tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 7, 2022 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
this sunday on cnn. our coverage continues now with wonderful bliter in "the situation room." have a great rest of the day. happening now, political upheaval in britain. johnson is stepping down. pushed out by a scandal. ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky is sharing the reaction to the resignation of johnson. stand by for the exclusive interview with zelenskyy in kyiv. the father of the highland park gunman said he doesn't bear responsibility for the attack. the family's past interactions
with police. we want to willing our viewers in the united states and the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." we begin with the political upheaval in britain. prime minister johnson resigning after a truly historic revolt in the conservative party over a series of ethics scandals. max foster is outside parliament for us. a seismic shakeup for the uk. walk us through the dramatic developments. >> reporter: wolf, you can say that johnson can claim notable wins. he was the man most responsible, the person most responsible for bringing the uk out of the european union. he was responsible for that.
there was the vaccine rollout, him supporting ukraine and there were scandals and every time he managed to mishandle them. he said there with respect parties in downing street in lockdown and had to apologize and say there were. latest a member of the government accused of sexual assault. johnson's office said he didn't know about it but he did know about it. that was the final straw from many members of the government and started to resign a couple days ago and came to a head really last night when members of the cabinet said time was up for him and had to go. the immediate response was to start firing people and slept on it and woke up and accepted he had to go and came out and gave a speech to that effect. listen to this part. he is going reluck tantdly. he feels he is treated unfairly and not happy about it.
>> as we've seen westminster the herd instinct is powerful. my friend in politics no one is remotely indispensable. the brilliant system will produce another leader equally committed to taking the country forward through tough times railroad still a lot of bitterness toward him and mps in the party even who want him to go and not wait until a new leader is appointed. >> johnson will remain in office until a successor is chosen. who's on the short list? >> reporter: this is the best guess at this point. it is an open game and often an outlier who hates and the favorites don't. these are the favorites.
ben wallace, for example, even the british audience doesn't know who he is. rishi sunak has got charisma and not that widely known. this is the issue. they don't have that profile that boris johnson has. they have to prove that because it is the sket party that decides who will be the next prime minister and want to know will they win an election? i can't say that any of the figures will resonate enough to be elected. >> max foster in london, thank you. let's get reaction from the white house. chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins is working this angle for us. >> reporter: i asked president biden himself if he had any
reaction to the resignation today. president biden himself said not really. he said it is part of the process meaning the democratic process about who the leader is going to be. the white house for their part put out a statement and didn't mention prime minister johnson by name but said the close alliance will continue. that's what they refer to is the special relationship between the two countries and will go on and remain in close cooperation. there is a lot for them to discuss including what's happening on the ground in ukraine. >> as different as boris johnson and president biden were they were in lockstep with ukraine? >> reporter: they had the differences. boris johnson was cozy with trump. a different relationship with biden and disagreements with the
northern island protocol. nancy pelosi warping if they rewrite it there would be problems. on ukraine you say them come together. with the invasion this is where the united states not only maintained close contact with the united kingdom on the response and trying to be united on that but also with other nations so they have said that will continue. they are not concerned that that will change as a result of johnson resigning. that united approach on ukraine will go forward and notable given how much they have spoken about this and together last week in germany at the g7 summit and nato summit as well, wolf. >> thank you. right now we have the first reaction to johnson's resignation from the president of ukraine. i spoke exclusively with president zelenskyy about the
support he received from johnson, the help he needs from the quite and much, much more. joining us now the president of ukraine, volodymyr zelensky. mr. president, thank you so much for joining us. i want to start by asking you about the news today that the british prime minister boris johnson resigned. he is a biggest advocate in europe. visited you twice in this brutal war. do you believe it's the correct move for him to step down at this point? >> translator: he resigned not because he was in ukraine. i think on the contrary what johnson has been doing for ukraine was helping us a great deal. i consider him a friend of ukraine. but i think a society supported ukraine in europe. that's why i think the uk is on the side of good, on the side of
ukraine. i'm sure the uk policy towards ukraine is not going to be changing because of boris johnson's resignation. our relation's gained a lot from boris johnson's understanding of things. we went through a lot of dramatic moments quite quickly. the help we needed was delivered rather quickly. yes. it will affect the speed of help i don't know. i will pray to god it won't be affecting the help. firstly the military help in this moment of time. >> let me follow up on that point, mr. president. in his resignation speech boris johnson had a direct message to the people of ukraine saying the
uk will quote continue to back your fight for freedom as long as it takes. that's what he said. are you at all worried whoever follows him will lead a less supportive fight? >> translator: unfortunately i didn't hear the resignation speech. i will be talking to him at 4:00 p.m. i will be talking to him about everything. i will try to understand the details of what will be going on when it comes to supporting ukraine in this war. i think he's a deep and serious person. when he resigned he wanted to talk to me to calm me down and that britain will carry on the support of ukraine. i also understand that he will be working as a prime minister for a certain period of time after his resignation. >> that's correct. mr. president, let's turn to the
state of the war right now. as you know russia abandoned its efforts to capture the capital of kyiv three months ago but russian forces have been steadily gaining ground in the east why what is your assessment of where the war stands right now? >> translator: thank you for this question. firstly i want to say the russians didn't abandon their attempts although we pushed them back and they retrieved. i think that overall they didn't give up on the military plans and the leadership plans to capture our country. these are the plans for years and years. they have been always occupying our country. first politically. there's crimea and then donbas and now a full-scale invasion. that's why russia's plans
contain occupying the whole country. we are totally convinced. as to the situation in the east, it is very difficult. we have different situations all over ukraine but the most difficult one is in donbas. the russians have advantage in artillery, soldiers and sustained more losses but they don't count their military equipment or the victims. we are counting the people most of all. we are doing everything in order to save lives of our people. this is our weapons. our people are our weapons. we want this disadvantage in military equipment to get rectified to appeal to the partners for help.
as to the situation in the south, it is a bit different as we contain the enemy and in some cases we are counter attacking. as to the kharkiv region, it is almost all liberated. it is not easy because the russians left their combat units. overall we have to stabilize the situation in the east. >> as you know, mr. president, putin said he achieved a primary goal, capturing luhansk. has luhansk fallen to russia? >> translator: i don't believe what they say publicly. as they are constantly changing their position. it's like you remember in crimea they were saying it was not them, they didn't grab any land
and crimea was russia's historic land and just given to ukraine. then in the east they said there were no russian troops. those were some rebels they would say. we were saying those were terrorists in the russians. then they told the whole world that thousands of russian troops along the border with ukraine were a military exercise and would not be an invasion. they were laughing. how is it that one brotherly nation would be killing another. and it actually happened. that's why we don't believe them when they say their plans were only concerning parts of luhansk region. this is not true. their plans are totally clear.
we found maps from downed war planes. we saw their targets. we talked to the p.o.w.s. they were telling us they had orders to capture kyiv in two to three days. torture our people any way they want. it shakes up the situation. they needed chaos in ukraine. it was all being done in our country. they're sabotaged us for operating all over the place why missiles launched at us from donbas, from the sea, from crimea, from the belarus territory. and when they were saying we're
not shooting and shelling they were shooting and shelling the civilian targets. the whole world has seen. there's nothing military there. they're small commuter towns. that's why we won't believe their plans are only concerning the capture of the luhansk region. we will defend our country. >> you're saying that the russians do not, do not control luhansk right now? is that what you're saying? >> translator: they control almost all of the luhansk region and ongoing fighting on the outskirts of this region. the main towns of luhansk region where the fiercest fighting
happened and a lot of people happened. there could have been encirclement. that's why the troops retreated. there are almost no people left in the two biggest towns of the region. around 10% of the local population left there. i cannot tell you how many of those people are still alive as we are evacuating everyone who could and wanted to leave. i will honestly tell you there were people who didn't want to leave. so the russians do control the majority of that totally ruined region. i don't even understand what exactly they're controlling there. they ruined towns, schools.
they're the okay the piers of the rubble? much more of my interview with volodymyr zelensky. the ukrainian president said he is not quote sulking over nato's decision to leave the country out of the alliance as nato expands to include finland and sweden. plus, questions of the highland park parade shoot eer. who role did he play in helping his son obtain weapons? we'll be r right back. [whistling] when you have technology that's easier to control... that can scale across all your clouds... we got that right?
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more now with my exclusive interview with ukraine president volodymyr zelensky speaking about the expansion of nato, ukraine's exclusion from the aleens and the support he's receiving from the west. >> i want to ask you about the support you are getting from the united states. what specifically do you need president biden and the united states to do that it is not already doing? >> translator: president biden, head of the united states, is the biggest, biggest supporter
of ukraine. not only of president zelenskyy, but all ukrainian people. and he's a friend and i'm really grateful to him and very grateful to the united states and the american society for the weaponry. it costs a lot. and these funds, they belong to people and i believe that americans trust that that they pay for someone paying the highest price and i appreciate this support. there is a long distance between us. but there is no distance in a war. and every people, every nation realizes that. there are different challenges and different wars. now the united states is helping
ukraine, helping a not, but it is not enough to win. i hope my trust will speed up this help to ukraine. we want the increment of this help. we are fighting for our land. we don't want people from other lands to fight for our territory. but the u.s. is a world economy and can help us with both arms and finances. and also, the u.s. can influence
the decisions of the european countries. this is also the political support. i have to be honest. some countries in europe want a balance between russia and ukraine. but owing to the u.s. help they started supporting us. so when i talk about the volume and speed of the arm support i'm not appealing only to the united states. i appeal to all the world leaders in saying that the faster help, the increment of help will save the lives of ukrainians and regain the
territories occupied by russia. >> you have been at times extremely critical of the mixed messages of nato. what's it like to watch nato to embrace sweden and finland after ukraine is trying to join nato without success at least so far? >> translator: firstly, i'm very happy that finland and sweden will become nato members. it is easier. it is more straightforward. more clever than the bloody war. the acceptance of finland and sweden is just a preventive measure to keep russia from invading those territories and people. this is why we support 100% the
decision of the world and those countries. it is a mutual decision. respect and understanding. it is not superficial but deep understanding of the risks for these countries with the aggressive attitude of russia to sovereign countries. that is why we're fully supportive of their membership. the whole world is helping ukraine. some doing humanitarian aid, some financial or military aid. both houses in the united states support us. the world is doing a lot. but it could have been easier. ukraine could have been accepted as a nato member.
it would be much more straightforward than people imagine. that's why i'm not sulking because of this. that we are not members of nato. this is a joint decision. you know, always in everything you use a short cut. i don't look for a short cut. not the other way around. and now we are talking about the security guarantees and the support and it could have been so much easier just to accept ukraine as a member of nato. this is already being discussed. during the latest nato meeting they all, the members, agreed to
support ukraine. we are grateful for that. otherwise it would have been cynicism. i understand this decision but they always found reasons behind not accepting ukraine. i only can say that accepting finland and sweden this is the right decision. not accepting ukraine? this is the wrong decision. >> so, mr. president, do you still want ukraine to be a member of nato? >> translator: nobody invented better security guarantees so far. we are ready to go to any structure that would guarantee for us the end of the war and
security. so far, i cannot see any other security guarantee apart from nato. we did not give up this route. the whole world witnessed that this route does not depend on us. the issue of open doors depends only on the other nato member states. coming up, much more of the interview with the ukraine president volodymyr zelensky. he opens up about the personal struggle he and the family endure in the face-off of the ongoing russian invasion of his country why much more of the interview coming up. al other important stories. i didn't do anything wrong. why the highland park againman's father said he had nothing to do
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new revelations today in the wake of the deadly fourth of july shooting in illinois. the gunman's fair that helped his son get a gun license told "the new york post" he thought he would go to the shooting range as prosecutors learn more about the gunman's interactions with police. let's bring in josh campbell with retails. i understand you spoke with the
highland park police chief. what are we learning about the investigation? >> reporter: i just talked to the police chief here epa asked him about the previous contact with police in 2019. he told me that he believes that officers did everything they could under the law at the time. the family that called police did not file a complaint against him. this is coming as the family's is facing scrutiny particularly relating to the genesis of the firearm used in this deadly massacre. serious questions about robert crimo jr. including the role to help his son obtain the weapons. police say he sponsored the gun license application and totalled five guns.
>> i signed the consent form to go through the process. they do background checks. >> reporter: he said he thought the son would use them at a shooting range saying he bought everything on his own and registered to him. he said he bears no responsibility and fush you over the son's actions. >> i love him but it is devastating. >> reporter: prosecutors say the 21-year-old confessed. also details about nearly two dozen police calls to the home. in april 2019, police called after the family said the shooter attempted suicide. and then september officers responded to the home after a threat in the household. despite the reports of violence they didn't file a complaint to
spur police action and the shooter purchased the guns legally. >> we have to understand if we go to homes, we do all the time, we can't just -- not corroborating it or saying it is not happening and isn't the way the law is set up. >> reporter: all victims have been identified. irina and kevin's toddler stumbled upon him. >> i stepped outside. i said, he is not our boy. can somebody help us? he said we can't be babysit ores. he wasn't be disrespectful. >> they got him to the grand parents. >> asking the name the response was mama, dada, come to get me soon. the car. i was like, yeah, buddy.
they will come so, so soon. >> reporter: the police chief understands the public is anxious for answers. >> it's what we want to know why? why? i don't think i can give you a why. wi want the reason to process but not sure that we are there yet. >> reporter: disturbing news. this is heart breaking. take a look at this picture. this is the 8-year-old cooper roberts shot in the shooting on monday. suffering significant injuries to his chest, a severed spine cord. we got word that he is paralyzed from the waist down. >> so heart breaking and awful. thank you. just ahead a witness who could be key to the investigation into the january 6 capitol attack. we'll talk to a house democrat about what he hopes to learn
from pat cipollone. plus, much more of my egs collusive interview with president volodymyr zelensky opening up about the personal toll the war is taking on his family. we'll be right back. (vo) with 5g ultra wideband in many more cities, you get up to 10 times the speed at no extra a cost. get verizon business unlimited from the network businesses rely on. this is john. he never gives up—no matter what life throws his way. high cholesterol. heart disease. 17 fad diets... 5 kids... 3 grandkids... 1 heart attack.
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tomorrow. joining us to discuss is congressman crow of colorado. thank you so much for joining us. the january 6 select committee calls pat cipollone a uniquely positioned witness. why is his testimony going to be potentially so pivotal? >> hi, wolf. he was one of president trump's closest advisers. so much so that donald trump entrusted in pat cipollone the defense of the first impeachment trial. i tried that case against pat cipollone and debated and went against him in the first impeachment trial so in a lot of these discussions there was pat cipollone and somebody that knows what the president was thinking, who he was talking to, what he was saying. this is important to get his information out into the public record. >> given the perm and direct confrontation with cipollone in that impeachment trial what do you anticipate, how do you think
he'll behave in this sworn videotaped transcribed interview tomorrow? >> he is a smart lawyer. there's no doubt about that. accomplished lawyer. he is somebody that i think that has a lot of information that we need to know about but he is not a bomb thrower in my experience. i could be wrong but that's not the pat cipollone that i know. i think he'll tell his story as he is required to do. this is a lawful issued subpoena. i think the larger issue here that we have to zoom back out and look at is looking at the committee process over the time that it's been doing this work and there have been so many stories and information not told voluntarily. it was only told and only came fort into the public after people required to do because of
subpoenas and the requirement. that's a huge abdication of the responsibility. they sit on information that need to come forth and tell the stories. >> will he do that or claim executive privilege or other reasons for not answering questions? >> he could. he might. we are a law and order country. making sure that people tell the story they will need to tell. >> democratic congressman crow of colorado, thank you so much. we'll continue this conversation down the road. courtroom drama as wnba star brittney griner pleads guilty. we have a new statement just out from her legal team.
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has just put out a statement following her guilty plea to drug charges in a moscow court saying she quote decided to take full responsibility for her actions and she knows that she is a role model for many people, closed quote. mat matthew chance has the latest from moscow. what are you learning? >> reporter: that's right, wolf.
tonight, those lawyers for brittney griner saying they're hoping for a lenient sentence after she pleaded guilty in a russian courthouse to bringing in tiny quantifies, frankly, of cannabis oil in her luggage. it was found by customs officials in february. this as the female basketball star was handed a letter from president biden today in a russian courthouse. this is russian justice conducted behind closed doors. just a glimpse of brittney griner being led, handcuffed, into the courtroom. the 31-year-old was detained at a moscow airport in february when russian customs officials say they found small quantities of cannabis oil in her luggage. an illegal substance under russian law. recordings made inside the court capture the female basketball star through a translator pleaded guilty to the serious drug smuggling charges against her. >> i'd like to express my --
please guilty on charges. but i had no intention on breaking any russian law. >> reporter: but under those laws which carry a maximum ten-year sentence, the u.s. athlete told the court she packed a oil by mistake, could be made an example of especially in a time of such strained u.s.-russian relations and there's concern the biden administration should be doing more to help. >> is the white house doing enough to get brittney griner home? >> we've had great response with bg's letter to biden and biden responding to her wife. the coverage of women's sports
and at alhletes is really conce here. the question is would tom brady be home? but he wouldn't be there because he doesn't have to go to a foreign country to supplement his income from the wnba. >> reporter: but officials in washington and moscow insist they're doing everything they can. >> i was able to speak with miss greiner in the courtroom. she said that she's eating well. she's able to read books and under the circumstances, she's doing well. most importantly, i was able to share with miss greiner a letter from president biden and miss greiner was able to read that letter. >> reporter: it's unclear what was written, but u.s. officials already negotiated the release of one u.s. prisoner this year in a controversial prisoner swap. u.s. diplomats say they're committed to bringing home all americans including brittney griner and others who they say are wrongfully detained.
wolf, a light sentence though in a russian court, particularly in a case which is so political of this as a time of very fraught relations between the united states and russia is very rare, indeed. and so, you know, it's not like some kind of deal is in any way imminent but having said that, there are russian citizens in u.s. jails as well and the experience of trevor reed shows us in a time of strained relations, it is possible some kind of deal could be done. >> thank you very much. coming up, more of my exclusive interview with the ukrainian president, volodymyr zelenskyy. he talks about the very personal toll of russia's invasion on his country and the toll it's had on his wife and children. stay with us. so lve together, and find the answer that was right under r their nose. or..... his nose.
responsibility for his son's deadly attack. this as we're learning about more warning signs including nearly two dozen calls from the family's home to police. also tonight, a critical moment in the january 6th investigation. we're setting the stage for tomorrow's testimony by former trump white house counsel, pat cipollone. and volodymyr zelenskyy tells me about the very personal toll the war is taking on his family and how his children are in danger. stand by for much more of my exclusive interview with president zelenskyy this hour. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with all the new evidence in the highland park mass shooting including warning signs about the