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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  March 7, 2022 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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the morning local time. so we're monitoring that very closely. it is a bit of hope. anything at this stage that would alleviate the suffering of the civilian population of this country, given what they've been going through, the fierce fighting or the bombing of residential areas, is something that should be looked at and welcomed. clearing up the broken debris. this was caused by a russian tike a residential neighborhood in a small ukrainian village. will 50 mize south of the ukrainian capital, it is nowhere near front lines. but it has felt the rage and the pain of this war. we've come inside one of the houses who was affected by what was apparently random artillery
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or rocket fire into this residential neighborhood. you can see just how shattered the lives of the family here. look. i mean, the windows have all been blown out, obviously. all their belongings have been left behind as they've gone into hiding. the picture there seems to be indeed, some of the people had a lived in here. a family with some children. apparently, they've survived this, which is good. but when you look at the situation and the way the russians have been shelling residential areas across the country, so many people haven't survived. this is interesting. come have a look. this is a children's bedroom of you can see over here of the look of the the bunk beds, the roof that has fallen down on to the top there, and of course, in the panic of the in the
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evacuation, the kids have left you a their toys up here. and it just shows you that no matter where you are in this country, with russia attacking tanks and cities across it. lives are being shattered. he is a close friend of the family who were nearly killed in their beds. godfather to the three children who escaped with their lives. now he has one request, he tells me, for the united states. please close the skies every on ukraine, he begs. if we can just contact nato and ask them this, everything will be fine. otherwise, he warns, putin will cross ukraine and threaten the whole of europe. in a bunker, it is terrified
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children singing ukraine's national anthem. it keeps them calm. as russia invades a whole generation of ukrainians, being united by this war together as they shelter from the horrors above. some hope, perhaps, with the diplomatic channels opening up of those horrors being curtailed. for instance, the foreign ministers of russia and ukraine have agreed that they will be meeting on thursday in the turkish city to discuss what can be done to bring a more permanent end to this fighting. the ukrainian foreign ministers made comments on local television here saying his attitude is that the russian foreign minister has been complicit in a crime against ukraine. if he wants to talk seriously about peace in the country, then he is prepared to sit down with him. i'm not sure that is a reason
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for a lot of hope. at left a it's something to try to break this. >> joining me, the author of the book lenin's tomb. the last days of the soviet empire. he is an expert on russia. i want to ask but this proposed cease-fire. this weekend, they kid civilians trying on escape the fighting. russia has proposed evacuation orders that lead toward russian cities. and through active fighting. what is your take on this proposed russian cease-fire? >> well, so far what good has vladimir putin's word been? what good has it been? over and over he's betrayed any number of promises and statements and all the rest. we should watch what he does. we should watch what he does. the report that yournlt just
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gave, that remarkable report and many lying it, is exactly what is not being seen in russia. no one in russia is seeing these unless you're young and your way through the internet and getting foreign information, which is increasingly difficult as independent media has shut down. if there is a cease-fire, that would be wonderful. all signs point the putin pressing this really hard and the bombardment of odesa is threatened and the bombardment of many places in ukraine have been horrendous, causing the worst refugee crisis we've seen in a long time. >> do you see anything being discussed in terms of military support for ukraine? the sanctions, the financial meltdown in russia, anything that could stop vladimir putin? his all-out assault on ukraine? >> that is really the question, isn't it? and you have to keep in mind for
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20 odd years, vladimir putin has put into place mechanisms to prevent the two things that he fears most. as a play on his power. the first is, wdemonstrations from below. color revolutions, as you saw in other countries, as you saw in the arab spring, uprisings from the street. and he's done everything he could to xhchoking that to deat beginning not putting navalny in jail. the level from people below is ezmorms getting worse and worse and worse. then you have the possibility of a so called palace coup. you have to understand, what is the structure of the state in russia? this is a, think of it as a giant mafia corporate estate.
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in the days after stalin, under brezhnev and gosrbachev and all the rest, there was some collective leadershipship. it wasn't just one person's word. so there was pressure on the dictator. gorbachev was overthrown for at least a few days. there was a certain amount of that. that doesn't exist in today's russia. it is all on system built around one man and that includes his guards, who are enriched enormously to stay loyal. so we talk about oligarchs and taking their yachts and all this kind of thing. yes, that exerts some pressure of i don't know that it is decisive. the structure of the state is extremely centered on one man. and all those people lose theirer privileges, their
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property, their money if they choose to make a movie on hip of t the, if they choose to make a move on him. >> putin is calling other foreign fighters to could that into ukraine to fight for russia. kirby noted they found it interesting, a suggestion, of course, that they don't have enough russians to do that fighting. what do you make of that story? >> well, it's remarkable, isn't it? of course he has mercenaries, chechnyan fighterser for the extraordinary defenses of ukrainians. of course he'll try this. and there is probably no underestimating how demoralized many russian soldiers are feeling. we've had reports that captured russian soldiers didn't understand why in the hell they
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were being sent to the border of ukraine, and certainly didn't understand why they were invading ukraine. people this russia exposed to the truth, and the soldiers of course, are the front line of this, had no idea why this is happening or in fact, is a wise thing to do. faced with the reality of it,le russians think it is insane. >> yeah. thank you so much. good to see you as always. vladimir putin's next possible target? a can he central ukrainian city. we're live on the ground there. and using sports to hide the ugly, sometimes deadly realities lurking in the shadows. it is called sports washing. stay with us.
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breaking news out of ukraine. president zelenskyy posted this video on facebook. it is the first time he's been seen in his official office since russia invaded. he said, i'm staying in kyiv in my office. i'm not hiding and i'm not afraid of anyone, unquote. russia has first more than 625 missiles at ukraine since the invasion began and russia has nearly 100% of its pre-staged military forces now inside the country, according to a senior pentagon official. now one ukrainian official is suggesting the city of dnipro
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may be one of the next targets. there was a lot of overnight fighting south of where you are, you tell us. now we're learning that russia is looking to enkcircle dnipro? >> reporter: yeah. i think that would be the objection game plan if things were going russia's way, but things are not. if we look at where they've attempted to encircle, they are unable so far to encircle the city of kharkiv where i was reporting from a week or so ago. that's only 25 mize or so from the border. we've seen dramatic reporting of how they're being held up. although slowly penetrating into the northern west, of kyiv, sorry, trying to hook around to the south. and now we have this ukrainian city where i am, trying to be attacked. if they're able to come from the
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south. they have to get up here to the dnipro river. they do control the city of kherson. even then, there are heavy levels of resistance by the citizens. it is very difficult. now 100% of their soldiers being committed to the fight and now they're looking at the syrian government allied forces to come in. good luck in the desert. they performed extremely badly when they were brought in alongside the group to fight in libya. i don't think that they would pose anything of a serious problem for the ukrainians but definitely seen it's a sign of weakness and almost encouragement to the ukrainian cause. that said, the russians are able to movie across this large landscape, potentially unmolested. the ukrainians are also 100%
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committed to this fight. they are also seeking the help of external forces. a large number of foreign volunteers are reportedly coming into the country. how effective they will be remains to be seen. a lot of eyes are now on dnipro, bang in the middle of the country, it sits on the river and it controls the east-west and north-south routes. clearly if the russians were to block routes in here, it would be a catastrophic event for the ukrainians. up next, pressure mounting on president biden to take a drastic step on punish russia which could have a dramatic effect on all americans' wallets. stay with us.
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world lead. pressure mounting for president biden toer have more sanctions. that means the u.s. may be turning to some countries with rather unsavory leaders such as venezuela and saudi arabia to shore up that oil supply. >> reporter: as russia's attacks across ukraine escalate -- president biden consulting with his counterparts abroad. >> we have a very open line of communication as was evidenced by the president this morning about everything on the ground in ukraine to security deliveries to discussions about weapons to discussions about additional steps to squeeze vladimir putin. >> reporter: this as ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy is leading with global leaders to do more.
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>> the aggressor's audacity is a clear signal to the west. sanctions are not enough. >> reporter: the number of civilian casualties growing by the day. >> it seems it is not enough for the russian troops, not enough ruined destinies, crippled lives of they want more of. >> reporter: one suggestion for the u.s. and its allies to impose a no-fly zone over the country. the biden administration adamantly opposed to going down this path, saying it would result in a dramatic escalation. >> that runs the considerable risk of creating a direct conflict between our countries and russia, and thus a wider war. >> it means starting world war iii. i think people 92 to understand what a no-fly zone means. >> reporter: and discussing oil importser from russia.
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the idea drawing bipartisan support on capitol hill. >> it is foolish for us to keep buying products and giving profit and money to give to putin. >> we became a consumer of russian oil. this needs to stop. >> reporter: but the economic implications are grim for american consumers as gas prices, now every on $4 a gallon, are nearing all time record highs. >> the president's message is that he will do everything he can to reduce the impact on the american people, including the price of gas at the tank. >> reporter: as the u.s. considers a ban on russian oil, it is thinking of different ways to bolster the global energy supply and bring in more oil from other countries. what we have seen, the administration do is engage countries lying venezuela, saudi arabia, and iran. these are regimes that in another world, this administration might have been
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reticent to engage on this issue. it shows how much the russian invasion of ukraine has totally upended foreign policy and is an important reminder that gas prize are an important economic issue and a very critical political issue for this white house. >> let's discuss. let me bring it up right here. american that's the were in venezuela this weekend. oil was not the only thing they were talking about but certainly something important that they were talking about. all of this is in an effort to produce more oil to help the global market. i hear a lot of conservatives shooting at this. but i have to say, i mean, maduro is awful. they're making good argument. could this back fire? >> i don't know that it will back fire in the sense that, i think the president, and you saw jen psaki saying, he's doing
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this for the american consumers. this has to be agonizing for the president. we know it is a real pain point for americans. i think the real frustrating thing and the hypocrisy is really frustrating. this is reality that we have put on joe biden. this is 20 years of energy po policy that is forgs joe biden into this situation. we keep doing it. i remember in the early 2000s when president bush went to bow in front of the saudi prince. that was a big to do. we had to go to urge them to help with our own energy issues. we've pursued that strategy, right? ten years ago, the u.s. produced 5,000 barrels a day west now produce more than 11,000 barrels a day. we are the world's largest producer of oil and gas and yet it hasn't actually provided us any freedom from these petrol
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dictators. >> i think first, we should not receive russian oil. but we have been largely in north america, self-sufficient. the united states receives a lot of oil. so does canada. i think the administration has been trying to knee cap domestic production. why wouldn't they allow oil to come in from canada through the keystone pipeline. we should be doing more. the administration has itself to blame in part for the predicament that we're in. that said, americans have to sacrifice right now. we have to make the case. we don't need russian oil. >> i think the president needs to make a speech about that. if you look at the polling, 80% of americans say stoppering bringing in russian oil. that's where the president comes in. you have people saying let's have a no-fly zone. you have to explain why that could only cause more conflict,
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potentially word war three. >> there is some polling out there. >> the president needs the say, if we're going to stop importing russian oil, it will require some sacrifice. he didn't talk about sacrifice in the state of the union speech. maybe it was a little early to do that. but if he's going to talk about stopping importing russian oilering needs to level with the american people and say, i believe saving this democracy is worth and it this is a humanitarian crisis and this is why we have to do it. >> quinnipiac did have polling, i don't know if it was yesterday or today. saying they did have that. the gas prices will go up if you, if there was to russian oil. and there was a majority of people that responded that said, they would be okay with it. for how long and how much? that was not part of the question. that polling is out there. these lawmakers, and about pushing this. if you're just looking at
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polling. >> so four top lawmakers, democrats and republicans in the house and the senate reached a deal that would ban imports, suspend oil with go russia and belarus. this is beyond what the biden administration is talking about in terms of russian oil imports. what do you make of this die nappic of congress taking the lead this? >> with, congress has been pushing the administration on nord stream 2. >> that's the russia to germany -- >> yes. which has now been shelved. so in many respects, congress is being the bad cop and the administration is trying to be a good cop. i think the pressure is real and i think over time we'll get some of the items that you just identify. they'll be successful because russia has become a rogue state.
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we have to think through, how this affects us. >> can i just say one thing that i find interesting about this entire debate. there are so few voices calling for the u.s. military to get involve. you only have two people, kinzinger and wicker to get involved. in my lifetime, i don't recall that ever being the case of usually 40 or 50 get called in for traps immediately. >> i think the president has drawn really clear lines. >> usually, there would be a bunch of appeal saying, yeah, you're weak. send in troops. >> i think that's a fair point of the will if you're right, on the republican side, there would be a lot more sabre rattling.
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at with a point does it take off? there is a lot of agreement bust republicans are still lack for ways to score political points in one aspect or another. even though there is not much a difference. >> everyone was kind of selling the legislation saying this would be more american oil production, or this could be more of a move toward renewables, depending on which senator you were talking about of the one of the differences is that we're talking about a world power. and sending in troops -- >> no matter what happens, b will get criticized by republicans. we wouldn't have been in this situation if biden had been more aggressive in the first place. if he had a different energy policy, we wouldn't be in this situation. >> this is -- like, their used to be a her toy.
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it was so long bag criticism ends up at the water's edge. here you have a dictator challenging an ally. >> strategically, republicans and democrats aren't that far apart on this issue. nobody wants to send troops, nobody wants to challenger russia directly. so the republicans are sniping at the democrats. yes, they didn't do sanctions fast enough or hard enough butter butter, but they're in the same place. coming up, one state's top doctor urging parents to not get their healthy children vaccinated. stay with us. energy is everywhere... even in a lilittle seedling. which, when turned into o fuel, can help power a plane.
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world market a sobering milestone. more than 6 million global deaths globally as the pandemic shifts toward a knew phase. in the u.s., the congress is using more than 1,400 people to covid every single day. the number is dropping along with cases and hospitalizations. and as those numbers go down, new york city today is lifting its proof of vaccination requirement for bars and restaurants, and dropping its mask mandates for schools. let's bring in a public health physician. you're in new jersey where masks will no longer be required in schools or daycare. what do you make of this new balance the society is now making? we're lifting more restrictions. at the same time, we know people around us could still get sick. we know most of them are not vaccinated. >> thanks. there are three words that immediately come to mind in our situation in new jersey, just
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more broadly across the nation. vigilance, patience and equity. while cases are plummeting, while we have additional capacity in our hospitals, because hospitalizations are dropping. we still have to be concerned about those historically marginalized communities. specifically in new jersey, new york, black and brown communities. we saw in new york even though a majority of folks were vaccinated and even boosted, those who suffered the worst during the omicron surge were the black and hispanic population. so that's what i'm most concerned about at hole. i'm grateful for the progress but we cannot afford to leave any community behind. >> the cdc director told this to 60 minutes. >> i do think that we will get to a place with this disease where we live with a relatively low level all year long. that maybe we have some surges during respiratory virus season.
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though surges are annoying and for some they will likely be tragic but they are not to the tune of 2,000 to 3,000 deaths a day. we live that way with influenza. >> how close do you think we are that we live with covid the way we do with influenza, or the flu? >> there is no magic time line. and i want the public to understand that. what we need to be doing is tracking multiple met rics simultaneously. we need to make sure vaccination and boosting is happening, especially in those groups that i described. because if a variant of concern would emerge like omicron was, where being boosted is fundamental to your protection and your safety, we're going to see that disproportionate impact in those groups. so i would caution people. yes. we would get to the point where there is predictability.
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it is more like the seasonal flu but we're not there yet. as long as we have a significant portion of the population unvaccinated, and that's true across the united states, and across the globe, there is a chance for such a variant to arrive. >> a if you days ago we saw the governor of florida berating students for wearing masks. it turns out that one of the students wearing a mask has a grandfather who is immuno compromised. today it was represented that healthy children in florida not get the covid vaccine of the completely at odds with cdc recommendations, which advised children 5 and older, all of them torsion get vaccinated. what did you make of that announcement by the surgeon general today? >> the anti-science propaganda is really deadly and we in public health, and more broadly in the health care community, we need to stand up and push back with quite a bit of pressure against that. we know that anti-science kids
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of we look at the number of americans not vaccinated in rural areas. we look at the number of americans had a are not vaccinated and boosted in certain pockets of racial and ethnic groups. we can't afford to allow information such as not wearing a mask to be proliferated. we know that any covid infection can lead to long covid. as long as that is true, we need to do what is in our best interests to prevent you a covid infections. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, russia has brazenly cheated its way to the top and the sports world has let them. why ignoring the russian violations of the rules has only invited putin to do the same in other arenas. voltaren, the joy of movement.
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. our sports lead now. what the world is witnessing in ukraine currently, russia ignoring all international standards and norms is not new for vladimir putin. and in fact, it is not just in the geopolitical world. he's been doing it in the sports world for years. in 2008, he invaded the soviet republic of georgia just as the summer olympics started in beijing. it was a move shunned by the world but mostly overshadowed by ukraine. this time, he amassed troops while the olympics were underway and once again he used sports as a cover to hide this ugly and deadly reality. it is a strategy in many ways known as sports washing.
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used not only by china and saudi arabia and other countries with oppressive rulers. the legendary sportscaster bob costas has this special report now for "the lead." >> reporter: russian tanks, unprovoked, rolling into ukraine. top, this blatant disregard for international norms is nothing new. not for russia of for a piece of the puzzle, we can look to the most recent olympic games. for years, russia's athletic programs have acted as if the rules don't apply to them. just one example, overwhelming evidence of an ongoing state sponsored dopinger planning. >> it usually doesn't challenge autocracies of. >> reporter: the international olympic committee took action, technically barring russia from the games while requiring athletes to compete under the
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banner of the russian olympic committee instead. but no one was fooled. >> russia competing, again, under a flag that's not their own for multiple doping violations and covering up a state sponsored doping program. that's not good. it feels like a farce. it feels like a joke. >> reporter: meanwhile, what was not a joke were the tanks at the border. olympics, soccer's world cup and many more have long proved useful to tyrants eager to polish their images. it is what humanitarians call sports washing. using the goodwill of international sports as a cover for darker realities. >> sports washing is incredibly effective when you have a company that operates in highly repressive and addict tatorial terms. to pass off the fiction that
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they are somehow less brutal than they actually are. >> reporter: china is widely and creditably accused of human rights abuses, including genocide toward its recaminorit. meanwhile, they spun a positive light, even getting an athlete to carry the torch. and where hitler hoped to wrap his supremacy into the sport. that's the most notorious example of sports washing. a place where an actual nazi regime was given cover for its actions by the mere fact of them hosting the olympic games. >> reporter: critics say the organizations like the ioc are often complicit in helping
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authoritarian leaders burnish their images. >> the bribery scandals, the corruption scandals, you can write your own book them and many have, about fifa and its corruption. >> reporter: fifa, soccer's governing body, has long faced accusations of accused of accepting bribes to let russia host the cup in 2018. for its part, fifa has denied those allegations. then there's the upcoming tournament in qatar. >> it's so sprinteresting to set now try to stand up and say we are going to be strong against russia, while at the same time, fifa is holding its next world cup in qatar where horrifically anti-worker circumstances. there's a body count that's going to be taking place in
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qatar, but fifa has nothing to say about that. >> officials have defended their country's record, denying multiple reports of abuse. while fifa defended its decision on the 2022 world cup with its president suggesting while hosting a tournament, qatar might move ahead in a positive way. maybe this time russia has gone too far. both the ioc and fifa have banned russia from participating in their events. this after unprecedented pressure from star athletes and other directions. z >> just cannot let fifa occupy any kind of reality because they are banning russia from the world cup in qatar. >> which is basically built on blood. >> but given the long history of sports watching, it's likely that russia and other problematic nations will eventually find their way back
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into the arena. >> the ioc, fifa, they have not found some new reality. they have found the reality of public and political pressure. >> i want to bring in bob costas. the international olympics committee sent us a statement saying in part quote, at all times, the ioc upholds human rights in the fundamental principles of the charter. we are responsible for ensuring the charter with respect to the olympic games and take this responsibility very seriously, end quote. you've spent decades covering the olympics. given their response to the ukraine invasion, is it going to become a thing of the past? >> well, it's out there in the open now. i think it reached critical mass in terms of public understanding regarding the ccp and holding yet another olympics in beijing after they had one there in 2008. people can go to the ioc's
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website. they lay out their whole commitment to human rights and make the obvious point that they can't change the internal workings of any nation, but what they are free to decide is where they hold the olympics and what the ioc is free to decide going forward, given not just russia's actions on the international st stage, but nonetheless, russia a consistent violator of the spirit of the olympics. so if they wanted to do something, instead of saying well, we feel badly for the athletes and everybody does because they're exploit d, and letting them compete under a euphemism, they ought to consider banning russia from the summer games in paris and winter game to follow. for years and years and much of the international community applauded it, they kept south africa out of the olympics because of its apartheid policies.
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certainly russia's transgressions rise to a level where they could be banned for a considerable period of time. >> another country whose transgressions rise to that level, saudi arabia. a key u.s. ally. horrible human rights record. they tried to sports wash their reputation by jumping into the golf world with phil mickelson. >> yeah, and phil mickelson has taken a hiatus and issued multiple apologies. he said on the record according to sports illustrated, he said, l look, i know saudi arabia is guilty of monstrosities, they puthey persecute gays and women, but there's a lot of money there which gives a chance to have leverage against the pga tour, which he and some others have issues with. so a parallel tour might have some sort of business advantage,
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but at what point do especially mega wealthy athletes say no. many american athletes speak out against injustices in their own imperfect country, but when other countries are fundamental violators of human rights, at odds with principles of decency, but some of these athletes are involved with them in a business relationship such as china, then they're conspicuously mum and i'd like to see some of them reverse course. >> thank you so much for that. we'll be right back.
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you can follow me on facebook, instagram, twitter and the tiktok. you can listen to the lead wherever you get your podcasts. it's all right there. our coverage continues now with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." see you tomorrow. happening now, breaking news. a new and defiant message from president zelenskyy. it's the first time we've seen him in his office since russia invaded ukraine 12 days ago. tonight, he says he's refusing to hide, declaring he's not afraid of anyone. this as russia ramps up its brutal tactics and widens its assault on innocent civilians including families with children trying to evacuate. the mayor of bombarded kyiv says kremlin fighters aren't an