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Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on April 3, 2022

4/3: Face The Nation
4/3: Zelenskyy, Hill, Raskin 47:08

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
  • Fiona Hill, former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council 
  • H.R. McMaster, former national security adviser in the Trump White House and a CBS News contributor
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland
  • New York City Mayor Eric Adams

Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."  

MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome to Face the Nation.

As we come on the air, the Russian war strategy appears to have undergone a major shift. Two weeks ago, the Russians were focused on surrounding the capital city of Kyiv. Now they have upped their assault in the eastern and southern parts of the country.

Just this morning, Russian missiles have struck an oil refinery in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. And there are reports of new explosions in the Russian border town of Belgorod, site of two other Ukrainian strikes last week.

It's been a horrific scene since day one, but the atrocities of war are escalating.

We warn you, some of the images you're about to see are disturbing.

We begin today with Holly Williams reporting from Dnipro, Ukraine.

(Begin VT)

HOLLY WILLIAMS (voice-over): Russian forces have pulled back from around Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and Ukraine says it's retaken more than 30 towns and villages.

But what the Russian troops have left behind is sheer horror. In the town of Bucha, the streets are littered with bodies. Some, with their hands tied behind their back, appear to have been executed. Others are buried in a mass grave. More than 300 residents were killed, according to the mayor.


HOLLY WILLIAMS: Vasili (sp?) survived it, but the trauma of what he witnessed is written on his face.


HOLLY WILLIAMS: He calls the Russian soldiers dogs and says he took cover in his cellar for two weeks.

Ukrainian soldiers are removing the dead with caution, fearful they could be booby-trapped with explosives. Ukrainian officials say these images show the naked corpses of at least four women on a highway outside Kyiv. They claim the Russians tried to burn the bodies.

Despite the devastation, it seems Vladimir Putin's original battle plan has failed in the face of Ukraine's resistance, and Russian forces are shifting their attention to the east of this country. Gostomel Airport, just north of Kyiv, where Russian paratroopers landed on the first day of the invasion, is also back in Ukrainian hands.

A visiting Ukrainian politician was upbeat.

OLEKSIY GONCHARENKO (Ukrainian Parliament Member): We will rebuild our country. We will rebuild our dream. Our country will be beautiful, prosperous, and Russia will pay for everything they did.

HOLLY WILLIAMS: But many parts of this country are still occupied.


HOLLY WILLIAMS: Ukraine says Russian forces opened fire yesterday on civilian protesters in the city of Enerhodar.

And in the besieged city of Mariupol, bombarded for weeks by the Russians, around 100,000 people are thought to be trapped. Evacuation efforts are ongoing. The United Nations believes thousands may have died in Mariupol, but the true number can't be counted while the city is cut off and under Russian assault.

(End VT)

HOLLY WILLIAMS: A Ukrainian official said yesterday that a meeting between President Putin and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was likely to happen soon.

But, today, Russia's chief negotiator shot that idea down -- Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Holly Williams, thank you.

We go now to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He joins us from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

Good afternoon, sir.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (Ukrainian President) (through translator): Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr. President, Russian forces appear to be withdrawing from the north of Ukraine.

Do you think this means Putin's calculus is changing?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (through translator): Thank you for this question.

You know, Margaret, we -- they have pulled out from some localities. In others, they are redoing the redeployment, because the conflict, the situation is difficult. There were some communities that they were trying to take several times.

And this is a tragedy, because our army had to take back as well, So the city of Chornobaivka, nine times, they attempted to take it over. But we think this is the redeployment, in our opinion. They're changing the tactics now. They were trying to take Kyiv and some cities in Kyiv region.

Some of them have been occupied, and then they destroyed everything. The civilians, the houses, they were stealing washing machines and equipment.

So, there were torturers as well. I think the clips that we shared with you, you have seen for yourself. It's important for the free people of the United States to have a look at it and understand and see for themselves.

Before the war, when there was a lot of free time, we were watching different films, and also war movies, but we couldn't have imagined anything like this, because this is a maniac type of decision to just -- to destroy the whole nation.

Well, in terms of the tactics and them pulling out and what the strategy of the -- of Putin is, they are now focusing in the east of Ukraine. So, this corridor, which is going from the Crimea to the east of Ukraine, this is in the south of Ukraine.

And this is where they are trying to focus in terms of armament, in terms of deploying their personnel, the Chechen troops occupying the cities. They were bringing people in from different parts of the world, because they were in deficit of their personnel. And now they are grouping all of these troops in the south and east of our country.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The images you're talking about have been described by leaders around the world as horrific.

The mayor of Kyiv used the term genocide. Your vice prime minister is asking if this is fascism or genocide, in terms of what has been left around Kyiv. Do you feel that the world will actually make good on this promise to hold Vladimir Putin to account for war crimes?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (through translator): Everything has to be fair and according to justice, as the civilized world will decide.

We believe in justice, in the justice of the Western world, of -- and, therefore, the question is not only about the leader of Russian Federation. We wouldn't think that it would be fair to take only him. I think all the military commanders, everyone who gave instructions and orders should be punished adequately.

The adequate punishment to these people is difficult to be achieved. It has to be done according to the law and what they have done.

And I want to apologize to you and to those people who are watching us now, but, for some things that they have done, when we find people with -- with hands tied behind their back and decapitated, such things, I don't understand, I don't comprehend, the kids who were killed and tortured.

So it wasn't enough just to kill for those criminals. Maybe they wanted to take gold or washing machines. And they were killing them, but they were also torturing them as they did this.

And your question is absolutely fair, but I don't have the answer. I don't know what law or what imprisonment term would be adequate for this. As the father of two children, and as a president, I think that these people, if they are put behind the bars, this is one too little for what they have done.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is this genocide?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (through translator): Indeed, this is genocide, the elimination of the whole nation and the people.

We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities. This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities. We are the citizens of Ukraine. And we don't want to be subdued to the policy of Russian Federation.

This is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated, and this is happening in the Europe of the 21st century. So this is the torture of the whole nation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In the Donbass southeast area of your country, the city of Mariupol, are you having any success getting civilians out?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (through translator): Many people, many thousands of people have been evacuated.

In certain cities, 35,000, 30,000, 40,000 have been evacuated, so altogether, hundreds of thousands. But, nevertheless, there are -- still hundreds of thousand remain blocked. Some of them are blocked or behind the bars.

To answer to your question about Mariupol, before the beginning of this full-fledged war and the occupation of Mariupol, there have been lots of people. And all the corridors have been blocked, including humanitarian corridors, the supply of food and water.

So, in this city now, there is 150,000, lots of dead bodies in the street, lots of wounded people among the military and civilians. The evacuation happens only when the Russian side agrees to a Ukrainian proposal to open a corridor.

So, the corridor for the food or water simply do not exist in those cities that are occupied by Russia.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr. President, your team shared with us a video, images that your government has gathered of what has been left behind outside of Kyiv that I do want to share with our viewers.

And I want to ask you about it. Looking and listening to what Vladimir Putin has said, he's called Ukraine not a real country. He said it's controlled by little Nazis. He's called you a drug-addled thug.

Is he someone you can negotiate with?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (through translator): As the president of Ukraine, there cannot be just my personal view about President Putin and a dialogue with the Russian Federation.

I have to stand for the interests of my country. So, it's difficult to say how, after all, what has been done, we can have any kind of negotiations with Russia. That's on the personal level.

But, as a president, I have to do it. Any war has to end, just end. I'm not talking about ending this with peace, because peace in this situation, when there are thousands of people killed, is something that I'm not fine with. But there is no any other way. This, I'm saying as a president.

There's no any other way, but the dialogue, if we don't want hundreds of thousands, millions to die. But it's important to have the agreement between the two sides and understanding or at least the desire to understand that we need to have a dialogue, because we're going to stand until the end.

And they have to understand this. So, I'm -- keep talking about this dialogue, something that I have been repeating throughout my term as a president.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In terms of security guarantees, the United States has given security assurances to Ukraine in the past, and that did not stop this invasion.

When you recently spoke with President Biden, did he make you any kind of concrete promise that the U.S. and NATO wouldn't let this happen to Ukraine again?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (through translator): So, we don't believe in papers any longer.

So, we are very grateful for the support of the United States, indeed, and it's a very powerful support. But in terms of security guarantees, we have not received them yet from anyone. And we have to get them.

For us, it is important also what the circle of countries who will be providing the security guarantees is going to be and how specifically this will be enforced.

So I'm not, as a president, satisfied with just assurance, because then I don't know what the agreement is going to be about and whether we will have an agreement with Russia. What are we going to agree about? Who are going to be the guarantors?

Because if, tomorrow, the war starts again, and only sanctions will have been introduced, well, that's about nothing, because sanctions are important. But if they cannot stop the aggression, then we don't need such guarantees.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Russia seems very interested in this resource-rich part of Eastern Ukraine.

I wonder, will you settle for anything less than a full withdrawal of Russian troops from every inch of Ukrainian soil?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (through translator): This is the bare minimum that we have to start the deoccupation with.

It should be 100 percent withdrawal of troops to the borders that existed prior to the 24th of February at least. This would make us to at least to start discussing other questions about the deoccupation, about how do we live -- live on after this.

We have our dialogue with them. So, I can't even have a meeting when the shelling is going on, so, first, the cease-fire. Then we can have a meeting with the Russian president.

If they have the -- an approach that they -- he's making these authoritarian decisions, why do we need this bloodshed, drama performance for? Let's simply sit down together, the two of us.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: You can watch the full interview on our Web site,

We will be back in one minute. Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to former National Security Council Senior Director for European and Russian affairs, Fiona Hill. She's also the author of "There Is Nothing For You Here."

Glad to have you back with us.

FIONA HILL (Former National Security Council Official): Thanks, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It was extraordinary to have this conversation with President Zelenskyy, particularly at this moment, as these images emerge of what has happened, the devastation in and around Kiev.

He's talking about looting. There are reports of mass rape, mass graves. Is this how the Russian military always behaves?

FIONA HILL: Well, this is clearly not a special military operation, is it, when we see all of these images.

And, unfortunately, it's following a pattern that goes back historically. I mean, look, a lot of this wasn't talked about so much after World War II, but when the Red Army moved into Berlin, there was mass rape of German women in the city.

And, obviously, in the wake of World War II, people didn't really want to talk about that so much, given all the atrocities that were committed by German forces and the Nazis. We've got these reports of looting in other settings as well, in Chechnya.

Also, in Georgia, when the Russian military moved in, in 2008, there was a lot of wanton destruction of Georgian equipment, reports of, like, deliberate defecation on the equipment, for example, I mean, almost like stupid stuff that was basically meant to show unbelievable disrespect.

But, look, we see in many wartime scenarios all the way through history, these kinds of reports. But if this was genuinely a special military operation to liberate a fraternal country from what Putin was describing as Nazis, you would not expect this kind of conduct.

So, either this is a complete breakdown of command and control, or it's actually being sanctioned in some way to teach Ukrainians a lesson. Either way, this is actually pretty disastrous and obviously requires some kind of serious response in the international community.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, the United States expected Russia to launch an entire electronic warfare blackout in Ukraine when they did this. They haven't.

And, in fact, one of President Zelenskyy's most powerful tools is his ability to continue to communicate in the middle of this and to show these images to the world. Was this a big strategic failure by Vladimir Putin? I mean, why is he allowing this?

FIONA HILL: Well, it's a really good question, isn't it?

I mean, is it because they actually proved not to have the capacity? Is it that the Ukrainians are pushing back? Because there's a lot of very technically savvy Ukrainians, a lot of companies. There's obviously a lot of assistance that they're getting from the outside world.

I mean, we've heard assistance from Elon Musk, for example. A lot of it's coming from individuals, not just from governments. But there's been a lot of strategic blunders by the Russian government in this campaign.

Clearly, there's lots of things that they didn't expect, first of all, that the campaign has gone on much longer. Second, they haven't been able to decapitate the Ukrainian government. They haven't taken Kiev. We've seen instead that they've just basically wreaked havoc and carnage all over the place, that they're engaging in acts not just of what appear to be war crimes, which we're now in the process of documenting, but of wanton destruction and this crazy looting that you're seeing taking place.

I mean, this is really, I think, raising a lot of questions about this much vaunted Russian military that we all actually expected to perform in a much better fashion across the board. And, clearly, if the information has not been filtering up to Vladimir Putin, as we've been hearing, from his commanders, this must be something of a shock to the system for him as well, which actually then raises a lot of questions about, what is he going to do next?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why is Vladimir Putin so concerned with the Donbass region, the eastern region?

FIONA HILL: Well, this is the place that he first got a grip on in 2014 after annexing Crimea. I mean, we know that, in 2014 that the Russian government, Putin in particular, had bigger ambitions.

He talked about this region of Novorossiya, which extends from the Donbass region all the way through all of these port cities on the Sea of Azov that we've seen completely devastated, Melitopol, Mariupol, Berdyansk, for example, to Kherson, another of the cities that they've seized, and then all the way down to Odessa, where we're getting reports now that they're fighting -- or, rather, starting to shell Odessa and raising the question of fighting.

This is a whole area that was seized by the Russian empire under Catherine the Great. Putin's talked about it repeatedly. And, for him, this zone now of Southern Ukraine along the Black Sea, across the top of the Crimean Peninsula, the Sea of Azov, extending to Donbass, seems to be the area that he's wanting to make sure that he has a hold of, no matter what.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to put up a map here, because we keep hearing that much of the world is picking a side in this conflict against Russia.

But, actually, it's really just Europe. It's the Americas. It's the West, Japan. Is the world actually really lining up against him, or does he have quite a lifeline still?

FIONA HILL: Well, he does still have a lifeline. This is what's really problematic.

I mean, the one thing that we have to be very careful about now, I mean, I know that President Zelenskyy is really making a massive appeal for more help from the United States, from the West, from NATO, and from other allies, the European Union. But we really need to get other international actors to step up.

We've had Japan and South Korea, for example. There's been protestations about the conflict in the United Nations General Assembly from countries like Ghana and Kenya.


FIONA HILL: But there needs to be more, because Russia wants to portray this as a proxy war between the United States and Russia for Ukraine.

That is not what this is.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to talk about that on the other side of this break.

Stay with us, Fiona Hill.

We'll have to take this quick break. Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: If you can't watch the full Face the Nation, you can set your DVR, or we're available on demand.

Plus, you can watch us through our CBS or Paramount+ app. And we're replayed on our CBS News Streaming Network at 12:00 noon Eastern.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And we will be right back with Russia expert and former top White House adviser Fiona Hill, as well as former National Security Adviser to President Trump H.R. McMaster, plus Congressman Jamie Raskin with the latest on January 6.



We want to continue our conversation with Fiona Hill, former top adviser on Russia at the National Security Council during the Trump administration.

You know, Fiona, this is really these two personalities, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin. And it's all about trying to change Putin's mind.

At this point, is there any succession plan if he is no longer running Russia?

HILL: Well, there's always a succession plan, at least in theory, which is, you know, something happens to him normally, then either the prime minister or the speaker of the Russian parliament would step in and they would elections.

Now, under this current circumstances, there is just absolutely no way that Vladimir Putin wants to loosen his grip on power. 2024 he's supposed to have the presidential election. In theory, as we know, he's got two more presidential terms that he can contest. And that would take him out till 2036. And Putin has, if anything, some staying power. He's pretty much determined to stay in place. And there is absolutely no way that he would want to go out on the back -- in any way on the back of a disaster in Ukraine.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So this is, in some ways, solidifying his hold on power rather than weakening it?

FIONA HILL: Absolutely. From his perspective. Now, it doesn't mean to say, of course, that that hold is fully consolidated. It's very brittle, the situation right now. So many things can go wrong. So many things could be happening behind the scenes that we actually don't know about.

But for Putin himself, the absolute last thing he wants to do is go out in the backdrop of protests, backdrop of a failed war, as other previous leaders in Russian history have. And there's no way that he's going to entertain any kind of idea of a palace coup. He knows the history. He knows how these things work.

And the immediate group of people around him who helped plot this war are also going to rise and fall with him. So you can be sure that they're trying to root out any kind of descent, any kind of opposition at the moment. And also on the popular level. I mean we're hearing in public opinion polls that there's a lot of support for Putin. I mean it's hard to, you know, kind of really gauge again how deep that support is. People are rallying around the flag, rallying around him, rallying around the Kremlin. And he's going to make sure, of course, that any kind of alternate views are completely and utterly suppressed at this moment.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You've written extensively about Putin. I know President Biden has read your book on him. One of the things you write about is what's happened in the past with cease-fire agreements in Chechnya. And that's why I asked about security guarantees with President Zelenskyy. In the past, Russia has torn up peace agreements, just reinvaded. Is that what Volodymyr Zelenskyy is looking at now, the risk of that?

FIONA HILL: Yes. I mean he has to be very serious about this. And as he said, they're fed up now on the Ukrainian side with paper agreements. They have to have something real and concrete. And that's going to be what's going to be difficult because you can't just be from the United States either. The previous agreement, the Budapest Agreement, was with the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia. And obviously that was in 1994 when Ukraine gave up a strategic nuclear weapons. That became pretty meaningless. And so what Zelenskyy is looking for, obviously, as he said, is some pretty concrete guarantees from a range of countries. He talked about the circle of countries that might be involved. And it has to be outside of Europe as well. This is part of the problem.


FIONA HILL: As Putin is making this a proxy war, he's saying to everyone else, this is like the Cold War, this is like Korea or Vietnam. This is not the case. Putin has decided to invade a neighboring country. It's a post- imperial land grab. It's based on history, his grievances, his view of Russia's place in Europe. And basically it has to be addressed in an international content. So they need wide-ranging international security guarantees.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It is a global problem now.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Fiona Hill, thank you for your analysis.

I want to get more from former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. He's also CBS News foreign policy national security contributor and host of the podcast "Battlegrounds."

Good morning to you, H.R.

Tactically and strategically speaking, why would Russian forces move to the east?

H.R. MCMASTER: Well, to try to get something out of this, right, and to try to -- to try to compensate for the utter failure of the offensive initially. It's quite clear that Russia has failed from the very beginning in connection with its original object, to subjugate all of Ukraine and to effect this kudumaine (ph) oriented -- on these four axis but mainly on Kyiv and Odessa.

And what you see is a concentration now in the Donbas region and in the south. It's interesting, Margaret, we haven't heard too much talk about this, but this is about 10 percent of the Ukrainian land mass, but about -- the land mass that holds about 90 percent of Ukraine's energy resources. And I think what you see Russia as having a strategic design in mind, as Fiona mentioned, this is about an (INAUDIBLE) and so forth, but it's also making the Sea of Azov clearly a Russian lake, and the Black -- the Black Sea as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. Well, I thought it was interesting that President Zelenskyy said, when I asked him, does this mean, you know, 100 percent withdrawal from all of Ukrainian territory, and he said, Russia needs to withdraw to the borders pre-February 24th. So that would mean potentially those eastern Donetsk and Luhansk areas and Crimea.

Is that significant to you the way he phrased that?

H.R. MCMASTER: It is significant. It means that, you know, he's willing to compromise to a certain extent. But I think that's got to be up to him and the Ukrainian people. You've seen the horrors, the devastation, the -- I've heard your conversation, which is just -- it was just terrible, with Zelenskyy and the horrors that they're confronting now in the wake of the - - of the Russian withdrawal.

You know, I think that it's going to be up to the Ukrainian people, obviously, if they're willing to compromise at all after that. And it's hard to imagine that they will want to, to give up any of their territory.


H.R. MCMASTER: And, of course, Margaret, hey, I think the other point about this is, you know, of course Zelenskyy knows that wouldn't be the end, right?


H.R. MCMASTER: If Vladimir Putin says I'll, you know, return back to the pre-February borders, of course what he'll do is try to keep Ukraine under his thumb and under continuous duress, just as he has since at least 2003 and especially after 2014.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes, and it's exactly what you just put your finger on there that has the surrounding European countries so concerned, that he could continue to de-stabilize the area. But I want to ask you about that. Why would Putin risk bringing a NATO country into a war that is being described as one where his military is failing? Is the U.S. and Europe making him ten feet tall when he's not?

H.R. MCMASTER: Yes, I think so. I think -- I think -- I think Putin is really on the ropes here. And, of course, the all -- what does he have left, Margaret? He only -- he only has left are threats. Cyber-threats? Well, that's not working out for some reason. I think we'll -- we'll learn more about that later. But then the only thing he can do is rattle his nuclear saber, which is what he's done. And, of course, that's a cause for concern. But I think we have to -- to not forget the don't part of don't take council of our fears. And I think at this stage what we're seeing, where we confront the horrors and the mass murder that is -- that occur -- has occurred and the horrible abuses, I think we feel now compelled to do more.

Well, I think what we shouldn't do is wait any longer to do what it takes to give Ukraine all the tools necessary to fully beat back this offensive, and to make it clear to the Russians that they're going to be unable to renew an offensive in the future.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Just to be really clear with our viewers, since you -- you served in the military for so long. What we are describing and what is being documented as having happened outside Kyiv is very far beyond the acceptable code of conduct for U.S. military forces.

Can you just put that in context for anyone who would say war is always bloody, how do you see what happened?

H.R. MCMASTER: Well, this is the -- that's a -- this is an unprofessional force. This is a force that is not adhering to the basic military ethic or the law of war or just war theory. Just (ph) in bellow (ph) theory requires you to apply force with discipline and discrimination, and to protect non- combatants. Of course, Russia actually -- its tactic was to commit mass murder against non-combatants because it didn't have the military competence to accomplish its objectives through fire and maneuver and the defeat of the opposing military force and then the -- then the control of that territory.

So this is -- this is against the law of war. It's against -- it's against the military ethic. And it's against what we have in our armed forces. The -- you know, the professional warrior ethos, which is based on principles, such as honor and self-sacrifice. And that also includes taking on more risk ourselves to protect innocents, even -- even in an activity that involves killing and the prospect of death.

MARGARET BRENNAN: H.R. McMaster, thank you for your analysis today.

We'll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Last week CBS News and "The Washington Post" revealed that internal White House records from January the 6th showed a seven-hour gap in President Trump's call logs during the violence at the Capitol that day.

Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin is on the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol and joins us here now.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Thank you for having me.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This seven-hour gap, you have subpoenaed the president's -- the former president's assistance, Molly Michael. I know you've been trying to figure out from staff what happened.

Do you have any insight?

JAMIE RASKIN: Well, it's a very unusual thing for us to find, that suddenly everything goes dark for a seven-hour period in terms of tracking the movements and the conversations of the president. And some things we've been able to piece together from other people's interviews and depositions that we know took place during that time. We are aware of other phone calls that took place during that time that included the president. But we have no comprehensive fine grain, the portrait of what was going on during that period. And that's, obviously, of intense interest to us.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You still don't have that after debriefing some of these assistants? I mean his office, the former president's office was known for being sloppy. He used cell phones. She wasn't -- the personal assistant wasn't in the office that day.

Is there a chance here that this was just sort of large-scale incompetence rather than conspiracy?

JAMIE RASKIN: Well, we're taking that possibility into account. It does seem like the gaps are suspiciously tailored to the heart of the events. But we're checking that out. And, you know, our mandate under HR-503 is to get a complete picture of everything that took place on January 6th, the causes leading up to it, and then what we need to do as a country to fortify democratic institutions and processes against future insurrections and coups and attempts to destabilize and overthrow our elections.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean that's just an incredible phrase, potential future coups.


MARGARET BRENNAN: It's breathtaking to hear you say it that way.

JAMIE RASKIN: Congressman Mo Brooks said just a week or two ago that president -- former President Trump continues to try to get him and other Republicans to rescind the election. In other words, he continues to look for a way to nullify an election that he considers fraudulent.

Last night, you know, I was at the Gridiron Club dinner and I saw the governor, the Republican governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, who I thought was a huge breath of fresh air. He said publicly -- he broke tradition apparently in the Gridiron Club, he said, Donald Trump is f-ing crazy. And he didn't say f-ing. So I don't want to make any history on your show. But he also seemed to announce that he was going to run for president in 2024, laying down the gauntlet essentially against the Trump/Putin axis within the Republican Party.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So -- you're ear piece just dropped out there. But you can hear me.

JAMIE RASKIN: So -- yes, even though I didn't say the word.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, you can hear me. I mean, are you concerned that at the end of this investigation you're not going to find what it sounds like you're looking for, which is substantiation of a -- of a link between a pressure campaign to change the election results and the events of January 6th itself? I mean are you confident you'll get that and you will be able to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department?

JAMIE RASKIN: Well, no, I think you've put your finger on it. I mean we know there were two things going on. And one was a violent insurrection that included a mob riot which injured 150 of our officers with broken jaws and broken necks and broken vertebrae and so on, and then -- that was led by domestic violent extremist groups, like the Proud Boys, who, you know, then President Trump had told to stand back and stand by, the Oath Keepers, the three percenters, people who have been charged with seditious conspiracy, which means conspiracy to overthrow the government. They shut down the counting of electoral college votes for the first time in American history. It didn't even happen when Lincoln took -- took the presidency in 1861.

OK, so there was that violent insurrection. But then there was an attempt at an inside coup, what the political scientists call a self-coup, not a coup against a president, but a coup that's orchestrated by the president against the constitutional system. And what we're looking for is the connections between the inside political coup and the violent insurrection. And I do feel confident we're going to be able to tell that story.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But -- tell that story is different in the political context from making a criminal recommendation or a legal proceeding at the Justice Department.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you confident that will happen?

JAMIE RASKIN: Well, we will lay out the evidence that we see. Now, understand, the role of the January 6th select committee is to deliver a report to the American people and to the Congress.


JAMIE RASKIN: And so individual criminal accountability is something that comes within the domain of the Department of Justice.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Exactly. That's why I wanted to make that clear.

JAMIE RASKIN: Yes. And one of the traditions we want to rebuild that was torn down during the last administration was of not having members of Congress and the president trying to dictate policy to the Department of Justice.


JAMIE RASKIN: And that's what the last president did. And I'm glad this president's not doing it. And we don't want to be part of that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How long is too long? Because we keep hearing that the public hearings are getting pushed off. Is it May? Is it June? When do you cut this off?

JAMIE RASKIN: I think we're -- I think that the hearings should be in early May. That's what I'm hoping for. Obviously we're up against a lot of obstruction.

Now, this week we voted to bring contempt citations against Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro.


JAMIE RASKIN: The social media guy for him, and Peter Navarro was the trade adviser who, for some reason, was off involving himself in insurrectionary coup plotting activities.


JAMIE RASKIN: Those guys are claiming executive privilege, which is absurd.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And that vote is going to be happening this week, as we understand it.

JAMIE RASKIN: We hope so, yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be back with more FACE THE NATION in a moment.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to the stunning increase in violent crime. And fighting that increase is one of the top priorities for New York City's new mayor, Eric Adams.

Good morning to you, Mr. Mayor. Good to have you in studio.

ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Thank you. Good to be here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: New York City has, what, the highest number of shootings in a decade, more than 40 percent spike in homicides over the last two years. You have some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Where are all these weapons coming from?

ERIC ADAMS: That's a great question. And in my conversation with the president and the chief of staff yesterday, we talked about just a flow of guns through our inner cities. A few days ago I was in Chicago with Mayor Lightfoot, who took several -- thousands of guns off her street last year. And here in New York we're doing the same.

We really have to have a combination. We have to stop the flow of guns, but we must also do the job of getting the guns off the streets that's on there now. And my anti-gun unit, they're doing that. Just a few weeks out, they removed over 20 something guns off the street.

But here's the interesting number, 70 percent of those who were carrying the guns had prior violent offenses. So, we need to combine with that small number of people who are carrying guns with the large number of guns on our street and get both off our streets.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you know that acknowledging that and having some of the toughest gun laws in the country will have critics say, well, look, it makes no difference if you have tight gun laws.

ERIC ADAMS: Well, I tell those critics, go visit that 13-year-old boy that was shot yesterday while sitting in the back of a car. We need to stop criticizing good, proper law enforcement with the proper proactive things to keep guns out of the hands of young people. And that's the combination that we're going to do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So why aren't the laws working?

ERIC ADAMS: For a number of reasons. We have a small number of gun dealers that are just skating the law. We're dealing with a problem with ghost guns. It's imperative that we come up with clear messages about ghost guns, and the kits that assemble them. And I believe Washington is going to do that. Then we need to put money into the ATF so they can do the proper information sharing so we can identify the flow of guns in the inner cities. And that is what we're doing in New York with our combined efforts of all law enforcement agencies.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It sounds like you're expecting more executive actions or orders from the president to do this, because none of it's going to get through Congress.

ERIC ADAMS: Well, it's the combination. I think executive orders are crucial. But while we're waiting for the president and the White House to continue to do the good things they're doing, I have to do the things we must do on the grounds in New York City. And that's what we're doing. My officers are stepping up with quality of life issues, and we're zeroing in on dangerous gangs and zeroing in on those who are trigger pullers and carrying guns.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about that. You called it quality of life. It's quality of life enforcement. You, yourself, have been quite critical of past mayors when they have used tactics known as like broken windows, right, going after these sort of smaller-scale crimes. Quality of life includes offenses that are precursors to violence, marijuana sales, public urination, things like that. Aren't these the same zero tolerance policies that in the past have been exploited and caused civil rights violations?

ERIC ADAMS: Oh, and I'm glad that you -- you know, you pointed out the history, because this is my history of fighting against heavy-handed and abusive policing. You can have the justice that we deserve with the safety we need. Here's what we talk about when we say quality of life. Not allowing someone to go into a store, steal what they want, and then walk out. Jump in the turn styles, not paying your fares in the subway system. Many of the criminal element, they are actually going into the subway system without paying their fare and committing crimes. We learned that during the mid-'90s, in the early '90s. But also looking at just open drug use. Inject yourself with heroin in our parks, in front of our children. Loud noise, just being disorderly. Some of the things we're doing around encampment. You don't have to use police to remove the encampments in our city, like we're doing. We're doing a combination of social services, giving people the dignity they deserve. That is what we talk about. Cleaning our streets and making sure that we don't have a state of disorder.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But all of what you're lying out, no one's for those things, but they're concerned that this is just dressing back up the broken windows theory, that you're doing the same thing but relabeling it.

ERIC ADAMS: Well, I think that is important for people to say, well, let's look at who's implementing the proper use of dealing with quality of life. Eric Adams, I was the leading voice that testified in federal court about the overuse of police tactics. Now I'm in charge of that police department, and I know how we can run a police department with a great police commissioner, Commissioner Sule (ph), where we're going to make sure we don't have disorder in our city, but we're going to lawfully show people that this is a city where the quality of life is important.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you have said things like you won't tolerate bystanders being on top of police officers to film their activities. Isn't the public reporting, eyewitness accounts like this, exactly what has stopped or at least laid bare violations such as the killing of George Floyd? Isn't that kind of public reporting important?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. And let me tell you what I've done throughout the -- my years. I've done something called what to do when stopped by the police, how to film police, how to do it properly. Nothing is more dangerous than if a police officer is fighting with someone that has a gun, and you have a person standing over him taping that interaction. That is extremely dangerous. That officer is not aware of who's behind him. May days that I've fought with individuals who were carrying weapons or knives and I've had people stand over me with a camera, that is extremely dangerous because you don't know what you have.

So what we're saying to New Yorkers, film. And regarding the case, the young man filmed a safe distance away. He did not interrupt or interfere. That is how you film. You don't do that. That endangers yourself or that police officer who's taking action.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr. Mayor, thank you for your time today.

ERIC ADAMS: Thank you. Good seeing you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Today we say a fond farewell to Greg "Scooter" Shaffir, who is retiring from CBS News after almost 40 years. Scooter spent just about all of those Sundays in the audio booth here in the Washington bureau, making sure you could hear us and our guests loud and clear. When Scooter arrived at CBS, George Herman was the host of FACE THE NATION, and he's worked with every moderator since, including myself, Bob Schieffer, Lesley Stahl and John Dickerson. Thank you, Scooter, for decades and well over 1500 Sundays of your dedication. We wish you all the best in your retirement and we will always be your family.

That's it for us today. Thank you for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.


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