tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN April 13, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT
in the chaos. good morning, everyone. i'm bianna golodryga. >> i'm jim sciutto. we learned overnight this, that five children on their way to school were among those wounded in this attack. five children. this morning police are looking for what they're describing as a person of interest. the man you see here identified as frank james. investigators believe he rented a u-haul van, the keys of which were found at the scene. james had also recorded dozens of hours of youtube videos ranting about among other things new york city mayor eric adams, homeless people in the subway system, gun violence. we're going to bring you the latest from brooklyn in just a moment. >> we're also tracking major developments out of ukraine. this morning a cnn team has observed stepped up shelling of residential district of kharkiv as new video appears to show explosions from cluster munitions in a civilian area of that city. at least four explosions just seconds apart.
plus, ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy is proposing a prisoner swap with russia after capturing an ally of vladimir putin. we'll have more details on that just ahead. first, let's begin with cnn's jason carroll, in new york, you've been following the story since it first broke in this broadcast some 24 hours ago. what is the latest on the police search for the person of interest, frank james? >> reporter: well, at this point the investigation is still very much focused on finding frank james, finding anyone out there who knows him, and might know where he is. a little bit more information about james, 62 years old, investigators say that some of the items that they found here at the scene of the shooting including keys to a rental u-haul van, they believe belonged to james. that u-haul van found not far from the scene at just a few miles from here, at a subway stop, that u-haul rental van
rented in philadelphia. apparently james has addresses in philadelphia and wisconsin. in addition to that, jim, investigators are also playing very close attention to james' social media at this point. on monday, he posted a youtube video, very disturbing, where he apparently talked about killing people, some of his social media posts, he also talked about violence, he talked about mass shootings and at one point mentioned new york city mayor eric adams by name, through -- over the last hour cnn spoke to adams, spoke to him about all of this, and he put it on the social media companies saying that they need to do more to protect the public. >> you look at how we use social media right now to put threats out there , carry out dangerous actions and there are clear correlations between what is being posted and what is being carried out in our streets. and in this case, and in many
other cases. part of the job is receiving threats. i get threats from time it time, not only in the role as a mayor, state senator, bar president, and even as a police officer. i have a great deal of confidence in the law enforcement officers that are around me. >> reporter: eric adams also saying during that interview with cnn that police and investigators still following up, jim, on a number of leads, not wanting to say too much at this point, not wanting to jeopardize the case, but one point he did make abundantly clear, he said whoever did this is still out there, and still a threat to new york city. jim? >> yeah. and notable, jason, that the mayor singled out social media companies for not doing enough to bring down these video postings that have been posted for a while now. jason carroll, thank you. joining us now from the hospital is a survivor of the
subway attack, hourari benkada who was sitting next to the shooter and was shot in the back of the knee while trying to flee the scene. hourari, first of all, thank you so much for joining us this morning. i understand that you are still in quite a bit of pain. how are you doing? >> i still feel the pain. they gave me a punch of pain medicine. it is still -- i can still see the hole. >> goodness, my friend. thank you, as bianna said, for joining us from your hospital bed there. these are difficult memories, i know, from yesterday. you were sitting next to the shooter. can you walk us through the moments -- >> yes, i was sitting next to the shooter. >> -- right before, did he say anything? did he do anything to cause you to be suspicious? >> i had my headphones on. i thought it was a regular smoke bomb. and then the smoke kept pouring
out, this pregnant lady was yelling i'm pregnant, help, everyone is pushing. i thought it was a smoke bomb. i grabbed her from the back so she doesn't get shot in the back. she was pregnant. people kept rushing. that's when i got shot in the leg, that's when the shots kept going off. >> hourari, i know that you -- >> i had my headphones on and i was just looking at my phone, just minding my business. >> and then the unthinkable, of course, happened, just seconds later. hourari, i know you have been in a great deal of pain there getting medical attention over the past 24 hours. i'm curious if you have been able to follow through those near you, telling you or watching television and hearing about where this investigation has led thus far and this particular person of interest. >> yeah, i had a lot of people reaching out to me.
i'm just still traumatized. so many people telling me the same thing, a lot of people calling me, loved ones, friends, co-workers, classmates. still shocked about the whole situation. >> yeah. >> i know that the time can be confusing in moments like this, moments of fear and panic and danger. do you have any memory, any sense of how long he was shooting? >> yeah, the shooting went off for a good minute. 60 seconds. i heard about like 20 shots, 15, 20 shots. and i thought was fireworks going off. i think he was trying to hide the sound of the fireworks with the gunshots, just so much noise. >> hourari, we won't take too much -- >> all the blood leaking out of me, to be honest. >> yeah.
hourari, we're not going to take up too much more of your time. we'll let you get back to recovering. i want to ask you, as a new yorker, as a commuter there, along with millions of new yorkers who take the subway system every day, do you feel safe riding on the new york metro transportation ? >> i don't think i can ever rain the train again. busy train station on 36th street, trains going to all four boroughs, they don't have cameras, that's just ridiculous, you know? that's unsafe. and train was an old n train. you can't even switch cars. that's unsafe as well. nobody could go anywhere. >> we heard that from another witness yesterday that the doors were locked, so people trying to go to another car -- >> there was old school n train. >> do -- did you hear the shooter's gun jam? a lot of the question at this point is what happened, why did he stop?
and how did he get away? but, listen, you were focused on saving someone's life, a pregnant woman's life there, but did you hear anything that sounded like he couldn't shoot anymore or just stopped and he went away? >> i mean, my ears were ringing. and i already had been shot. i was in plenty of pain, you know. the difference between a gunshot and a gunshot jamming, i'm not going to be able to tell in that situation. >> i get t it. listen, man, take care of yourself. agreeing to speak it us with what you're going through, that's a big stretch. we're thinking of you, praying for you and our best to your family as well. >> thank you. >> hourari benkada, survivor who was sitting right next to the shooter before it all happened, just remarkable. we have this breaking news, frank james has now been named as a suspect. not just a person of interest.
in that brooklyn shooting. former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe joins us now. you know the standard, andrew mccabe, for identifying someone as a suspect, officially, that is the significance of that? >> well, jim, what this really comes down to is evidence. and we of course don't know all of the evidence or information that the investigators have. but you can understand how early in the investigation if all they had was the fact that mr. james' rental car, keys were at the scene, and possibly i heard some reports he may have left a credit card there as well, it doesn't -- it is not evidence he was actually engaged in the shooting. the fact they have now elevated him from person of interest to suspect indicates to me that they have likely developed more evidence of his specific involvement in the attack. that could be, again, we don't know, but it could be something like maybe identifying a
fingerprint of his on one of the smoke canisters or fingerprint or dna trace on the firearm itself. so my guess is that overnight they developed evidence that actually shows his involvement in the shooting. >> andrew, frank james had residences in wisconsin and philadelphia. in philadelphia where he rented the u-haul. what role are investigators in those cities playing right now? >> i can tell you, bianna, they are actively engaged. and as are investigators in each one of the cities that we know that james has been in over the last several weeks. so, for instance, we know just from his youtube videos he left milwaukee around march 20th, and then made stops in places like fort wayne, indiana, pittsburgh, pennsylvania, newark, new jersey, and then ends up in philadelphia, where he rents the van that he left at the scene. so each one of those locations, investigators are going out to try to establish a timeline of
every place he went, every place he stayed, maybe every hotel he stayed in, if he has friends or associates in those cities, they're going to talk to those people. you want to at this point know as much about this individual as you possibly can. and hopefully put those facts together that give you a very consistent timeline leading from, you know, your original traces of him, all the way up to the moment he goes into the subway. >> yeah. new york police have for some time talked about the role of firearms, right, in the rise in violent crime there and oftentimes in mass shootings like this. the weapon makes a different kind of weapon, this glock semi-automatic allows you it fire more rounds. also investigators found three extended magazines at the scene, so you have more bullets in each clip, allowing you to fire 33 shots in a short span of time. in your experience, in mass shootings like that, what difference does it make to have a weapon that is semi-automatic,
to have an extended magazine? >> yes, jim, it is very simple. the more rounds that a mass shooter has and can easily facilitate, reloading his weapon, the more damage and destruction they're going to be able to do, which is why we see all of these mass shootings, many of which have been perpetrated by things like ar-15 rifles in which you can very easily reload high capacity magazines, one after another, with pretty -- pretty easy to do, you don't have to have a lot of technical training to be adept at that. a similar situation here with the glock, glock is a semi-automatic pistol, the magazine is interrserted througe handle of the weapon and connects into the receiver or just into the frame of the weapon. the glock is designed so that you can buy higher capacity magazines that essentially hang out of the bottom of the handle
of the weapon, and enable you to shoot more and more rounds without having it reload. so that abuility to fire more rounds is what makes the mass shootings so lethal. 33 rounds in one shooting by one person and of course in the span of a very short period of time is very remarkably lethal. >> andrew mccabe, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. and we'll of course have much more on this shooting investigation ahead, including details on the five young people injured while they were just trying to get to school. >> yeah, kids on the way to school. first to ukraine where a russian missile has just hit an apartment block in the eastern donetsk region, wounding at least seven people. another attack on a civilian target. plus, the ukrainian president is proposing a prisoner swap. one russian oligarch, pictured there, for several captured ukrainian soldiers. details on why this man, such a high profilele target.
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civilians as targets. look at this new video from ukraine. it appears to show russian forces using what are known as cluster munitions on a civilian area, in the kharkiv region. this is in northeastern ukraine. the cluster munitions release a bunch of smaller bombs, which then blow up themselves over time. ukrainian forces are bracing for a major russian offensive in the east as the president volodymyr zelenskyy offers vladimir putin a potential prisoner swap. >> this is a fascinating turn of events here. fred pleitgen joins us from kyiv and, fred, zelenskyy is offering
to exchange a detained putin ally, viktor medvedchuk for ukrainian prisoners of war. tell us more about medvedchuk. >> it is something that president zelenskyy said last night in an address. we'll trade viktor medvedchuk, your boy, for some of our guys. and viktor medvedchuk is someone who say businessman oligarch, really, here in ukraine. and someone who very close to vladimir putin. vladimir putin said in the past, yes, we do know each other, he didn't want to confirm they were very close, but we see them together in older video and medvedchuk is someone who is really hated by a lot of ukrainians quite frankly and someone who they say is not someone they would trust, someone who they believe is too close to vladimir putin and is trying to undermine the ukrainian state. he was apparently detained in a raid by the ukrainian intelligence service, he was then later pictured as you can see now in handcuffs wearing a ukrainian military uniform and then president zelenskyy came out and said they wanted to
conduct this prisoner swap or putting that out there. of course, prisoner swaps, one of the few things that have been working so far between the russians and the ukrainians, those negotiations have been ongoing between the two sides that really have not yielded very much at all. at least prisoner swaps have been working, see if in this case this is something that the russians might be willing to do, but it really is very much up in the air. and at the same time, i think jim was referring to electronic it i it, there has been shelling in the donetsk area, ukrainians angry saying the russians not capable of waging a war against the ukrainian military, instead hitting civilian areas, guys. >> yeah. >> happens every day, right? attacks on civilian targets, leveling of entire civilian areas, the way russia wages war. fred pleitgen in kyiv, thanks so much. also new this morning, my colleagues and i reporting that the u.s. is expected to announce today an additional $700 million in military assistance to
ukraine, a draft list of weapons systems sent to congress includes new ones not provided before including sea drones intended to attack targets at sea. this as pentagon officials are set to meet with top weapons makers to discuss production capacity. bianna, there has been a continuous ramping up of military support to ukraine. >> and it appears that it is turning from defensive to offensive weapons as this war continues. let's discuss this with retired u.s. army major mike lions. good morning. major lions, we begin with you. we talk about the new tranche of weaponry. we hear the pentagon is meet welcome the defense companies about ramping up production. how quickly can these weapons get into the hands of the ukrainian army? >> that's a great question. i think that's the concern. and that's where they'll come out of defensive stockpiles that exist in the united states. they won't be able to be manufactured it get them to the
battlefield. we're talking about multiple launch rocket systems, more heavy armored type systems as well. the drones is what they need for counterbattery to go against the artillery and the cruise missile platforms that russia is firing against the civilians that targets that are hitting there. that's going to be the issue, how quick they can get them there and how can they get them there safely that they don't come up nder attack by russia. that's the issue here. if we can also get them these kind of drones that come from the sea and launch from the sea, it will just be a whole lot quicker in order to put combat firepower on the russian targets. >> part of the reason we're seeing an increase and also change in the kinds of weapons going in is that the war is going to change, i'm told, in the east, partly terrain, it is not forested, it is wide open, that means bigger engagements. but also just the size of the units and armor divisions and so on that are going to be face to face with ukrainians there. how does that play out in your view?
it is going to be bloodier, we know that. who has the advantage? >> well, if you listen to military experts, they say that the advantage could go either way. it does depend on some of us how it plays out. in fact, you know, right now there is a lot of rain coming into the east and that actually hurts the russians. they're confined to roads. and they have a lot of heavy equipment to move. they're not moving it in very quickly. but the ukrainians have, you know, a lot of -- they have a lot of benefit in terms of the will to fight, but they're short of equipment. the russians are short of men. not short of equipment. so, you know, it is kind of hard to tell how this is going to go. i think it is going to take a while and it is going to be very bloody and at the same time as we're seeing, resorting to using banned weapons like the cluster bombs and i think we'll see who is coming out of kramatorsk of
that train station, that cluster bombs were probably used there. >> yeah. major lyons, let me pick up on the cluster munitions we saw targeting civilians, it appeared, in the northern city of kharkiv there. is this something we can expect to see as far as russia's playbook there in the east, as they continue to rain down on those areas. >> unfortunately i think that we have to. russia is not a signatory to that cluster munition treaty that took place in 2010. they consider them as part of their regular inventory. we should not expect russian leaders to act humanely against civilians. there is no expectation of that, that ever happening. but with the advantage the ukraine military does have is the amount of intelligence that we're giving to them, and the opportunity to shape the battlefield. eur yet. they can't get out of their own way. long convoys, long targets there. if ukraine military can shape
the defense and shape kill zones so to speak, remember the end of saving private ryan, they put the plan together, that's the kind of thing you'll see the ukrainian military do especially, they're outthinking the russians as something they shouldn't really be doing. >> the world war ii parallels remarkable here. many of them, of course, sad, including the deliberate targeting of civilians. before we go, there have been questions throughout about to what degree the slow progress of the war is hurting putin at home as well as the economic costs due to the sanctions. what is your measure of that? is putin weathering this at home better than you expected? >> well, i think that he is weathering it in terms of the information war at home. he has rallied the russian people. we saw yesterday in the joint press conference with the belarusian president lukashenko that he's hitting on all these
nationalist themes. he's saying that the russian economy, yes, it is not great, but we have strong foundations and we'll weather it and look what we did in the soviet era, this was celebrating the soviet space day, first soviet astronaut in space, and so they were rallying the troops, and i think unfortunately that is winning the hearts and minds of russians who have had this kind of barrage of disinformation for decades. >> yeah. >> so it is not -- it is not good. >> yeah, just this morning he was talking about how bad inflation was in the united states to the russian public. major mike lyons, beth saner, thank you. we're staying on the breaking news of the nypd now declaring frank james a suspect in the brooklyn subway shooting, not just a person of interest. we'll have the latest on the investigation just ahead. and we are moments away from the opening bell on wall street. futures are mixed this morning as investors monitor a series of
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the breaking news this hour, the nypd has now named frank james as a suspect in the shooting on a new york subway. ten people had gunshot wounds, 29 injured in the chaos of the escape. new york governor kathy hochul says among the injured were five students, they were on their way to school at the time of the shooting. we're now learning that the camera system at the 36 street station in brooklyn was malfunctioning perhaps due to a server issue. despite that, officials say police do have plenty of other video evidence to work with from surrounding stations as they plotted his movements before and after the shootings. alexandra field joins me now from outside a hospital in
brooklyn where some of the -- most of the victims are being treated. what do we know, alexandra, this morning. i look at the confines of that car, 33 shots fired, it is amazing now, right, that at least to date no one was killed. >> reporter: right, absolutely extraordinary of the 29 people injured, everyone is expected to recover and the witnesses who were on board the train say there were really about 40 to 50 people who were on that train and then you consider the fact that 33 shots were fired. five children were among the injured as young as 12 years old, riding the subway to school, that's what you do in new york city. ten people who were passengers on the train were struck by bullets. seven male, three of them female. the rest of the people who were injured were injured as a result of smoke inhalation from that canister that was set off, or they were injured as they scrambled for safety. we heard from one woman who was on that car in the train, she saw the smoke start to fill the train, she ran to the other side of the car, but it wasn't
exactly clear what was happening when it all started. >> i thought it was fireworks at first and then it just kept going and going and it did stop at one point, the train stopped at one point in between the two stations and it started up again and at that point, when i heard people saying, you know, i'm hurt, there is so much blood, hearing things like that, that's when my mind changed to this is -- this is not fireworks. >> reporter: so many passengers on that train saying the literal fog stopped them from seeing what was really happening, created disorientation, they say that he heard that popping noise. when they realized it was gunshots, that sank in. think say they started to see pools of blood on the ground. when the train stopped at the next station, when the shooting stopped, passengers say they also scrambled to try to triage one another.
some of them taking off their coats and jackets, ripping up shopping bags to staunch the bleeding. one of the women on the train, she is, of course, wrestling with the trauma of all of this, this morning, along with so many new yorkers, but, jim, she also says she's wrestling with the trauma her children experienced. they were the on the train this he we they were locked down a school nearby. >> there are the physical wounds and the emotional and psychological wounds as well. thank you so much. yesterday, president biden announced a new plan to help lower prices at the gas pumps. starting june 1st, the biden administration will extend the sale of a cheaper ethanol brand called e-15 through the summer. cnn chief business correspondent christine romans joins us now. just a month ago, he released the strategic petroleum reserve and tapped into that. now we see this initiative. will it finally help consumers, will they feel it? >> this shows a white house using every single little lever and this is a little lever, but every single lever to try to
show the american people that, look, inflation is issue number one and we're trying to get these costs down. if you live near one of the gas stations that sells this e-15 gasoline blend, you will pay probably 5 to 10 cents less for a gallon of gas. it is not widespread. but there are some -- many stations that have it and you -- if you're one of the consumers, it could help a little bit with the price there. also, just broadly it just means there is more kinds of fuel out there in the mix and that's what they're trying to do, really trying to flood the zone. crude prices are down a lot from when the invasion began. president biden called this putin's price hike, down pretty substantially. gas prices have been drifting lower. a lot of experts tell me if you keep oil prices around $100 a barrel, then you could still see gas prices drift more toward the $4 a gallon range this summer, but it is all unpredictable, depends what happens in ukraine, it depends what happens in the
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cnn learned the biden administration is now preparing to roll out a program that would speed up the process for ukrainian refugees trying to enter the u.s. details of the new plan still being finalized, but we know refugees would need to have someone in the u.s. fill out a sponsorship application on their behalf. the new plan comes on the heels of president biden's recent commitment to accept up to 100,000 people fleeing ukraine and as hundreds of ukraine janez de ians have decided to go to the u.s./mexico border to get into the country. sometimes it is millions and millions who entered other countries in europe. >> even as millions of civilians led ukraine since russia in invaded, the list of potential war crimes committed by russian forces against ukrainians grows by the day, by the hour. president biden says he believes russia's actions qualify as
genocide. take a listen. >> yes, i called it genocide, because it has become clearer and clearer that putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of being able to be ukrainian. you can only learn more and more about the devastation. and we'll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me. >> i'm joined now by alexander metrachuk, activist who serves as the head of civil liberties in ukraine. thank you for joining us. thank you for the important work you're doing in documenting these crimes and atrocities and among them that you're following are countless reports, horrific reports of rape against ukrainian women, perpetrated by russian soldiers. you tweeted this morning as a lawyer, i know that crime of genocide is difficult to prove, we need to convince that murders and rapes are committed with the intent to destroy of a certain group, but when examined russian
propaganda, this intention becomes clear. it says ukrainian nation has no right to exist. talk about the charge there, and the intent behind why you think these rapes justify as genocide. >> yes, i can like repeat that. it is very hard to prove because genocide is crime of the crimes. it is the most horrible international crimes. that's why the standard of proof is very high. but when we examine russian propaganda, we can see this genocide intent, like a plan, because russia propaganda state that ukrainians' culture has to be destroyed, that ukrainian land it prohibited and ukraine has no right to exist at all and we can observe how it is implemented in the occupied territories where russian troops are prohibited to use ukrainian
language and we got information that they tried to push -- in schools but don't use ukrainian books for study. so i think that it is even worse to speak about such kind of investigation and it has to be opened. >> look, just take putin's words, and take him at his word, where he said repeatedly that ukraine is not a nation, it is not a sovereign nation, it is a made up nation supported by the west. you also document that in addition to these women suffering rape and other sexual abuse at the hands of the russian, many that are welcomed in poland and we spent a lot of time focusing on the open hands that poland has really offered to ukrainian refugees coming in, they also have very strict abortion laws, and so some of these women, not only have to endure the suffering and crime
of being raped, but then not being able to give any opportunity for an abortion if they indeed want one in poland. talk about that. >> sexual violence is a hidden crime. and it is why survivors of sexual violence very often keep silence about rapes and don't want to apply to enforcement bodies. but especially in the fallen country become very vulnerable and sensitive to medical care because in some locations they need to stop, like, to make abortion, and we now discuss with our colleagues from poland to organize informational campaign among ukrainian refugees and to provide contacts for women, how to obtain medical care and if they want to make
this abortion, how to be -- how they can go to another country and to do it. >> can i ask you one final question? we have seen president biden double down on genocide, but just today the french president emmanuel macron said he wouldn't go that far to call it genocide and continues to call and stress the relationship between ukraine and russia as one of brothers. do russians feel like your brothers today? >> no. maybe president macron means that we are all human beings, we are all sisters and brothers in the earth. in this regard it can be said. we are not brothers with russia. we are independent nation. and if you compare ukrainian freedom, that's why we're so different from russians. >> thank you once again for joining us and for all the work you're doing. >> thank you. well, putin's aggression in
ukraine may have back fired. up next, why that invasion may lead to exactly what he said he didn't want, and that is an expansion of nato. matter how muh i paid, it followed me everywhere. so i consolidated it into a low-rate personal loan frfrom sofi. geget a personal loan with no fees, low fixed rates, and borrow up to $100k. sofi. get your money right.
finland and perhaps by sweden and there will be a very quick and easy joining to nato. that's the expectation here. i spoke to a finnish diplomat earlier this year who said the clear and fast realization, this was before russia's invasion, was that you really have to be inside nato to get that article 5 protection, and listening here today to these two prime ministers standing side by side, and that's very significant, that was part of the messaging, delivering the message in english, that the invasion of ukraine had changed for both of these countries, everything. here's how they framed it. >> reporter: the european security architecture had changed fundamentally after russia's invasion of ukraine. to change the security landscape make it necessary to analyze how we best secure peace for finland and in our region in the future. before and after the 24th of february, the security landscape has completely changed.
both with the demands from russia in december and then the invasion of ukraine. given that situation, we have to really think through what is best for sweden and our security and our peace in this new situation. >> well, president putin's spokesman has already said a bigger and large nato does not necessarily make europe any safer. sweden and finland clearly beginning to think very significantly differently. bianna, jim? >> vladamir putin just further isolating himself with his every action. nic robertson, thank you. straight ahead, more breaking news on new york police now naming frank james the suspect in the brooklyn subway shooting. this as the camera in the subway station was malfunctioning during the attack. we'll have more on the scecene,
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