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State of the Union
Interview With U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield; Interview With Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Interview With Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS). Aired 9-10a ET
Aired May 08, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Supreme shock. A leaked draft shows the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If this decision holds, it's really quite a radical decision.
TAPPER: After decades of abortion being protected, is it about to become illegal in much of the U.S.? I will speak to the Republican governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, next.
And battle cry. The leak ignites outrage and protests across the nation, as Democrats vow to fight for abortion rights.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): This is a life-or-death moment, and we need to fight like it is.
TAPPER: But will the court's decision affect how Americans vote this November?
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joins me to discuss ahead.
Plus: Proxy war? Russia is set to celebrate Victory Day, with signs Putin could escalate his war strategy, as report suggests the U.S. is going further to help Ukraine.
I will speak to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in moments.
TAPPER: Good morning.
I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is on the brink of a very different America.
The nation is still reacting to this unprecedented leak from the U.S. Supreme Court revealing a draft majority opinion on a Mississippi abortion case that would overrule the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade. The majority draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito and supported by four other justices, according to Politico, which obtained the draft and broke the story.
While not final, the stakes of this decision have already spurred protests and celebrations across the country and a new debate in Washington between those who wants to nationalize the right to an abortion and those who want to ban it everywhere.
New CNN polling shows a vast majority of the public, two-thirds, do not support overturning Roe v. Wade, but so much remains unclear what the final decision will actually be, what will happen in each state if the constitutional right to abortion is removed if the Supreme Court overturns Roe.
Right now, there are 19 states that had abortion bans on the books before Roe was decided or have passed so-called trigger laws that will ban abortion and snap into place if Roe is overturned.
So, let's begin with the governor of the state at the center of this Supreme Court case, Republican Tate Reeves of Mississippi.
Governor Reeves, thanks for joining us this morning.
So, Mississippi is one of the states that has a trigger law passed in 2007 that will ban all abortions, except in cases of rape or in cases where the mother's life is at stake, with no exceptions for incest, if Roe is overturned. This would require the state attorney general to certify that Roe v. Wade is no longer in effect.
So, if the court rules as expected, is Mississippi going to implement that trigger law and make all abortion, except in those two narrow circumstances, illegal?
GOV. TATE REEVES (R-MS): Well, thank you for having me on this morning, Jake.
And happy Mother's Day to all the moms and grandmas out there, including the first lady of Mississippi, Elee.
Yes, Mississippi does have a trigger law in place. It was passed in 2007. And that trigger law will go into effect should the draft opinion, which obviously has been a bit of a bombshell this entire week from a national conversation and political discussion, but, yes, our trigger law will go into effect.
It does have an exception for rape. It does have an exception for the life of the mother.
TAPPER: As this country saw before 1973, banning abortion does not actually end abortion. It causes girls and women to seek out methods that are not as safe to end their pregnancies, methods that in the past resulted in mutilation or even death.
Now, Mississippi, according to your state Department of Health, has about 3,500 abortions a year. Has the state done any analysis of what the state thinks will happen to those women and girls if this law goes into effect, how many unwanted pregnancies will result in deliveries, how many will result in women and girls dying because they seek out unsafe methods?
Have you done an analysis that way?
REEVES: Well, that's a great question, Jake, and I really do appreciate it.
And what I would say to you is this. Not only have we done an analysis. We have started -- we have started doing the hard work of what a post-Roe Mississippi will look like. In fact, we believe that if, in fact, this leaked opinion is accurate and if, in fact, a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court are going to overturn Roe, we must understand that, while this is a great victory for the pro-life movement, it is not the end.
In fact, it is just the beginning. And the beginning is we must show that being pro-life is not just about being anti-abortion. And so, in our state, that -- the work that is being done goes in two directions.
Number one, and we have to do everything we can to make it easier on those moms who may be in unwanted pregnancies. And that's the reason that we this year -- just in the last couple of weeks, I have signed legislation to provide help and resources and money to the 37 pregnancy resource centers that are located in every region of our state.
We want to make sure that we get those individuals, ladies and women and expectant mothers, the help that they need from a health care standpoint, but it's not just about the health care. It's about other resources that are available to those moms.
And the second piece of being prepared and the second -- and the next phase of the pro-life movement is about, what are we doing to help those babies that maybe are...
REEVES: ... they do go to full term that the moms do have?
And what we're trying to do is focus on making adoption easier in Mississippi. We're focusing on improving our foster care system.
REEVES: We have had challenges in the past. And we recognize that and we admit that.
REEVES: But we're investing in that system over $100 million...
REEVES: ... to improve technology at the Department of Human Services and at our Child Protection Service. TAPPER: So, Governor, you just said that you did do an analysis. Can you tell us anything more about the analysis? What did the state of Mississippi conclude as to, of the 3,500 abortions that happen on average per year in Mississippi, how many of those girls and women will seek unsafe abortions?
How many might die? How many might end up hurt, mutilated, whatever? What did the analysis reveal?
REEVES: Well, Jake, I can't predict for you exactly what's going to happen in the future.
What I can tell you is what we're trying to do in Mississippi is, we're trying to provide those potential expectant mothers the resources that they need, so that they can go to a full term of pregnancy. If they choose to keep that child, then that's a great outcome. We want to make sure that we provide them the resources that they need, provide them the help that they need.
But if they choose not to, we want to make sure that we have plans in place to protect those -- protect those babies once they're born. And that's why we talk about foster care, we talk about adoptions and other things...
REEVES: ... creating forever homes for those babies.
TAPPER: So, Governor, you and I have talked about this before, but Mississippi, as you know, has the highest rate of infant mortality in the United States. You have the highest rate of child poverty in the United States. Your state has no guaranteed maternity leave that's paid.
The legislature in Mississippi just rejected extending postpartum Medicaid coverage. Your foster care system is also the subject of a long-running federal lawsuit over its failure to protect children from abuse.
You and I have had this conversation before. I hear you. You say you want to do more to support mothers and children. But you have been in state government since 2004. You were the state treasurer. Then you were the lieutenant governor. Now you're the governor.
Based on the track record of the state of Mississippi, why should any of these girls or moms believe you?
REEVES: Well, look, as I have told you before, and I will tell you again, the reality is that, when I got elected governor, my very first speech in my inaugural address, I was very clear that I believe in my heart that I was elected not to try to hide our problems, but to try to fix our problems.
We have a long history of poor health outcomes. It's due in large part to poverty. And so we are focusing every day on fixing the challenges that are before us. When you talk about things -- when you talk about these young ladies,
the best thing we can do for them is to provide and improve educational opportunities for them. And we have worked extremely hard in our state to do that. We have -- we have got to continue to work to provide work force opportunities, jobs for these individuals.
REEVES: But to do that, they have got to improve the quality of their skills. And we as a state are investing heavily in that.
REEVES: But, yes, you're right. We have got a number of years of poor outcomes.
But we're working every single day to improve that. And I think you will see us make significant progress, just as we have seen significant progress on the educational outcome front...
REEVES: ... in Mississippi over the last 10 years.
TAPPER: So, the snapback law in -- that was passed in 2007 has no exception for incest.
So, assuming that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the state of Mississippi will force girls and women who are the victims of incest to carry those childs (sic) to term. Can you explain why that is going to be your law?
REEVES: Well, that's going to be the law because, in 2007, the Mississippi legislature passed it.
I will tell you, Jake -- and this sort of speaks to how far the Democrats in Washington have come on this issue -- but, in 2007, when the trigger law was put in place, we had a Democrat speaker of the House and we had a Democrat chairman of the Public Health Committee in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
TAPPER: Yes, but why are you going to...
REEVES: And it passed this particular piece of legislation.
TAPPER: Why is it acceptable to force girls who are victims of incest to carry those child -- children to term?
REEVES: Well, as you know, Jake, over 92 percent of all abortions in America are elective procedures.
When you look at the number of those that actually -- involve incest, it's less than 1 percent. And if we need to have that conversation in the future about potential...
TAPPER: This is your law.
REEVES: ... exceptions in the trigger law, we can certainly do that.
But the reality is that, again, that affects less than 1 percent of all abortions in America on an annual base.
TAPPER: OK, but that is going to be the law of Mississippi.
Let me ask you, what about a fetus that has serious or fatal abnormalities that will not allow that fetus to live outside the womb? Is the state of Mississippi going to force those girls and women who have this tragedy inside them to carry the child to term? Are you going to force them to do that?
REEVES: Well, Jake, I will tell you, I think that these questions illustrate exactly what we have been talking about.
And that is, you're dealing in examples that are rare and are a very small percentage of the overall abortions. And the reason for that is because, when you talk to Americans, regardless of what the polling says with respect to overturning Roe v. Wade, the vast majority of Americans recognize that the abortion laws in America right now, that is what are extreme.
America's abortion laws are extreme, relative to the rest of the Western world.
REEVES: You know that, even if the court did not overturn Roe, Jake, even if the court did not overturn Roe, even if they just decided to uphold Mississippi's 15-week ban, that 39 out of 42 countries in Europe would still have more restrictive abortion laws.
REEVES: The vast majority of Americans support restrictions that are reasonable on abortions.
And the overturning of Roe is simply going to return those decision- making processes...
TAPPER: To the states and -- right.
REEVES: ... back to the individual legislatures in all 50 states.
And I'm asking you about this -- the law in your state and the exceptions that the law does not offer to Mississippi women and girls who are victims of incest, who have fetuses that have fatal or very serious abnormalities, which is not really all that rare, to be honest. I mean, I know plenty of women that has happened to. And they had to -- they wanted to have a healthy child, but they weren't able to. And your law would force them to carry the child to term.
I want to ask you a philosophical question here, because I know you have said you believe that life begins at conception. Just to be clear, does that mean the moment of fertilization or the moment of implantation?
REEVES: I believe that life begins at conception.
And, as I have said repeatedly -- and I know where this question is ultimately going with respect to birth control and other measures -- I want to be clear. My view is that the next phase of the pro-life movement is focusing on helping those moms that maybe have an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy.
The next phase of the pro-life movement is making sure that those babies, once born, have a productive life. And while I'm sure there will be conversations around America regarding that, it's not something that we have spent a lot of time focused on.
TAPPER: Does that mean that you believe that -- you believe that conception is the moment of implantation? Is that what you're saying?
REEVES: That is not what I'm saying.
What I'm saying is, again, this is a debate that we can have once the actual court makes their ruling, once the actual words are on the page. That's what makes this -- this whole topic so difficult and, quite frankly, what makes the leak so wrong, is that we don't have an opinion.
We don't know what the court is actually going to say. And I would hope that the chief justice and others at the court would actually get this opinion out sooner, rather than later, so that those of us who deal with the laws...
REEVES: ... and those of us who have to deal with the actual words on the page know exactly what they say and know what they allow and what they don't know.
TAPPER: It's not a...
REEVES: There is no fundamental right to an abortion in the U.S. Constitution. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that precludes individual states from regulating or restricting abortions. And that's the ruling that the court should make.
REEVES: But, again, all we have is a leaked draft.
TAPPER: Yes. No, I agree. I... REEVES: We don't have a final -- a final decision on the matter.
TAPPER: I agree.
But, just to be clear, the state of Mississippi, you're not going to then target IUD or Plan B, which are methods of birth control that might not allow a fertilized egg to be implanted.
And this is not a theoretical construct. This is not -- in the state of Louisiana, which I recognize is a neighboring state, not your state, I mean, they're talking about not only criminally charging girls and women who get abortions, as -- you know, as being -- committing homicide, but they're also talking about defining the moment of conception as fertilization, which would theoretically, if this were to become the law of Louisiana -- and it is not yet -- mean that murder -- if you use an IUD, you are committing murder, theoretically.
So it's not -- I'm not making this up. This is -- these are the conversations going on in legislatures in your area.
But, so, just to be clear, you have no intention of seeking to ban IUDs or Plan B?
REEVES: That is not what we're focused on at this time.
We're focused on looking at -- see what the court allows for. The bill that is before the court is a 15-week ban. We believe that the overturning of Roe is the correct decision by the court. And so, in Mississippi, we don't -- we don't have laws on the books that would lead to arresting individuals or anything along those lines.
TAPPER: You mean not arresting girls or women, but you would arrest doctors?
REEVES: Well, certainly, I don't think that you're going to see doctors performing abortions if we have a state statute which says that they're not allowable, except for those exceptions that we have mentioned earlier.
TAPPER: So, one of the other topics that people talk about, legal experts discuss, is that the reasoning that Justice Alito uses in this draft opinion -- as you point out, it's not -- it's not an official opinion. It's just a draft opinion.
But one of the -- that the legal reasoning he uses is that he says, as you say, abortion is not a right specifically enumerated in the Constitution. Legal experts point out that that could just as easily be applied to other landmark court decisions, for instance, same-sex marriage.
Alito even references the Obergefell ruling that affirmed that right in his draft opinion. Would you want the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn that precedent as well that granted same-sex couples the right to get married in the United States?
REEVES: Well, there are two differentiating factors with respect to the other cases that I think is important to point out.
Number one, the fact that is, when you're dealing with abortion, unlike the other -- the other cases that you talk about, abortion involves not only the mother and that particular life, but it also involves the life of an unborn American child, an unborn American child that doesn't have the ability to speak for themselves.
And that's why it's important folks like me take this opportunity to stand up and speak on their behalf. So that's a very important differentiating factor.
But the second important factor is, unlike those other areas, in my view, the abortion rights that Roe v. Wade chose to enact in our country wrongly, that particular -- those particular rights were never agreed upon and never really politically determined, other than there's a 50/50 split, at best, on abortion rights.
In the other instances, by and large, public opinion has come to support the decisions that were made by the court. And I think -- I think that Justice Alito, in his alleged draft opinion...
REEVES: ... that is agreed to by five judges, addressed that.
And I believe, in that particular case, he said that there is a differentiating factor.
REEVES: And it is the fact that there is a right of an unborn child when it comes to abortion.
TAPPER: In point of fact, Governor, yes, it is true that the American people support legal abortion with restrictions, but it is also true that two-thirds of the American people consistently support keeping Roe v. Wade in place.
In any case, we thank you so much for your time today, Governor Reeves.
And you just heard from Governor Reeves.
We have Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York here to respond to him and the question of what lawmakers can do if Roe is overturned. That's next.
Plus, just how far is the U.S. willing to go to help Ukraine defeat Russia? Is that changing? We will talk to the U.N. ambassador head.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILLIBRAND: I would like to speak to America's men for one minute.
Imagine you do not have authority over your own body for 10 months. It is barbaric. It is inhumane. It is unacceptable. And I hope every human being in this country understands that, when you take away a woman's right to make her decisions about her health and well-being, she is no longer a full citizen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
That was Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York reacting to that leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion on abortion. Democrats have been warning about this possibility for decades, frankly. The question is, is there anything lawmakers can do to stop it?
Senator Gillibrand is joining us now.
First of all, Senator, happy Mother's Day. Good to see you today. We appreciate your taking the time.
You just heard Governor Tate Reeves say that, if this ruling stands, Mississippi is going to ban almost all abortions in the state, with exceptions for rape only if somebody is prosecuted or charges are brought, and also if there's -- the life of the mother is at stake, no exception for incest.
What was your reaction to Governor Reeves?
GILLIBRAND: Well, I thought he was quite paternalistic towards women.
He indicated during your conversation that all we need is more education for women. I was pretty offended by his remarks. And he doesn't look at women as full citizens. He's taken away their right to make these fundamental decisions about when they're having children, under what circumstances they're having children, how many children they're having, at what point in their life they're having children.
It's outrageous that this governor and governors and legislatures across America are going to take this draft opinion, when it is final, and deny women these fundamental life-and-death decisions about their future and about their families.
TAPPER: Some Democrats, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, have responded as you are responding.
But Newsom is also arguing that national Democrats are not doing enough to fight this. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Where the hell's my party? Where's the Democratic Party? You guys paying attention? Why aren't we standing up more firmly, more resolutely? Why aren't we calling this out?
This is a concerted, coordinated effort. And, yes, they're winning. They are. They have been. We need to stand up. Where's the counteroffensive?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So, where is the counteroffensive, Senator?
GILLIBRAND: Every one of us is standing up, speaking out, rallying, marching, talking to our constituents, lifting up their voices and their stories. This is the biggest fight of a generation, Jake.
And if America's people, America's women and men who love them do not fight right now, we will lose the basic right to make decisions, to have bodily autonomy, and to decide what our futures look like. This is a fundamental moment for advocacy and for not giving up.
And so what I'm doing and what many of my colleagues are doing are pushing for a vote next week. We are going to be aggressive with all our colleagues and with our Republican allies to vote for codifying Roe v. Wade. We are not giving up. We will never give in. And we will keep fighting.
And if the American people are paying attention, this issue will also be on the ballot in November. We need to make sure that every single voter understands that the Republican Party and Mitch McConnell does not believe that their daughters, that their mothers, that their sisters have rights to make fundamental life-and-death decisions.
We are half-citizens under this ruling. And if this is put into law, it changes the foundation of America.
TAPPER: As you note, the Senate is going to vote Wednesday on legislation that would codify Roe v. Wade. As you know, Democrats don't have the votes. You don't have 60 to get to a vote. And I don't even know if you have 50 to pass it, because Senator Manchin, I believe, opposes it.
So you and others have called on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said this weekend he thinks that a national abortion ban, so not sending it back to the states, but just banning it everywhere, banning it in New York, banning it in California, banning it in Washington, D.C., McConnell said he thinks the national abortion ban is possible.
Is it not true that, if you eliminate the filibuster to pass this, and then Republicans win control of Congress down the road, they can ban abortion nationwide with just 50 votes? GILLIBRAND: Look, Jake, the argument that, if we take away the filibuster, Mitch McConnell and Republicans across the country are going to do bad things, those bad things are literally already happening.
We have a Supreme Court that is unrelated to the normal process of the American people. When those Supreme Court justices said that precedent is the foundation of our legal system and said Roe v. Wade is precedent that's entitled to respect under the laws of stare decisis and imply to every person in America that they have no agenda to overrule Roe v. Wade, and then go ahead and do it, we changed what is protecting our rights and privileges in America in a way that no person imagined would happen.
And so I don't think the argument is that Mitch McConnell will do bad things is persuasive at this point. They're already happening. He already took away a justice from Barack Obama. He already stacked the court with ultra-conservative justices.
They already now have a ruling that may well be applied in many contexts, because when you say life, liberty and pursuit of happiness does not create some right to privacy, then every other rights under a right to privacy could be at risk, whether it's LGBTQ equality, whether it's marriage equality, whether it's literally any right that has been decided over the past 50 years.
Four justices in the last hearings that I have witnessed how have said that precedent matters and that precedent is the foundation of our legal system.
GILLIBRAND: And so, if they just feel they can just upend this precedent because they don't like it today, well, that's inconsistent with what they promised the judges -- excuse me -- what they promised the senators who voted for them.
And if you look at the statements of both Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, they truly believe their statements were inconsistent with what they told...
TAPPER: No, I know.
And you have said that the five Supreme Court justices lied in their confirmation hearings when they said that Roe v. Wade was precedent, settled law. Are you saying -- are you accusing them of committing perjury?
GILLIBRAND: You know, I come at this issue from the perspective of a of a lawyer who worked in fraud all the time, corporate fraud.
If a corporation put these kinds of statements in their quarterly filings, they would be seen to be purposefully misleading and it would be deemed fraud. So, I think all their statements should be looked at very, very carefully. And I think they misled the Senate, with the intention of getting their confirmation vote, within the intention of overruling Roe.
And so I'm very concerned that these justices have crossed a line that no one believed would be crossed, that they would purposefully create the impression that they would not overrule settled precedent, and that it was not only deserving of due weight and the importance of precedent, but because it had been reaffirmed, that it deserves more weight, and then go ahead and overturn it, especially with the reasoning that Justice Alito makes in this draft opinion.
It's outrageous. And so, Jake, back to the point, I think we should get rid of the filibuster. I think we should vote for our values. I believe we should fight for everything we believe in at this moment. This is about basic equality. It's about whether women in America have a right to make these decisions, whether they have a right to decide who and when they have children with under what circumstances.
It's unconscionable. And not only is the governor who just had on outrageous in his views, but there are legislators and governors like him that are going to undermine all access to any type of reproductive freedom. And they are setting to criminalize abortion...
GILLIBRAND: ... to call it homicide.
You look what happens -- is happening in Louisiana today.
GILLIBRAND: It is -- it's bone-chilling, because it's taking away women's rights for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, our right to be a full citizen, our right.
And the point I made that you played, America's men need to wake up. They are literally -- they have to imagine what it would be like for 10 months to have zero bodily autonomy, to not know what's going to happen to your body, whether you're going to survive a pregnancy, whether you will be forever changed medically.
GILLIBRAND: These are the consequences of bringing a pregnancy to full term.
And so, when women make that decision to have a baby, it is a joyful decision that they are making.
GILLIBRAND: But if you take away that right and require forced pregnancies, you are literally undermining their basic civil rights, their basic human rights, and their ability to decide what happens to their body.
TAPPER: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, thank you so much for your time today.
Tomorrow, Russia celebrates its Victory Day holiday, but they haven't won in Ukraine. A new report says Putin may issue a doomsday warning.
I will ask you in Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
We have some breaking news for you now.
First lady Jill Biden has made an unannounced visit to Ukraine, part of her humanitarian visit to the region. The first lady made the Mother's Day visit at a southwestern border town, touring a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for internally displaced Ukrainians. And she met with the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, who has not been in public since the start of the war in February, the visit a strong sign of support from the U.S. for Ukraine, as Russia is preparing to celebrate Victory Day tomorrow, which marks the Soviet Union's defeat of the Nazis.
But, this year, the whole victory part in Ukraine is conspicuously missing.
Joining us now, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, happy Mother's Day.
Tomorrow is May 9.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Thank you.
TAPPER: It's a major Russian military holiday called Victory Day. Russia celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Reuters is reporting that, for the first time in more than a decade, Russia is going to conduct a flyover with its so-called doomsday plane that would protect top Russian officials in the occurrence of a nuclear war.
Would the Biden administration view that as an escalation?
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: You know, the Russians have escalated throughout this process. And part of that escalation has been a consequence of their failures. They have nothing to celebrate tomorrow. They have not succeeded in
defeating the Ukrainians. They have not succeeded in dividing the world or dividing NATO. And they have only succeeded in isolating themselves internationally and becoming a pariah state around the globe.
So, what they're celebrating tomorrow is their own lack of success.
TAPPER: A senior Ukrainian official says a Russian aircraft dropped a bomb on a school in the Luhansk region of Ukraine overnight, completely destroying it. It is where people had been sheltering, I think about 90 people had been sheltering.
And the Ukrainian official says, most likely, 60 of those 90 have been killed.
Is that a war crime?
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We have called out the Russians very early on for committing war crimes. And this contributes to that.
We're going to continue to work with the Ukrainian prosecutors and others to document evidence of their war crimes, so that they can be held accountable. This just adds to the long list that we already have.
TAPPER: CNN has learned that the U.S. provided intelligence that helped Ukraine target the Moskva, that Russian warship that's now at the bottom of the Black Sea.
This comes after "The New York Times" reported that U.S. intelligence is helping Ukraine locate Russian generals that Ukraine then kills. It does seem like the Biden administration is in this weird dance of semantics, in terms of this intelligence and in terms of what the U.S. and the Biden administration acknowledge the intelligence is doing.
So, the U.S. is supplying deadly weapons, financial aid, intelligence that allows Ukraine to kill Russians. At what point is this just a proxy war that the U.S. is fighting against Russia, but the U.S. is not the one pulling the trigger? Where's the line there?
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: The line is where the Russians started.
The Russian government invaded Ukraine. They started this war. They are attacking the Ukrainian people. And we have been consistent since the start that we will support Ukraine, we will provide them with the wherewithal to fight this war. And they are on the ground, and they are pushing back the Russians.
So, we will continue to provide the kinds of support that they need. We have provided intelligence, but they make the decisions on what they will target and how they will target. And, again, I think Russia has felt the consequences of our support for the Ukrainians.
But I guess what I'm getting at is, there's this reluctance to acknowledge that we are giving this intelligence to the Ukrainians, so they can do what they then do with it. I mean, we're not giving them the location of a Russian general so that they can order Uber Eats for them. It's with the express purpose of, here is where this Russian general is. Go do what you're going to do. And then the Ukrainians kill them.
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We're providing them with the intelligence, so that they can defend themselves against Russian aggression and also put them in a position where they're stronger at the negotiating table against the Russians.
How they use that intelligence is up to them. But what we want to make sure is that they have the equipment and the information and the wherewithal to fight this war in a way that helps them to defend their own sovereignty.
TAPPER: Speaker Pelosi has called for the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
She said -- quote -- "If Russia is not listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, tear up the list."
Will you do that? Will you not -- tear up the list. Will you put Russia on the state -- on the list?
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, I think Russia has put itself on that list of state sponsors of terror. They are carrying out terror acts against the Ukrainian people, against Ukrainian civilians.
You just mentioned they attacked a school with 90 people. Imagine the terror that these people felt as the school was being attacked. So they have defined their role on that list. It's not necessary for us to put them on.
TAPPER: So, you think that they deserve to be on the list, but you're not saying that the Biden administration is going to put them on the list?
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: They certainly deserve to be called out for the acts of terror that they are committing. We have said that they have committed war crimes. We have indicated that they -- what they are doing is trying to destroy Ukraine's actual existence.
And what we have seen you and others reporting is unconscionable.
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: And they need to be held to account for it.
TAPPER: First lady Jill Biden, as I mentioned, just made an unannounced trip to Ukraine.
You can see her now. We're going to show the video of her greeting and hugging the Ukrainian first lady during this humanitarian trip to the region. Will we see President Biden in Ukraine sometime soon?
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, I can't preview what the president's travel is going to be.
But I can say that the first lady's visit has given so much support and encouragement to the Ukrainian women and children. And for her to go there on Mother's Day to meet with the Ukrainian first lady, I think sends a very strong, a very positive message.
I met with Ukrainian mothers on the border when I traveled to Romania and Moldova a few weeks ago. I see the strength that these women have. So, having the first lady there encouraging them, supporting them, actually in Ukraine, I think sends a strong message of support and commitment that the U.S. government has to supporting Ukrainians moving forward.
TAPPER: This weekend, we learned that a new decree from the Taliban requires Afghan women to cover their faces and publicly, especially -- they're especially pushing the traditional burqa.
If women don't, they or their male guardian -- that's what it's called -- their male guardian can be fired from their jobs, they can be jailed.
Doesn't this underlying even further the problem of the U.S. withdrawal without a competent government in place?
THOMAS-GREENFIELD: You know, it shows again what the Taliban are capable of.
We said from day one, we will judge them by their actions, not their words. And these actions, on Mother's Day, I think sends a very chilling message across the world. We have done everything possible to support Afghan women and will continue to call out the Taliban for their actions both the United States, but also in my role in the Security Council, as president of the Security Council.
What they did today is unconscionable. And I am sure that we can expect more from them. And it just redoubles our commitment to supporting Afghan women moving forward.
TAPPER: Happy Mother's Day, Madam Ambassador. Thanks for joining us today.
We appreciate it.
If the Supreme Court does decide to overturn Roe v. Wade, are other landmark decisions next? Our panel is here to discuss.
Stay with us.
[09:50:02] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMUEL ALITO, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: Roe vs. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court. It's been on the books for a long time.
NEIL GORSUCH, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: Roe vs. Wade, decided in 1973, is a precedent the United States Supreme Court. It has been reaffirmed.
BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: It is an important precedent of the Supreme Court. By it, I mean, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
Our panel is here now.
Let me just dive right in.
Hilary Rosen -- first of all, Hilary and Carrie, happy Mother's Day to both of you.
Hilary Rosen, let me start with you, because Senator Gillibrand basically said that those justices committed a form of fraud. She wouldn't go so far as to say perjury.
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
TAPPER: What do you think?
ROSEN: Well, first of all, how nice to be here on Mother's Day and defend not just mothers, but people who aren't ready to be mothers or don't want to be mothers today.
Look, I think that these justices have made Senate confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court a sham, and that is too bad. I don't know what can be done about that, other than senators have to pay much more attention in the future to what they're saying and how to hold them more accountable in these hearings.
But, look, I think one of the problems we have is this just general level of uncertainty and fear about not just this decision, but how far it goes. And I think that that's the unknown that we're worried about most, and as we see the impact of this decision.
Like, I would ask you, where are you going to go after this? Once you get this decision, what are you going to do? Are you going to go after other unenumerated rights, like same-sex marriage, like the rights to privacy? What's the plan? Because you're taking away people's personhood with this activity.
CARRIE SEVERINO, PRESIDENT, JUDICIAL CRISIS NETWORK: You know, so first of all, we all just heard what the justices said. They were making descriptive statements. They were very careful not to pledge how they would rule in a future case, because they know they can't.
And that's something that the liberal justices have done as well. So that is clearly here.
I think it's important to remember what the case goes out of its way to make clear, which is that, no, this doesn't impact those other rights. That's an argument that was brought before the court, and the court made it very clear. So, rather than going against the explicit text of that decision, let's talk about what the decision really does.
ROSEN: So you're committed to not going after other rights after Roe? Is that what you're saying?
SEVERINO: No, this decision has no impact on the other...
ROSEN: Is that a yes?
SEVERINO: I'm not -- my goal is here -- my goal isn't to go after one thing or another.
My goal is to have a court that follows the Constitution and the laws passed. If Americans want to pass laws that say one thing or another, the courts need to follow them faithfully. Same with the Constitution. If you want to change that, go ahead.
SEVERINO: But the court needs to follow that.
TAPPER: Let me just bring up what Carrie is talking about, which is this excerpt of the Alito provision, which says: "The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision. None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involve the critical moral question posed by abortion. They do not support the right to obtain an abortion. By the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right does not undermine them in any way."
In other words, he is saying -- and I know you don't buy it.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, it's not that...
SEVERINO: Let's not fearmonger. Let's talk about what the decision really does.
SELLERS: Respectfully, it's not that I don't buy it. It's just intellectually dishonest, because what else is not in the Constitution?
You talk about a right to privacy. Marriage is not in the Constitution. Homosexuality is not in the Constitution. Consensual sex is not in the Constitution. And so what we do know is that this court will take the next step.
Anybody who says they won't is just not paying attention. This court is coming after same-sex marriage. This court is coming after Loving. This court is coming after Brown v. Board.
JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's no reason -- I just think that -- I mean, with all due respect, I just think that's just a nonstarter.
The idea that, first of all, Clarence Thomas wants to rule that his own marriage is unconstitutional strikes me as implausible.
SELLERS: Well, I...
GOLDBERG: Second of all, Loving was more about an equal protection case, which is what Ruth Bader Ginsburg wanted to ground Roe in -- or abortion rights in, which would have been a much better cause.
Look, the simple fact is, is, like, I agree with you that, philosophically, this decision, if it ends up being the real decision, which is a big if, does -- philosophically does threaten some other rights, like gay marriage and others.
It does not -- but, as a practical matter, there is no movement to ban interracial marriage in this country. There is no even -- there's not even a movement on the right to overturn Obergefell and gay marriage. I just don't think...
SELLERS: Ben Shapiro just recently, this week on his podcast, which the largest YouTube podcast or whatever it may be, talked about the fact that the next thing they need to do is go after gay marriage.
And so, if Hilary and I are afraid of what this court will do next, I think that that is rooted in the history of this country. And this is the first time -- and I don't think anybody can deny this. This is the first time that the United States Supreme Court actually inherently took away a constitutional right, when it...
SEVERINO: That is not true.
Like, look, Lochner vs. United States, the case that said there was a right to contract, it was a case -- it's a case that has been dissed by every judge ever. They overturned it. The court regularly overturns cases, and including cases...
SELLERS: No, no, no, I didn't say overturned. What I said...
[09:55:00] SEVERINO: That took away the understanding that there was a right to contract in the...
ROSEN: Changing a business decision...
ROSEN: ... is a little bit different than taking away what women have depended on for 50 years...
TAPPER: Let's talk about the -- let's talk about what will happen.
ROSEN: ... to manage their personal lives and their personal health.
And what we will have here...
ROSEN: ... is a very divided United States.
TAPPER: So let's talk about that, the fact that...
ROSEN: ... between rich and poor...
SEVERINO: We have that already.
ROSEN: ... between where people live.
And women like me, we're always going to have access to good health care and reproductive rights. But poor women who can't move out of Mississippi, with their governor being so radical, who can't travel, who aren't working for corporations willing to subsidize their travel to get reproductive support, they're not going to have that.
TAPPER: Carrie, let me come right to you with what she's talking about, because we just talked about it with Governor Reeves in Mississippi.
He has a trigger law, a snapback law, whatever it's called, so that, if Roe is overturned, abortions will become illegal in Mississippi. Let's show the map here. There are 13 states that have these trigger laws. Six states have pre-Roe bans that will come -- that will come back. And then 16 states have abortion protection laws.
So there -- it does look as though, a post-Roe America, that there will be some of the country -- I think it's more than 50 percent in population -- that will have no legal abortion, and half of the country or a little less that will have legal abortion.
Is that unfair to say? SEVERINO: The -- look, the goal -- the role of the Supreme Court --
and a lot of the arguments I'm hearing today are policy arguments. You think it's a good idea to have more access to abortion, you think it's better to have more access for fetal life.
That is not -- that's not what the court is here to decide. The court only should overturn laws that are elected by our democratically elected representatives when they actually violate the Constitution. That doesn't mean what you wish was in the Constitution. That doesn't mean things that were, like, emanations of penumbras of the Constitution.
It's what's in there. And if Americans want to pass a constitutional amendment that say that, great. But, practically speaking, there's also a lot of states, California, New York, that are going to have the opposite abortion nine months, maybe more protections than Roe provided.
The American people are going to be able to decide how to balance this very difficult issues.
SELLERS: But, respectfully, that comes with a certain privilege, because the Constitution doesn't discuss a lot of things.
The Constitution doesn't discuss me being fully human, a full part of this country, doesn't discuss Hilary. I mean, the Constitution doesn't discuss a lot of things. And so there's a certain -- there's a certain level...
GOLDBERG: The amended Constitution does.
SELLERS: But there's a certain level of privilege that goes along with this theory that the Constitution protects all of us and we should just leave it alone.
What Hilary is talking about is so true, because, right now, black and brown women, poor women who live in Mississippi, who live in Louisiana, who live in Texas are not going to have access to quality health care.
White women who have the ability and the means to travel across state lines will. Abortions are not going to disappear .Abortions are going to become less safe. And that's dangerous.
Look, that is a perfectly legitimate policy argument to make. But as Carrie's point is, is, like -- I personally think that you can be pro- choice and still think Roe should be overturned, because it's really badly written, not grounded in the Constitution. There are lots of liberal critics of Roe as constitutional law. I think it's really interesting how quickly so many of the people who
oppose this draft, which, again, is a draft -- I don't think it's going to look like this in the final thing.
SELLERS: I agree with that.
GOLDBERG: Immediately go to arguments about other things, rather than actually talking about the merits, or lack thereof, of Roe and of abortion rights.
Like, it's fine to be concerned about gay marriage rights and these other things, but you would think overturning Roe would be enough. And yet President Biden on down have all gone to these -- these other arguments. And I think that's interesting.
ROSEN: This is revisionist history. I'm sorry.
All those justices went there and said, this is settled law. They didn't go there and say, this was wrongly decided.
SEVERINO: No, they didn't. Did you hear them settled law?
SEVERINO: They said it's a precedent of the court.
ROSEN: Wrong -- not wrongly decided, based on the wrong things, et cetera.
I'm sorry. This is just a red herring.
GOLDBERG: What is revisionist? That's not a red herring.
ROSEN: And so you can't go back and say, oh, well, the only reason this is happening is because it was decided on the wrong amendment, it was wrongly decided.
It is happening because of a majority of the court making a moral decision for people, against the country.
SELLERS: I mean, Alito said that. Alito...
GOLDBERG: Make a moral decision to send a moral decision back down to states and let state legislatures make the decision.
There's nothing in here that says you have to be pro-choice or pro- life in the decision. It says states should work it out.
ROSEN: They are doing it for a moral and political reason. And that is the only thing that they're...
GOLDBERG: We do everything in politics for moral and political reasons.
SELLERS: This isn't the politics. This is the judiciary.
ROSEN: I don't think we should be only ranting at the Supreme Court here, though.
I think that current leaders, like President Biden and like people in the Senate and the Congress and governors across the country, have a responsibility. Technology is actually ahead of the game on the court here...
ROSEN: ... with medications, with other things. There should be education. There should be other ways to do this.
ROSEN: And I think we can get there.
TAPPER: We're hitting the clock.
ROSEN: We have to go.
TAPPER: To be continued. Great panel. We will have you back again.
This issue isn't going away. As you noted, this is not even officially the draft opinion -- or the official opinion. It is the draft opinion, not the official opinion.
I cannot let you go, however, though, without recognizing a few amazing moms on this Mother's Day -- Mother's Day.
To my wife, Jennifer, my mom, and my stepmom, and my mother-in-law, my sister, my sisters-in-law, my co-anchor, Dana Bash, the three moms who helped run this show, while also dealing with toddlers and babies, not including me...
TAPPER: ... and to all the moms who watch, we love you. We appreciate you. We're so grateful for you today and every day.
Fareed Zakaria picks up right now.