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One World with Zain Asher
Hunter Biden Crashes A Congressional Hearing; Armed Gunmen Take Employees Of A TV Station In Ecuador Hostage; U.S. Secretary Of Defense Recovers Treated For Prostate Cancer; A January 6th Rioter Speaks Out On Her Capitol Attack Participation; U.S. East Coast Braces For More Damaging Wind And Rain. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired January 10, 2024 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Congressional chaos. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill just got the surprise of a lifetime.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Yes, they did. "One World" starts right now. Joe Biden's son, Hunter, just crashed a congressional hearing. They
didn't think that he would show up to and then he left abruptly. Needless to say, lawmakers were not very happy about that.
GOLODRYGA: Mayhem on Capitol Hill. Meantime, the nation is at stake. That is a warning from a military official in Ecuador after gangsters take over
a news station live on air.
ASHER: And later, one-on-one with a grandmother who stormed the Capitol. Does she regret it? Does she feel like Donald Trump is to blame? All right,
coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher.
GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. This is "One World". Chaos on Capitol Hill earlier this morning when the U.S. President's son showed up for a
House hearing about him not showing up for a House hearing. Right? Just about.
ASHER: Here's what happened. House Republicans were holding a hearing about Hunter Biden refusing to appear at a closed door hearing. And that's when
he decided he was going to show up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY MACE, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: You are the epitome of white privilege coming into the Oversight Committee, spitting in our face, ignoring a
congressional subpoena to be deposed. What are you afraid of? You have no balls to come up here and --
UNKNOWN: Mr. Chairman, point of inquiry.
MACE: Mr. Chairman -
JAMES COMER, CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: The lady is recognized.
UNKNOWN: if the -- if the gentle lady wants to hear from Mr. Biden, we can hear we can hear from him right now, Mr. Chairman. Let's take a vote and
hear from Hunter Biden. What are you afraid of?
MACE: I'm speaking. Are women allowed to speak in here or no?
COMER: Hold on, hold on. Order, order.
MACE: Are women allowed to speak in here or no? Because you keep interrupting me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Moments later, when he stormed out of the hearing, he set off a total firestorm with reporters chasing him. Take a listen.
UNKNOWN: Excuse me, Hunter. Apparently, you're afraid of my words. Whoa! Oh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: That was shocking and I have to say at least somewhat not surprising, given the chaos we've seen as of late on Capitol Hill. It's all
related to the House Republicans' efforts to impeach President Joe Biden. They're looking for evidence the President profited from his son's business
dealings. Reporters fired off questions to the President's son, who stayed silent. His lawyer, though, did not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABBE LOWELL, HUNTER BIDEN'S ATTORNEY: The Republican chairs today then are commandeering an unprecedented resolution to hold someone in contempt --
who is offered to publicly answer all their proper questions. The question there is what are they afraid of?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: So, let's bring in CNN's Annie Grayer joining us from Washington. So, reading the tea leaves, Annie, it did seem that while
Republicans may have been caught off guard, perhaps at least some Democrats were aware of what was about to happen with Hunter's appearance. Fill us in
on what you've learned.
ANNIE GRAYER, CNN REPORTER: Well, this was absolutely a last-minute appearance by the President's son. This morning, I reported shortly before
the hearing that there was an expectation that Hunter Biden would appear at the last minute. But things were very up in the air.
And then I look up from my phone and I see Hunter Biden and his lawyers walking towards me into the Committee room and surrounded by reporters. He
then sat in the room in the witness area with other visitors, listening to members yell at each other back and forth over his appearance as you played
some of that chaos in the intro. And then Hunter got up and left.
What's at stake here is Hunter Biden's testimony. Republicans wanted to get the President's son behind closed doors, but Hunter and his team have been
adamant that they would only testify at a public hearing. That's what led to this contempt resolution from Republicans that they are currently
debating. We're still waiting for a final vote on that. We're expected for that to pass. But then a long process ensues.
So, the prospect of actually Republicans getting Hunter Biden's testimony is still a long way off. What we saw today, though, was Hunter Biden and
his legal team being very aggressive, taking a very strong stand, trying to call Republicans on their bluff, saying that, you know, he was here and
ready to testify.
Of course, Republicans continue what they're hearing as planned, which is still ongoing. And we're just going to have to keep following to see what
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, it was one of those moments where I was sitting in my office and had the TV on mute and all of a sudden you look up and you see
Hunter there in the chamber, turn it on, he sat for about 20 minutes before he got up and left with his lawyer. Just fascinating chaos to watch ensue.
Annie Grayer, thank you.
ASHER: All right, there are about how many days left now? Five days left until the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign officially kicks off when it
comes to the Iowa caucuses. And ahead of those caucuses, you've got two of the leading Republican contenders facing off right here on CNN in just a
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, the debate will pit Ron DeSantis against Nikki Haley, and it will be the final debate before Monday's caucuses in Iowa. Though Donald
Trump appears to have a commanding lead in Iowa, DeSantis and Haley are fighting hard.
ASHER: All right, let's go to Iowa and is where we find CNN National Politics Correspondent, Eva McKend, joining us live right now. So Eva, this
is of course really, when you think about it, a fight for second place. I mean, it's interesting when you think about just where the race has sort of
left Ron DeSantis.
I mean, he sort of builds himself at the very beginning as the sort of mini Trump or Donald Trump alternative. And now he's spent most of his time
facing off against Nikki Haley instead of Trump. So, it really tells you how this race has gone for him. And he has staked so much on Iowa going
well. Walk us through it.
EVA MCKEND, CNN U.S. NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, you are absolutely right. This is a hugely consequential night. The press actually
doing a walkthrough right now. Listen, Governor DeSantis, Nikki Haley -- they are trying to solidify themselves as the clear alternative to former
President Donald Trump. There are still undecided voters here in Iowa, many of whom are going to be watching this evening.
MCKEND (voice-over): The final GOP presidential debate before the Iowa caucus is tonight. And all eyes are on the two leading contenders to
challenge former President Donald Trump -- Governor Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.
RON DESANTIS, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like being underestimated. So, you know, I could sit here and say this, but you know
what? I think that being the underdog suits me better. So buckle up. I think it's going to be an interesting ride.
MCKEND (voice-over): This is the first and only time the two will debate one-on-one before next week's Iowa caucus.
NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've done a hundred and fifty plus town halls, answering every question, shaking every hand,
staying until the last person leaves, and it has come to this moment. Don't complain about what happens in a general election if you don't play in this
caucus. It matters.
MCKEND (voice-over): In the final days of campaigning, Iowans dealing with a massive snowstorm and possible below zero temperatures on caucus night.
DOUG STROUT, IOWA VOTER: It does make it more difficult, particularly for senior citizens. I think if we get a snowstorm on top of those types of
temperatures, it'll hold down turnout. Otherwise I don't think it'll have much impact.
MCKEND (voice-over): Former President Trump will be back in Iowa tonight. He is shifting his attacks to his former U.N. Ambassador. Trump's team
reportedly taking her strong in some polls seriously.
DONALD TRUMP; REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Nikki Haley got away, most seniors would work their entire lives right up until the end and then
not live long enough to receive the benefits they earned and paid for.
MCKEND (voice-over): DeSantis also taking aim at Haley.
DESANTIS: You don't win as a Republican when you don't stand for anything. It's like almost every day she answers questions, something happens where
she's putting her foot in her mouth.
MCKEND (voice-over): But on Trump, DeSantis avoids weighing in on his legal cases, instead, criticizing his recent stance on abortion.
DESANTIS: The former President Trump who said he was pro-life -- he attacked pro-life legislation like the Heartbeat Bill here in Iowa and said
it was a terrible, terrible thing.
MCKEND (voice-over): And in New Hampshire, Chris Christie facing growing calls for him to drop out and help coalesce support behind Haley. Christie
is vowing to stay in the race and says Haley is already looking ahead to the next presidential election.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is trying to beat him. She's hoping that lightning strikes. But how do you beat somebody if
you won't say why they don't belong being President? I'm making it really clear. He's unfit. She's playing for 2028.
MCKEND (on-camera): Just to underscore how significant this debate is, I have been at plenty of Nikki Haley town halls speaking to her supporters
showing up there and they tell me they are attracted to her candidacy, her campaign in part based on her past debate performances.
There are only two folks up on that stage tonight. Pretty remarkable when you think about the outset of this contest, how many people were competing
in this race. So, all eyes on Iowa this evening. Zain.
ASHER: Yeah, Nikki Haley as you point out, she has done remarkably well considering where she came from in the polls and New Hampshire is going to
be very critical for her because she is within striking distance of Donald Trump in that state in terms of how well she's doing there. Eva McKend,
live for us there. Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well for some more analysis of both the Iowa race and beyond, let's bring in noted Political Analyst Larry Sabato. He is the Director of
the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Larry, it is good to see you.
So, as you have noted in your writing, in all likelihood, Trump will be the Republican nominee. And just moments ago, we had new data that supports
that from polling. Donald Trump has supported 49 percent of Republicans in 2024. That is based on a Lou Reuters Ipsos poll.
Nikki Haley has 12 percent, Ron DeSantis, 11. As you see the day's approach, we've got this debate tonight, we've got Iowa just a few days
away, is there anything that you think could turn that tide?
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA'S CENTER FOR POLITICS: Well, it's very difficult, certainly in Iowa. The profile of the Iowa Republican
caucus participants is tilted toward Trump heavily. Evangelical Christian turnout is very high, they're very pro-Trump. Really the battle there is to
see whether either DeSantis or Haley can emerge as the clear challenger to Trump.
Because as your correspondent just noted, this race is consolidated much more quickly than the one when Trump was first nominated. You had 17
candidates, counting Trump. It took a long time to filter that down to a handful and it was too late to stop Trump.
Now, it may be too late simply because Trump is between 50 and 60 percent, depending on which polls you look at, of Republicans nationally. That
doesn't mean he can't lose either Iowa or New Hampshire, though New Hampshire is much more troublesome for him than Iowa. But that's because
independents participate in New Hampshire.
In most of the other Republican primaries and caucuses throughout the country, independents are banned unless they switch their registration to
ASHER: Larry, Zain here. So, it might be too late, but the candidates technically do have one last chance. You got the CNN debate tonight. The
fact that it is really the last sort of debate before the Iowa caucuses, just explain to us how that sense of desperation, that sense of, oh, my
goodness, this is it. This is the moment of truth. How might that change the dynamics on stage tonight?
SABATO: Well, you've got two candidates who realize that if they don't finish decently, at least in Iowa, preferably second, but at least
decently, they're on the road to oblivion. Now, the road to oblivion may take a while for one or it may not take a while for the other. So, we'll
have to see how the numbers actually shape up.
But this is a very specialized audience where Republicans, generally, will want to watch and see how they interact and who impresses them the most.
But it's really voters in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary that we'll be watching most carefully because they're here and now.
They're the ones who vote in January. They're the ones who winnow the field. They're the ones who send the signals to donors. No candidate ever
drops out of presidential politics until the bank account is empty. It's really more donors than it is voters.
GOLODRYGA: You and your institution are famous for your electoral college ratings crystal ball predictions and forecasts. And you are sticking to
your early predictions from last summer, despite the polling, the weak polling for President Biden, that assuming in a general election it is
between Biden and Trump, do you see him faring better than he is polling right now in the electoral college? How so?
SABATO: The worst thing you can do in election prediction is to base your November results or your predictions for November results on the polling
status in January or even economic conditions in January. Look, does President Biden have problems? You don't need an election forecaster to
tell you that he does. But assuming -- assuming that Trump is his opponent, it's going to be at least in good part a replay of 2020. May not look like
it now, but it will be.
The economy is clearly turning in positive ways that will help Biden. I don't know whether it will continue, but most economic analysts seem to
think that it will. Other things will come into play, including all of Trump's legal problems. Yes, Republicans rally around him because of that.
They think he's being oppressed by the establishment, but will Democrats? Of course not. Ninety five -- 96 percent will vote for Biden. Independence?
I would bet right now that a majority, don't know how big a majority, but a majority would end up siding against Trump.
The only question mark we really have, if it's Trump versus Biden, is what those third party and independent candidates do. That's the wild card. If
they end up doing well, probably, Biden is hurt disproportionately, but it's anybody's guess who would be favored in the general if you have four
major independents, which we may have. ASHER: Yeah, I love your point about not looking at January and thinking
that is how you can make a prediction for what ends up happening 10 months or so later. Larry Sabato, live for us there. Thank you so much.
SABATO: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: It is another day of intense shuttle diplomacy for the U.S. Secretary of State as he urgently tries to prevent the war in Gaza from
exploding into a wider conflict.
ASHER: Yeah, that's right. Earlier, Antony Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. The State Department says
they talked about ways to minimize harm to civilians as well as U.S. efforts to address extremist violence in the occupied West Bank, as well.
Abbas reportedly rejected any attempt to resettle Palestinians outside of Gaza, as well.
GOLODRYGA: America's top diplomat is now on his way back to Israel after an unannounced stop in Bahrain, a key U.S. ally in responding to attacks by
Houthis in the Red Sea. Before he left, Blinken made it clear that Iran's support for the rebels must stop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: If these attacks continue as they did yesterday, there will be consequences. Again, this represents a clear
threat to the interests of countries around the world, and it's important that the international community come together and respond to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: CNN's Oren Liebermann joins us now live from the Pentagon. So, again, we hear this line time and time again from U.S. officials. There
will be consequences. There will be consequences. Oren, just today, U.S. and British forces intercepted 21 projectiles aimed at ships in the Red
Sea. So, when will these consequences, if ever, be seen?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's what we're all waiting to see at this point. Both Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, as
well as the British Defense Minister, have clearly stated that if these continue, the U.S., the U.K. and others are ready perhaps, even willing to
I'll just point out that the interception of 21 drones and missiles was actually on Tuesday evening in the Middle East time. That's when U.S.
Central Command says three U.S. destroyers, F-18s from a U.S. carrier and a British destroyer, intercepted a total of 21 missiles and drones.
That includes 18 drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missiles in one of the largest, if not the largest barrages we've
seen over the course of the past several months since the Houthis, an Iran- backed proxy in Yemen, began attacking international shipping lanes in the Red Sea.
Initially, according to the vice admiral in charge of U.S. Naval Forces Central, these attacks tried to target ships that had some tertiary or
distant connection to Israel, either coming from an Israeli port or partially owned by Israel. But the last dozen or so attacks have just been
at international shipping lanes in the southern Red Sea.
You see that map there. It's one of the world's most critical waterways, and that is where the U.S. and about a dozen countries have stepped in as
part of Operation Prosperity Guardian to try to safeguard shipping there, but clearly the U.S. has had enough. The question, what, when and how will
the U.S. respond and will the U.S. go as far as to strike the Houthis in Yemen instead of a more defensive position intercepting a Houthi launch is
that -- is the major question.
Now, given the statements we're seeing, both public and from Central Command, from that multi-national coalition defending shipping there, it
seems the U.S., the U.K. and others have truly gotten to the point where they would consider strikes inside Yemen itself against the Houthis.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, thus far they have resisted and not wanting to destabilize the ongoing internal civil war within the country. It doesn't look like
they're going to have that many more options though. Oren Liebermann, thank you so much.
ASHER: All right, still to come. Armed men burst into a television station. They interrupt a live broadcast and literally force everyone to the ground.
Absolutely terrifying, but it's one of just several violent scenes playing out across Ecuador. As I speak, we'll have a live report for you coming up
after the break.
GOLODRYGA: A frantic manhunt is underway this hour for a notorious gang leader in Ecuador after his prison escape triggered an explosion of gang
violence across the country.
ASHER: Right -- that's right. The nation has been rocked by blasts, by kidnappings and prison riots over the past few days. And then this. I want
you to look at this terrifying scene -- terrifying scene that played out live on television in Ecuador for nearly 20 minutes while a stunned nation
Can you imagine? You had hooded and armed men storming a news station, threatening the journalists, forcing them to the floor amid sounds of
gunshots in the background. I want you to listen to what one news executive said about this level of violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORGE RENDON, TC TELEVISION ANCHOR: They wanted to enter the studio so that we could say what they wanted. I guessed their message. Then we settled in
a safe place. But when they entered, they asked for us to go live. They insulted us. But we managed to get in a safe place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Thankfully, they're all safe. Now, the country's President declared an emergency and ordered military operations against gangs, who he
Instability has been growing in the country in recent years, as rival gangs with links to Mexican and Colombian cartels vie for control. Former
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa calls the situation in his country a nightmare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL CORREA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF ECUADOR (through translator): Compatriots, the country is living a real nightmare, something unthinkable,
unimaginable just a short time ago, the result of the systematic destruction of the rule of law, of the errors of hatred accumulated over
the last seven years, and of which we have been one of the main victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: CNN's Patrick Oppmann is tracking the story. He joins us live now from Havana in Cuba. Patrick, the nation is really scarred by what took
place yesterday in Ecuador. I mean, the level of violence that country is seeing is unprecedented. And it's not just happening right now in a vacuum.
You think about what happened last year. How could anyone forget that, during the presidential elections, one of the candidates was assassinated,
plus there were car bombs set off in front of government buildings? The violence there will not stop. Just explain to us what this young President
-- I mean the President of Ecuador is only 36 years old. What does he have to do at this point to quell this level of violence?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And he's only been in the job for about three months and previous administrations were either accused of being
corrupt, essentially in the pockets of drug cartels, or just unable to quell the violence, which he really first started in prisons.
You saw these drug gangs, which, as you mentioned, have ties to international cartels. They control very valuable turf for these cartels
and they've been battling it out between themselves. And that started essentially in the prisons, which the gangs largely control. And now,
you've seen them spill out into the streets of Ecuador.
OPPMANN (voice-over): As cameras broadcast live, armed gunmen take employees of a TV station in Guayaquil, Ecuador, hostage. The journalists
are threatened and forced to the floor at gunpoint while viewers watch. The latest scenes of out-of-control gang violence plaguing the South American
nation. Ecuadorians say they are in shock.
LUIS ARTURO BELTRAN, WAITER (through translator): All citizens are afraid. Today, there are attacks in Quito, Cuenca, Quevedo, everywhere.
OPPMANN (voice-over): On Monday, Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency a day after the government said notorious gang leader
Adolfo Macias, known as Fito, escaped from prison in Guayaquil before his transfer to a maximum security facility.
DANIEL NOBOA, ECUADORIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The time is over for those convicted of drug trafficking and murder tell the government what
OPPMANN (voice-over): The government implemented a curfew and mobilized a manhunt of 3000 police officers and members of the armed forces to search
for the escaped gang leader. The gang struck back on Tuesday, raiding the TV station, taking police and prison guards hostage, setting off bombs and
attacking a university.
Ecuador had long been spared the epidemic of violence carried out by drug cartels throughout much of the region. But as the country has increasingly
become a key transshipment point for illegal drugs heading to Europe and the U.S., local gangs partnered with cartels have battled each other, and
the government for control.
In 2023, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated after naming individuals he said were involved in the drug trade. And then
the six alleged hitmen arrested for his killing were apparently murdered in prison, as well. Villavicencio's running mate on Tuesday called on the
country to unite to defeat the gangs.
UNKNOWN (through translator): This is the moment that Ecuador stands and leaves behind political terrorism.
OPPMANN (voice-over): The country's President, Noboa, on Tuesday declared several of the gangs terrorist organizations in order to the armed forces
to, quote, neutralize the violence. Police at the TV station said they had arrested 13 alleged gunmen and rescued the hostages. As the government
declares war, though, there is no sign the gangs are backing down.
OPPMAN (on-camera): And Ecuador's President saying today in an interview with a local radio station that they don't know how Fito, gang leader, one
of the most wanted fugitive now -- the most wanted fugitive in Ecuador escaped or even when -- but they do say they believe that there were
officials within that prison that helped him to escape.
So, this goes to show how difficult it is to combat crime when so many people in the police and within the establishment, apparently, have already
ASHER: Yeah, it's out of control, Patrick. And when you think about just how much this young and new President, as you point out, has on his plate,
I mean, his only experience in government was in the National Assembly. He is very much an inexperienced politician. He is very young. On top of that,
top of the rising crime and the security issues, he's inheriting a very weak economy.
And those two issues, violence, security, and the economy, are inherently linked. So, just walk us through what he needs to do when it comes to the
economic issues and how they're linked to the security issues, as well.
OPPMANN: Well, he seems to be taking a page out of the present -- out of the book of Salvadoran President, Nayib Bukele, who created basically
prisons that gang leaders can't run or escape from and beefed up his security services, a crackdown on his country's gangs.
But in those countries that have seen drug violence for so long, they unfortunately have a long, long experience with this. And Ecuador, because
it does not produce drugs, was kind of immune from drug violence for so long and that is part of the problem is that the security services there
just don't have the experience when all this money came in and you saw these gangs becoming immensely brutal overnight, they were unprepared for
it and now they're dealing with the consequences of that.
And when these gang leaders were killing each other in prison, it didn't seem like so much of a problem perhaps now that they're doing it outside of
prison and it seems like the government has almost united the gangs and in a fight with the gangs. It is a fight to the death and we'll have to see
how an inexperienced President and an inexperienced military and police force are able to deal with this kind of existential threat.
ASHER: All right, Patrick Oppmann, live for us there. Thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: Coming up for us -- the missing U.S. Defense Secretary. What Congress and the White House are saying about Lloyd Austin's mysterious
ASHER: All right, welcome back to "One World". I was a bit slow. I was a little bit slow. It's been a long day.
GOLODRYGA: It's okay. She's Zain Asher. I'm Bianna Golodryga. Welcome back to "One World". The U.S. Congress is launching an inquiry into why no one
told Congress or the White House that the U.S. Defense Secretary had been hospitalized.
ASHER: Yeah, it was revealed on Tuesday that Lloyd Austin is in hospital getting treatment for prostate cancer. President Biden was not initially
told that his top military adviser would be out of commission for several days. White House officials say there are no plans to replace Austin but
call the situation not optimal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: For whatever reason, I can't answer the question why that information wasn't shared -- wasn't
shared within the Department and was certainly wasn't shared within the agency. It's not good. It's certainly not good, which is why, again, we
want to learn from this. We want to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: The news about the U.S. Defense Secretary's health shines a massive spotlight on prostate cancer.
ASHER: And more specifically on the racial disparity when it comes to this disease, which takes a much harsher toll on black men than white men, or
indeed of other men of color in the United States. I want to dig further into this. Time now for The Exchange. Joining me live now is CNN's Chief
Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon.
ASHER: Dr. Gupta, I think it's really unfortunate because, of course, you have Secretary Austin dealing with the fallout -- the political fallout,
of course, not notifying President Biden and the White House, but also this is a terrifying time, really difficult personal time for him, his wife and
his family and we do have to be mindful of that.
But I think what is really scary, especially for myself as a black woman, is the fact that this is an illness, this is the disease that takes a much
harsher toll on black men. If you were black, like of course Secretary Austin, you are dramatically, significantly much more likely to be A --
diagnosed and also more likely to die. Just explain to us why that is.
GUPTA: Yeah, this is interesting. I think it covers just about any possible reason, from the genetics of more aggressive tumors being diagnosed in
black men to the difficulty obtaining screenings, less likely to be referred for certain therapeutic options. I mean, there's been all sorts of
research into why these disparities exist.
But you're quite right. In fact, if you look at the numbers, I don't know if we have the numbers -- if we can put those up. But just for men across
the board, for example, in the United States, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, one in 41 will die. It's a common cancer.
People may not realize just behind certain types of skin cancers in terms of its prevalence. But to your point, if you go to black men overall and
say, what is the difference now with black men specifically? And you find, just like you're saying, about almost two times more likely to be diagnosed
and more than two times likely to die.
And it's, again, there's all sorts of different reasons. I think what it means fundamentally is that for people, black men are at higher risk. If
you have a family history in particular, you need to be especially vigilant about getting screened, perhaps. Screening's not recommended for everyone,
but obviously Secretary Austin was getting screened. Doesn't sound -- which is good news -- he wasn't having symptoms, but it was on one of those
screenings that they diagnosed an early form of prostate cancer in the first place, and that's what took place in early December.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, the initial surgery that we now know he had on December 22nd was a prostatectomy. Talk to us about that surgery and what we now
know were complications that followed. What really stood out to me is something you said on our air earlier, is that it's reassuring to know that
he had surgery because that means it was indeed caught early.
GUPTA: Right. So, that's a little bit counterintuitive for some people but let me just talk you through this. He had the operation on December 22nd,
discharged to home on December 23rd. That's the natural course of things. But then it sounded like he had a miserable time at home. Just had
discomfort in his abdomen and his hips and his legs.
Subsequently, went back to the hospital, was diagnosed with the urinary tract infection, but they knew it was more serious. Ultimately, it was
found that he had these abdominal fluid collections and that was causing all sorts of problems for him.
That was all addressed on the second hospitalization. And, you know, within a few days, he was able to go back to normal duties. He's still in the
hospital, but able to do his duties.
What is interesting, Bianna, to your point, if someone has an operation, what does that mean? As a surgeon myself, that basically means, hey, look,
we're confident, we can take this out. If it had already spread outside the prostate, at that point, surgeons are far less likely to advocate for
surgery because it's not likely to get all of the cancer. So, caught early and operation removes the prostate tumor, which is likely localized within
the prostate and that bodes well for him long term.
ASHER: Yeah, what are doctors saying about his long-term chances of recovery? I hear that they're quite good.
GUPTA: Yeah, I mean, I'll preface by saying, you know, this is a slow- growing tumor. In fact, after the age of 70, screening's not even typically recommended because they say, look, if we catch it now, the likelihood that
it would be a problem in your life is really low.
So, they don't even advocate for screening after age 70. But in his case, obviously, he got that screen right around that age. He found this. It was
taken out. So, the chances of this being a problem again in his lifetime are very, very low. Now that he's gotten through these complications,
hopefully this isn't something that continues to be an issue for him at all.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, we wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery. Sanjay, is a prostatectomy that the surgery which he had on the 22nd always
the go to treatment for prostate cancer?
GUPTA: No, you know. And again, this may sound counterintuitive, but the surgery is typically for the earlier stage tumors. Let's say you want to
just watch this and say, look, I know that it's there, but we know that these are slow growing tumors. It may not be a problem. You could embark on
something known as watchful waiting, where you're just sort of keeping an eye on this.
Another thing that sometimes is recommended, depending on how aggressive the tumor seems, is radiation or some sort of what is called adjuvant
therapy. So, surgery is not always the right answer, but it's typically done in situations where you feel like you can definitively remove the
GOLODRYGA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, listen, a misstep on the part of the Defense Department and his spokespeople, chain of command, not getting up to the
But listen, if there's any silver lining out of all of this is that attention is now put on this very important subject -- one out of eight
men, we diagnosed prostate cancer. It can be treated if caught early, so I'm glad that we've had this conversation about it. Thank you so much.
GUPTA: Thank you.
ASHER: Thank you, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. All right, coming up here on CNN, here from a convicted January 6th rioter about what she regrets from that day at
the Capitol and why she doesn't think she should go to prison.
GOLODRYGA: Well, we're getting our first look at Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny from his jail in Siberia. He made a court appearance by video in
relation to a lawsuit he filed over prison conditions. The facility where he's being held is referred to as Polar Wolf.
ASHER: His team was worried about his well-being last month when they couldn't find him. They couldn't locate him for about two weeks. Navalny
surfaced at the remote prison camp in late December.
GOLODRYGA: Still amazing that he would sit there and smile and even on social media.
ASHER: Despite what he's been through.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah. Jokes there sell. Well, it's been over three years since the violent insurrection in Washington. Some of the people who stormed the
Capitol that day are now facing hefty prison sentences for their roles in the attack.
ASHER: CNN's Donie O'Sullivan met with a grandmother of six who's preparing to spend some time behind bars after being convicted on nine counts. Take a
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How do you feel when you watch this?
RACHEL POWELL, CONVICTED JANUARY 6TH RIOTER: You know, I think I'm more numb when I look at this stuff. It's like surreal to me. I mean, look how
angry I look.
O'SULLIVAN: You'd admit this is a bad look?
POWELL: Totally. You know how dumb I feel when I look at this picture? Like, oh my goodness.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Rachel Powell, also known as the "Pink Hat Lady" is about to begin a five-year prison sentence for her role in the January
6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. She's a mom of eight and grandmother of six, and she spent most of the last three years under home detention in
POWELL: Is this what you expected from an insurrectionist, a terrorist? How do I have time to plan an insurrection when my life is busy like this?
Making pie, raising babies.
O'SULLIVAN: Why did you decide to go to D.C. on January 6th?
POWELL: Well, how often does a President ask you to come to a rally? It doesn't happen.
O'SULLIVAN: At some point, this goes from peaceful protest to you having an ice axe in your hand, breaking a window, trying to get into the Capitol.
How did that happen?
POWELL: It got violent and it was violent for a while and I'm completely in pain. And --
SULLIVAN: Because you had been hit?
POWELL: Oh man, I had been hit with a baton. I'd been grabbed and thrown. I'd been sprayed. I mean, my whole body was on fire. I don't think there
was rational thinking in my head at that point. I didn't have an ice axe that passed through the crowd. Somebody put it in my hands, and it was only
in my hands long enough to take out that window pane, and yet I'd been charged with a deadly weapon.
O'SULLIVAN: Did somebody give you the ice axe?
POWELL: I don't know.
O'SULLIVAN: You don't remember?
POWELL: I don't know who they were. I don't know where it came from. I don't know where it went.
O'SULLIVAN: I grew up, and I guess you probably did too, of being told, you know, if a police officer tells you to do something, you should probably do
it. That didn't happen that day, of course. The police were telling you guys to go away.
POWELL: They never actually told us to go away. I never had an officer look at me and say, you need to leave or I'm going to arrest you.
O'SULLIVAN: Footage like this of Rachel seen here in the fur-hooded coat pushing against a police line and messages she posted on social media
condoning violence ahead of January 6th were used by prosecutors to argue that Rachel wasn't just a peaceful protester who got caught up in the chaos
of the day.
O'SULLIVAN: Do you regret that day?
POWELL: I regret I have a lot of remorse for ruining my family's life. I mean, in one day, I destroyed everything. For really --for nothing. I don't
have remorse for attending protests. I don't have remorse for speaking out and saying that I believe that the election is stolen. I do have remorse
for breaking a window and destroying my whole family's life and for thinking irrationally and not realizing, like, why don't you just sit down
at this protest? SULLIVAN:
O'SULLIVAN: A federal judge convicted Rachel on nine counts, including destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding,
and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds.
POWELL: I'm sorry, it's like my last weekend before I go in. But I love my children so much and so it's like the last thing that they can take from
me. That'll be the hard part and I don't deserve this and my kids don't deserve it. Like, have we not been through enough? That's the last thing
that we have to lose is each other.
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Prosecutors said Rachel showed nothing but contempt for the court and legal system.
O'SULLIVAN: You said, you know, that -- that you feel dumb, set up?
O'SULLIVAN: Why do you feel duped?
POWELL: With January 6th, I cannot prove it was a set up. But I feel like what if it was?
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Rachel isn't alone. A quarter of Americans believe the conspiracy theory -- the January 6th attack was instigated by the FBI.
O'SULLIVAN: People watching this might say, well, you were duped by Trump and everybody around him. And the election wasn't really stolen. And you
buying into this has kind of ruined your life. Do you ever feel a bit pissed off with Trump?
POWELL: No, absolutely not. I don't. I've had problems with this election process for years and years. Fifteen years ago, if there would have been
protests about election fraud, I would have gone to those because our whole country and everything about our lives is determined by voting.
O'SULLIVAN: Surely, in the last three years, being locked in here, have you ever had a moment where you're like, you know, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Biden
actually won the election. Maybe I'm the conspiracy theorist.
POWELL: No, not at all. Sullivan:
O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): She's due to spend the next few years behind bars, but she believes one man could change that.
POWELL: So, this hat says, Rachel, we love you, Trump. Three of my sons, they met Trump. And you can actually see them one of the times here. Trump
was very encouraging to them. He's made it clear he's going to pardon us.
O'SULLIVAN: There's a lot riding on this election.
O'SULLIVAN: For the country. Also, personally, for you.
POWELL: Oh man, for me it's huge. For me it's like life or death. It's huge.
O'SULLIVAN: If Trump wins, you could get out of prison.
POWELL: Correct, I will get out of prison.
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): And what makes Rachel's story all the more incredible is she didn't even vote for Trump in 2016. She says it was with
COVID and lockdowns and restrictions on movement during 2020 that she became particularly politically engaged and of course that journey brought
her to the Capitol on January 6th where she was found guilty on nine counts for her role in the January 6th attack. She began her prison sentence in a
federal prison in West Virginia on Tuesday. Back to you.
GOLODRYGA: Fascinating. Well, I'll be back at the top of the hour on Amanpour. I'll be speaking with a representative of Ecuador's government
about a surge of gang violence that sparked a state of emergency.
ASHER: "One World" continues, next.
ASHER: All right, the U.S. East Coast is bracing for more damaging wind and rain. Tuesday's powerful storms left more than half a million people
without power across several states. There were some 25 tornado reports across the Southeast. Here you see some of the destruction across the
Meantime, it's not just rain, but it's also snow. You've got this blanketing the Midwest, as well. Take a look here at the roads that we're
seeing in Iowa. At least four deaths have been reported in Georgia, in Alabama, and North Carolina as well, and more severe weather could be on
the way, as well.
All right, a pair of polar bear cubs at a zoo in Ohio are getting high marks for their high dives. The brothers seem to be perfecting their polar
bear plunge. Look at them go while putting on quite a show. Here's our Jeanne Moos with more.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forget the guy in the bear suit, the shivering humans and their polar bear plunge. This is the
real thing. Two polar bear twins born at the Toledo, Ohio Zoo, once fascinated by their own feet, are now performing feats of diving skill.
With young fans urging them on --
JODI POLANSKI, DIRECTOR, LOST OUR HOME PET RESCUE: The kids think they're involved in it, we're excited to be telling him to jump off the ledge
there, but he's going to do it anyway, and it just so happens he loves doing it in front of the class.
MOOS (voice-over): Calik and Kalu, indigenous names meaning lightning and thunder, went from accidentally falling into the water to learning to swim
using mom as a raft, to diving in the shallow pool.
And now at the age of a year and two months, doing the high dive off the cliff. Even throwing a plastic toy off the ledge and diving after it. Maybe
the baby bear and the famous commercials dove in to get to the Coke. But these two just love to dive and they thrive on the crowd's reaction.
POLANSKI: They love it. They can't get enough of it and they'll come up right up to the glass.
MOOS: Something we can all get behind. What could be less polarizing than diving polar bears? Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ASHER: All right, that does it for this hour of "One World". I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. Amanpour is up next.