Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Former President Trump Calls For Supporters To Protest After Stating He Expects To Be Arrested Soon In Connection With Case Concerning Hush Money Payment To Adult Film Actress Stormy Daniels; International Criminal Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Russian President Vladimir Putin For War Crime Of Forcibly Transporting Ukrainian Children To Russia; First Republic Bank Receives $30 Billion Lifeline From Other Larger U.S. Banks To Prevent Its Failure; Protests In France Erupt As President Emmanuel Macron Forces Through Increase In Retirement Age From 62 To 64; Demonstrations Continue In Israel Protesting Government Proposal To Overrule Supreme Court Rulings With Majority Vote; Professor Discusses Economic Effect For Schools Whose Teams Make National News For Upsets In NCAA Tournament. Aired 2-3p ET.

Aired March 18, 2023 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

And we continue to follow major new developments involving former President Donald Trump. Trump now saying he expects to be arrested on Tuesday and is calling for protests. He made the announcement today in a social media post, lashing out at the Manhattan district attorney's office, which has invited him to testify before a grand jury.

The arrest would be part of their investigation into alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election. And in the post, Trump called for protests over his possible arrest, to quote him now, "take our nation back." This development comes as sources tell CNN that law enforcement agencies in New York are also now preparing for the possible indictment of Trump.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is outside the Manhattan criminal courthouse, and CNN's senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz is with us from D.C. Katelyn, you first. What more are we learning about potential arrests according to the former president?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Fred, we don't know when the indictment may come out of this Manhattan financial crimes investigations or what charges the grand jury there may be asked to approve, and really neither does Donald Trump at this point. Right now his spokesperson has been telling us today that there has been no indication formally from the district attorney's office of when and where he may be indicted and arrested.

But he does have this expectation. That's because this investigation has been clearly in its endgame. In recent days he was invited to testify to the grand jury, as New York law would allow him to do if he wanted to. He declined to do that. That is a signal that it was nearing the end.

We also do have reporting today at CNN that there is another witness expected to testify in this grand jury investigation on Monday. So, Fred, what's clear is that it's nearing the end, but the grand jury's work is not done. And we also do not know what the grand jury will be approving, when that would happen. We're going to keep watching. Fred?

WHITFIELD: OK, we know you will. Katelyn, thank you so much.

Polo Sandoval outside that Manhattan courthouse. What can you tell us about any preparations that law enforcement agencies might be willing to share?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, at this point all the quiet outside of state federal -- rather, outside of state court facilities here in lower Manhattan. The concern is that given the former president's call for protests is that it may not stay that way if and when we do reach that point where charges would potentially be filed.

And that is why, according to several sources speaking to our colleague John Miller, you do have local, state, federal law enforcement agencies that for the last several days that have been engaged in sort of these behind-the-scenes conversations about how they would handle the safety and security at some of these facilities here given what has been experienced in the past.

So because of that, you do have the planning that's happening, and also addressing this sort of choreography that would be needed in terms of getting the former president potentially from Florida here to New York to officially face these charges when and if they are filed.

And that comes with Secret Service agents, both in Florida, part of this detail, and here in New York, basically working and coordinating with the Manhattan district attorney to make sure that Donald Trump would be able to get in and out incident-free.

But still a lot of uncertainty here, Fred, not only when and if we'll get to that point, but as we've learned in the past, authorities in New York are certainly not going to take any chances. And that's why they are, again, engaged in these ongoing discussions about Trump supporters potentially responding to Donald Trump's call for protests should he be charged.

WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, Katelyn Polantz, thanks to both of you, appreciate it.

Let's talk more about all this with the perspective of Juliette Kayyem. She is a CNN national security analyst and a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. Juliette, good to see you.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good to see you. WHITFIELD: OK, so Trump puts on his social media post that he will be

arrested, he's asking people to protest. So what does law enforcement brace for when that posting happens?

KAYYEM: Right. And, of course, we're in unprecedented times, and I should begin with just not normalizing what has happened, right, that Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, is calling for protests in light of a potential arrest for indictment.


It's not the protest that's wrong. That's a First Amendment right. His supporters can go out. It's the next part of his language that would be worrisome to me who has been following his language and his incitement, but certainly law enforcement, and that's the take America back language. That is a replication of January 6th. It is our nation, it's not their nation, and therefore violence would be justified.

So what you're going to see is, of course, local, state, and federal law enforcement working together. Its uniqueness is, of course, the Secret Service isn't often involved in these cases but would have to be because they have essentially ownership over Donald Trump's presence, and that that will be worked through. Part of it will be what kind of -- does he go quietly or does he make a big fuss of it. And that will be part of this.

WHITFIELD: That's an interesting dynamic that I think you're bringing up, too, because he has Secret Service detail, and there is going to be coordination, we heard that from Chief Ramsey earlier, there would be coordination between Secret Service, FBI, local authorities, et cetera.

But then with Secret Service detail, there is a relationship that has been built and bonded. And the former president can count on that. So I wonder now how complicated, difficult does this kind of arrangement make, if he were to be arrested or if he is asked to surrender himself, what kind of position does that put Secret Service in?

KAYYEM: Not a good one. And of course, as it was true with January 6th. So there's going to be two pieces. So one is, of course, the White House, but more specifically secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas ensuring that the pool of people that are part of this effort are ones that are reliable.

We certainly have sufficient reporting to suggest that there were or are members of the Secret Service who essentially aren't working for the United States. They are working for Donald Trump. That I have no doubt is ongoing because of this reporting.

The second piece, Fred, just to make up, part of it is going to be also the threat assessment. Donald Trump throws something into the air, he doesn't control law enforcement anymore. He hasn't really specifically said when and where, he just sort of has thrown out the take America back.

So unlike January 6th, he's not driving people anywhere. His supporters now know he cannot give them a get out of jail free card. And of course, as John Miller has been reporting, law enforcement is ready. So this is not January 6th again.

People have a right to protest, people have a right to be jerks on Twitter, people have a right to support the president. They don't have a right to take up arms. And I think Donald Trump may find himself very disappointed by the dog that didn't bark when this happens. You're just not seeing that kind of rally that we saw, certainly, January 6th.

WHITFIELD: Yes, but you touched on a little earlier, but because of the precedent, because of January 6th, because of the choice of language, whether it be the language that the former president used today in his social media post or prior to January 6th, all those things are taken into account. And so I guess further elaborate on how that kind of heightens an alertness or a readiness among law enforcement who would be involved here.

KAYYEM: Oh, absolutely. And we certainly -- look, the alert level is already ready, the preparation is already there. The preparation has been ongoing, not just, of course, in New York, but in Florida. And the mechanics of this will be worked through, I think, in the days to come. And so what is happening now is you're having an increased alert system or alert positioning by law enforcement in two jurisdictions, but also more just in case there are protests nationwide, although I highly doubt that.

And then two things can happen. They can ratchet up if things get out of hand, or they can ratchet down as the day, whatever day it's going to be, assuming that there is a day, proceeds without any unrest. So they're positioning themselves for a variety of scenarios. Look, they don't want to throw everything at the wall right now because then it looks like you're sort of welcoming protests.

So that's how they're thinking about it and just constantly monitoring the threat environment, how successful is Trump, how real are people about protests. And then, of course, once again, the protest is fine. We are a constitutional democracy. People can protest. It is the threats to take up arms and violence that they have to focus on.


WHITFIELD: And then is it not -- the former president being an agitator, by also singling out the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg. So talk to me about what kind of concerns for his safety, the safety of his staff, just by virtue of the fact that the president would state what he stated on social media.

KAYYEM: Yes, this is exactly where we're at the point where Trump knows exactly what he's doing. He is targeting a specific person and that person's team. They will have -- if they haven't already, they will have significant security details, not just now for the day, but obviously when and if there's a trial in the weeks to come.

Look, these public servants are essentially saying, I have no privacy anymore for what they are doing through the lawful law enforcement mechanism. And this is what Trump has been doing against judges, law enforcement, secretaries of state.

And that's why when people are sort of defending Trump and saying he's just talking about protests, that's, like, you'd have to ignore six years of this man using language to incite his supporters. When he says take back America, when he talks about specific individuals, he knows how some of his followers will hear it. And that's what law enforcement has to be focused on.

There's going to be a lot of noise, a lot of things on FOX TV. Those matter less than who are those individuals who would listen to Trump, and has the movement become so divided and so broken up by the arrest and the Department of Justice arrest and indictments that it is very hard for it to organize. I follow the movement. My answer is yes, and there will be individuals, but I am not worried about a January 6th again.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now. Juliette Kayyem, always great to see you. Thank you so much.

KAYYEM: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Still to come, the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for war crimes. But what will its practical implications be?

Plus, the troubles keep coming for First Republic Bank. Now Moody's has downgraded its credit ratings despite that $30 billion industry rescue. Details straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: Shockwaves reverberating through Russia and Ukraine after an arrest warrant was issued for Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes. The International Criminal Court is accusing Putin and Russia's Children's Rights Commissioner of creating a scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia, something the Kremlin has been very open about. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy welcomed the announcement.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is a historic decision that will lead to historic responsibility. More than 16,000 cases of forced deportation of Ukrainian children by the occupier have already been recorded. But the real, full number of deportees may be much higher. Such a criminal operation would have been impossible without the order of the highest leader of the terrorist state.


WHITFIELD: Even as the charges were announced, there has been no letup in the war, particularly in eastern Ukraine. And now the head of the mercenary Wagner Group, which has led Russia's intense fight to capture Bakhmut, says he plan to say recruit 30,000 additional fighters by mid-May.

CNN's David McKenzie is in Kyiv. So David, how would the ICC actually get Putin to face these accusations?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, with a great deal of difficulty, because of the ICC in the Hague is the court of last resort, as it's known, these are very serious charges, indeed, war crimes, alleging that Putin and his deputy forcibly deported perhaps hundreds of children into Russia, especially orphans. These are serious charges, but he cannot be tried in absentia, meaning he has to show up to face those charges and then potentially go to trial.

Of course, Fred, the Russian government would not hand him over, and he would be required to be handed over if he moved out of Russia to a country which is a signatory to that treaty that governs the court. There isn't a great track record in this. But why this is important is not just for symbolism. It adds the pressure, say international rights experts, on Putin, and increases his isolation as he continues with this war.

WHITFIELD: Are there other prosecutors -- are there other cases, rather, that prosecutors are working on?

MCKENZIE: There are other prosecutors and there are other cases, Fred. Here in Ukraine, there are investigations going on all the time. There's a Ukrainian prosecutors tasked with looking into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity. And they have been doing their work much like a prosecutor anywhere around the world would do their work, gathering forensic evidence, looking at chains of command all the time.

Here in the Kyiv region earlier on in the conflict, and certainly in the east and the southern parts of this very wide war, there are also calls for a special tribunal to be set up. Now, that is what you saw in the former Yugoslavia, after the Rwandan genocide, and in other cases. That could give prosecutors the opportunity to go after Putin on the war of aggression, the physical act of invading another country.

Again, and this is a major political change in Russia, you don't see Putin facing those charges in person. But they do say it's important to push forward to try and get justice.


WHITFIELD: All right, David McKenzie, thank you so much.

Coming up, former Vice President Mike Pence is weighing in on Donald Trump's comments that he expects to get arrested soon. Hear why Pence says he is taken aback.


WHITFIELD: Former President Trump making a declaration today on a social media post that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday and is calling for protests. Multiple sources tell CNN the timing on a potential indictment involving his alleged hush money payment to an adult film star remains unclear, and the sources say Trump has been pushing his team to get his base riled up, believing an indictment helps him politically as he makes another run for the White House in 2024.


For more on these developments, let's bring in CNN Kristen Holmes. Kristen, what more are you learning about what has been going on behind the scenes with Trump and his team?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, the team has not yet heard from the Manhattan district attorney's office about any kind of timing around the potential indictment, but behind closed doors they are very much anticipating this and preparing for it.

The team has been huddled down at Mar-a-Lago essentially going through various scenarios. That includes how to get Trump in and out of New York, or another scenario, which would be a remote hearing where Trump stays at his Mar-a-Lago property.

The other thing that they are talking about is messaging. This is something that former President Trump cares a lot about. And I've learned that they are considering hiring a TV friendly attorney to handle all the messaging and communications around this, as well as they've hired extra staff to really focus on this potential indictment.

WHITFIELD: What about fellow Republicans, how are they reacting to this possible arrest, or even the manner in which Trump made his announcement?

HOLMES: Well, so far, Fredricka, they are reacting exactly as Donald Trump's advisers had hoped they would, and they are rallying around the former president. We have heard from Speaker Kevin McCarthy who has condemned this potential indictment, saying that he will call on committees to investigate federal funding that might be used in this New York probe. And we also heard from former Vice President Mike Pence who is considering his own 2024 run. Listen to what he said.


MIKE PENCE, (R) FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Well, like many Americans, I'm taken aback. You have a major crime wave in New York, especially in New York City. You have literally a Democratic Party that's literally dismantled the criminal justice system in that city, undercut the NYPD.

And this is what is Manhattan D.A. says is their top priority. It reeks of the kind of political prosecution that we endured back in the days of the Russia hoax and the whole impeachment over a phone call. And the one thing I know is I know that former President Trump can take care of himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: So it reeks of political prosecution, the thing to note there is that what we saw just in the last week or week-and-a-half ago was former Vice President Pence really seeking to condemn former President Trump over his actions on January 6th, setting up his sharpest rebuke of the former president himself and really distancing himself from Trump. But clearly here, again, saying this reeks of political prosecution and rallying behind the former president.

WHITFIELD: Kristen Holmes, we'll leave it there. Thank you so much.

Jitters across the banking industry after two banks collapsed and a third is struggling. What U.S. officials are doing to shore up confidence in the banking sector, next.



WHITFIELD: Welcome back. The House Financial Services Committee announced it will meet with regulators after a banking sector meltdown. The meeting is scheduled for March 29th. We'll explore both Signature and Silicon Valley Bank's failures. Now President Biden is urging Congress to act and expand the FDIC's ability to hold banks accountable.

And just one day after embattled regional bank First Republic landed a $30 billion lifeline in a big, big bank mega deal, Moody's Investors Service downgraded their credit rating Friday. The firm says that while news of the rescue is positive, the bank has an uphill climb to retain profitability.

Meantime, the uncertainty on Wall Street continues with markets ending the week down as investors fear the worst is not over. Let's dig deeper on what this means for the week ahead. I'm joined now by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody' Analytics. Mark, good to see you. So when we consider First Republic Bank, what happened?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: With First Republic, they got caught up in the bank failures, as Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. And of course, anyone that has had anything to do with the tech sector or Silicon Valley Bank, it's being painted with a brush. There's a lot of concern about the viability of the bank, the financial health of the bank.

And so depositors have been taking their money out of First Republic and putting a lot of pressure on the bank. So it's guilty by association, it's getting caught up in just the general angst out there among depositors about getting their money out of banks they do business with.

WHITFIELD: Do you see that other banks potentially could be in trouble?

ZANDI: I don't think any significant ones, Fredricka, no. There may be other smaller banks that may fail, but I don't think any of significant consequences, in large part because of the government response to the crisis. They're stepping up, they've stepped up and now guaranteed the deposits of the banks that failed, small depositors, big depositors.

The Fed stepped up. It's providing a lot of liquidity to the bank so that they have the cash necessary to pay off depositors. And of course you mentioned the fact that the government got those 11 big banks to come together and provide liquidity deposits to First Republic.

So given that backstop, the government is saying to us, look, I've got the system's back, and because of that I don't expect to see any significant failures going forward.

WHITFIELD: What was the key on getting those 11 banks? What kind of arm twisting would take place, or why would those 11 banks come together, give $30 billion to make sure First Republic, or at least to help prop it up? What was at stake if they didn't do something like that?

ZANDI: Confidence. They're trying to restore confidence. They're saying, hey, look, not only does the government have the system's back, the big guys, the big banks have the system's back, and they're going to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the banking system is sound and depositors and borrowers can feel comfortable doing business.


I kind of think of it like they set up a firewall and want to make sure that that firewall holds, because if it doesn't, then people are going to lose faith and they might be affected by the loss of confidence. But by stepping in aggressively along with the government, saying we're here to support the system, I think that's a pretty strong firewall.

WHITFIELD: So how often can that arrangement happen?

ZANDI: As many times as is necessary. Obviously, it depends on how much cash is involved. I mean, $30 billion is not an inconsequential sum, but these are big banks. These are trillions of dollars in assets. So a lot of resources there. So they could, if necessary, they could step up and do it again.

Hopefully that won't be the case, and I'm not sure why it would be the case. Again, the U.S. government, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, the FDIC is saying, hey, look, guys, I'm behind the system and I'm going to support it. And that's money good, and so I just don't know this -- it shouldn't become a problem in a broader sense.

WHITFIELD: So the Federal Reserve is meeting next week. Do you expect that they will continue with its interest rate hikes, despite the bank failures, or perhaps in spite of?

ZANDI: Yes, I hope not. A lot of debate about this, obviously. Obviously, we have an inflation problem, the Fed was fighting that head-on before this banking crisis. But if I were there, I would argue strongly that the number one priority at this point in time is the financial system, making sure it's on solid ground and making sure that people have confidence in the financial system.

So this seems a bit incongruous to me, or a lot incongruous to me. One week you're setting up a facility to provide liquidity to the banks to help the banks out, and then the next week you're going to raise interest rates which puts more pressure on the banks. This doesn't feel like it makes a whole lot of sense.

And I do think when we get to the other side, restore confidence, make sure the system is working fine, then pivot back, take a look around, if inflation is still the problem we think it is, you can raise rates again at that point. And by the way, Fredricka, they meet every six weeks. They're going to be meeting in May, so let's just wait until May and let the dust settle and figure out what we need to do or not do.

WHITFIELD: We shall see. We'll try to all be patient, right, and not be too nervous. Mark Zandi, thanks so much.

ZANDI: Take care.

Coming up, widespread protests in Israel as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushes ahead with his proposal to overhaul the country's Supreme Court.



WHITFIELD: Protesters taking to the streets today in France, storming a major train station and mall, and clashing with police in Paris, Bourdeaux, and Nantes. Police threw tear gas at angry protesters in Paris last night, and all this comes after President Macron pushed the government to raise the pension age from 62 to 64 without a full parliamentary vote. Outrage over the move prompted some lawmakers to boo, hold signs and sing at the prime minister on Thursday after the announcement of that decision.

CNN's Sam Kiley is joining us live from Paris with the very latest. Sam, tell us what's happening there.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, after a fairly quiet day in which opponents of Emmanuel Macron, the French president's policy, may have been disappointed that there hadn't been a much galvanizing of protests around the country, very small, union organized mostly, demonstrations around the country.

Here in Paris there has been another more spontaneous demonstration, this one starting at the Place De L'Italie rather than the Place De La Concorde which has been the focus of protests over the previous two nights. That has been cordoned off by police and demonstrations banned from that location.

So clearly this more spontaneous, less organized demonstration that began in the Place De L'Italie which is now moving and growing in size, and we've seen some throwing of tear gas by police, there's been a number of garbage skips that have been set on fire, as these demonstrators are moving across the southern part of the French capital.

Now, this is an important development, I think, from the perspective of the opposition, particularly the more radical opposition who might be trying, who are, arguably, trying to galvanize the whole country in a wider protest against the presidency of Emmanuel Macron. You'll recall there were very widespread and sustained protests by the Gilets Jaunes, the Yellow Vests of recent years, they went on for some months. They were increasingly violent.

There is, perhaps, some effort to try to get this issue over pensions to focus more widely across the country on opposition, but this is something that the unions in particular are trying to resist. They have their own demonstrations that are organized for mass strikes, which have been ongoing since mid-January across the country, to be focused next Thursday. But that may be running now out of their control.

It's very difficult to assess in the French context, Fredricka, because this is a country that is somewhat given to street demonstrations, particularly these spontaneous or semi-spontaneous responses.


We did also see also in southern Paris, or in Lascelle (ph), rather, the invasion of a railway station and a shopping mall. Somebody letting off a red smoke grenade in there, all of this signaling to Macron the great discomfort with his new policy.

WHITFIELD: Sam Kiley in Paris, thanks so much.

And now to Israel, where for the 11th straight week thousands of Israelis are protesting in the streets. The protest organizers say they are voicing their opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plan to overhaul Israel's judicial system. The proposal would allow lawmakers to overturn Supreme Court decisions with a simple majority. And many fear the changes will weaken the country's highest court and erode democratic checks and balances.

Barak Ravid is a Middle East correspondent for "Axios." Barak, good to see you. After 11 weeks of this, are protesters getting their message across?

BARAK RAVID, CONTRIBUTING CORRESPONDENT, AXIOS: Hi, Fredricka. Well, I think it's quite remarkable, when you think about it, that 11 weeks in a row more than 250,000 people across the country, week after week after week, are going out to protest.

And it's not only in Tel Aviv where it's the biggest demonstration, obviously, with more than 100,000 people, but it's from towns in northern Israel, Haifa to Jerusalem to the city of Ashdod south of Tel Aviv. And tonight I think it's more than 120 places around the country that you can find protests against this government plan to weaken the Supreme Court.

WHITFIELD: And the message is loud and clear for those many people who are gathering to protest. And there was a compromise proposal on the table this past week. What happened to that? And were protesters satisfied with that?

RAVID: Well, I think when you say that their message is loud and clear, I think it's true when it comes to you, to me, and I guess to many other people. But it's not exactly the case when it comes to Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government that, until now, rejected every proposal for compromise, mainly the proposal put forward by Israel's president, Isaac Herzog, who for weeks negotiated with experts and jurists and think tanks -- this proposal.

And it was rejected by the government after 17 minutes, 17 minutes after it was proposed in a speech on live television. And I think that right now it seems that the government is not really interested in any compromise.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. And so how long are people vowing to stay out in the streets?

RAVID: Well, I think that if there's one thing that Benjamin Netanyahu is surprised about is the fact that this thing has been going on for so long. And it doesn't seem to be weakening. It's just every week you see more and more people in the streets.

I'll just give you a small example. There's a town in Israel called Orkiba (ph). This is a Likud stronghold. Benjamin Netanyahu lives in a town not very far from there, it's a Likud stronghold, OK. And tonight, for the first time, hundreds of people there went into the streets and demonstrated. This is not a liberal place, it's not a leftwing town. This is a rightwing conservative town and hundreds of people went to the streets and demonstrated.

So I think that every week you see that more and more people are joining the protests, and you see it in public opinion polls. You see that even inside Benjamin Netanyahu's party, big numbers I think just in the poll yesterday, you saw that something like 30 percent of Netanyahu's voters support President Herzog's compromise proposal, for example. So I think this is not anymore a leftwing issue. It's, I think, more and more parts of the society are calling on the government to stop.

WHITFIELD: All right, Barak Ravid, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

RAVID: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: Major upsets, broken brackets, yes, it's safe to say that march madness is officially here, and it only took one round for the NCAA men's tournament to descend into chaos. Here is CNN's Andy Scholes. ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: So this really was a David

versus Goliath matchup. The 16 seeds had just one win and 150 losses against one seeds coming into the game. But the knights hanging tough the entire time. And it was Sean Moore coming through in the final moments off the steal, he gets it back with a lay-up on the other end to put the Knights up by five. Then moments later, Moore with a three puts them up by five again with a minute ago.


And Fairleigh Dickinson out of Teaneck, New Jersey, gets their first ever first round win, knocking out Purdue 63 to 58.


TOBIN ANDERSON, HEAD COACH, FDU MEN'S BASKETBALL: That's an unbelievable win. We did something that was unbelievable. We just shocked the world. And it couldn't have happened to a better bunch of guys, a better bunch of fans, the family, the whole thing. So we are ecstatic. Unbelievable. We're going to stay in Columbus. I love it.

SEAN MOORE, FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON FORWARD: It feels great to get this dub and show people that we can be here. People didn't thing we belonged to be here. We just showed people that we can do it. We can do it in this tournament with the big dogs. So we're doing great right now. On to the next dub, man.


SCHOLES: The Knights were 23.5-point underdogs. That made this the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history since the bracket went to 64 teams.

And get this, Fred. Fairleigh Dickinson, they shouldn't even have been in the tournament. They lost their conference title game to Merrimack. But Merrimack is still transitioning from division two so they weren't eligible to go to the tournament. So the Knights got in on a technicality, and they certainly made the most of it.

WHITFIELD: They did, indeed. Andy Scholes, thanks so much. I just want to hear those soundbites all over again. That was so cute.

So the first round of March Madness, it didn't disappoint. It was pretty exciting. But those upsets, while thrilling, may be just the start for schools like Fairleigh Dickinson.

The big dance offers a big stage for smaller universities, and that can have a dramatic financial impact. Our next guest knows all about that. Kurt Rotthoff is a professor of economics and finance at Seton Hall University. So good to see you, professor. So you wrote a paper about what you call the Cinderella Effect. Explain.

KURT ROTTHOFF, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS AND FINANCE, SETON HALL UNIVERSITY: Yes, so with my colleagues at Dayton University, we were able to talk about the Cinderella Effect and see how big of an impact this was on different teams. And part of the problem with the Cinderella Effect is a lot of these

schools we've heard of. Pitt upset somebody, but we're not talking about Pitt, we're talking about FDU, a school that not very many people know about.

And when you talk about these small, private schools, they get this advertisement that can't be bought and isn't available anywhere else. Because in March, we're all talking about basketball. And it has approximately a $10 million effect on a school like Fairleigh Dickinson when they can make a Cinderella run and win a few more games and get in the Sweet 16.

WHITFIELD: Wow, so that is going to help in their recruitment. They don't have to say a whole lot to try and get students, sponsors, everybody to get on board with these smaller schools that suddenly make it big in a March Madness kind of effect.

ROTTHOFF: Absolutely. This is the type of broadcasting and advertising that you just can't buy. We can't call up ESPN and say talk about my school for weeks on end. This type of stuff is bringing schools into the spotlight, and it's been doing it for years. St. Peters had a big run last year.

FDU had an amazing upset last and it was an amazing game to watch. And you look at those types of schools, and we always wondered what the impact was for those schools. But the big schools that we already know about, I don't expect much of an effect.

But when we see these small schools that put your name in the front of everyone's mind around the time when students are starting to think about where they're going to school and where they're applying next year, it has a major effect on their budgets and their finances over the next few years.

WHITFIELD: It changes everything. Oh, but it's been so fun to watch. And we're just the beginning. It's the beginning of the March Madness madness. So there will be a lot more upsets or victories, depending on how you look at it, and that means potential more big bank rolling in for all the new big dogs on the block. Professor Rotthoff, good to see you. Thank you so much.

ROTTHOFF: Thank you for having me.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We've got so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom. But before that, hey, I'm getting ahead of myself. Forget hanging 10. One surfer just hung 40. surfing waves in Australia, crushing the previous record of 30 hours, 11 minutes.

Johnson says he was honoring his late father who took his own life 10 years ago. The money raised for the record attempt is going to Johnson's foundation, which addresses youth mental health. After completing his world record, he simply posted on social media, "I did it!" Congratulations.

OK, now, hey, thanks so much for joining me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Smerconish starts right now.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Former President Trump says he's about to be arrested and calls for protests. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. In a post on his Truth Social account this morning, former President Trump announced that he expects to be indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in the investigation examining hush money paid to women who alleged sexual encounters with him.