Return to Transcripts main page
CNN This Morning
U.S. Believes Ukraine Fired Missile that Landed in NATO Nation; NASA Launches Artemis I Moon Rocket; Trump Announces Bid for the Presidency. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired November 16, 2022 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four-stage engine start. Three, two, one. Boosters and ignition. And liftoff of Artemis I. We rise together, back to the moon and beyond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, there you go. While you were sleeping, the Artemis moon mission taking flight in a launch that will pave the way for NASA's next era of space exploration.
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us. It is Wednesday, November 16th. And we're going to go live to the Kennedy Space Center. We're going to do that in just a moment.
We also have some news breaking right now. We're now learning who was likely behind the missile that landed in the NATO nation of Poland.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Also this. Former President Trump announcing he is running for office again, running for president again amid criminal multiple investigations, disappointing midterm results for Republicans, and after he incited a deadly insurrection.
And the family member who's staying off the campaign trail.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And it is official. Mitch McConnell has a challenger for his job as the top GOP leader in the Senate. We'll tell you what's behind Republican Senator Rick Scott's move and how McConnell is responding.
Well, we begin this morning with the breaking news. We are now learning it was not Russia that fired a missile into Poland that killed two people overnight. Obviously, Russia -- Poland is a member of the military alliance known as NATO.
But instead, initial U.S. assessments are that it likely came from Ukrainian forces.
This development comes as NATO ambassadors are holding an emergency meeting this morning to discuss the deadly explosion. Kevin Liptak -- CNN's Kevin Liptak is live for CNN this morning in Bali, Indonesia, where the president just left a few hours ago.
Kevin, what's your reporting this morning?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, two officials who are familiar with the initial U.S. assessment say -- this assessment says that the missile did not originate in Russia but that it originated in Ukraine.
And we do know that Ukraine uses Russian-made missiles in its air defense systems. And it does seem as if this is what President Biden was alluding to when he emerged after crisis talks here at the G20 and said that it was unlikely that this missile originated in Russia.
Of course, he wanted to say that -- he wanted to be definitive. He wants to look at all of the intelligence first before he can come out and say with any certainty where this missile originated.
And I think that's because of the implications that are at stake here. Poland, of course, is a member of NATO. You have Article V, which is the common defense treaty. An attack against one is an attack against all.
And certainly, President Biden and other Western leaders want to be absolutely sure that they know where this missile originated before they come out and say so definitively.
Now, we do know that this assessment was a topic of discussion among the leaders when President Biden convened them at his hotel here in Bali, members of the G7, some members of NATO states.
We also understand that it will be discussed in Brussels today as NATO members begin talking about a way forward, talking about this analysis.
Now, what a National Security Council spokesperson said is that the U.S. will support Poland's ongoing investigation. And this is still being investigated. They're sort of bringing out the pieces of the missile, putting it back together, trying to figure out where it came from.
And we also heard from an adviser to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who did not deny reports that this missile originated in Ukraine but essentially said that any casualties in this war are the responsibility of Russia, because it began this conflict -- Kaitlan.
COLLINS: Great reporting. Kevin Liptak, thank you.
HARLOW: All right. Now, let's bring in our colleague, Matthew Chance. He is live for CNN this morning in the Polish village of Przewodow, where the blast happened.
Matthew, I wonder this morning, have you heard from Polish officials since we have learned that news that this missile likely originated in Ukraine? MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not this
morning, so far, though we are expecting a statement over the next few minutes after the president and the prime minister of the country formulate what their latest position is.
Of course, there's been high-level meetings taking place in the country. As you can see behind me, these are Polish military vehicles heading to the scene of the explosion of that missile, where those two people were killed, Polish citizens, of course, on Polish territory.
Because there's an ongoing investigation under way on the ground, which is likely to include experts from the United States, as well, though it's not clear whether they've actually arrived yet. They may have. The police tell me that there's lots of people on the scene, which is a few hundred yards away from where we're allowed to go. The road's been blocked off.
But it is, as Kevin was saying in his last report, it is so crucial for the Poles, he NATO alliance to get to the bottom of who actually fired this missile.
Because if it was the Russians and the Russians categorically deny it, that's one course of action that's potential and potentially a very serious one, given, you know, Article V of the NATO treaty, which means an attack on one alliance member is an attack on all of them.
And if it's the Ukrainians, as is possible, that's a very different set of consequences. I think you have to remember the context in which this missile strike or this explosion actually took place.
It was at a time when there were nearly 100 cruise missiles being fired at various targets inside Ukraine by the Russians and the Ukraines -- Ukrainians desperately trying to intercept them with their Russian-made interceptors.
So you can easily see how it could have been the Russians or the Ukrainians --
HARLOW: Yes, yes.
CHANCE: -- that are responsible for this.
HARLOW: You certainly can. Matthew Chance, thank you so much to you and your team there in that village -- Don.
LEMON: So let's get some analysis on all of this. I want to bring in now retired U.S. Army Major Mike Lyons.
Good morning to you. Thank you so much for joining. Was -- very simple question: Was it a mistake?
MAJ. GEN. MIKE LYONS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Yes, it looks like it's a terrible mistake because of the Ukraine air defense platform. So they're deployed in depth across Ukraine in such a way to protect
the major cities and the infrastructure. And what happened is, for the past 24 hours., Russia has been firing hundreds of missiles in here.
And as one gets close to leave here, for example one of these air defense systems is a chaser; hits it from behind, likely gets it close to the border and then pushes that debris right over the border. It's only 4 kilometers, the target makes no sense from Russia's perspective.
Again, you look at what happened on the ground, it looks like it was remnants from air defense systems.
LEMON: Yes. Having been there in Lviv, I mean, this is pretty close to the Polish border. It's the way that most people come into the country now. Because usually, they would go in through -- possibly go in through Russia.
But now, this is really far West for this to happen. Rockets are going this far into Ukraine now?
LYONS: Yes, and a lot has to do with the fact that --
LEMON: Russian rockets.
LYONS: Yes. Russian troops have deployed in this area here to save them from a tactical perspective. So strategically now, you're going to see long-range bombing, long-range missile attacks into the West, knowing that's where the supply lines are, infrastructure is.
Ukraine is looking to have a very tough winter. Russia is going to try to turn the lights on -- turn the lights out in Ukraine and give them as much hardships as they can. Really terrorist type of attacks here.
LEMON: So then, the next question is, now what? Now what happens? Because Russia will obviously use this for propaganda?
LYONS: Right. So NATO looks like they're going to have an Article IV, which will have a meeting to discuss it. Not Article V. Article V would be an escalation. Don't want to do that.
I think NATO has got to come up with a better political solution here. Possibly give Ukraine more weapons, knowing full well that they're going to need help in this winter time, as Russia has dug in at this point.
Maybe longer-range attack missiles themselves. The problem is, we haven't given them in the past because we don't want those missiles to be fired inside of Russia. We don't want to give them that kind of capacity.
LEMON: So Article IV is basically to meet and discuss. Article V is actually when there is some action taken.
LYONS: In Article V, right. The NATO members would decide what to do.
It still doesn't trigger war. It doesn't necessarily mean it's, not an automatic World War III. It means some countries would respond.
So Article V has been triggered only once: September 12, 2001, the day after 9/11, when the countries got together and decided. And what they did was they put an air force squadron together, in order to respond. That was it.
LEMON: So as we look at -- this is the information, what Article IV is and what happens. But again, that is -- there's no official calling for Article IX. They're just looking into the possibility, and that's just a meeting to discuss.
LYONS: Rights. Article IV is a meeting. And there will be political pressure on Poland not to go Article V.
VAUSE: So what happens to Zelenskyy now? How does -- what does -- how is he going to respond to this?
LYONS: Well, I mean, he's going to continue to have strong rhetoric with regard to this war. He wants more support from the West that keeps coming.
And Western countries have got to, again, decide. Maybe this meeting will determine, within Article IV, will determine that he will gets more support.
He still needs to figure out a way how he's going to get through the winter. That's the help he needs right now.
LEMON: I was going to say, even though it was, you know -- it was a sad consequence of the war and, therefore, we still need your help with this.
LYONS: Yes, absolutely. Better air-defense platforms. In some ways, when you saw the damage on the ground, they were the older Russian- made air defense systems.
LEMON: Major Mike Lyons, thank you very much. I appreciate your perspective -- Kaitlan.
COLLINS: All right. Now to space and a giant leap for NASA. Artemis I is now headed to the moon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four-stage engine start. Three, two, one. Boosters and ignition. And liftoff of Artemis I. We rise together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The historic mission launching overnight in Florida, finally overcoming several scrubbed launches, a few hurricanes and some drama that had plagued the first few attempts of sending the rocket into orbit.
CNN's Kristin Fisher is live at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for CNN this morning. Kristin, it's remarkable this happened, I'm sure there's a lot of relief over there.
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: It really is, Kaitlan. And it did not disappoint.
For those of us standing here, this rocket was so powerful that it literally turned a pitch-black night sky into daylight in a matter of seconds. From horizon to horizon, it was like an accelerated sunrise, accompanied by a huge shock wave that shook the ground.
An absolutely flawless launch for this rocket that has been plagued on the launch pad by hurricanes, technical delays, and two nail biters tonight.
Kaitlan, first, there was another hydrogen leak. This time they were able to fix it at the launch pad. But to do it, it required calling in what's known as the red crew. Think of them as like a bomb squad. And a rocket that's fully fueled is basically just one big bomb.
And so this team, this highly-specialized team, had to go out to the launch pad and literally turn some nuts and bolts. And they were able to stop that leak. They were really the heroes tonight.
And then, just shortly before this rocket was supposed to take off, another problem. There was a problem with the ethernet connecter associated with the radar with the U.S. Space Force. They were able to fix it just in time.
But just imagine if a mission as complicated as this had to be scrubbed due to an ethernet connecter.
LEMON: We've all been there, but not anything that's this -- this important.
Hey, I've got to ask you, Kristin. This is an un-crewed test mission. So the ultimate goal?
FISHER: The ultimate goal is with Artemis III. This is Artemis I. Artemis III is to land the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the moon, hopefully by 2025.
As you mentioned, this one, this is an un-crewed mission. but if this is fully a success, that's going to pave the way for Artemis II in 2024.
And so the next time this rocket flies, guys, we should see four astronauts on board.
LEMON: Kristin Fisher, we're a bit jealous of your assignment this morning, but we appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much.
HARLOW: Thank you, Kristin.
HARLOW: All right.
Well, this. He tried to overturn a free and fair election. He helped incite the insurrection on January 6th. But now Donald Trump says he is running for the White House again.
The former president made it official last night in a speech at Mar-a- Lago. Also, a speech that was full of false claims about his years in office.
Let's go to our colleague, Kristen Holmes. She is live in West Palm Beach, Florida, for CNN this morning.
Kristen, we're going to fact-check a lot of this throughout the program. But talk about the timing. So many Republicans, including some of his advisers, thought he should wait at least until after the Georgia runoff. Why now?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. But he said that he was all in.
And it is important to note, no matter how you feel about Donald Trump, this is an historic event. And not just because only one president has served two nonconsecutive terms, but because of who Donald Trump is.
This is, as you said, a man who refused to acknowledge the results of a legitimate election, which inspired a riot. He is somebody who is embroiled in multiple legal battles, and he is under investigation, federally, at least two of them.
So this is now a man who, despite all of that, might once again be president.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America's comeback starts right now.
HOLMES (voice-over): Former President Donald Trump announcing another bid for the presidency.
TRUMP: Two years ago, we were a great nation. And soon we will be a great nation again.
HOLMES (voice-over): The twice-impeached former president is aiming to be only the second commander in chief ever elected to two nonconsecutive terms. But making the long-anticipated announcement in the wake of election losses from several of his endorsed candidates.
TRUMP: Much criticism is being placed on the fact that the Republican Party should have done better, and frankly, much of this blame is correct.
But the citizens of our country have not yet realized the full extent and gravity of the pain our nation is going through, and the total effect of the suffering is just starting to take hold. They don't quite feel it yet, but they will very soon.
HOLMES (voice-over): Given the GOP's midterm losses, some Republicans are wary of another Trump presidential bid. It is widely expected he'll face primary challengers. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is seen as one possible contender to challenge the former president.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We just tell people to go check out the score board from last Tuesday night. It was a hugely underwhelming, disappointing performance.
HOLMES (voice-over): Another potential contender is his former vice president, Mike Pence.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I think we'll have better choices in the future.
HOLMES (voice-over): President Biden, who is yet to announce whether he will seek re-election, tweeted after the announcement, quote, "Donald Trump failed America."
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe I can beat Donald Trump again.
HOLMES (voice-over): Trump's desire to announce his campaign early coming after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, which advisers say further emboldened his decision to mount what he believes will be a triumphant political comeback.
Trump is the subject of a bevy of lawsuits and federal investigations, including his possible involvement in the January 6th Capitol attack.
Trump is fighting a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee Investigating January 6th, over providing documents and testimony to the committee.
COLLINS: And Kristen, of course, the former president, it's no secret he lied when he was in office. What about last night? Because it seemed that there were a lot of false claims in the -- in the statement from the former president.
HOLMES: Yes, there were quite a few inaccuracies. Let me just tick through some of them here. Because it's just going to take too long to get through all of them.
But the ones that I was the most interested in, one is Afghanistan. He claimed that the U.S. left $85 billion. Well, that is in military equipment.
Well, that has been disproven by the Pentagon. They have said that number is closer to 7.1 billion. The other one I want to point out is he talked about Mexico, and he
said that the border wall was completed. This one was actually more interesting to me, having been following him around the country, because he has said the border wall isn't done. He has campaigned on that, saying they're going to finish the wall. So that to me was also an interesting one, that he claimed it was done in this speech.
And then the last one is something that we've heard him say over and over again. He claimed that Obama had taken several presidential records with him to Chicago, and that, again, is something that has been disproven in a public statement by the National Archives. They said they actually took the documents to Chicago to a secure facility at that time.
So just some of those inaccuracies in that speech.
COLLINS: Yes. Kristen Holmes, thank you.
And later in the show, Daniel Dale is going to join us with more fact checks from Trump's speech.
Up next, a former White House official from the Trump White House is going to join us live. She called his speech low-energy, says it was a missed opportunity.
LEMON: And a Republican Senate show-down, Mitch McConnell facing a challenge to his leadership role for Florida's -- from Florida's Rick Scott.
COLLINS: As former President Trump announces another White House run, so far the announcement has gotten a pretty harsh reception on Capitol Hill, except for Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the former president, who says Trump will be, quote, "hard to beat if he remains as disciplined" as Graham believes he was last night.
This is the same Lindsey Graham who said this after the attack on the Capitol on January 6th.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Trump and I, we've had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh, my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he's been a consequential president. But today, first thing you'll see. All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That was then, huh?
COLLINS: Things have changed.
So joining us now is former deputy White House press secretary for the Trump administration, Sarah Matthews.
Sarah, you seemed to have a pretty similar reaction last night to Jeb Bush, who of course, was in turn kind of mocking Trump, saying what a low-energy speech by the Donald. Time for new leaders.
What did you think?
SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY FOR TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: Yes, I mean, it was just that. It was low-energy, uninspiring. I mean, during my time working for President Trump, I've watched him give hundreds of speeches over the two years that I worked for him. And that was, by far, one of the most boring.
I mean, he himself seemed boring while giving this speech, and you could tell he was trying really hard to stay on script. But then he started to get bored and started to ad lib, and it just turned into a rambling mess, in my opinion.
HARLOW: Sarah, "The National Review" this morning, I think, says -- reflects what a lot of former allies of the president, Republicans, are thinking and saying. The headline is just "No." I think we can show it.
And the first line is, "To paraphrase Voltaire after he attended an orgy, once was an experiment. Twice would be perverse."
LEMON: Poppy, so early.
HARLOW: I know. I didn't say it. They wrote it. I just repeated it.
But do you -- do you think -- do you think that it's just the media that was behind him that has turned, and a lot of Republican lawmakers and, quote/unquote, elites? Does that indicate anything about his ardent followers?
MATTHEWS: I do think that it's not. I think we need to pass over him. I think that, you know, he's shown that he's not fit to serve.
I think that by, you know -- personally by inciting an insurrection, I think that he's unfit to hold office ever again.
But I do think that last night's speech just showed that, you know, he's uninspiring. It was kind of the same speech I've heard him give over the years. There was nothing new to it.
This was an opportunity for him to give his followers a forward- looking message. And in my opinion, it was kind of a boring speech.
HARLOW: We should remind people that Sarah -- that you -- she quit the day of the insurrection --
HARLOW: -- because of what he did.
LEMON: This is a tweet that is getting a lot of attention, as well, and this is from NPR. And it said, "BREAKING: Donald Trump, who tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election and inspired a deadly riot at the Capitol, in a desperate attempt to keep himself in power, has filed to run for president again in 2024."
That is chock full of nuts, as they say. And basically, explains what's happened over the last seven years in just one sentence.
The question is, why is he defying even members of his own party, even allies who loved him before and say -- who are now saying, Don't do this? And as Poppy pointed out, "No" from "The National Review." Why is he doing it?
MATTHEWS: I do think that he thinks that this is a potential way for him to avoid, you know, these criminal investigations that are swarming around him.
But I also think it's his own ego. I mean, he can't, you know, admit to himself that he lost the 2020 election. And so he thinks that he needs to probably prove something to his followers or to himself.
And I do think that we do need to move in a new direction. I think that a lot of Republicans, both publicly and privately, have expressed dismay that he announced so early, especially with the Georgia Senate runoff happening. I think all focus for Republicans should be on that.
But that's going to harm Herschel Walker with this early announcement, as well. And --
LEMON: You know what? It doesn't shield him. I mean, but it's just -- is it an offer that he believes, a narrative that he can sell to voters? Because it really doesn't shield him that he's running.
MATTHEWS: No, I completely agree. It definitely does not shield him from those investigations.
But I do think that it's his way of, then, if you know, they do come at him, he can make that case to his voters of, Oh, look this is all political. They're only going after me because they don't want me to be president again. So that's what it seems to be the case, in my opinion.
COLLINS: It is part of -- I'm told that is part of what drove that announcement last night, why it was so early, is because of the investigations.
Sarah, I do wonder. You worked in the Trump White House. Obviously, I was there in the briefing room at the time. I wonder about the staffing, what that's going to look like for this second run.
Because Ivanka Trump put out a statement overnight saying, "I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward, I will do so outside the political arena."
Do you think a lot of your former colleagues will go back to work for Trump again?
MATTHEWS: I think some of the bigger names that you've seen, I don't think they will go back and work for him. You know, Ivanka made clear that she will not be playing a role if, you know, he ends up winning another presidential election.
I think that you are going to see some of the same folks, though, from the previous administration stick with him. A lot of them are still down in Mar-a-Lago with him to this day.
And I think that there is a chance that some of those folks will go back. I will definitely not be one of them. Not that I would be welcome back anyways.
But I just can't imagine going back and working for him after watching him push all of these lies about the election and, obviously, what he did on January 6th, 2021, as well.
LEMON: Sarah Matthews, thank you very much. Really appreciate you coming on.
The interesting thing, we've seen this before. People say, I can't deal with this. Look at Lindsey Graham, right? And a lot of the elected officials said they couldn't -- especially after the "grab them by the 'P'."
HARLOW: Until they -- until they could.
LEMON: And then they all --
HARLOW: Until they did.
LEMON: So let's see if it happens this time.
Tonight, the former vice president, Mike Pence, will join our Jake Tapper -- it's going to be live -- for a CNN town hall. Pence says that he believes Republicans will have better choices in 2024. I think he probably hopes one of those choices will be him. So make sure you tune in, 9 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.
HARLOW: Well, ahead, Senator Rick Scott announcing plans to challenge is Republican peer, Mitch McConnell, for the top job in the Senate for Republicans. Does he stand a chance? And what does McConnell think?
COLLINS: And it was once a corporate icon. The author of the new book "Power Failure" is here to talk about the stunning rise and fall of G.E.