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Isa Soares Tonight
New Intelligence Suggests Iran Is Preparing To Ship More Weapons To Russia; Bolsonaro Supporters Block Roads To Protest Election; Israel Holds Fifth Election In 4 Years; Big Names Hit Campaign Trail One Week To Election Day; Brazil's Bolsonaro Breaks Silence After Defeat; British Health Secretary Suspended By Conservative Party. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 01, 2022 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, new Intelligence suggests Iran is
preparing to ship more weapons to Russia. What will that mean for the battle on the ground? We'll have the latest for you from Kyiv this hour.
Then, blockades across Brazil as Jair Bolsonaro's supporters protest his loss in the presidential election.
Any moment now, we expect to hear from the outgoing president on his defeat. Plus, just an hour to go in Israel before polls close in the
country's fifth election in less than 4 years. We're live in Jerusalem this hour. But first, any moment now, we expect to hear from the president of
Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. The first time he will speak publicly since he lost his bid for re-election.
As you can see there, the election is up, we've been waiting for the past 40 minutes or so since I've been counting for him to come out. Clearly,
he's doing this on his own timeline. But as soon as he appears, he comes out and speaks to the population, we'll, of course, bring that to you.
But first, to Ukraine. We are seeing intense battles around the occupied city of Kherson, where Ukrainian forces are working to break down Russian
defenses. The city itself is virtually emptied out after Russian-backed officials issued a mandatory evacuation order. Now, Ukrainian military
officials say Russian forces are forcibly evicting people from their homes along the Dnipro River.
And they're laying mines around civilian houses to stop Ukraine's progress. We are also hearing from western officials that Iran is preparing to supply
Russia with approximately a thousand weapons. And that includes ballistic missiles as well as attack drones. Ukraine's Air Force warns it currently
has no effective defense against the types of weapons Iran is preparing to ship.
We'll go -- well, let's go to Kylie Atwood, who is at the U.S. State Department, we also have Salma Abdelaziz in Kyiv. Kylie, let me start with
you. Just talk us through first the Intelligence and how western officials are reading this move by Iran here.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, essentially, what these sources are telling us is that this shipment of what they expect
to be about a thousand weapons, would include those attack drones that we've already seen Iran provide to Russia, and they would include advanced
And the reason that that's significant is because Iran has not yet provided that type of weaponry to Russia, to be used on the battlefield. And those
are pretty advanced. They can be fired from a distance, they are able to strike specific targets. And the Ukrainians, as you said, are coming out
today, saying that they just really don't have the capability to effectively defend against that kind of weaponry.
Now, of course, Russia has been using its own missiles on the battlefield. That has been a challenge for the Ukrainians, as have the drones, which
have been used to deadly effect. But these are some really advanced missiles that sources are telling us are expected to be shipped sometime
soon from Iran to Russia. And when you talk to U.S. government officials about this, what they are saying is that they are concerned that Russia may
be preparing to provide these surface-to-surface missiles to Russia.
And just now in the State Department briefing, State Department Spokesperson, Ned Price, talked about the efforts underway by the U.S.
government to expose and counter what the Iranians are trying to do here. To talk about the expectation that these may go ahead, and then also to try
and essentially get in the way of making this easy for the Iranians to provide these advanced missiles to Russia.
SOARES: Do stay with us, let me go -- let me go to Salma. So Salma, we know as we heard there from Kylie, that the Ukrainians said they don't have
the effective means to defend themselves against these missiles. Do -- what have you been seeing in terms of how this may change the dynamic on the
battlefield? What are you hearing?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, Isa, it begins with a very basic question. What has Russia been targeting? What has Russia been hitting in
the last few weeks here in Ukraine? Civilian infrastructure, critical infrastructure, power grids, water supplies, cellphone towers.
SOARES: Yes --
ABDELAZIZ: So, if Russia is able to obtain more of these precision weapons from Iran, many Ukrainians fear that's exactly what's going to be hit.
And you're already looking at a country that sustained weeks of attacks on its critical infrastructure. It is absolutely fragile and precarious. The
mayor of Kyiv has said, they simply can't continue to repair this infrastructure every time it's hit. They're running out of equipment,
they're running out of supplies to do that. That means many families are preparing for an extremely tough Winter.
They're going to have to be storing water at home, conserving energy wherever they can, communication is going to be spotty. So, there's real
concern that this shipment of weapons will only inflict greater suffering on innocents. On people far away from the battlefield. And that's why I
have to mention those drones as well, Isa.
SOARES: Yes --
ABDELAZIZ: We know these drains especially that Iranian-made Shahed drones had wreaked absolute terror here in Kyiv and around other parts of Ukraine.
These are loitering ammunitions that self detonate, that among the victims a few weeks ago, was a pregnant woman sitting in her apartment, sitting at
home. They absolutely terrorize local populations.
And then, of course, we have to talk about the battlefield as well. There're -- Russian forces have, of course, faced major losses in recent
weeks, could this reverse the gains on the ground? The one last thing I'm going to point out there is that the U.S. officials have said in the past,
not only is Iran providing these weapons, it's also providing on-the-ground training --
SOARES: Yes --
ABDELAZIZ: To Russian soldiers in occupied Crimea. So, that's very significant. But just the fact, Isa, that Russia is turning to Iran at this
very critical juncture in the conflict to obtain more weapons, I think that tells you a lot about just how tight a spot they are in.
SOARES: Yes, very well put. Salma Abdelaziz for us in Kyiv and Kylie Atwood at the U.S. State Department, thank you very much, ladies. Well, in
less than an hour's time, polls will close in Israel's election. It's the country's fifth time going to the ballot box in less than 4 years. Former
Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seen casting his vote here.
He's looking to make a comeback with his Likud Party tipped to get the most votes. But it's extremely likely that he would need to form a coalition
with a far right of Israeli politics in order to take power. He's up against centrist Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who is fighting to defy the
odds and hang on to his job. So far, voter turnout is the highest it's been in 23 years. CNN's Hadas Gold has more on the key issues dominating the
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By now, Israelis are experts at voting. Never before in the country's history have Israelis gone
to the polls so often in such a short period. The fifth round in just over three years has no stable government has managed to take hold. Former Prime
Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping to make a comeback.
While the current caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid hopes to stay in place. We're headed to Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda market to see what the
voters really care about. Security in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is top of mind for many voters. As 2022 has seen some of the deadliest levels
of violence in years.
EFRAT HALPER, ISRAELI VOTER: The first issue is the occupation because it's just -- it's everywhere and it's just -- it affects everything. The
situation in Gaza, the violence in the West Bank, the militarization of the society.
DAVID ZIGFRIED, ISRAELI VOTER: First of all, we need 50,000 more police and border guards, and need to let them operate freely.
GOLD: Others cited the soaring cost of living.
SHAI SHOSHANI, ISRAELI VOTER (through translator): i want someone who will look after the younger generation and we can get a house to live in, and
security, which is the most important thing in the country.
AVRAHAM LEVY, ISRAELI VOTER: I am thinking about security. I'm thinking of a good economy, good education.
GOLD: But like the previous four elections, many votes rest on one question. Do you want Netanyahu back or not?
HALPER: I don't want BiBi to be the prime minister, so I hope he won't get in, so that's also on my mind.
SHOSHANI: I would be very happy if BiBi is elected. BiBi is the best for us. With BiBi, the messiah will come.
GOLD (on camera): Many Israeli voters here in the market and across the country said they are exhausted by the repeat elections. But what's
different in this round and what's at stake is not just the return of Benjamin Netanyahu, but the possibility that the far-right politician will
(voice-over): Any coalition that would bring Netanyahu back to power will likely need to rely on the growing right-wing religious Zionism, Jewish
power party. Partly led by the extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir, once convicted for inciting racism and supporting terrorism. An idea that either delights
or terrifies the voters in the market.
ELIYAHU ZOHAR, ISRAELI VOTER (through translator): He's a Zionist, and the Arabs will know exactly where they stand with him. They are guests here and
we are the owners of this land, and not them.
HAIM HAVLI, ISRAELI VOTER: Itamar Ben-Gvir is a -- he says and he does. He will do anything to show who is the worst.
HALPER: It's very scary because I think it means disaster even more so than now.
YOSSI MIZRAHI, ISRAELI VOTER: We think it's very bad for the country.
GOLD (on camera): Why?
MIZRAHI: Because he's going to bring us 20, 30 years -- the last 20, 30 years with the Intifada(ph) and the problems with Arabs. We want to live by
peace, and it will be very difficult with Benjamin.
GOLD (voice-over): A veritable market of views, as Israelis wait to see whether the fifth time is the charm.
SOARES: And we'll have much more, of course, on Israeli election later in the program. Our correspondent Hadas Gold you just heard there will be live
from Jerusalem just ahead of polls closing at the top of the hour in about 15 minutes or so. Now, outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is
expected to speak any time now.
I said any time now, we've been waiting for him to speak almost for the last 50 minutes or so. And he's expected to speak about losing a weekend
runoff election to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. As we await to hear if he concedes, of course, authorities in Brazil are demanding his supporters
stop blocking highways in protest.
The Supreme Court has ordered today the military police to clear the roads and state governor of Sao Paulo is calling for the use of force if
necessary. Lula is returning to office after two previous terms as president. He won the election by a razor-thin margin of about 2 million
Our Paula Newton is live in Sao Paulo for more with more. And Paula, I'm keeping an eye, obviously, on the lectern here in Brasilia, waiting to hear
from Jair Bolsonaro. Paint us a picture where you are and what you have been seeing today.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Isa, we are at one of the protests. The road blockages that have been going on right throughout the country.
We're on a main artery. Think about it, a major highway that goes from Sao Paulo all the way down to the south of the city. It is a major commercial
route, Isa, and police have been working over the last few hours to try and clear it.
I want you to see now that, in fact, some trucks, cars, have been able to get through. You see highway police there, the federal highway police,
trying to keep things under control and calm. The issue is, though, you'll see to the right that there are still trucks that are blocked. They're
Some of them has slashed tires, some of them are not working any longer. And for that reason, these kinds of slowdowns will continue to go on
throughout the country. At issue, though, Isa, is whether or not protesters will actually give up and go home. There are still a few dozen here on
site. They are not blocking the road any longer as long as there's a police presence.
And that's the problem. Some are saying that they're waiting on Jair Bolsonaro, as we are, to hear what he has to say. Others say they don't
care what he says. And as far as they are concerned, he is the president, and they will continue to stay out here and protest as long as it takes so
that the rest of the country and, you know, the legislators, the official institutions recognize that this was a fraudulent election, and that
Bolsonaro is the winner.
Needless to say, this is really rattled and frail a lot of nerves in this country, as they still, as you said at this hour, await more news from the
SOARES: And of course, here in Sao Paulo, but this is happening across some 20 or so states in Brazil. It gives you a sense of how spread these
protests from Bolsonaro camp has been. One point you made there, Paula, which I think is quite striking, as we await to hear from Jair Bolsonaro.
We've been waiting, of course, for some 50 minutes or so.
Does it really matter what he says here? I mean, if he -- does he need to accept, concede, or do you think that his supporters will just accept
whatever, will just interpret his words in their own way? How opaque do you think he needs to be? How clear do you think he needs to be in order to
shift the mood right now in Brazil?
NEWTON: He needs to be absolutely categorical. And I think that's what people fear, is that he won't be, that even if he somehow recognizes that
he did not win, that protesters that are here will continue to protest. They've told us that themselves, saying look, if they are told, perhaps
some of them, if they're told categorically, will move.
It doesn't look like Bolsonaro is about to do that, no matter what he says in this coming press conference. At issue here is something that his son,
you know, tweeted. And the fact that the struggle continues. He was very ambiguous as to whether or not this result would even be recognized. And to
that, his protesters are taking a message. And the message is, fight on.
What we hear again and again is that they do not accept Lula da Silva; the president-elect as their president. They say that he is a criminal who
should still be in prison on corruption charges. And it does matter, Isa. And yet, those close to Bolsonaro, even those who have encouraged him to
concede do not believe that he will be categorical about what to tell his supporters that have been really out here now since the election result was
Trying to foment a lot of chaos and making it clear that they are not happy with the results. I have to add too, Isa, in terms of the supply routes
that they're affecting, it's significant. Not to mention the fact that they've had those blockages through the Sao Paulo International Airport.
Some people have been able to get out on flights, other of them have not. Either --
SOARES: Yes --
NEWTON: Flights are canceled or they've just not been able to physically get to the airport.
SOARES: And the point that you made from Jair Bolsonaro's son, he -- that tweet we brought you at this time yesterday, important to note to our
viewers, he's also a politician. So really, everyone is reading the teeves(ph) and every word and trying to interpret what we might hear from
Paula, we're keeping an eye on the lectern, as soon as we have of course, we hear from Jair Bolsonaro, we'll of course, we'll take that. Let's get
some more perspective though. I'm joined now by Christopher Sabatini; a Senior Fellow for Latin America Chatham House. Christopher, great to have
you on the --
CHRISTOPHER SABATINI, SENIOR FELLOW FOR LATIN AMERICA, CHATHAM HOUSE: Thank you --
SOARES: Show. Apologies if I interrupt, as we await of course to hear from Jair Bolsonaro. Paula made a very good point, it doesn't matter what he
says. Is that the case? Do you think that's true?
SABATINI: That's right, I think -- first of all, his options are getting fewer and fewer. The international community responded quickly and
forcefully in recognizing -- or even Vladimir Putin recognized Lula's victory. And across the board, a number of -- even including even the
president of Chamber of Deputies who is an ally of Bolsonaro conceded and said that Lula had won.
But the problem is, it isn't exactly what he said. He's got -- he's mobilized his supporters, he's already cast doubt on the elections. But
even if -- I don't think he will be gracious. He's notoriously irascible and erratic --
SOARES: Yes --
SABATINI: Individual. But what I think he's going to try to do is just try to keep his powder dry for a later battle. And then this is -- you know, he
just barely lost 1.8 percent --
SOARES: Two million or so --
SABATINI: Yes, and so he -- you know, basically, he may cast doubt on the election. I doubt it as you were indicating -- and your report was
indicating, that he'll ask the protesters to stand down.
SOARES: You don't think he will?
SABATINI: I don't think he will, no, I mean, he has --
SOARES: He knows how much that will cost him.
SABATINI: And he has to stoke his base. And that's what --
SOARES: Right --
SABATINI: I think he's doing. He's playing not even a long-term game, I think he's playing a medium-term game now. Because he realizes, the truth
is Lula does not have very strong support. You know, regardless of the 1.8 --
SOARES: Yes --
SABATINI: Percent that he won over Bolsonaro, these are -- Lula has a high rejection rating, about 40 percent of the people sort of disapprove of Lula
as a candidate. So already, Lula support is going to be very soft. He's going to face a very difficult congress. The Bolsonaro candidate won the
governorship of Sao Paulo where there are -- actually your candidate --
SOARES: Yes --
SABATINI: Where your reporter is right now. That will go back to Bolsonaro's supporters. So actually, to be honest, the cards are stacked in
favor of Bolsonaro over the medium term. So he doesn't have to win right now, he just has to sort of keep his base happy and sow some doubt.
SOARES: I do wonder, though, Chris, whether, you know, the thin-razor margin would even make a difference. If Lula had won by a huge margin,
whether we'd still see this sort of -- this sort of behavior from Bolsonaro, which is something that you and I have been predicting. Many of
us have been predicting.
SABATINI: Yes --
SOARES: But I mean, he clearly -- it seems making Lula's life as difficult as possible. This is clearly a divided country. How does Lula pick this up?
Where does he go from here?
SABATINI: Well, Lula spoke of unity in his acceptance speech, he talked about unity, and it's going to be very difficult. Because again, it's a
country just split right down the --
SOARES: Yes --
SABATINI: Middle. And even those who didn't cast their vote for either candidate, there were 3 million spoilt ballots that were cast. People
rejected both candidates. So it's --
SOARES: Yes --
SABATINI: So he's really on a razor's edge right now. I think you know, what he has to do is start to drive the economy, but you know, there is 33
million people right now in Brazil that are malnourished, that are suffering, according to Oxfam. Over 60 million people are in poverty are
falling -- and many have fallen back into poverty recently.
He has to support those people, provide them economic goods at a time where the economy is not growing and there is a huge fiscal deficit right now. So
there is not a lot of margin for his maneuver, and certainly not much for error.
SOARES: And I'm sure those who are on the Bolsonaro camp, lawmakers probably won't make his life any easier whatsoever. In terms of Bolsonaro
as we look obviously at these pictures coming out from Brasilia as we await to hear from Jair Bolsonaro, what is his legacy? I mean, what kind of deal
do you think, first of all, Christopher, is he trying to get behind the scenes here? Because this is what? Forty eight hours now --
SABATINI: Yes --
SOARES: And we haven't --
SABATINI: Yes --
SOARES: Heard from him. So what kind of deal do you think will get -- he's hoping to get out of this?
SABATINI: I think the first is immunity. There have been a whole series of cases brought against him for just being -- involvement -- his involvement
in disinformation, his sons are involved in real estate scandals supposedly that could have implications of corruption and even criminal cases against
I think he's angling for immunity so that he can sort of basically play again, step down and run again and keep his legacy alive. As you mentioned,
one of the -- the author of that tweet, Flavio Bolsonaro --
SOARES: Yes --
SABATINI: Is a son. This is -- you know, he's playing a long game in that sense too. This is about creating a long-term legacy of Bolsonarismo(ph).
And it has legs, I mean, his -- the party itself did surprisingly well in the gubernatorial elections and the congressional elections. So what he
wants to do is get a jail -- see -- get a free pass out of jail card, and be able to continue to remain involved in politics.
SOARES: And like you said --
SABATINI: I blame himself and his son.
SOARES: Yes, and like you said, it's not the end of Bolsonaro, we need to remember. But what is clear is the polarization of this country is huge and
the challenges are pretty significant as well. We'll keep an eye on the situation in Brasilia. Thank you very much, Christopher Sabatini --
SABATINI: Thanks very much, it's a pleasure --
SOARES: Of course, to get your insight. And of course, as soon as we hear from Jair Bolsonaro and whether he concedes or not or what he says or he
might not be gracious as Christopher was saying, we don't expect that, we will of course, bring that to you. And still to come tonight, the shoes of
victims remain unclaimed after the devastating Halloween crowd crush in South Korea. We'll have an exclusive report from Seoul as we speak with the
best friend of one of the victims.
Plus, a high level visit and the search for answers in the bridge collapse in India that claimed more than 130 lives. We'll have an update for you.
You are watching CNN.
SOARES: Now to the horrific events in South Korea where the death toll has risen to 156 after Halloween celebrations turned tragic. Police say
authorities in Seoul received more than ten phone calls about a massive crush of party goers hours before it turned deadly. Ivan Watson spoke with
one of the victims' best friends who calls him the kindest soul he had ever met. Here is his exclusive report.
IAN CHANG, FRIEND OF VICTIM STEVEN BLESI: Everybody was very fond of Steven, Steven was the kindest person there ever was. He'll be there for
you. He was like a good friend for everybody. A kind soul.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ian Chang, a 21-year-old from Florida is talking about his friend Steven Blesi.
CHANG: Here's Steven.
WATSON: The two American university students met here in South Korea during their semester abroad in Seoul.
CHANG: Like this was also like one of his big adventures to come here by himself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show me some cooking skills.
WATSON: The young Americans mixed class work with exploring Korea.
CHANG: He definitely liked the food here for sure.
WATSON: The barbecue.
CHANG: Yes, Korean barbecue.
WATSON: And that included late nights out in Seoul's bars nightclubs.
That is until Saturday night when everything went horribly wrong.
CHANG: I didn't think it was real, you know, the whole thing because I saw him that day, right, and just learning the news that he passed away just --
you know, it doesn't seem to be true.
WATSON: The two Americans planned to meet here in Seoul's Itaewon district to celebrate Halloween. But that night, Korean authorities estimate more
than 100,000 other people were also coming to party here.
ANNE-LOU CHEVALIER, SURVIVOR OF CROWD CRUSH: At the beginning, we thought it was funny.
WATSON: Stuck in the crowd, Anne-Lou Chevalier, 22-year-old French exchange student filmed herself with friends, at first laughing. But then,
she suddenly looks distressed.
(on camera): You were hurt, what happened to you?
CHEVALIER: At some point, I had no air and we were so crushed to other people that I couldn't breathe at all. So I just passed out.
CHEVALIER: Yes, unconscious.
WATSON (voice-over): Bystanders pulled Chevalier limp out of the crowd. She was one of the lucky ones.
(on camera): This narrow alley was ground zero on Saturday night. Hundreds of party goers collapsed into a deadly pileup here and began suffocating
under the weight of the crowd. At least 156 people died. South Korea is still processing this staggering loss. Days later, lost belongings on
display for grieving relatives to identify.
CHANG: So, I miss Steven too, tell him that, hey, don't come to our place anymore.
WATSON (voice-over): On Saturday night, Ian Chang got to the crowded neighborhood first and warned his friends not to come. But the Atlanta
native who loved Hip-Hop and international travel never answered. The next day, authorities identified Blesi and Anne Gieske, another American student
from the same exchange program as two of the many victims. Just weeks ago, this group of friends went on a weekend hiking trip together.
CHANG: He was such a great person. My good friend.
WATSON: Steven and Ian shared plans for the future, hopes and dreams that will now never be fulfilled.
CHANG: I was going to make memories with him, you know, and I'm just -- I'm going to miss him.
WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN, Seoul.
SOARES: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now visited the site of this weekend's devastating bridge collapse. It happened in a state along
the western coast where he served as chief minister for more than ten years. Mr. Modi then went to a hospital where some of the injured are
recovering and spoke with those who lost their loved ones.
Officials now say that at least 135 people were killed after crowds gathered on the suspension bridge and the cables basically snapped. The
bridge was a tourist attraction that had just been renovated. And investigation is underway, and the state has declared that Wednesday will
be a day of mourning.
And still to come tonight, there are now just about seven days or so to go until the U.S. Midterm elections. And we're keeping a particularly close
eye on the fight for the Senate. I'll speak with a top CNN political analyst. And then the British Home Secretary creates an uproar by calling
new arrival migrants seeking asylum an invasion. Both of their stories after this short break. You are watching CNN.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
The U.S. midterm elections are now just one week away. Millions of Americans have already cast their votes early, even though President Joe
Biden is not up for reelection this year. Many senators, representatives, state governors and mayors are on the ballot.
Democrats both control the Senate and House right now. We will soon find out what the voters want it to stay. Let's go to political analyst Julian
Zelizer, who joins me now.
Julian, great to have you on the show. Let's talk about what we have been seeing, we've been seeing reporting on the show in the last week, we've
been seeing Democrats bringing out the big names in the campaign. Barack Obama is one of those big names. I think he heads to Nevada today.
How do you read this?
Suggest perhaps the enormity of the challenge ahead of the Democrats?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it suggests the enormity of the challenge. That has huge implications if they lose control of the
Congress. Also some of the problems that President Biden faces with his approval ratings.
On the other hand, it suggests that Democrats still think this is competitive and polls show that it is true. Many Senate races could allow
Democrats to retain control. So Democrats are sending everyone out on the trail.
SOARES: You mentioned there, President Biden's approval rating. I know he is campaigning in Florida today.
How is his approval rating and how does this impact voters when they go to vote?
ZELIZER: They are not great, they've stabilized but they are low, which is expected at this point in presidency. But they are low enough that many
Democrats don't want to be running with him. They don't necessarily want him in the state.
It could have an effect, it could dampen voter turnout among Democrats. It could energize Republicans. It also just takes him off the campaign trail
in key states.
SOARES: Talk to us then in this case and explain this to our viewers around the world.
What is the most concerning matter for voters, be it Democrats, Republicans?
What matters most for right now for Americans?
ZELIZER: Inflation and the stability of the economy, it keeps registering as the number one issue Americans are concerned about. They are concerned
about the stability of family income, everything from food prices to gas prices.
I think that is issue number one. Other issues matter; there is a lot of concern about the stability of our democracy here. But it is looking like
it will be an economic referendum in a few weeks.
SOARES: Does the majority of voters believe that the president has had a handle on inflation?
ZELIZER: No, he doesn't get great approval ratings on that right now. Again, when you're president and the economy is struggling, you usually
take a hit politically. That said, there is also concern about Republicans and what they would do if they had power on Capitol Hill. Some of the
concerns I think balance out with the president's problems.
SOARES: Let's talk about what we could be seeing in a week or so.
How do you see this playing out?
The loss of either chamber could be disastrous for President Biden.
SOARES: Talk us through what you are for seeing here, expecting here.
ZELIZER: If he loses control of either or both chambers, the agenda will shift toward the Republicans, moving toward issues like tax cuts and
deregulation. I would expect to see a lot of investigations into the administration.
You would start to see the conversation start that will lead to the 2024 election. If Biden retains control of Democrats, I think he's going to move
forward with the current agenda and use that power to really connect on the economy.
Let me just add, the state level races are very important. They will have big implications for 2024, for the election, because a lot of races involve
people who oversee the next presidential elections. So we're watching to see how they were unfold.
SOARES: What will happen if election deniers win?
Will they be in a position -- I'm thinking of attorney generals-- will be in a position to ratify the term of the last election?
How worrying is this?
ZELIZER: Very worrying. A large number of Republicans right now are election deniers. If a majority of them win, which many people think might
happen, you will have election deniers in positions of power overseeing the election.
It will also simply legitimate the idea that you can disregard the outcome of an election and spread these kinds of baseless accusations. So I think
their victory or sizable number of victories will be very important moving forward in terms of the stability of our country's political system but
also the character of the Republican Party.
SOARES: Julian Zelizer from Cambridge, Massachusetts, we really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
SOARES: Now I was going to go to the U.K. But I'm just looking at some pictures coming in from Brazil. I'm going to ask the producer she can bring
I'm seeing some movement right now as we wait to hear from president Jair Bolsonaro. It looks like an entourage. We've been waiting for about just
over an hour for president Jair Bolsonaro can make his way.
That looks like Jair Bolsonaro if I can tell, if someone can correct me, my eyesight is not great. We will, of course, be listening to what he says,
whether he will accept or concede to president Lula da Silva.
Of course, we haven't heard from him for 48 hours since that election on Sunday. His words matter hugely because we've been seeing protests across
the street by his supporters. Let's have a listen to what he has to say.
JAIR BOLSONARO, FORMER BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I'm going to miss this place.
Can I start?
I would like to thank you 52 millions of Brazilians who have voted for me last October 30th. (INAUDIBLE) reflection of indignation and a feeling of
just everything that happened with the electoral process, all the progress (INAUDIBLE) will always be welcome.
However, our methods cannot be the ones from the left that has been always been bad for the population such as (INAUDIBLE) of private property and
also feeding the ability to (INAUDIBLE).
The right has gone (INAUDIBLE). Our (INAUDIBLE) the congress chose the value of -- shows the force of our value, pact, nation (INAUDIBLE). We have
formed several leaderships (INAUDIBLE). We are stronger than ever. We are farther (INAUDIBLE) and for the progress.
Even facing all the system, we are able to overcome a pandemic and the consequences of a war. I've always been labeled as anti-democratic. In
contrary to what my opponent had always played within the borders of our constitution.
BOLSONARO (through translator): I've never said that I would discuss (ph) to the press or to social media. As president of the (INAUDIBLE) public and
citizen, I will follow all the orders and prescriptions of our constitution.
It is a privilege to be a leader of millions of Brazilians such as right now defend the economic liberty, (INAUDIBLE), (INAUDIBLE) of opinion,
honesty and the colors green and yellow of our flag. Thank you so much.
SOARES: That was a rather short speech there, I think less than two minutes, if that. You heard from Jair Bolsonaro, behind him was his son.
We've been waiting for an hour. They may have been waiting for 48 hours for him to concede. That wasn't a concession speech if you're waiting for it.
He then thanked 38 -- 58 million people who voted for him. He talked (INAUDIBLE) said the peaceful endeavors will always be welcome. So really,
not telling those who have been blockading the key routes in Brazil, more than 20 states in Brazil, to disperse. He didn't say that.
He basically said he welcomed a peaceful demonstrations. Then he talked, what we normally hear from him, he said, God, country, family and liberty
is what he stands for, it's very much the motto of the Bolsonaro camp.
But that was it. That was all we heard from Bolsonaro. No mention of Lula da Silva, no acknowledgment of a loss. So it'll be interesting to see how
Bolsonaro supporters will interpret his words.
As we heard from Paula Newton in Sao Paulo, she told me it doesn't really matter what he says. What we've been hearing from him for years now is that
he will not accept defeat. That is not one of his messages.
He has been rallying his base to call this a fraud, so no acceptance speech. Very opaque statement may and tomorrow, tomorrow is a holiday in
Brazil so it'll be interesting to see whether his supporters will turn out and whether the demonstrations and the protests will increase.
We will keep an eye on the situation in Sao Paulo. We'll take a short break, be back after this.
SOARES: In the last few minutes we heard from Jair Bolsonaro for the first time after his loss in the Brazilian presidential election on Sunday. Paula
Newton is live in Sao Paulo with more.
He spoke for some two minutes. I mean, he didn't mention the election. He didn't sound like he conceded and he didn't congratulate Lula.
What did you hear?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: In terms of the translation I just received, because, you know, full disclosure, I'm trying to parse the
words from what he said.
And Isa, I'm sure you will agree with me. Just the way that he spoke, in fact, seemed to validate the feelings of the protesters that we have out
And although, of course, he did say that they must remain within the law, the fact that they must remain within the constitution, I can tell you Isa,
from speaking to people out here, they feel they are remaining within the constitution because they say, it is their right to protest in this way.
Every time I come out here, people say that, look, as long as we are not impeding traffic fully, as long as we're opening up a lane or two of
traffic, this is fine.
Well, what this is leading to is strains of bylines, certainly (INAUDIBLE) and as I said, a real challenge for an already very fragile economy. As we
have been pointing out as well, this was not a concession speech, right?
He didn't congratulate Lula de Silva. He didn't say that he accepted the results, none of that. It seemed that he was under some pressure, again,
from the state governors themselves, that vacuum, to do something about this chaos and to say something.
Will it be enough?
From what I've heard from protesters now, starting from yesterday evening, I don't think so. That's not the way they interpret it. What they would
need to hear, probably more than once, is to stand down and go home. That's not what he said. Isa.
SOARES: No, that's not what I heard either. He did say he will continue to follow the constitution. The line I heard is, president of the republican
citizen, I will continue to follow all the commandments of our constitution.
But he then did say, he welcomed peaceful demonstrations. So of course, his supporters will interpret it how they really want, whichever way they want,
which is something that you said to me, of course, at the top of the hour. Paula, very loud where you are. Supporters probably welcoming, his
supporters, probably welcoming that speech.
We will keep on top of the situation on the ground in Brazil. Paula Newton there for us in Sao Paulo, thank you, Paula.
And still to come tonight, pop star Taylor Swift owns America's top 10 with her new album, "Midnights," and achieved something no artist had before. We
will tell you all about that, next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
Matt Hancock, the former health minister, who led Britain's response to COVID-19, has now been suspended by the Conservative Party. And the reason
why involves a popular reality TV show, called, "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here."
Hancock, as you remember, resigned after a tabloid newspaper printed a photo of him kissing an aide while the country was under strict lockdown.
He was set to travel to Australia to participate in the reality show, even though Parliament will be sitting.
On the show, contestants fend for themselves in the jungle, eating live insects, fighting their way out of dark tunnels and competing for their
daily meals, all, as you can see there, happening on national television.
Why would you put yourself through that?
I do not know. But good luck to him.
Music industry phenomenon Taylor Swift is reminding everyone why she's a force to be reckoned with. She has just claimed the entire top 10 spots on
the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list with songs from her new album, "Midnights." She's the first ever artist to do that. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas joins me now from New York.
Chloe, great to see you. Look, whether you're a Swiftie or not, this is pretty significant, pretty historic. Just put it into context for us.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, first of all, you cannot avoid Taylor even if you want to do because she has the top 10 spots
on the Billboard chart. I mean, look, she's the first artist to ever do anything like this.
Not Madonna, not Beyonce, not Adele and let me read to you Taylor's tweet, because, of course, she always has so much excitement, right?
I mean, just look at that. It's basically her entire album. She goes, "Ten out of 10 of the Hot 100 on my 10th album?
"I am in shambles."
And if you know Taylor, she's all about numbers. You know, actually her lucky number is 13, so let's see if she actually gets the 13 top spots. But
look, it's really incredible and Taylor Swift, she's a multihyphenate artist. She writes her music. You know, she's just been around for a while.
Obviously, this is her 10th album but she never ceases to work hard, you know, good is never enough. She's always trying to outdo herself. And she's
usually breaking her own records.
And all of this excitement comes on the heels, like I've always said, Taylor works so hard. I've been doing this for almost 20 years myself as an
entertainment reporter. And Taylor is one of the hardest working musical acts, celebrities, just women in Hollywood.
So it's really incredible. She's announced just this morning that she's going on tour. It's called the Eras tour and it's going to kick off this
spring. And so, yes, just like you thought, she's going to take us through the decades, through the eras of her music. And she has a lot of
celebrities that are going to be joining her.
She's going to be kicking off the tour in March and she has Paramore and a lot of really great artists. I actually have some of them here. And let me
see, I will read you some of them.
She's going to have Phoebe Bridgers, Girl in Red, Haim, Gracie Adams (sic) and Owenn and she says, "I can't wait to see your gorgeous faces out
there." And you better believe it's probably going to be sold out as well.
SOARES: I can imagine. I'm pretty sure she will probably break the internet, people trying to grab their tickets, right?
Chloe, great to see you, thank you very much.
MELBER: Thank you.
SOARES: And for our final thought of the night, we return not only to our top story but really to many of the stories that have filled up our program
for the past weeks and months from the war in Ukraine, the global food crisis, humanitarian as well as climate disasters and, of course, the
ongoing political turmoil that we've seen in many countries, including here in the U.K.
All of that is captured perfectly, not by a quote of the day but by a word. It's a Collins dictionary naming its word of the year. It's permacrisis.
And it describes it as "an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events." Put that
into your vocabulary, that is the word of the year.
And sorry to leave you on such a grim note now but I know we are all open for this permacrisis, of course, to end as soon as possible.
Thanks very much for your company, I'm Isa Soares, do stay here with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next and Richard will have a special coverage
of the Israeli elections, as polls closed in just a few minutes. Also, you are watching CNN.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: And a very good evening and a warm welcome. It is just 2.5 minutes until the top of the hour. At the top of the hour, when it
will be 10 pm in Israel, the polls will close after a bitter election. It's the fifth election in Israel in less than four years.
Now what will happen?
Let me talk you through this. At 10 o'clock, the polls close and, in short order, I would say within a minute or two after that, we expect the exit
polls results. Well, their exit polls from the country's three main TV networks.
These are not official results. They are projections that have been built up over intelligence over the course of the day. If history is a barometer,
they will give us a sense of where the night is headed. And the issue, of course, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bibi.
Will tonight return Bibi to power?
Or can the current prime minister, Yair Lapid, defy the pre election polls and manage to keep his job?
The way you do it, of course, is through the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. There are 120 seats, so you need the arithmetic, 61 seats will
let you form a government. No party will, I can tell you this, pretty much without contradiction, no party will be able to form a government in their
own right by 61 seats.
Instead, they will have to need coalition partners. Now Benjamin Netanyahu, the country's dominant political figure, will have to work his coalition,
which includes the extreme far right that would complete his political comeback.
Yair Lapid, who's currently prime minister -- and remember, he was job sharing with Benny Gantz anyway because they of course were a coalition
when they got into power a couple of years ago.
He will need to recreate that coalition, largely united by its desire to keep Benjamin Netanyahu out of the prime minister's office. That was the
tenor last year, the last election, anything but Bibi.