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Arizona State Senator Describes Her Experience of Obtaining an Abortion; Donald Trump Facing Financial Difficulties Due to Legal Penalties; Biden Campaign Out-Fundraising Trump Campaign; Man Discovered after Sneaking Onboard Airplane. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired March 21, 2024 - 08:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: How are you feeling? This is -- I mentioned that you're in the middle of it, but this is truly happening in real time in this environment that we know. I mean, in Arizona is a huge conversation around -- it's a 15-week ban in Arizona now. There's conversations about it being a near total ban. But sharing this so publicly, this doesn't happen very often, Senator. How are you feeling?

EVA BURCH, (D) ARIZONA STATE SENATOR: To be honest with you, I'm feeling really good. I'm feeling so lucky to have the opportunity to hopefully and potentially make an impact. Arizona as a swing state. We are really right in the thick of this conversation about how does health care impacts the voice that voters have? And I'm just so hopeful that people will really be able to take this conversation and that it will translate into action, that people will be more interested in the political process. There'll be more interested in their local elections and in what they can do to move the needle in the right direction.

My experience at the clinic yesterday was really as good as it could be. I felt so welcomed. I felt like I had all the information that I needed. I felt like I was getting such superior care. And I felt -- I felt fine. A little bit crampy and, of course, it's disappointing to be in this position again, but I got in my dad's struck and we went to the drive-through and I went home and sat on the couch surrounded by people who I love and I have felt good since then.

BOLDUAN: I'm happy to hear that. I'm really happy to hear that.

I noticed you told "The Washington Post" that you, your office did, that when you were giving your speech, when you were talking about your story on the Senate floor, you saw some of you your colleagues, your Republican colleagues leave the chamber during your remarks, including the top Republican in the State Senate. Have you talked to any of them since the speech this week about that, about this moment?

BURCH: No. I've had a number of people reach out to me, none of them have been my Republican colleagues. But I think we also have to look at the landscape of the legislature right now. Even though we only have a one seat deficit in both the House and the Senate, that's not how the legislature has really operated in Arizona. None of our bills get heard. None of our bills barely ever make it to committee. I've had one bill be heard in the last two legislative sessions. So there's not an accurate representation of the people of Arizona in the legislature because that's not how Republican majority leadership is running the legislature. They're running it like it's a monopoly. And the people of Arizona are not being heard.

So I'm not surprised about the outcome of giving that speech. I'm not expecting things to change within the chamber. I'm expecting things to change in Arizona. I'm expecting us to make the difference, because that's the only opportunity we have left.

BOLDUAN: State Senator Eva Burch, thank you for coming on.

BURCH: Thank you so much.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So what's the one thing a presidential campaign wants almost as much as winning? Cash on hand. President Biden has a lot more than Donald Trump right now, at the very time in his business empire, people are asking if Trump might declare bankruptcy.

Armed, dangerous, and on the loose, a frantic manhunt underway for an escaped inmate with ties to a white supremacist gang -- gang, I should say.

And then, I was only trying to get home. A man is in custody after sneaking onto a flight, hiding in the lavatory.

Sara is out. I'm John Berman with Kate Bolduan. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

BOLDUAN: This morning Donald Trump has just four days to secure a half-a-billion dollars before the New York attorney general starts collecting. The new CNN reporting is that panic mode is now setting in for Donald Trump around all of this. And every day his $464 million bond amount is accruing $115,000 in interest. He's struggling to find a company to underwrite the bond related to his penalty that he faces for the civil fraud case in New York. And if he doesn't scare the money or a loan by Monday, Attorney General Letitia James can start the process of starting to seize and collect on that penalty.

At the very same time, Donald Trump is facing other money troubles. CNN's Steve Contorno has more on this aspect of it. Steve, what are you learning?

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Well, Kate, as we have seen so often in this race, Donald Trump's legal problems and campaign attempt to win back the White House are intermingling, and then it's certainly the case when it comes to his financial issues.


Last month his Save America Leadership PAC, this is a PAC that he has been using to pay off his legal expenses, it spent $5.6 million on legal bills, continuing this pouring of cash into paying off the lawyers that he has needed in these four indictments that he is facing. That is diverting money from MAGA, Inc, which is a super PAC that is supposed to be supporting the president's attempts to win back the White House. Instead, it is going toward these legal bills.

And the former president's financial troubles continue to exist on the fundraising front as well. He is lagging behind Biden in fundraising. His campaign reported that it had raised, along with the joint fundraising committee, $20.3 million in February. Now that is a slight uptick from what had raised in January, and that is what the campaign is hoping for. They are hoping that now that he is the nominee that there will be Republicans who have been on the sidelines, who have been behind some of these other candidates, they're going to say, look, the job ahead is to beat Joe Biden. We've got to get behind Trump. There's no other path at this point, and so we need to start putting our financial resources behind him.

And to that point, he is holding a fundraiser next month in Palm Beach where sources tell us many of those donors, many of the largest Republican donors, will be in attendance and trying and to help President Donald -- excuse me, President Donald Trump catch up to this fundraising advantage that Biden has, because we have seen so far some very strong numbers from the Biden side of the campaign finance ledger between his various forums. They have funds, they have $53 raised last month, $115 million cash on hand. Obviously, that's well ahead of where Trump is right now.

BOLDUAN: Steve. Thank you very much. John?

BERMAN: Texas Senator, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm said the best friend to have in politics is ready money. And right now the candidate who has got that is President Biden. Let's get right to CNN White House correspondent Priscilla Alvarez on the Biden campaign plans going forward, Priscilla.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, they're going to use it to build out their campaign infrastructure. As you heard from some of those numbers, fundraising has been a bright spot for the Biden campaign, and it is reflected in what we saw in the filings overnight. That is, again, the $71 million in the Biden campaign account. They fundraised $53 million last month. And all in all, $155 million with the affiliated committees. Thats a pretty strong outlook for the Biden campaign as it's ramping up in this election season, and again, building out more offices, hiring more staffers across the country, particularly in those battleground states that President Biden only narrowly won in 2020.

What these numbers don't yet reflect, of course, is the $10 million that were brought in 24 hours after the State of the Union, which was another moment that the Biden campaign highlighted.

Now, of course, last month, just to remind viewers, President Biden did do a west coast swing where he did fundraisers. It was also a month where the Biden campaign felt that the rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump was crystallized, bringing in more funds to the Biden camp.

So all in all, the president is going and continuing his travel blitz, continuing fundraisers in Texas last night, and with even more on the horizon for one event that may be the biggest fundraising event ever. That's next week in New York where President Biden will be alongside former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So clearly the campaign just continuing their efforts to shore up those funds, knowing that it's going to be a close race and those funds are going to be critical to paying for those digital ads, those TV ads, and all the rest. John?

BERMAN: Right now they have big money. What they would like is big or bigger poll numbers to be sure. Priscilla Alvarez, thank you very much for all that. Kate?

BOLDUAN: The police are now asking for help to find an NFL player who is on the run, wanted on a domestic violence warrant. We have new reporting on that.

And a family on a hike becomes stranded and stuck in the snow. How a phone feature saved them.

And police say he used someone else's boarding pass to get on a flight and then hid the bathroom. He's now in trouble, clearly. But why he says he snuck onboard.



WALKER: So the FBI is investigating how a man got on a flight with a boarding pass that was not his own. They say the 26 year-old was caught in security cameras in Salt Lake City's airport surreptitiously taking photos of several passengers' boarding passes in the gate area. And then they say he used one of those pictures to get past the gate agent and onto the plane. CNN's Pete Muntean picks up the story from here. And its quite a story, Pete. What happens?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a little bit of catch me if you can meets Titanic. Many stowaways hide in part of the airplane, maybe the wheel well or the baggage area. This method has to be one of the more crafty ones. U.S. attorneys have charged his men from Texas from sneaking on board this Delta flight in Salt Lake bound for Austin. This happened on Sunday, and the court documents say that 26-year-old Wicliff Fleurizard was flying standby on a different flight, but it was overbooked. Police say they reviewed the security footage at the airport, which showed Fleurizard in the boarding area taking photos of multiple passengers' phones and boarding passes when they were not looking.

The criminal complaint also says Fleurizard went straight to the bathroom once he got on board the plane, came out after the plane pushed back from the gate, and then was questioned by a flight attendant.


And this is what the criminal complaint says, "Fleurizard indicated to the flight attendant that he was in Seat 21F." The flight attendant verified that the passenger who is in Seat 21F was the person who had purchased and been ticketed for that seat and it was not this man, Wicliff Fleurizard.

So, this clearly created a lot of confusion on board the plane. Flight attendants were able to figure out that he was not on their manifest. But remember, this flight had already started taxiing, so they had to return to the gate.

The police were there, read him his Miranda Rights. They say Fleurizard then told them that his original flight bumped him to a later flight, that he was simply trying to get home and made a mistake.

He is now facing one count of stowing away on a vessel or aircraft. When was the last time that was charged? It can carry a prison time up to five years. It is not clear yet if Fleurizard has an attorney that we're trying to get in touch with them -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Just to make it clear, so he was able to get past the gate agent, but to get to that point, he got past TSA because he had another boarding pass, even though he is not using it.

MUNTEAN: He actually had a buddy pass on Southwest Airlines. That's what he told police, which enabled him to get through the gate or sorry, get through TSA and then onto the gate.

But he said that he wasn't simply able to get on the flight that he wanted to get on, and so he tried to get on this different flight on Delta. That's when he started taking these pictures.

Clearly, it is a very clear case of a criminal issue here, although it doesn't really seem like he had criminal intent. We will wait to hear from his attorney about that.

BOLDUAN: Yes, I mean, just not a good idea. Not a good idea is the answer there. But it is, it actually kind of exposes a weakness, right?

We all are standing around with their phones open like the highest level of brightness in order to get the boarding pass ready to go when we are about to board. It is like, there is a vulnerability for everybody right there though.

I mean, let us just hope that there aren't a lot of people that are going to be attempting this also.

It is good to see you, Pete. Thank you.

MUNTEAN: No copy cats.

BOLDUAN: Exactly -- John.

BERMAN: I feel like you're scheming there, Kate, and it makes me nervous.

BOLDUAN: I mean, I am just thinking, I don't like getting bumped from flights. I also -- I don't think I could ride in the bathroom of a plane now, like the entire time.

Let's move on.

BERMAN: All right, a homeless man now suing after a ride in a police van left him paralyzed.

And for the first time in years, the Dow, the NASDAQ, the S&P all reached record highs the same day. Why so high? Can they extend the high? Will you feel the high?



BERMAN: All right, for the first time in years, the Dow, the NASDAQ, and S&P all closed at record highs. There, you're looking at the futures about an hour before the markets all open. There is a whole lot of green there.

This comes after the Fed signaled that it will in fact cut interest rates this year.

With me now, CNN economics and political commentator and "Washington Post" columnist, Catherine Rampell.

Why so high, Catherine? That's my question to you.


The last couple of months, the inflation numbers have come in a little higher than expected, and there had been this fear that, that might throw the Fed's expected rate cutting schedule a little off course, that basically, if inflation wasn't down as much as the Fed had anticipated it would be, then maybe they would put off those rate cuts.

We heard yesterday that that's not the case, at least not this year. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell essentially said that the inflation story hasn't changed very much. If you look at their forecasts, the forecasts of the Fed officials, they suggest that they still expect three rate cuts sometime this year.

Future years, different story. It looks like we may not get as many cuts in the future, but for the time being, still on path, which essentially means that there is more money going around. There is more liquidity in the markets and that generally tends to be good for stocks.

BERMAN: People do tend to like money.

The alternative headline, the Fed says it will still cut rates this year, might be inflation can still come down or inflation will come down without a recession, which is a pretty good headline.

RAMPELL: Yes. So as I mentioned, you can look at the Fed officials' forecasts and they have suggested a couple of things have changed in the future. Some other things have changed.

You know, just this year, relative to what they were expecting a few months ago, the Fed is expecting much stronger GDP growth this year, lower unemployment, a number of other good news essentially for the economy.

The upshot of all of this is that that feared recession that had been in the news and on a lot of market analysts' lips not too long ago, does not seem to be in the sight. It looks like the economy is going to continue remaining strong.

Again, inflation, still, we are a little bit uncertain about, but it looks likely that the economy is going to continue remaining strong and that we are going to continue adding jobs for a while.

BERMAN: Which again is good news for most people.

Catherine, you've done some really interesting writing...


BERMAN: ... the last several days on the situation that Donald Trump is in having when you come up with half a billion by Monday. What does it tell you that no one is coming forward and saying, hey, here, have a half a billion dollars.

RAMPELL: I mean, would you lend him half a billion if you had it at your fingertips? Probably not.


And there are a number of reasons for that. One of which is that the collateral that he wants to use for that, what's called a surety bond, which is sort of like a loan is his real estate and the very thing that he got in trouble for is fraudulently inflating the value of his real estate.

So of course, you may not trust the valuation of those assets, but even beyond that, this is a guy who proudly talks about how he often doesn't pay his bills and if he becomes president again, furthermore, it would become almost impossible to collect on those bills.

One might reasonably fear that if you did try to collect from this potential once and future president that he might sic the Treasury on you or the DOJ and you know, I am not -- I believe -- hypothesizing about this, Trump has said as much that he would go after his perceived enemies using the powers of the state, and to some extent he did that in his prior term.

So lots of reasons why he may not be the best borrower or the most compelling person to essentially lend money to in the form of a surety bond.

BERMAN: I mean, look, you would think if these organizations thought they could make money doing this, they would, they don't think it is a safe bet. RAMPELL: Yes.

BERMAN: Catherine Rampell --

RAMPELL: Yes, they do not. And to be clear -- yes.

BERMAN: Go ahead. Go ahead.

RAMPELL: I was going to say, and to be clear, I think there's been a little bit of a misunderstanding that there needs to be just one company willing to effectively put up this half a billion dollars. He could have gotten -- he could have cobbled together essentially payments from a number of different companies and nobody was willing to even lend him a fraction of that.

BERMAN: He's got a few days left. So if you have half a billion dollars sitting around, you can get on the phone and help him out right now.

Catherine Rampell, great to see you this morning. Thank you very much.

So nothing in baseball is more forbidden than gambling. Now, accusations of gambling and theft against someone extremely close to the best baseball player on earth.

And brand new numbers showed the crime rate is going down, down a lot. So why is it that story is ever being told?