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Biden Vows To Respond To Deadly Drone Attack In Jordan; Iran Calls Accusations Against It "Baseless"; Pentagon: Iran Has Its "Fingerprints" On Drone Attack; More Than 40 Injured In Attack On US Forces In Jordan; Egg Prices Skyrocket In Russia, Weighing On Consumers; French Farmers Block Highways Around Paris; Mass Demonstrations Sweep Across Germany. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 29, 2024 - 15:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Good evening, everyone tonight. We are learning new details about a deadly attack on US troops in Jordan. Three

American soldiers were killed and dozens injured after a drone strike on a military outpost on Sunday.

US officials are now telling CNN that the enemy drone approached at the same time as a US drone was incoming, leading to confusion. Washington says

the attackers are run back militants, and it is vowing to respond. Have a listen to this.


JOHN KIRBY, COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, US NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: We don't want to see these attacks continue. And we want to make

it clear that they're unacceptable. We also want to make it clear that we'll do what we have to do to protect our troops, our facilities, our

national security interests in the region. Those are the options that the president is weighing right now. We're going to take this very, very



SOARES: Meantime, Iran says, quote, resistance groups operate independently. And that accusation, it was involved are baseless. Let's get

more on all of this. Go straight to Jim Sciutto.

And, Jim, in the last, what, 20 minutes or so we heard from the Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary who said, very clearly, I'm sure you heard him, we

know Iran is behind it. They say that they're armed, they're equipped, and fund these groups. And they're going to -- she went on to say, we will not

tolerate attacks on US forces. So talk us through what the response here could be from President Biden.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF US SECURITY ANALYST: Well, first on Iran piece there, because you did say Iran as behind it, and then qualified it

somewhat to say what she means by that is that Iran has long-funded and supported these groups. She was not saying specifically while they await

further intelligence assessments that Iran ordered this specific deadly attack.

That said, she did say quite clearly that the US holds Iran responsible as it does, frankly, for the activities and attacks of many of these Iran-

backed militias in the region. And that extends from Jordan. This attack here of Syria, Iraq, of course, the Houthis firing on shipping in the Red

Sea and, to a large degree, Hezbollah firing on northern Israel. And Hamas continue to be at war with Israel in Gaza.

In terms of the options, she did, as you noted, at least to say that the US is going to respond. They're currently assessing their options right now.

They'll do so at a time and place of their choosing.

We know that the range of potential responses the president can choose from range from attacking directly Iranian forces, even the possibility inside

Iranian territory, that said, that is considered at one end of the spectrum, right? And there are many options short of that, including

attacking Iranian forces outside of Iran because often with these backed group -- these Iran-backed militias, you do have Iranian forces/militants

co-stationed with them.

So in other words, an attack on one of these bases in Syria and Iraq could also be targeting not just the groups backed by Iran, but Iranian

personnel, particularly from the IRGC, for instance. So each of those would represent an escalation as well in terms of US retaliatory strikes in

response to the many attacks we've seen so far on US forces in the region.

SOARES: And what we also heard, Jim, there from the Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary, was we don't want to see the winding of a regional war. This is

obviously very clear the US and one to try to avoid. But here we have President Biden having to wrestle with domestic pressures as well in

election year with some Republican voices calling for direct strikes on Iran.


I'm thinking here of Lindsey Graham saying hit Iran now, hit them hard. How does he thread that needle of not escalating to the point of a regional

war, but they need to look firm and robust here, Jim, in its response.

SCIUTTO: Well, listen, it is sport in Washington right now to hector the city administration from another other side of the aisle to say you're not

acting tough enough, right? The fact is if you look back to the Trump administration, while it did carry out an attack, which killed Soleimani,

the head of -- very senior Iranian militant leader at the time the president had options as well, President Trump, to attack inside Iranian

territory and did not.

So that has often been a step too far given the lack of a desire for an open conflict between in the US and Iran. That said, there were options

short of that, which would still be considered, right, direct attacks either on Iranian leadership, Iranian forces. The threading, the needle is

difficult because you heard Sabrina Singh say there, no, they don't want war with Iran. And she said it's the US assessment that Iran does not want

direct conflict with US.

But the fact is -- and she was pressed on this -- there is an expanding indirect conflict between US and Iranian forces in the region. There have

been many dozens, more than 100 attacks on US servicemembers in the region by Iranian-backed forces. There been many attacks by Iran-backed Houthi

fighters on US shipping, US flag shipping, and other ships in the Red Sea, as well as attacks across the border into Israel by Hezbollah, again, of

course, not on US, but on Israel, which is US ally.

So you have a simmering regional conflict here, which has already expanded on so many fronts, not to open war between the US-Iran, but a quite serious

conflict with a lot of potential fronts for further escalation. And it's in that very already hot environment that the US president now has to make a


He's decided he's going to respond. He said that exactly how the US respond. It's a difficult one.

SOARES: Indeed. Jim Sciutto, thanks for breaking it all down for us there.

SCIUTTO: Thank you.

SOARES: Great to see you. Thanks, Jim.

Well, at least half of unrest top government donors are suspending support for the main UN agency in Gaza. Israel claims some of the agencies' workers

were involved in the October 7th attacks.

The US, UK, and Germany are among those who've either called for an investigation or reviewing the claim. You can see their map there showing

the countries in red. Those are suspending the funding and the ones in greens, the ones that are continuing to fund UNWRA.

NGOs warn the funding cuts could worsen the suffering in Gaza. In the last hour, I spoke to the head the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, says,

UNRWA is vital to the Palestinian people. Have a listen.


JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: The donors are doing everything wrong now because they are discontinuing, A, through UNWRA, to

the million people who are now homeless and sheltering under an intense bombardment in the 154 schools -- another collective centers that UNWRA is

running. So UNWRA is the lifeline.


SOARES: Jan Egeland is speaking to me earlier. Let's get more on all this.

Nic Robertson is in Tel Aviv with the very latest. And, Nic, you and I were talking the last hour about this dossier that CNN has been able some of the

CNN journalists have been able to go through that shows it's intelligence compiled by Israel on the alleged links between these UNWRA staff and

Hamas. Just break it down for us. What does it reveal?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of the details in there and, of course, these are details that we don't have a direct

response on the precise nature of the allegations that have put forth. We don't have that reproof response yet from UNWRA.

And the evidence that we've been shown is the dossier itself rather than the evidence that was used to create it. So there isn't a supporting

material. But, you know, one of the things that Israel is saying, those 13 people that it alleged worked for UNWRA and partook in the attack, 10 were

from Hamas, two from Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and one unaffiliated.

And the detail goes on. It says six of those who took part in that October 7 -- that brutal attack actually went into Israel. And for them, it says

we're involved in bringing back Israeli's captives, hostages back into Gaza.

Three of them, it says received a text message saying, meet at a certain time the night before the attack. You'll be supplied with weapons or bring

weapons -- words to that effect. Now, it's not clear what those three did if they actually took part in the attack. But this is some of the

specificity that's being provided.


You know, having read through the document, you can see that underlying allegations that Israel has been making for some time, that Hamas either

pressurizes and influences UNRWA or UNWRA is forced to or does give access to fuel, give access to food, commodities, and essentially has some

direction of what UNWRA does more broadly.

And that's why we've heard from Israeli politicians inside the government today, essentially calling for the end of UNWRA altogether. We heard from

the (inaudible) [00:00:43] today who said that the head of UNWRA, Philippe Lazzarini, should be terminated. He's called for a complete investigation,

but there's no doubt there's a deeper text here within some political quarters in Israel that really wants to see UNWRA out of the equation. They

see them as part of the problem.

And Jan Egeland, I spoke to him like you did earlier on today, and is absolutely passionate about this. He said, look, there is just isn't

another organization there that can replace the UN -- that can replace UNWRA on what it does.

SOARES: Yes, he said to he -- we agreed with what we heard from Norway because Norway is not suspending a funding saying that was collective

punishment, saying you also said that one room does is the lifeline for Gaza.

Nic Robertson there for us with the very latest. Thanks very much, Nic.

Let's get more on all these trends of the stories. CNN Global Affairs Analyst is with me. Kim, great to see you. Let's start off with what we've

been hearing in the last, what, 45 minutes or so on the US and that deadly attack on US troops in Jordan. It seems that this is escalating rather

quickly. And what follows here could potentially be very dangerous. How does President Biden respond? I mean, is there any good option in your


KIM DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the tension is definitely escalating. The US had been fighting back against these types of attacks

and had been able to offset them with technology. CNN has reporting as do other outlet's that would happen this time is a US drone was returning to

base, and that got confused with the enemy drone, which is why it was able to penetrate US defenses.

But you have to look at this more like the US will have to take some sort of action that degrades the enemy's ability to continue striking, knowing

full well that that's not going to stop these attacks.


DOZIER: Iran is going to be funding these various proxy groups, and these various proxy groups are being left to their own devices, according to

Tehran to react whenever they want to however they can. So I know that we've heard Republicans and even some Democrats saying we've got a strike

Tehran. They want to see some sort of big, massive strike that makes them feel like they really hit back. But that is not necessarily the way to stop

this ongoing violence. So that's the tough decision that Biden faces.

SOARES: Yes, tough decision. That is a very fine line, Kim, isn't it, yes, because President Biden, like you said, has to respond and respond in a

robust way to make sure that it's clear that US also can't be doing this more of the same. What we have seen is the US striking the Houthis that

clearly (inaudible) deterrence hasn't worked, and those has only led to a tit for tat in escalation.

DOZIER: Well, you know, if you take hit after hit after hit, eventually one of them is going to land, and that's what various US forces and troops and

interests have been facing.

I think you will see Biden do something like what they're doing with the Houthi military. They warned us when they briefed us in D.C. in reporters'

briefings when they announced this action. It said, we're probably going to have to keep hitting the Houthis to try to discourage them from continuing

to attack.

I think what you might see in the menu of options at the Pentagon and the National Security Community to prevent President Biden that he chooses one

that say is hitting a number of different sites related to Qatar Hezbollah, one of the groups that the White House has already identified and links to

this attack. So maybe a spectacular series of strikes. But inside Syria, I don't think you're going to see them escalate to hitting inside Iran

because that would just be a gift to the Iranian regime.


Look, the great state is striking us. Stop concentrating on our government from it and your economic woes. Look to the outside there. They're the


SOARES: And what we have heard from Iran, Kim, is that, you know, clearly, distancing themselves from this attack, calling the US accusation baseless.

We've also heard in the last 45 minutes from the United States from Pentagon saying we know Iran is behind it. Obviously, they're still looking

at the intelligence assessments and have the evidence, but they know -- they were her words. We know they arm, they quip, and fund these groups. We

will continue to hold them responsible. And I think that's a key differentiator here.

DOZIER: I still think that that means they're going to hit the actors .


DOZIER: . but not those that they believe or commanding it or at least enabling it.

You might see or hear about covert action against Iran several months down the line, but, you know, Biden has to have something that he goes and

briefs the senior leadership on Capitol Hill -- the Republicans and the Democrats to say -- here's what we're doing to stymie their capability

inside Iran. But, you know, doing some sort of big public strike, they haven't done military action inside Iran that's been openly acknowledged

since trying to rescue the hostages back in the 70s.

I really think instead, you're going to see something covert, like maybe a cyberattack combined with a more overt attack against the actors on the

ground in Syria and maybe even Iraq.

SOARES: And as it calibrates than its response, one of the concerns -- and this is something that I found very interesting today looking at the

military presence, the sprawling, I should say, military presence -- US military presence across the Middle East, that is something, of course,

that will take into considerations. What conversations do you think, Kim, would President Biden be having with its allies about this response?

DOZIER: Well, the US intelligence community is very concerned about attacks being inspired, not just this year, but in the years to come by the US

support of Israel's crackdown inside in Gaza. They are worried that a whole generation of Arabs and Muslims are watching the destruction in Gaza and

learning to hate the US and western interests all over again as they did after the invasion of Afghanistan, after the attacks of 911.

So there's a real awareness that every single us base throughout the region presents a potential target that's why they want to respond fiercely enough

to dissuade further attack, knowing that there will likely be further attack.

SOARES: Yes, very good context there and analysis from Kim Dozier. Kim, great to see you. Thanks very much.

We are waiting, as I told you, that in the last 17 minutes or so for a presser from US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and NATO Chief Jens

Stoltenberg to get started. You can see the podium there. This, as US, of course, as Kim and I have discussed and vowing to respond after drone

attack kills the three US servicemen in Jordan. We've also heard in the last few minutes that more than 40 us soldiers have been injured, and that

number we've heard is they expect will continue to fluctuate. As soon as that gets underway, we'll, of course, bring that to you.

We're going to take a short break, with that on the other side.



SOARES: Well, any moment, now, as you can see there, we are expecting to hear from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General

Jens Stoltenberg. Podiums already set to hit from both to them. Of course, when that press conference gets underway, we will bring them back to you.

You can see that many of the journalists already seen that out. Any seconds, I can see some of their heads. But, of course, when stuff gets

underway, we will bring that to you in full.

In the meantime, Chinese property developer, Evergrande, has been ordered to liquidate by a court in Hong Kong. The real estate giant had been

trying, if you remember, for 19 months, to restructure it's debt. Its default in 2021 triggered the crisis in China's real estate sector. First

Move anchor Julia Chatterley is in New York.

Julia, great to see you. This is -- I mean, this is a stunning blow, right, to the world's most indebted property developer. Explain why it's been

ordered to liquidate now?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It could be a stunning blow. I think what we saw in Hong Kong and, certainly, the judge there effectively

said enough is enough, what you've got is a company -- a big property developer in China that's got $330 billion worth of debt. International

investors are around $25 billion of that. And ever since Evergrande started defaulting on its debt a couple of years ago, actually back in 2021 -- I

lose track of time -- those investors, the international investors have been saying, look, this is a company with lots of assets and we want some

of our money back.

What the judge in Hong Kong said today is, look, actually enough of the fighting, enough of the offers of restructuring that nobody truly believes.

What we want to see is liquidators taking control of this company and somehow selling off the assets. And eventually, then you'll see people get

their money back. At least that's the hope.

The problem is this is a Hong Kong court ruling and 90% of the assets of Evergrande belong in mainland China. So you've got an order from a Hong

Kong court that will rely on Chinese courts following through on the liquidation order and the big question is, will they, Isa?

SOARES: Yes, that was going to be my question. How exactly, Julia, will they collect these assets? I mean, because the concern I would guess -- and

you could tell me if I'm wrong, the fear of kind of state interference by China here, how real of a concern is that?

CHATTERLEY: Wow, this is the critical question. So the liquidators that have been appointed could seize the assets in Hong Kong, then it comes the

gray area of what they can and can't do in China. Now, there wasn't arrangement meet back in 2021 that would recognize liquidation proceedings

in Hong Kong in China in three cities, including Shanghai and Shenzhen.

However, the Mainland Chinese courts reserve the right to refuse a request from Hong Kong if it would quote, offend public order or good morals. What

it comes down to, Isa, is the question is Evergrande too big to fail? Do the Chinese regulators say, okay, we'll allow the liquidation proceedings.

That could have knock-on effects for other property developers. There's plenty of them waiting in line here. And does it mean homeowners in China

that perhaps have paid for property, but haven't yet got it, lose out.

Think of public order in that case, that's the problem. On the other hand, if you don't follow through on this, what's the message that you sent to

international investors?


CHATTERLEY: Rule of laws perhaps won't be followed. It's a different legal system. Good luck investing in China. There's no easy solutions here.


CHATTERLEY: I think this is murky as ever, even with this ruling.

SOARES: Yes, and what it means critically as well for China's recovery, right, as they try to kind of reboot it's economy.

Look, it's clear as you've laid out there, Julia, that the Evergrande saga continues. I know you'll stay profit.


SOARES: Thanks very much, Julia Chatterley. And, by the way, good best of luck with your launched today.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, "First Move" everyone.

SOARES: . with Chatterley is relaunching in just a few hours from now. We've all missed are on our air 6:00 PM in New York. That's 11:00 PM here

in London and 7 AM if you are watching in Shanghai.



SOARES: Now, hopefully they will indeed. Now, Vladimir Putin is now formally registered as a candidate for Russia's presidential election in

March. He says Russia's economy is thriving. He says, despite having sanctioned food and energy prices are skyrocketing, even the price of eggs

has become something of a punchline as our Clare Sebastian now reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): There are higher (inaudible).

SOARES (voice over): When your husband spoils you with expensive presence reads the caption, the Russian social media brimming with egg means making

light of a new feature of Russia's upside-down war economy sudden and unexpected price rises.

SOARES (on camera): Drive an hour outside Moscow though and it's no laughing matter for these pensioners. Yes, it did -- of course, we notice

it. The pension is 13,000 rubles says (inaudible). That's less $150 per month.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Egg prices rose 18% in December alone. Russian official data shows more than 60% over the year, far outstripping

overall inflation at 7.4%.

SOARES (on camera): As images spread of lines forming outside supermarkets, this purportedly from Belgorod in December, Russia's president forced into

damage control mode.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (on camera): I am sorry about this and want to apologize for this problem. This is a setback in the government's

ork. Although they say this is not the case, I still think it is. The problem is related to a failure to increase imports enough.

SOARES (on camera): The government took the not-so-subtle hint. Eggs were exempted from import duties for six months and shipment started arriving

from Turkey Azerbaijan, and staunch ally, Belarus also ramping up supplies. It's president unable to resist, a rare dig.

ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO, BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Our own production covers our needs in terms of grain pork, chicken, milk,

vegetable oils, and chicken eggs.

PUTIN (through translator): Send some to us. Don't be greedy.


egg crisis reveals the biggest problem is not decline, but overheating. Putin says this is about higher demand because of slightly higher wages.

Partly true economists say, but what Putin doesn't say is why wages are up. This labor shortage is a huge issue, right? Where does that come from?


I think, to me, the key issue here is the fact that there are a lot of deaths at war, and then they have to be replaced. This people have to be

replaced. You know, the Russian officials trying to keep it very quiet the numbers of how many people have died.

SOARES (on camera): A weaker ruble, a direct result of sanctions has also pushed up input costs for poultry producers. And then there's the war time


RICHARD CONNOLLY, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, RUSSIA: The budget for 2024 envisages even adjusted for inflation record levels of federal government

expenditure. So when you put that, you know, of a supply-side tightness with a massive increase in demand, driven by the state, you've got a recipe

for inflation.

SOARES (on camera): President Putin now poised for the next price spike, a threat does image of stability ahead of March elections. They're likely

not, his presidential shelf life. Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


SOARES: Now, E. Jean Carroll is speaking about her court battle against former US President Donald Trump, the advice columnist sounding

incredulous, accused Trump of using his recent, recent court appearances as a campaign stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: [00:04:19] since (inaudible) in the dressing room and preparing to see him was terrified. And then when we were in the courtroom

and Robbie went to the elector room, she said good morning, E. Jean. Please state your name and spell for the jury for the court.


E. JEAN CARROLL, FORMER MAGAZINE COLUMNIST: And there he was, and was nothing. Just no power. He had -- he was zero. That was -- I was




SOARES: Carroll says the damages she was awarded will go to good use. She's pledging to use the money for women's rights causes.

While the Super Bowl is set for this year fans will see the Chiefs take on the 49ers and probably a lot of that.

And Taylor Swift will have much more on that after this.


SOARES: Well, French farmers blocked main highways around Paris as they begin their so-called siege of the Capitol. It is an escalation of more

than a week of protests of a rising costs, red tape as well as cheap imports. The French government is expected to announce a series of new

measures for farmers on Tuesday.

Mass protests are also roiling large parts of Germany, except here they are being held for more than one reason. There's ongoing action by farmers as

in France. Train drivers have been on strike and angst over a resurgent far right has also spilled onto the streets as Sebastian Shukla now reports.


SEBASTIAN SHUKLA, CNN FIELD PRODUCER (voiceover): Let action speak. I don't know where to start but let's meet on the street this rapper rhymes.

Weekends in Berlin and across Germany are quickly becoming days of demonstration. These anti far-right protesters have a message of light for

Germans. Never again me now as they fear the rise of the far right.


LOUIS MOTAAL, MEMBER, FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE: Never again is now and we have to protect our democracy as society here together in Germany because it's

under threat.

SHUKLA (voiceover): That stems from a reported secret meeting of right-wing extremists at this hotel outside Berlin. Allegedly members of Germany's

far-right party the AFD attended discussing the mass deportation of immigrants and German citizens of foreign descent. Countryside and capital

city also collided for the third straight week, with farmers furious at fuel subsidy cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They make regulations that harm every one of us. Not only the farmers, but everyone in this country and -- yes, we think enough

is enough.

SHUKLA (voiceover): Train drivers have just paused a nationwide strike so they can go back to the bargaining table demanding higher wages.

SHUKLA (on camera): The fundamental cause for the protests are economic headwinds, but also the government of Olaf Schulz and his coalition is

deeply unpopular, and that is starting to create a split in German society.

SHUKLA (voiceover): Marcel Fratzscher is the president of the German Institute for Economic Research.

MARCEL FRATZSCHER, PRESIDENT, GERMAN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH: And Germany is currently in a state of mental depression where people have the

impression, politicians are not acting. They're only fighting, they're not offering solutions.

SHUKLA (voiceover): That is benefiting the AFD surging particularly in rural areas. And that support is shunting Germany to the right.

FRATZSCHER: Germany -- the German government is becoming more skeptical towards engaging with Europe. It is changing its economic policy, its tax

policy. It's cutting social benefits for people with low income. So indirectly, the AFD is setting the policy.

SHUKLA (voiceover): That prospect of success policy wavering and economic fears is one of the root causes for consecutive weekends of protests from

liberal-minded Germans. Their aim they say, to ensure history does not repeat itself. Sebastian Shukla, CNN Berlin.


SOARES: Well, the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers for this year's Super Bowl. A whirlwind romance between Travis Kelce as you

can see there and Taylor Swift gave NFL ratings a boost this year. And businesses want in on the hype. Of course, they do. American Airlines

announced new offerings as you can see there to Las Vegas for the February 11th game just few days away from Valentine's Day.

The flights are numbered 1989. Of course, after Swift's album with the same name and 87, Travis Kelce's jersey number. Flutter, the parent company of

the sports betting site FanDuel also making big moves ahead of the game. It started trading on the New York Stock Exchange today. Good timing indeed.

Clare Duffy is keeping an eye on all of this for us. So Clare, just break it down for us. How are businesses across the board capitalizing not just

on Taylor Swift and her romance there with Travis Kelce but also on the next games and what may come?

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Right. So, Isa, I mean, the Superbowl is always such a huge moneymaker. But the hype is bigger than ever this year.

Thanks to this romance between Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, I just love them. You have even the airlines, as you said, looking to cash in on this

hype. They're creating these special flight routes, which is normal for the Super Bowl creating routes from the cities that are going to be competing

to the host city.

But this year, they've named them in honor of Swift, of Kelsey of the Kansas City Chiefs as well as the San Francisco 49ers. And look, there may

be good reason why the airlines are going to want to give people an added reason to shell out for flights to this year's games. Tickets to the Super

Bowl this year are more expensive than ever. You have tickets going for on average just under $10,000 which is 70 percent more expensive than last


So, fans certainly should hope they have a fun flight to get on. If they're paying that money, add that much money for the game, Isa.

SOARES: Yes. I wonder how many of them are actually, you know, Swifties getting those tickets or getting on board. I'm with you. I'm with you,

Clare. I'm a big fan of both of them and their romance not -- I don't know much about NFL. I'm not going to lie to you about that. But look, let's

talk about sports betting markets because for us here in the U.K., it's still a big deal. Right? I'm just going to interrupt because the Secretary

of State Antony Blinken is about to speak. Let's listen.

ANTONY BLINKEN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: -- the State Department. Let me first note the drone attack yesterday by Iranian-backed militia on

U.S. forces in Jordan that killed three of our soldiers, wounded many others. First and foremost, I'm thinking of those who lost their lives,

those who were wounded, their family members and their friends.


Every day, we have our men and women in uniform around the world who are putting their lives on the line for our security, for our freedom. I am as

always humbled by their courage and their sacrifice. From the outset, we've been very clear in warning that anyone looking to take advantage of

conflict in the Middle East, and try to expand it, don't do it. We've taken steps to defend ourselves, and to defend our partners, as well as to

prevent escalation.

And the President's been crystal clear, we will respond decisively to any aggression. And we will hold responsible the people who attacked our troops

will do so at a time and a place of our choosing. At the same time, we remain focused on our core objectives in the region, both in terms of the

conflict in Gaza, and broader efforts to build truly durable peace and security. To that end, I had an opportunity to meet today with the Prime

Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar on the ongoing effort to get hostages out and to create an extended pause.

This is critical to then being able to get to the formula that we've been talking about for putting a durable end to the cycle of violence that we've

seen in the region for generation after generation. And the opportunity that exists to actually achieve it. An integrated Israel, with relations

with all of its neighbors, security commitments, assurances that it needs to make sure that it can move forward in peace and security.

Palestinian authority, that's reformed and a clear pathway to a Palestinian state. That vision and its realization can dramatically change the security

circumstance for Israel, for the Palestinians, for all of our partners in the region, and at the same time, isolate the small number of actors who

don't want to get there, who have a very different vision for what the future is, notably Iran, a different vision that we see playing out every

single day.

Either directly by Iran or by its proxies. But the way to durable security is through a region that's more integrated, where the relations among its

countries are normalized. And where the question of the rights of Palestinians is finally answered. Jens and I had an opportunity today, of

course, to talk about the NATO Summit, and to talk about other matters relating to our alliances.

And I have to say that once again, we see that NATO is advancing with a sense of urgency and a strong sense not only of unity of purpose but unity

of action. Just at the very end of last week, Turkey approved Sweden's accession to NATO. Sweden brings tremendous capabilities to the alliance

and every domain. Hungary now will have to act in order to complete the process of Sweden's accession. But I fully anticipate that that will happen

in the weeks ahead when Hungary's Parliament returns.

Now, the session of both Finland and Sweden was far from inevitable. In fact, if you go back a little over two years, no one was talking about it.

But in the wake of Moscow's renewed aggression against Ukraine, both countries felt that it was clearly in their interest to defend their people

and defend their sovereignty by joining the Alliance. I think the process that we've seen in actually record time, first with Finland and now with

Sweden demonstrates that NATO's door is open, remains open, including to Ukraine which will become a member of NATO.

This also underscores one of the many ways in which Putin's aggression against Ukraine has been an abject strategic failure for Russia. How it is,

in fact, precipitated the very things that Putin sought to prevent. He wanted to shrink NATO. It is now larger and getting larger still. He wanted

to weaken NATO. It is stronger than it's ever been. All of this will I think, come to an important inflection point when we get to the NATO



That historic NATO Summit that we are very honored to host in Washington in July. This is going to be I think the most ambitious summit since the end

of the Cold War. Showing NATO's adaptation to new challenges and new threats, whether it's Russia, whether it's very different ways, PRC, in the

cyber domain, terrorism. And what you're seeing is an alliance that, as I said, is coming together in new ways and in stronger ways to make sure that

it can deal effectively with those challenges.

And even as we're celebrating when we get to the NATO Summit, 75 years of its history, the real focus of the summit is going to be on the next 75

years, and everything NATO has done to adapt and make itself as it has been indispensable to the defense and security of its members. Some of those

capabilities, and some of that strength was on display. As we kicked off the largest NATO military exercises since the end of the Cold War.

Steadfast defender, 90,000 personnel who are sending a very clear message. This alliance is ready. And it is able to defend every square inch of NATO

territory. We discussed with the Secretary General, NATO's unwavering support for Ukraine. Last week, NATO signed a $1.2 billion contract to

produce 220,000 artillery shells. That's going to help allies restock their own arsenals and it complements efforts by the United States by the

European Union, by Ukraine to ramp up defense production.

This will make NATO itself and all allies much more resilient for future threats as we move forward. As all of us take on these challenges and I

want to emphasize in the case of Ukraine, we've seen this very, very clearly, there's probably never been a better example of burden sharing in

the -- in the history of the alliance and the partnerships that we have with different countries that we see when it -- when it comes to Ukraine.

So, I've mentioned before, the support that the United States has provided Ukraine has been exceptional about $75 billion over the last couple of

years. But our partners and allies, notably our core NATO allies have provided more than $110 billion over that same period of time. And whether

it's military support, whether it's economic support, whether it's humanitarian support, the burden sharing that we've seen in the case of

Ukraine has been more than exemplary.

But in order to make sure that that continues, that all of us step up and do what's necessary to continue to ensure that Ukraine no success, in

Russia, no strategic failure, it is vital that Congress pass the supplemental budget request presents but before. Without it, it simply put,

everything that Ukrainians achieved, and that we've helped them achieve will be in jeopardy. And absent that supplemental, we're going to be

sending a strong and wrong message to all of our adversaries that we are not serious about the defensive freedom, the defensive democracy.

And it will simply reinforce for Vladimir Putin, that he can somehow outlast Ukraine and outlast us. Well, that's not going to be the case. We

have to make sure that it's not the case. Finally, let me just say that we have a lot of work to do over the next few months to prepare for the

summit. I think we had today very good sessions with the Secretary General and we'll be meeting shortly with the National Security Adviser the

secretary defense over the Pentagon to continue that work.

I look forward to that and look forward to the weeks and months ahead as we prepare for NATO Summit. Jens, it's all to you.

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Thanks so much, Secretary Blinken, dear Tony, thank you for hosting me here in Washington. It is

always good to meet with you. And even more important given the dangers we face. So let me begin by offering my deepest condolences for the U.S. troops killed and wounded in

yesterday's drone attack in Jordan. We see Iran continue to destabilize the region.

Iran also bears responsibility for backing terrorists who attack our ships in the Red Sea. Tehran's behaviur reminds us of what a world without rules

looks like. Unpredictable and dangerous. A world where our security becomes more expensive. I welcome your tireless diplomacy, Secretary Blinken, to prevent further escalation of the war in

Gaza. Your efforts to alleviate human suffering and your hard work toward a peaceful resolution. Russia's brutal war against Ukraine is nearing the

two-year mark.


And a Russian victory would embolden Iran, North Korea and China. That matters for Europe's security. Ad it matters for America's security. So

supporting Ukraine serves U.S. interests. For a tiny fraction of annual defense spending, the United States has helped Ukraine destroy a major part

of Russia's combat capacity. Without placing a single American soldier in harm's way. I welcome the clear commitment from President Biden and you to

sustain U.S. support to Ukraine and to work with Congress to achieve that.

As you said, other allies are also stepping up. In fact, what European NATO Allies and Canada provide in terms of military, financial, and humanitarian

aid actually exceeds what the U.S. is providing. So, this is truly joint effort by all NATO allies from both sides of the Atlantic. And I am

confident that all NATO Allies will continue to deliver. Because supporting Ukraine is not charity. It is an investment in our own security.

President Putin started this war, and he could end it today if he stopped attacking a neighbor.

The war could also end if Ukraine stopped defending itself. But that would not mean peace.

It would mean Russian occupation. And occupation is not peace. A just peace will require President Putin to realize that he will not get what he wants

on the battlefield. Moscow must accept a negotiated solution where Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent nation.

What happens around the negotiating table is inextricably linked to the situation on the battlefield. So, if we want a lasting, just peace, we must

provide Ukraine with more weapons and ammunition. Weapons to Ukraine is the path to peace. Finally, we also discussed adapting our Alliance for the

future. In July, we will mark NATO's 75th anniversary with a Summit here in Washington. And as you said, NATO is getting stronger and bigger.

Finland is already a member, Sweden will become a member soon. And this demonstrates that Putin is getting exactly the opposite of what he wanted.

He wanted less NATO, a weaker NATO. He's getting a stronger NATO and a more united NATO and a NATO with more members. At the Summit, we will take further steps to bolster NATO's

strength. Invest more in our defense. And work with partners around the world.

Through NATO, the U.S. has more friends and allies than any other power. Together, we make up 50 percent of the world's economic and military might.

China and Russia have nothing like NATO. It is why they always try to undermine our unity. In times of growing competition and rivalry NATO makes

the U.S. stronger and safer. And all of us more secure.

Secretary Blinken, dear Tony, thank you again for your personal commitment to our transatlantic bond and to our shared security. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first -- for the first question, Olivia Gazis with CBS.

OLIVIA GAZIS, CBS NEWS INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Thank you, Matt. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Today, the United States has not

publicly accused Iran of being directly involved in any attacks on U.S. forces, while noting the regime in Tehran supports and does not discourage

its proxies from conducting these attacks. This weekend's lethal strike Mr. Secretary was one of at least 160 attacks on U.S. forces in the region by

Iranian proxies since October, could earlier stronger action by the United States against Iran and not just its militias have spared American lives.

And secondly, if I may, Mr. Secretary, the U.N. Secretary General has appealed to the U.S. and 10 other countries who have suspended funding to

UNRWA, following revelations regarding allegations that at least a dozen of its 13,000 employees may have had involvement in the October 7th attacks,

and more than 100 more may have links to militant groups. Under what circumstances and how soon could the U.S. consider resuming its support

considering this decision comes as Gaza is tipping into famine and given your own personal and persistent appeals that humanitarian aid to Gaza and

civilians increase and not decrease?


Mr. Secretary General, welcome to Washington, welcome back. The United States Congress as you will know remains at a political impasse regarding

continued aid to Ukraine and the European Union is likewise struggling politically to restart the flow of resources into Keith. You yourself have

said that Ukraine Spring Offensive didn't lead to the results that many had hoped for. So how long does Ukraine's military have before the marginal

success is that it did notch when it enjoyed steadier resources from the west risk being reversed by Russia, which seems to be enjoying growing

support from the likes of North Korea and Iran?

And briefly, Mr. Secretary General, understand you'll be meeting with American lawmakers during this trip to Washington much as President

Zelenskyy did when he was here late last year, is there a message you believe you can deliver to those lawmakers to make a timely difference in

their decision making? Thank you.

BLINKEN: Olivia, thank you very much. And thank you for also representing all your colleagues and making sure that you ask all their questions as

well. Appreciate it. Look first, I think it's very important to note that this is an incredibly volatile time in the Middle East. I would argue that

we have not seen a situation as dangerous as the one we're facing now across the region since at least 1973 and arguably, even before that.

And that is the environment in which we're operating. And of course, that was triggered by the horrific attacks of October 7th by Hamas against

innocent men, women and children. We've made very, very clear from day one, that we're going to defend our people. We're going to defend our personnel.

We're going to defend our interests and that's exactly what we've done. We've taken action and significant action to deter groups to degrade their

capabilities in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen.

At the same time, the President's been very clear that we want to prevent broader escalation. We want to prevent this conflict from spreading. So, we

are intent on doing both. That is standing up for our people when they're attacked, while at the same time working every single day to prevent the

conflict from growing and spreading. And that's exactly what we'll continue to do. It's fundamentally what's in the interest of the United States.

What's in the interests of the region, and I think what's in the interests of the world. But the President said this, I think virtually from day one,

to anyone who would try to use the crisis in the Middle East the conflict in the Middle East to sow further instability and to use it as an excuse to

attack our personnel. We will respond, we will respond strongly. We will respond at a time and place of our choosing.

And obviously I'm not going to telegraph what we might do in this instance or get ahead of the President. But I can again tell you that as the

President said yesterday, we will respond and that response could be multi levelled, come in stages and be sustained over time.

With regard to UNRWA, the reports that we got last week and UNRWA brought them to us, were deeply, deeply troubling. It is imperative that UNRWA

immediately, as it said it would, investigate that it would hold people accountable as necessary and that it review its procedures. I had a very

good conversation with Secretary General the United Nations Guterres last week when we were first made aware of these allegations.

And we're going to be looking very hard at the steps that UNRWA takes, again to make sure that this is fully and thoroughly investigated, that

there's clear accountability and that is necessary, measures are put in place so that this doesn't happen again, assuming the allegations are fully

borne out. Certainly, we've not had the --

SOARES: You have been listening there to the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken alongside the NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg speaking in Washington.

We know Yens Stoltenberg is meeting with lawmakers during this visit. But it was a ride ranging -- wide ranging discussion and conversation and press

conference there on the tax with Jordan, Garza, Ukraine, Putin as well. And the support for Ukraine.

I will just say on what we've heard the attacks against those in Jordan attack -- the attack on U.S. forces that more than 40 injured.


We heard that we will respond decisively to any aggression. We will do so at a time and place of our choosing.