tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN April 23, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
time of salvation and resurrection is looking like this, sheer destruction thcht village near kyiv is bearing the hall mark of russian forces. the town is free, but the same cannot be said of other areas of the country. in mariupol, evacuation areas were thwarted by the ukrainian villagers after russian forces said they were headed for russian-occupied territories. and now, we are seeing that there is a site of mass graves outside of mariupol, and cnn cannot independently verify this. in odesa, a russian strike killed 18 people or i should say injured 18 people, and killed five including a 18-month-old baby who had yet to celebrate his first easter with his
parents. a russian general says that russia wants full control of southern ukraine, because it would give russia a land bridge to moldova, stirring up fears of another soviet republic, and now, scott is joining us from sou southern kyiv, and what do we know now of mariupol? >> it is remaining dire, jim. there is a humanitarian corridor organized on the western part of the city, and it should have been left there today, and there were buss to pick up people, and people were to take their private vehicles to get out of the city as well, but according to the ukrainian officials, the 200 or so people there waiting for the buses, well, they didn't 2350i find buses, but they were told by russian troops that there was shelling areas, and then they found another set of buses, and when they boarded the buses,
they were told that they were headed to a city that was in russian-occupied territory. this seems to be pattern, jim, of russians pushing people in that direction, pushing people toward russia whether they want to go there or not. >> this is the answer about the attempted murders. i am not afraid of that. my gods are fafraid of that, an i am not afraid of the attempted murders and just to be realism here. >> so that there was president zelenskyy speaking at a press conference in a kyiv tube station, and kyiv underground station meeting with the reporterssh and he was responding to a question about his own personal security, and whether he's afraid. he said that he doesn't have the right to feel afraid considering what his own country is going through, and the fact that ukrainians are dying and putting their own lives on the line.
zelenskyy also made clear that he is open to talks with president putin despite the obvious personal risks to himself, and potentially by doing that. so, on the one hand, he is open to talks, and on the other hand, he is still very much trying to beef up his own military capabilities to fend off the russians, and in fact, he announced today, that u.s. secretary of state antony blinken and lloyd austin would be in kyiv tomorrow to meet about what kind of weapons kyiv would need to defend itself from the russian attacks which we now know according to the russian commander who spoke to state media are focusing on the east earn part of the country, and the southern part of ukraine, and much of which has been untouched by russian troops on the ground, and cities like odesa have faced the bombing and the missile strikes like today, but they have not seen anything in the way of russian troops on
the ground. >> all right. that is going to be significant to see the secretary of the state, and the secretary of defense in kyiv. scott mclean, thank you very much. we will bring in brigadier general and former secretary of state, and what are you seeing here when you hear that the top officials are going to ukraine. that is a significant moment? >> well, i think that most importantly, it is going to demonstrate not only to president zelenskyy, but the entire country of ukraine, that the united states and the western powers remain firmly behind them. and the physical presence of the secretary of state and secretary of defense means that they are willing to take those potential risks to demonstrate that point. >> and what do you make of this russian commander spelling out phase two of their strategy, the details aligned with the west assessment, but why would he publicly lay that out, do you
think? >> first of all, there is some question about whether that's official statement or that is just off of the back of his hand. but nonetheless, we have to be concerned not only about the notion of the land bridge, but notion and the determination of the russians to take all of that area up to that land bridge which would include the critical port of odesa. if they were able to take odesa, you have essentially made ukraine a landlocked nation, and nation that currently depends upon that port for so much of its trade. >> and to that point, there is particular alarm over his comment, general, that putin has his eye on moldova, and if russia were to take that step, and if they were capable of taking that step, if that were part of the conversation, how should nato handle that? >> well, again, how they should and how they will have two
different thing. what we will see is that nato will say that moldova is not a part of nato, and trans anistria, that strip inside of moldova, and we have grave concern over there, but since it is not a nato territory, we don't feel any obligation to defend it. >> and a crucial part of the southeastern strategy is mariupol, and to prevent russia from holding this key port city, the resistance has been bogged down, and the russian troops, they have not been able to break through for some 50 days, and how significant is the situation there do you think right now? >> well, i think it is desperate. it demonstrates what we have been saying for some time the notion of russian strategy to
surround, siege, starve and then assault. it is clear that the russians know they have a tough fight. they are reluctant to put their troops into the fight. i think that eventually there is going to have to come a time when the ukrainian resistance in there makes a decision whether they fight to last man. and that is going to be a "remember the alamo" moment for the rest of ukraine, and it is inspiring the ukrainians to keep fighting. >> absolutely. they have been through so much there. let me ask you, general, about the new images that are appearing to show mass graves near mariupol, and it is heartbreaking to see this, but smigt it is something that we have seen the russians do outside of buch bucha and kharkiv, and what are
you taking from the latest images? >> it demonstrates that while the rest of the world has moved on from the brutality of 18th century warfare, and in fact, 20th century warfare in the fight of the nazis and the soviet union, while we have put into place a geneva conventions laws of war and respect for civilian populations the russians are still fighting the way they did in world war ii which is everywhere is a battlefield, and every person is an enemy, and they have not changed from that philosophy since 1945. >> and ukraine has released intercepted transmissions this week, and this is audio in which the russian troops are reportedly complaining about their commanders. let's listen. >> translator: we sat there for three days without [ bleep ] anything. our commanders received provisions, cigarettes, food,
and our command have all [ bleep ]'d off, and they abandoned everybody, and [ bleep ]'d off. we don't even know where they are. >> jackals. shoot them and this is it. >> translator: imagine, they did not bring any food stuff. [ bleep ] that. shoot him. quit. >> translator: the first one. >> general, this is suggesting some major morale problems inside of russia's army, and that might have something to do with the atrocities that we are seeing. >> well, i think that is right. again, i would go back to the earlier comment about 20th century warfare for the russians. these are conscripts, and they are not professional soldiers. they don't want to be there. and things were so bad in the great patriotic war as they called world war ii that the russian technique was to have
the political commissars behind the soldiers and if they tried to retreat, they were shot by the political commissars, and that is what we are seeing in the 21st century, and they see the 10e8soldiers as cannon fodd and they don't have the slightest care for them. >> it is total lack of respect for human life as we have seen throughout this. thank you, general mark kimmitt, thank you for your expertise. we appreciate it. coming up, the january 6th committee is releasing brand-new evidence against former chief of staff mark meadows and what he knew about the violence before the violence at the capitol. and marjorie taylor greene. >> you sound like you have anything as serious as qanon at
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january 6th committee revealing new evidence that trump's former chief of staff mark meadows warned that there could be violence prior to the insurrection and he pushed forward with the rally anyway. in a 208-page release, they said that a aide in meadow's office put this up on screen, i know this there were concerns brought forward to mr. med dose and people had brought information forward to him that there could be violence on the 6th, but again, i am not sure what he did with the information internally. joining me is marshall cohen. and marshall, this is pretty eye-opening testimony. that was released to the committee who at least wants to throw or have a judge throw out a lawsuit that meadows has against him, and they wanted to give the judge who is looking at this a lot of evidence to ponder, and there is a lot in
there. >> it was like hundreds of pages long, jim, and it is a lot of material. they clearly think they have enough in front of that judge to win that case. you have pointed out something very important, but there is so much more even. it is revelations from this former white house official, an aide to mark meadows who went in for depositions earlier in the year, which is amazing to think that the committee is getting fresh new insights in february and march, and she revealed that meadows was warned that there could be the potential for violence, and she also revealed that meadows was told ahead of time that the plan to have mike pence throw the election to donald trump somehow on january 6th was not a legally sound plan. but yet, of course, jim, as you know, president trump and his aides and his advisers tried to push forward anyway. >> yeah, i mean, i was reading through a bunch of this,
marshall, and you could see it there in the aide's testimony that the white house counsel's office had told not only officials inside of the administrations, and inside of the white house, but members of congress that this was not going to work, and this plan to have mike pence throughout, you know, the electors that were going to make biden president and bring in this alternate slate of electors would not work. marshall, the information that is laid out in all of this suggests that there are members of congress. >> that is right. >> who had been urging the crowd to amass at the capital on january 6th, and what can you tell us about that? >> it illuminated potential role of republican lawmakers in congress, and how they were working with the trump white house, and this aide cassidy hutchison was asked under oath if members of congress had plans not just for the ellipse rally, but for a march at the capital,
and she said that the answer was yes, and she specifically named a congressman named scott perry as part of the plan. but, jim, it is important because one of trump's big defense has been that all that he wanted was a rally at the ellipse, a peaceful rally, but then he ad libbed that critical phrase, let's all march down to the capitol, and this is testimony that shows it was not ad libbed at all, and it is not clear, but indicates that maybe there were some plans to head on down to the cap 2capitol, and ww how that ended up. >> that is a key point, marshall, discussion to send people down to the capitol on january 6th, and in those meetings before january 6th, and then trump said that at the "stop the steal" rally. and marjorie taylor greene, whose name surfaces in the documents, and she was on the stand in georgia being asked
about her actions around january 6th, and at the heart of the case is whether or not she is going to be eligible to run for re-election, and what can you tell us ant bout that? >> it is a fascinating topic, and extraordinary hearing taking place yesterday all day in downtown atlanta on the solemn question if january 6th was an insurrection legally, and if mar marjorie taylor greene aided in the insurrection, and if that is the case, she may be discolluded because of an old civil war rule. and it is a lot of, i don't know, i don't remember. but it was trying to hold her accountable for the vitr ree --
vitriol vitriolic statements. and there was one where it caught up to her. >> you think that speaker pelosi is a traitor to the country. >> i am not answering that, because it is hypothetical, and -- >> you have said that? >> no, i have not said that. >> can you put up exhibit 5. >> hold on, now, wait. i believe by not upholding, and securing the border that violates her oath of office. >> okay. so she kind of got caught a little there. >> and jim, this is an uphill climb there, and if they want to remove her from the ballot, and we should get a decision there in the next few weeks. >> marshall cohen, thank you very much. coming up, kevin mccarthy and the bombshell audio of him slamming president trump, and
how sehe is trying to downplay , and the ri action of one of the officers at the capitol who is going to joioin me next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i didn't know my genetic report could tell me i was prone to harmful blood clots. i travel a ton, so this info was kind of life changing. maybe even lifesaving. ♪do you kw what the future holds?♪
are you a christian author with a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! before the break, we told you about new evidence from the january 6th committee that former trump chief of staff mark meadows had been warned about the potential violence on january 6th, and then was told that it was not legally sound. and the filing also contained text messages turned over from house members told him to act.
and this one, mark, checking in, and time is ticking down, and 11 days to january 6th, and 11 days to inaugurations, and we have t get going. and this one, pence should call out all votes that are unconst unconstitutional, and meadows texted back. i have pushed for this, but i am not sure it is going to happen. and now, one of the people on the capitol who spent months recovering after being dragged and tased by the mob at the capitol. and we appreciate your coming on. what is your reaction to the idea that meadows was warned of the violence, and entertaining the ideas from the republican members of congress who wanted to see the election overturned. you had congressmen and -- excuse me, you had congressmen who you had to protect later that day, officer finone, and
what is your reaction to that? >> well, the idea that there was or that anyone involved with the events of that day or was in trump's inner circle was not aware of the propensity of violence was pretty ridiculous, and there is evidence that has come out or come to light that showed that elected members of our government, and their staff and surrogates were in communication with members of the proud boys, and three per percenters and the oathkeepers, and these are groups that advocate violence, and whose members have a propensity for violence and it is not just known to law enforcement. it is known, you know, pretty well throughout the u.s. that this is what these groups were established for. and the fact that they were brought in, in an organized effort to participate in the rally shows me that it was
obvious that it was going to be a violent day. >> and according to the new court filing from the january 6th committee, an aide to mark meadows told the committee she heard congressman scott perry talking about this idea of sending people to the capitol on january 6th, and as you will recall in trump's speech that day, he called on people to go down to capitol. and michael fanone, what is your response to that? >> it is what i have been saying since my testimony before congress. i believe that donald trump, and his surrogates incited violence that day, and that their words resulted in the insurrection at the capitol as we all saw it. >> and the fact that we now have it in writing, members of congress wanted ed people to sh up at the capitol that day, and
i mean, these are the people that you are supposed to protect, and the people that you were there to protect. >> yeah, i mean. that is like, i don't know nothing short of embarrassing. i mean, that was my initial reaction to all of this was that in a time where so many of us americans, myself included are inspired by the actions of president zelenskyy, i look at our politicians, and our elected leaders and i think to myself, this is the best we've got? this is it? you know, people like marjorie taylor greene and kevin mccarthy, and i mean, they just -- it is unreal. >> yeah. and michael, former president trump is standing behind mccarthy, the house minority leader despite this audio of
mccarthy bashing trump on this call with the other republican colleagues after the january 6th attack, and we will play some of that, and then i will get you the respond. >> all right. i know this is not fun, and i know this is not great. i know that this is very tough, but, i want to get through here, i don't want to rush things, and i want everybody to have the information needed. i have had it with this guy. what he has done is unacceptable. nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it. >> and then mccarthy went down to mar a lago and had that
meeting, and what do you think about this? >> i believe it is the violence that is what happened that day, and attributed or blamed to former president trump and then for political purposes, he has now reversed courses, and believed that him being speak or potentially being speaker is more important than our democracy. you know, but, again, that is what we call a leader in this country today. >> all right. and there is another part of the audio where mccarthy said that trump accepted responsibility for the attack. let's hear that. >> let me very clear to all of you, and i have been clear with the president, he bears responsibility for the words and actions and no ands and ifs and
buts and i asked him if he holds responsibility about what happened and does he feel bad about what happen and he said he does feel bad about what happened and we need to acknowledge that. >> isn't it kind of incredible to hear mccarthy talk about trump in this fashion, you know, in such a candid way privately with the fellow republican members of the house, and then just sound just so, like a different human being when he is speaking to the public about it. i mean, how does that grab you, and i guess, what would you like to see in terms of accountability for trump? >> well, first, i mean my reaction -- i don't know if i believe that statement from kevin mccarthy. i don't know what to believe when it comes to kevin mccarthy. he lies so much in public, that i don't know what the difference between his private
conversations and his public conversations, and i mean, to me, that is someone who lies is a liar. as far as accountability, if laws were broken, i want the people held accountable. i don't want to hear about political niceties. i don't want to hear about the committee, you know, not subpoenaing members of congress, because they are concerned about the optics of it. if they feel like somebody should be subpoenaed, then they are interested in what they have to say, then issue the subpoena. all i want is the law to be enforced. i think that the politicians should be held to a higher standard just like police officers than the rest of us. and if they broke the law, they damn sure should be held accountable for it.
>> and what does that mean for trump in your view? as more and more of this comes o out? >> i mean, i don't understand all of, you know, logistics behind executive privilege, and all of that, and i'm just a cop. but it seems to me that donald trump broke the law, and he should be held accountable. the doj should pursue criminal charges and he should be put on trial. >> and how are you holding up? >> i mean, i don't know how to answer that question to be honest with you, jim. sometimes i feel like everything that i have done and said has been for absolutely nothing. >> i don't think that is the case at all. i think that if we had not had your voice throughout all of
this, there might not have been as much pressure to get to the truth. you buy that? >> well, i mean, i appreciate that. i do understand that there is quite a few americans out there who have been extremely supportive of me, and the other officers who fought on january 6th. but, i mean this has taken a large personal toll on me, my family and, you know, unfortunately, it has made me cynical at times, and i wonder, you know, whether or not anything is going to come of it. or is, you know, donald trump going to do what he has been doing his entire life which is to exploit legal loopholes and that is to be said for his surrogates as well. i think the doj needs to get aggressive. unfortunately, i don't think
that is anything that at least i could ever say or accuse the doj of being is aggressive. >> all right. former officer michael fanone, and i thank you for talking to us, and it is not easy to go through this and go over it again, and we really appreciate the time, and the insights, and thank you so much, and hope you come back. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. the world's number one tennis player novak djokovic is calling the ban on russian tennis players at wimbledon crazy. we will get reaction of the ukrainian tennis star who is going to react as s to whether this ban goes far enough or not. yes, please! neuriva. think bigger.r. once upon a time, at the magical everly estate, landscaper larry and his trusty crew...
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store your things until you're ready. then we deliver to your new home - across town or across the country. pods, your personal moving and storage team. world's number one men's tennis player novak djokovic is slamming the world tennis association for banning russian players. he was living in serbia when albanians invaded kosovo, and i will consider myself a child of war and i know how much emotional trauma it is, and i cannot support wimbledon when politics interferes with sport. the result is not good. the next guest is a ukrainian
player who returned in the start of the war to help with the fight against russia, and sergei is with us, and thank you for coming back. we appreciate it. what is your reaction to djokovic, and what he has been saying that it is crazy to ban these russian and belarusian players from playing. >> well, it is his opinion, and if you are going back in his life, and there is no way to stop the bombings or the war, that he would use any way possible, and for me as a professional or ex-professional tennis player, the infiltration of ukraine which is part of europe, and if the russian government does not want to stop, then the russian citizens have to have a collective guilt, and they have to carry this onwards and sport is something
that putin has taken big pride of. he is always placing the sports people up front of things, and not for them to not be able to participate in one thing. for me, it is not a problem. the problem is that they are silent, and they are neutral on the stand. they say they don't know politic, and they don't follow the news. it is hard to not follow the news when you have today, a three-month-old child killed in an odesa air strike, and it is hard to follow when all of the world is talking about the atrocities talking about in ukraine, so it is either they condemn what they are happening or condemn the invasion of russian troops inside of ukraine, or they support it. there is no neutrality in this. >> and let me ask you about andrey rublev, because he said this was illogical and complete discrimination, and he wrote "no war please" on the match a few days the after russia invaded
ukraine, and i am sure that you saw that, and what about the athletes who don't support the war, and should an exception be made for them. >> "don't support the war" is one thing, but saying "no war" is if ukraine will stop shooting, the war is over. but the fact is that if ukraine stops shooting, we will be destroyed and ukraine will be not existing. so only russia can stop shooting, and go back to their country. so no war peace. and the so it doesn't work this way. what is russian army doing inside of ukraine is that you are not able to comprehend the atrocities and the level of b barbarianism. i have seen with my own eyes
what has been done by the russians in bucha and if they don't feel they can do something out loud because of being scared of for their families, well, okay, but we have daily bombardments while they are silent about what happens in ukraine. >> the last time we spoke with you a few weeks ago, and at the time you were telling us that when you were leaving to fight, your kids were not told what you were going to do. do they know now, and how are things going for you and your family, and for you specifically? how are things going for you? >> for me, it is not getting much better. the region of kyiv is liberated from the russian troops th, and there is the air strikes that can be daily bombarded, and so with the family, the kids still don't know what war is, and i
hope that the elder daughter knows what the term is by the word war, but she does not know what it is, and i hope it is going to stay that way and i hope to see them soon. i am in the reserves and kyiv is a little bit trying to go back to normal, and people are trying to go back to work, because the economy is devastated and people need to get money to sustain the living for the future. so ukraine in some parts is trying to go back to work, but the problem is that the key infrastructure is destroyed, and not much thing that you can do. >> well, i know that when we spoke to you last, things looked pretty bleak, and things have turned the around to some extent in kyiv, and we appreciate your time with us tto us today, and hope that you will come back to join us again. >> thank you. >> and we will be right back in a moment.
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you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. for the first time since russia invading ukraine, two top u.s. officials are going inside the war zone. president zelenskyy announcing today u.s. secretary of state blinken and defense secretary, lloyd austin, will visit kyiv tomorrow. as ukraine marks orthodox easter sunday. right now, much of the country is under curfew amid warnings of deliberate russian military strikes on churches and holiday gatherings. new video from near kyiv shows the vast destruction