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Isa Soares Tonight
U.S. Pledges Massive New Aid Package for Ukraine; Israel Targets Islamic Jihad in Gaza; Imran Khan's Arrest Sparks Protests in Pakistan; China Expels Canadian in Tit-for-Tat Move; Biden Meets with Top Lawmakers as Debt Default Looms; Texas Mall Shooter Possibly Motivated by Right-Wing Extremism; Women Should Get Mammograms at Age 40; Trump Guilty of Sexual Abuse of E. Jean Carroll. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 09, 2023 - 14:00 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, a fresh billion-dollar aid package from
the U.S. and a renewed pledge of solidarity from Europe. Allies are standing by Ukraine. Then, two more Palestinians killed in Israel's latest
strike in Gaza, bringing today's death toll to 15 people, including four children.
And then later, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrested and calling for protests. Supporters are answering that call. But first,
tonight, as Russia celebrates Victory Day, marking the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Ukraine is focusing on its own
victory. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is marking Europe Day, meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv.
She praised Ukraine for fighting for the ideals of Europe, which she says Russia is trying to destroy. Mr. Zelenskyy says the irony of really Victory
Day is that Russia isn't having any right now. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): In my opinion, the Russian federation, their military and political leadership
needs to sell something to their society. Because there are no victories. Their society is bloodthirsty, and we see how they support certain radical
actions. They're always happy about the amount of deaths. They couldn't sell Bakhmut because they couldn't capture it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, Ukraine is also getting ready to welcome more aid, the U.S. just announced a new $1.2 billion military package, which will include new
air defense systems as well as ammunition. And it couldn't come at a better time. Ukraine says it has intercepted dozens of Russian missiles and
airstrikes in the past few days.
You can see there on your screen. Now, Sam Kiley is monitoring all for us from Kyiv. And Sam, I think it's fair to say that Ukraine's air defense
system has really been put through its paces as of late. Just talk us through this wave of airstrikes, and how Ukrainian officials that you've
been speaking to interpret the frequency as well as the ferocity of these airstrikes.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, they're not saying really that these airstrikes have really increased in ferocity,
you'll recall it, you and I have spoken months ago about how it is that the Russians are using the relatively cheap shot-head drones, they call them
drones, they're unguided drones that are easy to produce in Iran and flood the airspace with them to try to soak up the Ukrainian air defenses.
They're combining that also with cruise missiles, those are much more accurate and carry a much bigger punch. They hope to get those through. But
those are being brought down by the increasingly-sophisticated air defenses that the Ukrainians have been given by the international community,
particularly the West, obviously.
And lately, we've seen even the hypersonic missile being shot out of the sky, possibly in a lucky hit, but nonetheless, it happened with a Patriot
missile. Now, they persistently tried to overwhelm the Ukrainian air defenses, and the concern is, both in Ukraine and outside the country, is
that how long can Ukraine continue to be supplied, continue to meet this overwhelming threat or nearly overwhelming threat?
At the moment, they are pretty satisfied that they're hitting 80 percent or more of the missiles that are being fired, but of course, in many ways, as
the terrorists often say, you only have to be lucky once. And that's the attitude really of the Russians in terms of trying to target particularly
infrastructure like the electrical grid here, Isa.
SOARES: Something that you and I have also spoken at great length about here on the show, Sam, is the counteroffensive. I mean, how are Ukrainians
preparing for this? Any signs that this is nearing?
KILEY: They're being very opaque in terms of simply saying that there is something around the corner, the defense minister, the foreign minister,
frequently alluding to the fact that something pretty dramatic is coming. There's a lot of focus in terms of speculation and military analysis in the
south of the country. And also, of course, we have people in the field who are working under restrictions on what they can report in terms of military
But that notwithstanding, I think we're safe to say that it isn't clear at all about where or when this much wanted military offensive will begin. I
think that's absolutely deliberate. The Ukrainians have been advised by NATO commanders, they're being trained, many thousands of their troops have
been trained in NATO-style warfare, and that's all about surprise and maneuver versus the Russians who are all about mass and punching through in
rather predictable ways with sheer weight of artillery, armor, and of course, human beings. The Ukrainians really can't afford, Isa, to squander
human beings nor would they wish to.
SOARES: Yes --
KILEY: They really believe, I think that they have a good chance of pushing the Russians back now, but surprise and stealth is what it's going
to be all about in this offensive, Isa.
SOARES: Sam Kiley there for us. Thanks very much, Sam, good to see you. Now, Russia's Victory Day is usually a show of strength and a nationalistic
rallying cry, but today's event was much more muted. We only saw only one tank, in fact, on display, that one there, and there was no flight pass
above Red Square.
But President Putin is putting out his usual rhetoric about his so-called special military operation in Ukraine, saying, he is defending his country
against a quote, "true war from international terrorists". Calling it a sacred battle against forces bent on destroying Russia. This is what he
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): The Ukrainian nation has become hostage to a coup, which led to a criminal regime led by
its western masters. It has become a pawn to their cruel and selfish plans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, let's get more perspective on this from Nina Khrushcheva; she's a professor of International Affairs at The New School, and is a
great granddaughter, former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, she joins me from New York -- New York. Nina, great to have you on the show. I think
then it was fair to say that it was pretty pared-back parade, a sign, Nina, some may say, of how degraded the Russian army is, how isolated others may
say, Putin has become. But what stood out to you?
NINA KHRUSHCHEVA, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, THE NEW SCHOOL: Well, I wouldn't really -- I mean, I know it's kind of a thing to dismiss,
I wouldn't really dismiss it that much. I mean, it is a war, and it is certainly a scaled-down event. And last year also was a scaled-down event.
But unlike even last year, in fact, there were seven presidents from former Soviet Republics, now independent countries, still came to the Red Square
to celebrate or commemorate the victory in World War II.
I mean, maybe in -- many would agree that it was done under duress, and nonetheless, they did -- they did come in and do it. So it is -- it was
sort of proportionate to the war. That's no question. But then, of course, we can speculate, there is only one very famous World War II tank was
shown. And there's some other -- some other military gear was shown.
But the parade itself was only 50 minutes, and 10 minutes of it just Putin spoke. So, 40 minutes, not much of a display. But it was, as they say, a
proportional response. And it was important for Putin to have the parade because it was a lot of speculation that it would be canceled, and these
celebrations were canceled in many cities -- many cities around Russia.
But yet, on the Red Square, there it is, showing that Russia is not going to be defeated, and even in his speech, he used a lot of Joseph Stalin's
language, which is also, I think -- I thought when I listened to it, was incredibly important. He addressed the people of Russia, brothers and
sisters, and he sort of talked about unity during World War II, but now Russia is against everybody.
SOARES: Let's talk about that because Putin's framing and his rhetoric sounded to me, somewhat similar from what we heard last year. I mean, I was
in Ukraine when he spoke last year, it's almost a diatribe against the West, but framing it as a continuation of the fight against the Nazis. I
mean, does this message, Nina, resonate with Russians?
KHRUSHCHEVA: Well, to some degree, not that much. But to some degree, and it's actually is getting more so, because even last year, I mean, there was
still an expectation that it would end soon enough with some sort of something. And then we'll start figuring out or they will start figuring
out how to live the life further. But now, it's clear, it's not going to end.
It's not going to end any time soon. And so since -- even since January -- and I was there in January, and then I was there in April, and in this
three months that I was away, the amount of military militarization of the country was just staggering. Because it's really -- I mean, every billboard
is staring into you, saying Russia will not be defeated. Victory will be ours.
So unlike before, where you can just be -- enough to be silent and not say, well, we are in support. Now, you actually have to speak up. And that's why
what I observed also, was kind of remarkable. The silent majority or maybe not majority, actually, I think it is a majority, that's protesting it in
individual ways. Just displaying flowers in blue and yellow colors together. And in even that becomes sort of a protest to say, we are not
part of it.
SOARES: Yes, and what we didn't see this year, and you can tell me if I'm wrong here, was the immortal regiment, that moment, that immortal moment
when those who have lost loved ones carry pictures of them. Do you think there was a reason for that? Do you think they wouldn't want -- why this
KHRUSHCHEVA: No, I mean, some wanted to do it, and they did it in some cities, they did it online --
SOARES: Yes --
KHRUSHCHEVA: But they scaled it down. I mean, I think that's what it is. I mean, they really just scaled it down and they decided -- because once
again, I mean, it's a heavy oppression, so you can't even exactly know how many people, for how many people against those who for -- or wanted to
pretend that they were for, they screamed the loudest.
So then, it appears that Russia is all for that -- for that war, because it's quite scary to be against it. I mean, you lose freedom, you lose work,
you lose -- what not. And I think one of the reasons for people not to walk, because they didn't really give it -- they didn't -- they weren't
sure that if you just let people walk, what would be then would be --
SOARES: Yes --
KHRUSHCHEVA: Some(ph) provocations or maybe that they would -- because it is a people's holiday, and that's why a lot of people commented that he
took away our holiday from us, because it was a very important holiday in the country for normal people. And so they were afraid to let people go
with their loved ones, what if it would become some sort of a protest? Turn into some sort of a protest --
SOARES: Right --
KHRUSHCHEVA: That, that we're at war and now it is not.
SOARES: And the victory, of course, the victory parade comes, I think it's about a week or so since that drone attack in the Kremlin. It also follows
comments made by the Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, he said during the parade that his troops were blatantly lied to. Give me a sense of what
you're hearing. I mean, are we starting to see -- or your assessment here, Nina, are we starting to see a fracturing of support within the country or
within Putin's own corps?
KHRUSHCHEVA: Well, I mean, I've always seen the fracturing of support. I actually think -- I mean, the support is in a way because outside of Putin,
what else they're going to do? I mean, who knows which clan is closer to victory if Putin is gone? So they all keep themselves kind of close to
Putin because they don't want to lose remnants of what they used to have.
So, he sort of is necessary to everybody one way or another. And the fracturing also in the elites have been also right from the beginning. We
even saw it before the war began when they were completely fascinated in a horrible way, sort of shocked by the fact that it was indeed going to
happen. And there was a lot of cacophony of voices has been in the parliament for the whole year, Prigozhin speaks again against Ramzan
Kadyrov, for another militant guy, the president of the Republic of Chechnya.
Prigozhin says I'm going to withdraw on the 10th, and then he says, well, I'm going to stay on. So, it's -- I mean, it is a very fractured, very
fractured society, and also incredibly fractured elite. But for now, it feels that -- by the western onslaught, essentially in rhetoric and
sanctions and what not. The elites have to stay next to Putin because they don't have an exit yet.
And Putin is not losing enough yet for them to turn against him. So the fracture is there, it can turn on badly for him any moment or it can
SOARES: Yes --
KHRUSHCHEVA: Continue precisely because there is no solution to it yet.
SOARES: Important context there from Nina Khrushcheva, thanks very much, Nina, always great to get your insight --
KHRUSHCHEVA: Thank you. Thanks.
SOARES: Now, to a sharp escalation and violence in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes targeting militant commanders have killed at least 15
Palestinians today, including 10 civilians. And now Islamic Jihad is vowing revenge. Israel says the most recent strikes killed two Islamic Jihad
operatives who were transporting anti-tank missiles by car.
In the days main wave of attacks, dozens of Israeli aircrafts bombed targets before dawn as people slept. Three Islamic Jihad commanders were
killed along with civilians including a dentist, five women and four children. Israel is now bracing for a possible retaliation, urging some
residents to stay near bomb shelters. Our Hadas Gold has the story.
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early morning airstrikes on Gaza, targeting what Israel called kingpin terrorists. Senior
operatives of Islamic Jihad backed by Iran.
But doctors in Gaza said at least 10 other people were killed as well. Among them, some of the men's family members, including at least five women
and four children. And Israel defense forces spokesman saying, quote, we're aware of some collateral, while insisting their pinpoint strikes had
targeted only Islamic Jihad terrorists as they try to keep Hamas off the battlefield.
The idea of saying its operation called Shield and Arrow is a response to more than a 100 rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel a week ago. Those
rockets in turn are response to the death in an Israeli prison of this man, Khader Adnan; a former Islamic Jihad spokesman who died after an 87-day
(on camera): Even before Khader Adnan's death, this has been a potentially record-setting violent year in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. More than
100 Palestinians, both militants and civilians killed by Israeli forces this year, at least, 19 killed on the Israeli side in Palestinian attacks.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GOLD (voice-over): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leading Israel's most far-right government ever, vowing that Israel will strike back at those who
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GOLD: Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas saying, quote, "occupation crimes against their people will not go unpunished." Israeli military
reservists have been called up as residents in southern Israel are told to stay close to their bomb shelters.
Leaving this region, tense at the best of times, potentially on the verge of explosion.
SOARES: And Hadas Gold joins us now live with more. She's in Ashdod in southern Israel. And Hadas, Israel now, I imagine racing for retaliation.
And I suspect the extent of this escalation will depend on whether Hamas gets involved or sits on the sidelines. What are you hearing?
GOLD: Yes, Isa, I have to say, it's kind of strange, because in the past, we've seen these types of conflicts erupt. And typically, there's a
response sooner than where we are right now. It's funny Israeli media is almost keeping a stopwatch going and watching how many hours have passed
before a rocket was fired from Gaza towards Israel.
There has been no response yet. If anything, all we've seen is that follow- up airstrike that was done by a drone, as you mentioned earlier towards a car that the Israeli military says was carrying militants who were planning
to fire anti-tank missiles in southern Gaza Strip towards Israelis. But so far, nothing yet. We have heard from Islamic Jihad and Hamas that they will
have a unified response.
But the biggest question right now is not when this will happen, it is expected to happen, but how much of an involvement will Hamas have. Because
if Hamas, a militant group that runs Gaza gets involved, this will turn into a much broader, longer and more dangerous conflict. Last August,
Islamic Jihad and the Israeli military engaged in a two to three-day conflict of sorts.
Hamas stayed on the sidelines in that one. The Israeli government, the Israeli military seems to be hoping that will be the same situation in this
case. They're taking pains to say they are only trying to target Islamic Jihad, trying not to get Hamas involved. But their calculations, you know,
could be different this time around, and Hamas so far has been issuing joint statements, saying that they stand by Islamic Jihad, saying that
there will be some sort of unified response.
But the question will be, how much of a unified response will that be? Will that be just support and maybe doing some small level things, or will they
be firing their own rockets alongside Islamic Jihads? Isa?
SOARES: And meanwhile, what are you hearing, Hadas, about these civilians that were killed that the IDF called, you know, collateral in this targeted
operation. What were you learning?
GOLD: Yes, so we -- the Israeli defense forces held a press briefing where we pressed them on the civilians who were killed as a result of this
operation. I specifically asked them actually about that dentist who also held Russian-dual citizenship, who was a well-known medical figure in the
Gaza Strip. They said that, that dentist was not specifically targeted.
They say he just happened to be next to -- as they described it, one of the targets. Several of the women and children who were killed were family
members of those killed. And the Israeli military saying that they always try -- this is how they explain it to me, they say they always try to avoid
civilian casualties. That it was not their intention, they essentially turned the blame back on Islamic Jihad, saying well, these guys operate
within and amongst civilians at all times. And so, as a result when we need to target them, sometimes these things happen.
SOARES: And Hadas, I'm seeing the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has been speaking in the last what? Nineteen minutes or so. What has he
said so far?
GOLD: Yes, so he spoke alongside -- this is sort of a show of unity of sorts alongside the defense minister, keep in mind just a few weeks ago, he
fired and then un-fired for opposing his judicial overhaul plan. There was also the IDF chief of staff as well as the head of the Israeli Intelligence
Services, the Shin Bet. And essentially, the message coming from all them, and coming from Netanyahu was trying to compare the Israeli public for what
it said was several days of a potential confrontation.
Netanyahu saying in the coming days, we will need patience and endurance, warning that any escalation on the part of our enemies, he said will be met
with a crushing response on our part. It was interesting to hear from Benjamin Netanyahu, an emphasis on national unity, saying that Israelis
always come together in moments of crisis.
Of course, this happening at a moment of major political crisis in Israel, mostly over the judicial overhaul. But even in the days leading up to the
airstrikes overnight actually, the right-wing flank of Netanyahu's ruling coalition led by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir had been
boycotting votes in the parliament because they were upset over the initial Israeli military response to those more than 100 rockets fired by Islamic
Jihad last week.
Sort of what prompted the Israeli military's response last night. They said that initial response was weak, it didn't actually do anything --
obviously, their tone has now changed after what happened overnight. So it's interesting to hear Netanyahu calling for national unity after all
that's been happening here in the last few weeks and months. Isa?
SOARES: Hadas Gold there for us in Ashdod, Israel, thank very much. Well, Israel also carried out a separate operation today in the occupied West
Bank, it raided the town of Nablus, saying they arrested two people there. Israeli troops fired bullets and tear gas during the operation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: They say they used riot dispersal means against people throwing rocks. The Palestinian Red Crescent says 12 people were hit by live
ammunition, and three by rubber bullets. One of those wounded was a 14- year-old boy who was shot in the chest. Some 130 Palestinians were treated for tear gas. Pakistan's political crisis is escalating quickly, following
the dramatic arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan by paramilitary police.
Now, Khan says the charges against him are political, his party calls his arrest an abduction. And violent protests supporting Khan have already
broken out in multiple cities. Iwan(ph) -- I'll actually say that again, our Ivan Watson has more.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An eruption in Pakistan's long simmering political feud. Paramilitary forces breaking
through the window of the high court in the country's capital to detain former Prime Minister and cricket star, Imran Khan seen here wearing
Officers dragged Khan away, arresting him on charges of corruption dating back to his time in government. But the politician clearly anticipated
something like this. He taped this statement before appearing in court.
IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN (through translator): By the time you receive these words of mine, I will have been detained on
incorrect charges. Pakistan's constitution which gives us rights, which gives us democracy, has been buried. Perhaps I won't get the opportunity to
speak to you again.
WATSON: Khan went on to tell his supporters, the time has come for all of you to struggle for your rights. In a matter of hours, protests erupt in
cities across the country, some of them turning violent. A CNN journalist in Quetta saw a demonstrator shot and killed by police, as a crowd charge
at security forces.
Pakistan's powerful military, a target of this anger. Khan's political party shared this footage of protesters breaking through an apparently
unguarded gate at the headquarters of the military in Rawalpindi. And CNN filmed demonstrators overrunning the residents of the top military
commander in Lahore.
Khan has been leading a public campaign against the current government and its military allies, ever since a no-confidence vote in parliament last
year forced him out of the Prime Minister's office. In March, he resisted an attempt by police to arrest him for missing a court appearance, leading
to clashes between police and his supporters around his home in Lahore.
Khan claims authorities are trying to stop him from running an election later this year. While Pakistani officials insist arrest warrants are not
politically-motivated. Pakistan is already struggling with soaring inflation that's seen skyrocketing prices for food and fuel. A nuclear-
armed nation, now reeling from economic and political crises. Ivan Watson, CNN.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, China expels a Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat row between the two countries. We'll explain why after this
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Well, China has expelled a Canadian diplomat in Shanghai just a day after Canada's expulsion of a Chinese
diplomat. The tit-for-tat move marks a new low in years long deterioration of ties between the two countries. On Monday, Canada made the move to expel
Zhao Wei following allegations he was involved in efforts to intimidate a Canadian politician. Something that Beijing denies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WANG WENBIN, SPOKESMAN, CHINA'S MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): China never interferes in the international affairs of other
countries. The so-called China's interference in Canada's internal affairs is completely nonsense. It is a slander against China, and political
manipulation based on ideological bigotry.
The Canadian side declaring a Chinese diplomat, persona non grata on unwarranted charges is in violation of basic norms of international
relations, and a deliberate sabotage of China-Canada relations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: I think it's fair to say the Chinese are not happy. Let's bring in Paula Newton for more. And Paula, let's just take a step back and just
explain the -- what's behind this uproar between both sides. It's been going on for some time now.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and in quite a serious way. It's been escalating in the last few months, and Isa, in a really shocking
manner. "The Globe and Mail" newspaper in Canada were the first to report that Canada's intelligence agency had declared that China had tried to
interfere in Canada's elections, not once, but twice in 2019 and 2021.
That was the beginning of this. Now, a report since has said that it did not change the outcome of the election, but nonetheless, it happened. And
more than that, Isa, think about this. Michael Chong, an opposition MP learning just last week of the fact that the spy agency had evidence in
2021 that allegedly, this consular that's now been expelled was trying to intimidate not just his family in Canada, but also was trying to target his
relatives in China.
These are incredibly serious allegations, Canada though did maul whether or not to take any formal action. And I want you to listen now to Justin
Trudeau as he tells us why they decided to act. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: We'll take whatever action is necessary to continue to protect our democracy and show that we're standing
up for our values and our principles. This is a decision we took seriously, we took with careful consideration in order to do the right thing and expel
the Chinese diplomat.
We understand there is retaliation but we will not be intimidated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: The issue here is they can say they're not intimidated and that may be true.
But the foreign minister herself, Isa, actually said that, before they took this move, they were weighing not just a tit-for-tat expulsion but more
than that, the fact that there could in fact be trade sanctions coming up and also more importantly, the travel advisory.
It remains where it usually is for Canada, saying Canadians in China should be cautious. But think about this, Isa. We did have the issue of the two
Michaels, that Canada says were taken arbitrarily to prison in China. And that was retaliation over the Huawei executive, who was detained in Canada.
All of this does not add up to good times ahead for Canada-China relations. And I have to say, Isa, Europe as well as United States will be watching
this carefully to see how China responds.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, not just the economic relations but also in terms of trade, as well. They've got a significant
relationship as trading partners.
But what I can't wrap my head around here is that, despite the agencies offering a report in 2021, why did it take them two years then to expel the
Was Trudeau not involved?
NEWTON: Great question. And really, a lot of speculation in Canada. Trudeau claims he was not informed that, in fact, the security message had
gone through all the proper channels in the government structure.
But he did not hear about this intimidation. Again, the intimidation of the MP being completely different from political interference. For that reason,
Trudeau himself is under a lot of pressure to call a public inquiry.
And people want to know that, look, if you honestly didn't know about this, then in the words of one expert, this is a complete collapse of the
government apparatus for you not to know something that is that important.
In fact, some of the evidence coming up from these committees in Canada has been quite alarming. We have the establishment of at least so-called three
police stations in Canada, where China had set up detention areas for Canadians that it wanted to intimidate.
We've had those stories as well in the United States. And yet, really, chilling stuff. People want answers in Canada, to know exactly what is the
extent of China's political interference.
SOARES: Paula Newton, always great to see you, my friend. Thank you very much.
And still to come, a critical meeting between President Biden and top U.S. lawmakers in an attempt to avert an economic catastrophe. That is next.
SOARES: Later today, U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting a high stakes meeting with congressional leaders from both parties in an attempt to avert
economic disaster. The federal government is at risk of defaulting on its loans if a deal isn't reached by early June to raise the nation's debt
CNN's Melanie Zanona on Capitol Hill with all the very latest.
And Melanie, of course, the importance of this meeting cannot be overstated.
So what is speaker McCarthy's strategy going into this key meeting?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I will say, the stakes for this meeting are high. But the expectations are pretty low. And that is because both
sides are really digging into their positions ahead of this meeting.
President Joe Biden is expected to walk in there and continue to insist that Republicans raise the debt ceiling without any conditions, which is
what they did multiple times under former president Donald Trump, although Biden is expected to offer a commitment to Republicans he will negotiate
spending cuts, just as long as it's not tied to the debt ceiling debate.
And meanwhile, speaker Kevin McCarthy really feels like he has a lot of leverage right now because he was able to pass a bill in the House with
Republican support, that would raise the debt ceiling along with slashing federal spending.
He told reporters not long ago he is going to continue to insist on that position. He ruled out of the idea of a short term debt ceiling hike to
give negotiators a little bit more time. So it's really unclear how they're going to resolve this impasse.
And we really are not expecting a huge breakthrough or the contours of a deal to come out of this meeting. But what we are looking for is whether
they can at least walk away with a structure of some sort, to continue talking.
But even if they're able to reach some sort of agreement on a pathway forward, they don't have a lot of time because the Treasury Secretary says
the United States might run out of its cash as early as June and no longer be able to pay its bills.
And that could have devastating economic impact. Millions of people could lose their jobs. Social Security checks could stop going out. The stock
market could tank. There are real life consequences at stake here. And the clock is ticking. We will just have to see how this meeting goes down later
SOARES: Yes. No plan B on one side; no concessions on the other. Let's see what happens. More steps there, Melanie. Thanks very much.
New details are coming out about Saturday's mall shooting in Texas which left eight dead. We have learned two families have lost multiple loved
ones. Two sisters in an elementary school were killed and a 6-year-old boy lost his parents and his only brother.
Meantime authorities are looking into whether the suspect had been driven by right-wing extremism based on posts he made. CNN's Josh Campbell is
there in Allen, Texas, with more.
And Josh, what more are you learning there about the shooter?
Were there any red flags or warning signs?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, talking with law enforcement sources, Isa, we are learning a disturbing picture about this
I am told from one source that authorities believe that right wing extremism was a key motivating factor in the ideology here, the motivation
behind this massacre. It's because authorities have discovered this really troubling online social media profile.
We're getting a sense of that ourselves now. It's actually posted on a Russian site; the suspect had an account. And these posts are filled with
all kinds of vile posts about Nazis, about white supremacy, anti-Semitism.
There is an obsession over guns; there's an obsession over past mass shootings. In one post, he describes himself as an incel, which, those who
cover extremism know, these are men who blame women and society for their lack of romantic success.
Some of them have been quite deadly around the world. And it's all so chilling to learn from the social media profile that the suspect came here
to the mall in the weeks leading up to the attack, conducting reconnaissance.
The social media profile shows him doing research, trying to figure out which times of day this mall was the busiest. So it is so chilling.
Also, we have new information about the firearms that were used. A law enforcement source tells me that this small arsenal that he had assembled
was all purchased legally, most of them from private sellers. That's important, because here, in the state of Texas --
CAMPBELL: -- if you buy a gun from a private individual, a friend, a family member, someone you meet online, that doesn't have to go through a
federal background check. That is a large loophole here under Texas law that so many gun control advocates have been pointing to.
If there are going to be reforms, at least the government should be able to look into the background of someone before they are able to gather all of
these deadly weapons.
So really a troubling portrait of the shooter we are learning, based on all these facts. We're pointing, out we are minutes away from a press
conference from authorities here in Texas, where we hope to learn more about this ongoing investigation, Isa.
SOARES: Yes. And just behind, you I can see the makeshift memorial -- I'm guessing the community has really come together in terms of support. All
the victims have been identified.
What more are you learning, Josh?
CAMPBELL: That's right. This makeshift memorial is something we sadly often see after these mass shootings, a community coming together to honor
those whose lives were lost.
We now are officially learning the names of the eight victims. They include 20 year old Christian LaCour; he was a security guard at this location.
Also 32-year-old Elio Cumana-Rivas; 26-year-old Aishwarya Thatikonda. Also I'm told, Isa, Sofia and Daniel
a Mendoza, two young sisters, a second grader and a fourth grader, killed in this attack.
And a family, a Korean American family, mother and father, Kyu Song Cho, Cindy Cho and James Cho, their 3 year old son, gunned down. And that family
now leaves behind a 6-year-old boy. His brother, his parents killed, his family now sadly a family of just one.
SOARES: Josh Campbell there for us, thanks, Josh.
And still to come tonight, a leading task force in the United States is considering changing the national guidance on breast cancer screening. We
will have more on the recommendation. That is next.
SOARES: Jury deliberations began today in a civil (INAUDIBLE) defamation case against former U.S. president Donald Trump, which means we are waiting
on a verdict. After closing arguments on Monday, Trump's accuser, E. Jean Carroll arrived at the court hours ago, as you can see there.
She says Trump raped her at a department store back in 1996 and then defamed her by saying she made up the alleged assault. Trump has denied all
New guidance says all women should get a mammogram at 40 years old, a decade earlier than the current recommended age. This comes from a U.S.
task force of medical experts whose recommendations help guide doctors' decisions. Almost 13 percent of women in the U.S. develop breast cancer
during their lives.
SOARES: I want to bring in our health reporter, Jacqueline Howard, for more on why it's important to catch these cancers early.
And, Jacqueline, we're not talking but a year or two. They are recommending a decade.
So what then is driving this change in the recommendation here?
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The task force previously said women in their 40s had the option to start breast cancer
screening. Now they're coming down stronger, saying all women should start at age 40.
The reason why, I spoke with a member of the task force, who told me that they have seen, each year, in the United States, an increase in breast
cancer diagnoses. This has been seen annually since the year 2015, which is why now they are saying that they are coming down stronger with this draft
They are posting it online for public comment, from now through June 5th. And then we will see probably the recommendation finalized.
The takeaway here, Isa, is that, because the task force is recommending to screen earlier at age 40, the hope is that more cancer can be detected
among women in their 40s, leading to early detection and a better chance of survival and hopefully a reduction in the rate of deaths that we see due to
breast cancer in the United States.
SOARES: And I imagine, Jacqueline, this will mean those who are at higher risk should be starting to get the scans earlier.
In terms of questions, when you're speaking to your doctor, what kinds of questions should be asking here if you're worried about being higher risk?
HOWARD: The interesting thing, this recommendation was for average risk women. I was told for women at high risk to just continue what their
doctors already recommend for them to do. So that was interesting.
But of course, all women should talk to their doctors about their individual risk factors, like family history, like breast density. Ask for
a breast exam during your doctor's appointment if it's possible.
And then of course, ask, based on your risk factors, when should you as an individual start screening and how often?
Because we are all different. And depending on our risk factors, the recommendation might be slightly different if you are at an increased risk
or average risk.
SOARES: Jacqueline Howard, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
And still to come tonight, CNN talks to the only former player in history to be named World Sportsman of the Year. Lionel Messi has done it again.
SOARES: As we were saying a few minutes ago, jury deliberations began today in the civil battery and defamation case against former president
Donald Trump. We're now hearing the federal jury in Manhattan has reached a verdict in the civil defamation trial of Donald Trump, brought by writer E.
What we're hearing is that the jury of six men and three women deliberated for just over 2.5 hours. The verdict is expected to be read at 3 pm
Eastern, so at the top of the hour.
Also, Trump's accuser, in terms of background, E. Jean Carroll, says that Trump raped her back in 1996 and then defamed her by saying she made up the
alleged assault. Trump, in the meantime, has denied all the allegations.
The verdict has been reached in Carroll versus Trump. At the top of the hour, we shall have a verdict. So just stay right here with CNN for the
SOARES: I want to take you to our sister network, CNN USA. Like I said in the last few minutes, a verdict has been reached in E. Jean Carroll's civil
battery and defamation trial.