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City Official; Kyiv Hit By "Exceptional" Russian Air Raid; U.S. Aid To Ukraine In Jeopardy Under New Congress, Debt Ceiling Talks; Martha Stewart Makes History As Swimsuit Cover Model At 81. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired May 16, 2023 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: You hear from DeSantis' allies is well look how handily he won reelection --
PHILIP BUMP, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right.
COLLINS: -- and what -- how his political success has changed from when he first was elected to when he was reelected.
COLLINS: And the question, of course, of whether or not that can translate on the national stage. We still just really don't know.
BUMP: Yes. I mean, look, last November he ran against a guy who used to be a Republican and became a Democrat. Donald Trump switched parties as well. Donald Trump is not Charlie Crisp, right? I mean, he is --
BUMP: -- a very, very different opponent.
Ron DeSantis has his work cut out for him. And he's obviously very clearly trying to run to Donald Trump's right by signing these policies and measures, but where that falls short is --
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: So many of them.
BUMP: Oh, yes. But the problem is he's trying to make up for Trump's personality, which is very aggressive and anti-establishment, by doing legislative stuff. And it just isn't the same resonance and I think voters feel that distinction.
COLLINS: And now Trump is criticizing DeSantis for the abortion bill that he signed --
COLLINS: -- as well.
A lot of dynamics here at play. BUMP: Yes.
COLLINS: We'll see how it only changes once he's officially joined the race.
But thank you for joining us this morning.
HARLOW: Thanks, Philip.
COLLINS: Overnight in Ukraine there was a "complex assault" -- that's a quote -- on the capital of Kyiv. Of course, that is the eighth attack on the city in just this month alone. We'll get the latest for you from the ground.
Also, the $48 billion aid package that Congress passed for Ukraine in December is likely to run out this summer. A major question about what's next. Former Trump national security adviser and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton is here to talk about that and much more.
COLLINS: We have new video just in overnight showing bright flashes in the sky over Kyiv -- of course, the capital of Ukraine. That was during a Russian air raid.
The head of the Kyiv city administration said it was a complex assault from multiple directions simultaneously, and that the attack was exceptional in its density. The official added that most were detected and destroyed.
This is the eighth attack on Kyiv that has happened just since the beginning of this month.
The commander in chief of the armed forces of Ukraine has also said that overnight, Russia attacked Ukraine with 18 missiles and various types all across the country that were intercepted by air defense forces.
We are now also told from the Russian Defense Ministry claiming they have destroyed one of those American Patriot missile systems. We'll see, of course, what the U.S. says about that.
CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is live in Eastern Ukraine. Nic, tell us what you've been seeing on the ground.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: So, what we understand is these missiles that were targeted on Kyiv came in from the north, from the south, and from the east, launched by air, launched by -- from land, and also launched by the sea. Perhaps most significant, six of them launched from aircraft were hypersonically superfast missiles that are very hard to intercept -- all of them intercepted.
The cruise missiles that were fired from ships in the Black Sea to the south of Ukraine -- all of those intercepted or neutralized. And there were three of the large Iskander land-based missile systems fired, it seems, from Russian territory towards Kyiv -- those intercepted.
We've heard from Ukrainian officials recently that the Russians are trying to penetrate -- trying to find a way to penetrate the air defenses in Kyiv. And I think what we're witnessing here is the fact that the Ukrainians, at least in their capital, have substantial air defenses.
It's a whole lot different down here close to the front lines in the east of Ukraine. There are air defenses. There aren't as many and they're not as effective and not as sophisticated. A town near to here was hit overnight -- an apartment building crushed there.
The fight inside the town of Bakhmut still continues. The Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin claims that an American fighter was killed. There is no evidence yet to back this up. He says he will be -- the body will be returned and repatriated to the United States. Prigozhin, though, has very little credibility and it's all about propaganda. This cannot be taken at face value.
COLLINS: Yes, it certainly can't. We've asked the United States for their response as well.
Nic, thank you.
HARLOW: The $48 billion Ukraine aid package that Congress approved in December could dry up by this summer. That's according to the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies. And that's raising fresh concerns over what will happen once that funding runs out with a Republican-controlled House and spending stalled because of ongoing debt ceiling talks. More funding for the war-torn nation may be harder to sell this time around.
Let's talk about that and a whole lot more with former Trump national security adviser and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton. Ambassador, good morning.
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, FORMER U.N. AMBASSADOR: Glad to be with you.
HARLOW: Where do you think this goes -- funding from the United States, from Congress, given the two things I just mentioned?
BOLTON: Well, I don't -- I don't think further funding from Ukraine really is seriously in trouble. I think -- I think what's in trouble and has been for some time is the lack of a clear American and NATO strategy of how to bring this war to a successful conclusion. This constant debate over whether we ship this weapons system or that weapons system means that in the aggregate these weapons are not being used as effectively as they could be to help achieve the objective of getting the Russians out of Ukraine. That's what we need to hear.
HARLOW: Can I just ask you on the point of how this ends? It was just stunning to hear what former President Trump said to Kaitlan in the CNN town hall last week about the fact that he thinks he would have been able to end the war in 24 hours. Here that is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I'm president, I will have that war settled in one day -- 24 hours.
COLLINS: How would you settle that war in one day?
TRUMP: Look, I'll meet with Putin, I'll meet with Zelenskyy. They both have weaknesses and they both have strengths. And within 24 hours, that war will be settled. It'll be over. It'll be absolutely over.
COLLINS: Do you want Ukraine to win this war?
TRUMP: I don't think in terms of winning and losing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I just wonder what it was like for you to sit there and listen to those answers.
BOLTON: Well, here's the silver lining. Those answers show why Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States. No rational person believes that you can get the Ukrainians and the Russians to agree how to resolve it in 24 hours. And the very fact he says he doesn't think in terms of winning and losing shows he's utterly out of touch with what the war is all about and what the implications of Russia's aggression against Ukraine are all around the world.
COLLINS: You once said that he barely knew where Ukraine was and his notion that -- one thing he repeated that night as well was that he said if he was in office that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine.
BOLTON: Yes. Trump has this impression that foreign leaders, especially adversaries, hold him in high regard. That's he got a good relationship with Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un. In fact, the exact opposite is true. I have been in those rooms with him when he's met with those leaders. I believe they think he's a laughing fool.
And the idea that somehow his presence in office would have deterred Putin is flatly wrong. If anything, if Trump had won a second term and done what I think he intended to do, which is get out of NATO, Putin would have just waited and let him do it. And the -- even the weakening of NATO would have made -- would have made it a lot easier for the Russians to have prevailed.
HARLOW: You -- turning to what's happening in Turkey right now in this runoff in two weeks, you have said that Erdogan, the Turkish president, is the Donald Trump of Turkish elections.
If Erdogan does not remain in power what does that mean for the NATO alliance for the United States vis-a-vis Ukraine? BOLTON: Well, I think there's a lot of question exactly how far Erdogan went to try and fix the first round -- steal the election. Let's be blunt about it. And I think really, international attention has got to focused on the next two weeks to see if he steals the second round.
I'm afraid if he wins that there will be real damage done to the NATO alliance and I think we need to consider whether to suspend or even expel Turkey.
If Erdogan is defeated, however, I think there's every reason to think that Turkey will return to being a more normal NATO member -- not necessarily in every respect. But it would be a significant plus not only in Europe where we face the Ukraine situation but in the Middle East where Erdogan has what can only be described as neo-Ottomanist aspirations to recreate a greater Turkey. And this is something that really is gravely threatening in an already very unstable region.
COLLINS: Yes. We'll find out in two weeks what that runoff looks like.
Back here at home yesterday, John Durham issued that pretty scathing report about the FBI. He was looking into the investigations of the Russia probe, you know, and the report was scathing. He faulted them for starting the investigation. But there weren't any of the blockbuster revelations that Trump had been promising or his allies -- you know, saying it was the crime of the century.
You once called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt. Do you still stand by that comment?
BOLTON: Well, I was struck at how much of Durham's report followed the Department of Justice inspector general investigation of the investigation of Russia collusion. And I think Durham hit it on the head when he said there was a predisposition to investigate Trump.
I've had a lot of dealings with the FBI over many years, beginning back in the Reagan administration when I served at the Department of Justice. I think it's an outstanding institution. I think 99 percent of the people in the FBI are patriotic Americans really -- salt of the earth.
But there are a number of them over the years who think they walk on water and I think a lot of those people were involved in the Hillary Clinton investigation in 2016 and in the Trump investigation. And I think what the I.G. and the Durham report show is that their power went to their head, and that is dangerous in an institution like the FBI.
COLLINS: But you can criticize that. Do you still think the Mueller probe, though, in and of itself, into what it was looking into and the charges against the Russians was a witch hunt?
BOLTON: There was no -- there was no evidence of collusion at all. What they looked at in the -- in the case of Russian context with the Trump campaign -- on the part of the campaign were incompetence and stupidity, not an effort to collude with the Russians.
COLLINS: Yes, they found the link and they --
BOLTON: Believe me, if I -- if I thought there were evidence -- there was evidence of Donald Trump colluding with Russia I would -- I would -- I would be getting it out there. There just -- there just isn't any for good or ill.
COLLINS: Can I just ask you one other question before we go, which is another comment Trump made on -- when speaking of the rule of law -- last Wednesday night is he left the door open to pardoning people who were charged with assaulting cops on January 6 -- the Proud Boys convicted of seditious conspiracy.
What did you make of him saying that he would consider pardoning most of them?
BOLTON: I think it's virtually treasonous for the president to say he would pardon people who were trying to disrupt the work of Congress. It's another example why he's not fit to be president. If anybody wants to know what a Trump administration would look like when he's pardoning the people who rioted on January 6, I think that's all you need to know.
COLLINS: John Bolton, as always, thank you for joining us --
BOLTON: Glad to be with you.
COLLINS: -- this morning.
COLLINS: OK, a question this morning about your health. Do you use sugar substitutes? The World Health Organization says it is not the best strategy for weight loss. We have more on that ahead.
HARLOW: And a close and scary encounter for a kayaker in Hawaii. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Shark attacks kayaker's boat in Hawaii.
SCOTT HARAGUCHI, FISHERMAN: Oh! (Bleep). Tiger shark!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: That's a shark. The kayaker just happened to have his GoPro camera rolling as the shark slammed into his boat while he was fishing. He didn't suffer any injuries and says the attack helps put life in focus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARAGUCHI: I realize that life is short. Time is short on Earth. Make the most of it. Be nice to people and all that stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Artificial sweeteners are often a go-to for those trying to lose weight, but the World Health Organization is now saying people should think twice before using them.
Joining us now is CNN medical correspondent Meg Tirrell. What's the new guidance? What are they saying to think twice about?
MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, you know, in 2015, the World Health Organization put out guidelines saying people should reduce their sugar intake, and they said since then there's been a lot of interest in artificial sweeteners to replace those.
Well, now they've look at a huge body of evidence about whether that actually helps with reducing body weight over long periods of time, and they say that actually doesn't work over the long term. They said that's true for both adults and kids. And on top of that, using these artificial sweeteners, they say, may increase the risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
So what they're saying is that people should reduce the sweetness of the diet altogether starting early in life to improve their health. They recommend things like switching over to fruit or just trying to get used to having less sweetness in your diet.
HARLOW: Is it all sweeteners? Every single one of those packets?
TIRRELL: Every single one of those artificial sweeteners that has no calories. So the things to look for are things like aspartame, saccharine, sucralose -- even stevia, which is something people think is --
TIRRELL: -- more natural. That's something the WHO warns against, too.
HARLOW: What about monk fruit?
TIRRELL: That one is on the list, too. Anything with no calories --
HARLOW: Oh, really?
TIRRELL: -- in it, yes.
HARLOW: All right, all right. Thank you, Meg -- appreciate it. Good to have you.
TIRRELL: Thank you, guys.
COLLINS: Thank you.
HARLOW: President Biden is set to meet today with congressional leaders, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Once again, they're going to try to get a little bit closer to an agreement on the debt ceiling. Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace will join us to discuss.
COLLINS: Also, Martha Stewart, at 81 years old, adding Sports Illustrated cover model to her already impressive resume. We'll tell you more next.
HARLOW: Oh, good.
HARLOW: In their most anticipated issue of the year, Sports Illustrated is unveiling a diverse lineup of cover models, including -- that is Martha Stewart, folks, at 81 years young. The business tycoon on the cover, as well as singer-songwriter Kim Petras, who is the magazine's second transgender cover model for its swimsuit edition.
In a statement, Sports Illustrated says, "While the industry waivers on its arbitrary notion of beauty, our issue has stayed the course, showcasing the women of today -- the women shaping the future."
So happy to bring in editor-in-chief of Glamour, Sam Barry, who has been so good at sort of reinventing Glamour and showing all of the sides of beauty in every age, every shape, every color. Talk Martha Stewart.
SAMANTHA BARRY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLAMOUR MAGAZINE: Oh, I loved it. Also, I loved it. I loved not only Martha, right -- we can come to her at 81 years of age. She's the oldest Sports Illustrated swimsuit model cover.
And I think was interesting. I saw it being shared all over social yesterday and what was nice to see was a lot of people saying she looks good -- she looks so hot -- and they weren't using the qualifier for her age because she looks hot, period.
HARLOW: She does. Look at that.
BARRY: It was shot in the Dominican Republic. And I think we've got -- we've seen the tease from Martha, right? We've seen her on her Instagram with photos of her poolside. And what's really nice about Martha, I think, is she is the mother of reinvention. As The New York Times said yesterday, do not try to pigeonhole Martha Stewart.
She was a Glamour College Woman of the Year in the '60s. She had a catering business in the '70s. She had this lifestyle empire in the '90s. She's now Snoop Dogg's BFF and swimsuit cover model.
COLLINS: Where -- are you surprised by it -- by the choice that they made?
BARRY: No, I wasn't. I actually was really impressed with it. I think I would have been surprised by it if we were talking the '90s or the early 2000s when we grew up with magazines as girls. There was a really defined what a cover star would look like.
BARRY: She was a certain age. She often looked a certain way. And what you're seeing from the breadth of what Sports Illustrated had yesterday on their covers, including age, size, diversity. They had a trans woman on the cover. You're seeing that they're leaning in -- magazines are representing what's happening in the world around them and it is not this kind of finite version of what sexy or swimsuit model looks like.
HARLOW: By the way, we were just showing -- let's pull it up again -- Glamour in 1961. That's Martha Stewart.
BARRY: Yes, she was the College Woman of the Year.
HARLOW: College Woman of the Year. It's great.
BARRY: But also, what we're seeing at Glamour are older women covers do really well, right? We just shot -- last year we shot Jane Fonda 60 years after she was first shot for Glamour. We've had a 98-year-old on the cover -- Betty Reid Soskin.
And what we're seeing is not -- it's not only the women in those decades, right -- '60s, '70s, and '80s that want to hear from those women -- the women in their 20s and 30s want to know what they can learn from these women. What they can learn --
HARLOW: I love that.
BARRY: -- from their life story.
BARRY: And Martha's got a lot of life that she's telling us about.
COLLINS: Yes. What do you think that is? What are the lessons that they have? Because I think most people maybe think that they know Martha Stewart but you just listed a lot of the things that aren't as obvious about here.
BARRY: I don't think we'll ever -- like, she is so amazing at reinventing herself, right? I mean, she's gone through trials and tribulations, as we've seen in the past. And I think she is -- she never gets bored. And I think she said in the Sports Illustrated story if I stop -- if I'm done changing, I'm done. And she's constantly changing. She's constantly surprising her audience. She's one of these women that are really good on -- I don't know if you follow her on Instagram. It's really enjoyable.
COLLINS: Martha Stewart? BARRY: Yes.
COLLINS: Oh, I definitely follow her on Instagram.
COLLINS: Her Instagram is amazing.
HARLOW: And she never takes herself too seriously.
HARLOW: She's got wonderful --
BARRY: She's got humor.
HARLOW: -- humor.
COLLINS: Yes, but she'll be like I just had this amazing smoked salmon and caviar, and fresh eggs, and rode my horses, and planted six tomato plants. Like, her updates --
HARLOW: It's a good life.
HARLOW: It's a good life.
BARRY: She did say she was doing a lot of Pilates for the cover, so I've got to get into Pilates.
HARLOW: Well, it shows.
HARLOW: Thank you, Sam.
BARRY: Thank you.
HARLOW: Appreciate it.
COLLINS: Great having you.
And CNN THIS MORNING continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This individual caused mass destruction in your office, too.
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): Yes. After he was denied access to more staff members he could hurt, he turned his fury on the office itself. And a lot of broken glass, destroyed computers, come furniture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: That's Congressman Gerry Connolly there speaking after a man attacked staffers at his field office in his district. The suspect now under arrest this morning. And the congressman says his staffers do have non-life-threatening injuries. One of them was just on her first day --