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Isa Soares Tonight

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Laid To Rest; Israel Accused Of Arbitrarily Denying Some Aid Into Gaza; Two Critical Trump Hearings To Be Held Today; Israel Accused Of Arbitrarily Denying Some Aid Into Gaza; Now: Closing Arguments In Fani Willis Disqualification Hearing; White House Holds Briefing After Biden Announces Gaza Airdrops. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired March 01, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, a resounding show of defiance in Moscow

as crowds turn out for the funeral of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. We'll have the very latest view.

Then rare CNN access to a warehouse in Jordan where workers say stacks of aid are piling up, blocked from entering Gaza. That investigation is coming

up. Plus, a big day for Donald Trump as the former president sits at the center of two key court hearings today that could put his legal calendar on

a collision course with the 2024 election.

But first, this evening, darkness has fallen over Moscow where thousands of people turned out today to mourn late opposition figure Alexei Navalny. The

Kremlin critic was laid to rest hours ago after a funeral in Russia's capital. It's been a day of solemn farewells, but also show of rare public

defiance against Russian President Vladimir Putin.



CROWD: Navalny!


SOARES: That does not need any translation. Supporters there chanting his name, Navalny. They also yelled no to war and Russia without Putin. Navalny

was one of the Russian president's chief foes, politically as well as ideologically. His death in an Arctic Penal Colony was reported last month.

And he was put on trial and poisoned in the years leading up to his death. So, crowds gathered today knowing full well, the Kremlin could crack down,

and arrests have been reported. But during daylight hours, people were largely allowed to gather at the church and enter the cemetery.

Here, they were seen throwing flowers in tribute. And all of this, as Russian police looked on. Well, mourners have been filing past Navalny's

grave to lay flowers and pay their final respects. Our chief affairs correspondent Matthew Chance has -- was there at the summary -- cemetery.

Have a look at this.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the site inside the cemetery and the memorial to Alexei Navalny. People are

coming here to lay their flowers and as you can see, and also to file past the actual grave site, which is there.

People are picking up soil and throwing it into the ground onto the casket as a final farewell to that opposition figure.


SOARES: Really moving. Well, our Melissa Bell has more on those tribute to Navalny.



CROWD: Navalny!!

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The name the Kremlin never speaks, chanted as Alexei Navalny's body was finally laid to rest.

Thousands of people in Moscow braving the prospect of arrest to say goodbye to Vladimir Putin's greatest foe. Mourners of a political martyr vowing

that Russia will be free.

Ambassadors from the United States, France and Germany also joining the crowds with flowers in hand. Video of Navalny's open casket, the final

glimpse of a corpse finally handed back to his family and allowed to rest two weeks to the day since he took his last breath after years spent

fighting, even from his prison cells, Vladimir Putin's iron grip on Russia.

A legacy that his widow unable to attend the funeral for safety reasons echoed in a message on social media.


Sharing a montage of her life with Navalny. She wrote, "I don't know how to live without you. I don't know if I can handle this or not, but I will

try." His funeral reflecting his life, becoming a moment of resistance. As chants of no to war rang through the Russian capital with people finding

strength in numbers as the crowds grew.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To tell you the truth, it's very pleasant for me to be here in the company of like-minded people. Well,

maybe I feel pressure, but when there are so many people, then maybe no, it's not scary when we're together.

BELL: Navalny's impact extending far beyond Russia with memorials held around the world in memory of a man who'd come to represent fearlessness

itself. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


SOARES: Let's get more on those scenes. I'm joined now by CNN's former Moscow Bureau chief Nathan Hodge. Nathan, great to have you here. Look, I

mean, this was moving as well as daring. I was surprised at these crowds. Were you taken aback when you saw how large they were?

NATHAN HODGE, FORMER CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: I think my expectations were that, you know, the turnout would be more modest --

SOARES: Yes --

HODGE: Than it actually ended up being. But the one thing that sort of struck out and stuck out to me was that sort of Navalny's humorous still

sort of showed through even at the end, even when his coffin was being lowered, you know, to the tune of "My Way".

SOARES: Yes --

HODGE: I mean, and this was one of his gifts as a politician. He had a very subversive sense of humor. And having Alexei Navalny on the scene in

Russia made the whole covering politics there a whole lot less bleak and monochromatic.

You know, I remember covering a lot of these demonstrations and say 2017 and 2018, and there was a little bit of a carnival atmosphere to them as

well, even though people were being arrested and beaten up by Russian security forces, you know, there was -- they weren't going out there into

the streets with the sort of, you know, spirit of -- you know, kind of, you know, defiant resistance. And what the sense --

SOARES: And speaking out some of them --

HODGE: Absolutely, yes, and making fun of the powers that be. And that was one of the things that, you know, if you're talking about Russia which over

the past 24 years has been sort of like this very steady progression of a story of Putin ever consolidating power, ever stifling civil society,

choking all of the independent media, and sort of sliding into where this sort of like new gerontocracy that runs in the country.

And then, you have this youthful, vibrant figure, you know, who is dropping lines from Ricky Morty(ph), or you know, has -- you know, as it turns out

at the end, you know, the "Terminator 2" theme --

SOARES: Yes --

HODGE: One of them playing at his funeral --

SOARES: It was his favorite, right? When he was --

HODGE: Yes --

SOARES: In the cell.

HODGE: And who could make a connection in a personal way with people, you know, in a way that sort of this remote, bizarre --

SOARES: Yes --

HODGE: The president of Russia, whom Navalny called, you know, the bunker grandfather could not -- could not.

SOARES: When you speak of the powers that be. I mean, I remember after we reported of Navalny's death that, you know, analysts were saying this

speaks of Putin's weaknesses. This shows his weakness. If you're Putin and you're looking at the scenes that we saw today, with an election around the

corner, you're thinking what, Nathan?

HODGE: Well, first of all, you know, this is somewhat inconvenient because you know, you need a show of national unity ahead of basically his re-

anointment. But you know, first of all, largely state propaganda. State television is going to ignore this funeral, you know, as it's often ignored


And it sort of -- the -- let's say, pro-Kremlin independent media telegram channels and things like that will have an easy time. They'll look at our

coverage and they will see, oh, well, look at all of the foreign coverage he's getting, this is further proof that this is a foreign agent.

SOARES: Plays into their narrative --

HODGE: It plays into their --

SOARES: Well --

HODGE: You know, paranoid narrative --

SOARES: Yes --

HODGE: Because in their mind, it's inconceivable that people of conscience would go out on the street and demonstrate of their own freewill, because

that's not the way that they understand that politics works. There's much more cynical and much darker understanding --

SOARES: Yes --

HODGE: Of the way that things work. And so, I think that was the thing that was so offensive to the Kremlin about Navalny.

SOARES: We shall see how it all develops, of course, we have elections just around the corner. Nick, really appreciate you being here. Thank you

so much. Now, to a developing story that we were telling you about in Washington. We're just learning the President Joe Biden is expected to

announce U.S. airdrops of humanitarian supplies into Gaza.

He is expected to make those remarks anytime now. And of course, we will bring them to you live as soon as we, of course, we see the president

there, you're looking at live images. Well, the European Council President is among those demanding an independent investigation into the deaths of

civilians waiting for food aid in Gaza, saying he's shocked as well as repulsed.


The Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 112 civilians were killed after Israeli troops opened fire as desperate crowds gathered around trucks

in Gaza city as we showed you yesterday. An IDF spokesman says Israeli tanks fired what he called a warning shot after people -- after seeing

people in the crowd were being trampled.

"Al Jazeera" video from the scene makes it clear there was gunfire, but doesn't show who fired the shots. Have a look at this.





SOARES: The Palestinian U.N. ambassador condemned what he called a heinous massacre.


RIYAD MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: According to the information that we have, dozens of them have bullets in their heads.

It's not like, you know, firing in the sky to restrain people if there was confusion and chaos. It was intentionally targeting and killing.


SOARES: Well, leaders around the world are looking at all of this for an increasingly alarmed as well as in rage lens. Brazil said Israel's reaction

to the incident was the final straw, their words. We've heard criticism from many NATO -- European nations, as I said, pardon me, attention is also

turning to the United States.

The U.S. is Israel's most important foreign arms provided. It gives Israel more than $3 billion in military aid every year. And the EU's Foreign

Policy chief told me bluntly this week, the U.S. could do more.



strong leverage, limiting the military capacities, supplying or even the economic constraints in 1991, for example, when they came to Madrid Peace


So, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you can do less arms and less people will be killed.


SOARES: Not holding back there. With me to discuss, former U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger joins me now, Adam, welcome back to the show. I

mean, you heard there EU policy chief reacting to those hundred-plus deaths in Gaza. We've shown some of the voices from Europe.

This week though, Thomas Friedman in the "New York Times", I'm not sure if you saw his speech. He spoke of an increasingly rapid erosion of Israel's

standing among friendly nations. He went on to say, "and if Biden says he's not careful, America's global standing will plummet right along with


How concerned should, Adam, should the U.S. be about this? That this could cost Biden political capital internationally.

ADAM KINZINGER, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Well, I mean, be concerned, yes. Look, I mean, I can sit -- every day I sit around and I'm like, OK, so now

we're going after the United States, now, it's going after Israel. Obviously, what happened yesterday is terrible and we need a full

accounting for that.

But let's keep in mind that if October 7th, and a murder of 1,200 innocent people hadn't happened, we would never be in this position. Hamas continues

to hold hostages that they could release. They could release them, and I guarantee you the pressure would be even more intense to stop this


And the other thing is Hamas is the government of Gaza. Hamas is the adults when it comes to children. It is the responsibility of a government of an

area to protect its children, of the grown-ups, to protect their children. Hamas could have been working to have a peaceful co-existence with Israel,

they could have been building hospitals and schools that they're not co- locating weapons in.

And instead, they spent a lot of years and it culminated on October 7th with putting children at risk, not defending them as their government. So

look, I think there should be, you know, as soon as we can a ceasefire, but not a ceasefire that's going to cause Israel to continue to be threatened

by a terrorist attack like Hamas.

SOARES: Yes, and just to clarify, Adam, there's -- European leaders are not saying that just only pushing, let's push United States to do something

about it and calling for a ceasefire. They are also calling for hostages to be released. Every single one I've spoken to are calling for both.

I think the feeling is amongst those I've spoken to, foreign policy chiefs I've spoken to here is that, the U.S. is speaking to Israel, but Israel is

perhaps not listening. I want to get your reaction to what we've heard in the last few minutes in fact, that President Biden, Adam, is expected to

announce air drops of humanitarian assistance to Gaza and supplies into Gaza. What do you make of that?

KINZINGER: No, I think it's a good thing. I mean, this is one thing that the United States has. We pride ourselves on, and we do it very well, which

is we can bring humanitarian aid. We have hospital ships that we actually sometimes park in locations where, you know, the most recent that I can

think of is Haiti for instance.


And so, I think this is a great thing, and we have the capacity to do this. Obviously, it's not as simple as just flying an airplane with a bunch of

supplies and dropping, you have to have a drop location. You know, for instance, if you're going to do it on the beach, how can you ensure that

the beach is clear, and how can you ensure that those supplies are not going to be taken over by Hamas, which is actually been a huge problem in

the past.

And then Hamas withheld the supplies and used it to actually curry favor and curry control over the populations. So, yes, it's a bit more

complicated, but that said, if we can pull this off and we can ensure this is being done correctly, then I think this is phenomenal. And it just goes

in line with frankly, what we consider ourselves to be able to do at moments like this.

SOARES: Yes, and we have seen actually those -- some airdrops the Jordanians was airdropping I think aid this week. And we saw the scenes of

utter desperation. I want to talk Trump if I may, because obviously I had conversations with European diplomats, with foreign policy chiefs and over

the last few months, they have been telling me that they're preparing for a possible Trump presidency following comments -- his comments on NATO and

vis-a-vis Ukraine.

I just want you to have a listen, Adam, to what one former diplomat told me. Have a listen to this?



SOARES: And it should have been preparing, you think?

MACDONALD: So, I think -- yes, in private, first of all, I mean, the only way this would play into the U.S. election campaign is unhelpfully.

SOARES: Yes --

MACDONALD: If word got out that the allies were in any way worried about the consequences, I suspect that would help President Trump with his base.

So, this needs to begin as a quiet effort in individual capitals, but at some point, they need to join up.


SOARES: And I'm hearing more and more of that, preparing for a possible Trump presidency. What can European leaders, Adam, expect from a possible

Trump presidency here?

KINZINGER: Well, look, let's all hope it doesn't happen, because I do think this would be devastating for Ukraine, devastating for the alliance.

I mean, he's made it clear -- I don't -- it's not even anything against Europe. He just loves strong men, and he loves being this counter person.

But I think regardless of whether Trump wins or not, this is a good thing for Europe to kind of get scared a little bit, because I do think it -- and

I'm not one of these that believes Europe has been on a free ride with the United States. I don't buy that at all, but Europe does have much greater

capacity to step up.

And you know, for instance, supply Ukraine and push-back against Russia, and I think this could be if Biden wins again, and we in the alliance stays

strong, this could have been a good positive year where Europe is kind of waking up to, we need to do more.

And we can't just rely on the United States. I think the alliance is very strong. I think Donald Trump could change that, but ultimately it is

true. Everybody needs to step up and do their part, and we're going to end up with another 100,000 American troops and more European troops holding

the eastern flank against a Russia that brought right up to, you know, Romania, Hungary and everywhere else.

SOARES: Yes, Adam, always great to get your insight, really appreciate your time. Thank you.


SOARES: And as I was mentioning just there with Adam, we are learning that President Joe Biden is going to announce U.S. airdrops of humanitarian

supplies into Gaza. He is expected to make those remarks any time now. I believe we've got MJ Lee, our senior White House correspondent. MJ, what

are we likely to hear here? Just give us some insight.

MIN JUNG LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we actually just heard those remarks from President Biden before he went in for a bilateral

meeting with the Italian Prime Minister. He confirmed that the U.S. is going to proceed with air-dropping humanitarian aid, food in particular

into Gaza.

He said this is a result of just the reality that the aid that is going into the enclave right now isn't moving at the pace that is needed.

Obviously, this just brings to light how dire the situation is in the Gaza Strip, we've known that for a while, but all of that was very much

highlighted even more a couple of days ago with that really tragic situation where dozens and dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed as

they were basically clamoring to get aid off of various aid trucks.

And that led to people trampling over each other, of course, there were reports of the IDF firing into the crowd. And this has just become one more

sign of the grave toll, the humanitarian toll that this war has, of course --

SOARES: MJ, apology to interrupt. I just want to play that sound. We've just received or we can --

LEE: Yes --

SOARES: Talk afterwards. Have a listen to this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, also, we're going to discuss the Middle East stand, yesterday's tragic and alarming event in

north Gaza, trying to get humanitarian assistance in there. And the loss of life is heartbreaking. People are so desperate that innocent people got

caught in a terrible war, unable to feed their families.


And you saw the response when they tried to get aid. And we need to do more, and the United States will do more. In the coming days, we're going

to join with our friends in Jordan and others of flying airdrops of additional food and supplies into Ukraine and seek to continue, open up

other avenues into Ukraine, including the possibility of a marine corridor to deliver large amounts of humanitarian assistance.

In addition to expanding deliveries by land, as I said, we're going to -- we're going to insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more routes to

get more and more people the help they need. No excuses because the truth is, aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough. Now, it's nowhere nearly


Innocent lives are on the line and children's lives are on the line. And we won't stand by and let -- until they -- until we get more aid in that

reason, we should be getting hundreds of trucks, and not just several. And I won't stand by, we won't let up, and we're not going to pull out -- kind

of pull out every stop we can to get more assistance in.

So -- and here's the deal. We've been working and hopefully we'll know shortly, and I know you already informed, we're trying to work out a deal

between Israel and Hamas, the hostages be returned and immediate ceasefire in Gaza for at least the next six weeks.

And to allow the surge of aid in the entire Gaza Strip, not just the south, but the entire Gaza Strip. And so, Giorgia, we have a lot to discuss today,

not -- and we're talking about everything China and on, but I'm happy you're here and delighted that you came back. I know you're on your way to

Canada, right?


BIDEN: Good. The floor is yours, madam.

MELONI: Well, I'm delighted to be here today in my capacity as a G7 chair, and I look forward, Joe, to hosting you in Puglia next June for the

Leaders' Summit. I'm working on our concrete and substantial G7 Summit. We intend, first and foremost to reaffirm the rule-based international order,

defending freedom and building peace for Ukraine.

And in doing this, I think we need to tackle the narrative that wants the West against the rest. So, the dialogue, our dialogue within the G7, within

the global south is essential. The crisis in the Middle East is off the utmost concern, we need to coordinate our actions in order to avoid an


And in this regard, we do fully support the U.S. mediation efforts. The humanitarian crisis is our number one priority. Italy is concentrating its

contribution on this, meanwhile, we are cooperating with all regional actors that must be part of any future outcome.

We should work together on concrete steps to guarantee the two-state perspective, which is the only long-term sustainable solution. And then the

Houthis attack on commercial vessels that endanger freedom of navigation in the Red Sea are unacceptable.

EU Naval operation asbestos, that as you know, is under Italian tactical command, is an important response to the disruption of transit through the

Red Sea. Then building on Italy's role in the Mediterranean, the G7 will pay special attention also to the African continent.

We've been discussing it for many times. But I think we have to remember that Africa is not a poor continent, it is at the contrary, incredibly rich

in human and material resources, but it has been neglected and exploited with a predatory approach for a long time.

And I want to reverse this approach together with you, which is also a root cause of the migration crisis. We need to support Africa's development on

an equal basis, and put an end to illegal migration while fighting human trafficking. Human trafficking has become the most financially rewarding

crime globally.

And we cannot accept it nor any longer. For this reason, I came here today also with a proposal to launch a global alliance against human traffickers.

The G7 will discuss Artificial Intelligence as well, AI is a means. It can be a good or a bad one, it depends on our capacity to go over it, to tackle

the risks and the impact it can -- the impact it can have, for example, on the labor market.


We want to develop AI, but also we want to be certain that it remains human-centered. And then, last, but not least, I came here to boost our

strategic cooperation and our relations are enriched by the presence of more than 20 million Italian-Americans.

During our last meeting here in Washington, we said we wanted to improve our bilateral cooperation and our trade. And we did it. For in 2023, our

bilateral trade reached the highest amount ever with $102 billion of exchange. So, I think we did a good job, but I also think that we can do

even better, and I hope this will be our mutual goals for this year. Thank you, Joe.

BIDEN: Gone are the days when I tried to help by marrying an Italian- American. So, thank you all very much.



SOARES: President Biden there being peppered with questions as per usual, the White House sitting alongside the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia

Meloni. And the president announcing at the very top when he started speaking that the U.S. is going to be in airdrops of food aid into Gaza.

He went on to say, no excuses, aid was not flowing into Gaza quickly enough. He said the U.S. will be pulling out every stop to get additional

assistance. He said that the U.S. will be doing this in -- I believe it's in coordination with the -- with Jordan and others.

So, food and aid supplies. MJ Lee was listening in, and MJ, what he didn't say or didn't -- I didn't catch at least was when this was going to happen.

And who besides the Jordanians, the U.S. is doing this with, in collaboration with?

LEE: Yes, I think those details are forthcoming. You know, we are awaiting a White House press briefing to take place any minute now, and that's when

we expect to get more details from the National Security Council. But look, I think that we heard directly from the president, this very blunt

assessment from the U.S. of the dire situation in Gaza. I mean, we don't need to hear that from the president to know that, that is just the truth,

that there is a grave humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

People are not getting the help that they need. And he did make reference to that tragic situation from a couple of days ago that we were talking

about before we played that clip where civilians, Palestinian civilians desperately trying to get their hands on aid from these aid trucks, ended

up trampling over each other and ended up dying in the masses because there was such a clamor to get any sort of help that they can, food, aid, other

kinds of basic life necessities.

So, as you just said, the president basically saying the U.S. feels compelled to pull out all the stops and get directly involved and even more

involved to ensure that more aid can get in. The other part of his remarks that was really important was of course, his mention of the ongoing

negotiations to get to a ceasefire and hostages deal.

He said that the U.S. is again, working around the clock to get to that place. And that, of course, will make a big difference in terms of

humanitarian aid getting into Gaza. But again, just all of this capturing the incredibly dire situation that all of the civilians in Gaza are facing

and have been for so many months now.

SOARES: Yes, indeed, the situation is dire. The needs are urgent as we have seen, people are desperate. And I know that the U.S. and Samantha

Powers talked about this, has been calling on Israel to open up additional crossings for aid --

LEE: Right --

SOARES: To enter. MJ Lee, appreciate taking time, speak to us, thanks, MJ. Well, after repeated warnings from aid agencies, starvation is worsening in

Gaza, claiming the most innocent of victims. The Palestinian Health Ministry says ten children have now died from malnutrition and dehydration.

The World Health Organization says the actual number is actually higher. Israel denies blocking life-saving aid, but our Nima Elbagir talked to

humanitarian workers and donor government officials who say there is a clear pattern of obstruction. And we warn you, Nima's report contains some

graphic as well as disturbing scenes.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pallets of food aid with messages of love air-dropped into Gaza for a

desperate population. This is a Jordanian flight with more countries looking to join the aid effort, among them, the U.S.

But this isn't a good news story. On the ground, a glimpse of how much more is needed to keep starving Gazans from falling into famine. Air drops are

inefficient and expensive. You just can't drop enough food for a starving population. To stave off famine, you need thousands of trucks filled with

food flooding into Gaza. But that's not happening. We were granted rare access to this warehouse in Jordan, one of the key-way points for aid, now

a choke point.

ELBAGIR: All of the aid that you see here is sorely needed in Gaza, but it's still waiting for clearance. Why? Well, CNN spoke to dozens of

humanitarian workers and donor government officials who detailed arbitrary Israeli restrictions on aid often with little to no explanation, impeding a

multibillion-dollar humanitarian effort, even as Gazans are desperate to receive it.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): About a thousand trucks worth of essential medical aid and food supplies meant for Gaza collecting dust and waiting to be cleared

by Israeli officials.

ELBAGIR: I mean, these are baby wipes.


ELBAGIR: Why are you still waiting for permission on baby wipes?

AL-HENNAWY: I don't know.

ELBAGIR: I mean, you have bandages.


ELBAGIR: We're coming up over here, you've got wheelchairs, crutches. In that kind of war situation --


ELBAGIR: These are really, really important things for people. Medicines. Vitamin C over here.

AL-HENNAWY: Yes. And this is what we think -- what we believe it is a crucial need that needs to be sent immediately to Gaza. There's no excuse

why it's still in our warehouse.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): It's not just here that they're confused. Previously, Israel has said it's restricting military use items and provided a list.

Now, humanitarians tell CNN, they have not received an update, so they're relying on guesswork.

CNN has obtained documents from three major participants in the humanitarian operation. A ghost list, compiled by organizations piecing

together the most frequently rejected items. Among them anesthesia, crutches, generators, water purification tablets and filtration systems,

solar panels, ventilators, tent poles, x-ray machines, and oxygen cylinders.

Publicly, the Israeli government agency, COGAT, claims that it has abided by a 2008 banned items list. In private, COGAT has said that that document

is now obsolete, according to a humanitarian official in direct contact with the Israeli unit. The human cost of miscalculating is immeasurable.

For months now, even one rejected item means trucks like these filled with aid can be turned back even after waiting for days to get into Gaza. And on

the ground, the reality is that without these critical supplies, people like Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a renowned war surgeon, a working in

conditions even he has never seen.

DR. GHASSAN ABU-SITTAH, BRITISH-PALESTINIAN SURGEON: Because we didn't have any antiseptic, I had made the solution of washing up liquid and vinegar

and some say light. And so, I would have to pour that over the wound and then scrub the wound down. It's probably the most -- the darkest moment of

my life because you're doing it -- the patient is screaming, the child is screaming, knowing that if you hadn't, that child would be dead by the end

of the day.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): Dr. Abu-Sittah's experience in Gaza is not unique. What you're about to see here is very disturbing. With very little basic

medicine, doctors are making decisions they never thought they would have to make.

DR. HANY BSAISO, ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON: Without anesthesia. Where is the mercy?

ELBAGIR (voiceover): Dr. Hany Bsaiso turned his kitchen into an operating theatre to save his niece's life after she says she was hit by an Israeli

tank in her house. He amputated her leg with a kitchen knife without anesthetic.

BSAISO: (TEXT) She's like my daughter. I am cutting off her leg.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): Ahed Bsaiso miraculously survived. At just 18, she has already experienced enough pain for a lifetime. When aid does come into

Gaza, thousands gather clambering onto the trucks, even as Israeli gun firings out.

Torn between fear and hunger, over a hundred killed and hundreds more injured. Yet, you can see here people still clinging to what little they

managed to get. The Israeli army says it's not responsible for what happened here. But as our investigation shows, at the very least, Israel

created the conditions for this tragedy.

Nima Elbagir, Al-Zarqa, Jordan.


ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Thanks, Nima, for that reporting. And still to come tonight. We'll take you to another crucial hearing involving Donald

Trump. Will a Florida judge push back the start of his classified documents trial? That's after this.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Donald Trump is at the center of two key legal hearings today that could put his legal calendar really on a

collision course with the 2024 election. We'll have more on the former U.S. president's classified documents case in Florida in a moment. But first,

the courtroom is currently in recess, but a judge is hearing closing arguments from defense attorneys in the election interference case against

Donald Trump and his co-defendants. They say Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified from the case arguing that her

relationship with a special prosecutor she appointed creates a conflict of interest.

Keeping an eye on all of this CNN National Security Reporter Zach Cohen joins us now from outside the Fulton County Courthouse. So, Zach, just talk

-- walk us through what we've been hearing in the -- in the final arguments. Just break it down for our viewers.

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes. For about the last hour and a half, we've heard from defense attorneys representing Donald Trump

and his fellow co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case. And they've been laying out their case as to why the evidence they put forward

shows District Attorney Fani Willis engaged in a conflict of interest and therefore should be disqualified. And even if it was just the appearance of

a conflict of interest, that should also meet the threshold for disqualification.

Now, as you said, this whole thing revolves around the claim that she benefited financially from a romantic relationship with her top prosecutor

in this case, Nathan Wade. And defense attorneys have pointed to things like financial records. Things like witness testimony from at least one

witness who said that yes, they were in a relationship before Wade was appointed, as evidence that meets the threshold for disqualification.

We're still going to have to hear from attorneys representing Fani Willis and the district attorney's office. That should happen this afternoon as

well. But maybe the noisiest moment so far is what came from the judge.

At the very start of this hearing today, we didn't expect the judge to issue a decision from the bench. But he hinted that he might have enough

information with the evidence submitted so far -- so far to make a call as soon as today. Take a listen to what he said at the beginning of today's



SCOTT MCAFEE, FULTON COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE: I think we've reached the point where I'd like to hear more of how some of the legal arguments apply

to what has already been presented. And it may already be possible for me to make a decision.


COHEN: So, both sides coming into this hearing had said they maybe wanted to introduce additional evidence. The judge making clear he probably

doesn't need it to happen. And this is not all happening in a vacuum, right?


We know that Donald Trump has several ongoing legal issues. I mean, several of the cases do appear to be up in the air as far as timing. And in this

case, it's up in the air as to whether a trial might happen at all.

Prosecutors have asked for a trial date on August 5 of this year. But if Fulton County District Fani Willis is disqualified, sources telling me that

people inside her office fear the case itself could be all but dead. So, really a pivotal moment in this case, and it could determine whether or not

Donald Trump's prosecution in Georgia continues or whether it may ends here.

SOARES: Yes. And as you were talking, Zach, we are seeing live images from inside the courtroom. Fani Willis is there inside Fulton County. I know

you'll stay across all the developments and just let us know if there -- as soon as there are any more developments just come back to us. Really

appreciate it. Thanks very much.

And right now, Donald Trump is inside a Florida courtroom for a hearing to decide whether the classified documents case against him will be delayed.

Prosecutors say the case should start in early July. Trump's attorneys asking that proceedings be pushed back until at least August 12. Trump has

pleaded not guilty to the charges which include obstruction of justice and making false statements. Very much in line with what we've seen time and

time again from the Trump camp which is delay, delay, delay.

Still to come tonight. We'll have more on the burial of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, how mourners inside as well as outside Russia are

paying tribute. That is next.


SOARES: And we return to our top story, the burial of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow. Thousands of mourners gathered in the

Russian capital on Friday to pay their final respects. Many carrying flowers.

They came amid a heavy police presence and despite the risk of arrest. The funeral was held at a church in the district where Navalny lived. His

mother was in attendance.

His body was buried at a nearby cemetery. Observances to honor Navalny also being held across Europe. I believe these are live pictures from a vigil

taking place in London across from the Russian embassy.

And several European leaders have also been paying tribute to the Kremlin critic on social media. But what you're looking at right now is a vigil

taking place in London to honor Alexei Navalny.

I want to get to Sebastian Shukla. He joins me from Berlin where a vigil for Navalny is also taking place there. Seb, just set the scene for us.

SEBASTIAN SHUKLA, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: Yes. Isa, it's very similar to what you were saying is happening in London as well. I'm right across from the

colossal Russian embassy, which is just in front of me here. But as you can see, to set the scene, there is a -- an enormous carpet of flowers that

have been left here by well-wishers who are you know, paying their final respects to Alexei Navalny.


People have been here. The crowds have diminished somewhat now. But there were some almost 200, potentially even 300 people who had gathered here.

And the mood, Isa, it was incredibly somber because there were -- there was music that were being played, people were holding each other's hands, they

-- were hugged -- there were hugs that was going on.

And I was actually talking to a couple of people who told me that they watched the whole events today that took place in Moscow. And they --

actually, they felt a sense of pride almost, that this is maybe a future sign for Russia as people chanted, you know, Navalny. And they said, you

know, we are not afraid. They felt almost empowered that maybe even with Alexei Navalny's passing that there could be a new future for Russia, Isa.

And I just want to take you down to have a look at one of these -- one of these placards here, you know. And this says, the idleness of people -- or

the idleness of good people -- so, do not be idle essentially, is what it's saying here. And that comment is the one that Alexei Navalny ended his

movie on by saying and urging people, please go out. Even if I'm not here, I'm still with you, and I still want you to carry on my message Isa.

SOARES: And just explain for our viewers, Seb, the significance of Germany. Why Germany loves and has so much love for Alexei Navalny? That connection

is so important for our viewers, I think.

SHUKLA: It is. Germany has -- is a very close -- has treats on views Alexei Navalny. Very close to their heart because don't forget when he was

poisoned, this is where he came for his rehabilitation and to get better, the charity hospital. He was flown on that private jet.

He came directly here. And he spent weeks in intensive care coming out of a coma. And doctors ran tests on him to find out what had poisoned him.

And you know, the message came to be that it was a Novichok poison that was deployed on him that it was used in his underpants. And that the way he

then convalesced here in southern Germany was where he filmed that documentary. It's where we began our investigation into how his poisoning

took place. And so, Germany therefore, and the German people hold him very close to their heart, Isa.

SOARES: Thank you very much, Seb Shukla, there from that moving -- with that moving tribute from Berlin paying tribute to Alexei Navalny. Thank you

very much, Seb. We're going to take a short break. We're back after this.



SOARES: I want to take you to the White House for a press briefing. Let's get more details, I believe on that assistance from President Biden's to

Gaza. Let's listen.



humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, as well as the need to prevent regional escalation in the Middle East and to protect international

shipping in the Red Sea. The leaders will also underscore their commitment to continue to support Ukraine as it confronts Russian aggression. The

president will, of course, raise the efforts that we've been pursuing to see our supplemental funding approved by Congress. The president

appreciates Prime Minister Meloni's leadership on all those issues. And he looks forward to a very good discussion. (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Just to triple-check. When the President said you were airdropping to Ukraine twice, you meant Gaza, correct? He

just misspoke.

KIRBY: He was referring to Gaza.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you talk about how the U.S. ensures that the airdrop aid gets to the people who needs it and doesn't end up in the hands

of Hamas?

KIRBY: Yes, I'm really glad you asked that question. Actually, having seen these kinds of operations myself over many years, there's few military

operations that are more complicated than humanitarian assistance airdrops. This is -- this is a tough military mission to do because so many

parameters have to be exactly right.

We're going to pursue this the way we would pursue any such operation carefully. We know we have to move with a sense of alacrity, we're alive to

the need. But we're going to do this in concert with our Jordanian partners. And again, the planning will be robust on this.

That said, I think -- I don't think, I know that we will learn from the first airdrops. And this will be a part of a sustained effort. This isn't

going to be one-and-done. There will be additional airdrops planned and executed.

And with each one, I think we'll learn more, and we'll get -- we'll get better at them. It's very difficult. It is extremely difficult to do an

airdrop in such a crowded environment as is Gaza. Very, very densely populated. A lot of people can find small spaces.

So, you want to do it in a way that you can get it to close -- as close as you can to the people in need, but not in a way that puts them in any

danger. And so, the Pentagon will be doing a raft of planning on this. They'll work their way through that. But I do want to stress that we fully

expect that the third and fourth and fifth one won't look like the first and second one. We'll learn and we'll -- and we'll try to improve.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And are you -- (INAUDIBLE) most precise then coming days as to when the airdrops will start?

KIRBY: I can just tell you in the coming days, as the president said, I don't have an exact delivery schedule for you. But we're not waiting

around. The Pentagon is working on this very, very hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Karine. Thank you, Admiral. What are the risks associated with an airdrop like this?

KIRBY: Well, my goodness. First of all, the biggest risk is making sure that nobody gets hurt on the ground. And so, you got to locate areas to

drop that you know will be safe for people so that they don't -- they don't become victims of the drop itself.

I mean, when you're dropping out of an airplane, again, it depends on what you're dropping. In this case, the first deliveries will be food. Most

likely, the MREs, the portable food that the military uses.

And so, you want to be able to get it again, in a place that's safe from -- nobody's getting hurt on the ground. And then you want to make sure that

it's in a location that is also accessible to aid organizations to help distribute that food so that you want -- you want to see as best you can --

and it may not be possible in Gaza, but as best you can a presence on the ground to help with the distribution so that -- so that it -- the drop

itself doesn't become a scene or a site of insecurity and instability, people rushing it and getting hurt in trying to get to it.

And then lastly, the big challenge is making sure that it's physically in a -- in a geographic location that is close to people that are -- that are

most in need. So, there's an awful lot that goes into that. And, of course, then you know, there's the -- there's the whole air component to that. You

know, the weather and the winds and -- you know, the need for the pilots and the aircraft to be safe as well.

I mean, this is not -- you know, this isn't like an area of a humanitarian disaster such as an earthquake or a hurricane site. This is a war zone. So,

there's an added element of potential danger to the pilots and the aircraft. And we have to factor that all into.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you talk about the timing of the air drops and why the U.S. hasn't considered -- or hasn't done one before now, given the need

for aid is not new?


KIRBY: We've been working on the idea for airdrops here for a little while. The idea of thinking about through -- whether we need to do this. So -- but

again, it's not the kind of thing you want to just do in a heartbeat. You want to think this -- you want to think it through carefully, and we've

been doing that.

But certainly, the need is much more acute here in recent weeks. And again, we want to be -- we want to answer that. We had tried, and we still are

trying to get the ground movement increased. That's another reason why we're working so hard on this hostage deal because it will give us some

breathing space to increase that level of stuff on the ground.

But obviously, it just hasn't -- we haven't been able to meet the need. For all the work we've done to open up Kerem Shalom and work with the Israelis

to increase the level of justice, it's not meeting the need. And we recognize that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How sustainable of an option does the president see these airdrops as being? And also, was there any communication between the

president and Prime Minister Netanyahu --


SOARES: You've been listening there to John Kirby talking about what we had at the top of the show that President Biden will announce at the top of the

hour airdrops humanitarian assistance to Gaza. John Kirby is saying that that will happen in the coming days. And obviously, there he said that it's

in a tough military mission. The first delivery will be portable food, but it won't be the last.

There'll be much more in the coming hours of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." That does it for us. Have a lovely weekend. See you next week.