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About 200 Rockets Fired from Lebanon into Israel; Tens of Thousands of ISIS Members and Families Held in Syria; Russian Navy Ships Including Nuclear Sub Arrive in Cuba; Delaware Jury Convicts Hunter Biden; U.N. Inquiry Accuses both Israel and Palestinian Militants of War Crimes; Federal Reserve to Announce Decision on Interest Rates Today; U.S. House to Vote on Possible Contempt Charge for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Aired 10-10:45a ET

Aired June 12, 2024 - 10:00:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): This is the second hour of the show. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi.

America's top diplomat is currently in region in Qatar as he continues to push for a ceasefire and a hostage deal to end the war in Gaza.

Antony Blinken has been meeting with the country's prime minister and said, they are both working to try and bridge the gap between Hamas and Israel.

On Israel's northern border this morning alone, a large barrage of missiles have been launched from Lebanon toward Israel.

And all eyes are on the U.S. Federal Reserve and the crucial decision on interest rates. Jerome Powell as being cautious so far as inflation is

starting to ease off slowly.


ANDERSON: We start this hour with new details in what has been the very, very long and arduous process of trying to secure a ceasefire and hostage

release in Gaza.

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken says, what happens next rests on Hamas. at a news conference in Doha alongside the Qatari prime minister,

Blinken said, some of the changes proposed by Hamas to the latest ceasefire plan are workable. Others he said are not.

Despite the seemingly daunting obstacles, Blinken says he's not giving up on diplomacy.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: You know, at some point in a negotiation -- and this has gone back-and-forth for a long time -- you get

to a point where, if one side continues to change its demands.

Including making demands and insisting on changes for things it had already accepted, you have to question whether they're proceeding in good faith or


But based on what we've seen and what I've discussed with the prime minister and what we discussed with our Egyptian colleagues, we're

determined to try to bridge the gaps.


ANDERSON: Well, Paula Hancocks was listening in.

She's connecting us from Jerusalem this hour.

Paula, Blinken, did seem to be skirting the line between hope and frustration as he pointed to delays by Hamas in responding to this

ceasefire plan. We know that they have now provided a response. They are neither accepting or rejecting the plan at this point.

It's been 12 days since President Biden sort of tabled this latest three- phase deal.

What more do you believe we can take from the comments that we heard, both from Antony Blinken today and the Qatari prime minister; Qatar, of course,

helping to mediate these talks.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can certainly hear the frustration when it comes to Secretary Blinken talking about the Hamas response,

questioning whether or not Hamas is in fact negotiating in good faith.

Now there's official response has been waiting for what we'd been waiting for that but for some time. And it came back with amendments. It wasn't an

acceptance, it wasn't also a rejection, as one Israeli government official had suggested, either.

But it was really moving the goalposts in some ways. Secretary Blinken saying that they were asking for things that had previously been agreed to.

So we know that the amendments that Hamas is looking for at this point are the likes of -- they want a timeline for this permanent ceasefire.

Now that is something that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been intentionally vague about over recent months. He really will not be

pinned down when it comes to exactly when that permanent ceasefire would happen.

And also, Hamas wants this complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. Now within this proposal, the first phase would call on the Israeli troops

to pull out of the populated areas. And then of course, the hope is that the first phase with negotiations evolves into the second phase, where you

have that permanent ceasefire.

So at this point, we are really hearing from the Israeli side as well that they are still trying to keep some of these issues vague. And it appears as

though Hamas is trying to really pinpoint exactly when that ceasefire would happen.

But this is -- these negotiations are certainly key for Qatar, one of the key mediators. We can hear from the prime minister of Qatar as well on his

thoughts. Let's listen.


SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL THANI, QATARI PRIME MINISTER: Our interest as a country is to see peace and stability of the region. It does

it be that we are endorsing one party over another. Our policy is very clear and supporting diversity, that people have their voice (ph).

But at the end of the day, we are a state, we are not a political party.


HANCOCKS: So the mood in Qatar at this point does appear to be one of optimism but also a healthy dose of realism.

Secretary Blinken saying, I believe these gaps are bridgeable. But that doesn't necessarily mean that that they will be bridged. Becky.

ANDERSON: Good to have you. Thank you.

To the Israeli border with Lebanon now. Israel says more than 200 rockets have been fired by Hezbollah today. Israel's military says many of the

rockets were intercepted but some started fires where they fell.

Now the Iran-backed militant group, Hezbollah, claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks. They said this was in retaliation for the killing of a

senior commander earlier on Tuesday. The IDF confirms it killed Taleb Abdallah in an airstrike.

Earlier, the U.S. secretary of state to talk about resolving the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel.


BLINKEN: Most involved believe that there can and should be ideally a diplomatic resolution to the differences that could spark conflict.

And in particular, a resolution that leads to the necessary conditions for people to be able to return to their homes and believe that they can live

safely and securely in their own homes.

There are about 60,000 Israelis who've had to leave their homes in northern Israel because of the rocket attacks and the threat from Hezbollah. They

have to be able to go home. The people in southern Lebanon have also had to leave their homes.


ANDERSON: A similar number of Lebanese displaced on the -- what is the southern border in Lebanon with Israel?

CNN's Oren Liebermann, back with us this our.

Oren, we have heard prime minister Netanyahu say they are prepared for an intense operation on that border with Lebanon.

Are we currently witnessing an expansion of what is known as that northern front?


I would certainly, however, call it an escalation, one that has been building to this point over the past couple of weeks. We have seen an

uptick in the intensity of Hezbollah rocket fire and Hezbollah launches, including drones and other types of more advanced weaponry.

And then we have seen an uptick in the Israeli responses, going after, as we just saw last night, a senior Hezbollah commander in the target of the

assassination as well as several other Hezbollah militants that were killed.

Now the question is, where does this go from here?

It has been a constant fear that even a slight miscalculation could lead to the opening of another front in the war. And that's what everybody's

worried about. You clearly heard it there from secretary of state Antony Blinken.

And that's the concern once again, approximately 200 rockets launched from southern Lebanon into northern Israel at an area that has already seen tens

of thousands of evacuations a week ago.

We saw fires raging across northern Israel. And that's what we're seeing again, forcing some evacuations. Now, on one side, what happens in northern

Israel between Israel and Hezbollah does not affect the ceasefire negotiations.

And feel like Blinken made it quite clear there that a ceasefire will lead to and has led to back in November, the first pause in hostilities that we

saw, at least a restoration of calm on the northern border there.

And then the firing started again from Hezbollah once that cease-fire ended. That's what Blinken is trying to get at now. And the current

fighting, the conflict along that border doesn't affect ceasefire negotiations.

At the same time, if the fighting doesn't stop, there is the real risk that Israel will carry out the threat that it has put forward, not only from

prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu but from the defense minister and others as well, that, if Hezbollah doesn't stop firing, Israel will carry out a

much wider campaign.

And that could very well lead to the opening of a second front in this war and a very dangerous one, simply given the level of strength that Hezbollah


ANDERSON: Good to have you, sir.

Thank you.

Yesterday, here on CONNECT THE WORLD, we brought you an exclusive report about ISIS detainees and their families, years after their atrocities made

headlines. Tens of thousands of ISIS members, as well as their wives and children, are still being held in a network of camps and prisons across

northern Syria.

These camps are run by the Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces and they are funded by the United States. Most of the detainees are children.


Well, CNN chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, traveled to Syria, where she was given extremely rare access to some of these

facilities. She joins us now with more from London.

And, on our social and digital platforms, Clarissa, our viewers will be able to find your initial report that we ran on the show yesterday. This is

-- this is really important stuff. Tell us your overall impression of these camps and these prisons.

What stood out to you the most?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think Becky, it's very clear that this is a disaster.

It is a disaster that the world is not focused on. You have more than 50,000 people being arbitrarily and indefinitely detained, with no access

to lawyers, with no sense of due process. Many of the people who are being held may not even be ISIS fighters. They may have been victims of


They may have been people who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the longer this situation goes on for, Becky, you're also taking

away the possibility of justice for people who were victims of ISIS' crimes.

Because the longer it takes to try to put together the evidence to build the case, the harder it becomes to do that. Now we spent a lot of time on

the ground. We talked with the head of the SDF, the Syrian Democratic Forces, General Mazloum Abdi. And we brought him some of these troubling

stories that we had encountered or witnessed ourselves.

Understandably, the SDF, Becky, feels a little bit defensive about this because their attitude is, we're doing everything we can. We fought and

died trying to defeat ISIS. And we need more help and support in the management of these camps and prisons.

We talked to him about how they need more funding. They need more training for the guards. They need, if countries are refusing to repatriate their

citizens, to find other mechanisms to establish some kind of legal process.

So they feel a little bit alone in all of this. And general Mazloum told us, currently 42,000 people living in that largest camp, Al-Hol. They need

to reduce that number by 50 percent in order to make it sustainable and safe, he said, at the current rate of repatriation, that could take seven

years. Take a listen to what he had to say.


GENERAL MAZLOUM KOBANI ABDI, SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES (through translator): This is not something that can be solved quickly whether it's about ISIS

families in the camps or imprisoned ISIS fighters.

It will require more time. The level of aid we're getting is insufficient, which puts more responsibility on us. We need additional assistance to

ensure prison safety.

Our prison staff must receive thorough training and we must also address health issues in the prisons. And we need to continue to repatriate

families from inside the camps.

WARD: Some of your close allies, like the U.K., have a very poor record of repatriating their citizens.

Do you feel frustration with that?

Do you talk to your allies about this?

Do you enforce how important it is to see a lot of these foreign fighters leave Rojava, leave Syria?

ABDI (through translator): To be frank, there is frustration. We have sensed reluctance from their side. We understand that some countries are

willing to repatriate their citizens.

Often, it's the U.S. that pressures these countries. But reluctance poses a real problem. Considering these individuals have been detained here for

over seven years so far, only half of them have been repatriated. There must be a different policy.

We tell them, either repatriate your citizens promptly or improve the conditions at the Al-Hol camp and the prisons so that the detainees do not

pose threats.


WARD: And Becky, it's really important, I think as well, according to Mazloum, to take into account the broader regional context here. The SDF

has been coming under frequent attacks from Turkiye, their Infrastructure specifically has been targeted.

U.S. forces in the region have really been focused on increased hostilities from Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. And more broadly, you're also

seeing ISIS starting to reconstitute, starting to gain strength again, starting to reestablish training camps, particularly in certain regime-held

parts of Syria.

And the broader message that Mazloum had was that this is a very important moment. This situation could get a lot worse if there's a convulsion of

violence and instability. It could pose a very real security threat indeed, Becky.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you, Clarissa.


As I said, the reporting so important. Thank you.

A show of Russian force and a clear message to the United States, a convoy of Russian naval ships is arriving in the port of Havana, including a

nuclear powered submarine.

These are live pictures for you coming out of for Havana. This is an expected, high-profile visit to Cuba, which will include military exercises

in the Caribbean. The U.S. says it has deployed planes and ships to shadow those incoming ships.

It all comes amid rising tensions, of course, between Moscow and Washington over the war in Ukraine. And CNN's Patrick Oppmann on the ground, joining

me now, live from Havana in Cuba.

And we just heard --



ANDERSON: -- what the U.S. is doing in response.

How are Cuban officials viewing this Russian flotilla?

OPPMANN: -- you, something that you don't see -- I've never seen ever in 12 years of living here, a Russian nuclear-powered submarine, obviously

above water, entering the port of Havana just 90 miles from the United States.

You don't get much more potent symbolism than that. This is the largest convoy of Russian warships that has come here in many years. And certainly

some of the most sophisticated weaponry that Vladimir Putin has deployed to Cuba in many, many years.

We should point out Cuban officials say there are no nuclear warheads aboard these ships, that they are coming here for peaceful means. U.S.

officials have said they do not pose a direct threat to the United States but they're keeping a very close eye of them.

As you would expect, they were shadowed along the coast of Florida over the last several days, as they approached the port of Havana. We already saw

one of the most sophisticated frigates in the Russian Navy enter this morning.

Now this nuclear powered submarine coming in, sailors aboard the sub as it comes in. I've never seen this before. There are subs that have come here

throughout the years. But they do it secretly and they do it quietly. They do not do it as high-profile as this. I can't imagine anything more high-


This is for the world to see, for the West to see. And again, while Cuban officials say that many ships come and visit Cuban waters and come make

port of calls (sic), certainly to see a nuclear-powered submarine coming in is a sight to behold.

It is something that people not had seen here in many, many years, probably since the height of the Cold War. And it speaks volumes.

ANDERSON: Yes. I just wanted to stay on these images for a moment because they are really quite remarkable. And I hope you can hear me OK, because I

know you're out there on the water.

For many, as you rightly point out, the idea of Russian ships in Cuban waters may trigger Cold War memories.

What's been the response locally?

We've talked about how the U.S. is responding but what's the response there from the -- from the locals?


ANDERSON: OK. I think lost this, which is a shame and because these are remarkable pictures. Russian navy ships and a nuclear sub arriving in Cuba.

The U.S. is keeping a very close eye on this. Patrick is with us.

Patrick, I was just, as we sit on these images, I was just wondering how people locally are responding.

Is there interest in what is going on off the waters of Havana here?

OPPMANN: There's a tremendous amount of interest. And certainly the Russian government is playing it up. Russian diplomats telling me that they

will allow Cubans, starting tomorrow for several days, to tour these ships. So it certainly a show of power but perhaps a power that has been weakened

over the years.

As much as some in the Cuban government would like Russia, the Russian government to come back and pick up the tab like they did throughout the

Cold War, the Soviet Union pouring billions of dollars into this island to keep the lights on.

And we are seeing a resurgence of that. There's Russian oil coming here. There are Russian tourists coming here, there are talks of more Russian

investment. But it will not make up the difference.

Certainly the geography is the geography and the United States is the closest major economy to Cuba. But of course, is in a country that poses

sanctions on Cuba, is hurting the Cuban economy. And so the Cubans have to find help wherever they can.

But there is a lot of nostalgia amongst Cubans who remember what life was like here before the collapse of the Soviet Union, of the Berlin Wall.


But those times (ph), despite the blast from the past behind me, are not coming back. And so yes, the Cuban government needs to find help wherever

it can. It's certainly not trimming (ph) down any shipments of oil, any food donations which they have been getting regularly from Russia over the

last several years.

As the war in Ukraine has gotten into more of a hotter conflict. We've heard there have been (INAUDIBLE) endorsing Putin's war as they receive

that Russian. But the reality is, the Soviet Union is gone and the Russian government, the government of Vladimir Putin, is simply not in a position

to make up the difference.

ANDERSON: Yes, these are exercises and, according to Moscow, ships practicing the use of high position weapons in the Atlantic Ocean. That is

what is going on in those images. Really quite remarkable. It's good to have you, our man in Havana, Patrick Oppmann.

Still to come on CNN, we're live at the White House for you, gauging reaction to Hunter Biden's guilty verdict on three federal gun charges.

More on that coming up.

Plus uncertainty on Capitol Hill. The House votes this hour over whether to hold the U.S. attorney general in contempt of Congress and what that could

mean for this man, Merrick Garland, coming up.




ANDERSON: U.S. President Biden is on his way to Italy for what is the G7 summit after spending a little time in Delaware, supporting his son. Hunter

Biden's guilty verdict on three federal gun charges in Wilmington on Tuesday punctuates what's been a long and difficult legal battle for the

president's family.

Mr. Biden said in a statement that he accepted the outcome of Hunter's case and will continue to respect the judicial process as his son considers an

appeal, CNN's Kevin Liptak is following this story for us from the White House.

What more are you hearing about the fallout from the conviction from your position there at the White House?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And I think there's no question that it's a difficult moment for President Biden.

And I think more than any statement, more than any speech, those images that we saw yesterday from the airport tarmac in Wilmington, Delaware, of

the president greeting his son after that conviction with a hug, smiles.

He kissed his grandson, Hunter Biden's young son. Really goes to show the level to which the president is trying to hold Hunter Biden close at what

is very difficult moment for him and this has been his strategy all along. And I think driving part of that is the real fear among President Biden,

his wife, the first lady, that some of the difficulties in all of this, the scrutiny, will lead to potentially a relapse for Hunter Biden. That has

been something that President Biden has been afraid of all along.


And so you do see him kind of throwing out all political convention and trying to hold his son very, very close. And he did change around his

schedule yesterday to go to Delaware to be with him. That was sort of a last-minute adjustment for the president. They did huddle behind closed

doors in the family home there in Wilmington yesterday.

And I think there's no question that this trial did unearth some very painful, private dark moments for the Biden family that they have really

spent the last six years or so trying to process. This verdict does kind of punctuate that but it is not the end, of course.

Hunter Biden could appeal. There's another trial in California on tax charges that could unearth even more embarrassing details. So the president

certainly carrying with him a burden and a wait as he continues on his schedule in Italy this week, Becky.

ANDERSON: A view from just outside the White House, Kevin Liptak for you.

Still to come, Israel reacts to a damning new inquiry from the United Nations into the first few months of the war in Gaza.

Plus brand-new U.S. inflation numbers are out. And the report, better than expected, is just one piece of key economic news out today. What that could

mean for your wallet if you're in the States or, indeed, if you're in a country that is pegged to the U.S. dollar. And that is, of course, a lot of

countries around the world including where I'm here in the UAE. Stay with us.




ANDERSON: Welcome back with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. And wherever you are watching, you are more than welcome.

A new United Nations inquiry into the first few months of the war in Gaza has found both Israel and Palestinian militants, including Hamas, committed

war crimes and grave violations of international law.

The more than 200-page report says both sides committed sexual violence and torture and intentionally attacked civilians.

Israel says, the U.N.'s reports are biased and reflective of anti Israeli discrimination.


Well, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us now live.

And these, this is, these are extremely substantive reports, 200-odd pages here. We've been talking about what's in these reports. I guess at this

point, we should also be talking about what the impact of these reports might have on what is currently ongoing in both the ICJ and the ICC.

So let's just get a little bit more substance as to what we've learned.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we do know from these reports, as you mentioned, is the commission of inquiry is accusing both

Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups of committing war crimes.

They also accused Israel of crimes against humanity. And you've got these two reports, one on the attack on Israel on October the 7th and then you've

got a report on the Israeli military operations in Gaza.

And they go into these different war crimes that are being committed. And it's very important to mention here, Becky, that the commission was not

granted access to Israel. They say that Israel obstructed its investigation and they had to conduct remote interviews.

They had to travel to Egypt and Turkiye to meet with witnesses and survivors and collect this testimony. They went through thousands, Becky,

they say, of open source items using advanced forensic analysis to verify the content.

They went through hundreds of submissions. I mean, this is months and months of work that went into this. And again, these findings damning

especially here are for Israel, that, as you mentioned, has come out rejecting these accusations as well as accusing the U.N. body, as it has in

the past, saying that it has an anti-Israel bias, accusing it of anti- Semitism.

And as well in this case saying that -- it accuses -- it's described what it says this report shows is systemic anti-Israeli discrimination. And they

say that it disregarded what they say is Hamas using civilians as human shields.

But again, Becky, what happens next week, this is going to be presented to the Human Rights Council, under which -- under its mandate, the commission

of inquiry operates and, as you mentioned, you've got cases that are ongoing in the ICJ.

The ICC looking into cases as well. And in the past, these U.N. commissions of inquiry have -- their evidence that they've collected has been used by

these international judicial bodies.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you. Jomana is in London for you today, where the time is 3:32 in the afternoon, it is 6:32 here.

Brand new signs on the state of the U.S. economy released in the last few hours. A key report shows U.S. consumer prices increased less than expected

in the month of May, the annual rate cooled to 3.3 percent and the monthly rate was flat.

And that comes on the day the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to announce its latest decision on interest rates. Half past 10 in the morning on the East

Coast. CNN's Matt Egan is live for us in New York.

All eyes, of course, on the U.S. Fed. And this is the central bank, which is widely expected to keep rates on hold. This time is understanding, even

though inflation is starting to show signs of cooling off.

So why should we expect rates to remain as they are?

And what is it that we are looking for from Jerome Powell, the head of the Fed, in what he says today?

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: Well, Becky, the Fed is likely to keep rates unchanged, because, even though we did just get progress on

inflation, it's not enough progress yet, right; 3.3 percent year over year; consumer price increase.

That is better than expected. It's better than it was the month before. But it's not back to the 2 percent that is considered healthy, it's not back to

where things were before COVID. The month over month rate was unchanged.

And I think that is going to be looked at very positively by officials inside the Fed. And they are debating this right now as we speak. And so

this is the first time we've had prices not even budge at all on a monthly basis in almost two years.


And it's because we saw gas prices fall, airfare, clothing, all of those things go down in price. And that certainly helped. Now the Fed is, it's

been on hold now for quite some time, right, almost a year. It's lifted interest rates to 23-year highs.

And this is just sort of adding to the affordability crisis in America, because we're not just talking about high prices for stuff; you're talking

about high borrowing costs -- mortgage rates, credit cards, car loans.

It is it's tough out there. I do think, though, today's report keeps alive the hope that the Fed could lower interest rates later this year. Remember,

previously, they were penciling in three rate cuts this year. That seems unlikely just when you look at the calendar.

But we did see a move in the market. More bets in favor of the Fed cutting rates, probably not in July but maybe in September, which is the final

interest rate meeting before the election.

So the big question -- and this is something that could really move the market today -- is whether or not the Fed is going to be penciling in two

rate cuts this year or one. And big implications there for, Becky, for both investors and really for consumers, everyone who is worried about the cost

of borrowing.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Good to have you. It's Matt there on Wall Street. Markets have sort of taken off today.

Clearly this inflation report playing out quite well with investors at present but we do need to wait and see what the Fed is up to. And we may

get some indication of that later.

Well, playing out right now in the U.S. Capitol, a big new battle in the wider war between the Republican-led House and the Department of Justice.

Why some are calling it dangerous for democracy, that is up next.




ANDERSON: Well, happening this hour on Capitol Hill, the U.S. House is convened for a vote on holding the attorney general, the U.S. attorney

general, in contempt of Congress. This isn't just any vote. It is a key moment in what is becoming a crisis between two branches of the U.S.


Merrick Garland and the U.S. Justice Department refused to turn over audio tapes of President Biden's interview with a special counsel. Joining us to

discuss this is Larry Sabato. He's director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

And this is really an important vote that's happening. But it's bigger than just one vote, right?


And we have a war between the branches, although the House is only one part of the legislative branch.


The Senate has nothing to do with this. It's unfortunate because, for one thing, it may not even pass and, for another, absolutely nothing is going

to happen because the Department of Justice has to prosecute this.

And who's the head of the Department of Justice?

Merrick Garland. And it hasn't worked with two prior attorneys general, one a Democrat and one a Republican, either. So it's -- this is about politics.

It's about trying to catch Joe Biden in some kind of, quote, "senile mistake."

It's ridiculous.

ANDERSON: Larry Sabato's view there.

The Republican Speaker of the House doesn't agree with you, Larry. He defended this move on FOX. Let's have a listen.


NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you weaponizing the House the same way you --


CAVUTO: -- you say Democrats were weaponizing the DOJ to get what they wanted.

Are you just doing it in a bigger platform, entire House presented?

JOHNSON: No, there is a very clear distinction. Democrats and the far left have pushed this pendulum too far. It's going to begin to swing back. And

we have to do our job here in Congress to assist with that, to hold these people accountable and to ensure that the law is being adhered to.

That's the effort that you'll see play out here in the coming weeks.


ANDERSON: And Republicans do support this, Larry. So this is about transparency. And that argument finds fertile ground with Donald Trump's

base. Of course.

Are Republicans getting the better of the Justice Department in the court of public opinion, do you think?

SABATO: I really doubt it.

This is the kind of issue that sinks beneath the waves. Most people will never focus on it at all, except super activists, who already know how they

were voting.

But you know, that anchor was correct in asking the Speaker, aren't you weaponizing the House of Representatives in the same way you criticize the

Democrats and the Justice Department?

That's absolutely true. Look, they already have the transcript of this interview with President Bush -- President Biden; excuse me. All they're

going to do is look for an example of Biden stumbling over a word or mispronouncing names, something they can use in a negative TV ad to prove

that he has dementia or he is senile, which is absurd.

ANDERSON: Good to have you. Your view is always important as we continue to keep a beady eye on what is going on in the U.S. and particularly on the

Hill at present. Thank you, Larry.

That's it for CONNECT THE WORLD from Abu Dhabi. It's a very good evening. Stay with CNN. "MARKETPLACE ASIA" is up next.