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Trump on Campaign Trail After Posting $175 Million Bond in Civil Fraud Case; World Central Kitchen Says, Seven Aid Workers Killed in Israeli Strike in Gaza; Clark Lifts Iowa Over LSU in Title-Game Rematch. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired April 02, 2024 - 07:00   ET


KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: -- passed peacefully.


Conter was just 20-years-old. He was a quartermaster when he helped rescue his fellow crewmen during the Japanese attack on the morning of December 7th, 1941. He is one of the 335 USS Arizona crew members who survived the attack, and he outlived them all while always striving to keep the legacy of Pearl Harbor alive.


LOU CONTER, LAST SURVIVOR OF USS ARIZONA: I think it's very important that we all say, remember Pearl Harbor, God bless America.


HUNT: Lou Conter was 102 years old. Let us not forget this era now that we have lost all of the heroes from that event.

Thanks to our panel for joining us. Thanks all of you for being with us, I'm Kasie Hunt.

CNN News Central starts right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, Donald Trump banned from attacking the judge's daughter. So, what happens if he disobeys the new expanded gag order issued the same day he lost $1 billion dollars on paper? Where will that fortune go when the markets open shortly?

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: And breaking overnight. They came from around the world to feed starving people in Gaza. Now, seven people working with the humanitarian group, World Central Kitchen, have been killed. The group says the Israeli military bombed them.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Florida's Supreme Court paved the way for one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country, setting up a presidential showdown in the state.

I'm Kate Bolduan with John Berman and Sarah Sidner, this is CNN News Central.

SIDNER: New this morning, President Trump posted his bond in the New York civil fraud case, warding off potential financial ruin, at least for now. Trump secured the $175 million bond, keeping the state's A.G. from pursuing his assets and bank accounts until after his appeal is settled. This is a win for him.

The L though for Trump's legal team, overnight, the judge and his criminal hush money trial slapped the former president with an expanded gag order, saying his rhetoric is a very real threat.

Last week, he was barred from talking about potential witnesses, and now the order has been widened to stop him from attacking family members of the judge and the Manhattan D.A. The judge's daughter has a main target for Trump on social media, attacking her by name several times.

CNN's Steve Contorno is joining us now. President Trump going back on the trail today, his rallies have really been a place for him to go wild against the legal system. What do you think he's going to do? How will he handle this today? Do you think that the gag order, potentially, he will break it?

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Sara, we know that the purpose of these events in Michigan and in Wisconsin is to get him in front of voters and talk about issues that his campaign believes will be factors in the November election, especially immigration and public safety. In fact, his speech in Michigan is being marketed as a remark about the U.S. southern border.

But to your point, you attend these Trump rallies and they often go on, he speaks for sometimes 90 minutes, and there is a large section of that speech that is often dedicated to attacking the judicial system, the judges, prosecutors who are going after him. For example, I was recently in Rome, Georgia, and during his remarks there, he spent quite a bit of time attacking D.A. Fani Willis there and the case against him in Georgia.

So, I would expect that he will continue to find ways to continue that kind of line of remarks and those kind line of attacks, maybe still being careful not to go against the gag order.

But there are four indictments he is facing. He is facing dozens of charges, there is ample space for him to attack the judicial system. We have also seen him in the past attack the gag order itself, not only in this New York case, but in another special prosecutor case as well.

So, yes, the president and his team especially wants him to talk about these issues that are so important, that they believe will be so important to voters in November. But the former president often goes off script, and when he does, he is on the attack, Sara.

SIDNER: Yes, and it seems to be working with his base. We will wait and see what happens on the campaign trail today.

Steve Contorno, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Kate?

BOLDUAN: And also new overnight, we have a better view of who's likely to call to the stand to testify against Trump in his hush money trial this month, and they include some of his one-time closest confidants and trusted aides, like bold names from his White House days, Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway.

CNN's Zach Cohen has much more on this for us.


He's joining us now.

What more can you what are you learning about this possible witness list, Zach?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Kate. The prosecution's witness list in this case, we will see several witnesses that are from Trump's orbit around the time of the 2016 election, and that includes people who worked for his campaign team at the time, like you mentioned, Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway.

But we also expect to hear from people like Michael Cohen, who is Trump's former fixer. He's obviously been deeply involved in this case from the beginning. We expect to hear from Stormy Daniels. She's obviously the porn star who allegedly was paid these hush money payments to cover up an alleged affair she had with Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election.

But Hope Hicks is a really interesting potential witness here because of her proximity to Donald Trump at the time. As you mentioned, she is one of Trump's -- she was once considered one of Trump's most trusted confidants, and she also was around and can provide insight into what was happening inside Trump's political operation around the time that these payments were allegedly being made.

A federal search warrant actually put Hope Hicks on the phone with Michael Cohen and Donald Trump in 2019, around this time, and the FBI believes that those calls were about Stormy Daniels and about payments to her.

So, we'll have to see, as you mentioned, this comes as the gag order against Donald Trump in this case has been expanded to include family members of the judge and of the prosecutors. But also remember, too, the gag order applies to witnesses in this case, so we'll have to see if Donald Trump can restrain himself from publicly attacking witnesses, especially ones that were previously very close to him.

BOLDUAN: Yes, and we'll see maybe very soon because often this is happening on the campaign trail and he's headed back on the campaign trail today.

Zach, also after a lot of back and forth and a lot of wondering what Donald Trump was going to be able to do or pull off, he has now posted $175 million bond payment. This has to do with the penalty he faces after his civil fraud trial. What happens now?

COHEN: So, the fact that he was able to post this bond means that any action the attorney general in New York can take as far as seizing Trump's assets, that's paused, right? And that's paused until at least September when Donald Trump will start the appeals process and appeal to verdict in this civil case.

But, look, I mean, this is effectively a win, as Sara mentioned earlier, for Donald Trump. It's a significantly reduced amount that he had to post for bond. But we'll have to wait and see. I mean, it is a temporary win, though a win for Donald Trump.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Zach. Thank you so much for that. John?

BERMAN: Breaking overnight, World Central Kitchen, an organization that delivers food and hope to people in need all over the world, says seven of its workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

A monumental court decision on abortion in Florida that will make it illegal after six weeks before most women know they are pregnant. But now the issue goes to the voters, upending political races in November in that key swing state.

And a treacherous storm system bears down on much of the country, new fears of tornadoes in major cities, and a huge and dangerous April snowstorm in the forecast.



BERMAN: Breaking overnight, a devastating blow to one of the world's most benevolent organizations. The World Central Kitchen says an Israeli airstrike has killed seven of its aid workers in Gaza. The organization said the team had just delivered food when its convoy was hit, traveling in a de-conflicted zone, marked with the group's logo, and they coordinated their movements with IDF.

This morning, the White House says it is heartbroken and deeply troubled. The IDF says that it is reviewing the incident at the highest levels.

CNN's Melissa Bell is in Jerusalem. And, Melissa, I have to say every natural disaster you travel to here in the United States, every war zone we visit overseas, World Central Kitchen is there usually before we are, which says something.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Wherever we go, John, we find them from Ukraine, as you say, to the natural disaster areas that we cover, there they are often before us. It's remarkable work they do. In fact, we've been hearing from Jose Andres, the -- who set up this charity to bring food to those most in need, his anger at what happened overnight, saying that it is time for Israel to stop targeting aid workers and to allow that much needed humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

We've also been getting more details, John, about exactly what happened. This was, as you say, a de-conflicted zone inside the a strip. This was a convoy that was had just delivered 100 tons of aid to a warehouse in that zone.

Its movements coordinated with the IDF and still we can see the devastating aftermath of that airstrike with the damage done to their armored vehicle and their logo clearly apparent on it.

Now, the IDF have expressed their condolences directly to Jose Andres, also saying that they've launched that probe at the highest level. We've been hearing from Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the spokesman of the IDF here, expressing that sorrow.

Still, the fact of these images coming, of this international workers, the outrage being expressed by the countries from which they came, and we're talking here of a dual American-Canadian citizen, a British national, a Polish national and an Australian national.


And we've been hearing a great deal about her and her work from the Australian government, authorities outraged at what she's outraged what at some organizations, including the U.N. relief agency is described as heroes who are bringing food to starving people.

I think their deaths clearly ratchets up another notch the pressure on the Israeli authorities to urgently let more of that much-needed aid in through the land, which remember that the reason that World Central Kitchen had been able to make such a difference and play such an important role in Gaza, John, was that they had found that way around the land blocks, right?

They had organized that makeshift jetty off the coast of Gaza that allowed last month some much needed aid to get in. We know that there was a ship, we were told on Saturday that 400 tons of aid that was on its way to Gaza. We have yet to work out whether it delivered its aid or not.

But this was crucial work that they're doing. And, again, a tragic bit of news for the international community this morning as it watches on in horror as what what's happening inside Gaza. John?

So, tragic, the courage and selflessness of those aid workers and then to see the hole in the roof of that vehicle.

Melissa Bell in Jerusalem, please keep us posted on this. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Yes, we should learn more about this, this morning, for sure.

Florida, a winnable one for Biden. Why his campaign is saying that today, just as Florida Supreme Court paves the way for one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country.

And the Final Four is set and Yukon pulls off a March Madness double- double with both their men's and women's teams headed to the next round. And then there is Caitlin Clark. Need we say more?


SIDNER: It was a rematch for the ages. Caitlin Clark and Iowa surging to the women's Final Four after triumphing over the 2023 champions, LSU, with a score 94-87.

CNN's Carolyn Manno joins me now. Carolyn, I was looking at the number of points that Caitlin Clark put up. She'd scored almost half of all of the points that her team scored, an amazing game.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I know, just a casual 40 point game for her. I was watching her pregame throwing up, dropping these threes and I thought she's just absolutely going to show up on the biggest of stages because that's what she does. I mean, this game delivered. And when the ratings come out we will most assuredly realize that millions of people tuned in to watch this latest chapter of this on-court rivalry that centers around her and LSU's Angel Reese.

It has been so good for this game. These two squads meeting in front of this electric, sold out crowd in Albany, and Clark, as I mentioned, was just ready from the jump. I mean, she hit a three to open up the scoring. She hit nine threes in all. She was completely locked in. She tied the NCAA women's record for most threes in a single tournament game.

And then you had Angel Rees. She's got this trademark physicality that is so impressive. It was on full display. I mean, she ended the night with 17 points and 20 rebounds. The game was so fast-paced and you could just see how badly both teams wanted it.

In the end it, was Iowa earning a second straight Final Four appearance with that 94-87 win. But afterwards, they both reflected on their very different experiences.


CAITLIN CLARK, IOWA HAWKEYES GUARD: I know our group has given everything we got. And, you know, at the end of the day you win you lose. I feel like our group has given so much to this game and to this program that you can always hold your head high.

But I think at the same time, that's the reason we have been able to play such good basketball is we don't want this to end and we want to keep coming back and working hard with each other and fighting for one more week and you know, extended as long as you possibly can, I guess.

ANGEL REESE, LSU TIGERS FORWARD: I'm still human, like all this has happened since I won the national championship. And I said the other day, I haven't had peace since then. And it sucks and, but I still wouldn't change. I wouldn't change anything and I would still sit here and say like, I'm unapologetically me. I am going to always lead that mark and be who I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MANNO: The final Elite Eight matchup on the women's side would follow after that game in Portland in another pair of the sport's brightest stars in UConn's Paige Bueckers and USC freshman JuJu Watkins. Watkins put up 29 to become the all-time leading freshman scorer in Division I history.

But after watching last year's tournament from the sidelines with the torn ACL, Paige Bueckers just showed why she is also a generational talent. Her 28 helping UConn pull away in the fourth quarter, clinching this record, extending 23rd Final Four appearance, 80-73, the final. And this run didn't seem possible, Sara, last fall for UCONN. I mean, they've had a slew of injuries, which has made what they're doing all the more remarkable.

But you listen to these women, they have been under so much pressure, I mean, in their 20s, and they assumed the mantle of these teams that there's so much on the line. The viewership is so high. It's high stakes. It's been a lot for all of them and it's great to see them shine on the big stage.

SIDNER: And it is great to see women's sports at this elevated level. Man, those ladies can shoot. Carolyn Manno, thank you so much. I appreciate it. John?

BERMAN: Look, the first half of the Yukon-LSU game was one of best halves of basketball I have seen. They were just going at each other, fearless, fearless battle, truly wonderful.

SIDNER: So good.

BERMAN: All right. Donald Trump just lost $1 billion dollars on paper. The market is set to open shortly. How much more value could be shed from his troubled social media network?

And a major reversal on the legalization of drugs, why officials say the experiment failed.



BERMAN: Developing overnight, a judge rejected Hunter Biden's attempt to have his tax charges dismissed. His lawyers argued the nine charges against him were politically motivated. Hunter Biden is accused of repeatedly failing to file and pay his taxes on time and engaging in an illegal tax evasion scheme by filing false tax returns. The tax case is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles in June.

Beginning in September, Oregon is restoring criminal penalties for hard drugs, including fentanyl, meth and heroin.


Oregon became the first state to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs in 2020 --