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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  April 29, 2014 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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camouflage into the landscape is a small unit of ukrainian para troopers. a less than two-minute drive down the road, one of the barricades set up by the pro-russian camp. the threat from within ukraine's borders, more immediate and menacing. as we were out filming, kiev lost control of yet another government building. this time in luhansk. the police doing nothing to stop the pro-russians as they smashed windows and declared themselves the authority. for the people living along the border, it was a boundary in name only. now potentially, these scenic, tranquil hills could become just one of many front lines. and the actions by key players are really not helping the situation, only seeming to further polarize it. the government in kiev deciding to fire the police chiefs in donetsk and in luhansk, rather than trying to somehow reach out and look for a political solution. wolf? >> arwa damon, thanks very much.
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the europeans sent observers to eastern ukraine, only to see some of them captured by pro-russian demonstrators. let's discuss this very dangerous situation in ukraine. right now, joining us, daniel bayer, the united states ambassador for cooperation in europe. also joining us, julia yaffi of "the new republic" magazine, josh rogin from "newsweek" and "the daily beast." ambassador, first you. what's the latest on those international monitors that have been taken hostage, if you will, or being held captive by pro-russian demonstrators in eastern ukraine? >> that's right, wolf, last week in slovyansk k, the self declared mayor took the eight international observers sent out on the vienna document, one of the arms control and transparency building measures and has been holding them, along with their ukrainian escorts, in
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a dungeon in slovyansk. obviously, one was released last week on medical grounds, but we remain deeply concerned about the remaining hostages and this terrorist tactic. >> have they made formal demands, what they want in exchange for their freedom? >> my understanding is that talks are going on on the ground every day, trying to figure out a way out of this. obviously, they should be freed because they are international observers dually invited under the vienna document, in which russia is a signatory and we're very hopeful that they will be released some time soon. >> do you blame just pro-russian demonstrators in eastern ukraine, ambassador, or do you blame russia itself? >> absolutely not. this is not something that is spontaneous or random. we've been very clear that there's strong evidence that this is a coordinated, kremlin
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coordinated, series of events, the takeover of the building in luhansk that we heard about a moment ago, i heard a journalist describe it as taking place with military efficiency. that's not an accident. the kremlin is coordinating this. this would not be happening without the kremlin's involvement. >> julia, what's your analysis? >> i think he's absolutely right, especially with what happened in kiev, which the russians are constantly asking us and inviting us to do, equating the movements in eastern ukraine, the pro-russian movements in eastern ukraine and what happened in kiev. it was guys with bats and shin guards. they didn't have this kind of weaponry, didn't have this kind of efficiency or this kind of coordination, these uniforms. but what we're seeing in east ukraine is definitely not spontaneous grassroots movements, where people just went to the store and got these uniforms. >> you, josh, obtained a recording of the secretary of state john kerry speaking about what's going on in eastern ukraine in a closed-door
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meeting. you got a recording. i'm going to play the audio from the recording. the words are up on the screen, then i want to discuss what you heard at this meeting the other day. >> intel is producing, you know, taped conversations of intelligence operatives taking their orders from moscow and everybody can tell the difference in the accents, in the idioms, in the language and so forth. we know exactly who's giving those orders, we know where they are coming from. i mean, this is insulting to everybody's intelligence, let alone to our notions of how we ought to be behaving in this century. it's thuggism, it's rogue state-ism, it's the worst order of behavior. >> last week in a public speech he gave, he referred to
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ukrainian intelligence making this allegation. in this particular recording, he says intel. is he referring to the same thing he spoke about publicly the other day, or is there new information based on what you're hearing? >> a state spokesman said today kerry was referring to ukrainian intelligence. it seemed he was talking about u.s. intel. we don't know. he said previously that u.s. intelligence agencies have produced similar intelligence, so what we know is according to john kerry, there's streams of information coming in from both the u.s. intelligence collection efforts and ukrainian that prove russian and moscow involvement in what's going on in eastern ukraine and put lies aside of vladimir putin and lavrov that they are not involved. >> you're in vienna, for the organization of security and cooperation in europe. based on everything you know, and you get a lot of important information, do you have any doubt that the russian government of president vladimir putin for all practical
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purposes, is pulling the strings in eastern ukraine right now as far as those pro-russian sympathizers are concerned? >> i have no doubt whatsoever that the russian government is undertaking a concerted effort to form up instability in ukraine. there's no question. are there some locals who are whipped up in this? absolutely, but as i said before, this would not be happening without the kremlin's involvement. >> and go ahead, julia, because i know you have strong views on this. >> i was just going to say that even if we proved definitively, beyond a reasonable doubt that was russians are commanding that, what does it change? the russians can still keep doing what they are doing. doesn't change anything. >> does it change anything, josh? >> makes diplomacy with russia less of a focus, because if we're trying to get de-escalation and russian promises can't be met, we can't really strike an agreement with russian to de-escalate the crisis, can we?
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>> very quickly before i let you go, those monitors, are they going to be released in the next few days, do you think? >> you know, it's too soon to tell, wolf, but i certainly hope so. as the other commentators have said, and it's a pleasure to be on with julia and josh, you know, the challenge now is that nobody can trust russia at its word. we worked very hard to hammer out an agreement on initial steps for de-escalation two weeks ago, and russia has not only had sins of omission and not doing anything to advance that, they've had further implementing instability, human rights abuses, torture, attack of peaceful demonstrators, everything is happening. the kremlin is exporting western thuggism to eastern ukraine. >> thanks very much, julia, josh rogin. stand by. i want to share more of that secret recordings of the secretary of state john kerry. one comment in particular has caused a huge uproar, forcing the secretary to back pedal,
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back pedal fast. we'll have that recording for viewers to hear. also, were crews searching for flight 370 in the wrong place for weeks on end? a new claim by an australian company that says it may have found plane wreckage thousands of miles away. [ hypnotist ] you are feeling satisfied without standard leather. you are feeling exhilarated with front-wheel drive. you are feeling powerful with a 4-cylinder engine. [ male announcer ] open your eyes... to the 6-cylinder, 8-speed lexus gs. with more standard horsepower than any of its german competitors. this is a wake-up call. ♪
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secret recordings of secretary of state john kerry during a closed-door meeting. they were talking about the middle east peace process when the secretary of state dropped this bomb shell. >> a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of israel to be a jewish state. >> now backing off from the use of the word apartheid saying, and i'm quoting him, if the if i could rewind the tape, i would have chosen a different word." that's from the secretary of state. he also went on to say, while former prime minister barack, prime minister barack have all invoked the specter of apartheid to underscore the dangers of a unitary state, for the future, it is a word best left out of the debate here at home. josh rogin is here once again joining us. it's caused quite an uproar, this story you reported, the
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audiotape. i guess he's now saying he made a mistake in saying it, although substantively he's not walking away, if israel doesn't have a two-state solution down the road with the palestinians, there's a potential for an apartheid to come into play. >> you're exactly right, wolf. his denial, or his apology, if you want to call it that, said he doesn't believe israel is an apartheid state or intends to be, but he's not walking away from his belief that israel could become an apartheid state if the two-state solution is not reached soon. john kerry believes that israel's facing an existential threat from palestinians living in israeli territory. of course, he regrets using the word apartheid, because it's gotten such a negative reaction around the world, but he doesn't not believe that's a possibility. >> jimmy carter used that word in a book and got severely criticized. president obama when he was a senator, he rejected that word.
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you've got all this at this meeting, this closed-door meeting, the trilateral commission. they've written a letter to the secretary of state, very critical of what you did, supposedly off the record. among other things, joe nye, the north american chairman wrote this, i'm distressed mr. rogin somehow gained entrance to the meeting room but also blatantly ignored the rules we have established and under which you agree appear before the commission. the actions tarnish the reputation of honoring this pledge. they said you did something unethical, you sneaked into that room. >> right. and, of course, i would never comment about my sourcing or reporting process, no reporter would, but i will say a couple of things. reporters are not bound by agreements, they are not a party to. i was not in any agreement with the trilateral commission, therefore, i broke no agreement. i know that, you know that. >> you were in the room when you heard this. >> i'm not talking at all how i got this recording. that belongs to me.
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the greater principle here is reporters have a duty, actually, a responsibility to report what our leaders are doing and saying about important issues in public and private. that's journalism in the public service. that's what we do. >> because nye in this letter wrote, somehow, he said, you sneaked into the meeting room. you want to respond to that? >> i know the rules of journalism. some other people don't know the rules of journalism. that's not really my problem. i got the tape with methods that were well above board. if joseph nye doesn't agree with that, i'm sorry he doesn't understand how journalism works. what i do, i do for my readers. >> we'll move on from there, josh rogin, thank you very much for coming in. just ahead, the hunt for malaysia flight 370, has a private company found debris where nobody else has been looking? and our reporters monitoring the severe weather. we'll have the very latest. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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we're following a new potential lead in the search for flight 370 in malaysia. officials are looking into a private company's claim it may have found wreckage from the missing plane. but the search leaders in australia are by no means convinced. our aviation correspondent renee marsh has been watching. >> they feel as if whatever they found, it is significant. some say this is worth investigating. others are skeptical. also, never before released information about flight 370 in its last moments finally shared with the families of passengers on board. newly released images from private australian company geo geo resonance. it has found something in the bay of bengal where searches ended six weeks ago. >> we have identified technical elements of materials that might
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make up a boeing 777. >> reporter: the company uses technology intended to detect nuclear, biological and chemical weapons below the sea. that applied that same strategy to search for the plane four days after it disappeared. soon after, they detected titanium, aluminum, steel, and copper in this area. materials that make up a 777. they say they notified search officials a month ago, but went public monday after getting no response. >> if you rewind to march 5th, georesonance have information to say those materials were not in that location. so that to me is a corroboration as to why we should be pursuing this a little further. >> reporter: malaysia's support minister says they're verifying the credibility of the information. but officials and the company behind the satellite data are confident the plane went down 3,000 miles away in the southern indian ocean. that's where all the satellite data points and where the pings
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thought to be from the plane's black boxes were detected. satellite imaging expert keys masback is skeptical of the australian company's claim. >> not aware of anything, in any level of the spectrum from aircraft or space that is going to penetrate a thousand meters down into the ocean. >> reporter: meantime, a breakthrough for the flight 370 families. they finally got information they've been demanding for weeks, including never before released radio calls from the cockpit and air traffic controllers. flight route, and the -- seven weeks of intense aerial searches. the planes are silent.
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hundreds of flight crews from at least seven countries are going home. the underwater search canceled today because of high seas be. the bluefin and other equipment will continue scouring an area the size of west virginia. and the australian company, they won't say what the exact coordinates are. they're only giving that information to governments involved in the search. but if, and that is a big if something of interest is in this area, the next question would be what did radar from india and bangladesh pick up? of course, they would want to revisit that. but i have to say, i spoke to quite a few people today. even the people who say we need to check this out, they're still skeptical. >> for good reason. but check it out, and let's see. all right, rene, thank you. up next, we're going to check in on the dangerous storms. the extreme tornado threats that are in the south right now.
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and get two wifi networks included. comcast business built for business. back to the breaking news. another outbreak of violent weather. tornado clouds spotted. parts of the south at risk right now. let's bring in our meteorologist jennifer gray. she is at the cnn severe weather center. what are you seeing, jennifer? >> a tornado warning in mississippi just to the south of jackson. and this is for jefferson davis county. the cities of prentice and bassville need to be on the lookout for this. it's moving to the north and east. it did have a pretty strong signature just a few moments ago. it is starting to weaken a bit. but this is still a very powerful storm. of course, this is all part of that larger system we've been dealing with, wolf, for the past three days. we'll continue to track these throughout the night tonight as well. >> thank you, jennifer. remember, you can always follow
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us on twitter. go ahead, tweet me at wolf blitzer. you can tweet the show@cnnsitroom. you can watch us live. you can dvr the show if you don't want to miss a moment. that's it. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. next, breaking news. a lifetime ban for l.a. clippers owner donald sterling. tonight he is already talking about fighting back. plus, the woman heard on sterling's racist rant. an "outfront" investigation whom. v. stiviano? and one company says it has found a plane in the indian ocean. could it be that plane? let's go "outfront." >> and good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, we begin with the breaking news, banned for life. it was a swift and historic move. the