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Connect the World

Deep Israeli Frustration over U.S. Weapons Pause; Biden: I've Created more than 15 Million Job; Biden: U.S. is not Walking Away from Israel's Security; Trump Criticizes Biden's Decision on Israel; Stormy Daniels Back on Stand as Hush Money Trial Resumes; China's Xi Jinping Receives Warm Welcome in Hungary. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired May 09, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello, it is 5 pm in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson and you are watching "Connect the World". This

hour, we're following the very latest on Israel's operation in Rafah with an eye on continued ceasefire negotiations. The news driver today, U.S.

President Joe Biden's exclusive interview with CNN, we'll be bringing you the whole of that conversation.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: And it is 9 am here in New York, where Former President Trump has just arrived at the courthouse behind me. And we are

waiting for day two of testimony from Stormy Daniels, Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you for that, back to you later. We begin with a CNN exclusive for the first time. The U.S. President has said he will stop

sending bombs and artillery shells to Israel if Israel pushes ahead with a major invasion of Rafah. That is the Gazan city, which the U.N. says is

quote, hanging on the edge of a precipice saying around 79,000 people have fled for their lives since Monday alone.

Israel is expanding its operations there as we speak, even as aid groups warn of an all-out humanitarian catastrophe, just one of the many

horrifying concerns, lack of sanitation causing sickness that can and does kill children. Well, those illnesses being seen at 20 times their normal


This is the U.N. says no goods entered Gaza through its key crossings on Wednesday. Well, the U.S. has already paused, a shipment of bombs to Israel

over concerns about their potential use in Rafah, President Biden told CNN's Erin Burnett why further restrictions could be ahead.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I've made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet. They're not going to get our support, if in fact

they go on these population centers when I'm walking away from Israel security, walking away Israel's ability to wage war in those areas.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT: So it's not over your red line yet?

BIDEN: Not yet. But it's we've held up with the weapons -- we've held up that one shipment.


ANDERSON: That red line, of course, was Joe Biden back in March, saying that without a credible plan to protect civilians. The U.S. would not

support an invasion or incursion into Rafah. Well, more on that interview is ahead first, to Jeremy Diamond in Jerusalem. And Jeremy, both you and I

have listened to that interview a number of times.

Now, of course, Israel's ambassador to the U.N. also, hearing that interview, Gilad Erdan had this to say, quote, I don't attribute bad

intentions to the president. But I think it's quite clear that any pressure on Israel, any restrictions imposed on Israel, even if they are from close

allies who want our best interests are interpreted by our enemies.

And that could be Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah as something that gives them hope to succeed in their goals. That was the as far as I can tell, first

and early response to CNN's exclusive interview with Joe Biden in which he said he will not be sending any further bombs and ammunition if they are to

be used on the civilian population of Rafah. What other responses have we had from Israeli officials?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there have been different responses depending on where Israeli politicians fall on the political

spectrum. But one thing is clear is that this is being viewed as a fulcrum moment as an inflection point in U.S.-Israeli relations.

Many of the folks I've been talking to simply cannot remember a time when an American President has gone so far as to threaten American weapons

shipments security assistance to Israel, or based on Israeli actions on the ground. It certainly has not happened for decades at a minimum, and we are

getting different reactions.

The most heated are of course, coming from the far right members of Prime Minister Netanyahu's governing coalition. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National

Security Minister, for example, posting this tweet writing Hamas loves Biden, a bit more of a substantive response from another member of the far



Bezalel Smotrich who was saying that Israel must now continue this war until quote, victory and saying to a certain extent because of Biden's

opposition that Israel should continue with its plans to go with an all- out, a ground offensive into that City of Rafah where about 1.4 million Palestinians are currently living.

We have yet to actually get a full on substantive response from the Israeli Prime Minister. But certainly, some of his allies' members of the Likud are

outraged by this decision by the president. Others on the center left of the Israeli political spectrum like Yair Lapid, for example, are blaming

failed management by the Netanyahu administration effectively saying that it is Netanyahu's fault.

Those things have gotten so bad between the U.S. and Israel that this disagreement has spilled out in such a public fashion. Now, the question of

course, Becky, is, how will this impact Israeli decision making, as far as Rafah is concerned? Will it make the Israeli government reconsider what

they have said, our plans to continue to expand this ground operation in Rafah up until there is either a ceasefire and hostage deal, or until Hamas

is destroyed all together, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yeah, there's clear concern in the administration, that Israel is simply not heeding the U.S. warnings against that major offensive and

hence, what we are now hearing from the U.S. President. Thank you, Jeremy. On the ground, the United Nations is just one of the entities sounding the

alarm over the desperate need for aid and supplies into Gaza, including a critical need for fuel. One UNICEF staffer told CNN that people's lives

hang in the balance. Have a listen.


HAMISH YOUNG, UNICEF SENIOR EMERGENCY COORDINATOR: When that fuel runs out, life support systems in hospitals stop. All hospitals are running on

generators, all the mains power for Gaza was switched off a long time ago. So people on ventilators, I don't know what happens to them when the

ventilators stopped running.

Children in incubators, little tiny babies, often it's two and three, jammed into one incubator because we haven't been able to bring enough in

those incubators stop running. So I think it's safe to say that those people are extreme risk, and probably a large number will die when the fuel

runs out.


ANDERSON: We've got more on this ongoing story, on the website, of course say you can find and subscribe to our newsletter, "Meanwhile in the Middle

East" for an inside look at what are the biggest, most important stories around this region. It's not just conflict.

There are, of course a myriad of other stories, but they are reflected there in our newsletter that is, "Meanwhile, in the Middle East". Or for

now I want to hand over to Erica Hill. She's following Donald Trump's hush money trial from outside the Manhattan courthouse, Erica.

HILL: Becky, Thank you. So the former president here at the courthouse now court begins at just about 2020 minutes or so from now and it will be day

two for Stormy Daniels on the witness stand. Of course, that first day of testimony certainly on cross examination from the defense got a little


At times, there were a number of salacious details as well that we learned about the former president. CNN's Brynn Gingras has been covering this from

the very beginning. So, Brynn what more are we expecting today? I know the defense has said they plan to make this cross examination last a little bit

longer than they had initially intended. And that's because of Stormy Daniels -- Stormy Daniels rather first day of testimony.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you know, they said that they weren't really seeing her as a main witness to the charges that

are at hand, right? The business fraud charge or the --


HILL: It's early.

GINGRAS: Anyway -- But yeah, so they didn't see her as a main witness. And so they didn't expect to cross examine her very long. But when she was on

the prosecution side, essentially some of the things she was saying, in particular, the fact that she was sort of insinuating that the sexual

relationship between Donald Trump and her which he denies was not consensual, they didn't like that.

So sources are telling us that now they're going to take a lot longer on this cross examination because they want to sort of repair some of the

reputation that they believe was damaged with her testimony. And, you know, look, she was on the super 90 minutes so it's not like she was on there for

a short time, but it does sound like they're going to go a whole lot longer with her.

HILL: So in terms of going a whole lot longer, did they give any indication of how they intend to repair what they see as the damage done to Donald

Trump's character and his reputation?

GINGRAS: I mean, I think we're going to see more firing questions at her. I mean, they were not you know -- we're going right at.

HILL: Yes.

GINGRAS: It was like an attack dog with Susan Necheles as the Defense Attorney questioning her one after another, getting her to admit that she

hates Donald Trump on the stand getting her you know, trying to question her credibility, questioning her motives.


I do think one thing that I think a lot of people are going to be looking out for, is how -- what does she like on the stand right?

HILL: Yeah.

GINGRAS: Because on Tuesday she was brought up it was her first day. She was very composed talk very fast, but was very composed apparently while

prosecution was asking their questions, but once the defense started asking, apparently she got a little bit more agitated.

HILL: Yes.

GINGRAS: -- she was short. So we'll see if the day in between where we were dark and court.

HILL: Yeah.

GINGRAS: Has given her some time to sort of prepare for what's about to come.

HILL: Absolutely. And a couple of I know where basically I was having some interesting people in court today, including Rick Scott.


HILL: Who may or may not be on the shortlist as a, VP pick for Donald Trump, but he does definitely have some support there in the courtroom


GINGRAS: Yeah, he is getting a lot of support.

HILL: Yeah. All right, Brynn, appreciate it. Thank you. I will have much more on that of course, from here in New York. Becky, as the coverage

continues, again, just about 20 minutes or so until court gets underway for this day. It is day two of Stormy Daniels testimony so we'll have much more

on that ahead.

ANDERSON: Appreciate it, Erica, thank you. Well, the U.S. President made headlines, global headlines talking to CNN about America's red lines on the

war in Gaza. He had much more to say about Gaza as well as the economy and the upcoming presidential election more of Erin Burnett's exclusive

interview is up next.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson now to our CNN exclusive my colleague Erin Burnett's interview

with the U.S. President Joe Biden. They talked about the war in Gaza. And for the first time Mr. Biden lays out conditions on U.S. military aid to

Israel. They also discussed his rematch with Donald Trump and the number one issue for American voters, the economy.


BURNETT: Mr. President, thank you so much for being with me.

BIDEN: Thanks for having me.

BURNETT: So Trump attended a groundbreaking here where we are for Foxconn. He promised 13,000 jobs and only about 1000 of those actually exists right

now. So I know you're promising more than 2000 union construction jobs, and that 100,000 people are going to get trained in AI here. Why should people

here believe that you will succeed at creating jobs where Trump failed?

BIDEN: He's never succeeded in creating jobs. And I've never failed. I've created over 15 million jobs -- president 15 million in 3 quarter years.

And secondly, Microsoft is a serious player. And they're very much engaged in making sure that they pick this area as sort of the home base for their

AI initiative in the nation. And they're going to do it.


And just like, and by the way, well, I shouldn't go no, but Trump is he started off with a -- you know --

BURNETT: -- groundbreaking --

BIDEN: -- groundbreaking and talked about this being you know the eighth wonder of the world. What has he ever done anything he said, I'm not being

facetious. Think about it. He started off, he lost other than Herbert Hoover is the only other president lost more jobs and created in his four

year term.

He's the way he managed the end of his last year when we deal with COVID, million people die, he tell people inject bleach that made me do it wasn't

a real problem, when he did an interview with one of your colleagues, where he just flat out acknowledged he knew how dangerous was being want to speak

to it.

You know, it's I just -- look at what he says he's going to do if he gets elected, says you're going to do away with what I've done on Medicare,

reducing the price of Medicare drastically, said he's going to do away with the Affordable Care Act, says he's going to do it just down the line.

So we have a very different view, I look at it from a physician not being facetious from a -- perspective he looks from Mar-a-Lago perspective. He

wants to give more significant tax cuts to the super wealthy. You know, we got 1000 billionaires in America know what their average federal taxes 8.3


Talks about and if I want to raise it to 25 percent, that would raise $40 billion, or $400 billion, over 10 years, you further reduce the deficit,

which I've been able to reduce, it's just a completely different perspective on how we should proceed.

BURNETT: When it comes though, to the 100,000 jobs specifically that we're talking about here, people training in AI, the actual jobs. When are they

actually going to have jobs, those 100,000 people that are being trained?

BIDEN: Beginning probably the first tranche and three to four years, the community colleges are going to the one where we're at we're going to

provide for 2000 folks, and to be able to be trained 200 a year. And then it's going to go the whole pipeline goes all the way through out to high

schools and training facilities.

You know, it used to be that when I was in high school, I mean, even at the tail end, very tail end, before you went to high school, we most public

high schools had shop and home, you know, learning to work with your hands doesn't exist anymore. And so it allows people who have skills and be able

to train to technical skills, to be able to make a decent living without a college degree. And it's what we need.

BURNETT: So when we talk about the bet on AI, and sort of what it means, I don't know if you saw this weekend, Warren Buffett had his annual meeting,

and he talked about AI. So the first thing he said was, OK, it's got enormous potential for good, but then he likened it to the development of

nuclear weapons in the U.S., and he said, it scares the hell out of him.

You know, he always says it like he sees it. And then he says, quote, he doesn't understand a damn thing about it. That may capture how many

Americans feel. Does AI scare you?

BIDEN: AI has enormous potential, enormous downside potential. That's why three years ago I got together the major architects of AI and the different

operations around the world. I met with them in Europe and here in the United States. And it ranges all the way from one of the leader saying it's

a real, it's going to take over human thinking all the way to folks who say, no, it's not a problem.

And so that's why I set out certain standards that it has, it can do no harm, and we have to make sure we know how to do that. We have to make sure

it's controlled. And that's how -- it is most significant, I think technological development and human history.

BURNETT: The most significant in human history.

BIDEN: Yeah, not in terms of war and peace, but in terms of being able to one leader of the AI community said to me, is going to overtake you and

thinking and which is frightening.

BURNETT: Terrifying.

BIDEN: But the other most think it can be used for everything from find cures for cancer to significantly increase productivity.

BURNETT: So when you talk about the economy, of course, it is by far the most important issue for voters. It's also true right now, Mr. President

that voters by a wide margin, trust Trump more on the economy. They say that in polls, and part of the reason for that may be the numbers.

And you're aware of many of these of course the cost of buying a home in the United States is double what it was when you look at your monthly costs

from before the pandemic. Real income when your account for inflation is actually down since you took office, economic growth last week, far short

of expectations.


Consumer confidence maybe no surprise, is near a two year low. With less than six months to go to Election Day. Are you worried that you're running

out of time to turn that around?

BIDEN: We've already turned around, look at the Michigan survey. For 65 percent American people think they're in good shape economically, they

think the nation is not in good shape. They're personally in good shape. The polling data has been wrong all along -- How many you guys do a poll

with CNN?

How many folks you have to call to get one response, the idea that we're in a situation where things are so bad that folks, I mean, we've created more

jobs we've made, we're in a situation where people have access to good paying jobs. And the last I saw the combination of the inflation, the cost

of inflation, all the things that's really worrisome to people with good reason.

That's why I'm working very hard to bring the cost of -- down to increase the number of homes that are available. Let me put it this way. When I

started this administration, people were saying are going to be a collapse in the economy. We have the strongest economy in the world. Let me say it

again, in the world.

BURNETT: -- GDP last week was far short of expectation.

BIDEN: Oh, wasn't low GDP still look at the response in the markets, overwhelmingly positive. And one of the reasons why people feel good about

it not being as strong as it was before, is they believe that the feds going to respond.

BURNETT: They hope they're going to get a rate cut.

BIDEN: Yeah. Well, so what I mean, no president's had the run we've had in terms of creating jobs and bringing down inflation was 9 percent when I

came to office, 9 percent. But look, people have a right to be concerned. For ordinary people, the idea that your bounce a check and you get a $30

fee for bouncing the check by chase that can't charge more than eight bucks.

Or your credit card, you know, you're late payment $35. I mean, there's corporate greed going on out there. And it's got to be dealt with.

BURNETT: What about I mean, but there's real pain, I mean, grocery prices are up 30 percent -- more than 30 percent since the beginning of the

pandemic, and people are spending more on food and groceries than they have at any time, really, in the past 30 years. I mean, that's a real day to day

pain that people --

BIDEN: -- it really is. And it's real. But the fact is that if you take a look at what the men people have, they have the money to spend, it's angers

them and angers me that you have to spend more. For example, the whole idea of this notion of Senator Casey talked about shrink inflation --

BURNETT: -- price for a smaller bottle --

BIDEN: -- they did a thing, and it's like 20 percent less for the same price. That's corporate greed, as corporate greed, and we've got to deal

with it and that's what I'm working on.


BURNETT: I want to ask you about something happening as we sit here and speak and that of course is Israel is striking. Rafah, I know that you have

paused Mr. President, shipments of 2000 pound U.S. bombs to Israel due to concern that they could be used in any offensive on Rafah. Have those

bombs, those powerful 2000 pound bombs been used to kill civilians in Gaza?

BIDEN: Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers. I made it clear

that if they go into Rafah they haven't gotten on Rafah yet. They go into Rafah I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to

deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem.

We're going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks like came out to you the least

recently, but it's just wrong. We're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells use -- that have been used --

BURNETT: Artillery shells as well?

BIDEN: Yeah, too many shells.

BURNETT: So just to understand what they're doing right now in Rafah? Is that not going into Rafah as you don't --?

BIDEN: They haven't gone in the population centers. What they did was right on the border, and it's causing problems with right now, in terms of Egypt,

which I've worked very hard to make sure we have a relationship and help. But I've made it clear to Bibi in the war cabinet.

They're not going to get our support. If in fact they go on these population centers. We're not walking away from Israel's security rocking

away Israel's ability to wage war in those areas.

BURNETT: So it's not over your red line yet?

BIDEN: Not yet. But it's we've held up the weapons, we've held up that one shipment as an all shipment -- we held that up.


BURNETT: And I want to ask you one more thing, if I may, the images that people see out of Gaza are horrific. The U.N. is talking about, you know,

some of these mass graves and summary executions, that there's been evidence of torture the images of children. It breaks anyone's heart to

look at it.

And obviously, we've seen that frustration here in the U.S. on college campuses. And Mr. President, signs that college campuses, some say

genocide, Joe, any of us that have gone to those campuses, sometimes we hear that chant. Do you hear the message of those young Americans?

BIDEN: Absolutely I hear the message. Look, two things. First of all, there's a legitimate right to free speech and protest. There's a legitimate

right to do that they have a right to do that. There's not a legitimate right to use hate speech, is not a legitimate right to threaten Jewish

students, and is not a legitimate right to black people access to class.

That's against the law. That's against the law. And so if you look at the data, these demonstrations are real, but they're not new, I mean, look at

everybody's I made a speech on the Holocaust the other day. And I pointed out that, you know, it took seven decades to get to the place where after

the Holocaust occurred, and they're still anti-Semitism.

Look what's happened in seven weeks -- I mean, what's happening, everybody sort of forgotten about what happened in Israel, those 1200 young kids

murdered. I saw pictures though I went over there swiftly after a mother and daughter have been roped together on kerosene fire and burned to death.

Others like that to happen, the Jewish community since the Holocaust. So when I went over immediately after that happened, I said to Bibi don't make

the same mistake we made in America. We want to get Bin Laden, and we'll help you get similar. But we went into Afghanistan, to -- we made sense to

go get Bin Laden, made no sense to try and unify Afghanistan.

Made no sense, in my view, to engage in thinking that in Iraq, they had a nuclear weapon, don't make the same mistake focus on will help you focus on

getting the bad guys. But then we got to think through what is happening after Gaza, after this is over, who is going to occupy Gaza?

I've been working with Arab states and won't match them because I don't want to get him in trouble. But five leaders in the -- community are

prepared to help rebuild Gaza, prepared to help transition to a two state solution.

BURNETT: To government?

BIDEN: Well, to maintain the security and peace while they're working out Palestinian Authority. It's real, not corrupt.

BURNETT: Mr. President, thank you very much. I appreciate your time today.

BIDEN: Thank you.


ANDERSON: CNN's Erin Burnett there with what was an exclusive interview with U.S. President Joe Biden. Well on truth social, Donald Trump, reacting

to the interview that you just saw, accusing Mr. Biden of siding with Hamas terrorists by withholding weapons from Israel, adding quote, Biden is weak,

corrupt and leading the world straight into World War III.

And in a second post, the former president blamed Mr. Biden for the anti- war protests on U.S. college campuses recently claiming without giving evidence that he is being funded by quote, far left pro terrorist mobs.

That's the end of that part of the post -- the former president actually just referenced this issue on the way into his hush money trial in New

York, ripping into the current president. Have a listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What Biden is doing with respect to Israel is disgraceful. If any Jewish

person voted for Joe Biden, they should be ashamed of themselves. He's totally abandoned Israel, and nobody can believe it.

I guess he feels good about it, because he did it as a political decision. You have to do the right decision, not the political decision, but he did a

very bad thing. I just want to let you know that we just filed a major motion in the Appellate Division concerning the --


ANDERSON: Well that is the Republican contender for president in 2024. Others in the Republican Party are also criticizing Mr. Biden's position.


Mitt Romney, U.S. Senator from Utah said and I quote, Biden's dithering on Israel weapons is bad policy and a terrible message to Israel, our allies,

and the world. And in a lengthy post on X Florida Senator Rick Scott wrote, the President Biden's support for Israel isn't ironclad, like he says, and

if the president stands with Israel, he should stop withholding aid and, quote, let our ally destroy these terrorists.

On the other side of the aisle, progressive Democrats have come out in support of the move -- Senator Elizabeth Warren saying halting the shipment

was an important step in the right direction. This is a very fine line for President Biden to walk from the standpoint of the Democratic base with the

college campus protests already highlighting dissent against his presidency. Senator Bernie Sanders had these thoughts earlier in the week.

Have a listen.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (R-VT): This may be a Biden's Vietnam, or Lyndon Johnson, in many respects, was a very, very good president domestically,

brought forth some major pieces of legislation, he chose not to run in 68 because of opposition to his views on Vietnam. And I worry very much that

President Biden is putting himself in a position where he has alienated not just young people, but a lot of the Democratic base.


ANDERSON: Senator Bernie Sanders who back in December was pressing Joe Biden to withhold some $10 billion in aid to Israel with various caveats.

And still to come. Donald Trump's defense team is likely to get even tougher on adult film star Stormy Daniels as she returns to the stand today

in what is this hush money trial. We are live for you from New York, up next.


HILL: Welcome back to CNN. I'm Erica Hill in New York lower Manhattan here outside the courthouse where Stormy Daniels has just returned to the stand

just moments ago, the jury now making its way into the courtroom for this of course hush money trial against Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, it was quite a day of testimony Stormy Daniels testifying about her alleged sexual encounter with the former president. And the defense did

start its cross examination that continues today for day two.


Well sources telling CNN that Donald Trump's legal defense team which had originally planned relatively quick cross examination of Daniels has now

decided based on Tuesday's testimony, specifically the fact that Stormy Daniels raised the fact that sex with Donald Trump may not have been


Well, now Trump's illegal hater society to ship that strategy, they plan to have a longer cross examination and more questions today to perhaps rehab

what they see as some damage done to Donald Trump's reputation. Joining me now is Criminal Defense Attorney Janet Johnson, joining me from

Jacksonville, Florida.

Janet, good to have you with me this morning, so give us a sense if this is continuing a little bit longer. They want to try to repair any damage they

think may have been done to Donald Trump's reputation. What does that look like in your mind in terms of the questioning?

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yeah, well, good morning. I mean, obviously, that's what cross examination, is they're trying to repair

damage? I think first of all, I don't necessarily believe that this is a change in strategy, they might be trying to highlight what they are going

to say are problems that came up in her testimony that were unanticipated.

They knew what her testimony was. But they didn't anticipate necessarily her saying that it was coerced in some way. I don't think it's a smart

strategy to go there because they have an appellate issue right now, where they've moved for a mistrial, because they said that should have never come


That should have been, you know, they didn't object wholeheartedly. They did ultimately object. And the judge actually said, yes, this went too far.

If they cross examine on this, I think there is no appellate issue. They have opened the door to any character testimony, any testimony about the

nature of that sexual encounter, it would be a really bad move.

HILL: Did you bring up with the judge that to the judge, also, who objected to some of the testimony on Tuesday, the judge said to the defense, hey, by

the way, you have the opportunity here in this courtroom to object and could have objected at other points in that testimony on Tuesday. Is it

surprising to that the defense did not raise as many objections?

JOHNSON: Yeah, I'm a defense attorney. It is surprising, but there's sometimes a strategy to not objecting to saying to the jury, we're not

trying to fight any of this because we don't either believe it or we don't think it's that damaging when you object and it's sustained. The jury, even

though they're not supposed to guess at what would have been said.

They sometimes think well, why are they hiding this from us? What was she going to say? So the judge wasn't a he was in a bad position, because he

didn't know are they doing this strategically? Or is it ineptitude? Eventually, they started objecting, and the judge did say, Yeah, I wondered

why you didn't do this sooner.

And they said, well, we thought that the court was going to allow this line of questioning. That's never defense strategy, you object because you have

to preserve the record on appeal. And if you think that this is a bill, that can't be un-rung, you don't want the jury to hear it. You have to stop

it if it's that bad.

HILL: She is obviously in terms of a witness for the prosecution. She is not the person who is going to say, hey, this was Donald Trump's idea

specifically to pay me some hush money, because they were worried about the election. And here's how they covered it. But she does play another role in

this prosecution's case. Has she been effective?

JOHNSON: She has. They're building blocks. You're exactly right. She can't connect every single dot because she wasn't on Michael Cohen's

conversations with Trump. She didn't have direct conversations with Trump about the money. She did have to lay, the foundation that there was

something to cover up and that she received cover up money.

And she did say something that I think was important kind of contradicting what Hope Hicks said earlier. She said that she didn't get the sense that

he was worried about his family finding out are about Melania finding out and in fact that he said to her, don't worry about Melania we don't share a


That's a really pivotable point because if he was giving her money, just because he didn't want Melania to find out or he was embarrassed. That

isn't a crime necessarily. So the John Edwards defense was I was trying to hush her up because I didn't want my wife to know and I was embarrassed,

and he was acquitted.

So they have to make sure that the jury understands. This wasn't because he was trying to prove that he's faithful to his wife. This was because he

wanted to win an election. That has to be his motive.

HILL: Janet, really appreciate your insight. Thanks for being with us this morning.

JOHNSON: Thanks.

HILL: And stay tuned. Our coverage continues here after a quick break. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching CNN. Millions of people in the United States and are under severe storm threats today, people across the

Southwest being warned about the possibility of flash floods and tornadoes. While at the same time officials in the Central and Southern U.S. are

assessing the damage from reported tornadoes and powerful storms that killed at least three on Wednesday.

Powerful storms also, sweeping through Michigan on Tuesday night. This video shows trees being toppled over by the fierce winds in one front yard.

At least one tornado hit the town of Portage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Window blew out in our TV room. And then all of a sudden there was just a rush of trees coming down and I was heading towards the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And all of a sudden the pressure dropped. We could fear a -- ears pop. And when our ears popped I said this is it Father, this is

the tornado.


ANDERSON: All other parts of Michigan also saw damage during the severe weather outbreak. The U.S. National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto

Rico is warning of more strong storms and torrential rainfall for the islands there. They say that could lead to life threatening floods and an

increased risk of rip currents.

On Wednesday, some areas of the territory saw between 8 and 10 inches of rain, causing landslides and forcing swollen rivers to burst their banks.

Within the past week record rainfall has triggered deadly floods in Southern Brazil. At least 95 people have died and more than 150,000 have

been forced to leave their homes.

Mass rescues are underway is more than 46,000 nearly 50,000 people have been pulled from the rising waters there desperate. Desperately people are

seeking shelter anywhere they can. Brazilian officials say storms have affected more than a million people and countless animals.

This horse was stranded on top of a roof that heavy rains have been linked to human caused global warming and El Nino which warms parts of the Pacific

Ocean. Well Russia mark the anniversary of the Soviets victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. Earlier today there was a massive military parade

on Red Square for what is known as Victory Day.

Although Russia's Defense Minister said it was scaled down from last year. President Vladimir Putin said Russia is going through a difficult period

but that Moscow would not let anyone threaten them. His speech, come in just a couple of days after he was inaugurated for a fifth term.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA: Russia will do everything in order to not let the global confrontation begin. But we will not let anyone threaten

us. Our strategic forces are always ready.


ANDERSON: Vladimir Putin speaking earlier. Well let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And Hungarian

Prime Minister Viktor Orban greeted China's Xi Jinping in Budapest the last leg of the Chinese Leader's European tour.

Mr. Xi is looking to deepen ties with Eastern Europe where Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars as part of Beijing's Belt and

Road initiative.


Well the court in Iran has sentenced renowned Film Director Mohammad Rasoulof to eight years in prison and flogging. His lawyer said the court

ruled that his films and documentaries amounted to crimes against national security and also imposed unspecified fine and ordered the confiscation of

his property.

The Former President of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales will stand trial the unsolicited kiss he gave footballer Jenni Hermoso. Rubiales

kiss Hermoso on the lips during the award ceremony after the Spanish team won the women's world cup in Sydney. He is facing charges of sexual assault

and coercion. He has denied any wrongdoing.

We are seeing impressive numbers in the tourism sector of this region. And those numbers are the foundation of today's "Market Watch". The World

Travel and Tourism Council reports that the Middle East has seen more than 25 percent growth in the travel sector and industry that's closing in on

$460 billion dollars region wide and that is despite any hit, tourism may have taken from the conflict and regional tensions that we've been

covering, day in, day out here.

Think about the money involved here. International visitor spending grew to almost $180 billion dollars in domestic visitor spending hit 205 billion

and it's all from people visiting and enjoying this region's unique sights from the beaches and the cities to the desert sand the historic ruins,

destination rich Jordan at the center of efforts to restore calm and peace to this region.

The country's Managing Director of the Tourism Board spoke to my colleague, Eleni Giokos, at the Arabian Travel Market held this week in Dubai about

the importance of tourist's perceptions.


ABED AL RAZZAQ ARABIYAT, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF JORDAN TOURISM BOARD: People they will realize that Jordan is different, Jordan is the country of

stability and the tourism is resilient in the country. But it is challenging. So changing the perception, it will take time. But at the end

of the day, talking about the numbers, yes, we witnessed the decrease in numbers for the last quarter last year and the first quarter of this year

by talking about the western countries by almost 50 percent.

But we compensated the drop from the Arab countries were from Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries increased by 26 percent. And from Africa and Asia, by

the way, because maybe they are familiar, they know us better.


ANDERSON: That's the Head of the Jordanian Tourism Board. Acknowledging the challenge, but focusing on growth and where that growth is from what a

similar picture for the UAE where this show is based. Take a look at the World Trade Council snapshot of tourism here and maybe $60 billion worth of

GDP and 800,000 jobs and the international visitors are out there spending.

Let me tell you their contribution to the economy up 40 percent for the year. The CEO of Dubai tourism is as you can imagine -- excited.


ISSAM KAZIM, CEO OF DUBAI TOURISM: We closed off 2023 with 17.15 million tourists, right? It's a record number. I mean, as you can remember when we

talked about it back in the days since 2020 things when it slowed down. All the records that we had set had to also take a bit of a pause because the

world was trying to you know get back on its feet again.

Dubai was very quick into opening up again. And we managed to finally break our own records reached 17.15 million tourists continue that momentum into

Q1 of 2024. And now we have 5.2 million tourists who came into the growth, 11 percent year on year growth.


ANDERSON: That was Issam Kazim in Dubai Tourism CEO speaking to my colleague Eleni Giokos. So this year is Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. And

that is your "Market Watch" today. And stay with us there is a lot more ahead including this Wimberley bound Real Madrid snatching victory in the

UEFA Champions League semi-final. We will get you the reaction on what was another terrific game, after this short break.