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Biden Visits Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem; Ranil Wickremesinghe Appointed Acting President of Sri Lanka; Protesters Amass near Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker's Office; Soaring Prices Dampen Turkey's Eid Al-Adha Festival; Biden's Trip Seeks Stronger Ties and Energy Supplies; Twitter Sues Elon Musk to Force him to buy Company. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 13, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: --Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE will all work together to help warn each other against threats ,especially from
Iran, Iran of course a huge major share concern amongst these countries.
Israel will be pushing the Americans against the return to the Iranian nuclear deal has been long their position, they're also going to be pushing
the Americans on coming up with this plan B strategy, the talks seem to be falling apart on returning to a nuclear deal.
And the Israelis don't want to return to the nuclear deal. But they also want the American commitment to a strategy to potentially support Israel if
they want to militarily strike around.
And if you noticed, I'm not really mentioning a lot about the Palestinian Israeli peace process, because we're not expecting any major movements on
there. Even Biden himself mentioning, during his speech on the tarmac, that well he still very much believes in a two state solution.
He realizes it's not going to happen in the near term, we'll see some small movements, some small confidence building measures between the Israelis and
the Palestinians, President Biden will head to the West Bank on Friday, who'll meet with the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.
But other than those sorts of small movements, we're not expecting any sort of major pronouncements on the ground here. Paula?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Hadas, stay with me as we try and take in the occasion of this for a minute and listening to that choir. Here at the
Holocaust, you're watching there, Joe Biden at the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. He is flanked there, of course, by the Israeli Prime Minister
and the President.
I want to bring in Hadas again. Hadas, if you can hear me there, of course, as we had been saying before, quite resonance there at the Holocaust
Memorial. I will add, though, that given regional tensions right now and the war between Ukraine and Russia, you know, Israel has been in an
uncomfortable spot here.
I will just start with what were very controversial remarks by the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, suggesting that this invasion had
echoes of the Holocaust and the memorial, the lead at the memorial, they're pushing back and saying there is no historical equivalence.
And yet this really put a huge punctuation mark right, on the fact that Israel still under some criticism for continuing to have dialogue with
GOLD: Yes, Israel has been in a unique position when it's come to Russia. And that's mainly because of its security concerns. Israel, this is
something that now Prime Minister Yair Lapid has essentially said explicitly, they consider their northern border with Syria, for all intents
and purposes to be a border with Russia. And that's because of Russia has a very heavy military presence in Syria. In fact, when Israel wants to strike
what they say are Iranian backed targets in Syria, there's a hotline between Israeli military and the Russian military bases where they can talk
to one another coordinate, so that no Russian military personnel will be caught up in the crossfire that goes to show you the sort of cooperation
that Israel relies on in order to get what it thinks that needs to get done in order to protect itself militarily.
But I do think that those comments from Lavrov were sort of I would call them a breaking point. But it did change a bit of the relationship and
we've actually seen in recent weeks, Israel starting to boost up its donations.
NEWTON: Hadas, I'm just going to stop you there for a second as we continue to listen in here to Joe Biden and taken the ceremony.
Sorry, I was interrupting there and I was glad that when you were speaking that you did bring up the further context of course the foreign minister
Russian foreign minister and his comments.
NEWTON: And you had been saying that this has really changed a lot in the relationship.
GOLD: It's changed, it's changed the relationship. That doesn't mean that Israel is coming out like full force against Russia. I mean, they have
condemned the invasion, they signed up to the UN resolution.
And like I said, they've been sending defensive equipment. They've said they've been welcoming in refugees, but they still had been very careful in
terms of trying to balance the relationship.
And if you keep in mind that former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, as one point was being seen as a mediator he might take, he took that sort of last
minute secretive flight to Moscow to try to speak with Vladimir Putin speaking regularly with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
We haven't seen a lot of that happening in recent weeks that seems to have quieted down quite a bit. And I do think that those comments by Lavrov,
that's when we really saw the strongest comments to date from the Israelis, against the Russians against that sort of action.
Now, that was calmed down over a few days, there was a conversation with Vladimir Putin. But it was I think, not necessarily a huge turning point.
But there was a change.
And like I said, we have been seeing the Israeli starting to give more to the Ukrainians when it comes to defensive equipment.
NEWTON: Yes, Hadas you know, one of the reasons why perhaps U.S. policy Joe Biden's policy in the Middle East, it's incredibly complicated. The plan is
not ambitious right now.
And we have to know right, really following on from a lot of what the Trump Administration did hear, I mean, to make a fine point of it. Trump moved
the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; it remains there today, the U.S. administration certainly not doing anything to change that.
GOLD: That's really unique when you think about it, because in so many other arenas, the Biden Administration is rolling back so much of what the
Trump Administration did.
But here in this region, they are really pushing it forward and embracing these changes embracing the Abraham Accords, embracing these normalization
agreements pushing them forward.
And they haven't really rolled back anything that Trump did in Israel, like you said, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Jerusalem as
Israel's capital, recognizing Israel sovereignty in the Golan Heights, nothing in that terms has changed.
And it shouldn't be noted, actually, that something that Biden and Prime Minister Lapid will be signing during this visit is being called the
Jerusalem declaration. Israeli officials briefing reporters saying this will be a blueprint for the bilateral relationship going forward covering
everything from technology to security to political relationships.
But just think about the name, The Jerusalem declaration. At the same time, though, Paula, President Biden will be making a unique visit for U.S.
president to East Jerusalem.
East Jerusalem is a place that Palestinians would one day like to call their capital of a future Palestinian state. On Friday, he is expected to
potentially visit a hospital in East Jerusalem that had its funding cut by the Trump Administration.
The U.S. saying that it has a reef, it's bringing back the funding to too many Palestinian organization, many Palestinian funds. And so that is one
thing that they aren't rolling back from the Trump Administration.
But it is notable that he is making that visit to East Jerusalem a gesture really to the Palestinians when not much else really is being done on
concrete steps towards some sort of two state solutions.
NEWTON: Yes, and I'm glad you brought that up, because, of course, President Biden you know, really under fire from his own party and
Democrats who want to see more outreach to the Palestinians.
This is will be the face to face visit that the President Biden has with the Palestinians. They will not go a long way though in certainly appeasing
his critics back home, as I said from within his own party.
Hadas, really appreciate you being by our side here as we see President joining, leaving here and joining in to meet as you see their Holocaust
survivors and their families and we will continue our live coverage with Joe Biden later on in the show.
Now, remember, you can read in our Middle East newsletter meanwhile, in the Middle East, our experts take a deep dive into the news. We'll take a look
at what not to expect from this visit. Hadas got into a bit of that and what hangs in the balance.
And of course you can always sign up at cnn.com/Mideast newsletter. Want to go to Sri Lanka now we're escalating economic and political unrest is
fueling growing anger in the island nation of 22 million. Right now a crowd has amassed outside the office of the parliamentary speaker.
It comes after he announced earlier that the outgoing president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had in fact stepped down via phone he just called up and resigned
- meantime must still submit a formal letter of resignation no sign of that yet.
Now before fleeing the country with his wife, the president appointed the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as an acting president and not just
enraged protesters who are now calling for his ouster as well.
Earlier they breached the Prime Minister's compound and took over his offices following a standoff with security forces at the front gates there.
NEWTON: The National Hospital now says at least 30 people were injured many of them from inhaling tear gas. Now Bhavani Fonseca joins me now from
Colombo, she's a senior researcher at the Center for Policy Alternatives and a human rights lawyer. And I really appreciate you being with us to
help make sense of what we're seeing. And what are we seeing right now, on the ground in Colombo, we have this issue where the President has resigned,
but not formally. What are the protesters looking for?
BHAVANI FONSECA, SENIOR RESEARCHER, CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES: So Paula, just to be clear, the President has not yet resigned, he has left
the country. But he has not resigned; he has said he will resign. The resignation only becomes effective when he hands over the letter to the
And so at the moment, we have a president, but the president who is not in Sri Lanka who has fled the country. We have a Prime Minister who claimed
earlier today that he is acting president and declared a state of emergency, both of which raises legal questions, because you don't need an
active president when the President has an appointed one.
So there are questions around that. But what we saw today, were thousands of people yet again, protesting in different sites and in one particular
side, protesters reaching the office of the prime minister and tear gas being used.
So a lot of developments on the ground and most recently, we had a parliamentary leaders meeting where they have called for the resignation of
the prime minister. So there's a call for the resignation of the President and the Prime Minister from both the protesters and the political
leadership, neither has yet to happen.
NEWTON: And can you give us some context here on why protesters will fear that a) the President is actually not stepped down formally and why that is
an issue even if he has left the country.
And the fact that a prime minister is just not an acceptable replacement at this point in time that they want wholesale change.
FONSECA: So Paula, the protesters have been on the streets, and I've been joining the protests. We've been protesting since March, demanding for a
system change, demanding for the resignation of the President and the Prime Minister.
So the precedent has really, both of them did promise they'll resign and they haven't resigned, which has angered the protesters, the Prime Minister
has really not indicated even when he will resign.
So there's a lot of weakness in terms of what they have promised. And following through, the protesters want to see a change. I mean, this is
very clear and that change does not include the Rajapaksa family, nor does it include Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is a sitting Prime Minister.
So there is deep and popularity with particular political leaders, there is a clear demand that they need to go home. But also there is a demand that
there are needs to be a new political culture.
So this political culture requires accountability, requires checks and balances, but also looking at an election in the near future, because a new
fresh mandate is required in this present crisis.
NEWTON: And I will get to that fresh mandate and the economic crisis in a second. But before I have to ask you, are you afraid of what the military
might do in this instance, they are seen as being very closely aligned with the President, I guess you'd call him the former president and his entire
cabinet and his family.
FONSECA: So it's not the former president, he hasn't resigned. So President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has a military background and under his presidency, we
have seen increased militarization and the entrenchment of military in governance.
And this is a deep worry during the COVID and subsequently, we have seen this. Now today, the military was called out the military has come out and
given a press conference, urging peace and law in order.
So there are some interesting developments happening as well. But definitely there are concerns that if the situation is not addressed, that
could lead to further violence, and then how this government, the military respond, but there's also fear that the violence may spread.
I mean, we saw in March the wild land spreading so it's an extremely volatile situation on the ground. But it also stems to the fact that
there's political instability and that requires urgent attention at the moment.
NEWTON: And as you were saying all of that punctuated by an economic crisis where people cannot get the necessities of life at this hour, we will
continue to follow the situation very closely and appreciate you weighing in for this.
Now, we were just talking about the economic crisis in Sri Lanka and the shortages there are being made worse as the war in Ukraine drags on, see
what Ukraine is doing to speed up the grain exports to help with global food supply.
And the global inflation picture unfortunately remains grim. We're on the ground in Turkey looking at how rising prices are impacting everyday life
NEWTON: Ukraine is now sending much needed grain out of the country to the rest of the world. 16 ships have now left ports there; Ukraine's offensive
to reclaim Russian occupied territory in the south is intensifying.
Meantime, Ukrainian authorities say two Russian missile strikes hit the South East Zaporizhzhia region; at least seven people have been injured.
And it's part of the heavy fighting really right across Ukraine at this hour with intense Russian bombardment in parts of Donetsk, where the death
toll has now risen to 47 following a Russian rocket strike on an apartment building over the weekend.
And today, a Russian soldier appeared in Ukrainian courtroom to challenge his life sentence for war crimes. Last hour I spoke to our Scott McLean
about the prosecutor's view of the case.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. And the prosecutor said look, he doesn't view the original sentence as unduly harsh. But he also
said that this ought to be an example to other Russians who are now fighting on Ukrainian territory.
I should mention Paula that this particular appeals hearing was actually held up by about an hour because of air raid sirens in the city when it
resumed 21 year old Vadim Shishimarin and took his place in the prisoners box, a glass box he spoke, or he listened to the proceedings through a
Russian translator where the judge at first laid out the facts of the case.
And that determined his conviction, which is that four days into the war only, he crossed over the border into Ukraine. He was part of a Russian
military column that was fired on by the Ukrainians.
He and four other soldiers ended up to avoid shelling stealing a car drive, drove it into a nearby village and this is when he came across this 62 year
old man on his cell phone riding a bicycle.
The initial defense that he gave was that yes, he killed him but he was pressured by a superior to actually pull the trigger. And that's largely
the same kind of a defense that we heard today. Obviously the judge didn't buy it.
Today, though his lawyer argued that he not only refused initially to shoot several times it was also only a single shot that was fired that he didn't
put up a fight when he was detained. And that ultimately he had no intention to actually kill them in.
MCLEAN: The prosecution, though well, as I mentioned, they would very much like to hold this up as an example. And I asked the prosecutor, whether he
had any sympathy at all for the position that this Russian soldier found himself in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRIY SUNYUK, PROSECUTOR: I have absolutely no sympathy for these people. I approached this case with a cold heart and clear mind relying only on the
facts. And the fact is that he came to our land and the military equipment in order to destroy as many Ukrainians as possible. He is complicit; no one
forces a person to carry out a criminal order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: Paula, I have to tell you just looking at Shishimarin in the prisoner's box when I was inside the courtroom, what really struck me is
just how young he looked. He looks like a kid.
He looks like a teenager. I mean, he's barely older than a teenager. There were no decisions made today. The ruling by the three judge panel could
come later this month, though, there could also be more arguments heard.
If his sentence is reduced, it would be reduced to a maximum of 15 years. That's because under the Ukrainian judicial system, the harshest sentence
you can get is life and the second harshest is 15 years.
Of course, the other possibility for Shishimarin is that he's exchanged in a prisoner exchange, though, of course, that's a political decision, not
one for the courts.
NEWTON: All right. Thanks to Scott McLean there. Now talks between Russia and Ukraine and the UN are now underway in Turkey over the deadlock of
grain exports from Ukraine. And as Turkish officials discuss those grain shipments, we're watching all the moving pieces that are continuing to push
inflation higher right around the world.
And believe me, there is fallout, rising prices forced many Turkish families to scale back their Eid celebrations. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh shows
us how they're playing out right now in assemble.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After two years of pandemic restrictions, this sacrificial livestock market in
Istanbul is coming back to life its Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice, a time when Muslims traditionally buy and slaughter sheep and
cattle and share the meat with that in need.
It's a lively scene with buyers and sellers haggling and cutting deals. Despite the jubilation the state of Turkey's economy is making it hard to
celebrate. With skyrocketing inflation sellers say they're struggling to keep up.
Feeding them as expensive, he says the cost of medicine trucks to come here are expensive. And there's the rent we pay for this place. Business is
getting harder, he says.
KARADSHEH (on camera): The common average sheep this year is about 4000 Turkish Lira, that's about 230 U.S. dollars in a country where the minimum
wage is equivalent to just over 300 U.S. dollars, making this something many can afford this year.
KARADSHEH (voice over): Erdogan - is here with his grandchildren to buy a sheep. It's a tradition he wants to keep alive. But he says this isn't a
pleasant Eid. Rising costs left him no choice but to shutter his business last week and lay off his 20 employees.
Over the past 26 years in my business, I witnessed every crisis he says but nothing like this. It's like a fire burning people. That fire is Turkey's
worst inflation in more than 20 years.
The official rate hit nearly 80 percent in June, but many believe in reality it's much higher than that. The governments raise the minimum wage
twice since December, but with the cost of pretty much everything continuing to rise, people say it's impossible to keep up the cost of food.
Everyday Staples has nearly doubled in a year, making the traditional sweet delights of aid out of reach for many. - says her family will have to give
up the traditional tray of baklava this year.
They can barely afford the necessities these days. This couple tells us high costs have taken away the joy of aid shopping. No new clothes for the
children this year, just the basics.
But the hardest part for these devout Muslims is not being able to afford a sheep to sacrifice. Rising global energy costs, the war in Ukraine and the
Turkish Lira losing about half its value in the past year all contributed to the soaring inflation. But economists play much of this on the Turkish
presidents on orthodox economic policies. Erdogan refuses to raise interest rates to fight inflation. He's even vowed to cut them further.
This 29 year old tells us he only has enough to buy second hand shoes for aid. A loaf of bread is five lira, tomorrow it will be six he says.
KARADSHEH (voice over): Who's responsible? Let's not talk about that. We will talk about who they blame. They will likely take their grievances to
the polls next year, and that could cost the president.
But for now, it's ordinary Turks who will continue to bear the brunt of this troubled economy. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN Istanbul.
NEWTON: Right now Ukraine is hoping to speed up its grain exports. After retaking Snake Island in the south, the country is allowing ships to pass
through a renewed Danube River routes.
Now that's good news for Ukrainian farmers. Ivan Watson shows us though how tough things have become on one farm.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the farmers deadly crop part of it this summer rockets, Russian rockets and nose cones
that he's collected from his farm fields in the last couple of weeks. And that's the reality of life in this part of Ukraine.
There is incredible, rich farmland here. This is one of the biggest grain exporting countries in the world. We're just in the kind of parking lot
amid the tractors and combines of this farm.
But right now, everywhere in southern Ukraine, you'll see people harvesting wheat and grain and they're doing it amid artillery and frontline combat
that is very close by. We've been hearing the explosions of artillery coming into the south of here.
And actually we're driving through farm fields next to burned out tanks and armored personnel carriers. And the farmers are still working. Even with
the threat of Russian artillery that could land here.
It's remarkable, the bravery of these people. Part of the problem though, is even though there's a crop of wheat out in these fields that needs to be
harvested. The Ukrainians can't export it right now, there's a Russian naval blockade of Ukraine's ports, so the food can't get out.
And that's having an immediate impact being felt around the world with the inflation of global food prices. So the Ukrainian government, the farmers
here, the World Food Program, the UN, they're all asking for corridors so that the wheat that is harvested here can be exported, so that you're not
going to see starvation and social unrest in some of the poorer countries around the world.
But it's tough. There are barns here, storage facilities that are full of grain from these farmers last year's crop that he cannot take to market
right now. And this is just one example of the consequences of this terrible war with the Ukrainian government is accusing Russia of fighting
hunger games, driving up food prices and shortages of food around the world.
NEWTON: Thanks to Ivan Watson there, this is "Connect the World". Just ahead for us Joe Biden's big welcome in Israel and what he hopes to
accomplish on his first trip to the Middle East as U.S. President.
Plus its multibillion dollar company versus multibillionaire. In fact the richest man in the world will explain why Twitter is suing Elon Musk for
trying to back out of buying the company.
NEWTON: We're now on our top story. The trip the world is watching this hour Joe Biden's first Middle East trip as U.S. President. Now short time
ago, he paid tribute to the victims of the Holocaust at the Russian Memorial.
This is in fact a high stakes trip for Mr. Biden. And just after he stepped off the plane and Tel Aviv earlier today, you see it there. He reaffirmed
America's relationship with Israel.
Mr. Biden also wants to bring Israel and Saudi Arabia closer together. Dan Shapiro is a former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and a Distinguished Fellow at
the Atlantic Council. And he joins me now from Bethesda, Maryland.
And it is really good to have you on hand here, especially given the position you held in the Obama Administration, you work very closely with a
Vice President Biden, given how things have changed in the Middle East, and we've gotten an administration in between there, right, the Trump
Administration and everything that changed under there.
How much different is this for Joe Biden his 10th trip to the Middle East, and that was first as president.
DAN SHAPIRO, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: President Biden - Israel as well, he's traveled there 10 times I hosted him there twice as vice
president, I don't know any American official who's as comfortable there as he is.
But the region has changed a lot. And he's actually moving to take advantage, advantage of those changes. The overarching theme of this trip
is regional integration.
And that has a couple of aspects. One is the normalization of relations between Israel and a number of Arab states, starting with the Abraham
accords with the UAE and Bahrain, later, Morocco and Sudan.
And there are other countries moving toward eventual normalization with Israel, certainly, the president will try to encourage the Saudis to take
some steps in that direction.
And those states that have already done so to build out even more extensive cooperation in areas like health and energy and water, and education.
Secondly, Israel is now a member of CENTCOM, the U.S. military command that oversees the Middle East. And in that way, it can more directly cooperate
with and train with and share technologies and intelligence with Arab militaries, including those that haven't even normalized relations with.
So another aspect of this integration is the prospect of, of integrating and unifying the air defenses of all of these countries, because they all
face common threats from Iran and from Iran's proxies in the region.
So this is a major opportunity to have this coalition of U.S. partners really coalesce into something that works that takes the lead intending to
its own security needs. And that makes the United States a lead partner, but not always having to be at the tip of the spear of their efforts.
NEWTON: You know, given what you were talking about, especially when it comes to the threat from Iran, I mean, the nuclear talks with Iran are
still at a crossroads, I call it, and I think that's to be charitable, it doesn't look like anything positive is happening there.
How do you think the president will best frame this now? And I do want to make a fine point on the fact that he is following up on the Trump
Administration's push to continue to have those close relationships in the region. I mean, he's going to Saudi Arabia right after.
SHAPIRO: President Biden, first of all, has sought throughout his career to have very close security cooperation with Israel, he has been more
skeptical about some of the other Arab partners in the region.
But he certainly does see at this stage a need to have this coordination. You're right, the Iran nuclear talks are at an inflection point, there's a
high possibility that they will simply collapse.
And that will leave Iran and its current state, which is essentially a nuclear threshold state, with enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear
weapon. They won't have weaponized to do it yet, but it's certainly only within their capability. The other alternative is that the talks will
resume and somehow reach a restoration of the Iran nuclear deal, but that only lasts a few more years.
And it will also give Iran a lot of revenue from sanctions relief that it can use to fuel its other non-nuclear threats of the region. So it's an
important moment, as we approach that inflection point to coordinate within Israel coordinate with Arab partners in the region.
Because at the end of the day, the United States and they have a common interest and a common commitment to ensure Iran never gets a nuclear
weapon, but it's going to be a challenging whichever path we find ourselves on.
NEWTON: And can you give us some insights in terms of how the President's thinking might have changed on this? From the time that you were with them
as vice president it is completely different in terms of the scene there. I mean when you were Ambassador the two state solution was still you know,
you know, talked about as if it was credible as if it could actually happen.
NEWTON: Things have changed dramatically since then. How do you think him as president is adjusting to this, and I mean, specifically on his
ambitions for the region.
SHAPIRO: It's true that this is not a propitious moment to try to advance Israeli Palestinian peace talks toward a resolution of that conflict.
There's an Israeli election underway, the Palestinian leadership is in a phase of some kind of transition.
There's really no trust between them. And so the administration has, I think, obsessed that situation and do not make that the primary goal that
they're pursuing at the moment.
And that won't be a big part of what President Biden will try to achieve on this was not a resolution to the conflict. Nevertheless, he's very clear
he'll state he stated in his remarks when he landed at the airport, and he'll stated throughout the trip, that a two state solution must remain
alive and viable.
It's the only way the conflict can end, the only way Israel can remain a Jewish and democratic state, the only way Palestinians can meet their
legitimate rights for independence.
And in fact, there's a way if it's harnessed correctly, to link the positive energy of the Abraham accords of normal the trend of normalization
and integration into the Israeli Palestinian story by including Palestinians and some of those exchanges, whether they'd be education or
joint ventures or energy or water exchanges, just by getting Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs sitting together at the same table.
It could lower the barriers to an eventual resumption of those negotiations. But that is a big change. Certainly, during the Obama
Administration that was always the one of the main topics for discussion during these types of visits, and that's not the case right now.
NEWTON: And we will leave it there, Ambassador but really good to get your insights especially given your historical perspective. Thanks so much,
appreciate it. Now ahead for us on "Connect the World" Twitter Sues Elon Musk for trying to back out of his deal to buy the company.
We'll tell you why Twitter is trying to force his hand and why he may still back out. And golf returns to its birthplace for its oldest tournament, the
sport has likely never faced as big a challenge as the one it's battling now.
NEWTON: Twitter is now suing billionaire Elon Musk to try and force him to follow through on buying the company. And that is after Musk sent a letter
to Twitter's top lawyer saying he wants to terminate the $44 billion acquisition agreement.
Musk lawyer has alleged that Twitter is "In material breach of multiple provisions of the deal". Joining me now is Chief Media Correspondent Brian
Brian, this is an epic clash of Titans here and this will be settled apparently in a courtroom in Delaware. But I want to ask you in terms of
how people are gaming this out; do they really think that Twitter can force Elon Musk's hand here?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think the conventional wisdom is that Twitter does have a stronger legal hand than Musk right now.
But that the outcome is likely not going to be that a court that a judge in Delaware forces must to buy something he doesn't want to buy.
Instead, there's probably some other resolution, maybe a settlement here, that's going to happen in either days, weeks, months, or who knows, maybe
even years. It's certainly in Twitter's interest to get this over with more quickly and maybe in Musk's interest as well.
But the statement from Twitter was very clear in this lawsuit that was written not just for the judge, but also for the public accusing Musk of
acting in bad faith of being hypocritical by trying to back out of a legal agreement.
And as the Chair of Twitter's board said, we're trying to hold Musk accountable to his contractual obligations. That contract that agreement to
buy Twitter says that he was going to pay about $44 billion, and some of that, of course, coming from financing, et cetera.
And if he didn't go through with the deal, pay a $1 billion breakup fee. So $1 billion or $44 billion, there's that range of figures. And I think
ultimately, this is probably going to land somewhere in between the purpose of Twitter's lawsuit is likely to force some sort of agreement settlement,
so that they get a lot of money out of Musk, more than 1 billion, but not the $44 billion.
Because as you said, it would be quite strange to force someone to buy a company that he says he doesn't want to buy, that wouldn't bode well for
the future of Twitter. And certainly Musk has a lot to say about this.
He's only said a little bit on Twitter so far. Here's his tweet that was posted just minutes after Twitter's legal filing. He didn't directly
reference the filing. But he said, Oh, the irony.
I think what he's referring to here is the idea that Twitter bristled when Musk started to buy up sock, there were attempts to push him away to stop
him from taking over Twitter.
And now the company is trying to make him buy the company after all. So there is a sense of irony here. But ultimately, I think we're going to land
in this place somewhere between the $1 billion fee and the $44 billion purchase price.
And where I think nobody knows, and maybe a judge in Delaware is going to have something to say about that.
NEWTON: Yes. And so much of what Elon Musk thinks and says about this is on Twitter, again is adding it's all on Twitter. All right, Brian thanks. That
was a really good synopsis. We'll all stay tuned. Appreciate it.
STELTER: Yes, thank you.
NEWTON: Now, by this time tomorrow, the greatest golfers in the world when battling in the sports oldest tournament and its most legendary of course,
it is a beauty. But even a British Open at St. Andrews cannot overshadow questions about how the Live Tour could change the future of golf.
Andy Scholes is World Sport, from World Sport and will tell us more about it now. Andy little known fact, Andy little known fact you and I were
having dinner just a few weeks ago, and you actually said to me, this is when the first group of golfers signed up LIV Golf. You said to me, Paula,
this is not the last we're going to hear on this.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes.
NEWTON: I'm going to hand it over to you now because you knew much better.
SCHOLES: It's turned into a serious threat Paula, if we keep talking about it. We heard from Tiger Woods yesterday, he said, you know, he really
doesn't understand why anyone would turn their back on the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf.
And then just this morning we had the RNA one of golf's governing bodies come out really just saying condemning the LIV Golf Tour, you know, saying
it's not the best interest in golf.
And they actually said they're going to be reviewing their qualifications in terms of being able to qualify for the Open Championship moving forward.
We're going to talk about that and get a live report from St. Andrews coming up on World Sport.
NEWTON: And I will be watching it all, Andy thanks so much. That's it for me, I am Paula Newton in for Becky Anderson and that was "Connect the
World". We'll see you tomorrow.