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Secret Service Investigating Cocaine Found At White House; Mass Shooting Suspect In Court As Online Posts Revealed; Zelenskyy Says, Russia Ready For Possible Nuke Plant Attack; Ohio Abortion Rights Group Submits Signatures To Hold Vote On Statewide Constitutional Amendment; Israel: Operation In Jenin "Successfully Completed". Aired 6-7p ET

Aired July 05, 2023 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I try to take you on a wild ride through a bizarre era for the nation, the 1970s. The book has Evel Knievel and Elvis, post-Watergate mistrust, cults, disco, the summer of Sam, tabloids, UFOs and much more. I would be honored if you would check it out. You can pre-order it now.

Our coverage continues now with Alex Marquardt. He's in for Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room. I'll see you tomorrow.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, the Secret Service is trying to determine who brought cocaine into the west wing of the White House, this as tests have now identified the suspicious powder that was found over the weekend.

Also tonight, the Philadelphia mass shooting suspect appears in court as we're learning about his disturbing social media posts. I'll be asking the Philadelphia district attorney what those might reveal about a motive.

And President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns that Russia is ready for a potential attack on a Ukrainian nuclear power plant under the control of Russian forces, Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaking exclusively to CNN about the threat to the plant amid new global fears of a nuclear disaster.

Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Alex Marquardt and you're in The Situation Room.

Starting tonight at the White House, confirmation that a small bag of white powder was found in the west wing and was in fact cocaine. The question now, who is responsible for bringing an illegal substance into the inner sanctum of the White House?

Our White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond has the latest on the investigation. So, Jeremy, how is the White House handling this?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alex, we heard from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre earlier today, and she didn't say that a visitor brought this bag of cocaine into the White House but she did suggested by repeating multiple times that this bag of cocaine was found in heavily trafficked area of the west wing, indeed, where tour groups are brought in, escorted by White House staffers for west wing tours.

Now, I asked the White House press secretary about that possibility just moments ago. Listen.


DIAMOND: Was that the working theory right now that it was likely a visitor and are you confident that this was not a White House staffer?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is investigation. They're going to get to the bottom of this. What I wanted to be very clear is that this is a heavy traveled, to be more accurate, area of the campus, of the White House, and it is where visitors to the west wing come through. This is the part where they come through when it comes to coming to the west wing. I just don't have anything else. I'm not going to speculate on who it was.


DIAMOND: And Jean-Pierre also did say that the White House is confident that the Secret Service will indeed get to the bottom of this.

Alex, I just spoke, though, with a federal law enforcement official with who told me that they're still conducting additional tests on what they describe to me as a dime-sized bag of cocaine. They're doing DNA and fingerprint analysis, everything possible, according to this law enforcement official, to try and determine who indeed brought this bag into the White House.

But they also noted that it may be difficult to actually identify the culprit in part because of the number of people who have access to this entrance to the west wing, just off of west executive avenue between the west wing and the executive office building, and also because of how small this baggie is in terms of being able to pull any kind of fingerprints or DNA off of it. But they are investigating. They're doing everything possible to get to the bottom of it. And the White House press secretary said the president wants the Secret Service to do just that. Alex?

MARQUARDT: All right. Jeremy, stay with us. I want to bring in former Secret Service Agent Jonathan Wackrow, who is also a CNN law enforcement analyst. Jonathan, you heard Jeremy there saying that the Secret Service is going to be using DNA and fingerprint analysis to figure out who was behind this, who might have brought is this into the west wing. How is the Secret Service, on top of that, going to be working to get to the bottom of this?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, listen, the Secret Service is going to use every investigative tool that they have at their disposal to make attribution as to who brought this substance into the White House. But as described by Jeremy in earlier reporting, this area poses a significant challenge to investigators, because unlike any other part of the White House, so many different types of disparate groups have access to this specific area, including permanent White House staff, Secret Service, military, other members of the administration who are coming and visiting the White House, and as we said earlier, the tours.

West wing tours are very common, especially on the weekends. And there are multiple tours going on Friday through Sunday. So, people who are accessing this area, you have multiple people it could be. So, the Secret Service needs to utilize all of their tools to try to make the attribution.

But I think I want to highlight one thing that the Secret Service had said very early on, that this item was not a threat.


Upon discovery of the bag, they took immediate steps to ensure that the then unknown substance was not a threat to specific individuals or to the complex at large. They took the right steps right away and they determined quickly that it was potentially a drug substance, not some sort of biological or chemical agent.

And we've heard some reports that came up this afternoon that people are questioning, well, if you can bring this bag in, can you bring other substances, like these chemical and biological agents in? I just want to hammer the point here, no, there are two different things. Secret Service has a very robust chemical, biological and radiological detection and mitigation program in place. So, from a threat perspective, this did not cause a threat and the Secret Service does have protocols to prevent any type of incident occurring with those chemical, biological, radiological elements.

MARQUARDT: Yes. There's that temporary evacuation on Sunday night, which we note the president was not there, he was at Camp David for the holiday weekend. Jeremy, has the White House given any indication about the timeline of this investigation?

DIAMOND: Look, all they are saying is that, obviously, this occurred on Sunday evening when this item was discovered, prompting the evacuation of the White House complex. I can tell you that that bag of cocaine tested positive initially in a field test for cocaine. They then sent it out to a lab for confirmation. That confirmation came back today. And now, they are working on those additional steps.

I can tell you, though, Alex, that, initially, it wasn't clear exactly where this baggie was discovered. But I'm told by a law enforcement official that it was found actually in one of those cubbies where visitors are asked to put their phones before they go into the west wing. Those cubbies can also be used for White House officials who need to go into a SCIF, or a secure compartmented information facility, where you view classified materials. That entrance to the west wing that I was describing earlier goes into the west wing, it also turns right into the situation room complex. So, there's number of different uses for those cubbies there. But, again, the White House today making a point of noting that this happened on a weekend when tours are happening. But law enforcement at this point hasn't ruled anything out. They're going through visitors logs, they are going through any surveillance footage that may exist and if, necessary, they will eventually interview officials or potential visitors who were there.

MARQUARDT: All right. Jeremy Diamond at the White House, Jonathan Wackrow, lots of questions still to be answered in the investigation, thank you so much for joining us.

Now, we have some breaking news just into The Situation Room. CNN's Katelyn Polantz has this breaking news for us. So, Katelyn, what are you learning?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Alex, I'm going through the version of the search warrant affidavit. So, what the Justice Department told a federal court before they did that FBI search of Mar-a-Lago last year, we just got a new version now that Donald Trump has been indicted. And, look, it has a ton of redactions still in it. The Justice Department isn't willing to share some of these things because of investigative sources and methods.

We do know, too, that there could be parts of this investigation still ongoing, but the little things that are being revealed that we didn't have before in this particular document.

Now, this is the details of why they got to do that search. And we now can see that at that moment in time, right before the FBI went in, in August, the Justice Department had a pretty good idea of the amount of records at Mar-a-Lago. They had at least one of the pictures that shows up in the indictment later on in this document that they were showing to a judge and they make note to the judge that they looked at the storage room when they went on this visit in June of last year and it doesn't seem to have enough boxes. The boxes that were sent back to NARA was not the full collection.

And so this is what led to this search of Mar-a-Lago, that unprecedented moment, that a court approved and Donald Trump railed against. They had a lot of evidence at that time and all of it came together for this indictment last June.

But I will say, I'm still working through this. It's almost a 40-page document. And matching up what was redacted before to what is redacted now is a bit of a task. So, we have whole team working on this.

MARQUARDT: Yes. Just looking at this, these documents in front of you, that is a large amount of black, there is a lot of redactions. And just to be clear for our viewers, this is the affidavit that explained why the FBI went into Mar-a-Lago last August, this famous search that, of course, the former president has railed against repeatedly, calling it an FBI raid, an unjustified FBI raid. The FBI went in there because they had -- because the Trump team, frankly, was not complying with repeated requests, including a federal subpoena to return those documents to the Archives, which is, of course, what had been asked of him by the Archives after leaving office.


Katelyn Polantz, we do understand this is breaking news and you've got a lot to get through. So, stay with us. We'll be right back with you.

I want to bring in our legal experts, Elie Honig and Elliot Williams. Thank you both for joining us on this breaking news.

Elie Honig, to you first. These details, as we know them so far, how significant are they in this affidavit that is now less redacted? What are we really learning from this affidavit with the details that have not been redacted?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Alex. So, Katelyn said there is new information in there about the storage room. The storage is a pivotal location in this whole story, because the intentional movement of documents by Donald Trump and his co-defendant, Walt Nauta, into and out of that storage room have become now the basis for the obstruction of justice charges. And so this tells us that DOJ prosecutors were on to that very early.

And, Alex, I think it's really important to understand this. While we in the public are seeing an apparently still fairly heavily redacted version of this document, Donald Trump and Walt Nauta, as the criminal in this case, they will get the whole thing. And they are going to use that as the basis to challenge the legality of the search. Nothing unusual about that. Virtually, everyone who does get searched will bring a challenge. They will argue that there was not probable cause or that the search exceeded the legal balance. So, that's an important discovery and motion dispute that's coming up later in this case.

MARQUARDT: Elliot, how do you see what we're learning now or what we're expecting to learn now?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think there's a ton that changes much beyond what we knew already. What this is doing is filling in the gaps. We knew that the Justice Department at least was able to establish before a judge that they had probable cause to believe that crimes were committed at Mar-a-Lago. That means that they, number one, had at least some evidence of obstruction of justice, some evidence of the mishandling or misappropriation of documents. That was there, it just simply wasn't made public.

Stepping back, why we know this information now, it's important to note, Alex, that the public in general has an interest by law in knowing what happens in criminal cases. And you really have a very high bar to hit as a prosecutor to even justify sealing something from the public in the first place. It was likely that at some point more information was going to come out because of the fact that the president has now been charged, there is evidence in the public record, people know about this and there's huge public interest in it. It doesn't shock me that little by little we're starting to get more information. And I would predict that more will come out in time as well. MARQUARDT: And that was certainly one of the arguments by the former president's allies at the time of this search, essentially, you, the Justice Department, need to explain to the American public why this extraordinary search happened. And then we got the unsealed affidavit last year with quite a bit of detail and now we are getting a fair bit more detail.

But, Elie, we don't really know what the differences are just yet. Again, this is very much breaking news. But you did hear Katelyn say just there, essentially, we're comparing these two affidavits and comparing these redactions in each one. So, as you go through this document what are you going to be looking for?

HONIG: Well, I want to see more about what DOJ knew at that moment. How close were they to making the charges? How important where the actual document that they found? Did they have a sense of what was in the documents? And we've now see Donald Trump charged for unlawfully retaining defense information. Did they have information about Donald Trump sharing some of that information, as we've now seen in the indictment at Bedminster and another incident where he showed someone a classified map?

It's also important to note that the reason why DOJ has asked for continuing redactions here is because they're trying to protect their investigative methods, their witnesses, sensitive information.

And so DOJ actually suggested this sort of middle ground here. The judge agreed. And so that's why we're seeing some more information but still not everything.

MARQUARDT: All right. Well, thank you all for joining us so quickly on this very important breaking news, Katelyn Polantz, Elliot Williams and Elie Honig.

Now, just ahead, authorities reveal what they found on the Philadelphia mass shooting suspect and at his home. The city's district attorney is joining us next with the latest on the case and any potential clues about a motive.



MARQUARDT: We're learning about the man accused of randomly open firing on a Philadelphia street and killing five people. The suspect arraigned on murder and other charges today as new information about him and his social media posts is now emerging.

CNN's Danny Freeman reports from Philadelphia.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 40-year-old Kimbrady Carriker appearing in a Philadelphia courtroom, he's accused of opening firing on a street hours before the 4th of July, the attack captured by this street corner surveillance camera. AMEER BARBER, NEIGHBOR: People were outside. People were eating water ices. Nobody is expecting to just come outside and somebody walking around shooting people.

FREEMAN: Prosecutors say Carriker randomly shot and killed five people Monday night and attempted to murder several others.

COMMISSIONER DANIELLE OUTLAW, PHILADELPHIA POLICE: On what was supposed to be a beautiful summer evening, this armed and armored individual wreaked havoc, firing with a rifle at their victims, seemingly at random.

FREEMAN: This as a law enforcement source tells CNN Carriker's Facebook page could provide answers about a motive. The recent public post, the morning of a shooting, a man in tactical gear holding a gun. Carriker also posted about gun rights, religion, freedom and Black Lives Matter. In May, he shared posts from pro-gun groups supporting former President Trump and the Second Amendment. In June, there's a video posted of a speech by President Biden where Carriker posts a reference that the president is attempting to, quote, take our arms.

Separate law enforcement sources told CNN the suspect told police he committed the shooting to, in sum and substance, clean the neighborhood.

THEO JAMES, WITNESS: I didn't the guy until the fire started coming out of the gun. We saw the sparks come out of the gun and that's when I ran.

FREEMAN: Police say Carriker indiscriminately sprayed Philadelphia's Kingsessing neighborhood with bullets, killing pedestrians and hitting a car with a mother and twin two-year-olds inside. One was shot in the leg.

LARRY KRASNER, PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This was random. This was someone who set out to kill strangers, which, of course, has become way too common in the United States.

FREEMAN: Police chased and ultimately arrested Carriker, who was wearing body armor and a ski mask, carrying a police scanner and holding an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun.


Late Wednesday, police said both guns were privately made ghost guns.

FRANK VANORE, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INVESTIGATIONS, PHILADELPHIA POLICIE: They don't have any marking or not traceable. So, he would have dropped that weapons and got away, we have no way to trace that weapon back to him.

MARIE MERRITT, VICTIM'S MOTHER: I'm going to be honest, you need to rot. You need to rot in jail.

FREEMAN: 20-year-old Lashyd Merritt was among those killed. His mother says he loved his family, his girlfriend and his job. MERRITT: Some maniac walking around just shooting, shooting, shooting, for what? We probably would never know why, you know, but he took my son. He took my baby.


FREEMAN (on camera): Now, Alex, this afternoon, prosecutors said that witnesses told investigators Carriker had been exhibiting abnormal behavior in the weeks leading up to the shooting. The D.A.'s office also said that at his home, they found a handgun and a handwritten will, but they said the will did not specifically detail plans to carry out this shooting. Meanwhile the public defender's office who is representing Carriker, they have not issued a statement at this time. Alex?

MARQUARDT: All right. Danny Freeman in Philadelphia, thank you so much for that report.

Now, this deadly mass shooting in Philadelphia is raising many questions, not only about the gunman's motive but also about untraceable ghost guns, as they're known, that were found with the suspect.

There is a lot to discuss with the lead prosecutor in the case who joins us now, Philadelphia's District Attorney Larry Krasner. Mr. District Attorney, thank you so much for joining us on such a busy and difficult day for your city.

We have sources telling CNN that the gunman told police in sum and substance that this shooting was to clean up the neighborhood. So, what exactly has the suspect told authorities in the wake of this attack?

KRASNER: So, as you may know, this is an ongoing investigation, it is not done yet. It probably will not be done for a couple of months. And part of what we have to do is dig deeply into any possible motivation. I can tell you that the details of any statements he made will be revealed by the time of the preliminary hearing but we're not ready to do that yet.

MARQUARDT: Sir, if I may press on that, your local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, is reporting that the shooter did tell police he thought his attack would help them fight gun violence in some twisted way. Can you confirm that?

KRASNER: No, I cannot confirm that. You know, there are always unauthorized leaks, some of them accurate, some of them not, in the middle of an investigation. I think it's a shame that anybody is leaking during this investigation. But I can certainly tell you that there are indications of mental health issues. There are indications of irrational behavior. There are indications of irrational statements and irrational acts.

Obviously, the act itself is atrocious, it is nightmarish. Some would look at that and shake their head, because even the act itself seems so bizarre to go after people you do not know against whom you should have nothing, people who don't even know each other, in an indiscriminant way, is just a horrifying thing to happen anywhere.

MARQUARDT: And combining what you just said about what we know in these early stages about the shooter with the gunman's social media and the evidence that has been found at his home, can you tell us where your assessment stands now of that motive?

KRASNER: What I can tell you is that a lot of this investigation has gone extremely well. This is not a who done it. We know exactly who did it. All indications are that he did it alone. And in terms of the act itself, we see all kinds of indications of premeditation in the weapons he brought, the way he brought them, the clothing that he was wearing, things of that sort.

But when you get into issues of psychological state, motivation, intent, beyond the obvious, which is that he obviously planned this, when you get into that, that could be a months-long process dumping cell phones, looking through social media, engaging with high-level technology, lots of interviews, to try to find out more and more.

Certainly in the reporting that is out there, we see trouble. But in terms of being able to report on facts in a way that is responsible, it is going to take us longer.

MARQUARDT: Let's talked the weapons that he used. He had two untraceable ghost guns, as they're known, one of them an AR-15-style rifle. Now, your city, Philadelphia, is suing two suppliers of ghost guns and you've taken legal action against traffickers yourself. So, how much of a difference would that make in stopping gun violence if you are indeed successful?

KRASNER: There's absolutely no reason why we should have ghost guns in the United States. What's going on here is that the gun lobby and a lot of the gun companies realize that there were certain loopholes they could exploit in American law.


And those loopholes boil down to in most states and federally if you buy parts that are not serialized or numbered from one source and other parts are manufacturable at home or you can buy them from another source, then you can get around all kinds of backgrounds checks, you can get around all kinds of other laws and put together a weapon that is perfect for the commission of crime because it doesn't have any documentary record and it doesn't have any serialization.

This is outrageous. This shouldn't be. But we're once again up against the NRA, we're up against gun companies who obviously care a lot more about profit than they do about people.

MARQUARDT: Yes, they should not be. Larry Krasner, the district attorney of Philadelphia, thank you so much for joining us. We know how busy you are. We know what a challenging time this is. We really appreciate it.

KRASNER: Thank you. MARQUARDT: And coming up, defense officials say they have the video to prove that an Iranian ship opened fire on tanker, one of the aggressive moves that prompted action by the U.S. Navy.

And in a CNN exclusive interview with President Volodymry Zelenskyy, he expands on his concerns that Russia may attack a nuclear power plant in Ukraine.



MARQUARDT: Officials at the Pentagon have disclosed a tense confrontation between the U.S. and Iranian navies earlier this morning.

Our Pentagon Correspondent Oren Liebermann joins us now with the details. So, Oren, fill us in on what happened.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Alex, two separate incidents happening within hours of each other. The first one, early this morning, about 1:00 A.M. local time in the Gulf of Oman, when the U.S. Navy says an Iranian navy ship approached an commercial oil tanker. The U.S. Navy saw this happening and even before that oil tanker called for oil tanker called for help, sent in a Navy destroyer, which forced the Iranian navy vessel to change course and peel off.

The video you're looking at now is from the second incident, only three hours later, when another Iranian navy vessel approaches a second oil tanker. This time it gets more tense. Personnel on that Iranian navy vessel opened fire with small arms towards that oil tanker. According the U.S. Navy, Iranians had the attempt or were in the attempt to seize that tanker and the tanker called for help.

The same U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS McFaul, responds at full speed forcing once again the Iranian navy vessel away from that commercial oil tanker as it proceeded into international waters in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. seeing this as an escalation by Iran and a continuation of the sorts of actions we've already seen in late April and early May, Iran seized two commercial vessels within days of each other, prompting the U.S. and other nations to have more patrols, more aircraft and more ships in the region to try to prevent exactly this sort of behavior, Alex.

MARQUARDT: And then, Oren, up in Syria, there was a tense encounter between U.S. and Russia this time. What happened there?

LIEBERMANN: A very busy day in the Middle East, this happened just several hours later. The U.S. had three MQ-9 Reaper drones conducting a mission against ISIS targets in Syria. Here is video of what happened next. Three Russian fighter jets approached the U.S. military drones, those MQ-9 Reapers. And, first, they dropped parachute flares, which you may see here in a moment. They also get in front of the MQ-9 Reapers and opened up full afterburner, disrupting the MQ-9 Reapers, forcing them to take evasive action against the much faster, much more powerful fighter jets of the Russians.

Of course, we've seen these sorts of interactions not only in Syria but also over the Black Sea, where a Russian military aircraft forced a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone down in those waters. So, Alex, this very much a continuation of that sort of aggressiveness.

MARQUARDT: That is some incredible video, a very close encounter there. Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon, thanks very much.

In Ukraine tonight, there are urgent new concerns that Russia may be preparing an attack that could cause a nuclear disaster. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is accusing Russian troops of placing something resembling explosions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is the biggest in Europe.

Let's get more now with CNN's Erin Burnett who sat down with Zelenskyy for am exclusive one-on-one interview. Erin is back in the U.S. tonight.

Erin, just superb reporting all across Ukraine over the past week, it culminated with this interview with the president. You asked Zelenskyy about the potential danger at that nuclear power plant, which is controlled by Russian forces.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. And, Alex, thank you so much. Yes, he's really concerned about this and he says, Alex, that he has the tangible intelligence that the documents that show that the Russians have mined the plant. And he believes that the IAEA and the international community are not aware of how serious this is and how high of a risk this is, right? He says that the plan has been drafted and approved. That's what the head of their military intelligence says. And here's how he explained it to me, Alex.


BURNETT: Zaporizhzhia. I know you've been touring the nuclear plants. You have warned that Putin could be prepared to have a terrorist attack on Zaporizhzhia. Do you feel that that could be imminent?

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: So, what I have real from intelligence, I have documents, I can't tell you what kind of documents, but it's something connecting with Russia. I said that they are technically ready to do something. It's very important that they mined, some local minings, yes, at Zaporizhzhia, in this station. They technically they are ready. And that's why we pushed (INAUDIBLE) in English, I'm sorry.



ZELENSKYY: IAEA, yes. And we pushed them and we said, look, your team there, there are four people, and this plant is like a city. It's really like --

BURNETT: It's huge. ZELENSKYY: It's huge. It's very big. Four people will not find mines.


BURNETT: Alex, he went on to say you could send 1,000 people to look for those mines and you're not going to find, because it's a massive city, essentially, this nuclear plant. I know you've spent time around it. He says that the director, Grossi, and he has got a lot of respect for him, but he says he's trying to explain to him that this is urgent and that everything possible must be done. Because he believes that the Russian plan is to actually -- when they do withdraw from operating that plant, that their intelligence shows that these mines are set off to be detonated remotely, and that the Russians would then -- would withdraw and then detonate those mines.

MARQUARDT: Technically ready to do something, an ominous warning from the Ukrainian president. Erin Burnett, thanks again, just terrific reporting out there.

BURNETT: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: And be sure to see Erin's full wide-ranging interview with Volodymyr Zelenskyy. That's tonight at 7:00 P.M. Eastern on Erin Burnett Outfront.

Now, let's go live to Ukraine, for the latest on President Zelenskyy's allegations and Russia's denials. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman is with us from Eastern Ukraine.

So, Ben, help us sort through these claims and counterclaims over the risks at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alex. As Erin said there, they're talking about a variety of things at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. For one, Zelenskyy is talking about explosives being placed on the roofs of several power units. And the idea is perhaps the Russians will blow them up and say that it was Ukrainians trying -- shelling the nuclear power plant.

The other one is something we heard from the head of Ukrainian intelligence, to the effect that several of the cooling ponds of the reactor have been mined as well as explosive laden trucks being deployed around four of six reactors as well. So, these are the claims by the Ukrainians.

Let's keep in mind, they've been warning for quite some time that something could happen at that nuclear power plant.

Now, the Russians are saying the situation there is very tense, that in the words of Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson. What he said is there's great threat of sabotage by Kyiv, which can have catastrophic consequences. So, both sides are accusing the other of doing something.

Meanwhile, of course, the International Atomic Energy Agency is caught in the middle. They have observers there. Now, we don't know if there are four observers, as President Zelenskyy said, or more, but, clearly, they have a lot of work to do.

Now, they have apparently asked for access to those areas where the Ukrainians have suggested that mines or explosives have been put but anyone who has seen that plant or pictures of that plant, it is huge. It really is massive, over a huge area. And if they only have four people there and under the eyes of the Russians, Russian troops, it's hard to say what they'll see or how they'll see it. Alex?

MARQUARDT: Yes, a small international force caught between the two warring sides. Ben Wedeman, thanks very much for that report from Eastern Ukraine.

Now, just ahead, new details on the man arrested in former President Barack Obama's neighborhood with guns, prosecutors drawing a connection straight to Donald Trump.



MARQUARDT: Prosecutors say a man detained near former President Barack Obama's Washington D.C. residence traveled to the neighborhood soon after former President Donald Trump posted about it on social media.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz is back with us along with CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst John Miller. Thank you for being with us, both of you, Katelyn, welcome back.

Katelyn, what are we being told by the authorities now.

POLANTZ: Well, the authorities had a lot of reason to be very concerned about this guy that was in the neighborhood where the Obamas live last week and was cornered by the Secret Service and was arrested at that time. Whenever he was picked up, it was just after Donald Trump had posted something on social media that appeared to show the address of former President Barack Obama, his wife, Michelle, where they live in Washington, D.C. now.

And this man on his own social media accounts made clear that he saw it and that he wanted to surround them. And he was live streaming himself in the neighborhood, in the area the Secret Service protected. They then chased him into the woods nearby and then arrested him, found his van and found that he had two firearms in it, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a machete and a mattress. And the mattress is because he had been living in D.C. for two months. And that's because authorities say he had been live streaming about January 6th over and over again.

At January 6th in the nation's capital, he had been there. He is accused of being inside the Capitol with a cane getting into a scuffle with police officers. And then in the past few months in D.C., not only did he end up in Obamas neighborhood but also had been live streaming himself talking about wanting to blow up his vehicle outside of a federal building. He had also gone to an elementary school and in the gymnasium filmed himself talking about a film of January 6th. He also made some ominous remarks to House Speaker McCarthy and wanted to call that office to watch January 6th videos.


And some of the things that this man, Taylor Taranto, had posted were things as clear as saying in a video this year, that, hey mom, I'm in an insurrectionist and I'm on TV. That's one of the things he said.

Another he said was that one of the representatives, Democratic representatives living in Maryland near this elementary school he went to is one of the guys who hates January 6th people or more like Trump supporters, and it's kind of like sending a shockwave through him. This man is now being detained and there's a judge deciding how long he's going to be detained for.

ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Just extraordinary details. Not exactly lying low and being discreet.

So, John Miller, authorities knew that he was a fugitive of January 6th and that he had threatened Congressman Raskin and Speaker Kevin McCarthy. So, why wasn't he apprehended sooner?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, part of the dilemma was here's a guy from Pasco, Washington, not Washington, D.C., Washington state, who has been traveling across the country and then living out of this van. So, no fixed address in Washington, D.C. He's a little bit of the definition of a drifter.

The second issue is that the arrest warranty warrant, meaning any federal law enforcement officer could pick him up was issued on the 29th, which is on the day that all of this occurred. So, in that regard, they moved as swiftly as they could.

And, you know, you have a situation -- here's a guy who's threatening to blow up the national institute of standards and technology, says he's got a van that can drive itself, and he's got a detonator and it's a one-way trip. Then he ends up after Donald Trump's post with former President Obama's address in that neighborhood, and he's talking about getting the angle, getting the angle for the shot and that could be interpreted to mean his live-streaming his pictures.

But when you get back to the van and you find the two weapons, hundreds of nine millimeter rounds of ammunition inside, that really changes the narrative of the story of what getting the angle for the shot is suggestive of, so this is -- this is something they consider a serious threat.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, a serious threat. Just an extraordinary case for many different reasons.

Katelyn Polantz, John Miller, thank you both for joining us.

And just ahead, the abortion fight moves to Ohio. Up next, why some activists are optimistic that the issue could be on the ballot this year.


MARQUARDT: In Ohio tonight, abortion rights activists say they've now collected enough signatures to hold a vote on amending the state's constitution this year.

Let's get an update from our chief national affairs correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, who's in Columbus, Ohio.

So, Jeff, a November ballot measure could potentially enshrine the right to an abortion into state law. What else are you learning?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That certainly is the hope of supporters of that November ballot measure, but they also had their enthusiasm tempered a bit by a new state law here that is calling for an August special election that would come before that November ballot issue. And that August special election is not about abortion, per se, but it is about the threshold needed to change the state's constitution.

Right now, it requires a 50 percent vote. But if that August ballot measure passes, it would require a 60 percent vote in November. So supporters of the ballot measure said the motivation here is clear.


KELLIE COPELAND, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PRO-CHOICE OHIO: They're trying to sneak an election in august when people are on vacation, when they're getting ready for school, when you're not used to vote. And they're doing that on purpose, because they know that their agenda is not the agenda of Ohioans.


ZELENY: So, Alex, this all comes as the abortion battle now really has become a state-by-state fight a year after that landmark Supreme Court ruling. And we saw the ballot measure in Kansas last summer was successful, it was successful in Michigan and Kentucky as well. But here, the rules would be different. A 60 percent threshold to put abortion rights in the state constitution and no state has had that high of a margin, particularly a red state, Alex.

MARQUARDT: And, Jeff, on another political story, there is some news on the campaign of former President Donald Trump. What can you tell us?

ZELENY: Alex, we are getting new fund-raising numbers from several of the candidates, they'll be coming in over the next couple of weeks. They must report those by the middle of July.

But the Trump campaign is getting out ahead of it, trying to tout their fund-raising numbers. And they are saying that they raised $35 million in the second quarter of the year. So over the last three months, and of course, what has happened then, as well, is he was indicted twice. The Trump campaign has been raising money off of that specific

indictment, and it appears to have paid off. So, some $35 million in the second quarter. That compares to some $18 million in the first quarter of this year. So that certainly will be an overwhelming number to the rest of the Republican field. We will get those numbers in the coming day, as well as the first number from President Biden's re- election campaign.

But certainly, a strong fund-raising showing we're hearing tonight from the Trump campaign, Alex.

MARQUARDT: That is quite a haul for his campaign. Jeff Zeleny in Columbus, Ohio, thanks very much.

Just ahead, Israel declares mission accomplished in the intense military operation in Jenin, in the West Bank, as Palestinians mourn their dead.



MARQUARDT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his armed forces have, quote, successfully completed the most intense military operation in the occupied West Bank in two decades.

CNN's Hadas Gold has more from Jerusalem.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alex, the Israeli military saying that this operation in Jenin is now officially over, saying that they've achieved their objectives. Their objective, they said, was to dismantle Jenin as a safe haven for militants.

The Israeli military launching this massive operation. It took more than two days, involved hundreds of Israeli soldiers, armed drones, there was bulldozers and even tanks on the outskirts of Jenin.

The Israeli military saying that they've dismantled weapons caches, found explosives, and arrested dozens of people. We know that 12 Palestinians were killed. Israeli says all of them were what they're calling combatants, but more than 100 people were injured. Amongst them, we do know, are civilians. One Israeli soldier was killed as well.

What's notable today was during the funerals of those killed in Jenin, for those 12 people killed, they were all buried in the same grave. Their ages range from 16 to the mid-20s is the fact that the Palestinian militants were out in force during these funerals with their flags. Many of the militants were masked, but they were brandishing their weapons. Some of them were firing off rounds. That is a clear message that hours after the Israeli militants withdrew, these militants were back out on the streets showing their force there as well. That is a message to Israel that despite their stated goal of removing

Jenin as a safe haven for militants, that the militants are still there and that they still plan to fight -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: Hadas Gold in Jerusalem, thank you.

I'm Alex Marquardt in THE SITUATION ROOM. Thank you very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.