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Zelensky Thanks Allies for Defending Ukraine's Freedom; New Immigration Records Refute Santos' Claim; Biden Survey's Storm-Damaged Areas of California; Legendary Singer and Songwriter Dead at Age 81. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired January 20, 2023 - 04:30   ET



VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Armored vehicles and tanks which we are negotiating about with you, and which actually will make a victory.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first time I am addressing you in such format and I am addressing you not as ministers of military warehouses but as ministers of defense, defense of everything that makes our world free, civilized. And I am addressing you, those who could form the balance of freedom and who remember the world your parents dreamed of for you.

And I am addressing you, those who themselves dream of a certain world for their children. It is a time now to protect those dreams. This is the future. I'm sure you do not want to allow such a world order where hatred will grow. Your parents would not want that kind of world for you. You would not want such a world for your children.

This is exactly such a world order that Russia seeks for all of us, not only for Ukraine but for the whole world. Russia wants the power to destroy nations and they talk openly about it in Moscow. Yes, Russia wants to destroy the law and universal human values. And the Russian troops by their actions, on the territory of Ukraine are fighting just for this in order to teach the world to hate.

Russia is concentrating its forces, the last forces trying to convince everyone that hatred can be stronger than the war, that is why you and I have to speak up. We have to do it. We must act as fast as a father or mother who saves their child and a son or daughter who sees their parents' need immediate help.

It is about what kind of world people will live in, people who dream, love and hope in order that their freedom will be protected for Ukraine, for all of the world, for peace in every coalitions country. It is about people who believe that evil and hatred will always lose. The Kremlin must lose.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are strong people of powerful countries, and I know your bravery and I appreciate everything you have done and are doing now. I encourage you to make such decisions and deprive Russian people of any power. You can start this policy today. It is your power to make at Ramstein and not bargain particular number of tanks but to open that principle supply that will (INAUDIBLE). And will come at your next gatherings, will go down in history as Ramstein (INAUDIBLE) F-16 and long-range missiles. It is in your power to guarantee such artillery and anti-aircraft tank with crush terror. It is in your power to make the decision (INAUDIBLE) -- just like our heroes on the front line. Glory to all our soldiers, soldiers and sailors, sergeants and officers and generals and thank each and every one of you who defends freedom.


I hope you know that we will continue to stand up for Ukraine's right to defend itself. We'll continue to stand up for the principle that borders may not be redrawn by force. And we will continue to stand up for an open world of rules, rights, and responsibilities.

Again, thank you for being here today.

Now, as always, we're going to pause for a minute while our friends in the media depart.

Thank you.


FOSTER: The U.S. defense secretary hosting that meeting at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany there outlining what the U.S. is committing and talking about how they can commit more broadly across the group there. He discusses a crucial moment. Russia's regrouping. It's not a moment to slow down in any way but to dig deeper and that the world was watching this, particularly Ukraine, Russia, actually history watching this moment. So, a real sense of gravity and then bringing in President Zelenskyy from Ukraine who made some very generic points but really setting the scene, don't you think, Nada? He was setting the tone for the meeting.

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. I mean, he expressed his gratitude for the support of it so far to Ukraine from the United States and other NATO and European allies. But he was very clear, Ukraine needs more in order to gain victory over Russia. Very clear that Ukraine need tanks, those are the essential -- essentially pointing to --

FOSTER: This is a ground war in terms of pushing back the Russians.

BASHIR: Exactly. And you know, Lloyd Austin was very clear that there has been stepping up of those air defense systems for more international support in Ukraine. The focus now is on those ground defenses, particularly for President Zelenskyy. And that will be the focus of today's meeting and the discussions set to take place now.

Of course, a lot of international pressure growing on Germany to allow for the transfer of those Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. And also of course because they control the export licenses. If Germany's not willing to transfer its own tanks, to allow other third party countries transfers, namely Poland. We've heard from the Poland Prime Minister who suggested that Poland may well go ahead with the transfer regardless of Germany's position. They said that, you know, they will wait for Germany to give the OK, but if not, Poland will do the right thing. Those were the words of the Prime Minister. So clearly, there is mounting pressure on Germany.

We've heard from the U.S. Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, saying that he is working with his German counterpart. And we've also heard from the Dutch Prime Minister who said, you know, these talks are ongoing. They are waiting for more concerted coalition agreement with regards to the transfer of tanks. But he said to CNN on Wednesday that he is fairly confident that there will be some sort of positive conclusion to these discussions.

FOSTER: What's the issue in Germany? Of course, we understand the issue that Germany traditionally doesn't get involved or send equipment to foreign conflicts because of the history there, but they have committed a Patriot missile system, which is the most defensive sort of system you could sort of come up with. But they're hesitant be about the tanks. Just explain the difference.

BASHIR: Well, they are very much focused on supporting Ukraine when it comes to the defensive but --

FOSTER: But not the offensive.

BASHIR: -- the offensive, exactly. And that is what Ukraine is focused on with regard to the stepping up of a new offensive by Russia potentially in the spring. They're calling for more support to enable the Ukrainian armed forces to be able to go on the offensive, to gain a victory over the Russian armed forces.

But of course, there is concern also within NATO over perhaps crossing a certain red line might lead to provocation. And that is the concern. That is the balance they're trying to strike now. Because of course, while they are supporting Ukraine on the defensive front, there is concern that if they do cross a line that might be seen as a provocation by the Kremlin and that could in turn escalate the conflict in the way that NATO doesn't want it to be. And of course, NATO is concerned about this turning into a conflict between NATO and Russia because of Ukraine.

FOSTER: Nada, thank you. That meeting fully underway there in Germany. We'll bring you updates as we receive them from our teams on the ground. Thank you.



FOSTER: New immigration records that CNN has obtained appear to contradict claims by New York Congressman George Santos. This time it's about claims Santos made his mother -- said that his mother was at the World Trade Center during the September 11th terrorist attack. Here's Eva McKend with the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER (voice over): Embattled New York Republican George Santos has long claimed his mother was present at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): She was in the South Tower, and she made it out. She got caught in the ash. My mom fought cancer until her death.

MCKEND (voice-over): But newly uncovered immigration records obtained by CNN appear to contradict his repeated claim. The records indicate Santos' mother, Fatima Devolder, said she was in Brazil between 1999 and 2003 and not in New York City during the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Santos has refused calls to step down from Congress even as he faces mounting legal issues and a steady stream of revelations that contradict claims he's made about his personal background. Santos is also facing accusations he promised to raise funds for lifesaving surgery for a veterans dog only to take off with the money.

RICHARD OSTHOFF, U.S. NAVY VETERAN: I was even gullible enough to give him my bank account routing number and my bank account number because he said he was going to directly put that money for the trip right into my account and it never happened.

MCKEND (voice-over): Richard Osthoff says he was connected with Santos in 2016 who he and another veterans say setup a GoFundMe for Osthoff's dog Sapphire to raise money for treatment for the dog's tumor. But Osthoff says when he trying to access the funds, some $3,000, Santos became uncooperative.

DOM LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: George Santos refuted the claim. This is what he told me, OK. He says: I have no clue what he is talking about and the crazy part is that anyone that knows me knows that I'd go to hell and back for a dog and especially a veteran.

OSTHOFF: Well, then go to hell. He said he'd go to hell and back, well, then go to hell, George.

And nobody should have to go through that. I almost killed myself when that dog died. That's why I'm here. I don't want him to be able to do this again.

MCKEND (voice-over): Eva McKend, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: Taking a look now at two storms that will impact parts of the U.S. this weekend. The first system that's in the Midwest will bring snow and ice to parts of the Northeast with significant snow expected across New England. As much as 12 inches of snow could fall in Maine and New Hampshire.

The second storm will continue in the West spreading more widespread snow and hopefully help the region that's been long plagued by drought. We'll have more from our CNN World Weather Center in the next hour. Now for the first time since April 2020 the U.S. state of California

has no longer classified as being in extreme drought by the U.S. drought Monitor, this after several weeks of brutal storms ravaged the state causing widespread flooding and leaving at least 20 people dead. On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden surveyed the damage and reaffirmed the federal government's commitment to supporting California as it recovers and rebuilds. CNN's Veronica Miracle has more on the story.



VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden spent the day touring storm ravaged Santa Cruz County including spending the better part of an hour here in Capitola where a pier has essentially been ripped in half and local businesses that rely heavily on tourism have been greatly impacted by the recent storms.

Of course, those nine atmospheric rivers over the last few two weeks have battered the state but the central coast was hit especially hard. And President Biden wanted to come here, he said, to see the damage himself and also to assess what more the federal government can do to help the state of California.

Now this comes after last night the president and the federal government authorized additional disaster assistance to the state. And that's on top of an expedited major disaster declaration that happened on Saturday.

Right now, there are more than 500 FEMA personnel on the ground assessing damage all over the state of California. But there are still parts of the state where those personnel have not been able to access because of the damage still hasn't been cleaned up.

The FEMA director and the administrator Deanne Criswell was here. And she said that they estimate about several hundred million dollars' worth of damage has already occurred, but that is a very conservative estimate. They expect that number to go up.

President Biden saying, he wanted to show his support and see what more the federal government can do to help the state of California.

Veronica Miracle, CNN, Capitola.


FOSTER: Still ahead, Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin is boosting morale at the team's training facility just days before the team's rematch against the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL playoffs. An update on his recovery progress when we return.


[04:50:00] FOSTER: Music icon David Crosby has died. Crosby was the founding

member of two legendary music groups, the Birds and Crosby, Stills and Nash, which later included Neil Young. Crosby's ballads became the sound track for generations with memorable songs like "Our House," "Down by the River," and "Sweet Judy Blue Eyes."

The group performed at the historic Woodstock Festival in 1969. It was only the second time they played together live. Crosby, Stills and Nash won the Grammy that year for best new artist. During his career, Crosby received a total of 10 Grammy nominations and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame twice. We get more now from CNN's Stephanie Elam.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Singer, songwriter, guitarist David Crosby was an American music icon. The folk rock pioneer was the founding member of two massively influential music groups, The Birds and Crosby, Stills and Nash which later became Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Throughout his life he continued to create music and was posting on social media just the day before he passed away.

His family releasing this statement to CNN that reads in part: It is with great sadness after a long illness that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soul mate Jan and son Django.

Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.

Peace, love and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly.

Crosby is also the biological father to two of musician Melissa Etheridge's children. One of whom predeceased Crosby.

She tweeted: I'm grieving the loss of my friend and Bailey's biological father, David. He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django and Jan. his music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure.

David Crosby was 81 years old. Back to you.


FOSTER: More reaction from Crosby's former band mates posting their reactions to his death.

Steven Stills writes: We are devastated to learn of David Crosby's passing and it's only the memory of such a unique and full life so well lived that must sustain us through this period of profound grief. David lived a life of deep and enduring gratitude and was an extraordinary, richly sentient being. His music will live on through us and even as he now sails to the eternal sunset.

And from Graham Nash: It's with deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby passed. I know people tend to focus on how volatile our friendship has been at times, but what has always matter to David and me more than

Musician David Crosby dead at the age of 81.

Now for actor Alec Baldwin, it's a terrible miscarriage of justice. He is this is not to blame for the 2021 shooting death on his movie set. But New Mexico's district attorney disagrees and Thursday announced Baldwin and the film's armorer are being charged with involuntary manslaughter. Baldwin has vowed to fight the charges. And an attorney for the armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed says she has, quote, committed no crime. Here's the prosecutor on her decision to bring criminal charges.


MARY CARMACK-ALTWIES, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, NEW MEXICO: I think it was the totality of the circumstances, that this was a really fast and loose set and that nobody was doing their job. There were three people that if they had done their job that day, this tragedy wouldn't have happened. And that's David Halls, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Alec Baldwin. If they had just done their basic duties, we wouldn't be standing here.


FOSTER: In the NFL the Buffalo Bills are preparing for a rematch against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. In the Bills head coach says Damar Hamlin is at the team's facility almost daily. You recall that Hamlin has been recovering after suffering cardiac arrest in the field in the Bills regular season game against the Bengals. Now Hamlin's teammates say his return has been a welcome presence like a positive energy bubble floating around the facility. One of Hamlin's long-time friends and business partners tells ESPN that Hamlin still has a lengthy recovery, still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly.


Spectators at the Australian Open were on edge -- on the edge of their seats really until the early hours on Friday morning as an epic classic didn't finish until 4 a.m. Former world number one Andy Murray who underwent multiple, potentially career hip surgeries back in 2018 and 2019, found himself down 2 sets to 1 against the Aussie Kokkinakis in the second round. Now Murray fought back to take the match to a deciding fifth set. The match ran to 5 hours and 45 minutes before the 35-year-old and stopped and completed the win.


ANDY MURRAY, TENNIS PLAYER: Unbelievable that I managed to turn that around. Kokkinakis was playing -- I mean, serving unbelievable and form ran huge. I don't know how I managed to get through -- I did start playing better as the match went on and, and yes, I have a big heart.


FOSTER: Epic. Now long-time soccer rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi faced off in an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia. The match was Reinaldo's Saudi debut after signing a reported $200 million contract with the Al-Nassr football club. Messi and Paris Saint-Germain ultimately won the friendly 5-4. After the match Messi shared a video on his Instagram of the two rivals hugging.

And before we go, Peeps is rolling out a new flavor of their popular marshmallow treats. Dr. Pepper Peeps will be in time for Easter. What they'll taste like is anyone's guess though, maybe cherry, maybe licorice. Peeps calls them delicious, one of a kind chicks that combined sweet marshmallow and those unique refreshing flavors of Dr. Pepper. They'll be available exclusively at Walmart if you're after them.

Thanks for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. "EARLY START" with Christine Romans next here on CNN.