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tv   CNN Newsroom With Pamela Brown  CNN  March 20, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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we have to use any format, any chance or possibility of talking to putin but if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third world war. >> yet another horrifying attack on innocent civilians we're told took place in the early hours of this morning in a place being described as hell on earth. >> translator: you should see it with your own eyes. it is a state of horror. >> i'm sitting here with the
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secretary of defense, and we're in a very tumultuous time. are we going to be okay? >> sirens have continued to go off here in the capital kyiv as the minister of defense on the ukrainian armed forces continuing to claim they're pushing the russians back. >> translator: you wake up during the night when you hear the sirens. you hear any little sound. you start to shake. maybe i need to take my child and run away again. >> this is every single day the west chooses not to take part in a way that matters, not to help us imposing a no-fly zone. this is cnn breaking news. you are live in the cnn "newsroom." i'm pamela brown in washington. >> and i'm don lemon in kyiv, ukraine. we are -- we join with you some breaking news right now. several loud explosions heard
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just a short time ago in kyiv. earlier this evening heavy aircraft -- antiaircraft fire erupted as ukrainian troops fired at something. we are awaiting more information on that. we'll bring it to you. we'll talk with our frederik pleitgen in kyiv in just a moment. thursday will mark one month since russia invaded ukraine, and in that time vladimir putin's troops have laid waste to cities like kharkiv and mariupol. while ukrainian troops and civilians fight valiantly to hold russia at bay, but president vladimir zelenskyy knows negotiations are critical and this is what he told cnn today. >> translator: we're losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground. russian forces have come to exterminate us, to kill us. and we can demonstrate the dignity of the people and our army, that we are able to deal a powerful blow, we are able to
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strike back. but, unfortunately, our dignity is not going to preserve the lives, so i think we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating the possibility of talking to putin. but if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third world war. >> so zelenskyy's words may sound dire if you're watching these battles on television. i can tell you, they are brutally honest and accurate. to anyone here in ukraine. today, for instance, we are learning that a russian tank reportedly opened fire on a care home in the eastern part of the country, killing 56 elderly residents. they are accused of shelling an art school where 400 civilians had sought shelter from russia's relentless bombardment.
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the number of casualties not quite clear yet. and the kremlin brags that it has now used hyper sonic missiles for a second time amid all of the chaos. president biden and nato leaders will meet in brussels looking for a way to stop the as estonia's prime minister put it. frederik pleitgen, hello to you. what do you know about the explosions just heard in the capital? >> reporter: hi there, don. it certainly seems clear to us from our position here kyiv tonight is very much a city under aerial attack by the russians, and we did hear those very loud explosions that took place, i would say, 30 to 45 minutes ago. still not clear exactly what they were. however, we are seeing from kyiv's mayor, klitschko, he believed there were several explosions in the northeast --
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north/northeast of kyiv. unclear what exactly was hit but certainly it did feel like a massive impact. over the course of the past couple of days what we've seen happen the capital has been hit by russian rockets but also some of the russian rockets intercepted as well but the warheads have been dropped on places. so at this point in time unclear what happened. however, it has been a recurring theme this entire evening, don, we've almost constantly heard air raid sirens go off in kyiv. you can see we have had a lot of antiaircraft fire coming out of the capital, also, including surface-to-air missiles. what we saw at one point was an illuminated dot moving across the sky, which we believe may have been some form of russian aircraft or russian rocket flying across the capital. again, that drawing a lot of antiaircraft, munitions that then sort of blow up when they reach a certain altitude. it has been a very busy evening
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so far and it certainly appears as though it might remain that way throughout the course of the night, don. >> frederik pleitgen live for us in kyiv as we are live in lviv. i want to bring in military analyst and retired air force colonel cedric leighton. thank you for joining us. as you hear fred's reports about tonight's explosions, talk to me about russia's in encircling ukraine? it has been called the anaconda strategy. >> i think that is actually a really good name for this strategy. so if we look at the broader map of ukraine, we can see some really interesting things here because if you see everything that's going on around the edge here, we're beginning to see an encirclement happening right there. so with that you get a big idea this is what they're trying to do. now when you look directly at kyiv, you see some other things that are happening here. there's a lot of activity in
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this area and in this area and also some more in the western part of kyiv. a lot of what the map doesn't show is that there are going to be a lot of individual engagements that are happening particularly in the western part, the northeastern part and the northwestern area just outside of the city. so what those individual engagements will show is that the ukrainians are moving forward into each of these different areas, and it really will depend on how well they do whether or not this map changes in terms of where we see the russian forces. >> i heard about this earlier and found it interesting about this flooding, this dam. the satellite images we have of the flooding at this dam north of kyiv, ukrainian forces, could they intentionally be flooding an area to slow down russian forces? >> absolutely, don. here is one of the things we've
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heard a little bit before today. a few weeks ago we started hearing some things about the ukrainians deliberately flooding areas in and around kyiv. this is apparently what they're doing. if you take a look here at some of the imagery, you can see the water areas have actually changed a bit in some of these areas. and in the area particularly north of the city it makes the land much more muddy and what will happen is the idea here is that these floodings will actually create a mess for the russian military. they'll bog them down literally and figuratively and make their advances much harder to execute. >> also today the russian military claiming it launched more strikes with hypersonic and cruise missiles. last night and earlier today they said they did it. why is russia moving to that type of weapon, and is that concerning for you. >> well, it is concerning in the sense this is a missile that is really undetectable, and here we
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have a mig-31 taking off and we have this photo and this video of them launching a missile, meaning dagger in russian, is a form of hypersonic missile. the key here is the speed. it makes it undetectable and makes it very difficult for air defenses to take this missile out of the sky. now what we can do is take the platform out, so, in this case, if they had taken the mig-31 out it would have, of course, resulted in no missile being fired or fired errantly, so that's the kind of reason this is a dangerous weapon because it goes so fast and it's really hard to detect. >> so east and south of where i am right now in lviv, the port city is where a bombing may have taken the highest civilian casualties this is disteshing footage.
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witnesses say dozens of ukrainian troops were killed in the bombing. do you read anything into the location of this attack near the black sea and this port city of mykolaiv? what does that say about the russians' battle plan? >> don, mykolaiv is right up here. if you look at the map you see it's just northwest of kherson, which the russians have taken. and then it is just to the northeast of odesa. odesa is ukraine's major port city. it is the third largest city in the country and all of the grain that ukraine exports goes through here. the russian plan is to move west. it's got to be to move west to odesa from kherson and the mykolaiv area. if they do this they will end up cutting the city off from the rest of the country. and the big goal that the russians have is to move west and take over the entire
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coastline. and if they do that, that will end up actually making ukraine a landlocked country. that's why this is important and that's why this gets to be a major theater of this war. >> just one more question, colonel. would you have thought the russian soldiers or troops would have done what they're doing earlier, at least trying to cut off certain cities -- because it doesn't appear they have made much progress, if any, in this war. >> that's right, don. i would have expected them to move much more quickly. i would have expected them to go in, take the cities one by one, a much more deliberate plan to go after each one of them, cut them off, encircle them, and basically subjugate them. they were not able to do this, and the reason they weren't able to do this is because, in part, the ukrainians have put up such massive resistance. >> colonel cedric leighton,
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thank you. pamela, back to you. we will be back with you on the ground in lviv, ukraine am thanks so much. the u.n. says nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed and about 1,500 injured since russia invaded ukraine. most of these casualties were caused by weapons with a wide impact area including heavy artillery and rockets along with missiles and air strikes. the u.n. also reports that more than 10 million -- let me say that again, 10 million -- ukrainians have had to flee their homes. that is nearly a quarter of the nation's total population. for context, that's even more people than currently live in new york city. meantime, the world food program says it's only prepared to feed 3 million people in ukraine and warns this war will affect food security around the globe. the program buys half of its grain from ukraine but farmers are more likely to be fighting than planting crops right now. and when we come back on this sunday, ukrainian president
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volodymyr zelenskyy telling cnn if talks fail, it may mean a third world war. more of that exclusive interview ahead. also this hour, slicing through putin's digital iron curtain, the influencer bringing the front lines to social media. and historic hearings. lawmakers weigh the nomination of the first black woman for the supreme court here in the cnn "newsroom." i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein,
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so just weeks ago a ukrainian influencer's tiktok was full of personal finance tips and motivation al messages like this one. >> you want a simple life, the formula is simple. expect very little from everybody and expect a lot from yourself. that's it. >> but on february 23rd, her tone shifted. in this video she describes the
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first explosions in kyiv when the russian invasion began. >> guys, i'm in bed right now. i'm recording this because i can't sleep. i'm in kyiv, ukraine. the whole city is up. there have been massive explosions somewhere in the distance but it shook the whole house. this might be the beginning of something serious. >> well, since that video went environmental kristina korban updates on life in war torn ukraine. kristina joins me now. i'm so happy you're joining us and i hope you're safe. we've been talking throughout the week on cnn, here we are on a sunday night and you're still here. what do you want people to know the most, kristina? >> well, people haven't realize this had is definitely one of the largest refugee crises we have had in modern day history and in such a short amount of time it's possibly the largest
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we've had with over 3 million people that have left abroad and over 6 million displaced internally. it's teurned into an enormous humanitarian crisis, and it's very hard to help people because they're being held in camp like environments in these occupied territories. so it's just a very difficult situation just to paint a picture. >> the biggest humanitarian crisis since world war ii for europe. what kinds of questions are you getting from your followers? >> well, obviously they check up on me and my family every day to make sure we're alive and okay. the questions they mainly ask are what is the food situation like, are there shortages. they want to know why i'm still here. why i haven't left. and obviously one of the biggest questions they do ask is how can they help. that's definitely a big one.
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>> over the past few weeks some of your tiktoks have actually gotten removed. any idea why that is? >> well, i think we all realize that social media has a very large influence on the public, and if you attain a mass following, unfortunately, that can be seen as a threat to certain ideologies and, therefore certain things that you say can sometimes be banned, and even if you're sharing just from your own experience or opinions, unfortunately, that's just the reality of being a creator, sometimes you will be silenced. >> you are providing a very valuable service. i told you that before as we have been going around the region speaking to people and even speaking to some russians who have moved out of russia to ukraine and other areas. they have been saying social media is really the only place
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they can get accurate, independent, free information and not propaganda, the propaganda sold to the people in russia. are you worried about getting banned on the platform, and, if so, what would that mean for the people here? >> well, obviously being banned and taken down is always a risk. it's definitely a risk if you're someone like me who is actually speaking out and sharing information about such a hot, sensitive topic like a war. but what would that mean? it would mean that i'm doing something right. if there's a need to be me to be taken down, i would take it as i'm doing something right. >> but then your message won't get out if you are taken down. >> i understand but what the steps i would take after that i would create another account. i do have a backup account. there are other social media platforms that can be used. there's more than one way to get your voice across.
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>> you're doing all you can do to help those in need including selling pro-ukraine t-shirts and hoodies, established a fund-raising campaign that has already raised over $28,000. can you tell us just a little bit more about both of these projects and how our viewers can help if they want to. >> yes, absolutely. i have set up two donation funds. one is a monetary one. people can donate financially and the other that you spoke of is a collaboration of the bonfire helping set everything up and that is the ukrainian merge with the famous phrase of the warship and the street signs in ukraine have been changed to and people can find that in my social media bios. and those are two ways they can donate directly through me but obviously people should donate wherever they feel comfortable. there's more than one way to help. >> kristina korban, be safe. >> thank you for having me.
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>> and, pamela, it's amazing to see and witness the resolve of the ukrainian people, through television, through satellite, and now here on the ground witnessing it in person. it is something to behold. if they try to stop her, you heard her, she will try and do it another way. it's amazing to see. >> it really is just seeing how strong and brave she is, and now you get to witness it firsthand there on the ground. just so many incredible stories of strength from those in ukraine and those who have fled as well. the 10 million refugees who have now left the country according to the u.n. don, we'll be back with you shortly. up next, the president of ukraine telling cnn what he thinks can end this war. and as he leads his country, how does he explain the violence to his children? that emotional answer up next. behind neuriva plus. le unlike ordinary memory supplements,
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and, pamela, it is indeed an honor to be on with you on a sunday night to share your show and talk about what's happening especially since i just got on the ground in ukraine. i have to tell you lviv is a beautiful -- it is still beautiful -- a vibrant city. not so vibrant this evening. there is a 10:00 curfew where people have to be off the streets, where businesses are closed. there's no public transportation. they don't even light the municipal centers and historic
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buildings, even the television antennas aren't lit. you can see the city dark. walking around there are still people out and i will give the viewers a little bit of a tour of lviv in our next hour. part of a bustling city and all of a sudden it shuts down and then at the end you'll see what i'm talking about, about the contrast from one place to another. >> yeah, that is really interesting because we have seen the russian forces move further west in some of their attacks. right near the polish border but yet people are still moving forward with life in lviv, ukraine, and you will show what's it looks like. that dichotomy of people living their lives and the other being shut down because of the war happening on the ground.
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we'll be back with you shortly, don. first to this exclusive interview. ukrainian president zelenskyy said he is ready to negotiate to stop the war and shared how he explains the violence to his children. >> reporter: president biden has called vladimir putin a war criminal. and yet you have called for negotiations with him. will it be hard? will it be painful for you to have to sit down with putin were he to agree and negotiate with him? >> translator: i am ready for negotiations with him. i was ready for the last two years. and i think that -- i think that without negotiations we cannot end this war. i think that all of the people
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who think this is shallow and it's not going to resolve anything, they just don't understand that this is very valuable. if there is just a 1% chance to stop this war, i think that we need to take this chance. >> you know the russian demands. they want you to recognize crimea is part of russia, that the two republics in the donbas are independent republics. they want a guarantee perhaps in the constitution that ukraine will never be a member of nato. are you willing to make those compromises? >> translator: there are compromises for which we cannot be ready as an independent state. any compromises related to our territorial integrity and our sovereignty. we have to find a modal of
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understanding to prevent further wars between our territories that we control and temporary occupied territories. so whatever the discussions we have and our negotiating allegations i think that the two of us, me and putin, who can make an agreement on this. >> reporter: you're a young man, you have a young family, and i have to -- i keep wondering, how do you explain to your children what is going on? >> translator: my children know for sure what is happening and i don't know whether it's good or bad. i have not explained anything to my children. they have said to me that war is raging in ukraine and at our home we have the same freedom of speech as we have in our country, and they know what we are fighting for. i think that my children should not be prohibited from seeing any kinds of videos of what
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russia has made. my son -- my son has to be aware of it because while my son is alive, that means that some ukrainian army member is giving up his own life for this. >> very powerful interview there with president zelenskyy of ukraine. coming up, i will talk to a former army ranger and now republican congressman from ohio. what does warren davidson think about russia's military in ukraine right now. we'll be right back. go for a ru. go for 10 runs! run a marathon. instead, start small. with nicorette. which can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette.
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as russian forces try to advance towards kyiv, they are facing a new problem. they're getting bogged down because of a dam releasing water north of the city. look at this right here. it's unclear how exactly this happened. did ukrainian troops open the floodgates on purpose or was it hit by a russian missile strike? we don't know. there is a lot of land in the area flooded and it's not just water slowing the advance. ukrainian resistance has kept troops from entering the capital. with us now congressman warren davidson, republican from ohio and a former u.s. army ranger. so, look, we are watching now
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the third full week of this armed conflict inflicted by russia. as a former officer and west point graduate, how do you assess the apparent miscalculation of ukrainian resistance? >> thanks for having me on, pamela. i'm not positive the russian army thought they were going to go to war. there were early reports, public reports some of the troops thought they were on a training exercise. i think vladimir putin was surprised that zelenskyy didn't negotiate. they are at war. putin's unjustly invaded ukraine and we're seeing a really determined resistance by the ukrainian military and just the average citizens in ukraine, a large number of them have taken up arms and taken actions. things like flooding the roadways and softening the
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ground do make it harder for the armored columns to advance on kyiv. so you look for more than what putin was bargaining for out of this, and that seems to be the case. >> to be clear on what you said, there are reports some of the russian military forces didn't know they were going to be part of this invading the country, but you don't doubt that putin's intent was to invade ukraine, right, or do you. >> he didn't accidentally send his military over the border. >> i just wanted to be sure we had that straight. >> he thought zelenskyy would negotiate and not cross what putin had drawn as an arbitrary line in the sand, and then putin launched the invasion. our intelligence said he was going to do it for a long time. we told the world what putin was planning, and kudos to the biden administration declassifying that intelligence and making it public. >> i want to talk about the
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massive spending package that passed the house including the nearly $14 billion in defense and various aid to ukraine and other eastern european countries. you joined 53 other republicans in voting against it. you say you didn't like it was part of this larger spending package. if it had been a separate standalone bill would you have voted yes instead? >> likely. it would have been nice to have it subject to amendment. i probably would have voted for that as a standalone package. there were 69 total so overwhelmingly republicans that were opposed to the defense bill, and part of that was just process. they publish this at 2:00 a.m. in the morning and want a vote later in the morning. we shouldn't reward -- either party shouldn't reward the leadership and both parties have done tactics like that. we sent letters to the administration, to the leadership in the house and senate saying we should vote on
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this in a separate way. the debate would have cleared up a lot about what are the lines we want to draw, and how do we hold nato accountable? weakness has invited aggression. to make sure this war doesn't spread, we don't just need to give aid to ukraine. we need to make sure nato is prepared and fundamentally those discussions about how to make sure nato is prepared should have been included in the aid package. >> as you note the funding that has been passed by congress to go to ukraine includes sending over troops to help nato countries to beef up their defenses in the wake of what is happening in ukraine. i hear what you're saying in terms of the fact ukraine is not a nato country but what do you see to the officials who have this big fear that if vladimir
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putin can take control of ukraine that he's just going to continue to try to move and take over other sovereign countries and burgeoning democracies to expand his empire and that is why this matters so much and why this aid -- they need this aid. >> they need the aid in ukraine and so do nato neighboring countries. there is humanitarian assistance. millions of refugees fleeing the war and within nato countries the best way to strengthen them, yes. america is there as an ally within nato. we're not there to fight the war. we're not nato mercenaries. this is a problem where germany for a generation at least has underfunded their military obligations under the nato treaty and, frankly, become more and more dependent upon russian energy. that combined with some other events this past year, including
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the very poorly executed exit from afghanistan made putin feel now might be a time he could get away with something he didn't feel he could get away with while donald trump was president and mike pompeo was secretary of state. >> i know that's a big right-wing talking point, but you are essentially absolving putin from making this decision to invade ukraine by saying, oh, it's all president biden's fault. he saw this as the great opportunity to go in. i mean, aren't you just -- >> no, not at all. >> i mean, but that's really what you're saying. you're saying, well, he didn't under trump even though trump kowtowed to putin and took his word over the u.s. intelligence agency but he chose this time because of biden. that's what you're saying, right? >> well, i'm saying putin's the aggressor here. nothing is just. there should be no way to blur the lines there and excuse what
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vladimir putin has done but, nevertheless there was no will to do this while donald trump was president. he's always been a bad guy. he just didn't think he could get away with it prior to this. there were events in ukraine that made putin feel like he might be able to get away with it or maybe where he felt he had to do it. there are things putin takes offense to that he shouldn't. ukraine is its own country. they have the right to self-defense and self-determination. they've been occupied by russia unjustly since 2014. but for vladimir putin when the u.s. signed a strategic partnership in september that was a line that he thought he would confront zelenskyy on, and i think he felt that zelenskyy would probably negotiate and he
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isn't in the mood the invasion took place. >> i want to ask you question about zelenskyy running out of time -- >> there's a path to get there. >> and i want to ask about zelenskyy and, again, just make it clear there are a lot of different points out there about why putin is invading now and there's no clear line that he chose to do it now because of president biden but i want to ask about zelenskyy because your fellow congressman on camera called ukraine's president a thug and said that his government is, quote, evil. plenty of lawmakers on your side of the aisle have condemned that saying that's wrong. what is your reaction to a fellow republican saying zelenskyy is a thug rather than vladimir putin who launched this invasion? >> well, i certainly don't agree with madison cawthorn and
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president zelenskyy was unjustly invaded by vladimir putin and zelenskyy has really led heroically his country to resist this invasion by russia. so -- really by vladimir putin. the average citizen doesn't have a lot to say in the selection of their leader. zelenskyy -- look, there's a reason ukraine is not a part of nato. it's not just because they are neighbors with russia. there are corruption issues inside ukraine that have been systemic. in 2015 representative conyers was celebrating an amendment he got passed to prevent any of the u.s. funding going to ukraine that was going to go to a neo-nazi passoff battalion. there are things in ukraine that european countries and the united states have encouraged
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them to clean up so if they do want to embrace a more western path that they are more compatible with the more western culture. >> to say one is good and one is evil or one culture is bad and the other is perfect -- >> no -- >> you can say very clearly you ukraine was unjustly invaded. there is no just war here. >> that is something i think we can most certainly agree on. congressman warren davidson, thank you for coming on and sharing your perspective on the show. we appreciate it. >> thank you, pamela. when i , i ended up having a tremendous amount of student loan debt. sofi helped me refinance all my student loans into one loan, withth one low interest rate, and one afaffordable monthly payment. not only have i made significant payments to my principal with sofi, i can actually see the end in sight and i believe the end in sight is near. so that has really given my family the financial freedom that we need going forward.
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well everyone, don lemon live here in lviv, ukraine, moments ago need to tell you about this, the mayor of kyiv says one person killed after explosions hit a residential and business areas of the capitol and paramedics, rescuers and police are on the scene now. this news came after cnn's team on the ground in kyiv reported hea hearing several explosions. we're working on getting more information for you, as soon as we get it we'll report it to you. also something i want to clear up. in the beginning of the show, it was said that estonia's prime minister put it on cnn must not win this war, may have sounded like now win this war, but it was not win this war, this was
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such an important story making sure we get it right on cnn and pamela, in the mean time, breaking news on what happened in kyiv but it's going to be a very busy week in washington. >> yeah, that's right, don, certainly, tomorrow confirmation hearings set to begin for president biden's supreme court nominee. if confirmed, judge ketanji brown jackson would be the first black woman to sit on the high court, with me now, cnn legal analyst and supreme court biographer, so joan which will you be watching in these hearings. >> first of all, let's start with the democrat who will share the committee hearings for the first time, dick durbin, high profile, high stress position, biden used to do it back in the day, pam, so we'll make sure we see who runs here with all stakeholders, something to watch with him. then for the republicans, i'll mention two for you, lindsey
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graham who almost always provides very quotable dramatic moments but on the substance, i would say, i'm interested in him because he was one of the three republicans who voted for judge jackson on the first go-around. she was part of the, when she was up for the dc circuit, dc circuit court, there were three republicans who voted for her, lindsey graham, lisa mercowski and susan collins, already said he's not sure what he's going to do and sounded a bit negative but i would watch him. he could give her the bipartisan support that president biden would like her to have. and then finally, josh holly, that's the republican from missouri who has already been out there, pam, with statements about how she's lenient to child pornographers and exaggerated
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her record, very much within the bounds of what lower court judges have done and taken some of her statements from the sentencing commission out of context but i still think this is a sensitive area, very horrible crimes, these are the things that can take on a life of their own. >> all right, joan, thank you,u we'll be right back. n performan. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. i heard they're like a peach a little bit. is tim okay??? we got the new my gm rewards card. so, everything we buy has that new car smell. -stahp. -i will not. food's here! this smells like a brand-new car! yup. best-in-class rewards, and a great way toward your next chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac. and with all those points on everything we buy... ...we're thinking suv. with leather! a new kind of appreciation with that new car smell. get help managing your money for the life -- and years -- ahead. with fidelity income planning,
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