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Don Lemon Tonight

Russia's Missile Strike On Train Station In Kramatorsk; Russian Soldiers At Chernobyl Contaminated; Russia Preparing Massive Attempt In Donbas; Ukrainian Poet Performs At The Grammys; Don Jr. And Mark Meadows Text Exchange To Overturn Election; Will Smith Banned For 10 Years From The Oscars; CNN Film "Roadrunner" Premieres Sunday At 9:00 p.m. ET. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 08, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. We're getting new details on the brutal massacre of innocent civilians at a train station in eastern Ukraine today. The video you're about to see is graphic and disturbing but it shows the horrors of Putin's war's.


These people were, or simply trying to flee Russia's nonstop shelling. At least 50 people had been killed including five children. Almost 100 others were injured. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling the attack a war crime vowing everyone responsible will be held accountable. Straight now to CNN's Phil Black who has the latest on the Russian attack at the train station in Kramatorsk today.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For many who fear what is coming in eastern Ukraine, Kramatorsk station has been a gateway to safety. Crowds of people have packed its platforms in recent days, desperate to increase their distance from a region Russia says it will soon conquer with overwhelming force.

Witnesses say thousands came again on Friday morning. They sought safety. They could not escape the war. These are the moments after a ballistic missile exploded at the station after debris and shrapnel tore through the crowd.

So many dead bodies, a person cries. Only children, just children. When the screaming eventually, stopped, the broken bodies of the innocent remained. We have to hide much of the scene. Most of those lying bleeding and still are women and children.

Survivors fled. We managed to contact some by phone while they shelter together in a public building, still scared and shaken. This woman says, she looked up when she thought she heard a plane then it exploded and everyone went down. This man says he heard the blast and threw his body over his daughter. The remains of the missile that terrified and hurt so many, crashed

down near the station. Hand painted, Russian words mark its side, declaring the weapons avenging purpose. It says, "For the children."

The author and their intent are unknown. The result is yet another moment of horror in a war with endless capacity for taking and destroying innocent lives.


BLACK (on camera): So, once again, world leaders are accusing Russia of committing an atrocity in Ukraine and, once again, Russia is denying all responsibility. The U.S. assessment is this was a short- range ballistic missile fired from a Russian position inside Ukraine. The Ukrainian military says that missile was packed with cluster munitions. Small bomblets which spread and explode over a wide area and which are banned, in more than 100 countries. Don?

LEMON: All right, Phil Black, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Now, I want to turn to Alexander Kamyshin, the head of the Ukrainian railways which controls railroads across the country. Thank you, Alexander. I appreciate you joining us.

We have these images from earlier this week showing this railway station, being used by civilians to evacuate. And now, we see the disturbing images of blood and scattered luggage and bodies and all of it. Why do you think the station was targeted?

ALEXANDER KAMYSHIN, HEAD UKRAINIAN RAILWAY: I don't. Indeed, that is the first time they targeted the station on purpose, apparently, targeting civilians and targeting passenger, railway infrastructure. Before that, a day before, they shelled a bridge that was connecting the line of Donbas to Ukraine though. And their only reason is that they try to stop evacuation program.

LEMON: The remnant of that missile, right, on the side, it says, Alexander, for the children. Now, we don't know what the message means, but I mean, what do you think?


KAMYSHIN: I don't know either because Ukraine lost five kids and 16 more are injured and that's why there was no reason in that message, you know.

LEMON: The mayor there says that 8,000 people a day were going to the station to evacuate over the last two weeks. How will they be able to escape now because the humanitarian corridors or it looks like, you know, no one is safe in them? How are they going to escape now?

KAMYSHIN: We increased the security measures even more. But we keep the evacuation program running.

LEMON: You keep the evacuation program running. You said you would increase the security forces. Do you think that is enough? KAMYSHIN: Yes. We increase it even more because again, it was already

quite secure. All people knew that stations and trains are the safest place in this country during the Cold War. And we will keep it running until the last moment, you know. And we will increase the security measures, but we keep evacuation program on.

LEMON: Okay. As you just said, you know, trains have really been a lifeline for evacuees bringing thousands to safety all over Ukraine. If Russia destroys the rail lines, do you think it's going to cut off any hope of people to escape, people who are trying to escape or trying to flee this war?

KAMYSHIN: Don, they keep shelling the stations and the lines and the bridges all over the war. And for the last three days, they shelled at least 10 stations in the east. What we do, we keep repairing and get it back to work and keep running. And this case with the railway station is (inaudible) out of mind.

LEMON: Alexander, Russia says that they are focusing their attacks on the eastern part of Ukraine and eastern Ukraine. Do you fear that Kramatorsk could become the next Mariupol or the next Bucha?

KAMYSHIN: I definitely see that there is a change in the situation around Kramatorsk. I've been to Kramatorsk at least twice for the last two weeks. And the first on my visit, two weeks ago was much easier. Less people in the station, and the last visit, two days ago, we had a really, much people on the station.

So, I see that Russians keep pressing on Donbas and keep weaken Kramatorsk kind of Mariupol again. And that's why people try to flee. That's why we should keep the evacuation program.

LEMON: When you hear Russia's defense ministry deny any responsibility, really, like they so often do despite all of the evidence, what do you say to that?

KAMYSHIN: Well, what do you say when you see people lying, explicitly lie? I don't know. You shouldn't say anything to them.

LEMON: What about the spirit of the folks and the resolve? What do these attacks like today do to the Ukrainian spirit and your own resolve, really?

KAMYSHIN: You know, for me, that case was really hard because I did not expect such an apparent attack on the passenger infrastructure. But, again, as I told you, more than 10 stations shelled in three days. They keep shelling railway infrastructure on purpose. They try to stop the evacuation program. That's why what we have to do, we have to keep the evacuation program running and we will do it.

LEMON: Alexander Kamyshin, thank you and be safe. Thank you so much.

KAMYSHIN: I'll try to. Thank you. Bye, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. Bye. That's actually the perfect answer. I will try, right? Perfect answer. And we hope that he succeeds at that. Now, I want to turn to the situation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. CNN was given exclusive access to the plant for the first time since it came back into Ukrainian control. And what we found is really concerning. Here's CNN's Frederik Pleitgen with more.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Don. You know, the Ukrainians from the beginning, when the Russians took over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, they said they were absolutely concerned about what those forces were doing their. And when we got there, there were two things that really crystallized.

On the one hand, the Russians treated the Ukrainians there really badly, but it also seems they may have inadvertently allowed their own forces to get exposed to massive radiation. Here is what we found.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Simply getting to the Chernobyl exclusion zone is, a treacherous journey. Many streets and bridges destroyed. We had to go off the road, crossing rivers on pontoon bridges.

Finally, we reached the confinement dome of the power plant that blew up in 1986. The worst nuclear accident ever.


Russian troops invaded this area on the very first day of their war against Ukraine and took Chernobyl without much of a fight. Now that the Russians have left, Ukraine's interior minister, Denys Monastyrsky, took us to Chernobyl and what we found was troubling.

The Russians imprisoned the security staff inside the plants own bomb shelter, the interior ministry told us. No natural light, no fresh air, no communications.

(On camera): So the Russians kept 169 Ukrainians prisoner here the entire time they held this place. And then when the Russians left, they looted and ransacked the place.

(Voice-over): Among the prisoners, police officers, National Guard members, and soldiers. Ukraine's interior minister tells me the Russians have now taken them to Russia and they don't know how they're doing.

When I arrived here, I was shocked, he says, but only once again realized that there are no good Russians and nothing good comes of Russians. It is always a story associated with victims, with blood, and with violence. What we see here is a vivid example of outrageous behavior at a nuclear facility.

While the plant's technical staff was allowed to keep working, the Ukrainians say Russian troops were lax with nuclear safety. And, as we enter the area Russian troops stayed and worked in, suddenly the dosimeter's alarm goes off. Increased radiation levels.

They went to the red forest and brought the radiation here on their shoes, this National Guardsman says. Everywhere else is normal. Only this floor is radioactive. I ask, everywhere is okay, but here is not normal? Yes, he says. The radiation is increased here because they lived here and they went everywhere. On their shoes, and clothes, I ask? Yes, and now they took the radiation with them. Let's get out of here, I say.

The so-called Red Forest is one of the most contaminated areas in the world. Especially the soil. The Ukrainian government released this drone footage, apparently showing that the Russians dug combat positions there. The operator of Ukraine's nuclear plant says, those Russian soldiers could have been exposed to significant amounts of radiation.

We went to the edge of the Red Forest zone and found a Russian military food ration on the ground. When we hold the dosimeter close, the radiation skyrockets to around 50 times above natural levels.

Ukraine says Russia's conduct in this war is a threat to nuclear safety in Europe. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant hasn't been in operation for years, but of course, this confinement needs to be monitored 24/7.

(On camera): And also, there are spent nuclear fuel in this compound as well that.

(Voice-over): And it's not only in Chernobyl. Russian troops also fired rockets at Europe's largest nuclear power plant near Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine and are now occupying it. Ukraine's energy minister tells me the international community must step in.

GERMAN GALUSHCHENKO, UKRAINE ENERGY MINISTER: I think it's dramatically impact and that is the, really, the act of nuclear terrorism at what they are doing.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Chernobyl is close to the Belarusian border. The Russian army used this road as one of its main routes to attack Ukraine's capital. The interior minister says his country needs more weapons to defend this border.

Today, the border between totalitarianism and democracy passes behind our backs, he says. The border between freedom and oppression. We are ready to fight for it.

And the Ukrainians fear they may have to fight here again soon as Russian President Vladimir Putin replenishes his forces, continuing to put this nation and nuclear safety in Europe at risk.


PLEITGEN (on CAMERA): And you know, Don, I spoke to the Ukrainian energy minister for an extended period of time and he says he thinks it was absolutely crazy for the Russians to allow their forces to dig positions in one of the most contaminated areas in the entire world. And he also said that doesn't bode well for the fact that they also still control another nuclear power plant here in this country which is the largest in all of Europe. He says he believes the Russians simply have absolutely no concept of nuclear safety. Don? LEMON: All right. Frederik Pleitgen, thank you so much. The United

States believes Russia is trying to recruit more than 60,000 new troops. The military now below 85 percent of their total combat power when they first invaded. Can Ukraine take advantage of that?



LEMON: As Russian forces gather for an offensive on eastern Ukraine, the race is on to get defenders the supplies that they need. A defense officials say 8 to 10 planes are landing every single day at airfields near Ukraine with weapons and other security assistance. But what exactly do they need to keep Russia at bay?

Let's discuss now. CNN military analyst and Retired Major General James Spider Marks. General, good to see you. Thank you for joining. President Biden says that he is sparing no effort getting Ukraine the weapons that they need. The U.S. is moving a Patriot air defense system into Slovakia after Slovakia gave critical Soviet era S-300 -- era, I should say, S-300 anti-air defense systems to Ukraine. Will these S-300 systems help close the skies against all the missile and bomb attacks that keep coming from Russia?

JAMES SPIDER MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Don, they will certainly help. They won't close the skies. You don't close the skies. You try to deny certain areas within the skies, but absolutely, the S-300's will be a tremendous added capability.


Because what you want to have and one of the key things that Ukrainians need and they know this, is an integrated air defense capability that either eliminates or really degrades the Russian's capability to use that third dimension where they could put attack helicopters and they can put fighters.

And with an integrated air defense system, which the S-300s, which gives them some long range capabilities, some very pronounced radar capabilities, detection capabilities, and then the Stingers, the shoulder fire weapons system, which are more tactical that gives those Ukrainians a pretty good integrated system. So, yes. The short answer is the S-300's will help.

LEMON: Where are they needed most in the country? In the east, no doubt, but where specifically they need it the most?

MARKS: Yes, specifically in the east. And you need to look at what the Ukrainians did about a week ago or so, is when they did that long- range attack helicopter raid into Russia and went after that oil depot. We all remember that. These long-range strikes need to become standard for the Ukrainians.

They need to continue to put the pressure on the Russians in what the Russians think is a sanctuary. In Russia, the Russians kind of do what they want. They can assemble their forces. They can mass. They can re- fit. They can refuel. They can do that with a certain degree of impunity.

But if they can be obstruct as a matter of routine and unpredictably by the Ukrainians, it certainly disrupts what the Russians are trying to achieve. Simultaneously, the Ukrainians can go out into the Black Sea, again with good planning, the right capabilities, they can go after the Russian naval capability, which provides long range fire from the sea to the shore.

So, if the Ukrainians will continue the pressure and they're getting a weapon systems that can give them that, and they also have the planning, they also have the intelligence and we're certainly, the United States and NATO, they are really coming together to help with the intelligence that's been ongoing, let's be frank.

That will give the Ukrainians great advantage to take the fight to the Russians and to really completely rest the initiative away from the Russians and set the tone of the engagement.

LEMON: The Donbas is much different geographically than they are in north and west of Kyiv, with more open landscapes. Who has the edge in that kind of territory, general?

MARKS: Well, the Russians have the tanks and they have the numbers. This is classic tank battle. You know, Kharkiv was one of the most fought over cities in World War II. The Nazis were coming in, and the Russians were going through. This is tank country. The Russians have the advantage.

However, Ukrainians, this is their home turf. So it's a home game for them. They've got familiarity with what this terrain provides in terms of advantages to them. So, if the Ukrainians can bring forward tanks that they have, the T-72 tanks that they've got and some from the Czech Republic, many that they have taken from the Russians who abandoned them.

So the Ukrainians are using Russian capabilities to their great advantage. Also if they have, if the Ukrainians have cluster bombs. And we were just talking about cluster bombs. Cluster bombs are not to be used against civilian targets, which is what the Russians are doing. That is criminal behavior.

Cluster bombs are an anti-tank capability because tanks cannot maneuver through them and they can't maneuver around them. So you deny terrain to the offensive operators to your great advantage that forces them into areas where you now can take advantage of it and you can ambush them and bring to bear all the capabilities that they have, such as, you know, the individual fighting capabilities and the initiative.

And certainly, the Javelins that they've been using to their great advantage, and then you can set up those ambush positions with the tanks. That's what the Ukrainians are going to work on, I can guarantee you.

LEMON: Yes. You know, Russia has lost a significant number of their invasion forces. The U.S. says that they're looking to recruit I think upwards of some 60,000 troops. How does Ukraine capitalize on those losses and poor morale among Russian troops? You're talking about strategically how you push them back, what have you, but how do they make up for the loss of these troops?

MARKS: Yes. The Russians need 60,000 troops that they are recruiting will have that much effect initially. They're not going to affect the battle as we see today.

LEMON: Really.

MARKS: It's not going to happen. Also, we have seen that the troops that are fighting to fight right now have absolutely inept leadership. That inept leadership has not gone anywhere. So you're going to put these brand new recruits who probably have not had sufficient training and you're going to stick them under lousy leaders, which means you've got another opportunity for the Ukrainians to just rip them apart.

This works to the Ukrainian's great advantage. These are going to be raw recruits. They're not going to have great skills and they certainly, as we have seen, do not benefit from great inspired leadership. They're going to be vulnerable.

LEMON: Thank you general, I appreciate it. Be well.

MARKS: Thank you, Don, very much.


LEMON: A Ukrainian poet escaped her war torn country and just days later, was performing at the Grammys. She's here with me in her first interview. That's next.


LEMON: Ukrainian artist taking to the stage at this year's Grammy Awards to send a message to the world about the atrocities being committed in their country.


Among them, poet Lyuba Yakimchuk who escaped from Ukraine just days before. She recited her poem prayer in English so everybody in the Grammy audience could hear her and understand her message.


LYUBA YAKIMCHUK, UKRAINIAN POET: Our father, who art in heaven of the full moon and the hollow sun, shield from death my parents whose house stands on the line of fire, and who won't abandon it like a tomb.


LEMON: Lyuba Yakimchuk joins us now. Hi, Lyuba. Thank you so much for joining. We really appreciate it.

YAKIMCHUK: Hi. Thank you for having me. LEMON: The poem is really beautiful and powerful. Can you tell us how

you ended up presenting at the Grammy Awards?

YAKIMCHUK: How I -- could you repeat please?

LEMON: How did you get the invitation to present your poem to the audience at the Grammy Awards?

YAKIMCHUK: As you know, the Grammys producer were looking for a poet and just found me. Firstly, it was about an American poet as I know, and then about Ukrainian poet who can edit some poem of American one. And my -- not my, by translator from Ukrainian into English (inaudible) she was like a contact person and she offer producers of Grammys to think about just Ukrainian poet. And they consider making (inaudible) and (inaudible) and so on, it's just easier.

LEMON: So, how did it feel being on a global stage? The world watching, using your word to draw attention to the crisis in your country?

YAKIMCHUK: I didn't even worry, you know. It was strange because I was calm and it was like I should do what I do. And like my work, just like this. I was anxious before my flight to Las Vegas. But onstage, I was just fine and like, it was great moment and I could speak for the audience. It was like this.

LEMON: Yes. And it was, you got to tell the world about what your country is dealing with. I just want to -- let me -- in the poem, you talk about your parents being home standing in the fire. You told my team that your parents already lost their home in the Donbas back in 2014. What are they doing now to help the war effort?

YAKIMCHUK: My parents already, yes, they already lost home and our home, our family home is under occupation in Donbas and Russian militants has been living there for years. And my parents asked the (inaudible) region and after massive invasion, my mom baked bread for the territorial defense unit and my father made Molotov cocktails for them, for street fighting. And now it's more or less calm there in (inaudible) region, I mean, and saying they are okay. Yes.

LEMON: I also understand that your husband, your husband stayed in Kyiv to deliver humanitarian aid while you and your son safely fled Ukraine to Austria. You're in Austria. Your husband is still there. You and your sone are in Austria, your husband is still in Ukraine doing humanitarian work. You say it was easier to stay in Kyiv than leave. Why did you ultimately decide to leave then?

YAKIMCHUK: It's easier to stay in Kyiv than Vienna because you could be more helpful, and my husband is a volunteer of delivering humanitarian aid from Kyiv to Kharkiv. And I used to do almost the same with him. I helped in this and my sister, as well, she is a volunteer. When you do something helpful, you feel better, just better because you give, I guess, these hormones and you are -- don't afraid for your family, for your country, when like -- when you are on distant.


LEMON: The endorphins kick in. Lyuba, thank you. You did an incredible job, too, and we appreciate you appearing. Be safe and we hope your family is safe especially your husband who is there as well. Thank you.

YAKIMCHUK: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you. So we've also got news tonight from the January 6 Committee. A CNN exclusive, text between a Trump family member and Trump's chief of staff. We're going to tell you what they said, that's next.



LEMON: We have got some CNN exclusive reporting. Text from Donald Trump, Jr., to his father's chief of staff. They showed just how involved he was in strategizing plans to keep his father in power. Here is CNN's Ryan Nobles with the story.


RYA NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): November 5th, 2020, two days after the 2020 election. Votes were still being counted. The final outcome, still in doubt. But President Trump's son, Don, Jr. was already passing on ideas for overturning the election, if necessary, to ensure a second term for his father.

"It's very simple," Trump, Jr. texted before outlining several options. "We have operational control. Total leverage." Trump, Jr., was texting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. This text, reviewed by CNN, hasn't been revealed publicly before. It is in the possession of the January 6th Select Committee.

In a statement to CNN, Trump, Jr.'s lawyer says, "After the election, Don received numerous messages from supporters and others. Given the date, this message likely originated from someone else and was forwarded. Meadows attorney declined to comment. On election night, President Trump was already laying the groundwork to claim the election was stolen.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED SATES OF AMERICA: To me, this is a very sad moment. And we will win this and we -- as far as I'm concerned, we already have won.

NOBLES (voice-over): Behind the scenes, his son and adviser, Don, Jr. was sharing ideas with Meadows for how to subvert the Electoral College process. Leveraging Republican majorities in the Senate and swing state legislatures.

"State assemblies can step in and vote to put forward the electoral slate," Trump, Jr. texted. The text message from days after the election, ticks through questionable legal theories. Many of which would eventually be employed by the Trump campaign and GOP operatives across the country.

"We have multiple paths. We control them all." The paths Trump, Jr. refers to in the text include creating alternate slates of fake electors, pushing the vote back to state legislatures, and forcing a scenario where neither candidate had enough electoral votes to win, leaving it to the House to vote by state delegation to elect the president.

"Republicans controlled 28 states, Democrats 22 states, Trump, Jr. texted. Once again, Trump wins." Trump, Jr., was a prominent surrogate for his father, traveling the country on his behalf. In the days leading up to the election, he told Trump supporters that if Trump lost, it would be because the radical left cheated.

DON TRUMP, JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: And make sure everyone gets out and vote because if you don't, they are going steal it from you.

NOBLES (voice-over): But while he publicly warned against fraud on the left, his private text message to Meadows foreshadows a legal strategy his father's allies would eventually launch. Even teasing the showdown in Congress on January 6th, two months before it happened.

"We either have a vote we control and we win or it gets kicked to Congress, 6 January 2021." This text, part of a tranche of thousands of texts from Meadows the committee has in its' possession and has already used as part of its investigation.


NOBLES (on camera): And Don, in addition to these plans that Don, Jr., shared with Mark Meadows about ways to stand in the way of the election certification, he was also already talking about his father's second term as president of the United States, and the plans that he wanted him to implement, almost immediately.

He said, "Fire Wray, fire Fauci, make Grennell the interim head of the FBI, have Barr select a special prosecutor on hard drive from hell, Biden crime family." And what you can tell from this text message, on November 5th, before the votes were even done being counted, is that Donald Trump's closest family members including his son really, truly, believed that he was going stay in office. Don?

LEMON: Ryan Nobles, thank you so much.

The Academy handing down their punishment to Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock on the stage at the Oscars, I'm going to tell you what they said, next.



LEMON: The board of governors for the motion picture Academy, convening today to decide on a punishment for Will Smith after the actor slapped comedian Chris Rock live on stage at the Oscars, cursing Rock out and telling him to keep his wife's name out of his mouth. CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas is here. I hate watching that video.


LEMON: I know. Hi Chloe.

MELAS: It's -- hey. It's forever going to overshadow --


MELAS: -- this moment. The most -- you know, I've been talking with people recently and it's just unbelievable that in less than an hour, he had the highest moment of his professional career, and the lowest.

LEMON: And it's so against the image he has crafted over all of these years and so unlike him. What did the Academy decide today?

MELAS: So, the Academy, the board of governors, convening today, moving up their April 18th day after Will Smith resigned. Banning Will from ever attending the Academy Awards for the next decade. So for 10 years, he cannot attend an Academy events in person, virtually. And why is this important?


Well, because when you win an Oscar, one of the best parts is that the next year, for the big categories, you get to present for the next year's winner. So, the fact that he won't be there, it just sort of drags and carries out. I'm not saying that it's wrong that they decided this. Quite frankly, I actually thought that they were just going to expel him forever. That he was not going to ever be able to come back.

But there was a lot of public pressure. A lot of celebrities came out, you know, telling the Academy that you did the wrong thing. You should have pulled him out of the Oscars, out of the Dolby Theater and he shouldn't have been able to accept the Oscar that night. So, they had to do something strong.

LEMON: I wonder if they would've handled it differently in the moment. Maybe people would have thought that his punishment would have been not being there to accept the award.

MELAS: Well, you know, let me tell you something. So, in this lengthy statement today, I'm going to read you just a little bit of what they said. They say, the Academy says, "During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry." So they're apologizing again.

"This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers, and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short -- unprepared for the unprecedented." So, you know, look, I think that, you know, hindsight is 2020. They had about 40 minutes from the moment that the slap happened --

LEMON: Long time. MELAS: -- till the moment that he won best actor. You heard Will Packer, the producer for the Oscars, go on "GMA" and say that Chris Rock also said, to him, I don't want them to remove Will Smith. I don't want them to charge -- I don't want to charge Will Smith with anything. You know, the LAPD was ready to arrest Will Smith for a battery. Will Packer, saying that Chris didn't want this to turn into something bigger than it already was.

LEMON: Every person, even tonight, just speaking to people there. Of course, they're asking me, you know, they talk about the war and then the next thing it is Will Smith, right, the Academy Awards. And they said, man, Chris Rock, he has certainly handled himself well. He's handling this the perfect way. I wonder what he is going to say. My question is, and who knows when he's going to speak out. Did the Academy address Chris Rock?

MELAS: They did.

LEMON: Oh, they did.

MELAS: They praised Chris for his composure and the way that he handled himself. And you heard Will Packer even recently say, Don, that he thinks that Chris saved the Oscars. I went to a couple of Chris' shows in Boston last week and he said, I'm still processing this. I'm going to address this at some point fully. It will be funny, it will be serious, but you know, you've had a few of Chris' brothers come out and speak and say that they don't accept, you know, Will's apology.

And Chris even said during his shows last week, Don, that Will had not personally apologize to him. So, I really wonder, has Will, despite these public proclamations of apology, has he gone to Chris and said, I'm sorry.

Don't forget, they starred in a movie together once. Something interesting I found out that I didn't realize until recently. "Madagascar," the animated film franchise, Jada and Chris both voiced characters in that film.

So, this is a circle of people that knows each other well. So, it will be interesting also to find out if there was more bad blood than just the quip at the Oscars.

LEMON: I think that moment will happen. I think this is just me speaking, I think it will happen and maybe he's embarrassed right now. Who knows? And maybe he's just trying to figure out how to do it right.

MELAS: But he has a big movie.

LEMON: He's got to do it.

MELAS: We don't have a release date yet. Emancipation on Apple. Supposedly, the best role of his career. And it will be interesting to see because this -- his resigning and the Academy ban for 10 years does not stop him from being nominated. LEMON: Nominated. And he could win.

MELAS: He could be nominated. Can you imagine?

LEMON: He could be nominated and he could win, but he can't show up, yes.

MELAS: And not there to accept it, right.

LEMON: Thank you. The question is will they nominate him? We'll see. We'll see.

MELAS: Right.

LEMON: Thank you, Chloe. Appreciate it.

MELAS: Thank you.

LEMON: So, chef, writer, traveler, friend, Anthony Bourdain, played a special role in millions of people's lives all around the world, from loved ones, to strangers. Now as CNN prepares to bring you the new film, "Roadrunner," a film about Anthony Bourdain, some of Tony's closest friends and family share some of their favorite memories of the cultural icon. Here is W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN's United Shades of America, who traveled to Kenya with Tony for one of the final episode of "Parts Unknown."


W. KAMAU BELL, HOST, CNN'S UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: Going to Kenya with Tony, I would have paid for it if that had been an option. It's like fantasy camp. I was living a dream, and I was very aware as I did it. I'm still the guy on the couch watching the show, who's now lucky enough to be working with him.

And so I knew in some sense, I'm representing for all the people, on all the couches who were watching his show. And so I'm going to be the fan. I'm not going to be too cool for school here. My favorite meal that I had with Tony in Kenya is not a favorite meal because of how it tasted. I'm not typically an adventurous eater, but I was like, whatever they put in front of me I'm going to eat. This is Tony's show, it's how it works.

And so he said goat's head stew. And so I'm like, okay, cool. And we get there, it turns out, goat's head stew is just a goat's head that they put on a table that's been stewed and they rip all the meat off of the head. Everything.


Everything that is eatable. When you see it in the episode, you can see me, actually, looking like I think I'm handling it and my eyes are this big and I chew for what must have been 20 minutes to get the goat's head stew, chewed up enough to swallow. And I was like there were better meals in Kenya, many better meals, but that was my welcome to "Parts Unknown" moment that I'll never forget. (EN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I love Tony and I love W., but no goat's head. It's interesting to watch, so make sure you tune in. The new CNN film, "Roadrunner," a film about Anthony Bourdain. It premieres Sunday night, 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN.

And thank you for watching everyone. Our coverage continues now with John Vause.