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Officials to CNN: Iran to Send Missiles, More Drones to Russia; Seoul Police Were Warned About Crush Hours Before Incident; U.S. Capitol Police Chief Says Political Climate Calls for More Security Resources for Members of Congress; Biden Accuses Oil Companies of "War Profiteering"; NYT: Major Food Companies See Huge Profits as Prices Rise; Cheney: Jan. 6 Committee "In Discussions" with Trump's Attorneys for Former President to Testify Under Oath. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired November 01, 2022 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Some new reporting on Russia's war in Ukraine. Officials from a Western nation telling CNN they believe Iran is about to send approximately 1,000 more high-tech weapons to Russia, including drones and ballistic missiles, weapons that could be used for the war in Ukraine.
CNN's Kylie Atwood has been reporting on the story and joins us from the State Department.
So, Kylie, what do we know about the kinds of weapons that are being sent?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Expectations is that they're preparing to send additional of the attack drones we have already seen Iran send to Russia that have been used to deadly effect on the battlefield.
And also precision-guided missiles. Those are advanced missiles. Those are advanced weapons we haven't yet seen Iran send to Russia.
The significance being just what they are capable of doing. They're able to circulate an area and then attack when there has been a target that's been identified.
They are portable. They are able to be used from a distance. And they're also pretty hard to actually pick up and defend against.
And we heard actually today from the Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson saying that Ukraine has no effective defense when it comes to these specific types of missiles that Iran is preparing to send to Russia.
Now, our reporting is based on sources from a country that closely monitor Iran's weapons program.
But we're also hearing today from the United States, from NSE's John Kirby, saying the United States is concerned that Iran may be considering providing these surface-to-surface missiles to Russia.
And we should also note that just last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that the United States is watching for this possibility.
And what they're doing is trying to target these networks, trying to make sure that these weapons don't actually go forth, or if they do, they make it incredibly challenging for them to get there because they could be extremely deadly and consequential on the battlefield -- Abby?
PHILLIP Kylie Atwood, at the State Department, thank you for that reporting.
Let's bring in Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. He's a CNN military analyst and former commanding general of the U.S. Army, Europe, and the Seventh Army.
General Hertling, just what Kylie was saying there at the end that the Ukrainian Defense Department says they don't have a defense against these.
Do you agree with that assessment based on what you understand about the capabilities that the Ukrainians have?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Yes, not completely, Abby. What we're talking about, two different things. First, the loitering drones, the so-called Shahed 136 or that the Russians are calling the Geran 2. They are loitering drones.
The only thing Kylie didn't mention is they're cheap to produce. Each drone is about $20,000 to manufacture. And to shoot them down, you either have to have some type of electronic warfare gear where you can shoot them out of the sky.
They are relatively easy to detect because, when they fly over, they make a sound like a lawn mower. So you can see them. You can engage them with small arms fire.
You can also engage them with air defense equipment if they are in the location and in the range to engage. But then you're firing a missile that cost $100,000 or more against a target that is much cheaper and more prevalent on the battlefield.
The other factor is the missiles. Iran has been sending missiles to multiple countries to actually contribute to terrorism, which is exactly what they're doing with Russia.
These are surface-to-surface missiles. They're short range, which means you can launch them from inside of Russia into Ukraine.
But they are also much more accurate and much more precise in terms of hitting targets than many of the Russian missiles have been so far.
We have seen a real dichotomy in terms of Russia being able to hit the targets they've aimed at, even with their precision weapons. So you're going to see more and more attacks against infrastructure because this is Russia's way of war. They're trying to really create a humanitarian disaster among the Ukrainian population.
And unfortunately, when you have more precise missiles, you can hit those targets with more accuracy.
PHILLIP So you're suggesting there, though, that Russia is going to, even with the use of more precise missiles, then target more civilian infrastructure?
HERTLING: Yes, I believe so. They have not been very effective in terms of hitting Ukrainian forces on the battlefield.
And, in fact, the strategy of Mr. Putin right now is to create that humanitarian disaster, to cause President Zelenskyy to determine which way is he going to do -- which way is he going to go.
Is he going to continue to support his military operations, which have been very effective in their offenses against Russia, or is he going to target the civilian population, which creates all kinds of problematic situations.
Especially when wintertime is coming. It's in the 30s and 40s right now in Kyiv. It's starting to get much colder. We're going to see that. And it's going to be very difficult to ensure the population is supported during this time.
PHILLIP General Mark Hertling, thank you so much for all of that.
We're getting new details about the deadly crowd crush in South Korea that killed more than 150 people.
Hours before this tragedy, records show that Seoul police received at least 11 phone calls from people worried about a crush. Some of those calls were made up to four hours before this tragedy happened.
CNN's Will Ripley is joining us from Seoul now.
So, Will, you've been reporting on this all weekend. What were the callers saying in those calls?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's really chilling to read the transcripts, Abby, because people were calling the police station, which let me just show you, it's right there. It's across the street.
They were calling. The police could have literally walked over in less than two minutes.
And they were saying things like, there are too many people in this alley. It's getting more and more dangerous. People are this danger of getting crushed to death. You could hear groans. You could hear screams in the background. And
this was hours before the actual crush that killed now 156 people after another victim lost their battle and lost their life.
You can see what Seoul police are capable of here. They have officers out here doing crowd control. They closed off the streets. When there's a protest in Seoul, they'll have barricades that go on for feels like miles.
They know how to do crowd control here in South Korea and they did not do it in Itaewon. They had extra officers out but they were looking for drunk and disorderly or drugs. They were not trying to keep these young people safe.
And that's why you have a huge and growing memorial with cite chrysanthemums to honor the dead. People putting soju bottle, candles, tributes to this huge and preventable tragedy.
So many young people, Abby, lost their lives just footsteps away from where I'm standing right now.
PHILLIP Will, do you have a sense of why police didn't react faster to these cries of help from people watching?
RIPLEY: What we're told is that there was no contingency plan. Apparently, if an event has an organizer, a clear organizer like a protest, organizers can submit a plan ahead of time and police will come up with their strategy.
In this case, it was a spontaneous gathering on Halloween. You had 100,000 or so young people who wanted to come out here because it was the first time in three years they didn't have to wear masks.
And there weren't restrictions on crowd size. But they knew this was going to be huge event. It was hyped up. Itaewon is where people like to party in Seoul.
They could have been better prepared. They should have been better prepared. They weren't. As a result, you have all of these families that won't be able to see their kids again.
PHILLIP Will Ripley, thank you for being on top of this story for us.
And as long as we keep paying, will companies keep hiking prices? We know inflation is forcing prices up. But is that the whole story here? We'll have more next.
PHILLIP This is just into CNN. The U.S. Capitol Police chief is now calling for more security resources for members of Congress. And this is in the wake of that brutal attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband last week.
CNN's Whitney Wild is following the story.
Whitney, what are we learning from this new statement?
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the chief saying plainly this political climate, as you had mentioned, is just so divisive, it is so vitriolic this calls for more security.
This incident with Paul Pelosi has really rocked members of Congress. It is another reminder of how serious the situation truly is.
I can read you a quick statement from the Capitol Police chief, Tom Manger, in which he said:
"We believe today's political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress. This plan would include an emphasis on adding redundancies among other measures that are already in place for congressional leadership."
He was -- is reluctant to say exactly what some of these measures would be. Understandably, Abby, you don't want to give away the game plan to somebody who is going to use that and then try to take advantage of that and commit another act of violence.
The point here really, Abby, is that when -- according to Manger, that, you know, there were improvements made after the 2011 shooting of Gabby Giffords. There were improvements after the 2017 shooting of Steve Scalise.
This is another data point here reminding people why security is so important, why these resources are necessary.
The police chief coming out in front of this saying, look, they have to take action and they're hoping to get support for that -- Abby?
PHILLIP Whitney Wild, thank you for that.
And to the economy. The White House and the oil industry are locked in a heated war of words. Major oil companies posted another round of staggering profits. Yes, you heard that right.
So President Biden is again floating what is called a windfall profits tax, even accusing big oil of war profiteering.
CNN's Matt Egan is here to break it all down.
Matt, we know that gas prices have been up, a key driver of inflation. The part that might come as a surprise to folks is the oil companies are also making big profits. What's behind it?
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Abby, huge profits, making mountains of money right now. B.P. and Shell, more than doubling their profits from a year ago.
Exxon almost tripled its profit. Exxon made nearly $19 billion last quarter along. That amounts to $2,300 per second. It takes about two minutes to fill up a full-size SUV. So that means,
during that time, Exxon made almost $300,000.
And big oil --
PHILLIP That's astonishing.
EGAN: Amazing. And also rewarding shareholders with buybacks and dividends.
We should not this is an infamously boom-to-bust industry. They lost billions in 2020 when oil prices went negative. And some companies didn't even survive.
Now they're minting money and the president is arguing that they're not investing enough in new supply to try to bring down prices.
And to some extent, he's got a point. Because even though profits and prices are -- have fully recovered from COVID, as you can see on that chart, U.S. oil production has not. They are producing a million barrels less a day than during the peak in 2019.
Now, the question is, how do you fix that? Some Democrats are pushing this windfall profit tax, which would essentially be a surcharge on top of oil company profits. And they could return that to consumers in the form of a rebate.
Not surprisingly, the oil industry thinks that's a terrible idea. But they got some support from Larry Summers today, the former Obama and Clinton official.
He said that a windfall tax profit would actually backfire because it would discourage investment, which is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.
Abby, no easy answers here, especially if you ran as a pro-climate president as this one did.
PHILLIP Yes, especially given that this threat is coming at a political time when the president wants to make a point about being tough on oil companies.
I did want to ask about food. Food prices are also way up. The food you eat at home, the food you eat in restaurants.
What's happening there with the companies, the bigger companies that are a source of a lot of the price increase?
EGAN: Yes, the bigger companies have been able to do just fine throughout this. We've seen double-digit profit increases from Pepsi and Coke and Chipotle.
And they've also all been raising prices. Pepsi, for instance, raised its prices by 17 percent year over year. Their bottom line up by 20 percent.
And all of this is raising the cost of living for Americans. We've seen prices for groceries, dairy, restaurant prices, all of them have gone up. And that is contributing, of course, to this period of high inflation.
The question is, at what point do prices rise so much that it ends up tapping consumers out? Because for as long as the people keep spending money, this economy can keep chugging along. When that stops, that's where the problem is.
PHILLIP They are paying those prices?
EGAN: They are. People are paying this, in part, because they've saved a lot of money during COVID. But savings are starting to come down.
PHILLIP Matt Egan, thank you for breaking that down.
EGAN: Thank you, Abby.
PHILLIP: Coming up next, Michigan football coach, Jim Harbaugh, says that an apology won't cut it after Michigan State football players were caught beating up his players on camera. So are criminal charges coming in this case? We'll have the latest next.
PHILLIP This just in. Congresswoman Liz Cheney says the House committee investigating January 6th is in discussions with former President Trump's attorneys for him to testify under oath.
Let's get straight to CNN's Sara Murray on this.
Sara, what do we know about this?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Liz Cheney, of course, is the top-ranking Republican on this committee. And she said there were discussions with Trump's lawyers about him appearing for this deposition under oath.
She said the format is still a topic of discussion. But she said the committee wants to see him under oath, potentially over the course of a couple different days.
We know that the Trump team accepted receipt of this subpoena but we haven't heard directly from him about how they plan to deal with it.
There's a deadline this Friday for him to hand over a wide array of documents. Then the committee set a November 14th deadline for him to show up and provide testimony to them under oath. It is significant that the lawyers are engaging behind the scenes. We
saw, for instance, what happened to Steve Bannon, someone who provided the committee nothing in response to this congressional subpoena.
We know the Trump team specifically hired lawyers to deal with this. This is an indication that there's some kind of discussion behind the scenes.
Although, of course, Abby, as you know, just because they're having these discussions, it's not a guarantee that we'll see the former president testify.
PHILLIP Yes. It's a little bit surprising even that the discussions are happening.
Do you get the sense that Cheney feels that it is likely at this point, or optimistic about that prospect?
MURRAY: Well, I think the committee has have tried to be optimistic about the odds of getting his testimony.
They said he should want to come before them and answer about his actions leading up to January 6th, and, you know, if it's possible, to try to clear his name.
In some ways, it's not totally surprising to know this is happening behind the scenes. You have to show some kind of engagement if you're the committee. You need to show that you have tried to engage with the person to appear before you, that you have tried to make some accommodations.
If you're the witness that is called, you want to show some potentially good faith with the committee so you don't end up in a contempt proceeding.
So again, just because there are conversations ongoing, we don't know where they will lead but it is significant they are happening behind the scenes.
PHILLIP: Sara Murray, thank you for that.
And that does it for me. Ana Cabrera is back tomorrow, same time, same place.
Until then, the news continues with Victor Blackwell and Bianna Golodryga right after this break.