tv CNN Newsroom With Christi Paul and Boris Sanchez CNN April 2, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PDT
find rewards like these and so many more in the xfinity app. ♪ hello, everyone. thank you so much for joining me this saturday. i'm frederica whitfield. we begin with new developments in ukraine. russians have begun shelling evacuation convoys as civilians desperately try to escape. russian forces launched a series of strikes targeting a key oil refinery in the central part of the country. emergency services fighting a fire there and trying to determine if there were any casualties. it comes just a day after
russia says ukraine launched a helicopter assault on russian soil for the first time destroying a fuel depot. overnight, ukraine's president volodymyr zelenskyy saying that russian troops are slowly but noticeably moving out of the north of the country. this morning, the ukrainian flag raised over the chernobyl nuclear power plant, weeks after it was captured by russian forces. and new satellite images show russians troops withdrawing from a strategic airport outside kyiv which was captured on the first day of this war. all of this happening as new evacuations are under way in several besieged eastern ukrainian cities. seven corridors set to open today. this after thousands escaped the violence on friday, but over 100,000 still remain trapped in the ravaged city of mariupol. we have team coverage of all of these developments. phil black is joining us from
lviv. phil, nato warns that russian forces are repositioning rather than withdrawing. what are you learning about the russian troop movements and also that attack on a major oil refinery in central ukraine? >> reporter: frederica, the ukrainian government says it's very clear russian forces are pulling back from the north. it's most noticeable around the capital kyiv where areas, suburbs, territory that russia fought really hard for and claimed very early on in this invasion have now been abandoned, essentially. we can see it from satellite images. and the ukrainian government says in some cases they have walked away from these positions where they had dug in in their attempts to encircle the capital. in other locations they have been beaten back by ukrainian counterattacks. the assessment is these forces are going to pull back, replenish, and then be redeployed to the east and perhaps the south of the country as well because the ukrainian
government believes that is where russia is now planning to consolidate its efforts. it's going to work really hard to expand control of that eastern donbas region closest to the russian border. you mentioned that strike or apparent strike across the border on russian territory which took out an oil depot there, that was conducted by two helicopters which russians say were ukrainian. it attacked and destroys that particular fuel supply point. ukraine still hasn't confirmed nor denied whether or not it was responsible for that attack. the russians, however, have no problem taking responsibility for yet another attack on yet another fuel supply point. this time, early this morning, in the center of the country. it is one of a series of attacks on these fuel supply locations that russia has been taking -- that russia has been conducting, i should say, all across ukraine for more than a week now.
we saw it ourselves here in lieu le -- in lviv where a fuel station was attacked. it is part of russia's ongoing effort to knock out some of the crucial supplies that ukraine needs in order to continue maintaining its defense. frederica? >> thank you so much. as this war now enters its fifth week, what is the reaction from people in russia? >> well, for many ordinary russians, where they're really feeling it is with the sanctions. we've seen panic buying at the supermarkets. there are shortages of essential items like sugar. so it really is starting to hit ordinary russians. but this is just the start of it. these are the short-term effects of sanctions and the long-term effects could be much worse. for the moment, some of that has been lessened slightly because the russian central bank has been able to move very aggressively to try and stabilize the currently, is
russian ruble. it's jacked up interest rates, put in statistic controls and the ruble is almost at the same level it was before the start of the invasion and that has lessened some of the pressure that's on the russian government. but it is not sustainable. the real long-term problems of sanctions set in when supply chains start breaking down, when it becomes too expensive to try to prop up the currency anymore. so i think the fact is, the russian economy hasn't been as badly hit by russian sanctions only because it's barely getting by with the remaining oil and gas reserves that it has, that it has these energy contracts it's selling to china, india and even europe at this point. europe still relies on russian oil and gas. it says it's trying to wean itself off but it's going to take time to find alternate sources of energy. until that happens, russia is able to leverage these contracts in oil and gas. so sanctions while they're having an impact on russia may
not be enough yet to change the minds of decisionmakers like russian president vladimir putin. >> thanks to both of you. appreciate it. joining me now to talk about this is petro poroshenko, the former president of ukraine. mr. president, good to see you again. so russia claiming ukrainian helicopters struck that fuel depot in southern russia yesterday. so, mr. president, did ukraine hit that fuel storage facility as far as you know and on purpose? >> i don't have -- thank you very much, indeed, for covering ukrainian war. i don't have any information if this attack was connected with ukraine. but i cannot exclude that it can be antiwar activists, trying to stop putin.
and so we have in the previous years -- >> what are your concerns, if any, if, indeed, ukraine did on purpose strike those fuel depots in russia, what are your concerns about what that might trigger if anything more? >> we are responsible for defending our state, our soil, our people and our future. and this is the russians who are trying to present that ukrainian -- ukrainians danger for us. eight years of war. any tiny reason for russians to blame ukraine for not respecting their global security. and with this situation, just today, soldiers of our battalion
returned back from bucha, from irpin, and i hope you will see the video today on their situation in this town which is in the suburb of kyiv, which is just -- hundreds of dead people on the streets, tortured and killed by russian barbarians. with this situation, definitely. they're going to inform all of the international authorities, including the international criminal court with has a direct responsibility for thousands and thousands of ukrainian civilians who was killed by these crazy --
>> and you're talking about these atrocities and people being killed. we now have video showing -- of the horrible atrocities that played out in bucha, the village on the outskirts of kyiv. we want to warn you the video is graphic and disturbing. you see bodies out on the road. you see a picture of a person who was on their bike during this attack. tell me what this says to you about the technique, the methods of russian forces and how much worse can it get? >> this is not a person with a normal brain to -- please understand this is not a film of horror. this is the real what today is
like of ukrainian capital. this is how we live in fear. just behind me, this is the children's basketball center. it was built here. and this is the russian missile who attacked the children's center and we are here. this is the respect of the memories of the victims of the -- which is happening here in kyiv. this is just a demonstration of how disastrous is the war. and our armed forces is fighting and protecting ukraine. but russian armed forces is not fighting with our -- they fight the children, with the elderly people, and torture civilians. and we should stop this. we should stop those. we should understand that if you want to stop them here in
ukraine, definitely they go further. they make a public statement. and we will stop -- in this situation, definitely we need to -- this situation -- just one thing, ukraine and future of europe and the world depend from 100 fighter jets, from 300 tanks, and from 500 armed personal carrier. and this is this long list of dozens of thousands of ukrainians who stayed in line to be enlisted in the armed forces. have weapons to attack and throughout russians forces throughout ukraine. >> you are living the horrors right now. russian leadership would like the world to believe all of these images are staged. you actually wrote an opinion
piece in the "financial times" a few days ago, this as you're trying to keep your safety and speak candidly as you are right now. and you issued this warning to other countries in the region writing, i know that if putin gets away with what he is doing in my country, he will not stop here. and other authoritarians across the globe will be emboldened to do the same elsewhere. mr. president, do you feel like the world is getting this message, as it watches the horrors unfold in your country? >> first of all, i want to thank you for delivering this message. because this is not only me who is saying that, but independent journalists at the risk of their own life, delivering this messages about the horror of russia do here in any country. with that situation, definitely i really count that no lasting
piece with the full territory, free from russian troops. please, don't count, don't trust the de-escalation of putin. because this would be words without deeds. and if putin just regrouping and nato information saying today that this is not the withdrawal of the russian troops from ukraine in the capital. this just because of the -- we hit the russian troops and they need to withdraw it to regroup and renew their ability to fight and send it either to kyiv back or to the kharkiv, or donbas. without every tiny point with their russian boots on it, peace is unreachable. and don't trust putin. don't trust the documents which
putin signs. i lived with that for five years during my presidency, since 2014, 2019. if do not create the new armed forces with ukraine with the nato standard, with the great assistance of our partners from nato, u.s., definitely now picture of the world would be completely different. without unity of the ukrainian people, without unity of the whole world supporting us, nothing happen. >> at the same time do your words also come out of frustration, that other countries are not doing more to stop this russian invasion? can they do more? >> they should definitely need to do more. every single day while putin do not understand how dangerous for him the continuation. we should introduce the embargo, especially on russian oil and
gas. because every single day of absence of the embargo means that the world paid to russia 1 and a half billion dollars per day. and this is every single day -- and i want to address to this nation who is reluctant because we need to be strong, united against the putin -- just have my conclusion and advice. we can go as far together as we allow him to go. that's why we should be united to stop him in ukraine. ukraine paid for that the highest price. every single day by tons of ukrainian blood, by lives of ukrainian people, and they are fighting here, not only for ukraine, but for the whole world. please help us to save you. this is very important message. >> very powerful.
former president of ukraine, petro poroshenko, thank you so much. continue to be safe and thank you for sharing your thoughts and your passion. >> thanks a lot. . still to come this hour, the u.s. will provide another 300 million in security assistance to ukraine, including suicide drones, night vision equipment and antidrone systems. i'll speak live with a former nato supreme allied commander. we're learning new details about the day leading up to january 6th. what donald trump's presidential diaryist is revealing to the select committee. 't a real cow. and she really hates that. what could the father of the bride possibly be doing on his phone? checking in with his merrill advisor to see if he's on track to do this again... and again. did mention she made the guest list?
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launched a helicopter assault on a fuel depot on russian soil on friday just across the border with ukraine. ukrainian officials will not confirm nor deny that attack. joining us right now is retired general wesley clark, cnn military analyst is former nato supreme allied commander. always good to see you. i want to begin with today's attack on that ukrainian refinery. this might be retaliation, right, after ukraine helicopters reportedly have helped attack a fuel depot in russia. i mean, does this latest strike demonstrate an escalation? >> i think they just demonstrate a continuation of the russian campaign of targeting fuel in ukraine. i think the russians, when they first begun, didn't have a strategic strike campaign. i know they have been taking out fuel depots. now they're going after the oil refinery. they're going after the electric
grid. they'll be taking out communication centers and other things as well as ukrainian military targets. in a way, you can say this is retaliation, but it's more a continuation of the campaign. i think putin thought he could waltz into the capital and gradually they've shifted to the idea that they're going to totally destroy ukraine in order to capture it. and going after the fuel infrastructure is part of that disruption. >> and separately as it pertains to the strike of the fuel depot inside russia, if ukraine is indeed responsible -- responsible, why wouldn't it want to boast about that right now? >> well, first of all, we don't know really who did it. secondly, it is an escalation even though russia shouldn't expect to have a sanctuary
inside it's own territory. it has been operating from a san sanctuary. ukraine can't permit them. on a political level, ukraine possibly wouldn't want to admit that it's done it, because it opens up the door to further escalation. you're going to see a period of indeterment attacks back and forth across the border. ukraine or something working on behalf of ukraine is going to do what it can to slow down the russian military machine, but on the other hand, they're not anxious to take credit for it because they don't want the political dynamic of the escalation that might result. >> all right. now, washington, d.c., is sending more assets. the pentagon says it's providing $300 million more to ukraine, it includes antidrone systems, armored vehicles, night vision equipment, ammunition.
i'm sure the people and the forces in ukraine, you know, say that stuff can't come soon enough. what does it say to you about those types of arsenal that would be making its way to ukraine. >> this is a really big deal. i think the administration has a major decision point. because some of these systems are no longer, quote, defensive systems. not that there's any real difference between offense and defense when you're fighting to take care of your own country. but these are systems, first, a lot of them will go to territorial forces, like the small arms and the ammunition. but some of them will enable ukraine to operate on a maneuver battlefield which is what's going to happen in ukraine when the ground dries out and in donbas. in addition to this, the administration is behind the scenes working allies to bring in east european former soviet heavy equipment, tanks, artillery, lots more ammunition which is going to enable the ukrainians to stand up more
effectively and fight and defeat the russian forces. this is a big decision point the administration has crossed in my crew because it's no longer just throwing in emergency assistance. it's now moving to give ukraine the capacity to really defend and hold on to its own territory. you can see that the defeat of russia on the ground is possible if we can provide such equipment and munitions in sufficient quantity. >> i want to ask you about chernobyl. that was a big deal that russians would take over chernobyl, the vulnerabilities of that site remain and now we're hearing russian troops are withdrawing but then reportedly many of them have been exposed to radiation. what do we know about the ongoing dangers and as these troops withdraw, how much more vulnerable do they even make their fellow colleagues once they, you know, hook up with other russians troops and if,
indeed, they are contaminated. >> well, they're not going to infect their fellow troops, but they are in series danger. and it just illustrates the sort of incoherence of the russian campaign. yes, chernobyl and that area was a tactical objective in order to move in order and attack kyiv from the north, but it's also in the middle of the swamp. didn't work very well when the ground wasn't totally frozen, and then in order to defend it, the russian troops dug in and dug into this contaminated soil and they stayed very close to it, and so they've been exposed to series radiation. how serious it is, we don't know yet. the russians have treatments for radiation. they perfected this. they were ahead of us, actually, in the radiation treatments during the cold war. so maybe these troops, some of them will recover, some of them will probably die from the radiation sickness. meanwhile, of course, chernobyl is a source of potentially great danger not only to ukraine but the rest of europe because it
still has tons of radiation-on tam contaminated fuel. >> both a short term and long-term big problem. general, always a pleasure. thank you so much. >> thank you, frederica. all right, coming up, president joe biden is taking a go big or go home approach toward easing high fuel costs. but when will prices actually go down? and by how much? details next. taid isn't realal milk is also sayig mabel here isn't a r real cow. and she really hates that.
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release millions of barrels of oil from the u.s. strategic reserve to help fight rising gasoline prices. and you can see right now the average price is $4.20 for a gallon of regular unleaded as cnn's matt egan explains, it's a bold and potentially risky move by an administration with limited options. >> reporter: this is being dubbed the mother of all emergency oil releases. the u.s. is draining 180 million barrels of oil from the reserve. that's three times bigger than anything they've ever done before. this is all about supply and demand. gas prices shot up to record highs because the war in ukraine caused a supply shortfall, a big one. the president can't force u.s. oil companies to add supply. you can't force opec to add supply. the white house can't cut demand, at least not without tanking the economy. so this is really the only lever
they have to pull, and, boy, are they pulling it. this should help cool off gas prices, with one analyst projecting a 10 to 15 cent drop in the national average. that would still leave gas prices and some fear a return to record high prices as americans hit the road this spring and summer. there's at least two obstacles here. first of all, this is a massive release. but the size of the hole they're trying to fill is even bigger. the u.s. release amounts to about a million barrels per day, for 180 days. but the iea estimates that russia's supply will be down by 3 million barrels per day starting this month. the other issue here is the spr is not a bottomless pit of emergency oil. reserves were at 20-year lows before this move. unloading another 180 million barrels would wipe out a third of the remaining oil, leaving
reserves at their lowest levels since 1984. either that oil gets refilled, boosting demand in the future, or it doesn't, leaving less firepower for the next emergency. either way, that would support prices. all of this explains why one international energy official told me prices are likely to stay high until the war ends or a recession begins. frederica? >> matt egan, thanks so much. let's bring in cnn global economic analyst, a global business columnist and associate editor at the "financial times." so good to see you. bottom line, it is costly out there and consumers are really feeling the pinch, but they want to know if there's going to be any meaningful relief soon at the pump. >> frederica, i think matt is right. we are probably not going to see significant decreases in the price of gas and the price of energy until the war in ukraine
is over. and one of the big wrinkles is if it were to escalate, you could actually see that supply and demand gap get even bigger than it is now. if you start to see europe saying, all right, we're not going to take any russian emergency, we're going to have complete embargoes, then you're going to have a global shortage that's even more than what we're seeing now. and as we've already heard, i mean, the president is bringing a real bazooka here in terms of that release of petroleum reserves. is it going to be enough? we don't know yet. >> domestic oil production is roughly near where it was in 2019. gas prices have almost doubled since then. is the price just driven by global oil prices and then end, as you say, the invasion of ukraine certainly makes an impact too. but is that really what is at the root here? >> there are two other factors to consider.
one, we came -- the u.s. in particular came roaring out of covid. we really have had a pretty strong recovery. you can see that in the jobs numbers that we saw yesterday and over the last few months. but there's another factor and the president has been pointing at this is that are companies charging too much? are they using their spare cash to pay back shareholders, or to pump more, do more r&d. that's a big question. and i think you're going to see biden putting a lot more pressure on companies around this issue. >> have a listen to cecelia ruse talking about the challenges facing the economy right now. >> the most obvious is the russian invasion of ukraine. this may well put pressure on energy and food prices. that could reinforce inflation which was already an issue prior to the invasion due to the pandemic and a strong demand for goods. >> we talked about fuel.
so do you see an immediate impact on everything we buy in the grocery store, things we set on the table? >> 100%. ukraine is one of the bread baskets of the world. in fact, the last time you saw a bad harvest in the ukraine, you also saw a major global food shortage that actually resulted in food riots in t22 countries, the arab spring. that reshaped the entire middle east. what i'm hearing talking to american farmers in places like kansas is that the shortages coming out of this bar and also the rise in commodity prices are making it harder for them to buy fertilizer. if they can't put the adequate amounts of fertilizer on their crops in the middle of the u.s. harvest, we could see a worse harvest in the u.s. this is a domino effect. this is what the global economy looks like when things start to go south. >> a new poll shows 71% of
americans worry about affording gas or other transportation costs, that's up from about 40% two years ago. what does that do to erode consumer confidence and undermine economic stability? >> oh, it's huge. you know, a lot of families, aside from rent, food and fuel are their biggest costs. you look at working people, they're spending 25, 30% of the budget on these things. this is a big deal. kitchen table economics. and i think you're going to see the administration do whatever they can, particularly in advance of the midterms, to put a cap on it. but it's a global economy. >> thank you so much. next, it's being described as a dramatic departure and out of the ordinary, new details about what trump's presidential diarist is saying about the days leading up to the capital insurrection. ♪ ♪ ♪ should i i stay or should i go? ♪
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are now made with no artificial flavors or preservatives. knorr. taste for good. we're learning new details about the days leading up to the capitol insurrection. in an interview, the presidential diarist told members that president trump was providing fewer details about his calls and visits. this according to two sources with knowledge of the probe. other witnesses describe white house record keepers as being iced out in the days leading up to january 6th. we're going to discuss all of this. what new developments did you uncover about the white house
recordkeeping under trump? >> our team broke an important story last night that gives some key context into why there are gaps in the records from the trump administration in the days leading up and on january 6th. as you mentioned, the trump diarist who is responsible for keeping records of a president's phone calls or who is coming in or out of the oval office testified in front of the january 6th committee about two weeks ago saying that in the days leading up to, including on january 6th, she received less and less information for her records, especially, you know, a big change in comparison to what she had been receiving before. it's important to note that the diarist for a president is not a political appointee. this is not someone who comes in with each administration. this is someone who is usually has a long-serving term that is a nonpolitical person. and it's also, you know,
important to note that this diarist we're learning is not the only one who has testified in front of the committee that has explained this kind of shift in recordkeeping. we know that other sources involved in the recordkeeping process have also outlined the january 6th committee that, you know, there was a dramatic decrease in information given to them to maintain for their records, starting as early as january 4th and leading through january 6th. now it's very important to point out that we don't know why this decrease in information to diarist and recordkeepers happened, we don't know if it was a specific directive, we don't know who gave that directive, we don't know if this is because things were just so chaotic in the trump white house during those days or even, you know, because the trump administration was pretty short-staffed in that period. but, you know, what the big
takeaway here is, the committee, as it's been receiving documents that don't necessarily answer a lot of questions for them, they've been turning to witness testimony to really fill in gaps for why there isn't certain information in key white house records and, you know, who can fill in those gaps for them, frederica. >> thank you so much for bringing that to us. we'll check back with you. take a look right now, live pictures from the port of wilmington, delaware, where president biden is set to commission the navy's newest submarine. we'll take you there live next.
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just moments from now, president biden will be at the port of wilmington, delaware, to see the navy's newest commissioned submarine, the "uss delaware." jill biden will attend the ceremony along with the president. we're live in delaware with more. tell us more about this vessel and why this is a significant day. >> you can see the "uss delaware" over my shoiulder. the sub was commissioned a couple of years ago but at the beginning of covid. so it wasn't possible to hold an event like this. as such, the sub has a commissioning at sea submerged. the first submarine to have a commissioning like that, and this is being called the commissioning commemoration, this will be the ceremony that you normally see at a commissioning. speaking today, president joe
biden, as well as first lady jill biden. she's the sponsor of the submarine. she attends the milestones and becomes a part of the submarine's culture. it's a virginia class attack submarine here and this is what we'll be looking for as we go on throughout the day, throughout speeches. one of the key questions, will biden speak about ukraine at all? will he make any mention of it in his comments? just last night the biden administration approving 300 million more dollars in security assistance to ukraine and interestingly, mentioning quite specifically the systems that will be sent over. we haven't seen that before. normally the administration had been quite discreet about what weapons and equipment it would send. the administration is saying, it will be suicide drones antidrone systems, ammunition and much more. an interesting shift we've seen from the administration. right now the ceremony here expected to get started in a few minutes. we'll listen in and bring you the latest from here in the port of wilmington, fred? >> thank you so much. we'll look forward to that
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>> reporter: will smith resigning late friday night after will pack card, the director of the oscars, gave an explosive interview to "good morning, america" in which he said that he actually thought that the slap was a joke, like many americans and many people watching. will smith and his emotional statement, reading in part, the list of those i have hurt is long. all those in attendance and global audiences at home. he goes on to say i betrayed the trust of the academy and deprived other nominee and is winners at their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. i'm heartbroken. the academy released a statement a few minutes after saying that they accept his resignation, but then on april 18th, they still plan to have some sort of consequences. what could those consequences be? he could potentially be banned from attending the academy awards in the future. the fact that will smith has resigned means that will can no longer be a voting member of the
academy. he won't be able to vote in upcoming award seasons, but could he still be nominated for an academy award in the future? it doesn't look as though that is off the table. we're waiting to hear more from chris rock who briefly addressed it during the show that i attended earlier this week in boston at the wilber theater. but we're waiting to hear more and he says at some point he will discuss it and it will be funny and serious. back to you. ♪ hello, again, everyone. thank you for joining me. i'm frederica whitfield. live pictures out of wilmington, delaware, as we wait for president biden and jill biden to arrive at a commissioning ceremony for the "uss delaware" in wilmington. there you see the motorcade as it makes its way to the port area as we heard oren liebermann explaining earlier. this vessel was commissioned a
couple of years ago. because of covid, no one was able to be in attendance and sort of a submerged commission that took place and now the real thing with all the pomp and circumstance. we heard some of the music earlier. but you see there the president arriving, lots of folks in position and in attendance waiting to hear what the president has to say as well as dr. jill biden who will be speaking about the commissioning of this submarine called the "uss delaware." it is a nuclear-powered submarine and we hope to hear more about the significance of this day from the president and the first lady. we'll continue to watch those pictures and take you back to delaware live as the president and the first lady arrive. for now, let's turn to ukraine where there are heartbreaking new developments today. ukrainian officials say a new round of russian shelling is hittin