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New Day

Putin Tightens Grip on Ukraine with Martial Law; 'Serious Destruction' from Russian Rocket Attacks on Ukraine; Trump Lawyers Weighing Supervised Fed Search of Mar-a-Lago; Biden Back to PA for Speech and Fetterman Fundraiser; Miami Dolphins Quarterback: I Don't Remember Being Carted Off; Pence Mum on Whether He'd Vote for Trump in 2024. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired October 20, 2022 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Four Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Russia under martial law this morning. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.


The Russian military does not even have complete control of these areas: Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson. In Kherson, the Russians are trying to accelerate the relocation or evacuation of some 60,000 residents in the face of Ukrainian advances.

Vladimir Putin perhaps struggling to maintain his grip even inside Russia, introducing several levels of increased security measures.

Overnight a Russian rocket struck a children's school in a village in Zaporizhzhia. No word yet on any injuries there. And Ukrainian officials also report serious destruction in the Kryvyi Rih region -- That's toward the South -- after another night of strikes targeted the energy infrastructure.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Here in the U.S. President Biden weighing in on the declaration of martial law in the Ukrainian territories, saying that it reveals Putin's dwindling options in the war.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that Vladimir Putin finds himself in an incredibly difficult position. And what it reflects to me is, it seems his only tool available to him is to brutalize individual citizens in Ukraine.


KEILAR: The State Department says there is abundant evidence that Russia is using Iranian-made drones to strike Ukrainian civilians and critical infrastructure. Iran continues to deny that claim.

CNN getting rare access to Ukraine's front lines.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're going to wait and hope that there's not any hits anywhere close to us.



KEILAR: That is our Frederik Pleitgen, he will be joining us live later here on NEW DAY.

We do have live coverage in Moscow and Kyiv. First to Matthew Chance, who is in Moscow.

Matthew, what can you tell us about martial law being implemented in these four Ukrainian regions?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Well, this is, you know, a pretty dramatic development, and it's -- it's very ominous, as well, because there have been security measures imposed on other regions, as well. Regions, I mean, inside Russia.

The martial law that's been imposed on four regions of Ukraine that Russia recently said it had annexed means the -- you know, the army, the military there, get almost total control over whatever the populations there are doing. It allows the military to seize property, to dragoon people into armed surface [SIC] -- service, if necessary, and to make detentions as they see fit.

We have to remember, though, it's on the ground the impact is somewhat limited, because these places are already, for most part, particularly Kherson, in the Southern area of -- Southeastern area of Ukraine, are already very live war zones. And so they're already battlefields.

Also, Russia doesn't control a significant proportion of that territory.

Much more significant are the security measures, I think, that have been imposed in Russia proper; along the border areas, for instance, where military security has been tightened much, much -- to a much, much tougher situation. There are military roadblocks going to be put in place. You know, all protests and activities are going to be banned. And a real, you know, tightening of the grip around those border areas.

And that -- We're seeing that extended across the country, as well. And so this is Vladimir Putin, showing to his hardline critics inside Russia that he's not prepared to back down on what's happened in Ukraine and on his special military operation, as he calls it. Instead, he's quite prepared to double down and do whatever it takes to maintain control, at least of his own population.

BERMAN: Yes. Matthew, you did mention these increased restrictions inside Russia. And they're different measures depending, geographically, on where it is. Is it a border region with Ukraine? But even Moscow falls under some of these new measures. What does that look like?

CHANCE: Yes, and in fact, across the country, you know, regional governors are being given the authority to impose, you know, undescribed, you know, security measures as they see fit.

And so I think what we're seeing -- and it's a bit speculative right now -- but I think what we're seeing is, on the one hand, in Ukraine we've seen martial law being imposed, which is the most extreme form of military rule that Russia has legislated for.

But then, you see lesser degrees of it being enacted across various Russian territories. And so the legal ground work has been laid for the Kremlin, for Vladimir Putin, to ratchet up the security measures in any area of Russia that he chooses to do it. He could impose martial law on the whole country as soon as he wants to do that, as soon as he feels it's necessary.

So from that point of view, it's a very ominous development and could potentially set the scene for much more in a country where there's already draconian laws for much more kind of tight military authority in the future, John.

KEILAR: Let's bring in Nic Robertson, who is live for us in Kyiv with the latest on these overnight strikes. Nic, what can you tell us?


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, a school, a children's school in the Zaporizhzhia region was hit. No reported casualties there.

And in Kryvyi Rih, in the center of the country, another power- generating facility was struck. The sirens have gone off in the capital here overnight and again this morning.

The concern, of course, that the energy sector is going to be the target. The president had a crisis meeting with officials last night. Government officials have said as of 7 a.m. this morning to 11 p.m. at night each day going forward, there's going to be electricity restrictions.

In the city here, the capital, there will be areas without electricity at parts of the day. In Sumy (ph), another town North of here, there's no water. There will be restricted electricity. There will be no street lights at the sides of the roads in the cities there.

We're hearing that coming from other towns in the country, as well. Restrictions such as the electrical trolly buses that people get around the cities and towns here, they will be sidelined or reduced.

Again, the message from the government to everyone here is, don't use heavy energy-drawing products and appliances during the day, and if you can avoid it at night, as well, than do that. Save as much electricity as you can.

But there is no doubt that what seemed unimaginable perhaps ten days ago, that the country is tight on electricity. Really is taking impact now and the government having to institute measures to combat it.

BERMAN: Nic Robertson in Kyiv. And our thanks to Matthew Chance in Moscow, as well.

Ahead we will speak with John Kirby from the White House to talk about these new martial law measures inside Ukraine and the restrictions across so much of Russia now.

KEILAR: Sources are telling CNN that former President Trump's legal team is considering whether to allow federal agents to conduct another search at Mar-a-Lago, this time under their supervision.

The Justice Department has made it clear it thinks Trump is hiding more government records.

So let's bring in CNN reporter Gabby Orr with more on this. Tell us about this. A very interesting development that they would actually now maybe welcome, a supervised look at more records, or no records, as they would say.

GABBY ORR, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. They don't believe that there are anything else, any other records being kept at Mar-a-Lago, anything that would set off federal investigators to advance this -- this probe.

On the other hand, the FBI, DOJ, has made it very clear, both in private conversations with Trump's legal team, but also in court filings, that they do believe there continues to be government records in the former president's possession.

Now, the former president's team is looking at ways that they can cooperate with DOJ. Their client, Donald Trump, is we're told from sources, just getting really frustrated with the direction of this. He wants to be able to focus on the midterms and on 2024.

He obviously has a great number of legal investigations that are ongoing. And this one he feels he can just get off his plate if they try to cooperate to some extent.

So as you mentioned, a supervised search is one tactic that's being discussed. No final decisions have been made, but it is something that his legal team is entertaining behind the scenes.

KEILAR: It's really interesting, because it seemed like the approach with wanting a special master was a normal Trump tactic, which is delay, delay, delay. Does this signify, maybe, a shift for him?

ORR: It's a notable shift. I mean, the strategy from the get-go has been very adversarial. From -- from the former president down onto his lawyers.

I mean, they first claimed that it was a witch hunt, that this entire thing was a sham. They were obviously very critical of the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago back in August.

And then they -- you know, they went for a special master. They've been pretty critical of the entire probe in their court filings, up until now. I mean, now we are told that Trump is just get this off my plate. You

know, his one adviser told me the general feeling in Trump world is that this entire thing is much to do about nothing. And the sooner we can get past it, the better.

And so that's the strategy moving forward. They want to cooperate. But I think, also, part of that cooperation, Brianna, is driven by the pressure that he is feeling.

This isn't just suddenly waking up and feeling as though he wants to cooperate with DOJ. He is feeling things tighten around him, this investigation, other investigations. And if he can just get one of these potential legal jeopardies off of his plate, that -- that could give him some relief.

KEILAR: All right. We'll be watching to see if this does proceed. Gabby, thank you so much for the report.

BERMAN: A federal judge says emails from Trump lawyer John Eastman reveal the former president knew voter claim frauds were bogus but continued to press the claims in public and, maybe more significantly, in court.

Judge David Carter says Trump signed legal documents containing evidence he knew was false. The judge ordered the emails to be turned over to the January 6th Committee, writing, quote, "The court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a a conspiracy to defraud the United States."

The judge also said some of the emails show evidence of felony obstruction: "President Trump filed lawsuits not to obtain legal relief but to disrupt or delay the January 6th Congressional proceedings through the courts. The court finds the documents are sufficiently related to and in the furtherance of the obstruction crime."

This morning, President Biden is heading to Pennsylvania in the final stretch of the election season. He will deliver a speech on infrastructure before attending a private fund-raiser for the Democratic Senate nominee, John Fetterman. This is the president's 18th trip to Pennsylvania since taking office, with his 19th scheduled for next week.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond, live at the White House. Certain types of campaign events the president seems to be doing, Jeremy.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right, John. And for those watching President Biden's travels, tracking them closely, you might be thinking Pennsylvania again?

This is the battleground state that the president has visited the most during his time in office. And there's a reason for that. This is one of the Democrats' best chances to pick up a currently Republican seat.

And this race has tightened significantly over the last month, in part over concerns about John Fetterman's health as he recovers from a stroke that he experienced last May.

And as you said, John, the type of campaigning is important here. He is going to be fundraising for John Fetterman at a reception in Philadelphia later in the day.

The two men will also be together during an official infrastructure event in Pittsburgh this afternoon.

But President Biden has largely been avoiding these kinds of big campaign-style rallies. Doing less of those than his predecessors have at this point in the cycle.

But at this point in the cycle, fundraising is also critical. The president has been a prolific fundraiser, doing multiple fundraising events a week for key Democrats.

And of course, these official events, like this infrastructure event where we'll see Biden and Fetterman together this afternoon, those are political. At this point in the cycle, with less than three weeks to go, Democrats will take any chance to herald some of their major accomplishments, and this infrastructure law certainly is one of those.

BERMAN: All right. Jeremy Diamond for us in the White House. Thank you very much.

KEILAR: A taxpayer group in Wisconsin is asking the Supreme Court to step in and temporarily block the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness plan. They claim it would be a staggering blow for the treasury and taxpayers, and that the president doesn't have the authority to implement it.

Lower courts have already dismissed the case, but this is just one of several legal challenges to the program. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the loan forgiveness program could cost $400 billion.

BERMAN: Miami Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, revealing some scary details about his violent on-field collision in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He's speaking out for the first time since suffering two apparent head injuries in the span of a week.

CNN's Carolyn Manno with us no.

So interesting to hear from him.


I mean, so many people expressed concern for the quarterback after watching him go down for the second time in what was essentially a week. And now the 24-year-old former Alabama standout says that he's healthy, and that he's ready to get back to the game that he loves.


TUA TAGOVAILOA, MIAMI DOLPHINS QUARTERBACK: I'm excited to be back. MANNO (voice-over): Miami Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, back

on the field, practicing with the team after suffering a concussion during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 29.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember much about that night?

TAGOVAILOA: Yes, I remember the entire night up to the point where I got tackled. But yes, after -- after I got tackled, I don't remember much from there. Getting carted off, I don't remember that.

But I do remember, you know, things that were going on when I was in the ambulance and when I arrived at the hospital.

MANNO (voice-over): Tagovailoa telling reporters Wednesday he did lose consciousness after that tackle.

TAGOVAILOA: I wouldn't say it was scary for me at the time, because there were -- there was a point where I was unconscious. So I couldn't, you know, really tell what was going on.

MANNO (voice-over): This chilling revelation comes as the NFL star prepares to play on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

TAGOVAILOA: It's been a process. That's for sure. A lot of it has been, I would say, pretty stressful. But all of it's done for player safety. And, you know, I'm glad that I got to go through those things to kind of understand more of, you know, the deals of concussions and the -- you know, the effects, long-term, short term, things like that.

MANNO (voice-over): Tagovailoa had suffered another concussion against the Bills and was cleared only four days later to play against Cincinnati.


A concussion is a brain injury that happens after a hit to the head causes the organ to move back and forth inside the skull. But even after the brain itself stops shaking, there can be changes to the organ.

Despite sustaining two concussions in less than a week, the quarterback gave this answer when asked if he was concerned about the long-term effects from such severe injuries.

TAGOVAILOA: Yes, well, there's -- there's not necessarily as much long-term risk. To say -- let's say guys get about six concussions. Well, those guys that only have six concussions that are playing the position that I'm playing, where we don't hit as much, are less susceptible to getting CTE later on in their years than someone who's playing a position where they're constantly taking hits or blows to the head.

MANNO (voice-over): The NFL has faced heavy criticism for allowing the quarterback to return to the field so quickly after sustaining such severe injuries. The league and the NFL Players Association have agreed to update

concussion protocols following the outcry. If a player is suffering loss of consciousness, gross motor instability, confusion, or amnesia, he will not be allowed to play.


MANNO (on camera): Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel says that Tua's focus right now is on beating the Steelers and added that he needs to learn when to go for the big play and when to pull back and try to avoid the big hit.

You know, that doesn't sit well, I think, with a lot of people, too, just because Tua is trying to handle this the way that he can, the best way that he can. We've seen veteran quarterbacks certainly learn that lesson the hard way.

There was a video that went viral of Tom Brady getting hit really bad in 2001 when his helmet came off, and he's been able to put himself in better positions moving forward. But, you know, a lot still needs to be done on this issue.

BERMAN: Look, I understand his drive to get back on the field, how badly he wants to play. I guess all we can do is wish him the best and hope he's healthy.

Thanks, Carolyn.

Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman releasing a new report from his doctor. Is he getting a clean bill of health?

KEILAR: And will he or won't he?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Pence, if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president in 2024, will you vote for him?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Pence, if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president in 2024, will you vote for him?

MIKE PENCE (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there might be somebody else I'd prefer more. You know, what I can tell you is I have every confidence the Republican Party is going to sort out leadership.

All my focus has been on the midterm elections, and it will stay that way for the next 20 days. But after that, we'll be thinking about the future. Ours and the nations. And I'll keep you posted. OK?


BERMAN: All right. That was former vice president Mike Pence. Dodging, big time, a question on whether he would vote for former President Trump in 2024 if Trump is the nominee.

He's not talking about -- The question wasn't about the primaries. The question is will you vote for Trump if he's the nominee?

With me now CNN political commentator and columnist at "New York" magazine, Errol Louis, and CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp.

All right. Can we agree that Mike Pence chooses his words carefully?



CUPP: Well, we're all on pins and needles, waiting to see what Mike Pence will do in 2024.

I guarantee you, whether Trump wins or losses will have nothing to do with Mike Pence. I don't think he's a real relevant factor in this Republican Party. The Trump fans see him as a traitor. And never Trumpers like me think that he enabled Trump too much.

So I don't know who Mike Pence's natural voters are, and I don't think we're all playing the waiting game that he wants us to play.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's interesting, because even with 80 percent approval, Donald Trump has to contend with what is emerging as a possible Republican primary race for -- for that position.

I mean, you know, between Josh Hawley and, you know, Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis, who's raised $130 million, he didn't raise that much money just to go back to Tallahassee.

A lot of people are talking to donors. They're putting machinery in place. They're making the rounds. Mike Pence is among them. And here's Donald Trump with his 80 percent approval. It's hard to see how this is going to work out, but it's going to be very turbulent.

BERMAN: And I see what both of you are saying. But Mike Pence there, there's a way to answer that question, the Mitch McConnell way, which is I assume I will support whoever the Republican nominee is, which is the noncontroversial way of saying that.

I get that maybe Mike Pence doesn't have a future in the Republican Party, but it is notable that the former running mate, vice president of Donald Trump, isn't sitting here saying that he will support him if he's the nominee.

CUPP: Well, he's already distanced himself a little bit, and he's endorsed candidates that are running against Trump's endorsed candidates. So I see him staking out his, quote/unquote, territory. I don't know what it is, what the capital of his territory is. But, you know, he's staking out his -- his space, I guess.

And this was him saying, Listen, I'm thinking about my own run. So I'm not going to commit to anyone.

BERMAN: Since you both have come out saying that Mike Pence was such a pivotal figure in the Republican Party.

CUPP: Yes, totally. Totally.

BERMAN: -- and the nation, I want to play a little more of Mike Pence now. And this is Mike Pence talking about Ukraine, which I think a few weeks before the election has emerged as a really significant political issue within the Republican Party.

How much is the party willing to support Ukraine now and if it gains control of Congress. Listen to what the former vice president said.



PENCE: As Russia continues its unconscionable war of aggression in Ukraine, I believe the conservatives must make it clear that Putin must stop. And Putin will pay.

There can be no room in the conservative movement for apologists for Putin. There is only room in this movement for champions of freedom.


BERMAN: How about that, Errol?

LOUIS: That -- that's him speaking, not as a Republican possible candidate for president, but as a leader of the conservative movement, which is why he was on the ticket in the first place in 2016.

I think he's trying to sort of define some -- this is somebody who was a talk radio host. This is somebody who's a real movement conservative, who I think, wants to maybe fight over this particular point within the conservative movement.

Now, how that plays out with the members of Congress is an entirely different story. But Mike Pence, I think, is trying to sort of revive some of the old cold war theory, that the evil empire has to be contained and that that is fundamental to national security.

He wants the conservative movement to believe that, to fight for that, and he wants to ward off some of these members that have been out here talking about how, well, maybe it's a little too expensive to fight for freedom overseas.

CUPP: It's not just, though, Kevin McCarthy he's talking to. It's FOX News. Right? I mean, FOX News and OAN and Newsmax and the new right- wing media that has been parroting Putin talking points and sounding very much like Putin apologists.

He's, of course right, there should be no place for that in the conservative movement. But there should be no place for lots of things that have been, you know, accepted by the, quote/unquote, "conservative movement," under, you know, the era of Donald Trump: from bigotry and sexism and anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, to even policies that were long rejected by conservatism, like protectionism and raising the debt and the deficit.

I mean, what conservatives should and shouldn't do has been kind of up for grabs in the Trump era. And thanks, in no part, to Mike Pence's silence or complicity.

BERMAN: Pennsylvania, the commonwealth, the Senate race there, John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor, who suffered a stroke -- there have been questions about his health -- released a letter from his doctor, basically, his primary care physician, saying that he's doing well.

Quote, "recovering well from the stroke and has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office. And while he spoke intelligently without cognitive deficits, he continued to exhibit symptoms of an auditory processing disorder, which can come across as hearing difficulty."

So a note from the doctor saying, you know, he appears to be in good health, is that enough? There are those calling for a full release of all the medical records.

LOUIS: It really should be. I mean, all three of us use these -- (POINTS AT GLASSES) -- you know, visual processing devices to help us.

CUPP: Process. Right, yes.

LOUIS: And this is somebody who's trying to get into a Senate that already has a couple of members who have had strokes recently. Representative [SIC] Lujan just -- Senator Lujan from earlier this year.

So it -- it shouldn't be that big of a deal, and there should be, I think, all of this extra scrutiny of the doctor, and who the doctor gave money to, and what is the doctor's political proclivities.

I -- I see something like that, and I'm thinking, hey, that's good enough. You know, the voters can decide whether they, in particular, want him, but this should not be a reason to elect or not elect a senator.

BERMAN: I'll put my glasses on for the good-bye. Errol, S.E. -- my visual aiding device -- thank you both very much for being with us.

CNN is on the trail and in Ohio where, despite a rebuilding local economy, voters aren't feeling good about the economy overall.