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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Seven World Central Kitchen Workers Killed In Israeli Strike; Gag Order Expanded After Trump Attacked Judge's Family; Trump Returns To Campaign Trail In Crucial Battlegrounds; Oklahoma Supreme Court Hears Arguments From 1921 Tulsa Massacre Survivors. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 02, 2024 - 16:00   ET




LOU CONTER, LAST SURVIVOR OF USS ARIZONA: I think it's very important that we all say, remember Pearl Harbor, God bless America.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Lou counter was 102 years old.

And we can all remember it by going to that memorial. It's really amazing.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Absolutely. A generation of heroes just like Lou and commemorating their sacrifices. It's so critical.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER in just a few seconds. Thanks for being with us.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Israel apologizes for a strike that killed aid workers delivering food in Gaza.

THE LEAD starts right now.

Unintentional targets -- that's how Israel describes the drone strike that killed seven aid workers from all over the world, working for a celebrity chef Jose Andres and his World Central Kitchen organization. We are today learning the identity -- identities of those innocent victims and the circumstances that put them in the line of fire.

Plus, the new Republican attempt to rename an international airport after one Donald J. Trump. Democrats are responding today with naming idea of their own.

And what could be a last chance to write in some small way, a major wrong more than 100 years after the horrific Tulsa race massacre.


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

And we start today with our world lead and international outrage over the deaths of seven aid workers, including a dual Canadian American citizen in central Gaza, killed is they were attempting to deliver food to starving Palestinians. Despite coordinating the trip beforehand with Israel's military and traveling in vans marked with the World Central Kitchen logo on the roof of the vans, Israeli strikes hit the aid convoy in a, quote, deconflicted zone.

According to World Central Kitchen, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the strikes were unintentional, adding quote, it happens in war. But a British weapons expert tells CNN that the strike was carried out with a, quote, highly accurate drone.

World Central Kitchen's founder, chef Jose Andres posted, quote: These are people, angels. The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers.

Now, World Central Kitchen is, kitchen is pausing altogether operations in Gaza, along with a different American charity, Anera, one that provides 150,000 meals a day to Palestinians in dire need of sustenance.

This afternoon, the White House's John Kirby said that the U.S. is, quote, outraged over the strike. Kirby added that more than 200 aid workers have been killed during this conflict so far. Kirby said Israel must do, quote, much more meeting to protect them.

At the same time, we should note the Biden administration is close to approving a massive $18 billion weapons sale to Israel, which will include dozens of F-15 fighter jets as Biden continues to press Netanyahu to try to do more to spare innocent Palestinian lives.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is bringing us the stories of the victims now. A warning to our viewers, some of the scenes were about to show you are graphic.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is no mistaking the target of this Israeli strike. The World Central Kitchen's logo still visible after a missile tore through the roof of this vehicle. Pieces of the aid organization's emblems scattered throughout the charred whole of a second vehicle. And then there are the bodies of the aid workers themselves, patches proudly worn on chess over bulletproof vest that offered no more protection in Gaza, then the emblem of the humanitarian aid organization.

They are among seven aid workers killed in Israeli strikes on their convoy late Monday night. Six of them were foreigners, including a dual American Canadian citizen as well as British Australian, and Polish nationals, triggering international uproar and prompting a rare acknowledgment of Israeli responsibility from Prime Minister Netanyahu.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Unfortunately, in the last day, there was a tragic incident where our forces unintentionally struck innocent people in the Gaza Strip. It happens in war and we are thoroughly enjoyed investigating it.

DIAMOND: World Central Kitchen says the Israeli military knew about the convoy. A weapons expert consulted by CNN images of the damage indicate a precise drone strike carried out with total visibility of the target.

World Central Kitchen said its aid workers got into three vehicles after unloading aid at this warehouse in central Gaza, and began traveling down the coastal al Rashid Street.


CNN geo-located the convoy's deadly journey using images filmed at the scene. Three-and-a-half miles south, a first vehicle is struck, two other strikes rained down in quick succession. One vehicle is hit a half-mile further, third comes to a stop. Another mile down the road, found only the next day.

HASSAN AL SHURBAJI, HEARD THE AIRSTRIKE: Last night, between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m. a missile hit a car. When we approached, we saw the car on fire. We try to extinguish the fire and upon opening the cargo, we discovered boxes of canned meat. It was an international aid organization that assists people. Any international or European organization that comes to aid Gaza will be targeted. They want to send a message of don't come and let the people die.

DIAMOND: The Israeli military has struck aid convoys in the past, including this U.N. truck which was shelled in early February.

World Central Kitchen founded in 2010 by celebrity chef Jose Andres has been one of the most prominent aid organizations in Gaza, even working with the Israeli military last month to build a pier off the Gaza coastline, delivering the first aid shipments to Gaza by sea.

ZOMI FRANKCOM, AUSTRALIAN AID WORKER: Hey, this is Zomi. We're at (INAUDIBLE) kitchen.

DIAMOND: Australian Zomi Frankcom spent years coordinating aid operations for World Central Kitchen, risking and ultimately sacrificing her life to help those in need. She died alongside her Polish colleague, Damian Sobol.

DAMIAN SOBOL, POLISH AID WORKER: Hello, everyone. Damian from Carroll (ph).

DIAMOND: Weeks earlier, he was excitedly readying a convoy to build soup kitchens in Gaza

SOBOL: Tables, shells, water system.

DIAMOND: Today, their bodies were among those headed for the Rafah border crossing but the body of one of the seven will not leave Gaza. Saif Issam Abu-Taha (ph), a driver and translator, was buried in central Gaza not far from where he carried out his final mission.

(END VIDEOTAPE) DIAMOND (on camera): And, Jake, three of the seven aid workers killed were British nationals. Today, the Israeli prime minister fielding a call from his British counterpart, Prime Minister Sunak demanding a thorough and transparent independent investigation into the matter. In the meantime, World Central Kitchen suspending its aid operations in Gaza at a time when hundreds of thousands are already facing the prospect of famine, Jake.

TAPPER: Jeremy Diamond in Jerusalem, thank you so much.

Joining us now is Bryan Weaver. You just saw his friend, Zomi Frankcom in Jeremy's piece. She was from Australia. She was killed in the Israeli strike.

I -- first of all, I have no words for you and I'm so -- I'm so sorry.


TAPPER: It's always awful to lose a friend, but she was obviously a very special person, the kind of person that would devote her life to be bringing food to people in dire need and including in dangerous places. You say she was a warrior for humanity. Tell us about Zomi.

WEAVER: I met Zomi in 2018 when I was working at a basketball camp in Guatemala, and there was a volcano that erupted on their killed about 200 people. Zomi was part of the organizing group without the World Central Kitchen, who just started getting food out to families and to rescue workers, indomitable spirit, just like immediately doing that.

And then when World Central Kitchen came, they recognize her talents and part of that sort of Australian wanderlust, she just jumped on the world central kitchen and then went to every hotspot you can imagine in the world.

TAPPER: How long was she in Gaza working with World Central Kitchen? What -- did she -- did you talk to her? Did she tell you better?

WEAVER: We exchanged messages. She spent some time in Haiti, so we sort of exchanged messages over the situation in Haiti about two weeks ago. I guess it was about then that she started to prepare to go on that trip, but she hadn't been in country that long.

TAPPER: That's something to be going from Haiti to Gaza. I mean, this is somebody who is going to the most dangerous places in the world to do good, to try to help the people who are the suffering.

WEAVER: There's -- there's -- you know, the saying which is where my needs meet -- or where do my gifts meet the needs of the world and Zomi had this like amazing smile. If you see any of the photos of her, particularly if she's like giving meals to children or things like that, you can't tell who is like the recipient and then who is the caregiver.

You know, it's an exquisitely did sort of mutuality between -- between the two of them. I think that that was like her greatest gift to World Central Kitchen was that she moments when people had the worst moment of their entire lives, she met them with a smile. She met them with humanity.

And the world is just like a darker place without somebody like that today. It's really, really tragic.

TAPPER: Did she ever express concerns about her safety in any of these places, including Gaza?

WEAVER: I mean, I think we talked a lot about like about her time in Haiti. I think it was just one of the navigation of the warlords and things like that. But people got to eat.



WEAVER: People got to feel comfort

She hit me back. She was like, there's the Mother Teresa line which is I think we just forgot that we belong to each other. And that was Zomi at her core, was the children that she fed in Palestine, the children that she had in Haiti or the Ukraine.

You know, she viewed them and it's like part of her larger extended family and that's a unique characteristic in anyone because even -- even for large organizations like World Central Kitchen, there has to be less certain degree of being cold, of just having to go and do this thing over and over again.

Zomi really had this view of life the experience was going to be so life-changing for her and that she wanted to bring just a touch of like humanity to two folks that were going through the worst moment of their lives.

TAPPER: And you also work in this world of NGOs and healthier people. How -- tell us what you do and how odd is it, how rare is it? I should say for a group like World Central Kitchen or Anera to pull out of a place where their health is so direly needed.

WEAVER: I mean, I think that says a lot. I think -- I mean, if you really, really sort of looking for that sort of hidden message to the Israeli government. I think that's probably it. It's like that you're -- because we've got to have to remember that the IDF is actually part of building the pier and were part of -- were part of actually helping them get the food in at the first place.

It seems just -- they were constant communication. So it seems really hard to think that this is just a rogue drone that did something accidentally. For me, I worked with a lot of inner city kids in Washington, D.C. The violence is sort of touched everyone's homes and try to give them a worldview, have them go on like do service trips overseas, kids who normally wouldn't get a chance to travel, for Zomi traveled with so much of her life that she immediately jumped onto like our program and life -- was just like fresh about seeing that people who've first chance of actually seeing the world.

And I don't know, it's -- it's something in this time in the world to have more people that want to go out and meet people have differences and sort of see the similarities in each other rather than the things that make us different.

TAPPER: It's so special and I'm so sorry. May her memory be a blessing? And I'm sure it would be a good way for anybody at home. It would be a good way to honor her to give a donation to World Central Kitchen, where she -- where she worked and I'm so sorry.

WEAVER: Thank you very, Jake. I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing a little bit of Zomi with the rest of us who didn't have the benefit of knowing her. Thank you. Appreciate it.

TAPPER: Today, Iran is vowing revenge for the Israeli strike at an embassy compound in Syria that killed at least seven Iranian officials, including two senior Iranian military commanders.

Now, the government going to Israel says this was not a consulate or an embassy. Rather it belongs to the Quds Force. That's a branch of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States.

Iran and Syria say that Israel is now behind the most significant attack on an Iranian target since former President Trump ordered the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani in 2020. Iran also said that they would hold the United States, quote, answerable due to the U.S. support of Israel.

Former secretary of defense under Donald Trump, Mark Esper, joins us now.

Secretary Esper, it's good to see you. How big of an escalation was this attack? And are you confident that Israel's intelligence was accurate when they describe this compound


Look, I think it is significant. It is an explicit attack that Israel has acknowledged against a senior Iranian general in Syria. They are claiming it had some type of diplomatic status. I'm not sure that really matter.

But the fact is they -- they attacked and killed several senior Quds Force persons and allegedly also some Syrians and some Palestinian Islamic jihad personnel, and the belief is they were plotting next moves in Syria against Israel.

TAPPER: So protesters in Tehran burned American and Israeli flags following the attack. Of course, we never have any idea how, how organic any of these protests are in Iran, how concerned you think U.S. officials should be, about any retaliation from Iran against the United States. And what form do you think -- do you think do you expect retaliation might take?

ESPER: Yeah, look, I think we always seem to be concerned about retaliation, particularly when you have a strike like this, again, which was -- which was a step-up in terms of the Israeli, Iranian shadow war that's been going on for many, many years now. And, of course, Iran has threatened to respond to both Israel and the United States.

They hold us responsible for Israel's actions, much like we hold them responsible for the actions of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, et cetera. So, I'm sure Central Command, which is responsible for the theater, is watching careful and being careful.

But look on the other hand, there's not much Iran can do.


They -- a trap has been sent in some ways. If they were to act directly and explicitly against U.S. or Israel targets, then they risked provoking a much wider regional war that they certainly don't want. And we probably don't want right now either. So they have to be careful, but I do think that they will step back up their proxy attacks.

You know, it's important to note, Jake, as you recall after U.S. forces were attacked over 150 times over the preceding five months in January, the Iranians proxies finally killed an American. We responded fairly aggressively, and it's been relatively quiet in the two months since that attack.

So that was a good example of the use of -- use of U.S. force to reassert deterrence. But I think we've got to watch out to see if that starts to crumble a little bit.

TAPPER: I want to get your reaction to the deadly Israeli strike on the World Central Kitchen workers in Gaza, really horrible. And it does seem as though there's a -- look, I'm no military expert. Well, let me ask you, does it seem as though there was a recklessness at all when the Israelis are picking targets here?

ESPER: Well, first of all, it is a terrible tragedy -- and the interview you just did was really touching, the insights about the aid worker that was killed. But look, you know, after six months, Jake, one would expect that the IDF would have the protocols and coordinations down for these types of things. And it appears the World Central Kitchen did everything right with regard to marking their vehicles, informing the Israelis about what they were doing, getting the timing right.

I mean, Prime Minister Netanyahu has acknowledged he made a mistake. The Israeli president has apologized for it, but I think they need to do better. They need to come out with an investigation results explain what happened, hold somebody accountable, and then talk about what procedures they are putting in place to prevent this from happening again.

And look, I've said on a few occasions, if they need us assistance because we have a lot of experience here, we should come in here and help them with the coordination, with a deconfliction with whatever it takes to make sure that these types of accidents don't happen again. It's hurting them in many different ways, but certainly with support for the conflict, both in the U.S. and abroad.

TAPPER: I also wanted to get your take on the two-week siege of Al- Shifa Hospital, what was once Gaza's largest hospital, the Israeli as claimed to have killed about 200 terrorists from Hamas. The civil defense from Gaza, which is obviously run by Hamas, say more than 300 bodies have been recovered, but they added it was difficult to determine the exact number because Israeli forces buried bodies and bulldozed nearby roads.

CNN is unable to verify either estimate. What do you hearing and what's your general take on the operation?

ESPER: Well, a few things. First of all, they also said that up to 900 prisoners were taken, 500 of whom they confirm are either Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

So my first question is, where did they come from? How did they get up there? You know, one of the primary tenets of conducting military operations on urban terrain as we call it, in the military, is, you've got to leave forces behind because otherwise enemy comes back in and reoccupied buildings and neighborhoods. And this is clearly what happened that they were able to get that many people up there.

Secondly, it appears that Israel was trying to limit casualties by warning, at least a week in advance, Hamas, if they were going to come back up and rout them out of those buildings out of that area and apparently, Hamas dug in.

And I think the third thing is, look, it proves that Hamas is using civilian infrastructure, hospitals, even and civilians to hide behind to take on this flight, which is obviously a violation of international laws of war. But I think it really gets at this broad are really terrible strategy that they have, that they believe in hiding behind the deaths of innocent civilians in order to generate greater public opinion against Israel. And I think what they see is every day, particularly now that you have this accidental attack on the World Central Kitchen, this chips away at Israel standing in the international environment.

TAPPER: Secretary Esper, thank you so much. Good to have you as always.

Coming up next, there are already are questions over whether Donald Trump has violated a newly expanded gag order, not even 24 hours old. We'll answer those questions.

Plus, we'll show you the logo misfire that forced Adidas to make a major redesign and its probably the right call. We'll explain.



TAPPER: Just in on THE LEAD, a rough day for U.S. stocks, but a good day for the company behind Trump's social media platform, Truth Social. Yesterday, the company's stock fell more than 20 percent and Donald Trump's net worth fell more than $1 billion. But today the company saw a bit of a rebound and the former president made back about $230 million of those dollars.

Turning to our law and justice lead, Donald Trump is also lashing out today in reaction to an expanded gag order he is under in his New York criminal prosecution for crimes related to his allegedly paying hush money to porn star and director Stormy Daniels. Judge Juan Marshawn now says the gag order applies to Marshawn's own family members, as well as the family of Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg. This was after Trump attacked Marshawn's daughter in social media posts for her work as a Democratic political consultant.

Let's bring in CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.

Elie, let's -- let's take a look at Trump's post, just this morning about the expanded gag order. Part of it reads: Juan Marshawn gagged me so that I cannot talk about the corruption and conflicts taking place in his courtroom with respect to a case that everyone including the D.A. felt should have never been brought. They can talk about me, but I can't talk about them?

Does this new rant in and of itself violate the gag order?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So it does not violate the gag order. Jake, and I think that's actually a really good example of just how narrow the gag order is and how broadly it preserves and protects Donald Trump's First Amendment rights to complain vigorously about this case.

Important to understand, the gag order only prohibits Donald Trump from commenting publicly about jurors, about witnesses, about courtroom staffers and their families, and then prosecutorial staffers and their families. But it leaves Donald Trump completely free to do what he did there, to complain aggressively about the judge himself, about the D.A. himself, about the case itself, even about the gag order itself.


So we see Donald Trump going on social media here and complaining about a gag order that actually allows him to complain about exactly what he wants to complain about. It's a paradox.

TAPPER: Trump later posted a clip from Fox talking about Judge Marshawn's daughter. And Fox referring to her as a political activist for Kamala Harris. Does posting that clip violate the gag order.

HONIG: So that's a really interesting and I think difficult question. And this could be the next frontier in the battle here. Clearly, if Donald Trump himself makes comments about the judges daughter, that violates the gag order and the gag order says Trump cannot order or instruct some other person to make comments that would violate the gag order. But then there's this open question.

Well, what if somebody in the media says something on their own and then Trump re-tweets it or re-truth it? Is that the same thing as him saying it?

I think there's a decent argument that if you re-circulate something without comment, that's pretty close to saying it yourself. But now the D.A.'s got to decide, do they go? What are the judge and say, (AUDIO GAP) your order. If the D.A. does not do that, you can bet Trump will continue to use this sort of loophole.

TAPPER: Let's talk about some of the possible witnesses in the case. One could be Hope Hicks, one of Trumps most trusted aides in the White House, what would prosecutor is aimed to get out of putting Hicks on the stand?

HONIG: Well, she's the ultimate insider, first of all, and I think in that respect, she's potentially a very promising witness for the prosecution. I think the focus here is going to be on the fact that Hope Hicks was a participant in numerous phone calls with Donald Trump and Michael Cohen back in 2016, right at the key moments when these hush money payments were being discussed and made.

And I think the big question for prosecutors is just how much detailed is Hope Hicks give them about Donald Trumps knowledge of those payments and the purpose for those payments.

TAPPER: All right. Elie Honig. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

A new idea from House Republicans today. They want to rename a busy international airport, one that is already named after somebody after Donald Trump. How are Democrats responding? Well, with the naming proposal of their own. We'll tell you about that next.



TAPPER: Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail this afternoon with his focus on two crucial Midwest battlegrounds that he won in 2016 and then lost last election and he did lose them.

Michigan and Wisconsin helped form the blue wall that sent Joe Biden to the White House. But Republicans are hoping that Trump's popularity with, among others, blue collar voters could put the state back in their win column this November.

Let's discuss.

Jonah, so Trump was in Grand Rapids, Michigan, today talking about the southern border, which is of course more than 1,000 miles away. Why?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Because it's a great issue for him. It is like the tell-tale heart for a lot of people. It just feels like this -- it's a symbolic thing about a loss of control, about Biden being inadequate to the job, fair or not, I think that's just sort of how it plays with a lot of voters and its something that he wants to beat Biden into talking about it. And so he talks about it a lot because it's an issue that works for him. TAPPER: And, Paul, the Trump campaign dubbed this a speech about Biden's, quote, border bloodbath. In a recent CNN poll, 15 percent of registered voters in Michigan said immigration was their top priority, trailing only the economy and protecting democracy. So, the border is an important issue in Michigan.

How does Biden address it?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He has got to pin the problem on Mr. Trump. We have chaos at the border. Why? Because Donald Trump killed the bill that would have sped up asylum claims down from six years to six months. Donald Trump killed the bill that would have sent billions more to the Border Patrol.

Border Patrol union, which endorsed Trump, supports the bill. Donald Trump killed that bill. They have to go right at him. Why does Donald Trump --


TAPPER: Of course, years of presidency before the bill was killed. I mean --

BEGALA: Oh, sure. But this is -- this is what would have addressed the problem. And Mr. Trump wants chaos at what -- he wants that bloodbath. He wants chaos.

Democrats have got to take this on. Generally, I don't like to echo the other person's arguments, right? But Democrats have got to fight on this border and I think they have a really good case to do so.

TAPPER: So, Eva McKend, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke with our own Erin Burnett last night. He argued that President Biden is actually a bigger threat to democracy than Donald Trump. Take a listen.


ROBERT KENNEDY JR. (I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The argument that President Biden is a much worse threat to democracy. And the reason for that is President Biden is the first candidate in history, the first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech, to censor his opponent.


TAPPER: So, I mean there's a lot in that. We should know. It wasn't Biden doing the censoring, although the Biden administration for sure was asking social media companies to cut down on misinformation about the virus and he was -- Kennedy Jr. was suspended for Instagram for, quote, repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.

What's -- what's the strategy here?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you who his campaign is appealing to. I was at his rally last week in Oakland. You have people who didn't vote at all in 2020 showing up and then you have people who voted for President Biden in 2020 that also are attracted to his campaign I think sometimes here in Washington, it is easy for us to lose sight that there are people on both sides of the aisle that were not happy with being forced to take the COVID shot, that felt as though deeply aggrieved that they, in order to re- enter society the had to get vaccinated.


And so, he does speak to those people and they aren't all on one side of the aisle, but also his politic writ large are, are really complicated on a whole number of issues. That's why I think he presents a threat to the political establishment on both sides --

TAPPER: Uh-huh.

MCKEND: -- because it's sort of hard to put him in a box so when it comes to a host of policy matters. Sometimes he sounds MAGA, sometimes he sounds far left.

TAPPER: Yeah. MCKEND: -- on issues of climate change, for instance.

GOLDBERG: But I can just quickly fly the flag for historical literacy for two seconds.


GOLDBERG: Let's concede, would I don't think it's true what he's saying about how he was censored for political opponent. The idea that Biden is the first president to ever use agencies of government to censor people or weaponizing, Eugene V. Debs ran for president from prison.


GOLDBERG: Woodrow Wilson shut scores of newspapers and magazines. FDR controlled the mails.

There are -- Abraham Lincoln shut down newspapers. The idea -- it's very similar to me like Donald Trump talking about no ones been treated. He's been treated worse than Abraham Lincoln was that blacks in 2016 had worse off than they did any other time in American history.

It is pure historical illiteracy that takes advantage of the fact that everyone has the memory of a goldfish.

BEGALA: So his goal with all of us at interview was really clarifying. His goal is to defeat Joe Biden and elect Donald Trump. He not only he said this nonsense about how Biden somehow is greater threat to democracy than the guy who spoke at the ellipse on January 6, before the riot at the Capitol. He also said about election denialism. He said, well, I wrote an award-winning article in "Rolling Stone" that said that January -- the 2000 election. TAPPER: 2004.


BEGALA: 2004, sorry, 2004, that's not the same as attacking the Capitol, as beating cops, as hitting Brian Sicknick officer over the head, tasing officer Michael Fanone until his heart stopped.

He did that on purpose. He wants to normalize the election denialism of Trump. Normalize the guy who said he wants to be a dictator and terminate the Constitution, normalize all of that. Trump, while the attacking Biden.

TAPPER: Yeah, we should go and right after we should know that John Kerry's own pollster weighed in and said, I wish I could say Ohio was stolen from John Kerry in 2004, but it was not. We lost it fair and square.

But it is true that he was leading the wacky doodle charge on insane election denialism in 2004, way before Trump was. I mean, just to give -- give the devil his due. He was way ahead.

I want to bring in this new effort underway by some House Republicans to change the name of Dulles International Airport outside D.C. to Donald J. Trump International Airport.

Congressmen Gerry Connolly, the Democrat who represented area around the airport, responded, quote, Donald Trump is facing 91 felony charges. If Republicans want to name something after him, I'd suggest they find a federal prison, unquote.

Now, for accuracy's sake, we should note that three of those criminal charges were dismissed. So it's actually he's facing 88 criminal charges.

But what is behind this idea of wanting to name an airport, already named after somebody --

GOLDBERG: A Republican.

BEGALA: After John Foster Dulles. As a graduate of John Foster Dulles High School in Sugarland, Texas, I can tell you Dulles was very, very conservative, anti-communist. But he never was adjudicated -- responsible for sexual abuse.

TAPPER: Oh, boy, here we go.

BEGALA: He never even paid off a porn star.

But you know what he did do? John Foster Dulles when he was a lawyer in the '30s and Adolf Hitler came to power, he had his lawyers at his firm sign there letters "Heil Hitler". So he did express some admiration for Hitler as Mr. Trump apparently has, according to Jim Sciutto's report. So --

MCKEND: Doesn't Trump have his names on enough stuff I think? And then also, I think he would if his name is on anything, you know, he's going to be taking a cut. So --

TAPPER: I will just say this, Jonah, and I don't know if you agree with me on this, but like that's a horrible airport. I mean, if I were Donald Trump, I would not want Dulles to be named after me.

GOLDBERG: Well, I mean, they did spend several billion dollars to update it. And all they got was the slogan "we may be slow, but we're expensive". I mean, it's a horrible airport.

TAPPER: All right. We're going to have much more with our panel in the next hour.

There are only two people still alive today who experienced the terror of the Tulsa race massacre in 1921, one of the worst incidents of racist violence in American history. Today, what could be a final chance to make some kind of amends to those two survivors is next.



TAPPER: In our national lead now, it has been five years since HBO's "Watchmen" open the eyes of millions of Americans to the Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racist violence in U.S. history, and something that should be in all of our history books. But often is not.

It's when a white mob killed as many as 300 innocent African Americans, laying waste to homes and businesses, and a thriving Tulsa neighborhood known at the time is Black Wall Street. This all started over a rumor that a Black boy had assaulted a white female teenager.

Today, the last two survivors of the century-old massacre made their case for reparations in front of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

CNN's Omar Jimenez spoke with one of the survivors about the decades- long fight for justice.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you remember about the time?

VIOLA FORD FLETCHER, TULSA RACE MASSACRE SURVIVOR: People getting killed and houses, property, schools, churches, and stores, getting destroyed with fire and then someone in the neighborhoods send to leave the neighborhood. If not, we're going to kill all of the black people this stays with me, you know? It's the fear that I have lived in Tulsa since, but it's -- I don't sleep all night living there.


JIMENEZ (voice-over): One-hundred-nine-year-old Mother Fletcher as she's known is one of only two people alive who remember firsthand what the 1921 Tulsa race massacre was like, sitting with us alongside her grandson, Ennis (ph).

How do you think your life would have been different if this had not happened?

FLETCHER: I would have gotten education to where I could get a better job, like -- especially being a nurse.

JIMENEZ: It's part of why Tuesday, lawyers for these survivors argued to the Oklahoma Supreme Court that Tulsa has to look at what the mass speaker survivors lost and make things right.

UINDENTIFIED MALE: And we're hoping this court will give us the opportunity to prove our case.

JIMENEZ: Back in 2022 was when a judge initially allowed part of their case to move forward.


JIMENEZ: Fletcher's younger brother, known as Uncle Redd, also was a survivor but in May 2023, on Viola Fletcher's 109th birthday, she was back in court fighting a new motion to dismiss the case.

FLETCHER: I didn't feel very nice about it, but I'm willing to do that again, you know?

JIMENEZ: And she's being tested on that because a few months later, the case was dismissed. So the families appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court where the defendants argued in part --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These individual plaintiffs lack standing to bring a claim for public nuisance.

JIMENEZ: Now, a new change for the survivors but Uncle Redd died before he got that chance. He passed away in October 2023 at 102 years old. His daughter is carrying on his fight. But the direct ties to what happened in Tulsa are quickly shrinking.

This now replica home represents really the only home built in the 1920s still standing. It was actually built in 1920 after the original owners first home burned down in the 1921 race massacre. It really represents what life was actually like for many of those living in this community at the time.

The community did rebuild after the 1921 massacre. And then this highway built right through the heart of the district as part of Federal Highway Acts in the '60s, dealt it a final blow.

MICHELLE BURDEX, PROGRAMS DIRECTOR, GREENWOOD CULTURAL CENTER: The highway separated the business district from traffic flow, from access.

JIMENEZ: What is this highway represents to you?

BURDEX: The second destruction of Black Wall Street.

JIMENEZ: It adds up to about a century lost for families trying to do what families are supposed to do. Give the next generation a solid head start. IKE HOWARD, OLDEST GRANDSON OF VIOLA FORD FLETCHER: Instead of having

a leg up for my father and my father having a leg up for me, all we had was setbacks.

JIMENEZ: And he says it can be traced to his grandmother in 1921.

Now, throughout the interview, his grandmothers hearing wasn't always perfect.

HOWARD: He said, even after everything happened --

JIMENEZ: He often had to check that she could hear my questions, but as we wrapped up --

All right. You look great. You sound great.

FLETCHER: Well, good.

JIMENEZ: Oh, you heard that

She still has hope.

The other 109-year-old survivor is Lessie Benningfield Randle, her family told CNN in part, we plead for this case to advance. Let us honor them while they're still with us.

FLETCHER: I think we should get justice, to be fair. I think the courts should feel the same way.

JUSTICE YVONNE KAUGER, OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT: When I went to high school. I knew about the trail of tears but Greenwood was never made and so I think regardless of what happens, but you're all to be commended for making sure that that will never happen again. It will be in the history books.


JIMENEZ (on camera): Regardless of what happens. Well, it's now in the hands of those Oklahoma Supreme Court justices, and its not just the city of Tulsa being sued here, but also the Tulsa Regional Chamber, the Oklahoma Military Department, and other departments in agencies of survivors feel are responsible here.

And I just want to be very clear about the stakes with this particular hearing. It's not like if the justices side with the survivors, that all of a sudden, they get their reparations and this ends in a happy story for them. This is just for the right to go to trial. So if they side with survivors, it just goes back down to the lower court and then you begin the process toward any sort of trial which as you and I know can take a long time, both of these survivors are 109 years old and obviously time is of the essence for them.

TAPPER: Omar Jimenez, thank you so much for that report.

Coming up next, that big oops, from Adidas that has designers going back to the drawing board. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


TAPPER: It's time for our leads around the world.

Some of the biggest stories you need to know right now, starting with a destructive storms in parts of the eastern half of the United States impacting more than 75 million people, heavy rain, hail, gusty winds, tornadoes, all possible today. Significant damage already in Missouri, Illinois, and elsewhere. Threats of possible deadly tornadoes currently pose the most risk in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.

Today, President Biden spoke with his Chinese counterpart for the first time since November as officials from the two countries try to defuse tensions. The White House says that Biden and President Xi Jinping spoke for about an hour, 45, covering topics such as Beijing's support of Russia, Taiwan, security concerns around the Chinese owned TikTok app, and what U.S. officials called China's unfair trade policies.

Do you see anything wrong with the way the 4s look on this German national soccer jersey while after using Adidas online customers customization service, social media users pointed out the number 44 looks quite like a Nazi SS symbol used by the paramilitary units.


In light of this, Germany has announced that it is redesigning the number four on the country's national jerseys and Adidas is not allowing the team's jerseys to be so customized.

As we speak, Donald Trump is headed to his second campaign stop for the day. Meanwhile, his lawyers have just made a new move in the New York hush money trial which is due to begin in less than two weeks. That breaking news is coming up


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

This hour, on one city council right now as a member, a man who marched in Charlottesville alongside the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, the new organized effort taking place today to kick him out of that city council seat.

Plus, less than one week out from the solar eclipse.