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Boeing CEO Leaving Company; Value of Trump Properties; Suspects Plead Guilty in Russia; NBC Anchors Unhappy over Hiring of McDaniel. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 25, 2024 - 08:30   ET



PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Right now it is unfolding. So, this is a really huge change, John. And the fact that Boeing is doing this, there is a lot of irony here. Dennis Muilenburg was the CEO that Boeing at the time of the Max 8 incidents in 2018 and 2019, Dave Calhoun came into power. Now he is leaving as the result of another incident on the Max line.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This feels like a complete decapitation of the top layer of management at Boeing, Pete. I guess one question is, Dave Calhoun says he intends to step down by the end of the year. It's still March. That leaves a lot of months here between now and the end of the year. Can he even last that long?

MUNTEAN: That's a great question. And you know I think that workers at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington, that have been so under the microscope, not only by the top brass at Boeing, but also by the FAA and the NTSB will have that question too. They have had the pressure put on them with day-long safety stand downs there at Boeing. A lot of criticism about the type of work that they do on the line. And there's been a lot of question about whether or not there was proper documentation for this door-plug work that took place at the Boeing factory.

Some work needed to be done near the door-plug. They removed the door plug and then it was clearly not properly put back in. And so many workers at the bottom at Boeing have been feeling a lot of scrutiny and they've wanted to know whether or not there would be change at the top.

But it's a great question, will Calhoun stay until the end of the year? That remains to be seen. And you're right, there is a lot of months left. We know that in the first quarter of this year Boeing reported a tremendous financial loss as a result of the bad press around the door-plug blowout.

BERMAN: Pete Muntean, huge news in the world of aviation. Huge news in your beat. We know you will be busy today. Keep us posted on what you learn. Thank you.


SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thank you, John.

Will today be double trouble for Donald Trump in court? One decision could mean his bank accounts get frozen. The other could determine whether he faces his first criminal trial here in New York.

And today we will hear from baseball star and top earner Shohei Ohtani as he addresses those theft and gambling allegations against his former interpreter.



SIDNER: Any moment we are expecting to see Donald Trump arrive at court in New York for a hearing in a couple of cases. The criminal hush money case against him and at the same time he's facing a major deadline to pay a $464 million bond in the New York civil fraud case. If he can't scrounge up that money, the New York attorney general could begin seizing some of his assets, including potentially freezing some of his bank accounts.

Joining us now, CNN's Harry Enten.

Harry, how hard is it to try and value these? Because he says one thing and then you look at -


SIDNER: Other estimates.


SIDNER: How do you - how do you know?

ENTEN: Yes, it is the big question, how do you know?

All right, so perhaps there is no more famous property that Trump has than his triplex on Fifth Avenue. And the values aren't always easy to figure out because Trump claimed back in 2015 that this was worth $350 million. Now that's a large chunk of change. New York Attorney General Tish James called that, quote/unquote, "an obvious falsehood."

And you know what, experts agree with that because Forbes said just last year that it was only worth $52 million. And this falls in line with something that a lot of critics of Donald Trump have said - have said that he inflates the prices or the values of his properties. And certainly in this case, when it comes to the trip - the triplex, Forbes certainly agrees with that.

SIDNER: Thats around a $300 million difference.

ENTEN: It's just a -- just a - just a little bit. Just a little bit, Sara.

SIDNER: All right, take us through Park Avenue. What does that one look like? ENTEN: Yes, all right, so let's stay on the island of Manhattan, all right? Even within Trumps own valuation, sometimes these values can differ a little bit, all right? So, this is the Park Avenue value. The Trump Organization in 2020 put out a statement that said that this was worth nearly $136 million.

Again, a lot of money. But the Trump Organization received an appraisal back in 2020 that same year that it was only worth $84.5 million. So this, again, goes to the idea that Donald Trump's organization, or he himself, puts out values to the public of how much these properties are worth that, simply put, aren't in line with what most experts are finding. And in this particular case, what the Trump Organization actually received an appraisal of in that very same year.

Usually, the appraisal is what people who are going to buy a property are going to look at, not what you say it is.

ENTEN: Correct.

SIDNER: So, we'll have to see what happens there. Seven Springs, that is out in the burbs. A very huge property.

ENTEN: Yes. So, Trump's Westchester Seven Springs, it's a golf course in the state. The value here, this is from Forbes, so there's no - there's no differences with what Trump is saying here. They say it is worth $25 million. Now, why is this property so important? Because we know that Tish James, the New York Attorney General's Office, has filed judgments against Trump in Westchester. So, there are a lot of people believed that if she and her office is going to move on a particular property first, they believed that this one is more in line perhaps than any other. This is worth only $25 million. Far less than the amount that Trump will actually owe in this civil case.

SIDNER: And then there is perhaps one of the most famous ones outside of New York, Mar-a-Lago.

ENTEN: Yes, Mar-a-Lago. If there's one property during Trump's presidency that became associated with the former president of the United States it's Mar-a-Lago. The New York attorney general estimates that - back in 2022 that it's worth $75 million.


So, significantly more than Seven Springs.

But here's what I would point out, is the New York Attorney General's Office doesn't have an office down in Florida, right?

SIDNER: Right.

ENTEN: They haven't filed any judgments down in Florida. So, while I know a lot of Trump critics would love if Tish James' office moved on this particular property, it's probably not the first one that they're going to go after, even though its worth $75 million. There are some other reasons why she wouldn't necessarily go after that, including the fact that Trump has a lot more legal leeway given the fact that he currently lives there. But its worth $75 million. Maybe they'll eventually go after it, but at this particular point it doesn't look like the first one that they'll go after.

SIDNER: It looks pretty clear, that is probably going to be Seven Spring.


SIDNER: There's also the bank account that - much easier to - to put a hold on.

ENTEN: Yes, absolutely.

SIDNER: Harry Enten, always a pleasure. Thank you.

ENTEN: The pleasure was all mine.


BERMAN: So, moments ago, Donald Trump posted on social media, he said he is being forced to sell his babies, which might come as news to Ivanka and Don, maybe not Eric. We will see.

With us now, Leo Jacobs, a commercial litigation and bankruptcy attorney, and attorney Leni Morrison Cummins, who has mediated fraud claims for the New York Attorney General's Office.

Leo, I just want to walk through the mechanics of what could happen starting today. If the attorney general decides, you know, I'm done waiting, how does it work? How does she get a hold of a bank account or a property?

LEO JACOBS, CEO AND FOUNDER, JACOBS, P.C. AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION AND BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY: Very simply, you put out a notice, the AG's office puts out a notice, which is - function as an execution. After the execution it gets sent out to a sheriff. The sheriff has to deliver, right? He has to levee assets.

There's two types of assets in the world, personal property, real property. So, say, for example, she wants to sell 40 Wall Street. There's an execution that's sent out to the sheriff. The sheriff puts out a notice, Donald Trump has eight weeks to do something about it. With real property - I'm sorry, personal property, she sends out an execution through the sheriff to a bank account, say a Chase bank account. He has about two to three weeks to do something about it. And the something about it that he has to do is really get a protective order. It's a fancy way of saying, you know what, you've got to pause or halt this enforcement proceedings because I'm going to limit condition and modify the judgment. That's the process.

BERMAN: So, the sheriff. The sheriff's asks for money. Donald Trump tries to block it, but the sheriff goes in there and ultimately he can get her or his hands on it?

JACOBS: Correct. BERMAN: All right, Leni, talk to me about the properties themselves

here, because Harry was putting up on the board, there are a lot of different values, but it isn't exactly forgetting how much they're actually worth, which is a whole separate issue here. But who owns which parts of them in a lot of these Trump properties seems to be an issue also.

LENI MORRISON CUMMINS, PARTNER, COZEN O'CONNOR: Exactly. And real property is a lot more complicated, unfortunately, than going after cash in a bank account. These buildings, in particular all - all these problems properties, Trump owns them most likely in a labyrinth of LLCs. And with joint venture partners. So, in fact, determining what his ownership stake is in each of them is going to be difficult.

Not to mention the fact that there's probably mortgages and other creditors in line. So, it's going to take a little bit of time.

BERMAN: So, what does that mean there are other people in line here? Where will New York state be in line if it wants to get some value out of said property?

CUMMINS: Yes. The general rule is, you know, first in time, first in right. So, we're coming where we are now. So, New York state is going to take its place in line. So, for each of these properties, there's going to be a pretty difficult analysis to determine which ones to attack first. And that's probably why they're looking at Westchester first.

BERMAN: And if you had a choice between a bank account and a property, which would you choose?

JACOBS: It would depend on how much money is in the bank accounts, right? So, there's a lot of money in the bank, and you could discover that through a notice. It's a very simple process. You put out a notice and they'll tell them right away how much money is in there. Or you go after the real property. Real property is going to depend on what type of liens there are and how many leans there are. So, the analysis I think is taking place at the AG's office as we speak.

BERMAN: What's a fire sale and how could that impact the ability to get any of this money?

CUMMINS: Yes, if lots of property comes on the market right at the same time or in a rush fashion or an auction, it's possible that, you know, the prices will be down into the ground and it will potentially devalue his assets.

BERMAN: Do you feel like that's a real option here? I mean it's thrown around. Do you think it will really happen?

CUMMINS: You know what, it's really hard to tell what's going to happen, and it's going to depend a lot on what equity is remaining in these - in these buildings, in these properties.

BERMAN: Another thing I want to clear up here, just so - for the mortals out there. When we talk about putting a lien on something, what exactly does that mean? Can the attorney general do it? And what would the impact be?

JACOBS: So, let's - let's differentiate between, I guess, what a lien would be and what a restraining notice would be. And when you're sending out an restraining notice, it's a fancy way of saying, hey, Donald, you can't move your assets, you can't sell your assets. As opposed to a lean that says, hey, Donald, I have a lien now that if you sell or you attempt to sell those assets, even if I told you, you didn't, I'm going to have to be paid in the regular, ordinary course of business relative to the creditors.


So, that's really the difference.

BERMAN: How much will we know by the end of today do you think?

CUMMINS: Gosh, you know, it's anyone's guess.

JACOBS: Well, I would say that we're going to know a lot because the deadline I think is today -

BERMAN: It is.

JACOBS: To put - to put - to put the bond - to put the bond up. And if there's a failure of putting up that bond, Donald Trump is going to have to move quite swiftly in getting protective order.

BERMAN: Leo Jacobs, great to see you. Leni Morrison Cummins, thank you so much for your help here.

CUMMINS: Thank you.

JACOBS: Thank you.


SIDNER: All right, ahead, you might call it second winter for some states. They're being slammed with a snowstorm. And in other states, dangerous weather. Whipping winds and potential threats of tornadoes. We have the latest on the severe weather system effective 25 million Americans.

And we are still watching for Donald Trump to leave a New York courthouse. That should happen in any moment. A judge could decide today when a criminal trial against him will begin.



BERMAN: So, tonight's Powerball jackpot is now $800 million. And nobody won in Friday night's Mega Millions drawings. So that prize is more than $1 billion. So, you can go out and buy tickets for two lotteries you likely will not win.

Happening now, blizzard warnings from Colorado to Minnesota. In parts of the southeast, including Texas and the Midwest, 25 million people are in the path of severe storms, and there are fears of tornadoes as well.

Happening today. LA Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani is expected to address the sports betting allegations against his former interpreter. That interpreter is accused of stealing millions of dollars and placing bets with a former bookie under federal investigation. But he has said that Ohtani was not involved in the betting. Still, Ohtani hasn't spoken about this yet. There are a lot of questions surrounding this whole incident.


SIDNER: All right, this morning, for men accused of killing at least 137 people at a concert hall outside Moscow are facing terrorism charges. It was Russia's worst terrorist attack in decades. The suspects appeared in court. They are visibly beaten up and injured. One seemingly missing an eye.

Joining me now is CNN contributor, former CNN Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty.

Jill, it's so nice to see you.

You know, one of the things that struck me here is that Russia and the United States, you know, sworn enemies at this point, and yet the U.S. says it warned Russia that a potential terrorist attack would take place. What is this relationship like when it comes to intelligence? How does that work?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the United States says it had a duty to inform. And so regardless of what the country is, it will inform if it understands that some type of terrorist attack is going to take place. And the U.S. says that's exactly what they did with Russia.

Now - and they say they did it directly. So, this presents a real problem for Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin because right now they're trying to explain how this happened and then avoid blame for Vladimir Putin. And that is not easy. And that's why I think you're seeing a lot of kind of, you know, messaging and unclear obfuscation, et cetera.

Essentially what they're saying is, we don't have any communication - we, the Kremlin, don't have any communication with the west or the westerners. However, maybe our security services do.

But the whole thing is, did Vladimir Putin ignore this warning. We know that he, on the record, said - he called it blackmail and an attempt to undermine Russia. So, it's a real problem for the Kremlin.

SIDNER: I was going to ask you what you think it might do to his narrative with the people of Russia that he was unable to safeguard the country and there was a warning in place.

DOUGHERTY: Yes, I think that that is really the question because this is not the first time that there have been attacks that - that have really been brutal. Over the years, you know, 24 years with Putin and there really have been a lot of attacks. And each time there was, I would say, an undercurrent of people feeling that they were unprotected, that the government simply couldn't take care of them.

And now here you have Vladimir Putin, just days ago, a week ago, being re-elected to a fifth term and this happens. So, that undermines, I think, the idea among Russians that he really is their protector. That said, the Kremlin is going to try to very quickly, you know, veer it off in another direction thanks to state media and propaganda and say, well, you know, it's just part of international terrorism and we should cooperate. But they're not cooperating with us because of the war in Ukraine.

And a lot of this, obviously, is in the context of the war against Ukraine.

SIDNER: I wanted to ask you about that. Russia is still trying to link this attack to Ukraine, while also saying that these four men are from Tajikistan, and at the same time they're hammering Ukraine with strikes. I mean could this propaganda work to its people because certainly it is not going to work with the international community. I think Vice President Kamala Harris was asked whether or not the United States thinks Ukraine had any role in it, and she flatly said, no, this is ISIS-K.

DOUGHERTY: Yes, I think that it could, Sara, because, after all, you know, for average Russians they are watching TV and on TV there is no opposition media whatsoever.


It's all, you know, the state messaging and propaganda. And so if they feel - and they're already set up for this by Russian propaganda - that the west is against them and Ukraine is just a pawn of the United States and NATO, et cetera, they could believe that. I think, you know, when in a situation like this, which is truly traumatizing, I mean this is just a horrendous attack, that people want to understand it. And the fear that's being generated right now, and the propaganda, might come together to convince people, you know, well, it's - we have to stand by our president because after all we're under attack.

SIDNER: All right, I do want to ask you about the four accused terrorists who Russia says are from Tajikistan. They were severely beaten at some point. One person looked like they were missing an eye. One came out with a plastic bag sort of over his head. There's video of this. How does this play in the Russian public that these men may have been beaten and tortured by Russia's law enforcement apparatus?

DOUGHERTY: I think they'll probably look at it with two different viewpoints. One is, those guys were terrorists. They deserve everything they got. And then the other side of it is the brutality - I'm not saying this - you know, we have to see the proof, but the brutality of Russian security forces, not only for terrorists, but for actually opposition people who have come on the streets against the war in Ukraine. We've seen the video. You know, people being beaten and dragged off.

So, it's hard, I think, for Russians to really except all of this. It's very frightening to think that you are alone. But I can tell you, I've seen on social media comments exactly like that. We have no one to protect us. It's a terrible situation for some Russians.

SIDNER: Yes. And there have been thousands of people going out and laying flowers. A lot of sorrow in Russia after 137 people killed in that terror attack.

Jill Dougherty, it's always a pleasure to see you. Thank you so much for coming.

DOUGHERTY: Thanks, Sara.


BERMAN: All right, this morning, the call is coming from inside the building. A lot of people inside NBC not at all happy that former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel has been hired by the network. And the criticisms, very public and on TV.



MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST, "MORNING JOE": We believe NBC News should seek out conservative Republican voices to provide balance in their election coverage. But it should be conservative Republicans, not a person who used her position of power to be an anti-democracy election denier. And we hope NBC will reconsider its decision. It goes without saying that she will not be a guest on "Morning Joe" in her capacity as a paid contributor.


BERMAN: CNN's Oliver Darcy is with us now.

Oliver, any sign NBC is reconsidering here?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Well, they're dealing with a fire alarm fire, John. I mean comments like this from inside the building, on the air, are remarkable to see. And the - today it was "Morning Joe." Yesterday it was Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" absolutely ripping the network for this hire.

And as you heard, Mika Brzezinski say there, it's not because she's a Republican, it's because she was an active participant in trying to subvert democracy back in 2020. That's the issue here. She was an election denier, but she was an active participant in trying to basically overthrow the election over in Michigan. And so that's the red - bright red line that NBC journalists are really upset was crossed by their - by their brass here and also she has a long history, John, we should mention, demonizing the press. You know, this is not someone who was just slightly critical. This is someone who launched really ugly attacks, vial attacks, on MSNBC anchors over the years. She launched ugly attacks on NBC News journalists over the years, even questioning why some of them have jobs. And so for NBC News then to bring her on as part of the team, as they said, really struck people the wrong way.

Now, what they do, I'm not sure. They're dealing with a huge public relations disaster to say the least. And I sense it's only growing. You know, when you have anchors like this speaking on the air, it gives you a sense of how enraged the journalists are behind the scenes.

And so over NBC, Cesar Conde, who is the chair of NBC Universal Newsgroup, he has a decision to make. What is he going to do? And I think it's going to speak volumes about not only him but what NBC News represents as an organization moving forward.


BERMAN: Yes, a lot of people watching the what's next very closely.

Oliver Darcy, thank you so much for your reporting.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: All right, at any moment Donald Trump is expected to arrive.