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Trump Face New Charge In Court Thursday; Fitch: US Downgrade Reflects Erosion Of Governance; Negotiation: Trade Can Repel Beijing Bullying; Ukraine Preparing For Peace Talks In Saudi Arabia; Death Sentence For Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter; Trump Can Run Even if Convicted; Match Group Raises Forecast For Q3 Revenue. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 02, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: It is all a bit horrible out there in the market as we have the last hour of trading. The selloff is building.

The momentum is strong. We've been down all session. And at the moment, I guess -- I guess in the next hour, the last hour, it's whether it picks up

speed or treads water, too difficult to say. We'll check in over the course of the hour.

The main event give you some indication as to why this is all happening. A third indictment for Donald Trump. We'll look at his re-election run and

the implications for that along with Janet Yellen, US Treasury secretary hitting out at Fitch for downgrading US debt, called it a flawed and

outdated assessment and unwarranted.

And you can't buy love could be a thing of the past. The dating apps are driving a record quarter for Match Group. Apparently, everything is

available for a price, so now just discovering that.

Live from New York, Wednesday, August the 2nd. We are together again. I'm Richard Quest, and in August, I'll definitely mean business.

Good evening.

The third indictment of Donald Trump is probably the first that gets at the heart of what is at stake for the United States. Can a sitting president

lie about an election, attempt to overturn the result and get away with it?

According to special counsel, Jack Smith, absolutely not. His indictment is weaving together the ways in which the former president allegedly sought to

stop the transfer of power to Joe Biden, who beat him.

The former president is to face a Washington courthouse tomorrow, along with the next election looming, and president -- former President Trump is

leading the race to be the Republican nominee.

The timing in all of this is critical. Jack Smith says he wants to make it happen in a speedy manner. Trump's team has pushed back calling that

absurd, and if you move away from the strict legalistic machinations, who is going to be where, when and why, you have the political morass who is

supporting him and who is not.

Jessica Dean is our congressional correspondent and joins me from Washington, DC.

We've got the indictment, we know what is actually sort of in it, but what is fascinating and perhaps arguably, more interesting is the way in which

the political elite in the Republican Party are having to decide which way to take it.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Richard, and how so many of them are really seemingly contorting themselves to get in alignment with

the former president on this. And if we just take a step back for a second, it just becomes all the more remarkable.

We talk about this all the time, and people go numb to hearing, oh, it's unprecedented. It's unprecedented. But truly, this is driven its way right

into the heart of the 2024 presidential primary for a Republican candidate, and it is just like a cloud that hangs over it.

And so first, we're going to have Republicans in the country deciding if it's okay, if they are comfortable with nominating a man who has now been

indicted multiple times, one for overturning, trying to overturn an election in this country really going against -- allegedly going against

the foundations of this democracy.

And then if he does become the nominee, kind of this broader take from the American people on whether they're okay with this.

There are a couple of numbers that stand out to me that I think are important to keep in mind as we talk about the political implications of

this. The New York Times/Siena poll that came out just a couple of days ago, talked to Republican voters, only 19 percent of them believe that

Trump's behavior threatened democracy, only 17 percent of them believe that he's committed serious federal crime. So that gives you a snapshot of where

the voters are on all of this.

And the polling in this race so far really bears that out, what we're seeing Trump consistently out way ahead and everybody just kind of behind

him, Richard, and that has just been very, very consistent.

QUEST: Right, but the conundrum here is made worse. You know, none of his political opponents with the argument exception of Chris Christie and

wanted to, but the main political opponents are not prepared to take him on. They are dancing around it, but they're not coming out and said he did

anything wrong.


DEAN: Right, and you're talking about, probably Ron DeSantis, who is in second place in many of those polls, he keeps saying this is the

weaponization of the federal government, and that has been his line, will continue to be his line, and that's what we're hearing from House

Republicans up on the Hill as well.

He's really taking a page out of their playbook as they seek to support the president in his quest for the nomination and to get out from under all of

these indictments.

We also hear from people like Senator Tim Scott, that he believes this is a weaponization of the federal government and then started talking about how

he believes that the federal government is going after Republicans and protecting Democrats, like Hunter Biden, which there were a lot of people

that took note of that because Tim Scott doesn't typically -- you know, it wasn't always so much of the most fervent Trump supporter.

But I will mention, Richard, what has been interesting to watch is former Vice President Mike Pence, who of course, has an interesting place in this

whole story, because he was there, he plays a big role in this story, and we have seen him, he has really gone across the spectrum on where he comes

down on this particular issue.

But we saw him come out today very sharply, very directly, saying that he does not believe anybody who puts the Constitution above themselves should

be president of the United States, and that is really as directly as we've seen him take on the former president, his former running mate.

He said just a little bit ago, he said that Trump is entitled to a presumption of innocence, but then went on to say, look, he surrounded

himself by what he called crackpot lawyers that were whispering in his ear and that he was asked to go against the Constitution and that as vice

president, he would not do that.

QUEST: Thank you. I'm grateful. Thank you very much.

The situation is really so extraordinary that we've asked Jake Tapper, the host of "The Lead" to join me this evening. He has kindly agreed.

Jake, now, here we have a president indicted three times, still leading in the polls, whose political opponents won't take him on most of them at his

Achilles heel.

The global audience with us tonight is looking at it saying what on earth is going on in the United States? So Mr. Tapper, square the circle for me.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: So I think first of all, one has to understand the political divisions in this country have resulted in media echo

chambers, in which people who are politically active to a great degree, are encouraged to only stay within their little silo whether that is

progressive, or MAGA, for want of a better term, because I don't really think the Trump team can be considered conservative, more so than they are

just kind of its own distinct brand.

And since the beginning of the election of 2020, even before the November date itself, Trump was sowing seeds of doubt about the election. And in

fact, you can go back and find Trump sowing seeds of doubt about the credibility of the outcome in the 2016 election. You can find him doing

that when it comes to the 2012 election on behalf of Mitt Romney.

So you have a Republican populace that has been told that there are elections that are not necessarily on the up and up, and this got amplified

even more by Fox and other right-wing media, to the degree and also members of Congress who know better, leading up to the election on election day,

after the election, so that we now have a majority of the Republican voters convinced that the election was not on the up and up.

And so what you have here is not just Trump feeling the way he does, falsely believing the election was stolen from him, which obviously is not

accurate. You have a number of Republican voters feeling that way.

QUEST: All right, so in that scenario, can you believe that -- I mean, it's extraordinary. We're sitting here debating in the office, you know, if

he has a trial, well acquitted and wins the election versus convicted wins the election -- I mean, we were playing these extraordinary games working

out what happens if the former president is convicted or whatever and still gets elected? We are in unchartered waters.

TAPPER: I assume he vacates the conviction or pardons himself and it would proceed from there, and it is obviously, as you know, he is about to be

arrested and arraigned for his third time, and there likely will be a fourth in Georgia as well.

But he can't pardon himself for state charges. So this gets into some interesting and dicey territory when it comes to the New York charges and

the Georgia potential charges, can a US president be convicted on state or city grounds, even if he has pardoned himself for federal charges?


QUEST: So how do you, Jake, how do you keep it sane and real? When after years of covering US politics in all its minutia, but now skating down into

the sewer of this morass, how do you manage to keep it normal or sane?

TAPPER: It's just an honor to be entrusted with anchoring this bizarre heart-rending, fascinating story, and trying to credibly describe it to the

American people and to our worldwide viewers and explain what is going on and why it's going on.

But beyond that --

QUEST: But on the reverse of that, you know, in the next hour, I'm going to be talking to you on the economics of a Fitch decision. I can turn to

you in this hour and say, can you understand why Fitch has basically said, there is a level of dysfunction in the US decision-making process, which

does call the strength of the democracy in the country into question.

TAPPER: Absolutely. And when I was a White House correspondent for ABC News back in 2010 or '11, I reported on S&P, I think it was downgrading the

US Treasury bonds for the same reason, for dysfunction. And certainly, it's hard to argue that things have gotten more functional since then. You know,

the debt deal recently notwithstanding.

There has been an erosion in governance, without question, and honestly, that's not a coincidence. That's by design. The populist movement in the US

right now, which is strongest on the right, although there obviously is one on the left as well, that movement objects to compromises, it objects to

deals being made.

And the incentive structure in politics today, for any number of reasons, and in media today, though, I would exempt CNN and you know, other more

mainstream publications and networks from that, but certainly Fox and others on the left, the incentive structure is also against compromise,

also against achievement.

And you know, it is sometimes very troubling to report on without question.

QUEST: Jake, I'll see you in the next hour when I'm your guest on your program. I'm looking forward to it as always,

TAPPER: I'm looking forward to it as well, Richard. Good to see you.

QUEST: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

Jake and I were just discussing the Fitch decision to take away the US government's top credit rating. The downgrade set the markets lower, not by

a huge amount. There are other reasons why the NASDAQ is off earnings and all of that. We'll talk about it after the break.

It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. A good evening to you.



QUEST: The US Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen says that Fitch was wrong to lower the US government's credit rating from AAA to double AA+. The

agency announced the downgrade two months after Congress approved a last minute deal to raise the debt ceiling.

However, it says the decision reflects America's fiscal deterioration, and the key phrase that everybody is talking about today, the erosion of


The market reaction is more muted than in 2011 when S&P did a downgrade, bond yields actually moved slightly higher. Secretary Yellen said the

Fitch's decision is based on old information.


JANET YELLEN, US TREASURY SECRETARY: Fitch's decision is puzzling in light of the economic strength we see in the United States. I strongly disagree

with Fitch's decision, and I believe it is entirely unwarranted.

Its flawed assessment is based on outdated data and fails to reflect improvements across a range of indicators, including those related to

governance that we've seen over the past two-and-a-half years.


QUEST: Matt Egan is with me.

You see listening to what the Treasury sec said there, she is acknowledging, this isn't about the latest, you know, the economy is doing

well now and employment is down, inflation is coming down whatever. This is about long-term issues of structural instabilities and deficiencies in the

US government.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, Richard. This is about long-term issues.

I think Fitch's message is really simple. They're saying that America's fiscal house is a mess, and it's got to get in order. And I asked Richard

Francis, the top analyst at Fitch about whether or not the fact that the US economy is looking stronger, had maybe weighed into this decision, maybe

almost dissuaded them away from doing a downgrade, and he said not at all, it doesn't move the needle because we're looking at these massive fiscal

forces that are much, much more important than whether or not there's a mild recession.

Listen to what the Fitch executive told me.


RICHARD FRANCIS, LEAD ANALYST ON US SOVEREIGN RATINGS, FITCH RATINGS: First, I think the numbers speak for themselves. I mean, honestly, if the

debt to GDP at 113 percent and growing is clearly pretty alarming.

Furthermore, the fiscal deficits are large and again, growing. The interest burden, as I mentioned, is high and growing.


EGAN: Now, somewhat ironically, this downgrade could actually make it even harder to finance America's mountain of debt. That would be if investors

shied away from treasuries.

We haven't really seen that, Richard, though, in a big way. Yes, Treasury yields are up. Yes, that is concerning to the stock market, but this has

not been a dramatic impact. Nothing like the one that we saw in 2011.

QUEST: Right. Look at the market today. We are heavily lower. The NASDAQ is off the worst of them all two-and-a-quarter percent, and I'm guessing

obviously, there is an element of --

The market reaction has been, if you like, fired off by the Fitch decision, but there's also earnings in this. There's also other worries in here


EGAN: Right, Richard. Well, if it wasn't Fitch, it would have been something else, right? I mean, this market had been on fire off to the best

start we've seen in over two decades.

But I would note that this Fitch move did spark a sell off overseas. We saw Asian markets get hit hard, European markets also dropped. US stocks opened

lower and looked to be ending near the lowest levels of the day in part because Treasury yields are going higher. That of course is bad for high

tech stocks. We've seen the NASDAQ down by two percent.

But Richard, we do have to get back to what you were talking to Jake Tapper about, which is this political situation because that is a big factor in

this downgrade from Fitch.

The fact that there has been this deepening divide between Republicans and Democrats and how that makes compromise very hard at a time when compromise

is needed. Listen to what Richard Francis from Fitch set to say about the political situation.


FRANCIS: We do feel like governance has deteriorated, again steadily over the last 20 years and because of that, I think we have less confidence that

the government can tackle these fiscal challenges, because of the duration and the governance, the political polarization on both sides. I think the

Democrats have moved left, but Republicans have certainly moved right and the center has fallen apart.


And that just makes making difficult decisions very, very difficult and challenging. And we see very low appetite for really tackling these fiscal



EGAN: Now, Richard, I would just note that the timing of this downgrade was pretty incredible. It came out just as former President Trump was

indicted. Yet again, this time for efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Fitch, they told me that that timing was purely coincidental. But Richard, you've got to admit, the timing is pretty fitting.

QUEST: Matt, grateful. Thank you, sir.

The criticism isn't just coming from the White House. The former Treasury secretary, Larry Summers has called the decision bizarre and inept. Jason

Furman, who advised former President Obama said it's hard to understand why the downgrade is coming now. And there are economists who are concerned

about the rising level of debt and political brinkmanship.

In Washington, Tomas Philipson, was the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Trump, now professor of Public Policy at the

University of Chicago.

Look, it's easy to dismiss the Fitch decision on the basis of timing and the US economy is doing pretty better, this, that and the other and the

recovery. But the core underlying points that they are making are strong ones about governance, and the inability for all the dysfunction that


TOMAS PHILIPSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS CHAIRMAN: Now, I think there's two parts to this. One is the political point they're

making, which is sort of a divided government downgrade or the debt in some sense. And on cue, Republicans and Democrats are now blaming each other for

the downgrade, essentially.

The second part is the economics, which I think is not so strange that some people on the left want to argue, because COVID, we had the largest deficit

in a post-war period, that was followed by Biden, which has the two largest non-crisis deficits since then, meaning we had larger deficits in the

financial crisis, and in the first year of COVID. But then we got two massive deficits on top of that, through the Biden administration.

That has escalated, obviously, debt servicing costs. So think of your car loan. You have a bigger loan you have, but also the interest rates.

Interest rates have gone up, the debt level has gone up. Therefore, interest rate servicing costs have exponentially grown, and I think that's

the underlying issue here, essentially, that interest costs are now about 14 percent on tax revenue.

QUEST: But if I read what they say about in the Fitch statement, there has been an erosion or deterioration standards of government, political --

repeated debt limit, political standoffs, last minute resolutions have eroded confidence in fiscal management. The government lacks a medium term

fiscal framework, complex budgeting procedure, blah, blah, blah.

I mean, we can go backwards and forwards and nitpick, but I guess the downgrade is that sort of gut feeling that there's something wrong, and

there isn't the will to put it right. And that goes to both sides of the political spectrum.

PHILIPSON: Yes, I would have to agree that both sides are shying away from doing anything with entitlements, Social Security, and Medicare, which has

been the driver on the spending level, and I think both sides are basically locked in, in a way that doesn't make decision making very productive in

some sense.

But the real issue here is not the rating agency, it is what the markets think about the default risk. And markets are not necessarily paying

attention to this as much as they did in 2011 when S&P downgraded and we saw a Black Monday then with a seven percent drop in the indices directly

after the downgrade. We are not seeing nearly as much of that today.

And today, in fact, the main reduction in prices in the markets came after the favorable private jobs report, which makes people worried about the Fed

keeping rates high.

QUEST: Is there a real danger that on the biggest issue of all, how left and right work together -- look, you know, I look around the world and I

see political divide everywhere, but in most countries, eventually, it sort of sorts itself out and here, it doesn't.


Here, each side will take it to going over the cliff before they will finally pull themselves back, and that is slightly different. Would you


PHILIPSON: I don't know if it's true, because in both in 2011, and in May, and I wrote about this in a "Wall Street Journal" op-ed, there was a lot of

default risk on the markets, but eventually they did not default, obviously.

So the question is, you know, is all this sort of positioning that's taking place around the debt limit many times, is that really an issue? Or do

everyone understand which the market seemed to understand that there wouldn't be really a default?

So I think there's some sort of a grabbing for bargaining positions that arises around these negotiations, but ultimately, in both cases, and I

think in the future, they will come to terms in time.

QUEST: Good to have you, sir. Very grateful.

PHILIPSON: Thank you.

QUEST: Keep the ball swinging in Miami. Thank you.

Vice President Kamala Harris of the US is hosting the prime minister of Mongolia today. The two met at her ceremonial office next to the White

House. In a joint press conference, they pledged to explore new areas of cooperation.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Strengthening our space cooperation would be a part of that agenda, including, of course,

using our space cooperation to think about how we strengthen the economic prosperity and development of our nations.

We will also sign an open skies agreement which will open the door to direct flights between the United States and Mongolia, and we will increase

support for cultural exchanges, including the work that you are doing in terms of English language education in Mongolia.


QUEST: Unfortunately, that open skies will not be in place in time for my visit there. Later this month, we're shining a spotlight on Mongolia, a

series of special programs. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS coming from Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital.

I am very much looking forward to this. I've never been to Mongolia, and we're looking forward to bringing you three days of programs, August the

16th to the 18th, and of course QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from Quest means Mongolia.

As we continue, Taiwan's top negotiators says one of the best tools for resisting aggression from Beijing is trade. He spoke to CNN's Will Ripley

and explained how doing business with the world could keep Taiwan free.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Taiwan's top trade negotiator, John Deng leading a fight for the islands financial

future, battling what he calls bullying by Beijing from this boardroom in central Taipei.

RIPLEY (on camera): Do you feel like you're on the frontlines of an economic war?

JOHN DENG, TAIWAN'S TOP TRADE NEGOTIATOR: I feel we are on the diplomatic frontlines.

RIPLEY (voice over): The frontlines of a battle waged in black and white, 75 pages, nine months of negotiations. Taiwan says the most comprehensive

trade agreement with the US in more than 40 years since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, beginning decades of diplomatic

and economic isolation for Taipei.

DENG: China is exercising their coercion all the time. Taiwan is not the only target.

RIPLEY: But it could be the most vulnerable target, he says, a small democracy with a big authoritarian neighbor, and he says a big problem.

DENG: China now, they will and they are intensifying their pressure on Taiwan.

RIPLEY: Pressure paid in full powered by the world's second largest economy, mountains of money for China's massive military, cyber, and

diplomatic operations, targeting Taiwan with intimidation, disinformation, and isolation, island leaders say.

They don't have Beijing's budget, but they do have a big bargaining chip you can only see through a microscope. More than 90 percent of the world's

most advanced microchips made in Taiwan, chips that power global tech and give Taiwan crucial soft power.

Deng says formal agreements with friendly democracies might deter a Chinese attack.

DENG: They are thinking to solve all the problems, but trade can build up the confidence, if we can prove to China that we are -- we can help each

other, I think this sends a much stronger message.

RIPLEY: China says it strongly opposes official interactions of any form between what it calls China's Taiwan region and countries that have

diplomatic relations with China.

RIPLEY (on camera): Do you think that this kind of a deal would increase or decrease the likelihood of China making a move on Taiwan?

DENG: I think we all have to prepare ourselves. If we can attract more foreign investment, if our investors can go to more countries to invest,

Taiwan will be stronger.

RIPLEY (voice over): And safer he says. Trade today, Taiwan's democracy tomorrow.

Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.



QUEST: A conviction wouldn't automatically bar Donald Trump from running for the White House. Now, what happens if he is convicted in court and then

wins at the ballot box?

I can't even believe I'm asking these questions. Anyway, we're going to try and find an answer because it's a real possibility.





QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. Together we have a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

The Trump indictment has thrust the market into uncharted waters.

What could happen?

Toppling tech giants, Fortune's top 500 companies. The magazine's editor- in-chief is with me to discuss the shift and its significance. But only after the news because here on this network, the news always comes first.


QUEST (voice-over): A top aide to President Zelenskyy of Ukraine says the country is preparing for peace talks in Saudi Arabia. The meeting will

include political and national security advisers.

An aide (ph) says the goal is to expand (INAUDIBLE) talks held in Copenhagen in June, with the addition of countries from Asia, Africa, Latin

America, and the Middle East.

Iran's government has declared two unscheduled public holidays for Wednesday and Thursday because of extreme heat. Temperatures in the south

of the country reported to have topped 51 degrees Celsius this week. State media said vulnerable people, including the elderly, have been advised to

stay indoors during this heat wave.

A U.S. federal jury has unanimously handed down a death sentence for the gunman who killed 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.


QUEST (voice-over): Robert Bowers was found guilty in June of carrying out an attack against Jewish people in the United States.

The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and his wife, Sophie, say they are separating after 18 years of marriage. They announced the decision on

Instagram and asked the public to respect their privacy.

The two had cut back on joint appearances in recent years. They have three children. Their eldest is 15 years old.


QUEST: So let's start with what we know. Donald Trump can still run for president if he's indicted; during his trial, even if he's convicted. But

no one really knows what would happen if he is elected while in prison.

The Constitution doesn't explicitly say a convict cannot lead the country. It would likely lead to a legal crisis that would probably go all the way

up to the Supreme Court. Joey Jackson is CNN's legal analyst. He joins me now.

Joey, I understand we don't know to a certain extent but let me put through that, when we were sort of gaming it out on a chart, you know, let's say he

is acquitted, runs and wins, no problem. If he is acquitted, runs and loses, no problem. If he's convicted, runs and loses, no problem. The big

issue is convicted, runs and wins the election.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That is absolutely right, Mr. Quest. You know, what happens is we're in uncharted waters indeed. The Constitution is

silent on the issue but I think we'll get some answers.

What answers will we get?

I think what would occur is that, in the event the president were the person running for president, the former president, in the event he was

elected and he was convicted, I think he would seek to pardon himself.

The pardon power is very broad in the United States as a result of that. I think he would use it to ultimately say, hey, nothing to see here; let

these things go away. That could likely be sustained inasmuch as the broad nature of the pardon power.

Therefore, what ends up happening is these state cases that are also pending against him in New York, I'm premature, Georgia has not occurred

yet, it's widely anticipated that he will be indicted in Georgia, a president in this country has no jurisdiction to pardon himself as it

relates to state crimes.

So I think in the event that he was convicted of those state crimes it would represent a problem, particularly if he were convicted and sentenced

to jail, making him certainly eligible to be president but having the inability, right, presuming he's in jail, to serve in the capacity as

president, because he would be unavailable and would be incarcerated.

QUEST: All right, but now what about just running for president while the trial is taking place?

For instance, is there a requirement he has to be in court or not?

Some of these trials could last weeks.

If they happen at the height of the election, the primary season or the general election, what happens?

JACKSON: The irony of that is that, generally speaking, in some other scenarios, if you're in court, you can't campaign. In a criminal case, you

are required, as a defendant, to be there for every day of your trial, right?

Particularly in these federal cases that he is confronting.

Having said that, think about this, what other press would he need?

Campaigning is about exposing yourself to the people --


JACKSON: -- getting out there, saying hello to everyone. The press would cover every ounce of these trials. So the irony (ph) is that the fact that

there would be a trial ongoing would indeed be campaigning because half the country believed these are bogus charges anyway, that he's being persecuted

not prosecuted.

So to that degree, he would be getting all the publicity he needs for free by virtue of sitting in a chair and having his trial go forward without him

making any statements to the public, at least during daytime hours while trial is in session.

QUEST: Let's dig even deeper. If we end up with this -- I'm gaming this out because it could all happen. We never thought we'd be in this situation. So

it's not me being unrealistic.

If you have a situation where the trial is ongoing or about to start or the jury is about to -- the trial has to start and the judge has to weigh the

constitutional requirement of a speedy trial but, at the same time, the other aspect of the Constitution, an election, a democracy.


QUEST: Would the judge adjourned pending the election?

JACKSON: So you know, we're going to see whether that's the case. But remember, we operate in the United States under the premise that no person,

Richard, is above the law.

Then in any normal case, where you are not running for president or seeking to attain a high office, would the election have anything to do with the

nature of the consequence you're facing?

Should it be factored in?

I think it needs to be for purposes of public confidence. People have to believe that this is just not about a witch hunt. They have to believe this

is about justice, that the will of the people come first.

So to that degree, you have to center in the election, because again, we're in uncharted waters, but I think it cannot be paramount. I think at the end

of the day, justice has to be the focus. And the defendant getting justice.

Therefore, I think the judge will balance those two. If there is a good reason to adjourn the case -- the defense does not have proper discovery,

there is not time to prepare, other witnesses, et cetera -- then it'll be adjourned.

But it will not strictly be adjourned, is my view, just on the basis, that, hey, he's running for president; he's too busy to face a criminal case.

Nothing to see here.

QUEST: In your wildest dreams at law school, did you ever think you would actually face this?

You have moot court and moot trials and have these esoteric things. I mean, when I was at law school, you think the unthinkable. And everyone goes off

and has a drink in the bar afterwards. They say, well, that's never going to happen.

Did you ever think this would?

JACKSON: Never in a million years. Number one, that there would be a president who was even indicted; number two, that there would be multiple

indictments; number three, that they'd be federal and state; number four, that this is a person who could win and be president, right?

Number five, that he could pardon himself; number six, if he's incarcerated, what would happen?

There's so many hypotheticals here, I never imagined this, but guess what, we're on the cusp of history. As you, know Richard, law is precedent. We're

about, I believe, to get the precedent to these answers.

So if it happens and hopefully it doesn't, we will have the answers we need to move forward seamlessly.

QUEST: I just appointed you QUEST MEANS BUSINESS guide through all of this as we move forward. Very grateful to you, sir. Thank you very much indeed.

JACKSON: Thank you.

QUEST: It's a big list, it's 500 long. It is the Fortune global list, global companies, the most valuable. The editor-in-chief will be next. And

the companies that rake in the most revenue but the significance of what it means -- in a moment.




[15:45:05] QUEST: The Fortune global 500 list is out, ranking the world's largest companies by revenue. Energy companies dominated the top 10 as fuel prices

soared, taking five of the top spots. Saudi Aramco comes in at number two with 50 percent spike in revenue from last year.

For the 10th year in a row, Walmart leads, collecting more than $600 billion in sales. Think about, that $10 billion a week.

Alyson Shontell is the editor-in-chief of Fortune. She is with me now.

There is this wonderfully voyeuristic element to this as you look at, as one looks at these companies.

But what does it tell us?

What is the significance behind it, that Saudi Aramco is number two behind, say, for example, Walmart?

ALYSON SHONTELL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "FORTUNE": Yes, look, oil had a giant year, it's not just Saudi Aramco. All the oil companies on the list saw 40

plus growth, 40 plus percent growth year over year. It's astronomical.

And not just are they growing but Saudi Aramco highly profitable; $159 billion in profits in 2022. That's unheard, of it's historic. No company

has ever spit that out in the history of companies.

Apple, by comparison, is $100 billion plus in profit. You know, so that has ramifications for the rest of the world.

But what you're really seeing here is global business is taking off. The U.S. still has the most companies on their list of any other countries

stand alone. But the China area is coming. They have about 142, if you include Taiwan and Hong Kong. And the revenues are right there with it. So

this is a big global picture happening.

QUEST: And there was the shift, the shift in terms of companies. I notice, France, for example, dropping quite a bit. It is the shift that really

speaks to power because, with the ownership of those companies, particularly, say, for example, in China, where many of them are state

owned, with that shift comes power and global influence.

SHONTELL: One hundred percent. Europe had a pretty rough year. It does not help that the euro was super turbulent last year. So they actually were the

poorest performing in terms of number of countries that Europe has ever been in our 34 years of doing this list. They came in with 119 companies.

There were 118 government-owned or largely government-owned companies on our list. And over two-thirds of them are in China. This goes to show, if

you have a really dedicated government who wants to plow a ton of money in and they want to close off the market from a bunch of other companies from

entering it, it would be pretty successful.

QUEST: Your list looks at the companies; it doesn't necessarily gauge profitability within it. You can have a very big revenue and you can be a

very valuable company. And in the cases of some of these Chinese companies, still losing a bunch of money.

SHONTELL: Definitely is the case. Amazon would not be on our list if this was a profitability list. Saudi Aramco --


QUEST: Does that matter, Alyson, do you think?

Where do you think profitability has to be fitted into that equation?

SHONTELL: Of course, it's immensely important. And I think you could argue that we could do the list different ways. We've been doing it with revenue

for 34 years historically. So we do keep a look at both. We track the profitability as well or the lack of profitability as well as the revenue.

And we put both figures together. But this is a revenue priority list for sure.

QUEST: I want to go back to this idea of power that comes from the companies. And Saudi Aramco is the clearest example of this because the

wealth being generated by Saudi Aramco, which then goes into the PIF (ph), which is the fund, the sovereign wealth, that is fueling this Saudi march

across the world.

Right the way, you know, controversially, to LIV Golf and PGA.

SHONTELL: Absolutely, the Saudis have a pile of cash driven by oil. I mean, the country only has 36 million people in it and this country, like I said,

has $159 billion in profit, a lot of which, as you say, is funding the PIF (ph), of which they're putting a ton of money into the ecosystem for

whoever wants it and will step up to take it.

That puts business owners in a bit of a dilemma to decide, how much do we want to take of their money?

Because they want to spend $30 trillion -- sorry, $3 trillion by 2030. So there is a lot of money there. You're starting to see some do. That Boeing

just took a big order from the Saudis for airlines for Boeing planes. You see Blackrock just put the CEO of Saudi Aramco on its board. So things are

shifting a bit.

QUEST: The shift is what's crucial. Thank, you I'm so glad to have you with us today. Thank you very much indeed.

As we continue tonight, the Match Group owns the dating app Tinder and Hinge and told investors that more people are paying to find love on these



QUEST: We look at Tinder earnings in a moment. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.




QUEST: Love is in the air. If you believe the Match Group's latest earnings, Match owns a variety of -- Tinder, you could see the various ones

they own. And Match says weekly subscription plans are attracting new Tinder users and generating more revenue.

This is revenue from Hinge. They grew by 35 percent over the past year. Nathaniel Meyersohn is with me.

So what is it telling us, these results?

Obviously, more people are using them.

But there a social acceptability to use them as well.

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Richard, yes, I think it is interesting that Match Group and dating apps can tell us so much about

consumer habits and the economy.

But that is exactly what we see here, from the largest dating app company in the world. These dating apps are kind of recession proof, inflation

proof; people are still spending on them, even if their budgets are a little bit squeezed. They think that this is the best way to find a

romantic partner and, clearly folks, will do a lot for love.

QUEST: Now the numbers are suggesting -- we used to always say biscuits and cookies are recession proof. People always buy them, because they like to

feel good about themselves.

Now this is also seemingly a new way in which people will spend money, regardless.

MEYERSOHN: Yes. That is exactly right, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, which is the target audience of Match Group and these dating apps. Their

strategy is to find ways to get people to spend on the apps, whether it is subscription plans or onetime likes and bumps.

So they are constantly coming out with new tools and new apps to try to reach different audiences. So it's a smart business strategy and this is

the way that people are dating, young people are dating. There does not seem to be that much fatigue with the apps, so strong results.


MEYERSOHN: And it will be interesting to watch as they gauge for the consumer.

QUEST: When these all came out 10 years ago, whatever, there was a sort of stigma and older people, they would shun them and you know -- you never

wanted to admit that you had met somebody on a dating app.

Now your generation, younger than myself, there is an acceptance. People are not so embarrassed.

If you say where did you meet?

They say, oh, we met on Tinder, we met on whatever it is. There is a greater social acceptance of them. And I think that plays into this.

MEYERSOHN: I think you are exactly right, Richard. You have a really good understanding of the Millennial and Gen Z generations.

But yes, everybody I know is on the apps. I am on the apps, myself. It is very socially accepted. Although it is interesting; you talk to people and

they say that they are tired of the apps, they want to meet somebody.

But they are still willing to pay for them because -- I think that it has just become so common. Honestly, the dating apps make it harder sometimes

to meet in person. You are afraid to go up to somebody on the street because you are so used to talking on the apps.

QUEST: And that is what we are seeing in the numbers.

Nathaniel, good to see you, thank you for joining us, thank you.

We will take a Profitable Moment after the break.




QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment, moving out of the realms of reality and into the era of the hypothetical. That is what the U.S. is well and truly

in. Joey Jackson talking tonight about dealing with all this stuff in law school. And he gave a very detailed answer, all the different things from

conviction, to this, to this, to this.

And Jake Tapper did the same after decades of covering politics. He also says we never dreamed that we would be in this situation.

It is not unique to the United States, let's be clear about this. Liz Truss in the U.K., with the debacle that was that prime ministership, those of us

who had covered British politics and economics never thought that we would ever see a day of those sorts of things.

So you have to take the uncharted waters with a certain pinch of salt. It is always uncharted until it is not. It is never a precedent until it is.

The only difference this time is the polarized nature of this country, which gives very grave cause for concern. What happens when the train goes

off the tracks.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I am Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.