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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Dominion Attorney: Fox Agreed To $787.5 Million Settlement; Attorney: Navalny Facing New Charges After Being Beaten In Cell; Oklahoma Governor Calls On Officials To Resign Over Recording Of Racist And Threatening Remarks; Dominion Lawyer Reacts After Settlement With Fox News for $787.5 Million; McCarthy Makes Plea For Republicans To Back Debt Ceiling Plan; Credit Suisse Limited Investigations Into Nazi-Linked Accounts, Senate Committee Alleges. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired April 18, 2023 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: But we still don't know all the full details.

DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's true, Jake. And I got to tell you, Dominion's, attorneys, they were all smiles as they left the courtroom and that press conference they played in the last hour. And they said to us, it's a good day for Dominion, this incredibly large settlement of $787 million is just less than half of the 1.6 billion that they were hoping for in damages, but again, still a sizable amount of money.

And I want to say, Jake, well, we still don't know all the details perhaps of the settlement, I want to paint a picture of the lead up to this moment. Remember, a jury had been sworn in, it was seated opening statements, we're ready to kick off at 1:30 but then there was that mysterious two and a half hour delay and then the judge finally came out and said the parties have resolved their issues. In fact, the judge said that had the jury not been sworn in the parties probably would not have resolved their issues. But that was a key factor.

I want you to take a listen to what one of the Dominion attorneys had to say to us just moments ago here at the courthouse.


JUSTIN NELSON, CO-LEAD COUNSEL, DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS: The truth matters, lies have consequences. Over two years ago, a torrent of lies swept Dominion and election officials across America into an alternative universe of conspiracy theories causing grievous harm to Dominion and the country. Today's settlement of $787,500,000 represents vindication and accountability. Lies have consequences.


FREEMAN: Now, Jake, the Dominion attorneys, they came to that podium right after court let out, but the Fox attorneys they went down the street did not take any questions in the press and they basically walked away from the cameras. But we did get a statement that will read to you from Fox in the past hour.

It says, "We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion voting systems. We acknowledged the court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects Fox's continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. And we are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial will allow the country to move forward from these issues."

Now, I got to say we -- that did not stop us just that statement alone from asking Dominion to your original question if there were other conditions of the settlement, I and other members of the press corps, we asked, will Fox, will perhaps Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corporation, make an apology or make any sort of acknowledgement to Dominion beyond what that statement says, the Dominion attorneys did not give us any answers. So, there's still more probably that we will learn about the settlement in recent days. But again, as you said, in this point, Dominion attorneys very, very happy at this outcome. Jake.

TAPPER: Yes, and to state the obvious, continue -- you know, highest journalistic standards and $787,500,000 settlement to drop a defamation case, those do not belong in the same universe, those two phrases. Danny Freeman, outside the courthouse and Wilmington, Delaware, thanks so much.

Let's bring in CNN Senior Legal Analyst, Elie Honig, and CNN Anchor Alisyn Camerota, who used to work at Fox, we should note, so knows a little bit about the goings on at that place.

Elie, let's start with what we know about this deal, a massive payment from Fox and admission that it aired lies to its viewers. Are you surprised about the magnitude of this check that they have the right to Dominion?

ELIE HONIG, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: I am genuinely surprised at the size of this settlement, Jake, $787 million that they agreed to pay. And part of that is about the bottom line but it's also about more than the bottom line. Let's remember, Dominion is not a large company, 200 some employees, total value of the company is somewhere between 30 and $80 million. This is going to change their financial situation permanently and in a big way.

But it's also about accountability. There's an unmistakable message being sent here. Fox News has admitted in its statement now that as the judge found they lied, they lied to their viewers. That is an important admission that is vital and it goes a long way towards accountability.

TAPPER: Alisyn Camerota, let me ask you a question.

I also want to note that we have a CNN media analyst Sara Fisher with us.

There was an interesting tweet from Gretchen Carlson, yesterday, I think it was, hoping that the trial would go forward. And she noted because she had signed an NDA because she had that whole settlement because Roger Ailes had sexually harassed her, so she can't talk about her work at Fox, but she basically said she's not doing interviews about this case because she would be asked, did Fox ever asked you to say any, and in her word was crazy shit, lies on air? But you signed no such NDA. Were you surprised about what the Fox -- what Fox did?


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I haven't been surprised by any of this nor am I surprised by the settlement. I predicted there would be a settlement all along because Fox doesn't want to air its dirty laundry in a court case.

And forgive me, I don't share quite Elie's, I guess, being impressed at the outcome. This is half of what Dominion asked for, let's remember. And yes, obviously, it's a big windfall for Dominion, it's chump change for Fox, they make more than a billion dollars a year, their news division.

And so, this is -- I think this is a victory for Fox. They don't have to put their big stars on the stand. And they didn't even have to issue a public apology. When you guys say that they admitted that they lied, no, they didn't. They're saying that we acknowledge the court's findings that certain claims about Dominion appear -- about Dominion to be false.

That doesn't say we lied, that says they're false and they say certain claims they're not even saying they made those claims, they're not even saying which hosts of theirs made their claims. I think that this is the best outcome that Fox could ever have hoped for once they got themselves into this mess.

TAPPER: Well, we were translating from lawyer ease to English, but I take your point, Alisyn, that the --

CAMEROTA: I mean, they're not going to -- they're not going to have to say anything on the air.

TAPPER: Right.

CAMEROTA: They're not going to have to say on the air, we fudge the truth, we lied, we disseminated disinformation, they're not going to have --

TAPPER: Right.

CAMEROTA: -- I mean, at least with Gretchen's settlement, Gretchen had a public statement that said something defective, we acknowledge -- we apologize and regret the fact that Gretchen was not treated with respect and dignity. I mean, she got that in her settlement and Dominion didn't get that.

TAPPER: Right. Well, I mean, they didn't apologize publicly for whatever they paid to the family of poor, Seth Rich, he was murdered and Fox put out a whole bunch of insane conspiracy theories about that. Sara, do you agree with Alisyn here that this is the best possible outcome Fox could have gotten even though it is this astoundingly huge check, embarrassing truly, to any organization that considers itself journalistic or pretends to be journalistic to have to pay $787,500,000 to avoid a defamation lawsuit? But do you agree? I saw Colby Hall from media -- I wrote something about like, look, at the end of the day Fox avoided six weeks of hideous coverage.

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, I do agree that reputationaly this is good, Jake, but legally, there are some problems, Fox faces a bunch of other defamation suits, most notably, a $2.7 billion defamation suit from Smartmatic. And so, when you can see even if it's just an illegal context and you're not apologizing that you did err, falsehoods that makes it a lot harder for you to litigate some of those future defamation cases. And there are a lot of them.

Now, talking about the financial damages, yes, 787 million is just, you know, less than half of what Dominion was expecting. But if you were to compound that amount with these other cases coming up, I mean, this is going to add up to be pretty significant for Fox.

Now, broadly speaking, I agree with Alisyn, this, you know, is a win in some senses, because Fox is not having to face its viewers, is not having to apologize. We were in a reporter scrum a few minutes ago with Dominion lawyers and we were asking them, are you going to demand retractions from Fox? They didn't say anything along those lines. And so, I think what Dominions strategy here was is, you know, we -- they definitely wanted to get Fox to acknowledged their wrongdoing, they wanted to embarrass Fox, but I think what they were able to do is get as much money as possible and concede on some of those things. I think that was what their strategy was here at the court today.

TAPPER: Yes, I mean, they said money is accountability. And Elie, as we discussed before, this is, you know, Dominion's owned by private equity firms. You know, with all due respect, they don't care about making Fox apologize. They don't care about making it clear to Fox's viewers that they cannot be relied upon as a source of information. They got a big check.

But how does this settlement do you think, Elie, affect the Smartmatic case, if at all?

HONIG: Oh, it's great news for Smartmatic, Jake, because first of all, the number is enormous. Second of all, Smartmatic gets to use all this evidence, all these texts that we've learned about from people behind the scenes, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Rupert Murdoch, those are all available to Smartmatic, they can use them to establish the same falsity.

Now, as to Alisyn's point, I completely agree with her that one of the huge motivations for Fox News here is to avoid the absolute journalistic and probably legal disaster that would have come with having to put Rupert Murdoch on the stand that was an important pretrial ruling that he did have to testify. The thing though, looking at this from Dominions point of view is you can't assume 100 percent a jury will come back in Dominion's favor. I think the evidence was very strongly in Dominion's favor, but juries are inherently unpredictable. There's 12 human beings. You get one person on that jury who sympathizes with Fox News, you're not going to get a verdict.

The other thing is, I do not think it is at all safe to assume that Dominion, if they had won a verdict would have been awarded $1.6 billion. Plaintiffs rarely get the amount they put in their complaints. Plaintiffs can put any amount they want in their complaints, and they rarely even get 50 percent of that from a jury.


And in this case, if you're Dominion, you have to convince a jury to pay up -- to give us damages for three, four or five, six times the value of the entire company. So I think what Dominion did here is they locked in a win, they locked in a payoff that was many, many times more than the value of the company and they exposed Fox through the motions, through the pretrial rulings, through the finding of the judge which Fox has now acknowledged that the reporting was false.

TAPPER: Elie Honig, Alisyn Camerota, Sara Fischer, thanks to all of you. Appreciate it.

More breaking news this hour, word of a parking garage collapse in lower Manhattan, people reportedly trapped inside. What we're learning about that one next.

Plus, Putin critic Alexei Navalny facing additional time being tacked on to his sentence after his lawyers say guards at the Russian prison colony attacked him. Stay with us.


TAPPER: Now we're back with breaking news. You're looking at live pictures out of New York City where multiple people are injured and there are concerns that others may be trapped after parking deck collapsed in lower Manhattan. CNN's Brynn Gingras is following this developing story for us.


Brynn, what are you hearing from the New York Fire Department?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, you can see the enormous response that's happening in lower Manhattan not far from city hall here in New York City. What we're learning from fire officials is that a parking garage has collapsed and the structural stability of what's left is so compromised that the FDNY has actually had to pull back and is using drones and robotic dogs and other devices to search that area for any other people who still might be under that wreckage or that rubble.

According to John Miller, a source telling him that six people are injured, it's not clear any further -- furthermore, if there are people that are injured or any fatalities at this point that's still being assessed. My understanding is that the mayor, Eric Adams, he is there on the scene trying to get an update on what is happening there. But you can see again, this huge response for this collapse happening just about an hour ago. Again, six people injured and we'll continue to get more information update you as this recovery effort -- or research effort rather continues.

TAPPER: All right. Brynn Gingras, thanks so much.

For a second day, major charges from the U.S. Department of Justice against U.S. citizens allegedly working as illegal foreign agents. We all have new details on that next.



TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you. We have an update on the parking garage collapse in lower Manhattan in New York City. City officials say tragically one person has died. One person has died. That was one of the six people reported injured. When we get more information, we will bring that to you.

Until then, in our world lead, yesterday, you might recall we brought you news of alleged Chinese spies operating in the U.S. today. American citizens working on behalf of the Chinese government. Today it's Russians. A grand jury in Tampa, Florida has indicted for U.S. citizens and three Russian nationals charging them with working on behalf of the Russian Government to sow discord in the United States election. CNN's Evan Perez joins us now.

Evan, this indictment shows the lengths that Russia will go to, Putin will go to in attempts to interfere with our freedom and democracy.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. In this case, according to the prosecutors, what the Russians were doing was working with a couple of small separatist movements down in Florida, political movements down in Florida. Their first goal was to try to interfere in a local election down there. But their goal, eventually, was to try to use the same platform to try to interfere in the 2020 election. We don't know what they actually ended up doing.

But here's what the prosecutors outline in these charges against four members. These are leaders of a group called the African People's Socialist Party and other one called the Uhuru Movement, both of them in St. Petersburg, Florida, they're being charged with essentially helping these Russians who were trying to sow discord. They were one -- on one hand, they were trying to make sure that Russian propaganda about the takeover of Ukrainian territory appeared to have popular support in the United States. And then secondly, they were trying to sow discord among African Americans, again, over things like the George Floyd protests. These are -- this is part of the goal that the Russians had.

We reached out to the main Russian who is charged here, his name is Alexander Yonath (ph), and he responded saying there is no democracy in the United States anymore, it is time to take to the streets and expel the authorities from the White House, part of the message that the Russians have been trying to sow for a number of years, Jake. TAPPER: And also there is a separate case unsealed today charging Russian national Natalia Burlinova with conspiring with a Russian FSB officer to act as an illegal agent of Russia. Is this a significant case?

PEREZ: It is a significant case because it shows you, you know, the multipronged efforts that the Russians have been making to try to make inroads to American society. In this case, according to prosecutors, here in Washington, what they were trying to do was essentially get people from universities, from nonprofit organizations to come to Russia, again, the idea being to buy into the Russian propaganda and to come back to the United States and spread that in U.S. society, again, part of the effort that the Russians are doing to try to do influence here in the United States given the state of relations that we have with that country at this point.

TAPPER: All right, Evan Perez, thanks so much.

In Russia, Putin critic and opposition figure Alexei Navalny is facing new charges after having been beaten in his cell by prison guards, according to his lawyer, who says Navalny now faces an additional five years on his sentence. Navalny is currently serving a nine-year term in the Russian penal colony on charges that the U.S. State Department calls unjust and politically motivated.

Joining us now, Anna Veduta. She's the vice president of the Anti- Corruption Foundation which Navalny founded.

Thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it. I know you're in contact with Navalny's attorneys. How is he doing right now?

ANNA VEDUTA, VICE PRESIDENT, ANTI-CORRUPTION FOUNDATION: Well, not that good, actually. The situation is critical. His life is in grave danger at this point. Just the other week his lawyers told us that he's lost 18 pounds in two weeks, and then that they were thinking that he might be administered small doses of poison, so, to kill him steadily.

Today, we learned that he was actually -- the actual line of the physical violence has been crossed with him. So they grabbed him, they kicked him, they beaten him and then accused him of, you know, doing pretty much the same to the other cellmate, which he never did, of course, because he refused to succumb to this barbaric rules and to beat another person. But this is where we are right now.


So we're at the point where they use physical violence against him. And once this Pandora's box is open, we cannot rule out that they might smother him or caught him or beat him further and just kill him.

TAPPER: I mean, losing 18 pounds, being poisoned, allegedly, being beaten, these are all horrific, horrific accusations. I don't doubt them for one second. Have Russian prison authorities responded at all to any of these allegations? VEDUTA: Well, they neglect those. For example, Navalny was warned by one of the people in prison that there is this provocation cooking up against him. And his lawyers actually notified the Human Rights Commission on the Russian's human right commissioner in writing that they have this information and they did nothing to prevent it. And so does the prison administration, they just ignore any appeals, anything that's, you know, that is aimed to make Navalny's at least bearable.

TAPPER: And obviously, the reason that Putin is doing this is because Navalny is a charismatic figure, and ultimately, you know, would have and does enjoy popular support in Russia. He has been repeatedly placed in solitary confinement. Are his attorneys even able to meet with him?

VEDUTA: Yes, that's her Nisar (ph) able to make with him. But it doesn't help his case, because most of his time he spends in this, you know, very small concrete cage. It's an airless cage. And just this provocation, the grounds on this provocation were that he wasn't able even to enter it because of the smell because his cellmate who was placed there is a person who likes hygiene, excuse my language, hobo (ph), who was prohibited from using toilet paper. So you can only imagine the smell in this cell.

So, everything which is done against Alexei is to make his life unbearable and to make him suffer and regret that he came back, and to silence him, of course.


VEDUTA: Because he's still able, every time he sees his penal colony and he has this hearings, he uses every opportunity to oppose the war and to call Russians to protest against the war, to fight against the war in Ukraine. So and -- that's why his situation exacerbates day by day.

TAPPER: What about his family? Do his wife or his parents have access to him?

VEDUTA: No. They can't call him. They can't visit him. They can't send parcels to him. The prison colony administration just refuses to take those parcels, although they do send it to him.

TAPPER: And Anna Veduta, thank you so much for being here. Keep us posted. Continue to come back and tell us the story of this brave man, so unfairly and unjustly imprisoned by Putin.

VEDUTA: Thank you so much.

TAPPER: Still ahead, the governor of Oklahoma is calling for four county officials to resign after they were allegedly recorded threatening to kill journalists and finally reminiscing about the days of lynchings. Stay with us.


[17:32:21] TAPPER: And we're back with our national lead. In Oklahoma, Republican governor Kevin Stitt is calling for the resignation of four officials from McCurtain County, officials who allegedly made disturbing comments about lynching black people and killing journalists to secret audio recording capture the remarks and was published by a local newspaper over the weekend. CNN's Ed Lavandera takes a closer look now into what was said and why the sheriff's office claims, claims the recording was altered.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The Weekend Edition of the McCurtain Gazette-News dropped an epic bombshell on its readers in southeast Oklahoma. The headline was understated yet chilling. County officials discuss killing burying Gazette reporters and Bruce and Chris Willingham the father and son reporting team at the heart of this story published the recordings that they say involve five McCurtain County officials to back up their story.

BRUCE WILLINGHAM, PUBLISHER, MCCURTAIN GAZETTE-NEWS: I was expecting it you know chitter chatter stuff about county business and stuff and that's how it started. And then it got down to the extremely serious stuff.

LAVANDERA: That paper reported Sheriff Kevin Clardy was joined in a march 6 meeting by two other Sheriff's Department officials as well as to county commissioners.

WILLINGHAM: They were talking about killing me and my son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've known two or three hit men, that were very quiet guys.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And would cut of fucking mercy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Louisiana, because this is all mafia around here.



LAVANDERA: The recordings captured the group talking about hiring hit men to kill the reporters and where the bodies could be hidden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The old saying is --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What comes around goes around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will -- I told you it will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know where two big deep holes are, if you ever need them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got an excavator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well these are already pre-dug.

LAVANDERA: Bruce Willingham says he illegally recorded the conversation because he was looking to prove that county officials were violating open public meeting laws, but was stunned at what he actually captured.

WILLINGHAM: It was appalling. I mean, you cannot imagine my reaction when I heard it.

LAVANDERA: The recording has also included racist talk of lynching black people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we was back in the days, when that -- when -- would take a damn black guy and whoop their ass and throw him in the cell? I'd run for fucking sheriff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Well, it's not like that no more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. Take them down to mud creek and hang them up with a damn rope. But you can't do that anymore. They got more rights than we got.

LAVANDERA: CNN has not been able to verify the authenticity of the recording or confirm who said what. CNN has reached out to the county officials for comment.


In a statement, the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office did not address any of the shocking statements, but instead claimed the recordings were altered and the conversations were recorded illegally. Oklahoma's Republican governor says he's appalled and disheartened by the county officials' comments and has called for the sheriff and three others to resign.

A group of protesters also showed up at a county commissioners meeting demanding the officials reportedly captured on the recording resign, and the mayor of Idabel where the newspaper is located, also wants them to resign.

MAYOR CRAIG YOUNG, IDABEL, OKLAHOMA: I hate to know that this is 2023. And we still have folks who want to live like the 1921 Al Capone lifestyle when you start talking about lynching, and killing folk, and act like human lives don't mean anything to you.


LAVANDERA: And, Jake, the Oklahoma Attorney General says state authorities are investigating these threats. The Oklahoma Sheriffs Association said today that it has suspended the membership of the sheriff and the two deputies involved in that conversation. And we've also been told today that the reporters Bruce and Chris Willingham were advised to leave town temporarily and that they have. Jake.

TAPPER: Ed Lavandera with a shocking story out of Oklahoma. Thank you so much. Coming up, disturbing details in a new report showing how the Taliban is targeting Afghan allies that the U.S. left behind after the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

This comes as a brand new action film showcases the importance of that bond between U.S. military service members and African interpreters. I'm going to talk to actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim about this issue and their film, next.



TAPPER: In our world lead, a dire situation for Afghan citizens who supported the United States 20-year mission in Afghanistan, it takes an average of two and three quarters years to get these individuals to the U.S. on a Special Immigrant Visa and all the while the Taliban is engaging in a systematic efforts to hunt down and murder them. That is according to a new report from the Association of Wartime Allies, which keeps track of the status of Special Immigrant Visa eligible individuals left behind after the U.S. is ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

Now a U.S. State Department report from October 2022, shows more than 131,000 applicants are in the pipeline. But this associated -- association of wartime allies report just out this week says at the current rate, it's going to take more than 31 years to process the backlog. That's not red tape. That's a red brick wall.

And on the other side of that wall is desperation. The desperation of people who risked their lives to help American servicemembers do their job. The report survey of Afghan shows that 76 percent personally have witnessed violence towards people who supported the U.S. mission. And only 39 percent of survey respondents knew of someone who was the victim of torture or targeted killing by the Taliban. That's still a lot though.

Many others have been detained, imprisoned, lost a job faced economic hardships skipped meals, because of their service to the United States. And the desperate plight of our Afghan allies has caught the attention of Hollywood. In the new movie from Guy Ritchie, The Covenant, which opens this Friday, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a U.S. Army sergeant, and Dar Salim is an Afghan translator, it is depicted this moral issue.

The two men served together in Afghanistan several years before the U.S. withdrawal. And what follows it when you see the film is an action film with a moral message.

And joining me now actor is Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim, co-stars of The Covenant. Gentlemen, the film is fantastic. Congratulations. Jake, let me start with you. Your character essentially says screw the -- screw the red tape, I'm going back into Afghanistan to save the man who saved me and you and I have talked about this. This is an action film parable at its heart it is a lesson of morality and obligation. What do you want audiences to take away from this?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL, AMERICAN ACTOR: I mean, first and foremost, I want them to be entertained. You know, I mean, I think we go to the movies for that. It's full of action, and it's full of tension. And to me, that's one of the, you know, most important parts of making movies.

But I think the other part of it for me, is this this sort of ethos of, you know, nobody left behind. You know, we have that. And as Americans, I think that's, that's the essence of who we are.

TAPPER: And Dar, you were born in Iraq, you grew up mostly in Denmark, where you spent time in mandatory military service. Did that background inform your preparation for this role? And how did you research what it means to be an interpreter under circumstances like these life and death?

DAR SALIM, DANISH ACTOR: All life experience goes into all the roles that we play in. Obviously, some things are like one to one being in a military service or being coming from a refugee family, having lived the life in, in many different countries and coming from different backgrounds that obviously informed.

I have a lot of friends from Denmark, who are veterans as well, we were involved in both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well, alongside with the U.S. soldiers. I spoke a lot to them. And Jake points out points out, I think the beauty of the film is that you have this meeting between two very different people who are from different cultures and who don't necessarily trust each other at the beginning.

And that is kind of a metaphor for, you know, the world we live in today where we are told about all the things that divide us all the time, but at the end of the day, you find these two men who both choose to do the right thing, despite of the hardness and the hardship that they will face by doing so.


And it shows that at the end of the day, they just want to have a situation where they can take care of their families, and be safe. And that's what unite us more than all the things that divide us. And that's the -- I think that's the beauty of this relationship that evolves during the film.

TAPPER: You know, one of the great things about it is that the characters don't necessarily even like each other. It's not about affection. And, Jake, this is not your first war movie, obviously, almost 20 years ago, you starred in Jarhead, playing a Marine in the Iraq War.

But as you know, in a way that this film is, it was very different. Those two -- these two films couldn't be more different in a way. And this film, Sergeant John Kinley, whom you play, he really represents the best of America or what we should at least aspire to be.

GYLLENHAAL: Yes, I mean, I think there is an evolution and in a film like Jarhead, it's an action movie, and it's about a thing where two people actually do something for each other, you know, and not as much as said, as done. And I think that is what makes the movie so interesting.

And I think actually with experience, that's what you start to realize it's what you do, you know, and so that's why I love the character, and it is definitely evolution from the young recruit to, you know, the now older and hopefully wiser and special operator.

TAPPER: And Dar, as we've talked about that at the heart of their -- the film is this relationship between these guys and their obligation to one another. And there's this very moving moment when your character Ahmed builds a contraption to help carry grievously wounded Sergeant Kinley across the mountains, it could be seen in a way as a representation of the bond that was formed between so many translators and American Americans soldiers service members.

Did you take anything away personally, from the experience, given the fact that this is a current debate in the United States about trying to save people in Afghanistan who are still there, who risked so much to help American servicemembers?

SALIM: Absolutely, I mean, in the heart of it, first of all, it has to be a very good story. And it has to be told in a way which only Guy Ritchie can tell it, it's very big, it's very cinematic, it's very entertaining. You kind of can't take your eyes off of these guys from the beginning to the end. But the matter of fact is the truth is that all U.S. soldiers did put their lives on stake every day, and all interpreters did put their lives on stake everyday alongside the U.S. soldiers, that's the truth of it.

And that truth kind of just goes through the whole movie. And as far as I know, more than 300 interpreters have lost their lives in service with the American soldiers, and alongside with the Danish soldiers, as well. And I feel definitely that there is an obligation to fulfill those promises.

TAPPER: And Jake, in addition to people watching the film and enjoying the film, because it really is just a, an amazing action film and beautifully shot in Spain, substituting for Afghanistan there. A lot of policymakers watch THE LEAD. What do you want them to understand about this film and its message?

GYLLENHAAL: Having it not be partisan is a really important thing. And I think, you know, I think that it's a -- I think that it's a story about our obligation. And I think we're a country of heroes, you know, oftentimes reluctant ones, but heroes nonetheless. And I think that is sewn into our fabric. And I think oftentimes, we are our best as Americans when we ask ourselves, how do we do good for one another? And for those who've helped us.

TAPPER: Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim, thank you so much. Congratulations on the film Guy Ritchie's The Covenant. It's amazing and the message is powerful.

SALIM: Thank you, Jake, very much.

GYLLENHAAL: Thank you so much for having us. Thank you.

TAPPER: And just FYI, I thought this movie was so powerful. This movie that comes out on Friday, I told Jake that I would be willing to host a screening for lawmakers and policymakers here in D.C. and I'm doing that tonight the message of what the U.S. owes these Afghans, The Covenant is irrelevant. The movie comes out Friday.

The big news this evening Dominion reaching that massive settlement with Fox. Alex Marquardt in the Situation Room for one Mr. Wolf Blitzer, next. You're going to be getting new reaction to this mindblowingly huge check that Rupert Murdoch is going to have to write.



We will be digging into this major breaking news the settlement between Dominion voting systems and Fox News. We will be speaking with a lawyer for Dominion voting systems. Justin Nelson getting his reaction as well as the lawyer for the former Fox News producer, Abby Grossman. Lots to dig into with them.

There's also a lot of news on the national security front and we have a joint interview with the heads of the House Intelligence Committee, the Republican Chairman Mike Turner, as well as the ranking member Jim Himes. So, lots to get into with them. That's coming up in just a few moments right here in The Situation Room.

TAPPER: All right, Alex, we'll see you in just a few minutes in that room that you're in. I think it's called The Situation Room. Still ahead, a disturbing report coming out on Holocaust Remembrance Day bank accounts with ties to Nazis at Credit Suisse, one of the world's largest lenders, bank accounts never disclosed until now. Stay with us.


TAPPER: We're back with our politics lead. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is pleading with his fellow Republicans to support his plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling.


Much like during the run up to the chaotic speakers vote, McCarthy's allies are projecting confidence that he will have the needed 218 votes. But many Republicans tell CNN they are not yet on board. CNN's Manu Raju is live for us on Capitol Hill. Manu, what are you hearing from Republican lawmakers?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, I just spoke with the Speaker himself. Kevin McCarthy, you told me that yes, he does have the votes to pass this debt limit increase next week. That is the ambitious plan by the House Speaker in order to do that he needs to limit defections.

No more than four House Republicans can vote against this if more than four vote against it, then this measure will sink and there are already several who have raised concerns either they want to see the details. The details have not been released yet, or simply have philosophical disagreements about raising the debt limit at all. People who say that they will never vote to increase the debt limit.

McCarthy has to win them over as well was part of this plan. It would increase the debt limit for one year, just one year, kicking into the election year of 2024. But it would paired with spending cuts everything from capping domestic spending at 2022 levels. That means the significant cuts to domestic programs across the board except for defense programs, also have imposing new work requirements on Medicaid as well as rescinding money that was enacted as part of the COVID Relief law.

All part of an effort Republicans say to get about three to $4 trillion in budget savings over the next decade. But even if they are able to get this out of the House next week was an open question. The Senate Democrats say this is dead on arrival in their chamber. And the White House says that the House Republicans is simply pass a debt limit increase without any conditions in any cuts whatsoever.

So Jake, even if the Republicans succeed, they believe that will strengthen their negotiating position. But the White House is not budging from the position against any negotiations whatsoever, raising questions that the country could face its first ever default as soon as the summer.

TAPPER: All right, Manu Raju on Capitol Hill for us. Thanks so much. Turning to our money lead Credit Suisse, one of Switzerland's oldest banks, is accused of failing to disclose its relationships with high ranking Nazi officials.

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee released two reports today which detail how the Swiss bank maintained accounts for Nazis well beyond World War II. Some accounts, the study says, were open as recently as three years ago. All of this being disclosed on Holocaust Remembrance Day. CNN's Tom Foreman is here. Tom, tell us more of what these reports uncover?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what they uncover if you listen to what the ombudsman said, who was overseeing it, whose report on this was subpoenaed by the Senate, what it says is that they found out a lot of information about what was going on with accounts that were tied to Nazis, former Nazi sympathizer people with ties like that.

Among the things that they found, if you look at their findings from the letter from the Senate was that they had these bank accounts appear to have been maintained for at least 99 senior Nazi officials in Germany or members of Nazi affiliated groups in Argentina by Credit Suisse. 70 Argentine accounts opened after 1945, 14 stayed open into the 21st century, 21 accounts identified from a list of notorious high level Nazis.

Now, here's what complicates this matter. This report was subpoenaed, it came from this ombudsman who had been working with the investigative group for Credit Suisse, then they got rid of him. They pushed him out. And Congress said, well, we want to see your report anyway.

Credit Suisse is saying, Look, everyone does some good work here. But big misunderstanding. If you look at their statement, what they're saying about this information is that really, he didn't quite understand it, Credit Suisse decision to stop its review midstream, has left many questions unanswered, including questions about the thoroughness of its prior investigative efforts, the extent to which it served Nazi interest, and the bank's role in servicing Nazis fleeing justice after the war.

Basically are saying it's just not clear really what happened here. We can clear it all up. And they were shutting the investigation down until the Senate stepped in and said, This is not adequate. You need to do something more here. You can't simply say there's nothing to find here.

TAPPER: So the ombudsman for Credit Suisse, he was hired by Credit Suisse to look into this, right?

FOREMAN: Yes, that's correct.

TAPPER: Is it Neil Barofsky?


TAPPER: So he used to be the Inspector General for TARP.

FOREMAN: Yes, he's a guy who knows what he's doing.

TAPPER: He knows what he's doing. He has tremendous integrity, Neil Barofsky. So they're just saying he didn't know what he was talking about?

FOREMAN: Well, what they're saying is that he didn't really understand the full scope of everything. One of the complaints here was that they were limiting the scope. For example, when they found an account that had tied to Bolivia instead of Argentina, that was pushed aside. Well, that's not what we're investigating.

The question about things that came up after the war versus the immediate war time or immediate aftermath of the war, all that complicated things. Barofsky put out his own statement, which is really quite interesting to look at. He said that there really was whether this is not --

TAPPER: This is Credit Suisse statement.

FOREMAN: That's a Credit Suisse.

TAPPER: Yes. FOREMAN: Yes, but Barofsky statement basically what he said is look, by cutting this thing short you left way too many things unanswered here.


This is too important.