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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Georgia Judge Drops Six Charges In Trump Election Subversion Case; House Passes Bill That Could Ban TikTok In U.S.; Boeing Faces Scrutiny After Number Of Mid-Flight Incidents; Now: Biden In Key Battleground State Wisconsin; UC Berkeley Grapples With Response To Antisemitism. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired March 13, 2024 - 16:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: He told local media, quote, it's a lot more fun to do the Titanic than it is to sit at home and count money. Some might debate that.

Speaking of fun, passengers will be encouraged to dress for the 1900s. I -- probably too soon to make jokes about what happened on the Titanic, right? I hope the experience isn't too authentic

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: No, it's going to be all the good parts. Good parts of the cruise.

SANCHEZ: We'll leave it there.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: A fatal mistake, sinking part of the case in Georgia against Donald Trump.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Six charges dismissed in the election subversion case in Fulton County, Georgia. A judge saying a lack of detail led to his decision. What does this mean for the rest of Fani Willis's case? A Georgia legal expert and a close associate of District Attorney Willis, join us to break it all down.

Plus, TikTok takedown. A bill forcing the social media giant to cut ties with China or face a ban in the U.S. passes the House with huge bipartisan support. But will it go anywhere in the Senate?

And should the U.S. government be in the business of banning private companies? I'll ask a member of the House Select Committee on China.

And a question so many people are asking today, do you feel safe flying on a Boeing plane? Major new revelations about the airline manufacturer's work on that door plug that blew off during an Alaskan Airlines flight. The NTSB today saying its investigation is being held back by a lack of paperwork and video footage.


I'm Jake Tapper, a big blow today for District Attorney Fani Willis in the Georgia election subversion case against Donald Trump and his allies. Judge Scott McAfee, has thrown out six charges in the 41-count indictment against Trump, and some of his co-defendants. All of those charges relate to multiple instances of the co-defendants allegedly soliciting the violation of oath by a public officer.

Three of the six charges tossed were against Donald Trump. One of them tied to that infamous phone call that Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 after the 2020 election.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 notes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.


TAPPER: He did not win the state. Of course, he lost the state. Now, even though these six charges are out the window, McAfee said the alleged conduct at the root of those charges could still be used by prosecutors as part of the larger racketeering cases, which means the case remains for the most part intact.

To be clear, today's ruling has nothing to do with these separate ethics allegations brought against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The judge has not yet decided whether to disqualify her. But that major ruling is also expected this week.

Let's go to CNN's Nick Valencia in Atlanta, outside the Fulton County courthouse.

And, Nic, this was not the major ruling we expected to get this week. Why did the judge decided to drop these six charges?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's very clear in his ruling. This is a critique of the district attorney's office lack of detail. What Judge Scott McAfee is saying, is that the D.A.'s office didn't include enough detail about what crimes they were allegedly soliciting when they are asking these public officials to do essentially their dirty work, these calls -- these charges have to do with the infamous phone call as you were mentioning there with the former president, him calling the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger to find more votes.

It also has to do with this alleged fake electors scheme. And that's the scheme from Trump and his allies to try to subvert the Electoral College and say that he rightfully won the state of Georgia when he did not. It also has to do with Trump asking one of the heads of the legislature here to call a special session in Georgia.

But the judge is saying that there wasn't enough details about what oath that these public officials were allegedly violating, what crimes were being solicited by these defendants. So he's throwing these charges out.

And it's being celebrated as a victory for these defendants, including the former president's attorney here, Steve Sadow, who sent us a statement and this is what he's saying in part: The ruling is a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts. The entire prosecution of President Trump is political, constitutes election interference and should be dismissed.

There is a caveat though here, Jake, and the caveat is that the judge has left the door open for the D.A.'s office to fill in these details and re-indict and also most importantly, the most significant count of all is still stands and that's the racketeer charged. But as you mentioned, we are still waiting for that monumental decision from Judge McAfee, which could come really at any at any moment -- Jake.


TAPPER: All right. We're also waiting, Nick, for the judge to make that other hugely consequential decision in the case whether to disqualify the Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, from her own case. When might that ruling come down?

VALENCIA: Well, it could come at any point. We are expecting it to come towards the later half of this week and that's just from the words that we heard from the mouth of the judge himself. He gave a recent interview to WSP radio here in Atlanta. That's a conservative talk roe -- talk radio. It came as a shock to a lot of us following this case because he's virtually denied every single interview request. But he did grant this interview to talk about his challenger. The challenger he faces for his November reelection bid.

And during the course of this eight-minute interview, he talked about this pending decision and he said his decision is going to take time. This kind of decision takes time, but he's going to make it at his best understanding of the law. He did say though, Jake, he is on track to make that decision by the end of this week -- Jake.

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

Let's discuss with former senior assistant D.A. for Fulton County, Charlie Bailey, and former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan.

And, Charlie, we should note you have worked closely with district attorney Fani Willis and your wife, is part of her communications team. Have you spoken to District Attorney Willis since these six charges were dropped? And what do you make of the judge's reasoning?

CHARLIE BAILEY, FORMER FULTON COUNTY SENIOR ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: No, I've not spoken to Fani since the judge came out with this order. And my take is this is fairly routine stuff notwithstanding what Trump's lawyer wants to say, a special demurer and the judge pointed this out. This is something that's in his words so easily remedy. And in the federal system, you could file a bill of attainder. You don't even have to go back to a grand jury to re-indict. Good lawyers can disagree about whether there's sufficient notice in the indictment as to the charges, and that's really what were talking about here, but not to get too far in the rabbit hole.

This is fixable and it doesn't go to the sufficiency of the evidence which the judge was sure to point out in his order.

TAPPER: And, Tom, let's read the judge's reasoning for dropping six charges of quote, violation of oath by a public officer, unquote. The judge writes, quote, as written, these six counts contain all the essential elements of the crimes, but failed to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited. They do not give the defendants enough information to prepare the defense as intelligently as the defendants could have violated the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways, unquote.

What do you make of that? Do you agree?

J. TOM MORGAN, FORMER DEKALB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Absolutely. Jake, the Sixth Amendment and the due process clause. So the 14th amendment state that a defendant must be put on notice of the charges against him and what he did to make them a crime. These counts are very convoluted to begin with, and at the end of the day, the defendants were not put on notice.

But, Jake, let me just say this deference to Mr. Shakespeare, this is much ado about nothing. As Mr. Bailey said, this is routine. These six counts, I think most prosecutors, including this former prosecutor, would never have included them in the indictment. In the first place because they're already in the RICO count, and the judge in his orders said that they can stay in the RICO count.

TAPPER: So you're saying just to reiterate, you don't think this is that big a deal on the grand scheme of this one case?

MORGAN: Absolutely. As I said, I think most prosecutors would not even have included these counts. The RICO count, which is a 20-year felony of both of those RICO counts are staying in and that's what Mr. Trump and the other defendants would like to have taken out.

TAPPER: And, Charlie, CNN legal analyst Michael Moore, a former U.S. attorney in Georgia, says that McAfee is action might mean that the judge does not think the case will go to trial this year. Could that be damaging to Fani Willis's case in and of itself? And if so, how?

BAILEY: Well, I disagree with Michael on that point. I don't think this indicates anything (AUDIO GAP) D.A.'s office decides to re- indict, adding some specific language that the judge is calling for here. That doesn't change anything about the trial possible trial date. As the judge said, already said the facts, the conduct is alleged in abundance in the indictment and that's -- when you're talking about getting ready for trial, it's -- do you have all the evidence that the state is going to use against you. [16:10:06]

And nothing about this order changes that they have all that evidence and have had all that evidence for months now. So I don't think that change makes a distinction one way or the other about whether it goes to trial before the election or not. That's going to be Judge McAfee's decision.

But there's plenty of time between now and November to get started, whether that's August, whether that's July, whether that's September.

TAPPER: And, Tom, he told CNN two weeks ago that if Judge McAfee follows the Georgia Supreme Court case law, you believe Fani Willis will not be disqualified. Are you still expecting that Judge McAfee will leave Fani Willis on the case?

MORGAN: Yes, I believe the judge will have to find that there's an actual conflict and there's not an actual conflict. The appearance of conflict is not what the law of demand there has to be an actual conflict. I've watched the hearings very closely and I do not believe that the defense has shown that there is an actual conflict. Certainly an appearance, but not an actual conflict.

TAPPER: Charlie, what do you think?

BAILEY: I agree with J. Tom on what the law is. It's clear in Georgia, there has been a lot of talk about -- well, it's an open question. It's not. As J. Tom says this is very clear that actual conflict is the standard here.

And as we've talked before, Jake, I mean, the defense attorneys in this case set up this elaborate crazy theory that they had to prove. That Fani Willis brought this indictment 41 counts against nine (AUDIO GAP) including a former president and not because the evidence and the law required it, but because she couldn't afford a trip to Aruba and needed to hire somebody that could pay for the cruise.

I mean, it's so outrageous. It's hard even say with a straight face. That is what they had to prove in this hearing. And within a galaxy of conflict, you're not what even in a galaxy that of a conflict, unless were going to sit here and say that people that work together can't date, can't marry.

And I think you could even say, you know, in your time and in the press, not mentioned politics or law, you've got all kinds (AUDIO GAP) and end up getting married with people (AUDIO GAP). That's a commonplace occurrence.

TAPPER: Charlie Bailey, J. Tom Morgan, thanks to both you. Appreciate it.

Rare bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill today on an issue that could have huge impact on tens of millions of Americans. A possible ban on the social media app, TikTok, that ban passed the House. But will it sail as easily through the U.S. Senate. That story is next.



TAPPER: In our politics lead something pretty rare in Washington, D.C. is bipartisan unity on a controversial issue. The House of Representatives earlier today passed a bill that could end up banning the wildly popular app TikTok. Not only was the final vote by partisan, it was rather overwhelming, 352 to 65.

As CNN's Lauren Fox reports for us now, the big concern here is security and whether China's government is looking over the shoulders of the roughly 170 million Americans who use the TikTok app.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After major bipartisan support in the House for a bill that could potentially ban TikTok, its next stop in the U.S. Senate and the fate of its tens of millions of users in the U.S. is not as clear cut.

REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): This is one of those arguments you can push either argument.

FOX: The House overwhelmingly passed their plan that would require Chinese parent company ByteDance to sell its popular social media platform or face a ban in the U.S.

KILDEE: At the end of the day for me, it really came down to whether or not we can take some action to try to deter the malign influence of the PRC.

FOX: But the bill wasn't without its detractors, 65 members voted against it, including 50 Democrats.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I think there are serious national security concerns, but I think the way the bill it was crafted was problematic. And so I voted no.

REP. DAN BISHOP (D-NC): The answer is not to go selectively banning the flow of information from particular nation.

FOX: Those backing it argue they did so for national security.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): I want to protect them from a foreign adversary collecting their data manipulating it.

REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): TikTok is owned by ByteDance. ByteDance is in China.

FOX: Already, President Joe Biden has said he would sign the bill if it passes. That, opponents argue, could be a political mistake.

Do you worry at all about the political implications for Biden, for Democrats in the election, over supporting this legislation?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): I don't know why you want to upset young people and -- 170 million people on a platform.

FOX: Republican front runner Donald Trump is taking a different approach. After the former president once for an outright ban on TikTok --

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We'll need to close up TikTok in this country for security reasons, or it will be sold.

FOX: -- he now says, he isn't behind the House bill. The bill's future in the Senate also less certain.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): There's a lot of questions my colleagues are asking, myself included, I haven't come to fund decision as to whether or not it should be banned.

FOX: Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner, top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, committed Wednesday to, quote, working together to get this bill passed through the Senate and signed into law.

But Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not committed to putting the bill on the floor.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUME (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: I'll have to consult and intend to consult with my relevant committee chairmen to see what their views would be.


FOX (on camera): And today, it became very clear. TikTok putting out a statement saying that the Senate needs to consider this very carefully. They need to listen to their constituents, listen to the 170 million TikTok talk to users who are using that service.


But we should also note there's no guarantee that the House passed bill would actually come to the floor of the Senate. Tonight, we're getting new reporting from our colleagues, Manu Raju and Ted Barrett, that Maria Cantwell, a powerful committee chairwoman, is eyeing a different approach, and that could take some time to craft.

That certainly lays out the possibility that this isn't going to come to a vote in a matter of days, but this could drag on for weeks or even months - Jake.

TAPPER: All right. CNN's Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill for us, thanks so much.

Coming up now, the great wall of diplomatic displeasure between Beijing and Washington, D.C. only growing with this news.

CNN correspondent Marc Stewart is in Beijing.

And, Marc, you got to direct answer when you asked a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry about this TikTok ban.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Jake. There should be no question where Beijing stands in all of this as China is now accusing the United States of acting like a bully. And the question I posed that generated that response was framed like this -- regardless of what happens with TikTok, there is a feeling of distrust from some American lawmakers, from some American citizens toward Chinese companies. Here is the response to that question.


WANG WENBIN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): Even though the U.S. has not found evidence on how TikTok endangers its national security. It has never stopped going after TikTok such practice of resorting to acts of bullying when one could not succeed in fair competition, disrupts the normal operation of the market, it undermines the confidence of international investors and sabotages the global economic and trade order. This will eventually backfire on the U.S. itself.


STEWART: This is all happening at a time when the United States and China are trying to find an economic roadmap, a business relationship for the future, especially post pandemic. I followed up by asking what kind of relationship does the Chinese government have with ByteDance? Is it advising TikTok?

The response that I got, Jake, was very much to the first question, pretty much the same answer. No additional insight, no indication as to exactly the relationship between the government and this company, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Marc Stewart, thanks so much.

With us now, New York Democrat, Democratic Representative Ritchie Torres. He's a member of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party and, first of all, a belated happy birthday to you, sir.

You voted in favor of the TikTok bill today. Explain your thinking to our viewers, especially the millions, if not tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people who love the app and don't want big government infringing on their right to use it.

REP. RITCHIE TORRES (D-NY): Well, the legislation is not about the use of TikTok, it's about foreign ownership of TikTok. ByteDance's ownership of TikTok is a threat to the security of the United States. ByteDance is subject to the control of the Chinese communist party. ByteDance owns TikTok.

And, you know, TikTok is not merely social media platform, it is the leading new source for the next generation of Americans. And the fact that we have put the leading news source for the most impressionable minds in our society in the hands of our leading foreign adversary, the Chinese communist party, is an act of self sabotage. That would have been the equivalent of allowing a Soviet company to control ABC, NBC, and CBS during the height of the Cold War, which would have been unimaginable.

TAPPER: What kind of threat do you see happening? What -- giving you an example of the kind of thing either you have seen on TikTok and you suspect it's because the Chinese government has influenced or what you fear?

TORRES: Well, first as a consensus throughout the intelligence community, from the FBI to the CIA, that there is a national security risk with ByteDance control of TikTok. So that's not a matter of dispute within the federal government.

I have two concerns. First, there are more than 170 million users on TikTok. The Chinese Communist Party could easily access that data under the national security law in China, ByteDance would have no choice but to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party.

And then second, TikTok could be a tool for information warfare. You know, China could easily use TikTok to conduct foreign influence operations against the United States. So both data privacy, data security, and information warfare are causes for concern.

TAPPER: We just heard from CNN's Marc Stewart from Beijing. He says the Chinese government is accusing the United States of acting like a bully. What's your reaction?

TORRES: I mean, there's no greater bully than the Chinese Communist Party. I mean, it consistently coerces and intimidates and bullies American companies based in China. And the Chinese Communist Party would never allow the United States to control the leading media platform in China.


TAPPER: TikTok used the app to encourage users to contact their lawmakers and tell them to vote against the legislation. Did you get a lot of calls and messages?

TORRES: Look, every congressional office was flooded with calls. But TikTok is telling lies. It is spreading this information the legislation is not a ban on TikTok. It is a forced sale of TikTok.

Under the legislation, TikTok will have the ability to continue to operate. TikTok users will have the ability to create content and express themselves. This is not about content, this is about foreign ownership of TikTok.

TAPPER: As you know, Donald Trump during his presidency supported a ban on TikTok and a ban on foreigners, foreign ownership of TikTok, and now, he's against your bill.

Are you worried at all that this legislation is going to alienate young people whose votes Democrats need in November?

TORRES: I mean, first, we should make the decision based on national security, not electoral politics. But second, I want to reiterate, this is not a ban on TikTok. I respect the right of young people to create content, to express themselves on TikTok.

But we are not targeting the communicative and expressive activity he that happens on TikTok. We're targeting adversarial foreign control of the leading social media platform here in the United States.

TAPPER: Do you -- can you make any sense of the fact that President Biden banned TikTok from government devices, seems inclined to sign this ban on foreigners, foreign ownership of TikTok into law, if it gets to his desk. But his campaign opened its own account on TikTok.

Does that make sense to you?

TORRES: It does. I mean, I personally do not have a TikTok account, but it makes sense because the focus of the legislation is not the use of TikTok, its ownership of TikTok. So if you want to be a user of TikTok, that is your right, and we will not interfere with that right, but we want to ensure that TikTok is in the ownership of either an American company or an or a country -- accompanying an allied country.

TAPPER: Turning to another matter, you're proposing a change in House rules to prevent expelled members of Congress such as, oh, I don't know former New York Congressman George Santos from being allowed on the House floor, from being allowed to continue House floor visiting privileges because it's a privilege usually granted to all former members of Congress.

Tell us more about that.

TORRES: So, George Santos disgraced the United States Congress with his embarrassing presence during the State of the Union. As you pointed out, former members enjoy the same floor privileges as existing members.

If you are a former member who left the institution in good-standing, you should retain floor privileges. But in my view, if you were expelled from Congress for misconduct, as George Santos was, then you should have your floor privileges revoked.

And so I'm introducing what is known as the GEORGE Rule, which would revoke the floor privileges of expelled members. George stands for Getting Expelled Officially Revoked, Guaranteed Entry.

TAPPER: Who came up with that?

TORRES: That was my team. Have a team that's clever in getting acronyms.

TAPPER: Very smart.

TORRES: Yeah and happy birthday, by the way.

TAPPER: Yeah, that's a good acronym. Oh, well, we have the same birthday yesterday.

Democratic Congressman Ritchie Torres, thanks -- thanks for being here. Good to see you. Thank you so much, sir.

A stark relation from the NTSB today over that Alaska Airlines midair door plug blowout. The information it claims Boeing cannot provide about work that had been done on that part of the aircraft. That's next.



TAPPER: And we're back with our national lead. There's really no way to sugarcoat this. Boeing is a company that has some very serious problems. After a series of frightening mid-flight incidents, the company's stock is now down 27 percent for the year.

The National Transportation Safety Board is planning a rare public hearing on that door plug that blew off the Boeing plane earlier this year. And, of course, a recent federal audit found issues with really important, unquote, aspects of Boeing's production line.

None of that is good news.

I want to bring in CNN aviation correspondent Pete Muntean.

Pete, everyone now has seen a lot of scary headlines about planes. Are these things just now happening or are we just now hearing about them?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: There's a little bit of connective tissue here, Jake, and that all really kicked off with the 737 MAX 9 door plug blow out back on January 5th. After that, there has been incident after incident, there's the Latam Airlines 787 incident of earlier this week, there were smoking tires on a 777 coming out of Sydney, just the other day. There was the 777 that lost a tire in San Francisco.

All of these things involve Boeing airplanes, but that is really where the connection ends. The door plug blowout incident really highlighted some quality control issues at Boeing. It's the most dramatic, it's the most dangerous (VIDEO GAP)

So there are definitely quality control problems at Boeing and those are really being investigated now by the NTSB and the FAA. And now, Boeing has a perception problem whether or not it is warranted, that is really sort of up to the flying public. And it seems like they focus on the fact that every incident in these most recent ones involve a Boeing airplane.


TAPPER: What are your sources telling you about what's going on behind the scenes at Boeing right now.

MUNTEAN: Behind the scenes at Boeing, there's a lot of questions. There are so many edicts right now coming down from on high at Boeing to the workers saying they must keep in on quality control, that they must assemble everything per the directions that the spotlight is really on, even the workers.

But the big question is this now, will there be changed at the top, like we saw after the MAX 8 incidents of 2018 and 2019, 346 people killed in two crashes abroad. That caused a whole host of changes at the executive level, including new CEO. We've not really seen much in the way of any indication of that. The only thing that has changed as the head of the 737 MAX program, and he was largely a person who is unknown to people off the street.

So, one has to ask if that was really a scapegoat change. And will there be significant change at Boeing.

TAPPER: And, Pete, we now know the NTSB is going to hold this rare public hearing on the incident with the door-plug. But today, investigators said Boeing is unable to provide some key information that they need?

MUNTEAN: This has been something that's been highlighted by the National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy before, and she really put Boeing on blast once again today after a hearing on Capitol Hill last week. She has written the top senators, who in the committee who oversee aviation, saying that Boeing, by not providing some documents that show what the latest was on the work that was done on the MAX-9 that was delivered to Alaska Airlines late last year, that they're really hampering the investigation.

Remember, the NTSB found that the bolts that hold the door plug on the plane were removed at the factory because of corrective work on another part of the plane. And then the bolts were not re-installed. Boeing simply not been able to produced that paperwork. And so, NTSB chair Homendy says the absence of those records will complicate the NTSB's investigation going forward, and it is not a good look for Boeing.

TAPPER: All right. Pete Muntean, thanks so much.

Let's go live now to where President Biden is speaking. So we can hear him. He's in Milwaukee. He's at an event touting the administration's work on infrastructure.

Let's listen

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My father say, excuse my back, I apologize.

Hello, Milwaukee.

Thank you. Ray (ph), for that introduction and for sharing your family's story with so many of us.

Your grandfather served our nation in uniform and he started a family business only to see it demolished in the community, disconnected because of a new highway. But he never gave up. Neither of you know, are the people this community, and I want to thank you.

Governor Evers, my good friend, thank you. Gov. You're the best and I want to thank you for your partnership across the board for getting us through COVID, rebuilding the economy, and so much more.

The same goes for a great senator, Tammy Baldwin, and your incredible Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

Is your son here?

All right. Well, she represents your hometown with such incredible integrity and tenacity.

Mayor Johnson, you're one of the most impressive young mayors I met and I met all of them I think. No, I really mean it. Thank you. I don't know where you're sitting. There you are.

Stand up, Mr. Mayor.

I tell you -- I warned anybody, don't run for mayor, they know where you live and they're thinking solve all of your problems.

Thank you for your passport to the city and your leadership in this project that I'm here to talk about.

Look to communities everywhere at this -- boys and girls club, by the way, I've been a gigantic supporter of boys -- your biggest in the country, but when I was a senator, I've provided a lot of money during the crime sprees were going on for boys and girls clubs.

What you do is you build confidence, you build spirit, you build a sense of belonging. And it really matters. And this project is for you, a future you really deserve.

Look the story of a Bronzeville here in Milwaukee is one that we see all across the country. Our interstate highway system laid out in the '50s was a groundbreaking connection, our nation's coast to coast, that was the purpose of it, were -- to transform the way people live, work and travel.

Well, instead of connecting communities, it divided them. These highways actually tore them apart.

I come from a city, Wilmington, Delaware, where if you ever the same thing happened.


We're in a situation where I-95 is four lanes going through community that was all African-American and it just split it, and it's now about 50, 60, maybe 70 yards wide and I'm -- I'm president -- I can't get that done yet. Why did you guys get it first? I don't know.

No, but all kidding aside, the same thing happened here and many cities across the country, for also cities all across America, where highways used to be a long red lining -- along with red lining, they disconnected the entire communities from opportunities, sometimes in an effort to reinforce segregation. That's what happened here in Milwaukee. More than 100 years ago, Bronzeville was the home of a thriving hub of

Black culture and commerce. Homes and apartment is owned by Black families. Black small business from hotels, the jazz clubs, to restaurants like Ray's grandfather.

In the middle of the 20th century, tens of thousands of Black Americans migrated from the South, to Milwaukee and other cities in the north, to get good paying manufacturing jobs. But by the '60s, so- called urban renewal swept this country, the construction of I-94 and I-43 tore down roughly 17,000 homes and 1,000 businesses, ripping through neighborhoods in nearby roads.

Here on Sixth Street, the road was widened, displacing residents of business. Also, the people outside the neighborhood, you get downtown. Today's Sixth Street is a wide road without a prop -- without a protected bike path, bike lanes, or bus lanes, with limited access to the green space. Speeding and reckless driving resulted in crashes five times that of the city's average.

All of this looking people -- locking people out of opportunities and leaving them more isolated from the social and economic life for the rest of the city. Congresswoman Moore told me when she was a child, she lived a short walk from a public library, safe place to read and learn, where libraries who were given cake -- the library and give cake to children when I showed up to read. That's true, ain't it?

But then the new plans disrupted the walk and made the library inaccessible. Sadly, too many communities across America face the loss of wealth, prosperity, and the possibilities that still reverberate today. Imagine all those homes, a mom and pop stores that could have been posted, and passed down from family to family, financial security, generational wealth would have resulted. Imagine what they can do where they contributed then, and what they could have contributed all these years.

And what that would have meant for all the Milwaukee and all the communities across the country?

For generations, Black, Brown, and Native American, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, communities weren't fully included in our democracy or our economy. But yet by pure courage, heart, and grit, they never gave up. They pursued the full promise of America.

Today, recognizing that history to make new history. I'm here to announce the first of its kind of investment, $3.3 billion -- $3.3 billion and 132 projects and 42 states going to help write historic wrongs.


And in the process, delivering environmental justice by reconnecting disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods new opportunities for future of future prosperity, many possibilities. These investments advanced my Justice40 Initiative, deliver at least 40 percent, 40 percent of all the -- all the benefits from clean transit, clean energy and climate investment to disadvantaged communities. That's a commitment I made and we're keeping it.

Here in Milwaukee will mean $36 million in new federal funding to rebuild Sixth Street.


Will mean wider sidewalks for children walking to school, safer bike lanes for residents and visitors, dedicated bus lanes to get work, to get to work faster, new -- new trees to provide shade and moderate infrastructure prevent sewage from flowing in the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan.

These are life changing improvements, but also are going to make it easier for historic black communities in the north and Latino communities in the south to access jobs, school and entertainment, opportunities in the city in central hub, from watching the Milwaukee Bucks play to attending Milwaukee area technical college.

And if I didn't mention the technical college, I go home asleep alone because my wife is a full-time teacher to community college.

You all think I'm kidding, I'm not.

We're going to ensure that good-paying construction jobs created in this project go to members of the community, benefiting the very same project.



TAPPER: OK. We're going to break away there. We've been listening to President Biden's speech in Milwaukee, which is the same city where Republicans will hold their convention this summer, and nominate Donald Trump.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is traveling with the president, both Democrats and Republicans see Wisconsin as a must when this year, Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, they absolutely do, and here's why. Donald Trump carried Wisconsin in 2016. Joe Biden won it four years later. He's back here trying to campaign to win that.

He's talking behind me here as you can see about infrastructure, of course, one of the biggest achievements of his first term in office he believes is the bipartisan infrastructure law. So he's specifically announcing to the street what projects that will pay for.

His slogan here is rebuilding communities. He's also trying to rebuild the coalition for his campaign. This is about the sixth battleground state he's hit since the State of Union address. The question is, are people listening?

And, Jake, talking to Democrats here, talking to voters? Many have said they in fact, have been inspired and energized by that speech, lowering my voice here as he is still speaking.

So the question is, this, Wisconsin will be at the center not all battlegrounds. That is the center of that big blue wall. Wisconsin, of course, Michigan, Pennsylvania. So that's why the president is here.

And Jake, as you said, Donald Trump will be here to accept his party's nomination next July. Wisconsin is so key, even more important in this year -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. CNN's Jeff Zeleny in Milwaukee, in battleground Wisconsin, thanks so much.

Several recent anti-Semitic incidents on campuses in the United States have put UC-Berkeley and an awful spotlight. Coming up next, why the campus known for free speech is grappling with how to protect Jewish students.



TAPPER: In our national lead now, more than five months after the war broke out between Israel and Hamas, tensions are coming to a head between students at the University of California Berkeley after Jewish students invited in Israeli speaker to campus, which resulted in more than 200 pro-Palestinian protesters vowing to shut down the event.

And now the police and the Department of Education are investigating.

CNN's Nick Watt visited the Berkeley campus.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Berkeley, California, is proud home of the free speech movement.

ILANA PEARLMAN, PROTESTER SUPPORTING JEWISH STUDENTS: Progressive and inclusive safe place for everybody except Jews.

WATT: You really mean that?

PEARLMAN: I really mean that.

WATT: Why?

PEARLMAN: Because Jews are being collectively blamed for a conflict 7,000 miles away.

WATT (voice-over): This is what happened at UC-Berkeley when largely Jewish student groups invited an Israeli speaker onto campus.

SARAH, BEARS FOR PALESTINE: The speaker who had come on campus was a soldier who was actively participating in the horrendous Gaza (ph) attacks. He had posted some very crude things online.

WATT: About 200 pro-Palestinian protesters vowed to shut it down, violating campus policies on free speech and safety.

DAN MOGULOF, ASST. VICE CHANCELLOR, UC BERKELEY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: We were outnumbered. Police, by and large, don't like to make arrests unless they have numerical superiority.

WATT: There's now an internal investigation, a criminal investigation, and a Department of Education civil rights investigation.

SARAH: Things did kind of get out of control a little bit. This is a very sensitive and very emotional topic for us. I personally have had over 20 family members killed and I was there.

MOGULOF: What happened was shocking, without any recent precedent.

CROWD: We charge you with genocide.

WATT: But they were chants that we've heard on many college campuses these past months.

CROWD: Shame on you. Shame on you.

DANIEL CONWAY, BEARS FOR ISRAEL: There's been very minimal action taken to prevent these aggressive slogans and chants. They're meant to intimidate Jewish students.

MOGULOF: It's not fine. It's protected by the law. We can't censor it. We can't repress it, but we can, and we must, and we are cognizant of the fact that its impacting our students negatively. And so, we must offer them support.

WATT: Students, mostly Jewish, were evacuated that night, had to move their event off-campus.

VIDA KEYVANFAR, CO-PRESIDENT, BERKELEY TIKVAH: The next morning, wake up and meet with administrators and have them telling me, you have to move our next -- you have to move your next event off of main campus.

WATT: A talk on antisemitism.

MOGULOF: We want speakers invited by Jewish students to say whatever it is they want to say safely and successfully. And if it means asking students to move to a safer venue, gosh, darn, we're going to ask them.

WATT: Hi. I'm Nick. Hi.


WATT: This Berkeley professor is now protesting, kind of a sit-in, sleeping in his office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The university is reluctant to clamp down on this behavior because it is reluctant to arrest students. So far they've gotten away with it because the Jewish students said we will tolerate, we will undergo this humiliation. Their patience is over. WATT: He believes the administration has good intentions. He just

wants them to do more about all of this.

ARIEL MIZRAHI, SENATOR, ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: After the riot, they're still allowing the organization Bears for Palestine. They call apartheid week, where are they wanted, be on campus, block the gate, and they don't do anything about it.

WATT: The main entrance to campus has been blocked by pro-Palestinian protesters for some time, Jewish students say they'd been jeered at.


MOGULOF: It's five, ten students today, we go in and U.S. law enforcement. We'll have 20, 30, 40, 50, 200.

WATT: This week, Jewish student groups and their allies march silently towards that gate.

Are they going to try to come through asked, one counterprotester, not from Bears for Palestine.


Zionists kill babies, came the reply. They could do anything.

The marchers went around.


WATT (on camera): So bottom line, a lot of hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. And Berkeley does not have enough police officers.

There is some hope. There have been a couple of speaking engagements this week that went off with a hitch, that march you just saw that was also peaceful.

Now, the controversial speaker that started all this, he has been invited back. He's coming back onto the campus next week. Bears for Palestine tell me right now, they're not planning to protest. We'll see.

But listen, Berkeley officials tell me, this is a wake-up call for them and it should be a wake-up call for the rest of the country -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Nick Watt, thank you so much for that report.

The House Republicans' annual retreat is getting -- getting underway right now at a swanky resort. But will party dysfunction take hold with many members who are skipping the event? We've got new reporting about who's there and who's not.


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

In this hour, an overnight helicopter mission to rescue Americans trapped in Haiti as violent when criminal gangs run rampant. Prisoners are freed.