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CNN Tonight

Trump Investigation Continues; Schools Rebel Against U.S. News College Rankings; Mother Believes Her Son Died From A Hate Crime, Not A Hit And Run; Gwyneth Paltrow Is In Court For Ski Crash Trial; Eight Dolphins Dead After Washing Ashore On A New Jersey Beach. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired March 22, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: All right, back to seriousness. The Trump legal drama reaching fever pitch this week. In just hours, the Manhattan grand jury will meet again virtual (ph). This is the investigation into the hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

And on Friday of this week, one of Donald Trump's own lawyers will have to testify to another grand jury that is looking into the handling of those classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago.

So, how is Donald Trump preparing for the possibility of these indictments?

Here with me, we have CNN political commentators S.E. Cupp and Van Jones. We have CNN legal analyst Elie Honig and CNN political commentator Scott Jennings. Guys, great to have you here.

Okay, Elie, tell us the significance of the development today of Donald Trump's attorney and then Corcoran who now is being ordered by an appeals court to testify.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This is a pretty big deal because the bottom line is Evan Corcoran has to testify about everything that Donald Trump told him that relates to an ongoing crime.

So, what happened was DOJ wanted to talk to Evan Corcoran because he was part of the chain of communication that led to this false certification that Trump's team gave to DOJ saying, we've given you all the classified records, all the government records when, of course, that was false.

So, DOJ questions Corcoran. He invokes attorney-client privilege. DOJ goes to the judge and says, crime fraud exception, meaning we believe these conversations between Corcoran and Trump were part of an ongoing crime, and the judge agrees. And today, a court of appeals panel, all three judges agreed. So now Corcoran has to go in and DOJ gets to say, tell us about those critical conversations you had with Donald Trump. CAMEROTA: Scott?



I mean, my legal opinion, uh -- I mean, I guess in the -- I mean, in the grand pantheon -- I mean, he's got two -- He's got sex paperwork in one place and he's got classified paperwork in the other. So, the classified paperwork sounds more important to me, particularly since his lawyers now got to go in and talk about it. So, I think that's probably -- you know, if you're an American person trying to figure out what's going on here, strikes me that that case, Elie, is the vital one here.

HONIG: We agree on that.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Okay, Donald Trump is handling this with his usual air of wanting a reveal --



CAMEROTA: No, no, not that word.

CUPP: Okay.

CAMEROTA: Bravado and love of a reveal, and so he is -- it is reported by Maggie Haberman and Michael Bender in "The New York Times." Behind closed doors at Mar-a-Lago, the former president has told friends and associates that he welcomes the idea of being paraded by the authorities before throng of reporters and news cameras.

He has even mused openly about whether he should smile for the assembled media. He has pondered how the public would react and is said to have described the potential spectacle as a fun experience. They're not going to parade him by (INAUDIBLE) reporters, right?

HONIG: No, no way.

CAMEROTA: They're going to take him in, like, a basement --

HONIG: That area is -- there are so many underground tunnels, parking garages. He will not literally see the light of day unless he wants to.

CAMEROTA: It sounds like he does want to.

HONIG: But I mean, he can do that not with handcuffs on and not being marched by the cops. But he can go back up to Trump Tower and call a press conference if he wants. I mean, look, I understand the strategic approach have never let them see you sweat, right? Always act like it's a good thing. But boy, that's a pretty glib approach to take to being potentially locked up. CUPP: Yeah. Sometimes, I feel like we are in danger of buying his B.S. And I've heard a lot of people say this is going to be great for Trump, it's going to boost his approval. The facts just don't bear that out. Trump has not been able to turn any of these scandals into real political wins. He has been able to fundraise off of them for sure and line his pockets.


CUPP: Yeah, but look at 2018 midterms, 2020 presidential election, 2022 midterms. All losses for Republicans. Trump was a huge figure in all of those.

Trump's approval numbers within the Republican Party might spike for a minute after the raid in Mar-a-Lago or a minute after news of this maybe arrest, but over the course of the past two years, from January 6th, his approval among Republicans has gone down 15 points. You can't overlook that. It plummeted 30 points among Republicans just after January 6th.

He has not turned to this into real political capital to either get Republicans elected or himself. Um, you know, maintaining the GOP base he once had. In fact, he's bleeding voters. So, I mean, I -- you know, he can -- he can say this is going to be great for him. It is not.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That was true until the past 10 days where you do see him now gaining, and there is --

CUPP: It will be momentary.

JONES: You think it's momentary? Here is the deal --

CUPP: It has been momentary in the past. That's my only point.

JONES: There is no other Republican that's close.

CUPP: Uh-hmm.

JONES: Despite all of this, all the stuff that he has done, all the shenanigans, all the horrible stuff, the fact that he wants to basically like moonwalk for his perp walk and he's so happy, all that weird stuff, there's still no Republican close to him in terms of being able to beat him.


So, that's the scary part to me.

JENNINGS: I think DeSantis is close. I don't dispute Trump has gone up a couple of -- DeSantis is not even in the race yet, and he's in a different universe than the rest of these people that are on maybe seeking the nomination.

I actually think there is someone who poses a credible threat. And you know who else believes that, it is Trump, because that's why he is spending all of his time on it right now. JONES: Right.

CAMEROTA: As we know, Donald Trump prides himself on being a TV creature, knowing TV, being on TV, he likes that. And so, it is possible that he is being serious. I mean, I take your point that he -- this might all just be false bravado, but he might truly be harkening back just some other perp walks and think that this could help him, and so here are some famous perp walks. Let's look at this.

Okay, so here, what we are seeing is Dominique Strauss-Kahn, I believe, on the upper left. Harvey Weinstein. I'm not sure that that was the most -- the best perp walk ever, which is on the lower left. Um --

HONIG: Bannon, it looks like.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Johnny Depp -- that Johnny Depp on the upper -- 1994.

CUPP: For what?

CAMEROTA: I don't know, but that -- I guess he's not walking. I need that to move.


That's a still shot. I don't call it a perp walk.


CAMEROTA: Yeah. And then there's Steve Bannon. I do think the Steve Bannon one is applicable because Steve Bannon went, as you know, Elie, when he has emerged from the courthouse, did like a triumph --

HONIG: Oh, he loves it.

CAMEROTA: He really owned that.

CUPP: Roger Stone, too.


CUPP: Similar.

CAMEROTA: Obviously, he's thinking of that.

HONIG: Yeah. And let me say this. The nature of these charges, which is, I think, questionable in terms of severity, really does lend itself to this sort of performative action because it's one thing to strut around and make a scene if he chooses to go that way, I'm dubious.

CUPP: You mean, the Stormy Daniels --

HONIG: Yeah. The fact that it has to do with the false falsification of paperwork relating to an affair, an alleged affair that's now about 15 years old, the paperwork goes back about seven years, it is one thing to parade around and try to make yourself a martyr off of that. I think it may have some resonance.

However, what if he is charged if an event eventually comes to pass with January 6? You're not going to have the same kind of audience and the same kind of reaction if you try to make a scene and turned it into a show.

JENNINGS: This one in New York is far easier to trivialize --

HONIG: Yeah.

JENNINGS: -- jail. If he gets convicted, he ain't going to jail for this. I don't think. So, you --


JENNINGS: But -- and so it is sort of easier to make a light of it, to make fun of it, to trivialize it. And, you know, even the Republicans who don't want to vote for him again think this prosecutor is off the rails here and prosecuting him for political reasons and not for real reasons So, he has every reason to treat this one this way.

I agree with Elie. I don't know how you would treat the other ones because they're far more serious with far deeper personal legal ramifications.

CUPP: But does anyone think he is going to treat those seriously? I mean, I think he is going to trivialize the Jean Carroll issue. I think he's going to trivialize every single possible indictment in charge that comes up because he doesn't take this seriously.

These are all just proof of the deep state going after him. He's going to use them to gin up his base. I don't think he's going to, like, have this Donald Trump for this indictment and a totally new Donald Trump for the more serious ones.

HONIG: I agree, but I think it hits differently, depending on what the charges are. I mean, I'll just tell you, it was -- it was a small sample, but I was cohosting on Sirius XM the other day and we were taking callers from real people around the country, and we had three calls in about 15, 20 minutes from people saying, I do not like Donald Trump at all, but I also do not like these charges coming out of New York. I don't want it to be -- to go down this way. This shouldn't be the sort of leading point.

CAMEROTA: And that was your point originally there. It's interesting because Donald Trump himself said that he was going to be arrested on Tuesday --

JONES: Uh-hmm.

CAMEROTA: -- and that didn't come to pass. And so, do we think that an is having second thoughts? I mean, there's now a bit of pause today in the grand jury. Do we sense that there's something happening?

JONES: I don't know. I'm curious. To me, it seems like a guy standing at the edge of a swimming pool, like --

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

JONES: Do I really want to jump? Because once he jumps, he's in the history books, he brings the whole country with them. So, it does seem to me that, you know, this is a district attorney that might be a little bit cautious.

HONIG: I know Alvin Bragg. Well, he was a couple years ahead of me in law school. We were at the Southern District of New York. He is a friend. I should say that. I love that analogy, Van, because it's also like the phenomenon which I can empathize with. When you go up in the high dive and you go to the edge and you're scared to death, but everyone's watching --


-- and you're, like, I want to back down, but I kind of can't now.

CAMEROTA: Jump, jump, jump.

HONIG: Exactly. Exactly. Um, could he be reconsidering? It's possible. The fact that they sort of postponed today and now we're hearing they're in session tomorrow, considering whether to call rebuttal witnesses. I mean, rebuttal witnesses should not be a thing.

JONES: Not a grand jury.

HONIG: Grand jury is the easiest thing in the world for a prosecutor. And if you're worried about whether your case is going to get through a grand jury, good luck with the trial jury.


JONES: That part.

JENNINGS: My advice to Alvin Bragg is look down because there ain't no water in that pool.


He might jump in. I just -- this case, it's a mess. The theory to get to a felony is a mess. I mean -- look, I'm just reading the articles about this -- how it has been laid out. It's a mess. It's a total mess. What won't be a mess is what is going on in Georgia. Apparently, they got him on the phone three times --

CUPP: Yeah.

JENNINGS: -- urging people to do things you're not supposed to do. What won't be a mess are these other more consequential cases. And that will be easier for the American people and Republicans to digest and accept than dismiss.

CAMEROTA: Are we sure that its rebuttal witnesses that they're calling tomorrow or is it maybe a new witness? HONIG: Well, you're right, it could be a brand-new witness. I should say this. We always have to say the qualification. It could be that there's a surprising charge, something we don't know about. Um, it could be that the evidence is better support. It's better be because if you're staking a case beyond a reasonable doubt, on the word of Michael Cohen --

JONES: Oh, my God.

HONIG: Good luck.


And look, I am not a pearl clutcher when it comes to calling bad guys star witnesses. I've called murderers to do that.

CAMEROTA: So then why? Why do you doubt Michael Cohen's ability to have this rested on him?

HONIG: It is all about credibility and it's all about how you --

CUPP: He's a liar.

HONIG: He's --

CAMEROTA: Well, he was. I mean --

CUPP: Oh, okay.

CAMEROTA: But I'm not saying that, like, when he was in Trump -- let me let me speak for Michael Cohen for a second. When he was in Trump's camp, as we know, he said, whatever to please the boss and whatever the boss wanted, but since he was turned on by Donald Trump, I guess around 2018, hasn't he been much more reliable?

HONIG: He has been better, but let me say --

JENNINGS: I mean, isn't it true that an average person can look at this guy and say, man, this is a guy with a serious vendetta who has a proven history of saying whatever it takes to do what he wants to do in that moment? I mean, how easy is that case to make in front of a jury?

HONIG: There is two-part problems with Michael Cohen's credibility. One, he is a convicted perjurer and a convicted -- people say he only ever committed crimes for Donald Trump. Not true. He has also pled guilty to financial fraud, tax fraud for his own purposes.

And two, you do not want a witness with an ax to grind. I don't know that I've ever seen a witness grinding an ax more intently than Michael Cohen. And also, there is this notion that Michael Cohen says all the time as well. I turned this corner when I turned on Trump and I've only told the truth since then.

Not quite true because since then, he tried to cooperate with my former office, the Southern District of New York, and they rejected him. They wrote in his sentencing letter to the judge, he tried to cooperate, he came in and told us some things, but we didn't sign him as a cooperator because we do not believe he was fully forthcoming, he wouldn't answer our questions fully and honestly. So, major questions.

CAMEROTA: All right, thank you all very much for all of that context. Meanwhile, there's a rebellion brewing in higher education. We're going to tell you why some top-ranked schools are bailing on college rankings.




CAMEROTA: Some colleges across the country are rebelling against the renowned U.S. news college rankings. According to "The Wall Street Journal," the revolt started with Yale Law School last fall, and since then, within 40 law schools and a wave of medical schools have stopped providing data to the publication.

Joining me now, the reporter behind this story, Melissa Korn. My panel is also back with me in a moment. So, Melissa, what -- how did this happen? Why are colleges backing away from what was considered this gold ring, you know, of rankings that they all wanted?

MELISSA KORN, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: So, it definitely started with graduate schools here rather than undergraduate programs, and it has been years in the making, decades in the making perhaps. We've had deans complain for a very long time about methodology, about how -- how reliable the rankings are. A lot of it is based on a reputation survey that they say is not exactly scientific and it incentivizes the wrong things for schools to pursue.

So, those complaints have been brewing for years and years, and then finally, the dean of Yale Law School said, enough is enough, I don't want to participate anymore, I don't want to at least provide you guys with information so that you can do your rankings.

And the fact that it came from Yale Law, they've been the number law school since those rankings began, clearly, they weren't just bitter about their placement.

CAMEROTA: You're right. I mean, when a number one, uh, school says no, thank you, something is wrong. And, you know, to your point about how, uh, people have been wondering about the data and the metric that goes into deciding these for a long time, we -- I back in September, yeah, interviewed basically a whistleblower from Columbia University, one of the mathematics professors, who crunched the numbers and thought that something was fishy about the rankings, even of Colombia.

So, let me just play for you what he said.


MICHAEL THADDEUS, PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Rankings are just adding a further level of confusion and obfuscation. Rankings are worthless on so many levels. For one thing, it's a one size fits all approach that is not tailored to individual needs. And then at the, you know, most damning level, there's the issue we don't even know if the data that go into them are correct and there's good reason to believe that a lot of it is.


CAMEROTA: So, Melissa, what were they basing it on, these rankings?

KORN: So, the rankings are based on a lot of factors. There's everything from admissions rate, uh, for law schools, LSAT scores, bar passage rate, this peer review, this kind of reputation survey where deans are for college rankings, the college presidents and provosts are expected to just rate on a scale of 1 to 5 all the other schools and their category, and the administrators say they can't possibly make informed decisions and rankings there.


So, it's based on so much information. But, as the professor said, it's not always clear that that information actually helps students make the right decisions for school.

CAMEROTA: Okay. I want to bring in my panel now. Melissa, thank you for all of that. Van, you are the perfect person to talk to. You went to Yale law school.

JONES: It is true.

CAMEROTA: And it is interesting because people for a long time put a lot of weight into this U.S. news.

JONES: I certainly did. I mean, I was a kid at the University of Tennessee at Martin. I was talking to Professor Jerald Ogg who's still there about what my future should be. We pulled that magazine out and the number one was Yale. He said, well, let's go for that one, and I wound up going there.

But here's the problem with it. There's a perverse logic here, which is, how do you know a school is great? How many kids you reject? If you have an acceptance rate that's very low, if you reject a bunch of kids, you're a great school. Now, if you accept them and make them better, if you reject them, that's sick. And then when they leave, not how much of a difference do they make? How much money do they make?

So, you have this sort of kind of perverse thing that's rewarding schools for turning kids away and not bringing them in, and it's rewarding people for going out to make money and not to make the world better, necessarily. And I think it's out of date.

CAMEROTA: It's such a great point. The acceptance rate is something -- I just went through this with my daughters. Elie just went through this with his son. So, we are so steeped in acceptance rates right now. And you're right, it is about how many you reject.

HONIG: They brag about how low --


HONIG: -- their acceptance rate is. I mean, state schools used to brag about how many people -- I went to Rutgers, a huge state school in New Jersey. It was more proud. We serve many people.

JONES: Bring them in, bring them in.

HONIG: I went to -- I won't say what school, but we went to one of these programs where the dean got up, the dean of admissions, and said, our current acceptance rate is 7%, and then he was gleeful and said, but we think it's going to fall down to five or four.


He caught himself because he realized that he was (INAUDIBLE) about the fact that their acceptance --

JONES: The best school, we would reject all of the kids.

HONIG: Zero percent.

JONES: We are the best school ever. We reject everybody.

HONIG: Let's open a college and reject everybody. We will be the number one.

CUPP: These rankings tormented and tortured generations of students, parents, and guidance counselors, who revolved their entire futures around what they were. And in addition to all the awful things you just mentioned, it also set up this false idea that these are the schools that everyone should want to go to, instead of, why don't you find the school that's the best for you?

JONES: For you.

CUPP: There's no list of that. So, I hated these, I hated these rankings. They're completely antiquated, out of date, and they're just like "Mean Girls."


CUPP: It's like Regina George of the, you know, the lists. I hated it. I hope they all go away.

JENNINGS: I feel like we're in an upheaval in higher education right now. You got this rankings thing, you got the admissions case, you had the admission scandal, you know, they sent people to jail, you got people all over the country, the student loan question that's laying out there, and people questioning whether what you pay to go to some of these high- ranked schools is worth it. Is it actually worth it compared to what else you could do with your life and where else you could do with it?

So, I think we're in the -- in the beginning of a great turbulence in how people are viewing education post high school. And, you know, going to the number one rated thing may not be for everybody. That may ultimately turn out to be a good thing for America, if people go to the place that's right for them or maybe even get trained to do something, to Vance's point, that will help them make the world better as opposed to just, you know, grab some other degree that ultimately isn't fulfilling for them or their family.

CAMEROTA: You are right. We are all rethinking it right now, for all those reasons that you said. Thank you all very much.

Okay, just ahead, a South Carolina mother speaking out tonight about her son, Stephen Smith, and his mysterious death in 2015. It's now being investigated as a homicide, which she thinks it should have been all along. And the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh apparently prompted this fresh look in the case, so we're going to hear from that mom.




CAMEROTA: The 2015 death of South Carolina teenager Stephen Smith is now under investigation as a homicide, and it was the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh that prompted this new scrutiny around his death.

The first investigation of his death called it a hit and run. Smith's mother tells "CNN Tonight" that she believes her son actually died in a hate crime, not a hit and run.


SANDY SMITH, MOTHER OF STEPHEN SMITH: I'm open to the evidence. And the only dispute I had was that it was not a hit and run. And that's what I've been saying from the beginning. I felt my son was murdered. He was beaten to death. And I think it was a hate crime. And I don't care what your name is. That has no value to me. But who? Whatever your name is, you need to be punished for what you did to my son.


CAMEROTA: My panel is back with me. S.E., it is very interesting. It was during the investigation of the Murdaugh murders that this kept coming up, we've been told, the reporting suggests, and that is what prompted them to really look at it. It has been eight years for this poor mother --

CUPP: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: -- who hasn't had any closure or any answer of what happened that night.

CUPP: There have there's been so much collateral damage around the Murdaughs and so many potential victims.


Um, so much murder around this family. And, um, this really only got its due attention because of the murders of Paul and Maggie. Um, the Stephen Smith investigation was kind of a side story, but it definitely wasn't a side story for this family, who have always been wondering what is going on --

CAMEROTA: Because the details didn't make sense.

CUPP: -- the case went cold. And Buster Murdaugh, the remaining --


CUPP: -- son of this family, the only one not dead or in jail, um, was rumored to have known Stephen, was rumored to have maybe had a relationship with Stephen. All of this is conjecture. But what is a fact, we know from police video calls, several people called the police and said you need to look at Buster. He was never interviewed. That's I'm sure infuriating for this family that deserves every bit as much justice as everyone else involved in this sordid saga.

CAMEROTA: You were saying that he might have been one of the last people to see Stephen Smith.

CUPP: According to the Netflix documentary, he, Buster, was allegedly, um, called by Stephen that night to come help him, uh, you know, fill up his car with gas. We don't know if that actually happened. But there's seriously reason to go and investigate Buster over this. He might have nothing to do with it.

But the fact that he was not questioned, I think, again, says something about how untouchable this family was. And I just can't imagine how frustrated this family must be feeling like their case didn't matter as much as these other ones did.

CAMEROTA: We have a statement from Buster Murdaugh. He denies any involvement in Stephen Smith's death. He says -- quote -- "These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false. I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family." Eliot?

HONIG: There are ways that you can in law enforcement investigate this forensically. I had a forensic expert who I used to work with who would say a dead body is like a mini-crime scene. I had -- look, this death happened eight years ago. I had a case where we dug up a body, a person that had been missing for seven years. You can tell a lot from the remains.

In fact, in this case, the forensic expert was able to tell that the cause of death was a blunt force injury to the head. I mean, you know, we all know bones last, teeth last, but these experts have a remarkable ability to look at even a body that's badly decayed, that's been in the ground for a long time. Um, you can tell an awful lot. So, you know, if they're going to investigate, that's going to have to be a key part of it. CAMEROTA: S.E. was saying there's a lot of murder around this family. I think it's more accurate to say there's a lot of death around this family. The housekeeper. Here is the timeline.

In 2015, Stephen Smith was found dead in the middle of the road. We don't know what that is yet. Gloria Satterfield, who was their housekeeper, had died in a fall, according to --

CUPP: According to Alex -- no, according to Alex Murdaugh.

CAMEROTA: She was at their home at the time in 2018.

CUPP: He told police.

CAMEROTA: She fell down the stairs.

CUPP: She fell over the dogs.

CAMEROTA: Fell over the dogs and tripped down the stairs.

CUPP: Yeah. That's what he said.

CAMEROTA: And then, of course, the young woman, Mallory Beach, who was in the boat that the other son was driving recklessly. Paul was driving recklessly. And then, of course, Maggie and Paul were murdered to death as we now know. So, what's particularly interesting is that they're not investigated thoroughly because they were in this county, you know, a big family.

JENNINGS: Yeah. You know, in all these cases where -- you see that mother. But I think about the police case we just reported on a while back in Memphis. We saw the mom on TV there. It's just -- your heart breaks when you see these parents and family members, especially mamas on television, when they just -- they just haven't been given the ability to close these matters, to understand these matters, and they'll never really put it behind them.

But to sort of have to live your life in a shroud of, I have no idea what happened here, the compounding interest of that on your sorrow of losing a child is -- I can't even begin to fathom. And so, I think this family deserves all the investigation anybody can give them --

CUPP: Yeah.

JENNINGS: -- so that they can get the truth.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

JENNINGS: That is all anybody should want.

JONES: Well said.

CAMEROTA: And, of course, there are -- false leads called in all the time. I mean, unintentionally, people think that they're drawing a connection and they call in to the police and they are sure of it and they have a lead but the evidence doesn't necessarily end up pointing them.

JONES: And that's why the police should then investigate. And if the police don't investigate the false friends or the real ones, then you have this unknowing and this torture for the family.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Thank you all very much. Really appreciate that. Stay with me if you would because up next, day two of these ski accident trial involving Gwyneth Paltrow.


She was in court again today. We'll discuss what happened.


CAMEROTA: Gwyneth Paltrow back in court today. She's being sued by 76- year-old Terry Sanderson. Here she is entering the courtroom. He claims that Paltrow ran into him on a beginner ski slope, causing him to suffer -- quote -- "a brain injury, four broken ribs, and other serious injuries." But Paltrow alleges that Sanderson hit her, and she is countersuing him for her legal fees.


I'm back with my panel. Um. so, Elie, how do you -- how are you going to determine as a lawyer or a jury who ran into whom on a ski mountain in 2000 -- I think this was '16?

HONIG: It's a straight-up factual issue for the jury. They'll testify about what happened. I don't imagine there's surveillance -- I -- listen, I've never skid in my life. I'm proud to say --

CAMEROTA: That's quite an admission.

HONIG: I don't think I ever will. But I don't know. Do they -- are there surveillance videos of skiing?

CAMEROTA: I don't think so.

CUPP: There could be witnesses.

HONIG: Witnesses and you just decide who was in the wrong. I guess there's --

JENNINGS: There were witnesses that testified in this case.

CUPP: Kids are going to testify. There were witnesses.

HONIG: There you go. Right. And I guess there's rights of way, who's going too fast and who's out of the lane, that kind of thing.

CAMEROTA: But let's talk about that. Aren't you -- I mean, legally speaking, um, aren't you taking an inherent risk when you ski? In fact, I sort of think -- when you get the ski lift ticket, aren't there small print --


CUPP: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- that says you --

HONIG: It says, I won't sue the resort.

CUPP: Right.

HONIG: But it doesn't -- it doesn't cover --

JONES: -- a celebrity at the resort.

CUPP: Yes, exactly.

HONIG: If you can show the other person is negligent, then you can sue them the same as if someone runs into you on the street.

CAMEROTA: I feel Scott is uncomfortable with this whole thing.

JENNINGS: Well, I don't know a lot about skiing. I do know a little about Gwyneth Paltrow. I like her in the movies.


JENNINGS: She's in the "Iron Man" movie. She's Pepper Potts.

JONES: True.

JENNINGS: She also, on the other hand, (INAUDIBLE) strange lady part product --


CAMEROTA: Like what, Scott?

JENNINGS: -- which --

CAMEROTA: Tell us more about that.

JENNINGS: -- which does not inherently make her a bad skier necessarily.


JENNINGS: I do feel like that if you go on the skiing, there are trees, rocks --

CUPP: Go on skiing (ph).

JENNINGS: -- animals, and people. It's dangerous! You're going down the mountain with ice and snow --

CAMEROTA: -- to the point? Yes.

JENNINGS: And I just -- I mean, anything -- people get hurt out there.


And I just think you take on some risk that Gwyneth Paltrow might run you down now. I don't know if she did, but I just -- I think I'm on team Gwyneth here. All in -- all things considered and some of it, I'm weird about. I just -- I think I'm with Gwyneth here. I'm looking forward to her testimony on Friday.

CAMEROTA: That's awesome. Has anyone on this panel skied? I mean --

CUPP: Yeah, I ski.

CAMEROTA: Okay. I do, too.

JONES: I don't ski.

CAMEROTA: You don't ski. You don't ski.

JENNINGS: No. I don't want to die.


JONES: I mean, we are the southern boys. We are the southern boys. We are not skiing.

HONIG: Northeastern area. Can I just say, of all the people in the world who would run into you on a ski slope, Gwyneth Paltrow has got to be among the best because A, she's not large, and B, she's rich. Right? I mean, it's the perfect person. It's like much better than getting run into by The Rock or something.


JENNINGS: Remember, famous people have died doing this.


CAMEROTA: I mean, Natasha Richardson.

CUPP: That's right.

JENNINGS: Dangerous sport.

CAMEROTA: Yes, it is. But usually, you assume -- I mean, generally, if you run to somebody, it's not fatal, and you don't get sued, usually.

CUPP: Yeah. If she -- if she were not Gwyneth Paltrow, I don't think she would be sued right now. I will say, I really -- can we just make Scott like our CNN Gwyneth Paltrow correspondent?



CUPP: You are the only person I want to hear from on this.

CAMEROTA: I agree with that because he doesn't know much about her, but --

CUPP: Obviously.

JONES: Pepper part. Pepper Potts and --

JENNINGS: She should call her -- she should call her candles, pepper parts.


JENNINGS: You just killed it. You're marketing genius. Unbelievable.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

JONES: (INAUDIBLE) at some point here. We get in trouble.

HONIG: This is on? We're on?

CAMEROTA: We're on. This is live. We're pressing on.

CUPP: I know about Gwyneth, um, and her weird stuff. Um, listen, she just went through the wringer about her like detox regimen.

CAMEROTA: What did she do?

CUPP: Oh, you don't even want to know. I mean, she's -- she's on her podcast. She's hooked up to an IV. She starts with bone broth and she fast for 16 hours. All all these doctors came out and said, do not do this. This is not like healthy or scientific.

CAMEROTA: What is she to detox from since she's --

CUPP: That's what people are asking. What are you detoxing from every day?? Um, so she was dealing with that scandal. This might actually be an improvement for her right now.

CAMEROTA: Well, here is what apparently -- okay, so this is what was testified to in court today. This is the radiologist testifying to how the victim, I guess if that's the right word or at least --

JENNINGS: Alleged.

CAMEROTA: -- the alleged victim, deteriorated after this collision.



WENDELL GIBBY, RADIOLOGIST: He was every day doing lots of things, meet up groups, skiing, wine tasting, volunteering for various organizations, and so forth. But after his accident, he deteriorated abruptly. And many of the activities that he used to do, he stopped doing like dancing, for the most part, his skiing activities. His personal interactions with his children and his grandchildren suffered. He had trouble multitasking.


CAMEROTA: Okay, that's sad. Now we are not so pro-Gwyneth, but I'm not sure that her bumping into him caused all of that.


HONIG: Yeah. That would be a question for the jury. They'll have to weigh that doctor's credibility. Sometimes what happens in a case like this, by the way, is private investigators will watch what you do, they can do this, and they can -- it would be interesting. It happens sometimes in personal injury cases. I don't really do them. I've never done one, but I know from other people. They'll watch you, and they'll say, oh, but nobody goes to the (INAUDIBLE). They will follow you. So, I don't know. We'll see if there's a twist like that.

JONES: Also, maybe the deterioration started before and that's why you went running into her. In other words, you got to think this stuff through.

JENNINGS: There was a ski instructor involved and another allegation is that after they realized they knocked the guy down, he claimed they skied away, like, they ran off from the scene.

CAMEROTA: I don't believe that. Ski instructor doesn't really do that on the mountain. You work for the mountain. I just -- I find that one implausible.


CAMEROTA: But he was originally, this alleged victim, was suing her for millions of dollars --

JENNINGS: And reduced it.

CAMEROTA: -- and reduced it. What does that tell you, Elie?

HONIG: It tells me that he was -- I was going to say over his skis. I was on it.


It tells -- it tells me that he was -- his demand was too high. I think it's interesting. She's countersuing him, but her damages are $1, which just means he was actually in the wrong. I wasn't her, but he was in the wrong. Of course, she wants him to pay her attorney's fees, which could run into the six figures.

CAMEROTA: It's also just interesting to see a celebrity like Gwyneth Paltrow in --

HONIG: And why wouldn't you settle this? JENNINGS: Because she didn't do anything wrong necessarily.


HONIG: (INAUDIBLE) to go through Scott Jennings.

JENNINGS: Like why don't you didn't do anything wrong?

HONIG: It would have been worth. It would have been worth it to pay.


HONIG: It would have been worth it to pay to keep Scott Jennings from talking about her on CNN.

CUPP: CNN Gwyneth Paltrow correspondent. Scott Jennings, signing off.

CAMEROTA: Scott, we've never seen this side of you, and we like it.

JENNINGS: It's easier than what I normally get.


CAMEROTA: That's excellent. Thank you all for this very interesting and not the direction we thought it was going to go in conversation. All right. Thank you.

Meanwhile, a big question along the northeast coast tonight. What's killing marine animals? In the latest instance, eight dolphins washed ashore in what is called a mass stranding event on this New Jersey beach. Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin is here to explain all this after the break.




CAMEROTA: Something is happening on the coast off of New Jersey, and it's endangering marine animals. Since December, at least a dozen whales have died. And now, a pod of eight dolphins washed ashore and died yesterday in what they call a mass stranding event on a beach in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. Two were dead. Six others were in such bad condition that they were humanely euthanized.

Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, host of "Wildlife Nation" is back with us tonight. Jeff, I'm sorry that we keep having to have you on because it seems like this keeps happening. But this one in particular is really disturbing. Eight dolphins in a mass stranding of event, meaning they were all part of the same pod. This happened all at the same time to them?

JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: Exactly, Alisyn. These are very social, gregarious species, incredibly intelligent marine mammals. They survive together in numbers. And oftentimes, when they get in trouble, they can find themselves in jeopardy or dying in numbers as well. And that's exactly what happened here.

And, as you alluded to, it is about, um -- just in the past few months, we've had over 23 strandings of whales and dolphins, and much of them have ended tragically just like this.

CAMEROTA: And when you say when they get in trouble, they would all get in trouble together. What gets them in trouble?

CORWIN: Well, they all get into trouble together because they're traveling, surviving together, eco-locating, navigating through the treacherous waters along the eastern seaboard. But there's a number of things that can cause strandings.

Now, with the large (INAUDIBLE) which, as you know, Alisyn, are big brain mammals like humpback whales and right whales, they've been getting hit by large container vessels when they find themselves at the wrong side of the end of a ship in a shipping lane.

With -- when you get large pods or groups of dolphins like this, it can be the result of diseases such as bacteria, infections, viruses, parasites. It can be navigational stranding caused from storms or from super tides, from pollution, from starvation, plastics.

We collectively, Alisyn, dump over 10 billion pounds of plastics in our oceans every year, and that often ends up into these incredible creatures, in their digestive systems. They get entangled in ghost nets. All of these things contribute to what would cause these creatures to strand.

CAMEROTA: It's so disturbing, Jeff. But is there any indication yet or is it too early to know what happened with these eight dolphins?

CORWIN: Well, they'll be trying to -- this is now a big marine mammal CSI story. So, the state of New Jersey along with local experts like the Marine Mammal Stranding Center will be doing what we call a necropsy, which basically is an autopsy for an animal, and they will delve into that to look at their chemistry.

We know, for example, whales -- dolphins along the Florida coastline and in the intercoastal system have a long history with heavy metals and chemicals inside their bodies. They will explore that to see if that's the case.

Where I live right here, Alisyn, I'm in Cape Cod. Thankfully, we have IFAW, which is the International Fund for Animal Welfare. They have their marine mammal rescue team.


Incredibly, just over 20 years, they've rescued over 5,000 creatures just like this that find themselves in harm's way. But it's an urgent mystery we need to solve because we can't keep allowing these incredible creatures to be dying in our shorelines.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. Jeff Corwin, thank you very much. Really appreciate you coming on and explaining what's happening there as best we can at this point.

Before we go, tomorrow on "CNN This Morning," Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary explains the banking crisis, what the Fed is doing, and what's going on with housing prices. So, make sure you tune in for that. That'll be 7:45 Eastern right here on CNN.

Thanks so much for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues now.