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One World with Zain Asher
Israel And Washington Remain In Complete Agreement That Hamas Must Be Eliminated; A CNN Exclusive Digs Into A Mystery About A Binder Containing Highly Classified Material That Went Missing In The Final Hours Of Trump Administration; A British Boy Missing Since 2017 Is Now Found. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired December 15, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Certain to fail -- a warning on the fate of Ukraine. Desperate for help, western officials say that if the U.S. doesn't
provide more aid to Ukraine, the consequences will likely be devastating. Also ahead, if Ukraine falls, its smaller neighboring country of Moldova
could be next. I'll ask the Democratic nation's President about what they're doing to prepare.
And later, a binder containing some of the most guarded secrets in America went missing just days before Trump left the White House. We'll bring you
the details shared exclusively with CNN.
Hello everyone. Live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Zain is off today. You are watching "One World". We start with two very different
conflicts, which are both top of mind for President Joe Biden today -- Ukraine and Gaza. Western officials telling CNN that Ukraine's defenses
are, quote, "certain to fail without more aid from the U.S.". But another aid package remains stalled amid wrangling in Congress. And then there is
Gaza, where U.S. concerns are mounting over civilian deaths.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan travelled to the West Bank today, meeting with top Palestinian officials one day after he voiced U.S.
concerns directly to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Israel selects targets and tries to distinguish between targets that hit Hamas and those that might
take the lives of innocent civilians. At the end of the day, what we have consistently said is that Israel has the intent to make sure that it is
drawing those distinctions clearly and in a sustainable way, and we want to see the results match up to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Sullivan says he believes the intense bombing that is currently happening in Gaza will ease up, though he didn't give a precise timeline. And both
Israel and Washington insist that they remain in complete agreement that Hamas must be eliminated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EYLON LEVY, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: -- on the United States are fully aligned on the mission to destroy Hamas. That has been consistent
since 10-7. The only clock that matters is that every second Hamas still exists after 10-7, it is a ticking time bomb that we must defuse or it will
explode in our faces again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: We're covering both top stories from those regions. Our chief U.S. security analyst, Jim Sciutto, is in Washington while CNN's Jeremy
Diamond is along the Israel-Gaza border in Sderot. Let's start with you, Jim Sciutto, in Washington.
And Jim, as it relates to Ukraine, a stark warning from U.S. military officials about that blocked funding for the country. Tell us more about
the concern within the Pentagon.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY ANALYST: No question. A shared concern, frankly, on both sides of the Atlantic, U.S. and European
officials with a similar assessment that without U.S. aid, this is not just a negative impact on, for instance, the on-going counteroffensive, although
it certainly would factor into that, but a broader concern that this could lead to Ukraine's defeat.
And on a timeline, it's quite tight. One senior U.S. military official put it at months out the out sight, perhaps as soon as next summer, that
without continued U.S. military support, that would be the outcome for Ukrainian forces there, that in effect they could not keep up their
And the trouble, of course, is this is happening at the same time that Europe is reconsidering its own military support for Ukraine. Again, a
large majority of countries want to continue it, but, for instance, in the vote in the last 24 hours, you have Hungary standing in the way.
And when I was speaking to U.S. and European officials, their concern was that if the U.S. stops leading on this, then Europe might very well follow.
I spoke to U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley. He's the co-chair of the Ukrainian caucus in Congress. And in his words he said, that "If we, the
U.S., go south, our allies will, too."
And I should say once as well, Bianna, that they're already seeing the effects from this. Ukrainian forces already rationing ammunition. They were
outgunned prior to that. Now, they're more outgunned. And a senior Ukrainian military official told me that rationing has already led to
additional casualties on the battlefield. So we're seeing it playing out in real time.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, about $100 billion collectively in the balance now between what the U.S. is hoping to deliver to Ukraine and then obviously the E.U.
stuck because their policy insists that there has to be unanimity among the countries, as you mentioned, Hungary being the outlier.
This is a crucial moment for the country and they may not get an answer for weeks to come. Jim Sciutto, you've stayed on top of the story for us. Thank
you so much.
GOLODRYGA: Well, now to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Let's bring in Jeremy Diamond near the Israel-Gaza border. And Jeremy, officials from both the
Biden and Netanyahu governments really trying to downplay publicly any policy differences as it relates to how this war is being conducted and, of
course, what happens the day after. But what are you hearing about what's going on behind closed doors?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, there is no question that there are some very real differences between the United States and Israel
over how to proceed with this war against Hamas. We saw a lot of that public -- a lot of that rift between Biden and Netanyahu spill into public
view earlier this week.
And then today, as you mentioned, Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor, really trying to paper over those differences, suggesting that,
for example, when the defense minister Yoav Gallant said yesterday that this war effort is going to take months, whereas the U.S. is focusing on
trying to transition this war to a less intense phase of fighting over a matter of weeks, suggesting that those two things are not necessarily in
But what's clear, what we heard from Jake Sullivan, is that there were very intense discussions, very intense debate between him and Israeli officials
over the timetable for transitioning to that next phase of the fighting, and also as it relates to civilian casualties. We heard Jake Sullivan say
that he believes that Israel does have the intent to minimize civilian casualties, to distinguish between Hamas targets and civilians in Gaza, but
that he said effectively that it's not the reality that we're seeing on the ground.
And so, there appear to be kind of two main avenues of focus here. First, for Israel to begin matching up that intent that the U.S. believes Israel
has regarding civilian casualties with the reality on the ground.
And then also to begin focusing on shifting operations to not this all-out war effort that we're seeing in Gaza, but rather more targeted special
operations, intelligence-driven operations to target Hamas' senior leadership. And even Jake Sullivan today acknowledged that that will take
months, even if we transition to a less intense phase of fighting much sooner.
GOLODRYGA: All right, Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much. For more perspective on what Israel thinks of all of this, I want to bring in Barak
Rabid. He is CNN's political and global affairs analyst and the politics and foreign policy reporter for "Axios". Barak, good to see you.
So, listen, I'm not a body language expert. But reading the body language there between Jake Sullivan and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant yesterday
when they were shaking hands, and Yoav Gallant said that this fight against Hamas could go on for months, coupled with the fact that you have been
reporting along with other reports saying that behind closed doors, Israel is saying this can only last at least at this scale for another three to
four weeks' tops.
So, Jake Sullivan is saying publicly there's no contradiction, that there's different phases of the war. Is that how Israel and its government, its
warring government there is viewing this?
BARAK RAVID, CNN POLITICAL AND GLOBAL AFFAIRFS ANALYST: Hi, Bianna. Well, first, it's obvious that there are contradictions and there are
disagreements and there are arguments. And, you know, Jake Sullivan's trying to, I think, you know, try and project business as usual.
But when it comes to the issue of how long the high intensity phase of the war is going to continue, I think the argument is quite tactical. We're
looking here at you know, the U.S. would want this to be over by the first week of January.
The Israelis want this to be over by the last week of January. It's not a strategic disagreement. The strategic disagreement is over what happens
next, meaning, how much Israel will be willing to start discussing seriously the issue of the plans for the day after the war and how this
thing will go forward.
What's going to be the context? Is this going to be part of a political diplomatic initiative for Gaza and for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as
a whole? Or we're just looking here at finding somebody to take care of taking up the trash and opening the schools in Gaza? And here, this is the
main strategic argument.
GOLODRYGA: Well, Netanyahu's not making it any easier for the Biden administration when he publicly comes out and what many, as you know,
within Israel view as a campaign launch for him, stating that there won't be a P.A. governing either in the West Bank or Gaza, as the U.S. has been
insisting upon. Walk us through the psychology of that, because at the end of the day, it does seem like there may not be that much of an option left
for Bibi Netanyahu when there's this much pressure from their closest ally, the United States.
RAVID: Well, you know, Bianna, first, we need to take into consideration also the option that Netanyahu is not going to be the one who will call the
shots in a few months. Eighty percent of the Israelis who support the war the same number says that Netanyahu needs to go once the war ends.
And when the war ends, it's not the low intensity phase. They're talking about the high intensity phase that might be over within a few weeks. So,
this is going to start moving a political snowball internally within Israel. So, when I speak to U.S. officials, some of them are asking me this
question. Do you think that Netanyahu will even be there to call the shots on what will happen the day after?
But let's say he is there to call those shots. As you said, right now, the Israeli government doesn't have any real alternative or proposal for how
the day after will look like, other than all sorts of slogans about, oh, the Saudis will take care of it. The Europeans will take care of it.
There'll be some sort of a -- international body that will take care of it. As of now, nobody is standing in line volunteering to take care of Gaza.
GOLODRYGA: In fact, they're publicly saying that there will not be any aid and support if there isn't a defined two-state solution. But I'm glad you
brought up this idea of what happens to Bibi politically going forward, because it was notable that the war cabinet member Benny Gantz, whose
popularity has increased within the country, said publicly this week it veiled slight, maybe not so veiled at Bibi that there are those who are
engaged in creating fake disputes in the nation and harming the important relations with the United States.
He said that on his part, his party, the National Unity Party, will not act like this in a time of war. What is this signal?
RAVID: I think, first, it signals that, you know, Gantz can leave this unity government at any second. It's not -- it's not marriage, you know. He
went in for the war. If he sees that this is -- things going for political campaign and not for, you know, maintaining security visceral, he can just
leave the government. So, I think that's what he was trying to signal to Netanyahu and to many, many others.
And Netanyahu, when he looks at the polls, he knows he is in a very big problem. Netanyahu's coalition right now in the polls is at 41-42 seats in
comparison to 64 that they got in the elections. Benny Gantz gets more than 40 seats if elections were held today. So, I think that Netanyahu is aware
that if this goes to an election, most likely he's going to lose.
GOLODRYGA: And that speaks to reporting that I know that you contributed to as well, suggesting that the Biden administration is already planning on
what a post-Bibi government may look like. Political and Global Affairs Analyst Barak Ravid, always great to have you on. Thank you.
RAVID: Thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: Well, losing a child is undoubtedly a parent's worst nightmare. And for many parents in Gaza, keeping their children safe has turned into
an everyday struggle. With their homes gone, the weather worsening, diseases starting to spread and aid coming in trinkles, the nightmare
really is becoming a reality. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports how families are struggling to survive. And a warning for you, some of the images you're
about to see are graphic.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the desperate cries of a father left with nothing but his voice. The father
who can no longer protect his three vulnerable children.
I can't survive. They destroyed my house, Abu Mohammed says. I can't get food. I have no one to support me. I spend the night moving from tent to
tent. For more than 60 days, he's tried to stay strong until he could know more.
His disabled children, homeless, hungry, hurting from Gaza's war. What do you do when your child needs you, but you have got nothing left to give?
Have mercy on us, Abu Mohammed says. No mercy for the people of this besieged land, it seems. Rain a blessing, they used to say. Now it only
brings more despair.
For those forced out of their homes, life has become this miserable existence, as rains flood their makeshift camps. It's a harsh winter that's
only just beginning. Om Ali shows us the tiny tent she lives in with 11 others, her two daughters and grandchildren.
She spent the night trying to catch the rain that dripped through the roof of their flimsy shelter. This is humiliation, Omali says. I have these
children without a father. I can't take it anymore. Even children now hate life, she says.
It's just too much for parents to bear when you can't even keep your children dry, warm and clean as diseases start to spread and the aid they
so badly need now a weapon in this war.
I want to protect my children, this mother says. The bombings and destruction are not enough. On top of that, now we have the rain, cold and
illnesses. To be a parent in Gaza is a blessing turned into torture for those who no longer wonder if but how they and their children will die.
Abu Mohammed says he was sitting thinking of how he'll feed his children when an airstrike hit. Where do I take my children, he says. I fled and
came here to die. I gave my children my everything. Who will take care of them if I die?
Like many in Gaza, it's not only Israel they blame. They want Hamas to stop a war for which they pay the price, abandoned, alone, as the world won't
stop their pain. Six-year-old Lana was under the rubble of her home for three days. Mommy and daddy are underneath it, she says. I just want mama.
I want baba. I want my family, Lana cries. To be a parent in Gaza is to live in the fear of this, that you no longer are there when they need you
the most. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.
GOLODRYGA: So difficult, but yet so important to watch. Our thanks to Jomana. Well, coming up, pressing all sides to do more to get the hostages
held in Gaza released. I'll speak to a family member about what needs to be done.
GOLODRYGA: While the war rages on in Gaza, Israel believes 132 hostages remain inside the enclave, including 20 bodies.
The Prime Minister's office says Israel considers those declared dead to be hostages. CNN also has learned from the IDF that the body of another
hostage in Gaza has been recovered and brought back to Israel. They say the 28-year-old Elia Toledano, seen here, was taken by Hamas on October 7th.
This comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Thursday with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He presented her
with a package of medicines demanding that the Red Cross deliver it to the hostages in Gaza.
Now, earlier this week, I spoke with a Red Cross spokesperson who says the organization is working relentlessly to help the hostages and get them
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH DAVIES, PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, ICRC: We are doing everything in our power to relentlessly work, to not just gain access, but to see the
immediate release of all these hostages, which is what we have been publicly calling for. But I do want to clarify that while we publicly
speak, of course, most of our work for the last 160 years up to now takes place behind closed doors.
This is really critical. It's so essential to our role as that neutral organization to be trusted by armed groups the world state authorities
governments not to deviate from this neutrality which could which would jeopardize our neutral intermediary role.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Well, our next guest says that he would like to see more help from the Red Cross. His brother-in-law, Omri Moran, is being held by Hamas.
Moshe Lavi joins me from Kibbutz Kramim in Israel. Moshe, it's good to see you again and thank you for joining us.
So, as we noted, the President -- the Prime Minister of Israel met with the president of the ICRC yesterday. And the president of the ICRC also tweeted
this yesterday. She said, "I'm meeting families of hostages. The ICRC must be granted permission with practical details agreed between the parties for
visits to take place. I reiterate, hostages must be released immediately."
Why do you think messages like this weren't made and sent sooner? And Moshe, do you think that if they had been, they would have made a
MOSHE LAVI, BROTHER-IN-LAW HELD BY HAMAS: Thank you for having me today. I think I will start by saying that I truly believe that ICRC is a neutral
party, is doing what they can behind closed doors, as the spokesperson said, to achieve access to the hostages as soon as they can. However, I do
think that their public messaging was lacking from the onset of the crisis.
And while there was some improvement, the words yesterday or two days ago of the spokesperson were -- I wasn't very satisfied, at least personally, I
know other members of families of hostages were not satisfied with them.
Because we do believe that putting pressure through public announcement is a vital and crucial way to make sure that the issue remains on the top of
the table, remains on the top of the public mind, and reminds the public that Hamas is preventing access from the ICC to visit the hostages, to give
the medical assistance.
I think the president of the ICRC should have met and visited Israel, met the Prime Minister Long before now. It's the 70th day today. That's -- I
think it's appalling that it only happened now, but I'm happy it finally happened.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and just to remind our viewers, I mean, this is a crucial issue because the ICRC is a neutral body. It can't enforce agreements, but
it can acknowledge and pressure both sides who are not living up to those agreements.
And on this end, there was an agreement a few weeks ago for this temporary truce that involved not only the stop in the fighting in Gaza and the
release of some hostages, but giving the ICRC access to those remaining hostages inside of Gaza. That never happened. Do you think and do you fault
the ICRC with not putting more pressure on that front?
LAVI: I think as soon as it became clear that Hamas will violate that clause in the agreement, of not providing proof of life, not providing
access and not providing medical assistance. The ICC needed to make a very strong stance on the issue on the matter.
And I at least did not encounter that, at least on social media, on the website. They did mention that the hostage should be released. They did
mention that Hamas is preventing access, but they haven't done that frequently enough.
And to be honest, there is no communication even behind closed doors that is good enough with the families. We don't understand exactly what are they
doing in order to use leverages and impose that duty Hamas, has leverages on countries such as Qatar where there is an ICSC office.
Qatar also hosts the leadership of Hamas, funds Hamas in many ways and yet no leverage was put on Qatar to impose that clause on Hamas. And I think
the ICRC needs to make it clear that all stakeholders to that agreement need to be held accountable for its fulfillment.
I haven't seen such messaging and I think overall the messaging has been very poor. The spokesperson said that in the long term it might be helpful
but let's remember, it's been 70 days and in the long term, our loved ones might not return alive.
We need the hostages returning alive to their families, to us, to Israel, to their families abroad, because it's an international and multi-faith
issue, and they need to return as soon as possible, because we have no time to lose.
GOLODRYGA: Following my interview with the ICRC spokesperson, your sister tweeted, "We deserve better. My husband doesn't even know that we survived
October 7th because you can't visit him. It's been 69 days and you still don't know anything about his condition. My daughters and I want our Omri
We have spent all this time talking about the ICRC. There is, I know, frustration among some Israelis and the family members of those hostages
that not enough attention is being put on this issue by the government itself.
There had been some reports that the Netanyahu government did not agree to restarting the negotiations or at least sending the head of the Mossad for
talks in Qatar. What do you make and what does your family make about the level of priority the hostages in Omri are being given at this point?
LAVI: Yes, I will just mention, I'm currently with my family. I returned to Israel a few days ago and so on. I'm with my sister, with my nieces every
minute almost of the day and it's just -- you can just see how difficult it is to go through this period of time, not knowing what's going on the other
side of the border, not knowing what's Omri's condition.
And also see some apathy from a wider public, both internationally and internationally. From our stance, and I think we share the stance of many
other families, and we do it with public officials here in Israel and worldwide. She was in Hungary this week. She met the War Cabinet last week.
I was in Washington, D.C. last week advocating in Congress.
We keep emphasizing that this needs to be at the forefront of any policy decision, that this needs to be addressed as soon as possible, and that we
will promise that this is the primary objective of the Israeli government and the primary objective of the International Community, and we still
expect them to fulfill that primary objective.
Every day, we receive reports of another body of hostage who has been discovered murdered in the Gaza Strip during their captivity. It's shocking
to us that it's happening and Hamas must be held accountable for that, but it also emphasizes how important it is to expedite the path to release the
hostages, whether it is additional military pressure or much more efforts in the diplomatic front.
Because at least from the reports we receive, there is no direct communication right now to renew the negotiations for the release of the
hostages. And we expect that those negotiations to happen. I believe that the government is doing what it can, and I'm sure they do a lot behind
closed doors but time is running out.
GOLODRYGA: You mentioned 70 days. It's just gut-wrenching, and I can't get the point that your sister was making about Omri not even knowing if
they've survived, if his wife or daughter survived the attacks of October 7th. It's just unbearable. Moshe, as you know, we will continue to
prioritize and cover this story here at CNN. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
LAVI: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up for us, Moldova is on the road to E.U. membership. The country's president, Maia Sandu, joins us live on "One
World" to talk about the challenges and benefits that it will bring.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to "One World". I'm Bianna Golodryga. We want to go deeper on one of today's biggest stories, the E.U.'s decision to begin
membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova. European leaders are praising the decision, except for Hungary, which did not support accession
negotiations and vetoed an E.U. aid package to Ukraine. That veto came after the European Commission president made an urgent plea for support for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: We must give Ukraine what it needs to be strong today so that it can be stronger tomorrow at the
table when it is negotiating a long-lasting and just peace for Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Now, keep in mind these are just talks. The entire 27-nation bloc has to unanimously vote them in. And both Ukraine and Moldova still
have a lot of work to do to meet membership requirements such as combating corruption before that can happen.
Well, time now for The Exchange. Moldova's President says that her country has turned a new page with the E.U. decision to start membership talks,
adding Moldova is ready to rise to this challenge. And President Maia Sandu joins us now from Krishnao to talk about that challenge.
President, thank you so much for joining us. First and foremost, congratulations. This was a significant step forward yesterday in Moldova's
hopes and aspirations for joining the E.U.
Can you talk about the significance of at least the preliminary step of these talks being made?
MAIA SANDU, PRESIDENT OF MOLDOVA: Thank you. Yesterday's decision by the European Council on starting the accession talks with Moldova is truly a
significant moment in our lengthy journey, which began with gaining independence more than 30 years ago. And the next important step in this
journey is becoming E.U. member state. Becoming E.U. member state for us will mean cementing our democratic progress, it will mean staying part of
the free world.
GOLODRYGA: And that could take a while. We know that the next time the E.U. is holding a meeting will be in March of next year. Nonetheless, this is a
big achievement for the country. And yet, no surprise, the Kremlin has criticized and really dismissed the decision, saying that it could
destabilize the E.U.
Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that, quote, negotiations to join the E.U. can last for years or decades. The E.U. has always had strict criteria for
accession. And it is obvious that, at the moment, neither Ukraine nor Moldova meets these criteria. What is your response to that statement from
SANDU: The only country which is trying to destabilize its neighbors and the region in general is Russia. Moldova chooses E.U. because E.U. means
peace, Russia means war. Moldova chooses peace over war. It chooses democracy over autocracy.
And we will continue to work very hard to strengthen our institutions, to strengthen our democratic processes to continue to strengthen our
resilience, our energy independence, to have the rule of law and everything that will bring us closer to the E.U. standards.
GOLODRYGA: This was no doubt a symbolic victory for Moldova, but it comes, as you know, as concerns are growing about funding and support militarily
for Ukraine from both the United States and the E.U. We have yet to see that move forward, and we're talking about a package of over $100 billion
for the country. It's significant for you at Moldova, because a large part of your defense comes from Ukraine. How concerned are you that it's such a
pivotal moment in the war, where there's a sense that Vladimir Putin feels that time is on his side, that that aid is not getting passed as soon as it
SANDU: As the President of the country, with a country which neighbors Ukraine, I will continue to advocate for support for Ukraine. Ukraine
fights today for its freedom, but it also fights for our freedom. It keeps us safe. And I do believe the democratic world, but also all the countries
which want their borders respected should continue to stand with Ukraine.
GOLODRYGA: You see members of Congress perhaps leaving for the year without a resolution and fulfilling the president's request for that supplemental
$60 billion in aid for Ukraine. They may stay next week.
We may see what people have termed a Christmas miracle happen before the end of the year. But if you were to speak before Congress right now, what
would you say to them in terms of the significance of that aid for Ukraine and for Moldova right now?
MAIA SANDU, PRESIDENT OF MOLDOVA: U.S. has been our support. U.S. has been helping a lot -- Ukraine. U.S. has been helping us to strengthen our
democracy and to strengthen the democracy in Ukraine. And I do have faith that a decision is going to be made soon enough to continue to provide help
We need to all understand that if Putin is not stopped now, he will come back for more and more and more. And the costs are going to be much bigger
for the entire democratic world and for the -- for the countries which, as I said, want to see their borders respected. I do appreciate the support
that U.S. has been providing to Ukraine and to Moldova, and I do ask kindly to continue this support. This is very, very important.
GOLODRYGA: The threats to Moldova from Russia we've seen since this war began have only increased, and it has been through the help of intelligence
from Ukraine that you have thwarted some of these hybrid warfare threats and attempts that you have publicly noted.
What is your message to the Americans and to President Biden as we look back to his meeting with you there in Poland earlier in the year saying
that he supports Moldova? Do you feel that that support is still there?
And I'm asking you that specifically because people have picked up on a slight change in his language this week, saying earlier that the United
States would support Ukraine for as long as it takes. Now, he's saying as long as possible. Are you worried that has implications for Moldova?
SANDU: We're very grateful for the U.S. support. U.S. has been helping us before the war has started. U.S. has been helping us to deal with the
multiple challenges that emerged from this work. And I do believe that U.S. and the rest of the democratic world will continue to support as long as
necessary for us, for Ukrainians to have the chance to continue to survive as democracies.
GOLODRYGA: Well, you've come a long way in your leadership. We should note in distancing yourself from the overwhelming connection that you had with
Russia and reliance on Russian oil and gas, I know that you continue to try to strike a separation between the two countries, even though you have some
1500 troops stationed there in the breakaway region of Transnistria.
President Maia Sandu of Moldova, which also happens to be the country of my birth, thank you so much for joining us.
SANDU: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up, the mystery of a missing binder full of highly classified information. We'll try to unravel some of the facts. CNN
Exclusive when we return.
GOLODRYGA: Now, to a CNN Exclusive, a mystery about a binder containing highly classified material that went missing in the final hours of the
Trump administration. Sources tell CNN it contained raw intelligence relating to Russia's election interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
The information was deemed so sensitive that lawmakers could only review the material at CIA headquarters, where it was inside a safe within another
safe. Yet in the final weeks of the Trump administration, that binder was brought to the White House at the request of President Donald Trump as part
of an effort to declassify documents. Then it went missing.
Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez picks up the story for us. Evan, this is really fascinating. What can you tell us about this and what we
know thus far about this missing binder?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, this was a binder that was brought to the White House, and it contained raw
intelligence that the U.S. and its NATO allies collected on Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, including the sources and methods,
some of the most sensitive information in the U.S. intelligence community.
Now, what we're talking about is the underlying intelligence that form the basis for the U.S. government's assessment that Vladimir Putin sought to
help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. This appearance of this binder was so alarming to intelligence officials that, according to our sources, they
briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee leadership about the situation last year.
We were told by one U.S. official that this was not among the classified items that were found at the -- during the search last year of Trump's Mar-
a-Lago resort. And it wasn't why the FBI search Trump's residence. What is true is that more than two years later, after it went missing, this
intelligence has not -- does not appear to have been found.
GOLODRYGAL How did this intelligence end up at the White House in the first place?
PEREZ: Well, so, Trump spent years trying to declassify material that he said would prove that the Russia investigation was a hoax. This
intelligence was part of a massive -- massive collection of documents that he had ordered brought to the White House. And there was this big frantic
scramble in the final days of the administration to try to redact documents so that they could be declassified and then publicly released.
On his last day as President, Trump did issue a declassification order for some of these materials, but they didn't get released before he left
office. There is a Trump ally who has actually filed a lawsuit over all of this, hoping to force the federal government's hand, although the FBI says
that the majority of the documents have -- from the binder -- that they know of has been posted publicly on its FOIA website. This is the Freedom
of Information Act.
In reporting this story, Bianna, CNN spoke to more than a dozen sources who described how this intelligence was brought to the White House in the final
weeks of Trump's presidency and then went missing. Are there any additional clues and information that you're gathering about what actually happened to
this missing intelligence?
PEREZ: Well, we don't know what happened to the binder that actually went missing. There's one theory that emerged from the testimony of Cassidy
Hutchinson. Now, she's the former aide who worked with former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
She told the January 6th Committee that she was, quote, "almost positive it went home with Mr. Meadows". She said it had been kept in a safe in
Meadows' office when it was not being worked on. And Hutchinson also wrote about this classified intelligence in her book.
She claimed that on January 19th, the final night of the Trump presidency, that she saw Mark Meadows leave the White House with an unredacted binder,
quote, tucked under his arms.
Now, we have talked to Mark Meadows' attorney, and he strongly denies this. He said in a statement that Mr. Meadows was keenly aware of and adhered to
requirements for the proper handling of classified material. Any such material that he handled or was in his possession has been treated
accordingly, at any suggestion that he is responsible for any missing binder or classified information that is flat wrong.
Now, CNN reached out to the CIA, the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the FBI, all have declined to comment. The Trump
campaign also did not respond to our request for comment on this binder, which is all to say, Bianna, that the mystery of the binder, the missing
binder, remains just that it's a mystery.
GOLODRYGA: I mean, you can't make this up. It's both fascinating and highly disturbing. Evan Perez, thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, Britain's Prince Harry has just won a lawsuit against a British tabloid newspaper group he accused of hacking his phone. A court in
London ruled that Mirror Group newspapers used unlawful information gathering methods including phone hacking in 15 stories published about the
prince. The company -- or the judge ordered the company to pay damages. CNN's Max Foster reports.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: A clear victory in 15 cases of shocking invasions into Prince Harry's privacy, which he says blighted his
younger years and left him paranoid and depressed. The court ruled voicemails intercepted and personal information stolen through deception.
His lawyer gave a statement on Harry's behalf.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID SHERBORNE, PRINCE HARRY'S LAWYER: Today's ruling is vindicating and affirming. I've been told that slaying dragons will get you burned, but in
light of today's victory and the importance of doing what is needed for a free and honest press, it is a worthwhile price to pay. The mission
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: That's the mission now by Prince Harry's team to encourage the British authorities to press charges as Harry continues with his cases
against other British tabloids.
This is one battle in his wider war against the so-called red tops. This case hinged on stories published in the 1990s and 2000s by Mirror Group
newspapers, MGM. MGM responded today by saying, quote, "Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologize unreservedly, have taken full
responsibility and paid appropriate compensation."
Harry became the first British royal in about 130 years to give evidence in a court of law when he faced two days of questioning at the High Court in
June. He said he was targeted by MGM for 15 years, though the judge said Friday he only found evidence of phone hacking for the period 2003 to 2009.
The judge awarded Harry damages of around $180,000. Not a big financial win, but a hugely symbolic victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY: It's a major victory. It's a major battle which he has won and I say that because there has been a trial where he gave evidence and he
has largely, his claims largely been upheld.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: In Harry's words, a great day for truth and accountability. Max Foster, CNN London.
GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Max for that report. Well, still to come, this British boy went missing six years ago while on vacation in Spain. You'll
hear the story of how he was finally found up next on "One World".
GOLODRYGA: A British boy who had been missing since 2017 has been found safe in southern France and is set to return home to the U.K. in the coming
days. A French motorist saw Alex Baty walking on the side of the road in the rain and stopped to talk to him. Melissa Bell has this incredible
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Greater Manchester Police have spoken of their hope that the young Alex Baty, the 17-year-old who's been found safe
in France, will be able to return to the United Kingdom in the next few days.
The 17-year-old was found in the early hours of Wednesday morning walking along a road in the rain carrying nothing more than his backpack, a
skateboard and a flashlight. It was a young student who saw him and stopped to take him in, intrigued that someone so young should be walking in the
rain at that time of day. It's now been established by British and French authorities that it is indeed, Alex Baty, a young boy who went missing when
he was just 11, kidnapped by his mother and maternal grandfather.
She did not have custody but took him away on a holiday and never brought the boy back. It is through the voice of the young student who picked him
up that we've been getting more details about exactly what happened to him while he was missing.
He says that the young boy told him that he'd been taken to Morocco by his mother, had then gone to Spain, and then been taken to a spiritual
community in France. He was found walking not very far from this French southern city of Toulouse and told the man who picked him up that he'd been
walking for four days.
He's now been able to reconnect with his paternal grandmother, the woman who actually has custody of him, and she's spoken of her shock at hearing
from her grandson again. Also, her hope that he will be home soon. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
GOLODRYGA: Home soon just in time for the holidays. What an incredible story. Well, that does it for this hour of "One World". I'm Bianna
Golodryga. Thank you so much for watching. I'll be right back here in a few minutes with Amanpour.