Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Biden Meets Saudi Crown Prince; Sri Lanka's President Formally Resigns; Thousands Trapped In Haiti's Capital Without Food Or Water; Europe Bakes As Wildfires Rage From Portugal To Croatia; Biden Meets With Saudi Leaders On Controversial Visit; Buffalo Market Reopens, Two Months After White Supremacist Gunman Killed Ten People. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 15, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm ISA SOARES TONIGHT. Joe Biden meets Saudi Arabia's Mohammed

bin Salman, but the U.S. President walking a political -- not diplomatic tightrope after previously vowing to make the nation a pariah. Then Sri

Lanka's president formally resigns, but protesters may not be happy about who is set to replace him.

And then later, thousands are trapped in Haiti's capital without food or water as gang violence leaves the city paralyzed. But first, we start with

the visit to Saudi royalty as well as a fist-bump at this hour. The U.S. President Joe Biden is huddling behind closed doors with senior Saudi

leadership in Jeddah.

Among them, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Biden, Mr. Biden, you remember once vowed to isolate on the world stage, called it a pariah.

Let's head straight to Saudi Arabia where CNN's Becky Anderson is leading our coverage there. Becky.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you very much, indeed, Isa. And the meeting going on at the palace which is just over my shoulder, you'll

perhaps just be able to see the lights on there. From pariah to partner once again. U.S. President Joe Biden is resetting relations with this

kingdom of Saudi Arabia at this hour.

And while many important issues are on the table during his meetings in Jeddah, this greeting could well be the defining image of his trip. A fist-

bump with the Crown Prince accused of ordering the gruesome murder of U.S. resident and "Washington Post" reporter Jamal Khashoggi. Biden trying to

walk a fine line, balancing U.S. strategic interest with fundamental values including human rights.

He met with Mohammed bin Salman or MBS as he's called here, and his father King Salman at the royal palace a short time ago. Well, earlier today, Mr.

Biden met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. U.S. President reaffirming his commitment to an independent

Palestinian state, but suggested the ground is quote, "not ripe for peace talks with Israel to resume."

Mr. Abbas warning the window for two-state solution maybe narrowing, saying decades of Israeli occupation and settlement building on Palestinian lands

must end for peace to be achieved. Well, let's start our coverage tonight with Hadas Gold who is in Bethlehem as I understand it, and Nic Robertson

who is with me here live in Jeddah. Standby if you will, Hadas, because I do think we need to start with what happened just an hour or so ago here in

the palace just behind us.

Nic, a first-bump that will have been hurt, reverberated around the world. Your optics on this for President Biden, of course, aren't good. The

reception in this region though will be quite different.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Picture worth a thousand words. We've already had the thousands, tens of thousands of words

about what the greeting would be. It was a fist-bump. I think the other picture as well for a thousand words here was the moment where President

Biden shook hands with the king. The king is looking very frail, it was MBS that led the ministers into the bilateral that the president is having

right now.

You know, the two images perhaps that President Biden will take away from here could well be those that it is MBS who has the energy, who has the

ministers doing what he tells them. And it is the king who is relatively on in his years, he is of course a leader of this country, he is of course,

the custodian of the two holy Mosques here in Saudi Arabia. Here, he does hold an influential position, but the power balance is shifting to the man

that President Biden is doing business with.

Those thousands upon thousands of words where because Biden said that he wouldn't -- he'd make him a pariah, and now he's come to the table.

ANDERSON: Well, this --

ROBERTSON: And here he is at the table --

ANDERSON: And this is a man who is likely to be around four decades to come, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is 36 years old, reflecting a much

younger leadership that we actually see around this region. And before I get to Hadas to talk about what happened in Bethlehem just earlier on

today, I think it's important at this point that we -- that we get a sense from you of your assessments as to what it is that the U.S .is taking in?

What's the Saudi -- what are the Saudis taking into this meeting? And what the both sides hope to achieve.


ROBERTSON: The Saudis feel that they have done something big by bringing President Biden here. They feel that he's been overlooking Saudi Arabia,

overlooking the region, not understanding their problems in the war in Yemen, and not taking them fully into account. They want him at the table

to discuss their plans for the future as a country, their vision for it, their energy transition. They want him at the table because they would like

the continued support that they've had in the war in Yemen.

They would like a security guarantee, they would like some security strategy vis-a-vis Iran, and they also want a word in Biden's ear while

he's busy trying to negotiate with the Iranians to get their nuclear deal up and going. Those are the things that they are bringing. Biden of course,

brings that heavy global baggage of rising oil prices, petrol at the gas pump around the world, and he needs to try to bring that down.

And he thinks Saudi Arabia and its allies at the GCC tomorrow are a mechanism to do that. The Saudis, if they're going to give over on this,

then they're going to want back from President Biden, and of course, there's the Israel issue as well. But Biden comes to the table wanting

Saudi to improve relations.

ANDERSON: We may never know if the U.S. President brings up the murder of Jamal Khashoggi during these discussions tonight. We will wait to see the

statement because we actually aren't -- press aren't allowed into that news, so we'll have to wait and see a statement from both sides on that,

unlike the Saudis would write that in a statement anyway, but let's see what we get from the White House, Meantime, thank you, Nic.

Let's get to, as I understand it, Jerusalem, you were in Bethlehem earlier on today, Hadas, you are back now. What was achieved by the U.S. President

and indeed by and for the Palestinians while he was on the West Bank, and what was the last part of the first leg of this talk?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in terms of achievements for the Palestinians, the highlight for Americans was highlighting the funding that

they have now restored in the amount of money, hundreds of millions of dollars that they are now bringing to the Palestinians. This includes

helping the hospital network and U.N. refugee agency that helps Palestinian refugees. A lot of this funding was completely cut by former President

Donald Trump.

And even just this visit, even just this day with the Palestinians is notable, because of the reset of the relationship the Biden administration

has been trying to have with the Palestinians after what happened under Donald Trump. But other than the new funding in the words and some other

confidence building measures, small things like potentially, border crossings and the announcement of working on the expansion of 4G for


There wasn't much when it comes to actual, you know, real measures that brings Palestinians a political horizon towards a two-state solution.

Despite the fact that President Biden once again reaffirmed that he supports a two-state solution. He wants to see independent Palestinian

state. He himself said that he recognizes that the ground is not ripe for it, right now. I mean, when you just look at the internal politics, both

the Israelis and the Palestinians, it's just not possible right now for anything to move forward on that.

Now, here are some things that the Palestinians likely liked that they heard from Biden. He talked about the indignity of restrictions on travel

the Palestinians face, the fear of the Palestinians for the safety of their children. He also of course, mentioned Shereen Abu Aqleh, the "Aljazeera"

reporter who was killed while covering an Israeli military operation in May. This was a big topic, I think that most Palestinians, that was really

important for them to hear the president say her name, talk about her, talk about what she meant for the Palestinians.

Her face was literally staring him back at the face during that press conference because most of the Palestinian reporters were wearing T-shirts,

black T-shirts with her face on them, calling for justice for Shereen, and a seat was left open for her with the poster of her face because if she was

still with us, she would have been covering this press conference just like any other reporter. But there was a lot of things that President Biden did

not talk about that the Palestinians would have liked to hear.

They probably would have liked to hear some sort of statement about settlements, about calling for a freeze on settlements or anything like

that. The word "settlement" was not even mentioned. The word "occupation" was not even mentioned. And President Biden also didn't even mention the

American consulate that the Americans had promised, they had said they wanted to reopen the American consulate in Jerusalem that largely serves


This was repeated last year by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, that this is something they were going to work towards. The Israelis have essentially

said no, and we haven't heard anything really from the Americans since on that, and President Biden did not mention it today. So while, it was, you

know, good feeling, it was a good statement, you know, between the two of them, not much progress made on a political horizon, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Hadas, thank you. And Isa, arguably, the most important leg of this trip is here in Jeddah, where a U.S. president is now

back at the table with the kingdom's leadership.


The de facto leader, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the table as we speak with Joe Biden. These are very interesting times --

SOARES: Yes --

ANDERSON: Whether Joe Biden gets what he wants, which is, you know, this region, not just the Saudis, but others, to pump more oil is very unlikely

at this point. So, we wait to see the substance of what comes out of not just --

SOARES: Yes --

ANDERSON: This meeting, but a meeting with the wider regional leaders, the GCC, plus Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. And you know, this is a very different

place, believe me --

SOARES: Yes --

ANDERSON: From the region that Joe Biden visited a decade or so ago. This is a region on the move, and to a certain extent people here are saying

this is a White Hose playing catch up. Isa?

SOARES: Becky, thank you very much, like you said that meeting currently on the way as soon as there are any developments, I know you will have them

all, return to you of course where we don't have a readout of that meeting as of yet, but as soon as we do, we'll touch base again. Thanks very much,

Becky. And Becky's team by the way who are usually based in Abu Dhabi have recently launched a new CNN newsletter called "Meanwhile in the Middle

East", please subscribe to keep up with all the bigger stories and the trends out of the region.

I want to turn now to Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka's parliament has now accepted the president's resignation, paving the way for a new government.

But that government looks set to have some familiar faces. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who has now being officially sworn in as the acting

president promised, if you remember, to step down once as new government was formed.

But Sri Lanka's ruling party is nominating him to take up the full job -- the job, pretty much full time. Even though, if you remember, protesters

want him gone too. Sri Lanka's parliament scheduled to convene in the coming hours and start the process of formally electing a new president.

CNN's Will Ripley standing by for us in Colombo.

And Will, you know, we saw pretty much scenes of jubilation this time yesterday in Colombo, as the president offered his resignation. What's the

mood where you are tonight.?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, tonight, the streets are remarkably empty considering how full they were, considering we are

just a stone throw away from the presidential palace that was occupied for days when a crowd of 100,000 plus stormed the residence just moments before

the exile president, now the former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was, you know, whisked away by the military, kept safely on a Naval vessel and flown

by military plane to the Maldives, and then took a luxury flight to Singapore where he finally tendered his former resignation, had a courier

back here.

But lo and behold, his family friend, the prime minster is the guy that he wants as the acting president, and the ruling party, very close by the way

to the exiled president and his brothers, the Rajapaksa dynasty, if you will, that has ruled this nation for the better part of two decades, and

some would say run their economy right into the ground. You know, you now have this family friend as acting president, that very likely could become

the next president for the remainder of the term, the next couple of years.

Remember, this is the -- this is the prime minister whose official residence was set on fire --

SOARES: Yes --

RIPLEY: By protesters last week demanding his resignation, Isa. So it doesn't bode well for the calm and stability that we're seeing tonight, to

continue here if this new government looks a lot like the old one that a huge number of people here say, they want out.

SOARES: I mean, but if they want, let me get this right, Will, if we know, as we've seen the pictures, that the population, Sri Lankans want him out.

They want almost like a clean slate. Why really nominate this prime minister, a man who has ties to the president. I mean, isn't this -- isn't

this setting the stage for more anger, more protesting in the days ahead?

RIPLEY: Well, this is the classic question, right? Is the voice of the people the more powerful voice or is it the voice of the elite?

SOARES: Yes --

RIPLEY: And the business leaders. And by the way, military leaders who are very loyal to the Rajapaksa brothers because it was the exiled former

president who basically, you know, won Sri Lanka's decades long civil war at the cost of many lives, of which he could face war crime charges if he

doesn't end up somewhere where he could be granted asylum and immunity from that sort of thing, which you know, it's still up in the air where he's

going to end up.

It's not going to be Singapore permanently, but where will he pop up? Will he pop up in Saudi Arabia, which has been known to shelter, you know,

exiled leaders in the past, unafraid of international criticism or condemnation, could be somewhere else. We don't know. But meanwhile, the

problems here persist.

SOARES: Yes --

RIPLEY: I was driving here and I can't -- I lost count of the number of people I saw begging on the side of the street. And not just for like

money, people are desperate just to have food, like do you have leftovers that you can give me? I mean, people's living expenses have increased by as

much as 3 to 6 times what they were. So people who used to take public transportation have to like walk now, sometimes kilometers just to medical



I mean, we interviewed a guy whose son is on dialysis, he pushes his wheelchair, an 8-mile round trip, 6 kilometers each way, 5 days a week so

that his son can stay alive, because he can't afford public transportation, and by the way, he can also barely afford a loaf of bread.

And then you have this exiled president in Singapore in some luxury hotel, and you have the guy that's a close family friend that protesters burned

the house down, wanting him gone, now looking like he's part of the frontrunner for the new president of Singapore, he's already the acting

president, he could become the new president for the next couple of years.

SOARES: It is, it is staggering. Really, the picture that you paint will give, and of course, the politicking -- the country needs political

stability in order to get that economic stability that it so -- that it needs so much and it has needed for several months now. Will Ripley for us

there in Colombo, Sri Lanka, thanks very much, Will, appreciate it.

Well, relatives of those missing after Thursday's deadly Russian cruise missile strikes on the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia are submitting DNA

samples, hoping to identify their loved ones. Rescuers are digging through dozens of buildings damaged or destroyed. At least, 23 people, mostly

civilians were killed. This is the moment the missiles hit. Two women in a coffee shop you saw there, diving for cover as the building just began to


Ukraine's president demanding the world declare Russia a terrorist state. But Russia says the strikes were aimed at a military facility. CNN's Scott

McLean is in Vinnytsia talking to survivors. Have a listen.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I spoke with a family of 28- year-old who was inside the concert hall at the time of the missile strike. He was a technician, working on the concert of a Ukrainian pop singer, who

was holding a concert to raise money for the Ukrainian military. His family, his mother and his cousins said he has severe injuries to his spine

and to his chest, and that the next few days will be critical in determining whether he can actually make a recovery.

His cousin told me she's angry, she said I want all of Russia to die, no one spared. Those are her words. I also met the medical director who said

that, all but two of the more than 100 people who showed up here in the hours after the explosion with shrapnel wounds and with burns were

civilians. He says he treats soldiers all the time. He understands war, he understands military targets, but he simply does not understand this.

BOGDAN TROKHIMENKO, HOSPITAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR (through translator): I don't understand the goal, to scare us? They won't scare us. But to kill

civilians, it's beyond a crime. Something inhuman. Incomprehensible. Words fail me.

MCLEAN: The youngest victim that we know of so far is a 4-year-old girl named Lyza(ph). Her mother had posted a video on Instagram just before the

blast, showing her pushing her own stroller down the sidewalk. Just an hour or two after that video was filmed, she was lying dead beside that very

same stroller. President Zelenskyy mentioned this girl in his nightly address, and now we know that the first lady had also met this girl last

year while shooting a Christmas video with children with disabilities.

Her mother, whose name is Irina(ph) survived the attack, she is inside this hospital recovering. And I spoke with the deputy chief of staff to the

president's office, who was meeting with some of the survivors, and he said, as of earlier, because of her medical state and because of her

injuries, she had not yet been told that her daughter didn't survive. Scott McLean, CNN, Vinnytsia, Ukraine.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, it's hot in Europe, and it's only getting hotter. What's causing these record-breaking temperatures just



CLAUDIA RANKINE, POET & PLAYWRIGHT: People are terrified. We're terrified of the next election, we're terrified as people of color, for our lives.


SOARES: I sat down with poet and playwright Claudia Rankine to discuss her latest work and the dangerous rise of white supremacy in America. That is




SOARES: Welcome back everyone. Blistering heat and the temperatures just keep rising. Europeans are sweltering as the continent battles some of its

hottest days on record. Here in the U.K., the weather watchers(ph) has declared a national emergency after issuing its first ever extreme heat



SOARES (voice-over): With each leaping flame, nature's full wrath on display. A warming planet facing the consequences. Fires raging throughout

southern Europe and into North Africa. Thousands of hectares scorched as firefighters throughout the region struggle against high winds to try and

contain the rapidly spreading danger. The extreme heat and drought fueling what scientist say is a sign of the effect of climate change.

MICHAEL MANN, DIRECTOR, EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE CENTER AT PENN STATE: One of the things that we're seeing increasingly is not only have we got extreme

heat and drought or extreme floods, but they stay in the same location for day after day. So you are subject to that deadly heat for multiple days.

SOARES: In France, President Emmanuel Macron visiting an Emergency Command Center after thousands were evacuated from their homes to escape the blaze.

EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): We already have three times more forest burned than in 2020. And we have both a Spring that

has been very dry and fires that have spread with force.

SOARES: Temperatures peaking above 45 degrees Celsius in parts of Spain and Portugal on Thursday. And dire warnings for the week to come in the

U.K. The Met office issuing its first-ever red heat warning for Monday and Tuesday. Residents flocking to beaches and doing whatever they can to

escape the stifling heat. That threatens to turn deadly for at-risk populations like the elderly and the homeless.

And in Spain, farmers struggling to save their livelihoods. The drought wiping out grain and other crops, adding to global food shortages amid

already rising inflation.

JOAN VIDAL, SPANISH FARMER (through translator): Depending on the areas and lands, some have resisted better than others. It would be a loss of 30

to 40 percent. And in some areas of the province of Liader(ph), we're talking about 60 to 70 to 80 percent loss.

SOARES: As the mercury climbs, scientists again warning that without addressing the climate crisis, whether events like this would just grow

more common and more extreme.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We ask ourselves, how is this going to end? Either we will see a water shortage or a desert.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's not so much for us, but for our children and grandchildren.

SOARES: The global population growing ever more aware of just how uncertain the planet's future may be.


SOARES: Well, that is the situation in Europe. But China is also experiencing a heat wave, 84 cities have issued their highest level red

alert warnings, and that means temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. It is pushing electricity demand to its limits and threatening power shortages.


In the U.S. meanwhile, record hot temperatures are contributing to a flash drought in parts of the country. The U.S. drought monitors says conditions

are particularly bad in Texas. About 94 percent of the state was in some form of drought this week, temperatures there are averaging 7 degrees above

normal. And these extreme weather events are a signal, of course, of the climate crisis.

Joining me now to discuss, Michal Nachmany; founder and CEO of Climate Policy Radar. And Michal, thank you very much for joining us. Look, what we

are seeing really is extreme heat right across Europe, temperatures, many of us have never ever felt before. Is this the new normal, sign of things

to come?

MICHAL NACHMANY, CLIMATE EXPERT: This is not only the new normal and sign of things to come if we don't change how we are and how we treat climate

change. For the foreseeable future, this is what we're locked into. Scientists tell us that this is definitely going to become more frequent,

more intense and longer. We're going to see heat waves coming more and more.

And this really means that we need to treat this as the new status quo for the foreseeable future and make sure we're ready to mitigate the risks and

the dangers that it poses.

SOARES: And how do we do that? How can we act now? I mean, perhaps, Michal, perhaps we're probably already late here. But what can be done

right now?

NACHMANY: The question is not whether we are late, the question what happens if we don't act now and how worse it's going to be. So let's start

with the first and most important and urgent thing. Heat wave is right here, and Europe is in the middle of the most extreme heat wave it's had in

200 years. We need to know that this is serious.

This is not beach weather. This is not ice cream and cold beer weather, this is about taking it very seriously the national emergency that's been

declared across Europe, across European countries means that not only vulnerable people are at risk, but also people who are clinically not

vulnerable usually are at risk. So taking this very seriously, following advice, following the Met office advice, staying at home, keeping cool,

keeping hydrated.

Looking after your vulnerable neighbors and families, making sure that everyone has what they need, cover yourself in wet sheets if that's what

you need to do to get through the next few days. This is not time to run around in the sun, this is serious. Public transportation systems are at

risk, we have melting surfaces.


NACHMANY: Nobody wants to be stuck in a tube tunnel if it's -- if for any reason, the railways collapse. These are really serious thing -- yes, so

that's interesting --

SOARES: Any help -- that's the urgent. I mean, in terms of -- and I think this is important if you can flush this out for us. Because there's

scientific evidence that shows, Michal, that heat waves are linked to climate change. Just explain that to our viewers because so they understand

the link here.

NACHMANY: Sure. So, the climate is changing because we have been pumping fossil fuels, we have been burning fossil fuels for the last good part of

200 years now. What is happening with that is that -- imagine the earth covered in a blanket, right? We all know the science by now. The thicker

the blanket is, the hot -- the easier it is for the heat to stay trapped underneath it.

The changing, air pressure that is a result of the heating oceans and of the concert blanket that is covering the earth, is causing the heat waves

to stay for longer periods above us. Attribution science, which is the science of modeling how this is happening now and how it would have

happened without climate change is really crystal clear now and without doubt.

And this means that the heat wave episodes that we're seeing are going to get more frequent and more intense and stay around for longer.

SOARES: More frequent, more intense and stay around for longer. I mean, this is -- this is scary in many ways because look, I will speak, I'm not

going to lie, I was speaking to my mother who lives in Lisbon in Portugal, just outside of Lisbon, and she was telling me how that yesterday was about

44 degrees or so, and she had to spend much of the day inside. And that goes to the heart of the inability to work and the impact that has on our

food systems too.

NACHMANY: You're absolutely right, and so what we need to do, we talked about what we need to do this week while the heat wave is here. What we

need to do tomorrow and yesterday is adopt our infrastructure and our food systems and our health systems to this situation we know we're in.


NACHMANY: But also we need to make sure that we are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, that we are very quickly moving away from the

cause of these heat waves and other extreme weather events. Otherwise, this would be the coolest Summer we would ever experience, and the next one will

be worse, and the next one will be worse. And we can still do stuff about this.

We can still mitigate the worse to come. And we need to do this, not just for our children and grandchildren, also for ourselves. This is here and


SOARES: Remember that this could be the, you know, the least warm day -- summer we have, really, in Europe. I mean that is staggering. Michal

Nachmany, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank you.

NACHMANY: Thank you.

SOARES: And still to come tonight. Cut off by extreme gang violence, communities in Haiti without food, water, or even essential supplies, the

full story coming up later in the program.


SOARES: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show, everyone. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top story this hour. U.S.

President Joe Biden is now in Saudi Arabia, paying a visit to a frequently controversial ally. Let's head straight to Jeddah with CNN's Becky Anderson

is leading our coverage tonight. Becky.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Thank you, Isa. U.S. President Joe Biden resetting relations with Saudi Arabia after once vowing

to make the country a pariah state following the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He met with King Salman and the Crown Prince,

Mohammed bin Salman, at the Royal Palace earlier today. This is some images of the president with the leader. This is the de facto leader, of course,

the young Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, MBS as he's known locally.

The substance of these talks could be overshadowed by a moment that lasted just a few seconds. This one, Mr. Biden gave the Crown Prince a fist bump

when critics say he deserved a cold shoulder. I'm here with CNN's International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson. Your response to that


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, these resets, doesn't it? This is what the Saudis wanted. They've had -- actually they've

had the cold shoulder, and they wanted to bring things back together. That fist bump symbolizes it. I think the nature of what it was -- what actually

happens behind closed doors is really going to be the substance.


But everyone reads into this. This is President Biden. He has international security needs and reasons to make good and make up with Saudi Arabia,

despite all that strength of language. Look, the Saudis always expected that if they got a tough ride from Biden on the campaign trail, then it

would be a bump, and they would get over things. A few months, three months, four months, they did not expect things to go this sour. They went

really sour. They went sour to the point that the Saudis began to wonder, you know, what the U.S. strategy was here that the sort of White House team

that were coming here were not echoing what they were hearing from other people in the White House.

ANDERSON: So they would have been pleased to have heard President Biden yesterday admit that he thinks that he had -- there had been a mistake made

in the U.S.-Saudi relationship and that a vacuum had been left, which, as Joe Biden pointed out yesterday, can or could be filled by Russia, and

China. We are just hearing that the meetings have wrapped up. So, we wait to hear the substance of what was discussed earlier.

I spoke with Joseph McMonigle, the Secretary General of the International Energy forum, he is very close to the energy ministers, not just in this

region, but around the world. And we talked about the possibility of Joe Biden getting short-term oil commitment from the Saudis or anyone else this

weekend, have a listen.


JOSEPH MCMONIGLE, SECRETARY GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY FORUM: I think it's too soon for any kind of specific announcements regarding oil or

energy deliverables. But I do think it's important that the top two energy oil producers in the world are getting together. And I think, you know, I

think you can -- while we may not see something concrete here on oil, we could see a lot of concrete things regarding energy transition, investment

in energy infrastructure.

But I think, at the end of the day, I think what we have to be looking for here is the increased dialogue and coordination between the two biggest

energy producers in the world, means a lot for energy stability, market stability, and energy security.

ANDERSON: The high price of crude, let's be quite frank, no doubt, helping the big producers invest heavily in their economies and in their people.

And we see that here in the Kingdom. And when Vision 2030 was launched, quite frankly, the oil price was about a quarter of what it is now. You

know, where it is and where it stands today helps Mohammed bin Salman execute on this vision. The message here is that Saudi is heavily focused

on energy transition to a post-oil era.

And there is, frankly, some confusion when you speak to people here and around the region about how the West is, to a certain extent, reneging on

its climate commitments to move away from fossil fuels when this region is steadfast about it, that they build energy transition into the pillars of

growth going forward. Your thoughts?

MCMONIGLE: That's right. Well, certainly UAE is one of the leaders where your home is, but Saudi Arabia is doing a lot here as well on the energy

transition. And I think it's important to realize that, yes, countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia have a very unique role. They have to be trailblazers

in terms of the energy transition, but they still have to invest in supply to keep the world power, the world economy power today. So I think it's a

unique role. It's a very good thing that the President's coming here, it's very historic.

But I'm not sure we should pay as much attention to him being here. There's been a lot going on behind the scenes over the last several months that

I've been privy to. So, there's been a lot. I think this is a combination of a lot of engagement.


ANDERSON: Yes, briefly, your thought.

ROBERTSON: Yes. I think the idea that there's been a lot of engagement, there has been and I think we may see the fruits of some of that later this

evening, maybe early tomorrow. Yes, Saudi believes its past and its recent history has been on energy, energy, energy, and its future is energy,

energy, energy, but it's a transition to a new type of greener, replenishable energy that's better for the world, better for the region,

better for the climate, better for all the things that they want to deliver for Saudis to come.

ANDERSON: It was -- thank you, Nic. It was fascinating today, Isa, to read an op-ed penned by the Saudi ambassador to Washington who was on the tarmac

to receive Joe Biden today. And she put it this way, she said that what this U.S.-Saudi relationship has been built on for so long was this sort of

oil for security paradigm and she described that as an old and reductionist view of what the Saudis, at least, want to see as the relationship going

forward. Let's be quite frank. It is not unusual for a U.S. president to visit Saudi Arabia. They've been doing it for the last 80 years.


The Saudis want to move that relationship on away from just this oil for security issue. They want security guarantees, of course, this is a tough

region. But, you know, as I say, it's not unusual for a U.S. president to come here. It was just quite unusual to see Joe Biden here after what he

said about the Crown Prince on the campaign trail. The meetings done, the fist bumps been had, we now wait to see what comes out of what are a series

of meetings with regional leaders here over the next 24 hours.

SOARES: Yes, a relationship that clearly has evolved from both sides. I think it's fair to say, Becky, but like you said the meeting has ended and

President Biden leaving Al-Salam Royal Palace after nearly three hours. We'll wait to find out, of course, what came out, if anything came out, of

those meetings. Thanks very much, Becky. Really appreciate it.

And still to come tonight, the toxic effects of white privilege and using art to break down divisions. My conversation with poet and playwright,

Claudia Rankine, after this short break.


SOARES: A new start for communities still coming to terms with its tragic loss. Today, top supermarket in Buffalo reopened its doors two months after

white supremacist gunman shot and killed 10 shoppers in a racist attack. And in Ohio, a newly released autopsy on Jayland Walker revealed that he

suffered 46 gunshot wound entrances or grave injuries. The 25-year-old was shot and killed by police after fleeing a traffic stop in May. He was

unarmed at the time of the shooting.

Well, for many these incidents are a frightening reminder of the dangerous racial divisions in American society. Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine

has dedicated her career to examining the damage that racism and white privilege, whether conscious or not, can do to our communities. I sat down

with her at the Soho Theatre in London to discuss her latest play, The White Card, and I started by asking her what inspired the project.


CLAUDIA RANKINE, POET AND PLAYWRIGHT: A few years ago, I wrote a book in 2014 on microaggressions, unconscious bias, however you want to talk about

it, called Citizen, and I went to do a book talk. There is a white gentleman in the audience, and he said I love this book. It's so important.

What can I do for you? And I said to him, well, I'm OK, but You should think about what you can do for you.


Because this racism doesn't happen without white people in the room, and he said if you're going to answer questions like that, no one's going to talk

to you. And I was shocked. I thought you just read the book, you see what it looks like, and yet you don't. And so that made me think we should move

it into a genre where you can actually see it. And so, then I thought theater.

SOARES: I want to show our viewers a little clip from the play, and then we can talk after it. Have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Alex joined Black Lives Matter, some of the members objected because he was white. Alex went thinking and hoping he

could be part of a helpful solution. Isn't that right, sweetheart?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understood why they were suspicious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But why can't all people be helpful? What's our purpose, then? Oh, are we supposed to do nothing?


SOARES: Why do you think we, society as a whole, struggles to recognize those moments? Why do you think we fail to see white privilege?

RANKINE: Well, I think the culture as a whole and I mean, American culture, British culture, it's a global problem. We have -- and I say we because

it's hard to be outside of a thing that is global. We have committed to narratives around whiteness, and white benevolence, that white people own,

they believe they're good people. And in some ways, they are good people, except when it comes to thinking about others. They actually believe they

are in ownership of space, buildings, professions, all kinds of things. And it's not conscious, it lives unconsciously. And those moments come out of

the mouths and the actions of liberal white people all the time.

SOARES: You wrote the play, from what I understand, before the murder of George Floyd. We saw protests not only in the U.S., of course, we saw right

around the world, even here in the U.K., two years on, has anything changed, Claudia, in your opinion?

RANKINE: Things have gotten worse. Worse and the same in, you know, I think that the rise of white supremacy groups in the United States, documented,

gone up. There's a real commitment in the government for the promotion of white people. I mean, that's blunt, but that's sort of how it falls out.

There's an attempt to rewrite history, to erase from the history books, words like slavery, replace them with involuntary migration. What is that?

To take away women's rights. So there's, in that sense, we are moving back to the commitments of this country up until the mid 20th century.

SOARES: The divisions are also very acute.

RANKINE: They're very acute.

SOARES: We set it.


SOARES: And that -- I mean that -

RANKINE: And violent.

SOARES: And violent. As we're talking, I'm thinking of the January 6 hearings that we've seen just this week, where the panel's trying to prove

a link, really, between then President Donald Trump, and those far-right groups, Proud Boys and so forth. I mean, that is worrying, no doubt, if

you're American.

RANKINE: I think it's beyond worrying. I think people are terrified. We're terrified of the next election. We're terrified as people of color for our

lives. We have seen white supremacists go down, Buffalo, different places, gunned down, whole congregations of people. It's -- there's a fight for

democracy in the United States right now. And those who hold the most power are the ones least committed to the democratic principles that we have been

grown up in, you know, in terms of our own ideas. So, even if the system failed individual groups, like it has black people in it, state it's still

you have a sense that perhaps the commitments, or overall commitment of this government, will arc towards goodness, and that's no longer the case.


SOARES: My thanks to Claudia Rankine for taking the time to speak to us on the show. We'll be right back after this short break.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Now trapped without food or water, because of gang violence, that is what thousands of people are enduring in the

capital of Haiti right now according to eight groups, and the local mayor. They say rival gangs have been shooting around a week, cutting off

residents and leaving dozens dead as well as sparking protests. Our Matt Rivers is on the story in truthers now. And Matt, just explain what is

going on between these gangs in Port-au-Prince and the impact crucially that it's having on Haitians' daily lives.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Isa. Well, you know, the idea that gangs are fighting in the city like Port-au-Prince, not exactly breaking

news. I mean, gang violence has been a problem there for a long time. And we were talking about this last October, you and I, when we were there

doing stories about the gang violence in Port-au-Prince to the point where certain gangs actually control vast swaths of territory of the city of


But even with that context in mind, what we've seen over the last week has truly just been horrific, mainly centering on an area of Port-au-Prince

called Cite Soleil. It's a very impoverished part of the city. And what we've seen is gangs fighting over territory, in the -- in and around this

area that is home to hundreds of thousands of people. What that fighting has effectively done is cut off that neighborhood from the rest of the


And that is a huge problem because that neighborhood gets all of its water, gets all of its food from deliveries, from trucks that actually have driven

into that impoverished area. And they can't do that right now because the gangs are essentially not allowing aid through. It has created an immediate

humanitarian crisis inside that town where people are essentially cut off from supplies needed just to survive. Here's a little bit of what the mayor

of that town had to say.


JOEL JANEUS, MAYOR OR CITE SOLEIL, HAITI (through translator): We're in the midst of a grave situation here in Cite Soleil, people are dying. They

don't have food or water. It's been eight days since the fights began. We're all alone. No one has come to help us. People of Cite Soleil are

human beings like everyone else. Maybe we can't get help because this is the neighborhood where people are poor. Maybe that's why we can't get any

support from the government. We need urgent action here in Cite Soleil.


RIVERS: And so basically that's the mayor saying how bad things are in his town, bodies literally in the streets. And it's only been made worse easier

by the fact that there has been flooding, significant flooding in that neighborhood over the last week or so. The fighting is ongoing as we speak

and yet those people can't be helped.


SOARES: And Matt, look, earlier on the show, I was speaking to Will Ripley in Sri Lanka where we have seen protests of course because not just of a

political crisis, but economic crisis. We are seeing a similar mood, I believe, in Panama and Argentina. Talk to us about that.

RIVERS: Yes, and that -- those two countries come after two, three weeks of protests that we saw on Ecuador. It's definitely, you know, a situation

that's going on across South America and Central America. It's basically people who are just really fed up with their government, mainly surrounding

cost of living issue.

So in Argentina, primarily, it's about inflation. I mean, this is a country that has struggled with inflation for years and years and years now. And

even with that, the dollar against the Argentinean peso, the dollar is stronger against the peso than just about any point in Argentina's history.

And as a result, people are livid because they simply can't afford the things that they need to live in a way that they could, perhaps, maybe two,

three years ago, so that is what's going on in Argentina.

In Panama, again, its cost of living issues, mainly centering on gasoline, and even though the Panamanian government has said that they're going to

reduce the price of gasoline a little bit, it's not enough according to the many trade unions that have called for protests in that country.

SOARES: Yes, it's pretty much what we're seeing right around the world with fears, of course, of a summer of discontent. Matt Rivers there for us.

Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

That does it for me. Have a wonderful evening. Do stay right here with CNN.