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New Day Saturday

Ukrainian President to Attend Munich Security Conference; U.S., Ukraine Warn of Russian "False Flag" Operations; Wright's Parents Say They Feel "Cheated" by Potter Sentencing; National Archives Acknowledges Classified Documents Found in Boxes at Mar-a-Lago After Trump Left Office; Police Response to a New Jersey Mall Fight Prompts Outrage; U.S. Aerial Skier Vinecki Overcomes Tragedy, Injury to Reach First Winter Olympics. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired February 19, 2022 - 06:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning and welcome to your "NEW DAY." It's Saturday, February 19th. I'm Boris Sanchez.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be with you, Boris. I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul. Thank you so much for waking up with us. And we do have a lot of news to get to.

We begin with Ukraine where the growing threat of a Russian invasion has reached a boiling point. President Joe Biden says he is convinced based on U.S. intelligence that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision to attack Ukraine and target the capital Kyiv. Biden says the attack is expected in the coming days or sooner, but he says the door is still open for diplomacy.

Now Vice President Kamala Harris steps on to the world stage today to address the crisis. She spoke at the Munich Security Conference just moments ago and warned of severe consequences if Russia does invade Ukraine.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me be clear. I can say with absolute certainty if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States together with our allies and partners will impose significant and unprecedented economic costs.


SANCHEZ: The United States says that Russia in the meantime is spreading disinformation as a pretext to launch an invasion, so-called false flag operations. Officials point to increased tension in the Donbas region where Ukraine says it has no plans to attack. It's an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

And live fire exercises in Belarus, Russia plans military drills today to showcase its ballistic and cruise missiles. A Kremlin spokesperson describing the exercises as, quote, "quite regular." We're covering this story as only CNN can with the latest developments from Munich to Ukraine to the White House. So let's take you now live to Germany. And correspondent Natasha Bertrand reporting from the Munich Security Conference where Vice President Kamala Harris just addressed the crisis in Ukraine.

And Natasha, Vice President Harris saying that the West is unified and that quote, "our strength must not be underestimated."

Bring us up to speed with the rest of her remarks.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, Boris. So Vice President Kamala Harris, she said that not since the cold war has this conference convened under such dire circumstances, really stark language from her there. She kind of walked through the principles that are at stake here, namely territorial integrity, sovereignty, the right for a country to choose its own form of government, the idea that nation's border should not be changed by force.

And she walked through the U.S. commitment to NATO and that Article 5 commitment to NATO allies that requires that the U.S. come to their defense in the event that they are attacked. She also went through the Russian playbook saying what we are seeing right now is all too familiar to the U.S. and to the West, who have seen Russian provocations before.

Of course, in Georgia and Crimea in 2014, the occupation of Eastern Ukraine. She says this is all extremely predictable, and that Russia's denials for that reason ring extremely hollow.

She reiterated that the U.S. is willing to impose severe consequences on Russia if it does in fact move to invade. She said that the diplomacy is not over until it's over. That they are willing to pursue this diplomatic path. But all signs right now obviously pointing towards that Russian escalation.

She did say that the U.S. is willing to bolster that eastern flank at NATO capability if Russia invades, again, reiterating that support for NATO allies who feel extremely threatened by Russia's aggression at this time. But overall, the speech was really a sign to Vladimir Putin that the West is extremely unified on this issue, more unified, her aides and allies say, than they have been on any other issue in recent memory. This not only goes to Ukraine's security. It goes the integrity of the international order.

And that's another message she was trying to get across here. That this was not just about Ukraine's sovereignty. This is about the basic principles of European and American security, that if Russian President Vladimir Putin can order an invasion into the capital city of Kyiv, Ukraine, which is considered to be a European city.


If there is a war that breaks out in Europe for the first time since World War II, that will compromise everything that the U.S. and its allies have worked for since the end of the cold war to promote stability and peace around the world. So a message here that she's trying to get across, that there is time to de-escalate, but the consequences will be extremely severe if Russia does not.

WALKER: Yes. A clear message from the U.S. vice president on unity and the resolve between the U.S. and the rest of the West.

Natasha Bertrand, thank you very much.

Let's get an update now on the conditions on the ground. CNN's senior national correspondent - security correspondent Alex Marquardt joining us now live from Ukraine.

And Alex, over several days we've been hearing about the escalation and shelling there in the east. What's the latest on the ground?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Amara, there has been so much focus on this part of the country which is known as the Donbas because there has long been speculation that President Putin would want to connect Crimea which he sees back in 2014 with Mainland Russia and that land bridge as we've called it comes right through here.

And then there has been these two Russian-backed breakaway enclaves in the eastern part of Ukraine that have been out of the reach of Kyiv also for the past eight years. There has been a real spike in some troubling activity over the course of the past few days. Here in the east, we have seen an increase in the cease-fire violations along what's known as the line of contact, which is just about 15 miles, 25 kilometers behind me, where Ukrainian fighters are facing off against those Russia-backed fighters. Some of the biggest number of incidents in the past four years.

We've learned today that there were some 40 cease-fire violations. And that one Ukrainian service member was killed when he was hit by shrapnel. The - those violations, the weapons being used in those violations including artillery and mortars.

So it's a very concerning spike in that violence. And at the same time, we've also seen the leaders of these two republics, as they call themselves, calling on their citizens to evacuate to Russia, to leave and head eastwards into Russia because they say that Ukraine is planning an offensive. That they are lining up their troops and their weapons and they're planning an offensive against those breakaway enclaves. There's no evidence to suggest that that's going to happen. Ukraine has roundly denied it.

And in an interesting twist, those videos that were posted last night calling on those citizens of Luhansk and Donetsk to leave, we have now looked into the metadata of those videos and seen that they were actually created on Wednesday, two days before they were even published, which just speaks to the choreography and the fact that this probably part of this disinformation campaign that the U.S. and others have warned about, this concern over potential operations and false flag attacks that Russia could create and Russian supporters could create in order to justify an invasion. So the Russians are now saying that some 10,000 people have fled eastwards into Russia. We have no way of confirming that. But there is a significant level of concern that what we're seeing here in the east, the cease-fire violations combined with these accusations of disinformation and false flag attacks coming from the east could provide President Putin with that pretext to invade Ukraine. Amara, Boris?

SANCHEZ: Important to point out as Alex did, the difference in the choreography that we're seeing on Russian state media and what's actually unfolding on the ground at the border between Ukraine and Russia.

Alex Marquardt, thank you so much.

Meantime, President Biden is getting updates on the situation in Ukraine. He says he's now convinced that Vladimir Putin has decided to invade that country.

Let's take you to the White House now and reporter Jasmine Wright who joins us live.

Jasmine, what other messaging are we getting from the White House?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, look, the president made it clear yesterday. He said that he believes that Europe is on the brink of war, saying that because of new intelligence, he is now convinced that Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine. Take a listen to him in his own words on Friday.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDEN OF THE UNITED STATES: As of this moment, I'm convinced he's made a decision. We have reason to believe that. We're calling out Russia's plans loudly and repeatedly, not because we want a conflict, but because we're doing everything in our power to remove any reason that Russia may give to justify invading Ukraine and prevent them from moving.


WRIGHT: So that is a major shift from President Biden who for weeks have said that he did not know or did not believe if Putin had made that decision. Obviously, that has changed. This morning while in Europe, Secretary of Defense Austin, he also reiterated the same thing. He said that he agreed with Biden, that they believe that President Putin has decided.


And now this comes as the U.S. has gotten more intelligence to really form that decision or that consensus rather, the president said yesterday, and he pointed out the uptick of Russian disinformation that we just heard Alex talk about, that officials have said for weeks that Russians could use as a pretext to start war. And now this has been an unusual amount of information that the U.S. intelligence officials have shared with reporters, with the country. But it is a part of a strategy that they have really trying to wage a war -- wage their part inside of this disinformation war, trying to lay everything bare, trying to once again deter Russia from making any such moves.

And now this really comes amid a real flutter of diplomacy. Of course, we just saw the vice president in Munich. Blinken is there as well. Secretary Austin is talking to allies abroad.

So the president this weekend spends his time in D.C. He ditched the plan to go to his home in Delaware, officials say, so that he can stay here and monitor things, talk to his officials abroad, but also talk to world leaders.

Now there are no current calls scheduled, but we will keep you up to date in case that changes as the president has been known to pick up the phone at any moment to try to get an update. Boris?

SANCHEZ: Keep us posted on what you hear.

Jasmine Wright from the White House. Thank you so much.

Let's dig deeper now with CNN military analyst, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton and CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins us as well.

Nic, first to you. What has been the response from the Kremlin to the assessment from President Biden that Putin has made up his mind to invade Ukraine?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Deny, deny, deny. This is what we've heard from the Kremlin all along. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said that this wasn't correct, that Russia is not about to invade Ukraine. We know that the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C., issued a statement last night as well, refuting what the United States has said, that Russia was behind the cyberattack on facilities in - in Ukraine a couple of days ago.

Also, we've heard from the Foreign Ministry spokesman here again this morning commenting on what's being said in Munich by the NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg who talked about a new normal where Russia uses its military might to threaten Europe to get what it wants. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you know, saying this language is inverted.

Meanwhile on state television here, images of evacuees leaving the Donbas region, the pro-Russian Russian separatists, part of Ukraine have been running on the air, particularly pictures of young children, very emotive pictures of young children sort of being hustled away from that area. Official here, Russian state media officials saying that now the border area from Russia into that pro-Russian separatist part of Ukraine is being controlled by Russia's internal security services, the FSB. And they're allowing people to leave that area of Donbas but not go back into it.

So the image here from Russia is one of deny what is being what they are being accused of.

SANCHEZ: Colonel Leighton, I want to get your perspective on this concept of a false flag operation. The United States openly accusing the Kremlin of essentially orchestrating a reason to invade Ukraine. We've seen, as Nic outlined, these videos coming from that Donbas region, the purported explosion and evacuation of civilians in Donetsk as well. What do you suspect happens next in this Russian playbook?


I think what's going to happen is they're going to try more and more of these types of operations. So generally, a false flag operation is, of course, when they commit the crime against themselves with the incident against themselves. And that is designed to provide either one excuse or a series of excuses for Russia to act further. And if Russia believes it is aggrieved by even a staged event, they will then take that event and use that as the excuse not only to invade but also to convince their own population that it was a justifiable invasion, it was a justifiable excuse to take military action.

SANCHEZ: And, Colonel, staying with you, there are new satellite images from Maxar that show a substantial increase in the deployment of Russian helicopter forces that are close to the border with Ukraine. These helicopter forces, what does that indicate to you that they've been activated and if they appear ready to strike?


LEIGHTON: So these forces could very well include attack helicopters and they do based on the imagery that we've seen so far. They could also include helicopters that will transport special operations or air assault forces into Ukraine.

So they're getting ready do something. You know, they can always pull back from the brink, but these types of deployments indicate that they are ready to conduct operations -- targeted operations against very specific facilities. And that's, I think, the real danger for the Ukrainians. They're going to have to defend against a lot of different vectors of attack. And that's what we're going to be seeing if they go forward with a military operation or a series of military operations.

SANCHEZ: And Nic, I want to focus on the statements we just heard from Vice President Kamala Harris. She described the unity between Western nations as stronger than it has been in generation. She said, quote, "our strength must not be underestimated."

Would you agree with that assessment because in the last few months it appears there have been some disagreements over countries like Germany and the United States and others over how to approach this Russian threat?

ROBERTSON: There have been some disagreements, and certainly Russia wants to play on that. I think Kamala Harris would have been warm to hear Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, speaking shortly before her. She talked about something that's been very important to the United States and that is for Europe to understand that Russia controls gas and oil supplies to such an extent to Europe that it can use that as leverage.

And we've heard President Putin indicating that you know he may well use gas - turn off gas supplies to Europe if he gets heavy sanctions on it. We heard the Italian prime minister saying yesterday that they're getting cut price gas from Russia and he said that President Putin had indicated that maybe there will be a way that Italy could avoid that.

We've heard when the German chancellor was standing next to President Putin saying, well, if prices of gas go up in Germany, don't look at me, look at the German chancellor. There's no doubt that Russia wants to use gas and oil supplies to Europe as leverage.

What Ursula von der Leyen said, and this gets to the point of unity and how big that unity is. She said two things in the immediate term. Europe, she said, is on the safe side this winter for fuel supplies, energy supplies, meaning that if President Putin does throttle back on gas and oil, Europe is now in a safer place, less energy dependent. And the other important point that she made was -- and this, again, goes to the heart of what Kamala Harris would want to hear -- and that is that strategically, Europe cannot do business with Russia that will use those gas and energy supplies as a threat and a manipulation. And that is a position that the United States has been long wanting to hear from the Europeans to take strategic decisions on that.

SANCHEZ: Yes. An important moment and especially significant hearing these European leaders cast this as a conflict between authoritarianism and Western democracy.

We got to leave the conversation there. Colonel Cedric Leighton, Nic Robertson, thank you both. Appreciate the time.

WALKER: That's an unfolding story in Ukraine. And, of course, we'll keep our eyes on that.

Meantime, outrage from the family of Daunte Wright after former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter is sentenced to two years in prison for killing Wright during a traffic stop last year. The judge's reasoning for imposing a lighter sentence. Also, the family's reaction is next.



WALKER: Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter who claimed to have mistakenly drawn her gun instead of a taser and fatally shot 20-year- old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop was sentenced to two years in prison Friday.

SANCHEZ: Wright's parents said they felt both cheated and hurt by the sentence.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus has the story for us. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATIE WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S MOTHER: Daunte Demetrius Wright, I will continue to fight in your name until driving while black is no longer a death sentence.

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tears and raw emotion filled the Minneapolis courtroom as former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter was sentenced to two years in prison.


BROADDUS: In December, Potter was convicted of first degree and second degree manslaughter for fatally shooting 20-year-old Daunte right when Potter said she mistakenly pulled her gun instead of her taser.

ARBUEY WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S FATHER: Because of Kim's recklessness Daunte's life was cut short by Kim Potter who claims she thought she had a taser. She pointed a gun into my son's chest and pulled the trigger. Not only killing Daunte, she also damages my whole family's heart.

BROADDUS: Both of Wright's parents broke down during their victim impact statements.

K. WRIGHT: She took our baby boy with a single gunshot through his heart. She shattered mine. My life and my world will never ever be the same.

A. WRIGHT: Everything we do as a family ends in tears. Because all we have is memories left of our son.

BROADDUS: The mother of Wright's two-year-old son also spoke before the sentencing.

CHYNA WHITAKER, MOTHER OF DAUNTE WRIGHT'S SON: Kim Potter took my son's best friend away from him, and things haven't been the same since. I am now a single mother not by choice by force.

BROADDUS: Potter tearfully apologizing to Wright entire family turned and spoke directly to Wright's mother.

POTTER: Katie, I understand a mother's love and I'm sorry I broke your heart. My heart was broken all of you. I am so sorry that I hurt you so badly.


BROADDUS: Judge Regina Chu appeared to hold back tears as she handed down her sentence of 24 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

JUDGE REGINA M. CHU, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA: Officer Potter made a mistake that ended tragically, she never intended to hurt anyone. Her conduct cries out for a sentence significantly below the guidelines.

BROADDUS: Spelling out the actual time Potter will spend behind bars. CHU: You shall serve two-thirds a bad time or 16 months in prison. And a third on supervised release.

BROADDUS: Prosecutors initially asked Potter serve more than seven years in prison. Wright's family requested the maximum penalty.

A. WRIGHT: I walk out of this courthouse feeling like people are laughing at us because this lady got a slap on the wrist. And we still every night, sitting around crying, waiting for my son to come home.

K. WRIGHT: Kim Potter murdered my son and he died April 11th. Today, the justice system murdered him all over again. This isn't OK. This is the problem with our justice system today, white women tears Trump's. Trump's justice.

Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Minneapolis.


WALKER: All right. Coming up the National Archives confirms they found classified materials in boxes collected from Mar-a-Lago. Next, what it could mean for Trump's legal troubles.



WALKER: The National Archives is acknowledging that classified records were found in boxes at Mar-a-Lago after former President Trump left office.

SANCHEZ: Yes, in a letter released yesterday, the Archives told the House Oversight Committee that it's discussed the issue with the Department of Justice, and that they've asked DOJ to investigate Trump's handling of White House records. Let's bring in CNN's Eva McKend. She's live for us on Capitol Hill. Eva, what is the committee saying about these records?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Boris, there is clearly concern about the record-keeping practices of the former administration, including this classified national security information. Chairwoman, Carolyn Maloney who leads the powerful House Oversight Committee here on the Hill saying that this is a "flagrant disregard for federal records laws and the potential impact of our historical record." And Democrats very much want to continue to pursue this. They say the former president and former Trump administration officials violated the Presidential Records Act. Take a listen.


REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): It's up to the DOJ to respond to the information that they have received. It's up to our committee to make sure that all the documents are found. It is a crime to destroy presidential documents. It's supposed to be preserved for the American people.


MCKEND: Now, Archives also says that direct messages on social media channels traded between former administration officials, that information, that documentation also missing.

WALKER: OK, so we just heard there that it is a crime to destroy presidential records. So could the former President Trump face criminal charges for this, Eva?

MCKEND: So experts are saying likely not, but it does scream of hypocrisy. You know, the former president was very critical of his then Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of a private e- mail server when she was Secretary of State. Certainly, many people drawing parallels to that entire episode, Now, for his part, the former president dismissing all of this as just another political attack. Amara?

SANCHEZ: Eva McKend, live from Capitol Hill. Thank you so much, Eva. Let's get some analysis now and bring in CNN political analyst and "Axios" managing editor Margaret Talev. Margaret, good morning, appreciate you working up early for us as usual. So, we just heard Chairwoman Maloney there say that the Oversight Committee studying these new details about Trump's White House records, these 15 or so boxes that the archives collected from Mar-a-Lago. What do you think might come from these revelations?

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Boris, I think there's going to be a continued effort to piece together a full-time line in picture, of course, which is what committees have been trying to do. The fact that they're now discovering the major elements of social media communications weren't preserved, SnapChat, maybe WhatsApp, what have you, like certainly complicates the picture. There have been questions, you know, about whether the former president puts himself in legal jeopardy over this.

Of course, he does have the ability he did when he was president to declassify things. The kind of trap for him is that, if he says, well, I declassified those, so it's OK that I have them. It really blows a hole in the original argument that he shouldn't have to turn over some of the stuff to the committee, because it's declassified, everybody should be able to see it. So it's unclear how much legal jeopardy he's going to put himself in here.

It does kind of underscore the validity of what the committee is seeking, I think, and it will perhaps help them as they push to put together this record. But really, what it does is put the official stamp from the archives on what the reporting has been for weeks now, which is that he had stuff that wasn't turned over that should have been turned over.


SANCHEZ: Yes, I do want to ask you, Margaret, while we have you, about the primary race to defeat Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney. It's heating up after House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed Cheney's challenger this week. Walk us through the calculus for McCarthy here. He could simply have stayed out of this race, no?

TALEV: He certainly could have, in theory, based on the traditional ways that Republicans have operated in primary contests. That's the norm. In fact, what McCarthy did was stave off for weeks and months pressure from his right flank to kick Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger out of the party. In exchange for that, there was mounting pressure on him to do exactly what he did. And by just kind of jumping in here into the fray of a primary, that does cast aside norms.

It also perhaps puts him in former President Trump's good graces and the good graces of the right side of his party if he does ascend to the speakership. He's trying to preemptively stave off any challenge to his leadership role, and he's made the calculation that this is what he's needed to do to keep that part of his caucus behind him.

SANCHEZ: Another voice behind Harriet Hageman, Cheney's challenger, is the person who replaced Cheney as the number three Republican in the House, Elise Stefanik. She's actually not going to run for House Conference chair again, I'm wondering how you read that. What does that say about her political ambitions?

TALEV: Well, look, right now, the entire game in the Republican Party is keep former President Trump in your good graces to preserve your options down the line. And that's really what all of these steps are about for all of these players. It's striking when you look at his messaging and statements over the past day or two as the world, the nation is focused on Ukraine, Russia, the tensions in Europe. All of these statements are about defending himself, defending his own honor around January 6th and trying to rally the Republican Party behind him.

So, that's where Trump's mind is at. And as a result, what you're seeing inside Republican leadership are just efforts to consolidate and get behind him. And in this -- that case -- in this particular case, it's about saying, we -- the Republican Party rejects Liz Cheney, and that's both what McCarthy and Stefanik are doing.

SANCHEZ: Excellent analysis as always, great to have you, Margaret Talev, thanks so much.

TALEV: Thanks, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course, and a quick programming note for you this Presidents' Day weekend. CNN is premiering a new original series focused on the life and presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson. You'll see how his presidency was as complicated as the times he served. When "LBJ: TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY" premieres tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN.

WALKER: All right, still ahead, outrage over a fist fight caught on camera. Now, there's an investigation into why police pinned a black teen to the ground and handcuffed him while the other student who was involved just was on a couch nearby.



WALKER: Topping this morning's "LEGAL BRIEF", the family of a New Jersey teen is demanding answers after video shows officers pinning a black teen to the floor after a fight at a mall. Now, one video of the incident shows the boys arguing and then fighting at a mall in Bridgewater township. Two police officers arrive and they separate them. The white teen is pushed onto a couch when they arrive, but the black teenager ends up on the ground handcuffed.

The police department has asked the prosecutor's office to investigate, and the teen's family says they are looking into legal options. Joining us now to discuss is CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson. Joey, good morning to you. What do you see when you see this video in terms of legal action that can be taken?

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Amara, good morning to you. I see legal action are plenty. I think there are three reactions that I have, if you would permit. I mean, one is the human perspective, right? I mean, before being a lawyer obviously, you're an individual.

And I think from a human perspective, you know, what makes people think, particularly police officers or anyone else, quite frankly, that you don't have African American teens who have families at home, who love them, who are inspiring them, who are really trying to get the best of them every day so that they can go on and change communities and change lives.

And so, you know, it's troubling to see, you know, as a father myself and to so many, I'm sure, just from that human element, what is going on, right? And then that drives the police in perspective to your question. You know, police have a great deal of discretion, and I think it's appropriate only to use that discretion in a way that really is even-handed. And that really shows you're policing all communities the same.

And when you don't, there are legal remedies for that. Everyone has a right to live a life free of intrusion by the police or anyone else. And in the event that the police are doing something unused to you, then, of course, there's courts of law for relief for that.


But even in looking at that, Amara, you know, you have courts of law, it's the stigma that attaches to that. Like why, as you see all the other teens saying, what are you doing? This is outright racism. If they know it, why don't you? And then from a justice perspective, we see issues like this translate from policing when you're arrested into actual courtrooms and into sentences that are imposed, and into African Americans who are incarcerated, and so we have to do better.

And yes, the legal system is a mechanism by way of civil rights litigation for instances like this in order to hold officers accountable, not suggesting at all that there are not officers out there every day and twice on -- or veteran communities. But we've got to do better than this, Amara.

WALKER: Yes, it absolutely doesn't make sense at least from the surface when you see the video, why is it that you have the black teen that is been tackled down to the floor immediately and nothing with the white teen? Clearly, there's an issue there. Let's turn to another case, and this is the closing arguments that are expected to begin on Monday in the federal hate crime trial of the three men who killed Ahmaud Arbery.

Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William Roddie Bryan, they were convicted on the state level, in November, a felony murder and other charges for Arbery's killing. The men faced several federal charges now, including interfering with Arbery's right to use a public street because of his race and also kidnappings. So, Joey, first off, we know that hate crimes are very difficult to prove because you have to prove intent, what was on the mind of these defendants.

And In this case, the three men who killed Ahmaud Arbery because the question is, did they kill him because he was black? Federal prosecutors laid out evidence in the form of text messages, showing two of the three men used -- I mean, really disturbing racist insults -- a large period of time about African Americans. What are your thoughts regarding this? I mean, will that be enough for prosecutors to have a strong case especially when the jury starts to deliberate?

JACKSON: Yes, it's a great question, Amara, and I believe so. I think that the text messages, the other things that reflect the values of these particular defendants that are incorporated in the statements that they've made, you know, represent who they are. And I think you can make the causal connection between what you said, what you believe, who you are as an individual and what you did on this specific day.

I think that's what prosecutors are doing. Final point, Amara, I know the defense is trying to make that disconnection by indicating, hey, they may have said it, but they had a good faith belief that really things were missing in the neighborhood, yes, but there were other people not of the African American cue who were in that construction site. You weren't chasing them though, so I think that it really is a compelling case for the prosecution, ultimately left up to the jury. Let's see what they do.

WALKER: Joey Jackson, appreciate you as always. Thanks so much, Joey.

JACKSON: Thank you, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Still ahead, an Olympic update. Team USA is filled with inspirational stories, and one of them involves a 23-year-old skier who set world records as a teenager in an entirely different sport. Her story straight ahead.


[06:50:00] COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to NEW DAY, I'm Coy

Wire at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Today's difference maker is team USA aerial skier Winter Vinecki seemingly as -- does have a positive impact on this world as she wants to become a Winter Olympian.

She's the first ever Winter Olympian, so aptly named, at 23, her list of accomplishments read like a Force com-like movie script, "The Driving Force", her late father Michael. At 9 years old, Winter lost her dad to prostate cancer, leaving her, her mom, Dawn Estelle and her three brothers heartbroken.

But they turned their pain into purpose, sharing dad's story through sport, raising awareness, fostering prevention and keeping her spirit alive. Listen.


WINTER VINECKI, AERIAL SKIER: My mom and dad named me Winter because it was their favorite season, and they absolutely just loved the beautiful snow in northern Michigan. I did all kinds of different sports growing up. I specifically loved the running and track on side of things. So, in the summer time, I would compete in those sports, and then in the Winter time, I would compete in ski racing growing up. And so I kind of had the two different worlds --

WIRE: Yes --

VINECKI: And just so happened that I went to the Winter Olympics route.

WIRE: I know your journey has been so much more than your sport. Tell me about that.

VINECKI: So, growing up, my dad was a big kid at heart. He always had an amazing smile, and anyone that you asked would say he was just an amazing human being.

WIRE: Yes --

VINECKI: And unfortunately, he passed away only 10 months after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer on his 40th birthday. So, I formed a foundation called Team Winter for prostate cancer research and awareness. And with the help of people around the world, have been able to raise over half a million dollars for this cause.

WIRE: You made a little bit of history not in the snow, but running?

VINECKI: Yes, so, I was the youngest person in the world to run a marathon on all seven continents by finishing this feat before turning 15. So, I did it with all of my mom as well. So also became the first mother and daughter in the world to run a marathon on all seven continents.

WIRE: What have you learned together as a family through the pain and through all that you've persevered? VINECKI: There's going to be so many obstacles and challenges.


And people who tell you, that it can't be done, and you should give up. But you have to surround yourself with those people who believe in you for those times when you may not even believe in yourself. You know, like there're times where I've had doubt, but I have my mom and my brothers, some teammates who are telling me, you know, you got this, you can do this. But also, just have fun. Like we only have this one life, and I would hate to get to the end of it and wish I would have done so many different things.


WIRE: She's already done so much. And her first book is coming out soon, you can find it at You get the feeling she's somehow just getting started. Amara, Boris, back to you.

SANCHEZ: She is inspiring. Coy Wire, thanks much.

WALKER: Thank you, Coy. Well, President Biden says he is convinced Russia plans to invade Ukraine. Can the world do anything right now to stop Vladimir Putin? We're going to go live to Ukraine and Moscow after the break.