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Connect the World

Haley to Drop Out, Trump Poised to Win GOP Nomination; Israel and Hezbollah Trade Volley of Missile Attacks; WFP: Israeli Forces Turned Away Food Convoy in Northern Gaza; Central Bank Hikes Interest Rates, Currency Hits Record Low; Defense Attorney Appears before State Committee Investigating Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis; Haley to Drop Out of U.S. Presidential Race. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired March 06, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Becky Anderson. This is "Connect the World". It is 6 pm here in Abu Dhabi. It is 9 am on the East

Coast of America. And next hour, we will hear from Nikki Haley, the Former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. set to announce she

is dropping out of the U.S. Presidential race.

Sources say she is not however planning on endorsing Donald Trump today. Haley lost all but 1 of the 15 states where Republicans voted on Super

Tuesday to the Former President setting up Trump for a November rematch with Joe Biden. The incumbent face no meaningful competition on Tuesday

then swept to victory on the Democratic side.

Despite several states with a notable percentage of no preference votes as they are known. CNN's Kylie Atwood is in Charleston, South Carolina, where

Haley will speak at 10 am Eastern Time, she explains why Haley is not going to endorse Donald Trump, at least not for now.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What she's going to say is that there needs to be a conversation, she is going to say that Trump needs to earn

the support of her voters. And that's not altogether surprising, because we have heard from Nikki Haley over the course of the last few months saying

that Trump cannot win a general election if he is losing the faction of the party that is voting for her.

So she is now daring him to engage in a conversation with those voters. She has said that those voters don't want to be ignored, that they see a

different vision for the future of the country. The question is how does Trump engage with them? How does he engage with her?

We'll have to watch and see how that plays out. Now, one interesting thing on this conversation topic of endorsing the nominee of the Republican

Party, Nikki Haley did commit to endorsing that nominee back last summer that she had to do that in order to get on the debate stage.

But she has given indications in the last week or so that she was leaning in this direction, because she laid out a few reasons for why she no longer

felt bound to endorse the eventual nominees saying that the Republican Party is different now than it was when she made that commitment, also

noting that Former President Trump never made that commitment.

So why does she have to uphold that commitment, she is bowing out today, but she is putting herself into a position of power. It is a very deft

political move for Nikki Haley. And we should note that even though she didn't get enough support to keep her campaign alive, there were some

states where she had a significant faction of the voters voting for her.

And so her campaign is trying to use that to their advantage today, as she continues to engage in this conversation surrounding the future of the

Republican Party.

ANDERSON: Well I want to bring in CNN's U.S. Politics Reporter Eva McKend, at this point, what do you make go for Haley's decision to drop out now? I

know the math didn't look good as far as delegates are concerned. But it also costs an awful lot of money, doesn't it to keep on going? Was she just

running out of cash at this point?

EVA MCKEND, CNN U.S. NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: It does. There were still some donors that wanted to go the distance with her. But at this

stage, she only won one state, the State of Vermont in the District of Columbia. It seems like this was a natural transition.

She had always said that Republican voters deserved a choice, that there should not be coordination and she at least wanted to stay in the race

through Super Tuesday. But now at this point, it just seems untenable. Former President Donald Trump will have the necessary delegates likely to

officially earn the nomination by March 12.

But really now Becky, the race is on between Biden and Trump to try to capture Haley supporters. I've spent the last several months on the

campaign trail going to her rallies in different States. And it wasn't uncommon to meet Democrats at these rallies.

It wasn't uncommon to meet independents or Republicans who voted for the Former President Trump in 2016 then switched their vote to Biden in 2020.

And are now looking for an alternative altogether and looking for an alternative in Haley. And so both Biden and Trump now have to make the case

to bring those voters into their camp.


ANDERSON: Could she be an alternative candidate? Neither Democrat nor Republican, we hear much about these No Labels movement that is out there.

Is that conceivable at this point that she will be in the race, just not representing the Republican Party?

MCKEND: Listen, the Ambassador is very ambitious. And I believe that she wants a future in the Republican Party. So I don't see her joining with No

Labels or mounting an independent bid. Although there is certainly an appetite from some Americans for that some of the folks showing up to her

events, said that she wished, they wished that she would run as an independent.

But no, I do not see that there will be a lot of pressure on her from the Republican establishment to ultimately endorsed Trump. But you know she can

take her time here because the RNC the establishment really abandoned her and did not stay neutral in this process. So I suspect she may eventually

get there and endorsing Trump, but she's going to take her sweet time, Becky.

ANDERSON: Eva, it's good to have you. Thank you. So what more will Donald Trump have to do to get Haley's supporters to back him as the Republican

candidate? Let's bring in Former Trump Administration official, Matt Mowers. He joins us live from New York.

Great having you today, Matt, we'll hear from Haley in the next hour. What do you think we're likely to hear from Donald Trump after her announcement?

After all, as we understand it, she is not likely to back in today.

MATT MOWERS, FORMER TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. And look, it's going to take a little bit of time for some wounds to heal over. I mean, it was a

very personal fight between Ambassador Haley and President Trump. President Trump clearly displeased that someone he had appointed to U.N. Ambassador a

very prestigious job, particularly from the viewpoint of Americans you know is then willing to step up and run against him.

And then you saw that vitriol continue on the campaign trail, whether it was when Former President Trump attacked Nikki Haley's husband for serving

the military, whether it's some of the nicknames, you certainly saw Ambassador Haley, ratchet up the rhetoric against Donald Trump, especially

as she went to South Carolina on Super Tuesday.

And so I do believe she will end up endorsing President Trump. I think it's going to take a little time to mend some of those wounds. And as far as her

supporters go, they really are. They're not monolithic. You've got a number of Democrats who voted for her and states for the head, open primaries are

no party registration, folks who have never voted for Donald Trump.

You've got some independents that are looking for a Trump alternative. And you also do have a number of Republicans who when you actually go into

focus groups, or you pull them, they say, we love the Trump policies give us the tax cuts, the energy regulation.

Give us the even some of the international and foreign relations, components and policies, but we just don't like the personality, Donald

Trump's going to have to focus on those policies, compare them to life under Joe Biden to win some of them over.

ANDERSON: Yeah, this is interesting, isn't it? And that begs the question, will Donald Trump candidacy fight, be different to the last one he fought

and lost against President Biden, will it look more like the 2016 campaign? I mean, you talk about him needing at this point, to focus on policy,

because that is, what will differentiate himself.

Not least, for example, on immigration, or they Biden would argue -- you know they have got a very robust immigration position. But is that what you

see is -- who is this? What's this candidate going to look like?

MOWERS: Yeah, it's going to look a lot more like 2016 than it did in 2020. You have to remember in 2020 President Biden's favorable ratings were

actually quite high. Americans, generally speaking, felt like he was a well-meaning individual that he was a serious adult who could maybe become

President and then obviously did become President.

That's no longer the case. If you look at his favorable, unfavorable ratings or his image rating, it is significantly worse than President

Trump's in a number of key swing states, and not only in key swing states, but also some blue states and more Democratic leaning states, where

President Biden is having a hard time right now.

And that's really as a result of two different things. One, the issue of immigration is no longer just an issue that Republican voters care about.

Republican voters, conservative voters have traditionally always cared about the issues around immigration, is now much broader than that you have

voters in the middle and even Democrats who are ranking immigration as their number one issue that they're concerned about.


President Biden has to find a message for them while not alienating his base, and he also has to find a way simultaneously to actually gin up

enthusiasm among young voters, voters of color who are traditionally a cornerstone of a democratic coalition to elect a Democratic President, who

right now are underwhelmed by President Biden and his first term. And are maybe trying to figure out do they support him, stay home or maybe consider

an alternative third party candidacy as well.

ANDERSON: Matt, it was interesting, as you were speaking, we put up a poll identifying the difference between support for Donald Trump and Nikki Haley

as candidates very specifically highlighting the issue of immigration. Those polled here had 80 percent favorability for Donald Trump when it came

to immigration policy and only a 20 percent for Haley.

And that's you know the others I mean, foreign policy abortion the economy that they're much closer. Do you identify immigration as one of the sort of

key reasons why Donald Trump ultimately beat out Haley? After all, we know there are massive bases that were going to vote for Trump, whatever.

But you know we're it to have been closer. Would it have been on the issue of immigration ultimately, do you think that was for the counted?

MOWERS: Yeah, it would be I mean, if Donald Trump's identified with any singular policy area, it is the border, it is immigration, if you go back

to when he launched his campaign, in June of 2015, before the 2016 campaign, the issue he focused on was building the wall and the influx of

migration into the United States.

He continued to U.S. most controversial policies, the biggest policy fights when he was in office were around the issue of immigration. He's well

defined on the issue and a time right now, when you have not just conservative media, not just conservative thinkers.

But really those involved large, saying that immigration is the key issue that this administration has to tackle, Donald Trump has seen the political

windfall of having been talking about this issue well before many others did, and not only talk about it, but receive a lot of incoming political

attacks from his political adversaries over the course of the last eight years. You're now seeing him actually see some of the political benefit of

having talked about that for so long.

ANDERSON: Matt, is there a chance that Nikki Haley could get an opportunity to serve again, under what could be, were it to be a Donald Trump

Administration? I'm not going to even ask you whether you think that she would be his running mate. But tell me if I'm wrong, not to ask you. But I

am talking about whether you think that she would serve she would be offered a position in his administration?

MOWERS: Well you know with President Trump, there is always a way back in you know he is a businessman by mindset training and life. So what it means

is that some days you do a deal with someone some days you do deal with someone else or maybe on the opposite end of the negotiating table.

This one is definitely more personal. I would be highly suspect that he would offer a position and even more so I'd be suspect that Ambassador

Haley would accept any position from President Trump other than maybe the Vice Presidential nomination in order to go serve.

You know having served as U.N. Ambassador, the there's only a few jobs that she might even consider. One would, of course, be Secretary of State, or

maybe Vice President. I think it is unlikely President Trump would offer that position to her especially because if you look at the areas of policy

where they disagrees the most.

It was on National Security and Foreign Policy, Ambassador Haley was vocal in her support for additional funding for Ukraine. She was vocal in her

steadfast support, not just for Israel, but also for Bibi Netanyahu. You had heard Former President Trump actually offer some critiques of Bibi

Netanyahu over time.

And so you do see that those are some of the biggest schisms between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump. So I don't think you're going to see her as

Secretary of State. And unless Donald Trump truly believed he needed her support, and he needed her as Vice President to win, which most would say

there's other options for him. I don't suspect he's going to ask her to become the Vice Presidential nominee either.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Well, we are at the beginning of March. We have a long road ahead of us before the first week in November. Thank you, sir.

Good to have you. Still to come, Hamas responds in the strongest terms to a new ceasefire proposal as negotiators in Egypt scrambled to reach a deal.

And while the crossfire on Lebanon's border with Israel may appear marginal as the month of Ramadan approaches some fear. It could be the launching pad

for a regional war. We will explain the recent exchange of attacks up next.



ANDERSON: Well we want you gone from quote, every inch in Gaza. That is the message for Israel from Hamas after it was presented with a ceasefire

proposal from Egyptian and Qatari mediators. Talks have been ongoing in Cairo to try and secure the release of the hostages held in Gaza and to

ensure a pause in the fighting.

Hamas said Tuesday that no prisoner exchange will happen until there is a permanent ceasefire. Meantime, after being forced to defend a recent veto

on a ceasefire resolution at the United Nations on Monday, a diplomatic source now tells CNN that the United States has circulated a revised

resolution which calls for an immediate but temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all hostages.

CNN's Jennifer Hansler is following all developments from the State Department. And, Jennifer, it does feel as if this is sort of two steps

forward, two steps back as it were both what is going on with regard the UNSC. But perhaps more importantly at this point you know what is going on

in Cairo?

You could argue that actually not much has changed in the past three months, but the effort, the momentum to try and get a pause in this

fighting in Gaza and the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. And of course, the important humanitarian aid into the strip is

front and center at this point.

Just tell us what we know specifically about whether or not there is any sense of optimism that we will get any deal anytime soon?

JENNIFER HANSLER, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTER: Well, Becky, I think any sense of optimism is quickly fading away about the prospect of getting any

sort of deal on the table before Ramadan that starts in just a few short days. We heard the U.S. President last week reflecting a sense that this

could be done by yesterday or two days ago.

Of course, that has not come to be the case. There are still these huge gaps remaining between Hamas, Israel and the negotiators on any sort of

deal to get that immediate ceasefire and release the hostages. One of those biggest issues we had heard over the past few days was the release of the


Israel wanted names of those hostages that would be released in the first and second stages of any sort of deal Hamas saying that would not be

possible until there was a ceasefire in place and yesterday doubling down saying they would not release anyone until such a ceasefire was in place.


And we have seen the urgency of the humanitarian situation on the ground really coming to the fore here U.S. officials have increased the ratcheting

of pressure. They are bringing that message to Netanyahu's main political foe Benny Gantz he was in D.C. over the past few days.

And they let him know loud and clear that more must be done to address that situation regardless if there is a ceasefire in place. They say more

crossings must be opened to allow aid into Gaza, particularly in the north. They need to see those convoys with the aid protected, and they need Israel

to take those choices now.

This is a message that he is expected to hear also today in the United Kingdom from David Cameron, who is the Foreign Secretary there. And the

U.S. is expected to continue to ratchet up those calls in the coming days as they have had to resort to air dropping aid into the beleaguered strip,


ANDERSON: This is very controversial at best. Jennifer, thank you. Well in an expansion of this conflict beyond Gaza's borders Israel and Hezbollah

are trading attacks once again, on the Lebanese-Israeli border. Israel launched a strike into Southern Lebanon early on Wednesday after Hezbollah

lobbed missiles into the Israeli City of Kiryat Shmona (ph).

Hezbollah says its attack was in response to an Israeli airstrike in the Lebanese town of Hula on Tuesday that killed three civilians. This exchange

of fire does not seem to be letting up. Let's discuss this with CNN's Paula Hancocks, who joins me here. And behind the scenes for some time now.

There have been real concerns about the possibility of this second front opening up and opening up significantly. And those concerns really

ratcheted up at this point.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I mean, we've heard from Biden Administration officials and the intelligence officials in the

United States telling CNN, that they do have serious concerns that Israel is going to carry out some kind of incursion into Lebanon.

Now they believe it may happen, potentially, when there's a ceasefire in Gaza. We've heard from Israeli officials as well, saying that just because

there's a ceasefire in Gaza doesn't mean that the northern front is going to quieten down. In fact, just yesterday, we heard from Yoav Gallant, the

Israeli Defense Minister, saying that they were very close to making a strategic decision when it comes to military activities in Lebanon.

And I'm told by everyone I speak to this isn't going to be 2006 war, replayed out. This is going to be a lot worse, this could be a lot more

deadly on both sides of the border, it could be particularly ugly and it could last some time.

ANDERSON: Some 70,000 displaced on both sides of those borders, the Israelis pushing for a huge buffer zone, sort of away from the Israeli

border. So they would feel comfortable about bringing people back to their homes on the Israeli side, on the Lebanese side of course, as many people

have been displaced at this point and things not looking good by any stretch of the imagination.

It's good to have you, Paula. Before I let you go, the humanitarian situation in Gaza. We've just been talking to Jennifer Hansler about where

-- you know these talks have landed this week, as far as say a deal to release hostages and get a temporary truce on the ground is concerned.

These talks aren't going anywhere, anytime soon it seems. Meantime, the picture on the ground gets worse.

HANCOCKS: It's horrific. I mean, it's absolutely horrific. And at this point, you don't seem to be able to see a way out. You have Israel's main

ally, the United States doing air drops, which is a last resort to try and get aid to the people that need it. Now they have consistently said to

Israel, you need to open up more checkpoints along the border between Israel and Gaza.

There are two in the north and one we understand from Israeli officials has been damaged, but there are two that you could use to get aid into Northern

Gaza where it is desperately needed even more so than in the south. And then you have the World Food Programme saying that they were stopped from

getting to Northern Gaza.

They were stopped by the Israeli military with 14 trucks full of food and goods that they desperately needed. They were stuck at a checkpoint for

three hours and then turned back and at that time is when they say the trucks were looted. I mean, looted is a potentially not the right word for

this desperate people got to that food.


So it wasn't an ordinary -- an orderly excuse me distribution, and it didn't get to Northern Gaza where it is desperately needed so once again,

Israel restricting the humanitarian aid even within the Gaza Strip.

ANDERSON: And every agency you talk to now talks about famine. They talk about the possibility of famine for an entire population. They talk about

starvation. They talk about sort of mass malnutrition four or five people. Four or five of those in the world who are hungry at present are people

living in Gaza.

And so it goes on the absurdity of what we see at present, thank you. Well, of course, this is one of the main stories featured in CNN. Meanwhile, in

the Middle East newsletter, both Israel and Lebanon are bracing themselves for a potentially dangerous escalation.

Those impacted are always the civilians caught in the middle there and of course, as we've been describing in Gaza, read about their stories and

their lives and those who are in Gaza who frankly, can't tell them their stories themselves. That is on Let's get you up to speed on some

of the other stories that are on our radar right now.

And you are looking at live pictures of Polish farmers protesting the country's -- in the country's capital Warsaw, they say agricultural imports

from Ukraine along with the EU's climate plan known as the Green Deal are hurting their business. The Polish farmers have been demonstrating their

anger since February.

The U.N. Security Council is holding an emergency meeting later on the spike in violence in Haiti. Armed gangs have attacked police stations and

prisons in what one gang leader describes as an attempt to force the Prime Minister to step down. The government has declared a state of emergency and


In Alabama state lawmakers are set today to vote on a measure protecting IVF providers and patients. This comes after that recent state Supreme

Court ruling stating that frozen embryos are children. At least two fertility clinics that are closed as a result say they will reopen if they

are protected by law.

Well, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson here on CNN. And still to come and check on how the markets are reacting to an

election rematch between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump that is the likelihood at this point.

Plus, Cairo pulls the trigger on a long awaited move hoping to save an economy on the brink of collapse but what will it mean for everyday

Egyptians, more on that is coming up.



ANDERSON: Well, that is the Opening Bell on Wall Street, trading has begun on the New York Stock Exchange. Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson, in Abu

Dhabi and you are watching "Connect the World". Well, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has said there's no rush to cut interest rates. That

means more pain for Americans who have already faced almost two years of elevated borrowing costs on everything from car loans to mortgages.

His written comments come amid concerns from some on Wall Street that inflation's descent might be stalling. And the U.S. woke up to big election

news this morning, Nikki Haley dropping out of the Republican nomination race after big losses in yesterday's Super Tuesday Primaries. Let's see how

these markets then are reacting to a likely rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and Powell's comments today.

Look, I mean, this isn't the only reason why they'll they will be moving, but they're certainly not moving in a southerly direction. Well the NASDAQ

full of tech stocks, they're up some 1 percent, two-thirds higher for the S&P and a similar story on the DOW Jones Industrials. Well, cash strapped

Egypt is taking drastic measures as it deals with its worst economic crisis in decades.

The Egyptian pound hit a record low today weakening more than 35 percent after the country's Central Bank hiked interest rates and said it would let

the currency trade freely. Following the move, Reuters reports the IMF has just approved a long awaited $8 billion loan to Egypt in response. Now

look, Egypt has been struggling with a chronic shortage of foreign currency and persistent inflation which has reached unprecedented levels in recent


Well to break this down for us, joining us to discuss this is Timothy Kaldas. He's Deputy Director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East

Policy. Put this in simple terms for us if you will. Explain the potential short and long term effects of what is this float, this devaluation in the

first instance?

TIMOTHY KALDAS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, TAHRIR INSTITUTE FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY: Sure I mean it all depends on if this is genuinely a float or if it's

devaluation. So you're right to actually say both in the past and Egypt has said they flooded the pound. They actually devalued and continued to manage

it which led to a number of problems.

If it's truly a float it's going to result in at least a period of some instability as the currency arrives at some balance and equilibrium in the

market. There are potential inflationary consequences, but a lot of the goods in the Egyptian market are already priced at the black market rate,

which was significantly higher than even what the official rate is trading at now. It reached at one point as much as 70 Egyptian pounds to the dollar

whereas to the official rate is currently at 50.

So it still remains to be seen. In the long term it really depends again, on what the government does if it actually reforms in the ways that it's

pledged to and reining in the military's companies, reducing the large number of unaffordable and poorly planned mega projects, these sorts of


Maybe it could be a sign that you know they're moving in a more sustainable direction. But if they take this as an opportunity to borrow more money and

spend it unwisely, then unfortunately, we're going to see another crisis in the not too distant future.

ANDERSON: Well, these reforms, ensuring that the military played a less significant role in the economy going forward. What part of a package

demanded by the IMF in order to get the significant loan that Egypt has been waiting for? Reuters now reporting just in the last hour or so that

the IMF has now approved that much awaited $8 billion loan to Egypt increased from 3 billion previously.

Do you tie these moves to float the pound? And as you say, you know if that's really what we're looking at here very specifically to what we have

just reported this IMF loan now delivered or about to be delivered?


KALDAS: No, absolutely. There's no doubt that the IMF approving increasing the size of Egypt's loan that was originally agreed to in 2022, is in

direct response to the flotation of the pound. However, if the pound proves not to be floating, they might not disperse that money. That's already the

case with the loan from 2022.

Where because the pound wasn't floating and other forms weren't implemented, the IMF never actually dispersed most of that $3 billion

dollars that was originally agreed to. So it remains to be seen that the loan will actually be dispersed in the tranches in the years to come. And

that really depends a lot on what the government does, and to what extent it sticks to its word.

ANDERSON: What do you make of or how significant is the $35 billion deal struck late last month with one of the sovereign wealth funds here in the

UAE 80Q to develop parts of Egypt's Mediterranean coast and elsewhere? I mean, how does that play into this wider story?

KALDAS: It's a major factor. So the Egyptian authorities were very uncomfortable floating the pound without a large kind of war chest of hard

currency, to kind of shore up confidence and be able to combat speculative spikes in the price of the dollar. So the injection of other huge sum of

money from the UAE gave them that war chest.

And I think it was instrumental in their comfort and willingness to make this move today. And just once again, though, we have to hope that this

money is used prudently unlike the last decade, frankly. And additionally, I would say that Egyptians, I mean, I have mixed feelings about this deal.

Because for the last couple of years, it's felt like the Egyptian government has been selling public assets, public companies more or less

under duress due to the extraordinary financial strain that Egyptian state is under. And that's in no small part due to the way that CCN and his

partners have leveraged the state recklessly to consolidate power and enrich regime owned enterprises.

ANDERSON: Right, yeah, and interest in further deals, as I understand it, from Qatar and from, from Saudi Arabia. These Gulf countries have in the

past certainly the Saudis and the UAE provided sort of aiding cash to Egypt.

It now seems -- you know that -- that there is there is money forthcoming, but there has to be something at the back end of it. And herein lies the --

you know these deals about land last question to you, what is this -- what does this all mean, for the average Egyptian?

I mean, we're looking at official figures of Egypt's annual rate of inflation over 31 percent in January. These economic woes aren't sudden,

are they? I mean you know what are the Egyptians been going through and what can they expect next?

KALDAS: Egyptians have suffered an almost endless series of economic crises for the last decade unprecedented levels of inflation on multiple

occasions, multiple collapses in their currency. When Sisi took power, the Egyptian pound was about seven pounds to the U.S. dollar, and today it's at

50. So, but unfortunately, I think that the best case scenario in the short to medium term for most Egyptians is that the deterioration will slow down.

This the cumulative impact of impoverishing Egyptians through unprecedented levels of inflation, collapsing their purchasing power and also a serious

hit to their ability to purchase nutritious food for themselves and their families. That's going to be with them for quite some time. And it's going

to take a long time to address that.

And I genuinely hope that the government uses these new resources to invest in health, education, social protection. All these things have been

underfunded. And in violation of Egypt's constitution, they've been funding them at lower rates than the constitution requires.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, sir. Your insight and analysis is extremely important. Thank you. Well, Egypt of course, shares a border with Gaza and

the border city of Rafah is a main entry point for aid. We know the story we've been reporting it day-in day-out. Most of the displays in Gaza are

right on that border. There have been concerns about displacement across that border. Egypt has suggested that is a complete red line.

But of course there's ongoing conflict on its border and has had an impact on the Egyptian economy as we have been explained already in a very bad

place. Well still to come, a shakeup in the race for the White House.


The last major Republican candidate to challenge Donald Trump set to announce that she is dropping out. But will Nikki Haley now through her

weight behind her former boss, the former president. Plus, the stakes are high as one of Donald Trump's legal cases faces a key hearing today in

Georgia. More on both of those is coming up.


ANDERSON: Well in less than 30 minutes from now, we are expecting that Nikki Haley will officially announce that she is dropping out of the U.S.

Republican race. It comes after the Republican lost every state, but won Vermont in Super Tuesday's contests. The move will pave the way for a

November rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Was a key hearing tied to one of Donald Trump's legal cases today?

Defense Attorney Ashleigh Merchant is expected to testify next hour in front of the Georgia State Senate committee investigating the actions of

Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis. Now Merchant is one of the attorneys trying to disqualify Willis and her office from prosecuting Trump

and his allies in the 2020 Georgia election interference case.

Merchant claims that Willis's romantic relationship with one of the attorneys prosecuting Trump created a conflict of interest. Look, if you're

new to this story, I want to just help you get your arms around it. For those who aren't new to this story, it's never a bad thing to just get us

bang up to date on what is going on. CNN's Nick Valencia, following today's hearing in Atlanta, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this is just been a spectacle in one word. This has been a process that has gone on for the last several

months as they've been investigating Fani Willis into whether or not she's misused public funds, whether or not she has committed an error here and a

conflict of interest by hiring Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor.

And today for the Georgia Senate Committee, this is effectively day one and what will be a very long, likely long process of their investigation into

her misuse, potential misuse of public funds. They don't have the power to remove Fani Willis. I want to be clear about that. They do though, have the

power to draft new legislation and try to pass new laws.

And in the immediate term, make her life very difficult by using their power to subpoena and that's exactly what they've done today. They've

subpoenaed Ashleigh Merchant and she was the Defense Attorney for Trump Co- defendant Mike Romain. He's the Former Trump campaign official.

And Merchant and Romain were the first level these bombshell allegations that Fani Willis was involved in their words in an improper relationship. I

spoke to Ashleigh Merchant last night she says she expects to be asked about the money surrounding this case, the money that has changed hands.


And she has been able to obtain documents, invoices, contracts of the three special prosecutors involved on this case hired by Fani Willis. Those

contracts show a discrepancy of about $100 and the hourly rate between the two special prosecutors when compared to her alleged boyfriend, Nathan

Wade. And also we're not expecting to hear anything really that we haven't heard already in court.

But the difference here is that, Ashleigh Merchant will be facing the questions. She'll be questioned by a bipartisan committee, six Republicans

and three Democrats. We expect her testimony to start in the 10 am hour.

But she's already testifying right now just going through some preliminary sort of background information about you know, her time as a lawyer. But

this is expected to potentially be just another difficult day for Fani Willis as she's trying to keep her head above water here and facing this

disqualification. Becky?

ANDERSON: Good to have you, sir. Thank you. Well ahead on "Connect the World" Nikki Haley sets drop out of the U.S. Presidential Race. What her

looming exit could mean for Donald Trump and for Republicans who did not vote for the Former President on Super Tuesday.


ANDERSON: Right, we are just minutes away now from what is a big announcement by Nikki Haley. We know what she's going to say. She is going

to drop out of the U.S. Presidential Race, a day after the Super Tuesday primaries. Haley won only one of the 15 states voting for Republicans

yesterday, the results of virtually cementing the Republican nomination for Former President Donald Trump and setting up a November rematch likely with

President Joe Biden.

We'll bring you Haley's remarks live. CNN's Senior Political Commentator, Scott Jennings joins me now. He is a conservative columnist and was a

special assistant to President George W. Bush. It's good to have you, sir.


ANDERSON: Should we be surprised that Haley is very likely to announce she's dropping out in the next 15 minutes?

JENNINGS: No surprise at all, these presidential campaigns usually end because you run out of two things money or patience. And I think she may

have run out of both in this particular case. Trump almost has enough delegates to be the nominee.

And obviously Nikki Haley has learned in state after state that this particular Republican Party, the people who make it up today are more

interested in giving Trump a third shot than going back to an era that predates Trump, which was kind of the era that Haley represented.

ANDERSON: We're just learning that Haley's team told donors in recent weeks that Super Tuesday was the day to watch. She no longer has the significant

support that she would need from these big donors. Don't she?

JENNINGS: Yeah. I mean, these people are not interested in throwing good money after bad. I mean, the math is the math. There's no path for Nikki

Haley to be the Republican nominee. And a lot of these people, probably at some juncture too know they're going to wind up wanting to be with Donald

Trump against Joe Biden in the fall.

Not all, some of them may be against Trump all the way through. But some of them are going to want to be with Donald Trump. And at some point you have

to bow to the reality of the situation.


ANDERSON: Where did those big donors go from here, Scott?

JENNINGS: Some of them will go with Trump, because they don't think the direction of the country under Joe Biden is good. Some of them probably

really don't like Donald Trump, and they'll continue to invest in Joe Biden or other organizations that are going to try to defeat Donald Trump. So I

think you're going to see diffusion.

But generally, Haley's candidacy had become an avatar for the Never Trump movement. Some of those people were former Republicans, some are Democrats,

some are Independents. But basically she became the leader, effectively the leader of the Never Trump movement. I'm not surprised, by the way that in

her speech, she's not going to endorse Trump today.

I don't know if she ever will, maybe she will. But who she represents is a bloc of voters and some donors, who fundamentally will never back Donald

Trump for President even if they ever did.

ANDERSON: And what sort of percentages are we looking at there? I mean, how -- how big bloc of Americans are we talking about there?

JENNINGS: Well, I think we're overestimating the number of people who voted for Haley that could possibly come back to Donald Trump. We refer to them

here as Republican primary voters but if you look at the exit polls that we conducted at CNN.

And if you look at the opinion polling that was conducted by "The New York Times", over the weekend, you can see a lot of these people are Democrats

or Independents who behave like Democrats, or are Republicans, but Republicans who have effectively left the party in the era of Trump.

So it's not like a bunch of Trump voters switched to Nikki Haley. And now we'll be going back. Largely these people weren't with Trump to begin with.

So what is the block? I mean, look, Trump's got issues, college educated suburban voters, there's no doubt he's got issues with those people. But a

lot of the folks in that group that went with Haley, they were already against Trump anyway, they were against Trump in 2020. And I don't

anticipate them coming back.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you. I think we know what we're going to hear top of this hour. But it's important that we hear it from the horse's mouth

as it were. And we will hear from Nikki Haley as she is going to announce that she's dropping out of the race. And she will not be as we understand

it, endorsing Donald Trump at this point, at least, as you point out. Scott, good to have you thank you very much indeed Scott Jennings in the


That is it for this hour of "Connect the World". But of course, we'll be back after this very short break with the second hour of this show in which

we will bring you Nikki Haley's speech. More on that is coming up.



ANDERSON: Well, hello, and welcome to the show. I'm Becky Anderson for you out of Abu Dhabi. Any moment now we are going to hear from Nikki Haley, the

former South Carolina Governor, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations set to announce that she is dropping out of the U.S. Presidential

Race after the Super Tuesday primaries.

Haley lost all but one of the 15 states where Republicans voted yesterday to former President Donald Trump. Of note sources say Haley will not

endorse Trump, at least not today. He will face Joe Biden in a November rematch.

We'll bring you Haley's remarks as soon as she starts speaking. And Erica Hill is in New York as we wait for Haley to take to the stage. Let's just

discuss what we expect to hear, just import, how important -- hello, Erica, just how important is this moment in the election season to American

voters? Let's start there.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So for a lot of American voters, Becky, this is really the inevitable solidifying. There

has been so much talk both in the U.S. and abroad about how this was expected to in fact, be a rematch of 2020 between Donald Trump and Joe


And Donald Trump, as you have seen, and as you just pointed out, even on Super Tuesday, taking 14 of those 15 contests. He has done very well with

voters thus far in the primaries and caucuses in the United States. So it is an important moment because it solidifies this race moving forward. So

for the next eight plus months, it will now clearly be this rematch of 2020.

ANDERSON: Much discussion about this being inevitable. And I guess it was you know, clearly, she'd been speaking to donors recently, the big donors

and -- said Super Tuesday, you know, is where it's all at this point.

And clearly the math doesn't add up to her gaining the candidacy at this point. But she could have waited until conference season, couldn't she? By

that stage, she could have banked on the fact as far as her -- will be concerned that Donald Trump might be convicted by then.

HILL: Well, so to your point, what's interesting is, what we were expected, what we are expecting with the reporting from our colleague, Jeff Zeleny,

is that what you should be listening for in terms of what she is going to say is that, Nikki Haley will likely use the word suspending. She is

suspending her campaign.