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J.D. Vance Wins Republican Primary for Ohio Senate Nomination after Trump Endorsement; Russian Forces Concentrating in Eastern Ukraine in Attempt to Control Luhansk and Donetsk Regions; Audience Member Attacks Comedian Dave Chappelle Onstage. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired May 04, 2022 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Mary, I think at the heart of this is the loss of beautiful lives, including that of Xavier's. And I wonder what you're going to miss the most about him.
MARY GRAFT, MOTHER OF NAVY SAILOR WHO DIED BY SUICIDE: Just everything. Just being home, being here, being with our family.
JOHN SANDOR, FATHER OF NAVY SAILOR WHO DIED BY SUICIDE: He's our hero. He's our family hero.
GRAFT: And his little brother misses him terribly. It's just, it's so sad. And it took this long to get the sailors off the ship and into temporary housing. It should have been done a long time ago. That's all he wanted. That's it.
KEILAR: I know that's all he wanted, and it didn't come soon enough for him. And there are a lot of questions about why it did not. John Sandor and Mary Graft, I thank you for being so much with us this morning.
SANDOR: Thank you for having us.
GRAFT: Thank you.
KEILAR: We'll keep following the story of your son.
If you or anyone you know are thinking about suicide or you are worried about a friend or loved one, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available around the clock. You can see it here. The hotline number on your screen, 1-800-273-talk.
NEW DAY continues right now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Wednesday, May 4th, May the 4th be with you, and happy birthday to my father.
Overnight, a major test of Donald Trump's political power, and this time a test that was passed. A big victory for Trump-backed candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio. You see the numbers right there. Vance is projected to be the winner in the hotly contested Republican Senate primary. CNN projects he has won that race and the race to replace retiring Ohio Senator Rob Portman. Vance probably does not win this contest without the Trump endorsement. And the former president was one of the first people that Vance thanked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J.D. VANCE, (R) OHIO SENATE CANDIDATE: I have absolutely got to thank the 45th, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
VANCE: Ladies and gentlemen, they wanted to write a story that this campaign would be the death of Donald Trump's America First agenda. Ladies and gentlemen, it ain't the death of the America First agenda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So on the Democratic side, 10 term Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan easily won his Senate primary. He will now face Vance in November.
And the race for Governor in Ohio, the incumbent Republican Mike DeWine secured the nomination in his bid for a second term. He defeated four challengers. This was seen as some of a referendum on DeWine's handling of COVID, something that incumbent governors around the country will face. He will face Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, Ohio. She won the Democratic nomination. She beat former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley there. Brianna?
KEILAR: Joining us now to talk about this is CNN national politics reporter Eva McKend. What do you think about the outcome in this race?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Brianna, I have to say, I actually am surprised. I was in Ohio a few months ago in Strongsville, I went to one of these Republican candidate forums of which there were many in Ohio. And the enthusiasm really seemed to be with Josh Mandel. It was his third time running for Senate, so now he has lost three times, as well as with Mike Gibbons, a very wealthy businessman in Ohio.
So to see J.D. Vance come from behind and pull out this victory after the Trump endorsement felt pretty major. Not only did he win, he won by a -- it seems like a win by a pretty comfortable margin when all the votes are tallied.
KEILAR: So what does this tell you about the influence of former president Trump, in this race and may be other ones as well?
MCKEND: It seems to have been the determining factor in this race. And what it means is that we are going to see many Republicans across the country echo this same playbook. I will say this, though. Vance courted Trump in a way that did not seem desperate, though. He did not make, I think, as many trips as others to Mar-a-Lago. There is a way that you have to court Trump in a way that you still show some pride and some dignity, because ultimately Trump is someone that is all about optics.
But we will see many Republican candidates lean heavily into the big lie, repeat the lie that the 2020 election was stolen or rigged. All of that was, I think, factors in Vance being successful, and so we are going to see a lot of this. Also, lots of candidates lean into cultural issues. That was a big thing for Vance on conservative media.
He said don't be afraid of the cultural wars. He wanted to talk about all of these issues. And so I imagine we'll hear a lot of this.
KEILAR: I think you are so right. Eva, thank you so much. Eva McKend, we appreciate it.
BERMAN: All right, this morning, the Ukrainian military is attempting to open four humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from Mariupol if it can be done safely. Ukraine's President Zelenskyy says 156 evacuees arrived in Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday, many of them from the bombed out ruins of the Azovstal steel plant.
On the battlefield, the Ukrainians say Russian forces have made very little progress despite heavy bombardments as they try to take control of Luhansk and Donetsk. And this new video provided by the Ukrainian military appears to show a drone strike on at least two Russian military positions on Russian occupied Snake Island. New intelligence from the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense, I'm reading now, this is what it says, that Russia has deployed 22 battalion tactical groups near Izium in its attempt to advance along the northern axis of the Donbas, that's despite struggling to breakthrough Ukrainian defenses and build momentum. Russia highly likely, it says, intends to proceed beyond Izium to capture Kramatorsk and another city there. Capturing these locations would consolidate Russian military control of the northeastern Donbas and provide a staging point for the efforts to cut off Ukrainian forces in the region.
Joining me now is retired Army Major Mike Lyons. Thank you so much for being with us. Just to show people what that is talking about here, it says Russian forces are in Izium right there, 22 battalion tactical groups moving toward Kramatorsk. The significance?
MAJOR MIKE LYONS, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED): Yes, so 22 battalion tactical groups is about 15,000 to 20,000 soldiers. That's the key there. What they're trying to do is outnumber the Ukrainian forces that are in that location, in that saliant here. Severodonetsk is in this other city right here, and then Kramatorsk, that's where that attack was on the rail lines a couple of weeks ago, very key. So if they can control that kind of terrain there, take away that kill zone -- this is where the Ukraine defense forces have been killing Russian forces as they have been trying toed ed advance. If they can now outnumber and overwhelm and Ukraine military in that kill zone and control that salient there, that gives them that possible opportunity to continue to go west of the Dnipro.
BERMAN: Interesting, you see the triangle there, the pocket that they're trying to neutralize there, the Russians, according to the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense. I have some video I want you to take a look at here. This is apparently an attack on an oil depot inside Luhansk. This is a Russian-controlled area there. If we can take a look at that video. All right, you can see right there, this is in the Russian-controlled area. We don't have exact word on what might have caused this, but you can see, again, if Ukrainians are able to strike inside Russian-controlled areas, that would be in this area here, the significance of that.
LYONS: Yes, a couple of things. These strikes are coming from the Caspian Sea, we're coming to find out. The air force is reporting there are cruise missiles launched from the air. Russian aircraft still doesn't have fly over Ukraine. They can't trust the fact that they won't be shot down now. But they're going to go after infrastructure. They're going to go after critical infrastructure for a couple of reasons. They want to put the lights out on the Ukraine citizens that are there, and they want to show the Ukraine citizens that they can do this, they have this capability. It's pure terror. Those aren't really military targets.
BERMAN: We spoke to Moonfish, who is a Ukrainian air force pilot, and he said something interest. He said the Russians control this airspace and the areas where Russian forces are now operating. But Ukrainians control, he says, everywhere else, by and large.
BERMAN: What does that mean going forward in terms of this Russian promise from the Russian minister of defense to strike the supply convoys coming in from Poland and other NATO nations, bringing weaponry inside Ukraine?
LYONS: Two things. It means number one they have to use their guided weapons systems, cruise missiles, again, coming from the Caspian Sea, out here some place, coming from hundreds of miles away. They're running out of those. We know that.
But the second thing that is key is they also can't hit these moving targets. I think that's going to be the key here. The race will be on for NATO forces to help Poland, to help Slovakia and these other countries get that equipment into Ukraine, and then move it along the rail lines or move it along the roads in manners where it is moving, because if it's moving, it is not going to be able to be hit.
Unfortunately, though, those still targets, the energy centers and the industrials complexes, those should have been hit probably months ago at this point. But that is going to be the key there.
BERMAN: Rail stations, oil depots, static targets. Major, great to have you on. Thank you very much. Brianna?
KEILAR: A wild scene last night in Los Angeles, police say comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked by an audience member who charged the stage during a live performance at the Hollywood Bowl. You're looking here at the aftermath video of the incident. And Chris Rock just happened to be in the house at this performance. CNN's Brynn Gingras is joining us now with details on the very latest here. Brynn? [08:09:57]
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, Chris Rock, a bunch of other actors, this happened at the Hollywood Bowl, which is part of a Netflix comedy festival. And Chappelle was doing a set, when a video shows that person ran from the crowd onto the stage during the set, and basically attacked him. Now, you're looking at the aftermath when a bunch of people including police and security bum rushed the stage to get a hold of this person.
We know it doesn't look like Chappelle was injured and video that we have seen circulating on social media taken shortly after the incident actually shows Chappelle right here, you can see him here joking around on stage. Actor Jamie Foxx is right there next to him. It's really unclear at the moment what the motive for this person was, but what we do know, Brianna and John, is that the LAPD responded to this incident in the Hollywood Bowl, around 10:45, and they say, get this, a man with reportedly a gun and a knife was taken into custody.
Now, we've reached out to Chappelle reps, the Hollywood Bowl and the LAPD. We're waiting to hear back. But this, of course, takes us back, Brianna, to the Oscars incident when the world saw Will Smith slap Chris Rock. Comedians immediately after that came out, like Amy Schumer, expressing concern that something like that could happen. The security needs to be better. And here we are, raising serious concerns how this person even got into the venue with a gun and a knife allegedly, and of course how they even got on to the stage. No laughing matter here, though, Brianna.
KEILAR: Brynn, thank you so much for that report.
We do have some new CNN reporting revealing that Homeland Security officials in the Trump administration altered an intelligence report on Russian interference.
BERMAN: And don't become Putin's altar boy, those words from Pope Francis, one of the strongest condemnations that I think I've ever heard from a pontiff.
BERMAN: Some strong words from the pontiff this morning. The Pope warning the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church to not become, quote, "Putin's altar boy." The comments made in an interview this week where the Pope slammed the pro-war Russian patriarch for justifying Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Joining us now, His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York.
So nice to have you on. I should note you just returned from a visit to Ukraine and the border. I do want to ask you, first, about the Pope's comments. I'm not sure I've ever heard words quite like that from the Pope. Why so strong, do you think? CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK, JUST VISITED UKRAINE
AND POLAND: Well, you could be right, John. First of all, good morning, and thank you, thank you for your interest in my just completed trip late last night when I got home. So forgive me if I appear a little sleepy today. But thanks for your interest.
I'm not surprised by those comments at all. The Holy Father feels very strongly about this. I had the honor of being with him last week because I went to Rome before I went to Ukraine. And I only had a couple of minutes with him, but his passion for the situation was extraordinary. Not surprising. Actually, he -- that term, Putin's altar boy, had been used earlier by a good friend of mine, Archbishop Borys Gudziak who's the archbishop of the Greek-Ukrainian Catholic Church here in the United States. And he had used that term himself, so I'm not surprised.
The Pope has always -- the Pope has always said, we pastors, we religious leaders, need to be above this. We need to be like the prophets of the people of Israel and critique governments and call them to nobility and peace and justice and reconciliation. We don't need to be encouraging them in acts of violence and division. So I'm not surprised at all at the strong statement of Pope Francis.
BERMAN: So as you said, you just returned from Ukraine and Poland. I made that trip, so I know how tired you must be this morning. What have you learned? What have you learned in your visit?
DOLAN: Well, you know what, John, I'm trying to process it now and I'm going to borrow from the vocabulary of faith, that so many people, the refugees with whom I visited on the borders of Poland and Slovakia, and then when I was able to get into the western part of Ukraine, around the (INAUDIBLE), there they call them the internally displaced people, they're refugees too but they haven't yet left the country.
But they will rely on words of faith and they will tell me over and over again, we got some Good Friday here, a lot of Good Friday. And we also got Easter Sunday. What do they mean by that, John? They're saying we got the darkness, we got the death, we got the evil that we know came on that first Good Friday, when Jesus died on the cross, but they also say we got resurrection, and what do they mean by that?
Well, look, you see it in the hope, the resilience, the grittiness of the people of Ukraine, and especially, John, what overwhelmed me was the avalanche of aid and support that the people of Ukraine are getting from the world. That was my major goal over there, is to see how we could help better, to listen to them and to see where our aid and assistance could be directed. And I can't tell you how inspired I was by what they're doing over there.
Now, I only visited with the faith inspired groups. But there is an abundant number of people from all over the world, who are helping with medicine, blankets, clothes, food, fresh water, they tell me that the Russians have unfortunately poisoned, literally poisoned wells in Ukraine, and poisoned some of the rivers, so even something as basic as clean pure water is missing there. But the people of the world have been phenomenal. I didn't see any panic. I didn't see any sense of desperation. Oh,
yes, a lot of tears. A lot of suffering. The major thing they want, John, is to go back home. And they kind of look at you and say, what did we do to deserve this? We people of Ukraine, we want peace, we just want our independence. We were doing pretty well the last 30 years and now this tragedy, they kind of can't understand it. Neither can I to be honest with you.
BERMAN: They did nothing to deserve it, to be clear about that.
BERMAN: Cardinal, I do want to ask you.
BERMAN: We're speaking at a really interesting time back here in the United States. You came back to a fascinating moment here with this leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court, which could overturn Roe vs. Wade. You've been an anti-abortion activist. If this opinion goes that like it said it would, you know that this will be a divisive moment in this country. I wonder how you will work to bring people together.
DOLAN: Well, you're kind to ask that, I'm glad you did, and you're also very gracious to think we want to be on the side of unity of bringing people together and not exacerbating the tensions that we already know exist in the country.
I didn't even know about this, John, because I was obviously preoccupied in a good way over in Ukraine with the refugees and the relief and assistance for them. So when I got back real late last night, I heard about this development, I was fascinated, I obviously share what I understand is the widespread chagrin about this very leak that does seem to maybe tamper with the obvious delicacy and prudence, the protocol that goes into these complicated Supreme Court decisions.
But you won't be surprised to know that I hope the leaked document is true, but you bring up a good point. We don't need this to pour kerosene on fires already burning in the United States. We've always felt, at least with leaders of faith in the pro-life movement, and as you know it's not a religious issue, we're talking about a civil rights issue here, the right to life of a baby, the innocent baby in the womb.
But we've always thought this is a both-and situation. We want to and have reached out to struggling women who are -- who have the burden of an untimely pregnancy. And we also want to be extraordinarily robust and enthusiastic in our defense of the fragile life of the baby in the womb. And we always think it can be a both-and situation. We want to be on the side of helping women and of protecting the right of the unborn.
Now, granted, John, that sounds good. That's kind of -- that's kind of very challenging to bring about, but that's the side we want to be on.
BERMAN: Listen, we appreciate your time, especially given your flight schedule, Your Eminence. Thank you very much for being with us on NEW DAY this morning.
DOLAN: John, I appreciate being on. Thanks for the interest.
BERMAN: All right. Happening soon, the Fed set to make yet another historic move to fight inflation.
KEILAR: Plus, new surveillance video released from the day an Alabama corrections officer and an inmate charged with capital murder went on the run. The special relationship that officials say they had.
KEILAR: New developments this morning in the case of the Alabama corrections officer who disappeared with an inmate. Officer Vicki White and inmate Casey White, no relation, had a, quote, "special relationship," according to the Lauderdale County sheriff, and just released surveillance video which you can see right here shows Officer White leading the inmate out of the complex and into her patrol car. She said she was taking him for a mental health evaluation which authorities say was never scheduled. It wasn't a thing. That was on Friday. And they're still on the loose.
BERMAN: And there is this, an ex of Casey White who testified that he tried to kill her, she issued a warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Casey White is very dangerous. He's dangerous to everybody that is around him. If she is still alive, get the hell out, run, run, run as far as you can and turn yourself in and contact somebody. Like, do the right thing before you lose your life or before somebody else does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Joining us now is Bill Sorukas, he is the retired chief of the Investigative Operations Division at the U.S. Marshal Service, and the author of the new book "Chasing Evil: The Story of the Evolution of Modern Fugitive Investigations with the U.S. Marshal Service and the Pursuit of Notorious Criminals."
I would say you are uniquely qualified for this discussion, sir. And I appreciate you being with us this morning. Talk to us about this special relationship, those are the words from the sheriff there, between this corrections officer and this inmate. How do special relationships like that develop?
BILL SORUKAS, RETIRED CHIEF, INVESTIGATIVE OPERATIONS DIVISION, U.S. MARSHALS: Well, good morning. I'm not sure what the sheriff may have been referring to, but I think that as the investigation evolves, we're going to find out that Vicki White and Casey White have been communicating and talking and for a lengthy period of time, not weeks or months, but maybe more than a year.
KEILAR: And we're finding out, I think, a little bit of that, Bill, even now. The sheriff said they had communicated even outside of work. I want to listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF RICK SINGLETON, LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA: We have confirmed that there was what we call a special relationship, it is not a physical relationship, that we can have any evidence of, but they did communicate at times when she was not at work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: How does that happen, Bill?
SORUKAS: Pardon me, I couldn't hear you real well.
KEILAR: How does that happen? How is it possible that she is communicating while she is not even at work with this inmate?
SORUKAS: Well, especially in small correctional settings such as this, inmates seem to develop relationships with the correctional officers. It's not unusual, there have been many instances over the years where inmates end up marrying correctional officers and other escape attempts.