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One World with Zain Asher

Closing Arguments Underway In The Hush Money Trial Against Donald Trump; Israeli Military Offers A Few Potential Theories About Recent Strike; Israeli Tanks And Armored Vehicles Spotted In Rafah; Hollywoood A- List Actor Robert De Niro Speaks Outside New York Courthouse. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired May 28, 2024 - 12:00   ET



ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, defense, closing arguments are underway in the hush money trial against former U.S. President Donald


BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: "ONE WORLD" starts right now. A historic criminal trial is happening at this moment. The jury is expected

to start deliberations tomorrow. We will bring you all the latest details of the trial from inside the court.

ASHER: And a tragic error. Those words from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Sunday's devastating attack in Rafah. We will have the

latest on what the IDF is saying now and, of course, on international reaction.

GOLODRYGA: And after some high-profile exits, OpenAI is facing safety pressures -- what the company's new announcement means for the future of

A.I. All right, hello, everyone. Live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga.

ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. You are indeed watching "ONE WORLD". For at least one day, the center of the U.S. political world is not Washington. It

is a dingy courthouse in downtown New York City.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, with a lot of spectators there to watch. That is where, right now, Donald Trump's lawyers are giving their closing arguments in his

hush money trial.

ASHER: We expect them to wrap up that closing at any moment now. And then the prosecution will deliver its final arguments to the jury.

GOLODRYGA: Tomorrow, the plan is for the jury to get the case and decide whether Trump is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records. Much

of what we have heard, so far, from the defense has been attacks on Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer. He's the one person who has directly tied

Trump to the alleged crimes here. Trump's attorney opened his closing by saying Cohen's testimony was, quote, "lies, pure and simple".

ASHER: All right, take a look here on the left side of your screen you can actually see key updates from the trial. There are no cameras allowed in

the proceedings, but CNN has reporters inside the courtroom keeping us up to date on what is going on. So, there it is on the left side. Oh, no, I

just pointed at the wrong way. It's like a reverse.

GOLODRYGA: Not --it s -- yes. It's reversed. Right.

ASHER: How embarrassing. Okay. On -- no.

GOLODRYGA: No, on your left. Yes. On your left.

ASHER: I give up. Our Katelyn Polantz is tracking everything happening in the courtroom. She's directly in front of us. So, that's easy. So, Katelyn,

just walk us through what's been happening so far in terms of the defense wrapping up, posing arguments. The big question here is, can they poke

enough holes in Michael Cohen's credibility?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yeah, trying to poke holes in Michael Cohen's credibility, as well as what the other people

in this case for the prosecution had testified to people, like Stormy Daniels, her lawyer, Keith Davidson.

And Bianna and Zain, the defense case here in the way they're doing this argument, they are trying to make it not as complicated as, you know, a

mirror image. They are trying to say this is really straightforward. Michael Cohen lied to you. There's not enough evidence that the prosecutors

have here to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt that Donald Trump wanted to commit crimes, wanted to protect his campaign, meaning a campaign

finance violation.

And right now, what defense attorney Todd Blanche is arguing as he's talking about Stormy Daniels, Gina Rodriguez, a publicist that was working

with Stormy Daniels, the Access Hollywood tape, Keith Davidson, hush money schemes. What he's saying there is that Donald Trump is the victim. He was

being extorted, that there were non-disclosure agreements made with people to keep them quiet.

Women like Stormy Daniels, like Karen McDougal through the "National Enquirer", others, that all of that was Donald Trump being victimized

because he was running for president and he was having to make payments ultimately to people like Stormy Daniels.

But even if he did make those payments, which he did, they are denying that he had any sort of sexual relationship with Stormy Daniels. But even though

he's made those payments, they're saying, don't believe Michael Cohen either. His personal attorney, Michael Cohen, he, too was trying to get

money out of this. He's lying on the stand.

And he was working as a personal lawyer for Donald Trump at the time in the same way that Trump put down these payments and other interactions in

business expenses. There is no crime here. That's the defense argument.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. And Katelyn, it's also worth noting the significance of the moment as this case wraps up after five weeks of deliberations here and

hearing from witnesses that a former president being on trial here has drawn a lot of spectators to the courtroom in these final couple of days.


We heard that it was overflown, that there were people standing outside in line yesterday just trying to get in to see what the demeanor was like

inside, what the former president's demeanor was like inside. We saw actor Robert De Niro making statements outside of the courtroom, as well. Just

give us a sense of some of the reporting that our reporters and our team in the courtroom has revealed.

POLANTZ: Yeah. One of the things that is so apparent here is how diligent this jury has been working. We know that many of them are working

professionals in Manhattan. Two of them are attorneys. And even the defense team of Donald Trump was thanking them at the beginning of their closing

summations today about how diligent they have been, that they've been there on time, that they've listened closely, that they're taking notes often in

court of what is being testified to.

At the same time, there are many recognizable faces in that courtroom, not just people who are celebrities or people on T.V. or people from film.

There are also a number of people around Donald Trump who are quite recognizable politicians.

His own children sitting behind him today, all except Ivanka Trump and Barron Trump, I believe, his other children are in court today to show

their support for the former president. One thing that we see in this courtroom is still images of Donald Trump in the courtroom and then he

speaks. And we have video of him coming in and out of the courtroom, but no video of the proceedings themselves.

As much as the former president likes to say he is not being heard, he is not getting a fair trial, clearly the jury is getting quite a lot of

opportunity to hear days of cross examination from his defense team, as well as these three hours of closing arguments this morning that still

aren't over from his lawyer, Todd Blanche. The prosecutors, also, will be able to deliver their closing summation. And it's their case to prove here.

They have the burden to try and make the case for a conviction of Donald Trump.

GOLODRYGA: And after we hear from the prosecution, then it's the judge's turn to give the jury instructions before they go and begin to deliberate.

Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much.

ASHER: Thank you, Katelyn.

GOLODRYGA: Well, for more analysis of what we heard so far in closing, we want to welcome in Criminal Defense Attorney Janet Johnson. Janet, thanks

so much for joining us. So far, we have seen Todd Blanche really assail Michael Cohen's credibility. That is what had been expected. I want to read

to you what he told the jury directly. He said that, "They cannot convict President Trump on any crime beyond a reasonable doubt on the words of

Michael Cohen." Is that winning strategy thus far from the defense in your view?

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's what I would say, and I've said hundreds of times, but they're opening the door to the prosecution

getting up, which they will do when they get their chance, their last word that the jury will hear. They're going to say, well, maybe not. But we're

not just doing this on the word of Michael Cohen. We have the receipts. We have a recording of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen talking about how to do

this hush money scheme.

We have Weisselberg dictating to the bookkeeper how to gross up this amount that was going to be paid back to Michael Cohen. And we have two jurors on

the jury who are attorneys, as I am, and they know that when we get paid a retainer fee, we don't get paid extra to cover our taxes. That's just an

absurd scheme to think that that's how a retainer is paid.

But one of the things Katelyn mentioned about what just was argued about this idea that somehow Trump is the victim and he's being extorted, that's

a really dangerous place for Todd Blanch to go, because he's basically saying, look, he didn't have sex with her. He was just being sort of

blackmailed and he had to pay that because there's an election coming up. That's exactly the crime that he's charged with.

So, it doesn't matter whether he had sex. It doesn't matter whether it was unfair for them to ask him for money in exchange to cover up the story. The

only element is that he did defraud and actually, you know, cook the books, essentially, or had the books cooked on his behalf with the intent to

deceive and that that intent also went towards committing another crime, which is the election cover up. So, I think Blanche just did some real

damage to his case.

ASHER: And just in terms of some of the things that are likely to also come up in closing arguments by the defense, I mean, the fact that Allen

Weisselberg wasn't called by prosecutors, how much is that likely to be capitalized on in closing arguments by the defense?

JOHNSON: Right. Yeah, and that's always something that some judges don't even let you make that argument if both sides could have called this

witness, but because they opened the door and they allowed that argument, the prosecution will get up and will say, you have heard that Weisselberg

is actually friendly to Donald Trump.

He's in jail right now because of a contempt where he wouldn't actually testify against Donald Trump. So, you know that he would not have helped

our case but presumably, he would have helped Donald Trump's case.


So, why didn't they bring him here? Now, they have to be careful because the defense does not have any burden to put on a case. But because they did

put on one witness or actually two, but really Costello, the one attorney, they sort of did start to assume some burden. And at this point, why didn't

they call him if they thought he was going to help them? You would have thought they would have him.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Costello really from everything we've heard from experts didn't do the defense any favors by his behavior and demeanor on the stand,

really getting into it with the judge at one point. We also heard from the prosecution at the beginning of court today saying that they plan on

presenting their case, their closing case and arguments for four to four and a half hours.

I do not believe that there is a set time limit set by this judge for how long closing statements can last for either party. Correct me if I'm wrong

there. But when you hear four to four and a half hours, what do you make of that time frame? Is that too long in your view?

JOHNSON: Well, I know when I'm asked by a judge, how long will this take? I tend to overestimate because I don't want to say two hours and then if I go

two and a half, the judge is irritated though it could just be that they wanted to give themselves a bigger window to operate in. But it is

complicated. I mean, it's a white collar case.

The jury instructions are complicated and they get the last word so they don't know what they're going to have to rebut. Right now, they're

scribbling and adding to their PowerPoint all of the things that they have to now attack that the defense is saying, you know, the jury is taking

notes. The theory is that they 85 percent of them have already decided which way they're going to vote.

But I personally don't believe that, I think that the state has to do what they have to do to cover every base. And the jury has hung in this long.

They can do another four or four and a half hours.

ASHER: All right. Criminal Defense Attorney Janet Johnson, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

ASHER: All right. Turning now to the Israeli Gaza war, Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have been spotted in Rafah. Eyewitnesses tell CNN they saw

the vehicles in the city center. This follows months and months of warnings by the U.S. against any major ground offensive inside that southern Gaza

city. And Gaza's Ministry of Health says at least 29 Palestinians were killed in two separate Israeli attacks in Rafah on Tuesday.

GOLODRYGA: And this amid international outcry over Sunday's Israeli strike in Rafah, which Gaza's health ministry says killed at least 45 people at a

camp for displaced Palestinians. The Israeli military says that it's investigating that strike, which it says killed two senior Hamas officials.

An IDF spokesperson says it's still too early to know what caused the ensuing fire, but says that it was not due to Israeli munitions alone.

ASHER: Meantime, the U.N.'s main relief agency in Gaza says around one million people have fled Rafah in the past three weeks. One woman says she

woke up to the sound of shelling and does not know where to go.


UNKNOWN (through translator): I don't know, I was just walking in the street. I don't know where to come or go. They say that we should go

somewhere safe. There is nowhere safe. There is no area that is safe. Where should we go?


GOLODRYGA: All this comes amid growing international condemnation as Spain, Norway and Ireland formally recognized Palestine as a state.

ASHER: CNN's Jeremy Diamond-Jones is live now from Jerusalem. So, Jeremy, just speaking about what happened in Rafah just a couple of days ago,

President or Prime Minister Netanyahu calling the events there in terms of the attack there that killed about 45 people, calling it a tragic mishap.

What happened?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, the Israeli military is offering a few potential theories and some additional details about the

strike that took place late Sunday night. The Israeli military's top spokesman, Admiral Daniel Hagari, saying that two 17 kilo munitions, the

smallest type of munitions that can be fitted on Israeli jets, were used in this strike targeting two containers -- container-like structures, I should

say, that were in the area where this fire then took place.

The Israeli military is claiming that their munitions alone could not have set off the blaze that engulfed multiple containers in that area where

displaced Palestinians were indeed living. But it is very clear from the drone video that the Israeli military released that the strikes took place

on the very same location where that fire then engulfed that area, ultimately killing at least 45 people, according to the Palestinian

Ministry of Health.

The Israeli military is suggesting that there could have been a -- another cause to the fire as a result of the strike initially.


But basically saying that one of the theories could be that there were munitions stashed in that area causing a secondary explosion and causing

the fire that engulfed multiple structures there where displaced Palestinians were living.

They didn't provide any evidence for that theory and they noted that it is only one possible theory and that they will continue this investigation in

order to arrive at a firmer conclusion of how exactly these two munitions, which were meant to be precise and limit the number of civilian casualties,

could have resulted in a fire that ultimately killed at least 45 people and injured at least 200 others.

But what is clear is that the Israeli military is not changing its tactics altogether. In fact, it is continuing to escalate its military advance in

Rafah. Israeli tanks were spotted in central Rafah today. And in addition to that, as you mentioned, at least 29 Palestinians were killed in two

separate Israeli attacks on other camps housing displaced Palestinians in the Tal al-Sultan area, very near to where this strike happened Sunday

night, as well as near the al-Mawassi area just north of that area.

And so, it suggests very clearly that the Israeli military is continuing to conduct strikes in areas where there is a risk, of course, of high civilian

casualties, just given the number of people there. And of course, we know that as the Israeli military continues to advance into Rafah, that is

something that the -- that President Biden has warned could potentially be a red line.

It's not exactly clear where that red line stands. He has talked about an all-out Israeli military offensive that would go into the central part of

Rafah. Well, we are seeing tanks in central Rafah now. Is it an all-out military offensive? We have yet to hear from the White House whether or not

this could violate that red line.

ASHER: All right, Jeremy Diamond, live for us there. Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, White House official called the Rafah strike, quote, "heartbreaking". Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann joins us now. Oren,

that's the first we've heard from the White House. Are we expected to hear from the president himself in response to what happened in Rafah? And what

more are we learning about what that response could possibly be?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT Well, I don't know if there is a specific planned response from President Joe Biden to this Rafah strike,

but his opinion, his perspective has been clear to this point that civilian casualties have to certainly be reduced in number and come to an end. The

number of Palestinians killed, including women and children from Israeli strikes, has been absolutely unacceptable to the United States.

And of course, there is no doubt that the next time Biden comes forward publicly in a press conference or takes questions, he will absolutely be

asked about this and whether it does violate the red line he put forward. Now, he was talking specifically about a ground incursion into Rafah.

That's not what we're seeing, at least in terms of on a large scale from what we're hearing. Of course, we have those reports now from eyewitnesses

of tanks in central Rafah. But to this point, the U.S. has described Israel's actions in Rafah as limited.

The concern, of course, was the risk to civilian casualties and the risk of worsening what is already a humanitarian catastrophe. Essentially, the

consequences we saw of the Israeli strike on Sunday that killed at least 45 Palestinians and wounded more than 200 others. That's what the Biden

administration was trying to avoid in urging Israel to carry out more precise operations.

At this point, a U.S. official says there is no plan for an independent U.S. assessment of that Sunday strike. They're looking for information,

more information, I should say, from Israel on what happened and how that all played out.

So, waiting on that front, the U.S. has largely, over the course of the past seven or eight months, relied on Israel to carry out its own

investigations and assessments and then pass that information on to the U.S. And that, as far as we know right now, is how this will play out. But

clearly, the U.S. concern on Israeli operations in Rafah has been on-going, and this will only worsen or heighten that concern about the risks of

Israeli operations in that area.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. And Daniel Hagari is saying that investigation is in its preliminary phases now. A couple of possibilities that he threw out there,

including, as we heard from Jeremy Diamond, that perhaps there is a munition storage that set off that fire. But of course, we'll keep a close

eye on this investigation as it continues. Oren Liebermann, thank you.

ASHER: All right, still to come here on ONE WORLD , Israel pushes into Gaza despite international outcry over the airstrike that killed dozens of

Palestinians on Sunday as Oren Liebermann and Jeremy Diamond were just discussing there. We'll speak to a global affairs analyst in just a few

moments about the situation.

GOLODRYGA: And just ahead, you're 10 years old, your parents have been killed and your home is in ruins. What happens next? That's the question a

little boy is asking our own Nick Paton Walsh in Eastern Ukraine.



ASHER: All right, CNN is learning that at least 160 people are missing, 10 others killed after a suspected Boko Haram militant or several militants

rather raided a remote village in north central Nigeria.

GOLODRYGA: A local official talking to CNN says the weekend attack went on for hours. He says the gunmen went unchallenged and were able to make tea

and even cook for themselves during this raid. The Niger state police command has not returned CNN's request for comment.

Meantime, Portugal is welcoming Volodymyr Zelensky just hours after the Ukrainian President was in Belgium, where he signed a deal to receive 30 F-

16 fighter jets. Spain is also adding serious money to Kyiv's war chest.

ASHER: And Mr. Zelensky needs all the help he can get as Ukraine battles the on-going Russian invasion. Authorities say Kharkiv residents are now

forced to bury their dead in basements as heavy Russian shelling continues to claim more lives.

GOLODRYGA: CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in eastern Ukraine, where he spoke to a 10-year-old boy who lost both of his parents when their home was

destroyed. And a warning, his report contains some disturbing content.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): The fragments of loss and losing so often go unheard, but fast unravel lives

all the same. Two missiles hit this comfortable family home just outside Pokrovsk. Now, only dust and the smell of a decaying family dog. We're

close enough to the Russians, we can pick up their radio station.

PATON WALSH: Every time you see destruction like this, it's really hard to work out exactly what Russia must have thought it was hitting with

firepower like this. People in the streets say there's no military around at all. But all the same, utter devastation.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): People here know two parents died, but the survivor knows a greater horror. Mykola is 10 and watched his mother Larisa

die as she lay crushed by the rubble. And then something falls.

MYKOLA GLUSHKO, SURVIVOR OF RUSSIAN ATTACK: I heard a whistle through my dream, then, bang. All the windows were shattered in a second. My eyes were

still closed. I felt the windows shattering and I heard it. then something fell. My mom was saying, "Kola, Kola." I shouted, "Mom, I'm alive." I took

everything off my face and then I saw -- I saw my mom crushed down by the ceiling.


I tried to pull it away but I couldn't. Mom was moaning and shaking her legs. I was shouting, "Mother, mother, it's just a dream -- just a horrible

dream. I was screaming, "God, why did you do this to me? I was running in my underwear, asking for help."

PATON WALSH: He says he hates himself for not saving his mother.

GLUSHKO (through translator): I will visit them, take care of their graves, apologize for not being able to save them. I will apologize to my father

that I couldn't save my mom, his wife. My biggest dream is to ask my parents at least one question -- what should I do now? How do I live? My

other dream is to take revenge on who fired the missile."

PATON WALSH (voice-over): When you hear the words, "too injured" in Ukraine, the agony of survival is rarely heard, too. A blast hit four feet

from these two soldiers dug out. It'll take weeks to learn if they'll see again. Now, the stabilization point has to just keep them alive.

PATON WALSH: These two are from a town that Russia's claimed to be seeing progress in in the past days, possibly because forces have been withdrawn

from there by Ukraine and rushed north towards Kharkiv to stop the new Russian offensive there.

Suddenly, he feels pain in his right. Internal injuries from the sheer force of the blast. They must quickly intervene. It's unpleasant. The

doctor says last year, during Bakhmut, was much busier. The beds here are empty now, not because the war was getting better, quite the opposite. This

unit, the 93rd Mechanized Brigade, say it's because they're running low on infantry.

PATON WALSH: And that's how they leave, in complete darkness with their headlights off. So worried are they about the Russians spotting this place.

PATON WALSH: Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.




ASHER: Welcome back to "ONE WORLD", I'm Zain Asher.

GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. At any minute, we expect Donald Trump's lawyers to wrap up their closing arguments in his hush money case.

ASHER: Yeah, Trump's lead attorney has spent more than two hours recapping the evidence in the case and telling the jury there simply isn't enough to

convict the former President on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

GOLODRYGA: He repeated the claim that Trump never had an affair with Stormy Daniels and he has questioned the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael

Cohen, saying there is no way to reach a guilty verdict if you don't believe him.

ASHER: Yeah, it will be the prosecutor's turn next, though the judge says the court may take a lunch break first. The jury is expected to begin their

deliberations tomorrow. It is really hard to overstate the importance of this trial on the 2024 Presidential Campaign. Polls show that the verdict

here could be a deciding point for that tiny sliver of persuadable voters who will likely decide the outcome of this year's election.

Our Steve Contorno is tracking how the Trump and Biden campaigns are reacting to today's court action. Steve, we know that Donald Trump was

voicing his frustration, right, about the fact that the defense is essentially going first, even though that is what is typically done in New


But at the same time, the Biden campaign has been responding by putting up Robert De Niro, a Hollywood sort of famous A-list actor, to speak on their

behalf outside the courthouse. Walk us through it.

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, Trump last night and in the last 24 hours, lashing out on social media over what's transpiring this week. He

rallied against the gag order against him. He has been critical of the judge's decision to block certain witnesses from being able to testify. He

has said there was, quote, "No crime but if there was one, they should have prosecuted it seven years ago when this all first happened."

And as you noted, he also complained that he has to go first or his defense team has to go first. In closing arguments, the prosecution goes second.

That is the case in every trial that is taking place across America today for every defendant and prosecution.

But as you said, the Biden campaign, a noticeable shift in tactics from them. They have been mostly ignoring what has been happening in this

Manhattan courtroom, letting the proceedings sort of take place without them weighing in. Well, that changed today when the campaign brought in

Robert De Niro, the actor, to speak out against Donald Trump. Listen to what he had to say.


ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR AND BIDEN SUPPORTER: I love this city. I don't want to destroy it. Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the

country. And eventually he could destroy the world. I owe this city a lot. And that's why it's so weird that Donald Trump is just across the street

because he doesn't belong in my city.


CONTORNO: The Trump campaign immediately responded to this show of force from the Biden campaign. They jumped in front of those same cameras. And a

spokesperson for the campaign said, quote, "The best they can do is roll out a wash up actor."

ASHER: Okay. All right. Steve Contorno, live for us there.


Steve, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

GOLODRYGA: Well, more now on our top story out of Gaza. Eyewitnesses say Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have been spotted in the southern city

of Rafah.

ASHER: All right. This is Gaza's Ministry of Health. At least 29 Palestinians were killed in two separate Israeli attacks in Rafah on

Tuesday. Israel is pushing ahead with its offensive in Rafah despite the global outrage over a strike on Sunday. Gaza's Ministry of Health says

killed at least 45 people at a camp sheltering displaced families.

An IDF spokesperson says it carried out aerial surveillance to access civilian presence in the area before carrying out a targeted strike on a

compound where Hamas commanders were meeting. Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, excuse me, had this to say.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Despite our best effort not to harm those not involved, unfortunately, a tragic

error happened last night and we are investigating the case. For us, every non-combatant that is hurt is a tragedy. For Hamas, it is a strategy. This

is the whole difference.


GOLODRYGA: Time now for The Exchange. We want to get a closer look at these developments. Joining us now, CNN Political and Global Affairs Analyst

Barak Ravid. He's also a politics and foreign policy reporter at "Axios". Barak, what we just heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu is probably the

closest we've seen of any form of contrition out of him as of late throughout this war, calling this a tragic incident here that's under


We heard from Daniel Hagari that says this investigation is too early to conclude exactly what happened in that tragic fire in Rafah, but did say

that the IDF and their munitions, what they described as precise munitions, were too small to have caused that blaze. How long do you think this

investigation will continue? And as we see the operation go into Rafah and continue there, is this all contingent now in terms of what the response

will ultimately be from the White House to what we saw over the weekend?

BARAK RAVID, CNN POLITICAL AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think this will be the key because until now, until this last incident in Rafah, the Biden

administration position was that the operation Rafah at large was conducted in a targeted way.

Now, after this incident and after, you know, the long Memorial Day weekend, the White House and the State Department will have to start

answering questions. And I think it will be very interesting to see whether they say that this still hasn't violated Biden's red line or indeed it did

violate the red line.

Barak, a good chunk of the international community was already against the operation in Rafah well before it started. And then to have this week, just

to sort of see those images in Rafah of the tents, housing displaced Palestinians up in flames. I mean, those are really disturbing images. What

does that do to Israel's international standing on the global stage, especially given that the P.R. tide is already turning against them or has

already turned against them for several months?

RAVID: Well, I think that the problem is much bigger than just P.R., because it's not only with public opinion around the world or in the West

or with the media. You see governments taking action. You see the European Union, foreign ministers discussing for the first time ever, I think,

sanctions against the Israeli government over the ICJ ruling that it needs to immediately halt its operation in Rafah. So, I think it is much bigger

than just P.R.

You see how Israel is more and more isolated. And also the Biden administration is more and more isolated, because at least for now, it is

still backing this operation in Rafah. And we'll see today whether they're still taking this position or changing course.

GOLODRYGA: Yesterday, we heard from War Cabinet Minister Gadi Eizenkot, who warned that there was probably about a week left, given the intensity of

the operation in Rafah, to continue pursuing a new round of hostage negotiation talks.

This is just moments ago. It is reported that Islamic Jihad released another hostage video. Where do things stand in terms of hostage

negotiations and that process, especially given the incident that occurred Sunday night in the tragic fire there in Rafah?

RAVID: So, yesterday, and this is the latest development. Yesterday, Israel has given to both Qatar and Egypt, who are the key mediators in the hostage

talks, and also to the Biden administration, a written and official and updated proposal for a hostage deal. This proposal contained a few new

points and a few new things that Israel agreed to be more flexible on, both on the number of living hostages that will be released in the first

humanitarian phase of a possible hostage deal.


And Hamas officials are going to meet the Qatari Prime Minister in Doha, either in a few hours, two hours, or tomorrow morning, in order to receive

this official Israeli proposal. And we'll see from there where things go.

ASHER: Barak, right after October 7th, I mean, obviously, nobody was talking about a two-state solution. That wasn't on the tips of anybody's

tongue whatsoever. But now you're seeing that various European countries, Ireland, Spain, Norway, all of these countries are coming out now

recognizing Palestine as a state. They're saying that this is sort of one tiny thing that various independent countries around the world can do

politically to move one inch closer to a two-state solution. Just give us your take on that.

RAVID: I think that you see this trend, and it's very interesting because you also see it in the U.S. The Biden administration, pre-October 7th,

spoke about two-state solution as something which was almost, you know, when sometimes, you know, in, you know, Miss Universe, they ask you, you

know, if you want world peace, and you say yes.

And since October 7th, I think Biden himself and his advisers are much more forward-leaning when they talk about two-state solution, not only as this,

you know, vague vision, but as something which is more operational. Not tomorrow morning, obviously, but this is part of Biden's exit strategy from

the war.

A hostage deal, ceasefire, some sort of a mega deal with Saudi Arabia, that includes a path toward two-state solution. This was not in the cards before

October 7th. So you see it not only in Europe, but also in the U.S.

GOLODRYGA: Also not in the cards for October 7th was much strain on the relationship, the existing relationship of diplomatic ties between Israel

and Egypt. And over the weekend, as if we needed any more tension in the region, there was an exchange of gunfire between the IDF and Egyptian

shoulder soldiers. An Egyptian soldier was killed.

I know that behind the scenes, there's a lot of effort being put to cool things, the tensions down. But how much concern is there within the Israeli

government right now on that relationship potentially continuing to turn south as this war continues?

RAVID: Well, it seems to me that there's not enough concern. And this incident yesterday was, you know, a pretty small one and both sides seems

to be want to, you know, sort of put it behind them. But there's a much bigger issue here.

And this is the issue of the Rafah crossing and the Egyptian -- and the border between Egypt and Gaza as a whole. This is a strategic issue. And

the fact that Israel and Egypt, at least on the political level, have close to zero contacts is creating a huge problem when you want to see how you

find a strategic solution to that border.

And Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Assisi hasn't spoken in eight months, maybe more even. They haven't spoken since the beginning of

the war. This is a problem. And I don't see that changing in the near future because the tension between both sides is pretty high.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, President Biden and El-Sisi did speak, though, I believe last week about this specific issue at hand and getting more relief across

that border and aid into Gaza. Barak Ravid, always great to have your analysis on. Thank you so much for joining us.

ASHER: Thank you.

RAVID: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And coming up for us, OpenAI is putting safety and security concerns at the forefront, weeks after employees claim tensions with

leadership has reached a breaking point. We'll have that story just ahead.



GOLODRYGA: OpenAI has created a new safety board just weeks after dissolving a team on the very same subject. Earlier this month, several

high profile employees left OpenAI over criticism that the company had underinvested in A.I. safety as the technology gets ever more


ASHER: The new committee is led by CEO Sam Altman and will be responsible for making recommendations to the board on safety and security decisions as

the company begins training its next artificial intelligence model.

GOLODRYGA: To explain further, let's bring in CNN's Brian Fung. Brian, OpenAI has really been at the forefront of artificial intelligence

technology. What more are we learning about the rollout now of GPT-4 and the significance this is to the industry?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Yeah, Zain and Bianna, this is going to be the next model that powers ChatGPT in, you know, all of its products.

That essentially is the knowledge that users engage with when they use that tool. And OpenAI is saying that this is going to be another step along the

way to what they call artificial general intelligence or an A.I. that basically competes with or is equivalent to human level knowledge.

Let me just bring in a little bit of the blog post that they published today, which talks a little bit about the model, but also about this

broader security committee that they're launching involving Sam Altman and others. They say, quote, "OpenAI has recently begun training its next

frontier model and we anticipate the resulting systems to bring us to the next level of capabilities on our path to AGI. While we are proud to build

and release models that are industry leading on both capabilities and safety, we welcome a robust debate at this important moment."

So, guys, this is really kind of an announcement about the model, you know, in the short term, but it's also taking place at a time when there's a

broad, robust debate about OpenAI's role in ensuring that A.I. doesn't, you know, get out of hand or get out of control of humans. Guys.

ASHER: And just in terms of the sort of safety committee, what more can you tell us about that specifically?

FUNG: Yeah, well, it will be led by Sam Altman, as well as two board members, the board chair, Brett Taylor, and another board member. And its

responsibilities will be to come up with recommendations for how the company will, you know, implement safety and security in its products going


Now, what's interesting about this, of course, is that Sam Altman is the CEO of OpenAI and he's part of the driving force for commercializing and

popularizing this technology. And again, as you mentioned, it comes just weeks after a similar safety team was disbanded at OpenAI.

And really what you're seeing, I think one way to kind of look at this is a push-pull, a tension within the company about, well, are we going to really

prioritize the commercialization of A.I. or, you know, really focus on the safety piece?


And here you're seeing OpenAI claiming that you can do both at the same time. But of course, as we saw with the departing executives who have just

left OpenAI, many of them said, you know, the company has underinvested in safety and isn't paying enough attention to the risks that A.I. could have

both for everyday society as well as humanity and civilization as a whole. So, this is really kind of a two-piece debate here going on and we're going

to see, you know, who wins out.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, it's a bit of a whiplash because the same people who executives who have left now over concerns for safety were the same people

who ousted Sam Altman recently over those very concerns then to only bring him back in and now he's going to be running the safety committee. I hope

everyone got that. Brian Fung, thank you so much.

ASHER: We'll be right back with more.


ASHER: All right, the defense is done. Todd Blanch just wrapped up his version of closing arguments in the Hush Money trial. It went on for about

three hours.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, the last message the defense gave jurors was that Michael Cohen, the prosecution's star witness, is a liar. Trump's lead attorney

went so far as to raise his voice and even accused Cohen of committing perjury during his testimony. He called Cohen the human embodiment of

reasonable doubt.

ASHER: The court has now taken a lunch break. We expect the prosecution to begin its closing in about an hour or so. Prosecutors say they expect final

arguments on their side to take more than four hours to complete -- four hours as they recap the evidence and the testimony that they say proves

that Donald Trump falsified business records.

So, a long period of time. A lot of people are skeptical as to whether that strategy of making the jurors sit through that for four and a half hours

would work. But that is what the prosecutors are saying.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and then it's believed that tomorrow then is when Judge Merchan would give jury its instructions and then they would begin

deliberation. So, we should get a verdict, one would imagine, by this week, as soon as perhaps even tomorrow.

Well, also this story to tell you before we end the hour. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel says that his son is thankfully recovering from his third open

heart surgery.

ASHER: Yeah, he shared this photo online, writing, Billy, you are the toughest and funniest seven year old we know. Billy was actually born with

a congenital heart condition.


But Kimmel hopes that this will be his last surgery, hoping that his son is happy and healthy.

GOLODRYGA: Look at that smile on his face. He also paid tribute to the late U.S. Senator John McCain for his role in keeping the Affordable Care Act in

place. Kimmel credits that legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama with helping families get the medical care they need, regardless of

their ability to pay.

Well, Monday was quite a day for foodie thrill seekers. You're looking at the annual -- you missed this. I can't believe you missed this one, Zain --

the annual cheese rolling race in Gloucestershire, England. Hundreds of competitors from around the world barrel down a very steep hill chasing a

wheel of double Gloucester cheese. The first to the bottom wins the cheese.

ASHER: Bianna, you should do something like that.

GOLODRYGA: Well, next year, next year --

ASHER: Can you imagine?

GOLODRYGA: I'm taking a leave of absence to compete here. Yes.

ASHER: An estimated 5000 people watched as races tumbled, flipped and slid down the muddy hill. And despite some bumps and bruises along the way,

several of this year's winners say they managed to walk away relatively unscathed.

GOLODRYGA: What people would do for cheese. That does it for this one hour of "ONE WORLD". I'm Bianna Golodryga.

ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. "AMANPOUR" is up next.