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One World with Zain Asher

Hope Hicks Takes The Stand In The Trump Trial; Universities Prepare For Graduation Ceremonies Amid A Wave Of Campus Protests Against The War In Gaza; President Biden Under Fire For Waiting For More Than Two Weeks Before Making A Public Statement On The Protest; CIA Director Bill Burns Arrives in Egypt For Another Round Ceasefire Negotiations. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired May 03, 2024 - 12:00   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, hello everyone, live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Right now, the student protests on college

campuses appear to be calm, but one senator is going as far as calling it Biden's Vietnam.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And live from just outside the Manhattan criminal courthouse, I'm Erica Hill. Long-time aide and confidant

of Donald Trump, Hope Hicks is now on the stand. And we begin this hour with breaking news.

A woman who is expected to be one of the most significant witnesses in Donald Trump's hush money trial now on the stand. Hope Hicks is speaking at

this moment. She of course was once considered to be one of Donald Trump's closest aides and confidants.

She served as press secretary for the 2016 campaign. Her testimony is expected to center on how the campaign was scrambling to deal with the

scandal surrounding Trump's alleged treatment of women and what the responses were in those moments.

It's important to remember there are really few people who can speak to Donald Trump's mindset and what he was doing outside of the public eye in

quite the way that Hope Hicks can. And just a reminder that we will be showing you on the left side of your screen the panels that will be giving

you key updates that we're getting from our team of reporters from CNN inside the courtroom.

Let's first begin with Jessica Schneider, our Justice Correspondent, taking a look at this testimony that we're hearing just from Hope Hicks right now.

She's testifying to -- she testified initially to her role, but she's also talking a lot about Donald Trump and Donald Trump's role specifically in

communications and the statements that would be released.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the fact that Donald Trump was very involved, especially in those beginning days of the

campaign. As Hope Hicks put it, he was really the master communicator and she was new in this role of press secretary starting in January, 2015. And

so, she was really just sort of learning from Donald Trump.

Interestingly, we just got to some -- some crucial testimony potentially when it comes to Hope Hicks' knowledge of this hush money scheme, or maybe

her lack of knowledge as she might be trying to portray it. But she did say that, yes, she was aware of who David Pecker is, of course, the former

publisher of the "National Enquirer", the man who really, prosecutors allege, orchestrated this hush money scheme and this conspiracy.

She said that she was often listening in on the phone calls between David Pecker and Donald Trump. There was one where Donald Trump congratulated

David Pecker on a good story about a then Republican rival, Ben Carson. But then Hope Hicks was asked by prosecutors, were you ever in on any physical

meetings with David Pecker and Donald Trump?

Hope Hicks saying to that one, she doesn't recall. And that's interesting because remember David Pecker had testified that Hope Hicks had stopped

into a meeting at Trump Tower in August, 2015, when David Pecker, Michael Cohen and Donald Trump sort of hatched this plan, this conspiracy to cover

up any negative stories in particular about women who alleged affairs that might come up during the campaign.

So, those are the two mentions we've really heard Hope Hicks respond to questions about this hush money scheme. Prosecutors are sort of all over

the place with their questioning. Again, we're just at the beginning of this testimony that will probably last all afternoon, Erica, because court

today only goes until 3:45.

We've still got the lunch break, but they will likely be just building on how closely -- like you said, how closely she worked with Donald Trump. She

was in on so many meetings, so many phone calls. They're going to try to elicit more testimony about when things really got crazy in October 2016

leading up to the election. What she knew. We still have -- we still have to get to that, but it will come. Erica.

HILL: Yeah. But we are seeing them to, as you point out, Jessica, we're seeing them sort of build that, that case and get us to that moment.

Jessica, thank you. Also, with me this hour, attorney and legal affairs commentator Areva Martin.

Areva, great to have you with us. What we've heard so far from Hope Hicks, she's talking glowingly about Donald Trump. They always had a warm

relationship. Of course, we know from her testimony that they haven't spoken since the summer or fall of 2022.

We also know she's paying her own legal fees, which is important here, but as she's setting this up, how is that in benefit to the prosecution to show

just how closely they work together and how closely Donald Trump was in terms of his involvement with any public statements?


AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY AND LEGAL AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, Erica, it's really important because one of the defenses that we've seen put forth by

the defense team is that Donald Trump was somehow unknowing that any deals that were struck with the "National Enquirer", any deals that were struck

with his former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, were done without his knowledge and without his approval.

So, the more the prosecution can show that Donald Trump ran his business with an iron fist, that he was involved in every decision, that is highly

unlikely and not probable that a decision such as killing a story or promoting a story in the "National Enquirer" would have been done without

Donald Trump's involvement.

Hope Hicks, because she was so close to Donald Trump during the critical period that we're talking about in this case, she's going to be used by the

prosecution to try to establish the involvement, the day-to-day involvement that Donald Trump had in his business and in business decisions.

HILL: As we're looking at this too, I mean, take us into Areva. For someone who is sitting on that jury in this courtroom, we have the details

of Hope Hicks entering, right? She has to walk by both Donald Trump and his lead attorney, Todd Blanche, smiled at her, wasn't clear that she made eye

contact, but she sat down. She looked visibly uncomfortable is what we heard from our colleagues in the courtroom. She said she was nervous.

She stopped in the middle of a sentence at one point and said that she was hearing herself in the microphone and she needed to get used to it. How

does all of that play with a jury in terms of a witness's credibility?

MARTIN: Well, definitely when you assess credibility, someone who's honest about being nervous, someone who clearly doesn't want to be involved in the

middle of this tends to suggest that their testimony is going to be more honest. And one thing we shouldn't underestimate, Erica, is the fact that

the prosecution pretty much already knows what Hope Hicks' testimony is going to be.

They subpoenaed her to be there, so she's not there voluntarily. But because of the investigation that was done leading up to the trial, it's

possible that they've even had conversations with her, that they've met with her, that they know what her testimony is. And we know they have text

messages, they have emails, they have other documentary evidence that will give them a pretty good look into what to expect from her testimony.

And as you said, Hope Hicks had a very warm and personal relationship with Donald Trump. He plucked her out of Ivanka Trump's clothing company and put

her in a very prominent role, even without a lot of experience, in his campaign.

But we have heard that that relationship changed after January 6th, because apparently she was very critical of his handling of the January 6th

insurrection. So, here's someone who was very close to Donald Trump at one time, but who is capable of criticizing him when she believes he's done

things that she doesn't support.

HILL: It's interesting, too, she's a person who has never really enjoyed the spotlight, who, yes, had an important role as a communications

director, as the press secretary of the campaign, but didn't never really want to be in the spotlight. So, interesting, too, that we're hearing her

described as being uncomfortable right now. She's talking about how she's nervous.

I can tell you right now what they're talking about in court. They're talking about "The Washington Post" reaching out to the campaign for

comment on this "Access Hollywood" tape. And it's important to remember, the jury is not going to see that tape. The judge has said that would be

too prejudicial, but they can see the transcript. There is other related evidence that's going to be brought in. Setting up how they dealt with

these media requests, what can that tell us, Areva?

MARTIN: Really important testimony here, Erica, because this is really the crux of the prosecution's case, which is that Donald Trump was very

concerned about female voters. He was concerned about how female voters would respond to his candidacy in light of that "Access Hollywood" tape.

So, the campaign was scrambling, trying to come up with a plan to deal with the "Access Hollywood" tape and the fallout of it.

And so, when you look at David Pecker's testimony, the catch-and-kill scheme as it related to Stormy Daniels' story, it's all a part of this

bigger narrative that this campaign is on pins and needles, very concerned, thinking that it can taint the campaign, that women turning against Donald

Trump, that women being upset about that "Access Hollywood" tape could be the death knell of his campaign.

So, getting Hope Hicks to testify about the nervousness, about the concerns during this period that "The Washington Post" is reaching out is very, very

important testimony for the prosecution in terms of connecting the dots as to why Donald Trump would have wanted the story about Stormy Daniels to

never see the light of day.

HILL: She was expected to be a witness, and here she was called today. Just real quickly before I let you go, as a defense attorney, how would the

defense be preparing for this moment?


MARTIN: Well, very carefully, because she is someone that is fond of Donald Trump, and she's been speaking so fondly about him and his company.

So, you don't want to antagonize her, you don't want to be too aggressive with her, because she is someone that may be willing not to perjure herself

or to make statements that are not true.

But she's not going to go out of her way necessarily to harm Donald Trump in terms of her testimony. So, the defense has to keep that in mind, that

she is in many ways a friendly witness, although called by the prosecution under subpoena.

HILL: Yeah, one other note, Areva, appreciate it. And just one note, Bianna, before I throw it back to you, we're actually hearing in court,

there was all this concern in that Hope Hicks wrote in an email with two notes. Number one, we need to hear the tape, that Access Hollywood tape.

Number two, she wrote, deny, deny, deny, of course. And that got a little bit of a chuckle.

She called it a reflex. Important, Bianna, of course, because as you and I have covered so much of this over the years involving the former president,

that has always been one of his strategies in terms of both communication and legal strategies, deny, deny, deny. So, we'll continue to watch this

from here in Lower Manhattan. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and so fascinating, especially to see someone who's worked so closely with the former president, a witness who is very well-

known to those who've been following this story, unlike some of the other witnesses we have seen earlier this week. Erica Hill will keep an eye on

this for us. Thank you so much.

Well, across the United States, universities are preparing for graduation ceremonies this weekend amid a wave of campus protests against the war in

Gaza. Schools are expected to have heightened security at commencements following weeks of protests driven by outrage over the mounting civilian

death toll in the Israel-Hamas war. You were looking at some of those, just some of the 2000 arrests across the U.S. since these protests have begun --

have started. This is in New York City. Let's take a listen.


PROTESTERS: Free, free Palestine. Free, free Palestine. Free, free Palestine.

GOLODRYGA: It's not just in the U.S., though. Students in Paris also took to the streets in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza and a similar

scene in Australia, where University of Sydney students made the same demands as other students for their schools to divest from any companies

with ties to Israel. Counter-protesters also held a march nearby.

Meantime, back in the U.S., President Biden is under fire for waiting for more than two weeks before making a public statement on the protests. In

remarks Thursday, he said students can't have dissent without discord. He said that he had had his education secretary draft a letter to universities

condemning acts of anti-Semitism and listed resources available to them. One leading Senate independent had this to say.


BERNIE SANDERS, U.S. SENATE INDEPENDENT: This may be Biden's Vietnam. I worry very much that President Biden is putting himself in a position where

he has alienated not just young people, but a lot of the Democratic base.


GOLODRYGA: CNN Senior White House Correspondent Kayla Tausche joins us now live for more on this. And just to put into context what Senator Sanders

said, obviously, this is a very crucial issue for the president, especially in an election year. But CNN polling has really taken a wider view in terms

of the perspective and how this is polling with the majority of Americans.

And it's not coming anywhere close, at least now, not now at least, to where Vietnam's stake stood for voters, as opposed to where this issue is

right now. Of course, we're still months away from November. But that having been said, Kayla, the White House is watching this closely and the

President is set to make additional remarks Tuesday.

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sure. And while it might not be Vietnam in terms of those statistics, Bianna, there's still

widespread disapproval of President Biden's handling of the war between Israel and Hamas. In a CNN poll that was released just in the last week,

some 71 percent of voters disproved of Biden's handling, while 81 percent of voters under the age of 35 disapproved of it.

And while it is true that there are other issues like the economy and reproductive rights that rank in front of this, it could be something that

voters remember going into November. The President yesterday delivering his remarks, he had a sober and a forceful tone, echoing much of what he said

in written statements or through spokespeople in recent weeks.

But aides say that he made the decision to deliver those remarks on Thursday morning after seeing some of the imagery come in from UCLA

overnight and just seeing what was described to me as a repeated drumbeat of the need for law enforcement to get involved.

The White House continues to monitor the situation on campuses nationwide and worldwide, with senior aides monitoring official channels through law

enforcement and local governments, while I'm told younger staffers sort of tapped into the zeitgeist and they've been in touch with friends of theirs,

peers of theirs who remain on campus either in undergraduate or postgraduate studies and are sharing some social media commentary and

content with top aides who are making these decisions.

[12:15:00] But Bianna, it comes as the White House is preparing for President Biden to visit two specific campuses later this month. That is Morehouse College in

Atlanta and West Point University, where he'll be delivering commencement addresses. The White House has said they can't really predict what sort of

environment they'll encounter on campus.

But we're told that there's really one thing and one thing only that the White House believes could actually take down the temperature, and that is

the potential for a deal that ushers in a ceasefire, frees dozens of hostages that remain in Hamas captivity, and that Secretary of State Antony

Blinken has been working to secure this week. That is what they believe could be the solution here, and it's one where they remain hopeful. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, that leads us to a perfect segue to our next conversation, Kayla Tausche at the White House. Thank you. Well, as you

heard from Kayla, the Israel-Hamas war is, of course, the focus of the wave of protests on college campuses. Hamas Statement says the group is studying

the latest hostage and ceasefire proposal with a, quote, "positive spirit".

Hamas Political Bureau Leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke with Egyptian and Qatari officials on Thursday. This, as the U.S. Defense Secretary warns Israel

over its planned military operation in the southern Gaza City of Rafah. He says there's a good chance that we'll see a lot more civilian casualties

unless Israel takes the right steps to evacuate people.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Now there's 1.4 million or so people there. Right now, the conditions are not favorable to any kind of

operation, and we've been clear about that.


GOLODRYGA: The United Nations warns that the war in Gaza has caused a scale of destruction not seen since World War II. The U.N. estimates

reconstruction will cost between $40 billion to $50 billion. Let's bring in CNN's National Security Correspondent, Natasha Bertrand, for more on this.

Natasha, we're just learning the CIA Director Bill Burns has just arrived in Egypt for yet another round of negotiations to reach some sort of

ceasefire, to release the hostages, and to have a substantial pause in the war at bare minimum. And this is Israel, of course, is warning that they

still plan to enter Rafah.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Bianna, so this is one of the major issues, of course, that is going to potentially

make or break this Israeli plan to go into Rafah, which, of course, the Secretary of Defense has been warning against, along with other U.S.

officials, saying that they still haven't seen a plan for how Israel actually plans to protect the civilians there.

But if there is a ceasefire deal that comes out of these negotiations, of course, that Bill Burns now is in Cairo discussing with his counterparts,

then that could, of course, forestall Israel's plans to go into Rafah.

Now, at this point, one of the major sticking points, of course, is a response by Hamas, whether they're actually going to respond favorably to

the latest proposal that Israel has put forward that President -- or I should say that Secretary of State Antony Blinken called earlier this week

extremely generous, saying that it is basically a very positive step forward on the Israeli side, but waiting, of course, for that Hamas


But the ultimate goal here is for a ceasefire to be put in place, one that is ideally lasting, not only for, you know, a month or six weeks, but for

much longer than that, with the hopes, of course, that the war will eventually end.

And so, what the administration is watching for at this point is not only whether Israel actually comes up with an actual plan to protect the

civilians in Gaza, over a million of them now sheltering in southern Gaza and Rafah there, where the Israelis are planning to carry out this kind of

operation, but also the hopes that, of course, something comes out of these negotiations for a more lasting ceasefire.

So, as of right now, again, Secretary Austin, he spoke to this just yesterday. He said that we are going to see a lot more civilian casualties

coming out of this conflict if Israel does, in fact, move forward with that. So, right now, all eyes are on those negotiations.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, the current plan, then the framework that's been proposed would call for the release of as many as 33 hostages that were kidnapped on

October 7th in exchange for a lengthy ceasefire in these hostilities there. Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much.

Well, still to come for us, after weeks of deadly flash floods and torrential rains, Kenya's President addressed the nation. We'll bring you

his message ahead. Plus, this massive twister touched down in a small town in Texas. We'll show you the destruction it left behind.




In southern Brazil, at least 29 people are dead and 60 missing after days of torrential rains causing major flooding of homes and landslides.

Officials say more than 10,000 people are displaced as a result. Many areas do not have water, clean power -- water and other necessities. Forecasters

say some areas got a month's worth of rain over 24 hours. They're also monitoring dams not equipped to handle this much water.

Well, now to that relentless flooding in Kenya we've been following. Education officials have postponed re-opening the country's schools

indefinitely after weeks of torrential rains and floods. Crews are also working to restore power. Kenya's death toll now stands at 210. The

country's president addressed the nation earlier with a bleak forecast.


WILLIAM RUTO, PRESIDENT OF KENYA: No corner of our country has been spared from this havoc. Meteorological reports paint a dire picture. The rains

will persist, increasing both in duration and intensity for the rest of this month and possibly after.


GOLODRYGA: Unbelievable. Well, just millions of people across the southern U.S. meantime, are also grappling with severe weather and historic

flooding. Mandatory evacuations are currently underway for parts of Texas including the Houston area. Officials there warn residents they could be

trapped in their homes for days unless they have a boat.

On Thursday, tornadoes ripped through parts of north central Texas. This massive tornado you're seeing right now touched down in the small community

of Hawley. Police there say at least 30 homes were severely damaged. And this is just some of the destruction it left behind. This home, completely


And another round of storms sadly are expected across the state today. CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us now with his outlook. The state just

can't seem to catch a break, Derek. Give us the forecast.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, Bianna, I think the more immediate concern is the flood threat. We start talking about and using the word

record territory or record breaking and that carries a lot of weight, especially across southeast Texas considering their history of flooding

over the decades. Well, here's an example.

This is Livingston, Texas and this is just a drop in the bucket, quite literally, of the flooding that is ongoing. Right now, we have upwards of

40 different river gauges across southeast Texas and into central Louisiana that are at or over some sort of minor flood stage.

But you can see 12 of them are actually at major flood stage and a few river gauges along these rivers and Trinity River in particular, this is

just northeast of Houston, are forecast to crest above record territory. Previous record was 43 feet, forecast at 44.4 feet by Saturday morning. So,

not only does this eclipse Hurricane Harvey 2017 flood stages, but at this particular river, it will break an all-time record high.


So, that's significant. We have ongoing flash flood warnings where you see that shading of red impacting tens of thousands of people including the

greater Houston metro area which is under a flood watch and this is the reason why upwards of 27 inches of rain or roughly 685 millimeters of rain

since the past month.

Just in the past week alone we have experienced nearly a foot of rain. And this is just into CNN, the Weather Prediction Center has increased the risk

of excessive rainfall through the course of the day today. So, ending off the weekend with more chances of flooding as one could imagine, these

rivers will take time to crest and then start to slowly reside.

But with additional rain in this forecast, we don't see any real relief in sight. Because you take us through the weekend and you can see some of our

computer models picking up on anywhere from an additional four to six inches of rain.

Now, on top of that the severe weather threat has been dire. This is just one tornado that spawned yesterday. This is in Hawley, Texas. You saw

Bianna talking about it a moment ago. But look at the moment it obliterates a building and a home spreading debris across the southern portion of this

or the bottom portion of this large and violent twister.

I mean just look at that incredible imagery. Unfortunately we have really seen just an uptick in the number of tornadoes across the central U.S. and

once again an enhanced risk of tornadoes and severe weather resides across central and western portions of Texas. So, so much going on across the

states right now.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, so much, none of it very good. I know Houston, well. That's where I grew up. I'm having flashbacks to the scenes we saw during


VAN DAM: That's right.

GOLODRYGA: So, just a warning to everyone there to please heed the local warnings there. Derek Van Dam, thank you so much. I want to now hand things

back over to my colleague Erica Hill who is outside New York Courthouse in Lower Manhattan where former President Donald Trump's hush money trial is

underway. And of course all eyes Erica on this witness Hope Hicks.

HILL: Yeah that's for sure. And when we return our focus of course will be right here in Lower Manhattan in that courtroom where Hope Hicks as Bianna

just mentioned is currently on the stand talking about the response to that Access Hollywood tape in 2016. The latest, just ahead.




HILL: And welcome back to ONE WORLD. We are live from just outside Manhattan criminal court. I'm Erica Hill. One of the people closest to

Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign is on the stand right now testifying in his hush money trial. Hope Hicks, of course, was Trump's

press secretary for that campaign and then remained among his closest aides for a number of years.

As she took the stand, Hicks was visibly uncomfortable expressing how nervous she was. Prosecutors have Hicks on the stand there, of course,

working now to demonstrate the relationship that they had and also just how involved Donald Trump was, how hands on he was with all aspects of the


And also his business, she testified to that, as well, as they are looking to of course make this connection about Donald Trump's involvement in that

hush money screen. Worth noting Hope Hicks said she spoke to Trump pretty much every day in 2015 and 2016 but she has not spoken to him in a couple

of years. She said the last time was the summer or the fall of 2022.

Joining me now is Jeff Swartz. He's a former Florida judge and a professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School's Tampa Bay campus. Good to have you back

today, Jeff. She also noted, she was asked initially of course by the prosecution if she was paying her own attorney fees. She is. We should say

as she walked in, the former president, his head attorney Todd Blanche smiled at her. Not clear if she made eye contact, but Donald Trump really

is engaged here watching this testimony, really looking at it as she is up there recounting their history and his involvement in these key moments. So

far, how is this working out, you think, for the prosecution in terms of setting her up?

JEFF SWARTZ, FORMER FLORIDA JUDGE: So, far, it's gone very well from the notes that I've seen coming out from your people inside. I think that she

is quite the witness that that will have great credibility because she still cares for Mr. Trump. That is very obvious from the things that she's

saying. But she is not going to lie for him. And so she is nervous because she doesn't know, I think, to a great extent how far she's going to be

asked to go.

But at this point, she has been somewhat important in the context that she really paints Mr. Trump as being really very much involved in everything

involving that campaign, even down to reading every statement that went out involved in every decision. She can place some of the players in close

proximity to Mr. Trump. She knows everything that was going on.

This is a confidant who just really knows what's going on and how deeply involved Mr. Trump was and how much in charge he really was. And it's

interesting we're getting in terms of reporting from the courtroom, not only is Donald Trump very engaged and paying rapt attention here, but

writing notes to his legal team, really engaged in this. And the jury is, as well.

We're told this is a really engaged jury. They pay close attention to both the witness and to the exhibits. When you have a witness who comes in, who

is known to be a close confidant, at least was until the last couple of years, someone that the former president was very fond of, really liked

having her around, thought she was smart, thought she was good for him, good for the campaign, obviously helpful in the White House, that she had

so much respect from him. And she seems to still have a fair amount of respect for the former president. How does that play with the jury?

JEFF SWARTZ, FORMER FLORIDA JUDGE: Well, it plays well in the context that obviously she has no ax to grind. She's not a Colin who is going to be

painted as being angry that he didn't get a job in Washington or anybody else that has testified like Mr. Pecker, who's trying to cover himself.

She has no ax to grind. She's not going to gain anything from this. In fact, she lost a lot, severing her ties from Mr. Trump. In fact, at one

point she left his inner circle and came back. And I think that that's an important point. So, even when she was asked to testify to the January 6th

Committee, she was reluctant.


SWARTZ: And I think she answered only the questions that were put to her and did not offer anything or volunteer anything to the Committee. So,

she's going to have credibility. What comes out of her mouth is going to be taken as the gospel by this jury.

HILL: If she was your witness, let's say you were the prosecutor in this case and you had her on the stand, where else would you be leading her at

this point? We're talking very chronological, obviously. She needs to help connect the dots here. What would that line of questioning be for you?

SWARTZ: Well, she started with some of this when I asked about Mr. Pecker, whether she was in and out of the meeting that established this, quote,

"conspiracy", close quote, between the two of them for catch and kill. I think that she's going to be -- find herself testifying more about her

knowledge about Mr. Cohen than she has heretofore been telling them.

She's going to be asked about meetings that took place. Did she see Cohen and Mr. Trump talk? Was she in the room when they talked? Was she in the

room when they talked about Stormy Daniels? So far, I haven't seen any notes that they've gone that far yet, but there must be some feeling that

she has some of that knowledge.

And she also may know about what happened at Mar-a-Lago. She may have seen Mr. Trump with Stormy Daniels. She may have seen Mr. Trump with Ms.

McDougal at one time or another, been asked to make phone calls or connections for Mr. Trump at one time or another. Those kind of things are

what I would be looking for if she can give them to me.

HILL: And here is something that we can see where the prosecution is going here. So, as we learned from her testimony, news of this "Access Hollywood"

tape came as they were preparing for a debate, right? One of the final debates. It may have been the final debate. I'm trying to remember. It was

back in 2016.

And she talks about the night after the debate being contacted. There had been reports regarding Trump's behavior with women. And she is asked

specifically if Donald Trump was concerned that these reports could hurt his standing with voters. Hicks replies, yes. That is a key moment.

SWARTZ: And that's really important because it shows what his motives were in trying to resolve the Stormy Daniels matter. And that is a key to all

these falsified records. If he was concerned about, after Access Hollywood, the matters involving Ms. McDonald and now the matter involving Stormy

Daniels could come to light, and he was concerned about the campaign, that ties it right up where they need it to be. And now, it's just a matter of

getting his knowledge of everything that happened coming out of Michael Cohen.

HILL: Jeff Swartz, always great to have you with us. Appreciate the insight. Thank you. You know, as we've been giving you these details from

inside the courtroom, we can tell you, according to our colleagues, Hope Hicks hasn't looked directly at Donald Trump as she's been on the stand.

She's been there for the last hour or so.

CNN's Alayna Treene is joining us now from Washington, who, of course, covers the Trump campaign extensively. Alayna, is the campaign speaking out

at all about the fact that Hope Hicks is currently on the stand?

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Well, I haven't heard from them yet. I think a lot of his advisors are in the courtroom with Donald Trump. I imagine

when they take their next break, I'll begin to get a sense of what exactly their reaction to this is.

But I do think it's very noteworthy from our colleagues inside the courtroom about how they're saying Donald Trump is reacting in real time.

He's not looking at her, but he is very engaged. I think that really just shows what an important witness Hope Hicks is.

And I just want to break down. I know we've been discussing this, but I think I can't overemphasize how close Donald Trump and Hicks were while she

was working for him, both prior to the campaign, during the campaign, and then, of course, in the White House, as well.

Hope Hicks was really one of Donald Trump's top confidants. He treated her like family. He told her, essentially, all of the secrets that us reporters

were trying to learn during that time when we were covering it. She knows a lot about Donald Trump.

She can speak to his mindset. She can speak to some of the conversations she was there and witnessed. She was around for so much of what the

prosecution is trying to learn here. And I think, as we can see from what's coming outside of the courtroom, that they're trying to set a timeline.

They're, one, trying to show exactly what their relationship was like, what knowledge she was privy to, but then also what she knew as it was

happening, particularly as it relates to conversations with Michael Cohen. And I think she will be able to be a great witness to that.

Now, we haven't gone in to hear a lot about some of that timeline stuff just yet. I know from my colleagues here who have been talking to some of

the lawyers on both sides that they expect they will go into that timeline. But, again, I just think that, you know, Donald Trump having her in the

room is probably very striking for him.


It's probably going to be a very challenging moment to have Hope Hicks on the stand, someone that he knew very, very well. And, of course, they

haven't spoken for a couple years, about two years. She said at the start of her testimony that she has her own lawyer. She's paying for her own

lawyer. It is not someone provided by, for the Trump campaign or Donald Trump himself. And I think that also just shows what an interesting time in

their relationships this testimony is coming from.

HILL: Yeah, absolutely. Alayna, appreciate the insight. Thank you. Bianna, never a quiet day down here in Lower Manhattan. That is for sure. We're

going to continue to monitor things from here. But I know you have a lot of other news to get to, as well. So, I'll hand it back over to you.

GOLODRYGA: No such thing as a quiet Friday anymore. For a long time, that's been the case, actually. Erica, thank you for coming up for us.

Today marks World Press Freedom Day. And we'll show you how journalists in Gaza are risking their lives to bring you the story there.


GOLODRYGA: Well, the Israel-Hamas war is taking a heavy toll on journalists covering the conflict. Ninety-seven journalists and media

workers have been confirmed killed since the war started in October. Another 45 have been reported injured, missing or arrested. CNN's Nada

Bashir introduces us to journalists putting their lives on the line in Gaza to document the war. And we want to warn you, some of these images are

difficult to watch.


NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What should be a moment of reflection, reduced to a hurried memory recorded on an iPhone. A young girl, now an

orphan, pays her last respects. A drop in a sea of tragedy, marking its witnesses and victims alike. But this is the story of the person behind the

camera. One of many risking their lives for the truth.

KHADER AL ZANOUN (through translator): One scene I'll always remember was in Al-Shifa hospital in November last year. It was during a siege. Khader

al-Zanoun has been documenting the assault on Gaza since the war began. Sending material to CNN, our gateway into a war zone sealed off by Israeli


ZANOUN: (through translator): They were taking this woman to be buried in a mass grave.


And I saw this little girl following the crowd. She told me her mother was a victim and she wanted to say goodbye to her.

UNKNOWN: She really affected me a lot. Tears were falling when I saw her running after her mother.

BASHIR (voice-over): Living with his wife and children in Gaza City, in the north, one of Gaza's worst affected regions, he shows us his home,

largely destroyed in the onslaught. Part residence, part bureau. Everything is a challenge, from the search for signal to transmit the day's footage,

to the search for food.


AL-ZANOUN (through translator): There have been days when we've eaten donkey and horse food, corn and fodder, as well as barley just to stay


BASHIR (voice-over): For journalists in Gaza, the biggest challenges are the most basic ones. Sami Shahada is a photojournalist for Turkish-based

broadcaster TRT. He was filming at a refugee camp in central Gaza.

SAMI SHERHADEH, TRT JOURNALIST (through translator): We went to cover the movement of displaced people. And as soon as we arrived at the place, we

were targeted.

BASHIR (voice-over): Sami had to have his leg amputated above the knee and is now awaiting medical evacuation to Turkey. At least 97 members of the

press have been killed in what the Committee to Protect Journalists has termed the deadliest period for media workers since its records began.

But that figure, according to the CPJ, is likely to be much higher. And yet, despite the risks, Palestinian journalists in Gaza keep doing their

jobs, working in groups for protection, covering stories even if it means getting there on a donkey and cart.

AL-ZANOUN (through translator): Every day we wake up, we thank God that we are still alive and that we are still able to continue documenting the

events in the Gaza Strip.

BASHIR (voice-over): In the belief that one day, his work and the work of Palestinian journalists like him won't have been in vain.

AL-ZANOUN (through translator): Our hope is that this war will end, God willing, and that we will be able to save and protect our children after

these targeted attacks and this continuing war, because they want to live like the rest of the world's children, in security and peace.

BASHIR (voice-over): Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Nada for that important report. And if you want to help journalists around the world working in dangerous conditions, do

check out Our Impact Your World team has vetted several charities and created a pledge page so that you can help.

Well, in this divisive times, it's important to point out courteous dialogue among those who disagree when it happens. Democratic Congressman

Ro Khanna, in a conversation he had with Jewish and Arab students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, did just that and it left him inspired.

He posted the video on X, formerly known as Twitter. Take a listen.


UNKNOWN: What feels really sad to me is that it seems like a war that's happening across the world is now tearing us apart here in America. I know

it's easy to say, oh, I'm Palestinian. Maybe I agree with everything they're doing. I'm Jewish. I agree with everything Israel is doing. But I

don't think that mindset is necessarily correct.

RO KHANNA, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN: I was really moved by the conversation we had today here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We had students

supportive of Israel and students supportive of Palestine.

UNKNOWN: I just want to share my perspective as a Jewish student. My heart breaks for the innocent civilians in Gaza that have been killed. And my

heart breaks for the Israeli hostages that have been taken.

UNKNOWN: One of my aunts was able to escape Al-Azhar. She had lost over 30 pounds from starvation. The U.S. is still funding this genocide.

UNKNOWN: We don't have a common language to describe what is going on. The Palestinians are calling it a genocide. For the Israelis and the Jews,

they're calling it a war of defense. And unfortunately, it's very hard because we're living in two different realities.

KHANNA: I would assume that most people in this room would agree that shouting, kill the Jews, or that protesters are agents of Hamas, that those

things are out of bounds and should be condemned. Raise your hand if you agree with that.

After the conversation, you saw these students, Muslim American, Arab American, Jewish American students, exchanging phone numbers. We need this

across America.

UNKNOWN: I'm very moved by the way we've been able to respect one another and share openly.

UNKNOWN: I genuinely hope that we can continue to do things like this. I wish we were doing it more often.

UNKNOWN: We didn't solve the world's problem, but we were pretty human with each other.




HILL: "This was a crisis." That is how Donald Trump's longtime confidant, Hope Hicks, is describing a moment on the stand just a short time ago,

talking about the furor over the release of that "Access Hollywood" tape in the final days of the 2016 campaign. Prosecutors have said the scandal

surrounding that tape was actually a major motivator for Donald Trump to buy the silence of women who could accuse him of being a sexual predator or

unsavory behavior.

Hicks testified she spoke to Trump daily throughout 2015 and 2016. At the time, of course, during the 2016 campaign, she was the campaign press

secretary. It's important to note, Hope Hicks has said she's paying her own legal fees and also that she has not spoken to the former president for

about two years now.

CNN's Jessica Schneider, Justice Correspondent is following along with all of this. And Jessica, in terms of what's happening there in the courtroom,

we're now really getting into some of the meat here, right, about Karen McDougal, about a request from "The Wall Street Journal" for them to

comment on a story that Karen McDougal's silence had been bought so that a story about her and Donald Trump would not get out. What more is Hope Hicks


SCHNEIDER: Yeah, we're really getting into the thick of the scramble in those final weeks after the "Access Hollywood" tape came out, and then

right before the actual election in early November. She's been on the stand for almost an hour now. She is providing really this crucial window for

prosecutors into the inner workings of the Trump campaign. And she'll likely later get to her experience at the Trump White House.

So, like I said, she's talked extensively about this scramble that the campaign was sent into. It was right after the Access Hollywood tape was

released, just one month before the election. So, when it comes to the "Access Hollywood" tape, she detailed that she got a request from a

"Washington Post" reporter first asking for comment. She said Donald Trump was actually in debate prep at the time with top advisors who included

Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon. She described really how they huddled, trying to determine how to respond, how ultimately Trump released a


And then she's been describing how these other stories that surfaced after the "Access Hollywood" tape emerged relating to Trump and other women and

how they responded. She has been talking about how they got this next request from "The Wall Street Journal", date, you know, about Karen

McDougal and wanting to get their response. So, again, this is all about the tension, the nervousness inside the campaign when these stories seem to

be cascading out at this crucial time just before the election.


And Erika, prosecutors really wanting to lay this down because we heard it from David Pecker, but now we're hearing from Hope Hicks, who was

intimately involved in the campaign. Prosecutors trying to point out to jury, to the jury that, yes, this was, you know, this was a plot to keep

these stories under wraps. And Hope Hicks is just another piece of that puzzle that prosecutors are putting together for the jury.

HILL: It is a lot today there on the stand, certainly keeping us all interested. Jessica, appreciate it. Thank you. And thanks to all of you for

joining us for this Hour of ONE WORLD. I'm Erica Hill. Stay with us. Bianna will be back in just a few moments with "AMANPOUR." You're watching CNN.