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Isa Soares Tonight

A Judge Sets April 15th As Trump's Hush Money Trial; Appeals Court In New York Has Reduced Trump's $464 Million Fine To $175 Million; Israel's Foreign Minister Says Israel Will Not Cease Fire After U.N. Security Council Vote; Trump Hush Money Trial Date Confirmed For April 15, Bond Reduced In Civil Fraud Case To $175 Million; U.N. Security Council Calls For Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza; Netanyahu Cancels Israeli Delegation's Trip To Washington After U.S. Abstains From UNSC Vote. 2-3p ET

Aired March 25, 2024 - 14:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And a very warm welcome to you, I'm Richard Quest, Isa Soares has Easter week off, you have me all week.

Tonight, two major legal rulings for Donald Trump. A judge sets the date of April the 15th for his hush money trial.

Meanwhile, another court has ruled he can pay a substantially reduced bond, that's in the civil fraud case. Also tonight, Israel's Foreign Minister

says the country will not cease fire. It follows the U.S. Security Council passing the resolution, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza -- the

U.S. abstained. We'll talk about that in a moment.

And more arrests in Moscow, but deadly terror attack at the concert hall. We'll talk about those details and those who are in court today, we'll hear

about that in a moment. Now, there are two major legal rulings for Donald Trump's various court cases.

In the criminal trial for the hush money case, the Stormy Daniels case, if you will, it's now scheduled to begin in only three weeks on April the

15th. And then in the civil fraud case, all about overvaluing his properties. The former U.S. President won a partial victory.

There, the appeals court has ruled -- or one of the appeals court ruled, he can now only pay $175 bond in ten days rather than the full amount that was

awarded by the judge, $464 million. Donald Trump says it will be an honor to post the money.

A short time ago, he was asked whether he would accept money from a foreign government to come up with the bond.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I don't -- I don't do that. I've been -- I think you'd be allowed to possibly -- I don't know.

I mean, if you go borrow from a big bank, many of the banks are outside of this -- as you know, the biggest banks, frankly, are outside of our


So, you could do that, but I don't need to borrow money. I have a lot of money. I have a lot -- I built a great company.


QUEST: CNN senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz is with me now. Let's dissect this bit by bit. I think on the one hand, the bond

decision keeps him going, but we've now got a firm date for the start of -- if you will, the show will begin.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, Richard, on the lawsuit side, that's the bond, that $175 million, he has to post by April

4th, that just kicks the end, the finality of this lawsuit down the road. He's lost the lawsuit and the judgment is almost $500 million, a half

billion dollars against him and his sons with a band.

He's appealing that, and so, that isn't going to be fully felt by Donald Trump and the Trump Organization and his sons until those appeals are over.

We will see if he can win in the --

QUEST: Right --

POLANTZ: Appeals process. But right now, this is just a little bit of a -- of a reprieve. He's gotten where he has to post some of the bond, not the

full amount by the appeals court separately in this criminal case, a real reality check in court in Manhattan today.

His lawyers have tried every way they can to delay this case and all of the other criminal cases he is facing. In this one, the judge looked at their

latest arguments about receiving evidence late in the process of preparing for trial.

And ultimately said three weeks, that's when we're starting. That's when jury selection will begin on April 15th. So, Donald Trump will become the

first former president to be a criminal defendant facing --

QUEST: Right --

POLANTZ: A jury in New York city very soon.

QUEST: Remind me that now -- so, does he have to be in court every day? I mean, you know, it's a silly question in one sense, most defendants

absolutely would be in court. Is there a requirement for him to be present?

POLANTZ: It depends on the court, and no, there's not a requirement. However, you can ask to voluntarily not be in court. You're supposed to be

there for the beginning, especially jury selection so potential jurors can see you as a defendant.


And then if a trial --

QUEST: Right --

POLANTZ: Is very long, people can ask not to be there, but there's no reason Donald Trump wouldn't want to be there every day. He's making this

his campaign. He's making it about a fight between him and the system that he says has put him under attack --

QUEST: Right --

POLANTZ: And depriving him of his ability to run for office.

QUEST: I'm grateful, as always, thank you so much, you made that nice and clear to us. Thank you. I want to welcome Nick Ackerman; former Assistant

Special Watergate Prosecutor and a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Nick, so, on the criminal case, he's tried everything to delay it, the judge has now said no, we're starting jury selection on April 15th. Do we

have any idea how long this case is likely to go?

NICK ACKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: I could say anywhere between three to six weeks.

QUEST: Wow --

ACKERMAN: It's probably going to take a few days to pick a jury. But I think once it gets going, you've got two main witnesses, his former lawyer,

Michael Cohen and David Pecker, who is the owner of the "Enquirer Magazine", you've got some other witnesses they're going to corroborate


But it's a fairly straightforward, simple case, and there's also a tape recording of Donald Trump speaking to Michael Cohen about paying Karen

McDougal, who is one of the women that they were giving hush --

QUEST: Right --

ACKERMAN: Money to.

QUEST: Now if, lots of ifs, if convicted, he faces what?

ACKERMAN: He could face up to a couple of years in jail, and it's a fairly serious crime. And I think it all depends how the evidence comes out, and

whether he's convicted on all counts, which I kind of expect he will be.

QUEST: How aware will the judge be? I mean, maybe not so far. But this never-ending battle between justice must be done and seen to be done, and

no one is above the law, with the reality that the man is running for the presidency, and very possibly could win. So, if he's convicted and

sentenced, et cetera -- I know I'm getting ahead of myself.


QUEST: Well, what happens in that situation? Does the judge give him any --



QUEST: I mean, how difficult is it for the judge?

ACKERMAN: It doesn't seem to be very difficult at all for this particular judge. He hasn't taken any flack from the defense lawyers here. He got

right to the point this morning, bringing out the fact that they really had no basis to delay this case. In fact, he turned the whole delay around on


QUEST: Right --

ACKERMAN: Essentially questioning them why they didn't do more sooner?

QUEST: I need today. Thank you sir, we will talk many more times on this, grateful for -- I need to go to the White House, to Washington, where the

National Security Communications adviser John Kirby is giving a briefing, and obviously talking about Israel.


that need to be stated, in fact, restated. Number one, it's a non-binding resolution, so there's no impact at all on Israel and Israel's ability to

continue to go after Hamas.

Number two, as I said in my opening statement, it does not represent a change at all in our policy. It's very consistent with everything that

we've been saying we want to get done here. And we get to decide what our policy is. The Prime Minister's office seems to be indicating through

public statements that we somehow changed here. We haven't.

And we get to decide what our policy is. It seems like the Prime Minister's office is choosing to create a perception of daylight here, when they don't

need to do that. So, again, no change in our policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does this do -- relationship between President and Prime Minister Netanyahu?

KIRBY: I have no doubt that the two leaders will have follow-on discussions as they have as appropriate throughout this conflict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Well, you say it's not a shift in policy by voting for this today. Get specific with us as to why again -- and to the

charge that by even if standing -- because normally, there may need some tenth of the Security Council of the U.N. overall to condemn Israel every

so often for whatever reason.

The U.S. usually stands up and vetoes those resolutions. Here now for the first time in a while, United States is at least abstaining and allowing it

to go through. So, the perception broadly is that the U.S. is no longer got Israel's back when it comes to conversations like this if you allow.

KIRBY: No, it's just not true. Nothing could be further from the truth, quite frankly. Of course, we still have Israel's back. I mean, as you and I

are speaking, we are still providing tools and capabilities, weapon system so that Israel can defend itself against -- which we -- what we agree is

still a viable threat, that's Hamas.


Again, no change by this non-binding resolution what Israel can or cannot do in terms of defending itself. But you know, the other day, Friday, when

I was up here, Brian(ph) was asking me about, you know, how come it was OK for or not OK for Russia and China to veto a resolution that we drafted on

Friday when we vetoed similar ones prior to it.

And my answer then is going to be my answer today, because of the substance of it. The ones we vetoed didn't condemn Hamas. This one didn't condemn

Hamas, which is why we couldn't support it. But we didn't veto it because in general, unlike previous resolutions, this one did fairly capture what

has been our consistent policy, which is linking a hostage deal and the release of those men and women with of course a temporary ceasefire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, U.S. officials today saying Netanyahu was acting this way because he's facing some domestic political pressure. There's

domestic political issues going on. Aren't there also domestic political pressure facing President Biden? And that's part of the reason why you all

are allowing this to happen today?

KIRBY: I can't speak for --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, members of the Democratic Party saying he's doing this wrong. You've got the general public suggesting his support for Israel

at this place is that part of why this is going through now.

KIRBY: No, absolutely not. And I got to take issue with the premise of the question. The president makes decisions based on the national security

interests of the United States.


KIRBY: And this decision to abstain on this resolution is in keeping with the national security interests of the United States, and quite frankly,

it's in keeping with the national security concerns of the Israeli people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Customs and border policy here. Border Patrol chief yesterday suggested in an interview that the situation at the southern

border is a national security threat because of the roughly 140,000 known got-aways.

So, those that crossed the border and were detected as crossing illegally. Is that the position of the whole Biden administration of the White House

that the situation down there remains a national security --

KIRBY: The President has spoken to this. I mean, he's talked about the urgent need for additional funding for key capabilities at the border. And

if you care about the border --

QUEST: That's John Kirby. Joined now by Jeremy Diamond who is in Jerusalem, Kevin Liptak is in Washington. Kevin, I'm going to start with you if I may.

And Kirby is extremely good, exceptionally good during their -- don't know why you're all making a fuss about, nothing to see here. Keep moving, keep


I mean, he essentially said no change in policy. No, don't worry that we're just following our own line before. But yes, everybody knows that the fact

that they've abstained when they put their own ceasefire, one before, is a big development.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It is a development and you hear him trying to say that there's no change in U.S. policy, trying to bridge

this distinction between why the U.S. has outright vetoed these resolutions in the past and why they allowed a one to pass earlier today.

And very importantly, I think you hear John Kirby trying to provide some American explanation for why Prime Minister Netanyahu has canceled. There's

a delegation to the White House to discuss Rafah and the Israeli-planned ground invasion of Rafah. And I do think it was interesting.

You heard Kirby say that the U.S. was perplexed by this decision and previously today, we heard American officials attribute it to Netanyahu's

own domestic political concerns. They said -- in their view, Netanyahu was creating unnecessarily this daylight between the U.S. and Israel.

And so, I do think you are starting to see this deepening rift between the White House and Netanyahu's government really start to come out into public

view. You know, I don't think we're going to see one moment where there's a complete rupture. But today, you are starting to see this separation slowly


QUEST: Right --

LIPTAK: Over time day-by-day. And today is an important moment in this relationship and how they're describing it. Richard.

QUEST: Jeremy, take that idea and run with it. That, to all intents and purposes, you know, Israel has been told what you're doing is not good

enough, and Netanyahu has been told we won't back you all the way.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and the Israeli Prime Minister clearly decided that he wanted to make a statement of his own,

whether that statement was more for an American audience or more for an Israeli domestic, political audience is another question.

But to start off with what he was trying to accomplish on the U.S. side, you know, the Israeli Prime Minister has been growing increasingly

frustrated, increasingly defensive at what he has perceived as growing criticism from the American administration about Israel's handling of the

war and repeated U.S. efforts to try and get Israel to course-correct or to not go through with something like a planned ground offensive into Rafah.

But I also think it's important to underscore that the Israeli Prime Minister is also clearly trying to show a domestic audience in Israel, that

he is fighting back against that perceived criticism, and also standing up against this resolution at the United Nations.


Which is not really as the Israeli Prime Minister and his office have described. They have tried to suggest that this ceasefire resolution does

not condition the release of hostages with the ceasefire. It doesn't do so explicitly, but it does say very clearly in this resolution in a way that

it hasn't before, that this resolution demands an immediate ceasefire, and it also in the same sentence demands the immediate and unconditional

release of all the hostages.

So, the White House is pointing out here that the Israeli Prime Minister and their view is trying to make a whole lot about nothing, that's not

exactly the case, but certainly, there is something here to the fact that the Israeli Prime --

QUEST: All right --

DIAMOND: Minister is trying to take something and make a bigger fuss of it than it necessarily would have been.

QUEST: Jeremy, I'll let you go about your duties and our last question to Kevin, this is only going to get more difficult for the president as we

move further onto the election, as it becomes more -- you know, how far can he push this?

LIPTAK: Well, I think that remains to be seen. And I think one of the key moments and examples that we're all going to be looking to is what happens

if Israel does go into Rafah? What are --

QUEST: Right --

LIPTAK: The so-called red lines that President Biden has said do exist? And we just heard over the weekend the Vice President Kamala Harris suggesting

that it's not off the table that there would be some kind of consequence for Israel if that were to happen.

U.S. officials, American officials have been discussing internally what that response would be. And certainly, you hear plenty of democratic

lawmakers talking about the idea of conditioning aid to Israel on their humanitarian efforts, taking steps on the diplomatic front that would

further isolate Israel on the world stage.

And you're right, President Biden, no matter what John Kirby says, President Biden is under intensive pressure from the left, the progressive

left to do and say more. But one interesting thing, Richard, was interview that Donald Trump did with an Israeli news outlet over the weekend, he said

himself that it's time for Israel to finish this war.

He said we've got to get peace. So, this is not necessarily an issue that's falling cleanly on Democratic, Republican lines. This is an issue that will

continue to dog President Biden --

QUEST: All right --

LIPTAK: In some of these key battleground states. And it's something he's going to have to address and will address going forward.

QUEST: Kevin, grateful to have you at the White House tonight. Thank you, sir. As we continue tonight, memorials for the victims of the Friday

shooting at a Russian concert hall. Russia is announcing new arrests. We'll be live in Moscow.



QUEST: The Kremlin is trying to defend its Intelligence services after the worst attack on Russian soil in nearly two decades. Memorials such as this

one here have now been set up to mourn the more than 130 people who were killed at the concert venue on Friday. The United States says it warned

Russia about a potential extremist plot earlier this month.

Now, the Kremlin is declining to comment on that alert, and speculation some of the suspects in custody were tortured as they appeared in court

battered and bruised. A branch of the Jihadist group ISIS is claiming responsibility, and at least, three of the suspects have reportedly pleaded


CNN's Matthew Chance has been visiting the city where the attack happened in our reports from outside Moscow.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, as shocked Russians continue to lay flowers here outside the concert hall

where more than 130 people were killed last week, the four suspected attackers have appeared in a Moscow court charged with acts of terrorism.

The men all from Tajikistan in Central Asia appear to have been beaten. Videos showing their brutal interrogation had been leaked and widely

shared, and one suspect appears to have lost an eye, another has what appears to be a torn plastic bag around his neck.

The Kremlin hasn't commented on allegations of torture, but it was here at the Crocus City Hall near Moscow that four gunmen dressed in camouflage

went on a killing rampage, firing automatic weapons on innocent bystanders before setting fire to the crowded building where thousands had gathered

for a rock concert.

ISIS, the terror group has said it was responsible for the attack, releasing horrific video, apparently taken by the gunmen themselves as they

stormed the venue. The U.S. says it's been warning Russia for months about Intelligence suggesting a threat.

But the Kremlin dismissed a recent U.S. Embassy alert about an imminent attack as a provocation intended to destabilize the country. The Russian

president has attempted to link the events here to Ukraine, although the Ukrainian government has categorically denied any involvement.

There are now though, concerns about what comes next, how the Kremlin may use this tragedy to further tighten security laws and rally Russians who

are more anxious about security now than at any time for years.


QUEST: Matthew is with me now in Moscow. Thank you, sir. We reported on -- in your report, on the four suspects in custody, but the potential for more

arrests -- have you heard more?

CHANCE: Yes, well, there have been 11 people in total, Richard, who have been detained by the Russian security forces in connection with this act of

terrorism. You saw the four of them, the suspected sort of attackers who carried out the gunshots and the incendiary attacks inside the concert


They appeared in court looking battered. As I mentioned, another three people have appeared in court today. It's a father and two sons, people

from the same family who are said to have been the owners of the white vehicle in which the four attackers apparently made their escape from the

concert hall after carrying out the attack.

And so, they've been connected as well and charged with sort of collaborating and helping to organize a terrorist act as well. One of them

actually pleaded innocent at the time. But you know -- so, this is an ongoing investigation, Vladimir Putin, the Russian President has come out

within the past few minutes, saying that while now he accepts that ISIS carried out this attack.

So, he's not ruling that out. He's saying he wants to find out who organized it, and he's still sort of trying to implicate Ukraine and the

government in Kyiv in that, and that's something of course, the authorities in Kyiv categorically denied, Richard.

QUEST: Matthew Chance in Moscow, thank you. Staying with Ukraine. Ukraine and its people remain under siege by attacks.




QUEST: Now, the video you're watching comes from Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, it shows a scene in Kyiv earlier today when air-raid sirens send

children running for their lives.


Ukraine's Air Force says Russia fired at least two ballistic missiles on the capital. And Russia launched a new wave of drone and missile strikes

over the last few days. Look at this video from Sunday which shows the debris from earlier attacks. Brazilian authorities say flooding has killed

at least 27 people in the southeastern part of the country.

Some 7,000 people have been forced to flee homes in one region alone. With warnings of heavy rainfall to continue in some areas potentially they'll

see a 100 millimeters in 24 hours over the coming days. Still to come tonight, we're starting to get -- we are getting started with an already

wild week for Donald Trump.

Details ahead on his historic hush money trial on the one delay and the Trump civil fraud case. And also, as you've been talking, Israel's already

rejected the new Security Council resolution for immediate ceasefire. We'll talk to the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland to see if it

makes any difference.


QUEST: To our top story tonight. Major developments in two of Donald Trump's legal cases that are unfolding in the New York civil fraud case. He

got a lifeline from an appeals judge, instead of the original $464 million bond that was due, he now has 10 more days to pay a smaller amount of $175


No delay though in the hush money case in New York, the judge has set that trial to start on April the 15th. Joining us to break down the historical

significance of today's events, Larry Sabato is the Founder and Director of the University of Virginia Center For Politics.


The lawyers will tell me that this is all moving forward and the legal this, that and the others but the politics of it is what in your view?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: The politics is that Donald Trump has scored some victories that really count

even though he's likely to lose on at least some of these suits and it's hard to believe that all 91 counts would be dismissed.

What he wants and what he has wanted from the beginning is to stretch out the schedule so that the really serious charges about his misuse of

classified documents and even more so his involvement in trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power back in 2020 would be the last cases heard and

they wouldn't happen before election day November 5th.

So, you know, most people are not inclined to vote on something until they have a verdict. So far he's succeeded and of course secondarily he's

managed to get that tremendous amount of money, $454 million reduced to $175 million which still sounds like a lot of cash to me and you. But to

Donald Trump, it's manageable.

QUEST: The case -- the criminal case, the hush money case, for want of a better, and that's starting on -- now on the April the 15th. I'm just doing

some back of envelope mathematics.

Assuming it runs three to four weeks, takes you to the middle of May. In the event of a conviction, would you expect a custodial sentence and how do

you -- I mean is the -- is the legal establishment even ready for something like this?

SABATO: I doubt that happens, though I'm going to leave those judgments to your many legal analysts at CNN. I'm not an attorney. But I will tell you

this, he knows Donald Trump knows, because he has been involved as a private citizen and then as a politician in over 4,000 lawsuits, he's

pretty good at stretching things out and his lawyers are even better at it.

So even if he gets a guilty verdict, there'll be loads of motions and loads of appeals and loads of back and forth and Trump has figured out a way to

take what for most candidates would be devastating news of all these felony counts and turn it into a political plus, if not a political goldmine. So I

think at this point, every time we try to put a period at the end of the sentence about Trump's trials, we end up with a comma and we ought to

remember that. That's what we're going to have, a series of commas all the way through November 5th.

QUEST: All right. So the fascinating nature of the circumstance, it -- what would it take to turn the public, the -- obviously the diehards will never

turn, but what would it take in terms of convictions, fines, whatever, to turn the public.

SABATO: Here's what I think might do it. I don't think anybody can be absolutely sure, but that tiny group, maybe three, four or five percent of

voters who actually are undecided don't believe that most say they're undecided so it's three four or five percent.

What would turn them if these trials, and all the motions and all the commotions that will take place between now and the election, show people

that we would be entering four years of even more chaos than we experienced in Trump's first four years. I think that might do it for that tiny group

of undecided. But it's a guess.

QUEST: And let's talk about the president and all of this. And how far can he play this to his advantage? And I'm thinking of course, you know, as

president, he has to put his hand to one side and say, no, the legal process blah, blah, blah, blah, we might have -- innocent until proven

guilty blah, blah, blah. But at the same time there are some cases like the E.J. Carroll cases where he can put the boot in because they've been


SABATO: Yes. Look, the president can't win. And so -- President Biden I'm talking about.

QUEST: Yes, yes, yes.

SABATO: That's a large portion of this because most people believe the cynicism that Donald Trump has been selling that all of this is coordinated

from the White House, which is nonsense. In fact, some of these cases were begun before Biden even became president.

But that's beside the point. He has to pretend that he not only is not terribly concerned, but also as is true is not involved. So a good way to

do it is humor, which he did over the weekend.


When Trump chose to point out that, yes, things had turned bad for him in some respects but he had won a whole bunch of golf trophies. Imagine. And

so Joe Biden sends out a tweet congratulating him on this major accomplishment. That's the way to deal with Trump.

QUEST: All right. Good to see you, sir. I'm grateful. Thank you.

The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres says it will be unforgivable if a new Security Council resolution on Gaza is not implemented. The council

today called for an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan as well as the release of all hostages. 14 members voted in favor. The U.S. abstained.

The Palestinian U.N. representative says the resolution should be a turning point in ending the war. Israel has already rejected it, saying it will

continue to -- its war to destroy Hamas.

The Norwegian Refugee Council says all too often U.N. Security Council resolutions are ignored, says this one must be enforced ahead of the U.N.

or the Norwegian -- the NRC.

Jan Egeland is with me now from Rome. Hello, sir. Good to see you as always. Thank you very much.

You know, I say this more in sorrow than anything else but you don't expect -- you're a realist. You've been around a long time. You don't expect

Israel to follow this Security Council resolution.

JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: We hope they will. I mean, we don't have the luxury to not urge both that the two

parties, Israel and Hamas, will implement the resolution because too many lives are at stake.

Today, 95 trucks only were allowed into Gaza. Ninety five. We needed at least 500. More civilians were killed. No hostages were released. It cannot

continue like now.

So I think -- I think Israel and Hamas, for that matter, is seeing that there is mountain pressure on them and they are now in a minority of one or

two if you like.

QUEST: That -- I can -- I can admire what you say, but it flies in the face of the reality of what we know the situation to be. Certainly as Netanyahu

still considers whether or not to go into Rafah and we saw today his decision to withdraw delegation coming to Washington because of the U.S.'s

decision to abstain in the vote.

EGELAND: Yes. And it's a turning point really. That the U.S. has joined the rest of the world in exerting pressure on Israel which is -- has the

overwhelming military superiority in Gaza. The Israeli army and people need the United States. The United States says now too many dead children. Too

many lives lost. Too little aid to the starving population. Stop it and don't go into Rafah.

So, I still believe Israel will not plow through the largest refugee camp on earth which is Rafah. I was there, as you know just a few weeks back.

It's packed with women and children. You can't have a war in a refugee camp.

QUEST: The port -- well, the makeshift ports and bringing in aid by sea, how's that going to your knowledge?

EGELAND: Well, it's -- it is -- it's happening and it will be there in, say, two months. By then, many, many will have died if they do not open the

border crossings so why not open the two border crossings in the north called Karni and Erez. I've been there many times. They are 40 minutes by

truck to Gaza City where people are in a famine-like situation.

The port will come in two months. I think that will be a good thing. But the border crossings can open today or rather tomorrow.

QUEST: The whole question of Israel saying that -- I mean, I've seen enough reports on the bureau -- so the supposed bureaucratic reasons why the

trucks wait outside. You obviously have a minute knowledge of the minutiae of all of this, the difficulties, the bureaucracy, the challenge. Where is

the fault?

EGELAND: We -- the thought of all of this was that the international community allowed Israel, which is belligerent, to control how much aid is

going to the civilian population on the other side. We don't have that anywhere else in the world. Why would a 22-year-old Israeli soldier have

the right to say.


Oh, this truck looks like it's packed wrong. Unload everything. Oh, and this truck -- I see a small scissor for medical use. The truck cannot go

through this place. There is a box with wood or wood can be used for tunnels. Don't let it through. We cannot -- we cannot have Israel blocking

all of the border crossings. It has to be an international expense -- inspection regime. It could be led by the U.S. and the E.U. They would have

the trust and confidence of Israel.

QUEST: I do wonder though, you know, at what point reality seeps in. And I mean, I'm not being disrespectful in a sense. Israel has shown no

willingness to do that nor has it shown any willingness to follow the U.N. resolutions or indeed in treaties from its closest allies in certain

behaviors. I can understand, sir, you have hope more than expectation. But is that what it is?

EGELAND: It is both really. I mean, the -- I don't -- I think it's sinking in now that we would have an epic biblical moment in Gaza. I think it's

sinking in that more children, more civilians have been killed in Gaza in the recent few months than in any other war in recent memory.

More aid workers killed, more journalists. Colleagues of you, Richard, have been killed in droves and more ambulances are bombed, more hospitals

bombed. It's -- that -- I don't think Israel is able to continue like this, is willing to continue like this because the pressure is mounting.

EGELAND: Jan Egeland, I'm grateful as always, sir. Thank you.

EGELAND: Thank you.

QUEST: Still to come on Isa Soares Tonight. Boeing's chief executive is stepping down but not just yet by year's end. It's calling a watershed

moment leading to his departure.

And more than 100 children kidnapped from their school in Nigeria have been rescued. We'll talk about that.


QUEST: Chief executive of Boeing says he's stepping down following a period of turmoil at the company. Dave Calhoun has announced his plan to leave at

the end of the year. Boeing's chairman, Larry Kellner, and the head of the commercial airplane unit, Stan Deal, they are going --


And Stan Deal is going immediately. The shakeup follows as Boeing tries to repair its image. First, we had the two fatal crashes involving the 77 MAX

and then more recently, the door blowing off -- the plug blowing off on a MAX plane in a flight in January.

David Calhoun today called that a near disaster, a watershed moment for Boeing.

Our correspondent -- Aviation Correspondent is Pete Muntean. Pete is with me now. It's interesting the way they frame this, because they're clearly

saying Calhoun's not to blame.

If he was, you'd be gone yesterday and don't let the door hit you on the way out. So they are giving him a graceful exit. But he is, or was, the

captain of the ship. And he had two years to turn it around and didn't.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And, you know, the irony here is that Calhoun came into power after the MAX A crashes of 2018

and 2019.

And now it is another MAX incident, the door plug blowout back on January 5th that he calls this watershed moment that led to his ouster.

The other important thing to note here, Richard, is that there are a lot of people in aviation wondering if it's too little, too late, if this should

have happened earlier. And the only other person who had resigned before this in the wake of the most recent MAX 9 incident was the head of the MAX

program, who was largely an unknown name.

And there were a lot of questions about whether or not that was a scapegoat. So, this will be really interesting here to see whether or not

Boeing can turn the aircraft carrier around. It is a goliath of a company.

And they really have a lot of work to do, especially given the fact that there was investigation after investigation that has been triggered by this

incident. Not only the NTSB investigation, but FAA and the Department of Justice wondering if a crime was committed.

QUEST: So why is Stan Deal gone? I mean, he -- arguably, he sells the planes. I mean, you know, therefore, what is it about him?

MUNTEAN: Well, I think there's a lot of questions about whether or not any of the major customers that Boeing still have -- has -- have -- has lost

confidence in the plane maker. I mean, you've heard from United CEO Scott Kirby, he says they're questioning whether or not they go through with

their order on the 737 MAX 10.

Alaska Airlines wants $150 million in damages, essentially from the cancellations that they had to make during the 19-day grounding of the MAX


Really, the only airline standing by them right now is Ryanair, although there's some question about whether or not airlines will continue to fall

here. And really, the Calhoun push was to insist that the plane maker was safe. And Stan Deal's push was on the workers to insist to them to put

every part in the right place at the right moment.

So, you know, there is a lot of loss of confidence here and whether or not Boeing can continue to bring home the bacon.

QUEST: But the reality is the duopoly Boeing Airbus, Boeing can't just wither and go away.


QUEST: And I mean, nor do the airlines want that, as you know, because they want to have a choice. So, it really -- the one thing I'm not seeing is a

change in the board yet. Yes. OK. Larry Calhoun has gone as chairman, but he's been around a long time, continental, et cetera. But frankly, where's

the board?

MUNTEAN: And the one question that I have is whether or not Boeing will become a leaner operation when it comes to the amount of managers that the

company has.

And there's a lot of people out there saying Boeing has become essentially too fat in that way. Where is the old vertical Boeing before the McDonnell

Douglas merger that really it made it what it is today? And so there's a lot of criticism out there. And I think we're only seeing that mount right


I mean, Calhoun has a nine-month runway until the end of his term here as president of Boeing, as CEO of Boeing. So there's a lot that can change

between now and then. And there are plenty of people asking, will he even stick that out? Will he be able to make it to the end of 2024?

QUEST: I've got a thought on that, but it would be impolite for me to discuss it in public. Thank you, sir. Good to see you. Pete Muntean, I'm


MUNTEAN: Anytime. Good to see you.

QUEST: As we continue tonight, a report from the ground in Haiti, country's facing difficulty in trying to get their citizens out safely.

In a moment.



QUEST: France is organizing flights for vulnerable nationals who want to leave Haiti, the country said. It comes as the United States State

Department has pulled out more than 230 people who are looking to escape the spiking gang violence in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

CNN's David Culver has been on the ground in Haiti and left this report on the difficulties in trying to get Americans out safely and back home.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The challenge for U.S. citizens trying to leave Port-au-Prince begins as soon as they start driving to the

U.S. Embassy. Getting there involves driving through either gang-controlled or gang-contested territories.

It's dangerous and it's unpredictable. In armored vehicles, we saw that firsthand. And yet this is the only way out for some.

The airport is shut down and many feel trapped. In recent days, the U.S. Embassy began evacuating citizens who could make it to the embassy.

Managing the safety of those evacuations is Regional Security Officer Steve Strickland.

How does Haiti, how does Port-au-Prince today compare to your past 19 years?

STEVE STRICKLAND, U.S. DIPLOMATIC SECURITY SERVICE, SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: There's nothing like Port-au-Prince. The security situations here

are nothing like anything I've experienced before. I've spent time in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, in Africa.

And the unique circumstances here, I've not seen a parallel to those in any other security environment that I've served.

CULVER (voice-over): Amid these challenges, there are some who fear Americans are being abandoned in this gang-filled war zone.

STRICKLAND: The truth of the matter is, literally on a daily basis, there are phone calls that we're engaged with at the highest levels of U.S.

government where the number one topic is safety and security. And how do we help get our U.S. citizens out of the country to a safe place?

CULVER: Launching these evacuation flights from the capital is a critical first step. Jenny Guillaume and her 5-year-old son Conrad registered a few

days ago. She's had to leave behind her mom and other loved ones so as to get back to their home in New York.

Getting to the embassy is terrifying. It's a potentially deadly commute. Some who had confirmed their spots canceled last minute, either emotionally

unable to leave behind loved ones or just unable to get to the embassy safely.

So is there an option to go from here and go pick them up? Is that even a reality?

STRICKLAND: It just really is unfortunate. The security resources that we have are stretched so thin. The ability to do that is really a non-starter.

We just don't have that capacity to do it. We'd love to do it. It's just simply an impossibility, unfortunately.

CULVER: With some seats unclaimed at the last minute, our team as U.S. citizens is able to travel out with them and chronicle their journey. We

board in gang-controlled territory on a patch of land that's secured and surrounded by a robust and reassuring American military presence.


We take off for the Dominican Republic. There are a lot of mixed emotions for those who get out. Gratitude and relief for getting here safely, as

well as guilt and fear for those still in Port-au-Prince, knowing that what's happening on the other side of this border is getting worse with

each passing hour.

David Culver, CNN, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


QUEST: Absolutely fascinating. David Culver reporting. That's superb.

Now, for hundreds of Nigerian parents who are waiting anxiously, thankfully some good news, 137 schoolchildren kidnapped earlier this month in Kaduna

have been rescued by the Nigerian military. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of more than $600,000. Initial reports said roughly 300 students

were abducted. It all happened on March the 7th. It's unclear if any children are still being held hostage.

What a busy day, one way and the other. But thank you for watching. I'm very grateful for your time and consideration tonight. Isa's off all this

week, so I'm afraid you've got me at the helm. Try and keep it steady as she goes, as they say.

The CNN "NEWSROOM" coming up next, Jim Sciutto. I will have "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" back to thicker ice in just about an hour from now.