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CNN International: Biden, McCarthy Race to Sell Tentative Agreement to Lawmakers; Erdogan Wins Unprecedented Third Term in Sunday's Vote; Ukraine: 67 Russian Air Targets Destroyed Overnight; Bus Driver and Passenger Injured in a Charlotte Bus Shooting. Aired 4- 4:30a ET

Aired May 29, 2023 - 04:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Bianca Nobilo live from London. Max Foster has the day off. Just ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've got good news. We've reached a bipartisan budget agreement. Now we're ready to move to the full Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a good strong bill that a majority of Republicans will vote for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had incident that is happen over and over and over again that heightens their sense of severe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Erdogan not unreasonably steps down from a position of strength. He doesn't have to worry for the time being.


ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.

NOBILO: It is Monday, May 29th, 9:00 a.m. here in London, 4:00 a.m. in Washington. Why U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are racing to sell their debt ceiling deal to Congress. The tentative agreement would raise the debt limit for two years and avoid the possibility of a catastrophic default. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing their concerns. Here's how the president and Speaker defended their plan.


BIDEN: They said they'd only do it on the condition that it have all these cuts in it. I said I'm not going to do that, you pass the debt ceiling, period. I'll negotiate with you on the cuts. What you say, what's going to happen. What the budget's going to look like. That's what we are negotiating in order to get to them, deciding that they're going to go along with the new debt ceiling. Meaning that it's not attached to something totally different attached -- was attached before. Especially wanting to try to make it look like I made some compromise in the debt ceiling and I didn't. I made a compromise on the budget.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: No one thought at any given day that we would be where we are today. The president said he wouldn't negotiate with us for 97 days. He wouldn't allow us to talk after we passed the bill, we were able to get in. But it wasn't in the final two weeks that we were really be able to sit down and communicate with one another.

At the end of the day, people can look together to be able to pass this in the House and Senate together, to sign it and send to the president.


NOBILO: McCarthy has released the text of the 99-page bill which includes increasing spending on the defense and veterans' issues, reducing new IRS funding and imposing new work requirements on food assistance programs. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has more from the White House.


PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden announced on Sunday that the White House and House Republicans have finalized an agreement on the debt ceiling in hopes of averting a debt default later in June.

Now, President Biden said that this was good news and heralded McCarthy for negotiating in good faith. And he also spelled out the consequences should there be a default, the catastrophic causes that would impose on an economy. President Biden also acknowledging that in an attempt to avert that and send this over to Congress, not everyone got what they want. So, this will be important in the coming day as both members of the Congress and both parties review the legislative text.

But President Biden was also having to answer to questions about whether he should have negotiated sooner. The position from the White House since early this year has been since they would not negotiate on the dealing ceiling. But President Biden saying that he was not doing that rather, but rather negotiating on spending cuts. And so, that is part of the spin that both the White House and Republicans will be giving in the coming days as they try to get both parties on board with this in a very short amount of time.

It wasn't only reaching the agreement but also now, looking at the legislative text, getting a House vote on the floor, as well as the Senate.

Now President Biden when he spoke to reporters earlier on Sunday says that he was confident that this was going to reach his desk at the time so that there wouldn't -- there was no sticking point after a long 48 hours. But still, a long road ahead. Ahead of that June 5th date, where the U.S. Treasury will round out of fund.


Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, the White House.


NOBILO: They're still months away from start of the 2024 U.S. presidential primary season, but the field of Republican candidates may soon have another contender. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu telling CNN he could unveil plans for a presidential bid within a week. The governor, currently in his fourth term, says there are still factors he's considering before making a final decision. But he says he would like to steer his party away from the chaos of former President Donald Trump.


CHRIS SUNUNU (R) NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: I think we shouldn't talk about you the culture war stuff. Don't get me wrong, but I don't think government is going to solve a culture war. But you've got to be sure you lead on it and you can talk about it but if your top priority is culture wars and not managing spending, creating more opportunities at a localized level.

Draining the swamp -- which I was told that was going to happen, never happened a bit. You know, former President Trump blew that. Securing the border -- former President Trump blew that one. Fiscal discipline -- former president Trump blew that one too. So, I just think there's a lot of things within the mantle of the Republican party that we've kind of lost focus on. I just want what's best for the party. It doesn't have to be the Chris Sununu show all time. It's just what's best. So, that's just what I'm narrowing down. Now the money has been lined up. The supports been lined up. There's a pathway to win. All of those boxes are checked. The family's on board which is always a big one. I just got to make sure it's right for the party and right for me.


NOBILO: President Biden and other world leaders are congratulating Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his reelection to an unprecedented third time as president after a highly contested runoff vote. Erdogan now enters his third decade as the leader of Turkey. With almost all votes counted, the results counted the results show Erdogan won just over 52 percent of Sunday's vote, defeating opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu who received almost 48 percent. Kilicdaroglu told supporters he would continue fighting for what he called real democracy in Turkey. Erdogan called for unity in his victory speech.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): We are not the only winners, the winner is Turkey. The winner is all parts of our society. Our democracy is the winner.


NOBILO: Supporters chanting Erdogan's name. Thousands took to the streets in Ankara and Istanbul waiving banners and flags, honking car horns and setting off flares and fireworks. One supporter said of Erdogan, I hope he lives forever.

CNN's Scott McLean joins me to discuss. Scott, a third decade in power for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, what will the continuation of his leadership do for Turks but also Turkish relations in the wider world?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends on who you ask. This was obviously a very contentious election. Something that an advisor to Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the opposition leader, said took polarization to an extreme level. It was also the first time in Turkish history that they've gone to a runoff. Because obviously the first round was so, so close. And Erdogan was not able to get half of the electorate to vote for him on the first poll.

In terms of issues, I mean, there was tons of them. They were front and center really divisive issues. Things on Syrian refugees. Obviously, the government's response to the earthquakes. But perhaps one of the biggest one that affected Turks directly was on inflation. It's something that hit 85 percent in the past year. Some say that it was even higher than that. And the government's response to it has been extremely unconventional. To actually lower interest rates, rather than raise them, which is what's happened in much of the rest of the Western world.

And so, given all of the issues here, it's actually a wonder that Erdogan did as well as he did. But being the incumbent comes with a lot of built-in advantages. Case in point, state TV in Turkey in the month of April gave Erdogan 32 hours of coverage, gave Kemal Kilicdaroglu just 32 minutes of coverage. And that's why you had Kilicdaroglu saying there were, quote, all sorts of black propaganda and slander. He also in his speech after the results came, he vowed to continue to fight for what he called, quote-unquote, real democracy. And he also said the results, despite a loss, do send a message. Listen.


KEMAL KILICDAROGLU, TURKISH OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): In this election, the will of the people to change an authoritarian government became clear despite all of the pressures. We have been going through one of the most unfair political times of our country. And all of the facilities and all of the resources have been systematically abused by the government.


MCLEAN: Now for his part, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the incumbent president, he recommitted himself to dealing with the refugee issue. Again, promising to send back 1 million Syrian refugees voluntarily. He says -- he also said that he would continue the process of rebuilding after the earthquake and he said that he would try to bring down inflation. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


ERDOGAN (through translator): Solving the problems caused by the price increases as a result of inflation and compensating for welfare losses is the most urgent issue of the process ahead. It is not difficult for to us find a solution to these issues.


MCLEAN: Now, while part of the speech also focused on putting the election behind the country and really focusing on national unity, he also took a bit of a swipe at his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Pointing out that the number of seats his party holes in parliament has decreased since 2018. He has another five-year mandate now. That means that he will have plenty more confidence not only at home but on the international stage. Where as know, Turkey has become much more of a regional power player. And much more of a country that's been able to leverage its position as sort of straddling the Western world in the Eastern world. And you know, on one hand it's a NATO ally, on the other hand it has good relations with Russia. And so, a lot of focus rightly so has been on this election and will be on what Erdogan does with his new term in power.

NOBILO: Scott McLean, thank you so much.

Search and rescue efforts are under way after a six-story apartment building partially collapsed in Iowa. Officials say at least seven people were rescued Sunday and over a dozen others were able to get out on their own. No word on how many people are unaccounted for or how the building may have collapsed. The city says the owners had permits to do repairs on the exterior wall.

Authorities in Brooklyn, New York, are investigating what led to a multivehicle crash which included a bus from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. At least 14 people were hospitalized on Sunday. One of them is critically injured. We'll bring you more details on the story as they become available.

Just ahead, the Ukrainian capital and Georgian onslaught of drone and missile attacks from Russia. We'll have details in a live report.

Plus, a routine trip on a city bus turned into a violent shoot-out. We have new video showing the incident between the driver and a passenger that left both men injured. And this --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're being told it was over somebody taking a picture with a different game. It's somebody as stupid as that.


NOBILO: New Mexico authorities explain what they believe led to a deadly shooting at a biker rally. The latest on that story and many more coming up after the break.



NOBILO: Thunderstorms and soggy conditions could dampen the Memorial Day holiday in parts of the U.S. today. Cool and dreary weather is expected for some areas from the mid-Atlantic to the eastern Ohio River Valley. And isolated severe storms could bring damaging winds, large hail and possible tornados from South Dakota to southwest Texas. Some good news for travelers, though, as there have been very few flight delays and cancellations this holiday weekend. And I hope I didn't just jinx it.

Many Americans place flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington National Cemetery over the Memorial Day weekend. And in the coming hour, U.S. President Joe Biden will lay a wreath there. He'll be joined by first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff. Mr. Biden will deliver his Memorial Day address minutes later from the cemetery.

Ukraine's military says it's destroyed almost 70 aerial targets launched by Russia in its latest onslaught overnight. That includes more than three dozen cruise missiles, as well as Iranian-made drones and a reconnaissance drone. A police official in Kyiv says residential building and infrastructure in several districts were damaged but no one was killed or injured. This comes just a day after Ukraine said Russia had launched one of the largest drone attacks to date against Kyiv.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is here for more on this. So, there is a huge focus on drone strikes on the capital. Obviously, Russia trying to make gains in the east. What is the strategy here to focus so much fire power on Kyiv?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, overnight this massive barrage yet again. Something like 67 air targets according to Ukrainian officials taking out many of those -- as you mentioned -- drones and missiles. The targets, Ukrainian officials say, were military infrastructure and civilian infrastructure. In this comes just a day after on Sunday, Ukraine says it witnessed the largest assault by drones since the conflict began. Nearly 60 drones, most of those, the overwhelming number of those, shattered Iranian-made drones being fired across Ukraine. Most of those drones, all but one of those drones, according to Ukrainian officials was taken out.

So, what do we take from this? Yes, as you mentioned, it seems that there is an uptick here in Russian assaults far from those frontlines on other areas, civilian areas across Ukraine. And yes, this terrifies the citizens, the civilians of Ukraine. But it also forces Ukraine to use up valuable munitions.

One of those Shahed drones -- they're very cheaply made -- one of those Shahed drone's costs about 20 times less than the missiles required to take out the drones. You can see there that Russia is forcing Ukraine to use these valuable resources at a time that it really needs them on the front line. But for Ukrainian officials, the lesson here is air defenses are working. The weapons that NATO has supplied, that is saving lives.

NOBILO: And just briefly on the wider geostrategic picture here, we've been hearing some very alarming remarks from the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and his ever-closer union with Russia when it comes to nuclear and military assets.

ABDELAZIZ: Yes, some chilling comments from Lukashenko. Of course, Belarus has essentially been used as a satellite state throughout this conflict. Over the course of the last several days, about a week, Russia has began -- begun rather -- transferring tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Of course, Ukraine and its allies, the United States, NATO see that as a violation of international law.

But Lukashenko making these comments to state media just the other day saying that nuclear weapons would be available to anyone who joins the Russia/Belarus alliance.


I actually want to read you the comment because it is so alarming. It's very simple.

Join the United States -- united union state of Belarus and Russia. That's all. There will be nuclear weapons for everyone.

And you can see how that begins to worry international actors.

NOBILO: I suppose he's talking about post-soviet states like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, et cetera. Salma Abdelaziz thank you so much.

New video out of North Carolina shows a violent shoot-out between a bus driver and a passenger while the bus was moving. Both men were injured and now CNN has learned the driver has lost his job. CNN Isabel Rosales more on what happened.


ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And before seeing this video, I want to set the stage a little bit.

According to the interim CEO of CATS, the Charlotte Area Transit System, this argument lasted for about two minutes before any shots were fired between the driver and a passenger. The argument concerning the passenger wanting to be let off of the bus. The driver refusing to do that. Saying that it needed to be the next authorized stop within the route. That is when the passenger -- you can see in the video -- and according to the interim CEO, pulled out a gun. That driver -- that passenger being Omari Tobias.

The driver of the bus, seeing that gun -- his name is David Fullard -- pulled out his own gun, and then a shootout occurred.

Before showing you this part, we do want to warn you, the video is graphic. (VIDEO OF SHOOTING, GUN SHOTS)

ROSALES: And you can see Fullard stopping the bus and then he starts to approach down the hallway. There were two bystanders inside of the bus that were unharmed. They're trying to exit as well. One moving to the rear of the bus. And then the suspect crawling on the floor of the bus. The driver Fullard firing another couple of rounds and then continuing to follow the suspect, once he's able to exit the bus. Both of them were shot. The driver shot in the arm. The suspect shot in the abdomen and sent to the hospital in stable condition. Here's what the CEO -- interim CEO of CATS had to say about this incident.

BRENT CAGLE, INTERIM CEO, CHARLOTTE AREA TRANSIT SYSTEM: I understand everyone's need to protect themselves. I also believe that this incident may have been avoided.

ROSALES: And the passenger there, Tobias, faces several charges. Police have not indicated whether the driver will also be facing charges. According to the interim CEO of CATS, the driver did not follow de-escalation protocols. Saying that it would have been reasonable for him to stop the bus and allow the passenger off in this situation. The bus driver was hired by a third-party contractor. And they're not allowed for policy to have any weapons. That driver was terminated.

Now our CNN affiliate, WSOC spoke with the driver's attorney, who says he's been working on the bus for 19 years, working on that city bus. And that him having a weapon is an indicator of how these drivers feel about their safety. Listen.

KEN HARRIS, BUS DRIVERS ATTORNEY: Anyone in the workplace who is consistently confronted with dangerous scenarios could reasonably be expected to find a way to protect themselves so they can get home safely.

ROSALES: And the CATS interim CEO says that there's three ways for these drivers to try to get some help if something goes wrong, including a radio to contact other employees and two silent alarms. Adding that driver did not trigger any of those systems.

Isabel Rosales, CNN, Atlanta.


NOBILO: Well, authorities in New Mexico have charged the man with an open count of murder after gun fire at a motorcycle rally left three people dead and another five injured. The man who is charged, Jacob David Castillo, is currently in the hospital since he was among the injured too. Rally goers sounded off about the incident and described what they saw.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives everything a bad name. Because the majority of us, we're out here to have fun, ride and be in the wind, stay sane. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 150 people all took off running that way. There was

people on their bikes blowing the stop sign, trying to get away.


NOBILO: It all happened at the Red River Memorial Day motorcycle rally which draws nearly 30,000 bikers annually. The event will continue through the holiday with heightened security. The state police chief had harsh words for the perpetrators.


CHIEF TIM JOHNSON, NEW MEXICO STATE POLICE: These gang bangers who are lawless, and what they are, gang bangers, you know, choose to have a three-day sleepover in New Mexico and not follow any of our laws and bully people around here. And that's not going to be tolerated for the rest of this weekend or any Memorial Days moving forward.



NOBILO: Still to come, a stunning move in the Texas House as lawmakers impeach the Republican Attorney General. We'll have his reaction and what comes next.

Plus, going green, but not in a good way. Investigators in Venice are trying to figure out why the famous Grand Canal is changing color.


NOBILO: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo. And if you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top stories at this hour.

With 99 percent of the vote counted in Turkey's runoff election, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will now extend his rule into a third decade. Erdogan beat the opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu with 52 percent of the vote.

And U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are trying to sell their newly reached debt limit deal to lawmakers ahead of crucial votes this week. But not everyone is expected to support it.

U.S. House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries is stopping short of predicting how many fellow Democrats will get behind the deal. But he's voicing confidence that the nation will avoid a default.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, I do expect that there will be Democratic support. Once we have the ability to actually be fully briefed by the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. JEFFRIES: But I'm not going to predict what those numbers will

ultimately look like. We have to go through a process consistent with respecting every single member of the House of Representatives and their ability to fully understand the resolution that has been reached.


NOBILO: But that agreement reached with the House Speaker has summoned President Biden's own party expressing their concerns, among them House progressives.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): We don't have a deal yet. We're not sure how many Republican votes can be produced. And it all because Republicans said they that they wanted to cut the deficit. And let's be clear that what they got from this was not that. They may have gotten other things. I'm not happy with some of the things I'm hearing about but they are not helping the deficit and they are not cutting spending.

I think that, you know, you've got to ask yourself, what was all the drama for? Because they didn't get what they said they wanted. We knew that was never actually what was on the table.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do they still have to worry about the progressive caucus and whether or not your caucus will support it?


Tapper: Yes, they do. OK, Congresswoman Jayapal, thank you so much.

JAYAPAL: Yes, they'll have to worry.