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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

President Zelenskyy's Stark Warning: No New Military Success In Ukraine This Year Without U.S. Aid; Biden Says He's Hopeful For Gaza Ceasefire By Next Monday; Trump Appeals $454 Million Judgment In New York Civil Fraud Case. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired February 26, 2024 - 21:00   ET



KARA SWISHER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: They'll lose or win, in court. That's fine. That seems fair, for everybody else. Even Donald Trump's in court.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: When you look at this next election coming up, are we going to see all the same issues we saw in 2020?

SWISHER: Some of them. And then, there's going to be more deepfakes. There are going to -- you know, we'll have to figure it out, and work through.

But my issue is these are unaccountable people, making decisions, for the rest of us, and not paying the price of damage.

COOPER: Kara Swisher, thank you so much.

SWISHER: Thank you.

COOPER: The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS," and her interview with Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, starts now.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Kaitlan Collins, coming to you live, from London, tonight, after an extraordinary 48-hour journey, in and out of Ukraine, for a one-on-one interview, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

On the second anniversary of Putin's invasion, of his country, it was a conversation that frankly surprised me several times, including Zelenskyy's candor, about the fight over U.S. aid. It's a situation that is so dire. As Zelenskyy told me, Ukraine will make no new gains, on the battlefield, this year, unless they have U.S. help. He also warned that millions of people could die.

It loomed almost over every conversation that was had with Ukrainians, on the ground, this question of whether or not American support is going to be part of their future.

Tomorrow could be a moment of truth there, because in Washington, President Biden is set to meet with the leaders of the House and the Senate. Really, inside that room, when they talk about aid to Ukraine, which we are told will be part of that conversation, it's going to be four against one, inside the Oval Office.

Because President Biden, Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries, Mitch McConnell, all on the same page, when it comes to aid in Ukraine, versus Mike Johnson, who has continued to hold the line against providing more aid, following in the lead of former President Donald Trump.

President Zelenskyy, in our one-on-one sit down had a lot to say, about Speaker Johnson, the former President, and also the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

But we begin with how that stalemate, in Washington, is being felt in the frontlines, half a world away.


COLLINS: Mr. President, thank you, for being here.

You said that you have hope that the U.S. Congress will deliver more aid to Ukraine. With all due respect, why do you have that hope? Because there are some members, who are very opposed to sending any more aid to Ukraine.

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE: I'm sharing really with you what I hear, or what I heard. It's not only about the trust. So, that's, I really thankful for President, and bipartisan support.

But you have to know that usually once a month, I meet, and I invite -- not -- it's not only with invitation works. But I meet a lot of congressmen, from two parties. And they always say that they will help us, they will support us. They need some -- some more time that they have some radical voices in -- radical voices in Congress, but they will work on it.

And that's why I'm, what I have to do. I'm the president in a war time, in Ukraine, which is in a war. I have to trust our strategic partners.

If they will change their mind, so, it's a great problem for us. And it will be a big challenge for us.

COLLINS: You are talking about the lawmakers, from the U.S. that you've met with. You met with Senator Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate.

But really, the person, who may have your fate, in his hands, is Mike Johnson, the Republican House Speaker, who has never voted in favor of aid to Ukraine. What would you say to him, beyond that he should come visit?

ZELENSKYY: I had meeting with him, with Speaker Johnson. And he also -- if we can trust each other I, you know, this is, again, the question of just of how to trust partners or not. That's what I have to say.

So, when we spoke with each other, he said that he will do everything to support Ukraine, and he's on our side. And he understands how heroic our people, our soldiers, and civilians and the children. And he said that, so his faith with us, yes, and prayers with us. And he said that he will do it.

And then, after my meeting with him, I had met him with in the White House. And also in the White House, the administration told me, yes, we have challenges, with some voices in Congress.


And I asked President, really, I asked him that, please, President, I'm asking you to help me, and to help Ukrainian people. And please, can you do -- I know that you have a lot of questions to each other, because of election period, challenging period. But can you -- can you put the pause in your dialog, on these questions? One -- please one meeting, with each other, with Democrats and Republicans, yes, Republicans, yes. And please, can you have deal? Because for us, it's very important.

Yes, I gave this message. My message, I think that Johnson heard it. And Biden also heard it. So, that's it. What can I do? I can't push Speaker. This is his decision. But I think he understands all the challenges, what we have.

COLLINS: Do you trust Speaker Johnson?

ZELENSKYY: I have to trust. I have to trust. But we'll see.

COLLINS: The stakes here. If U.S. aid to Ukraine stops, does that increase Russia's chances of winning?

ZELENSKYY: Yes, of course. Yes, of course.

And Russians understand. And they do everything by, you know, that what the -- the information, it's part of their weapon, and Russian weapon. And they were strong in it. And I was surprised that they are strong, even in the United States, in the EU, all over the world.

It's true they put a lot of money to this. The bill is very high, billions. And of course, they raise up this -- raise up this topic, through their societies, different societies. And, of course, they understand that it will have big influence, on the battlefield, on the morality of his, of Putin's murders, his soldiers, because he knows that their morality is very low.

Because during two years, they didn't have real victories, on the battlefield. They just destroyed villages, and some of our cities. But they couldn't occupy, mostly. They couldn't occupy our big cities and our people. So, that is the answer that -- so he needs, not to -- how to give unity. He needs to break the unity between us, and the United States. It means to break the unity in United States.

COLLINS: You said that you believe Russia is preparing a counteroffensive, for as soon as this May. If that happens, and you don't get any more aid from the U.S., will you be prepared for that counteroffensive? ZELENSKYY: People will be prepared. But ammunition will not be prepared. And brigades will not be ready. We'll not be ready not only for our counteroffensive. They will not be ready to defend, to stay strong. It will be very difficult.

COLLINS: One of the biggest things we hear, from Republicans, who don't support more aid to Ukraine is they're worried about corruption in Ukraine, and corruption for the billions that are coming. Can you tell Americans why they should trust their taxpayer dollars with you?

ZELENSKYY: First of all, thanks so much America and that they trust us.

But if they have questions about it, they can get everything with details. And mostly congressmen, they have it. And the administration also has it. So mostly, we didn't get billions. With this military support, we've got more important things, military. So some of it--

COLLINS: Equipment, not just cash.

ZELENSKYY: Equipment, yes. Equipment, not a cash. And that is very important.

Then, you have to know that all these billions, they didn't go to our budget. They went just to productions, defense productions, military productions of the United States. Or, to some funds, there are some -- some funds in -- on the -- in Europe. Sometimes, it goes for buying some additional artillery and et cetera. And after that, we've got it. So, that is very important.

The second, you have to know that now, Ukraine has the candidate status in EU. For us, it's very important. But to get the candidate status, it's not only the future, not only our will and target, to be the members of EU. When you get it, you have to vote and to provide anti-corruption reforms, all the anti-corruption reforms, what EU law say -- says, yes? So, we voted and provided all these reforms. That's why we have got candidate status.

COLLINS: One other comment we heard, from Senator J.D. Vance, who was in Munich, at the Security Conference, but didn't meet with you. He said that even if you got the $60 billion in aid, it is not going to fundamentally change the reality on the battlefield.

What's your response to that?


ZELENSKYY: I'm not sure that he understands what's going on here. And we don't need any rhetoric of -- from people, who are not deeply in the -- in the, you know, in the war.

So, to understand it, he needs to come to the frontline to see what's going on, to speak with the people, then to go to civilians, to understand what will be with them, and then what will be with them, without this support. And he will understand that millions of people who've been killed, will be killed. I've seen-- COLLINS: So, he doesn't understand it?

ZELENSKYY: Because he doesn't understand it. Of course he -- God bless, you don't have the war on your territory. And God bless, you will never -- you will never feel it. But if such guys, and they are decision-makers, for us, if such guys want to really make right decision? It's to understand right things, yes? Right things. What's going on?

COLLINS: You've said that you're not in a stalemate. You don't believe Ukraine did a stalemate. Realistically, what does victory look like for you?

ZELENSKYY: We don't want any frozen conflicts, that at first we had it by the Minsk agreement. We had it after 2014, when they occupied our Crimea and part of east of our country. And we don't believe, all our society, we don't trust, any frozen documents, any frozen conflicts, any just papers about ceasefire.

And we understand that Putin will never -- Putin will never keep his word. It means that what we need to push the army out of our territory, if we will control our borders. It means, for us, of course, peace, and the ending of the war. And it's not enough, really, it's not enough. The very important things, it's not to give Putin possibility to come back.

And in any frozen conflicts, he will come back, to destroy us, and to occupy us. That's true. And we don't want to check it, the second time, after Minsk agreement, after Normandy Format. So, everything was -- so all that documents failed. So that's mean that with Putin, you can't trust him. That's why we don't need any frozen conflict.

COLLINS: So, you don't trust anything that his name is on.

You did say today, as far as military plans that your new Commander- in-Chief is drawing up a clear-cut plan, you said. Are there two different plans? One for if U.S. aid happens? And one, if it doesn't happen?

ZELENSKYY: Yes, it means that if we have munition or not, if we count on our partners, or we have to count only on us. So, that is defending plan, or defending with some steps forward, with counteroffensive. That's very important.

Those back -- looking back previous year, to previous year. So what success we had on the Black Sea? Maybe not everybody saw it. But it was success. We destroyed their ships. We opened Black Sea, not totally, but anyway. We made and created the new route in the Black Sea, which gave for today about 30 million tons of grain and other agricultural products.

COLLINS: Huge success (ph).

ZELENSKYY: Yes, it's a big success. But we could -- did it -- could do it, with very contracted (ph) munition, with very contracted (ph) things. I'm not shared with -- with audience or you, all the details, but some of them. I think people understand.

COLLINS: So, you see the difference that U.S. aid makes, is what you're saying?

ZELENSKYY: Yes. It means that this year, if we will not get anything, we will not have any success. And also I--

COLLINS: You won't have any success?

ZELENSKYY: Any new success. And I think the route will be closed, with the grain, because to defend it, it's also about some ammunition, some air defense, and some other systems. And that's why without it, and without, we can't count on this war--

COLLINS: That's a really stark comment. You're basically saying that there will be no new success, for Ukraine, if there's no new U.S. aid. Essentially, this all depends on U.S. aid?


ZELENSKYY: Steps, success forward, will depend on the U.S. aid, yes. Not defending -- not only defending like, because if you defend, just defend, you give possibility Russia, push you. Yes, small steps back. But anyway you -- we will have this steps back, small one. But when you step back, you lose people. We will lose people.

COLLINS: You revealed today, for the first time, the first time in years, how many Ukrainian soldiers have been killed--



COLLINS: --in the last two wars -- in the last two years. You said it's around 31,000.


COLLINS: Why did you reveal that number today?

ZELENSKYY: Because it's enough for us, to hear liars, from different sides that we lost 300,000 people, and Russia lost about 30, 50, 60. Different people, different scientists, even in the United States, different politicals -- politicians, they share some, you know, some fantastic number of people have been killed.

So, Russia didn't have success, in occupation. They occupied it. And half of those territories that they occupied it from the 2024, you know, that half of this territory we already occupied it. It's, I think, this is success. Again, Black Sea, this is a -- and it's a pity that we have so many losses, because each person, this is tragedy for family, of course.

But I wanted to stop all this sharing of liars. I just wanted very much for our people, for our partners, understand. COLLINS: And it also, though, shows soldiers that you need. I mean, Russia, obviously, their manpower outnumbers you. Do you expect that there will be an increase, in the mobilization for the draft?

ZELENSKYY: We're not speaking about it, before Chief Commander will do audit.

COLLINS: OK. So you're not going to say if the number is going to go up yet.

One other thing you mentioned. You said the U.S. election, you believe, will be a key turning point. Donald Trump appears that he is on the verge of becoming the Republican nominee for president. The last time, I interviewed him, he refused to say, if he wanted Ukraine or Russia to win this war.

Are you prepared for him to be reelected?

ZELENSKYY: The decision who will be the President, decision of your society. But one moment? I hope it's not. I hope it's -- it will not be so but -- this way. But anyway.

So, if Donald Trump doesn't -- doesn't know, whom he will support, Ukraine or Russia, I think that he will have challenges with his society, because to support Russia, it means be against Americans. I am sure.

Because Russia, killing our people, killing their oppositions, they killed all, you know, all the democracy, and the democracy and freedom of speech. It means that he killed, Putin killed, all the values, which are -- which we defend today.

And I think, and I hope that we have common values, our people with your people. And that's why I can't understand how Donald Trump can be on the side of Putin. So for me, it's something unbelievable.

COLLINS: So would a Trump victory be good for Ukraine or bad for Ukraine?

ZELENSKYY: I think more important, what is it for you? That's your decision. So, for us, it's very dangerous, if politics will change, politics, the Ukrainian, to Ukrainian?

TRANSLATOR: Policy. Ukraine policy.

ZELENSKYY: Ah sorry. So, for us, it's--

COLLINS: If the Ukraine policy changes--

ZELENSKYY: Yes. Well it's--

COLLINS: --it's dangerous?

ZELENSKYY: It's very dangerous.

COLLINS: You very clearly want Ukraine to be in NATO. ZELENSKYY: Yes.

COLLINS: One comment that Donald Trump made recently is that NATO countries that don't pay enough in defense, that Russia should do whatever the hell they want, to those countries. Those are his words.

ZELENSKYY: I'm not sure of that. I'm not sure that he's ready to do -- to do it. Just words. I think so.

COLLINS: You're not sure that he's ready to do?

ZELENSKYY: To go out from the NATO. Or to push countries, you have to pay. Otherwise, Russia can do with you, everything Russia wants. I think it sounds something like not -- just words.

COLLINS: It's just words?

ZELENSKYY: I think so.

COLLINS: What about when he says that he could solve what's happening in one day, this two-year war now, in one day?

ZELENSKYY: I think he can't understand what's going on here. He can't solve it, with the Putin and with Russia, because we'll never be ready to give our territories, just for the stopping of the war, give them sort of a sense of our country. I think he doesn't really understand that Putin will not stop.


Even in this case, Putin will never stop and he wants to occupy us, totally. That's why I think that Donald Trump doesn't know Putin. But I know that he met him. And I don't know the spirit and mood of their dialog, their things. But he never -- he never fought with Putin. American army never fought with the army of Russia. Never.

COLLINS: So, you have a better view than he does?


COLLINS: A better understanding?

ZELENSKYY: Better understanding.


COLLINS: You heard President Zelenskyy there, saying at one point that he doesn't believe Trump understands Putin, because he's never fought him. Also, that he doesn't understand how Trump could side, with Russia, over Ukraine. We'll talk about all of this next, with a former Republican congressman, and also the former Director of the CIA, General David Petraeus.

Also tonight, more of our interview, with President Zelenskyy, including his telling answer, to this question.


COLLINS: You once said, losing is worse than death. Do you still feel that way today?




COLLINS: House Republicans hold in their hands, the lifeline that Ukraine so desperately needs. As you just heard from President Zelenskyy there, telling me that he believes millions of people could die without it.

We also talked about the 2024 presidential election, the impact that it could have. Zelenskyy, at one point, saying that he cannot understand how Donald Trump could side with Russia, over Ukraine.

To understand where House Republicans could go from here, I am joined by a former House Republican, Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

And Congressman, I just wonder what your reaction was to that -- to that last comment there, where Zelenskyy was saying that he understands Putin actually better, he thinks, than Trump does, because Trump's never fought him. He's never had that kind of an adversarial relationship in the sense of what Zelenskyy is facing, right now, with him.

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, it's true. It's heartbreaking to hear. It's true.

Think about this. Russia is approaching. If not -- if they haven't hit it, yet, they're approaching the number of lost men, the same that the United States lost, in the entirety of World War II. So, think about that. We liberated Japan, Germany, took out two dictatorships. Russia has made minimal territory -- territorial gain, with about the same casualties.

So, what it shows is, Vladimir Putin has no appreciation for his -- the lives of the humans, in his country. And he will keep throwing meat at this -- at this meat grinder, until he wins.

And listening to people, particularly in my part -- in the Republican Party saying that our strategy is failing? I heard that today. I'm sitting here, like, wait, what?

There have been minimal territorial gains, 300,000 -- approaching 400,000 dead Russian soldiers, most of which -- most of their tanks and armored vehicles are gone, a significant amount of their air force. They cannot operate anymore in the Black Sea, which was once unthinkable, and basically have not been able to have air superiority over Ukraine.

To sit here, and say our strategy is failing? No. Ukraine is winning if they can defend themselves. The problem is, now, they're running out of ammunition, because for some reason, the Republicans that do support Ukraine, don't have the courage to do what needs to be done, on the floor of the House.

COLLINS: Well, I mean, the reality also is Russia is making gains, on the battlefield, now. Part of that they say is because of manpower issues in Ukraine, and the lack of ammunition. They're being more strategic, and when they fire.

I mean, when he says that he trusts Speaker Johnson, talking about how they met, what Speaker Johnson said to him privately, and he says that he trusts him. I mean, what did you make of that comment?

KINZINGER: Well, I hope that he's right. Obviously, they had private conversations.

I think, from what I've heard that Speaker Johnson, in his heart, would pass Ukraine, tomorrow, if he could, or tonight, if he could.

The problem is he doesn't have the political acumen, apparently, to be able to just put it on the floor, and say, you know what, Freedom Caucus? You guys want to try to vacate the chair? Fine, do it. And then, he can cut a deal with the Democrats, to save them if necessary. But then they will build statues, to Speaker Johnson, in Kyiv.

This is the -- the thing is these men and women have an opportunity, to be known in history. If just four of them go to Speaker Johnson, and say, we're going to shut down all rules? And you know what that is. All action on the floor, until you put this Ukraine aid on the floor? He'd do it in a week, signing the discharge petition. There's ways to get it done.

He has to be emboldened by the rank-and-file Republicans, to push against the Freedom Caucus, which by the way, Kaitlan? And you covered Congress long enough. The Freedom Caucus pretends like they're concerned about China, for instance. They are absolutely empowering China, right now, by turning their back on Ukraine. And they never have any intention, of confronting China.

Because I served with these -- most of these men and women, for a number of years. And they believe in total isolation, and do not believe that American strength is worth exercising in any way. So, don't let them fool you by saying that the real concern is China, because they have no intention of taking on China either.

COLLINS: What did you make of Zelenskyy's comment that he believes Trump's threat to leave NATO is, in his view, right now, just an empty one?

KINZINGER: Well, I think he said what he needs to say. I mean, obviously, as you -- as you noticed? And it was a great interview, by the way. But as you noticed, he has to be very careful. Doesn't want to appear to meddle in U.S. politics.


KINZINGER: Obviously, he did a good job of resisting Donald Trump's attempt to get him to meddle in the first impeachment. And so, he's cautious about that.


I think he understands that the idea that NATO is going to go away is unthinkable. I'm sure, he's concerned about it.

But let's be clear about something too. We're at a moment, where the Russians and, frankly, some people in the Republican Party are saying that this is just NATO expansion. We finally got Sweden. And it was difficult to do. So, it's a tough argument to make and a tough thing to sell.

COLLINS: Congressman Adam Kinzinger, great to have your perspective, on this interview. Thanks for your time, tonight.

KINZINGER: You bet. See you.

COLLINS: More of this interview with President Zelenskyy is up next. His very candid answer on how these last two years have changed him.

We'll be joined by four-star General, David Petraeus, on where he sees this war headed next.



COLLINS: Two years and tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers dead, Russia's invasion has fundamentally changed the Ukrainian people. But it's also changed the 46-year-old president.


COLLINS: It's been two years of war. How have the two years of war changed you?

ZELENSKYY: Totally. Like all our society and other priorities, and other understanding of value of your family, of your children, and other understanding of the time. What really you need, and what is just nothing? Focusing on very contracted (ph) things.

Understanding who is really your friend. And it's not only in countries. Also outside. Who is your real friend? Who are from leaders are partners, who are businessmen? And that friends are more important than businessmen. And I think, all this, and what does your country really, really need, is just -- is just what people need just to survive.

COLLINS: You once said, losing is worse than death. Do you still feel that way today?

ZELENSKYY: Losing to Putin is--

COLLINS: It's worse than death.

ZELENSKYY: Yes. It's the same, the same, for today, because when -- when he wants only one goal for him, is just to kill you, your people. So, it means, to lose him, it means to be killed.

COLLINS: Mr. President, thank you, for your time today.

ZELENSKYY: Thank you so much.


COLLINS: And I'm joined now by the former U.S. Commanding General, who oversaw American-led wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, retired four-star General David Petraeus, who also is the Author of "Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to Ukraine."

General, it's great to have you here, tonight, because you are one of the few people that has an idea, of what Zelenskyy is talking about, what he's going through as a leader, and what it's like bearing the responsibility, of war, and how it -- how it does change you as a human being.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS (RET.), FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, absolutely. Leadership at that level is a very grinding experience. I think it's particularly so, in the case of Ukraine, and particularly at this juncture.

They still are very determined. I was at the Munich Security Conference. And we heard from him. I talked to his National Security Adviser, a number of other individuals that were there. The determination is still absolutely clear.

But as I'm sure you felt, in Kyiv, very different from last year. There's a weariness that has set in. And there's also a degree of worry.

So, on top of all the other challenges that leaders had, I never had to question whether or not the Pentagon was going to come through, for me.

In this case, his biggest worry is, in fact, whether the U.S. is going to provide the additional resources that have been approved, by the Senate, but are hung up in the House. And that is a very, very big factor.

I just had an essay, in that talked about the future of the war in Ukraine. And it was titled "It Depends," because it does depend. It depends, first and foremost, on continued U.S. support.

Noting that, as you know, Europe has actually come through. So, Munich was very different. Normally, it's a situation, where the U.S. is trying to say, hey, Europeans, you got to get your act together.

This year, it's the Europeans saying we just passed 50 billion at the EU level. Every country is doing an individual agreement with Ukraine. And what are you up to? When are you going to come through for Ukraine, noting that this is in our national security interest. This isn't charity.

COLLINS: Yes. PETRAEUS: So. And then the other challenge that they face is this very sensitive political issue for Ukraine of force generation. Are they going to reduce the age of conscription? It's really quite high.

The soldiers that I was privileged to lead in Iraq and Afghanistan, average age was somewhere 18 to 23.

In Ukraine, the average age of a soldier on the frontline is over 40. And it's because of the way they actually carry out conscription. They have got to come to grips with this.


Because the another really big factor is their ability to generate replacement soldiers, and also additional forces and units and capabilities, relative to, of course, those of Russia which has a population, more than three times their size, and an economy--


PETRAEUS: --more than 10 times theirs almost.

COLLINS: Well, and right now, in Ukraine, it's 27. A question of whether it's going to be lowered to 25, and how many. I mean--


COLLINS: --we saw that play out with the departure of the Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief. He's now been replaced.

And when you look at this, they are very quick in Ukraine, to say this is not a stalemate. But the counteroffensive that was highly anticipated, last summer, did not work. And I wonder if when you look at Russia's gains, on the battlefield, if you do believe the tide of this war is turning in Russia's favor?

PETRAEUS: Well, you can sense a shift in momentum, if you will. The Ukrainians did at least have the momentum, or had the initiative, at least, during the summer offensive. They were the ones pressing forward. Yes, they did not achieve what we all hoped that they would.

And now that it's reversed, and Russia has been able to take back some of the gains that Ukraine achieved earlier. These are not strategically important gains. But they are on the -- they have the initiative. They're the ones pressing the fight.

And the concern, of course, for the Ukrainians is that they're having to ration essentially artillery ammunition. They're worried about running out of the all-important air and ballistic missile defense interceptors.

Kyiv is a city that has a normal feel to it, despite the air raid sirens going off every night. And most people now don't even go to the air raid shelters, because they have confidence in this. Imagine if all of a sudden they start to run out of the interceptors and systems that we have provided for air and ballistic missile defense. So again, there's a lot to be concerned about here.

And the mood certainly is very, very different. It was a very different feel in Munich, and those that have been there. And I'm sure you sensed the same. There's a mood of real concern, and worry, and weariness.

COLLINS: Yes. Zelenskyy, at one point, said there is no alternative to American support, because even if you have the money, you can't get those, the Patriot missile systems, what they need.

General David Petraeus, we'll obviously be watching all this closely. Thank you, for your insight, tonight.

PETRAEUS: Good to be with you again, Kaitlan. Thank you.

COLLINS: And back in Washington, President Biden made some very big news, about the Israel-Hamas war, today, as he was at an ice cream shop, with the late-night host at his side. What he said about what could be to come, on the ground, in Gaza?



COLLINS: President Biden, tonight, with a hopeful assessment, about the prospect of another ceasefire, happening in Gaza, and happening soon. It would mean a stop in the fighting, in exchange for the release of more hostages, who are still being held by Hamas, tonight.

The President made a spontaneous announcement, at an ice cream shop, after he had taped his segment, with the late-night host, Seth Meyers, which is why you see him standing by his side, as he said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you give us a sense of when you think that ceasefire will start, sir?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well I hope by the beginning of the weekend -- I mean, the end of the weekend. At least my--


BIDEN: --my National Security Advisor tells me that we're close. We're close. It's not done yet. And my hope is by next Monday we'll have a ceasefire.


COLLINS: No other details on what could be a major turning point in this war.

But I want to talk more about that moment there, with Democratic congressman, Ro Khanna, of California, who has now been calling for a ceasefire, and also campaigning for the President. Congressman, beyond the way that this was announced, which I think was a little bizarre, to everyone, obviously standing next to Seth Meyers, with an ice cream cone, in his hand. On the actual substance of what he said, what do you make of the timing of this?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Well, I appreciate the President saying that. It's big news. I don't think it's a coincidence that it's on Monday, before the Michigan primary. And it shows that the President is listening to his coalition.

I give Mayor Hammoud, the Mayor of Dearborn, credit. I give the Majority Leader in Michigan, Representative Abe Aiyash, credit, and all the activists and progressives saying this war needs to end, and many progressives speaking out.

I think the President has heard that message. And he's telling Jake Sullivan, now let's get it done. Let's have a ceasefire with the release of all hostages.

COLLINS: You personally have changed your stance, on calling for a ceasefire. Our viewers will remember the last time we had you on, back in November. We had this robust discussion about this. And you had not yet called for one. A staffer of yours had resigned over the fact that you hadn't done that.

What changed your stance on this?

KHANNA: Well, I -- you're absolutely right. I believe that Israel should have had the right to self-defense with Hamas. And I condemned the October 7th attack. I condemned Hamas, and still do, as a terrorist organization.

But by mid-November, by Thanksgiving, I thought Israel had demolished about two-thirds of the battalions in Hamas, and had prevented a further attack on October 7th.

And the response of Netanyahu, and his extreme right-wing government, since then, has been disproportionate. They have defied the President, going into places like Rafah. They have engaged in bombing that even the President has called over the top.

And so, my view is that the Netanyahu's goals are unachievable, this idea that you're going to kill all the Hamas fighters. And that we need a permanent ceasefire and release of hostages. And there are over 60 members of Congress now, who have taken that view.

COLLINS: You mentioned what's happening in Michigan, tomorrow.


And I think for people watching, who maybe have not been paying close attention to it, it's important that -- to note about this campaign, that's underway to convince Democrats there, to vote uncommitted, in the Democratic primary, basically to send a message to President Biden that they don't like his policy on this. You said that you believe that he needs to have specific policy changes that are different here, that just slogans are not enough to actually win over those voters.

What specific changes do you want to see?

KHANNA: Well, I want to see an end to the war.

So, I'm encouraged that the President has made that statement, today, of a permanent ceasefire, or a ceasefire, and to release the full hostages. It's one of the arguments actually made in Michigan, of why I would vote for President Biden, if I were a voter in Michigan, because at least he's willing to listen to the Democratic coalition, in contrast to Donald Trump.

I also believe that the President needs to make it clear to Bibi Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir, and the extreme right-wing government that they're not going to get precision missiles from us, to kill more innocent civilians, in places like Rafah, when we told them not to do that.

And I believe the President needs to clearly state that the occupation needs to come to an end, and recognize a Palestinian state.

COLLINS: But on that, Congressman, you said he's listening to people.

But when he went to Michigan recently, he avoided areas that have a majority of Arab Americans. And that instead, he was speaking, when he was meeting with these union leaders. It was a mostly white area, suburban area.

I mean, is he actually listening to them enough, do you think?

KHANNA: Well, I know he's listening to people, like me. In times, I've talked to him about this. And I've said to him, Mr. President, you have a progressive base that's very upset about this.

My hope is after we get a ceasefire, and release of full hostages, that he'll spend a half a day in Dearborn, just to listen. The President is very empathetic. I think he needs to hear the stories of loss, of grief. I mean, people there talked about families who had lost three generations of relatives, in the same house that one person talked about two grandmothers who had been killed. He needs to empathize, and hear that. And then, I think he could win back that trust.

COLLINS: Congressman Ro Khanna, always enjoy having you on THE SOURCE. Thank you, for coming on, tonight.

KHANNA: Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Up next, the former President Donald Trump is now prepared to appeal the biggest penalty of his life. It is nearly half a billion dollars for fraud, and it's growing with interest. The question is whether or not he has the money to put up.



COLLINS: Tonight, there are major questions, over how former President Donald Trump is going to be able to find nearly half a billion dollars, to appeal the judgment, in his New York civil fraud case, after he filed a notice of appeal, this morning. That's the next step here. He has until March 25th, to put up the cash, or to post a bond, for that enormous sum that he has been ordered to pay.

The Attorney General for New York, Letitia James, says that her office is prepared to seize his New York assets, if he's unable to make that deadline.

Here tonight is former federal prosecutor, Kristy Greenberg.

And it's great to have you.

I think a question is, do we know -- will we know when Trump either puts this money up, or posts the bond, to officially hold off this deadline? That is now, the clock is ticking down. It's less than 30 days from now.

KRISTY GREENBERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: So, it's unclear if that's something that they would actually officially docket.

But certainly, by the deadline of March 25th, it will become clear, I would think, from one or both of the parties, whether or not he has actually posted that bond, or put up the money himself.

COLLINS: What's the likelihood of this appeal? I mean, he has to post this, to have this appeal. It's not surprising that he's appealing it. But what is the likelihood of an appeal actually succeeding here?

GREENBERG: I think it's very unlikely.

Remember, Kaitlan, this is largely a documents case. Before we even got to the trial, this judge issued a summary judgment opinion, just on the documents that the Trump Organization had engaged in persistent fraud.

And then, you get to the trial where Judge Engoron really protected the record for appeal. He gave a lot of leeway, to the defense. Donald Trump got to make a lot of rants about, and this was a political witch-hunt. Don Jr. basically put on a timeshare presentation about how great all the properties were.

And he let -- even though a lot of that was irrelevant, he let that in so that they couldn't have an argument on appeal that they were stymied in what they wanted to say. Similarly, he wrote a really detailed opinion, with detailed fact-finding, credibility findings. And that's the kind of thing that appellate courts don't really overturn on appeal.

And then, finally, the judge also relied on the independent monitor's report, for a lot of fact-finding as well, as to the current state of the Trump Organization.

And so, given those three things, I really don't see a lot of ways, for this to be overturned on appeal, in a meaningful way.

COLLINS: How soon could that be decided? If he does not succeed on that, when would -- when would we know that he actually does have to fully pay this, to New York?

GREENBERG: Well, look, there's going to be a briefing schedule that will be set. This is going to take quite a bit of time. I mean, I expect that there will be months involved in the briefing schedule, both for Trump Organization to file its appeal, then months for a response. I don't see this happening, being concluded anytime soon.


And plus, there are different levels of appeal. Presumably, if he's unsuccessful, at the -- at this level, he'll go all the way up to the highest court, which is actually called the New York Court of Appeals. But presumably, he will exhaust every avenue--


GREENBERG: --of appeal that he has.

COLLINS: Kristy Greenberg, we'll be following it all closely with you. Thank you, for your time, tonight.

And thank you all so much, for joining us. Live from London tonight.