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Russian Carnage Exposed In Another Ukrainian Town; Zelenskyy To U.N., Act Immediately On Russia Or Dissolve Yourself; U.S. To Announce New Sanctions On Russia Tomorrow; Ivanka Trump Appears Before January 6 Committee; Tiger Woods Plans To Play Masters "As Of Right Now." Aired 6-7p ET

Aired April 05, 2022 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Tik Tok @jaketapper. If you ever missed an episode of show, you can listen to "THE LEAD" wherever you get your podcasts. I will be back tonight at 9:00 P.M. Eastern for CNN Tonight with more from Lviv and from our reporters on the frontlines of this bloody invasion.

Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. I'll see you later tonight.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news, new scenes of widespread destruction and death as Russian carnage is exposed in yet another Ukrainian town. CNN got an up-close look at the devastation in Borodianka, talking to residents about the horrors they endured before Russian troop retreated to other battle ground.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the world is just beginning to learn about the war crimes in Ukraine, detailing atrocities in hard in his speech to the United Nation Security Council. Zelenskyy scolding the U.N., demanding it act immediately against Putin's regime or dissolve itself.

CNN correspondents are standing covering hotspots in Ukraine and reaction to the war here in the U.S. and in Europe.

We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in The Situation Room.

We begin this hour with a new and truly horrifying look at Russian atrocities in Ukraine. CNN traveling to a town just north of Kyiv to see firsthand what Kremlin forces left behind. Our Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen is just back in the Ukrainian capital after making it into Borodianka. Fred, tell us what you saw there.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. I think one of the things that became clear is that there is a swath of death and destruction to the northwest of Kyiv. There were several towns and villages that we actually went through to get to Borodianka, and each in every one of that had a large scale of destruction, also not only of the residential buildings but also a lot of Russian tanks and armored vehicles destroyed there as well.

So, two things seem to be very clear, the Russians absolutely got clobbered by the Ukrainians but also a lot of civilians were killed while a lot of those places were under Russian occupation. But no place that we visited was worse than the town of Borodianka. And we do need to warn our viewers the images that you are about to see are both graphic and disturbing.


PLEITGEN (voice over): In the war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine, few places have suffered more than Borodianka, occupied by Vladimir Putin's troops since late February, recently taken back by Ukraine's army.

Borodianka was held by the Russians for a very long time. And just to give you an idea about the scale of the destruction, you have houses like these that were completely destroyed. But if we look over here, you can see that even large residential buildings have been flattened. This entire building was flattened. It was connected with this one before, but now there's absolutely nothing left of it.

And the Russians made sure to show they owned this town, painting the letter V on occupied buildings, even defacing Borodianka's city administration. V is the letter the Russians use to help identify their forces that invaded this part of Ukraine.

Oksana Kostychenko and her husband just returned here and found Russian soldiers had been staying in their house. She says they ransacked the place.

Alcohol is everywhere, she says, empty bottles in the hallway under things. They smoked a lot, put out cigarettes on the table. They also showed us the corpse of a man they found in their backyard. His hands and feet tied, severe bruises on his body, a shell casing still nearby.

Russia claims its forces don't target civilians, calling reports of atrocities fake and provocations. But these body collectors are the ones who have to remove the carnage Russia's military leaves in its wake. In a span of less than an hour, they found a person gunned down while riding a bicycle, a body burned beyond recognition and a man still stuck in his car gunned down with bullet holes in his head and chest. He was believed to be transporting medical supplies, now strewn near this road.

The most awful thing is those are not soldiers laying there, just people, innocent people, Gennadiy says. For no reason, I ask? Yes, for no reason. Killed and tortured for no reason, he says.

The road from Kyiv to Borodianka is lined with villages heavily damaged after Russia's occupation. Destroyed tanks and armored vehicles left behind but also indications of just how much firepower they unleashed on this area.

[18:05:04] The Russians say this is a special operation, not a war, and that they don't harm civilians. But look how much ammunition they left behind simply in this one single firing position here. This is ammunition for heavy weapons with devastating effects on civilian areas.

That devastation cuts through the towns and villages north of Kyiv where the number of dead continues to rise. Now that Vladimir Putin's armies have withdrawn, Ukraine's leaders still believe many more bodies could be buried beneath the rubble.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And so they believe, Wolf, that this is far from over. And one thing Ukrainian authorities say, is they say that the Russian military has showed a big lack of respect for the Ukrainian state and for Ukrainian citizens. And they do believe that this could just be the tip of the iceberg and that there could be further towns where they make further gruesome discoveries like the ones that unfortunately we've been seeing really for the past almost week as Russian forces have withdrawn from this area and one devastated town after the next can be accessed by Ukrainian forces and, of course, by us as well. Wolf?

BLITZER: It's truly horrifying what the Russians have done. Fred Pleitgen, be careful over there. We will get back to you.

Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy is sharing his own dark and desperate account of Ukraine's suffering at Russia's hands. He gave a very powerful, fiery speech to the United Nations Security Council today.

CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson was watching from his post in Brussels. Nic, tell us about the disturbing accounts that President Zelenskyy detailed in his address.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The things that he spoke about, the things that had been to Bucha to witness just the day before, the video that he showed the United Nations gathered ambassadors, just horrific.

It's hard to watch the video. I'm not sure if our audience will have been able to see all of it. Moments you have to close your eyes. It is choking. It is heartbreaking. President Zelenskyy wanted them to see this because he said that the Russians have been lying about what they have done, that those lies have been found out by the satellite images and the records that have been -- records where the bodies have been found on the ground.

But as he began to detail what he had seen and witnessed himself, the treatment of the civilians, it's hard to imagine the pain and suffering that that flows then through the families who have lost those loved ones. This is how he explained it.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road just for their pleasure. They cut off limbs, slashed their throats. Women were raped and killed in front of their children. Their tongues were pulled out only because the aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them. This is not different from other terrorists, such as ISIS. And here it is done by a member of the United Nations Security Council.


ROBERTSON: Yes, a litany of absolute horror, Wolf, and certainly it shocked many of those listening to him.

BLITZER: You know the president, President Zelenskyy, he did not hold back at all in calling out the U.N. Security Council for its inaction in Ukraine and earlier places around the world. So, what will come of this indictment of the U.N.?

ROBERTSON: Certainly, the actions of the Russian forces committing these alleged war crimes is galvanizing more international support but he wanted a reach to the U.N. We know how President Zelenskyy, when he's spoken to all the different parliaments and different international bodies, has been able to personalize the message, and the personal message, if you will, for the U.N. is, you need to reform. You need to do a better job. And he gave them a number of options about what they could do.


ZELENSKYY: You can do two things. Either removed Russia as an aggressor and a source of war so cannot block decisions about its own aggression, its own war, or the other option is please show how we can reform or change and work for peace. Or if there is no alternative and no option, then the next option would be dissolve yourself altogether.


ROBERTSON: And perhaps the strongest line, Wolf, that seemed to resonate for me was when he reminded the U.N. what's in their founding charter in the first lines of the first chapter and that is, it is an organization to secure peace. And that's what he said he wants for Ukraine, and that's what he says he wants him to help deliver. Wolf?

BLITZER: Well, certainly, the U.N. Security Council isn't going to do much, if anything, given the fact that Russia has veto power over any resolution passed that comes up before the Security Council. Nic Robertson, thank you very, very much.


Also tonight, we're getting new information about additional U.S. sanctions against Russia in response to the growing evidence of widespread atrocities in Ukraine.

Let's go to our Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins. So, what are you hearing about these new sanctions, Kaitlan?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, these will be announced tomorrow, Wolf. They are being done in coordination with G7 nations and the European Union. And according to the White House, these sanctions are going to include a ban on all new investments in Russia.

It's going to include a tightening on the sanctions already in place and a lot of those Russian financial institutions and state-run enterprises. And it's also going to include new sanctions on Russian government officials and their family members, Wolf.

Now, one big question has been whether or not that last part there includes Putin's two daughters, because the European Union has proposed sanctioning them as well and the White House has not yet said whether or not they will be included in this new package tomorrow, Wolf.

But as you're seeing these new sanctions being put in place after these horrific images that came out of Bucha and these other places that Fred was reporting on, one thing we should note is that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was on Capitol Hill today warning that despite these sanctions, despite the punishment being put in place for Putin's invasion, they think it could go on for a lot longer.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: But I do think this is a very protracted conflict. And It's I think it's at least measured in years. I don't know about decade, but at least years for sure. This is a very extended conflict that Russia has initiated and I think that NATO, the United States, Ukraine and all the allies and partners that are supporting Ukraine are going to be involved in this for quite some time.


COLLINS: So, of course, saying that it could be years. That comes after National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan yesterday said that this could go on for months in this next phase.

And one other thing, Wolf, that General Milley said today was that he didn't think there was any way actually to deter President Putin from invading Ukraine except putting U.S. forces on the ground. And he said that is something he would have advised President Biden against because he did fear that it could risk armed conflict with Russia, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes. Everybody is at least in the conversations I've had with U.S. officials, they say get ready for even worse. This thing is not going away at all. Kaitlan, thank you very much, Kaitlan Collins at the White House.

Just ahead, more breaking news on the atrocities emerging from Russia's war against Ukraine, a top adviser to President Zelenskyy is standing by live. We will discuss when we come back.

Stay with us. You're in The Situation Room. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BLITZER: The breaking news we're following, a truly scathing speech to the United Nations, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said the organization must act immediately on Russia or dissolve itself.


ZELENSKYY: The United Nations can be simply closed, ladies and gentlemen. Are you ready to close the U.N. and the time of international law is gone? If your answer is no, you need to act immediately. The U.N. Charter must be restored immediately.


BLITZER: Joining us now, a top adviser to President Zelenskyy, Ihor Zhovkva. Ihor, thank you so much for joining us. This was a brutal indictment of the U.N. and of the world leadership for that matter by President Zelenskyy today. It's Russia that's certainly committing all these atrocities, but do you also blame the west in part for failing to intervene more directly?

IHOR ZHOVKVA, DEPUTY HEAD OF THE OFFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: That's true, that's what he did and he has the right to do this among many reasons. Because before the war started, remember, my president was talking several times to many world leaders. Please, let's have something in before. Let's -- please let's have preventive sanctions against Russia in order for them not to be able to make an aggression against my country. Please let's start to provide many more weapons to Ukraine in order to be able to defend itself.

And Ukraine, as a founding nation of the United Nations, I have to remind you, and also the president of Ukraine can also have the right to make such proposals, such indictments to the U.N. What are you doing now? How many wars have you prevented? What have you done to prevent the war in Ukraine? And what are you doing now in order to make it easy (ph) for us, in order to make peace in my country?

BLITZER: Yes. I mean there's a lot going back there and his speech was extremely powerful today. The president, President Zelenskyy, also said, and you heard him, that there are many more cities, I'm quoting him now, where the world has yet to learn the full truth, many more cities in Ukraine. We're starting to see the horrible horror in Bucha and Borodianka. How many other cities have been brutalized this way, at least as far as you know, right now? And I'm sure we'll going to learn a lot more horrible details in the days to come.

ZHOVKVA: Well, Wolf, unfortunately, yes, there is a possibility, when we will be liberating some cities of Ukraine which are now temporary besieged or captured by Russian federation. We might see the same atrocities as we have witnessed it already n order in the four cities around Kyiv, around the capital. So, that is why they do not to prolong the atrocities, nor prolong these barbaric acts which Russia is doing. We need to immediately liberate them and with the help and support of the international community.

BLITZER: I wonder, Ihor, what goes through your mind when you hear the absurdity of the Russian -- official Russian response with the Kremlin calling the scenes from Bucha, for example, staged, fake. There is, of course, satellite evidence that this was the Russians. But what is your reaction when you hear the absurdity of the Russian charges?


ZHOVKVA: My reaction is they are not only barbaric, you know, in the 21st century but they are very cynical guys, you know, saying like they were scene from 2014 when invading Crimea and Donbas, that is nothing of ours. There are no Russian troops in Ukraine and then downed the MH17 airplane in July 2014, the immediate reaction which was, no, that was not us. That was Ukrainian artillery who down the plane, et cetera. So, this is the usual. You got used already to their narrative. They never, ever confirm or recognize or confess that they are doing something brutal, something evil. But now the whole world I think sees what they are doing now in Ukraine.

BLITZER: The whole world except the people in Russia apparently are not seeing it because of the Kremlin won't let them. Will Ukrainians, Ihor, be able to accept any compromise, any cease-fire deal with Russia after seeing what these Russian troops have done to all these innocent men, women and children in Ukraine?

ZHOVKVA: Yes, you are pointing a fair question. After each of these photo, picture or video, it's much more difficult for any Ukrainian official, for any human being just to simply talk to this awful barbarians, again, in the 21st century.

But you heard my president probably when he was asked about this and he told that we have to have these negotiations. The Ukrainian delegation has to have these negotiations in order to bring peace, immediate peace to my country because otherwise -- and that is according to Russian interest to prolong the war, to make many more killings of civilians, to ruin many more cities and to wipe out Ukrainians as a nation. Because what they are doing is a hatred, mere hatred towards Ukrainian nation.

BLITZER: Ihor, good luck to you and good luck to all the people of Ukraine. Thank you so much for joining us.

ZHOVKVA: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Coming up, we're going to get an update on Red Cross evacuation efforts in Mariupol after aid workers were detained and convoys were turned back by Russia.



BLITZER: We are back with breaking news out of Ukraine. Russia's brutality against civilians has been exposed in yet another town after Kremlin forces pulled back, the scenes in Borodianka reminiscent of that in Bucha. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says it's all part of Vladimir Putin's plan.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: It's a deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities.


BLITZER: As civilians are being terrorized, Ukrainian troops have been putting up a valiant fight against the Russians.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson visited a hospital where some of Ukraine's war-wounded are being treated.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Shattered bodies in the intensive care unit of a Ukrainian hospital. Men and women from the Ukrainian military whose war wounds are so catastrophic, they need machines to breathe.

These deeply uncomfortable images, a glimpse of the physical toll this conflict is taking on both soldiers and civilians.

The general director of the hospital says that after the first couple of days of this new war, at least 30 medical personnel resigned because of just the trauma of seeing these kinds of injuries up close.

A soldier named Yuri wants to communicate.

He can't speak because he's still on a ventilator. He has regained consciousness after 11 days in a coma.

We won't identify him because doctors say his family does not yet know of his injuries. He has one child.

A daughter, he signals, 13 years old. Writing in my notebook, Yuri tells me he's been in the military for two years.

The doctors say that he has a very good chance of surviving. Very serious shrapnel injuries to his body.

We were given permission to film here provided we not name the hospital nor the city that we're in, and that's because the Ukrainian authorities fear that that information could lead to the Russian military directly targeting this hospital.

In every room here, there's a patient whose bones and tissues have been ripped apart by flying metal. Vladimir is a volunteer. He signed up on the second day of this war in 2022.

This electrician turned volunteer comes from Kharkiv. Three days ago, a battle left him with two broken arms and wounds to the stomach. Vladimir said his sister lives in Russia and he no longer communicates with her. I asked why. He said that she believes that the Ukrainians are enemies. This is a family that is split apart by this war and different narratives of who started it.

Vladimir and the soldier with the fresh amputation lying next to him both insist that only force can stop Russia's war on this country.


Down the hall, I meet a young civilian, also horrifically wounded. Dima (ph) is 21 years old. Where are you from?


WATSON: Dima (ph) is a recent university graduate, photographed here with his mother, Natasha. My mother died when this happened to me, he says, adding, I've cried enough already. I'm calmer now.

He says on the night of March 9th, he and his mother were hiding in the bathroom of a two-storey house in the center of Mariupol when they heard war planes overhead bombing the neighborhood. Mother and son were hiding in the bathroom, shortly before 1:00 A.M., he says, when the bomb hit the house.

When he woke up, his legs were gone. He never saw his mother again. During my visit, a friend gives Dima (ph) a phone.

This is the first time he's seeing the building where he and his mother were sheltering when they were hit. The red car here that is destroyed in front of the ruined building was his mother's car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: of course I get angry. I get sad. I get depressed at times but I can't lose my cool because those who did this to me, they probably want me to sit here crying and weeping.

Reporter: don't let the silence in these halls fool you. There is deep, seething anger in this hospital at the country that launched this unprovoked war on Ukraine.


WATSON (on camera): Now, Wolf, it is not paranoia that is driving the authorities not to reveal the location or the name of this hospital. The United Nations says that since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, there have been at least 85 attacks on health facilities in this country. That's more than one a day. And at least 72 people have been killed as a result of those attacks.

Now, the aid organization, Doctors Without Borders, they say that no less than three hospitals have been hit in the Southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv in just two days. And a Doctors Without Borders team, they were witnesses of one of these Russian strikes, and they believe cluster bombs were used against an oncology hospital there.

Back to you, Wolf. BLITZER: Terrible, terrible, terrible. Ivan watson, be careful over there. Thank you very much for that report.

Let's get an update on evacuation efforts in Ukraine. We're joined by Laetitia Courtois. She is the permanent observer to the United Nations for the International Red Cross. Laeitita, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for all you and your organization are doing.

I know your organization has been trying to get into Mariupol for several days now. Just last night, a Red Cross team was released after being actually held outside the city. What more can you tell us about this specific incident?

LAETITIA COURTOIS, INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS PERMANENT OBSERVER TO THE U.N.: Well, it's true that we have been trying for weeks now to reach to Mariupol, to the people trapped in the city, to bring them much needed humanitarian assistance but also to facilitate the safe passage for those who are seeking safety and want to get out of the place. It's been four days now since our team has initiated the trip to Mariupol and they were arrested last night, thankfully released, but at the same time, the operation continues. So, we are hoping that we can reach out to the people in need and organize this evacuation as soon as possible because this is a matter of days now and it's reached a critical situation for the people trapped, for the weeks now.

BLITZER: Let's hope your people from the International Red Cross will be okay.

Given the atrocities that the Red Cross is witnessing on the ground, whether in Bucha or Irpin or elsewhere, does that underscore how critical it is to get access to Mariupol?

COURTOIS: It is critical. The city has been under intense hostilities going on for weeks now without relief or stop in the hostilities. We have all seen the terrible images that are shocking and that really confirm that people need right now humanitarian assistance, respite and also to be protected wherever they are and wherever they want to be.

We've been going to some other places that have also shown a terrible picture, terrible images that our team are seeing every day. There were in Bucha today. There were in Irpin yesterday and today. And they're trying to bring some relief to the people that are in very difficult circumstances.


BLITZER: Laetitia Courtois, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for that update. Good luck to you. Good luck to all of the -- all the people who are working with the International Red Cross. I appreciate it so, so much.

And to our viewers, for information about how you can help humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, go to and help impact your world. Just ahead, as more scenes of carnage emerge from Ukraine, the United States has been unwilling to label it genocide, at least not yet. Might that change? I'll ask a key member of the House Intelligence Committee when we come back.


BLITZER: Tonight, Russia is sticking with its brazen lie that bodies lining the streets of Bucha, Ukraine, were somehow fake, this despite the fact that satellite images prove the bodies were there while the town was under Russian military control.

Joining us now, a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Jason Crow.


Congressman, thanks for joining us. What's your reaction to hearing this totally outrageous Russian propaganda?

REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Well, it is outrageous. Vladimir Putin is maintaining control in Russia based on lies and propaganda. It's unfortunate that a large percentage of the Russian people think that Ukrainians are the aggressors here, which, obviously, the rest of the world knows is far from the truth. They are the victims of these war crimes, of these atrocities, of this unjustified invasion.

So, Vladimir Putin is doing what he has always done. He's doubled down on lies, doubled down on brutality. He is conducting an invasion that is not going well. They are bogged down. So, they are resorting to more brutal tactics as time goes on.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Russian atrocities in Bucha, for example, aren't the random act of a rogue unit but a deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, his words, to rape, to commit atrocities. At what point does that rise, Congressman, to the level of genocide?

CROW: Well, when it becomes systematic, when it becomes organized, when it becomes a part of a deliberate and intentional plan to eradicate or wipe out people, that's the difference between war crimes and atrocities or undisciplined soldiers firing on civilians versus a plan.

So, what we have to do now is collect intelligence, collect evidence, convene tribunals and have them collect evidence and look at all the facts and then make those determinations. When we use words that have impact, like genocide, we want to make sure that we have all of the evidence in place so that those words actually can have the impact that they are intended to have. And there's legal consequence to that. So, I believe we need to push forward to collect that information.

Undoubtedly, in my view, there are war crimes being committed. We have to now look at the full picture here and collect the evidence to see whether that raises to the level of genocide. And if it does, there need to be prosecutions. And I'll say this. Not just of senior folks. Historically, you go after the top commanders, the people that have ordered this. I think we now have the intelligence and the capability to go after junior soldiers, mid-level commanders, those who are pulling the trigger, executing these civilians. Everybody should be held accountable and be at risk of consequence. And we need to send that message very loud and clear.

BLITZER: I know you're calling for the United States to send more military aid to Ukraine. If these images from Bucha, for example, or Borodianka, don't spur the U.S. to do that, will anything?

CROW: Well, the administration is sending tremendous amounts of aid. It's almost mind boggling how many weapons and how much transfer is being done on a daily basis into Ukraine. And I give the administration a lot of credit for that, but war changes. War evolves. One day is not like the next day.

So, what we're seeing is the evolution of this war. It's changing. The Ukrainians can win, but we thought five weeks ago that the Russian military was the second best military in the world. It now turns out they are the second best military in Ukraine. So, the Ukrainians can win but not without additional support, not without new types of support as they modernize and prepare for a longer-term battle. So, that's what we're calling on, as we're calling on the administration to continue their support to expand it, to continue to expedite it, to meet the next phase of this battle.

BLITZER: Congressman Jason Crow, thank you so much for joining us.

CROW: Thank you.

BLITZER: Coming up, the January 6th committee secures testimony from one of the highest profile witnesses to appear before the investigators, Ivanka Trump.



BLITZER: Former President Obama returned to the White House today, his first visit since leaving office more than five years ago.

President Obama joined President Biden for a ceremony celebrating his signature health care law.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Vice President Biden, vice president --


That was a joke.

It is good to be back in the White House. It's been awhile. I confess, I heard some changes have been made by the current president since I was last year.

Apparently, Secret Service agents have to wear Aviator glasses now. Navy mess has been replaced by Baskin Robins. And there's a cat running around, which I guarantee you, Bo and Sonny would have been very unhappy.

To get the bill passed, we had to make compromises. We didn't get everything we wanted. That wasn't the reason not to do it. If you can get millions of people health coverage and better protection, it is -- to quote a famous American -- a pretty big deal.


BLITZER: President Biden also unveiled the new executive order expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Also today, the January 6th Select Committee is hearing testimony from yet another key witness, Ivanka Trump.

Our senior legal affairs correspondent Paula Reid is joining us right now.

So, what are you learning, Paula?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson says Ivanka has been answering questions, though he describes her answers as not being too broad or her being overly chatty. He notes, look, she's here voluntarily. She was not subpoenaed and to her knowledge, she had not invoked her Fifth Amendment or any other privilege as we've seen other witnesses do.

And, Wolf, that's notable because lawmakers have a lot they want to ask Ivanka about.


In addition to being the former president's daughter, and senior adviser, she really has a unique perspective on the events of January 6 because she was physically inside the White House, in close proximity to her father and at several key meetings. In the original request from the committee to Ivanka, lawmakers laid out some of the things they wanted to talk to her about. For example, they revealed that other witnesses have testified that she was present for a conversation between her father and then Vice President Mike Pence.

This was part of the pressure campaign that the vice president was facing. They said they want to ask her what she heard in that conversation. They also want to know about any efforts to encourage the former president to go out and quell the violence. They said they want to know, why didn't he use the briefing room? They also want to know about that taped statement from the Rose Garden and also specifically want to ask her about the former president's, quote, mental state in the days following January 6th.

Now, her appearance today, Wolf, was virtual. Many witnesses have appeared virtually before the committee, including just last week, her husband, Jared Kushner, also appeared virtually and voluntarily.

Lawmakers have said that he provided some helpful information even though he, unlike his wife, was not in the country on January 6th.

BLITZER: Paula, do you anticipate the select committee will also ask the former vice president, Mike Pence, to appear?

REID: It's not looking likely. The chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, told reporters yesterday that it's not going to be necessary to subpoena the former vice president because they've learned pretty much everything they're going to learn from other witnesses. But two committee sources tell CNN that they've not taken this option potentially off the table but another source tells us that the vice president's team has not been informed either way if this is going to happen. So, still an outstanding question, but seemingly increasingly unlikely.

BLITZER: Yeah, several of the former vice president's aides already have testified openly and fully. Paula Reid, thank you very much for that report.

Just ahead, Tiger Woods appears to be on the verge of an improbable return to competitive golf.



BLITZER: Golfing legend Tiger Woods could be on the verge of a dramatic return to the Masters a little more than a year after a car crash left him with serious injuries and put his entire career in jeopardy.

CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us. So, Brian, he says he thinks he's ready to play.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Tiger Woods says he wouldn't even be here, wouldn't say he could play if he didn't think he could win this tournament. Now we're anticipating a huge TV audience tuning in to see if he can pull it off on golf's biggest stage.


TODD (voice-over): Tiger Woods said that right after his horrific car accident almost 14 months ago, there was a chance one of his legs might have had to be amputated. Today, he said the words many thought might never come, just ahead of golf's premier tournament, the Masters.

TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: As of right now, I feel like I am going to play, as of right now.

The 46-year-old is scheduled to tee off on Thursday morning when the Masters begins at Augusta National Golf Club. Just rumors of a Tiger comeback when he played some practice rounds yesterday drew a large crowd of fans, now that he's playing competitively. CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: The TV ratings should just go

through the roof. They'll be Tiger-esque as they always are, but this time, it's like we've stepped into a movie set, you know? This story is just -- it transcends golf. It transcends sports.

WOODS: Police said Tiger Woods was driving 85 miles an hour in a 45- mile-an-hour zone when his car crashed on a winding road near L.A. on February 23rd of last year. Law enforcement officers said there would have been a much different outcome had he not had certain safety features in his vehicle.

SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Thankfully, the interior was more or less intact, which kind of gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would have been a fatal crash.

DAN RAPAPORT, STAFF WRITER, GOLF DIGEST: His leg was basically crushed under the weight of an SUV. It looked life-threatening initially, certainly career-threatening, and he was in a hospital bed for three months.

TODD: After multiple surgeries and a rod, plates and screws placed in his leg and excruciating rehab, Tiger Woods now says it's not his swing that's the issue.

WOODS: I can hit it just fine. And I don't have any qualms about what I can do physically from a golf standpoint. It's now walking's the hard part.

TODD: And analysts say the course at Augusta is one of the hardest to walk on the tour.

BRENNAN: You don't see the hills on TV. But I watched him walk up that first fairway in his practice round on Monday as the throngs, the masses were following him like it was a Sunday afternoon. I watched him walk up that hill, and he looked older. His shoulders were hunched. And he was going much slower. Those hills are going to be brutal on him.

TODD: Still, Woods says he wouldn't be playing if he didn't think he could win, which would be his sixth Masters title and his 16th major tournament win. Can he pull it off?

RAPAPORT: I don't expect him to win, but again, I'm done doubting Tiger Woods. I've done it too many times and I have been forced to eat my words way too many times.


TODD (on camera): One of Woods's biggest motivations to play and one of the great joys of his life is playing with his 13-year-old son, Charlie, who he's been playing practice rounds with in recent weeks. Dan Rapaport of "Golf Digest" says Charlie Woods has a perfect swing and, of course, a great coach, but it's too early to speculate if Charlie Woods is headed for the pro tour and he says Tiger Woods will not push his son to play professionally.

But watch out for Charlie Woods, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yeah, I'm sure he's going to be pretty good as well. A lot of people are going to be watching in the coming days.

Good report. Thank you very much, Brian Todd, for that.

And thanks to our viewers for watching. I'll be back in half an hour on a new streaming service, CNN+ my new show called "The Newscast."

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.