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CNN Tonight

Donald Trump Is Indicted; Wall Street Journal Reporter Is Arrested In Russia; Bill Maher And Guests Answer Viewers' Questions. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 31, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: So, what is your reaction to the indictment of former President Trump?

REP. PETE SESSIONS (R-TX): The reaction I gather from many people here in Texas is this was a deliberate attempt that was politically motivated to take what seemingly was an old issue well past the statute of limitation, that was a misdemeanor that has been made into a felony, and that they are attempting to drive what normal -- I think people here in Texas believe it is an attack equally on them and on the rule of law. I think it is an embarrassment. I think it will cause a lot of people to come to the side of the press and that might have been neutralized.

CAMEROTA: I do want to get to the repercussion, the political repercussion in a second. But since none of us knows what it is in this 30 -- at least 30-cound indictment, how can you it is political?

SESSIONS: Well, from what we've been led to believe that this from back in early 2000, perhaps 4, that it was a part of something that Mr. Trump evidently has been accused of, but in old days. But this is -- the reason why we suppose this is true is because the district attorney, when he was running for election, he indicated this is what he would do. So, I think we have to be honest about this. That's what people think.

CAMEROTA: Well, here is something that I think refutes the political argument, and that is since taking office 15 months ago, the D.A., Alvin Bragg, and his prosecutors have filed 117 counts of felony, falsifying a business record, which we believe this is, against 29 different individuals and companies. So, it is not as though he is singled out, former President Trump.

SESSIONS: Perhaps that could be. And as you suggest, we will find out. But the news that comes out every day that has been seen was that that's why he run for election and what he promised he would do. It was I get Donald Trump election effort. It was not a I'll go look at a whole bunch of different companies and find out what I see. It was a very specific, deliberate attempt that was pure and simple politics from the Democratic Party. CAMEROTA: Let me ask you this, congressman, to help us understand this better. If you had found out that, say, Hillary Clinton in 2016 or Joe Biden in 2020 had paid -- had allegedly paid hush money weeks before those elections, would you have thought, nah, old news?

SESSIONS: How about if we say that Hunter Biden had a laptop that was found or he was smoking crack and with prostitutes and had violated the law, as we know it, went on trips with his father as vice president, went as an official representative of the United States, and we were told that it was fake (ph) news?

CAMEROTA: And that --

SESSIONS: So, there is a lot of --

CAMEROTA: Hold on, congressman. Hold on. I want to build on your point. And that bothers you, correct?

SESSIONS: It bothers me. But that was --

CAMEROTA: So, the idea that something happened right -- and this hush money payment is -- was allegedly weeks before the 2016 election, not the incident, not the affair as she is alleging the hush money payment. So, why wouldn't that bother you?

SESSIONS: Well, as a matter of fact, it does bother me. What bothers me is that there is someone running for office intended to make light (ph) of that. And we've known about that. And that was well known. And I think the press, they even acknowledge this, that this effort didn't happen, and then they came out and said that it was -- it was a matter that was -- that was a private matter.

CAMEROTA: But that was only -- no, that was only after he was president. Before -- nobody knew the three weeks beforehand or however many weeks before the election that that was -- money was paid. That came out afterwards, once he was president. So -- so, that does bother you?

SESSIONS: It does bother me. Every bit of this bothers me. We want to see that our elected officials, including those who would be president (ph) of the United States, to have a higher what I would say moral attitude about not only themselves but how they deal with others. My point is it does bother me. And this should bother people.


But what bothers me more is now that we know that he is a former president and this is a political shenanigan that is taking place, and the man ran for district attorney off this issue.


SESSIONS: And I think that that is misuse of judgment.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, we will see. Again, we will see as soon as we know more about what these counts are what is in the indictment. How do you think, congressman, that this will affect the 2024 presidential election?

SESSIONS: I think it does affect the election. I think that there was a good bit of what I would say questions about who the nominee would be, whether that nominee would be Mr. Trump, whether he would be competitive, and I think that this draws a lot of people directly to not only Mr. Trump but the understanding that this is an apparent abuse of power that we continue to see.

This is not the Department of Justice. This is the district attorney. But a lot of people are concerned about what they see is abuses of power directly at Republicans and Mr. Trump. And so, I think it draws a good bit of people who not only want to question that but want to say why is this such a big issue that they would go out of their way to run elections of getting Republicans.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Pete Sessions, we really appreciate getting your perspective. Thanks so much for being here.

SESSIONS: You bet. Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Okay, now, I want to bring in my panel. Guys, thank you very much for being here. So, Sam, I know that you've written in the "Wall Street Journal" your thoughts about the strength of this case. Share it with us.

SAM BRAVERMAN, SHAREHOLDER, ANDERSON KILL: Sure. So, a couple things. This is one of all is a filing false instrument. It's just either false or it is not false. So start with the basic premise, and then where do you go from there? There is offering a false instrument. There is filing a false instrument --

CAMEROTA: What does that mean, filing false instrument?

BRAVERMAN: Well, if you file with the public official, if you file on behalf of a public official, if you file in conjunction with the business or enterprise, each one of those are very --

CAMEROTA: Oh, so that is why you think that there could be 30 different --

BRAVERMAN: For everyone. So, for example -- let's say, for example, there are several payments that are made to Michael Cohen, that are these -- quote, unquote -- "legal fees," if each one of those is recorded as a legal fee, then each one of those instruments in which it's recorded is false.

CAMEROTA: In general, do you think that this is a strong or a weak case, that the attorney general brings? I'm sorry, that the D.A. --

BRAVERMAN: I am a very big believer. I like to see it. When I see it -- then when I see it, I know what I got. So, I would say from that perspective, the most useful thing is we will see the indictment on Tuesday. Assuming it is not -- standard in New York County is just the elements of the offense, and it is not a long recitation of facts.

CAMEROTA: It is not a talking indictment? BRAVERMAN: It is not a talking indictment, exactly right.

CAMEROTA: I love that term.

BRAVERMAN: Isn't that great? It just envisions this indictment say, well, you know, on Thursday (INAUDIBLE). You set that aside. Then we are going into discovery. And I have no doubt that some of the lawyers in this case will play this case very much in the press.

CAMEROTA: And when do you think this would go to trial?

BRAVERMAN: What are you interested in?

CAMEROTA: Well, we are in 2023 right now.

BRAVERMAN: I would say your average case of this size would go to trial in 2024 fall. So, you're talking about 18 months from now.


BRAVERMAN: It would have -- it would have to --

CAMEROTA: That rings a bell. There is something else happening.

BRAVERMAN: Yes, I know. I'm not quite sure what else --



CUPP: Right.

BRAVERMAN: End of baseball season. Yes, so there is a lot of things that happened to this. I mean, if this drops into a list of cases and there are 6,000 other indictments floating around the Manhattan that need a home, all of which are people who are sitting in jail, accused of other crimes, victims who are waiting for justice, all of which should go first.

CAMEROTA: In the meantime, obviously, there's a lot happening this coming week with former President Trump having to go to the Manhattan criminal court and be arraigned.

Stormy Daniels, I want to talk about her for a second, and how she is dealing with all of this because she doesn't go quietly. You know, she has never just wanted to -- she has fought this. And so, today, she, first of all, talked about how it has been great for her merchandise --


She says, thank you, everyone for your support and love. I have so many messages coming in that I can't respond. I also don't want to spill my champagne. Teamstormy merch/autograph orders are pouring in, too. Thank you. It will take a few extra days for shipment. Okay, so, she still has her, you know, bravado with all of this as she has the whole time. However, she did talk about how the threats against her have become even, if you believe it, more toxic. So, let us listen to what she had to say.


STORMY DANIELS, PORNOGRAPHIC FILM ACTRESS (voice-over): The first time it was like 'gold digger,' 'slut,' 'whore,' you know, 'liar,' whatever. And this time it's like 'I'm going to murder you.' It's especially scary because Trump himself is inciting violence and encouraging it and getting away with it.




MOLLY JONG-FAST, PODCAST HOST, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT OF VANITY FAIR: It's scary. She been through a lot. She is -- you know, she has been taken advantage of by a lot of different people, too, who she was supposed to be able to trust. She has had a very tough time.

I mean, good for her for selling merchandise, honestly. But, yeah, she probably has to pay for her security. And it is everybody's nightmare. These people, when they go after you, it is really scary. We've seen real world violence happen like what happened on January 6th.

CAMEROTA: LZ, your thoughts?

GRANDERSON: It seems -- I mean, I'm not a lawyer but it seems as if this is some sort of witness intimidation or witness tampering. I mean, this isn't an ongoing investigation. Trump was just indicted. So, if these strangers are here trying to intimidate her in some fashion, it seems as if they could be held accountable.

CAMEROTA: Isn't that just called online publicity?

CUPP: Yeah, trolling.

CAMEROTA: Trolling? I mean, nowadays?

GRANDERSON: I mean, if she is not involved with the trial that is high profile like this, I mean, it seems as if the comments that have been made to her, particularly those that are saying, I'm going to kill you, it seems as if they're trying to deter her from an involvement in this case during an ongoing investigation, which I would assume is against the law.

BRAVERMAN: Absolutely. You can imagine, it doesn't go much far than I'm going to murder you if you talk --


BRAVERMAN: -- if you continue this, if you do anything -- every one of those would be a crime, would be a federal crime. And you can imagine at some point that she has United States marshals protecting her. She has got United States Secret Service protecting her. And the courtroom just looks like an ATF convention.

CUPP: I think it says a lot that whether you're a member of the media that is taking on Donald Trump or, you know, one of his many accusers, anyone sort of in the line of fire, I've gotten death threats, everyone at this table has maybe gotten death threat for saying something about this guy, and there is a reason for that.

He stokes that and encourages it and gives that comfort, and he has done that since before he was even elected. Remember, he was going around saying, go ahead, protest --


CUPP: -- get mad, I'll cover your legal fees.

GRANDERSON: Oh, I know --

CUPP: -- mock these guys out, and his rallies.

JONG-FAST: And he has never been held responsible for that.

CUPP: No, he hasn't. And so, this culture of intimidation and threats and violence is something he very purposefully stoked and conditioned to this environment for moments like this.

CAMEROTA: Another person who's getting death threats is Alvin Bragg, the D.A. And one of the things, Molly, as you know, that they keep doing is trying to link him to George Soros. So, George Soros is the, you know, universal bogeyman for a lot of people on the right, and they say that Alvin Bragg was supported by him. They -- the truth is the two have never met. They've never communicated. They've never spoken on the phone.

However, George Soros did give to a PAC, that is a sort of social justice PAC, that contributed some money to many different campaigns. One of them was Alvin Bragg.

JONG-FAST: Yes. As a Jew, I've -- I've sat in horror and watch these Trump supporters say like Trump is good for the Jews, Trump loves the Jews, and then you have people like Trump invoking antisemitic tropes, right?

You're bringing up George Soros and you see the pictures. There have been a lot of, you know, social media stuff with the pictures of George Soros looking terrifying and very, you know, scary. And it's absolutely, you know, if you're invoking antisemitic tropes, you're an anti-Semite, and that's what's happening here.

And, you know, you're going to see -- we've seen Trump before invoke antisemitic tropes. And we've seen consequences that have happened in synagogues. And it's very scary to me.

CAMEROTA: Friends, thank you very much. Appreciate all your perspectives. We have to get to this story. Russian authorities have detained an American reporter from "The Wall Street Journal" and accused him of spying. We have the very latest on the case for you, next.




CAMEROTA: "The Wall Street Journal" is speaking out tonight about their reporter, Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in Russia on espionage charges.


EMMA TUCKER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WALL STREET JOURNAL: He's in a prison in Moscow, a very notorious prison, one that has always had -- since the Soviet times has had a very bad reputation and still has. But we haven't been able to reach him, we haven't been able to get any messages to him, and we certainly haven't heard anything from him.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): That's terrifying.

TUCKER: It is terrifying. It's very -- it's very unsettling. It's particularly upsetting for his parents who really what they want to hear is some sort of reassurance that he's not being mistreated.


CAMEROTA: I want to bring in Jonathan Franks of the Bring Our Families Home campaign. He worked to get Trevor Reed released from a Russian prison last year. My panel is also back with me.

Let me start with you, Jonathan. So, you -- you have worked in this very dicey field. Tell us what your thoughts are about the situation tonight.

JONATHAN FRANKS, SPOKESMAN, BRING OUR FAMILIES HOME CAMPAIGN: Well, first of all, I feel for his parents. I feel for him, obviously. I mean, short of taking a diplomat -- I mean, there's no more (INAUDIBLE) type of hostage taking than taking a reporter.

And I think it is reflection of, you know, frustration within the Russian government on how things are going in the war, you know, frustration with the United States doing a pretty decent job on rounding of Russian criminals and, you know, apparently, they lost a lot of spies recently. I read a report about that today.

So, I think that this is a sort of a combination of attention seeking and tick for tat on their part. It is shameful.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I mean, it's obviously, as you say, so incredibly anxiety-provoking for his family. Where do you begin in terms of trying to get an American out of detention? FRANKS: I think you start by opening a conversation. And if the U.S. won't do that, there are others who do. Governor Richardson among them. You know, as Diane (ph) fully pointed earlier this week, I mean, it is really had to bring people home if we're not talking to the people that are holding our people.


CAMEROTA: I want to have my panel come in, and they can ask you questions as well. Patrick, your thoughts as you listen to this?

PATRICK MCENROE, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Well, I mean, we've seen this obviously with Paul Whelan who is still there, and then there was a Brittney Griner, the basketball player who thankfully was able to get returned. To me, maybe it's not a coincidence that they just had their summit with China. Okay? That they're -- Russia is doubling down on basically being excommunicated from the rest of the western world essentially. This is highly troubling because you don't see any way that this is going to stop. They're just -- they're going to keep doing stuff like this. As long as there are people -- we were just discussing in the break, there are actually reporters going there. Who would go there now? I mean, I realized these people are trying to do their job.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. We do meet people. I mean, it is scary, of course, but reporters often, as we all know, put themselves in harm's way because we need the story from what's going on inside of Russia, particularly, because they're taking Ukrainian children and they're doing all sorts of things. So, they're doing, you know, incredible work, herculean work, but it's really dangerous. It feels like it's getting more dangerous than it is obviously for journalists.

JONG-FAST: I'm curious to know what the next steps are that the American government should be doing.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. So, Jonathan, what are those?

FRANKS: I think there needs to be a dialogue opened, um, with the Russian government. That can be a little hard. But we've proven repeatedly with Trevor Reed and Brittney Griner, Taylor Dudley, um, the past 365 days that it is, in fact, possible to have a dialogue with the Russians over prisoners and to resolve those cases, you know, expeditiously.

It is just we have to decide to resolve them. It has always been my experience that when the U.S. government really wants to resolve one of these cases, it gets resolved.

CAMEROTA: And it does get resolve, Jonathan, through a prisoner swap?

FRANKS: Um, it certainly has been the pattern recently, right? I wouldn't want to speculate this would be the one time that they would want something different. But, you know, one can assume that they may be looking for another prisoner swap.

CAMEROTA: S.E.? CUPP: Um, I think it's important to point out Putin could have expelled journalists from Russia. He chose to take this one. And I just want to note something that my colleague, Jason Rezaian, wrote at "The Washington Post." We know Jason was himself a prisoner in Iran, tried on erroneous espionage charges.

He warns, um, in -- in this piece that the way we're framing it by repeating Russian talking points, saying, charged with spying, is kind of being Putin's stenographer. It's a really interesting thing because as journalists, we want to say, well, here's what is happening, here is what Russia is saying, and he is cautioning that that creates this impression that there might be some probable cause there.

And it's really -- it's a lie. Jason says he is hostage until proven otherwise. And that's what I think we all need to remember as we talk about this.

GRANDERSON: That is such a smart point because Americans keep forgetting we're in war. It's a proxy war, but it's a war nonetheless. And in war, there are hostages.

JONG-FAST: I'm not sure many people are giving Putin the benefit of the doubt here. I mean --

CAMEROTA: We do say -- I mean, like, just because we're journalists, we do say he is being accused of espionage, like, you're saying don't even say that.

CUPP: That's what Jason's point is. I haven't thought of that. I'm a journalist. Of course, I would want to say that. His point is to lead with it. Of course, you include it as you get there, but to lead with it really does, I think, imprint in some people's mind, well, maybe there's something there and we should find out. His point is there's nothing there.


CUPP: And he's a hostage until proven otherwise.


CAMEROTA: Yeah. And -- go ahead, Jonathan.

FRANKS: If I can -- if I can add to it, I mean, it would be wonderful to have that lead be, you know, there's absolutely no evidence he engaged in espionage whatsoever, right? That would be a good lead and then way to report the news because there is none.

And I saw one piece that I thought was really smart in the journal, saying that one of his, you know, I guess, greatest crimes or whatever was loving the place that took him hostage. That stuck with me. That has been true of many of my clients.

CAMEROTA: Jonathan, you were saying that if the U.S. government won't engage, that, you know, you all know what to do. But why wouldn't the U.S. government engage on this? FRANKS: I'm -- I'm not sure that they're not. I'm saying that -- let's put it this way. I've had clients in the past. These clients have worked with Governor Richardson. That's not by accident.

CAMEROTA: Because he has a track record of success?

FRANKS: He has a track record of success and the willingness to actually do stuff as opposed to thinking of, you know, of reasons not to do stuff, if that makes sense. Um, you know, he is frequently on the front lines willing to have conversations and meetings that no one else will.

CAMEROTA: Jonathan Franks, we really appreciate your expertise in this. Thank you for letting us know what's going on there.


It's really a worrisome story, obviously, that we will stay on. Thanks for your time tonight.

FRANKS: Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: Okay. So, from the Trump indictment to the Gwyneth Paltrow trial, it has been quite a week in news. It has been quite a month, I should say, in the news that has been squashed into a week. Have you been paying attention to everything that has happened? Well, we are going to quiz the panel on what they know about this news cycle. But before that, CNN's presentation of HBO's "Overtime with Bill Maher" right after this.



CAMEROTA: All right, now, let us turn it over to our friends at HBO. Every Friday, after "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill and his guests answer viewer questions and they bring their unique perspectives to topics that are driving the national conversation. We are excited to bring you this lively discussion first every Friday night. So, here is "Overtime with Bill Maher."



BILL MAHER, HBO POLITICAL TALK SHOW HOST: Hello, CNN. We are back here with Tablet magazine columnist and author James Kirchick, lieutenant governor of Virginia, Winsome Earle-Sears, and Republican governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu.


Quite a lineup here tonight. And people want to know these questions that they write in. Okay, this is for Governor Sununu, what do you make of Biden's decision to make South Carolina the first democratic primary state? You're governor of New Hampshire. That was always and still is the Republican first --

GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): No and the Democrat -- I'm sorry, Joe, we're going first. I don't care what the -- the Democratic Party doesn't dictate who goes first. The state of New Hampshire does.

MAHER: No, but that -- no, they did not -- I'm saying that the Democrats changed theirs.

SUNUNU: No, they didn't.

MAHER: They didn't?

SUNUNU: So, the Democrats tried, but New Hampshire's democratic primary will still go first because, again, our law says we are going to go first. And this is Biden's real problem because he has left a huge opening for someone to come into New Hampshire, campaign there strong, with some name ID, and charged through essentially.

By the way, South Carolina doesn't have a first in the nation primary. They dictate. Trump didn't have one in '20. They just said Trump is the winner.

So, Biden has effectively moved the first nation, tried to move it from New Hampshire to a state that won't even hold it. They'll just say you're the incumbent, you're the winner. So, it's actually a horrible miscalculation on his part. But I'm sorry, Joe, we're going through.

MAHER: Okay. Now --


You announced on our show tonight that you're running for president.

SUNUNU: I know. Again, it's about the indictment. Let's see what happens. Let's see what happens.

MAHER: In essence, he did. Not into many words.

SUNUNU: I did. My wife is texting me as we speak.

MAHER: Okay.


LT. GOV. WINSOME EARLE-SEARS (R-VA): Say it ain't so.

MAHER: But New Hampshire, I mean, that's a wash for you because you're from New Hampshire. So that primary is meaningless for you because if you don't win it, then oh, my God, you can't even win your home state. And if you do win, it means nothing.

SUNUNU: No, no. If you win, it won't -- if I were to win New Hampshire, it would be -- you didn't win by enough. And if you lose it, you're totally toast.

MAHER: Right.

SUNUNU: It's actually a disadvantage.

MAHER: That is what I'm saying.


MAHER: Yeah. Okay. Now, for you, Lieutenant Governor Sears, what is the realistic way to approach immigration reform?

EARLE-SEARS: Heavens. How about doing it the right way and doing it the legal way? I mean, my dad had to wait in line, wait his turn, sign all kinds of documents, prove he was. I mean, you got to know who's coming into the country.


We are a nation of laws. And if he had to do it, everybody got to do it. That's the law. I'm sorry.

MAHER: Okay.

SUNUNU: Don't apologize. That's the right answer. You nailed it.


EARLE-SEARS: Oh, no. I didn't apologize.

MAHER: Okay. Um, Governor Sununu, should we be doing more to secure our northern border to prevent -- northern underlined -- to prevent the trafficking of drugs?


MAHER: What?

KIRCHICK: And Canadians.

SUNUNU: And Canadians.

KIRCHICK: Very dangerous.

SUNUNU: Northern border crossings is up 800%, yeah.

MAHER: Eight hundred percent?

SUNUNU: Eight hundred. Hundreds of thousands in just the last quarter from Canada, yes. So, we're doing that kind of our part. A lot of the states are open. It's a very unprotected border. But it's nothing like the southern border, of course. But, yeah, you have to protect the northern border as well.

Canada has agreements with about five different countries. You don't even need visas. I think Honduras, El Salvador. They fly to Canada and then they walk across. We have them walking across through the woods in New Hampshire. EARLE-SEARS: Our longest border is with Canada.


MAHER: Another critique of your state as a primary state is that it's not diverse. So, it doesn't really look like --

SUNUNU: Not diverse.

MAHER: -- look like America.

SUNUNU: Look, we have the highest voter turnout in the country. South Carolina's diversity? Look, South Carolina has about 15% voter turnout. What's the point of diversity if you don't let anybody vote? If nobody comes out to participate? We have rich, we have poor, we have Black, we have white. It doesn't matter. Everyone in New Hampshire participates in the process.

MAHER: Well, I mean --

SUNUNU: I'll take -- I'll put my diversity against South Carolina's any day when you actually look at who's actually voting and participating.

MAHER: The only black you have there is a bear (ph).


MAHER: It is a very white state.

SUNUNU: Sure. Of course. Yeah.

MAHER: Okay. All right. But I'm just saying -- but that's --

SUNUNU: But isn't about who participates? Isn't about actually having a primary? Like I said, the Democrats likely aren't even going to hold the primary in South Carolina. So, what's the point of diversity if you don't let people participate? I mean, they say that we subvert the vote by asking people for an ID. They subvert the vote by not even letting him show up. I mean, that's the reality you're facing here. So, that's why we're the best at the first of the nation primary.

MAHER: I'm --

SUNUNU: The high voter participation, the voter turnout, local control. And here is the most important part --

EARLE-SEARS: I can't help you, Bill.


MAHER: I'm not following this argument, but go ahead.

KIRCHICK: I'm from Massachusetts. We used to refer to New Hampshire as Kentucky and New England.


So that's --



MAHER: Really? That's not nice.

SUNUNU: Coming from taxachusetts. Coming from taxachusetts.


SUNUNU: Give me a break. Why -- why is New Hampshire the fastest growing state in the northeast? Come on.

MAHER: That's not fair. That's not fair.

KIRCHICK: I have to say I agreed with it. It's just that was what we used to say.


SUNUNU: Andy Beshear is now texting me. Governor Beshear is texting me, figuring out what that comment meant.

MAHER: Okay, speaking of peak Caucasian --


-- perfect segue for this question. Why was the public so captivated by Gwyneth Paltrow's trial this week?


Does the panel think justice was served?

KIRCHICK: Does the panel care?

EARLE-SEARS: He said, she said. Yeah, I mean, really.

KIRCHICK: Come on.

MAHER: Well, you know what?

EARLE-SEARS: Two rich people fighting it out. You know, I'm not in that.


MAHER: Go ahead.

KIRCHICK: He was an orthodontist, if I'm not mistaken.

MAHER: Optometry.

KIRCHICK: Optometrist.

MAHER: Retired optometrist.


MAHER: Meaning?



MAHER: You were like Perry Mason. I have the evidence and then nothing. What's the significance of that? Ah, he was an optometrist. I think that says it all.


KIRCHICK: If he was an orthodontist, I had terrible memories of orthodontist as a teenager like -- like many of us have had. And I would have sided with her instinctively on that. But he wasn't an orthodontist. So, it doesn't matter.

MAHER: I think -- I think she was inspired by Johnny Depp. No, in this way. Johnny Depp was just not going to take it. He was like -- we don't know what goes on in a marriage, although actually we do know what went on with that marriage because they testify to it in court. You cut off my finger. You (INAUDIBLE) in the bed, you know. Okay. Oh, marriage. It sounds great.

Anyway, um, but I think Gwyneth was the same thing. She was like -- this only cost $300,000. She's worth millions. She could have just paid it off. And she said, I am not going to let a guy just hold me up. I'm going to fight it. I'm -- you know, we just can't have this situation in this country, which we do have, where people can accuse you of anything and it's just easier to pay off. She said, I don't care if it's just $1.

EARLE-SEARS: Assuming she didn't do it -- I mean, who knows what happened? There was no video. You know, we're a video society.

MAHER: They're skiing.

EARLE-SEARS: Exactly. I mean, I don't know, who knows what happened?

KIRCHICK: One of them collided into the other.

EARLE-SEARS: That's what I know. And somebody sued somebody else. This is America. We sue and then we see what happens.

MAHER: That's what I'm -- exactly.

KIRCHICK: This is when I give Gwyneth Paltrow a lot of credit. You see after the verdict came down, she went over, pat him on the shoulder and said, I wish you well.

EARLE-SEARS: I wish you well. KIRCHICK: That's a boss move. That is a boss move on her part because it basically says, nice try.

MAHER: Yeah. When you win, it's easy to do.


EARLE-SEARS: Yeah. It's nice to be nice.

MAHER: I mean, I've never understood --

KIRCHICK: She got her dollar.

MAHER: -- skiing. You know, I would never ski. What a stupid sport. You know --

KIRCHICK: Here we go. Here we go.


EARLE-SEARS: Well, you know --

MAHER: You're freezing --


SUNUNU: Look, last week, I was shoveling my walkway. I got excited. I came out to California and you have a whole different flavor of snowflake out here. So, I'm dealing with --


SUNUNU: -- that. But you got to get used to the snow and the skiing. I'll bring you skiing sometimes.


MAHER: I was just going to say he is definitely running for president.


MAHER: Oh, man. He even got comedy writers working. Snowflakes jokes. I'm going out to California.


Speaking of which, another great segue, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he plans -- oh, yeah, I read this -- to travel to states where freedom is most under attack. I don't know -- would this strategy help Democrats? I don't know about --

KIRCHICK: Few years ago, the California legislature banned state money going to travel to states that had so called anti LGBTQ laws. So, you couldn't have the sports teams. You couldn't have state officials going to other states that had controversial laws. Just a couple of days ago, one of the leading legislators who supported this said, it's not working --


KIRCHICK: -- and we have to repeal this. Because there's too much business going on across the country, we have to travel. And it would lead to a civil war. I mean, if you can't even --

MAHER: And we are also making it very personal. Remember the civil war? What it was called? The war between the states.

SUNUNU: Right.

MAHER: We are making it very personal between states like your state is --

EARLE-SEARS: You mean --


MAHER: Right. It is kind of purple now. Right? I mean, it is --

SUNUNU: Little more red than purple. But yeah, we always get stuff done.

MAHER: Right. I mean --

EARLE-SEARS: Well, here's the thing. He's talking about freedom, less -- states that are less free. Isn't he the guy who told everybody they had to stay home during COVID and then he went to --

SUNUNU: Exactly.

EARLE-SEARS: -- some lobbyist dinner with what 25 of his best friends?


EARLE-SEARS: So, they were hanging out having a good time?


SUNUNU: This was the number one lockdown state. That's the truth.

EARLE-SEARS: Does he have a mirror? Oh, yes, he does, because we've seen his hair.


MAHER: Oh, Gavin, the knives are out.


I mean --

EARLE-SEARS: I mean --

SUNUNU: He makes it easy. He makes it easy. EARLE-SEARS: Take care of your own house before you start talking about other people.

MAHER: Okay. He owned that. He shouldn't have gone out that --

EARLE-SEARS: That's right.

SUNUNU: He shouldn't have locked down the state.


MAHER: Among the political peccadilloes, I put it about thousands down on the list. It wasn't -- it wasn't his finest moment, but really, come on, if that's all you got on him --

SUNUNU: How about the schools? How about the millions of kids going back to schools? How about the businesses --


MAHER: I know. I'm on your side with this.


SUNUNU: The list on Gavin is point long.

MAHER: Okay.

EARLE-SEARS: Yeah. Do you have time?

SUNUNU: Put it this way. Republicans would love to run against Gavin. We would love it.

KIRCHICK: (INAUDIBLE) ticket is being formed here right now.

EARLE-SEARS: No, no. Remember, I can't run in time (ph). Before anybody says anything about him, immigration, again, remember, I wasn't born here.

SUNUNU: So, you can't run?



MAHER: And that's why you're so delightfully honest. I thank you all for being here. Got to go. It is time for a commercial.



CAMEROTA: Thank you very much, Bill. And you can watch "Real Time with Bill Maher' on Friday nights on HBO at 10:00 p.m. and then watch "Overtime" right here on CNN Friday nights at 11:30. We will be right back with our news quiz. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)



CAMEROTA: Okay, everybody, it's Friday night.

MCENROE: You know what that means.

CAMEROTA: You know what that means. It's news quiz time. Let's see what you and my panelists know about this week's news stories. Now, my first question, I have to admit, Governor Sununu just provided a spoiler. He just gave away the answer. But maybe -- maybe you guys weren't listening. Maybe you were deep in conversation.

Here we go. What did Gwyneth Paltrow say to the plaintiff, Terry Sanderson, after she won in her ski collision case in court? A, I wish you well, B, see you on the slopes, or C, bless your heart? One, two, three. Oh, you all got it. Okay. Gwyneth said, I wish you well, and he said, thank you, dear.

JONG-FAST: Thank you, dear. Yeah.

CAMEROTA: If those two kids can get along --


-- everybody can. Okay. Moving on. This week, 33 people were referred to law enforcement for A, stealing flowers from the White House lawn, B, plotting a protest at a Florida school board meeting, or C, harassing dolphins in Hawaii? One, two, three. It's C.


CUPP: Don't you watch the news?

MCENROE: I didn't hear about the dolphins.

CAMEROTA: I would have said school board, too. That makes sense.

MCENROE: I'm always too busy studying up on Trump.


CAMEROTA: Don't turn over your thing until I say one, two, three. Okay.

JONG-FAST: It's very hard.

CAMEROTA: Moving on. Jennifer Aniston says a whole generation now finds friends A, offensive, B, relatable, C, unwatchable? One, two, three.



MCENROE: That's good.

GRANDERSON: It's all of them.

MCENROE: That's good.

GRANDERSON: It's offensive. I kind of relate to it. But it still is unwatchable.


CAMEROTA: Got it. Okay. Next, the Fude dinner experience spelled F-U- D-E with an (INAUDIBLE)--


-- is unusual in that A, the entire dinner is conducted in the dark, B, all the diners are nude, or C, the dinner includes a foot massage? One, two, three.

JONG-FAST: I don't -- I can't --

CAMEROTA: Come on, get your happy guess.

JONG-FAST: All right.

CAMEROTA: Oh no, only S.E. and Patrick know the answer, eating in the nude.

MCENROE: Here we go.

GRANDERSON: The diners are in the nude?


GRANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) check before you go in?

CAMEROTA: Isn't that -- you're having the reaction that a lot of people had. Hot soup is also served.



MCENROE: Don't get the wasabi. Don't get the wasabi.

GRANDERSON: I hope that's not a bathroom. No one is allowed to use the restaurant.

CAMEROTA: That's really gross. Molly, you had dinner parties. Are they nude?


JONG-FAST: What did I -- MCENROE: Will be.

CAMEROTA: All right. Consider it. All right, just consider it. Okay, moving on, we have time. One iguana's taste for what left a young girl with a mysterious malady? A, oranges juice, B, cake, C, grass? What did the iguana want to eat? One, two, three. Yes, yes, cake. The iguana wanted cake. Bit the girl.

GRANDERSON: Bit the girl?

CAMEROTA: Bit the girl, then she got a bacterial infection on her hand, but they cured it with antibiotics.

CUPP: Oh, good. Okay.


CAMEROTA: This was Body Ocean. They were eating cake. I mean, they really were. It's on the beach. So, guys, what were our totals? I really need -- I need --

CUPP: I was 3,4,4.

MCENROE: Pretty good. I was 3,4,4.

CAMEROTA: Three, four, four?


JONG-FAST: I got one wrong.

CAMEROTA: Oh, so, you're 3,4,4 too?

JONG-FAST: Yeah, 3,4,4.

MCENROE: Okay. Smart group here.

CAMEROTA: Okay, guys, that's awesome. Thank you very much. You can now go on with your weekend.

MCENROE: Who needs Friday night lights? We got Friday night quiz here.

CAMEROTA: We will be right back.





CAMEROTA: Last December, Nelly Cheboi was voted CNN Hero of the Year for her efforts to break intergenerational poverty by bringing computer science technology and education to rural Africa. Since taking centerstage at the star-studded event, she has jumped into action. This week, we take you inside her special night and back home to Kenya that she shares the global award and its impact with her students and community.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The 2022 CNN Hero of the Year is Nelly Cheboi.


NELLY CHEBOI, 2020 CNN HERE OF THE YEAR: You can only imagine like how crazy it was when I was named the CNN Hero of the Year. I thought I was like about to fall down. I look at the audience. You know, it was mom screaming back at me.


Like most women that come before her, they die in poverty.


Like that is all they know, poverty. I don't think it can get any bigger than that. It was really heartwarming to see that the work was bigger than me now.

WILLIAM RUTO, PRESIDENT OF KENYA: We also congratulate Nelly Cheboi.

CHEBOI: The president of Kenya congratulated me. Talked about TechLit. It has become a household name in Kenya. Everyone knows that we are teaching kids computer skills.

What I'm really excited about is a future in Kenya and in the rest of the continent where kids are going to be learning about the tech world.

Let us start with him.

There is hope like poverty has an expiration date, right? When you are growing up in poverty, you think of yourself as less than. I knew just how powerful the kids celebrating this award was. I wanted to turn that into like, hey, yes, this can happen for you, too, yes.


CAMEROTA: What a story. To see Nelly's full update, go to and while you're there, nominate a hero of your own.

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