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Isa Soares Tonight
Ukraine and Russia Sign a U.N. and Turkey-Backed Deal to Restart Grain Exports; European Heat Wave Moves East; W.H.O.; Kyiv, Moscow Agree To Resume Grain Exports Via Black Sea; Ukraine: Russian Drones Use U.S., European Tech. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 22, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome, I'm Becky Anderson.
Tonight, it's being held as a major diplomatic breakthrough, one that should have far-reaching consequences. Warring nations, Ukraine and Russia,
have signed a deal that's intended to ease the world food crisis. In Ukraine, vital grain exports are now set to resume.
More than 20 million tons are currently being held up by Russian blockages. Grain ships will now be given safe passage to the Black Sea and the
Bosphorus before making their way onto the global market where they are so desperately needed. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the U.N.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres brokered the deal Friday in Istanbul. Guterres calls it a beacon of hope. Here's what he told me a short time
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: Stabilize the markets, and will allow developing countries are finding it extremely difficult
situation and vulnerable populations where famine is growing, that will allow this to stop. That was our objective, our motivation. What has guided
us during these 3 months, they were very difficult, many obstacles.
But I have to say, I mean, today, I feel I'm living probably the most important day of my tenure of Secretary General.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That's Antonio Guterres. The European Union is welcoming the deal, saying it will benefit millions around the world. The head of the EU
Commission Charles Michel stresses that quote, "strict implementation of the deal is now of utmost importance to make this work. The bloc has
previously accused Moscow of weaponizing food supplies.
Well, CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson has been following these crucial developments for us. He joins us now live from Kyiv
in Ukraine. Where Nic, it is hoped at least that this deal is going to have a very real impact.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It really is. Ukraine depends on being able to export that grain for income. And the rest of the
world depends on getting that grain to feed people, otherwise, there is the food insecurity that exists at the moment. This was a deal in two parts.
The U.N. and President Erdogan in the middle of it, pulling both sides together.
The Russian signing a deal with the U.N., Sergei Shoigu; the Russian Defense Ministry put pen to paper, telling journalists shortly afterwards
that Russia was part of the deal, was that Russia was now allowed to export food and fertilizer, that is the sort of quid pro quo, what they got, by
essentially allowing Ukraine to get on and export its grain.
Russia still in the position, not being tied down by a ceasefire, merely a disagreement, there is no hard ceasefire, that says Russia cannot shell the
port of Odessa, and the other ports where the grain will be shipped from. But this is the understanding of where things lie at the moment. There is
little trust on both sides. We have heard from an adviser to President Zelenskyy's chief of staff, and from the foreign minister of Ukraine
himself, both saying that there is little trust in Russia, the trust is placed in the U.N.
So, the U.N. really the middleman here. And President Erdogan, the host of these talks, the host of the talks several months ago, putting his, if you
will, points on what he thinks was achieved. And this was a big achievement for him on the world stage, to get both sides to come together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT, TURKEY (through translator): The world has been busy for a long time with the solutions for the global food crisis.
And this initiative will play an important role, and we have this righteous pride of paving the way forward. Along with the deal made today, from
Africa to the Middle East, from America to Asia, millions of people, they will be relieved of this danger of hunger. And we will be contributing to
the solution altogether.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So the idea is to implement this as soon as possible. The oversight body, which will involve both Russia and Ukraine and the U.N. and
Turkey, to be based in Istanbul, will be able to inspect ships as they come and go, and make sure that everyone is holding to the deal.
The sort of -- the hope here in Ukraine is that this can work, because if it does, ships get out. Then the -- then the international sort of,
shippers that provide ships for further exports will get insurance for those vessels, because this is working despite the war going on, on the
land. You know, there is a level of skepticism and concern. But it is, really as you say, Becky, a real moment of hope.
ANDERSON: And the idea -- you know, the symbolism, the image, of having the Russians and the Ukrainians in the same room at the same table, cannot be
overstated. The Turkish president went on to say he hopes that this initiative will be instrumental in further efforts towards peace. He said
this war will end at the negotiating table. Is it clear at this point whether we are any closer to that, the end of this war?
ROBERTSON: No. It isn't. And this is an aspirational moment, and it's delivered something tangible, something that the world needs, which is
hugely important. But it doesn't mean that the fighting is going to stop. You know, the frontlines here are hundreds of kilometers long, and Russia
is actively shelling and firing missiles, even into Ukrainian-held territory, even while it's been negotiating this deal.
The message from Moscow has been to continue to advance and push the military fight on the land. Not forgetting that Russia, until very recently
and maybe still aspires to, taking control of the port of Odessa. The strategic -- the strategic goals of Russia don't really seem to have
changed. And Russia indeed seems to have gotten something for acquiescing to what the world and Ukraine needs.
That is Russia able to export food and fertilizer, that the U.N. has had to lift restrictions on to, allow them to do that. And they are here, the
aggressor, as Ukraine's international allies say, it is Russia that started this, and that it's Russia that's been maintaining this blockade, and
essentially holding the world's grain a hostage during this process. So, it's far from clear that the strategic aim of Moscow is going to be stated
with this deal. It helps the world, it helps Ukraine. But this isn't done yet.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is in Kyiv, in Ukraine. Nic, thank you. Well, from the comfort of his dining room, he watched for hours as a violent
insurrection unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on live TV, not placing one call to law enforcement, knowing the lives of his vice president and members of
Congress were in danger. That is the stunning take-away from the latest hearing detailing former President Donald Trump's actions on January the
As Jessica Schneider now reports, a congressional committee made the case that Trump's actions amount to a dereliction of duty.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): President Trump did not fail to act, he chose not to act.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The house select committee investigating January 6 making the case that then President Trump
betrayed his oath of office during the Capitol attack. A White House security official whose identity was concealed by the panel details the
security concerns in allowing Trump to go to the Capitol after his rally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the capitol. I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed.
SCHNEIDER: The committee said within 15 minutes of the speech, Trump returns to the Oval Office and is informed about the violence. From 1:25
until 4 O'clock, Trump was in the dining room watching the riot unfold on TV. The official White House call log reflects no calls during that crucial
period, and the daily diary was blank.
The White House photographer says she was told not to take pictures. The committee has learned from former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani's phone
records, that the two spoke at least twice during those 187 minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to try and get compliance because this is now effectively a riot.
SCHNEIDER: Once the D.C. police declare a riot, White House staff start to push Trump to release a forceful statement condemning the violence and
telling everyone to leave. He resists, instead sending tweets that many close to Trump think aren't strong enough.
PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I believe more needed to be done. I believed that a public statement needed to be made. I can't
think of anybody, you know, on that day, who didn't want people to get out of the Capitol once the -- you know, particularly once the violence
started. Now --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the president?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
CIPOLLONE: I can't reveal the communications, but obviously, I think, you know -- yes.
SCHNEIDER: The committee released audio of the frantic dash by the Secret Service to get then Vice President Pence to safety.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we're moving, we need to move now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives. But there were calls to say goodbye to family
members, so on and so forth. It was getting -- for whatever reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.
SCHNEIDER: Some rioters were reading Trump's tweets too, as revealed in audio presented by the committee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump just tweeted, "please support our Capitol police, they are on our side, do not harm them." That's saying a lot, but what he
didn't say, he didn't say not to do anything to the congressmen --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he did not ask them to stand down. He just said, stand by the Capitol Police, they are on our side and they are good people.
So it's getting real down there.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know your pain --
SCHNEIDER: Hours into the attack, Trump finally releases a video message, telling rioters, we love you and they should go home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here delivering the president's message. Donald Trump wants everybody to go home.
SCHNEIDER: He sent another tweet just after 6:00 p.m., falsely repeating that the election was stolen. Within a half hour, he retires to the
residence for the night.
KINZINGER: President Trump reflected on the day's events with a White House employee. He said on the quote, "Mike Pence let me down."
SCHNEIDER: Several witnesses testified that Trump did not try to call law enforcement or military officials on January 6th, while Pence worked the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever get the vice president -- or excuse me, the president --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask for the National --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guard --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear the president ask for law enforcement response?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Vice President Pence, there were two or three calls with Vice President Pence. He was very animated.
And he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders.
SCHNEIDER: The committee also presented never-before-seen video out-takes of Trump recording a speech the following day where he refused to say the
election was over.
TRUMP: And to those who broke the law, you will pay. You do not represent our movement. You do not represent our country, and if you broke the law --
you can't say that. I'm not going -- you already said you will pay. But this election is now over, Congress has certified the result -- I don't
want to say the election is over.
ANDERSON: Well, you saw Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger at the hearing. So he says America cannot survive if it accepts attempted coups.
Telling CNN that Donald Trump, quote, "certainly has criminal exposure".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KINZINGER: We have proven not basically just in this hearing, we've proven different components of a criminal case against Donald Trump, or people
around him, in every hearing. And I think taken in totality, this represents the greatest effort to overturn the will of the people, to
conspire against the will of the people, and to conspire against American democracy that we've ever had, frankly since the civil war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Let's bring in Carrie Cordero in Washington. She's a legal in U.S. national security analyst for CNN. Described by one of my colleagues
as the prime-time finale of this highly produced television saga, what have the house January the 6th hearings achieved to your mind?
CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think what they have achieved is, they have really brought back into public consciousness
across the country, the gravity of what actually transpired on January 6th. They have repeatedly emphasized through their video testimony the violence
that took place. The severity, the fear that lawmakers both failed and were in actuality in danger on that day.
And they have demonstrated that there was a sustained, persistent, deliberate effort on the part of the former president and his allies to
actually overturn the election. So I think the committee has done an effective job over the course of its eight most recent hearings, that have
taken place last month and this month, to lay out those facts for the American people.
ANDERSON: Can it prove the events of the 2020 election and the subsequent riot were consciously orchestrated by Donald Trump?
It's a question one of my colleagues has posed in his meanwhile in America letter today. And can that evidence be used against Donald Trump?
CORDERO: So on the second part, so information that is developed through the January 6th committee's investigations can be used. Both the public
testimony and then the committee is now cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department to provide transcripts and other information that it has
gathered to the Justice Department, which is the lever of government that actually would effectuate the criminal investigations and the criminal
The Justice Department is prosecuting many people who participated in the act itself. The question now is whether more individuals who are closer to
the White House, individuals beyond those who were leadership in some of our domestic violence organizations that have been charged with seditious
conspiracy, whether there are more individuals who were involved in the coordination between either the former president or individuals who were
close to him and those domestic violence extremist groups.
if there is one area that the committee still has not shown publicly all of the evidence that it may have collected, it is on that specific connection
between communications surrounding by individuals close to the former president, and the leaders of those violent groups who charged the capitol.
ANDERSON: Are we talking about a potential prosecution of Donald Trump? And there are those who would question whether that would be in the national
interest, given deep polarization in the country at present, or is this as much an effort to drive a wedge between the Republican Party and a
potential run by Donald Trump, representing that party going forward?
CORDERO: Right. I think there's -- like there's not one answer to that. So, on one hand, we always have to keep in mind that the January 6th Committee
is a legislative, it's an oversight, and it is a political process. I view last night's hearing primarily about laying out the dereliction of duty of
the former president, on the day of January 6th.
But really being about the future about making the case, not a criminal case, but making the political argument for why he would be unfit to be a
future nominee of the Republican Party, and why he would be unfit to serve in public office again. And that is why the role of the Republicans who
serve on the committee is so important, because their audience primarily is Republican voters or independent voters.
Separately, there is the issue of whether the former president faces criminal prosecution. And so, we still are waiting to know whether or not
the Justice Department is including the former president or his close advisors in its investigation into election fraud issues, potentially
conspiracy to defraud the United States.
The broader potential criminal case involving the effort to overturn the election through the legal and legislative mechanisms across the states.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. It's always good to talk to you. Your insight and analysis is so important. Thank you very much indeed.
CORDERO: Thanks --
ANDERSON: Still to come tonight, the W.H.O. says more than 1,700 people have died in Spain and in Portugal in the heat wave. We'll bring you the
latest from Poland as the soaring temperatures move east across Europe.
ANDERSON: The World Health Organization says more than 1,700 people have died in the current heat wave in Spain and in Portugal. And that the
consequences of climate change are quote, "mounting season after season, year after year with disastrous outcomes." Now, parts of Spain and Portugal
are bracing for temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius in the next five days.
Meantime, this heat wave is now moving eastwards across Europe with over half of the regions in Ukraine under extreme fire warnings due to the
soaring temperatures. Well, let's get you live now to Poland. "TVN's" Wojciech Bojanowski in a heat wave forecast over central Europe. This is
causing a lot of alarm. Describe conditions where you are, sir.
WOJCIECH BOJANOWSKI, TVN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, as you said, the heat wave hit Poland island. So the temperature right now, it's late
evening now in Katowice in Poland, it's 36 degrees Celsius. Actually, the highest temperature recorded ever in Poland was in 1921, and this is --
this was 40 degrees Celsius which happened as I told you in 1921.
Now, we're reaching this high temperatures at the moment. Also the water level in the river is at the lowest level since the measurement started.
This what I'm showing you here is an artificial river in the central of -- in the center of Katowice. And there are really many efforts by the city
mayors to try to fight with this heat wave.
Another thing is that, this is also dangerous for the Polish agriculture. As you know, I've been covering the war in Ukraine for a few months now.
And you know, there's a problem with the grain that couldn't be transported from Ukraine to the North of Africa. The same problems here when talking
with the farmers, with the agriculturist. They said that they aren't sure how much of the grain will survive the heat wave.
ANDERSON: So, extreme weather, a worrying drought. What's the forecast at this point?
BOJANOWSKI: Actually, the forecast isn't very optimistic. So, we are just thinking that over 38-40 degrees Celsius could be expected. And 40 degrees
Celsius, it translates to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in the next two or three days. So there are preparations of course, people work in the offices for
shorter hours when possible.
But this is, as I told you, the biggest problem is actually for the farmers, because the state of hydrological drought as a specialists call
it, is now being set to the emergency level.
ANDERSON: The story in central Europe. Thank you, sir. The sweltering misery is spreading far beyond Europe's borders. Though dozens of Chinese
cities are under red alerts in the highest possible heat warnings. Temperatures in some eastern provinces are expected to surpass 40 degrees
Celsius as soon as Saturday.
More than 80 million people in the United States, in the meantime, are under heat warnings or advisories. In many places, humidity is making it
worse, pushing the heat index sky-high, and there is no relief in sight.
Next week, about 85 percent of the entire U.S. population, we'll see temperatures above 32 degrees Celsius. Well, Joe Biden's doctor says the
U.S. President's COVID symptoms have improved Friday. The White House tweeted this picture of a masked Mr. Biden on a phone call with his
national security team. He's been working in isolation with what White House coronavirus coordinator says are very mild symptoms.
The president is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and he's taking Pfizer's antiviral drug, paxlovid. Well, still to come, Russia is using
drones to attack Ukrainian troops with pinpoint precision. But some of their most dangerous components are coming from Ukraine's allies. More on
that after this.
ANDERSON: Well, Russia and Ukraine have finally agreed to resume exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. This deal was months in the making
with the United Nations and Turkey leading negotiations. Russia has been blocking hundreds of tons of grain exports, beginning soon after it
launched its full-scale invasion in February.
And grain stocks have been piling up ever sense. We are talking about some 20 million tons of grain. This Summer's harvest well underway, it's causing
food prices to rise, making the risk of a global food crisis so much closer to reality. Matthew Hollingworth knows all about this, he is the emergency
coordinator for World Food Program in Ukraine. Just how significant, Matthew, is this deal in Turkey today?
MATTHEW HOLLINGWORTH, UKRAINE EMERGENCY COORDINATOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: I think this -- the deal that's been signed today is an enormous achievement,
as you said, after many months work. Begins as potentially a light at the end of the tunnel.
But I think we also need to be cautious because the needs in the world today are unprecedented. 345 million people suffering from severe food
insecurity. More than a million people living in famine conditions around the world. Countries, you know, really wrecked by COVID-19, global markets
failing, prices increasing and fuel. Ukraine is just one of the issues that has caused this food insecurity. So, I think we need to be really happy
today because of this achievement, but we've got a long way to go to deal with the levels of food insecurity around the world that we're closing.
ANDERSON: Yes, you make a very, very good point. This is a start. But this is certainly not the panacea. I spoke to the U.N. Secretary General, just
after the deal was signed today. He hoped this grain from Ukraine and that from Russia, by the way, because that isn't under sanctions, would be on
the move within the next couple of weeks. But the logistics of getting this grain out and on the move to those who need it most are a real challenge,
aren't they? Can you just explain why?
HOLLINGWORTH: This year, this country is going to have 60 million tons of harvests. That's the prediction. They've got food stuck in silos all around
the country, because very little, and comparatively, has been exported over the last few months in war. We have railways being bombed, we have huge
problems in terms of fuel being available around the country, or not available. And so, just the logistics of getting food from harvest to the
port is going to be a huge struggle. But that said, you know, this is -- it is something that we are now, you know, really focused on very
significantly from an aid basis. But we're also hoping the commercial sector is going to respond to it.
But there's almost 70 vessels still stuck in those three ports that were loaded from the five grain terminals before the war started, those have got
to get out. And the new vessels need to start coming in. And we've got to organize all of that and monitor it, make it safe. But there's a lot of
work to come. But, again, we are at the start of something. And I'm glad -- it's certainly not going to be an easy task these coming months.
ANDERSON: Yes. And these, of course, are mind waters. We need to see this deal implemented, that's going to be the next important hurdle of this,
because, as I'm sure you will now explain, this is massively consequential stuff. Where is this grain needed most, sir?
HOLLINGWORTH: There are communities around the world today that are, you know, desperate for the markets of -- or the food from this country,
Ukraine, to start getting back out into their countries as well. You know, countries like Lebanon, for example, you know, Venezuela, Egypt, Ethiopia,
you know, Yemen, all of whom -- all of which have massive, massive food insecurity problems of their own, but used to depend on food from this
country, but they've simply not been receding for months now. And those countries -- a number of those countries have triple digit their inflation
already, that they are facing, and people just can't afford to buy what is the most basic of foods, bread, and a staple of their diet.
So, what -- that's why this is so important. This country fed 400 million people with the grain that it exported last year in peacetime. And that's a
huge, huge number that you can understand that with now five months of war, and that grain simply not going to those countries, it's got a huge impact
on people's lives, on the lives of their children. So, we are going to now be at a race to support this effort. But like I said, I mean,
predominantly, we're talking about commercial grain getting out there, not just aid. And that's going to be a huge task as commercial companies will
need to be confident that this system that's been put in place is going to keep their vessels, their assets, their investments safe as they get
through to the rest of the world.
ANDERSON: As I understand it, the majority of the grain that you at WFP deliver to places that need it most has come in the past from this area of
the world, Ukraine, and indeed, of Russia. We talked about this being a very big first step. But I suggested that this isn't the panacea. Let's
just remind ourselves how big a problem food insecurity is and how close to the precipice of famine so many parts of the world are at this point.
HOLLINGWORTH: Food prices have gone up by 15 percent this year in 51 countries of the world, and there's 345 million people in 82 countries
facing acute levels of food insecurity. You know, again, this deal is certainly going to make a difference. But we have to remember that Ukraine
is not the only cause of the food insecurity. We have climate change issues, you've been covering the unprecedented heat wave that parts of the
world's facing right now. And those climate change issues are coming more regularly and more acutely, more severely.
We have war in many, many other countries in the world, which is affecting their food insecurity. And when the world spent $26 trillion so far on the
COVID response, it's not as if there are vast amounts of money available for assistance and aid. That's why it's so important that this operation
starts. I absolutely take my hat off to the two processes, the two initiatives that have gone on to get us to this deal today. And we will be
now hoping and working together with, you know, the alliance of the world and obviously to the key parties of this conflict to really make this work
and get through the world because this is a global agreement that will have lasting and immediate global impact.
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. I agree with you entirely. Thank you very much indeed for joining us, the significance and consequence of this deal signed
in Istanbul with Matthew Hollingworth tonight.
Well, Ukraine, depending on military technology and weapons from its allies to aid its fight against Russia, but they are also finding that Russia is
using technology from those same allies. Nic Robertson with this report.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Away from the front lines, technical Intel Officer Maxim, not his real name, strips
down a captured Russian all-antenna surveillance drone. We are the first journalists they are showing how Russia is using Western Tech to kill
ROBERTSON: This circuit board that can pinpoint cell phones is even maybe more dangerous than the camera.
ROBERTSON: The cell phone tracker, he says, made in the USA. The engine made in Japan. And the thermal imager module on the camera, he claims, was
made in France after Russia invaded.
ROBERTSON: Drones like this one are a terror on the battlefield and are revolutionizing the way war is being fought. But the battle over control of
components inside of them is almost as important as a supply of new rockets and artillery.
ROBERTSON: At the front lines, Ukrainian soldiers fear Russian drones and celebrate and share what they call successful hits. Kyiv's military
intelligence say the drone's powerful cameras with thermal and infrared imaging, and cell phone tracking, are making it easier for Russia to kill
SAMUEL CRANNY-EVANS, RUSI RESEARCH ANALYST: From a UAV or drone identifying a Ukrainian target, it can be three to four minutes for the Russians to
ROBERTSON: So French lens, Japanese engine, U.S.-made GSM parts, what are the countries components go in here?
"The list," Maxim says, " -- is long. Includes Austria, Germany, Taiwan, the Netherlands." His job follow every serial number, find out who made it
and tell allies to figure out how to stop Russia's drone tags, getting their hands on it. But stopping supply of these often commercial components
won't be easy. Russia may have huge stockpiles and has a long history evading controls.
CRANNY-EVANS: The FBI has been tracking down Russian supply networks since 2014 and trying to close them down. So if they can, they will continue
trying to sidestep it and it is a real problem because often these are compared to being bought by legitimate companies.
ROBERTSON: The Ukrainian intelligence officials have gone public with their frustrations that their allies' tech is ending up in Russia's hands is an
indication of just how deadly and decisive Russia's drones have become. Nic Robertson, CNN. Kyiv, Ukraine.
ANDERSON: Well, still to come tonight, Tunisia sees a surge in migration to Europe and smugglers are profiting from the crisis, that after this.
ANDERSON: Tunisia says that it is seeing the biggest surge in illegal migration to Europe since the Arab Spring. Thousands of people from Africa
have been making what is a desperate journey northward. And once in Tunisia, many are paying criminal gangs to smuggle them across the
Mediterranean Sea. CNN's David McKenzie has an exclusive look at the dangerous operations.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Through Kelibia's faded fishing boats, Samia Jabloun searches. "Where is that boat?" she asks. "Did they take it
back to sea? Samia wears Fadi's image on her shirt. She still sees her son in her dreams.
SAMIA JABLOUN, KELIBIA RESIDENT: This boat that takes my son. I hate this boat. I hate it. I hate it because they take it's my son.
MCKENZIE: In this video, you can see Italy in the distance. It is Samia's last image of Fadi before he vanished.
In Europe, millions of Ukrainians are given shelter from the war. But we're in Tunisia, tracking what the U.N. and Tennessean officials call the
biggest surge of illegal migrants in years. From across the African continent, migrants make the desperate journey across the Mediterranean
through a loose network of dangerous criminal gangs.
MCKENZIE: So our producer's just going to speak to the smuggling kingpin who works on trying to get people out of Tunisia into Europe. We're just
seeing if he's comfortable to talk in this neighborhood. But this is his zone. These are his people. He says his gang pulls up to $20,000 for a boat
of migrants. That's up to $2,000 each, live or die. "There are no guarantees at sea," he says, " -- because we could take you but the
authorities could catch you. Unless you die, then death is your destiny." A destiny like this, crammed into vessels leaving at night.
This passage is the planet's deadliest known migration routes, says United Nations.
More than 24,000 have gone missing just since 2014. But still they go. "Next time, I am taking my wife and daughter," says the smuggler. Even
though you know some people don't make it? "Yes, they'll be in God's hands. Whatever God wants for us." Those prayers often go unanswered. These
migrant boats piled up at a Coast Guard Harbor.
MCKENZIE: A small boat like this could fit 10 people on it to go to Italy.
COL. AYMAN MBRAKI, COMMANDER, TUNISIAN COAST GUARD: OK. Imagine it's -- the -- we have 10 people on both of these small boats for a trip of 120 Miles.
MCKENZIE: 120 miles?
COL. MBRAKI: 120 miles. For that, sometimes, the operation of looking for immigrants become operation of assistance and the recuperation of dead
MCKENZIE: Even with the latest gear funded by the European Union and U.S., Col. Ayman Mbraki says the Coast Guard can't possibly trace thousands of
migrants trying to leave. "When they catch them," he says, "They often say they will try again."
COL. MBRAKI: No matter how well you are trained and equipped, if you do not cure the economic and social causes of illegal migration, then it will
continue for Tunisians and for other Africans.
MCKENZIE: So we've met this group of Ivorian. They've come into this place near the sea. Not only is it dangerous, this perilous journey to Europe,
but they are afraid while they're here on Tunisian shores.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: They live a marginal existence, working for years just to save enough money to pay the smugglers, often as laborers and maids. "Here in
Tunisia, it's bad. We live illegally." says Deborah, who wants to take a four month old daughter on a smuggler's boat. "When we get to Europe, we
will be illegal, too, but the conditions are better. We have no liberty here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Are you afraid of this journey?
"Often, I'm afraid, but sometimes I'm not. Because when I see the problems that I'm going through," she says, " -- when I see our future in my dreams,
my fears vanish." She says Ukrainians are welcome because they are European.
MCKENZIE: The millions of Ukrainians are being led in by the European Union. Why aren't they letting more Africans into the European Union?
RAMADAN BIN OMAR, TUNISIAN FORUM FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS (through translator): "Political systems still look at humans based on their color,
gender, religion, and ethnicity, and don't look at them as people who are entitled to the same rights at the same level.
JABLOUN: These are photo of my son, Fadi.
MCKENZIE: Surrounded by her son's image, Samia says at least one migrant on the smuggling boat made it to Italy. They told her Fadi swam, too, then,
like thousands before him, he vanished.
MCKENZIE: But do you still have hope he's alive?
JABLOUN: Yes, of course. Yes, yes, yes. I suffer. Every day I suffer. When I look his photos, I hope that God help him. I hope --
ANDERSON: David McKenzie joining us now back in Johannesburg. This is a sickening business, these people smuggling, taking advantage of people
desperate to find a better life. And this in Tunisia where the current political environment could exacerbate this problem. Explain how and why.
MCKENZIE: On Monday, Becky, there is a referendum, a very key referendum in Tunisia on a draft constitution. The critics of the President say it says
this is an attempt for him to control even more power over the government. It will extend term limits through a loophole potentially. It also allows
him to rule by a decree. Now many people we spoke to in Tunisia say this will mean that there'll be protracted instability. His allies say this will
help him solidify control and improve the economic situation.
But, you know, it's interesting that Coast Guard Colonel said to us it doesn't matter how many times they go out with the patrols, how much
funding they get from the U.S. or E.U., as he put it, if they don't manage to control the situation on the ground, improve people's lives in Tunisia
and from all those source countries, they won't be able to stop the stem of humans getting across.
And you raise a good point, yes, the smuggler said, the Mediterranean's like a swimming pool, he told us. Well, it's not like a swimming pool, it's
a deadly business. They are taking control of -- advantage of people who are desperate, and it costs a great deal of money to make this journey
whether you live or whether you die. Becky.
ANDERSON: Very sad. David, thank you. David McKenzie, and the story for you. We will be right back with more.
ANDERSON: Breaking news, the jury has reached a verdict in Steve Bannon's contempt case. Let me get you to my colleagues in the U.S. for more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go back to Elie now. Guilty on both counts, there was a count for testimony, also a count for document
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So this is a real moment of accountability. No matter what, Steve Bannon has to serve 30 days at least
in a Federal Correctional Center.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Can it be more?
HONIG: He has -- yes, it can be more it can be up to a year on each count. Now in all likelihood, the judge is going to sentence concurrently, which
means both counts at the same time. He's not going to serve these sentences back to back, so his sentence, in all likelihood, will be somewhere from 30
years -- 30 -- excuse me, 30 days, up to one year.
Now he has the right to appeal, he will appeal. I don't see any real basis on which he will succeed in this appeal. And let's just remember the
history here with Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon has flouted justice number of times. He was indicted for a major fraud case by the Southern District of
New York back in 2000. And he was pardoned by Donald Trump on Donald Trump's last night in office.
Meanwhile, two of Steve Bannon's codefendants in that case have now been convicted. They pled guilty and they have not been sentenced yet. But they
likely will go to jail while Steve Bannon got away with it. Why? Because he had this relationship with Donald Trump. Then he gets this subpoena, a
perfectly lawful subpoena from the January 6 committee, and he doesn't just defy it, he gleefully defies it. He celebrates his defiance. And now a jury
has spoken. And he's going to prison for at least 30 days.
COSTELLO: And we're going to hear right now how he responded to that guilty verdict. So Sara, what was he like in the courtroom?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We were told that Bannon smiled as they read the verdict. And to be honest, this is kind of indicative of
how he's been behaving the entire trial. He's been pretty nonchalant in the courtroom. He was pretty nonchalant in the run-up to his trial, even though
he decided not to take the stand on his own behalf, he's been coming out of the courtroom every day and sort of talking to reporters, slamming the
House Select Committee.
I also think this is indicative of what their strategy is going forward like Elie was just saying. They are, you know, absolutely eyeing an appeal.
I think that, you know, they hope they may have a better chance on some of the legal arguments. And they've been laying out in the courtroom again and
again that they didn't feel like the court allowed them to put forward their best defenses. So I think what we are seeing is a very defiant Steve
Bannon, even in the face of being convicted on two criminal contempt charges.
BLACKWELL: Elie, we could those 30 days, or whatever the sentence is, start immediately?
HONIG: Theoretically, yes, I think it's unlikely here. Now, sometimes in a situation like this, where you have a defendant who's been out on bail, as
Steve Bannon has, when they get convicted, the prosecution will say, Your Honor, we now move to remand to send this defendant into prison. And often
the judge will do that. Here, given that we're talking about a real sentence, but a fairly a fairly light sentence, it will be a year or less,
I think it's unlikely the judge does that. It's possible. I think what's more likely is the judge lets Steve Bannon stay out until he's sentenced.
Usually sentencing would be about three months from the verdict. So, we're looking at September, October into the fall October-ish, November when he
will be sentenced.
COSTELLO: So we're not going to find out the sentence today?
HONIG: No, the judge will not set the sentence today. There's usually a 60 to 90 day period during which there's an investigation done, the parties
submit their letters and their recommendations. So he'll set a sentencing date today. So we will know today when that sentencing will happen.
BLACKWELL: But this did not have to go to trial. And also the -- Steve Bannon didn't put up a defense.
BLACKWELL: Is that taken into consideration when typically the sentence is determined?
HONIG: So first of all, it didn't have to go to trial because Steve Bannon could have complied with the subpoena. Let's start with that. Anyone has
the option to plead guilty. If you do plead guilty under the federal sentencing guidelines, you usually do get a sentencing reduction. If you
don't plead guilty, you don't get that sentencing reduction. The judge does take into account things like did you lie to the court? I mean, here's
Steve Bannon didn't testify so he didn't put himself in danger of lying to the court. Perhaps that's one of the reasons he didn't lie to the court.
And I want to say this, it is actually not all that uncommon to see a defense put on no defense.
I think naturally, you would think wouldn't any defendant want to defend himself? It happens quite commonly that defendants say, no case, Your
Honor. Our argument is the prosecution has not met their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That's what happened here. The jury had very
little problem given the speed of their verdict with the strength of the evidence.
BLACKWELL: All right. Elie, thank you. Sara Murray, standby. We will have more on the Breaking News. Stay with us.