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Wladimir Klitschko is Interviewed about Ukraine; Pennsylvania Senate Candidates Face Off; Michael Smerconish on the Pennsylvania Race; Rain and Storms Headed for Northeast; Headlines from Around the World. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 26, 2022 - 06:30   ET



WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO, MEMBER, KYIV TERRITORIAL DEFENSE: Where people are coming back home and cities getting filled up with -- with people, with the citizens. And it's very complicated to have it all under control and discipline, so to speak, because during the war, you know, like territorial defense, their military, their just regular citizens that also want to defend, got some weapons. There are also some Russian special operation forces under cover, trying to destabilize the city. So, I think all of this put together, you have a system in control. A curfew is very, very important. And the hours have been changed. We had Easter just this past Sunday and this is a big, big day in the calendar of the year. And, obviously, to have people able and capable to go to the church and come back and there are a lot of complications has been and the times have been shifted.


KLITSCHKO: So curfew (ph) is an important topic (ph).

COLLINS: Well, and you talk about people coming back to the city, coming back to the Kyiv. The United States says it's working on sending diplomat back into Ukraine. They say they're going to start in the western city of Lviv, obviously a lot closer to the border with Poland, but then eventually want to get them back to Kyiv.

And so I wonder if you think, based on what it's like on the ground there, if it is safe for U.S. diplomats to come back now?

KLITSCHKO: If you are on the Ukrainian soil, it is not safe for anybody. Eventually, and we look forward to -- to have diplomats back in their embassies and providing the work. But I have to say that the east and the south of the country, the war has been in an active phase of -- of this war and this invasion of Russia. And, obviously, we are fighting back. We're getting some confirmation of the weaponry and supply of the weapons that eventually should arrive and should help us to defend our country. And that should happen much earlier than two months. Over 60 days the war has been going on. And just right now we're getting this military support that we're so need to defend our country.

And I -- and I also believe that it's kind of early to come back because danger is still there. The sky above our heads is not closed. So there are missiles that has been launched from Belarus, and Russia, are flying on -- on Ukrainian cities. And has been facts everywhere, in the whole country, either in the west, south, east or north of the country. And there's no exception. The capital is no exception either.

So, it is dangerous to be on Ukraine soil as long as we don't have right system to defend from those rockets that have been launched from Russia.

COLLINS: Yes. So you think it still might be too early for some of them to come back.

I want to also ask you about something that the Russian foreign minister said yesterday, Sergey Lavrov, weighing in about the threat of nuclear war. Listen -- listen to what he said about the actual threat and whether or not it's real.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

The danger is serious and real and it should not be underestimated.


COLLINS: So, White House officials said that they are reassured by the beginning of that statement saying that a nuclear war can't be won by anybody. But I wonder what you make of what he said there at the end, saying that the threat is real, and whether or not you think that's just more saber rattling from Russia or what you make of those comments from Sergey Lavrov?

KLITSCHKO: I believe if you study the history of the past, for instance, 20 years, that the country of Russia has been totally brainwashed and the civilians were brainwashed that the west or the free world, so to speak, is our danger for Russia. And now we have learned in the past as well that whatever the statement was coming from Russia, it's all about threatening. It's all about to provide this jeopardy to the free world. And with this Russia is trying to conquer the world, conquer the free world. And on one side with -- with the wars that has been done in the past, either it's former Soviet Republics, including now with Ukraine, or just their aggressive behavior. It's all about providing the fear. And I hope this fear from the western world, or free world, is not going to turn into the cowardness, because cowardice (ph) is the worst sense.

So, we, Ukrainians, decided to stand for our right, to stand for our freedom, to stand for our choice and stand for the democratic values that we guys share with the free world.


So, for the past two months, we've been fighting back and protecting our country and protecting our free choice to live in the free world. And we've been -- we've been losing a lot of human power and resources. We've been losing our infrastructure. And the world must understand, we need to stand with one front and not be afraid and not -- by no means to become cowards. Not afraid of whatever is going to come from Russia. We need to stand for our right. Otherwise, Ukraine is just the beginning as -- beginning as Russia propaganda has announced and we're going to roll (ph) further.

But we need to stop this war. This senseless war that doesn't make sense, nowadays, in 2022. We need to care of other problems that our planet has, but not the war. We -- we need to stand against Russian aggression altogether. And I hope this -- this weapon that's been promised from the U.S., as well as western European countries to provide for Ukrainians to defend our country should come sooner and not up to two months. And so many thousands of innocent lives have been lost. And I hope we're definitely going to get it to defend our country -- going to get the weapons to defend our country so human lives can be saved.


KLITSCHKO: So, hopefully, we're going to get sooner than later.

COLLINS: Wladimir Klitschko, thank you for joining us this morning.

Ahead on NEW DAY, a CNN team on the ground in Ukraine was forced to run for safety, caught in the middle of Russian shelling.

Plus, what happened last night when celebrity Doctor Mehmet Oz sparred with his GOP rivals in the Pennsylvania Senate debate.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: For the first time, five Republican candidates in the Pennsylvania Senate race shared the debate stage. And one thing was clear, Donald Trump and the 2020 election are still top of mind for many Republicans. The race itself is one of the most closely watched and could help determine who controls the Senate.

CNN's Kristen Holmes live for us in Harrisburg.



Yes, the Pennsylvania Senate race critical here. And you can tell on the ground just how important it is. Every single television ad is a political attack ad. Millions of dollars have already been spent. And last night, when those five Republican candidates took the stage, there was one man who wasn't there but still managed to loom large, and that, of course, was former President Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, MODERATOR: So how did each of you end up running for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania

HOLMES (voice over): The Pennsylvania Senate Republican frontrunners going head-to-head in their fiery first debate alongside three other candidates. Hedge fund CEO David McCormick and celebrity Doctor Mehmet Oz attacking each other.

Fresh off securing the coveted endorsement of former President Trump, Oz touting Trump's decision at every turn.

MEHMET OZ (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: President Trump was very clear, I'm America first.

Dishonest Dave is at it again. He went graveling to President Trump with, again, these types of allegations. President Trump saw right through him. Did not endorse him. And then he endorsed me, because as he said in his announcement, which he wrote himself, I know exactly how to manage our energy issues and deal with many of the other factors that we, as a nation, have to be strong and bold on.

HOLMES: McCormick, whose wife, Dina Powell, served under President Trump, had also jockeyed for Trump's support.

OZ: President Trump saw right through him. He, therefore, did not endorse Mr. McCormick. He endorsed me.

HOLMES: Oz using the endorsement to fight off allegations from candidates that he has flip-flopped on his positions.

DAVID MCCORMICK (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: And this is where Mehmet Oz cracks me up because I hear all his statements about Covid now and this is a guy who -- who, on national television, said the Chinese were doing a great job with the Covid lockdown.


MCCORMICK: Who complemented Anthony Fauci as a great scientist and a greater leader?


MCCORMICK: And who was -- who was the guy who was out there saying mask-up.

OZ: Thank goodness President Trump was able -- Trump was able to put together Operation Warp Speed. But Anthony Fauci, who was the leader of that initial response, should be fired. I've called for his removal.

HOLMES: McCormick and other candidates have spent months painting Oz as a liberal outsider.

OZ: Senator Clinton, one of the smartest people I've ever met.

Dr. Fauci is too. But he's a very disciplined leader. He's a wonderful scientist.

HOLMES: The Senate race is one of the most critical in the country, with $80 million poured into the state already. Currently held by retiring Republican Pat Toomey, the seat is key for Republicans if they want to win the majority in November.

While the former president believes Oz is the most likely to secure a general election in the fall, some Republicans in the state aren't so sure.


HOLMES: And the former president will be here in Pennsylvania holding a rally for Oz in just about two weeks. The primary itself is on May 17th.


BERMAN: All right, Kristen Holmes for us in Harrisburg. Kristen, thank you so much.

Let's bring in the commonwealth's favorite son, Michael Smerconish, CNN political commentator and host of CNN's "Smerconish."

Michael, you watched this debate, along with the Democratic debate. What did you see on that Republican stage?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, good to see you looking so well, John. Really appreciate being with you again.

Your highlight reel makes this look much more exciting than it actually was. It was a lackluster debate. There were five candidates on the same stage. There was only one hour. We had 60 seconds for an answer and then 30-second follow-ups, 15-second follow-ups. It just wasn't enough to make any substantive ground.

COLLINS: Well, and, Michael, there weren't really a lot of substantive policy disagreements, it didn't seem, but, of course, one name that was mentioned a lot during that hour was former President Trump and, of course, his endorsement in this race has really thrown the inner circle for kind of a loop. A lot of people wanted to -- wanted him to endorse David McCormick. Of course, he ended up endorsing Mehmet Oz in the end of that.

I want to listen to what the other candidates were saying, though, about Trump choosing to endorse him.



CARLA SANDS (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: President Trump doesn't always get the best advice. It's unfortunate, but true. KATHY BARNETTE (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Yes, President

Trump coined the word "MAGA," but the word itself, make America great again, belongs to the people.


COLLINS: Michael, what did you make of that?

SMERCONISH: There was no -- there was no distance between President Trump and any of these candidates. I mean, really, it was an hour-long spectacle of who could associate themselves more with Donald Trump. And to watch the television, Kaitlan, in Pennsylvania, you'd be confused as to who he has actually endorsed. To watch Dave McCormick TV spots is to believe that Donald Trump has embraced him and not Dr. Oz.

BERMAN: The idea that the candidates by and large say that the last election, running on the lies, the last election was rigged, is sill central.

Michael, you have mainstream Republicans who don't want that to be an issue in the next election. However, it clearly is in the primary. How much does it matter?

SMERCONISH: I was disappointed with the way in which the question was asked during the debate. It came up, John, but the way the question was asked was this, is it time to move on from the 2020 election? I wish, instead, the moderators had said, did Joe Biden win the 2020 election, and then stop and let each of the five respond, but that's not what was taking place.

COLLINS: And, Michael, I know you also watched the Democratic debate as well and what was being said about that. I wonder what your main takeaways were, of course, from what you saw on that stage?

SMERCONISH: So, John Fetterman is the front-runner. John Fetterman is the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. "The Philadelphia Inquirer" today has an expose on what happened in 2013 when he pulled a shotgun on an unarmed jogger whom he incorrectly associated with gunfire that he thought he heard.

Here's the question, Kaitlan, will Conor Lamb, the congressman who is in second position in the polls, now go negative against Fetterman on that issue? If he doesn't, then that issue is going to linger. And, believe me, Dr. Oz or Dave McCormick, or whomever wins the Republican primary, will litigate it in the fall. I think it's better for Fetterman if he has to deal with it now instead of waiting until the general election.

COLLINS: It's an interesting point.

Michael Smerconish, thank you for getting up early with us this morning.

SMERCONISH: See you, guys. COLLINS: We have more on our breaking news as we are getting word this

morning that the Russians have forced civilians in Mariupol to work at the mass graves in exchange for food and water. We'll show you what the new images are showing us, next.

BERMAN: Plus, new body cam video shows the frantic moments after a fatal shooting on the set -- the movie set "Rust." What Alec Baldwin told investigators about how it happened.

Stay with us.



COLLINS: After a nice weekend of warmth, temperatures are, unfortunately, dropping back down on the East Coast.

Let's get to our CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

Chad, what are you seeing out there?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A few more hours of nice warm weather for the East Coast. The I-95 corridor. Then a cold front comes through, Kaitlan, and brings some thunderstorms as well tonight.

This weather brought to you by the Tractor Supply Company, providing pet food, animal feed, backyard and grilling supplies.

So, let's get right to it. We are warm up and down the East Coast. Warmer than we should be for the afternoon right now. And some weather out to the west we can't forget about. There are fires burning out here in the southwest. Winds today will gust to 40.

So along this cold front, this is what's going to happen. I'm going to take you to 3:00. Watch the storms firing close and southwest of D.C. But by 8:00 they're all the way up and down the I-95. Lightning, thunder, maybe some wind gusts out there. Just make sure the pets are inside, make sure you're inside when that thunder roars.

And, yes, that is snow. Snow for upstate New York, for parts of Pennsylvania. Now, it's not going to stick around very much because even for Cleveland tomorrow the high is 44. So, some wet -- maybe some white grass, but the roads should be just fine in most spots, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Good news for those living in Cleveland.

Chad Myers, thank you so much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

COLLINS: Actor Johnny Depp is trying to reclaim the narrative in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Why he says he's the real victim of domestic abuse, next.

Plus, Clarissa Ward joins us live from Ukraine after she and her team were forced to flee Russian shelling that they were caught in the middle of.



BERMAN: From Ukraine to North Korea and China, CNN reporters covering the latest all around the world.



Kim Jong-un has said that North Korea will strengthen and develop its nuclear arsenal as quickly as possible, calling his country's nuclear power, quote, the symbol of national power and the basis of our military power.

Now, he was speaking at a military parade on Monday night in Pyongyang for the 90th anniversary of the army's foundation. At this parade they also showcased North Korea's largest known ICBM, intercontinental ballistic missile, as well as a number of other weapons systems.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Selina Wang in Kunming, China.

Beijing is racing to contain a new omicron outbreak in the capital. Mass testing 20 million residents three times over the coming days. Parts of the city are going under lockdown. Large gatherings have been banned. Just 80 Covid cases have been reported since Friday, but in China, no Covid case is tolerated.

Beijing is desperate to avoid the failures of Shanghai, where people have been struggling to get food and medical care amid a week's long lockdown. Residents in Beijing are worried that the city could become the next Shanghai. People have been panic buying at supermarkets, preparing for the worst.



SCIUTTO: Our thanks to our reporters all around the world.

And NEW DAY continues right now.