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Connect the World

Global Fossil Fuel Deal; IDF: Nine Soldiers Killed In Single Incident In Gaza; Hunter Biden: I'm Here To Admit Mistakes In My Life. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired December 13, 2023 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: It's 6pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos and this is Connect the World. The deal is done. A few hours

ago, nearly 200 countries signed on to a historic climate deal to move away from fossil fuels. The Israeli military suffered one of its biggest losses

yet in the ground assault in Gaza. We have a live report from Tel Aviv.

And diplomatic success. Vietnam's leader is calling a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, a new historic milestone. Welcome to the show, and we

begin with historic climate deal in Dubai. Nearly 200 countries around the world have forged an agreement that includes an unprecedented cold

transition away from fossil fuels, but several loose ends remain.

The deal reached earlier today at the COP28 summit falls short of requiring the world to phase out coal, oil and gas, a measure many nations and

climate advocates have backed. Instead, it presents a series of eight options, options to reduce carbon pollution asking countries to "contribute

to the goal of achieving net zero by the year 2050."

Well, we have a team of coverage, we're standing by with David McKenzie in Johannesburg for us. We've also got CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent, Bill

Weir in New York. Great to see you both.

David, we know these negotiations were really tough. And it went in over time. What was really interesting is that it was actually very quick to

pass through after the plenary session. The wording here matters, fossil fuels finally in this agreement, but yes, there are loopholes.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are loopholes. And I think it's important for many that fossil fuels were named

in this document, just one country can really veto the agreement at the end of a COP meeting. So it is significant. And many are saying it's worth a

pause here just to say that this is an achievement.

But there are significant loopholes. This is not binding. This doesn't call for a specific phase out of fossil fuels. And that was something I was

hearing a lot about when we were at COP some days ago, hearing from delegates and activists, but the head of the COP meetings, Sultan Al-Jaber

had this to say.


SULTAN AL JABER, MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY OF THE UAE: We have delivered a comprehensive response to the global stocktake and all

other mandates. Together, we have confronted realities, and we have set the world in the right direction. We have given it a robust action plan to keep

1.5 within reach.


MCKENZIE: Now, there was pushback on the phase out from countries like Saudi Arabia and also several African nations that are looking to exploit

the fossil fuels that are still in the ground. They say they weren't committed to - they weren't contributing to climate change, but they in

fact, are now being punished because of the transition away from fossil fuels. Much now more needs to be sorted out. Really the proof will be on

the execution of this deal and the speed in which it is done, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yeah, super fascinating. Stay with us, David. And, Bill, I want to come to you now as well. You know, we have been talking I think, a lot this

year about the record heat that we've been seeing around the world. The 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to many sciences that we've been speaking to

saying we're probably going to breach that. Even though this is historic, and it has to be said, the wording of, you know, phasing down (inaudible),

the coal mining side of things.

For example, we're talking about carbon sequestration. We're talking about finding ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere, the question has always

been, is it enough? And we know it is never enough? It's not matching the urgency we're seeing on the climate front. So what are your thoughts with

everything that's happened over the last few days?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, yeah, Eleni, it's worth taking a pause, as David mentioned, just to recognize that it took 30 years

but humanity finally acknowledged the source of the most existential threat we're facing right now. And it is mushy.

And there's a lot of wiggle room for countries that may not come into this with good faith. But in the end, the laws of physics don't care about human

relations, regardless of what's going on. And science tells us that in order to keep 1.5 alive, the world in total must reduce emissions by over

40 percent.


Right now we're hitting record planet cooking emissions, and maybe reducing it about 10 percent. So just in the next seven years, humanity will have to

ramp up decarbonisation efforts four-fold. And so there's one promise in here that you can triple your pledge to renewables in a country. But that's

not country by country. That's saying I will do my part to help the world triple renewables, that is sort of taking off on its own right now, the

economics behind wind and solar and battery storage is just booming.

But it's not replacing legacy fossil fuels nearly enough for the likes of science right now. So in the end, it is a win for humanity. And the fact

that 200 nations can agree on anything these days is pretty spectacular. But the hard, nitty gritty work will now come down to especially countries,

say in Africa that have a lot of oil and gas, and a lot of wind and sun and a lot of debt. And they're drilling a lot of oil in order to service the

debt with nothing left over to transition to renewable. So that's where the finance part comes into all of this, encouraging rich countries to help but

not requiring them to.

GIOKOS: Yeah, exactly. And that's the point. It's a financing side. And David, you're still with us. I mean, to be frank, and this is in the actual

draft. And also in the communique, the final communique. They say that they note with deep regrets, the goal of developed countries not meeting that

$100 billion per year specifically in 2020.

They also note with concern that there's a huge financing gap as well. And this, frankly, has been one of the big issues that emerging markets, that

the global south has been talking about that if we are serious, the financing needs to come through.

MCKENZIE: It does need to come through and you just look on a practical matter as Bill was saying, you know, I've been up in northern Namibia where

they are prospecting for oil, here in South Africa where there's a huge amount of coal still left in the ground, and yet the country faces an

electricity crisis. It's these practical matters in individual countries, where they of course will make decisions about their individual citizens.

The problem is, is the climate crisis is already a crisis. And unless that financing comes from wealthy nations and is executed properly in poorer

nations, it doesn't really matter. We'll blow past those emissions targets and the world will be facing even more of a climate crisis. Eleni.

GIOKOS: David McKenzie, Bill Weir, great to see you. Thank you so much. Well, the Israeli military now says nine soldiers were killed in a single

incident in northern Gaza as the ongoing battle against Hamas expands. It is among the biggest losses of life in a single incident for Israeli forces

since the ground defensive began in October. But as the war enters its third month Israel and the U.S. stand increasingly isolated on the world


On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted to demand immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Israel and the U.S. were to have only 10 votes against

the resolution. 153 nations voted for the non-binding ceasefire resolution. Despite Israel's staunch U.S. backing, thus far a rift appears to be


On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he and U.S. President Biden disagree on what the future of Gaza looks like. The same day Mr.

Biden said that international support for Israel's military campaign is beginning to wane. And Mr. Netanyahu needs to change his conservative

hardline government. Well, following all of this from Tel Aviv is our Chief National Security Correspondent, Alex Marquardt. And we've also got Arlette

Saenz at the White House for us.

Alex, I'd like to start off with you. Seeing those soldiers dying in Gaza one of the biggest losses in a single day for Israel thus far, but we're -

it gives us a sense of just how tough it is right now on the ground.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It really does, Eleni. There have been some very, very fierce battles. I'm just going to

pop this out. I'm hearing myself.


MARQUARDT: (inaudible) its operations on the southern part of Gaza Strip. There are intense fights going on still in northern strip, namely in the

Jabalya refugee camp, as well as the Shejaiya neighborhood and this incident in which nine soldiers were killed, happened in Shejaiya which is

in the northeastern part of Gaza.

We understand from the IDF that explosives were - were - were thrown at Israeli soldiers from a residential building. These soldiers were fired

upon, then a second group of soldiers rushed forward to try and help them and during that battle, nine of the soldiers from the famed Golani Brigade

fell and died.


At least one of them was a battalion commander, a young lieutenant colonel. There was a 10th person who also died on Tuesday. So 10 overall, making it

one of the deadliest days since this war began back on October 7. The total number of soldiers who have been killed since the beginning is 115. At the

same time, the IDF is claiming that some 7000 Hamas militants have been killed. And then Eleni, as you know, the overall death toll, of course,

among Palestinians in Gaza has been skyrocketing.

Even if you - if you take those IDF numbers, then thousands and thousands of civilians have been killed. The Hamas controlled Ministry of Health and

Gaza saying that some 18,400 Gazans have been killed since October 7. Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yeah, that's a really important point. And we - we've just seen what happened at the U.N. General Assembly as well. And the pushback of 10

nations but overwhelmingly the international community, you know, voting for a ceasefire.

We also have Arlette with us. One of the things that we have seen, perhaps one of the most pointed criticisms right now in terms of Israel's campaign

in Gaza, from President Joe Biden. Give me a sense of what this means because the words of 'indiscriminate bombing' was used and what

ramifications does it have for Benjamin Netanyahu?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Eleni, it's really a remarkable shift. As we are starting to see this rift between President

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spill into public view. The president in a closed door fundraiser where the cameras are off, a

venue that he often tends to speak a bit more freely said that he believes that Israel is starting to lose international support due to its

indiscriminate bombing.

He also said that Netanyahu needs to change his approach, but that he is severely limited by the government he currently has in place, calling it

one of the most conservative governments in Israeli history.

And Biden also noting that Netanyahu does not support a two-state solution. There are very real differences between the U.S. and Israel, when it comes

to talking about the post-conflict status. Netanyahu yesterday very publicly said that he disagrees with what the U.S. has put forward for - to

happen in the region after the war. But it really speaks to a remarkable moment when you've seen President Biden really standing shoulder to

shoulder with Netanyahu, throughout this conflict.

There have been warnings from Biden, that Israel needs to take more care to protect civilian life as they are waging this war in Gaza. But even as

we've seen this international pressure for a ceasefire, the U.S. so far has not gone that far. But these remarks from the President and from Netanyahu

have - have very clearly shown that that united front is starting to be chipped away at a bit, especially when it comes to the campaign

specifically that is occurring in Gaza.

GIOKOS: Yeah. Alex, I would - I would like you to weigh in on this in terms of the shift in language from the United States. And we have to mention

here as well, the weather changing dramatically. We know that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is out of control. We've heard a time and

time again, from aid agencies warning of what this means.

We're seeing flooding as well. And at the same time, the U.S. taking a very interesting and different, more stern stance against Netanyahu.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, Eleni, I think the U.S. is in a unique spot in that they are one of the few lonely voices that continue to reject calls for a

ceasefire, as we've seen now in these two back to back UN votes. At the same time, they are Israel's closest ally, and they are perhaps the only

country that the U.S. is going to - that Israel is going to listen to at all.

And so what we have seen is this growing criticism, the sharper words from President Biden and other senior officials, more daylight, as we've been

saying, but at the same time, it's been it's quite measured. When you look at you know, the U.S. discomfort with the number of civilians who have been

killed, which is now in the thousands.

You hear Secretary of State Antony Blinken talking about it in - in not terribly emotional terms. He talks about the gap between Israel's intent to

protect civilians and what's actually playing out on the ground. The repeated urging by Blinken and other top officials to get more aid in. It's

not the harshest criticism. I do think these comments from - from Biden are quite notable.

And frankly, the pressure is probably much greater behind the scenes than - than it is in public. And so I expect that pressure to only grow as

Israel's campaign goes on. We do expect this phase of the fighting continued to - continue for another few weeks. And one more thing, Eleni,

we do have the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, here on the ground in Israel tomorrow and Friday.

And certainly we can expect some of that pressure to be - to be heard directly by the Israeli government from Sullivan. Eleni.


GIOKOS: Alex Marquardt, always great speaking to you, thank you so much. Well, moments from now we will find out if the son of U.S. President Joe

Biden will answer questions on Capitol Hill. The U.S. House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Hunter Biden for a closed door deposition. House

Republicans have threatened contempt of Congress if he does not appear.

Hunter Biden's lawyers say he is willing to testify, but only in public. He was subpoenaed to answer questions as part of the committee's escalated

impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden.

Joining us now live from Capitol Hill, we've got CNN's Lauren Fox to take us through what we can expect and how this is playing out. It's heating up,

that's for sure.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, we are waiting right now to see if Hunter Biden appears on Capitol Hill. As you noted, he

was scheduled for a deposition today but the committee chairman on Judiciary and Oversight do not know if Hunter Biden is going to appear. His

lawyers had argued that they wanted a public hearing, not a closed door deposition.

Their argument that they did not want selective pieces of Hunter Biden's testimony to be leaked in pieces. Instead, they said it would be better to

do it publicly. So we are waiting to see whether or not Hunter Biden appears today. The chairman of those respective committees on Oversight and

Judiciary have argued that if he does not appear that it is possible they could hold him in contempt of Congress.

We also expect to later today that the House Republicans are going to vote to formalize their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Specifically, their argument is that they need to get more information and that this is going to bolster their case in court. That is what you heard

yesterday from Speaker Mike Johnson. He is saying that this does not necessarily mean that House Republicans would move forward with an

impeachment against Biden.

Instead, he says that this is just an initial step. But as you might expect, it may be hard once this process gets started next year in an

election cycle for Johnson to hold back some of his conservative members or who might be clamoring for a vote despite the fact that there has yet to be

any concrete evidence connecting Biden to his President's foreign - his son's foreign business dealings abroad.

GIOKOS: Lauren Fox, thank you. Money is running low. And a long winter is ahead. We will have more from Ukraine as the president asks the ways for

critical aid in the fight against Russia.



GIOKOS: Ukraine's President is taking his appeal for more money to Europe. Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Oslo ahead of a key EU meeting on Thursday. In

the U.S. yesterday, Mr Zelenskyy said the fight against Russia's invasion is a battle "for our freedom and yours."

We're getting a picture of the scope of Moscow staggering losses in the meantime in the nearly two year war. A U.S. intelligence assessment says

more than 300,000 Russian troops that is nearly 90 percent of its force before the war have been killed or wounded. But still Russia not letting up

on its assault. A missile attack wounded more than 50 people overnight in Kyiv.

And we've heard impassioned pleas from President Zelenskyy and Ukrainian troops on the battlefield are telling CNN us support is critical. It's a

matter of life or death. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports from the frontlines in Zaporizhzhia.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The war isn't over, or even slowing. Avdivka in the east, the next town Moscow wants to slowly swallow. Endless

Ukrainian drone videos show the huge losses. The latest U.S. intelligence estimate, Russia has had 13,000 casualties here. A huge number offered

without evidence, but a clear bid to show American aid to Ukraine is right now hurting Russia.

For lack of a potent summer breakthrough means Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy faces perhaps his toughest weeks ahead. He had to take

time away from fighting Europe's biggest war since the 40s to get caught between these two politicians, as they have their own squabble. Here on

Capitol Hill, the lawmakers are eager to go home for the holidays at the end of the week.

In Ukraine, weeks later, they may start running out of money on the front lines. It is life and death, one helicopter pilot in the East told me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be very difficult for us to fight without your assistance. But we have no choice because this is where (inaudible) because

unfortunately we don't have enough power within our country to support our army. But we extremely need it. This is just a question. This is just a

point of our survival.

PATON WALSH: Russia is relentless shelling the city of Kherson hard most nights and mornings this week and said Ukraine security service possibly

behind a cyberattack hitting a major cellphone provider. It impacted air raid sirens, air raid alerts on phones, and added to the sense of Putin

moving in on what's left of civilian safety in Ukraine as winter looks bleaker. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.


GIOKOS: CNN has obtained exclusive new information in the Trump classified documents case. We're learning about a former staffer at Trump's private

club, who was a witness to several episodes mentioned in the case and the unusual circumstances around his sudden resignation last year, following

two decades of service. Katelyn Polantz has the details and looks at what it means for the case.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: A longtime employee of Donald Trump's at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, left his job last year

after that search of Mar-a-Lago and it became quite clear that the Justice Department was investigating Donald Trump and then a series of very unusual

interactions took place.

Now I've gathered this through various sources and also material I've been able to see. And what happened with this particular former employee was a

pattern of communication that really gives you insight into how Donald Trump's world works around the people in Mar-a-Lago and particularly people

who were wrapped up in this criminal investigation that led to the indictment of the former president for mishandling classified documents, as

well as trying to obstruct the Justice Department investigation.

So this former employee, he received a personal call on his cell phone from Donald Trump just days after he left his job there at Mar-a-Lago. Trump was

calling him to see why he was leaving and then word got back to him after that call took place that Trump believed he was a good guy. So just some

graciousness from his former employee.

But what was so unusual and sticking out about this to the former employee was that Trump never called him didn't even have his cell phone number

prior to this. And then also it came among several other interactions that this employee had with other people he knew either quite close or people

who were colleagues at a bit more of a distance who were very close to Trump, people who were talking to him about the legal representation he

might be using as he became a witness in the Mar-a-Lago investigation.

Turns out this former employee had witnessed quite a lot, had moved boxes, had overheard conversations and became a crucial witness in the Justice

Department investigation just after this time where he leaves working at the club.


We also understand that one of his close friends who is now charged as a co-conspirator of Donald Trump, talked to him about getting free tickets to

a golf match. Donald Trump might love to see him at that golf match, and also reminded him repeatedly that he could always return to his job at the

club. Now taking together these could be very gracious, and just the sort of interactions among friends that might be happening.

But these interactions and the pattern of them did became - become apparent to the special counsel investigation as it was looking at Trump and others,

because it was an obstruction investigation. And many of these things were the types of things to take a look at, because this witness told the

federal investigators about these instances.

Now this is the sort of thing too that the special counsel office will continue to be looking for as Donald Trump and his co-defendants await

trial. So at very least, this is something that the Special Counsel's office has been looking at. And also it provides us just another window

into how Donald Trump and the people around him keep tabs on one another. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Washington.

GIOKOS: Well, just ahead on Connect the World, we'll take you live to the Pentagon. For more on what we're told is Israel's latest plan to degrade

Hamas tunnels under Gaza plus what Xi Jinping has been doing in Vietnam on his first visit in six years, and what he accomplished there. Stay with



GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, and you're watching Connect the World. CNN is learning that Israel is flooding Hamas tunnels in

Gaza with seawater on what it calls a limited basis. That is what a U.S. official is telling us. The idea we're told is to degrade the tunnel

network in the besieged territory on a larger scale. Meantime, U.S. President Joe Biden is responding to the news saying that while he's heard

assertions there are no hostages being held in those particular tunnels. His administration has not been able to confirm that beyond any doubt.


I want to bring in our U.S. National Security Reporter Natasha Bertrand live from the Pentagon. Great to see you. Look, this is significant news.

Seawater flooding Hamas tunnels while the real whereabouts, exact whereabouts of the hostages remain in question right now. Give me a sense

of what you're hearing where you are.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yeah, it's risky. But U.S. - but Israeli officials have told the U.S. that they are taking

steps to make sure that there are no hostages or civilians inside the tunnels where they're conducting what they describe as a test to see if

this is actually going to work on a larger scale. They say that they're flooding some tunnels with seawater on a limited basis as a way to figure

out if that's a way they could actually drive Hamas fighters out of these tunnels on a larger scale.

But it obviously raises a lot of questions about the safety and security of civilians in Gaza writ large, right? Because if you are flooding these

tunnels with seawater, it raises questions about what - whether that will taint the water supply writ large, whether civilians are going to be

subjected to potential flooding, you know that that exits the tunnels. So there are a lot of concerns here about this potential Israeli plan.

Again, it is currently only in the early phases, according to what Israeli officials have told the U.S. but President Biden he really did you know it

say a lot last night when he suggested that the U.S. doesn't have total confidence that there are no hostages or civilians inside these tunnels. He

says he's heard these assertions by the Israelis.

But of course the U.S. does not have great visibility or really any visibility into what's going on in the Gaza Strip at this point, aside from

the drones, of course, that are flying overhead that the Pentagon has sent in. So their reliance really on how the Israelis are describing their

military operations and - and how they are conducting this flooding operation inside Gaza at this point.

So we'll have to wait and see whether the Israelis continue this strategy if it actually works and if the U.S. plans to push back on it at all,

because the U.S., of course does have a very significant stake in the hostages release as many of them are believed to be American citizens and

the U.S. wants to see them released safely, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much. Good to see you. Vietnam's leader is calling a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping a new historic

milestone. The two nations have struck dozens of deals for cooperation during Mr Xi's two day visit to Hanoi. As our Marc Stewart reports some of

those agreements could bring down tensions in the South China Sea.


MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you look at Vietnam and China, they are certainly neighbors. They are both communist nations. They've also had

rivalry but as Chinese state media has put it, there's a new positioning of relations.

This was Xi Jinping first visit in six years and it was full of optics, a 21-gun salute, children wave flags on the streets as well as a serenade by

a military band.

On Wednesday, President Xi met with Vietnam's President and Prime Minister. The South China Sea has been a source of contention between the two nations

but according to media reports, they've agreed to build trust and cooperation, including through maritime patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin

according to state media. Also, a hotline will be set up to handle incidents from fishing.

Other agreements were signed and there was further discussion of economic cooperation between the two nations. As far as the timing of this, it was

in September, U.S. President Joe Biden visited Vietnam, a mission that in part led to a stronger relationship between the two nations at a time when

tensions remain high between China and the United States. Marc Stewart, CNN, Beijing.


GIOKOS: And still ahead, a growing territorial dispute between two neighboring countries in South America is raising fears of conflict and

this direct attack on a football referee has shocked audiences. But what happened to the man who threw the punch? Details in our sports update,

coming up?




GIOKOS: British lawmakers have advanced the government's controversial plan to deport many migrants to wonder for processing despite widespread

criticism and divisions among conservative lawmakers. The draft bill passed its first parliamentary hurdle on Tuesday with 313 lawmakers voting for the

legislation and 269 against dozens of right wing conservative MPs abstained over objections the bill is not tough enough. The draft legislation was

revived and rewritten to override legal challenges. The Conservative government defended the bill's legality in Parliament.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he'll sit down with the president of neighboring Guyana on Thursday to discuss a growing territorial dispute.

Now Venezuela has proposed creating its own state inside Guyana, where vast offshore oil deposits are being discovered, raising the fears of conflict.

It is the dispute that goes back more than a century as CNN's Isa Soares reports.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's an outlandish attempt at a land grab that has the world on edge. Long live the full map of Venezuela.

This is President Nicolas Maduro revealing his new vision, a larger, a more powerful Venezuela, which includes Essequibo, a lush and vast patch of land

that makes up two thirds of neighboring Guyana.

Maduro is now threatening to invade Guyana, after an incendiary referendum at home backed his bid to claim sovereignty over the territory.


SOARES (voice over): Let's publish and take to all the schools, high schools and universities of the country the new map of Venezuela, he says.

Across the border Guyana's President Irfaan Ali is ringing alarm bells.

IRFAAN ALI, GUYANESE PRESIDENT: This is a direct threat to Guyana's territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence.

SOARES (voice over): Roughly the size of Florida Essequibo has been a part of Guyana since 1899 when international arbitrators set the current

borders. Venezuela has long sought to control the territory. And the discovery of more than 11 billion barrels of oil and gas off Guyana's coast

by oil giant ExxonMobil in 2015, which put the country on track to become the world's highest per capita oil producer, has only emboldened Maduro.

Now he's escalating tensions even further, naming a Major General as the head of the new Essequibo state and telling oil companies operating in the

region they have three months to pack up and leave.


SOARES (voice over): This as he orders Venezuela's national oil company to start exploring the area.


SOARES (voice over): Immediately will proceed to give operating licenses for the exploration and exploitation of oil, gas and mines in all of

Guyana's Essequibo, he says.

It's a move out of President Putin's playbook and the fear Guyana's president tells me is that Maduro feels empowered by the Russian leader's

invasion of Ukraine.

ALI: We cannot allow a situation like Ukraine in this Western Hemisphere, we cannot allow.



GIOKOS: All right, we're taking you straight to the Senate. We've got Hunter Biden speaking as well as his attorney Abbe Lowell.

HUNTER BIDEN, US PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN'S SON: I'm here today to make sure that the House committee's illegitimate investigations of my family do not

proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence, and lies. And I'm here today to acknowledge that I've made mistakes in my life, and wasted opportunities

and privileges I was afforded.

For that, I'm responsible. For that, I'm accountable. And for that, I'm making amends. But I'm also here today to correct how the MAGA right has

portrayed me for their political purposes. I am first and foremost a son, a father, a brother, and a husband from a loving and supportive family. I'm

proud to have earned degrees from Georgetown University, and Yale Law School.

I'm proud of my legal career and business career. I'm proud of my time serving on a dozen different boards of directors. And I'm proud of my

efforts to forge global business relationships. For six years, MAGA Republicans, including members of the House committees who are in a closed

door session - session right now have impugned my character, invaded my privacy, attacked my wife, my children, my family, and my friends.

They ridiculed my struggle with addiction. They belittled my recovery. And they have tried to dehumanize me, all to embarrass and damage my father who

has devoted his entire public life to service. For six years, I have been the target of the unrelenting Trump attack machine shouting, where's

Hunter? Well, here's my answer. I am here.

Let me state as clearly as I can. My father was not financially involved in my business, not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma,

not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman, not in my investments at home nor abroad, and certainly not as an artist. During my

battle with addiction, my parents were there for me. They literally saved my life.

They helped me in ways that I will never be able to repay and of course, they would never expect me to. And in the depths of my addiction, I was

extremely irresponsible with my finances. But to suggest that is grounds for an impeachment inquiry is beyond the absurd. It's shameless. There is

no evidence to support the allegations that my father was financially involved in my business, because it did not happen.

James Comer, Jim Jordan, Jason Smith, and their colleagues have distorted the facts by cherry picking lines from a bank statement, manipulating texts

I sent, editing the testimony of my friends and former business partners, and misstating personal information that was stolen from me. There is no

fairness or decency in what these Republicans are doing. They have lied over and over about every aspect of my personal and professional life, so

much so that their lives have become the false facts believed by too many people.

No matter how many times it is debunked, they continue to insist that my father's support of Ukraine against Russia is the result of a non-existent

bribe. They displayed naked photos of me during an oversight hearing. And they have taken the light of my dad's love, the light of my dad's love for

me and presented it as darkness. They have no shame.

These same committee chairmen have engaged in unprecedented political interference in what would have already been a five year investigation of

me. Yet, here I am, Mr. Chairman, taking up your offer when you said we can bring these people in for depositions or committee hearings whichever they



Well, I've chosen. I'm here to testify at a public hearing today to answer any of the committee's legitimate questions. Republicans do not want an

open process where Americans can see their tactics, expose their baseless inquiry, or hear what I have to say. What are they afraid of? I'm here, I'm


GIOKOS: All right, so that is Hunter Biden speaking outside of Capitol Hill and ending off his shorter address saying that he is ready for a public

hearing. And he will do anything relating to what has been trailing him on a public platform. And then he says that he's going to answer any

legitimate questions that they have. And then he's also asking because you've got to remember, the U.S. oversight committee had subpoenaed Hunter

Biden for a closed door deposition.

And of course, him and his lawyer came back saying they would rather do that publicly. He said, he's made mistakes. He's responsible, accountable,

and he's making amends, his father had nothing to do with any of his business dealings.

And he also said, and referring to what he calls the MAGA right have been ridiculing his addiction, during which time he made bad business decisions

and this should not be grounds for calling for an impeachment of his father, Joe Biden. Interesting statement there. We will see what will be

transpiring. Whether a public hearing will be allowed. And of course, the story evolving quite rapidly, we'll be keeping a very close watch on that

for you.

All right, we're going to a very short break. We've got World Sports right after this.