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Don Lemon Tonight

Bucha Prosecutor Shares Photos Of Civilians Killed; CNN Uncovers Evidence Ukrainians Abducted By Russian Forces; Dow Falls Over 800 Points On Recession Fears; McCarthy Feared GOP Lawmakers Put "People In Jeopardy"; Meadows Texts Reveal New Details About Key Role Of Rep. Scott Perry; China's COVID Lockdown Nightmare. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 26, 2022 - 23:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. A new warning from the Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley that top U.S. general bluntly laying out what is at stake in Russia's war against Ukraine.


MARK MILLEY, U.S. CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: If Russia gets away with this cost-free, then so goes the so-called international order. And if that happens, then we're entering into an era of seriously increased instability.


LEMON: Plus, new recordings. "The New York Times" has tapes of House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy just days after the insurrection. We're going to play those for you.

And a lockdown unlike any you have ever seen before. Steel fences that look like cages, doors taped, people standing guard. We are live inside Shanghai's COVID lockdown.

I want to get straight to CNN's Isa Soares in Lviv for us tonight. Isa, good evening to you, a morning there. We are getting some incredibly disturbing images of dead bodies in the streets of Bucha. What are you learning?

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Don. What we have seen tonight, I think is fair to say, is not only disturbing and graphic, but really the reality on the ground for Ukraine right now, Don.

The exclusive images we are about to show you were shared with Anderson Cooper by Ukraine's prosecutor general who is collecting evidence of war crimes in Ukraine, one of many people collecting evidence of war crimes right here.

The photos you are looking at were taken in early March in the suburb just outside of Kyiv, and they show people from Bucha, ordinary civilians, going about their daily lives. One photo shows a man that was riding a bicycle, only for that life to be taken that very moment.

Many of these bodies of the civilians you're seeing on the street there have been found just lying strewn across the street, and we've also seen, of course, how could anyone forget those mass graves.

And this comes, Don, as CNN obtains exclusive drone video that has been authenticated and geolocated by CNN placing Russian military as well as its vehicles at the scene of these killings.

Until now, Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that the videos and the satellite images that we've been showing on air are fake and that the bodies have been placed there by Ukrainians.

Well, President Putin had this to say about the atrocities. Have a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Unfortunately, after reaching agreements and after our clearly demonstrated intentions to create conditions for favorable conditions for the continuation of negotiations, we encountered a provocation in the village of Bucha to which the Russian army has nothing to do.


SOARES: Well, Don, those comments by President Putin really shouldn't come as a surprise, but they do come as U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres met with Putin in Moscow on Tuesday. So, here you go. Those are Putin's comments. Clearly a lie. Don?

LEMON: Yeah. Also tonight, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking out about Russia continuing to raise the nuclear specter. What's his message tonight, Isa?

SOARES: That's right, yeah. We know that President Zelenskyy met today with the director of IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency. That's the U.N.'s, of course, nuclear watchdog. You can see the video. They are meeting with Mariano Grossi. And he was there really to discuss the recent Russian occupation of Chernobyl.

President Zelenskyy criticized during that meeting that really -- the Russian troops as well and accused them of operating with little regard of nuclear danger -- to nuclear danger and of looting and damaging several areas of the plant. He also warned that their carelessness, were his words, signals really the danger of Russian using nuclear weapons. Let's have a listen to what Zelenskyy had to say.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): Given the level of the threat, we believe Russia has no right to turn nuclear energy into weapons and blackmail the world with the use of nuclear weapons.


SOARES: And that meeting taking place, just for context for our viewers, Don, on the 36th anniversary of the disaster of Chernobyl and just remind that while the explosion itself killed 31 people, millions, of course, were exposed to dangerous radiation levels, and estimates the final death toll from long-term damage are in the 10s of thousands.

LEMON: Isa Soares reporting tonight from Lviv, Ukraine, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

I want to bring in now former U.S. ambassador to NATO and that's Kurt Volker. Thank you, ambassador. Appreciate you joining us here on this program.

You just heart President Zelenskyy. Is he right? Is Vladimir Putin blackmailing the world with the threat of nuclear war and has that threat stymied NATO's decision-making?


KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Well, first off, I think he's right that he is identifying that Putin is using this as a tactic. It is not necessarily the reality that Russia wants to use nuclear weapons. They would not accomplish anything on the battlefield and they would risk massive retaliation against Russia.

So, the reason that Putin is doing this is indeed to deter the west from taking action to support Ukraine. Fortunately, what we see is that the west is not deterred. We saw Secretary Austin in Germany today convening 40 NATO defense ministers, all talking about how we can assure a steady supply of defensive arms to Ukraine so that they can continue to fight back against this Russian invasion.

So, as much as Putin is rattling these sabers, no one is so far deterred.

LEMON: General Milley is warning about the global security order. It's an incredibly strong statement. If the stakes are that high, does the west need to take a different approach?

VOLKER: Well, you know, I watched general Milley's statement and I've heard some of the things he said in the past. He's a military man, he is assessing the balance of forces, he is extremely cautious. But so far, everything that we've thought about Russia's ability to dominate Ukraine, to come in and take over the country, decapitate the leadership, win the war within three days, all of these things have been wrong.

And so, when we look today and say that, oh well, you know, time is against Ukraine, Russia is ultimately going to win, I think that's wrong as well. I think that Russia is actually suffering severe military deficiencies in terms of personnel, in terms of equipment, in terms of command and control, in terms of coordination of operations, and time is really on Ukraine's side and time is of the essence. And exactly what we are doing, what we saw Secretary Austin doing today, coordinating a significant amount of military assistance to fall into Ukraine, including weapons, this is exactly what we should be doing now because Ukraine can win this.

LEMON: Ambassador, up until this week, the U.S. has been so hesitant to say anything to provoke Vladimir Putin. So, how do you explain this change in tone from top U.S. officials? Do you see a change in tone? Do you agree with that statement?

VOLKER: Well, yes, I agree with you, there is a change in tone. If you go up until the NATO summit meeting where President Biden participated personally, there was a hesitancy in the U.S. statements. There was a willingness to do some things, but also a red line against doing other things.

Then, President Biden went to Poland. He saw the refugees firsthand, he met with the Polish government, he met with Ukrainian officials, and I think he came back emboldened and determined. And then Secretary Blinken went back as well. And two weeks later, he went to a NATO foreign ministers' meeting where the tone was completely different.

It was now not about what we won't do, it was about what Ukraine needs and how do we step in to supply what Ukraine needs, and if we can't do it ourselves, how do we find others who can?

So, I think that tone is now completely different, and I think that is entirely appropriate because again, Ukraine is in a position where they have pushed back on the Russian forces, they freed their own capital city of Kyiv, they have the Russians on the back feet now trying to reorganize. Now is the time to lean in.

LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Ambassador Volker.

VOLKER: Thank you so much.

LEMON: Absolutely. I want to bring in now CNN military analyst and retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Colonel Leighton, good to see you once again. Thanks for joining.

Russia is intensifying attacks on Ukraine's east and south. How worried should the Ukrainians be? Could Putin's forces be able to take Odesa now?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, RETIRED AIR FORCE COLONEL: Well, it's definitely possible, Don. And one of the key things to think about is exactly how they're moving their forces.

If you look at the northeast right here, you see the Russians in the town of Izyum right here. This is going to be a major issue for them, for the Ukrainians, because once the Russians go through here, they could potentially move on this way to Dnipro or they could also move their forces from Kherson where they established that regional government over to Odessa. So, there are possible things that the Russians could do. But the key thing to remember is that they are stretched fairly thin. They have not been able to completely reconstitute the forces that were damaged and destroyed in some cases in the Kyiv area. So, there are some significant areas where they really might have some difficulties.

But the key thing to remember is the Ukrainians have to be careful not to get encircled in this region. That's the key area that they need to really watch out for.


LEMON: The U.K. says that 15,000 Russian troops have been killed since the start of the war.

And ranking members of the House Foreign Relations Committee -- member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Michael McCaul, told our Wolf Blitzer tonight that Russia is deploying the same worn-out soldiers who fought up north to battle in the east. Are Russia's depleted forces going to prove critical in this fight?

LEIGHTON: Absolutely. Well, the Russians have no choice but to use those forces, Don. And when you look at this area right here, so this was Izyum right here, and then you move down to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, if they can't move in this direction or they can't move this way, the Russians are going to have a problem. They are going to be stalling out.

The Ukrainians have to be careful, though, that Russians don't come behind them. You see Russian advances in this area to the northwest of Sloviansk. You also see some Russian pockets starting to move kind of around Donetsk.

So, as they move toward this direction and over here, that is going to create an issue for the Ukrainian forces that are in that line that stayed steady since 2014. That line is going to move. And at some point, there are going to be some clashes right in here and certainly right in this area.

But those Russian forces that Congressman McCaul mentioned, those are going to be in really deep trouble because what you're looking at is not fresh Ukrainian troops but motivated Ukrainian troops, and that's going to make a big difference.

LEMON: Right. So, the Ukrainian State Energy Company is claiming two cruise missiles were flying low over that nuclear power plant near the city of Zaporizhzhia. I mean, this plant has multiple nuclear reactors. That is really risky.

LEIGHTON: It is, absolutely. Zaporizhzhia itself is here. The nuclear power plant is to the west of the city. Any type of accident that would occur there, if, you know, the cruise missiles hit the plant, for example, or if somehow it was damaged, that risks radiation fallout. Radiation, depending on prevailing winds, could affect this entire area of Ukraine. The bad news for the Russians would be that it could potentially affect their forces as well. But the key thing to remember is it would affect everybody and this is something that would have international repercussions because the prevailing winds would take the radiation not only through the central part of Ukraine but all the way up to Belarus, potentially Poland, and certainly into Russia. So, that's why this is extremely dangerous and something the Russians should really not do.

LEMON: Interesting to learn that Germany is committing to send 50 antiaircraft tanks to Ukraine. What kind of an impact could this have on the battlefield?

LEIGHTON: Well, this could be really important because as you can see from this picture here, these antiaircraft tanks are fairly mobile. They look like -- they're basically little tanks. These are the cheetah tanks that the secretary, Secretary Austin, mentioned today. They are German-made. They're quite numerous in the German inventory.

And they can have a significant impact on the battlefield because what they end up doing is end up moving in many different directions. They can pick targets out of -- you know, basically differentiate between many different targets that are in the sky at the same time, and they can augment the stinger missiles that we've given them.

Plus, all the drone activity that the Ukrainians have been able to initiate, that can be augmented by this and they can latch all those together in a communications and control node that really makes a major difference for the battlefield.

LEMON: Thank you, colonel. I appreciate it.

LEIGHTON: You bet, Don.

LEMON: CNN uncovering evidence of Ukrainian civilians being abducted by Russian forces and subjected to brutal treatment. Their stories, next.


UNKNOWN: In this place were 22 people. When they try to get to toilet, they need to walk on legs of somebody else because there were too much people.





LEMON: As Russia's war in Ukraine enters its third month, we are learning more about Ukrainians being abducted and subjected to brutal interrogations or being moved to camps in Russia against their will. One Ukrainian man who was freed from captivity is talking about his experience at the hands of the Russians.

More tonight from CNN' Phil Black.



PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): War creates powerful connections between people.


BLACK (voice-over): Volodymyr Choprun and Nadia Yarova (ph) didn't know each other before the Russians came. Now, he has brought her news that inspires pain and hope. Volodymyr was recently freed from a military detention center in Russia. He says, Nadia's (ph) grandson, Sacha (ph), was there, too. For weeks, Sacha's (ph) family didn't know if he was still alive. Seized and held by Russian soldiers in early March, they heard nothing about his safety after the invaders retreated.

Vasili (ph) and Helena Hyliyk know the same pain and uncertainty. Volodymyr has told them he knows their son, Dmytro (ph), was recently alive in the same detention center in Russia. He says he heard Dmytro's (ph) name shouted every day during roll call. There is comfort in that, but not enough to soothe a mother's anguish.


BLACK (voice-over): I don't have hope anymore, Helena says. I know they are beasts. They will kill them and no one will find them.


Ukrainian officials say dozens of people were abducted from around the town of Dima (ph) near Kyiv during Russia's occupation, and most were initially held here in a sprawling industrial site that Russian forces used as a command post.

(On camera): This is where they were kept?


BLACK (voice-over): Ukrainian prosecutor Alexander Zus (ph) shows me the conditions those captured people were forced to endure. A small, dark, cold room. People were packed together here, he says. Hands bound and eyes taped.

UNKNOWN: In this place were 22 people. When they try to get to toilet, they need to walk on legs of somebody else because there were too much people.

BLACK (voice-over): He says people came and went. Some spent weeks here. Someone tried to keep track of days by scratching marks on the wall. He says all the people who came through this room had only one thing in common: They were civilians.

Several people who were kept here tell us they were frequently beaten and interrogated for local information. One man says his hands and fingers were cut to the bone by Russian soldiers because he couldn't help them.

(On camera): Does it make any sense to you that they did this?

UNKNOWN: No sense. I didn't know exactly what kind of information they could take from these people.

BLACK (voice-over): This drone video captures the moment when Ukrainian forces attacked the industrial site, driving out the Russians. A number of those who are still locked in the room at that time tell us that's when all remaining captives were able to escape.

But others, including Volodymyr Choprun had already been taken elsewhere. A long road trip via Belarus in the back of a military truck ended in Russia, where he was given this military identification document. It says he resisted the special operation conducted by the president of the Russian federation. In reality, he was detained while volunteering with the Red Cross helping people escape the fighting.

The Ukrainian government has confirmed Volodymyr was returned to Ukraine as part of a prisoner exchange with Russia. He believes that explains why Russian forces are abducting Ukrainian civilians.

He says, they took us as goods that can be exchanged later like a mobile phone or another commodity.

Here, Volodymyr inspects a list of more than 40 names provided by the local government, a register of people from the area who are still missing. He says he recognizes most of the names from his time in the Russian detention center because he deliberately tried to remember as much as possible.

He says, sooner or later, one of us had to be the first to be released and that's why we tried to remember the names of other people, to let their relatives know they're alive.

Volodymyr says there were about 200 Ukrainians in detention while he was there. He hopes all will get home quickly so the suffering they and their families are enduring can end and their healing can begin.

Phil Black, CNN, in the Kyiv region.


LEMON: Phil, thank you so much.

Big drops in the stock market. High inflation concerns over a possible recession. What is going on with our economy? Larry Summers, he's here, next.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Two major banks, pessimistic on the economy tonight. Deutsche Bank warning a major recession is coming, saying it could take a long time for the fed to lower inflation, and Morgan Stanley saying the current economic backdrop suggests U.S. stocks could be heading into a bear market. Those recession fears causing the Dow to close lower today by more than 800 points.

I want to bring in Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and the former director of the National Economic Council in the Obama administration. Perfect person to discuss this with. Thank you, Larry, for joining. I appreciate it. Good evening to you.

Good to be with you, Don.

LEMON: By some measures, the economy seems like it's in a good place. You've got unemployment near the 50-year lows. Corporate profits seen gains. So, why are we seeing these losses and warnings?

LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: Well, the economy is very high and very hot. And so, that suggests room for it to go down. And we have this serious problem of inflation, which is well above the goals that we have and is causing a great deal of economic distress to the public. And experience suggests that inflation rarely if ever comes down without some kind of economic downturn.

And so, I think the sense that something will happen that will bring inflation under control is contributing to a sense of concern about what's going to happen to the economy. I think that's basically a valid way to approach things and that the risks of recession at this moment are far above normal.

LEMON: Okay. So, you have a sense that this is happening. You have a sense that that is happening. This is -- that is happening and thus this will take place.


But is there -- there's an uncertainty now that we didn't have before COVID. I've always asked whether we have the right mechanisms to really measure the economy post-COVID. I'm just wondering if warnings of a bear market or recession, if that's premature.

SUMMERS: So, I don't know how to predict the stock market. I don't think anybody does. I'm not going to predict the stock market. As for recession, there certainly are no certainties and there have been plenty of surprises. I'm sure there will be more surprises going forward. But I think there's a fact.

We measure inflation pretty well and it's well above 4%. We measure unemployment pretty well and it's well below 4%. And every time that's happened in the past, the economy has gone into recession within two years. And that's why I think one has to be concerned in the current moment.

Maybe it will turn out that the inflation is transitory and that it will come down without significant increases in unemployment. That is certainly possible. But the transitory view of inflation which many held last fall, last summer, has largely been abandoned as it has come to appear that inflation is hitting a very large number of sectors. And in particular, people are seeing these really very severe labor shortages which are pushing wages up and that, in turn, pushes prices up.

So, I think we can certainly all hope for the best. What I think we have to recognize, that there are real risks that because of the excess inflation we're now having, some mechanism will produce recession sometime in the next couple of years.

LEMON: All right, let's put some numbers, a little bit more specifics to what you're talking about since we're talking about inflation. It hit a 40-year high in March. Federal Reserve raising interest rates in response to the rise in inflation. And you heard Deutsche Bank's warning that it's going to take the fed for a long -- take the fed a long time to lower inflation.

The question is, again, I know you don't have a crystal ball here, how long? What happens in the meantime, Larry?

SUMMERS: I think what you're most likely to see is interest rates rise to some point above 3%. I certainly think you'll see inflation come down from 8%, but I don't think it's going to get that close to the 2% that is the fed's central objective.

And I think sometime, probably early next year, the most likely thing is that you'll see the economy will be very substantially slow and perhaps you'll see a period of negative growth, which is, of course, the definition of a recession.

I think that's the most likely thing from here, but it's certainly not something that is a certainty.

And so, I think we need to do everything we can to take cost out of the economy. We need to do -- people need to do what they can to plan for the fact that we're probably not going to have a red-hot economy like this forever. Investors in the market are going to have to make their own judgments about what this means for particular companies or particular bonds or whatever.

LEMON: Larry, it is always a pleasure to have you. Please come back and have yourself a good evening. Thanks so much.

SUMMERS: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

New audio reveals House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy was worried about inflammatory rhetoric from some members of his own party after January 6th. He mentioned Matt Gaetz and Mo Brooks by name. What he said, next.




LEMON: New tonight, audio obtained by "The New York Times" reveals the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, was worried inflammatory rhetoric from far-right members of his own party could incite violence, bringing up lawmakers Matt Gaetz and Mo Brooks by name.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA) (voice-over): I'm calling Gaetz. I'm explaining to him. I don't know what I am going to say but I am going to have other people call him too. But the nature of what -- if I am getting a briefing, I'm going to get another one from the FBI tomorrow -- this is serious shit, to cut this out.


STEVE SCALISE, MINORITY WHIP OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (voice-over): Yeah, that's, I mean, it is potentially illegal what he's doing.

MCCARTHY: Well, he's putting people in jeopardy.

UNKNOWN: Brooks apparently said, "Today's the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass," which I would say is even a step further than the kind of rhetorical take you know.


MCCARTHY: If you think the president deserves to be impeached for his comments, that's almost something that goes further than what the president said.


LEMON: Wow. Let's discuss now. CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elliot Williams is here, CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. Hi. I mean --


LEMON: Yeah, it's been a minute. It is good to see both of you. This is not so, because, Ron, this is proof that GOP leadership was upset, deeply concerned about the rhetoric after the 6th. Is it damning that they have done nothing to punish the people who were spewing after hearing these conversations? I mean, it's right there. We hear it.

BROWNSTEIN: Damning and revealing, Don. I mean, I think every revelation we have tells us the same story, that whatever willingness there was in the leadership of the party to confront and try to exclude the most extremist antidemocratic voices in the coalition, including Trump himself, evaporated almost immediately after January 6th.

It leaves us where we are now, which is simultaneously, we have more and more evidence, as in the Mark Meadows's texts disclosures, about how many Republican members of Congress were actively involved in efforts to subvert the election, down to Marjorie Taylor Greene talking about martial law, and more simultaneously as more evidence coming out about how many were willing to overturn the election.

We see the proof that Republican leaders have been unwilling to follow through on their immediate initial reaction, which is this is really dangerous stuff for the party and for the country.

LEMON: Dangerous, Elliot. It's dangerous. These tapes are concerning. And really, there is no other way to put it. This is unlike, well, I think they're saying -- they're actually saying it. These tapes show whatever they said behind closed doors.


LEMON: Republicans chose to line up behind Trump. But does this give any more insight to investigators who are looking into January 6th?

WLLIAMS: Look, Don, as a matter of evidence, what people say in the moment, courts give it more credibility, but we as viewers or listeners, outside readers of this, should give it more credibility.

Look, it's one thing after weeks and months passed and people can doctor their stories or twist them for the public to be make them more self-serving. This is what they were saying in the moment and they were frightened and scared.

And it is sort of -- and more importantly, it speaks to what we know was Kevin McCarthy's intent. Number one, he was concerned about the threats of violence. Steve Scalise, frankly, is the one who even says the word illegal. You know, McCarthy never actually says the word "illegal."

So, it is quite troubling and quite concerning, but again, this is what they thought in the moment, which bolsters the entire case that the January 6th Committee is investigating right now.

LEMON: You know, Ron, these tapes reveal really a stark difference between McCarthy's public statements the last 15 months and what he was willing to say in private. He claims that this won't hurt his chances of becoming speaker. But will all the tapes coming out, you know, of him saying all these things, could there be a political price that he is going to have to pay here?

BROWNSTEIN: Here's what really concerns me, listening to all these tapes. When you think about that question, you know, the price, you would think essentially be, well, maybe he doesn't get to be speaker. Well, maybe the price is what he has to promise in order to get to be speaker --


BROWNSTEIN: -- after all of this. I mean, the fact that, you know, that Trump is not jumping up and down about this certainly suggests that McCarthy is doing something to mollify him because this would ordinarily be the kind of stuff that Trump would be jumping up and down about.

I think that is the real question, what is the price that the country may pay in terms of whatever assurances Kevin McCarthy is giving to Trump in order to keep him on the sidelines at this moment of vulnerability?

LEMON: Elliot, I got to ask you about this exclusive reporting that we have. This is around texts sent from GOP Rep. Scott Perry to Mark Meadows following the election peddling bizarre conspiracy theories, including, one, that the British manipulated our voting machines and that Gina Haspel helped to cover it up.

And I quote it here. "DNI needs to be tasked to audit their overseas accounts at CIA and their national endowment for democracy." What do these new texts tell you --


LEMON: -- about the environment in Trump's inner circle --


LEMON: -- leading up to January 6th? You know, it's the British, it's Antifa, it's -- yeah.

WLLIAMS: Don, you left out Italian satellites spying.

LEMON: Jewish space lasers.

WLLIAMS: I know. I'm dead serious, though --

LEMON: Yeah.

WLLIAMS: -- and the Chinese and Dominion voting machines.


This is a level of conspiracy theory that -- I don't say this lightly -- sort of goes beyond the drunk uncle at Thanksgiving and is simply just not becoming of a representative of the United States -- of a member of the United States House of Representatives.

And again, we can disagree politically. There's a marketplace of ideas in America. It's great that we have two parties. But this goes beyond partisan. This is -- this is silliness and craziness. You know, certainly, his constituents, this is what -- you know, he's representing them and that's their choice. But it is quite unfortunate that throughout what appears to be the republican (INAUDIBLE) these really broad and really damaging and really dangerous conspiracy theories.

LEMON: I'm glad you said that because I've been shouting it from, you know, not the rooftops but here at CNN. This is not about partisanship. This is about sanity and insanity. This is lunacy.

WLLIAMS: And views like this are becoming mainstream, you know. It's one thing to say, my guy didn't lose and -- pardon me, my guy -- I don't think my guy lost and I don't like the outcome. It's another thing to say that Italian satellites are spying on our elections and Chinese voting machines -- the Chinese are hacking into our voting machines and that's why are elections are unsound. It is just nonsense and --

LEMON: Or martial law.

WLLIAMS: And most importantly, when we're saying we need to pull in the Intelligence Community, the director of National Intelligence and the Defense Department to monitor elections, which were also in the Scott Perry texts, this is dangerous and corrosive to democracy.

LEMON: Quick response, please, Ron.

BROWNSTEIN: Real quick. It's -- it's not just that it's delusional. I mean, there's a core belief here. I mean, the core belief is that our coalition is the real America. And by definition, if the other side is set to get more votes, something has to be amiss because we are the real Americans.

And, you know, so much of the animating energy of the Trump era in the Republican Party is this belief that Democrats are trying to transform America into something irrevocably different from what it has been and therefore any means necessary are required and justified to oppose them, and that is the fuel for this extremism and this antidemocratic activity that McCarthy is giving a wink and a nod to and we are seeing advance in so many states.

This weekend in Michigan, you know, nominating election deniers in the Republican Party for attorney general and secretary of state, this is a broad, big problem and the challenges to democracy are going to be even bigger in '24 than they were in 2020.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

WLLIAMS: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Weeks of a total COVID lockdown plaguing Shanghai and the restrictions are only getting tougher. New green fencing popping up to keep residents inside. CNN is there, next.




LEMON: China's government going to extremes to keep people in lockdown as it attempts to stop the spread of the latest COVID outbreak, even erecting fences in Shanghai so people can't leave their homes.

Let's hear first-hand from CNN's David Culver, who is in Shanghai. David, ah, good morning to you over there, evening here. You report that people in Shanghai are essentially caged into their homes and neighborhoods now. What's up?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don. Yeah, I thought the paper seal that was taped on our door was strange. This has gone to a whole another level this week. And we have that video. The fences, the barricades, what you were describing there, being put up inside the residential compounds. Folks essentially being caged in. They feel trapped.

I think we even have video of this one woman here. You can see just how frustrated she is, and it seems like this is being repeated throughout the city, we should point out. She kicks open one of the fences.

And adding these new barriers, it really suggests just a desperate attempt to contain this virus. But Don, it's not going over well here amongst most living here.

LEMON: Yeah. We've been talking the last few weeks or so, as you yourself have been living through this lockdown, and I just want to show everyone some of your reporting from your own home so that they can see what you -- the conditions are like that you're living under. Watch this.



CULVER (on camera): The extent of my freedom is all the way to my terrace door here. We're lucky enough to at least get some fresh air outside. Our community volunteers are sending me this image of what's on the other side of our door. A freshly taped paper seal. A reminder not to leave.


LEMON: That is a very small portion of your reporting. How are you getting food and water and exercise and really basic life necessities, David?

CULVER: Overall, it's just a bizarre existence right now. I mean, I have a COVID guard posted in my community 24/7 to make sure we're not wandering out of our homes without permission.

As for food and water, you know, I've got good compared to many in this city in recent weeks. The food and water supply from my community, it's gotten much more consistent. Still difficult to pick any kind of brands that you want or specific food, but hey, you accept what you get and you keep close watch on your supplies.

Now, I stress it's better in my community because the pain here is relative and it's heavily dependent on where you live. Don, some are still struggling. It's especially difficult for families.

My neighbors here, they've got little kids, next door. And these older Shanghai communities, they're really having homes built with separate kitchen and outdoor living space. Well, now, they're all confined into one room, essentially, and you can hear their aggravation.


As for, you know, just exercise, I think for most of us, it is just a lot of pacing around the apartment.

LEMON: David, I'm sorry that you and everyone else is having to deal with this. We appreciate your reporting. Be well, okay? Stay sane and healthy.

CULVER: Thanks, Don. I appreciate it.

LEMON: And thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening tonight from Kyiv. We begin this evening with images unpublished anywhere until now that are being used by a local prosecutor in Bucha in Ukraine to try to build a war crimes case against the former Russian occupiers of Bucha.

I spent the day in Bucha today where I spoke with the Ukrainian prosecutor who has been collecting the evidence. What he showed me and what we're going to show you is, for the first time, these images have been seen publicly.