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State of the Union
Interview With Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA); Interview With Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD); Interview With NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg; Interview With U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired April 03, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DANA BASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): A new phase? Ukraine says Russia is slowly, but noticeably pulling its forces back from the north. Is Vladimir Putin changing his war strategy?
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There is what Russia says, and there's what Russia does. We're focused on the latter.
BASH: I will speak to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg next.
And paying the price. The U.S. jobs market grows faster than ever before, but Americans have other worries on their mind.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need to do more to get prices under control.
BASH: What more can be done? Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan joins me ahead.
Plus, never again? A Ukrainian member of Parliament begs Congress for more weapons.
ANASTASIA RADINA, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: These words "never again," they actually matter.
BASH: She exclusively shares her impassioned plea and fear for her people coming up.
BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash in Washington, where the state of our union is sickened and horrified. Gruesome new images out of Ukraine this morning, as Russian troops pull back from the areas around Kyiv and reveal horrors that are shocking to the world.
A warning: These images are disturbing, the bodies of at least 20 civilian men shot execution-style and left lying amid rubble in the streets of Bucha outside of Kyiv, where local official told the AFP they have already buried nearly 300 people in a mass grave. A Ukrainian presidential adviser says reports from nearby towns painted a similar -- quote -- "post-apocalyptic picture of life under Russian occupation."
U.S. intelligence sources tell CNN the pullback from Kyiv is part of a Russian shift to a narrower goal in Ukraine, that Russia is now aiming to take control of the Donbass regions in Eastern Ukraine by early May.
The potential shift brings new warnings from a Ukrainian official that their military will face a difficult period of fighting in Ukraine's eastern regions.
And, this morning, Russia struck an oil depot in the Black Sea port of Odessa, which General David Petraeus called the country's lifeline. It's a reminder that, even if troops move east, the deadly Russian missile strikes will likely continue elsewhere.
Joining me now is the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Thank you so much for joining me this morning.
So, I want to start with those horrific images and reports from Bucha. What is your reaction? And do you see evidence here of crimes against humanity?
BLINKEN: Dana, you can't help but see these images as a punch to the gut.
And, look, we have said before Russia's aggression that we thought it was likely that they would commit atrocities. Since the aggression, we have come out and said that we believe that Russian forces have committed war crimes. And we have been working to document that, to provide the information that we have to the relevant institutions and organizations that will put all of this together.
And there needs to be accountability for it. But I think the most important thing is, we can't become numb to this. We can't normalize this. This is the reality of what's going on every single day as long as Russia's brutality against Ukraine continues.
That's why it needs to come to an end.
BASH: And the Ukrainian foreign minister said Russia aims to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can.
Beyond war crimes, do you see this as genocide? BLINKEN: Look, we will look hard and document everything that we see,
put it all together, make sure that the relevant institutions and organizations that are looking at this, including the State Department, have everything they need to assess exactly what took place in Ukraine, who's responsible and what it amounts to.
BASH: Let's talk about the punishment here.
The E.U. is already saying it will impose new, even harsher sanctions over this. What about the U.S.? Would the U.S. impose more sanctions, for example, on Russian oil, cracking down on all Russian banks, banning energy payments from the SWIFT banking system?
BLINKEN: Dana, we're doing this every single day. We're tightening the existing sanctions. We're adding new ones. We're doing it in full coordination with Europeans and other partners around the world.
And one of the results is that the Russian economy is reeling. There are forecast by most of the major forecasters that its economy is going to contract by 10 percent this year. And that's in stark contrast to economies like our own which are growing rapidly.
We're seeing an exodus of every major company from Russia. And over the long term, the export controls that we have imposed means that they will not have the technology they need to modernize key aspects of their economy and their future.
So, these sanctions are having a big bite now. They're going to have a big bite going forward, as long as this lasts.
BLINKEN: And we are every single day making sure that they're not only tightened, but increased.
BASH: They still...
BLINKEN: We announced additional sanctions just a couple of days ago.
BASH: They still have a lifeline, particularly when it comes to their energy sector. Is that something that the U.S. is considering, along with its Western allies?
BLINKEN: We're in constant conversation with allies and partners about the most effective ways to tighten and to strengthen the sanctions.
And, at the same time, we're very focused on making sure that Europe has the energy it needs, not only to get through this year and this winter, which it has, but next year as well.
But the other thing, Dana, is this. If you step back and look at this, this has already been a dramatic strategic setback for Russia and, I would say, a strategic defeat. They had three aims going into this. One was to subjugate Ukraine to Russia's will, to take away its sovereignty and independence. The second was to assert Russian power. The third was to divide the West and NATO. On all three fronts, it's already lost.
BLINKEN: Ukraine, its sovereignty and independence is going to be there a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is going to be on the scene. The Russian military has dramatically underperformed. It economy is reeling.
And the West, NATO are more united than any time I can remember.
BASH: Let me ask you about that military statement that you just made for a minute, because the new intelligence that is out there says that they are shifting specifically to the eastern part of Ukraine militarily.
And President Zelenskyy actually said that the Russians are pulling back from Kyiv. They have actually seen that now. You have said it's what they do, not what they say.
BLINKEN: That's right.
BASH: We saw that. What does that tell you?
BLINKEN: So, we are seeing that.
It's, I think, too early to say what that actually means, because they could be regrouping and restocking and replenishing, and then coming back to Kyiv. It's also very possible that what we're seeing is what it seems to be, which is a focus to the east and the south.
But, Dana, even there, if that's what they're doing, then I think that the Ukrainians have already demonstrated that, unless they're able to move every single Ukrainian out of whatever piece of territory they're trying to hold, it's not going to last, because the will of the Ukrainian people is clear. They will not be subjected to a Russian occupation, whether that's in and around Kyiv or whether that's in the east and the south.
But here's the problem. In the meantime, the terrible death and destruction that you started with is going to continue. And that's why it is so urgent that Russia end this war of aggression, and we do everything that we can to support the Ukrainians, to put pressure on Russia, to strengthen our own defenses.
All of that is going to strengthen Ukraine's hand at the negotiating table and hopefully bring this to a quicker end.
BASH: There are reports that Soviet era tanks will be transferred to Ukraine.
Can you tell me about the U.S. role in facilitating that?
BLINKEN: Dana, I can't get into specific weapon systems.
What I can say is this. First, we have provided just over the course of this administration $2.3 billion in security systems of one kind or another to Ukraine, just $1.6 billion in the last month alone. That includes many different weapons systems.
And let me give you one example of this. Between the United States and our allies and partners, for every Russian tank, there are or will soon be in Ukraine more than 10 anti-tank systems for every Russian tank. So, across the board, what we're trying to do is to make sure that Ukrainians have the systems that they need, that they can use, and they can use right away.
And that's what's been happening. It's been incredibly effective because of the courage and bravery of the Ukrainian forces.
BASH: So, what you just described sounds like the U.S. facilitating those tanks going in.
BLINKEN: We are working with countries around the world to facilitate the movement of systems that the Ukrainians can actually use into Ukraine one way or another.
BASH: This week, Ukraine floated the idea of taking a Switzerland- like position of neutrality in Europe as part of a peace deal with Russia, but only if Western nations provide security guarantees if Ukraine is attacked.
Would the U.S. help provide those security guarantees?
BLINKEN: So, Dana, first, all of this is up to the Ukrainians, which is to say that, if they negotiate something that meets their needs, that preserves their sovereignty, their independence, we will back it.
And we're not going to be less Ukrainian than Ukrainians. We're not going to be more Ukrainian than Ukrainians. So, first and foremost, it's up to them, to their elected representatives, to President Zelenskyy.
When it comes to the future, we and allies and partners are going to want to make sure that we do everything we can to ensure that this can't happen again and that Ukraine has the means to defend itself, to deter for the Russian aggression. So, we will look at anything that we can do to back up that kind of outcome.
BASH: Sounds like that's a yes, because this is coming from the Ukrainians, as you know, but they...
BLINKEN: No, I'm not going to get -- yes, I'm not going to get ahead of any details of what might come into some kind of agreement.
But we're going to want to make sure that we do what we can to help Ukraine defend itself going forward, to deter future Russian aggression. There are many things that could go into that. But I'm not going to get ahead of it.
BASH: Before I let you go, the Biden administration announced this week that you will lift a Trump era pandemic restriction called Title 42, which restricted immigration at the Southern border.
It comes as your administration says there could be up to 18,000 apprehensions of undocumented migrants per day. Does the administration see an influx of migrants as a problem? And can you guarantee that they will be treated humanely?
BLINKEN: Well, Dana, first, when it comes to Title 42, all along, we have been following the science. That's what this is about. So, when the CDC and others conclude that the science doesn't -- doesn't want that, as is now happening, then we will take action.
Here's my focus and the vice president's focus as well. We're focused on making sure that people throughout our hemisphere have opportunities at home going forward, so they're not faced with this really hard choice of leaving everything behind and trying to come to the United States.
So, building that kind of opportunity, creating what one of my colleagues has called a right to remain is our focus. In the nearer term, the focus I have is trying to make sure that transit countries in particular take steps to make sure that the folks who might come or try to come to the United States through their countries can't do that.
So, that's what I'm focused on.
BASH: Secretary of State Antony Blinken, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
BLINKEN: Thanks. Great to be with you.
BASH: And what is President Putin being told about the war in Ukraine? Is that changing his strategy? The head of NATO joins me live next.
Plus: President Biden celebrates blockbuster jobs numbers, but are people feeling better about the economy? Republican Governor Larry Hogan will be here.
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
Amid signs Russia may be shifting its strategy in Ukraine, peace talks between the two nations continued this weekend. Ukraine is now offering to drop its goal of joining NATO, and instead commit to neutrality.
Joining me now to discuss is the NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg. Thank you so much, sir, for joining me.
I want to start with the news out of Bucha in Ukraine. It's a suburb of Kyiv. And I want our viewers to be warned that the images we're going to show are disturbing. Journalists report finding bodies of civilians strewn throughout the town, some of whom appear to have been deliberately executed by Russians. The Ukrainian foreign minister says that these are Russians trying to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can.
So, my question for you, sir, is, is this genocide?
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: It is a brutality against civilians we haven't seen in Europe for decades.
And it's horrific, and it's absolutely unacceptable that civilians are targeted and killed. And it just underlines the importance of that this war must end. And that is President Putin's responsibility, to stop the war.
It is also extremely important that the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into potential war crimes in Ukraine, and that all facts are brought on the table, to the table, and that those responsible are held accountable.
So, therefore, I strongly welcome the investigation by the International Criminal Court.
BASH: Ukrainian officials say that they have taken back the entirety of the Kyiv region after Russia pulled its troops back.
So, is this a defeat for Russia? And do you think Putin is scaling back his overall goals in this war?
STOLTENBERG: So, what we see is not a real withdrawal, but we see that Russia is repositioning its troops.
And they are taking some of them back to rearm them, to reinforce them, to resupply them. But we should not, in a way, be too optimistic, because the attacks will continue. And we are also concerned about potential increased attacks, especially in the south and in the east.
So, this is not a real withdrawal, but more a shift in the -- in strategy focusing more on the south and the east.
BASH: I want to ask about how NATO countries are helping Ukraine.
Last month, at the NATO summit, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that sending tanks to Ukraine would cross a -- quote -- "red line" that would risk making NATO a co-belligerent, a co-belligerent in the war.
Now there are reports that Soviet era tanks are headed to Ukraine, likely from NATO countries. Is NATO now crossing that line?
STOLTENBERG: So, NATO allies have supported Ukraine for many, many years. And we have stepped up over the last weeks, since the invasion.
And we have to remember that NATO allies, like the United States, but also the United Kingdom and Canada and some others, they have trained Ukrainian troops for years. So, tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops are now at the forefront being trained, also for several years being trained by NATO allies.
And they're now at the front fighting against invading Russian forces. So, the Ukrainian armed forces are much bigger, much better equipped, much better trained, and much better led now than ever before. And this is very much because of the support they have received for many years, and then, of course, combined with the bravery -- bravery, the courage of Ukrainian troops.
That's the reason why they are really making so much resistance and actually able to fight back the invading troops.
BASH: Are those...
STOLTENBERG: Allies provide support with modern, advanced weapon systems. And we have agreed in a way that it's more important that we do things than we announce every specific system.
So I will not go into the details, but allies provide significant support. We see that these systems are making a difference on the battlefield every day. And we see that they are able to take out Russian armored vehicles, Russian planes using the weapons, the systems they receive from NATO allies.
BASH: Does that support include Soviet era tanks?
STOLTENBERG: Again, I think it's not wise if I go into every specific system.
STOLTENBERG: I welcome and it's good and important that the NATO allies provide military support, lethal and non-lethal military aid.
And at our summit a few days ago here in Brussels, allies reconfirmed their commitment to provide support. And we are in close contact with Ukraine...
STOLTENBERG: ... when we -- when allies provide the different types of support to the Ukrainians.
BASH: Before I let you go, I want to ask about a conversation you had with Finland's president this week about his country potentially joining NATO.
Do you believe Finland will ultimately choose to join the alliance? And should other countries in the region follow its lead if it does? STOLTENBERG: It's for Finland to decide. That's NATO's main message.
So, we respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Finland and their right to decide their own future. That's exactly what Russia do not respect, because they actually try to intimidate and to say that if Finland's -- Finland decides to join NATO, there will be consequences.
So, we have a good dialogue with the Finnish political leadership, with the Finnish president, also with Sweden. And, of course, it's for them to decide. But if they apply, I expect that they will be very much welcomed by all 30 allies, and that we will find ways to do that in a relatively quick way, to take them into the alliance, if they so want.
BASH: Thank you so much, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Appreciate your time.
STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much.
BASH: And we have all seen the skyrocketing prices at the pump, so could a federal gas tax holiday help ease that pain?
One governor who's already testing the strategy in his state will be here next.
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
This week, President Biden celebrated a really strong jobs report. Wages rose, unemployment fell, and the economy added more than 430,000 new jobs in March.
But those numbers on paper don't represent the struggles many Americans are facing in their everyday lives, record inflation leading to higher prices at the store and gas prices that continue to rise.
Joining me now to discuss is Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland.
Thank you so much for being here. It's nice to see you in person.
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): It's great to be with you.
BASH: This is the 11th straight month that the U.S. added more than 400,000 jobs. In February, it was high. And, on Friday, unemployment dropped to its lowest level since before the pandemic.
So, we know that inflation is still a problem, but given what we're seeing with these numbers, does President Biden deserve some credit for getting the economy in a much better place? HOGAN: Well, look, I think it's really encouraging news to see the
job growth. And we have been experiencing the same thing in our state and have been for, I think, more than 11 months, record job growth, which is terrific for the economy.
However, it really doesn't change the pain that people are feeling, the average person is feeling due to inflation, with -- as you mentioned, with higher gas prices and higher price of groceries and everything that they buy.
So, there are people who already have jobs. And it's great for the people that just got hired. But people are still struggling. Families are having a difficult time meeting with these higher prices. And my concern is that we have got to try to do something about it, which is why we were the first state in the nation to pause the gas tax to save people a little money at the pump.
And we just signed in law $2 billion in tax cuts, let people, especially retired people and people on fixed incomes and lower incomes, to keep more of their own money in their own pockets to pay for the higher prices.
BASH: So, you mentioned that, Maryland, you signed legislation putting a pause on the gas tax for 30 days.
Six Democratic governors are pushing Congress to do that on a federal level, which would shave off about 18 cents per gallon for Americans. Do you support that?
HOGAN: I do.
And we have been pushing for that, along with also just increasing domestic productions. And I was -- I thought it was a good step when the Biden administration tapped the oil reserves, which will help bring those prices down.
But I think pausing the federal gas tax is a good idea.
BASH: Let's talk a little politics, especially about what's going on in your state of Maryland.
The Democrats passed a new congressional map this week after a court ruled that the one that they had initially was -- quote -- "extremely -- extreme partisan gerrymandering."
You vetoed their first proposed map. Do you intend to veto this one as well?
HOGAN: Well, first of all, it was a huge win for democracy and free and fair elections. And gerrymandering is, I think, a cancer on our politics. And it's bad no matter who -- which party does it.
Obviously, there are a number of Republican states where judges threw out maps. This is the first time in the country that a Democratic map was thrown out. And we have been -- have the unfortunate distinction of having some of the worst gerrymandering in America.
I'm actually the first Republican to ever be involved. Since 1790, it has always been the Democrats completely drawing the maps. And we just pushed...
BASH: So, will you veto it?
HOGAN: We -- so, I vetoed the first map.
HOGAN: They're threatening to appeal. They drew a new map, but kind of said, we don't really want to live with it. We want to go back to the old gerrymandered map.
So I'm going to try to convince them that -- to drop the appeal, and then maybe we can move forward.
BASH: Got it.
There was a ruling this week granting the January 6 Committee access to more e-mails. And when that ruling came down, a federal judge wrote this -- quote -- "Based on the evidence, the court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021."
He's effectively saying that the former president committed a federal crime. Do you agree?
HOGAN: Well, I don't know, because I haven't seen all the evidence, whether he committed a crime.
But I did see the ruling. And it's -- that was a major -- a major impact by that, that a judge saying that there's a likelihood that a felony was committed as we're trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. I'm concerned about the missing phone calls and tapes.
But there's no question, as I have been saying for a while, that he was involved in stirring up the insurrection on January 6. But I don't have enough information to make a legal determination.
BASH: Talk about stirring up.
I have to ask you about the former president saying this week that -- quote -- "as long as Putin is not -- now not exactly a fan of our country," that he should do whatever he can to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
HOGAN: I mean, it's just more of the same. It doesn't surprise me that Trump would make that statement.
But it's about the worst possible thing you can do when all these atrocities are taking place in Ukraine and Putin's aggression is what the focus is. For a former president to try to drag politics into that, it's just completely unacceptable. BASH: Your fellow Republican governor, DeSantis in Florida, he
suggested that he will retaliate against Disney after it criticized Florida's so-called don't say gay bill, which bans certain instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom.
What's your reaction to that? And then, more broadly, what do you make of that legislation? It's a law, I should say.
HOGAN: Well, I didn't -- I didn't really actually see the details of the legislation, but the whole thing seems like just a crazy fight.
I'm not sure -- it concerns me that DeSantis is always talking about he was not demanding that businesses do things, but he was telling the cruise lines what they had to do. He was telling local schools what -- mandating. And now he wants to criticize Disney for expressing how they feel about that bill.
I mean, they have every right to. We have a thing called freedom of speech. They can come out and say what they think. I think the bill was kind of absurd and not something that would have happened in our state.
BASH: So, you alluded to this earlier.
You are a Republican governor in a blue state. Seven months from now, voters are going to go to the polls for the midterm elections. What should -- in 30 seconds, if you were on the ballot as a Republican running for Congress, what should the message be?
HOGAN: I think we have to have a more hopeful, positive vision for America, and we have to look to the future, as opposed to trying to relitigate the past and talk about -- trying to talk about crazy conspiracy theories.
I mean, I think the Republicans, instead of just a negative message against the Democrats, I think we got to have a message about what we're going to do to try to help solve problems.
BASH: Thank you so much, Governor Larry Hogan.
HOGAN: Thank you.
BASH: Thanks for your time. And thanks for coming in.
HOGAN: Thank you.
BASH: Thank you.
And it's no surprise Republicans are criticizing President Biden's new border move, but now some Democrats are joining in. We're going to talk about that and more with our panel next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Attorney General Garland, do your job, so that we can do ours.
MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The only pressure I feel and the only pressure that our line prosecutors feel is to do the right thing. That means we follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
We're here with our panel.
And, Congressman Ro Khanna, I want to start with you, because you heard your colleague Elaine Luria talking. It's not just House Democrats who are apparently frustrated with the DOJ. "The New York Times" reports that President Biden told his inner circle that he thinks Donald Trump is a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted.
Here's a quote from the paper: "And while the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to Mr. Garland, he has said privately that he wanted Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor who was willing to take decisive action over the events of January 6."
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): I have great respect and admiration for the attorney general.
We campaigned for four years saying we were going to be the party that upholds the rule of law, that's going to have an independent Justice Department. We need to stick to that. And I believe he will look where the facts go.
BASH: Congresswoman Jane Harman.
FMR. REP. JANE HARMAN (D-CA): I totally agree with that.
And I think he's an excellent lawyer. And he had a press conference about three or six months ago, saying he was going to build up from the bottom, and he's doing that extremely effectively. And I predict he's going to act. I think there's lots of information coming out finally now.
And I think he will act by summer.
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: As a huge supporter of all these investigations, I do think it's extremely dangerous for Joe Biden to put his hand on the scale...
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Of course, yes.
CARPENTER: ... if there's any perception of the White House saying you need to prosecute the former president, without clearly laying out the case, just kind of saying, well, I think he did bad things.
And here's the big problem when it comes to January 6. It is so complicated and so overreaching that no one can really get their hands around it.
So, instead of complaining that the Justice Department isn't moving quick enough, which I do want to see an answer on the contempt charge for Mark Meadows, someone needs to explain the story, how this moved from the conspiracies that President Trump laid out to the failed legal strategy that should have stopped them in their tracks when it came to certification, to how that morphed to a political strategy by the White House and certain members of Congress, and then, finally, the physical, the violence that happened, because this was an escalating story.
And that narrative needs to be told.
URBAN: Look, if it's true, and the president is pressuring Merrick Garland, even obliquely, it's shameful, shouldn't do it.
And, look, I think the American people are going to be the ultimate judge here. And if you look at polling, they don't care. You know what the American people care about? They care about 40 percent high inflation rates, right? They care about six buck gas. That's what they care about.
URBAN: When the congressman here goes back to campaign this fall, that's what he's going to hear about from his constituents.
BASH: We're going to talk about that in one second.
BASH: I just want to -- I just want to be clear. What "The Times" said is that he explicitly is not directly pressuring.
CARPENTER: But a lot of people are pressuring Garland.
URBAN: He's not pressuring directly, but he's...
BASH: But the story -- but, Congresswoman, you have seen movies like this before.
HARMAN: And I know leaks, yes. (CROSSTALK)
HARMAN: But the narrative is out there.
And I think people are learning about it. I agree it's not going to move the needle on the election, but it should move the needle in terms of our ability to protect our democracy in the future. The election security act and the other things we're now talking about are crucial if we want to save our democracy.
And oh, by the way, we may -- we will talk later, but I think we ought to worry about our world order after Ukraine. We need a day-after strategy to put the world back together.
KHANNA: And it ought to be bipartisan.
I respect your service to our country in the military. I mean, wouldn't you want people prosecuted who attacked the Capitol?
URBAN: Congressman, I -- when you break the law, you should be prosecuted. You break the law, you should be prosecuted. There's no dispute about that, right?
But I think that this January 6 panel has taken longer than Water -- than -- excuse me -- longer than the Kennedy assassination investigation, longer than 9/11 investigation, right?
Let's get it wrapped up. Let's get it wrapped up.
BASH: Well, the 9/11 investigation had a commission.
CARPENTER: It's been a little over a year.
HARMAN: They don't have the same tools.
CARPENTER: This is the largest federal investigation that this nation has ever seen, with more than 700 people physically arrested.
URBAN: Listen, if it wasn't political, the results wouldn't be coming out in September and October of this year.
CARPENTER: Oh, that is not true.
URBAN: Oh, yes it is. It's completely true, Amanda.
CARPENTER: Well, then why don't -- why doesn't Mark Meadows helps speed up the process...
CARPENTER: ... testify to the January 6 Committee?
URBAN: That's your answer. That's your answer.
CARPENTER: ... stonewalling from the Trump officials who won't tell what actually happened that day.
HARMAN: If we had had a January 6 commission, which was the right answer, we would be much farther along.
URBAN: Right. Absolutely.
And you know what? The speaker should have allowed Republicans to participate fully and we would have been there. And it would have much more credibility.
BASH: David, you talked about what voters care about, so let's talk a bit about that...
BASH: ... and about the fact that, it's hard to believe, Election Day is about seven months from now.
You are the one person here who's going to be on the ballot. So, talk about what David said about gas prices, about inflation, and that up against the fact that the numbers, job growth, wage growth, are pretty good. But is that what you're hearing from constituents?
KHANNA: That's right?
Well, let's start with the facts. It's been record job creation. These aren't just low-paying jobs. These are good-paying jobs. Look at what's happening in Ohio. I mean, President Trump talked about revitalizing the Midwest. President Biden is delivering, $20 billion 7,000 manufacturing jobs, 3,000 construction jobs.
Of course, people are hurting with gas prices. The president is releasing 180 million barrels of oil. We're talking about buying back into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase short-term production. That is going to address that.
I'm open to a federal gas tax holiday. I'm open to the states doing that. We're doing everything we can to lower prices.
CARPENTER: Here's the problem for President Biden, is that he has done a lot of things, starting with the massive child care tax credit, talking about releasing oil, the infrastructure bill.
[09:45:06] But voters aren't even giving him any credit for that. He has very low approval ratings. And so that is a fundamental problem there. Biden is doing all that he can, throwing money, pouring stimulus money into the economy. And voters don't like that. And it's actually causing inflation. That's the discussion to have.
BASH: Yes. And you said that's true. Why?
HARMAN: Well, I don't know. We have lost the narrative.
I think, if Joe Biden had talked from day one about bread-and-butter issues, we'd be much farther along. Congress got bogged down. Boo on Congress, just saying, Ro...
HARMAN: ... in terms of passing major legislation.
CARPENTER: From someone who knows.
URBAN: Scoot closer. Come on over. Come on over. It's not that bad on this side.
HARMAN: Congress got bogged down.
But, again, the message was how big these bills were, not what they would do. And politics now requires, I think, a building from the ground up and telling the right story about what he is doing to reduce the deficit in this big new budget -- he's repealing the ill-conceived Trump tax cuts, in my view -- and what he's doing about drug prices, and the things that will really matter to average people.
And if that narrative gets out, six months is six years in politics. Let's all understand that. Then I think those numbers will change.
URBAN: Yes, but that's not the narrative. The narrative is crisis at the border, surging gas prices, inflation hitting people who can least afford it, right?
We are no longer energy-independent as a nation, right? Those things, that's what Americans see. That's what resonates with Americans. And that's why, unfortunately for the congressman, his party's going to be in the minority in a big way after this next election.
KHANNA: Well, I disagree with that.
I think that the narrative for the president is, he's the first person who has -- actually wants to build this country. He's talking about good-paying jobs. He's delivering on good-paying jobs. He's got an economic message.
Now, let's talk about the vote we just had in the House of Representatives. Every Democrat voted to say insulin shouldn't be more than 35 bucks. Why are the Republicans not for that? And then the Republicans are talking about, let's take health care insurance away.
If the Republicans are in charge, let's be clear, 15 million people will lose their health insurance because they don't want the Medicaid extensions. So, these are the issues that we ought to be talking about.
URBAN: But, Congressman, for some reason, your party better figure it out quickly, because you're going to lose a bunch of seats. That's not sticking.
KHANNA: Well, let's be realistic about what's going on. It's -- the president has had a very tough hand.
I mean, we have got Putin, who has invaded a sovereign country. We have had COVID with Omicron and Delta. And I don't doubt that people are frustrated, but you know why they're frustrated? Because the country is going through tough times.
URBAN: But what happened to that sign "The buck stops here"?
KHANNA: I'll tell you.
URBAN: What happened to that sign on the desk, right?
And I think we want the president's empathy. We want his leadership. And here's -- I think people realize he's trying to do the right thing. He wants to bring this country together. I think, at the end of the day, they're going to look at the alternative, a party where you're going to have Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert in charge, and they're going to say no.
BASH: He mentioned immigration.
There were changes this week. Congresswoman, do you think...
HARMAN: That's right. Title 42 is changing because the CDC has said there's no longer the threat of COVID...
BASH: And on the raw politics, how problematic is it?
HARMAN: The raw politics are really tough, I mean, really, really tough. And...
URBAN: I saw Senator Hassan and somebody else earlier on this network.
HARMAN: And just saying, we're going to have to deploy a lot more folks to the border to make sure that the proper asylum claims are processed quickly and the right people get into the country.
But we are an open country. The history of America is refugees and immigrants, like I'm sure your family, my family, your family, many families who built this country to the great country that it is. And we can't just close down.
And that wall has been ineffective, in addition to very expensive. Let's understand that. And it sends exactly the wrong message for America.
BASH: Final quick thought.
CARPENTER: But Biden is walking into a self-manufactured crisis by rescinding that rule without having any kind of blueprint in place. And we're looking at apprehensions of 7,000 people a day going into the summer. That is going to...
URBAN: Crisis. Crisis.
KHANNA: And it's also going to allow Ukrainian refugees in who are stranded in Mexico.
CARPENTER: That's a completely separate issue.
KHANNA: No, there are many, there are thousands in Mexico of Ukrainian...
CARPENTER: So, if we have a process for asylees...
URBAN: That's not immigration policy. That's not the policy.
CARPENTER: Running over the border and disobeying our laws is not the process.
URBAN: Look to the policy.
HARMAN: To George Bush 43's credit, he proposed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which I supported.
URBAN: I worked on it.
HARMAN: And it almost passed.
URBAN: I remember. HARMAN: And it should have passed.
BASH: OK, let's end there on a reminder that there was a time when people worked together on this issue.
BASH: Thank you for the robust discussion.
URBAN: We agreed -- we agreed on so many things.
BASH: Thank you all for coming in. Appreciate it.
URBAN: Thank you.
BASH: And she's using an air raid siren app on her phone to keep tabs on her 2-year-old son in Ukraine.
What is so important for this mother and Ukrainian politician to leave her son behind and travel to Washington? She will tell you next.
BASH: This week, a group of Ukrainian Parliament members came here to Washington hoping that meetings in person would help convince Americans to give them more weapons to defend themselves against Russia.
I met up with a member. And her name is Anastasia Radina. And I talked to her about Ukraine's democracy. And she said that is exactly what Russia is trying to destroy now.
REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D-MI): Elissa Slotkin.
RADINA: OK. Thank you so much.
BASH: What kinds of messages are you hearing from members of Congress? What are they saying to you, generally speaking?
RADINA: We are receiving a lot of support. And we also are glad to hear that there is an understanding that action is needed, and not just words.
But we are calling for this action to happen immediately.
BASH (voice-over): Ukrainian Parliament member Anastasia Radina pounding the marble in America's Congress, pleading for help. RADINA: Right now, it is Ukraine who is fighting for every inch of
NATO territory. We are now shielding NATO territory from war-crazy dictator who has no respect for any rule of law, any international rule of law.
We are now dying for NATO values, for U.S. values. And we're asking for support for these values in action.
BASH (on camera): Are you frustrated?
RADINA: A bit. But we are also very much determined to fight until the end, because that's basically our only choice.
BASH (voice-over): Driving to the Ukrainian border to trek to America now was not easy for many reasons.
RADINA: It has been a, may say, heartbreak for me to leave Ukraine, because my 2-year-old boy, my son is right now staying in Ukraine.
And I have this application in my cell phone that shows air raid alarms in the community that he's saying, at his -- it has sounded a few times yesterday, three times the day before yesterday. So, as a mother, I feel guilty.
But I also have a duty to speak on behalf of all Ukrainian mothers who are not as privileged as I am to be able to spread the message across the world about what is happening in Ukraine and what kinds of support Ukraine needs to stop that.
BASH (on camera): So have you been in meetings with members of Congress when the air raid app goes off?
RADINA: Yes, it has actually happened yesterday after the meeting with Ukrainian caucus.
BASH: I can't even imagine, as a mother, that fear.
RADINA: It's probably one of the most terrifying experiences in my life.
BASH (voice-over): Radina carries a book of photos she put together to show American lawmakers the devastated people she represents.
RADINA: This is the most horrifying picture. This is a mother mourning over her 19-months-old baby. He was shelled in Mariupol, if I'm not mistaken.
They managed to get him to the hospital, but there was nothing doctors do in that. And this is mother wrapping dead body of her son in this blue blanket and mourning him.
Sorry. I can't -- I just cannot look at this picture without tears, because what I think of when I look at this picture is my son, who is staying in Ukraine right now. My grandfather is 93 years old. And he is right now in Ukraine. He was
a boy when there was World War II. His older brother, he fought in World War II. He was wounded. He died several years ago. So, my father -- my grandfather says he's actually happy that his brother did not survive until this day to see this, this being repeated once again.
BASH (on camera): And when you say this being repeated, obviously, the...
RADINA: When I say this being repeated, I actually mean that Russians are acting as Nazi.
What they are doing in Ukraine is absolutely the same that Nazis were doing in Ukraine in times of World War II.
BASH: So the term never again, what does that mean to you now?
RADINA: Nothing. It means nothing.
And this is why we are asking U.S., as the leader of free world, of -- to also help and stand to prove that these values, the values of freedom, the values of international order, these words "never again," they actually matter.
BASH: Thank you so much to Anastasia Radina.
And thank you for sharing your Sunday with us.
The news continues next.