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CNN International: Judge Denies Trump Request To Delay New York Hush Money Trial; Trump Gets Financial Lifeline From New York Appeals Court; Netanyahu Cancels Israeli Delegation To D.C. After U.N. Vote; Russian Media: 3 Of 4 Suspects Plead Guilty To Terrorism; Boeing CEO To Stop Down By End Of Year. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 25, 2024 - 15:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: It is 7:00 p.m. in London, 9:00 p.m. in Tel Aviv, 10:00 p.m. in Moscow, 3:00 p.m. here in Washington. I'm Jim Sciutto. Thanks so much for joining me today on CNN NEWSROOM.

And let's get right to the news. We begin in Manhattan, where a busy legal day for former President Donald Trump has yielded what you might call mixed results for him, Trump was back in court today for a hearing in his attempt to delay the trial over hush money payments made to the adult film star Stormy Daniels, this prior to the 2016 election. The judge though rejected that effort, that trial, the first of his criminal trials set to begin on April 15th.

Meanwhile, you might say Trump scored a big financial win in the civil fraud case related to the Trump Organization. He no longer has to post a $464 million bond by the end of the day today. Instead, he owes is still significant, $175 million in ten days. That handed him something of a lifeline as he faced the potential seizure of his properties if he couldn't come up with that money.

Trump responded to the outcomes as he has so many times before by attacking the process and the judges in both cases, often with dubious claims.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is election interference. If you look at what we just left, you had a -- you have a case which they're dying to get this thing started. The judge can not go faster. He wants to get it started so badly, and there's tremendous corruption. So it's a sad day in our country in many respects. But the good day is that the appellate division was fair. It's a lot of money still, but the judge is corrupted my opinion.


SCIUTTO: Oh, fair if it goes in his favor, corrupt if it doesn't. A lot to break down here.

We begin with CNN's Katelyn Polantz. So, Katelyn, first on the criminal trial, they pushed to delay the case. April 15th is now the trial date. Is Trump's lawyers -- is Trump's legal team ready -- ready for that trial date?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, they're going to have to be. They should have been ready for today. That was the date on the calendar for a long time, but they were able to create a bump on the highway to trial in this case in Manhattan. The lawyers for Donald Trump were able to do that because they got a lot of documents at the last minute from federal prosecutors than it looked at Donald Trump, Michael Cohen's bank records many years ago.

They got those records. They went to the judge. They said their piece, and the judge says, I'm not buying it. Here's the direct quote from Judge Marshawn today to Donald Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche, who was arguing for more delays. You are literally accusing the Manhattan D.A.'s office and the people assigned to this case of prosecutorial misconduct conduct and have trying to make me complicit in it, and you don't have a single cite to support that position.

So that's the judge saying, I don't see any legal reason to delay this trial further or to sanction the district attorney in New York for not turning over those documents sooner are finding them sooner. And then the judge came down quite quickly with a decision three weeks from now, April 15th, that will be the first trial date where jury selection begins, Donald Trump as a criminal defendant in Manhattan.

SCIUTTO: Now, in any other world, in any of their time being forced to pay $175 million following a finding that you're liable for massive civil fraud would be considered a law, but it's less than $450 million that had been the thought before the end of today.

Why? Why did the judge explain reducing this by about two-thirds?

POLANTZ: Well, the appeals court didn't say much about why, but they said that they were going to do this because Donald Trumps team asked for it. He has lost a civil fraud lawsuit from New York state from the attorney general that he falsified business records or inflated. His net worth in a situation where they could bring the lawsuit he has lost in that case to the point where the fine is going to be about a half billion dollars.

So what this $175 million decision today from the appeals court is, that's just -- that's how much Donald Trump has to put up. Either write a check to the court, or get bond through an underwriter or someone who gives him a loan. That's the amount he has to get just so that he can continue appealing the big dollar amount, that $464 million.


So another attempt of Trump's lawyers to delay things from any finality in court, that was successful today in a very small way in Manhattan or in New York, in the civil fraud case.

SCIUTTO: Yeah, that one of the most consistent features of the Trump legal defense, which is to attempt to delay. Don't know with the number of trials, Katelyn Polantz, thanks so much.

So, for more now on how Trump and his allies are responding to these pieces of legal news, I'm joined now by CNN political reporter Alayna Treene.

Alayna, the Trump team is calling this a victory fact is he was found liable, has to come up with $175 million. Do we know if that's going to be his own money or if he's able to get someone else to put up the money? What's the plan going forward?

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Well, we don't know that yet, but they do have two options. One is to try and find an insurer to underwrite this. And remember, last week Donald Trumps team was scrambling to try to find someone who could ensure the bond for him and his legal team had said they had reached out to three different insurers, none of them were agreeing. And so that was part of the reason why there was a lot of concern behind -- behind the scenes with Donald Trumps team about this.

Now, the judge did give them an extra ten days to sort but this out. So again, that is one option to try and find an insurer to put this up for him or Donald Trump could put up his own cash. And I will say that he does have -- we've looked through the records, he does have enough money to meet the $175 million threshold, this new reduced amount that came from the appeals decision, but it's very unclear what he'll be -- he will do.

Now, we did hear from him briefly speak about this in those remarks following his hearing in his criminal case today. He said, quote, we'll put it up very quickly as they say, I have a lot of cash. I want to use some to get elected. He also expanded on that a bit.

Take a listen to how he put it.


TRUMP: I would have no problem testifying. I didn't do anything wrong. I don't know how you can have a trial like this in the middle of an election, the presidential election and this is again, this is a Biden trial. These are all Biden trials.


TREENE: Now, Jim, sorry, I think that was the different sound that was him referring to potentially testifying in that trial. But the sound that I was referring to, he basically was saying I have a lot of cash. You know, look at my statements, I could put this up very quickly if I wanted to.

So just to go back to the bond decision, this is something that, of course, is a win for him. This is a lifeline from the appeals court decision. This was something that was really consuming Donald Trump today, even though he had sat in, in court on his separate case, has criminal case, not the civil case where this bond decision deadline was looming over him, but it was something that was really consuming Donald Trump. And from my conversations with his team, he was more concerned about

that. And so now really this idea of the threat of the attorney general in New York, Letitia James, may be having to seize properties, assets, all of that seems to be not going to happen now because he will likely be able to meet this new deadline with this with the reduced amount of bond.

SCIUTTO: Right. And then face a criminal trial.

Alayna Treene, thanks so much.

I do want to speak now to two legal experts for legal analysis. Shan Wu, defense attorney, former federal prosecutor; Seth Berenzweig, business and compliance attorney, important to have in situations like this.

Thanks to both of you for coming.

Shan, first to you. Just -- we're going to a criminal trial. Looks like beginning on April 15th for the former president, current nominee, GOP nominee for president.

Based on the evidence, is a conviction likely in this case?

SHAN WU, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it's very likely. The evidence is very strong. It's documents case, and they can buttress it with two -- at least two witnesses, maybe three, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, who had been extremely consistent in hat they have to say about this, and they'll kind of really bring the documents to light.

So I think it'll be a very strong case for Alvin Bragg.

SCIUTTO: Seth, there's a question at the basis of this case, right, which connects a state, a violation of state law to an alleged violation of federal law here. I'm not a lawyer here, but lawyers have told me that might be hard to prove in court or will take some work. Do you share that view?

SETH BERENZWEIG, BUSINESS & COMPLIANCE ATTORNEY: Well, I agree it'll take some work but not I don't think it's too much of a leap. This is the step-up theory to trigger a felony in this trial. It has to be a crime that is committed in order to conceal another crime.

Of course, you have an allegation of criminal violations in terms of campaign finance contributions. But there's also I believe will be allegations with respect to tax fraud, which of course would be a federal violation as well. There's a big difference between compensating Michael Cohen for an out-of-pocket expense versus paying him salary for him doing his job in a sham disguise deal.

So it's a little bit of a stretch, but it's not a long stretch. And I think and I agree -- this is a very strong case. Keep in mind also that Judge Marshawn had the sentencing for Allen Weisselberg, who was the CFO, who was really behind the scenes pulling these fraudulent strings.


So there's some clear common denominators going on here.

SCIUTTO: Shan Wu, to the civil case now, the judgment cut and cut almost in a third there, basis of that decision from what you can tell? Do you think it's a fair decision? And you and I were talking before we started, if you or I were charged, if we had to come up with $5,000, would the judge be likely to reduce it by well, more than half?

WU: I don't think its really fair in the sense of if it was you or me. I don't think that they would have given us that lifeline. Substantively, it's not a risky decision, those assets aren't going anywhere. And so to me, make more sense to give them some more time rather than actually reduce the amount has to put up.

And they did not really give us any clues as to their reasoning. I think for the Trump team, it's a lot of hope because they're thinking, oh, maybe they think that the overall award was too high on. There'll be a way to cut it now, but we can't see any real reasons for why they reduced it.

SCIUTTO: Understood.

There was something interesting in his comments, Seth, when he was asked if he would seek money from a foreign entity, Trump said you could do that noting that well, a lot of banks are based overseas. Before we then claim that he would need to do it, he's got so much money to do it himself, but that was notable. I just wonder I mean, if you go, would it be legal for a candidate for president to take money from overseas to pay off a penalty in a trial in this country?

BERENZWEIG: Well, I hate to give you a very lawyerly answer, but it depends.


BERENZWEIG: So if it was Deutsche Bank or UBS, and they certainly have ties overseas than I think that that would be something where if the judgment was bonded on an appeal with something that originated from one of those well-known financial institutions that would probably the fine. There are other financial institutions, perhaps, for example connected to Russia where it would be a problem and would in sum and substance also be a campaign finance donation arguably because its to head off a judgment in the heat of a political election season.

So I don't believe its really going to be a problem for him. As you've noted, this is a reduction of almost two-thirds. It really is extraordinary and not only that up to $175 million, let's say, for example, he can put up half in cash and then Deutsche Bank can put up the other half or Chubb Insurance.

So this is something that is a big win for him. Certainly a day of different results for Mr. Trump in New York.

SCIUTTO: Shan Wu, would there be national security implications to a candidate for office here, taking money from a foreign entity to pay off in effective domestic legal debt?

WU: Oh, sure. I mean, people with a far lower pay grade have to have that financial checked on to see if you're indented because there was a concern that if you owe a lot to people, particularly foreign folks, that you might be compromised.

So I think there is a concern. I think the problem is, you know, what are we actually going to learn about where he gets the money?


WU: At this amount, I totally agree with Seth. I don't think this will be too hard.

Ultimately, if it's affirmed on appeal, he has to come up with nearly half billion. I think that's going to erase a lot of concern.

SCIUTTO: Ii want to ask you finally, because in his public comments and we, listen, we hear those public comments, he is running for office, but he will often say some things that are not true. He will also make very personal attacks and he did them again here, not just against the system which he claims its rigged again, but against individuals including the judge in this case, he called the attorney general a thug in this case. I -- you know, there have been various gag orders and the various trials that are supposed to keep him from making these kinds of personal comments. And yet he continues to do them.

I mean, is there any point at which there are consequences for attacking judges and others involved?

WU: I think there should be. The judges with him have mostly taken the position that okay. If he wants to criticize the D.A. versus a staff wants to criticize me and the judge versus my staff will let him do that.

I don't think that's a very good idea because from the point of view of jury pool tainting, it still has that effect.

SCIUTTO: Right. And again, someone like you or me, if were saying that, we would be in contempt of court.

WU: I always like to run that test. What would happen to us or to regular citizens when accused of similar things.

SCIUTTO: Before we go, Judge Marshawn, he rejected, Seth Rosenzweig, the argument to delay the trial, to review additional documents, but he did allow the defense file a motion to delay on grounds of pretrial publicity and gave the D.A.'s office a week to respond to it.

Do you see that going anywhere as potentially pushing back this April 15th date?

BERENZWEIG: That's going nowhere fast. That happened in the last minute or so of the hearing, everybody was wrapping up and putting their folders away and Mr. Trumps attorney did say and you're exactly right that he intended to file the motion and after the judge said that quick briefing schedule, he said, I'll see you on April 15th.


So, yes, they will file it and it will probably be denied. And one of the things that they've learned today is political rhetoric, masquerading as legal theory in this court does not work.

SCIUTTO: Yeah. The judge has been very clear in his statements to that effect. Shan Wu, Seth Berenzweig, thanks so much to both you.

And when we do come back, more on the busy legal day for President Trump, including how will it all play on the campaign trail, we'll take a look. That's coming up.


SCIUTTO: Welcome back. This has been a massive news days on the Trump legal front to talk through all of that political implications. I'm joined now by CNN's Stephen Collinson and "The Boston Globe's" Jackie Kucinich.

Good to have you both on.

Let's aside all the Trump claims and attacks which are familiar and note that he will now go on trial for at least one criminal case before the election, on April 15th, if that date holds, it looks like it will.

Jackie Kucinich, what's the political significance of that?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Aside from the fact that, yes, we will see for the first time a presidential candidate, former president, have to go on trial, you know, live and in person. I don't know if this moves the needle, though, particularly with Trump's most loyal folks.

This is kind of baked in. This is one of the cases that when were looking at the array of cases didn't have the national implications that say the documents case or the January 6 election subversion case.

So, this one is a little bit different. It's going to be easier for Trump to politicize this one. What political independents will think? I think that's where my eyes are going to be and I'm sure everybody else's as well.

SCIUTTO: No question. And listen, I mean, we say that often because his supporters seem to look past so many things with this former president, including object, lies and a whole bunch of failures and policies and promises unkept, et cetera. It's familiar.

Stephen, he believes that showing up at court and attacking the process throughout, making this in his words political interference helps him with those voters. Do we know that to be the case? Again, we're talking about swing voters here, right, because so many are locked in already. STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Yeah, what's really

interesting about this, this is going to be such a close election. We could be talking about the presidency being decided to say by 150,000 votes in three states or something. So it doesn't take a great deal of impact of this trial to have huge political consequences potentially, if there are voters who are worried about the possibility that they can be voting for a convicted felon. On the flip side, of course, it's possible that Trump will be acquitted in this case, and that would have its own political implications.

But the closeness of this election, were seeing at the same with the Israel issue with President Biden. It doesn't need that many Democratic progressives or Arab American voters in Michigan to defect.


So, the fact that a former president and presumptive nominees going on trial for the first time ever, it's going to have unpredictable consequences and its a case that while Trump can try and minimize the political significance of it, it's -- a it's not a nice personal thing for him to have to go through, especially considering that this case is about a hush money payment to a former adult film star, you know?

So, the substance of this is going to be humiliating and embarrassing for Trump personally, and it's going to have those unforeseen political consequences.

SCIUTTO: I mean, it's worth reminding that that's -- by the way, Sophia Cai of "Axios" joining us. That's the basis of this case in New York was a payoff -- alleged payoff to Stormy Daniels, to keep an affair secret during the 2016 election campaign? I want to, just for a moment, read one of Trump's postings about the trial and the various trials today.

This on Truth Social, and draw attention to the last line here it is. He said these are rigged cases are all coordinated by the White House, DOJ for purposes of election interference. We fact-check by that, by the way, before.

At what point are the actions of a sitting president using lawfare against his opponent for purposes of election interference, consider legal. I had intended to use much of that hard-earned money on running for president.

Sophia, is that final line true, given that Trump -- there's not a lot of evidence is used any of his personal money, even for his own legal defense?

SOPHIA CAI, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, AXIOS: Absolutely not. I mean, just this idea that he has to use the money to pay bond instead of using it to spend on his campaign is just illogical because he hasn't used any money for his campaign since 2016 when he used $66 million and that is just a drop in the bucket for, you know, the billion- dollar operation that his campaigns have been.

And so, you know, he said today again, he talks about using his own money for the campaign and he kind of catch it a little bit saying, well, I want to be able to have the option to and he was not very happy with the reporter who asked him today whether he would use his own money. So, it's clearly a very sensitive issue for him.

SCIUTTO: No question. And another state -- another situation where his statements don't line up with the facts over many years.

Jackie Kucinich you will have a campaign playing out with at least one criminal trial underway. It looks like in the possibility of others -- a lot of betting in Washington conventional wisdom circles is about which ones I was those are most likely the January, January 6 federal case.

How will the campaign work around that, right? I mean, Trump strategy today it has been to use those trials as a campaign stop a campaign speech in effect, shall we expect that to continue?

KUCINICH: I think so because it worked for him in terms of fundraising and goodness knows that they need money and that campaign, in part two, apparently pay legal fees but also to pay for staff, for the operations that they need, in these early states. Now, how long this will work is the question.

Now, the adage he has been dealing with court cases instead of being on the campaign trail is a little far-fetched because he could have been campaigning this whole time. This is the first time he's been sitting in court and quite some time and he hasn't had that many rallies since Super Tuesday.

So really it they have used it. There's no reason to think that they wouldn't continue to use these court cases as a way to sew into the campaign. It's really one and the same when you look at the Trump operation right now, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Sophia, how does the Biden campaign plan to handle this? Let it play out in the news, comment on it? Today, the president, the president himself seems to make an effort not to comment specifically. Is that the plan going forward?

CAI: So I think that President Biden will not be talking about that himself, but I think some Democrats are saying that they want to make this distinction between the civil fraud case and the criminal cases that Trump will be on trial for, and the real question is whether voters will be able to make that difference. Voters who are just starting to pay attention now.

And I think the Trump campaign is counting on putting all of these cases together and saying, well, if we can have a win and one of them we can have when an all, whereas the reality is that this will be the first president who is on trial for criminal case.

SCIUTTO: Stephen, you spent a good deal of time monitoring how folks overseas are reacting to events in the U.S., political events. But now political legal events of the U.S., right? Someone running for office, who by the way has been president before, so the world has some familiarity with how he leads and how he acts on the world stage, how will the world be watching as the former president runs again for president while on trial?

COLLINSON: I think many U.S. allies are very concerned, as you know, about the possibility of a second Trump term because they live through the first one and experience the U.S. becoming not the guarantor of global stability that it's been for much of the last 50 years, but becoming a force for disruption. So there'll be looking to see if this case and the subsequent cases, if they take place, weaken Trump's campaign.


I think for nations like Russia and China, this scenario whereby Trump comes out and trashes us justice and us democracy really plays into their own goals of devaluing U.S. political and judicial system. You've seen what's unfolding in Russia ever since that attack at the theater -- the convention center the other day, very questionable things going on in the legal system and the Russians can turn around and say, well, look, look at the circuits going on. The United States where they're putting a former president trial, which is something you don't see in the United States, but you see often in banana republics in developing nations around the world.

So I think U.S. adversaries are very keen to take advantage of what is going to be a very tumultuous election season, and court season if you like.

SCIUTTO: Yeah. No question.

Stephen Collinson, Sophia Cai, Jackie Kucinich, thanks so much for all three of you.


SCIUTTO : And still to come this hour, the deepening divide between Israel and in the United States playing out very much in public. Israel -- Israel's prime minister cancels and Israeli delegations visit to the U.S., a trip that was requested by President Biden and a vote goes against Israel on the U.N. Security Council.

We're going to go live to the White House, coming up.


SCIUTTO: At the United Nations today, that raised hand deepening the divide between the U.S. and Israel. The U.S. abstained rather than vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an immediate temporary ceasefire in Gaza, as well as an urgent increase in humanitarian aid. That abstention allowed the resolution to pass. The U.S. has frequently vetoed such resolutions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retaliated within the hour, canceling tomorrow's Israeli delegation to the U.S., which had been requested by President Biden. That meeting was intended to dissuade Israel from invading the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where over one million Palestinians are now sheltering from Israeli military operations. CNN senior White House correspondent MJ Lee joins me now for more.

I wonder how is the White House reacting to that move? Were they expecting something like this?


MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, you'll recall that it was about a week ago that President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on the phone, and it was during that conversation that that President Biden requested that the Israeli send a delegation this week to Washington so they could discuss all things related to the war and particularly this anticipated incursion into Rafah. That delegation in that trip has been canceled altogether after Prime Minister Netanyahu took real issue with the U.S., absent staining rather than vetoing this latest U.N. Security Council resolution.

U.S. officials are basically saying they are confused by this. It is an overreaction by the Israelis claiming that there has been no change in policy by the Biden administration. This is a little of how the White House has been talking about this and reacting to this trip getting canceled today.


JOHN KIRBY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER: We're kind of perplexed by this. It does not represent a change at all in our policy. It's very consistent with everything that we've been saying we want to get done here. And we get to decide what our policy is. The prime ministers office seems to be indicating through public statements that we somehow changed here.

We haven't and we get to decide what our policy is.


LEE: And, you know, Jim, we've seen many different moments of tension between the two liters since October 7th. President Biden, of course, a personally, having asked for this particular meeting as we were talking about before, just makes it a really big deal that this delegations trip has been canceled altogether, and just another example of that rift between the two leaders really spilling out into public view at such a critical moment in this conflict as well.

SCIUTTO: Now there are some other U.S.-Israeli meetings. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meeting with defense minister from Israel, Yoav Gallant, what is the function of that meeting? And does that signal that there's still communication, cooperation on Israeli military activity in Gaza

LEE: Yeah. No, you're totally right that this was supposed to be a week of big meetings, including that delegation coming on Wednesday. But the set of meetings that Defense Minister Gallant is supposed to have today. Those are still ongoing and taking place, meeting with folks like Jake Sullivan, like Antony Blinken as you said, and U.S. officials are making clear that even despite that delegation strip on Wednesday being canceled, the meetings that defense minister Gallant has with U.S. officials today. They will in part focus on some of these alternatives that U.S. officials are pushing for, alternatives to a major ground incursion into Rafah.

This is what John Kirby told me just a few minutes ago.


KIRBY: We still believe that we have learned some key lessons about how to dismantle a terrorist network, how to decapitate its leadership, how to starve it of resources. I had to put pressure on its fighters on the battlefield and we were looking forward to, and I think still are looking forward to having the opportunity to share some of those lessons in perspectives with the Israelis.

The big question, of course, Jim, is whether the Israelis are willing to heed any of that advice from the Biden administration. You'll remember very well that initially the Israelis had said that they would go into Rafah at the beginning of Ramadan.

That didn't happen. And now were looking at about two weeks left of that holy month of Ramadan. U.S. official well say they haven't seen any kind of plan in terms of the military operation or civilian protection plan. And they say that it would be holy unacceptable for the Israelis to go in without such a plan, though very skeptical as to whether that plan is even feasible, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Listen, it's a very public rift. There's no question.

MJ Lee, thanks so much.

Now to the terror attack. A horrible one in Moscow, that left at least 139 people dead. Four of the terrorist suspects accused of carrying out Friday's deadly attack at a concert hall appeared in court today.

CNN's Matthew Chance has more from Moscow. We should warn you some of the images from his report are disturbing


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Bloodshed at the concert hall near Moscow, gunmen running amok before setting the crowded building ablaze, killing more than 130 people inside.

Now, the suspected attackers from Tajikistan and Central Asia appeared in a Moscow court looking battered, amid reports of a brutal interrogation. The Kremlin is refusing to comment on allegations of torture.

Disturbing video has emerged. The suspects being run down by Russian security forces and ruthlessly beaten.

What appears to have had part of his ear cutoff on camera during questioning.

[15:35:07] Electrocution and beatings have also been shown.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses are recounting the terrifying ordeal. They endured last week.

I didn't scream or tell anyone to take cover, recalls Anastasia. They were just walking around and gunning everyone down, methodically and in silence, she says.

It's an outrage that's left many here shocked and questioning just how safe in this country they really are.

What does Russians more the victims of this attack, the Kremlin is defending its own security services have been criticism it failed to heed intelligence warnings from the United States and others. And while ISIS has repeatedly said it carried out the attack, the Kremlin is still trying to implicate Ukraine, raising concerns it may use this tragedy to rally support for its war.

And divert attention from the fact that Russia these days feels deeply insecure.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


SCIUTTO: Our thanks to Matthew Chance.

Joining me now, CNN global affairs analyst, Kimberly Dozier.

Kim, let's begin with the terror attack in Russia.

Today, President Vladimir Putin, he again suggested Ukraine is at fault, which, which there's no basis for it. And by the way, U.S. intelligence has said that they warned Moscow of planning for a terror attack by a group such as this one prior. Is anyone going to buy that claim, Putin trying to attach it to Ukraine, his, his difficult, you could argue, failing war in Ukraine?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Certainly inside Russia, from the hours just after the attack, you heard from Russian parliamentarians, other various Russian officials already throwing the blame in the direction of Ukraine and I think that basically Putin needs a fall guy. He needs someone to blame for the fact that his forces are raging war of aggression next door. They're also concentrating a lot of their firepower on rooting out domestic dissidents, hunting down people who are LGBTQ plus, instead of focusing on what the federal security services new in Russia was a real threat.

They have reported publicly that they disrupted a number of ISIS plots in recent months. And even as far back as 2020, you had ISIS-Khorasan, the ISIS branch inside Afghanistan, attacking the Russian embassy there.

So, this is a long-standing threat and Putin was warned about it by frenemies but people he's cooperated with on counter-terrorism in the past and think missed it.

SCIUTTO: Yeah. Listen to that. There had been particular post 911 a good intelligence sharing channel between the U.S. and Russia. It is dissipated since then. But here you have the U.S. reaching out with that information prior.

I do want to talk about Israel because watching John Kirby there behind the podium say that the White House was perplexed by the Israeli response, I wonder how perplex they were. Because this White House knows the significance of the U.S. abstaining as opposed to vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution, in effect pressuring Israel to stop its military activity in Gaza.

How big a blow is this -- how big a rift is this right now between the U.S. and Israel?

DOZIER: Well, it is a real signal from the Biden administration specifically to Bibi Netanyahu. Of course, the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. He hasn't pulled out of his meetings. He's continuing with those in Washington, D.C. And it's no secret back in Israel or beyond that. Bibi and Gallant do not get along.

So basically the White House is signaling, we're going to keep working with the military professionals to try to make some progress here.

But what we did at the U.N., you know, in that resolution, they just read it over. They have language condemning hostage taking, calling for the unconditional release of hostages just as well as calling for a ceasefire through Ramadan that will hopefully lead to a lasting ceasefire.

The only thing missing that the U.S. wanted was condemnation of Hamas. Otherwise, it might have actually voted with the resolution.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this because Israel has defied the U.S. before. If you look at, for instance, at settlement policy through multiple presidents who have opposed the expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied territory, in this case with this abstaintion (ph), with other pressure we know has been applied privately to Israeli officials. Can Israel -- can Bibi defy the U.S. president to say, no, I'm going into Rafah. I don't care.

And by the way, there's an election in the U.S. in November and maybe ill get someone friendlier to my policies in Donald Trump.


DOZIER: For his own political survival, absolutely, he will press to go into Rafah. But what's happening at the Pentagon right now is as John Kirby said, at the White House today, they're trying to present alternatives. They're trying to say to the Israeli defense forces, tell us your military goals and lets work on a less intensive way to attack the top high-value targets and to target the network of tunnels that Israelis believe extend from Gaza into Egypt and have allowed a lot of the smuggling of the weapons that Hamas used to perpetrator the October 7 attacks SCIUTTO: We are hearing regular updates on these ongoing talks about a

hostage exchange, Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners. Barak Ravid is reporting that Israel actually agreed to the U.S.-led hostage proposal, 700 Palestinian prisoners, 40 Israeli hostages. Now Hamas is disputing that, but also taking its time.

I just wonder, does Hamas want to drag this out? I mean, is it -- could they be calculating cynically that it's in their interest to drag this out as long as possible?

DOZIER: I've certainly heard that speculation from negotiators on various sides of this. The longer -- I mean, what Hamas is seeking is the maximum number of prisoners released. But also it wants a long lasting, a permanent ceasefire because Hamas leadership knows if Israel does go into Rafah, it might cut off what has been a supply line that's kept Hamas going as a military organization. And it might also be able to capture some of the ringleaders they're still on Israel's get list that they've promised to track down every single commander, every person who took part in October 7th, according to all of the intelligence that the Israeli defense forces have collected.

SCIUTTO: Kim Dozier, thanks so much.

Still to come this hour, the shakeup at Boeing. Three top executives, including the CEO, are leaving the beleaguered airline manufacturer. Why now? We're going to take a look next.


SCIUTTO: Welcome back.

The CEO of Boeing announced that he intends to leave the company by the end of this year. The company's chairman, head of commercial airplane unit, also departing. Boeing continues to face increased scrutiny from federal regulators here in the U.S. over quality and safety concerns.

You will recall that earlier this year, a door plug, which is to say a door and a big piece around it, blew out of the side of an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX jet, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the plane in flight.

Pete Muntean covers aviation for CNN.

Pete, but a lot of pressure on Boeing. What's behind this move?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: There's been a lot of calls for a major shakeup at Boeing, since the MAX 9 incident back on January 5th, but the only person to get the ax after that was the head of the 737 MAX line, which many saw as a bit of a scapegoat. Now, CEO Dave Calhoun is leaving, along, with Larry Kellner, the board chair, as well as Stan Deal, the head of Boeing commercial airplanes.


Remember, Dave Calhoun became Boeing CEO after the two 737 MAX crashes of 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. Nobody died in the January 5 Alaska airlines door plug blow out, but it exposed a huge quality control issue at Boeing and Calhoun said in his message to employees, quote, as you know, the Alaska Airlines flight 1282 accident was a watershed moment for Boeing. We must continue to respond to this accident with humility and complete transparency.

So there is some surprise in the aviation community that Calhoun is not leaving immediately and his resignation takes hold at the end of the year.

But Calhoun notes there are these investigations taking place in his, quote, there, not only the NTSB investigation that found Boeing workers did not re-install the door plug bolts at the factory in Renton, Washington, but also the FAA audit of Boeing's quality control and a Department of Justice investigation to see if passengers on that flight may have been victims of a crime.

The timing is so telling here, Jim, and just last week, Boeing reported a huge financial loss in the first quarter. Boeing's lost the confidence of some of its major customers, really the money is talking here, along with the fact that the top and the buck stops with the CEO, big switch up here.

SCIUTTO: No question. Boeings stock down 24 percent this year, too. Shareholders certainly noticed that. Pete Muntean, thanks so much.

So joining me now for more on that shakeup of Boeing's, CNN business editor-at-large and anchor of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS", Richard Quest.

Richard, we spoke about Boeing last week. You were attending an aviation conference in Europe when Boeing was very much a subject of conversation and not for a good reason.

Did they see this coming?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Well, I did -- the interesting point, no, they probably well, they saw some of it coming. I think what Boeing has done is quite clever in a sense. They've got rid of Calhoun, but they haven't fired him. He can go gracefully with dignity towards the end of the year. You've got rid of Larry Kellner at the board, but substantially they're going to be many more board changes, because this has been a failure of board governance.

And the real failure here is two years ago after MAX crashes, they had two years to begin to change the culture and to make real improvements. But Jim, what we discovered with the Alaska app plug door oh, is just how little had changed. Remember last week, I had Michael O'Leary I was talking to you about from Ryanair saying they found bits in the plane and this that and the other.

And so, that's why Calhoun's gone. He had his chance. He had two years and the Alaska incident showed he hadn't made sufficient progress as opposed as people it was why didn't you go tomorrow?

SCIUTTO: Yeah, it's interesting because I was going to ask you though beyond the personnel changes here, by the way, there's significant three top dogs right at the company are gone. I mean, is there evidence that Boeing is making changes to processes and systems to prevent things like this from happening in the future, or at least a commitment to do so here.

QUEST: Oh, absolutely. All of that over -- there's a raft of paperwork that churning out documents and statements and procedures. You've got the FAA looking at, but, Jim, the core question is 20 odd years since the McDonnell Douglass takeover, and the shift of Boeing headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. And now onwards, it does -- those changes have reaped huge cultural damage and that's what had to change.


QUEST: Well, it's going to take more than a year or two, but the airlines and here's the other big, Jim, here's the other crafty little bit. The airlines do not want to see the failure of Boeing in any shape, form, or description because that would leave Airbus and as soon as you've got Airbus and only Airbus, you've got a monopoly and you know what happens when you've got a monopoly.

SCIUTTO: No question. They at least want some, they want some choice. There's no - there's no question there. I mean, as you look at this going forward, are buyers already showing signs, they're wary of Boeing orders. Are there, id say wait a second. I want to make sure you solve these problems before I throw another one up in the air.

QUEST: I think that the airlines know what's going on. And that's always been a problem by the way, with Boeing or Airbus direct to the consumer you remember. They don't have to keep the consumer. They are not to keep me and you on side because we don't buy planes, as long as the airline customers are happy.

Now on that very point, yes, there are.


Scott Kirby of United is very much questioning whether he's going to continue with his MAX 10 orders, not because of quality issues, but the quality issues have led to delay, he can't get the planes. Therefore his capacity is cut.

It's the same with Ryanair in Europe. But by the way, as I think I've said before, no one comes to this table with clean hands. Airbus has similar delivery problems for many of its smaller aircraft, the A320 series.


QUEST: So they're all in it up to their necks and it ain't looking pretty.

SCIUTTO: I will say and I was on a plane last night. I took a step. I don't normally do, which is look at what my equipment is, right? I kind of to know, right? I got my colleagues on the plane with me.

So I mean question for you the rub had been that the engineers used to dominate the company and the bean counters dominated more recently, is that -- is that true in the view of the industry?

QUEST: I wouldn't say bean counters, yes, but I wouldn't say bean counters. I would say the financial ease. Those who are not concerned with cutting costs per say. But more concerned with how can we increase shareholder value? How can we get the stock higher?

And remember, three or four years ago before the crashes, the stock was absolutely flying high. So it is -- in fact, to use a colloquial expression, they completely screwed themselves. They managed to end up with exactly the situation they did not want to happen. A falling share price or reputational crisis, a serious industry, and all because they took their eye off the ball.

Now the question for you, Mr. Sciutto, which plane was it? You haven't told us.

SCIUTTO: Oh, the plane that was on? It was not a 737 MAX. I did look -- I mean, listen, I don't want to because I have talked to engineers to say, well, actually you don't have much to worry about it. But it was not a 737 MAX. I will say that.

QUEST: And that -- good to see you, sir.

SCIUTTO: Nice to see you, too, Richard Quest.

And still to come this hour, baseball Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani is about to speak publicly for the first time about gambling allegations against his now former interpreter. They'd been together a long time. We are live outside Dodger Stadium next.


SCIUTTO: Welcome back. We are standing by for Los Angeles Dodgers super mega star Shohei Ohtani to address the media about the gambling scandal involving his now former interpreter, you got fired. This will be the first time Ohtani has spoken about this.

Major League Baseball has launched an investigation into the broader allegations.

CNN's Nick Watt is at Dodger Stadium with the latest.

Nick, I wonder, what do we expect to hear from Ohtani?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the million dollar question. He's going to speak at 2:45 local time, 5:45 Eastern.

We are told is going to be a statement. No questions. Lets see what happens when were all actually inside that room. The only inkling we have as to what he might say is Dodgers manager Dave Roberts came out he said, I'm happy, he's going to speak, that he's going to talk about what he knows and his thoughts on the issue.

Another direct quote from Roberts: I think it'll give us a bit more clarity because, Jim, right now, there is not a lot of clarity. There's frankly quite a lot of confusion since this story dropped first, last Tuesday. That was when the interpreter spokes to ESPN and said, listen, Shohei Ohtani paid off my massive gambling debt, Shohei Ohtani has never gambled himself.


This was all me.

And then just a little while later, Ohtani's camp came out disavowed all that and said, no, Ohtani's been the victim of a massive theft and we've handed it over to the authorities -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Has there been any suspicion -- is there any suspicion that that story is not entirely true? That perhaps Ohtani himself was involved in some way?

WATT: Well, so listen all of this came to light during an investigation of a bookie, a former bookie down in Orange County, a guy by the name of Mathew Bowyer. Now, Bowyer apparently had been going around saying that Shohei Ohtani was, in fact, his client. Over the weekend, I spoke to this bookie's lawyer, Diane Bass, and I put that to her.

Take a listen to what she said.


DIANE BASS, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED BOOKIE MATTHEW BOWYER: At that point, he couldn't say for certain that Ohtani was betting with him. But of course he took the ball and ran with it because, to use a sports analogy, because it was great marketing, it was his way of getting more business, if he can say, oh, Shohei Ohtani has my client, but he didn't know that.

WATT: But did he suspect that perhaps Shohei Ohtani was his client?

BASS: What he suspected is not something I can speculate on.


WATT: She did say there was absolutely no direct contact between her client, Matthew Bowyer, the bookie, and Shohei Ohtani. And she also said, listen, my client hasn't actually been charged with anything yet and they raided his home back in October. She said that Mizuhara would bet on soccer mainly sometimes football, never baseball. She was very clear on that and she also said that it was actually just a really bad gambler. Hence, this huge debt that had to be paid off.

You know, Jim, why this has all such a big deal is Shohei Ohtani is such a big deal, a two-way player. He pitches, he hits. You know, he's been talked about already as one of the all-time greats of the game. You know, people raise his name in the same breath as Babe Ruth and the MLB did a survey of current players, two thirds of them said, he's the best player, right now. Just joined the Dodgers in the offseason, $700 million, 10-year deal season, opening day Thursday. And unfortunately, all of this has really caused a bit of a cloud over Ohtani's debut for this storied club -- Jim. SCIUTTO: Yeah. No question.

Nick Watt, thanks so much.

And thanks so much for all of you for joining me today. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.

And "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.