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New U.S. Image Shows Trajectory of Missile; Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Kharkiv; Interview with Senator John McCain
Aired July 22, 2014 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Jerusalem.
Also breaking, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo. Can he stop the bloodshed? The violence escalating, 27 Israeli soldiers killed and the death toll for Palestinians now approaching 600.
And new video, Israel bombing Hamas fighters inside Israel. We're live with the latest.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: A special edition of NEW DAY continues right now.
Here in eastern Ukraine, not too long ago, not too far away, less than 10 kilometers, very heavy shelling going on. We are not sure if it was rockets or just heavy artillery, but the two sides are fighting and it is close. And that's going to hamper efforts for the Malaysians and Dutch to monitor the situation and finally start collecting some facts on the ground.
However there, is some progress to report as well. We'll bring you news from eastern Ukraine in just a moment.
But first back to John Berman and Kate Bolduan in New York.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Chris. We'll get right back to you.
We also have our eyes on the Israeli-Hamas conflict. The secretary of state is in the region, pushing a ceasefire as the death toll rises on both sides. Wolf Blitzer will have latest from Jerusalem.
But, first, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking out this morning, denouncing criticism over the shoot down of MH17. According to Reuters, he says he will push rebels to help in the investigation. He's also calling on Western powers to call on Ukraine to end the fighting in the East.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Interesting. Now, more sanctions could be on the way for Russia despite denials of any role in the takedown of Flight 17. European foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to consider travel bands, asset freezes and other restrictions, while this is happening. Some signs of high velocity shrapnel have been found on the wreckage. This according to "The New York Times" that could say the supersonic missile used by the Russians exploded near the jet.
This only raises more questions about the chain of custody and the evidence and the debris in the field surrounding Chris Cuomo that for three or four days investigators could not get onto -- Chris.
CUOMO: That piece of material disappears. What happens if it disappears? What happens if whatever may contain the shrapnel marks is no longer here because the scene is not secure? That is what is so frustrating about the situation and for all the talks about banning Russia in different ways.
Also calls here on the ground for finding ways to get more people back in, but the security situation makes that more different. And yet, for all that isn't being done, for all the negativity that is here, there is some cause for progress as well.
Here's what we know: a train left last night for Donetsk, which is nearby. There's fighting there as well. The bodies were on the train. They are now in another city and something is set up where Dutch authorities can do DNA testing and start the process of identification. They have not been able to verify the count of bodies yet, so this is the first time.
And also symbolism, they will be able to transfer the bodies into cautions. That may not seem like a big deal, but it will to those who lost their lives here. The black boxes are also on that train and being transferred to investigators so see what they hold. However, most experts say black boxes are not the answer to this situation, to the mystery of who did this and why. This is not MH370, this is MH17.
So, let's go to Barbara Starr. She's at the Pentagon with more intelligence about what may have happened that sent this plane crashing into a battlefield -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
We are now getting the first look, the first map provided by the U.S. government of what it says was the trajectory of the missile and the crash of Flight 17. I want to put this up on the screen for everyone to have a good long hard look at.
What you see here is what the U.S. says was the trajectory of this event overlaid on to commercially labeled satellite imagery. They're not going to give us the classified imagery. But let's take a look.
What you see is the flight path coming to the southeast, from the north traveling southeast, is that yellow line of Flight 17. Coming up from the south, from a town in Ukraine, you see the trajectory of the missile. You then see -- if we can hone in on that to the middle of the screen, you see the point of impact, you then see where the plane fell to the ground.
What the U.S. says is this is the radar and satellite analysis of the trajectory of the flight of the plane, the flight of the missile, the explosion and then pretty much right center in your screen, the point at which it fell to the ground. This is based on very classified, very high-tech intelligence
analysis. This is the U.S. view of what happened.
Of course, Chris, it's really what you just said, it does not tell us who pulled the trigger, who pushed the launch button. That is the big, unanswered question.
And in talking to our forces, what we're finding is, that's question that maybe the most difficult to answer. Many of these separatists as we know hold Russian citizenship. Many believe they traveled across the border into Russia to get training on surface to air missiles.
But the big question is, where there Russian military personnel at that moment, at that place you see on the map? Did they push the launch button or were they involved in the launch? That's still very much the unanswered question -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right. Barbara, thank you very much for the reporting in advancing the information involved.
Now, let's figure out what it means. Let's bring in Senator John McCain. Senator, thank you for joining us on NEW DAY, as always. As you know, I'm in Eastern Ukraine.
So we have what's called intelligence. It seems highly suggestive. The point of analysis here is to say if it's possible that Russia was involved. But let me suggest this, Senator. Why do they have to be involved? These missile systems have been in and around the Soviet Union bloc area, in Ukraine since the '70s. There are plenty of gray- haired warriors still in place here who know how they work, who understand them, who could operate them. Is there a chance that Russia had no contemporary involvement, did nothing right now?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: That's impossible, Chris, because we all know that the separatists are Russians and the Russians are separatists. We know -- they intercepted communications. We know that it takes training in order to operate this particular system. And we know that it was Russia that has caused this whole turmoil in Eastern Ukraine to start with.
So did a Russian KGB or GRU actually push the button? I think that's really nice to know, but the fact is this is the work of Vladimir Putin who caused the unrest in Eastern Ukraine, who annexed Crimea, who is the cause of all this. And whether it was actually a Russian or not frankly is not too vital in our deciding that Vladimir Putin is a KGB colonel that is an international pariah, in my view, and should be treated as such.
CUOMO: OK. So let's get to the big question -- what are you going to do about it, Senator? because it does not seem that Vladimir Putin is afraid of the U.S. at all. So for all the talk, what can be done?
MCCAIN: Well, first of all, he has every reason not to fear everything we have done so far. It's been less than a slap of the wrist for his annexation of Crimea, the first post-World War II annexation of land by a power in Europe. So he has really nothing to worry about so much, and I am really am not convinced that the Europeans will really do much.
Look, if we serious, the French cancel the two helicopter carriers that they're building for the Russians. We would put sanctions on that are sector sanctions, not just individual sanctions or naming individual companies; there would be sector sanctions. But the Europeans aren't going to do that, and the key to this is get independent -- energy independence for the Europeans, and maybe they'll show backbone. But in the short-term, they're not going to, and the United States frankly is not leading.
The President of the United States should be out there on national television pointing the finger where it belongs and telling the American people who's responsible. Then I think you would get a positive response from the American people.
CUOMO: You really think it's fair to say that he hasn't done that? He just gave a speech yesterday where, no uncertain terms, President Obama said that Russia at least help clear this situation for the investigation. It's not like he's been silent about it. The question is is what can he do about it?
MCCAIN: Well, first of all, we should lead on sector sanctions. Second of all, the president should be saying exactly what I just told you, that this is the fault of Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Putin will be held responsible. That should be his opening statement -- comment instead of, well, maybe they have to clear it up.
They have to clear it up because they caused it. And so the point here is that Vladimir Putin is literally getting away with murder -- and I mean literally -- and we are doing little in response. I think the investigation has to continue, we have to do everything we can to take care of the loved ones in the terrible tragedy that's taken place, but for us not to point the finger of blame exactly where it belongs -- there's ample, overwhelming evidence. And not only because of this particular act, but because of Vladimir Putin's continued aggression and fomenting of aggression in Ukraine.
The next thing we ought to do, by the way, give weapons to the Ukraine so -- Ukrainians so they can defend themselves. You know, people are stunned when I tell them we have refused to give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves while their country is being dismembered and invaded.
BOLDUAN: Kate Bolduan. I want to ask you one more question on Vladimir Putin and the situation that's going on on the ground. We're seeing some reporting coming from Reuters, the news agency, and just read it.
A quote from Vladimir Putin in speaking with security chiefs and defense chiefs. He said this at the top of the meeting, that he was going -- that Russia was going to use its influence over the separatists to push for a full investigation into the downing of MH- 17.
Here's what he said, Senator. He said, "We're being called on to use our influence with the separatists in southeastern Ukraine. We, of course, will do everything in our power, but that is not nearly enough."
I mean, simple question, do you believe him?
MCCAIN: Of course not. Of course note. He's the one that said -- has said that the people who invaded Crimea had bought weapons from local stores. I mean, there's nothing that he said could possibly be believed. And for him immediately to blame, quote, "from within Ukraine" when it is his people.
Kate, it is his people who are in there who did -- I guarantee you it's his people who trained these people. Now, whether it's actually a Russian military person who pushed the button or not, they had to train these people for a period of time to make them capable of launching this system. And the whole scenario was set up by Vladimir Putin by fomenting this unrest and disorder throughout Eastern Ukraine, part of a sovereign nation.
BERMAN: Senator McCain, John Berman here. You said something really interesting to Chris a moment ago. You said if we were serious about Vladimir Putin and Ukraine, the French would stop selling weapons and vessels to Russia. But we, sir, are not the French. I'm not the French. How do you get the Europeans to step up and do something here since so much of what you seem to be the solution here depends on them doing something they've shown no inclination to do so far?
MCCAIN: First of all, I was talking about whether our European allies will actually do anything serious, which I do not believe they will. In fact, unfortunately, I'm rather confident that they will not.
So what I'm talking is American leadership with sector -- sector sanctions that really do have an impact on the Russian economy. The other is I mentioned is arm the Ukrainians. Give them the weapons with which to defend themselves.
The United States has to lead. So that -- if we don't lead, then the Europeans will not follow. But we have to help and we can, within two years -- we just -- Senator Hoeven and Senator Barrasso and I just did a study and a presentation on the floor of the Senate. We can have the Europeans energy independent within two to three years, and that will change the entire scenario of their relationship with Russia.
Right now, I have some sympathy for them. They're dependent on Russian energy, otherwise it gets very cold this winter in some European capitals.
BLITZER:OK. It's Wolf in Jerusalem. I want to ask you a quick question on what's happening here between Israel and Hamas.
But just to follow-up briefly, I seem to recall after that after this crisis of Crimea, Ukraine erupted, the U.S. imposed some sanctions against some pals of President Putin restricting travel to the United States. They then 00 correct me if I'm wrong -- they retaliated by putting you on one of those sanctions lists, is that right? Aand if they did, how has that impacted you at all?
MCCAIN: It's wrecked my life, Wolf. I was unable to have a spring break in Siberia. It's been a terribly traumatic experience for me, but I'll get over it.
BLITZER: I'm sure you will.
All right, let's talk about Israel and Hamas. I don't know if you heard our interview with the former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, but she was pretty provocative, pretty blunt. She says, yes, Israel has a right to defend itself, but she thought that Israel was maybe engaging in disproportionate retaliation. She said this is hurting Israel's moral authority. She used that word, "proportionality." Do you agree with her?
MCCAIN: I'm afraid I don't. I think that the sooner that they take out the tunnels, as soon as they neutralize the rockets as much as to ensure their safety, is more likely the time that this thing is going to come to an end.
Wolf, this is -- we can't have a tit for tat kind of thing. It's very obvious that the Palestinians are using human shields in many respects in order to protect the areas they are launching the rockets from. And obviously the Israelis are the exact opposite.
I think the sooner that we neutralize the rockets and the sooner the Israelis are able to eliminate those tunnels is the sooner the people of Israel will be living in some security.
I keep asking my Arizona fellow citizens, how would we feel if somebody was launching rockets across the Mexico border at the United States of America. I'm not sure we would show a lot of restraint.
BLITZER: So if the -- if Hamas, let's say, tomorrow or today were to say, all right, we're going to stop launching rockets and missiles into Israel. We want a cease-fire. Do you think Israel should accept the cease-fire or continue, as they say here, a lot of them, Israeli military planners, go ahead and finish the job and then talk about the cease-fire?
MCCAIN: I think you've got to accept a cease-fire. It is what it is. Ideally, I'd love to see everything taken care of, but the Israelis already offered and enacted a few hours cease-fire. A cease-fire is -- look, the world is as it is, Wolf. I think that the moral equivalency is out there, which is tragic. And the fact that the more casualties there are, the more anti-Israel public opinion is fomented, and particularly in European capitals. It's in all of our interests to see it end. But to see it end in a -- it'll (ph) have to be make sure that those rockets have stopped being -- landing on Israeli soil.
BLITZER: And the Israelis point out, more than 2,000 of those rockets and missiles have been launched from Gaza into Israel and Israelis have responded, obviously, very, very ferociously.
Hey, Senator, thanks very much as usual, for joining us. And don't plan any spring break tris to Russia any time soon, because they're not going to let you in. Clearly, you're on that Do Not Travel list to Russia.
Senator, thanks very much. MCCAIN: Maybe I could see some of our old Russian interrogators.
BLITZER: What do you mean, when you were a POW in Vietnam, is that what you're saying?
MCCAIN: I never saw a Russian interrogator; I was only kidding.
BLITZER: All right, all right. I just wanted to be precise. Hey, Senator, thanks very much. Let's back to New York.
BOLDUAN: Senator McCain, only way Senator McCain can say it.
Thanks so much, Wolf. We'll get back to you shortly.
Coming up next on NEW DAY, the death toll is rising rapidly in Gaza. Right now, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping to broker a cease- fire between Israel and Hamas. We're gong to talk to Fareed Zakaria about this take on the latest.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.
We continue our breaking news coverage of the situation, the developing situation on the ground in eastern Ukraine. Some progress they say to report on the ground there. The bodies of the victims starting their slow journey back home as the trains were able to leave the rebel-controlled area, and also the rebels on the ground there handing over the black boxes as they have been in a cat and mouse game on that for days now.
So, there's some developments there, but still no answers, no concrete answers how the plane was shot down and who was behind it all. Those answers continue of course and who is really responsible for all of this.
Let's continue that part of the conversation with our own Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS."
So, Fareed, let's talk about this whole situation. I would like to get your take on what we heard from Senator McCain just now in our interview saying that the United States needs to do more, the United States needs to lead more but the president has not done enough in terms of leading and the European allies will follow. He also thinks that the United States and allies need to offer arms, offer weapons to Ukraine in order to regain control of the situation on the ground.
What do you make of it?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": I listened to the interview closely. I thought it was unfortunate.
BOLDUAN: Really? ZAKARIA: There's always a tradition in the United States, when you have a serious international crisis of some degree of bipartisanship, and what struck me about what Senator McCain was saying is it seemed needlessly partisan, by which I mean, he said, President Obama should lead, he said to you guys and he should name Putin specifically and hold him responsible.
President Obama stood outside the White House yesterday and said, Putin is responsible. He's the person with the most direct control. He and Russia can do something about this. He said the United States should lead with sanctions and Europe will follow.
The United States has led with sanctions, the United States has many more sanctions on Russia than any European country, and it has prompted Europeans to do more, as perhaps it will this week.
So, yes, there are areas where the United States could do better, but it, you know, it would help in our dealings with the allies, with the Russians, if the president seemed to be speaking for the country, had the backing of Congress behind him. And instead, what struck me about this, this was turned into just one more of the kind of unending series of partisan wrangles in Washington.
BERMAN: Let's talk about the actual developments, instead of sort of the politics surrounding them, because there have been things that have happened over the last 12 to 24 hours. The black boxes have been turned over from the pro-Russian rebels, the bodies thankfully now moved out of the crash site region, investigators allowed on site.
And then you have statements from Vladimir Putin himself just a few moments ago, reported by "Reuters", to his national security team, saying, the world has been pressuring him to force the pro-Russian rebels to allow investigators on the scene. And he said, of course, we'll do that.
I suppose my question to you, Fareed, is this what it looks like when Vladimir Putin is conciliatory? Is this to him to an extent, the extent that he might ever do, caving just a little bit?
ZAKARIA: Oh, there's no question. He's on the defensive. He has already made concessions I'm sure that he was reluctant to make. The black boxes were turned over, the bodies were turned over.
The pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukraine have clearly given the ground. They've allowed the site to be under international supervision and inspection. And most importantly, what you notice here is that the Ukrainian government is taking this opportunity to try to cease control of many of the areas of the country that they have lost control in.
And Putin is not fighting back. He's not resupplying the rebels as far as we can tell.
BOLDUAN: Do you think that's appropriate at that time? Chris had been reporting that, you know, shelling was going on pretty close to him, where he is right at the crash site. Is that smart for Ukraine to be taking this opportunity while they are
still trying to move the bodies out of there to then be shelling to try to regain control of the area?
ZAKARIA: Look, I think they're feeling probably is that this is a moment where Russia is defensive, precisely answering John's question. This is when Putin will not do something and they have been trying to take control of this area.
Look, Putin has had his bizarre position, which is he will not allow the Ukrainian government to take control of this part of eastern Ukraine, but then he blames the Ukrainian government for the airliner crash because he says it's your territory. You're supposed to technically the government in charge.
Well, if they are technically the government in charge, let them be in charge.
I have a lot of sympathy for the Kiev government. I think if we were -- if they were to wait a month, who knows what Mr. Putin's reaction would be?
But I think John is right, you're seeing not a conciliatory Putin, but a Putin who is on the defensive.
BERMAN: This is not a guy who said he's sorry but this might be what you get.
ZAKARIA: Right. And you watch the videotape message he sent and he looks very different.
You know, when I met with Putin, I'm struck by the fact that he's an aggressive, intense guy. He sort of leans forward. He's almost punching you verbally.
This was a very different guy. He was a little dazed, there was a little bit he's pasty-faced, he seemed different. And, you know, you still have the same chip on his shoulder. You always have a chip on his shoulder.
He always feels like the West is out to get Russia, and you know what? That plays well in Russia. He's tapping into a sense of Russian -- call it inferiority, call it encirclement. And that's part of the reason with all that's going on, his popularity hasn't gone down moisture in Russia.
BOLDUAN: The propaganda game is a huge -- propaganda battle is a human part of this. So, Christiane described as Putin and the Russians living in kind of an alternate universe in terms of what they are being told on the ground in Moscow.
But let's get to the ground in Ukraine. Chris is going to be back with us and joining us -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right. Thanks, Kate. You know, I think I'm standing in front of the great equalizer. You
are not going to win the political battle. Fareed's perspective is spot on. This kind of wrangling has gone on since, you know, before any of us were born.
However, this scene and the truth of it, and the forensics of it and the indisputable nature of what real experts could glean from it, would be something that's beyond politics, that has 298 souls attached to it that did nothing to anyone. They were innocent.
And that's one of the frustrating things here for the U.S., and for the international community. While this lies here and actually the man who's out there right now is not a monitor. That's one of the problems here is that anybody can just traipse through this scene.
The longer this is this way, Fareed, isn't this the key? Don't we have to lock down the situation down and get an investigation before it's too late, so have real proof of innocence being killed in a conflict and there being accountability?
ZAKARIA: You know, Chris, I think what you're saying and the reporting you've done is very important because if there is going to be a change of heart in Europe, if there is going to be a sense of seriousness on Europe's part that they have to do something, it will probably emanate it will probably be spurred by the humanitarian nature of this crisis, which is to say, when the European public sees and understands what happened to these innocent, so many of them come from one country. I mean, think about this, what this means from Holland this morning, a small nation of almost 200 of their citizens killed, slaughtered.
If that moves the Dutch to take a tougher position, if it moves them to go into the councils of NATO and the European Union and ask for a stronger response, we might begin to see a turning of the tide and in a longer term sense, if it makes them ask themselves, do we really want to be satellites of energy so energy dependent on a willful and aggressive and expansion in this country?
That is where you will begin to see a lasting change. It will not come from the high politics of Obama showing leadership but from the sense of the European public that this had been a wake-up call. The investigation becomes crucial because it will establish without a shadow of doubt what happened where you are.
CUOMO: Time is fleeting and memories are short. And while the bodies travel home, it will give closure to the families, it will also start to create that gap in time of concern of the media. Things will move on and hopefully opportunity is not lost.
Fareed, thank you very much for weighing on this. Appreciate it.
ZAKARIA: A pleasure, Chris.
CUOMO: Back to you in New York.
BOLDUAN: Chris, thanks so much. Coming up next on NEW DAY, we're going to go back to Jerusalem. Wolf Blitzer is on the ground there. Secretary Kerry is also in the region working for a cease-fire. Is there hope for peace at this point or the two sides just too far apart?