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Donald Trump has Three Days to Come Up with $464 Million for Bond to Appeal Civil Fraud Case in New York; New York State Attorney General's Office Preparing to Seize Trump Properties If Bond Not Met; Recent Poll Numbers Show Donald Trump Leading Joe Biden in Michigan and Tied in Pennsylvania. Political Advisers Back Around Donald Trump; Ceasefire and Hostage Negotiations to Resume Today. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired March 22, 2024 - 08:00   ET



DAVID URBAN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: -- the lawfare that's going on taking place, I think they see it as just part of an extension of the Democratic Party, and they're happy to pay to keep Donald Trump afloat and in this fight.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: David Urban, Governor Howard Dean, great to see both of you this morning. Thank you very, very much.

A new hour of CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump has just three days to find nearly half $1 billion. He's raging about it on social media while you were sleeping. And could that social media platform now become his last-minute Hail Mary?

A rush of migrants breaking through a border fence in Texas, hundreds arrested after breaching wire barricades in El Paso.

How is your March Madness bracket feeling this morning? Slightly under the weather possibly? The NCAA tournament staying true to form with four big time upsets out of the gate.

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

BERMAN: Happening now, tick, tick, tick. But will it be boom for Donald Trump and some of his favorite buildings. He's just got three days now to come up with $464 million for bond to appeal his civil fraud case in New York. That's nearly half-a-billion dollars. The state's attorney general has made the necessary preparations to seize some of his assets if he doesn't, that includes properties like the Seven Springs estate in New York's Westchester County.

Trump posted again on social media just minutes ago, "No trial, no jury, no crime, no victim, only a crooked --" OK, there was a trial, by the way. The judge ruled there, but he's writing about that and ranting about it overnight, as you can see by his post on Truth Social, which just keep on coming.

CNN's Kara Scannell is with us now. Kara, what's the latest on where we are?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Well, John, there's no indication that Trump has gotten enough money to secure this bond overnight. Of course, this story has been moving every single day, so we could learn new developments as this deadline approaches. But he still is on the hook to come up with half-a-billion dollars, has until Monday to do that, unless the New York appeals court steps in and grants has request to post a lower amount, or not required to post any money until this entire appeal is over.

Now, the New York attorney general's office has opposed that. They say that they don't even know so to the extent Donald Trump has really tried to get a bond and raise money for this. So they have pushed back on that. And as you said, they've already started to lay the groundwork to begin the process of potentially moving to enforce this judgment as soon as Monday. They have filed paperwork in Westchester where Trump has that Seven Springs family compound. He also owns a golf course in the nearby town of Briarcliff. And there's also all of the properties in New York City where this judgment was originally entered, including Trump Tower, his triplex apartment in that tower, 40 Wall Street, a number of hotels and apartment buildings. And those could all be assets that the attorney general's office could try to move on.

It's unlikely they would be able to seize a property immediately. The Trump Organization structure is rather complex. They would have to take initial steps in that to try to penetrate some of those complexities. But also, they could move to put liens on some of these properties, tried to collect rent from some of the apartments to really try to go after these assets as well as going after an airplane and his bank accounts. So that's all potentially on the table. And this deadline is really approaching. But one thing that is sure is that Donald Trump is expected to fight this every step of the way. John?

BERMAN: Kara, we actually spoke about this last night. is there a moment on Monday where this all becomes official, either he comes up with the bond or he doesn't? Is there a moment when Letitia James could begin seizing these properties?

SCANNELL: This is a bit of gentleman's agreement that they had. The attorney general's office could have moved to enforce this any time after the judgment, but there's a courtesy 30-day window that they gave. And that is what comes to a head on Monday. Now, whether they decide that that that is the end of the day on Monday, or they look to do something sooner, the wildcard here there is still does the appeals court do something. And if they don't, does that affect James's timing on whether she moves forward without them ruling or if she waits for a ruling. That also is unclear, John.

BERMAN: Again, will they announce it? Well, they say we're not ruling -- if they don't rule, will just sit out there forever?

SCANNELL: I mean, no, the appeals court is going to rule. It's just a matter of it's not clear -- it's their timeline, not ours. So they can decide whenever they come up with a decision, they'll make that public, and then we'll know. Trump, of course, has already said he wants to appeal that decision.


So it's going to be moving parts for a while here. And I think with James's office, we might see some action again in court filings, in paperwork that will give us a sense of where this is moving and how quickly it's moving.

BERMAN: I get the sense that you are going to be busy the next three days. Kara Scannell, thank you so much for your reporting. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Let's also turn to this. New CNN pulling out the morning with a fresh look at what voters are thinking and how they are feeling in two battleground states, Michigan and Pennsylvania. They were key to President Biden's win in 2020, and the new data shows his campaign may have work to do in order to win them this time around.

CNN's Harry Enten is here with his look at the new polling. What do you see in these numbers? Start us off?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: What do I -- what do I see in these numbers? All right, first case, these Michigan numbers, these are not good for the incumbent president of the United States. Donald Trump at 50 percent, Joe Biden at 42 percent. I looked back at the 2020 polling and at no point during the campaign was there a single poll that met CNN's standards for publication in which Donald Trump led Joe Biden. There were zero. Here we already have one, and I looked at the average of polls and looked at our previous CNN poll, and they all show the same thing, which is that Donald Trump is ahead of Joe Biden in the wolverine state.

You go over to Michigan. Look no clear leader. That's the key thing going on. These two gentlemen are tied. But again, this is a state eight that Joe Biden won last time around by a little bit more than a percentage point. So this is not the type of polling Biden wants to see here. But clearly, much better shape in Pennsylvania than in Michigan.

BOLDUAN: I was going to say the Biden campaign can take some comfort in here and in the numbers and where the support maintains. But this is, Michigan seems to be where they need -- where they are looking, probably looking closer and where there's work to do. What's the biggest change in Michigan from last election that you're seeing here?

ENTEN: Yes. This is something I have been harping on in harping on and harping on. So let's break this down by race, right? Let's look at voters of color, look at white voters. And what we see here is back in 2020, according to the exit poll, Joe Biden, one voters of color in Michigan by 62 points. Look at that advantage today. It has been sliced by a third, only 21 points. That's Joe Bidens lead over Donald Trump among voters of color. Among white voters, Trump has gained a little bit of steam as well, was 11 points in 2020. His margin over Joe Biden right now is 16 points.

But this decline in support for Joe Biden among voters of color in Michigan is something we've been seeing in state after state after state and nationally as well, where he's got some big problems. This is a historic low amount of support for a Democratic presidential candidate among voters of color, and it seems to be happening across the board, Kate.

BOLDUAN: You're also taking note in Michigan specifically, I think, of the view from voters on Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

ENTEN: That's exactly right. So you know Joe Biden has its flaws in the voters' mine. Donald Trump has his flaws. Let's look at what could be a flaw for Donald Trump. If true, the charges against Trump regarding efforts to overturn the 2020 election disqualify him from the presidency, cast doubts on his fitness for the job or aren't relevant to his fitness for the job. Here, only 44 percent, only 44 percent of registered voters say they disqualify him for the presidency if they are true. This isn't asking whether or not they're true. We're saying if they are true, do they disqualify him -- disqualify Donald Trump from the presidency, and only 44 percent of registered voters say they in fact do.

This to me is a big problem for Joe Biden because the fact is, even if Trump gets a conviction, it's not clear to me that voters will abandon him, and its nearly equal to this 42 percent who say they aren't relevant to his fitness for the job.

BOLDUAN: Isn't that squishy, because that could also mean I don't think he's fit for the job no matter what, or I think he's fit for the job.

ENTEN: Yes. I mean, I will say I dug into the crosstabs, as I like to do. It's the Republicans who are for saying this. It's not the Democrats. The Democrats are overwhelmingly saying this. It's a clever question, but no, this does pretty much get at the idea that there are a lot of voters out there who are essentially saying, even if these charges are true, they don't disqualify him.

BOLDUAN: Please note Harry said that was a clever question.

What about one of Biden's biggest perceived weaknesses that voters across the board are concerned about, which is his age?

ENTEN: Yes, thinking about what you want in a president, Biden, sharpness and stamina are exactly what you want. This is where I think Joe Biden wants voters to be. It's only seven percent close enough, 24 percent. How about not what you want, in Michigan 69 percent, 69 percent not what you want. This to me is they big problem for Joe Biden because the fact is, while a majority of voters are saying, even if the charges against Trump are true in Michigan, they don't disqualify him. Here the majority of voters in Michigan are saying that Joe Biden's sharpness and stamina are not what you want.

BOLDUAN: OK, so there are months to go.


BOLDUAN: Things can and likely will shift and change more than once.


BOLDUAN: Polls are a snapshot in time.


BOLDUAN: What does this snapshot in time say about the Electoral College?

ENTEN: Yes, I've been waiting the press that button so you could get all this just there, just waiting for it, allowing --


BOLDUAN: Caveats matter.

ENTEN: Caveats do matter, absolutely. Based on recent polling and pass results, Donald Trump leading in the Electoral College right at this particular point.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see, Harry.

ENTEN: Nice to see you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.



BERMAN: Paul Manafort spent two years in prison for tax fraud. Roger Stone was convicted of obstructing a congressional probe. Corey Lewandowski was fired and accused of inappropriate behavior towards a woman. All three reportedly in talks to play major roles in Donald Trump's campaign.

So is a deal to release the hostages in Gaza closer to becoming a reality? U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Israel at this moment in key talks.

And a new piece of technology that could save the world. That's a high bar. A suitcase that can turn salt water into drinking water with the push of a button.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, new reporting this morning about a kind of tarnished Mount Rushmore of political advisers back around Donald Trump.

Trump and his aides are reportedly considering bringing Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski back into the inner circle, that's according to "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times." Both Roger Stone and Christina Bobb are also taking on a bigger presence, that's according to AXIOS. Now, you'll remember, Manafort and Roger Stone, both, convicted of

crimes. Later, they were pardoned and commuted in different ways by Donald Trump. Corey Lewandowski, of course, fired from the 2016 campaign at one point, then sort of brought back on. Christina Bobb, all over some of the election conspiracies in 2020.

So an august group of advisers circling around Donald Trump again.

With us now, CNN political commentator and former White House communications director for Donald Trump, Alyssa Farah Griffin. That's quite a list of people that are apparently making their way back closer to Donald Trump. What does that tell you?

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So listen, there are a handful of characters that kind of existed in Trump world that never really went away -- I'd add Steve Bannon to this as well -- who are these outside advisers that Donald Trump at times has had falling out with, but then somehow can't bring himself to get away from.

It is Trump actually who feels the pull back to someone like a Roger Stone, or a Steve Bannon who command a certain hold over a fringe part of the GOP right.

The one that stands out to me is Paul Manafort, and here is why. He was obviously implicated in the Russia investigation. He had a number of -- his actual charges were more related to his taxes and so on, but he was single-handedly responsible for getting support for Ukraine taken out of the Republican Party platform in 2016.

He is somebody who has consistently been an anti-Ukraine sort of warrior in Donald Trump's ear, and at this moment, going into 2020 where continued support for Ukraine is a major, major issue, I think its signals where Trump is going to be on it.

BERMAN: Do they have sway over him? Or does he have sway for them?

GRIFFIN: I think Roger Stone and Manafort have a tremendous amount of sway. I think Manafort is seen as somebody who was instrumental in the win in 2016, and I think Roger Stone, he is somebody who bizarrely holds an incredibly high esteem. He sees him as this tough guy, dirty tricks, political activist type who the right -- a certain sector of the right really follow.

So I think these are people -- it is the logical conclusion that he'd bring them back in, but what Donald Trump needs to win the election, he needs Nikki Haley voters. He needs moderate Republicans and Independents.

Everyone we just named is absolutely radioactive to a normy Republican or Romney-Reagan type Republican like me. So it is interesting that when he is heading into a general election, now is the time to bring back the further right characters.

BERMAN: Any of these people get to tell Donald Trump no on anything?

GRIFFIN: Absolutely not. Well, I mean, maybe one thing they'd say no on is if he were to want to support Ukraine, but I don't think he has really signaled that at this point.

BERMAN: Anyone left who can tell Donald Trump no?

GRIFFIN: You know, I don't think so. I think the best advisers he has around him are his actual campaign, Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles in the sense that they are smart political operatives. They know how to run a campaign.

I don't think they're going to tell him yes or no on policy, but they're going to lean into, hey, don't go after mail-in voting. You're going to lose votes if you do that. Those are probably the adults in the room as it were.

But again, they're not policy advisers. They are simply saying these are the mechanics of a campaign and here is what to do and not to do.

BERMAN: Does the presence of again, this Mount Rushmore of folks coming back in, where does it tell you about where the campaign might go?

GRIFFIN: Well, listen, I think Trump's got this nostalgia for 2016, the last time that he won anything. So bringing some of the folks from that era back in, I think makes sense in his mind. But to me, it signals they are doubling down on the far right angle.

They are running to the base that's been with him. They are not running to expand the party. It is a bizarre strategy because what he needs to do is reach moderates in the party.

BERMAN: You know, I just thought of this, you're talking about bringing the 2016 group back together. I don't see Ivanka Trump anywhere in here.

GRIFFIN: She gave an interview recently saying she was going to stand out this campaign cycle and politics. So we will see if that sticks.

BERMAN: So I mentioned before I was talking to David Urban and Howard Dean that President Biden is now referring to Donald Trump, or did the other night as Broke Don. Do you think that hurts Donald Trump? Do you think that's the kind of thing that riles him up?

GRIFFIN: Well, I think it riles him up, but Joe Biden is right. Biden is massively out fundraising Donald trump and for context, the RNC is also struggling. They have a major cash crunch since the Trump takeover of the RNC.

So one stat right now, they've got $11.3 million cash on hand. This time in 2020, they had $77 million. That's a disaster, not just for Donald Trump, who is kind of using the RNC as his legal defenseman. But for down-ballot Republicans.

I mean, Donald Trump has actively destroyed the Republican Party and were just teeing him up to be nominated again.

BERMAN: Alyssa Farah Griffin, have a great weekend. Thanks so much for coming in. GRIFFIN: Thank you.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: More crisis at the southern border, hundreds arrested after breaking through razor wire and pushing past Border agents.

A popular weight loss drug will soon be covered by Medicare. This could be huge for millions of people, so we will have a look at who is eligible.



BOLDUAN: So this hour, the United Nations Security Council is set to vote on a ceasefire resolution in Gaza, backed by the United States. This is going to happen this morning.

The resolution contains the strongest language for a ceasefire that the United States has supported so far.

At the same time, Secretary of State Tony Blinken has been in meetings this morning with the Israeli prime minister and his War Cabinet in Tel Aviv.


And CIA Director Bill Burns is traveling to Qatar to try and push negotiations to secure the release of Israeli hostages forward today.

There is a lot going on, so let's get to CNN's Paula Hancocks. She is in Doha where those negotiations are taking place.

But, Paula, let's start in Tel Aviv where the Secretary of State is, what do we know about the meetings with Netanyahu and the War Cabinet? What's happening now?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, this is certainly part of this intensive diplomatic push that we are seeing. The Secretary of State has already met with the Israeli prime minister. There were concerns it would be a fairly tense meeting as relations between the two have not been great as of late.

And certainly, the focus would have been for Secretary Blinken pushing more humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israel has been broadly criticized by countries around and the world, including the United States for not allowing enough in, for restricting humanitarian aid into Gaza.

And also they will be talking clearly about the ceasefire that every what is working towards it this point, potential release of hostages, but also Israel's very clearly stated plan that they want to do this major ground offensive in the southern part of Gaza, in Rafah, where well over one million Palestinians are currently sheltering at this point. Secretary Blinken, whilst he is being here in the region has been very

blunt saying it would be a mistake, saying the US does not support this particular plan.

Now, we know an Israeli delegation will be going early next week to Washington where the Biden administration hopes to give them alternatives to this major ground offensive. But it really is an important meeting for Secretary Blinken to be meeting the War Cabinet at this point and really pushing the Biden agenda to try and make sure that this Rafah offensive does not happen.

Here in Doha, of course, we are expecting the negotiations to continue and to resume. We are expecting that the CIA director, the Mossad director, Egypt's intelligence chief along with Qatar's prime minister to sit down and try and secure this six-week ceasefire with the Palestinian prisoner release and a hostage release.

We did have the counter proposal from Hamas just last week and this is what they are talking about or will be talking about here in Doha.

Blinken has said that he believes the gap is narrowing, but there are still gaps -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: So Paula, then the UN Security Council resolution, that's expected to be voted on today. What impact could that resolution have on the negotiations you're talking about?

HANCOCKS: Well, this is an interesting one because there have been a number of resolutions really brought to the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire that the US has not signed on to, that they have not supported. This is what one the Biden administration feels comfortable with because they have tied it up with the negotiations. They have tied it in with the potential hostage release and these talks.

So they've made sure that it is part and parcel. So if one happens, then it means that a number of other things that will happen as well.

So it is a key vote. The fact it will be talked about and we will know the result very soon -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Paula, it is great that you're there. Thank you so much for jumping on with us. Really appreciate it -- John.

BERMAN: So breaking just moments ago, I have almost 500 million in cash, that claim just in from Donald Trump.

Could it be fair, he has not always been exactly accurate on issues of money, but does he have enough now to beat the deadlines to post bond in his civil fraud trial?

The FBI tells a plane-load of passengers that they may be victims of a crime.