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CNN INTERNATIONAL: Zelenskyy Compares Russia's Kherson Withdrawal To D-Day; Biden Looks To Unite Leaders Against War In Ukraine; More Kherson Residents Coming Out As Situation Eases; U.S. Intel Suggests Russia Delayed Kherson Exit Announcement; Israel: Won't Cooperate With U.S. Probe Into Journalist's Death; Adviser: Trump To Launch 2024 Presidential Bid Tuesday; Dave Chappelle's SNL Monologue Sparks Backlash. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 15, 2022 - 08:00   ET




MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy outlines his peace plan for the G20 leaders while residents in the newly liberated areas of Kherson struggle without basic supplies.

Plus, former U.S. President Donald Trump is set to make a special announcement with aides saying he'll run for the White House again when he faced a challenge from a former ally.

And crypto crash is the downfall of one of the industry's biggest players, a problem or an opportunity.

The war in Ukraine can come to an end in 10 steps. That's the path laid out by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier today in a taped address to the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. Those steps include food security and nuclear safety, as well as peace treaty with Russia.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): It is like for example D-Day, the landing of the allies in Normandy. It was not yet a final point in the fight against evil, but it already determined the entire further course of events. If the victory will be ours in any case, and we are sure of it, then shouldn't we try to implement our formula for peace to save thousands of lives and protect the world from further destabilization?


FOSTER: The war looms large over the G20 Summit, U.S. President Joe Biden trying to get member countries to speak with the united voice and condemning Russia's aggression, as opposed to the current fragmented approach. Let's get straight to Ivan Watson live in Bali. His hopes are pretty high, though, aren't they? Because there are certain countries here that aren't going to sign up to a communique, which strongly condemns Russia, frankly.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And before I get to that, just a little bit of news one development is that President Biden unexpectedly not attending the G20 dinner that is underway right now. An administration official has said that the U.S. President is attending to other matters, and pointed out that this was not COVID.

President Biden, in a press conference yesterday, said that he was suffering from a cold. And he had come in contact with the Cambodian Prime Minister who has tested positive for COVID and had to pull out of the meeting entirely as a result of that. If we hear anything more, we'll update you on this.

But yes, he came from a previous summit, an East Asian Summit in Cambodia with -- among the messages was to rally ongoing support for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, bringing that up with assorted leaders. It was a message that a kind of softer version of -- was echoed by the Indonesian President who's the host of this G20 Summit, who, in remarks today, said that there really needs to be an end to this war, arguing that it's contributing to soaring food prices that are hurting developing economies and a vicious circle -- vicious cycle rather of shortage of fertilizers, for example, that the war has contributed to.

Now, the Indonesian President had personally invited the two warring presidents of Ukraine and Russia to attend this summit. Vladimir Putin isn't no show. He is one of a very small number of G20 presidents who didn't attend, 17 have attended. And so that left Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President, to take center stage in which he denounced Russia.

He celebrated the fact that last week, Russia withdrew from the monthslong occupation of the southern city of Kherson. He compared that withdrawal and the subsequent liberation by Ukrainian Armed Forces to the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II. And he repeatedly referred to the G20 as the G19, and an obvious snub against the absent Russian President.

We have heard from Putin's standing, his foreign minister, who did attend the meeting and had this to say about his Western critics. Take a listen to Sergey Lavrov.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translation): The more often they talk about unprovoked aggression, the more everybody is convinced that this aggression was provoked by them.


And it is not an aggression, but an operation to defend the legitimate interests of Russian security because it is on Russian -- there were threat -- because of threats on the Russian borders and to defend the Russian population of Donbas.


WATSON: We're still waiting for a final G20 statement and how it will deal with the question of Ukraine. A senior U.S. administration official has said that he anticipates that most of the G20 members will be very critical of Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine. Max?

FOSTER: OK, Ivan in Bali, thank you.

Meanwhile, inside Ukraine, a Ukrainian mayor says a large explosion has rocked the Russian occupied city of Melitopol, it's located just east of Kherson, where days after the Russian retreat, there's still no water or electricity in the newly liberated southern city. Ukraine's President says Russian forces destroyed all critical infrastructure in Kherson city before withdrawing. But as CNN's Nic Robertson reports, the situation is slowly improving.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Every day here, more and more people are coming out. Now, they're able to use the new cell phone system the government installed on Monday, connected by those little dishes to the satellite. And everyone here, look at them, come and have a look. Everyone's on their phone now. They're talking on their phone, they're sending messages on their phone.

This is what people have been waiting for to be reconnected with the rest of the country. Everyone's out, bringing their dogs out, people still celebrating, wearing their flags. And over here, there's another aid distribution. An aid truck came in Monday, but there's another one here Tuesday, distributing food. We've seen people coming away with bread.

But the situation in this city is still a very difficult one. Still no water, no electricity, very cold here at night. But what you're seeing here is aid distribution. This is what people are hoping becomes more regular. They're hoping there's more food in the shops, that the prices of food in the shops comes down.

The government here also taken other steps, other measures to ease the situation. They're delivering pensions. Two government post offices are now open, so pensioners can get their money. It's a real effort by the government after President Zelenskyy's visit to reconnect Kherson with the rest of Ukraine.

The aid is part of it, the cell service is part of it. But really what people here tell us they want is that electricity, is the running water because it isn't clean drinking water here at the moment. They get their water from pumps near the river, they have to boil it. But what they would really like to feel here is safe and secure.

And, of course, not far away big cheer there for one of the soldiers on the back control -- doing crowd control, helping deliver the aid. But I think the thing that's sort of on the back of people's minds here, the back of people's minds, is the fact that this is a frontline city, still at the frontline, is only just across the river. And they hear the outgoing shelling from here over the river.

The Ukrainians still seem to have an offensive pushed across the other side of the river. Here we go, look at this. This is crowd control. But this gives you a sense of the need here. And this is going to go on for some time. It's not a quick fix here. But this is what the government is working towards.

Sometime, maybe over the next few days, they might get their electricity back. Just not clear yet.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Kherson, Ukraine.

FOSTER: And now to a new CNN exclusive report, U.S. intelligence believes the Kremlin may have intentionally waited to announce the former withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson city in southern Ukraine last week. The reason to avoid giving U.S. President Joe Biden the win before the crucial midterm elections.

CNN's White House Reporter Natasha Bertrand joins us live from Washington. What more did you find out? It's fascinating.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Max. So the U.S. midterm elections were on a Tuesday and on that Wednesday, the day after the Kremlin launched their announcement that they were going to withdraw all of their troops from Kherson. Now, this is apparently, according to U.S. intelligence, not an accident.

This was a very purposeful decision by Kremlin officials to time that formal announcement of that retreat to just after the midterms until after Americans had finished voting, because the Russians believed that by announcing a withdrawal of massive defeat really for the Russians, that could somehow give Joe Biden and by extension, the Democrats some kind of boost ahead of the midterm elections and they did not want to do that.

Now, this is interesting for a number of reasons. Chief among them that obviously, this -- it shows that the Russians still are trying to influence the U.S. political landscape. Of course, they don't seem to have really a hard grasp on American politics because, you know, a Russian retreat from Kherson is not at the top of American voters' minds.


But at the same time, it also shows that they believe that a GOP controlled Congress is ultimately better for their interests. They believe that they have to do anything necessary. And anything they can to see Joe Biden and the Democrats suffer any kind of losses and avoid giving them any kind of advantage.

So obviously, this is not the only factor that contributed to the Russians announcing their withdrawal from Kherson. This is, obviously -- you know, it was necessary for them because they could no longer sustain their presence in the city just given the sheer, you know, magnitude of the Ukrainian counter offensive and the fact that the Russians really were running out of supplies and ammunition. But at the same time, the U.S. intelligence community did collect intelligence that Russian officials very explicitly discussed the U.S. midterms as a key factor in the timing of that withdrawal. So really interesting insight into their attempts to influence American politics. Max?

FOSTER: Natasha Bertrand, fascinating. Thanks for joining us in Washington.

Now Israel says it won't cooperate with a U.S. investigation into the death of a Palestinian American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot in May whilst covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. The Al Jazeera correspondent reported on the Israeli Palestinian conflict for more than two decades. Israel's defense minister calls the U.S. probe a serious mistake.

Hadas Gold joins us live from Jerusalem. Hadas?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So Max, well, it's not unusual for the FBI to investigate when Americans are killed abroad, something they do often, would be unusual for the FBI to investigate an ally especially if it involves investigating the Israeli military.

And essentially defense minister -- Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, confirming Israeli media reports that the U.S. Department of Justice had notified Israeli officials about a potential investigation. Benny Gantz in a tweet calling it a mistake, saying that they will not cooperate with an external investigation and will not enable intervention into internal investigations.

Now, keep in mind, internal politics, Defense Minister Benny Gantz is likely on his way out as the Israelis are expecting a new government to come in most likely led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So that tone might change in the next few weeks when a new government comes in.

Now, the U.S. Department of Justice has declined to comment, but this would be essentially the second American investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh's death. As you noted, she was a well-known across the world, Al Jazeera correspondent killed in May while covering an Israeli military raid. She was wearing a press vest and helmet, identifying signatories of press working in the field.

Now, a U.S. State Department's investigation a few months ago that included a forensic analysis of the bullet that killed her, found that while the forensic analysis of the bullet was inconclusive, they came to the conclusion as have American media outlets including CNN, that it was likely the Israeli military that killed Shireen Abu Akleh.

And an IDF investigation also found that it was likely an IDF soldier that fired that fatal shot that killed Shireen Abu Akleh. But we -- while the Israelis were cooperating in that State Department investigation, we are hearing from Benny Gantz now that if the FBI does open does go in for with this investigation, that they will not be cooperating. However, this is something that the Abu Akleh family has been calling for for some time. They have wanted the FBI to investigate what they said was an American citizen's death. They say that they were encouraged by the news of the U.S. investigation that they hope that all parties will cooperate. Max?

FOSTER: OK. Hadas Gold, thank you.

An adviser to Donald Trump says he'll announce his third presidential bid in the coming hours. This is a growing number of Republicans say it's time to move on from the former president. Many in the GOP blame Trump for the party's lackluster results in the midterms.

Meanwhile, Trump's former Vice President Mike Pence is hinting at his own presidential run in 2024. Pence is out promoting a new memoir. He discussed his future in an interview with ABC News Anchor David Muir.


DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Will you run for president in 2024?

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VP OF THE UNITED STATES: We're giving a consideration in our house. Prayerful consideration.

MUIR: Do you believe you can beat Donald Trump?

PENCE: Well, that would be for others to say. And it'd be for us to decide whether or not we'd want to test that.


FOSTER: Kristen Holmes is covering all of these developments and joins us live from West Palm Beach, Florida. Amazing to see this lineup taking shape. But what do we expect from Mr. Trump's announcement when so much seems to be going against him?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Max. And advisers were warning him not to announce this early, particularly, as you said because of those lackluster midterm results. And what we've really seen in Washington and around the country is a lot of Republicans starting to turn on the former president, saying, that it's time to move on from him.

But the one thing to pay attention to here is that Donald Trump has been addressing this with aides and advisers himself, saying that this is exactly where he was in 2015 when he made his announcement, he was seen as the underdog. He says he wasn't taken seriously.


And he's telling them that this is where he thrives the most. And that is what brought him into the White House in 2016. But one thing to pay attention to is that I've talked to a number of allies from Washington around the country who are concerned that the former president doesn't have the same magnetism, that he had back in 2015, back in 2016, that carried him to the White House, particularly given his focus on election denialism.

We have reported for months, that advisers, aides have all encouraged Trump to get away from that kind of talk to move forward. And obviously, as we saw in these midterms, that election denialism lost. It largely fizzled out in Tuesday's midterms. So it'll be interesting to see how exactly he presents tonight.

Now, we are told by an adviser that this speech is going to be, quote, unquote, more buttoned up. No real indication of what exactly that means. They said there's roughly going to be 1,000 people there, will be at his Mar-a-Lago resort tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. And again, what we are used to with Trump is that he's going to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. So this will largely be him taking control. He is the one who has decided to make this decision and make this announcement today. Max?

FOSTER: Kristen Holmes, thank you. We'll all be watching.

Turning now to southeastern Australia where heavy rainfall has triggered dangerous flash flooding, leaving hundreds of people stranded. In South Wales, the Australian Defense Force has been activated to help those who are trapped or in need of medical attention. Meteorologist say parts of the region who have seen more than 100 millimeters of rain in the past 24 hours alone.

Still to come, the cryptocurrency market is reeling after the collapse of one of its biggest names. So what is the industry's future now? And would you invest? Stay with us.


FOSTER: Welcome back. Would you invest in cryptocurrency? That's the question many people are asking after one of the industry's biggest players imploded. The company we're talking about is FTX. Let's see the scale of that implosion.

Well, a token -- we're just waiting for the figures to come up. One token back on November the seventh would have cost you just over $22. A week later is down to $1.47. People were losing huge amounts of money but not nearly as much as the company's founder whose personal loss was up there in the billions.

And this is a tweet from a crypto commentator. It's doing the rounds because he's very well respected. "This is not a crypto winter. That implies spring is coming. This is also not a crypto ice age, as even that came to an end after a couple of million years. This is a crypto extinction." He says, "But blockchain will live on. Gold will rise again to lead the new breed of asset-backed cryptos as well."


So it's not all over, but it's sort of over. Let's try and make sense of it all. CNN's Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans joins us. I mean, you live and breathe this stuff for so many of us. It's very, very confusing. Just tell us what happened last week? CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, I think what's really important here, for anybody who's interested in the crypto sphere, it's not regulated -- it's not regulated, and it's still the wild west out there. So what is FTX? This is an exchange created by this guy Sam Bankman-Fried, who -- people really respected him. You know, you've seen sort of as this was prodigy, right?

And an exchange, it was supposed to be an easy place to buy, sell and hold digital currency. They also had these tokens that you just showed there. Those tokens, at the same time, apparently, this guy Fried, also had a hedge fund. And in that hedge fund were those tokens that should have been or maybe people thought were stored on the exchange.

And so, when this came to light, there was essentially an old- fashioned run on the bank, even though it's not a bank, where people started wanting to withdraw their tokens. And then that's when, you know, when it was very clear that I guess the emperor had to close, to use the old cliche. They didn't have all the money there anymore. And the whole thing kind of fell apart.

FOSTER: Yes, so that company fell apart. And now people are saying the whole industry is falling apart. Is there any truth in that?

ROMANS: Well, I mean, there's another rival exchange where that CEO says this is actually a good thing to flush out these weak players without good due diligence, and then the whole industry will come back stronger in the end. It remains to be seen if that is true. You just use that Peter Schiff quote there.

You know, blockchain is an amazing technology that is already revolutionizing business. But crypto is another thing altogether. And the trading, the speculative trading of crypto is a complete other offshoot there. I mean, look, these coins, they're not -- what do they measure? They're not inflation hedge. They don't apparently hold value, because the value -- it's simply a speculative vehicle that has almost no regulation. Regulation will come in here. So the whole arena is going to change.

FOSTER: Often when markets collapse, some people see an opportunity, don't they, to invest?


FOSTER: Are they completely mad?

ROMANS: I mean, if you don't expect to get your money back, go for it. But you might not get your money back. I mean, some of these places, some of these exchanges have moved these currencies, these coins, these digital assets into something called cold storage so that they can't be hacked. That's another problem that they're investigating now with the FTX problem.

When things started to kind of fall apart, that appears there may have been a hack somewhere along the way that stole some of that digital money. So it's just doesn't seem very safe, does it? So if you don't expect to get your money back, by all means, gamble in this arena. But there are no restrictions. It is not like when your bank fails, the government steps in and gives you your money back. You are insured on those assets. This is just completely unprotected speculation.

FOSTER: Christine Romans, thank you very much indeed. We'll keep watching it.

Now, we're going to be back in just a moment.



FOSTER: Comedian Dave Chappelle has made a career of pushing buttons when it comes to controversial topics. Brian Todd now explains why he's in hot water yet again.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Growing controversy surrounding comedian Dave Chappelle's Saturday Night Live opening monologue.

DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: I denounce antisemitism in all its forms. And I stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.

TODD (voice-over): For more than six and a half minutes of his 14- minute monologue, Chappelle riffs on the Kanye West and Kyrie Irving controversies with the Jewish community. On West's previous tweet that he would go, quote, "death con 3 on Jewish people."

CHAPPELLE: You have broken show business rules. Is this a rule? You know, the rules of perception. If they're black, then it's a gang. If they're Italian, it's a mob. But if they're Jewish, it's a coincidence and you should never speak about it.

TODD (voice-over): With every joke, the audience roared with laughter.

CHAPPELLE: I've been -- this is was just what I saw. It's a lot of Jews. But that does not mean anything. You know what I mean? There's a lot of black people in Ferguson, Missouri. Doesn't mean they run the place.

Maybe adopt the delusion that the Jews run, show business, not a crazy thing to think. But it's a crazy thing to say out loud, the (INAUDIBLE).

TODD (voice-over): Chappelle and SNL are being blistered. The Anti- Defamation League tweeting, "Disturbing to see at NBC SNL not just normalize but popularize antisemitism. Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?"

Adam Feldman, theater editor and critic of the entertainment magazine Time Out New York tweeted, "Everyone knows Kanye is nuts. Chappelle posits himself as a teller of difficult truths. It's worse." But "Entertainment Tonight" host Nischelle Turner doesn't think Chappelle is antisemitic.

NISCHELLE TURNER, HOST, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": Do I think that Dave Chappelle is intentionally trying to thought provoke needle, cause conversation, maybe cause people to have some very difficult conversations? Absolutely.


TODD: CNN has reached out to representatives for Dave Chappelle and NBC for response to the criticism from the ADL and others, we've not heard back.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

FOSTER: Thank you for joining us. "WORLD SPORT" with Alex is up next.