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Isa Soares Tonight
Russia: Will Respond "Harshly" to Further Cross-Border Attacks; Eye of Typhoon Passes Just North of U.S. Territory of Guam; DeSantis to Announce 2024 Presidential Run on Twitter with Musk; DeSantis to Kick Off Presidential Campaign; Uvalde One Year Later; Brain-Reading AI. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 24, 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, Russia promises a harsh response if
there are any further cross-border attacks after the assault on Belgorod. Plus, we are learning new details on what Kyiv knew about the strikes. Then
Typhoon Mawar makes landfall. The strongest storm to hit the U.S. territory of Guam in decades.
We'll have the latest. Plus, just a few hours from now, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis will make it official, throwing his hat into the ring for the
Republican presidential nominee. But first, this hour, Russia is warning that it will respond harshly to any further cross-border attacks from
Ukraine, calling the incursion into Belgorod a terrorist attack.
It is also commenting on reports that U.S.-made military vehicles were used in the raid. Saying it's quote, "no secret the western countries are
becoming more involved in the Ukraine conflict every day." Well, the Kremlin blames Ukrainian militants for the incursion into Russia, even
though anti-Putin Russian fighters are claiming responsibility.
And while Ukraine denies involvement, we're now learning from Ukrainian defense source that Kyiv was tipped off in advance about the attacks. While
Belgorod was hit by new drone strikes overnight, the regional governor says nine people were taken to hospital. Let's get more on all these
developments, Frederik Pleitgen is in Kyiv for us this hour, Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon. And Fred, let me start with you. So talk to
us about these overnight strikes in Belgorod and how the Kremlin is responding, saying harshly, what are we expecting here?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they certainly -- they do say that they will respond very harshly, but they are
facing a lot of criticism especially the Russian military as well. And we're speaking about the night the governor of Belgorod, he came out early
this morning, he said it was not a calm night, as he put.
Isa, there were several attempted airstrikes by unmanned aerial vehicles by drones in the Belgorod region. In one incident, a grenade was apparently
dropped on a roadway late last night, that damaged a car. They said that the damage was not too extensive overnight, but over the course of the past
couple of days, nine people have now ended up in hospital, and three of them are actually in ICU, the local authorities said.
And you know, the Russians are saying that they are going to respond harshly to all of this into any future incursions, also, if they do happen.
But they are certainly also facing a lot of criticism from the folks that are living on the ground. In fact, there were some citizens there who
recorded a video message of themselves calling for the Russian authorities to give them arms so they can defend themselves, because clearly, the
Russia military can't do that.
Then, you have Yevgeny Prigozhin or the Wagner private military company, which of course, has been fighting very fiercely in the Bakhmut area,
saying, clearly, the Russian military was not capable of defending Russia's borders. He's of course, had an ongoing feud with the Russian defense
minister. And even the governor of Belgorod himself, he also says he has a lot of questions for the Russian military.
So they're saying, they will respond harshly in the future, but right now, they are facing some serious questions as well. And that, of course, is
something that is happening in Russia, where speaking up can get you into a lot of trouble. Nevertheless, there is a lot of public anger down in that
Belgorod region. Isa.
SOARES: Yes, fractions and divisions that have been there being felt much more strongly now. And Oren, to you, what has been the reaction, then, to
these reports that we had just mentioned, I mentioned a few minutes ago, of vehicles, U.S. vehicles being used in the cross-border raid in the Belgorod
region. What is the U.S. saying about this?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Isa, the Pentagon has chosen its words very carefully, and it hasn't said all that much. Pentagon Press
Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder was asked about this at the Pentagon briefing yesterday. And I will read you a short part of what he said. But
again, he didn't say all that much.
So he acknowledged the Pentagon has seen this report -- these reports, and something he says we obviously continue to monitor very closely.
And here is what he says, just a bit more on the process here, he says, "I will say that we can confirm that the U.S. government has not approved any
third-party transfers of equipment to paramilitary organizations outside the Ukrainian Armed Forces nor has the Ukrainian government requested any
You know, that's an interesting statement, just making clear, the U.S.' position that the U.S. transfer of military equipment, no matter what that
equipment is, is for Ukrainian-use only within the borders of Ukraine. And as the U.S. has said before, that includes for example, Crimea and other
areas that Russia has illegally annexed.
But they made clear here that the equipment has not been approved to use outside of Ukraine, and certainly not in Belgorod. And this hasn't come up
as far as we know, in any great detail in conversations between the U.S. and Ukraine. But this is one of those situations that we will certainly
keep an eye on, as the Pentagon made clear, they will as well.
SOARES: Stay with us, Oren, let me just go back to Fred if I could. And Fred, I want to get more of your insight here about these two anti-Putin
groups, these two operating in Belgorod in the last few days. I believe they held a press conference today. Do we know what they said? What their
PLEITGEN: Yes --
SOARES: Is here?
PLEITGEN: Yes, exactly, I mean, you know, we had the Russians obviously threatening them, saying they will respond harshly in the future. Clearly,
those two groups, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Russian -- the Freedom for Russia Legion clearly not backing down. They did have that
joint press event today, where they took apparently large groups of journalists to an area outside of Kharkiv and presented them actually with
some of the trophies that they say collected on those cross-border raids.
And that included an armored personnel carrier they say from the Russian military that apparently splodge Z markings on them. And members of that
group said that this very potentially was not the last time that they would try and cross the border. In fact, they said that this was something that
was ongoing. I want you to listen in to what one of the fighters had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENIS KAPUSTIN, COMMANDER, RUSSIAN VOLUNTEER CORPS: The operation is ongoing. This is how I should put it, to be honest. It definitely has
various phases. So, phase one, we consider a successful phase. It's over now. But the operation is ongoing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So there you have that. Fighter saying that the operation was still ongoing. So clearly, these anti-Putin Russian fighters showing no
signs of backing down. You know, but we can see that, this is something that potentially, obviously, could cause a lot of headaches, not only for
the Kremlin, but also for here in Kyiv for the Ukrainians as well.
Where on the one hand, they had been saying that they obviously have nothing to do with these operations by these groups inside of Russia. But
at the same time, of course, we have learned from Ukrainian defense intelligence that they did get a heads up from these groups. And you know,
we heard from Oren right there as well, some of the issues that the U.S. has with American military equipment being used for that as well.
But right now, from what we're hearing from these groups, they are showing no signs of wanting to stop these operations, and say they possibly could
have further operations in the future. Isa --
SOARES: Yes, and clearly not rattled by the Kremlin's, that we'll react harshly for the next -- if there are any more raids. Thank you very much to
you both gentlemen. Fred Pleitgen, Oren Liebermann, appreciate it. Well, as the war grinds on, we are seeing more brazen attacks like the one in
Belgorod, claimed by Russian groups fighting for the collapse of Vladimir Putin's regime.
CNN tracked down one of these fighters to learn more about Russia's war from within. Our Matthew Chance has the story.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a bold, cross-border raid --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHANCE: Exposing the weakness of Russian defenses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHANCE: And highlighting the increasingly brazen armed groups who say they're Russians fighting against the Kremlin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHANCE: Moscow dismisses them as Ukrainian saboteurs who have now been defeated in a barrage of ferocious Russian strikes carried out on its own
soil. Defense officials say at least 70 of the fighters, some in U.S.-made Humvee-armored vehicles have now been killed. But for the Kremlin, attacks
inside Russia, like a series of damaging train derailments over the past year were attacks on crucial fuel storage facilities, have become an
embarrassing feature of its war.
Even the Kremlin itself was targeted with drone strikes, which Russia blamed on Ukraine. But Russian groups, who say they're fighting against the
Kremlin are increasingly emerging from the shadows. CNN made contact with a fighter said to be from the National Republican Army, an anti-Putin group
operating inside Russia.
His voice and features have been disguised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): A fire at the military facility, the death of the agent of the regime, or a day of inactivity on the railway
that supplies the Russian army. For us, these are all successful missions.
CHANCE: Of course, not every attack in Russia is carried out by a member of an organized group. Some Russians are simply furious that the direction
the country has gone, taking matters into their own hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHANCE: But some of the more shocking, carefully organized attacks have used explosives to kill pro-Kremlin figures, like Russian military blogger
Vladlen Tatarsky in April in a St. Petersburg cafe. Russian prosecutors say the suspected bomber acted at the behest of Ukraine, a claim the country
denies. But partisans say they want the Kremlin to feel fear like this too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Our task is to heavily damage the repressive part of the Russian system. We want to weaken the power that
suppresses the people. The main factor in this is fear. This Russian regime fears war against it.
CHANCE: Especially a war increasingly being fought at home. Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
SOARES: Well, the Kremlin is ruling out freezing the war in Ukraine, spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia agrees with the western viewpoint that
the conflict should not be halted. He says Russia is determined to achieve its goal through what it calls a special military operation or by quote,
"other available means." And China, one of Russia's key allies, of course, has grown even closer to Moscow since the war in Ukraine began.
Today, President Xi Jinping pledged China's support for Russia's core interests during a visit by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. They signed a
number of agreements in Beijing, vowing to increase economic trade and investment cooperation. China is Russia's largest trading partner and top
energy customer helping ease the bite from western sanctions over the Ukraine war.
Well, Typhoon Mawar is lashing the U.S. territory of Guam with powerful winds and torrential rainfall right now. The eye of the typhoon passed just
north of the Pacific island, that was earlier today. But the eye-wall itself, the strongest part of course, of the storm, is still pelting the
entire island with hurricane-force winds. Our Ivan Watson has more for you.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Island of Guam is taking a beating. America's western most territory hammered by Typhoon
Mawar. Possibly the most powerful storm system to hit this Pacific island in decades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation.
WATSON: The National Weather Service reporting winds of 115 to 140 miles per hour, apparently knocking out the agency's wind sensors.
BRANDON AYDLETT, METEOROLOGIST, U.S. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: Those winds are generating some massive sea. And we're seeing maximum sea heights of
around 40 feet at the Ritidian Buoy. That is incredible.
WATSON: In anticipation of dangerous winds and storm surges, the territory's governor ordered an evacuation of low-lying coastal areas.
She's instructing the population to stay indoors.
LOU LEON GUERRERO, GOVERNOR OF GUAM: Please, I ask you to follow these instructions for your safety and for your protection. Stay home until I
declare condition of readiness for.
WATSON: By mid afternoon on Wednesday, only 1,000 of the Guam power authority's 52,000 customers still had electricity
JAMES REYNOLDS, STORM CHASER: This is incredible. I don't think I've ever seen so much lightning in a typhoon before.
WATSON: The eye-wall of Typhoon Mawar lashing the northern end of the island. That's the location of Anderson Air Force Base, a sprawling
military installation we filmed from a plane in better weather back in 2017.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've also passed over Anderson Air Force Base where B1 bombers have been flying out of.
WATSON: Guam is home to thousands of American military service personnel and their families. The island's total population of more than 150,000
inhabitants now facing a very tough night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be kind of a long night. It is going to be scary. There is no electricity unless you have a generator, partial
generator. Reassure your children it's going to be a little bit scary as we go later into the night. You can hear the sounds, the winds are howling.
Things are breaking. And so, just be together, talk to each other, and things will slow down towards midnight and continue into Thursday morning.
WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN.
SOARES: It sounds looks pretty scary. Let's bring in CNN meteorologist --
CHAD MYERS, METEOROLOGIST: Yes --
SOARES: Chad Myers in Atlanta. And Chad, where exactly then is the typhoon right now or what risks do residents of Guam face in the coming hours
because that's critically the overnight hours though.
MYERS: Yes, that was -- that was something. And you can follow some of these pictures that we were showing of James Reynolds, you can follow him -
SOARES: Yes --
MYERS: On Twitter if you want to see the things that he's doing out there live. But here's what's going on now. It's the backside of Guam, the
backside -- the western slope here that we didn't expect to see so much damage that's getting it because of where the storm went. It went north of
Guam. Had it gone right through it, we'd expect the winds to be coming in this direction.
So everybody on the eastern side of the island was preparing. Western portions said, OK, we know we're OK, probably. Will be -- the storm is
going to just kind of push us from the West, well, guess, it did. It actually moved farther to the north than any model expected. And now it's
actually growing in size. Notice here when it moved north of Guam, there was no eye really.
We could see it on radar until the radar went out because the power went out. But now, the eye is re-emerging, which means this storm is really
intensifying. Now, the good news is there are miles, kilometers worth of land here, no land of water to the west of Guam for a while. But there will
be things that could get in the way as the winds were gusting to 240 KPH.
Two hundred and twenty right now, gusting to 270, and moving slowly only 9 kilometers per hour, which means these people were feeling this wind for
hours and hours and hours, not just a passing storm that kind of came and went, the winds were just going and going and going all night long, and so
was the rain. Over half a meter of rainfall reported already in some of these parts.
And it's still raining. As we can tell by the radar, we could have told by the radar if there was power, but we're kind of watching these satellites,
realizing where the lightning still is. So obviously, it's still raining in some spots. Flood warnings in effect, still another 100 millimeters of
rainfall to go in many spots. But here is where we are now.
Winds will start to die off in the overnight hours and by tomorrow morning, we'll start to see temperatures still very warm with the humidity and the
storm still really intensifying out here with very warm water out there. I know we talk about the Atlantic hurricane season only starting in June. But
the season out here lasts pretty much all year long because the water is so warm.
But by tomorrow, the winds are down to 70. But not in the storm itself. We're at 250 here in 72 hours. And notice where this is going? That little
spit of land that you see over there, that's the Philippines. This storm was not headed that far south yesterday, it was well to the north. We have
our eyes on that in the coming days. Isa.
SOARES: Stay safe everyone, very dangerous indeed. Thanks Chad, appreciate it. And still to come tonight, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, is about to
make his presidential campaign official. And he's doing it in a way that is rather unusual. We'll explain. Plus, a student is suspected of starting a
deadly dormitory fire in Guyana, we'll have more on the potential motive next.
SOARES: Well, police in Guyana say a student is suspected of setting a deadly school fire after her mobile phone was taken away. At least, 19
children died in the blaze that tore through the South American school dormitory Sunday night -- you can see it there. Police say survivors saw
fire and smoke in the bathroom area before it spread.
Guyana's president has declared three days of national mourning in response. Stefano Pozzebon joins me now from Bogota, Colombia, with the
latest on the story. And Stefano, this is a truly horrific fire. Just talk us through what authorities are saying occurred here.
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, it's a tragic story that has developed in front of our eyes, Isa, here in South America, with the authorities now
saying that the probable cause of the fire that claimed the lives of 18 young school children, female school children -- female students, and one
baby boy who was sleeping inside this school dormitory at that night, has probably being caused by one of the students whose sparked up a small blaze
as a sign of protest because the school master took away her mobile phone.
And from that point, it escalated, and the firefighters and emergency services were not able to arrive there in time. By the time that the
firefighters from the closest firefighter station, the Mahdia Central Firefighter Station arrived there, they said that this dorm was already
completely engulfed in flames. And they were only able to rescue about 20 of these children.
And it's a tragic occurrence. And of course, it's sinking the mood of the nation. They're still in the middle of this three days of mourning. And the
president has also pledged full psychological support and therapy for the relatives of the victims. But it's just an awful story, Isa. And at the
same time, it's also a sign of how things can dramatically go wrong very quickly, precipitously go wrong in a remote area like Guyana, for example.
SOARES: Indeed, and 19 children. My heart aches for all those families, of course, who -- loved ones. And speaking of, you know, of more concerns and
more horrific stories. What are you learning about the missing children, the four missing children in Colombia? Are they still looking for them or
what are authorities telling you?
POZZEBON: Yes, this -- yes, the search and rescue operation here that is literally gripping the whole nation is still ongoing. And when we talk
about remote areas, fewer places in South America get as remote as the Colombian rainforest -- the Amazon Rainforest. The Colombian military
released a statement this morning saying that late yesterday afternoon, they uncovered more signs that the children had survived the crash, the
And that they were alive between May 3 and May 8, based on the state of the findings that they uncovered yesterday. I'm talking here about a pair of
tennis shoes and the top of a baby bottle that they believe belonged to the youngest of these four children who is a baby of just 11 months old. The
new findings do not suggest that anything more recent than about two weeks ago.
And today, here, it's over three weeks, it's over 23 days since that plane crashed in the middle of the Amazon. And 350 men and women from both the
military's operation and indigenous scouts are doing whatever they can to try go through everything they find in the Amazon. They have so far scoured
about 88 square kilometers of dense Amazon jungle.
In the middle of all the difficulties that you get along when you move through those types of places. But at the same time, there is still no sign
of those children. And while the nation still wants to keep their hopes alive, well, it's 23 days since their flight --
SOARES: Yes --
POZZEBON: Crashed on that fateful morning, May 1st.
SOARES: Do keep us posted, Stefano, as soon as there are any more developments, do come back to us. Stefano Pozzebon for us there in Bogota,
Colombia. Thanks, Stefano. Well, South Africa and India are working together to re-introduce cheetahs to Kuno National Park. It is an effort to
return the big cats to India after decades of extinction there.
CNN's Ivan Watson reports the program is experiencing a few unfortunate setbacks.
WATSON (voice-over): A sight not seen in India for more than 70 years, a litter of cheetah cubs born nearly two months ago to Ciyaya(ph), she is one
of eight Namibian cheetahs brought last year to India's Kuno National Park. Hunting and habitat loss led to the extinction of cheetahs in India in
1952. But a plan decades in the making is returning these fast felines to India.
Last September, three males and five females made the long journey. The arrival of the cheetahs coincided with the birthday of Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, who celebrated their release into a special quarantine zone.
NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER, INDIA (through translator): Today, the Cheetah has returned to the Indian soil. And I would also say that along
with this cheetahs the nature-loving consciousness of India has also been awakened with full force.
WATSON: In February, authorities shipped a second group of 12 additional cheetahs from South Africa to India. Veterinary Wildlife Specialist and
Associate Professor, Adrian Tordiffe helped choose the best cats for the move.
ADRIAN TORDIFFE, VETERINARY WILDLIFE SPECIALIST: There are a few criteria that we were interested in. One, we wanted young animals, obviously, a
certain sex ratio of the animals that are going. And then we also wanted to make sure because they're going to areas with a -- it's quite a high
leopard-density, we wanted animals that were really quite wild and very used to being with other large carnivores, lions, leopards and so on.
WATSON: For wild animals like these, a journey of up to 20 hours can induce high levels of stress, and then, successful acclimatization is not
guaranteed. In recent weeks, four of the cheetahs have passed away, including one of the cubs.
TORDIFFE: In terms of the numbers, this is definitely better than expected.
WATSON: Some experts have criticized the project from the start.
RAVI CHELLAM, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: My problem is the science is inadequate, the preparations are half-baked. India just does not have the space. How do
we do right? Go back to the drawing board. Secure the habitats.
WATSON: These big cats have a long history in India. They're mentioned in ancient Sanskrit text, and Indian royalty use them for hunting for
centuries. The Indian government now plans to introduce 15 more of these big cats over the next five years. The dream behind this high stakes
project, for these wild animals to once again run free in India. Ivan Watson, CNN.
SOARES: Well, they're beautiful. And still to come tonight, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is kicking off his campaign for the Republican
primary on the very platform that was central of course, to the Trump presidency. We will discuss next.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hello. Welcome back to the show.
These are all the Republican candidates who have announced their bid for the White House, so far. As you can see, it is already a pretty crowded
field. Just hours from now, a new contender will take the spot on the starting line of this all important political race.
Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis officially announcing he is running for president later today. He is choosing to make the announcement
on Twitter's audio called Spaces. It will be during a discussion with Twitter's owner, Elon Musk.
As of now DeSantis is the biggest contender to the current Republican frontrunner, former president Donald Trump. DeSantis is known for his
aggressive conservative agenda on issues like guns, abortion, (INAUDIBLE) as you can see there, LGBTQ rights and education.
You are looking at some of the bills that he has signed recently. He is also involved in a legal battle with one of the state's largest employers,
a story we have covered here. That employer is Disney. Let's take a closer look with our senior political commentator, Scott Jennings.
Scott, great to have you here. I have so many questions on this story. Let's start with what we just outlined. It does show in many ways DeSantis
is more conservative than Trump.
Does that help him with the Republican base?
Does that take away from the Trump base?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. You're right. DeSantis is a proven conservative. His governing record in Florida is as of a
conservative and a muscular conservative, meaning that he is using the government to go after cultural institutions that conservatives don't like,
such as Disney, as you referenced.
It is a new kind of conservatism. One argument he's going to make is not only is he a conservative, not only willing to talk that talk but willing
to walk the walk versus Trump, who I think DeSantis will frequently argue gets distracted or isn't willing to go as far as I will.
So I think that will be the contrast he will try to set up. I think that he hopes that will help him with conservative voters. Right now Trump is in a
dominant position. But DeSantis has a huge war chest, a good record and a pretty good story to tell.
SOARES: Those who would back DeSantis, would they back him on his policy?
Or would they back him because he is not Trump?
JENNINGS: A couple of things he will be attracting. Number one, about half the Republican Party wants to do something other than Trump. They are ready
to move on from the Trump years. We've nominated him twice. He's lost the national popular vote twice. He has never gotten more votes than a
Democrat. They think it is time to move on.
Number two, there are going to be conservatives out there who back DeSantis on a policy basis. Some of those members of Congress, like congressman Chip
Roy of Texas and congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who I am in his district today. It is where I live.
They are big time Republican conservatives who are already backing DeSantis on the grounds of his conservative positions. But the biggest driver in
this campaign is whether the party wants to do Trump again.
JENNINGS: And so if you decided --
SOARES: And do they?
Do you think they do?
JENNINGS: -- DeSantis -- the -- I think it is half and half. I think half the party wants to do it and half doesn't. What DeSantis has to do is
consolidate the non-Trump half and then set up a one-on-one battle with Trump when we get to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and the other
SOARES: This announcement, which we did breaking news on it this time yesterday, this has been a long wait.
Do you think that waiting this long has cost him?
We've looked at some of the polling numbers. The longer he has waited, the lower he has gotten in the polls. I think we have got the numbers up for
Has that cost him, do you think?
Or do you think he can recoup that?
JENNINGS: Great question. I think if DeSantis does not win the nomination, we will likely look back and say that he missed his window. Between
November's election and about March or April, Donald Trump was in a real swoon.
Republicans were upset with him. They thought that he hurt the party's chances in the November midterms, which provided some disappointing
results. There was a moment when Republicans were saying, OK, fine. Let's move on. But DeSantis hesitated. He went back to Florida, he did his
What did Trump do?
He launched his campaign and tried to win the nomination and it obviously showed. So I think if DeSantis doesn't get it, we will look back on that
and say he might well have missed his opportunity.
That being said, he still has an excellent chance. He has a ton of money. This is what campaigns are for. So there is a chance. But certainly Trump
is better today than he was in January, just by the polling. That's fairly obvious.
SOARES: And he has been recouping, regaining, quite strongly in the last few months.
If we have a look at the field, I don't know if you saw the introduction to it as we came back from the break, it is looking very crowded, Scott.
Senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott; he announced recently, the only Black Republican in the Senate.
You have former South Carolina governor and former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley. I'm not sure if you saw this, Scott. She had a little clip, made a
little campaign video, where she says DeSantis is an echo of Trump. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You're fired, you're fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Then Mr. Trump said, you're fired. I love that part.
TRUMP: Make America great again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Make America great again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Judges are a priority --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Obviously, we have businesses that have been locked down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: This is from the Nikki Haley camp.
How is this stacking up against this very vast field?
JENNINGS: Haley, the tack is interesting to me since she actually worked for Donald Trump. She was United Nations ambassador under Trump. Now she is
attacking DeSantis for being an echo of Trump.
I'm not certain how voters are going to react to that. Obviously she and the other candidates are going to see DeSantis as their primary obstacle
they have to jump over before they can get into the final matchup with Trump.
You're going to see all these non Trump candidates fighting with each other, hoping that one emerges by the time we get to the Iowa caucus or the
New Hampshire primary. DeSantis has to do the same thing. He's just in a much more dominant position over the Haleys of the world.
So he doesn't really have to fight with them as much as they really have to try to knock him down (INAUDIBLE).
SOARES: Meanwhile, President Biden is sitting back, eating some popcorn, seeing how this fight will go on. Scott Jennings, great to see you. Thanks
As we mentioned, the announcement will happen on Twitter in a discussion with the platform's owner, Elon Musk. Clare Duffy has more on this.
Clare, this announcement on Twitter, when we broke the news yesterday, it took many by surprise. It could either be disastrous or brilliant.
What do you make of? It
CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Isa, it is a really interesting choice by Ron DeSantis here. He seems to want to attract the attention of Elon
Musk's 140 million followers. That is a big megaphone that Musk has.
Ron DeSantis also seems to be trying to thumb his nose in the face of Trump. Twitter used to be Trump's platform of choice. So making this
announcement here, he seems to be trying to pick up on that.
For Twitter, it is also really interesting move in the short term. Certainly, Elon Musk is really happy about this. This is going to draw big
eyeballs to Twitter. Musk has been trying to position Twitter as a place for more increasingly right wing characters and for conversations happening
outside of mainstream media.
Something that Ron DeSantis also probably finds attractive. I think the biggest variable here, perhaps, is whether Twitter's platform can
technically handle this many people. We've seen in a number of cases since Musk took over the platform that the actual Twitter infrastructure has a
hard time handling it when there are too many eyeballs on it.
If the platform struggles to stay functioning, struggles to stay up as this is happening, this is going to be a real big problem for both sides.
SOARES: A real test for both men. Clare Duffy, we appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Still to come tonight, it has been one year since one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.
SOARES: Coming up, reporting live from Uvalde, on the first anniversary of the Robb Elementary massacre. That story up next.
SOARES: It's a grim anniversary today in Texas where people are marking one year since Uvalde school massacre.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): And tributes like this one are being held for the 19 students and two teachers murdered by a gunman at Robb Elementary School.
The Lone Star State has lowered flags and held a moment of silence at the behest of its proudly pro-gun governor Greg Abbott.
We're also expecting an address from President Biden later today.
This shooting, like so many before it, shocked the nation. But America's gun laws remained largely unchanged. Officials say the 18-year-old attacker
legally purchased two military style rifles as well as ammunition days before the attack.
And the slow response by law enforcement has also come under fierce criticism. If you remember, it took more than an hour for someone to enter
the classroom and kill the gunman.
CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has reported extensively on the Robb Elementary School shooting and its aftermath. He joins me now live from Uvalde with
Talk to us about what the mood is there right now, today, a year on from this horrific attack.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, it's sad but what else is going on here, I think there's a lot of anger.
People are really upset over the fact that, here we are, a year later.
And as you mentioned, this failed law enforcement response and many of the family members are frustrated over the lack of accountability or the lack
of transparency. There's a lot of anxiety here today.
One of the family members of the survivors that I've been talking to and I've interviewed came here with their daughter. Their daughter was one of
the girls who was trapped inside the classroom of the gunman. She was one of the girls who called 9-1-1, begging for the police to come in and rescue
And she came here just a short time ago and laid some flowers. But you could see how much pain she was in. I asked her mother how she was doing.
She said there's a lot of anxiety today. There's tears in her eyes.
PROKUPECZ: And you could feel that she was very uncomfortable being here. But the mother felt it was important for her to come here to lay flowers,
to pay her respects to her friends.
And I think that is the feeling all across this community today for many of the family members about what today feels like, what today will be like.
And then there is a slew of events planned for later tonight, a candlelight vigil and some other events.
But that is what is going on today. Mostly the families are trying to stay unified, trying to remember the ones who died, the ones who survived, the
teachers who died. And working toward transparency and fixing this broken community. That's really what the families are talking about today.
SOARES: So the anger and anxiety is still very powerful and understandably so. You mentioned accountability there, Shimon. Since the shooting, I was
reading that only one person has been fired.
And while some have been allowed to resign or even retire, what more can you tell us about this?
PROKUPECZ: It's pretty ridiculous when you think about the fact that everyone who so far investigated this and even some of the local leaders
have all come out and said that this was a failed response, that law enforcement failed that day.
And then when you look at the people who are in these positions, they are the very same people from that day, from the chiefs to the head of the
Texas Department of Public Safety, to the captains, to all these leading law enforcement officials, who should have been here or should have been
part of the decision-making, have not been held accountable in any way.
And that is what is so frustrating for the family members, that the very same people who are patrolling the streets of this community are those
people who were here that day and failed this community.
The mayor here says, well, I'm trying to get there and get accountability. But I can't, because I am being prevented from finishing my investigation
by the local district attorney, who is running her own investigation. She doesn't want to release information.
So there's a lot of infighting going on and hopefully they will come to a resolution at some point and get that accountability.
I understand now, the frustration, of course, that those families must be feeling as they continue to mourn. Shimon Prokupecz, we appreciate it.
Thank you very much.
We'll be back after the short break.
SOARES: Numerous scientists at the University of Texas in Austin have figured out a way to translate brain activity into words by using the very
same artificial intelligence technology that powers the groundbreaking chatbot, ChatGPT. The breakthrough could be revolutionary for people who
have lost the ability to speak. Donie O'Sullivan has the story for you.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: You're reading people's minds?
JERRY TANG, PHD STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS/AUSTIN: So we don't like to use the term mind reading.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): These neuroscientists at the University of Texas in Austin say they've made a major breakthrough. They've figured out how to
translate brain activity into words using artificial intelligence.
TANG: These are different images.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Earlier this month, they published a paper explaining how they had research volunteers listen to audio clips, while
having their brain scanned by an FMRI machine.
Over time, AI algorithms, the very same tech that's behind ChatGPT, were able to figure out what the volunteers were listening to just by watching
O'SULLIVAN: It is just crazy. You can watch how blood flows through the brain and, using AI and GPT and everything else, translate it into words.
TANG: Yes, it's wild that this works when you put it that way.
ALEXANDER HUTH, NEUROSCIENCE AND COMPUTER SCIENCE, UT AUSTIN: Thumbs up, Donie.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): To test it all out, Professor Alexander Huth and I had our brains scanned while listening to parts of "The Wizard of Oz"
HUTH: Big brain.
TANG: Yes. Like obnoxiously big.
HUTH: All right, Donie, we have a picture of your brain.
HUTH: Yes, it looks good.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): I was scanned first, followed by Professor Hoot, capturing images of the changes in our brains' blood flow as we listened to
the words from the audiobook and showing how our brains interpreted those words.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "When she had finished her meal and was about to go back to the road of yellow brick, she was startled to hear a deep groan
TANG: You can see that there. We're getting recordings every two seconds. While he's listening to a story, we will feed this data through our decoder
and try to predict the story that he's currently listening to.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): The next morning, the results were in.
O'SULLIVAN: OK, so it's been 24 hours since we got our brains scanned. You can confirm I have a brain.
HUTH: So we were able to decode some stuff from my brain, not so much from yours. So this is one from my brain. This is from "The Wizard of Oz." So on
the left side is the actual words that I heard.
"When she had finished her meal and was about to go back to the road of yellow brick, she was startled to hear a deep groan nearby."
And the decoded version of this is on the right.
It's "I was about to head back to school and I hear this strange voice calling out to me."
So it gets some things right. So this like "was about to go back," "was about to head back." It completely misses some things, like "the road of
yellow brick" versus "school," but then it gets this, this nice kind of example.
So she hears something and then, instead of "a deep groan nearby," it said a "strange voice calling out to me." That means something related, even if
it's not exactly the right words.
O'SULLIVAN: So pretty incredible to think that "was about to head back" is something that, just by scanning your brain.
HUTH: Yes, I think that's one of the things that is really surprising to us about this. It can get things like that, it can get these entire phrases
of exact words, because so here are the same segments for you.
O'SULLIVAN: Now so we expected mine not to be great.
HUTH: Because we haven't trained the model on you. "The whole day, I'd be fine but she wanted me to make it to her place. First, I got a little
excited about it."
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): The reason it wasn't able to decode my brain was because the technology currently needs people to sit in the FMRI machine
for more than 16 hours so the AI models can train on specific people's brains.
O'SULLIVAN: Are we going to live in a world where, you know, I can walk by somebody on the street and they'll be able to hold something up to my head
and they'll know what I'm thinking?
HUTH: Currently, we're very far from that. That might also never be possible. We can't completely rule it out. But as far as we know, that
certainly won't be possible in the next few decades. The real potential application of this is actually helping people who are unable to speak
without them needing to get neurosurgery.
TANG: Now we have this like snapshot of the brain.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Jerry Tang explains how they use OpenAI's GPT large language model to help decode the brain. The GPT model is made up of
millions of pages of text from the internet that the AI trains on and learns how sentences are constructed and how people talk and think.
TANG: GPT basically made our predictions a lot better.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): But it doesn't just work listening to audio. Professor Huth showed us what happened when he watched a movie with no
sound while his brain was scanned. Watch as the technology is able to decode what his eyes are seeing.
HUTH: "She then took my hand and held it to her lips. She kissed it. I smiled."
O'SULLIVAN: Oh, my god.
TANG: "She pulled me in for a hug. I got her back for about hours. I had to stop the bleeding and gave her my shirt to put over it."
It was pretty good.
HUTH: I don't know. It's a good description of what was happening here.
Should we be scared by the work people like you are doing?
TANG: We think it's really important to continually evaluate the implications of brain decoding and also to start thinking about enacting
policies that protect mental privacy and regulate what brain data can be used for.
SOARES: That was Donie O'Sullivan reporting there.
No legs, no limits. That's the slogan of Hari Budha Magar, who just made history as the first double above-the-knee amputee to climb Mt. Everest.
The Nepalese native, who now lives in Britain, thought his dreams of scaling the world's highest peak was over when he lost his legs while
serving in Afghanistan.
But 13 years later, he achieved the unbelievable feat and has pledged to devote the rest of his life to changing perceptions about disability.
He said, "If a double above-knee amputee can climb Everest, you can climb whatever mountain you face." We will leave you that quote of the day.
Thank you very much for your company, do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is next. I will see you tomorrow have
wonderful day. Goodbye.