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tv   Inside Politics With John King  CNN  May 5, 2022 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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wrongful detainees. >> we appreciate your time today. >> thank you so much. thank you to all of you for joining us this hour. stay tuned. "inside politics" starts right now. hello. welcome to "inside politics". i'm john king in washington. thank you for sharing you day with us. the enemy is inside the gates after weeks of heavy, bloody battles, russian forces have breached mariupol's final stronghold. this is the breakneck pace of the artillery strikes. each hit of the steel plant bringing it closer and closer to russian capture. dust and ash here, a drone gives
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a glimpse at what much of eastern ukraine now looks like. simply broken. in dnipro at the speed of a blink, a russian missile smashes into an important bridge. that and other attacks they say are part of a plan to decapitate russian resupply rourters. commanders on the ground say the breakthrough may blunt moscow's push to sweep through the east. progress elsewhere does little to change the fate of mariupol. the last battalion inside faces near certain death and they know it. making this a song of defiance all the more remarkable. that is ukraine and battlefield echoes through the bunker. the words haunting. it is sweeter to die in battle than to live in chains.
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we begin in lviv, western ukraine. scott mclain, what's the latest? >> reporter: well, some good news maybe. the u.n. special envoy for the -- for ukraine, i should say, has just said that there is a human darren convoy on route to mariupol to try to get people out of what he calls a bleak hell. probably an understatement. the hope is that that convoy can arrive at the plant tomorrow morning to begin that evacuation process. he said that the process is working with the red cross with the parties. again, like we saw with the successful evacuation on sunday. now, nothing happens quickly. you'll recall that when more than 100 people were able to make it out from underneath of that steel plant, all of them civilians, well, it was president zelenskyy who announced that there was some kind of an operation underway to get people out on friday, and then we heard precious little on saturday, and it wasn't until the operation was actually
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underway on sunday that finally ukrainian officials broke their silence. so in this case no news may, in fact, be good news. the reality is that the news that we have been getting is not good. russia, of course, offered this olive branch last night saying there would be a way for civilians to get out today, tomorrow, and saturday. but part of the ukrainian military that's doing the bulk of the fighting from the plant, a deputy commander says that russia has not kept their word. there is no cease fire at this point. in fact, there is very heavy fighting going on. the ukrainians say that the russians are trying to get into or trying to storm the plant from the ground. that is something that the russians deny, saying that president putin has given specific orders not to do that, but we know there's also been heavy bombardment of this plant as well. all of this adds up to a pretty bleak picture for the people who are trapped under there. the ukrainians say up to 30 children as well.
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that deputy commander says that he's really pleading with the international community to do something to get people out, and also pleading specifically with president zelenskyy to also help the many wounded soldiers he says are dying inni agony. >> scott, thank you so much. control of a city, a russian missile damaging a school and a kindergarten. sam is on the ground to observe the damage. >> reporter: the city was hit with at least six missiles. they've had a devastating impact. this is a heating, a pumping station, sewage area. the size of the building would indicate it could not house any kind of military equipment. >> i just got lucky. i went to the bedroom. i heard a bang. i sat down on the bed, and it hit me. and all the furniture fell down.
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>> reporter: the scenes here are absolutely extraordinary. the way that these trees have been completely decapitated, torn to slhreds, and the same goes for the homes. amazingly, very few people here considering the scale of the damage were injured and none were killed. there were 25 injured. six hospitalized. one is in a critical condition. and the reason for that is that at least two-thirds of the city of ckramatorsk have left it's another strike on a ukraine rez dn den -- residential area. >> general hurtling, grateful for your time today. i want to start by getting us to mariupol. we've talked about this for weeks. the strategic importance of that city. russia trying to have the land bridge across the south.
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but you have the last holdouts. fighters and some civilians in this steel plant. we're showing you bombing from yesterday. it continued into today. the russians could just surround it. they could choke it off. they could let humanitarian aid workers in to try to get the last civilians out. instead they have decided to continue shelling it and shelling it. why? >> you know, john, i got to tell you the bestiality of this entire operation, you know, i'm trying to maintain contact with the entire campaign and watch it. truthfully, i cannot get mariupol out of my head. because those fighters have been in there for almost two months. and when we go back and forth to it, you know, we have rested. we have had food. we have enjoyed our life. they have been under continuous fire for the entire period. so the physical fatigue is just overwhelming for any soldier that's been in battle. why is russia doing this? they desperately need that city,
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that road junction between the east and the west and between the logistics that would go to the north, and now it almost seems like it's become a point of pride that russia will destroy this city. but truthfully, john, they're going to have a hard time. that steel plant has seven underground layers, and we used to train cave complex in the u.s. army to prepare soldiers to go to afghanistan. that is some of the hardest operations, because it takes a defender very few people to hold off a large number of enemy coming into those caves. and that's what you have here basically. it's a constructed cave. they can't bring tanks. they can't bring artillery to the lower levels. russia is going to continue to pound the top level and they're going to have a lot of soldiers die fighting in the lower levels if the battalion can hold out. >> let's move onto other issues. i want to first show more video here. this we showed at the top of the show.
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this is a bridge in dnipro. you've been critical of the russian imp competence, but they seem to be more strategic as of late. it might be hard for viewers to see at home, here's mariupol and the south and east. the dotted lines are railways. the red lines are road. the russian targeting in recent days seems to be take out the railways if you can. take out key bridges so the ukrainians, the resupply is coming from poland across the country this week, to choke them off. right? >> that is the critical point. that map with the roads and the railroads is very important compared to the other maps we've been showing. it shows how ukrainians getting their logistics and how russia is attempting to prevent those prosecute transfer points of roads and rails and rivers. all critical. the bridges and everything that ukrainian is using to their advantage, the russians are trying to stop. you're right. they have been exceedingly
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precise in destroying these kind of things and also destroying civilian infrastructure. but they've also been using the bombs and the area fire artillery to kill civilians in a large methodical way. so they have the capabilities as we've seen to strike precision targets. so that makes it even worse that they are killing so many civilians with these arbitrary strikes. >> help me understand the challenge. you've heard president biden and other nato allies and other western nations saying we're going to give you what you need. if the russians are more successful, of taking out railways, there have been others even more to the west. if the russians are more successful in hitting those key infrastructure installations, if you will, how does that change the challenge of resupply? >> well, it makes it more challenging. certainly ukraine knows this terrain, and they can find ways around it. so what you're talking about is russia hitting pinpoint
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logistics transfer points to disrupt, but, again, when you're a friendly force and you just had those kind of implications to try to get logistics and heavy weapons forward, you find another way to do it. and russia isn't capable of hitting everywhere. so they are hitting the key places to disrupt the logistics flow, but they're not hitting everywhere. i'm convinced that the ukrainians are going to continue to get on secondary roads across terrain. they're going to continue to get those things to the frontlines. and repair the roads and the railroads as best they can. that's what an army does when they have those kind of complications with resupply routes, and it becomes a primary importance. >> general, grateful for your time. appreciate it. up next, we shift to politics at home. the democrats in the midterm message. there are so many who believe a decision erasing boors rights will become an issue.
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others say the economy is almost always issue number one. on that front, the president is in a heap of trouble. when terry first came in, he wanted a long term solution, and that's something we were abable to offer him. their care, their consideration, their empathy, all of that.. i can't say enough about. absolutely hands down, aspen dental changed my life. at aspen dental, our team of denture experts will do anything to make you smile. schedule your complimentary denture consultation today. [ sleep app ] and the end. you have now reached the end of the sleep app. you're the first person to actually do that. now i want to say congratulation but it's also sappointing. what do you mean? that's it? i've got nothing left. hey if i were you, i'd try warm milk. enough out of you! hi! oh go.. is this really helping? good days start with good nights, so you may want to talk to your doctor about both. [ sleep app ] i'm still here.
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“few of us will ever dive so deep into our cars, but those who do venture down into the nuts and bolts...” “you have to give all of yourself when you do something, and that's when you do your best.” for the best audio entertainment and storytelling. audible. very real prospect the supreme court will end abortion rights as a decisive turn in the midterm campaign dynamics. >> 72 % of the american people think this is a mistake. if that kind of number holds, it's going to have a determining effect on the outcome of the next election. >> other democrats are more skeptical. yes, they believe such a dramatic step by the court would help motivate democratic voters and perhaps give some moderate republicans pause about voting for the gop this year. in most campaigns, the economy
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is issue one. and in some new politico reporting exploring the political impact of overturning roe, they said to hold the house or the senate, we need inflation to go away. with me to share the reporting and their insights, our panel. laura, that story written by two of your colleagues. that is the big debate among the democrats now who believe they don't want the supreme court decision to happen, but if it does, and it appears inevitable at this point, how much of an impact on the campaign, but the economy and more importantly the psychology and voters about the economy seems to be driving it. >> the perception that voters have about the economy and about their pocketbooks and prices being expensive at the grocery store or at the gas pump, that is definitely the overashlging issue right now across campaigns, whether it's house or senate, but there are a lot of democratic candidates running for positions like attorney general or for governor.
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they see the abortion issue as something potent in their races, because they're saying we are the last line of defense. if this gets overturned, which it's poised to be, then they are positioning themselves as vote for us because we can actually protect it in our states. >> so it's early may. we'll see as it plays out, first if the supreme court issues an opinion and we'll see how the campaign plays out. jeremy diamond, you covered the president. he's aware of the numbers. this is a ptrajectory you don't want. disapproval of the president's handling of the economy. go to april '21 on the left. that line is heading in the wrong direction. and heading in the wrong direction when we're inside six months to election day, it's hard to improve the numbers in time. >> right. and the white house has been holding out hope that inflation will abate somewhat between now and election day, but as you're saying, we're within that window where it's going to be hard to change voter's perception of the issues and pocketbook issues. this is all despite the fact
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that president widen at least once a week is holding some kind of event trying to talk about the strength of the economy and trying to acknowledge some of the inflation concerns while also insisting his administration is doing everything they can to try to get at that. i think there's agreement among democrats that this abortion ruling if it comes down the way it's anticipated to, will help democrats. the question is how much. and will those suburban women who helped democrats win the house in 2018, will they care more about this abortion issue or care more about their ability to get food on the table and their ability to put gas in their cars? and i think that some democrats at least are leaning in that direction. >> i think some of that depends on which state we're talking about. is it deep red or purple state. is it a congressional race where you can change the dynamic, but the national wind is against the president because of the economic number. here's another piece of it. we asked in our poll on the economy, what have you heard lately? 89% say at least some bad news.
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23% say at least some good news. that's the thing. there are a lot of great economic numbers for the president. job growth is good. the fundamentals of the economy is good. people are hearing about inflation. they hear it every time they stop to fill the tank or stop to get groceries? >> no doubt for a long time this has been the administration's largest political problem. i don't think that we should down play the role of the draft ruling. the ads have already been cut. i interviewed a candidate in wisconsin. there's a digger law on the books. she has an ad in front of the supreme court imploring voters to support her because of how consequ how much of a consequence this could be. i would not down play what this potential ruling might mean. >> and it's a key point. i think the idea is we don't know, and everyone is going to try to figure it out. you make a key point about the different races.
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is it a question will voters decide this is how i'm going to vote for house or senate are do they blanket say i'm going to vote democrat or republican? or i got a phone call yesterday after i said something on the air about ohio being a red state. and some democrats didn't like that i said that. it's a red state statewide. i get their point about gerrymandering within the state and every state, but a democrat they're saying we nominated for the first time in ohio a woman for governor. we think that might help in this dynamic. maybe. >> right. to your point, yes, we're months away. we don't totally know how it's going to impact a lot of these races, but one thing the white house is doing that's interesting. abortion or inflation, what will voters care about more? that's why the white house and biden, you heard him immediately talk about this is not just about abortion. it's also about privacy. it's also about contraception. it's about gay marriage, and the -- if this is overturned and if that draft opinion is pretty much what is issued ultimately, then it takes aim at a lot of
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these other rights that people whether it's civil rights, natural rights that a lot of voters might take for granted. >> set the issues aside for a second. the language the president used radical, maga, radical. he's trying to make the other side evil, radical. >> you're going to see him continue to harden his language over the coming months. i think there's also a question of the abortion ruling. we've seen the reaction to the draft, but what about the people who are holding out hope that it won't be true? they can't be true and won't happen? what will happen if this actually becomes the official ruling of the supreme court? will we see the numbers move even more? will we see fund raising totals move more? that will be closer, not as close as some democrats want to the november midterm, but it will be closer and potentially you could see more of a shift than some democrats are seeing at this very moment. >> that's right. democrats have often been accused of being alarmists when they talk about the issue.
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if this actually happens that completely changes this conversation. >> right. the casey decision in 1991 did have an impact on 1992. that was a presidential year. this is one of the questions. up next, kevin mccarthy in his own words, again, this time he's part of a conversation about whether the trump cabinet should force the president from office, and it's a safe bet trump won't like what he hears. . this green space will help the sustainability commimittee reach our goals years fastster than our initial projections. ♪ capella university looks at education differently. our flexpath learning format lets you set deadlines and earn your bachelor's on your terms. ♪ make your difference with capella university.
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there is another recording of the house republican leader kevin mccarthy today. in this one he sounds like he's in a hurry to get rid of donald trump. this is january 8th, 2021. two days after the mob of trump supporters stormed the capitol. an aid on the call tells leader mccarthy, democrats want the trump cabinet to declare the president unfit for office and remove him. >> i think the options that have been cited by the democrats so far are the 25th amendment which is not exactly an elegant solution here. >> that takes too long. you have to go back to the house. right? >> not no. not that's a crazy idea. the house republican leader worries, again, his words, quote, that takes too long. we have a cnn legal analyst joining the panel. the house and the senate, if you
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read how it works, would have to vote to overrule trump. but leader mccarthy's voice there was not like that's nuts or trump doesn't deserve that. it's that it takes too long. >> it was late in the process when we look at the calendar in terms of january 6th has taken place and the inauguration coming up in weeks. i never thought the 25th amendment was really the right way to address the threat that the trump presidency posed to u.s. national security. if we want to look at what congress could have done, what members of the administration would have done to prevent that and to prevent the threat that actually took place at the cap capitol, we can look back to the first impeachment where members of congress did not vote to impeach him, or we can look to what happened right after january 6th where they either could have publicly pressured him to resign, or they could have voted in favor of the impeachment which would have created the record after the fact.
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they didn't do any of that. >> the publicly versus privately is an important point. leader mccarthy did say some things publicly critical of trump at the time. i want to give credit, jonathan martin and alex burns got this recording as part of their book. both new york times reporters. the book came out yesterday. kevin mccarthy here talking about how trump did something terrible, and b, it's important that republicans make peace with biden. >> what the president did is atrocious and totally wrong. i do think the impeachment divides the nation further. that's why i want to reach out to biden. i wanted the president to meet with biden. that not going to happen. i want to see about us meeting with biden and make a smooth transition to show that we continue to keep those statements going.
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that last part there sounds like a responsible public official saying this is over. it's time to sit down with biden and at least have a smooth transition. i'm not sure trump is going to like that part. >> no. i mean, you know, in private we've heard mccarthy ant tapes say this was atrocious, wrong, and briefly as you noted, john, right after january 6th, he did go on the floor and say that trump bore responsibility for this. but within days, you know, i think it was less than a month, leader mccarthy then went to mar law go -- mar-a-lago. he helped trump fix his image. they have never publicly tried to pressure him at that point to resign, even in the audio, he is saying that he did not support impeachment at that moment, despite the fact that he wanted a peaceful transition of power with biden. >> and it's not even just the backtracking for mccarthy and other republican leaders. it's also the lack of effort they put into silencing these claims of election fraud both
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before january 6th, during the weeks after the election when people like kevin mccarthy wouldn't acknowledge that president biden was the duly elected president -- president-elect of the united states at the time, but also what they did after. within a couple weeks of that audio, kevin mccarthy went down to mar-a-lago and kissed the ring, and president then former president trump quickly published that photo, and mccarthy since then has refused to send members who have made outrageous claims against democrats and talked about election fraud. all that has continued to bubble up, not in spite of kevin mccarthy's efforts but because of his lack of efforts. because of his lack of leadership in that realm despite what he's saying. >> these conversations, recorded conversations help us fill in some of the history of those important days. so do many of the court cases. tell me what you think is the significance of this? this is from a court file, leader of the north carolina chapter of the oath keeper who is pleaded guilty to seditious
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conspiracy. a serious charge. says he overheard stewart road repeatedly implore to the individual tell president trump to call upon groups like the oath keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power. the individual deniiied rhodes' request. he's saying he heard the leader trying to get to the president. he wanted the president to encourage violence, essentially. the challenge here is is that serious? who was involved? was this a spur of the moment thing or was there planning? what do you see as the signi significance? >> i think the significance is first, i'm curious who is intermediary was in that circumstance. but this is somebody who was the head of the oath keepers which is an anti-u.s. government militia group that recruits from former military, former law enforcement, and is against the united states government. and that individual, that leader of that group, a domestic terrorist group, thought that he had a direct line to the
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president. that in itself, whether he got through or not, is significant. that somebody in that position when in any other administration of any other party would be viewed through the lens of being a domestic terrorist organization. instead, thought that he was just one phone call away from the president. and i think that is the really grave effect of that particular angle. >> it's not hard to fathom that it was somebody who could have put them on the phone with trump. because we have seen how so many of these far right extremist groups have gotten in such close proximity to the former president trump or those close to him in power. >> and we have reporting, court cases and the january 6th committee. we can show you. now, several members of the president's family as we called them, some of them extended in family, but have now testified. one of the things you asked donald trump junior about is this. it's simple. we have multiple paths we
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control them all. meaning we have ways to overturn the election. >> right. i mean, whether it's those texts, whether it's other testimony that we've seen and other text messages that cnn reported on extensively, they show time and time again that those closest to the president, whether it's his family members who some of them worked for the white house, whether it's mark meadows, whether it's jenny thomas, the wife of a supreme court justice, all trying to convince the white house that they had the power to overturn this election and to overturn biden's legitimate win and to exert that power at all costs. >> we'll wait to see. the public hearing is next month. up next for us. brand new cnn reporting. a congressman calls himself a champion of cutting wasteful spending, but he's spent more of your money on travel than any other member of congress in the past five years. allergies don't have to be scary. spraying f flonase daily stos your body from overreactiting to allergens al season long.
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one million dollars. $1 million is the amount of taxpayer dollars congressman paul gosar, a self-described fiscal conservative has paid on travel. that's more than any other member of house in that same time frame. manu, tell us more. >> reporter: paul gosar, a member of the minority. he has spent more money on
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taxpayer dollars than any member of the 435 member house. this is part of a ablenalysis b the moonlight foundation. we confirmed the numbers. he spent $1 million over five years. compare it to others in similar sized districts. gosar has spent almost five times the amount traveling back to arizona. compare it to the delegates representing guam who have to travel about 8,000 miles back to their home district when they leave washington. gosar still has outspent even them. over the last two years and also the five years, raising questions about the expenses and raising questions for taxpayer advocates who are wanting disclosure. >> his website says one of his
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missions is cutting government wasteful spending. that's what he says publicly on the website. why is this significant when you see a number that jumps autocharts, especially compared to his arizona colleague? >> there strict rules about what you can spend taxpayer money on when it comes to travel. it cannot be connected to political reasons or campaign reasons. and we have found through our reporting that at the time while he was expensing money to the taxpayers, he also was appearing at some political events including an annual gathering of conservative activists. he was in around last year. he spoke at another event in which there was some white nationalist rhetoric at that separate event. he went to that. at the same time, there was expenses that were disclosed to the taxpayer. there are also some mysterious expenses with no explanation like 11,000 lodging expenses in a three-day weekend last year. this is what the moonlight
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foundation said about this. it said far too often congressional travel budgets are spent like slush funds. she said while some travel expenses are necessary to serve constituents, ballooning travel budgets show more the need for better disclosures. for instance, detail where, when, and what purpose lawmakers use taxpayer money to travel outside the districts ought to be disclosed. >> we should be able to see more of the specifics, but you put the question to gosar. what was the response? >> i detailed the questionable expenses, but they did say -- contended none of the funds were misused. they said it's all connected to official travel. they went onto say unlike out of touch politicians, congressman gosar travels back to his district every week and hits the road to work tirelessly on
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behalf of his constituents. they say she was chairman of the house's western caucus for four of those years. they say that requires extensive travel, but that group does not disclose many of the events. only a handful outside of washington, raising questions about what the money was for. >> again, it would be nice if the congress required more disclosure by all the members. a quick look at the dow. it's a rough day on wall street. the dow more than 1100 points. the slide driven by day after analysis of what the fed did yesterday on inflation. and worries consumers nervous about inflation are starting to pull back on their spending. come up for us, monday marks a critical day for vladimir putin. what is the leader planning ahead of victory day? woooooooooooooo... we are not getting you a helicopter. only pay for what you need.
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there is anticipation intrigue, even fear over an important day on the calendar that comes next week. may 9th is russia's victory day. western analysts worry vladimir putin may use the backdrop of military parades in moscow to announce a stepped up operation in ukraine. the kremlin dismisses any such notion as nonsense. joining us, our panel. we don't really know, and there's been such speculation
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about this, because putin views himself as a historical giant because that day is so important in russian history. would he declare victory? would he declare war? the speculation has ranged from a to z. >> well, that's exactly right. you can't overstate the importance of may 9th in the russian political calendar as it's evolved. victory in world war ii has become the closest thing that post soviet russia has to a national identity. putin has elevated in some ways made a cult out of the russian victory in world war ii. he even uses this language to justify his invasion of ukraine, talking about denazifying the nation next door as a goal of what he's still calling a special military operation. that's one reasons for the speculation right now. as a special military operation, it has not obviously succeeded and putin's aims of toppling the ukrainian government and taking
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control of the territory. the question becomes do you need to escalate to a more full scale mobilization of the russian military and russian society, a full scale war in order to justify that, and to continue going? >> right. here's how tom nickels put it in the atlanta. putin might call for a final call to overwhelm the ukrainians by throwing men into a meat grinder. this war was deluded scheme hatched in putin's covid-isolated bubble and even now putin seems truly unable to understand the disaster he's unleashed on ukraine and the damage he's done to russia. the smart people, yourself including who have looked at this, none of the things you see in these articles, and in the conversations is that putin will decide to say never mind, i'm done. that's one thing that never comes up. it's escalation or some rewording of how he describes it. but never i want out. >> yeah. i think that the fantasy of the
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off ramp for vladimir putin is one that's persisted in many western capitals over the 20 years of his rule. i think this terrible bloody invasion of ukraine has finally signalled the end of that illusion, if nothing else. but look, vladimir putin does have an enormous problem which is that he has not achieved his war objectives. that's why you consistently see questions about whether he will escalate right now, and how he might reformulate his war aims to declare victory. it's notable that after his battle for kyiv, the capital failed, and he regrouped. even the battle for the donbas, the eastern region of ukraine appears to have stalled and to have bogged down. it's certainly unlikely that putin would be able to achieve some sweeping battlefield change in circumstances over the next week in a way that would change what he can do and say on may 9th itself.
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>> if putin looked outside of the propaganda bubble, he would see a new york times story that said one of the benefits ukraine has had during the war has been as the time says, they've used the intelligence to target key russian generals. one saying yes, the united states is sharing intelligence, but not with that specific intent. one way or the other, how would stories about how the united states is rushing minute to minute intelligence battlefield intelligence to the ukrainians sit with the russian president? >> look, the bottom line is that vladimir putin himself a former lieutenant colonel in the soviet era kgb has a conspiratorial mind set. he views the west, the united states and nato as essentially being full partners and participants in the war on russia that ukraine is waging to fight back against the russian invasion. so for a conspiracy-minded leader of russia, i don't think the distinctions that the nse is
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making of wording matters to him. he blames the united states for giving intelligence and military assistance in the billions and billions of dollars to clain as a participant in the fight. so that doesn't change how putin views things. he also doesn't care very much, i have to say, about the enormous casualties that he's wreaking both on ukrainian society and intense in ukraine, but also on russian soldiers. he does see himself as a world historic figure. somebody whose destiny is to restore the russian glory as he sees it. i think he's a product of an era lennon grad. that is very important in realizing that he has just a completely different view of the costs of war that he's willing to take on at this moment in time. >> critical perspective. susan, thank you. thank you. a lesson today for a russian
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oligarch maybe skip the extra week in fiji. officials there seizing a $300 million yacht. it belongs to -- the seizure came at the request of the biden administration. the seizure is part of the american broader american crackdown on putin's cronies. the u.s. officials allege he docked that yacht in fiji back on april 12th th. up next, a covid pandemic legacy. a new statistic. the staggering numb of -- numbef deaths related to the virus. bonnie boon i'm calling you out. everybody be cool, alright? with ringcentral we can pull bonnie up on phone, message, or video, all inhe same app. oh... hey bonnie, i di't see you there. ♪ ringcentral ♪
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topg our political radar, skagerring new numbers from the world health organization. it says about 14.9 people around the nation died as a direct or indirect result of covid-19. that between january of 2020 and december of 2021. that's nearly three times the number of officially reported covid deaths. 57 % of the deaths were men. 82% for people over the age of 60. the secretary of state, the latest official to test positive for covid in biden's cabinet. the state department says secretary blinken fully vaccinated and boosted and experiencing only mild symptoms. crippling droughts across the south and southwest are getting worse. new mexico more torched land this far than in 2020 and 2021
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combined. texas officials say nearly a quarter of the state is now in the most severe category of drought sparking fears the heat wave may strain the power grid. california's largest reservoirs critically low. you can also listen to our podcast. thanks for your time. we'll see you tomorrow. ana cabrera picks up our coverage right now. hello. thank you for being here. i'm ana cabrera in new york. we begin with a possible last stands in the ruins of a steel plant in the bombed out city of mariupol. an adviser to the mariupol mayor says russia's nonstop shelling today and the forces crashing through the perimeter have reduced conditions inside this complex to, quote, hell. he says if there is hell in the

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