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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Dow Closes At Record High As Global Markets Rally; Trump Has 4 Days To Pay $464M Bond Before New York Moves To Seize Assets; House Expected To Pass $1.2T Spending Package Friday Morning; Johnson Says He'll Invite Netanyahu To Address Congress; CNN Rides Along With Haitian Police As Militias Battle Gangs; DOJ Sues Apple, Claims Tech Giant Has A Smartphone Monopoly In United States. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired March 21, 2024 - 16:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: New York has started the process of seizing Donald Trump's assets.

THE LEAD starts right now.

The court filings are going in, starting the process, in case Donald Trump cannot meet the Monday deadline and come up with a $464 million bond in that civil fraud case penalty.

Ahead, what Trump is saying in public while his campaign goes into panic mode behind the scenes.

Plus, outrage on Capitol Hill with Republicans furious over a last- minute release of a massive bill to fund the government through September.



SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): This is completely dysfunctional. This is what Washington is devolved into. It's disgusting.


TAPPER: But will leaders get this bill passed despite the vocal disgust.

And CNN on the ground in Haiti alongside police. See exactly what these officers are up against as violent gangs tried to take over the few parts of the country they don't already control.

Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And you hear the bell there. We're starting with breaking news in our money lead. The Dow closing right now has a record high, 39,780 points plus, almost 40,000 for the first time in the Dow's 128-year history. The markets soaring today after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates, the same yesterday and signaled that the U.S. will get three rate cuts this year.

Let's get straight to CNN business anchor Julia Chatterley and Diane Swonk, the chief economist for KPMG.

Good to see both of you. Julia, how significant is this milestone?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Oh, this is definitely going to be a Dow wow moment when we get to 40K. I remember vividly sitting here, if you remember, in March of 2020 when we were talking about the Dow flirting with 19,000. Now, we're talking about 40K in the space of four years.

So I will be enthusiastic about it, but I'll also curb that and say for investors. And that's 60 percent of Americans, by the way. It's the games that got us here that's more important than the level which arguably is symbolic.

But it is also a symbol of how we got here. And that's important and its a number of things, as you said, it's the fact that were still expecting three cuts from the Federal Reserve this year, despite the fact that they raised their inflation forecast, it's better than expected growth and the resilience of the U.S. and beyond. It's the strength of consumer spending. And it's all those things like technology and artificial intelligence that's driving this two.

And you can see all of those things if you look at some of the best performers in the Dow, American Express, one of the big performer is Disney, Walmart, Microsoft, and IBM, the big tech players. For those of you own stocks. Congratulations because you've made money this year.

It's tougher. Of course, Jake, for the 40 percent of Americans that don't and didn't benefit from these gains and finally, it's also symbolic for an incumbent president in an election year who's trying to illustrate a message about the strength of the economy, and of course, getting very little credit for it.

TAPPER: And, Diane, what kind of impact will this have on families across the country? Could this signal good economic signs and other aspects of life?

DIANE SWONK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, KPMG: Well, I think the most important thing is that we are seeing the reason the photos expecting three cuts, but not more than that, is because they are willing to no longer take a recession. First of all, they see the resilience of the U.S. economy.

The good news is that wages are now outpacing inflation. The bad news is, of course, price levels are still very high and we need time to really feel that regaining of purchasing power needed to feel better about the economy. But the wealth effects tied to this, it is now a record-breaking nearly 60 percent of households, up from 52 percent, 53 percent prior to the pandemic that do own stocks.

Also, people have seen significant increases in the wealth in their homes as well. So, we've got about 12,000 millennials turning 35 each day, and they're out there waiting and nipping at the bit to buy homes as well. And that's keeping those prices buoyant in the housing market. So I think this is going to be continued improvement in the U.S. economy despite the fact that the Fed is not going to be cutting aggressively because we proven to be remarkably resilient.

TAPPER: Yeah. And, Julia, why does there seem to be such a disconnect that this record almost 40,000 Dow is happening with so many polls, show so many Americans are dissatisfied with the economy.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah, the multi-trillion-dollar question. I'd go to the point I made originally, 40 percent of Americans aren't stockholders. So they're not getting, as Dianne, said that wealth effect and they're also probably the most likely to be squeezed by high inflation and by high interest rates, of course.

And, yes, inflation is slowing, but it's still high and it's the same with interest rates.

I've got to start on this. The annual interest cost increased for Americans and that they're paying on mortgages, on credit cards and on debt has risen $420 billion. That seriously painful and who are you going to blame? You look around, you blame the government because they're supposed to help. And as Diane said, there's a catching up effect and that takes time.

TAPPER: All right. Julia Chatterley and Diane Swonk, thanks so much to both of you.

The markets maybe soaring, but our law and justice lead, that rally is not solving Donald Trump's money problems. The former president has just four days left to post a massive bond and stop his New York assets from being seized by the New York government. And at the same time, his campaign funds are also lacking.

CNN's Kristen Holmes examines now how Trump is trying to get out of this mess.



REPORTER: Mr. President!

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With just four days to pay the at least $464 million bond, former President Donald Trump's panic mode does not appear to be easing up, posting to Truth Social today that the amount ordered by the judge was too high for bonding companies, adding that, quote, putting up money before an appeal is very expensive.

With New York Attorney General Letitia James already taking the first steps to seize Trump's assets if he's unable to post bond, Trump has been publicly defiant.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're fighting it out. We have a lot of cash. We have a great company, but they want to take it away, or at least take the cash element away. Billions of dollars of value, billions of dollars in properties but they'd like to take the cash away so I can't use it on the campaign. HOLMES: As Trump seeks solutions, his campaign also facing a cash crunch, struggling to chip away at President Joe Biden's significant financial edge. Trumps campaign and joint fundraising committee raised a combined at $20.3 million in February, ending the month with $41.9 million in the bank, while an increase from January the numbers lagged behind Biden's, whose political operation raised $53 million last month and ended February with $155 million cash on hand.

Meanwhile, with Trump's legal fees still looming over him, his leadership PAC spending more on legal expenses than it took in last month.

Biden not only outpacing Trump at the bank, but also on the campaign trail, making an appeal to key voting blocs.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I need you, I need you badly. I need to help. Kamala and I desperately need your help.

HOLMES: Well, former President Trump has largely stayed behind closed doors since clinching the Republican nomination, swapping rallies for donor meetings and the golf course. Trump has only visited one battleground state since Super Tuesday.

TRUMP: Hello, Georgia, I'm thrilled to be back.

HOLMES: And held a campaign event for his handpicked Senate candidate in Ohio before the primary in that state.

In the same stretch of time, Biden has visited every top battleground state, but one.

BIDEN: You're going to be building the future here in Arizona. And Arizonans build the future.


HOLMES (on camera): And, Jake, I am told by sources that Trump's going be back on the campaign trail in the next two weeks, but that is not the focus for Donald Trump right now. He is still fixated on how he is going to post that bond.

One option that we are told is off the table, Trump opposing anything starting a path to filing for bankruptcy -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kristen Holmes, thanks so much.

Our panel joins me now.

I'm sure declaring bankruptcy would be a political liability, might actually be smart financially. But let's ask the big question, where all these wealthy donors, the ones that I think Mark Levin and others were calling for? Why is nobody helping?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, because they understand the financial liability here and they understand that they might not see this money ever again. And look, here's the thing -- clearly, Donald Trump did wrong and he was guilty in this fraud case. What got him in this situation was his behavior and the judge made it quite clear the way he showed a complete lack of remorse and the way he continued to behave in court. That is why he's looking at such a -- such a massive fine from the judge and the judge making it clear the fact he didn't show any contrition that was a big part in him making this decision.

That being said, a lot of Trump supporters and people who think Donald Trump is being unduly targeted, look at this massive fine and say, it just shocks the conscience. I thought justice was supposed to be blind. We thought they were supposed to be equal distribution of justice, and many of his supporters are saying this just simply is not fair.

And while this is going to be a huge financial hit for him, I think up politically with his base as we move closer to the general election his supporters are going to be more and more in his favor because they see this justice is not blind, especially if you run afoul of liberal D.A. and judges.

TAPPER: Paul Begala, New York Attorney General Letitia James has taken the initial step to begin to the process of seizing Trumps assets. She can officially start the process in four days if Trumps unable to post this massive bond, but as trial lawyer Kevin O'Brien told "Forbes", Letitia James is, quote, not going to take a stake and drive a sign through the front yard that says this building has been seized. It's a legal process. It's not like she's going to be selling these properties next week.

But what options does Trump really have at this point?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, when he says he's ruling out bankruptcy, that means he's going to file for bankruptcy any minute now, right? No. Because Trump lies like I breathe. He inhales oxygen, exhales lies.

His companies and he's never declared personal bankruptcy. He wouldn't have to here. His companies have declared bankruptcy at his orders four times before. So I wouldn't rule it out.

But I think the -- as a citizen, the thing that's most frightening is there seems to be no legal bar to him taking this money from hostile foreign powers, from maybe some billionaire in China, billionaire in Saudi Arabia, billionaire in Russia. This would compromise our national security if he were to be returned to the White House, and he's a 50-50 shot to return.

So, I mean, I think that for all citizens is the thing that really terrify us is that Mr. Trump could very well be beholden to whoever puts up this bond.

TAPPER: So, Alex, first of all, welcome to THE LEAD. Good to have you here.

So, Paul is not the first one to suggest this. Joy Behar also made a similar suggestion, expressing concern that some -- some lender or donor is going to give Trump the money and that will jeopardize national security.

So, yesterday, Trump's lawyer, Alina Habba, was asked about this on Fox. Take a listen.


MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: Is there any effort on the part of your team to secure this money through another country, Saudi Arabia or Russia, as Joy Behar seems to think?

ALINA HABBA, TRUMP ATTORNEY: Well, there's rules and regulations that are public. I can't speak about strategy that requires certain things and we have to follow those rules. Like I said, this is manifest injustice. It is impossible. It's an impossibility, I believe they knew that.


TAPPER: I mean, that wasn't a no.


TAPPER: It wasn't an answer at all.

THOMPSON: I bet you, if she -- what was ready for the questions, she may have answered differently, but how you're not ready for the question, is really interesting.

It wasn't just Joy Behar. It was Trump's niece, Mary Trump, also suggested this on X as well, about this possibility of -- you know, when --

TAPPER: Jared got $2 billion in investment from the Saudis. I mean, it's not wild.

THOMPSON: Absolutely. I mean, I mean, the idea that some foreign person or even some domestic person would want to, you know, front the cost of this, nor to have leverage of the next president. I don't think is ridiculous.

And I think the idea of foreign interference is justice serious as domestic interference. What happens if some billionaire also wants to have a favor once Trump's in office.

TAPPER: Right.

STEWART: Here's the thing. Look, there's a lot of wrongdoing on the part of Donald Trump here. But the fact that his attorney and his supporters are having to defend nonsense by Joey Behar -- Joy Behar and his --

TAPPER: Paul just made the same -- you said --

(CROSSTALK) BEGALA: I actually first heard from John Dean, who was the Nixon White House counsel. So, he knows about criminality. And he's one who first raised this when I talked to him.

STEWART: Ii think the campaign knows full well that the consequences of that. There's no way I could see them actually doing that because it would put him in such tremendous jeopardy and blackmail situation. I don't see them moving forward with that.

TAPPER: Let's change the subject for a second. Maggie Haberman and a "New York Times" colleague Luke Broadwater today reported on previously unreleased testimony to the now-defunct January 6 committee, a White House valet who was with Trump on January 6, testified about what happened when Trump was told that a civilian, we now know it was Ashley Babbitt had been shot outside the House chamber amid the mob attack on the Capitol, quote, I just remember seeing it in front of him, the valet said of a note card Mr. Trump was given, bearing news of the casualty as he watched the riot unfold on television. Quote, I don't remember how it got there or whatever, but there was no like reaction.

What's your -- what's your response?

BEGALA: Well, Donald Trump has never been accused of being filled with what Shakespeare called the milk of human kindness. He's not a very empathetic person, right?

Those people were rioters, but it's still a tragedy that, that woman was shot, even though she was rioting, it's a tragedy.

TAPPER: She was there because of him.

BEGALA: Well, she was and I guess I'm not surprised. He's not a deeply empathetic man, is he?

TAPPER: Yeah. You got a response to it?

STEWART: Now, look, I think I've been quite vocal. The people that stormed the Capitol, broke into the Capitol were not doing so for the good of this country and certainly not for furthering the Constitution. They were at -- they're at the direction of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and others, and look, the death of anyone on January 6 is absolutely tragic, but those people went there with one thing in mind and that is to fulfill the will of Donald Trump and that is the bottom line here.

TAPPER: Alex, in a new episode of the "Axe Files", David Axelrod asked former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie if he would consider running for president on a third party ticket with No Labels. Take a listen.


DAVID AXELROD, HOST, THE AXE FILES WITH DAVID AXELROD: Is that something that you are considering CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: You know, I think the

way I would look at it is, I will do whatever I can to try to make sure that the country doesn't go through what I think will be the misery of a second Trump term. I wouldn't preclude anything at this point, David, we've got the most unsettled political terrain we've ever had.


TAPPER: Again, not a no.

THOMPSON: Yeah, two times in a row, you're giving me the non-answer from a -- from a candidate.

I mean, its not a no, but Chris Christie is basically making clear that if there's anything that would help Donald Trump getting the Oval Office, he wont do it. And at almost every single poll at this moment shows that a No Labels ticket would help Donald Trump rather than hurt Donald Trump because Donald Trump has a higher ceiling than Joe Biden.


And in fact, is that in what you've seen, every single poll, is that the race is still, Donald Trump has the edge, but it's still competitive when it's just one-on-one.

Every single poll with a third-party candidate or multiple third-party candidates shows Trump with an even larger edge, if not a dominant Electoral College lead. You know, knowing Chris Christie, knowing his campaign, I find it very unlikely, but maybe there'll be some polls and two or three months that showed that No Labels ticket is suddenly very -- is only taking away from Trump votes.

TAPPER: Well, you know, I mean, RFK, Jr. used to be thought that he was going to take only from Biden and now it's really a toss up. So, one never knows.

Lastly, I want to get to something because "The Washington Post" just put out a piece examining how President Biden embraces his stutter, talking about it while Trump mocks it, exaggerates it, belittles it. Trump adviser Jason Miller quite remarkably responded, quote, President Trump has never mocked to Joe Biden speech impediment. He is simply called out the fact Biden is a cognitively impaired low IQ individual, unquote.

So, just a little fact-check here, Jason Miller saying that Trump has never mocked Biden speech impediment. Let's roll the tape from January.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Did you see him? He was stuttering through the whole thing. He's going to -- he's a threat to democracy. They've weaponized government. He's saying, I'm a threat to democracy. He's a threat to --


TAPPER: I mean, why even -- why even deny it when it's so -- I mean, it doesn't matter anymore. Just lie about anything?

STEWART: Yeah, that's stupid.

News flash, whenever you say something in front of cameras, people can use that video against you if you try to deny saying something. Look, going after, we all know President Biden is old, but going after things like his stuttering and how he walks, that's not what the American people care about. What American people do care about and these general election voters care about is the fact they don't have confidence in the economy. They're concerned about the crisis at the border. They're concerned about these foreign policy issues.

That's what people are worried about. And I think it's best for Trump and Republicans to go after Biden on policies and not these personal issues.

BEGALA: Again, this is what Trump does. He mocked the physical disability, physical challenge of Serge Kovaleski, "New York Times" reporter. He mocked John McCain's arm movements, but Senator McCain, of course, was tortured as a POW, and his arms were permanently disabled. He -- Trump mocked that.

I mean, he is just -- many of his supporters, my friends and family of mine are lovely people, but they're supporting a very unlovely man.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks to our panel and, Alex, thanks so much for being here. We'll have you back.

On Capitol Hill, anger over the last spending bill finally out today, more than 1,000 pages to speed-read before a partial government shutdown tomorrow night. Where Republicans in particular are directing their anger. Plus, a House Democrat here with what she thinks should be a priority.

Plus, the blockbuster lawsuit today against Apple that directly takes on how iPhones function and the, of course, that infamous shaming green bubble text divide.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, a disaster. That's what one Republican senator is calling the late night release of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill to keep the federal government open beyond tomorrow's midnight deadline. And now, now, lawmakers have roughly 32 hours to read and then vote on the 1,012-page bill, and not everyone is happy with what's in and out of the bill, which includes billions in added funding for border security, national defense, and childcare.

Republicans are currently touting victories in the bill for increasing more detention beds for ICE, cutting foreign aid to UNRWA, and restricting rules so that only U.S. flags can fly at diplomatic facilities, no rainbow flags, in other words. Democrats are claiming victories by blocking funds for a border wall, securing 12,000 visas for Afghans who helped the U.S. military and are trying to save their own lives and increasing federal childcare and education programs.

CNN's Manu Raju is live on Capitol Hill.

Manu, some hard-line Republicans are attempting to derail the process, calling for a shutdown. Are there enough votes to get this government funding bill passed?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, we do expect that, Jake. In fact, tomorrow morning, we expect the House to pass this measure the timing in the Senate is unclear because it requires all 100 senators to agree to the timing of a vote. It's possible it could slip into the weekend, pass the shutdown deadline, but the votes ultimately are expected to be there.

Now, there is anger in the ranks, really on both sides of the aisle, but particularly among Republicans about the way this was handled, this bill over 1,000 pages released in the middle of the night, 3:00 in the morning. And now a $1.2 trillion is package already six months late, pass the initial deadline. They had to now try to pass it by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night, and that has caused a lot of anger that the ranks directed at the party's leadership.


REP. BOB GOOD (R-VA): We continue the pattern of Republicans have a majority and we pass major spending bills predominantly Democratic votes. More troubling would be that most Republicans, it seems, are going to vote for the bill tomorrow, irrespective of what's in it, regardless of what bad policies are being maintained and without even being concerned that they're not going to be able to read it.

REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): I just want to be very clear, any Republican votes for this bill is voting for the parole. The mass release is under parole that led to the death of Laken Riley.

RAJU: Do you have concerns about the spending package?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): I do. I mean, how are we banning UNRWA funding, which is aiding kids who are dying in Gaza? It's unconscionable. And I'm a no vote.


RAJU: And that congressman there, Ro Khanna, a member of the progressive caucus, raising concerns about the prohibition in this bill on that U.N. agency that provides relief to Palestinian refugees. Israel has accused some staff members of that agency from being involved in the October 7th attack. That is one issue in which Republicans are claiming victory on that temporary funding here, being prohibited to this agency.

But as you can see from that comments there, Jake, concerns and anger on both sides of the aisle.

TAPPER: So, Manu, they still have that stupid one person motion to vacate rule for Speaker Johnson. So if somebody doesn't like something, they can force a vote on whether or not he gets to keep his job.

Is his job on the line if this bill passes?

RAJU: At the moment, no one has hourly warning that that is going to happen. Their members -- the members of the far-right bloc of Freedom Caucus continued to say that that remains on the table, but no one is explicitly saying that they are going to move ahead, knowing what happened last time, 22 days of chaos, the inability to find speaker after speaker after speaker, ultimately getting Mike Johnson in that very messy and chaotic episode.

Even they don't want to relive that, Jake. So the expectation is Mike Johnson's safe, job is safe for now, but for how long? That's another question.

TAPPER: Yeah. And Democrats have suggested that they're not going to necessarily join with the Republicans next time if there is such a vote, if there are any rebel Republicans who do that force that vote.

Manu, thanks so much.

Let's bring in Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. She represents Michigan 7th congressional district. She's currently running for Michigan's open seats in the U.S. Senate.

Congresswoman, thanks so much for being here. Good to see again.

So, Speaker Johnson's going to need Democrats to get this bill over the finish line. Do you expect that this is going to pass before tomorrow's deadline or do you think there's going to be a government shutdown?

REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN (D-MI): I do think it's going to be -- it's going to pass. I mean, look, we always come right up against the deadline. We've done this, I think, four or five times, just since September. We're late in getting this done and I think there's -- and probably going to be enough people on both sides of the aisle who say, look, we don't want a government shutdown. We're going to vote for this thing even if it's not perfect.

Now, we're still going through it. We just have this thing dropped I think today and we're voting on it tomorrow and it's a big bill. But I think, you know, no one wants -- I don't think really a government shutdown. No one practical wants a government shutdown. So I hope we will avoid it.

TAPPER: Not included in this funding bill is the foreign aid so desperately needed by Ukraine. Now, Republicans have suggested they're willing to loan money to Ukraine. And in fact, on Monday, Senator Lindsey Graham posted on X, quote, President Trump's idea of turning aid from the United States into a no-interest waivable loan is the most likely path forward.

Is that something that Democrats would be open to supporting? Would you be open to supporting that? I mean, it's better than nothing

SLOTKIN: You know, I think the truth is, we're hoping that if we pass this appropriation tomorrow, do our job to fund the government, then hopefully, Speaker Johnson will do the right thing and bring the bipartisan package that came from the Senate up in the House. That's the goal.

To be honest, I think people are forgetting that the Ukraine package, a full third of it is just to replenish U.S. stocks, right, U.S. weapons, U.S. things that we've already given to the Ukrainians. So, it's not going overseas, it's not loaning anybody anything. It's paying ourselves back with weapons and artillery.

And I think, you know, we just -- we were in an armed services hearing today on -- that touched on these topics and it's just like, look, if you want to bring a Ukraine bill only, bring it. If you want to do it as part of a package, bring it. If you want to negotiate on it, bring it, but bring it. Like just do something.

And, you know, we just got word that there's a big plan for the speaker to take a big delegation over to the 80th anniversary of Normandy, and it's like the irony that, that was when America came to the aid of a bunch of countries that had been invaded and like muscled the American machine and now, they don't want to have anything to do with it. They don't care that this would be the first democracy rolled over since World War II.

I just -- I just want to negotiate on something, do something to help the Ukrainians.

TAPPER: So lets talk about another conflict, the one in the Middle East right now. More than 100,000 of your fellow Michiganders upset with President Biden stand on the Israel-Hamas war on Gaza, Democrats set to strong message by voting uncommitted in last months presidential primary in Michigan.

House Speaker Mike Johnson is expected to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress about the war in Gaza at a time that Netanyahu and President Biden are really at odds.

What's your take on the invitation?

SLOTKIN: Yeah. I mean, look, I think I believe the Speaker Johnson has now made it official and he's invited him. I think he's talking to Senator Schumer I believe.

The cornerstone of any relationship with an allied nation is bipartisan support for, that there's Democrats and Republicans both. So that no matter who's in power, no matter what administration, you have a consistent foreign policy consistent relationship. That's been the cornerstone of the USS relationship. We want that to continue.

I think if the prime minister does come, if that's something that he does do, he should talk to people about the humanitarian situation, the civilian casualties, the end game, the military strategy.

You know, we talked about that in the armed services committee again, today, and we need a full articulation of that and I think that's that would be expected in any kind of conflict like this. So I don't know if he's coming or not coming, but I think he would have to lay that out for the American public here in a bipartisan way.

TAPPER: Johnson and McConnell and I've heard actually a lot of Democrats too harshly criticizing Leader Schumer for calling for a new election and the removal essentially by the Israeli people of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

What was your take on that? Did you find it inappropriate?

SLOTKIN: I mean, look, I think that the sentiment behind it is that again, in an era where for 60, 70 years we've had bipartisan support for Israel. And that's when it's most strong and durable, that relationship -- you know, he's indicating as someone who's a lifelong supporter of Israel, that he's got issues with the prime minister and sort of the tone and the approach.

You know, whether to call for new elections, typically, we don't do that and with allied nations. But the tone I think is an important sort of moment for prime minister to sort of say, look, this is a stalwart supporter of Israel who has concerns and I need to hear that.

TAPPER: Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, thanks so much. I appreciate it.

SLOTKIN: Thank you.

TAPPER: Coming up next, a dangerous assignment for a CNN team on the ground in Haiti. See what police are up against in a territory controlled by gangs in Port-au-Prince.



TAPPER: To Haiti in our world lead, the Caribbean country gripped by chaos for the last month as gangs, militias and police violently battle for control. Right now, the U.S. State Department is trying to get Americans out of that country. Dozens of U.S. citizens have already been evacuated via chartered flights as gangs near the Port- au-Prince airport render it completely inoperable.

Florida officials say more than 350 Floridians are still stuck in Haiti. And it will take dozens more flights to get them to safety.

CNN's David Culver is on the ground in Port-au-Prince.

David, you drove through gang territory today with Haitian police. Tell us what you saw.

DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we went to downtown Port-au-Prince, Jake, and its an area that since we touched down here about a week ago, I been curious about how its still standing at this point, what it looks like, and we were able to get that experience and I think the best way I could liken it for you in D.C. is imagine the National Mall, all the government buildings and institutions there overrun by gangs. And at times some of the buildings are now holding refugees who have just looked for some shelter. That's essentially what we saw as we went with the Haitian national police inside, the only way they can get around there, an armored vehicle.


CULVER: Haiti's national police force, one that is facing struggle and setback and diminishing resources, you realize just what they're up against and that is constant gang activity.

We're driving through areas that are highly contested between different gangs and the police and they're trying to hold them back time after time.

And yet these attacks are constant and they come at all hours. The police often, especially with armored vehicles like this, are able to push them back. The issue comes in holding that space and keeping it secure. They don't have enough resources to do that. Many of them have told us that's where an international mission would help.


CULVER: More and more I hear even from police commanders telling me that international mission, its going to have to be a strong force that comes in and, Jake, even as you and I are talking right now, you've made here are some pops here and there, it is kicking off again as they say, in the downtown area of port-au-prince with gangs and police in the midst of another computation.

TAPPER: David, now the World Health Organization says a new cholera outbreak could, could possibly happen in Haiti.

What are the most pressing humanitarian needs there right now beyond stopping the violence?

CULVER: Well, so when you look at all the damage and death that the gangs are causing, I think we look at obviously the violence of gunfire and just attacking communities almost every single day, and then you look at cutting off the supply line that's preventing food from getting in. People are starving and feeling that desperation to eat something.

And the last point is what you mentioned, cholera, disease. We're seeing a surge in that hearing. And we were at a refugee camp just earlier this week and now another non-profit has stepped in to try to help and try to ease some of the issues that they're dealing with septic tanks there were overflowing, but they couldn't empty them.

Even this non-profit, the Hopital Albert Schweitzer, stepped in to try to get trucks there to empty it and then dump them at another site. Well, they couldn't get the dumping site, so the trucks were all sitting full and so that tells you that the unsanitary conditions take that folks are dealing with and having to live through and hence the disease that's followed.

TAPPER: All right. David Culver in Haiti, please stay safe.

Any minute now, we're expected to hear more from police in Idaho about a manhunt happening right now for an escaped inmate once affiliated with a White supremacist group and with him, a gunman suspected of shooting two police officers.

Also ahead, the major lawsuit against Apple. The Department of Justice accusing the tech giant of running a monopoly in the United States and the smartphone market.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In the tech lead, a major new lawsuit against tech giant Apple. This is from the Justice Department, plus 16 states and the District of Columbia.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland today blasting Apple for what the government calls a monopoly power over the smartphone industry, claiming Apple restricts how its devices function with third party apps such as non-Apple smart watches or Apple wallet and that infamous green bubble, when an iPhone user texts a non-Apple user -- oh, the shame, the shame of that green bubble.

CNN's Evan Perez was at the Justice Department when this lawsuit was announced.

And, Evan, how will this case worked? Does the Justice Department want to drag Apple into an actual courtroom?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: They do and they are asking for a court, Jake, to order apple to make changes to the way it operates. It's the iPhone and how he handles the App Store, for instance, so that other third party developers can innovate and can make their products more seamless with Apple devices, including, for instance, smart watches, right? Right now, you're -- if you don't have an Apple watch, it may not work very well with iPhone as it does with the Apple watch.

Listen to the attorney general describe what the dominance of Apple on -- in the marketplace and what it does.


MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The conversation is not encrypted, videos are pixelated and grainy, and users cannot edit messages or see typing indicators. As a result, iPhone users perceive rival smartphones as being lower quality because the experience of messaging, friends and family who do not own iPhones is worse, even though Apple is the one responsible for breaking cross platform messaging.



PEREZ: And look, Jake, a lot of people are looking at the Justice Department is doing and they're wondering whether the end of this is for the Justice Department to try to get Apple to be broken up. That's not where they're going. They're asking for the courts to try to find something in-between between here and there.

TAPPER: They just want apple to stop being jerks, right? Really.

PEREZ: Right.

TAPPER: Critics might argue that Apple's restrictions on third-party apps, it's just smart business. I mean, whether it's rude, it's definitely rude, but it's smart business because they're just discouraging people from buying a rival product.

So what theoretically crosses the line?

PEREZ: Well, what they're -- what they're saying, what the Justice Department is saying is that, you know, for instance, if your family like the green bubble thing that you just mentioned, right? What that does is it discourages, say if you're buying phones for your entire family, discourages you from buying, say, a cheaper Android device for your eight-year-old, right, until they get old enough to be able to protect are $1,500 device.

TAPPER: Right.

PEREZ: It discourages you from doing that. It makes sure that you're going to pay more money to Apple, in the same way with the digital -- the digital payment apps, right, the Apple system, basically encourages you to make sure that they can get a 30 percent cut from these transactions. That's what the Apple system, the Justice Department says, that's what the Apple system is doing.

TAPPER: How is Apple responding?

PEREZ: What Apple says or what the Justice Department here is doing is going to be essentially a game changer for Apple. And will affect the way consumers get their products, including, they say will harm innovation. They also say that what the government is trying to do is to take a heavy hand in designing people's technology, essentially saying that the Justice Department and the government is going to start being essentially more in your pocket, right, in trying to design what the future of your devices look like.

Now, the Justice Department says that you can look at some of the internal messaging inside some emails from inside Apple and what they say, you can see happening is that apple is not only hurting innovation, but in some cases, this more secure apps, more secure products are being thwarted because of Apple system

TAPPER: Evan Perez, thank you so much.

Coming up, the space launch today aborted with just 20 seconds to spare.

Plus, how about this for a medical milestone? The kidney of a pig transplanted into a living human. The details on this one next.



TAPPER: And our leads around the world now, a sigh of relief -- in our out of this world lead, after a scheduled launch to the International Space Station was abruptly canceled just 20 seconds before its Russian rocket was set to lift off, NASA says an automatic abort was triggered after the service towers next to the Soyuz rocket failed to initiate an engine sequence start. A NASA astronaut in two other crew members are safe and engineers are trying to figure out what went wrong. The next opportunity to launch is Saturday.

The Great North American Eclipse which is set to cast its Monday shadow across 15 states in April 8 could create a massive headache for air travelers. Today, the FAA is warning of possible flight delays overcrowded airports, and clogged airspace near the path of next month solar eclipse. The agency lists more than 450 airports within 50 miles of the eclipse is path across the U.S.

And our health lead, a medical milestone. You're seeing right now, images of the first time a genetically modified kidney from a pig was successfully transmitted -- translated into a living person. According to doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, the recipient a 62-year- old diagnosed with end stage kidney disease.


DR. DAVID BROWN, PRESIDENT, ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTERS, MASS GENERAL BRIGHAM: I'm pleased to report that Mr. Slayman is feeling well and recovering nicely.


TAPPER: The procedure is the latest development and using modified animal organs to alleviate the shortage for people who need transplants.

And an extraordinary example of U.S. ingenuity getting its rightful credit today at the Capitol. A secret mission in World War II credited for saving tens of thousands of lives, did not use bullets or bombs. Instead, the ghost army used inflatable tanks and fake trucks, and fake planes, mixing sound effects and radio tricks acting to fool the Germans, drawing them away for where you actually U.S. forces were operating.

Three of the seven known surviving members of this ghost army were on hand today as the group has awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the nation's top honors, for their remarkable effort. And our congratulations to them.

So breaking news, just in from police in Idaho, word than an escaped inmate has now been captured. This is just in from just happened. We're going to have much more in this story as it comes in. And that's next.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour, a twist in the gambling scandals surrounding one of the highest paid athletes in the world? Shohei Ohtani, the Major League Baseball player from Japan, his interpreter was just fired from the L.A. Dodgers for sports betting. What his attorneys reportedly are saying about the case that raises questions about the actions of Ohtani himself.

Plus, Manafort, Flynn, Lewandowski and more, the former Trump aides who became household names for their troubles in 2016 or so, could they all be making a comeback as key players for the Trump campaign now?

And leading this hour, breaking news, police announcing moments ago, they have caught an inmate with ties to a white supremacist group who escaped from custody.

Lets get straight to CNN's Natasha Chen.

Natasha, big story. The inmate and accomplice were on the run for a day and a half. They were thought to be dangerous. How were they caught?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, Jake, the police are still talking right now during a press conference, so the information is just coming in. But right around 2:00 p.m. local time and mountain time after a lengthy investigation, the two suspects were taken into custody. Police say there were short vehicle pursuits, there were no shots fired or extensive use of force in this operation when they took them in. And that is from the police chief, there.

As a reminder, this all started Wednesday morning at around 2:00 a.m.