tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN December 1, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
the questions asked by the justices could provide hintses too what happens next. >> the reason this issue is hard is that you can't accommodate both interests. you have to pick. that's the fundamental problem. >> reporter: for the supreme court's six conservatives, their questioning during two hours of arguments on mississippi's 15-week abortion ban signaling they're inclined to uphold the law. >> but if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time? >> the chief justice john roberts seemed to be pushing for compromise. let mississippi enact its law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks with limited exceptions, but stops short of completely striking down roe v. wade. the landmark 1972 case that established women have a constitutional right to get an abortion. the chief justice emphasizing the importance of precedent. >> if we look at it from today's perspective, it's going to be a long list of cases that we're going to say were wrongly decided. >> reporter: but the court's
other conservatives repeatedly questioned why roe should be upheld when the constitution says nothing about abortion. >> the constitution is neither pro life nor pro choice on the question of abortion. >> reporter: it is a case that could remake the legal landscape surrounding abortion in the united states. the arguments drew hundreds of protesters on both sides of the emotional debate to the steps of the supreme court. the stakes high as a dozen states have trigger laws on the books that would immediately ban abortions if the court overturns roe. >> will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? >> reporter: the three liberal justices railed against the possibility that conservatives could rule against roe, saying it would call the court's legitimacy into question. >> to overrule under fire in the absence of the most compelling
reason to re-examine a watershed decision would subvert the court's legitimacy beyond any serious question. >> reporter: all sides seem to be bracing for seismic change. >> almost 50 years of the slaughter of innocent babies is too much. we're done. >> i am just full of angst that we could take this huge step backwards. >> in the two hours of questioning today points to that strong possibility that abortion rights will be rolled back by this court. and the impact here could be immediate. if the court limits their ruling and simply allows mississippi's 15-week abortion ban to take ef effect, other states could write similar laws. if the court overturns roe v. wade completely, abortion rights advocates advocate half the states would act quick three completely ban abortion. >> jessica schneider, thank you. carrie cordero, based on the
questions asked today, it appears that the court's conservative justices are leaning towards upholding the mississippi law, which would ban abortions after 15 weeks. it's less clear what this would mean, whether or not they overturn roe vs. wade. what were your takeaways? >> i think fundamentally this case is about whether or not american women are going to have less liberty in the 21st century than they did in the latter part of the 20th century. and the court is -- has the opportunity to either stick with its precedent over the last 50 years or come up with a reason to overturn it and, based on the arguments today, what was unclear is whether mississippi is really bringing any new arguments to the table. it didn't sound to me like they were. >> joan, you were inside the court today listening to a few key justices. what did they ask? do we have an idea which way they are leaning? >> it was so dramatic. the justices weren't wearing
masks. the rest of us were and you could see the weight of the moment on their faces. they divided in predictable ways with the more liberal justices wanting to keep roe as is. the more conservatives wanting to get rid of it. i was surprised, jake, about brett kavanaugh who seemed clear about thinking seriously about returning this whole matter to the states, which would essentially end the right to abortion overall. and there was a real struggle for whether there will be any kind of middle ground that won't exactly please anybody but will preserve some right to abortion but it will not be the right that americans know now. it will not be the right that americans know now. >> katie watson, big picture. if the u.s. supreme court upholds this mississippi law, this ban on abortions after 15 weeks, what could this mean for abortion rights nationwide? >> i think the unspoken question of this case is whether women
are people under the constitution. and i think the only thing that justice kavanaugh got right and it's in that quote that you played earlier is the idea that you have to pick. and the reason you should pick women is because they are people under the constitution and embryos and fetuses are not. so in terms of changing this landscape from the viability standard, which is the only principled gestational line and that's because it's the only line that accounts for the fact, the person in whom the relationship between the embryo or fetus and the person in whom it lives. to pick 15 weeks, there's no logic behind that number so that is an utterly unworkable standard and it reduces abortion rights significantly. >> joan, you were talking about an attempt to find a middle ground. chief justice roberts maybe signaled he was attempting to do something like that?
>> yes, here's the deal. you heard these references to fetal viability which was at the center of roe v. wade and kc. what the chief was suggesting and he's probably the only one on the bench who thinks this, that you can actually lift that viability line, but not overrule roe. he was suggesting that the 15-week cut-off could be constitutional, which is what mississippi has. but that he wouldn't roll back some right to abortion. but what i believe, jake is that he's going to have to get -- he would get the three liberals to agree at least that they wouldn't discard roe wholesale, but he is going to have to pick up someone from the conservative side and that's where it's going to be very tricky. someone who will say now is not the time to completely eviscerate roe v. wade. >> carrie, what happens immediately if they just decide to overturn roe v. wade, which, it's possible, honestly. if you listen to the arguments.
it's quite possible. i don't think it's necessarily the probable decision but it could happen. first in mississippi and then in other states, what happens? >> so the impact of this case will have practical real effects as soon as it is decided because as the earlier reporting described, there are statutes in over 25 states that would be triggered by a change and an overturning of roe v. wade and kc. and so those state laws would then immediately go into effect and that could immediately have the practical effect of limiting women's access to a lawful abortion. >> thanks to all. justice brett kavanaugh came to today's hearing armed with a list of precedents that the supreme court has overturned in the past. kavanaugh sounded quite different in his confirmation hearing three years ago, of course. >> what would you say your position today is on a woman's right to choose.
>> i would say -- >> as a judge. >> as a judge, it is an important precedent of the supreme court. by it i mean roe v. wade and planned parenthood versus casey. been reaffirmed many times. casey is precedent on precedent, which itself is an important factor. >> hmm. his comments on roe v. wade led key republican senator susan collins to vote for kavanaugh's confirmation. here's collins in 2018 speaking about her sit-down with kavanaugh. >> we talked about whether he considered roe to be settled law. he said that he agreed with what justice roberts said at his nomination hearing in which he said that it was settled law. >> cnn's manu raju joins us live. there's no nice way to say this. kavanaugh sounded very different on the subject of precedent today than he did when he was
trying to get susan collins to vote for him. how did she respond to today's oral arguments? >> she said she didn't see it. she told our colleague, i did not see his questioning or hear any of the arguments. i hope to later tonight play them so that i have firsthand knowledge of what the arguments were today. but i can't comment on what i didn't see. now, recall how critical susan collins was to the confirmation of brett kavanaugh. three republican senators were in play. one of them was jeff flake of arizona. he was one of the first of those three to say that he would vote yet. he voted for that. lisa murkowski, she voted against brett kavanaugh. and all eyes at the time were on susan collins. collins was listening to the tomorrow of christine blasey ford. kavanaugh denied that. she had meetings with kavanaugh and talked about abortion because collins supports abortion rights and those
comments she heard from kavanaugh that he contended it to be settled law was significant, pivotal for collins to ultimately vote yes and ultimately, after she went to the senate floor, said she would vote for kavanaugh. that immediately after may have triggered the support of a key democratic senator joe manchin who said he also would support kavanaugh who was narrowly confirmed by the senate after that intense confirmation proceeding. now in the aftermath of this, perhaps kavanaugh could be a decisive vote striking down roe. we'll see what collins has to say at that point. we'll check in with her also tomorrow to see if she has listened to those comments and if her views on kavanaugh have changed. >> manu raju, thank you. how long did donald trump and the white house know that he may have had covid before they told the world? we'll talk to a former trump white house official next. plus, the trial of the actor accused of faking a hate crime against himself. one witness says jussie smollett changed his description of the alleged attacker. stay with us. with my trusty t♪
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in our health lead, it appears the former president, rather notorious for lying, also lied about his coronavirus diagnosis. in a new book by former white house chief of staff mark meadows obtained ed by the guarn newspaper, he first tested positive september i26th, three days before his first debate with president biden and nearly a week before he announced he contracted the virus. on september 26th then president trump hosted a white house event both inside and outside for then-supreme court nominee yam coney barrett. at least 12 attendees later tested positive. later that day trump was looking tired on his way to a rally when
white house dr. sean conley called saying that trump tested positive for covid. meadows said trump was tested a second time and that one came back negative. the next day trump hosted an indoor reception for gold star families and a maskless news conference. two days later trump hosted two outdoor events with business leaders, another on covid testing and then debate day where meadows reports trump was moving slower than usual but, quote, nothing was going to stop him from going out there. a few days after that, six days after his first positive test, from finally acknowledged that he had coronavirus and was hospitalized. the former president responded to the new revelations today calling them, quote, fake news, though we should note again, this news comes from his loyal former chief of staff and his book, a book mr. trump has previously endorsed as fantastic and a great christmas present. let's discuss this with former
communications director under trump. and a consultant to the obama and trump white house medical units. alyssa, congratulations on your wedding. thank you for being here. reporters asked you and other white house officials multiple times about the timeline leading up to trump's diagnosis. this is what your colleague kaley mcenany said followed by something that you've said. >> not going to give you a detailed read out of time stamps of every time the president is tested. he's tested regularly -- >> when was his last test? >> i can't reveal that at this time. the doctors would like to keep it private since -- >> my understanding is that it's his private medical history. >> were you intentionally misleading the public on that or was there something else going on that we don't know about? >> no, absolutely not, jake. very few things shock me and this revelation shocked me. i was getting inquiries from reporters, credit to maggie haberman. i think she suspected this may have been the case because she was hounding me for the timeline.
i went to dr. conley, and chief of staff meadows and said when was his first test? and i was told we're not revealing that for hipaa reasons. that's what i was given for our chain of command. full stop, this demonstrates a flagrant lack of regard for public health and for the well-being of others. at this time in the white house, i had staffers who were pregnant. i had one who is a multi-time cancer survivor. plenty of people in the west wing over 65. we could have killed one of our colleagues and instead they decided to not tell anyone, putting every one of us at risk. >> you didn't know is the point? >> absolutely not. no, no. >> dr. reiner, we don't know which kind of test the president took when he got that positive test but the second test was an antigen. is a negative test from an antigen enough to clear someone who previously tested positive to go back into the public? >> no. but we know that the white house was relying heavily on abbott's rapid molecular pcr test.
their i.d. now test. there was -- you may remember toward the beginning of the pandemic, there was a ceremony at the white house where abbott delivered several of these machines for use. this is how they screened press and visitors to the white house with these rapid, relatively accurate pcr devices. so my strong guess is that the president's positive test came back with the i.d. now test which takes about 15 minutes. and then, according to the book, they tried to stop the president from leaving but he wanted to continue and on board air force one it appears he was tested with an antigen binax now test. the thing about the antijen test is they have -- although they are -- their ability to detect -- to tell that you that you don't have the virus is quite high. their ability to detect a positive test, particularly in patients at the beginning of their illness is less good. and you'd never verify a positive test with an antigen
test. so the president was positive on the 26th and the white house physician knew it. what's astonishing to me is that the white house physician kept the fact that the president of the united states was positive for covid secret. >> dr. sean conley. >> for three days allowing multiple events, including the amy coney barrett event, the gold star family event and then the debate. >> no, it's crazy. when you think about joe biden is certainly in a vulnerable group. he's a man in his late 70s. alyssa, so here you have -- i can't even make sense of this, but mark meadows, who is a very loyal person to donald trump, he reveals this in his book. trump calls it fake news, even though it's from meadows' book. his spokeswoman liz harrington, trump's spokesperson, puts out this statement and then mark calling it make fuse and mark
meadows retweets it. can you explain this? >> the vast majority of the people working in the white house around the task force under trump took covid seriously. but there were a handful of senior, senior most staff who genuinely thought it was nothing short of the common cold. even when we had over 150,000 americans who had died at that time. and i think the fact that mark published this suggests that he still thinks that. he doesn't seem to have reflected on the fact this was a terrible move in how to handle this and he absolutely should have disclosed to the public and quarantined the president. they still seem to not get this is a terrible, serious, deadly virus and that this action was deeply reckless. >> and i mean, we should just know you talked about physician, dr. sean conley who at the very least hid this from the public. but when you think about people who are in vulnerable groups, who met with donald trump, right, you talk about cancer survivors, a pregnant woman, chris christie, who contracted
coronavirus, probably got it at that white house event. he's certainly in a vulnerable group. there are others. i mean, isn't that a violation of dr. conley's hippocratic oath? >> exactly. dr. conley had really two -- in this instance, he has really two responsibilities. one is to do the right thing for his patient, which clearly at that first positive test is ten days of isolation. ten days of isolation after testing positive. and then his responsibility is to start contact tracing everyone the president has been with because everyone that the president might have infected might have infected someone else. this is how viruses work. we've seen how this has gone for the last two years. so dr. conley had not just a responsibility to his patient, but he had a responsibility to the public and communicable -- some communicable diseases are reportable as is covid.
which is why people get phone calls when they test positive and they are contact traced. so he just breached his duty as a physician. now if i were the white house physician and i was told, don't say anything about this, i would resign. >> why do you think meadows is doing this now? just to sell books? i don't understand. >> i think he thought that whole ordeal was not a big deal. that's my best -- >> just that it was -- >> i don't think he would do anything that would make president trump angry with him, which he seems to be based on this statement. let me say this because it bears repeating and we can't say it enough. it's never too late to do the right thing. donald trump should still go out and tell his supporters, i got the vaccine. my wife got the vaccine. my kids got the vaccine. you can trust it and it's safe. he's yet to do that. it could make a huge difference when half the country still isn't vaccinated. so maybe this will be a wake-up call to him. >> behind closed doors, oh, we did this on twitter. i got my booster and i'm
advising you to get your booster. these vaccines work and they're great and donald trump was part -- he okayed the funding of it. "operation warp speed." alyssa griffin, and dr. jonathan reiner, thank you. a messy food between republican lawmakers happening all in public view and where is kevin mccarthy? where is the house leadership? heartiness? yes! living life to the flavor-fullest? heck yes. panera. live your yes. now $1 delivery.
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republicans. lawmakers inside a closed door republican meeting this morning tell cnn that republican leader kevin mccarthy did not say one word today about the nasty back and forth among congresswomen marjorie taylor greene and lauren boebert and nancy mace. let's discuss. let me start with the former republican congressman at the table. one republican lawmaker, congressman, told cnn mccarthy doesn't want to pour fuel on the fire. doesn't seem his strategy of addressing all the fighting behind the scenes has done anything to calm the tensions. and to be quite frank, congresswoman mace is sane and the other two i have more questions about. >> there's no -- >> they're certainly bigots. >> there's no equivalence here. mace deals in reality. these shthoughtful. the other two are out of bounds. i remember when john boehner was speaker after the tea party wave. i can't tell you how many times he had conversations with members privately about standards of conduct, language, and he wouldn't tolerate it.
and the people got in trouble. you saw some resign for far less. you come into the office and see that letter on the desk. it's true. better sign it. this is the kind of stuff we used to do. now a lot of these members don't feel shame. it's worse than that. they monetize their notoriety and i don't know how you control that to be honest with you. how do you -- trying to maintain standards of conduct and enforce it is hard. i was chair of the ethics committee. >> very popular. >> no fun. and you have -- it's no fun. but somebody has to do it. and it's not being done but that falls on the shoulders of the leaders. i saw pelosi, boehner and ryan deal with uncomfortable cases, forcing resignations of members for far less. >> there's a boehner quote. if you are a leader and no one is following you, you are just a guy taking a walk and that's what's happening. that seems to be what's happening with kevin mccarthy. he tells them to knock it off
and they either do kind of, you saw what congresswoman boebert did, i'm so sorry and then go about her business and do what she was criticized for in the first place or they just don't listen to him at all and they go marjorie taylor greene. called trump and talked about having a challenger to nancy mace this week. >> marjorie taylor greene says she is the mainstream of the base of the republican party. she's not some extremist. and the truth of the matter is i don't know if that's right, no offense. >> listen, part of the reason kevin mccarthy doesn't want to act is because he's afraid of donald trump and he's also afraid of the base. marjorie taylor greene, as well as boebert are pleasing donald trump and getting all sorts of kudos from other members of the base and other members of the party because of what they have said. i think one of the problems in the republican party, and i'm quoting colin powell here,
there's a dark vain of intol vance in the party. it used to be smaller. you saw donald trump tap into that in 2016. and it keeps going back to that well and you see these other members being able to monetize this bigotry, and it pays dividends for them in terms of popularity and fundraising as well. >> hillary, republican congressman don bacon represents a swing district in nebraska. the omaha area. he said this about the infighting. take a listen. >> we're trying to show that we want to be the governing party next november, going into january of '23. and that requires winning people's confidence. and right now all the polling is great for us but this undermines that effort of taking back the speaker's gavel. we should not be shooting ourselves in the foot with infighting. and it's not appropriate. >> do you think it will actually hurt republicans, though? >> one of the things that happens when you aren't in charge is you don't have to be too responsible. you can spend a lot of energy
just attacking the other guys. and playing games like they're playing. so whether or not this -- >> they're attacking each other. they're not even attacking democrats. >> and the fact is there is no more republican party for nancy mace in the house. like that doesn't exist anymore. there is no caucus that supports a republican voting their district on an infrastructure bill or on a belief about a big lie. and that is a sad state of affairs, but as a practical matter, you know, they're going to nationalize this message in the midterms, and i don't think this internal fight is going to matter as much as whether democrats are delivering and talking about the things that people care about. >> you are from the great commonwealth of pennsylvania, so i have to ask. tv personality dr. oz has entered the race for senate as republican. he has huge name recognition. i think they took him off the air in the philly area because
of the equal time clause. but for medical experts have criticized him significantly in the past few years for pushing hydroxychloroquine for peddling all sorts of magic diet pills and miracle cures. but he's -- might be a strong candidate. >> he might be, but i think he's got a little carpet bagger problem. >> just because he doesn't actually live in pennsylvania? >> he's from bergen county, new jersey. when i first ran for congress in 2004, i ran against a guy not from my district, never lived there. it was an 80% issue. i talked about nothing else other than his residency. how can you represent a constituency if you don't live there and don't know them? i think that's going to be a bigger issue for him than he realizes. and so i find the whole thing bizarre. apparently he's registered to vote at his mother-in-law's home in montgomery county. >> that's where my pop lives. what do you think? name recognition can go a long
way in a primary and certainly in a general election. >> i don't know why he wants to go back to the senate. last time he was there, claire mccaskill really -- >> she eviscerated him. >> that's a very nice word. that was not going through my head. but over -- >> for being a -- >> for being an alleged quackery. >> but in this country, even a snake oil salesman can be a politician. so isn't that -- >> where have we seen that before? and that's what he's really trying to do. hugging donald trump. really going for donald trump's endorsement. i think we saw from the virginia race that gubernatorial race that hugging donald trump might not be the best option if you want to win statewide as well as you really need to be well versed in local issues. you are not from pennsylvania, dr. oz. you are a great surgeon, i'm sure, but in terms of the kind of day-to-day and ins and outs of folks in pennsylvania, i don't know that he's going to -- >> we love people from new
jersey, don't we, congressman? they're great drivers. >> the idea of someone like pat toomey who is pennsylvania, i mean, through and through. >> and casey. >> but it is a head scratcher. >> this seat is open because pat toomey was going to be facing a tough re-election in large measure. so you have to think about this hugging donald trump strategy. going way to the right is not where pennsylvania is generally as a whole. you know, it went for biden. it's elected democrats statewide. it's the governor's. i think that they're going to have trouble running a trump campaign. >> i don't know. i would -- trump won it in 2016. i would describe it as a purple state. >> i think statewide, actually in some respects, it's getting better for republicans. just in 2020, the statewide audit are general and treasure were two republicans who were good candidates but they had no money and beat incumdents and
trump was losing the state. >> republicans did great in the commonwealth of pennsylvania except for trump. none of those republicans who were re-elected that same day had any issue with the ballots that elected them. >> in the midterm like this, this should be a good republican year for republican senate candidate. should be. as long as the candidate -- >> isn't dr. oz. >> isn't dr. oz or sean parnell. the secretary of state delivered a warning to russia's vladimir putin. we'll talk to the former supreme allied commander of nato next. stay with us. ♪ wow! ♪ ♪ uh-huh. ♪ $0 copays on primary care visits. ♪ wow! ♪ ♪ uh-huh. ♪ and with unitedhealthcare, you get access to medicare advantage's largest provider network. ♪ wow! ♪ ♪ uh-huh. ♪ most plans even have a $0 premium. so go ahead. take advantage now. ♪ wow! ♪ ♪day to night to morning,♪
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in our world lead, setting the stage for an invasion. that's exactly what u.s. secretary of state antony blinken warns russia is currently doing as russia significantly increases its military presence along the border with ukraine. >> now, we don't know whether president putin has made the decision to invade.
we do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so on short order, should he so decide. so despite uncertainty about intentions and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies while working to see to it that russia reverses course. >> here to discuss, retired admiral and the formernato supreme allied mander james davritis the author of "the sailor's bookshelf." 50 books to know the sea. good to see you. do you agree with secretary of state blinken, russia appears to be on the verge of invading ukraine? >> i do, jake. we always say crime is where motive meets opportunity. the motive is pretty clear here. putin truly, deeply wants to pull ukraine away from the west, away from nato, away from the european union. that's the motive. the opportunity is exactly what tony blinken was talking about. there are 90,000 troops on that border.
he's actively seeking to undermine the government of president zelensky. reports of a potential coup and finally, jake, look at the history here. he invaded georgia in 2008. still russian troops there. he invaded ukraine and annexed crimea. a lot of russian troops there. so opportunity, motive and history kind of come together. i'm worried. >> so nato secretary-general jens stoltenberg told jim sciutto earlier today that nato can make russia pay a high price with economic sanctions, financial sanctions and political restrictions. of course, as you just noted, he's done this already. he took georgia. he took crimea. why aren't they doing these sanctions already, and would they work? >> i think there is another level of sanctions that we could think about. one would be to, jake, personalize them. go after very senior leaders.
potentially all the way up to vladimir putin himself. number two, at the end of the day as john mccain used to say, russia is only a big gas station. its economy is a one trick pony. oil and gas. i think you could move sanctions there, although complicated because of nordstream 2 coming online and putin wants his athletes to go to the olympics. that's an obvious one. so hopefully putin will not be as reckless as he's been on a couple of occasions but it's pretty hard to rule that out. >> secretary blinken set to meet with sergey lavrov tomorrow. what message do you think he should deliver to get the russians to stand down, to not invade ukraine, to not support a coup against ukrainian president zelensky? >> i think there are three things he can say quite credibly. one is, if you do this, it will not be you versus ukraine.
it will be you versus the world in terms of opinion and then deliver the economic sanctions message. number two, he can say nato, the 30 nations of nato are deeply opposed to this. we're going to continue to press against you in every dimension including, for example, cyber activity so that allied component is significant. and then a third thing is to say to the russian foreign minister who he knows quite well. i know him quite well. you're making an enormous mistake here if you underestimate what our response will be. he's got to look him in the eye and deliver that message credibly. >> do you think that this situation can credibly grow into a military conflict between russia and nato? >> i think it's a very low probability of that occurring. i think that the dark end of the spectrum, the worst case is putin becomes reckless.
he goes in. he actually carves out a chunk and simply claims the area in the southeast corner creates a land bridge between crimea and russia, which he seeks to do. i think that's probably the extent of military action. but then you're really on a rocket ride back to a true cold war between the united states and russia. he doesn't want that. he can't afford it, and i think that, therefore, it's not likely he'll make the ultimate move here. but again, i'll close by saying, jake, history, motive, opportunity. he's put all the pieces in play. let's hope he shows for his strength. >> admiral, thanks for your time. coming up, next, the trial of "empire" actor jussie smollett. what he said on the stand about the alleged hate crime he had committed against himself. stay with us. the daybed slash dog bed.
in our national lead, big developments on day three of the trial of actor jussie smollett accused by police of staging a fake racist and homophobic attack against himself in 2019. prosecutors today calling one of the most significant witnesses in the case, one of the two brothers who police say smollett paid to stage the attack. cnn's omar jimenez is live outside the courtroom in chicago for us. you have been inside listening to the testimony. what is he saying? >> well, this is the most crucial day of testimony we've seen so far in this trial. this is bola and the crux of it
began when he described being in the car with jussie smollett days before this alleged hate crime took place and described that smollett asked him to beat him up. i'll read some of the testimony here to where bola said he was confused, then he, jussie smollett, explained he wanted me to fake beat him up. i agreed to do it because most importantly, i felt indebted to jussie. at the time, bola was working as a stand-in on the show "empire" and had developed a friendship with jussie smollett over the good portion of two years prior to this week of january 25th, 2019. he told me we would need another person to fake beat him up and he mentioned could my brother be a part of it. that's how the second brother got involved. and after the two eventually or everyone got in the car they went over the details of what jussie smollett wanted them to say and do. again, according to the testimony. and it literally says or i should say, he said that they wanted him to say "empire," the
show he used to be a star on. the "f" word, the homophobic slur and maga and then the conversation moved to what they wanted him to do specifically to punch him in the face but to pull those punches so that he wouldn't get actually hurt but to leave at least a bruise. so the heart of this trial playing out in testimony today. >> omar, prosecutors also called today a chicago detective who spoke with smollett shortly after the alleged attack and subsequent interview. what did he say about the inconsistencies in smollett's story? >> that's right. so this was one of two detectives who initial lie responded to jussie smollett's report of an alleged hate crime on january 29th, 2019. and this detective said at the time he described his one attacker that he could identify as a white person, that he could see through the eye holes, the bridge of the nose and part of the eyes. well, weeks later, after these brothers had been arrested, though smollett didn't know that at the time, he was asked again
about the identity of his attackers and the detective said, well, this time he said they acted like they were white. and that was a discrepancy the detective took issue with. though the defense tried to say that the detectives' words weren't at credible because that interview was not recorded, jake. >> omar, thank you. coming up next, actor alec baldwin giving his first interview since the deadly movie shooting saying he never pulled the trigger. more from the emotional interview. that's next.
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the first time to talk about the fatal shooting on the set of "rust." the actor revealing more about what happened to abc news and growing emotional when speaking about halyna hutchins who was killed. >> it wasn't in the script for the trigger to be pulled. >> the trigger wasn't pulled. i didn't pull the trigger. >> you never pulled the trigger? >> no, i would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger. >> she was loved by everyone who worked with her and admired. >> baldwin's side of the story comes as investigators have a new lead on how that live bullet may have gotten on set. authorities were granted a warrant to search a prop store where they believe some of the rounds originated. they're investigating various scenarios on how that live ammo made it on set. you can follow me on facebook, instagram, tiktok, twitter, @jaketapper. if you ever miss an episode, you can listen to "the lead"
wherever you get your podcasts. our coverage continues now with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." i'll see you tomorrow. happening now, the omicron variant is detected in the united states for the first time in a patient who traveled from south africa to california. our medical experts are assessing the threat as federal health officials are doubling down on their push for vaccines and boosters and warning mornings not to panic. there's also breaking news on that deadly school shooting in michigan. the 15-year-old suspect was just arraigned on terrorism and first-degree murder charges. we have new information about his very, very concerning behavior and the horrific rampage that has now claimed a fourth student's life. fresh evidence of former president trump's deception while he was in office. his former white house chief of staff reportedly reveals in a brand-new book that trump te