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Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri Is Killed By A U.S. Drone Strike; Pelosi Lands In Taiwan Amid High Tensions With China; Ukrainian Shipment Of Grain Is Reaching Istanbul Today; Interview With U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Bridget Brink; Interview With Former U.S. Treasury Secretary And U.S. National Economic Council Former Director Lawrence Summers. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired August 02, 2022 - 13:00:00   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone and welcome to Amanpour. Here's what's coming up.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, justice has been delivered. And this terrorist leader is no more.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed by a U.S. drone strike. I'm joined by Retired Admiral William McRaven, the man

who led the raid on Osama bin Laden on the planning, the precision and the execution. Then --

BRIDGET ANN BRINK, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: It's really important that this agreement is implemented. It's really important that we watch it very


GOLODRYGA (voice-over): The world watches as Ukraine's grain shipment makes its key city. My conversation with the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget

Brink. Plus --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finding for chances that we'll have a recession within a few months or two years are three and four.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): A stark warning from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. He looks into his crystal ball in conversation with our

Walter Isaacson.


GOLODRYGA: Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

New details are emerging about the U.S. attack that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. According to a senior administration official, the drone

strike took President Biden and his inner circle month to secretly plan. Staffers building a small-scale model of Zawahiri's Kabul safe house to

help the President decide when to give the order.

Zawahiri rose from the Egyptian middle class to become one of America's most wanted terrorists. Michael Holmes explains how he did it.


AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI, AL-QAEDA LEADER: We want to speak to the whole world. Who are we? Who are we?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the time Ayman al- Zawahiri burst onto the world scene after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. He was already a terrorist, committed to turning

Egypt into a fundamentalist Islamic State. The young doctor came from one of Egypt's leading families. There is even an al-Zawahiri Street in Cairo,

named after his grandfather. His uncle described him as pious.

MAHFOUZ AZZAM, AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI'S UNCLE: He was known that he is a good Muslim, who was keen to pray at time in the mosque, and to read and to

think, and to have his own decisions.

HOLMES (voice-over): Al-Zawahiri spent three years in prison after Sadat's assassination. After he got out, he made his way to Pakistan, where he used

his medical skills to treat those fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. That's where he met Osama bin Laden, and they found a common

cause. He talked about it a decade later.

AL-ZAWAHIRI: We are working with brother bin Laden. We know him. Since more than 10 years, we have focused in here and Afghanistan and we have

(INAUDIBLE) in Sudan and in many other places.

HOLMES (voice-over): Al-Zawahiri was many places in the early 1990s. Even it's believed visiting California on a false passport. His group attacked

Egyptian embassies and tried to kill Egyptian politicians. Eventually, al- Zawahiri folded his group into al-Qaeda.

SAJJAN GOHEL, ASIA-PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Zawahiri pretty much led the group. He did the strategic policy of what al-Qaeda's agenda was. Certainly, bin

Laden gave his authority and blessings to it, but al-Zawahiri call the shots.

HOLMES (voice-over): Al-Zawahiri was at bin Laden side when he declared war on America in May 1998. Weeks later, they launched an attack on U.S.

embassies in Africa, and then gloated after they escaped the U.S. cruise missile attack launched in retaliation. After the 9/11 attacks, al-Zawahiri

began to become the voice of al-Qaeda, taunting the U.S.

AL-ZAWAHIRI (through translation): American people, you must ask yourselves, why all this hate against America?

HOLMES (voice-over): After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri were on the run. Sometimes together, more often apart. His wife

and daughters were killed in a U.S. airstrike aimed at him. But he continued to issue messages on subjects ranging from the war in Iraq to the

London subway attacks in 2005.

And while he was always the likely choice to succeed Osama bin Laden, it took the organization several weeks to announce his promotion.

JOHN BRENNAN, THEN-U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Zawahiri is not charismatic. He has not been -- was not involved in the fight earlier on in

Afghanistan. So, and I think he has a lot of detractors within the organization. And I think you're going to see them start eating themselves

from within more and more.


HOLMES (voice-over): Without bin laden, al-Qaeda can never be the same.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPD: An idea personified by Osama bin Laden. He was this charismatic figure to join al-Qaeda. You pledged a

personal oath to him. People went and died not for Ayman al-Zawahiri or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but for Osama bin Laden.

HOLMES (voice-over): Terror experts say that to jihadist worldwide, al- Qaeda still has great appeal as an inspiration. And while al-Zawahiri was an obvious successor to bin Laden, it's not at all clear who would succeed



GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Michael Holmes for that report. And joining me now for more on this is Retired Admiral William McRaven, the former Commander

for U.S. Special Operations Command. He oversaw and organized the U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. And he joins me now from

Austin, Texas.

Admiral, thank you so much for joining us. First, let me just get your reaction to the news and its significance.

ADM. WILLIAM MCRAVEN (RET.), FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND: You know, thanks, Bianna. Obviously, it is really a terrific day

for, you know, not just the United States, but frankly, for the world. Zawahiri was the head of al-Qaeda. And while, you know, as in your previous

segment, he may not have been as charismatic as bin Laden, make no mistake about it, he was ahead, he was planning and orchestrating operations.

So taking out the head of al-Qaeda is a tremendous success. And I think all the credit really goes to the intelligence community that has just done a

magnificent job in finding him and eliminating him.

GOLODRYGA: Also, here, he was clearly a top target for the U.S. in addition to bin Laden shortly after the successful raid of bin Laden's compound in

2011. You, in fact, were asked during congressional testimony, your thoughts on where al-Zawahiri should be held once he was captured. So my

question is, what surprises you more, the fact that it took another 11 years to find him or that he was found in Kabul, Afghanistan of all places?

MCRAVEN: Yes, I'm not surprised that took so long to find him. I mean, our estimation was that he was hiding somewhere in Pakistan, probably in the

Federally Administered Tribal Areas, probably with the support of the Haqqani network, or the Taliban working out of Pakistan. So it's fairly

easy to hide in a country as large as Pakistan.

I was surprised that he was in Kabul. You know, I mean, that -- it's a pretty risky move on his part to move from Pakistan, if that's where he was

in to Kabul. But, obviously, he felt safe enough with the protection of the Taliban and again, possibly that Haqqani -- the Haqqanis that he was going

to be safe in Kabul obviously not the case.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, he was killed in an upscale Kabul neighborhood. And apparently, the U.S. had been following him and his repeated morning ritual

of going out to the third-floor balcony. But he was within walking distance from the former U.S. Embassy complex, which has surprised a lot of experts

who have been following this so closely, because it's once again, a violation of the Doha agreement between the Taliban and the United States.

And that is the Taliban would not support and would not help protect al- Qaeda members.

This is a gross violation, obviously. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said this morning that, quote, we have already been engaged with

the Taliban, though, he would not preview any actions that the U.S. would take in response to this violation. What should the U.S. response look

like, in your view?

MCRAVEN: Yes, well, we shouldn't be surprised that the Taliban have rolled up and thrown away the Doha agreement. That shouldn't surprise anyone. I

think at the end of the day, this is about making sure that we don't allow Afghanistan to become a sanctuary again. And I think what the U.S. has

shown is that we can, in fact, do over the horizon targeting on certain high value individuals.

Now, does that mean that, you know, small cells operating in Kabul or out in rural areas can be found and eliminated? No, that's going to be more

challenging. But when you have a high value individual, like an al- Zawahiri, or whoever his predecessor will be, I think we're in a reasonably good position to continue to be able to identify these folks and eliminate

them, frankly, wherever they go.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, it's interesting because this mission comes as we approach one year of President Biden withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. And

President Biden said at the time that these over-the-horizon missions would continue in terms of counterterrorism operations. You, interestingly,

enough at the time of the U.S. withdrawal also said that you had hope and faith in these over-the-horizon missions with unmanned drones.

That having been said, you alluded to this earlier, how concerned are you that it's just taken a year for somebody of his caliber to come back and

feel safe in Afghanistan and what does that say about the country again being a safe haven for terrorists potentially plotting another attack

against the United States?


MCRAVEN: I think what we have to realize is that al-Qaeda can probably find sanctuary in a lot of different places. Afghanistan certainly with the

support of Taliban. But there are places in, you know, in West Africa and East Africa and places around the world where they could, in fact, find

sanctuary. It is our responsibility as the U.S. and within the broader intelligence community to try to develop the sources, to identify where the

threats might be coming from.

And then, again, if necessary, working with our allies or working by ourselves to, you know, find where these threats are, and eliminate them.

And again, that is exactly what the intelligence community did in the case of our hearing.

GOLODRYGA: Let's talk about how this was all conducted, because in some ways, it's very similar to how the bin Laden raid was organized in the

months that went into planning for it. There are similarities here. The U.S. Intel had eyes on al-Zawahiri for months, I believe, since the

beginning of the year, had solid evidence, ultimately, that that was him. And they were planning this mission by building a small-scale model of

Zawahiri's safe house constructed by U.S. intelligence.

Now, with your operation, obviously, that was manned. It did include a SEAL team and troops on the ground there. But talk about the similarities that

you find between these two missions, just in terms of the preparation for it.

MCRAVEN: Yes, I think you find a lot of similarities between the intelligence buildup and to your point beyond the preparation. So the

intelligence on these high-value individuals generally begins with a source. You know, somebody that has come forward through our intelligence

network that says, I think I know where's our here he is. Now you have to vet that source, you've got to determine whether or not that's a reliable


And then if the source gives you indications and warnings about where Zawahiri might be, then obviously, you're going to slew all of your

intelligence resources, your overhead intelligence, your signals and technical intelligence, your human intelligence, if you have it, to be able

to kind of triangulate to ascertain whether or not the source is, in fact, correct about the location of this high-value individual. Clearly, what

happened here was the source, assuming it was a source, led the intelligence community to this house in Kabul, and then you really begin to

have to develop this kind of pattern of life.

Now, in the case of bin Laden, of course, we could never really determine with 100 perfect of surety that it was, in fact, bin Laden, in the

Abbottabad compound, I think, with this compound in Kabul, because they were able to establish a proof of life and a pattern of life and identify

that it was, in fact, Zawahiri you kind of came to the window routinely, that they were a lot more confident in this target. But once again, the

preparation from the intelligence community that went into this had to be phenomenal.

And building the model is always great when you are briefing, senior officials like the President of the United States, because they can look at

it and then kind of turn it around from angle to angle. The target tears are going to talk to them about, hey, here's exactly how the hellfire

missiles are going to hit. Here's what the potential collateral damage will be or not be. And models are very helpful. So in that regard, there was a

lot of similarities with the bin Laden raid, again, in the intelligence gathering and in the build up to the strike.

GOLODRYGA: And the -- just the ingenuity, right, and technology has increased --


GOLODRYGA: -- substantially since then. And the fact that you can have a missile --


GOLODRYGA: -- without a warhead at this point, if it just has switchblades on it to know that there will not be a lot of collateral. Apparently, no

one else in his family, in that house was injured or killed other than him. But it's -- I'm curious to get your thoughts on President Biden's take on

this because at the time of the bin Laden raid, he was the Vice President then and he was one of the few who advised President Obama to not go

through with that raid. I'm interested to get your thoughts on his change of thought and how he approached approving this mission.

MCRAVEN: Again, the operational aspects of this mission versus the bin Laden raid are fundamentally different. Again, the intelligence preparation

are very similar. The preparation and briefing, the President are very similar, but the actual operation fundamentally different. And so, I think,

you know -- and again, I don't want to speak for President Biden, but my guess is, as he looked at the bin Laden raid and said, well, we're going to

send a bunch of seals and a couple of helicopters, 160 miles into Abbottabad in a compound that's about 3 miles from their West Point, 3

miles from a major infantry battalion, 1 mile from a police station. Oh, by the way, you know, the Pakistanis have nuclear weapons. I mean, all of this

kind of comes into play.

And so when you make a risk assessment of the fact that we could send U.S. troops into Pakistan, and if things go south, you know, you're going to

have more casualties. In the case of the strike in Kabul, they have the advantage of probably, one, knowing for certain that it was, I mean, Al-

Zawahiri, two, they had the munitions which, again, we didn't have at the time, in 2011, but they have the munitions now that can be very precise, so

that you're not going to have any collateral damage.


And then you're not putting U.S. boots on the ground. So all of those, I think, portent the reason the President made the decision this time with

Zawahiri, and probably not with bin Laden.

GOLODRYGA: Another similarity is that in terms of confirming proof of life, in both cases, that was not done with DNA. And that is what we heard --


GOLODRYGA: -- from National Security Spokesman John Kirby, Admiral Kirby, today in saying that they were competent, that that was also al-Zawahiri,

but not through DNA. And I'm --


GOLODRYGA: -- just wondering if you can recount for our viewers, the similar experience, it turned out to be a bit comical in the capture and

killing of Osama bin Laden, when after been giving multimillion dollar budget. There was something that was missing from that, and that was $10

measuring tape. Talk about that?

MCRAVEN: Yes. Well, one, we did have DNA on bin Laden, so I want to be clear about that.


MCRAVEN: After the remains were brought back, we, in fact, did a lot of DNA gathering. And so --

GOLODRYGA: But at the time, yes, of course.

MCRAVEN: But at the time, right. So at the time when bin Laden's remains came in to our facility there in Afghanistan, into the hangar, I was in my

little makeshift command center with the President, President Obama asked me, you know, did I know for certain whether it was bin Laden? I said, no,

sir, I need to go visibly, you know, I need to check the remains before I come back and tell the President of the United States that this is Osama

bin Laden.

The airfield was just a few minutes from my little makeshift command center. So I went over there and the seals had just brought in, the body

bag with bin Laden's remains without getting too graphic. You know, when I unzipped the body bag, obviously, didn't look terrific after taking a few

rounds. But, you know, the one thing I knew is that bin Laden was about 6'4", and I'm 6'2". And I thought, well, maybe what I ought to do is lie

down next to the remains just to make sure the remains are a little bit longer.

But, in fact, I had some young seal come by and do the lie down next to the remains. And of course, the body was a couple of inches longer. When I went

back to explain to the President that, look, the photos look like Bin Laden, everything was, you know, lining up. And I just kind of made the

offhanded comment that, no, by the way, I had a young seal light on next to him. And the remains were a little bit longer.

And he said, OK, so let me get this straight. We had $60 million for a helicopter and you didn't have $10 for a tape measure? And I told folks, I

said, look, it was a very serious night, with very serious implications. But by this time, the troops were back. We knew the guys were safe. We

were, you know, 99 perfect sure, at the time before the DNA that it was bin Laden.

And it was, you know, candidly, it was a great comment at the time to kind of lower the pressure. And it was helpful, I think, as the night wore on,

because it's been a long couple of days.

GOLODRYGA: Give you something, at least to laugh about, right, after all that you went through.


GOLODRYGA: Before you leave, let me just get you to respond to another major headline that's been developing. Over the last few hours, House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed and making a strong statement in arriving in Taiwan. The first Speaker of the house to visit that island in 25 years.

She's scheduled to meet with a Taiwanese President tomorrow morning.

Obviously, in response, and in the build up to this possible visit, there had been a lot of heated rhetoric coming out of the Chinese spokespeople

and the government themselves. And now they've said that they have announced military drills that are expected to take place around the island

in the days to come. There have been reports that there had been some cyberattacks in the President's office.

That all having been said, I guess my question to you is from a cost benefit analysis, was this trip worth it? And is this trip worth it, in

your opinion, for the overall security, I guess, for the island?

MCRAVEN: Yes. Well, I'm not sure I would want to voice my opinion on whether or not it was appropriate for Speaker Pelosi to go to Taiwan. What

I would say beyond is, like at the end of the day, we do not want to make the Chinese our opponents. They are going to be competitors, we understand


Nothing wrong with good healthy competition. But I think we're in a position now to figure out how do we lower the heat a little bit. We want

to build relationships with China, the adult put us in an adversarial position, the adult put us in conflict in the South China Sea, the adult

put us in conflict in Taiwan. So I think that the diplomatic approach is probably a better approach to take than to some degree, you know,

initiating something that really, in my opinion, probably doesn't advance the cause of building relationships with China that again, we understand

all the issues that are problematic with China, but the role of the State Department and to some degree, the role of the military should be to build

relationship and not exacerbate it.


GOLODRYGA: Admiral William McRaven, so wonderful to have you on. Thank you so much for taking the time.

MCRAVEN: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And once again, as always, thank you for your service. We appreciate it.

MCRAVEN: Thank you, Bianna.

Well, Speaker Pelosi's controversial trip to Taiwan is further roiling U.S.-China, tensions. In Beijing, it has been piling on the rhetoric today

warning that the U.S. will pay the price if it dares to undermine Chinese sovereignty. Take a listen to what the Chinese Ambassador to Washington

said today.


QIN GANG, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: China has every right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. we are fully justified to do

what we must. The current situation is created purely by the U.S. side. So, of course, it has to bear the responsibilities.


GOLODRYGA: The White House says this trip does not signify a change in America's One China policy. In an op ed for The Washington Post, the

Speaker herself called the visit and unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan.

Meantime, Moscow was also weighing in saying Russia stands with China. Hardly a surprise stance from President Putin as the war in Ukraine

escalates. The U.S. announced an additional $550 million security assistant package for Ukraine at the start of the week, and it is much needed. While

the Ukrainian military says that it is repelling Russian attacks in the east, there's pain in the south, where Mykolaiv is getting pounded by

Russian artillery. The city's mayor describing the recent assaults as the strongest shelling since the start of the war.

And there's perhaps one bright spot in all of this. A Ukrainian shipment of grain is reaching Istanbul today where it will be checked before moving on

to Lebanon. It's the first such delivery since the Russian invasion began.

Earlier I spoke about all of this with Bridget Brink, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Here's our conversation.


GOLODRYGA: Ambassador Brink, thank you so much for joining the program. Let me begin by asking you about the latest Russian assault against the

southern port city of Mykolaiv over the weekend. There seems to be a pattern here. This follows an assault on the port city of Odesa. The week

prior to that, Russia claims that they were targeting military infrastructure.

But in the crosshairs, there are schools that were damaged, civilians were killed. There was a sports center damaged as well. Is it the U.S. view that

Russia is purposefully targeting civilians specifically by launching these sites -- these targeted attacks on the weekend?

BRINK: Bianna, thanks so much for having me. What I can say is Russians actions in Ukraine are unconscionable. We are working here night and day to

try to help Ukraine defend itself from what is an unprovoked, unjustified attack by another country. And we're going to continue to do that for as

long as it takes.

GOLODRYGA: What is your assessment as to the read on the ground there? There was relentless bombardment over the past few months in the East, in

the Donetsk region there and Luhansk as well but the Donbas region as a whole with a lot of inroads made by Russia. But as of late, military

analysts say Russia hasn't captured any new territory. Since July, there's been an influx of U.S. military equipment, specifically the HIMARS, which

have significantly upped the ante for Russia there and they are now on the receiving end of attacks from Ukraine. What is your take about Ukraine's

position now in trying to reclaim some of that territory?

BRINK: Well, thanks for that. Yes, there continues to be fighting in the Donbass in the eastern part of the country. But it is clear that the

weaponry that we have been able to provide, including the HIMARS have had an effect. So since June 1st, we have provided some $4 billion in

assistance. There just was another announcement yesterday, $550 million, which included HIMAR ammunition and other types of ammunition.

So it's absolutely clear that as Secretary Austin said in June, we're going to push harder, move faster. That's exactly what we have done. And we can

see that that has had a battlefield impact for the Ukrainians.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. You mentioned that new tranche of $550 million in military support the total, I believe it's about $8.7 billion from the Biden

administration alone. The level of equipment and weaponry has increased significantly over the course of this war. There had been reports that the

US was even considering sending F-16 planes. Obviously, this is something that the Ukraine had been asking for, President Zelenskyy had been hoping

for, for months now. What is the status of that request?


BRINK: What I can say is that we and especially our militaries are in constant communication with our Ukrainian partners. Just yesterday, I had

the chance to meet with the Ukrainian Minister of Defense where we talked about assistance and our assistance going forward. Also yesterday, there

were phone calls between D.C. and Kyiv, with the folks that are leading on defense issues and leading the battle on the ground.

And so, I can't say that every single day even more than one time a day, even sometimes hourly, we are communicating with our Ukrainian partners to

try to figure out how we can best support their needs on the ground.

GOLODRYGA: As Ukraine is trying to claw back and this counter offensive to regain hold of cities in the south, the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, those are

two large cities there that had been captured by the Russians. Moscow- backed local officials in the area are suggesting that they are going to be holding referendums in the coming months. Obviously, this is not something

that will be legitimately recognized by the West or Ukraine. But given that, how much more difficult would these referendums make any sort of

attempt to negotiate this land-backed into the hands of Ukrainians?

BRINK: Well, I think as Secretary of State Blinken said recently, we have downgraded intelligence, which also corroborates those reports that we have

heard about Russians intention -- well, Russia's active annexation that is happening right now, and also intention to take steps such as hold sham

referenda in those places where Russia is currently occupying Ukrainian territory.

We've seen this before. It's a playbook from 2014 when Russia did the same thing in Crimea. And we have been very clear that this is something that

would have continued consequences from us, and also from the rest of the international community.

GOLODRYGA: What kind of consequences? Because, unfortunately, the sham referendum seemed to work. Russia still controls Crimea. And I guess the

concern would be that if these referendums go through, and Russia claims these territories, as Russian with Russian citizens using Russian currency,

the likelihood of Ukraine being able to reclaim that would be slim to none?

BRINK: Well, I think that, from my perspective, one of the main tools that we do have is imposing costs on Russia. And we've done this in a number of

ways. Number one, with an unprecedented set of sanctions with partners from around the world that are imposing very serious economic costs on Russia,

that will only grow over time.

Number two, we have reinforced NATO's eastern flank. And, obviously, there are big, big changes happening in NATO, with Sweden and Finland, also on

the cusp of becoming members as well, which is definitely changing the security dynamic in a way that is not what Putin said he wanted.

And number three, we are together with partners and allies around the world, arming and supporting Ukraine. So, yes, there will be consequences

and these will continue to play out over time.

GOLODRYGA: We mentioned that the increased fighting in the East in the Donbas region of the country, Ukraine currently controls about 40 percent

of Donbas. And as we speak, President Zelenskyy has ordered the evacuation of those Ukrainians that live there from the region. He made that call

Saturday night. And said that his main concern was not only for their physical safety today, but in the future in terms of their gas supply.

Now, gas supply from Russia has ended in 2015. Russia, Ukraine has not been on the receiving end from Russia for their gas. Since then, they have been

getting gas from Western partners. But I'm just curious as a whole given the concern about the limited amount of gas and the withholding of gas from

Russia to Western Europe. How much concern is there in Ukraine right now about the future instability of gas for the country as a whole as the

winter months approach?

BRINK: Well, I think it's probably a concern for all of Europe. I know that we and the Europeans agree that it's very important to remove this

dependency on Russian energy for Europe. And as you said, Ukraine is not now dependent on energy supply from Russia. It's important that we see that

happen more broadly. And we are working together with the Europeans to do what we can to support that goal.

GOLODRYGA: In terms of -- you know, we continue to talk about the costs imposed from the west on Russia, and that comes in the form of sanctions.

Obviously, Russia has taken a hit and has been ostracized from the world and its assets frozen. That having been said, they continue to profit from

the premium that we've seen in the rise in oil and gas prices.


At the same time, Ukraine's economy continues to suffer. If Russia is expected to shrink, their GDP is expected to shrink about 10 percent this

year. And Ukraine is expected to decline by 40 percent. So, from that perspective alone, is at least in the short term, Russia having the upper

hand here? Is Russia winning on the economic front?

BRINK: I don't think Russia has the upper hand by any means. I think that everything that Putin set out to achieve, the reverse has happened. His

economy has been hard hit and it will continue to be hit as these sanctions continue to take effect. For the Ukrainians, we and the European Union are

providing direct budget support. And we will be providing something in the order of $4.5 billion more by the end of September. So, we will continue to

support the Ukrainians together with partners and allies on the economic front, as well as on the security front.

GOLODRYGA: Let me ask you about this latest attack on the Olenivka prison and that is where some 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in an

attack at a detention camp there in Eastern Ukraine. Russians claim that this attack was delivered by the Ukrainians using the HIMARS, these are

these long-range rockets provided by the United States we just talked about earlier. I'm not sure there's intelligence to back that up, but in light of

this attack, President Zelenskyy has once again asked for the West to designate Russia as a state-sponsored terrorist state. Would the U.S.

support that? And if not, why not?

BRINK: I can say as a secretary of state and others have said, we are looking at this very closely. It's based on law and we have to make sure

that whatever steps we take are in accordance with U.S. law. At the same time, we continue to take steps that are the same as what such a

designation would require, including steps with regard to sanctions. So, effectively, we are doing most, if not all, of what's such a designation

would require. At the -- we are though, examining it very closely. And once that's finished, we will respond as appropriate.

GOLODRYGA: Can I ask you to weigh in on a new column from "New York Times" columnist Tom Friedman that has been getting some buzz overnight where he

is claiming that there is, "Deep mistrust between the White House and President Zelenskyy, considerably more than has been reported." And he

points to unanswered questions about the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor ahead of its domestic intelligence, pointing to perhaps more corruption

there within the government than has been made known publicly. Is there a distrust between the White House and President Zelenskyy?

BRINK: Well, I haven't read that particular article, but I certainly wouldn't say that.

GOLODRYGA: So, whatever he's describing from his sources, you do not see any of that?


GOLODRYGA: Well, if there is any good news to be had, Ambassador, it is that the first grain shipment has left the Port of Odessa since the start

of this war, and that was just this week, about 26,000 tons of corn. Obviously, we know that 20 million tons of grain had been detained there

since February. Another 16 ships are set to set out -- sail out as well in the coming weeks. How much trust and faith do you have, in light of

everything we have just discussed, on Russia's end of upholding their bargain and their pledge that the ships will come out and address a lot of

the food insecurity we're seeing in this war -- in the world because of this war?

BRINK: Well, it's a very good question, Bianna, because a day after the agreement was signed to allow the grain to depart Ukrainian ports, Russia

then fired missiles into the port -- into Odessa. So, it was for that reason that we have been very active in supporting the implementation of

this agreement. And the G7 ambassadors, together with President Zelenskyy traveled to Odessa just last Friday to show support for Ukrainian ships

getting out of port.

So, this did happen yesterday. It's a good step forward. A positive step forward. That ship, I think, is almost to the Bosphorus, if not there

already now. And it's the first shift to go, many more are waiting in line. This ship that just -- is sailing now has 26,000 metric tons of corn. There

are about 20 million tons of wheat and other agricultural products which are waiting in Ukrainian ports to ship out to feed millions of people.

It's really important that this agreement is implemented. It's really that we watch it very closely and we will continue to do so over the next days,

weeks, and months.

GOLODRYGA: Of course, this was a small, just, kernel of hope perhaps in this war, that we are starting to see.


At least, this part of the devastation started to lift in terms of the suffering that many around the world are enduring right now with food

insecurity. Let me finally ask you, you know, President Biden has said that he is in it for the long term. However long this war will be going on, the

U.S. will be supporting Ukraine. I'm just curious, we're four months in, there doesn't look like there is an end in sight. Russia now controls about

20 percent of Ukraine. That's -- somebody put it, about three Estonia's, that's a huge part of that country.

Where will we be six months from now, a year from now? As you look at this war, from your perch there in Kyiv representing the United States?

BRINK: Well, thank you for that question. I cannot predict the future. I can say, I -- 100 percent agree with the president. We are going to support

Ukraine for as long as it takes. We are doing this because it is the morally right thing to do. But we are also doing this because it's in our

vital national interest.

As you see from the situation with the grain, Russia's war is calling -- causing extreme economic instability and price spikes. It is also showing -

- the question is, how other countries would look at a situation where aggressors can change borders by force or show that might makes right. The

is not in the U.S. interest. It's in the U.S. interest to have a stable and secure Europe. And Russia's actions, Russia's attacks on Ukraine are

threatening that. So, we are in it for as long as it takes.

GOLODRYGA: And yet it appears Vladimir Putin is in it for as long as it takes as well. There had been reports that the tide has turned in his mind,

at least. That he believes that Russia can win and perhaps make another stab at taking Kyiv even. And as we see, the indiscriminate attacks are

unleashed for those major port cities in the south. Do you, yourself, feel safe? It's a symbolic move, a big move to have the United States and the

embassy back there on the ground, in the country, in the capital. Do you feel safe though, as you continue to watch this war unfold?

BRINK: I would say that's not a question I ask myself. We try to do what we can because I have a team here to make sure that we are safeguarding people

such as we can, but the risk is missile attacks. This is the point, is that no country should be able to threaten another country in this way. And

people shouldn't have to wake up and wonder if a missile is going to attack them at any moment, or hit them in their homes, in their schools, in their


This is not something that we can tolerate and support and see happen in Europe once again. So, it's another reason why I think we wake up every

day, feel that we need to be here and we need to keep supporting Ukraine.

GOLODRYGA: It sends a big message to see that United States flag behind you there at the U.S. embassy and have a U.S. ambassador in place. Ambassador

Brink, thank you for your time. Be safe and best of luck.

BRINK: Thank you very much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, back in the U.S., voting is expected to begin in the Senate this week on the climate and health care bill known as the Inflation

Reduction Act. A group of top economists has penned a letter praising the bill saying that it will lower prices for American consumers.

Our next guest agrees and even helped convince Senator Joe Manchin to support it. Larry Summer was treasury secretary under President Clinton and

formerly the chief economist at the world bank. He speaks to Walter Isaacson about how to fight inflation without triggering a recession.


WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Bianna. And Professor Larry Summers, welcome back to the show.


ISAACSON: You turned out to be right about inflation for better or worse. The stimulus that we did over-heated the economy. How necessary and likely,

do you think, it is that we will need a recession to wring this inflation out of our economy?

SUMMERS: Experience in offering down inflation from these levels without a recession, soft landings, represent the triumph of hope over experience.

So, I'll the chances that we'll have a recession within 18 months or two years are three and four I -- at least. I doubt we are there now.

But I do think we will get there if inflation is going to be wrung out of the system. There is another which is that just as some -- people sometimes

people don't take all their antibiotics and stop when they feel better. And we will relent here and create more of a stagflationary dynamic than a



But that's postponing the recession not making it unnecessary. So, I think there is turbulence and difficulty ahead. And that's, of course, what's

priced into markets with the expectation that before too long, the Fed is going to cutting interest rates with what's happened in cyclical stocks in

the stock market. So, I think there probably is a recession in our future, unfortunately.

ISAACSON: The economists have a formula that tries to gauge how much unemployment is going to have to rise in order to bring down each point of

inflation. How much do you think we'll be facing -- we are very low on unemployment right now, but facing higher unemployment?

SUMMERS: I think there's enormous uncertainty surrounding a calculation like that but I would be surprised if we got inflation durably back to two

percent without unemployment crossing six percent, and perhaps above six percent for some time.

That's a pretty serious move from where we are on one hand. On the other hand, it's nowhere near back to the great financial crisis where our

unemployment crossed 10. We're back to bulk of this inflation where unemployment crossed 10. So, I think this is going to be, most likely, a

meaningful recession that is going to involve a significant distress. But at the same time, I don't think there's going to be a major event in

economic and financial history when that event is written.

ISAACSON: Yes, but it could be very difficult for people and politically disruptive. I mean, every one-tenth of one percent that unemployment rises,

it means there's 150,000 people who are not going to work that day. 150,000 kids whose parents say they do not have jobs. Is there some way that you

could say that perhaps we don't need to get inflation down to two percent? Is it worth living with inflation at four percent if we can keep

unemployment down?

SUMMERS: Walter, look, you're absolutely right about how terrible unemployment is. I wrote on my essays when I was saying I wanted to go and

become an economist that I thought the most important thing I could do in my life was to think about how to reduce that risk of unemployment. So,

you're absolutely right.

On the other hand, I think you have to think very carefully, not just about short-run pain but about the longer term. And the risk is that if you start

accepting higher rates of inflation, it's a slippery slope. And then you end up having to have an even bigger recession in the future. The kind of

thing I just heard you saying, is the kind of thing that was said all the time by progressives during the 1970s. And set the stage for Ronald

Reagan's election and the great recession that followed.

So, do we need to be religious about 2.0? No. We do not need to be religious about 2.0. It was the Fed making a mistake when it set a specific

numerical target rather than doing what an earlier era of Feds had done and talked about price stability in a more general way. I would have stuck with

the idea of price stability.

But can we, just sort of, squirm out of this without accepting any pain? I think that's a dangerous and problematic course. Not because I care about

financial chevalets (ph) but because I care about unemployment today. And I care about unemployment in the future. That is why I am glad that Jay

Powell renounced the idea of forward guidance and making a whole set of prior commitments, in favor of the idea of making the best judgments they

could as things go.

ISAACSON: You were involved in talking to Senator Manchin and others about why this new reconciliation bill called an Inflation Reduction Bill, would

actually reduce inflation. Give me the arguments and it's not by raising unemployment, you think it will reduce inflation how?


SUMMERS: Three ways, and I think it's a very good and important bill. It reduces demand because we raised taxes more than we increase spending,

thereby reducing deficits. It increases supply by stimulating energy infrastructure and stimulating (ph) and subsidizing and supporting

renewables. And it uses purchasing power of the government in the pharmaceutical sector to bring down pharmaceutical prices and to reduce

consumers' health insurance costs.

So, better bargaining, more supply, less demand, that means more price growth and that ultimately means less inflation and take some of the burden

off the Fed.

ISAACSON: You say that this bill will bring inflation down and it does so in ways that doesn't seem to add to unemployment. Are there any other

things we can do to reduce inflation like this, whether it be lowering tariffs and other things, that might help us fight inflation without

pushing us into a recession or higher unemployment?

SUMMERS: I think one has to be honest and say that the primary burden rests with monetary policy, and that rests with demand. But I'd like to see a

much-reduced tariff in a meaningful way. I'd like to see us put more effort at supporting low-cost purchasing. For example, the Jones Act says that you

can't ship a whale from Texas to Newark, except on an American carrier. That raises prices.

The -- we have rules that say that British Airways can't fly me from Boston to San Francisco. That reduces competition and increases prices. We have

rules on procurement by the federal government that both hugely slow down infrastructure projects and often make them cost much more than they


I saw a statistic that the New York subway was costing five times as much per mile as the French subway, and France is known as a country that

doesn't respect labor rights or a country that does things in maximally inexpensive ways. So, I think there are a variety of things we can look up

at -- look at in terms of affordability and economics that would be constructive. But again, I think the primary responsibility has to rest

with demand management policy.

ISAACSON: One of the things that Senator Manchin pushed for, that you've just talked about, is allowing infrastructure and allowing, for that

matter, both clean energy and pipelines and others to be permitted more rapidly. How much of -- is that just something that would be a little bit

of easier for producers, or is that something that can really affect the economy? If we started building infrastructure in ways that didn't require

so much permitting and red tape?

SUMMERS: It adds up with respect to energy. Look, it is insane that we are as a country, on large-scale shipping petroleum products in trucks that

have tanks associated -- have tanks attached to them. It's bad for the environment. It raises the risk of major accidents. It's much more

expensive. It's absurd how hard it is to build a pipeline in the United States.

So, yes, I think Senator Manchin is right about that. I think it's true in many areas. I've been flying from Boston to Washington, for all kinds of

reasons, for 40 years now. It used to take an hour and a quarter, now it takes an hour and 45 minutes. It's not because the planes have gotten

slower, it's not because the airports are in different places, it's all because of lagging and inadequate infrastructure and that is something that

should be fixed.

ISAACSON: What fundamental changes, if any, have happened to the U.S. labor market, to everything from COVID to what is called the great resignation?

Are we in a place with a number of vacancies, is in as correlated to unemployment or has the job market changed significantly?

SUMMERS: I think the great resignation has shaken things up. And so, when things are all shook up, you get more unemployment, and you get more

vacancies at the same time.


And by the way, that's a lot of the reason why wages are going up so fast, adding to inflation pressure. And I think that's just something we're going

to have to recognize. Over time, that's a process that is likely to readjust.

We've got to try to do things to make it easy for seniors who want to stay in the labor force, to stay at work. I think we need to be thinking much

more creatively than we have traditionally about second careers of -- for people. I think there are big opportunities to add to our labor force by

helping mothers who have stayed out of the workforce for years while their kids are growing up, to get back into the workforce. I think if we can

change the zoning rules at nimby in a variety of places, we can make it easier for people to get to the places where jobs are. I think all of that

will both make our economy function better and tend to bring down the rate of inflation.

And I have to say that while the problems and the challenges are immense, the fact that in the last couple of months, last month really, President

Biden has been able to move forward the semiconductor legislation. And at last, he's going to move towards insulating us from being totally dependent

on some of the world's dangerous places for semiconductors. The fact that we are taking the necessary steps on health care costs, making the biggest

investments in clean energy than any country who's ever made.

I think that those things aren't the end. They're probably not even the beginning of the end. But as Churchill famously said during World War II, I

think they are the end of the beginning with respect to undertaking some quite broad structural reforms in our country.

ISAACSON: If we're going to improve our economy and if we're going to be pushing back on Russia and other things, do you think it makes sense to

have a better relationship with China? And how can we go about that?

SUMMERS: Look, Walter, I think we need to recognize that the China we knew a decade ago is not Xi Jinping's China. It's not Xi Jinping's China in

terms of what they are doing militarily. And it's not the China we knew in terms of a gradual trend towards opening up. It's not the China we knew in

terms of industrial espionage practices. It's not the China we knew in terms of collaborating with other countries.

So, we can't have any kind of romantic illusion. I think we need to try to practice what might be called strategic empathy and understand how the

world looks from their perspective as well as simply insisting on how it looks from our perspective. So, I think that that's the balance that we

need to strike and it's an enormously challenging and difficult balance to strike. I think our errors over the last 18 months have all been on the

side of being more truculent than might have been necessary. But at the same time, I don't think we should be viewing China with any illusion that

it is an entirely benign force in the world.

ISAACSON: Professor Larry Summers, thank you for joining us.

SUMMERS: Good to be with you, Walter. Thank you.


GOLODRYGA: Some really interesting perspective there on China from Larry Summers in light of all the news this week.

And finally, even she couldn't believe it. An unexpected gold medal for cyclist Laura Kenny. The English superstar dominating in a stunning

performance at the Commonwealth Games on Monday after what she called a nightmare year. Just moments ago, Kenny suffered a miscarriage -- months

ago, Kenny suffered a miscarriage after an ectopic pregnancy that left her considering quitting the sport.


Although she spoke of losing the spark in an interview after the race, Kenny certainly found a fire strong enough to send her flying over that

finish line to first place. She conquered self-doubt and the competition. Now, talk about a heart of a champion, bravo.

Well, that is it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast, and across social media. Thank you so much for watching and goodbye from

New York.