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CNN Tonight

Donald Trump Criminal Trial Is Set For March 2024, Judge Tells Trump What He Can't Say About Hush Money Case; Gov. Ron DeSantis (R- FL) To Launch White House Run Tomorrow On Twitter; Surgeon General Warns Of Profound Risk To Kids on Social Media; Social Media Poses Risks On Children According To Surgeon General; LeBron James Considers Retirement; Man Crashes U-Haul Into White House Security Barrier; Trump Appears Via Video In A New York Courtroom. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 23, 2023 - 22:00   ET



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: It is expected to make landfall sometime around 2:00 A.M. Eastern Time tomorrow. But the worst conditions will begin around midnight. And forecasters warn that the storm is bringing a triple threat of devastation with torrential rainfall, catastrophic winds and storm surge. Hoping everyone stays safe there.

But thank you for joining us tonight. "CNN TONIGHT" with Alisyn Camerota is starting right now. Alisyn, hi.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Hi, Abby. Thank you very much. And good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN Tonight.

The legal issues are piling up for Donald Trump. Here's the current status. First, the Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation. Our reporting is that Special Counsel Jack Smith is in the home stretch on that. Then there's the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. That case is set to begin in March of next year, right in the middle of primary season. Then there's the Georgia investigation into efforts by then-President Trump to overturn the 2020 election.

But even with all of this, the deck is stacked in Donald Trump's favor for the GOP primary. John Avlon is here to explain in our Reality Check.

Plus, Governor Ron DeSantis plans to seize the GOP spotlight tomorrow with a big announcement, and it involves Elon Musk. Kara Swisher is going to join our panel to share her thoughts.

And when is enough fame and money and success enough? LeBron James playing the will he or won't he retire game.


LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD: We'll see what happens going forward, but I don't know. I got a lot to think about, to be honest. I got a lot to think about, to be honest. And just for me personally, going forward with the game of basketball, a lot to think about.


CAMEROTA: And we will get into all of that.

But let's begin with Donald Trump in court today. He appeared via video conference with his lawyer and an American flag backdrop. This is the case about the Stormy Daniels hush money payment.

Now, as we've seen in the past, Donald Trump routinely expresses his displeasure about the investigations into his activity. So, today, the judge told him to knock it off.

My panel is raring to go. We have with us, Mr. Reality himself, John Avlon, Pollster Lee Carter, Rachel Nichols of Headliners with Rachel Nichols on Showtime and Astead Herndon from The New York Times. Great to have all of you.

So, Astead, when I say the judge asked him to knock it off, he basically installed this protective, or what he called a protective order. And here are the rules now, because, as you know, Donald Trump in the past has railed on his own social media about Alvin Bragg, the D.A., about things being witch hunts, et cetera, et cetera. So, the judge has said the Trump defense team cannot share case evidence. Trump can only view some evidence in the presence of his attorneys. He cannot copy, photograph, transcribe or otherwise independently possess any of this evidence.

That's interesting. I mean, I don't think we've heard things like this before.

ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. I think it's interesting. I think it speaks to a judge that's trying to clamp down Donald Trump. We saw immediately after the arraignment last time, he went to Mar-a-Lago and immediately started railing about the judge. I mean, this is someone who, in every single instance, both politically and legally, has used his megaphone to show his grievances, one after another, with no sense of restraint.

And so I think this is the legal process, trying to put restraints on a figure who's not really had them, largely. I think this is going to be the unique thing about this going forward, is that, in politics, he's been able to use his kind of bluster as a defense of himself. But in this process, specifically, this is going to be someone who is humbled by the realities of these legal challenges. And I think this protective order is the first step.

CAMEROTA: Did you just say Donald Trump is --

HERNDON: I don't think he will be personally humbled, but I think it's a process that forces a humbling on him. Listen, remember when he was left and went back to Mar-a-Lago after the last arraignment? That was not Donald Trump in his full bluster. That was Donald Trump looking, I think, regular shot at the reality of this. It is not that it is going to force a new person to come on, but it forces him to have other considerations that, in a political sense, he would not have.

CAMEROTA: Rachel, your thoughts? RACHEL NICHOLS, HOST, HEADLINERS WITH RACHEL NICHOLS ON SHOWTIME: I'm not sure it really matters. I mean, Donald Trump has never been one to let the facts get in the way of good story. So, if the judge limits the facts that he has access to or is allowed to see, or is allowed to talk about, I don't see why he doesn't just make up new ones. It's what he's done the entire time that he's been a candidate, when he was president and certainly when he has an adversary like he does with all of the legal opponents in these cases, name calling, evidence creating. I don't see why limiting what he can and can't talk about is really going to change his M.O. at all.

CAMEROTA: John, another interesting thing today that we have a court date, so March of 2024 for the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. And so, obviously, I know that you're about to give us a reality check, but was this bound to happen with so many investigations piling up, one of them was going to fall during an inconvenient political time, yes?


JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, it's all an inconvenient political time. But you're right. I mean, this is going to be right as the primaries are setting up, and you've got it setting up for a split screen here where people are going to be voting and also seeing a hush money payment trial going forward. And it's not the only legal jeopardy he's in, of course. So, no, this could all come colliding, and then it'll be up for the primary voters to decide which matters more.

CAMEROTA: Okay, on your bike. You're going to go over and give the Reality Check in one moment. But, Lee, I have a question for you first. Do we know how the American public is feeling about all of these things sort of coming to a head, the investigation?

LEE CARTER: Well, I think it's the tale of three cities, really. You've got Republicans who feel one way, independents another, and Democrats totally different ways. So, 93 percent of Republicans right now believe that these inquiries into Donald Trump or whatever you want to call them are politically motivated. 70 percent of independents think that they're politically motivated. 66 percent of Democrats believe that they're actually legal. And this is right.

And so what ends up happening here? Trump knows his base. So, what's he going to do? He's going to play up this narrative of how unfair things are, how much the mainstream media hates Republicans and is coming after us and all of that, and it works for him. And so I think it's going to be the story that we're going to be hearing on replay over and over and over again.

The question really is, can he keep it up? Is there going to be a point at which people say enough is enough, we can't forgive some of these things? I'm not sure. Conventional rules and conventional wisdom certainly don't apply to Donald Trump, so it's hard to predict. But he knows his base.

CAMEROTA: And there's something else that appears to be working for him, and that is the primary process. And John Avalon has our Reality Check tonight. John?

AVLON: That's right. Everybody in the pool, people, it's that time. The Republican presidential field is getting more crowded. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott entering the race on Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expected to announce tomorrow, a handful of other hopefuls are waiting in the wings.

Now, the presence of a half dozen serious challenges to ex-President Trump reflects a GOP that just might be finding its spine, unwilling to roll over for a man who tried to overturn an election on the basis of a lie. But these candidates may be heading into Admiral Akbar land.

Yes, it's a trap, courtesy of Trump's appointees in the state parties in RNC. Now, here's why. Get this the number of winner take all GOP primary states increased from 7 to 17. That's between the 2016 and the 2020 election, according to an analysis by Gregory Korte over at Bloomberg.

Now, this is a big deal because winner take all states allow polarizing candidates to get ahead even if they don't win a majority of votes.

So, here's how it works. Let's say, hypothetically, that Trump wins 35 percent of the primary vote in South Carolina, with home staters Tim Scott and Nikki Haley coming in at 32 and 30 percent, respectively, the other candidates splitting the difference.

Now, a supermajority of those primary voters would have voted for someone other than Trump to be their party's nominee, but Trump would take home all the delegates. In contrast, proportional representation means delegates would be allocated according to the percent of the vote they actually won.

The winner take all was actually keyed to how Trump got the nomination back in 2016, rolling into the Cleveland Convention having won just 45 percent of primary votes, but boasting 63 percent of the delegates. So, unless things change, Trump could have an even greater edge in the 2024 primaries. That's despite a poll showing that 44 percent of Republicans don't even want her to run again.

Now, the good news is that there is still time for GOP candidates to push states to shift from winner take all to proportional before an October 1st deadline. That'd be the right thing to do and level the playing field and more accurately reflect the will of the voters. Remember, you change the rules, you change the game. And that's your Reality Check.

CAMEROTA: John, thank you very much. Come on back over for more panel discussion.

So, how about that Astead? From 7 to 17, the winner take all states. And, I mean, as John just told us, these are the ones that sort of enhance the extreme -- most extreme candidates.

HERNDON: It's a really important point because this type of procedural process is one of the things that Trump has gotten a lot better at, actually, from 2016 to 2020. One of the ways he's really shifted the party is to bring in those Trump loyalists to state parties, bring in those loyalists to delegates.

When I was at the RNC Winter meeting in Dana Point, California, that was the first meeting this year, really, those folks came together. They were pretty clear-eyed that that shift was going to be really important for him. They were also pretty clear-eyed that as the more candidates get in the race, this becomes even more important, right, because it splits the rest of the votes among a larger group of people and allows that 30 percent to 35 percent that's sticking with Donald Trump to become even more important.

So, he has definitely a lower ceiling, maybe than he had even previously in the past. But he also has a higher floor than those other candidates. And that's what he's hoping is going to really propel him in the primaries, particularly when that procedural process is even more in his favor, maybe now, even than it was in 2016.


CAMEROTA: I don't know, Rachel. It seems hard to figure out a path in that case when you know that the deck is stacked in that way for Tim Scott, for even Ron DeSantis with a math like this.

NICHOLS: Yes. And, look, the more candidates that do get into the race, the more Trump is ahead because he has that name recognition. When it is a sea of faces, people gravitate toward the face they know of. It was one or two or three people, you would actually be giving each of them a shot. But as we see, the more people who get in, you just showed a panel of, what, eight, ten faces, people are going to go for the one they know.

And it's the same thing with all of these legal cases. You introduced the Stormy Daniels situation. You said, this is the one with the hush money. I mean, it's amazing that you have to make that distinction about a former president and presidential candidate. But the truth is there's so many that instead of adding up to telling a lot of voters, okay, this is now ridiculous, instead it just becomes this sea that just sort of drowns each other out.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. And speaking of which, so that the classified documents case, which is different. We have indications and reporting that the special counsel who has been looking into this and investigating this, Jack Smith, is wrapping up. And one of the reasons that we believe this is because Trump's own attorney, Tim Parlatore, suggested that he saw signs of this. So, let's look into that.


TIMOTHY PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: At this point. They have kind of turned over every stone, interviewed every witness, and now they just have to write up the report to Merrick Garland to say, this is all of the stuff we've done.


CAMEROTA: Okay. So, Lee, there may be more things happening in primary season.

CARTER: There may be even more things and they call him Teflon Don for a reason. What's going to stick? I don't know.

But here is the bottom line, and I think we all know this. Trump has a very solid base. It's 30 percent. They're not going anywhere. They say they're going to support him no matter what. They're going to view it the way they view it. Republicans are going to have to get some discipline here because there are too many people in the field and someone really needs to define a lane. Because right now, they're all sort of DeSantis is on Trump without the chaos, except there's a lot of chaos. They're all trying to come up with some kind of thing that's a good alternative, except no one is remembering anything except for Donald Trump.

AVLON: But as you know well, as anybody, it's early. The field will thin. It will thin because candidates won't able to raise as much money. They won't show up in polls. So, the full number of folks won't be there once voters start counting. And right now, I think more people in the better, start making a case for yourself rather than this tiptoeing around the problem.

But you're right. This case in particular, the one of the documents, this is the one that Bill Barr thinks has said he thinks could be the most serious. And the justice system is not going to care about polling, or at least it shouldn't.

HERNDON: The increased amount of candidates is really, to me, a Ron DeSantis question of the last three to four months. There was coordination on the donor level of the Republican Party to kind of centralize their energy around DeSantis after the midterms. It's been the last two to three months that have really created new openings that you see a Chris Christie get in the race or think about getting in the race. You see a Glenn Youngkin reconsidering a previous decision to stay out of the race.

Increasingly, those non-DeSantis, Trump alternatives are seeing a candidate that they think is a little more beatable than he may have appeared in November. And so I think actually when we look at the increasing amount of candidates, it's not necessarily a Donald Trump problem, someone who wants that. It's really, to me, a Ron DeSantis problem, someone who is certainly the leader of that pack but will be the target not only of Trump but of the rest of the folks in that field.

CAMEROTA: All right, well, perfect segue, thank you very much for that, because next, why Ron DeSantis is teaming up with Elon Musk and what it means for his impending run for the White House.



CAMEROTA: Ron DeSantis is reportedly getting ready to jump into the 2024 presidential race. He's expected to officially announce tomorrow afternoon in an unusual way. He plans to do it with Twitter owner Elon Musk. Why? Let's ask our panel.

And joining us is Kara Swisher, host of the On with Kara Swisher podcast as well as the Pivot Podcast. Kara, great to have you here.


CAMEROTA: Why -- what does this by Ron DeSantis to do this with Elon Musk in this way?

SWISHER: He doesn't have to talk to you. He doesn't have to talk to the regular media. He's incredibly thin skinned and doesn't like to interact with media. I think he's just as scared of it as anything. And I think this gives him an opportunity to play a stunt with the most famous person on the planet at this moment in time.

CAMEROTA: But why not just the standard whistle stop with flanked by all of his supporters, like we see where he's just talking about his vision and there's nobody asking questions? He just has this big announcement at a whistle stop. Why not that traditional diner or something like that? Why?

SWISHER: Maybe he doesn't like people. I don't know. I think this gives him -- because we're all talking about it, right? Because -- and Elon Musk, of course, is an attention sponge. And so he needs attention and it causes attention to Twitter and acts like it's a media site because and he's obviously a well known journalist and experienced journalist, so he's not going to get tough questions. It could be interesting.

The downfalls are when you do any stunts, something could go wrong, right? Elon has an unusual mind and could ask a really unusual question that could be problematic. The technology could go down, that's for sure.

CAMEROTA: And hold on a second, because this is called Twitter Spaces.

SWISHER: Yes, I was on it a lot.

Okay, so then what's wrong with the technology? Like, why is it glitching?

SWISHER: Oh, it glitches out all the time. It glitches out. It's like being on a party line of some sort. And then if there's not enough, if they don't have it, and they will probably spend a lot of time making sure this one works. But it could glitch out. If they're not careful, people could just say anything on it, if they allow people to talk, that's another way could happen. That happened to me many times. So, there's lots of things that go wrong, but mostly it's Elon Musk. You never know what he's going to do, and so that's what it is.

But it's good for him. It's good for Ron DeSantis, and it protects him from talking to journalists and keeps up that I hate the media thing. That's his little thing.

CAMEROTA: Okay. This is going to be interesting. Kara has convinced me. NICHOLS: I mean, I don't know if this is the right place, though. I mean, look, in some ways, it's a great fit, right? Twitter has devolved into the land of hard opinions with no nuance. That's Ron DeSantis in a nutshell. Great. However, the idea that he is in a platform that, frankly, only one in five Americans use yes. And a chunk of people who do use it have now started to find it very distasteful since Elon Musk took over.


You are telling people at best, I am making the most major announcement of my campaign in a place that most of you don't care about, and at worst, some of you really, really don't like. I don't know why he would want to be associated with that when there're other options.

SWISHER: Well, Elon has expressed interest in him earlier. He had said he might back DeSantis. It's not bad to have all those donors. Also David Sachs, who's become an increasing player, who's one of Elon's whatever, advisers, is part of it. So, Teddy Schleifer and Puck called it influencer investors, essentially. That's what they are in these campaigns and that's what they're trying to do at the same time.

AVLON: I mean, what interests me is that on the one hand, the optics presumably are, look, the torch is passing to a new generation of conservatives who don't fit any of the old moles and who are really focused on trolling and have similar enemies. But what's really surprising, though, compared to any other presidential announcement, and you did this, it's the first one I can recall where the candidate needs someone else for a halo effect. That's fascinating. That's different. And that maybe reflects a certain deficiency on Ron DeSantis' part.

CARTER: Well, I mean, look, Twitter isn't new to somebody running for office. We saw Donald Trump do this before. And I think that Ron DeSantis has promised to be Donald Trump-lite. So, maybe he's trying to do something different and enter in here.

The thing about Ron DeSantis is in this moment, he's coming from a real position of weakness. He's lost 20 percent in the polls in the last two months. He has a complete reset in front of him. He has made some major mistakes. I think his war on Mickey Mouse is a complete mistake. His woke wars have taken him -- have sidelined him.

CAMEROTA: So, can you connect those to his falling poll numbers? You can draw direct line between those wars?

CARTER: Absolutely. Which is like why would you ever say -- when you're trying to appeal to families, suburban women, why would you ever say, we're going to put a prison next to the -- you know, next to Disney World? It's preposterous. The whole thing was a huge mistake, and he should never have done it. What he needs to do is talk about the economy. Should we talk about the Florida blueprint?

And what he's going to try to do is, I'm going to go back to Elon Musk. Let's be entrepreneurial. Let's talk about how business-friendly I am. Let's talk about getting the economy going again. And I'm not sure it's not a smart move because he needs a complete reset. He's behind on the Real 538 polling by 33 points right now, behind Donald Trump. Something has got to give. And this, I think, is his.

CAMEROTA: But what about the argument that it doesn't represent real people, real Americans, that real Americans might not even know that that has happened?

CARTER: I mean, we're a sound bite culture. We're all going to be watching it anyway.

NICHOLS: But also the idea that you say, oh, it appeals to a youth, more youthful generation. He's trying to run on the fight (ph). It doesn't. Young people are not on Twitter.

AVLON: I'm actually talking about Elon. I'm talking about it's a contrast, generational contrast with Trump?


AVLON: But, no, I think well taken. I think we're just assuming that it's going to get a lot of pickup everywhere else.

SWISHER: He could pick up with the political organization, the media, the political pollsters, everybody else, but not young people. I mean, honestly, they're just not on here. That if he wanted to actually have a splash, he'd be on TikTok, but then he'd have to talk about, that's what your (INAUDIBLE). So, I mean, that's where the young people are or elsewhere or Reddit.

AVLON: in terms of platform, absolutely.

SWISHER: Yes. It's a stunt. We'll see if it does it. It may do a reset. It may say, I'm with the guy who did Tesla. I'm with the guy who did SpaceX, but he's also with the Twitter guy. And if you like the Tesla guy and the SpaceX guy, a lot of people don't like the Twitter guy. So, who's he going to show up as? And that's the problem with the Elon.

CARTER: It is a big -- I mean, Bill Maher had an interview with Elon Musk, right, where he was talking about and Elon Musk has said, my politics haven't changed, but suddenly I'm more right. I used to be on the left. He said, look, I'm the guy that brought all of this.


SWISHER: Let me just say he had a famous quote where he said, you have to be neutral. I want to anger the left and the right. We're waiting for him to anger the right. He hasn't done that.

CARTER: No, he hasn't.

SWISHER: So, I'm super excited long and involved interview with Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting. All right, thank you all very much for that.

So, the surgeon general has a warning for parents, social media can be hazardous for your kids' health. We're going to discuss the answers next.


VIVEK MURTHY, SURGEON GENERAL: The data also shows when kids are spending more than three hours on average, that they face nearly double the risk, increased risk of depression and anxiety symptoms.



CAMEROTA: A stark warning today from the surgeon general about the impact of social media on the mental health of kids. Dr. Vivek Murthy releasing a 25-page advisory warning that social media presents, quote, a profound risk of harm. Here's what he told Erin Burnett tonight.


MURTHY: There is not enough evidence to say that social media is, in fact, sufficiently safe for our kids, but we also found that there is a growing body of evidence showing that social media use is associated with harms.

It is urgent that we take action to protect our kids and to make sure that their experience on social media is safe. We've done that for other products that kids use for medications, for cars, and we haven't asked parents to go inspect the car themselves and make sure it's safe. We've set safety standards and we required manufacturers to implement and abide by those standards.


CAMEROTA: Dr. Murthy also says that social media use among children is, quote, nearly universal. 95 percent of 13 to 17-year-olds use it, as do 40 percent of children aged 8 to 12. I'm back with my panel.

Okay. So, Rachel, you have twin 12-year-olds.


CAMEROTA: Do they have cell phones? Do they use social media?

NICHOLS: They don't have cell phones yet. All of this is terrifying if you are on the verge of having teenagers. You look at these numbers, you look at the surgeon general's report, the age for social media is supposed to be 13, and you just said that 40 percent of 8 to 12-year- olds use it.

And this creates a double edged sword for parents. Because if you try to keep your kids off social media just to the required age, they're in middle school and they have a bunch of their peers using it. And then all of a sudden, the feelings of loneliness, depression, isolation that you are trying to stave off by keeping them off social media, they may end up having because they're being left out of what is going on.


And the only thing that is gonna solve this is to raise the age for everybody and to try to find a way for the people running these sites to hold people to it. And this is your area of expertise. Look, you mentioned cars, right?

When you get a driver's license, you have to show your I.D., right? And there is no way to get around that. Or you have to show your birth certificate, right? There's no way around that. Right now, it's just, hey, fill out a form, fill out an email, put in a fake birthday. Is there a way to have more stringent policies so it's not just the parents kind of la-di-da and you're signing off?

CAMEROTA: What's your policy?

KARA SWISHER, HOST, "PIVOT" PODCAST: Sure, sure. Well, policy is we've been talking about this for 20 years and I'm so thrilled that they're mentioning something that everyone's known forever. I mean, I'm sorry. I was like, okay, you're kidding. You're kidding me. Cigarettes cause cancer. Wow, that's the next thing that's gonna come out from these people.

Look, I like him. I think he's smart and the Surgeon General should be talking about this, but they've been trying to do something about this for two decades now when it's been dead clear, the problems with self- esteem among young women, around addiction, around adult addiction. We all need to use it. We like to use it. It's an addictive quality. It's important for work, so you can't avoid it.

And so, of course, our kids would do it, too, because they're watching us do it, right? And so, this is something that's not fresh and new and it's something that Congress has once again completely abrogated all responsibility for and done nothing.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, and that's what's so frustrating is that there are a lot of bipartisan bills that could be addressed. And I think that's the frustration with this report. I spoke to Jonathan Haidt, who's a leading NYU researcher, one of the best people on this.

CAMEROTA: On this topic.

AVLON: He praised the Surgeon General for collecting the data, but he was really frustrated that he didn't take the next step and advocate specific solutions. You know, enforce the age limit, raise the age limit. There are bills, you know, there's, you know, Senators Schatz and Cotton have a bill. Senators Blackburn and Blumenthal have a bill.

This has bipartisan support. So, it should be something we can get done. And I think, you know, parents are also trying to act on their own. In my son's school, the third grade parents are saying they're going to all sign a pledge saying no social media until eighth grade.

CAMEROTA: Wait Until Eighth. There's that whole slogan. Wait Until Eighth.

AVLON: And -- but that's because the government, even though there's bipartisan support, can't seem to get its act together. So, now is the time to act.

SWISHER: It's like, parents, it's like, figure out pollution, parents. Figure out this.

AVLON: That's right.

SWISHER: This is a government thing that has to happen and you can't figure out because by the way, you're addicted to it, too. And so that's the problem is that every single person in society, especially since the pandemic, these are necessary things. You can't stop put it down. It's designed to crawl down your brain stem and that's how they designed it.

Why have we never questioned them? Why have we never find them? We did it with cigarette warnings, everything. It's just, to hear this again and again and have nothing being done and then blaming the parents for it. And I think parents do have a part in it, but you're not, look, my ex-wife was the CTO of America. I am a very well-known tech person. We have a hard time. Like, how can anyone figure it out when they themselves have a problem?

NICHOLS: And how can parents stay ahead of what teenagers are using? Because it does change every two years, right? Whatever the newest app is. There are parents I know who are saying, oh, well, I've told them to stay off Instagram. Well, I've told them to stay off Snapchat. And I'm like, oh, dear, dear.

CAMEROTA: You're a show beyond that, my friend. Yeah. Lee.

CARTER: Look, I think one of the things is, when you talk to the kids about it, more than half of them say it's really important for self- expression, it's really important for social connectivity. And more than half of parents say, I know it's having a negative impact on my children. I think the messaging here is gonna be really important.

If we start talking about banning, we talk about boycotts, we talk about over-regulating, you need a lot of resistance. But I liked what he said there. He said, we have to put in safety standards. And I think that's something we can all get behind. Let's do something about it. And I'm tired frankly of all of us saying we can't compromise, we can't get things done. This is our children. We've got to do better.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, I mean it's so interesting. When my kids see somebody smoking a cigarette on the street, they think it's a felony. They're so shocked. They're like, mom, he's smoking. I'm like, okay. And part of it is PSAs and part of it is our bands, like we did it with smoking. It took a long time, but we did it with smoking where we changed the attitudes, the public attitudes about smoking. And so is there a way to -- SWISHER: I think people have -- the parents -- most parents understand this rather clearly, including about depression and everything else. I think it's because we have refused to regulate any of technology. In the 25 years it's been an important part of our life, how many laws do you think have been passed? Zero. Zero. And the law that's there protects them with immunity.

Now, I support Section 230, but there's been no other laws. There's no privacy bill. There's no algorithmic transparency bill. There's no requirement to say what impact this is having. There's none of it.

AVLON: All of that.

SWISHER: Because they have lobbyists coming in, you know, in and out of Congress.

AVLON: And what's so infuriating, the reason that parents are trying to figure out a way to do it themselves is there is bipartisan support.


NICHOLS: But they can't do it themselves.

CAMEROTA: So why aren't they intrusive?

AVLON: They need to do it. They need to do it. There is bipartisan support. It's the power of lobbyists, but the President supports it. Republicans and Democrats support it in the Senate. Get it done. Because when the data's clear, this isn't a jump ball anymore.

NICHOLS: Parents can't do this by themselves.

AVLON: Of course not.

NICHOLS: Because if the peers in the classroom are doing something different than what your individual kid is doing, you have lost the battle.


And I know the lobbyists must be on behalf of the tech companies, but to your point about pushback, I mean the people who are going to be regulated are 13, 14, 15, 16 years old. They don't vote. So, as far as I'm concerned, this is something that I agree with Congress.

CARTER: And we've got to stop that compromise is a dirty word, that we can't do something together. This is something we should all agree on.

SWISHER: If we can't agree on it, you ain't seen nothing. It's very, you know, it's very involved and they're going to start having relationships with these computers, too. And so are you. And so, the question is what are they going to do about generative AI and all the advanced technologies that are coming. If you think it was hard before -- CAMEROTA: And everybody's sounding the alarm. We can't say that we weren't warned. Thank you all very much. All right. The King, signaling he may be ready to walk away from the court. LeBron James fueling speculation about his retirement. That's next.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: Could it be over for LeBron James? Following the Lakers' playoff exit last night, James, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, added to the speculation that he could be hanging up his sneakers.

LEBRON JAMES, FORWARD FOR LOS ANGELES LAKERS: I don't know. I don't know. I got a lot to think about, to be honest. I got a lot to think about, to be honest and just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, got a lot to think about.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: All right, so after 20 record shattering seasons in the NBA, is the King's reign over? The Lakers organization says he's earned the right to decide. My panel is back with me. Okay, Rachel, you spoke to him a couple of days ago. What did he tell you?

NICHOLS: Yes, look, I have been with LeBron James really since he came out of high school. I covered his very first NBA game and every year since then and including this past week, this series with the Nuggets. And this was a grueling one. This last game that he was talking after, he played all but five seconds game.

The man is tired. He's 38 years old. He's chasing around after 20 somethings. This season he played several opponents who were the sons of his previous opponents. That is how long he has been doing this and it has been a sprint with the way the Lakers season has been going. So, what you saw up there was a guy who had had enough now has he had enough long term I'm gonna give you 99 percent chance that LeBron James is back on that court next season, maybe not the very, very start of the season depending on his injury situation.

But I just can't imagine he's gonna walk away from the game first of all on the heels of a sweep, this was a bit embarrassing. It's not how you want to go out. And then in addition, he's got a son. It's not just his opponent's children. His own son is going to college next year. He'll be eligible for the NBA draft the year after that. He's about 14 months away from being able to play with his son, something that he's told me for the last six or seven years that he's wanted to do. This is not just a Johnny-come-lately kind of thing.

CAMEROTA: So, why is he so on the fence in that case? Why doesn't he say, yeah, after 14 months, I'll hire him?

NICOLS: Because he's tired.

AVLON: By the Denver Nuggets -- would be demoralized doing that. I think what Rachel said is really important, you know, because he has floated this idea about, you know, how do I play with my son? And the idea of LeBron James playing his final season with his son, I mean, any dad in the world, I'm not crying, you're crying. I mean --

NICHOLS: It's not just emotional too, it would be very lucrative because he's got a contract next season that would pay him $47 million and the following season, the season he would possibly play with his son, $50 million.

UNKNOWN: I'm in.

NICHOLS: So, you tell me he's walking away from $97 million? I know he's LeBron James. He's got a lot of money. But he's also someone who as you know, he wants to buy a professional sports team. That kind of change can help --

CAMEROTA: Is his son Bronny that good?

NICHOLS: He's a highly recruited college player and he's expected to be more of a role player in the league but you know what? You don't know, he's 17, 18 years old. We'll see what he turns into. He certainly has good genes. I'm going to give you that.

HERNDON: I mean, as a fan, I mean, LeBron is coming off an incredible season in year 20, going to all time points leader. As a Bulls fan, he's terrorized us for years and years. I would love to see him move on. But I think it's actually an interesting moment in the NBA, having Carmelo Anthony retiring. It's a generation of players who are really kind of turning the page. But no one would be as clear as this one.

But I'm glad Rachel gave us the insider perspective, because as a fan, I would think LeBron is coming back. There's no way he goes out on the loss on the sweep and he has talked so much about that desire to play alongside Bronny that it seems inevitable that that's where this train is headed even if it's to my Bulls fan dismay.

CAMEROTA: This isn't as much vacillating as Tom Brady.

CARTER: No, exactly I was thinking of Tom Brady, Tom Brady here. But you know, there's some benefit and there's a cynical side of me that says the longer he plays this out it's probably good for merchandise sales right now people trying to, I know, I know, but you know, I know he's exhausted, but there's a benefit to him drawing it out and keeping the story alive. It's also gonna help his son stay in the media.

People are gonna be looking at him. But in many ways, I can see it would be every father's dream to play with their son. You want your kids to go to the same school you went to. You think about Rodney Dangerfield going back to school in that old movie way back.

AVLON: School reference. I did not think you were going there. Young Robert Downy, Jr. is a --

NICHOLS: But on the other side of the fence, I will say this. Well, I certainly do believe that we will see him back in an NBA court next season. I understand why he's having this conversation. I understand why he's giving it some thought. I don't wanna belittle the fact that he is going through this process because I'm joking about being tired but the man has put in more miles, more hours than any other player and we have seen what it has done to his body just to get trough these playoffs. And again, I was with the Lakers all throughout this playoff when has had to spend hours just rehabilitating and getting ready to get back on the court.


And the way it disrupts your life and the way it sucks so much out of you, it's a lot. And I think he's going to feel differently in September. But right now, the man is tired.

CAMEROTA: Rachel, we're going to take your word for it because you know better than any of us. Thank you very much for sharing all that reporting and for being here tonight. All right, disturbing new details about the man accused of ramming a U-Haul truck into the barriers right outside of the White House. This involves Hitler and Nazis and wanting to seize power. We'll explain all that next.


CAMEROTA: A 19-year-old Missouri man is accused of crashing a U-Haul into a security barrier outside of the White House last night. According to court filings, after his arrest, he praised Hitler and said he wanted to, quote, be put in charge of the nation and that he would kill the president if he had to.

This is video here showing the 26-foot truck stopped on the sidewalk near Lafayette Square right before the driver accelerated and crashed into that security barrier. Those all ring the White House complex.

The suspect was charged today with depredation of property, and prosecutors could add additional charges. John and Astead are back with me. Okay, so John, he displayed a Nazi flag. He says, Nazis have a great history. He admires the authoritarian nature of them, the eugenics, and the one-world order. I think that, you know, sometimes in our mind's eye, this is not what we imagine when we think of a Nazi, a white supremacist. But here's this 19-year-old American who has these views.

AVLON: It would seem clear that there are mental issues involved in this, but also we are dealing with a lot of Nazi iconography showing up in violent acts, right? There's the Texas shooter, as well. And I do think it's interesting to folks who associate, you know, anyone who espouses Nazism with white supremacism, with white supremacy, that these folks don't necessarily look like that stereotype.

To me, that's part of the conversation. But it's about the broader, I think, undercurrents of hate that are much deeper than race and what would attract some of these folks. But it's deeply troubling that, you know, we're dealing with American Nazis, you know, no matter how mentally ill the people are who are back at it, we need to have a deeper conversation about the propagation of hate in this country. HERNDON: Yeah, I mean, that's in question. We have seen the kind of

rise of right-wing violence. I was going to mention the Texas shooter also but it makes me think back to the Elon Musk conversation, because that was something that was going back and forth on Twitter. You tried to downplay those links to right-wing hatred that were coming from Texas.

I mean, this has been something that has been ignored for a long time, but it's become kind of unavoidable. I also want to highlight the age there. Nineteen years old seems to me like even outside of that question of kind of ideology or the kind of hatred there. There's also the crisis of youth for this kind of somewhat happening right now.

I was talking to Congressman Jamaal Bowman, a former educator here in New York, and he was saying that part of the reason he actually got pushed into public office was because of the kind of youth crisis he was seeing of kids being drawn into some of this stuff. Makes me think about the social media conversation we had earlier. This is a confluence of issues that are really playing out. And the result, though, is undeniably a -- increase of violence and an increase of a threat of right-wing violence, and that should have us all troubled.

AVLON: Yeah, I do think it's about formless identities. Need to belong to something, any tribal identity, which can be part of the authoritarian appeal. And that's part of what we've got to confront. We don't have a unifying story as a nation right now, and so people are gravitating to these extreme elements, particularly if they're not doing so well mentally.

CAMEROTA: And we also --

HERNDON: And the men, too. The men are certainly the ones who are lost in that.

CAMEROTA: Oh, for sure. The young men, definitely. And do we think this is just online poisoning? I mean, that's where they're finding each other. That's where they're finding this iconography that you're talking about. Like that's where they're being radicalized?

AVLON: I mean, you know, every case is gonna be different. But I mean, I recently interviewed an ex-Nazi who, you know, for the reality check digital series and you know, what's terrifying and talking to folks is they've been involved this for a long time is you realize they find a way to tell themselves a story that they're doing something good. They're standing for something noble and it is there.

There's an empathy gap that ultimately is bridged, but it's done over time. And if people are isolated and angry, they won't -- that empathy gap is difficult to bridge. So, it's a much broader conversation, but the fact that we're dealing with people espousing Nazi ideology don't look like what you think also means that maybe race isn't the driving force, believe me.

HERNDON: Yes, certainly, the anti-Semitism involved there, the misogyny involved there. There are so many. You can pick an ism out of a hat. It really brings along these kinds of people who have been disaffected and draws them in. The data tells us that there, and the internet is the place where there is bringing them in. And the result of that, it has led to this kind of familiar feeling now. And that's what's nervous about this, is not just that it's happening, but how frequently it's happening and how honestly desensitized some folks have become too, it's continued happening.

CAMEROTA: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Great to see both of you.

AVLON: Yeah, thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, coming up, some of our favorite reporters are here to talk about the stories they're working on for tomorrow, including why the poem written by Amanda Gorman for President Biden's inauguration is being taken out of the elementary section of a Florida public library. That's next after a quick break.




CAMEROTA: Hi everyone. Thanks for tuning in to this hour where we bring you tomorrow's news tonight. We have our great line-up of reporters here with me, Kara Scannell, Erica Hill, Zayn Asher and Kylie Atwood. Ladies, great to have you here tonight.

Okay, so, Former President Trump appearing via video in a New York courtroom today where he learned his trial will begin in March of next year. This is the criminal case related to hush money payments during the 2016 campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The judge also imposed some strict rules on Donald Trump.

So, Kara, tell us, this is unusual. Tell us what the judge went to the length of explaining to Donald Trump and what happens if he breaks these rules.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, I mean, so the crux of this protective order is the judge saying to the former president, any information you get from prosecutors as part of the evidence in this case, that could be witness statements, grand jury testimony, financial records. You can't go and post this on social media.