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Putin Warns Of More Attacks After Deadly New Strikes In Ukraine; Key Former Trump White House Aide Cooperating In Georgia Election Probe; GOP Embraces Georgia Senate Candidate Walker Amid Abortion Scandal; San Antonio Officer Fired For Shooting Teen Eating In Car; L.A. City Council Member Resigns As President Over Racist Remarks; Uvalde Schools Superintendent Announces Retirement After New Details Emerge About Response To Massacre. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired October 10, 2022 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, deadly blasts rock Ukraine, the worst since the invasion. And Vladimir Putin is now threatening to keep the bombardment going. This hour, I'll ask the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States about these new revenge attacks by Russia.
Also tonight, a star witness in the January 6 hearings is now cooperating in another investigation of former President Trump. Stand by for details on former White House Aide Cassidy Hutchinson and her role in the criminal probe of Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia's presidential election results.
And just weeks before the midterm elections, top Republicans are rallying behind U.S. Senate Candidate Herschel Walker in Georgia. Walker battling reports that he paid for his ex-girlfriend's abortion despite his anti-abortion stance.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Tonight, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is vowing Ukraine will not be intimidated by a deadly new barrage of Russian air strikes. Our Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen is on the scene for us in Kyiv.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over: It was in the middle of Monday morning rush hour that waves of Russian missiles started hitting Ukraine's capital and other cities across the country, sending people scampering for their lives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My hands are trembling as I've just seen how the missile was flying overhead and I heard that sound.
PLEITGEN: Ukraine says the Russians launched more than 80 missiles and more than 20 attack drones at targets in Ukraine. While the air defenses took many out, they couldn't stop them all. Ukraine's president quick to condemn the attacks.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We are dealing with terrorists. They want panic and chaos.
PLEITGEN: Ukrainian cities, like Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and multiple others reported power outages after Russia's attacks. The deputy head of Ukraine's presidential administration telling me they are working to get the electricity grid back up and running.
KYRYLO TYMOSHENKO, DEPUTY HEAD, UKRAINE PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION: Of course, critically, for us, it is critical infrastructure, electricity infrastructure.
PLEITGEN: But Russian missiles also struck sites that were anything but critical. Several cars were destroyed at this busy intersection outside a museum.
Even hours after the initial attacks by the Russian military, there are still air raid sirens going off here in the Ukrainian capital. And you can see right here, this is just one impact site of where one of those Russian missiles hit. It ripped a whole into the tarmac of the road here and five people were killed in this place alone.
The attacks come just days after a major Russian logistic routes, the Crimean Bridge was heavily damaged by an explosion. Moscow blamed Ukraine for the blast though Kyiv has not taken responsibility for the attack. The Russian army showed video of ships launching missiles toward Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged he's taking revenge.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: A massive strike was carried out with high precision and long-range weapons of air, sea and land-based systems on energy, military and communications facilities of Ukraine.
PLEITGEN: But this clearly was not a command facility. In Central Kyiv, a playground took a direct hit leaving a giant crater. The capital's mayor, former heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko, vowing to stand strong.
Your message to Putin?
MAYOR VITALI KLITSCHKO, KYIV, UKRAINE: We'll never come back to the Russian Empire. We see our future part of European Democratic family.
PLEITGEN (on camera): So, as you could see there, Wolf, some strong words from the mayor of Kyiv. And other top Ukrainian officials that we spoke had a similar message of defiance. In fact, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tonight, he went to one of the sites that was hit by a missile and he said on the one hand the Ukrainians are already working to get that infrastructure back up and running, but he also said that he believe that's the Russians did this because they're losing on the battlefield. And he said the only answer for Ukraine to give right now is to give the Russians even more losses on the battlefield. Wolf?
BLITZER: CNN's Fred Pleitgen on the scene for us in Kyiv right now, stay safe over there, Fred. Thank you very much.
And let's bring in our contributor on Russian affairs, CNN's former Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty. Jill, are these Russian strikes, and they're brutal right now, a sign Putin is under increasing pressure?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, RUSSIAN AFFAIRS: I do believe that, Wolf. I think, look at the situation. Up until now, his military on the ground has been doing really an abysmal job, and so he has to try to use these weapons of war just attacking cities.
That is one. And then at home, he's under pressure because of that partial mobilization, which is very unpopular, hundreds of thousands of people leaving for that. And then he's also under pressure from the party of war. These are the really hardliners who want him to take the fight even more brutally to Ukraine. So, you'd have to say that he is really almost being led by them at this point to do more. I think it is a sign of weakness.
BLITZER: Yes, very, very disturbing indeed. Jill Dougherty, thank you very much.
Let's get some more on all of these developments. Joining us now, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova. Ambassador, thank you so much for joining us.
What goes through your mind hearing Putin call the Crimean Bridge bombing a, quote, terrorist attack when he has retaliate by striking a playground in Kyiv?
OKSANA MARKAROVA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Wolf. Well, there is only one terrorist here and that is Mr. Putin and the Russian forces. And Ukraine did not provoke this war eight years ago. Ukraine did not provoke this war 229 days ago. And all we do is defend our people and our territory.
So, the terrorists here is Russian Federation. And we have seen the horrible day today as another sign of these horrible atrocities. Every time they rotate commanders, which fail miserably one after another, they do more atrocities. But they will not win. We will not be scared and we will not surrender.
BLITZER: Ambassador, was Ukraine behind the attack on that bridge to Crimea?
MARKAROVA: Well, we don't have any information that. But, frankly, it is not even important here. The importance here is that we have an aggressor who is on our land and soil everywhere, including Crimea, illegally, and doing all this full-fledged war and war crimes and atrocities. We will do everything possible to defend our land and they just have to leave. BLITZER: As you know, Ambassador, President Biden spoke just a little while ago with President Zelenskyy and promised advanced air defense systems from the U.S. to Ukraine. What more can you tell us about that and how critical all of that is in that kind of U.S. and allied support in light of these renewed and brutal Russian strikes?
MARKAROVA: Very good call indeed and we're very grateful to President Biden and American people for everything that we have received before, but especially for this new pledge of the air defense. Clearly, with 84 missiles and 24 drones that Russia sent on Ukraine from Belarus, from Caspian Sea, from Russia and from temporarily occupied Crimea today is a sign that we do need air defense as much as possible, everything that we can get.
But we also need what we discussed before, the firepower, the long- range, everything. This war is still not won and it has to be won by us. Because as another great Kyivan, Golda Meir, who was the prime minister prime minister of Israel, said a long time ago, and he was not far from the place which was attacked today, and she said we want to live. Our neighbors want us to die. That leaves not a lot of space for compromise. This is what we're doing. We're defending our right to live in our own country peacefully.
BLITZER: A Kremlin spokesperson says Russia won't use nuclear weapons to retaliate for that bridge attack, but are Ukrainian still preparing for the worst from Putin?
MARKAROVA: We're preparing for everything. Clearly, today, after taking children's playgrounds and heart of Kyiv and other places, after destroying our infrastructure, the heating companies before the winter, when it is already cold in Ukraine, shows that these terrorists have no red lines. They have no limits to what they can do. So, we're preparing for everything.
But, again, whatever they will try to scare us with will not change the fact that we all will defend our country as long as it takes. And we're very -- it was very great to hear today President Biden who said that the U.S. will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes.
BLITZER: Yes. And the White House statement also said that the U.S. regards what Russia is doing right now in Ukraine as war crimes and atrocities.
The Finnish president today, Ambassador, said Putin is not capable of accepting defeat in Ukraine. So, how does this war end?
MARKAROVA: They will have to accept this defeat. They cannot conquer a peaceful nation that doesn't want to live under occupation. We've had enough. And I think they just have to face the reality, that regardless of what they do to us, we mourn, it is very painful, we mourn every loss and it is devastating, not to be able to call your mom and then, thanks God, the electricity is back and I can call her.
But regardless of how painful it is, we will not surrender. It only makes us more determined to defend our country.
BLITZER: Ambassador Oksana Markarova, thank you so much for joining us. Good luck to you and good luck to the people of Ukraine.
Coming up, her testimony before the January 6 select committee was a blockbuster. Now, what is Cassidy Hutchinson telling a Georgia prosecutor about Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election?
And why even the police union won't defend an officer who shot a teenager in a McDonald's parking lot? The chilling story and the body camera video, all of that, coming up.
BLITZER: Now, a story reported first on CNN, sources revealing that former White House Aide Cassidy Hutchinson is cooperating with another investigation of former President Trump after her truly stunning testimony during the January 6 hearings. Hutchinson is now working with the prosecutor looking at Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.
CNN's Sara Murray has been following the case in Fulton County for us in Georgia.
Sara is here with in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We keep seeing this Georgia investigation expand.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That is right. And Cassidy Hutchinson could be an important cooperator for them in part because she worked closely with Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, and they haven't been able to secure his testimony yet.
But let's go back to just what made her testimony so jaw-dropping. She sort of signaled that there were people in the White House in the run- up to January 6th who are already worried that crimes could be happening. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: So, you heard her signaling that there was a fear in the White House that people are crossing legal red lines. When it comes to what she's saying to Georgia prosecutors, obviously, they are going to be looking for any information relating to efforts to overturn the election in Georgia. We didn't hear a lot from her on that in the hearing, but, presumably, she would have some knowledge of Meadows' activities in the state, Wolf.
BLITZER: Sara, CNN has learned that the same Trump lawyer who signed the letter earlier this year inaccurately claiming all of those classified documents in Mar-a-Lago had been handed over to the National Archives has now talked to federal investigators. What are you learning about that?
MURRAY: That's right. This is Christina Bobb. She's a member of the former president's legal team. She was the person who was there the day that there was that search that was conducted at Mar-a-Lago. She, as you pointed out, has previously signed this declaration, saying we've done a diligent search, we've returned all of the documents that have classification markings. Of course, we now know that that is not the case, and she did talk to federal investigators.
And, Wolf, of course, this is a sign that investigators have some weariness, reasonably so, about what kind of search was conducted, why you would sign an attestation that was not true. Our understanding is that she's still a member of the former president's legal team but she's not working on this Mar-a-Lago documents case specifically at this point, Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll see what happens on that front.
Sara, stay with us. Don't go too far away. I also want to bring in CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig.
Elie, just how useful could Cassidy Hutchinson's cooperation be in the Georgia probe?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony is indispensable to telling the story of the effort to steal this election. Now, as Sara said, her testimony in front of Congress that we saw was not specifically Georgia-oriented. However, she only testified on live T.V. for about two hours. Let's keep in mind, prosecutors in the grand jury have as much time as they need with Cassidy Hutchinson. And my focus, I was questioning here, would be on her former boss, Mark Meadows. Mark Meadows was on that phone call that Donald Trump placed down to Brad Raffensperger. I would want to know all about that. And I would try to use Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to pressure Mark Meadows to coming in and coming clean as well.
BLITZER: It's interesting, Sara. We know that the Fulton County, Georgia district attorney is aiming to wrap up the probe there just after the midterm elections coming up in the end of November. Could Hutchinson's testimony be one of the final pieces of this investigation?
MURRAY: Yes. The district attorney, she wants to be done calling witnesses by the end of this year. Sources have told us she wants to wrap it up and she could begin issuing indictments as early as December.
I think Cassidy Hutchinson could be important if, for instance, they never get Mark Meadows in front of the grand jury. She could begin to fill in some of these blanks. And they may need to rely on people like that if they just hit the point where they say, look, we're not willing to continue to fight this kind of stuff out in court any longer. We want to write a report, we want to move ahead with indictments.
BLITZER: Very interesting indeed.
Elie, we're also getting more insight right into how the Republican leadership actually tried to whitewash Trump's culpability on January 6. Michael Fanone, who defended the U.S. Capitol that day as a police officer, recorded his meeting with Kevin McCarthy last summer. Listen to this change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): When I called him, he wasn't watching T.V.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He knew what was going. He knew what was going on. People were fighting for hours and hours and hours. You know, just this doesn't make any sense to me.
MCCARTHY: I'm just telling you from my phone call, I don't know that he didn't know that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: How revealing is that, Elie?
HONIG: Well, Wolf, let's remember which version of Kevin McCarthy this is talking. For about a week after January 6th, Kevin McCarthy was quite clear. He said publicly Donald Trump bears responsibility. McCarthy even said, Donald Trump told me, Kevin McCarthy, that he understands, he, Donald Trump, has some responsibility. This recording was made later.
And after about that first initial bout of honesty, Kevin McCarthy changed his tune notably and went into spin mode in favor of Donald Trump. And so I think we see another example of Kevin McCarthy offering up not just an implausible version of the truth but a version of the truth that has been contradicted by witness after witness and by common sense and reality. Of course, Donald Trump was watching T.V. Of course, he knew what was happening. This is McCarthy just sort of looking for political favor.
BLITZER: How rare is it, Sara, for someone like McCarthy to be actually called out for his defense of Trump?
MURRAY: Well, you know, look, it obviously is not happening from other Republicans publicly. All of these Republicans have lined up behind Donald Trump, even Kevin McCarthy after that initial criticism. So, it is really telling that in this meeting that these families were not willing to buy what Kevin McCarthy was selling. And, frankly, maybe the moment Kevin McCarthy called Trump he wasn't watching T.V., but we know from testimony and we also know from who Donald Trump is as a person, that, of course, he was watching T.V., watching this unfold. So, I do think it is really telling that he tried to sell a line like this to these families and they very clearly were saying, no, no, we're not going to buy this.
BLITZER: Sara Murray, thanks very much. Elie Honig, thanks to you as well.
Coming up, why key Republicans right now are so eager to embrace U.S. Senate Candidate Herschel Walker, as the Georgia football icon is being accused of brazen hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.
BLITZER: Tonight, top Republicans are rushing to the defense of a GOP candidate whose fate in the midterm elections could be crucial in deciding who controls the U.S. Senate. Herschel Walker is facing a very serious new controversy that's raising questions about his opposition to abortion rights.
CNN National Politics Reporter Eva McKend is covering the race in Georgia.
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER (voice over): With just one week to go before early voting begins in Georgia, the Republican establishment going all-in for Herschel Walker. Florida Senator Rick Scott, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton will stump for Walker in Carrollton, Georgia, tomorrow.
I'm proud to stand with Herschel Walker and make sure that Georgians know he will always fight to protect them from the forces trying to destroy Georgia values and Georgia's economy. Scott said in a statement announcing the visit.
The GOP show of support comes as Walker, who is staunchly opposed to abortion rights, confronts reports he paid for an ex-girlfriend to get an abortion and urged the woman to end this second pregnancy two years later. CNN has not been able to independently verify the allegations. Walker has repeatedly denied them.
SENATE CANDIDATE HERSCHEL WALKER (R-GA): The abortion thing is false, it's a lie, and that is what I said.
MCKEND: With control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs, there are few signs Republicans are reconsidering their support for the GOP nominee.
REP. DON BACON (R-NE): Herschel needs to come clean and just be honest. We also know that we all make mistakes.
MCKEND: For his part, Walker's opponent, Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, continues to avoid directly attacking his GOP rival over the allegations.
REPORTER: Herschel Walker though has continued to deny these allegations are true. Why shouldn't Georgia voters believe it?
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): It is up to Georgia voters. And it is not up to him, it's not up to me, it is up to them.
My opponent has trouble with the truth. And we'll see how all of this plays out.
MCKEND: Georgia Republicans don't think the controversy will hurt Walker even if more developments emerge in the coming weeks.
JAY WILLIAMS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The Democrats have based their campaign on mental health issues, that he actually expressed and talked about in his book and are attacking him for stuff he made public years ago before he was even a political candidate.
MCKEND: In a display of their commitment to Walker, the National Republican Senatorial Committee diverting additional resources to Georgia. The organization had originally planned to spend in New Hampshire, home to another Senate battleground. A super PAC run by allies of former President Trump have also reserved nearly $1 million in Georgia to boost Walker, this as Democrats wait and see what impact, if any, the allegations will have among voters in the state.
FRED HICKS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: We have to get a sense of, A, do people care, B, to -- what do they care about? do they care that he paid for an abortion, or is it really again the authenticity argument? So, I think after this week, when people complete their polls and surveys, you'll see the change of strategy for both Republicans and Democrats.
MCKEND (on camera): Now, Walker also fundraising off of this scandal. An email went out today to supporters that says, first, they did it to Clarence Thomas, now they're doing it to me. The former NFL star asking for donations to help him, in his words, clear the record. Wolf?
BLITZER: Eva, stand by. We're also joined right now by CNN Chief National Affairs Correspondent Jeff Zeleny and CNN Senior Commentator John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio.
Governor Kasich, what does it say about your party that key Republicans are doubling down now in support of Herschel Walker in the wake of these allegations?
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: Well, Wolf, look, I'm a Republican. I've been a Republican all of my life and remain a Republican. But I have to tell you, at some point, enough is enough. And it is not just these allegations. It is what his family has said about him. I think he's a very poor candidate. And at some point, winning is not all that matters in life. And I'd like to see the Republicans win the Senate. I think they are going to win the house. But, you know, at some point you have got to say this kind of crosses the line. And it is kind of amazing to me -- well I know it is about. It's all about who is going to control what, who is going to be in charge, who is going to do this, who is going to do that, and it is a problem with both parties, Wolf. I mean, we just happen to have the Republicans now that are in this situation.
But, look, Democrats would do the same thing because, unfortunately, in this country, it seems as though the only thing that matters is power, not so much character and integrity. And, look, the guy has a right to -- first of all, apologize for what he said, and he can say, I've made mistakes, I get all of that, but there is just too much around here for my taste.
BLITZER: Jeff, Senator Bernie Sanders says that he's alarmed, his word, alarmed, that Democrats are making abortion their closing message just ahead of the midterm elections.
Based on your reporting, and you're doing extensive, excellent reporting, is that messaging motivating voters?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there is no doubt that abortion rights has been a central motivating factor for Democratic voters and independent voters for the last several months. It is keeping them in the game. I hear that again and again as we travel across the country. Democrats would surely be facing even stiffer headwinds if they were not using the abortion rights fight to motivate voters because it generally comes up in every single conversation we have with voters. But the question is what order in which it comes up.
And the economy is still front and center for so many Americans. Inflation is still front and center for so many Americans. So, yes, abortion rights is very important, democracy is very important, but it is not the single issue. So, that is some of the worrying that is going on by Democrats right now.
We're exactly four weeks from the midterm elections tomorrow. And you're getting the sense now that Democrats are entering the phase that they normally do, the bedwetting phase, if you will. That is what it is long been referred to. And they are worried that they simply are not doing enough. But the reality is without abortion rights, they would almost certainly be in a worst position than they are going into the final months.
So, it is not the only issue, and Senator Sanders is basically saying that there should be an economic argument. But that argument is the same argument he used to run for president a couple of different times and was not necessarily successful. So, I think it is clear talking to strategists and voters they want to hear both. The question is just how much time and emphasis is spent on abortion and, clearly, it is of concern to people but it is not the only concern by any stretch. BLITZER: Good point. You know, Eva, I want to listen to some very disturbing comments made by Senator Tommy Tuberville out of a Nevada rally on Saturday. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): The Democratic Party, they have majority, they could stop this crime today. They -- some people say, well, they're soft on crime. No, they're not soft on crime. They're pro-crime. They want crime. They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparation because they think that people that do the crime are owed that. Bullshit, they are not owed that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You know, Eva, you could hear that those racist comments were met with thunderous applause at that rally. What does that say about Senator Tuberville and his fellow Republicans who are remaining silent in the wake of those comments?
MCKEN: Well, Wolf, there is a history here. Some conservatives sometimes use racism as a crutch, specifically when they are talking about this issue of crime. And the problem is it doesn't align with the facts. You'll often hear or conservatives make the suggestion that undocumented immigrants, for instance, that they are overrepresented when it comes to crime. It is just not true.
And I think the problem for the party is that they say that they are trying to seek more voters of color, bring them into the fold, really excited at the fact that Trump was able to peel away a slightly larger amount of black men in 2020. There is but so much of that that they can do if they are insistent on continuing to use racism as a crutch and running back to racializing these arguments. You can talk about crime, you can make your positions clear on crime without having to be racist.
BLITZER: Let me get Governor Kasich to weigh in on this. What do you think, Governor?
KASICH: I think it was outrageous what he had to say, totally outrageous. But, Wolf, let me tell you one other thing that bothers me. There is a split in the evangelical community in this country. And I saw where these evangelicals are like washing everything away because somehow the control of the Senate matters so much and those issues, you know what, I'm -- I happen to be a Christian, okay, and I know the community is split.
Frankly, the evangelical community ought to stay out of politics, and spend their time in the pulpit teaching the lessons that we know and the scripture and all this business of inviting people in and getting involved in politics and charging their people up, it is a real shame. And you know what, it's going to change. And there is a fight inside of the evangelical community about the direction they should go and politics is not where they belong.
BLITZER: Yes, good point there. John Kasich, thank you very much. Jeff Zeleny, Eva McKend, thanks to you guys as well.
Just ahead, how will Ukraine respond to Russia's latest missile attacks? We'll get an update from CNN's Christiane Amanpour, who spoke with Ukraine's foreign minister today.
And the unrest in Iran right now, more nationwide protests against the country's regime despite an intensified crackdown by Iran security forces.
BLITZER: Russia ramped up its aggression against Ukrainian today by unleashing a barrage of brutal air strikes marking the heaviest attack since Russia invaded back in February. Ukrainian officials say Russia fired more than 80 missiles killing at least 11 people and injuring dozens more.
Joining us now, CNN's Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, thanks so much for joining us.
As you know, Putin is raining missiles down big time across Ukraine, including in the capital of Kyiv, but is this a reminder of Russia's failures right now out there on the battlefield?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Wolf, I think there is absolutely no doubt that this really unprecedented, huge, wide-ranging 84 cruise missiles in just a few hours plus drones, big drones, the Iranian-supplied drones, that hit, as you said, all over. We haven't seen this since the beginning of the war and most people do believe it is because of the blowing up or the damaging of the Kerch Bridge from Crimea to mainland Russia and also because of the battlefield losses. He's basically turning around and trying to retaliate, trying to take revenge against Ukraine as well as sort of try to tamp down a real spirit of euphoria that was emerging in Ukraine because of all of their successes.
BLITZER: I know you had a chance to speak to the foreign minister of Ukraine today. What was his bottom line message?
AMANPOUR: Well, the bottom line is despite that there was several deaths in Ukraine today, despite that there were attacks on the energy points all over the country, I asked him this escalatory phase that we're in right now, will that cause you to rethink your counteroffensives, and he literally said to me, no way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Whatever he does, whatever he does, we will continue to liberate our territory. I want you to understand a very simple thing. This is the war for the existence of Ukraine. This is the war for the existence of international law and rule-based order. So, he may escalate, he may do whatever he wants but we're going to continue fighting and we will win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, very emphatic and they have got emergency phone calls or video calls tomorrow, G7, President Biden, President Zelenskyy will join and the other G& leaders. Then there is a major NATO meeting at the end of this week, all of this to say that the Ukrainians are asking for much more sophisticated anti-aircraft, rather anti-missile defenses, plus artillery and ammunition.
BLITZER: I want to turn to Iran while I have you, Christiane. Nearly a month after the death of that young woman in police custody that sparked outrage, how incredible is it that these protests on the streets of Iran right now are actually seem to be gaining steam?
AMANPOUR: You're absolutely right, and this unprecedented. It has lasted now into its fourth week. And that is quite something. Because, usually, when a fierce government crackdown, the protesters tend to dwindle and sort of collapse. There have been dozens of deaths, according to Iranian human rights organizations. It is difficult for us to confirm exactly. But we have seen a huge amount of, you know, will to stay on the streets.
And the authorities know that this is something very different. They haven't faced this before. And I might add that it is being led by women, but there are many, many male allies on the streets, even young girls are in the forefront. We are talking about high school students, middle school students are out on the street. It is completely different. It is not just about the hijab or the headgear, it is about freedoms and they want to change the system. And important sectors of the Iranian economy are going on strike in solidarity. When that happens, that is often a major, major turning point in a signal to whoever is in power.
BLITZER: It certainly is. CNN's Christiane Amanpour, as usual, thank you very, very much.
AMANPOUR: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Coming up, the Los Angeles City Council president resigns from that post after racist comments she made about a colleague and his black child are revealed.
BLITZER: We're following a very disturbing police shooting in San Antonio, Texas. An officer opening fire on a teenager who was simply eating a meal in the parking lot at a McDonald's. Tonight, even the police union won't defend him.
CNN's senior national correspondent Ed Lavendera has more for us right now.
Ed, walk us through what happened here. ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf.
Well, this took place on Sunday, October 2nd. It was about 10:45 at night when an officer responded to one call but then noticed something different. A car that he believed had evaded him the night before. We warn you that what you're about to watch is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLICE OFFICER: Get out of the car.
POLICE OFFICER: Shots fired! Shots fired. Shots fired!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: So that video is from the body camera footage of San Antonio Police Officer James Brennand who was fired three days after that incident happened. The police chief in San Antonio says, Wolf, that those actions, his actions on that night did not follow the tactics, the training or the procedures of the San Antonio Police Department and the place chief said that simply his actions there are indefensible.
The officers I mentioned was responding to that McDonald's for another call when he noticed that car, but he walked up to it and simply opened the door and never really identified himself to whoever was in the car. And all of that ending with the young man in the car, 17- year-old Erik Cantu, his car came to a stop about a block away, wolf.
BLITZER: How is that 17-year-old doing tonight and what is his family saying, Ed?
LAVANDERA: Well, just a few hours ago, we received a statement from the attorney representing the family. They say that Erik Cantu is struggling. That he was hit with multiple bullets to major organs, that he is on life support being sedated as doctors are working to save his life tonight.
BLITZER: I hope he's going to be okay. Ed Lavandera, thank you very, very much.
Let's go to Los Angeles right now where the city council president has resigned from that post after racist remarks she made about a colleague and his black son were revealed publicly.
CNN national correspondent Nick Watt is in LA. with details.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mike Bonin is an L.A. City Council member and father to a young black son. Last year, they went to an MLK day parade.
City Council President Nury Martinez had some issues.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
NURY MARTINEZ, LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: It's like the black and brown on this float. And there this white guy with his little black kid who's misbehaved. The kid is bouncing off the effing walls on the float, practically tipping it over. There's nothing you can do to control him, parece changuito.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WATT: Translation, little monkey.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MARTINEZ: They're raising him like a little white kid which I was like, this kid needs a beat down, like let me give him take him around the corner and then I'll bring him back.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WATT: Bonin tweeted that Martinez attacked our son with horrific racist slurs and talked about her desire to physically harm him. It's vile, abhorrent and utterly disgraceful.
There were protests at her house. Today, she resigned as council president.
She issued this apology: In a moment of intense frustration and anger, I let the situation get the best of me and I hold myself accountable for these comments. For that, I am sorry.
Recorded nearly a year ago, the audio was posted anonymously Reddit for first reported by "The Los Angeles Times". Those present were reports to paper all Democrats, all Hispanics.
Among them, labor leader Ron Herrera. He's tweeted: There is no justification and no excuse for the vile remarks made in that room. Period. And I didn't step up to stop them. He did not.
When Martinez described Bonin's son as an accessory, according to the paper, he joined. In
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MARTINEZ: It's like an accessory. When we do the MLK Parade --
KEVIN DE LEON, COUNCIL MEMBER: Just like when, just like when --
RON HERRERA, LABOR LEADER: We use to have those statues in the plantations, didn't they?
DE LEON: And when Nury brings her Goyard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag el trae su accessory. (END AUDIO CLIP)
WATT: That last voice, Council Member Kevin de Leon. He's got big ambitions. He ran for mayor this year and the U.S. Senate seat in '18.
I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments, he wrote. I fell short of the expectations we set for our leaders.
WATT (on camera): And today, the mayor of L.A., the Chamber of Commerce, the teachers union all calling on Nury Martinez and two other council members to resign from the council completely. This audio tells us a couple of things. One, what some politicians are prepared to say in private when they don't think the world is listening. And also, it speaks to the divisions amongst the leadership here in Los Angeles.
Now, Nury Martinez said this about the district attorney in L.A., who is a Cuban-American. She said, F that guy, he's with the Blacks -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Nick Watt reporting for us -- Nick, thank you very much. We'll have more news, just ahead.
BLITZER: Tonight, new fallout in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, after CNN's reporting about the response to the massacre. The Uvalde school superintendent announcing his retirement.
CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has been following this story since the shooting.
Shimon, we're just a few minutes away from the start of the school board meeting tonight. What do we expect?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, Wolf, one of the things we expect is for the superintendent here, Hal Harrell, to announce his retirement and the plan going forward for the transition. We're also -- we think we will hear about some settle suspensions and some of the other people who have been placed on leave as a result of that officer who was hired here, who was under investigation.
Just moments ago, Wolf, the superintendent Hal Harrell was outside here. We tried to ask him some questions about the hiring of that officer.
Take a listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PROKUPECZ: Are you concerned about her hiring? Sir, were you concerned about hiring?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he can get to the meeting on time if you can give him space and walk that way.
PROKUPECZ: We've been here. But he's avoided our questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ: And so, Wolf, as you can see, many of his supporters who were out here were trying to prevent us from asking him that question. He didn't want to answer any questions. And so now he went inside. And we'll see if he talks about it inside.
Wolf, there are still some very key and important questions that the school district needs to answer. They have refused to answer any questions about the hiring of this officer and how that happened, and also just going forward what the next steps are for this school district -- Wolf.
BLITZER: So what do we expect tonight, Shimon?
PROKUPECZ: So, he's going to come in. We expect that he's going to talk about his retirement and the next steps on that. We also expect to hear from parents, parents of the victims, parents of students who attend Robb Elementary. They're going to talk about some of the latest developments.
And perhaps we're going to hear about some of those measures that the school is taking as the transition here now begins, not only for the superintendent, but also the future of its police department, the entire police department for the school, it's a small police department, it has been suspended. They're not performing their duties. So perhaps we will hear more about that.
But I don't know, Wolf, honestly because the school district has continuously refused to answer any questions.
BLITZER: We'll watch it together with you. Thank you very much, Shimon Prokupecz, doing excellent reporting for us in Uvalde.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Please be sure to join us again tomorrow starting at our new time 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Till then, once again, thanks very much for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.