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Zelenskyy to Attend G7 Summit in Japan; New Mexico Police Release Body Cam Footage Showing Moment Sergeant was Shot; Navy Determined to Address Quality of Life Amid Suicide Crisis. Aired 10- 10:30a ET
Aired May 19, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: A diplomacy world tour lives on the line. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meeting with Saudi Arabia's crown prince as he urges Arab leaders to take an honest look at the war in Ukraine, all of it ahead of a meeting with G7 leaders in Japan.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Newly released body camera footage shows the moments a gunman began firing at random in a New Mexico neighborhood. We have new information about what the gunman said as the bullets kept flying. CNN News Central starts now.
SIDNER: New overnight, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy announcing a surprise trip to visit world leaders at the G7 Summit in Japan on Sunday. Sources are telling CNN he will be traveling straight from Saudi Arabia, where he urged the leaders there to take an honest look at what Russia is doing to his country.
Russia's war in Ukraine was the focus of the group's discussions today. President Biden and other leaders unveiled tough new sanctions against Russia this morning aimed at further restricting goods key to the battlefield.
CNN's Marc Stewart is at the G Summit in Japan for us. Marc, this is a significant visit for Zelenskyy. He is going to be -- we know -- asking for more support. What are you hearing there in Japan?
MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Sara. This is a big deal for so many different reasons. First of all, just the symbolism behind this, this is President Zelenskyy's first visit to Asia since the Russian invasion. And, yes, he will be meeting with leaders at the G7 and, yes, he will have a wish list.
But perhaps even more significant is the fact that he will also come in contact with other leaders from other nations, not necessarily G7 member states but world leaders, including those from India, Indonesia, Brazil. As one analyst told me today, it is a rare chance for him to have the face-to-face discussions about exactly what he needs from them to help quell the violence in Ukraine. That could be politically, that could economically and, of course, militarily. And that leads me to the other big headline of the day, sanctions. We saw the G7 agree in force that the Russian war machine really needs to be clobbered. So, a way to do that is through economic sanctions and very targeted sanctions, focusing on things such as construction, such as manufacturing, transportation, business services, all components that can help fund Russia's war efforts. Also expect to see oil price caps, expect to see those in place.
Sara, again, President Zelenskyy will be arriving this weekend. He will likely have a wish list of his own, perhaps F-16 military jets, perhaps anti-missile systems, we will see happens, what is said, what is presented in the days and even hours to come.
SIDNER: Marc Stewart, it is really good to see you there in Hiroshima, Japan. John?
BERMAN: So, as President Zelenskyy delivers his pitch for support directly to leaders in Saudi Arabia, we told you he's in Saudi Arabia this morning, in Japan, the leaders of the G7, as Marc just reported, have announced a new round of sanctions on Russia today.
With us now Georgetown University Adjunct Professor and CNN Contributor Jill Dougherty. Jill, what I actually want to focus on is the symbolism of the president of Ukraine being welcomed with open arms by the G7, a group that literally expelled Vladimir Putin a few years ago, the significance of that.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I think it's really important because you see the shift, really, in the world right now. I mean, go back 1997. You had Russia under a Yeltsin carrying out reforms. Russia becomes part of the G7. And then remember President Putin. they actually held a summit in Russia, in St. Petersburg, of the G7, which was now the G8. And President Putin was hobnobbing with all sorts of leaders. And then in 2014, when they invade and illegally annex Crimea, Russia is kicked out.
So, I would have to say, if President Putin were looking at these reports today, there might be a little bit of chagrin, although at this point, he does have other friends. And that would certainly be Xi Jinping of China.
BERMAN: Jill, stand by for a moment, because David Sanger from The New York Times, who was at this G7 meeting, is with us also now. David, we were talking about Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the significance of him being at the G7 summit. President Biden has been there for a day now. Is he getting what he wants? You can usually tell a day or so in how the U.S. is doing at these meetings.
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Today was sort of the easier day for it, John, because they were taking up issues on which they fundamentally have agreement, and that is that the sanctions that President Biden said would destroy the ruble haven't yet. In fact, they need to do a lot of work to keep equipment, parts, semiconductors from being smuggled in through the United Arab Emirates, through China, and so forth. So, this was the easy part, the sanctions evasion.
By the time that you see Zelenskyy show up, though, they're going to be on the much harder issues, and that's going to include what kind of future weapons they need. You've heard this debate about the F-16s. It's going to include the question of where they're going to get the stocks for the kind of anti-missile systems that they need and air defenses that they need. At this point, Ukraine is burning through them, probably at a pace that is sort of ten times our ability to go produce some of these weapons.
So, there're going to be a lot harder issues. And then, of course, the biggest one of all, which is how do you get this to some kind of negotiating table situation where you could at least get to an armistice?
BERMAN: Jill, when Vladimir Putin looks at Japan right now, looks at these leaders meeting with Zelenskyy, what worries him the most?
DOUGHERTY: I think it would be the unity, whether that unity among the allies continues, and also the speed of providing help, especially the lethal weapons that David was talking about that I think will be primary. Because right now, we know that Ukraine is preparing for this counteroffensive and Russia is not quite sure how it's going to unfold or even where it will unfold. But I think speed and timing are crucial.
I was just in Estonia with a lot of people, with NATO discussing that very issue, that the Ukrainians feel that, yes, they're getting weapons, yes, they're getting military help, but it's coming in piecemeal slowly, or at least more slowly than they would want. And they say, as that continues at that kind of slow pace, people, especially in Ukraine, are dying, and so they do not feel that they can really, let's say, take back the land that they want to take back unless they have as much as they want. And that would include, they would argue, F-16s.
BERMAN: David Sanger, I'm not exactly sure when you're sleeping because I know you've been working your sources non-stop since you've been there. These other leaders, how are they perceiving Joe Biden's domestic issues with the debt ceiling standoff? Do they understand his need to head back home more quickly than had been planned?
SANGER: I think some of them do. And, of course, they have an interest in the debt ceiling issue being resolved as well. Because if the United States defaulted, if interest rates soared, if the stock market dropped, that problem isn't going to end on American shores. It's going to affect all of them.
But I do think that President Biden was in a real bind here because he knew that if he didn't cut the trip short, he would be lambasted by Republicans for being out of the country and not participating in the negotiation. If he cut it short as he did, he was going to lose the opportunity to be the first American president to go down to the Pacific nations, gather 17 leaders from those nations.
[10:10:09] And while those all sound like small countries, they cover a huge amount of ocean and territorial waters that the U.S. needs to maintain access to. And guess who else has been down there? Xi Jinping with a big checkbook and a lot of time spent in that region.
And so the president is going to have to do a lot to sort of make up for the fact that he has backed away from this at the last minute.
BERMAN: David Sanger. Jill Dougherty, terrific to see both of you. Thank you so much. Sara?
SIDNER: Right. Coming up on CNN News Central, we're getting a look at the newly released body camera footage showing the moment police got into a firefight with a gunman in a New Mexico neighborhood.
Plus, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis headed to New Hampshire today ahead of an expected announcement on a 2024 presidential bid. But it's another early primary state he plans to put a major emphasis on.
Next week marks one year since the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and 2 teachers were killed. The community, though, is still searching for answers. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz sat down with the families and joins us live, next.
BERMAN: The Georgia prosecutor leading an investigation into former President Trump and his allies is now signaling a new timeline, possible timetable for charges. In a letter obtained by CNN, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis announced remote work days from most of her staff during the first three weeks of August. She asked judges to refrain from in-person hearings for parts of that month as well. This might suggest that Willis expects the grand jury to unseal indictments during that time period.
The Armorer who worked on the Rust movie set is trying to have her involuntary manslaughter charges dismissed. Attorneys for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed filed a motion asking the judge to drop the charges just as they did for Actor Alec Baldwin. Those charges were dropped last month. Gutierrez-Reed claims investigators tampered with the weapon used in the fatal onset shooting of Halyna Hutchins, and it should no longer be used as evidence.
So, this morning, there is new hope in the search to find four children who were on board a small plane that crashed in the Amazon in the southern part of Colombia. Rescuers say they've now spotted footprints which could belong to the missing children. It's a little confusing what's taken place here.
Yesterday, Colombia's president tweeted that the children were found. So, there was a lot of hope yesterday, but he later deleted that tweet, saying information given to him by the country's child welfare agency had not been confirmed. But now these footprints, hope again. The four have been missing for more than two weeks. Sara?
SIDNER: New Mexico Police are walking us through the timeline of events after an 18-year-old high schooler start shooting at random in his neighborhood. Police say 79-year-old Shirley Voita was driving down the road in Farmington when the suspect opened fire. She was hit and fell out of her vehicle. That's when two other women, Gwendolyn Schofield and her daughter, Melanie, drive up. Police believe that they were attempting to help Voita when they were shot as well.
The gunman then kept walking down the road, firing indiscriminately. Police have just released this incredible body camera footage showing the moment that they arrived on the scene and confronted the teenage gunman. We want to warn you, the video you're about to see is disturbing livestock.
CNN's Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst John Miller is joining us now. You don't see this every day, but officers are dealing with this at least once a week. I think we're covering the stories at least once a week. When you have somebody out there randomly shooting, that's a little unusual. But you hear this officer, this female officer, trying to get back up and help, and she's down. Can you talk about what that does when other officers see one of their own hit in this kind of scenario?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: When you're in the middle of the active shooter, you're supposed to keep driving towards the threat. In this case, it all happens at once. She's shot, he's taken down by the officers in that exchange of gunfire, and they're immediately able to get back to her.
And she's -- where are you hit? I'm hit in the leg. Look how fast that happens. Where's your tourniquet? This is part of the new world we live in, which is officers are carrying on their due belts, gunshot trauma kits, tourniquets, both for themselves and their partners, but also members of the public who may be caught up in these things.
SIDNER: It is a literal war zone sometimes for the public and for these officers. In this scenario, we didn't play it here, but we have seen the video where the gunman is basically telling him someone to kill him, saying, kill me, kill me. What does that indicate to you?
MILLER: So that's two things. One, he starts off literally, randomly, and I say randomly because you look at these things, each one has a difference.
In Louisville, he went to the bank where he was employed, and he killed his bosses and supervisors. In Nashville, she went to the school. Not where she went, but where she went when she was little and killed children who had nothing to do with her.
In this case, the randomness is a sign of the total objectification of human beings. He doesn't know them. They have nothing to do with him. They're passing cars. There are people sitting in their living rooms. There are people walking down the street. And he opens fire and then
goes on the move and continues the random shooting. He's taking people with him.
But his goal is suicide by cop, which is, I will shoot as many rounds and at enough people with the intent of hitting them to draw the police in so that they will be justified in engaging with me when I shoot at them. And he knows how this is going to end. When he woke up that morning, this was all in the plan, shooting the other people to get himself shot.
SIDNER: As awful as it is to say, I always wonder why people in that condition who want to die by suicide don't just take themselves out, but so often they try to take a whole bunch of people with them.
MILLER: So, if you look at kind of the modern psychology around the active shooter studies, this isn't the movies, when I was a kid and it was Gary Cooper at High Noon and you face down the bully. We live in the post Rambo world where masculinity has been defined to a series of American youth, a generation-and-a-half at least, in the world, where the hero defines masculinity by taking out all the bad guys, hundreds of them, in the final scene of the big movie.
And then this is honed into the violence they see on television, the first person shooter games, where they engage with limitless ammo and sophisticated weapons. It's all reinforcing. And we have to really take a look at where we're going here.
SIDNER: John Miller, I appreciate this conversation. I know Americans appreciate it. They are tired of all of this. I thank you for your analysis. John?
BERMAN: All right. This morning, the Navy's top leaders say they are committed to addressing quality of life issues for U.S. sailors. This comes after an investigation into a series of suicides among service members late last year found that the Navy failed to provide adequate living conditions and mental health resources for personnel.
CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Oren Liebermann is with us now. So, tell us about this report and what the Navy now intends to do about it.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This is a report and a finding that will take not only more resources but a tremendous amount of time for the Navy to address. And that's because they looked at not only the issues that contributed to the suicides that we saw several of them over the course of a few months last year, but also the bigger picture issue.
And one of the key findings here, and we have a graphic we can show you this, is that even if there was no direct correlation or cause between these series of suicides, what led to them was a degradation in the Navy's ability to provide for a quality of life. The Navy failed to provide basic quality of life for sailors, and they acknowledged it was a failure of the Navy to address this earlier.
It took a major, what they called a mishap for the Navy to address this. That mishap, three suicides in a week amongst the crew of the USS George Washington, a nuclear aircraft carrier, back in April, and then four suicides within one month in December or right before that at a facility in Norfolk, Virginia. It was those moments and those instances, tragic as they were, that compelled the Navy to address this.
So, some of the other findings is that sailors were living in unacceptable living conditions and the Navy failed to provide adequate mental health resources to address this. For the first time, the Navy will create essentially a baseline standard for quality of life, not only first within shipyards, which is where those first series of suicides happened but then across that to aircraft carriers, submarines and then to the wider fleet itself.
They acknowledge this will take resources, John, more resources that in and of itself could prove a challenge for the Navy.
BERMAN: I have to say, though, some of those numbers are troubling. You can see why they feel like they need to take action. Oren Liebermann. Thank you very much. Sara?
SIDNER: Coming up, an ambitious plan to win over Iowa voters. What we are learning about Ron DeSantis' efforts to outwork former President Trump. That's next.
And ahead, Rapper Fat Joe is speaking out and taking on U.S. hospitals, demanding they follow the law and make public the cost for medical services.
BERMAN: All right. This just into CNN. President Biden told G7 allies that the U.S. will support an effort to train Ukrainian pilots on aircraft that would include one of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's biggest requests, the F-16 fighter jets. So, again, the news is the U.S. will help train them.
The training would not happen in the U.S., we are told, but would involve U.S. personnel working alongside allies in Europe. The Biden administration -- well, the Biden administration had said it would not deliver F-16 jets from the U.S. but had made clear it approved the transfer from allies to Ukraine.
The news comes ahead of Zelenskyy's trip to Japan, where he is set to join G7 leaders.