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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump Blatantly Lies, Says "He's Not Allowed To Testify"; CNN Gets Tossed Out Of CPAC Gathering In Orban's Hungary; U.S. Campus Arrests Top 2,000 As Police Engage Protesters. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 02, 2024 - 19:00   ET




What have we done? The text message that set it all today, as Trump now falsely claims that he cannot testify in the hush money trial. Among our guests, former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman.

And an exclusive OUTFRONT investigations tonight, an event that our reporter got kicked out of when trying to show you inside a world Republicans don't want you to see, a world led by a man who's a model for Trump's second term.

And more breaking news. Campus chaos and other university giving protesters a deadline to get out or else.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, what have we done? Four words in one text, a text that could spell big trouble for Trump. During his nearly six hours of testimony, Stormy Daniels' former attorney was asked about this text message that he sent to the former editor of the "National Enquirer". That text, "what have we done?" was sent on election night in 2016. What have we done in the text goes.

So the prosecutor ask the witness, Keith Davidson, what did you mean when you say, what have we done? Davidson responds, I think there was an understanding that this is a text between Dylan Howard, who is obviously the editor of the "National Enquirer" and I and this was an understanding that our efforts may have in some way, I should strike that. That our efforts may have in some way assisted the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

So we thought carefully about his words, was careful with them. And that exchange is crucial context, of course, to the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels because one of the reasons Trump is charged with a felony is for covering up a payment in order to impact an election after that crucial piece of evidence came out in court, Trump went before the cameras to talk about it as he's been doing every day here.

But for the first time, something really changed here. He claimed for the first time that he is not allowed to be a witness in the case. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I'm not allowed to testify. I'm under a gag order, I guess. You can't testify.


BURNETT: Of course, that's false. He can testify. It's nothing to do with the gag order. The gag order prevents him from attacking witnesses or jurors.

And here's the thing about that for him to say, oh, id love to, but I can't. I mean, yes, par the course of his history on these issues, but it is an incredible reversal from what he has said repeatedly. He has said that he would testify in this trial.


REPORTER: Mr. President, do you plan to testify in your trial in New York?

TRUMP: Yeah, I would testify. Absolutely. It's a scam.

REPORTER: Is it risky for you to testify?

TRUMP: I'm testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth.


BURNETT: All right. Our reporters in the courtroom saying at times today, Trump was leaning back in his chair, closing his eyes. I saw that when I was in the courtroom, it was clear to me that he was listening when that happened, but there had been speculation on Twitter that he's dozing off and today he got on Truth Social during the lunch break and responded to those charges, writing: Contrary to fake news media, I don't fall asleep during the crooked D.A.'s witch hunt, especially not today. I simply close my beautiful blue eyes. Sometimes listen intensely, and take it all in.

Paula Reid is OUTFRONT live outside the courthouse to begin our coverage.

So, Paula, you obviously are in the heart of this case and as I said, it, all jokes aside, what I saw on the courtroom the other day, he was not falling asleep and it's hard to imagine him or anyone else could fall asleep today with what you saw in that courtroom?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Right, you're hearing testimony about other scandals involving celebrities like Charlie Sheen, Tila Tequila, and even Hulk Hogan. And even though Keith Davidson, who was involved in deals related to all of those scandals, even though he was called by the prosecution today, Trump's defense lawyers were clearly on offense.


TRUMP: Long day in court as always, but very happy about the way things are going.

REID (voice-over): And he should be. Keith Davidson, a Los Angeles lawyer who formerly represented Stormy Daniels, was back on the witness stand.

Trump's lawyers trying to paint him as a lawyer with a history of extracting big month see from high-profile figures and directly asked if he was engaging in extortion. The defense pointed to a $2 million deal he secured for one of his clients from actor Charlie Sheen, but Davidson refused to answer questions of the agreement, citing attorney-client privilege.


Davidson was then grilled about his representation of a client I ask who tried to sell Hulk Hogan his own sex tape. I did everything I could to make sure my activities were lawful, Davidson said. He acknowledged that his dealings with Hogan's representatives were under scrutiny from the FBI.

They had an investigation, yes, Davidson testified. Davidson repeatedly answered that he could not recall when asked about but other deals which resulted in a testy exchange with the defense attorney who said, we're both lawyers. I'm not here to play lawyer games with you.

Defense lawyers tried to tie Davidson's other deals to his monetary settlement for Daniels, suggesting that he was trying to avoid being accused of extortion. Trump's attorney asked: One of the issues you had to be sensitive about was not to threaten that the payment needed to be made prior to the election. I don't recall that, Davidson responded.

Trump paid close attention to his legal team as they cross-examined Davidson, even turning his chair towards the witness stand at one point under questioning from prosecutors, David good said admitted that he told Michael Cohen that Daniels would lose her leverage if Trump lost the 2016 election. He also testified to Cohen's chaotic state of mind in December 2016.

Recalling a phone call with Cohen, Davidson said that he was very upset that he had not been chosen for a role in the Trump administration. I thought he was going to kill himself, Davidson testified.


REID (on camera): District Attorney Alvin Bragg has kept a low profile throughout this trial, but today he made aware appearance in court and he appeared shortly before one of his employees, Douglas Daus, who processes electronic evidence for the district attorney had to take the stand. Now, a source familiar with his thinking with his management style tells me that Bragg wanted to show support for his employee, who, of course only has to testify around because the Trump defense team refuses to stipulate to any of this evidence.

BURNETT: And that means a lot more witnesses just to get basic things in front of the jury.

All right. Paula, thank you so much.

Our experts all here with me.

So, Terri Austin, you were in court today as you've been every single day. So the other day when you and I were saying they're Davidson began his testimony and I remember you and I were talking when he was confident he was detailed, he was comfortable. He's engaging with the jury. He was in his element.

But today, you are sitting there. He says, I don't recall repeatedly. I know he was flushed at one point.

Tell me about it.

TERRI AUSTIN, HOST AND LEGAL ANALYST, LAW & CRIME NETWORK, FORMER TRIAL ATTORNEY: He also had long pauses, Erin. And I think -- he's an attorney, of course. He wanted to be very careful about what he was saying.

It is much more difficult to be cross-examined than it is to do a direct examination because you haven't practiced it, and it's not a script. I think when Bove was questioning him, he got a little bit agitated as matter of fact, they started to argue at one point.

And you said it earlier, the fact that, well, you know, we're both lawyers. That is something unusual to hear. And he chose his words very carefully.

It was interesting. He was night and day different from what he was on direct examination.

BURNETT: Under cross, and there was a lot of challenges in this cross.

But, Jeremy, when you were inside the courtroom, you could actually see the jury and you're very close to them. I mean, the other day, I was clear to me they were paying very close attention, but to this with ease fireworks today with Davidson under cross, what's the jury's reaction?

JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yeah. I think its worth staying at the start. It feels like the jury has been paying attention throughout. Every time I've looked over whether its an interesting witness like Davidson, whether it's a less interesting witness, perhaps, we got to talking about records like --

BURNETT: I mean, I was shocked at how much they paid attention.

HERB: They still were paying attention, but certainly during this testimony that the jury was engaged, I were watching, you could see the tennis match back and forth between Bove and Mr. Davidson. I also think its worth noting that Trump was paying very close attention to this part of the testimony.

When Davidson finished in the morning with the direct, Trump did his zoning out where he had his eyes closed, you know, whether you're sleeping or not, who's to say? There, he turned in his chair. He was watching this closely throughout the hour before lunch.

BURNETT: So in the cross, Paul, the defense did try to discredit Davidson. So they talked about other celebrity cases where he would go to them and say, oh, if you don't give me money, Charlie Sheen, Hulk Hogan, Tila Tequila, they used the word extortion.

Are these the kinds of things that could discredit a witness in front of the jury with what's at stake here?

PAUL MARTIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: These are the things that can discredit a witness. The fact that he pauses at times, the time that he was deliberate in his -- in his answers, the fact that his demeanor during direct examination is different than cross. All those things are important.

But I would've liked to have seen the prosecution bring a lot more out about the negatives about him, too blunt with the defense attorney was going to do.

BURNETT: This seemed a bit -- they didn't seem like they expected this stuff which is --

MARTIN: How could you not expect it, right? I mean, that's the thing. I mean, you don't realize your client was involved and deal with Hulk Hogan or Charlie Sheen for $2 million, sort of glaring oversights if that's what they are.

So, Ryan, Trump's attorney, as part of this, when they were going after Davidson introduces a recording, where Davidson its talking to Michael Cohen and saying Stormy Daniels, one of the money quote, more than you could ever imagine, okay? Then he continues in this, they give the transcript of this call between Cohen and Davidson. Davidson says, if he loses this election and he's going to lose, we lose all I think leverage.

Now, you can look at this several ways, but one of them would be to be like, wow, this shirt makes it look like Davids is acknowledging that his best election -- was -- his best election, his best leverage was to use the election to try to get paid to basically extort.

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Right, but when I saw that, I thought, wow, that's pretty damaging against the defense. You might even think that the prosecution would introduce the recording.

BURNETT: Okay. So explain the other side, how you --

GOODMAN: The other side is it's just remarkable, the recording as Davidson saying to Cohen that we will lose all leverage after the election, meaning that this is all tied to the election. That is the missing piece that the prosecutors have to prove. They have to prove that this whole scheme falsifying business records, et cetera, was directed towards the election and trying to influence the election by not having the information come out because --



BURNETT: Okay. So I understand your point, but if it's Davidson saying it, is it Davidson saying I perceive that the election is, you know, kind of the dangling sword of Damocles that I have here as opposed to the mode of needing to come from the other side?

GOODMAN: Yes, absolutely. And I think that's the best explanation for why is the defense in fact raising this? They're trying to say, it's in Davidson's head. This is the guy who extorts people.

He was using the election to extort people. In his mind, he's focused on the election as a leverage point, but Donald Trump is not -- you don't have any evidence that says Donald Trump was thinking about the election, Donald Trump's thinking about his wife and his family. That's the defense's argument. And that's why maybe they're introducing it as -- that explains the timing because the jury might think, why is this all happening in the late October of 2016, it's got to do with the election. Yes, but is Davidson thinking about the election? Not clear.

BURNETT: So, that was a -- we see the transcript. There was a conversation played today, the actual audio of a conversation that Trump's team played in the cross. And this was, you got -- I guess everyone's attention.

So we just play it for everybody. Here's the clip.


MCHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP: I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David. I spoke to Allen about it when it comes time for the financing which will be --

TRUMP: What financing?

COHEN: We'll have to pay --

TRUMP: So pay with cash.

COHEN: No, no, no, no, no.


BURNETT: Okay. So just to be clear, this discussion is about the Karen McDougal payment, not the Stormy Daniels payment, but you have Donald Trump talking about financing money in a payment to a woman so that is what this establishes. You're watching the jury when they hear this clip, what happened?

HERB: It was really striking because the sound, it was almost booming when you had and this was one of several recordings that we heard today. We also heard Michael Cohen's conversations with Keith Davidson. It was almost like it was a theater when it was the sound was quite loud. The jury -- they're not only going to hear it here, Michael Cohen's voice for the first time, but they had the transcript of the screen. It was in front of them.

And so they were certainly watching Donald Trump has also looking at the screen, so they could read the conversation, kind of watch what's going on in real time. But obviously Michael Cohen is a key witness that there eventually going to hear from.

But this was the first time they actually heard his voice, heard him dealing with Trump. And I think it's probably not the last time we're going to hear.

BURNETT: No. But what was Trump's reaction when he hears that call?

AUSTIN: Well, I can tell you everybody in the room, including Trump, when they heard his voice because they played it and that was the voice we heard first -- we were all surprised. I thought we were going to hear Cohen or Davidson or someone else, but we heard Trump and I think everybody looked up, including Donald Trump because he heard his own voice.

And I think it means that he knows that there is some solid evidence against him. Now, we have his voice before. It was just Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen. Now, its Donald Trump was actually doing the talk.

BURNETT: And it's possible he may not have known about that call until that moment or --

MARTIN: He should have known. I mean, the -- your counsel is provided, but these documents and these tapes long before. You go through this --

BURNETT: They should have listened to them and know --

MARTIN: Clearly, they knew this was coming. Now, whether they told their client than it was coming is another --

BURNETT: Okay. Ryan, okay, another crucial moment for the defense today. Davidson says, quote, I have had no personal interactions with Donald Trump. So again, that call we just heard as Michael Cohen, Donald Trump talking about financing payment to Karen McDougal, Davidson represented her. You also up and represent Stormy Daniel, and what's at stake in this case. But he says, I've had no personal interactions with him.

So has the prosecution had any success so far in linking the Stormy Daniels payment to Trump, which they must do?

GOODMAN: Not really. So they've had some witnesses speculating that Trump was behind the scenes and understood it, but not yet. I think that is an important missing piece that the prosecution has to prove in the current -- in the coming days. And there's another piece as well that the prosecution I think was in the back heel is because the defense counsel also says, well, we have these signs the agreements, but where's Donald Trump's name?


He seems absent, absent from the agreement. Absent from the understanding. There's the missing piece.

BURNETT: Right. I guess they could point to -- well, who says you prove to Karen McDougal he wants to pay cash, but Paul, another point, Trump's attorney says today, you never linked these negotiations to the 2016 election with anyone. Is that your testimony, asking of Davidson, right? Davidson says, that's fair.

So even as he saying you know, this is, this our moment, were going to lose all f-ing leverage, he's saying at the same time that he never linked the negotiators to the payment directly to the election in the negotiations which I presume means in conversations with Michael Cohen.

MARTIN: Right.

BURNETT: How damning is that?

MARTIN: Well, I think you have to look at the other side.


MARTIN: Why did the other side go into this agreement and they're, of course, the prosecution is going to say, they went into it to save the fact of this election, if it got out, everything was going to fall apart.

Of course, the other side is saying, no, we doing it because the defense is saying because we wanted protect my wife. And so, you have to be able to look at the other side in the negotiations that were taking place in their mindset, the defense's side, and that's really what is important.

What Davidson thought or didn't think is totally irrelevant.

BURNETT: And, Jeremy, you know, having been in the room at different times, we all know there's kind of positions that he takes. There's the lean back, put your head back, legs forward. There's the straight up, there's lean into the TV screen. There are several. Okay.

HERB: Absolutely.

BURNETT: So today, what how would you comparatively Trump's level of engagement and involvement?

HERB: I think during the Davidson cross, he was very engaged. I think one of the more times we seen him most engaged, perhaps that when he had run in, you've got think he was also engaged it'd be the first day.

During the gag order hearing, he -- you know, that happened this morning and he was he was zoomed out like he -- it's -- I think its clearly a strategy and well see how long again that he is able to follow it. But when there's testimony he doesn't like, his best strategy here is just to ignore it and to sit back and zoom out.

BURNETT: And try to zoom out. But it is a long time that he's going to have to maintain this composure, right, Terri?

AUSTIN: Absolutely. I mean, we're going to go six to eight weeks and we're just now getting started, particularly when we get to Michael Cohen. I think that is going to be a very long direct and a very long cross examination. And there will be sparks flying in that courtroom for sure.

BURNETT: Between those two.

All right. Thank you all very much.

And next breaking news, we are us getting some of the actual evidence that was shown in court today into CNN, including important photos and text messages as questions grow over what the next big witness could be, could it be Hope Hicks?

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman is next.

Plus, an OUTFRONT investigation into Trump's embrace of a far-right leader, a leader who is providing Trump a roadmap for a second term.


VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER: Make America great again, make Europe great again.


BURNETT: And from champagne to Playboy models, Trump lived the playboy life but is that what's really going to do him in now?



BURNETT: All right, breaking news, we have just obtained some of the key evidence shown in court today during Donald Trump's hush money trial, including this photo of Michael Cohen standing in the White House press briefing room on February 8, 2017. And we also have a trove of text messages that Cohen sent, including a batch of back-and- forth with the person you see on your screen there, former Trump close aide Hope Hicks.

Now, both of them are expected to be called to testify in this case. The first texts between them was shown on November 4, 2016. That's four days before the election. Cohen says to Hicks: Call me. Other texts, admitted evidence also appear to show Cohen and Hicks repeatedly discussing the Stormy Daniels allegations.

OUTFRONT now, Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former senior adviser to Donald Trump, also worked with Michael Cohen. And, of course, knew Trump because she was a contestant on the first season of "The Apprentice", and is the author of "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House", where of course you spent a plenty of time, Omarosa.

So, Okay.


BURNET: You took that picture.

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: I really think that I took that picture because I escorted Michael when he came for that visit in February of 2017 and took him around. His daughter was my intern in the White House, Samantha, she's wonderful, but yeah, I think I took that picture.

BURNETT: Okay. That's fine. There you go. And you stop being emitted for evidence.

Okay. So when these back-and-forth conversations between text conversations between Hope Hicks and Michael Cohen, they're talking about Stormy Daniels allegations. Hope Hicks obviously was press secretary. She was communications director for the campaign.


BURNETT: I remember interviewing him once and it's literally at that point, it was him and Hope.


BURNETT: I mean, she was inner circle as inner circle gets.

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Because there was only like 14 of us at the beginning.

BURNETT: Right, I mean, it was very small. So then she goes on to become the White House communications director. But the texts that we know of show discussing the allegations.

Do you think or how much to think Hope Hicks may know about what was done about the allegations, the hush money payment?

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Well, there's no question that she knew every single aspect of it. In fact, it was her job to know and it was also her job to manage it and then manage the messaging around it. So I was really surprised when she initially asserted that she knew nothing about it. But now, all of the information that's coming out and the evidence shows that she knew more than she admitted.

BURNETT: Right. And we do expect her to be called to testify, so were going to find out and I'm sure well see a lot more of those messages.


Kellyanne Conway could also be a potential witness on this. Now, she was Trump's campaign manager at the time. She has denied having any knowledge about the payment to Stormy Daniels. Of course, we'll see when she's on the stand what she would say.

But Paula Reid, our reporter, who's been covering the so extensively, she said the testimony with Kellyanne could focus really in on "Access Hollywood" tape, sort of the OMG moment that it created.


BURNETT: The feeling of, okay, we're done unless we do something dramatic.

What would you expect to hear from her?

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Well, I remember the release of that tape because we were on a bus tour, a "women for Trump" bus tour. I think we were in --

BURNETT: How appropriate how random boss tour?

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: And Kellyanne actually dispatched us to those battleground states. And we all have to get on a call right before the release. And there it was, it was the biggest bombshell of the campaign. We thought that that was the end.

Kellyanne was central to all of those conversations and probably the urgency having to handle the Stormy Daniels situation really stemmed from that "Access Hollywood" released.

BURNETT: And, you know, in those moments, Omarosa, when we tried to understand what -- what role Trump played in this case, whether he directed that payment and the falsification of business documents, what was his reaction and what did he what did he say in that contemporaneously in that moment about Stormy Daniels, about needing to do something about it?

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Donald's -- his directive is always you guys just fix it. Don't tell me how you do it, just fix it, which is why Michael Cohen was so key in his relationship with Trump in the Trump Organization.

For us on the call, he's like you guys handle it. Once it's all taken care of, you know, just come back to me. I didn't want to know the nuances.

But he is also really down to the minutia of everything. If you've ever been to Trump Tower, Donald Trump knows who's working concession in the lobby --

BURNETT: You know, we absolutely does, who's selling cuff links that will stand in the lobby.

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: How many cuff links were sold that day?

BURNETT: Yes. MANIGAULT NEWMAN: So you're not going to get the American public to

believe now that you were not intimately involved with things that were happening in your organization, in and out, day in and out for at least a month and a half. It's just not believable.

BURNETT: So let me let me ask you this. Do you though, when you say that the attitude on the call from Trump was sort of okay, you guys take care of this and then get back to me. Is the door open for you to him knowing full well, that whatever Cohen was doing might've been quite unsavory.


BURNETT: But not actually knowing what it was himself. Is that --

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: It's not possible. It' not about how Donald Trump operates.

BURNETT: So if it came to a payment to a Stormy Daniels, he knew.

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: He knew, he directed it. I absolutely believe Michael Cohen because he fixed so many other situations in the 17 years that I was part of that working in that organization.


MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Michael was the fixer. It's not just saying he actually did the things.

I know people play down his role as an attorney, but he was actually really, really good at managing legal situations for Donald, extinguishing sticky situations, not just with Stormy Daniels, but so many that I'm surprised he's not shared with the American public because he has so many things that he had to deal with, that I personally know.

And I think Donald knows that Michael hasn't even --

BURNETT: He knows so many skeletons.

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: He has so many things.

BURNETT: And now, he has not shared.

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: He has not shared everything that he knows. Donald knows that. Michael knows that. I know that.

BURNETT: All right. Omarosa, thank you very much.

MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Yeah. Good to see you.

BURNETT: Good to see you and to see you in person.


BURNETT: And next, an OUTFRONT investigation, Kyung Lah got kicked out of an event that Trump's allies don't want you to even know exists, an event that offers important clues about what Trump second term would look like.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Closed zone, closed zone, closed zone.


BURNETT: Plus, breaking news. A campus protests in Portland turning violent tonight, police say an officer has been taken to the hospital, others reportedly being hit by water bottles. We have details on these breaking development coming up.



BURNETT: Tonight, something Republicans don't want you to see. They even threw our reporter off the property for trying to bring this next story to you.

We're talking about the GOP's embrace of Hungary's authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and a new CNN investigation showing how Trump and Republicans who support him in this party are strengthening ties with a strongman ruler. He's known for cracking down on gay rights, immigrants, and the press. Trump allies even held a well-known annual conservative conference, CPAC, CPAC in Budapest. This as Trump is again not committing to accept the results of the 2024 election, saying, quote, if everything's honest, I'll gladly accept the results. If it's not, you have to fight for the right of the country.

Kyung Lah is in Hungary with a report that you will see first here OUTFRONT.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Enter width me into the right-wing's utopia where the slogans are American and unapologetic.

This is America's Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, but exported to Budapest, Hungary, a country led by authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Since 2010, Orban has crushed dissent, politically and socially, consolidating power around his office, severely restricting immigration. He's taken control of the judiciary and major media and limited rights, especially for gay people. This is the leader held up by CPAC as a conservative hero in a war against the left, and praise by another charismatic leader who shared a greeting via video.


TRUMP: I'm honored to address so many patriots in Hungary who are proudly fighting on the frontlines of the battle to rescue Western civilization.

LAH: Familiar Trump, allies joined in.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP AIDE: You guys are an inspiration to the world.

LAH: From video messages.


LAH: To appearing in person, saying Hungary should be a roadmap for a Trump second term.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hungary's immigration policies just serve as a model to the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that confirms that I am in good company here in Hungary.

REP. ANDY HARRIS (R-MD): Hungary has become one of the most successful models as leader for conservative principles and governance in Europe.

LAH: Not that they want outsiders to see any of this firsthand.

Everything has a mesh around it, mesh fencing.

We got an email back from CPAC when we applied for credentials and it said that were getting denied access because CPAC is no woke zone.

That was a standard response and to most independent media, we got tossed out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Closed zone, closed zone, closed zone.

LAH: Back inside, Orban is clear about who he supports in the U.S. election.

ORBAN: Make America great again, make Europe great again. Donald Trump!

LAH: Why did the prime minister, your prime minister, invoke the name of Donald Trump and use the words, make America great again?

PETER SZIJJARTO, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Because we would like to see great America. We are -- we are good friends of America. And do we want U.S.-Hungary relationship to be improved? Yes, obviously we do. Do we have a better chance for that with President Trump in office or Democrats in office? Of course, we have a better chance with President Trump in office.

LAH: Hungary's foreign minister agree to a short interview with CNN, telling us Orban and Trump's share much of the same vision, including like governments should be run by strong men.

How is that a democracy?

SZIJJARTO: You know, it's really annoying to me that there's no common understanding in the world now about what democracy means. We are a truly right-wing party, it's truly right-wing political movement, with the approach that the prime minister represents and the approach represented by President Trump are very similar to each other.

LAH: Hosting CPAC isn't the beginning of the relationship between Hungary and the U.S. right wing. We reviewed disclosures with the Department of Justice and found that since 2010, when Orban came into power, his government has paid U.S. lobbyists at least $4.5 million. The goal, to build ties with the American conservative movement.

GIADDEN PAPPIN, PRESIDENT, HUNGARIAN INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: When American conservatives look to hungry, they see a prime minister and a government that actually delivered on the slogans that they -- that they promised.

LAH: An open door by Hungary for American conservatives led Giadden Pappin here. He leads a think tank attached to Orban's office, a Trump supporter who would like to us to be more like Hungary.

PAPPIN: When Trump came into office in 2017, it was a very rude awakening. He realized the importance of having a strong team of people who are aligned and willing to carry out the same mission. Prime Minister Orban has built that in Hungary. And so I think that's the mentality that Trump is bringing into the 2024 campaign.

LAH: The relationship between the two men is close. The former president heaping praise on Orban during a recent visit to Mar-a-Lago.

TRUMP: Prime Minister does a great job. He's is a non-controversial figure because he said this is the way it's going to be and that's the end of it, right? He's the boss.

LAH: Marton Gulyas is a left-leaning political commentator. He's a host of "Partizan", a popular YouTube channel in Hungary, and says critics of Orban had been taken mostly off the air.

MARTON GULYAS, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Most of the channels are financially, economically tied to the government.

LAH: So would you that the media landscape is uncontrolled by Orban?

GULYAS: Yeah, a large part of the media landscape is controlled by Orban or a impacted by Orban. If you want to do independent, free, and trusty journalism, you have to go to the online sphere because that kind of a freedom doesn't exist on cable.


LAH: Zsuzsanna Szelenyi was once Orban's political ally, but witnessed Orban's right-wing shift. She has warning about what's happened to her country, being glorified by Trump world. SZELENYI: Basically all this taste institutions, including the president everyone is Orban's nominee so he has a very big institutional control. Orban is selling his model as a sample for radical rights all around in the Western world.

LAH: At CPAC Hungary, the conservative movement claims victory in an election year. U.S. Republicans attending are hoping to find the same success back home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both your capital and your government are more conservative than mine in America. But we're looking to change that.


LAH (on camera): This right-wing gathering here in Hungary is happening at a critical time for democracy around the world.


Elections are happening right now in India. In June, European parliamentary elections will be taking place and in November, of course, the U.S. elections where conservatives around the world are cheering on a Donald Trump victory -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much, in Hungary, a chilling and important investigation that Kyung did tonight.

Let's go beyond the numbers with Harry Enten.

So, Harry, you know, Kyung's reporting, there's also just this fascination in the United States with Orban, especially among those who support Trump. But she mentioned his visit to Mar-a-Lago recently.


BURNETT: You can use that as a barometer for what?

ENTEN: Yeah. If you -- take a look at the Google searches for Viktor Orban in the United States since his meeting with Trump just a few months ago, you see compared to the same period last year. Look at that, Google searches up 195 percent. And what I will note about that 195 percent --

BURNETT: Three times, yeah.

ENTEN: Yeah, very high compared to last year. And those that we've been seeing over the last few years in terms of searches for Viktor Orban were already at their all-time high. Remember, he rejoined, re- became prime minister back in 2010. Basically, no one in the United States had been searching him -- for him from 2010 to 2020. It was only when he visited CPAC back in 2022, the first time around that people actually started searching for him.

And now were already reaching highs when we were already at the highest level previously.

BURNETT: Right. So surge off of an already high number.

ENTEN: Exactly right.

BURNETT: All right. So the context here, of course, is the rising power or the rising curiosity with authoritarian leaders, right? And obviously in the GOP, that includes Putin, for some, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ken Buck, her former colleague, called her Moscow Marjorie because of how she is parroted talking points from Putin as she celebrated on Russian TV, and she he has a make Ukraine great hat again now. I mean, you know, there's a word echo between what she said and what we hear on Russian state television.

What do the numbers say about more broadly though, about Republican voter support for Putin?

ENTEN: Yeah, I mean, the majority of voters on the Republican side are not for Putin, but there's a substantial minority that is. You know, there was a recent poll question that essentially is a good thing that Putin was re-elected in Russia. And what we see there is 22 percent of Republicans say, yes, it was a good thing compared to just 2 percent of Democrats. You're talking more than a fifth of the Republican base here.

BURNETT: Amazing.

ENTEN: And the favorable ratings for Putin among Republicans, although they're low, they have doubled over the last year from 7 percent in 2023 to now, 14 percent in 2024. So again, its just a minority of Republicans, but its a very vocal minority and a growing one.

BURNETT: All right, so in that context, Trump, who told Sean Hannity famously he wouldn't be a dictator except for day one.

ENTEN: Yeah.

BURNETT: And even though, you know, Sean, had given him every out he could give him, he still said that.

"Time Magazine", the reporter was on here the other day, he had done this great interview with Trump and he told to -- Trump told him that he thinks a lot of Americans, like a dictator.

ENTEN: Yeah, certainly a lot of Republicans do. If you ask them whether or not they would like Trump to be a dictator for a day, three of Republicans said they were okay with that it's a good thing compared to just 26 percent who'd be a bad thing. So Trump is right, at least among the Republican base, Erin.

BURNETT: It's incredible. I wonder if they -- yeah.

ENTEN: I mean, the numbers are the numbers, Erin.

BURNETT: Right, right.

ENTEN: You know, we report the numbers that's what I do and that's what the American people believe.

BURNETT: Yeah, it's incredible.

All right. Thank you very much, Harry.

ENTEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, breaking news, police and students now clashing at another university. This happening right now, would you see on your screen. We've got reports of police being hit with water bottles and officer taken to the hospital. We're going to take you there.

Plus, Trump had as long lived a playboy life.


REPORTER: Have you ever dated a playmate?

TRUMP: I refuse to answer that question.

REPORTER: On the grounds that it may be true.

TRUMP: It maybe true.


BURNETT: Somehow even walking at her face then as she reacted to that. The question tonight though, is whether a playmate may be who takes him down.



BURNETT: Breaking news, you're looking at live pictures out of Portland where pro-Palestinian protests are reigniting this hour. Police say one officer has been taken to the hospital with a leg injury after a crowd near Portland State University refused to move back and then start throwing water bottles at police. And these developments happening now, come his officers moved in earlier today to clear an encampment inside that schools library, at least 12 were arrested, dozens were seen running away as you see on your screen.

And what the police find inside the library? Well, they saw destruction, overturned furniture, graffiti, improvised weapons, all of that inside a library.

Meantime, at UCLA, 210 people were arrested after last night's violent clashes on campus, which continued all the way into the morning. Heavy equipment and dumpsters brought into clear the encampment.

President Biden delivered a message to demonstrators today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It's against the law. Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations, none of this is a peaceful protest.


BURNETT: Camila Bernal is OUTFRONT.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Violent, tense, and chaotic scenes at UCLA, more than 200 arrested as hundreds of law enforcement officers using flash bangs, batons, and what appeared to be rubber bullets to disperse more than 200 pro- Palestinian protesters from a university encampment.

ALEJANDRO RUBIO, SUPERVISOR, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL, SOUTHERN DIVISION: We had fire extinguishers thrown at us, smoke thrown at us, water bottles, and other various items.

BERNAL: Officers moved in at around 3:00 in the morning, police gained ground, breaking makeshift barriers, clearing tents and belongings, and detaining protestors one by one.

The mostly peaceful encampment was set up a week ago. But violence erupted during counter-protest on Sunday, and even more tense moments overnight Tuesday leaving at least 15 injured.

Last night, protestors attempted to stand their ground, linking arms, using flashlights on officers' faces shouting, and even throwing items at officers.

The encampment was cleared and the protesters that were walked out in zip ties were put on buses and taken to a detention facility to be processed.

Across the country, similar scenes as officials crack down on encampments. Police in Oregon cleared out the Portland State University library.

OFFICER: Hey, did we have any of those zip ties?

BERNAL: Where students had barricaded themselves inside with furniture.

At Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, a stand off with police, where more than 90 people were arrested on campus including some who were not students.

That mirrored the mass arrests in New York City the night before, where an NYPD official tells CNN roughly half of the nearly 300 people arrested at Columbia and City College were not affiliated with either school.


BERNAL (on camera): And we are now learning that during Tuesday's police response at Columbia University, there was an officer that fired his gun. We are told by the university that no one was injured and they are now conducting a review.

Back here at UCLA, if you take a look behind me, this area has already been cleaned up. All that's left is some graffiti on the walls. You know, officials here at UCLA saying that they decided to clear the encampment because in part of the violence that they saw this week -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Camila, thank you very much at UCLA tonight.

And next, for decades Trump was happy and proud to portray himself as a playboy.


TRUMP: You know I got myself in trouble with the Playboy interview.


BURNETT: But now could all of those times be what ultimately takes him down?



BURNETT: Tonight, the former president and the playmate. Trump's alleged affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal is a key piece of his hush money trial. And just one part of Trump's decades-long fixation with Playboy, in the image, he worked so hard to cultivate now may come back to bite him.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She is one of the key figures in Donald Trump's criminal trial, Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who in 2018 interview, described what happened after the first time she and Trump were intimate.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And he actually tried to hand you money.

KAREN MCDOUGAL, FORMER PLAYBOY MODEL: He did. Well, but I looked at him and I said, that's not me. I'm not that kind of girl.

CARROLL: What followed she says was a ten-month affair with Trump in 2006, the year after he married his wife, Melania.

That same year in 2006, this photo showing McDougal, Trump, Melania and his daughter, Ivanka, at a Playboy function.

Prosecutors argue the "National Enquirer" bought McDougal's story for $150,000 as part of a catch and kill effort to protect then presidential candidate Trump who has denied the affair. It was thought at the time that an affair, let alone one with a playmate, would not have gone over well with conservative Christians who he was actively courting.

TRUMP: I have great relationship with God. I have great relationship with the evangelicals.

CARROLL: It could be said over the years, Trump has also had a great relationship with Playboy.

TRUMP: I was one of the few men in the history of Playboy to be on the cover. So I don't know.

CARROLL: That was presidential candidate Trump in 2016 giving a tour of his office at Trump Tower, showing some of his proudest accomplishments to a "Washington Post" reporter, prominently displayed at the time, a framed March 1990 Playboy magazine cover featuring him and a Playboy playmate wearing a tuxedo jacket and little else.

TRUMP: You know, I got myself in trouble with the Playboy interview.

CARROLL: in that 1990 cover story, Trump said this, I don't want to be president. I'm 100 percent sure. I changed my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes.

Pictures, going back to the early '90s showed Trump partying with playmates on numerous occasions.

This Playboy video from 1994, uncovered by CNN, shows Trump photographing Playboy models and interviewing potential playmates. The scene showing Trump do not to peg to any unclothed models, although there are scenes which we cannot show that do.

In 2000, he briefly appeared in another Playboy video celebrating with models pouring champagne on a limo.

And in 2001 at a Playboy event, CNN's Jeanne Moos asked Trump --

JEANNE MOOS, CNN REPORTER: Have you ever dated a playmate?

TRUMP: I refuse to answer that question.

MOOS: On the grounds that it may be true?

TRUMP: Maybe true.

CARROLL: And then there was this reaction in 2006. That's when Trump took contestants from "The Apprentice" to the Playboy mansion, and he spotted a woman in a bunny suit.

TRUMP: Come on over, wow.


BURNETT: So Hugh Hefner clearly, somebody who thought enough of Trump over the years, he use with Playboy for years and, you know, Omarosa was saying, gosh, they had that the opening for an "Apprentice" at the Playboy mansion. She was just sharing.

CARROLL: I mean, they shot an episode of "The Apprentice" at the Playboy mansion back in 2006 and Hugh Hefner was a guest on that particular episode.

So, yes, but clearly there was a change of heart because just before Hefner's death, Hefner's son said that his father had a change of heart, basically saying that after that 1990 cover story came out on Playboy magazine, years later, he said it just really felt as though it was an embarrassment.

BURNETT: Wow, that's pretty amazing to think about that.

CARROLL: Yeah, yeah.

BURNETT: All right, Jason, thank you very much.

Thanks to all of you.

Anderson starts now.