Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

Andrej Plenkovic is Interviewed about Ukraine; GDP and Jobless Claims Released; Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 27, 2022 - 08:30   ET




ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Sources tell CNN that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is trying to soothe Republican national security hawks on Ukraine after signaling last week that a Republican-led House would likely pull back funding for the war in Ukraine.

Now, McCarthy has worked behind the scenes to reassure his conference that he wasn't planning to abandon Ukraine aid and was just calling for greater oversight over federal dollars going to them. Last week McCarthy said, I think people are going to be sitting in a recession and they're not going to write a blank check to Ukraine.

This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in Croatia for an international summit on Russia's aggression against Ukraine and she pushed back on McCarthy's comment.

Take a listen.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (R-CA): The support for Ukraine is bipartisan. It is bicameral. That means in the House and in the Senate. And it starts in the White House with our president.

Someone made a statement of, we're not giving a blank check to Ukraine. We've never given a blank check to Ukraine.


MARQUARDT: Joining me now is the man you saw standing right there next to Pelosi, the host of the summit, Croatia's prime minister, Andrej Plenkovic.

Mr. Prime Minister, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

Now, you just met with the House speaker. She may not be speaker just a few months. And the man who may take her place, Kevin McCarthy, as you heard, warned that Kyiv could not expect a blank check.

So, are you concerned in this moment about the U.S. support for Ukraine after the midterm elections? ANDREJ PLENKOVIC, CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER: Well, first of all, I would

like to say that Croatia was honored to host the first parliamentary summit of the Crimea Platform.


It was the first edition (ph) of this event. The Crimea Platform was launched last August back in the summer of 2021 in Kyiv at the governmental level. I was there representing Croatia. And on cooperation with the (INAUDIBLE) and its speaker, Mr. Stefon Chook (ph), our president of the parliament was there and (INAUDIBLE) was the co-host. The Croatian government had a very principled position on extending solidarity to Ukraine and condemning Russia's violation of international law and the aggression against Ukraine since the beginning, not only of 24th of February this year, but throughout since 2014.

In that respect, the visit of president of the House of Representatives, the speaker, Madam Pelosi, was very important to show and signal of the strong United States' commitment to support Ukraine, together with other democratic nations that were very vocal. They adopted the declaration of this summit and I think there was a general consensus, and I would say an important message which he send during the press conference as you just saw that she believes it's a partisan support from the United States to Ukraine.


Mr. Prime Minister, you probably saw that there are members of the Democratic Party, Pelosi's own party, in Congress, the so-called Progressive Caucus, they released a letter, which they later retracted, calling for diplomacy to stop the war.

Do you believe that now is the time for more diplomacy with Russia?

PLENKOVIC: At the end of any conflict usually there is a -- some sort of diplomatic or peaceful political solution. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of the aggression of the occupation of territories, of organizing sham referenda, of illegal annexations of another sovereign states territory and military operations ongoing with air raids, with alerts. So, I think political or diplomat conflicts are always useful. But the way I see the state of play today, I think we are not there yet.

MARQUARDT: The name of the summit is the Crimea Platform. Now, almost no one recognizes the Crimean peninsula as being part of Russia after they annexed it in 2014. But if Russian forces are able to push Russian troops out of the eastern Donbas and out of southern Ukraine, would you be among those possibly urging Ukraine to negotiate a peace then which would allow Russia to keep Crimea?

PLENKOVIC: Well, you know, Croatia, in the '90s, had a relatively similar situation, but on a much more smaller scale. We had our own occupied territories at the time. It was greater Serbia (INAUDIBLE), which is (INAUDIBLE), which occupied almost between one quarter and one-third of our territory. And we were very resolute at the time that we shall never abandon the objective of insuring the territorial integrity of our land, of our constitutional system. And what I hear and understand from my talks with President Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Shmyhal, or president of (INAUDIBLE) or any Ukrainian politicians I have spoken, I haven't seen even the remote opening that any of them would concede territorial gains after the military aggression and occupation. I don't think this is to be expected.

So, I know it is a very difficult situation. Croatia was -- I was personally advocating for many years to try to maybe implement something like what Croatia did with United Nations transitional administration in our own occupied territories in eastern Slavonia between '95 and '98, where the territory was reintegrated and there wasn't one single bullet fired. So, there are models in previous situations, international relations, how the conflicts of -- I wouldn't say same, but a little bit similar nature, might be solved without further bloodshed and without further casualties.

But I haven't seen an opening and what was absolutely clear during the parliamentary summit, none of delegations has even signaled at all that any of the Ukrainian occupied territories would be given away to Russia.

MARQUARDT: Is there a paradox that the more support that Ukraine gets from the west, the greater success that they have on the battlefield, pushes Putin more and more into a corner where he may use a tactical nuclear weapon? Is that something that concerns you?

PLENKOVIC: Oh, yes, concern from the start of the conventional arms being used, let alone tactical weapons or even the threat of nuclear weapons. Absolutely everybody has been appalled by the even possibility of considering that. But the idea that is certainly clear among the members that were here, among the representatives, heads of parliament, presidents was, one, respect for Ukrainian territorial integrity.


Second, support them, solidarity, including also from many countries who were there even military support. And, third, option that would include finally a peaceful or diplomatic talks that would end up the way that international relations should be done. And that is the one state respects another, especially neighbors who know each other so well. This is the whole tragedy of this situation that we have been witnessing with Ukraine.

And I think it is the matter of values, law and principles. That's why the period which we are going now through is a very important period where history will remember what did we stand for. This is essential. And I think this was the clear message coming from (INAUDIBLE) to the international community on Tuesday.

MARQUARDT: A very important period. A very important moment, particularly as we look ahead to what could be a cold and tough winter in Ukraine.

Mr. Prime Minister, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your time and your thoughts this morning as Croatia's prime minister. Andrej Plenkovic.

Thank you, sir.

PLENKOVIC: Thank you very much.

MARQUARDT: Is the U.S. in a recession? What we're learning from the just released third quarter GDP report. We'll have that next.



KEILAR: Just in to CNN, the third quarter GDP report and weekly jobless numbers released here just minutes ago.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans here with the numbers.

Christine, walk us through this.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So, the economy bounced back in July, August and September. The third quarter of the economy grew 2.6 percent. Bouncing back from those two prior quarters where you had the economy actually shrinking here. If it weren't for a little bit of a drag from housing, those numbers would have been even stronger.

So, looking at what's fueling this, consumers spending and exports. Although consumer spending starting to show some signs of weakness but, still, very good in that third quarter. And then housing was the little bit of the drag.

Let's talk about the job market because we also got a look at layoffs in the most recent week, up a tiny bit, but still very low, 217,000 first-time jobless claims. I mean these are pre-pandemic kinds of levels. And the trend there is what's really important. So, this does not show yet that companies are laying people off in big numbers as the Fed is raising interest rates.

In fact, the job market's still pretty strong, 3.8 million jobs have been created this year. Everyone's waiting for that tipping point when higher interest rates and these concerns about a potential recession in the future start to drag on company hiring plans.

In terms of what this means about a recession, I mean it's less likely that you're in a recession now when you have a number like this. And 2.6 percent economic growth is not recessionary at all.

What we're talking about now are these headwinds in the future. What happens in the next 12 to 18 months. That's where you're seeing all of these forecasts for trouble ahead. But for at least right now, you have a consumer that remains pretty resilient, a job market that is still robust and, in terms of economic growth, a third quarter growth bounce back, you guys.

KEILAR: So, if we're still waiting for that tipping point, how is the Fed looking at this, do you think, Christine?

ROMANS: You know, I think the Fed is going to want to have another big interest rate hike. You are seeing, in the housing market, the Fed's medicine starting to work and to cool that red hot housing market. Actually slam the brakes on it to use a different metaphor. But you're not seeing it yet in the job market and in bigger parts of the overall economy.

There's a lot happening all at the same time too. The European Central Bank just raised interest rates, you know, 40 minutes ago. We'll see how that -- what that say to the rest of the world. And you've got all these corporate earnings. We're really zeroing in on what these CEOs are saying about headwinds, especially global economic headwinds in the months ahead and what that - what that's doing to their - to their strategies. Are they going to be pulling back a little bit because they're worried about next year.

All this talk about recession can start to become a little self- fulfilling, to be quite honest, when everyone's worried and starts to prepare for one.

KEILAR: Obsess your way into a recession perhaps.


KEILAR: Christine, thank you so much for that.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

KEILAR: Three more men found guilty in the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. We have details on the plot ahead on CNN.

MARQUARDT: We'll also have new details this morning on the break-in at the headquarters of Arizona's Democratic candidate for governor. We'll have the latest on the investigation. That's next.



MARQUARDT: It is time now for "5 Things" you need to know for your new day.

Police in Phoenix are investigating a break-in at the campaign headquarters of Katie Hobbs, who is Arizona's Democratic nominee for governor. The campaign says it's the direct result of lies and intimidation by the Hobbs Trump - by Hobbs' Trump-backed opponent Kari Lake. Now Lake says this claim is absurd - absolutely absurd.

KEILAR: Secretary of State Tony Blinken says he has conveyed to Vladimir Putin the consequences of using a nuclear weapon in Russia's war on Ukraine. Officials previously said that Moscow has been warned, but this is the first explicit mention of it being communicated to Putin itself.

MARQUARDT: And police in St. Louis say that family members of the 19- year-old gunman sought mental health treatment and even had police take his weapon away before Monday's deadly shooting rampage at his former high school. Two people, a teacher and a student, were killed before police took down the gunman.

KEILAR: And a jury has found three men accused of supporting a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer guilty on all charges. They have been convicted of providing material support for a terrorist act as members of a militia group.

MARQUARDT: There was no grand prize winner yet again in last night's Powerball drawing. That's 36 drawings in a row. But here's the good part, the jackpot for Saturday's Powerball drawing has soared to at least $800 million.


MARQUARDT: We'll all be watching that.

KEILAR: I'll have to buy some tickets.


MARQUARDT: Heading right out after this.

Those are "5 Things You Need to Know for Your New Day." More on all these stories at CNN - on CNN and Don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast. You can do that every morning.

And "The Good Stuff" is next. We'll be right back.


KEILAR: Time now for "The Good Stuff."

Kentucky Wildcats head basketball coach John Calipari says a picture showing this man, Michael McGuire, at a practice game this past weekend really stood out and he wrote, quote, don't know who this is, but I have tickets for him and his family to be treated as VIPs. McGuire, who's a coal miner, says he raced to the game directly from work -- that's why he's all covered in soot here -- to make sure that he was at his son's first Kentucky basketball experience.



MICHAEL MCGUIRE: He had a blast. He - he was dancing. And every time they would slam dunk it, he would - he would go crazy. I was just really excited to make all these memories with - with my kids and my wife.


KEILAR: Now, McGuire is a coal miner. And - of course, you can tell, right? He says he's looking forward to taking up Calipari on his invitation and catching an upcoming home game. MARQUARDT: I love that story so much.

KEILAR: I love it.

CNN's coverage continues right now.