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Connect the World

If Boris Johnson Loses Tonight's Ballot, he will be Removed from Office; British PM Facing Confidence Vote in Coming Hours; Fierce Fighting in Eastern Ukraine's Donbas Region; Elon Musk Threatens to Walk Away from Twitter Purchase; National Average Jumped to $4.87 a gallon; Street Parties Across UK Mark Final Day of Celebrations. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 06, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, London. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Well, this hour from celebrations to cut through in fighting how the mood in Britain has dramatically changed overnight? I'm

Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World".

Well, that is the sound of booing the British Prime Minister booed during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations perhaps an ominous sign for Boris

Johnson. After all today, he is trying to hang on to his job. In the coming hours Mr. Johnson will face a vote of confidence after 15 percent of UK

lawmakers from his own Conservative Party said that they could no longer support him.

Not after the simmering scandal over locked down parties and his response to Britain's cost of living crisis. The Prime Minister's fate in the hands

of some 360 Tory lawmakers in Parliament at least 54 members are not happy and chose to trigger this vote.

And we are hearing that Boris Johnson has written to all conservative lawmakers essentially asking for their support. Downing Street says Boris

Johnson plans to address the 1922 Committee of Conservatives this hour. CNN's Bianca Nobilo is standing by for us outside 10 Downing Street, which

of course is the residence of the British Prime Minister; she joins us live from there. Boris Johnson will give it his best shot as he addresses

members of his own party in the next hour. We are told what chance he can survive this Bianca?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the immediate the chances are high because at least 160, 170 of his own MPs are on the government payroll. So

they're connected to the government in some respect junior ministers, cabinet ministers, et cetera. So it would be a massive political upset for

him to actually lose this vote.

But still, if he wins, but he doesn't win decisively, then he will be mortally wounded as prime minister and he'll be imposed but not really

empowered, drained of a lot of his authority. And a large part of this, Becky is because the discontent is so broad in the party and so desperate.

We have MPs that don't agree on anything within his party agreeing on one thing that they want a new leader and even though some of the Prime

Minister's allies are out in force today saying well he only needs one vote to win. Strictly speaking, yes. But in reality, he needs more than that.

ANDERSON: And precedent is set for this, of course, Theresa May, Boris Johnson's predecessor went through a similar vote of confidence she won but

her leadership was effectively hobbled for the rest of her time in office.

And one of the things that may work in his favor, of course, is the lack of obvious successes for the party to rally around. Let's just talking about

who that success might be should this vote go against him at this point?

NOBILO: Becky, you're absolutely right. That is something working in the Prime Minister's favor and where this vote to be held a few months prior,

it wouldn't be the same situation, because the chancellor who lives in that building to my right, Rishi Sunak was tipped to be a future leader of the


He was doing very well in internal party polls. He did well with the public. And he was a slick operator that a lot of people had high hopes

for, but he was embroiled in scandals party gate, also his own tax affairs and those of his wife, which is really tarnished him as a political figure.

So he's not really in the running at all.

The Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is always keen to sort of indicate that she wants to throw her hat in the ring quite keen for the comparisons people

make between her and Margaret Thatcher. That's something that the Conservative Party really likes to hear as well.

Another name that you're hearing people talk about today is Penny Mordant who was the first female Secretary of State for Defence in the United

Kingdom doesn't have a great relationship with Boris Johnson hasn't spoken out in support of him today - is a whole wheat who I believe you've spoken

to many times, Becky, who was the vaccine Minister during the pandemic, very successful businessman, highly regarded within the party. He's also

tipped as a possible contender.

And then you have other dark horses too, the Defense Secretary perhaps with a strong showing on Ukraine Tom - you know, it's a very large selection of

people to choose from, and there really is not a clear front runner.

And as I was just saying, Becky, because the discontent about Boris Johnson is so broad there's really no consensus whatsoever around what kind of

candidate the party would coalesce around if Boris Johnson isn't able to continue as leader?

ANDERSON: To the point that we were making just earlier and to your point that there are those who expect him to survive this vote, even if he does

it is going to be damaging, isn't it to his political authority? This is what the leader of the opposition had to say earlier.


KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: I think history tells us that this is the beginning of the end if you look at the previous examples of no

confidence votes even when Conservative Prime Minister survived those he might survive it tonight the damage is already done.



ANDERSON: The damage is already done, says the opposition leader, you might say, you know, he would say that, wouldn't he? Why at the end of the day,

do you believe we are where we are at?

NOBILO: It's easy to say party gate because it's been the scandal that keeps on giving. That was significant in Boris Johnson's very colorful

history of scandal in his career. This was a man that's been fired twice. And it has always caught a scandal and controversy is because those who

supported Boris Johnson didn't think he was a saint.

They kind of saw him as a bit of an antihero, but they're anti-heroes. So with party gate, what that displayed was a disregard for the sacrifices of

the public were making hypocrisy, and a real visceral hurt that people felt apologies for the current helicopter going over my head.

And that's what shifted things are Boris Johnson was considered no longer to be their Prime Minister, but somebody who would do something and ignore

the sacrifices that they were making. I think that's why it was so significant.

And even broader than that, Becky, I speak to MPs from the Conservative Party just this morning, who are not lawmakers that you would consider to

be idealistic. And even they are saying to me that now this is a question of integrity and the loss of trust of the British public.

Even recently, Boris Johnson, change the ministerial code in the UK to remove references to resignation if you break it to remove all references

to honesty, transparency, and integrity. So there are MPs in his own party that is thinking you know I've bit my lip. I've not said anything for a

long time now. But democracy and standards in public life are actually changing as a result of this premiership too.

ANDERSON: Bianca, thank you. Bianca is outside number 10 fly on the wall would be useful, wouldn't it to know what was going on behind that black

door? Thank you. My next guest is a Former UK Conservative Cabinet Minister and vocal critic of Boris Johnson, he tweeted this quote there was once

another tradition in the Conservative Party that talked to prudence, dignity and restraint Boris Johnson shames the party and our country, he

cannot govern. Let him go.

Rory Stewart joins us now live. And I think that quote makes your position quite clear, sir. But let's just be as clear as we can be why to your mind

does Boris Johnson have to leave office and leave office now?

RORY STEWART, FORMER BRITISH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Fundamentally, because he lies so, so much, and he lies in the

House of Commons, he lies about very important issues and democracy in the end has to depend on a certain amount of truth voters, when they're voting

have to have some sense of what the Prime Minister is going to do or not do.

And if you lose trust completely in the integrity of your leader, it doesn't really matter. Actually, whether you're working for a business or a

charity or a government, things become impossible, it becomes impossible for him to govern impossible for him to inspire people impossible ready for

him to get anything done.

ANDERSON: I just want you to have a listen to what's one MP a supporter of Boris Johnson had to say to me, just last hour, have a listen.


CONOR BURNS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: I agree with what the Prime Minister said when he apologized in a recent statement to the House of Commons and

through the House of Commons to the British people some 42 times for failures within the operation in Downing Street, and he's made significant

changes to his operation in number 10.

He's appointed you personnel to tighten up the discipline we accept that we're failures through the lockdown period. There's been no attempt to shy

away from that. But what we're talking about today is who is the right person to lead our country to lead our party and to take us into the next

general election in two or so years' time. And I still believe that person is Boris Johnson.


ANDERSON: And Rory, he went on to say I'm saying the Prime Minister deserves the opportunity to carry on and explain to the British people what

we are doing to improve their lives and laws, your response?

STEWART: Well, I think the first thing is that one of the things that Boris Johnson gets away with is always by making you focus on the latest lie. So

he will often say to trivialize it by saying well, it was just a cake or it was just a scandal about my wallpaper.

What in fact is going on of course, there's there is a pattern of lying, which goes all the way back to him prorogue in Parliament, changing the

ministerial code trying to take on Parliament about lobbying. There have been many, many examples. And what the public is sensing now is that this

scandal over him lying about his attendance at a party during COVID at Downing Street is just one more example of a man who actually has been

caught lying again and again throughout his life and the public's had enough.


STEWART: And I think the other thing to say to my colleague there is that, sadly, nobody has any confidence in Boris Johnson's ability to deliver the

economic situation in the country is not good. The situation around Northern Ireland is a mess.

And it's very difficult to believe that Boris Johnson has the ideas or the credibility or the support to keep going. He's on track at the moment,

despite its amazing. I mean, he won one of the largest majorities in recent history.

And he's on track to be one of the shortest serving Prime Ministers ever. The fact that he's managed within about two years to alienate the public

and his MP's so much that they're about to topple. Somebody with this very large majority tells you almost all you need to know.

ANDERSON: I think one of the most scathing attacks on Mr. Johnson comes from an MP who has supported him for years, Jesse Norman, who you will know

very well. I'll read out just some of the letter that he wrote to the Prime Minister, he wrote, "The Tories cannot, quote, afford to squander the next

two years adrift and distracted by endless debate about Johnson's leadership". I just wonder, I mean, you know, when you speak to those in

the party, is it your sense that others now in the majority feel the same way?

STEWART: It's very difficult to tell. I mean, essentially, Boris Johnson is trying to recreate the party. It's a sort of British version of what Donald

Trump did with the Republican Party in the United States. He's created a very new coalition, he's found new voters in ex industrial zones in

Northern England, and he's gone for a much more populist approach. And so he's become a very polarizing figure.

And the problem within the party is that it's now a very strange coalition between what used to be called one nation conservatives who are more

centrist, and most of them are appalled by Boris Johnson and a desperate him to go. But there is still a strong support group, particularly amongst

people who are hardcore supporters of Brexit, who feel that this is all some kind of liberal elite conspiracy against him and want him to stay.

But as you say, Jesse Norman's criticisms there in that letter, are particularly devastating, because what he explains is, it's not just about

the lies, it's about the basic competence that he this isn't a man who's going to be able to sort out Britain's energy policy.

Be able to sort out cost of living work out how to how to level up how to work out how we're going to deal with serious deprivation in Northern

England? He can't do any of those things, because his own MPs, his own ministers, his own civil service, no longer believe in him. And all he's

doing, day to day is trying to stay alive.

ANDERSON: Rory Stewart, you suggest that there are those who would say in the Conservative Party, it's the sort of liberal elite and the sort of, you

know, inside the kind of London beltway who is effecting to get rid of him because they hate, frankly, the Brexit? I mean, they hate the idea that

they're no longer part of the European Union.

How much does that resonate at the end of the day? I mean is it boozing cake that got him if he goes, or is it widen that? And do you genuinely

believe that there is, you know, a movement within the Conservative Party to actually look back to Europe and say, we won back in?

STEWART: I don't think there's a strong movement in the Conservative Party to get back into Europe. I think there is a strong movement in the

Conservative Party, to think about how outside the European Union. You could have a much closer relationship to Europe, which is more respectful,

which deals with the problems of the border between Northern Ireland, the Republic and the challenges between Northern Ireland, Great Britain at the


In other words a closer relationship that has been economically but the fundamental split isn't really about Europe anymore. It's I'm afraid of

sort of cultural war. It's that Boris Johnson represents the type of populist politics that we're not used to in Britain.

Right from the moment that he came in when he tried to shut the doors on Parliament when he lied to the Queen more recently, when he's tried to

overturn the ministerial code and of course, when he lies at the dispatch box.

He is not living out the kind of values which Britain used to pride itself on and we had many things that made us very angry with politicians. Of

course, people often think politicians are dishonest and ambitious, but Boris Johnson has taken it to a level that nobody's seen before and I think

people are profoundly shocked.

ANDERSON: Has Boris Johnson wasted this period of strong conservative support amongst the British public?


STEWART: Yes, totally, it's extraordinary. He came in with a majority of 80, which is extraordinary. I mean, it would mean that in a normal

government, he'd be unable to lose a vote. And he could have used that as an opportunity to really do the kinds of things that people wanted to do,

in particular, work out how you rebuild the economy, after Brexit?

How you level up? How you get more equal conditions between London and the north of England? But if you take just one example, what one of the great

things that's holding Northern England back is this no trend connections, connecting the great cities of Leeds and Manchester.

And he's apparently effectively abolished that program; he's not going ahead with it. He's not managed to get the nuclear power stations built

that he's been talking about. He's really not managed to do anything. It's very unclear to anybody what his policies actually are.

He talks about getting Brexit done, but it's obvious there are still big problems around Brexit. And apart from that, we don't really know what he's

going to do over the next two years. And I think, in the end, he can't survive, because nobody knows what the point of him is anymore.

ANDERSON: Well, he may survive this vote, of course, many people, many experts here suggesting that it's likely that he will, but suggesting he

will be a spent force effectively going forward.

What does happen next to your mind, I mean, you were imbued in British politics for a long time. I'm not sure whether you're, you know, sort of

delighting in the fact that you're not part of the British political establishment anymore. But you know, what needs to happen next to your


STEWART: Well, the first thing is, you're probably right. He couldn't rely on government ministers and on people who his promised jobs to, to probably

get him a majority of this vote tonight. But if significant numbers of people let's say hundred MP's come out against him, he is fatally wounded.

No Prime Minister has survived that kind of voted against them. They all go pretty soon after that. And the big change that we need, I'm afraid it's a

change, it has to happen both of them the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party has to stand up for its values. Again, it needs to

demonstrate that it believes in integrity, it believes in honesty, and that it's going to conduct itself to the highest standards.

But I'm afraid we also need to look at ourselves as voters and work out what on earth got into us to vote for Boris Johnson? It's true that two

years in people are now deeply regretting it. He has some of the worst net approval ratings that any British Prime Minister has seen.

But it's taken a surprisingly long time for us to wake up to the fact that the man is I'm afraid as somebody who's been known all his life. As

somebody who's a liar, who finds it very difficult to pay any attention to detail. He's extremely bad at running things and is extremely unreliable,

and it still makes us belief that we had him as our prime minister in the first place.

ANDERSON: Rory Stewart, no longer involved in the world of daily British politics is good to have your answer. Your analysis and insight is

important. We thank you for joining us today from Amman in Jordan. Thank you.

Well, the competence vote was triggered by the 1922 Committee a group comprised of all the conservative members of parliament who don't hold a

cabinet position. At least 54 sitting Conservative MPs as they are known have written to the chairman asking for this vote of no confidence reaching

what is a 15 percent threshold, which then sets the process in motion.

Prime Minister Johnson will lose if at least half of Conservative MPs plus one extra vote against him that's 180 Members of Parliament. If that

happens, the Conservative Party would stay in power and select a new leader who would then become Prime Minister. Mr. Johnson could either stay on

until his successor is decided or an interim leader could be appointed.

If the Mr. Johnson wins, he stays as leader and the 1922 Committee would be unable to launch a further challenge to him for another year. And you can

read a lot more on the looming confidence vote on our website including more on the process the UK follows for electing a new leader of the party

and a review of what our analysts calls the darkest moment of Boris Johnson's premiership that is on your computer or via the CNN app

on your Smartphone.

Well, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson live from London today. Still ahead the battle for Severodonestk takes another turn

what Ukrainian officials are saying today after reporting notable progress over the weekend? And gun violence in the United States claims more lives

as calls for gun reform grow ever louder.



ANDERSON: Well, a worsening situation around Severodonestk that is the assessment today from the Ukrainian military chief in Luhansk after a

weekend in which Ukraine claimed its military had we taken half the city from Russia.

These pictures of Severodonestk coming from Ukraine's government now, that and its sister city Lysychansk are the main focus of Russia's offensive to

take total control of that region of the Donbas. The Military Chief says Russia is mainly targeting Lysychansk which sits on the strategic high

ground across the river from Severodonestk.

Ukraine's President visited their Sunday during a tour of cities along the front lines. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, praising his military and the millions of

Ukrainians who have been displaced during this nearly three and a half month long war.

Ben Wedeman on the ground for us in Eastern Ukraine and a message of support clearly there from the Ukrainian President as he traveled so close

to what is the front line in this war? What's your assessment of what is going on the ground at this point, Ben?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's clearly a very bitter, bitter and intense battle to take control of Severodonestk. As

you mentioned earlier, last week, the Ukrainians were conceding that the Russians controlled about 80 percent of the city. Then over the weekend,

the Ukrainian said that they'd taken ground in the city. And now it appears that they're losing ground again.

The Ukrainian say the Russians are sparing none of their men, or none of their equipment in this battle which seem to be you know, street to street

fighting the intensity of which we haven't necessarily seen very often in this war, which is largely a war of artillery, but the Russians are using

this artillery to its maximum advantage.

They, you know, as you mentioned, Lysychansk overlooked Severodonestk and I've been there many times while it was under bombardment, as well. And

really that is a key position that the Ukrainians clearly do not want to lose. But of course, the problem is, they are facing Russia, which is got

far more artillery pieces than Ukraine does.

And just uses them around the clock intensely now the Ukrainians are hoping to get long range artillery missile systems from the British and the

Americans who have said they're going to provide them with this equipment which would allow them to target the Russian artillery but be out of range

of that artillery the Russian artillery itself.


WEDEMAN: The problem is it takes time. It takes time to pack that equipment up, train the Ukrainians to use it and get it to the front lines. And what

we've seen is that President Putin has made it clear he is he intends to try to disrupt the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman on the ground thank you, Ben. Well, from the war in Ukraine to the battle against gun violence in the United States and sadly

it got worse. Over the weekend in Philadelphia police say multiple shooters opened fire in a bustling entertainment district on Saturday night. Three

people there were killed.

The city's mayor says he is fed up with the bloodshed and is calling for tougher gun laws. Just one of several mass shootings in the U.S. in recent

days, my colleague Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is the scene following another mass shooting in the United States this time in Philadelphia.

Police had several active shooters fired into a crowd Saturday night killing at least three people and injuring 11 others.

DANIELLE M. OUTLAW, PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER: We're absolutely devastated by this incident. And we mourn the lives lost and the dozens and

dozens of lives affected by this tragedy.

SANDOVAL (voice over): Philadelphia police said a physical altercation led to the shooting. They said one gunman was likely shot and wounded but

escaped police and another suspected gunman likely among the three people killed in all police said at least five guns are likely used by multiple


OUTLAW: It's unacceptable. It's beyond unacceptable.

SANDOVAL (voice over): They have been at least nine mass shootings since Friday across eight states leaving at least 12 people dead and dozens more


TIM KELLY, CATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE MAYOR: I'm tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and bodies.

SANDOVAL (voice over): Sunday morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee three people were killed in at least 14 others injured near downtown nightclub.

Police said some of the victims were hit by bullets while others by fleeing cars.

KELLY: There are families whose lives have been shattered forever because once again we had people deciding to resolve their issues with firearms.

SANDOVAL (voice over): Now the shooting at a bar this one in Mesa, Arizona, two people dead two more injured. Also in Arizona a strip mall shooting

early Saturday in Phoenix one person was killed eight others hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard over 100 Gunshots going off a group of people that just started running like every different direction.

SANDOVAL (voice over): Phoenix police said the person killed is a 14 year old girl. More children hurt this time in Somerton, South Carolina. Police

did a drive by shooting at a graduation party left one woman dead and seven others injured including five minors ages 12 to 17 years old.

And the mass shootings didn't stop there. Another five hurt in Socorro, Texas one killed three hurt in Omaha, Nebraska, and one person killed and

five hurt in Chesterfield, Virginia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was almost asleep and heard numerous gunshots 20 to 40 woke me up instantly. My - ran down the steps hey man get up, get up



ANDERSON: Well, that was CNN's Palo Sandoval reporting. If you'd like to support victims of mass shootings, including the Texas School Shooting, you

can get more information you'll find several ways that you can help. Well, Ahead on the show a tit for tat response from the U.S. and

South Korea after Pyongyang's latest missile launch. We'll have more on Seoul's recent change in tone.



ANDERSON: Reminder of our top story you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. This hour Boris Johnson is expected to address the

committee that will oversee a challenge to his leadership. The British Prime Minister faces a vote of confidence that to happen in less than 90

minutes triggered by disgruntled members of his own Conservative Party.

If more than half vote to oust him he will be forced to step down as party leader and will be removed from office. Mr. Johnson has reportedly sent a

letter to Conservative MP's asking for their support and promising they can quote repay the trust of the 14 million people who voted for us. He's

alluding to the conservative election victory back in December of 2019.

Well, all of this of course comes amid backlash for parties held at Downing Street during the COVID lockdowns and amid growing concern about Johnson's

handling of what is the cost of living crisis.

Well, in other news, South Korea and the United States taking a tougher tit for tat tone with North Korea launching aid surface to surface missiles of

Pyongyang launched eight ballistic missiles on Saturday.

Now all of the missiles were fired towards the sea. But this is the third time South Korea has responded this way since President Yoon took office

and it comes is the International Atomic Energy Agency warns North Korea may be preparing for a nuclear test. Paula Hancocks joins me live from

Seoul, Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDNET: Well Becky, we certainly are seeing a stern and firm response from the South Korean President. That's what he

said on Monday when he had a Memorial Day speech saying that he was going to be tougher on North Korea.

Now we have seen these kinds of responses joint responses from the U.S. and South Korea in the past, even with the previous South Korean President Moon

Jae-In, although then he did move towards more of an engagement policy with North Korea.

But what we saw on Sunday morning, which was interesting about the North Korean missile launches not only the large number, but Japan's Defense

Minister said that it was unprecedented the fact that there were eight short range ballistic missiles fired according to the South Koreans from

four separate locations around the country, all within about 40 minutes of each other.

So that's was responded to today, this Monday, sorry, by the U.S. and South Korea, it's worth pointing out both sides actually fired these missiles off

the coast off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula into the water.

But it really does show that this is somewhat of a tit for tat at this point. And as you mentioned, Becky interesting as well, but today is the

day we hear from the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency say that they believe that they have indications that one of the entrances to the

underground tunnels was these the previous six underground nuclear tests have happened from North Korea.

They believe that has been reopened and they say it could be possible preparation for a nuclear test. Something very similar to what we've heard

from the U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies and military saying that they believe the preparations are ready that they are ready to have

this simple underground test which experts say would suggest it's really now a political decision.

So Kim Jong-Un has to decide when or if he carries out that test. The IAEA though said that it would be a cause for serious concern Becky.

ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks is in Seoul for you folks. Paula, thank you. Well, the topsy-turvy Twitter ownership saga has yet again been turned upside

down with the world's richest man and prospective owner Elon Musk has threatened to walk away from a deal to buy the social media company.

In a letter to Twitter's Chief Legal Officer Musk has demanded that the company turnover information proving its claims that fake accounts only

make up 5 percent of the company.


ANDERSON: Well, the true number of genuine users on the platform has been a point of contention in getting the $44 billion sale over the finishing

line. As CNN's Technology Reporter Brian Fung joins me now from Washington this is an issue with what are known as bots. And can you tell us why it is

that Elon Musk is so fixated on this?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY: Well Becky, in a word, Musk believes that they are a nuisance if he has an enormous amount of visibility on the platform

on Twitter, and, you know, when you have that big of a megaphone you're going to inevitably get scammers and, and bots trying to capitalize off of

that attention. And so often in his replies, beneath his tweets, you'll find fake accounts, sometimes impersonating Musk.

You know, pitching scams to his followers in hopes of trying to pick up, you know, the unsuspecting or the folks who are, you know, not really

paying attention. And so, you know, for Musk, he's described this as Twitter's biggest problem, and the biggest challenge that it faces.

When he announced the deal he said, you know, we would die a fight the Twitter bots or die trying, so to speak. And so now, you know, he's really

questioning, you know, what the size and scale of the scope of the problem is? And it's interesting, because, you know, he has initially made the bot

problem out to be something that he could fix. And now he's saying that it's something that he might not be able to fix at all.

ANDERSON: Yes, I mean, listen. I mean, I guess you could argue that he has every right to find out what's going on at the company that he wants to

buy? There will be those who suggest this is a way for him to potentially wriggle out of the deal right?

This letter reported to the SEC obviously Musk, stepping up his rhetoric and his actions. Let's have a look at the price the Twitter share price as

we speak. I mean, looked down, nearly over 3 percent there and down below the price at which he had agreed to buy this company. So is it clear what

his goal is here?

FUNG: Well, according to many Wall Street analysts, it seems that Musk goal is to, you know, pay a lower price for Twitter, as you can see, kind of

reflected in the stock value that you highlighted. You know, but again, what we're looking at here in this letter is perhaps the clearest

indication yet that Musk may be interested in pulling out of the deal entirely.

And, you know, he's said as much when he said that Twitter is in breach of the merger agreement. And that Musk has every intention of enforcing all of

his rights that are contained in the agreement, and that includes potentially walking away from the deal.

Now, it may not be that Musk could be Musk faces an uphill battle actually successfully pulling out if that is his intention, given that he did waive

his due diligence clause and in striking the agreement, but we're going to have to see how well he's able to leverage this to his advantage?

ANDERSON: Well, certainly those who are interested in the stock are voicing their disapproval. Today that stock as I say down more than 3 percent

always good to have you. Thank you, sir. Ahead on this show, U.S. President Biden considers a visit to Saudi Arabia a country he wants to label the

pariah more on why it needs the Saudis' help with our Stephen Collinson? Also ahead pain at the pump is there any relief in sight for U.S.

consumers? Two stories of course coming up that have a link that after this.



ANDERSON: American consumer must hope that the increase in oil supply announced by OPEC last week will soon put a dent in high gasoline prices in

the United States and relief cannot come soon enough. Gas prices as they're known in the states have rocketed by 25 cents in the past week alone, the

national average jumped to nearly $5 a gallon but in some states, the price of gas or petrol at the pump is a lot higher.

Matt Egan joins us live from a gas station in New York City. Look, this is not a peculiarly U.S. issue. But it's an issue which is so prescient in the

United States and as important to lawmakers as they go into the midterms this year. I guess this begs the question why do prices keep going up even

though OPEC announced late last week that it will pump more Matt?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well Becky, I think the market is signaling that it's just not enough that OPEC move to ramp up production is too little too

late. And there is this concern that the shortage of oil caused in part by the war in Ukraine might be too big even for OPEC to solve.

And so we've seen oil prices stay very high U.S. oil WTI touching a three month high this morning before cooling off a bit. This is going to keep

pressure on gasoline prices petrol prices around the world, including here in Manhattan, where a gallon of gas is touching about $6 right now.

The national average is 4.87 in the United States, that's up 25 cents in the past week, almost 60 cents in the past month. And there are now 10

states around the country that is paying $5 or more on average, the latest to come in the Midwest, Indiana and Michigan.

And unfortunately, this is probably going to continue it's going to keep frustrating people and I spoke to an Uber driver here today who said that

his energy, his fuel costs are going up by $100 higher per week than they were just a few months ago.

I talked to an EMT who said that he's very frustrated, but there's really not much that he can do about it because he's got to get to work. And

Becky, we could see prices go higher. The national average is expected to potentially hit 5.05 a gallon in the next 10 days. That's according to

veteran oil analyst.

ANDERSON: Yes. And, you know, while this is extremely painful for the average consumer, and we're going into the summer driving season in the

U.S. What is absolutely clear is that this is a very difficult situation for lawmakers in the states who may be headed back to the polls in November

which is why ultimately, the U.S. President has a real job to do, doesn't he for those Democrat lawmakers, is he likely to be successful at this


EGAN: I think that the White House has clearly been laser focused on this issue for months. The President hasn't released more emergency oil from the

Strategic Petroleum Reserve than anyone ever has before. So much so that the SPR is actually sitting at its lowest levels since 1984 and yet prices

are higher today than they were when the President announced these steps in late March.

And I think that speaks to the size of the issue. It's just too much for the federal government to solve. There are really no easy answers here.

They can't really do much about demand which is very strong. You know if they try to address demand that would have negative economic repercussions.

So there's not much that he can do. But you're right this is absolutely a negative for the Democrats heading into the polls this fall.


ANDERSON: We're just looking at the prices on Brent Crude and WTI. They're slightly lower today. But that is from a high level they pushed higher at

the back end of last week. Matt, its pleasure having you on. Thank you.

So what options does Joe Biden have then to alleviate the strain at the pump? Well, there is one that he's been working towards, and that's getting

Saudi Arabia effective leader of OPEC Plus to increase oil production for months Riyadh had refused U.S. requests.

But last week, as we reported, the oil cartel did announce that it would increase supply through the summer months, but not by much. And although it

is not by much, Washington still praises the Saudis for their role in that decision that along with the extension of a UN brokered truce in in Yemen

which is paving the way for a potential trip for Joe Biden, to Saudi Arabia, possibly in July.

Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would meet face to face as we understand it, marking the first time Mr. Biden engages

with the de facto Saudi Ruler since taking office. It comes as a shock to many because well, remember this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We were not going to in fact, sell more weapons to them. We were going to in fact, make them pay

the price and make them in fact a pariah that the oil.


ANDERSON: That was November 2019. Tough words not all that long ago, that promise became a defining aspect of the President's foreign policy that set

him apart from his predecessor. But now, it appears that the winds are shifting. CNN Politics Senior Reporter Stephen Collinson writes of this

trip this pending trip.

As we understand it, "A basing foreign policy on morality always leads to charges of hypocrisy. The cold, hard political truth is that America's

perceived interests and its principles often clash".

Stephen Collinson joins me now live from Washington D.C., and you probably had Jimmy Carter 1977 in your mind, as you wrote that piece today. This is

a - this is a trip as we understand it, to be in the works at present possibly, for July. I guess what we should talk about is how important this

trip is to Washington? And on the flip side of that, how important it is to Riyadh? Let's start in Washington.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORT: Yes, Becky. Well, clearly, as you were just talking about with Matt, the President needs Saudi

Arabia's help. The spike in gas prices in the United States is a political disaster for the President personally, and for Democrats running into the

midterm elections.

You know, the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia has for decades, been marked by this clash between America's perceived interests. And its

concerns about repression and the political system there and the wider Saudi influence as it relates to extremist Islam, and the Saudi Arabia's

key position economically and strategically to United States, largely because of its massive oil reserves.

And that you saw President Biden there when he made those comments, he was on the campaign trail. He was trying to differentiate himself between

President Donald Trump who basically just brushed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post Columnist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

under the carpet by saying, well, Saudi Arabia is very important, because it's against Iran, and it buys loads of U.S. weapons.

So that's the context here. That's why he's getting a backlash. It's a classic clash between U.S. political interests in Washington, and the

larger sort of strategic issue here that's how this is unfolding. But I think, you know, it's inevitable that the United States and Saudi Arabia as

they have many times before, will have to get over a period of very difficult relations, for political sort of needs in both countries.

ANDERSON: The cold, hard political truth is that America's perceived interest and its principles often clash, you said, to Riyadh, who has been

telegraphing for some time now a break in the relationship or worsening in the relationship between Washington and the Kingdom. There is an awful lot

of leverage at this point, isn't there? And this is a trip should it happen in July, which quite frankly, is perfectly timed for Crown Prince Mohammed

bin Salman?

COLLINSON: Right. And it would mark in many ways, at least from the position of people in the United States as a reentry from Mohammed Bin

Salman into the community of nations if he receives an American President with all the pomp of a Saudi visit that is going to be very uncomfortable

for the White House.


COLLINSON: There's been a lot of backlash in the United States, for example, from Saudi dissidents from the family of Jamal Khashoggi from 9/11

families. So it could be quite a distasteful moment if you'd like for the President.

That's why the White House appears to be betting this as part of a wider Middle East trip. He's also expected to go to Israel the President could

then talk about how. You know, it's important for the American President to talk to all sides in the Middle East to try and push forward peace efforts.

And it will be less obviously a political mission to try and get the Saudis to, you known, pump more oil. But the White House has repeatedly tried to

get OPEC to up production during this oil spike crisis. And it has failed. So they are driving a very hard bargain.

I think what is very interesting is that this shows how the war in Ukraine has reshaped the international geopolitical picture? In many ways the U.S.

position, Biden's position on Saudi Arabia was driven from a moral perspective that if you know, an American based journalist is killed in the

Saudi constant that is beyond the pale for relations between the two sides.

He's taken the same kind of stance towards the war in Ukraine saying it's vital for U.S. values. And this is one place where U.S. values clash, and

he has to make a choice.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Stephen, thank you. You can read Stevens' analysis on a variety of stories do subscribe to his newsletter "Meanwhile in

America". While you're at it, subscribe to "Meanwhile", in the Middle East launched about a month or so ago it is a jolly good read to taking a very

short break back after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back! You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems to like number 10 he

is fighting hard to hang on to it. In the coming hours he'll face a vote of confidence triggered by lawmakers in his own Conservative Party.

And we are hearing that Mr. Johnson has written to all Tory lawmakers that are short for conservative lawmakers asking for their support. And Downing

Street says he's been addressing the 1922 Committee of conservatives this hour number 10 of course being the home of the Prime Minister.

Well, this all follow as the Platinum Jubilee where Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie were booed. There only cheers for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

II. Well wishes traveled from all over the UK and the world to Central London for Sunday's pageant marking the finale of the big events. CNN's

Anna Stewart joined some of the revelers in London. Take a look.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Great British street party is a long standing tradition for marking royal events, coronations,

royal weddings and jubilees. Thousands took place across the UK Sunday in spite of the typically British weather, this one on a very aptly named


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --Elizabeth Street and Queen Elizabeth it's got to be done ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So come all this way to be the street party that's closest to Buckingham Palace.

STEWART (voice over): It's a policy catering for all ages for Military Veterans to some much younger residents.


STEWART (on camera): How would you describe Mr. Punch for an international audience?

STEWART (voice over): This mischievous puppet speaks mostly gibberish, but luckily has a translator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he likes jubilees because it gets lots of work.

STEWART (voice over): This street has some notable shops, including Hatter to the Royals, Philip Treacy, and they're all part of the celebrations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually own the hair salon across the road. So it's part of my neighborhood in Elizabeth Street. We've always had like a

vintage atmosphere. I think it's come across really well.

STEWART (voice over): Above all street parties are about uniting communities. But it's a moment to break bread, or in this case, scones,

cucumber sandwiches, and of course, some bubbles. Anna Stewart, CNN, from Elizabeth Street in London.


ANDERSON: Thank you for joining us, wherever you've been watching CNN for more coverage of Boris Johnson's confidence.