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The Situation Room

U.S.-Israeli Split Over Iran On Display During Biden Talks In Jerusalem; Wall Street Journal Reports, 1/6 Committee Weighs Seeking Testimony From Trump, Pence; Trump Signals 2024 Announcement Not A Matter Of If, But When; Ivana Trump, First Wife Of Donald Trump, Dead At Age 73; Russian Missiles Kill At Least 23 In Ukraine. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired July 14, 2022 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What a hero. May his memory be a blessing.

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Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer who is in THE SITUATION ROOM.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, President Biden and the Israeli prime minister agreed to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon but are clearly divided on how to accomplish that. This hour, I will speak with their Israeli ambassador to the United States who is here in Jerusalem.

Also tonight, a new report that the January 6th select committee is now considering whether to seek testimony from former Vice President Pence and potentially from former President Trump, this as Trump reportedly says he is decided when, not if when he will announce a 2024 run for the White House.

And CNN is on the scene of a Russian attack in Central Ukraine that left nearly two dozen dead, including three children. President Zelenskyy is calling it an act of terrorism.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I am Wolf Blitzer. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

It is 1:00 A.M. Friday here in Jerusalem, and this, the final hours of President Biden's visit here before he heads to West Bank and then to Saudi Arabia.

Tonight, the Biden team is bracing for the Saudi trip to be a major test of the president's diplomacy on the heels of his talk with top Israeli leaders.

CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond is with us here in Jerusalem watching all of this unfold. Jeremy, clearly, the effort to try to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb was at the forefront of the talks between the president and Israeli leaders.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It certainly was, Wolf. President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid met for about an hour-and-a-half earlier today. They covered everything, from defense cooperation to the growing partnerships between Israel and Arab countries, and it was largely a show of unity.

But on the Iranian issue, you also did see some daylight between the two sides, as President Biden reaffirmed his interest in resolving this diplomatically while the Israeli prime minister called for a more muscular approach.


DIAMOND (voice over): With a deal on the table tonight, President Biden warning Iran his patience for diplomacy is limited.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We are waiting for the response. When that will occur, when that will come, I'm not certain, but we are not going to wait forever. They have an opportunity to accept this agreement that has been laid down. If they don't, we have made it absolutely clear, we will not -- let me say it again, we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

DIAMOND: Still, Biden defended his diplomatic effort to get Iran to agree to limits on its nuclear program.

BIDEN: I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome.

DIAMOND: Even as Israel's prime minister, Yair Lapid, urged Biden to adopt a more muscular approach.

YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Words will not stop them, Mr. President. Diplomacy will not stop this. The only thing that will stop Iran is knowing that if they continue to develop their nuclear program, the free world will use force.

DIAMOND: Biden addressed reporters amid a whirlwind of meetings with Israel's prime minister, president and opposition leader, where he acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

BIDEN: I'm honored to be back here in the capital of Israel.

DIAMOND: But faced no questions on the top issue looming back home, record new inflation numbers that the president in a statement called unacceptably high but also out-of-date.

Tomorrow, Biden steps into another swirl of controversy, coming face- to-face with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Samlan, their first meeting since Biden took office and approved the release of a CIA report that blamed MBS for ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

BIDEN: My views on Khashoggi have been absolutely, positively clear, and I have never been quiet about talking about human rights.

DIAMOND: He stopped short of promising to bring up the late journalist.

BIDEN: I will bring up -- I always bring up human rights. I always bring up human rights.

DIAMOND: Biden is focused on bringing another message to the Saudis as he tries to expand the Abraham Accords and nudge the powerful Gulf kingdom toward normalizing relations with Israel.

BIDEN: When I see the Saudi leadership tomorrow, I will be carrying a direct message, a message of peace and extraordinary opportunities and a more stable integrated region could bring.


DIAMOND: That promise of Israeli-Arab partnership on display as Biden joined Lapid for a virtual summit with the president of the United Arab Emirates to seal a partnership on food insecurity and energy security.


DIAMOND (on camera): And before President Biden heads to Saudi Arabia, he will go to the West Bank where he is accepted to meet with the Palestinian authority president, Mahmoud Abbas. And while President Biden hasn't launched a high-level shuttle diplomacy effort with the Palestinians and Israelis, he is looking for small confidence-building measures. And we are expecting him to announce $100 million of aid to Palestinians hospitals where he will visit them in East Jerusalem.

BLITZER: We'll see how that works. Thanks very much, Jeremy Diamond reporting for us.

And joining us now, Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog, he's here for these important talks. Mr. Ambassador, thank you so much for joining us.


BLITZER: I know that President Biden today reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to try to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and I know that that is top priority for Israel as well. But it seems that there is a difference between Prime Minister Yair Lapid and President Biden as to how to achieve that. I want you to listen to what they said today.


LAPID: Diplomacy will not stop them. The only thing that will stop Iran is knowing that if they continue to develop their nuclear program, the free world will use force.

BIDEN: I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome.


BLITZER: So, are the U.S. and Israel on the same page when it comes to dealing with Iran and its nuclear program?

HERZOG: So, let me explain the Israeli position on this. Israel is not against a diplomatic outcome. The question is what exactly is in it. And we believe that in order for the diplomatic outcome to be successful, effective and long-term one, it has to be based on deterrence. The Iranians have to -- they will not do anything voluntarily. They have to see in front of them the possibility of mounting pressure, including the last resort military option. Nobody is pushing for war but the Iranians, history teaches, that that's a way they react to deterrence, otherwise you will not get anything out of that.

BLITZER: But do you support the U.S. effort to revive the Iran nuclear deal?

HERZOG: We have a very close dialogue with the U.S. administration about this. Again, we told them, and I say here on the record, we are not against diplomacy. All what we are saying is that for diplomacy to succeed, it has to be based on a solid basis of deterrence.

BLITZER: What about the U.S. effort to try to help normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia? What did you hear from the president today?

HERZOG: So, we are very much in favor of normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is an important country in the region and beyond. And we would like to expand the circle of Israeli-Arab normalization to include Saudi Arabia.

I think the president is definitely on board of that. There is a strategic logic to this visit to Saudi Arabia. It is to expand cooperation, integration, to build a regional architecture in the face of Iran, talking about Iran and the Iranian threat to the region. Iran is a big stabilizer to this region. It cooperates with some outside forces that would like to push back against. And I think the president understands that. And his message to us was very clear, that he is going to Saudi Arabia in order to expand normalization this between Israel and the Arab states, to enhance stability in the region and to help build regional cooperation.

BLITZER: But can Israel really establish solid relations with the Arab world without addressing the Palestinian conflict?

HERZOG: First, we already have a set of agreements and peace agreement and war and peace with some of our Arab neighbors in the region. Ultimately, I believe that Israeli-Arab normalization also is a promise for Israelis and Palestinians as well. It is acted upon properly. I believe that the Arabs glare on in that. And looking ahead, I think the more normalized relations we have with the Arab world, the more -- the Israelis and Palestinians can also benefit from that. BLITZER: But you heard over the past day or two the president of United States repeatedly say the only solution is what he calls a two- state solution, a new state of Palestine emerging next to Israel.


Is Israel ready for what's called a two state solution?

HERZOG: So, the president reaffirmed the well-known U.S. position on that, his support for a two-state solution. As we know here in Israel, we now have election season. It is a very sensitive period. And one big issue dividing our society is the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

So, you heard Prime Minister Lapid today in the press conference reiterate his own position in favor for a two-state solution but expressing a government opinion is more complicated given the division within the current government.

BLITZER: But are you ready to sit down with the Palestinian authority leadership and negotiate a new state of Palestine?

HERZOG: I don't think that negotiation is on the cards right now. The president himself, President Biden, said as much when he landed at (INAUDIBLE), because I don't think both parties are ready for it right now. Here in Israel, we are heading to elections. On the Palestinian side, I think you have a dysfunctional entity that is not ready for that. But short of that, we are ready and have taken a series of measures to enhance the stability and the strength to the P.A. to reduce friction on the ground. It is a long list of things that Israel has done. And in coordination with the administration, we are doing more.

BLITZER: The P.A., the Palestinian Authority, you are ready to work with them?

HERZOG: Yes, definitely. Our defense minister met with Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, the P.A. leader, last week. There were phone calls between Prime Minister Yair Lapid and President Herzog and President Abbas. So, we definitely maintained contact with them and work with them. I will say short of a political process which is not being in the cards right now, everything else is in motion.

BLITZER: Ambassador Michael Herzog, thanks so much for joining us on this very, very busy day.

HERZOG: Thank you very much.

BLITZER: We will get the Palestinian perspective here in THE SITUATION ROOM tomorrow after President Biden's visit to the West Bank. He is going to Bethlehem to meet with the Palestinian authority president, Mahmoud Abbas. I will be joined by Husam Zomlot who was head of the PLO mission in Washington until it was closed by the Trump administration back in 2018. That is tomorrow.

Just ahead, is the January 6th select committee preparing to seek testimony from former President Trump and former Vice President Pence? A new report is raising a lot of questions.

THE SITUATION ROOM live from Jerusalem continues after a quick break.



BLITZER: The House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection is now weighing whether to take its probe to the top in its effort to get to the truth of what happened that day.

CNN Congressional Correspondent Ryan Nobles has the latest from Capitol Hill. Ryan, Committee Member Adam Kinzinger tells The Wall Street Journal that the panel is now discussing whether to actually seek an interview with former Vice President Mike Pence and perhaps even with Donald Trump. What is the latest?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Wolf. And we've known for some time that the committee has at least kept the door open to interviews with both the former vice president and the former president.

What is a little bit different about what Kinzinger had to say is that the committee may consider offering Pence the opportunity of a transcribed interview where he would write his answers to the questions and hand them into the committee as opposed to sitting for a formal deposition.

Now, he also said that the committee has not ruled out the possibility of a subpoena of the former president, Donald Trump as well. Now, this has been an ongoing discussion with the committee from the very beginning and the committee chairman, Bennie Thompson, has said many times that the committee is not ruling out that as an option. But I've been told by committee sources it is still very unlikely that we could see the committee haul Donald Trump in front of them through a subpoena. It may be difficult to enforce and they are not 100 percent sure that the information that they would get from Donald Trump would even be valuable.

Regardless though, Wolf, it is significant that even at this, what seemingly could be the late stages of the January 6th investigation that they are still leaving the door open to interviews with perhaps the two most important players in all of this, Mike Pence and Donald Trump.

BLITZER: Yes, that will be so dramatic.

Ryan, meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general says the U.S. Secret Service actually erased text messages from both January 5th and January 6th shortly after they were requested as part of that investigation. What are you learning about that?

NOBLES: Yes, that's right. In just the last few minutes, the chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I should point, also the chair of the January 6th committee, said that he is very concerned with this development and what he described the destruction of these documents.

And what the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general is claiming is that his office, through their investigation into January 6, requested text messages from Secret Service agents from January 5th and January 6th, and that the United States Secret Service ended up deleting those text messages as they were going through what they described as a device replacement program.

Now, at this point, the inspector general is not accusing the Secret Service of doing anything necessarily incorrect or wrong but he is pointing out that this is a problem. This is information they wanted. And he's also claiming that the stuff was deleted after the request was made. He has also expressed concern that is taking a long time to get information from the Secret Service because it has to go through a rigorous through Department of Homeland Security lawyers.

We're told the Secret Service is planning a response to this, Wolf. They have not issued that response yet. But this is another situation that has members of the January 6th select committee very concerned. Wolf?

BLITZER: Yes, obviously very, very awkward. If you get that response, Ryan, let us know. Ryan Nobles up on Capitol Hill, thank you very, very much.

Let's get some more on all of this. Joining us, CNN Political Analyst Maggie Haberman, she's the Washington Correspondent for The New York Times, and CNN Senior Commentator John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio.


Maggie, the select committee has been dangling the possibility of subpoenas for both Trump and Pence for months now. Is there any chance they actually go for it now right as they are wrapping up this round of public hearings?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There is certainly a chance, Wolf, but I think as Ryan said, it is not likely. I think you are increasingly seeing different members of the select committee voicing things that not necessarily everybody else either sees the same way or that they have had a unified discussion about but it certainly is an option and I think it's one that they don't want to foreclose.

I think, as you say, we have had a signal that this is going to be it next week in terms of hearings, at least for a couple of weeks, possibly entirely until the fall. I think it would be very, very hard to issue a subpoena to former President Trump, let alone former Vice President Mike Pence, and get them to comply without a court fight very quickly.

BLITZER: Yes, I think you are right.

Governor Kasich, the committee has already heard from so many people who were around both Trump and Pence on January 6th. How much would the investigation really benefit from a fight for Trump's testimony, specifically Trump's testimony at this point?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: I think, Wolf, what's happening now is that we have a lot of people who have agreed to go to the committee because the dam is kind of broken, and now, people can feel more comfortable going.

I agree with Maggie. I just can't imagine that they're going to move forward with subpoenaing Donald Trump because it will end up in court and it will drag it out. Even though these hearings are expected to -- this is the last hearing for a while, I don't think that is the end of them. I think we are going to see more of these hearings. I think it's going to probably go into the fall. And I think they want to get to the bottom of this.

And it will be interesting to see what Mike Pence has to say particularly if he can do it with an interview rather than having to appear before the committee. He might be willing to do something. He might be willing to say something. I think it is in his interest. I think it's in the country's interest to hear the full story from him also.

BLITZER: You make a good point.

Maggie, Donald Trump could also right now, this is very interesting, be on the verge of actually announcing a 2024 presidential campaign. He told New York Magazine he has already made up his mind and it is a matter of when, not if he announces. How much is Trump's potential legal jeopardy from the January 6 investigation that weighing on that potential decision?

HABERMAN: That was a great piece by Olivia Nuzzi. I do think that the potential legal challenges that he faces are certainly -- and these House committee hearings and the fact that they are taking a toll on him in terms of his popularity among some Republicans, all of that factors into why he is keeping this alive.

I will say, Wolf, that he is benefiting from all the speculation around him and it means it is less likely that he has to jump in. One of the things that we know that Donald Trump likes above all else, in addition to the possible legal protection of being in the White House again, in addition to raising money as a potential candidate, is he likes the attention and he is getting a lot of it right now. I'm not sure that he needs to actually declare given that he is getting all this attention still.

BLITZER: That's a good point too.

Governor Kasich, let's talk about the timing of all of this. He says he might announce just before the midterms in November. Could that be a major boost? Could that turn out to be a major boost to Democrats?

KASICH: Wolf, I think you would have a greater turnout, potentially, from Democrats and probably could affect the races in the U.S. Senate in the midterm because there are two or three races right now that are extremely, extremely close. And getting a bigger turnout from the Democrats might mean that those races go to the Democrats, and some of them, like in Pennsylvania are currently held by Republicans, and there, you could have a Democrat elected to the United States Senate.

The House races, I don't think as much. I mean, those districts are pretty set. I think it is likely the Republicans will win the U.S. House of Representatives. And their big issue is going to be inflation, the economy. It always is. But this could affect what happens in those Senate races. And it will probably have Mitch McConnell up late at night worrying if they will actually win the Senate. But I think the House is pretty much a foregone conclusion right now.

BLITZER: Maggie, before we go, I want to ask you about the death of Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana Trump, who just passed away at the age of 73. You have covered the Trump family for a long time. Give us your thoughts.

HABERMAN: Look, it was an unexpected death, Wolf. Any time somebody loses a parent, it is terrible. It's certainly an unexpected moment, terrible. The Trumps were -- even despite all of the issues that Donald Trump and Ivana had in the 1980s and 1990s that were very well documented, they remain close, and they remain sort of a unit as a family. I think it is very sad for all of them. And she was a New York institution as much as he was, and, in some ways, her own institution.


And so it feels like the end of an era.

BLITZER: We will have much more on the life of Ivana Trump, that's coming later this hour here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Maggie Haberman, John Kasich, guys, thank you very much for joining us.

Coming up, President Biden is now preparing for rather tense talks in Saudi Arabia during his Middle East tour. Why won't he commit to raising the murder of Jamal Khashoggi with the crown prince? I will ask Democratic Senator Chris Murphy who is standing by live.

Stay with us. You are watching THE SITUATION ROOM. We are live from Jerusalem.



BLITZER: When President Biden leaves for Saudi Arabia in the immediate hours ahead, he says he will be working to advance the interest of the United States. There is certainly a lot riding on the talks for Saudis as well as for the Israelis and arguably for the entire Middle East.

Let's bring in CNN's Hadas Gold, our Jerusalem Correspondent, who is working the story for us. Hadas, explain to our viewers why this trip by the president to Saudi Arabia is seen as so important for the Israelis and the Saudis for that matter.

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, even just the flight that President Biden is taking from Tel Aviv directly to Jeddah is being seen as an important symbol. He even said to himself it's an important symbol of this budding relationship. And while Israel would have to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia, it will be the crown jewel in their Israel-Arab nations' normalization routes. Nobody is expecting normalization to be declared on this trip, instead they are expecting small steps towards showing that it is just a question of when, not if normalization will happen in Saudi Arabia. These are thing like allowing flights to and from Israel to fly over Saudi airspace. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but a few years ago, that would have been absolutely unthinkable.

But, Wolf, what is really pushing these two countries together and what's really pushing a lot of the Abraham Accords, the relations with the UAE, with Bahrain, is the shared concern over Iran, not just about Iran's nuclear ambitions but about its activity in the region, things like the armed drones, the missiles, things that both Saudi Arabia and other countries have experienced as well. And there is a talk about a regional air defense system where these countries can work together to help warn each other about these incoming drones. And even the former prime minister, Naftali Bennett, talked about one day creating a regional NATO where these countries would work together to help defend one another, and so there is a lot of shared interest about how they can work together to counter Iran.

For Saudi Arabia, there is a lot of interest in Israeli technology. These are things like the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, the new Iron Beam, the laser defense system. There's a lot of interest in using those technologies in the rest of the region.

BLITZER: Yes,, that's a lot going on indeed. All right, Hadas, thank you very, very much, Hadas Gold reporting for us.

Joining us right now from Washington is Senator Chris Murphy who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator, thanks so much for joining us.

How concerned are you, Senator, that President Biden today would not publicly commit to raising Jamal Khashoggi's murder when he meets with the Saudi crown prince.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I think what is much more important is what commitment the Saudis make in the wake of this visit to reform their miserable human rights record. The Saudis know what we think of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. They know that we know the crown prince was responsible. The question is, are they going to change?

Right now, they have over 100 political prisoners locked up. They have Americans that they are refusing to allow to leave Saudi Arabia. And my belief is that this is an important trip for the president to make so long as the Saudis make commitment to change. Because if the United States continues to demonstrate to the world that we are willing to put aside our support for democracy and human rights when it comes to alliances like that with the Saudis, it does damage our ability to grow support for open democracies and for regimes that respect human rights.

So, whether or not he brings it up in the meeting, the questions are the Saudis are going to change. If they do, then maybe this trip is worthwhile.

BLITZER: So, what message will it send, Senator, around the world, in the U.S., and indeed around the world, about human rights if President Biden is seen shaking hands with the crown prince?

MURPHY: Listen, I mean, I just sort of -- I think it is overblown, this discussion over shaking hands, bumping fists. We are allies with Saudi Arabia. I think we should rethink the nature of that alliance. But as the strongest, most powerful nation in the world are often in positions where our president and our leaders are meeting with our adversaries, sometimes shaking hands with our adversaries, meeting with imperfect partners, like the Saudis. I don't really get caught up in the visual of whether the president is shaking hands or not. What I care about is, are the Saudis going to change? Are they going to take steps to end the civil war in Yemen that they are participating in? Are they going to change their pretty disastrous record of political repression inside Saudi Arabia?

BLITZER: As you know, rapid inflation and very high gas prices in the U.S are a big driver for this trip by the president to Saudi Arabia. Do you expect President Biden to accomplish anything concrete for Americans on this trip when it comes to the U.S. economy?


MURPHY: I expect the Saudis will make commitments that will put more oil on the world market, which will both alleviate some of the problems in the United States but in Europe as well. I guess the question for me is why did it take an emergency visit from the United States' president to convince the Saudis to choose their ally, the United States, when the chips are down.

I thought the whole point of the United States decision over multiple administrations, to look the other way when the Saudis chopped up political opponents, when they bombed civilians inside Yemen, when they executed political prisoners, was that when the chips were down, we would not have to make an emergency visit for the Saudis to choose the United States, that they would choose to put on more oil, that they wouldn't choose to purposely enrich the Russians.

I think it is pretty extraordinary that we have to go to these legs. I think the president is right to do it but it is extraordinary that he has to do it in order to get the Saudis to simply try to help lower gas prices in the middle of a global crisis like this.

BLITZER: Senator Chris Murphy, thanks, as usual, for joining us.

MURPHY: Thank you.

BLITZER: Just ahead, the Federal Reserve could be on the brink of another major interest rate hike. What will it mean for American consumers? Stand by. We are coming to you live from Jerusalem.

We will be right back.


BLITZER: The latest, deeply troubling numbers on U.S. inflation are raising concern. The Federal Reserve may resort to yet another large interest rate hike, increasing the cost of borrowing money for everyone.

CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us. Brian, the housing market is especially vulnerable to a rate hike.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is, Wolf. Homebuyers and potential renters across the United States are all looking to what the Fed will do on interest rates in the coming days and many are frankly dreading what experts say is inevitable.


TODD (voice over): Alexa Jensen and her fiance had been looking to buy a home in the L.A. area for more than a year-and-a-half. But with interest rates being raised, they weren't even sure what they could even afford.

ALEXA JENSEN, HOUSE HUNTER IN L.A. AREA: With the new interest rate hikes, we don't really know what our bottom line is anymore and that's a moving target.

TODD: Just last month, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point, its biggest hike in nearly three decades. Tonight, investors and real estate experts have a new warning.

MARK RUTSTEIN, REALTO, THE RUTSTEIN GROUP OF COMPASS: I'm thinking that interest rates are going to go up again. It's inevitable.

TODD: Experts expect the Fed when it meets later this month to raise interest rates again, possibly another three quarters of a percentage point, or maybe even a full percentage point. And more rate hikes are expected later this year. That means it will be more expensive to borrow money, mortgage rates now above 5.5 percent. At this time last year, they were at 2.88 percent.

MICHELLE SINGLETARY, AUTHOR, WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR MONEY WHEN CRISIS HITS: I think it's going to price out people from houses. So, two things are going to happen. You either are going to have to pay more for that house because the loan is going to cost more, or you are going to have to downsize the kind of house that you want because it is going to cost you more on a monthly basis to get that mortgage for that house.

TODD: Just a few months ago, home prices across the U.S. were high. Experts believe, with interest rates going up, home sellers could soon have to lower their asking prices because most buyers won't be able to afford both a higher home price and a higher interest rate.

So, what do realtors advice? RUTSTEIN: If you're looking at selling in the next couple of years, now is a great time for you to go ahead and do that. For buyers, if you're going to go into a property and you're going to live there for five, six, seven years, then I don't see the point of waiting another year in order to just gamble what is going to happen.

TODD: Homebuyers are not the only ones getting slammed. Average monthly rent in Manhattan jumped to over $5,000 a month, up 30 percent from a year ago. And higher interest rates don't affect just our dwellings. Our car loans, credit card bills are about to get more expensive.

SINGLETARY: If you have got credit card debt, this is next fed rate is key to you waking up that you have got to get rid of that debt. It's going to will cost you more from now until next year.

TODD: Also feeling the pinch, people who are looking to tap into their retirement account soon.

DAVID WILCOX, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: Their 401(k) balance is down by a lot. So, they are going to have to maybe recalibrate on when they can retire.

TODD: What do top economists think all of this means big picture?

LAWRENCE SUMMERS, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: I think we are likely to see a downturn in recession in the not too distant future.


TODD (on camera): But it is not all gloom and doom. Economist Mark Zandi says to us that if there is a recession, he believes it will be a modest one, lesser fear than the average recession that what we have gone through in recent decades. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is now softening his once dire predictions. He points out that consumers are still spending money, jobs are plentiful and wages are rising. Wolf?

BLITZER: All right. We'll watch happens with you. Brian Todd reporting for us, thank you very, very much.

We'll have more news just ahead. Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana Trump, has died at the age of 73. We will have a closer look back at her life and their sometimes tumultuous relationship. That is next.



BLITZER: We have more now on the death of Ivanka Trump. Tonight, former President Trump is remembering his first wife as a beautiful, amazing woman who led an inspirational life.


BLITZER (voice-over): For more than a decade, Donald and Ivana Trump were New York City's tabloid power couple. After marrying the man, she called The Donald, in 1977, the Czech born model and her husband kept an active social calendar.

LIZ SMITH, GOSSIP COLUMNIST: These people were the new stars of the late 80s.

BLITZER: Ivana was a key partner in several of Donald Trump's projects, supervising design work on Trump Tower, managing some of Trump's other properties.


And it all resulted in a uniquely Trump sort of home life.

IVANA TRUMP, FORMER WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: I was running three casinos in Atlantic City for ten years, going on helicopter at 7:00 in the morning, from New York, you know, getting up, landing on the roof, going through 6:00, back home, children, home work.


BLITZER: The Trumps raised three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, who would later become key players in Donald's business empire, and political aspirations. Donald Trump was constantly followed by rumors of infidelity, but the gossip came to a head, when Ivana Trump confirmed Trump was having an affair with Marla Maples.

IVANA TRUMP: I was devastated, of course. But at this stage, you come and you say, why me? You get angry.

BLITZER: Using the same fighting tactic her husband was famous for, Ivana Trump went very public with her divorce battle.

IVANA TRUMP: If you're good to him, he is incredible to you. If you're bad at him, you're dead.

BLITZER: But the Trumps set another surprise for the media, a sudden, seemingly amicable settlement, even walking out of the courthouse together arm in arm.

DONALD TRUMP: She always loved me.

BLITZER: Ivana went on to become an entrepreneur in her own right. She started a fashion line, and wrote books. Along the way, she married and divorced her third and fourth husbands, and made a movie cameo as America's most famous ex-wife in "The First Wives Club".

IVANA TRUMP: Can I get everything --

BLITZER: Donald and Ivana eventually had a friendly relationship. They even made a commercial together.

IVANA TRUMP: Eat our pizza the old way.

DONALD TRUMP: Crust first. BLITZER: But as his political fortunes rose, their divorce came back to haunt him. Documents show that Ivana had accused Donald Trump of raping her during an argument. Trump denied it, and Ivana issued a statement saying that what she called a rape was not intended to be, quote, interpreted in a literal or a criminal sense.

In 2017, Ivana Trump got pushback from the White House, when she suggested that she limited her communications with the president, to avoid making first lady, Melania Trump, jealous.

IVANA TRUMP: I don't want to cause any kind of jealousy, or something like that, because I'm basically first Trump wife, okay? I am the first one --

BLITZER: A statement from the first lady's office called Ivana an ex, and dismissed her comments a self serving.

Around the same time, Ivana said her ex-husband offered her an ambassador supposed to the Czech Republic, where she grew up under communist rule. But she said she turned it down, content with the extravagant lifestyle she built for herself, even with the public spotlight.

IVANA TRUMP: You don't really have a choice. You know, once you become a public person, you know, you are in the public eye.


BLITZER: Ivana Trump dead at the age of 73. May she rest in peace , and may her memory be a blessing.

We'll have more news just ahead. CNN is on the scene of a brutal Russian attack in Ukraine which killed at least 23 people, including children. THE SITUATION ROOM live from Jerusalem is continuing.



BLITZER: We are following a Russian cruise missile attack in central Ukraine that has killed at least 23 people, including three children.

CNN's Scott McLean is on the scene for us in Ukraine.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mid- morning, a busy commercial district in Vinnytsia, far from any front lines. Three Russian missiles landed here obliterating a medical center, severely damaging buildings all around, including offices and a theater. The husks of burned out cars littered the streets.

Rescue workers combed through the wreckage and amid this destruction had little hope of recovering anyone alive.

Throughout the day, the list of casualties grew. More than 20 people killed, including three children. Dozens more injured, many of them in critical condition. Others unaccounted for.

Among the victim, this 4-year- old killed in her stroller. Her mother was severly injured, according to the child's father.

What the Russia's target might have been is unknown. The defense ministry in Moscow has had nothing to say about the attack. Ukrainians say seven missiles were launched from the Black Sea, four were intercepted, tragically, three were not.

People here in a state of shock. Ludmila Gudim and her husband owned a business servicing cash machines. The building next to the crater, the store front windows were blown out.

LUDMILA GUDIM, VINNYTSIA BUSINESS OWNER: We are living in a beautiful, peaceful city attacked by a rocket. What for?

MCLEAN: Olha Mayenko works on the fourth flour. She didn't seek shelter when the sirens went off half an hour before the missiles hit.

OLHA MAYENKO, WORKS IN VINNYTSIA: We didn't go down into the shelter. We were certain this wouldn't happen here.

MCLEAN: Maxim Budyko was using an ATM machine next to his photo store, when the blast went of, he used the machine for cover.

MAXIM BUDYKO, SURVIVED STRIKE IN VINNYTSIA (through translator): The shield, which was my only protection, I was lying on the ground, all covered in glass. I didn't know if I would even survive that moment. And you can go take a look. The ATM machine over there is completely destroyed.

MCLEAN: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was addressing a conference, as the horror emerged.

This is an act of Russian terror, he said. People couldn't do this. They are animals.

Into the evening, the work of searching for victims and clearing wreckage continued.

This is the third Russian missile attack in the last month alone, have killed more than 20 Ukrainian civilians. And as one Ukrainian official put it, nobody knows where the missiles will land tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.


MCLEAN (on camera): And, President Zelenskyy mentioned that little girl by name in his nightly address, stressing that Lisa was just four years old. He's calling on the international community to label Russia a terror state, arguing that of the same thing happened in Dallas or Dresden, surely, you'd call it terrorism -- Wolf.

BLITZER: CNN's Scott McLain, thank you very much for that report.

And to our viewers, I will see you again tomorrow from Saudi Arabia. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.