tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC March 3, 2022 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. >> you're watching getting answers, live on abc seven. we get answers for you in real time. today after the school board recall, san francisco voters must now decide whether to recall the district attorney. how might the recent anti-asian attacks influence the outcome? a reporter with the san francisco standard will be joining us. first, there's a growing list of sanctions being imposed on russia. the ultra wealthy in russia are being hit directly in their access to money, but everyday citizens there are also being impacted. >> is fighting intensifies in
ukraine, russia essentially cut off from the western world. the u.s. announcing new sanctions against russian oligarchs, blocking their travel to the u.s. and also targeting their relatives, adding to consequences they are already facing. >> choking up access to technology as well as cutting off access to financial systems. >> vladimir putin also being sanction. some oligarchs starting to public -- publicly call for an the war. >> the deal is i will make you more less prosperous and take away all your freedom so you want complain. that deal is now broken. >> russian aircraft, which will have an unprecedented and on russia's economy, put --
potentially bringing the aviation industry to a halt. apple, nike, general motors, over parent company disney, the national hockey league and tiktok, the sanctions impacting everyday citizens. long lines outside a banks as people try to withdraw money. the ruble continuing to lose value against the dollar, with the u.s. and european allies barring some russian bank from the international payment system swift. many calling on sanctions on russian oil and gas. oil and gas prices already rising. >> volatility in the oil the oil is a direct result of the fact that president boudin invaded ukraine. >> russian white house saying tt ly bensidt putin.
kristen: the united nations john bolton says the u.s. should have imposed sanctions on russia before the invasion. he sat down with me today for a one-on-one conversation on vladimir putin's into goal, why mr. trump admired him, and what the biden administration should do now. ambassador bolton, thank you for joining us today. the u.s. is not sending troops, but we are now sending weapons to ukraine so they can counter russian attacks. is that enough in your opinion? will that work? >> no, i don't think so. it wasn't enough before the russians invaded. people should understand that the failure of our policy was fundamentally the failure to deter vladimir putin from engaging in the invasion in the first place. the credibility of our threat was minimal, given that russia
had invaded and -- invaded georgia in 2008 and had invaded crimea in 2014. we had just with -- we had just withdrawn from afghanistan so we had no credibility. we should have imposed costs on putin before the invasion to show that we were serious and to do a number things that might've created deterrence that would have let him not to invade. but imposing sanctions and everything is fine. we are failing every day that this conflict continues. >> right now, even thoughhoughhh has met with strong resistance, his military is gaining ground in southern ukraine. how long do you think ukrainian forces can hold out? ambassador bolton: it's an important question, i don't
think we know. think putin certainly believe that hostilities would basically be over by now. the russian military has not only met her wrote resistance by ukrainian forces but has suffered from its own logistical problems. i think they've suffered from very bad strategy from their own perspective at the beginning. but they know that president biden said well before the invasion that there was no prospect of american military involvement, that the only thing they have to fear is the ukrainian army. nato is not going to participate in this, and putin will bring to bear the forces he's had around ukraine. some still now just coming into the country, and i'm very much afraid he's just going to grind ukrainian military into the ground and much of ukraine along with it. kristen: that is one possible option, but looking at the fact that he is taking bigger losses
than he expected, is there something that democratic nations can present as sort of an diplomatic, face-saving offramp for putin? ambassador bolton let's take first the losses he has sustained. let's assume they are close to what the ukrainian government claims. i don't think putin thinks they are large. i don't think he's got the same value on human life that we do and i think is cost-benefit analysis but -- is based on different values. he said to me several times in my meetings with him when i disagreed with him, you have your logic and we have ours, we will see which one prevails. i think to offer him offramp's would simply encourage more violence. he thinks we are negotiating from a position of weakness. is not where he wants to be at this point, but i don't think he's going to negotiate seriously until he gets his objectives, whatever those are.
these negotiations between ukraine and russian diplomats on the belarus border is pure theater. kristen: what do you think is his end goal and what means might he resort to to get there? >> he's going to succeed, unless the russian -- the army totally collapses, he's going to outgun the ukrainian forces. i think his real objective is to take control of the culturally russian parts of the country, the linguistic -- where russia predominates, where the eastern orthodox faith predominates as opposed to the ukrainian roman catholic parts of the country. that means basically much of the eastern part of the country and the south. in the south, especially he's very close to achieving his goal, which includes total
control of the north shore of the black sea, to cut the rest of ukraine off from access to the sea and land lock whatever is left of the country which would leave it economically very squeezed over the long-term. kristen: knowing putin in your interactions with him, how real do you think is his threat of resorting to nuclear weapons, something he has hinted at, by escalating their nuclear response level, something president biden has not responded in kind to? how real do you think is that threat? >> any time a nuclear power does something that seems threatening with nuclear reference, you have to take it seriously. what putin ordered isn't very clear and it's not very clear that the russian nuclear forces have changed their posture in response to it. i think he tried to evaluate -- you try to valuate threats like
this as realistically as you can. if putin gets what he wants by simply mentioning the magic words nuclear weapons, he's got enormous leverage. i think essentially this is a bluff. i think it is intended to boost the morale of his own people and his deployed forces to show we are taking it seriously. i think it is intended to intimidate snowflakes in the west who would worry about any mention of a nuclear threat. it requires constant evaluation, but right now i think it is a bluff. kristen: we will take a short break, but one with comeback of the rest of our conversation with master bolton including
kristen: some breaking news for you, in their second round of talks, russia and ukraine have just agreed on some humanitarian borders with possible cease-fires for refugees to flee to safety. right now, more of our conversation from today with former national security advisor john bolton. pose the question, would putin have taken this course of action under the trump presidency? some republicans say putin would not have dared to do this while trump was in office. you agree or disagree with this, having been appointed u.n. ambassador by president trump? ambassador bolton: he barely knew where ukraine was on the map. i think putin saw that trump was having a negative effect on nato, i think he believed that the unfortunate exchange between trump and ukraine during the summer of 2019 where trump held
up $250 million in security assistance so that ukraine could find the hillary clinton server that was apparently hidden in ukraine or find out what hunter biden's income derived in ukraine was very damaging to the new zelensky government. because of our extensive campaign through 2020, zelinski and ukrainian government could not really develop a good bilateral relationship with the united states. i think putin is essentially waiting for the campaign to be over and i think you would have tested trump at that time. as i've said before, i think russian forces would've invaded in kn kristen: you said trump barely knew anything about ukraine. like, how so, examples? ambassador bolton: one example
with regard to finland, he once asked john kelly, his chief of staff at the time if finland was part of russia. he didn't understand the history of ukraine, he didn't understand the independence over the last 30 years, he didn't understand the strategic issues at stake, and he didn't care about any of it. he cared about the dillard clinton server, because he saw things not through a philosophical perspective, not through a historical perspective, but through the perspective of whether or not it benefited donald trump politically. kristen: along those veins, do you have any insight into why former president trump admired or expressed admiration for president putin? he continued to praise his strength even after the invasion started. what is behind that? ambassador bolton: he has always
had an affinity for strongly and kinds of leaders, whether it's putin or xi jinping or kim jong-un or one of turkey. he said when we were leaving for a nato summit in a meeting withh theresa may and the helsinki summit with putin, he said to reporters as we were waiting to get on the rib -- the helicopter at the white house on, i think the meeting with putin might turn out to be the easiest one of all. who would have ever thought that? the answer is, the only person who ever thought that was donald trump. kristen: the first time a lot of people had heard about the lenski, the ukrainian president, was in relationship to the story a president from delaying military aid to ukraine, withholding nearly $400 million to get a favor, information on hunter biden. what was the impact of that episode, if any, on what happened today?
ambassador bolton: i think it did have an effect on putin's assessment of not just trump but of the country more generally that they didn't fully understand the nature of the conflict between russia and ukraine, they didn't understand what putin's aspirations were. as i said a moment ago, so linsky had been unable during this entire period to develop a good relationship with the president of the united states. he felt distant from the trump administration, and he certainly had not had much time to develop a relationship with the biden administration. he didn't do him any any any the biden administration has not acted effectively in this context. this distance of ukraine from the potential of a closer relationship with what could have been its principal ally could only encourage putin to think that indeed ukraine was --
there was distance between ukraine and the united states and he would try to exploit it. kristen: the european union seems to be moving toward admitting ukraine as a member. how soon could that happen, and it would make any immediate difference? ambassador bolton: i'm not sure how soon it will happen. never give any credence from any statement from the european union -- union about how fast are going to move on anything. it has no real military capability to the extent that its individual member states have that. they utilize it through nato, and i think the e.u.'s decision-making really makes it less than the sum of its parts. i think it is economically a plus for ukraine if they can get in, but to protect their independence and sovereignty, they need help from nato, and they are not getting enough of it. kristen: is the united nations powerless are able to do something here? with china and russia in the
security council, obviously it is difficult for them to effectively do something right now other than walking out on a diplomatic speech. ambassador bolton: the u.s. and others tried to pass a resolution in the security council a few days ago, russia vetoed it. china did abstained and so did india. so you have the two most populous countries on earth abstaining. so did the united arab emirates because they were irritated with the administration for not labeling thehouthi rebels as a terrorist group, firing at civilian airports and civilian targets in the uae and saudi arabia. this showed the security council is gridlocked. the you in simile just passed a resolution critical of russia by an overwhelming majority. that means nothing, nothing will happen as a consequence of that. the main you and actor now will
be the yuan and high commissioner for refugees who has estimated today that there are over one million ukrainian refugees now in other european countries and another million displaced persons as they are called within ukraine. so you've got 2 million ukrainian citizens outside their homes in the projection is that total could go as high as 5 million refugees across ukraine's borders, more than 10% of the population of the entire country. this could be a real humanitarian tragedy. kristen: lens to finish this conversation. we all know there are long-term consequences in terms of the world order. given that, what do you think the u.s. needs to do right now to lead and to set the world on the right path? ambassador bolton: i think people need to understand that the flimsy notions that there is
a rules-based international order are simply false. nobody gave the memo to vladimir putin, or if they did, he didn't read it. kristen: our conversation with former u.n. ambassador rice john bolton. coming up next, we will talk to our media partner at the san francisco standard about how asian-american vot
kristen: abc7 is excited about our partnership with the san francisco standard, part of building a better bay area is highlighting those who are working toward the same mission of improving the quality of life for everyone. the standard steep and insightful reporting on the challenges of san francisco does just that. the three board members voted out, the city turns its attendant showed the next recall election in june, that of the progressive district attorney. joining us to talk about how the race may be influenced by the newly mobilize voters of the school board recall, come back
to the show. >> thank you for having me. kristen: one group that turned out in large number's in the school board recall is asian americans concerned about education. the same das recall as well. how so? >> with the pandemic for two years and the national movement, and violent crimes against asian americans, there is some political momentum in the community and now they're facing a recall option against the san francisco district attorney, so there maybe be some political momentum there. kristen: we saw in over 500% increase in the tax on asian-american -- they are not monolithic and have a diverse range of views. i would imagine some also supports him in his approach.
have you found a segment of the population that does not tie his prosecution style to the uptick in the attacks? >> i did interview a lot of community members and sources for the story and i found this is a really divisive issue. as i mentioned, there are some political momentum in the city and the chinese-american community right now because of the crimes and public safety concerns about crimes in the city. so yes, there are two sides, and supporters of the san francisco d.a. are saying the blame from the community members is unfair to him, but also the recall of the chair who is an asian-american female, saying the das office has been mishandling a lot of cases involving asian-american victims. kristen: therefore making the environment less safe for asian americans in the city. did his critics their feelings
known at the recent chinese new year parade? >> yes, in the chinese lunar new year parade, there were protesters for the district attorney and they were very upset about his office and his administration. he was running a progressive criminal justice reform that form in 2019 and won the election. he's also being accused of being soft on crime. so he is becoming a target, and also being blamed for what happened in the city. kristen: is there a commonality in the funding between these two recalls? >> i think generally people are against the process of the recall. they don't they would prefer a regular election. for the recall it's only no to the recall and then you
hand the power to the mayor to appoint his successors. kristen: how big of loading bought -- voting block percentage of asian americans are there in the city? >> it's a complicated issue. in the school board recall there is big momentum in the community, but the data shows the turnout rate in asian-american neighborhoods are just average. there is more complicated data that we can look at in the future, but in the district attorney recall election, there might be a broader coalition because public safety, the crime concern has an impact on everybody citywide. on the school board it's mostly about education issues. kristen: what did his office tell you in terms of your article here, and what kind of efforts are they making to win over asian-american voters? >> i reached out to the
campaign and they told us he has been very vocal about asian-american communities and helping the community feel safe. he hired a bilingual victim services chief and also charging hate crimes. kristen: don't go away, we willw continue our conversation on facebook live. we have links on our website, abc7.com. check out our bay
"getting answers." we talked to john bolton. we will be here every day at 3:00 on air and on livestream to answer all your questions. tonight, a special edition of "world news tonight" on the ukraine/poland border. the russian assault growing inside ukraine. also, ian pannell with president zelenskyy, asking, how long can you hold out against the russians? and we witnessed the humanitarian emergency unfolding right here. tonight, new video of the devastation across ukraine at this hour. ukraine says more than 33 people have been killed as bombs rain down. if confirmed, the largest single loss of civilian life so far. a fuel depot up in flames in a city 90 miles outside of kyiv. several major cities simultaneously under siege. the video from kharkiv, the man reporting a message as a missile