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Laura Coates Live

Trump's Assets Could Be Seized If Civil Fraud Debt Is Not Paid; Netanyahu Virtually Addresses Senate Republicans In Washington; Donald Trump Shortlist Potential VP; Nebraska State Senator Halloran Under Investigation For Harassment; GloRilla Is Invited To The White House. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 20, 2024 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Cruel and unusual, the new defense from Trump world to avoid paying his half a billion-dollar bond. I have a former Trump attorney with me to try to make the case.

Also tonight, the DNC prepares for war with third party candidates and one of them joins me tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

All right, can you just imagine what must be going on in Donald Trump's head tonight? I mean, he's got five, just count them, five days to come up with nearly half a billion dollars in a bond in his civil fraud case in New York. And so far, insurance companies who could back that bond are sending his calls to voicemail.

The last thing the presumptive GOP nominee wants the world to see is the allegedly multi-billion-dollar man, whatever he actually might be worth, going perhaps hat in hand or selling properties like his namesake, Trump Tower, for bargain basement prices. Because make no mistake, the New York AG, Letitia James, she has zero sympathy, maybe even negative $464 million worth of sympathy.

But now there are rumblings in the Trump world that the only number he wants the appeals court to hear and pay attention to is the number eight, as in the Eighth Amendment, which reads, "excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor the part you probably know best, cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." And it's that phrase, the earlier one, excessive fines, it seems to have really caught Trump's attention.

I mean, really. I mean, so much so that he whipped out a copy of it during a Fox town hall just last month.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You know, I wrote this up because it was so -- it was so great. I just looked at it. People call up all of your friends, the lawyers call up. They say it's the most egregious punishment anybody's ever seen. Tim Scott knows that. He sees it. The Eighth Amendment, excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. That's the Eighth Amendment. Excessive fines.


COATES: It is indeed, from his mouth to Trump world's ears, because all of a sudden it seems like everybody is talking about the Eighth Amendment.


MATTHEW WHITAKER, FORMER ACTING UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: There are supposed to be no excessive fines and no cruel and unusual punishment. It's a constitutional right.

STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS HOST: As I understand it, the Eighth Amendment says no cruel or unusual punishment and no large fines or excessive fines.

REP. RUSSELL FRY R-SC): It is unconscionable that we're even here, but I think the Eighth Amendment is certainly in play.

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: Maybe it's time for him to go to federal court on this Eighth Amendment claim so that he gets some kind of proposal or something that gives him the chance to hold on for a minute.


COATES: Now, let me remind you of a key phrase in the amendment, cruel and unusual punishment. Usually, you hear that part of the amendment when you think about the death penalty or other punishments. Not normally a billionaire who has been found to have engaged in fraud like schemes to trick banks into thinking that his assets were worth far more than they actually were.

Here to talk about all this now, former Trump attorney, Tim Parlatore. I'm so glad that you're with me here today, because get out your law textbooks and refresh your recollection about what it all is, the excessive fines portion of it.

Now, when you look at this, you've actually said that it is in play here, and it does apply to civil cases, talking about excessive fines, but do you think it really does apply in a case like this where the judge seems to have lined it up, not through punitive damages, but almost the compensatory line for line of these so-called ill-gotten gains?

TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: You know, I think that it is something that you have to at least raise. And, you know, the bond is kind of a separate issue, but the substantive appeal here, and I think it's something that by using a U.S. constitutional amendment is something that you can bring it up to the top of New York and then over to the U.S. Supreme Court on this exact issue.

The first question is, does it even apply to a civil case like this? It generally is applied primarily to criminal cases, and so I think that that is something that's unsettled right now, and so the court could look at that and say, you know, whether it does or doesn't.


COATES: Well, the courts have said that it can apply to civil cases for excessive fines, but they seem to be pretty clear on the parameters --


COATES: -- in the sense of, is it proportional to what the person has done wrong?


COATES: Who is the defendant or the person before them in terms of their means? And obviously, is this meant to just be punitive and punishment in nature?

PARLATORE: Right. And when you look at this case, you know, the victim in this case, Deutsche Bank, they made money. They made a profit, you know. They said as a defense witness, we knew what the actual valuation was. We gave him a loan anyway. He paid it back. They made their interest, and so it is something where you don't really have any victim. Nobody's out any money, you know.

And there are other cases where people are out money where you can actually tie the damages to somebody that's owed something. And let's remember here, the money is not going back to the victim, you know. Letitia James is not trying to get a half a billion dollars so she can give it to Deutsche bank.

COATES: To make the banks whole.

PARLATORE: No, she's using it to bring it to the state. And so, I think that because it is, you know, untethered to the victim, it's something that there is a very good argument on appeal to say that it is a fine and a punishment and not some type of a compensatory damage.

COATES: Well, the judge doesn't buy this as victimless at all. The judge believes that, through his findings, that in fact there are victims in the sense of this being a properly brought complaint against him, but I've often heard this notion of kind of all's well that ends well, right?

If I'm not complaining, so what's the big deal? But you know, prosecutors all across the country are bringing cases on behalf of the jurisdiction, not on behalf of the private plaintiff's attorney in that instance, but this idea of the appeal, I know I hate to get into the weeds about this.

But if he did not preserve, they say, preserve it on appeal, meaning preserve it at trial, to raise this Eighth Amendment below before it gets to the appellate court, they may not even look at this. Do you know if he actually has preserved the right to bring this particular issue?

PARLATORE: Well, I think that when it comes to that issue, that's not something that an objection would have been raised down below.

COATES: Until the end.

PARLATORE: Until the very end, because once they get the judgment, you know, from the judge, during trial you can't really raise that. So, I don't think that the Eighth Amendment issue is one that really needs to be, you know, preserved on the record down below so much. That's something that you would raise in a direct appeal because you're going directly from the judgment.

COATES: And is he raising it now? That's the question. Or is this kind of the Twitter world, I'm sorry, the X world. The X world?

PARLATORE: I mean, yes. It's definitely something where everybody is, you know, presupposing what's going to be brought because the appeal process has barely started. They're still at the bond stage, so certainly they haven't, you know, filed the briefs, and so I would expect that this would be one of their major points on the appeal, but we are still guessing. I mean, I think it's an educated guess that he's going to raise it, but it is still a guess.

COATES: Well, you know, there is the notion of, let's just say he's able to raise it. The appellate court will look at this in some respect as a clear error standard, meaning was there a miscalculation here? Did I add wrong as the lower court judge? Or are the arguments you're raising about, the excessive fine going to come into play and how he applied that particular aspect of it?

Let's just say for a moment that James is able to collect, that the appeals go all wrong. Trump is not the victor in the end. How does she start to do it? Because a lot of the things that he owns in real estate are not necessarily, I understand, singularly owned by Trump.


COATES: They're other people. And so, is she then in line with creditors because they had to take away his assets, at least his share in the assets?

PARLATORE: Yeah. I mean, it does become very complicated at that point. And so what you oftentimes do is if you have an asset that's co-owned with somebody else, you'll try to seize the asset, but then you have to work with that other party to offer them, you know, hey, do you want to buy out, you know, to own 100 percent or do you want to sell your portion of it so that we own 100 percent because I don't think any of Donald Trump's business partners want to own a building with Letitia James and work together with them.

COATES: I would guess not, Tim. That's probably a good guess, but --

PARLATORE: It's complicated.

COATES: It's complicated. PARLATORE: Yeah.

COATES: But I still go back to the proportionality aspect of it because when people talk about the Eighth Amendment and how it's so excessive, you look at what you're actually being accused of having done, right? What is that amount? And then you tie it to particular aspects of it and you add it all up.

He's suggesting it because it's never been done before, that by virtue alone is going to make it excessive. That's not going to hold enough water.

PARLATORE: You know, you do have to have a rational basis, you know, to make these calculations. And just because a judge sat there and made calculations doesn't mean that it's right. And the fact that it hasn't been done before means that there's no precedent. You know, there is no, you know, formula that judges would normally go to.


I mean, how do you figure out what is the proper penalty in a case where, you know, the so-called victim made a profit out of it? And so --

COATES: But really, it's the valuation part, right? That's the issue.

PARLATORE: It is the valuation part, but even there, you know, the valuation is something that the victim said that they knew the true value of. And so, you know, can you tie it to the valuation part or do you tie it to what the loss amount is?

I mean, in an ordinary course, you have a fraud trial that's based on what is the actual loss to the victims. And in the federal system, you have a very clear standard of it's the loss to the victims. So, if the victim gets partially paid back, that has to be taken off. And so, you do end up with a situation, if it was in federal court, where the rules say this would have been, you know, essentially an attempted fraud where there's a loss amount of zero.

COATES: Well, Letitia James begs to differ that this is something that did not have an issue or consequence in the end, particularly when it comes to fraudulent statements and beyond. We'll talk more. This is not going anywhere. He's pulling out of his pocket the Eighth Amendment. You know, this has some kind of legs and an appeal. We'll see how far it gets. Thank you, Tim.

PARLATORE: Thank you.

COATES: And now I want to turn to Congress, where today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Republican senators in a closed- door meeting, offering a rather, well, blunt perspective on fracturing support for Israel and issuing a warning on the war in Gaza, saying, quote, "Even if we have to go it alone, we will not stop."

So that meeting today, following Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's calling for Netanyahu's removal. So how much of an issue is it that Congress has split on support for one of our closest allies in this nation? I want to bring in Professor Cornel West, who is running as an independent presidential candidate. Professor West, very good to see you, as always. How are you?

CORNEL WEST, INDEPENDENT 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Always a blessing to see you, Sister Laura, straight out of Princeton University.

COATES: I won't tell you the year, but let's just say it was number one. There you are. Let's leave it that way. Okay, Professor? Let me tell you, or ask you this question, because I've been eager to talk to you about this. How dangerous is this kind of division when it relates to Israel and the approach to Gaza and Hamas for U.S. interests?

WEST: Well, I think it reflects just the level of not just polarization, but gangsterization, because we now have a political culture that's just dominated by lies and hatred and revenge, and we need some truth and some justice and some love. And anytime you talk about how you relate to the plight of both Jews on the one hand, they've been terrorized and traumatized for 2,500 years, and Palestinians on the other, who happen now to be terrorized and traumatized by the Israeli state.

It's a very delicate, and it's open to explosive revenge, explosive hate. And so, we've got to have a spiritual and a moral tone in talking about such a difficult moment. We hear Trump engaging in that kind of ugly anti-Jewish language, vicious attacks on liberal Jews and Jews in the Democratic Party.

Well, that's par for the course. We know he's a gangster. He's done this before. It's an echo in some ways of the American First Committee. It goes back to Robert Stewart, Jr. He graduated from Princeton in 1937. He was the founder of that. And Charles Lindbergh was there. Henry Ford was there. The latter two received 1938, the German Eagle Medal from Hitler.

And Henry Ford has invoked in Mein Kampf, Hitler's text in an admirable way. Hitler had a picture of Henry Ford in his office. Meaning what? This is dangerous stuff. This is organized hatred tied to the kind of politics that we have. And we just need to be very honest about this. Schumer made a very important move, pivotal move.

But even Schumer, he didn't really talk about the suffering of the Palestinians. It was still very much about Jews. It reminds me of the Confessing Church in Germany, where they talked about the Christians in Germany, didn't say a mumbling word about the Jews being attacked because they were concerned about the purity and the concern of just Christians.

Thank God for Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He criticized that as a Christian. Most Christians did not. Both moments, Weimar, Germany, America these days, ooh, very, very grim, very dim, as it were. And we just need some serious commitment to truth, justice, and love, though, my dear sister. It's the only response that we could have.

COATES: Well, you talk about truth, justice, and love. You are running to be the president of the United States. And when you look at the different responses and knowing the history as you have related in particular, what is the course correction?


I mean, one of the things that you didn't mention about Schumer is that he was calling to have, you know, elections, new elections, not have Netanyahu in control any longer.

And surely there has been a history of United States calling on other nations to reconfigure their elections, but normally it's not a notable democracy. What did that moment mean to you?

WEST: Well, I mean, the United States has a long history of interference in other people's governments, you know, in 1953 in Iran and Guatemala and '64 in Brazil, '65 in the Dominican Republic. We've got those '75 moments where we've intervened militarily in other countries. So, to intervene rhetorically, as Schumer did, is a very different kind of thing.

But you've got to get to the root of the problem. That's what I would tell brother Schumer. You're not going to get to the root of the problem unless you deal with the Palestinian suffering. You've got to end the occupation. Of course, you need ceasefire. Of course, you need to end the siege. You've got to end the occupation.

There will never be precious Jewish safety and security predicated on occupation and domination. You've got to have Palestinian and Jewish dignity, Palestinian and Jewish equality, Palestinian and Jewish security and safety.

And they say, well, but that's a pipe dream. Yes, that's right. Some of us are dreamers. Some of us are holding on to visions of truth, justice and love, no matter how unrealistic it is. But at least we've got to tell the truth. That's the crucial thing.

COATES: Well, Professor, you know, speaking of you may be talking about dreams, others have real estate fronts in their mind and thinking about a dream of development, because Professor West, Jared Kushner, who you know is Trump's son-in-law and former senior advisor, talked about recently that the Gaza waterfront could be, quote, "very valuable." And he also blamed Hamas for using aid meant to help them to buy ammunition and build a tunnel network. When you heard those comments, what kind of message did that send to you?

WEST: It was just, you know, it's another example of the deep spiritual decay, the callousness, the outright contempt that he has for the human beings who are suffering. You got the blood of the Palestinians right there, especially the children. And he's thinking about waterfront.

You say, oh, my God, it reminds me of the literary giant's novel, Philip Ross's novel, "The Plot Against America," which is very much about anti-Jewish hatred, neo-fascism, cold-heartedness, mean- spirited, coarse and conscious. And what is the response for us not to become preoccupied with it? We've got to galvanize ourselves and others to be a countervailing

force against this kind of hatred and revenge and lies. And that's why I'm convinced that both parties are in many ways beyond redemption. I know that's a radical claim for a lot of people, but the Democratic Party, Biden had his chance to get at the fascist presence of a Trump, but he couldn't do it.

He couldn't speak to issues of poverty. He couldn't speak to the issues of working class strong enough. He couldn't support Black voting. He had a chance to even push through the John Lewis bill. All he had to do was suspend the filibuster and put pressure on Manchin. He wouldn't do it. He said that wasn't a priority.

Well, you see, if you don't have that kind of backbone, then fascism will sooner or later take over. An alternative to fascism is not some kind of milquetoast moderation. You have to have an alternative vision, alternative structures, alternative way of engaging the world. And that's the sad moment that we're in.

If all we have is Biden in the face of this escalating organized greed and institutionalized hatred, which is what neo-fascism in part is, the rule of big military, big business, you need to scapegoat the most vulnerable because you won't confront the most powerful. That's Trump's neo-fascist project, right? And he's very honest about that. He's been consistent.

COATES: Well, Professor --

WEST: He's been a gangster for a long time.

COATES: -- on those -- on that point, though -- I don't want to cut you off. Excuse me. But when you talk about the --

WEST: No, no, no.

COATES: -- the alternative, you think about the ways. I mean, it's due to be a Trump-Biden matchup. And I know you take issue with both the Republican Party and the Democrats as well, both Trump and Biden. You are running as an independent candidate. And as I understand it, you talk about, you know, there is a disruptive nature that people assume that a third-party candidate will have.

And oftentimes they believe that a third-party candidate will actually benefit the Republican nominee more than it will benefit the Democrat who is running. "The New York Times" actually is reporting today, Professor, that Democrats are assembling a multi-state organization to tackle the threat of third-party candidates. I wonder what would it mean to you if your run was not successful for your own presidential bid and instead helped to elect Donald Trump?


WEST: Well, I mean, one, as you know, 38 percent of our fellow citizens don't vote at all. I'm spending a lot of time with them to bring them in. Sixty two percent of our fellow citizens who vote third party or independent candidates say they would never, ever, ever vote for Biden or Trump.

But I just find it interesting to get a Democratic Party with Biden and Harris. And they said you want to redeem the soul of the nation. And then they enabled genocide in Gaza. They want to save democracy, but they want to cut off Democratic voices so that people don't have choices other than themselves and Trump.

Well, I come from a black focus to lift every voice. That's what democracy is about. It's about free speech. It's about people lifting their voices. If Biden can't make a case, people are not going to vote for him. He doesn't own anybody's votes. If Trump can't make a case, people won't vote for them. If I make a case and they want to vote for me, why fight so hard to keep me off the ballot?

COATES: Well, speaking of the ballot --

WEST: That (inaudible) anti-democratic.

COATES: You are currently on the ballot in, I think, Utah and Alaska, Oregon, South Carolina. Which states are you looking to be on the ballot next?

WEST: Oh, shoot, we've already got a number of states that we're basically on. They're just contesting the signatures right now so we're working that out.


WEST: But we are on the move with my dear brother Mumi Abul-Jamal would say, sitting in prison, but still with dignity. We are on the move. People thought we wouldn't get in hardly any states. We're working on Texas, working on New York. We're working on Michigan. We're working across the country.

But it's in a spirit of truth, justice and love. People say, oh, that's so alien for American politics. You don't say. I'm not going to allow anything to push me in the gutter of hatred and revenge and lies. No, no, no, no. I come out of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Rabbi Heschel and Edward Said (ph). We try to move to moral and spiritual heights as we intervene into dirty politics.

COATES: Well, that is a daunting prospect. But something tells me that with the syllabus that's already in your brain, you'll be able to educate all along the way. Cornel West, professor, thank you so much as always.

WEST: Salute you, my dear sister. God bless you. God bless your loved ones, your family, precious family.

COATES: Very nice of you to say, for you as well. Thank you. And we have some news because just in tonight, there's new CNN reporting of who Donald Trump is now seriously considering as his number two. And you know what? We're going to break it all down in our bracket. Who needs March Madness? We got a Veep bracket coming up next.




UNKNOWN: A coronation.


UNKNOWN: Turns to questions of succession.

TRUMP: First quality has to be somebody that you think will be a good president.

UNKNOWN: Who will be the handpicked number two, the heir to Trump's Republican Party? Tonight, in the spirit of March and all its madness, "Laura Coates Live" presents the Trump V.P. Bracket.


COATES: That's right, we turn the potential shortlist into a bracket and why not? And gave it to our favorite Republican analysts to break down what could be a very consequential, if not the most consequential in this very close election. With me tonight, political commentator for CNN and Republican strategist Alice Stewart. Also, Republican strategist Shermichael Singleton and CNN senior political commentator Scott Jennings.

They are all here. Alice, you are up first. Let's get to your particular bracket. And it is interesting. You had it narrowed down to Elise Stefanik and Tim Scott, but you think the winner is Stefanik. Tell me why.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: A couple of things. Looking at her resume, she's the chairman of the House Republican Conference. She is a Republican in a very blue state. So, she's got that going for her. But we all know the most important thing for Donald Trump is loyalty. She has been so loyal to him.

She was the first member of Congress to endorse him. She led the defense team on his impeachment. She supported his efforts to stop the certification of the election. And she has been stalwart for him. And she also rose to fame recently. As you know, she led the hearing against three university presidents and the anti-Semitism efforts on campus. She really rose to, you know, political stardom there. But --

COATES: Led one president to really resign ultimately.

STEWART: Yes, two actually. And here's the thing. Politically, she will be able to appeal to the suburban women that Donald Trump desperately lost in 2020. So that goes well for her. She's a tremendous fundraiser. She raised $5 million in the last quarter. And she is a bridge builder.

She's able to work across the aisle. She's very well-liked by her House colleagues and respected by those in the Senate. And she's someone that can really fill the gap where Donald Trump needs help.

Look, Tim Scott is awesome. All of these candidates are awesome. But -- and Tim Scott can also help reach across the aisle in terms of the African-American vote. But I just go with Elise. Her star is rising, but she's not going to get in the limelight of Donald Trump. And that's a big factor.

COATES: Interesting. And of course, that's beating out Greg Abbott and Tulsi Gabbard, Katie Brick, Carrie Lake, Christy Noem, Byron Donalds, all on this bracket as well. She thinks Elise Stefanik is the winner.

I want to bring you into this, Scott Jennings, because you -- your pick was actually someone different. It is Senator Tim Scott. Trump has certainly been favorably speaking about Scott during the primary. So, what do you think makes him have the edge in this bracket?


SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Tim Scott makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. But before I get into it, I need to talk to the selection committee about how these teams got into this tournament. Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, give me a break. Laura Coates, you've got a better chance of being vice president for Donald Trump than Nikki Haley.

Ramaswamy and DeSantis, two Floridians. Donalds -- what's Donald Trump going to do? Move to Idaho? That's not going to happen even though I know we're hearing about Marco Rubio tonight. Who's going to move? Who's going to move? So, I want to talk to the selection committee. I think there was some total snubs.

Doug Burgum. Where's Doug Burgum tonight? Nobody's played his cards any better than Doug Burgum. And we got some people on here that have no chance. But let me tell you about Tim Scott. Number one, he can be the president. Number two, everybody in the Republican Party likes Tim Scott. I don't know anybody who doesn't like Tim Scott.

And number three, number three, African-American men are souring on Joe Biden. Tim Scott's inspirational life story provides the perfect person for outreach to a key constituency that Biden can ill afford to lose if I am in the championship game. And it's a close game. And I got to put the ball in somebody's hands. I'm putting the rock in the hands of Tim Scott for vice president. He's going to make the game winning shot for Donald Trump. Let's do it.

COATES: Wow. That, I mean, very compelling. Very, very compelling. I think about that. So let me just turn -- I hate to have Sir Michael follow that --

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I just (inaudible) as a fumble with that ball with Scott. I'm just saying.

COATES: I'm just saying -- well, hold on. Well, look, you don't even have him in the actual race any longer. You say -- let's go to what your bracket said. And I'm sure you probably take issue with the selection committee as well. We heard you, Scott. SINGLETON: I do.

COATES: But you said Ben -- Dr. Ben Carson --

SINGLETON: I said Dr. Ben Carson. Look, I'm a little biased here obviously having worked for Dr. Ben Carson, but let me tell you why. Now, look, I agree with Scott. Nikki Haley is a long shot. But when you think about the reality that about a third of Republican voters have voted for Nikki Haley, they stood with her through multiple states. Many of them are saying we're not voting for Donald Trump. We're going to vote for Joe Biden or we're going to sit on the couch.

Well, Donald Trump needs to at least get some of those folks off the couch, Laura, into the polling booths for him. But I don't think he's going to choose Nikki Haley. He obviously does not like her because she didn't get out quick enough. So, that leaves only one person, the good Dr. Ben Carson.

He's the only cabinet secretary that the former president still maintains a very close relationship with. He's very loyal to the former president. He's not someone who seeks to sort of usurp Donald Trump's star, which is what I believe you would see with Elise Stefanik. I also think you would potentially see that with Senator Tim Scott. He's going to do the job and do it well.

You think about African-American men, this is someone who's been married to the same woman for 40 years, raised a beautiful family, has a story from poverty to become one of the world's most renowned neurosurgeons. To me, if you want someone who's different, who's unique, who's trustworthy, you're going with the good Dr. Ben Carson.

COATES: Interestingly enough, both you and Scott Jennings chose two men that did not fare well in their own presidential bid. But yet you think they'll be the good vice president pick.

SINGLETON: But I will say this, Laura, Dr. Carson, in 2016, we were the only presidential campaign to usurp Donald Trump's leads in the poll for about 60 days in the polls. You cannot discard that.

COATES: You cannot. But let's talk about somebody who's on the rise. We might surprise everyone. Oh, it's Senator Marco Rubio. Now you talk about maybe, I don't know if this is a Cinderella story or not, because it's probably an odd story to have him in.

But he is now in the race because tonight multiple sources are saying that Trump is seriously considering the Florida senator, Marco Rubio, for vice president, to the surprise of some people close to Trump. So, let's just remind folks of how Trump treated Senator Marco Rubio back in 2016 and then what Rubio said, well, just last month.


TRUMP: It's Rubio.

Little Marco. Little Marco.

When little Marco spews his crap about the size of my hands, which are big.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS HOST: Would you be interested in being vice president?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Well, we're both in the same state, so that's probably not going to work that way. But, you know, ultimately, he's going to -- I believe he's going to win. He's going to be our next president.


COATES: So, what do you think Trump sees possibly in Rubio, if this is right?

STEWART: Well, he certainly looks at his rising star ability and he certainly connects with people. I think Rubio has played this quite well. I think he's played long ball here. He's looked at potentially understanding Donald Trump may be the nominee. You notice he didn't endorse Nikki Haley, who really saved him in 2016. He didn't endorse his home state governor, Ron DeSantis, in this race. And he hasn't really got behind Rick Scott, one of his best friends in the Senate.

So, I think Rubio's played this long ball while he's going to sit back and hopefully set himself up to be VP. But if I can say one thing, I love Scott's enthusiasm about this. I hate that he doesn't like the selection committee. But I'll just say this. Tim Scott is great. If this were the actual NCAA bracket, we're actually playing basketball. Tim Scott would be my man. But we're talking about politics and I think Donald Trump's going to go for someone, a female that will help with the women.

COATES: Wait, did I miss him? Does Confederate Tim Scott play ball? What's going on? What am I hearing? Is he a baller?


SINGLETON: -- on Marco Rubio. So, Donald Trump right now, the New York Times/CNN poll has Donald Trump at 46 percent to 40 percent were President Biden with Latino voters. He's recognizing that to potentially choose a Latino as the first ever vice-presidential candidate could turn out more Latinos for Trump over Biden.

COATES: Well, Scott Jennings is probably right now pulling his hair out because he wants the last word. But you know what? You were so enthusiastic that we're going to have to just call you on the phone later. Thank you, Scott.

JENNINGS: Marco Rubio --

COATES: I knew it.

JENNINGS: Marco Rubio, classic Republican point guard. He can move legislation. He can play defense. You put this man on TV, he will play defense for Donald Trump. First team All-American going to the top of the list. Put him on -- put him in more than Nikki Haley. Give me a break. This selection committee, give me a break. Where's Marco? Put him in.

COATES: I love the true commitment. I mean, you're the kind of person you invite to a theme party. You go all in. Thank you --

SINGLETON: He's the ref.

COATES: The cosplay is happening. Shermichael, Alice, Scott, hate to see you go. We'll be right back.



COATES: A book ban debate turns ugly when a Nebraska state lawmaker is now facing calls to resign tonight after he inserted a fellow senator's name as he was reading aloud from a novel's graphic depiction of rape.

The legislature was debating a bill that would ban obscene materials from schools when Republican Senator Steve Halloran read a graphic passage from the book "Lucky" by Alice Sebold. Now, Halloran inserted a fellow lawmaker's name into the passage, making it seem as if they were the victim.


STEVE HALLORAN (R) NEBRASKA STATE SENATE: I was grounded on the ground trying to search about the filth of my clothes. He kicked me and I crawled into a ball. I want a (BLEEP) Senator Cavanaugh.


COATES: Now, he didn't specify which Cavanaugh, because both Machaela Cavanaugh and her brother, John Cavanaugh, actually serve in the legislature. Senator Halloran later apologized on the Senate floor for inserting his Democratic colleague's name, but defended his decision to read the passage.


HALLORAN: It was a blow-by-blow lesson on how to rape a woman. That's where the outrage should be. Not in my pointing it out that it's in a book.


COATES: Now, an investigation has been launched into whether Halloran violated workplace harassment policy. And tonight, a resolution was filed seeking to censure the senator. Now, we have reached out to Senator Halloran for comment and have not heard back.

But joining me now are Nebraska's Democratic Senators Machaela Cavanaugh and her brother, Senator John Cavanaugh. Thank you both so much for being here. I mean, just hearing about what has happened, I mean, stranger than fiction, very disturbing. I can't imagine what it was like to hear that name be said and read into this passage.

So, Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, let me begin with you here. We are learning tonight that there has been this censure resolution that you, in fact, have brought forward. You and other lawmakers --


COATES: -- said that the investigation is not enough legislatively. So, why is a censure the way to go based on this conduct?

CAVANAUGH: Well, this happened publicly and an investigation would be handled privately and it would be handled by a committee of three senators that would not be disclosed to the body or the public. And it's not guaranteed that they would even publish the results.

So, as our colleague, Senator Julie Slama said, actually earlier on CNN, this is just an attempt to slow walk and whitewash this whole situation. So, I sought to do a resolution to censure him because that will be done in the public eye. And what he did, his transgression happened in the public eye.

COATES: Let me just ask both of you because, you know, it's -- as I said, I mean, your brother and sister. You both heard a name, your own last name, be said in this passage. I am just trying to go back to what that moment must have been like when you heard that. I can't imagine what my reaction would have been. Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, what was yours? And I'll ask you the same question to your brother.

M. CAVANAUGH: It was very unsettling and unnerving. And the clip that has been played frequently is, of course, a very salacious clip where he is demanding a sex act be performed. But he read more than just that and said Senator Cavanaugh more than just one time. And it was unnerving and I still haven't quite come to terms with how I feel about it and how to process it.

COATES: And for you, Senator John Cavanaugh, what was that like for you in that moment?

JOHN CAVANAUGH (D) NEBRASKA STATE SENATE: Well, I was shocked. We were in the middle of a heated debate and I actually was speaking directly after him and did not certainly know how to respond in that moment to what happened and tried to address it in some way and re-center the debate on the substance of the issues we were debating.

COATES: Did any of your colleagues, and I know your colleagues now, Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, have on both sides of the aisle have come to your defense, related to both of your defense at this point, and they are calling out Halloran for the behavior. It must be encouraging to see people across the spectrum condemning this and not have this turn into some partisan issue.

[23:45:00] But I do wonder, is it encouraging or do you have, as you're trying to continue to process the statements that were made, Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, that do you look at your colleagues differently now?

M. CAVANAUGH: I appreciate very much my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who have stood up and spoken out against this. I don't think that this is a partisan issue at all. I think that this is inherent in a toxic culture and where we think that anything goes when we're having essentially a culture war debate on the floor.

And so, I'm very appreciative that other members of the body and other members on the other side of the political spectrum have viewed this as egregious and completely out of line.

COATES: Machaela and John Cavanaugh, Senators, thank you so much.

J. CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Laura.

M. CAVANAUGH: Thank you for having us on.

COATES: Up next, a glow-up at the White House. We're talking about hip-hop artist GloRilla meeting President Biden, and she's here to talk to me about it next.




GLORILLA: Yeah, Glo!




COATES: That's a new hit, "Yeah, Glo" from Grammy-nominated artist GloRilla. She was nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 2023 Grammys for her song, FNF, and is also known for her single, "Tomorrow 2," with Cardi B. She's just 24 years old, climbing the charts, and even has the attention of the White House.

They invited her to a Women's History Month reception just this week, and it's the moment that Joe met Glo that's got people talking.




GLORILLA: Yeah, Glo! You're the president, so we got to say yeah, Joe! (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: Well, GloRilla joins me now. I see you are smiling about that moment. It's kind of amazing, GloRilla, when you think about that. What was it like meeting President Biden and Vice President Harris?

GLORILLA: It was so cool. I was geeked like, you know. Everybody don't get to meet the president and the vice president, and so like, just being able to be in the White House, like I never in a million years thought I'd be in the White House. Then I was in the White House and got to meet the president and vice president. That kind of mess with me. I just feel like, oh, you feel me?

COATES: And he also sounded like he knew your music as well, GloRilla. I want to read a part, though, of a text that your mother sent you after your visit to the White House. It was so sweet. Let me read this to you. It says, quote, "I've come from being the woman with a bunch of kids living in a blue house with no real furniture in Frasier to the classiest, most beautiful, and most talented rapper of this generation's mom who's moved on up to a beautifully furnished house. Get them, Glo!" That is so sweet. Talk to me about what that message meant to you.

GLORILLA: It meant everything to me because we really did come from absolutely nothing. Like, when I was -- when we were living in that blue house with all my brothers and sisters, nobody never would have thought nobody would have been in the White House (inaudible). So, it was just a proud moment for my mama, like, she called me so happy like she was super excited.

And that's one of the reasons that I'd be more happy about my accomplishment than anything else because how proud my mom and my dad would be of me.

COATES: Now, that's sweet. I'm a mom, so I have little kids, not anywhere near your age, but I'm telling you how sweet it is to have your mom be so proud of you. And, I mean, you were invited to the White House, of all places, of course, and you said not everyone gets to go there. You were there for Women's History Month. Tell me how the invitation came to be and what you did when you were there.

GLORILLA: So, God (ph) had let me know that they had invited me, so I was a geeked and wondering when he told me. Like, I was like shouting, you feel me? And so, when I got there, like I said, it was just cool. I got to see like a lot of the rooms that people be taking the pictures in, and like all the pictures of the presidents, and I saw the sergeants.

It was just so cool. Like I just, I feel like I was in Candyland or Wonderland or something, right?

COATES: Well, look, they also know --

GLORILLA: I wanted to (inaudible).

COATES: Well, look, they know how popular you are, how talented of an artist you are, how many accolades and nominations and everything you've got going on, at least with what you have planned for the summer coming ahead with a concert and a tour. The idea of them inviting you there, in particular, did they talk to you about what they wanted politically? Did they want your endorsement? Did they want you to help people get out the vote?

GLORILLA: Hey, you know, that ain't got nothing to do with me. You know what I'm saying? Like, I'm just living my life like it's golden, living my life like it's golden. But you know, I'm not going, you know what I'm saying, talk politics, but I love the president. You know what I'm saying? I love everybody, and at the end of the day, the day gotta end.

COATES: Now, you're going on tour with Megan Thee Stallion for a Hot Girl Summer. What can everybody expect? I'm sure it's not going to be just like at the White House. What can we expect?

GLORILLA: You know, it's going to be a lot of good energy. You know, Megan, my girl, you know, it's going to be a super cool tour. You feel me? Like a lot of turnt gangsta shit, because, you know, we just are, my bad (inaudible), a lot of turnt gangsta stuff, you feel me? And we just going to be -- you know, both our stage presence through the roof, and me and her, like, got similarities. Like, we are alike a little bit. So, you know, it's just going to be like, it's going to be a good time, you feel me?


COATES: I got to bottle some of your energy. I'm an energetic person, but you take the cake. Oh, my goodness. Is it the youth? It is 24 or is it a --

GLORILLA: What's your sign?

COATES: Huh? What's my sign? I'm a Cancer.

GLORILLA: Okay, I'm a Leo.

COATES: Okay, well, that makes sense. All right, lion. I'm the crab. All right, that's fine. That's okay. It's okay. It works both ways anyway. Listen, GloRilla, thank you so much.

GLORILLA: Don't be jealous.

COATES: I'm not -- well, look, I have a lot to be jealous of, it sounds like to me when it comes to GloRilla, but, you know, that's all right. I'm not S-I-N-G-L-E, but that's okay. I got it. Thank you so much.


GLORILLA: Everything is (inaudible).

COATES: GloRilla, so nice talking to you. Thank you so much.

GLORILLA: Thank you. Nice talking to you, too. COATES: Well, thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.