tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN April 22, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello, i'm victor blackwell. welcome to cnn "newsroom." alisyn has the day off. russia has now announced a new goal for its war on ukraine and it goes far beyond a special operation it announced for east. state media reports that a russian general detailed phase two which aims to take control of southern ukraine. now the general confirmed for the first time that by seizing donbas russia would have a land corridor to crimea and added southern ukraine to that plan
that by having the east and the south russia would have access to a russia separatist conclave in the area of moldova. but in the east heavy fighting continues. with ukrainians saying russias have making advances in the luhansk region and 42 more settlements have come under russian control. and tens of thousands of people are trapped by russia's unrelentless shelling in mariupol. new satellite images show evidence of mass graves oiutsid of the port city and the estimate of the death toll so far in the city. >> we have around 20,000 dead, civilian deaths in mariupol. and these were people who were buried by enemy shelling, but enemy bombardment. buried under the rubble and at the moment we're witzing the enemy trying tr crimes.
using the instrument of mass graves. >> let's go to ukraine now, matt rivers is in the city of lviv in the west. matt, anyone able to get out of that city today or anyplace else actually in. >> reporter: well, let's start with mariupol, victor and unfortunately the answer is no. at least through any official channels. what we know is that no humanitarian corridor was agreed to between russia and ukraine. that was after a few days in a row where humanitarian corridor was opened up. none was able to be opened today. although it is not like what we saw yesterday and the day before. we know that evacuations out of mariupol have been painfully slow. a dozen of people that made it out. yesterday some 200 people were told by the deputy miems prime minister, they couldn't leave because of russian shelling an that is the theme, russian violations of cease-fires that
do not allow the humanitarian corridors to go forward, and russia said they are facilitating this but we need to be clear that russia controls the vast majority of mariupol if they wanted to let people leave safely, they could do so. we were at a train station here in lviv today and there was a train designated for evacuees and hardly anyone got off that train. >> and now to heavy fighting in eastern ukraine and also in the south. tell us what you know about that? >> reporter: so there continues to be heavy shelling from kharkiv to the smaller tempts that you talked about and we continue to hear calls from the area of luhansk or donetsk urging people to get out and we know there are people leaving, some evacuees that were fired upon by russian soldiers.
even if they want to leave, their coming under fire. and we can't really stress enough how important it is that russian officials came out for the first time publicly and said what we've been thinking, the russians want to control southern ukraine. that put the city of odesa in the cross-hairs that some were not expecting, a city that has managed to avoid destruction and blood shed now very much a target of russia's military leadership. >> matt rivers in lviv, thank you. let's talk about that, that new revelation. the admission of wanting to take the east and the south. joining me now is retired army brigadier general steve anderson. general, welcome back. let's start there with this general acknowledging what the map has suggested for some time, is that the russians want the east, they want the south, and that could take them all the way over to a place most people haven't heard of in moldova. what is your assessment. >> well thank you for having me
victor. and all i would say to that assessment or that statement is talk is cheap. i don't think they're going to be able to pull it off. they've got three major problems. okay. first of all is quantity. they're forces have been significantly degraded. dod estimated 25% of fire power since they started the war. 130 tactical groups that started this war, now down about 80, 85. and if you look, do the math. you're talking about a country of 40 million people and 140,000 shoulders are outnumbered 280 to 1. and the sec issue is quality. we know that they have huge problems, leadership problems and they don't have noncommissioned officers, the morale is low and the quality of the troops, it not like they're going to suddenly jump in a phone booth and emerge as superman and change the way they're conducting war fighting.
and the third issue is strategy. now they're talking about going over here to odesa but they're also attacking up here in kharkiv. we reported in luhansk and donetsk and the ongoing fight in mariupol. he who attacks everywhere, attacks nowhere. they have an issue where -- they're violating the principal of mass and they need to attack in one area and attack in that way. they need to bring their artillery and attacks online and push on one advance not by multiple. by the statement for the general officer is good news for the ukrainians because they'll continue to use their flawed strategy. >> we heard from the british prime minister that in his words realistic possibility that russia may win this war. from what you're saying here, if they take this strategy of going from the donbas all the way over to the western border and really
make ukraine a land locked country, that is less realistic and less likely? >> absolutely. i mean, i don't believe that the prime minister's statement was very helpful. but it all depends on how you define victory. and we know that vladimir putin is probably going to claim victory no matter what happens. but i would submit to you that as long as the will to resist continues with the ukrainian people and nato and the united states stand united behind them and resupplying them as they need, they will continue to carry the day with the russians and they will continue to win. now what does ultimate victory look like. i don't know that. does that mean we to push them out to include the donbas do we re-establish the border as it was eight years ago. that is for other people to decide. but the prime minister should not have made that statement. it is not true. i believe that the ukrainians will prevail. >> so you talked about arming the ukrainians. let's talk about a new weapon that could be coming their way.
the french, french president macron has said that he's going to, or the country will supply ukrainian fighters with the self-propelled howitzers. tell us but this and their significant in this fight. >> it is not operationally significant. it is a political message is what it is. it shows that they're going to help. and they're only, i think the numbers are just a few dozen, these are very capable howitzers but the ukrainians aren't trained so they need some time to do that. they probably don't have a logistics to sustain them as well. so it will take some time. but it is a very powerful political message that they've sent and really what i think it does, it puts the pressure on the germans to do the same and that would be huge. all of nato needs to step up and understand this is an existential threat against nato, the united states and the entire world and everybody needs to participate in this fight. >> the germans certainly have offered more than they did at the start of this invasion.
but as president zelenskyy said, that the west needs to offer more. let me get your reaction to something that ukrainian intel has released. they say that it is a recording of russian forces talking about an order to kill princisoners o wars. let's listen and then i want to hear from you. >> what could i tell you, damn it. [ bleep ]. you keep the most senior among them and let the rest go forever. [ bleep ]. let them go forever, damn it, so that no one will ever see them again, including relatives. >> russia has already been accused of committing war crimes. this would be another one. your reaction to what you heard there? >> well, first of all. >> we need to document it and process the war crimes as need to happen. but i mean to me, it gets back to my earlier point about the quality of russian soldier right now. they're poor. or they have poor values. they don't share our values and that should scare the entire world. one more reason for us to step
up. but they lack discipline and they don't have leadership at the lower level or noncommissioned officers, they don't have the kind of value systems that we've grown up and it shows life is cheap to them. so this should scare everybody and it should inspire us all to push the attack to the russians even more. >> brigadier general steve anderson, thank you, sir. >> thank you. new audio reveals kevin mccarthy detailed a conversation he had with then president trump and the role that trump admitted to playing in the insurrection. we'll play that for you. [lazer beam and sizzling sounds] ♪ open talenti and raise the jar. to gelato made from scratch. ise the jar to all five layers. raise the jar to the best gelato...
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there is new audio obtained but "the new york times," the house minority leader kevin mccarthy telling republican colleagues that former president trump admitted that he beared some responsibility for the insurrection. >> let me be very clear to all of you. and i've been very clear to the president. he bears responsibility for his words and actions. no ifs, ands or buts. i asked him personally today does he hold responsibility for what happened? does he feel bad about what happened? and he told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. and we need to acknowledge that. >> reports about this very phone call have been out there for months. now here is what mccarthy said about it before the audio leaked. >> did you tell house republicans on the january 11th phone call that president trump told you' greed that he bore some responsibility for january 6 as chairman thompson letter indicates? >> i'm not sure what call you're
talking about. >> let's bring in cnn's melanie zanona from capitol hill. so i understand that former president trump, leader mccarthy, they've had a conversation? >> reporter: yeah, that is right. mccarthy has been working behind t the scenes to contain the fallout that includes speaking to trump last night and been dialing up key republicans today and what he's told republicans in those conversations is that trump is actually not upset with the new reporting and is not concerned. in part because mccarthy never ended up advising trump to resign in the immediate aftermath of january 6. but since last night, there has been new audio that we have obtained from "the new york times" and it paints a very different picture of how mccarthy was talking about trump behind closed doors versus how he talked about him publicly. take a listen. >> all right. i know this is not fun, i know this is not great. i know this is very tough. but what i want to do especially
through here is i don't want to rush things. i want everybody to have all of the information needed. i've had it with this guy. what he did is unacceptable. nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it. >> reporter: so, while mccarthy's attempt at damage control appeared to have worked for now, there could be other shoes to drop. there could be more audio to come. an and he will have to face the entire republican conference next week when they gather for their weekly meeting. >> there could be more audio to come. but there is already audio out for before clip that is a big problematic for mccarthy. >> that is right. he was caught in a complete lie yesterday. what happened was "the new york times" initially reported that he had told house republican leaders on a private conference call just days after january 6 that he thinks the impeachment resolution was going to pass and that it would be his recommendation that trump were to resign. but then him and his aides both
went on the record and vehemently denied that reporting. the problem is their receipts, take a listen to some of the audio clip. >> i'm seriously thinking about having that conversation with him tonight. i haven't talked to him in a couple of days. from what i know of him, i mean you guys all know him, too, do you think he would back away. but what i think i'm going to do is call him. and the discussion i would vf with him is that i think it will pass and it would be my recommendation that it should be resigning. that is my take. but i don't think he will take it. but i don't know. >> reporter: now we've asked mccarthy's office why did they tell us he didn't make those comments when he very clearly did. but we have not heard back yet from him, victor. >> melanie zanona on capitol hill, thank you very much. let's go to seattle now. president biden is delivering
remarks on earth day. >> there is a lot more. here in washington state, you're going to triple the federal commitment to your -- the federal commitment to your link light rail system and speeding process in the largest transit -- [ applause ] as my colleagues in the senate will recall. >> wi was referred to as mr. amtrak. i've taken miles on amtrak every single day you think i'm joking for 30 years, every single day the senate was in session to go home and see my kids. but the folks, you know, it is a simple proposition. most people don't realize it. given a choice to go from point a to point b and rail, electric rail, or driving on an automobile, if you could get there fast, or fast or faster than that, you take the rail. th the estimates will take millions of vehicles off the road.
it runs entirely on clean energy. it provides $66 billion, passed $66 billion for freight rail, $39 billion for public transit, $10.6 billion for clean electric buses and $2.5 billion for clean ferries on my coast of delaware and out here for you all. this will take millions of cars with pollution off the road and get people to places quicker. look, i think one amtrak train carries as many passengers, i know this statistic, as six lanes of major interstate highway. and that is how many passengers it carries. look, it matters. we saw a new standard and we set new standars and slashed methane and brought over 100 nations together when i was at the -- at the big meeting we had in europe. 100 nations around the globe, and i got -- there is two things
i was able to accomplish. one, i got a pledge from i it was 144 of them that they would eliminate methane and do the same thing that we're doing. it is the most damaging of the all of the pollutants that are going up. we also set new standards for polluting emissions. remember the big fight, i almost lo lost an election because the dew important company makes -- but we have cleaner cement. this is probably hard to understand, cleaner cement. cement is an incredible pollutant. and it matters because cement is responsible for over 8% of the global climate emissions. cement. as long as i've been involved until two years ago i didn't know that and we're delivering across the country. lots of folks have promised it but my administration has actually delivered revitalizing communities across appalachia.
look, folks, i come from scranton, pennsylvania and i got to delaware, my dad was not in the coal mines, but he was in sales and the whole economy died. an you could understand why in places like west virginia and southeastern pennsylvania and why people were worried about doing away with coal. you know, but it is their jobs whax are they going to do. but guess, what, in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, they will help us cap abandoned mines, cap and seal then. no longer pollution in the air or the water. the law is putting a band of mine workers to work at the same salary they were working digging in the mines in the first place. there are several thousand of these wells that have to be capped. and they have to harvest the energy. and they're going to bet paid. so we've providing an alternative. the manufacturing installing solar panels where they once dug for coal.
out here in the west, we're retiring power plants and clean hydrogen and making them economic hubs again and in the heartland, in the fields that feed our country, we're planting cover crops to pull carbon out of the air and out of the atmosphere. you know, they're becoming carbon sinks. across the country we said the first ever national conservation goal to protect more land and water than any other administration and record in our first year because we could do it and now the farmers are beginning to realize, if i put things in conservation, i get paid for putting cover crops down that absorb carbon and it makes the environment better. and they should get paid for it. it is their land. we're protecting natural wonders and national monuments. i remember a little girl came up to me with her -- i don't know or how it happened but i was
walking outside and a woman came up with a little girl and said, she said, mr. president, please protect bears ears. i said i beg your pardon. please protect bears ears. i said bears ears and she said yes. and i knew what it was because i've tried to take my kids to almost every national park. and i said, okay, honey. she said promise me, promise me and we did. bears ears forest. [ applause ] and by the way, we got -- >> there in seattle, marking earth day. le be signing an executive order aimed at helping to protect the nation's forest, specifically older growth and also to combat global deforestation. president biden there in washington state. up next we're doing to take you to a town in eastern ukraine that is living through the heaviest fighting.
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insurrection helped facilitate violent resistance against the u.s. government. and while under oath, greene said she had no knowledge of any attempt to illegally interfere with the counting of electoral votes. >> question. if you were aware that somebody was going to unlawfully interfere with the constitutional process of counting electoral votes you would be obliged to have them arrested or stopped, right? >> i had no knowledge of any attempt and so that is a question that i can't answer. >> well -- >> i can't answer that question. >> marsha cohen has been in the courtroom. i watched a bit of the cross-examination. and it was contentious at points. what else did she say? >> reporter: it has been contentious. she's been on the stand for two hours so far. this is unprecedented. she's the first lawmaker, a first member of congress to be questioned under oath about january 6. she said what some things but
really the story has been what she hasn't said. she has not been able to answer a lot of questions. i don't recall, i don't remember. questions about meetings before january 6 or even about posts that she put on social media where she did use some very violent rhetoric in the run-up to january 6. something else that has been featured, a real future of the last few hours has been conspiracy theories. take a look at what she said when she was asked about the winner of that election. >> well i'm not sure we got a clear answer on this. did you believe it this time that the 2020 election had been stolen by the democrats from mr. trump, right? >> i was asking people to come for a peaceful march, which is what everyone is entitled to do under their first amendment. but i was not asking them engage in violence or any type of
action. >> reporter: right. so she is flatly denying, she said she never called on anyone to do anything violent. that is a key pillar of her defense. but on the stand she has said she still thinks there was tremendous fraud in 2020 and that joe biden did not win that election. >> and there was this moment where she was asked about peeker pelosi and there was a bit of waffling in her response. talk about that. >> reporter: yeah, you know, a big strategy here from the challenges that are mounting this, is to use her own words against her. they have tweeted, facebook posts, videos and live streams and all kinds of things. but there are-they're asking her about that but asking her first, denver say this or that. and there was some very really vile stuff about speaker pelosi that she was asked about and she kind of waffled, take a look at this. >> do you think that speaker pelosi is a traitor to the
country, right? >> you're -- i'm not answering that question. it is speculation. >> you have said that, haven't you, mrs. greene, that she's a traitor to the country. >> no i haven't said that. >> put up plaintiff's exhibit five, please. >> oh, wait, hold on now. i believe that by not upholding the -- securing the border that that violates her oath of office. >> reporter: yeah, victor. so look, this is a very serious topic. this is about accountability for january 6. the challengers here have an uphill climb. they are still far away from removing her from the ballot, but what is unfolding today is an important step and there is probably a few more hours for con congresswoman greene on the stand here in atlanta. >> marshall cohen, i'll get you get back into the courtroom. let's bring in commentator and former republican congressman
charlie dent. good to see you. let's start here with what this means for marjorie taylor greene. there has been really no price to pay for the people who encouraged the big lie, told the big lie. short of being disqualified, do you think this actually helps her with her district, with that part of the party? >> victor, great to be with you. i don't think it helps her with anybody. as marshall said, i think that people find the complaint against taylor greene do have an uphill climb because she hasn't been charged or convicted with anything related to january 6. but i think the people complaining, they want to trip her up. legally and politically. she may say something in the proceedings that they could find -- use for a perjury charge and doj i'm sure is watching this. and the politics of this is not good either for her. so i think she's got a problem
here. i don't think she's going to be removed from the ballot, because as i said, she hasn't been charged let alone convicted. and by way, a lot of wild people run for office. the key is not to get them elected. so she won't be the first wild person out there running for office that they usually don't win. >> let's turn now to leader mccarthy and this recording now revealed after he said that he did not suggest that he was going to ask former president trump to resign. that recording has been released. according to a source, he and former president trump had a conversation last night by phone and then trump is not upset, according to that source. what is your take on this exchange and what it means for mccarthy? >> well, i think what is happened is that, and i think kevin mccarthy expressed in those recordings was what many congressional republicans have been saying about donald trump for a very long time. they felt that he was unfit.
that he was ignorant and that he was an embarrassment to the party. many of them have recented him and frankly detest him and what he's done to the party. that is what they say privately. and the challenge for kevin mccarthy is that his private comments and public comments are not in sync. and i've said many times that i think kevin has a challenge on his hands if he wants to become speaker. he's trying to placate this wing of the party that is very trumpian and that frankly that took him down in 2015 when he tried to become speaker. remember, he was not able to ascend because at that time it was the freedom caucus and now it is more the trump wing of the party that could potentially take him down if he tries to ascend. but the more he does that, the more he creates challenges for those who are more pragmatic and so he's trying to walk this fine line. and clearly based on his public and private comments, he's stumbled here. so i think this is a problem. i don't know what the conversation was between the president -- the former
president and mccarthy. but i think it is -- i think this is going to present a problem for him going forward. >> according to reporting, there is more audio out there. and maybe the same dog that bit liz cheney could start barking at mccarthy as he makes run in january if republicans win control and he makes a run for speaker? >> well, yeah, it is really interesting about this too, based on the conversation with liz cheney, it is pretty clear that both kevin mccarthy and liz cheney were pretty much aligned in their thinking at the time about what trump did. and i think mccarthy said it, i had enough of this guy. and it was talking about encouraging the president to resign and this is where many republicans were at that time. and of course liz cheney then, she said that quiet part out loud and that is why they removed her from her position. but it is clear, many people share liz cheney's view. even if they don't say it publicly or have the courage to say it. >> it appears now they both said
the quiet part out loud. it is just that mccarthy lied about saying it. former congressman charlie dent, thank you, sir. all across eastern ukraine, russia's unrelentless assault has ordinary civilians just fighting to find a place to hide. next we're going to take you to an underground bunker of sorts to meet some people who have been there hiding for weeks. nag. ok so they were trying to verify my employment status while i was at work, in a giant hole, in a mine. but then something amazing happppened. hello? carvana worked with my shift manager and got everything sorted out so i didn't miss out on the car. super helpful. i was over the moon, even though i was underground. we'll drive you happy at carvana.
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heavy fighting in donetsk and in the luhansk regions of ukraine is keeping people would have been trapped there for weeks now from getting out. cnn's bed wedeman traveling to the front lines to talk to people hieding in basements to survive. >> russian forces continue to try to seize control of the town about an hour and a half drive from -- to the east of here. but they are running into stiff resistance from the ukrainian defenders. we were able to get to a vantage point overlooking the town and saw as artillery fell on all parts of the city. in the southern area controlled by the ukrainian forces, we found a small group of people trying to survive under fire.
>> and it begins again. hell rains down. a dozen people are hiding in the basement of a bombed out theater in the town. let it stop, oh, lord, he said. now there is incoming. a white flag hangs outside to no effect. the theater above has been bombed and bombed again and again. yet they stay. too poor, too old, to frightened to plea. nina, 89 years old, has been here for five weeks. i want to go home, she said. i've suffered too much. i've seen the fire and the smoke, i've seen it all. i'm scared. nina's plea simple.
help us. help us. her daughter struggles to comfort her. we're praying to god to stop it, she said. to hear us. ina said i had nowhere to go. i have no friends, no relatives. with the shelling intensifying, volunteers are finding it hard to deliver food. as russian and ukrainian forces fight for control over the town, there are people down there. praying as hell rains down. what we saw in that shelter are people who clearly have post-traumatic stress disorder. they've been there for weeks on end. most of the time, and we brought lights with our television cameras, but most of the time they're only light is candles, there is very little in the way
of sanitation. there is no running water. there is no electricity. and for many, if they don't get out soon, there is no hope. >> awful. ben wedeman, thank you for that report. starting today, in los angeles, travelers must once again mask up on public transportation. we'll talk about the move with the l.a. county health director. that is next. (children giggling) hey, i was, uh, thinking about going back to school to get my masters. i just saw something that sd you could dot in a year for, like, $11k.
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local health departments are having vastly different reactions after a federal judge over turned the national travel mask mandate. the philadelphia board of health just voted to rescind its mask requirement three days after bringing it back. thank you so nuch for being here. wie keep the public transit mandate for masks? >> thanks so much for having me and good afternoon.
we consistently try to align with the science and the leadership we get. this is no different from what we have been doing for last two years. >> it looks like cases are low. the cdc guidance has not changed. there's one judge who said this is not legal. let me ask you about what happened earlier this week. on tuesday, l.a. metro which operates the buses and rail across l.a. county, they lifted the mask mandate. that's tuesday of this week. county supervisor said this as part of the statement. with more tools at our disposal to combat there virus including wider availability of vaccines, the county can continue to progress toward its new normal.
that's the announcement lifting the mandate. 48 hours later, your office then says, no, you got to keep the masks on. this is the same county government. what explains that? >> you know, again, i want to note the trigger for this decision, not a decision based on the science . it's our transit facilities and our transit lines. it's a consistent strategy. >> it isn't consistent. it isn't consistent because on tuesday, on tuesday, the county
su supervisor said there's enough to lift the mask mandate. 48 hours a completely contradictory decision from the county. >> on tuesday the cdc haven't yet weighed in with their assessment whether or not it was essential to continue with this safety protection measure. >> that was really helpful for us in terms of guidance. it is confusing when a judge makes a determination that will ac affect the entire nation about what is or is not an appropriate safety measure .
>> the guidance from the cdc did not change from tuesday when the l.a. metro lifted the mask mandate and on thursday when the health department reinstated it. in l.a. county, people have to wear a mask at l.a.x., at the airport. they do not have to wear it at the mall, a the grocery store, a movie theater. what is a greater danger that isn't present at my local grocery store? >> that's a great question and thanks for pointing out the concerns that people have and how do you designate a higher risk area.
you can have increased transmission. people coming from communities with higher levels of disease into communities with less disease. it makes for easy transmission. as you know, duo everything we can to reduce transmission . i think these are sensible strategies. on tuesday it looked one way and on thursday it looked a different way.
our job is to make the best decision question to amplify our abilities to protect each other. >> understood. >> i think this is a sensible precaution. when the cdc determines that this is not an essential. >> i understand. >> we'll go ahead and remove that safety protection. >> i hear that. thank you. thank you so much. charged up speech from a michigan state senator has racked up nearly 14 million views. he talks about morals, faith and the baseless claims that were launched by a gop colleague. she's with us, next. upping thei. we're talking artisan italian bread, made fresh daily! the ononly thing fresher than their bread is the guyuy reading this. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing and refrfreshing and re-
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