tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN January 26, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PST
the face of moscow's ongoing aggression to ukraine, would be similar to the battle groups already stationed in countries like the baltic states and poland. let's get to natasha bertrand who worked on this story with me. natasha, it seems the military responding to this criticism that support moves should be taken before aggressive moves instead of afterwards, and they're focusing their attention on the east flank of nato. >> reporter: that's right, jim. there are a number of critics who have asked why the biden administration hasn't taken more action for the russian encouragement of ukraine to deter that russian aggression, so one thing they are now considering are deploying additional forces to that southeastern flank of nato, along with some of the u.s.'s
allies including the united kingdom. that would be a chance to shore up the allies who are feeling very anxious about this russian aggression and really want the additional support from the u.s. and other allies as they face possible aggression in ukraine. the biden administration is thinking about a thousand personnel each that would be deployed to these eastern flank nato countries, and it would really be a show of support as they have asked the united states repeatedly, these countries, for additional forces to be stationed there in the face of this russian aggression. the countries that might be willing to accept these forces would be hungary, and there would be a chance to shore up that nation. no decisions have been made, but the biden administration has said repeatedly they are not taking off the table the possibility of deploying these forces before any kind of russian aggression. the fear, obviously, that russia
will attempt to weaponize any further movement of u.s. forces further to its doorstep, saying that just proves its case that nato is acting aggressively and that is why it had to move russian forces so close to the ukranian border, jim. >> one thing you and i have talked about on the air, right, is you have a difference in terms of urgency among nato allies. those closer to russia, they're more nervous about it, right, and these appear to be the ones that the u.s. and its partners want to shore up here. >> right, and it's not just ukraine, we should note, that is pushing for a policy like this. many former top government and military officials in the u.s. have been advocating for something as well, some on this very program with us. natasha bertrand, jim, obviously, very good reporting, new reporting on your end. also new this morning, the kremlin announcing that they sent a number of their fighter jets to belarus just over 80
miles from the ukranian border. this is video you're seeing posted by russia just moments ago showing the jets taking off from an undisclosed air field in russia, and we should note that president allashenko is applauding this. what is the latest on the ground? >> reporter: that's right, in fact we're seeing the continued buildup of forces, russian forces along with belarus forces, to belarus for those exercises that have been planned for weeks but are building up forces to make them happen. the big concern here in ukraine is that the southern border of belarus is the northern border of ukraine, so it is concerned if there is any sort of multi-pronged invasion by russian forces and its allies
into ukraine, then obviously that opens up another front from the north and severely complicates the military response from the ukranians. in terms of what the situation is from the ukranian intelligence point of view, they've been pushing back slightly the impending nature of the russian threat, saying they don't believe the threat is imminent, they think it's dangerous. they say they've been looking at satellite images that are showing the disposition of russian forces, and they're saying they're not quite ready as their intelligence assessment to come into ukraine and if an order is given for an invision, it will still take about a week or two weeks for that to happen. in terms of the u.s. deployment and nato deployment of additional forces to eastern europe, the ukranians have been very welcome of that, but they said at the same time our concern is that that's fine, but nato is doubling down on its commitment to security of its allies, but we don't want
ukraine to be the no-man's land between nato and russia, but that, of course, is exactly what the risk is. in general, putting the forces in first, of taking action before any russian invasion is something the ukranians have really been pushing for. they want an upsurge in military assistance here in ukraine before there is a russian invasion, and the imposition of sanctions, of course, on russia before there is any kind of russian move into the country again. >> you've heard some of that from both democratic and republican lawmakers here in the u.s., that view. matthew chance there in kyiv, thanks so much. joining us now to discuss this, jill daugherty. she is adjunct professor at georgetown university's school of foreign service. she is also the foreign bureau chief. first, jill, perhaps your reaction to this move under discussion between the u.s. and a small number of allies to send troops to eastern europe first, right, rather than wait for new russian military movements.
what do you think is the motivation behind that, and what do you think the reaction will be? >> well, the united states is trying to respond to the concern among those countries that are really bordering their former republic, some of them of the soviet union. and, of course, they're trying to really react to that concern, but at the same time not escalate. and that's a real problem here, that balance between taking preemptive action which could escalate the situation. we've already seen russia responding to things like that. so it can escalate and escalate, and that's one of the problems. >> jill, you and i both closely follow russian media, specifically russian state media, and how they have been portraying this crisis over the past year. and there has really been a ratcheting up on a number of evening news programs about the aggressor not being, obviously, the kremlin, but being ukraine
and the west. and that has proven to be somewhat of a success for vladimir putin in the propaganda narrative that is playing out for a large part of the country, which if there is inevitable war, seems to according to independent polling, seems to side with russia as being the aggrieved party. what does that mean for ukraine? >> one of the things i've been watching very carefully is the danger from what they're calling the kyiv regime to the breakaway regions in the eastern part of the ukraine. as we know, there are two regions, and they are -- essentially they're still officially part of ukraine, but definitely they want to break
away, and right now you have, in the russian parliament, discussion, should we recognize them as independent entities? so i think it's very important to keep our eye on that, too. there are a lot of balls to keep our eyes on, but i think this constant saying that kyiv, the kyiv regime, is presenting a threat moving in more and more forces, getting closer and closer to attacking, in effect, taking some action against those two regions is very, very important. why? because, again, it could be a pretext for russia's taking action. in other words, our fellow russians, because most of them are english speaking, our fellow russians are under attack. we have to go in and protect them. >> one of the things the experts have noted is in terms of how russia is preparing the domestic population for the possibility of military action.
to date, signs that they have not yet prepared them for a large number of casualties there, which may result from a sustained occupation and response from ukranian forces backed by the west. do you see that as indicative here that that preparation hasn't come might indicate russia not ready to act or not? >> i think it's something different, jim. i think that thewhat they're sag to the russian people is, and you look at poland and others, about half the country of russia doesn't believe there will be a war. there's another percentage, i think it's 15%, doesn't believe there ever will be a war between russia and ukraine, but there is high concern of a war between nato and russia. what the kremlin is saying is, we don't want war. we are not going to attack, but, again, what was mentioned today on russian tv, if our -- of the
people who report in the russian world all attack, we may have to take action. in other words, the message is we don't want to do it, but we may be forced to do it. and i think that's where you get the russians thinking while there probably won't be a war, but there could be. so it's complicated. but i think it's pretty clear in the russian people's minds. we don't want war, but we have to be prepared that there could be. >> yeah, especially when russian officials and those participating in these negotiations continuously say if there's any sort of threat against their citizens, right, in these disputed regions, they will be forced to act. clearly a lot of russians reading into that as well. jill daugherty, thank you so much for your expertise. well, still to come, a cnn exclusive. the justice department confirming it's investigating fake electoral certificates that falsely declared a trump victory
in 2020. we'll have the attorney general, next. tet pa announces steps to combat pollution. impacted areas. plus the story of a woman who tried to buy a child in a walmart in texas. she would not take no for an answer. what happened? we'll have a live report coming up. and it's easy to get a quote at libertymutual.com so you only pay for what you need. isn't that right limu? limu? sorry, one sec. doug blows a whistle. [a vulture squawks.] oh boy. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty♪
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exclusive, the justice department has confirmed it is now investigating fake electoral college certifications that falsely declared former president trump the winner of seven swing states he lost in 2020. it's remarkable reporting, bianna. >> it is. senior justice correspondent evan perez is following all of this. evan, this is your exclusive reporting. you sat down for an interview with lisa monaco. what did she tell you? >> this is the first time the justice department is actually being specific about something they are looking at, and we know in a number of these states, state prosecutors were concerned enough that they made referrals to the justice department because they believe, obviously, that there is some federal crime that could have occurred here, and now the justice department is taking a look at those referrals. here's the deputy attorney general talking a little bit about this. >> on the issue you raised in terms of fraudulent electoral
certifications has been reported. we've received those referrals. our prosecutors are looking at those and i can't say anything more on ongoing investigations. but more broadly, look, the attorney general has been very, very clear, we're going to follow the facts and the law wherever they lead to address conduct of any kind and at any level that is part of an assault on our democracy. >> of course, on any level san important distinction there. we know some of the former president's closest allies, including ride udy giuliani, we part of the effort to get these false referrals to the archives, and it's the committee's job to look be at what happened there. >> and of course the bulk is pointing out the uptick in violent crime in certain cities.
what is the committee's plan? >> they are aware the numbers do not look good, so one of the things we hear from the attorney general and now from lisa monaco, the deputy attorney general, is the amount of money they're pushing down to the cities. frankly that's where a lot of this is taking place. this is where the difference is going to be made. $139 million is being sent to fund a thousand new police officers in 180 police officers. more than 10,000 firearms seized. that's a big number. the justice department is going to do even more of that, they're asking for more money to push down into the states. you saw over the weekend what happened in new york with two officers being killed in that incident in harlem. that's the kind of thing that
they know has to be addressed because we know that that's a political liability for this administration. jim and bianna? >> yeah, they should really double down on saying defunding the police or any policy would do a lot of harm as well. evan perez, thank you. should people who refuse to get the covid vaccine be denied organ transplants? the story of a father who needs a heart transplant will sparking that debate. we'll discuss that next. for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn?
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we learn a lot about covid. every day a study reveals what may be making people get long-term covid. they found these chances may raise the level of long covid. they are the level of coronavirus rna in the blood early and the presence of certain autoantibodies. >> also on the list of reactivation of epstein-barr virus and having type 2 diabetes. we have cnn analyst dr. le
leana wen. doctor, what can doctors do to treat some of the patients with these factors? >> i think we're still learning so much about long-haul covid. we don't know the exact incidence of this, how common it is, but it is something we need to be on the lookout for, not so much at identifying individuals with higher risk, because a lot of people have type 2 diabetes, as an example, but it's more to be on the lookout for these symptoms should someone come in, for example, with overwhelming fatigue or shortness of breath or other symptoms that linger after their covid infection. >> dr. wen, big picture now. looking at the omicron surge and where we are, there are a lot of good indicators in parts of the country that got it first, new york area, washington, d.c. area, that it did go up quickly but it's coming down relatively quickly, too. but also that the hospital rate from omicron appears to be lower than prior surges. should folks watching right now take some comfort that they'll see some relief in the coming
weeks? >> if things go the way that they currently are, i do think we're in for a much better spring and hopefully summer ahead. although it really depends on the part of the country. there are some parts of the country, as you mentioned, that are already seeing a very sharp decline in covid cases. but there are other parts that have yet to be really hit hard by the full blunt of covid, and there are hospitals still really overwhelmed. so i think we need to start looking at covid the way we look at a weather forecast. we don't look at the weather forecast for the whole country, we look at the weather in our particular region, and if your region looks like it's still on the upswing when it comes to covid cases, i would still urge a lot of caution, including for the time being, wearing masks while in indoor crowded settings. >> dr. wen, let me get you to weigh in, if you will, on this controversial story out of boston. a 29-year-old man was in line
for a heart transplant until it became clear that he did not receive the covid vaccine. the hospital said he is no longer eligible because covid-19 vaccination is one of the requirements that they say would make for a more successful outcome of the transplant. his father said this was something he was again. it was his body, his choice. and this, like so many other issues of health care in the country, it's become politicized. what do you make of the decision by the hospital? >> first of all, i did my medical training at brigham young women's hospital in boston, and i know their compassion for patients. it's necessary to reframe our whole conversation. in this case we're talking about a finite resource, an extremely limited resource, which is the availability of organs. we're not talking about denying unvaccinated people the medical care that they need, but rather, what we're talking about is that there is a very limited supply
of something, which is organs. and the general procedure has always been to identify those individuals who have the highest risk of success once they receive that organ. we know that after somebody gets an organ transplant, they have to be on high-dose immuno immunosuppressants to prevent organ rejection. they're saying if you have covid, you have more veer outo -- severe outcomes. we know if someone is unvaccinated, they have more severe outcomes. if you're unvaccinated, you have less chance of a good outcome. it really limits the resource. >> as you say, so many people waiting for hearts. dr. wen, thank you so much. coming up next, a drink of water. basic necessities that some folks in the south in the 21st
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some communities in the south have been plagued by air and water pollution for years may now see some action from the environmental protection agency. the agency has announced a pilot program, several of them today, that come following epa administrator michael reagan's journey to justice tour last fall which included stops in mississippi, louisiana and texas. during that tour he visited communities facing a crumbling water structure. thank you for joining me at this time. >> thank you for having me. >> you spoke to cnn during your recent tour of the south, and i
wonder, what did you see during that trip as you were out there that led to this initiative, and in particular, are minority communities disproportionately affected by this pollution? >> you know, thank you for that question. i saw firsthand the anguish on the faces of mothers and fathers and grandparents who for decades have been asking the government for help in terms of protecting them from pollution. i saw elementary schools in close proximity to big industrial facilities that children were going to school to learn and looking out the window and seeing pollution spewing out their windows. and i visited elementary school in jackson, mississippi where the water pressure was so low that school was canceled. i saw a lot of problems, and the environmental protection agency under this administration will not stand by and continue to have this happen. >> okay, so what are you doing and how long will it take?
>> you know, we've launch aid series of efforts and reactions in direct response to what the community members had asked us for. we issued notices of violations to water facilities that are not providing good quality drinking water, expecting them to respond to those notices and make those repairs as soon as possible. we've required that the dinka facility in louisiana which produces a carcinogenic pollution that we know is detrimental to public health, we required them to do monitoring. we notified companies that emissions are too high and not protective of the communities. we've also given more money, more resources to states like louisiana so that they can amplify the air quality monitoring that they're doing within their state. and lastly i'll say we're
launching a pollution team, pollution prevention team, that we will deploy aircraft, we will deploy mobile vehicles in these communities at a moment's notice so we can be sure we can get realtime emissions data so we can hold these facilities accountable if they are violating these policies. >> president biden pledged to cut carbon emissions nationally in half by the year 2030. since then we've seen the climate provisions contained in bbb, of course like the whole package, delayed, on life support, perhaps. can the president, can the administration, can the country still credibly meet that goal nationally? >> jim, we're still in the hunt. congress has more business to conduct, and we're hoping congress can conduct that business. but i've said the entire time,
we have statutory authority to continue to pursue the production of greenhouse gas emissions. last year we had the most efficient greenhouse gas program and 80% production in the next 15 years. we issued the most aggressive emission standard because of light-duty trucks, more aggressive that the biden administration will help us keep on track. we've started the most aggressive oil and gas rule which will get methane at levels greater than this country has ever seen. we want to take action. we want congress to take action, but we're not sitting by idle. >> as you know, those executive actions swing back and forth between administrations. obama put them in, trump took them out. biden put them back in, who knows who is in the white house in 2024, and a big part of the emission strategy is based in
the climate of the build back better plan. the president said he can pass big chunks of them. does the administration have the votes to pass that chunk, the environmental chunk? >> what i can say is we have, whether it's the hscs that we're controlling or it's the cost standards or the methane standards. you've seen organizations like the chamber of commerce, the american petroleum institution, those who are regulated by these agencies stand with us and say, it's time for these regulations. the technologies are there. it's good business, it's good for these communities and it's good for the plan. so i believe congress will, as part of the build back better agenda, be able to push the climate provisions that we're looking at. build back better is a big piece of legislation. there is a lot of consternation there, there is a lot of conversations that are occurring, but we're seeing more
agreement and more alignment on the climate provisions because we know it's good for national security, it's good for the business and job growth, but it's also good for protecting people on the planet. so i have a lot of confidence in the president's leadership that he can push congress on the climate provisions. >> okay. we'll see if he gets the votes. epa administrator michael regan, we appreciate you joining the program this morning. >> thank you for having me. coming up, south dakota's governor is now pushing to get an abortion bill passed in her state that is very reminiscent of the texas abortion ban. up next, i'll speak to the president of planned pareenthoo in that region about how they're fighting back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ for your most brilliant smile, crest has you covered. [girls laugh]
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to $10,000. sara, welcome to the program. before we begin, is it now the case that there are no doctors currently performing abortions within the state, that, in fact, doctors have to be flown in out of state? >> yes. in fact, that has been the case for well over 20 years. planned parenthood has operated the sole clinic where people can access abortion in south dakota, and we have had to fly doctors back and forth primarily from the twin cities in minnesota, but also sometimes from other parts of the country. it's been very, very difficult. and, in fact, because south dakota also requires a 72-hour waiting period, we are forced to fly the same doctor twice, once on monday to administer so-called informed consent, and then they have to come back, the same doctor, on thursday to
perform the procedure. and the patient, the women, have to come into the clinic twice, once on monday and once on thursday. it's a very, very difficult situation, and we've been operating that way for many years. >> so you say 20 years. a difficult situation for women who are in need of an abortion to have access to one. this law, as you describe, would make it even more difficult. what are you hearing about concerns from some women in the state? >> well, of course, this proposed law is a copycat of the texas law that has been allowed by the supreme court to remain in effect since september 1, and what we know in texas is that large numbers of women have not been able to have abortions or have had to travel out of state, which is not easy for a lot of people to do. and so there is a great deal of concern about this in south dakota, particularly because, in
fact, the disposition of the texas law is very much up in the air. it's on the books, effectively, in texas. and so assuming that the law is passed in south dakota, which we have every reason to believe that it will, given the conservative politics of our governor, abortion will become virtually impossible to have in south dakota. >> well, you mentioned the texas law, and we should note, as you do, that the supreme court has refused to block it multiple times now. legal experts have been warning of this very scenario, that other states and other governors would try to mirror what they saute place in texas. so given that, how much faith do you have that pursuing the legal avenue here will give you different results from what we've seen in texas? >> well, of course, we have an obligation to pursue the legal avenue, and we will, and we will continue to fight for our
patients every step of the way. but let's not kid ourselves. the supreme court is now a very, very conservative body, and a very political body, and so what we are looking at in south dakota and, in fact, in other parts of the country, too, for that matter, is the virtual overturning of roe if this law is allowed to stand, and women no longer having command of their bodies or having to leave the state in order to regain command of their bodies. it's really -- go ahead. >> in the limited time we have left, i want to play sound for you from governor nome, who is saying states, not only her own, but around the country should offer better alternatives for women, mentoring programs, adoption, et cetera. let's play a clip from that and i would love to get your response. >> we do have amazing senators and people that wrap their arms around these mothers and these
families and let them know that there are options for that child, that there is adoption, that there is ways that they'll come alongside them and mentor them so that they can teach them how to be parents and help them through the struggles that come with raising a child. >> what do you make of her remarks? >> that it's pure fantasy. that's just not true. in fact, south dakota has one of the weakest, almost non-existent social safety nets in the entire country. so there is very little support for women who have children, and very little support for families. people are just left on their own to deal with whatever circumstances they have. i applaud anyone who wants to strengthen the social safety net and we'll work very hard to do that with them, including kristi noem, if she's serious about it.
so far she's not serious about it. south dakota has not even expanded medicaid. women's situations are very tough for women in south dakota. >> please keep us posted for developments on your legal pursuits, and we appreciate your time this morning. >> thank you for your interest. we appreciate it. we should note we have invited governor noem to come on the show at any time to discuss these bills. jim? coming up at the top of the next hour, cnn exclusive. the justice department digging deeper into fake electoral college certifications that declared falses donald trump was the winner. where the investigation stands on the committee investigating the elector certificates is.
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so listen to this next story. texas police now arrested a woman who is accused of trying to buy another woman's child. police say rebecca taylor followed a woman at a walmart, offering her $500,000 for her baby and demanding that the mother sell the infant boy to her. >> unbelievable. cnn's rosa flores joins us now from houston. rosa, the more details coming out on this, the more alarming it is. how did this unfold? >> reporter: the details are crazy. this is according to crockett police. they say rebecca taylor
approached this shopper that was at the self check-out at the walmart in crockett, which is about 120 miles north of where i am here in houston, and this woman started commenting about this woman's child, saying that the blond hair and the blue eyes, and then according to police, taylor offered this woman money for her child. now, the mom laughed it off, thinking that it was a joke, but according to police, taylor offered $250,000. now, this mom said no money will do and waited for taylor to leave the walmart. and then in the parking lot, according to police, taylor approached this mom again, saying that if $250,000 wasn't enough, then what about half a million dollars? well, this woman locked herself in the car with her children, and according to police, taylor continued to scream that she wanted this baby, she was willing to pay $500,000.
taylor eventually left the premises. that's when this mom called the police. officers showed up and they reviewed the surveillance video from that walmart. well, this is a small town. according to police, they were able to recognize rebecca taylor, and she was arrested and charged with the sale or purchase of a child, which is a third-degree felony. she has since bonded out, and bianna and jim, cnn's attempts to reach her for comment have not been successful. >> well, that's an alarming story. rosa flores, thank you for covering. brief developments in the story where police have arrested two men in the texas synagogue standoff. you'll recall earlier this month a 44-year-old man who was british held hostages in the synagogue. the man was killed and two others escaped.
that's all for our news. thank you for joining us through it all. i'm jim sciutto. >> and i'm bianna golodryga. kate bolduan starts right now. hello, i'm kate bolduan. federal prosecutors are now zeroing in on the elector plot showing donald trump asked for fake certifications. and an imminent invasion to russia? troops may be starting to move. and an interest rate hike which could affect every single american. good morning, everyone. we begin with reporting exclusive to cnn. the justice department publicly confirming it is looking into