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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Jury Deliberation To Resume Tomorrow On Hunter Biden's Gun Trial; U.N. Security Council Passed U.S. Proposal For A Ceasefire Between Israel And Hamas; Protesters Against The Gaza War Gather At The White House; Abortion-Ban States Lose Access To Lower-Cost Miscarriage Care; Catherine Templeton Challenges Rep. Nancy Mace In SC Primary; James Patterson Teams Up With Michael Crichton On New Novel. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 10, 2024 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to "The Lead." I'm Jake Tapper. This hour, the dramatic new video of the rescue mission to save four Israeli hostages over the weekend, showing the very moment the three men and a woman were found alive.

Ahead, this brief moment of unity for those leading the charge and how it has quickly turned into political upheaval for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as he tries to keep his government intact.

Plus, a race to watch in Nikki Haley's backyard, South Carolina's Congressional District 1. Donald Trump lost his primary race in that area, and now he's endorsing a woman challenging -- no, now he's endorsing Congresswoman Nancy Mace, but she is being challenged. Is Donald Trump's endorsement in Nikki Haley's backyard hurt or help? I'll ask her. She'll be here on "The Lead," the challenger.

We start this hour with the breaking news. The jury in Hunter Biden's federal gun trial is done for the day after deliberating for about an hour. CNN's Evan Perez is outside the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware. Evan, how effective do you think the prosecutors and the defense were in their various closing arguments today?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, one indication of how effective things are going, Jake, was the fact that during Abbe Lowell's nearly 90-minute closing argument, we saw at least a couple of jurors seem to nod off. He had a very lengthy series of displays on the screen that he was trying to draw their attention to, saying that all of those showed reasonable doubt.

He said that because prosecutors had not been able to prove that there was someone named Mookie. Remember, there was a text message where Hunter Biden talked about meeting a drug dealer named Mookie. Because nobody named Mookie has been produced to the court, he was suggesting there's no indication that person exists.

And so that's what Abbe Lowell was trying to do today, was to try to draw some doubt for the jury that because there is no direct evidence from any of the witnesses, the 13 witnesses that we've had in this case over the past week, there's no direct evidence showing that Hunter Biden was using crack cocaine in October of 2018 when he bought this firearm, that because of that, there's reasonable doubt to convict on these three charges.

Of course, prosecutors rebutted that. They said that Hunter Biden knew what he was doing when he went to buy that firearm in October of 2018. They say that there's a lot of evidence to show that he was using drugs beginning in 2015 to 2019. They, of course, pointed to the hour of his audiobook that they played for the jury.

They also said that it was preposterous for the defense to be arguing that Hunter Biden, a Yale-educated lawyer, didn't understand what he was signing when he filled out the ATF form 4473 that said he was not a drug addict and was eligible to buy that firearm. He also said -- the prosecutor said, choices have consequences. He says someone who holds a crack pipe to his mouth every 15 minutes knows that he is a drug addict.

Again, that's some very tough words that you could see landed very roughly with members of the Biden family that filled three rows in the courtroom. You saw them nod their head, shaking their head as the prosecutor, Derek Hines, was finishing his closing joke (sp).

TAPPER: All right, Evan Perez in Wilmington, Delaware. Thanks so much.

Let's bring in our political panel to weigh in on this and more. Alencia, let me start with you. First of all, this is the first time in American history that the son, the adult child of a sitting president has been tried. What do you think the impact politically will be on this for President Biden?

ALENCIA JOHNSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yeah, look, I think there are people who are looking at this with a little bit of potential concern, right? Maybe not enough concern to not vote for President Biden, but they're paying attention to it. I do think there is a stark contrast between how this trial is going and the Bidens participating, as well as the contrast of what's happening on the other side with Donald Trump.

And then I think the American people also understand that a lot of Republicans are trying to get after President Biden through his son. And President Biden has kept his hands off of this process so far.


TAPPER: And what do you make of that? Because it is obviously true. I mean, whether or not you believe it, President Biden has said he will not pardon Hunter, even if he is convicted. That is quite a contrast with former President Trump.

BRYAN LANZA, FORMER DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TRUMP-PENCE CAMPAIGN: Yeah, listen, I think, first of all, thanks for having me, Jake. I think this is where I differentiate from President Trump and sort of my party on this. Like, you know, I don't know why this has gone forward. I would not have a problem if Joe Biden pardoned Hunter Biden in this situation. We just don't charge, you know, drug addicts and we don't pursue drug addicts in this particular way.

I certainly see the politics behind it. You have somebody who has violated law, state, federal, probably any law you can imagine. He's probably a gross human being at this point. But we do treat drug addicts a different way. And this is something that at least I deviate from President Trump. But, you know, we are where we are. I'm sure it's going to be difficult and he has to be held accountable. But we should be clear. Had this been anybody else, Hunter Biden would have been brought up.

Just like in the New York case. Had President Trump and anybody else, that prosecution would have brought up. We've now weaponized our courts with blue and with red and that's a dangerous thing. And Hunter is a consequence of weaponizing the courts. And I just think that sends a sad message to people who are recovering from drug addiction.

TAPPER: So let's move forward to the question about Donald Trump, because today he appeared in a brief recorded remarks before the Danbury Institute's Life and Liberty Forum. It's a Christian group. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: These are difficult times for our nation and your work is so important. We can't afford to have anyone sit on the sidelines. Now is the time for us to all pull together and to stand up for our values and for our freedoms. We have to defend religious liberty, free speech, innocent life and the heritage and tradition that built America into the greatest nation in the history of the world.


TAPPER: So, the former president never mentioned abortion in his remarks, but the group's website does say, quote, "Abortion must be ended. We will not rest until it is eradicated entirely," unquote. Kristen Holmes, what is the Trump campaign saying about the decision to have him speak, to have it be recorded remarks, to have him not mention what is a priority for this group, the complete eradication of abortion?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I thought it was hilarious that they built this as remarks at all. I mean, it's two minutes long. It was pre-taped and he never mentioned the word abortion. But as we know, Donald Trump doesn't really want to talk about abortion. There are two things that he wants to do. One is to take credit for it and then to just have the issue go away and not be something that he has to deal with politically.

We know that Donald Trump has time after time sought to say that he is the reason that Roe v. Wade was overturned. No one else could get it done. Only Donald Trump. But then also steered clear of any conversations around abortion, which I actually think will be very interesting when he is on a debate stage with Joe Biden, because it is one thing that the campaign knows they are concerned about. It is an issue, women's reproductive rights, that people don't view as popular. So it's not surprising to me that that's happening.

TAPPER: And it is a big issue that the Democrats are trying to hit home. Earlier today, Vice President Kamala Harris weighed in on Trump's short list of potential running mates, vice presidents. Here is what she said to "Politico" specifically on the issue of abortion, quote, "Everyone on that list has supported a Trump abortion ban in their state or has called for a national ban. In fact, many voted this week in the Senate against the right to contraception. That's how far down the road they are." Alencia and then Brian, weigh in. What do you think?

JOHNSON: I mean, look, we are just calling it for what it is. Donald Trump, to what Kristen said, he was bragging about the fact that he appointed the justices that overturned Roe v. Wade. And the party is showing their true colors going after contraception, going after IVF, going after all of these reproductive health care needs that all women have in this country. And so it is a winning issue for Democrats.

It's an issue morally that people understand that this is a personal issue. It's also politically a winning issue for us. We've seen it in 2022. We've seen it in 2023. Whether or not the polls say it, we know on Election Day, people are turning out around that issue. And it's moving the needle in red states, which is why you see Donald Trump talking out of both sides of his mouth, trying to appeal to Republicans, knowing that I've got to get you on the side of believing that I'm pro-life while also understanding that it is a losing issue for Republicans.

LANZA: Listen, I would say, you know, the Republican Party is pro- life. That shouldn't shock anybody that's been pro-life for nearly 40 years. When President Trump ran in 2016, he actually released judges that would overturn Roe v. Wade and still got elected.

TAPPER: Yeah. A list of potential Supreme Court --

LANZA: So, yeah. The public's already chosen. The public knows where President Trump is on the issue, and they actually support him on the issue. They elected him knowing full well that he was going to overturn Roe v. Wade. I think the challenge for the Republican Party in the long term is going to be, is how do they define an acceptable term for abortion?

You know, the six-week debate is going to devastate Republicans in Florida. It's going to devastate Republicans in other places. Is it 15 weeks? Is it 20 weeks? Twenty-two weeks is far. But I think, you know, President Trump is very comfortable letting the states define what weeks matters. And there's going to be a huge debate within the Republican Party, and there is today --

JOHNSON: But they're not letting the states define if they're talking about this issue in Congress.


If he gets to office, they will pass a national abortion ban. It is going to happen, and it's not going to be state rights. LANZA: That's a cute soundbite, but we've learned that Congress --

JOHNSON: No, that's a cute sound bite. It's real.

LANZA: -- over the years, when President Trump has empowered the Republican leaders listen.

JOHNSON: And why wouldn't they codify access to contraception --

LANZA: And then we have -- and what we have learned is when he has said, listen, I want this to happen, and Congress is going to do that. We'll see what happens when President Trump gets to Congress.

JOHNSON: We know what he says.

LANZA: But we know what his position is --

TAPPER: All right, to be continued. I'm sure we'll keep talking about this issue. It's one that's certainly on the political menu. Thanks to everyone here.

There are protests outside the White House all the time. There was a new moment of vitriol this weekend and ugliness when crowds showed up to demonstrate not just against Israel's war in Gaza, but much worse. You'll see and hear what happens. Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our "World Lead" just moments ago, the United Nations Security Council passed a United States proposal for a quote, "permanent end to hostilities in Gaza." The resolution calls for an end to the fighting, the withdrawal of the Israeli military, the release of all remaining Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners.


This vote comes as we are learning more details about the Israeli operation that rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a population center in Gaza and left many Palestinians dead, civilians, on Saturday. CNN's Oren Liebermann looks at the timeline of the raid and brings us newly obtained footage showing the moment of the rescue. A warning, some of these images you're about to see from a war are quite graphic.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The missiles hit at midday, a daring operation meant to maximize the element of surprise, turning a refugee camp into a battlefield. After weeks of preparation, Israeli forces moved into Nuseirat in central Gaza on Saturday, aiming for apartment buildings in this area. The goal, to rescue four hostages that Hamas held in this densely populated neighborhood.

One witness says some Israeli special forces were disguised as Hamas militants or displaced Palestinians. The IDF declined to comment. In this newly released video, you see the moment Israeli forces approach a building and then burst into the apartment with the hostages.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Go in, go in. One is with me.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Hebrew, Hebrew, where is everyone?

UNKNOWN (through translation): Here they are.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Name? Name?

UNKNOWN (through translation): Almog, Almog.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Andrey, Andrey.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Three hostages. Three hostages. Everything is fine. We came to rescue you, be calm. Good?

UNKNOWN (through translation): Good.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): For Israel, the operation was a success, punctuated by the reunions eight months in the making. Families never gave up hope.

ORIT MEIR, MOTHER OF RELEASED HOSTAGE ALMOG MEIR: Yesterday was my birthday and my wish came true. I haven't stopped smiling since my Almog was returned to me.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Noa Argamani was also rescued, one of the most well-known hostages. Video from October 7 showed her pleading for help as kidnappers drove her into Gaza. Israelis rejoiced at news of the hostage rescue, but unity was short-lived. Hours later, anti- government protesters took to the streets, demanding a ceasefire and a hostage deal.

On Sunday, War Cabinet member Benny Gantz resigned. He accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of slow-walking the war for his political gain. The head of the Israeli military's Gaza division also stepped down, saying he failed to protect his country from Hamas' attack on October 7.

In Gaza, the Israeli operation came at a staggering cost. Witnesses say the Nuseirat refugee camp became hell on earth.

KHALIL AL TIRAWI, NUSEIRAT RESIDENT (through translation): I am 60 years old and I have never experienced anything like this before. It is beyond imagination, a barrage of heavy gunfire, artillery, missiles, rockets. It was something unimaginable to the human mind.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Inside Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, this graphic video shows Palestinians bearing the horrific wounds of heavy bombardment. The hospital filled so fast, patients, including women and children, were treated wherever there was space. Many weren't so lucky. Scores were killed in the Israeli operation, marking one of the deadliest days in Gaza in months.


LIEBERMANN (on camera): The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza says 274 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli operation. They don't differentiate between civilians and fighters. They also say hundreds were wounded. Israel disputes that number, saying there were less than 100 casualties. CNN can't verify either of those numbers.

Either way, it underscores the deadly nature of the raid itself. And in the middle of all this, Jake, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making a whirlwind trip through the Middle East, trying to make some sort of progress on a hostage deal, a ceasefire. Even with that U.N. Security Council resolution that was adopted that, at least in principle, Hamas praised, that seems a very tall order right now, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Oren Liebermann in Tel Aviv, thanks so much. Here in the United States, thousands protested outside the White House this weekend, demonstrating against the war in Gaza.


Anti-Israel protesters chanting there, from the river to the sea. Some say that that is just a call for freedom. Others say it's a call to wipe out the state of Israel.


Several statues in Lafayette Park were vandalized. You see that right there, Glory to the Resistance, it says. That's being written on a statue of General Rochambeau. The resistance, of course, is what Hamas considers itself to be. Resistance. And then there was this moment.


TAPPER: Kill a thousand Zionists now, and a call for jihad and martyrdom. They were chanting for Hezbollah, which the United States and Israel both consider to be a terrorist group. Zionism is, of course, those who believe in the right of Jews to have a homeland.

The White House responded to some of the rhetoric that happened across the street this afternoon, saying, quote, "President Biden has been clear that every American has the right to peacefully express their views. But he has also always stressed that violence, attacking law enforcement, anti-Semitism, advocating for the murder of Jews, any other violent rhetoric, vandalism, or endorsing terrorist organizations like Hamas are all repugnant, dangerous, and against everything we stand for as a country.

Joining us now, Frank Foer, staff writer of "The Atlantic." Frank, what goes through your mind when you see these scenes outside the White House? Is there much of a difference between killing Zionists and Jews will not replace us, which is what we heard in Charlottesville?

FRANKLIN FOER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: It's all over the piece. I mean, there's a rhetoric of elimination of Jews, of hatred of Jews that vilifies Jews and that use them as dehumanized. And we have to remember, there are two different visions of Palestinian politics. There's a vision embedded in the Palestinian Authority that has committed itself to peaceful coexistence with the Jewish people in one land.

And then there's Hamas, which relies on the protocols of Elder of Zion in its manifesto. That in its original charter called for the genocide of Jews, and that has practiced terrorism throughout its history. And in fact, has destroyed every moment where the Palestinians have been close to making a permanent peaceful solution with the Jews in Israel.

TAPPER: So I think the park Police said that there were no arrests over the weekend, even though there was vandalism and calls for quote, unquote "resistance," which again, this is not Satyagraha and Mahatma Gandhi. This is not peaceful resistance. This is terrorism. This is Hamas --

FOER: Murderous. Murderous --

TAPPER: Yeah. I mean, they're advocating for Hamas and Hezbollah. That's what they're doing. No arrests.

FOER: Yeah. I mean, a bit astonishing to see. I mean, they're defacing the park that is America's park in front of the White House. Hard to imagine how that's not somehow criminal.

TAPPER: Some of the response from the progressive left has been interesting. Here's this post on Twitter from author and podcaster post, Crystal Ball. She's a progressive reacting to Saturday's IDF mission to rescue the four hostages. She wrote, "If Hamas committed a bloody massacre of Israelis to rescue four Palestinians, it would be universally condemned. But Palestinian lives are considered so worthless by U.S. officials that they believe this bloodbath is not only acceptable, but worthy of celebration."

So that's an interesting construct of that sentence. If Hamas committed a bloody massacre of Israelis.

FOER: Yeah. It's hard. I struggle to imagine that Hamas would be capable of it. No. The way in which the left then writes October 7th entirely out of its narrative. There are lots of justifiable criticisms that one could make of Israel and the way that they've conducted this war.

TAPPER: Including this mission. Including the rescue mission.

FOER: Yeah. Of course. Of course. And Israel should be criticized. But the framework that the groups use to criticize Israel matters. Because you know who's listening to these protests in the United States? Sinwar. Sitting in the tunnels beneath Gaza. I talk to intelligence officials from around the world and they say he's paying attention to these protests.

And when he sees that he's achieving this support, this mainstream support in the United States when he's being romanticized by these protesters, his instinct is to continue fighting because he sees that he's winning.

TAPPER: Yeah. And their definition of winning is different from what an American definition would be. Sinwar and the Hamas leadership have stated that they don't care how many Palestinians are killed. They consider them to be martyrs.

FOER: Right. That's exactly right. That he's considered this war a giant martyrdom mission. He's done nothing to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza. In fact, he hides hostages in densely populated places where he knows that if the Israelis are going to come to rescue them, there will be a tremendous unacceptable human cost to doing that. That is his very strategy. That's the thing that these protesters are romanticizing and celebrating.

TAPPER: All right, Franklin Foer from "The Atlantic." Thanks so much. Always good to have you on.

It can be one of the toughest moments a family can face how new laws in Texas made it even harder for one family to endure. Stay right with us.



TAPPER: In our "Health Lead" today, this month marks two years since Roe v. Wade was overturned, changing the landscape health wise of abortion access in the United States. It's also affected, of course, access to care for women who experience miscarriages. In states that have abortion bans, such as Texas, many lower cost clinics have simply shut down. CNN's Meg Tirrell talks with a woman who faced a nearly $15,000 charge for a procedure she needed after having a miscarriage.



MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Two years ago, you were able to get into this barn.

MARLENA STELL, HAD MISCARRIAGE: Yes. And now it's I can't believe it's closed.

TIRRELL (voice-over): Marlena Stell came to this abortion clinic and Houston in the fall of 2021 after a miscarriage at nine and a half weeks pregnant. She needed a DNC a procedure to remove pregnancy tissue, the same procedure used for surgical abortions. But because Texas had just passed a law banning most abortions after six weeks, she said doctors refuse to provide the procedure at her hospital possibly fearing being sued a story she shared two years ago with CNN.

STELL: I get so angry that I was treated this way.

Again, one, two, three.

TIRRELL (voice-over): In May of this year, Stell lost another pregnancy.

STELL: I was thinking we were having a boy. And so it's a little fuzzy outfit. So that's what hurt even more because that's what we wanted is a boy.

TIRRELL (voice-over): Doctors say Texas law is clear that D&C procedures are legal in cases like Stell's. And she hoped to have one to treat this miscarriage. But if she hadn't planned to get pregnant again, she didn't have insurance that covered it.

STELL: Like I wanted to have that D&C, I didn't want to have to go through it at home knowing that it was going to be horrifying.

TIRRELL: You thought that you'd be able to schedule this at your local hospital up the road. And then you checked the estimate they sent you.

STELL: Yes. I was shocked at how high it was. It's to be exact $14,368 And that's with a discount if I pay out of pocket, then that's when it hit me like a brick like OK, this isn't happening for me here.

TIRRELL: So your doctor then said, look at a clinic.

STELL: Yes. She said, she actually said, you know, go to a Planned Parenthood, it'll be much less expensive. That's your best option. And then I started Google searching abortion clinics in the area and I was looking for the clinic I went to last time.

TIRRELL: Then having that loss and searching for care. You looked here again, thinking you at least go back.

STELL: And then I had no idea it was closed.

TIRRELL: What's that like for you're seeing it boarded up like this?

STELL: It's sad. It makes me a little angry.

TIRRELL (voice-over): That clinic was one of 22 brick and mortar abortion clinics operating in Texas in 2021. Within a year after Roe v. Wade was overturned, only 12 were still in operation providing other services than abortions. So Marlena started looking outside of Texas. She ultimately booked flights to Los Angeles and an appointment at an abortion clinic there that's able to perform D&C procedures at a lower cost than hospitals, all of it including the travel she estimates for a quarter of the costs at her local hospital in Houston.

But before she left, she started bleeding and feeling extreme pain at home. That meant she couldn't travel prompting fear over what she would then endure.

STELL: This is the changing table we had for my daughter that we kind of saved.

And then in the end, not only not getting it but going through something so horrifically painful and so traumatizing like I will for the rest of my life have to live with that image of what I saw when I miscarried at home. (END VIDEOTAPE)

TIRRELL (on camera): And Marlena told us she ended up going to the ER as she had that miscarriage at home and she is still waiting to get that bill But across the board doctors in Texas told us access to this kind of lower cost care for miscarriages has declined as these abortion clinics have closed. Jake?

TAPPER: All right. Meg Tirrell, thank you so much. Appreciate it.


South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace started her days on Capitol Hill as a high profile moderate of sorts times have changed, so has her tone. Donald Trump has taken notice and underscored his endorsement of Mace just hours ago on Truth Social. What does that mean for the candidates running against mace in the Republican primary? I'll ask one of her top challengers, next.



TAPPER: In our Politics Lead, tomorrow, all eyes will be on South Carolina's first congressional district. That's where Congresswoman Nancy Mace, Republican is facing off against two Republican primary challengers. Now you might remember Donald Trump targeted Nancy Mace for defeated her primary two years ago in 2022. But since then, Congresswoman Mace says ingratiated herself with President Trump and President Trump is now backing her. But the congressional district poses an interesting situation for Republicans as it is centered around Charleston County where former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley beat Donald Trump in the February presidential primary. Haley won by more than 20 percentage points in Charleston County, South Carolina.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Mace is zeroing in on one of her primary opponents specifically a woman named Catherine Templeton. Templeton has earned the endorsement of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The backing of some of the aligned allies of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. She may win enough votes to stop Mace from clenching 50 percent in tomorrow's primary which would force a runoff and she joins us now.

Catherine Templeton thanks so much and welcome to The Lead. So let me ask you, you're a Trump supporter. Obviously President Trump's endorsed your opponent Nancy Mace. Today, he posts on hosted on Truth Social. Congress -- quote, Congresswoman Nancy Mace says my complete and total endorsement with an exclamation point. How much do you think is endorsement matters in this district given the fact that Nikki Haley did beat Trump in the primary in Charleston County?

CATHERINE TEMPLETON (R-SC), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Yes, the people of this district support President Trump as do I. But the people of this district are very independent. We know that we can vote for President Trump and also vote for Catherine Templeton. This is not a race about President Trump. It's a race about replacing Nancy Mace. I mean, the first time that Nancy Mace went up to Washington, the small county parties reprimand letters to her because she had President Trump's endorsement and his support and then she completely left him. You know, she left Nikki Haley when Nikki Haley endorsed her.


She left Kevin McCarthy when Kevin McCarthy endorsed her. You know, she's not loyal to anybody. So the people of our district know that. We've watched it for the past three years.

TAPPER: You and Congresswoman Mace are both conservatives, you are similar on many policy issues. For example, you both want to secure the border you both want to finish the border wall. There are some differences, obviously, one of them is when it comes to abortion, which we were just discussing in the last segment. Congresswoman Mace supports a ban on abortion with exceptions for the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. Now you say you're 100 percent pro- life? Where are you on exceptions for victims of rape and incest?

TEMPLETON: So first, Jake, I take a little bit of exception with the fact that we're both conservative, I'm completely conservative. I am pro-life and I do make room for all exceptions, since Roe versus Wade. The difference though, between Nancy Mace and I is that I've actually done something to secure the border, or at least crackdown on sanctuary cities here in South Carolina. During the presidential when they were talking about the toughest immigration law in the nation, that's a law that I authored as the labor secretary here. That's why we don't have sanctuary cities in South Carolina, whereas Nancy Mace has voted against money to the wall against more border agents and not showing up for some of our votes.

TAPPER: "The Washington Post" reported last week that Congresswoman Mace might be violating a new house program that allows House members to seek reimbursements for lodging costs in Washington, D.C. In 2023, Congresswoman Mace expense to an average of $2,300 a month in costs, even told by her office staff, we are told it's been reported by the post that she could not be reimbursed more than $1,800 a month.

Now Congresswoman Mace denies any wrongdoing. Has attacked the story, says it's not true. She's also attacking you and accusing you of misusing taxpayer funds saying you have a history of controversial decisions when you're in state government that led to costing taxpayers $1.2 million in settlements and legal fees. What's your response and your take on this issue?

TEMPLETON: Well, it's pretty simple. I mean, you know, Mace was talking about or apologizing to our district for failing to give about a million dollars and constituent services a couple of weeks ago, yet, she took plenty of time to make sure she could self-deal. I'm not sure what her allegations are against me, other than we did have lawsuits when we got rid of one and four bureaucrats $68 million in wasteful spending.

And, you know, sometimes when you get rid of bureaucracy, people squeal. I don't apologize for that for sure. But most importantly, my service was to the state and the taxpayers her services to herself and fleecing the taxpayers taking our dollars and lining her pocket. I mean, look, Jake, this is the best job she'll ever have. My last job was as president of U.S. Brick, which is $100 million privately held American company that we built with two other partners.

You know, if this is not the coolest job I'll ever have. It's the most important job I'll ever have. And so I'm not desperately seeking to hold on to it like Nancy Mace says.

TAPPER: Catherine Templeton, thank you so much for joining us today.

TEMPLETON: Thank you. We also invited Congresswoman Mace on and she was unable to join us. She's welcome here on The Lead anytime as I know she knows.


Before world renowned author Michael Crichton passed away, he left behind a manuscript and another bestselling writer picked it up. The incredible creation from this blockbuster partnership is next.



TAPPER: In our Pop Culture Lead the man who brought dinosaurs back from extinction when he wrote "Jurassic Park" is continuing to publish even though he died back in 2008. And Michael Crichton's latest novel has been brought to life by another of the world's bestselling writers. "Eruption" is an explosive story set in Hawaii. It blends Crichton's signature mix of scientific research with a thriller sensibility, which is perhaps where James Patterson's expertise came in. He joins us now and the book as it is, Michael Crichton, James Patterson "Eruption" right here. James, good to see you as always. What was it like working with Crichton's manuscript, trying to balance his initial thoughts with your ideas for the book?

JAMES PATTERSON, CO-AUTHOR, "ERUPTION": Yes. It was great. I had read all of -- I was a big fan of Michael Crichton. And I'd read all of his books, including a nonfiction couple of nonfiction. I read a couple of his screenplays. And Sherri Crichton, Michael's widow who was pregnant with their son before Michael died. And she came to me with the partial manuscript. And she said, are you interested? And I said, well, let me read it. And I read it. And I called her back and I said, I'm in, I'm in, because what it had was it had the main character was a really good main character.

But it had as, you know, Jake, I mean, you're lucky when you're writing a novel if you have one engine driving it, a strong engine. This had two strong engines. One was this volcano, which literally threatened to be the most destructive volcano in the last 100 years on the island of Hawaii. And then even worse, there was toxic waste buried on the island by the military. And if this lava, which we're seeing here, hit that waste, it potentially could destroy the world. So a real great Crichton plot and this had been Michael's pet project. He loved Hawaii. TAPPER: Yes, very cool. And I don't want to give too much away. But eruption gets into the scientific weeds, you know, lavas chemistry. There's also a fly's digestive system. It weaves in a Michael Crichton way. The plausible with some tweaks in the Cosmo was to create the exceptional, I'm a big fan of yours as you know and I read all your books it's a little outside your wheelhouse, right?


PATTERSON: It was different. It was a challenge. But I liked the challenge. I liked the challenge of working with science. And to keep the plot going, which I hadn't done that before. And just dealing with Michael Crichton research, my IQ went up three points. So it was great.

TAPPER: It's not your first collaboration of course. Go ahead.

PATTERSON: And I'll tell you. I mean the amazing thing, Jake. This has taken off like nothing I've ever done before.


PATTERSON: I've never had a book takeoff like this, including the one with President Clinton or the one with Dolly. It's number one, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Walmart, et cetera, et cetera. I'm not exactly sure why but people seem to really like it.

TAPPER: Well, I'm sure it's because it's enjoyable and also because the team up of Crichton and Patterson is pretty, it's pretty remarkable, as you noted, this is not your first collaboration won by Bill Clinton, we covered your partnership with Dolly Parton. How have these partnerships shaped your writing in any way?

PATTERSON: I don't think they've changed my writing. I mean, the thing with Michael Crichton, with "Eruption" is, you know, as I mentioned earlier, the idea of working science in and keeping the story going, and I will challenge anyone reading and a lot of people are reading it now to find that spot where Michael's writing stopped and mine started. And I'm really proud and happy that I think it's seamless. And that was not easy. And I'm happy about it.

TAPPER: So yes, that was my next question is how much had he done before he passed away? Was it, you know, he'd written eight of the 20 chapters or was it an outline? What was in it to you?

PATTERSON: Yes. I've never really gotten into that part of it. But there was enough there for me wanting to finish and my joke was Sherri Crichton is, well, I have to I have to write the end of that because I want to know how the hell it ends. So you know, there were so many things built up, you know, one of those things is I got to find out what happens. So that was part of the fun of it.

TAPPER: Your books and Crichton's books have become huge movies. Do you see this becoming one? And who would you want to be in it? I mean, given the fact that you'll probably -- you can probably pick. PATTERSON: I -- there have been five or six stars who have raised their hands, which is nice. But we just settled on a duel, a husband and wife, a director team, Jimmy Chin and they're great. They're great. They've done mainly documentaries, although they just did "Nyad" which was their first I think their first one was that and they're great. They're just -- it's I think it's going to be fair, you know, Michael and Spielberg really raised the genre with "Jurassic Park." And I think with Jimmy Chi and his wife we have the potential to do the same thing here and a different way, a whole different way to make it so real that you can feel the heat, you can smell the sulfur, you know, when you're -- anywhere near lava it'll melt the heels of your shoot -- your salty your shoes off, like that.

TAPPER: Fascinating stuff. One of the world's bestselling writers James Patterson, thank you so much working with the late Michael Crichton on a brand new novel --

PATTERSON: Oh, thank you.

TAPPER: -- "Eruption" as always, thanks for being with us, James.



TAPPER: We're just getting word of the loss of a civil rights icon, the life and legacy of James Lawson Jr. That's next.



TAPPER: The mugshot of the former Time Magazine Person of the Year 2002, Rudy Giuliani is just into our Law and Justice Lead, doesn't one rather. Giuliani and 10 others pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state of Arizona. Arizona prosecutors, as you might recall, spent weeks trying to track down Giuliani they say, eventually found him based on some of his podcasts. He was served in Palm Beach, Florida at his 80th Birthday Bash held by a GOP operative.

In our Law and Justice Lead, the bribery trial of Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey continued today with bombshell testimony on the stand New Jersey businessman Jose Uribe who said that he spoke directly to Senator Menendez, asking him for his help to quash a criminal investigation into one of his associates. Uribe testified that Menendez said he would quote look into it, unquote. But he said Senator Menendez did not specify what he would do. Uribe also told the court about a 2019 deal he made with Menendez's then future wife Nadine to pay for her Mercedes Benz in exchange for the senator's help. Uribe said he met Nadine at a parking lot and at her $15,000 and he continued to make monthly payments for her car.

Civil rights icon the Reverend James Lawson Jr. has died at the age of 95, according to his church. Lawson studied Gandhi's use of non- violence while he was serving as a missionary in India. That's the second Satyagraha reference the show. After returning to the U.S., he met Martin Luther King Jr., who encouraged him to move to the south and teach non-violence to others, according to the MLK Jr. Research and Education Institute. Lawson and other activists held non-violent protests in Nashville's downtown stores. Following the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina, Reverend Lawson went on to hold workshops on non-violence well into his 90s. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family may his memory be a blessing.


In our Sports Lead, WNBA star Caitlin Clark reacted to our Olympic snub this weekend. USA Basketball decided to not invite the rookie to the Olympics this year. But Clark says hey, no sweat.


CAITLIN CLARK, GUARD, INDIANA FEVER: Honestly, no disappointment like I think it just gives you something to work for. You know that's a dream hopefully in four years or four years comes back around, you know, I can be there.


TAPPER: Classy way to respond to disappointing.

The news continues on CNN with Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. I'll see you tomorrow.