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Trump Secures Bond from Subprime Loan Mogul; IDF Investigating Death of 7 Aid Workers in Israeli Strike; 75 Million+ Under Severe Storm, Tornado Threat. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired April 02, 2024 - 06:00   ET



KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: It's Tuesday, April 2, right now on CNN THIS MORNING.


Bond posted. Donald Trump coming up with $175 million. His assets, safe for now.

Jose Andres's World Central Kitchen pausing operations in Gaza after seven of its workers were killed by an Israeli airstrike.

Plus --


ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. (I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a revolution happening in our country, and it's the same kind of thing that happened when my father was running in 1968.


HUNT: OK. RFK Jr. tells CNN why he thinks the country needs a particular Kennedy back in the White House.

All right, 6 a.m. here in Washington. A live look at Capitol Hill on this Tuesday morning. Good morning, everyone. I'm Kasie Hunt. It's wonderful to have you with us.

Donald Trump's properties safe for now. The former president posting a $175 million bond as he appeals a massive civil fraud judgment against him. That means that New York Attorney General Letitia James can't begin seizing Trump's assets until at least September when a state appellate court hears his appeal.

The bond is 100 percent underwritten by a California-based insurance company, even though Trump vowed last month to use his own money to cover it.



But I would also like to be able to use some of my cash to get elected. I might spend a lot of money on my campaign.


HUNT: Trump returns to the campaign trail today. He'll visit Michigan and Wisconsin, the so-called Blue Wall states that Trump won in 2016 and then lost to President Biden in 2020.

Joining us this morning, Molly Ball, senior political correspondent at "The Wall Street Journal"; Jonah Goldberg, co-founder, editor in chief, "The Dispatch"; and Kate Bedingfield, former White House communications director. Good morning, all. Thank you so much for being here.

So Jonah, the former president found someone to basically save him, right. It's $175 million bond. It's underwritten by an insurance company owned by Don Hankey, who is the chairman. He is a subprime car loan dealer, basically.

What does it tell you that this is the kind of person that Trump had to look to to solve this problem for him? And obviously, he is, you know, lashing out on -- on Truth Social, et cetera. That's kind of par for the course, calling this all a witch hunt.

But here we are. We're going to not deal with this till September currently.

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. And look, first of all, anyone willing to lend Donald Trump money should be allowed to, because it's a risky proposition. And the --

HUNT: I wonder what the interest rate is.

GOLDBERG: Yes. I mean, there's a reason why, long before he ran for president, he couldn't raise money on domestic capital markets, because he was an untrustworthy credit risk. I mean, that's been long established.

But the thing I think is kind of remarkable is he -- he's done -- he did this in 2016. He always teases, I'm going to spend my own money on my campaign, and never does.

If he were inclined to spend his own money on his campaign, he wouldn't be selling Bibles for 60 bucks a piece, right? I mean, like you'd say, all right. Spend my own money on the campaign or Bibles. Right? And so, like, clearly it's part of the grift, and it works on the people it works on.

HUNT: Yes.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You also wouldn't have your -- your RNC actively taking donor money and saying you're going to dedicate it to your legal defense fund. I mean, this is the other thing. Right? Like he's -- they are raising money from people who are nominally giving money to get Donald Trump elected president. And they've been very clear that they intend for some of that money to go to his -- his criminal defense.

So yes, if he was going to spend his own money, that seems like a very odd thing to be doing.

HUNT: Molly, do you think that this dents at all? I mean, one of the things that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency among, you know, not just what has become the MAGA base, but there were, you know, at some point and certainly in 2016, there were independent swing voters who were voting for him because, honestly, of the economy in many cases.


And they knew him as a business guy from "The Apprentice," right? This rich guy. OK, well, maybe he can make enough money for himself. Then maybe he can be trusted with mine, with the government's money.

Does this sort of dent that at all? Or do people care at all? The fact that like, I mean, he's not putting up his own money. He clearly couldn't come up with $464 million before this bond was lowered, even though he claims to be a billionaire.

MOLLY BALL, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Yes. Well, and I'm always surprised how many voters I still hear that from out on the campaign trail, right?

Here's a guy who was president for four years and who has been, you know, making his -- his main occupation politics for nearly a decade now. And people will still tell you to this day, he's not a politician; he's a businessman.

So to the extent that they view his financial success, as they perceive it, as a calling card, potentially, they look at this and say, oh, maybe he's not so successful.

On the other hand, obviously, the narrative he has been pushing is that he would be successful, were it not for the way he is being victimized by all of these terrible Democrats, including, you know, the A.G. in New York, who has -- who has decided, you know, to seize all of his properties.

You know, he has painted this as a witch hunt from the beginning, and so he's going to continue that narrative.

But what -- what I think this highlights is the extent to which just every single day that is going to be the story of this campaign, for the next seven months until November. There's going to be some new Trump legal development in the civil or the criminal cases.

And this is what, you know, Nikki Haley and other anti-Trump Republicans were warning about: that every day, that's the topic. Every day, that is what Trump is having to defend himself against is a day that he's not making the case against Joe Biden. He's not talking about policy, necessarily.

HUNT: Right. No, for sure. And one thing that was interesting to me to Don Hankey, who gives these -- made his money in subprime car loans; told Forbes that he was the one, Jonah, that reached out to the Trump folks. It wasn't him.

And to Molly's point, in terms of what we're talking about, I mean, Donald Trump is campaigning today. He's going to Michigan and Wisconsin, which is, of course, President Biden's Blue Wall. And we know that Trump is polling better in these battleground states against Biden than he was in 2020. What's going on?

GOLDBERG: I think an enormous amount of the polling that has Trump up is really just anti-Biden sentiment, right? In a binaries climate. It's also why there are a lot of voters who say that they don't like Biden's handling on a whole slew of issues. They all seem to be locked and track together, because I think there's just generally a sense of wrong track in the country.

And for reasons that bother me a great deal as a conservative, we've made the presidency this sort of avatar of the public mood. It is a -- it is a symbol of culture wars and what, if you don't like the way things are going and the other team's president is in office, you blame that president for it.

Whether it translates into -- whether these poll numbers translate on election day, I'm still pretty skeptical of, but who knows?

BEDINGFIELD: Well, and I think, you know, you're -- you have him going to Michigan and Wisconsin on a day when he is what, I would imagine, is going to be talking about, you know, how he's been aggrieved. He's going to be talking about these cases.

I mean, for -- yes, for a MAGA base voter, is that an inspiring argument? It seems to be. It has proven to be throughout the Republican primary process.

For a swing voter in Michigan or Wisconsin, it's -- we've seen time and again, it's not. I mean, we see it in the data. We see it in the polling. You see it in focus groups.

People don't find that to be persuasive. They don't feel like it connects with their lives.

So, you know, he in theory has an opportunity today in these states to make a case. And he is very likely not going to make a case that is going to resonate with people -- with people's lives in a real meaningful way.

That is a missed opportunity for him. It is a huge opportunity for the Biden campaign, who can keep driving, Joe Biden cares about you, cares about what's happening around your kitchen table. Donald Trump doesn't. He cares about what's going on with his, you know, subprime loans, subprime lender who's backing his $175 million bond in his hush-money [SIC] case.

HUNT: Just saying. You're comfortable making sub-prime car loans, you know? This is a subprime bond loan? I mean --


HUNT: I don't know.

All right. Donald Trump losing a billion on paper yesterday, speaking of him and his money. What's behind the slumping stock price of Truth Social's parent company?

Plus, World Central Kitchen says seven of their aid workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike. How the IDF has responding ahead.

And a man clings to a cliff with just his hands. I'm going to show you this incredibly dramatic rescue, up next.




DANIEL HAGARI, IDF SPOKESMAN: The work of WCK is critical. They are the frontlines of humanity. We will get to the bottom of this, and we will share our findings transparently.


HUNT: Well, the IDF launching an investigation into the death of 7 aid workers from Jose Andres's World Central Kitchen. They were killed in an Israeli airstrike in -- an Israeli strike, excuse me, in central Gaza.

The organization says that they had coordinated their movements with the IDF and that they were in marked vehicles with their logo on them.

World Central Kitchen is one of the few aid organizations providing desperately needed food to those in Gaza. The organization now pausing operations there.

The White House this morning calling this tragedy deeply troubling. Jose Andres posted on the platform formerly known as Twitter that he's heartbroken and implored the Israeli government to "stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon."

The panel is back with me now.

Kate Bedingfield, I want to start with you, because look, this -- the World Central Kitchen, Jose Andres's operation has become world- renowned for showing up in the moments when humanity is having some of its toughest experiences and helping people. They are known throughout the country in this way.

It -- it's clear from that video that we showed at the top, right -- the IDF just put that out as this is unfolding -- that they understand just how horrible this is and certainly, just how horrible also that it looks.


HUNT: What is the impact here for the Biden administration? Because the politics of this are already so tough for them.

BEDINGFIELD: Yes, well, look, obviously, this is a horrific tragedy, a true humanitarian disaster. I think it's fair to say.

You know, for the Biden administration, obviously, this is an incredibly fraught issue. I think the more space they can continue to draw between themselves and Bibi Netanyahu and Netanyahu's government, the better for them politically.

From a policy perspective, I think they've been trying to drive toward a longstanding sort of post-conflict plan. I think Bibi's own domestic politics have made it so that he is unwilling to engage in that in a serious way.

And so every instance of horror like this gives the Biden administration were opening to put clear contrast between what they're trying to do, what they would argue they're trying to do responsibly in the region and what Netanyahu has been unwilling to do. I personally think it's good for them.

So I think they need to be clear that this was unacceptable. It was horrific. They need to move to support Israel's investigation into what happened and to take a very tough line on this. And I think this is a moment for them to do that.

HUNT: Jonah, what is your view of the Israelis on this question of food? Because we know the Americans, like whenever we're reporting on the behind-the-scenes negotiations about what they're pushing Netanyahu for, more food aid into Gaza is a big one.

And you know, I sort of remain mystified. You know, root out Hamas, OK, but starve a population? It is becoming -- it is getting to the point where -- a week or two ago, "The Economist" cover was Israel alone, right? It is isolating them.

Even if you support Israel, in many ways, this seems to be undermining the argument that they -- undermining their -- their standing.

What -- what is your view of this?

GOLDBERG: Yes. Look, just first of all, on the -- on the World Central Kitchen thing, it is a tragedy, and it's terrible. And it's -- but on your point, look, it is very difficult to feed a population that is being used as, essentially, human shields by a terrorist organization. It's just difficult.

When they tried to do with the trucks a couple of months -- about a month ago, it turned into a free-fire zone. And it wasn't, as what was immediately reported by a lot of the press and as claimed by Hamas, it wasn't Israel opening fire on aid trucks. It was the fact that these trucks were being seized by Hamas. Whenever there's bombing, Hamas runs into tunnels and hides and leaves

the civilian population above. That makes it a very dangerous place for the civilian population.

I -- I think that part of the problem is that it's just a terrible situation, and the only solution is down the road. And this is -- urban warfare is incredibly ugly. Siege warfare is incredibly ugly. There are cameras on it in ways that there weren't in Mosul or any other sort of major urban warfare situation.

And the --

HUNT: There were also ways out of Mosul for people. There's not out of Gaza.

GOLDBERG: I know, but Egypt's not letting anybody out. Hamas is -- has opened fire on people trying to get out of harm's way.

I just think that there's this expectation that Israel should be actually caring more about Palestinians than the supposed leadership of Gaza. And that expectation puts Israel in an impossible situation.

HUNT: Now, we can certainly talk about the evils of Hamas for quite some time.

Molly, quickly.

BALL: Well, I just -- I think the problem for the Biden administration is they seem to have lost any leverage that they had with Netanyahu. He is no longer listening to them at the beginning of this conflict, we saw that Biden was able to talk to Netanyahu and to have some persuasive effect on him. And we did see effects from those conversations.

At this point, they're not talking much at all. And Netanyahu has aligned himself with the Republican Party, who have invited him to come speak to Congress. And so this has become a very -- a very partisan and conflict.

And that means that the consequence, I think, for the administration is that they just don't have much juice here. So anything that they're trying to do to actually change the way the war is being conducted is just sort of falling on deaf ears.

HUNT: It's a really interesting point.

All right. Up next here, new images show the mangled mess that workers face as they clean up the wreckage of the Baltimore bridge collapse.


Plus, RFK Jr. explains who he thinks is the real danger to democracy. He says it's not Donald Trump.


KENNEDY: I can make the argument that President Biden is a much worse threat to democracy.



HUNT: All right, 23 minutes past the hour, five things you've got to see this morning.

A suspect is in custody after ramming his SUV into the FBI's Atlanta field office gate. Police say he's a Navy veteran from South Carolina who was trying to follow an employee. Yikes.

The U.S. Navy releasing new underwater images of the Baltimore bridge collapse. The 3-D images show the wreckage at the bottom of the river and underscore the sheer magnitude of the salvage operation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't let go, man. Don't let go. OK? Don't let go.



HUNT: "Don't let go." Dramatic video shows crews saving a man hanging from a cliff in California. Rescuers say he was 120 feet down and losing his grip when a helicopter landed, and a worker pulled him to safety.

Lucky man.

A horse in California also needed rescuing after being stuck in the Santa Ana River for nearly 24 hours. The horse was so exhausted he couldn't move, so they air-lifted him to safety. That's awesome.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ground ball. Dubon (ph) throws to first. No hitter!


HUNT: Amazing. Major League Baseball's first no hitter, less than a week into the season. Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco threw the no-no, in just his eighth career start. A 10-0 win over the Blue Jays last night.

I have to say that this is just a really, really amazing story. This guy, not coming to the big leagues till he was 28 years old. Verlander's injury gets him this shot. And man, he does not waste it.

All right. Time now for weather. More than 75 million Americans across the central U.S. could face severe storms today with the possibility of tornadoes. Let's get straight to our meteorologist, Elisa Raffa.

Elisa, good morning to you. What are people looking at today?


It's been a busy overnight, and it's going to be even busier as we go into the day today. We're looking at dangerous weather.

Here's a look at some of the reports from overnight. We had a couple of tornado reports in parts of Oklahoma; hail up to the size of softballs.

This is the tornado watch that we've got continuing this morning across Southern Illinois going into Kentucky, where that tornado threat continues until about 8 o'clock Central Time.

We are starting to get some radar data back. You can see the glitches. It's not our system. We actually had an outage this morning in the radar data. Bad timing with some warnings for tornadoes around Paducah, Kentucky.

You see this map looks much better than from what I showed you about an hour ago: many more green dots on here. So a lot of the data is coming back.

And we need it, because this is the risk for today. We have a moderate, level four out of five, severe risk from Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio; down into Louisville, Kentucky.

We're talking about strong tornadoes, long track on the ground for a long time, EF-2 or greater, possible hail up to the size of ball -- baseball, softball. So it could be a very dangerous day ahead, Kasie.

HUNT: All right. Keep an eye on that. Elisa Raffa for us. Elisa, thanks very much.

Up next here, Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail, a gag order in tow.

Plus, how dueling rulings on abortion could put Florida in play in the November election.