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ISIS Claims Responsibility For Concert Hall Attack In Russia; Huge Shock, Princess Kate Reveals Cancer Diagnosis; Catherine, Princess Of Wales, Reveals Cancer Diagnosis; Trump Claims He Has Almost $500 Million In Cash As Bond Deadline Nears, Asset Seizure Looms. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired March 22, 2024 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Then the next hour after that Sunday night at 9:00, a brand new episode and the last episode of the season for my series, United States of Scandal. This one features the identity leak by the Bush administration of CIA Operative Valerie Plame. The United States of Scandal airs Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern on CNN.

If you ever miss an episode of "THE LEAD," you can listen to the show whence you get your podcasts. The news continues on CNN.

But I'm going to keep going right now to back to our breaking news story. ISIS now claiming responsibility for a terrorist attack at a concert hall near Moscow. Russian media reporting that at least 40 people have been killed, including children, after this brazen terrorist attack inside that hall. More than 100 people have reportedly been injured or wounded.

Several gunmen entered the building ahead of tonight's show at this concert. They opened fire, sometimes at pointblank range before throwing, what a bystander said, were Molotov cocktails at the crowd.

CNN's Oren Liebermann has been covering the story from the Pentagon for us. He's in the studio now. Oren, what do we know as of now about this attack and about this claim of responsibility?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So, in addition to the number of people who have been killed here, as you pointed out, Russian media reporting 40 have been killed and many more wounded as part of the attack. We now have the claim of responsibility here, ISIS issuing a short statement through their own news agency, the Amaq News Agency, claiming responsibility for the attack itself.

Now, it is worth noting they provide no evidence for their claim, nor have we heard any statement from the U.S. or from Russia corroborating this information. The U.S. intelligence community had been watching this space, and according to two sources familiar with the intelligence, the U.S. had been watching a steady stream of info since back in November, warning that ISIS-K was planning an attack or at least trying to plan an attack in Russia, a mass casualty event, which is certainly what we're seeing play out right here. It had risen to the level of what's called a duty to warn, an obligation on the part of the United States to warn Russia that an attack was imminent. And according to one of the sources familiar with the intelligence, that warning was, in fact, given from the U.S. intelligence community to their Russian counterparts or at least to somebody in the Russian government to warn them that the U.S. sees the possibility of an attack.

Now, what was done with this information, that is unclear, but, clearly, the U.S. was watching this space, ISIS Khorasan, which we normally associate with Afghanistan, had the ability and the intent to carry out an attack here.

Now, it's worth noting we haven't seen that level of cooperation from the U.S. and Russia, the investigation itself is still very early. Russia announced they're launching a criminal investigation into this, but we saw those live pictures a short time ago. This scene is very much still unfolding, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Oren Liebermann, thank you so much.

And the news continues now with my colleague, Erin Burnett, in New York.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And breaking news this hour, Princess Kate revealing her shocking cancer diagnosis after weeks of widespread speculation, announcing she's in the early stages of chemotherapy and recounting an incredibly tough, in her words, time for her family. But the royals are not disclosing what type of cancer the princess is battling or how far it may have progressed.

Another major breaking story that we are following in THE SITUATION ROOM, ISIS just claiming responsibility for a terror attack at a concert near Moscow that killed at least 40 an injured dozens and dozens more. We are getting the first chilling images of an emerging fiery scene outside and fear and panic inside as we're learning the U.S. tipped off Russia that an ISIS attack might be coming.

And welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Erin Burnett, and this is a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM.

And we begin with the breaking news out of London tonight and the outpouring of concern around the world for the Princess of Wales. Her stoic announcement that she has cancer, addressing some of the health questions she's been facing for weeks, while leaving many others unanswered.

CNN Royal correspondent Max Foster joins us live to begin our breaking coverage outside Buckingham Palace tonight. And, Max, what is the very latest that you are learning as we all heard these shocking words from Princess Kate?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: It really was a shock. I would say, here in London, people are absolutely shocked. Of all the speculation we have heard in recent weeks, cancer was not one of them, such a young, vibrant picture of health, really, of a princess.


And the news came through this afternoon. And it speaks to the timing of why she didn't speak. It speaks to why she's behaved the way she has in recent times. And, ultimately, it comes down to the kids.


FOSTER (voice over): A devastating announcement from the Princess of Wales.

CATHERINE MIDDLETON, PRINCESS OF WALES: In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London. And at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful, however, tests after the operation found cancer had been present.

My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I'm now in the early stages of that treatment.

FOSTER: In a recorded message, the royals said she had begun chemotherapy to treat an unspecified cancer. After weeks of speculation about Catherine's well-being, this is her first official appearance, filmed by BBC Studios on Wednesday on the grounds of Windsor Castle, according to a royal source.

She explained why it had taken some time to go public with the news.

MIDDLETON: It has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that's appropriate for them and to reassure them that I'm going to be okay.

As I've said to them, I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal in my mind, body and spirit.

FOSTER: A royal source telling CNN Kate and William had been waiting until their children began their school holidays to share the diagnosis publicly, to try to shield them from the news coverage. Catherine hadn't been seen at any official public appearances since Christmas, off work and out of the public eye since then.

In January, the princess underwent an unspecified abdominal surgery and was in hospital for two weeks, a frenzy of conspiracy theories emerging on social media, but few guessed the princess could have been dealing with such a serious diagnosis at the age of 42.

The princess' announcement comes just weeks after the royal family announced King Charles himself had cancer. The king today is saying he's so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did, according to Buckingham Palace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we are moving into a new royal world. It's totally unprecedented. The king was open, Kate is open. And I think it really makes us think about the royal family. We can't always imagine their super humans going on forever.

FOSTER: And Prince Harry and wife Meghan sent their wishes to, saying, we wish health and healing for Kate and the family and hope they're able to do so privately and in peace.

Despite Catherine's unprecedented openness, it's unlikely any further details will be shared by the princess about her illness, and she's asked to be given privacy at this time. Catherine has said she's in good spirits, but a royal source said that she won't return to full- time duties until cleared by her doctors.


FOSTER (on camera): Erin, I've worked with the princess for many years. I interviewed her. She gets incredibly nervous on camera. She's not necessarily comfortable being out in public at all. And that would have been a really big moment for her to sit there and say things that she did. It would have been her decision as well.

I think she's just sitting there hoping that people now understand what she's going through and gives her that privacy that she desperately wants, not just for herself, but for her kids. And she wants them to have some sense of normality.

And she's asking people, if they see them out and about, just leave them alone. Don't share pictures and let them be.

BURNETT: All right. Max, please stay with us. I want to bring in our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, along with Erin Hill, the senior royals editor for People Magazine. And thanks to both of you for joining the conversation.

So, Sanjay, what are your main takeaways from what we are now hearing from Princess Catherine?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this was a bit of a surprise, obviously, to hear that she has a cancer diagnosis. That is the big takeaway. I think there was a level of concern from the very beginning. You know, there was this concern that she was going to be out of the public eye for three months.

And then when she was in the hospital, I think we have a timeline. January 17th, she had her operation. And then, you know, we knew that she was going to be in the hospital for some time. She was in for some two weeks, roughly. And then a month after that is when she started this chemotherapy.

The idea that she -- they sort of had some idea. They were worried about things initially. I think that's been there for some time. But now we have a confirmation, in fact, that this is a cancer. We don't know what type. We don't know the staging of this cancer. We just know that she's going to be getting chemotherapy. So, it's obviously something that they're making very seriously and they've been concerned about for a while.

[18:10:02] BURNETT: And, Sanjay, let me just ask a follow to this, which is, originally, and we don't know what she went in the hospital for originally and whether that was something totally separate and cancer found with it. We just don't know so much of these details. But what we do know is that they told us that she would not be public again until Easter in terms of public engagements. But now she's saying when her doctors have cleared her, which implies certainly not at Easter. So, that could change. But it does seem to apply even in these past weeks different than they anticipated. Is that fair or no?

GUPTA: I think that's fair. And as everyone has said, she's obviously entitled to all of her privacy here. But having said that, not all of this sort of still totally fits. I mean, it makes a little bit more sense now that we heard some time ago that she was going to likely not be in the public eye for a few months. That's a long time.

I do operations on the brain for brain cancer. Patients will typically go home within a few days and sort of be out in about a few weeks. So, months is a long time. And, again, we don't know what this is, but it speaks to the level of concern, I think, from the very start.

What we're hearing from the statement, as Max was just talking about, was that when they evaluated this tissue that was from the operation back in the middle of January, it sounds like they saw evidence of cancer that was unexpected or surprising to them. And for that, you have to assume now there are still cancer cells remaining in her body, which is why she is getting this adjuvant chemotherapy, early stages of that, as we heard.

But, again, we don't know for what, we don't know how long, we don't know what stage. So a lot of questions still, but that sort of speaks to where things are now.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, there's so much that we don't know. The only thing we know about stages is that she said it was the early stages of chemotherapy.

And, Erin, you cover the royal family, of course, very closely as well. What are you learning tonight?

ERIN HILL, SENIOR ROYALS EDITOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Yes, we are learning that timeline is that initially, actually, the palace came out and said that what she was dealing with was non-cancerous. So, it sounds like after the operation, they were confident that and it was the post operative test that came back cancerous. And so then they had to shift and obviously figure out a new medical plan and take the time there. And it explains a lot of her absence and even greater detail and what she's been dealing with behind the scenes.

But we are hearing from sources that her wanting to come out today and speak to the cameras, people directly is 100 percent her decision. And it wasn't a response to any of the social media conspiracy theories and rumors have been happening. Everything that she's done, every step that she has made in the past few months has been a direct result of her wanting to protect her children. BURNETT: And, Max, what happens now, I mean, now that this is out there, and, of course, the world has been stunned by it as well, do you have any sense that the palace even has a plan for what happens now?

FOSTER: They do have a plan. So, she will not be returning to full- time engagements, of course, until the doctors give her the all-clear. But they're not saying she's not going to go out at all. She's going to figure it out, perhaps last minute decide to go to some events.

We were expecting to see her the Easter weekend, next weekend. They're not going to be at that. Really, the message they really have been pressing home to me is that now that the kids are in their school holidays, they want to be able to give them as much normality as possible. They're not going to stop going out.

And it's literally an appeal to the media and the public to just allow them to do that. And it's really about protecting the children and to not share any images that invade that privacy.

I think they really feel that they've given out as much as they can today. And the deal is that we then allow her to recuperate and allow the children to really adjust to this, and they're going to be kept away from the news, as I understand it.

BURNETT: And, Erin, what then changes for the media and the coverage here?

HILL: Yes. I think that we will definitely see a shift in a lot of the conspiracy theory and further online of speculation. And this definitely calms all of that. And now there will hopefully be greater sympathy for her and understanding of why she needed this time. And that was rooted in her wanting to protect her children.

And we know that William is very much concerned with privacy for his family, in general. So, that's just going to be even more so at the front of his mind during this time.


And I think that we'll see a shift in sort of the narrative right now that's going on.

BURNETT: All right. Erin, Max, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you all so very much.

And still ahead, we have some more details into how Princess Kate chose to make this diagnosis a disclosure and how she is handling the balancing act now between informing the public and protecting her privacy.

And later, breaking news on the deadly mass shooting attack at a concert near Moscow, a terrifying night unfolding there. How will Putin respond? And right now, we can tell you ISIS terrorists are claiming responsibility.


BURNETT: And we're back with a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM. And breaking news tonight on the Princess of Wales, revealing she's been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing the early stages, she says, of chemotherapy.


Anna Stewart joins us now live from London. And, Anna, you've been doing reporting here on exactly what went into this announcement today, the decision to do it, that it would be her and her alone, what she would say. What have you learned?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: And the timing of it. Because I think what's really interesting is that despite intense public pressure, speculation, intrigue, even some of those ridiculous, frankly, conspiracy theories that we heard, sometimes offensive, the timing of this announcement was purely about the royal family. And by that, I don't even mean sort of the institution. It was about the family of five and those three young children who today have broken up from school for their Easter half-term break, only to have this very sad news delivered to them by their parents.

Their mother has cancer and she's undergoing chemotherapy, two very scary words. And, of course, this comes weeks after those children found out that their grandfather has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment.

So, if ever there was a moment for people to listen to a plea for privacy, I think this video message from the Princess of Wales sat by herself on a bench, very frank, very open about how she is feeling, how this was a shock.

I would hope that this is the moment where that speculation hopefully comes to an end. And as we understand it, going forward, we're not going to have lots of updates on her condition and her recovery. And we have been asked to make sure that publications and outlets don't chase for photos of her coming in and out of hospitals and don't run them if people do take those photos going forwards.

BURNETT: All right. Anna, thank you very much.

And I want to go to Trisha Goddard, a royal expert who of course knows this family and has covered this -- you know, all of this from so many levels. But can I just start, Trisha, over the years you and I have been speaking, that this story hits so close to home for you, a cancer diagnosis and the decision to talk about it and the suffering that you go through and the fear.

So, when you saw Princess Kate sit down alone, both strong and yet very vulnerable and very frail-looking, and tell the world about her cancer, what went through your head?

TRISHA GODDARD, ROYAL EXPERT: Ah, well, as you say, I know what that feeling's like. I've been living with, not suffering with. I think the language is really important here, Erin. With my return on my cancer for 19 months, as you know, you and I have worked together with all the CNN team, nobody knew until last week.

And like Catherine, I chose the time when -- for many reasons, I actually believe Catherine's children probably knew about it and were told something about it in an age-appropriate way. But I don't think it's a coincidence that the records, that the whole story about staff being taken to task at the London Clinic, because apparently you had to access King Charles and her records. So, one guess is it could have been within the cancer unit.

That fear of somebody else leaking or putting out a really personal story, pick your time, because cancers -- you feel the mercy of cancer and the mercy of the medical profession. One grabs power where one can. And if you're in the public eye, it's like, you know what, I'm going to own this news and I'm going to talk about it in a way that's true, that's not oversensationalized, that's not the headline screaming that I'm dying or anything like that. So I totally, totally get it. It's a scary moment, but in many ways it's a way when you take back some power.

BURNETT: Right. And, of course, we know very little, and I don't know, and no one knows when or if we'll find out more. But as she talked about her diagnosis, which, of course, the world, everyone is hanging on to every word, Trisha, she also said something to everyone else who is battling cancer. Here's what she said.


MIDDLETON: At this time, I'm also thinking of all those whose lives are being affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.


BURNETT: I mean, powerful words and, you know, obviously she is stoic as she delivers them, but it feels as if you can feel and see the emotion behind them. And, obviously, we don't yet know the type of cancer and whether she'll talk about that and get more specific and speak to others who are also going through that. But what do those words mean to you?

GODDARD: They -- I tell you what, they mean a lot on many different faces.


She didn't use the phrase, battling cancer. It's funny because I'm just about to put out a whole thing on social media about the language we use as journalists and the language that people use towards us.

Battling cancer, winning the battle of cancer, losing, it's deeply personal. I mean, how do you battle cancer like (INAUDIBLE)? You don't. We take it step by step. It's not a fight to be won or lost.

And when you think about people losing cancer, it feels like you're saying you were too weak. You gave up. When you talk about battling, you talk about bravery, when you call someone who has cancer brave, it shuts them down from wanting to cry to say, I'm scared. I can't deal with this.

So, her words, and I know she works with children a lot and mental health a lot, as do I, her words are very careful, they're very powerful in that they don't use those tropes that we've come to rely on when talking about people living with cancer.

There's millions of us living with cancer, millions. And medical breakthrough has meant that we live a lot longer. So, I think I love what she said. They're very powerful.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Trisha, thank you so much for sharing that with us and for highlighting those words that we do all use in our profession so frequently to give us all a different view of the power of those words. Thank you.

GODDARD: You're so welcome.

BURNETT: All right. And next, more on the news from the Princess of Wales, we're going to take a closer look at the health of the royal family. King Charles, of course, also dealing with cancer right now.

Plus, we're following breaking news out of Russia, where the ISIS terror group has just claimed responsibility for today's horrific attack on a concert hall near Moscow.



BURNETT: And we've got more breaking news tonight. At least 40 people, we understand, have been killed and more than 100 more injured after gunmen stormed a concert hall near Moscow. Witnesses capturing video as the horror unfolded.

It's just the terror and the fear, reminiscent of the Bataclan in Paris.

The ISIS terror group, in fact, is now claiming responsibility for the ambush.

Let me get straight to our Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Matthew Chance. Of course, he was just in Moscow. So, Matthew, what's the latest, as you understand it, and what are you able to tell us about this venue and what was happening, who was there?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. I mean, horrific scenes. I mean, you hear those gunshots there, and this would have been a shopping mall and a concert venue that was absolutely packed with people. In fact, there was this Soviet-era band that was playing that night, and they'd sold 6,500 tickets for the concert.

And that's when we see those images of the auditorium that was absolutely packed. They'd gone there to see this concert. That didn't happen. This attack happened before the band got on stage. But what we know is that at least four individuals, according to local authorities, according to the video we've seen as well, some of which is absolutely horrific, shows at least four of these people dressed in camouflage fatigues, carrying automatic weapons, there are some videos that show them firing indiscriminately into crowds of people in the shopping mall. It's absolutely terrible.

You can see the response of the emergency services there. 50 ambulances at one moment were sent to that shopping mall on the outskirts of Moscow, firefighters as well. Apparently now they've controlled the blaze that has been raging through the shopping center that was set by the attackers. It's been localized, but it's not been extinguished.

40 people, according to the preliminary figures, have been killed, more than 100, something like 140 people now, in fact, the authorities are saying have been injured, but obviously that figure could get much, much higher.

BURNETT: It could go much, much higher. And as you put the emphasis on preliminary when it comes to the killed, we just don't know.

At first, Russian authorities, there had been immediate slamming at Ukraine, and it was unclear where this was going to go. But, obviously, now ISIS is claiming responsibility. How does an attack like this inside Russia reflect on Vladimir Putin obviously in the days following his, obviously, sham election?

CHANCE: Yes, well, it's extraordinary, isn't it, because Vladimir Putin sells himself to the Russian people as the provider, the guarantor of stability and security, but Russia at the moment looks more unstable than it has for years.

There are a number of fronts in which Russians, frankly, are dying. I mean, you talk about the Ukraine war, hundreds of thousands of people from Russia have been killed or injured, according to western estimates in that conflict.

Last year, there was that uprising from Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Putin ally, so an uprising from his own ranks, and now these terrorist attacks, or this terrorist attack in Moscow, it's like all sides Putin is facing a security challenge.

BURNETT: All right. Matthew Chance, thank you very much. I said, Matthew, just a return from Moscow.

I want to bring in now the retired general, Wesley Clark, the former NATO supreme allied commander and military analyst here, of course, and also CNN contributor on Russian affairs, longtime Russia and Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty. So, thanks much to both of you.


And, Jill, to the point where Matthew's saying, right, that Putin prides himself and maintains his power by maintaining security, and now you have, in the context of a war, mass mobilizations and many dead, one of the deadliest terror attacks in Russia in decades. Can you put that into perspective?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, RUSSIAN AFFAIRS: Yes. You know, I think it's kind of complicated, Erin, because, immediately, people who know Russia are going to think of previous incidents, terrorist attacks that were used, exploited by President Putin, to take action. It could be cracking down on society, more mobilization, whatever it is. And they go back, and I covered all of them, 1999, you know, back to 2002, 2004, et cetera. So, that's one side of it.

But the other side of it is this really looks bad for Vladimir Putin, because it is a major attack. And if this is happening on his watch, when he is supposedly the protector of Russia, it just pales in comparison. So, I think, you know, the most important thing now is that we have to watch is, who are they going to blame for this? That's number one. And then blaming somebody, what will they do with that? How will they exploit and use that blame?

BURNETT: Yes. And, General Clark, you know, at first there had been, you know, from Moscow, the slamming of the Kyiv regime, you know, so it seemed that that's the direction they were going, right, blame Ukraine. Now, though, ISIS is claiming responsibility and has come out and claimed responsibility, whether they did or didn't do it, they are claiming it. Is that in line with what you think may have happened?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It is in line because I don't think the Ukrainians are going to go after a target like this. I think they'd go after oil refineries, radar sites, military targets. This is clearly a war crime. They wouldn't do it as much as they're angry at Russia, and as much as something like this would bring the war home to the people in Moscow who have been relatively supportive of Mr. Putin.

But still, I think the Ukrainian government just wouldn't do this. There's no doubt about Ukrainians working against the Russians. There are attacks in Belgorod. There are Ukrainian agents trading Russia. There's drones coming in. The security in Russia is sort of out of balance, I would guess, from all of this. And as Jill said, Putin is trying to mobilize people and send them to the front. And so there's a lot going on there. But this has all the hallmarks of ISIS.

BURNETT: And, Jill, the interesting thing about this is that when you talk about the deadliest attack in decades, no matter who perpetrated it, 40 dead, the injured count is going up, the dead count very well may rise significantly, we simply don't know, and yet silence, Putin still has not spoken publicly, has not said anything. What do you make of that?

DOUGHERTY: Well, also, we have to note that the media, the state- controlled media, are not saying much of anything either. So, I think right now, in the Kremlin, they are trying to figure out, number one, who did this, and, number two, what do they say about it? Because until they say something about it, everyone is frozen in place.

There will be a narrative. There will be something that they will say, and then it will be spread all across the media and with all of their officials. But we just have to wait. BURNETT: And, General Clark, the U.S. last weekend said within, I believe it was 48 hours, that they thought there could be an attack, they said, on public spaces. They mentioned specifically music performances in concert venues.

Now, they were wrong in the 48-hour timeline, but a few days later, that exact thing occurred. And they warned Americans. They publicly put this out there. Apparently they warned Russia. So, what do you make of the fact that it still happened?

CLARK: Well, I think that there's still a lot of communications between the United States government and the Russian government. And particularly in this case, it sounds like the United States picked up some indicators, either listening or in four months or something and passed the information to the Russian government.

ISIS is not just a threat to Russia, it's a threat beyond Russia. So, it's in the United States interest to take action against ISIS, even if it were going to do a strike in Russia.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. General Clark and Jill, thank you.

And ahead, we're going to stay on top of this gruesome attack because we're working here to gather some more information from our teams.

Also ahead, more on our other top story, Catherine, Princess of Wales revealing her cancer diagnosis. The latest serious health setback for the royal family as King Charles also is dealing with cancer.



BURNETT: All right. I want to get back to the breaking news out of the United Kingdom, where Catherine, the princess of Wales, is telling the world she has cancer. The announcement coming just weeks after King Charles revealed his own cancer diagnosis.

And Brian Todd is with us now with a closer look at the royal family and their history of health. And, Brian, what have you found as you've gone through this?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, through the decades, the royal family has endured some very dramatic illnesses, often not disclosed to the public until much later. The princess' current battle with cancer, the latest in a recent sequence of some pretty bad luck.


MIDDLETON: This of course came as a huge shock.

TODD (voice over): While British citizens and royal watchers around the world deal with the reverberations of the princess' announcement of a cancer diagnosis, the princess herself would only say she's in the early stages of treatment, a royal source telling CNN she started chemotherapy in February.

The specific type of cancer unknown to the public. That's also the case with King Charles III, who announced only last month that he has cancer and would step back from public duties while he undergoes treatment.

PROF. LAURA BEERS, BRITISH HISTORIAN, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Well, it was probably a brutal shock, a cancer diagnosis for the king as well.


At his age, it's less than a shock than it is for a young woman and a young mother.

TODD: Londoners acknowledging an unfortunate run recently for the royal family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much can a family take in such a short time? It's terrible news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, obviously, it's a shame for the family. I feel like they've been through quite a few hard years.

TODD: It was just in January that Sarah Ferguson, the duchess of York, an ex-wife of Prince Andrew, was diagnosed with malignant skin cancer, months after she battled another illness.

RACHEL BURCHFIELD, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT, MARIE CLAIRE: Now, Fergie had breast cancer last year. That was announced last June. But she beat it.

TODD: This string of bad luck comes after a rather impressive run of relatively good health for both Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip. The queen died in late 2022 at the age of 96, about a year-and-a-half after her husband passed at 99 years old, both from natural causes.

But other health issues had plagued the queen's generation, and the previous one. The queen's sister, Princess Margaret, died in 2002 after a series of strokes. Their father, King George VI, died in 1952, months after having a lung removed. Margaret and her father had both been heavy smokers.

BURCHFIELD: I don't even think that then Princess Elizabeth knew the depth of her father's illness, I don't even know if he fully knew if King George VI knew his -- the depth of his illness in 1952 when he unexpectedly passed away.

TODD: A royal illness that got the world's attention was Princess Diana's struggle with bulimia, which she told the BBC in 1995 she suffered as her marriage collapsed.

PRINCESS DIANA: I had bulimia for a number of years and that's like a secret disease you inflicted upon yourself because your self-esteem is low and you don't think you're worthy or valuable. TODD: One analyst says, now, the princesses illness seems to be all

the more unsettling, given that it comes at a time of transition for the royal family.

BEERS: Health scares of this larger family, you know, also call into question the future of the monarchy and the support for the monarchy within the broader public.


TODD (on camera): Kensington Palace is not expected to reveal any further medical details of the princess's illness, like the type of cancer she has or what stage it is. Catherine had been expected to return to official duties after Easter, but a royal source now says she'll postpone all of that until she'd been cleared by her medical team -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Brian, thank you very much.

And I want to bring in now Dr. Otis Brawley, the former chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

And, Doctor, I appreciate your time. So just trying to understand here, the cancer was discovered during major abdominal surgery. We don't know what that surgery was four and we understand it was successful. And somehow in the process of it, they found cancer. So it's really unclear sort of what happened and whether these things were related.

But from what you hear, does it give you any information about the type of cancer that Princess Catherine could be suffering from?

DR. OTIS BRAWLEY, FORMER CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER & EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: Well, I can only tell you thank by the way. Thank you for having me I can only tell you that gynecologic cancers like endometrial and ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancers sometimes we will have a patient who has a problem. It might be pain, it might be a mass. They get a surgery before that. And then after the surgery, the pathologist examining the specimen finds that there is cancer there.

And this is its very common for women who get hysterectomies and removal of the ovaries. And this does occasionally happen. I don't know if that's what happened here.


BRAWLEY: I can tell you that we frequently will give chemotherapy after something like that is discovered. Also, we give chemotherapy by the way, after colon cancer surgery. I think the most important lesson for all of us to get from this is the princess talked about having cancer and it being a terrible experience. It is especially terrible if you have to go through this in public, it's especially terrible if you have to go through this without supports and many of our patients don't have the supports economic and family wise. She reached out to them and that was very nice of her. BURNETT: Yeah, absolutely.

And let me just understand, you know, as I know, you know, people of course around the world want to understand when she went in for that abdominal surgery, they said it was planned. They said that it would be a hospital stay of two weeks and they said she wouldn't be taking public engagements until Easter and all of that was predicated upon whatever that was related to are supposed to be was not cancer. So does that fit that that's something that could have been planned that would have taken months and months to both undergo and recover from and then on top of it, now, you have cancer.


BRAWLEY: Yeah. Ive seen this scenario actually happened where someone will have abdominal pain. Perhaps there'll be a diagnosis of an ovarian cyst or a benign uterine tumor at a major surgery is done, it involves removal of the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and the ovaries, and the cancer is diagnosed one, two or three days afterwards.

I have seen this happen before. So this is not -- if this is the scenario. I don't think they're hiding anything from us at all. This is a possible scenario, at least.

BURNETT: And just a final point here. At 42 years old for any of those sorts of scenarios, is that young?

BRAWLEY: That is very young for all of those diseases, although we do see people in their 30s and 40s with these diseases, the majority of women are going to have any of these diseases of the abdomen are going to be in their 60s and 70s. But yes, we do see people who are 42, who have these sorts of things.

And I will add and see people who are 42, who end up doing well. So I'm -- there's some hope here.

BURNETT: And, of course, everyone -- everyone hopes that she will be well and this will be a recovery.

All right. Thank you so much, Dr. Brawley. I appreciate your time.


BURNETT: And much more ahead on the crisis at Buckingham palace as they deal with the newly revealed cancer diagnosis. And also next new information on how Donald Trump has come out and undercut his own claim, the claim made the court that he doesn't have the money to pay the $464 million.

The clock is ticking. It's due on Monday. And guess what? He says he's got it.


[18:55:51] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump just three days away from the deadline to post nearly half bond and the New York civil fraud case. And he's undermining his own argument that he doesn't have the money.

CNN senior justice corresponded Evan Perez has more on that.

And, Evan, you know, on the things I might've had in my bingo card, of things that Donald Trump would do on the Friday before this was all due, coming back and undercutting everything he said and saying he has the money. I just did not what I would've picked.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look, it gets -- it gets more complicated and strange as this goes along. He has said for days and days and days, that he doesn't have the money, he cannot get it. He's been rejected by 30 underwriters to post this bond of nearly half a billion dollars.

And then today, he goes on his -- on his social media account and says this. He says: Through hard work, talent and luck, I currently have almost $500 million in cash and substantial amount of which I intended to use in my campaign for president -- which again, we can talk a little bit about that later.

He attacks the judge and the attorney general, Letitia James and says that they knew this and wanted to take it away from me.

That's his post. So we heard from his lawyer Chris Kise. He told Kara Scannell earlier today, Erin, that what the former president is talking about is that this is money that he had accrued from his years of doing business. But the attorney general went back to the court today and said, the claims by the former president are not believably that the expert that he put forward, again was found not a believable by the judge.

And so, they're asking still for Trump to come up with some explanation of what they've exactly done to try to meet these obligations, which as you -- as you pointed out, the deadline for which is Monday

BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much.

And joining me now, CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.

So, Elie, he hasn't posted the bond, although -- and he said he didn't have the money or no guarantee the money, but then he came out today and said he actually had more than enough to pay it. So there's all that.

I love the look of skepticism on your face.

Is there anything that could happen though, Elie, between now and Monday that could -- that could prevent him from having to come up with this?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know me well, Erin, there are two potential outs left for Donald Trump here as we head into the weekend. One, perhaps he can scrape up the cash he needs. Remember, he is now much richer on paper that he was a few hours ago because of the public offering of Truth Social stock. The problem is he can't access that value right away.

So maybe some third person comes forward, maybe he finds it in his couch cushions. Who knows? Maybe he comes up with the money.

The other potential out is let's remember, he has asked the appeals court in New York to either delay or reduce that bond. We've not heard from them yet. We could hear from them at any moment. Maybe they'll deny him, maybe they'll grant him some relief, or maybe they'll do nothing at all.

BURNETT: So well, then there's also the irony, Elie, that, you know, he says he's got the money even though he said he didn't have the money. But even as he's reaching out to his supporters, right, to get them to donate, right, he's saying that he wants to other people to pay for this.

What are the legal implications if he fails to post bond by Monday?

HONIG: His lawyers have to hate that Truth Social post that Evan just showed us because when he went to the appeals court, he said essentially it is in a possibility -- that was his lawyer's words. It is an impossibility to get these bond companies to post a bond for us.

Well, there's a big difference between its impossible on the one hand, and I may have the money, but I don't feel like posting it for this purpose on the other hand. And so, the court of appeals, as we just said, that's one of his two remaining outs. They're going to take note of that, and I think they're going to view the arguments that he made to them earlier this week with some skepticism.

BURNETT: Well, I mean, yeah, what are the implications of that? I mean, I know a Truth Social post is not something in a court, but the implication is that what they did file with the court is a lie.

HONIG: Yeah, it's a statement by one of the parties. It's well within the court's discretion to take that into consideration for sure.

BURNETT: And so, Elie, what -- what do you hazard happens on Monday?

HONIG: So important to know Donald Trump will still have his right to appeal the underlying case and verdict itself, regardless of the bond. But here's why it matters -- if Donald Trump does somehow get a bond together by Monday, then he does not have to pay the judgment. Then Letitia James can't enforce the judgment until after the appeal is done. If he fails to post a bond, Letitia James can start collecting on that judgment on Monday.

BURNETT: On Monday.

All right. Elie, thank you very much.

HONIG: There we go.