‘Your World’ on the border crisis, Title 42, Ukraine-Russia war

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This is a rush transcript from “Your World,” April 19, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We knew this moment was coming. It has arrived. The land war is on right now in Eastern Ukraine.

And we are told two-thirds of all Russian soldiers are in the country, concentrating on the east, and trying to finish the job in what some are calling Vladimir Putin 2.0, a second chance to turn around what for him at least, has been a disastrous war.

Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto, and this is YOUR WORLD.

Here’s how bad things are getting over there. The International Monetary Fund is saying it is affecting all of us here, cutting its forecast for global growth to little more than 3.5 percent. To put that in perspective, before the war began, most thought it would be at least double.

That was then, this is now, the reality of a war that isn’t letting up, and right now has Russian soldiers doubling down.

Jeff Paul has the latest from Lviv — Jeff.

JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Neil, Moscow might feel and view this conflict as liberating the Donbass and that region, but you talk to everyday Ukrainians, and they say it’s a far cry from how they feel about this conflict, especially when you look at what’s going on in the east.

That’s where there are thousands of Russian troops right now dotted along hundreds of miles of land within that eastern region of Ukraine. There have been reports of massive waves of artillery and rockets in the region, and Ukrainian forces, we should mention, have been fighting Russian-backed separatists for the past eight years in the Donbass.

In fact, the Kremlin views both the Luhansk and Donetsk regions as separate independent republics. But President Vladimir Zelenskyy has long vowed to not give up any Ukrainian territory, and, at his most recent address, once again hammered away at that point.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight. We will defend ourselves and we will do it every day. We won’t give up anything Ukrainian.


PAUL: Beyond the east, the south, most notably, the coastal city of Mariupol, remains a heavy focus of Ukrainian forces. Moscow issued a new deadline for the remaining troops who are holding out to lay down their arms.

But those remaining Ukrainian forces are defiant. They vowed to stay, even though they are severely outnumbered — Neil.

CAVUTO: Jeff, thank you very much for that.

So, what is at stake here? And where is it at stake? You have heard a great deal about Eastern Ukraine, but it’s a lot more than just Eastern Ukraine. There are pockets and, of course, pockets that Russian soldiers want to seize and confirm as soon as possible.

Bill Hemmer following all of that.

Hey, Bill.

BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How do you do, Neil? Nice to see you in studio.

Look, this is a new phase for the war. It’s been some time since we looked at this map. If you do me a favor, guys, and show me the map where Ukrainians control the north and the Russians control the southeast, essentially it, right? Here in the north is the blue area. Take it back one time, please. Thank you very much.

And the blue area, where the Ukrainians now control the north, and then the Russians. Thank you. We’re going to get this right, Neil, I guarantee you, OK?


HEMMER: This is the border that Jeff Paul’s describing. And it runs 300 miles here to the east on Ukraine.

And a lot of the activity here, where the Ukrainians moved back into the area, the Russians left, this is Putin’s new strategy now. And this is where — this is where the war will be fought. Go ahead, advance it one time.

And I will show you specifically in this area. Izyum is a town that was just taken by the Russians just this week. Why is that important? Because they make these incremental moves, Neil. It’s slow. It’s a slog. The Ukrainians push back. The Russians stay in the fight.

This is a town of about 50,000. Why is that important? There is a highway that connects Izyum with Slovyansk. Slovyansk is a town that’s twice the size of Izyum. Eight years ago, when they had this battle, the Russians took Slovyansk, and the Ukrainians took it back from them.

During that war of 2014, the Ukrainians held that town. Putin wants it back. We’re about to see whether or not that’s possible. So the highway that connects these two — if the Russians are able to take both of these towns, you can see what they clearly have. They have got a route now to start this march on the Western edge of Southeastern Ukraine.

They could block that area off. Then they got three points where they could attack, from the north, from the south and from the east. So we will see whether or not they’re successful at this.

On my Kramatorsk on the map here, Neil, this is where that missile is went into that train station last week, killed 50 Ukrainians waiting to be evacuated. This is a town of 150,000 people. You see the strategy now that the Russians are trying to mount. To the southeast we go. Advance it one time.

And this is a battle that continues now in the town of Mariupol that we talked about for, what, what’s it been, a month-and-a-half right now, 55 days? Mariupol is still hanging tough on the behalf of the Ukrainians. But this is not a part of the country that looks favorable for Ukraine.

I will explain that in a moment here. If this is Putin’s strategy, he’s done a pretty good job so far of just occupying this area. There are bits where you see here the Ukrainians push back. It’s not entirely controlled by Putin’s army, but he’s got a pretty good bead on it now. Advance it one time and look at Mariupol.

What is happening inside this? There are holdouts still to this day. How many soldiers, we cannot say. But this is a steel plant, where they have taken refuge and they have continued the fight. At last check, there were 1,000 civilians at that steel plant. There are countless soldiers as well.

Just last hour, the Russians said, we will do a cease-fire tomorrow, allow you to evacuate. If you keep your word, then the steel plant falls and the Russians take, essentially, this part of the city, another part here where fighting is still under way.

But if you can go back one time here on the map, you can see now why Mariupol is so critical to Putin’s strategy. You take it, and this is the land bridge that we have been describing now with General Jack Keane and so many others for the past 55 days. They’re close to getting it. But as John Kirby said at the Pentagon just last hour, do not count the Ukrainians out.

At the moment, that’s where we are, Neil, on the map.

CAVUTO: Amazing. Just amazing. Bill, thank you very much.

Bill Hemmer following all those developments here.

Let’s go to Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis on this.

As Bill was kind of outlining there, Putin does have a head start on the eastern portion of the country, right, Colonel? I mean, he has locked down a majority of that eastern part. This is to lock down the rest of it, presumably. Do you think that this is his way of saying, if there are to be talks in the end and leaving the country, that he wants to leave with those lands captured or already taken as his prize?

LT. COL. DANNY DAVIS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Well, there’s no question that that’s a large portion of what he’s trying to do.

And he’s actually been pretty out front and outspoken on saying exactly those things. But I think the primary objective here is not so much the territory as it is he’s trying to slowly and partition off these different Ukrainian battle groups, and then potentially try to strangle them and destroy them piecemeal.

So I think that it’s the units of the Ukraine military, even more than the terrain. And I think that the biggest concern is not that Russia continues with this methodical frontal approach, which is what they have been doing so far and holding people in place, that they may try a large flanking maneuvers to try to get around behind them, and then cut them off.

And it’s a lot more difficult for Ukraine to continue to defend if they can’t get any resupplies in. And that’s the bigger danger, I think, to the Ukraine troops.

CAVUTO: You know, they have also been locking down a lot of these port cities we talk about and made it very, very difficult for aid to come in. Now a good deal of the military equipment, Colonel, that President Zelenskyy was looking for, he’s gotten, including many of these howitzers he’s been pushing for.

But is that enough?


And we need to understand, I think Bill just talked about, that this is a 300-mile front line here stretches across areas. There’s about 40,000 Ukrainians that are defending their.

These 18 U.S. howitzers, if they all get through, because it’s a challenge to get them across Ukraine in there, they have a range of about 24 kilometers, which is maybe 17 miles or so. So you’re talking — it’s a dot on the map. The best that all of these can do is just help a little bit here.

All the ammunition has to come from the U.S. So, once they expend that, they have to keep getting more and more and more only from the U.S., because their ammunition doesn’t work in that. So we have to understand this is actually a very limited capability, even if it gets there.

CAVUTO: You know, I’m curious, colonel, What about the — it looks like — and, again, it’s always a danger to say looks like — that Russian forces have given up on taking Kyiv for the time being.

But if they had success on the eastern side of the country, and lock it down, so to speak, would they revisit that, or then what? What happens next?

DAVIS: Right. That’s one of my concerns.

And what I’m watching for most out of this battle, if the Russians do what I fear they might, which is the encirclement and cutting off those troops, now then they have got — well, they have, according to the Pentagon, almost 80 battalion tactical groups right now.

If, without expending too many, they get that cut off, now then they can turn those, either back up into Kharkiv, where they still have an offensive going on, or maybe going even down into the south to take Odessa, which right now is way too far.

But if they get these things cut off, those come into play. And, of course, if you get either one of those, then Kyiv could again come into play. So this is far from over. And I don’t think that the Donbass is Putin’s only objective.

CAVUTO: Colonel Danny Davis, great seeing you again, Colonel and offering your perspective here.

Before we take a break here and get to sort of what’s coming up in our next segment here, I do want to draw your attention to the corner of Wall and Broad. The Dow was sprinting up today, having very little to do with this war escalating. But it did this even in the face of much higher interest rates. For example, a 10-year note is closing in on 3 percent.

What that means for you is, we have mortgage rates that are now going to close in at 5.5 percent, some say a matter of time before they hit 6 percent. Nevertheless, markets continue to advance because companies throughout all of this are reporting some boffo numbers, generally much better than expected.

We’re still very early in earnings season. I want to stress that. But most of them are saying that they can see some light at the end of the tunnel. And they do not envision, for example, Ukraine war dragging on for years. They think stability will return. We hope so.

In the meantime, taking a look at our own border and some big numbers that have just been reached, and they’re old numbers, at that, long before the Title 42 issue.

Bill Melugin is there — Bill.

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

Yet another small child has been found abandoned at the border. No parents, no guardians whatsoever. And coming up after the break, you’re going to find out how many of these unaccompanied children were found here at the border last month alone. And the numbers are absolutely staggering.

That’s coming up.


CAVUTO: Well, if you have heard this once, you have heard it 1,000 times.

Once Title 42 goes away, expect an explosion of migrants at the border. What you probably have not heard about going into today is that we already have one, and much bigger than we ever thought.

Bill Melugin with more from the border — Bill.

MELUGIN: Neil, good evening to you.

Even with Title 42 in place, there was still a massive amount of activity here in Del Rio Sector over the holiday weekend, more than 2,300 illegal crossings here and 57 unaccompanied minors encountered here in this sector.

In the meantime, the illegal crossings continue day in and day out here. And take a look at this video we shot right here in Eagle Pass earlier this morning. What we were looking at is, we saw several groups of migrants actually running up to the Mexican side of the river, jogging up, appearing to want to get down there fast to avoid any Mexican authorities in case they tried to stop them.

Within moments, those migrants would then get into the water, family unit, single adults, some bringing their young children, and they would start crossing illegally into Texas. And Del Rio Sector has seen this every day. It is incredibly busy. They have had more than 220,000 encounters just since October. And their numbers are up 170 percent over the same time last year.

And because of that, this is happening. Take a look at this video right here also shot in Eagle Pass yesterday. What you’re looking at is yet another mass release of more than 500 migrants from federal custody at an NGO here in Eagle Pass, most of these being single adults. As we mentioned, the numbers are exploding and Border Patrol facilities are losing capacity.

So these mass releases have been under way for weeks, sometimes months now. And this NGO then puts many of them in vans and they take them elsewhere, sometimes to San Antonio Airport, to go all across the country.

Now, take a look at this photo here from Border Patrol’s El Paso sector. What you’re looking at is a 3-year-old little girl who was completely abandoned by smugglers. This was in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. That little girl had no parents, no guardians with her. And, thankfully, those agents were there to save her and keep her safe.

And the V.P. of the Border Patrol union says that that issue, those abandoned — those abandoned kids, is becoming a major, major problem. Take a listen.


ART DEL CUETO, VICE PRESIDENT, BORDER PATROL UNION: It’s continuing to happen because, again, there is no consequences for individuals coming across our borders.

In America, where you can’t even leave a dog inside a car with the windows rolled up, yet individuals are allowed to turn over their children to drug smugglers, human smugglers, sex traffickers, and, at the end, are facing zero consequences for it.


MELUGIN: And, Neil, that photo you just saw there with that little girl, that is certainly not an isolated incident.

CBP reports that, last month, in March alone, they found more than 14,000 of these unaccompanied children at the border. That is an 18 percent increase over the month of February.

We will send it back to you.

CAVUTO: And, as you have reported, likely more to come.

Bill Melugin, thank you very much.

To McAllen, Texas, Mayor Javier Villalobos.

Mayor, I mean, you’re seeing this and getting the numbers and you’re following it because you see them firsthand. This is going to get even worse, isn’t it?

JAVIER VILLALOBOS, MAYOR OF MCALLEN, TEXAS: Especially with the advanced notice of pretty much a month-and-a-half, we know what’s going on over there. And we know what’s going to happen.

The last time Hidalgo County here in McAllen was, we were pretty much at the center of it. And we know what we’re expecting. Of course, that’s why I wrote a letter to the president asking them, look, we need the funding, we need help. It’s not our responsibility, but we will do what we need to do.

And so we’re ready to do what we can, even though it’s not our responsibility.

CAVUTO: Obviously, this is creating some angst on both sides of the political aisle, more and more Democrats — we’re going to pursue that in the next segment mayor — who are concerned that this is a bad policy to just junk Title 42 right now.

Do you envision that being enough to maybe change the administration’s plans?

VILLALOBOS: Well, we hope so.

And that was precisely one of the reasons — you have issues, first of all, with immigration. And then that’s even setting aside the COVID issues, having COVID increase in different states. So, there’s a lot of issues. And we keep on telling them, look, it’s a — do what you got to do. And we don’t place blame or want to on either side of the aisle.

But what we need them to do is start working, start thinking about the American people, and not about partisan politics. It’s affecting us. We shouldn’t be spending a single cent here in the city of McAllen for a federal issue. We keep on asking them. We’re asking them, work for the American people.

CAVUTO: Mayor, much has been said as well about so many of these who are caught, rather than being processed, for example, in Texas, they’re going to Washington, D.C. Others have advocated spreading the wealth around and sending them to other cities in the country.

How do you feel about that?

VILLALOBOS: You know what?

I think when Governor Abbott mentioned what he was going to do last week, it was initially, well, how’s he going to do it? It was a voluntary deal. The faster we move them, the better it is for our community here in the Rio Grande Valley and McAllen.

Logistically, it’s going to be a nightmare. If we have people that are willing to go elsewhere immediately, like the governor, Governor Abbott, planned, we’re all for it. We are all for moving people, because we don’t take a position whether they’re entitled to asylum or not.

What we want is to move them out as soon as possible, because we shouldn’t be even playing a part of this.

CAVUTO: How are they keeping track of them? Do you know, Mayor?

VILLALOBOS: I don’t think they are.

CAVUTO: Right.

VILLALOBOS: As a matter of fact, we — remember, we cannot hold them, We can’t detain them. They’re free to go and do as they please.

Fortunately, a lot of the times, they stick around, whether it’s in Catholic Charities or different shelters we have been able to set up. And we can semi get an idea of who’s who and what’s — and where they’re going. But we have no right to detain them. They can do whatever they want to do. And that’s one of the biggest concerns we have.

CAVUTO: All right, Mayor, I want to thank you very, very much.

Mayor Javier Villalobos, who is trying to deal with this himself in McAllen, Texas. It is a Herculean task, and to hear everyone tell it, it’s going to get a lot worse, which could explain why more and more Democrats now are saying it’s time for President Biden to reverse course here and junk the idea of junking Title 42, among them, Maggie Hassan, the Democratic senator from New Hampshire, who was with the president today.

Don’t know if she brought up that subject with him, but at least 17 other Democratic senators had — after this.


CAVUTO: Netflix shares are tumbling more than 20 percent right now in after-hours trading, because, for the first time in a decade, it’s losing customers. Never seen that.

And a former dog of the Dow, IBM, its revenues beating. It’s on fire — after this.


CAVUTO: Well, it started with a trickle, then turned into a tsunami, Democrat Mark Warner among the first to question the president’s plan to junk Title 42.

And then it moved on to get Congressman Gonzalez, Democrat of Texas. Then it extended to on and on to see the Congressman — or Senator Masto of New York. Then we started to see more and more players, more and more Democrats starting to worry about it. We went from one to three to six to 12 to 18 by last count, Democratic representatives all, who were saying this move in an election year, a midterm election year, where everything is on the line for Democrats, to scrap Title 42 in May would be lethal for the party come November.

Let’s get the read on all of this and the significance of all of this with Mercedes — or Sarah Westwood, I should say, of The Washington Examiner.

Sarah, I apologize for that.

Obviously, they’re feeling the political heat, that this is a big issue, and far from just border states, all the way far north as Montana right now, last time I checked closer to Canada than it is to Mexico. What do you make of this?

SARAH WESTWOOD, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Yes, Neil, you’re seeing some of the usual suspects, Joe Manchin, for example, in there criticizing President Biden.

But, on this, you’re also seeing Democrats who very rarely break with Biden coming out and criticizing his decision to end Title 42, because, as his approval ratings are falling so precipitously, there’s just very little upside and increasingly a larger downside for sticking with Biden in defending a decision that’s so unpopular, because, first of all, the Biden administration has mishandled this sort of from start to finish, especially when it comes to messaging.

At the same time they were announcing an end to Title 42, sort of declaring the COVID emergency over, enough to lift this public health order, they were reinstating the mask mandates on airplanes, sort of saying that the emergency is over enough to make this very unpopular immigration move, but it’s still urgent enough that you have to wear a mask when you get on Amtrak or on an airplane.

So, from that perspective, the messaging was completely bungled. And I think a lot of these Democrats see what’s coming down the pipe. They see, at least hear from experts that there’s going to be a massive surge in illegal immigration over the border when this policy ends, and they don’t want to have been on the record defending a decision that disastrous.

CAVUTO: I’m just wondering, though, if their protest is too little too late, or even a Maggie Hassan, who expresses support for the president pretty much at all other issues, but not this one — I think she even filmed a campaign ad at the wall. What do you make of that?

WESTWOOD: I think there’s just very little incentive to defend the Biden administration on this.

They anticipate the images of people streaming over the border, the detention centers that are overflowing, everything that’s likely coming in the weeks ahead, and they don’t want to have sound bites that their opponents can grab and run against them of having defended the president on this.

But it’s not just immigration. You’re also seeing Democrats emboldened to come out and depart from the Biden administration’s agenda on things from COVID mandates, to inflation, to the war in Ukraine. They’re less and less afraid of taking on the Biden White House. He doesn’t have a lot of political capital to spend on Capitol Hill.

And there’s very little to gain from standing by a president that unpopular, when the constituents you’re trying to persuade in November aren’t necessarily very liberal, aren’t very progressive, the way Biden has been leaning, and are going to be casting their ballots based on how they think Biden has performed.

It’s not that all of these voters are going into the ballot box and casting their votes based on immigration, but they are going to be weighing in on how Biden handled his office. And if he presides over an immigration debacle, that will feed this perception that he’s not fit to tackle the issues they do care about, like inflation and like crime.

CAVUTO: Well, it could also affect Democratic voter turnout, too. If they’re frustrated which way the country is going and they traditionally vote Democrat, but they opt not to go to the other side of the ledger yet, if they’re sitting at home, that will be just as tough for Democrats, wouldn’t it?

WESTWOOD: Absolutely.

I mean, a lot of these Democrats, especially in the House races, were put in office not necessarily by liberal Democrats, but by centrist voters who are maybe uncomfortable with Donald Trump, but who definitely aren’t progressive, and who will definitely respond to images of an immigration crisis, and who are worried about paying higher prices for gas and for groceries, and who are worried about their neighborhoods being safe.

They’re not going to be responsive to the progressive narrative on immigration. And those Democrats have to worry about keeping people who only recently pulled the lever for Democrats in their corner.

CAVUTO: Yes, bad timing, as they say.

Sarah Westwood, thank you, Sarah with The Washington Examiner.

Well, have any of you ever gone to Disney World? A good many have, obviously. Well, do you know it is so big and so important in Florida and has been for so many decades that it has its own zoning, its own police department, its own fire department, its own, well, quite literally, no pun intended, little kingdom?

That is, until today, with signs that Governor DeSantis wants to remove all of those privileges. And let’s just say Mickey could be in trouble — after this.



QUESTION: Will you visit Kyiv, Mr. President?


QUESTION: Is your administration going to appeal the mask mandate ruling?

BIDEN: I have not gotten any brief from my CDC. I don’t know.

QUESTION: When will you talk to CDC?

BIDEN: Follow the science.

QUESTION: Do you want to visit Ukraine?

BIDEN: Been to Ukraine many times. Haven’t been there recently. More than any other (OFF-MIKE). I’m the only one that has spoken with the Rada twice.


CAVUTO: All right, that’s almost impossible to hear. I apologize for that.

But the president responding in New Hampshire, visiting Portsmouth today. First, on visiting Ukraine, hasn’t really said anything as to whether he would or not, but on the mask thing and whether he would appeal a judge’s ruling in Florida to nix the whole thing, indicated that he’s still looking at that, I think something to the effect that the CDC, he wanted to talk to them about that, because that goes against what the CDC had recommended, to keep masks on for quite a bit longer. That stops now.

Grady Trimble at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where that’s more relief than anything else — Grady.

GRADY TRIMBLE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Relief, but this is all very confounding for travelers too, Neil, because none of the major airlines are making passengers keep their masks on while they’re on the plane.

But, technically, at some airports, you still do need to have a mask on. Here at O’Hare and Midway in Chicago and JFK and La Guardia in New York, you have got to follow their mask mandates that are put in place by local and state entities.

But I will say here at O’Hare, at least, I haven’t seen that being enforced.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, definitely confusing, inconsistent, frustrating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life is a confusion, right?

TRIMBLE: And this is no exception?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is absolutely no exception.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there needs to be some sort of definite decision to eliminate that confusion.


TRIMBLE: President Biden didn’t help clear up the confusion. He said it’s up to travelers whether they should keep wearing masks while flying. And a lot of the people we have seen at the airport today have opted to keep their masks on.

When asked if his administration is going to appeal the judge’s decision to strike down the mask mandate, you might have been able to hear it in that clip just a moment ago. President Biden said he hasn’t spoken to the CDC about it yet. Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn’t rule it out.

For all of the confusion that has ensued over the last 24 hours, though, it seems the initial reaction, at least from people who were on board flights when they got news that they didn’t have to wear their masks anymore, their response was celebratory.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s over immediately. Congratulations.



TRIMBLE: Uber and Lyft followed suit as well today, dropping mask requirements for both drivers and passengers.

They, of course, are not under the purview of that CDC mask mandate. So, even if the White House does appeal, they can make their own decision as to whether they want to bring it back or not — Neil.

CAVUTO: Grady, thank you very much for that.

Grady Trimble in Chicago.

Meanwhile, focusing on Florida for a second, do any of you remember that parental rights and education bill, the so-called don’t say gay law, which does not allow gender identity or sexual orientation teachings to be provided to kids as young as kindergarten up to the third grade?

And, again, the governor, by enforcing this, said that it was a way to sort of get this to be age-appropriate in successive grades. Well, Disney World and the parent company, Disney, took a look at that and said that they were going to study that, because they thought it was unfair.

And that was enough to get Governor DeSantis to say that maybe what will be unfair is the special status that you enjoy as a sort of stand-alone entity, with its own fire department, own police department. It literally is its own world.

And that was an issue I raised with the lieutenant governor, because her boss is saying that we will have to end. Take a look.


LT. GOV. JEANETTE NUNEZ (R-FL): It ultimately has to come down to what’s in the best interests of Floridians, not necessarily what’s in the best interests of corporations. The two are not mutually exclusive.

And we want to make sure that we’re always putting Floridians first. So this will clearly have its day. It will be debated. It will be discussed.

CAVUTO: Right.

NUNEZ: There will be get all kinds of back and forth, but I think that, ultimately, what the legislature will do, I believe that they will rescind it. And we will see where it goes from there.

CAVUTO: So if they — Disney World were — Disney, to — the parent company, were to say, all right, we won’t be fighting this, we’re not keen on this new law, but we won’t be fighting it, would that be enough to protect the special status?

NUNEZ: I don’t want to put the two issues head to head, because I think that there is something to be discussed. Why should a corporation have special privileges that no other corporation has in this day?


CAVUTO: All right, illegally, can those special privileges be taken away and can the impetus for that the company’s opposition to this latest piece of legislation that has gotten the land of the mouse ears in a great deal of hot water?

Mercedes Colwin FOX News analyst, what she makes of this.

Mercedes, can the state strip away that privilege right now we have two decades, over Disney’s opposition?

MERCEDES COLWIN, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: They can because it is a law that can be repealed through the legislature, but it goes to exactly what you said, Neil. What was the impetus behind it?

Frankly, this is the opposition. We live in a free country. We live in a country that we can express our opinions and ideas. And Disney was — it had a Hobson’s choice. They have — Disney World has 32,000 employees. There was a sensitivity to that particular law. They raised their objections.

It’s not that they’re going to have such undue influence over the legislature to actually make an impact as to whether or not that law will continue in effect. And — but with respect to repealing the law, it would be disastrous.

What if the Disney Corporation decided, fine, you want to repeal it, then we’re not going to expand. And if you’re not going to expand Disney World, that’s the whole impetus behind the law to begin with back in 1967, allow them to self-govern, so they don’t have the zoning laws to deal with. Could they — could conceivably built that castle, dealing with all the variances and the zoning laws and everything else that goes into play?

It ultimately will create an impact, a financial impact to Florida. So I think both sides just have to have a cooling-off period. Let’s sit back, let’s really think about what’s being asked. Don’t take such a punitive measure against Disney World. Let’s — obviously, the governor is entitled to his opinion. He can certainly express it.

But Disney World also has — is entitled to their opinion, especially when they have so many employees that felt a certain way and felt that their voices needed to be heard.

CAVUTO: Well, apparently, there are a good many employees as well who don’t fall that certain way and who were opposed to Disney taking this kowtowing to one sector of the population.

Now, and the battle goes on. I’m just wondering whether the governor, though, holds the cards here, because it’s not as if Disney can up and get out of the state, helpful though it is to the state as its largest employer, of course, a magnet for revenue that comes in hand over fist.

COLWIN: Right. Sure.

CAVUTO: I’m just wondering how you think it all sorts out.

COLWIN: Frankly, I think Disney will continue to express their opinions. They obviously have a very large group of employees that felt very sensitive about the laws. It actually resonated around the country, as you know.

So they’re going to be able to have to balance the needs of their employees and the fact that they need to be sensitive. There are all these anti- discrimination laws that exist around the country. They need to be sensitive to those individuals that fall under those protected categories who have raised concerns.

CAVUTO: But how — I guess what I’m wondering, Mercedes, how are those — is that population hurt by something that restricts these teachings to those between kindergarten and third grade, doesn’t remove them for those older than that, but for that young, impressionable group?

You can go back and forth on this.


CAVUTO: But it’s not quite that black and white, right?

COLWIN: No, you’re right.

But — Neil, but let’s just shift to what’s at the core. It’s a sensitivity to LGBTQ+ youth. And that’s where — that’s where the rub comes in. That’s where there’s this issue for Disney, who have — obviously have employees that fall in that category. And if Disney doesn’t take a proactive approach with respect to the opinions of those individuals, maybe there will be employment decisions, suddenly that those individuals that fit in that category, of LGBTQ+ category, they said, well, I didn’t get that promotion because of that — my orientation.

CAVUTO: I see.

COLWIN: That’s where it starts to sort of blend. So that’s probably why Disney decided it had to do what it needed to do and expressed their opinion.


CAVUTO: Yes, because, if you get away from all the heat and rhetoric, it’s that kindergarten to third grade route.

COLWIN: Exactly.

CAVUTO: It’s not an anti-gay measure, per se. But we will watch it very, very closely.

Mercedes Colwin, thank you very, very much.

In the meantime, focusing on Elon Musk and what he’s up to now, it looks like he’s got that plan B. And it looks like we got more details aren’t exactly what that plan B involves. I will give you a hint, more money.


CAVUTO: It’s pretty clear right now Elon Musk’s strategy to take the social media giant Twitter, show that the board is useless and that very few members own any stock. In fact, they have no vested interest in, well, how the company does for shareholders.

So shareholders should want, well, whatever he’s offering. Then there’s the issue of just not paying those board members, period, that does the company really need to pay upwards of $300,000 per board member for something that is, in the eyes of Pat (sic) Dorsey, the founder, a dysfunctional board?

Let’s go to Jonathan Turley, the G.W. law professor, FOX News contributor.

It comes back to that, doesn’t it, Jonathan, the usefulness of a board that, at least according to Elon Musk, and maybe confirmed by Pat (sic) Dorsey, the founder, isn’t doing its job and is dysfunctional at best. What do you think of that legal strategy?

JONATHAN TURLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there is a disconnect between what the board has done for many years and the interests of the corporation itself.

This is a board that has made Twitter synonymous with censorship. And selling censorship is not a big-ticket item for most people. They don’t really — there’s not a lot of people who really want to find greater control over their own expression of viewpoints.

And so what Twitter’s board has done is basically right off half the population. They have been targeting conservatives. They have been targeting dissenting voices. And that has ended up suppressing the growth of the company. The company has not done as well as it could.

And so the question for shareholders is whether the board is essentially playing with their money, advancing their political agenda, but using their money to do so. There are laws that allow shareholders to sue when they feel that a board is no longer acting in their best interest, is violating their duty a fiduciary care.

Twitter’s board seems dangerously close to that line, if they haven’t already crossed it.

CAVUTO: The difference with Twitter and some of these other social media giants that might have similarly left-leaning boards is that their stocks are doing so much better.

If this stock didn’t stink as much as it did and does, would this — even coming to reality now?

TURLEY: Yes, I mean, this is a going to be a very interesting case, because there are shareholders who are expressing discontent with this board.

And this has been an issue, where corporations have adopted woke policies…

CAVUTO: Right.

TURLEY: … that are not necessarily good for the business as much as they advance, obviously, political, social justice issues.

And the question is how much shareholders can object to that and say that you’re really supposed to be trying to improve shareholder profits, and, instead, you’re putting these policies ahead of profits? That’s a difficult line for a court to try to draw.

But, with Twitter, it’s a much — as you have noted, it’s a much more stark contrast. I mean, they’re a communications country company against free speech. That’s like being an automobile company against cars.


TURLEY: People come to their company to express their viewpoint. And when they get there, Twitter says, we’re going to manage your viewpoint, and we’re going to censor people that we disagree with.

Well, that’s not exactly a good marketing strategy. And you can see that in their earnings. And you can see that and their numbers.

CAVUTO: Very, very good point.

I knew you were a great lawyer, Jonathan, but now you’re kind of crowding in on my space here by so beautifully explaining this whole process, and how the whole business thing works out.


CAVUTO: So I’m never having you on again.

Jonathan, seriously, very good job.


CAVUTO: I appreciate it.

TURLEY: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Jonathan Turley on all of that.

Meantime, taking a look at what’s going on in Ukraine, not the eastern offensive, which you have heard so much about, but how it’s falling out in areas not even near that — after this.


CAVUTO: You wonder what life is like in Ukraine after the Russians attack?

Trey Yingst found out for himself, as he repeatedly has through this horrific war. He joins us in Kyiv — Trey.

TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Neil, amid that renewed offensive in the eastern part of Ukraine, the aftermath of Russian atrocities near the capital coming to light.


YINGST (voice-over): Yuri Ostapchenko walks through a gate leading to his vegetable garden in the town of Borodyanka.

A few weeks ago, he buried his neighbor here after the man was shot dead by Russian troops. “We covered the grave with roofing panels because the dogs were digging it up,” he says, next to a pile of dirt topped with a wooden cross. Yuri explains, the Russians used machine guns to kill the man next door who was trying to fix a broken gas line on their street.

“I heard the burst of gunfire,” Yuri recalls. “He jumped into my backyard and just fell over dead.”

Most of Borodyanka is in ruins. The bodies of some residents still remain under piles of rubble, recovery efforts slowed as crews find unexploded shells amid the debris.

(on camera): Here in the town of Borodyanka, the destruction is widespread. Russian tanks and artillery units wiped off the map residential blocks where people were living at the time, simply trying to survive amid the Russian occupation outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

You can see here one apartment building that was completely destroyed.

(voice-over): Mykola Kutsikovich lived on the fourth floor of this complex for nearly 40 years. It’s where he raised his family. All that’s left of his home now are memories.

“We had a good life here. Our children were born in this apartment. Our grandchildren stayed here,” he says. “Now we don’t know how to go on and where to live.”

Borodyanka was last occupied by Nazi Germany in 1943; 79 years later, the Russians did the same, inflicting their own terror onto an innocent population. The collective trauma the Ukrainians are experiencing will stay with them long after this war ends. You see it in their eyes. You hear it in their voices.

Those like 67-year-old Lubov Betestenkyo have questions about how mankind could be so cruel.

“I want to speak to the mothers and sisters of Russian soldiers and to all the relatives of those criminals,” she exclaims. “Why did you do this to us? For what? Are you not even human beings?”


YINGST: Neil, the words of that woman in Borodyanka underscore what the Russians did to the Ukrainian people.

They took away their humanity, yet they remain resilient here, not only in the capital of Kyiv, but across this country — Neil.

CAVUTO: Trey, the horror that many who are fortunate enough to return to their homes discover is that the homes are gone.

What do they do? Where do they go?

YINGST: Many people don’t know.

And that is such a massive question on the minds of so many Ukrainians, Neil. And they ask us, are there resources out? Are there locations where we can go to? And you hear the church bells behind me. They are trying to live with some sense of normalcy here in the capital.

But yet these questions remain — Neil.

CAVUTO: Trey Yingst, be safe, my friend.

Trey in Kyiv Ukraine, in the outskirts that city that you have the understanding that the Russians have given up on. Maybe they haven’t, and maybe this is just their early calling card. We just don’t know. We know that a new war, a new land war in the east, is on, and it’s expected to be brutal.

Here’s “THE FIVE.”

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