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Leaders Focus On Ending Russia's War In Ukraine; President Joe Biden And Xi Jinping Agree Nuclear Weapons Shouldn't Be Used In Ukraine; Xi Jinping War In Ukraine With France's Emmanuel Macron; Kherson Tries To Rebuild After Russian Retreat; President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Visits Liberated Kherson; Republican Blame Game Begins As Congress Returns After Midterms. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 15, 2022 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: All around the world this hour, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

The beginning of the end of the war, a triumphant Ukrainian president travels to liberated Kherson just days after a Russian retreat.

Fallout for the U.S. midterm election sees another high-profile election denier turned high profile election loser.

And $124 billion burning a hole in his pocket. Jeff Bezos plans to give away his fortune and it starts with Dolly Parton.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with John Vause.

VAUSE: G20 summit is underway in Bali, Indonesia with a plea from the Ukrainian president to help end the war.

This is the first in-person gathering of the world's 20 biggest economy since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

The U.S. president will use the gathering of world leaders to try and maintain support for Ukraine. For months, negotiations have been underway on a formal condemnation of Russia, but it remains uncertain which countries will sign on and which ones will not.

French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the war in Ukraine with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. According to reports from state media in Beijing, China wants a ceasefire and peace talks.

And with the Russian President Vladimir Putin a no show, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued a statement saying Russia will never have a legitimate seat at the table until the war in Ukraine comes to an end.

President Biden and Xi met on the sidelines at the G20, three hours of talks on a number of flashpoint issues, including Taiwan. The Chinese leader warned that Taiwan is a red line.

Well, the U.S. president raised concerns about human rights in China, as well as cooperation on climate change.

And Biden told reporters that were no concerns over a new Cold War between the United States and China.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was clear and I was clear, they will defend American interests and values, promote universal human rights and stand up for their national order and work in lockstep with our allies and partners. We're going to compete vigorously, but I'm not looking for conflict, I'm looking to manage this competition responsibly.


VAUSE: We'll report covering the story from every angle we have Ivan Watson and Kevin Liptak live in Bali this hour. We also have Steven Jiang standing by in Beijing.

Ivan, first to you, as this sort of focus goes on to Ukraine now, notably the Ukrainian president making an appearance but the Russian president a no show.

IVAN WATSON, CNN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, that's right. I mean, the battlefields of Eastern Europe and Ukraine are casting a long shadow way over here in steamy Bali, with the Indonesian president opening his speech, talking about threats to society, shortages of fertilizer, high food prices, and then going on making an appeal for an end of this grinding war. Take a listen.


JOKO WIDODO, INDONESIAN PRESIDENT: If the war does not end, it will be difficult for the world to move forward. If the war does not end, it will be difficult for us to take a responsibility for the future of current generation and future generations.


WATSON: Now, President Joko, he invested personal capital ahead of this summit, he travelled to Kyiv and to Moscow, invited both of the warring presidents to attend this summit.

President Vladimir Putin is not here. He is a no show. And there's some reasons why perhaps he's chosen to sit this out. The last time he went to an international summit was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Uzbekistan in September. And there I think perhaps he thought he was going to get a warm reception.

But in fact, he looked somewhat humbled sitting across from the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and later the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and basically conceding that both of those leaders had real concerns and questions about his war in Ukraine. Here in Bali, he would have had a much harsher reception. You've got

not only U.S. President Joe Biden here but the Australian, French, Canadian leaders, the president of the E.U., Japan, South Korea, all heads of state that have harshly condemned Russia's deadly invasion of Ukraine.

In the meantime, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, he has addressed the G20 virtually and a day after, he made a personal visit and gave a press conference in the southern city of Kherson in which the Russian military had to conduct a humiliating retreat from that city just last week, and then a letting loose residents who have been dancing in the streets celebrating the Russian withdrawal.


He several times in his speech called the G20. The G19, which is a clear insult to Russia, which sent its foreign minister to attend the meeting. He said that you cannot allow Russia to conduct nuclear blackmail of the world and of Eastern Europe. He is saying and told the assembled leaders not to trust Russia, John.

VAUSE: Ivan, thank you. Let's go to Kevin now. Kevin Liptak. So, we had this meeting on the sidelines, the G20 between President Xi and President Biden.

What's the takeaway now that, you know, we know what they talked about, we know what was achieved or not achieved? Expectations were set pretty low from the beginning. And they met those low expectations I think.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (on camera): Right. Well, I think, yes. I think President Biden accomplished what he wanted to accomplish going into this meeting, which was the baseline goal of having these leaders agree that they don't actively want conflict. And that's kind of a rudimentary goal for the world's two largest economies, the two largest militaries for President Biden, that was sort of the essential goal that he wanted to hear from President Xi when they sat across the table from each other.

So, you did get the sense from their public statements that they wanted to lower the temperature somewhat, even if they didn't actually come to any resolution for the disputes that they had heading into this meeting.

Things like Taiwan, restrictions on technology, human rights, those are still very much in dispute as this meeting concluded. But President Biden said he didn't find President Xi confrontational in their talks. Instead he said, he found him like he's always found him, which is to be straightforward and open about their differences.

And President Biden said that they talked through where they have conflict, and they also talked through where they didn't necessarily understand each other. They sort of emerged from this meeting, having a better read on where each other stands.

But the president was clear, he said it wasn't a kumbaya moment, and that they will task their officials going forward with conducting the actual diplomacy to resolve these issues.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to China early next year, John.

VAUSE: Kevin, we'll go from Bali to Beijing, that's were Steven Jiang is standing by. And Steven, from Xi Jinping's point of view, it seems that during these talks, he threw his BFF Vladimir Putin sort of under the bus a little bit.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF (on camera): Yes, but as Kevin was mentioning, I think given the lack of expectations going into this meeting, both leaders did clear that very low bar by simply having that talk and not to mention, they also end up picking some fairly low hanging fruits, right, including resuming climate change talks, but also probably more importantly resuming working level groups between the two governments to talk and resolve a lot of issues because that is where things get resolved and get done not at the presidential level.

So, in that sense, this is a positive result. But also, when it comes to, you know, that imagery, symbolism. Remember, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, that picture of both leaders shaking hands, smiling to the camera, of course, being shown around the world.

But the fact it's been splashed across the state media here is very noticeable, because that's something we hadn't seen for months and even years. And in this country, which is very much under one man rule, that is important. That is a very important message from Xi Jinping, not only to his bureaucracy, but to the whole nation about where he stands on this relationship.

So, I think the other thing we noticed is, you know, some of the more interesting details in state media because they very much just stressed how it was Biden and his officials who went to Xi Jinping's hotel, not the other way around. Some even noticed how when Biden walked into the room, he extended his hand first before the handshake.

So, very much trying to portray this narrative at the U.S. wanted this meeting more than the Chinese because it was them who knew they basically they were the culprit for the free further (PH) relationship and they wanted to repair it more eagerly.

But you know, domestic propaganda aside that the fact that they are able to basically put a floor by some time and you know, even down the temperature for now is a net positive for not only the two countries but for the whole world as well at least for now, John.

VAUSE: Talking is better than not talking, I guess at this level. Steven Jiang in Beijing. Thank you, Kevin, Liptak and Ivan Watson in Bali, Indonesia. Thanks to you guys as well, appreciate it.

Well, after being bombarded by Russian missiles and self-detonating drones for nearly a month, Ukraine now seeing a lull in those attacks.

Spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force says Russia is unable to constantly launch a high number of airstrikes because it's running low on cruise missiles and because Ukraine has improved air defenses with the help of the West.


But the spokesman also noted Russia is still carrying out attacks with rockets and other anti-aircraft systems.

Ukraine says it's been launching attacks of its own, hitting Russian held positions on the eastern bank or the Dnipro River.

Moscow's troops have been trying to reestablish their defensive lines in that area after retreating from Kherson on the opposite side.

Ukraine now controls the western bank and is working to restore order and security.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited liberated Kherson Monday, three days after a Russian retreat. Stood by his troops as the Ukrainian flag was raised once again in the city square, and he told residents they would keep moving forward and continue to free territory.

CNN's Nic Robertson has more now reporting in from Kherson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): The joys of Kherson's liberation keep on giving.

How are you, she says, I survived, her friend replies, but the Russians kicked my door in and stole everything.

This city once home to more than a quarter million people is still celebrating its freedom. But beginning to count the cost of the eight- month brutal occupation they endured. The city's phone and internet connection cut, residents crowding around soldier's communications in desperate hope of contacting loved ones.

On their way out, the Russians crippled almost every vital service, electricity off and water too. This pump close to the riverbank giving water to polluted to drink.

The water stopped when the power went off, he says. This is the fourth day without water. But what can we do? We need to survive somehow.

The Russians even fell the city's main T.V. transmitter.

ROBERTSON: They blew it up just before leaving, a final act of punishment for a population that until days earlier they said was part of Russia and would be forever.

That same message, Kherson and Russia together forever plastered on hundreds of billboards around the city is already being torn down.

Why, Platton (PH) says, because eight months of occupation is not very nice. I didn't feel very good living in fear that any moment a car could pull over near you and bring you to a very unpleasant place. Oleksandr (PH) was unlucky enough to be taken to one of those unpleasant places and shows us around the jail he was in, says the Russians beat him daily. They abused everyone, kept us hungry, used us as free labor to repair their military vehicles, he says. They were beating us whenever they wanted.

ROBERTSON: This is where they say Russians kill people for simply shouting out slava Ukraine, glory to Ukraine or having tattoos saying the same thing.

And over here in this room, this is where they used to torture people.

The fire Oleksandr says started by the Russians as they left to cover up their crimes. But it is across the road in Katerina's (PH) Church, Russia's oddest brutality was perpetrated. The grave of Grigory Potemkin fabled in history for building fake villages was looted days before the Russians left.

Father Vitaly (PH) takes us into the gloomy crypt, shows us where Potemkin's coffin was stolen from.

He lay here for 240 years through many wars, he says. We honored him as a founder of Kherson, and they took him without permission.

Repairs of souls and city have only just begun.


VAUSE: To Camber now, Malcolm Davis is a senior military analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Good to have you with us, Malcolm.

MALCOLM DAVIS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST (on camera): Thank you, John.

VAUSE: OK, so during his visit to Kherson, the Ukrainian president talked about the cost of liberating Kherson in terms of lives lost, here he is.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The price of this war is very high. Many people were injured. Many people died. That's why they pulled out or ran away.

We believe they ran away because our army surrounded the enemy, and they were in great danger. There was fierce fighting and here's the result. We are in Kherson today.



VAUSE: He also went on to say this was the beginning of the end of the war. That was suggested the Ukrainian offensive is likely to continue through winter despite the high costs. But where is the next battle? Where is the next major city they're heading for? DAVIS: Look, I think the most likely avenue for advance for the Ukrainians would be up the river towards Zaporizhzhia, that makes a lot more sense to go that direction rather than trying to forge across the river into the eastern bank of Kherson.

Because trying to do that, that option of going across the river could be potentially costly in terms of lives lost, going up the river, following the river along to Zaporizhzhia would allow them secure Zaporizhzhia, and then advanced south from Zaporizhzhia towards (INAUDIBLE) and Mariupol. And ultimately, to isolate and take Crimea.

VAUSE: They had the momentum, do they have the manpower to keep doing this?

DAVIS: Look, I think they do. I think what is critical is that the Ukrainians continue to receive Western military support right through the winter.

And I think also, when you look at how poorly placed the Russians are, if the Ukrainians slow down, if they stop and if they pause, then they're giving the Russians essentially time to regroup and recover, which would be a bad mistake.

So, I think it's absolutely vital that the Ukrainians sustain this momentum, sustain operations. And in some respects, it's actually potentially easier for the Ukrainians to operate in the winter, then it would be for example, in the spring, for example, when you are seeing a lot more rain and potentially muddy conditions.

VAUSE: Apart from a major humiliation, what else has losing Kherson cost the Russians and the Russian military, you know, I guess from -- you know, from a military perspective?

DAVIS: Look, I think that it really has opened up the prospect for the Ukrainians to take Zaporizhzhia and then as I said, moves out towards Crimea. It opens up the door to Crimea. And I think that that's a huge blow for the Russians.

Obviously, the Russians are going to fight back in the Donbas. So, you're going to see an intensification of battles there. And I think the Ukrainians have to be very careful that if they do take Zaporizhzhia and then turn south, that they don't open their rear to a Russian attack from the Donbas.

But I think for the Russians, they are facing a desperate situation in the sense that they don't have enough forces that are well equipped enough, that have the motivation, that have the fighting spirit and have the logistics sustainment to be able to fight back against the Ukrainian.

So, essentially, I think what we're seeing is the potential for a solid Russian defeat in the war to emerge in this, in essentially the spring and the summer of 2023.

VAUSE: In the meantime, it appears that the pace of Russian airstrikes on Ukraine's power grid has slowed. There were no strikes in the past week, that seems to confirm what many have suspected that their position missiles and their drones from Iran are not being resupplied fast enough. Where does that leave them?

DAVIS: Look, I think they are going to be more dependent on the Iranians, particularly for the supply of more advanced ballistic missiles, it's not just about drones. It's about ballistic missiles with a precision attack capability that would enable them to complete their campaign of attacking Ukraine's critical energy infrastructure.

If those missiles don't turn up, or if Western air defense capabilities are effective in shooting down those ballistic missiles, then the Russians really have nothing left. At least at the conventional level, to be able to hit the Ukrainians with.

Their partial mobilization has not delivered the amount of troops that are effectively trained and motivated to fight. So, they're running out of options.

And in a way, this is obviously good, because it greatly increases the potential for Ukrainian victory. But it also is risky because it increases the desperation of the Russians. We're already seeing increasing political tensions in Moscow. You could see once again, the return to rattling nuclear sabers.

VAUSE: Yes. And there's also the chemical weapon choice and the biological choice before we get to nuclear. So, these are bad options that the Russians may still have in this.

But Malcolm, as always, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

DAVIS: Thank you.

VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back, as more and more Republicans suggests it's time to dump Trump, President number 45 appears unfazed, expected to launch third bid for the White House.

Also, she had been blasting her state's election process before the final votes were even counted. Now the results are in from the Arizona governor's race. Guess what? She lost. More on that when we come back.



VAUSE: An adviser to Donald Trump says he will announce a third presidential bid in the coming hours despite growing number of Republicans who want the former president to move on.

Many in the GOP blamed Trump for lackluster results of the midterms and say he does not have the same magnetism that swept him into the White House six years ago.

Trump is eager to launch this 2024 campaign early for a number of reasons, including a desire to get ahead of other contenders like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, maybe also to insulate himself if possible from growing legal problems. If Trump does announce another White House run, he'll have to do it

without some of the support he's enjoyed from the conservative media.

Take a look at a few of the big headlines that have come out since the midterms, including one from Fox News calls Ron DeSantis the new leader of the Republican Party. Here's what some on Fox News are saying about their former star.


LT. GOV. WINSOME SEARS (R-VA): The voters have spoken and they have said that they want a different leader.

STUART VARNEY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: I believe that Trump should step off the stage.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: The populist movement is about ideas, it is not about any one person. If the voters conclude that you're putting your own ego or your own grudges ahead of what's good for the country, they're going to look elsewhere.


VAUSE: That hurts. Meanwhile, Trump's former Vice President Mike Pence is hinting at his own presidential run. He says Trump is not the best choice to lead the country again.


DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS HOST: Do you believe that Donald Trump should ever be president again?

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: David, I think that's up to the American people. But I think we'll have better choices in the future.

MUIR: Better choices than Donald Trump?

PENCE: And for me and my family, we will be reflecting about what our role is in that.

MUIR: Will you run for president in 2024?

PENCE: We're giving a consideration in our house, prayerful consideration.


VAUSE: We'll hear a lot more from Mike Pence when CNN hosted town hall with the former vice president to take questions from Jake Tapper as well as a live studio audience Wednesday 9:00 p.m. in New York, 10:00 a.m. Thursday, Hong Kong.

Now, the 2020 election denier has lost her bid for office. CNN projects Democrat Katie Hobbs will win Arizona's governor's race, defeating Trump favorite Kari Lake.

Hobbs who currently serves as Arizona Secretary of State tweeted thanks to voters, saying democracy is worth the wait.

Appearing on Fox News shortly before the race was called, Kari Lake baselessly called the state's election botched and once the call was made, she opted not to acknowledge Hobbs's win tweeting Arizonans know B.S. when they see it, they sure do.

Even for those Republicans who won the election, things aren't exactly ideal right now. Congressional Republicans returned to Washington Monday for the first time since the midterms, and as they move towards choosing a new leadership, the blame game for last week's election is already underway.

CNN's Manu Raju reports now from Capitol Hill.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As Republicans move closer to securing a razor thin House majority, they are confronting this question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we have the wrong strategy?

RAJU: Republicans are likely stuck with the narrow House Majority which would make governing difficult and complicate House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy's path to the speakership.

Democrats like Michigan's Hillary Scholten who picked up a GOP seat says voters sent a message.


HILLARY SCHOLTEN (D-MI), REPRESENTATIVE-ELECT: People are tired of the divisiveness and the extremism that today's Republican Party embodies.

RAJU: As the incoming freshman gathered in the Capitol today, McCarthy was behind closed doors, trying to lock down the votes to become speaker and wielding the support of former President Donald Trump.

Also winning the backing of the staunch Trump ally and controversial conservative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): It's very, very risky right now to produce a leadership challenge especially for Speaker of the House.

RAJU: Also backing McCarthy, incoming Republican Mike Lawler, who won one of four key GOP races in New York, likely enough to secure the majority.

MIKE LAWLER (R-NY), REPRESENTATIVE-ELECT: I think ultimately, you know, you can always quibble about margins, but a majority is a majority. I fully support Kevin McCarthy and we'll support him for speaker.

RAJU: McCarthy can only afford to lose a handful of GOP votes to win the 218 he needs in January to become speaker.

And Arizona's Andy Biggs is considering a challenge to deny him the votes.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I would rather be water boarded by Liz Cheney than vote for Kevin McCarthy.

RAJU: In the Senate, an even bigger GOP debacle after Democrats retain the majority following victories by Arizona's Mark Kelly and Nevada's Catherine Cortez Masto and could add a seat after next month's runoff in Georgia.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The red wave proved to be a red mirage.

RAJU: Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell facing backlash from some conservatives who want to hit the brakes on this Wednesday's leadership elections.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): It would be insane if we reelect the same leadership two days from now.

RAJU: Trump is blaming McConnell, is that fair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's not fair at all.

RAJU: All as Democrats are prepared for their own shakeup, once Speaker Nancy Pelosi decides whether to step aside.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): My decision will then be rooted in what the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus.

RAJU: New members of Congress, including the First Gen Z member, 25- year-old Maxwell Frost are watching closely.

Do you think that your leadership team should reflect this younger -- the younger class of members?

MAXWELL FROST (D-FL), HOUSE-ELECT: Yes, I think generally, we need younger people in office across this country. And in Congress, I do think we should have young people represented, in leadership as well.


RAJU (on camera): Now, Republicans met behind closed doors for the first time since the midterms, in which each of the members of the leadership team made their pitch to their members ahead of tomorrow's leadership election, which Kevin McCarthy needs to get just a simple majority of his conference to get nominated as speaker.

His bigger challenge will come in January, he needed to get 218 votes of the full House in order to lock down the speakership, meaning he cannot afford to lose potentially more than a handful of Republican defectors.

Now, no candidate came forward at the closed door meeting, but it's very likely if not certain that someone will come forward ultimately during the leadership election.

On the Senate side, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has the votes locked up to become speaker, but he could face a longshot bid on Wednesday to his own leadership perch if Senator Rick Scott decides to mount a challenge against him.

And I asked him if he would, he said he had not decided whether to challenge McConnell.

Mana Raju, CNN Capitol Hill.

VAUSE: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, when Xi met Biden in Bali, where did that leave Putin in Moscow? More in a moment.


VAUSE: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


For Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, it seems their first in-person talks as leaders were all about boundaries and setting red lines.

For three hours on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, they discussed North Korea's nuclear ambitions, China's red lines on Taiwan, and ways to cooperate on climate change and the global economy. Biden says the talks were open and candid, but not suggesting this was a kumbaya moment.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were very blunt with one another about places where we disagreed or where we were uncertain of each other's position. And we agreed we'd set up, and we did, mechanisms whereby we would meet in detail with our -- the key people in each of our administrations to discuss how we could resolve them.


VAUSE: Max Baucus has served as a U.S. ambassador for Beijing for three years. Before that, he was a Democratic senator from Montana, for more than three decades. It's good to have you with us there. Thank you.


VAUSE: So after -- after three hours of open, candid, direct, face-to- face talks between Biden and Xi, with a big focus on Taiwan and a possible invasion by China, the U.S. president emerged with this. Here he is.


BIDEN: I do not think there's any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan. And I made it clear that our policy on Taiwan has not changed at all. It's the same exact position we've had. I made it clear that we want to see cross-trade issues peacefully resolved.


VAUSE: Yes, there are two things that come out of that, but firstly, the bar was pretty low in terms of expectations. But not imminent? That's as good as it gets? And what does that actually even mean?

BAUCUS: Well, neither side wants war, that's clear. It's also clear that Taiwan is existential to China. It's nonnegotiable for China. They're going to do whatever it takes. It may have to -- it may have to wait, but they would like a peaceful resolution. And if necessary, they're maybe have to move to military solutions.

But that's not -- not only not imminent, I don't think it's in the definite future. That's going to take -- that's a long time from now.

VAUSE: And just for clarification, U.S. policy towards Taiwan and the mainland China, it may not have officially changed, but for all intents and purposes, strategic ambiguity really, it's no more. We know where the U.S. stands right now, if there is, in fact, a Chinese invasion.

BAUCUS: Well, frankly, I think that the Chinese feel that, even though the United States mouths the words of a one-China policy, that the United States really is not following that in deed. Maybe in words, but not in deeds.

It points out to Speaker Pelosi's visit. China also points out the many other visits to Taiwan. More military aid's going to Taiwan. And the president himself, a couple or three times, has said the U.S. military will come to the aid of Taiwan. The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) hasn't walked that back.

So the real question is what's -- what are they going to do, irrespective of what they said? From the Chinese perspective, the United States is not following the spirit of strategic ambiguity. Rather, it's pushing a little bit more toward that tripwire, which is very, very difficult.

VAUSE: Yes. You know, when Russia's Vladimir Putin made the decision to skip the G20 summit, he -- it may be some relief to Xi, despite both leaders back in February declaring a no-limits partnership.

There's this reporting from "The Financial Times": "According to four people briefed on the February meeting, Xi was caught off-guard by an invasion (of Ukraine) that Putin did not warn him of in advance -- thus jeopardizing thousands of nationals then living in Ukraine. 'Putin didn't tell Xi the truth,' a Chinese official told the Financial Times."

Maybe this isn't a rift, but maybe it's the cracking of the glass in the relationship, if you like, between Beijing and Moscow. Is there an opening here for Washington?

BAUCUS: China needs Russia. It's because China would like to have Russia to give the United States a little bit of a challenge over into Europe. And frankly, China wants to -- is a party of Putin's, significantly, but not too far. It's not going to go so far as to get sanctions imposed on China by the U.S.


But it's -- it's a dance. And it's a marriage. It's not made -- it's not made in love, but China does still need Russia.

VAUSE: so with that in mind, here's Xi Jinping, speaking before reporters, and TV crews were actually kicked out of the room. Listen to this.


XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world.


VAUSE: So is Xi throwing a bit of shade at Putin? Or Biden? Who's the statesman to which he refers?

BAUCUS: Well, I think that the real message out of Bali is that there were two adults in the room. Two presidents representing the two largest economies in the room.

And they spoke to each other respectfully. Now, it's clear that each country has major problems with the other, and there are major differences. And we'll see the degree to which those differences will tend to be addressed. Not negotiated or resolved, but at least addressed.

And both, as statesmen, do not want war. They'll do whatever they can to avoid war. They really -- what they're trying to do is begin to manage a relationship between the two largest economies in the world.

And it's very difficult, obviously, because one is a democracy. The other is authoritarian. And add to that, most Americans don't understand China very well.

So it's -- but I do feel that there is some good news coming out of Bali. The temperature was -- was cooled down a little bit. But time will tell whether, when they get back home, if the presidents are going to have their -- their staffs do what they said that they were going to do in Bali.

VAUSE: Yes, I guess that's the big question, how this all plays out. Because it's not just one meeting that matters. It's everything that comes after.

Senator and Ambassador Max Baucus, thank you, sir, for being with us.

BAUCUS: Yes. Thank you. VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN, aww, the timing wasn't great. With Amazon planning to lay off thousands of workers, the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, says he has so much money he couldn't possibly spend it all.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: When you go and look at your net worth, it's too much money to even spend in a lifetime. Do you plan to give away the majority of your wealth?




VAUSE: An update now on Jay Leno. The former host of "The Tonight Show" is in a stable condition in hospital, suffering burns on his face and hands.

Hospital spokesperson says 72-year-old Leno was burned during a gasoline incident in his garage. But he is now in good humor and touched by all the inquiries about his health.

Leno is an avid car collector. Reportedly, he was working on one of his vehicles when it burst into flames.

Jeff Bezos is rich, really rich, $125 billion dollar rich. So rich he couldn't spend it all. So as the company he founded plans to have massive layoffs -- that's Amazon -- he plans to give away his fortune while he can.

One of the first to receive $100 million was singer Dolly Parton for her own charitable foundation. Bezos sat down for an exclusive interview with CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas.


JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON FOUNDER: I don't know whether we're technically in a recession. I know economists argue over that. They have certain technical definitions.

What I can tell you is the economy does not look great right now. Things are slowing down. You're seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy and people are slowing down.

The probability of, say, if we're not in a recession right now, we/re likely to be in one very soon.

So my advice to people, whether they're small business owners or, you know, it's just take some risk off the table. If you were going to make a purchase, maybe slow down that purchase a little bit. Keep some dry powder on hand. And wait a bit and see how -- try to reduce some risk in your business or your life. MELAS: The nation is very divided right now on many issues. Do you

think that the American dream is something that really is still obtainable right now?

BEZOS: Well, I'm an -- I'm an optimist. I think the American dream is -- is and will be even more obtainable in the future. Look, a lot of the things that I don't like about the current environment is that I think there's a lot of division.

I think that people use conflict as a tool to achieve their own ends. I don't think it's good tool.

We see sometimes in our political sphere certain politicians criticize other politicians. They criticize their motives, their character. They call them names.

Once you've done that, it's hard to work with somebody. And that's why we've created the Courage and Civility Award. Because we want to highlight people who don't do that.

LAUREN SANCHEZ, VICE CHAIR, BEZOS EARTH FUND: And we wanted to amplify their voices. You know, because we -- the voices that are really negative seem to get amplified in this world.

MELAS: When you go and you look at your net worth, it's too much money to even spend in a lifetime. Do you plan to give away the majority of your wealth in your lifetime?

BEZOS: Yes, I do. And the hard part is figuring out how to do in a levered way. It's not easy.

You know, building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates. And I'm finding, and I think Lauren's finding the same thing, that philanthropy is very similar.

It's not easy; it's really hard. And there are a bunch of ways that you -- I think that you can do, and effective things, too. So we're building the capacity to be able to give away this money.


VAUSE: More of that exclusive interview with Jeff Bezos in our next hour, including his take on the future of space travel.

In the meantime, thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Back at the top of the hour with more CNN NEWSROOM. In the meantime, WORLD SPORT is up next, after a short break.