‘This Week’ Transcript 9-18-22: Mayor Eric Adams, Mayor Oscar Leeser and Amb. Oksana Markarova

A rush transcript of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” airing on Sunday, September 18, 2022 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the “This Week” transcript archive.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC “THIS WEEK” CO-ANCHOR: Mireya Villarreal, thank you.

We’re joined now by the mayor of El Paso, Oscar Leeser.

Mr. Mayor, thank you for joining us.

The numbers that we’re seeing, that you saw Mireya speaking about, 1,300 migrants a day coming to your city. Describe for us the challenge. Do you have the resources you need to deal with this?

MAYOR OSCAR LEESER, EL PASO, TEXAS: Well, the numbers are not 1,300. The numbers are – two days ago we had almost 2,000. We had a little bit over 1,900. Yesterday we had – or the day before yesterday we had a little bit over 1,500. So, the numbers have been continuing to increase.

And, you know, that – that’s continued, the rise. And that’s because a lot of the people in — probably about 80 percent of them are coming from Venezuela. And – and that – that’s where a big part of the – the – the migrant surge is coming from.

KARL: And – and – and you’ve seen the reports – and we’ve seen directly that border – border patrol dropping migrants off on – on – on the streets of – of El Paso. Do you have a sense that the Biden administration has a plan for how to address this?

LEESER: Well, and, you know, and that’s really something important. And I have a great, incredible working relationship with Chief Chavez (ph) from the border patrol. And our goal, and it will continue to be our goal, is never to drop anybody off in the streets of El Paso and – and make sure that no one’s homeless, no one’s hungry. So we have our NGOs, which is non-governmental organizations that really have opened up their doors and we’ve gotten hotels. And in the last few days we’ve not had any people released into the streets of El Paso and we continue to work that way.

So, you know, it’s been an incredible working relationship between El Paso, the city of El Paso, and also the – Chief Chavez and the Border Patrol. I spent about two, three hours yesterday driving to the border and talking to a lot of the migrants and talking to the border patrol agents that really are down here working today. And if you drive through the streets right now, there’s no one on the street today. And we’ll continue to make sure that we find them a home and continue to work with them. So.

KARL: We – we’ve seen Governor Abbott, you know, making a – a point of – of bussing migrants to the – to the vice president’s residence in Washington. But – but – and I know that you are also – the city is also arranging for transportation for the migrants to the north. Obviously, a — different than what’s happening with – with – with the governor of Texas. But explain to us what you are trying to do in terms of moving migrants out of El Paso.

LEESER: OK. And that’s a – that’s a great question because if you look at the – the – the people are not coming to El Paso. They’re coming to America. And that’s something that’s really important. And we look at them and we talk to them. We say, where do you want to go and what’s your destination? And then we will take them and help them get to their destination.

The big difference that’s happened today that – that really was not normally was that about 95 percent of everyone coming had a sponsor. A sponsor is someone where it’s a family member or a friend where they’ve arranged and they have transportation to go to their destination. As we see now from Venezuela, they don’t have sponsors. So we have about 50 percent of the people today that do not have a sponsor, they don’t have money. So, we’re helping them working to get them to where they want to go. So that’s been really important that we don’t send anyone where they don’t want to go. We make sure we help them. And we put human beings and, you know, and we put them on buses with food and make sure they get to their destination and make sure that we always continue to greet – treat people like human beings.

KARL: All right, mayor of El Paso Texas, Oscar Leeser, thank you for joining us on THIS WEEK.

LEESER: Thank you. Thank you.

KARL: OK.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC “THIS WEEK” CO-ANCHOR: Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova.

Madam Ambassador, thank you for being with us here this morning.

We – we – we just saw Tom’s report about – about what you have uncovered in Izium and no doubt there are more in the other areas that have now been liberated. Tell us, what are you seeing in terms of evidence of Russian war crimes?

OKSANA MARKAROVA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Thank you for having me, John, and thank you for being on the ground. It’s so important for everyone to see the true face of this aggression and terrorist attack Russia is waging. Unfortunately, what we see in Izium, what we saw in Bucha before, and we can only imagine the situation in Mariupol and other places, which are still under occupation. But it’s tortures, rapes, killings. War crimes of a massive proportions. That’s why we need to liberate the whole territory of Ukraine as soon as possible because clearly Russians are targeting all Ukrainians. Whole families. Children. So, there is no war logic in all of this. It’s simply terrorizing and committing genocide against Ukrainians.

KARL: Do you have a handle in terms of those mass graves of – of – of – of who the victims are? And – and is this including Russian troops that were killed as well? Do we know?

MARKAROVA: We already have teams of investigators there and we are getting a lot of support from the United States in this effort, preparing not only our national criminal cases against Russians, but also international courts and other country’s investigations. So, the work is done as we speak there. The majority of them, of course, Ukrainians. We did not see yet the Russian troops there in the – in – in the – in the – in the graves, but it’s – it’s horrifying. Some of them are families of like everyone in the family is killed for no reason. And the majority of them, as your report already said, was clear signs of torture and, you know.

KARL: One – one of the remarkable things about this counteroffensive, where you recaptured so much territory in the northeast, is – is you did it with a relatively small number of – of – of – of armed forces. Do you have the manpower to hold this territory and to continue to push the Russian’s back?

MARKAROVA: thank you. Well, in general, our force is much slower than Russian force. But the reason why they can’t hold the ground and we can retake it, and we will retake it, is because they are not only fighting with our brave president and our armed forces, they are fighting with all Ukrainians. So all 40 million of Ukrainians are fighting for our loved ones and homes. Therefore you saw how the people in Kharkiv (INAUDIBLE) will greeting our armed forces. All of them were waiting for – for liberation. All of them are now very busy in helping they’re – not only the investigators but the police and others to get back to normal as – as normal as it could be.

So, ,we don’t need to hold this ground. They are ours. These people are ours.

KARL: Right.

MARKAROVA: They craved for Ukraine to come back during this horrible six months of occupation.

KARL: You’ve seen what the Russians have said. Putin says they’re regrouping. That’s what’s going on. I mean, obviously, that wasn’t exactly what was going on. But – but do you fear what Putin will do now? I mean he’s been pushed back. We saw that very stern warning coming from President Biden against using chemical or nuclear weapons.

What – what do you worry that Russia will do in response?

MARKAROVA: For all years that Putin is in power, they tried to scare the world and they tried to get all of us thinking what he will do next. I think we should focus on what we together, as democratic worlds should do. And we should get – make this place, our planet, a safer place. It means Russia has to lost from what they’ve done to us. It means we have to win. So, we just have to continue on pushing, liberating Ukraine. We just have to clearly and all together say to Putin, and to all Russians who support this, that it’s not OK in the 21st century to attack a peaceful neighboring – neighboring country. So, let’s not worry about what Putin thinks he should do. Let’s all stay the course, provide more support to Ukraine, because it’s going to be much cheaper and better for the democratic world to win this war while it’s still in Ukraine.

KARL: All right, Madam Ambassador, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

MARKAROVA: Thank you very much.

KARL: Coming up, with the midterms just over 50 days away, the January 6th committee is preparing for its next public hearing. And Donald Trump is issuing a new threat about what will happen if he is indicted. The roundtable weighs in on all the week’s politics, next.

Source: ABC News

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