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Isa Soares Tonight

Violence Escalates Across Israel-Gaza Border; Ukraine: Russia Suffers Huge Losses In Bakhmut; Japan In Talks To Open NATO Office In Japan; Jury Awards $5 Million In Trump Sexual Assault Case; Representative George Santos In Federal Custody; Uruguayan Singer-Songwriter Jorge Drexler On Tour. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 10, 2023 - 14:00:000   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, sirens have been sounding from Tel Aviv

to Be'er Sheva. Israel goes on high alert after striking Gaza. What's being done to stop the violence? I'll ask former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Then Ukraine says it's hitting Russia hard in Bakhmut as the Wagner boss demands, get more ammunition from Moscow.

And then later, a sitting U.S. house member indicted for lying to Congress -- among other charges. We are live outside the courthouse where George

Santos appeared in the last hour. But we begin tonight with the worst escalation of violence across Israel-Gaza border in months. Israel says

it's unleashing new airstrikes on Islamic Jihad targets.

Palestinian Health Ministry says at least six people have been killed in Gaza today, and that includes a child. Strikes yesterday killed three

Islamic Jihad commanders and ten civilians, mostly women and children. Across the border, many Israelis had to run for cover in bomb shelters as

air sirens warned of incoming rocket fire.

Israel says Gaza militants fired hundreds of rockets at Israel today, dozens were intercepted, but others landed in populated areas. Well, a

fresh round of airstrikes -- sirens were heard just a short time ago, and that includes in Tel Aviv. Let's get the very latest from Hadas Gold. So,

Hadas things are definitely ratcheting up. Just bring us up to date with the latest.

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's both ratcheting up, but at the same time, there have been swirling confirmed reports now of a

ceasefire that's being brokered, attempted to being brokered by Egypt in the works. But as those reports were swirling, we were getting just a

barrage of rockets heading towards Tel Aviv and other cities in Israel.

It was kind of an incessant amount -- number of sirens and new rockets. We just heard from the defense minister who confirmed that some 400 rockets

have now been fired from Israel -- from Gaza into Israel. And he actually says that a quarter of them fell short. Now, more have been intercepted,

some have landed on buildings.

There have been no reports of injuries on the Israeli side as a result of these rockets. Some reports of injuries from people as they're running to

the shelters, but none from the rockets themselves. That of course, is not the same story in Gaza, where the Israeli military just a few minutes ago

confirmed that it was striking once again in response to this latest barrage of rockets, saying that it was striking Islamic Jihad structures

and rocket-launching sites and the like.

And as you noted, at least, six people have been killed today as a result of the strikes, including one child. That is in addition to those that were

killed the day before, during those middle of the night airstrikes that killed those top three Islamic Jihad commanders. The Israeli military

saying that they have been trying just to target Islamic Jihad.

And it has been interesting to hear how they're trying to essentially keep Hamas out of the equation. Hamas, of course, the militant group that runs

the Gaza Strip. But Hamas have been issuing a statement saying that it is fighting right alongside Islamic Jihad, that it is working with them. IDF

has been saying, oh, it's -- Hamas has not necessarily been firing rockets. It has been Islamic Jihad.

It's a different story coming from Hamas. But what's interesting right now as we just heard from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he

just gave a televised address. And what he said -- and actually right as I'm speaking now, I'm getting more alerts of sirens going off in southern

Israel just after Netanyahu is speaking.

What Netanyahu said, he's saying no word on a ceasefire. He's saying that he's vowing to go after those who hurt Israelis, saying the campaign is not

over and it could continue. We have confirmed with sources that the Egyptians are working on a ceasefire, but they're still sort of squishy. We

have a full confirmation that either side has accepted any sort of terms.

When you look at what's also happening on the ground, things are quite active. But that's where we are right now. Egyptians say that they're

working on a ceasefire, both sides have said that they're talking about it. We don't have any sort of indication that the ceasefire is going to happen

any time soon, perhaps. Though many people of course hoping that this latest barrage, this latest round, this latest exchange of fire will end

soon, and that people can at least return to some sort of calm. Isa?

SOARES: Indeed. Keep us posted on the latest that you'll hear regarding that ceasefire. Hadas Gold there for us, thanks very much, Hadas. Well,

Gaza is one of the most densely-populated places on earth, and critics of Israel operation say the bombing of crowded residential areas is

unconscionable, if not illegal under international law. The first wave of airstrikes Tuesday came before dawn as people were sleeping.

One Gaza resident said children will cop(ph) to the sounds of explosions, as you can imagine, they were terrified. The cousin of one man killed in an

Israeli strike today says the people of Gaza live in constant fear. Have a listen to this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I came back from Saudi Arabia, and I've been here for a year with my sister. We're living in fear that no

one can bear. We are devastated from inside, even if we end up alive afterwards. We need psychiatric treatment for the pain that we experience.

We are sleeping during the day and awake at night waiting in fear. We say goodbye to each other before we sleep, because we're afraid of not waking



SOARES: Sleeping during the day and awake at night, that lady said there. Well, Israel says it tries to minimize harm to civilians, which it often

refers to as collateral damage. But a brother of an Islamic Jihad commander killed on Tuesday says Israel didn't just target him, but targeted his home

with his family inside, killing his 11-year-old daughter and ten-year-old son. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This enemy is a criminal entity, ever since it was created on the land of Palestine. It assassinated leaders

in their homes with their family and children. They did not assassinate them in the battlefield, not in the streets or cars. They assassinated them

while they were with their children, and killed their children and women along with them.

More than 20 injuries and around 12 martyrs, three of them which are militants and the rest are civilian women and children.


SOARES: Well, we want to get Israel's perspective now. And I'm joined by former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem. Mr. Bennett, great to

have you on the show, such an important day to have your perspective on this. I think it's fair to say, sir, that this tit-for-tat violence seems

to be very -- escalating very rapidly as you heard our correspondent Hadas Gold just say there.

And what we are seeing today, and I think it's important to put a frame around it for our viewers, is of course, in response to Israel's airstrikes

on Tuesday that killed three Islamic Jihad operatives and ten civilians. And that operation in turn was in response to an attack on Israel. But let

me ask you this. Why would the IDF conduct a military operation while civilians sleep in their beds?

NAFTALI BENNETT, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Isa, the IDF and Israel never deliberately attack civilians. We're targeting folks who are

terrorists, who are shooting rockets at us. So, as you correctly outlined, Islamic Jihad shot a 100 rockets on Israeli cities, and yes, we retaliate

and we fight back and we shoot the terrorists. Unfortunately in Gaza, Islamic Jihad and Hamas for that matter have a way of working with -- like

the place the rocket launchers, around the -- you know, families, civilians, and that's a cynical way of operating.

SOARES: And Mr. Bennett, I'm not sure if you heard the little clip we played before as you were probably getting set up. One lady was basically

saying, we sleep during the day, and we are awake at night, obviously fearful of these raids or nightly raids. We saw five women and four

children killed. The IDF from what I remember, correctly called it collateral.

But this was a targeted operation. This is their words. Now, I've heard the argument often made that militants and you hinted there, use civilians as

human shields. But doesn't Israel have an obligation to work around those shields here?

BENNETT: Israel has an obligation to defend its people. What would you do, Isa, if your kids, would you allow them to be next to rocket launchers?

SOARES: No, I wouldn't, but I wouldn't target civilians, sir, and this is my question to you --

BENNETT: Nobody is targeting civilians, Isa. Nobody is targeting civilians --

SOARES: So, are you accusing, Mr. Bennett --

BENNETT: And everyone knows that very well --

SOARES: Are you accusing those children of being part of this?

BENNETT: No, I'm accusing Islamic Jihad of murdering its own children by cynically shooting rockets at Israeli children, but surrounding their own

weapons with civilians in Gaza. There is no method that is more cowardly than what they're doing. And shame on them. And I do suggest that they stop

immediately killing their own children in the cynical method.

SOARES: Right, the target -- nightly raids when children and women are sleeping. That is not -- I don't suppose is a way to end this cycle of

violence. Is it?

BENNETT: Do you have any other suggestion how we should end the cycle of violence?

SOARES: Sir, you're the politician --

BENNETT: What do you do if in London -- if -- no, exactly. And I think it's also very convenient to -- you know, sit in rooms around the world and

criticize Israel who is fighting to defend our people. And I'm not ashamed of that. I don't apologize for that. I'm proud to defend our people, I did

it when I was in the military.


Unfortunately, we're in an area where we have Hamas, Islamic Jihad, this time it's not Hamas, but we've got Islamic Jihad who wakes up and begins

shooting at Israelis. What are we to do? So, yes, we defend ourselves, and yes, we try and take out militants. We go to great lengths to protect the

lives of uninvolved. But yes, unfortunately, because of the way they are working, if we want to stop those terrorists, we have to shoot them, and

they hide in a cowardly fashion.

SOARES: Let's talk Mr. Bennett about mediation. I don't know if you heard our correspondent Hadas Gold reporting that -- we're hearing that the

Egyptians are mediating here. And they are engaged in what they're calling, sir, intensive communication to bring calm to Gaza. Is there room, is there

an appetite here for a ceasefire?

BENNETT: Yes, there is. We didn't seek this round, we don't seek any rounds for that matter. In fact, I'd like to remind the viewers that back in 2005,

we evacuated the entire Gaza Strip of citizens, of military, we handed the keys to the PA, to the Fattah(ph), and unfortunately, it turned into a

terror hostile environment, an entity that since then has been making our lives miserable.

We've got no territorial claims in Gaza, we have no needs in Gaza, all we want is quiet, peace and quiet for our people. The day they decide to stop

shooting rockets at Israel, will be the day that there will be quiet.

SOARES: Does the -- does this change, sir, if Hamas is involved? Because the IDF says that, you know, it does not see Hamas firing rockets, but

Hamas is saying otherwise. Israel meantime said it's not interested in war. On the other hand, Netanyahu, Prime Minister Netanyahu says Israel is ready

to deliver harsh strikes. And he was saying just in the last few minutes -- our correspondent just said that, Hadas Gold, speaking in the last few

minutes, the country said the campaign is not over. So which is it?

BENNETT: The campaign isn't over because right as we're speaking right now, there is a siren in southern Israel because of the rockets being shot at

us. At this point, we're not seeking any further operation. But at the same token, I'd say that if Islamic Jihad continue shooting or if Hamas gets

involved, we'll hit back.

SOARES: Let's turn, sir, now that I've got you here, to politics, if I may. I'm wondering how much this is offering Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

some sort of political reprieve? I ask this, because I saw today that Jewish power, a far-right party in Netanyahu's coalition government said it

would end its boycott of the government in response to these airstrikes.

BENNETT: I don't know. Israel doesn't go to operations for political reasons, while I might be critical of a government for one thing or

another, I can assure you that all Israelis, right and left support the Israeli military and the Israeli government on operations that are out to

defend our own children. I can tell you that, on my way over here, I got caught in sirens in the center of Israel. This is simply crazy, and we have

to defend ourselves. We will defend ourselves and we won't apologize for that.

SOARES: Mr. Bennett, always great to get your insight there. Naftali Bennett, thank you, sir, appreciate it.

BENNETT: Thank you very much.

SOARES: Now -- thank you. Now, to Ukraine where Russian forces are facing setbacks in the battle for Bakhmut. Now, Ukrainian officials say they have

conducted a successful counterattack in the city, inflicting huge losses on Russian fighters. This, of course, as Wagner boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin rages

yet again about Russian leaders. He is demanding more ammunition and support.

Sam Kiley joins me now from Kyiv. And Sam, you know, you have -- you and I have spoken at great length about this. The battle for Bakhmut has been the

longest and bloodiest in this war. So, do we know how this was achieved, and whether Ukraine can replicate to elsewhere, this win in Bakhmut?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an extraordinary turn of events. So an area where, a distance about 2

kilometers was cleared. Both the Ukrainians and Mr. Prigozhin both agree a Russian unit called the 72nd Brigade was -- abandoned the flank onto the

south of Bakhmut. That is his allegation. A Russian military blogger has said that indeed, it was Wagner who left the flank.

They weren't driven out, they simply concentrated their forces elsewhere. And there was no Russian military there to cover it.


And that the Ukrainians exploited that by attacking. Now, the Ukrainians have released images of very heavy fighting there, and significant losses

among the Russians there, claiming very high losses indeed among the Russians. I think it's wise not to use their figures in a combat in terms

of numbers of enemies that they have killed.

But what's interesting here is that Russian military bloggers on the scene are very well plugged into the military structures are pointing to a

complete lack of coordination between the formal structures within the Russian Armed Forces and the Wagner Group which is on the tip of the spear,

effectively in the fight for Bakhmut.

And if that is the case, and that is a systemic failure, that means that the Russians are in pretty poor order to face up to what is likely to be a

much wider problem for them, when the Ukrainians launched their much vaunted Spring-Summer offensive, which are anticipating could be sometime

this month, Isa.

SOARES: And just to clarify, Sam, something. You know, Prigozhin, who leads the Wagner Group, of course, he had said a couple of days ago -- I think it

was a couple of days, I've lost track of time, that his troops would leave by May the 9th if he didn't get supplies, he didn't get ammunition. Any

response to this? What are you hearing?

KILEY: Well, he said they would leave by May the 9th. Then he said he was promised ammunition. Now he's saying that the ammunition didn't turn up.

It's part of an ongoing soap opera, really, in which he's been bitterly critical for many months now, indeed, of the formal structures of the

Russian Armed Forces all the way through to the top. He's using expletive- laden attacks on General Gerasimov; the head of the Armed Forces of Russia, Defense Minister Shoigu, all of these characters, he's very happy to

lampoon and lambast in his postings.

I think that this really is part potentially of his efforts to position himself in the future, perhaps for some kind of political role. It's very

difficult to work out how he's doing this, and why he is doing it. But what it does do is show that there are frictions and frailties within the

Russian command structures that the Ukrainians are exploiting, and are certainly going to exploit further.

SOARES: Yes, it's fractures that we have seen for some time, but clearly being much clearer there in Bakhmut in the last 24 hours. Sam Kiley,

appreciate it, thanks Sam. Well, the news agency "Agence France-Presse" says it is devastated by the death of one of its journalist covering the

war in Ukraine. French journalist Arman Soldin was hit by rocket fire near the embattled city of Bakhmut on Tuesday.

"AFP" says he was -- four colleagues at the time of the attack, but the other journalists weren't wounded. French President Emmanuel Macron paid

tribute to Soldin, saying the nation shares the pain of his family and colleagues. And still to come tonight, protests erupt as former Pakistani

Prime Minister Imran Khan is indicted on alleged corruption.

Plus, Russia's war in Ukraine is pushing Japan for seek stronger ties with NATO. We'll hear from Japan's foreign minister and what could be NATO's

first liaison office in Asia. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Tortured and beaten. That's what Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan claims happened to him in police detention. And he'll remain in

detention for eight days. The former cricket star is facing a new corruption charge about gifts he allegedly received in office from foreign

leaders and then sold. Khan was arrested on Tuesday in a separate corruption case related to the alleged acquisition of land.

His arrest has led to a lot of confusion and the crackdown on sharing information. CNN's Sophia Saifi reported from outside where Khan is being

held earlier.


SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Khan is being held somewhere in a guesthouse in this police compound right behind me. There are riot police here. The

internet has been completely shut down across the country, WhatsApp is down, YouTube is down, Twitter has been down for more than 12 hours. There

is a fear of what's going to happen next.


SOARES: Sophia Saifi there. Well, Pakistan was already on edge, and this arrest set off a new round of protests and deadly clashes between Khan's

supporters and police. Now the Pakistani government is asking the army to crack down on the unrest. Authorities in three out of Pakistan's four

provinces have temporarily banned all gatherings. We'll stay on top of that story for you.

Well, Japan is reaching out to NATO to boost its security in the Asia- Pacific region. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Japan's Foreign Minister says his country is in talks to open a NATO liaison office, the

first of its kind in Asia. Yoshimasa Hayashi says Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made the world less stable, and has forced Japan to rethink its

regional security.

And NATO officials say conversations with Japan are ongoing, but no decisions have been made. CNN's Marc Stewart has more.


MARC STEWART, CNN REPORTER (on camera): Let's make it clear, Japan is not joining NATO. But it is looking to strengthen an already existing

relationship with the alliance.

(voice-over): The war in Ukraine and Russian aggression is prompting Japan to discuss opening a NATO liaison office. The first of its kind in Asia.

YOSHIMASA HAYASHI, FOREIGN MINISTER, JAPAN: The reason why we are discussing about this is that since the aggression by Russia into Ukraine,

the world become more kind of unstable crisis, and I felt like something happening in east Europe is not only confined to the issue in east Europe.

And that affects directly to the situation here in the Pacific.

STEWART: Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also highlighted North Korean missile launches, and called China the greatest challenge for


(on camera): Is this to send a message to perhaps China or to North Korea, that there is strength in numbers? What would the intention of this be?

HAYASHI: Yes, discussion is not intended to be sending a message to any specific countries, but as I said, you know, security environment we are

facing is becoming more and more severe and also complex.

STEWART (voice-over): His remarks come after Japan announced a new national security plan last year, that will see the country double its defense-

spending, moving away from its pacifist constitution in the face of growing threats. Even though an agreement between NATO and Japan is far from

complete, NATO's potential presence in Asia is already drawing criticism from China.

A government spokesperson said "Asia is an anchor for peace and stability, and a promising land for cooperation and development, not a wrestling

ground for geopolitical competition." Yet, Japan's foreign minister reiterates that such a move won't escalate tensions in the region.

(on camera): Do you worry that this alliance-building will create more tension in the Pacific region?


HAYASHI: We are not, you know, offending anyone. We are defending ourselves from any kind of interference and concerns, and in some cases threat.

STEWART (voice-over): As allies convene in Hiroshima for the G7 Summit next week, maintaining stability in an increasingly volatile region remains at

the top of the agenda.

(on camera): And on the topic of the G7 Summit, the foreign minister told the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been invited to

participate, and is expected to appear remotely. Marc Stewart, CNN, Tokyo.


SOARES: Well, CNN asked the Secretary-General of NATO to weigh in on Japan's ongoing talks with the alliance. Jens Stoltenberg believes it's

important for both sides to build their partnership. This is what he said.


JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NATO: Yes. And we are talking with Japan about opening NATO office in Tokyo. And NATO has several offices in

important countries, and Japan is very close and important partner for NATO. And we agreed at the NATO Summit last year, that we should step up

our partnership with our Indo-Pacific partners, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

I recently visited Japan and the message there was that security is not regional any more. Security is global. What happens in Europe matters for

Asia, and what happens in Asia matters for Europe. And Beijing is watching closely what happens in Ukraine. The price President Putin is paying, but

also potential wars. So what happens in Ukraine actually matters for the calculations Beijing, China is making regarding, for instance, Taiwan.


SOARES: Jens Stoltenberg there. And still to come tonight, the $5 million sexual abuse verdict against Donald Trump. What E. Jean Carroll is saying

about her win in court, and how the verdict may play out with voters. That's just after this break.




SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

E. Jean Carroll speaking out today in victory after a federal jury in New York unanimously determined that former U.S. president Donald Trump is

liable for sexually abusing her back in the 1990s. He's being ordered to pay Carroll $5 million for the assault and for defaming her by denying her

claims. More now from CNN's Paula Reid.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are very happy.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): E. Jean Carroll was all smiles walking out of a Manhattan federal courthouse

Tuesday after a jury awarded her $5 million in her defamation case against former president Donald Trump.

In a statement, Carroll said, "This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed."

NATASHA STOYNOFF, WRITER AND TRUMP ACCUSER: It is really hard to come forward about these things. And especially hard when the man you are

talking about is very powerful.

REID (voice-over): Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds both testified during the trial about their alleged altercations with Trump, which he denies, and

they both praised this verdict.

STOYNOFF: When I heard the verdict today, I felt that nothing is more powerful than the truth.

JESSICA LEEDS, TRUMP ACCUSER: I am very pleased for Jean. I'm very pleased for the whole situation.

REID (voice-over): Trump responded to the verdict by posting this video to social media.


TRUMP: This was a very unfair trial. That's all you have to say. This was a very unfair trial.


REID (voice-over): The civil trial lasted 10 days. But the jury deliberated just under three hours. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and said he did not

even know Carroll.

TRUMP: I have no idea who this woman is.

REID (voice-over): However, he made these comments during his pretrial deposition played for the jury.

TRUMP: She is a whack job. She's not my type.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you are saying there is Ms. Carroll she fabricated her claim that you sexually assaulted her, correct?

TRUMP: Yes, totally, 100 percent.

REID (voice-over): That's the only time the jury heard from a Trump during the trial, other than clips from the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape which

surfaced right before the 2016 presidential election. Carroll's team used it to establish Trump having a pattern of this kind of behavior, playing

portions again during closing arguments.


TRUMP: You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when

you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what you said, correct?

TRUMP: Well, historically, that's true with stars, not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately.

REID (voice-over): Trump's attorneys calling his loss a result of politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is firm in his belief as many people are that he can't get a fair trial in New York City.

REID (voice-over): Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, also criticized the verdict.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I think the New York legal system is off the rails when it comes to Donald Trump.

REID (voice-over): But Republican senator Mitt Romney did not hold back.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I hope the jury of the American people reached the same conclusion about Donald Trump. He just is not suited to be President

of the United States.


SOARES: That was Paula Reid reporting. As we mentioned, Carroll has been speaking out today about her court victory. CNN's Poppy Harlow interviewed

her earlier and asked for her response to the verdict. Here is what she said.


E. JEAN CARROLL, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: There are no words. I just now saw the headlines. I am really sort of taking in the moment and the

overwhelming flood of a lot of hate. That is part of it.

But overwhelming amount of relief and joy and a feeling of "at last" and the surge. There's sort of a feeling of victory that at last somebody has

held him accountable in a courtroom.


SOARES: For a look at how the verdict may play out politically for Trump, I want to bring in Mike Madrid, co-founder of The Lincoln Project.

Mike, great to have you on the show. I think you heard in that report from Paula D, this was a unanimous verdict.

The question many are asking is, will this hurt his primary bid?

Do voters care?

MIKE MADRID, CO-FOUNDER, THE LINCOLN PROJECT: This is not going to hurt his primary bid. In fact, it will do the exact opposite. More likely to

galvanize and consolidate the Republican base behind Donald Trump. It will, however, I think, seriously impact his ability to win in a general

election, with independent voters, specifically.


MADRID: So in the short term it is going to help him. In the long term it is probably doing a lot of damage.

SOARES: On this side of the pond, that is absolutely fascinating. Most candidates, any CEO of any major organization, a unanimous jury verdict

would raise potentially insurmountable questions of political viability.

How does Trump achieve this?

I want to show our viewers this graphic. Each challenge you are seeing here, each challenge from March the 30th, Trump was indicted in New York;

April the 5th Trump is arraigned; May the 9th Trump is found liable. At each challenge we see, each hurdle, he does better and better.

How does he do this?

MADRID: Well, for the record, it shocks most of us here on this side of the pond as well. We try to sift through some of the underlying elements of

this. Let me say that this is defying traditional political wisdom.

What we are dealing with here in the United States of America is a social problem. This is reflective of a deeply unhealthy society. There is a wide

swath of the American public that is rallying to this individual not despite these problems but because of these problems.

That is where his strength comes from, his ability to define what he is against. Every time he is attacked, it reinforces the message that he is in

fact fighting on behalf of this community, this group. I hesitate to call it a political party because it is not behaving much like a political party


But that seems to be the source of Donald Trump's social strength.

SOARES: You heard the clip from him, his reaction to this. In many ways, not in those words but calling it a political witch hunt. This combative

style, I suspect, really helping rallying his base.

MADRID: Donald Trump, Trumpism needs something to be against. It stands for very little. It is defined by its enemies. It is defined by who it can

blame. It is defined by who it can point fingers at to corral people behind it and to develop that. Support

So using terminology like a witch hunt, suggesting that there is some conspiratorial deep state attack against him, that I alone am the person

that can defend you. All of that is language that is galvanizing this constituency.

In the likelihood of this happening again in 2024 is very great, you are seeing Republican primary voters respoond that way.

The challenge for Donald Trump, politically, is has he run the course with independent voters?

Democrats will overwhelmingly oppose him.

Is he going to lose that sliver which was necessary in 2016 that got him elected against Hillary Clinton?

Then he lost in 2020; that is going to be the determining factor in 2024.

SOARES: Let's talk about that, Mike, areas he is perhaps vulnerable.

Are women, after all of this, this unanimous verdict?

All the investigations he's facing?

Are they still backing him as they were in 2016?

Or does he have to work at this?

Can he turn this around?

MADRID: He is losing support amongst college educated women specifically to a creater a degree than he was in both 2016 and 2020. That means the

likelihood of him winning reelection, I, think is smaller than it was even in 2016 and 2020.

Having said that, I'm talking about marginal differences. The fact of the matter is Donald Trump supporters are remarkably consistent, with where

they have been in the past eight years or so.

Yes, he is losing support amongst women, college educated women specifically. Enough Republican women are moving away from him. Independent

women are moving decisively against him.

But the math, the numbers would suggest that this is still a much closer race than conventional wisdom or rational thought would suggest that it

should be.

SOARES: Mike, very briefly, we are, of course, expected to hear from Trump later on today at CNN's town hall.

What does he have to say?

Or should he say anything, in order to keep that number?

MADRID: It is very important to understand that Donald Trump is not trying to convince other people to come to his side. That is, I think, one of the

big mistakes people make about Donald Trump.

He is trying to galvanize his own base to show up in numbers that will supersede the necessity to actually convince more people to come to his

side. You can expect him to be very combative.

He's already suggesting that this could be disastrous. He is promoting this like a prize fight, trying to get as many eyes as he can in a way that only

Donald Trump has been able to, quite frankly, as a presidential candidate.


MADRID: The more eyes that are on him, the more he is able to focus and direct the media narrative. He then uses that to attack his opposition.

That gives him the leverage that he needs to actually win a contest.

Will he be successful?

I don't know. But I am absolutely convinced you are not going to see a conciliatory, apologetic Donald Trump. That is just not in his nature.

Politically, what we have learned over the past years is a combative, aggressive, offensive Donald Trump is precisely the persona that he wants,

that he needs.

And it is why I think this ruling yesterday helps him in this Republican primary.

SOARES: And antiestablishment, as well. Perhaps we will not see a policy content focus on that but perhaps more performance based. Mike, always

great to get your insight. Please come, back you're very welcome.

We will hear from Donald Trump later today. Be sure to tune in for CNN's town hall with the 2024 Republican presidential candidate starting at 8 pm

Eastern. You can catch a replay at 7 am in London. Just get yourself a strong cup of coffee. We will be back after the short break.




SOARES: I want to return to our top story, the dramatic escalation of violence between Israeli and Palestinians in Gaza. The Palestinian

representative to the U.N. spoke outside the U.N. Security Council, flanked by fellow ambassadors from several Arab countries. He demanded the Security

Council hold Israel responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza.


RIYAD MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN REPRESENTATIVE TO THE U.N.: We condemn this crime. We condemn those who permitted these crimes, particularly killing

large numbers of women and children.

And we believe that it is the duty of the Security Council to condemn these crimes and to pronounce that those from the Israeli side, who planned these

crimes, who have committed these crimes, should face accountability and should pay for their crimes.


SOARES: The Palestinian representative there to the U.N.

U.S. Congressman, George Santos, who made headlines when reporters discovered lies in his biography, is now making headlines for some far more

serious charges. Santos was in federal court just minutes ago charged with 13 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and lying

to Congress.

We just got word that he pled not guilty to each of those charges. He's being released on a 500,000 dollar bond. Prosecutors say the newly elected

Republican used campaign contributions to buy himself fancy designer clothes and pay his credit card bills. CNN's Mark Morales is at the federal


Mark, I understand that he left in the last few minutes.


SOARES: Talk me through some of the color that we saw inside the courthouse.

MARK MORALES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, this was, like a lot of federal criminal arraignments for a white collar person, the only

difference is this is for a sitting U.S. congressman. We are talking about George Santos.

He sat in the chair next to his attorney and answer the judge's questions; yes, ma'am, was his most common answer to a lot of procedural questions,

like whether he understood the indictment, whether he has gone over the paperwork with his attorney, Joseph Murray, other questions about what the

bond was going to be set at.

The interesting part here is George Santos is in the midst of his campaign. He wants to run again for office. As part of his bond agreement, he can

only travel to New York City, Long Island and Washington, D.C..

If he wants to go to other locations, say, another event in New Jersey that was a fund-raiser, he would need to get permission from pretrial services

in order to do that. He has already surrendered his passport. The FBI already has. That so he is not going to get that back. That is where we

stand right now with George Santos.

He had a very calm demeanor. He answered questions. Now we are awaiting to see what the next step is in this month-long investigation that is finally

ended here.

SOARES: Mark, 13 counts in total.

How has this then been received by fellow Republican lawmakers?

What kind of reaction have you been seeing?

MORALES: Well, Republican lawmakers have gone out of their way to solidify. A lot of them have said from the beginning, George Santos should not be

where he is at right now. He should not be in this position.

I know a lot of Long Island Republican lawmakers have made it very clear they did not want George Santos to remain in that seat. They have been very

vocal. A lot of the most notable people have said they did not want him to be a part of this. That is where we stand at the moment.

SOARES: Including speaker McCarthy saying he would stand by him. Thank you very much, Mark, appreciate it.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaking out about the failure to negotiate a new plan for the country's debt ceiling. Democrats and Republicans have been

locked in this battle for nearly 100 days. As the June 1st, default deadline quickly apporches, the president pointed out that the Republican

plan is not realistic for the overall budget. This is what he said.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It leaves us with a requirement to cut 22 percent of everything else in the budget in order to

meet the requirements that they are demanding that we limit the 2022 budget numbers.

The speaker and the Republicans don't like that I point that out. But that is not my opinion. It is just basic math.


SOARES: On Tuesday, the president and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy acknowledged that no progress has been made. The core issue here,

Republicans want spending cuts attached to any agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

Still to come tonight, from living under a dictatorship to working with Bad Bunny, these are just some of the subjects I speak to Uruguayan singer

Jorge Drexler about. Stay tuned for that interview next.





SOARES: Uruguayan musician Jorge Drexler is taking the Latin music scene by storm. 2022 might have even have been his most successful year to date,

winning big at the Latin Grammys.

Now the Oscar winner taking his new album on tour. I had a chance to sit down with him ahead of his performance. Our conversation went from dream

collaboration to growing up under dictatorship. Take a listen to this.



SOARES (voice-over): He swept the Latin Grammys with six wins, including the Latin song of the year. Now the Uruguayan singer-songwriter is taking

his rich and poetic melodies on tour. I sat down with Jorge Drexler in London.

JORGE DREXLER, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Sometimes I do write something I am proud of afterwards. Not always. But I'm not a mainstream project. I'm not even a

medium big project. I am medium small scale project. And everything is made by hand. I don't know how to say that in a different way --


SOARES: So when you beat so many other Latin big names --


DREXLER: Big people. Not only (INAUDIBLE) in the world, you have Bad Bunny, have Rosalia, people that you would go to drag (ph) or to Istanbul (ph) and

you will hear their music in every street of Turkiye, for example. Something is happening with Latin and Spanish music.

SOARES: Why do you think there is that surge in Latin music (INAUDIBLE)?

DREXLER: I think what is happening with Spanish music has a lot to do with what is going on with reggaeton, with (INAUDIBLE) and urban music. You


I think there is something that is perceived, the sensuality perceived in that the same way that tango would work in the first half of the 20th

century. And it is a language that everybody understands. ANd it is very -- it's really surprising for me that, you know?

You get that much exposure of Spanish peaking language.

Do a delight to collaborate with who you haven't yet?

What about bad bunny?



You name two that I would love to collaborate with. This is an open request. [laughter] I know both of them. We've math. A little bit more with

possibly a, in the U.S., then with benito but I really admire what they do. You named two of my two favorite artist. Together with antenna, which I

have already collaborated with.

You have given us already a bit of your back story. He started a medicine, studied medicine. He grew up and Uruguay. Under dictatorship. What was that


The dictatorship started in 73. I was nine years old. I came out when I was 20 years old. My affection, my sexual life, all my development as a human

being it all happened, my cultural life, it happened in the middle of a dictatorship. It is easy at the beginning to take it out of your

conscience. You learn your free really quickly. It is really hard to take it out of your joints.

We couldn't dance in the dictatorship. At some point it was forbidden. All kinds of expression was forbidden. Also grew up in a left-wing family which

consider that fighting against the dictatorship was more important than dancing. Boasting that are important. You have to do both of them together.

There is nothing more important than dancing. I think it is the most important human activity. I only learned that when I was 14. I had to make

the record.


DREXLER: To sing the dictatorship out of my joints.

SOARES (voice-over): And that is exactly what he had been doing for the last 30 years.



SOARES: Just beautiful. My thanks, of course, to Jorge Drexler and his team.

Finally, tonight, you would have to have nerves of steel to do what this man I'm about to show you does. You can see him here. His name is Sebastian

Steudtner. Or he set the world record for the biggest wave ever surfed back in 2020, at 26 meters, 86 feet. It is equivalent to surfing an eight story

building. Imagine that.

The record was set off of the Portuguese beach of nursery where the north beach as been hailed as the Mt. Everest of big wave surfing. You can see

here at the bottom. A new book releasing on Thursday about those infamous waves features firsthand accounts and his words about his dedication. You

have to be very dedicated to the sport. Our quote of the day, "You have to be prepared to die," from this man who looks rather different from that

picture we saw there.

That does it for us tonight. Thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is up next. I shall see you tomorrow. Bye-