Return to Transcripts main page

First Move with Julia Chatterley

House Votes To Block Greene's Resolution To Oust Johnson; Biden's Warning To Israel; No U.S. Support If Israel Goes Into Rafah Population Centers; Israel-Hamas War; Medecins Sans Frontiers Warning Israel; U.S. Pause Bomb Shipment To Israel; Crypto Consolation; FTX To Pay Back Investors In Full; Ohtani's Former Translator To Plead Guilty; Triller Thriller; Video-Sharing App Triller; UEFA Champions League Semifinal. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 08, 2024 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We're going to have more of CNN's Erin Burnett and her exclusive interview with President Biden. She's going to

show a brand-new portion of that exclusive interview next in "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer. And then, of course, her full interview will air

on "Erin Burnett OutFront" tonight at 7:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

I'll see you back here on "The Lead" tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Here's Wolf.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: It's 6:00 a.m. in Beijing, midnight in Paris, and 6:00 p.m. here in New York. I'm Julia Chatterley.

And wherever you are in the world, this is your "First Move."

And a warm welcome once again to "First Move," and here's today's need to know. A CNN exclusive, U.S. President Joe Biden says he won't supply

artillery shells if Israel advances on population centers in Rafah, though the U.S. will continue to ensure Israel's security.

Baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani's former translator set to plead guilty to stealing almost $17 million and faces up to 33 years in prison.

And a Triller thriller, the video sharing app looking to capitalize on TikTok's torment. We'll speak to the CEO later. That conversation and more

coming up.

But first, breaking just moments ago, the U.S. House has voted to kill Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene's attempt to oust Speaker Mike Johnson

from his leadership post. Just minutes after Greene began the process of removing Johnson from the speakership, the House voted to end her effort

with Democratic support. We'll have more on all the details on that and the implications in just a moment's time.

But for now, a clear warning from President Joe Biden. The U.S. president telling CNN in an exclusive interview with Erin Burnett that he will not

supply certain weapons to Israel if it targets the population centers of Rafah. Here's part of that conversation.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT: I want to ask you about something happening as we sit here and speak, and that of course is Israel

is striking Rafah.

I know that you have paused, Mr. President, shipments of 2,000-pound U.S. bombs to Israel due to concern that they could be used in any offensive on

Rafah. Have those bombs, those powerful 2,000-pound bombs, been used to kill civilians in Gaza?

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population

centers. I made it clear that if they go into Rafah -- they haven't gone into Rafah yet. If they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that

have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem.

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

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

BURNETT: Artillery shells as well?

BIDEN: Yes, artillery shells.

BURNETT: So, just to understand what they're doing right now in Rafah, is that not going into Rafah as you --

BURNETT: No, they haven't gone into the population centers. What they did is right on the border, and it's causing problems with, right now, in terms

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

they're not going to get our support if, in fact, they go in these population centers.


CHATTERLEY: Now, this comes as Israel's military operation in Rafah expands from airstrikes to ground operations. Satellite images show IDF activity

outside the border crossing it took control of on Monday. Meanwhile, Israeli officials expressing frustration after the U.S. paused that

scheduled bomb shipment. CNN Military Analyst Colonel Cedric Leighton joins us now on the show. Colonel Leighton, always great to have you with us.

Can we start with the potential restrictions, if, as the US president said to Erin Burnett there, there are attacks on population centers? How

material would these restrictions be? Whether it's the shipment that we know is already delayed or, as he mentioned, their artillery shells being

restricted potentially too.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, Julia. It's good to be with you. There are a lot of aspects to this that could have a

significant impact on the IDF's capability to actually move forward with their planned operations in Rafah.


Basically, the administration is saying, and what President Biden told Erin Burnett is that everything is good as far as this is concerned if you

protect yourself, if you're protecting yourself as a State of Israel, preventing attacks from Iran, that's fine. What is not fine is going after

civilian population centers using disproportionate force against those civilian population centers, even if the target -- the intended target is,

let's say, a terrorist cell from Hamas.

If personnel -- people from the regular civilian population are impacted by that, that is unacceptable to the administration. And that's basically the

message that they're sending right now, both from the president as well as the secretary of defense.

CHATTERLEY: Are we splitting hairs over what an operation in Rafah looks like? He suggested that because they haven't seen a targeting of civilian

populations and that operation hadn't formally begun in their eyes, just based on what we're seeing on the ground, Colonel Leighton, has it begun?

LEIGHTON: Well, I think parts of it have begun, Julia, to be really honest with you. And I think the key issue here is that what the Israelis are

doing is they're cutting off access to Rafah. They're cutting it off at the border. They moved their tanks and other elements of their infantry into

the area between the Egyptian border and the Rafah proper. So, in that southern part right there. And they've also done things where they've moved

forces in from Israel in -- on the east and some even from the north. So, doing that allows the Israelis to, in essence, encircle Rafah.

So, yes, the operation has started in that sense. How far it will go then, of course, is the next question. And I think what President Biden was

referring to is that this was not a maximalist style operation, but instead, a much more curtailed, much more constrained operation at present.

And what he's doing is he's warning the Israelis not to go in with a maximalist approach.

CHATTERLEY: Do you expect a scaling up of the operation as we see it at this moment, irrespective of whether the United States is providing

weaponry support or not?

LEIGHTON: Well, if past is prologue, then I would say yes, the Israelis will probably scale up their operations. They probably still have some of

the weaponry that is now restricted by the United States, some of the artillery shells, some of the 2,000 and 250-pound bombs that have been

restricted under the current measures by the U.S. administration. So they - - whatever's in their inventory, they will probably use against Rafah.

But they are clearly being warned by the United States now openly not to use those kinds of weapons. And it would certainly be in Israel's best

interest, on a diplomatic level, not to do that militarily. That might be another issue because their goal continues to be to eliminate Hamas. And

the only way they see that they can do that is by using the same tactics that they used before in other parts of Gaza. Those tactics, though, are

ones that certainly don't reflect favorably on Israel in the field of international opinion or here in Washington.

CHATTERLEY: And we perhaps don't have enough clarity on the restrictions nor potentially the weaponry capability that Israel will be using. But

could we argue in any sense that the alternatives that they have make, and those choices make them perhaps less capable, less accurate, less targeted

as a result of those restrictions?

Actually, Colonel Leighton, I'm going to leave you there because House Speaker Mike Johnson is speaking on Capitol Hill and we're just going to

listen in now.

REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: I intend to do my job. I intend to do what I believe to be the right thing, which is what I was

elected to do. And I'll let the chips fall where they may. In my view, that is leadership. -- which we live.

Members have just voted. They made their voices heard on the motion to vacate matter. And now, we have very important work to do for the country.

There are a lot of things to fix.

Last week, we announced a House wide effort to crack down on antisemitism on campus. This morning, we introduced legislation to fortify American

elections and ensure that only American citizens can vote.

I'm glad that this distraction is not going to inhibit that important work and all of the other things that are on the table and on the agenda for us

right now.

Hopefully, this is the end of the personality politics and the frivolous character assassination that has defined the 118th Congress. It's

regrettable, it's not who we are as Americans, and we're better than this. We need to get beyond it.

The speaker of the House serves the whole House. That's the job. Everybody. But I am a lifelong movement conservative Republican. And I intend to

continue to govern in accordance with those core principles.

We believe in the core principles. I call them the seven core principles of American conservatism, but they're also the core principles of America

itself. I believe in individual freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and human



Those are the guiding principles that inform our work, and that we work for every day here to pursue, to ensure that all Americans have more liberty

and opportunity and security. And those foundations are in jeopardy right now. We need steady hands at the wheel. We need people who understand what

made America the strongest, the most powerful, the most free, the most successful, the most benevolent nation in the history of the world.

We have to fight for that every day, because we're in a battle between two competing visions for what America is and what it's going to be, and that's

what I'm about every day here and I'll continue that.

We have important work, not only to keep the House majority, but to grow the majority, because that will be necessary to help save this country. And

the work that we have to elect a Republican president, and we're on that as well.

In this moment, the country desperately needs a functioning Congress, and that's what the overwhelming majority of the members in this body

demonstrated today.

I'm proud to serve in this position. It's not one that I aspired to. It's not one that I ever expected to have or planned for, but it is the honor of

my life and career to do this and I will do it so long as this body will have me do that.

We have a great vision for the country. We're not deterred. We have many problems to fix. And I'm going to tell you what you all have heard me say

many times, I believe in the goodness of American. I believe in the future of this country. I believe, as Reagan said, as he reminded us what Lincoln

originally said, we are the last best hope of man on earth. And by God's grace, we'll save this country. And I'll keep fighting every day to make

sure that happens.

Thank you for being here.

CHATTERLEY: OK. That was House Speaker Mike Johnson there commenting on the past hours events and attempt to oust him by fellow Republican Marjorie

Taylor Greene. That motion failed. He was backed by both Democrats and Republicans who chose to maintain the status quo and maintain stability in

Congress as he mentioned there. A victory speech of sorts, we'll call it that. But yet, more dysfunction, I think, in Congress, which maintains at

least the house speaker for now, and that attempt we move on from.

OK. Let's move on. In Rafah, on Wednesday night, this was the scene at the Al Kuwaiti Hospital, where officials say four people lost their lives after

Israeli airstrikes on a neighborhood in the western part of the city. The hospital says about two dozen people were hurt, most of them children.

The international aid organization, Medecins Sans Frontiers, is now relocating and suspending some of its operations in Rafah in anticipation

of a full-scale Israeli assault. MSF is warning of a new wave of suffering that will result. It's also calling on Israel to immediately reopen the

Rafah Border Crossing so that lifesaving aid deliveries can once again enter the strip.

Avril Benoit is the executive director of MSF in the United States and she joins us now. Avril, fantastic to have you on the show with us. Just

explain the impact, first and foremost, of what the Rafah Crossing closure is meaning for your workers that do remain there and trying to provide

support and aid.

AVRIL BENOIT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DOCTOR WITHOUT BORDERS: Well, it certainly has been a lifeline for the humanitarian organizations to be able

to bring in the necessary supplies and people to reinforce the efforts on the ground. And Rafah itself, of course, as we know, is the place that many

of the people in Gaza were told to go to when there were imminent invasions or assaults on their neighborhoods.

And so, that border crossing is absolutely essential to lose it, for it to be closed, even for one day is devastating. And overall, I would say the

mood in in Rafah, generally with our staff who are prematurely discharging patients from the hospital, just to be able to clear people out so that

everyone can evacuate, it's grim. Everyone is terrified about this to come.

CHATTERLEY: You've openly said that an offensive on Rafah would be disastrous, catastrophic, I think is one of the other words that have been

used, not only for the 1 million people that are living there, but also on what's already devastated health infrastructure. And you mentioned they're

having to discharge walking wounded patient.

What are you doing with those that are simply unable to be discharged? And how do you protect your people, your aid workers that are there facing


BENOIT: It's something that we've had to go through now, time and again, as the Israeli assaults on hospitals, on the medical system, on ambulances,

clinics. We ourselves, as Doctors without Borders, we've suffered 20 attacks over time, and five of our colleagues have been killed among the

500 health workers killed since all of this began in Gaza seven months ago.


For us, it's awful because we have had the experience before of just having to flee so quickly. As the troops are coming in and they're saying everyone

out, leave it to us. And then you find later that the healthcare system that has been in ruins one by one with each hospital debilitated, it leaves

behind patients that are extremely vulnerable, and there have always been instances of people left behind whose bodies are found later.

It's harrowing to transport anyone who's severely wounded, severely sick, in traction, neonates, little children in incubators, newborns that require

ongoing life support assistance to be hooked up to machines and so forth. You cannot safely transport them in these conditions.

And even we don't have enough ambulances available. The roads are impassable because so many thousands of people are now trying to flee. All

in all, it's an absolutely catastrophic situation to even try to wrap up health services in an area like Rafah with so many people.

We've been told to move to other zones that are supposedly going to be safer. We're trying to do that as quickly as possible. But as I've

described, the impediments are enormous.

CHATTERLEY: Does President Biden suggesting that they'll restrict weaponry to Israel if population centers are targeted give you any comfort at this

moment that perhaps a broader, bigger escalation in Rafah can be circumvented or avoided?

BENOIT: Well, I will say this. We're hearing the right things from the United States. The U.S. must uphold its own laws and to make sure that its

own military assistance to Israel is not being used to commit war crimes, and it's certainly a war crime to impede humanitarian assistance, among

other things that are concerning in Gaza right now.

And the U.S. must make sure that all that military support, all of the funding and the political backing, blocking of ceasefire resolutions at the

United Nations, U.S. has no interest in being more complicit than it already is in the suffering that's befallen the civilians in Gaza,

including so many thousand children.

And so, we appreciate the words, the tone, it carries the sense of urgency, the sense of concern. And what we really need to see is more of the action

of the concrete examples of things changing. And that's one of the reasons that, from the beginning, we've been calling for an immediate and

meaningful and sustained ceasefire, because that really is the only way to stop the suffering, to stop this killing. And to be able to bring in the

humanitarian assistance that's desperately needed.

CHATTERLEY: I think you're pointing to a level of impotency at the International Community level, Avril, which I think is a frustration for

many people out there. To your point, you see the best and most responsible way of protecting lives, and that's both Palestinians and hostages,

importantly, at this moment, as a ceasefire.

BENOIT: Yes. And of course, a ceasefire applies to all the belligerence. It's not just one side that is being asked to have a ceasefire. I'm not in

the diplomatic world. I understand the negotiations are extremely difficult, stressful. There's a lot riding on the success of those

negotiations. And I really wish all the peacemakers well to get us to this point. But it is urgent.

Lives are on the line in Rafah. We have 1.7 billion million people estimated to be displaced right now in Gaza. They're all being pushed to an

area to cram into spaces where there really is no space. There's no infrastructure. There's no plan to be able to look after them properly. And

there is no way with the one-by-one destruction of health facilities that we can make up for the health services with a few field hospitals intense.

It's just not going to work.

And so, we're calling for the ceasefire. We're calling for a stop to these attacks on medical facilities that, as I say, have decimated the health

system in Gaza so far.

CHATTERLEY: Avril, good to have you on the show. Thank you so much for your time. And thank you for the work that you and all your MSF teams are doing

in Rafah and beyond. Avril Benoit there, the exec. director of MSF in the U.S.

OK. More now on that failed attempt to remove the U.S. house speaker. We just heard from Mike Johnson a moment ago, after Congresswoman Marjorie

Taylor Greene's efforts to oust him were quickly voted down with the help of Democrats. I'm joined now by Melanie Zanona.

I mean, Melanie, it was a case of blinking, you miss it. All sound and fury and no action. She never had the votes on this. Why now? And what does this

now mean for Speaker Mike Johnson?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, this showdown had been a long time coming. For Marjorie Taylor Greene, she was furious that Speaker

Johnson put a $60 billion package for Ukraine on the House floor. It included billions of dollars for other countries, including Israel and



But it was the Ukraine funding in particular that she took issue with. She also didn't like that he had put some bipartisan spending bills on the

floor. And she had tried to reach a resolution with him leading up to this vote. They were not able to come to an agreement. And so, she did force

this floor vote today, knowing that it would feel fail and also knowing that Donald Trump did not want her to move ahead with this motion.

Now, it did take the requirement of some Democratic support in order to avoid a nasty ouster vote on the House floor. The total vote was a big,

overwhelming vote. There was over 300 lawmakers who voted against this idea. But there were 11 Republicans who voted with Marjorie Taylor Greene.

So, that could spell some potential political problems for Mike Johnson down the line.

But in the moment, in the meantime, he is safe. He is going to stay in his job, at least for now. And he hopes that they can put all this messy drama

behind them and look ahead to govern, especially with the November election coming up just in a few months here in the United States.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Problems ahead, but not this week at least. We'll draw a line under that now. Melanie Zanona, thank you so much for that.

All right. Still ahead on "First Move," crypto consults -- consolation. FTX customers taken to the crypto cleaners are breathing easier after big news

in bankruptcy court.

And a Triller thriller. The U.S.-based video sharing app has been trying to take on TikTok for years. TikTok's legal troubles could deliver its big

break. We'll hear from the Triller CEO shortly.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move." The Dow taking a bow topping today's "Money Move." A mixed day on Wall Street. The Nasdaq fell. The S&P

finished flat. But the blue chips continued at their blue streak. The Dow now up for six days straight. That's the longest winning streak this year,

in fact. And the London FTSE is investors cup of tea, too. It closed at an all-time high for a fourth straight session. That hasn't happened since

early last year.

And in corporate news, Uber not looking super. Shares of the ride hailing app falling almost 6 percent on disappointing results. And not a dry eye at

Shopify. Shares of the e-commerce app tumbled more than 18 percent on weak guidance. That's its sharpest loss ever.


Now, in other business news, investors who sank money into FTX look like they will be a-OK. The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange says its new

filing, that it has enough money to repay most customers in full with interest. A great relief, perhaps, to those who'd feared another Madoff-

esque moment. Clare Duffy has more.

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Yes, Julia. This is something that FTX customers have been waiting for for about two years since the company filed

for bankruptcy in 2022. They did get some accountability when former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy and

sentenced to 25 years in prison earlier this year. But now, it appears they will also be getting their money back.

The company said in a proposed reorganization plan that it has recovered around $15 billion in assets that were associated with FTX at the time of

its collapse. And now, it expects that about 98 percent of its creditors will be paid back in full plus interest.

Now, they won't necessarily see the gains that they would have seen had their money been invested in crypto somewhere else, as we've seen crypto

prices rise over the last couple of months. But they will at least be paid back the money that they initially invested in this exchange.

The plan does still need to be approved by a bankruptcy court, but if it is approved, that could mean that FTX gets to resolve these issues with its

stakeholders without costly litigation, which of course would be good news for this embattled company, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: And thanks to Clare Duffy there. The value of the assets at the time of the bankruptcy filing was $18,500 per person. The recovery outlined

in the plan, $21,900, which would be great if Bitcoin weren't three times higher, of course, than that today. The opportunity cost of putting money

in FTX, pretty big.

All right. Much of the United States remains under threat from severe storms, even tornadoes. Take a look at one that hit Michigan Tuesday night.

A tornado ripped through a mobile home park there, injuring more than a dozen people. One person was killed in Tennessee. At least one tornado has

been reported in the United States every day for 13 days, and we're still counting. Chad Myers joins us now. Chad, what more can we expect?



MYERS: More days of tornadoes, even more tomorrow again. You know, but tornadoes are not really rare in America. We have the Gulf of Mexico to our

south, a warm body of water. We have the mountains to our west, that brings dry air down the mountains and pushes that warm air up. And then we have,

to the north, up into the Canadian north, cold fronts that come down, kind of a big triangle, and that's why we see pictures like this across the

springtime in North America.

And yes, we will still see the fact that this is going to be an event for tonight and for tomorrow. And I think we'll probably still see more over

the next week again. But 62 tornadoes. Oh man. Just since Monday. And it continues to go on.

We have had 290 reports of tornadoes in the past 10 to 13 days and more tornadoes again tonight. More tornadoes have been on the ground already

here across parts of North America. Here are the storms right now. Some of them are spinning. Not everyone is going to spin. Not everybody is going to

see a tornado or hear a tornado warning siren. But if you're in the red boxes there, you're in a tornado watch, which means it's possible. If

you're in one of those pink boxes, that means it's a warning, which means it's happening right now.

So, yes, we will continue to watch this more storms as we continue the rest of the week into next week, but it will be a volatile few more days before

spring is over. And really, this doesn't end until the end of May. And then by then, we're in hurricane season. Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Oh, Chad, give us the good news.

MYERS: It's nice to have you back. We have missed you. That is the good news.

CHATTERLEY: You're very kind.

MYERS: Happy to have you back.

CHATTERLEY: I've missed you too. Chad Meyer is there. Thank you.

All right, stay with "First Move." We'll be back after this.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move" with a look at more international headlines this hour. The Georgia Court of Appeals says it will consider

Donald Trump's effort to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis from the 2020 election subverting case in that state. In March, the former president

argued Willis' relationship with her prosecutor on the case created a conflict of interest. The judge ultimately found there was not enough

evidence to prove she had benefited financially.

Hong Kong's Court of Appeal on Wednesday granted an application by the government to ban a protest anthem called "Glory to Hong Kong." The ruling

overturns a lower court judgment that had rejected such a ban, saying it would have a chilling effect on free speech.

The ruling comes amid a sweeping national security crackdown by Beijing. China's defense ministry says its new aircraft carrier, Fujian, completed

its maiden sea trial on Wednesday. The ministry says it conducted multiple tests of the carrier's propulsion and electrical systems, all of which have

met expectations. This is China's third aircraft carrier and the country's first homegrown carrier.

The former interpreter for baseball star Shohei Ohtani has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges relating to the theft of nearly $17 million

dollars. Sam Blum is a staff writer at "The Athletic." And he joins us now.

Sam, he's facing dire consequences for his actions here and we're talking up to 33 years in a federal prison. What more do we know about his plead or

his future plead?

SAM BLUM, MLB STAFF WRITER, THE ATHLETIC: Well, yes, that is the maximum sentence. And, you know, part of this plea agreement is that if he, you

know, takes responsibility for, you know, what's alleged here that the prosecution is going to, at the very least, recommend a reduced sentence

from that maximum. So, I think it'll be interesting to see what exactly he does receive.

You know, we learned more about the charges today. In addition to the bank fraud charge, there's also a tax fraud charge, which carries up to a three-

year sentence. It's also possible that he's going to have to, you know, pay restitution here. I'm not exactly sure. It hasn't really been announced yet

exactly how much that will be.

But as you noted, I mean, he stole -- allegedly stole $17 million dollars from Shohei Ohtani. Impersonated him 24 times to Ohtani's bank. You know,

there's just the level of deception. I mean, there was even a part of this plea agreement where it said that Ippei Mizuhara basically stole $60,000

from Shohei when Shohei offered to pay for his dental surgery.

And instead of taking the check, he just took the check, deposited it into his personal account. And then use that money from his debit card,

basically stealing from that same bank account, which he's been stealing from all along.


So, it wasn't just, you know, stealing for the sake of paying off his debts. It was just stealing for the sake of stealing. So, it was a pretty

significant level of deception here.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, that stood out to me, too. Impersonating Shohei Ohtani, as you mentioned, on 24 different occasions, which allowed him access, we

believe, to the bank account, of course, that where he was taking the money.

I think this also, and perhaps people had moved on already, clears up any lingering doubts about whether Shohei Ohtani actually knew something,

understood something, had any knowledge of what was going on. The prosecutors have said he's a victim in this case and obviously did nothing

illegal. Do we draw the line under any lingering doubts about that at this stage too?

BLUM: Not -- I would say no at this point. I mean, you know, he has agreed to plead guilty. He's facing significant years in prison. You know, as you

noted, the -- all the federal -- there are multiple federal authorities that have investigated this, you know, saying that Ohtani was not, you

know, involved. I think there's a lot of evidence in those text messages that, you know, first came out as part of the information. I think back at,

you know, really the middle of April, I believe it was April 11th.

So, there's so much evidence here. And I think that's partly why this an easy, you know, decision to make a guilty -- to do a guilty plea and why

this all came together quickly.


BLUM: I mean, when this first started -- and it is a humongous scandal -- but when it first started, I think a lot of people thought this

investigation, this, you know, potential legal battle, a lot of things would take a very long time here. But, you know, it just seems the evidence

is so strong against Ippei. There's just nothing implicating Shohei at this point.

And so -- you know, I mean, obviously, anything can change. It hasn't been decided, but that's where it is right now.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, swift, to your point. A swift resolution here, perhaps, tells you everything about the scale of the investigation and the evidence.

Sam, great to chat to you. Thank you. Sam Blum from "The Athletic" there.

BLUM: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: All right. coming up with TikTok under threat in the United States, could Triller become the next big thing in social media? We'll

speak to the CEO of the video sharing app and more, next.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move." And one of the growing alternatives to TikTok as it faces a potential ban in the United States.

Triller, the L.A.-based video sharing app, saying it now has more than 300 million user accounts. It also has access to a whole range of new investors

too, after merging with a Hong Kong-based financial services firm, AGBA group.


And joining us now, the CEO of Triller, Bobby Sarnevesht. Bobby, fantastic to have you with us on the show. Let's talk about the deal. It's clearly

quicker than an IPO, this kind of merger. And I guess given news on TikTok and the recent events, time was of the essence. Talk us through this

decision first.

BOBBY SARNEVESHT, CEO, TRILLER: Yes. So, I mean, first of all, it's nice to be here. You know, we were doing going down the direct listing path and,

you know, we had our plan set to enter the public markets either this quarter or early next quarter. But as you know, there's been some

regulatory pressure on tick tock, which is really made us rampart our plans to get into the capital markets and the public markets much faster.

A lot of our investors who reached out to us and one of which is one of our principal investors had this company and he thought that it would be the

fastest way for us to enter the capital markets and start telling our story as TikTok ban, you know, the time is ticking on them, no pun intended.

CHATTERLEY: What kind of financial firepower does this deal give you, if you do manage to increase the level of users or want to invest further? I

know you're not just about the video sharing app, but what kind of financial firepower does this give you?

SARNEVESHT: Well, I mean, you know, it gives us significant access to capital, which allows us to, you know, add more content creators, more

features to the app. You know, if you just look at Triller's, you know, part, if you compare Fight TV, which is where we operate to Rumble,

Rumble's trading around $1.8 billion. BKFC, if you compare it to the UFC, it surpasses a billion dollars. Our AR product is integrated in almost all

Fortune 500 companies from the likes of Disney and L'Oreal. That's another billion dollars.

And then, if you take the app, there's significant value here for shareholders, and we feel like the public will benefit from it. And it also

allows us to grow the app more, to create something the world has never seen in the next version of this product. And as people are looking for a

safe American alternative or just an alternative that's not backed by the Communist Party of China, this is a great place to land.

And, you know, the last time this ban almost happened under the Trump administration, Triller was number one in 72 countries. We've been waiting

for this day. We've been preparing for this day. We've been upgrading the app, upgrading the CDNs, all the databases, making it more enterprise grade

ready, faster, stronger. And now, that it's upon us, we're ready to tell our story and it couldn't happen at a better time.

We were going to tell it anyways, but with TikTok being out of the way, it's going to be a lot easier story to tell.

CHATTERLEY: This could be a tailwind. So, there's two options, either TikTok is sold and someone else buys it, or ultimately it goes offline.

What are your ambitions to monopolize in an either scenario? Because one of those is a tech giant in the United States buys it, a Google, for example,

and then they put their technology to plan. That's a pretty potent competitor once again, Bobby.

SARNEVESHT: Yes. Well, maybe. I mean, we don't think that the -- personally, I don't think the Chinese will allow this to sell. You know,

they've done too much. There's too many smoking guns in here for them to allow them to sell it.

And it also makes the CCP look weak, right? They've come out and said, we'd rather close this thing than to sell it to anyone. And who's going to buy

it anyway? It's like, what are you going to do with it? It's banned by the U.S. It's metadata that belongs in China. All the talent is CCP developers.

You're not going to get the Chinese government to keep building and stealing data and monetizing it for you. So, what are you really getting?

An app that's banned? A name?

You know, Facebook tried something similar to this. It failed. Others will try. The reality is, is that there is no other like app like this than

Triller. They're just -- the only alternative. Instagram is very specific user base. Snap has a very specific user base. And these people already

have those accounts. The biggest growth will be on Triller.

You come to Triller to discover content just like you do on TikTok. You don't go on Instagram to discover content. You don't really use Snap

Discovery. You know, you go there to see your friends or send messaging. We will benefit the most from this. And we are now strategically positioned

with the financial partner to get this done.

And the deal risk right now is virtually nonexistent. This merger is going to happen. And it's just a matter of days or maybe even a few weeks to have

this completed and to really start to tell our story.

CHATTERLEY: I mean, TikTok, at least for now, and let's assume it carries on in some form, I know you said actually there's a question mark even over

that, is a sort of haven for high profile creators that have mass followings, they're able to monetize them relatively easily. I think it's

tough to compete with that, whoever the owner is and lure them away.

And one could argue in the past, Bobby, that you haven't. Where do you see the low hanging fruit? Where's the sort of unique, a better business model,

I think, for Triller going forward in a way, to your point, irrespective of what happens with TikTok?


SARNEVESHT: Yes. So, that's a great question. And the one thing you should understand is these large creators, especially the largest creators, are

also shareholders in Triller, right? So, they're going to be seeing a monetizable event by us entering the public markets.

So, it's very easy for us to go back to them and say, OK. guys, we're ready now. Your investment is ready now. Move your TikTok business over to

Triller. You can continue on the other platforms because they're for different purposes. But we already have the top of the influencer sphere.

Where we're going to focus our creator fund, which will be announcing shortly to new figure creator fund, is to really attack the middle and the

bottom of the long tail, is to bring over the smaller content creators and to develop our own stars, right?

Triller has created a lot of stars, but other people are taking credit for it. So, what we plan to do this time is to create an ecosystem for not only

emerging artists, but for large creators, but for commerce, for social selling, for all types of different systems, including, but not even

limited to, you know, subscription-based services and SaaS services to where you can roll in our AR products and our Fangage products and give

creators a tool by the new product we have coming out called the Hustle Engine, which will allow them to literally control all their social media

into one space. And depending on what platform they want to use, they'll be able to tell that story.

So, what you're going to see in the next revolution of social media is exactly what we've been building for the last three years. It would have

been nice to have a three, four more months, but you know what? It's go time and we're ready for it. So, once this merger is done, I think you'll

see a lot of things changing with us.

CHATTERLEY: It's definitely going to be exciting to see. What about ongoing disputes? Because you've got some challenges with the music industry over

the use of records and royalty payments. I think in January, you said you had $23 million in unpaid royalties that that are owed.

Can you clear all that now and sort of move on from that period of time, as you said, and sort of look to accelerate and capitalize on this moment?

SARNEVESHT: Yes. Look, I mean, that all -- it's not that the music industry doesn't like us. The music industry loves us. In fact, we have a great

relationship with the music industry. The problem is, is when we were strapped for cash and capital, we had to deploy those capital resources to

other places than licensing and gathering new licensing and publishing. And so, now, those problems go away very quickly.

We've been in active conversations with them. They're very eager because not only have we helped emerging artists grow on Triller, we've helped big

artists, you know, increase your streams. We've helped touring. But we also tell the story and we're also in their backyard and they want to see us

succeed, right? There's no American music label that doesn't want to see Triller succeed. It's just not possible.

And then if you also look at the major labels, they're also all investors in Triller. So, our problem is not a national security problem, it's not a

problem that can be fixed, it was a money issue that has now been resolved, right? And we're consistently having those conversations to bring those to

further fruition and further resolution as we, you know, take this next chapter.

CHATTERLEY: Quick question, Bobby, because, as you've pointed out the concerns over TikTok do relate to national security and the risk that

perhaps China can say to TikTok at some point, look. we want some of the data of U.S. and other potential customers. You've merged with a financial

company in Hong Kong. And certainly, within the business community, there's real concerns about the changes that we're seeing in Hong Kong and for

some, they don't now differentiate between what's happening in China and what's happening in Hong Kong.

What gave you comfort to merge with this company, Hong Kong-based, and without the same kind of concerns potentially in the future that we're

seeing from China, given current political events?

SARNEVESHT: No, that's a great question. Look, if you look at the landscape, it's a Hong Kong company, but ultimately, Triller will have 80

percent of this company, right? And the primary investor is Taiwanese.

Taiwan and China are not friends, right? It's not not known, right? So, we're on the same boat with our principal investor, who's the largest

investor in both of these companies. And so, when it becomes merged to one, we have very little concern that the Chinese will have anything to do with

us or any type of data concerns that TikTok is.

The difference is having a financial partner that has an office in Hong Kong or does business in Hong Kong is very different than having the

Communist Party dictate your algorithm and dictate to your management what you can do with this data and use it for military purposes, right, or use

it for political purposes. It would be the equivalent of a local drug dealer getting busted and telling the kids to go tell their parents to tell

the police to let him go. That's what TikTok is doing.

They've been caught red handed. They've been banned in our country. And now, they're using their app to mobilize children to get involved in

politics and say, please don't get rid of them. This is ridiculous, and it's got to stop. American politics needs to belong to America, and

American security needs to belong to Americans.

If not, I have a solution. TikTok can change its name to PickPock (ph), because they're pickpocketing our data, and we finally have caught them,

and now they're suing everybody. Why do innocent people need to sue people? You've already been found -- you're leaving. This is just the last gasp of

air that a fish makes on a boat and --


CHATTERLEY: PickPock (ph)

SARNEVESHT: -- they're entitled to that because --

CHATTERLEY: I feel like President Biden should borrow that, Bobby. And just for balance there, obviously, the TikTok --

SARNEVESHT: -- President Biden.

CHATTERLEY: TikTok CEO has consistently denied providing data to the Chinese government. And I will reiterate that. And of course, the TikTok

CEO is willing to come on. We'd love to have him. Bobby, for now, great to chat to you. I'm excited to watch progress.

SARNEVESHT: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: The CEO of Triller there.

SARNEVESHT: OK. Take care.

CHATTERLEY: All right. Coming up, who is advancing to the Champions League Final. We'll take you and talk to you all about the dramatic match between

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich right after this break.


CHATTERLEY: And the final is set. Real Madrid just beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinal with two totally dramatic goals. They will

now face Borussia Dortmund in the title match next month. Senior Sports Analyst Darren Lewis joins us now. Darren, welcome to the show. Talk me

through these goals and who's going to be in the final.

DARREN LEWIS, CNN SENIOR SPORTS ANALYST: Well, Julia, honestly, the dust is still settling on one of the great climaxes to a Champions League semifinal

with the Spanish giants, Real Madrid, the 14-time winners coming back from the dead, two minutes to go. But they've managed to find a way back to

reach their 18th final in the competition, their sixth in the last 11 years.

The first goal or wonder goal from the Bayern Munich Canadian defender Alphonso Davies deep into the second half. And long time, Julia, that

really did look to be that around Madrid, no answer, including the Brazilian superstar, Vinicius Junior, not really managing to find a way

through. But late in the game, the Real Madrid substitute striker, Joselu, who came onto the pitch and with his first three touches turned two of them

into goals to set up that final, you mentioned a second ago against Borussia Dortmund on June 1st at London's Wembley Stadium.

CHATTERLEY: Oh, so exciting. Who's going to win?

LEWIS: Well, I'll give you a little bit of context over what that final is going to look like, shall I? Because it's really going to be a David

against Goliath affair. Dortmund were finalists in 2013. They're the fifth best team in Germany. They're used to having to sell their best players

because rival clubs make financial offers they can't turn down. And superpower clubs like Real Madrid are the ones that tempt them away.

And Real have got one right now, Jude Bellingham, the superstar England midfielder. Dortmund's coach, Edin Terzic, one major trophy in his

managerial career. Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid head coach, 25 trophies in his managerial career, including four Champions Leagues.


The smart money says Real, the romance, and remember, Dortmund very much Cinderella in this scenario, the smart money says that Real's going to come

out on top, but maybe the romance might just be coming to bear. I'm going to go with Dortmund. My heart says Dortmund.

CHATTERLEY: I'm going to go with the Real. Me too. All about the romance. Darren Lewis, a heart to you as well for staying up so late to talk to us.

Thank you.

And finally, on "First Move," ever wondered what it would be like to get sucked into a black hole? Well, NASA now has a simulation for that. The

space agency's new immersive experience takes viewers into a black hole's point of no return, where the laws of physics, as we know them, no longer

apply. If you're up for the 360-degree plunge, you can head over to YouTube, no space suits required.

And that just about wraps up this black hole of a show. Thank you for joining us. I'll see you tomorrow. A little jet lagged. I'll be better

tomorrow. See you then.