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The Lead with Jake Tapper

CNN Analysis: Israel Dropped Hundreds Of 2,000-Pound Bombs On Gaza; Trump On "Poisoning The Blood" Remarks: I Meant Exactly What I Said; Supreme Court Won't Expedite Appeal In Trump Immunity Dispute; FDA Warns Of Counterfeit Versions Of Ozempic In The U.S.; Jeremy Arnold: "Die Hard" Is A Christmas Movie. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired December 22, 2023 - 17:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour new reaction after the rejection from the U.S. Supreme Court denying the request from Special Counsel Jack Smith to settle this dispute over whether Donald Trump has immunity from prosecution because he committed these acts, alleged acts, as president. This is in his federal election subversion case. I'm going to talk to a former Trump attorney coming up.

Plus new warnings about Ozempic, one of the most popular drugs out there for diabetes and of course for weight loss. What you need to know about the fakes, the counterfeits leaked into the market.

Leading this hour, however, Israel is indicating today that it plans to widen its military operation against Hamas in Gaza. Ordering residents in the central part of the strip to find safety in shelters. Let's get right to CNN's Jeremy Diamond is on the ground for us in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Jeremy, the U.N. Security Council finally passed this resolution. It's been watered down a bit. It calls for quote extended humanitarian pauses to ensure that aid gets into Gaza. You went to the Kerem Shalom crossing today. That's one of the few crossings between Gaza and Israel. What did you see there? What's going on there?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, even before the United Nations passed this resolution today, the U.S. was already bringing enormous pressure to bear on Israel to allow the entry of more aid into Gaza and to allow it directly from Israel into Gaza. And over the last week, about 300 plus trucks have been able to go directly from Israel, get security inspections at this Kerem Shalom crossing and go into Gaza. We saw dozens of those trucks making that very journey today. But still, it is simply not enough to meet the enormous humanitarian need that exists in Gaza right now. The U.N. World Food Program has warned that about half of Gaza's population is experiencing severe or extreme hunger. And yet today, I spoke with Colonel Moshe Tetro who is in charge for the Israeli military of coordinating the delivery of that aid into Gaza and he looked at us with a straight face and he said that there is no food shortage in Gaza right now. I pressed him on that. Listen.


COL. MOSHE TETRO, IDF OFFICER COORDINATING GAZA AID: Like I've told you, there are 10s of trucks loaded with food entering the Gaza Strip every day. There are 1000s of tons of food entering the Gaza Strip every day.

DIAMOND: But why would you say that there is no food shortage in Gaza? Doesn't that suggest that you're disconnected with the reality that the people are experiencing there?

TETRO: Like I've told you in the briefing, we are doing daily analysis of the situation with the international organization and with other parties and other sectors like the private sector.


DIAMOND: And now this resolution passed by the United Nations calls for appointing a senior U.N. official to help coordinate the delivery of this aid in the U.S. even though they abstained hailed the resolution and said it will help to expedite the delivery of that much needed aid into Gaza.

TAPPER: I don't know why they think that doublespeak is a positive thing for them to do. But moving on, Jeremy, today we learned that an American citizen who had been kidnapped by Hamas has been killed. He's been confirmed dead. Seventy-three year old to Gad Haggai, who was a dual Arab and Israel -- I mean, dual American and Israeli citizen. He was a grandfather.

He was a member of kibbutz Nir Oz. He was abducted with his wife on October 7. Moments ago, President Biden released a statement about this latest American killed by Hamas. Tell us about it.

DIAMOND: Yes, this is the statement from the President, "Jill and I are heartbroken by the news that American Gad Haggai is now believed to have been killed by Hamas on October 7." He says, "We continue to pray for the well-being and safe return of his wife Judy. Their daughter joined by phone my meeting with the families of hostages last week. Those families bravely shared with me their harrowing ordeal that they have endured over the past months as they await news of their loved ones. It's intolerable."

And he says, "I reaffirm the pledge we have made to all the families of those still held hostage, we will not stop working to bring them home."

Of course, Gad Haggai's body is still being held hostage in Gaza, even though he has now passed away and that's because Hamas is believed to be holding about at least 20 dead Israeli hostages as bargaining chips still. But these negotiations, Jake, are going nowhere fast. Israel has put a couple of proposals on the table, clearly looking to try and find a way to bring hostages homes, provide a week long pause in the fighting. But Hamas for its part says it won't negotiate as long as the hostilities continue. Jake. [17:05:00]

TAPPER: Yes, Hamas still holds Americans hostage. And by our count, Gad Haggai makes at least the 54th American that Hamas has killed since October 7, including October 7. CNN's Jeremy Diamond in Tel Aviv, thanks.

A bombardment not seen since Vietnam, that's how one former U.S. defense official and U.N. war crimes investigator describes Israel's first months of strikes against Hamas in Gaza. CNN's Nima Elbagir and her team analyze the craters left by the 2,000-pound bombs finding the sheer size and destruction likely tracing back to munitions manufactured by the United States. She brings us this report. We must warn our viewers what you're going to see contain some disturbing images.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even at a distance, the devastation wrought on Gaza is unmistakable.

ELBAGIR: We are a few 100 meters here from the boundary with Gaza. But even here, you get a sense of the degree of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the sheer intensity and scale.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): This is what that looks like up close. Scenes of destruction have become all too for many here. Hit the aftermath of another Israeli airstrike, this time in late October at the Jabalia refugee camp in, one of the most densely populated residential areas in Gaza. The bomb that caused this damage is a 2,000-pound bomb, likely made in the USA dropped by the Israeli Air Force at least four times as powerful as the vast majority of the bombs used by the U.S. in its fight against ISIS.

In densely populated Gaza, the human cost is incomparable. Whole families wiped out in one blow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These are their names. They were blameless. They are all innocent.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Jabalia refugee camp is one of the epicenters of Israel's bombing campaign. To understand the complete picture and scale of the destruction in Gaza, you need to look from above. In coordination with artificial intelligence companies, Synthetic, CNN was able to locate over 1,900 craters left behind by bombardment in just the first month of the war. Using AI, we analyzed the diameter of these craters, over 500 of which were greater than 40 feet in diameter, consistent with American made 2,000-pound bombs used by the Israeli Air Force. Our analysis covers the one month period to November 6, in which a staggering 10,000 people are believed to have died.

The U.S.'s most senior Middle East diplomat testified on November 9, the number of dead could be even higher. BARBARA LEAF, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS: Than this period of conflict and conditions of war. It is very difficult for any of us to assess what the rate of casualties are. We think they're very high, frankly. And it could be that they're even higher than are being cited.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Yet the U.S. continues to back Israel's bombardment. So why is the death toll so staggering? Because it's not just about the point of impact. This is a crate caused by a 2,000- pound bomb. The potential kill zone from that crater can spread up to 365 meters, that's 1200 feet, an area equivalent to roughly 60 soccer pitches or around 90 American football fields.

The IDF told CNN, "In stark contrast to Hamas' intentional attacks on Israeli men, women and children, the IDF follows international law and takes feasible precautions to mitigate civilian harm." But is that true? This is just north of the shanty refugee camp along the main coastal road. When you go in closer, you can see in just this small neighborhood at least nine craters consistent with 2,000-pound bombs, which means the potential kill zone could encompass this entire area. CNN and Synthetic's analysis of the devastation of Gaza shows extensive bombardment.

In an area this densely populated and using these bombs, it's inherently indiscriminate, and the human cost continues to soar, surpassing 20,000. Many of the dead still unburied, still under the rubble, with no end in sight.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Sderot.


TAPPER: Joining me now to discuss as a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mark Regev

Mark, thank you so much for being here. So, you heard the report, CNN reporting that in the first month of the war against Hamas, Israel dropped hundreds of 2,000-pound bombs on Gaza. Is that going to be the plan going forward still using these giant so called dumb bombs that are not as precision as other munitions the IDF has?


MARK REGEV, SENIOR ADVISER TO ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I would reject any allegation that Israel is somehow acting in a way that would be considered against the rules of armed conflict. And I've been in meetings with U.S. officials where we've demonstrated, we've shown our rigorous process of target selection. We don't indiscriminately bomb. We -- it's always based on intelligence. We always look at issues like collateral damage.

We always look at the sort of ordinance that is right for the specific target. There's a process you have to tick all the boxes until the decision is finally taken to use that sort of ordinance.

TAPPER: And I was told that a few weeks ago when that brigadier general from the IDF briefed members of Congress that were members of Congress asked about the use of these so called dumb bombs, and not precision munitions, that the general said that they were needed to go after the tunnels where Hamas is. Is that the reason?

REGEV: I don't want to go into operational reasons. But I can say this, you had a previous report, which about the use of so called dumb bombs. And then you had in the report, you quoted a senior U.S. official, who said the way the tactics that the Israeli Air Force had adopted in using these weapons actually made them precision, because we use the way we launched the weapons was close up DoD bombing tactics. Once again, we don't bomb indiscriminately. It's not correct.

TAPPER: Last week at a White House Hanukkah reception, as you know, President Biden discussed a conversation he had with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Biden use the term indiscriminate bombing to describe why he thinks Israel has eroding global support. And then the response from Netanyahu was, according to President Biden, quote, well, you carpet bomb Germany, you dropped the atom bomb, a lot of civilians died," unquote. What is the response? You say that you're not bombing indiscriminately? President Biden seems to think you are and the pushback, according to Biden from Netanyahu was, to discuss how the U.S. bombed Dresden and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which I'm not sure that's a comparison that you want to invite.

REGEV: So I'm not going to go into what might have been sent in a conversation on the phone between the President and the Prime Minister. Those conversations obviously have to remain confidential. But I can say this, I think when we compare the use of weapons by the Israeli military, and you compare that with other western militaries in similar situations, when, let's say America or your allies have been fighting terrorists in urban areas, I think the efforts that we utilize to safeguard civilian populations, giving them warning messages, asking them to leave areas of combat, phone calls, dropping leaflets, actually specifying now which areas they can go to, I think we go above and beyond many others in our efforts to safeguard the civilian population.

TAPPER: The numbers that we've seen, though, in terms of the estimated number of deaths of Palestinians, even if you assume that 50 percent of them are Hamas militants or terrorists, which I'm not sure anybody's making that argument quite, but are that Israel has killed more civilians in the last two and a half months than the United States did in the entire first year of the war in Iraq against Saddam Hussein?

REGEV: So, as Secretary Blinken just said, what was it, two days ago? He said, well, that's because of Hamas' strategy. And people should be open about this. It's Hamas that is deliberately using gas and civilians as a shield for its terror machine. It's Hamas that embeds itself under schools.

It's Hamas that embeds itself under mosques, and the U.N. facilities and the residential neighborhoods and the hospitals. They have, through their strategy, deliberately endangered Gaza civilians. And we are trying to make a maximum effort in the war against Hamas to try to get civilians out of the -- out of the Crossfire, but it's very, very, very difficult.

TAPPER: What's your reaction to the resolution passed today by the United Nations Security Council that causes -- that calls for a pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas so as to get more aid in to help the Palestinian people in Gaza?

REGEV: But first, I want to thank the United States of America whose diplomatic support is very much appreciated here in Jerusalem. Without the threat of an American veto, we would have had another one sided terrible resolution like the one that was proposed a few weeks ago, which only gave Hamas a lifeline. And your viewers need to understand, Jake, that a resolution that calls for a unilateral, immediate unconditional ceasefire is just going to keep Hamas in power. And if Hamas stays in power, they've said so, you've reported this, they've said so that they would do the October 7 attack again and again and again.


So people, maybe some people of goodwill think, oh, this is good. We're going to end the bloodshed. No. This is a recipe for further bloodshed down the road. There is no peace with Hamas. Hamas says so openly, they say they believe in permanent war with Israel.

And any resolution that gives a lifeline to Hamas has to be opposed. I thank the United States government. And I think all of Israel thinks the United States Government for making sure that such resolution was not passed.

TAPPER: Mark Regev, thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it.

REGEV: My pleasure.

TAPPER: Big news here in Washington, D.C., the U.S. supreme court denied a major request by Special Counsel Jack Smith and his presidential immunity dispute with Donald Trump. How might this play out in the 2024 race as the Republican front runner scores a winner? Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our 2024 lead, former President Donald Trump in an interview earlier today was given a chance to clear up any confusion about his Hitler echoing comments in which he said that immigrants from South America, Africa, and Asia, not Europe, just South America, Africa, and Asia are, quote, "poisoning the blood" of our country. Here's how that went.



HUGH HEWITT, THE HUGH HEWITT SHOW TODAY HOST: The most controversial thing you've said is the illegal immigrants are poisoning our blood. Will you explain again what do you mean by that? DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Exactly what I said.


TAPPER: He keeps getting these opportunities from conservative anchors who want him to be normal. And they -- he keeps refusing them. Sean Hannity did that also. He cleared it up, he meant exactly what he said. This time actually, Trump even took the rhetoric a step further.


TRUMP: They have people coming in, we don't even know what the language is that they speak. We have nobody that speaks the language. And they're loading up our classes. We're loading up our classes, our school classes with children that don't speak the language. They don't speak our language, and nobody knows what's going on. No, we are poisoning our country, we're poisoning the blood of our country."


TAPPER: So, it's not just poisoning the blood of our country. Let's discuss this with the panel now. He's actually now citing immigrant children, as an example of poisoning the blood of the country.

JOE WALSH, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, ILLINOIS: Jake, cut to the chase. Trump means what he said. And the scary thing is this works, this place with the base, this is what the base wants to hear. I used to be a part of that base, Jake, this issue of immigration and people flooding over the border, nothing winds up the base more than that. Trump knows what he's doing.

TAPPER: And you saw this poll in the Des Moines Register suggesting that a plurality of Iowa Republican caucus goers, actually that that rhetoric poisoning the blood makes them more likely to vote for Trump, as opposed to less likely.

ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I've been covering immigration policy since the Trump administration. And this is exactly from the playbook that we saw on 2020. Often diving into, let's just be honest, xenophobic language --


KANNO-YOUNGS: -- when it comes to trying to galvanize his base. And you're right, it has shown that it's effective. According to polls, it is worth saying that --

TAPPER: In a Republican primary.

KANNO-YOUNGS: In a Republican primary.


TAPPER: Yes. KANNO-YOUNGS: I was just about to say it's worth mentioning that when this was tried, when convert -- when the language and focus on caravans and the border was tried before the 2018 midterms, they actually did not get the results, Republicans did not get the results that they wanted, as well as in the last presidential election. But you're going to continue to hear this language. And to be clear, the policy proposals that the former president has already proposed, if he was to be elected, again, are even more aggressive than when he was in office. You're talking about mass deportations scaling up detention once again, as well as even more travel bans that we saw previously.

TAPPER: In 2018 when he used that caravan scare tactic before, we should note, yes, it was not electorally successful.


TAPPER: There was the tree of life synagogue shooting.


TAPPER: Remember, part of the great replacement theory is that Jews are funding the replacement of white people in the country with these brown and black immigrants. So the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in 2018, the El Paso Walmart --

ALLISON: That's right.

TAPPER: -- shooting in which dozens of Latinos were killed. So maybe it does that electorally successful. I also have talked to lots of national security experts who worry this rhetoric is part of what is behind, not necessarily directly from Donald Trump. But in general, the rhetoric is what is fueling these mass shootings of minorities.

ALLISON: When you have a platform like Donald Trump has, and you use it in such an irresponsible way to target individuals. I know we talk politics, but there's a part of me that is it's bigger than politics, because at the end of the day, people's lives are at risk. When you see hate crimes or Asian Americans go up when he says condescending things about the coronavirus because it started in China. When you hear him call African immigrants, a whole countries and s whole countries, how people treat African immigrants. When you said in 2016 that you called Mexicans rapists.

My question, though, is why then is he still the front runner for the Republican Party? What does that say about our country?

WALSH: Well, that -- yes.

ALLISON: And so many people for so long have said, oh, you know, we're making progress. This is why so many minority groups of color are waving a flag saying wake up, folks, we're in real danger, not just for our democracy, but for individual safety.

TAPPER: But he's making inroads in polls with minorities, Donald Trump and the Republicans. WALSH: Absolutely. I think this plays with a lot of working class Americans. Look, not in Trump's defense, with this issue of the border is a vulnerability for Democrats.

TAPPER: Of course.

WALSH: Trump takes it --

KANNO-YOUNGS: Absolutely. Absolutely.

TAPPER: We're discovering it --


TAPPER: -- early in the show, of course.

WALSH: Trump takes it to an ugly bigoted place, but this is an issue.

TAPPER: I want to play some sound that was raised our eyebrows. It's on a slightly lighter note, a Republican Congressman Tim Burchett of Tennessee, saying that some Republican members of Congress had been compromised by Russian hookers and drugs and are being blackmailed to switch their votes on bills. Take a listen.


REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): Isn't that worse? You're visiting -- you're out of the country or out of town or you're in a motel or bar and they say in some -- whatever you're into, women or man or whatever. Comes up and they're very attractive and they're laughing at your jokes and they -- and you're buying them a drink, next thing you know, you're in the motel room with them naked. And next thing you know, you know, you're about to make a key vote and what happens? Some well-dressed person comes up and whispers in your ear, hey, man, there's tapes out on you, where you in a motel room or whatever with whoever.


And then you're like, uh-oh, and said, you really ought not be voting for this thing.


TAPPER: So, I've never heard of that happening. I am sure it is possible. You were a member of Congress. What's your take on this? Have you ever heard of that happening?

KANNO-YOUNGS: Spotlight.

TAPPER: Not on T.V., in real life?

WALSH: No. Naked, I love the naked.

TAPPER: OK. But you --


WALSH: Yes, no.

TAPPER: OK. Have you ever heard of that happening?


KANNO-YOUNGS: I really appreciated the line in The Daily Beast article about this where they said it's unclear if this is firsthand experience. Or you're just theorizing it.

TAPPER: No, no. Congressman Burchett is a God fearing man.


TAPPER: And he's talking about other folks. I'm just -- I'd love more information. We tried to get him on the show. We're waiting. It sounds like some good scoops --


TAPPER: -- to come from, a follow up on that. Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Ashley Allison, Joe Walsh, thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you.

This just announced, back to back Republican presidential town halls. On Thursday, January 4, they began, first up, Kaitlan Collins with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 09:00 p.m. Eastern. And then Erin Burnett moderating a town hall with former ambassador Nikki Haley at 10:00 Eastern. That's Thursday, January 4, right here on CNN. Kaitlan and Erin doing a great job I already know.

An attorney who worked on Donald Trump's legal team is going to join me next. His reaction to the news today from the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court rejected a request to expedite this dispute over presidential immunity. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Back to our Law and Justice Lead, the United States Supreme Court earlier today rejected a request from Special Counsel Smith. He -- Smith wanted to fast track the debate of whether Donald Trump has immunity from federal prosecution for alleged crimes he committed while he was president. And so this ruling will likely delay Trump's federal election subversion trial.

Jim Trusty is here he resigned from Donald Trump's legal team earlier this year. He previously represented Trump in the federal classified documents case. So just to get your thoughts on this, now that the Supreme Court has refused to fast track the arguments, could this give Trump's legal team a leg up and help so?

JIM TRUSTY, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Well, I don't know if it gives a leg up substantively. We don't know how they're going to rule in terms of the immunity itself. But it certainly jeopardizes the March trial date. And I think that's really the story here. You had a prosecutor in a very unprecedented position saying we have to have a speedy trial.

A speedy trial right is a defendant's right. It's very unheard of, for a federal prosecutor in any district. And I was a federal prosecutor for 27 years to announce that they've got this specific speedy trial interest where it has to be tried by date X. That was weird territory. It did not pass the sniff test when it came to the basis for an expedition for the Supreme Court. And I think they made the right ruling.

TAPPER: So the question of immunity, as you note is the larger issue, not the schedule, it's going to probably end up at the U.S. Supreme Court regardless. Do you have any idea of what they might do when they review the case?

TRUSTY: No. I mean, look, you know, a lot of lawyers would go poor betting on that.

TAPPER: But what's your guess? What's your guess?

TRUSTY: Well, my guess is that the first stop is that the Court of Appeals will probably say there's no immunity at all. I'm not particularly struck by the double jeopardy argument. That one seems like it's a little bit of a stretch to say that the legal impact of an impeachment process has any real carry --

TAPPER: That's Trump's argument that it's like --

TRUSTY: It's kind of -- it looks like a secondary argument.

TAPPER: Yes. But I think the primary arguments interesting because, you know, you could see the Supreme Court getting to it and deciding to have a bit of a carve out approach that if the activity of the president at the time was really connected to core functions, maybe that's immunized, you know, you wouldn't want to have it where a president could have a drunk driving incident or could go beat up Jake Tapper for no real reason and say that they're immunized. So there could be a little division of whether it's something that's really in the wheelhouse of being the president versus being a frolic and detour, as they call it legally.

But I have no idea. I think, you know, it's new territory, we have no way of really knowing whether this is going to be something that splits on philosophical lines or not. And we'll have to wait and see for a while it looks like.

TAPPER: Of course, we also have to wait to see if the U.S. Supreme Court is going to take any action when it comes to Donald Trump's anticipated appeal of the ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. The Colorado Supreme Court earlier this week ruled that Donald Trump cannot appeal -- appear rather on their ballots because they judged him to have participated in insurrection. And according to the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is therefore ineligible. Do you think that Trump's legal team will -- well, first of all, I assume you think they're going to appeal it?


TAPPER: And how do you think they're going to approach that appeal and do you think there'll be successful?

TRUSTY: Well, you know, it's a petition for certiorari for the Supreme Court. And the percentages in general are pretty low about the Supreme Court taking these cases? I think they'll take it. I think this is an outrage.

TAPPER: Because it's a state district court Supreme Court decision?

TRUSTY: For a variety of reasons. You've got a state Supreme Court ruling on something that could be viewed as a strictly federal question. You've got all these issues about interpreting Article 3 of the 14th Amendment, whether it even applies to the President. And the district court, although they were no friend of President Trump, they said that's a problem.

TAPPER: Right. They said he committed an insurrection, but he's not covered by the 14th Amendment.

TRUSTY: Right, right. It's not the, you know, sexiest kind of legal reasoning, perhaps, but there's something to it. And that's, I think it was Ty Cobb, who's no big friend of President Trump at this point, it was announced I'm saying this is a nine-zero winner when it goes to Supreme Court. So there's kind of foundational or procedural issues that they can hang their hat on and that's probably safer territory for getting like an 819 nothing opinion out of the Supreme Court if they rule on more of a procedural or foundational basis.


But I got to tell you in terms of the merits of this thing that the expedited trial that he had included, basically embracing the bulk of the J6 Committee as substantive evidence of insurrection. I think that's a horrible precedent. And then they also relied heavily on a sociology professor, who was essentially saying that he is the Trump dog whistle whisperer, that although Trump said things like go peaceful and patriotically, it really meant unpatriotically and violently. And the thought that any court is deciding something this fundamentally important with that kind of psychobabble is really an extraordinary moment.

TAPPER: So who in your view is the right one to judge whether or not Donald Trump did participate in an insurrection?

TRUSTY: Well, there's a real easy out here, which is if he is convicted, that could be the obvious basis or --

TAPPER: But Jack Smith is not trying him for inciting insurrection?

TRUSTY: I understand. Well, you know, he's trying an insurrection case but not calling an insurrection.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUSTY: In the most recent pleading, it's like we're going to put everything we can about President Trump disliking, you know, electoral results. But at the end of the day, that seems to be a more solid ground and that could be where the Supreme Court goes is one of these foundational issues that we're not going to have many trials on insurrection you're either convicted of it or you're not and that would be obviously a huge win for the president if they go that way.

TAPPER: All right, Jim Trusty thank you so much. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

TRUSTY: All right. You too.

TAPPER: Appreciate it.

A warning to millions who take a popular drug use for diabetes and for weight loss, what we're learning about counterfeits of the drug also on the market, this is about Ozempic. You're going to want to listen in. Stay with us.



TAPPER: If you use Ozempic, either for type two diabetes or for weight loss, then you need to listen to this because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning about counterfeit versions of Ozempic that are circulating throughout the U.S. CNN's Jacqueline Howard is here. Jacqueline, how can people tell if they have fake Ozempic?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yes, Jake. Well, the FDA said it has seized thousands of units of these fake products. And the way you can tell that it's counterfeit. There are some subtle differences in the packaging. But it really comes down to the lot number and the serial number. So the FDA warned that products that are labeled lot number NAR0074, as you see on that screen, and they have that serial number that you see on the screen, those should not be used or distributed. So this is an ongoing investigation. But right now, that's the way that we can tell whether it's counterfeit, if it has that serial number, and it has that lot number, Jake.

TAPPER: What happens if someone accidentally uses the fake Ozempic, the counterfeit?

HOWARD: Yes, well, the FDA says that so far, it's received five adverse events related to these counterfeit products. And the events involved symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, these are side effects that sometimes patients will experience when taking the real authentic Ozempic medications. But the FDA said that while it's investigating this, there's also the risk of how the needles themselves in the counterfeit products are also fake.

And so the FDA cannot confirm whether the needles used for these counterfeit Ozempic injections are sterile. So that poses a risk as well. And it's also unknown what exactly is in the counterfeit products. So these could potentially cause a lot of harm. And again, this is something that the FDA is really looking into at the moment.

TAPPER: How many Americans are using drugs such as Ozempic?

HOWARD: Yes, well, we know that these drugs are growing in popularity. We know that about 1.7 percent of Americans are currently prescribed a type of this weight loss or diabetes drug. That share has actually gone up 40-fold in the past five years. So this is growing in popularity. And of course, with more demand, there's more of a risk of these kind of knockoff versions emerging on the market. So this is something that the FDA is closely looking into. And some of these knockoff versions, these counterfeit products could still be available on the market. So that's why it's important to check the lot number, check the serial number.

TAPPER: All right, Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much. Appreciate it.


It's one of the biggest debates every year, although I think it's settled, frankly, is "Die Hard" a Christmas movie. We're going to get the definitive answer from my next guest. Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our Pop Culture Lead, tis the season for Christmas movies from holiday classics such as a family vacation that goes terribly wrong when the McCallisters realized they left their son, Kevin, home alone. Those are some crappy parents by the way. Or all the life lessons young Ralphie Parker learns as he lobbies his parents for the perfect present in "A Christmas Story." But since its release in 1988, there has been a hotly contested debate is "Die Hard," really a Christmas movie?

And joining me now is Jeremy Arnold. He is the author of Turner Classic Movies "Christmas in the Movies." Jeremy, thank you for being here. And I should disclose of course that TCM is part of the Warner Brothers Discovery family. Although that's not why I booked you why I did will become apparent in just a second. But first let's start with the general theme. How do you define a Christmas movie?

JEREMY ARNOLD, AUTHOR, "CHRISTMAS IN THE MOVIES": Well, the way I define it is any movie of any genre in which the Christmas season plays a meaningful role in the story. So some aspects, some emotional truth of the season has to meaningfully inform the story for the audience. So the season means different things. It means joy and family togetherness and finding love and compassion and positive transformation can also mean loneliness, cynicism, maybe a disgust with the commercialism of the season. So there's a very wide spectrum of emotion that we tie to the Christmas season, which allows for a great variety of movies to become what I would call Christmas movies.

TAPPER: You describe and I do not disagree, Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" as the ultimate Christmas movie, which -- and it's actually a pretty dark movie when you get down to what actually happens in the alternative universe in which George Bailey does not exist. Let's -- obviously, if you've made it to 2023 and you haven't seen "It's a Wonderful Life," I'm sorry, but here's a little spoiler that I want to run.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, that's right.


TAPPER: I'm getting shivers just looking at that. So I guess the question I have for you is, can a Christmas movie as you define it, can it have a not happy ending?

ARNOLD: That is a good question up for debate. And there are very few if any Chris -- there are very few Christmas movies that I consider Christmas movies that have downbeat endings. One of them is a really unusual obscure film noir from 1961 called "Blast of Silence." Another arguably a Christmas movie is the James Bond picture "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."

TAPPER: Lazenby.

ARNOLD: George Lazenby.

TAPPER: I didn't have you pegged as a Lazenby file but OK, keep going. I'm more of a Connery guy but OK, keep going.

ARNOLD: I'm a Connery guy, but that's my favorite Bond movie.

TAPPER: Really?

ARNOLD: And, and you know, Bond falls in love and proposes marriage on Christmas Eve in a snowy barn, the holidays worked into the story.

TAPPER: Let's get to the real reason I had you here which is just the definitive proof. You have settled the argument "Die Hard" is in this. It gets its own chapter, "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. I'm glad it is now official. Explain why in your view, because there are I don't know what to call them, skeptics. Let's be polite and call them skeptics who say "Die Hard" is not a Christmas movie? Obviously it is. Explain why?

ARNOLD: Well, first of all, when people say "Die Hard" is not a Christmas movie, and the other side must be insane for thinking it is, what that dispute is really about is definition. Both sides are defining the term Christmas movie very differently. And so for someone, it may really not be a Christmas movie, and that's fine for them. But for the rest of us it is. And the reason I think it is, is that it begins as the most common type of Christmas movie, which is some version of a dysfunctional or a strange family trying to reconcile on Christmas, in this case, John and Holly McClane.

TAPPER: Holly. I like to note. ARNOLD: Holly, yes.

TAPPER: Her name is Holly.

ARNOLD: Yes, change from the source material.

TAPPER: Right.

ARNOLD: Her name was Stephanie. So that is the story that is happening before the terrorists come and take over Nakatomi Plaza. And what that does is it grounds the audience to see the whole movie that follows through the prism of this Christmas time family reconciliation story.

TAPPER: And a Christmas miracle if I might say.

ARNOLD: There's -- right. There are references to Christmas all throughout the movie and the dialogue and the visuals on the soundtrack, sound effects.

TAPPER: Ho-ho-ho, no, I've gotten a machine gun.

ARNOLD: Exactly. Christmas I think does a lot to lighten the tone of "Die Hard" too. It's a violent movie, but it's not cruel or unpleasantly violent. It's cheerful and joyful. And that connects it to the season two.

TAPPER: Here's just a little clip from the start of the film John McClane on his way to visit Holly in Los Angeles for Christmas. The driver Argyle asks, if he wants to listen to some music.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, that will work.

BRUCE WILLIS, AMERICAN ACTOR: That ain't Christmas music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Christmas music.


TAPPER: So one other point I'd like to make about the "Die Hard" being a Christmas movie and honestly, I could do two hours just on this topic is the key moment of the film where John McClane and again, this movie has been out for a little while. So I'm sorry, but spoiler alert, Hans Gruber and another bad guy. He's only able to do because of the presence of presents. There are Christmas presents there and he uses the tape. I'm not going to give more than that away. But obviously definitionally this could not have happened, this miracle, any other holiday.

ARNOLD: Right. It definitely makes us aware of that connection in that moment. And here's the thing. If "Die Hard" were set, at another time of year, the story could still work. You could still have this story. But what Christmas does it enhances all these emotions and rituals that we recognize as linked to the season and intensifies them. You know, Christmas does that to the highs and the lows. "It's a Wonderful Life" is powerful because the despair that Jimmy Stewart feels is so greatly enhanced by the fact that he's feeling it at Christmas time.


ARNOLD: "Die Hard," it could work on a day other than Christmas, but it would not be the same movie.

TAPPER: Well, if it were Arbor Day, then you wouldn't have had the Christmas tape and then Holly would've died.

ARNOLD: Exactly.

TAPPER: That's pretty clear. Jeremy Arnold, the book is a "Christmas in the Movies." Before you go, what is your favorite Christmas movie?

ARNOLD: "It's a Wonderful Life."


ARNOLD: Because it's the ultimate one for the reasons we just talked about.

TAPPER: Yes, it's a beautiful film.


TAPPER: Thank you so much for being here. Really good to see you.

ARNOLD: Thank you.


TAPPER: Coming up, what a big announcement from the shoe giant, Nike, might tell us about the economy. It's something to keep in mind as you're out Christmas shopping this weekend.


TAPPER: Not to be a Grinch but in our Money Lead, despite today's latest signs of inflation is cooling off and prices are falling for the first time in more than three years, Nike, the running shoe company, is acting as though a recession might be lurking around the corner. Nike just slashed its revenue outlook and announced plans to cut spending by 2 billion with a B, billion dollars, over the next three years. That includes layoffs. It seems as though Nike might see customers around the world switching their behavior, passing up discretionary purchases such as expensive sneakers, opting instead for the basics. We will see if this trend has legs, hopefully not.

Join me Sunday for an important morning on State of the Union, the world in crisis. It's a climate special. I'm going to talk to former Vice President Al Gore, billionaire investor, Ray Dalio, prominent climate change scientist, Katharine Hayhoe, and of course a piece from Bill Weir and our panel. That's this Sunday morning at 9 o'clock Eastern and again at noon only here on CNN.

[18:00:03] You can follow me on Facebook, on Instagram, on Threads, on X, formerly known as Twitter, and on the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever miss an episode of THE LEAD, you can listen to the show once you get your podcasts all two hours just sitting there like a delicious Christmas dish.

Our coverage now continues with Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room. Have yourself a merry little Christmas.