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Don Lemon Tonight
Russian Troops Wiping Out Towns in Ukraine; Putin Looking to Invade More Countries; Oil Executives Found Dead in Their Homes; Ukrainian Soldiers Knows the Battlefield Better; Kevin McCarthy Explains His Lies to Former Boss; People Wants Marjorie Taylor Greene Out of Office. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired April 22, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Jim, I'm so glad you had the chance to caught up with that mother. It really reminds us about the real humans behind these stories. It's more than just the coverage, it's about the lives.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: And that these stories are not measured in days or weeks or months but years, really. These people, if they're lucky enough to live, their lives are disrupted for years because of an invasion of choice by Vladimir Putin.
We're going to keep covering it.
SCIUTTO: Thank you, Laura. It's been great to be with you this week. That's it for us tonight.
COATES: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Don Lemon Tonight starts right now. Don?
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hello, both of you, Jim. Along on the note you just said, I don't think anyone thought two months ago that this war would still be going on, yet Russia is going for a new push in the east. What are you hearing from Ukrainians about that?
SCIUTTO: I think it tells us two things. One, Russia, Putin, is not satisfied with what he has gained and not gained so far, right? He's going to keep pushing, but it's also not clear, Don, that Russian forces are capable of achieving what Putin wants and certainly not quickly.
And that adds up to sort of a depressing conclusion and that is that this war could drag on for some time, with a lot more fighting, a lot more bombing, sadly, a lot more civilian casualties, and really a World War II-like battle in the east. This has the potential for a long, hard, and deadly slog.
LEMON: Jim Sciutto, we'll see you. Get some rest. Thank you for your coverage.
This is Don Lemon Tonight.
And we have new video, this new video shows the brutality and the indiscriminate destruction of Vladimir Putin's war. Here it is. Take a look at that. There's new drone video of devastated town of Moschun, the Ukrainian forces there and in nearby Irpin and Bucha were key to stopping Putin's march to the capitol.
And there is chilling warning from the president of Ukraine tonight, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): Comments by Russian commander shows Russia wants to invade other countries. An attack on Ukraine was only the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Only the beginning, and now we know what Vladimir Putin wants. He wants full control, not just of eastern Ukraine where his forces have been pounding the region, but southern Ukraine too, giving him a land bridge directly to Crimea the peninsula he annexed back in 2014.
But don't forget, Putin thought that he could take Kyiv, he failed, leaving a trail of destruction behind, civilians dead in the streets of Bucha, he has been battering Mariupol for weeks but Ukrainians hold up at that city's massive steel plant, they are holding on.
That, as the mystery grows over the deaths of two Russian gas executives within 24 hours this week, the circumstances strangely similar, one found dead on Monday with his wife and daughter in their Moscow apartment, the other found dead Tuesday with his wife and daughter in her luxury home near Barcelona. Coincidence, or something more?
We have the latest clues tonight for you. And back here at home, Republicans saying that they didn't say what they actually said on tape. New audio obtained by CNN from two New York Times reporters, Kevin McCarthy, days after the January 6th insurrection at the capitol telling Republicans then-president -- the then-president admitted that he had some responsibility for the attack.
Marjorie Taylor Greene under oath at a hearing on a bid to disqualify her from seeking re-election claiming she couldn't remember much of anything she said about the insurrection and still pushing the big lie. We got more to come on all of that this evening.
But I want to begin with CNN's Ed Lavandera, he is live for us in Kyiv. Ed, hello to you. I appreciate you joining us once again from Ukraine. You spoke to villagers near Kyiv who survived Russia's occupation, they were held hostage, tell us about it.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a village very close to the border with Belarus and Russia, north of Kyiv, one of the first areas that was invaded back in late February, and the people there are just now starting to emerge and tell their story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
LAVANDERA: War has stopped time here. Bombs and artillery scorch this village in northern Ukraine, Russian occupation ravaged the mines of its people. The story of what happened in Yahidne is just emerging, revealing how the Russian army held this village hostage more for than 30 days.
Sofia (Ph) shows you say the underground bunker in her shed where she first hid from the fighting. She says she had food stored here that the Russians ate. This is where she slept. Sofia says Russian soldiers went door-to-door rounding people up and taking them at gunpoint into the basement of the village school.
Sofia tells us when the Russian soldiers moved them all into the basement of the school building, that they were put down there and that the soldiers told them they were being put in the basement to die.
A woman named Natalia took us into the basement where she was trapped. "I was in a stupor," Natalia tells me, "I was just sitting there praying, hoping it would all stop soon."
Residents tell us that there were about 350 people held hostage in the basement of this school building, men, women, and children forced to live in these horrific conditions. In fact, it was so strangulating, there was so little air circulation that one resident told us that 12 elderly people died here because they couldn't breathe and their bodies were left while the fighting raged outside.
These are some of the only known images captured in the school's basement, the faces say it all. She's telling me that about 35 people slept in this small room, nobody could lay down, they slept kind of sitting with their knees up against their chest.
The rooms are littered with makeshift beds, schoolbooks and Russian troop meal boxes but it's the art on the walls that stops you in your tracks. This is how the children passed the time, colorful drawings on a canvas of anguish.
The people who were trapped down here etched names on to this concrete wall. They marked the days with a calendar crossing out the days as they went by. Everything down here has the feel of a World War II era concentration camp. Above the basement, Russian soldiers took over the school building. Residents say they were used as human shields. They knew the Ukrainian military wouldn't fire at the school with civilians inside.
Olena grabs food from a humanitarian delivery truck and takes us to her home. Russian soldiers threw grenades through her windows and defecated on the house floors. She was also held hostage in the school basement with her one-year-old daughter.
Did you think you were going to survive that? "I thought my child would not survive," she tells me. "I asked them to let me out so the child could breathe fresh air because she felt bad. They said let her die, we don't care."
Sofia, how did you feel when you got out of the basement to the school? She says, "one of the villagers opened the basement door and said the Russians left, the trapped villagers were surprised. In the morning, our guys entered the village," she said, "we cried, we hugged them and cried."
What will you tell your daughter about this experience? "Nothing," she says, her daughter will not remember it and she will tell her nothing.
LAVANDERA: Don, the number of people who were killed in this village is unknown. Villagers were telling us that they believe Russian soldiers were burying bodies before Ukrainian forces moved in, in the woods around the area but it's an area you can't get to because of the danger with land mines.
And what is interesting if you noticed in the piece, all women who spoke with us. They asked that we not use their last names. None of the men we spoke with would go on camera and that's because, they say, Russian soldiers were going door to door basically telling everyone, and grabbing the men, pulling them aside and telling them they were looking for Nazis so there's a great deal of fear in that village if the Russians do come back.
LEMON: Ed, this comes as fierce fighting still underway in eastern Ukraine, the latest on those evacuation corridors, are civilians able to get out?
LAVANDERA: It's been another treacherous day for humanitarian corridors throughout much of eastern and southern Ukraine. In fact, one attempt in a bus that was trying to escape an area in eastern Ukraine came under fire, several people inside the bus including a child were injured.
And, you know, the question and this has been going on for weeks and weeks now, Don, the inability of establishing these humanitarian corridors continues and lengthens the crisis for civilians inside those areas that are under intense gunfire and war right now.
LEMON: Ed, all of our correspondents, you especially, doing great work there in Ukraine, you should be very proud of the work you're doing in bringing the horrors of that Vladimir Putin's war to the world, exposing it, bringing life to it, so congratulations on the work. Thank you so much, my friend. Get some rest. I appreciate you doing us.
LAVANDERA: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: So, I want to bring in tonight, John McLaughlin, he is the former acting director and deputy director of the CIA.
John, good evening to you. Russia now says its goal to control southern Ukraine as well as the Donbas. Why, what is Putin after exactly?
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR & DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CIA: Well, I think his goal is pretty clear. He's trying to build a land bridge from eastern part of Ukraine through Mariupol, across the south, through Crimea, and then on to Odessa. Frankly, I don't think he can do it.
He's also, of course, talking about some of his commanders talking about taking a piece of Moldova which is at the end of that long strip of territory. I don't think he can really do this for at least four reasons and I would sum them up as logistics, command and control, manpower, and distance.
You know, his logistics have been terrible up until now, and when they get out at the end of that pipeline as they're getting toward Odessa, I really don't think they have the capability to supply their forces. These are big cities. Odessa is about 900,000 people. I've been there, it's a beautiful city.
They haven't been able to control smaller cities so the idea of them actually controlling it is somehow beyond me. Manpower, they're still bringing in new people who are not very well-trained and the ones they had before weren't performing well, and simple distances involved here are great. And they have not been good at traversing such distances. So, I don't think they can do it frankly.
LEMON: Interesting, logistics, command and control, manpower and distance. That's very smart assessment, John.
Let me ask you this, you say that Putin has forfeited Russia's place at the world table and turned himself -- turned itself into an international pariah, turned Russia, as well, the country. What impact has that had on Putin within Russia? Is he any weaker or not?
MCLAUGHLIN: I don't think he's weaker in Russia at the public level. We don't have, at least through publicly available information, a lot of visibility into how his military and his intelligence services are assessing the situation. But it wouldn't surprise -- we know, of course, from some public opinion surveys that his popularity remains high, though we must doubt that, the legitimacy of that because the fact speaking against him could get you a 15-year jail sentence.
We don't have visibility into the minds of people who really control Russia, and that essentially is your power ministries, the intelligence services, the military. My sense is if this war continues to go on forever, if Russia is hammered by sanctions, if the world continues to keep Russia out of meetings and expel it from organizations, like the Human Rights Council, if it's apparent to people in Russia who have power, and who don't want to live in a country that has forfeited its position at the table, that Putin's position could become fragile.
Very hard to know that, but I think it's within the bounds -- it's plausible to me that he could be in a weakening position within Russia, his strength of course is the gigantic propaganda apparatus he has which continues to convince the Russian population apparently that this is a legitimate operation to protect Russians in that area but, you know, Russia remains opaque on that score to some degree.
LEMON: You know, I wonder if this is part of the shift that you're talking about, but I think -- I think what you're referring to obviously is beyond Russia, this is on the world stage, you said the world is never going to be the same after this war, that we're going to see some tectonic shifts in the next year. Explain that.
MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, know, this was an article I wrote that several people have commented on and what I was trying to do in this article is respond to something that a lot of people say, you heard it, people say the world won't be the same after this war.
Thinking about that, I believe that's true. Russia will be diminished. At the end of this time, I don't think Russia will have much weight in the world. Partly because -- and it's odd because Putin actually achieved a great deal of power and in a way, prestige for Russia, but he's forfeited that.
The United States, by virtue of mustering, I think a pretty effective coalition has probably eased some of the reservations and doubts about its leadership that people held in the wake of that not very well managed withdrawal from Afghanistan, that gives the United States a lot of influence in building coalitions.
Putin has redefined threat for us, you know, if you're in Finland, for example, you always knew that Russia could be threatening and you coordinated your policy with NATO, but now you actually know that he has the capacity and the will and intention perhaps to come across your border.
So, if you're -- this is why the Finnish are now thinking, you know, maybe we should be members of NATO which leads me to the point I want to make about Europe which is that he created a situation in Europe exactly the opposite of what he was looking for.
He's going to end up with a Europe that is more united, that has more territories budding up against Russia's border and so forth. And, you know, by raising the nuclear issue, he's gotten our attention and I think for the first time we're actually thinking about nuclear policy in a more serious way than we have in recent years and I think he's throwing a curveball to China.
Now so far, China is with him, solidly with him, except for some diplomatic statements that they support Ukrainian people and they're prepared, and they deplore the violence and all of that, but so far, they're mirroring his propaganda. But over time, if this goes on for a year or so, and Putin is essentially a pariah, China is going to face some real decisions about how it presents itself to the world.
I see two scenarios that can come about. With Putin in a very weakened position, I can see that China will look at him and say not a bad deal for us, he was always the weaker partner, we can really exploit him now and Putin will be totally dependent on them. Or, if on the other hand, the world is concluded that Russia has committed war crimes during all of this period, and Putin is put in the penalty box, conceivable China could walk away from it. Low probability, but high impact if that were to happen.
So, for all those reasons, I think this war is going to change the world. The power balances are going to shift, being able to affect the whole struggle between authoritarianism and democracy, this is giving authoritarianism a pretty bad name and I think at least marginally improves the position of the United States in its competition for preserving its prominence in the world.
MCLAUGHLIN: So, he really made a gigantic miscalculation on a scale that mirrors certainly, Hitler's miscalculation in attacking Russia in World War II.
LEMON: The exact opposite of what you said he wanted to accomplish. John McLaughlin, I appreciate you joining us, and I appreciate your insight. Thank you for sharing it with us.
MCLAUGHLIN: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Russia is targeting the south and east of Ukraine but can Vladimir Putin's forces succeed there after failing in the north?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Actions not words -- I think we have to wait and see what the Russians actually do here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Russia's new goal in Ukraine, total control of the east and the south, which would give Russia the capability of opening up a land bridge to Crimea, the region Vladimir Putin annexed back in 2014. But with their failed attempt at taking the north, how will they fare in this new fight?
Joining me now retired Major John Spencer, the chair of Urban Warfare Studies at Madison Policy Forum.
Major Spencer, good evening to you. Thanks for joining once again.
You predicted it would be hard for Russia to take the north because of the urban landscape but the south and the east, a lot different, areas around Kyiv, how are you assessing this new phase?
JOHN SPENCER, CHAIR, URBAN WARFARE STUDIES, MADISON POLICY FORUM: Yes, Don, I think the southern aspects that we're learning about is a pipedream. I mean, there is so much terrain there, so many urban areas like Odessa that Russia just can't do, that is my assessment of course, I know the last guest talked about logistics. I mean, my four points would be urban warfare, urban warfare, urban warfare, they've shown they can't do it, they would telegraph that they were coming, they would close the castle gates, Odessa is ready, now in the east it's a different story.
You and I have talked about that, what they needed to fight that fight. And as of a week ago I was like 18 guns, it's not enough, 18 artillery weapons, now this new list, they have -- Ukrainians have, now, coming, what is necessary to blow Russia off the face of Ukrainian earth.
LEMON: Wow. You believe that?
SPENCER: I strongly do. I mean, 90 artillery -- on top of what they already have, I mean, we were talking about 40,000 rounds not enough, now they're getting 140,000 rounds. If -- I honestly see, they already had the qualitative advantage, you and I have talked about this.
They were outnumbered but they had the qualitative advantage, their soldiers are ready to fight like we're seeing in Mariupol, to the death. They're motivated, they have a cause, they're the good guys. But now, if you -- the way we're arming them as in the world and the west, they're going, I predict, you know, this is a dangerous position, and every day is dangerous.
But even President Zelenskyy said today, listen, they're arming us now with what we need to push Russia not just back to the original before this war -- back to Russia.
LEMON: Wow, let's talk about Mariupol because it's been under siege for a long time but Russia has struggled to take places like Mykolaiv, so, you know, beyond Mariupol. All these. What major cities in the south and east could become major flashpoints for this new push, this new Russian push, Major?
SPENCER: Yes, I mean they need Izyum fully under control. They need Kramatorsk. Cities at natural choke points of lines of communications, road intersections, hearts of political and population resistance. So, they need Kramatorsk, they need Izyum. They're fighting as we speak over Poposna, Kreminna, Rubizhne they don't own anything. Don, they don't own Mariupol after two months.
LEMON: You know, CNN spoke with the mayor of Mariupol on the defense of the city. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VADYM BOYCHENKO, MAYOR, MARIUPOL, UKRAINE (through translator): The truth is the armed forces of Ukraine are defending Mariupol and Mariupol is the beating heart of Ukraine today. Our guys are outnumbered 10, 15 times but they are defending, they're holding up and they are remaining there, and they are frustrating the enemy as much as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, everyone is saying, you know, Russians were celebrating Mariupol but how are Ukrainian forces in Mariupol able to frustrate the Russians if they are effectively surrounded?
SPENCER: As long as there's a living, breathing Ukrainian fighter left in Mariupol, it is not a win for Russia. And it's a win for Ukraine. To say that -- I faced over 15,000 Russians, and I'm still here, and you can't get me, in fact, Putin himself said I'm not going to do it, not even going to try, I'm just going to blockade them. That means they won.
This is a strategic miscalculation again by Putin to leave them there to be a signal to the rest of Ukraine as in this is what legends are made of, like, you know, the Alamo, the spark at (Inaudible). Those fighters are sending a message to all of Ukraine that they can withstand whatever Russia throws.
So as long as they're still living and it's dire, nobody really knows the true situation, but Russia admitted that they can't get them out with overwhelming like 15 to one forces and they're using the power of the urban defense to smartly hold.
LEMON: But Russian troops are continuing to launch air strikes against Mariupol and they're restricting Ukrainians from escaping the Azovstal steel plant, is there any way that the people in that plant could get out to some safety there?
SPENCER: So, Don, you know, the fog in friction of war, to say that there is a way or not a way is hard to say. I mean, that factory, with layers and layers and layers underground, it can withstand any amount of bombing. Russia is just wasting their bombs. Russia has to commit forces there to hold it no matter what, now they want to send forces away to other fights that they are going to lose as well. But what supplies can get in and out is really not for us to know.
But I've seen pictures of them as of yesterday and they don't look starving and, now they are wounded and need medical supplies and you know, they probably have access to potable water, I think they could survive for weeks if not longer, but I'm confident that the president who -- President Zelenskyy said that he's going to do whatever it takes to relieve that force, to relieve that blockade.
I mean the U.N. secretary is visiting, they need to let the hu -- the civilians out. Even if they want to hold it and hold the fighters there, it's not right they're not letting the civilians out.
LEMON: Major, thank you. Good to see you. Be safe.
SPENCER: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Thank you. So, he denied that he told Trump to resign after the insurrection, right? Then the tapes came out. We're going to lay out Kevin McCarthy's day of clean-up for you, that's next. [22:30:00]
LEMON: Gather around the TV, folks, take this, another tape. We now have a second recording of the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy talking about the former president in the days after the January 6th capitol attack.
Now the new sound, the recording of a call with GOP lawmakers obtained by two New York Times reporters has McCarthy saying that then- President Trump agreed that he bears some responsibility for the capitol attack. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I've been very clear to the president, he bears responsibility for his words and actions, no ifs, ands or buts. I asked him personally today does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. And he needs to acknowledge that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Only yesterday morning, McCarthy denied a report from the New York Times that he planned to recommend then-President Trump resign from office days after the insurrection. McCarthy says the reporting was totally false and wrong. Hours after that denial, we heard this, proving that McCarthy is the one who is in fact, wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: I'm seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. I haven't talk to him in a couple days. From what I know of him, I mean, you guys all know him too, do you think he'd ever back away? But what I think I'm going to do is I'm going to call him. The only discussion I would have with him is that, I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign. I mean that would be my take, but I don't think he would take it. But I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, a source tells CNN that McCarthy went into damage control last night after the tape dropped and spoke with Trump. CNN is told the former president is not upset with the GOP leader. A senior House Republican saying, quote, "Trump was fine about it."
So, remember, by the end of 2021, McCarthy was back to embracing Trump, slinking down to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring.
CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover is here, so is the former U.S. attorney, Michael Moore.
[22:34:59] And breaking tonight, former President Trump is speaking to the Wall Street Journal telling them what he really thinks of Kevin McCarthy, the Kevin McCarthy tapes. We'll talk about it right after this.
LEMON: So breaking tonight, the former president addressing the Kevin McCarthy tapes for the very first time, Trump telling the Wall Street Journal his relationship with McCarthy remains good, and, quote, "he made a call, I didn't like the call, but almost immediately as you know, because he came here and we took a picture right there, you know the support was very strong."
You'll remember that picture. McCarthy's visit to Mar-a-Lago just a few weeks after the insurrection at the capitol and in reference to the Republicans who initially criticized him after the attack but later changed their tune, he said, "I think it's a big compliment, frankly, they realize that they were wrong and supported me."
So, let's bring in Margaret Hoover, she's a CNN political commentator, and Michael Moore, the former U.S. attorney for Middle District of Georgia.
So much to talk about. Good evening to both of you. Margaret, I'm going to start with you.
McCarthy is campaigning to be the Speaker of the House. The Republican Party does win the majority come November. The Wall Street Journal asked Trump if he would support McCarthy still and he said, quote, "well, I don't know of anybody else that's running and I think that I have had actually a very good relationship with him." It all boils down to this.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's kind of nondenial, denial, isn't it?
LEMON: Yes, it is.
HOOVER: He didn't say yes, not that it's beyond him to change his mind, but I think Trump keeps his powder dry because they don't know if he is going to win the majority and they don't know if they win the majority by how much.
And if he goes hard against McCarthy now, what does he gain? He's going to need someone else to replace him. Well, you can't bet on who is going to replace McCarthy right now if you don't even know for sure you're going to have the House majority.
And McCarthy has done a lot, a lot to make sure they get to 218 in November, that's in order to have the House majority. So, it doesn't make any sense for Trump to throw in now, but it does make sense that Trump could come out with a shiv later depending how it goes.
LEMON: Could or will. HOOVER: Could or will. Has done it before.
LEMON: He's done it before.
HOOVER: He's done it before.
LEMON: Were you saying something, Michael? No? OK. So, listen. I want to talk to you, Margaret. I want you to listen, this is what president Biden said about the tapes today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This is not your father's Republican Party. Not a joke. All you got to do is look what has been played on -- played this morning about the tape that was released. Anyway, you know, but all kidding aside, this is a MAGA party now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Yes, he's not wrong about that. I mean to state the obvious, Trump lost the election but the Republican Party made their beds, right, with him, with Trump, and now they're sticking to him.
HOOVER: Well, they did it and Kevin --
LEMON: No matter what.
HOOVER: Kevin McCarty made his bed with Trump too. But the truth is that Trump is out of power, now that you do have Republicans who privately at least don't believe the big lie and would like the party to move on, there is factionalism in the House of Representatives and McCarthy is, I mean, this is what's actually happening.
McCarthy is trying to walk a fine line between the people who are skeptical of him because he's not Trumpy enough, right, so you have the freedom caucus and all the sort of really MAGA faction of the Republican conference in the House of Representatives that is really nervous that Kevin McCarthy did say that on the tape and isn't fully MAGA and isn't really sincere. And then you have people who want to move the party forward.
They, you know, they just want a new candidate and they just want to, you know, keep moving it forward and McCarthy is trying to get all of their votes for speaker. And so, it's -- you got to split the baby 100 different ways and we all know --
LEMON: Yes. Look, I want to get talking about Marjorie Taylor Greene, because she's in court down in Georgia, I want to ask Michael about that. But I don't know if I have, look, you're a Republican, so you can explain this. I mean --
HOOVER: I am a Republican, but I don't know if I can explain it.
LEMON: It's not -- because this is -- this is insanity.
HOOVER: This is insanity.
LEMON: This is not about --
HOOVER: This this insanity. It is insanity.
HOOVER: You're right.
LEMON: This is not -- it's not about left and right, this is no longer left and right. This is a cookie versus --
HOOVER: We're in a --
LEMON: -- sanity.
LEMON: Like, what is --
HOOVER: This is -- look.
LEMON: What is happening?
HOOVER: Look, I mean the party doesn't have a leader. The party is, for MAGA. It's --
LEMON: Kevin McCarthy lied on tape. And he is saying --
HOOVER: He lied on tape --
HOOVER: -- and he's pretending it didn't happen.
HOOVER: Just don't look here, don't look over here, folks.
LEMON: Yes. HOOVER: Don't -- That's what happened.
LEMON: So, you can't -- you can't --
HOOVER: That's what happened. He lied on tape and he's pretending it didn't happen.
LEMON: Pretending it didn't happen.
HOOVER: You don't believe your lying ears.
LEMON: And members of the Republican Party are buying into it and the ones who aren't buying into it aren't saying anything which is what you said quietly.
HOOVER: Nobody -- well, it's not a profile on --
LEMON: I want to ask --
HOOVER: Let's talk about Marjorie Taylor Greene.
LEMON: Yes. I do want to talk about her, but my first question goes to Michael because he's down there in Georgia. You know, she is the Republican congresswoman, Marjorie Taylor Greene is, in court there in Georgia today facing a bid to block her from this year's ballot and the entire thing rests on a Civil War-era amendment that was put in place to punish members of the confederacy.
Can you tell us about this and what chances that she has of beating this? She will probably beat it, but what are the chances?
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Yes, and I apologize for being from Georgia and having Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia to those who are listening.
You know, I had the chance to watch a lot of her testimony and really, I mean, sort of picking out the lies like as you pick your favorite scenes out of Moby Dick, I mean, she was full of fault hoods throughout the entire testimony today. You know, like she just didn't remember, she said she didn't know who she had tweeted or what she had tweeted or who she had authorized to tweet or what statements she had made.
And -- and I just think it's unlikely even though I think that the civil war law and (Inaudible) was completely correct in suggesting that, you know, they never meant in the Amnesty Act to give people amnesty forever for being part of an insurrection.
But I just think it's unlikely you're going to see much movement here. You've got a Republican-appointed administrative law judge who is going to make a recommendation to a Republican secretary of state who is in a pitch battle with another Trumpified in Georgia and I just -- it's hard for me to imagine that she's going to get taken off the ballot. We'll see, I could be surprised, but it's really, would be a surprise if that happened.
HOOVER: Michael, I agree with you, and I think, if there are, you know, for every individual in this country who is horrified by the prospect of this woman remaining in Congress because she undermines the sense of our Constitution, the sense of American dignity.
HOOVER: I mean, this is a woman who puts her arms around white nationalist, who is propagating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, I mean, this is not somebody who defends me that she is in Congress. All of the energy and all of the resource you put into a lawsuit like that? Forget about it. Beat her fair and square at the ballot. She has a legitimate primary opponent and that primary is on May 24th.
Jennifer Strahan is tried and true, just basic conservative, exactly the kind of, you know what, you might not agree with her policies but she believes in the Constitution, she would not be a seditionist and she should beat Marjorie Taylor Greene in her Republican primary on May 24th. That's where the energy in the field should be.
LEMON: But Margaret, they would call someone like you a lefty -- a lefty liberal.
HOOVER: Look, I mean, Jennifer Strahan, her opponent is perfectly conservative, way more conservative than I am. I mean, she's pro-life, she is, you know, she's actually made for that district --
LEMON: I'm just saying for -- saying for speaking the truth and, you know, you are speaking the truth in reality and facts, you will be called a liberal lefty because you don't agree with that extreme right-wing part of the Republican Party.
HOOVER: I got to tell you. I don't think that most of Georgia 14 agrees with Marjorie Taylor Greene.
HOOVER: And think the more -- I've seen this in polling. The more they learn about the things she said that Parkland shootings were a false flag operation, that she hasn't voted for military raises for people in her district, the more they learn about her record in Congress, the less they like her and the more they know that they have a viable alternative in Jennifer Strahan, the more they're going to like, it's just a matter of getting that message out.
And so. I wish all the focus on this court case would deflect to the fact that there's a real primary race going on and you could beat her at the ballot box.
LEMON: Michael, before you weigh in, speaking of that court case, I want to play some more of it so we can talk about it and then we'll get you to weigh in on the other side. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: You sit here today under oath. You didn't talk to anybody in government about the fact that there were going to be large protests in Washington on January 6th?
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): I don't remember.
UNKNOWN: OK. You spoke to Representative Biggs or his staff about that fact, didn't you?
GREENE: I do not remember.
UNKNOWN: How about Representative Gosar?
GREENE: Sorry, I don't remember.
UNKNOWN: Did you talk to people at the White House about the fact that there are going to be large demonstrations on January 6th in Washington?
GREENE: I don't remember.
UNKNOWN: Prior to January 6th, Representative Greene, did anyone ever mention to you the possibility that there might be violence in Washington on January 6th, 2021?
GREENE: I don't remember.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, I mean, Michael, CNN's Amara Walker was in court and counted upwards of 50 times that Greene said that she didn't remember. This judge is supposed to make a recommendation to the secretary of state this week, so what do you expect?
MOORE: You know, I really don't think you're going to see much. I think he's probably going, he's already made his mind up, it sounded that way through some of the questions he asked after closing argument.
The one thing she did remember doing was specifically sending a tweet that her lawyer asked her about, she didn't remember anything else and any fair-minded person, any judge typically would say that bears pretty strong on her credibility. LEMON: Yes.
MOORE: As for the idea that somehow that she could lose a primary, let me say it, you know, I've got family up that way and there's a reason Trump comes to that part of the state. When you go up there and you drive through, tons of Trump flags and that type of thing and it's the same problem, you talk about the beginning of the show and that is whether normal common sense, reasonable Republicans actually have the guts to stand up against the fringe of the party and they just don't.
HOOVER: Well --
MOORE: And they've not had -- and that's why we see, I mean, think about it. I mean, we've really got a Republican Party who for somehow, has decided that telling the truth is not a family value. I mean that's -- we honor --
LEMON: It's going -- it's going to take more than people saying, well that's not what the Republican Party is, because right now, it is what the Republican Party is.
HOOVER: Well, no, no.
MOORE: That's correct.
HOOVER: But if you look at the Republican --
LEMON: More action than words.
MOORE: But she has a Republican primary challenger that is challenging her on the merits and the fact that she hasn't represented the people of Georgia 14 because she is out there having to be in a court case instead of taking care of constituent businesses. So. she is not just doing the job for the people in her district.
LEMON: Okay, got to run. I'm going to ask you two both. Margaret first, do you trust people by their words or their actions?
LEMON: OK. Sir?
MOORE: Absolutely by their action, but I listen to their words.
LEMON: And so what are the actions of the Republican Party? Either they speak loudly for that or their silence is -- (CROSSTALK)
MOORE: Can't argue with, except that she has a Republican primary challenger who is actually challenging her.
LEMON: I mean, that's what you want.
MOORE: That's an action. That's an action. I just want her out.
LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Marjorie. I appreciate it, Michael.
MOORE: Thank you.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
MOORE: Glad to be with you. Thank you.
LEMON: So, remember Madeleine McCann, she was the 3-year-old British girl who vanished from a resort in Portugal where her family was on vacation. That was way back on May 3rd of 2007. Just about 15 years ago. Well, Madeleine disappeared from an apartment at the resort while her parents were dining at a restaurant, a nearby restaurant.
Now she has never been found and no one has ever been charged in her disappearance despite an international search for her. But we're now learning from Portuguese authorities that a suspect has been, officially been declared in Madeline's disappearance. They hadn't released his name but a lawyer identifies him as Christian Brueckner.
German authorities say that the suspect had previously been convicted of sexually abusing children and is serving a long prison sentence for what they call an unrelated matter.
In June of 2020, German prosecutors said they had evidence that a man identified as Christian B. killed Madeleine but not enough evidence to charge the suspect. And tonight, he is still not being charged, has not been charged and there's still no sign of Madeleine. In a statement, her parents say that they have never given up hope that she is still alive and they'll be reunited with her. Stay tuned.
Up next, the Kremlin divulging what they want out of Ukraine now, we're going to tell you what a Russian general is revealing.