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Credit Suisse Bought By UBS; Former Attorney Of Michael Cohen Expected To Testify Before Grand Jury In Manhattan; Teachers In Los Angeles To Go On Three-Day Strike; Severe Weather For California And West Coast; North Korea Fires Flurry Of Missiles; Vladimir Putin Visits Mariupol; Body Of A Teenager To Be Exhumed In Connection To Alex Murdaugh; Another West Bank Shooting Involving An American- Israeli. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired March 19, 2023 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA REID, CNN HOST: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Paula Reid in Washington. Jim Acosta is off. A major move today in an attempt to halt a global banking crisis. Switzerland's largest banking group UBS just agreed to buy its rival, Credit Suisse in an emergency rescue bid. The purchase is aimed at halting investor panic brought on by two sudden U.S. bank failures this month.
The deal comes after shares of the ailing bank lost 25 percent over the last week. Even an emergency loan from the Swiss National Bank failed to stop the fallout. CNN reporter Anna Stewart will join us in just a moment, and CNN global economic analyst, Rana Foroohar joins us now. All right, Rana, can you explain to us this deal?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Yeah, absolutely. So, a little bit of context. Credit Suisse has been a troubled bank for some time. So, this, you know, this is a bank that over the last couple of years has had any number of crises. It's been considered weak in the marketplace. Even late last year, it was having its own problems totally separate from the Silicon Valley Bank issue with depositors withdrawing funds.
So, it was perceived by the marketplace as being weak. So, Silicon Valley Bank happens suddenly, the entire system is really looking for who are the weak players. And Credit Suisse is certainly perceived as being one of them. Its share prices fall, and then you get the guarantee from the government and ultimately a deal from UBS to buy it, essentially on the cheap.
You know, and it's interesting to me because UBS is the biggest and strongest, and certainly now by some margin, strongest Swiss bank. And it seems at this moment that in some ways, but not a too big to fail crises, you know, we have more of a crisis with the second and third- tier banks, and the bigger banks are coming in and either guaranteeing or snapping up on the cheap. So, it's a different scenario than we saw in 2008.
REID: And Anna Stewart is now with us. Anna, thanks for joining us. How exactly will this work? What are the next steps?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (via telephone): Well, it's really interesting, just looking through some of the detail we're getting, and there's been a huge press conference with the Swiss government and the various players like the central banks and the regulator. UBS is essentially paying 3 billion Swiss Francs here. That's $3.25 billion. It's actually 60 percent less than the bank was worth. So, as Rana was saying there, UBS is getting Credit Suisse at a snip here.
It also, from the press conference, very clear that everyone is very keen to say this is not a bailout. This is a takeover. However, the Swiss National Bank, the central bank of Switzerland is going to provide a loan of up to $100 billion Swiss Francs, that's over $100 billion to UBS and Credit Suisse to boost liquidity. And the federal government says they will give UBS a guarantee in the amount of some $9.7 billion for potential losses.
There is definitely some money going in there. And also, I think, a really important part of the deal we're seeing here is what's happening to some commercial bonds in Credit Suisse. The so-called 81 bonds. Now, we can get sort of more into what those mean, but essentially, about $17 billion worth of bonds are being written off. So, you have to question how are investors in Europe, investors in banking stocks and banking bonds going to feel tomorrow morning, given this one type of asset has essentially been written off, is worth absolutely nothing.
And so going ahead into tomorrow, when we see the market open, that's what we'll be looking for. What is the effect? Is there any contagion effect? Do investors feel reassured? Or are we going to see another week of a sell-off.
REID: And Rana, do you see the fed's action playing into this crisis?
FOROOHAR: Well, not its action right at this moment, but longer term, yes. I mean, I think we are at this point, not because we're in a financial crisis circa 2008, but because we have had essentially four decades of easy money. You know, we have had falling interest rates on trend since the 1980s, since 2008, we have had an incredible amount of quantitative easing. That means central banks pumping money, not just the fed, but almost all central banks around the world pumping money into the markets.
And market participants have just gotten very, very used to rates being low. Now, low rates are kind of a panacea. They're a blanket that covers risk. But when rates start to go up, as they have been, you begin to see, as Warren Buffett said, who's not wearing shorts when the tide pulls out. And that's exactly what we're seeing.
And so, I would be not surprised if this isn't more of a broader crisis in terms of, you know, who's holding debt? Is it banks? Is it companies? Is it certain kinds of consumers? I think debt and rising interest rates on debt is the real problem here. And I suspect that's going to be the story in the coming months. REID: Thank you both.
And new reporting tonight in the Manhattan District Attorney's hush money probe involving former President Donald Trump. I've learned that Robert Costello, a former attorney for Donald Trump's one-time fixer, Michael Cohen, is set to appear before the Manhattan grand jury tomorrow at the request of Trump's defense team.
Team Trump apparently believes Costello has information regarding Cohen's credibility. Cohen is of course a key witness at the center of this investigation. Now, Cohen says he has been summoned to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office as well. He's already testified twice last week in front of the grand jury.
And joining us now for an exclusive interview, Alina Habba, an attorney for former President Trump. Alina, I believe this is your first time on CNN. Thank you so much for joining us.
ALINA HABBA, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: It is. Thanks for having me, Paula.
REID: And just to clarify, you don't represent the former president in the Manhattan District Attorney's case, but you represent him in other matters and you're here to talk on his behalf about all this breaking news.
HABBA: That's correct. Thank you for saying that.
REID: Let's start with what we were just talking about. This new CNN reporting that tomorrow, Robert Costello, an attorney, is expected to go before the grand jury to talk about Michael Cohen's credibility and this was a request from the Trump team. So, why did the former president's defense attorneys make this request?
HABBA: Well, I can't confirm that that was a request that they made. I know we have fantastic lawyers on the D.A. side handling this. I can tell you Bob Costello has been a critic of Michael Cohen, frankly, like myself, since he went on the attack on a former client that he frankly created this entire (inaudible) that we are now targeting a political candidate for.
He was supposed to be retained by Michael Cohen, wasn't formally retained by Michael Cohen, and has some information we're told that is going to assist in acknowledging, which, frankly, Michael Cohen has done in front of Congress and other places, that this was something he coordinated. He made the payment himself. And effectively, it was no different than a settlement. So, I'm interested to see what Mr. Costello has to say. I think he has inside knowledge and we should be paying attention.
REID: It should be an interesting day at court tomorrow. All right, moving on to yesterday, the former president's social media post, in one post, he said he expects to be arrested. Now, his spokesman then came out and said, they haven't been informed of any arrests. Our reporting suggests that is true. So, why is your client going out and saying he's going to be arrested on Tuesday? HABBA: I think it's a very important thing that he does that quite
honestly. We've got Hunter Biden, who we've seen has ties to China. We've got his dead brother's, you know, wife, who's now, we've heard this week, has been funneling money from China as well and is on payroll. So, what happens is the Democrats now have to pull the wool over our heads. And you've seen memes, I'm sure, that's A-okay, arrest Donald Trump, but that's exactly what this is.
So, my client is getting ahead of it and he's smart to do so. I think that when you hear a lot of noise like this, we have to pull the curtains back and say, this is a problem for Democrats. They're losing in the polls. He's ahead. And we've got major crises happening. In New York, we've got people dying. This is what a state D.A. is doing after a failed federal D.A. couldn't do it.
So, I'm glad that he's doing it and getting ahead of it. Let's see if they arrest him, but I'll tell you what, if they choose to do so, for a misdemeanor, which frankly he didn't even do, it is going to cause mayhem, Paula. I mean, it's just a very scary time in our country.
REID: Well, he says in his Truth Social post, quote, "Former president of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week, protest, take our nation back. Is your client speculating about an arrest to incite political violence?
HABBA: I don't think he's speculating at all. I think that's the reason you're covering it at the top of the hour, right? I mean, we're all hearing it. And we're all hearing leaks from the D.A., which is very typical. So, to not address something like that would be irresponsible. He's a candidate for the presidency. He is a former president. Somebody is leaking that he is getting arrested.
We're hearing about meetings. We're hearing about people going into the grand jury with information. We actually heard a lie about somebody saying they went into the grand jury and they didn't. How can he not address it?
He's a key political figure, if not the political figure. So, I think it's not speculation. It's something that we're hearing. And I'm glad he's addressing it because if it is true, he needs to get ahead of it.
REID: Separate from whether or not he will be arrested, of course, there is an ongoing investigation, but even his team has said on the record, they have no indication of an arrest. But these calls for protest, the last time the former president called for his supporters to protest, there was an insurrection. So, should he be more careful in his language when he comes out and talks about this investigation?
HABBA: I think my answer to that, Paula, is, why is it such a story when Donald Trump says we should protest injustice and we should stand up for the Constitution, but when BLM does it, when people are hurt for other groups and other political figures that are left wing. When you have parents that are protesting transitioning children who have no idea whether their sexuality is what, but it's a problem when President Trump does it.
I think the real question is, Paula, why is it such a story when he does it, but when these groups that are stealing money and calling for protests and having people hurt and victimized, it's not a story. It's one we ignore. So, I think he's right. You know, there is a scary thing happening in this country, Paula. We are not Russia. I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican. We are not Russia. And we should be protesting and standing up for anything that's political persecution.
REID: Protesting is absolutely a protected right in this country. I think the question is and the reason this keeps coming up is because the former leader of the free world is under investigation via special counsel for his role in spurring an insurrection on January 6th. So, the question is, now, when he's frustrated, he's upset about what's going on in Manhattan, should he be more careful in his language?
HABBA: I think his language was to protest. I think that's an American right, like you said. I think we've seen footage recently with January 6th that things were possibly not the way that they're turning it. This is a spin, just like everything else. A protest is absolutely fine and anybody can say we should protest injustice. So, no, I don't think so. I think he's fine just the way he is.
REID: So, in the wake of his posts, the Manhattan d.a., Alvin Bragg, he sent out a note to his staff saying, quote, "We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York." What is your reaction to that?
HABBA: We're not going tolerate your attempts to threaten the rule of law. And we're not going to tolerate your attempts to try and take away the Republican vote and take away people's right to vote against or for Donald Trump. That's my reaction. This is intimidation. This is intimidation and my client is actually the victim. So that is absolutely my reaction. It works both ways. Works both ways.
REID: So, let's say, if there is an indictment, will your client negotiate a peaceful surrender?
HABBA: I do not see Donald Trump as a person that would ever hide under the covers. I don't think anybody could say that he would do that. He would absolutely face anything head-on, especially when he's done nothing wrong.
REID: And we've reported that there have been meetings among law enforcement agencies in New York and the U.S. Secret Service about security concerns for him appearing at that courthouse for his initial appearance. What is his legal team telling him about the security risks here?
HABBA: That would be privileged. I can't discuss any conversations that are had between legal team and a client. I can say that if there are concerns, it's rightfully so. This would be historically groundbreaking moves for a misdemeanor, to try to bring it up to a charge where you're arraigning a former president. And I do think security should be in place if that is what they choose to do. I would never want to see anybody get hurt. I know the president
wouldn't either. And if this is what we're doing in this country, you better secure the premises because it's dangerous, you know. People are going to get upset. I've had people come up to me the past couple of days and say how upsetting this is to them, Paula.
No one wants anyone to ever get hurt. And at the end of the day, First Amendment is very important. The right to protest is very important. But people have to be safe. They have to be cautious, and we have to make sure that nobody is ever put in jeopardy. I truly do stand by that. So, hopefully, they do it in a peaceful way and this is done appropriately, if it's done. But frankly, nothing about it is appropriate so, if they choose to do this.
REID: I mean, you've been to that courthouse many times. I've been there for some big stories. It's a circus on a good day. I mean, do you think that there should be some special considerations for your client and recommendations to him to maybe to do this remotely, to protect not only himself, but the people there?
HABBA: I don't think it would be so much in his control, right? He's a former president. So, the Secret Service is going to have to be the ones involved in that. And we've heard that in the press. He's a former president and he's candidate for president. And that would be coordinated, I assume, you know. It's not a Donald Trump decision. That's a government law enforcement decision.
REID: As I understand it, he can make the request, and a judge will consider it. Obviously, though, we're in sort of an unprecedented situation, considering it's the former president. Apparently, the Secret Service can't stop him, I'm told. They just have to protect him, whatever he does.
But I want to ask you about one other case. The E. Jean Carroll case. We have some breaking news on that. You represent the former president in his ongoing litigation. She has, of course, accused Trump of raping her in a dressing room in Manhattan in late 1995 or early '96. She is pursuing several cases, but they have now been consolidated. What can you tell us about that decision to consolidate these cases?
HABBA: That was frankly per my request. That is my case. I've been on the E. Jean Carroll case for several years. And I think that anybody that's following the case closely knows that we did overturn the Southern District of New York on a decision that the president was an employee of the government. We're waiting on a decision for that.
So, the Carroll 1 case as I call it, is a defamation case for a tweet when somebody called him a rapist and he called her effectively, you know, that she was not his type, which I can't understand how that's not a crime, somebody cannot be your type. But that was the first case, that case has been going on for a while.
Now, she filed a new case, because that case is, frankly, not so strong. And the case is under the Adult Survivor's Act, which is a one-year statutory time for anybody to bring any rape case against anybody in the state of New York for a year. It's a very frightening statute that was passed by Hochul.
But we asked for it to be consolidated because the idea, first of all, that we would have two separate trials, one on a case that we're probably going to win, is surprising. Secondly, it just doesn't make sense. It's from the same root of a complete lie that we have to now defend and will vindicate my client for.
So, to waste taxpayer dollars, which is not what the president is interested in, it makes no sense. So, we were happy to have both sides agree and we will be having one trial to address both claims, which we will find is debunked.
REID: Alina Habba, thank you so much for joining us.
HABBA: Thank you, Paula.
REID: And teachers at the country's second largest school district are about to go on strike for three days. Why both sides in the dispute say this will affect schools around the country, next.
Plus, a new twist in the death investigation connected to Alex Murdaugh and his family.
And Vladimir Putin visits a destroyed city in Ukraine. One Ukrainian says it's like when a serial killer returns to the scene of a crime. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
REID: The second largest school district in the country is bracing for major disruption this week. The union representing thousands of Los Angeles school workers is planning a three-day strike. The walkout comes after negotiations broke down following nearly a year at the table. And some union members now claim they've been harassed while asking for more money. The superintendent says those allegations are being reviewed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERTO M. CARVALHO, L.A. UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDDENT: We have not been presented with compelling evidence that there's widespread abuses. Are there issues? Yes. Each one of them is vigorously investigated and the consequences are applied on a basis of merit of the allegation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I want to bring in Max Arias. He is the executive director of Services Employees International Union local 99. That's the union planning this week's walkout. First, I want to get your response to what you just heard from the superintendent. MAX ARIAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SERVICES EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION
LOCAL 99: Yeah, good afternoon, Paula. Thanks for having me. This is the first time I've heard the superintendent even acknowledge that there may be issues. He has been ignoring me constantly. We have filed 16 for labor practices with the public relations board ever since September until now. And pending, there's a lot more that are coming this week, in which the anti -- this activity, we saw not the (inaudible) activity for members being harassed and threatened. So, I'm glad that he is finally acknowledging that something is happening instead of ignoring it.
REID: So, what are the major sticking points here? What are the unions' key demands?
ARIAS: Well, first, just -- this three-day strike is really a strike, as you pointed out, because of the unfair labor practices that (inaudible) has been committing, but these came about because the members are demanding an improvement in the school system. These demands include want more staffing to keep the schools clean. Depending on the community where you may live in Los Angeles, if your community does not have enough income to fund-raise, your school is probably has half the bathrooms closed. It's not as clean as the others. We need more staff to do that.
We also need to really invest in the human beings that provide these services to students, which are our members, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, special education assistance, teachers assistance, I.T. Workers, I could keep going on and on and on. These workers are the ones that provide all the support so that teachers can teach and students can learn.
So, we're seeking clean, safe, supportive schools. But here in Los Angeles, the average wage of these workers, which are mostly women that work in the school district, is $25,000 a year. In Los Angeles, at the very least, for a family of four, the poverty line is at $36,000 a year. Our demands are to bring these workers up to at least the poverty line for a family of four.
It is pretty -- how can I say, it is crazy to be fighting for this, but that's what we're fighting for. We're fighting for that, we're fight for more hours of work, so that we can provide full-time service to students. And those are the sticking points. And the district can certainly afford to do that, but it is just refusing.
Furthermore, we have been running (ph) for close to a year, and superintendent saying that we are refusing to go back to the table is misleading. Because the negotiation process that came to impasse in December, we went through the mediation process and now we're awaiting what is called fact finding. So, we're following the lawful process to continue the negotiations.
REID: And a custodian we heard from in the piece we aired last hour said, we just want to live above the water, but that this is also about feeling respected. Is that what you're hearing from other union members, that this is just as much about respect as it is about money?
ARIAS: Yes, it is. Actually, how do you -- the value of the -- our members' jobs are not valued by the district. That is a form of disrespect. Not only do they receive low wages, but when they dare demand better, then the district bears down on them. So, they are feeling -- they have felt disrespected for a long, long time.
During COVID, our members served 140 million meals to the families of Los Angeles, as well as working in-person, staffing the vaccination clinics, staffing the testing centers, supporting the principals and the schools, et cetera, et cetera. They were there in person. And our teachers' assistance and special ed assistance supported teachers in the virtual learning, right?
So, anyway -- so that's what they're doing -- what they did. And it is right now, they feel so disrespected because the district, we -- just context, we were not -- if our contracts expired in 2020, June of 2020, there's a reason why we were not able to bargain, it's because we were busy making sure that the district was well-maintained and everything I just mentioned.
So, it is very disrespectful to come to the workers and tell them, we are not willing to give you a wage, even though it may be retroactive. You know, it's funny, the year that you were here feeding Angelinos and making sure that the schools stayed, you know, well maintained. It is very disrespectful.
Furthermore, I just want to mention 74 percent of our members are women, you know, and 74 percent are Latino, 20 percent are black, and this disrespect also takes another dimension when you put that into account. As well as 43 percent of our members are parents of children that attend LAUSD.
REID: Max Arias, thank you.
ARIAS: Thank you, Paula.
REID: And the levee breach that caused devastating flooding in parts of northern California is fixed for now. This is what the town of Pajaro looked like when the levee broke along the river last weekend, sending water rushing towards the small farming community. Thousands were evacuated and hundreds more had to be rescued.
Right now, many are still out of their homes. Nearly 400 people remain in a shelter waiting for their homes to be inspected before they can go back. And more rain is expected in that area and across parts of the western United States starting tomorrow. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar has more.
ALLISON CHINCAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Paula, it is going to be a parade of systems, one after the next, that really impact the western U.S. over the next several days. That very first system already here right now, bringing rain and snow, not only into California, but eventually seeing that moisture begin to spread into the intermountain west. So, areas of Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and eventually in towards the areas of Colorado. And pretty much as soon as that one moves out, the very next one moves in. And this secondary system likely to arrive late Monday and into Tuesday is really going to be a very intense system. Not only with rain, but also with the amount of snow. That's why you've got winter weather advisories, winter storm watches, and winter storm warnings set, because of how much snow is really anticipated over the next 48 to 72 hours.
Now, that next system arriving late Monday, that's going to be our next big atmospheric river and likely going to be a pineapple express based off the fact that the origin of that moisture coming from Hawaii, streaming all the way up into southern California. And likely even spreading some of that moisture into areas of Arizona, as well.
So that's where the flood concern is going to be the greatest over the next few days. You'll see central and southern portions of California looking at a slight and marginal risk of flooding, but also portions of Arizona, including Flagstaff and Phoenix, also looking at the potential for flooding. So certainly, something we'll have to keep a close eye on in the coming days.
REID: Vladimir Putin makes a surprise visit to Ukraine. Why did he choose to visit there now? Well, that story's next in the "CNN Newsroom."
REID: Heightened tensions and new condemnation today after a flurry of North Korean missile launches this week. The latest was a ballistic missile that South Korea's military says traveled nearly 500 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan. Thursday, North Korea fired an ICBM and two cruise missiles from a submarine. Japan says the launches are a threat to regional peace.
North Korea, though, says it's a response to joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea. As part of those exercises, U.S. B- 1B bombers took part in joint drills with American and South Korean jets today. South Korea says its F-35 stealth fighters and U.S. F-16S flew alongside nuclear capable bombers. The exercises dubbed "Freedom Shield," started Monday and they'll run for 11 days. And these are the biggest war games the two countries have held in five years.
Now to Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is making a surprise visit inside the war-torn country. He toured the Russian-controlled city of Mariupol and surveyed reconstruction programs from the damage inflicted by his own military. His visit comes just days after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest for his role in an alleged scheme to deport thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia.
Jill Dougherty joins me now. She's the former CNN Moscow bureau chief. Jill, it's a pretty brazen visit considering Putin's forces were relentlessly bombing this city less than a year ago. Why do you think he did this?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's really the height of irony. I mean, we met -- you know, Mariupol, of all the cities that was attacked by Russian forces back, really at the beginning of the war, that was almost the epicenter. Remember the maternity ward that was destroyed, the theater was 600 -- at least 600 civilians were sheltering that had the sign outside, that said, children, that was bombed, too.
So, to go to Mariupol, he is sending a message and I think it's really one of defiance. He is just, you know, freshly issued an arrest warrant by the ICC, and there he is. He also went to Crimea earlier in this trip and from the Russian media and from the reports, he apparently in Mariupol drove around, actually at the wheel of a car, and drove around visiting people. The message was reconstruction, but the irony of reconstructing, as you mentioned, the very city that Russian forces essentially tried to destroy.
REID: I also want to get your thoughts on the arrest warrant the ICC issued for Putin. It's certainly symbolic, but even residents in Ukraine don't have much hope it will actually amount to anything. Here's what one resident of Kyiv told CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: We shouldn't be too optimistic here because he has yet to be brought to justice. There's still a lot of work to be done. It means that if he goes abroad, he should be caught there, but it's a futile hope until we get to the Red Square. In fact, in practical terms, it will mean little, unfortunately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: How much impact does this warrant actually have?
DOUGHERTY: Well, in a way, that gentlemen is right. Because it would seem pretty far-fetched at this point that Vladimir Putin would even go to a country that recognizes the ICC, and open himself to the possibility of being arrested. But that said, this is the beginning. It's a very big step, and there are many other investigations that are taking place, organizations, international organizations and others that are collecting information and data, realtime data, in Ukraine, about violations of humanitarian law and actual war crimes.
So, this is just one of many investigations. And at this point, perhaps, you know, Vladimir Putin is certain to stick close to where he feels that he won't be arrested. But it is, I think, just the beginning of collecting all of that information, that could lead to some people ultimately being arrested and charged for these crimes.
REID: In August, Putin is expected to travel South Africa to attend a summit. Now, South Africa is an ICC signatory and obligated to arrest Putin if he enters their jurisdiction. So, hypothetically, what kind of international reverberations would there be if Putin were apprehended, or do you think he might just request to maybe attend remotely? DOUGHERTY: Well, that is going to be a real dilemma. That would be a
fascinating moment to watch. Because it would create very problems for South Africa. You know, do they follow their own law in respecting the ICC or do they not? And also, for Putin himself, I think that's a way in the future. And who knows whether Putin will actually do that.
The Kremlin is very careful, I think, at this point, they're probably trying to evaluate precisely what this might mean for the schedule. And remember, President Putin hasn't gone a lot of places. Yes, he went to Crimea, which they control and he went on this very quick trip to Mariupol. But he does not do a lot of traveling, international traveling. Some of it because of COVID. Now, he's getting back to a little bit more, but this will create definite complications for the Kremlin.
REID: Jill Dougherty, thank you.
And police are re-opening an eight-year-old death investigation and it's said to have a connection to Alex Murdaugh and his family. That story is next on the CNN NEWSROOM.
REID: One of the many mysteries of the Murdaugh family of South Carolina is getting another look. The family of Stephen Smith will exhume his body for an independent autopsy. Steven was found dead in the road near the Murdaugh family estate back in 2015. CNN's Isabel Rosales is live with the latest. Isabella, now anyone who has been following this case probably knows who Stephen is. So, what more are you learning?
ISABEL ROSALES CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, this progress is a major development. This is all happening thanks to Stephen Smith's mother, who has been fighting tirelessly to get answers to her son's unsolved killing, really since the day that his body was found back in 2015. So, it's been eight years of no answers for her, no closure.
And what she is doing within her power to try to attempt to get those answers is she's opened up a GoFundMe page to pay for and raise money for an independent exhumation and autopsy of her son's body.
Her goal was $15,000. She estimated that it would cost north of $7,000. And today, Paula, she's raised over $60,000. What she wants here is what she's calling a new fresh look at her son's body to determine what exactly killed him. And this is a post that we have from her GoFundMe page saying, "Our family is so very grateful to all of you who came together to help us in our fight for justice for Stephen. We will pursue the exhumation immediately and provide updates along the way. Thank you for the kind words, prayers, and donations," is what she wrote up on the GoFundMe.
While authorities have not, Paula, announced any sort of connection between the Murdaugh family and Stephen Smith's killing, the SLED, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division did announce back in 2021, June of 2021, that they were reopening an investigation into his killing. And they said that the reason for that was because of details that they uncovered while investigating the double homicide of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
They did not go into the details of what exactly they found that pushed them to open that investigation. They did give us a statement, SLED did today, stating that SLED has made progress in the death investigation of Stephen King -- Smith, excuse me, however, this investigation remains active and ongoing.
But, Paula, bottom line here, there are still so many questions about his death. We have a SLED report where a pathologist stated that they believe that he was hit by a car. However, we have also a report from the investigators who arrived on scene from the highway patrol, who said that they didn't find any sort of debris, any glass, any indication that would prove that he was hit by a car. So, lots still to go on this journey of finding out what happened to Stephen Smith.
REID: That's certainly one to watch. And it's good to hear that Stephen might get a chance at justice here. Thank you so much, Isabel Rosales.
ROSALES: Thank you.
REID: A man with a dual American/Israeli citizenship shot in the back while in the West Bank. We'll have the latest, next in the CNN NEWSROOM.
REID: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he spoke with President Biden this afternoon about a West Bank shooting attack that seriously wounded an American-Israeli. The Israeli military says the man was shot while he and his wife drove through the town of Huwara.
The area become a flash point recently. Two Israeli brothers were killed there last month, also while driving, an incident that triggered reprisal attacks by Israelis, all this as Israelis and Palestinians meet in Egypt to discuss way to say ease tension. CNN's Hadas Gold is live in Jerusalem. Hadas, what are you learning?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, we're learning that earlier today, this man and his wife were driving through Huwara and the reason that they were doing so is that one of the main roadways through the occupied West Bank that both settlers and Palestinians use crosses through this town of Huwara. And that's why it's become a flash point.
What we know is that at some point they came under attack. A gunman began shooting at their vehicle. If you look at the images of the vehicle, you just see the windshield absolutely riddled with bullet holes. Now, the Israeli military says that actually the driver, the husband managed to shoot back at the attackers. They say the attacker was then injured before fleeing. He was later apprehended by Israeli soldiers.
Miraculously, despite the number of bullet holes you see in that windshield, the man actually is now in a rather stable condition. The hospital saying that it's amazing the condition that he is in. But as you noted, Huwara has been a flash point for some time a few weeks ago. There were two Israeli brothers who were shot and killed and actually, a rather similar attack, while they were driving along that main road and attackers shooting and killing these two Israeli brothers.
A few hours later, we had those Israeli settlers initially rampage revenge attacks. Dozens of homes and cars were burned and one Palestinian man killed in the ensuing chaos. So there has been a lot of tension already in Huwara. Now, actually, settlers have said that they wanted to demonstrate again tonight. So, there's a lot of concern that we'll see sort of a repeat of those settler rampages.
But so far, it doesn't seem -- it does seem as though things are calm. It seems as though the Israeli military has a lot more control of the situation than last time. This all coming while Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Americans are all -- they just met in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to try and calm the situation, especially ahead of Ramadan, which starts later this week. All eyes will be here on Jerusalem on the holiest sites here in Jerusalem. Ramadan is expected to really raise the tension quite a bit.
REID: Hadas Gold, thank you.
And "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?" Well, tonight it's actor Brian Cox on the final season of "Succession," and actress, Eva Longoria, about her new CNN Original Series, "Searching for Mexico." Here's Chris with a preview.
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, if you're like me and can't wait for the HBO series "Succession" to start up again, then stick around. Tonight, my guests are Brian Cox, who plays the explosive patriotic Logan Roy. We talk about the upcoming final season the famous F bomb catch phrase and a comparison between his character and another real- life media mogul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You don't hear any echoes of Murdaugh's there?
BRIAN COX, ACTOR: Well, there's the echo of anybody who is in that position, a position where they're running an empire. And the big difference between Murdaugh and Logan is Logan created this empire. You know, Murdaugh's empire was already in place, and he just (inaudible).
WALLACE: He inherit it.
COX: He inherited it -- inherited it.
WALLACE: From his --
WALLACE: From his father.
COX: And I think that Logan is in many ways saying these are my rules and these are what I do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Then, I sit down with actress Eva Longoria who we're happy to welcome to the CNN family. She talks about why it was important to do her new CNN Original Series; Searching for Mexico. And the passionate democratic activist also talks a little politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Did you ever consider running for political office yourself.
EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: No. No, and especially in this moment of politics. It's -- it's so divisive and I think that's what politicians get wrong; is they want to speak for people. I speak for women. I speak for Latino. I don't do any of those things. And what I try to encourage politicians to do is not knock on our door every four years with a taco truck and try to get our vote, don't say vote matters when lives don't matter, engage in those communities. Every day. Not every four years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Two fascinating new conversations you don't want to miss tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern. Paula?
REID: Don't miss an all new "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace." As he just said, it will be on tonight, 7:00 eastern on CNN.
And a major development tonight that could prevent a global banking crisis. One of the world's biggest banks is stepping up to buy Credit Suisse. The details and what it means for the economy next, here in the CNN NEWSROOM.