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U.S. Provided Intel That Helped Ukraine Target Warship; Senate Dems to Force Vote on Writing Abortion Rights Into Law; U.S. Stocks Coming Off Worst Day of The Year. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired May 06, 2022 - 05:00   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. It is Friday, May 6. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. Welcome. Good morning, everyone.

CNN has learned the U.S. military did play a role in the sinking of Russia's flagship in the Black Sea last month. Sources familiar with those events say Ukrainian sources asked for confirmation that the warship was in fact the Moskva. The U.S. responded that it was and also provided intel about the ship's location.

CNN's Scott McLean live this morning for us in Lviv, Ukraine.

Scott, was the U.S. involved in targeting the ship beyond that or simply intel here being shared?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christine. So those same sources that you mentioned said that it is not clear whether the U.S. knew that the Ukrainians were planning to bomb the ship, but either way, the Americans were not involved with the decision-making there.

Now, the Pentagon is pushing back on this, and they put out a very carefully worded statement.

The spokesman John Kirby saying, quote: We didn't provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva.

Now, the Russians, of course, have been accusing the Americans of engaging in a proxy war and this event raises all kinds of legitimate questions about where the U.S. draws the line in terms of intelligence sharing and helping Ukraine more broadly. Those sources say that the U.S. will not share intelligence on any locations or any potential targets within Russia, on Russian territory, nor will they share the location of any senior military officials as well.

Now, the other big event here making news is the evacuation efforts from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, those efforts are under way right now as we speak. That is correspond to the Ukrainians and the U.N. President Zelenskyy said last night that he is efforting to get not only civilians out but also military members out as well. Many of whom are injured.

Now, the U.N. said yesterday that this evacuation convoy, the hope was that it would arrive this morning. It is not clear where exactly it is or whether it has arrived. And that appears to be by design. President Zelenskyy said that today he would be in radio silence mode, Ukrainians don't want to do anything to potentially jeopardize the success of this operation.

It is especially delicate since one Ukrainian official says that despite the involvement of the United Nations and the Red Cross, the Russians are continuously changing their demands and their conditions for evacuations, conditions that they have already agreed to. So, the success here is hardly a guarantee.

In terms of the situation on the ground, last word that we got from the Ukrainian military, Christine, is that the Russians have still got that plant blocked off and in some cases they are firing on it.

ROMANS: Wow. Unbelievable. All right. Scott McLean, just a hellscape there in Mariupol. Thank you so much for that.


JARRETT: And meantime, the war in Ukraine and the fear of further Russian aggression has the Nordic nations of Finland and Sweden still thinking about joining the NATO alliance.

CNN's Nic Robertson is live at Finland's border crossing with Russia.

Nic, good morning. What else is Finland doing with the war raging so close by?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It is really raised a lot of concerns. There has been a massive shift in public opinion. For years, people thought that NATO was a good idea but they didn't want to join. Now the vast majority do.

The prime minister here said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine fundamentally changed Europe's security architecture and for that reason, Finland is preparing itself right now politically and militarily for the potential of joining NATO.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): In Finland's forests, the nation's military is readying should Russia threaten war. Arrow 22, joint military exercises, Finnish troops alongside British, American, Latvian and Estonian forces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really don't know what happened. It depends on the commanders on each side. Let's see, if f the main turret is upwards, that means the tank is destroyed.

ROBINSON: These annual exercises now with added urgency. Russia's war in Ukraine causing Finland to consider joining NATO.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to develop, and if you are in your own bubble, you don't develop.

ROBINSON: Arrow 22 is all about preparing Finland for potentially joining NATO. In the words of the organizers, to create and sustain international operability.


Finland's defense chief and his U.K. counterpart visiting the battle training. Success in the forests speeding Finland's path to NATO membership.

ANTTI KAIKKONEN, FINNISH MINISTER OF DEFENCE: We have a very good inter-operative with NATO and I believe that Finland would fulfill the criteria needed to be a NATO member. I believe possible negotiations with NATO wouldn't take so much time because of that.

ROBINSON: Until then, the U.K. pledging military support and clearly signaling political backing to help hasten Finland's membership.

BEN WALLACE, UK DEFENCE SECRETARY: Exercises like this show that our forces are professionally matched, professionally interoperate and that is a really important sort of strength that Finland would definitely add to NATO.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I like the rails. You can really hold it.

ROBINSON: Meanwhile at the back of one of the tanks, camaraderie, the talk not about NATO.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like your weapons better.

ROBINSON: Troops of different nations trading tips about each other's weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys came up pretty heavy.

ROBINSON: Joint battlefield exercise experiences bonding all.

CAPTAIN DENIS MAJEWSKI, U.S. ARMY: You get to hear the experiences of the Finns, the way they grew up so close to Russia, it is definitely interesting and I think that it helps us all grow together.

ROBINSON: After a day shooting tank shells at each other, some Finnish troops pumped about their prospects should Putin pick a fight with them.

JAAKO INKINEN, CONSCRIPT FINNISH ARMY: It doesn't seem logical because if they have already troops in Ukraine, and they decide to attack us, they will get their (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kicked.

ROBINSON: Finland just days away from deciding if it will join NATO.


ROBINSON (on camera): So that's the military preparations. And the political side, the conversations going on in parliament right now by the middle or late next week, it should become clear which way the nation is going. The prime minister and president will speak to the nation, that's going to be influential.

But already, the vast majority of parliamentarians, there are 200 of them, are already in favor of joining NATO. It looks very much like Finland and potentially Sweden soon will become members.

JARRETT: Very interesting. Nic Robertson, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. First Lady Jill Biden headed to Romania and Slovakia right now. She'll be there to support displaced Ukrainian families, families forced to plea their homes by the Russian invasion. The first lady will also meet with members of the U.S. military and as well as top level government officials in both countries and she plans to spend time with educators in Bucharest who are helping teach Ukrainian children.

And that has been such an interesting part of this story. The schools and the teachers in Europe who had to deal with the influx of children and get them to school has just been remarkable.

JARRETT: Yeah, trying to create some sense of normalcy for them.

ROMANS: Right.

JARRETT: Coming up for you, Vladimir Putin offering a rare apology. What is he sorry for?

ROMANS: Plus, how abortion pills are the new frontier in the battle.

JARRETT: And the end of this out of the world mission.



JARRETT: Overnight concrete barriers were installed outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., with law enforcement on high alert for potential violence following that leaked draft opinion on Roe versus Wade. Now, the barriers joined 8-foot high nonscalable fences around parts of the building. So far, though, the protests have been peaceful.

ROMANS: All right. Democrats in the U.S. Senate plan to vote just days from now on a law to protect abortion rights should the Supreme Court draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade stand.

CNN's Daniella Diaz live on Capitol this morning for us.

Daniella, Democrats don't have the votes. In fact, they're not even all in agreement here, right?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: They are not in agreement, Christine. All eyes are on Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He has, quote, described himself as a pro-life and proud of it and quote, a life long abortion opponent. When this specific bill that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to put on the floor for a vote next week was put to the floor in January, Senator Manchin voted against it.

So, really, Democrats don't have all their caucus in unison in support. But that's not stopping Chuck Schumer from putting it on the floor anyway because he wants a record of where all the Senate stands on this issue.

Now, two moderate Republican senators, Senator Susan Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski, have both said that they have their own bill that they plan to -- have introduced and want to put for a vote that is a little different than the Women's Health Protection Act. That is the bill that will be put on the Senate floor next week. Their legislation they say will have an Amendment that will allow for -- it is called a conscience clause that will allow providers to refuse to provide abortions for religious or moral reasons. That is why they want their bill rather than this Women's Health Protection Act.

And Senator Susan Collins has already come out. She actually said yesterday that she does not plan to support the legislation that will be put to a vote next week. So this is a really polarizing issue in the Senate. Even if there are some senators that agree on the Republican side that Roe v. Wade should be codified, but we'll continue to see how it plays out considering the fact that the Supreme Court still has not issued a formal opinion on this issue. But we do expect that in June -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Daniella, thank you so much for that.

JARRETT: All right. For more on this, let's bring in "Time" magazine staff writer Abigail Abrams.

So nice to have you on EARLY START with us, bright and early this Friday morning.


So let's start with the fact that this now appears to be a battle that has moved from what was happening in clinics to what is going to happen in the mail. With roe on the line at the Supreme Court, that seems where the next frontier is headed. And you have been writing about how most women these days, 54 percent of women who need to terminate a pregnancy do so through medical indicated abortion.

So how are red states gearing up to crack down on being assess ac to that?

ABIGAIL ABRAMS, TIME MAGAZINE STAFF WRITER: Yeah, that's right. Medication abortion which is two drug combination that people can really take at home or in clinics, any location, has been getting more common. And last December, the FDA even loosened regulations that allow the pills to be prescribed by telehealth or via the mail.

But now as you said, Republican states and abortion opponents have been cracking down. So, we have 19 states now that effectively prohibit sending the pills through the mail and even more states are adding extra regulations and trying to crack down on this because they see it as a way to get around the restrictions that will come especially if we see Roe v. Wade overturned and half the states are expected to ban all kinds of abortion then.

ROMANS: So, Abigail, how -- I guess how do -- what happens to patients in some of the states where they are trying to criminalize this if they use this regime of pills and how would states be able to track that?

ABRAMS: Right. That is the big question here. So, I mean, it is much harder to track someone ordering pills online or through the mail than it is going to an abortion clinic or trying to close down a clinic itself. So, right now, abortion rights advocates and doctors are trying to advise their patients on ways to be careful and kind of avoid this prosecution.

And really the pills themselves, if you have taken medication abortion pill which is approved safe and effective up to 10 weeks of pregnancy in the U.S., it can't be detected any different from miscarriage once patients take that. So doctors are advising people to kind of be careful about what information that they share, they are sending guides online about how to safely order the pills and where to find them and warning people about the legal risks that they might face.

JARRETT: And so what are blue states like California and Illinois doing to prepare for the influx of women in need here? I mean, those states are already sort of, you know, the places that people go if they need to travel given how liberal the laws are.

ABRAMS: Right. So those states have been passing new protections for abortion and for providers that help patients access abortion. So California, Connecticut, Illinois as well are passing laws to protect providers from being extradited to other states where abortion would be outlawed. They are adding more resources. So in places like Illinois, they are creating a hub, a bigger abortion clinic there, that can take the influx of patients that might be fleeing from states that are going to outlaw all kinds of abortion.

ROMANS: All right. Abigail Abrams of "Time Magazine", thank you so much this morning. Nice to see you.

JARRETT: Appreciate it.

Up next for you, Wall Street's worst day all year. Christine is going to tell us what happened. Will stocks bounce back?

ROMANS: It was ugly.

Plus, four astronauts in a dramatic splashdown just a short time ago.



ROMANS: All right. It is the morning after Wall Street's worst day of the year. The Dow down more than 3 percent. The S&P 500 almost 4 percent. The Nasdaq almost 5 percent. That is such a big one day move. For the Nasdaq the worst day since 2020 when the whole pandemic really roiled markets.

Investors are still worried about the Fed's ability to tame inflation here. U.S. stock and futures also leaning down a little bit, but much more stable than what we saw yesterday.

I want to check markets overseas. CNN's Anna Stewart is live in London for us.

Look, the fact is after two very good years for stock market investors, a new era is here. That era is rising interest rates and the Fed has to tackle rising inflation, cool off a red hot American economy and avoid a recession all at the same time. That is a tough order.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is a delicate balance. And that sinking feeling you saw on Wall Street certainly bled into the Asian and European sessions over here. As you say, investors are digesting the outlook for inflation and the economy and raising rates.

You can see there all the Asian market other than the Tokyo were in the red. Losses led by the Hang Seng in Hong Kong. Also being battered in terms of sentiment by comments from government officials saying that they are reaffirming the zero COVID policy. So that will handle per growth in China.

And looking at Europe, red across the board. We also had some Central Bank news of our own on this side of the pond, Bank of England raising rates for the fourth time in a row yesterday, but the big shock came once again in terms of the inflation outlook and economic outlook. Inflation expected to top 10 percent this year and the U.K. economy expected to shrink.

So we are seeing a battering in terms of investor sentiment. And also I would say of morale -- Christine.


ROMANS: Yeah, I'd say so, too. Really, I mean, the writing has been on the wall for months, right? A new era is here of hire interest rates. Maybe inflation has peaked, maybe it hasn't. I'm not sure. But this has been a really tough start to the year for investors and I don't think that goes away anytime soon.

Anna, thank you so much.


JARRETT: Four astronauts are now back on earth splashing down a short time ago in their SpaceX capsule off the coast of Florida.

CNN space and defense correspondent Kristin Fisher joins us live this morning.

Kristin, what made this mission to the international space station a little bit different?

KRISTINE FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Laura, I think what made this mission so unique is just the speed and frequency with which NASA and SpaceX are now sending astronauts to the international space station. This is what NASA's commercial crew program which is what this mission was a part of, this is what this program was set out to do so many years ago to provide reliable, safe, cost effective transportation to the international space station.

And remember, Laura, just until up until two years ago, NASA was totally reliant upon Russian Soyuz spacecrafts to get its own astronauts up to the space station. So imagine what that would have looked like and the potential problems that may have caused in this geopolitical environment with the war ongoing in Ukraine.

But SpaceX came along and just look at what they have done in the last month. They have launched the first all-private crew to the International Space Station. They returned them safely to earth. They have launched another crew, Crew 4, to the international space station. And then they just brought back this crew, Crew 3, last night. They splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Florida shortly after midnight.

And you know, Laura, a lot of astronauts think that the reentry, the return to earth, is much more dynamic, exciting, some might say scary than the launch itself. But these are four veteran astronauts, three from NASA, one from the European Space Agency, and two of them are in contention to go to the moon as part of NASA's next big program, the Artemis Program -- Laura.

JARRETT: Wow, all of it is very scary to me. So, I'm in awe of anyone who does that.

All right. Kristin, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: Literally out of this world, right?

All right. Just ahead, the White House press secretary passes the baton and makes history.

JARRETT: But, first, will China's President Xi take the same path as Vladimir Putin?