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Russia Launches Multiple Missile Attacks at Ukrainian Civilian and Infrastructure Targets; Russian Military Deploys Iranian Drones in Attacks Across Ukraine; Ex-Officer Who Defended Capitol Releases Tape of Rep. McCarthy Meeting. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired October 10, 2022 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This inspiration for the NTSB calling for speed limiter systems.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to save lives. It's going to prevent more accidents from happening and less families having to go what I'm going through.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
MUNTEAN (on camera): A lot of opinions on this, and a lot of action needs to take place here, Brianna, before this is in your next new car. The NTSB is just putting out this recommendation. It's on the federal government and manufacturers to act to make intelligent speed assistance a standard part of equipment in new cars.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I have so many more questions, Pete. I know you'll be doing more stories on this moving forward. Pete Muntean live this morning, thank you.
And NEW DAY continues right now.
Ukraine rocked by deadly explosions overnight after a blast severely damaged the only bridge connecting Russia and Crimea which it illegally annexed. It is Monday, October 10th. I'm Brianna Keilar with Alex Marquardt. Great to have you here this morning.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Thank you so much for having me.
KEILAR: John Berman is off today. And officials say 10 people have been killed, at least 60 are injured after this wave of missile strikes across the country. You can see all of the different areas all across the country that have been hit here. Video showing an explosion near a pedestrian bridge in Kyiv. A playground was also hit. You can see the crater that that missile left. The mayor of Kyiv is now urging people to shelter in place. Ukrainian officials say these photos show a Russian missile that was taken down by air defense. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy releasing this video message after the strikes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Iranian drones hitting the energy facilities all over the country. They're trying to spread chaos and panic. They want to annihilate our energy supplies. They're hopeless.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: And this morning Russian President Vladimir Putin has been holding a national security council meeting after what he says was a terrorist attack orchestrated by Ukraine on that critical bridged linking Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea. Ukrainian officials have not claimed responsibility. Meanwhile, there are growing concern that Moscow could resort to nuclear weapons. A Kremlin spokesman, however, has dismissed the possibility of Russia retaliating with tactical nuclear weapons.
KEILAR: CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is live for us in Kyiv. Just standing there in front of where one of these missiles struck, tell us about the scene where you are, Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Brianna. Yes, in fact, standing right next to one of the craters of this massive rocket that was launched here into central Kyiv. You can see here that this rocket left this gigantic impact crater, annihilating the tarmac here of the road and going several feet deep into the ground. And this was just a couple hours ago really a scene of absolute carnage. This is one of the places where rockets and missiles struck this morning here in Kyiv. We had a really rude awakening I'd say about 15 minutes past 8:00 in the morning, so that's about 1:15 your time, when several rocks started striking Kyiv, and that went on for several hours as the air raid sirens were still on.
This place where I am below, this is actually right close to where you were talking about, that playground that was also affected. In this area alone, I just spoke to the deputy head of the presidential administration here. Five people were killed here, and, of course, almost more than a dozen were injured in these attacks on the Ukrainian capital. Again, the authorities are saying that number is subject to change because, of course, we are still very early in the stages, and also, the situation could very well still be on going.
Right now, the air raid alert is not in force. However, the mayor of this city, Vitali Klitschko, he has told people not to go out in the streets if they can stay in shelters. And he's especially urged people who maybe live outside of the city and come here to work to not come into the city. And I can tell you guys, in going around Kyiv Antony Blinken throughout the better part of the day today, and it really is eerily quiet on the street. There's not many people who are out right now.
And the same thing goes for many other cities in Ukraine right now. This is a nationwide attack that's been going on. And the Ukrainian president has said that there's essentially two targets, he says. On the one hand it is the energy infrastructure of the country. Again, a lot of towns right now at least partially without power. But then also, he says, he believes Ukrainian civilians as well as -- 10 people, I think you said, have been killed across the country so far.
But of course, you see the authorities right now. They have this cleanup effort going on around here. They're still sifting through the rubble in many places. Those numbers could very well change as this really large-scale rocket attack, missile attack happening throughout the morning hours of today.
And the number that I think just gets everybody here is that the Ukrainians are saying that at least 83 missiles were launched at Ukraine territory by the Russians. They say 40 of them were picked off. Of course, they weren't able to pick off all of them. Some landed here at this civilian crossing. It's a regular road crossing here.
MARQUARDT: And many of them right there in the Ukrainian capital, in the heart of Kyiv where we find our Fred Pleitgen. Fred, thank you so much for that report.
KEILAR: I want to bring in Sergii Leshchenko. He is a senior adviser to President Zelenskyy's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, and a member of the Ukrainian Railways Supervisory Board. Sergii, thank you so much for being with us. Just start by describing to us what you have seen this morning, the scene that you have seen.
SERGII LESHCHENKO, MEMBER, UKRAINIAN RAILWAY SUPERVISORY BOARD: I've seen bombs in Kyiv just a few meters from the main street of Ukraine, and just on the corner with our university, and also it was bombing one of the pedestrian bridges. It's horrible to see this in the center of Kyiv. At the same time, we understand that this is a sign of Putin's weakness because he has nothing to do with another instrument to help to stop this war but to continue escalation. But this is a sign of his angriness because he is not able to achieve any of the results he declared in the beginning of this horrible war because our army is so strong to forbid his soldiers and to liberate our territories.
Now I am in mail hall of train station in Ukraine and obviously it is operating. Of course, we have some delays of the train, but at the same time we are able to deliver passengers and items to the customers almost in time, and we'll do this the whole day and night today and tomorrow and every day after the war started.
KEILAR: Sergii, this barrage of missiles all across the country like we have not seen in months comes after the attack of the bridge on the Kerch Strait that did a lot of damage to that thoroughfare that Russia uses between Russia and Crimea which it illegally annexed. Were you surprised that Russia responded at something that Ukrainians were so gleeful about?
LESHCHENKO: We are quite -- they are quite predictable, and we are quite ready for the aggression of Russians after the start of this active phase of the war in February. And we could expect that they will attack Ukrainian territory. At the same time, of course, it was difficult to predict that they will attack playgrounds of children or the crossroad of two main streets in the center of Kyiv, or the pedestrian bridge in downtown of Kyiv, because it has nothing to do even with the critical infrastructure which is the target for Putin as he described today in the security council speech.
So it means that he's still not able to understand why his army is losing this war, because they have no motivation and because his weapons are so primitive and so stupid. This is why we continue to support Ukraine, to support our army, our government, our president. And we need more weapons, more antiaircraft systems, more tanks to stop this war and not to let Putin to win this war. This is why this moment I think is another crucial moment for our history and for this war to be stopped by the victory of Ukraine.
KEILAR: This may be an inflection point yet again in this war. Sergii, we thank you for being with us this morning. Sergii Leshchenko.
LESHCHENKO: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: And joining us now are former European affairs director for the National Security Council and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, and Vice President of Strategic Stability at the U.S. Institute of Peace as well as being a former ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor. Alex and Bill, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
Bill, I want to start with what we just heard there from Sergii Leshchenko. This strike across -- these strikes with more than 80 missiles, we understand, all across Ukraine today, do you see that as a sign of weakness?
BILL TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: It absolutely is. It's a sign that President Putin is desperate. He knows he's losing on the ground. He knows his allies are going away from him, both domestically and internationally. So he is in a real strain. He can't do things on the ground. All he can do is fire these missiles.
KEILAR: What do you think as you're watching this? Is it an inflection point, as you heard Sergii saying perhaps it is?
LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN, (RET) FORMER EUROPEAN AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Maybe not so much an inflection point. I think absolutely Putin is lashing out. He had to respond somehow to this completely justified Ukrainian attack on Russian military infrastructure, because that's what that bridge is. It was built well after the annexation of Crimea to feed the military beast in Crimea, and frankly, in certain ways probably to posture for what we saw, this large-scale war that unfolded earlier this year.
So he was going to do this -- these targets that we saw being instrument are two categories.
KEILAR: That Putin is striking in Ukraine.
VINDMAN: Right. They are two categories. One is morale targets. That glass bridge is a beautiful bridge that overwatches the Dnieper River. The other target next to the playground, next to the university, it's maybe 20, 30 meters away from where I lived when I was assigned to the embassy. These are not military targets.
But there is also an energy infrastructure target that he's going after, and he was telegraphing that this is where he's going to go as we get into the winter. He's going to try to force the Ukrainian population to compromise, to give up territory by going after this infrastructure, these central hubs that feed the energy for the country. It's different than the way we have it here. We have one thermal plant that might feed half a city as opposed to individual heating. So he's going to go after these things just to make life miserable.
And our role is, as allies and partners, is to provide Ukraine the air defense and the point defense systems that they can harden these targets with. This is not a hard task. Some of these are going in. There's much more that we can do with regard to capturing these drones, these Iranian drones, and that's where we should be going to next with providing support.
MARQUARDT: Ambassador, just bouncing off of that, does anything climate change in terms of Ukrainian arguments to the U.S. and other NATO countries in terms of their request for weapons? Does this move the needle on some of those bigger systems that they've been asking for repeatedly?
TAYLOR: I think it increases the determination of the Ukrainians to win this war. It makes them angry. They're enraged. We talked to people who are there, and this is the response of the Ukrainians. They're going to win this war. And they need the weapons. They need the weapons that you asked about. They need the air defense systems. This is just a further demonstration. They've needed these before. They've asked for them before. We're starting to provide them. They need to come more quickly. So that's there.
And going back to this question about what is Putin doing, all he can do is fire these weapons. And he doesn't have the soldiers. And so the Ukrainians now need also the armor on the battlefield to push them out of the country. The Ukrainians need to push the Russians out of the country.
KEILAR: Because not to minimize what we're seeing by any stretch, right. Rush hour in Kyiv, playgrounds, yes infrastructure targets, but civilian targets. At the same time when you look at the damage that is being done, it is not something that turns the tide, which speaks to what Vladimir Putin can or cannot do. To what end? There is no strategic end to what we're watching.
VINDMAN: Terror campaign. All it is, is a terror campaign. Both Bill and I have been on the ground in Kyiv and Ukraine since this war started. Russia really is a one-trick pony. It cannot do anything on the battlefield. It's getting defeated at every turn. The pressure is going to continue to really weigh down on the Kherson and eastern campaigns. There may very be another attack through the center, through Zaporizhzhia. But the only thing he can do in response is not on the military
battlefield. He could terrorize the population. He could make it a miserable winter for the population. And he has a limited means to that. He has a dwindling supply of cruise missiles. He now has these Iranian drones. Those are actually much, much easier to defeat. The cruise missiles fly faster, they have a different profile to potentially defeat. You need to have a sophisticated military air defense. For these other drones that the Iranians are providing, they're slow. All you need is point defense around the critical infrastructure, whether it's city centers, whether it's thermal plants, whatever the case might be. We just need to saturate the environment there, and this could easily reduce the pressure that Russia is putting on Ukraine and make this a much, much more bearable campaign as the military campaign that's far more decisive turns and ends Putin's -- ends his aspirations for this war.
MARQUARDT: It's clear he is trying to ramp up things for now. But how effective it's actually going to be very much remains to be seen. Of course, Ukraine is doing extremely well. Gentlemen, we have to leave it there. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, Ambassador Bill Taylor, we really appreciate your time this morning.
VINDMAN: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: The Capitol police officer who suffered a heart attack during the Capitol insurrection on January 6th recording his meetings with Republican Minority leader Kevin McCarthy because it was a, quote, risky op. Michael Fanone just released the audio, and he joins us next.
Plus, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declaring a state of emergency over an influx of migrant seekers bused in from southern states like Texas. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
KEILAR: This morning, former DC Officer Michael Fanone revealing tapes he secretly recorded while meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after the insurrection of the Capitol.
Fanone writes about the tapes in his new memoir, "Hold the Line" saying: "As I entered the Capitol, I did what I always did when I went on a risky op. I hit the record button on my iPhone and stuffed it in my pocket." Fanone was one of the officers attacked by Trump supporters during the riot. He was severely beaten. He suffered a heart attack, as well as a traumatic brain injury and we're going to speak to him shortly.
First though, let's get to CNN Whitney Wild, who is joining us now with this new audio. Tell us about this.
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, we knew that these meetings were happening. There was video of Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone, as well as Gladys Sicknick on the Capitol that day, but we've never been able to go inside and hear what these lawmakers told these two officers, as well as the mother of an officer who died after that attack.
In their own words, Michael Fanone bringing us those lawmakers.
WILD (voice over): A secretly recorded meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy shows the lengths two officers protecting the Capitol on January 6th went to try to persuade him to take action against members spreading falsehoods about the attack.
MICHAEL FANONE, FORMER CAPITOL HILL POLICE OFFICER: What I found like most distressing is the comments made by, unfortunately, as a lifelong Republican myself coming from Republican lawmakers. Specifically people like Andrew Clyde, who have made statements about January 6th, which were -- I mean, not just shocking, but disgraceful.
Referring to January 6th as a regular tour day at the Capitol. I mean what I see happening here is I see lawmakers who don't believe that January 6 is politically advantageous to them. Nobody buys it. It's crap. It's crap. It's disgraceful.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): You never hear me say I disagree with what they say. I don't believe that. I don't say that.
WILD (voice over): The meeting was legally recorded in June 2021, by then DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone. Fanone calls on McCarthy to denounce the 21 Republican members who voted against granting Congressional Gold Medals to those who defended the Capitol.
FANONE: Who needs a break? Let's get some fresh guys up front.
What I've experienced since then, has been horrific. It's hell on Earth. I am not a political person. I do not enjoy my time here on Capitol Hill. I would much rather be sitting at home with my daughters drinking a cold beer, but instead, I feel an extension of my service on January 6th to be up here, righting this wrong.
WILD (voice over): The meeting was also attended by Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from multiple strokes after the January 6th attack.
McCarthy tells him he wants to see justice served. Fanone then urges McCarthy to take the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol attacks seriously.
FANONE: I'm asking you to agree to taking the Special Committee seriously, appointing serious people to that Committee who will not be obstructionists and who will allow, you know, the investigation to be done. In law enforcement, when we --
MCCARTHY: You are meant to -- FANONE: Right. When we get involved in an investigation that we
don't care about, we assign the biggest humps to participate.
MCCARTHY: If you've ever watched me on any of my appointments...
FANONE: Yes. But you understand.
MCCARTHY: I will --
FANONE: You're an intelligent man, Mr. McCarthy. I'm asking you know exactly what I'm talking about.
WILD (voice over): McCarthy did appoint five Republicans to that Committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the choices because they objected to the certification of the 2020 election. McCarthy pulled the other three.
Just days after the meeting on July 1st, McCarthy said this --
MCCARTHY: It would be shocking to me, for anybody from a party on the other side to come and want to accept a position a Democrat -- for me, it would be shocking to me to have a Republican to go to a Speaker Pelosi of all people, to accept the Committee assignments.
WILD (voice over): In the recording, Fanone reminds McCarthy in the meeting how dangerous this day was for McCarthy and his staff, as seen by surveillance video of his staff fleeing their offices.
He also brings up the phone call McCarthy had then President Trump urging him to act, a call that other Republican lawmakers said devolved into a shouting match.
FANONE: The President's statements that day were BS, saying, you know, you were on the phone with him. While you were on the phone with him, I was getting the shit kicked out of me, almost losing my life.
The way that he, you know, saying this is what happens when you steal an election. Go home. I love you. What the [bleep] is that? That came from the President of the United States.
WILD (voice over): McCarthy defended Trump at various points in the meeting --
MCCARTHY: He wasn't watching TV.
GLADYS SICKNICK, MOTHER OF OFFICER BRIAN SICKNICK: He knew what was going on. He knew what was going on. He knows people were fighting for hours and hours and hours.
You know, this doesn't make any sense to me.
MCCARTHY: I am just telling you from my phone call that he didn't know that.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WILD (on camera): Significant moment there. You know, Brianna is one
thing to, you know, you see Michael Fanone on our air a lot, and it is one thing for someone to come out publicly, you know, and voice their opinions. But what Fanone did was he told those people in this private meeting to their face, how he really felt. He had the nerve to do that, which you don't always see a lot of people do, you know, and he really did it. He took them to task.
And at this point, what he has tried to do over the last, you know, what -- 18 months or so is show where people are flip flopping on just a really important issue and making it a core value for him to call people out when their narrative is changing and hold them accountable to the truth.
KEILAR: Yes, trying to right a wrong as he said in his discussion with Kevin McCarthy.
Whitney, thank you so much for taking us through that we appreciate it.
And joining us now is the author of "Hold The Line: The Insurrection and One Cop's Battle for America's Soul," which is out in bookstores and online tomorrow, former DC Metropolitan Police officer and CNN law enforcement analyst, Michael Fanone.
Mike defended the Capitol during the January 6th attack and paid a huge personal price for doing so.
Mike, thank you so much for being with us today, and we are listening to these recordings. You sound a lot on them like you do just on TV or in person. It is certainly the same thing, the same guy.
What did you make of the response that you got from Kevin McCarthy in that meeting?
MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I mean, it wasn't surprising to me. You know, I saw how he had deviated from his original statements immediately after January 6th to seize upon the politics of the moment. I mean, it is ironic that, you know, he was -- he wanted to ensure that January 6th was not politicized. But I mean, in a way he politicized January 6th the most.
And so, yes, I mean, it just wasn't surprising, but I'm glad I recorded it and that's why I recorded it was because I didn't expect Kevin McCarthy to, number one, tell the truth. Number two, recount the conversation accurately. And number three, I wanted to show people how indifferent lawmakers are, not just Republican lawmakers, but all lawmakers to the actual American people that they are representing.
KEILAR: You know, in that conversation, one of the things that you tell McCarthy is that some of the people that you and your mother know, who don't think that what you experienced happened, have said that footage from your body-worn camera, was just horrific for anyone who hasn't seen it, I mean, it is horrific. They think it's faked? What do they think? Do they think that you're just -- you're part of some conspiracy?
FANONE: Yes, I mean, they're -- you know, unfortunately, you know, rhetoric from these politicians combined with some of the alt-right or right-wing propaganda, people believe that stuff. And I mean, there have been a whole slew of conspiracies that have kind of popped up about me.
The hardest thing to accept is people that have known me for, in some cases, decades, buying into a lot of that crap. You know, the idea that I worked for the FBI and that I've been a plant in the in the Metropolitan Police Department for two decades waiting for this moment, or that I was somehow spawned from a Petri dish and then the love child of Nancy Pelosi, and you know, God knows who else. but actually, people believe it.
KEILAR: You voted for Trump in 2016, right?
FANONE: Yes, ma'am. I did.
KEILAR: So I mean, obviously, this is someone who at one point you supported, certainly you don't anymore, and I know that you had some issues with him even prior to January 6th. What was it like for you, not just from the general public, but from fellow police officers, including ones that you've known for so long after January 6, after testifying?
FANONE: The criticism that came from the law enforcement community hit me the hardest. If you read through the book, I mean, I talk about some criticism that I got pretty early on after one of my first interviews from a detective named Yari Babich, in which, you know, he accused me of being an attention seeker, and felt like, you know, this was only done in my own self-interest.
I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy, and I think for people that know me, there is not much I wouldn't wish on some of my worst enemies, but it is -- it's a difficult experience to navigate, putting yourself out there, subjecting yourself to criticism from you know, not only those in your immediate circle, but really from everyone in the world. That's been the hardest part about the process in preparing this book is knowing that I'm now subjecting myself, my career in law enforcement, and my activities since January 6 to be critiqued by anyone and everyone.
KEILAR: You also have some incredible blessings and you've had some major challenges and to read about them is heartbreaking, but you have some incredible blessings as well in your life, your children, and I wonder you know, as you think about the future, what does the future hold for Mike Fanone?
FANONE: To be honest with you, I really don't know. My children are everything to me. They have been the most important part of my recovery from -- you know, from January 6th, but also from a two- decade career in law enforcement.