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Isa Soares Tonight
A Car Hits Downing Street Gates; Wagner Chief Says His Mercenaries are Withdrawing from Bakhmut; Offensive Game Sparks Outrage in Brazil; Officer Shoots 11-Year-Old Mississippi Boy Who Called 911 for Help; Ron DeSantis' Glitchy White House Bid; Rwandan Genocide Suspect Arrested in South Africa; Google Removes Slavery Game after Wave of Anger in Brazil; Elon Musk Weighs in on Divisive Social Issues. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 25, 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 strange scene in the heart of London
as a car collides with a heavily-guarded gates of Downing Street. What we know about the investigation so far, we'll take you to the scene.
Then the head of mercenary group Wagner says he's handing control of Bakhmut over to regular Russian forces. But the Ukrainians say they haven't
given up yet. And then later, outrage in Brazil over a game about slavery. We will explain that offensive as well as disturbing story. But we begin
tonight with some developing news here in London.
A car has collided with the front gates at Downing Street. That's where the prime minister, of course, and the cabinet convene. I want to go straight
now to CNN's Salma Abdelaziz, who is for us this evening at Downing Street. And Salma, I believe this incident is now over. But do we know what
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, very much over the area, very much back to normal, as you can see traffic has resumed, pedestrian traffic
has resumed, the music is playing again. What we do know, it took place, is that at about 4:20 local time, according to Westminster police, a small
vehicle drove very slowly, according to "BBC" footage we've seen, very slowly on this street just behind me here, slowed down even further before
crashing into those iron gates.
That white vehicle is actually still there, Isa, it's just behind that police. We do see that police have brought a tow vehicle and will of
course, tow it clear at some point. The man who was driving that vehicle was arrested, of course, immediately by police. Arrested on suspicion of
causing damage, criminal damage and of dangerous driving.
Now, again, anytime we're talking about a location like 10 Downing Street, the fear is, is that it could have been much worse. But again, the key
factor here in that statement was dangerous driving seems to be the greatest concern in this, but of course, it set a great deal of worry in
We do have an eyewitness account, an eyewitness who was here and heard and saw the moment that vehicle crashed into the gates. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I firstly heard a big bang over there, so I jumped to my feet and I saw a lot of children running away, teenagers if you like,
running away this way and saw a silver car had rammed the gates of Downing Street. We had a lot of armed police came out and evacuated the area, we
stayed here, a lot of vehicles arrived quickly, pointed taser guns at him and dragged him out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: Now, there are still a lot of questions, of course, but for now, it seems that police do have the situation very much under control,
and that it was not something more malicious than just dangerous driving as that same man indicated, Isa.
SOARES: It does seem like things are back to normal as we can hear some of the chants at the back. Thanks very much, Salma, I appreciate it. Now, the
eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut collides in ruins. But who controls those ruins and how much they control remains very much in dispute. Russian
mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin again, sounding off, saying his Wagner troops are withdrawing from Bakhmut.
He's seen in a new video congratulating fighters, and says they'll leave by June 1st. But Ukrainians say they still control pockets around the town,
and they insist the battle isn't over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: A new video from Ukraine's military shows this intense woodland there firefight with the Russians. The date is unclear, but it's said to be
near Bakhmut. Ukrainian officials confirm Russia is swapping Wagner troops with regular military units. They also say clashes with the mercenaries are
Meanwhile, senior Russian officials have been in Belarus, as you can see there, Moscow-Minsk say they are finalizing a new missile deal. Their
defense ministers met earlier to sign off on a plan to deploy Russian tactical and nuclear weapons to Belarus.
We are also hearing tonight and what Ukraine calls a massive Russian drone attack on Kyiv as well as a prisoner swap. There's a lot for us to get
through. Let's get the latest now with Fred Pleitgen who is live for us this hour in Ukrainian capital. And Fred, let's start off with Bakhmut, of
course, because, for months now, you know, we had been bringing viewers the latest, because it's been the bloodiest as well as the longest battle in
So just bring us up to date with the latest, how far, really -- how much the Ukrainians control, and what this means, Fred, for the battlefield for
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, this is potentially a pretty big development if indeed it is true that Yevgeny
Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries are completely pulling out of Bakhmut. It was so interesting to see that video early this morning emerge with
Yevgeny Prigozhin; the head of Wagner in it.
Essentially going to some of the positions that his fighters were in, some tankers, also some ground troops as well, and telling them, look, we're
pulling out. I think in one case, he said 15 minutes, and then we're going to be out here, we're going to replenish, we're going to regroup and then
wait for new orders.
So, certainly, that's the message that's coming in from Yevgeny Prigozhin and from Wagner, saying, they are going to give all the positions that
they've been holding inside Bakhmut, and of course, we were talking about this so much, Isa, both the Russian military and Wagner say they now
control all of Bakhmut, but the Ukrainians continue to dispute that.
But Wagner says they're going to give their positions to the Russian military, and then they are going to leave the city. We've actually been in
touch with the eastern grouping of the Ukrainian military, to see what they had to say about all this, Isa. And they say at this point in time, they
can't confirm that a full withdrawal is actually happening.
However, they do say that there's been a significant decrease in the amount of attacks coming from the Russian side. So that could be an indication
that, that is really happening. The Ukrainians also saying that if the withdrawal is taking place, that is something that they believe could be
very positive for them, and you know, it was so important for you to show that video of that -- you know, counteroffensive that the Ukrainians say
that they started there now.
They say they are encroaching on the outskirts, on the flanks of Bakhmut, and they certainly believe if the Wagner fighters are leaving, that could
help them in that quest, Isa.
SOARES: And they're leaving the city, are they -- where -- do we know where they're going to be going? Other parts of Ukraine or are they waiting
for orders there from Kremlin. I know --
PLEITGEN: Yes --
SOARES: There's a fissure between them and the Kremlin.
PLEITGEN: Well, yes, I think -- I think first of all, there absolutely is. And one of the things that Yevgeny Prigozhin did as his forces were
withdrawing, he took another swipe at Russia's defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, said he will leave behind a couple of Wagner mercenaries to help
the Russian military in case the Ukrainians come and sort of stand in the Ukrainian military's way.
So certainly, there is no love lost. But it is of course, an important question, what happens next for Wagner? Which is a group that has made a
difference on the battlefield. It certainly is a difficult factor for the Russian military, but it's also been pretty tough on the Ukrainians as
well, to battle these Wagner mercenaries.
Essentially, also because those brutal tactics that they've been employing using wave of humans, waves of -- in some places -- in some cases, people
who were recruited from prisons to charge Ukrainian positions. Now, what we heard from Yevgeny Prigozhin today, is he said that they were going to go
to the rear echelon, doesn't -- isn't clear whether it's somewhere else in Ukraine, but probably, his base is usually are in southwestern Russia, that
they are going to regroup there, that they are going to replenish there, and then get back into the fight.
It certainly seems though, from what we heard today in that video, that Yevgeny Prigozhin posted, that this is not someone who is not done yet and
who is vowing to return to the battlefield of Ukraine with his mercenary group, Isa.
SOARES: Yes, he definitely did not sound like he was done by any stretch of their imagination, but briefly, Fred, what can you tell us about this
PLEITGEN: Yes, very important. I know it's something that the Ukrainians have been highlighting, and in fact, the Russians are saying that now
again. Apparently, this was a prisoner swap that took place actually between the Wagner Group and the Ukrainians, with Ukrainians that have been
fighting in the Bakhmut area.
This video that emerged just a little while ago of Yevgeny Prigozhin with some of these prisoners before they were exchanged. But extremely important
for the Ukrainians, they say, over a 100 prisoners who were released, in fact, 106 in total. And for the Ukrainians, this is so key, because about
two-thirds of those prisoners that they've now gotten back were actually people or soldiers, who were listed as missing.
So there were loved ones here in Ukraine who were extremely concerned. Who thought that their relatives or their loved ones who were fighting at the
frontline may have been killed. And now there's a chance that some of them will get their loved ones back alive. So that's certainly a very big deal
for the Ukrainians.
Also there were three bodies that were exchanged as well. One of them, of course, an American, retired staff sergeant, a former special forces
soldier and Nicholas Neymark(ph), and that of course, is something that is key, also will be key for the U.S. as well. In fact, there was a video that
was put up by Yevgeny Prigozhin showing the coffin with the U.S.-draped flag and confirming to CNN that the body had been handed over to the
SOARES: A busy day out of Ukraine, appreciate you taking us through all the developments. Fred Pleitgen for us in Kyiv this hour, thanks very much,
Fred. Well, Russia's declaration of victory as Fred was talking about there in Bakhmut was spoiled by a cross-border raid launched from inside Ukraine
by groups who say they are anti-Putin Russians.
And now back from Russia, they are showing off what they say is captured hardware. Our Sam Kiley reports now from eastern Ukraine.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A propaganda coup. Russian dissident soldiers back from a raid inside Russia
parading a captured Russian vehicle for the world.
(on camera): What do you hope will be the effect of this raid?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Effect of this raid was amazing. It was information that was shell, information bomb blowing about today's hole into that,
blowing up, boiling.
KILEY (voice-over): The legion and the far-right Russian Volunteer Corps, all Russian nationals, a part of Ukraine's security forces, and carry
Ukrainian military IDs.
(on camera): This incursion into Russian territory, which these guys say is ongoing, was as much a propaganda mission as it was a military mission.
But they say it was also done independently of the Ukrainian military. That is a claim we have to take with a big pinch of salt.
(voice-over): They jointly raided Russian territory this week, and flooded the internet with images of their work. Russia claims to have driven them
out. Still, the raid has rattled Moscow.
(on camera): Do you think this is part of the coming Summer offensive, an attempt to keep the Russians off balance, keep them guessing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's kind of, yes, it's kind of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
KILEY (voice-over): American-made vehicles appear to have been used in the cross-border operation in Belgorod Province. It's unclear if they were U.S.
(on camera): The vehicles that you took, included some of the American emwraps(ph), is that right? That were you are using?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We used Humvee, also, yes. We buy them in international shops. War shops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
KILEY: So you bought these vehicles on the open market?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course. Everyone who has some money can do it.
KILEY (voice-over): Ukraine's government, which has received U.S. vehicles and lethal hardware says that these men operated inside Russia privately.
But a security source said here, that Kyiv had advanced knowledge of the raid, and Caesar admitted Ukraine helped out with supplies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Small arms, artillery weapon, heavy vehicles, everything that we need.
KILEY: So this was a raid that the government can deny, but still enjoy the results, divisions in the ranks of their enemies. Mercenary leader
Yevgeny Prigozhin immediately reacting with fury.
YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, HEAD OF WAGNER MERCENARY GROUP: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we managed to get our hands on --
KILEY: And the far-right leader of the Russian Volunteer even warned that Moscow could face a revolution.
DENIS NIKITIN, HEAD, 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 considered a successful phase. It's over now. But the operation is ongoing. That's what I can say for now.
KILEY: Sam Kiley, CNN, in Sumy Province.
SOARES: Well, a new U.S. Intelligence indicates Ukrainian groups may have been responsible for drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month.
Sources say the U.S. picked up a chatter among Ukrainian officials, blaming each other for the attack. Though, the U.S. hasn't reached a definitive
conclusion, they believe, it was it -- unlikely senior Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy knew about the attack.
Meanwhile, the Russians are denying reports of a fire at the Defense Ministry in Moscow. An earlier report in state media quoted an official
saying, there was a fire on the balcony. Video featured smoke and a voice saying the smell of burning is horrible.
Well, in just one week, the U.S. is huge for a default that could devastate the economy. And there's no deal it seems in sight. Lawmakers in Washington
have been told that they can leave for Memorial Day weekend. Republican sources tell CNN behind closed doors, they don't think a deal will be
reached in time. So, they are off. But here's what lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are saying publicly. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BOB GOOD (R-VA): I am concerned about rumors to the effect, and I haven't read or seen anything yet. But rumors that we may have some sort of
a deal in place that would raise the debt limit more than what was called for, and let me say, grow for a whole lot less in return that we need from
a policy standpoint, from a fiscal standpoint.
And if that were true, that would absolutely collapse the Republican majority.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): This should have been a done-deal a long time ago. I'm very frustrated. You know, I called on the president to invoke the
14th Amendment, and meant to coin, and do not negotiate with hostage takers. So, I mean, we don't negotiate with terrorists globally. Why are we
going to negotiate with the economic terrorist here, that are the Republican Party?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And while they are negotiating, a credit-rating agency now says it may downgrade the United States perfect credit rating, something the White
House warns is not an option. I want to go to CNN's business editor-at- large Richard Quest for more. And Richard, let's start off with this warning then, from Fitch. What exactly does that mean? How significant is
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, it's a warning shot across the bows. Remember, the U.S. has already lost the most -- the much
wanted AAA rating. It did that some years ago in another debt crisis over the debt ceiling and budget deficit cuts. And basically, I mean, look, the
U.S., there's a difference here, Isa, between the reality and the technicality.
The reality is, the U.S. is still the whitest clean shirt in the dirty laundry. And the U.S. is still the largest market, and it still the place
where people are going to want to do the most business. But you can't continue to do that if there is this question over the ability to pay its
bills. Yes, it can pay its bills, and it will pay its bills, but there could be a very nasty moment, a technical default, if you will, that would
completely and utterly, I cannot emphasize this enough, Isa, if there was even a technical default, it would be the equivalent of the markets being
told the earth is flat after all.
SOARES: And what would that mean? I mean, we are getting close to that June 1st deadline. What would a default or a technical default mean in
layman's terms here, Richard?
QUEST: There would come a moment when the U.S. -- well, the eight days time, what happens then? The eight days times, you're just about at the
ceiling. You can no longer move the money around. You've now got to prioritize, what are you going to pay first? You can't borrow more, that
would breach the ceiling.
So, instead, you're literally taking the money and deciding, OK, we're not going to pay Social Security, we are going to pay defense, but we will pay
the bond holders, because if we don't pay the bond holders, that's a technical default. And you can do that for so long. But if you get to that
stage, you are really risking a technical default somewhere in the system.
And here's where it gets really nasty. Because deep in the plumbing of the global financial system, everything relies on the integrity and in
viability of the U.S., the virginity, if you will, that the U.S. has never defaulted. Interest rates, there's all sorts of things that all rely on
that simple fact. Remove that virginity, if you will, once it's gone, it ain't coming back.
SOARES: And I'm guessing they don't want to leave a very -- too close to June the 1st, because everything needs to be approved, right? So -- but one
thing, I'm hoping you can make sense of, Richard, we're looking at the markets -- if we can bring the stock markets up, the Dow, I think we had
Dow Jones, Nasdaq, all --
QUEST: Forget it --
SOARES: Green arrows. I mean, they look relatively calm --
QUEST: Forget it --
SOARES: How ignoring this --
QUEST: Isa --
SOARES: Political drama?
QUEST: Isa, when this proverbial hits the fam(ph), it will hit it so fast, so hard, so brutal. Remember when tarp(ph) failed, the market dropped a
1,000 points -- oh no, this market is going to say -- and then all of a sudden, one day, it will realize -- or just as we saw in the U.K. during
the ill-fated Liz Truss budget --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: It will be somewhere deep in the plumbing that you suddenly see a weakness. And once that weakness is exposed, the thing will fall like a
house of cards.
SOARES: When do they have to have a deal by, would you say, Richard? I know June the 1st is the deadline, but how early do you think --
QUEST: Yes, but --
SOARES: Earlier than that?
QUEST: I mean, they've got to have the thresholds of the deal by the time they've hit the ceiling. If you get to the ceiling limit, and you're
starting literally not to pay bills because you're trying to preserve your cash-to-play bond holders, you're now playing chicken on a major --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: Interstate of ten lanes of traffic either direction. That's what you're up to. I think they will do a deal, but I think that what may well
have to happen first is that, the markets may have to remind them -- putting it --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: Crudely, bluntly, who is in charge?
SOARES: Indeed, and then they're off on holiday, it seems, for the time being.
QUEST: No, they could be brought back in a minute. This --
SOARES: Yes, exactly --
QUEST: Don't get sidetracked by that little red herring. They could be brought back in a minute, they can pass this in a few hours.
Actually, getting the deal done with a whole bunch of messianic politicians who are going to stick to their positions, that's the problem.
SOARES: Richard, you make so much sense, thank goodness for you. Richard Quest there, he'll be back in about 40 minutes with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS".
Thanks very much --
QUEST: I will --
SOARES: Richard --
QUEST: Yes --
SOARES: I appreciate it. And still to come right here tonight, a rare shooting and stabbing attack in Japan leaves three people dead. Why police
are urging residents of one city to stay indoors. Plus, the shocking story of how this young boy called 9-1-1 for help and ended up getting shot by
the responding police officer. Both their stories after this short break. You are watching CNN.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. A rare act of gun violence in Japan has left three people dead. Police say they were responding to a stabbing call
in Akano City, that's in central Japan. That's when they say, a man with what looks like a rifle fired at the officers, killing two of them. The
stabbing victim, a woman was brought to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The police say the suspect has barricaded himself in a building. I want to bring in CNN's Marc Stewart standing by for us in Tokyo. And Marc, I have
so many questions, just bring us up to date though, because you know, gun violence is so rare. So, is this man still being held inside? Are there
others there with him? What can you tell us?
MARC STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Right, Isa, there are so many different storylines here. As to what's happening now -- and I should point out, it's
very early in the morning, around 3:00 in the morning in Japan. This man is still barricaded in a home. A home that we've now confirmed with police is
actually owned by a local government official, an elected official, a city council president.
The gunman -- the suspected gunman is in this home. There are several people believed to be with him. Over the last couple of hours ago, two
women escaped, separately. One woman escaped, and then shortly after that, we learned of a second woman who escaped. They are believed to be safe. And
again, we have several people barricaded inside this home.
As you mentioned, this all began with a stabbing and then it moved on to a shooting. As far as the shooting is concerned, we believe that the two
victims are police officers, they are police officers, as police, they were shot. One is 46 years old, the other is 61 years old. And as you've said,
this is all very rare for Japan.
In fact, we were looking at some of the data. In 2022 last year, there were four gun-related deaths associated with violence. One of those deaths was
the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In that case, the weapon that was used was home-made. Because Isa, as I'm sure you have
gathered over the years by reporting on this region, guns and access to guns is an extremely rare occurrence here.
SOARES: So, the suspect has barricaded himself. We know that some women have left. Do we have an idea of the number of people that are still inside
though? Are police giving us any more information? I know it's very early hours in the morning there.
STEWART: No, we don't have any indication as to how many people are there. However, this is considered to be a residential area. In fact, if you look
at some of the video that we have now been able to get from our affiliates here in Japan, this is a residential area. So, it is -- so we presume that
this building is a home.
Now, whether or not this gunman knew people in the home or if this was perhaps some random choice, that's one of the many questions we are still
trying to iron out here.
SOARES: Yes, I know evacuation zone, I can see, around the area as well. I know you'll stay on top of it of the latest developments. Marc Stewart,
appreciate it, thank you very much. Well, sadly, in the U.S., shootings are a much more common occurrence. This 11-year-old boy in Mississippi was shot
by a police officer after calling 9-1-1 for help. Thankfully, Aderrien Murry survived and has been released from hospital after suffering some
His family say time is up for justice. Their attorneys speaking earlier at sit-in protest at city hall in Indianola. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS MOORE, MURRY FAMILY ATTORNEY: We are demanding justice. An 11-year- old black boy in the city of Indianola came within an inch of losing his life. He had done nothing wrong and everything right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, they are calling for the officer to be fired and charged with the shooting. Police say they are investigating the incident. But at
this stage have given no further details. Nick Valencia is following the details there. And Nick, just, I mean, I'm rolling my eyes. How did this --
how did this happen?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, I just spoke to the attorney for the family, Carlos Moore, and he tells me he's raising new
questions as to how this mistake could have happened? How this police officer could have made this nearly tragic fatal mistake, I should say.
This young child, just 4 feet, 10 inches tall, you know, the domestic disturbance was a reason why the officer showed up.
The mother of the child, Makayla Murry(ph) telling me that the father of another one of her children showed up at the home, he was irate, she was
scared for her life. So she snuck a cellphone to Aderrien to call 9-1-1. And that's exactly what he did, to try to get help for his mother, and the
responding officer showed up, ordered everyone out of the home.
Aderrien did just that. And according to his mom, Aderrien came around a hallway into the living room, and that's when an officer opened fire,
shooting him once in the chest. He suffered a lacerated liver, fractured ribs, he developed a collapsed lung. He was in the intensive care unit for
days before eventually being released yesterday.
The mother telling me that this all unfolded - it seemed to unfold in about 1 to 2 minutes. Listen to the attorney who I just spoke to, talk about the
gun violence of black people in this country, and just how Aderrien did everything right, and yet was still shot by the responding officer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: This young black boy did everything right, I mean, everything right. He's a good student, he obeyed his mom, so -- requested for him to
call the police for her assistance, he called the police and his grandmother, and then when an officer showed up, he said come out with your
hands up, he obeyed the officer's voice, and he still got shot.
Can any black person, boy or man, in America get justice? Should they leave a free and quality life without being assaulted by our people sworn to
protect and serve? It has to stop. We need common sense legislation, and we need to hold these officers accountable. Until they're held accountable,
they will continue to do this, they cannot get away with impunity anymore. It has to stop, and it will end in Indianola in this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Isa, it's very important to note that this was captured on body camera, we've called police repeatedly, they've not gotten back to us. But
the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has taken over this investigation. They say that body camera will not be released until the investigation is
complete. The family says they haven't seen it.
As for the officer who has been identified as officer Greg Capers(ph), on Monday evening, he was put on administrative leave -- paid administrative
leave by the local city council. Of course, the family, they want justice. They say this officer should be fired and charged as well. Isa?
SOARES: The mood then in the community? I mean, often, when we see things like this happening, you can see an uproar or you see protests. What is the
VALENCIA: This is a very small community, the police department has less than ten officers, if that gives you any indication. It's predominantly --
SOARES: Yes --
VALENCIA: Black community, very impoverished.
They had a protest today at the Indianola city hall, just about half a dozen or about a dozen people showed up at that. But that was a crowd for
them. This is a very small town about 100 miles outside of Jackson, Mississippi, the capital, which is also another small town in the
But you know, it's really resonating throughout the nation here. This is just another example of, in this case, a Black boy being shot by a police
officer, who he called to get help from, only to be shot by the responding officer. I mean, the detail of that, it's not lost on any of us telling the
SOARES: Indeed. Nick Valencia, on top of it. Thanks very much. We appreciate it.
Still to come tonight, he wanted his presidential campaign launch to be different. And it certainly was. How delays and technical meltdowns stole
the limelight from Ron DeSantis' big announcement on Twitter.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
It was the most important announcement of his entire political career but the kickoff of Ron DeSantis' campaign for U.S. president is making
headlines today for all the wrong reasons.
The Republican Florida governor announced his bid on Twitter's audio platform alongside Elon Musk. It was overshadowed by technical fiascoes
right from the start, forcing the campaign into damage control mode. Listeners actually heard this exchange live.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): It just keeps crashing, huh?
ELON MUSK, TWITTER OWNER: Yes, I think we've got just a massive number of people online. So it's -- servers are straining somewhat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, sorry about that. We have got so many people here that I think we are -- we are kind of melting the servers, which is a
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SOARES: Let's get more on this, CNN Politics senior reporter, Stephen Collinson, joins us now from Washington.
Stephen, I was reading your analysis piece, you say, you wrote this, "Ron DeSantis' campaign launch fizzled --
SOARES: -- "like one of Elon Musk's early rocket prototypes."
I mean, putting aside the tech issues, was it really that bad?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was a bit of a fiasco. The problem with it is that this is not going to cost Ron DeSantis
the Republican nomination. But it offered an immediate opening for his opponents, most principally president Donald Trump, to argue that DeSantis
isn't ready for the national stage.
It also undermined the DeSantis core argument, that he, unlike Trump, is not a man of drama. He is focused and disciplined and he can enact a really
hardline conservative agenda much better than the former president, if he wins the presidency in 2024.
And it does raise questions about the competency of Ron DeSantis' campaign as the moves through this election. You know, people on campaigns try and
rule out any problem. They should have gamed this out time after time after time. And he's had months to get his campaign launch ready.
So I think those are the questions this raises. But the Iowa caucus is over eight months away. This is not going to be the thing that hurts him if he
doesn't win the nomination.
SOARES: And this technical glitch, it's taken away from the content, taken away from the policy, did you hear anything different?
COLLINSON: It's actually been very interesting because, after that Twitter session, Ron DeSantis went on FOX News and talked to various conservative
commentators. And he's laying out what would be, if he was able to enact it, I think, the most hardline right-wing program of any president in
He's basically saying he would flush out the Justice Department and the FBI. He says there are expansive powers of the presidency that have not
been used yet.
We're getting today some indications that one of the big questions of his campaign is how he will take on former president Donald Trump, a task that
most Republicans have failed to enact since Trump became a presidential candidate back in 2015.
DeSantis is effectively arguing that, during the pandemic, Trump basically gave the economy and the country over to Dr. Fauci and the health officials
in Washington. And basically, washed his hands of the pandemic and that resulted in Americans' freedoms being infringed.
So you can see how he's trying to use his own management for the pandemic, in which he flouted government health advice, to get to Republican voters.
So that's very interesting. But he's really still trying to get out from what happened yesterday.
SOARES: And if we're looking at some of the polling, I mean, the latest CNN polling that we have seen, shows that he's still very much trailing former
president Donald Trump, by a big margin.
But he's still, Stephen, one of the top two choices for the vast majority of Republicans. So besides this example of COVID, how else is he going to
COLLINSON: It's very interesting, if you talk to a lot of Republicans, he's actually very popular, even for those who say they would probably vote for
former president Trump. He is seen perhaps as disloyal for challenging Trump by some of those voters.
But he's still very popular. So clearly, he's the main alternative. I think he has two questions that he has to answer.
First, he has to peel away some of Trump's supporters. He's doing that with this bullying persona, by this hardline conservative agenda. He has imposed
a lot of really "make America great again" policies down in Florida on issues like transgender rights, the health care issues there.
The other thing is he's going to try and get everyone else out of the race, so all the anti-Trump vote goes to him. Right now, there are seven or eight
Republican candidates. That's going to fracture the Trump vote.
If we get to the caucuses next January and February and DeSantis is still one of nine, say, non-Trump candidates, it's going to be very difficult to
see how he can overtake Trump. And Trump probably has a free run to the nomination in that --
SOARES: Yes, it's already quite a crowded field. Stephen Collinson, great to have you on the show. Thanks very much, Stephen.
SOARES: Now just a short time ago, a U.S. judge handed down an 18-year prison sentence to one of the men believed to be a leader in the January
6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Stewart Rhodes is the founder of the Oath Keepers and was convicted of seditious conspiracy in November. Jesho Midmeta (ph) said Rhodes wanted to
foment revolution and that Rhodes poses, quote, "an ongoing threat and peril to our democracy."
And still ahead, right here on the show, after decades on the run, one of the world's most wanted fugitives is hunted down and arrested. Accused of
what a U.N. tribunal calls the most serious crime known to humankind.
Plus, widespread anger in Brazil over a slavery game that was, until recently, available on the Google Play Store.
SOARES: That story next.
SOARES: It was one of the most horrific atrocities of the Rwandan genocide, the carefully planned slaughter of more than 2,000 children, women and men,
huddling inside a Catholic church, hoping for refuge.
Now after decades on the run, the man accused of orchestrating that crime has finally been tracked down and arrested in South Africa. The chief
prosecutor of the U.N. tribunal says it's proof that justice will be done, no matter how long it takes. I want to bring in David McKenzie, live for us
in Johannesburg with more.
David, it took 20 years, it was 20 years on the run.
How did South African authorities find him?
How did he evade capture for this long?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he evaded capture through all manners of subterfuge, false identities and trying to
evade capture, in this and many other countries.
And the fact that it took more than 20 years to find one of the worst perpetrators allegedly of the Rwanda genocide is both testament to how much
support he got over those years and just how good that investigation finally was.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Fulgence Kayishema didn't look like a man on the run. South African police say they found him living the good life in wine
country near Cape Town. But for more than 20 years, his mug shot was plastered on top of the list of the most wanted perpetrators of the Rwandan
And even among the names that define pure evil, prosecutors say he stands out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGE BRAMMERTZ, CHIEF PROSECUTOR, IRMCT: He was chief of police. And his responsibility was to protect civilians. And he did exactly the opposite.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): For more than 90 days, nearly 30 years ago now, more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutu Rwandans were murdered during the
genocide. Investigators say he was not just the mastermind but was also a participant.
Herding fully in (ph) Tutsis, women, children and the elderly, into the Nange (ph) Catholic Church. At first, they used machetes.
BRAMMERTZ: When those killings were not advancing quickly enough, they brought petrol and put the church on fire and came with this heavy
machinery to have the roof of the church --
BRAMMERTZ: -- collapsing over more than 2,000 women and children. That's worse than having an evil character to go over days and days, continuing
those massive killings.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): When the Rwandan Patriotic Front put a stop to the orgy of killing, investigators say that Kayishema melted in with the
thousands of refugees fleeing Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He used fake papers, assumed names and fellow fugitives to get refugee status and asylum in Mozambique, Eswatini and, finally, South Africa.
BRAMMERTZ: Kayishema is indicted for the murders of more than 2,000 women, men, children and elderly refugees.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): At the U.N. Security Council, the chief prosecutor repeatedly blamed South Africa for a lack of cooperation. That all changed
a year ago, he says, when President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered a task force be formed and investigators began closing the net.
MCKENZIE: What message does this arrest give to those who still remain at large in Rwanda and in other possible crimes of humanity?
BRAMMERTZ: Persons who are powerful today are not powerful anymore tomorrow, sometimes we have to wait months, sometimes years. But the
message is very clearly, where there's no status of limitations for (INAUDIBLE) international crimes, genocide, war crimes, crimes against
And even if it takes years, we will, at the end of the day, get those guys.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Kayishema was one of a handful of those most wanted for the genocide. Rwandan prosecutors are still looking for more than 1,200
fugitives. The hunt is far from over.
MCKENZIE: In the end, it was old-fashioned detective work and also technological advances that allowed them to find Kayishema in the area of
Cape Town. They used phone tapping, checked in with those who had been lying for him for many years, Isa.
And as the prosecutor told me, they shook the truth those people, showing their lies in front of them and it seemed like someone eventually turned
and gave him up after these many, many years.
And it is a powerful statement he is making, that these kinds of awful crimes of humanity, genocide, war against civilians, crimes of aggression,
they don't have any statute of limitations. And they're going to push forward all they can to get those remaining people in the dark and facing
SOARES: Yes, no matter how long it takes. David McKenzie, appreciate it, thank you very much.
Well, our next story is by definition offensive. The frankly disturbing cartoon images we're about to show you are from a game that Google has now
removed from its Play Store after backlash in Brazil.
The game was called Slavery Simulator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): Users would be greeted with images like this one you see there. Let me translate that for you.
"Welcome. This is Slave Owner Simulator. You will have to buy and manage your slaves, make money and advance toward your goals."
This is a sort of interface that any player of any age, by the way, would have been able to access. It was downloaded more than 1,000 times before it
was removed, according to Google.
The app was developed by Magnus Games, who CNN has reached out for comment. I want to get more on this from journalist Julia Vargas Jones, who is in
I mean, the question, is what were they thinking?
How did the game maker think this was OK?
JULIA VARGAS JONES, JOURNALIST: Well, Isa, the game was only taken down after it went viral on social media here in Brazil, with a lot of users
asking Google Play directly, what were you thinking?
You know, the screenshots you're showing there, they were making their way around Brazil. Some of them actually include comments from users, people
that downloaded the game and looked at them.
Some of them said, how could you do this?
But some of them said, this is a great game. I wish there were more punishment options in the game. Like you said, users were able to buy, sell
slaves and punish them accordingly. There's two tracks to the game.
You can try and liberate your slaves or you can try and gain money from it. I have to say, aside from the shock that has been making waves in Brazilian
society, there have been actions taken by authorities.
The public ministry is bringing on an inquiry to see how this even was allowed to be published on the Google Play Store. Also, Google told our
colleagues at --
SOARES: We may have lost Julia Vargas Jones. She was just telling us about, obviously, the legal action they're hoping to take regarding this game.
It's now being taken down. But clearly, it was already available, many days for people to play.
We're back after this short break.
SOARES: Well, billionaire Elon Musk is not shy about making his opinions known on divisive social issues. His decision to host Florida governor Ron
DeSantis' presidential campaign launch on Twitter may now position him as a challenger to the right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Our Miguel Marquez
has the story.
ELON MUSK, TWITTER OWNER: I'll say what I want to say and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elon Musk, opinionated, sometimes libertarian, contrarian, serial controversialist, at
times sounding conspiratorial. His wealth measured in the hundreds of billions, among the richest in the world, now injecting himself into public
debate, like never before.
MUSK: I wish we could have just a normal human being as president. That's what I want.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Musk on CNBC last week, talking everything from Tesla to SpaceX to Twitter.
MUSK: My overall kind of vision for actual Twitter is to be a cybernetic collective mind for humanity.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Musk even addressing some of his more controversial takes on current events, via his Twitter platform. He tweeted then deleted
about the attack last October on then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, in their San Francisco home. The tweet helped the spread of
disinformation about the attack.
He cast doubt on whether the shooter -- who killed eight and wounded seven -- at a Dallas area mall earlier this month held white supremacist
believes, despite the Texas Department of Public Safety saying the shooter had Nazi patches, tattoos and a long history of supporting white
He tweeted his dislike for the billionaire and Democratic megadonor, George Soros, helping drive anti-Semitic views about the Holocaust survivor.
MUSK: He reminds me of Magneto. It's like calm down, people, this is not like a metaphorical case out of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said he wants to erode the very fabric of civilization and Soros hates humanity. Like when you do something like
that, do you think about --
MUSK: Yes, I think that's true. That's my opinion.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): On politics, Musk opaque at best. He supported Obama, says he did not like Trump. Voted for Biden and is now disappointed with
his performance. And has indicated many times he'd support Florida governor Ron DeSantis, putting his choice for the next president this way to "The
Wall Street Journal."
MUSK: I think someone that is representative of the moderate views that I think most of the country holds in reality.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Musk's own views often seem controversial for the sake of controversy. On COVID, Musk says he was vaccinated. But late last
year he tweeted, "My pronouns are prosecute Fauci."
Hardcore conservatives celebrated it. The medical community and many on the Left were horrified -- Miguel Marquez, CNN New York.
SOARES: Well, heartfelt tributes are being paid to Tina Turner, who died at the age of 83. Dubbed the queen of rock 'n' roll, Tina Turner was a global
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): And for those who loved her like I do, you can hear the pain of her early experiences and love in that hit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: When asked about her story and the role she assumed as a feminist icon, she said, "The life I lived, it had meaning,"
The best words, of course, that we all know to describe the late Tina Turner, well, she sang that herself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): Yes, simply the best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: That does it for us, thank you very much for your company. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is up next. Have a wonderful day,