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Erin Burnett Outfront

CNN Exclusive: DOJ Subpoenas National Archives for More Jan 6 Docs Focusing on Time Period Before and After Capitol Attack; DOJ Defends FBI's Mar-a-Lago Search as Trump Files First Suit; Trump Files First Suit Over FBI Search, Seeks "Special Master"; Ukraine: "Nothing to Do" with Bombing of Putin Ally's Daughter; Russian Paratrooper Speaks Out About Putin's Ukraine "Lie"; Nikolas Cruz Attorney Describes Chaotic Childhood in Opening Statement. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired August 22, 2022 - 19:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, we have breaking news. The Department of Justice issuing a new subpoena for documents from the National Archives related to January 6th. As former President Donald Trump takes his first formal legal action after FBI agents searched his Mar-a-Lago home.

Plus a story you'll see only on OUTFRONT. A Russian soldier speaks out from an undisclosed location, calls Putin's war, quotes, all a lie.

And the sentencing trial of the Parkland High School's shooter. Witnesses saying the shooter's mother was a prostitute, addicted to drugs even when she was pregnant. But will it sway the jurors?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan, in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. CNN learning exclusively that the Department of Justice issued a new subpoena to the National Archives for more documents related to its investigation into January 6th. According to sources, the request for additional material pertains to both before and after the insurrection. It's a possible sign that the DOJ is ramping up its investigation into the role that Trump and his staff may have played in the events leading up to the Capitol riot.

And to be clear, this is yet another federal investigation involving the former president, separate from what the FBI -- what led the FBI to conduct a search of Mar-a-Lago. And there's also news on that front tonight. The former president is responding in court for the first time since the FBI searched his home. Trump is filing this lawsuit against the United States government.

It's 27 pages and it's filled with detail and Trump grievances, claims his constitutional rights were violated as well as a request for a special master, an independent review of the evidence the FBI took from Trump's home to see if some of it should be returned. This has been assigned to Judge Aileen Cannon, who was nominated to the bench by Trump in 2020. Now, in the suit the former president is claiming that the search was

nothing more than a political hit job, one designed to hurt Trump's chances should he run again in 2024, writing this in part: Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice. Also saying law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes.

The document also reveals a message that the former president sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland after the search, and it reads that President Trump wants the attorney general to know that he has been hearing from people all over the country about the raid. If there was one word to describe their mood, it is angry. The heat is building up. The pressure is building up. Whatever I can do to take the heat down, to bring the pressure down, just let us know.

Yet Trump has clearly not done anything publicly to lower the temperature. Instead he's calling the investigation a witch hunt, even making the baseless claim that the FBI might have planted evidence during the search. How is that helping to bring the temperature down at all?

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT in Washington for us this evening.

Evan, first let's get to your breaking news, your breaking reporting about this subpoena to the National Archives. What are you learning?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. This is reporting with Jamie Gangel, my colleague.

And what we learned is there's a new subpoena that has gone from the justice department, from the grand jury that is investigating some of these issues, to the National Archives asking for additional documents. About three months ago, there was an initial subpoena, initial grand jury subpoena asking the National Archives to turn over everything that they had provided to the January 6th Committee.

So what this subpoenaing signifies is that the investigation, which is by the way led by prosecutor and a special grand jury that is focusing specifically on the role that the former president and his allies played in trying to impede the transition of power with these fake electors scheme, what this shows us is this investigation is broadening, it's going beyond what initially they were looking at, which was taking a look at what the January 6th committee already had.

BOLDUAN: And also now on the new filing from Trump's legal team about the search of Mar-a-Lago, putting aside all of the political rhetoric in the filing for the moment, what does this filing mean for the FBI investigation now in.

PEREZ: Well, it potentially means that now you're going to have a judge who could introduce a third party, a special master, to review some of these documents. It could mean some delays in what the Justice Department is doing. But here's the hurdle for the Trump team. They've waited two weeks now before filing this lawsuit.

[19:05:01] And really what -- there are some valid points that the president could have made two weeks ago. He makes this argument that the search warrant was overly broad. He says that a third party here could review these things to make sure that the prosecutors at the FBI aren't looking at material that is privileged. All of these things they could have made a point of asking a judge more than two weeks ago.

Now we know that the Justice Department has had two weeks to go through this material. They have an internal filter team that has been looking at all of these things. They've even returned items that they believe that they should not have had including his passports. So the question is will a judge find this too little too late, Kate?

BOLDUAN: That's very interesting.

Evan, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

OUTFRONT with me now, Robert Litt. He's a former principal associate deputy attorney general and the former general counsel for the national intelligence director. Also, Stephanie Grisham, former press secretary for then President Trump. And CNN's chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

Bob, let me start with you. I want to ask you of course about the Trump filing but first I want to ask you about Evan's breaking news reporting. What does the subpoena mean now that it's been sent to the National Archives? How serious does this -- and how serious the investigation is into January 6th and the former president now, do you think.

ROBERT LITT, FORMER PRINCIPAL ASSOCIATE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, DOJ: Well, it's always hard to tell without actually seeing the subpoena and what it's requesting. But they're not going to be looking at the National Archives for e-mails between members of the Proud Boys. It surely suggests that there's a continuing focus on the White House and the administration and what they did in the lead-up to January 6th and the follow-on after January 6th.

I do think you made an important point that I want to emphasize, which is this had nothing to do with the search at Mar-a-Lago. They're entirely separate investigations. But this does suggest they think there's more matters that need to be pursued in connection with January 6th, that it's not going away.

BOLDUAN: And, Stephanie, you resigned on that day from your post. The fact that the Justice Department is going back to the archives now for more documents over January 6th, what do you think it means for Donald Trump and the people around him?

STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I mean, it's hard to say, especially -- this is breaking news. And so it's hard to say. I don't know a whole lot about it. But it sure does feel like the walls are closing in. And that's something that people have said for years and years and years but it's astounding that here we are, we find ourselves now watching another investigation.

I think the DOJ's being very thorough. So I feel confident in that regard. And I guess we just wait and see how this one plays out.

BOLDUAN: It's a great point.

Gloria, what do you see?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the DOJ's conducting a criminal investigation. Congress was, or is conducting a congressional inquiry. And I think there's a world of difference between the two. And I think if the Justice Department believes for whatever reason that there are documents they need to pry out of the archives' hands, that they believe they exist and perhaps the archives has them or we don't know where else they might be, then they have to do it.

So it's another layer of this for Donald Trump to have to deal with. And in the public's mind, you know, the question is whether they just kind of get congealed into one thing. And that is not going to be a happy place for Donald Trump unless he can convince much of the public that he is being persecuted here and is a complete victim, which is what his base believes.

TAPPER: Uncongealing them here for the legal conversation, Bob, on the new filing, then from Trump's legal team asking for a special master, do you think this request is a reasonable one? And also to the point that Evan was making, coming two weeks after the search was done.

LITT: Well, I think that last point certainly has to do with the effectiveness of the motion at this point because the government had -- if the purpose of the motion is to stop the government from looking through the documents and they've had the documents for two weeks, it may not be very effective. Having said that, there are a lot of cases where judges find it appropriate to appoint special masters. And this may be one of them. Given the vitriol that Trump and his allies have directed at the FBI and the Department of Justice, they might be well advised to agree to having an independent outsider be the person to make these decisions.

I would say that if that happens the department might well request that this be put on an accelerated time frame, that a special master be appointed and directed to have this resolved within some defined period of time so that it doesn't bring the whole investigation to a stop.

BOLDUAN: And, Stephanie, this really is the first time that we're seeing any official move by Trump's legal team in two weeks after the search.


Does this look like a coherent strategy to you?

GRISHAM: Yeah. Last week on this show, actually, I said be looking out for a spectacle to further distract people. And that is what in my opinion this is. He could have done this much earlier. He chose not to. This is going

to be nothing more than a talking point for his folks and more fund- raising for him.

There is no legal strategy. I think they're on a fact-finding mission right now. I think they're trying to stall maybe a little bit with this as they try to figure out what exactly the DOJ has and who exactly the DOJ is speaking to.

BOLDUAN: And, Gloria, you heard being mentioned earlier, in this filing we are seeing for the first time according to Trump's team the full message they say Trump sent to the attorney general after all of this, saying the mood is angry, the heat is building up, the pressure is building, whatever I can do to take the heat down, just let us know.

Why is this included in the filing, do you think? I mean, why does Trump want this out there?

BORGER: Because the former president is the good guy in this filing. Look, I did everything I could for you. I had somebody talk to the attorney general. We had a great meeting. They said thank you very much, this is great.

And so what he's doing again, as he always does, is sort of put himself in the position of being the victim here. That he is not the one who is sending out incendiary things on social media but he is the one who's going to the attorney general and saying help me here. I want to turn down the temperature on this, when in fact he was doing everything to turn it up.

But this is -- and Stephanie knows about this better than I do. But this is kind of the M.O. This is the sort of -- this is the comfortable place for Donald Trump. Look at them, they are attacking me, the deep state, FBI.

The deep -- you know, and look -- just like they did in the Russia investigation. And I am, as they started out this filing with, you know, Donald Trump is the Republican front-runner for the presidency. So they are attacking me for that.

BOLDUAN: And to state the obvious here, Donald Trump doesn't need approval from Merrick Garland to go out publicly to try to attempt to bring the temperature down even on his own. Just there it is.

Thank you, guys. Really appreciate it.

OUTFRONT for us next, Donald Trump arguing in this new court filing that the FBI search of his home was all based on politics because just as Gloria was saying, because, quote, he is the clear front-runner in 2024. Is he speaking to a judge or his supporters?

Plus, Ukraine responding tonight after Russia accuses it of being behind the car bomb that killed the daughter of one of Putin's top allies.

And also, amazing images of Switzerland's glaciers melting, losing an area the size of Manhattan every decade for nearly 100 years.



BOLDUAN: Tonight more on our breaking news. Former President Trump's lawsuit just filed against the U.S. government. His argument, it's all political. As he requests a special master to determine whether any of his documents seized from Mar-a-Lago should be returned.

In the filing he says this in part. Quote: Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice. President Donald J. Trump is the clear front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary and in the 2024 general election, should he decide to run. Beyond that his endorsement in the 2022 midterm elections has been decisive for Republican candidates.

OUTFRONT with me now, David Urban. He's a Republican strategist who was an adviser to Trump's 2020 campaign. And Van Jones, a former special adviser to President Obama.

Thanks for being here, guys.

David, why do you think he's going there? This is on page 1 of this filing. The first lines of the introduction to this filing.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Which part, Kate? The first part or the second part of that paragraph, right?

There are two distinct parts. Listen, I think the president has a good point in asking for a special master. I think there should have been a special counsel appointed instead of Merrick Garland. I think he should have appointed a special counsel for this whole mess. Special master is just used and is another guardrail here to prevent privileged or classified -- excuse me, attorney-client privilege or executive privilege information getting into DOJ hands. I don't think the department of justice should be too confirmed about that.

But the second part is purely politics, Kate, obviously. Positioning the president as front-runner for the Republican nomination as well as for the 2024 presidential race. You know, obviously the president is back there with what he'd like to call truthful hyperbole and setting this up as a -- as a political fight.

BOLDUAN: We're back there with truthful hyperbole, van. This is intended, this filing, for a judge by the way this is written. But by the way this is written, though, is it actually intended more for his voters and supporters?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a part of him presenting himself as a persecuted champion of his party. And that's a big part of what he's doing. I think a lot of people, if you thought that this raid itself was going to be a dagger through the heart of Donald Trump, it was a defibrillator. It actually brought him back. It gives him something to talk about. It puts him in the middle of everything and lets him say look, they're picking on me because I'm so great.

People are picking on you because you're stealing stuff and hiding it at your house and doing all kind of bizarre stuff, but he's trying to turn it around and make himself into a martyr as opposed to a thief of government materials.

BOLDUAN: To that point -- go ahead, David.

URBAN: I was going to say, Van, you made the reference one time you and I were roundabout, I can't remember what X-men it is, the guy that gets punched and gets stronger each time he gets hit.

JONES: Sebastian Shaw, Sebastian Shaw.

URBAN: There you go. Well, Van points it out and correctly so. Listen, I think this has really enraged the Republican base. People who may not have been big fans of Donald Trump's before think this is overstepping the bounds of the Department of Justice.

They see Merrick Garland as not someone they're very inclined to like. And whether they like Donald Trump or not they really don't like this, so I think that this does help Trump, the former president get back into being in the news and being a favorite amongst people who are not even inclined to like him again.

BOLDUAN: And part of it, to your point, a source close to Trump is now telling "Axios" that his donors are re-engaged in the biggest way ever since he left office because of this.


A new poll shows that just 1 in 5 Republicans think investigations involving Trump should continue.

But, David, at the same time you take a look at the latest data out, the latest polling out. Democrats are nearly tying Republicans now on voter enthusiasm. They're making gains there. And I'm wondering what you think, what picture this actually paints for the midterms as we approach.

URBAN: Yeah, listen, here's what -- you know what motivates Democrats and Republicans? Donald Trump, right? It motivates the Democratic base just as much as it motivates the Republican base.

So you're not surprised to see those numbers surge, Kate, when people see Donald Trump back on the screen and Democrats are like over my dead body will this guy get back into office. So they're motivated.

BOLDUAN: Do you see this -- okay, so it boosts Trump, Van. But do you see it also really moving forward boosting Democratic voter enthusiasm? Is this what's going to turn people out, not everything else that they've seen in the world?

JONES: Look, I see -- there was a season of shame for Democrats, started with the Afghanistan exit being so messy and then we weren't able to get anything done. We were falling down the stairs, falling over our own feet. And it was hard to feel good as a Democrat.

When Biden signed that bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, it started to bring a sense of pride back. We got something done. It was big. The gun reform was big. The chips act was big.

We're doing prescription -- suddenly now there's some pride back on our side. And there's also real disgust with what's happening with the Republican Party because of the way I think Democrats see it is you've got the president caught with his hand in the cookie jar and Republicans are rallying around him.

The party's supposed to be the party of law and order. It seems to be cheerleading for lawlessness when it comes to Donald Trump. So I think now you throw in the abortion stuff you're starting to now see the Democrats coming back to life.

The news cycle might be driving Republicans. It's driving us too.

URBAN: Kate, I would just say this. You know, proof's in the pudding. Look across America. Look at ads being run by Democrats, whether they're running for the House, Senate or governor's homes, Donald Trump's mentioned in almost every piece, right? This person's a Donald Trump Republican, a MAGA Republican, right?

So Trump is definitely -- no one's mentioning guns or Chip Act or Build Back Better. No one's mentioning any of that stuff. It's all Trump. On the Democratic side and mostly Republican side as well.

BOLDUAN: Stand by to stand by to see who wins on that one. It's good to see you guys. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

OUTFRONT for us next --

URBAN: Kate, thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

OUTFRONT for us next, tensions quickly escalating between Russia and Ukraine as the nations blame each other for killing the daughter of a top Putin ally. Will Putin use her murder to just more attacks?

Plus, it's a story you'll only see on OUTFRONT. CNN travels to a secret location thousands of miles outside Ukraine to meet one Russian soldier now in hiding because he's turned on Putin. You'll want to hear what he has to say.



BOLDUAN: Tonight, Ukraine responding to a major accusation from Russia, saying Ukraine had nothing to do with the death of a top Putin ally's daughter.

Darya Dugina was killed when her SUV exploded on the outskirts of Moscow. Russia's intelligence agency, the FSB, alleges that the attack was, quote, prepared and committed by the Ukrainian special forces -- special services.

State TV also claiming that the alleged assassin is a woman who had served in Ukraine's Azov regiment and has now escaped to Estonia.

Ukraine denies having anything to do with Saturday's car bomb, and a top Zelenskyy adviser ridiculed the FSB statement saying Russian propaganda lives in a fictional world.

Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT in Moscow with more on this.

Fred, what more are you learning?


Just to give you an idea of how high-profile this is in Russia right now, about half an hour ago we actually got an e-mail from the Kremlin saying that Darya Dugina had now been awarded the Order of Courage by the Russian Federation. So, President Vladimir Putin also coming out, calling this a vile and cruel crime. So you can really see how important and how seriously this is being taken in Russia.

And you're absolutely right to point out this could also spell an escalation in the war with Ukraine as well. There are people in the top echelons of Russian state-controlled media who have come out through the better part of the day and have called for such an escalation. There was one who's the head of "Russia Today" who says she calls for strikes on Kyiv, also calling for strikes on Ukrainian decision-making centers. And then there's the father of Darya Dugina, who many people believe may have been the actual target of this crime.

He is an ideologue who's very well known. Many people say he has a lot of influence possibly also on the decision-making of Vladimir Putin as well when it comes to Ukraine's policies, someone who's for a very hard line. And he was calling for victory in Ukraine.

Obviously, also meaning another escalation as well. At the same time, you're absolutely right. It's been interesting to he so the Ukrainians from the very beginning saying they had nothing to do with this.

And now tonight once again coming out and saying they have nothing to do with this, they believe it was an inside job. And they say that their special services, their intelligence services simply have other things to do right now with obviously a war raging on their territory, than something like this.

But again the atmosphere in Moscow very charged up. If you look at the upper echelons of Russian politics and especially Kremlin-controlled media as well, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Fred, thank you so much for that. Thanks for being there.

OUTFRONT now, State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

Thanks for being here, Ned. We heard what Russia is saying and also what Ukraine is saying in

response about the killing of Darya Dugina. What does the U.S. believe happened?

NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Well, Kate, I want to be very clear about this. The intentional targeting, the intentional killing of a civilian is something we would never condone. It is something we would condemn wherever it takes place, whether it takes place in Kyiv, whether it takes place in Bucha, in Kharkiv, in Kramatorsk, in Mariupol, or yes, in Moscow as well.


There's a lot we don't know about this. There's lots of speculation. Questions are swirling.

But what we do know is what your correspondent just said. The Ukrainians have denied any involvement in this whatsoever.

Our Ukrainian partners know what we know. There are effective means by which to hold Russia, to hold the Kremlin, to hold Russian decision makers accountable for their brutal war of aggression against Ukraine.

That's precisely what we've done. We'll continue to do that with dozens of countries around the world to make sure the Kremlin feels real costs for the aggression and for the brutality that they're inflicting on the Ukrainian people.

BOLDUAN: So is the U.S. confident that Ukraine is telling the truth, that it was not behind the killing?

PRICE: Look, there are lots of questions. Again, we have heard very clearly from our Ukrainian partners they have nothing to do with this.

I think it also bears repeating something we all know that we have to take with a grain of salt absolutely everything we hear from the Kremlin. The Kremlin has never given us a reason to look at its statements with any degree of credibility.

So questions remain. There's a lot we don't know. But again, our Ukrainian partners know that the way to hold Russia accountable is to do -- continue to do what we're doing, to impose the massive costs and the massive consequences that we promise, that we pledged we would inflict on Russia if its aggression went forward.

BOLDUAN: But, I mean, look, there are billions and billions of dollars in aid and weapons and more that the U.S. has sent to Ukraine. If this attack was shown to be carried out by Ukraine, would that threaten that aid and U.S. support?

PRICE: Look, I'm just not going to weigh in on a hypothetical.

We are going to continue standing with Ukraine. Our goal is simple. It's to see that it that Ukraine remains sovereign, that it remains independent, that it remains democratic and that it has the means to defend itself going forward long after this aggression is over. You know, on Wednesday we'll mark six months of Russia's brutal war

against Ukraine. It's also meaningful that on that very same day, Ukraine will mark its independence day.

And I say it's meaningful because six months ago, we have good reason to believe that Vladimir Putin thought that he would be in control of Ukraine within six hours of sending his forces across the border. Now six months later, Ukraine remains democratic, it remains sovereign, it remains independent, and we and dozens of countries around the world are continuing to stand with Ukraine.

It is a testament to the courage and the bravery and determination of the Ukrainian people that they have withstood this assault. They won the battle of Kyiv. They have managed to fight the Russians effectively in self-defense.

And the United States alone has provided some $10 billion since this aggression started. It's $18 billion if you include the humanitarian assistance and the economic assistance that we've provided. And our partners have done the same.

So, we're going to continue to provide our Ukrainian partners exactly what they need to defend themselves.

BOLDUAN: Are you more concerned today than you were Friday before this car bombing happened about what Russia could do on that anniversary, on Ukrainian independence day, what an escalation could mean in response to what just happened? Are you more concerned today than you were on Friday before this happened?

PRICE: We've always consistently through this been concerned about what Moscow has in store. And in fact, we have reason to believe and we had reason to believe even before this event in Moscow that Moscow does plan to intensify its campaign against Ukraine in the coming days, targeting civilian infrastructure, targeting government infrastructure. That's why it's so important that in the days and the weeks ahead the United States and our partners continue to provide that massive amount --

BOLDUAN: Now, do you think you're going to get an answer --

PRICE: -- more on that this week.

BOLDUAN: Do you think you're going to get a final conclusion of who was behind this attack, that the State Department will deem reliable?

PRICE: Look, we're going to continue to look into this. I know that Moscow has -- shortly after the attack announced the results of its investigation in a way that I think really underscores the lack of credibility of the statements that we're hearing from Russia.

There are lots of questions about this. We know that President Putin and his government, they have resorted to devious tactics in the past. I wouldn't want to speculate on who was behind this. But again, the statements we're hearing from Russia are not worth the paper they're written on. BOLDUAN: It goes without saying before this and after this, you're

more inclined to believe the word of Ukrainian president than you are to believe the word of Vladimir Putin.

PRICE: Of course, Ukraine has a track record when it comes to its credibility. Russia too has a track record on the other hand with its credibility.

BOLDUAN: Ned Price, thanks for coming in.

PRICE: Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT with me now, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, former army commanding general of Europe and 7th Army.

It's good to see you, General.

So, we -- I was just talking about it with Ned Price. There are a lot of questions still and who knows what the conclusion would actually be that people would deem reliable. We don't know who's behind it or even really who the target was.

But what could the possible motivation be here if the target was Darya or her father?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Hey, Kate, it's great to be with you.

What I'd suggest is everyone has thoughts on who killed Dugina. It's fascinating because Russia has been a little bit too quick to accuse as Ned Price just said.

But here are some factors. It could have been an FBI -- or excuse me, an FSB hit squad since both she and her father are at the forefront of criticizing Putin, saying that he hasn't gone big enough in Ukraine. It could have been an internal Russian protest group, since both Dugin and Dugina are so adamantly pro-Putin. It could be a Ukrainian special ops team which Russians have accused.

But truthfully from a military perspective, I find that hard to believe because they have much bigger targets than this. But because she has visited Mariupol and accused the Azovstal defenders of being Nazis, she was certainly someone Ukraine doesn't like.

Or finally it could be a Russian criminal gang because after all Russia is a kleptocracy, a mafia state and there could be some things we don't even know about.

But it just seems suspicious to me having read intelligence on Russia during my time in Europe that they were within 24 hours saying who the killer was, producing an ID card of the killer who has mysteriously fled to Estonia, and early forensics shows that ID card was photoshopped.

So it's just all very suspicious. And truthfully, Kate, I wouldn't bet on any of those being the real reasons why she was killed. BOLDUAN: After this murder, Darya's father Alexander as well as now

Russian media personalities, they're demanding that Putin respond, that strikes on -- they're demanding that there be strikes on Kyiv in response. Do you see a scenario where this goes unanswered by Vladimir Putin?

HERTLING: I don't, actually. You know, and that's been one of the scenarios I painted for you. Because Dugin and Dugina have been so adamant about making Putin go bigger than he's already gone in Ukraine. They've insulted Ukraine across the board.

Certainly, Putin and Russia can use this as an information ops campaign, saying hey, maybe they were right, maybe we should go bigger, maybe we should slam Ukraine with all kinds of missiles on the 24th of August, which is Ukrainian independence day. All of those things could be a factor.

So again, it's out of the Russian playbook of using this kind of event to stoke more crimes, more criminal activity, more war crimes.

BOLDUAN: It's great to see you, General. Thank you for coming in.

HERTLING: Always a pleasure, Kate. Thanks.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT next, a lie. One Russian soldier risking his life to speak to CNN, and he is pulling no punches about the damage his country has done in Ukraine.

And the defense for the shooter who killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, begging a jury to let him live.



BOLDUAN: First on OUTFRONT tonight, a Russian soldier speaking out in his first television interview risking his life to describe to CNN in stark terms the, quote, lie behind his country's invasion of Ukraine. And he's offering a rare view inside what he calls the destroyed Russian army that's turning soldiers like him into, quote, savages.

Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT with this remarkable story.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first wave of Russian forces are crack airborne troops like we met outside Kyiv just hours after the war began. Outgunned, these men were quickly pushed back.

But elsewhere in Ukraine, others held on, fighting what the Kremlin still calls its special military operation.

But now, six months on, there are very public signs of discontent.

PAVEL FILATYEV, RUSSIAN SOLDIER (through translator): It's awful to realize that Russia is destroying Ukraine and Ukraine hates Russia because of what we are doing. And that the whole world thinks Russians are animals and bad people.

CHANCE: We traveled to a secret location, thousands of miles from the war zone, to meet that disillusioned Russian soldier in hiding who says he feels compelled to speak out despite the risk.

Right, well, this is the place where we're told he's currently holed up. We have spoken to him on the phone already. He's very paranoid. Concerned the Russian security forces are trying to track him down. But he has agreed to meet with us and to speak with us.

Hi. Pavel.


CHANCE: Pavel.

Pavel Filateyev serves in Russia's elite 56th Air Assault Regiment, deployed to Ukraine's Kherson region as part of that first invasion wave.

He fought for more than two months on the front lines, he told me, and was appalled by what he saw.

FILATYEV: We were dragged into this serious conflict where we're just destroying towns. And not actually liberating anyone. All of that's a lie. We are simply destroying peaceful lives.

CHANCE: And we've seen those lives destroyed. Russian troops killing thousands of Ukrainian civilians in a bloody rampage across the country. Human rights groups and others documenting alleged war crimes including rapes and killings.

But that's something Filatyev denies witnessing at all, although he does describe how grinding battles, poor conditions and a severe lack of basic supplies turned Russian soldiers like him into savages.

FILATYEV: Many of us had no food, no water, nor even sleeping bags. Because it was very cold at night and we couldn't sleep, we would find some rubbish, some rags just to wrap ourselves in to keep warm.


Some took laptops, computers and other technology, perhaps because their salary does not provide for them to get those in an honest way. Many robbed abandoned stores with mobile phones and other things.

I don't want to justify their actions. But it is important to understand that their poor level of life pushes them to do such things during war.

CHANCE: A lot of Ukrainians feel that you should be held responsible for what you've done and for the actions that you've taken part in. Do you think that you should be held responsible? Do you feel responsible for what you've done? FILATYEV: Look, the majority of Russian servicemen did not break the

laws of combat. But morally, I feel guilty -- guilty for being used as an instrument in political games which will not even bring Russia any benefit. Our army has been destroyed. My government has destroyed almost every sphere with corruption, and everyone in Russia knows it.

CHANCE: But Filatyev is the first Russian soldier to speak up, publishing his scathing frontline memoirs on social media before fleeing his homeland. Now he's in exile and he fears a potential target too by the powers he's criticized.


BOLDUAN: And Matthew's with us now.

Matthew, before he talked to you did Pavel try telling his commanders about his opposition to this invasion?

CHANCE: Not before he went public about it now, he didn't, no, Kate. I'm speaking to you actually from a secret location. We want to make sure that the place where we spoke to Pavel isn't disclosed in any of our reporting. But what he told me earlier on when I spoke to him is that look, I complained repeatedly about the low morale, about the lack of food and water, about the poor weapons we were given, the sort of general -- the sort of state of disrepair of the bases we were in, and no one listened to us, not the commanding officers, not the defense ministry, not even the Kremlin when he wrote directly to them. He said that's when he decided to come out publicly and voice his moral opposition to this war.

And it shows us the kind of country we're dealing with in Russia. It's not just a country that doesn't want to hear public criticism. It doesn't even want private constructive criticism either that could actually be helpful to make it better. And so that's the situation. The only feedback that Pavel said he has had from the authorities or from the military has been through his own private backchannels where he's been told he is despised, that he's being hunted, and that his life could now be in danger, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, really important reporting. Thank you, Matthew. Thank you very much.

OUTFRONT for us next, damaged. The defense attorney for the shooter who murdered 17 people in Parkland, Florida drawing on his troubled upbringing to try to spare him from the death penalty. But will it work?

And the climate crisis in pictures. Stunning new photos show glaciers in Switzerland melting so much they're losing an area the size of Manhattan every decade.



BOLDUAN: Tonight, his brain is broken. That is the argument that the attorney for the Parkland school shooter is making in an effort to spare his life.

Nikolas Cruz's defense team called its first witnesses today in the death penalty phase of his sentencing, trying to convince the jury that Cruz's upbringing was to blame. Witnesses saying that Cruz's biological mother was a drug addict and a prostitute even while she was pregnant with him.

Cruz has pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and attempted murder.

Leyla Santiago is OUTFRONT.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The defense for Nikolas Cruz now presenting its case, hoping the jury will give him life in prison, not the death penalty.

MELISSA MCNEILL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR NIKOLAS CRUZ: Nikolas Cruz's decision to take an Uber to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and kill as many people as he could possibly kill is not where Nikolas Cruz's story starts.

SANTIAGO: His public defender describing a troubled beginning for the 23-year-old, claiming he was born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder from a birth mother who abused drugs and alcohol.

MCNEILL: The majority of her pregnancy, she was homeless and living on the streets. We know that she was using drugs.

SANTIAGO: An adoptive mother who could not fully care for his many behavioral issues.

MCNEILL: Throughout elementary school, Nicholas' medication was being changed frequently, and Linda, mom, would stop the medication sometimes. It was too expensive. Put him back on it, take him off.

SANTIAGO: Melissa McNeill caused Cruz damaged and wounded with a, quote, broken brain who was failed by the adults and institutions around him.

MCNEILL: Nicholas' behavior got worse. His teachers will tell you that they went to administration, that they were blown off. They were told to deal with it.

SANTIAGO: Cruz's biological sister, who is behind bars, facing a carjacking charge, testified she witnessed Cruz's birth mother take drugs and alcohol while she was pregnant.

DANIELLE WOODARD, NIKOLAS CRUZ'S BIOLOGICAL SISTER: She just introduced me to a life that no child should ever be introduced to.

SANTIAGO: Another witness says Brenda Woodard, Cruz's deceased birth mother, worked as a prostitute before he was born.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brenda never said she was raped, so I'm taking it that it was a trick baby. SANTIAGO: Prosecutors already presented three weeks of emotional

testimony in the sentencing phase, jurors hearing from victims and families.

DR. ILAN ALHADEFF, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM, ALYSSA ALHADEFF: My firstborn daughter, my shining star, daddy's girl was taken from me.

SANTIAGO: Now, Cruz's defense is asking for jurors to spare his life after pleading guilty to 17 murders and 17 attempted murders.

MCNEILL: Your verdict will come from all of the things that Nikolas did not show those 17 beautiful souls. It can come from compassion.



SANTIAGO (on camera): Another witness we heard from today, a special education teacher who told the jurors that she noticed academic and developmental issues with him dating back to elementary school.

And, Kate, we should note, this is very important here when it comes to this sentencing trial. For the jurors to recommend a death penalty here, they must be unanimous.

BURNETT: Leyla, thank you so much.

OUTFRONT for us next, shocking before and after photos showing how the world's glaciers are losing an area the size of Manhattan every ten years. We'll be right back.


BOLDUAN: Finally tonight, new before and after pictures making it clear just how fast the world's glaciers are melting. Melting so fast, in fact, that in Switzerland, glaciers are losing an area the size of Manhattan every ten years. We'll show you.

This is what, as you see on your screen, what Switzerland's glaciers looked like nearly 100 years ago. Notice the ice in the middle of the screen. Now it's almost completely gone. We're going to show you this is what the Gorner Glacier used to look like -- ice stretching from the mountains to the bottom of the screen. Now, trees where there was once ice.

And in what may be one of the most striking before-and-afters, this glacier that was there nearly a century ago has vanished. Researchers say the world can expect to see another 60 percent loss this glacier mass by the end of the century.

Thanks so much for being here. I'm Kate Bolduan.

"AC360" starts now.