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U.K. Intel: Russia Likely To Control All Of Luhansk In Two Weeks; Committee Reveals First Hearing With Previously Unseen Material; "Missing: Madeleine McCann" Premieres Tonight at 10 PM ET. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 03, 2022 - 07:30   ET



VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Is a really good indicator of -- that people are really willing to travel again. There's no major airport nearby, Brianna, so everyone really has to drive in. It could really signal that people are just ready to get back and get to do summer vacations again despite the fact that it may cost a little bit more -- Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, they want their vacations. Great story, Vanessa. Always a good excuse to do an interview on a little train, I will say -- very cute. Thank you for that.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's like the best interview set-up --

KEILAR: Right?

BERMAN: -- I can remember.

All right, tropical storm warnings in effect for Florida, the Bahamas, and Cuba. The system expected to intensify and become Tropical Storm Alex. So let's get right to meteorologist Chad Myers. Chad, what are you expecting here?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, potential tropical cyclone number one -- not yet Alex, but I think we'll get there later on today. Forty-mile-per-hour winds, so the wind is strong enough to be a tropical storm, but we don't have the circulation around a common center. We will later on today. It will become a tropical storm later on and it will make landfall in Florida tomorrow.

This is going to be a quick-moving storm but making very heavy rainfall -- one to three-foot with the storm surge, probably, but with the biggest part -- with the 50-mile-per-hour winds still, it will be the rainfall. Ten to 20 inches of rain on this map right now.

BERMAN: Wow. All right, Chad Myers, thank you.

One hundred days of death, destruction, and Ukrainians fiercely holding onto their homeland. Where the war stands today, especially in the east, and where the next 100 days could lead.

KEILAR: And a presidential trip to Saudi Arabia now looking more likely after some diplomatic breakthroughs.



BERMAN: Today marks 100 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. And this morning, new intelligence from the United Kingdom warns that Russia is likely to control all of the Luhansk region within two weeks. Right now, Russia already controls basically 90% of this region over there. And the U.K. says it is achieving, quote, "tactical success."

Joining us to discuss where things stand on the ground, retired Army Major Mike Lyons. Great to see you, Major.

I want to talk about what the Russians have been able to do in the east. They've got about 70% of this city, Syeverodonetsk, right now. You hear the U.K. saying they're achieving tactical success here.

What has Russia succeeded in doing, and why?

MAJOR MIKE LYONS, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED): A couple of things.

First of all, they've been able to consolidate some of the forces they had in all the places where they were losing, and they're all focused on this avenue of approach here -- this one access here. So, they're trying to again gain some success here.

We're seeing that they're using electronic warfare. They're starting to learn. We didn't see that before. They're starting to use electronic warfare, jamming the Ukraine drones. So Ukraine is becoming blind in certain areas now, which is not good, especially as we bring in this artillery.

The last thing is the fight for this salient right here. You could see that pocket of resistance. It's difficult for any military to defend that. It creates a long, wide area for them to try to defend that. And so, unfortunately, now you're seeing the Ukraine military has had to retreat across the Donetsk River in order to have -- to be able to fight, really, another day.

BERMAN: One of the things we hear from U.S. officials -- they flat- out told me yes, Russia is making gains in certain places. Tactical gains, but they're not achieving their strategic goals. What does that mean?

LYONS: Well, 100 days ago, they came in on multiple fronts. They tried to take Kyiv. They were here. They were coming in from -- they thought they were going to have this done by now, for sure, 100 days into it. But now, you're seeing all that focus is now right here.

So, strategically, Russia wanted the whole country. They've got now 20% in this area here. So I believe now the Ukraine military and government has got to figure out a way to inoculate this part of Ukraine from the rest of this. This is where the fight is going to be and that's where it's going to stand. So the kind of weapons systems they're going to need -- air defense platforms -- other things still have got to come in from the West, but recognize there's still going to be a very big fight here in the east.

BERMAN: I will say, right now, the Ukrainians are saying they're having some success fighting the Russians back here, mostly because the Russians are focused up here and they've taken back some 20 towns, they say.

But largely speaking, can Ukraine take back the rest of this territory -- some 20% of their own country?

LYONS: John, it's a hard pill to swallow but probably not because they don't have numbers. This is all about numbers. It's always been about numbers.

Russia has got a tremendous amount of ammunition stocks. In the next 90 days, perhaps the troops that were deployed from March or they're conscripted in March could come and join the fight. They have more numbers than the Ukraine military. The Ukraine government doesn't have the amount of numbers it's going to take to go on the offensive.

These have been guerilla tactics. There have not been any kind of maneuver types and things like that. So I don't think they have the numbers to do it.

BERMAN: All right. Major Mike Lyons, great discussion. Thanks so much for being with us.

The United States has confirmed that its military hackers have been conducting operations in support of Ukraine. CNN's reporters are covering the world with the latest developments.



The head of U.S. Cyber Command says that American military hackers have carried out offensive cyber operations in support of Ukraine in their war against Russia. General Paul Nakasone told Sky News that Cyber Command has carried out offensive, defensive, and information operations but declined to say what or where the targets were.

President Joe Biden has repeatedly insisted that U.S. forces would not engage directly with Russian forces in this war in Ukraine, and the White House is now saying this is not a violation of that pledge.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (on camera): I'm Nada Bashir in London.

And the United States is set to join the U.K., France, and Germany in seeking a resolution, which would insist on Iran's full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency as it investigates safeguarding issues in the country. According to a State Department spokesperson, the U.S. government is

engaging with the agency and other allies over concerns around Iran's failure to credibly respond to questions on potential undeclared nuclear materials and activities.


Earlier this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has increased its enriched uranium stockpile and is yet to provide answers for unexplained nuclear activity at three undeclared sites, according to two reports obtained by CNN.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm Jeremy Diamond at the White House where officials are making for President Biden to meet later this month with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This would be the first meeting between these two leaders and it comes despite a campaign pledge from Biden to make Saudi Arabia a pariah following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Now, plans for this visit come amid a pair of diplomatic breakthroughs. OPEC and other allied-producing nations committing to producing an additional 200,000 barrels per day of oil this summer. And the U.S. also praised Saudi Arabia for its role in encouraging and facilitating a truce in the war in Yemen.


KEILAR: More trouble for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, perhaps. New CNN reporting this morning on possible charges for his alleged "Build the Wall" scheme.

BERMAN: And the Robb Elementary School teacher who was wrongly accused of leaving the door open the day of the deadly shooting now opening up with new information.



BERMAN: New CNN reporting this morning. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon could be facing charges for defrauding donors in a border wall fundraising campaign despite having received a pardon from the former president on a federal version of this case.

Several close allies of Bannon have been subpoenaed to testify before a New York State grand jury -- an indication that the Manhattan D.A.'s criminal investigation into Bannon's fundraising efforts intensifying.

Meantime, the House committee investigating the Capitol attacks announced that next Thursday's first public hearing will be held during primetime and will feature previously unseen material and witness testimony.

Joining us now, CNN contributor and former Nixon White House counsel, John Dean. He is the subject and a key part of the new CNN original series "WATERGATE: BLUEPRINT FOR A SCANDAL." John, it's great to see you.

And obviously, Watergate -- those hearings played such a major role in the events that took place. The hearings that begin next week in primetime -- what do you think they need to do?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, I think they've got to get the attention of the public and start educating them. The public really doesn't have much of an idea why they're doing this and where they're going.

They know of an insurrection. They don't know, really, the seriousness of it all. They haven't looked at it and been educated about the threat this is to democracy.

So, they have an important -- very important role. Otherwise, we're going to pass over this and not deal with the problems that created the insurrection.

BERMAN: Does there need to be an aha moment at these hearings?

DEAN: Not really. I think it's more important that people understand the importance of what they're doing. That this is just not a boondoggle kind of hearing. This is something that -- you can't get much more basic than protecting the mechanics of democracy.

BERMAN: Obviously, you went through the Watergate hearings and were a big part of them. What lessons did you learn from that in terms of things being presented to the American people?

DEAN: Well, I learned that the American people have the ability to learn but not the disposition to keep that lesson very long. Well, it's about a decade that Watergate had an impact. I'm not sure many people know about it, care about it, or does it affect their life, excepting journalists and lawyers.

BERMAN: Ha! Often there's an intersection there.

Look, I want to play a clip from this series, which I'm so excited to see -- watch.


DEAN: He said I've got Haldeman and Ehrlichman working on the second term. You've been reporting about Watergate to me through them. I'd like you now to start reporting directly to me.

This was the first time I'd really developed a one-on-one relationship with Nixon and I soon realized I am his point man on Watergate.

On March 19, one of the lawyers from the reelection committee came to my office. He told me -- he said, John, Howard Hunt wanted me to send a message to you. He said if I don't get $120,000, like yesterday, I'm going to have some seamy things to say about what I did for John Ehrlichman at the White House.

I erupted to the person who brought the message and told him I'm out of the money business. I don't want anything to do with it. I'm not going to let Hunt extort me. And I just may blow this whole thing up. This has got to end.


BERMAN: My God, this is like a fiesta for history buffs right there of information and accounts.

John, there were consequences for the abuse of power --

DEAN: Yes.

BERMAN: -- that happened during Watergate 50 years ago. I'm curious -- do you think the same checks and balances and consequences exist today for abuse of power?

DEAN: I wish I could tell you I knew the answer. We don't know. Today, the dynamics have changed. We didn't have a Fox News that was cheering, in essence, for the bad guys. Journalism has changed -- the coverage, the public reaction because of polarization.

I don't know what's going to happen but I do know this. We're not going to have a democracy much longer if we don't get it right.

BERMAN: John Dean, it's great to see you. It's an honor to get to talk to you about this type of thing.

DEAN: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Appreciate it.

And be sure to tune in to the all-new CNN original series "WATERGATE: BLUEPRINT FOR A SCANDAL." It premieres Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.


Soon, we are going to be joined by a key former adviser to the House January 6 Committee. What evidence he expects will be uncovered during next week's public hearings.

KEILAR: C-H-A-M-P. An eighth-grader from San Antonio now the new Scripps National Spelling Bee champion after a historic spell-off. She spelled incredibly hard words that you've probably never heard of and she's going to join us live.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harini, you correctly spelled a total of 21 confirmed correct words.



KEILAR: It's been 15 years since a little 3-year-old British girl named Madeleine McCann disappeared from a beach town in Portugal. The story made headlines around the world and it was filled with twists and turns, including accusations that her parents may have had something to do with it. Well now, Portuguese authorities have named their first formal suspect in the cast since the McCanns were cleared.


Randi Kaye has followed this case for years and she traveled to Germany to speak to the prosecutor who made the break in the case. Here is a clip from her documentary airing tonight on CNN.


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (on camera): What makes you so certain that Madeleine McCann is dead?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have some evidence for this. We have no forensic evidence but we have other evidence, but I'm not allowed to speak about this in detail at the moment.

KAYE (on camera): You wouldn't come out and say that Madeleine McCann was dead if you thought there was a chance that she wasn't, correct?


KAYE (on camera): So to be clear, the formal suspect in Madeleine McCann's case is a convicted rapist and a known pedophile?


KAYE (voice-over): Shockingly, authorities received their first tip on Bruckner back in 2013, but as a witness in the McCann case; not a suspect. He allegedly lied and told authorities he wasn't in Portugal at the time of the disappearance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This may have been the biggest mistake in this case. In the letter inviting him for this kind of interview, they explained to him that this was about the Maddie McCann case. And if he's guilty, this gave him all the time in the world to destroy evidence.

KAYE (on camera): When you have this man who was living about a mile away from the Ocean Club, he has a clear criminal record. Why did it take so long?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's one of the big questions in this case. Christian B. was hiding in plain sight, so he lived next to the place and he was a known child molester. It should have been possible to identify him earlier.

KAYE (voice-over): Two years after German authorities went public, Bruckner still has not been formally charged, and he denies any involvement in the McCann case.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: Randi Kaye is with us now. It's pretty amazing to hear that there may be this progress that they're making here, Randi. What more have you found?

KAYE: Well, it has been these 15 years, Brianna, which is truly remarkable. It was just -- she was just a few days shy of her fourth birthday before -- when she disappeared, so she would be 19 years old today.

We found that this has been quite an investigation. There have been more than 9,000 reported sightings of Madeleine McCann. Scotland Yard alone has worked through interviews with about 600 people and 40,000 documents. They've spent upwards of $15 million in the search for Madeleine McCann.

But what's most interesting is this key piece of evidence that prosecutors are still waiting for. That's why they haven't charged this suspect, Christian Bruckner. They know that his cell phone was in the area of the Ocean Club, which is that apartment where Madeleine McCann and her family were staying when she disappeared. It was in the area but they don't know if it was Christian Bruckner who had his cell phone. Logic would follow that yes, he was in possession of his cell phone if it was there.

But they're still looking for a key witness -- the person who called Christian Bruckner's cell phone, and that's the person who would be able to say yes, he was in possession of his cell phone. Yes, I called him and he answered it, and that's why it was in the area of the Ocean Club. So that would put this -- now, the first formal suspect in the area of the Ocean Club where Madeleine disappeared.

Now, there is no statute of limitations for homicide in Germany so this prosecutor has all the time he wants and all the time he needs to come up with this key witness and make these charges formal. But for now, he is still hunting for this very important witness, Brianna.

KEILAR: What else can you tell us about what you learned while working on this?

KAYE: Well, first of all, you always hear from the experts the first 24 or 48 hours are so important when a child goes missing, and that was absolutely key in this case.

There were a lot of mistakes made early on. They were treating it as a missing person case. They thought maybe Madeleine McCann might have just crawled out of her bed at the Ocean Club and walked down the street, or disappeared from this apartment complex.

But those first 48 hours, they made -- even in the 24 hours, they made quite a few mistakes. They had -- they didn't seal off the apartment. They -- some of the investigators weren't using gloves. They found fingerprints on the windowsill mixed in with whoever might have been inside that apartment. So, that was certainly a problem.

They didn't seal the borders with Spain, so anybody who might have been involved could have escaped. So that, I think, is really -- it's just so critical. It really

hammers home just how important those first 24 or 48 hours are.

And then they focused so much on Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents. So they maybe had not been looking in the direction of some others who really did play a role in her disappearance, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes. Randi Kaye, thank you so much for being with us, and we'll be watching this. "MISSING: MADELEINE MCCANN" will air tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on CNN.

And NEW DAY continues right now.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.

On this new day, enough. President Biden calls on Congress to act on gun safety legislation in a rare primetime address.

The teacher wrongly accused of propping open the door and the Uvalde shooter -- that the Uvalde shooter used to enter the Robb Elementary School now opening up and taking legal action.

KEILAR: A former key adviser to the House's January 6 Committee is speaking out. What he says his team found and other evidence he believes will be uncovered.