‘Your World’ on need to hold Russia accountable for Ukraine attacks

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This is a rush transcript from “Your World,” April 4, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, we are continuing to monitor Pentagon spokesman John Kirby here, again saying that he’s making sure, as is the Pentagon, documenting all clear war crimes, this as much of the European Union and the NATO powers at be have sped up reaction to add sanctions and further punishments to Russia in light of these developments.

Of course, it all goes back to these horrific images we’re getting out of Bucha, Ukraine, and growing concerns right now that this is a bad situation that it’s turning worse.

Now, we’re going to be speaking to Mr. Kirby a little bit later this hour.

Let’s get the latest from Jeff Paul in Lviv, Ukraine, where we’re already hearing a number of top experts saying there’s no doubt that war crimes are being committed. The only issue is the degree and the severity of them.

Let’s go to Jeff right now — Jeff.


And when we talk about these bodies that are being discovered in the Kyiv region, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. One, the images you’re about to watch are very graphic, but this goes beyond just horrific video. These are people, human beings who had lives, who had freedom up until five weeks ago, before this invasion.

And we also should point out that these bodies that are being discovered appear to be civilians, people who are not in military uniforms, who many officials say were executed merely for existing. Some are shown bound with their hands behind their back. Others collapsed on the side of the road in nearly the same position after being killed.

Now, the Russian Defense Ministry is trying to tell the world this is all fake, something fabricated as propaganda. But for the people who lost sons, who have lost daughters, wives, husbands, the heartbreak is very real, and their lives will never be the same.


TANYA NEDASHKIVS’KA, BUCHA RESIDENT (through translator): Please, I’m begging you, do something. It’s me talking, a Ukrainian woman, a Ukrainian woman, a mother of two kids and one grandchild.

For all the wives and mothers, make peace on earth, so no one ever grieves again.


PAUL: Now, along the coast in the city of Mariupol, the mayor there now saying he believes Russian forces have destroyed 90 percent of the city.

While some have managed to escape the near-nonstop bombardments to safer cities like Zaporizhzhia, roughly 100,000 people remain trapped and cut off from essential services just to stay alive. The Red Cross repeatedly over the last few days has tried to get their buses in that are lined up to deliver aid and to get people out to safer situations. But, so far, those attempts have failed — Neil.

CAVUTO: Jeff, the Russian foreign minister, as I’m sure you’re aware, has disavowed any responsibility or that Russia has any responsibility for these attacks.

That only leaves you then saying, all right, well, if the Russians didn’t do it, what, do you assume the Ukrainians did? So does that argument have any way with the folks you talk to?

PAUL: No, zero.

And this has been going on for five-plus weeks, Neil. It’s not just these bodies that are being discovered. These are buildings that we have seen had holes blown in them, schools that have been targeted, Mariupol itself 90 percent destroyed. And no one’s even been in there to really look at the horrors there.

And we have got to remember, Bucha is just one town outside a very large city. As we start to see more and more of these Russian forces pull out, God knows what we’re going to discover — Neil.

CAVUTO: Jeff, thank you very much, my friend.

Jeff Paul following these developments.

To Dan Hoffman right now, the former CIA station chief in Moscow, FOX News contributor.

Dan, this is part of a strategy we have often seen out of the Russians to just terrify civilians and maybe get them so fearful, so anxious that they just want to quit the war. Now, that has not happened after all this time. What made them think, in this latest example, horrific as it was, that it would?

DAN HOFFMAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think Russia is just following their playbook.

Past is prologue. This is what they did to Grozny shortly after Vladimir Putin became president. It’s what they did in Syria as well. It’s just the way that their military operates. According to British intelligence, MI6, Russia’s invasion plans included these sorts of summary executions by Russia’s military and their intelligence services.

CAVUTO: I had a chance to talk to the Polish ambassador over the weekend. And one of the things that I was reminded of, Dan — I want to get your take on this after you listen to this — is the idea of how long all of this drags out.

Now, keep in mind, this was before we got word of the horror in Bucha. This is from the Polish ambassador.


MAREK MAGIEROWSKI, POLISH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: We have to be determined to wage a long war.

And that’s why I have been saying repeatedly that we have to uphold the sanctions for many years to come, because we are going to live with Mr. Putin for many years to come.


CAVUTO: What the ambassador was saying — and I know you have gotten into this before, Dan, in prior conversations we have — that however this ends in Ukraine — and we hope it ends soon and with nothing approaching the horror we have just seen — if Vladimir Putin is still in charge of Russia, those sanctions and punishments will remain in effect.

What do you think?

HOFFMAN: Yes, at the very least.

But as long as Russia exists, Ukraine is going to need a massive infusion of military assistance and security guarantees from the West. And they’re going to need a lot of commercial links to the West. Russia has caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage to Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, on top of all of the civilians whom Russia has killed in this barbaric war.

I think — I just want to emphasize we owe a debt of gratitude to our FOX News intrepid journalists and their colleagues from other networks and other media who are out there on the front lines at great personal risk recording all of these crimes, these human rights crimes that Russia is committing. Without that, we wouldn’t have all of these details.

And that is absolutely critical going forward to prosecuting the Russians who deserve it. And the second and last point I will make is that this is an opportunity for President Biden to emphasize. Speak to the Russian military. Tell them to stop taking orders from the KGB guy in the Kremlin. Stop firing, raining down hell on Ukrainian civilians, and this can end and we can normalize our relationship with Russia.

But that’s got to happen first.

CAVUTO: Do you think that could ever happen, Dan, with Vladimir Putin in charge, though?

HOFFMAN: No, I don’t believe it can.

CAVUTO: Right.

HOFFMAN: There is no off-ramp for Vladimir Putin. This is his war. And the irony of this is that Vladimir Putin’s fate is now intertwined with Ukraine’s.

And as Ukraine stays in the fight, and wins, we hope, that will have an impact on Vladimir Putin’s future.

CAVUTO: Let’s get a sense of how Europe has responded to this. There have been distinctions as to whether these are war crimes vs. genocide. Our president says they’re war crimes, didn’t take the next step to genocide. Other European leaders have.

Regardless, I’d be curious what you make of the fact that, from Germany to France to Italy, there’s been a call now to sever all of those natural gas and oil shipments, like, now .Don’t wait. Now, Austria stands out saying, well, wait a minute, let’s not do something crazy here that hurts us.

But, by and large, they have now pushed for ending all of these shipments, like, now. How likely is that? And then what happens? Because Russia always seems to find a way around them.

HOFFMAN: Yes, so this is going to be challenging from an economic standpoint, because Europe has to import gas and oil from somewhere. And they didn’t plan for this years ago.

Look, Vladimir Putin has been the same KGB guy in the Kremlin for 20 years. And even just a year ago, when Russia had 70,000 troops on Ukraine’s border, total violation of the U.N. Charter, Article Two, threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty, their territorial integrity, we gave Vladimir Putin a summit, and we did not prepare for this eventuality.

And we’re paying the price. Now, I applaud the turnaround from France and from Germany in particular. But it’s a little late in coming. And scrambling right now to deal with the economic ramifications of severing ties with their main supplier of hydrocarbons, that’s an extraordinary challenge.

CAVUTO: All right, Dan, thank you very, very much, Dan Hoffman.

Again, we are continuing to monitor these developments and how widespread the response will be, whether all countries will be in unison on immediate upping of sanctions and punishments against Russia, in light of these Bucha attacks. So we will stay on top of that.

By the way, the fact that Europe might move so quickly to suspend and outright deny Russian energy, oil, natural gas shipments did have the effect you might think it would, lifting up oil and natural gas prices today, on the notion here that that’s going to limit supply. You limit supply and, all of a sudden, you have the same existing demand and prices go up.

So, reversing what had been a two-day decline, a two-day business day decline in oil prices, now over $103 a barrel. We are on top of those developments and also on top of what happens next as far as Ukrainian soldiers who are quickly turning around the fight in ways very few people saw. We’re on that and other cities that are under attack, including some crucial coastal ones in Ukraine.

Stay with us. You are watching “Your World.”


CAVUTO: All right, explosions, meanwhile, in Odessa today. We have been so focused on the brutality in Bucha, we have lost sight, some have, that Russia just continues going after, in this case, oil depots and oil refineries, the same thing it took great offense to when it charged that Ukrainian soldiers were targeting oil depots that it said in Russia, at least, were not legitimate targets.

So what’s that, good for the goose, not the — whatever.

Let’s go to Lieutenant General David Deptula.

General, I’m just wondering where this goes. With the Russians now targeting a lot of these ports cities, and upping the ante and the brutality, as they have in Bucha, and maybe hinting of more to come, where are we on this war?

LT. GEN. DAVID DEPTULA (RET.), U.S. AIR FORCE: Well, Neil, it’s a good question. And no one knows for sure, perhaps not even the Russians.

But what I tell you is I think that Putin’s military is trying to consolidate territorial gains, where they have made them and where they’re not being pushed back, because they’re trying to set themselves up for optimizing their conflict-termination negotiating position.

With respect to Odessa, it’s important to remember that any land attack by the Russians, I think, is currently delayed, or suspended, actually, as Ukrainians have pushed the Russian move in that direction, back to Kherson. And Kherson is the critical were railway hub in the south. And it’s got to be held by the Russians for a land push to Odessa.

And the way the Ukrainians are operating now, it may be possible that they even overrun Kherson in the next week or two, and that would cut off supply for the whole Russian southern force package.

CAVUTO: Still, the Russian strategy of taking out some of these port cities, or at least making it very difficult for aid did come in, there’s a strategy to that too.

Of course, President Zelenskyy has repeatedly called for more aid, more military aid, and the sooner the better. Does this make that increasingly difficult?

DEPTULA: Well, remember, right now, the they’re striking from the air. So the airstrikes on Odessa are — and some of the other port cities are really the same as elsewhere, where oil fuel storage and, don’t forget, civilians are hit to instill fear.

So the actual effect is making the Ukrainians incandescent with rage. So, as a result, I think Putin just pushed up the Russian body count in coming weeks, and any prospect of Ukraine’s accepting surrender of their territory as part of any deal just went down the drain.

Another point I’d like to make, Neil — and if it didn’t come through loud and clear with the reporting of the atrocities, I wish people would stop talking about the Russians making so-called indiscriminate attacks, as they’re anything but that. Instead, they’re very discriminate. They’re aimed at innocent men, women and children.

And I would hope, to get to your second point, that perhaps the atrocities that have been promulgated by the Russians will get the United States and NATO to stop being deterred by Putin and reverse their current antiseptic posture towards supporting Ukraine with more capable weapons, because that’s what they need, more capable weapons.

CAVUTO: General, do you think we’re in it to win it, though? I mean, this is something that General Jack Keane has raised with us, that he wonders oftentimes whether the administration might be more concerned with inciting Vladimir Putin’s wrath if he loses than just living with maybe a more responsibly acting Vladimir Putin if he wins.

The administration says that is not the case. But what do you make of that?

DEPTULA: Well, it’s a very disturbing proposition, if it’s even being entertained.

But, quite frankly, this has been going on now for over four weeks. And one has to begin to question, just why is the United States of America, the world’s most powerful nation, being deterred by Vladimir Putin? There’s absolutely no reason, in fact, we can’t provide the Ukrainians with MiG- 29s, S-300s, more capable drones, surface-to-surface and anti-ship missiles and even old U.S. fighters that we’re retiring, like F-15s and F-16s.

So it is quizzical. And some people have said, well, the Russians have nuclear weapons, so we have got to be concerned with that. Well, I’d like to remind folks that are saying that, during the Vietnam War, we had nuclear weapons, and so did the Russians. And the Russians supplied 100 percent of the North Vietnamese with MiGs and tanks and surface-to-air missile systems.

So I’m having a hard time dealing with that rationale as well. And only the administration can tell us for sure.

CAVUTO: That’s a very good point, General.

General David Deptula, thank you. Very good seeing you again. Very good analysis.

I want to go to Peter Doocy here, because the administration, in light of these horrors in Bucha, is considering additional sanctions and measures, just when you think we’re running out of such punishments, but, Peter, apparently not.


And we’re told by the national security adviser to expect a new announcement about sanctions by the end of this week. Something they are not expected to do, though, is side with Volodymyr Zelenskyy about whether or not a genocide is being committed in Ukraine.

Listen here.


QUESTION: Do you agree that it’s genocide?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I think it is a war crime.

QUESTION: What are you going to do about it, sir? Are you going to do more sanctions on Russia?

BIDEN: I’m seeking more sanctions, yes. I will have time to announce that to you.

QUESTION: Can you actually hold Putin accountable, though? You called him a war criminal.

BIDEN: He should be held accountable.

QUESTION: Can you actually hold him accountable without sanctions?

BIDEN: Well, no.

QUESTION: What else can you do?

BIDEN: No, no — go — go — the war crimes — yes, I’m going to continue to add sanctions.

Thank you.


DOOCY: So the president wants a wartime trial. But there are no details available about exactly where Putin would be tried or how they would get him out of Russia to stand a trial. That is all coming down the line.

Something else that officials here are talking about today, amid these reports that the Russians might be retreating, they don’t think that means that the Russians are done.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We believe that Russia is revising its war aims. Russia is repositioning its forces to concentrate its offensive operations in Eastern and parts of Southern Ukraine, rather than target most of the territory.


DOOCY: We don’t know the next time that we’re going to get a reaction from President Biden about this. But we know that there’s nothing on the schedule Ukraine- or Russia-related for the rest of this week.

In fact, tomorrow’s big event, they’re going to host Barack Obama here to celebrate the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act — Neil.

CAVUTO: Peter Doocy at the White House.

Thank you, Peter, very, very much.

Well, if you think things are crazy in Ukraine, particularly at the border, with some neighboring states that are taking in all of those Ukrainian refugees, about 4.5 million by less count, you should take a look at what’s been happening at our border and what could get worse in the weeks ahead.

Bill Melugin with that — Bill.

BILL MELUGIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, good afternoon to you.

Three Republican-led states are now suing the Biden administration over their decision to drop Title 42 next month. Why those states say that decision will lead to a catastrophe here at our Southern border — coming up right after the break.


CAVUTO: Thousands of flights were canceled or delayed, and many still delayed as of today. A preview of coming attractions?

And if you’re flying anywhere or planning to, do you really want to see more of this?

After this.


CAVUTO: All right, do not say that our own Bill Melugin didn’t warn you months ago, actually over a year ago, telegraphing problems at the border, and now compounded by a growing indication that come, well, next month, things could get a whole lot worse

Bill Melugin in La Joya, Texas, with the latest — Bill.

MELUGIN: Neil, good afternoon to you.

Three Republican-led states Arizona, Missouri, and Louisiana, announced today they are suing the Biden administration over its decision to drop Title 42 on May 23 of next month. They say that decision will have catastrophic impacts here on the border, and they’re going to do whatever they can to try to hold that decision up in the courts.

Take a look at part of the way that lawsuit reads, in part — quote — “This suit challenges an imminent, manmade, self-induced calamity, the abrupt elimination of the only safety valve preventing this administration’s disastrous border policies from devolving into an unmitigated catastrophe.”

Take a listen to what the Arizona attorney general had to say about this lawsuit.


MARK BRNOVICH (R), ARIZONA ATTORNEY GENERAL: So, we want to stop the Biden administration from rescinding Title 42 because it may be one of the most boneheaded decisions of this administration, and they have done a lot of dumb things.


MELUGIN: In the meantime, Title 42 is still in effect for now and still illegal crossings are nonstop and they are happening in broad daylight.

This is video we shot in Del Rio Sector over the weekend, where we repeatedly witnessed mass illegal crossings. And the sector is seeing a huge surge in activity. Just on Saturday alone, DHS sources telling us the Del Rio Sector had more than 1,600 illegal crossings, including a 45-minute span, where they had more than 200 people cross illegally.

We are told that Del Rio Sector’s numbers have now reached more than 200,000 since October 1. That represents a 179 percent increase over the same time last year. And the president of the Border Patrol union says it’s going to get a whole lot worse. Take a listen.


BRANDON JUDD, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: We are pulling people off the border for stretches of 200 miles; 200 miles are completely and totally unpatrolled at any given point in time. We can’t do the job, based upon what this administration is doing with its policies.


MELUGIN: And, Neil, now that the news is out there that Title 42 will be dropping on May 23, the GOP House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, has announced he is going to be leading a delegation, a trip here to the Southern border later on this month to highlight what he says are the Biden administration’s destructive border policies.

We will send it back to you.

CAVUTO: Thank you, Bill.

Bill Melugin in La Joya, Texas.

There are three attorneys general, as Bill pointed out, who are suing over dropping this Title 42. They are from Arizona and Louisiana and Missouri.

It is Eric Schmitt, the Missouri attorney general, kind enough to join us on this protest.

General, could I ask you, first of all, the administration is arguing that this is a CDC call. And I did not know that the CDC on health matters sort of had the yea or nay sort of authority to just cancel a policy that many argue at least was working or mitigating the problem.

So, how do you plan to sue over that?

ERIC SCHMITT (R), MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I think, first of all, it’s important to put this in context.

Since Joe Biden’s been in office, you have seen waves and waves and waves of illegal immigration. This will unleash a tsunami of illegal immigration at the Southern border. There’s no question about it. Title 42 has been a very effective means for sending back hundreds of thousands of people who’ve come here illegally.

And again to put it in context, the migrant protection protocols, the remain-in-Mexico policy was effective under President Trump. We have sued, taking that to the Supreme Court, and won. We’re fighting with the Biden administration to reimplement that. We have sued over the border wall, and that’s in court right now.

But Title 42 is another very effective piece under the Trump administration to stop illegal immigration. And this is, unfortunately, the Biden administration’s attempt to, again, open up the Southern border in a way we have not seen before. It’s hard to have a sovereign border when the federal government is essentially letting go of the rope here.

And so what we’re arguing is, look, they haven’t gone about this the right way in the first place. They haven’t had a notice and comment period if you wanted to rescind this at all. But, more importantly, this would be a catastrophe. They’re supposed to weigh the downside with what they’re advocating for.

They haven’t done it, which is why we think — we think we will be successful.

CAVUTO: So their defense seems a little weird in this sense, Attorney General, that if Title 42 were working, we would not have the surge at the border we are. What did you make of that?

SCHMITT: Well, I’m telling you, it would be a heck of a lot worse. There’s no question about it, because at least it gives the tools to those Border Patrol agents to expel some folks.

Once those tools are gone, they don’t have that tool at all. It’ll get much, much worse. And, by the way, it sends a very stark signal to the cartels. I mean, I have been down to the border twice, Neil, including in McAllen and El Paso. The cartels run the show. They control the border.

A law enforcement agent told us $100 million a week in value of human trafficking, all the fentanyl that’s coming across the border. We’re going to see a surge in a very, very busy time, in the summertime, like we have not seen before. This is incredibly reckless.

It’s abdicating the president’s responsibility to defend the Southern border. He’s not doing it. This is going to be a total mess.

CAVUTO: So, if you looked at — the timing of this struck me as being more than just a little coincidental, where there was a storming of the border in the south part of Mexico, at Guatemala, where a lot of refugees were making their way, maybe sensing that all of this starts going away in May, and they had better odds to come and just sort of break into the United States.

Is that your fear?

SCHMITT: Yes, I mean, look, this — if the Biden administration were to do three things, three things, reinstitute the remain-in-Mexico policy, as the court has ordered, finish the border wall, and keep Title 42, it would go a long way, not only just practically quelling illegal immigration, but sending a strong signal, we don’t want you to come here illegally.

They’re doing exactly the opposite. They’re trying to tear apart all three of those things that were working under the Trump administration. This is intentional. And it’s incredibly destructive. We completely have an open border now at the Southern border. It’s — like I said, it’s going to — you’re going to see a tsunami of illegal immigration.

It’s also interesting to point out, by the way, they’re doing this under COVID. But yet Americans are forced to wear masks on airplanes still. I mean, it’s a totally inconsistent message from this administration. And the results are disastrous. There’s nothing compassionate about this. Again, you have the cartels running the show down there, vicious gangs that are sending drugs in — trafficking human beings into our country every single day.

CAVUTO: Attorney General, keep us posted on this, Eric Schmitt, one of three attorneys general right now who are protesting the administration’s move to drop this Title 42 in May, and the implications all of this could have for the U.S., and Mexico, while we’re at it.

We have a lot more coming up, including what was a nightmare weekend for travelers, and all because of some nasty weather in Florida. So you’re probably looking at all those thousands of flights canceled and a lot of travelers marooned and thinking, hey, I’m supposed to fly for Easter and the holiday and into the summer.

Do I still want to do that if I could be looking at this?

After this.


CAVUTO: Well, it just doesn’t stop.

After thousands of flights were canceled or delayed because of unusually bad weather in Florida, the spillover continued today with still more flights suffering big delays, if not outright cancellations.

Susan Li here to break it all down — Susan.

SUSAN LI, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so, Neil, we’re talking about 12,000 flights that were either delayed or canceled this weekend. And that means hundreds of thousands, if not millions of travelers that were affected, a combination, as you mentioned, of bad weather in the Southeast, tech issues, a pilots strike.

And that stranded a lot of folks in airports across the country, with social media posts of many makeshift beds and tents. Now, JetBlue and Southwest both reported nearly 40 percent of their flights were either delayed or canceled. Alaska was dealing with a pilot strike, which affected tens of thousands of their travelers. Frontier, Spirit and American also impacted.

Now, Southwest also affected by their own I.T. outage. And they tweeted that: “We are experiencing flight disruptions,” they call it, “across our network today. And that’s due to briefly pausing our service earlier this morning as we worked to resolve an intermittent technology issue.”

Now, coupled with bad weather close to Florida, you had a lot of spring- breakers Neil trapped in Orlando, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, and lots of congestion in Vegas on the weekends, as you know, Neil. And, of course, the Grammys are taking place, just in case you didn’t watch it last night.

CAVUTO: Yes, I missed it. Was it last night?


CAVUTO: OK, thank you, Susan Li, for all of that.

In the meantime, 1,000 bucks a month for 36 months, a lucky few thousand who could take advantage of that, no strings attached.

Kelly O’Grady, it sounds too good to be true.



What would you do with $1,000 a month, no strings attached? Well, Los Angeles is testing that out. And some businesses are frustrated. We will tell you why after this break.


CAVUTO: Welcome back, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto.

And following a development in California that has a whole lot of folks watching on this idea of getting a check actually for doing nothing, $1,000 a month for up to three years. That’s 36 months. Some who could take advantage of this can earn as a family up to $96,000 a year. It’s a grand experiment.

But Kelly O’Grady is saying it’s getting a chair of controversy.

Kelly, what’s the deal here?

O’GRADY: That’s right, Neil, a lot of controversy.

And Los Angeles is the latest to explore universal basic income. They will be offering the program to 1,000 residents across the country. Applications are due next week. Now, under the program, each resident would receive $1,000 a month for three years. Participants must be over the age of 18, live in a qualifying community, and make less than, as you said, $56,000 for a single household and $96,000 for a family of four.

Now, while 26 U.S. cities have similar programs, one big critique of UBI is whether guaranteeing a degree of security will shrink the labor force, slow economic output, and potentially fossilize inequality with less incentive to work. Many point to the pandemic stimulus checks and our current worker shortage is an example of how UBI could damage our economy.

Now, I spoke with a restaurant owner here, and he said he’s already struggling to find people to fill those entry-level positions. And he thinks this could make it worse.


CARLOS ROMAN, OWNER, BREAD & BARLEY: Giving somebody who’s inclined to take those positions a universal basic income is probably going to make them want to work less hours.

What does that do for me? It makes it that much harder to hire, because I’m already limited by the people I can choose and how many hours they’re willing to work in the first place. I just don’t think people are going to be willing to put in the work anymore.


O’GRADY: And Carlos shared with me he’s already had to hike wages amidst this current labor shortage, something he’d have to do if this program were to become widespread.

And what does that mean? That means he will also be hiking the cost of a burger and fries, which is certainly not what we want out here. I can tell you that, Neil.

CAVUTO: Yes, that was not expected, that part. Kelly O’Grady, thank you very much.

Kelly O’Grady in California on that development.

Meanwhile, in Washington and the development about the president’s choice to become the next associate justice on the Supreme Court, it is and potentially speeding along.

Chad Pergram on where that stands — Chad.


We expect a floor vote in the Senate tonight to extract the Jackson nomination from committee and put it on the floor. The vote to send the nomination to the floor was just tied in committee a few moments ago.

The floor vote tonight could tell us where GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney stand. Senators used the meeting today to continue partisan sniping over Jackson.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): One of the aspects of Festivus is the airing of grievances. And I think that we have had probably the best Festivus celebration here in this hearing over the last week or so, because there’s been a lot of airing of grievances.


PERGRAM: GOP Senator Lindsey Graham previously voted to confirm Jackson. He’s a no now. And he says Democrats expect Republicans to be fair to liberal nominees, yet Democrats don’t return the favor to nominees on the right.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): And we’re supposed to be like trained seals over here clapping when you appoint a liberal. That’s not going to work.

We live in America today where your ideology is held against you if you’re a conservative, and when you’re a liberal, we’re supposed to embrace everything about you and not ask hard questions.


PERGRAM: The committee delayed a vote on Jackson, as Democratic California Senator Alex Padilla struggled to get to Washington.

Someone on his flight from L.A. suffered a medical emergency. The flight had to turn around. So, without Padilla, Democrats lacked the votes to even get a tie on the nomination in committee when Padilla was absent. Still, Democrats hope to confirm Jackson the floor by Thursday or Friday — Neil.

CAVUTO: All right. Thank you for that, Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill with those developments.

In the meantime, we have no doubt that what happened in Bucha and those atrocities were the Russians, and that they’re responsible. Russia’s foreign minister, speaking on behalf of Vladimir Putin, says that simply isn’t so.

John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary on all of that — after this.



OKSANA MARKAROVA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: The Russians are doing unspeakable war crimes on the territory of Ukraine.

We still believe that, while our president and our brave armed forces are defending our country and all of us will never surrender, but we always would want a diplomatic solution, because we value every life, and we want to save as many lives as possible, as our president said.


CAVUTO: Now, keep in mind, that was in an interview I had with the Ukrainian ambassador of the United States, Oksana Markarova, blasting the inhumanity of Russian soldiers’ attacks on civilians of the country before she even knew of what befell Bucha, where hundreds were executed, mostly women and children and just average civilians, in a way and a method we had never seen before in this war.

And we have seen a lot.

With us now is the Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, kind enough to join us.

John, you have probably heard that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that no war crimes were committed here, and that a lot of these images — and we just want to warn our viewers they’re particularly graphic and brutal. So I want to allow them a little time to opt out of seeing this, so, if we can hold off a few seconds, guys.

But he’s saying that, essentially, they were faked, all of this was faked.

KIRBY: Yes, that’s right out of the Russian playbook, Neil, deny, deny, deny, lie, lie, lie.

Look, we have — we said even before this invasion that the Russians were going to be very brutal in the way they effect their military operations and conduct themselves inside Ukraine. And, sadly, we were right about that. That’s proven to be the case.

And we have said now for a couple of weeks that we had clear evidence that the Russians were committing war crimes. This is of a piece of that, as devastating, disgusting and sickening as it is. And that’s why we’re going to participate with the international community on making sure that we can document the evidence of these war crimes, so that Russia can be held properly — properly accountable when it’s over.

CAVUTO: All right, when it’s over.

Now, this is not the Pentagon’s purview, obviously, economic sanctions and the rest, but a lot of people are surprised that there are still more sanctions and punishments that could be meted out for Russia. But, again, I guess among them, John, is ending these ties to Russian oil and natural gas, not down the road, but immediately.

Even Germany seemed open to that.

KIRBY: Right.

CAVUTO: France was recommending that, Italy as well.

KIRBY: That’s right, yes.

CAVUTO: Not so much Austria, but, by and large, almost universal support.


CAVUTO: So, how quickly do you expect that could happen?

KIRBY: Well, I don’t want to get ahead of President Biden. If there’s additional sanctions or economic measures to be applied, that is certainly something that President Biden would speak to.

But you’re right, Neil. Many new nations now — or nations that weren’t willing to make certain steps are now willing to, in light of what they’re seeing inside Ukraine. And, certainly, the devastating images coming out of Bucha, I think, contributes to that level of disgust and new decision- making by some of our allies and partners.

Increasingly, you’re going to see not only the Russian economy put more and more at risk in terms of its health, but you’re also going to continue to see Russia itself and Mr. Putin continually isolated by the world community.

CAVUTO: You have probably heard that President Zelenskyy is showing a tad bit of frustration with a lot of countries in terms of getting aid to him, but getting it there quickly.

And now, given these Russian attacks on key port cities like Odessa, isn’t that going to be more difficult now?

KIRBY: Well, I would tell you, Neil, that we continue to provide a lot of security assistance into Ukraine.

In fact, just over the last couple of days, we helped facilitate the transfer of six shipments by about six different nations. And there’s more coming every single day from the United States. We’re going to do this, as President Biden has said, as much as we can, as fast as we can.

That aid is still getting into Ukraine. Now, it’s — obviously, we have to vary the routes. And it’s done over ground. But it is getting into Ukraine.

Secretary Austin spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart just this morning. And Minister Reznikov again thanked the United States for all the things that we’re providing, the speed with which we’re providing it, and noted that his forces are getting these weapons and systems and are using them very effectively in the field.

CAVUTO: John, you probably heard President Zelenskyy cite Germany as having blocked its push to become a NATO member. He was referring to Angela Merkel, who led Germany at the time.

So there’s frustration with Germany on the part of prominent Ukrainians, all the way up to the president, that they could have done more early. It’s a moot point at this point. But he did seem to signal that NATO was important to him then. Do you think it’s important to him now? He offered it as sort of like an olive branch or a possible negotiating point to end all of this.

But is that changing?

KIRBY: Well, I don’t want to get inside the Ukrainian decision-making here with respect to peace deals and negotiated settlements that they are pursuing with the Russians.

We — we’re certainly in constant communication with them, providing them advice, counsel and information as best we can. But these are their decisions to make, sovereign decisions that they have to make about what a peace settlement is going to look like and what that means for Ukrainian sovereignty going forward.

Obviously, we want to see Ukrainian sovereignty fully respected. And, as we have said before many, many times, it’s not up to Mr. Putin whether a nation joins NATO or not. It’s up to that nation. And so, really, that’s a decision that only President Zelenskyy can make.

CAVUTO: John, much has been made — and you have been asked this multiple times — from people like General Jack Keane as to whether the administration’s heart is really in seeing Ukraine win this. You spoke about our goal to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine.

But there was this sense that maybe — and this was raised by our own Bret Baier with President Zelenskyy — about the possibility of a Vladimir Putin losing. And that is far more of a concern, especially what…


CAVUTO: … that could mean to a then extremely unpredictable Vladimir Putin.

What do you say?

KIRBY: Right.

And a lot of it is how he interprets loss and what — and what he ends up claiming are his goals. So, we will see. Right now, they’re prioritizing the eastern part of the country. And we will see what those new offensive operations that they’re trying to conduct in the east, what that means for where this war goes.

But I think, look, it’s going to be up to President Zelenskyy to determine what victory is, what winning is. But, clearly — and I said this just last week — we obviously want the Ukrainians to win here. We want their sovereignty respected, their territorial integrity to be observed by the rest of the international community, particularly Russia. And we want to see this war end.

How it ends, that’s really going to be up to President Zelenskyy. And he gets to set the terms about what can be negotiated and what can’t be. In the meantime, Neil, we are going to do everything we can to help Ukraine defend itself. And that includes these shipments in this material that, again, is arriving every single day.

CAVUTO: Real quickly on what constitutes victory here.

It seemed that President Zelenskyy was even revisiting Crimea and whether that should be back in Ukraine’s hands. Does that complicate the military picture, that there’s no compromise on that?

KIRBY: It doesn’t complicate — complicate our pursuit of helping them defend themselves.

Again, Mr. Zelenskyy has to determine what he believes is in the best interests for Ukraine and what he wants to negotiate and what he’s willing to put on the table. He has been very clear that he wants all of Ukraine, and he wants to — he wants the sovereignty and the territorial integrity that Ukraine should have and had before this invasion.

CAVUTO: All right.

KIRBY: And we respect that.

We respect that. And we want him to achieve victory the way he wants to determine it.

CAVUTO: John Kirby, thank you. Very good seeing you again.

John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman.

Here comes “The Five.”

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