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Laura Coates Live

Trump's Social Posts Raises Question About Gag Order Violation; Trump Faces Criminal Trial; Laura Coates Answers Callers' Questions; Suspect In Idaho Murders Files His Alibi; NBA Bans Jontay Porter; Stormy Daniels Is Ready To Testify; Caitlin Clark's $76K WNBA Rookie Salary Sparks Outrage. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 17, 2024 - 23:00   ET



LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: We'll tell you what he posted about the jurors that's raising some serious concerns. Plus, Maggie Haberman is here to answer your questions about the trial. And just in, a new twist in the shocking Idaho student murders. Bryan Kohberger's defense team revealing his long-awaited alibi.

Plus, the NBA does something it hasn't done in 70 years. They've banned a player for life over a gambling scandal. The story and the fallout tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

All right, just in tonight is social media post from Donald Trump that is raising a lot of questions about whether he violated the gag order in his hush money case. He's quoting Fox's host, Jesse Watters, saying this, "They are catching undercover liberal activists lying to the judge in order to get on the Trump jury" -- unquote. Now, that's a completely unsubstantiated charge, you do realize. But does it also violate the gag order?

I want to bring in former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. Renato, so glad you're here. I mean, frankly, this question has been looming for some time. Will he violate the gag order? It's what he has done so far, violated the gag order. Now, this is a post to Truth Social. There's absolutely no evidence of the fact that there are somehow these sleeper jurors although that has been a question people have had. But the gag order prohibits Trump from doing this.

Let's read it for everyone to see what is actually on the table here. It prohibits him from making or directing others to make public statements about any prospective juror or any juror in this criminal proceeding.

So, my question to you, does this post violate that gag order?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: On its face, I think it obviously does. And the question is going to be, will his lawyers be able to convince the judge that there's some question about it because he's technically quoting someone else?

COATES: Uh-hmm. Unpack that for me because that phrasing of it has to or cause somebody else to do it. I think he'll make the argument, will he not, that he's just reposting something. He didn't make the statement. He didn't direct others to make the statement about a prospective juror or any juror in the criminal proceeding. What do you think will be the barometer to determine whether or not the reposting or the quoting somebody else is him actually making the statement?

MARIOTTI: That's right. So, I think this would be a much closer call, Laura. If he actually was reposting or re-truthing -- retweeting someone else's comment, in other other words, let's say Laura Coates put something out there on Twitter

and then I just pressed the retweet button, is it my statement or am I just amplifying in some way your statement? That would be a closer call.

That's not what happened here. If you look at the post from Truth Social, he actually typed that out himself or someone else using a social media account typed that out word for word. And so, putting quotes around it, um, I don't think is realistically going to say that that's not your own statement. In other words, you are endorsing or approving the statement, adopting the statement of Jesse Watters.

I think that's how the D.A. is going to argue it tomorrow, the D.A.'s team, and I think the judge is likely to agree.

COATES: You know, by the way, it almost has that air of people say, they say, and then you can fill in the next sentence on these notions. But the judge, this judge has already reprimanded Trump for even muttering toward the juror in the court.

Remember, there was the moment when a juror was brought before them to be questioned about a social media post. After that juror left the courtroom, the judge said, basically, tell your client to stop it, I won't have any juror intimidated in this courtroom. So, he has already expanded the gag order even before jury selection.

So, what is the judge going to do now? Is this a slap on the wrist? Is it a more calcified warning? What?

MARIOTTI: Great question. Under New York law, the statutory maximum fine is $1,000.


MARIOTTI: And you know and I know, Laura, that's not a lot of money to Donald Trump. I suspect some of his lawyers cost more than that an hour. So, realistically, you know, I think Trump has no problem violating the gag order because he likes being telling people he's gagged, he likes trying to attack the integrity of the proceedings. That's part of a strategy that he has, a P.R. press or political strategy.

And the question here really is -- and I suspect prosecutors are going to try to suggest some form of contempt. I think that's going to be difficult. That's usually something that occurs in the judge's presence. Don't think the judge is going to go there, but I suspect the judge is going to try to suggest that stiffer penalties could come in the future. COATES: Yeah, that graduated scale of punishment. And remember, I mean, we're talking at least seven jurors that have presently been seated. You've got to have a total of 18. That's the 12 plus the six. There are people who are going to be questioned tomorrow about their beliefs, that jury questionnaire possibly, and then going beyond that.


So, those prospective jurors undoubtedly are hearing about this as well.

Renato Mariotti, thank you so much.

MARIOTTI: Thank you.

COATES: This trial, Donald Trump says that he wants to testify in his hush money trial. Now, that is his absolute right as a criminal defendant, to do that or choose not to do that. But he might want to think twice about what that will actually mean for him if he takes the stand.

In the filing today, prosecutors said if he does take that stand, they want to bring up his past legal run-ins to try to discredit him before the jury, including a list of -- quote -- "all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant, which the people intend to use at trial to impeach the credibility of the defendant."

Now, I know when you hear the word impeachment, when it comes to Trump, you're thinking about the political thing in the Senate and the House. You've heard it at least twice, right? This is not that kind of impeachment. Impeaching a witness in a criminal trial means you're trying to present evidence that shows that they are not telling the truth. You do it when they actually take the stand.

So, imagine the scene playing out in the courtroom, right? You've got the former president on the stand. He is questioned about everything from the New York fraud case, one where he has been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of penalties, to a part of a unanimous civil -- two-part unanimous civil federal jury verdict that found him liable for defamation to the tune of $90 million and sexual abuse of the writer, E. Jean Carroll, to gag order violations, the 2022 tax fraud conviction of his company. I mean, all of these things could be on the table if he were to take the stand.

Now, none of what I just described actually proves that he's guilty of the crimes he is charged with in this particular case. But the judge could choose to allow these things to be used to undermine his credibility on that stand. The judge is going to hold a hearing to sort all this out and decide what comes in, what's got to stay out, and what is heard by the jury. And that could come, frankly, as soon as, what, Friday, if jury section is done by then? And it could also mean, of course, a very pivotal moment in this trial.

Now, I want to bring in CNN political analyst and senior political correspondent for "The New York Times," Maggie Haberman. Maggie, I'm so glad that you're here. You almost need no introduction when I talk to you about all the things I'm interested in. So, I'm really glad you're here right now.

You know Trump better than most. You've written this fascinating book as well that details so much of the political psychology of him as well. I'm wondering, even if a small number of the prior cases get introduced or admitted in any way here, and there's the past legal run-ins, how do you think Trump is going to handle that being addressed?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's an excellent question, and thank you for having me. I think that he will not decide whether he is going to testify until he knows whether those cases are going to be allowed by the judge. I think that the Sandoval hearing will be pretty revealing in terms of what he will be able to say on the stand and what he won't.

We've already seen in these past cases, at least one of them in the E. Jean Carroll case, a deposition he gave, and the New York Attorney General case was used in that case. And so, we know that his past words and things he has said, and things that he has been accused of or found liable for can be very damaging to him in other cases.

I don't think that he is as likely to testify if all of these things are allowed to be asked about. If he does and he decides to go ahead with it, I think that he will say, you know, this is unfair, this is untrue. You know, he will continue to deny the allegations in the E. Jean Carroll case as he has. He will continue to say that the finding in the New York Attorney General case is a witch hunt and unfair. I think you will hear very similar things to what we've heard before.

COATES: You know, as a prosecutor, almost on the one hand, wanting to see if you can poke the bear and get him to not tow the attorney's party line. On the other hand, it will become rabbit hole after rabbit hole if he is allowed to testify on all these matters. You can't really constrain him in the same way.

But in the court of public opinion, so to speak, even for these jurors who will have to know just what's in front of them, they might know a great deal of this already, and he might be enticed into trying to change their mind.

HABERMAN: There's no question that Donald Trump sees himself as his best salesman. And we saw that in the E. Jean Carroll case, the second one, where there was a jury and that he was present for. He was clearly trying to make eye contact, he was trying to smile at people. He believes he is his own best salesman and that he thinks that some of these folks are his supporters.

Now, what we saw in the E. Jean Carroll is it took that jury exactly a few hours to render a judgment of $83 million against him. So, you know, I don't think his sales abilities worked so well there. I do think you're going to see him try to do something similar.

To your point about he could go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole, I'm confident his lawyers have told him that. But at the end of the day, he is ultimately the person who is on trial. And, as you know, a lot of defendants, not just him, want to defend themselves and they want to argue in their favor. And I think that his lawyers are going to be hard pressed to stop him if he really decides that's what he's interested in.


COATES: And they want their body language to speak for them, right? They don't want to be this stoic figure because people might attribute that to guilt or innocence. You never really know. And so, he'll want to try to use his body and his weight to try to expression-wise say things.

But also, the idea of being a salesman, I'm really intrigued on this because we know a little bit about the seven that have already been seated. They've got to have a total of 18, obviously. Some are married, some single, a native New Yorker, lots of "New York Times" readers. One person says that she was unaware of Trump's other cases. I'm going to call that one the Rip Van Winkle of the actual crew.


So, how is Trump going to look at them as potential, you know, customers of his sales?

HABERMAN: So, there were a couple of jurors who were excused. Let's say there was one juror, a man, who was a civilian photographer for a law enforcement agency. He knew some of the so-called Central Park Five, the men who were --

COATES: Exonerated.

HABERMAN: -- exonerated after having their confessions coerced, who Trump took out a full-page ad saying that they should face the death penalty after they were arrested. He said that he had been an alternate in a civil trial involving Trump and Merv Griffin. I mean, he was fascinating. He was someone, I think, that the Trump juror -- Trump legal team would have really liked. He's not on the jury.

Of the people who are on the jury -- look, the news-reading habits of a lot of these jurors definitely is something that the defense team is aware of. A lot of them are "New York Times" readers. A lot of them are CNN readers. They would rather have people who are, you know, Fox News watchers or "New York Post" readers. There were a few of those.

They have been trying to look specifically for younger Black men and civil servants, you know, whether we're talking about police officers, sanitation workers, firefighters, people who they think are white working class who might be part of Trump's political base.

That's not represented on this jury so far, but there have been people who have said, you know, they think that it's fine that he speaks his mind or that they don't really have an opinion of him. There was one gentleman who said he was, I think, something like intrigued by Trump. He voiced some sort of curiosity.

As you know, defense lawyers, you know, as much as they try to figure out the best options for them with a jury, they kind of get what they get. I think they see some options here for what they're hoping for, which is a hung jury.

COATES: Why in the world, do you think, Trump is fixated not on the criminal trial in his, at least, post, but Jimmy Kimmel and his Oscar performance? I mean, just this morning, he was tweeting about this very thing, calling him the worst host ever of the once vaunted Academy Awards. He's in the middle of a criminal trial, Maggie. Why would this be his focus?

HABERMAN: For the same reason that he was focused on reports about his crowd size on Inauguration Day in 2017 or the same reason that, you know, he will focus on any number of criticisms from, you know, folks who were civilians while he was president. In this case, I think it's because Jimmy Kimmel has spent a lot of time mocking the beginning of the trial, including the reports that Trump was apparently sleeping. I think this is just him lashing out about it.

COATES: I have to ask you too quickly about the idea of his campaign now asking Republican candidates. If they want to use his name or like this, they've got to pay.

HABERMAN: I don't remember seeing anything like that before. I mean, it's literally essentially a tax for candidates who want to -- usually, it's a ticket. The top of the ticket is supposed to help the people who are below, and essentially Trump is looking at it as it all comes up. This is obviously a pretty Trumpian business model, but I don't remember seeing it politicized in a campaign this way before.

COATES: Nor do I. Listen, Maggie, stick around, please. I have a lot of questions at home, I'm sure you all do, about this trial, and Maggie's going to help answer some of them right now. If you, of course, want to participate, just go to, fill out the form, type in your question there, and we'll reach out to have you call in as the trial unfolds.

Let's go to our first caller tonight. We've got Boom from Toronto. Hey, Boom, what's your question?

BOOM, CALLER FROM TORONTO (via telephone): Hey, Laura. The delayed tactics of the Trump legal team have failed to prevent the hush money trial from beginning, before the 2024 election. Do you think now that Trump wants a quick trial, or will they attempt to harp on every detail which would have the consequence of keeping mostly unflattering topics discussed every day until the trial is over?

COATES: That's a great question. I think, ultimately, he didn't want this to happen at all as a trial. And now that it's here, I think it'd probably be prudent politically to have the trial concluded before it drags on all the way up into the election, having potentially salacious details come out.

But, again, Maggie, I want to hear your take on this point because the delay tactics did not work here. Does he want this to go quickly now or draw it out?

HABERMAN: No, he wants to draw it out. He was very explicit about that this week in court, talking to reporters in the hallway outside the courtroom. He was criticizing Justice Merchan for moving too fast. I mean, this is an extremely quick jury selection process so far. It's very striking. But his folks want to delay for two reasons. They want to delay in terms of the election.


They want to try to get this, you know, as close to the election as possible because they think that that is politically more helpful to him. They also want to try to have as many issues they can raise on appeal as possible. And so, you know, an appeal would mean that they think that they have a likelihood of losing, but those are the options they're trying to preserve.

COATES: Let's go to Colleen from Ludington, Michigan. What's your question?

COLLEEN, CALLER FROM LUDINGTON, MICHIGAN (via telephone): Yeah, Laura. I was curious on why are they allowing Mr. Trump to speak before the trial and after the trial every day at the courthouse.

COATES: That's a great question. First, Maggie, who is the "they?" Because is the "they" Trump allowing himself? Are his lawyers able to control him and not have him talk?

HABERMAN: No. I mean, for the same reason that, you know, his lawyers often struggle to get him to follow their suggestions or warnings, and we've seen that repeatedly. He considers himself his own best spokesman and lawyer, he wants to talk and he wants to defend himself, and he wants a lot of media around this case. He has said that explicitly to aides and advisors and allies. So, if the "they" is his campaign, that's why.

In terms of the media, there's a great public interest in this trial. The media is going to ask questions of the person who is the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

COATES: He's got to dance on the pin -- on the head of a needle, though, when you think about trying to abide by the gag order, wherever the judge ultimately will order. I would suspect it will be more opportunities to judge to say, listen, here's what you can and cannot do going forward. Whether he'll abide by that, anyone's guess.

Greg from Hartford, where I was actually born. Hartford, Connecticut. What's your question, Greg?

GREG, CALLER FROM HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT (via telephone): How do you respond to the assertion from Trump and his supporters that Trump's actions were harmless and charges were only brought against Trump because he is a political opponent?

COATES: Well, gosh, you know, I hear this a lot, that he's only being targeted for that reason. But this is not a law that was created just for Donald Trump. It has been on the books. It has been prosecuted before. There are other issues surrounding it. So, I think it really is a tactic politically to try to undermine the credibility of the D.A.'s office and what's being done here. But at the end of the day, the jurors are going to have to figure out whether the prosecution has met their burden of proving that this was somehow actually criminal conduct that they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. They can't rely just on one's gut. They have to prove it in this instance. And so, he will continue to make this argument about him against the world as a proxy for every American voter, but the prosecution has got to make sure they can meet their case.

Heather from Sevierville, Tennessee, what's your question?

HEATHER, CALLER FROM SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE (via telephone): Hi. I was just wondering, will the pool reporters allowed in the room be rotated throughout the trial? And also, how did Maggie Haberman end up in there on day one?

COATES: I'll let you answer that. How do you get everywhere you need to be all the time?


HABERMAN: So, two answers there. There are only pool reporters in the courtroom right now because there's jury selection going on. When there's not jury selection going on, there's going to be upward of 60 reporters in the courtroom every day. The rest of us for now are in the overflow room. Many of us will be there throughout the trial. I will be, too.

I happened to be in the pool rotation on Monday afternoon. It was just my slot. My colleague, Jonah Bromwich, had done the morning pool rotation. "The New York Times" was part of the pool that day. I'll be part of the pool again tomorrow.

COATES: When Trump saw you, what was his reaction? I'm always curious.

HABERMAN: He stared at me for a few seconds, and then he left the courtroom.

COATES: A good stare?

HABERMAN: I don't feel I'm capable of assessing the stare. He didn't look happy.

COATES: I'll come with you next time. I'll assess that stare. Thank you so much, Maggie. Thank you for helping to answer these questions. And thanks to everyone who called in. Have a question you'd like us to answer on the upcoming Trump trial? Well, we'd love to hear from you. Submit your questions at

So, where was Bryan Kohberger the night that prosecutors say he murdered four students in Idaho? Well, just in tonight, his legal team has filed their long-awaited alibi, and we'll have it for you next.


[23:22:53] COATES: Well, just in, a new twist in the murders of four college students from the University of Idaho. Lawyers for the man charged in the killings have revealed his alibi in a brand-new court filing we have before us right now.

Joining us now, CNN's Veronica Miracle, who has covered this case extensively, and criminal defense attorney Jack Rice. Thank you for both for being here this evening. Veronica, this story has really just captivated the nation for so many reasons. I want to begin with you. What do these new documents reveal?

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura, Kohberger's attorneys say they plan to bring in an expert witness who will be able to prove that Kohberger was not in the city of Moscow the night of the murders, but was actually to the west of Moscow. They say that he was out driving as he -- quote -- "often did to hike and run or see the moon and the stars."

And their expert witness, who goes by the name of Sy Ray, he co- founded a company called ZetX, which claims to be able to track cell phones or track devices and generate leads and solve very complex cases. Now, they say that Ray is going to be able to testify that Kohberger's cell phone did not travel east on the Moscow-Pullman Highway the night of the murders and, therefore, his car could not be the one that was captured on surveillance video the night of the murders on that highway. Laura?

COATES: Jack, what do you make of that alibi? I mean, obviously, we often use cell tower data in the prosecution of cases to pinpoint someone's location through a sort of a triangulation of sorts. What's your take here?

JACK RICE, ATTORNEY: Yeah, absolutely, Laura. I mean, we're talking about that triangulation, the idea of knowing exactly where somebody is based upon cell phone towers. This is critical because there's a lot of circumstantial evidence in this case. And if the defense can keep him away from the crime scene on the 13th of November 2022, that is critical. But at the same time, you're going to see a battle of the experts. There is a ton of forensics in these cases. This is one of those.

COATES: And speaking of that very notion, I mean, you've got prosecutors arguing that cell phone data did ping at the scene of the crime the night of the murders.


But they all say they found his DNA on a knife sheath near one of the victims. I do wonder in terms of how people are going to view the data. And again, this trial has not begun. We don't have all what they're going to be able to provide and ultimately prove. But how do you weigh these two things in front of a jury? The notion of DNA or the cell tower data?

RICE: Again, this is all that forensics. I'm in the middle of a trial right now. And so, I think about this. And juries are always going to try to balance what that means. And when we think about where we're going, they're certainly going to lean into that DNA because that piece is critical. But the defense has already made an argument about that piece.

But that's actually not the first fight. What we have coming up in June is this. There's going to a fight over many. They're in Moscow right now, but they're trying to move this case to Boise, the idea to someplace bigger, someplace where it hasn't been overlaid and it's everywhere. But you've got to remember, I'm from Minneapolis, St. Paul. I dealt with the George Floyd case. They tried to move that case either. And guess what? In that case, the judge said, no thanks, it's going to stay right here.

COATES: Well, a fellow man from the Twin Cities like myself. I'm from St. Paul. Veronica, I know you've been covering this so closely. Thank you for your continued reporting because this has really not only rocked the community of Moscow and the university community, but the nation is following very closely as to what will happen next. Veronica Miracle, Jack Rice, thank you both so much.

Ahead, banned for life from the NBA. We'll take you inside this betting scandal and how it ended Jontay Porter's career. And the question that everyone is asking, is he alone or could more players be next?

Plus, is Stormy Daniels ready to testify in Trump's trial? One of the filmmakers behind the new documentary on the adult film star is with me tonight.



COATES: One of the cardinal sins of sports is rocking the NBA tonight. The league is doling out a lifetime ban for one of its players over a gambling scandal. An investigation revealing that Jontay Porter of the Toronto Raptors did things you definitely are not supposed to do as a player.

Among them, he disclosed confidential information to bettors, including telling one bettor about his health status before a game. He also limited his participation in at least one game for betting purposes. And he bet on NBA games at least 13 times and won nearly $22,000 in the process. Now, he didn't bet on any games he played in, but he did bet on the Raptors to lose three times.

All of that, a clear violation of the rules which says players cannot wager money or anything of value on any game in any league operated by the NBA. The NBA Players Association says it -- quote -- "will make sure Jontay has access to the resources he needs during this time in light of the NBA's decision." Porter is the first player in 70 years to get booted from the NBA for gambling.

Another thing that's changed since then, the absolute explosion in sports gambling, which the Supreme Court allowed states to legalize in 2018. And this is not your grandparents' betting world. People can bet on any part of the game, from who will win to even player performances or specific events.

Joining me now, Shams Charania, senior lead NBA insider for "The Athletic." He broke this story. He's also a partner at online gambling company, FanDuel. Shams, this is pretty unbelievable, to think about this happening, and now a lifetime ban. We've heard from at least one retired superstar about this. Here's what Shaquille O'Neal had to say before the NBA announced this punishment. Listen.


UNKNOWN: If you were a teammate of a guy and this story came out, would -- how would you feel about your teammate if it ended up being true?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I have to punch him in his face. There ain't going to be no conversation. One, why? You just messed up your money, you messed up your family's money, and now you got some people looking at us.


COATES: You're the NBA scoop machine. The idea of people looking at us, he's thinking that people will look at not just this player, but others as well.

SHAMS CHARANIA, SENIOR LEAD NBA INSIDER, THE ATHLETIC: Well, in this specific situation, like you said at the top, this is a cardinal sin. This is something Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, he had the right of jurisdiction to really conduct any type of discipline that he wanted. He could have suspended Jontay Porter for games. He could suspend him for a year, two years. He chose to issue a lifetime ban in the NFL.

Players have been suspended for betting on NFL games. They've gotten about a year and sometimes even get reduced penalty. But in the NBA, it has been made clear. It's a message that everyone around the league got today from players to coaches to every executive around the league. They understand betting on games in the NBA, the WNBA or the NBA G League. It is absolutely a no tolerance policy. You will be banned for life. And that's what happened with Jontay Porter. And the NBA has also given all of their evidence to the federal investigators --


CHARANIA: -- that were taking part in all this. And there is an active investigation still ongoing with the league and with the federal investigators to see if there was anything criminal that went on because, yes, not only did Jontay Porter bet on games, not only did he tip bettors off about potentially him being sick, his illness or any type of absence or any potential strategy, but he also potentially pulled himself from a game, and that is something that federal investigators are still looking into.

[23:35:00] COATES: I mean, the lifetime ban, I'm wondering what the reaction from other players are. This sends quite the message and so does the seriousness of the things that you're describing. I mean, this not only makes this particular player suspicious to any fan or anyone watching, but now others are watching to figure out, is he the only one? And players, by the way, are supposed to go through some sort of anti-betting training before the start of the season.

Is this becoming a bigger problem in the league, knowing how much gambling has exploded, at least among the fan base?

CHARANIA: There may be for sure easier access to gambling, to legalize gambling. There are more states that are legal when it comes to gambling. But in this matter, people that I talk to around the league, I think even the league itself in their investigation, it was clear the types of things that were going on in this -- that this investigation showed, it showed that Jontay Porter may just have a problem when it comes to gambling, an issue that he had.

I mean, when it comes to -- not only did he bet on games, he bet on his own team to lose in a potential game. Obviously, the Raptors are one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. So, there were multiple things here that Jontay Porter violated, and he got a lifetime ban. Really, this is unprecedented, especially for Adam Silver, the second lifetime ban he has issued.

COATES: I mean, just thinking about the numbers involved, we can set aside for a second even the allegations. You heard Shaq say, you messed up your money and your family's money. Let's talk about the money because according to ESPN and "The Athletic," his contract with the Raptors was valued at $415,000. CNN hasn't been able to verify that, but he only won $21,000 from betting.

Now, I'm not suggesting that this is chump change for the average person. This is significant amounts of money. But still, compared to what he is losing now and what he gained from betting, why on earth would a player risk their entire career to bet on a game?

CHARANIA: Laura, that's the question everyone is asking. And sure, could there be another example down the line potentially? But there's a lot on the line for NBA players. Not only is it their career, the average NBA salary is about five, six million dollars, you get a pension when you play for a period of time. There are all these benefits that come with being an NBA player.

To throw that all the way for Jontay Porter -- finally, he had some footing in the NBA on a two-way contract with the Raptors, and he did play at a solid level. To really throw that away and blow it, I think everyone is keeping an eye on this, for sure from Jontay Porter's perspective, and the NBA, above everything, sent a message today, even though it wasn't intended, that if you do this, essentially, you will be banned for life.

COATES: And that pension, everything goes away now? The ban means that everything is done. Is that right? CHARANIA: He is no longer eligible to sign an NBA contract. He did not play long enough in the league to become eligible for the 10-year pension. But, you know, I think for Jontay Porter, that's something that he's obviously going to have to deal with. The NBA made it very clear today.

COATES: It's really unbelievable to think about this. I have to wonder, is this the end of it? Is this a one-off or otherwise? And probably the worst thing about it for other players is to be now under any kind of even hint of a cloud of suspicion based on the conduct of another player, even within the league.

Shams Charania, thank you so much for joining us.

CHARANIA: Thank you.

COATES: Well, Stormy Daniels is one of the key players in Trump's hush money trial, and she says she's ready to take the stand. We're going to talk about it next.



COATES: The curtain rises on Donald Trump's historic criminal trial with a slew of high-profile witnesses expected to be called by prosecutors. But, you know, all eyes are on the woman at the center of this trial. Some say Stormy Daniels. Is she ready to take the stand?


STORMY DANIELS, PORNOGRAPHIC FILM ACTRESS AND DIRECTOR: I'm absolutely ready. I've been ready. I'm hoping with all of my heart that they call me.


COATES: Which you wish for. Joining me now, someone who chronicled Stormy Daniels's battle with the former president, two-time Emmy- nominated filmmaker and producer of the documentary, "Stormy," Erin Lee Carr. The film is now streaming on Peacock. Erin, thank you for joining me this evening. She has said, you heard her, she's hoping they'll call her to testify. She's ready to testify, she says. Are you confident that she can handle what's coming?

ERIN LEE CARR, PRODUCER, "STORMY": I mean, of course, she can handle what's coming. It's a thrill to be here. Thanks for having me. Stormy has been dealing with this for so many years, and the time has finally come to sort of say in a courtroom with Donald Trump, this is what happened. So, I think that while it has been enormously stressful and there has been an unleashed amount of vicious insults kind of given her way, she is ready.

COATES: You know, you're right in terms of what she has been grappling with. She came into the limelight for this particular reason. And I assume there's some level of catharsis in doing this testimony if she actually is called. But there's also this documentary that everyone has been talking about. It came out last month. Since it, she has appeared on "The View" and other appearances. Do you have concerns about the amount of media that she's doing leading up to this testimony? Could it possibly hurt her in the end?

LEE CARR: You know, sunlight is the best version of disinfectant. I think that Stormy needed to put her story out there because she is legitimately afraid of what will happen to her. And so, for her to be out in her book, in the documentary, to be called as a trial for this witness, no, this is -- this is good for her. This shows the American public what's happening.


I think so many people have often been like, Stormy Daniels did this for attention. I mean, just watch the documentary. Look at the attention she has gotten. I mean, death threats against her, her family, anybody close to her, her marriage was ruined. And so, this was really about standing up to a bully.

And while those around Stormy would be, you know, I'm a little nervous, I think that, you know, we're all excited that she gets to do this, and I think it's going to be an incredibly big day in American history.

COATES: It certainly will be on a number of other days in historic nature. I mean, an American president in a criminal trial, a former president at that. Really, really historic for so many reasons. And there have been, you know, the idea of attention. The documentary points out the nature of the attention. Who would want this level of attention that she's receiving?

But people have been critical and have talked about how the timing of this particular documentary lines up in many ways with the start of this trial. That was not a consideration, I can imagine, or was it?

LEE CARR: You know, we put the movie out on International Women's Day. And we were really excited to do that. And we had been working on the film for years. And so, we had gotten done. And it was time to put the film out. And I think that it wasn't something that we wanted to do right before the trial, but the film was ready and it needed to be out in the public for people to understand what's going on.

COATES: You know, she also is no shrinking violet for a number of reasons, as you well know and we've seen. On social media, people are vicious. They have gone after her for a very long time. She is quick to reply to those who are harassing her. In one instance, a person messaged her on X. She replied as well. Why does she do that?

I'll just read it for you. It says something like, keep -- I'm reading it here -- keep sucking in. Let me read it, but I can't. Guys, I'm old. Go back down. I can't see this. Thank you so much. Well, I'm not that old. In one instance, a person messaged her on X, saying, sad day when fools believe a stripper before they believe the president, keep sucking up the lies. She then replied, sad day when a stripper is more honest than the former impeached, indicted president. So, she's going right back at it. But why do you think she does that?

LEE CARR: She does it because Twitter is a blood sport for her. She loves it. I mean, if this is a story that is about standing up to a bully, when you look at former President Trump and his ability to use Truth Social, she's going to do the same thing via her network on Twitter.

And so, you know, I think it's a little bit of a moth to the fire sort of situation. You know, in the film, you see -- you know, people saying things like, you just signed your death warrant and then an expletive. And so, while I would personally shy away from that, she says, no, I'm not going to. And these are people that are not even putting fake profiles. These are people with their real name saying these things to her. And so, she's going to respond, and I think that's incredibly brave.

COATES: I have to wonder, I mean, given all of that, after this trial is over, do you think she has some chance of being able to move on and have privacy ever again?

LEE CARR: That's the extreme hope for us. I mean, before the trial happened, people tried to lure her house -- excuse me, lure her horse and shot her horse while all this was going on. She just wants to ride out into the sunset, you know, be on her horses, have her family. She does not want to be just known for this one night that happened. So, we hope and we dream that there is a life beyond this and we -- and time will tell.

COATES: It will. And that clock may come much sooner with the trial and the pace that it is right now. Erin Lee Carr, thank you so much.

LEE CARR: Appreciate you.

COATES: Well, she's a record-breaking superstar, number one draft pick, and cultural phenom. And Caitlin Clark's first year WNBA salary, $76,000. The NBA's top pick, $12 million. The anger over the pay divide, next.



COATES: Well, Caitlin Clark may be reaching a fever pitch after WNBA draft, but you know what's not so hot? Her shockingly low rookie salary, $76,535. Only $76,000 for the season. Now, how much did last year's number one draft pick for the NBA, Victor Wembanyama, make after his first year? A whopping $12.2 million. You know, even the very last draft pick for the NBA last year, Chris Livingston, signed for $1.1 million.

Let's talk to someone who has had firsthand experience with these very deals, professional basketball player and the WNBA's 2009 number one draft pick, Angel McCoughtry. I'm so glad that you're back. Nice to see you, Angel. I mean, all the buzz, the attention to bring --


COATES: -- more attention to the WNBA, a great thing. But this has been --


COATES: -- a longstanding issue. It's not the epiphany for the players, is it?

MCCOUGHTRY: It has been a longstanding issue. America, we've been talking about this for over 20 years. Finally, you guys are awake. But let me put it this way. The WNBA has been around for 25 years. We are farther along than the NBA has been in its season. The NBA did not get popular until about late 70s, mid 80s with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

So now we're getting that popular stretch. So, let's push it, guys. Let's get these girls their first million-dollar contracts. I just need my 5%.


COATES: A little bit of an agent fee. I'm with you on that. But, you know, a lot of people look at this and say, well, hold on, you're wrong, Laura, to compare the NBA to the WNBA.


There are differences from the games played each season, the amount of money made on media rights, attendance as well. But what does the WNBA need to get these female athletes a fair pay?

MCCOUGHTRY: Like any business, guys, marketing, marketing, marketing. People want to know who they're going to watch. No, you guys haven't met LeBron personally, but you feel like you know him. You know the guys you're going to watch. When I go out and I meet people, once they meet me, they want to come to a game because now they know who they're cheering for. People know Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese. So now they want to go to these games because now they know who these girls are.

Marketing. Look at where we are without the marketing dollars, and it still works. So, imagine if the marketing dollars are pushed into us, this brand will work. People love women's basketball.

COATES: Do you think that a rising tide was going to lift all boats here? I mean, obviously, people are talking about Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, the draft picks right now. But will this be helpful for the entire league? That's my concern.

MCCOUGHTRY: Absolutely, it's helping. The whole world knows Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese. They are like the modern-day Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. So, we need them to help keep pushing this game. But the only thing is the other girls can play, too. Someone just told me, yeah, the girls are playing now. I said, what do you mean playing now? We've been playing like this. You guys just didn't know who we are. What do you mean? The game has been exciting. People do come watch the NCAA and the WNBA. So now you guys are noticing. Come watch these girls because they're exciting to watch. And guess what? Sometimes you do get some dunks in WNBA games. Brittney Griner can dunk. Other girls are young. They're getting up there. Come watch these games. They're exciting.

COATES: I'm excited every time I go with my family to support and be a part of it as well. But you also -- it's a lot of pressure of being a rookie in the WNBA. I mean, forget all the attention of even March Madness. Now you're talking about the big leagues among women who have played for a long time and were stars in their own right. I want you to listen to what Caitlin Clark said on "The Pat McAfee Show" about how she handles all of, well, the negative attention as well.


CAITLIN CLARK, NUMBER ONE WNBA DRAFT PICK: Growing up, my mom always said, like, people want to see you fail. Like, you know, that's just kind of how our world is, which is really sad. But at the same time, like, I don't -- I don't like to think about that type of stuff. I just go out there and do me.


COATES: You'll be both, kid. What do you make of the mounting expectations that she has on her shoulders?

MCCOUGHTRY: I want to say, America, please stop putting unnecessary pressure on Colin Caitlin Clark. I hear people talking about she needs to be in the NBA. Can she just adjust to the NBA? These girls can play. They're more athletic than college. They're faster and they're smarter than the college game. Let her get in there and adjust and see what it's like on another level.

COATES: A really important point. Give it time to do so. You know, I had Shams Charania on a few moments ago, and he broke another big story tonight, that Caitlin Clark is likely getting a huge deal with Nike worth eight figures, and she gets her own shoe. I mean, most rookies don't ever get a deal like this, let alone any other WNBA player. What would this mean?

MCCOUGHTRY: It's huge for us. I know when I was a rookie coming in, I had a season like Caitlin Clark where I took my team out of nowhere, went to a Final Four, did some amazing things. We didn't have the NIL or the social media push. I only made 44,000 as number one pick. And we fought for this. All these women before Caitlin, we fought for them to get this, and they deserve it. And we want to just continue to see it grow.

Even the USA basketball team, they don't have a documentary. They didn't have to redeem. They won how many gold medals in a row? And they've never been on a Wheaties box. Wheaties, where are you? Put my women's national basketball team on the Wheaties box. They've never had to redeem a gold medal. So, let's start valuing these women.

COATES: Look, I'm from Minnesota, home of General Mills, where the Wheaties boxes are made. Even I'm on a Wheaties box. One was made just for me. I mean, it was a whole thing. But, of course, you should be on this box. General Mills, we hear you, we see you. A Minnesotan is asking, why not make it happen? Please. My goodness. Where is that Wheaties box? It's in my cabinet, by the way.

Angel, there are loud whispers about why the attention around Caitlin is bringing this all up versus all the amazing athletes that have preceded her, including yourself. You, too, were a number one pick. I wonder, is there any part of the conversation happening where players are, on the one hand, delighted that there's attention that has been increased on the game? But is there any level of resentment that it has taken this long for people to either acknowledge the mighty nature of the skill of all of you at this particular level?

MCCOUGHTRY: I put it like this. If you don't have some haters, you ain't doing something right. She's going to have haters because she's doing everything right. She's a superstar. But I would say for myself, I'm delighted with what she has done. And it's going to help our game. It's going to help these other girls to get the attention they deserve, too.

COATES: Really important. Such an impressive athlete you've always been. I cannot wait to see what happens next in the WNBA. General Mills, we told you what we like. Thank you so much. Angel McCoughtry, thank you so much.

MCCOUGHTRY: Thank you for having me.


COATES: And hey, before we go tonight, I want to welcome Margot Daisy Figliola to the world. Margot was born today into the loving home of "Laura Coates Live" producer, Mike Figliola, and his wife, Audrey. We are sending them lots of congratulations and love from all of us.

Thank you so much for watching. Our coverage continues.