tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 19, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
prison and being released after almost three years. be sure to join me this sunday on cnn special report "finally home" this sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern only on cnn. you can follow me on facebook, instagram, and twiter. you can tweet the show. if you miss an episode, listen to the lead wherever. our coverage continues now with wolf blitzer in a place i like to call "newsroom." i'll see you tomorrow. happening now president biden vows nato will be stronger against russian aggression stand ing with the leaders of both finn land and sweden as they seek to join the nato alliance. we'll get an up to the minute assessment about the war from the pentagon press secretary john kirby.
he's standing by life live. also growing concern the u.s. about the potential spread of another deadly virus. the cdc is now discussing whether to offer vaccinations for people at high risk of what's called monkey pox. a rare case has just been confirmed in this country. and as the buffalo shooting suspect appears in court, there's a new report just outside tout that some 15 peopl signed into an online chat room where he invited people to watch the racist attack where it happened. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm westolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with president biden hitting vladimir putin with a one-two punch. the united states now poise d t send billions of additional dollars in new aid to ukraine as the president is promoting new efforts to expand nato right now. our chief white house
correspondent kaitlan collins is joining us live from seoul, south korea. the president is heading to asia, where you are right now, but he remains deeply focused on the u.s. response to the russia's brutal and unprovoked war. >> reporter: that was clear by what was happening on the ground in washington as the president was preparing for his first trip to asia since taking office. and it was only hours after he departed on air force one that the senate passed that staggering $40 billion aid bill to ukraine. billions more than what the president had initially asked for. they are flying it here so the president can sign it. it came after he welcomed the leaders of finland and sweden to the white house in a remarkable moment. talking about their applications to the military alliance known as nato. these two actions that $40 billion bill and welcoming them to the white house is something that really would have been
unthinkable just a few months ago. today the president talked about what the moment went not with just the united states, but also for nee know. >> nato is relevant. it is effective. it's now needed more than ever. the bottom line is simple. finland and sweden make nato stronger. >> there are big questions about what happens in this interim process while waiting for those applications to be ratified. the president's focus is going to turn to asia. his first trip got delayed pause of covid restrictions that had been in place. while here, he's visiting south korea. he's visiting japan, but this entire trip is going to be focusing on countering china.
one other challenge on the plate while he's here is white house officials are preparing for the possibility that north korean could test another missile while the president is here on the way here. that north korea increased in recent weeks. that's not something the white house that be able to discuss with north korean officials since there's been relatively little contact between the two sides since boiden took office. all that happening while the president is here on the ground. everyone is still keeping an eye on what's happening in ukraine. >> we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you. let's go to ukraine. cnn is getting a firsthand look at the terror and devastation left behind by russian forces and the kharkiv region. nancy pelosi is out there on the loins. >> . >> the noise is further away from kharkiv. the part of the city stays hidden underground in the
with food in one bucket, urine in another, this is the desperation russia's war on ukraine wanted to inflict. she sat between her family and people whose name she didn't even know. >> even if ukraine wins, this is still where it hurts. in the presumptions about the most ordinary parts of life. victor shy, sheltering in a game two pirate ships attacking each other. >> we see some deciding to leave
already, yet still, the framework of permanence sets in. there are indications that ukraine officials are looking to final accommodation for those people in the metro at this time. and they will merge into kharkiv less pressure than when they first went down into the metro seeking shelter from the shelling. but still, we have seen ourselves even though ukrainian forces are pushing russia back towards its own border, they find themselves shelled repeatedly, vabss made are often faced with intense shelling from russians in tropical erms of th reclaimed. there seems to be limited advances being made, but the broad equation is the persistent new announcements of american assistance to ukraine here and ukraine frankly being pretty sky high.
it's rare we meet people who do not feel this is going well for ukraine. fundamentally, you have to ask in the long-term, how much russia can sustain in the face of ukraine not allowing it to make the progress it keeps advertising. >> nick paton walsh, thank you very much. heartbreaking to see what the families are going through right now. let's get the latest u.s. assess the on the war and the biden administration's support for ukraine. joining us now at the pentagon press secretary is john kirby. thank you for joining us. with president biden poised to sign this latest $40 billion aid package for ukraine into law, the pentagon is preparing to send an additional $100 million in earlier approved military assistance to ukraine. is this new package targeted to the specific new challenges ukraine is facing on the battlefield right now? >> it absolutely is. you'll see in this package we
just talked about today, a full battalion of vehicles to move them around. as well as counterartillery radars. but they are very useful to helping ukraine defend itself against the kind of artillery attacks that nick paton walsh was just reporting. so yes, this is very much tailored to the fight they are in today. >> let's turn to nato. very dramatic developments unfolding. turkey is trying to block to prevent what finland and sweden from joining the alliance. are you 100% confident that turkey will eventually agree to let those nations join the alliance. you need every nato ally to support new members. >> we're work ing with al lice, including turkey, to explore the concerns and make sure they have a vehicle to express those concerns, but we can all agree
that finland and sweden becoming members of nato is, as the president said, good for nato. it will strengthen our ability to defend ourselves in collective security. these are two modern militaries we operated together with. we exercised together with. their contributions will be only additive to the alliance. so we're going to work closely with them and with other allies as they go through this application process. >> oz you know, there's a recent assessment that the momentum of the war now has shifted significantly in ukraine's favor. >> it depends on where you're looking at. clearly, where nic is, the ukraines have achieved remarkable success. pushing closer to the east in the donbas, in the east itself, there's a lot of back and forth. what we can say for sure is the russians have not achieved the objectives they wanted to in the east. they are way behind schedule. with every village they take,
they take one or two back. it's a very active flight. it's close in fighting too. that's these artillery pieces are going to be so important. >> the joint chiefs chairman, as you know, he spoke today with his russian counterpart. less than a week after the defense secretary lloyd austin spoke with his russian counterpart after nearly three months of war. why are the russians ready to engage with top u.s. officials? >> it's difficult to know that. i don't think we have a perfect sense of why they have all of a sudden decided to pick up the tone. but we're glad they did. this is not for lack of trying on our part. not for lack of trying on general milley's part. it's good that we have reestablished a line of communication at the very senior levels. we were able to be very can sit with our russian counterparts and we want to continue to have those conversations going forward. now is exactly the time where
there should be top level communication. we hope it continues. >> let's see it does. john kirby, thank you for joinings us. just ahead, the latest on an outbreak of what's called monkey pox with a confirmed case now here in the united states and several suspected cases in canada and europe. stay with us. answer a few questions and our techno wizardry calculates your car's value and gives you a real o offer in seconds we'll come to you pay you on the s spot then pick up your car that's it at carvana you know, you hear a lot about celiac, but i never thought my dna would tell me i had a higher risk for it. i mean, i'm a food critic. i literally eat for a living. this can be a game changer. do you know what the future holds?
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in new york city health officials are investigate ing a possible case there a as well. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen is working the story for us. a lot happening just in the past hour. first of all, what's going on here in the u.s. and in canada for that matter? >> so much is chaungnging we wad to get it down all-in-one place. let's take a look at what's been happening just recently. so there's 17 suspected cases in canada. that's according to montreal public health. there's one case that traveled privately to canada and hadn't gone on a commercial air floigt or anything like that. the cdc is monitoring six passengers on a new yoigeria to flight with a different infected symptomatic passenger. we'll say no symptoms yet and the flight was not recent. it was in early part of this
month. so hopefully all is fine there. the cdc is discussing whether to offer smallpox vaccine to those at high risk. so health care workers taking care of a patient who has smallpox. the vaccine, it's related to monkeypox. it's not a small thing to get a smallpox vaccine. people can have adverse reactions. you can get other people sick if you get vaccinated. the fact that they are thinking about offering this means that there is some concern for those folks. >> what exactly are the symptoms of monomonkeypox? >> the symptoms start out as the symptoms of many other things. it starts out with a headache and swollen limp nodes and fever. but then after those symptoms, you get lesions all over the body. then it's very clear that it's monkey pox. the transmission is through prolonged face to face contact and direct or indirect contact with bodily fluids or with skin
lesions. now i want to point out. this is not covid. it double the spread like covid or something like measles. there were 47 cases. that was it. it didn't go any further. this is more difficult to contract salesman covid. >> it's important to know. elizabeth cohen. thank you. let's dig deeper. join ing us is the codirector o the texas children's hospital. and the done of the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine. thank you for joining us. how worried should we be right now? will public health authority bs able to contain these outbreaks of monkeypox? >> i think there's some optimism there, partly because if you have monkeypox, you visibly have the postyules. it's relatively straight forward
through the contact identification and tracing. and as elizabeth jopoints out, it's not nearly as transmissible as something like covid-19. so it requires fairly intimate contact. but i think it is a wakeup call that reminds us that we are seeing more and more of these virus infections, which are transmitted from animals to humans and then we see human to human transmission. so this whole field of one health where we look at everything wholistically with animals and people and then the environment to understand the rise of the disease, this explains ebola, it explains covid-19, which came from bats and now we had monkeypox on the list. this is a new normal in these illnesses. >> also tonight, cdc vaccine advisers, as you probably heard, they have just voted to recommend a covid-19 vaccine booster dose for children ages 5
to 11. how important are boosters for those young kids? >> i think it's important we have been seeing declining immunity in the face of this omicron variant. so it was not protecting very well against infection. and even against hospitalization, although it was a small study that wasn't necessarily statistically significant. it it looked like the hospitalizations declined to 48%. another reason for the booster is we know that this was probably a throw-dose vaccine since the beginning, since you get a big bump in antibodies from the third dose. this was true of adults. it was true of adolescents and now stiping it down to kids. so i think it's the right move to do. and i think it will offer better protection. not only against omicron in this variant, but also for future variants to come. it makes a lot of sense.
>> all right, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. there's more breaking news coming up next here in "the situation room." cnn is now learning that 15 people actually saw the buffalo shooting suspect's plan online before the massacre took place. we'll talk about the case with the naacp president derek johnson, who is standing by live. wick fresh new day fills your space with fragrance that's always fresh, n never overpowering. air wick. connect to nature. open talenti and raise the jar. to gelato made from scratch. raise the jar to all five layers. raise the jar to the best gelato. you've ever tasted. talenti. raise the jar.
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plan before carrying out the shooting that left ten people dead. brian todd is in buffalo, where the suspect appear ed in court today. >> tonight new details a about who the suspected buffalo gunman revealed his plans to bef beforehand. 15 people accepted his online invitation to view the diary he kept, when k which spelled out plans in detail. the invitation header read, happening, this is not a drill. the w post reported. it was sent 30 minutes before the attack and linked to an alleged live stream of his attack on twitch, as well as to six months worth of racist notes and details about surveying the store, drawing a map and take note of how many black customers were there. it's not clear if authorities are seeking to contact each of those users. >> the fbi will be investigating the identities of these individuals, trying to identify
them and to either speak to them or investigate them further. >> reporter: evidence collection at the site of the shooting is complete, the fbi said today, but the probe continues. >> there are interviews to be done. there are information and data gathered from social media and other internet companies. there are analysis that these to be done on the evidence that was collected. >> reporter: the suspect appearing in court today under heavy security handcuffed in an orange jump suit. in addition to a first-degree murder charge saturday to which he pleaded not guilty, he has now been tithed by a grand jury. as he's taken out of the courtroom, an onlooker calls him a coward. the suspect claims online he got one of the guns, a rifle from his father for christmas in 2020. a box can be seen in the family photo posted on facebook. a rifle was not used in the tops shoot, but one was found in the suspect's quart.
the hateful rant say he planned to use that rifle along with a shotgun to kill more black people in the neighborhood as he drove away from the tops supermarket. >> they jeffrey piece is an administrator at the church. he was a deacon there with hayward patterson for several years. i asked him about the man bhofs sho loved and trusted in the church community would have responded to his killer. >> the gunman was clearly full of hatred. you think that deacon might forgive this man if he were able to? >> the bible tells us to forgive. it tell us to forgive. i can't speak. he's gone. but if surviving, yes. i would say yes. i would have to say yes. we're going to have to forgive the gunman because we're here to tell you get that out of there. he's going to live there forever. you don't want that. >> when we asked an fbi official what the evidence here the at
the scene told them about the shooter's movement, he declined to comment, but he did talk about the high-powered capability of the ar-15 assault rifle. the rounds could penetrate walls and ricochet off of anything. he said there's significant damage inside this store. >> brian todd in buffalo, thank you. let's get more on the breaking news. joining us is the naacp president derek johnson. give us your reaction to this new reporting about how and when the suspect actually revealed his racist plans. >> there's more efforts that we have to step up efforts on social media platforms to prevent these incidents from taking place. social immemedia platforms have crated a political reality where they are not held accountable for monitoring, for enforcing
and permitting white supremacist activity. we are seeing more harm. this is one incident but there have been multiple incidents and the real question now is will social immemedia platforms be h accountable because they cannot self-regulate. we have to address section 230. secondly, it's important for the justice department to step up their efforts. it is unfortunate for these families in buffalo, but i'm concerned about the future families. activity is on an uptick. we have seen it in pittsburgh and louisville, and charlotteville. at what point do we begin to be aggressive, proactive to stop these type of violent acts. >> the naacp released actual policy recommendations in response to the buffalo massacre. what specifics in this plan and how will it help prevent these kinds of attacks down the road?
>> there's nothing new. it must be accountable for the activities on their platforms. you could not go to a newspaper and publish this. and there has to be some corporate responsibility and stop supporting news outlets like fox news that sew the seed of division and hate. many people look at that station and think it's factual, when it's manipulative news that's created more tribalism in our society than we have seen in my lifetime for a fact. so just sensible policies that all been out there for awhile. nothing new, but can we get the political will as the whole society to address this acti activity. the muslim communities are concerned about it. america, we should be concerned about it because it's eroding our democracy. >> i though you're meeting tomorrow with the u.s. attorney
general here in washington. what are you hoping to hear from the attorney general? >> what is the plan? what are you going to do? is naacp, we're going to sit there and we need to understand what are you going to do to prevent these acts from taking place in the future. how are you use ing the tools o the justice department. how is the federal government working across agencies to stop the rise in white supremacy. that's important. for the naacp, we don't know. i do know one thing. we're tired of seeing these same incidents happening over and over. when we have a federal government that's charged with responsibility of keeping communities safe, this is a national issue that's having a devastating skt on our communities, our society and our democracy. so the question to the a.g., what are you going to do about it? >> we'll check in with you after that meeting. derek johnson, thank you so much
for joining us. good luck to you. just ahead, the house january 6th select committee now turning its attention to a tour of the u.s. capitol given by a republican lawmaker on the eve of the january 6th insurrection. we're learning new details and will share them, when we come back. he knows he's covered with zero overdraft fees when he overdraws h his account by fifty bucks or less. overdraft assist from chase. make more of what's yours. as owner of mint mobile, i always want to find ways to save you money. so, let's meet the barely paid spokesperson for the new mint family plan my mom. you look thin sweetheart are you eating? ok let's... focu stick to the script there. uhhh.. right there the new mint family plan is only $15 a month per person. and the other line right there. just one of the many reasons i love ryan more than his dumb brother, terry. ok cut please! perfect moving on! you suck terry! when traders tell us how to make thinkorswim® even better,
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tonight sources are telling cnn that the formerer attorney general bill barr has tentatively agreed to give sworn testimony to the house select committee investigating the january 6th capitol insurrection. senior legal affairs correspondent paula reed is working the story for us. what are you learning? >> the former attorney general left his post in december 2020, so he was not in office the at time of the insurrection, but he's been in conversation with the committee about possibly cooperating because he could provide evidence about what was going on inside the trump administration before and after
the election. including his assessment that there was no widespread election fraud and how the former president reacted to that news. now what we don't know is when this interview will take place or whether barr will be one of the witnesses in these upcoming hearings. >> there's another major development that's been breaking now involve ing the committee deciding to investigate a tour of the u.s. capitol. a tour given by a republican member of congress right on the eve of the insurrection. what are you learn ing about that? >> in a letter, the committee is asking a fellow representative, a republican from georgia to share information about a tour of the u.s. capitol complex he led the ta before the insurrection. noting there were reports that individuals were trying to gain information, learn more about the layout of the capitol in advance of january 6th. but they responded to this request in a statement saying this was a tour with a constituent family with young
children and they never entered the capitol building. now in locking at the letter from the committee, they haven't provided many specific details about this tour in their letter. they mentioned republicans on the committee house m administration claimed to have reviewed the security footage from the days proceeding january 6th and they determined that there were no tours, no large groups and no one in maga hats. but the january 6th committee says it has reviewed evidence that directly contradicts that assessment. it has not specified how. they said fellow republicans are calling on capitol police to just release the tape so we can all see what it is at the center of this controversy. but police just responded saying they cannot make additional evidence public while the investigation is ongoing. >> we'll see happens. paula, thank you. let's get some more on all of
this joining us now is senior legal analyst elie honig and chief political analyst gloria borger. ellie, what unique insight does william barr, the former attorney general, have into donald trump's state of mind during the weeks leading up to the insurrection. >> bill barr's testimony could be crucial because it goes directly to donald trump's state of mind. we know that bill barr came out in december about three weeks after the 2020 election and said doj, the largest investigative body in the country has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. barr claims he said the same thing directly to donald trump's face. if that is true, that shows donald trump knew he did not win the election, knew there was no evidence of election fraud. so all of donald trump's efforts to steal the election after that were based on a fraud or based on a lie. that's going to be a crucial issue for the committee. >> gloria, why do you think barr
has agreed to testify when so many other former trump officials have resisted? >> first of all, barr left the white house before january 6th. he's gone on record and has written a book. he went on the record saying the election wasn't stole rn. trump lost it. he has also written a book in which he describes the president's state of mind after the election. in fact, he said he lost his grip. he went off the rails. he stopped listening to advisers p and he became manic and unreasonable and he surrounded himself with sycophants. and system of those people that barr is referring to are, in fact, ones refusing to testify. >> let me get your thoughts on this tour of the u.s. capitol given by a republican member of congress right on the eve of the insurrection. why is it so important for the select committee to get to the bottom of this? >> there's a pointed and very high stakes dispute gik on the
going on here. democrats dating back have accused certain house republicans of getting these tours on january 5th designed to facilitate the attack. if that's true, that's remarkably serious, potentially even criminal. republicans have strenously denied this. we have not seen any evidence in public to support this allegation. the most sbrepsing thing in the letter that the committee sent today is that committee says they have evidence that, quote, directly contradicts those denials. so we will see that evidence if they have the evidence and it is as the committee describes, that's an enormously big deal. >> we're not going to be able to look the a these tapes and there's no place that has more hidden tapes than the capitol. so there's got to be plenty of evidence. but these folks are disagreeing completely. one side is saying he was only there with a family and young children. and the committee is saying that you are not telling the truth.
these are in direct conflicts and we have evidence. if they do have the evidence and if he's tell ing the truth, i don't see why he wouldn't testify. >> more close cameras on capitol hill. thank you both very much. coming up, we'll return to the war in ukraine. will the conflict hit a standstill? the days and weeks ahead? stay with us. round. previous owner: "laughs" ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ mom: where are you going? ♪ ♪ so today let's stain, with behr, the #1 rated stain. and make your deck, yours. behr. exclusively at the home depot. sorry i'm late! dude, dude, dude... oh boy. your cousin.from boston. [whiff [water splashes] is it on the green? [water splashes] [goose squawks] i was just looking for my ball.
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let's discuss the state of the war with the former head of the u.s. military's central command, retired general david petraeus. thank you so much for joining us. according to this recent assessment, the battlefield in ukraine will be at a standstill for the next several weeks. which side do you believe is poised to benefit from that standstill right now? >> well, i think it really remains to be seen whether the ukrainians can kapt loiz on the progress they made in their counteroffensive outside their second largest city in eastern ukraine and continue to kapt lieds on the momentum that they achieved there or if the russians preparing for the operation that you just described in the eastern part of the country can seize that area and put ukraines on their heels. the next few weeks really are pivotal because i think this is the period when we're going to see whether the ukrainians with all of the additional arms and
ammunition provided by the u.s. and other nato countries can make use of that, tip the scales in their favor and roll back the russians, or if the russians can make a little gain in that one operation in more importantly solidify the front lines of the areas that they have seized already. and i think that's a big question because if they and southern ukraine and i think that is a big question, if they can't establish that, what a critical time the approach is. >> i also want your thought on turkey, trying to block both finland and sweden from joining nato at the moment, is turkey sewing divisions within the alliance that vladimir putin could exploit and do you believe turkey is still a reliable nato
ally? >> well turkey's a very important nato ally, what's happening is he is playing international politics, his economy is flounderring at home, organized against him, he has to appear a strong nationalist and make issues here with how sweden and finland have tolerated, at least allegedly, the presence of turkish, kurd, terrorist allies in a sense or the movements the pkk have designated as a turkey terrorist organization and in fact turkey has as well and perhaps a little bit in the nod of the direction of putin because they've been partners from time to time and then maybe also this is an effort to unstick the issue of the f-16 refurbishment the turks have requested from the united states and frankly, to get some
attention from president biden as well but i think this will be resolved. i think at the end of the day, you'll see quite an efficient process but certainly there's going to have to be some exchange with president erdowan on these issues. >> big picture right now, is this where you expected the war to be nearly three months in? >> you know, it's hard to say, wolf, because i think all of us have sort of recalculated at several different times. you may recall, i did say the russians would not take kyiv and would never control the city. that said, i think the incompetence of the russians has truly been stunning and the extraordinary resourcefulness, professionalism, just capacity to very determined capacity to take the fight to the russians on the part of the ukrainians has really been enormously impressive. their leadership has been hugely impressive, church hillian, if
you will, so i think as we've seen this emerge, then you start to recalculate and i think this has happened actually with the united states leadership and that of nato and other western countries as they realize that russia is not going to be able to overwhelm ukraine. they decide let's give them more weapon and see of course they've been flowing in at an extraordinary rate and putting them into the front lines effectively and quickly so the question now, i think, really comes down to that issue i bring earlier which is about whether the russians can solidify the lines of the areas they have seized. if so, that's a problem. >> we shall see, general david petraeus thank you, more news ahead, getting new information by the way of the biden administration's efforts to ease the shortage of baby formula here in the united states.
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this just in to cnn, white house says the united states has just secured its first shipment of baby formula over from seas, expected to arrive within the u.s. in days, the biden administration has been scrambling to tackle a major supply crisis but there's questions whether the new initiatives will ease the shortages in the short term, more of that will come up as we get more information. also tonight a recount looking more and more likely in pennsylvania as the primary remains deadlocked. let's look at national correspondent regina jones, joining us from pennsylvania, i
understand they're still co counting ballots where you are that, athena. >> that's right, we're in lancaster county down to the last fewer than 200 ballots the mail-in ballots that arrived on election day, started today with about 850 ballots they needed to take a look at and count, however some of those ballots had the same problem with the misprint with the wrong code so they had to open up all the ballots and figure out which ones needed to be remarked and then scanned and counted so we're waiting for that process to end. you can see it happening behind me. they're really, very, very close to finishing the chief clerk registers telling me i'm not leaving here tonight until i'm done but this is so important to know this is not the only county where there are votes outstanding and many of the counties not being clear how many votes are left, our best estimates is it's under 10,000 but this is out of millions cast so this is still a very, very
tight race and observers from both campaigns have been watching it here as well as representatives from the state parties have been watching the process here. but we're very close but not quite there yet, wolf. >> athena, thank you very much and to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room," erin burnett, "outfront," starts right now. "outfront" next, ukrainian commander says troops are making major gains against russia tonight as the united states gets even more involved in the war. plus, the head of the fda slammed over the baby formula shortage, democratic lawmaker calling the response a, quote, d dereliction of duty, i speak to a mother struggling to find baby formula for her child, and investigating a new case of monkey pox, cases of the serious virus popping up
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