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One World with Zain Asher

Top Congressional Leaders In Talks With President Biden; President Biden Remains Hopeful That A Ceasefire Between Israel And Hamas Will Come; Voters In Michigan Head To The Polls For Republican And Democratic Primaries; Artificial Intelligence May Have A Bigger Impact On This Year's U.S. Presidential Election; Thousands Of Farmers And Supporters Marched To The Prime Minister's Office In Warsaw, Poland; Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Speak On Meeting With President Biden. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired February 27, 2024 - 12:00   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone, live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Zain is off today. This is "One World". A

critical high-stakes meeting is underway at the White House this hour. Top congressional leaders are in talks with U.S. President Joe Biden. He's

hoping to persuade them to reach a funding deal.

Now without it, the government could see a partial shutdown in just four days, and the fate of Ukraine may be hanging in the balance without an

agreement on a new U.S. aid package.

Moments ago, the President spoke ahead of the meeting and said they will get a deal. And if all of this feels familiar, it's because this is the

fourth time now since September that lawmakers have run up against a funding deadline. Listen to two Democrats making an urgent plea.


ELIZABETH WARREN, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: What is wrong with these people? This is -- this is the central thing Congress is supposed to do. The

Republicans can't seem to get themselves organized just to sign off on the basic work they're supposed to do. This is just ridiculous.

JOE MANCHIN, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: I swear to God, this is -- it is sinful, what's going on, the games are being played right now with American people

and all the people are depending on the services of the federal government, and we can't even get our act together. It's a shame.


CNN's Lauren Fox is keeping an eye on all of the unfolding drama, and she joins us live from Capitol Hill. So, Lauren, there are multiple people from

the House and Senate leadership in this meeting. But of course, most of the pressure will be on one man, and that is Speaker Mike Johnson. What are you

hearing about his strategy here?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, all eyes are on Speaker Johnson. And you've heard from both the Republican and Democratic

leader in the Senate that they want to wrap this up.

Their argument is that they are now five months into this fiscal year. And their argument is that this has really been agonizing, given the fact that

every few months you have to have this dance around whether or not the government is going to be funded.

The difference here is that Speaker Johnson has a completely different set of pressures that are facing him. He has members of his hard right flank

who are pushing for policy writers, who are arguing that if he can't get those writers included as part of this negotiation, that he should stick to

a one-year spending bill.

And the reason that they want that one-year Spending Bill at current levels is because there was a provision in the Debt Ceiling Bill that would

trigger across-the-board cuts after May 1st, if that's the route Johnson goes.

That's something that's very appealing to conservatives who want to make sure that this government spending is cut down.

Now, the difficulty for Johnson is a lot of the people who are egging him on, a lot of the conservatives who are trying to pressure him right now are

not members who traditionally vote for spending bills at all.

And that is why Democrats really have the leverage here, because they are looking across the Capitol and saying, this guy can't pass anything with

just Republican votes, therefore he's going to need a number of Democrats to get this across the aisle.

So, no, we're not going to give you the poison pills you want, and it's time to wrap this up. So that's where negotiations currently stand. But

again, there's just a couple of days left. This deadline is Friday into Saturday at midnight.

And the other factor here is that House Republicans have a rule within their conference that says that legislation has to be rolled out for 72

hours ahead of when a vote takes place.

That means today is D-Day to finally agree to how to fund those four Spending Bills that are due on Friday. And that's why this crunch time,

that's why this meeting is so, so pivotal. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. And again, two deadlines, one this Friday, and of course the more consequential one would be next week. Lauren Fox, thank you. A lot

at stake here.

Well, President Biden says he is hopeful that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will come by next Monday, one day that would allow for the

release of more hostages, as well.

But a member of the Hamas' political bureau says that he is unaware of any such agreement, saying, quote, "There is nothing." President Biden spoke to

reporters while visiting an ice cream shop with comedian Seth Meyers, in New York.

Now, others are also suggesting the President's remarks may be premature. An Israeli official told CNN that Israel is, quote, surprised at Biden's

comments and Qatar, which is playing a key role in negotiations, tempered expectations, as well.


MAJED AL-ANSARI, QATAR FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON: If there was an agreement, you'd see me here in a more cheer attitude. But till now, we

don't have an agreement, yes, and we are still working on the negotiations, you know, on all fronts.



GOLODRYGA: CNN's Alex Marquardt joins us from Washington, D.C. So, Alex, aside from the weird optics, I guess is the best way to describe it, of the

president making this announcement while eating an ice cream cone, was this an off-the-cuff remark setting a timetable that is just days away from now?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Bianna, it's really not clear where he's getting that timetable. It's certainly the

most imminent that we've heard. It's the most rosy take on these negotiations that we've heard so far. And of course, we're talking to

sources in all the different groups who are participating in these talks.

As you know well, Bianna, Hamas and Israel never agree on anything. And yet on this, they seem to be in agreement that Biden is essentially getting

ahead of himself. An Israeli official spoke to CNN earlier, expressing surprise at the optimism that we heard from the President there.

Hamas, as you noted, they say that there's no sense that any kind of ceasefire is going to affect as of next week. And Qatar, which is at the

center of this, says that they are still feverishly working to iron out an agreement.

But there is progress, Bianna. We have seen that. There was an important meeting on Friday with the intelligence chiefs from Egypt, Israel and the

United States, as well as the Qatari Prime Minister. That was followed up by a meeting yesterday in Doha with what are known as technical teams.

So, they are putting the finer points on some of these broad strokes that we've been hearing about. And so we do have a pretty good sense of what we

think a deal would look like if and when it goes into effect.

We are hearing that it would be around 40 Israeli hostages who would be released by Hamas and the other groups who are holding them. The same time,

there would be an expectation for Palestinian prisoners to be released from Israeli prisons. And we don't really have a sense of how many of those

prisoners would -- would be released.

If IDF soldiers are released among those hostages, you can imagine that Hamas would be asking for a higher ratio, as it's known, of Palestinian

prisoners to be released. And then, Bianna, I have been told that Hamas has softened some of their positions, some of their demands.

You remember that Prime Minister Netanyahu had called a Hamas counterproposal crazy and delusional. And so, Hamas has actually backed off

of the number of prisoners that they are demanding be released in this first phase, that IDF troops leave Gaza entirely and that there be an

agreement over an end to the war.

Now, those are certainly things that Hamas is going to be asking for later on in the negotiations. But it does appear that the parties are getting

closer to a first phase. And during a pause in a first phase, some of those more complex issues are expected to be addressed.

One thing does appear clear, Bianna, is that the U.S. does want a ceasefire in place, a pause in the fighting, and the beginning of these hostages

being released by the start of Ramadan, that is on March 10th. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: And they want a lengthy ceasefire at that, as well. Alex Marquardt, thank you. Now, let's bring in Aaron David Miller. He's a former

Middle East negotiator for the U.S. State Department and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Aaron, good to see you, as always. So, first, your thoughts on the President's rather rosy, optimistic, and surprising deadline that he set

for himself. It seems that the other parties were not aware of this as soon as Monday.

AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER U.S. STATE DEPT. MIDDEL EAST NEGOTIATOR: No, it's fascinating. And I'm sure that the President, and we all do, hopes

that, in fact, this deadline that he's created is real.

But one of the first primary rules of negotiation is that you never appear to be in more of a hurry than the people you're negotiating with. And it

may well be. I was actually quite struck by the fact that the President actually offered up a date, weekend. Then he actually said by Monday.

There's been some pushback from Hamas now. Their external leadership, and they're not the principal decision-makers here. Their external leadership

saying that they're disappointed in the Paris framework and we're not close to a deal.

So, I doubt if the President's remarks had that impact. But it just goes to show you that nobody ever lost money betting against any Israeli-

Palestinian agreement on anything.

GOLODRYGA: So, what happens in terms of any U.S. leverage, CIA Director Burns is involved closely with all these negotiations, if that deadline

that the President set for this weekend or Monday comes and goes without a deal in sight?

MILLER: Well, I mean, I think we need to just remind ourselves of something that's so stunningly obvious. Sometimes external parties to a conflict

forget it. And that is the two primary combatants here, Israel and Hamas, are the ones who have set the trajectory, the tone, the escalation, the de-

escalation, the tactics and the strategy of this Israel-Hamas war from the beginning.

And the capacity and the ability of external actors, be it the Egyptians, the Qataris, the Americans, the U.N., to have a fundamental impact in

altering the tactics and strategies of Israel and Hamas is actually quite limited.


I do believe, Bianna, though, that there is more urgency now. I think the Israelis are pressing hard. They may be closer than ever to trying to

identify where Yair Sinwar is. And it would be a cruel dilemma if, in fact, they identified where he is.

Would they then move to take him out in the middle of these hostage negotiations? I suspect the answer would be, from this government, I think

they would.

So -- but there's urgency. And I think Hamas has a stake in a Ramadan breather, so to speak. I mean, they wreaked havoc on 2.3 million

Palestinians in Gaza as a consequence of this terror surge on October 7th.

But I think they also understand if they want to survive in Gaza, which they do, they're going to have to find some way of getting release and

humanitarian aid into the people of Gaza. So, that's the motivation, I think, on their part.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. And getting that humanitarian aid in is why the U.S. is hoping for a prolonged, multi-week, as many as six-week ceasefire, not to

mention that this would occur over Ramadan, as well.

The Israelis have set this timetable for themselves, really giving an ultimatum to Hamas that if they don't release these hostages by Ramadan,

before Ramadan, that they would indeed go into Rafah. What do you make of that strategy on the part of the Israelis?

And do you think that they would actually pursue it, even if there is a lot of pressure from the United States to avoid doing that, without a specific

plan to take care of the millions of civilians now who are trapped there?

MILLER: Right. I mean, I think that's a question that is really impossible to answer. I suspect that in Israel's view, they'd like to see a hostage

release, at least phase one. But I have no doubt that this Prime Minister and much of the Israeli military believes that they need to go into Rafah.

They need to destroy those tunnels that link Rafah to Sinai, which has been a route of huge smuggling. And they also need to work out with the

Egyptians how to monitor the so-called Philadelphia Corridor, which is roughly eight miles of Egyptian-Gazan border, over which, through which

many, much of the smuggling occurs. And there are Hamas battalions in Rafah.

So, what boggles the mind, though, is how are they going to produce a plan to relocate a million humans into safe zones and corridors with potable

water, with shelter, with proper access to medical attention? It just seems almost impossible.

And clearly, based on five months of war, it's clear they cannot prosecute a war against Hamas without doing grave injury. The exponential rise of

Palestinian deaths is a consequence. So, that one's hard to get. It's hard to analyze what their calculations are.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and that is the leverage that Hamas believes it has and has had throughout this entire war, the cynicism there that it would be

very difficult to capture Hamas leadership without having a lot of civilian casualties, as we've already seen.

And last night, the President himself said on Seth Meyers that the path the Netanyahu government is taking will make Israel lose support from around

the world.

Obviously, a lot of objectives here, getting humanitarian aid in, getting those hostages out, as well. Aaron David Miller, thank you so much for

joining us. Appreciate it.

MILLER: Thanks for having me, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Well, Israel says that it is working on a way to get aid into northern Gaza quickly, as the humanitarian situation there deteriorates.

There are reports of widespread hunger and now a breakdown in civil order.

Food, water and medicine were already scarce. And now, people are fighting over what little aid there is. CNN's Jeremy Diamond reports.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, Gaza's humanitarian crisis looks like this. Palestinians desperate for food, paddling and

swimming out to sea after at least one plane airdropping aid appeared to miss its target, sending pallets of food crashing into the sea.

In central and southern Gaza, hundreds crowding the beaches to try and secure their piece of the rations. But this is the other side of

desperation. Groups of men wielding whips and bats steering crowds away from their precious cargo. Months of hunger and war triggering fights for

survival when there is not enough for everyone.


This is what they are fighting over, ration packs, a lifeline for the lucky few.

UNKNOWN (through translator): I was lucky and able to get one of these aids. But what about all those other people who were not able to get this

aid? Look, this one didn't get any and this one didn't get any.

DIAMOMD (voice-over): But so much more is needed.

UNKNOWN (through translator): I'm asking from the Arab nations. We are thankful for the aid through the parachutes, but we need more and we need

it distributed in a better way. This will not stop our hunger. We don't need a capsule because when we eat this, we will eat it. And that's it.

It's finished.

DIAMOND (voice-over): But nowhere are people more desperate for food aid than in northern Gaza, where women and children wait in long lines for what

now passes for food, a cloudy soup mixture made with dirty water and whatever grains can be found.

AMAL MOHAMMAD NASEER, GAZA RESIDENT (through translator): There was no food or drinking water, no flour or anything. There was no cooking oil, not even

drinking water. Death is better than this.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Humanitarian aid deliveries this month dropped by half compared to January, according to a United Nations relief agency,

which blamed Israeli military operations and the collapse of civil order in Gaza.

In northern Gaza, aid groups suspending aid delivery amid looting and attacks on aid trucks, leaving many with few options to stay alive.

UNKNOWN (through translator): Look, we are eating animal food against our will, but have to eat it.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Without food or clean water, their voices are all they have left.

AHMAD ATEF SAFI (through translator): The suffering of Gaza is extremely difficult. Where are the authorities? Where is the government? Israel made

us hungry and our government made us hungry and people are stealing. Shame on you Arabs. Where are you?

DIAMOND (voice-over): But after nearly five months of war, is the world listening? Jeremy Diamond, CNN, Tel Aviv.


GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Jeremy Diamond for that report. Coming up for us, an FAA-appointed panel issues a scathing report on the safety culture at

Boeing. What it said and what it's recommending.

That's ahead. And later, how the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza could impact the U.S. presidential race. We'll tell you how. Stay with us.


GOLODRYGA: A lack of awareness and fear of retaliation. Those are the two main takeaways from a new report issued by the FAA, sharply critical of the

safety culture at Boeing.


A panel of independent aviation experts concluded that some employees at the troubled aircraft manufacturer did not understand their role in

ensuring the safety of Boeing's planes. There was also anxiety about possible reprisals against people who might raise safety concerns.

The panel was created after the Boeing 737 MAX disasters in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. CNN's Pete Muntean joins me now live from

Washington. So, Pete, quite damning allegations in this report. What do we expect the repercussions to be?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, this report looked under the hood at Boeing and found these damning problems, as you

mentioned, that critics have been worried about for some time.

The big finding here, so-called gaps in Boeing's safety culture, that was the fear by observers after the 737 MAX 9 door plug blowout. But this

report was commissioned a year ago, long before that incident last month. This review panel of airlines, unions and safety units at other aerospace companies are brought together by the Federal Aviation Administration. The

inspiration, as you mentioned, the fatal 737 MAX 8 crashes abroad in 2018 and 2019.

This group found that employees on the production line at Boeing did not know how to report safety problems to their managers. Workers said they

were concerned about retaliation for reporting those issues. And the report also calls out quality issues that demonstrate an overall poor safety


Remember, it was essentially a quality control problem that the NTSB detailed in their initial report on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. That plane

left the Boeing factory without the four critical bolts that keep the door plug in place. Here is the big takeaway quote from this report.

"The expert panel observed a disconnect between Boeing senior management and other members of the organization on safety culture." This only

confirms what critics have been saying, that Boeing has really lost its way. Boeing now has six months to respond here.

The big question, though, is what the FAA will find in these other reports that are forthcoming. It's about to put out a report on Boeing quality

control. It has about two dozen inspectors on the ground at Boeing's plant in Washington. And that report could come out any day now. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Wow, unbelievable. And yet another damning report, as noted, could be to follow this one. Has there been a response so far from Boeing?

I know you said they have six months to respond, but has there been a P.R. statement at least issued yet?

MUNTEAN: Yes, the P.R. statement from Boeing is as follows. "We've taken important steps to foster a safety culture that empowers and encourages all

employees to share their voice.

But there is more work to do." Boeing has had a very careful and controlled media message since the MAX 9 door plug blowout on January 5th, and have

used a lot of non-SEC orders about this.

This is an issue that is more on the nose, that Boeing may have sort of flown a little bit too close to the sun here, and now it has to fix some

really serious problems that are far and wide at Boeing. The culture is the big issue that this report looked at, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, an Icarus moment, as you allege there, that is perhaps wide-scale throughout the company. Pete Muntean, thank you so much for

bringing us this important information.

Well, coming up, it is time for another showdown between Donald Trump and Nikki Haley. Are you ready? How today's vote could impact the race for the

White House, when we come back.



GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to "One World", I'm Bianna Golodryga. Right now, voters in Michigan are heading to the polls for Republican and Democratic

primaries. And for the first time this election season, there seems to be some real stakes for Joe Biden.

He is in no danger of losing the Democratic primary, but there could be a significant number of voters who vote uncommitted to show their opposition

to Biden's handling of the Mideast conflict.


GRETCHEN WHITMER, NMICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Today, I anticipate that we will see a sizable number of people vote uncommitted, as we know, our huge Arab,

Palestinian and Muslim communities are going to voice some of their opinions with regard to how we're handling what's happening over in Gaza

and Israel.

We also have a robust Jewish community here. And these are two very important communities that have lived in harmony in this state for decades.

And there's a lot of people who are hurting.


GOLODRYGA: On the Republican side, Nikki Haley is hoping to show that she can continue to be competitive with Donald Trump. She did a little bit

better than expected over the weekend in South Carolina and says voters do need other options.


NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do we want more of the same or do we want something different? More of the same is Donald Trump and Joe

Biden. Something different is a new generational leader that puts all the negativity and baggage aside and starts focusing on the solutions of the



GOLODRYGA: Our Omar Jimenez is in Michigan now and joins us live. Omar, what are you hearing so far from voters?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we're hearing a good mix from voters so far where people are wanting to make their voices heard. There's no

surprise. No surprise is expected about who is expected to win today on the Republican side, being former President Donald Trump and on the Democratic

side, Joe Biden.

But what's interesting about today is it could give some really key indicators for general election prospects in a very key state like

Michigan. So, to give you an example of where we are right now, well, usually we would see a lot of voters here. I can tell you it's been pretty

empty up to this point. But what's interesting about that is that this is actually the first election cycle where early in-person voting has been

available to folks here.

And the Secretary of State here for Michigan said that that combined with absentee votes, they've already gotten more than a million votes cast

before we even got to election day today. And to give you an idea of that, just over two million people voted in total in the primary in 2020.


So, a good portion of folks have already done what we typically think of them doing in person in a place like this. But I want you to listen to two

voters we spoke to who are on opposite sides of the coin, who actually did come through today about why they're voting for their respective candidate.

JOE DEBAENE, VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP: Nikki Haley's right that Trump's got a lot of trouble following him, but he's still my guy. And I think he's got

an irritating personality to many. He's very off-putting. But the guy's policies have been rock solid. And I'm voting on policy.

JOHN ELWING, VOTED FOR JOE BIDEN: I voted for Joe Biden, and I'm proud of it. Because he actually cares about people. And he isn't doing it for his

own pocket. And everything isn't about him.

JIMENEZ: And on the Biden side of things as well, again, expected to take the Democratic primary. But there is a large push within the Arab American

community here, the largest Arab American community of any state in the country, to vote uncommitted instead of for Biden over his handling of the

war in Israel and Gaza.

They say success for them would just be getting 10,000 uncommitted votes, which is essentially the margin of victory that Trump took the state with

in 2016. But even in previous elections without a campaign like this, we had seen more than 10,000 people vote uncommitted for various reasons.

So, we do expect that number to be higher than what's been put out as a goal up to this point. But again, that is to try and send a message that

when you look at a general election portion of things, there is a much larger population that could be at play here based on his handling of

what's happening.

And that is a critical factor to keep an eye on. And then on the Republican side of things, Donald Trump is most likely to win. But the margin of

victory will also make a difference because Nikki Haley, who got 40 percent of the vote in South Carolina, a sizable portion, it will indicate how much

strength she actually does have, again, in a key battleground state like Michigan.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, it is an open primary state. So, in theory, I guess some Democrats or independents could vote for Nikki Haley, but they are most

likely to vote for Joe Biden in this case.

Omar, I have two observations. That is a very empty and a very clean school auditorium there behind you. Let us know when you talk to some voters in


JIMENEZ: Oh, yeah. It's clean. No snow. Nice temperature.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, exactly. Enjoy the solitude there. Thank you. Well, the Michigan primary isn't the only major political news coming out of the U.S.

today. Let's bring in CNN Contributor and "New York Times" Journalist, Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

Lulu, great to have you on. So, a lot to talk to you about. First, let's start in Washington, D.C., where the President is having a very

consequential meeting with House and Senate leadership today.

All eyes are on Speaker Mike Johnson and what he decides to do in terms of avoiding a government shutdown. He sounded optimistic today, saying that he

believed one could be avoided.

You've got two deadlines, one this Friday and obviously the larger, more consequential one next week. Walk us through what you expect to see in here

today. Lulu, can you hear me?

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, can you hear me? I'm afraid we may have some audio issues. Lulu, can you hear me one more time? Okay, we'll come back to Lulu

when we have her back up. Thank you. Sorry about that.

Well, U.S. President Joe Biden appeared on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday, covering a range of topics. He spoke about his optimism

for a ceasefire in Gaza, telling Meyers that there is a path forward with difficulty.

And he also touched on the campaign, joking about whether Taylor Swift will endorse him. The 81-year-old Biden also addressed the age issue while

taking a swipe at Donald Trump.



GOLODRYGA: All right, well, artificial intelligence could wind up having a bigger impact on this year's U.S. presidential election than anyone could

have imagined. For proof, you don't need to look any further than a robocall to New Hampshire voters earlier this year. CNN's Kyung Lah



KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paul Carpenter, New Orleans street magician, wanted to be famous for fork bending.

PAUL CARPENTER, MAGICIAN WHO USED A.I. TO CREATE FAKE BIDEN AUDIO: They could actually see it looks like it's bending.

LAH (voice-over): But instead, he's making national headlines, tricked himself, he says, in a political scandal around this fake robocall of

President Biden.

A.I.-GENERATED ROBOCALL: What a bunch of malarkey.

LAH (voice-over): Sent to more than 20,000 New Hampshire residents, urging Democrats to not vote in last month's primary.

A.I.-GENERATED ROBOCALL: It's important that you save your vote for the November election.

LAH (voice-over): Did you know when you made that recording how it was going to be used?

CARPENTER: None, none whatsoever. I'm a magician and a hypnotist. I'm not in the political realm. I just got thrown into this thing.


LAH (voice-over): Carpenter says he was playing around with A.I. apps, getting paid a few hundred bucks here and there to make fake recordings.

One of those paying, according to text messages shared with CNN, was political operative Steve Kramer, then employed by Democratic Presidential

Candidate Dean Phillips.

CARPENTER: And I was like, no problem. Send me a script. I send you a recording. Send me some money. Boom, boom.

LAH: How easy is all of this for a self-taught guy?

CARPENTER: Five minutes, 10 tops.

LAH: Kramer admitted to CNN he was behind the robocall. The Phillips campaign cut ties with him, saying they had nothing to do with it. But this

deepfake raised immediate concern over the power of A.I. from the White House --

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That call was indeed a fake and not recorded by the President.

LAH (voice-over): -- to election watchers.

HANY FARID, DIGITAL FORENSICS EXPERT, U.S. BERKELEY: When people are getting phone calls 48 hours, 24 hours before an election, there is nobody

there to interfere. And those were very worrisome to me.

And when you think about, you know, how much we are connected to our devices, and now you're going to inject these generative A.I. into that

ecosystem, and I think we're in for something dramatic.

LAH: Can you create a voice that sounds like President Biden?


LAH (voice-over): Deepfake expert Vijay Balasubramaniyan says there's no shortage of often free apps that can do it.

BALASUBRAMANIYAN: It requires just three seconds of your audio, and you can actually clone someone's voice.

LAH: We are testing to see how quickly you can create an A.I. voice.

BALASUBRAMANIYAN: And then upload that.

LAH: And add voice. And then I can just type whatever I want. I would like to buy a new pair of shoes, but they should be pink.

BALASUBRAMANIYAN: And then say generate.

LAH: And in just seconds. I would like to buy a new pair of shoes, but they should be pink.

BALASUBRAMANIYAN: For someone like me, you know, it did sound a little bit like you.

LAH: A famous voice.

BALASUBRAMANIYAN: Like five minutes of President Biden speaking at any particular event, and that's what it took to create a clone of his voice.

LAH: Pindrop, his company, not only detected that robocall of President Biden's voice was a fake, but tracked it to the very A.I. company that made

it. So, it takes A.I. software to detect whether a voice is A.I. generated.

BALASUBRAMANIYAN: It knows that it's a deepfake. You cannot expect a human to do this. You need technology to be able to fight technology. So, you

need good A.I. to fight bad A.I.

LAH (voice-over): To alert Americans that, just like a magic trick, an A.I. deepfake is not what it seems.

CARPENTER: You can actually make it look like it's twisting off.

LAH: Now, Pindrop says they are getting a lot of interest from political campaigns already. And in the coming months, they expect to make some

announcement about their involvement in the 2024 election. This is one company, one small window into what is going to be truly the Wild West of

technology this year.

And part of the reason is because we're human. Our ear wants to compensate for any of those oddities we may hear. We simply want to believe what we

see and hear. Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


GOLODRYGA: Really fascinating, important reporting from Kyung Lah. I believe we have Lulu Garcia-Navarro back with us. Can you hear me, Lulu?


GOLODRYGA: Okay, so as much as I'd love to talk to you about A.I., because it is a very important topic, let's go back to what we had originally

scheduled, because there's a lot going on, both in Washington and Michigan.

Let's start at the White House, where the President is holding a consequential meeting with House and Senate leadership, all eyes really on

what Speaker Johnson decides to do to avert a government shutdown. We have one deadline this Friday and a much more consequential one next week. What

are you going to be watching coming out of this meeting?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, everything really does hinge on Speaker Johnson. He looked, I dare say, slightly uncomfortable. He is surrounded by people who

want to pressure him to make a deal. I mean, everything really is in his hands at the moment.

He's facing a very difficult position. He has a very slim majority, and the hard right of his flank are, again, pressuring him to really push for some

concessions. And just so you can get a sense of what it is that they're asking for, the House Freedom Caucus, as it's known, sent a letter with a

sort of laundry list of GOP demands, like defunding Planned Parenthood, which is the healthcare organization here in America that supports abortion


They had other pet hard right issues to do with gun regulation and green policies, and sort of zeroing out Secretary Mayorkas, the Secretary of

Homeland Security's salary. So, things that really aren't exactly in the mainstream of what these negotiations are about.

And in a recent private call, Speaker Johnson told his party members, and I'm quoting here, I don't think anybody on this call really thinks that

we're going to be able to use the appropriations process to fundamentally remake major areas of policy."


Unfortunately, that is what the hard right of his flank is asking him to do.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. In the meantime, the consequences are quite significant, not only in avoiding a government shutdown, but we still have the $93

billion supplemental, with $60 billion being allotted for Ukraine, hanging in the balance here.

Is there any view from what you're hearing that there's movement in terms of finding a resolution in seeing that bill actually pass and the aid start

going to Ukraine?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, this has real life consequences, as all of these discussions over money do. When we're speaking of Ukraine, we know that the

situation is dire right now in the front lines of Ukraine.

They're running out of ammunition, and the United States has been one of the major funders of actual money for guns, ammo, all sorts of military

equipment. And so, this money is very, very much needed.

And the person that holds the purse, that is the person who really holds the strings here, is again, Speaker Johnson. He has chosen, even though

that funding package passed in a bipartisan fashion in the Senate, in the lower house, which is the House of Representatives, which he controls, he

has seen fit not to actually put this to the floor. That is something that he determines.

And so, I think it's going to be a major source of discussion with the President right now. He, President Biden, has said that he wants to see

this funding package passed. It also involves money to Israel, which is a key ally of the United States.

And so, it remains to be seen what kind of deal can be struck here. But all these things are kind of tied together because they all meet at one single

person, which is, of course, Speaker Johnson, who, let's be reminded here, his predecessor was kicked out by the hard right because they didn't want

him to make a deal with Democrats over funding.

And here we are again with the same group of people making the same demands. And Speaker Johnson's very political future is on the line here.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, you mentioned including -- concluded in that supplemental some $14 billion in military aid for Israel, some $10 billion in

humanitarian aid for Gaza, as well. And that seems to be a big focus for voters in Michigan.

The President likely is anticipated and expected to win. That having been said, there is this protest movement, the so-called uncommitted group of

people that are hoping to secure 10,000, if not more, votes to send a sharp message to President Biden about his handling of the war between Israel and

Hamas. What are the ramifications here?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I mean, one of the things that this has in common to the funding fight that we just -- were talking about is this idea of minority


We have small groups of people having an outsized effect on policy. And this, in this case, it is the Muslim American community in a key swing

state of Michigan. They are not a large number in regards to the total population of this country. But this issue is incredibly important to them.

And they hold an outsized role in this particular part of the country. And so, you know, one of the things that people are going to be looking for is

not whether President Biden is going to actually win the primary, that's a foregone conclusion.

But if they can actually have this effect, if we see actually people not showing up to vote, if we see them voting uncommitted, that will send a

signal and a very strong signal to the White House, which we already know is very worried about this issue, saying basically, you know, you have to

take this seriously.

What's happening in the Middle East is impacting what's happening here in the United States in terms of what's going to happen in November. And so,

you really have to take our demands quite seriously.

One of the other things that I'm looking for in Michigan as well is union workers, black voters, suburban women. Do they show up for President Biden?

He needs this coalition if he's going to win in November.

And Michigan is a great state to take their temperature, too. It's not only about the Muslim American vote. There's going to be a lot of key indicators

here that are going to tell us maybe how well Biden might do in November.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Michigan, perhaps a bellwether state and what we can anticipate come November and battleground state. There are a lot of issues

at hand here as voters take to the polls. Lulu Garcia-Navarro, thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, still to come, Ukraine's secret weapon against Russia isn't so secret anymore. And now Russian fighters are presenting new

challenges to Ukrainian drone teams. What CNN saw while observing one unit, straight ahead.



GOLODRYGA: Tempers overheated earlier in Warsaw, Poland, where thousands of farmers and their supporters marched to the Prime Minister's Office.

They're angry at the European Union's climate policies and Ukrainian imports, saying both are affecting their bottom line.

An estimated 10,000 people were at the protests. There have been similar protests across Europe all this month. Well, the Kremlin is warning the

West against sending troops to Ukraine, saying conflict with Russia would be inevitable if that ever happened.

It comes the day after French President Emmanuel Macron floated the possibility of deploying European forces to Ukraine at an E.U. conference

in Paris. European leaders were quick to push back. Italy, Spain and the U.K. said they are not considering the possibility. And Germany's

chancellor also rejected the idea.


OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We obviously discussed ways how to arrange for the support. And here, once again, in a very good

debate, it was discussed that what was agreed from the outset among ourselves and with each other also applies to the future, namely that there

will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO states.


GOLODRYGA: Ukraine has been relying more on drones to try and level the battlefield with Russia. But the Russians are well aware of the threat and

doing all they can to make things tougher on the soldiers operating those drones. CNN's Nick Paton-Walsh reports.


NICK PATON-WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY (voice-over): They flit around fast, hiding each week in a new abandoned shell. Drone operators

have been Ukraine's secret weapon for months, but now it is getting harder.

We saw this unit in December, but their base back then has been bombed. Yet still, they hunt every day for a single mistake, a Russian who gets himself


UNKNOWN: Three, four.

PATON-WALSH (voice-over): They say the Russians are better at hiding themselves, although sometimes obviously not.

PATON-WALSH: Yes, they just spotted a Russian soldier carrying groceries and that dog came out to greet him. So, I think it's quite possible that's

where some Russians are hiding.

PATON-WALSH: So, it begins. The first strike on the window. One drone watching, the other flies into the target. And quickly, they prepare



The hunt is no game, but has the tools of one. They lose about a quarter of their drones to Russian jamming. They see the Russians running into the

blue house. Its roof clearly hit before a while ago. It becomes their next target. They go in again. It could be a mortar position, they think.

Watch how smaller explosions send fragments flying out. The Russians often have to stay injured inside the damaged building to not draw in more

drones. They go in again. It could be a mortar position, they think. Then suddenly, the power goes out. The internet down and screens black, but

remarkably, they barely miss a beat.

The commander sparks up his cell phone 5G with the drone feed and a chat group directing the entire attack just from an iPhone. The smoke grows in

intensity. They think they might have hit a weapon.


GOLODRYGA: All right, we're going to take you to the White House where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is speaking on his meeting with the

President in efforts to avoid a government shutdown.


CHUCK SCHUMER, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: We made it clear that that means not letting any of the government appropriations bills lapse, which

means you need some CRs to get that done. But we're making good progress and we're hopeful we can get this done really quickly.

There are a little back and forth on different issues that different people want, but I don't think those are insurmountable. The fact that we made it

so clear that we can't have the shutdown because it hurts so many people in so many different ways, even for a short period of time, was very apparent

in the room.

And the Speaker did not reject that. He said he wants to avoid a government shutdown. So that was very heartening. The meeting on Ukraine was one of

the most intense I have ever encountered in my many meetings in the Oval Office.

The four of us all together led, first person to speak was Leader McConnell.

Well, the five of us, the President, the Vice President, Leader McConnell, Leader Jeffries, and myself made it so clear how vital this was to the

United States. This was so, so important.

And that we couldn't afford to wait a month or two months or three months because we would, in all likelihood, lose the war. NATO would be fractured

at best. Allies would turn away from the United States.

And the boldest leaders, the boldest autocrats of the world, the Putins, the Xi's, the Presidents of North Korea -- I like the governor of North

Carolina, actually. The Presidents of North Korea and Iran would be emboldened, thinking that the United States was this soft, fat country that

lost its way and would take advantage.

And so, we said to the Speaker, get it done. I told him, this is one of the moments, I said, I've been around here a long time. It's maybe four or five

times that history is looking over your shoulder.

And if you don't do the right thing, whatever the immediate politics are, you will regret it. I told him two years from now and every year after

that. Because really, it's in his hands. It's in his hands. We told him how important it was.

It was passionate. I talked about my trip to Ukraine, where I met soldiers who had Russian artillery in range with the drones they have, but had no

ammunition to fire at them. We talked about four brigades who are ready to go, Ukrainian, no arms. And how serious the lack of arms was.

And it was the consensus in that room, Zelensky in Ukraine will lose the war if we don't get the arms and don't get them quickly. The Speaker

brought up the border. We made it very clear to him that we want to do something real on border.

And in fact, we Democrats in the Senate supported a Border Bill that very conservative groups, including the Border Patrol agents, "The Wall Street

Journal" editorial page and Chamber of Commerce were for, but said to hold up Ukraine, which is he admitted was a national imperative because you

can't do something else, which we all should work on, was a non sequitur.


There was no logic. There's a logic to solving the border. We want to solve it. But we have to do Ukraine right now because there's an await, that can

get done quickly because that has broad bipartisan consensus. And the border takes some more work, which we'll be happy to work on to get it

done. But not hold up the Ukraine bill for it.

REPORTER: Senator Schumer --

HAKEEM JEFFRIES, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Let me first just thank President Biden for convening us for this very important discussion to

address the important challenges that are confronting the American people. It was an intense meeting. It was an honest meeting. And ultimately, it was

a productive meeting.

We discussed three issues. First, the need to avoid a government shutdown and to fund the government so that we can address the needs of the American

people in terms of their health, their safety and their economic well- being.

We are making real progress on the appropriations bills that are scheduled to lapse on March 1st. And I'm cautiously optimistic that we can do what is

necessary within the next day or so to close down these bills and avoid a government shutdown.

At the same time, it may be important to come to an agreement that's bipartisan and anchored in common sense to extend the pending expiration of

the eight additional bills that are scheduled to lapse on March 8th so that good faith, tough negotiations can continue in the absence of a government


Second, we discussed the urgent national security priorities of the American people as captured in the bipartisan, comprehensive Senate passed

legislation. This is an existential moment for the free world as it relates to being there for our democratic allies in Ukraine, in Israel and in the


And also at the same period of time making sure that we provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians who are in harm's way in

Gaza or in other theaters of war through no fault of their own.

Third, as Leader Schumer indicated, we had an open and honest and a candid, firm discussion about the border. We all agree that we have a broken

immigration system and there is a need to address the challenges at the border in a thoughtful, bipartisan way.

As Democrats, we support a safe, a strong, a secure and a humane border. We just need our House Republican colleagues not to play politics and engage

in political stunts relative to the border but to sit down as was done in the Senate and enter into good faith discussions about fixing our broken

immigration system. As Democrats, we stand ready to do just that.

REPORTER: Senator Schumer, what made this meeting one of the most intense you've ever had?

SCHUMER: The urgency of supporting Ukraine and the consequences to the people of America, to America's strength if we don't do anything and don't

do anything soon. I was so, so shaken by what I saw at the border.

I was strengthened by the strength of Zelensky and the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian soldiers. But shaken that here they are fighting without arms

against a brutal dictator who will just do anything to kill them.

And the intensity in that room was surprising to me. But because of the passion of the President, the Vice President, Leader Jeffries, Leader

McConnell and myself, it was. And, you know, Johnson tried to answer and he made it clear he wants to do something on the border. But we made it clear

to him we can't tarry or the war could be lost.

And second, we had to, we wanted to do border and have a tough, secure border plan as we showed, we Democrats showed in the Senate. But he can't

say it won't do Ukraine until we get border. He's tried to do border for six months and couldn't come up with a single Democratic vote.

UNKNOWN: That's enough. That's one. Yes. Yes.


GOLODRYGA: All right, we've been listening to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries talk about their meeting,

giving an update with the President and their Republican counterparts.


They seem optimistic about avoiding a government shutdown later this week, but talk about a very intense meeting in terms of supporting Ukraine,

passing that $95 billion supplemental that would provide some $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. We will continue this coverage with Amanpour starting

right now.