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Connect the World

China's Xi Rolls out Red Carpet for Friend Putin; "Liar Liar" is Theme of Today's Cross-Examination of Cohen; Update on Assassination Attempt on Slovakian PM; Cohen Retakes Stand for Day Two of Cross- Examination; Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Live on CNN; Barclays: "The Eras Tour" UK Dates May Pump $950M into Economy. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired May 16, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well happening this hour arguments in the UN's high court against Israel's offensive in Rafah. We

are monitoring the International Court of Justice is fighting continues to rage in Gaza. It's 3 pm at the Hague; it is 5 pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm

Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World".

Also happening this hour, the leaders of China and Russia making a public show of mutual support political rivals, the outgoing president and the

president elect calling for peace after yesterday's assassination attempt in Slovakia. And we head back to the Manhattan courthouse where a source

tells CNN Donald Trump's defense team will take a liar-liar approach to Michael Cohen.

Well, the stock market in New York will open in about 30 minutes from now. And this is the state of play on the futures markets very, very stable with

the DOW hovering around that key psychological level of 40,000. The DOW, the S&P and the NASDAQ all closed higher Wednesday on the back of a cooler

than expected inflation report. We are waiting to see what investors do at the bottom of this hour as the markets open for business back with that

half an hour from now.

Well, we begin with a red carpet welcome for Vladimir Putin and what could be a red flag for the West. Russia's President enjoying a very big welcome

from the leader of the world's second biggest economy. Putin in Beijing for a two day state visit China's President Xi Jinping telling the world that

the relationship between Beijing and Moscow should be quote, cherished and nourished.

Well, the usual trappings of a state visit on display, the red carpet, the handshake and the smiles. But this is a bromance that the West really can't

take its eyes off at present, that's largely because this show of unity comes as Moscow's troops advance in Ukraine. Let's get you live to Beijing

and to CNN's Marc Stewart. There's a lot of symbolism here. What's the significance of this visit Marc?

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So much symbolism Becky. Look, obviously the attention is on Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin their friendship and this

no limits partnership between China and Russia. But it's also a big snub to the West and to the United States, especially as China is trying to

establish itself or define itself as this new world leader, a leader of this new world order. And that's perhaps why this visit is getting so much


You mentioned the war in Ukraine. And it's impossible to talk about this relationship without bringing up the war in Ukraine. It's very interesting

to see China's position in all of this. China even though it enjoys this friendship with Russia, is saying that it's a neutral party in all of this,

that it's just going to be this outside big observer Xi Jinping has called for peace talks.

He has denied despite claims from the West that China is indirectly helping fund the Russian war machine. But even more significant is the fact is that

he has not condemned this war at all. China has not condemned this war at all.

There is a feeling at least talking to one of my sources here in Beijing that maybe China is trying to establish itself as a peace broker around the

world perhaps looking to try to achieve some kind of deal with Russia and Ukraine. Today, though, Xi Jinping talked about his view of the future with

Vladimir Putin's visit taking place, and he is sounding almost like a peacemaker. Let's take a quick listen to some of his remarks.


XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT: The Chinese side looks forward to the early restoration of peace and stability on the European Continent and will

continue to play a constructive role to that end.


STEWART: All right, so we are hearing some carefully crafted words as we often do from Beijing talking about this idea of this notion of world

peace. Despite all of that and despite what China wants to do, Vladimir Putin is here and it's interesting to note Becky he did not travel alone.


And it's interesting to note Becky he did not travel alone, he brought with him a delegation that included both top defense and security officials so

lots of contrast, lots of symbolism very interesting to see how this is all going to reconcile.

ANDERSON: And a lot of money, certainly on the part of the Chinese economy, going the way of Russia at a time when obviously, the Russian economy is on

a squeeze. This relationship, of course, is about more than politics, security and defense. We are talking big money, just how much do China and

Russia need each other at this point?

STEWART: Big money indeed. And both of these economies right now are really dependent on each other, especially when both of these economies are having

a lot of straights. Look, I think we have a graphic to show you. If we look back to 2018 let me look at my numbers here.

$107 billion U.S. dollars in trade between China and Russia, then let's fast forward to 2023 last year, $240 billion, this is clearly grown. But

the most notable part of all this is not only the growth, but how this is working? Right now because of restrictions from the West Russia is

dependent on China to get things like consumer goods. We're talking about phones. We're talking about cars.

And then China is also benefiting from this buying, as you know from Abu Dhabi, its buying energy from Russia. China's buying Russian energy. So

it's helping each other. So when we look at this relationship -- you know its military, its politics, its philosophy, but of course, its economics as

well, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating, isn't it Marc, thank you always a pleasure Marc Stewart in the house for you. A man has been charged with attempted murder

following yesterday's shooting of Slovakia's Prime Minister. This video shows the alleged gunman being taken into custody following the attack.

Now the country's Interior Minister says that the man who hasn't been named is not a member of an extremist group. Meanwhile, less than 24 hours after

the attempt on his life, Robert Fico remains in intensive care. The 59- year-old was shot five times on Wednesday. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is outside the hospital where Fico is being treated. What is the latest on the Prime

Minister's condition Fred?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there Becky. Yeah, we got an update here from the authorities a little earlier today.

And they said that his condition is actually further stabilized. However, they do say that the wounds that he has suffered remain extremely

complicated. And certainly his health situation also remains extremely complicated as well.

And you know just to give an idea as to how dramatic things were yesterday, we're of course, we saw that video, which was disturbing to so many people

of him essentially getting gunned down in a public square in a town called Handlova. He then immediately had to get by helicopter Medivac to the

clinic that you're seeing right here.

This is really one of the main clinics for this entire area of Slovakia. So they do have a lot of specialists on hand. But the authorities say that

they actually needed two teams of surgeons on hand for five hours to come to terms with the trauma that Robert Fico suffered -- suffering those

multiple gunshot wounds.

They said they had two different surgical teams and that for a very long period of time obviously things were extremely complicated, possibly even

on knife's edge. And they do say that while it appears as though the injuries at this point in time are no longer life threatening. And he is

still in a very difficult situation.

We have not of course, heard from him himself. But there have been some top politicians here from the country actually going here to the clinic and

visiting him. In fact, as we speak right now, the president elect of this country is very close to Robert Fico. He is inside there right now. So it

appears as though things have stabilized but things certainly were on knife's edge for a very long time Becky.

ANDERSON: So what more do we know about the suspects at this point, Fred? And what are investigators specifically focusing on do we know?

PLEITGEN: Yeah. Well first of all, they've charged with attempted murder. So they are saying and this comes from the interior minister that right now

they only have one working theory at this point in time and that is that this man came to this area or came to that place came to Handlova that town

and wanted to kill Robert Fico using a firearm.

That is the only working theory they have. They say things seem pretty clear especially also from some of the videos that of course we've also

seen after that suspect was detained there on the scene. However, they have not named him publicly yet. But we believe so far from media here in this

country that appears to be a 71-year-old man from the south of Slovakia.

What the Interior Minister of this country has said is that this person had disagreements as he called it with the Fico government and that those

apparently boiled over after the re-election of Robert Fico late last year.


And that then he decided to act. And so therefore, they say that among these disagreements that this man apparently had was the dissolution of the

Special Prosecutor's Office, but giving the sort of international and certainly a Europe wide dimension, also, the decision of the Fico

government to cut off aid to Ukraine.

Of course, one of the things we always have to mention, Becky, is that the society really is quite divided in many ways. And there is a lot of fear

here that something like what happened yesterday could cause that to boil over and possibly even get out of control, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, Fred Pleitgen is on the ground. It's 10 past 3 there in Slovakia. Fred, thank you. Well, it is a big day in court for the defense

in the Donald Trump hush money trial and for one witness, Michael Cohen. I want to hand you over to Erica Hill. She is following that in New York for

you, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Becky, thank you. A big day indeed you're right. In just about 20 minutes or so Michael Cohen set to return to the stand there

for dag two with his cross examination by the defense. And this is expected to be fairly intense today.

Sources telling CNN, Donald Trump's legal team is really going to hammer the point today of Michael Cohen as a liar. Keep in mind he is the

prosecution's star witness the defense wants to show that he is not credible that he is not reliable.

Cohen's word and his credibility are actually really key for the prosecution's case here because he's the only witness to tie Donald Trump

directly to that $130,000 hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels to keep their alleged sexual encounter from becoming public during the 2016

presidential campaign.

And also the only one to tie him to those allegedly falsified documents that describe the repayment to Michael Cohen as a legal retainer. I want to

bring in our Misty Maris, a Defense and Trial Attorney here in New York, who has been joining us with her insight throughout the trial.

So Misty, as we look at this, I do think it's important that we keep reminding people what the charges are here. It's not -- the question is not

did they did they not have sex? Donald Trump maintains they did not. We heard from Stormy Daniels. She says they did. It's not even the fact that

the hush money payment was made.

The real issue here is whether the way it was accounted for when Michael Cohen was reimbursed was done legally, or was it covered up? And then it

becomes a crime? We didn't get into a lot of that on the first day of cross examination. It felt like it was a little all over the map. Is there a risk

there of losing the jury because it felt like it was all over the map?

MISTY MARRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yeah, so you absolutely hit the nail on the head that this case is about falsifies business records that were falsified

with the intent to cover up or in furtherance of another crime. So the first day of cross examination came right out of the gate, addressing

Michael Cohen's TikTok, and was kind of hitting him all over with respect to various issues relating to credibility.

And to your point, it was all over the map. So there have been some reports that one of the reasons that the defense took that tactic with Michael

Cohen is that Trump knows Michael Cohen very well. And he was prepped, or they opined that he was prepped on a chronological type basis.

So they thought the cross examination would come at Michael Cohen, chronologically, so the defense team was trying to shake it up, perhaps to

rattle him. But yes, it is something that the jury could find to be confusing, because it was kind of jumping from time and place from right

now to 2016 to 2018. So certainly, the jury is going to have to compartmentalize that to a certain degree and understand how that actually

impacts the testimony.

HILL: As we look at date this today back with cross examination what CNN has learned my colleagues have learned is that the goal for the defense

today's essentially what you may call the liar, liar pants on fire line of questioning to really hammer all of these instances where Michael Cohen has

lied, the prosecution tried to get out ahead of that. Do you think they did enough?

MARRIS: So the prosecution laid out all of the issues that Michael Cohen has with respect to credibility, and he has a lot. He's admitted to lying

before Congress admitted to lying in federal court has changed his story multiple times. So they tried to get that out so they could control the

narrative with the jury.

Now, what the defense is going to do is really attack all of that because much of it came out in direct examination, the defense is going to go back

and really hammer home a couple of themes. Number one, Michael Cohen will say whatever he needs to say that serves him at the time.

Number two, he financially benefited from writing books negative about Trump, wouldn't it be financially beneficial for him to see Trump in jail.

And number three, that he has said contemporaneous in these TikToks online, he wants to see Trump in jail.

All of that is going to show from the defense perspective or attempt to show that he is incredibly biased against Trump. But Erica there's a bigger

point here because what the jury instructions will say and that's why the defense is hammering this.


They will say if juries -- if the jurors do not believe one part of the testimony, they can choose to disregard all of it. And if you have one

juror that says, you know what, I think he's a liar. I don't believe anything he says. Well, there's your hung jury.

It's important to remember the defense has different goals than the prosecution. It's to raise reasonable doubt. And if the jury were to say,

we don't believe Michael Cohen, and we don't want to take any of his testimony at face value, well, there's your hung jury and that's what the

defense is looking to do.

HILL: That is what they -- that's what they need to do right for their client Misty Marris always great to see you my friend thank you.

MARRIS: Thank you so much.

HILL: Up next here, the latest on what a CNN is other top stories today. And that, of course is the war in Gaza. Your questions about Israel's plan

for after the war questions that are not exactly getting aid straightforward answer. Plus, CNN speak to a doctor from California who is

one of dozens of American medics currently trapped inside Gaza.


ANDERSON: U.S. Central Command that says that a floating pier designed to get humanitarian aid into Gaza from the Mediterranean Sea is now anchored

to the beach. Aid is expected to begin moving ashore in the coming days. And the United Nations will coordinate distribution of that aid in Gaza.

CENTCOM says no U.S. troops have entered the enclave. Worth remembering that substantial amounts of aid stand ready to move in through land

borders, but that aid is being held up at borders that are closed.

Meantime a team of 17 international medics including 12 Americans are trapped inside Gaza currently in a hospital north of Rafah they were due to

leave the enclave through the wrap up border crossing on Monday but were unable after Israeli forces seize the Gaza side of that border. CNN's

Jeremy Diamond spoke to some of those who are stuck.


DR. AHLIA KATTAN, ANESTHEIOLOGIST AND ICU MEDIC: We were evacuated from that safe house which was supposed to be the de-conflicted zone.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After more than two weeks in Gaza Dr. Alia Kattan should be back home in California with her three


KATTAN: This is where we've been sleeping.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Instead, she's sleeping on the floor of Gaza's European hospital as her five year old daughter wonders when her mom will

come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you mom so much. Happy birthday to mama, who are the best ever!


DIAMOND (voice-over): Dr. Kattan and her husband are among at least 22 American physicians now trapped in Gaza after an Israeli military offensive

in Rafah shuttered the critical border crossing to Egypt.

KATTAN: Rafah borders are now closed. And that was our safe entry and exit the W.H.O. is trying to negotiate a safe exit for us. And it's not


DIAMOND (voice-over): As Israeli and Egyptian officials trade blame for the crossings closure.

KATTAN: I'm just on my way to operating room.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Dr. Kattan and her colleagues are doing what they can to keep this overwhelmed and under resourced hospital running.

LAURA SWOBODA, NURSE PRACTITIONER: We were not aware of how dire the situation is here. There wasn't so to wash our hands between infected

wounds with maggots. There wasn't sanitizer wipes to wipe down the tables after each patient.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Israel is now threatening to widen its offensive in Rafah.

SWOBODA: Always we can hear the drones in the background.

DIAMOND (voice-over): A move that the U.S. and international aid groups warn will have dire humanitarian consequences. One that will put even more

strain on Gaza's already overwhelmed hospitals.

KATTAN: All of us don't want to leave unless we're replaced by physicians and medics and nurses, and all the people that are keeping this hospital


My message to the U.S. government is however they can help to maintain a safe corridor for medics to come in and out to bring supplies and

themselves to support the innocent civilians and women and children. So please do that.

DIAMOND (voice-over): But until that happens, Dr. Kattan is stuck, unsure when and how she will make it home.

DIMAOND: What's the most difficult part of that uncertainty right now?

KATTAN: Missing my kids and waking up in the morning and realizing they're not next to me. But the harder part is, knowing that I get to leave

eventually. And I get to go home and be safe. I've developed a lot of friends here who are the same age as me and have kids my age and they don't

have those securities and those basic necessities.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Jeremy Diamond, CNN, Jerusalem.


ANDERSON: Well, I want to get you to Slovakia where there is a press conference going on now just outside the hospital where the Prime Minister

is of course. He was in -- there was an assassination attempt on him yesterday shot multiple times, let's listen in.

PETER PELLEGRINI, NEWLY-ELECTED SLOVAKIAN PRESIDENT: -- in Slovakia. And we have to use all facts and we have to talk about different opinions. But we

cannot allow this discussion to become or the level of violence or some sort of protest activities on our streets with a tragic outcome. I just

appeal to every citizen that we will not get -- we will not become a witness of such tragic events.

And I want to wish our Premier Robert Fico a quick recovery. And we hold -- we'll cross our fingers together. So he won't go into any complications

when it comes to his health. And we will ask that citizens of Slovakia think what happened and in order that we will prevail a human side over the

political side of things.

And we definitely have to really -- have to just say that we need peace in our society. And obviously thank you very much for your attention. And we

will be informing you every day on and hopefully things will go in optimistic away when it comes to the state of health of our Premier.

ANDERSON: Well, you were just listening to the President-Elect of Slovakia just updating the general public on the condition of the Prime Minister who

of course is in the hospital behind him.


He was shot multiple times yesterday, just around this time or just earlier on in the day. So 24 hours on the President-Elect there hoping that the

Prime Minister will continue to improve and calling on society in Slovakia to step back from the brink effectively.

You know as suggesting that people need to get on and he doesn't want to see this as a sort of providing an opportunity for others who may not agree

with views held by others to cause problems. So that is the President-Elect of Slovakia more news after this short break.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson, in Abu Dhabi. Time here just before a half past five in the evening. You're watching "Connect the

World". It is just before half past nine in the morning in New York. And this could be a big moment on Wall Street as the DOW could be about to hit

the psychological threshold of 40,000.

That is when it opens in about a minute from now. If you take a look at the futures market, I've got Matt Egan with us standing by in New York, as are

those who are about to ring the bell at the exchange. Matt, when you look at the futures well, it's anybody's guess, what will happen sort of moments

from now because the Futures are really, really flat.

I'm looking at the DOW Future up by 0.04 percent showing just over 14,000 the NASDAQ and the S&P Futures are slightly low. So really is anybody's

guess. And the reason we're talking about this is -- you know primarily there goes the bell. 40,000 is -- you know is what we call a key site the

technical or psychological level. But it means a lot -- you know I mean -- it is not just symbolic this Matt.


MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Becky, it would be a big moment if 40,000 -- Remember, the DOW is only 30 stocks, and it's kind of a flawed average. But

it is home to some of the best known American brands, right? We're talking about McDonald's and JP Morgan and Disney, Amazon, Apple.

And so in some ways, the fact that the DOW was even close to 40,000 really is a big bet on America and the American economy. And I would argue it's a

reflection of the fact that the soft landing hopes are still very much alive. Now you can see the DOW opening 25 points higher, just about 65

points away from crossing the 40,000 level for the first time ever.

Now the market was propelled higher just yesterday, by that softer than expected inflation report. That was good news. And that has kept alive

hopes that the Fed might be able to lower interest rates in the coming months, which would be great news, obviously, for everyday people. It'll be

good news for the market, good news for companies.

And it does reflect the fact that those recession fears that really dominated the market a year and two years ago, those have really faded

away, Becky. So this is good news, I think for Main Street and for Wall Street, and we'll see if today's the day that 40,000, actually happens.

ANDERSON: Well, there we're out the gate or a couple of minutes in there certainly haven't been that one big trade that's going to take as over

40,000. We will keep a key eye on this. Matt Egan is in the House for you. Thank you. All right, well, that is the state of play on Wall Street. It is

just after 09:30 in the morning in New York. Erica Hill is there. She is following the Donald Trump hush money trial, Erica.

HILL: Yes. And as we wait for things get underway for this day 18 there in court in lower Manhattan. It is of course, Michael Cohen, who will be back

on the stand today for another day of cross examination by the defense. Donald Trump's attorneys were told today really will work on undermining

his credibility.

Really hammering home the point that he has lied on multiple occasions, because they want the jury to feel that they cannot trust this key witness

for the prosecution, remember only takes one person on that jury to have a hung jury, which is exactly what the defense would like. For a closer look

at what we can expect today coming up in terms of that testimony and that cross examination.

I want to bring in my colleague, CNN Justice Correspondent, Jessica Schneider. Jessica, as we wait for things to get underway, today. There is

this sense that today is going to be the as we're calling it the liar liar pants on fire, line of questioning from defense attorneys. And this could

last a while.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It could, Erica, you know this, we saw how the defense team really hammered into Michael Cohen and

just a few short hours of cross examination on Tuesday. And today they have all day long. Todd Blanche had previously told the judge that he expected

to be wrapped up with the cross examination of Michael Cohen by the end of today.

But who knows, I mean, court is wrapping up today at 4 pm, a tiny bit earlier than usual. So we'll see. Maybe, you know, maybe Trump's defense

team revamped their strategy over the last day or two and maybe it's going to take a little bit longer. I mean, like you said, our Kara Scannell told

us that she's learned the theme of today's cross will be liar liar.

That really picks up on what we saw Tuesday, the defense team then they did a few things, they laid into Cohen for being very anti-Trump and his social

media posts. Also, they laid into him for profiting off his anti-Trump sentiment online. So today, we're really going to see Todd Blanche focus,

really laser focus more on Cohen's track record of lying.

Of course, he has been convicted, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. We're told that in particular, the focus will be Cohen's testimony. During

Trump's civil fraud trial, apparently, Cohen testified that he actually lied when he pleaded guilty to some federal charges, including tax fraud.

We're also expecting Cohen to explain that he lied because he disputed some of the facts of the criminal charge, so that could get a bit in the weeds,

but that's what we're expecting the defense team to go into, you know, Trump's team, they really need to keep going all in attacking Cohen's

credibility because Cohen really laid out some damning facts against Trump.

He laid out in detail how Trump knew about this hush money payment, how he was involved in the decisions and how he was involved in how he was going

to pay Cohen back, you know, disguising it as those legal retainers rather than reimbursement and of course, Erica, that's what's at the core of the


I will note that we're just getting into court starting this morning. Apparently Trump has a long line of politicians who have come to support

him in the courtroom. I've counted 11 Republican Congress, members of Congress.


So this parade of political support in the courtroom continues it raised a few eyebrows on Tuesday. I guess some of the politicians who were

supporting Trump on Tuesday. They walked into court sort of in the middle of things, the judge raised an eyebrow at them didn't say anything. But

it's interesting to see Trump continued to bolster his political support in this legal setting, Erica.

HILL: It is fascinating. And his son, Eric Trump, I believe is there as well.


HILL: Interesting that we see an increase in the number of politicians, and even some campaign folks. But perhaps we are not seeing or I shouldn't say

perhaps we are not seeing this increase in family members being there.



HILL: Eric Trump, I believe, Lara Trump, was there his wife the other day, be interesting to see if the jury takes any of that in. As you mentioned --

SCHNEIDER: And certainly no Melania.

HILL: And certainly no Melania.

SCHNEIDER: No Melania.

HILL: And we've been told, I think multiple times. We should not expect her.


HILL: But still we'll keep watching, Jess, appreciate it, things getting underway here. We'll check in with you again, in just a short minute. Becky

that is we're watching of course here in New York. I know there's a lot else going on that way the world I held it back to you for all.

ANDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you very much indeed for that, right. There are growing questions about a day after plan for Gaza when those guns

go silent finally. What Israel's defense minister has -- opposes Israeli military ruling Gaza once the war is over.

The Israeli Prime Minister has said neither Hamas nor the Palestinian authority would be acceptable to govern there in the future when it comes

as demonstrators and some cabinet ministers are now calling for the rebuilding of Jewish settlements in Gaza, something not seen since 2005.

And our next guest knows the challenges of Gaza like no other. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, surely at this show he accused Benjamin

Netanyahu of needlessly prolonging the offensive in Gaza and blocking a path to peace all as the hostages continue to suffer speaking on a plan for

Gaza's day after.

Olmert told "The Independent" newspaper, quote, Israel should not keep an army of occupation in Gaza that would be a very bad mistake. What needs to

happen is an international force with a strong Western presence, to be there. And Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert joins us now.

Listen, as you and I speak, Arab leaders meeting in Bahrain for the Arab League summit top of their agenda and squarely in focus is the conflict.

The likelihood is that there will be a, you know, a statement at the end of this calling for a further squeeze on Israel and a ceasefire. Sir, do you

believe we are anywhere close to that at this point, because if we're not, there's no point talking about a day after --

EHUD OLMERT, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Well, it comes together in a way if there will be a pressure from the outside days, from the inside, as

well. Many of us from across the board, Israelis are entirely reluctant to tolerate these continued military operations without any objective that is


And that is useful for the Israeli interests. And if there will be an international expression, similar attitude, it might be helpful. I think

that you know what I'm really bothered when I hear that there is intent by the Israeli government to have a kind of an occupation of Gaza within

Israeli police.

I read today "The New York Times" investigation by Mr. Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti, which tells what happens to Palestinians living in the West

Bank under the occupation of the State of Israel. I don't want it to be repeated in Gaza as well. We have to pull out from Gaza, Palestinian.

It has to be governed by Palestinians. It has to be administered and led by the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority is very weak, in some

say -- it has to be reformed in a very substantial way.


OLMERT: But it has -- Gaza has to be governed by Indians not by Israelis.

ANDERSON: Well, this current government certainly you know, a number of key ministers who are effectively kingmakers in this coalition. Do not agree

with you. I want to discuss these latest Ben-Gvir lines with you. Let's just hear what he said at what was a settler March yesterday standby.



ITAMAR BEN-GVIR, ISRAELI MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY: We can sit in the cabinet and press for action in Rafah, not compromise on the ending of the

war, and demand that targeted countermeasures be taken. But to end the problem so that the problem does not return, we need two things that must

be done.

One, going back to Gaza now, returning home, returning to our Holy Land and two encouraging emigration to encourage the voluntary departure of

residents of Gaza. Its moral, it's rational. That is true. That is the truth. That is the Torah and that is the only way.


ANDERSON: Ehud Olmert, this is Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is the Minister of National Security of Israel in the cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu. You have

talked about Ben-Gvir and others on the far right, as I quote you here, the greatest threat to the security of Israel and threat to the moral

foundations of the State of Israel.

I want to get your response to what he said on Tuesday. And how you see these divisions in government and in Israeli society playing out at this


OLMERT: Well, first of all, this is precisely what they said. I say that they are a threat to the well-being of the State of Israel. And they are

challenging the moral foundations of the State of Israel. And this is the most serious threat, most dangerous threat to the well-being into the

future and to the security of the State of Israel.

Now, they control Netanyahu, and therefore, all the accusations that we voice against them should be directed at Netanyahu because he prefers to be

tied completely to their attitudes into the policies, into their demands, rather than take a different direction, because he's afraid that his

government will collapse. So really what we have now, what we face now.


OLMERT: Is the stability of this government, or a change of policy, which will service, first of all service our interests, and also will probably

expand the basis of our cooperation with neighboring countries with the Palestinians and also with friendly government, such as the American

government, European governments.

Netanyahu prefers talk, purely personal interests. The partnership was being driven, smart, rich, at the expense of the national interest of the

state of Israel. This is where we are, and this is why we are fighting against this with all our power.

ANDERSON: And you say this is driven by Netanyahu, you have said in the past very specifically that you believe, and you have no doubt or

hesitation in saying this Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is deliberately and knowingly foiling any chance of reaching a deal on Gaza.

You have talked about the need for a plan for Gaza going forward. And you very specifically wrote in an article inherits --



OLMERT: -- just a week or so ago, the Gaza wars final scene, and it had -- yeah, the Gaza wars final scene and beyond. This is what Israel's endgame

should be.

And you include in that a transition in Gaza, which will you say or should include our boots on the ground? What does that plan to your mind look

like? And do you genuinely believe that those countries that you've included as a vision for a transitional Gaza? Do you genuinely believe they

will be prepared to get involved with Benjamin Netanyahu still, as prime minister at this point? Is there any chance that this day after plan is

realistic at this point?

OLMERT: I like your sense of humor. Becky, I don't think that Netanyahu can be a partner for anything positive. I've seen it in the most explicit

manner, including in this article that you go to Haaretz which is a leading paper in Israel. If Netanyahu is not prepared to make the deal which will

bring back the hostage's life.


The only possible way to make the deal with those murders, they are murderers. They are killers. They are in -- they should be eliminated

lately, but they hold the hostages. And it is obvious that they will not return the hostages unless we will agree to stop the fighting. And so we

have to make a choice, do we want them alive?

Or do we want to continue endlessly in a military operation that will cause the lives of so many more Israelis, including the hostages, and so many

non-involves Palestinians. The alternative is this. And this is what I was trying to say. Number one, we have to stop the military operation, make a

deal with Hamas to return the hostages.

Now, at the same time, we have to declare that in the minute that an international force will take Gaza, Israel will pull out completely --

similar arrangement in the South of Lebanon in 2006. And work rather nicely. For 17 years, we didn't have one bullet shot from across Lebanon to

the State of Israel.

Now -- there will be Palestinian forces with moderate Arab countries that are interested, but they will not do it with Netanyahu because Netanyahu

will not cooperate. And therefore there has to be a new government in Israel. And also, the Palestinians will have to change their


And this is not something that I want to dictate to them, as they say it all the time, because the Palestinian Authority, unfortunately is weak, is

corrupt, is an incapable of -- the reigns that are needed in order to be able to control Gaza, and to control Gaza from the continued intervention

of the terrorist organization such as Hamas.

So in order to the Palestinians and Arabs to get ready to assume this kind of responsibility, what I suggested -- I spell it out to the extent that I

can to a representative of Western countries.


OLMERT: That America in the Europeans definitely -- want that when Israel pulls out Hamas will take over again. So for an interim period, what I

suggest is that there will be a Western international intervention force that will control Gaza, and prevent the resurrection of Hamas for a period

of a year or two years. In the meantime, the Arab moderate countries, and Israel will not be in Gaza altogether.


OLMERT: And they have moderate countries with the Palestinian Authority as the representatives or former Palestinian Authority, perhaps under

different leadership, a strong, reliable, determined, committed, the new leadership, will then take over --



OLMERT: -- and at this time, Israel has to announce that we are prepared to start negotiations for a two state solution.

Believe me I know that some people think that I'm dreaming. I'm not dreaming. I'm familiar with all the data, with all the facts with

everything. This is a practical possible solution. It's the only possible solution. Israel has to leave -- Palestinians has to have to join the

Americans have to support with the Europeans. It can be done, it will change history, and it will change the Middle East. That's what we need to


ANDERSON: Ehud Olmert in the House, insight and analysis from the former prime minister, which is extremely important to hear at this point. Good to

have you, sir, was a pleasure. Thank you more news after the break.



ANDERSON: Another high profile trial has resumed in New York. I'm not talking Donald Trump here. It is day two of the opening statements in the

bribery case against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. He's been charged with acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Egypt and taking bribes of gold

bars, a car and more.

CNN's Jason Carroll, live outside the courthouse in New York and this. Senator Menendez is attorney laying out their opening statements yesterday.

Tell us what was, key about their defense case and what's happening in court today?

JASON CARROLL, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a couple of points to make, first starting with the prosecution, Becky, and they really did a

pretty good job of laying out their case to jurors. In terms of specifics and what the case is all about. Lara Pomerantz the prosecutor in the case

stood directly in front of jurors and it points pointing directly at Senator Menendez saying the following.

She said that this was a man who put greed first that he put power up for sale that this was not politics as usual. She said this was politics for

profit. She also said that this was a man who used his wife Nadine Menendez as a go between in order to receive all of these bribes. She summarized it

in this way, saying in part, he was powerful.

He was also corrupt. For years, Robert Menendez betrayed the people he was supposed to serve by taking bribes. And what was his price? She said, gold

bars, cash for his wife, and a job for his wife. Of course, she's talking about the gold bars and cash that, was retrieved from his home in New


The defense for its part knew that they had to get right to it. And Defense Attorney Avi Weitzman addressed what he called the gold and green elephant

in the room saying that to juries look, I know this looks fishy. He said but there is a reasonable explanation for it. He said in terms of the gold

bars, well, those were gold bars that belonged to Nadine Menendez and her family.

That perhaps she got it from her family, but also placing part of the blame squarely at the feet of Nadine Menendez. He said the following he said, she

wasn't going to let Bob meaning Senator Menendez know she had financial problems. So she tried to get cash and assets any way she could.

But she kept Bob sideline. Nadine made sure Bob was kept out of conversations involving money. In this case, we need to figure out where's

Bob in all of this? He went on to tell jurors that there's no direct evidence. He says, linking Senator Menendez by terms of emails or phone

calls or text messages. Nadine Menendez, as you know is going to be tried separately. Her trial starts in July, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good to have you sir. Thank you. More news after this short break, stay with us.



ANDERSON: Well the U.K. economy could get a boost of nearly a billion dollars -- to one of the world's biggest music tours -- right, it is

"Swiftonomics". Once again, the British bank Barclays estimates that the 15 U.K. stops on Taylor Swift's Eras Tour later this year, could inject more

than $950 million dollars into the economy.

The bank considered fans would spend money on travel accommodation, tickets and food and it comes to a little more than $1,000 each. That's more than

12 times what people spend on an average night out here in Britain.

HILL: It is --

ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. Well. I think we're going to trade all over each other. So why don't I say Erica and I will be back after this short


HILL: Perfect.