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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Trump: Jews Who Vote For Democrats Hate Israel & Their Religion; Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Is Interviewed About Biden Touts Efforts To Lower Housing Costs; Two Black Men Tortured By Six Officers Speak Out; Real Estate Commissions Could Be Slashed After Lawsuit. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired March 19, 2024 - 17:00   ET



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: It's a fairly shocking thing for a presidential candidate to say about any religious minority. But about Jews at this time of rising anti-semitism in the United States, it is certainly noteworthy. This is not the first time he is lashed out at Jews who don't support him. Just last year around the High Holy Days for Jews, Trump shared a social media image that said liberal Jews who didn't support him, quote, "voted to destroy America and Israel." But that was a repost on Instagram or read truth or whatever.

The White House was quick to respond to Trump's latest comments saying, quote, "As antisemitic crimes and acts of hate have increased across the world, among them the deadliest attack committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Leaders have an obligation to call hate what it is and bring Americans together against it. There is no justification for spreading toxic false stereotypes that threaten fellow citizens. None," unquote.

That was putting it nicely compared to what the Biden campaign had to say, which was, quote, "The only person who should be ashamed here is Donald Trump. Donald Trump openly demeans Jewish Americans and reportedly thinks Adolf Hitler," quote, "did some good things." That last bit is a reference to comments Trump made in private to his then Chief of Staff retired General John Kelly according to CNNs own Jim Sciutto. CNN's Kristen Holmes is here with more.

Kristen, shocking comments by Trump, offensive comments by Trump, are -- is this just going to be what we're hearing from now until November or perhaps beyond?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, yes. When you talk to your campaign advisors or aides, you don't get any sense that he's going to change his rhetoric, that he is going to tamp down the kind of language that he uses. In fact, they say they know who their candidate is. And keep in mind, we have not heard Republicans in any way largely coming out to rebuke Donald Trump's comments. And in fact, his campaign doubled down on what he said.

And this is what they said in a statement, "President Trump is right. The Democrat Party has turned into a full blown anti-Israel, antisemitic, pro-terrorist cabal." There is a clear messaging problem with Donald Trump and several of these various minority groups. Two things are true, Donald Trump's team believes that there is an opening with Jewish voters who are unhappy with the way that Biden has handled the Israel Hamas war. This is how Donald Trump chooses to message to those voters. This seems very similar to what we saw last month in South Carolina when Donald Trump's campaign was saying that they saw an opening among black voters in America, only to have Donald Trump say that black voters liked him because he had been arrested and discriminated against just like they had, essentially tying his own indictments to the years and years of legal discriminations that blacks have faced in this country.

Again, just because there are openings does not mean that these groups of people are going to vote for Donald Trump. And they clearly need to work on how exactly he is going to message people if they want to pick up any of these votes instead of actually turn voters off.

TAPPER: Yes. Kristen Holmes, thanks so much.

Let's bring in our panel. We have with us Bill Kristol and David Frum. And first of all, just as a factual matter, it's very clear that there are lots of Jews who love being Jewish love Judaism, love Israel, and vote for Democrats. I mean, so what he said is just factually incorrect. But beyond that it's offensive. You've both worked for Republican administrations yet you have also voted for Democratic tickets against Donald Trump. You're both Jewish. So you are also qualified to address this because you are -- Donald Trump says you hate --


TAPPER: -- you hate Israel and you hate Judaism, David.

FRUM: Well, I haven't critically intimate relationship with this war. We have a relative of ours in Hamas captivity still unaccounted for.

TAPPER: Who is that?

FRUM: You've interviewed the family, the Neutra family.

TAPPER: Oh, I didn't know that they were related to you.

FRUM: And they taken in uniform, fighting gallantly for Israel. I am -- so this is a very intimate matter. It's very raw.

Needs to be said that first, when you make this amount about loyalty to Benjamin Netanyahu, the vast majority of the Jewish Israeli electorate also rejects Benjamin Netanyahu. So Trump has to direct his criticism to them as well.

But it is worth remembering what the Biden administration has done for Israel, and we're now moving on six months since heinous attacks in October. The support has been overwhelming. Biden has visited Israel twice, with extraordinary personal risks, showing great personal courage. He -- it mobilized the Israeli electorate with a show of his passionate concern. There has been a flow of intelligence information, highly sensitive materials.

It is the Republicans in the House of Representatives who have embargoed the President's request for aid to Israel, $13 billion that President Biden asked for on the 20th of October, and now it is March, and that money has still not been voted.


But there's one more thing that needs to be said, and because as we both know many people in the very conservative Jewish world who might be inclined to agree with Donald Trump. And what I would say to them is this, what Israel -- they should always remember, Israel's largest economic partner is the European Union. Israel U.S. relationship alone is not enough. Israel needs to be embedded in a global community. So if you have a candidate for president who rejects the very idea of a global community, who rejects the idea of U.S. European partnership, he is rejecting Israel's most important economic allies and offering them only weapons when they need trade. They need to make a living.

TAPPER: Yes. Bill, what was your response to hearing President Trump say that about Jews?

BILL KRISTOL, DIRECTOR, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY TOGETHER: I mean, I pretty much agree with everything David said substantively. My own response was I was so disgusted by it. I honestly almost didn't want to engage in it. And I didn't engage and I was writing a newsletter for Monday Morning and I ended up focusing on Trump's salute to the insurrectionists and his promise to pardon them, which I do think is worth more comment by then that's gotten to. There's so many things Trump says that --

TAPPER: Yes. No, we covered it yesterday.

KRISTOL: No, no, no, there's so many things Trump says --


KRISTOL: -- that worth -- that are worth comments and reflection about how really bad they are. And here, he just -- and I found it so sickening, really, that I didn't want to engage it. And I thought of even tweeting something and that I didn't do it because it's someone's sort of, you know -- someone accuses you of hating your religion and hating the State of Israel. And he's not -- he has no standing to do that, if I can put it this way.

TAPPER: Well, that's another thing. What is Donald Trump or Sebastian Gorka, for that matter, what did they know --


TAPPER: -- about how Jews feel about Judaism?

KRISTOL: I mean, there are plenty --

TAPPER: Neither of them are Jewish.

KRISTOL: There are plenty of debates we've all been involved in over the years into Jewish debates, I would say mostly.


FRUM: Right.

TAPPER: I've heard -- I've heard conservative Jews make that argument.

KRISTOL: Right. Yes, it's bad food -- liberalism is bad for Jews.


KRISTOL: And sure this is bad for Jews. This part of liberalism --

TAPPER: I've heard both sides make it about the other.

KRISTOL: Fair enough. And it's usually not made -- it's usually made in a way of trying to counsel you though, to improve your political views or understand something you didn't understand about foreign policy. Not to say you're not a good Jew if you do this.

FRUM: Right.

KRISTOL: And that's disgusting. It's just disgust.

TAPPER: I've heard -- I mean, I've heard liberal Jews say how can any Jew vote for Donald Trump? He plays footsie with white supremacists. He plays footsie with Nazis, et cetera, et cetera. I've just never heard a presidential candidate say anything like that.

FRUM: Yes. Look, people say all kinds of foolish things. And we can't make this a discussion of every foolish thing --

TAPPER: Right.

FRUM: -- by every foolish person in America.

TAPPER: Well, we have two hours.

FRUM: But look, what is -- what has been true and has been very important for American Jews and support for Israel has, in the past been a matter for both parties.


FRUM: They've been strong supporters of Israel in both parties, and President Biden speaks that tradition. On the left, there is an anti- Israel movement that has been very intense in the past few months. And that likes to depict President Biden with his head cut off, as if he were a victim of terrorism, too.

TAPPER: Sure. And not just anti-Israel, right, I mean, antisemitic in many ways.

FRUM: And on the right, you see people may profess fondness for the State of Israel, but who have very little to say about the safety and security of Jewish people here inside the United States in the face of all kinds of hate crimes, some of which come from parts of the world that also give some kind of support to Donald Trump.

TAPPER: You just illustrated the Jewish dilemma of how they're extremists on both sides who hate us or maybe not both sides and the horseshoe theory, they're made in the middle.

FRUM: Right. So what Jews have benefited from is a strong bipartisan support for Israel, a strong culture of tolerance and fellow feeling the United States. And that is something that the mainstream of Jewish life has always understood. And Donald Trump is worrying at that. And he's doing to the Jewish community in a way what he does to the American community, which is to empower the loudest, the meanest, to turn people against one another for his own advantage.

And whatever community you're in, he'll do it to -- the Portuguese American community (inaudible) --

TAPPER: Right.

FRUM: -- that he will turn it on itself in order to support himself. It's not for the benefit of this hypothetical Portuguese American community. It's certainly not for the benefit of the Jewish community. It's for his own benefit with Jews of whatever point of view the victim.

TAPPER: And Bill, I haven't heard Mitch McConnell or speaker Johnson condemn this. But you make the argument that maybe they shouldn't even.

KRISTOL: All though they should because --

TAPPER: They should.

KRISTOL: -- they're public officials.


KRISTOL: Trump is a --

TAPPER: But I don't think either of one of them would ever --


TAPPER: -- say that, think that.

KRISTOL: But they need to say a version of what David just alluded to at the end, which is George -- what George Washington said in his famous letter in 1792, the Newport congregation, you know what the great thing about America is we don't go around saying you're not a good Jew, you're not a good Christian, you're not entitled to comment on this. People should be able to worship as they please. They can be with different kinds of Jews, they can have different kinds of political views. That should be sort of out of bounds. Right?

Criticize the political views, criticize the foreign policy views, don't say you're not a good Jew if you think this. And again, it's one thing again, it's a little bit with inter Jewish debates, maybe you can say, oh, look what the Talmud says about this, even that's a little crazy, in my opinion.


KRISTOL: But for Donald Trump to say it, and he is just -- I agree, it really does damage to the -- not just to Jews, really not primarily to Jews, it does damage to the American understanding of what it means to be a tolerant person in America.

TAPPER: Well, the reason I said that you wouldn't want, and I was wrong, that you will want McConnell and Speaker Johnson to say anything is because you have suggested that as a campaign strategy, President Biden should ignore Donald Trump and stop acknowledging him and avoid participating in a debate with him. You write, "The moment Biden personally engages in the argument it becomes partisan squabbling. It becomes one politician seeking to keep his job against another who wants it. It treat this year as an ordinary political campaign, not as a national emergency. Which is what it is."



TAPPER: So you don't think Biden should weigh on this?

KRISTOL: I think -- look, I think he's entitled to weigh in. My general counsel was, let other people -- he should make the case that he's done a good job of governing. He should make the arguments David made earlier about his foreign policy. You should govern.

I think traveling around the country, taking potshots at Trump isn't terribly effective. It doesn't -- it just looks like politics as usual. This guy wants my job, I'm going to fight back. And you know, should denounce this, so just to slip from it. Who would have an effect announcing this? Mike Pence.

TAPPER: Mike Pence.

KRISTOL: Mike McConnell -- Mitch McConnell.

TAPPER: Yes. I see.


TAPPER: Because they're not in -- I get it.

KRISTOL: You know what I mean?

TAPPER: I know what difference you're making.

Bill Kristol, David Frum, thanks so much. FRUM: Thank you.

TAPPER: Oy, is all I can say. Oy.

The podium is up and ready in Vegas. That's where President Biden is about to speak his message to voters as he takes his 2024 campaign at west.

Also ahead, the prison sentence handed down today, a member of the so called Goon Squad, this is the group of law enforcement officers in Mississippi the prosecutors say torture to black men. The disturbing details of that coming up. And what retired generals who advise President Biden say now about the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan now that the senior level advisors are well out of office. Could these chaotic scenes and tragedies had been avoided?



TAPPER: Back with our world lead, the two now retired generals who advise President Biden against an accelerated Afghanistan withdrawal just testified before Congress. I'm referring to former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and former U.S. Central Commander Kenneth McKenzie and they slammed the U.S. State Department for failing to order a noncombatant evacuation operation sooner. If they had, they say that would have allowed the U.S. military to evacuate U.S. and Afghan civilians. CNN's Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon.

Oren, our noncombatant evacuation operations always ordered in situations like these.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, given the situation we were looking at in Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, it is certainly one that became increasingly inevitable. And that's what General Mark Milley and General McKenzie talked about here. The question here is the timeline, the Defense Department began the planning around what's called a NEO, as you point out, a noncombatant evacuation operation in the months ahead pressing, they said, and this is both McKenzie and Milley, pressing the State Department for their plans on a timeline and ultimately, for the order to give a NEO. It is not a Defense Department decision to say, yes, we're evacuating, that's up to state even if it's the Defense Department that carries out that evacuation, essentially an emergency evacuation with its assets. You see some of the aircraft that were involved in the NEO on your screen right here.

McKenzie said a month earlier, he began to doubt and this is in July of 202, whether state could effectively carry out a NEO as he waited for the order to come down, an order that only came on August 14, which is one day before some members of the Afghan government's leadership fled the country. Here's what he said.


GEN. KENNETH MCKENZIE (RET.), FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Orders to commence the noncombatant evacuation operation, bringing out our embassy, our citizens and at risk Afghans were received on 14th August. These dates are important, because I believe that the events of mid and late August 2021 were the direct result of delaying the initiation of the NEO for several months, in fact, until we were in extremists, and the Taliban had overrun the country. As you are aware, the decision to begin a NEO rest with the Department of State, not the Department of Defense.


LIEBERMANN: We had known in reporting on the withdrawal from Afghanistan that there was friction between the Defense Department and the State Department. We have heard some of that in previous hearings. But Jake, it has never been quite this clear to what extent there was that friction here we hear McKenzie and Milly saying they were pressing the State Department for the planning around the evacuation and then the order itself to begin that evacuation which they felt should have been sort of started weeks, if not months earlier. We all saw how this played out. And tragically, of course, in the final days of that withdrawal of suicide bombing that led to the killing of 13 U.S. service members at Abbey Gate.

TAPPER: And there are still Afghans left behind, Afghans who risked their lives to help the United States in the war effort. Some are still unable to obtain what are called SIVs, or Special Immigrant Visas. Did we learn anything about those SIVs, those individuals who need to get out of Afghanistan today?

LIEBERMANN: This has been an ongoing effort to increase the number of SIVs or SIVs that will be allowed out of Afghanistan and crucially into the United States. Proponents and advocates including Afghan veterans who have tried to get their translators and their helpers out, have pushed for more to be allowed in. Congressman McCaul said there was a bipartisan effort. And he said in principle, they have reached an agreement with the White House to increase the number. He basically said stay tuned for that number and for announcements, so that at the very least here is good news for the Afghans who are trying to get out who have helped the U.S. during a 20-year war there as we wait to find out how many perhaps will be allowed into the U.S.

TAPPER: All right, Oren Liebermann, thanks so much.

Sometimes you never really know what you're going to hear from President Biden at a live event. The podiums there, the teleprompters there, Biden's about to step up to speak. We're going to keep an ear on his message in Vegas.

Plus Oprah's emotional admission about her long battle to lose weight and keep the weight off. Plus, what her primetime special might have missed during an in depth look at popular weight loss drugs such as Ozempic. Stay with us.



TAPPER: So President Biden is speaking now in Las Vegas as he tries to woo Nevadans. Let's take a listen.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Creating jobs now and jobs for the future as well. Three point four billion dollars in projects right here in Nevada, $3.4 billion.

When I was writing this and talking about all I kept thinking about was Harry Reid. We're connecting the entire state affordable high speed internet by the end of this decade. Every single part of the state will have high speed affordable internet, already saving 276,000 Nevadan families as much as $75 a month on paying that bills. And I know our friend Harry's looking down and saying, damn proud of it. The airport in his name is getting an upgrade as well.


Couldn't do one without the other, yes. He's so proud of building America's first high speed rail line to take folks in Las Vegas to Los Angeles in two hours instead of four. You know, that's going to create 35,000, first major high speed rail line in America, 35,000 good paying jobs. Take 3 million vehicles off the road and reduce pollution significantly.

It's also taking those -- by the way, it's going to cut the time in half. I don't know why anybody want to get to L.A. half the time, but I know why O (ph) won't come here. All kidding aside, it really is -- it really is incredible. It's a gigantic project. And by the way is encouraged California and Central California to build a high speed rail as well.

You know, the idea that we haven't had one single high speed rail built in America up to now is ridiculous. And so, you know, Chinese have a rail system that go 130 miles an hour. Anyway, 230 miles an hour, I should say.

Look, we're taking the most significant action to fight climate change ever. My policies have attracted $650 billion in private sector investments from companies that are moving clean energy, factories and jobs back here in America where they belong. For example, in Reno, Redwood Materials is going to invest $3.5 billion, $3.5 billion. One of the country's major Electric Vehicle battery recycling manufacturing plants creating 1000s of jobs here, 1000s of jobs.

Tomorrow in Arizona, we talking about American Bennett (ph), the semiconductor chip, the tiny chips, the size of the tip of the little finger, which powers everything from automobiles, to smartphones to weapon systems. We invented those chips, we made them better. And then we lost the market because a lot of the corporations said, let's send the jobs overseas where they're cheaper, and bring the product home, which is more expensive. We don't do that anymore. We make it here. We keep the jobs here and we sent products overseas.

Reason I mentioned we've been able to bring the chips manufacturing back home, retracted $240 billion in private sector investments to build chip factories here in America. And by the way, they're creating 10s of 1000s of good paying jobs both in construction and manufacturing. And the average salary of one of those, they call them fabs in factories, is $100,000 a year and you don't need a college degree to get that job.

Across the country, folks have filed a record number new business applications since I took office, the fastest growth of Latino owned businesses and more than a decade, more black small businesses started at the highest rate in 30 years. In Nevada since I came to office we've seen 195,000 small business applications. And every one of those applications is an act of hope. Is critical because small businesses and the reason I keep telling my small businesses, small businesses make up half the GDP, half the economy of America. Half of all the economy of Americans is generated by small businesses.

But here's the deal, as more folks moved in Nevada for good paying jobs, we need housing that's affordable. The depth of the pandemic -- in the depth of the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan delivered funds to keep 8 million families in their homes nationwide by preventing foreclosures and evictions. Here in Nevada, we use those funds to keep 50,000 people's rent, barely pay.

Hundreds of first time homebuyers be able to make a down payment. You invested more in building and renovating affordable home than almost any other part of the country, any state in the country. For example, here in Clark County, nearly 1000 brand new affordable units for seniors are under construction today's results. Eight thousand homes total for families, seniors and veterans. And across the country, more people own homes now than before the pandemic.

Received fewer foreclosures than any time in decades. But we have a lot more to do. For too many people, the dream of having a good home and still feels out of reach, I get it. Look, here's my plan, but you know, everybody thinks because I was president I was probably born wealthy and I come from a significant background of economically. Well, I had the dubious distinction of being listed as the poorest man in Congress for 36 years.

I got a phone call, my wife was campaigning -- I was campaigning up in New Hampshire back when that statistic came out in the 90s and she call, I used to call one because the kids are alone when I was away, I say, how's everything going? I got this fine. You know you're in trouble when your wife or husband says, fine.


I said, what's the matter? She said only elected officials, husband and wife to understand this. She said, do you read today's paper? I said they don't have today's paper, Wilmington paper Delaware up in Nevada -- up in where with labor where I'm with laid up in Vermont. And she said, well let me read it. Top of the fold headline, Biden poorest man in Congress. Is that true? I thought I don't know hell was true but it turned out it was true.

But here's the deal my new budget works to lower housing cost for owners and renters alike today. I was raised in a, you know, when my -- when Scranton where I was born and in my early years were raised. When Scranton went dead in terms of the economy we moved down to a little place called Claymont Delaware. My dad had started off as a kid. And we couldn't afford anything. We lived in a duplex called Brookview Apartments which we came public housing years later.

And my dad kept trying to figure out how we get the down payment to get the first home. Well, we rent it and we saved. He saved. And we were able to buy a three-bedroom home in a new development because these areas they're building 40, 50 homes at a shot. We had four kids and three bedrooms and a grandpa living with us. And we weren't poor but we never had anything at the end of the month.

And so what my dad used to always say was that the way you build equity in your home is the way you build wealth. So when you build enough equity in your home then you have enough money to borrow to get something new and move and so on. And that's how everybody makes it, everybody in the middle class makes it there usually through equity in their home.

Well, look, it works. What we've been doing works to increase housing supply and keep cost down in the future. First for homeowners, inflation keeps coming down and it's predicted to do that. Mortgage rates are going to come down as well. But I'm not going to wait. I'm not going to wait. I want to provide an annual tax credit will give Americans $400 a month for the next two years as mortgage rates come down to put toward their mortgage when they buy their first home or trade up for a little more space if they come from middle class background, they come from a family has well under $200,000 or less.

We're also making more affordable to refinance your home by eliminating title insurance fees on federally funded mortgage-backed mortgages. That's going to save folks as much as $1,500. The federal government can afford to do that.

In addition, last week the National Association of Realtors agreed for the first time that Americans can negotiate lower commissions when they buy or sell their home. On a typical home purchase, that loan could save folks an average of $10,000 on the sale or purchase. I'm calling on realtors follow through on the lower their commissions to protect home buyers. And folks we're also -- we're going to end the legacy of discrimination on the basis of home valuations.

It's exacerbated as you know. It's exacerbated racial wealth gap and held back black and brown families. And it's simply wrong. You know if you build a -- if the developer came along and build 20 homes on one side of a highway and 20 homes on the other and the one side had people with black and brown backgrounds and the same exact home was built in the white neighborhood, guess what the day you brought that home, that black home was worth 20% less than the white home or the Hispanic home is worth 20% less. It's wrong.

Second my plan goes to work so we can bring the rents down. My administration is cracking down on big corporations who break antitrust laws by price fixing to keep the rents up that's how they work it out. Landlords should be competing to give folks the best deal not conspiring to charge them more. We're also going after what I call unfair rental junk fees you know like the ones you charge when you move into an apartment, one of those surprise convenience fees that aren't convenient at all.

You can add up to hundreds of dollars. And so some of you have been stuck with that.

TAPPER: All right. You've been listening to President Biden making his campaign pitch in Las Vegas, Nevada, talking about his efforts to lower costs for American families mentioning the infrastructure bill and jobs added during his administration. President Biden is out West for campaign swing in a pair of crucial battleground states, Nevada and the Arizona. We'll be right back.


BIDEN: My new plan would help hundred and thousands --


TAPPER: President Biden is speaking to voters now in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of a campaign swing out west. I want to bring in a member of the President's party to talk about the President's remarks there in Vegas, plus about a critical hearing today on Capitol Hill. Joining us now Congressman Gregory Meeks, the Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The President is out in Vegas trying to sell his record on the economy, Congressman. There's obviously a disconnect with the voters who don't feel it because of high rents or high grocery prices. There are 231 days until the November election, how can President Biden get voters to feel confident about him managing the economy?

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): Well, I think that if is the facts get out and as the administration is on the ground, traveling, and its other surrogates will be out there. It is clear of what took place, the gutting -- the economy suffered from the greatest pandemic that this country and that the world had ever seen. And because of the actions of what President Biden did, we now have an economy that's recovering quicker than almost anybody else in the world.


And we got to also talk about the fact that when you look at what's taking place, for example, this is why we need to get the supplemental done for supporting Ukraine, because what's causing the cost of food to continue to go up as the commodities that is being blocked in the Black Sea as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

And so we've got to get these facts out. And I think the Biden administration started to talk about that at the State of the Union, which I believe was well received. And we've just got to, you know, when you get out, the American people can see what's happening. And then they can listen to what Donald Trump is saying, as he said the other day, you know, give him Putin and Putin do whatever he wants.

So those things will come into context. I'll say this, Jake, that if you look at this time, where we were this time and number of other presidential elections, Ronald Reagan was not winning and wouldn't have wouldn't have been the president of United States. Bill Clinton would not have been the president of the United States. Donald Trump would not have been the president of the United States. Barack Obama would not have been the president of the United States.

So for those who are panicking and saying that, Oh, Biden is in trouble, and it's all you know, over, no, you know, what we're doing is steady and fast. And I think that the facts will -- as the facts get out to the American people, the American people are very smart and very bright, and they can see the difference between a Donald Trump and a Joe Biden, what they've done and what they will do in the future.

TAPPER: Let's talk about the hearing today because the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is led obviously by Republicans, Chairman Michael McCaul, led a hearing on the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. Now Democrats rip the hearing is overly political. You're the ranking Democrat on the committee. You said nothing new was really learned today. But General Milley said he felt the hearing helped give gold star families some answers to their questions. It doesn't seem as though the meeting was pointless to them, the gold star families.

MEEKS: Well, what I said was and in fact, if they ghost off families were at the hearings when General Milley testified before the House Armed Services Committee. He said the same thing. And he kept saying, as I've said before, so there was nothing new that was learned in this hearing. And sometimes, you know, I actually felt very sad for the gold star families because the gentleman was kept saying over and over that in order to really get out and to answer their questions, we've got to look at the policies that have taken place and the decisions that were made, not just for the last for three days or for a week.

But the whole 20 years that we were in Afghanistan, the general also said that the Doha agreement was the foundation of everything that followed, including the end, which says that you can't just make a judgment of and give the transparency and give the gold star families what they need, without looking at the entire picture.

And I hope, because I want them to have the answers to, but the only way that we can do that is in a bipartisan way, not in an overtly political way. The sole focus of this hearing was just trying to discredit Joe Biden, without looking at the Doha agreement, and Donald Trump or any other president. We want, I want, I don't -- won't stop until we figure out what went wrong, what went right. And we did a lot, right, because the general has also said the mission was successful talking about the historic getting 124,000 individuals out in a shortest period of time.


MEEKS: So we've got to work together, not play politics, not, you know, learn with the questions that they were asking the Republicans were asking, I think was all, you know, based upon oh, Biden this, Biden that. Whereas when you look at the Democratic questions that they were asking, it was trying to get to the meat of the matter of how we can best be transparent with the American people, find out what was right, find out what was wrong, and put the politics behind us.

TAPPER: Ranking Democrat Meeks, thanks so much for your time today. Really appreciate it. Good to see you sir. MEEKS: Good to see you.

TAPPER: In Mississippi today prison sentences for two men who wants sort of serve and protect, instead prosecutors say they were part of so called Goon Squad, that tortured two black men. That story next.



TAPPER: In our Law and Justice Lead today, today in Mississippi prison sentences for two of the six white former law enforcement officers of the so called Goon Squad sentences for torturing two black men. Twenty years for Hunter Elward, Jeffrey Middleton getting nearly 18 years, together with four disgraced officers will be sentenced soon. All six pleaded guilty to both state and federal charges for torturing Eddie Parker and Michael Jenkins last year. CNN's Ryan young brings us up to speed now on this hideous case of police brutality.




SHABAZZ: For the Rankin County Goon Squad.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Goon Squad, a nickname federal prosecutors say some white former Mississippi law enforcement officers gave themselves for their alleged willingness to use excessive force and not report. Now six of them facing sentencing after pleading guilty to charges in connection with torturing two black men, Michael Jenkins and Eddie Parker, for nearly two hours back in January of 2023.

SHABAZZ: They've undergone from what you've heard in there, a substantial amount of trouble.

YOUNG (voice-over): The officers had entered the home the victims were in without a warrant and proceeded to use racial slurs, kick, taze and attempt sexual assault and intimidate the victims with the firearm. The assault ended with Jenkins getting shot in the mouth and then the officers attempted to cover it all up. Back in July, I spoke to Parker Jenkins and Jenkins' mother and tour the home where the crimes occurred.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They started beating me here.

YOUNG (voice-over): The courtroom filled with the motion at sentencing today, Michael Jenkins' mother, Mary Jenkins giving a victim impact statement in court saying in part, I want the same consideration for these people as they gave my son when they put the gun in his mouth and pull the trigger. And the parents of one of the convicted deputies, Hunter Elward also making a statement, nothing prepares a parent for this. What happened shouldn't have happened. There are so many more victims in the people in this room. Hunter is going to take an own what he did.

And his son did, Hunter Elward stood up and directly addressed the two men he victimize. I'm so sorry. I don't want to get too personal with you, Michael. There is no telling what you've seen. I'm so sorry that I caused that. I hate myself for it. I hate that I gave you that. I accept all responsibility. Hunter Elward parents spoke to CNN shortly after their son's apology and his sentencing of 20 years plus one month.

EDDIE ELWARD, FATHER OF CONVICTED DEPUTY: What happened to those two gentlemen he cannot live with anymore.

YOUNG (voice-over): One of the victims, Eddie Parker told Elward in court that he forgave him.

EDDIE PARKER, VICTIM OF DEPUTY ASSAULT: I hate to forgive him because I mean deep down inside I know, you know, what he did wasn't something that he did, you know, solely on his thoughts.

YOUNG (voice-over): But Michael Jenkins said it didn't mean a damn thing to him.


YOUNG (voice-over): Jenkins older brother still reeling from what happened to his brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't do this to nobody. I couldn't stand and watch it being done with my bud.

YOUNG (voice-over): The attorney for Jenkins and Parker said there was some overall solace in today's sentencing.

SHABAZZ: Finally they could see justice occur and to see their tormentors know that they won't be back on the street to terrorize them again and they'll be behind bars for at least 20 years.


YOUNG (on camera): Jake, the emotion was so strong in court today, so many people crying, holding hands, reaching out to each other. Both men tell me they still want justice. They still want the country to see that they didn't do anything wrong that night. They were just two black men. Jake?

TAPPER: Horrible story. Ryan Young in Jackson, Mississippi, thanks so much.

Coming up next, one of the nation's most well-known realtors tells us what it really means to homebuyers now that the 6 percent commission could be scrapped.


TAPPER: A new ruling is shattering several norms on buying and selling homes in the United States of America. But will it actually lower housing costs? Real Estate Broker Egypt Sherrod is here. And she's host and executive producer of HGTV's "Married To Real Estate," owned by our parent company Warner Brothers Discovery. Egypt, so this 6 percent commission between the buyer and the sellers brokers is no longer going to be the norm. What does that mean for the average person?

EGYPT SHERROD, REAL ESTATE BROKER: The first thing I want everybody to do is kind of back down off of that headline a little bit because it's actually misleading. It was never the norm. Had it become an industry standard to some capacity? Yes. But I've been a real estate broker for over 20 years. I've run a brokerage. We represent sellers. We represent buyers. And every day that I go into the MLS system, I see commissions ranging from 1 percent on new construction to 2.5 percent, 3 percent, 4 percent on troubled properties being offered out.

So that tells you that the commission had to be hired in 6 percent. So what I, you know, for us, yes, there's changes. But I choose to look at this with a rainbow over it for agents and for sellers and buyers combined. And in that it's business as usual. Because at the end of the day, a seller still wants their property to move. Where do we think that these commissions are going? Everybody thinks that's going in our pockets.

But I think what everyone forgets is these properties have to be marketed. digital ads have to be run target marketing, photographs, all these aerial and drone videos, who pays for that? The agent is paying that and so that's what's rolled into these commissions. We're not fattening our pockets, I think like any other industry, doctors, lawyers. There is an industry expectation or you get what you pay for it. You can certainly go to a discount brokerage.

But again, who's going to market it, you can pay somebody to throw it on the MLS for $1,000. Are you going to get photos? Are they going to help you negotiate? So again, I think once the realization of what this really truly means starts to M&A, it's going to be business as usual, more so Jake, what I'm concerned about is the new unprotected class. And that is what we're not hearing. In this settlement and nowhere in the headlines are we're hearing about what happens now to homebuyers and how it affects them.

And ultimately what that's going to do to the real estate market. They are going to become the new unprotected class because when we see headlines that make them feel like they can go straight to a listing agent and buy the property from them, who negotiates? Who protects them? What the average buyer doesn't recognize is a listing agents fiduciary responsibility is to the seller, meaning you're their customer, the seller is their client.

And as their customer, they owe you no explanation and no advice. So now it's essentially a free for all. I think what's going to happen is you'll see more litigation from this. We think we're conquering some big enemy. And instead there's going to be an even bigger one because when those buyers continue to go unprotected, they're going to come back and want to sue brokerages. They're going to want to sue (inaudible). They're going to want to sue sellers. And I think the real headline should be the cost of housing markets for buyers now or it should be U.S. housing sales dropped because first time homebuyers can no longer afford.


TAPPER: All right, Egypt, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Join me Sunday night for the special we're going to have on C.J. Rice and also a brand new episode of United States of Scandal. We're going to dig into the leaking of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame by Bush administration officials. You might think you know the whole story but you probably don't. It's Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern Pacific here on CNN. The news continues on that, CNN.