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Quest Means Business

Michael Cohen Testifies In Trump Hush Money Trial; Russia Claims Capture Of More Villages In Kharkiv Region; Palestinians Flee As IDF Targets North, Central, South Gaza; Melinda French Gates Resigning From Foundation; Severe Flooding In Afghanistan Kills Hundreds; Protests In Georgia Against Foreign Agents Bill. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 13, 2024 - 16:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There is your bell ringing on Wall Street. Gains disappeared throughout the session and went out just off 73

points, 80 odd points, give or take, not big moves. There you see the closing bell and the gavel. The markets and the main events that we are

following for you today.

"Just do it" -- those are the words Michael Cohen said Donald Trump directed him personally to pay off Stormy Daniels.

Vladimir Putin appoints an economist to replace his longstanding defense minister.

And GameStop shares were back to memes. Memes and all, up 70 percent. It is a flashback some years to the stock mania.

Live from New York. Good day to you. Back in New York. Monday, May the 13th. I'm Richard Quest, back from my travels and I mean business.

And a very good day to you, it is good to be back.

The long running feud between Donald Trump and his former lawyer is now playing out in a New York courtroom. Michael Cohen has been on the stand

for several hours. The star witness in the prosecution's criminal hush money case, his testimony is crucial to this case, if the prosecution is to

claim victory.

Cohen has testified that Donald Trump told him to take care of it when Stormy Daniels was shopping her story of an alleged affair with Donald


Cohen paid her $130,000.00 and said it was done in a way to keep Trump's name out of it and Cohen says the deal was made to protect Trump's

campaign, not his family.

Jessica Schneider is in Washington.

So much of what we know we've already heard from Cohen in different shapes, forms, and guises, but that doesn't in any way, lessen the significance of

this man on the stand today.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: And Richard, I would say today was very significant because with today's testimony, Michael Cohen

has gotten to the heart of it and he has testified repeatedly, especially this afternoon, that Donald Trump knew about the hush money scheme, that

Trump directed the payoff, and that Trump was closely involved in that scheme to repay Michael Cohen and then label it as legal expenses as

opposed to what it really was, a reimbursement for the hush money deal, and that is at the core of the prosecution's case.

The question is, none of us were in the courtroom, except our reporters there, were not sure how the jury is reacting. You know, will this

testimony be enough for the jury to convict Donald Trump on these 34 counts of falsifications of business records because we are hearing this is the

key testimony from Michael Cohen. Other witnesses have sort of backed him up, but will Michael Cohen be believable enough for this jury?

You know, Michael Cohen today, he was just one of several witnesses over the past few days who had testified that Trump was paying off Stormy

Daniels solely because of the presidential campaign, and that is another assertion that is also at the heart of these charges that prosecutors have

brought. The prosecutors have said that the deal was to influence the election.

So Michael Cohen, we have a full screen for you, at some point today during his testimony, he put it this way. He said he, Donald Trump wasn't thinking

about Melania. This was all about the campaign.

So again, going to the fact that this was to help the campaign out by paying this money to Stormy Daniels, and Richard, I'll tell you, this

afternoon, I counted at least six times where Michael Cohen said that Donald Trump was told about the hush money deal.

You know, Trump said to Cohen, don't worry, you'll get your money back, and Cohen kept Trump posted through every minute of this back-and-forth with

Stormy Daniels' lawyer until the $130,000.00 was paid.

So again, we are finally seeing that testimony about this link between the payment and Donald Trump. I think the question is, Richard, is it enough?

Will the jury thoroughly believe this especially after we see Michael Cohen in cross-examination where the defense team is expected to completely take

him down and majorly question his credibility.

So the facts are out there now with Michael Cohen. We've got into evidence. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

QUEST: Jessica, I'm grateful. Thank you very much, in Washington.

Michael Farkas is a criminal defense attorney and former trial prosecutor.

Now, let's take this point by point, if we may.

The offense here is not paying the money. The offense is paying the money with intent to, if you will, subvert the election or influence the

election, and then falsifying the business account, is that right?


MICHAEL C. FARKAS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND FORMER TRIAL PROSECUTOR: Right, it is creating a cloud, a camouflage about what the real payment was

for. That's the problem.

You know, seeking a nondisclosure agreement and paying off people for their silence happens every day, right? We see it in all walks of life, but when

you do it as part of a presidential campaign or any campaign really, you start to get into questions of whether it violates campaign finance law and

after four weeks of testimony and it is like, we are all, including the jury, educated on now the intricacies of campaign finance law and why a

presidential candidate, for example, would want to obscure these payments for that reason.

QUEST: But my understanding of this offense is that it has to be the secondary effects. It has to be this false -- the payment has to have been

made and then what Michael Cohen is saying, and I then hid it as a business expense.

FARKAS: Right, so the payment has been made -- the business records have to be falsified in the first instance, if that was it, if that is where the

case ended, this would be a misdemeanor.

QUEST: Right.

FARKAS: It wouldn't even be a felony. But to make it a felony on the New York State law, that, as you called the secondary offense has to be for a

felonious purpose. Right here, that being to hide the electoral interference.

QUEST: Now, Michael Cohen has been to prison. He is somebody who in any other circumstance could be regarded, my words, not yours, as a sort of

disreputable witness per se.

However, there is -- and I read your notes on this -- there is so much other corroborating evidence that actually, I mean, you've only got to

believe that he made the payment.

FARKAS: Right. So what the DA has done in crafting the last four weeks of trial, which of course, they've been crafting now for months, if not years,

is to make Michael Cohen's testimony a foregone conclusion in the jury's mind before he ever gets on the stand, all right, to create this web of

corroboration. So that everything that he says, sort of by and large, they're expecting because they've heard it from so many other sources,

witnesses, text messages, e-mails, social media posts, Donald Trump's own words and the many books he has written. It has all been for this moment,


Because listen, Richard, this is not the first time a prosecutor has put on a less than, let's say a likable witness whose credibility might be in

doubt, right? The major violent criminal cases have built around rats, so to speak who do terrible, awful things, right? But they are still put in

front of the jury to explain what they did and how is it that the prosecution asked them to believe it by saying, you know what? You don't

have to like this person, you don't have to think this person is an upstanding member of society, just listen to what he says and see how he or

she is telling you what you already know from so many other sources.

QUEST: So if you are the defense, and bearing in mind all that you've just said, and you've got Cohen testifying he made the payment. Trump said "just

do it" at the last minute, just do it, because Cohen wanted to be repaid.

Youve got Weisselberg saying, you know, we will gross it up. Does enough of a paper trail to show a payment was made, how do, if you're the defense --

even if you claim that Cohen is the biggest sleazebag that has ever walked into the court, how do you get over the weight of evidence against you?

FARKAS: So what I would say and I suspect you're going to hear whomever does the summations of the defense say, they're going to say that DA has

done a nice job of trying to pull the wool over your eyes into thinking that all of this is a foregone conclusion, but the only person on Earth who

actually says that Donald Trump knew about and directed and blessed not only the payment, but the scheme --

QUEST: Right.

FARKAS: Right? Not just the payment, but the scheme to hide and obscure the purpose of the payment, the only person who actually says that he did that

and knew that was Michael Cohen and you cannot believe him. That's what I think they are going to do.

QUEST: Now that's fascinating. He is the linchpin. So far from just being a bit of corroborating stuff.

Now, do you -- any thoughts, will we hear from Donald Trump in this?

FARKAS: I don't think so. I don't think that he needs to testify especially if the cross-examination of Michael Cohen goes the way I expect because

they are going to get in everything they need to make their arguments to the jury and you know, Michael Cohen is not the only one that they've tried

to discredit.


But he is the one, not only do they need to discredit, but they also have to isolate in the jury's mind. Again, he is the only one saying the

critical facts that you need to determine the case. They don't need to take the risks of calling Mr. Trump to the stand to make that point, assuming

the cross-examination goes as I expected.

QUEST: We will talk about that when it happens. I'm grateful to you, sir.

FARKAS: Yes, sir.

QUEST: Thank you. Thank you.

Coming up, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight, Vladimir Putin has sacked as long- serving defense minister. Now, what is interesting about it, a man who is an economic adviser has taken over. So how important is Russia's economy

and the amount they are spending? Why put a man who is in charge of economics in charge of defense?


QUEST: To Ukraine now where Russia's military is claiming gains in Northeastern Ukraine. It is pressing ahead with a new cross-border

offensive. Kyiv has admitted that Moscow is having tactical success in the Kharkiv region.

It follows the Russian President Vladimir Putin sacking his long-serving defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, replacing him with a civilian economist.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen takes us through the latest developments.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Russian jets bombing Ukrainian frontline positions. This video released by

Moscow's Defense Ministry purporting to show Vladimir Putin's troops on the offensive.

But just as Russian forces have started a new assault on the Northeastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine, Putin is sacking his long-time Defense Minister

Sergei Shoigu. The two last seen together at Russia's Victory Day Parade last week, where Putin once again threatened the West.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Russia will do anything to prevent a global conflict, but at the same time, we will not

allow anyone to threaten us.

PLEITGEN (voice over): While the Russian Army has recently made some gains, their losses and soldiers and armored vehicles have been catastrophic, both

the US and Ukraine say.

Shoigu often facing heavy criticism in March 2022, he disappeared from the public light altogether, fueling speculation, Putin may have sacked him,

only to resurface in Defense Ministry call nearly two weeks later.


When Russia's deputy defense minister, a close Shoigu ally, Timur Ivanov was recently arrested and charged with corruption, it seemed clear the air

for Shoigu was getting thinner, Russian political commentator, Sergei Markov says.

SERGEI MARKOV, RUSSIAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One problem is corruption because now Russia military budget increasing twice and arrest of that

Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov shows the level of corruption around Defense Ministry, quite high.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Shoigu really moved to head Russia's State Security Council along with another sidelined former Putin ally, Dmitry Medvedev,

once even viewed as a possible successor to Putin.

The Kremlin's new designated defense minister, the former minister for economic innovation, Andrei Belousov, his task, putting Russia's army on a

long-term war footing, Markov says.

MARKOV: This is a very modern war. Not only soldiers, but also technical systems as armies of drones and the connection between artificial intellect

and armies of drone and rocket missiles and artillery system should play a decisive role.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


QUEST: With me is Sergei Guriev, the Russian economist and a professor at Sciences Po in Paris. He joins me now.

So, all right, so interesting move, obviously, a lot of criminologist watching it with extraordinary -- but why would you put an economic adviser

in charge of the military unless you're worried about the economics of it, bearing in mind the Russian defense budget has now swelled to 6.6 percent

of GDP.

SERGEI GURIEV, RUSSIAN ECONOMIST: Hello, Richard, thanks for inviting me.

Indeed, you got it right. Putin is worried about economic implications of the sanctions. He needs to spend a lot of money on this war, and he sees

that the amount of money in his Sovereign Wealth Fund, in his -- literally in his war chest is shrinking and he is now talking about increasing taxes

by about 1.5 percent of GDP. It is likely to happen now.

Andrei Belousov is somebody I know him for about 25 years, he is somebody who has a reputation of very honest, very serious a person who has not been

noticed to be corrupt, and so Putin needs people like this given especially that the very close entourage of outgoing defense minister was actually

indicted for corruption.

So this is very important for Putin.

QUEST: The problem is that Russia does not have a recent history tradition of civilian oversight of the military, unlike in the West, although the

exception, obviously in the United States at the moment.

However, in this scenario, what is his job? Is it to monitor the budget? Is it to rein it in? Is it to guide the defense decision-making or a bit of

all the above?

GURIEV: I think Putin knows that he himself will run this war. So Putin doesn't need another commander-in-chief. He will run this war with the head

of the general staff, Valery Gerasimov and the job of the defense minister will be actually to make -- to find the resources for this war, to produce

material ammunitions and find soldiers, and to make sure that the spending is more efficient because Putin is seeing that corruption is costing him

too much, and this war is becoming unsustainable.

Now, Putin has a lot of money still, but he is running out of money, and as I mentioned, he is already talking about raising more taxes, which will

further slowdown Russian economy.

So he needs more efficient spending -- military spending and defense spending.

QUEST: And this was largely what Peskov -- Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman was saying earlier today that he compared traditional Russian expenditure at

four point whatever percent versus the current 6.7 percent and it begs the question, if you are in -- if you are in Kyiv or the Pentagon or anywhere

else in Brussels and you're looking at this man coming in. Are you concerned -- or hang on a second, now, they've got somebody that really

knows how to make the value of money move. Now we need to be worried about the spending actually ending up on the battlefield.

GURIEV: Yes and no. First and foremost, he comes in without a team. We will see how he manages the whole military ministry. I remind you that there was

an attempt to install a civilian minister during Medvedev years and eventually this person was indicted for corruption.

He was rejected by the generals in the ministry of defense and almost went to jail, that was Minister Serdyukov, predecessor of Sergei Shoigu.


And the other question is, and I think this is very important, the fact that Putin cares about economy, the economic structure of this war suggests

that economic pressure from the West is important, and I think the West should do more.

But one thing is, it is a hot war, it needs to be won on the ground, but the second front is economic front. And the fact that Putin worries about

the economic sign of this war means that he understands that he doesn't have unlimited resources, and the Brussels policymakers and Washington

policymakers should tighten and enforce the sanctions.

QUEST: How useful is that? I mean, the sanctions are pretty brutal. How useful is that bearing in mind you've got all the -stan countries where

materials, raw materials can just literally flow up into Russia.

Youve got Dubai in the UAE and the whole of the Gulf where things can flow up through Russia because they are not following. You've got Turkey, you've

got India, you have an entire swathe of the world where Russia is -- not to say China, of course -- where Russia is able to find sanction-busting


GURIEV: I think this is a very important question and sanctions coalition is now about 40 or 50 countries depending on how to count, which accounts

for about half of global GDP, but the West still has very important weapons of secondary sanctions, and that is exactly what the western and especially

American officials are doing now.

They are traveling to China and they are asking Chinese banks to think twice when they help Russian defense industry to buy those components

through third, fourth, fifth countries, because eventually there is a financial part of this shadow economy and the West has successfully played

the secondary sanction tool.

If the big Chinese banks help Russia to circumvent sanctions, they may lose access to dollar transactions and then the question is, what to do with

small Chinese banks or small Turkish banks? And the American officials are saying, well, if there are banks, which are helping Russia, the big Chinese

banks should be worried not to touch those small banks.

So it will take a lot of effort to actually enforce those sanctions, but it is not hopeless. It just needs to be monitored and enforced and we see that

since December, when President Biden signed executive order on circumvention of sanctions, we've seen the Chinese banks, Turkish banks,

Emirati banks started to reject financial transactions with Russian counterparts or started to ask to guarantee that those transactions are not

linked to Russian defense industry.

They started to be aware how costly it can be for those Chinese, Emirati, or Turkish banks.

QUEST: We will talk more about this. Fascinating. Grateful for your time tonight. Thank you.

Now to Gaza, where the Israeli military has expanded its area of active fighting. Palestinians have been fleeing intense shelling and gunfire in

the Jabalia Refugee Camp, this is in Northern Gaza.

Israel says it is trying to prevent Hamas from regrouping there. The UN says more than 360,000 people have left the southern city of Rafah, where

Israel is planning a major offensive. The IDF says it has also carried out a raid in Central Gaza.

Jeremy Diamond is our correspondent, of course. He is in Jerusalem.

So I just outlined: Rafah in the south, Central Gaza and more activity by IDF in the north. They are fighting throughout the country.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they certainly are. The Israeli military now says that they have troops from three different divisions

fighting in both Northern, Central and Southern Gaza, but what is most interesting here, I think, is this return to the fighting in Northern Gaza

beyond the fact that as we have been talking about over the course of the last week, the Israeli military is now expanding these military operations

in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.

But the fact that they are now returning with ground forces to the Jabalia Refugee Camp in Northern Gaza, which was the site of some of the most

intense fighting of the early months of the war, it does raise some questions about the Israeli military and the Israeli government's broader

military strategy in Gaza, because essentially, what happened is they withdrew from this area months ago.

And now, it appears that the Israeli military felt compelled to go back in because Hamas fighters, Hamas militants had returned to those very same

areas. And we know that the United States, among others, has been pressing the Israeli government for a long-term strategy in Gaza for a day after the

war in Gaza.

And so far what has happened is the Israeli military has simply gone in, fought, dropped bombs and then withdrawn from certain areas leaving a total

power vacuum, which now appears to be being filled once again by Hamas.

QUEST: And the hostages, we still do not know any full numbers of how many, who, and where?


DIAMOND: Yes, that's right. I mean, we do know that there are about 130 hostages still held in Gaza. The Israeli military has said that more than

30 of those have now been determined to be deceased, but it is unclear what the status is of many of the others.

And today, Richard, in Israel was Memorial Day, which is a day not only to remember fallen soldiers, but also to remember the victims of terrorism,

and I attended a rally tonight at Hostage Square in Tel Aviv where thousands of people came out to call for a ceasefire and hostage deal, and

also got a chance to speak with the families of some of those hostages, including one woman. Ayelet Samerano, whose 21 year-old son, was killed

during the October 7th at that NOVA Music Festival.

His body was then taken to Gaza and she still does not have his body on a day when normally she would be attending his grave site. Here is what she

told me.


AYELET SAMERANO, MOTHER OF DECEASED HOSTAGE: All the parents are going to a special place and they have the time. With him, I don't have it. Where

should I go? Where is this place? There is no place.

I cannot go to Gaza. Maybe this is the place I should go to look for him. I don't have this place.


DIAMOND: And Richard without his body being returned from Gaza to Israel, not only does Ayelet Samerano not have a place to go grieve, but she

doesn't have full closure. She told me today that she still holds out a shred of hope that perhaps, perhaps her son could still be alive --


QUEST: Jeremy, I am grateful. Jeremy Diamond in Jerusalem tonight. Thank you, sir.


Michael Cohen, also in New York, on the stand in Donald Trump's hush money trial. It will be closing business for the day shortly. We will discuss

with the "Time" Magazine writer. He interviewed Donald Trump last month over some periods of time. His article, if he wins, of course, the real

stir, after the break.



QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. Good day to you. A lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS we continue. Melinda Gates is leaving the Bill and Melinda Gates Charitable

Foundation. It's probably the world's largest philanthropic organization. And the day that traders known as Roaring Kitty sent Gamestop shares

soaring, tried out say that fast. It posted a large game for the first time in three years.

We'll get to all of that only after the news headlines because this is CNN here the news always comes first.

A severe flooding in northern Afghanistan has killed at least 300 people and injured many people over the last few days. The raging waters have

washed away houses and farmland. Rescuers are struggling to save lives and the impact in impoverished areas that have been plagued by drought.

At least 43 people in Indonesia have been killed by what's known as a cold lava flash flood. Officials say heavy rain caused thick mud and ash to flow

down the slopes of an active volcano. Around hundred buildings have been buried and nearly 3000 people have been evacuated from the area.

Violent clashes erupted outside Georgia's parliament on Monday over the so called foreign agents bill. If it becomes law groups receiving more than a

fifth of their funding from abroad that have to register as foreign agents demonstrating -- demonstrators have likened the bill to a Russian law and

fair threatens Georgia's chance of joining the European Union.

And jury selection is underway in the trial of the U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. New Jersey Democrat and (INAUDIBLE) Volpe did not guilty. They're

accused of receiving large bribes to help the governments of Egypt and Qatar. The bribe sense of including cash, gold and a luxury car.

So, the Monday trial date of Donald Trump has come to an end. And these are live pictures outside the courtroom. Speaking to his reporters, Donald

Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen took the stand as the prosecution's star witness. We are monitoring what Mr. Trump says there you can see him

speaking, but we are monitoring what he's saying. And if and when he said things relevant to the case, rather than some of the election campaigning

that he's doing as he comes out of court.

And of course, we will bring that to you. But he is speaking and we will bring it to the relevance comments concerning this particular case. And if

he -- if he says anything. Michael Cohen said his payments to Stormy Daniels were done to protect the 2016 campaign in the wake of the famous --

infamous I should say Access Hollywood tape. Cohen returns to the stand tomorrow. Now the trail perhaps hasn't heard Donald Trump's current

campaign so far.

And New York Times poll released today shows him leading President Biden bearer in five of the six battleground states. And there you see, just

trying to do some quick mental arithmetic. Probably the largest gains in Arizona which is a seven-point gain. Same in Michigan, or beg your pardon

in Nevada where you got a 12-point gain.

Eric Cortellessa is the writer for Time Magazine, who wrote a cover story based on his interview with Donald Trump if he wins. Eric's with me now.

And when we look at this, the rest of the world is watching and they see this dichotomy of Donald Trump being caught paying -- allegedly paying

adult star, performers, sleaze et cetera, et cetera. And then they see the latest poll numbers. Are you able to square that circle for me?

ERIC CORTELLESSA, STAFF WRITER, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, I think, you know, it's still very early and, you know, the polls are what they are. But a lot

can change over the next six months. I think that this is at the core of Donald Trump's campaign strategy to turn his area early.


And you know, the polls are what they are. But a lot can change over the next six months. I think that this is at the core of Donald Trump's

campaign strategy to turn his legal peril into a political advantage. It worked for him in the primary for sure, with each indictment, he saw it in

the polls and he raised millions of dollars in cash. It's going to be a harder sell in the general election when he has to appeal to moderate


And there's also pulling out there that shows he would hemorrhage support if he was convicted of a crime. So, you know, right now, the polling is

really favorable for Trump. But there's a long way to go before the election.

QUEST: I always wonder how much leeway will the rest of America give Donald Trump in all of this? I mean, they don't necessarily want a president who

has embarrassed them, who has, you know, sleazed this lay around or whatever. And at what point does that tell in?

CORTELLESSA: Well, we'll have to see. I mean, Donald Trump has certainly framed his prosecutions as an attack not on him but his supporters. He says

they're coming after me, because I'm standing in the way between them and you. And that has certainly resonated with his base with a large segment of

Republicans and conservative Americans. But it's still very early, a lot of Americans are tuned out, and won't be tuned in until the election, until we

get closer to October -- well, September through October and November, of course. So, you know, it's a lot of it remains to be seen.

QUEST: Now, just to bring our viewers up to date. Donald Trump is basically going through tweets and lists of support from people who we can't verify

any of the facts, which is why we are -- we're not listening to him. And arguably, it's not relevant to the case before us. Eric, I read your

article again, I read it the first time, I read it again. And I'm wondering for you, what was the most disturbing part?

And I made some notes. I mean, you talk about the imperial presidency, build migration, detention camps, willing to fire U.S. attorneys. weighing

on supporters, U.S. Civil Service, he would -- he would gut. And the famous -- the quote you -- of Kelly Conway. I think people will be surprised at

the alacrity. So, what for you is the gravamen of what you would do?

CORTELLESSA: Well, you know, I'm not in a position to render judgment on what was disturbing or not. But what I can tell you is that, you know,

Donald Trump conveyed to me through the course of two interviews that he has a desire to come into office and concentrate the powers of government

inside the executive branch, so that he can carry out a very aggressive agenda. He wants to embark on a massive deportation operation that will

remove as many as 11 million undocumented migrants from the country.

He told me he would be willing to use the military in spite of U.S. law that says you can't deploy, the military against civilians, but that he

would mostly rely on the National Guard and trying to induce state and local police departments to participate by tying federal funding their

involvement. And there's a range of other things he wants to do that would expand presidential power.

QUEST: I suppose there's a strong argument for saying, having said, and I've just got your article. Yes. Having said what he is, if you will,

manifesto is and being upfront and open about it. If he gets elected with the exception of performing illegal acts, he does then arguably have a

mandate for an imperial presidency if that's what people know he's going to do.

CORTELLESSA: Well, that is, you know, certainly Donald Trump's belief was that he is running on a vision for America. He is running on an agenda. He

has expressed that agenda out loud and campaign rallies and videos he's putting out on his Web site and in interviews with me and that if he is

elected, that will be a mandate for him to come into office and carry out this agenda. And, you know, as he conveyed in our conversations, he doesn't

want people in the executive branch whether they're cabinet appointees or White House officials or even civil servants to do anything that would

stand in the way or thwart that agenda.

QUEST: Eric, it was superb reporting and an excellent article. Thank you for taking time to join me today. Thank you.

CORTELLESSA: Thanks for having me.

QUEST: Melinda French Gates has resigned from the Gates Foundation effective next month. The influential philanthropist made the announcement

a short time ago on X. She said it's a decision she didn't come to lightly. The organization was started with her and Bill Gates more than 20 years

ago. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates will pay out if you will her share.

Anna Stewart is in London. When they divorced. There was a -- we'll see if we can work it out. We'll see if we can stay both involved. Clearly they

can't or couldn't and won't.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes. Do you remember the CEO of the foundation Mark Suzman sort of said that the two-year trial period for Bill and

Melinda Gates to see whether they keep working together, whether that will work.


And actually, the two years pass, it's actually three years on. And it was interesting. I think that we saw from Bill Gates a statement on X as well

saying that he was sorry to see Melinda leave, and he thanked her for a work and kind of wished her well. So clearly, this wasn't a decision that

was taken lightly. And it took some time for them to come to it.

QUEST: The financing of it because -- I mean, I still -- I think that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is still the largest endowment and

philanthropic. I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but what does she get out? Not her personally, her charities, her philanthropy, what

does they -- do they get out of it?

STEWART: It was interesting when multibillionaire philanthropists divorce, isn't it? Because part of the separation agreement is money for Melinda

Gates to spend on charitable work. So, she has $12-1/2 billion to put forward to her next charitable adventure. And she is looking perhaps at

focusing that on gender equity, particularly in the U.S. and also around the world, she says. But that does actually pale in comparison if you look

at the amount of money in the -- what will be called the Gates Foundation which currently has Richard $75.2 billion in the trust in damage.

And it has given out $78 billion in grant payments over the last 25 years. So, it's much smaller, but still, there's quite a lot I think Melinda Gates

will be able to do with $12-1/2 billion.

QUEST: Huge amounts. I think if you probably did a quick Google at some point, you'd find it that $12-1/2 billion, it's probably still in the top

100 of endowment for philanthropies. I don't know. Somebody will correct me again if I'm wrong. Thank you. Anna Stewart in London tonight.

GameStop's stock (INAUDIBLE) once again is on the rise. Reminiscent of meme stocks craze of 2021. GameStop is soaring once again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a modified pumping dump.


QUEST: It's not new. And now some hedge funds are down for the count.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every so often, there is a frenzy that occurs around a specific theme or particular sector.


QUEST: Social media post driving GameStop 70 percent spike after the break. And I need a haircut.


QUEST: The day trader who helped stoke the GameStop Frenzy is back three years after triggering and then with a new rally.


All it took was this meme from Keith Gill or Roaring Kitty as he's known on X. An influential voice amongst retail traders. So much so, of course, that

they turned his story into the movie Dumb Money.


KEITH GILL, AMERICAN FINANCIAL ANALYST AND INVESTOR: What up everybody roaring kitty here, I'm going to pick a stock and talk about why I think

it's interesting. And that stock is GameStop.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Retail traders and looked into GameStop.

STEVE COHEN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HEDGE FUND: I think they think it's a good investment. It looks like there's one guy driving all the buying.


QUEST: Now GameStop shares soared 74 percent after that post from Roaring Kitty. Let's look again at bring that post up again. They're well off their

peak of $80.00 back in 2021. Julia is with me. Julia Chatterley. Why does this meme tell everybody to jump into GameStop? I mean, what's the --

what's the rationale here?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: There's two things. According to Know Your Meme, the interpretation of that is when things get serious. And the second

point I would make is such was the power of Roaring Kitty, the guy that posted this, what just over three years ago that anything by him a post

like this of him getting serious about GameStop, again, is tantamount perhaps to a signal to some of these retail players that he managed to

coordinate so well back then to get involved with GameStop that they take the signal.

However, the price was already rising, which had last week. So, I think he's -- when things get serious perhaps he's also just him watching this

once again. We've heard nothing from him for three years. And if you've watched the film, and the suggestion from that film is and I've got no

reason to dispute it, he did make a lot of money out of this meme stock saga and then disappeared and vanished for three years.

So, the fact that he's coming back now at this point because of the price movement and the rise in the stock that we saw last week, perhaps but also

simply because it's who he is.

QUEST: Julia.


QUEST: Is there -- I got one word for you.


QUEST: One word. Fundamentals.

CHATTERLEY: Oh, I love you. Yes.

QUEST: Yes. Is there anything in the fundamental?

CHATTERLEY: No. There never was. Now.

QUEST: Right.

CHATTERLEY: Go on. If your trading strategy is pure speculation, then this is a reason to buy for you. If you're buying for the fundamentals, exactly

how it was last time. You might make a whopping profit, you also might make a whopping loss and none of this is to do with the fundamentals. And

actually, we've got three years now to go back and look at the thesis that Roaring Kitty presented and he believed it could become an online

juggernaut fit for game sales.

It hasn't been. It's actually making money but its revenues are still dropping. So don't buy this on the fundamentals, Richard.

QUEST: Widows and orphans that -- so, the stock (INAUDIBLE) he does what he does, he puts up his meme, the stock rolls up. He gets out along with other

people who just got in.

CHATTERLEY: It takes profit.

QUEST: And widows and orphans get left holding the -- how many times do we have to see this movie?

CHATTERLEY: Too many -- well, the secret to the movie. What's the name of the secret to the movie, Richard?

QUEST: I don't know. Fools, fools and fools?

CHATTERLEY: Dumber, money perhaps.


CHATTERLEY: I mean, you can make money on this. You can also lose a lot of money on this. This is not about the fundamentals. The end.

QUEST: Thank you. Julia, good to see you. Thank you very much.

CHATTERLEY: Thank you.

QUEST: Open A.I.'s latest model is here. Just one can remember your previous conversations. God help us all. I can't remember what I did for

breakfast this morning. Clare Duffy explains it all as she can remember.



QUEST: Open A.I., the new version of ChatGPT can now remember and learn from previous conversations. It's 4.0 was announced today. It says --

OpenAI says it'll be able to react and discuss things like photos, charts and documents. You can even tell a bedtime story. It's going to be offered

for free. Clare Duffy's with me. Explain please.

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: So, Richard, this new A.I. model ChatGPT 4.0 is going to make for -- it's essentially going to turn ChatGPT into a

much more sort of digital personal assistant something like Alexa or Siri but with many, many more capabilities. This tool is going to be able to

have real time spoken conversations as well as text. And it's going to make it so that ChatGPT can interpret photos and videos in theory, I could hold

up my camera and say I'm on T.V. with Richard Quest.

How do you think he's responding to what I'm saying? Because it can also interpret people's emotions based on their facial expressions and their

voices. The tool can also do real time translation in more than 50 languages. Executives demonstrated that during the announcement today and I

believe we have a clip we can show you.


CHATGPT 4.0, COMPUTER PROGRAM: Mike, she wonders if whales could talk, what would they tell us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They might ask, how do we solve linear equations?


DUFFY: So, you see ChatGPT there listening to one person speak in Italian, it automatically translates that to English. It listens in English, it

translates to Italian. Really, really powerful capabilities. And as you said there, this most updated version of ChatGPT is going to be available

for free to any users whether they pay for a ChatGPT subscription or not, which I think is really important at this moment when you have rivals like

Google and Meta, putting their own A.I. models into much more widely used products like Google Assistant, Facebook and Instagram.

And so, this is going to give people a reason to use open A.I. products over those other ones.

QUEST: Right. But interestingly, Apple is talking about obviously doing a type. This makes sense in a way. OpenAI has done all the hard work, spent

all the money. Essentially, Apple doesn't have to reinvent the wheel.

DUFFY: Yes. This would be a huge deal for Apple especially because many people have seen Apple as sort of behind the ball in terms of A.I. It's

made much fewer public announcements about its own artificial intelligence strategy than many of the other big players. And look, Apple had one of the

sort of original digital assistants in Siri but that has sort of fallen behind in terms of its capability.

So, if Apple can just incorporate this latest ChatGPT, this latest model from OpenAI, that would be a huge benefit. That would make Siri much more

useful in many ways, sort of bringing Siri into 2024, Richard.

QUEST: I'm grateful to you as always. I have to say that that business of having just been through Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Japan, the ability to do

that sort of translation will be very useful.

DUFFY: Really helpful.

QUEST: And the moment it comes out, let's try this business with my reaction. See what it says.

DUFFY: I love it.

QUEST: We'll take it -- we'll do live, why not? Take our risks. Thank you, Clare Duffy. I'll have a profitable moment after the break. QUEST MEANS




QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. It is easy to get hung up on all the various sleazy details and the disreputable behavior and who did what to

who, when and why in the Donald Trump trial. Very easy. In fact, it's salacious. But I think as we hope to point out to you tonight, the

significant part is the necessity to show that the crime was committed. And which crime are we talking about here? It is not the crime of paying for

Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet.

That is not a crime. That is not a crime. You can pay somebody with an NDA and do whatever you like, that is not the crime. You've then got the issue

of the falsification of the business records if that is the allegation. Now, if that was on its own, that would just be a misdemeanor. No big deal.

Well, big deal. Yes. But you know what I mean, it's not as serious as a felony. The felonious part comes into New York state law when the business

-- when the fraudulent business accounts was done to conceal a crime.

And in this case, it was the ability to impinge on the general election. And that is the significance as we heard today from our experts of the

Michael Cohen testimony, because as we heard, he is the only one who can link the payment to business records and the election. Take him away and

you've got all the necessary pieces, one of which is a misdemeanor, the other is not illegal, but put him into the middle of it and suddenly you

have that lineage from one side to the other.

And that has been the significance of the -- of the testimony of Michael Cohen. Now, look, you can like and dislike him, whatever. There's 1,000,001

defendants, as we heard, who are dislikable disreputable, unpleasant or whatever. But it doesn't mean they're not telling the truth. And it doesn't

mean they're not the important cog in the link between act and crime. And so, as we listened to Michael Cohen and we hear the testimony over the next

few days, that's going to be the interesting bit.

You can hate him as much as you like, but is what he is saying. The link between Stormy Daniels, the election and the falsification of the records.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.