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Don Lemon Tonight

NYPD Identifies "Person Of Interest" In Subway Mass Shooting; U.S. Tracking Possible Russian Chemical Attack In Mariupol; Fighting Intensifies In Eastern Ukraine As Russians Relocate Forces; What Can History Tell Us About The War In Ukraine?; Shanghai's 25 Million Citizens In COVID Lockdown; Gilbert Gottfried Dies At 67. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired April 12, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Breaking news, a manhunt underway here in New York City tonight for the person who police say set off a gas canister and then opened fire on a crowded Brooklyn subway car. NYPD saying 10 people were shot and at least a dozen injured in the scramble to get off the train.

That is what a man who is in that subway car when the shooting started told me just a short time ago.


YAV MONTANO, WITNESS TO NYC SUBWAY SHOOTING (voice-over): I couldn't even see past halfway down the same cart. That's how smoky it was. No matter how high or low you got, you just couldn't see. All you could see was bodies piled on top of each other, people trying to get as far away as they can, people screaming, people -- just utter chaos and mayhem.


LEMON (on camera): So, tonight, police say 62-year-old Frank James is what they're calling a person of interest. They believe the rented -- he rented a U-Haul van whose keys were found at the scene and they are investigating if he is connected to the shooting.

Also tonight, heavy fighting in Eastern Ukraine as Russia moves more of its forces into the region. A Ukrainian official saying as many as 22,000 people may have died in the besieged city of Mariupol.

But I want to begin with the subway shooting and CNN's Brynn Gingras in Brooklyn for us. Brynn, good evening to you. Give us the very latest on the urgent manhunt. There is a person of interest. What more do you know?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, like you said, Don, this person's name is Frank James. Of course, authorities from the federal level all the way down to the NYPD and state authorities are all looking for that person, trying to figure out right now the link between this Frank James and the actual subway shooting.

There are some leads that they have been chasing as you sort of outlined for your viewers there. We know that a key was found in the shooter's possessions on that train. That key was to a U-Haul and we know that James rented that U-Haul.

However, again, police being cautious here and just calling James a person of interest at this point and not a suspect. So, still looking for him.

Listen, Don, you talked about this in your last hour. I heard you. There are thousands and thousands of cameras all along the city. With that latest news conference that we had at 1PP (ph), we know that they put out a picture and a name, and now there are thousands and thousands of eyeballs of New Yorkers trying to help locate this person and hopefully have some sort of an idea of what took place early this morning on the subway.

LEMON: Brynn, talk to me about the weaponry found at the scene. What did investigators find?

GINGRAS: Yeah, a whole lot of stuff, Don. I mean, this is incredibly alarming, terrifying. Of course, we know all the anecdotal stories we heard from people who were riding that subway, but we know authorities found a gun on this -- at the crime scene in the subway.

We know that they found multiple magazines, gasoline, fireworks, commercial-grade fireworks. We know that there were two detonated smoke bombs and there were two more that were also found among the possessions as well as a hatchet.

So, this really speaks to the fact that this could have been a much larger event than what we actually experienced, which of course was a pretty large event.

But we learned from sources that through -- during the shooting, which took place this morning during the morning commute, the gunman's gun actually got jammed.


GINGRAS: So, that was also contributing to the fact that this didn't go further than what you would think would initially was the intent of this person who committed this act.

So, again, there is so much more from that crime scene. I know that there are investigators still here on the scene processing the crime scene here at the -- at the train station.

Again, that U-Haul van that we just talked about earlier, that was also located about three miles from here. We know that that has been towed away and that is being processed as well within the NYPD.

LEMON: All right. Brynn Gingras on the scene for us. Brynn, thank you. We appreciate your reporting. I want to bring in now Chris Swecker, former FBI assistant director for the criminal investigative division. And also, Darrin Porcher is here. He is a former NYPD officer. I am so thankful to have both -- grateful to have both of you on to talk about this.

Chris, I'm going to start with you because the FBI is working with the NYPD on this investigation. What are they doing to track this person of interest down?

CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION: Yeah, he left a lot of things behind, Don, that I think led to his identification. If they found a residence, you know, up in Wisconsin or wherever it is, they're going to grab everything they can out of that house. You know, electronic media, phones, computers, anything with a memory in it.

They processed that van. I am sure it has some information in there that's useful.

It's really a pure manhunt at this point. They know who he is. Now, they just need to find out where he is. I think they -- by now or by tomorrow morning, they will have that person's life dissected. They will know his social network, probably two -- you know, two or three levels out, and they will have an entire portfolio of him.

Then the next question is, who is he going to run to, where is he going to go, how can we get him in custody as soon as we can?

LEMON: Darrin, I want to bring you in because I want to ask you a question that I asked Brynn Gingras, and that's about the weaponry found. They found a 9-millimeter Glock handgun, three extended magazines, two detonated smoke grenades, two non-detonated smoke grenades, and a hatchet at the scene. What does this tell you about the suspect and what would police do? Will they be able to get DNA evidence off of any of this?

DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER NYP OFFICER: This speaks to the testament of the collaborative approach of the ATF, federal law enforcement authorities, and the NYPD, local law enforcement authorities. We do not -- we have not assessed that these were stolen weapons. So, more than likely, these weapons were acquired based on a lawful purchase.

It's clear that this is a person that was looking (INAUDIBLE) atrocities to us as the eight million residents that reside in the city of New York. Fortunately, the NYPD was able to use technological innovations and captured an image of this individual entering the subway system eight stops away and exiting as well, coupled with this individual dropping the keys to this rental van.

This is significant and this shows how the tremendous work of the NYPD has worked for us as common citizens.

LEMON: I am glad you mentioned that because you mentioned the keys. It's clearly premeditated, as you said, to commit an atrocity and terror really on the citizens of New York City. But leaving the key to that van and other things, a bag behind, does this indicate sloppiness here for this -- what does that tell you?

PORCHER: No criminal is 100%, and that's what we capitalize on as law enforcement on the mistakes that criminals make. We got to look to, as you mentioned, with these keys. We got to look to see, is there any DNA, are there any fingerprints on these keys? And that's going to collaborate the additional information that we have in connection with this individual.

On top of that, we also have a picture of a person of interest. We want -- we want to show the same picture to all of those people that were in the subway car so they can say collaborate if that was, in fact, individual that fired the shots in the subway car.

LEMON: Chris, let's talk about this. Almost 10,000 cameras in the NTA (ph) system, but the NYPD is saying that there were three stations where the video wasn't working. They don't know if it was mechanical or electrical or what.

And I spoke to the former police commissioner about that. You know, there were some steal issues from -- you know, the wheels and the brakes on the train and being down in the subway system, there is probably soot and dust and all kinds of things. How does this hamper the investigation or eventual prosecution if it does at all?

SWECKER: You know, Don, I do a lot of security assessments. I am in the middle of one right now. One of the biggest components of security scheme these days is the security cameras.

And I find that a lot of times, they are not inspected, they are not -- I always get in there and look -- have the monitors pulled up, look at the views, look at the placements, make sure they are in working order, and that sort of thing. Obviously, that didn't happen this time. They say that which is not inspected will deteriorate. Well, that's apparently what happened here.

But as you said, there are cameras all over the place, both private and public.


SWECKER: And in this case, you know, they have photos of this guy. It may have taken a lot longer to get it. It's obviously hindered, the identification of this guy. But given a lot of that evidence that he left behind, I am not sure they have lost all that much time on it.

But it is a major, major shortcoming here and you can bet that they are going to be going through all their cameras throughout the system and making sure that they are in working order.

LEMON: Darrin, are you surprised that they have not been able to find this person or at least to get an image or images of him leaving to trace his steps after this happened?

PORCHER: When --

LEMON: Because of the security system or on somebody's camera somewhere?

PORCHER: The average person photographs or videotapes 100 to 200 times a day in a place like New York City.

LEMON: Yeah.

PORCHER: We don't have an expectation of privacy. So, although we may have had inoperable cameras, we have the public as a backdrop that's allowing a cellphone footage.

But that being said, we do a backwards investigation. We start from the scene of the crime and then we work towards where this person possibly exited. I am confident that we're capturing information that hasn't been introduced to the public and the rest is imminent for this person.

LEMON: All right. I want to play more of what we heard from one of the survivors of the shooting. Here it is.


HOURARI BENKADA, NYC SUBWAY SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I was so shocked. I was, like, I didn't even think it was a bullet. I was just so shocked. I just wanted to get out of there after hearing all those shots firing. I think I might have -- you know, I might be scared of riding the subway again because you just never know.


LEMON (on camera): You know, Chris, he is scared to ride the subway again. Look over, three million people rode the subway just yesterday. It's a miracle that the shooting wasn't much worse. Does this reveal a big security issue for police? And what's to stop this from happening again really, especially now knowing the breakdown, you know, with some of the cameras, there may be problems, they may be offline, so on and so forth?

SWECKER: Yeah, it does. I believe invisible deterrence -- that's a uniform -- I mean, the biggest -- the most effective visible deterrence is a uniformed armed officer conspicuously present in place throughout the subway areas. You know, the cameras, the signage that says "you are on camera," there are a lot of things you can do to deter this type of activity.

And then you can be very proactive in your enforcement of the laws, you know, throughout the subway system. They have the metro transit authority.

But I heard today that a lot of people were afraid to even -- they sit, wait for the subway with their backs against the wall. They don't want to get pushed in front of the tracks like what happened before.

So, there appears to be -- people are riding again, but they are fearful. And that shouldn't be happening in the New York subway system. I think they are going to have to take a really hard look at this and decide whether they want to go ahead and up fund the police department again and get back to where they were about a year and a half ago.

LEMON (on camera): Thank you both, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

Did Russia use chemical weapons in Mariupol? The reports are unconfirmed but the Pentagon is monitoring the situation. If it turns out to be true, how would it change the war?


ANTONY BLINKEN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Russian forces may use a variety of riot-control agents, including tear gas mixed with chemical agents that would cause stronger symptoms to weaken and incapacitate, entrenched Ukrainian fighters and civilians as part of the aggressive campaign to take Mariupol.




LEMON: So, the Pentagon confirming today the United States is looking into reports Russian forces may have used a chemical weapon in Mariupol. CNN has not been able to confirm those reports.

It comes as CNN is getting new video of that devastated Ukrainian city. You can see smoke rising from residential areas outside a shipping yard there.

I want to bring in now journalist and author Sebastian Junger. His latest book is titled "Freedom." Good to see you again.


LEMON: Doing okay?

JUNGERE: Yeah, I'm good. I'm good.

LEMON: Let's talk about what's happening in Mariupol specifically because Ukrainian marines in Mariupol are vowing to hold on until the very end, they're saying, but their city is being demolished.

President Zelenskyy is saying that tens of thousands of people have died there. And the U.S. is looking into reports that chemical weapons are being used.

How much longer can Ukrainians hold on to this city?

JUNGER: Well, I don't know how much food they have, how much ammo they have. Resupplies constantly a problem. If they are deeply dug in, they can withstand the rocket attacks, the bombings. Civilians can't, of course. And if they have gas masks, they might be able to survive a chemical attack.

So, you know, these people aren't stupid, right? They have outfoxed the Russians at every turn, at every single turn, even outnumbered three to one, five to one. I assumed they gamed this out and have a plan for Mariupol.

LEMON: If it is confirmed -- you are hearing the reports of chemical weapons --


LEMON: -- if it is confirmed that they used chemical weapons, how does this change the war?

JUNGER: Well, I would say in some ways it's the sign of desperation, right? I mean, you turn to WMD when conventional warfare just isn't working. And it is clearly not working for the Russians and Putin clearly is sort of registering that. He potentially is facing a massive humiliation, just the kind of thing he was trying to avoid.

So, the risk of using chemical weapons, its purpose is to shock your enemy into surrendering and fleeing, and it's very good at that, right? But it is kind of a red line and it's possible that that might peel China away from its sort of -- even its neutrality about this. I mean, Putin doesn't know at what point the geopolitics will shift.


JUNGER: A battlefield decision actually changes his position in the world. He doesn't know where that point comes, so he is going to be hesitant as well.

I think at the end of the day, when his personal honor is sort of at stake because he is losing a war that he thought he would win easily, at that point, he might sort of do anything.

LEMON (on camera): I want to play what he said, but on the other side, I'll ask you, because I was speaking earlier to Fareed Zakaria and he believes that he is -- that Putin is believing his own propaganda. But I asked him -- I wonder if he has some awareness that he is losing. He did make a rare public appearance today and talked about the war. Watch.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The military operation will continue until it's fully completed and the objectives that were set at the beginning of this operation are achieved. We are helping people. We are saving them from Nazism in the first place.

And on the other hand, we're protecting Russia, taking measures to protect Russia security. And it's obvious that we had no choice. It was the right thing to do, and I have no doubt the objectives will be achieved.


LEMON (on camera): Peace talks, he said, are dead, and he said that. What do you make of that?

JUNGER: Well, I mean, not to -- I mean, he is a dictator, right? I mean, he is an authoritarian. Not to compare him to a democracy, but during Vietnam, the public, the outward facing statements of various administrations which knew that we were losing, they were failing to win the war in Vietnam, the outward facing statements clearly put a rosy picture on things, which is what he is doing.

I am guessing he is saying that the peace talks have failed because that's another way of saying, okay, the gloves are coming off, you know, don't think you can run for the exits. This is it now.

So, a lot of war. I mean, it's like a bar fight. I mean, a lot of war is sort of posturing and trying to scare your opponent into actually not fighting, because when two people fight or two armies fight, there is inevitably losses on both sides.

LEMON: This is all about -- this is all about terror, right? Terrorizing --


LEMON: -- the people of Ukraine and also just bombarding them and knocking down infrastructure. But --


LEMON: I think that there may be a false sense of security in some places in the country because as he gets more desperate, he may start moving further west, right, bombarding for the west. Who knows?

We are told that Russian forces are looking to intensify their attack in the east. This is going to be a fight out in the open, not in the cities, right? So, do Ukrainians have to shift their gears or their tactics?

JUNGER: Well, they still have to take the cities, and that's very, very hard for attackers. The ratio, I think, is five to one to take a city, something like that.

And, you know, even if the Russians take the east, which has the most sort of Russian -- people with Russian blood in Ukraine are in the east. So, that would sort of make sense and then Putin could walk away with supposedly a victory. But even if they take the east, they still have an insurgency to fight.

LEMON: Yeah.

JUNGER: I mean, we took Afghanistan in some weeks in 2001, 2002. And 20 years later, we could not deal with the -- we really couldn't defeat the insurgency. Our occupation failed.

So, I don't know. Even in the east, I am not sure he is looking good. It will be enormously costly for them politically and economically. The Russian economy is not particularly big. This is a tough one for him.

LEMON: And they -- but Ukrainians need weapons and they need them fast. You hear Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying this is going to be on the west. We need your help. He is getting more pointed and more pointed. But you can understand in a way his desperation. He needs it.

JUNGERE: Oh, absolutely. And he is getting weapons. But again, you know, every public statement has a purpose, and the purpose is to get the enemy to back down and your friends to help you. And so, you know, connecting reality to the statements isn't necessarily the most obvious thing to do.

LEMON: I enjoy your conversations. I learned a lot. Thank you, Sebastian.

JUNGER: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate it. Thanks for coming in.

A renewed Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine. How the new front will change the fight. Colonel Cedric Leighton is at the magic wall. He is going to break it down, next.




LEMON: Heavy fighting today in Eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces taking back part of the central region of Zaporizhzhia before being forced back by Russian reinforcements. It's part of the intense fighting in the region as Russia gathers its forces for a massive push into Donbas.

Joining me to discuss, CNN military analyst and retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Colonel, good evening to you. This battle today lasting five hours, how much of this one step forward, one step back kind of fighting could we see in the coming weeks here, and can Ukrainian forces sustain it?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, RETIRED AIR FORCE COLONEL: Great questions, Don. I think what we are going to see is a lot of this kind of thing. So, just as a reminder, this all is the area that we are talking about here. Basically, Ukraine's east, the Donbas region right here.

And if we go into a more detailed look at this, this is Zaporizhzhia right here where you just mentioned the seesaw battle taking place, so very close to the Russian lines down here in the south, and you have Ukrainian elements that are listed on the map in here. Obviously, they are right in this area as well, a little element right here.


LEIGHTON: What they're trying to do is they're trying to keep these areas away from the Russians. In essence, what they are doing is trying to save central Ukraine. If the Russians get a hold of Zaporizhzhia, that would be a major problem for the Ukrainians.

So, what they are trying to do is they're trying to contain the Russians along these lines right here. And then, of course, in the north, they also have a job of containing them up here.

So, a seesaw battle will be the norm and they are going to be taking place over the next few weeks, if not longer, and it's going to take some time before the Russians can be dislodged no matter how many weapons the Ukrainians get.

LEMON: Colonel, the Pentagon says that Ukrainian forces are still contesting Mariupol. Those forces saying that they will hold out to the end. They are increasingly cornered there. How long do you think they can hold out without more supplies?

LEIGHTON: Without more supplies, it's going to be really tough. Mariupol is right here, right on the coast of the Sea of Azov, but the problem is it's almost impossible for the Ukrainians to resupply through here or obviously through the sea. So, that's not going to happen.

So, the Ukrainians who are in Mariupol, the only way that they can be saved is either through air drops or through -- of supplies or through some kind of miraculous movement of Ukrainian forces in here, and that's going to be really tough for them to do.

So, the Ukrainian forces in Mariupol have a very tough time standing fast in that city. They can do it for some time, but the key is resupplying them not only with weapons and with ammunition but also with food and the other means of sustenance that they would need and medical supplies as well, of course.

LEMON: If Ukrainian forces can't hold out and Mariupol falls, how would that change the overall battlefield?

LEIGHTON: So, if that were to happen, Mariupol on this map right here, if Mariupol falls, it really wouldn't change the dynamic that much for the Ukrainians except, of course, there is a political and symbolic value to Mariupol, and keeping it is, obviously, in Ukraine's interest.

It's almost like an Alamo last stand kind of thing but it's, of course, much bigger and it's a much more significant thing for the Ukrainians. But in terms of the actual battlefield, none of this would really change.

The Russians, however, would get their land bridge right in here and they would potentially be able to then turn and move their forces this way.

But Mariupol is draining a lot from the Russian forces that are attacking it. So, it's not going to be easy for them to pivot and move those forces into other areas. And to actually subdue Mariupol and actually subjugate it is going to take a real long time for them to do. They really can't pacify it, even though it's basically a destroyed city at this point.

LEMON: Yeah. Ukrainian forces -- officials, I should say, are hoping heavy rains in the east could slow down Russia's advance and force armor on to roadways where they are more vulnerable to attack. How much could that help Ukrainian forces?

LEIGHTON: So, this satellite picture and forecast rainfall picture of Ukraine shows exactly how much rain we can expect in the eastern part of the country. If that happens, you know, as the weather forecast calls for, what's going to happen is there is going to be a lot of mud and it is going to force the Russian forces on to the roads.

It's also going to do some hindering for the Ukrainian forces. It's going to provide them with some difficulties as well. But it's their country, they know the backroads, they know all of the different things that they need to know about this because they will be able to then squeeze the Russians into certain paths.

And tunnelling the Russians into those certain paths along those roads will enable them to be -- the Ukrainians to target the Russians, and that will make it easier for them to prevail against them. They'll still be tough to do, but the weather may very well be on the Ukrainian side in this point.

LEMON: Colonel, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

LEIGHTON: You bet.

LEMON: Hardly anybody thought Ukraine would still be fighting. Nearly 50 days into this war. Well, it is David and Goliath, is it, all over again? What history tells us about the war in Ukraine. That's next.




LEMON: For years, many believed the kind of hideous destruction rampaging through Ukraine would never again happen in Europe. Believed it could never happen again. With civilian deaths and unspeakable war crimes multiplying, what can history tell us about where this war could be headed and how a country like Ukraine is bloodying the nose of a Goliath like Russia?

Joining me now to discuss, retired army colonel and professor of military history at Ohio State University, Peter Mansoor. Colonel, thank you. Good to see you. It is going to be an interesting conversation.


LEMON: So, let's talk about analysts who predicted that this war would be over in days and here we are weeks later. Almost two months into this war. Ukraine's much smaller military has forced Russia to abandon its original plans. What kind of a precedent is there for a country like Ukraine to be able to fend off a foe with this much power behind it?

MANSOOR: Well, there isn't really a good historical precedent for such an overwhelming great power such as Russia completely failing in an invasion of a much smaller neighbor.


MANSOOR: The Russo/Japanese war of 1904 and 1905 perhaps is an example. Japan was considered, you know, a minor power in Asia. Russia was a great power of its day and yet Japan prevailed in that conflict.

Later on in 1939-1940, the Finns put up a stout resistance against the Russian invasion and were able to fend off the Russians for a matter of months.

But, you know, eventually, numbers and weight of superior resources prevail in these sorts of conflicts normally. But, you know, Ukraine has defied all odds to this point and I predict it will continue to defy those odds going forward.

LEMON: Yeah. As you know, colonel, so many wars have been fought because one nation considers territory to be culturally or historically theirs. But it is clear that Ukrainians have their own identity, that they have proven that they are willing to die for. Are Putin's miscalculations so far due in part to him not understanding that?

MANSOOR: Oh, absolutely. The first, the most far-reaching act that a statesman and commander have to make, according to (INAUDIBLE), is to understand the kind of war that you're embarking on. And Putin thought this would be a walkover. He didn't understand Ukrainian nationalism. He expected the Ukrainians to actually welcome Russian troops with bread and salt. And instead, he has created a massive resistance to the Russian army.

You know, about 87% of Ukrainians support -- believe their country is going to win this war and therefore support resistance. You compare that with some place like Iraq where I fought where perhaps 20% of Iraqis were supportive of the resistance against the U.S. and coalition forces.

So, this is a massive problem for Vladimir Putin, the fact that he has miscalculated the Ukrainian will to fight.

LEMON: Yeah. And we've seen the interviews of the little old ladies sitting there, saying, you know what, F-you to these people, and I told them to get out -- I mean, it is amazing to see the support from every day Ukrainians and how they are standing up to this Russian army.

Listen, President Biden today accusing Russia of genocide. The horror that we're seeing in Ukraine is absolutely terrible, obviously. Civilians are paying the price for Russia's brutal envision. Europe hoped that they would never see anything like this again. I mean, war is always hell, but does this look like a return to a more ruthless style of warfare to you?

MANSOOR: This is a pretty typical Russian style of warfare. It's not surprising at all. You could see what they did in Syria when they battered Syrian cities into dust and forced people to vacate with airstrikes and artillery strikes on hospitals and schools and marketplaces. They are merely taking that template and putting it on to Ukraine. They want to break the will of the Ukrainian people.

So, no, this is not surprising. This is a reversion really to the norm of warfare which is brutal and bloody and doesn't always accord to the laws of war, which make it somewhat more palatable to civilians.

But otherwise, this is to be expected and, you know, Vladimir Putin should pay a price for his war crimes in Ukraine, but I would hold my breath as long as he is in power.

LEMON: Yeah. The most important question for me, I believe, is that you don't believe Putin will stop with Ukraine. If he isn't stopped, what do you see happening?

MANSOOR: Well, this is -- you know, this is an important point. The only reason that NATO hasn't gone in and supported Ukraine, in my belief, is that Putin has rattled the nuclear saber. And this is setting a precedent that if you have nuclear weapons, you can launch an invasion of a neighboring state provided it does not have nuclear weapons, and you can make it stick.

And so, this is why it's really important for Putin not to win this war because otherwise this sets a new precedent that nuclear powers can do what they want whether it's within the law of war or not and get away with it. We cannot allow that to happen. It simply is out of bounds for civilized world in the 21st century.

LEMON: But isn't it a conundrum that we are getting involved in large part because it's nuclear weapons and we are not getting involved in a big part because it is nuclear weapons? You understand what I'm saying?

MANSOOR: Well, to a point. I think the, you know, one of the things we could do is we could arm Ukraine with a wider array of weapons. We can give them artillery. We can give them tanks. We can give them aircraft. There is no reason why we shouldn't.


MANSOOR: The Russians gave those sorts of weapons to the North Vietnamese when they were at war with us, and this would just be returning the favor. So, I think the Biden administration has more options at its disposal which it needs to look at in order to even the odds, because Ukraine can win this war if it's properly armed.

LEMON: Colonel, always a pleasure. Thank you. Please come back. Be well.

MANSOOR: Thanks.

LEMON: Thank you. An entire city in total lockdown. If you thought that 2020 was bad, you got to hear my next guest's story and what he is doing to stay sane while stuck inside Shanghai right now. It is -- you just have to hear it. Stay with us.




LEMON: The Chinese government's zero-COVID policy has led to a lockdown in Shanghai, a massive city of 25 million people. No one is allowed to leave their homes, so residents have to be creative to keep themselves busy.

Charles Foldesh is an American drummer living in Shanghai. He plays his drums on the balcony of his apartment and his neighbors love it.

So, joining me now is Charles Foldesh. Charles, thank you very much. Playing drums? Look, you guys have to be going through a bad time for people to love playing drums. You know what I mean by that. Usually, it's like stop it with those drums! It's good to see you.


Thank you for joining us. You have been in Shanghai for 14 years. Now, you're under lockdown with China struggling to maintain its zero-COVID strategy. Tell me about what you're doing and how many days you have been stuck inside.

FOLDESH: Well, we've been officially locked down now for about two weeks. But prior to that, prior to the official lockdown, most people were just staying inside voluntarily. The city was shut down. There was really no reason to be going out. So, everybody was just kind of staying inside voluntarily until the lockdown took place, and that's how it's been for two weeks for us now.

LEMON: Yikes. So, you're only allowed to leave your apartment to get tested for COVID. How do you get food and other items you need? Did they deliver -- do you get like a delivery? What happens?

FOLDESH: So, at least in our apartment compound, there is a committee that's in charge of making sure that everybody has their basic necessities, the food, water, and all the basic things that we would need. Aside from that, there are limited deliveries that are allowed in some of the compounds. So, that's how we get by for the food.

LEMON: Wow. Okay. So, the video of you playing drums on your balcony went viral. So, talk to me about this. What made you go out there and just start playing?

FOLDESH: Well, it's kind of a funny story. In the compound, everybody was kind of out on their balconies and kind of singing songs together and chanting "Shanghai jiayou (ph)." What that means is basically "let's go, Shanghai." Trying to lift each's other spirits. It was kind of like a socially-distant block party, if you will.

LEMON: Very similar. That happened here in New York city as well and in many U.S. cities. Did anybody join in? Did you get any sax players or trumpet players or guitarists or anything like that?

FOLDESH: Well, that actually happened later. After the video went viral, some musicians were taking some of that footage and then layering guitars and things on top of it. But when I was actually doing the show from the balcony, it was just me by myself.

LEMON: You say that you have settled into a routine since this all began. How do you spend your days keeping busy?

FOLDESH: Excuse me, what was that?

LEMON: How do you keep -- how do you spend your days keeping busy? Because you're locked inside, this has become -- you settled into a routine.

FOLDESH: Right. So, you know, anything to keep busy and to keep productive. So, there's definitely a lot of -- well, I practice a lot. The whole day is still centered around music.

But there is definitely a lot of home cooking, a lot of housework, anything to keep me occupied. The housework, my wife couldn't be more thrilled about, right?

But it's basically anything to -- anything to keep me occupied and to just stay productive. And yeah, that's kind of the name of the game for me right now.

LEMON: Hey, best of luck to you and your family. And we're happy that you could join us.

FOLDESH: Thank you.

LEMON: And we wish you well. Thank you so much. All right?

FOLDESH: Thank you for having me.

LEMON (on camera): Absolutely.

So, listen, a sad note from the world of entertainment. Comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried has passed away at the age of 67. His family is saying that he died after a long illness. Over the decades, Gottfried played a lot of different roles on TV and in movies, and he was known for his distinctive voice.


GILBERT GOTTFRIED, COMEDIAN AND ACTOR: Hi, I'm Margaret Thatcher. This isn't on, is it? I'm Gilbert Gottfried. I'm on the road a lot. Even when I'm not working, I'm just walking across the road. Yeah, I have a reservation. I'm Liam Neeson.

[23:55:00] GOTTFRIED: If someone else is paying for the food, then I go to the most expensive restaurant in town. When I get to the hotel, I immediately go into the bathroom and steal all the soaps and lotions. I do a lot of vocal exercises. A voice like this, you have to protect.


LEMON (on camera): So, listen, I've got to be honest, he was one of my favorite comedians. And if you saw a "Comedy Central Roast" with Gilbert Gottfried, you are rolling on the floor laughing. Irreverent. Devil may care, he went after everyone. There's a lot to be learned from the good old days with Gilbert Gottfried. Gottfried went after you. And we were okay with it.

Gilbert Gottfried's family posting a note on Twitter saying that while it is a sad day for them, they're asking everyone to laugh as loud as possible in his honor.

Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues with John Vause.