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Security Intensifying In New York City Ahead Of Trump's Arraignment; Death Toll Climbs To 32 In Weekend Storms, Tornado Outbreak; Iranian Women Attacked, Then Arrested For Not Wearing Hijab. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 03, 2023 - 05:30   ET




OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Security is ramping up in New York ahead of former President Trump's arrival today and his historic arraignment on criminal charges tomorrow. The NYPD is coordinating closely with the Secret Service and other federal agencies to protect both the former president and the crowds that may show up to protest.

More now from CNN's Shimon Prokupecz.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): With an unprecedented indictment comes immense security challenges. The NYPD, along with court officers, U.S. marshals, and the United States Secret Service, are running through logistics of how Tuesday's historic arraignment of the former president will go down.

Tonight, law enforcement sources telling CNN officials are conducting a dry run of Trump's movements, including his motorcade route to the courthouse in downtown Manhattan where he is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon, how he will get inside the courtroom flanked by Secret Service, and what will the arrest process look like. Will he be treated like any other defendant? The former president expected to be fingerprinted and photographed for a mugshot.

It's a massive effort starting when Trump arrives by plane Monday securing Trump Tower, the court, and the motorcade route.

KENNETH COREY, FORMER NYPD CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT: In this case, though, where you have a former president and certainly a president with as large a following as former President Trump there's a lot of unique concerns that are going to come into play. I think that the bigger unknown here is going to come in the form of protests or potential protests.

PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Officials are also bracing for protests after Trump urged his supporters to protest his arrest when news of the indictment reportedly neared. So far, the mayor's office says there are no credible threats to the city. And out of an abundance of caution every member of the NYPD -- some 35,000 officers -- are reporting for duty in uniform and prepared for mobilization.

COREY: Oh, the challenge for the NYPD is going to be protecting everybody's First Amendment right, allowing everybody to have their voice heard, and to do so in a way that keeps the peace.


PROKUPECZ (voice-over): The big question -- will the public see images of Trump as he enters the court where many of his associates have already passed?

PROKUPECZ (on camera): We've now learned that there actually will be a camera on the 15th floor where the former president is expected to walk through -- that floor on the 15th floor -- and then go inside the courtroom. So perhaps we will capture some of his movement.

And behind me here is where we, right now, think the president will surrender -- the doors that he will walk through as he turns himself in to the Manhattan D.A.'s office on Tuesday. We're still waiting on word on exactly the security plans and what's going to take place. But security here already has been heightened as folks here anticipate his arrival on Tuesday.


JIMENEZ: Shimon Prokupecz, thank you.

Well, defending president -- former President Trump from a security standpoint is one thing, but Republican lawmakers are scrambling to defend the former president and current candidate Donald Trump from a political standpoint as well as he's set to be arraigned tomorrow in New York.


REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): If this is politically motivated this will be a shame on our criminal justice system. It's one thing when you have a cancel culture; it's another when you have a cancel criminal justice system.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Give the president some money to fight this (bleep). This is going to destroy America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks pretty political. So without seeing the indictment and without knowing anything behind it, the motivation was there long before the evidence was.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): He didn't want to take the case, and then what changed? President Trump announces he's running for president and shazam --


JIMENEZ: So what does it all mean for the party ahead of the 2024 presidential election? Good thing we've got a great person to ask. Up with us this morning let's bring in senior contributor at Axios, Margaret Talev.

So, all right, let's start here. The Trump campaign says the team raised more than $5 million in 48 hours following the indictment. Do you think the case in Manhattan benefits his political campaign even if he is charged because he does seem to be leaning into the legal trouble here?


Yes, I -- look, I think the early indications are that in a perspective GOP primary they have given the former president a boost. You've seen poll after poll showing his lead over Ron DeSantis who is not yet a candidate but is expected to be widening.

And you saw those fundraising numbers -- the campaign telling Axios' Mike Allen that a quarter of the initial contributions within that first 24 hours of the indictment had come from first-time contributors. So one of the big questions is can Donald Trump actually gain any voters? It appears in the base he can gain new donors at least.

But I think that's a separate question from how would it set him up as a general election candidate. And we're seeing other new polling -- IPSOS-ABC the most recent -- showing that Democrats and the plurality of Independents do favor charges being brought in this case and prospectively in other cases around January 6, around the 2020 election, and that's before any of the evidence comes out.

So I think politically, Donald Trump is leaning into it. You're seeing him make plans for a big event at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday after his arraignment to message around us. But its early implications for the primary is really all we have a glimpse at right now.

JIMENEZ: And it's almost hard to wrap your mind around that. We are headed towards a primary and a presidential election cycle that will come very soon and you could have one of the leading candidates facing indictment in potentially multiple jurisdictions.

And former Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. had some advice for Trump ahead of his arraignment. Take a listen.


CYRUS VANCE, FORMER MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I've got to say that I was disturbed to hear the former president speak in the way he spoke about the district attorney Bragg and even the trial court in the past week. I would be mindful of not committing some other criminal offense, like obstruction of governmental administration, which is interfering with or by threat or otherwise --


VANCE: -- the operation of government.


JIMENEZ: And obviously, that's referring to Trump's not-so-high opinion, I think it's fair to say, of Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg and some of the judges involved here.

What do you make of those comments?

TALEV: Well, I -- you know -- remember, Cyrus Vance was the previous D.A. for Manhattan and there has been a lot of criticism or comments in the last couple of days from defenders of the former president saying if this case was so great why didn't Cy Vance bring it. So that's a big thing he was asked about. And what he's been saying is he did not because the Justice Department asked him to step back because they were pursuing a different case, which ended up with Michael Cohen's prosecution -- Trump's former lawyer.


But I think what Vance is also saying is look, it is actually dangerous from a legal matter for a defendant to use tactics like images with baseball bats or talking about violence in the streets or that kind of thing if it could be seen as intimidation. What he's trying to say is that the indictment itself, depending on the former president's actions, could create kind of a pile-on effect depending on how Trump reacts. So we'll see.

But I will say this. We don't know any of the details yet except for the rough contours of how many charges are involved. And yet, it has been days of non-stop coverage for Donald Trump and days of kind of a reconstitution of what this primary campaign is going to be about. So from a political perspective, I think this in the near term actually is something that the former president wants because it puts his name back in the news and it allows him to say that he's a political victim.

And so regardless of what the facts are, I think from a posturing position it's allowing him to raise money and get attention. And that's always the tug-of-war with Donald Trump is do you cover it because it's newsworthy or how -- you know, how do you balance the newsworthiness with just the shear kind of watch this factor, which --


TALEV: -- yes, all Americans are riveted but we don't actually know what we're talking about because we don't know the details of the case.

JIMENEZ: Yes. That indictment is still under seal at this point.

But you bring up a good point that this is happening again within the context of a bunch of Republicans trying to get their name ahead for a primary coming in the near future.

Asa Hutchinson, the former Arkansas governor, among those as he announced his bid for the 2024 election. Take a listen to some of what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASA HUTCHINSON, (R) FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, he should. But at the same time, we know he's not.


JIMENEZ: Now, you know that just hearing that, one thing I think that will be interesting to see over this campaign is that even for other Republicans trying to come forward they are now being forced to also talk about Donald Trump because they are either having to defend him or try to give some sort of insight into what Trump may be doing or thinking.

How do you think this will defend or at least impact his campaign and other prominent Republicans going into 2024?

TALEV: Well, Asa Hutchinson is noteworthy in the current field or perspective field because he's the only Republican in the early 2024 contest, both announced or assumed, who is actually calling on the former president to withdraw from the race. He's saying the office is more important than any individual. This will be a distraction.

I think it's easy for us to forget -- because he's been a two-term governor, a member of Congress, D.A., administrator -- that Asa Hutchinson was also a U.S. attorney and was also a prosecutor in the 1980s under the Ronald Reagan administration, and so he does have kind of that law enforcement perspective on these cases.

And while he's been sort preemptively critical, like he doesn't like the case based on what we know about it so far and that sort of thing, he's also been different than the rest of the Republicans to that point because he's saying that the process has to work itself out. The criminal justice system must be allowed to work.

So we know no matter how difficult his road ahead as candidate may be he is willing and planning to be outspoken against the former president when he thinks it's appropriate.

JIMENEZ: Margaret Talev, thank you so much for joining us.

TALEV: Thanks.

JIMENEZ: Now elsewhere, the death toll stands at 32 this morning after more than 50 tornadoes hammered at least seven states across the south and Midwest this weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My home is just totally gone. I'm picking up the pieces now. Right now I don't even know where to even start.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the high-velocity wind it just explodes and it blew the roof off.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JIMENEZ: The scenes of devastation similar in communities like Rutherford, Tennessee, and in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us from Wynne, Arkansas where at least five people have died. Derek, it seems like Mother Nature isn't finished yet, which is a scary thought based on the devastation we've seen so far, so is there more to come?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Indeed, we are standing in an area that is under the threat of severe weather again. And Omar, so much of America is waking up to heartbreak this morning because it's not just here where I'm standing in Wynne, Arkansas that was devastated by tornadoes, but you talked about it already. From Tennessee through the Midwest people are waking up this morning with a lot of pain and a lot of heavy hearts.

It's hard to comprehend, hard to put into words but there was actually a full single-family home directly behind me. What is left of it is virtually unrecognizable.


Now, the National Weather Service was here yesterday during -- doing surveys and they say at a bare minimum this was an EF-3 tornado. That means winds of up to 165 miles per hour. Now, to put that into some context, the Rolling Fork, Mississippi tornado from just over a week ago was upwards of 190 miles per hour. That was an EF-4.

We know there was fatalities in Mississippi last week. There were fatalities, of course, with this latest severe weather roundup -- this severe weather outbreak. And we have more than doubled last year's fatality count from tornadoes just this year alone and we are now only entering into the first parts of the peak of tornado season.

Let's set the scene a little bit. You can see some of the damage. I don't want to step onto this property but it just gives you an idea of the pure power of this tornado that tore through this area. You're not able to see it because it's still dark here but some of the trees have been completely twisted, almost following the rotation of an updraft of a -- of the tornado.

I had an opportunity yesterday to speak to the governor of Arkansas. You know, I'm a meteorologist so I had to pose these questions to her. Did the residents of Arkansas have adequate warning from this tornado, and she said yes. Meteorologists saved lives across this state. That was good news.

It was Palm Sunday yesterday, too, so one of the churches that was devastated in Wynne decided to hold a service that really showed some solidarity and determination for these folks to rebuild -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: Derek Van Dam, it's hard to even imagine that you're standing in front of a home that's -- or the remnants of a home and that there is more to come. Thank you, as always, and please stay safe.

Coming up, new video shows a man in Iran dumping yogurt on two women. Why he did it and why authorities weren't much help.

And --


ANNOUNCER, NCAA WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT: Kim Mulkey in year two has orchestrated a turnaround for the ages.


JIMENEZ: The ladies of the LSU women's basketball team clinching the National Championship in a record-setting victory. How they scored their first-ever ring in program history. The Bleacher Report is next.



JIMENEZ: In Iran, new video shows two women being attacked by a man who threw yogurt on their heads because they weren't wearing hijabs. Police then arresting the women for defying Iran's mandatory hijab lab.

Women across the country have been protesting the dress code after 22- year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of the morality police last September.

CNN's Nada Bashir live in London with more. So, Nada, will the attacker face any consequences at this point?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well look, Omar, at this stage Iran's judicial body says that the attacker in question has now been detained -- arrested for disturbing public order, though it's unclear what repercussions he will face as a result.

But as you mentioned there, what has really drawn outcry here is the arrest of those two women seen in that video being attacked by the man, having yogurt thrown over their heads for entering the store with their hair uncovered.

And, of course, over the last few months we have seen women up and down the country bravely defying the mandatory hijab law, which has often been enforced violently by Iran's morality police.

And, in fact, we heard over the weekend from the government. Iran's own President Ebrahim Raisi speaking at a press conference in Tehran saying that this is not a matter of your beliefs. Regardless of your beliefs on the hijab this is a matter of the law and women in Iran must obey the law. But we are continuing to see women bravely defying those regulations -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: Yes. The bravery so many women have shown over the past just few months alone has been almost unbelievable.

Nada Bashir, thank you so much.

The LSU Tigers put on a show for the ages, running past Iowa to win their first National Championship in school history.

Coy Wire is live in Houston with this morning's Bleacher Report. Coy, great to see you. Oh, almost unbelievable but they showed up.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good to see you, too, Omar.

It was utter domination in Dallas. LSU, led by a Hall of Fame coach, with players full of confidence and swagger outshining Iowa in historic fashion. Speaking of fashion, would you rock it, Omar? Tigers' coach Kim Mulkey leading with a palpable fashion. She's as unique as her flashy fashion taking on Iowa.

And national Player of the Year Caitlin Clark, a generational talent, once again lights out -- hitting threes from way downtown, dropping a game-high 30 points and eight 3-pointers setting a new record for most points in a single tourney.

Now, LSU's total team effort was just too much, though. How about the buzzer-beater three before the half by unexpected hero Jasmine Carson, coming off the bench to score a team-high 22 when she hadn't scored a single point in their previous three games?

The Bayou Bengals filling buckets, scoring a championship game-record 102 points. LSU star sophomore Angel Reese rallying with a record 34 double-double.

Coach Kim Mulkey, a Louisiana native, couldn't hold back her emotion. The first women's coach ever to win two different schools a national championship. Here she is.


KIM MULKEY, LSU TIGERS HEAD COACH: This is the fourth time I've been blessed. Never in the history of LSU basketball, men or women, have they ever played for a championship and to win it. I think my tears are tears of joy. I'm so happy for everybody back home in Louisiana.


ANGEL REESE, LSU TIGERS FORWARD: Nobody thought we were going to be here -- nobody. As long as we believed in each other, I don't even know what to say right now. I'm just so happy.


WIRE: All eyes will now shift here, Omar, to this court -- the men's title game tonight between UConn and San Diego State. The Huskies have been dogs, led by Dan Hurley, the coach, and big man Adama Sanogo. They've won by an average of 20 points per game this tournament.

SDSU -- well, they're coming off one of the iconic Final Four shots of all time. Lamont Butler's game-winning buzzer-beater sending the Aztecs to their first-ever championship game.

I caught up with coach Brian Dutcher in the locker room yesterday to take us through that magical moment.


BRIAN DUTCHER, SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS HEAD COACH: They look more nervous than I do right now and they're celebrating more than I did because I didn't know how much time was going to be put back on the clock. What a moment.

WIRE: What a moment. Look at those faces. Coach, what was it like being on the court during that iconic moment?

DUTCHER: It's funny because when you're the coach it goes in but my mind instantly shifts to are they going to put a tenth of a second back on, two-tenths of a second? And you sit there and everyone else is celebrating but you're in coach mode. And all of a sudden they say game over, basket good, and you're like a minute late to the celebration. But I loved watching my kids enjoy that moment.


WIRE: Omar, this place is going to be rocking. I talked to San Diego State students who drove 1,400 miles to be here for this moment. The Huskies are a perfect 4-0 though in the playing for the title game.

JIMENEZ: Ah, this is a great time of year -- March Madness, men's and women's. Angel Reese took some heat for celebration but look, I mean, it's sports -- it's sports.

Coy, thank you so much.

The country's biggest stars -- we had the country music awards over the weekend. Not a huge country music fan but I respect it. Lots of great tributes that happened over the course of the weekend.

That's it for me this morning, but -- oh, I'm sorry -- I'm sorry, actually. You know what? I'm cutting you short. We're going to be right back. We've got more coming up.



JIMENEZ: Just hours from now Donald Trump will board a plane to New York from Mar-a-Lago. A big week ahead. We've got a lot of news.

Thanks for joining us, everybody. I'm happy you were here. I'm Omar Jimenez. I'm saying goodbye but you get to say hello to "CNN THIS MORNING," which starts right now.