Return to Transcripts main page

Quest Means Business

Full Jury Panel Selected for Trump's Criminal Trial; Israel Carried Out Strike Inside Iran; Simsek: Price Stability Is The Best Way To Achieve Growth; Trump Speaks After Jury panel Selected. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 19, 2024 - 16:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS on this Friday and two major stories that we are following for you. The trial of the

former President Donald Trump, the full jury has now been selected, and the global reaction to Israel's strike against Iran.

I'm Richard Quest on one side of Washington.

JIM SCIUTTO: CNN HOST: I'm Jim Sciutto on the other right by the Capitol. Thanks so much for joining us today. It is Friday, April 19th.

Court back in session in Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial. A full jury panel is now in place. The judge says, he expects opening arguments to

begin on Monday.

There are a total of 12 jurors plus six alternates. Ten of them are women, eight are men. So what do we know about the people deciding the fate of the

former president. The foreman originally from Ireland, works in sales. Juror number two is an investment banker who follows Trump's Truth Social

post. Juror five is a young Black woman who teaches English. She says that as a person of color, some of her friends have strong opinions on Trump.

However, she says she is not political.

We should note this other news today, a man set himself on fire right outside the courthouse just a couple of hours ago. Police say the man

walked into a public park across the street, opened his backpack, scattered pamphlets. We should be clear, not tied to Trump trial in any way, then he

pulled out a canister holding some kind of flammable liquid, lit himself on fire. Police say he is alive, but in critical condition at a nearby


Marshall Cohen is in Washington. Mark Morales is outside the courthouse, and Mark, if I could begin with you to be clear, police have said lot of

conspiracy theories that this person was spouting prior to this attack and distributing pamphlets as it happened, but not tied in any way to events

inside the courthouse.

MARK MORALES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTER: That's right and that is how they describe him, as a conspiracy theorist, and like you said, not tied to

the former President Trump, not tied to President Biden, but those leaflets from what we've understood, just references a local university, references

a lot of other things, but nothing tied to them.

And this really sort of brings security back to the forefront because this is one of the hardest things for law enforcement to defend against. I

wouldn't necessarily call it a blind spot, but when you have somebody who is looking to do some kind of damage and does not really care about whether

they get arrested, this can be one of the hardest things for them to defend.

Just to go back through what happened, around 1:30 in the afternoon, he is seen walking in to the park, opening his backpack, digging in, grabbing

those leaflets, and then grabbing some sort of an accelerant, dousing himself with that and then lighting himself on fire.

It wasn't too much longer before local police officers and other court officers, even passersby came by to snuff that flame out. But as you said,

he has been taken to a local hospital and he is in very critical condition.

SCIUTTO: We should note that it is a public park its a number of courthouses. There, but behind security coordinates from inside where Trump

and of course the Secret Service security detail were.

Joining us as well, Marshall Cohen.

Marshall events inside the courtroom today. A jury empaneled. It does appear that opening arguments will be on Monday or at least that's the


MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: That's the plan Jim, we have a jury as you sort of broke it down earlier, theres12 jurors and then six alternates on

the actual jury itself, seven men and five women. We've got a couple of lawyers on the panel.

There is a software engineer and an English teacher and a speech therapist among the group. Monday is the expected beginning of opening arguments, but

before we get there, they have some work to do.

Right now happening in that courtroom is what's called a Sandoval hearing. This is a debate between Trump's attorneys and prosecutors over what those

prosecutors can bring up to try to undermine Donald Trump if he does make a remarkable decision to take the witness stand in his own defense, kind of

getting several steps ahead of us here, but that is how the schedule goes.

They are debating this right now, because if he does testify, Jim, the prosecutors want to tell the jury that he was found liable for the sexual

abuse of E. Jean Carroll, that he was found liable for defamation, that his company, Trump Organization was found criminally responsible for fraud.

They want to bring up the civil fraud trial as well, they want to try to tarnish him much as they can. It is up to the judge to call balls and

strikes and decide how much of that is permissible in front of the jurors.


SCIUTTO: Of course, there will be an effort by the defense to tarnish the prosecution witnesses as well.

Marshall Cohen, Mark Morales, thanks so much to both of you.

Joining us now, Thomas Moukawsher. He is former judge for the Connecticut Superior Court. Good to have you on, sir.

Just briefly, the other event in court this afternoon, is that Trump's team tried again to get a change of venue. He tried this last week prior to the

start of jury selection. He is trying again, appeals court is hearing it. Most likely outcome from this appeals court decision?

THOMAS G. MOUKAWSHER, FORMER JUDGE FOR CONNECTICUT SUPERIOR COURT: Well, I don't think there is going to be a change in venue at this point.

I think that in fact the jury selection process has proved that they could find a wide variety of people who weren't necessarily prejudiced against

the former president. So, I don't think there will be a change of venue, and I think this is just part of a sort of a pattern of trying to throw

every monkey wrench into the system that you can possibly have, and I don't think it is going to work.

SCIUTTO: Yes, a few monkey wrenches have been thrown in a number of trials we've been witnessing that for some time.

So let's talk about events that we believe might begin as soon as Monday. Opening arguments, big picture, how long you think this trial will be?

MOUKAWSHER: It depends on the judge and I think Justice Merchan has shown already that he can manage things efficiently.

I think he did a good job with the jury selection. If he does a good job in handling objections and motions, you could move a trial like this along in

a week or two, really.


MOUKAWSHER: It can also drag on if the judge doesn't keep the reins tight, but you have to avoid it turning into a circus and too often, that's what

happens. So if he keeps a tight rein though, he could get this trial over.

SCIUTTO: Yes, you've certainly seen that in the courtroom when his patience is run thin, he has made it clear. He moved the jury selection process

along. There were some back-and-forth about allegations from allegations from the prosecutors that Trump has violated his gag order, but he does

seem to want to move it forward.

So another big picture question for you, based on the evidence, as you've seen it so far. And by the way, we still have to hear from the witnesses.

There is a lot more we are going to learn inside that courtroom based on the evidence and the legal theory at the basis of these felony counts, do

you see a case here?

MOUKAWSHER: It is an interesting question because there are some novelty to it because the connection between the criminal activity, which is fairly

basic, the falsification of business records, and the real issue which is an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election is the key


If the prosecution properly connects those two things together in the minds of the jurors, then you may have a good case here, but if it only turns out

to be a series of technicalities and a bunch of salacious nonsense about Donald Trump's sex life, not so good.

So they have to make this connected to something of great importance to make it work. I am sure that is on the minds of the prosecutors right now,

and you should be bearing that in mind --

SCIUTTO: They are basic arguments, I understand it. I am not a lawyer, but is that they're going to say that the hush money payments weren't just

about keeping something quiet because it is uncomfortable, this alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, but that it was, well, one, you were concealing

the true intention of those payments and the true intention of those payments were to hide this from the public during election. Do I have that


MOUKAWSHER: Oh, yes. You've got the election coming up, looming in the near distance and you've got already the Access Hollywood thing out there, and

so Trump is presumably in the prosecutor's mind, desperate to squash any further revelations about his sex life that might harm him with voters,

with the women voters and so the argument is that he paid off this woman and that it was definitely a very substantial effort to influence the

outcome of the campaign so the falsification of the records was to influence improperly and secretly the outcome of the campaign.

That's the key, if they can get that across, that's what will bring them potential conviction here. But if they don't, it could dissolve.

SCIUTTO: Well, 12 jurors will now decide, thanks so much, Thomas Moukawsher for helping us understand.

Richard. It is going to be quite an event inside that courtroom.

QUEST: Absolutely. And it all kicks off in terms of arguments prospectively on Monday.

As QUEST MEANS BUSINESS continues, we are at the IMF here in Washington, the other side is the final day here and geopolitics is the big issue,

perhaps more than economics. You're going to have from the World Bank President Ajay Banga; the Turkish Finance Minister, Nehmet Simsek, and

Egypt's Finance Minister, Mohamed Maait. They will be with me very shortly.




QUEST: And so to the news agenda and U.S. officials say that Israel did attack or hit Iran, if you will in the last 24 hours. Israel itself has not

commented on the attack and Iran has downplayed it.

Now, what happened, of course? There are reports of explosions there, an airbase. Iran says it intercepted three drones.

From the U.S. point of view, which we would make clear, would not take part in any military activity against Iran. It says the U.S. was not involved.

However, in Tehran, there were protests which erupted in Tehran with crowds angry at both Israel and the United States.

Nic Robertson is in Jerusalem and joins me, so within Israel, there is or within sort of farther right wing factions of the government, there is

criticisms of what is described as a feeble effort, futile effort at a return attack.

But Israel itself isn't commenting whether it was indeed Israel or not.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It is and I think what you're looking at here is ambiguity rather than escalation and I think when

we talk about the protests in Tehran, it is worth remembering as you and I both know, you don't have big street protests in Tehran without the

sanction of the government.

So those anti-Israel protests were very much what the governments wanted to do in response, which is not send missiles and what Israel has decided to

do is not talk about this. Itamar Ben-Gvir as you say, a right-wing Cabinet member of the prime minister and a political influence over the Prime

Minister here has called it, lame.

He didn't say what was lame and Yair Lapid, the centrist opposition figure, a consequential opposition figure here let us say said that this was the

worst behavior of minister, of a Cabinet -- a security Cabinet that he had ever seen and this was dangerous for the country.

But again, he didn't say specifically bring Iran into it, so I think both sides have left themselves some space here. Of course, the danger is that

the red lines that kept this sort of confrontation from happening before are now blurred.


And the war between the two countries and tensions is far from over. So there is a risk that we could see an escalation in the future, but for now,

is not escalating, and that certainly benefits regional partners and players and international allies like the United States, like the UK, and

all of these countries, Richard.

QUEST: But to the extent that the ball -- pardon the phrase -- is now in Iran's court, do we have an indication from leadership there if they

consider the tit-for-tat over?

ROBERTSON: Look, I think they do. I think here we have an ambiguity that is all about reading between the lines. They haven't responded as the foreign

minister said in the minutes before the attack happened. He said, if there was an attack, there would be an immediate and devastating response.

He made it sound like it will be cataclysmic. Well, it hasn't been, and what did we hear? A narrative established by state media in Iran and later

by officials that they turned on their air defenses because there was something that they detected, they shut down half of their airspace in the

west of the country because there was something out there.

Then they said that there were no planes coming in. Then they said it was three drones. Then local media said they were little quad copters, which

you and I both know couldn't fly from here to the edge of Tehran, never mind, from the edge of Tehran or Isfahan where the attack took place all

the way back to Israel, so played down.

And then you have a senior military official saying essentially nothing to see here. He said, we are going to investigate, but no one was hurt, thanks

be to God, is what he said, that if you read between the lines, that's the government officials saying, let us just move along, we are not going to


It can wind itself backup very quickly. I get back to that red line's point, Israel thought hitting the consulate in Damascus wouldn't trigger a

red line. Now we don't know.

QUEST: All right, Nic Robertson, thank you for reading between the lines, decades of experience to give us that sort of interpretation.

I'm grateful to you, sir. Thank you, Nic Robinson who is in Jerusalem.

Here at the World Bank and IMF meetings, the president of the World Bank told me that the potential for escalation were indeed that which has been

since so far, can have very damaging effects on economic development for those countries in the region.


AJAY BANGA, WORLD BANK PRESIDENT: It looks like economic challenges are more in control, not that we don't have problems with lower middle-income

and lower-income countries and their growth rates, but on the whole, the world economy seems to have come down compared to a couple of years ago.

But the geopolitics of the world seem to have heated up compared to a couple of years ago and that is one example.

So I worry about that because wars, conflicts, geopolitical tensions make development that much harder, much harder much more expensive, much more

difficult, and the lowest income countries get impacted the most.

QUEST: And if you take, for example, this horrible phrase, spillover effects of geopolitical particularly what we are seeing in the Middle East.

That's going to hit your members and your development programs very hard if it doesn't -- if it isn't contained.

BANGA: Richard, it really can. Remember when Ukraine happened, the impact of Ukraine's food inflation was not just felt by the European countries,

but by countries much further away, who were the ones who could least afford it.

It is the same with this one. If oil prices skyrocket because of escalation, yes, that's a challenge.

On the other hand, if it stays calm and it stays relatively confined then, this is not as bad as it could be.


QUEST: Now, the president of the World Bank is talking there about the issues of those countries that would be affected, have already been

affected where economic difficulties could become even greater.

With me is Egypt's finance minister.

Minister, good to see you, sir.

The worry you must have has a result of what we've seen so far and now what is potentially likely to happen next. How would you describe your current


MOHAMED MAAIT, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Of course, because what is going on will have an impact on some of our economic resources like Suez Canal

revenue and tourism and investment because as long as uncertainty and the situation escalate, it has a negative impact to the economic situation, not

only in Egypt, but the whole region.

QUEST: You talk about the difficulties. Let's just look first of all at the situation with Gaza. You've got the potential, of course of more refugees.

You already have a large number to begin with and you have the difficulty of how to manage the economy in that situation.

What do you need at the moment?


MAAIT: The situation in Gaza has an impact because the amount of resources Egypt allocated to address how the internal crisis in Gaza and also looking

after those who are injured in Egyptian hospitals and other pressure on our resources, of course.

QUEST: Right. But what more help do you need from the international community do you think?

MAAIT: I believe that we are talking with the international community to be with us on meetings as this additional burden on our economy and our

resources because for example, the Suez Canal reduction in revenue, we need and we talked to the IMF about that, and also the other financial

implication on our resources will have to be met and compensated.

QUEST: You see the interesting thing is and the difficult part is that the pillars, if you will, of your economy obviously the Suez Canal on trade,

but also tourism.


QUEST: Tourism, now, if get to a situation where some countries like Australia are telling their people to leave Israel and Egypt and the

region, that is going to have a dramatic effect particularly as welcome to a summer season.

MAAIT: Of course, because tourism is one of our economic sectors, which should bring more hard currencies, but as I said, we hope that this will

not escalate because of course, revenue from Suez Canal, from tourism, from even investment and other the sources will be under pressure, which for

Egypt, with the current situation, it will not be good implications.

QUEST: Egypt has always had a difficulty economy, in many ways, whether it be balance of payments, whether budget deficits, whether it be trade and

industry. If this escalation continues more, will you be able to cope? Will you need more assistance either from the IMF, World Bank or other bilateral


MAAIT: I think it is an understanding whether the IMF or within the World Bank and the European Union, all understand that the current situation in

the Middle East is putting Egypt under pressure to cope with all of these negative implication.

One of their response will go from the IMF is augmentation of the program from $3 billion to $5 billion and there was -- but again, for how long this

situation will continue because eventually you need to restore your sources of income, tourism, Suez Canal and the others.

So this is a very critical issue.

QUEST: Yes, sir, I am grateful for you for joining us. Thank you very much indeed.

MAAIT: Thank you.

QUEST: Thank you very much, indeed. Have a safe journey back.

MAAIT: Thank you.

QUEST: Please enjoy -- thank you very much.

MAAIT: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

QUEST: So as we continue, Jordan's foreign minister has also been reacting to this, calling for an end to the Israel-Iran strikes and related to that,

the inhumane war on Gaza, as he describes it.

Jim is in Washington and Jim has been talking to the Jordanian foreign minister.

SCIUTTO: Yes. I spoke to him just a short time ago and Richard, he had quite strong words for both Israel and Iran saying, in effect, do not use

Jordan, do not let Jordan get in the middle of this and he said quite explicitly, do not use Jordanian airspace to fire at each other.

Have a listen to how described this.


AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: This escalation serves nobody. It threatens a regional war and as far as Jordan is concerned, we will not be

a battleground for Israel and Iran and neither of them should violate our airspace, endanger our security and our people. And we will not allow

either to violate our airspace.

Our message, again, stop this escalation and focus on the real issue, which is ending the massacres and the catastrophe that continue to unfold in


SCIUTTO: I wonder, did you convey a similar message before yesterday's strike.

SAFADI: Yes, we did. Our long-standing policy is that we do not allow a violation of our airspace.

We communicated unequivocally to both sides that do not violate our airspace and do not drag us into your conflict, and we will not be your


SCIUTTO: I wonder, do you believe that the Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu wants a broader war in the region?

SAFADI: Well, I mean, he is the one who benefited most from the recent escalation. As you know, international pressure was mounting up six month

into the killing and destruction of Gaza. More pressure was on him to stop the war.


This was the perfect divergent. Now, we've seen how world attention shifted into this escalation and everybody started focusing again on the Israeli-

Iranian conflict.

So yes, that escalation works to his advantage and what we are trying to message out of Jordan is that do not allow this to happen, do not allow for

attention to be diverted away from the real issue, which is the urgency and indeed imperative of ending this catastrophe in Gaza.


SCIUTTO: So some quite strong words there, Richard Quest from the Jordanian Foreign Minister directing his fire, as you noticed there both at Iran and

at Israel for escalating the situation and quite pointed words for the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in effect, accusing him of

deliberately stoking the tensions to divert attention from Gaza.

QUEST: Whichever way we look at this, Jim, it is turning more complex by the day and reaching a level I would suggests to you, a level of complexity

whether the biggest risk is a mistake, somebody miscalculating, and it is too difficult to then row back and pull black.

SCIUTTO: No question, and you've seen a resetting of thresholds, to, right, because you have Iran carrying out its first direct attack on Israeli

territory, and that Israel firing back at Iran, granted a limited attack, but still on Iranian territory.

So the trouble with escalation is that each side wants to one-up the other at each exchange and well, that could lead you down a very dangerous path.

SCIUTTO: Jim, we will be back with you in just a moment. We talk about inflation and the U.S. is concerned it is just above two percent.

In turkey, inflation is nearly 70 percent and the best hope for the next two or three years is it comes down to 35 percent, that's the finance

minister. He says finance and inflation will come down soon.


MEHMET SIMSEK, TURKISH FINANCE MINISTER: It takes time to conquer inflation to bring inflation down. Monetary policy works relax, it will come down,

you will see evidence of it in the second half of the year.




QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest in Washington, D.C. at the IMF. The (INAUDIBLE) QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, as we continue.

The Turkey -- Turkish finance minister tells me how he hopes to bring inflation down to 30 odd percent within the next two years.

And the Middle East conflict keeps him up at night. And part two, you'll hear more from the World Bank president to discussing exactly how the bank

can help in these difficult times. All of that comes after we've updated you with the news, because this is CNN. And on this network, the news

always comes first.

Elections are underway in the world's largest democracy. India's nearly a billion eligible voters to turnout reportedly 60 percent for the first

phase. Voting is actually staggered over six weeks. It's the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is looking to get a third term.

Colombia's opposition parties are expected to march again this weekend, rallying against health and pension reforms put forward by President

Gustavo Petro. The country is also being hit by a drought because of El Nino. Cambodia's reserves fell to 29 percent of their capacity, according

to officials.

And for Taylor Swift fans, the wait is over. Her new album, The Tortured Poets Department was released overnight. And then, there was a surprise,

actually, a double album, 31 songs. She announced the new album in February when she was accepting a Grammy Award.

Now, let's return to masters in the Middle East. U.S. officials say it was Israel that hit Iran overnight. Meanwhile, other countries such as Turkey

are calling for restraint, before things get worse and the escalation gets out of hand.

I spoke to Mehmet Simsek. He is Turkey's finance minister. He is here at the IMF and World Bank meetings. He says that conflict in the Middle East

is the very thing that keeps him awake at night. He is also got issues, of course, at home in his own economy.

If you look at Turkey, tough economic crimes at the moment. The Turkish leader has been plummeting. Inflation is at nearly 70 percent. And

according to the finance minister, yes, things are getting better, but it will take some time before prices stabilize.


MEHMET SIMSEK, TURKISH FINANCE MINISTER: It takes time to conquer inflation, to bring inflation down. Monetary policy works with lacks. It

will come down. You will see evidence of it in the second half of the year. We have taken all the steps necessary to achieve price stability over the

next three years. So, it's a process, but we'll get that.

QUEST: What's your inflation target?

SIMSEK: Inflation target for the end of this year is 36 percent, going down to 14 percent next year. And then, nine percent in 2026. I know these are

high numbers, but compared to where we are, this is quite something.

QUEST: How do you do this without throwing the whole thing over the edge?

SIMSEK: Here is how it's going to work. The -- in the long run, there are no trade-offs between growth and inflation, disinflation. In fact, when we

brought inflation down 20 years ago, we boosted Turkey's real GDP growth rate over a 20-year period by almost 1-1/2 percentage points compared to

the previous 20 years.

So, the best way to sustainable high growth rate is price stability.

QUEST: Also, of course, you're inflating away debt at the same time. As a result of it.


SIMSEK: Turkey has debt to GDP ratio is 29.5 percent compare to emerging market average of 69 percent. So, we don't really need to inflate that way.

What we are doing is we're reestablishing fiscal discipline.

QUEST: I mean, you're repairing the damage that your own government created.

SIMSEK: Let's be fair here. I respect your point of view. But last year, we had a major earthquake, and that created a big hole in the budget. So, when

I refer to restoring fiscal health, it's more associated with essentially, dealing with one off big spending pressure, largely arising from the


QUEST: The government is absolutely firmly on notice. So, you have to, some extent, shift to accommodate what the electorate is saying, at the same

time, bring inflation down.

SIMSEK: Program ownership post-election is stronger. Because people's message is clear, bring inflation down. Inflation is the most regressive

form of taxation. And it's also the root cause of income inequalities. So, bringing inflation down, is the essence of our medium-term economic


QUEST: Regional tensions, regionally. Well, I realize you're the finance minister, not the foreign minister.



DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everything you heard in Memphis (PH) is a witch hunt, by numerous judges,

Democrat judges. You take a look at it. Engoron is a whack job. What he did was a disgrace. It's being reviewed by the appellate division. And I hope

they do justice. Because everybody is looking.

And nobody -- no business is coming into the city. None whatsoever. They are looking at that case, that case is a threat to democracy, frankly, what

took place with the A.G. A crooked A.G., Letitia James, who campaigned on the fact -- who campaigned of the fact that I'm going to get Trump -- I'm

going to give Trump. That's all she said for two years.

And its -- people don't want to see this stuff, where you have violent criminals all over the streets of New York, and nothing happens. So, even

when they catch them, they let them go. No bail -- no bail whatsoever.

So, this is just a concerted witch hunt, whether it's Judge Kaplan with a person, I have no idea until they called and said they are suing us. I had

no idea who this person was. Who are this judge -- or if you look at Engoron, where he said that Mar-a-Lago, whichever was worth a billion or a

billion and a half now, she said it was where they keep and get tell us because that suited his narrative.

But what -- what's happening in this city and all over the country, but what's happening in particular in this city, some are very good, by the

way. Some are very fair, versus really the cities that are thriving.

But what's happening here with the judicial system is an outrage, and all over the world, they are watching it, and all over the world they are

saying, this is a giant witch hunt, to try and hurt a campaign that's beating the worst president in history.

Biden is the worst president in the history of our country, beating him by a lot. And this is the only way they think they can win, but it's not going

to work. Thank you very much, everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prior warnings (INAUDIBLE)., sir. Prior warnings (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think of the (INAUDIBLE), sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you still support Speaker Johnson.


QUEST: So, that's Donald Trump, former president who has just been speaking in New York.

Jim Sciutto. is with me.


QUEST: It is difficult, Jim, to know, which case he is referring -- I mean, he's talking this case about the Letitia James and the A.G. in New York,

and that. But he's difficult to know, in which case, he's referring to, what -- and which judge he is referring to, and -- when he comes out with

these rounded criticisms.

I want -- while you're answering that, I just will be fact checking one or two other things that he said.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's important to fact check has nothing that he said his new. He says essentially the same thing every time he walks into and out of

the courthouse, which is he paints with a broad brush, every prosecution against him as being somehow unfair.

The fact is, he's lost in court many times going back to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election. He loses in court. And he finds himself in a

trial that he hoped to avoid. And he's lodging the same attacks again.

Another fact check and a frequent one, he will frequently say that all businesses leaving New York or that crime is up and it's the highest it's

ever been. Those are also factually untrue statements.

In fact, crime has been going down in New York City. But as you say, Richard, you do often have to fact check the man.

QUEST: Right. And on that, the case he's referring to, of course, in the Letitia James. It is the case where the business, the huge records --




QUEST: And the fraud case, where he's got this massive debt to pay back, where the attorney general was going for the bond.


QUEST: And he talked about the Judge Kaplan in that case. Well, you've got Judge Kaplan in that case, you've got Judge Merchan in this particular


Interestingly, he taught -- he's criticizing the judiciary and the judicial system.

The New York Times and in editorial in the last 24 hours, says, you may -- you probably read it, Jim, but it basically makes clear he is abusing the

very or he is getting the advantage of the very system that he has tried to deny others in the past.

SCIUTTO: True, it is -- by the way, he is using the system. He is using legal rights that a defendant has in civil cases, criminal cases to appeal,

to question jurors, et cetera.

So, he's using the protections of the system, but the trouble is, he loses sometimes. And when he loses, he accuses the system of being unfair against


The issue, one of the many issues, though, is that as he attacks, judges and others involved, there have been gag orders issued, so that he doesn't

cross the line as to what's illegal in terms of those attacks. And we should note in this case, the prosecutors have cited a number of instances

in which they alleged that he has gone beyond the gag order in terms of some of the attacks that he lays out.

That's going to be a dynamic that we're watching frequently, as this case plays out going forward.

QUEST: Next week is going to be difficult, isn't it? Because it's a criminal case. We'll have -- there's no court -- there is no cameras in

court next week. So, we're going to have opening statements, then, we'll have starting to get the evidence. The jury will hear it in its purity, in

a sense. The rest of us will have to take it from what we hear.

SCIUTTO: It's a good point, because New York is a place that does not have cameras in the courtroom. That the downside of that right is that when

Trump comes out and speaks to the cameras, he can characterize things inside the courtroom that we weren't able to see. So, therefore, we don't

know if his characterization is true.

There are others inside who later can give their view of it. But that's going to be -- that's going to be a handicap in this as we -- as we go



QUEST: Right.

SCIUTTO: The reason you don't have cameras in the courtroom, is they worry about, well, over dramatizing the events to some degree.

QUEST: One point, Jim, just while we're talking, the New York Appeals Court judge has denied Donald Trump's request to change the venue.


SCIUTTO: Yes. That's right.

QUEST: The latest attempt, it was Judge Marsha Michael, she gave them five minutes each. And basically, this is now the trial that will start.


QUEST: So, no change. I mean, I heard your interviews earlier. Nobody expected really for a second, bearing in mind that the jury is impaneled

Merchan, didn't think it was necessary. Nobody else.


QUEST: But Jim, just one fact, since it's a Friday, we've got a bit of an extra second or three to this over. Each time I pick up my phone, and there

is an e-mail or a blurb, or there's some other alert from within the CNN system.

It's about some other appeal case, some district judge, some other judge, denying another application. I can't keep up with it.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Well, listen, I mean, that's part of the system that he's taking advantage of you have the right to appeal. And he has appeal, the

trouble is he's lost repeatedly, including on this latest attempt to change the venue.

And we should note, two points I'll make before we go. One, Trump comes out of the courtroom, alleges the whole system is corrupt. His lawyers are not

making that argument in court, where it matters. They are not making that argument because they don't -- well, they don't believe they have a basis

to make that argument in court. So, that's one note.

The second note is this. He's arguing for a change of venue. But a -- but a jury is now impaneled, including jurors that his own lawyers did not object

to. Right?

They had their objective -- objections for cause and their peremptory strikes. So, there are jurors on that panel that they did not object to

presumption being they didn't make an argument that those jurors now seated are unfair to him.

But Trump himself will make his own argument.

QUEST: All right. We have a chance of a bit of a break over the weekend. You're going to need all the strength and stamina next week. We'll be

talking. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We'll be back in just a moment.




In Africa, huge two and three-wheeler motorbike market grows ever stronger to extraordinary growth. In fact, according to the U.N., there are 27

million such bikes in 2020.

The Ghana startup was called Wahu mobility and it aims to go all electric, which is a good place to go connecting Africa.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the busy streets of Accra, Ghana, riders are shifting gears to embrace an alternate mode of transport, e-bikes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Africa has a incredibly bright future for electric mobility,

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: electric vehicle startup, Wahu mobility is one of the key drivers behind the country's budding E.V. movement.

VALERIE LABI, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WAHU MOBILITY: We designed an electric vehicle that actually suits the infrastructure and the road


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The company has just opened Ghana's first E.V. assembly plants. It has the capacity to build 200 e-bikes a month, with

plans to expand rapidly.

LABI: A lot of complaining production has to happen in Asia. So, looking at how we localized components is a huge opportunity for local artisans. We

can scale this facility up to 2,000 bikes a month, and that would allow us not just to sell in Ghana, but across to echo us, have partnerships across

the continent, and potentially sell into Europe, Asia, and other markets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Co-founder and CEO, Valerie Labi, says she wanted to find a way to promote a more sustainable last mile delivery option.

LABI: By 2030, There'll be 30 million delivery riders across Africa. And it just made me think as a continent, we are more conscious around becoming

sustainable and moving to net zero and transport was just a huge opportunity to make a difference in that way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So far, they say very bikes are rolling out the door faster than they can build them.

IAN MBOTE, HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY, WAHU MOCILITY: Our vehicle not only plugs into the needs of a Ghanaian customer, but plugs into the needs of a South

African customer, a Zambian customer, and this is why I see vast opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And with help of the African Free Trade Agreement, a deal aimed at boosting intra Africa trade, it believes the E.V. sector can

become a stronghold on the continent.

LABI: The African continental free trade agreement doesn't just support us to look at how do we export for bikes to different countries, but also how

do we take some of the expertise that we've built that is proprietary to our business and partner with other E.V. companies and other regions to

localized as many of the components on the continent as possible.

As we scale and as we get the right partners to crowd in an ecosystem like this, I've just felt it's a matter of time before e-mobility becomes the

next leap frog.




Now, we heard earlier from the World Bank president. After the break, his agenda. He's been in the job for 10 months, health care and electricity,

particularly electrifying Africa.

That's what he'll be talking about. We'll discuss after the break. (INAUDIBLE).


It's Friday afternoon at the IMF and World Bank. This Spring Meetings people have I think back at home, or at least they've gone to have a strong

drink. I think this is probably one of the quietest meetings that I can remember for a while.

But there has been important issues that have been discussed, especially for the World Bank. The new president knew, he's 10 months into the job.

And now, having discovered where the photocopier, the coffee, and the toilets are within the building, he is getting on with actually

implementing his agenda.

President Banga D.A. says it's all about electricity, and healthcare, at least for the priorities.


AJAY BANGA, PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK: The first one is how to make the bank got to work quicker, faster, better. You know, I call that the plumbing of

the bank, the institution. Fix its foundations. It has to take us, you know, 19 months from getting a project, discussed, to getting it approved

by the board. I want to bring that down to 12 by the middle of next year.

The reason being, if you want to go for big ambitious programs, which to me is the holy grail of development, which is scalability and replicability of

programs to measure impact. I can't do that without a fixed foundation.

QUEST: All that too many MDBs. That seems to be one round every corner, they seem to be competing for the same projects. I wonder whether we don't

need to take the secretaries to them, and just bring them back.

BANGA: I think the general fragmentation across the development -- there for the framework is quite a challenge. I don't think it's MDBs, because,

in fact, a lot of the MDBs have geographic capabilities and deeper reach.

So, I, for example, have a great partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank. They reach in Latin America is even better than ours,

Well, similarly, a partnership of now striking the African Development Bank, while we are much bigger than them in Africa, they have unique

specializations, too.


QUEST: When people arrived from the private sector, into these institutions, they usually -- besides spending a bit of time finding where

the photocopier or the coffee in the bathrooms are.


BANGA: And the coffee machines.

QUEST: And the coffee machines.


QUEST: And -- but there's also a moment of -- my word -- of horror. When they realized how big they are, how sclerotic, how bureaucratic, have you

gone through that period?

BANGA: Yes. But, you know, I'll just remind you, the private sector has its own bureaucracies and silos, I think all institutions pick this up. And,

you know, public sector institutions or multilateral banks are not immune to that.

I think we're making progress. Because what I've learned over time, is the first thing is one-third of the people in an institution are keen to make

that difference happen every day.

And other one-third have got used to the way it works. The last one-third are certain to watch which way the wind will go.

The trick is to get that one-third to come on the side of the first one- third, so that two-third are driving for change. You get that going as a leader, and you will have the best assets of the institution aligned behind


QUEST: So, you've had that moment of --


BANGA: Oh, I've had the moment. Yes, yes, yes.

The moment of oops, where am I? And then, you kind of say, I am here, I'm going to make a difference.

QUEST: How do you prevent yourself from being in the ivory tower? The president of World Bank? Well, I mean, it sounds great.

BANGA: For the first thing you do is to tell everyone to call you, Ajay, which I --


QUEST: Which they don't.

BANGA: Which they do, actually, more and more now. In the beginning, they were, it can't be. Now, they are getting used to it. The second thing I do

is I basically I'm informal, and not change from the way I used to be. I think it helps.

It takes time for the culture to seep in. But you're absolutely correct. Avoiding formality to me is part of the change.


QUEST: Me and my new best friend, Ajay. No, let's just stick to Mr. President.

Let me quickly tell you, we now know that opening statements and the Donald Trump trial will begin on Monday at 9:30 in the morning.

The court has confirmed it will be two half day sittings, with the court rising on Monday and Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., because it is, of course,

Passover and seder services at dusk in -- on Monday and Tuesday. But the case will begin in full on Monday.

We'll have full coverage, of course, and we'll always have a "PROFITABLE MOMENT" after the break.


QUEST: So, the world -- IMF meetings, strangle on the spring meetings. Tonight's "PROFITABLE MOMENT", they have not been the most exciting or the

most vibrant or indeed, perhaps the most illuminating, but they have been significant.

For me, I think the most interesting part has been talking to the new World Bank president, and hearing his view on the future in the sense of


He's got it right. Getting rid of the formality, the protocol. Where everybody worries about who is saying what, when, and why? And provided

people like comfortable in the way things move forward. Well, I think you make real progress.

At a time of such uncertainty, we need more direction and people like that to lead us forward in trouble's time.


And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" for this Friday night. I'm Richard Quest in Washington, D.C.

Whatever your up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.

I'm off now to Vietnam. We'll see you next week.