tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN August 24, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello, everyone. at this hour ukraine has been fighting the russian invasion for half a year and the u.s. announces it's sending billions more in aid. plus, the political primary season is now over and the race to november's midterm elections kicks into high gear. the white house facing a big decision now what to do about student loan debt and facing criticism before the announcement even comes out. this is what we're watching at this hour. thank you so much for being here. i'm kate bolduan. it's an important milestone in russia's deadly war in ukraine. today marks six months since
putin's forces invaded ukraine. forcing millions of innocent civilians from their homes killing tens of thousands, threatening the world's food sup pry, the security strity struct up ending the global economy. the u.s. announced the largest aid package yet worth $3 billion and ukraine marks 31 years since it declared independence. this morning president zelenskyy says his nation is reborn standing in front of a burned out and destroyed russian tank in kyiv. let's begin coverage with david mckenzie live in ukraine's capital with this major moment. what are you seeing and hearing there? so many reflection of six months of war. >> reporter: it's extraordinary. look at the people from behind me gathering. they're ignoring warnings from the president and others to say
there is the risk of possible missile strikes here in the capital and across the country. several times today, we've heard in fact, kate, those sirens going off warning people about a possible strike. i think the mood is defiance. you see behind me the tanks, the burned out apcs, the rocket launches, all part of that brutal offensive in the early weeks of this conflict where they're trying to take over the capital kyiv until they, the russians left. now this is a conflict in the northeast, east and south. very little movement on the front line. i've seen people taking selfies, writing notes on the tanks. i'm sure some are insults to russians and russian forces. this is an important day symbolically for ukraine. independence 31 years since they broke away from the soviet union and six months from the start of the war. i spoke to president zelenskyy in a press conference where i asked him is he worried about the grinding nature of the war
and whether they will continue to get support? >> translator: we need to be clearly aware as soon as the world becomes tied to this war that's going to be a great threat to the world and aniluating ukraine so we're grateful for any kind of assistance we need, more of it, that's true. >> reporter: well, the white house announced up to $3 billion of military assistance including ammunition, training and weapons. a short time ago, out going prime minister boris johnson of the u.k. was here on the streets with the president. that support is still there. if it comes,ntinues thanks is a question as this war goes on. >> thank you for being there. ukrainian force haves been standing their ground in the last six months but russian troops continue bringing the fight to eastern and southern ukraine. cnn fred pleitgen is live in
moscow for us at this hour. half a year in. what is putin's strategy now? >> two-fold strategy, kate. i think on one hand what vladimir putin is trying to do is insulate the public if you will especially in the larger russian population center from the brutality of the conflict that's going on there in ukraine and also the way things are going at least in detail on the battle field, as well. one of the things we know is that at the beginning, the russians thought this would be over in a couple days. it was something said on tv shows here in the public, it was something that russian p politicians had said, as well. we're here six months on and i was actually before we went on air watching one of the main talk shows here that deals almost exclusively with the what russia called the special operation in ukraine and it took them a very long time to even mention that all this has been going on more six months and you know, one of the things that i think is really interesting is that when you're here in moscow, like i have been so much, you
can really if you try to sort of convince yourself that this war isn't going on, you can do that here in this city. it's not prominent. there is not much in the way of symbolism and look at it despite the economic sanctions, life is still pretty normal here in moscow. it certainly seems like vladimir putin is trying to keep it that way, to keep the true effects of this war, the economic effects the sanctions are having and losses russians have been taking to keep that away from the population at large. then the second part of the strategy certainly seems to be to out last the west in its support for ukraine. something that has been done over the past couple of really since all of this started. you know, to show how vulnerable the u.s. european allies are, they're dependent on russian energy and of course, that ukraine is dependent on the weapons. the russians hope they can simply out last the west in all this, kate. >> good to see you, fred, thank you for that. the country, ukraine, has now seen six months of conflict,
violence, alleged war crimes brought upon it. here are some of those key moments in the last six months to remind you of because there is so much. a warning you may find some of these images disturbing. six months ago today on february 24th. vladimir putin launched his invasion of ukraine ordering thousands of russian troops to go in across to cross the border. on march 9th, russian forces bombed a maternity and mariupo killing three children. president zelenskyy called this attack at the time proof of genocide. a week later a russian air strike hit a theater also in mariupol that was being used as a shelter for civilians and wanted to make sure the russians knew it was a shelter because painted on the grounds outside of the building in giant russian letters was the word children, hundreds were killed in that attack. on the first of april, the world saw the first horrifying images of the massacre in bucha,
evidence of forces executing several men. their bodies found lying in the streets. a mass grave with an untold number of people buried there, the atrocities sparked demands of war crimes investigations and much harsher sanctions on russia and while the number of civilian casualties is still unknown, the united nations now estimates more than 10 million people have been forced to flee ukraine since the war began. all of this in just the last six months. joining me right now to discuss more is william taylor, the former ambassador to ukraine and retired general david petraeus who of course is the former cia director and central command. thank you for being here on this day. i want to break this into three parts, ukraine, russia and the nato alliance. where is ukraine six months in? and what are you watching for in the next six months? >> well, ukraine i think has seized this stra tegic
initiative. they went from 5% of russian control to their territory to 20%. they won the battle of kyiv. putin failed to topple president zelenskyy. putin is watching nearly 4 million of his best and brightest leave his country. he's made nato great again. he's done more for ukrainian nationalism. so now ukraine is poised, supported by the arsenals of democracy, the other nato countries to perhaps go on the offensive to launch a counter offensive in the south in particular having again used these precision ammunitions to rush ammo dumps, fuel depots, headquarters and air fields in crimea seeming to set conditions for what might follow. but the question is can they now translate all of these arms and ammunition and support from the west into meaningful tactical and operational victories in the south? that remains to be seen in the
weeks and months that lie ahead. >> absolutely. am bas ambassador, where is russia six months in? what do you see changing in the next six months? fred pleitgen laid out you wouldn't think there is a war going on right now if you're in russia. >> you're right, kate. president putin would like there to be in mention of the war, he in fact, you can go to jail for calling it a war in russia. so he is -- he's concerned. he's got problems. there is economic problems. his big problem is one of soldiers. his military has been beaten up as general petraeus said and as your reporters said in the beginning of this war, they got russian military got really hammered and they're now in a grinding battle back and forth losing tens of thousands of his troops. so president putin has a problem on soldiers so he's looking for, you know, libyans or syrians or
north koreans. he's looking at the private group. he's got a problem and what that means is he is in a strain to mobilize that if he mobilizes, then he's got a political problem at home, kate. so he's got economic problems. he's got military problems and he's probably got political problems. >> general, talk to me more about nato in this equation. it has stayed united and getting bigger. that is one thing we have seen in the six months of war. does that sustain for another half a year? >> well, certainly we hope so. i tend to think so. there is great leadership at nato. the secretary general stayed on longer. you see two very strategically important countries with very fine forces albeit small ones, finland and sweden wanting to join nato after years of being neutral and you see the alliance pulling together and helping ukraine in just about every way they possibly can.
so in truth, no one has done more again to make nato great again than vladimir putin. he's the greatest gift to nato since the end of the cold war. >> am basketbbassador let me pl something the nato secretary general said what nato will mean for the allies. listen to this. >> winter is coming and winter is going to be hard and nato allies across europe and north america are paying a price. costs by the sanctions, costs by of course the brutal war of russia against ukraine increasing energy prices and inflation. at the same time. we know that the price we have to pay if we don't support ukraine can be much higher. >> ambassador, what does a cold, long winter mean for ukraine when we can be looking at serious energy shortages?
>> this winter will be key. if europeans can get through the winter, the ukrainians can get through this winter. they have millions of ukraine yips going back home to destroyed homes in the middle of a tough winter. ukraine has a tough winter and they will be short of energy, as well. that said, if the europeans can get through this winter, then demand for russian oil and gas will have peaked and will be on the way down and that's going to have a big effect on president putin's ability to pursue this war. this winter will be tough. it will take leadership. it going to take leadership from nato. it going to take leadership from the european union and european nations and take leadership in the united states, as well. if we can hang on, if we can maintain support, we're
convinced the russians can be beaten. that will get us through the next winter. >> general, also, just the next phase on the battle field is the winter phase. what does that mean? >> first, the late summer and fall phase. we should look to see can ukraine take back the province kherson and russia is taking out the bridges that connect west of the river with support and so forth on the east of the river and done it quite impressively and seeming to set up the isolating part of the battle field. so they can take that back and then see if they can press on
further into the south. that is going to be key. then you'll see the onset of winter that will be tough. depends how tough this winter is. it may not be as difficult as the north and fonortheast. i think the fighting will continue. the ukrainians are also showing something here that is crucially important and that is that they are generating forces. they're recruiting training, equipping, organizing and then employing additional ukrainian forces much moref effectively ad efficiently and impressively than russians. the russians are struggling to find replacements much less to find organized equipped and trained units. >> it has been a remarkable thing to watch on so many levels. general, thank you so much. ambassador, thank you so much, as well. appreciate you being here today. coming up for us, the
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voters have spoken in florida, new york and oklahoma picking their choices for some of the biggest contests come this november including which democrat will challenge ron desantis who could very well be a 2024 presidential contender. cnn senior data reporter harry joins me with a closer look at last night. harry, let's start with florida. we now know who the democrat is that will be taking on ron desantis. how does that race look to you this morning? >> yeah, so let's take a look. we'll go to florida first, home away from home for myself. look here, florida democratic
gubernatorial candidate charlie crist, the former governor in the state easily emerged victor. he won by 25 points. this will be a key race in the fall. why? ron deaesantis has 2024 hopes. some polls suggest that will be an uphill climb but the reason we keep an eye on this is because desantis is a 2024 player. we'll see if crisp can make damage to the 2024 hopes. >> especially when you have ron desantis' war chest and amount of money he has coming in. what is it? $132 million right now? the other big democratic primary was here in new york where two seven u serious heavy weights faced off. what does this final result mean? >> this is a race a lot of us were watching. jerry nadler a 30-year income bent, another 30-year incoumben
you rarely see. you should never have two folks like this facing off. jerry nadler easily the victor. 31-point margin. i was expecting nadler to win. i wasn't expecting it to be this wide of a win. nadler was slightly more liberal than maloney but to be honest, it was a clash of personalities and the campaign got so nasty towards the end. caroline maloney being half dead but nadler able to pull out the win very easily in this race and the other thing i'll note, nadler a little more liberal so perhaps in an item which moderate democrats do better like in the state of florida, here is a one for the left wing, truly progressive wing of the democratic party. >> you're intrigued by the message that could come out.
>> let's go to the hudson river. this is a district joe biden won by 1.5 points and what did we see in the special election? we saw that pat ryan pulled out the wiping bn by more than 1.5 and that is interesting because in the special elections that happened before the supreme court overturned roe v. wade, we saw republicans in fact were out performing the baseline, the presidential baseline by about six points. in the four special elections since roe v. wade was overturned, the democrats on average have been out performing the baseline by an average of five points and this was not the only special election last night where in fact we saw a dem over performance. there was the 23rd special election republicans held but in that special election, the republican candidate won by 6.5 points, that's a district donald trump won by over 11 points.
in two special elections last night, we saw the democrats out performing their roe v. wade -- their 2020 baseline preroe v. wade so to me, it was a very clear sign roe v. wade had in fact enn fact energized it. >> democrats are taking messages from that going into the general. good to see you, thanks for doing that. appreciate it. >> coming up, president biden preparing to announce his plan to forgive thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt. why his plan is already facing some criticism before its even officially announced? that's next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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at this hour president biden is at the white house preparing to announce his plan for federal student loan debt forgiveness. among other moves, the president's announcement is expected to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for anyone making less than $125,000 a year. joining me is john harwood, also here with us cnn business
correspondent. john, this has been a long time coming, this kind of discussion and internal debate over what to do here. what was the thinking behind this plan as we know it within the white house? >> reporter: kate, there is tremendous cross pressures on this issue that have have been coming down on the white house. on the one hand, economists, democratic and republican tend to hate student debt forg forgiveness. why? what is the biggest economic problem facing the president? inflation. they say the more debt relief you provide, the more inflationary that is by stimulating consumer demand. they also say that it tends to benefit more affluent people, college graduates and stick the bill with those who have not gone to college. on the other hand, democrats have a collision heavily tilted toward younger people, college graduates, progressives, civil rights interests and they have been among the most aggressive lobbying forces for student debt relief. so the way they have come out is
$10,000 of relief, not the $50,000 that many people on the left had been asking for but $10,000 of relief per borrower if you make under $125,000 a year. they're trying to limit it the benefits for the highest income but up to $20,000 if you've received a pell grant. that's designed to get some of those lower and middle income families covered there. so complicated setting. you've got a midterm election coming up. they're extending the student loan pause through the end of the year so people aren't getting a new bill before midterm elections and that's how they try to balance the political and economic interest. >> talk to me about the inflation criticism coming at the white house. it is real. larry summers is for one concerned about the impact on inflation, especially the extension of the pause on payments is what he seems particularly concerned about. he wrote this in part, the worst idea would be a continuation of the current moratorium that benefits among others highly
paid surgeons, lawyers and investment bankers. talk to me more about this concern here and could it could mean for the economy. >> the biggest concern is what this policy could do for consumer spending would add to inflation. let's take for example the average student loan payment before the moratorium was about $300 a month. well, suddenly if you have to start paying back $300 a month starting next month, that's $300 less that you have to spend in the economy that stimulates sort of growth and demand. the counter argument, however, is that this motratorium is in effect for two years. household budgets have been set. this is not new money that's being generated. this is not new stimulus being added. that's why you see fierce debate among economists whether this is net negative, positive or net neutral. the chief economists at moody's telling me that he's not crazy about this policy as we understand it, either. you may or may not like this policy but that should not be
based on the impact it will have on the economy and inflation because when combined with the end of the moratorium when that comes is an economic wash. >> interesting. john, the naacp is also not happy. saying the plan doesn't go far enough. i know you're getting at this, as well. the quote from the naacp is this is not how you treat bloack voters. are these concerns being heard at the white house? >> absolutely. they have a tough midterm coming up trying to hold the house and control of the senate. those will be difficult as the pot lit. >> caller: -- political environment has turned. they need a turnout of african americans. they are counting on they waived the balance of interest by adding the extra loan for -- the extra debt relief for pell grant recipients and dealt with that issue as well as the 10,000 for everybody under $125,000 but it's not easy and, you know, democrats got a lot of people to try to turn out to vote. one thing to add to what she was
saying and what mark was saying is it's kind of like the inflation reduction act. that wasn't really about inflation and is only going to have a marginal impact on reducing inflation if it has any at all. the same is true in reverse of student debt relief. it's not going to have a dramatic increase in inflation but it moves in the wrong direction. so you've got a small movement in either direction and joe biden is trying to balance them. >> regardless, i just will state again, it's a band-aid over the real problem, which is at the most basic skyrocketing and insane costs of higher education today no matter what the details are in this announcement. great to see you guys, thank you so much. coming up, a judge gives trump's legal team until friday. what the court wants to hear from the former president's lawyers by then. that's next. it's the all-new subway series menu.
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talk to me about this friday deadline. >> right, kate, this is a doover for trump's legal team. they asked for a special master earlier this week and the judge is signaling what they wrote in court is inadequate so far. the judge is asking trump's attorneys to clarify a few things. she wants them to write more about the precise relief sought so that is essentially a judge saying i don't know what you're asking for, please clarify. she also wants them to say why the court has jurisdiction, what legal standards aplay. pl please aexplain more about the law and why trump is seeking immediate relief. trump didn't do the things you need to do to get a judge to do something on an emergency basis. she's asking for a little more explanation there. also, this question has trump actually told the justice department he's asking for a special master, let them know this is in court now. so all of that explanation is supposed to be coming in friday as a supplement. we should see it before friday
on thursday so tomorrow, we are expecting the justice department to file under seal. so confidentially not available to the public. their proposted redactions for the affidavit and explanation of the investigation and still learning more things by the day about how that investigation took place including that there was concern early on in the federal government that there were classified documents in the hundreds found at mar-a-lago, kate? >> kaitlin, thank you so much. joining me for more is jennifer rogers and cnn national security analyst turner. on the june'dge's response to t filing, what do you make of her response and what she's asking them to clarify as kaitlin laid out? >> as kaitlin said, kate, it was inadequate in many ways and inadequate in the sense of we don't know what you want us to do here. what are you asking for and what is the basis for you request? that's what a judge needs to know to determine first of all, where it's going to do is judge reinhart who has the search
warrant going to hear this request for a special master or will it go to another judge, possibly a district judge instead of judge reinhart and what is the basis for relief. if you don't have an affidavit, there are no facts. once they get the parameters what is being requested, they can get it to the right judge and that judge will set a schedule for hearing it. >> it seems like the judge hits on this in her response. what impact does this, will this have on the other judge who is preparing what to do about releasing the affidavit related to the fbi search? she hits on did you tell the justice department you were even getting at this. >> it doesn't impact judge reinhart's decision on whether to release parts of the affidavit. it would be more efficient for judge reinhart to hear he's already familiar with the search warrant and its support. so i think it makes sense to put it before the judge, but it doesn't really impact the other
thing he's handling so technically, it doesn't have to go before him. >> yeah, sean, there is also this new detail that kaitlin was hitting at on the sheer volume of classified documents retrieved from trump's florida estate. in a letter from the national archives, in the january kind of retrieval of boxes, it was 100 classified documents totaling more than 700 pages and also in the letter, it explains the justice department, the reason they're part of what they're writing about, the justice department wanted to conduct an assessment of the potential damage resulting from the apparent manner in which these materials were stored and transported and take any ra st. what is behind that? is it the sheer volume of classified documents or the level of classification, do you think? >> kate, i have to say at the outset it defies logic one of president trump's supporters
would reveal the existence of this letter, which as we know tells us a lot about the volume and the nature of those documents. to your question, what is behind that request for an investigation, request to look into the potential damage that could be caused is a reference in the letter to special access programs. we haven't talked a lot about this. everyone has known there is top secret csi information or sensitive compartment information in the documents, but one of the things we've been waiting to understand is whether or not there was a special access program information in these documents. what we're talking about here and this is important for people to understand, we're talking about a level of classification that goes beyond sci. sap programs are restricted to a small number of people and these programs deal with things like black programs. they deal with on going operations. they even deal with sources that are so sensitive that if those sources were revealed, it would
be catastrophic to the intelligence collection efforts. that's one of the reasons why there was such a sense of urgency to understand what was in this trove of documents because if there is information there that people have access to that could get back to our adversaries around the world, it could have a significant impact on our ability to continue to conduct our intelligence mission. >> and john, i want to play for you what the former, one of trump's former acting chiefs of staff nick mulvaney said about the sheer volume and classification picked up in this round, in this retrieval. let me play this for you. he spoke with us yesterday. >> you can easily throw a bunch of suffituff in a box of docume. classification covers a large variety of documents. the large number of documents doesn't necessarily get my attention. again, it's the small number of tssci and special access documents that has me scratching my head. >> i think you agree with at
least some of that but what do you think of what he said? >> yeah, well, look, it certainly is the case that those of us who had a security clearance for a long time occasionally you have a situation where someone inadvertently takes a classified document home and there is a process for dealing with that. the idea you throw multiple documents, classified documents into a box, particularly at this volume and take those out of the white house and then be asked for those documents to be returned and resist that request, you know, that sort of defies logic. i think he's right about just the idea that it is a head scratcher. we still don't know why the president would want to retain these documents, particularly if they relate to special access programs but it's critically important we understand why. as i said before, kate, if these documents were about the president and one of his investigations, i could potentially understand that. but if we're talking about sap programs, those are not about the president. those are about serious
intelligence collection efforts and we need to understand why he took those documents. >> thank you both very much. coming up for us, millions of americans are waiting for updated covid booster shots and that wait could soon be over. details on how quickly the fda could be authorizing them, next. i wish that shaq was my real life big brother. what's up, little bro? turns out, some wishes do come true. and it turns out the general is a quality insurance company that's been saving people money for nearly 60 years. for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage- go with the general. they said it couldn't be done. because the big drug companies have billions of dollars and an army of lobbyists.
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the biden administration making plans to roll out an updated version of covid-19 booster shots to people 12 and older. the "new york times" is reporting it could happen soon, after labor day. pfizer and moderna developed booster shots that combine the original vaccine with one specifically designed to target
the ba.4 and ba.5 only con variants. ba.5 accounts for nearly 90% of all new covid cases in the united states. joining me now is dr. topal. >> good to see you. >> what is your reaction to this plan to roll this out as soon as possible and what it could mean. are we going with this new -- these new vaccines, we will see less infections? >> well, that's a good question. we just don't know. as you pointed out, kate, with 90% of the cases ba.5, this is going to be a vaccine directed to that for the first time. it's the first update vaccine since the beginning of the whole pandemic. so, in that respect, it's good. it shows the fda is quite agile. a lot of uncertainties. the only data we have for this specific vaccine so far is in mice.
that's what is used for flu shots, updating them from year to year. this is a different virus. the hope is that it will reduce infections and transmission. but we just don't know that yet. >> the "new york times" is reporting about this that the fda will decide whether to authorize the new boosters without seeking a recommendation from the panel of outside experts, which is its normal procedure. what do you make of that? >> well, they are going to have a cdc advisory committee review. so that may be at least some external review. it is a bit surprising that they're not going to entertain the fda advisory committee input. >> yeah. you also wrote recently about something that i don't think gets enough attention, and why i was looking forward to speaking to you. it's about long covid. a recent study indicated that 1 in 8 people who had covid experience symptoms over many
months. it's still a condition that is largely mysterious. what do you think people need to be aware of right now? what's our better understanding of long covid at this moment? >> i'm glad that you're on it, kate. this is a really big problem that doesn't get adequate recognition. it's really the main reason we have to avoid covid infections or reinfections. there's a cumulative hit of having second or third infections. we are starting to get a better handle on the underpinnings. there seems to be inflammation of the nervous system, which is why we see some of these impacts on the brain, nervous system, even out to two years. and we are really way behind on getting treatments. there are many different treatments out there dangling with small trials, we don't have commitments to big trials to nail this down. so right now, our best thing is prevention. there's just not enough people being covid cautious right now to prevent those infections.
the only way we know to prevent long covid right now. >> i want to read a bit of the op-ed that you wrote in the "l.a. times" about this. you wrote as we eventually emerge from this pandemic, long covid will be the enduring major public health complication that we failed to address in a timely and aggressive manner. it's not too late to invest in understanding and combating it. what is that going to take? >> yeah. it hasn't been ever taken as seriously and as aggressively as we needed. we've got well over 10 million americans suffering from long covid right now. ten-fold what we've seen in fatalities. and we have over 4 million who are out of work. so, this requires really intensive efforts. we have an nih budget which is substantial, over $1 billion towards long covid, but it's not into these trials of treatment. we've got to get these people better.
they're suffering. i think it's been denied, also the risk of it are just not out there. but it's really the main thing that will be over time, when we look back, it's the one thing we have not pushed on hard enough. >> the way you put it, really it made me think of it a different way. like this is going to be the long tale of covid even when this pandemic is long gone. dr. topol, thank you for coming in. >> thank you. president biden will announce his student loan forgiveness plan in the 2:00 hour from the white house. just got that announcement. we'll bring that to you when it begins live. until then, thank you very much for being here at this hour. "inside politics" starts after this break. sleep per ninight. all smart beds are on sale. save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. endsds monday. ♪ ♪
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