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At This Hour

DOJ to Announce Charges Against Ukrainian for Cyberattack; Cities Look to Benefit from Biden's Infrastructure Win; Obama Speaks at COP26 Conference in Glasgow. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 08, 2021 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: First on CNN, the U.S. is charging a Ukrainian man for a ransomware attack over the 4th of July weekend. The attack hit a Florida-based software firm, eventually infecting hundreds of businesses.

CNN's Evan Perez has these breaking details. He's joining me right now. Evan, tell us more about what you are learning.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, next hour, we're going to hear from top officials at the Justice Department and the Treasury Department on what is really a major operation. The U.S. government is going to announce that they have seized $6 million that was paid by companies that were victims of this massive ransomware attack. This is an attack using this ransomware called REvil. And it, as you said, was carried out against a software company, Kaseya, ended up infecting about 1,500 companies worldwide.

And so as part of this announcement in the next hour from the Justice Department, we're also going to hear about charges against one Ukrainian man who was arrested in Poland last month. His name is Yaroslav Vasinkyi. There's also going to be charges against another person also linked with this group behind REvil. His name is Yevgeniy Polyanin. He is believed to still be at large, still at large, possibly in Russia.


We're going to hear about charges involving fraud, money laundering, just really a major operation that is taking some action against ransomware, which has grown, as you know, Kate, exponentially in the last few years.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And charged and arrested, which is unique in this space, for sure. Great reporting, Evan, thank you so much.

PEREZ: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Also new this morning, right now, a second day of testimony is under way in the trial of three men accused of chasing down and murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

CNN's Ryan Young he is following all of this for us. He is live outside the courthouse in Georgia.

Ryan, this has been an incredibly emotional trial already. What is happening today?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It has. Good morning, Kate. As you said that before on Friday, that video really sort of punctuated the day, obviously family members seeing that video, some of them for the first time, of everything that happened on that fateful day when Ahmaud Arbery was shot. Today, has been quite different. Investigators have been coming forward. The first officer who arrived on scene, the evidence collector was talking about how she gathered evidence.

They did show some graphic pictures of the body in the middle of the ground. That you can definitely see some people were taking some deep breaths while that was going on. But then from there, the first officer who arrived on scene is actually still doing some testimony, maybe just stepped away for a quick second as they're doing some procedural things inside court.

But we were just talking about how when he first arrived on scene, where he saw the body, how he interacted with everyone there, how he saw the shotgun. He talked about the evidence collected. So, not the same sort of video evidence that we got on Friday, but still at the same time, when you see these graphic pictures and you see everything that they're trying to go through piece by piece, they're setting that stuff up as this case moves on slowly. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Slowly, that's for sure. Thank you so much, Ryan. I really appreciate that. We're going to stay close to this, Ryan Young on the ground.

Now to major developments in another big trial. Jurors are hearing testimony right now from the only man who survived being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. Rittenhouse faces two homicide charges in the shooting deaths of two protesters as well as attempted homicide.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, he is live there outside the courthouse in Wisconsin for us, joining us now. Shimon, what are you hearing?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's been a dramatic morning here inside the courthouse as Gaige Grosskreutz tells the jury what happened to him in the moments leading up to the shooting and how he encountered the defendant, Kyle Rittenhouse, on the streets here after hearing gunshots.

Grosskreutz explains how he was running towards the gunfire. He is sitting there explaining this to the jury in a slow, methodical way. The jurors are all paying attention, taking notes. Here is him describing what it was like when he first encountered the defendant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, what are you doing? You shot somebody? Who's shot?


PROKUPECZ: And prosecutors there are playing even more video after that of the actual moments of some of the shooting. Remember, Kate, Grosskreutz did have a weapon on him, so we're going to see how the defense cross-examines him after the prosecutors are done about that weapon. He was shot in the arm. Certainly dramatic testimony here for the prosecution today.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Shimon, thank you so much for that.

Coming up for us, President Biden touting a big bipartisan win, but when the rubber meets the road, what does $1.2 trillion in infrastructure spending look like in your city? The history-making new mayor elect of Pittsburgh is our guest.



BOLDUAN: Democrats are touting a big win, passing the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal through Congress. All it needs now is President Biden's signature. It's a win Democrats admit that they needed and something mayors across the country have been asking for, investment in the country's infrastructure, the largest single infrastructure investment in American history. Roads, bridges, water pipes, broadband all part of this deal.

So, what are these promises going to look like in real life? Who's going to get this money?

Joining me now is Ed Gainey, he's the new mayor-elect of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mayor-Elect, thank you for being here.

MAYOR-ELECT ED GAINEY (D-PITTSBURGH, PA): Thank you for having me this morning. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: I appreciate your time. Your congressman has often said that Pittsburgh has some of the oldest infrastructure in the country. How do you make sure you get the money you need for Pittsburgh from this infrastructure bill, this $1.2 trillion of investment? Do you have any guarantees at this point?

GAINEY: Well, one, I want to thank the Congressman because he's correct, we have the oldest infrastructure probably in America, and we know our infrastructure needs to be repaired desperately. So, this $1.2 trillion that America has gone (ph) that the Democrats and Republicans were able to pass is great.


And we want to be able to use it to make sure that we're building up our infrastructure and repairing the roads, the bridges, and the rest of the infrastructure that needs to be repaired.

BOLDUAN: Do you have guarantees of how much the city is going to get, where you will be putting the money, though?

GAINEY: I do not at this moment in time. If they have discussed that, it has not been communicated to me. But we're looking forward to getting our share and we're looking forward to invest in ways that's going to improve the infrastructure in the city of Pittsburgh.

BOLDUAN: Democrats, you know, they passed this over the weekend. Democrats, though, continue the negotiations now in Washington over the bigger social safety net bill. You're supportive of the administration's efforts. But if Democrats in Washington, if they don't get it done and this infrastructure bill is the totality of it when it comes to the president's economic agenda in this moment, is that enough for Pittsburgh? Is that enough for your city?

Well, we always want to be able to utilize as many resources as we can to improve the overall infrastructure and the rest of the safety net needs we need for the city of Pittsburgh. We just have to see what happens and we're going to hope for the best. We're going to hope that they can come together in a bipartisan way that produces the level of investment that we need to ensure that our cities and the rest of America's cities are okay.

BOLDUAN: What is the one aspect of the larger spending bill that you think will have the greatest impact in Pittsburgh? I've been speaking to a lot of mayors who say, you know, it's different in every city, be it universal pre-K, be it another aspect of it. What aspect of the larger spending bill that's being debated do you think will have the most impact in your city?

GAINEY: Well, I think universal pre-K is always a good place to start. I really do. But also we want to focus on the public health aspect that we need to focus on. For so many years, and we notice now for decades and decades and decades, we've had to deal with how we talk about how we're eradicating violence in America, whether that's gun violence, drug and alcohol violence, poverty, education, homelessness. There's a lot in this bill that we can really utilize in order to insure that we beef up public safety, safety nets, to ensure that people are getting the absolute support that they need. We need that.

But also I've got to say this infrastructure bill is major. It gives us an opportunity that we haven't had in years to redevelop and rehab our infrastructure, our bridges, our roads, our waters. That's a major investment. In regards to the safety net, I believe the more we focus on public safety, the better outcome we have for our people.

BOLDUAN: And as you mention public safety --

GAINEY: We're just going to focus on public health and the better outcomes we want to get for our people.

BOLDUAN: As you mention public safety, you ran in part on racial justice and police reform. You also made very clear that you do not support defunding the police, but you were also critical during the campaign of what you've called overpolicing. So, what are you going to do differently when you take office? What does this look like?

GAINEY: So, there's a couple things. One, we also discussed how we want police to walk the beat again and repair the broken relationships that have been broken in communities, particularly communities of color. I believe that's important.

Second, if overpolicing worked, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It doesn't. We need equitable policing across the city. And we need to ensure that we're working with our communities and law enforcement to build the best cohesive relationship we can. Those are the two main items that I spoke about, one, getting these cops to walk the beat again, repairing the eroded relationships that they have in our neighborhoods by putting them back in the streets, and two, making sure we're not overpolicing in places of color in particular.

BOLDUAN: The job is great. You have got a huge job ahead. Mayor- Elect, thanks for coming on.

GAINEY: I appreciate it. Thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: Thank very much.

Coming up for us, a former president back on the world stage with a warning and a promise. President Obama takes the stage at the major climate conference. His message to the world, next.



BOLDUAN: Former President Barack Obama back on the world stage. He's in Glasgow for the International Climate Crisis. Obama trying to rally the world in his remarks to act now against the climate crisis.

CNN's Rene Marsh is there. She is joining us now. Rene, what did President Obama have to say? What was his message?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: So, it was an urgent message, Kate, but I should mention that right now, we're outside of yet another event with former President Obama right now, as we speak. He's speaking to young activists.

But earlier today, I mean, when you look at his arrival here at COP26, it is no coincidence that he arrived when he did. This week is filled with crucial, critical, intense climate negotiations among the nations here, and this is really seen as an all-hands-on-deck type of approach bringing in the former president here really to repair the U.S.'s credibility when it comes to climate change following four years of Donald Trump.

Now, President Obama focused a lot on the politics of climate change and urged people not just in the U.S. but worldwide to get past that and really get on board with aggressive climate action.


Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We need advanced economies like the U.S. and Europe leading on this issue, but you know the facts. We also need China and India leading on this issue. We need Russia leading on this issue, just as we need Indonesia and South Africa and Brazil leading on this issue. We can't afford anybody on the sidelines. But there is one thing that should transcend our day-to-day politics and normal geopolitics, and that is climate change. It's not just that we can't afford to go backwards. We can't afford to stay where we are. The world has to step up, and it has to step up now.


MARSH: And, again, I do want to underscore it is highly unusual for a former president to be here at a world event of world leaders, but it just speaks to how high the stakes are, the urgency of trying to push not the U.S. but other nations to act aggressively when it comes to climate change, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Rene, thanks for being there. Thanks for bringing that to us. I really appreciate it.

And thank you all so much for being with us today. I'm Kate Bolduan.

Inside Politics with John King begins after this quick break.