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New Day Sunday

Officials In Mariupol Reject Russian Demand To Surrender; Zelenskyy: Situation In Mariupol Is "Inhuman"; Russia Launches New Attacks On Capital Kyiv, Lviv, Other Cities; More Than 30,000 Ukrainian Refuges Have Fled To Estonia; North Korea Touts Successful Weapon Test; Two Deads, Several Other Hurt In Pittsburg Shooting; Soaring Home, Rent & Contraction Costs; Cost Of Construction Material Rose More Than 23 Percent In Last Year; Twitter Board Adopts Poison Pill Provision To Curb Musk Purchase; NBA Playoffs Begin With Big Debuts. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired April 17, 2022 - 06:00   ET



ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. It is Easter Sunday, April 17th. I'm Alex Marquardt.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Amara Walker. Boris and Christi have the morning off. Thank you so much for joining us.

And we begin with Ukrainian officials defying a Russian demand to leave the battered city of Mariupol.

MARQUARDT: That's right. Russia is ordering Ukrainian fighters that are still defending that southern city to lay down their weapons and leave by today. Now, what is left of Mariupol and the surrounding areas is reported to already be under Russian control.

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called the situation in that city inhuman. He says that the unrelenting Russian assault makes any negotiations with Russia unlikely. Take a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): The situation the Mariupol remains as severe as possible, just inhuman. This is what the Russian Federation did. Deliberately did, and deliberately continues to destroy cities. Russia is deliberately trying to destroy everyone who is there in Mariupol.


WALKER: Now, Russian forces have stepped up their attacks in Eastern Ukraine ahead of what is expected to be a major offensive. Official say to civilians were killed and 18 injured at a cruise missile strike in the northeastern city of Kharkiv. We're also hearing reports of constant shelling in the region. The strikes follow the sinking of that Russian warship in the Black Sea.

Now, the latest shipment of military aid from the U.S. has begun arriving in Ukraine. For the first time, the aid includes helicopters, drones, cannons, and other heavy duty weapons. It is part of a $800 million package of security assistance to Ukraine.

MARQUARDT: The Russian forces are also hitting Ukrainian capital Kyiv once again after a recent lull in attacks around Kyiv. CNN Correspondent, Matt Rivers joins us now from Lviv. Matt, there has been a recent lull. We have seen those Russian troops retreat from around the capital and yet they continue to strike the outskirts.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And as we watch this offensive began to really gear up in earnest in the eastern part of the country. What we're seeing the Russians do is continued to really make more isolated attacks in other parts of the country like Kyiv as you mentioned, and also targeting areas where I am in Lviv.

Air raid sirens once again ring out across Kyiv, Saturday. A city that has endured so much damage and destruction from Russian bombs, once again hit. Early Saturday, a Russian missiles slamming into a south eastern district of Kyiv killing at least one person, and injuring several others. The latest attack coming as more Ukrainians are returning home. State border guard officials saying on Saturday that roughly 32,000 Ukrainians crossed back into the country in the previous 24 hours. Something that makes Kyiv's Mayor nervous who was released.


MAYOR VITALI KLITSCHKO, KYIV, UKRAINE (through translator): He says if you have the opportunity to stay a little longer in places where it is safer, do so. I understand there is no place like home. Nevertheless, the city of Kyiv was and remains the target of the aggressor, and they do not rule out that further shelling of the capital will continue.


RIVERS: And here in Lviv, we woke up on Saturday morning to air raid sirens as Ukrainian officials say air defense systems managed to shoot down four cruise missiles that were headed to one or more targets in this region. They didn't say exactly what those targets were, but say the cruise missiles were fired by Russian warplanes that had taken off from an airbase in neighboring Belarus.

This, as Ukraine's military says it's watching Russia ramp up in the eastern part of the country for a large scale offensive expected to be launched soon. Ukraine's calls for more weapons continue.


ZELENSKYY (through translator): He says the more and the sooner we get all the weapons we have requested, the stronger our opposition will be, and sooner there will be peace.


RIVERS: Peace, though elusive in the city of Kharkiv. Ukraine's second largest city has been under constant bombardment in recent days, including here in a residential and business district in the center of the city.

At least two people were killed and 18 injured as seen likely to be repeated many times over in the coming weeks. As Russia's renewed offensive in the East ramps up.


RIVERS: And yet today all eyes will be on what is going on in Mariupol, the Russians as you reported off the top had laid down an ultimatum saying that as of four minutes ago, all resistance fighters in-- Ukrainian resistance fighters in Mariupol needed to lay down their arms and surrender.

Well, Ukrainian said that was not going to happen. The defense was going to continue. And the Russians acknowledging now that they heard the Ukrainians rejection of that ultimatum with the Russian Ministry of Defense, just putting out a statement that said in part quote, in case of further resistance, which it seems like there will be, all of them, meaning, the fighters will be eliminated.

So, it does appear that the siege of Mariupol is going on. And we should note that the remains of some tens of thousands of this, just ordinary civilians in Mariupol that have not been able to leave. As of today, no evacuation corridors were agreed upon between the Ukrainians and the Russians, meaning, there is no way to leave Mariupol in a way that could be of any scale, which means all these civilians continue to be trapped in some of the worst conditions imaginable.

MARQUARDT: We have the Russians on the cusp (ph). They're taking that key strategic city of Mariupol in the south. Matt Rivers, thanks very much for that report.

WALKER: Now, tens of thousands of refugees are trying to escape the fighting in Ukraine and they have fled to Estonia.

MARQUARDT: CNN Correspondent, Scott McLean joins us live from Estonia. Scott, we've spent a lot of time focusing on the Ukrainian refugees streaming into Poland by the millions. But now Estonia is playing a growing role. What are you seeing?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Alex. They have taken in more than 30,000 refugees that may not sound like a whole lot. But remember, the population of this country is only 1.3 million. And so it's actually more than two percent of the population right now is a Ukrainian refugee.

Now, of course, Estonians want to help Ukraine, just like many other countries around the world want to help, but they also have plenty in common. They both have large Russian speaking populations, they are both formally part of the Soviet Union. And they have also lived for decades now with the constant threat of Russian aggression looming over their heads.

Of course, the big difference now is that Estonia is a member of the European Union, it is also a member of NATO. And so now it benefits from those protections. Estonia though now, despite being a small country is pushing other European countries, other NATO countries to beef up their own military spending and beef up their own aid to Ukraine.

The president of Estonia just returned from a trip there where he was with the President of Poland and the presidents of other Baltic states as well. He went to Kyiv and he came back with plenty of ideas as to how to best support Ukraine going forward.

The challenge, of course, is where to put all of these Ukrainian refugees who have come here. A good number, a very large percentage of those coming here have places to stay, they have family, friends, or they've had the homes opened up to them by ordinary Estonian strangers. Many others have been put up in hotels that government expense and some of those people had been moved actually recently onto a large cruise ship just to save the government a little bit of money.

They are bracing to potentially take in 2-1/2 times the number that they have already taken in though. And the reason why though, is because Estonia is attractive because of its large Russian speaking population. It is also attractive for a lot of people because they had 30,000 Ukrainians working here even before the war began.

MARQUARDT: All right, Scott McLean in the Estonian capital. Thank you very much.

WALKER: All right. Let's bring in Zoya Sheftalovich, a reporter for POLITICO in Europe. Thanks so much for joining us this morning. So, we heard from Matt Rivers at the top of our show, regarding Russia's ultimatum that that ultimatum has been rejected by Ukraine.

We know that there's about 100,000 people who remain in Mariupol and that there are no evacuation quarters right now. So there are many people who are trapped. What's the expectation as to what is going to happen next?

ZOYA SHEFTALOVICH, REPORTER, POLITICO: The Ukrainians are preparing for an all-out assault of Mariupol. At this point for Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, basically to save face, and to be able to claim a win at home. He's going to need to take Mariupol.

This is the last city essentially standing in the way of a land bridge between Crimea and Donbas. And so it's really strategically important. It's also a really important port for Ukraine. So if Putin is able to take it, he's able to effectively stop a lot of exports leaving Ukraine a lot of imports coming into Ukraine by sea. And it means that he's able to claim a win at home.

So the expectation on all counts is that it's going to be a siege certainly what the Russians have said is that they will take that city regardless of who stands in their way.

WALKER: So yes, you just talked about the significance of the capture of Mariupol. I mean, Putin-- I guess the big question is you know, will he stop there, right?

[06:10:07] SHEFTALOVICH: At this point that is the real question. I think that is the minimum he needs in order to be able to claim a win at home. But certainly, if we do see some sort of ceasefire, my expectation and the export expectation when you talk to people who are Kremlin watchers who understand the situation on the ground in Russia, as well as in the region, they know that any sort of ceasefire would be temporary.

So my expectation would be if Putin is able to take Mariupol perhaps we might see some short term cessation of some of those intense bombings and some of that intense civilian casualties that we're seeing in Ukraine. But that would really just be leaving time for Putin to regroup and come back in and do some of the rest of the job that he's been wanting to finish.

WALKER: Yes. And that leads me to the next question, because, you know, we heard in the most recent address from the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that they need heavy weaponry, and they're pushing the West for more. But how would that help, you know, especially when it comes to pushing Russia toward peace?

SHEFTALOVICH: It's basically what the Ukrainians need in order to be able to defend some of their cities. And particularly when you look at some of the cities, like Kharkiv which is another one that the Russians want to take. When you look at Mariupol, basically, Mariupol is effectively surrounded, the Ukrainians are saying what we need is heavy weaponry. If you won't give us jets, if you won't create a no- fly zone, let us create a no-fly zone of our own in order to protect our civilians, and in order to protect some of these really vulnerable cities.

So certainly, that heavy weaponry would be very effective. And in terms of negotiations, peace talks, I think what everyone needs to realize what the West needs to realize what many in Eastern Europe have known all along, is that any peace talks that you have with Vladimir Putin are worthless effectively, because he doesn't stick to the sorts of agreements that he makes.

It's not the sort of negotiation that you have in good faith where you got two sides, willing to make concessions, and to speak to the sorts of terms that they sign in those agreements.

So any sort of weakness or perceived weakness from Ukraine, or from the West will be utilized by Putin, and any sort of perceived strength will help the Ukrainians defend their territory and defend their people.

WALKER: Yes, you're right. There is no good faith coming from Russia, right, even the way that the war started with Putin continually denying an invasion was imminent right before it had happened.

And lastly, you know, we know that Finland and Sweden, they're likely to join NATO. And it's important to point out that these are two historically neutral countries. They were not on track to join NATO three months ago. And we know this is exactly the opposite of what Putin demanded before the war began before he started the war, which was a NATO expansion. So obviously, it would be a major strategic blunder for Putin, if that

indeed happens. How would Putin respond to the possibility of-- to NATO-- to new NATO nations right at his doorstep?

SHEFTALOVICH: This is a seismic shift. I think it's really worth highlighting the fact that the fact that Finland and Sweden are entering into these sorts of talks. The fact that they're saying that they may be making the replication within six weeks, this is really an earthquake in terms of the geopolitical landscape in Europe.

Finland and Sweden have been really, really strongly neutral for a long time. And in part for Finland, at least, it's largely because of the fact that it shares a giant border with Russia. And so up until very recently, the thinking was, well, we best not antagonize Russia. Let's stay neutral. Let's stay out of NATO.

So, this is a huge own goal for Putin, because this is exactly what he said he was trying to prevent. He was saying the reason he wanted to go into Ukraine was because NATO was moving its border closer to him. Well, Ukraine really didn't have a chance of joining NATO, and still probably does it. Finland has a very good chance of joining NATO and shares a giant border with Putin with Russia directly.

So, it's a huge loss. And in terms of what sort of reaction we might see from Putin, well, this is going to be a really difficult thing for him to explain to the public. Luckily for him, he has a very quiet media landscape, so he's able to spin at any which way he likes.

But in terms of what he might do in response, look, they'll probably be some saber-rattling. He's already threatened Finland directly and said that if anyone joins NATO, then we will have to respond to that. But the bottom line is that once again, Putin is not the sort of person whose word you can count on. And the only thing he has responded to in the past is might.

So, the fact that Finland and Sweden might join is in fact, probably more likely to defend those countries (INAUDIBLE)

WALKER: Yes. Yes. Obviously, it would be a huge strategic consequence for Putin. Zoya Sheftalovich, we'll leave it there. Thank you so much.

SHEFTALOVICH: It's a pleasure.


WALKER: And be sure to watch State of the Union this morning at 9:00 for Jake Tapper's full interview with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

MARQUARDT: And coming up next. North Korea says it is boosting its nuclear capabilities. We'll be bringing you more on the Pyongyang test of a new weapon that has put South Korea on edge.

And later, his executives in the Twitter boardroom are taking extreme measures to block Elon Musk's potential takeover of the company. We'll explain that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALKER: We're following a developing story out of Pittsburgh at least two people are dead. Several others injured after an early morning shooting at an Airbnb. Police shared this image of the damage. They say as many as 200 people were at a party when that shooting started, and as many as 50 rounds were fired inside that home.


WALKER: Many of the injured were hurt while jumping out of the windows to escape. And of course we'll continue to follow the story and bring you any updates as they become available.

North Korea has test fired what it describes as a new type of missile. South Korea says Pyongyang launched two projectiles, Saturday that fell east of the Korean Peninsula.

MARQUARDT: North Korean state media has released these photos of the country's leader, Kim Jong-un who observed the missile test which it has called a new type of guided weapon that will help boost North Korea's nuclear capabilities.

CNN Senior International Correspondent, Will Ripley is live in the capital of Taiwan, Taipei. Will, this is the 12th nuclear test from North Korea this year.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look they they've been testing a lot of weapons. It really an unprecedented pace starting really in January when Kim Jong-un said that he was going to walk away from this self-imposed moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missile. And potentially nuclear testing that had been in place during the years of attempted and failed diplomacy with former President Trump.

So now you have U.S. and South Korean joint military exercises doing kick off tomorrow. North Korea often will launch weapons to let their displeasure be known when the U.S. and South Korean militaries are working together. But this launch, when they're talking about potentially a nuclear capable, tactical guided weapon, it could indicate a nuclear test could be coming in on the horizon.

In fact, the United States has indicated as such looking at satellite images of activity at their Punggye nuclear test site. But this launch also comes on the heels of a major week of celebration inside North Korea.

The grand finale of North Korea's biggest holiday celebration, the country launched a new tactical guided weapon observed by its leader Kim Jong-un, a show of force to mark the 110th birthday of the country's founder and Kim's grandfather, the late Kim-il Song.

The show in the sky followed an extravagant parade on the ground. On Friday, Kim and his top aides including sister, Kim Yo-Jong watch columns of colorful performers passed by. But there were no tanks, missiles or other military hardware that have been showcased in the past.

This latest launch not entirely unexpected by experts after the country conducted a powerful intercontinental ballistic missile test in March. Though some experts now question North Korea's claim the launch in March was a new missile, saying it was actually an older model. Pentagon has also expressed concern Pyongyang is preparing for a possible underground nuclear test for the first time since 2017.

In a New Year speech, Kim praised military advances, but mainly spoke about domestic issues like food shortages, which have been made worse by the country's self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the United Nations warned more than 40 percent of North Koreans are food insecure.

The new launch an old tactic by the world Nation, trying to deflect from the problems that have persisted in the country even before Kim came to power.

And in another made for TV moment, Kim bestowed the gift of a luxury apartment earlier this week to longtime newsreader, Ri Chun Hi, who was given a VIP tour of the flat. Kim has a development plan to build 50,000 new apartments in Pyongyang over the next five years. This building like so much else in North Korea is reserved for the elite.

Ri Chun Hi actually announced that video of her getting the tour from Kim Jong-un saying that her new house was kind of like a hotel. Can you believe she's going to be 80 next year guys? And while she doesn't do the daily news bulletins in North Korea anymore, she still comes up for major events major breaking news.

So, with that passionate bombastic delivery that all of us are so familiar with when she appears on screen, people in North Korea stand at attention and certainly journalists covering North Korea also stand at attention.

So, if she pops up over the next few days or weeks and starts to talk, we're going to be listening very carefully, because she may be talking of the ICS is worried about potential more provocative testing for North Korea, including that potential nuclear test, guys.

WALKER: Yes, for sure a familiar face and a very familiar voice to many around the world. Will Ripley, thank you so much for that.


WALKER: All right. Coming up rising shortages, labor-- I'm sorry, rising costs, I should say, labor shortages and supply chain issues are impacting just about every American. And if you own a home, you're going to want to hear this. The items you'll most likely be paying more for next.



MARQUARDT: Inflation in the United States is the highest that it has been in the past 40 years, and that makes many parts of our daily lives much more expensive whether it's going to the grocery store, or renovating your house.

WALKER: Yes. CNN's Camila Bernal has more now on those skyrocketing construction costs and the impact inflation is having on the housing market.



CHEN YAACOV, OWNER, PEARL REMODELING: Yes, because this needs to be flushed with the counter.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When Chen Yaacov quoted this home renovation project in April of 2021, he estimated the cost to be $600,000. But with the increase in costs and almost everything related to homes.

YAACOV: New floors, new baseboards and new doors.

BERNAL: This general contractor is now dealing with very different numbers.

YAACOV: We're looking at 120 to $150,000 more. So we would be at 720 to 750 now, just a year apart.

BERNAL: According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation for construction materials has increased more than 23 percent in the 12 months since March of 2021. Metal products, 36 percent, lumber, 21.8 percent, and plastic, 35.2 percent.

YAACOV: This plywood it used to be like, 20 $25. Now you pay almost $50.

BERNAL: These price hikes are impacting new construction and existing homes.

RICHARD GREEN, DIRECTOR, USC LUSK CENTER FOR REAL ESTATE: If the cost of producing housing goes up, in order for that housing production to be profitable, you need to charge higher rent, or else you're going to lose money. And that's an important source of where our inflation numbers are coming from.

BERNAL: Richard Greene, an economist and expert on housing markets believes house prices will fall next year, and things' rent will continue to increase, but not as rapidly. And in terms of materials --

GREEN: Geopolitical issues have an enormous impact on the supply chain, which has a big impact on the cost of materials. So, you need to be able to do a forecast of how the world is interacting with itself in order to do a forecast on what's going to happen to materials prices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened here?

BERNAL: To deal with the unknown, Yaacov says he's had to adjust his budgets, take a loss, or pass it on to his customers.

YAACOV: We have to adjust it because otherwise you're not going to make money.


BERNAL: And I also spoke to the CEO of the National Association of Homebuilders, and he told me that most of all, it's the first-time homebuyers who are most impacted by these increases. The contractor that I spoke to told me look, I just want things to stabilize. He says, I understand if prices don't go down, but he's not wanting for it to continue to go up day by day.

Everyone that I talked to telling me that at the end of the day, it's the customer who ends up paying for these increases. Alex, Amara?

MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Camila Bernal for that story.

Now, this inflation, these higher prices across the board are several of the many challenges that President Joe Biden is facing as Democrats go into the Midterm Elections hoping to hold on to the majorities in both houses of Congress.

Now, CNN Political Commentator Errol Louis is here with me now to discuss all of this. He is a political anchor at Spectrum News, and the host of the podcast you decide. Errol, thanks so much for joining us early this morning.

Let's talk about President Biden's approval rating. 39 percent of Americans approve of President Joe Biden's performance. That's according to the latest CNN poll. That number has been steadily below 50 percent all year long. And it matches a low point that he faced last month.

Now, we've got high gas prices. We've got skyrocketing home prices that we just talked about. You've got the war in Ukraine. Several of these things are going to be going on for quite some time. Several of them are out of the control of President Biden. What can he do? What is he working on to try to get those approval ratings out of the basement?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he's got a number of different problems. Good morning, Alex. I mean, among other things, he's got even within those numbers, some problems within those problems. His standing with Latino voters is very, very low down in the 20 percent. 24 percent I think was the last member I saw. That's not going to be good. And there's not a lot he can do to turn that around either.

But the other big factor, of course, that he's fighting against his history itself, because the president's party tends to lose a number of seats in the Midterms. So, with all of that working against him, what can you do? Look, he can -- he can go back to his program. The pieces of the Build Back Better legislation that he failed to get passed, he might be able to do some of it by executive order. And certainly, progressives in the Democratic Party have been urging

him to do exactly that, to put something on the books, provide some relief around college debt, for example, to just try and show that he's got the power to do that. And to show that it means something to have him in the White House, as opposed to somebody else. That's one way to try and stop the bleeding.

Of course, when it comes to international affairs, you've given -- we've given lots of coverage to what's going on with Russia. The reality is those events are entirely beyond his control. But showing the kind of strength and leadership of the NATO alliance that he has over the last few months, at least shows that this is somebody who can occupy the office and do some of the basics that are needed.

Will that turned around inflation? No. Will that turned around his numbers? Perhaps it might stop some of the -- of the erosion. But make no mistake, the President is in a very difficult political position.

MARQUARDT: Let's talk about Republicans, specifically Republicans who are running for Senate in November. Now, the consensus seems to be that the Republicans have a much better chance of taking back the House and the Senate, but we've got some very high profile races notably in Ohio and in Pennsylvania. And one of the key things the Republicans want is that MAGA stamp of approval from President Trump.

And now, we have President Trump backing JD Vance in the Ohio Senate race and Mehmet Oz, otherwise known as Dr. Oz to millions of Americans, in the Pennsylvania Senate race. What have they done to successfully get his backing? Why is he backing these two men?


LOUIS: Well, what they've mostly done is been media stars, honestly. There's no -- there's no program you can point to. There's no philosophy that they have in common that you can point to. Mehmet Oz, in fact, appears to be pro-abortion as far as anybody can tell. And that's very much at odds with where most of the Republican Party is.

But he's a guy who's been on television a lot and Donald Trump likes him because he's been on television. It's not much more complicated than that, to be honest with you. Same with JD Vance, if you're a media star, Donald Trump tends to like you and tends to think that you have a chance to win. Same thing with Herschel Walker down in Georgia, very popular because he used to be a football star.

This is not necessarily going to work out, I should say, for all of these candidates. To the extent that they want Donald Trump's support in order to win the Republican primary in those states, that's one thing. Winning in the general is going to be a whole other kettle of fish. And the reality is the President is somewhat controversial to say the least, and may not be as much help to them as they imagine once November rolls around.

If you want to make Donald Trump the main issue in your race in a general election in these Midterms, I think you're doing it sort of at your own peril. MARQUARDT: And Errol, some of the key moments if we look ahead to the presidential race in 2024, some of the key moments, of course, come during the debates between the candidates, not just in the primaries, of course, but then in the general election. And those debates are put on by a bipartisan group called the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Now, we have the Republican National Committee voting unanimously last week to withdraw from this commission. What kind of impact do you think that has on the next presidential race?

LOUIS: Well, look, it's an OK outcome, frankly. The group, the presidential debates have needed some kind of renovation, both structurally and in terms of content for a long, long time. It's not being done necessarily for the right reason. This is almost entirely at the behest of those who want to support Donald Trump, who believed that the baits were biased against him in 2020 and that contributed to his loss.

That's not necessarily true, but it is believed to be true, and so they're trying to undermine the participation with the existing debate committee. I think what's going to happen, though, is that if Donald Trump for some reason does not become the candidate of the Republican Party in 2024, it's his to lose or give away.

But he might not run. And if he doesn't, it's possible that they may come crawling back and say, you know what, we'd like to be part of these very large televised debates. It's also worth noting, just as a matter of history that we haven't always had presidential debates. You know, the first one was in 1960, and then we went a couple of cycles without them.

There was no Johnson versus Goldwater debate in 64. And Nixon never debated either of his candidates and 68 or 72. So, you know, the republic will survive. I think, though, that what Donald Trump is trying to avoid, ironically, which is the supposed bias of this commission, you know, if he wants to leave it up to the media to provide all of the coverage in 2024, he may not get the kind of coverage that he's looking for.

MARQUARDT: All right, Errol Louis, thanks so much for your expertise. We got to leave it there this morning. Thanks again for joining us.

LOUIS: Thank you.

WALKER: Well, Twitter's bored has spoken and it doesn't want Elon Musk's to buy the social media site. So, what does this mean for Twitter's future?



MARQUARDT: The attempt by Elon Musk to take over Twitter has stalled for now. The company's board has adopted a limited term shareholder rights plan. They did that on Friday. It's called a poison pill which would make it harder for Musk to buy Twitter.

WALKER: The provision allows Twitter shareholders to acquire more shares of the company at a cheaper price if Musk or any other investor owns more than 15 percent of the company's shares. CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter joining us now. Hi there, Brian. Great to see you.


WALKER: So, what does this mean, this poison pill, for Musk's ambitions?

STELTER: Well, Happy Easter. This is not a very calm weekend for the bankers that stand to make a lot of money from this deal. They are working very actively, as is the Twitter board of directors. And as for Elon Musk, I don't think we ever really know what his next step is.

He is famously unpredictable. He may double down triple down on this plan, do whatever it takes to buy Twitter, or he might just move on to the next thing and find some other toy to play with. That is what makes him so combustible and unpredictable and so beloved by his fans, and so criticized by other detractors.

But look, I think right now we're in a -- we're in a wait and see mode. We might only be in the second or third inning of this where Musk has made his bid. The Twitter board has not officially rejected it yet. They have inserted this poison pill that will make it harder for Musk to go through with it. But that doesn't necessarily stop him. It only slows him down. So, what we're going to find out in this coming week is how serious Musk actually is about buying Twitter.


MARQUARDT: Brian, explain that a little more. You say he could double down or triple down. Is this a case of he could just offer a much higher price that if the board rejected it would be a dereliction of their duty?

STELTER: Right. Oftentimes, a poison pill is a negotiating tactic. It's an anti-hostile takeover move that board of businesses frequently go ahead and do. But it doesn't always stop the bitter, it just slows them down. It might force them in to the negotiating table. And that might be the strategy here, to get a conversation going between musk and the Twitter board to come up with some sort of resolution.

But we really don't know because we really don't know what was originally driving Musk here. He's on Twitter this weekend thanking his fans, suggesting that he still really is committed to this. But with Elon Musk, it could all just be a joke. That's the wild thing about this. Investors don't seem to believe he's really that into this. The stock did not move on Thursday in a way that suggests that they believe it's going to go through.

So, we're I think in a wait-and-see mode to see what he's going to do. But you know, knowing Elon Musk, he may very well watch all this news coverage. He may read comments from his fans on Twitter and decide you really must go through with this. This is critical this future or he could just walk away.

MARQUARDT: It's such a fascinating story. I mean, he clearly loves Twitter and really believes that it has such a critical part in our -- in our dialogue which many of us do. Brian Stelter, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

STELTER: Thanks.

MARQUARDT: And be sure to tune in later this morning. Brian is going to have a lot more on all of this and more on his show RELIABLE SOURCES. That at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time right here on CNN.

WALKER: Well, the NBA playoffs are here, and so much for experience meaning anything. The biggest stars of the day where guys making their playoff debuts.



MARQUARDT: The NBA playoffs are now underway. The Warriors, the Golden State Warriors, got a big lift with the return of their superstars Steph Curry.

WALKER: But it was the guy who's been filling in for him that stole the spotlight last night. Coy Wire is here with us now with more. Hey, Coy, what happened?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, what's up, Amara and Alex. It was a scary sight. That's what warriors star Klay Thompson said afterwards as he, Draymond Green, Steph Curry, the two-time MVP, were all back in the playoffs for the first time in three years. Can you believe it? Curry back one month to the day since injuring his foot.

But last night wasn't just about the splash brothers, it was about the whole pool. Jordan Poole, a self-proclaimed cat lover making his playoff debut. It was like a young Steph Curry out there. Five three- pointers, a game-high 30 points as the Warriors hosted the playoffs for the first time in their new arena. Poole Party.

Now, Curry here, just 22 minutes of playtime, he dropped 16 points as the Warriors dominate Denver in Game One, 123-107. And young Poole says he's shining because of those old vets lifting him up.


JORDAN POOLE, PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: There's no better feeling than having the guys behind you who've already been through the fight. They've been through it at the highest level. And knowing that if you make any mistakes, you got those guys there to pick you up, there's no better feeling. And so, I'm just thankful to be out there on the court with those guys and trying to learn as much as possible.


WIRE: More youngsters stealing the show early in this playoff action. Minnesota's 20-year-old guard Anthony Edwards making his playoff debut and a class with Memphis' Ja Morant, Edwards delivers a rejection letter for Ja. Human highlight reel Moran denied by last year's topic, getting hurled to the floor. He'll be OK though. Edwards is built like a linebacker isn't he? But he scored like a quarterback. Game high 36 points for Edwards. Moran drops 32 in the matchup between two of the league's brightest young stars. Game one advantage Edwards and his Timberwolves who win 130 to 117.

And the other two playoff games, Jazz beat the Mavs as the Sixers beat the Raptors. And four more games today including a tripleheader on our sister network TNT, action tipping off at one Eastern between the Hawks and the Heat.

Let's go to NHL now. You have to see one of the goals of the season. Rangers' winger Alexis Lafreniere, OK-doke between his own legs, leaving Red Wing's defenders flailing. And the ability to roof it backhand for the score, last year's number one overall pick come into play after being benched on Thursday. He now has two goals in New York's 4-0 win.

And tennis now. Some of the top women's players from the U.S. and Ukraine meeting for a qualifier in the Billie Jean King cup this weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula winning their doubles match yesterday, giving the US three-two victory advances in tournament's final in November. CNN was there and spoke to some of Ukrainian team and they had to admit it was tough to be out there on the court with family and friends who are still in danger.


DAYANA YASTREMSKA, UKRAINIAN TENNIS PLAYER: I'm trying to pretend like I'm pretty strong and I can play and stuff, but it's not. It's always very hard. I really want to go back home. I really want to see my parents. But I know that because I am a professional tennis player, I have more opportunities to talk about it, I have more opportunities to help.


WIRE: It's inspiring that they're able to have the strength to be out there, you know, despite so much going on back home. So, good looking out for those women out there being strong for their country and back on.

MARQUARDT: And Coy, nice to see Jordan Poole there playing -- paying respect to his elders but what happens now going forward in the playoffs? Does he gets to keep his spot or does Curry just come back in and say, all right, thanks young gun, I'm back?

WIRE: Right. Poole would love that I'm sure. But they have said that they're going to keep putting Curry back out there a little more playing time. His time was just 22 minutes, and he looked pretty good though, Alex. So -- but Poole has certainly put his name out there for like, hey, watch out for me. I'm coming and put me in the splash brothers conversation now. They got three of them.


MARQUARDT: That he did. All right, Coy Wire, thanks so much. Lots of action there. All right, the next hour of NEW DAY coming up right after a quick break.