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New Day

King Charles to Parliament: I "Feel the Weight of History'; Queen Worked with 15 Prime Ministers; Book: Trump Planned to Blockade Himself in White House After Loss; Ukraine Counteroffensive Sends Russian Military Into Retreat; U.S. Fears European Alliance May Fracture as Russia Cuts Off Gas. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired September 12, 2022 - 06:00   ET



MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russian control for only a month. "Yes, according to our information, we are recording war crimes in almost every village," he says.


This, the body of one of two civilians killed in late February, an early victim of the invasion and evidence now of what six months of Russian occupation have cost.


BELL (on camera): John, those grisly finds continuing here in Eastern Kharkiv, even as you saw there the fight continues, and bitterly, for Ukrainian forces, trying to regain more ground, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Melissa Bell for us in Kharkiv. Again, a remarkable turn-around. We'll be following that all morning. NEW DAY's special coverage continues right now.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Don Lemon in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A solemn day ahead in the United Kingdom as the people say good-bye to their queen and begin to embrace their new king. King Charles III addressing Parliament just moments ago, saying that he feels the weight of history. Listen.


KING CHARLES III, UNITED KINGDOM: As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions to which members of both houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all.

Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy. The dual traditions are ancient. We see in the construction of this great hall. And the reminders of medieval predecessors of the office to which I have been called.

And the tangible connections to my darling late mother we see all around us, from the fountain in New Palace Yard, which commemorates the late queen's Silver Jubilee, to the sundial in Old Palace Yard for the Golden Jubilee.

My lords and members of the House of Commons, we gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of the queen's dedicated service to her nations and peoples.

While very young, her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people, and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation. This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty, which with God's help, and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.


LEMON: The royal couple now on the way to Edinburgh, where I am now.

Later today, King Charles and his queen consort, Camilla, they will lead the royal family in a procession behind her coffin. And this afternoon, there will be a service -- service of reflection for the extraordinary life of Queen Elizabeth. That service will take place at St. Giles Cathedral.

Last hour, Prince Harry paid tribute in a statement to his grandmother, writing, and I quote here, "Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings -- from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my commander in chief, to the first moment you met by darling wife and hugged your beloved grandchildren, great-grandchildren. I cherish these times shared with you and the many other special moments in between. You're already sorely missed, not just by us but by the world over. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and Grandpa are reunited now and both together in peace."

That just moments ago from Prince Harry in a statement.

CNN royal correspondent Max Foster is at Buckingham Palace for us this morning with more. Max, please walk us through this transition after decades of the queen's relationship with Parliament.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very interesting seeing the pomp and pageantry today. We talked a lot, Don, didn't we, about how the monarchy has a ceremonial role.


But actually, fundamentally, the British democracy is made up of a structure, and it is in Parliament. It's the monarch. It's the House of Lords and House of Commons.

And the queen was so exemplary in leading that process and so reassuring to many members of Parliament that she never got involved in politics in any way.

But she was able to keep the wheels turning, if you like, in Parliament, because that was her role.

And this was the first opportunity, really, for the lords and the members of the House of Commons to hear how the king would treat his role in Parliament.

And he very much modelled himself on what the queen was doing previously, so that was very reassuring, indeed, if you look back on all of those decades of the queen's reign.


FOSTER (voice-over): Throughout her seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth had a delicate and vital relationship with the government. Despite an obligation to remain strictly neutral with respect to politics, the monarchy holds vital constitutional duties.

During her reign, the queen saw 15 prime ministers. All but one of them she officially appointed after a democratic vote.

Winston Churchill was already prime minister when she took the throne, and they had a unique dynamic.

In 1979, she saw a milestone with Britain's first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Tony Blair described the annual tradition of visiting the queen at Balmoral Castle as "intriguing," "surreal" and "utterly freaky."

David Cameron, who was the youngest serving prime minister during her reign and a former schoolmate of her son, Prince Edward.

And during the ten years of Theresa May and Boris Johnson, the contentious issue of Brexit came to the forefront.

The queen had appointed her final prime minister, Liz Truss, only two days before she died.

The queen navigated each relationship whilst commanding respect from the elected leaders.

TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: When I became prime minister, one of the first things she said to me, is "My first prime minister was Winston, and that was before you were born." So, you know, she -- by the time I became prime minister, she had this enormous experience of government, of politics in its broader sense.

FOSTER (voice-over): As prime ministers have come and gone, the queen remained a stalwart figure in Parliamentary procedure. Year after year, the queen opened Parliament, one of the monarchy's most important symbolic duties.

In a speech written by the government, the queen outlined the priorities of the current administration, and introduced the legislative agenda.

QUEEN ELIZABETH, UNITED KINGDOM: My government's overriding priority is to ensure sustained growth, to deliver a fair and prosperous economy for families and businesses as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn.

FOSTER (voice-over): Last year, she made her first major appearance after Prince Philip's death by opening Parliament in a pared-back ceremony.

This year, as her health declined, Charles and William presided in her stead. She had been absent from the ceremony only twice before, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Now, as King Charles III assumes his duties as the monarch, a new era begins for the relationships between the crown and the government.


FOSTER: With me is Christiane and also Elizabeth Norton, who's a historian.

And I think, Christiane, what I would argue is that, if you look at the long period of the queen's reign and the tumultuous period in history, and how she, I would argue, strengthened her position on the throne when so many things were going against her, would make her arguably the greatest monarch of all time.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, you set out your store (ph), Max, and it is absolutely true that nobody has had that unrivalled span of history to traverse, 70 years.

But you know what? Let's ask the expert. She's written a book called "England's Queens." And of course, there are three great women queens, right? Elizabeth II, Victoria, and before her, Elizabeth I. How do you judge what makes a great or the greatest queen?

ELIZABETH NORTON, HISTORIAN: So it's really difficult to do. And I think those three monarchs would be in, at least, everyone's top five of British monarch, which is, I mean, really impressive when you think how few reigning queens there have been.

But it is really difficult to judge, because you sort of have to try and judge them from the standards of their own time and also the current time.

So I think Victoria, for example, if you'd asked me this question, maybe 40 years ago or so, I think Victoria might have won. But actually, she's very much tarnished by her empire.

FOSTER: Because she built the empire but also tarnished because she built the empire.

NORTON: I think really, because now, we look back at Victorian times. Instead of sort of seeing this age of British glory, we're actually -- we're understanding more, in a post-colonial age, that actually, colonialism isn't a good thing for the countries that is colonizing.


AMANPOUR: And this is definitely going to come up with this -- with this new king, because, you know, it's definitely a live issue for those countries and for the increasingly diverse and multi-cultural, multi-faith Britain.

But tell us about Elizabeth I.


AMANPOUR: The first major female queen.

NORTON: She is. And we always make parallels between Elizabeth II and Elizbeth I. And obviously, we are new Elizabethans, at least we were.

And but I mean, I - I have to say, I think I'd put Elizabeth I, first as my top queen. She is really the first woman to really make her mark on the throne. She's the second reigning queen in England, but she reigns for over 40 years.

And she reigns through a period of mostly prosperity. It's the age of Shakespeare. It's the age of exploration. When the first sort of real attempts to settle Europeans in the new world.

AMANPOUR: And she was King Henry VIII's daughter.

NORTON: She is.

AMANPOUR: And anything was better than that, right?

NORTON: Anything.

AMANPOUR: Such a violent and blood, although an interesting period. So -- you know, all the queens he beheaded. And it's called the golden age, the first Elizabethan age.

NORTON: So much so. And I think -- I think although Elizabeth I is my top pick for monarch, I think Elizabeth II comes very close to the top pick.

AMANPOUR: Tell us how.

NORTON: So I think we can draw these parallels between the Elizabeths and not just their name. Both reigned for a long time. And I think both really, the key thing they represented was stability, possibly after a period of instability.

Elizabeth I, the short reigns of her siblings and also her father's long and difficult reign.

And Elizabeth II, she came after the war, came at the end of austerity.

And so no neither period is entirely positive. It all points to we have downturns, but the queen is always there and always stable. So Elizabeth II is my second top queen.

FOSTER: You're the expert, I concede.


FOSTER: All right. We'll have a debate off-camera with Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Interestingly, and I just want to say because obviously, we have a big American audience, particularly at these hours and at these times.

The Queen Elizabeth whose ancestor lost those colonies, i.e., America, went back to the bicentennial in '7 -- you know, 1976, and she actually said publicly there that We Britons have a lot to learn from America's Founding Fathers.

I think that was one of her strengths, as well: to actually embrace the disillusion, historically and currently of empire.

FOSTER: The empire is still shrinking. And you know, there are countries in the Caribbean, particularly, talking about rejecting the queen, who's still head of state in some of those countries.

But also, as we watched the car coming up your way towards Scotland, the immediate challenge for Charles would also be trying to convince the people of Scotland to remain part of the union. He'll probably remain king either way, but he's got a very sensitive meeting today, an audience with Nichola Sturgeon, who's leading that campaign.

LEMON: Right on. And we're going to discuss that as we are watching these images. As you guys were talking, they're headed towards the airport right now. They're going to board a plane and then make their way here to Edinburgh for the ceremonies that's happening here.

Richard, take us forward about the days to come. The hours to come.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: So the pendulum will swing from government and monarchy in London to remembering the queen. And today, we will see the first -- probably one of the most moving sights as the queen and the cortege goes from where it's resting at the palace of Holyroodhouse, down the Royal Mile to St. Giles Cathedral. And behind the hearse will be the sibling -- the children: Charles, Anne, Edward, and Andrew.

LEMON: And the queen consort.

QUEST: And they will walk behind. And that will give us a taste of what we're going to see several times over the next few days. There will then be a service in the cathedral and finally, late this afternoon, ordinary people will all be able to pay respects.

LEMON: Yes. This will be the first time we get to see ordinary people.

QUEST: We can expect lines the length of the Royal Mile and beyond.

LEMON: And we'll be here covering it. But we want to get some other news in right now. Richard, thank you

very much. I want to go now to my colleague, Brianna Keilar, in Washington, D.C., with some new reporting -- Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Don. So this just in. New reporting provided exclusively to CNN from the forthcoming book by "New York Times" reporter Maggie Haberman, with revelations on former President Trump's final days in the White House.

CNN correspondent Kristen Holmes has all of the new details, and there are some bombshells here, Kristen.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are. Now, according to Maggie's reporting, in the final days, Trump insisted he would not be leaving the White House. Now, this left aides confused and uncertain as to what he would do next.


HOLMES (voice-over): New revelations on the final days of former President Donald Trump's presidency. In reporting provided to CNN from a forthcoming book by "New York Times" reporter Maggie Haberman, Trump repeatedly told aides following his election loss that he would refuse to leave the White House.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.

HOLMES (voice-over): Haberman's book, "Confidence Man: The Making Of Donald Trump and The Breaking of America" reports that Trump told one aide, quote, "I'm just not going to leave." And saying to another, quote, "We're never leaving. How can you leave when you won an election?"

Trump's insistence that he would not leave the White House has never been previously reported and shines a new light on the chaotic final days of his administration.

Haberman writes of a shift in Trump's private comments on the election loss. In the immediate aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Trump seemed to recognize the loss. He comforted one adviser, saying. "We did our best" and told junior press aides, "I thought we had it," seemingly almost embarrassed by the outcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the Electoral College does elect President- elect Joe Biden, are you not going to leave this building?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just so you -- certainly, I will. Certainly, I will, and you know that. But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January. A lot of things. HOLMES: But at some point, Trump's mood shifted, and he was heard saying he would not leave. He was even overheard asking Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, "Why should I leave if they stole it from me?"

TRUMP: Make no mistake: This election was stolen from you, from me, and from the country.

It was a rigged election. You look at the different states, the election was totally rigged.

HOLMES: Haberman, who is also a CNN contributor, reports Trump quizzed nearly everyone around him on how to stay in power. Among those he reported asked, the valet who brought him Diet Coke when Trump pressed a red button on his Oval Office desk.

She says Trump's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, was reluctant to confront him over the election loss. Kushner encouraged a group of aides to go to the White House and brief Trump. When asked why he wasn't attending the briefing, he likened it to a deathbed scene, saying, "The priest comes later."


HOLMES: And this comes as the House Select Committee that is investigating January 6th is planning more hearings in the fall as well as that final report. And as federal investigators issued a number of subpoenas to former and current Trump aides in recent days and recent weeks.

The other interesting twist is that we learned last night that former President Trump landed at an airport outside of D.C. Now, we're told he's going to his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, but it's notable because it's only the second time he's visited the D.C. area since he left office. So something we're keeping a close eye on.

KEILAR: All right. Kristen Holmes, thank you so much for sharing those headlines with us.

You know, Berman, it's very interesting -- well, there are a number of things that are interesting, but it's so interesting that initially, he seemed to understand that he lost the election. Eventually, that obviously shifted, but that's something that could be of interest, certainly, to investigators.

BERMAN: Right, and when it did shift, if he was telling people, I'm not going to leave, as a legal matter, I think what's at play here is what these people then did with that? How did they interpret it, and what did they then do?

This is another data point as the January 6th Committee amps up its hearings this -- this month. You might hear more about this now that Maggie has this reporting coming out. It will be very interesting to see what happens next.

KEILAR: Yes. It raises so many more questions, too. A potential game changer in Ukraine as a Ukrainian counteroffensive

reclaims key territory and reshapes the battlefield. What is Russia's next move?

And meanwhile, the United States fears Russia's energy manipulation could fracture European resolve on Ukraine. We have some brand-new CNN reporting ahead.

BERMAN: We are live in London and in Scotland. Our special live coverage as the public now gets to say good-bye to Queen Elizabeth, and King Charles addresses that nation.



BERMAN: A rapid transformation of the battlefield in Eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces rolled through lines of Russian defenses and recaptured more than 3,000 square kilometers of territory. You're seeing right now some troops, I think, some Ukrainian troops in some of the areas that they've retaken.

Joining me now is retired U.S. Army Major Mike Lyons.

Major, let's review what the area the Ukrainians have taken back. We're talking about this area right here, around Kharkiv. Everywhere you see in yellow there is territory the Ukrainians have taken back very recently.

I want to push in here so we can get a better look. Again, this area in yellow part of this new Ukrainian counter-offensive. How have the Ukrainians been able to do this, and what's the significance?

MAJ. MIKE LYONS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Over a thousand square miles. It's an area that was lost since February but now has been gained back. The key area here is Izium. That was the main center of command and control.

The did a classic military pincher movement. They brought troops in from this direction; they brought troops in from this direction. They were able to chase the Russian military across the Oskil River here on the other side, on the Eastern side of the Oskil River.

A lot of it has to do with the artillery. Because now, artillery can fire 50 kilometers over. They'll now be able to chase that Russian military well past the Oskil River, giving them that advantage on their side of the river.

BERMAN: If we pull back out again and take a look at this area they've regained, how much further do you think they can push this and what will this depend upon?

LYONS: Ukraine has the initiative right now. It's so important. And you look at the Russian military there in almost full retreat. We've seen destroyed convoys, uneaten food. That to me is a bad sign, when a -- when a military does that. So they're in full retreat. The question is, the Ukraine military can't outrun their supply lines, as well. And they're thinning out here in the same token.

So if Russia now goes and reinforces down to the South, then all that the Ukraine can do is really kind of hold that area. And I think that would be a win, and that would be good enough for now.


BERMAN: I do want to ask, because a lot of the focus -- Ukraine had been saying they were staging this big autumn counteroffensive. We had thought, because of the way they had discussed and the way they were positioning some of their troops, it would happen down here in the South near Kherson.

Does that appear to have been a feint, to draw the Russians' attention so that they can attack up here instead?

LYONS: That has a lot to do with it. I think that the Ukraine military was able to convince Russia that that's where the main battle was going to be.

But Ukraine wanted a victory, and they knew they could get one in the North here. And they knew they could kick out the Russians in an area that they had before.

So I think, in classic economy force mission, they hold the shoulder up here down in the South, to make sure they don't lose that area while they have that counteroffensive going to the North. It is incredible that they're able to do this. A lot of it just because of that Western equipment.

BERMAN: And again, what I think is so surprising to people is the amount of territory they were able to take so quickly. We're talking 30, 40 miles a day, which is something the Russians were only able to do at the very beginning of this conflict.

So this is still a battle or a series of battles, as we're talking about the war, long-term. What will that hinge on?

LYONS: So Ukraine is winning, but they haven't won. And Russia is losing, but they have not lost. And a lot of has to do with the way battles go. This is a lurid battle that says we want things to go quickly, and once we win this, then the war will now be over very quickly. I just don't think that's the case.

This is now a people's war. You're seeing war of attrition really taking place on both sides. This is now going to come down to industrial strength. Which side has got more industrial power.

If Ukraine loses the support of its Western allies, then I'm afraid Russia still has more industrial power. They still can eventually win the war, but right now, the battles are going to Ukraine.

BERMAN: It's political. It's who can get their allies and who can muster the forces the most. Again, I just want to push in here one last time. Can the Ukrainians

push this forward and maybe retake more of that territory still in Russian control?

LYONS: Well, there's going to be obstacles, too. There's river obstacles that, if Russia is smart, they can now -- they're on the defensive. Ukraine will have to have more men and material.

And we know that Ukraine has suffered some casualties here. We're not really talking about that. So the question is how will they be able to negotiate those obstacles?

And then the artillery and the weapons systems that we have will put the Russian military much more on their heels much further back. I think it will be a win for them if they could hold that line, keep them out of that --

BERMAN: Right at the river where they are right now.


BERMAN: Retired Major Mike Lyons, it's always great to see you. Thank you very much.

KEILAR: This morning the U.S. growing concern that Moscow's weaponization of oil and gas could cause division in Europe's united front against Russia's war on Ukraine.

It comes as Europe faces a tough winter and skyrocketing energy costs after the Kremlin shut off gas flows through a key pipeline.

CNN's Natasha Bertrand joins me now. Natasha, tell us about these concerns.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so they're warning of a particularly tough winter. I mean, European leaders are saying there could be blackouts across Europe.

People are already taking to the streets to protest these skyrocketing energy costs and President Putin shut off gas flows entirely through the Nord Stream I pipeline to Europe last week, saying that he's not going to resume those gas flows until Western sanctions are lifted. So obviously, putting even more pressure on European supplies.

So the White House is saying right now, Look, we don't see any real signs that European unity on punishing Russia is fracturing at this point; but they are concerned that that is kind of easy to say and do when it's summer.

But when it gets cold, when energy prices start rising even further, the risk of some kind of political instability kind of breaking out as these prices go higher is a real risk. And they're watching it very closely.

And that is why last week, when President Biden convened almost a dozen Western leaders on a call. That was his central message. The central message was about energy, about staying strong, about how the United States is working, really, around the clock here to try to find alternative energy sources for Europe as Russia continues to weaponize oil and gas as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Now, there are lingering concerns here that Europe is going to not be able to come to some kind of agreement on, you know, the questions of an oil price cap or a gas price cap, because there are some countries within the European alliance that say, Look, if we do anything else to make Russia angry here, then they're going to cut off what little supplies remains that is going through another pipeline, to allies like Hungary, for example.

Countries like Austria are also pretty concerned about this. So it remains to be seen what kind of, you know, thing is going to be the last straw here in terms of anything that breaks the Western resolve here.

But as we are talking about during the break, it's a little bit harder now, because of the momentum that we see Russia having. However, a lot of Western intelligence officials -- that we tend to see Ukraine having, I mean. But a lot of Western intelligence officials are saying that, you know, that is only going to steel Putin's resolve to try to make life even more miserable for the Europeans as he loses ground in Ukraine and as life gets harder, even, for Russians as their economy tanks.

KEILAR: Yes. Harder to pull the rug out from an army, an army that has momentum. But at a certain point, the pressures domestically are huge for these nations.

Natasha, great reporting. Thank you so much.

An epic finale to the U.S. Open.