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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, (D-NY), Is Interviewed About Aid Package To Ukraine, Israel, Border Crisis, Tom Suozzi, Joe Biden; Jon Stewart Returns To "The Daily Show"; Trump Endorses Daughter-In-Law For RNC Co-Chair; Deputies Mistake Guest For Intruder, Shot Her 5 Times; Israel Releases Video Purportedly Showing Hamas Leader Yahya Sinwar Hiding In Gaza Tunnel Days After Oct. 7 Attacks; Report: CDC To Ease COVID-19 Isolation Guidance. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired February 13, 2024 - 17:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour, a woman shot five times by deputies after they mistook her for an intruder. She was not. Thankfully she survived. We have the new body cam video. And her attorney Ben Crump is in Studio.

Plus, after nine years away and out of his studio and away from his desk, Jon Stewart is back behind his desk managing to get under the skin of some Democrats. And leading this our voters in New York's Third Congressional District are braving today's winter storm to replace former Congressman George Santos who brought a very different kind of storm to that district. Joining us now is Miguel Marquez. He's live in Woodbury, New York at the headquarters of former Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi, who is running for his old seat.

Miguel, what's the atmosphere like over there right now?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the atmosphere is expectant. This is a room that's held a lot of weddings, a lot of proms. But tonight, Tom Suozzi hopes to stand up at that podium at about a little after 09:00 p.m., perhaps later and say that he is the representative elect once again for the third district. People are just starting to gather.

It will really get going here till about 09:00 p.m. But I want to show you, you came for the politics, stay for the weather. Because weather today, we haven't had this much snow in New York for about two years now. And it just dumped all morning long. I'm going to show you what it looks like now.

We actually for the first time today see clear skies, the sun an absolutely gorgeous scene. There is tons of time still left to vote. So, both candidates have been out, saying get out -- get out there to vote. Suozzi spoke here a little bit earlier today. He says that he believes the snow helps them because Republicans tend to vote in the morning he says, Democrats in the afternoon and he thinks all of this snow today will actually help his candidacy and hopefully push him over the line tonight.

Very unclear that the early votes and the votes coming in today, Democrats are up in those votes, but it's not clear how many Democrats are crossing over and voting for his rival Mazi Pilip who also hopes and is very confident that she will claim victory tonight. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Miguel Marquez, thanks so much.

And just now, a new warning for House Speaker Mike Johnson from a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus after the U.S. Senate passed the $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel early this morning. Joining us now Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju.

Manu, so, Speaker Mike Johnson has not committed to even allowing a vote on the Senate Bill. We know that Democrats are talking about maybe trying to force a vote using procedural maneuvers. What are you hearing about whether that will work and this new threat from the House Freedom Caucus?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, if Mike Johnson were to move forward and actually put this Senate passed bill on the floor aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel, aid to Taiwan $95 billion, he would face a revolt among the far right of his conference. In fact, a warning from one of the members of the Freedom House Freedom Caucus telling me today that there would almost certainly be a vote to push him out of the speakership. A motion to vacate, something that was used successfully with Kevin McCarthy. And he told me, Warren Davidson, the congressman, told me that Mike Johnson in that situation would have to rely on Democrats to hold on to the gavel.



RAJU: If the speaker were to put the Senate package on the floor, what would that mean for his ability to hold on to the gavel?

REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R-OH): He would need Democrats to hold on to the gavel at that point.

RAJU: Because there would be an effort to push him out?

DAVIDSON: Yes, I mean, multiple of my colleagues have already promised that I believe that it's not an empty threat. And I -- you know, we'll see how it would resolve. But I think he would clearly need Democrats to be able to hold on to the gavel. If he went straight to the floor with a Senate package.

RAJU: Would you vote to oust him in that situation?

DAVIDSON: Well, I don't like answering hypotheticals. But I do think that the question would get asked.

(END VIDEO CLIP) RAJU: Now, Johnson today essentially ruled out putting this bill on the floor, contending that it needed to have tougher border security restrictions. Of course, Johnson essentially scuttled the bipartisan border security deal in the Senate, because he said it did not go far enough. But this effort that Democrats are now discussing, Jake, has tried to circumvent Johnson all together to try to get enough support procedurally to force a vote on the floor that would require the support of a majority of the House. Meaning, Republicans that have just signed on with Democrats on this maneuver, which is rarely successful, Jake. It's a long sharp shot complicated effort, but one that Democrats will be discussing in the days ahead to try to get around Mike Johnson's opposition to this proposal.

TAPPER: All right, Manu Raju, thanks so much.

With us now to discuss, the leader of Democrats in the House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York.

Leader Jeffries it's good to see you. So, early this morning, the Senate passed this $95 billion foreign aid package, foreign aid package for Taiwan, Israel, Ukraine. Speaker Johnson has said he's not going to bring it up. He's criticized the bill for not containing the border security provisions. Twenty-two Senate Republicans voted to pass the bill. And I understand the Democrats think there are at least 300 votes in the House for such a package.

If it were be if it would be allowed for a vote, would Republicans be willing to support this aid package, do you think if it came up for a vote?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: There are clearly more than 300 members of the House of Representatives, the overwhelming amount of Democrats and a significant number of Republicans who would support the national security legislation, were it to receive an up or down vote on the floor of the House. It's urgently necessary that we act in America's national security to bring this bipartisan and comprehensive bill to the floor. It's important that we stand with Israel, stand with Ukraine, stand with our allies in the Indo Pacific, and certainly ensure that we can surge humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians who are in harm's way in Gaza, through no fault of their own and civilians in other theatres of war across the world.

TAPPER: So, there is a provision whereby if 218 members of the House of Representatives sign what's called a discharge petition, those 218 can force a bill onto the floor of the House for a vote. So if you got all the Democrats, you would need just a handful of Republicans who want aid to Israel and Ukraine and Taiwan to force this vote. Are you going to introduce a discharge petition? And do you have five or six Republican votes or however many you need to sign the discharge petition?

JEFFRIES: All legislative options are on the table, and that certainly includes a discharge petition. We have a leadership meeting at around 05:15, where we'll discuss the steps that we can take moving forward to ensure an up or down vote. We'll have a steering and policy meeting later on this evening. And then tomorrow, we'll gather as a caucus family for the Democratic caucus meeting in the morning. And then we'll have some clarity as to how we're going to proceed shortly thereafter.

But it is clear that it's time to end the extreme MAGA Republican gamesmanship. It's time to end the extreme mega Republican brinksmanship. And it's time to end the extreme MAGA Republican partisanship. This is a matter of America's national security, which we should put first and put Vladimir Putin last. The problem is there seem to be some MAGA extremists who actually want to do the inverse.

TAPPER: So, I understand you haven't made a decision yet, but before you would make a decision to bring such a thing to the floor through a discharge petition, you would know whether or not you have five or six House Republicans who are willing to do it. Do you know that part of the equation? Have you had you asked if there are House Republicans willing to join you? I mean a lot of House Republicans feel very strongly about aid for Israel or aid for Ukraine. Would they be willing to back Speaker Johnson on that?


JEFFRIES: Well, that's certainly a question that I think will need to be fairly asked of House Republicans, traditional conservatives who know that the right thing to do is for there to be an up or down vote on the comprehensive bipartisan national security package.

Now there are, Jake, member to member conversations that have been ongoing over the last several days from Democratic members of the caucus to Republican members of their conference talking about what is possible if House Republican leaders continue to do the bidding of the former President Donald Trump, who seemingly wants to detonate the NATO alliance and America's national security interests in Europe and throughout the world. That would be unfortunate if the House Republican leaders continue to go down that road and undermine America's national security.

TAPPER: Well, you just heard Congressman Davidson from Ohio member of the House Freedom Caucus saying that if Speaker Johnson brings this Senate bill up for a vote on his own, willingly not being forced to do it through a discharge petition, there would be a motion to vacate. And the only way he could keep his job as speaker is with Democratic support. You were not willing to provide Democratic support to Kevin McCarthy, I assume you have the same position for Speaker Johnson?

JEFFRIES: Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. And if that moment is in front of us, as we did on the prior occasion, we'll have a conversation amongst the House Democratic Caucus family and figure out what's the right thing to do for our constituents, for the Congress, and for the country. Right now, the question is, will House Republican leaders do the right thing by the American people, stand with Israel, stand with Ukraine, stand with Taiwan stand with our democratic allies all across the world, and stand with civilians who are in harm's way in Gaza and other theatres of war throughout the world and get them the humanitarian assistance that they need? TAPPER: Let's talk about border security. While I understand that you find the maneuver offensive, do you not see that the move by Governor Abbott of Texas to bus migrants to Democratic leaning cities such as New York or Chicago or Denver, that while you might think it's cruel, it has been effective at demonstrating how this influx of migrants has sapped social service resources and demonstrated that this is a real crisis. Do you agree with that?

JEFFRIES: Well, Governor Abbott is an embarrassment and a human trafficker. But besides his political gamesmanship, I do think it's important for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to recognize that we have a broken immigration system. We do need to address the challenges at the border. And it should be done in a manner that is comprehensive, and bipartisan, that will be the only way to solve this problem. We're in a period of divided government.

Common sense dictates, Jake, that we have to work together to solve the challenges that we confront at the border. The American people know this. The only question is whether members of Congress on the other side of the aisle will recognize that there my way of the highway -- or the highway approach is not an effective strategy at this moment. It's just designed to score political points.

Now, we support a border that is strong, that is secure, and that is humane. And it's important for Congress to work together in a common sense, bipartisan way to get that done.

TAPPER: There was a "New York Times" story out today describing how Republicans are using bigoted attacks against their political foes. The story gives examples like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene referring to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar as, quote, "Representative Ilhan Omar of Somalia -- I mean Minnesota." The article goes on to write, "Earlier that same week Representative Troy Nehls, Republican of Texas, called the Black husband of another Democratic woman of color, Representative Cori Bush of Missouri a "thug." Your fellow New York Democrat Ritchie Torres is quoted in the article saying, "The nature of Trumpism is to embolden extremism, and that the extreme elements have concluded that racism might be bad morals, but it's good politics." Do you agree with Congressman Torres?

JEFFRIES: Well, I certainly agree that we all should be alarmed by the nature of the attacks that are being leveled by extreme MAGA Republicans at their political opponents. We need to take the temperature down. And the individuals that you reference on the Republican side of the aisle are unserious individuals at best and not in Congress in order to make life better for everyday America Americans. They're in Congress to perform, often for the puppet master, the former president of the United States of America.


Now, this is a time where we need to come together, as Americans, recognize the power and beauty and majesty of the fact that we are a nation of immigrants, people who have come from all over the world to pursue the American dream of different races, creeds and colors, a gorgeous mosaic, that is who we are. We do have differences politically, but I think the things that connect us, opportunity, freedom, democracy should be much stronger than the things that others are trying to use to divide us.

TAPPER: Lastly, sir, right now New York's congressional Third District is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by former Congressman George Santos, the Democratic candidate Tom Suozzi, a former congressman, he has distanced himself from President Biden. He did not seek his endorsement. I want you to listen to what he told CNN's Manu Raju.


RAJU: But what about Biden, specifically?

TOM SUOZZI, (D) NEW YORK CONG. CANDIDATE: Joe Biden is underwater here in my district, but so is Donald Trump. They're both very, very unpopular candidate.

RAJU: Would you want to campaign with Biden?

SUOZZI: I could pretty much guarantee that the President's not going to be coming in the campaign here.

RAJU: But this is a huge seat. I mean, don't you think the president, you know, could be helpful and then if he came out here?

SUOZZI: I don't think it would be helpful.


TAPPER: Does that concern you at all that a Democrat in an important House race does not want the endorsement or the presence of President Biden?

JEFFRIES: Well, Tom Suozzi is a common sense, let's fix the problem, get stuff done, kind of Democrat, and he's running his own race. It's a race between Tom Suozzi and an extreme MAGA Republican on the other side who wants to come join the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world and not doing the things that are necessary to solve problems for the people of Queens and Long Island. I'm confident that Tom Suozzi is in this for all the right reasons to make life better for the people that he hopes to represent in a third congressional district.

TAPPER: Before you go, sir, lots of concerns expressed by voters and by a special counsel Hur about President Biden's age, his mental faculties. What's your response?

JEFFRIES: Well, the report by the special counsel was inappropriate, gratuitous, unconscionable, and in many ways un-American. The American people just simply want the truth. And the truth is that President Biden did nothing wrong, and was completely and totally exonerated, period, full stop. The fact that the special counsel decided to personally attack President Biden reveals that his motives were unpure and that any conclusions that he made in that report, separate and apart from the facts and the law, should be dismissed.

TAPPER: House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, thank you so much, sir. Appreciate it today.

JEFFRIES: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: Keeping an eye on the family, Donald Trump endorsing his daughter in law to be the next co-chair of the Republican National Committee. Nikki Haley has some thoughts on that. You'll hear them next.

Plus, can't anyone take a joke anymore? Some Republicans and Democrats taking issue with comedian Jon Stewart's long awaited return last night. Stay with us.




JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW" HOST: Nine months till the election, people. And the exciting part is, we already know our candidates. It's -- drumroll, please. Let me (bleep), guys.


TAPPER: In our politics lead, he's back, Jon Stewart made his return to "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central last night as the calendar inches closer and closer to what seems like an inevitable rematch between two candidates with firm grips on their party's nominations and as President Biden's and former President Trump's influence on lawmakers on Capitol Hill has snarled anything from getting done -- anything done there. Back with me is our political panel.

So, Paul, as you know, Stewart made his triumphant return to Late Night Sapphire. Take a listen.


STEWART: Why am I back? You may be asking yourself, it's a very reasonable question. I have committed a lot of crimes. From what I understand, talk show hosts are granted immunity, so.


TAPPER: So, he made fun of wherever the targets were including President Biden's age and memory. And there were a lot of angry progressives on social media. Not that I generally listen to angry people on social media, but they thought that they accused him of both synergism, although that's not what he did, et cetera, et cetera. What do you make of that?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I didn't see it. But he's known to be a both sides guy. He has. He skewers both sides, that's his job. That's how he views things.

I do think that that was probably appropriate when the choice was like Obama or Romney. OK. But for progressives are bad, by the way, for a lot of non-progressive, a lot of conservatives. This is a choice between sanity and a guy who's an existential threat to our country.

TAPPER: But I think that was reflected --

BEGALA: That's not like a tangible.

TAPPER: I think that was reflected in his comedy, though. I don't think he equated the choices but he just also --


TAPPER: -- acknowledged some of the jokes to be made at President Biden.

FINNEY: Which I actually think is healthy. We cannot be afraid of making fun of ourselves. And actually, you know, you saw President Biden make fun of his age over the weekend. It was funny, it was good, like come on, we already know they're both old. And I agree when it comes down to the actual issues, he's -- there's not the both synergism.

I saw some of the flipping out by progressives online, I was like, come on guys, you're going to have to learn to take a joke if we're going to survive between now and November.


TAPPER: Speaking of humorous asides, Trump is flexing his muscle over the Republican Party, now endorsing his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, for co-chair of the Republican National Committee. Here's what Nikki Haley had to say about that.


NIKKI HALEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now he is decided, he is fired to RNC chair, he's named who's going to be the new RNC chair, his daughter-in-law will be the co-chair. And he is making his campaign manager that the officer that runs the department. Think about what's happening right now. Is that how you're going to try and take an election?


TAPPER: We should also note, the person he is endorsing to be the other co-chair, not in his family, is Republican chairman of the North Carolina Republican party who is a full on election liar. What's your take?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So typically, the way the co-chair position works is that you have a chair and then the co-chair of the RNC must be of the opposite gender. So by endorsing his daughter-in-law for co-chair, you can argue, you know, how important do people think that job is? Do they think it is one that really does a lot to go fundraise and make money? And if your job is to be someone who's going to go out and fundraise and be popular, then maybe it's not a terrible pick. But wow, does it send a really bad message that this is just a family business. And of course people would criticize the Bush family for, well, it's all in the family, it's all in the family. We need somebody -- something different. And then the Trump's came along and they've had, it's all in the family, they have -- the families ready politics. Now they're criticizing Biden for having too many of his family members involved in politics. Surely we can have a political system in this country where people can get ahead without having to be related to someone who is running for office, correct?

TAPPER: Yes, I mean, to be clear, and not to defend Joe Biden's brothers or son, but like they're not running any -- they're doing their own thing. They're not -- I had then say --

ANDERSON: I am merely saying that I think it sends a very bad message --


ANDERSON: -- to America when you say, you know who I think would be best for the job, let me just pick someone within my own family. And I think it's silly for Donald Trump to be doing that.

DAVID URBAN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, look, so I think there's a little gloss of distinction to the point Jake made. I do think like, you know, Jim Biden and Hunter, that's more nefarious because it's inside the White House. The RNC and DNC --

TAPPER: But wasn't -- OK.

URBAN: No, no.

TAPPER: I don't want to --

URBAN: -- private citizens. Let me finish. Hold on, let me finish.

TAPPER: They're doing lobbying.

URBAN: Don't get crazy here. Let me finish. So the RNC the DNC --

TAPPER: I'm just saying it wasn't inside the White House. I don't like what they did, but they didn't work --

URBAN: Right.

TAPPER: -- for the White House.

URBAN: OK. They didn't work for the White House, but they were lobbying the White House. This is -- this is traditionally picked by the president. These jobs are -- when -- oh, Karen, don't get all huffy here, hold on. The president picks who the head of the DNC is when he's running -- when he's the president and the president picks who the RNC when they're running the White House.

Lara Trump is very good at what she does. She raises lots of money. She's very charismatic. The base loves her. I think it's a good pick. And he picked a loyalist to be the head. And Chris LaCivita is the no BS guy who's going to run the place strictly, raise money and keeps fund spent in the right direction.

TAPPER: Karen.

URBAN: You guys do the same thing.

FINNEY: The risk of being accused of being huffy. Let me --

URBAN: You're not huffy, you were huffier than me.

FINNEY: No, I wasn't.

TAPPER: To me to be fair, he accused me of going crazy. OK.

FINNEY: All right. So I'm in good company.

TAPPER: So, that's what arguably worse. Anyway.

FINNEY: No, I think the difference though, is given what we know about how much the RNC is contributing to the Trump Legal Defense Fund, what you're saying is you're putting a family member in charge of having a fiscal responsibility, not only for the party and potentially races where you may have candidates who Trump does not agree with where -- so he will have control of the party but also where those finances go and how they benefit him, not just in the context of running for president but also his legal troubles.

URBAN: But that's how it works historically. No new. No new. Move on.

BEGALA: Yes. He was in the White House -- look, when he was in White House he gave all -- Shiv, Roman (ph), Kendall (ph), they all had jobs. Tom Wambsgans was work -- he always puts a family on the payroll.

TAPPER: Little succession reference for anybody who doesn't watch HBO Max.

URBAN: I don't know, Paul --

TAPPER: It's a recent pop culture reference, which I appreciate. Thanks one and all.

A new body cam video reveals the very moment when deputies mistook a houseguest for an intruder and repeatedly shot her. Her attorney Benjamin Crump is here. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our National Lead, disturbing new body camera video shows two sheriff's deputies in Houston responding to a report of a suspected burglary. They fired dozens of rounds through an apartment door at a woman inside whom they mistook for an intruder. The video released was edited by authorities and I should warn you that what we're about to show you is graphic.




TAPPER: The woman shot in the videos survived. She remains in stable condition. Both deputies are on leave while the investigation unfolds. Joining us now is CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild. Whitney, what exactly happened here?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, this all started actually at another apartment in the apartment complex. So at 2:15 on February 3rd, 2:15 in the morning, police respond to a call that there's an intruder at another apartment in that same apartment complex. So the first sheriff's deputy from the Harris County Sheriff's Office goes into that first apartment, clears it and finds that there's no intruder.

A second deputy arrived to assist, and as those deputies were leaving, a neighbor in that same apartment complex flagged down the sheriff's deputies and said that they were concerned there was another intruder, another burglary in a neighboring apartment. So that's when police went to the apartment in which Eboni Pouncy was. So they go to the door as you see in this video, they knock, they announced themselves as the sheriff's office, then they step back.


And as you see in that video, it's not exactly clear what they can see through the window. But according to the sheriff's office, one of those deputies saw a woman with a firearm. And as they're giving that command to drop the weapon almost simultaneously, police start firing. When -- and I think it's important to note that when sheriff's deputies got to that apartment, what they saw was broken glass.

They saw that there was a screen missing and they saw that the windows were raised up. What happened according to one of the women who was inside that apartment was that they had broken into that window because they didn't have their keys so they went inside. Here's what you said happened next.


LARONDA BARRY, WITNESS, FRIEND OF VICTIM: So I thought I'm going to break the window. I go inside. Once I went inside, we were there for about 20 minutes, the next thing I know I hear loud banging on the door. I was like, what's that? What's that noise? Eboni grabbed her gun and ran through the door. I didn't hear anything after that. The next thing I know, Eboni came back and she said she was shot.


WILD: Again breaking that window because they didn't have keys to that apartment. Harris County District Attorney's Office is investigating the Harris County Sheriff's Office says that anybody with information should come forward. Jake?

TAPPER: Whitney Wild, thanks so much. I'm joined now in studio by Ben Crump. He's the attorney for Eboni Pouncy. What can you tell us first of all about the injuries she suffered? Is she going to be OK?

BEN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR EBONI POUNCY: Well, prayerfully she's going to be OK even though she's in rehabilitation. Jake, she is, I mean, miraculous that she's alive. It is a miracle. She got shot and her left breast, her left abdomen. A bullet went into her thigh. Bullet went through her leg. Bullet went in her feet and I mean over two dozen bullets. And she lives so that is the miracle her mother, her family. Even though she is in rehab and struggling, they're grateful that she's alive.

TAPPER: She five bullet wounds?

CRUMP: Five bullet wounds.

TAPPER: So the video released by the Harris County Sheriff's Office was edited. Have you seen the full video?

CRUMP: We have not. And the fast edited version, we can only imagine what an edited version is going to reveal to us.

TAPPER: Under Texas law, anyone over the age of 21 can carry a handgun openly.


TAPPER: Not just inside an apartment but openly on the street unless they have a criminal record, unless they have a criminal record. Do you -- was she within her rights to own that gun?

CRUMP: She was absolutely within her rights to own that gun. And it underscores the fact that the Second Amendment. Police have to be sensitive to that because everybody now is availing themselves to the Second Amendment promises that I can bear arms. I can carry a gun. Black people too have a right to the Second Amendment. And this really reminds a lot of people, Jake, of the tragic killing of Breonna Taylor where her boyfriend, they didn't hear the police just like Eboni. They didn't know it was the police. They were trying to protect their home too. But it was a shoot first, ask questions later.

TAPPER: Yes. The deputy said they identified themselves when they knocked at the door. They said sheriff's deputies. She had a weapon, though, when she came -- did she come to the door or what she already at the door when she had the gun?

CRUMP: She coming to the door. And she got shot multiple times. You hear the number of shots, you see the deputy reload? And what is very troubling from the experts that we've talked to. First of all, if you really believe that it's a burglary in progress, then you unload. What about the innocent people in the house?

TAPPER: Right. CRUMP: I mean, you would have killed them as well, or they would have been shot too. And so it's just troubling, it's excessive two dozen -- over two dozen shots.

TAPPER: Thank God she's going to be OK physically at least. Have you -- I mean, she was as far as the facts are, as I understand them, she was exercising her Second Amendment rights under Texas law, under federal law, and was doing nothing wrong. Has the NRA reached out to talk about defending or helping her case given the fact that she was just exercising that right?

CRUMP: They have not just as they did not with a mere lock. You remember the young man in Minneapolis --

TAPPER: Yes, yes.

CRUMP: -- who had a gun, law abiding citizen. And so we need to hear from these gun rights advocates who talk about citizens who are within their legal rights to carry guns, when as black people who get shot and killed by the police.

TAPPER: Right. The Second Amendment doesn't have a clause. They are saying it's just for white people.


CRUMP: Exactly, Jake. And we need to continue to remind them of that.

TAPPER: Benjamin Crump always good to see you sir. I appreciate it.

CRUMP: You too, Jake. Thank you.

TAPPER: Israeli officials say they have a video showing the leader of Hamas hiding in a tunnel in Gaza. We're going to go on the ground Israel next.


TAPPER: In our World Lead, newly released video purportedly showing the leader of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar. Israeli officials say the CCTV footage is from October 10th and appears to show Sinwar walking with his wife, children and brother inside a tunnel below the southern Gaza City of Khan Yunis. CNN cannot independently verify that Sinwar is the man seen in the video nor can we verify when it was recorded. And the IDF did not provide additional evidence to support its claims.

But we do know that Khan Yunis has been a center of the Israeli siege against Hamas in recent weeks. Let's get to CNN's Nic Robertson, who's in Tel Aviv for us. Nic, what more are Israeli officials saying about this video and why do they think it's significant?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: They say that this is indicative of their effort to track down any intelligence that can give them any information about where Sinwar is at the moment. We know that they've been going through the tunnels in Khan Yunis and even found a tunnel in Khan Yunis where they say that he lived for a while. [17:45:10]

This CCTV video that as you say was from the 10th of October, so quite some time ago, it is the first time we've seen video evidence of Sinwar after the October 7th attacks. But it is really not a good clue, I guess, to where he might be at the moment and the IDF say they did manage to get this video though quite recently. So indicative, they would say of their continued hunt and prioritizing the hunt for Sinwar.

TAPPER: Meantime, CIA Chief Bill Burns has been dispatched to Egypt to work on a hostage deal with the chief of Mossad from Israel and other key mediators from Qatar and Egypt. What are your sources saying about how negotiations are going?

ROBERTSON: Yes, they seemed to be done for the moment. As best we can tell, the Mossad chief is on his way back here to Tel Aviv productive and serious is how U.S. officials are describing the torque so far, but the gap, according to one source still appears to be on and there may be more but this source is talking about this particular gap in the talks. The number of Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails that will be released for each of the Israeli hostages that Hamas is holding. That seems to be one of the sticking points. In the past, the number had been discussed as one -- as a three for one, three Hamas prisoners for one hostage.

But it seems Hamas still want a much bigger number than that. And that's what Prime Minister Netanyahu is balking at. And I think the other indicator of how the talks are gone productive, but serious. Hamas has said earlier today that if this talks were going well, they would send a representative pretty quickly to follow on and the early indications from Hamas are that's not going to happen in short order. Jake?

TAPPER: Is there any clarity on Israel's timeline to enter Rafah and the ground invasion?

ROBERTSON: Yes, there isn't as best we can tell. I mean, I talked with the spokesman yesterday and he indicated they're still waiting for the government to give them that order. We know that some of the folks, some of the 1.4 million people who are in Rafah at the moment, some of them were leaving Rafah today to get away from it, because they're afraid of what's going to happen. And a lot more frustration and anger from leaders over this, adding to what President Biden said that it shouldn't happen without a -- without an adequate plan to protect the civilians.

U.N. Secretary General has called it, you know, potential disaster. German Foreign Minister, Italian Foreign Minister has spoken out about it. And actually the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said it could lead to a bloodbath.

TAPPER: Nic Robertson in Tel Aviv for us. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Long COVID is something we've typically associated with folks who have weakened immune systems. It turns out, that's wrong. We have a new report on the issue, next.



TAPPER: In our Health Lead, the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to ease its guidance over how long people should isolate after catching COVID according to "The Washington Post." This comes as new studies show that long COVID extends to more of the population than had been previously thought. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now. And Jacqueline, walk us through these expected CDC guidelines first.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, Jake, the expected guidelines, we expect them to focus more on a patient's symptoms than giving a blanket number of how many days you should isolate. So currently, if you test positive for COVID-19, it's recommended to isolate for at least five days. And if you have symptoms after that, you have to keep isolating. But what we're hearing is that this spring, there might be an update where that recommendation is relaxed. And the updated guidelines might possibly say that if you don't have a fever for at least 24 hours without the help of medication. And if your symptoms are generally mild or improving, then you do not need to isolate.

Now, these are just discussions that are happening. This is not a new guideline at this time. In fact, the CDC says in a statement, quote, there are no updates to COVID guidelines to announce at this time, we will continue to make decisions based on the best evidence and science to keep communicate -- communities healthy and safe.

But you know, Jake, if these guidelines are updated this spring, relaxing them in this way would make them align more so with what we're seeing at the local level in some states, like California and Oregon, and the idea here is that many people have had COVID already or they've been vaccinated. So there's enough community -- immunity to possibly relax these guidelines. So this will be interesting to watch in the coming months, Jake.

TAPPER: Let's talk about long COVID now because many people typically think of it as an issue for those with weaker immune systems or the elderly, but new studies suggest there are many other groups impacted by long COVID. Who else is likely to be suffering from long COVID?

HOWARD: Absolutely, there are two new studies, one looking at COVID patients who were pregnant at the time of their infection. And that study found that about one in 10, about 9.3 percent of people who were pregnant while they had COVID went on to develop long COVID. Now that one in 10 is similar to what we've seen in the adult population that wasn't pregnant when they had COVID.

But we also know that children can also get long COVID. And a separate study found that up to 5.8 million children have had long COVID. So these new numbers really put in perspective, just how prevalent long COVID has been not just in the general population or like you said in people with, you know, immunocompromised but also among people who are pregnant or also among children. So it's interesting to see this data come out looking specifically at long COVID, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much for that reporting.

Today, nearly three weeks after that life size statue of Jackie Robinson was stolen and destroyed, Kansas police say they found the person responsible. We'll tell you about that next.



TAPPER: In our Sports Lead, an arrest in Wichita, Kansas today nearly three weeks after a life sized bronze statue of all-time baseball grade and civil rights hero, Jackie Robinson, was stolen and destroyed. Robinson was of course the man who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947. Forty-five-year-old Ricky Alderete is charged with felony, theft and aggravated criminal damage to property. Police say there's no evidence suggest -- to suggest this was a hate crime. Instead, police say the suspect seemingly wanted to sell this down to you for scrap.

Look out for a special series for me this Sunday called the United States of Scandal. We're going to take a closer look and deeper dive at some of the most outrageous and iconic political controversies in modern times, Governor Rod Blagojevich, John Edwards, Jim McGreevey, Valerie Plame, and much, much more. The series premieres Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern only here on CNN.


You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, X, formerly known as Twitter and on the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can follow the show at X at TheLeadCNN. I'm going to be back in two hours for our special live coverage of the election to replace former Congressman George Santos. The news continues now with Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. I'll see you in two.