tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 15, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. hope to see you tomorrow. my last day at cnn. hope you'll tune in until then. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. we begin with the world lead. i'm jake tapper. imposing sweeping sanctions on russia, blocking 46 russian officials operatives and entities all of them from entering the united states. and also preventing americans from doing business with them. the biden administration also today expeling an additional ten russian diplomats/operatives from the united states. the moves are, the administration says, punishment for moscow's interference in the 2020 election, its occupation of the ukrainian territory crimea and the massive solar winds
cyber attack, publicly acknowledged in september. you might recall that was a massive cyber breach of u.s. companies and different u.s. government agencies. the united states, for the first time today, formally named the russian foreign intelligence service, svr, as the perpetrator of the solarwinds attack and the biden administration revealed new details about russia's interference in the 2016 election. the u.s. now disclosing what has long been suspected but never stated outright by the u.s. government, that russian agent constantin kilimnik, that he gave that information to russian intelligence services. former president trump, you might recall, denied and downplayed russia's actions and pardoned manafort for separate
offenses. a very different approach regarding russia than that of biden's predecessor. >> reporter: harsh and wide-ranging punishments from the biden administration against russia, an aggressive response to russian interference in u.s. elections and their recent historic cyber attack. >> our objective is to impose costs for what we feel are unacceptable actions by the russian government. >> reporter: among those actions, russia's attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election. 32 people and entities were sanctioned today, including for the use of disinformation websites, like these, spreading lies, directed by russia's main intelligence agencies. russian efforts and operations were global. a network in africa, and companies in pakistan. then there's the 2016 presidential election. the u.s. treasury department also targeted russian konstantin
kilimnik for giving russian intelligence, polling data in that race. he was also sanctioned for interfering in the 2020 race, long-time associate of 2016 trump campaign manager paul manafort who officials say also promoted the idea that ukraine, not russia, interfered in the 2016 election, a conspiracy theory also pushed by former president trump. for the first time today, the u.s. also named the russian intelligence agency behind the unprecedented cyber attack known as the solarwinds hack, uncovered late last year. a sophisticated campaign into at least nine u.s. federal agencies and around 100 companies. cracking down on russian intelligence, the biden administration sanctioned six technology companyies contacted to them and announced it would kick out 10 russian diplomats from the embassy in washington, including known spies. one issue where russia was not punished is for the reported bounties that russia put on the
heads of american troops in afghanistan. rep reports that biden used during the campaign to blast trump. >> as president, i will never, never, never stand silently in the face of intelligence reports that the kremlin has put bounties on the heads of u.s. troops serving in afghanistan. >> the intelligence on that, biden officials now say, isn't strong enough to demand action now. instead, they'll respond through diplomats and the military. and the russians knew that this u.s. action was coming, because president biden told president putin on a phone call they had a few days ago. biden says he will talk about that call with putin in a little bit. before these sanctions came out earlier today, putin spokesman, jake, says they considered them to be illegal. >> alex marquardt, thank you very much. adam schiff of california, chairman of the house committee on intelligence. thank you for joining us. the intent of these new
sanctions is to deter russia. you say these sanctions are not enough. what other actions do you think the biden administration needs to take? >> particularly in the cyber arena, there are certain things that sanction just aren't going to deter. if the russians think it's in their advantage to steal certain information, whether it's trade secrets or national security secrets, they're going to try. and we are just going to have to really harden our cyber defenses. if we're really, really good, we might detect in advance maybe, i don't know, 25, 50, even 75% of planned attacks by russia or china. probably a lot less, frankly. the rest are going to get through. and so we need to make sure that, first and foremost, our defenses are much stronger than they are today. >> these sanctions also reveal a new acknowledged, public listening between the trump campaign in 2016 and russia. the u.s. now designating
konstantin kilimnik, which we already knew. but now the u.s. intelligence is acknowledging publicly for the first time that kilimnik gave that information to russian intelligence. you've gotten a lot of heat, frankly, for suggesting there was proof of conspiracy or collusion, that mueller did not definitively prove. what do you make of this announcement? >> i think it's just further evidence of the fact that the trump campaign chairman, paul manafort, was giving internal campaign polling data and strategic information to an agent of russian intelligence. i think if that were something done by a democratic presidential administration, i think republicans would universally say that's exactly what collusion is. it doesn't matter what party is responsible. that kind of unethical, immoral conduct, unpatriotic conduct ought to be condemned. it's a direct link between the trump campaign giving that
information at a time when the russians were engaged in trying to help trump win through this social media campaign, in which that very data given to russian intelligence, would help that clandestine media campaign. >> another thing we learned today, perhaps more flattering to president trump, which is about this bounty story. as a candidate, biden accused trump of betraying his presidential duty by not punishing russia after this report that russia put bounties on american service members. but now biden is not punishing russia for that because now they say there's low to moderate proof. >> he didn't confront the russians, didn't take it seriously. it's my sense that the intelligence community believes that the russians did engage in
this conduct but don't have the requisite level of confidence in that conclusion to go forward with sanctions on that basis. what it also tells us, though, is that with respect to those areas that they have moved forward on, just how solid they view the intelligence to be in terms of russia's intervention in 2016 and our 2020 election in terms of russia's responsibility for the solarwinds hack and other maligned activity. it just shows you how very confident they are in that intelligence. >> so biden spoke with putin this week. and the readout of the call, biden did not bring up imprisoned russian dissident alexey navalny, nor did he bring up either of the u.s. marines currently in russian jails unjustly. was that a mistake for him not to bring those three men up? >> i believe, and i can't be 100% sure about this, but in the last call with putin -- i think
this is the second call i know of. he did raise the issue of navalny. those things need to be front and center in terms of our relationship, but, you know, i think the president, obviously, had a whole array of priorities in this particular call with putin, and i think that those issues, though, if there is a summit, they absolutely have to be on the table and we have to impress upon putin in every way we can that they will respond when they poison putin's opponents and we will respond when they unjustly imprison people, particularly when they take action against u.s. citizens. >> let talk about that proposed summit which biden proposed might happen in the coming months. biden administration officials say he wants to build a more stable and predictable relationship with russia. how can that happen with all the activities russia has engaged in? >> i think what the president
has done, which makes sense, is to push back hard in areas where the russians are acting in ways that are antithetical, but also recognize there are common interests. limiting nuclear weapons is a deep common interest. avoiding unexpected warfare is a common interest. so i think that it was very smart of the administration, frankly. at the same time they're embarking on this strong pushback on russian maligned activities to keep the door open and say we recognize there's some common interest and we want at least some predictability in the relationship. >> all right. democratic congressman adam schiff of california, thanks for your time today, sir. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> we are waiting for president biden to come out and address these new russian sanctions -- these new sanctions, rather, on
russia, for the hack attacks, russian interference. as the defense rests in the derek chauvin murder trial, police in chicago are releasing video of a different deadly police shooting. this one involving a 13-year-old. it's different from the floyd case, but it is disturbing nonetheless. stay with us. in a recent clinical study, patients using salonpas patch reported reductions in pain severity, using less or a lot less oral pain medicines. and improved quality of life. ask your doctor about salonpas. it's good medicine. we started with computers. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you,
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which means we could theoretically be days away from a verdict in this crucial trial as cnn's sara sidener now report zpls i invoke my fifth amendment privilege. >> reporter: former minneapolis plif dak chauvin spoke in court. >> do you feel your decision not to testify is a volunteer one on your behalf? >> yes, it is. >> he chose not to take the stand as a witness in his own defense, leaving the defense to rest his case. >> at this time, the defense rests. >> the prosecution brought backity star medical witness to refute the idea brought up by yesterday's expert. >> it's extremely toxic gas. >> that the tailpipe led to possible carbon mon oxide to george floyd. >> do you agree with the proposition that's highlighted there? >> no, i do not. it's simply wrong. >> the prosecution attempted to introduce new lab result evidence about carbon monoxide poisoning. >> it was discovered yesterday by dr. baker.
it would return a value for the carbon monoxide content and show whether or not that result is in the normal range or not. >> reporter: the defense argued the late evidence entry by the prosecution should lead to a mistrial. >> these new test results should not go in front of the jury, first and foremost. second, if they were, i would be moving for a mistrial. >> the judge agreed. >> i find that dr. fowler's report gave sufficient notice to the state that carbon monoxide, carbon monoxide that potentially was in george floyd's blood could have affected cause of death. the late disclosure has prejudiced the defense. it's not going to be allowed. >> reporter: a short time later, all witness testimony came to an end. >> the state of minnesota rests. >> so the defense and the prosecution have both rested, as you heard there, which means the jury will hear chosing arguments on monday, the judge says, and they could very well get the case on monday as well and start deliberating. i do want to mention this.
just a few minutes ago, five minutes ago, i spoke with philonise floyd who talked about what it was like inside the court and watching much of this trial. he said it was extremely difficult, extremely emotional and he believes that all the evidence anyone needed to see in this case is the video that the world saw. and he said he's hoping the jury, in his words, gives the family justice. jake? >> sara sidner, thank you very much. jennifer, let me start with you. the defense rested today. they called seven witnesses over two days. they only have to sway one juror, only have to convince one person on the jury that there's reasonable doubt to have a hung jury. do you think that the defense might have succeeded in achieving that? >> i don't think so, jake. you know, their goal, of course, was to throw a bunch of arguments out there and hope that something resonated with the jurors. you know, i just think it's too much to overcome with that video. their witnesses, i think, were not as strong as the
prosecutions, prosecution was very very effective. jurors tend to collaborate. they often sometimes compromise when they get in the jury room. hung juries aren't as common as some people think and i think this jury will likely reach a verdict here. >> van, what do you think? >> i certainly hope so. i don't think we should forget how hard it is for some people to accept that someone with a badge, someone with a uniform, someone who has been entrusted by society to enforce the law could just really be a despicable, horrible human being. which is obviously what we're looking at. we've seen no remorse from this officer, we saw no emotion from this officer. the idea that a sociopath could be walking around with a gun and a badge in our society, for some people, it's just too much. they will look for ways to reaffirm their own view that all police officers are all saints and superheroes. the question is, when they were
in the jury selection process, how effective was the prosecution in weeding out people who think that way? if they were effective in getting those kind of extreme people out, they should be fine. all you need is one to slip through and you've got a problem. >> jennifer, explain to us what happened today with this carbon monoxide argument. the defense, chauvin's team, presented an argument from an expert that there were a number of factors that could have led to george floyd's death, including the exhaust coming from the car. there was a debate and discussion today. explain what happened. >> apparently what happened was dr. baker, when he saw that testimony, realized that there was a report about the levels of carbon monoxide in george floyd's blood. that was not turned over. ultimately, that means that it can't be used. it's too prejudicial to the defense to turn over expert reports late in trial, and indeed, after the defense's expert had already testified about that topic.
so, that was excluded. prosecutors were effective in their cross examination on this topic of the defense's doctor and they were able to recall dr. tobin who was able to get around it with evidence in front of the jury. you should never have a report that slips through the cracks and doesn't get turned over to the defense. so that was unfortunate. >> by the prosecution? >> yes. that should never have happened. they should have been able to use that report for much more than they did. it would have totally eviscerated this argument about carbon monoxide, had they been able to have it come out during dr. tobin's testimony in the first place. >> van, the jury will be sequestered. the judge said pack for a long stay, hope for a short stay. do you think we'll get a quick verdict? what do you think? >> the longer it waits, the worse it is for the family, the
worse it is norfor the communit and the worse it is for justice. it should be open and shut. prosecution made a mistake in this one area. police officers, police departments, trying to close prisons, et cetera. i've never seen a prosecution team go after a cop like this. they did a great job. keith ellison needs to be commended for doing such a great job. it should be open and shut. if they start haggling, what you can wind up with is some compromised thing where, you know, you convict him on something small and then the sentencing is 12 or six months and then you're going to have a very bad outcome. the longer it waits -- thet goes, the worse it is. >> jennifer, the jury cannot ask to hear any more testimony. they can ask the judge questions and have access to all the evidence already presented. the question will be, which testimony, which witnesses stuck with them the most?
>> yeah. and it's really hard to tell. apparently, and judges differ on their rules on this. he is going to send back all the evidence for them to peruse at their own leisure. so, we won't even know what they're looking at. often times, and this is how it works in federal court, they'll ask a question to see testimony again, to have it read back to them, so everyone will know kind of what they're focusing on. we won't know that here, but they'll have access to all of that. they can ask legal questions. there certainly will be plenty for them to mull over on these three different charges they have to consider. >> jennifer, van, thanks to both of you. appreciate it. standing by for president biden to speak from the white house at any moment. first, tense moments in a house hearing today with dr. anthony fauci caught in the middle. >> i don't want you to answer my question. the american people want dr. fauci to answer the question. >> well -- >> what does it have to be? >> expired, sir. you need to respect the chair and shut your mouth. >> pressing pandemic questions that led to that exchange. that's next.
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we're still in a holding pattern regarding the johnson & johnson vaccine because the cdc needs to decide whether they're going to make distribution change recommendations. >> hopefully, we'll get a decision quite soon as to whether or not we can get back on track with this very effective vaccine. >> reporter: following reports of at least six cases of rare blood clots among women who had been given the shot, including one death, and a similar case involving one man in the vaccine's clinical trial, a cdc committee chose not to vote on next steps, citing a need for more information. fueling mounting frustration among some in the medical community. >> every single day, there are tens of thousands of people who will get infected by covid. hundreds of people are going to die. i think they could have done something. >> reporter: also frustrated
some republican lawmakers on capitol hill. one of them took on dr. fauci today about the pandemic's future. >> what outcome do we have to reach before america americans get their liberties and freedoms back? >> you're indicating liberty and freedom. i look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital. >> you don't think americans' liberties have been threatened the last year, dr. fauci? they've been assaulted, their liberties have. >> i don't look at this as a liberty thing, congressman jordan. >> well, that's obvious. >> reporter: today, the cdc unveiling new evidence showing the number of fully vaccinated people who still contracted the virus, also known as breakthrough elises. the cdc is reporting 5800 cases of breakthrough infections. among those 396 hospitalizations and 74 deaths. experts call this very rare and stress the need to keep vaccinating. >> if we can get more and more people vaccinated, we almost
certainly are going to be able to blunt an increase as a sharp surge in the virus. >> reporter: new covid cases are climbing in more than half of states. the nation averaging more than 70,000 new cases daily, and a crisis in michigan growing more worrisome. the state's largest health care provider reportingity hospitals are already 90 to 95% full. >> this time last year, none of us would have imagined going through that extraordinarily difficult time that we would be here again same time this year. >> reporter: jake, a little more on that news from pfizer's ceo about the likely need for a booster within six to 12 months within the original course of vaccines. stressing data does show that protection remains extremely high after six months but that it can go down overtime. he says that presents the likely scenario that you could need annual revaccination after that.
however, they are still waiting for the data to bear that out. jake? >> much like the flu shot? >> exactly. >> you get a new flu shot every year. alexandra field, thank you. dr. sanjay gupta joins us now. pfizer's ceo says people will likely need a booster shot within six to 12 months of their initial vaccination and perhaps, perhaps a shot every year after that. what do you think? >> i think we don't know. i think some of this is unknowable at this point, because we've got to see how long immunity lasts. that's the thing. what is striking is i think ultimately what we're going to look for is are people getting reinfected? is there real-world evidence that the immunity is wearing off? sars, you remember in 2003, what they found, jake, was that people who got a sars infection, they had evidence of t-cell immunity 17 years later.
we focus on antibodies because they're easily measurable, but there may be other things that are giving us protection and we've got to see what they are. maybe we will need a shot but we don't know at this point, another shot. >> what do you make of the cdc delaying its decision on whether or not to continue to authorize use of the johnson & johnson vaccine? this leaves a lot of states, distribution efforts, people in line in limbo. >> yeah. i think sometimes a nondecision is a decision. and i think that they need to do this. it's tough. i'm not saying it's easy, but they need to make the decision here, make the recommendation in this case to the cdc as to how to proceed. i think what they're saying is, we want to see if there's more cases, more people come forward who have this problem, as one attendee said, is this a needle in a haystack or tip of an iceberg? i think it's really, really rare but you could send a message to all health care providers, be on the lookout but don't -- this is really rare. be on the lookout but let's not
slow down vaccines for an unnecessarily long time. >> if the cdc were to pull the j&j vaccine all together -- and they have not done that, but if they were to do that, how much would that set back american efforts in vaccinations and the timeline for getting life back to normal? >> well, that's the thing. we could put up the numbers here. there's plenty of vaccine that's going to come through moderna and pfizer, 220 million doses by the end of may for pfizer, 300 million doses by mid-july. you can see the numbers. we'll get the doses. the thing about j&j, as you well know, jake, it's a single shot. what does that mean? why is that relevant? you have transient poppings in the country that are less likely or less dependable to come back for their second shot. so, overall, the numbers, the vaccines are widely available. there's certain populations who could benefit from this, which is why i think there's an urge to say, hey, look, make a decision on this, so we can
decide if we can get that vaccine back out there. >> we're learning more of what are called breakthrough cases. although the breakthrough is not good. people who get infected with covid even after being fully vaccinated. what do we know about this? are they getting infected but not getting sick? what does it mean? >> right. we can show you the numbers. out of fully vaccinated people there was some 5,800 what they call break through infections, 396 hospitalizations, 74 deaths. giving you a little bit of context. any given day the death rate is about ten times that. 7 3 730, 740 people. the vaccine, they were measuring how good of a job does it do to keep people from getting very ill and dying? it still appears very effective there. 5,800 people out of how many were vaccinated? probably tens of millions of people. it's not perfect, but it does sort of what the outcome measures have shown, which is reduce severe illness, reduce the likelihood of
hospitalization. not eliminate it. and greatly bring down deaths. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thank you very much. we're expecting to hear from president biden at the white house after he introduced new sanctions directly targeting russia today. is your family ready for an emergency? you can prepare by mapping out two ways to escape your home, creating a supply kit, and including your whole family in practice drills. for help creating an emergency plan, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com cyber attacks are relentlessly advancing. to end them, cybereason built a cyber security solution for help creating an emergency plan,
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insurrection. officers were ordered not to use their most powerful weapons for crowd control even though there were explicit warnings that congress itself was a target. jessica schneider joins us live now. jessica, five people were killed on january 6th. how did this happen? >> the inspector general says this was an intelligence and operational failure on multiple levels. really saying the capitol police force was essentially set up to fail from the start. the rank and file officers were never briefed on the intelligence that the capitol was the target or even that a map of the capitol's complex underground tunnel system had been posted on pro-trump message boards. then there were equipment failures. officers were specifically instructed not to use certain less-lethal weapons. that includes stun grenades. those could have been used to disperse the mob. and, in fact, once the metropolitan police force arrived at the capitol, they used thos same weapons and they
reported that people started turning around and leaving, but it was too late at that point. the breach had already happened. the ig also documented how capitol police were equipped with expired ammunition, ineffective riot shields. and the ig says there needs to be better training, more focus and gathering, analyzing of intelligence and that the capitol police should really refocus its mission. it should turn into mover a protective force than a reactionary force. the ig today really admitting that this will all require a cultural change, but that these big overhauls of the capitol police force, jake, are necessary to ensure that the capitol is fully protected moving forward if there are other incidents just like this. >> jessica, there was a focus on capitol police needing to be more of a protection force, as you say, than a reactionary police force. >> right. >> explain what that means. >> yeah. you know, the inspector general put it this way. he said that a police force, they respond if a crime has been
committed. then they move in and they do their investigation. the capitol police, he said, needs to really be a proactive force. they need to protect the capitol. they need to have those systems in place to make sure that they are ready if something happens. he talked about the need for greater intelligence, intelligence sharing, but he also talked about the importance of creating a specific civil disturbance unit that sort of is the elite unit within capitol police. right now it's just officers that go to that unit when needed, but it needs to be a specific, designated civil disturbance unit. they're trained. they have a leadership plan in place that needs to be ready in case this happens again. jake? >> jesk gentleman schneider, thank you so much. any minute we're expected to hear from president biden at the white house after his administration announced new sanctions directly targeting russia. stay with us.
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any moment, we are expecting president biden to speak at the white house to discuss the fact that his administration dozens of sanctions to the russian government. president biden said he would address those sanctions and his call with russian president vladimir putin. biden still hopes to have a stable and predictable relationship with russia. let's discuss all of this with our panel of national security experts. cnn's alex marquardt, jim sciuto and mike rogers. chairman rogers, let me start with you. first, your reaction to these sanctions? >> i think it's a good start. listen, sanctions, we maybe overrelied a little bit when it comes to rush camera. they've had mixed results. i think this is a really important statement for the administration to come out and say, hey, here is the five things you're doing bad and here
are the things we're doing about it up front and more likely to come. that's really clear messaging. if we need anything right now on the russian relationship, it's clear messaging. what you're seeing is russia test the administration a little bit. i think this is a good first out of the gate, at least, stab at it. more to do, but i thought this was a good first step. >> alex, let's talk about the stable and predictable relationship. that's in quotes, stable and predictable relationship with russia that biden says he wants to build. how do you create that, given the imprisonment of navalny, continued occupation of crimeasm, the fact that two u.s. marines are unjustly in russian jails not to mention the solarwinds hack. how can there be stable and predictionable relationship with a country that's not stable or predictable? >> i think that's what biden will come out now and say and what chairman rogers was saying, it's about establishing those clear messages, clear lines. if you cross them, we're going to punish you. it's clear from the get-go that
president biden wants to have more of an established relationship, more of a normal relationship with president vladimir putin of russia. it was off to a rocky start. remember, president biden called him a killer out of the gate. he told a story about saying to putin that he didn't have a soul when they met in 2011. now you have this whole raft of sanctions, not just about solarwinds, which we were expecting but 2020 election interference, 2016 election interference, crimea even. biden is now having to walk this careful line of saying we're going to hit you really hard for all these things that you've done, but i'm the new president and i want to have, as he said, a stable and predictable relationship. >> jim, also today, some kind of big news, this revelation about this russian agent, konstantin kilimnik, an associate of paul manafort. we know manafort gave the sensitive campaign information that manafort had given to him,
that he gave it to russian intelligence. we did not know that before. how significant is it? >> even the mueller report did not go to this degree in making that explicit connection. it raises two very important questions, which we've had for five years. why did trump's campaign manager share internal polling data with russia? what could the possible justification be for that? but also substantively, did it help russia interfere in the election in 2016? did it help target their disinformation better with certain voters in certain swing states? we don't know the answers to those questions but it certainly makes the connection between the campaign and the help and information it provided a known russian operative clearer. and that, you know, gets to this fundamental question about 2016, if there was no collusion, was there cooperation in some way? there's evidence here of at least helping him out. how much did it help him? it's a fair question. >> chairman rogers, what do you think president biden needs to
say in a couple of moments when he starts speaking? >> first of all, i think he needs to reiterate where he's at with russia and that he won't tolerate that. i think he has done that. sanctions a little underplayed. he will have some tough statements in there as well, talking about moving troops into poland, to counter the 80,000-troop buildup on the border. those are hard things to say but it's really important he frames it out in the entire package. right now, these nits and nats against russia, it's not all that effective. i would go down that list. when we throw out spies here in the united states, particularly operating in washington, d.c., russian spies that are targeting us, they will reciprocate. we'll have to plan through all of our collection tactics, techniques to continue to do that. i'm sure that they've done that in that calculation, but that in and of itself is not particularly impactful. what's going to hurt, i think
putin is saying we're going to step up on ukraine. i'm not talking about military involvement. more defensive weapons, more nato and u.s. troops in the region, to make sure that they don't go any other direction. we're going to re-engage them on the intermediate nuclear forces treaty where they have stepped away, many believe, me included, that they were cheating on that treaty. and just start laying it out there that, listen, we know what you're doing. we're going to try to put you back in the box. we would like to have a great relationship but we can't do it if you continue in the aggressive position tur you're in. >> we'll bring those remarks to you from the white house when president biden comes forward to the microphones. coming up also, the deal that new mexico's democratic governor just made to try to move on from allegations against her of sexual mistreatment. it's next. ers. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology
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at panera, dinner is hot... you've ever tasted. and ready to serve. . president biden is speaking right now. let's listen in. >> earlier this week i spoke to president putin of russia about the nature of our relationship between our two decountries. i was candid and respectful. two great powers with significant responsibility for floebl stability. i take that responsibility very seriously as i'm sure he does. russians and americans are proud and patriotic people. and i believe the russian people, like the american people, are invested in peaceful and secure future of our world. during the campaign for the presidency, i was unequivocal that if i was elected president,
i would respond any attempt to influence our elections, and because elections are sacred. they're sovereign undertakings. they're an expression of the will of the american people and we cannot allow a foreign power to interfere in our democratic process with impunity. i told him if it turned out as i thought, that there was engagement in our elections, i would respond. later during the transition, as we learned more about solarwinds cyber intrusion, i made clear that i would respond once we determined who had, in fact, cond conducted a hack on the scope and scale that occurred. when president putin called me in january after i was sworn in, to con dprat late me, i told him my administration would be looking very carefully, now that we had access to all the data and the issues to assess russia's role and then determine what response we would make.
when we spoke again this week, we concluded that they had interfered in the election and solarwinds was totally inappropriate. today, the expulsion of russian officials as a consequence of their actions. specific harmful actions that russia has taken against u.s. interests. i was cloor with president putin we could have gone further but i chose not to do so. i chose to be proportionate. the u.s. is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with russia. we want a stable, predictable relationship. if russia continues to interfere with our democracy, i'm prepared to take further actions to respond. it is my responsibility as president of the united states to do so. but throughout our long history
of competition, our two countries have been able to find ways to manage tensions and to keep them from escalating out of control. there are also areas where russia and the united states can and should work together. for example, in the earliest days of my administration, we were able to move quickly, to extend for five years the new star treaty and maintain that key element of nuclear stability between our nations. that was in the interest of the united states, of russia and, quite frankly, the world. and we got it done. when i spoke to president putin, i sxre expressed my belief that communication between the two of us personally and directly was to be essential in moving forward to a more effective relationship, and he agreed on that point. to that end, i proposed that we meet in person this summer in europe for a summit to address a range of issues facing both of our countries. our teams are discussing that possibilit