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Trump Faces Two Major Legal Threats By Monday; The Danger Of Getting Americans Out Of Haiti; NBC's Chuck Todd Rips His Network Over Ronna McDaniel Hire; Israel Agrees To U.S. Proposal On Prisoner- Hostage Exchange. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired March 24, 2024 - 18:00   ET




DOLLY PARTON, SINGER: It's the first time I've ever been in Vegas.


PARTON: So I'm curious to see if I'm going to really enjoy it.

RICH LITTLE, COMEDIAN: The soirees were actually ridiculous. I remember Dolly Parton was playing, they paid her over $300,000 a week. Everybody was astounded. Sometimes these salaries were so huge you wonder how they were going to make their money, and they just couldn't continue to do it.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN HOST: The final episode of the CNN Original Series "VERGAS, THE STORY OF SIN CITY" airs tonight at 10:00 Eastern on CNN.

Let's start another hour.

Welcome, everyone. We've got more news. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Omar Jimenez in New York.

In less than 24 hours, Donald Trump's legal troubles could take a turn for the worse. The former president is facing the very real possibility of losing money and property if he fails to pay a nearly half a billion-dollar bond for the civil fraud judgment against him. But that's not all. Tomorrow Trump is also expected to appear in a New York district court where he'll likely learn the new trial date for his criminal hush money case in Manhattan.

CNN's Zachary Cohen joins us now.

Zach, all right, a lot to break down here, but it does appear the Trump team's delay tactics aren't going to work much longer. I mean, what are we expecting here?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Donald Trump is finally facing a moment where if he can't put up the cash to secure bond for that civil fraud judgment, the multi-million-dollar judgment, where he personally owes over $450 million, he could see the attorney general in New York start the process of seizing his assets. That includes things like bank accounts, that includes things like his properties.

You know, that's something that we know -- knowing what we know about Donald Trump he does not want to see happen. But, look, the attorney general in New York has already made clear that, you know, that they intend to push forward on this if Trump cannot secure a bond by tomorrow's deadline. They've already put in a judgment for two of Trump's properties in New York. One, his golf course there, another a private estate.

So, you know, clearly signaling that if Trump cannot come up with the money, they will move forward with trying to seize assets. And, you know, there is still the question of an appeals court. Trump has asked an appeals court to let him post a smaller amount for a bond. We're waiting on a decision there. So a little bit of uncertainty, but at the same time tomorrow, we could also get more insight and more specificity around a trial date in Trump's criminal case in New York.

That's the hush money case, really the payments Trump allegedly made to porn star Stormy Daniels. And look, that trial was supposed to start tomorrow, but instead we're going to have another pretrial hearing where Trump's lawyers can argue to further postpone the case or even dismiss it altogether. Depending on what the judge thinks of those arguments, though, it's very possible that the judge sets a trial date rather than pushing it further. The district attorney has argued no further delays needed in that case.

So two very big, monumental potentially decisions and things that could play out in New York tomorrow for Donald Trump. You know, we know that Trump does take what happens to the state of New York particularly hard. So we'll be watching that closely.

JIMENEZ: Yes. We'll have a lot of answers 24 hours from now. Until then, Zach Cohen, thank you so much.

For more analysis, let's turn to my next guest. Joining me now is former Homeland Security official under the Trump administration, Miles Taylor. His book, "Blowback: A Warning to Save Democracy from Trump's Revenge," is being rereleased in paperback on April 9th.

Thanks for joining me. So, Miles, tomorrow could prove to be, I mean, I can't say it any other way, a nightmare day for Trump. Does it surprise you at all that it's come to this?

MILES TAYLOR, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: It doesn't surprise me, Omar, but I think you really can't overstate how much this is a nightmare for him. I mean, folks that don't know the man might say it was impeachments or it was criminal investigations by the FBI, or any number of other things that he has experienced. All these other cases he's going through on classified documents or hush money.

But, Omar, it's his money that he cares the most about. Trump's entire identity is wrapped around this mirage of his business success. And to have that openly taken from him is something that won't just be an actual hit to his lifestyle, it will be a big political hit internally and externally. It will hit the man's ego and it will be used against him. And you're already seeing Joe Biden and his allies talk about a broke Donald Trump. It's something that really does resonate in a bad way with Donald Trump.

Now, look, as Zach was just saying earlier, if the appeals court denies the reduction in Trump's bond, then he really just has three options. Either he gets that bond for $450 million or he declares bankruptcy, or it's bye-bye for his assets. Now Donald Trump is having trouble getting the bond. He's really unlikely to declare bankruptcy because he doesn't like that image.


And so it seems like if the appeals court doesn't offer the option, if the bond doesn't come through, they are going to take these assets.

Now the last thing I would add, Omar, is if I was on the prosecutor side, I would definitely want to go for liquid assets and not as many of those physical assets and symbols that Trump could use.

JIMENEZ: That, of course, yes, becomes the next calculus. Once that process starts, where do you start? And so again, we'll have a lot of answers on that 24 hours from now.

Now, of course, the large amount of money has raised a lot of questions about where he would actually get that money from, and some have speculated that it leaves him vulnerable to foreign interference here, some business partner or someone in the community from a foreign country coming in. Trump's attorney has said that is, quote, "categorically, absolutely not true" that Trump would seek foreign money to pay his bond. There's no Russian or Saudi money or anything like that under consideration.

Would this be out of the realm of possibilities based on you working for him in the past, for him to do? And how concerned are you about that particular dynamic?

TAYLOR: Well, Omar, I am worried. I mean, when I was at the Department of Homeland Security, we would have conversations privately about why Donald Trump was spending so much time cozying up to dictators. And a lot of members of his own cabinet expressed in private their concern that the reason he was cozy night up to dictators was because in the future he would want to avail himself of their funds, of their support, whether it was investment in his properties or future business deals.

So this is exactly the type of case that national security officials were worried about that in the post-presidency, Trump might go seek favors from foreign governments. And this is certainly an amount of money that he could potentially have to rely on a large foreign government to come and back him.

What does that mean, Omar, should he win the presidency again and something like that if he chose to take money from a foreign government? What would it mean? It would mean they potentially have leverage over the president of the United States. Now, forget the president for a second, this is the type of thing that national security officials worry about when they hire line workers and, you know, folks straight out of college.

It's one of the first things that happens when you do your national security clearance is they asked you about all of your debts. Why? Because they want to make sure you don't owe someone who could use that debt as leverage to get you to spill secrets. So when it's the president of the United States, I think that's a very, very big concern, so folks will be watching closely to make sure that we understand the source of the funds if Donald Trump does indeed come up with them.

JIMENEZ: And you highlight a key dynamic here. This is happening within an election year. This is happening as people consider who they're going to vote for, for the next president of the United States. You've obviously been very outspoken about your former boss here, but you're not alone. Other former administration officials have come out and spoken out against him.

How critical do you think it is for former Trump administration officials to speak up ahead of this November election?

TAYLOR: Well, Omar, I think folks feel like at this point they know everything there is to know about Donald Trump. But the one place where I will push back against that is there still is an extraordinary wealth of information about the things Donald Trump had wanted to do in a first term, but which his team and folks like me told him and told the White House were not legal or were unconstitutional, or at a minimum were unethical.

And there's still a mountain of those things that were shelved that in a second term would be the policies of a Trump 2.0. It's really important for former officials to paint that picture for America because it really is a chilling picture. It's a picture of a government that's weaponized against the people themselves, and against political adversaries. That's what Donald Trump wanted to do with government departments and agencies on a regular basis.

And so in my mind, the people who can speak best to that, who can speak most authoritatively and who can speak without the veneer of it being partisan politics are people from within his own party, and people who had been within his own administration. So I still know a number of them who have not spoken out, who are considering speaking out.

And I really urge them this cycle to find the courage to do that because our country really could hang in the balance.

JIMENEZ: Well, we will see if your efforts actually gets some of them to come out and speak. And if they do feel free to refer them to us, we'd be happy to relay any experience they may have had here.

Miles Taylor, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

TAYLOR: Thanks, Omar.

JIMENEZ: Of course.

Tomorrow former president Trump could find out if his efforts to delay the Stormy Daniels hush money trial will pan out, or if that'll be the first criminal trial on his busy 2024 calendar.


Plus, as gang violence consumes Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, hundreds of American stuck in the country are braving the dangerous journey to get back home. And a new potential break in those urgent ceasefire talks between Hamas and Israel, with Israel agreeing to a prisoner hostage exchange. Later, we're going to talk with Barak Ravid, one of the first to find out about the new proposal.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.



JIMENEZ: As we've been reporting, in just a matter of hours, former president Donald Trump faces a deadline to post a multimillion-dollar bond. If he can't come up with the money officials can begin seizing his assets, including bank accounts and properties. Trump is expected to appear in a New York courtroom tomorrow as well, where a judge may set a start date for his hush money case.

So a lot to talk about here. Joining me now to discuss CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Alice Stewart, along with Democratic strategist Chuck Rocha.

Now, Alice, we knew the campaign trail and courtroom are going to collide this election cycle. Is this more of the same in terms of legal trouble boosting him politically, or is this when we see things start to actually turn?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But this is all the same according to Trump's space. And this is not just the collision, this is a major crash of the courtroom and the campaign trail. But look, Donald Trump's base has always looked at all of these legal issues the same. They view this as a weaponization of the Justice Department. They see this as a witch-hunt. They see this as overzealous, liberal DAs and judges going after Donald Trump because he is a threat to Joe Biden.

And that is exactly why he is won every state in the GOP primary except for Vermont and the District of Columbia. The problem, as you know, Omar, and talk is that we're now in a general election and he has to make the case to independent voters and undecided voters who are maybe on the fence about his legal issues and what they need to do moving forward is as take the focus now off the campaign trail and put it on the issues out of the courtroom and on the campaign on issues that people are concerned with. That is the economy, immigration as well as a safety and national

security because we all know that those numbers are not good for Joe Biden and Donald Trump needs to make sure to remind people that things were cheaper, safer, and more secure under his presidency.

JIMENEZ: And, you know, it would be interesting because you mentioned it won't make a difference to the base, which of course makes a huge difference in the primary side of things. But, Chuck, we're now entering into the general election side of things. There's never been a major party presidential candidate facing multiple series criminal charges like this during a cycle like this.

How do you see this playing out politically, particularly within a general election space?

CHUCK ROCHA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know, we throw around the word historic too much and we really don't know because we've never, Omar, like you're saying, have never seen anything like this. Alice has run a lot of campaigns. I've run a lot of campaigns and what you base campaign strategy off of what you know is going to happen. Because normally about the same thing happens every time.

You come up with a targeted universe, you go get a bunch of persuadables that you need persuade to vote for you. This is a whole new battleground. This is a whole new field. We don't know how this is going to affect suburban white women, which will really be a key to a lot of the battleground states. And let's take it one step further. Donald Trump just put his daughter-in-law in charge of the RNC and the first thing she did is said that the RNC is going to pay his legal bills.

So every dollar that's going out that building to pay for a legal bill is not going to persuade a persuadable voter to vote for Donald Trump. And that's what I'm really looking at.

JIMENEZ: Yes. And look, Trump is one aspect of the Republican Party right now. He's not the only issue, though, that the GOPis dealing with here.

Alice, you know, this week we saw Marjorie Taylor Greene threaten, threatened short the speakership of Mike Johnson after he made a deal to keep the government open. She hasn't called for a vote on a motion to vacate, but also has said Johnson cannot remain as speaker.

So, Alice, can the GOP get anything done legislative wise when you have such polarized factions constantly threatening to bring votes against her House leader, similar to what we saw when Kevin McCarthy was briefly speaker?

STEWART: It's really difficult, Omar. It's really difficult. And the problem is, I think what Marjorie Taylor Greene is doing is a tremendous distraction and disservice to Republicans across the country that have fought hard to get the majority in the House. And now she is again threatening to issue a motion to vacate for someone who -- Mike Johnson is doing a good job. He understands that in order to get things done, whether we're talking about aid to Ukraine or Israel, or balancing the budget, you have to work across the aisle and you can't get things done if you just rely on your base.

And fortunately, he's got the support of actual Democrats who would be willing to stand up for him and keep him in his position because they realized that bipartisanship is the only way to get things done and not the rebel rousing we get out of the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz.

JIMENEZ: And Chuck, that is the major question here. We saw a little bit of it again during Kevin McCarthy's time, but multiple sources today say Democrats would throw Johnson a lifeline if he brings Ukraine aid to the floor. Should they try to save his job

ROCHA: Sure. And I think what you're looking at here is Democrats, even if they saved him, will talk about the dysfunction that the Republican House is and that they had to step in and save him. This is the most under-reported issue moving into the midterm, I mean, into the presidential elections, which are these down-ballot races in Congress.


This is the one place that's probably the easiest for the Democrats to win back control. It's going to be really tough in the Senate. And as we've all reported here, the presence of tossup. There over 20 congressional seats that are represented by Republicans that Joe Biden won just four years ago. And when you're running ads talking about the dysfunction in the Republican Party in the House saying and the middling on the floor, that they're not getting anything done, that's good for Democrats running in House races. And that's where I'm really keeping my eye on the next couple of weeks.

JIMENEZ: And look, to combine sort of the Republican congressional dynamic with the Donald Trump campaign dynamic, Donald Trump has continued to call January 6th rioters patriots and hostages, and pledges to free them from prison if he's reelected. And veteran Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, it sounds like she's had enough and she won't rule out leaving the GOP. She, of course, is a lifelong Republican who served in the Alaska legislature before winning that sentence seat more than 20 years ago.

But bottom line, Alice, where is the space in the Republican Party for people like Murkowski who may support Republican policies, but maybe draw the line at calling those engaged in an insurrection hostages and patriots?

STEWART: Look, I think there are a lot of people that share her frustration. Me being one of them. But at the end of the day, it's about the policies that unite the Republican Party and not the personality conflicts that divide the party. And I know a lot of people like to focus on the division and chaos in the GOP. Joe Biden has got a problem on his hands with the far-left flank of his own party. Not to mention the issues.

And I think people like Lisa Murkowski, I understand their frustration, but you look at across this country, people in this country are more concerned about pocketbook issues, than the personality conflicts with Donald Trump, and immigration, inflation, as well as national security are key issues for people across this country.

And look, our opponent right now is not Donald Trump and his January 6th nonsense. Our opponent is Joe Biden and the policies that have hurt our economy and the border and national security. And Republicans need to realize, we need to take our fight to Joe Biden and put the other issues and frustrations on the backburner because it's the GOP versus the Democrats right now.

JIMENEZ: Yes. I got to leave it there. We're out of time, but both parties' work cut out for them this election cycle. We will see what happens.

Alice Stewart, Chuck Rocha, thank you so much.

STEWART: Thanks, Omar.

JIMENEZ: Of course.

Ahead, Haiti's capital is engulfed in violence leaving stranded Americans caught in the crossfire.


STEVE STRICKLAND, U.S. DIPLOMATIC SECURITY SERVICE, SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: There's nothing like Port-au-Prince. The security situations here are nothing like anything I've experienced before.


JIMENEZ: Ahead, we're going to bring you new exclusive reporting that takes you inside the urgent and dangerous effort to get hundreds of Americans out of gang-controlled Port-au-Prince. Stay with us.



JIMENEZ: New tonight, Florida's emergency agency says another 21 Americans flew out of Haiti, landing back on safe ground in Orlando last night. And this comes as the State Department has also evacuated more than 230 people so far to escape the spike and gang violence in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince.

CNN's David Culver is on the scene from inside Haiti with the story of what it takes to get people back on American soil.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The challenge for U.S. citizens trying to leave Port-au-Prince begins as soon as they start driving to the U.S. embassy. Getting there involves driving through either gang-controlled or gang-contested territories. It's dangerous and it's unpredictable. In armored vehicles, we saw that firsthand. And yet this is the only way out for some. The airport is shut down and many feel trapped.

In recent days, the U.S. embassy began to evacuating citizens who could make it to the embassy. Managing the safety of those evacuations is regional security officer Steve Strickland.

How does Haiti, how does Port-au-Prince today compare to your past 19 years?

STRICKLAND: Theres nothing like Port-au-Prince. The security situations here or nothing like anything I've experienced before. I've spent time in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, in Africa, and the unique circumstances here I've not seen a parallel to those in any other security environment that I've served.

CULVER: Amid these challenges, there are some who fear Americans are being abandoned in this gang-filled war zone.

STRICKLAND: The truth of the matter is literally on a daily basis there are phone calls that we're engaged with at the highest levels of U.S. government, where the number one topic is safety and security. How do we help get our U.S. citizens out of the country to a safe place.

CULVER: Launching these evacuation flights from the capital is a critical first step. Jenny Geom and her 5-year-old son Conrad registered a few days ago. She's had to leave behind her mom and other loved ones so as to get back to their home in New York.

Getting to the embassy is terrifying. It's a potentially deadly commute. Some who had confirmed their spots canceled last minute, either emotionally unable to leave behind loved ones, or just unable to get to the embassy safely.

So is there an option to go from here and go pick them up? Is that even a reality?

STRICKLAND: It really is unfortunate. The security resources that we have are stretched so thin, the ability to do that is -- it's really a non-starter. We just don't have that capacity to do it. We'd love to do it. It just simply an impossibility unfortunately.


CULVER: With some seats unclaimed at the last minute, our team as U.S. citizens is able to travel out with them and chronicle their journey.

We board in gang-controlled territory on a patch of land that's secured and surrounded by a robust and reassuring American military presence. We take off for the Dominican Republic. There are a lot of mixed emotions for those who get out, gratitude and relief for getting here safely, as well as guilt and fear for those still in Port-au- Prince knowing that what's happening on the other side of this border is getting worse with each passing hour.

David Culver, CNN, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


JIMENEZ: And thank you to our David Culver, who's been doing a serious of just great reporting out of Haiti.

Now, coming up, the longtime host of NBC's "Meet the Press" is tearing into his own network for hiring now former chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, who's repeatedly denied that President Biden won a fair and free election in 2020. But now she's changing her tune. We'll explain, coming up.



JIMENEZ: Now, this is pretty stunning after NBC News hired a polarizing political figure. Former Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is now a paid contributor for the Peacock network and her prior comments about Biden and the election are coming back and putting her on defense. Take a look.



RONNA MCDANIEL, NBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER RNC CHAIR: I think there were lots of problems with 2020. He's ultimately --

WALLACE: Do you think he won the --

MCDANIEL: He won the election. But ultimately he won the election. But there were lots of problems with the 2020 election. A hundred percent.

WALLACE: And that's fair.

MCDANIEL: But I don't think he won it fair. I don't. I'm not going to say that.

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC'S "MEET THE PRESS": Can you say as you sit here today, did Joe Biden win the election fair and square?

MCDANIEL: He won. He is the legitimate president --

WELKER: Did he win fair and square?

MCDANIEL: Fair and square he won. It's certified. It's done. But I do want, Kristen --

WELKER: Ronna, why has it taken you until now --

MCDANIEL: Let me just say something --

WELKER: -- to say that?

MCDANIEL: Because --

WELKER: Why has it taken you until now to be able to --

MCDANIEL: I'm going to push back a little because I do think it's fair to say there were problems in 2020 and to say that does not mean he's not the legitimate president.

WELKER: But, Ronna, when you say that it suggests that there was something wrong with the election and you know that the election was the most heavily scrutinized.

MCDANIEL: You know what, there were problems.


JIMENEZ: So you see the difference there as Kristen Welker was pointing out. McDaniel was already taking heat from inside the news organization about her selection for the high-profile post.

That's why we've got senior media reporter, Oliver Darcy, who joins us now to discuss all of the fallout.

All right, so, Oliver, I mean, look, is this about access to Republican sources as Chuck Todd has claimed? Or are they trying to appeal to Trump's supporters with this hire, keeping a neutral reputation? Sort of bring me into the world of why they would hire someone like Ronna McDaniel.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Sure. For one, this is a five-alarm fire for NBC News. This is a complete disaster. The blowback they're getting. I don't think they anticipated this much blowback where on Sunday they'd be dealing with this. But look, when they hired her, they said basically that they wanted to represent the other side as she was an important voice and that, you know, Trump Republicans should be represented on the network.

Now, of course, there's a lot of holes in that argument, and it really rubbed people the wrong way inside NBC News as well and inside MSNBC because Ronna McDaniel is not any normal Republican, right? She is someone who has spent years as head of the RNC until recently when she departed smearing NBC News journalists, launching really ugly vile attacks on MSNBC hosts and the network and organizations as a whole.

And more importantly, she was an election denier. You saw, you know, back when she was talking to Chris Wallace just last year, she was unable to say that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election and even worse, she was helping Donald Trump subvert the 2020 vote. So not only was she an election denier, but she was an active participant in this plot here. And so NBC News journalists are obviously very upset and you're seeing that this morning on "Meet the Press" where Chuck Todd gave voice to some of that disappointment.

Let's take a listen.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And so when NBC made the decision to give her NBC News' credibility, you got to ask yourself, what does she bring NBC News? And when we make deals like this, and I've been at this company a long time. you're doing it for access.


DARCY: And there you see Chuck Todd, he ripped NBC News and said that they owed actually the current moderator of "Meet the Press" Kristen Welker an apology. He said he disagreed what the justification NBC News has given to hire Ronna McDaniel, and, you know, this blowback doesn't look like it's stopping anytime soon. So at this point, I'm actually wondering at what point does NBC News maybe do something here because this is really reaching a crescendo, if you will.

And, you know, I think that they had thought this was going to stop by Sunday and in fact, because of Chuck Todd earlier today, it's gotten a lot worse.

JIMENEZ: And, you know, it highlights an interesting issue I think for a lot of news organizations, or just a lot of organizations, period, as we enter this election cycle. You know, potentially trying to hire campaign insiders or people who might have insight into the way of thinking particularly in the Trump world.

Do you expect more of these types of hires to happen across the news industry as we get into further into this election year?


DARCY: Well, to be clear, I don't think anyone would be, you know, upset if MSNBC came out and hire let's say someone like Chris Christie, who is a Republican, who was supportive of Donald Trump until the January 6th insurrection. I think the insurrection and the election of 2020 is a pretty bright red clear line that news organizations don't cross, you don't put an election denier on your payroll.

Nevertheless, someone who has smeared your organization, attacked its credibility repeatedly over the years. And so that's the red line I think that people are upset. That was crossed here, very, very obviously crossed by NBC News, and inside the company I think as this grows, there are going to be questions about Cesar Conde, who is the NBC Universal news group boss, and why he signed off on this.

You know, there isn't really an NBC News president anymore. There's a weird structure there. So at the end of the day, the buck stops with him and he's going to be facing some of these questions in the days ahead.

JIMENEZ: Well, we will see how this unfolds. Thank you for breaking all that down for us. Really appreciate it. Oliver Darcy, thank you.

DARCY: Thank you.

JIMENEZ: All right. Israel has apparently agreed with the U.S. proposal that would see Hamas release hostages held in Gaza in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Next, we're going to talk to the reporter who's getting firsthand knowledge about those ongoing negotiations. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


JIMENEZ: We're back with what could be a big step forward in hostage negotiations between Israel and Hamas. Tonight, Israel has agreed to a U.S. proposal, although no word from Hamas yet. In exchange for 40 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, Israel agreed it would release about 700 Palestinian prisoners including 100 who are serving life sentences for murder. That's according to CNN analyst Barak Ravid, who we'll get to in just a moment.

But first, I'm going to start with CNN's Paula Hancocks, who's in Doha with more.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Omar, we have seen a significant diplomatic push from the U.S. side to try and push these negotiations forward over recent days. And what we're hearing now from Channel 11, a CNN affiliate, citing a senior Israeli government source, is that Israel has agreed to a U.S. proposal to release 700 Palestinian prisoners.

Now within the deal, 100 of those 700 would be serving a life sentence for killing Israeli nationals. Now in return there would be 40 Israeli hostages that would be released. Now, this coming from Channel 11, the source, saying that it is a significant compromise on the side of Israel because they are determined to bring the abductees home.

Now just 10 days ago we heard a counter proposal from Hamas. They had call for between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to be released and over recent weeks, even months, one of the gaps has been not just the number of Palestinian prisoners, but also which Palestinian prisoners. So according to a CNN affiliate, some progress at least between Israel and the U.S. has been made on that front.

Now, also, we're hearing news from Philippe Lazzarini. He's the chief of the main U.N. body within Gaza, UNRWA. He's saying that Israel has informed him that they would no longer facilitate taking aid and distributing aid by this U.N. body into northern Gaza. He has called this outrageous at a time when famine could happen anytime in that area between now and mid-May.

Israel has accused the group of -- 12 of its members at least being part of Hamas and part of the October 7th attacks. UNRWA has started an independent investigation and is calling on countries around the world to continue their funding at a time when the Palestinians in Gaza desperately need the aid -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: All right, Paula Hancocks, thank you.

I'm joined now by a journalist who helped break this story, CNN analyst and reporter for Axios Barak Ravid.

Now, so, Barak, we just heard the details on what Israel has agreed to from Paula, but talk to me about what happens now? BARAK RAVID, CNN POLITICAL AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, what

happens now is that Israel and the U.S. and the Qatari and Egyptian mediators are waiting to get the response from Hamas. And what I hear from Israeli officials that this could take between, I don't know, a day to three days because those details need to go from Hamas representatives in Doha who are negotiating to the person who really calls the shots.

And this is Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in Gaza who is in a bunker some hundred feet under the ground. So this takes a long time until the message gets to him and until he gets the message back. And I think everyone now are trying to figure out whether Hamas will say yes, will it say no, or will it say yes, but, or no, but.

JIMENEZ:. Yes. Yes. I mean, do we know if this exchange again still hanging in the balance here? Because as you mentioned there was a crucial third component here. But do you know if this exchange could potentially include the release of any American hostages currently being held by Hamas?

RAVID: Well, it will definitely include some of them because it will include the release of men over the age of 50. There are at least one such U.S. hostage, Keith Siegel, so I think if this deal comes through then he's expected to be released.


It's unclear whether he's still alive or not. There's no confirmed information about that, but I think that overall the Biden administration is pushing very hard to get this deal. This is why the fact that Israel agreed, it is a result of a U.S. bridging proposal put forward by the CIA director Bill Burns over the weekend in the negotiations in Qatar, and Burns put this on the table to try and get some sort of a number of prisoners, of Palestinian prisoners between the number Israel has already agreed, which is 400 to the number Hamas demands, which is 1,000.

And the middle, as you see, it's 700. But again, the interesting thing will be not only the number of Palestinian prisoners, but who are they because Hamas wants prisoners that serve life sentence in Israel. Those are people that murdered numerous Israelis. And the Israelis want to have a veto on the identity of those prisoners.

JIMENEZ: Yes. Yes. And you're also reporting that Israel may also be willing to discuss allowing some Palestinian civilians to return to northern Gaza. How would that work here?

RAVID: Well, this is one of the main sticking points in those negotiations because Hamas demands that all the Palestinian civilians who went to southern Gaza, to Rafah where more than 1.2 million, 1.5 million Palestinians are taking shelter that they will be allowed to go back to Gaza City and the neighborhoods and towns north, north of Gaza City. The Israelis were reluctant to allow that until now.

And this is one of the compromises they've made in the last rounds of negotiations in Doha that now they're willing to allow something between 2,000 to 3,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children to move every day from Rafah back to northern Gaza, but these the Israeli say that they will allow this to happen only after the first hostages are released by Hamas to make sure that this thing really happens.

JIMENEZ: Yes, well, I appreciate you staying on it, Barak Ravid. Thank you so much for bringing us that insight.

RAVID: Thank you.

JIMENEZ: Of course.

All right, everybody, we'll be right back.



JIMENEZ: Tonight on "UNITED STATES OF SCANDAL," Jake Tapper talks with a former undercover CIA officer whose cover was blown by her own country. The leak and the chaos that followed.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Omar. Tonight I'm sitting down with Valery Plane, the former covert CIA spy who was outed by her own government after her husband blew the whistle on the Bush administration's claim that Iraq had been trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. Here is what she had to tell me about the far- reaching fallout from the revelation.


TAPPER: You worked for the country, even if somebody disagreed with your point of view. It sounds remarkably unpatriotic outing you by name.

VALERIE PLAME, FORMER CIA SPY: Yes, what's the purpose? It was a brutal moment.

TAPPER: Were you concerned at all that the revealing of your name could put lives at risk? Is that possible?

PLAME: Yes, it is possible.

TAPPER: Really?

PLAME: Absolutely. There's a reason that ops officers work undercover, which is so that you can move around the world. You can recruit, you can handle the assets without endangering them or their families. The fact that a journalist knew my true CIA affiliation or somehow was put onto it, whether it was confirmed or not, was deeply unsettling to me.


TAPPER: So now you'll also hear from veteran Washington journalist Matt Cooper, who Plame's identity was leaked to, about the various ways the mainstream media allowed itself to be manipulated by the Bush administration in the run-up to the war in Iraq, and what has changed since then, if anything -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: Jake, thank you.

You can watch that new episode of "UNITED STATES OF SCANDAL" tonight at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.

More news coming up.

I said more news and I meant it. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Omar Jimenez in New York.

Former president Donald Trump is just hours away at this point from two major legal threats colliding. Former president is facing a critical deadline to post nearly half a billion dollars in bond money for his civil fraud judgment in New York or the state attorney general could begin seizing his assets. And tomorrow, Trump could also learn the new trial date for his criminal hush money case in Manhattan.

So I'm going to go straight to CNN's national security reporter, Zachary Cohen, for more details.

So, Zach, what can we expect to see tomorrow?

COHEN: Yes, if Donald Trump can't secure a bond in that multimillion- dollar civil fraud judgment against him by Monday's deadline, he could see the New York attorney general start the process of seizing his assets.

Look, Trump owes -- personally owes over $450 million as a result of this judgment. And, you know, he has claimed that he has the cash to put that up, but his lawyers have contradicted that, saying no, he was not referring to cash on hand. But if he can't put up that cash by tomorrow's deadline, you know, we could see, again, the attorney general turn her attention to things like Trump's bank accounts --