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New Day Saturday
Gunfire, Explosions Disperse Protesters In Russian-Held Town; Pentagon To Provide Another $300M In Military Aid; U.S. Adds 431K Jobs In March; Unemployment Falls To 3.6 percent; Source: WH Record Keepers Appeared To Be "Iced out" Days Before Riot; Mother And Two Children Flee In Kyiv To Indiana; Father Stayed Behind To Fight; Families Taking Trips Despite Skyrocketing Prices; DeSantis Signals Support For Revoking Disney's Self-Governing Status Over "Don't Say Gay" Feud"; Disney Vows To Repeal Florida's "Don't Say Gay" Law. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired April 02, 2022 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everyone. It is Saturday, April 2nd. I'm Laura Jarrett in for Christi Paul this weekend.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Laura, always great to be with you. I'm Boris Sanchez. We thank you so much for spending part of your Saturday morning with us.
JARRETT: Always great to spend some time with you Boris. Really appreciate you having me.
We begin this morning, with Russia saying it struck a major oil refinery in central Ukraine today. The move comes on the heels of new video showing what could be the first Ukrainian airstrike on Russian territory since the start of the invasion. Russia says Ukrainian helicopter struck a fuel depot in Belgorod, Ukraine, though won't confirm or deny that its forces carried out the attack.
SANCHEZ: Meantime, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that Russia is preparing to carry out more airstrikes in eastern Ukraine. Zelenskyy says that Russian troops are gradually withdrawing from areas in the northern part of the country. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): The occupiers are withdrawing forces in the north of our country. The withdrawal is slow but noticeable. Somewhere they are expelled with battles, somewhere they leave positions on their own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JARRETT: Meantime, Pope Francis says he may go to Ukraine on a flight to Malta, a reporter asked the pope if he was considering visiting Kyiv. After a long pause, the Pope said yes, it's on the table. SANCHEZ: On the issue of aid, the United States is providing Ukraine with another $300 million in security assistance, including money for so-called suicide or kamikaze drones, which are lightweight and disposable. The new assistance package also includes armored vehicles, night vision equipment, ammunition and anti-drone systems, too.
JARRETT: We want to get an update now on what is happening inside Ukraine. And for that we have CNN correspondent Phil Black joining us live from Lviv.
Phil, we're getting information on gunfire and explosions and protests in Ukraine. What can you tell us about this?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Laura, we've got some video, which gives an insight into what life can be like in the areas of Ukraine that are that are under Russian occupation where Russia is in control. This video is from the city of inner Enerhodar. It's in the center of the country towards the southern end. And it shows Russian soldiers breaking up a protest against Russia's occupation. And what the video shows pretty clearly is the use of live gunfire. And other it seems non-lethal crowd control ammunition, some sort of stun grenade or flashbang, that sort of thing, which is creating a lot of noise. And it's a very dramatic scene. What we understand is that there was this relatively small protests taking place in the center of the city this morning. And then the Russian soldiers showed up, tried to arrest some people and then started using that sort of ordnance in order to disperse that crowd. Some people have been injured, we understand who ended up in hospital as a result with burns, and, and so forth.
But it is a window into life under Russian occupation in the cities that they control, and especially so if you are willing to oppose publicly that Russian occupation.
SANCHEZ: Phil Black reporting from Lviv. Thank you so much.
As Russian forces continue their brutal attacks, Ukraine is asking the United States for more help sending a new request to Congress, including drones, more anti-aircraft weapons and medical assistance. This week, lawmakers pressed Biden administration officials behind closed doors on the speed at which aid is being sent to Ukraine in an effort to expedite it.
Let's bring in Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan. He's with us this morning. He's the Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, also a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Congressman, a pleasure to have you on as always.
The Pentagon just announced another $300 million insecurity assistance to Ukraine. It's going to take a couple of weeks for all that aid from the last package to make it there. In your mind, is the United States doing enough to help Ukraine? And is the aid getting there at the speed that it needs to?
REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Well, first of all, thanks for having me on. And really I think we all agree, including the administration officials that I met with just last week, that this is not fast enough. We need to move as fast as we humanly can but no, there's no pace that's going to be enough to meet the need on the ground in Ukraine, we just have to continue to push harder to get them the material that they need in order to defend themselves.
I was in a meeting recently where that point was pressed very firmly by Democrats and Republicans. And the administration acknowledged that we're moving as fast as we can. But it's never going to be fast enough for the need on the ground in Ukraine.
SANCHEZ: Congressman, walk us through some of the challenges, what are the hurdles that you're facing if both sides are on board with expediting the aid?
KILDEE: I mean, the way it's been explained to me, frankly, it's simply a matter of logistics actually moving, you know, tens of thousands of units of material of armament of missiles doesn't happen with a snap of a finger. It's a real challenge on the ground to move into position this necessary equipment. And again, as I said, the -- I think administration knows that if we could move faster, we certainly would, that doesn't keep us from pressing them to do as much as they possibly can.
Look, we stand with the brave Ukrainian people and that incredible leader, President Zelenskyy and we need to do more. And I agree with some of the criticism that that so far, we haven't done as much as we can. We should do more, and we should do it faster.
SANCHEZ: Are you anticipating any new imminent announcements of further weapons transfers to Ukraine?
KILDEE: I think so. I mean, some of this, that I've been involved with is classified. So I can't get into some of the detail. But I think we should expect continued and very robust support by the United States.
SANCHEZ: I want to pivot now, Congressman, because the House is voting next week to hold former Trump aides, Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in contempt. Steve Bannon is already facing criminal charges after a referral from Congress. Do you think Navarro and Scavino should also face charges and perhaps Mark Meadows as well, who Congress referred to the DOJ?
KILDEE: I think they should. And what they're trying to do is normalize this idea that a legal subpoena from the Congress of the United States is like a wedding invitation. With an RSVP card, you can just check yes or no or say they don't feel good that morning. They don't have to come in. This is a really serious matter. And the fact that, you know, former administration official one after the other, are acting as if it's a choice. It's not a choice. It's a subpoena. And we have to get the facts, they have to respond. And if they don't, they absolutely should face whatever legal consequence.
Look, there's no bravery that they exhibit if they're not willing to accept the consequence of defying the law. They're not doing themselves any favors in terms of their future, they're going to ultimately have to tell the truth. Question is, what will we have to go through to get there? I think they're just stalling because the truth is too painful for them to see.
SANCHEZ: I also want to get your thoughts, Congressman, on a couple of items on the agenda. You have a bill that would cap out of pocket costs for insulin to $35 a month and it passed the House this week, the Senate expected to take up a similar bill later this month. It's not clear yet if the Democrats will have 60 votes needed to pass it. How confident are you that it will pass?
KILDEE: Well, I think if the American people, tens of millions of whom are insulin dependent diabetics, I think if they speak to their senators, these are, you know, diabetes is not a Democratic or Republican disease. People who are diabetic need insulin, no matter what their political stripe or if they're not political at all. This is a matter really, of just saving people's significant money, but saving lives. We know that people don't take their insulin often because they can't afford it, not because it's unavailable. It's a 100-year-old drug cost a few dollars to produce, and it shouldn't cost somebody $1,000 a month to stay alive.
SANCHEZ: On that note, Congressman, your bill addresses obviously a popular issue lowering drug prices. It's not quite as broad as President Biden's social spending bill, it would have also limited price increases on all prescription drugs, it would have allowed the government to negotiate the prices of certain drugs used by Medicare patients. What do you say to critics that this bill is too narrow, they wanted something more expensive? And do you see a path forward for something more expensive?
KILDEE: Yes, in fact, I agree that we should do something more expensive, we should be able to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. I helped manage the bill on the floor of the House and it was stunning to me to hear some of my Republican opponents on the on the debate, criticize the legislation because it doesn't do anything to lower the list price for insulin, when they themselves are the reason that we don't have the legal authority to negotiate for a reasonable list price. They can't have it both ways.
So my view is it's the father of a Type 1 diabetic who has seen up you know, up close, what this means. My view is, if they're not willing to do what we all need to do and go big and deal with drug pricing generally. Let's pick one thing at a time and try to fix it. And to me, getting the price of insulin to be reasonable so that people can stay alive would have an effect on tens of millions of Americans seems like a reasonable thing to do. But if they're willing to go further, I'm all yours. And I'm ready to go right now.
SANCHEZ: Congressman, as you know, we're only a few months away from midterm election season. Recent polls have shown less than half of Americans approve of President Biden's handling of the economy. There was a strong quarter of job growth, but most Americans still say that their family's income is falling behind the cost of living, obviously, inflation is still running rampant, make the case to voters that the administration has a handle on the inflation problem, because at this point, it seems like it is a bit out of control.
KILDEE: I think we have to acknowledge that inflation is hurting everyday Americans, being driven by the pandemic and all the supply chain disruptions. And now Putin's war, it's having an effect. The fact that we have underlying strength in the economy, job growth is a good thing. Low unemployment is a good thing. We have to tackle inflation. And I think the President is beginning to take those steps that makes sense releasing petroleum reserves could have an effect on gas prices, gas prices is driving a lot of this.
And so, if we can deal with that we can provide some direct relief, I happen to support state and federal gas tax suspension. That'd be one way to provide some immediate relief. Not everybody agrees with me on that. We should do what we can knowing that ultimately, we get through this, the underlying strength of the economy is going to keep us in a good position. But we have to address inflation. I think the President's addressing it, to the extent we can't we don't control the price of everything. But we can certainly do we can to provide the relief that Americans need.
SANCHEZ: I have plenty more questions, but we know you've got a busy weekend ahead. So we'll let you get to it. Congressman Dan Kildee always a pleasure to have you.
KILDEE: Thank you so much.
SANCHEZ: Of course.
JARRETT: So speaking of strengthening the economy, America's economic recovery continues to show strong momentum after the unemployment rate fell to a new pandemic low of just 3.6 percent. Plus, the labor market added another 431,000 jobs in March. President Biden insists that these jobs gains will help fight rising inflation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: More and more Americans get jobs as they do. It's going to help ease the supply pressures we've seen. And that's good news for fighting inflation is good news for our economy. And it means that our economy has gone from being on the men to being on the move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JARRETT: CNN's Christine Romans has more.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Laura, hi, Boris. The job market is hot red hot closing in on a full recovery here. The U.S. economy added back another 431,000 jobs in March. It rounds out a strong first quarter. Look at January and February also revised higher, in February 750,000 jobs added in just February alone. You've got 11 months in a row of job growth of 400,000 or more.
You're still down about 1.6 million jobs since the pandemic began. But that number is being whittled down quite quickly and the jobless rate it fell to 3.6 percent. A new pandemic low. It is a long way down from the April 2020 peak of almost 15 percent. And way below last year when you still saw 6 percent unemployment rate.
So where are the jobs coming back? We are seeing gains across the board with big jumps in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail, manufacturing and wages key here wages jumping 5.6 percent from a year ago, that's almost a two-year high in terms of how fast wages are growing. It's a strong gain.
It's also an inflation signal. Employers have to pay more to lower workers. Something the Federal Reserve is watching very closely.
Laura and Boris, another detail in this report that I think is interesting. More than 400,000 people entered the labor market. They came off the sidelines looking for a job, hearing these headlines of how well the economy is doing in terms of job creation and how aggressively companies are hiring and raising salaries. That's a good sign, you want to see more people engaged in the job market. Laura, Boris.
JARRETT: Christine Romans, thank you for that.
Coming up for you, President Trump's a official record keeper now telling lawmakers it was pretty hard to get details on what exactly he was up to in the days leading up to January 6. So what could this mean for the investigation now?
And you're going to need some extra cash if you want to go on vacation this summer. How inflation is making everything from theme parks to plane tickets, more expensive. That's next.
JARRETT: New this morning. Sources tell CNN record keepers in the Trump White House may have been quote, iced out in the days leading up to January 6.
SANCHEZ: In an interview with the House Select Committee, President Trump's presidential diarist says that White House officials started providing fewer and fewer details about Trump's calls and visits and the days leading up to the riot.
Let's bring in CNN's congressional reporter Annie Grayer, she joins us now live.
Annie, this could be a significant development. What do we know about what this diarist told the committee?
ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: So what we broke last night provides really important key context to the gaps in records from the Trump White House that's now in possession of the January 6 Committee. Now, as you mentioned, the Trump diarist testified in front of the January 6 Committee about two weeks ago that she started receiving fewer and fewer details in the days leading up to and including January 6. We also know that other individuals involved in the record keeping process and that means record keeping call logs and diary entries about the President's daily movements have also testified and told a similar story about receiving less information to put any official record.
Now, it's important to point out that we don't know why these individuals involved in record keeping were given less information. We don't know if this was an intentional decision. We don't know who made that decision. We don't know if it has more to do with individuals, less people working in the Trump White House in that critical time period. But, you know, what's important here is when the committee received documents from the National Archives that did not have that much information about Trump's calls and who he was meeting with and speaking with that day, they really turned to other avenues to fill in that information and witness testimony here has been a key avenue for the committee and getting the information it needs.
SANCHEZ: Annie Grayer, thank you so much for walking us through that.
JARRETT: Fleeing with whatever they could carry. A Ukrainian mother and her two children are now in the U.S. safe from Russian strikes. Up next, their harrowing journey, and the family member that stayed behind.
SANCHEZ: Throughout the invasion of Ukraine, we've seen lives turned upside down. We continue to hear countless stories of families forced to flee their homeland, even leaving behind loved ones.
JARRETT: Yes, the UN estimates more than 4 million people have left their home countries since the start of that war. One of those 4 million includes this woman you're about to meet who was able to escape Kyiv with her two children and whatever they could carry.
Olesia Vasylenko joins us now from Indianapolis with her daughter Solomia Solo (ph) and her son Glebe. So nice to have you all on the show this morning. We really appreciate your willingness to share your story. I know you have had quite a journey.
Olesia, tell us how did you make the decision to ultimately leave Ukraine?
OLESIA VASYLENKO, FLED FROM UKRAINE TO INDIANA: It was hard, because I always want to stay home and now I want to stay home. So but it's so danger it's no safe place anywhere in Ukraine. I have to raise myself, my kids so it was not easy. Yes, lots of my -- parts of my heart and of my family is still there. My mom's still there and my husband and my brothers and their family's still there.
SANCHEZ: And Olesia, what was the journey like for you and your kids? I understand it was difficult to even get to the Polish border and what is it been like since you arrived in the United States?
O. VASYLENKO: Maybe most harder part of my life when we get the border and to just start moving, but it was so long journey like four days. We're had sleeping off and so just went along traveling. But we're very happy to be here. And thank you so much every Poland people who was care of us and here American people is very nice and very helpful. So, they really like in here.
JARRETT: Olesia, I know you're obviously with family now in Indianapolis. But not everybody in your family made the trip, your husband stayed behind to fight like so many other men who have had too. One of just the regular Ukrainian people on the frontlines as you call him. Are you able to talk to him? Are you able to Face Time with him?
O. VASYLENKO: Yes. We try just like. But well I mean it and they but I don't want to put him in a danger. So I don't know where is he and what he's doing. So he just give me some messages. So he's in an army. Everybody is in danger.
SANCHEZ: I just want to say I really like your T-shirts. I'm not sure if it's Solor (ph) or Glebe that's wearing the one that says Russian warship. Yes.
Getting a kick out of that. What has it been like for Solor (ph) and Glebe to try to go through this journey and to adjust to life in a new country?
O. VASYLENKO: How are you feeling in the country?
GLEBE VASYLENKO, FLED FROM UKRAINE TO INDIANA: Well, it's been a long time since we've been here visiting our grandma and grandpa us and now it's again kind of visiting our grandma and grandpa, and it's -- well, we had to go to school and it was kind of hard to adjust to social life there. And yes, but we made a lot of friends and it's very nice.
SOLOMIIA SEMCHYNSKA: (INAUDIBLE) we're very good at that. We're happy to stay this year. And it's like our home (INAUDIBLE), but we are going to go home (INAUDIBLE).
O. VASYLENKO: The West Lafayette is very friendly city and lots of good neighbors there. We were lucky to be here.
JARRETT: And I'm so heartened to hear that you've received such a warm reception and that you've been able to be with family. I'm sure that provides some comfort. Olesia, thank you for sharing your story as try to stay strong and good luck to you and your children. And of course your husband we'll be thinking about him as well.
O. VASYLENKO: Thank you so much. Ukrainians deserve legit survive but (INAUDIBLE) and we believe it, we will win. Glory to Ukraine.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: We appreciate you all spending some time with us. Thank you so much.
O. VASYLENKO: Thank you. SEMCHYNSKYY: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Of course.
Coming up, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis is calling for an end to Disney special privileges in the state. How much support does Ron DeSantis have for the idea? A weird but interesting discussion, next.
SANCHEZ: So many Americans have put travel plans on hold for the past two years because of the pandemic.
JARRETT: Myself included. I bet you too, Boris.
SANCHEZ: All right.
JARRETT: Now families are ready to get away badly but they're feeling the pinch in their wallets. CNN's Natasha Chen has more on the high cost of vacations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just going to come and blow it out.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For families who haven't traveled much in the last two to three years --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's given me time to save up and to get organized and budget it.
CHEN (voice-over): They're determined to take a trip in spite of the sticker shock.
(on-camera): From here in California where tourists are paying some of the highest gas prices in the nation to higher air fares due to unprecedented demand to higher hotel rates like here in Miami Beach, where the average price is more than $500 a night.
(voice-over): On the travel website Kayak, recent searches show the average price of domestic flights to Panama City, Florida, for example, is $494. In March of 2019, that would have averaged just over $300. The Kabara (ph) family flew from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Los Angeles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once we got out here, we realized that things are very expensive right now.
CHEN (voice-over): They decided against a rental car. The average rental car in the U.S., according to Kayak, average is $76 a day more than $20 higher than two years ago. But even without a rental car --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're actually spending more money in Uber than we are in flying out here. CHEN (voice-over): That's likely because regular gas is on average more than $4 a gallon this month, the highest of any month in history, up from 251 in March of 2019. That's affecting the owner of Starline tours, who says the company typically spends $100 a day on fuel for these buses. And now they're spending $220 every day.
KAMI FARHADI, CHAIRMAN, STARLINE TOURS: We still maintained our prices at the moment, but we're going to have to look at going to full summer pricing right now rather than waiting until the summer.
CHEN (voice-over): Kayak shows hotel rates averaging about $300 per night up nearly $70 since March of 2019. Even theme parks will cost you more from paid Express lines to price your food.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is adding up it's expensive so just eat because these boys don't -- they play around, they don't play around. They're hungry all the time.
ELAINE EDWARDS, TRAVEL AGENT: People are accepting it and they're going. Now maybe they're making adjustments along the way.
CHEN (voice-over): While the cheapest single day Disney tickets stayed the same price since 2019, there are now fewer days priced at value season. Meanwhile, a discount tracking website now savers shows the most expensive types of tickets at Disneyland and Disney World during the busiest season jumped 11 or 12 percent from two years ago. Wherever they go, however much it costs, some families say they just need to get out of the house now and they'll scale back later.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we will probably make a smaller summer vacation because we made a big spring break vacation.
Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.
JARRETT: Moving to a very different type of story now, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is signaling support for stripping Disney of its 55-year-old special status that allows the company to operate as an independent government around its Orlando area theme park. It's just the latest in the fallout been this feud between the governor and the state's largest employer. And it all stems from a measure that you've heard a lot about, the one that bans schools from teaching young children about sexual orientation or gender identity.
After DeSantis signed the so-called Don't Say Gay bill into law earlier this week, Disney says its goal is to get that law repealed but the Governor says the company has crossed the line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS, FLORIDA: When you're trying to impose a woke ideology on our state, we view that as a significant threat. This wokeness will destroy this country if we let it run unabated. So in Florida, we take a very big stand against that. And I think the legislature is going to look at that.
And six months ago, it would have been unthinkable that they would be willing to re-evaluate those special privileges. I think they are going to do that now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JARRETT: Here with me now is Aubrey Jewett, he's a Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida. Professor, so nice to have you this morning. Let's start with this idea that's been floated by some state GOP lawmakers I mentioned, this one about revoking the special privileges that Disney has enjoyed for decades, all because Disney is now publicly and I would say, belatedly opposed to this bill. How realistic is this to get it reversed?
AUBREY JEWETT, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: Well, at this point, I say it's more like a shot across the bow, a warning to Disney. Because, you know, quite frankly, in the long run, I'll be shocked if the legislature actually takes the powers away from Disney and the governor signs it. There's such a huge positive economic impact for the state.
So I look at this more as a warning right now. But I do think it's a warning that potentially could have teeth, because the governor and some of the Republicans in the legislature have really made it clear over this past session and last session as well, that it's no longer business as usual in Florida, and that they are really serious about some of these very conservative wedge issues.
JARRETT: So Disney in Florida had this really interesting sort of symbiotic relationship. And you've noted this, in past interviews, when you did with the Washington Post recently that Disney's power comes from its impact, its economic impact in Florida, it's traditionally one of the most powerful companies in the state. It's a huge Republican donor, traditionally, and it usually gets what it wants from state government. So we know that Disney has clout, but this time, it didn't use it. My question is why?
JEWETT: Well, I think that they were aware of the current political environment in Florida. And so they were trying to work behind the scenes, at least that's what they said they were doing. Actually, in the -- there is some evidence that they didn't do much about this bill in the House, that they did --
JEWETT: -- become involved when it moved to the Senate. But I think that they were trying to work behind the scenes, because they realized that if they came out publicly, that it could hurt them with the legislature and the governor. On this issue, and on many others, the Governor DeSantis and our Republican legislature have shown time and again, that if you go against them, if you cross them, they will come after you one way or another. And so I think Disney was trying to avoid that, trying to trying to get what they wanted, but tried to do it in a non-public way. JARRETT: Yes, the problem is, of course, now they're getting it from both sides, right? The left thinks that they're not woke enough, and the right things that they're too woke so they've now basically made everyone angry. Media mogul Barry Diller tells CNN, it's perfectly valid for companies not to take positions on social issues. But I wonder, in your view, doesn't that sort of miss the internal pressure that these companies like Disney are facing from their employees to speak up?
JEWETT: Yes, I think Disney is definitely feeling cross pressured. You have a large LGBT community that's pressuring them in groups that are pressuring them. You have a lot of employees. Disney for many years has been considered a very pro-LGBT employer.
And so those folks were really disappointed when Disney did not take a strong and firm stand, and they let Disney know it. And for instance, the Human Rights Campaign, which usually has ranked to Disney quite highly for supporting LGBT rights, they actually refused a $5 million donation from Disney, who was trying to sort of absolve their political sins by not, you know, being -- doing more on this issue earlier. And the Human Rights Campaign said, look, you know, we're not just going to take your money if you're going to continue to support politicians that are pushing anti-LGBT legislation.
JARRETT: You know, Professor, so much of these fights, it seems, comes down to one of framing and this one being framed as one about parental rights. We've seen that line a lot recently with Republicans sort of using that tact, especially when it comes to things like school choice. You think about Governor Youngkin in Virginia, running that ad about banning the book, "Beloved."
I wonder, is there a fear that politicians should have about perhaps pushing this too far when it comes to something like Disney that so many parents love and rely on because their kids love it? Is there a risk that they're going to take this too far?
JEWETT: Well, yes, I mean, I do think it's possible that it can be taken too far, that the extremes of the Republican Party will push this.
And I think when they say that this is for, you know, parental rights, then the question becomes as a lot of the LGBT groups have said, you know, which parents? You know, are you just going to leave this up? Because this legislation also allows lawsuits to be filed if a parent thinks that the school or school system has violated this law, and that might have a real chilling effect on just discussing really basic and simple things about equal rights and parents that are perhaps two men or two women or a child who comes as transgender or five or six years old, which many children do.
So I think there is a certainly a possibility of backlash, whether we'll see it on this issue, I don't know because of that successful framing. We've seen some public opinion nationally that says the majority of people support it. I will say there was a Florida poll a couple months ago, maybe a month and a half ago that said the majority did not support it, so right here in the states.
JARRETT: The notable for sure. Professor Aubrey Jewett, it's so nice to talk to you this morning. Appreciate your time.
JEWETT: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: So President Biden will be at the Port of Wilmington today to see the Navy's newest commission submarine. Will he say anything about the war in Ukraine, to expect so? We'll get a preview next.
SANCHEZ: You're looking at live photographs from Wilmington, Delaware where later this morning, President Biden is expected to take part in the commissioning ceremony for the USS Delaware submarine. It'll be at the Port of Wilmington.
JARRETT: Looks like a beautiful morning there. Let's go straight to CNN Pentagon Correspondent Oren Liebermann for more on this. Oren, what are you watching for this morning?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Boris and Laura, the USS Delaware right here behind me, the Virginia class attack submarine will go through its commissioning commemoration ceremony, a bit of an interesting name there, because the submarine itself has already been commissioned. But it was during the pandemic, so it couldn't go through the ceremony, the tradition, the culture and the history that normally go into these milestones and these occasions. So that will happen today.
It actually was the first submarine ever commissioned at sea submerged. Now we'll hear from President Joe Biden a little later on this evening. He is scheduled to speak as well as First Lady Jill Biden, who is the sponsor for the submarine, meaning she takes part in the milestones for the submarine such as this here behind me.
Now, of course, back when this happened in April 2020, when the sub was first commissioned, a very different security environment than what we see today, especially as the U.S. watches Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and especially because late last night about 8:30 in the evening, the administration approved another $300 million security assistance package from the U.S. to Ukraine to assist in pushing back and fighting back against Russia's invasion.
Will Biden mentioned that? Will that come up in the ceremony in light of everything else going on? We will certainly keep an eye on that. That's one of the things we're listening here for today.
SANCHEZ: And Oren, tell us more about that security assistance package? What's in it and what does it provide the Ukrainians?
LIEBERMANN: So when they announced the package last night, there was a list of the systems that would be included, a suicide drone, surveillance drones, anti-drone, systems ammunition, and much more. That in and of itself was interesting because up until now, the Biden administration in approving more than $1.5 billion, if I remember correctly since the start of the invasion, has been fairly discreet about the systems it was providing to Ukraine.
Here now, they're putting it out in the open. Is that a decision to be more public? Isn't because these will have to go through contracts and be procured anyway? We'll find out, but it is worth noting the message that comes with that.
JARRETT: All right, Oren Liebermann, thank you so much for your reporting as always.
SANCHEZ: So U.S. marshals are currently looking for a former mobster who pleaded guilty to killing three people. Dominic Tadeo pleaded guilty in 1992 to the killings and was also serving time for racketeering, along with a long list of other crimes. He recently been transferred to a halfway house in Orlando where he was expected to finish the last years of his sentence.
But investigators say he failed to return from an authorized appointment last Monday. He apparently requested early release two years ago at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. That request, though, was denied and now he's apparently on the run.
JARRETT: And then there's this, former U.S. women's soccer goalie Hope Solo was arrested this week. She was charged with misdemeanor child abuse, resisting arrest and impaired driving. Authority say Solo was in her car with her two children when they made that arrest. The two- time Olympic gold medal winner has since been released. Solo's attorney tells CNN that she wants everyone to know that her kids are her life and that she looks forward to defending these charges.
Actor Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after slapping Chris Rock during last Sunday's Oscars.
SANCHEZ: CNN's Entertainment Reporter Chloe Melas explains exactly what that means.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Good morning. Will Smith resigning late Friday night after Will Packer, the director of the Oscars, gave an explosive interview to Good Morning America in which he said that he actually thought that the slap was a joke like many Americans and many people watching the Oscars last Sunday.
Will Smith and his emotional statement reading in part, "The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home." He goes on to say, "I betrayed the trust of the academy. I deprived other nominees and winners at their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken."
The Academy released a statement just a few minutes after saying that they accept his resignation, but then on April 18th, they still plan to have some sort of consequences. Now what could those consequences be? [08:55:05]
Well, he could potentially be banned from attending the Academy Awards in the future. The fact that Will Smith has resigned means that Will can no longer be a voting member of the Academy so he won't be able to vote in upcoming award seasons. But could Will Smith still be potentially nominated for an Academy Award in the future? It doesn't look as though, that is off the table.
Again, we are still waiting to hear more from Chris Rock who sort of briefly addressed it during the show that I attended earlier this week in Boston at the Wilbur Theater. But we're still waiting to hear more and he says at some point, he will discuss it and that it'll be funny, and it'll be serious. Back to you.
SANCHEZ: Look forward to that. Thank you, Chloe, for that report.
Laura, thank you so much for being with us this morning. Thanks to the folks watching for making us part of your weekend. We're going to be back tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m.
JARRETT: See you back here bright and early, Boris. Thanks for having me. Stay with CNN. Smerconish is next.