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State of the Union

Interview With Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS); Interview With U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm; Interview With Sen. Angus King (I- ME). Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 06, 2021 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Trillion-dollar question. President Biden and Republicans set to talk again on infrastructure after the president rejected the Republicans' latest offer.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Does anyone doubt this whole nation will be better off with these investments?

TAPPER: How much longer will a deal take? We will speak with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm next.

And a cyber-9/11? The White House and FBI warning American businesses after recent attacks by foreign hackers.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): This is a huge threat to the private sector.

TAPPER: Is the U.S. prepared for war in cyberspace? Independent Senator Angus King will join me to discuss in moments.

Plus: sitting ducks. Biden's goal of vaccinating most adults hits a speed bump, as vaccination rates slow and his July 4 deadline approaches.

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: They are sitting ducks for the next outbreak of COVID-19.

TAPPER: Will states who are behind get enough shots in arms? We will speak with Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves ahead.


TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is stuck in construction traffic.

Tomorrow, President Biden is set to talk again with the chief Republican negotiator on infrastructure, West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito. But the bridge between Republicans and the White House is proving difficult to cross. President Biden has rejected the Republicans' latest counter offer on Friday to rebuild the nation's roads and bridges.

And the sides are still about $700 billion in new spending apart on a deal, with no agreement on how to pay for it.

Democratic lawmakers are looking across the aisle, and many are growing increasingly impatient. They see their Republican colleagues prepared to block action on a range of issues, from an expansive voting rights bill to a bipartisan investigation into the January 6 Capitol attacks, and mostly unwilling to call out former President Trump's outrageous, ongoing and, frankly, unhinged lies about the election, lies that some brave souls such as Liz Cheney continue to warn could undermine our democracy.

But as pressure builds on President Biden to forego bipartisan negotiations and force through an infrastructure bill along party lines, a key vote in the 50/50 Senate, Democrat Joe Manchin tells CNN he's still holding out for a bipartisan deal.

Joining us now, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who is part of this team negotiating any sort of deal.

Secretary Granholm, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.

So, just to recap, first, the Biden administration said they wanted major action by Memorial Day. That's come and gone. Secretary Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, told me last week he wanted to clear direction by tomorrow.

Now, Senator Capito, President Biden still going to talk again tomorrow. How much longer are you willing to keep talking? I mean, do they have a week, a month?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY: You know, Jake, this has got to be done soon.

And without putting a specific date on it, you noted they talked on Friday. They're going to talk on Monday. The thing is, it's just a bit perplexing why the Republicans haven't moved further on critical pieces.

And I will just say this. In my world, in the energy space, Republicans have pushed four pieces of the energy infrastructure that the president had put into the American Jobs Plan that are not in their counteroffer.

For example, they have been talking about investing in the transmission grid. That's infrastructure, both making it more resilient and making it cyber-proof, expanding capacity. That's not in their counteroffer. They have been talking about expanding and supporting nuclear. That was in the president's plan. It's not in their plan.

They have been talking about -- I just came from West Virginia, touring West Virginia with Joe Manchin. There are so -- there's so much despair there in terms of loss of fossil fuel jobs. So, the president put in his plan the ability for workers, like coal miners, to be able to be put to work in reclaiming abandoned coal mines and oil and gas wells. The Republicans have talked about that. They have voted for it. That's

not in their bill. And that -- it's not in their counterproposal, including removing carbon pollution from fossil fuel industries by putting pipes underground to take that carbon pollution and store it underground.

Those are all infrastructure plays Republicans have voted for and talked about. It was in Biden's plan. It's not in theirs.


GRANHOLM: So it's just curious why there isn't more coming together.


GRANHOLM: So, the president still has hope. Joe Manchin still has hope. We all have hope that it can happen. They will be talking on Monday, but I can tell you, the House will start their markup on Wednesday.

TAPPER: So, the House -- OK, so Republicans want to repurpose some of the corona relief dollars to help pay for this.

And President Biden said Friday that the latest jobs report was great news. He called it historic progress, more jobs created in the first four months than any other previous president. We are seeing higher inflation. Many states actually have a budget surplus.


If that's all true, what Biden is saying about the jobs prospects in this country, and America is finally on the move again, like President Biden says, what's the harm in taking some of this money from COVID relief bills and using it for infrastructure? That seems like an area where you guys could give.

GRANHOLM: And he has.

I mean, what was proposed by Joe Biden coming in their direction was to take some of the COVID bills money that was unspent pre-American Rescue Plan, the stuff that was passed last year, and say, all right, I will give you that. We will put that toward it. He's coming their direction on the rates from 2017.

That was their red line. He gave that back to them. It's just -- it is frustrating that there's not more coming together on this. But as -- the president's red line, as you have heard, is that inaction is his red line. So there will be action. We're just hopeful that we can see it in a bipartisan way. That would be good for the country.

TAPPER: Just to be clear, Republicans still want more of the COVID relief dollars that have already been allocated to be repurposed. And that's what they're proposing. I get the point that Biden has moved a little bit in their direction, but they want him to move even further on these dollars. But let me ask you about Joe Manchin, who you just mentioned. You just

spent time with him in West Virginia. He obviously is the pivotal vote, perhaps, when it comes to this legislation.

You -- let's take a listen to what he told CNN's Manu Raju.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I know everyone's in a hurry right now. We have got to bring our country together. We can't continue to split and go further apart. We just can't do that.

And we have got to work together. And that's -- that takes a lot of time and energy and patience.


TAPPER: You can't do this without Manchin's vote. Even if you decide to forego any Republican votes, you need him.

Are you confident he's going to support this when it's introduced?

GRANHOLM: Well, he -- I'm confident, if there's a bipartisan vote, he will definitely be there. And he's working to help shape it.

And he sees -- I mean, the investments that I just described, for example, the -- making sure that we are able to remove CO2 from fossil fuel production, he's totally in support of that. So it will be important that he is in the mix in negotiating this and bringing Republicans along.

Ultimately, what's good for -- I mean, West Virginians, they need these investments. They built energy 1.0. They got us to where we are as a nation. I want a -- Joe Biden wants to see -- have them see their future in energy 2.0. So does Joe Manchin.


GRANHOLM: And the investments in the American Jobs Plan have got to reflect that.

TAPPER: Due respect, Madam Secretary, but you didn't answer my question, because the question is, would Manchin vote for a bill if it's just Democrats? And you said he would vote for it if it's bipartisan.

GRANHOLM: Yes. I mean...

TAPPER: I don't know of any Republicans who are willing to vote for this yet.

GRANHOLM: Yes, that's his preference.

TAPPER: Yes, well, not just preference. That might be his line, though, right?

GRANHOLM: Well, right. Of course, that's his line. And you will have to ask him about where his ultimate bottom line is.

But I know that he sees the faces of people who need these investments too. And he is -- I mean, he's a -- he is -- in the end, he represents a state that needs to be able to move forward economically. And these investments will help his state.

You would have to ask him about where his bottom line is, and how long we have to try to be able to get Republican support. I just wish the -- that the Republicans -- I mean, Shelley Moore Capito is from West Virginia.

TAPPER: Right.

GRANHOLM: The investments that I described would help West Virginia. Let's put those investments in this bill. We might be able to bring it across and show America that, you know what, things are working.


So, just to explain to our viewers what's going on, so Biden and his team, including you and Buttigieg, have been negotiating this bill for the Democrats. And Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Republican, has been negotiating for the Republicans.

If that falls apart, there is a plan B. There is this separate group, a bipartisan coalition of senators, that include Joe Manchin, who we have been talking about, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney, Bill Cassidy, Kyrsten Sinema. It's a bipartisan group working on a separate infrastructure plan. They could reveal that as soon as this week.

Are you optimistic about what this group might come up with? Is President Biden going to be willing to meet with them before or after talks with Capito end?

GRANHOLM: Of course. He is willing to meet with anyone who will help to move this forward.

The clock is ticking. There is an end point to this discussion, but it is important and great and hopeful that the Republicans that you have just described are also taking a look at it. And perhaps there can be a meshing of efforts.


Ultimately, though, we have to get to 10 Republican votes to be able to pass this in regular order. So, that's the hope.

TAPPER: And if that doesn't work, and if you can't get Republican votes, then at least going through this Manchin process with this other -- this plan B, this bipartisan group of senators, will help you get Manchin on board at the end of the day, one way or another.

Let me ask you about cyber, because you brought that up at the top of the interview. FBI Director Christopher Wray made headlines this week when he told "The Wall Street Journal" that he sees parallels between the challenge posed by these cyberattacks, these ransomware attacks, and 9/11. He's not comparing the loss of life, but in terms of the challenge.

You told Congress last month that you think the energy sector needs to do better at defending itself against cyber threats. And just so people understand, most of the energy sector, most of how we get power in this country is the private sector. It's not you. It's not government.

Do you think that adversaries of the United States have the capability right now to shut down the power grid?

GRANHOLM: Yes, they do.

I mean, I think that there are very malign actors who are trying. Even as we speak, there are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally, I mean, the meat plant, for example.

We -- it's happening all the time. And this is why the private sector and the public sector have to work together. And this is what the president is doing. He's working with our allies. He's working with countries around the world, because other countries, even Russia, they don't want to see their sectors attacked by malign actors, by rogue non-state actors, not to mention state actors.

So, working with other countries, working with the private sector, working inside of our own government -- the president has issued these executive orders to make sure that our own house is in order -- making sure that citizens are able to protect themselves.

My mother, who is 86 years old, got -- two weeks ago got a cyber -- not a ransomware, but was hacked.

So, the bottom line is, we have all got to up our game with respect to our cyber-defenses. The president is doing that, his executive order.

And just to quickly say, on the pipelines, because the pipelines were a concern, obviously, the TSA, which actually regulates the pipelines, has now required the pipelines to report cyber incidents to the federal government, so that we at least have -- we have intel.

But the bottom line is, people, whether you're private sector, public sector, whatever, you shouldn't be paying ransomware attacks, because it only encourages the bad guys.

TAPPER: Yes. And I heard from Republican John Negroponte, the former director of national intelligence under President Bush. He thinks that there's going to have to be legislation at some point to compel private industry to work with the government more on these issues, because, so far, the volunteer system, in his view, is not working.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, thanks so much for being with us today. We appreciate it.

GRANHOLM: You bet, Jake.

TAPPER: Joe Manchin is not the only senator hesitant to do away with the filibuster.

Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, will join me next.

Plus: The NIH warns, some states are sitting ducks for the next COVID outbreak if they do not pick it up with the vaccinations. The governor of a state that is indeed lagging behind will soon join me.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Gas stations. The meat aisle. What if, the next time, cyber criminals attack the power grid?

The FBI director gave a warning to the U.S. to wake up to the cyber threat that the country is currently facing, comparing it to the challenge the U.S. faced after the attacks of 9/11 and saying that the U.S. government alone cannot deal with the threat.

Joining us now, Senator Angus King, independent of Maine. He's an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and joins us now live from Millinocket, Maine.

Thanks so much for joining us, Senator.

You said this week that you cannot overstate how concerned you are about these cyberattacks. You co-chair the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and sit on the U.S. Intelligence Committee. What are you most concerned about? And has the U.S. responded offensively through retaliatory cyberattacks?

KING: Well, you have asked two or three questions there. I will take the last one first.

There has been some responses, both from NSA, the National Security Administration (sic), and from the Biden administration, in terms of things like sanctions. So there have been responses, but I think we need to step that up.

One of the problems is, over the past 15 or 20 years, as we have had these series of cyberattacks from North Korea, from Russia from China, we really haven't responded. We have been a cheap date. And you can't defend yourself simply by bobbing and weaving and patching. The adversary has to understand they will pay a price, there will be a cost for attacking the United States or for attacking our critical infrastructure.

And, thus far, they really haven't felt that. So I think that's a piece of this that we have to do. The other pieces, you mentioned in your intro. We keep getting wakeup calls, and we keep not waking up. And the problem is, this is a complex issue; 85 percent or 90 percent of the target space, Jake, is in the private sector. So the federal government can do everything right, and not that we

are. And there are a lot of things that we're working on. As you mentioned, the commission that I have been working on for almost three years, we have made a lot of recommendations, changed a lot of laws. We have got a national cyber director going into place hopefully in the next two or three weeks.

But it all depends on what happens in the private sector. If one person at one desktop in the operations center of a pipeline system bites on a phishing e-mail or opens an attachment they shouldn't, then we're sunk.

TAPPER: And...

KING: So, it's -- this is a -- it's a cliche to say all of government, but this is all of everybody has got to be in on this.

TAPPER: And just so people understand, as you noted, most of the -- what's threatened here is private sector.

And the former Director of National Intelligence under George W. Bush John Negroponte was on my show on Friday, and he sees -- he was basically voicing the opinion that, because the private sector has not risen to the challenge, there might be legislation needed to compel them to be better on this.


Do you agree?

KING: Yes.

One of the particular areas that we're talking about is SICI, systemically important critical infrastructure, the grid, the pipeline system, the financial system, transportation, water system, which, by the way, we haven't talked a lot about, but we're very vulnerable on in terms of our water systems.

I believe there has to be mandatory breach reporting, and they have got to subject themselves to what we call pen-testing, penetration testing, to see how -- just how good their cyber defenses are.

In exchange, I think they need to be provided with some kind of liability protection, if they're going to be forthcoming. We need essentially an entirely new relationship between the private sector and the federal government. And I realized the term relationship between private sector and federal government is kind of an oxymoron. But that's what we have to establish.

There has to be trust. And there has to be real time. I mean, the Colonial Pipeline, my understanding is, it wasn't reported to the government for four or five days. I think they'd already paid the ransom. And the federal government has a lot of resources and assets that can help on these things. But we have got to know what's going on. So, yes, I think some kind of mandatory incident reporting is going to

be necessary. And it's got to be burdens and benefits, particularly for these important critical infrastructure pieces.

TAPPER: Are you worried -- are you worried at all that President Biden's desire for a stable and predictable relationship with Russia is getting in the way of what is needed in terms of a response to the cyberattacks coming from Russia?

KING: Well, clearly, he's got to walk a tightrope here. He wants to have a decent relationship. They can be important in a lot of areas, the Arctic and other areas of the world. They can be either a stabilizing influence or a destabilizing influence.

But, on the other hand, I am positive that cyber is going to be on the table when they're discussing these things. And part of the problem is, it's one thing when it's a state actor, when it's Russia, the Russian government attacking us, as they did in the 2016 election.

It's a little more difficult when it's a Russian criminal organization based in St. Petersburg or Moscow. My belief is, we have got to get tough on that, too. They have got to quit tolerating this within their border.

If we had an international bank robbery outfit in Richmond, Virginia, that was robbing banks in Europe, we'd come down on them.


KING: Our law enforcement would come down on them.

And that's -- we need that kind of reciprocal relationship. They can't just say, oh, we don't know anything about this. A sparrow doesn't fall in Russia that Putin doesn't know about.


I want to turn to another issue here at home, voting rights. Senator Joe Manchin wrote an op-ed this morning and saying that he will not support the voting rights legislation called the For the People Act. You have been working on this in the Senate Rules Committee. Senator Schumer says he's going to bring it up for a vote this month.

As you know, it's not just Manchin. There are other Senate Democrats, there are Democratic state election officials who have concerns about the legislation as written. Do you support the bill as written?

KING: No, I think there are things that can be modified. And Chuck Schumer knows that and Amy Klobuchar. I have said that all along.

I -- it's a 800- or 900- or 1,000-page bill. There are clearly some things I think need to be negotiated. And I think Joe Manchin realizes that.

The -- but the guts of it, Jake, is voting rights. It has a lot of other pieces. It has -- for example, it has public financing of elections. It has a lot of other pieces in it. But the important part for me is protecting voting rights. And I think that's becoming more urgent by the day, based upon what's going on around in the states.

And, Jake, there's an important point here. There are two things going on with voting rights. One is getting a lot of publicity, the other not so much. The publicity is about things like limiting absentee ballots and the early voting and all of those kinds of things.

The other piece, though, Jake, that isn't being talked about is, a lot of states are considering changes that the legislature could essentially overturn the results of an election in their state. Remember, Raffensperger stood up in Georgia and said, no, we have certified these elections, the governor certified them.

We're worried that -- or I'm worried that they're going to turn that over and say, OK, a Republican legislature can say, we think there was fraud in Fulton County, and, therefore, we're going to certify a different set of electors.

That's really dangerous.


KING: And that didn't happen in '20. But it could.

So voting rights is critical. And I don't know -- I haven't talked to Joe about it in particular. My belief is, we have really got to focus on what the most crucial issue is, which is protecting democracy.


TAPPER: There's a lot of legislation that has been stalled in the 50/50 Senate.

In March, you wrote that the fate of the filibuster and whether or not the Senate will continue to require 60 votes to proceed to debate, the fate of it depends on whether or not you believe Republicans negotiate in good faith or are just obstructionists.

What are they doing today? Are they negotiating in good faith? Do you support eliminating the filibuster?

KING: Well, it's kind of schizophrenic.

We have been negotiating in good faith for about two months on this competitiveness bill, the competitiveness and innovation bill that's designed to help us compete with China. That's been entirely bipartisan. It of stalled right before we left town last week. Hopefully, we're going to be able to finalize that. That's a good example of how we can work together.

But I was thinking about that bill. If the bill had had Joe Biden's name on it, we wouldn't even be talking about it, I don't think. I mean, it's -- that's sort of where we have gotten this. This bill bubbled up. It started with Chuck Schumer and Todd Young, Republican of Indiana, in the Senate gym, and it came up spontaneously, which is the way things are supposed to work, through committees, through regular order, with a lot of amendments.

But then, on other areas, it's been -- as you say, it's been pretty well stalled. I think the infrastructure bill is a good test, because, listen, there's not a lot of policy there. This is just numbers.

TAPPER: Right.

KING: It's helping the country. And we ought to be able to find a resolution on that. If we can't, that spells trouble.

TAPPER: So, we're out of time.

But just to get a yes or no, it sounds like you are not in a place where you are ready to get rid of the filibuster yet.

KING: Not in general. I'm very reluctant about it.

But if it comes down to voting rights and the rights of Americans to go to the -- go to the polls and select their leaders vs. the filibuster, I will choose democracy.

TAPPER: All right, Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.

Some states are on pace to miss President Biden's July 4 vaccination goal by a country mile. So, why are so many Americans still so hesitant?

We will talk to the Republican governor of Mississippi next. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Call it a COVID era boilermaker, have a shot and a beer.

The White House going to great lengths to reach President Biden's goal of getting at least one vaccine dose in 70 percent of American adults by the Fourth of July, even partnering with Anheuser-Busch, offering free beers if the country hits that number.

But some states are certainly not currently on track to hit that goal.

And joining me now, the governor of one of them, Republican Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves.

Governor Reeves, thanks so much for joining us.

As I don't need to tell you, I'm sure Mississippi is dead last in the U.S. right now when it comes to vaccinations. According to your state's data, only 30 percent of Mississippi residents are fully vaccinated. Fewer than half of adults have received at least one dose. So it does not look like you're going to meet President Biden's goal

of 70 percent of adults at least partially -- partially vaccinated by Independence Day.

Why are -- is Mississippi so far behind the rest of the country?

GOV. TATE REEVES (R-MS): Well, first of all, thanks for having me on, Jake. It's always a pleasure to come on and talk to you about these very important issues.

Let me begin by saying that I believe that the vaccine works. I believe it's safe. I believe it's effective. I took my first dose in January, as did my wife, on TV live, and I have encouraged Mississippians to do the same.

But I also want to point out, Jake, that what -- President Biden's goals for July 4 or otherwise are arbitrary, to say the least. But here's the reality. The fact is, for over a year, we tried to focus our goals on reducing hospitalizations, reducing the number of individuals in ICU beds, because we think the most important thing is that if you get the virus, it's if you can get better with good, quality care, that you receive that quality care.

At our peak, we had 1,444 individuals in the hospital. Today, we have 131. We're down 90 percent. At our peak, we had 2,400 cases per day over a seven-day period. Over the last seven days, we have had barely 800 cases in total over those seven days.

And so, for that entire year period, the goalpost was, let's reduce the number of cases. And we have been successful at doing that.

TAPPER: Right.

REEVES: The question is, why have we been successful at doing that?

We have had a million Mississippians that have gotten the vaccine, but we have also had 320,000 Mississippians that have tested positive for the virus. Many people believe that somewhere between four and five times more people that have gotten the virus that have not tested have actually received -- have gotten the virus.

And so we have got somewhere probably between a million or so Mississippians that have natural immunity. And because of that, there is very, very, very little virus in our state.

TAPPER: Right.

REEVES: But we're still working to get the vaccine distributed, and hope we will continue to do so.

TAPPER: I appreciate the things have gotten safer for Mississippi Mississippians, and God bless. That's wonderful news.

But I guess the concern is, what happens when there's another wave, if so many Mississippians are not vaccinated? What if it's one of these new variants? I want you to take a listen to some public health officials issuing a

stark warning for states such as yours. Take a listen.


DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: This virus is an opportunist, and that where we have low rates of vaccination are where we may see it again.

COLLINS: They are sitting ducks for the next outbreak of COVID-19, which shouldn't have to happen now.



TAPPER: Are you worried that Mississippians who don't get vaccinated are going to be sitting ducks, as you just heard from the NIH director?

REEVES: Well, those same public health experts are the exact same individuals that have been advising President Biden who said in March that we were all Neanderthals because we were willing to open our state up and open our economy up. They were wrong then and they're wrong now.

Now, am I worried? You have heard me say this throughout this pandemic? If the question is, are you concerned with respect to the pandemic, the answer is always yes, no matter what the remaining words in the sentence is or the remaining words in the question. And that's just a fact.

We're going to continue to monitor it very closely. But the fact is, we're down 98 percent since early January in terms of total number of cases in our state. We had less than 50 Mississippians and ICU beds with the coronavirus as of Friday. The situation is much different than any of the public health experts warned us.

In March, the president came after me personally. And that's OK. I'm fine with that. But the question is the why. Why are we taking the vaccine, Jake? The reason the vaccine is being distributed -- and thank God for the Trump administration that we were so quick in getting it done.

But the reason it's being distributed is to drive numbers down. And it's happening in our state. And it's -- and I'm hopeful it's happening in other states as well.

TAPPER: Well, first of all, just as a point of clarification, I think it was Biden himself who use the term Neanderthal -- Neanderthal thinking, not his health advisers. And that was about not embracing science. I'm not defending the comment, but I think that was the context.

Dr. Collins, who you heard from there, the NIH director, was also NIH director during the Trump administration. I guess just the point is, you seem to be arguing two things. You seem

to be arguing everybody should get vaccinated, and yet it's not that big a deal that not everybody's getting vaccinated. And those seem to be in conflict.

You would argue, you would agree that Mississippians watching right now should go get vaccinated, yes?

REEVES: I would absolutely agree, Jake.

I think that all Mississippians and all Americans should go get vaccinated, because I think it's safe, I think it's effective, and I think it's one way to continue to drive down the numbers.

But I also, Jake -- and this is where I differ from the Biden administration.

TAPPER: And save lives, right? And save lives.

REEVES: This is where I differ from you and so many other people.

TAPPER: It's not just on numbers.

REEVES: Individuals can make their decision, Jake. Individuals can make their own decision as to how to protect themselves and their families.

Government's role here is to make the vaccine available, to make it easily accessible for Americans, to make it easily accessible for Mississippians. We have done that in our state. We have done that in many other states around the country.

And now I encourage my fellow Mississippians to go get vaccinated. But that's an individual choice. And we have got to get out of this idea that central government in Washington, D.C., knows best on all decisions. And that's the view of the Biden administration and so many others in the far left.

TAPPER: I'm not really quite sure what you think I disagree with what you just said. I don't support mandatorily vaccinating people. I just think that you're contradicting yourself.

But let's move on, because there's a couple other very important issues that have to do with Mississippi.

The U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear arguments next term regarding a Mississippi law which bans abortions after 15 weeks, no exceptions for rape or incest. Is it your hope that the Supreme Court will use this law, which you support, as a vehicle for overturning or undermining Roe vs. Wade?

REEVES: Well, Jake, let me just tell you that, for people such as myself that are that are pro-life, I believe that the Supreme Court made a mistake in the 1970s.

But that's not the issue at stake that is before the court, hopefully when the arguments are heard sometime in the fall. The question that is before the court -- and this is something that you mentioned earlier, and that's with respect to understanding and appreciating and respecting science.

The fact is, we know so much more in America today about the formation of young children in the womb than we did when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. We know so much more even than we knew when Casey was decided in 1992. That was almost 30 years ago. It is not unusual for the court to review cases from the past.

And what we know now, Jake, is that we know that the heart has partially formed at 15 weeks. We know that the baby in the womb is practicing breathing. We know that most internal organs have started to form. And we believe that that child is viable outside the womb.

And so the question is not, are you going to overturn Roe v. Wade? The question is, the science has changed. And, therefore, it makes sense for the court to review their decisions from the past. And this is a vehicle in which for them to do it.

TAPPER: And what do you say to a Mississippian who says, why are you telling a girl who has been raped by her uncle that she has to carry the child to term?


REEVES: I'm not telling any child in Mississippi anything.

What I'm telling everyone is, we believe that abortions are murdering literally millions and millions of millions of Americans across many, many years. And it's a sad, sad state of affairs. And we're going to work very hard to make sure that, when that baby becomes valuable, that it is a -- treated as a human life, because that is exactly what it is.

TAPPER: All right, Governor Tate Reeves, thank you so much. Really appreciate your time today.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful June day in Mississippi.

REEVES: Thank you, Jake.



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Former Vice President Mike Pence is fueling speculation about 2024. Hitting a Republican fund raiser in New Hampshire this week where he did something kind of unusual for him. He acknowledged that he and his former boss, President Donald Trump, disagree on an issue.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don't know if we'll ever see eye to eye on that day. But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.


TAPPER: That day that they don't see eye to eye on is the January 6th Capitol insurrection. An insurrection incited by Trump through months of lying about the election and specifically lying about what Mike Pence could do about the election.


DONALD TRUMP, 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so. Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people.


TAPPER: Trump wanted Pence to overturn the fair democratic election. Of course, our founding fathers did not bestow upon the office of vice president such powers. So the rabid crowd, one of whose members had constructed a noose near the Capitol, well, they started calling for Vice President Mike Pence to be lynched.


RIOTERS: Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.


TAPPER: Pence and his family were whisked away by security. There was a very real fear that day for Mike Pence's life and the lives of his family members. And yet, not only did then President Trump not reach out to his loyal vice president that day to make sure that he was OK, Trump praised the mob.

An event where a mob tried to lynch you is not something any rational person would agree to disagree with anyone on. And for what it's worth, I do consider Mike Pence to be rational. But what's happening is that Mike Pence is no longer in a rational world. He is trying to function and to thrive, frankly, in Donald Trump's alternative universe. And in this deranged place, not only was the election stolen -- it wasn't -- but we learned from multiple reports in the last few days led by The New York Times' Maggie Haberman, Trump actually believes that he could be reinstated as president in August because of these unofficial and, frankly, fraudulent ballot audits going on in places such as Arizona.

Now, that's not going to happen at all. There's no reality to it. But instead of Republican officials making that clear, they're hiding and trying to change the subject. Trying to change the subject from the very clear statement by Trump's former national security advisor, Mike Flynn.


UNKNOWN: I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here.

MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR OF THE UNITED STATES: No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That's right.


TAPPER: Just to be clear, that was Mike Flynn being asked by a member of the audience why what happened in Myanmar, a military coup, why can't it happen here. And Flynn said, no reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason, that's right.

Flynn's now trying to claim he meant something else, trying to claim that he didn't mean to say there's no reason that a coup shouldn't happen here, it should. But you heard it with your own ears.

And keep in mind, for months, Mike Flynn on the record has been proposing some form of military force in the U.S., partial martial law to force states to hold new elections so as to give Trump the presidency.

This weekend, we learned some troubling new information about efforts by the Trump White House to overturn the election in December and early January. The New York Times first to report that then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked the acting attorney general to investigate insane conspiracy theories, insane ones about supposed election fraud, including the deranged idea that Italy used satellites to change votes from Trump to Biden. Italy.


The Congresswoman Liz Cheney has been waning us all, at great professional cost, I should add, that the people who tried to steal the election in 2020 are going to try it again and next time they will assuredly be better positioned. For example, what happens if Republicans recapture the House in 2022, which seems utterly possible, and choose to be led by top Republicans Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Elise Stefanik who pushed election lies and continue to push election lies and voted on January 6 based on those lies to disenfranchise millions of voters in Pennsylvania and Arizona, states that Biden won?

Do you think that McCarthy, Scalise, and Stefanik will stand up for democracy and the U.S. Constitution or will they do what Mike Pence did this week, bend to the will of a delusional man living in a fantasy world? Because you know what? You can't agree to disagree about the threat to the life of Mike Pence. You can't agree to disagree on the threat to the life of American democracy.

It's one thing that's helped keep us going over the past year, we'll tell you what it is. We'll be right back.



TAPPER: It was the late night free for all that ultimately ended with Jimmy Fallon taking over for Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert for David Letterman, and Trevor Noah for John Stewart. A brand new episode of The Story of Late Night airs tonight.

And the news continues next.