about Joe Biden being more focused on him than anything else. But I do think of Joe Biden's critical mission at this time is starting to piece back his coalition of voters, some of which he's seen a diminishment of support, reminding those voters of the contrast with Donald Trump, and that Donald Trump is the target here could help rally the troops, if you will.

TAPPER: Interesting. David, stick around. I also want to bring in Kristen Holmes and Michael LaRosa, former Special Assistant to President Biden. Michael, you work for President Biden. Have you heard him say this before behind closed doors? And are you surprised he admitted this to people outside the White House?

MICHAEL LAROSA, FORMER BIDEN SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, we always heard him say, or everybody the way everybody always spoke about a second term, was never in doubt. It was always, you know, nobody runs for president for four years. And, you know, I kind of believe that. The guy has been trying to run for president his entire life. I don't believe that he'd be willingly giving up the presidency on his own if it were not Donald Trump.

However, I would like to see him start being more candid in public. I think these newsmaking events through pull reports are getting a little -- are a little weak. He needs to start being candid with everybody and, first of all, as David mentioned, a longtime Clinton person once told me fail to plan, plan to fail. What if it isn't Donald Trump? What if the contrast is him and Nikki Haley? I don't know if anybody, any Democrat, including the White House, wants that contrast.

In my lifetime, we haven't seen a primary turnout exactly the way it started. John Kerry had to remortgage his house in order to -- because everybody thought he was dead. Nobody thought Bernie Sanders would be taking Hillary Clinton to the convention. And I remember in 2007, when Charlie Cook said that Hillary was a freight train, now Obama should get out of her way. None of these primaries end up the way they start. And I would just caution, you know?

TAPPER: Yes. When you say what if it is Nikki Haley? I mean, all polls indicate that Nikki Haley would demolish Joe Biden in a one on one, although who knows. That's just a poll, it's not an actual election result. How do you think Donald Trump, as somebody who covers him, how do you think Donald Trump will react to his saying this?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I believe that the Trump campaign is likely to piece this together and serve it as red meat to the base. We will like to hear from Donald Trump tonight on this. He's going to be doing a town hall with Fox News instead of going into the debate tomorrow night.

But this really is part of his argument overall, is that Biden is personally out to get him that Democrats and Biden are out to get him. That's why they are "targeting him" with these indictments. And that is going to be part of this. They're saying, you know, essentially, what I just heard from one Republican operative, this is an opportunity for Trump's campaign to say, look, they really are actually after him. He doesn't even want to run for to be president of this country. It's all specific to Donald Trump.

TAPPER: These comments, as you know, make it clear that Biden believes he is the only Democrat that can beat Donald Trump. Because if he thought that Kamala Harris or Buttigieg, or Whitmer, or Newsom, or Klobuchar, if any of them, you know, could do it just maybe doesn't have a good chance but could do it, then theoretically, at least according to what he said, he might bow out. CHALIAN: And, Jake, this is very similar to what his thinking was four years ago. This is why he got in the race after Charlottesville. You recall that was his calling. And he looked at the field of Democrats that were running or planning to run at the time and he thought he was the only one that could actually see this through and prevent a Trump's second term. That feeling clearly has not dissipated in his thinking over these last four years.


TAPPER: Michael, what's your take? Do you think that no other Democrat could be Donald Trump? Or at the very least you think that Joe Biden is the strongest Democrat to take on Donald Trump?

LAROSA: Well, I understand his logic he beat to beat the guy by 8 million votes in the grand scheme of things. In the macro sense, it wasn't really that close of a race. See, it was the seventh closest in American history. So I understand why he says that, and a lot of people do believe that it takes -- it will take Biden to beat Trump again.

But there is a big bench of talent on the Democratic side. We just don't know that because there really isn't a choice. And to be honest, there usually isn't with an incumbent, right? This is pretty standard operating procedure. He earned the right to run for reelection. He's been one of the better performing first term presidents we've ever had.

TAPPER: And, Kristen, these comments come as Trump is trying to flip the switch and make it as though Joe Biden is actually the biggest threat to democracy even though Donald Trump is the first president in history that refuse to leave off his peacefully the first one to not allow a peaceful transfer of power the first one, that staged an insurrection or incited interaction the first one --

HOLMES: They continue to question our democratic process --

TAPPER: Yes, yes.

HOLMES: --like the election? I mean, that is the biggest key of democracy --

TAPPER: What is the strategy here?

HOLMES: This is Donald Trump's strategy always. And this is trying to really communicate with Republicans. He likes to flip the switch the script. And part of this is again, it's the same argument that he's been saying for months, which is that Joe Biden is against democracy because he is "coming after him," that these four indictments are Joe Biden using the Justice Department against Donald Trump, his political opponent.

The irony in this is the fact that Trump himself has said that if he is reelected, he would use the Justice Department to go after his political enemies, including Joe Biden. And this is just his argument. But I do want to be very clear. When I talk to his supporters at these rallies, they believe it. When he made this speech, they were cheering. This is something that he is communicating to them and they are eating it up. And I just think that needs to be made clear that despite the evidence, that is true,

TAPPER: Yes. I mean, they believe his lies. We've seen that in 2020 with the election lines. Yes. Thank you so much, one in all.

I want to bring in Senator Mark Warner. He's a Democrat from Virginia, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator, I have a lot of topics to ask you about.

I have to start with your reaction to President Biden telling donors today that he isn't sure he would be running for reelection if Donald Trump wasn't also running. What do you think of that?

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): You know, Jake, I don't know what to think. I know he got into the race because of Donald Trump. I think he believes he can run a strong race against Donald Trump. You know, I don't even have to go through the litany that you just went through of all the threats that Donald Trump poses to democracy. We're at a critical time right now. I think that it will get more attention. You know, are we actually going to stand by Ukraine in its willingness to defend against another autocratic figure --

TAPPER: It's my next question.

WARNER: -- like Vladimir Putin what it's like. But the back and forth of the, you know, that's your guy's job. Of course, all those parts of those comments.

TAPPER: Let's move on. So you just got out of this classified briefing about Ukraine and Israel, Democrats trying to pass new funding for these two countries. Your Republican colleagues, they're dug in. They insist that border policy changes and funding are also included. Take a listen to as few of your colleagues today.


SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD), MINORITY WHIP: Democrats need to understand that the issue itself of having a solution on the border isn't negotiable.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): You're not going to pick up 10 or 12. Republicans for some half assed deal on the border. I want to help Ukraine but we're going to help ourselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any things Zelenskyy could say today as part of this briefing to senators, yourself included, that would change your mind about requiring that border be a part of this?



TAPPER: So President Zelenskyy didn't actually end up briefing lawmakers today due to last minute scheduled change. But why not just add border funding? I mean, there is a problem on the border. There does need to be border funding. I don't really understand it. Republicans control the House. Democrats control the Senate. Ukraine funding, Israel funding, border funding, problem solved.

WARNER: Well, no. Amen. That's what Schumer is going to put on the floor tomorrow, $14 billion, second biggest single notion number in the $106 billion supplemental is border funding. Amen. I'm all in on border funding. What I think also happened was, I agree there needs to be policy changes. We have over 10,000 folks coming across the border the last couple of days, that is not something that's sustainable. And there was this three week negotiation and there were efforts on asylum there were efforts on parole. And count me in as yes on those changes.


But my understanding is the getting the goalposts keep changing in that they're trying to say the Full House Bill HR 2 take it or leave it. The unique thing is I think all 51 Democrats are for Ukraine and the Senate. About half of the Republican caucus is never going to vote for Ukraine under any circumstance.

So, yes, should we do something on board count me in, but the idea that they're going to pound their feet, if they don't get 100% of what they asked. And if the meantime, you basically play the Putin's hand, his expectation is the West in America are going to get tired of Ukraine. And ultimately, he will prevail. Not only if he prevails militarily but what it will do to NATO, what little will do in terms of President Xi and China. This would be a mistake of historic proportions.

I think we just need to bring the temperature down a little bit. Let's find a place on border that makes sense. But what the Democrats were offering was saying here, you guys have not come up with a border proposal in writing yet other than HR 2, let's get on the bill. And the first vote you get would be a border vote. So write your own amendment.

I'd be open to voting for that as long as it didn't completely, you know, go as far as the HR 2 build it. No Democrat I believe in either the House or the Senate, whatever support.

TAPPER: Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama announced today that he is finally releasing the bulk of his holds on military promotions, which includes promotions for three star general nominees and below. The Senate already took action approving hundreds of promotions by voice vote this evening. But he's still continuing to block the most senior promotions over his disagreement with the Pentagon's policy and abortion access for service members for travel. He's still doing some of this, though. And I'm wondering how detrimental are these continued higher ranking holds when it comes to America's military readiness?

WARNER: It's wacky, it's crazy. It's insulting to our members of our military. These folks had their lives put on hold. They earned this additional rank. Many of them could not move, their kids couldn't start a new school because they put on hold because one guy in the Senate does give individual senators a lot of power. But usually those senators use it responsibly.

If you've got people going out on limbs like this, and frankly, treating the military with disrespect, treating their other senators with disrespect, because the vast majority of Republicans thought he was crazy to hold this all up. Then, it is time. And I think there are a group of us probably not before the election, that may be trying to change some of these rules.

I just -- we can't have this kind of, you know, it's not fair to the military. It's also just frankly embarrassing in terms of how our legislative branch is being viewed by most Americans. I mean, most of the turmoil and drama has been in the house and it feels like the house is always a little bit wacky no matter which teams in charge. But when the Senate takes on those same kinds of characteristics, that's not a good look. I don't care which political party you belong to.

TAPPER: All right. Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence. Thanks so much for your time today.

WARNER: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: As mentioned senators just came out of that classified briefing on global conflicts. Up next, CNN's closer look at the war in Ukraine and the toll it has taken after a year and a half of war. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our World Lead, as US military aid to Ukraine rapidly dries up it is shaping up to be a bitter winter for that country, Russia continues to target apartment buildings where civilians live. Ukraine's Air Force says Russia launched 17 drones and 16 guided missiles overnight. CNN's Anna Coren is in Ukraine where she spent time with a courageous group that is the lifeline for communities under constant Russian bombardment.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At a warehouse stocked with humanitarian aid, 23-year-old police officer Dmytro Solovii picks up supplies. Food, water, hygiene products and a generator are on the list. He's part of the White Angels Unit, and they're heading to his hometown of Avdiivka in the Donetsk Region on the eastern front, with one of the most fierce and bloody battles is being waged in the war in Ukraine.

I was born in this town, he tells me. My neighbors are there, my relatives, my friends. It's my duty to help them. We are their hope.

But getting to Avdiivka is a deathtrap. Shortly after leaving us with his GoPro rolling, he spots Russian shelling through windscreen.

Look, the bomb has landed, report incoming of an ugly bastard. And there's another one, he tells his (inaudible).

Russian artillery, mortars and drones target the road and yet Dmytro remains calm. This perilous journey has become routine despite

multiple close calls. Driving past the sign that proudly states Avdiivka is Ukraine, the town of once 30,000 residents is now deserted, devoid of the living, as almost every single building has been shelled.

But surprisingly, some people still live here, including Dr. Vitalii Sytnyk, head of the local hospital. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, he's decided he's not going anywhere.

We have a job and we do it, he explained. He called the White Angels to evacuate a man who just been injured from shrapnel. As they load him into the van, the idle chatter is interrupted.

Incoming, it's a mortar explains the doctor. Sometimes it rustles and then bang, that would be a tank. As explosions get louder, it's time to go that.

This is the road to of Avdiivka. There is one way in, one way out. We are not allowed to travel to the town which is 17 kilometers away. The military has banned all media saying it's just too dangerous.


But for the White Angels, they travel on this road multiple times a week risking their lives to support the less than 1,300 people still living in the town.

As the White Angels begin the dangerous drive out, Dmytro reflects. It's very sad what's happening to my town, but one day we'll rebuild Avdiivka. And I will live there with my grandchildren. We just need to believe. A belief that keeps this community among the ruins alive.


TAPPER: That's White Angels, Jake. They're incredibly courageous. As we know this war is approaching the end of its second year and that US aid is absolutely vital. It cannot be underestimated. But we know it's under threat. US Congress is due to vote on that $61 billion military aid package tomorrow. The Republicans, as we know, they are wavering and that would be absolutely devastating if it was not to get through.

President Zelenskyy, he was supposed to make a last ditch appeal to the House and the Senate via video link tonight. That was ditch at the very last minute. We don't know why, Jake. However, what we can tell you is we've returned from the eastern front spending time with soldiers who are fighting that battle in Avdiivka. They say it is difficult that sacrifices are being made blood and treasure being spent, but they will fight. They just need the weapons.

TAPPER: Anna Coren in Kyiv for us, thank you so much. Then, of course there's the war in Israel and Gaza, and two occasions of former hostages describing what the terrorists of Hamas did to them in captivity including drugging them before parading them before the cameras before their release. Some of those accounts are next.



TAPPER: Today we are learning some terrifying new details about Israelis who were held hostage by Hamas. Some of them were given Clonazepam right before they were freed by Hamas to make them seem happier and less anxious, less frightened in the middle of a terrifying environment. That's according to an Israeli Health Minister office.

Also today, a private meeting with Israel's Security Cabinet got contentious as former hostages testified about their horrifying experiences in the custody after being kidnapped by Hamas. We want to show you some of the quotes that were released by the hostage and missing families forum which says it was not -- which, I'm sorry, which says it was present for the meeting.

CNN cannot corroborate the testimony with the individuals themselves but one former hostage reportedly told the cabinet, "They, meaning Hamas, touch girls and everyone knows it. I won't recount details but we had a procedure that no one moves without someone guarding them." Hamas, of course, committed acts of sexual violence against female hostages. This, of course, on top of other accounts of rape.

Another hostage told the cabinet quote I was dehydrated for 51 days. They didn't give us water. They are inhumane. Hamas deprived hostages of life's basic necessities they said, "I thought I was going to die. I wanted to be shot." Hamas made hostages wish for death, they said. Another hostage said this, "They told us there's no Israel. We believe them. They made us believe there's no Israel anymore." Hamas used psychological warfare against the hostages they testified.

This afternoon, President Biden spoke about the hostages at a fundraiser with donors where he said in part, "Over the past few weeks, survivors and witnesses of the attacks have shared the horrific accounts of unimaginable cruelty reports of women raped, repeatedly raped and their bodies being mutilated while still alive of women corpses being desecrated." Hamas terrorists inflicting as much pain and suffering on women and girls as possible, and then murdering them. It is appalling."

The President went on to say, "The world can't just look away at what's going on. It's on all of us, government, international organizations, civil society and businesses to forcefully condemn the sexual violence of Hamas terrorists without equivocation."

Last night, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces told CNN that killing two Palestinian civilians for every Hamas terrorist during their campaign in Gaza is a good ratio. In fact, he said it is "tremendously positive." Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF INTERNATIONAL SPOKESMAN: And I can say that if that is true, and I think that our numbers will be corroborated. If you compare that ratio to any other conflict in urban terrain, between a military and a terrorist organization using civilians as their human shields and embedded in the civilian population, you will find that that ratio is tremendous, tremendously positive, and perhaps unique in the world.


TAPPER: Now, those numbers, that ratio two to one, came from AFP news, citing a briefing for foreign media by senior Israeli military officials. But today, that spokesman from the IDF, Lieutenant General Jonathan Conricus, attempted to clarify saying that he'd seen the report, but he had actually not confirmed the numbers for himself. But let us discuss those numbers. Let's bring in retired US Army Lieutenant General Mark Schwartz.

So, General Schwartz, is that ratio if it were to be true, two civilians in Gaza killed for every one Hamas terrorist, would that ratio for urban combat, would that be tremendously positive?


LT. GENERAL MARK SCHWARTZ (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Hi, Jake. Good afternoon. It's good to be with you. One, I just think the statements irresponsible and concerning, particularly if, you know, that's what's being used inside of the IDF General Staff for the Ministry of Defense in terms of, you know, measuring the performance of airstrikes and ground combat, so, no, it is not. And, you know, the goal, obviously, the objective is, you know, violent as ground combat is, and urban combat is to mitigate to every extent possible, the loss of innocence today in life.

TAPPER: So, we know that Hamas terrorists embed within the civilian population. And that's obviously first and foremost, the reason why there is such a high civilian death rate, that's number one. Number two, obviously, the U.S. wants the IDF to do a lot more to protect civilian life. And we can get to that in a second. But let's just focus on the first thing for now, how do Hamas's tactics compare to other terrorist groups that we've seen in other urban combat situations, such as Mosul or Fallujah, or in Afghanistan? Do other terrorist groups embed themselves within civilian populations to the degree that Hamas does?

SCHWARTZ: So I would say yes, certainly, my experience in Afghanistan far greater than from Iraq, but even my initial experience in Iraq, they certainly did. And, you know, not wearing uniforms despite the, you know, theater that Hamas tried to put on with the release of the hostages of looking like this, you know, formal military organization, make no mistake, they're a terrorist organization, so definitely more difficult.

The other challenge, of course, is we've got 1.8 -- approximately 1.8 million people all consolidated now in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, so that just only compounds the problem and reinforces, you know, the importance of when they're conducting room clearing the IDF and whatnot of clearly, you know, delineating between what is a truly an imminent threat versus, you know, civilians are truly being used as shields by Hamas terrorists.

TAPPER: So when it comes to humanitarian international laws of war, as I understand it, there's actually no specific ratio, you know, three civilians for every one terrorist or militant that you're targeting, it's not that simple. It's, fungible, like every military gets to make it up for themselves as long as they are thinking about it. And it also is the situation all and how high ranking the individual is.

So it's not clear at all, that what Israel is doing, in general terms, violates any sort of international law. It is -- it has been made clear by the Biden administration that they think Israel is taking risks with civilian populations that the U.S. would not. On the other hand, I look at all the civilian casualties that did take place in Iraq and did take place in Afghanistan. And while I am quite sure that our troops and our service members were doing everything they could to avoid that, there were a lot of civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

SCHWARTZ: Yes, Jake, that's a sobering reality of combat. Unfortunately, civilians, innocent civilians get caught up and are killed as a result of lethal operations. You're right that there is no, you know, international standard, per se. And it's not the military that makes that decision, certainly not in the United States. It is our, you know, civil authorities.

In terms of the proportionality, the criticality of the target, as you mentioned, potentially Hamas senior leadership, there's probably discussions that I'm confident there are inside of the targeting cells, that the IDF running and supporting this campaign, looking at, if they find you know, key individuals, especially key leadership, you know, the proportionality and criticality of that target relative to the potential loss of civilian life or, you know, seriously wounded.

TAPPER: When you hear the IDF say, and again, I don't know, I mean, in the fog of war and all the destruction of Gaza, I have no idea what numbers are actually accurate, but when you hear them say that they think the ratio, pardon me, of two civilians killed for every one Hamas fighter and that they think will be -- will compare favorably with other comparable urban fighting situations. Do you know what they're talking about? Is there some sort of measure of that out there for the last 25 years?


SCHWARTZ: To my knowledge, there absolutely is not. Certainly, I never saw it in my, you know, 33 of -- in the military and certainly, you know, over the last 20 after 9/11. You know, I just -- I was really surprised by those comments when they came out. And the fact that they -- that, you know, whether the prime minister or the General Staff of Ministry Defense, I think haven't corrected, you know, those comments today, there's also you know, a bit concerning. TAPPER: Retired Lieutenant General Mark Schwartz, thank you so much for your expertise. Really appreciate it.

SCHWARTZ: Thank you, Jake.

This just in, a new statement from Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State after she was criticized for how she discussed Hamas and sexual violence, comments she made right here on CNN. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our World Lead today, the House passed a Republican-led resolution condemning anti-Semitism while two House Democrats plans to introduce a resolution this week condemning Hamas's use of sexual violence and rape against Israeli women and girls. Sexual violence and rape typically an easy thing to condemn, one would think, full stop. But the resolution has been drafted in the wake of these comments on CNN from Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Rape is horrific sexual assault is horrific. I think that it happens in war situations. Terrorist organizations like Hamas, obviously are using these as tools. However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians.


TAPPER: The congresswoman today released a statement defending these remarks saying, quote, I understand that I have critics who disagree with me on policy, but for them to insinuate that I would think, say or act in any way that equivocates on rape is outrageous and completely inconsistent with my record and life's work, unquote.

Democratic Congressman Jared Moskowitz of Florida is here to discuss. He and a couple of Republicans are backing a commission to study acts of anti-Semitism in the United States. Congressman, what was your response when you watched that interview with Congresswoman Jayapal? And what was your reaction to her statement today?

REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL), FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Well, thanks, Jake. Well, look, I'm happy she put out that statement. I'm glad she clarified it. Because by the way, when you watch the interview, I mean, it wasn't confusing just to viewers. I mean, boy, Dana Bash was even bewildered by the response. It was almost like the congresswoman was concerned that she was criticizing Hamas too much and wanted to make sure that she gave Israel equal time for her criticism, because she kept trying to change the subject back to Israel, like, oh, well, October 7th happened a long time ago. Let's just talk about yesterday. And so look, it can't just be that when it happens to women except for Jews, we have a different rule. This is not something that has been disputed, by the way, at all. But look, the U.N. has shown that it was difficult to condemn this act. I mean, the U.N. could barely condemn Hamas. And so this is something that we're seeing out there. And it's -- it border lines, blatant double standard for Israel and borderlines anti-Semitism.

TAPPER: Do you think the Democratic Party has an anti-Semitism problem?

MOSKOWITZ: Well, of course, anti-Semitism is a bipartisan issue, OK? Let's not pretend like it's just my friends who like to have dinner, you know, with Holocaust deniers at Mar-a-Lago. This is a bipartisan issue. And the problem is Democrats only want to call out, you know, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar and Trump when they do it. And they don't want to call it out when it's in their own party.

But, you know, it's easy to do it when it's across the aisle, it's much harder to do it when it's coming from within your own House. And I just think that it was -- it wasn't acceptable before October 7th. But if -- October 7th isn't a wakeup call for the Jewish community and for other people who care about hatred and bigotry, not just in this country, around the world. We have to call it out, even when it's coming from our friends.

It's uncomfortable, especially people you have to work with or that live in your own home or that hey, you serve in Congress with and that you serve on committees with, you might sit next to them. We have to point out to them that it's unacceptable. This would never be happening with another minority group. This would never be happening if this was coming -- if this was about, you know, racism. We would never be seeing this. But when it comes to Jews and anti-Semitism, you know, there seems to be just a completely different standard.

TAPPER: So you mentioned Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene, both of whom attended this white supremacist convention, hosted by Nick Fuentes, who also dined with Donald Trump. Nick Fuentes is a notorious Holocaust denier who was racist, was anti-Semitic. And he has been talking to people in the Texas Republican Party launch which resulted in the Texas State GOP Executive Committee, somebody's trying to propose a ban on associated with Nazi sympathizer and Holocaust deniers. And that was rejected that ban.

You know, a prominent conservative activist caught meeting with Nick Fuentes. But Texas Republicans thought a ban on fraternizing with Nazis might be a slippery slope or too vague. And I have to say, I haven't gone around to every Texas Republican or every Republican in Congress to ask them what they think. But it doesn't seem too heavy a lift to say that you shouldn't be fraternizing with Holocaust deniers and fraternizing with Nazis.

MOSKOWITZ: Yes. This is the first time. I've heard someone say that we don't want to do something with Nazis because that might be a slippery slope. A slippery slope to where? I mean, we're talking about Nazis. I mean, that used to be something that automatically people would say that this is unacceptable. But no, I mean, look, you know, Nick Fuentes went to Mar-a-Lago and had tea and dinner with the former president. So did Kanye West.

The right in this country has a problem when it comes to these Neo Nazis. We've seen the rallies and the marches in Florida and other places. And we see people on -- in the Republican Party just be silent. And they're silent because unfortunately, those are their voters. And the same thing is happening on the Democratic Party, when we see ceasefire rallies and marches, which is a foreign policy issue.


But we see people in that crowd holding sides -- signs that say, kill the Jews and cleanse the Jews. We don't see a lot of people on the left calling that out. They're just quiet about it. Like the signs didn't happen. Or when we see posters of hostages being ripped off of light poles around this country as if Jews are don't exist, that they need to be erased.

Again, we see people on the left just ignoring that and being quiet. And we have to call it out. This can't be normalized. And so this is a bipartisan issue. You know, we're losing bipartisanship in this country. It's unfortunate that the one place that we see it is when it comes to being an anti-Semite.

TAPPER: Do you think that when your two colleagues, your two Democratic colleagues introduce a resolution condemning Hamas's use as sexual violence and rape against Israeli women? Do you think that Democrats are going to -- there are going to be some Democrats that vote against it?

MOSKOWITZ: No. I think they'll all vote for it. Because I think actually, they saw what happened. And I was thinking to congresswoman's clarification on that is extremely helpful. But this is part of a pattern, right? It's -- this is not just happening all of a sudden. We've seen a pattern of this, that there is a double standard. Even how Israel is being criticized in this war, look, Israel is not perfect.

But I mean, Israel has to live up to the highest of the high standards that the United States cannot meet, or any other country could not meet. And so you know, that's just something that we deal with, in reality as being a Jew in this country, every single solitary day, around the world, and even in Congress is that there is just a different standard. We saw just a couple of years ago, we tried to pass an anti-Semitism resolution when Democrats had control of Congress. And we couldn't get that done by unless we put every other group in there simultaneously.

And so there's always a watering down that, oh, it's not as bad or don't worry, it's, you know, it's just the Jews. And this is something that the Jewish community is starting to rally around and starting to amplify because October 7th show the Jewish community that, yes, the Holocaust was a long time ago, but there are people who will still carry those same sentiments today, around the world and in this country, Jake.

TAPPER: You think every House Democrat is going to vote for that resolution against Hamas using rape and sexual violence, every single one?

MOSKOWITZ: I would hope so. I mean, if they vote present, then obviously they're going to have to answer to the women of America.

TAPPER: I might be willing to do a wager with you offline. Democratic Congressman Jared Moskowitz, thanks so much for your time.

MOSKOWITZ: Thanks Jake.

TAPPER: Ahead, a sobering reality check on what some say is the greatest threat of our lifetime. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our Earth Matters Series, the decade between 2011 and 2020 was the hottest decade on record for our planet. That is according to a U.N. agency report released today at the COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai. The report says the doubling of methane over that decade was particularly concerning. Miles O'Brien is here. He's a CNN analyst and science correspondent for PBS NewsHour. Miles at the rate at which emissions are rising and the planet is heating, scientists warn it will be even more difficult for humans and ecosystems to adapt. So in the year 2030, how might our daily lives look different than they do today?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, the numbers are stark, Jake, OK? By 2034 now, it is estimated we have to get to net zero, which is to say we are offsetting whatever carbon we output with some sort of mitigation to get down to zero at the bottom line. And if we don't do that, or if we do that, we'll still only have a 50 percent chance of getting to the 1.5 degree maximum that we agreed to in Paris, we're already at 1.2 degrees and look at what we're dealing with all around us. So we're already well on our way to trouble and we're not doing nearly enough to reach that goal.

TAPPER: A draft agreement at COP28 calls for scaling up carbon capture and removal. That's a technique that removes carbon pollution from the air and then it stores it or reuses it. Now critics argue this is expensive. It's unproven, and it's a distraction from policies to address fossil fuels. Still, do you think carbon capture is better than nothing?

O'BRIEN: Carbon Capture has a place, Jake, in tough ones like the production of concrete or steel. But if you're using carbon capture simply as an excuse to continue drilling, poking holes in the ground to pull oil up and burn it in natural gas plants or continue operating coal plants, you're missing the point. We have a green energy revolution which is working. We have cheaper better ways to produce electricity and to spend all of this money to sis -- well, let's max out the fossil fuel industry once again continuing their outright lies.

TAPPER: Yes. Fossil fuel industry employees and representatives nearly quadrupled registrations at this year's COP28 Summit compared to last year. Does that make it more difficult to enact meaningful change? Or are they partners in this?

O'BRIEN: It does, because we're talking about all of this greenwashing. You've got a climate conference that has 100,000 people that are there and huge numbers of fossil fuel representatives. Just the carbon footprint alone to the event is staggering.

TAPPER: Right.

O'BRIEN: But the influence that this industry has it's, well, it's hard to overstate it, I think.

TAPPER: And that's what I wanted to ask you about the carbon footprint because many of the leaders of the big names who flew to the conference in Dubai, a lot of them did so on private jets. And obviously, it's more than just an appearance of hypocrisy for some of them. It's actual hypocrisy. I get that some of them have to fly private, but what is your take on that?


O'BRIEN: Not only is it bad optics, it's just horrible for the climate. And let's consider one thing, Dubai is the home of Emirates Airlines, great airline.


O'BRIEN: Why not fly it. It's a lot less of a carbon impact.

TAPPER: All right, Miles O'Brien, always good to see you sir. Thanks so much.

O'BRIEN: Welcome.

TAPPER: Be right back.


TAPPER: That election music again. All right, some big events coming up in the 2024 race. CNN is going to host two town halls next week. On Tuesday I'll moderate a conversation between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Republican and Republican leaning voters in Iowa. Then on Wednesday, CNN's Abby Phillips up to bat, she'll host the town hall with Republican candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy. Look for both at 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN, Tuesday and Wednesday. We'll also stream them on CNN Max, and on CNN mobile apps.


One more programming note, knockout rounds of the NBA in-season tournament begin tonight. Eight teams remain. See who will survive. Coverage starts at 7 o'clock Eastern. Catch it on TNT and streaming on Max. Until then, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, X, and on the TikTok at Jake Tapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever miss an episode of The Lead, you can listen to the show all two hours whence you get your podcasts.

Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in a place I like to call The Situation Room. See you tomorrow.