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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Biden Faces Questions About His Age In Wide-Ranging Interview; Biden Questioned About Foreign Policy In Time Mag Interview; Rep. Elissa Slotkin, (D-MI), Is Interviewed About President Biden's Time Magazine Interview; Biden Unveils Sweeping New Border Restrictions; Univ. Of Michigan Regent Has Law Firm Vandalized With Antisemitic Language; Biden Calls Trump "Convicted Felon" At Campaign Event; Biden: Trump Doesn't Deserve To Be President; Trump: Biden Not Too Old For President, Just Too Incompetent; Wisconsin Charges 3 Trump Allies In 2020 Election Subversion Plot; India's Modi Declares Victory As His Party Faces Major Setbacks. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 04, 2024 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to the lead. I'm Jake Tapper. This hour, the age factor in the 2024 race, what 77-year-old Donald Trump has to say about his main opponent, President Joe Biden, who is 81 years old. Plus, President Biden's wide ranging interview with Time magazine hot off the presses. What did he say about the war in Gaza?

What did he say about Donald Trump? What about voter concerns about his age?

And leading this hour, breaking news, Donald Trump's attorneys are asking the judge in his hush money cover up case to terminate the gag order against the former president now that the trial is over. CNN's Kara Scannell joins us live.

Kara, what arguments are Trump's attorneys making to the judge?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Trump's lawyers have said that since this gag order was put in place just before the trial started and it was put in place to protect the integrity of the proceedings because Trump was prohibited from making any comments on court staff, on the prosecutors, on any witnesses, and on the jury. They're saying that now that the trial is over, the judge should lift this gag order because that was the reason for -- to be in place is no longer happening. What they wrote in the letter is, "Now that the trial is concluded, the concerns articulated by the government and the court do not justify continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump, who remains the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election and the American people." They're saying that there's even a stronger reason now to lift it because several of these witnesses in the case, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, who made comments on it, President Joe Biden himself has commented on the verdict. And he cite -- they cite in their letter, even the upcoming presidential debate that you will be moderating is another reason why this gag order should be lifted. So, they sent this letter to the judge yesterday. It just became publicly available. And we're waiting for the judge's response on this. Now, previously, a spokesman for the court has said that the order speaks for itself and the language in the order does say it would continue to be in place through the proceedings. Exactly when those proceedings are deemed to have end is the question here which Trump's team is clearly seeking some clarification on.

You know, Trump has violated this gag order ten times. The judge fining him in criminal contempt and fining him $10,000. So, certainly a concern by Trump's team that they want to lift this gag order so he doesn't potentially run afoul of violating it again now that the campaign is back in full swing, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kara Scannell, thanks so much.

President Biden in a brand new lengthy interview with Time magazine, the president declared he is fit for a second term. Times Massimo Calabresi asking Biden if he is concerned that the large majority of Americans think he is too old. Biden says, "I can do it better than anyone you know. You're looking at me, I can take you, too." Question, "Did you consider not running again because of your age?" Biden, "No, I didn't."

Question, "And what do you say to Americans who are worried about it?" Biden, "Watch me." Calabresi pushed Biden on whether the greatest threat to America's national security comes from, not abroad, but from within in U.S. politics. To which Biden responded, quote, "I think it has a significantly diminishing impact on our ability to get things done internationally. There's not a major international meeting I attend that before it's over, that a world leader doesn't pull me aside as I'm leaving and say, he can't win. You can't let him win," referring to Trump there.

And then there's this, President Biden acknowledging there is meddling happening in our upcoming November elections. Times Calabresi asking if there is any evidence that China is behind meddling. Biden responded, quote, "There is evidence that meddling is going on. I'm not going to get into, I don't think I should from an intelligence standpoint." All of this comes after a lengthy portion of the interview centered around Biden's foreign policy and the growing crisis between Israel and Gaza.

President Biden refusing to say if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu crossed his red line in Rafah. But Biden declared a cease fire is necessary and is holding firm in what he sees as a solution. Biden saying, quote, "There needs to be a two state solution, a transition to a two state solution," unquote, which we should say Netanyahu opposes.

With me now is the journalist who conducted this exclusive interview with President Biden, Times Massimo Calabresi. Thanks so much for joining us again. We had you here for the Trump one. Now you're here for the Biden one.

First of all, did he, like, threaten to take you on? Did I read that? Quite, did he say -- did he?

MASSIMO CALABRESI, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, TIME MAGAZINE: It was a lighthearted moment in the interview. It was quite funny, actually.


CALABRESI: I think it was -- I was certainly not expecting that response, but it was funny.

TAPPER: Well, for the record, I mean, you think you could take this? You don't have to answer that. I'm just joking.


TAPPER: Let's move on. Let's start, President Biden brushing off any concerns about his age. How did he seem to you?

CALABRESI: I mean, he appears very much as he appears on T.V. He is older than when he started in office. It's visible if you just look side by side on the tape. The transcript is a good place for people to go to assess that. You know, he was -- we describe it in the piece as well. There's some sort of color description of how he appeared in there.

TAPPER: When it came up, did you get the sense that he takes the concerns about his age from, according to polls, a majority of the American people, including Democrats, seriously?


CALABRESI: Yes. He didn't pause when we asked him about it. He came back pretty fast. I think, you know, to some degree, that may be a stock answer. I didn't get the sense that he was troubled by it.

TAPPER: Yes, let's talk about policy. You also asked him about the border, how some of his first acts as president were lifting Trump era immigration measures that he considered inhumane. You asked him if he thinks lifting the measures drove to the record illegal border crossings.


TAPPER: He said, "No." You asked, "Were you wrong to lift any of these measures?" Biden said, "If I was wrong, it's because I took too long." What do you make of that in light of what he did today when he talked about basically trying to do something that Trump tried to do and was stopped by courts, which was get rid of asylum claims at the border?

CALABRESI: So, we did ask specifically even about whether he was considering putting back in place remain in Mexico, which was kind of a version of what he did today. He said he wasn't. You know, this was obviously something that they were in the middle of working on when we did the interview.

I do think as a matter of policy, this is a hard issue for any American politician. Trump, Biden, everybody has struggled with it going back 20 years. When I was covering Congress, people have been struggling with this. So, I think, you know, dramatic to see him bring out this new policy today, but certainly something that they were working on when I was in there.

TAPPER: When you read the transcript, most of the interviews seem to center around foreign policy, the war in Israel, Ukraine.


TAPPER: Domestic policy doesn't come until the rapid fire part near the end.


TAPPER: Obviously, you know, it's very tough to conduct an interview with somebody who is the leader of the free world or trying to be. There's so many issues. But was that what you were hoping for? Or is that just kind of how the interview evolved?

CALABRESI: No, I was focused -- we were focused very much on foreign policy going in. One, it's an area that hasn't received as much attention so far in this campaign. Two, we've got the Normandy anniversary coming up, and we are at an interesting moment, Jake, where the kind of paradigm that American leaders have used from the Republican Party and the Democratic Party for generations is now in flux. We have a great quote from Senator J.D. Vance about how Normandy and this kind of World War II, post-World War II view of the world is kind of a fairy tale that people tell themselves. So we wanted to take a look at.

It's an important moment. And also a lot of the domestic issues that we think about and talk about even today, immigration, inflation are tied to foreign issues. So, we were focused on that going in.

TAPPER: You're instrumental in getting these two cover stories done. If he wins with Trump there on the left, if he wins with Biden there on the right, I'm obviously not going to ask you who you're going to vote for, but give us your measure of the men at this point in time, how we're going to have a debate, obviously, on June 27. You saw them both up close and personal. What should viewers of the debate on June 27 expect?

CALABRESI: Yes, it's interesting. They're obviously very, very different people. One of the reasons, again, why we wanted to focus on foreign policy is arguably there have never been two more different positions on American foreign policy between the leading candidates for president ever, certainly in 100 years. There's a huge amount of consequence in which way these men take the country. China is an adversary the likes of which this country has never seen.

They have two very, very different approaches to how to handle that. So watching them tackle those questions, they handle them in very different ways. I think it's a good opportunity for readers and viewers to go and sort of compare both in the transcript and in the two stories. TAPPER: Yes. And the transcript's up on the site. Thanks so much, Massimo Calabresi. Always good to see you. Thanks for being here.

CALABRESI: Thanks for having me.

TAPPER: And you can bet, Democrats running for office in tough races are going to want to read every word in that Time magazine interview to see whether it helps or hurts their campaigns. And one of those candidates joins us now, Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. She's running for U.S. Senate seat in the Great Lakes state. Thank you so much for joining us.

A lot of that interview was on U.S. foreign policy. Times Massimo Calabresi asking Biden, "Has Netanyahu crossed your red line? Biden, quote, "I'm not going to respond to that because I'm about to make a -- anyway." So obviously, this is a huge deal in your state, a lot of Jewish-American voters in your state, a lot of Muslim-American voters really upset with the Biden administration, more than 100,000 voted non committed or whatever it was during the Michigan Democratic primary. Is this issue, is Biden's support for Israel going to cost him Michigan in November, do you think?

REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D-MI): Well, I definitely think I can't overstate how this issue is roiling my state and with the largest Arab and Muslim-American population, a large Jewish population, active campuses. I mean, so it's definite -- and we're integrated. I mean, I think people miss in Michigan that Jews and Muslims, all Michiganders, we live together, we go to school together, we play on sport teams together. So it's definitely roiling the state.


And I think the president has been clear that he has to reach out to people. He has to make those connections, keep those conversations live, even when they're difficult, even when people don't agree.

I will say the most important shift that can happen can come with a negotiated ceasefire deal. We have one on the table. The Israelis, even far right parties have agreed and supported it. It is now on Hamas to decide whether they want to prolong this war, continue to have the suffering rain down on the, you know, people of Gaza, or if they're going to accept a deal that's very similar to the one that they presented six weeks ago. So, this is kind of a very important moment.

I was at the White House talking to some of the negotiators this morning, and that is the biggest thing that would change things in my state is actually a negotiated ceasefire.

TAPPER: What do you make of the speech that Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to give to a joint session of Congress? I've heard that there are a lot of Democrats that are not going to go. Not going to attend. I think Senator Bernie Sanders said he's not going to attend. Are you going to go? SLOTKIN: I mean, first of all, we're still working on the date. I think there was some misfiring. The speaker of the House invited him on a Jewish holiday. I'm assuming they will find a date.

I'm going to come and listen to any prime minister that comes here. We had prime ministers from other places. And that doesn't mean I agree with everything he agrees with, but that means I'm going to listen, especially given this issue, like I said, is so affecting places like Michigan. Yes.

TAPPER: The House just voted to sanction members of the international criminal court because they are seeking arrest warrants for Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. They did this at the same time they issued warrants for three leaders of Hamas. You voted with Republicans to pass the sanctions. Actually explain your vote. How did you vote and why?

SLOTKIN: Yes, I mean, look, I've been really clear that to create a false equivalency between Israel and Hamas, a terrorist organization, first of all, doesn't do any good, doesn't affect the things that people want to affect. It sends the wrong message, and I don't support that. And so today, you know, the bill wasn't perfect. No bill is perfect. But in line with that sentiment, I voted for the bill.

And, you know, I think there's a lot of political bills that are making their way through Congress right now on this issue. Not a lot of substance, but in terms of where my sentiment is, I just don't think that moves the ball in a positive direction to equate the government of Israel to a terrorist organization.

TAPPER: Today President Biden issued a new executive action that will allow the U.S. government to ban migrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum. Here's a little clip of what the president had to say.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We just face the simple to protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border and secure it now. The simple truth is there is a worldwide migrant crisis. And if the United States doesn't secure our border, there's no limit to the number of people may try to come here.


TAPPER: You have long been urging President Biden to take stronger action at the border. Are you satisfied with this executive order today? Do you think it's too little, too late?

SLOTKIN: I mean, I'm in support of what he did today. A group of us wrote to the president, I want to say, three weeks ago, and said, look, you know, we wanted a budget or we wanted a border deal. We were negotiating in the Senate a bipartisan deal that got killed. So, kind of out of desperation and ahead of the summer surge in migrants, we want you to take some action. Even though we all know that this action is going to go to court, that it's shakier than we would like. What we really need is comprehensive immigration reform. But in the meantime, like no one's happy when they look at the southern border and feels like it's going well. So, it's not perfect but I am supportive of the action that he took today. And anything we can do to actually as a nation of immigrants deal with the immigration problem, we want people to come here in a legal and vetted way from their home countries, but not walking over the border like this, giving our customs and border folks the responsibility to decide who gets in and who doesn't, it's just -- it just no one thinks that it's going well. And I'm glad he took some action today.

TAPPER: Yesterday, the University of Michigan regent and attorney Jordan Acker faced a second frightening incident. His home had been approached in the middle of the night by pro-Palestinian protesters. Yesterday, his office was spray painted with phrases like free Palestine, divest now, UM, meaning University of Michigan kills, splotches of red paint left on the Goodman Acker sign above the building store. The president of the university, Santo Ono, he called the vandalism antisemitic, the targeting of Acker. Acker says he was targeted because he was Jewish and he's the only regent whose office was targeted.


Josh Kraushaar, who's the editor in chief of Jewish Insider, noted on Twitter last night that, quote, "Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan, called the vandalism of Jordan Acker's law office antisemitism. Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, running for Senate, calls it intimidation related to the Middle East conflict," unquote. He seemed to be suggesting that you're -- you have a different position. You don't think that was antisemitic?

SLOTKIN: No, I think, I mean, I think the targeting of one of the only Jewish regions in a Jewish community, right, in a Jewish neighborhood, I mean, is absolutely antisemitism. We've got a real problem with antisemitism going on in the state of Michigan right now. That incident coming on the heels of going after regents homes, coming on the heels of people at a conference, a Palestinian kind of liberation conference, talking about armed resistance and celebrating people who use violence, it's rife right now. That's what I'm saying when I say that this issue is roiling our state. So, we've been trying to figure out how to deal with it.

And I think that, you know, these repeated incidents, people are not understanding. Not only do we have a problem with hate speech and antisemitism, it's deeply ineffective. Whatever you're trying to do, it's not helping the cause, it's hurting it. So, we're trying as a community to figure this out. But it is absolutely on the increase. And it is dangerous.

TAPPER: Didn't your fellow Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, speak at that conference that you're talking about?

SLOTKIN: She did. A number of folks spoke. And it was a -- it was, I would say, a bit of a shock some of the things that were said by speakers at that conference. And I think some of the people who were celebrated, some of the things that they were talking about in terms of resistance, armed resistance, it was a shock to see it happen there. Obviously, not everyone said those kinds of things.

But if you're at a conference where those things are being said, we have a problem. And it is -- frankly, some of the people connected there have some deep roots to some really scary people in the Middle East, and we're thinking about how to approach that problem.

TAPPER: Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, thanks so much for joining us.

SLOTKIN: Thank you.

TAPPER: You heard how Biden tried to brush off concerns about his age in that Time magazine interview. Coming up here, what Donald Trump said about it. You might be surprised by his answer. And this breaking news just in, a major service disruption for AT&T customers, what we're learning about this one next.



TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you now. AT&T says service is down for customers across the United States. The company says a glitch is preventing AT&T customers from making calls to numbers from other carriers. But calls between AT&T customers are not impacted. How interesting.

The website down detector says the cities most impacted are New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis. Not a big deal. Not a lot of people live in those cities.

Returning to our politics lead, President Biden is sharpening his attacks against his predecessor, Donald Trump, following Trump's conviction on 34 felony charges last week. Speaking at a campaign fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut last night, President Biden said, quote, "For the first time in American history, a former president that is a convicted felon is now seeking the office of the presidency. But as disturbing as that is, more damaging is the all-out assault Donald Trump is making on the American system of justice."

Our panel is back. But first to CNN's Senior White House Correspondent MJ Lee joins us as well. So President Biden, he's largely avoided commenting on President Trump's criminal cases in campaign settings. So what's behind this shift?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The trial is over. I think that's the biggest thing. The President and the White House have been really careful for the most part, as you said, to not weigh in on trials, on legal matters whenever they're still going through the legal system. But I think now that the trial is over and we saw the 34 convictions, it would have been crazy and just strange for him to not comment on it in a real way in a political setting.

And we did hear him, you know, talking about how unprecedented it was. It's dangerous that President Trump is going around saying the whole trial was rigged. But I think for the most part, his sort of anti- Trump message that we heard at this fundraiser last night was more or less the same as what he has been saying over the last few months. I think the point is really more that, you know, Donald Trump is somebody that he sees as being anti-democratic, you know, dangerous when it comes to democratic institutions. And I think the thing that the campaign wants more than anything else is for the trial to have the effect of sort of jolting awake the voters who are sitting back and haven't really been paying attention and who do not believe that a Trump 2.0 is a real possibility.

TAPPER: So, Mike, last night at that campaign event in Greenwich, President Biden also told his supporters, quote, "This guy does not deserve to be president whether or not I'm running." What do you make of all this?

MIKE DUBKE, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm just curious what got the loudest applause, Trump not winning or him not running? Because I think--

TAPPER: Oh, I get that. OK.

DUBKE: Well, sorry that it felt flat.

TAPPER: But the notion --

DUBKE: But you know, seriously --

TAPPER: I know, no, it's good.

DUBKE: We both --

TAPPER: Go ahead, sorry.

DUBKE: We've got two candidates here --


DUBKE: -- that leading both of their parties, and I'm not sure that you've got the rank and file that are absolutely excited about this 2.0, as you put it, this election 2.0.

TAPPER: What do you, what do you think? I mean, like, he's -- I mean, that's not out of nowhere, that comment. I mean, the polling does show a real lack of enthusiasm for Biden from Democrats.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think there's no question that across the board there's a lack of enthusiasm from voters with both of these candidates. And I think we've seen that Biden has challenges with his base. I think we've also seen, frankly, that Trump has some issues with the Republican coalition, too, as we've seen throughout the primary process as significant numbers of Republicans have been voting against him.

But look, yes, no question that there is a frustration, there's a fatigue. And so one of the things that the Biden campaign has to do here is kind of, as MJ was referencing, is really jolt people back into the idea of just how dangerous Trump is, what kind of impact he would have if he were given a second term, what it would mean for reproductive rights, you know, what it would mean for democracy in this country. So they have to really try to raise the stakes.


And I think, you know, they will do that. They'll continue to make the case they've been making. I wouldn't expect that they're going to, you know, suddenly reorient their whole message around the felony conviction. But I think you'll see them do it the way the president did last night, which is make it one piece of a larger argument about his unfitness to return to the Oval Office.

TAPPER: So in that Time magazine article, that interview, President Biden dismissed terms -- dismissed concerns that he's too old to serve a second term. He would be, I think, 86 at the end of his second term if he's reelected. Today on Truth Social, Donald Trump weighed in, and he more or less agreed that age is not necessarily an issue. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe Biden's not too old to be president. I know a lot of people that are older than him, and they're at the top of their game. It's not even close. But he is too incompetent and he is too corrupt.


TAPPER: What do you make of that?

DUBKE: I love the fact -- as a communications professional, I love the twist on the language here. I mean, because everyone's talking about age and they're going to continue talking about age. So why not get in a couple other knocks on this?

I watched your interview with the Time magazine author, and when you asked him if he got challenged, I was thinking about, you know, these guys should have a push up contest at the debate and see who does better. And I thought back to the Jack Palance push up at the Oscars, he was 73 years old.

TAPPER: Seventy-three.

DUBKE: And we all thought he was old and over the hill. He was only 73 years old. So I'm -- this is going to be an issue throughout the rest of the campaign. It's going to be -- both of them have the age issue that they need to deal with. I just think it's going to be more prevalent with President Biden.

BEDINGFIELD: I thought this was a really interesting shift. I mean, I wonder if it's, excuse me, an admission by Trump that age is not having the impact in the race that he hoped it would or that there's some sense from voters that both of them are old and he's not getting the traction that he wanted to get on this issue. I mean, I think if you're the Biden campaign and you have Donald Trump saying, you know, this is going to be about a question of who's more competent and who's more corrupt, if you're the Biden campaign, you would say, game on. We would love to have that frame.

So, it was interesting to me that Trump walks, sort of walked away from this question of age that he's been trying to drive for months and months and months. Perhaps an admission that he's not getting the traction he wants.

LEE: And Biden's answer on the age question, by the way, wasn't just defending like, am I too old? He specifically said, I can do this job better than anybody you know. I just think that's interesting because it's not the first time that he has given that specific answer. When the Robert Hur interview report, excuse me, came out and we were in that sort of rather angry press conference that held afterwards, and I was asking him about the fact that a lot of people have concerns about his age, he denied that. And then he said, I am the most qualified person to finish the job.

I'm just thinking back on the Joe Biden that was running in 2020 when he talked about being the bridge to the next generation. He called himself the transition candidate. I think it is just really clear that he either doesn't see himself as the transition candidate anymore or he thinks the transition needs to take eight years, not four years.

DUBKE: Instead of four years.

LEE: Yes.

DUBKE: Which is what he implied.

TAPPER: What do you think? I mean --

BEDINGFIELD: I think he views himself as the person who can beat Donald Trump. I think he has a record of accomplishment in this first four years that essentially outstripped what people expected he would be able to accomplish. And so he's saying, give me another four to finish the job. I think he believes that the success of the first four years merits another four. And that it's a strong case against --

TAPPER: You and I are old enough, I don't know about you two, but you and I are old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan was elected.

DUBKE: Right.

TAPPER: And everybody thought he was too old. He had to address -- he had to address it.


TAPPER: Right?

DUBKE: Of course he did.

TAPPER: And he addressed it. And I think he was 69.

DUBKE: Yes, he was.

TAPPER: I think he was 69 years old.

DUBKE: That's right. That's why --

TAPPER: Donald Trump is 77 --

BEDINGFIELD: Let's bring ticket.

TAPPER: -- about to 78.


TAPPER: I think later this month. And Joe Biden 80, what?


TAPPER: Eighty-one, about to turn 82.

DUBKE: It is interesting when you talk to older Americans, they say, you know, why don't these guys just go and enjoy the rest of their life?

TAPPER: So today, CNN's Manu Raju asked Mitch McConnell if he still supports former President Donald Trump after he's been convicted of these 34 felonies. Here's the answer.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now that he is a convicted felon, are you 100 percent behind him?

SEN. MITCH MCCONELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: What I said last week, I will say again, this is a case that never should have been brought in the first place and I think will be overturned on appeal.


TAPPER: That's not really answer to are you 100 percent behind him? Now, I'm sure that if he was pressed on it, he would be --

DUBKE: He's also asking Senator McConnell this question. And I'm not -- and Senator McConnell and President Trump have had their differences over the last several of years. So, but I think he's basically pointing out exactly what other Republicans are talking about, is, this is a case that never should have been brought, and there is a good chance of it being overturned by appeal, just to quote him.


TAPPER: Kate, Axelrod, David Axelrod, Democratic -- former Democratic White House official thinks it's a mistake for Democrats to make Trump's conviction a top issue. He posted on Twitter or X, quote, Biden needs to pound the vast differences between them on the issues that touch people's lives, saying, quote, I'm for you, he's for him. BEDINGFIELD: I largely agree with that, although I don't think, I don't know if Axe was saying he should never reference the fact that Trump is a convicted felon, I wouldn't agree with that. I do think he needs to continue to hammer it, but I do agree broadly that it needs to be part of a larger message that resonates with people about what's going on in their lives. And I think Biden has driven that effectively and shouldn't lose sight of that.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks to one and all. Appreciate it. As President Biden rolls out these new rules for asylum seekers trying to come into the United States, the mayor of one border town is calling the new policy a sham to score political points. We'll have more reaction. Plus, a reality check on the situation on the ground, next.



TAPPER: In our National Lead, more reaction coming in from Capitol Hill after President Biden announced sweeping action at the border today. His new executive action will allow the U.S. government to ban migrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum. The president faces criticism from both left and right. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York says not all the responsibility to fix the border should fall on President Biden.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Listen, it's not just on the president, it's also on Congress. And this speaks to Congress's failure in both parties to actually pass immigration reform that expands the path to citizenship.


TAPPER: CNN's Rosa Flores is in Hidalgo, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border where reaction from the community is mixed.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Joe Biden announcing his toughest immigration policy, an executive order barring asylum when daily migrant apprehensions at the U.S. southern border hit a seven day average of 2,500, a move that could result in the deportation of some migrants in a matter of days, even hours.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they choose to come without permission and against the law, they'll be restricted from receiving asylum and staying in the United States.

FLORES (voice-over): The measure clamps down on unlawful crossings between ports of entry and will take effect at midnight. Since migrant apprehensions at the U.S. southern border are now about 4,000 per day. Reaction from border communities is mixed. Some members of Congress show their support in person at the White House.

REP. VICENTE GONZALEZ (D-TX): This is going to help us secure the border.

FLORES (voice-over): Bill Wells, the Republican mayor of El Cajon in Southern California, called the action a, quote, sham. Biden appearing to take a page from former President Donald Trump's hardline immigration playbook. Trump tried implementing a similar policy in 2018. The ACOU led the challenge that caused courts to strike it down and says it plans to sue the Biden administration, too.

LEE GELERNT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ACLU IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS PROJECT: We do not believe that any provision, whether it's 212(f) or any other provisional, allows an administration to shut down the asylum system.

FLORES (voice-over): Biden administration officials defended the executive order, saying it includes humanitarian exceptions for unaccompanied migrant children, for some medical emergencies, and for victims of severe human trafficking. The timing of the announcement --

FLORES: The number of migrant apprehensions right now is very low.


FLORES (voice-over): Raising eyebrows among advocates like Sister Norma Pimentel because migrant apprehensions on the U.S. southern border have played, plummeted from nearly 250,000 in December to about 120,000 in May, a source familiar with the data told CNN.

FLORES: So why do this, Sister Norma?

PIMENTEL: I would think it's because of the fact that we have an election very soon. And if he doesn't show a different optic picture, then they have -- they're losing.

FLORES (voice-over): The apparent strategy by the Biden administration pointing the finger back at Republicans who failed to support the Senate's bipartisan border bill, Republicans fired right back, saying it's too little, too late.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn't want to fix the problem.

FLORES (voice-over): Caught in the middle of this political battle playing out on the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

FLORES: He says that during his journey, he saw all cycles of life, from newborns to the elderly to people who died along the way.

FLORES (voice-over): Migrants like Rafael from Venezuela, who wants to go only by his first name for fear it could impact his case.

FLORES: Do you think migrants are going to go back to their country?

FLORES (voice-over): He says Biden's policy could encourage some migrants to return to their home countries.


FLORES (on camera): Now I'm live in Hidalgo, Texas, and I wanted to be live in front of this port of entry because historically we've been able to see quick returns back to Mexico. So if there would have been a dramatic effect after this executive order was announced by President Biden, we might have been able to see something here on the ground. We didn't see anything yet, Jake, I have to say, but I have to add that in the years that I've been covering this immigration issue since President Biden took office, I have heard from law enforcement, from voters, from officials all along the U.S. southern border asking for President Biden to do something. They've used words like they feel abandoned by the federal government. And they even told me, Rosa, we don't agree with everything that Texas Governor Greg Abbott is doing on immigration, but he's doing something. So, Jake, today they are saying that something has happened. We'll have to see what the actual effect is. Jake, back to you.

TAPPER: All right. Rosa Flores in Hidalgo, Texas, thanks so much.


A list of former Trump allies are wrapped up in another fake elector scheme stemming from the 2020 election. We're going to tell you who was just charged and the alleged crimes committed, next.



TAPPER: In our Law and Justice Lead, Wisconsin has filed charges against three of Donald Trump's allies accused of taking part in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election. They are Kenneth Chesebro, who is a right wing attorney, Jim Troupis, a former Trump lawyer, and Michael Roman, a former Trump campaign official. All of them face a single felony charge of forgery, which is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to six years or both. Wisconsin's Democratic governor today released a press release with his one word reaction to the charges, saying, quote, good. CNN's Zachary Cohen is here. Zachary, what exactly are they accused of here?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Jake, prosecutors are saying that all three of these individuals were part of a conspiracy to present these certificates that were signed by the fake electors in Wisconsin as the real electoral votes from that state, and essentially using them to claim Donald Trump won the state of Wisconsin in 2020 when he actually did not. And that was part of that broader effort involving seven key battleground states to overturn the election results for Donald Trump when Joe Biden really won the presidential election in 2020.


And look, the complaint goes through a lot of evidence, including text messages and e-mails that we've reported on, really highlighting how these two pro Trump attorneys were a driving force behind some of those extreme legal theories. But also they were super hands on in trying to organize these electors from the various states, including Wisconsin, and trying to get these certificates to Washington, D.C. on January 6th, 2021. Now, the Attorney General from Wisconsin was asked today because there's one obvious name missing from this list, and that's Donald Trump.

And he was asked if that means that Donald Trump has been ruled out as a possible person to be charged in this case. But take a listen to what he said when he was asked that question.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ruled out charging Donald Trump?

JOSH KAUL, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL: As I said, I'm not going to speak to any specific individual, but the investigation is ongoing and the decisions we make will be based on the facts and the law, not on the identity of any individual or their role.


COHEN: So prosecutors often use the ongoing investigation label as sort of a, you know, a normal, like, sort of broad characterization. But I am told that there are indications this prosecution could expand to include more names to that list. So we'll have to wait and see who is added and if Donald Trump's among them. But look, this is now the fifth that has brought criminal charges against people who were involved in the fake electorate plot. We know in Georgia, both Roman, Michael Roman and Ken Chesebro were both charged there. Ken Chesebro pleaded guilty to a felony count there, and he's been cooperating in other state level probes. And then we have Michael Roman who's been charged in both Arizona and Georgia. So a lot of states really taking this legal matter into their own hands, even four years later.

TAPPER: So, as you noted, Chesebro was cooperating with investigators, I think Wisconsin investigators even. But he's still charged?

COHEN: Yes, it's really interesting because it was actually because of an investigation done by our colleagues, K-File. They exposed a secret Twitter account that Chesebro failed to mention during his interview with prosecutors in Wisconsin and in Michigan.

TAPPER: Also that nullified the cooperation agreement?

COHEN: It seems that way, and it definitely seems like it was a factor in the decision to say, hey, look, we know you cooperated, we know you handed over information, but we're still going to bring criminal charges against you. So a secret Twitter account may be leading to a criminal prosecution.

TAPPER: For want of a tweet, a cooperating agreement was lost. All right, Zachary Cohen, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

COHEN: Coming up next, the largest election in the world. We're going to go live to India, where final results are coming in. And the numbers show something of a shocker.



TAPPER: In our World Lead today, shocking election result in the most populous country in the world, incumbent Narendra Modi just clenched a third term as India's prime minister, but not without a significant setback. Results show that his once dominant party is losing ground in parliament, completely catching some off guard, including this popular pollster who wept on live television after he realized his predictions were wildly off track. Our pollsters in the U.S. not capable of such moments. CNN's Ivan Watson reports from India's capital. As Modi's illusion of invincibility starts to show cracks.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The world's largest election is now over. And just hours into the massive vote count, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's followers were already partying.

WATSON: Supporters are celebrating here at the headquarters of the BJP, and it does look like Narendra Modi will govern for another term. But it does not seem that he has won the landslide victory he predicted, which suggests he'll govern with a weaker electoral mandate.

WATSON (voice-over): At a rally in the capital, Modi declared victory, even though for the first time in a decade, his party failed to win a majority of seats in parliament. Modi will have to form a coalition government if he is to continue to rule. The opposition say, they've hurt the powerful prime minister.

RAHUL GANDHI, OPPOSITION LEADER: The country has unanimously and clearly stated we do not want Mr. Narendra Modi and Mr. Amit Shah to be involved in the running of this country. We do not like the way they have run this country. We do not appreciate the way they have attacked the constitution.

WATSON (voice-over): Modi's opponents accused the prime minister of limiting freedom of speech and press with crackdowns on political rivals. Modi and his party have also targeted India's Muslim minority with islamophobic rhetoric.

NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Do you think your hard earned money should be given to infiltrators? Modi's brand of Hindu nationalism may have reached its limit. His party's candidate lost in Ayodhya, the town where he inaugurated a controversial new Hindu temple on the site of a demolished mosque. Modi is still seen by many as the business friendly steward of the world's fifth largest economy. Indian stock markets plunged more than 5 percent on Tuesday upon news of Modi's lackluster election results. Though weakened, Modi is still the most powerful and polarizing politician India has seen in generations.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WATSON (on camera): You know, Jake, Modi likes to boast about India's fast growing economy, but he kind of overlooks some real problems. There is youth unemployment here year of close to 45 percent. Poor people are struggling with inflation and growing economic disparity. And that all could have contributed to the loss of support that he had. Also, he's been in power for 10 years now and that is something that people could just get tired of over time. Jake?


TAPPER: Yes. CNN's Ivan Watson and New Delhi for us, thanks so much. Some really cool moments in science to share with you in our last leads, next.


TAPPER: Our last leads now, it starts with our out of this world lead, China's space agency reports its lunar lander successfully lifted off from the far side of the Moon this morning. It's bringing back the first ever samples from the side of the Moon that we never see because it faces space, not Earth. The goal is to get those Moon rocks transferred to a waiting orbiter that will head back to Earth and drop them off on June 25th.


In our World Lead, take a look at what archaeologists just discovered in Pompeii. A blue room, possibly a shrine for rituals or the conservation of sacred objects, experts say the female figures on the wall depict the four seasons of the year. Other figures are likely allegories of agriculture and shepherding. The building has been buried since the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79.

If you ever miss an episode of The Lead, you can listen to the show once you get your podcast. The news continues on CNN with Wolf Blitzer right next door in a place I like to call The Situation Room. I'll see you tomorrow.