tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 5, 2014 6:00am-8:01am PST
that's it for us. a lot of news happening. we're continuing to follow all the developments for that. and with that it's time for "newsroom" with jake tapper. >> "newsroom" starts right now. good morning and thanks for joining me for this special edition of cnn "newsroom". i'm in for carol costello as the crisis in the ukraine simmers millions more could feel the heat. russia is warning if sanctions are imposed against i want moscow could seize u.s. and european asset there's. that could be a big hit to investors around the world. the european union says if russia shows no signs of backing down ukraine those sanctions will be discussed tomorrow when eu leaders meet. this morning glimmers of diplomacy, secretary of state john kerry takes part in one of two rounds of talks with russian
officials. we're keeping an eye on a busy day of events. at the bottom of the hour chuck hagel and joint chiefs chairman martin dempsey are due to testify on capitol hill. secretary kerry meets with his russian counterpart in paris. also at 11:00, they are due to meet with
nato military alliance and president obama delivers remarks as comments originally suppose fobd cussed on minimum wage are likely to include some mention of the crisis in ukraine we're told. let's begin with our coverage of russian lawmakers drafting legislation that would allow moscow to confiscate assets of american and european companies. the russian retaliation of sanctions could have a relatively small impact on the u.s. russian interests make up 1% of american trade but europe has far more to lose. since trade has ballooned in post-soviet times. just the first nine months of
the last year the european union imported more than $200 billion worth of goods from russia. coroner nn's phil black is in moscow. is there an appetite for sanctions that could end up punishing both sides? >> reporter: well, recent history shows when russia is targeted by sanctions, it lashes
out. officials here talk about responding in an asymmetrical way, coming back harder from a different angle. most reason example is when the u.s. congress passed legislation designed to punish accused human rights aabusers in the country. at the time the russian government was outraged, responded immediately by banning american families from adopting russian or fans. families began the process, met the children and never allowed to take them home. two unrelated issues but russia made the point. back off don't get involve in our sovereignty, don't get involved in our affairs. you're right.
that sort of counter sanction could affect russia. it struggle tolls get you want because of corruption, bureaucracy and dodgy legal system and so forth and this certainly isn't going to suddenly make people around the world believe that russia is a good place to do business. >> we've seen push back from the uk and from the germans as well. obviously the preference is for russia to withdraw from crimea, so european union diplomats, american diplomats, everyone is trying to figure out a way to let putin have what's called an off-ramp a way to get out while saving face. what have you learned about that? >> two words we're hearing a lot from leaders across europe and the united states, de-escalation and off-ramp. the key to the off-ramp to send in international observers to check out putins claim. he claim russians are under threat. the logic being if those international observers go in
they will see there's no justification for military action. but so far there's no sign russia is looking to take a hard turn on to this off-ramp. we heard from vladimir putin wred who said he has experts looking at the idea. the russian foreign minister propped up another obstacle saying this is not an issue or question that russia can answer because we're talking about ukrainian territory, ukrainian people must decide. the authorities must decide if they want to invite foreign powers on to their territory to examine these issues. certainly no sign that moscow has yet been ready to jump at this as a way to de-escalate the situation. >> are russian leaders acting as though there are not russian troops in crimea who have occupied much of the country? >> so you heard that from president putin yesterday. we heard it again today from the russian defense minister. he maintained that no, there are
no russian soldiers occupying crimea as it stands. they maintain this position that they say it is local self-defense teams, local militias, and we only know on the ground what we see and what our own cfn teams have seen. there's some local militias but undoubtedly russian soldiers. not wearing the insignia but heavily armed, driving armored vehicles, some of those vehicles have russian registration plates. very difficult to see how negotiations can proceed when the russian position is just that they have not begun any occupation of ukrainian territory. >> phil black in moscow. as we mentioned at the top of the hour, russia is due to take part in nato's discussion of the cries in ukraine. john kerry is due to meet with his russian counterpart. kerry lamented russian's absence
ever his counterparts from great britain and ukraine. >> we have our friends from ukraine and great britain, partners in the budapest agreement of 1994. we're missing one member, hopefully meet this afternoon with that individual member. >> cnn foreign affairs reporter is traveling with secretary kerry. she joins us now from paris. how good are relations between kerry and his russian counterpart? >> reporter: well on the surface they are very good. secretary kerry looks to him for help with syria. but every time it comes down to crunch time, he gets the better hand against senator kerry.
secretary kerry once again is going to try to use that personal relationship with the foreign minister to get him to so-called de-escalate the situation but the situation now is that the french and the germans are really going to try to take the lead on the diplomacy. secretary kerry will meet with foreign minister later today but before that the french and the germans are trying to get foreign minister lavrov in the same room with the ukraine foreign minister to talk about a diplomatic plan in which russia could get some of the things it wants, that february 21st agreement that ended the standoff in ukraine but russian troops would have to come back. secretary kerry very much wanting to use his personal diplomacy but looking to the europeans who have more of an interest. >> we heard a lot about european union partners who have much deeper ties to russia economically, we should note. pushing back against a tough antions campaign that the united
states has proposed although not tough enough for some in congress if you ask them. we heard the germans are very weary of this, obviously they have close ties between the russians and germans. we heard the brits are pushing back. what have you blaernd the appetite among members of the eu for any sort of tough sanctions that would cause russia to retaliate in kind against the eu nations? >> reporter: sanctions that the eu is talking about right now would really kind of be symbolic against russian individuals in terms of visa bans and freezes of asset, things like that. really tough biting sanctions that we've seen for instance on iran would take a long time. you have to do that. absolutely no appetite from the europeans for anything like that. they have very close ties commercially and economically, trade ties as you note and that's why the germans and the french and the british are
pushing the diplomatic track here as they always do. foreign secretary of britain said whether foreign minister will come to this meeting with the ukraine and foreign minister later today and sit down with him will be the real test for russia and determine whether europeans will go ahead with sanctions. >> what do your sources tell you the end game is here for russia. do they thing ultimately they will be content with crimea which is significant but won't go into eastern ukraine and the u.s. can accept that in some way, or is that just untenable the russians need to go back completely. where is secretary kerry behind-the-scenes on this. what's his thinking? >> reporter: well, you have a lot of mixed messages. publicly secretary kerry and others are saying we're not going to writeoff crimea, we're not going to give crimea to true chance. president obama is saying well president putin maybe is
reflecting and stopping from going any further. secretary kerry saying russia is setting a pretext to go further, but then they say well maybe they would be satisfied with just crimea. i think what's going to end up happening here is they hope to get this diplomatic off-ramp where they sit down, russia's concerns in crimea are addressed and also they have some kind of hand, i don't know if we're talking about russian troops on the ground there but certainly if those troops turn back to their barrack u-get back to a kind of situation you had where russia does have an interest in ukraine, an interest in crimea but you go back to the status quo if you will, very similar to what you had in georgia. even though they won't say this publicly i don't think u.s. or european officials want this to go any further, jake. >> thank you so much. now, for more on russia's threats to seize u.s. and european assets if the united states and the european union go ahead and impose sanctions on
russia, cnn's chief national security reporter jim sciutto is in washington. could this threat of seizing assets, could that deter the u.s. or eu from less viaing sanctions? >> reporter: it shows how quickly this could spiral into a tit for tat or unupmanship. right now they just target individuals, government officials involved in the decision to send troops into sovereign ukrainian territory. if the russians were to follow through on next step much seizing assets, you know, you have another option for the u.s. which has been discussed and brought up by republican senators, bob corker and others of sanctioning russian entities, meaning state banks, oil companies, energy companies, and that's when you start talking about real money.
russia's trade, russia's very economy is dependent on access to the international finance system, its trade with europe. again europe lose as lot and that's why you're seeing opposition from the germans and british and others to more significant sanctions that have already been put on the table by the u.s. >> jim, educate our viewers. how common is it for a country that has in sanctions imposed upon it to take the retaliatory step of seizing the asset, confiscating the assets of private companies. >> well, listen. it's happened. you know the expert in seizing assets i suppose you would say is the u.s. this is a tactic the u.s. has used in a number of instances. iran being the most recent one. unfreezing those iranian assets is part of this nuclear deal or unfreezing a portion of the frozen assets is part of the deal. so, you know, if you get down
that path, it certainly happened before. but, you know, i think that it does show that, you know, it's a hard thing to control just like on the ground it's hard to control when you put soldiers into a position like that and can you keep them from firing their weapons? we had a situation yesterday where ukrainian troops faced off with russian troops and even if their commanders back home are saying don't take this step, when emotions are involved things can go, things can turn bad. that's the thing, you have a volatile mix on the ground, lots of men with guns and volatile mix in the diplomatic steer where one step can be responded to. we're talking about real money here. >> jim, lastly, president obama yesterday expressed, i guess you could say the hope more than an observation, perhaps, that putin was pausing and reflecting on what he had done and perhaps would take a step back.
how much do you think that is real and accurate? >> reporter: well, i pressed the white house on this yesterday. i said what is the substance of this? what led the president to believe and white house officials to believe that the president was pausing? and the white house directed me to particular comments from putin yesterday where he said that the use of military force in the ukraine would be a very last resort. the fact is he's already used military force there. but speaking to other officials, the idea is that well, he hasn't carried that military intervention any further in the last 24, 48 hours than he already has. you took some of those troops out of their bases in crimea. they started surrounding some of the bases. didn't pull them back. haven't sent them back but haven't sent them further out of their bases and haven't taken the step of going into eastern ukraine outside of the crimea region. so, i suppose it shows how tense the situation is that that's called progress, right? it hasn't gotten worse. perhaps it was something of an
olive branch or trial balloon floated by the president to say hey we noticed you haven't moved any further and we're willing to talk to you about how we can divisive news. >> an anchor on state funded russian tv slams the country's actions in the ukraine. >> i can't stress enough how strongly i am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation's affairs. what russia did is wrong. >> we'll have the rest of her comments and the surprising offer the network just made to her coming up next. captain obvious: i'm in a hotel. and a hotel is the perfect place to talk to you about hotels. all-you-can-eat is a hotel policy that allows you to eat all that you can. the hotel gym is short for gymnasium. the hotel pool is usually filled with water. and the best dot com for booking hotels, is hotels.com. it's on the internet, but you probably knew that. or maybe not, i don't really know you. bellman: welcome back, captain obvious. captain obvious: yes i am. all those words are spelled correctly.
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between nato and the russian alliance and it's the first public contact between the two groups since russian forces moved into the crimean peninsula last week. we go to brussels for the site of today's meeting. who called for this meeting, specifically? >> reporter: hi, jake. the meeting was called for by nato secretary-general. it's a good sign russia has agreed to sit down with all 28 nato ambassadors. meeting happening in a couple of hours from now. very much a part of nato's three track approach towards dealing with this crisis. the first being declaring solidarity, reaffirming solidarity of eu member states. supporting the government in kiev. third maintaining dialogue with russia. the nato russia council meets on a regular basis they talk to everything from situation in afghanistan to counterterrorism. while we don't have exact agenda
for today's meeting the topic will be ukraine. on sunday nato issued a sharply worded statement condemning russia's military aggression in the crimea. that was followed by another emergency meeting on tuesday. that time called for by poland which was feeling threatened by this ongoing situation out of that meeting, nato saying it was amping up its efforts to assess the situation. that sort of lays the scene or sets the scene for the meeting again happening in the next couple of hours. we're expecting a statement from the nato secretary-general at its conclusion. jake? >> we know secretary of state john kerry announced yesterday a billion dollars in loan guarantees for ukraine from the united states. now comes word that the european union is also offering a package of aid for ukraine specifically what are the specifics. how much money are we talking
about? >> reporter: that's right. earlier this morning the european commission said it's ready to offer a package of $15 billion over a per 2005 years to ukraine. that as you mentioned on top of john kerry ace offer of $1 billion in loan guarantees that he made yesterday in kiev. now that package very much needed, aid is very much needed in ukraine at the moment, financial experts saying that the country is at risk of defaulting on billions of dollars of loans as early as this month. now the european aid package will be put forward here in brussels to the meeting of heads of state to government scheduled for tomorrow. the other topic on their agenda, of course, will be the prospect of sanctions if russia does not de-escalate. >> all right, we know a lot of european union and european commission members are balking at some of those sanctions.
what did the u.s. think was going to happen in the ukraine. today experts are asking that very question as they watch this crisis unfold. ukrainian protesters many of whom said toed with western values, forced out the pro russian president viktor yanukovych and russia is acting aggressively to protect its interests. why did the u.s. not see any of this coming. joining us to talk about it, professor of international affairs at harvard university. he wrote about this for foreign policy magazine. are you arguing that the u.s. and other western nations should not have supported the uprising against viktor yanukovych? explain exactly your position here. >> i think the united states and also the european union failed to realize there were significant geopolitical issues involved when we began to let's say lean towards those who ousted viktor yanukovych. he was corrupt and income period ten but what we failed to realize although we were a lot
more powerful and democracy might be the long term wave of the future there this was an area where russia had far more significant interests and we had to anticipate that russia was likely to react more or less as it did. >> so, in other words you think that the u.s. should have anticipated that, not just the removal of viktor yanukovych as has happened before in the history of the ukraine but also what comes next and the fact russia may step in and fill that vacuum that is less palatable our government finds less palatable than viktor yanukovych? >> exactly. russia sees ukraine as part of its vital interest in ways that it's not a vital i want to be the united states. from the russian perspective they watched the west essentially expand eastward ever since the vote union broke up doing a variety of things that, again, the russian government has steadfastly opposed. it was going to be a point where russia was going to try to draw
a hard and fast line and say no more. if we were going to push this we had to anticipate that reaction and then ask ourselves what openings do we have if they decide to take an action we don't like. i don't think that was ever seriously considered either in brussels or in washington before this whole matter began to play itself out. >> do you see the united states concern about what's going on in ukraine as being entirely theoretical, just about stability, security, potential of ally, ukraine, or are there vital u.s. interests and assets at stake? >> i don't think there are truly via tell american interests and you see that in the way we're approaching it. when vital interests are at stake, you really are willing to consider all options and we're not willing to consider all options there. there are reasons why ukraine has not been part of nato in the past and why people have always
understood trying to bring it into nato was potentially very dangerous. we don't have substantial economic interests there, american security is not vitally engaged there. so we're concerned about the matter but our interest is dwarfed by russia's interest which is why they are willing to run more risks and pay a larger price to have those interests defended. we don't have to like that, but foreign policy 101 tells you you always look at what the other side's interests might be and try to anticipate what their actions are going to be before you take a move. >> speaking of foreign policy 101 as an international relations professor, your view of what hillary clinton said earlier this week comparing putin's actions in ukraine, the pretext that he invoked to what hitler did when he set a pretext for invading neighboring countries in the 1930s. this reported by buzz feed initially. is that a fair assessment. she wasn't specifically drawing
a comparison between hitler and putin but talking about the pretext of going in to save russian speaking peoples. is that fair? >> i think that's not a particularly useful analogy and comparisons to hitler should be used very carefully. it's sort of typical of the foreign policy hyperbole we often get. great powers have various interests for intervening in other countries. they do that sometimes, the united states has done that. we're always pretty good at coming up with various rationales for doing it. again we don't have to like what russia did and our diplomacy should be organized around stabilizing the situation and hopefully reversing it. we have to recognize that they were doing this to defend what they regard as vital to national security interests. >> harvard university professor of international relations, steven wall. thank you so much. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back.
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they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some financial folks who will talk to them about preparing early for retirement and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. good morning to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is a special edition of cnn's "newsroom". i'm jake tapper in for carol costello. wall street is looking at a flat open this morning, the opening
bell just rang. investors eyeing the situation in ukraine as well as the employment outlook here at home. on friday we'll find out how many jobs were gained in the month of february here in the united states. here to help us navigate today's trade, chief business correspondent christine romans. this has been a volatile week. any indication what we can expect today? >> reporter: today it looks like at least calm nerves, nerves have been calmed and you can see a little bit of a gain this morning. i want to caution you, jake, at any moment here you're one headline away from violent swings in this market. let's be honest. you have developments, especially developments along the lines ever sanctions and what kind of retaliation there could be for sanctions from russia. that will be very important for markets and for the business world overall but you're very right to mention the jobs market because as at least it feels as if putin has backed off from the brink or the situation has barked off from the brink of
outright conflict in crimea you got a focus going back to the job situation on friday. we get that jobs report. 150,000 jobs expected to be added. it will be difficult to read it because of all this crazy weather we've had. so for the time being at least the path of least resistance is slightly higher now slightly lower. you'll see a little bit of jockeying today as people try to find their footing. remember monday the dow was down 154 points. tuesday it rallied 228 points. that's an amazing two day move basically getting you to where you started. the s&p 500, jake, at a record high yesterday. i mean in five years it's basically gone straight up even with these concerns about ukraine still hanging over our head. >> a big move today from or rare move especially from general motors, the ceo is personally going to direct the recall of vehicles over faulty ignitions. what else do you know about
this? >> reporter: really the first big test of her new job, running general motors. she wrote a letter to their employees saying that she was going to order an investigation to get the unvarnished truth of what happened in that recall saying they acted appropriately. she said when this was brought up to my team a few weeks ago we acted without hesitation to go well beyond the decision by technical experts. recall is 1.4 million vehicles. 31 front end crashes that resulted in 13 fatalities. more fatalities than the company originally told us. and a lot of questions about the timing, the timing of when gm knew that there was a problem with the ignition switch. you had heavy key chains, for example, that could flip the car from the run to accessory position. so we'll be hearing more about this issue and the gm ceo personally overseeing that recall.
jake? >> very disturbing. christine romans, thank you. in washington, d.c. today defense secretary chuck hagel is taking his proposal to scale down the size of the u.s. military directly to the u.s. congress. and that's where he's going to find some lawmakers who have not only voiced concern about this proposed budget but who have also pledged to protect those affected in their home states and districts. hagel will be joined by the joint chief of staffs martin dempsey. let's bring in barbara starr. she's monitoring the hearing. and kevin ryan. barbara, let me start with you. hagel said that the current u.s. strategy in ukraine focuses on diplomatic efforts. do you expect him to mention ukraine during today's hearing? >> well, you know, jake if he doesn't mention it they are certainly going to ask about it. that may, in fact, be topic number one because he's is going to this committee to talk about cutting the military budget in the united states at a time when
now suddenly the military is facing the potential of a major national security crisis. no one is talking about military options for ukraine and russia for this crisis, not putting military force into the mix. but certainly he'll be asked about could this budget make it more difficult if there was to be military force used. can the military still be large enough, strong enough to deal with whatever it might face, whatever threats it might face. hagel will say yes, but it is skirts the edge of that that he's concerned that the budget is getting cut to the bone. jake? >> general, cnn has just learned several nations including the united states believe that international observers should be sent to ukraine to preserve the peace there. what can you tell us goes into such a plan? >> well, i think this is a great
proposal. in order to orchestrate that you have to find the right sponsor, probably the united nations but maybe the european union might be one. and then you have to select the right kinds of people. plenty of european nations have very talented and expensed observers who have worked in similar situations around the world and we could easily put together a team of several hundred that could be in the ukraine within days. >> barbara, several senators wrote a letter to defense secretary hagel saying his budget is short sighted, creates risk to our national security, many of them sit on defense related committees. today we have the news that china is increasing its defense budget by, i think, roughly 12%. how big a fight does chuck hagel have in front of him? >> i think he's mainly facing this domestic political fight right now. you know, cut the budget but not
in my backyard, that old saying. senators, congressmen, they are all for cutting defense spending unless it's in their district or home state because this is about jobs. it's about veterans in their communities. it's about access to military health care in their cities and towns. nobody in the congress wants to be in favor of cutting that but they all say they want to cut defense spending and hagel is facing a real fight on this front. he knows it. but the point that the u.s. is making is this whole -- that the defense department is making is the whole notion of sequester, those mandatory deeper budget cuts. that's too much. they want to go for the cuts that they want. that the pentagon has tailored. they say they simply don't need the massive spending they had during the years of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. jake? >> general ryan, i'm looking at this statement from the meeting right now going on in paris between secretary kerry and his
counterparts the foreign ministers of other european nations. they are talking a lot in this statement about the 1994 budapest agreement. as you know that's the agreement that among other things convinced ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for the promise that its territorial sovereignty would be respected. we've been discussing this internally at cnn because if that is not upheld and if the world does not show that it is serious about allowing, making sure that ukraine, the promises made to ukraine are kept, in other words, you gave up your nuclear weapons, the rest of the world will make sure in exchange that your territorial sovereignty is respected, is it not important setting a precedent as the united states and other countries try to convince countries like iran, north korea, others to not have nuclear weapons or to give up their nuclear weapons, is it not important to show that the world -- the word of the world
means something in these cases? >> yeah. absolutely it is. and you're right to point out that this is not just an issue or a problem locally within europe but it's the rest of the world is watching this. and the united states, i think, technically if you read the agreement, the united states and other countries are not required or duty bound to send troops in or to provide immediate aid but the implication was clear and obvious to everyone who signed that agreement and everyone who would read you want today that the west and the united states in particular has a responsibility to the ukrainian people and to their country to help protect them against what appears to be a very brazen aggression from russia. >> barbara starr at the pentagon and brigadier kevin ryan thank you. we'll take a quick break and be right back with cnn's coverage of the crisis in ukraine. your eyes really are unique.
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hello to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm jake tapper in for carol costello. i want to go paris, france where cnn's reporter is there with breaking news about a meeting that the secretary of state john kerry just had with his counterpart from ukraine and his counterpart from the united kingdom. what have you learned? >> reporter: this is the so-called budapest agreement that you've been talking about which is basically the u.s., uk,
russia and ukraine after ukraine agreed to in 1994 give up its nuclear weapons these companies agreed that they would have a non-aggression pact if ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons. u.s. tried to get these countries in the room today in paris, invited sergei lavrov. he declined to come to this meeting. that meeting took place any way with the ukrainian foreign minister to came to paris with john kerry on his plane. the foreign minister coming out with a statement saying united states, uk and ukraine agree that direct talks facilitated as-needed by other members of the international community are crucial to resolving the current situation. they also agree international observers should be deployed immediately in ukraine especially in eastern ukraine and the crimea. and this is what we've been talking about for the last day or two, international off ramp
that the u.s. and other countries are trying to give to russia to address their concerns that they acknowledge are legitimate in ukraine, they acknowledge russia has a lot of interests particularly in the crimea. what they want is for russia to encourage international monday fors into crimea, into eastern ukraine to check out what's going on and that could be the basis for talks. the french, the uk, u.s. hoping to get sergei lavrov the russian foreign minister and ukrainian foreign minister in the same room this afternoon, twin hour to see if they could start to talk about a diplomatic process to spend escalation. >> all right. thank you. we'll take a quick break and be right back.
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interesting media story in all this. one anchor on state sponsored russian tv appears to be mad as hell and won't take it any more. abbey martin had a howard beal moment breaking the set on russia tv slamming russia for its actions in crimea. >> before i wrap up the show i want to say something from my bhaert the ongoing political cry since yuk and russia's occupation. because i work here for rt doesn't mean i don't have editorial independence i can't stress enough how strong i am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation. what russia did is wrong.
i don't know as much as i should about yuk's history but what i do know is that military intervention is never the answer and i will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression. furthermore the coverage i've seen of ukraine has been disappointing from all sides of the above all, my heart goes out to the ukrainian people who are now wedged as pawns in the middle of a global-powered chess game. they are the real losers here. all we can do is hope for a peaceful outcome for a terrible situation and prevent another full-blown cold war between multiple super powers. until then, i will keep telling truth as i see it. >> anna koran is in simferopol. what can you tell us about the possible ramifications of her
comments? >> reporter: as you say, abbey martin works for russia and this is why her comments were shocking and really caused so many people off guard. she basically slammed the military occupation, as you heard. she said she refused to defend russia's military aggression. we understand that sthey will nt reprimand martin. they did offer her a reporting job here at crimea. she has refused that. at least that is what she tweeted. so where does it leave her? she has still has a job. she is allowed to voice her concerns. she is a 9/11 truther. she believes america was complicit in the attacks. she has gained a great deal of
support, certainly from journalists, glen greenwald. he is the journalist that broke the story on edward snowden and the nsa spying claims. i want to read a quote that he put up, which is, abbey martin, remarkably demonstrated what journalist independence means by ending her program with a clever and unapologetic denunciation of the russian action in ukraine. i can tell you that the people here certainly would not agree with what abbey martin said. i'm outside the government building. the russian flag is flying next to the crimean flag. there is a small rally happening behind us. these people are very much on russia's side, jake. >> all right, anna, thank you. our coverage continues after this break. ♪ [ male announcer ] this man has an accomplished research and analytical group at his disposal. ♪ but even more impressive is how he puts it to work for his clients.
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our side of the atlantic allies, nato, partners in particular on the issue. i was at nato last week where i attended the regularly scheduled n nato ministerial. we took a few hours to meet with the nato ukraine commission. we had then the deputy minister of defense with us of ukraine. we spent some time with him. across the administration, our efforts, as you know, mr. chairman, have been focused on deescalating the crisis, supporting the new ukrainian government with economic assistance and reaffirming our commitments tole alies in central and eastern europe. i strongly support the
administration's approach to this deescalation. secretary kerry was in kiev yesterday. he is in paris today. he is scheduled to meet with russian foreign minister lavrov today. there was a nato meeting yesterday. another nato meeting today. osce has announced it is sending 35 observers to ukraine. the other forums that the united states is part of, they are also meeting. the u.n. has had one security council meeting. i suspect there will be more and other activities along the diplomatic and economic front. earlier this week, i directed the department of defense to suspend all military to military engagements and exercises with
russia. in particular, that includes two tri-lateral exercises that we had scheduled with the russians, one canadians and the russians, the other with the norwegians and the russians. also this morning, the defense department is pursuing measures to support our allies, including stepping up joint training through our aviation detachment in poland. it is an area that i visited a few weeks ago. augmenting our participation in nato's air policing mission on the baltic peninsula. our yukon commander is convenienting central and eastern european chiefs of defense. mr. chairman, i think everyone on this committee knows, and in
particular i know senator mccain was in ukraine a few weeks ago, that this is a time for wise and steady and firm leadership. it is a time for all of us to stand with ukrainian people in support of their territorial integrity and their sovereignty. we are doing that. that, in particular, is what president obama continues to do as we pursue diplomatic and economic options. and i would like to again thank the committee, mr. chairman, for your role in this. just another point about supporting the administration's approach to how we all are coming at this crisis. this economic package that we
are proposing, as you all know, the osce has also proposed an economic package working with the imf for the ukraine, is a particularly important part of this. we'll continue to work those channels as well as the diplomatic channels. mr. chairman, i think it is clear as you have noted, ranking member, imhauf, in your opening statements that the events of the past week underscore the need for america's continued global engagement in leadership. the president's defense budget reflects that reality. it helps sustain our commitments and our leadership at a very defining moment. i believe this budget is far more than a set of numbers and a list of decisions. it is a statement of values and priorities.
it is a budget grounded in reality. you have noted some of that reality, mr. chairman in your remarks. it is a reality that prepares the u.s. military to defend our national security in a world that is becoming less predictable, more volatile, and in some ways more threatening to our country and our interests, as was noted in ranking member imhauf's statement. it is a plan that allows our military to meet america's future challenges and our future threats. it matches our resources to our strategy. and it is a product of collaboration. all of the dod's military and civilian leaders were included. the chairman, the vice chairman, the service secretary, service chiefs, all of our people. we value their leadership, their input, our senior enlisted input was important. as we all know, america has been
at war for the last 13 years. as we end our second war, our sec w second war of the last decade, our longest ever. this budget adapts to new realities and physical restraints while preparing for the future. >> the defense secretary, chuck hagel, now outlining the president's new budget for the department of defense. his own budget was released last week. he is making the case and also speaking out about the crisis in ukraine. i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. the strong statement from chuck hagel. you just heard him outline some reassuring steps that the u.s. is going to take to friends and allies and eastern europe in the face of what the united states sees as a russian invasion of crimea, part of ukraine. let's bring in barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent and
retired brigadier general, kevin ryan. barbara, to you, this is supposed to be an appearance by the secretary of defense outlining the new dod budget but he used the occasion to outline some new steps the u.s. military is taking in the face of what the u.s. cease as russian aggressive steps in ukraine. >> absolutely, wolf. the administration has been so adamant that this is all a diplomatic effort. it still i. f for the first time, we are seeing the u.s. military and the pentagon get involved by supporting the nato allies, specially in eastern europe. the countries that are now very anxiety ridden, the u.s. believes about what russia is up to. a lot of deliberate words from hagel. let's explain what he is really talking about. first up, poland. poland had gone to nato earlier this week and said it had concerns. now, the u.s. has responded. there will be what the pentagon
says is an augmentation of beefing up of the us air force presence in poland. there is a small team there. they will add to it. they will extend it. it will stay there for a while now. this team allows us and 16 fighter jets in c-130 aircraft to move in and out of poland. it hopes with all of that, it is a bit of a beachhead if you will. next door to russia, it is a signal of support for poland. a country over history that has always had concerns about russia. then, second, the secretary talked about something called the baltic air police mission. let's leave that map up and explain to people what we are talking about. the baltic states, lithuania, astonia on russia's flight, they are small countries and do not have their own air forces. the u.s. through nato and other nato countries will now increase their effort to help defend
those air spaces. they do it in a number of ways. sometimes it is done, indeed, by flying the aircraft over the baltic air space. these are countries again now on russia's western flank where the u.s. military is making very clear it will provide security reassurance, if you will. what this really does, wolf, is it extends all of this into the nato organization. nato formed after world war ii to counter the old soviet union, russia, putin, the follow-on to the soviet union in his approach to security matters, the u.s. believes. now, nato, proving that through the united states, it can take measures to reassure those countries in eastern europe that have some anxiety about what russia is up to. wolf? >> largely symbolic. for these eastern european countries, important steps. stand by for a moment.
i want jim shciutto, our chief national security correspondent, to way in as well. these are largely symbolic but will be seen by the russians as provocative steps at a minimum and could cause russia to react? >> i believe so. you and i have been talking about this a lot the ras the few days. it is often said, there are no military options on the table. in actuality, there are options on the military catalog. this is what you are seeing here. sending those signals of support on the western border of the ukraine. the baltic state in the north. it is not boots on the ground in ukraine. no one is firing any slots. extending an air mission in poland, a few more aircraft. a lot of meaning attached to that. obviously, these have been calibrated so as not to spark an angry reaction from russia. they are very settle. they are things that were existing that are being extended as opposed to new things entirely. that said, considering the state
of russian leadership right now and how they behave so far in the very tough message that putin is clearly trying to send in crimea. it is possible to spark a reaction from russia. it comes at a delicate time. remember? >> as we were talking about last night, the real emphasis is on deescalation, opening a path to an off ramp. giving putin, in effect, a way out. that is why, today, as you have the two sides, the military and diplomatic moves. that's why you have kerry and his british and french counterparts talking about sending international observers into ukraine, which is, in effect, a bone thrown to the russians. you sayeth ni ethnic russians a threatened. >> what do you make of these steps that the defense secretary, chuck hagel just put
forward before the senate armed services committee, general? >> these are good first steps in reassuring our allies and partners in europe. i think everyone has made that point well. what we also have to do is reflect and look at our basic underlying assumptions that over the last 24 years, have been encouraging us to shift and rebalance to the pacific and to asia. russia may not be as friendly or cooperative as we thought it was going to be. that could make some minor changes in adjustments in how we go about allocating forces and spending our resources. >> would you anticipate the russians in reaction to what chuck hagel just announced would take their own steps, eastern european nato allies and the u.s. might see as provocative. >> i think you could find
headlines in the next few days, proclamations and a few steps. the reality is that the russian economy is not prepared to match the west or the united states in step for step in any kind of military resource allocation, specially if the west is trying to make a statement to russia. yes, we could see some headlines. i would not think that anything that they could do would be a substantial threat to the united states or nato. >> the key question, general, is, could this get out of control? the u.s. takes one step. russians respond with their own steps and then the u.s. and nato allies escalate further. is that scenario likely or will cooler heads prevail? >> i think in some waist
situati ways the situation is already out of control with what putin has done in crimea. this is what strategists and people in the pentagon are planning against to make sure if it does happen that way, we are prepared for it but i don't think it is likely. >> general, i want you to stand by. barbara. jim sciutto. i want to go to elise labbott. she is joining us from paris. there is a lot of diplomacy underway when we know the secretary of state has been in contact, at least, on the phone and presumably, is going to meet with sergei lavrov, the foreign minister of russia. right, elise? >> reporter: supposed to later this afternoon. the foreign minister is meeting with the french foreign minister, wolf. the french along with the british and the u.k., u.s. all trying to get russia in the same room with the ukrainian foreign minister as part of this
diplomatic off ramp talking about getting a dialogue between the russians and ukrainians. secretary kerry met with this so-called budapest group. putting out this statement calling for international monitors. i want too read a little bit of that statement. these three governments, reaffirm the importance of protecting the rights of all ukrainian citizens irrespective of their ethnicity or spoken language. this, as jim was saying, is a bone to russia, saying, listen, we recognize that you have a lot of interests in ukraine. you are very concerned. if you want to address those concerns, let's get international monitors in. this could address your concerns. they want him to sit down with the ukrainian foreign minister. that minister flew from kiev to paris and told reporters he would like to sit down with the russian foreign minister today. >> the issue here.
i don't think there is a problem with sergei lavrov, the foreign minister of russia meeting with the secretary of state, john kerry. the question is, will sergei lavrov meet in a three-way meeting since putin, the russian president, has made it clear, they don't recognize this current ukrainian interim government. if they were to meet with the foreign minister of that government, wouldn't they, in effect, be recognizing this government as opposed to the ousted president, which they still claim is the legitimate government of the youkraine. >> that's why they want to get the u.k., the british, the french all in the same room calling it a so-called coordination group. not trying to sign any agreements or anything. making it very informal and trying to get some kind of dialogue going, because no one wants this to escalate any further. if they get them in the same room, they can talk a little bit
about this. maybe that's a face saving way for the russian foreign minister. we have to be clear. we do not know yet whether he is going to attend this meeting. he is still meeting with the french foreign minister. a lot of pressure being put on sergei lavrov to sit down, at least talk. let's get a dialogue going, wolf. >> elise labott traveling with the secretary of state. we are standing by to hear from john kerry. live coverage of his remarks. we'll see if that meeting takes place with the russian foreign minister. we will see if he agrees to meet with the ukrainian foreign minister who flew from kiev to paris on the secretary's plane. elise labott, stand by. much more coming up. a tense moment here in washington that just occurred on a totally, totally unrelated moment. a tense house oversight hearing involving an agent of the irs, all sounding very familiar.
i want to play this clip. >> my counsel has advised my i have not waived my constitutional rights on the filth amendment and on his advice, i will decline to answer any questions on the subject matter of this hearing. we'll go back to the hearing. we are hearing about ukraine right now. here is martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. during our conversations, we committed to developing options to provide those assurances and deter further russian aggression. we agreed that together we must help shape a path back to the sovereignty and security of all the people of the ukraine. simply put, the allies stand tog. as you know, i recommended suspension of our military to military with the russian federation. the nature and extent has left us very little choice. i have also directed european
command to consult and to plan within the construct of the north-atlantic council. we want to provide nato's leaders with options that stabilize and not escalate tensions in the ukraine. we are only one part of that. i spoke with my russian counterpart. i conveyed to him the degree to which russia's territorial aggression has been reputed globally. i urged continued restraint in the days ahead in order to preserve room for a diplomatic solution. russia's action reminds us that the world today remains unpredictable, complex and quite dangerous. we can no the think too narrowly about future security challenges nor can we be too certain that we have it right. the world will continue to surprise us, often in unpleasant ways. that was how my last week ended. it began for me in afghanistan addressing the security challenges that remain in that region and where i wint to gain first-hand appraisals from our troops and from our commander's.
as always, i left there inspired. they remain fully engaged on the mission set before them. they continue to build the institution of the afghan national security forces, which given the right political structure around them, has the ability to sustain the fight. we'll be prepared to support a variety of options over the next several months as our relationship with afghanistan moves forward. this includes the option to draw down by the end of the year, if that's the decision made by our elected leaders. meanwhile, our joint and nato team has much work to do this year. they are ready for it. the global commitments of the joint force are not shrinking. neither are our global security threats. the most likely emanate from violent extremist groups and unkofru ungoverned spaces. we can never eliminate the possibility of state on state conflict. we must remain ready. >> martin dempsey making it
clear all options are on the table as far as deploying and keeping a u.s. military presence in afghanistan following the supposed complete withdrawal at the end of this year. he did outline some additional steps, the u.s. military, nato allies and north american console are getting ready to take to assure friendly countries, nato allies, that the u.s. is there, that nato is there to help them in the face of what you just heard, general dempsey call, russian aggression in the ukraine. we are going to get back to that story. a lot more coming up. major developments and we are getting ready to hear from the secretary of state, john kerry, himself. we just -- i just wanted to quickly update you on what happened, an important moment up on capitol hill. a real bitter exchange between republicans and democrats involving an irs official, lois lerner, who appeared before the
committee and pleaded the fifth. our correspondent, lisa, has been watching what's going on. tell us what happened. she is refusing to answer questions, citing her constitutional right. then, it got very testy between the chairman and the ranking democrat on that committee. >> reporter: some incredible political theater, wolf. i was right there in that room. lois lerner, who has been at the center of this irs targeting investigation, again, did refuse to testify, citing her fifth amendment right. her lawyer had told cnn she was going to do that. after she expressed that again and again to republican questions, committee chairman, darrell issa, a republican, adjourned the hearing after he asked for than a dozen questions to which she gave no response except to plead the fifth. immediately after he went to adjourn the hearing, his democratic counterpart, elijah cummings of maryland said, i would like to speak. i would like to ask a question. issa said, the hearing is
adjourned. cummings tried to go to procedures. he said, i have a procedural question. issa gave him a chance to ask the procedural question. it was more of a statement. wolf, the issue here is that cummings' mike was cut off. he was not given the opportunity to speak. afterward, i asked chairman issa, why didn't you give your democratic counterpart the option to speak? it was a major investigation about the irs and the obama administration. issa said, we got our answers, lois learner wasn't going to talk. there were no more questions to be asked and i didn't feel that elijah cummings was going to do anything but give a broad statement. there air lot of ways to look at this. this speaks to this particular irs hearing, something that's been hovering for years. republicans would like to move the ball on t lois learner obviously not helping them, not cooperating with them, pleading the fifth. this is about the tensions here in congress. it is so rare. i can't stress enough to see a
member of one party, a chairman, shut down a hearing as a ranking member from the other party wants to speak. this is something that sort of took our breath away. it is something that is incredibly rare and speaks to the bubbling conflicts here in washington right now. >> so impolite to elijah cummings, the ranking democrat. he wanted to make a statement. the chairman, darrell issa, wouldn't let him make a statement. early w earlier on sunday, he thought lois lerner would testify. her lawyer said she would continue to remain silent. how and why did he think she was going to testify? >> reporter: it is fascinating. issa and sources from this committee had told us that they had been told by lois lerner's lawyer that she would testify. however, that same day, that same lower told us she would not. clearly, there is some kind of communication issue here,
whether it is from issa's perspective. his staff said that lerner changed her mind. lerner's attorney has always told cnn she would plead the fifth. it is one of those great question marks. it has led to this great drama today and a lot of confusion. we are still not sure why issa thought she would testify. he was very clear in saying that's what he heard. >> let's not forget. at the core of all of this is the allegation that lois lerner and others inside the irs, they deliberately, inappropriately and perhaps illegally targeted conservative organizations and tea party organizations for special scrutiny. that's the allegation. the suggestion by a lot of republicans is that this came from higher levels within the obama administration. so that's at the core of this dispute. tensions clearly underlined today at this extraordinary hearing. lisa, thanks for that explanation of what happened. when we come back, we'll get
back to the breaking news out of the crisis in ukraine. on the ground in crimea, russian and ukrainian troops facing off. what one troop witnessed and why he thinks the tensions to have a negative impact on the russian president, vladimir putin. they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ (dad) we lived... thanks to our subaru. ♪ (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. [ male announcer ] even more impressive than the research this man has at his disposal is how he puts it to work for his clients. morning. morning. thanks for meeting so early. come on in. [ male announcer ] it's how edward jones makes sense of investing.
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have a small impact on the united states. russian interests make up 1% of america trade. europe, on the other hand, has far more to lose since the post soviet area. in the first nine months of last year, the european union imported more than $200 billion worth of goods from russia. cnn's phil black is our correspondent in moscow. is there really an appetite for sanctions that could end up punishing both sides, the russian side, the european side, including the united states? >> wolf, at the moment, this is a draft before russia's parliament. it is unclear how much support it has. this sort of move does fit recent history. recently, when russia has felt it is being harassed unfairly by the international community, it's response is often to lash out, even harder, sometimes coming back in a completely different direction with issues that don't automatically seem relevant to the precise issues
at the center of the conflict. the clearest example we have seen recently was when the united states congress passed the act to punish human rights abuses. russia was outraged and responded by passing legislation which made it illegal for american families to adopt russian orphans. many thought it was russian orphans that were paying the price in that dispute. from the point of view of russian politicians, it made the point. it said that russia is a strong, independent country and other countries should butt out. in this case, in the event that europe, the united states do proceed with economic sanctions. you can certainly expect a very robust response of some sort. 'pro a proud country. thanks very much. as we just learned from other u.s. companies, they may not necessarily take a huge hit from the russian sanctions. that isn't to say american
markets won't be rattled at least in some ways. here to sort out what we should expect and what we worry about if that were to happen, let's go beyond the hype. joining us right now are chief business correspondent, christine romans and monica matta, the managing principal at seventh capital invest. we have seen a lot of volatility this week and last week. should investors be concerned over this crisis involving ukraine? >> absolutely. we are one headline away from a wild swing in markets. you are talking with bond, oil, stock markets and the way they interact. remember, when you look at the trade between the european union and russia, over the past 20 some years, it has really ballooned. these two economies or areas have become much more
integrated. you have european, french, italian banks, citi bank, a big multinational operates there. big car companies, gm has a plant in st. petersburg. when you have the russian president stepping in his press conference yesterday, he said, very clearly, look, anyone on your side who is talking about sanctions, remember, these things cut two ways. we would be hurting each other. people would both be losing. that's really serious and true. if you have the russians turning around and seizing properties of companies, that could be devastating for market sentiment. that's a real issue here. for years, corporate ceos have been wooed into doing business in russia. here, you have these sorts of politics which are telling them, wait a minute. we should have been more careful. >> monica, what's your advice to your client under these roller coaster circumstances, shall we
call them? >> it is to understand there is a difference between a standoff scenario and a greater war scenario. looking at instability for the market nd the market doesn't like instability. in the near term, as christine mentioned, gas prices could go up. natural gas and oil. grain prices could go up. >> i think we just lost that audio. we will try to reconnect with her. christine, let me bring you back into this conversation. a lot of folks will be watching and looking at their portfolios and their mutual funds and 401(k)s. they are wondering what would be the impact on them here in the united states, europe, and elsewhere around the world. that's totally understandable. >> i wrote a piece this morning saying, don't let vladimir putin be your financial manager. you shouldn't trade on geopolitical events. your 401(k) should be based on your age, your risk factors, how
long you have until you retire, how comfortable you are with stocks, bonds, alternate investments, all of those fundamentals. another thing here to remember is that snps and market historians have gone back. all these big events since world war ii. you look at them overall, big, geopolitical events. overtime, markets tend to go up it is not a good idea for your own personal investment. i will say, wolf, how this diplomacy goes forward is going to be really critical for whether the stock market keeps going up. the bigger market is the bond market. what p has to bond yields and oil prices? they have been in a recession for years. they are just coming out of it. now, if you are going to have some sort of trade dispute with russia. big, powerful russia. what is that going to mean to europe's fragile recovery? that has to be in the forefront
of minds today. how do you contain a government whose economy is not at all contained in your neighborhood? >> let's not forget we just heard the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of the united states to announce that largely symbolic but military steps to reassure nato allies in eastern europe and other friends that presumably will trigger some russian military steps. we'll see if this escalates. christine, thanks very much. sorry we lost our connection with monica. we will try to reconnect with her. we will continue our breaking news coverage on the crisis in ukraine right after this. mine was earned in korea in 1953.
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news coverage on the crisis in ukraine. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. let's go to kiev right now, the capital of ukraine. our correspondent, michael holmes, is on the scene. what are you hearing on this sensitive day, michael? >> reporter: wolf, it is interesting. the fog has rolled back in here as it has for the last couple of days after clearing out for a few hours today. the people down in the square behind me in independence square, they are still there. the barricades are still up. the speeches are still being made. prayers are being said. the national anthem is sung with regularity. there are prayers going on right now behind me. it is interesting, wolf, today, saw a lot of people from here and in kiev. outside of the capital coming in with their cameras very
well-dressed. all that sort of protested tourism, taking photographs honoring those that have died in these protests. the fears still exist here and angered too at what has happened in crimea and what continues to happen there and the fear that were things to spread into other parts of eastern ukraine. the politicians keep talking in europe and elsewhere, they are just waiting to see what happens next. the ukrainian parliament did meet today. they had some discussions about how they could help their troops in crimea. some of those bases surrounded by those mysterious soldiers. we can call them russians. we decided they couldn't afford to do much and offer their support. here at independence square, they say those barricades are staying up. there are elections that are expected to take place in may. the people down there say they are not going anywhere. they don't trust what would happen next. wolf? >> is there still keconcern rig
now given the face of international opposition to what the russians might be doing. is there still concern russian troops might move from crimea into other parts of ukraine? or do they think the russians have basically stopped their maneuvers? >> reporter: well, that is the fear, of course. that's a very important part economically of ukraine, the eastern part of the country, the industrial part of the country, a lot of resources there too. a lot of that area is ethnically russian as well, the majority. there are sympathies toward the russian side of the border. yes, there is a fear that that could happen. there is no indication, of course, that it is on the cards. russia isn't giving any indication that it has those desires. it's focus has been on crimea, which is very important to russia, strategically and historically. it looks like it is staying with crimea. is it a fear?
yes, it is, wolf. >> folks are worried about that. michael holmes, reporting from kiev. >> hillary clinton is making some rather controversial comments comparing vladmir putin to adolf hitler. listen to what she said during a fund-raiser in long beach, california, yesterday. we'll put it up on the screen. quote. if this sounds familiar. it is what hitler did back in the '30s. the ethnic germans, the germans by ancestry who were in czechkoslavakia and places. she then continued, when he looks at ukraine, he sees a place that is part of mother russia. brianna keilar, hillary clinton putting vladimir putin, making this compare ton with hitler. that's always dangerous to do so. i'm surprised that hillary
clinton would make that comparison but what are you getting? what kind of reaction? >> reporter: right now, i'm trying to get some reaction from her camp. specifically, there is none. they are not commenting. if you invoke nazi germany and adolf hitler, it is like the third rail of rhetoric. it gets so much attention. whatever hillary clinton's opinions are, about putin, this sort of increases the volume, if you will. we heard her last week, in florida, not on camera but talking about putin. this was before the invasion of the crimean peninsula. she likened him to czars. she likened him to communist leaders of russia. but this is obviously to a whole new level. that's why so many people are surprised at this point. it would certainly be out of character for her. she is pretty disciplined when it comes to staying on message and not really ratcheting up
something unless she wants to. it is unclear where this came from at this point. to put it in context, this is wa off camera, wolf, at an event which would have been last evening for us, early evening or earlier in the day on the west coast. she was speaking to supporters of the long beach girls and boys club. it was an event where she was talking about gender equality, which is one of her big issues. this was something she began her remarks with. as it is obviously so timely because of what's going on in ukraine. >> as you accurately point out, it is always a mistake to make these comparisons with nazi germany, with a doll have hitler. you can criticize the russian president putin all you want but clearly he is not engaged in any can activities at all along the lines of what hitler was doing, including genocide, mass murder, and all of the objecting kagccu
was engaged in. given hillary clinton's involvement, four years as secretary of state, knowing her as you know her and as i know her, i am surprised she would go that far and make that statement, even though she does haven aopportuni have an opportunity in the coming hours to clarify it. she will be speaking at ucla today and this will be on camera. this will be an opportunity to say something where there will be a lot more eyes and reporters watching her. yesterday, as we understand it, it was just one reporter from a local paper who heard the comments. it was a closed event. during her time at the state department, she was seen as the face of the reset with russia. there is tremendous frustration from the obama administration from hillary clinton's camp. that did not go so well. as she does look towards 2016, the things that she will be
judged by, the relationship with russia is one of the things that certainly she will be judged by. you have to kind of look at her comments, her frustration with vladmir putin as she also sort of to give some context to what she was saying yesterday, i think the question is, is it some overcompensation in a way? this is someone who she is going to be dealing with if she, let's say, is the nominee for democrat, if she decides to run. if she does end up winning the presidency. this is going to be a relationship that she will have to continue to deal with and certainly i think there is a question of whether her remarks yesterday are sort of -- i guess sort of making a statement for the criticism that she will get for how things have gone with russia. certainly, before when she was at the helm of the state department. >> good point, brianna keilar.
our senior political correspondent. thank you. we are continuing breaking news coverage here. when we come back, one reporters take on what's happening on the ground in crimea right now. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains. that's why i recommend polident. [ male announcer ] cleaner, fresher, brighter every day.
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suzanne malveaux has a closer look into the mind of vladmir putin. >> reporter: when george w. bush met vladmir putin. >> i looked the man in the eye. i found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. >> reporter: the bromance was widely panned as naive when the relationship was strained and russia offered support to syria and iran. >> reporter: when you said you looked into his eyes and saw his soul, you will be meeting with him in a week or so, wa do you think of putin now that he has expressed a willingness to supply weapons to outlaw regimes? >> i know i understands the dangers of a iran with a nuclear weapon. >> reporter: when president obama first met putin in 2009, they looked uncomfortable, an observe vation obama acknowledges. >> the stress likes to focus on the body language. he has that kind of sloech looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom.
>> reporter: some democrats and republicans are questioning putin's sanity for pressing to the brink. >> i think he loves to strut on the world's stage. it could have some impact psychologically. >> reporter: putin is in many way delusional about this. >> reporter: trying to get a read on the former kgb agent fond of flaunting his bear chest and hunting game can be a moving target and a political mine field. relations with russia once seen as a punch line. >> and i can see russia from my house. are are people aren't laughing now. >> people are looking at pew tib as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. they look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and imbloviates. >> reporter: could anybody predict putin would be such a pain now. mitt romney did. >> a few months ago when you were asked the biggest geopolitical threat facing
maurk, ymaur america, you said russia. they are calling to ask for the foreign policy back. the cold war has been over for 20 years. >> i have clear eyes on this. i'm not going to wear rose-colored ice wh rose-colored eyes when it comes to russia or mr. putin. >> reporter: international leaders are pushing back against putin accusing him of breaking international law. we have a russian journalist and author of the book "the man without a face, the rise and rule of vladmir putin." masha, thanks very much for joining us. was mitt romney right in 2012 when he said russia, i think he was referring specifically to the lead deership of putin. >> i don't know if he was right about that. i certainly think that president obama has gone too easy on putin. part of what we are seeing now is not just united states.
the west failure to respond to putin's systematic violations of international law which should have been last week. >> what should the u.s. do that would have credibility with putin? >> at this point, it is very difficult to give any kind of advice. at this point, there is nothing that can work strategically. economic sanctions will ness ses tait greater ability and encourage the effort. it will result in greater immobilization. anything less would embolden him further. there is no way to think strategically. we have to think about what the right thing is. >> you have done a lot of work on putin, who is he, what's he about, where is he from, where is he going. we heard the secretary of state,
madeline you' madeline albright is delusional. do you believe that? >> i believe he is in a classic dictator trap. he is getting very little information. he has been watching and believing his own tv for 15 years. >> i don't know if i would call it a delusion but he certainly has a very different view of the world than you and i do. >> he does have these lengthy phone conversations, 90 minutes over the weekend. angela merkel heard about that call and said, maybe he is living in another world. others that know him well say he is by no means delusional. he is very intelligent. he has his mission and is doing what he believes is best. >> i don't see a contra diggs. he can be delusional and rational in his own framework and a russian patriot. i think that is all true.
at his press conference yesterday, actually, he did something that surprised a lot of people but i didn't find it particularly surprising. he acted the way he always does, like a bully on a playground, like a thug. he kept saying, that's not me. i didn't take that. that was that other guy. it wasn't bizarre. it only seems bizarre if you expect him to act on the basis of values that are shared in this country. yes, he does believe he has a right to go into the crimea. he does believe he is doing what the people in crimea and russia want. he believes it is his stork mission to reunite the soviet union. >> masha gessen, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. my next guest had an up-close view of the standoff between russian and ukrainian troops in the key air base in the crimean peninsula of
ukraine. it was nonviolent, filled with tension, warnings shots fired by russian troops as one of them called for negotiations on the current crisis. simon shuster is a correspondent for "time" magazine. simon, you were there. what did you see? >> reporter: that's right. we spent the night at the base there. there was a great deal tension. they were waiting for the latest ultimatum from russia to run out. after which, the russian troops surrounding their base threat p enned to attack. they were very scared throughout the night. whether that ultimatum said, that's it. i've had enough. we are going to lay down our arms and peacefully march around the occupied air base. that is what they did. they took two flags, one a
soviet military banner and the ukrainian flag and they marched with about 300 men right up to the checkpoint. >> you have been there for a while now, simon. >> reporter: the russian soldiers didn't make them stop. >> you have been there now for a while. give us a little flavor of the average person in crimea. are they welcoming the russians, opposed to the russians? we know most of the folks who live there are ethnic russians. you speak to them all the time. what's the situation on the ground like? >> it is important to remember that the pro-russian propaganda is quite intense on television. a lot of the people watch russian tv by satellite. they do have a somewhat skewed perception of the new government that has come to power in kiev. they believe that government is really fascist and ultranationalist.
that's not generally true. the new interim president is a modern guy. in large part, because of that misinformation, is really trying to steer crimea toward moscow, to make moscow the new geopolitical center of gravity. if the referendum is held as they are planning in about 2 1/2 weeks, that the people will vote to certainly have i alot more awe topmy from ukraine and to get a lot closer to russia. would they want an independent region or be taken over formally by russia. what's your sense, if they had a free and fair referendum in crimea? >> i think there would be a small minority that would say they want to become a part of
russia, basically be annexed by russia. i don't think that is in any sense a majority. for my con ver is sas with people here, the majority would want greater autonomy from kiev. they do not trust the new government. i think it will come down to control of the purse strings, budgetary issues so they have autonomy there and their own police force. it would come down to that. the new leaders would essentially be able to steer the peninsula into a greater alliance with russia economically, politically and i don't know if russia would be salts fied wi satisfied with that. i don't have a sense of whether putin is looking to annex crimea. >> he said he had no such intention but you are absolutely right. we will see what happened in crimea. >> simon shuster of "time" magazine. thanks so much for joining us.
we are going to continue to watch the unfolding swayituation crimea and ukraine. "at this hour" with berman and michaela for our domestic viewers starts after a quick break. iwe don't back down. we only know one direction: up so we're up early. up late. thinking up game-changing ideas, like this: dozens of tax free zones across new york state. move here. expand here. or start a new business here... and pay no taxes for 10 years. with new jobs, new opportunities and a new tax free plan. there's only one way for your business to go. up. find out if your business can qualify at start-upny.com
happening right now, face to face with russia. secretary of state, john kerry, sil secretary of state sits down with the russian foreign minister. high hopes. are there hopes this can do anything to ease the crisis in ukraine. explosive words from hillary clinton, comparing vladmir putin to hitler and nazis. does she have her own ukraine problem. hold on tight. asteroids hours away from a close drive bsh -by of earth. what you need to know right now.