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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Jury: Trump Must Pay E. Jean Carroll $83.3 Million In Damages; Haley Attacks Trump As "Totally Unhinged"; U.S. Ski Star Mikaela Shiffrin Hospitalized After Crash. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired January 26, 2024 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Very full night. There's a lot more ahead, on the landmark verdict, $83.3 million against the former President.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: And tonight, straight from THE SOURCE.

The staggering cost of Donald Trump's own words, $83 million, for years of defaming the writer, E. Jean Carroll, even after a jury found that he sexually abused her. But is this enough to make it stop? We'll see. Because Trump is raging, tonight, not even sticking around in court, to hear the verdict as it was read.

Tonight, we have two insiders, with their takes here. Someone who was in the courtroom; along with the person, who first told E. Jean Carroll, to consider suing Donald Trump, the chance run-in at a party that got this case going.

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

An astounding $83.3 million. That's on top of the $5 million that Trump was already ordered, by a jury, to pay E. Jean Carroll, after he was found liable, for sexually abusing her, in the 1990s. Today's eye- popping number is for defaming Carroll, in 2019.

There she is, with her legal team today, after the decision made, by nine jurors, seven men and two women, who deliberated for less than three hours.

As you might imagine, Trump is livid tonight, not even staying at the court, for the verdict to be read. He actually left twice today. The first time, storming out as Carroll's attorney was making her closing argument. This is a court sketch of that moment. There were no cameras inside.

Earlier tonight, Trump took to social media, posting quote, "Absolutely ridiculous. I fully disagree with both verdicts, and" we "will be appealing." He also tried to blame President Biden, who I should note is not involved, in this case, and was in Delaware in 2019, not in the White House, when Carroll filed that initial lawsuit.

Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, whom the judge at one point today, threatened to lock up if she didn't sit down and follow the court rules, caused quite a scene outside, after that verdict was read.


ALINA HABBA, TRUMP LAWYER: I am so proud to stand with President -- President Trump. But I am not proud to stand with what I saw in that courtroom.

Don't get it twisted. We are seeing a violation of our justice system.

We will immediately appeal.


COLLINS: There's a lot to unpack, in those comments. And we will do that in just a moment, with our experts.

In a statement, tonight, E. Jean Carroll called the jury's decision a "Huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down."

Her attorney responded, with Anderson Cooper, just moments ago.


COOPER: Do you think that act, of getting up and walking out hurt, in terms of -- or made any difference with the jury?

ROBERTA KAPLAN, E. JEAN CARROLL'S ATTORNEY: I think it hurt him terribly. I mean, our whole case was about the fact that Donald Trump is unable to follow the law, unable to follow the rules. He thinks they don't apply to him.

And as bad as what he did to E. Jean Carroll was, and the sexual assault was terrible, and as horrifying as the defamation was, back in 2019, the most amazing, shocking part of it all is that he kept on doing it. And he kept on doing it, even during the trial.

And he should be on notice that if he keeps saying it, it could cost him a lot more money.


COLLINS: Back in July 2019, it was this email that you see here, that introduced E. Jean Carroll, to that attorney, Roberta Kaplan. Said quote, "Jean and Robbie, I'm putting you" on this together "so that you can get in touch."

The person, who sent that email, is here with me now, conservative attorney, George Conway.

George, I just wonder what your reaction was, as we've been watching this, and talking about this, when you heard that $83 million verdict.


I was not surprised because I felt that all along a just verdict would be on the order, of $75 million to $100 million, possibly even more. But to actually see justice done, in this case, I found it quite moving. And I have to confess, I had to go out and take a walk, to compose myself.

It was staggering in that sense. But it was actually -- but it was well-deserved. I mean, it brings to mind the old saying, the saying, I think, attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King. The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Well, litigation is a part of that.


Litigation takes a long time. It takes a long time, to bring someone to justice, both civilly and criminally. But when justice comes, it comes with a bang.

COLLINS: And you think this is justice?

CONWAY: It is absolutely justice. And it's almost -- I almost feel it's like trivializing it, to talk about the law, and about punitive damages, and about the politics of this all.

Because it really, this is really a morality play, as part of a larger morality play, involving this one man and the country. It's about -- it's about right and wrong. It's about truth and lies. It's about justice, and injustice.

This is about nine regular people, in New York, picked randomly, giving justice, and meting it out to a man, who was President of the United States, a man who has, by his own account, billions of dollars, and showing to the world that America still stands for justice.

That still means it doesn't mean what Donald Trump wants it to mean, which is that he can do whatever he wants, with impunity, that he is above the law that he -- that he is accountable to no one. He is accountable. And the jury today made that perfectly clear.

COLLINS: Do you think it'll stop him from talking about her?

CONWAY: Maybe for a few hours. Maybe for a few days. We've seen it before. We've seen him say and do outrageous things.

And early on, in his presidency, we'd see him say the most insane things, and then all of a sudden, he'd tamp it down, for a few hours, and read from a teleprompter, and they'd say, oh, this is the new Donald Trump.

Well, there is no new Donald Trump. The Donald Trump that you see today is the same Donald Trump that people have, who have been watching him closely, for years, and who I unfortunately had to watch, over the last several years, it's the same Donald Trump. He is, as Judge Kaplan, the president judge in this case, said, he's somebody, who can't control himself.

And he can't control himself because he's a deeply disturbed, a deeply morally bereft human being, who has no conscience, has no morality, has no empathy, has no remorse, and is sadistic, as we saw during the trial. And as the jurors saw, in the trial, right in front of their very eyes, that he had nothing but contempt, for the woman that he raped and libeled and defamed, so many times. This is a sick man. He is a bad man.

And what's most disturbing about this is that so -- so many people make this about politics that they want to support him, for whatever reason, or because they've done it in the past, and they pretend that he is not who he is. And many of them -- I mean, some of them are regulars (ph).

But many of them, in the upper reaches, of his political party, know better. They know who he is. They talk about who he is behind closed doors. They know he is an evil man. They know he is a sick man. They talk about his mental deficiencies, his psychological disorders. They talk about what a pathological liar he is.

And then, when somebody asks them to go on the record, to talk about it, they say, oh, no comment, I didn't see the tweet. They say, like a presidential candidate recently did, I haven't been following the case, or something like that. And they're all lying, lying to protect a pathological liar.

And it's about time that these people look themselves, in the mirror, and start telling the truth, OK? It's better for them, in the long run, to start telling the truth, and admit that they've been covering up, for a sexual predator, a criminal, a thief, a man who does not deserve to hold any office, let alone the highest office in the land.

But this is, again, it's not about politics. It's about right and wrong. And people need to start looking at it that way.

COLLINS: George Conway, you played a pivotal role in this. Thank you, for joining tonight, with your perspective.

Also, here with me tonight, CNN's Senior Legal Analyst, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Elie Honig; as well as the former Criminal Division Deputy Chief in the Southern District of New York, Kristy Greenberg, who was in the courtroom today.

I mean, what was it like when that moment, when Trump stormed out, as Roberta Kaplan was making her closing argument?



Once he's sitting there, it was about 10, 15 minutes in, he just got up and stormed out, when she started going through the lies that he had told. I don't know what he expected her closing to look like. She hadn't really deviated from anything that had been a theme that was going on, in their case, up till then.

So, I don't know if this was something he planned as a stunt, or if he just really couldn't take the heat. But it was -- it was a shocking moment. It's not something you expect to see at a trial.

COLLINS: Yes. Elie, we saw his attorney, who's -- he came back, when his attorneys were making their closing arguments. Come outside of court today, Alina Habba. And one of the things she said that they were stripped of every defense, every single defense, before they walked in there.

Can you just fact-check that comment for us?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes. The liability issue, which is what Alina Habba was talking about, was already decided. That's what was resolved in the first trial, back last spring.

And so, Judge Kaplan correctly ruled, this is not about that. That's already settled. This is only about damages. So, what she was complaining about there was completely coming from another universe.

And to Kristy's observation, I think it's important to understand just how bizarre and self-destructive it is, to get up in the middle of a closing argument and walk out.

I mean, we've practiced in that courtroom. You are trained. You're sitting feet away from the jury. They are watching everything you do. We are trained, you don't even drink from your water cup, if they're looking at you, like that's how paranoid you are, about giving a good impression.

To stand up and storm out, in the middle of the other side's closing argument, you are asking for a verdict, like the one he got.

COLLINS: The jury here was completely anonymous, so much so that they weren't even -- you know, they didn't just walk into court. They were -- they met at an outside site. They were shuttled in. All, because the judge was so worried about them being harassed or maybe influenced improperly, in this case.

I mean, what do you make of the fact that the judge had to go to those lengths, to protect the jurors, here?

GREENBERG: And he didn't stop there. He actually said, after they delivered their verdict that I would advise you not to tell anyone that you sat on this jury. He's still worried, even though the trial is concluded, for their safety.

And I think he's right to do so. I mean, again, just the evidence in this trial alone that came out, these really vile tweets--

COLLINS: Yes. GREENBERG: --that E. Jean Carroll received from various people, over years? Given that evidence, given what we'd seen, I think he was right to give them that recommendation.

HONIG: If I can just add to that. I've had anonymous juries, in front of Judge Kaplan, in fact, in criminal cases, involving murderers, or extortionists, RICO defendants.

COLLINS: Not in a civil case?

HONIG: I've never even heard of it, in a civil case, until now.

COLLINS: OK, the $83.3 million. I mean, there's so much talk of Trump's finances. How does this work? I mean, obviously, he's appealing it. But does it have to go into an escrow account, like the other $5 million? What's next here?

HONIG: Yes. So, he will appeal. He will ask to reduce that amount. But in the meantime, he does have to post some sort of bond, some sort of surety that will be held, yes, essentially, in an escrow account.

Now, there's some flexibility. They can work out an arrangement. They can agree to a certain percentage. The judge has some flexibility. He's not going to have to bring a suitcase with $83.3 million in cash. Usually, they'll work it out. But I don't know how willing either party's going to be to work out a compromise here. But the judge can always intervene.

COLLINS: Yes. It's not even clear if he has that.


COLLINS: Elie Honig, Kristy, thank you so much.

Especially since you were in the courtroom, during this. We talked about you coming back last night. And here you are.

Thank you both.

I want to get perspective now, from an attorney, who formerly represented former President Donald Trump, Tim Parlatore.

Tim, thanks for being here, back on THE SOURCE.

I mean, this is the second jury, to find Trump's blame, for defaming E. Jean Carroll. Do you believe he accepts this?

TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I don't. I mean, obviously, by standing up and walking out, in the middle of it, I think he was kind of making his opinion known.

But, both of these trials, they came to results that he certainly doesn't like. I think that they probably are, you know, could have turned out differently, perhaps. But no, I don't think he's going to accept it. COLLINS: I mean, you represented him. How do you think he is reacting, tonight, to an $83.3 million verdict, from a jury? Not from a judge or Democrats or President Biden, whatever he says. This is from a jury.


And the crazy thing that he's probably thinking about is they awarded $5 million, for the actual alleged assault or the -- when they found the assault, and then several magnitudes more, for talking about it, you know? So, I think that that's probably something that's probably going through his head, right now, is the kind of disparity between the first verdict and the second verdict.

And when you listen to some of the things, Alina Habba says, about how they were stripped of the defenses? I mean, that's right, because of the first trial. Had they had a different verdict, in the first trial, they might have had a different set of circumstances, for the second trial. But once you've tried a case, you're stuck with that conclusion.


COLLINS: She said outside court that she didn't -- she didn't regret representing Trump. But I mean, do you -- you know both of them. Do you think it's the other way around that he regrets having her, having represented him, in this?

PARLATORE: I don't know. I mean, certainly, from my perspective, I would regret having her represent him. I mean, I do think that in both of these trials, he was essentially undefended. And I think that it could have turned out differently.

I mean, in the second trial, unfortunately, because of the way the first trial went, I don't think anybody could have won the second trial. I think that once the issues were set up, from the first trial, second trial was a loser, from the beginning. The question is how big of a loser.

And this goes back to -- a jury is going to come up with a number. And you have to put on the best presentation to them, to get them to come to a lower number. And so, all of these things that she did throughout the process, I don't think helps at all.

COLLINS: Well what about him?

PARLATORE: And that's also a matter of, in the courtroom, the attorney is the one, who should be telling the client, how to act, what to be doing and everything else.

And one thing I always tell my clients is, in the courtroom, there's only 12 opinions that matter. And yours is not one of them. Everything we do has to be guided by what are those people in that box going to see? What are they going to hear? What are they going to think? How is it going to affect their state of mind?

COLLINS: Well-- PARLATORE: And I don't know whether she properly prepared him, and possibly, he ignored it, or she didn't. I don't know.

COLLINS: You know how he is with finances. I mean, do you think he ultimately ends up -- he's going to appeal this. But do you think he ultimately ends up paying $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll?

PARLATORE: I think that the appeal on this, if done correctly, is going to be one that attacks the amount, not the -- not the fact that there was a verdict, but rather, was the verdict excessive. And I think that that's where they're going to try, and just knock down the number.

And so, I think that between that, obviously, he's going to have to pose some kind of a bond that it's not going to be the full amount. But if they can put forth somewhat of a decent appeal, on the amount of the number, and at the same time, if they do have appellate issues, on the first case, that can also affect the second case.

And quite frankly, if I were still there, I would be looking for a way, to try and figure out how do we work out a resolution, on this, a settlement, to just put this to bed and move on?

COLLINS: Should he reconsider having Alina Habba, or his current legal team, should he reconsider having them represent him, in that appeal?

PARLATORE: Oh, yes. I mean, definitely, you shouldn't have the same lawyer that did the case, do your appeal. Yes, that's generally unadvisable, because the attorney, who tried the case, is going to have a lot of personal biases, on how they tried the case.

And so, you really want to have a fresh set of eyes in on it. You want to have somebody who is actually an appellate expert on it, which I do not believe Alina Habba is an appellate expert.

COLLINS: Tim Parlatore, thanks for joining us.


COLLINS: So, the question here is what does a former Trump communications aide make of this monster verdict today? Anthony Scaramucci will join us, in just a moment with his reaction.

Later on in the show, tonight, Olympic skier, Mikaela Shiffrin, hospitalized after a crash, during a World Cup race, in Italy, today. Fellow Olympic gold medalist, Lindsey Vonn, here to talk about what a frightening moment like that is really like.



COLLINS: There are very few people, in the history of the American judicial system, who are more experienced, with libel and defamation cases than Donald Trump is. A 2016 analysis found by -- that was done by legal analysts, I should note, at the University of Southern California, found that Trump and his companies, and I'm quoting now, "have been involved in a mind- boggling 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years." 4,000.

That includes suing an architecture critic, in 1984, claiming that he was owed $500 million, after he called a tower that he was planning to build, quote, "one of the silliest things anyone could inflict on New York" City.

Trump also once sued an author for saying that he wasn't a billionaire.

He sued comedians, like Bill Maher and John Oliver.

He also once sued Miss Pennsylvania, in 2012, for saying that his beauty pageant was rigged.


SHEENA MONNIN, FORMER MISS PENNSYLVANIA: I know what I heard, and I know what I in turn witnessed come true.

What I really want out of this is for the truth to be known.


COLLINS: Time and time again, while he was in the Oval Office, Trump claimed that more needed to be done, with laws here, in the U.S., to help people, targeted in ways, similar to how two juries now say that he went after E. Jean Carroll.


DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: If somebody says something that's totally false and knowingly false, that the person that has been abused, defamed, libeled will have meaningful recourse.


COLLINS: Here tonight, Trump's former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci.

It's great to have you here.

I mean, you just heard how George Conway, he said he thinks Trump can only go a few hours without talking about E. Jean Carroll again.

What do you think? Can he refrain from talking about her with an $83.3 million price tag on it now?


But I think there's a bigger story here, Kaitlan. And that is, how is this going to impact him with independent voters? Ultimately, he had a really bad week this week. And some will say, in

his camp, no, he didn't. He won Iowa. He won New Hampshire. But those exit numbers were absolutely terrible, for him, in terms of people saying they would never vote for him under any circumstances.


And so, I don't know if he ends up paying the $83 million or not. It sounds like he has to pay something though. Because the way these appeals work, unless there was something procedurally that went wrong, in the case, you're likely not going to get the case overturned.

So, he's going to end up paying something. I think that will slow him down a little bit, because he really does like money, almost as much as he likes publicity.

But the real overarching thing here, Kaitlan, is what is his campaign going to do, about the onslaught, the avalanche, of more legal activity? And how is that going to impact him with independent voters?

Let's see that he's got the nomination, and it's him and Joe Biden in November, how can he win, if he's involved with this sort of stuff over the next six to eight months.

COLLINS: When we had our CNN Town Hall with him, back in May? That was one day after the first jury had found that he was liable, for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll. And I asked him, if he thought it would hurt him with women voters, something that -- a demographic that he was already, had been struggling with.

You think it will affect him?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, you don't have to go by me. You just have to look at the exit polling data. And you just have to look at the cross-section of independents. And the women voters, the suburban voters, are not coming back to Donald Trump.

And I think people forget, because there's some fanfare around him, right now, because he's resurging as a Republican nominee. But people forget how turned off people were in 2020.

And so, I submit to everybody listening, name me the voters that didn't vote for him, last time, particularly suburban housewives, that are now saying, oh, I've got to 100 percent vote for him.

Now, President Biden's got an issue at the border. It's polling very poorly for him. Hopefully, he'll figure out a way, to fix that, in the next three or four months. But other than that one issue, I think he's got Mr. Trump--


SCARAMUCCI: --on almost every single category.

COLLINS: You worked for him. I mean, you know like -- I've obviously covered him for many years. But you worked for him. What do you think his mindset is like, hearing a verdict that big?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen. You covered him, when I was working for him. So, you and I both know his mindset.

He worked super-hard to believe the lie that he's telling. You know he doesn't believe that he was election-frauded out of the last election. He knows he lost the election.

He knows he has an issue with E. Jean Carroll. It was vetted and proved in court. He knows he met the woman before. There are photographs of him with the woman.

And so, this perpetual lying machine is on the surface. But I think you and I both know, because we've operated very closely with him, that he knows the truth.

I mean, there were times, when he came on to the campaign plane, and we looked at him, and said, well, why did you say that? That was obviously an exaggeration or a mistruth. He's like, you know, it sounded good. Only believe half of what I say. And he used to say that jokingly throughout the campaign. But unfortunately, we didn't take it seriously enough.

But we have to take it seriously enough now, because he does pose a systemic threat, to the institutions of the U.S. democracy, which is why I am comfortable speaking out about this, and will continue to work very hard, in 2024, to make sure that he's never president, again.

COLLINS: How do you think the people working around him now view this? The Republicans who are now endorsing him, and falling in line behind him, how do they -- how do they defend something like this?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, it's a lot like what George Conway said to you. It's the emperor has no clothes, but they're telling him how beautiful his wardrobe is. And then, privately, they're looking at each other, saying, wow, this is a disaster, but he's our guy.

What happens to a lot of people is through cognitive dissidence, you're looking at the choices. And if you're a lifelong Republican, you're going to go with him, except, he has completely and totally disfigured the Republican Party.

I just wish we had stronger leaders, in the Republican Party, after the insurrection. On the 7th of January, they could have put him lights-out, impeached him. They would have been able to get the votes, if they had the strength for it. But there's just a lot of cowards, in the Republican Party, that are not willing to stand up to him.

COLLINS: Anthony Scaramucci, thanks for joining us, here on THE SOURCE, tonight.

SCARAMUCCI: Good to be here.

COLLINS: You heard Scaramucci there, talking about Trump's Republicans, the Republicans, who are falling in line. He does have one last opponent, in the 2024 race, Nikki Haley. She's

responding to this verdict, tonight, also amping up her attacks broadly, on Trump, earlier, calling him quote, "Totally unhinged."



COLLINS: Now that a jury, here in New York, made up of Donald Trump's peers, has ordered the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, to pay more than $83 million, for defaming E. Jean Carroll? Trump's sole remaining primary foe is responding tonight.

Nikki Haley, posting this, on X earlier, saying "Donald Trump wants to be the presumptive Republican nominee and we're talking about $83 million in damages. We're not talking about fixing the border. We're not talking about tackling inflation. America can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden."

Here to discuss, former Biden White House communications director, Kate Bedingfield; and Republican strategist and pollster, Lee Carter.

Lee. I just wonder, I mean, Nikki Haley there, is talking about essentially this being a distraction. She's not really talking about what's at the heart of what the jury found today.


But I think she's trying to focus the American voters, on what's most important to them, saying that we know that the number one issue to Americans right now is immigration. We're not talking about that. We're talking about Donald Trump.

She didn't really have to get into all the details on the rest, to really make her point. And I think her point is well made with her supporters.

And you look at Republicans by and large, there's really two sets of them.

There's those that are going to support Trump, no matter what, that are right now in rage, that are rallying behind him, that are going to say that no matter what, this was unfair.

And then, those that are saying like, I cannot believe this is the candidate. And those, you saw in New Hampshire, about 35 percent of those that voted, that were Republicans in New Hampshire, said they would never ever vote for Donald Trump. And I think she's trying to go after those folks.

COLLINS: Why is she mentioning Biden in the tweet? I get it that like eventually she wants to be up against him. I mean, that makes perfect sense. But he doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that a jury of nine people found Trump responsible-- KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER BIDEN WH


COLLINS: --for defaming someone.

BEDINGFIELD: Yes. I mean, look, this is a pretty weak broadside from her. And I think it's also just too little too late.


I mean, you could see a world, where had she taken on the substance, of what we're now kind of seeing play out, about Donald Trump? That he's mired in these legal cases? That he's chaotic? That he cares only about himself? If she had made that case from the beginning? Frankly, if a lot of the Republican candidates had made that case, from the beginning? Maybe we would have seen a different outcome. Maybe not. But certainly, the strategy that they employed of essentially not touching him didn't work, because here we are, so.

COLLINS: She has been a little bit stronger language.

I mean, when you're looking at the spectrum of how they're talking, it reminds me of kind of how Ron DeSantis was, when he realized his campaign probably wasn't going to go much further.

She did say, on Fox News, of all places today that Trump was totally unhinged.


NIKKI HALEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, let's look at the last 48 hours, Dana. I mean, first of all, you had election night. Trump gets on stage. He throws an absolute temper tantrum.

And then, he goes and encourages the members of the RNC, and tries to push them into saying that he's the nominee in the race. I mean, they got so much pushback that he had to backtrack from it.


HALEY: I mean, he's totally unhinged.


CARTER: So, she did come out strongly. And I think we've seen a very different Nikki Haley, the last six weeks than we saw for the entire race. And if she had been this way, the entire time, I agree with you, she could have had a very different outcome.

And it's not just about taking swings on Donald Trump, because we've seen that's really hard to do. It's not easy to land that. And he's got this huge base of supporters that the more you hit him, the harder they fight back.

But she came out really, really as a strong candidate, in and of herself. She seems stronger. She seems to have her stride. She seems to have more confidence.

She did focus, I think, on the wrong things. And when she's talking about being the next generation of leadership, that's something that you demonstrate. It's not something you say about yourself.

Yes, Americans are ready for the next generation of leadership. We've seen more than half of Americans say that it's time. But she needed to demonstrate it. People need to be able to answer the question, what would it be like if Nikki Haley were President? And I'm not sure anybody can answer that question, right now.

BEDINGFIELD: Well, she just has a math problem. I mean, she can't -- she has not shown an ability, to win over more of the Republican electorate than Donald Trump, with the argument that she's making. So, again, I would argue this is too little too late.


BEDINGFIELD: Had she gone in early, we might have seen a different outcome.

But I think the other dynamic here, sort of where we are in the race, Donald Trump has -- Donald Trump has a hammerlock on the rest of -- on the Republican nomination.

He has huge general election problems, huge general election problems. That's where the Biden campaign is going to start taking this conversation. And I think that's where Donald Trump is going to have to defend himself, moving forward.

COLLINS: Kate Bedingfield, Lee Carter, thanks for joining, on a Friday night, of all times.

Speaking of the Biden campaign, there is some trouble facing them as well. In a key battleground state, that he is going to need, come November, some Arab American leaders shunning members of his campaign, over his stance, on Israel's war in Gaza. We'll speak to one of them right ahead.



COLLINS: A potential warning sign, for President Biden's reelection campaign, coming today, as several Arab American officials, and community leaders, in Michigan, refused to meet with his campaign manager, citing the community's growing anger, over President Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

This comes as the International Court of Justice, the United Nations' highest court, ordered Israel, today, to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza, where the Hamas-run health ministry says that more than 26,000 people have been killed, in Israeli attacks.

The court did stop short of calling for a ceasefire. That's what many Arab American leaders in Michigan want to see. The Biden campaign did end up meeting with some of them, in the suburbs of Detroit.

But the many refusals could be a warning sign, for the President, in a state that he will crucially need, come November.

I'm joined tonight by the Dearborn, Michigan Mayor, Abdullah Hammoud, one of the officials, who declined to meet with the Biden team, today.

Mr. Mayor, thank you so much, for being here, tonight.

Tell me why you declined this meeting with the -- with the President's campaign.

MAYOR ABDULLAH H. HAMMOUD, (D) DEARBORN, MICHIGAN: I don't think in that -- in this moment in time -- this is not a moment for electoral politics. This is day 112 of the ongoing genocide, where more than 26,000 Palestinians have been murdered, and over 2 million have been displaced with no end in sight.

And I think it's actually dehumanizing, to think that the issue of Palestine is now one of politics solely. I think this is actually one of humanity. And that's the conversation we want to have. If we want to change course about what's unfolding overseas, that's a conversation we have with policymakers, not campaign staff.

COLLINS: So, you'd rather meet with President Biden himself?

H. HAMMOUD: If President Biden would want to come, and have a real conversation, about how he changes course, about his actions, decisions that he's made overseas, upon calling for an immediate ceasefire? We can entertain such a conversation and sit down.

COLLINS: You posted on Twitter, and you said, "Little bit of advice - if you're planning on sending campaign officials to convince the Arab American community on why they should vote for your candidate, don't do it on the same day" that "you announce selling fighter jets to the tyrants murdering our family members."

Is that the position that you've heard, from people that only a ceasefire will gain back their support, for the President?

H. HAMMOUD: I'm not even saying that a ceasefire gains back support. I'm saying that a ceasefire provides a pathway to have a conversation. And ultimately, circling and grounding this conversation as it pertains only to the elections dehumanizes us.

We are more than just our votes. We want to be recognized for the human beings that we are. We are decent people, who demand respect.

And we have matured enough, as a community, as Arab Americans, as Muslim Americans, that we can hold the pen, in our own hands, and help put the policy on paper, about what shouldn't be unfolding, not only within these 50 United States, but also overseas.

COLLINS: Something that is remarkable is how often the president it -- almost everywhere he goes in public, he's being interrupted by protesters. The other day, it happened more than a dozen times, in just one single event.

Do you think that he understands how serious the loss of support is?

H. HAMMOUD: I don't know if they understand it. But what I can say is their decision-making is very much intentional.


When you drop a letter, on the 100th day, after October 7th, and you did not mention the word, Palestinian, you did not talk about the 24,000 Palestinians that have been killed? That is intentional.

When the President walks up to the podium and casts doubt on the number of Palestinians that have actually been killed? That is intentional.

When the ICJ comes out and rules that South Africa has merit, for moving forward a case, against the State of Israel, and committing genocide against the Palestinian people? And the response by our government is to sell more weapons and bombs and stealth fighter jets to Israel? That is intentional.

COLLINS: And do you think he sees that?

H. HAMMOUD: I mean, I think we've sent our message loud and clear. And I think as he's traveling the country, he's realizing that the protests are in large, real. People do not want to support a candidate, who stands by defense, and funds a genocide.

There is no reason, for anybody, in the U.S. government, to be standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder, with the war criminal, Benjamin Netanyahu. I think that's a very low bar that as residents, as American citizens, we're asking for.

COLLINS: Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, thank you, for joining, tonight.


COLLINS: And when we return, the major scare, for American skier, Mikaela Shiffrin, the Olympian crashing on a mountain, today, during a competition, in Italy. Fellow Olympic skier and champ, Lindsey Vonn is here.



COLLINS: A terrifying moment, for U.S. skiing superstar, Mikaela Shiffrin, hospitalized today, after this crash, on the slopes. The 28- year-old lost control during the women's downhill event, in Cortina, Italy, flying into the nets, surrounding the slope.

A few hours ago, we got an update, from the gold medalist. She posted this picture, on Instagram, saying that she is recovering. She's very thankful it's not worse. But also said it's hard to say when she'll be able to ski again. Perspective tonight, from the former Team USA skier, and gold medalist herself, Lindsey Vonn, who also suffered a similar injury, in 2011, and went on to win the Super-G, the next day, I should note.

Lindsey, I'm so glad you're here, just because, I mean, very few people know what it's like, to be in a moment like this. What was your reaction, when you saw that today?

LINDSEY VONN, OLYMPIC SKIING GOLD MEDALIST AND ENTREPRENEUR: Yes, I mean, I think everyone that was watching was incredibly nervous. I mean the hopes and dreams of American skiing, went into the nets.

But I'm really thankful that she's OK.

She went and got her knee checked out. And from my reports, she has a sprained MCL, which is definitely a very, I would say, good injury, considering what could have happened. She definitely went into those nets, really hard.

So, again, I'm really thankful that she's OK. And I think everyone else is as well.

COLLINS: And a sprained MCL is what you had in 2011, right?

VONN: Yes, I actually did, I had a crash, right before the Super-G, in the downhill training run. I went to the hospital, pretty much same -- same situation as she had. And then, the next day had the Super-G, and I came back.

But I'm a downhiller, and I'm used to crashing. In ski racing, we crash all the time, and it's so important to be able to just, find a way to get back up.

And Mikaela is really tough. But she hasn't had many injuries, thankfully. She's mitigated -- mitigated her risk, by being really careful what races she enters in. And I think it's been a great tactic so far. It's served her very well. She obviously has 95 World Cup wins. And she knows what she's doing.

But I think it's different, when you fall in downhill. You're going a lot faster. You're going anywhere between 70 and 85 miles an hour. She definitely hit the fence hard. So, I'm sure she's going to be sore. And I'm sure she's going to be back soon. I know she's trying to get her bearings, right now, as everyone does when they crash.

And, I think, again, considering all of the racers that crashed today, she escaped really lucky. I mean, there were 12 girls that crashed. One of them had a season-ending injury to her ACL and meniscus. So, a sprained MCL, I think, that's a -- that's honestly a win.

COLLINS: What's it like, I mean, recovering from that? Because obviously, it's not just -- it's not just physical, but it's kind of a mental recovery as well.

VONN: Yes, absolutely. I mean, thankfully, MCL is the ligament that gets the most blood flow in the body. So, recovery is, pretty quick. But I think, like you said, this is more of a mental comeback than it is a physical. I mean, obviously, she wants to be confident, when she gets back on snow.

But when you, again, when you crash in downhill, when you hit the fences, going that fast, sometimes, it just takes a minute, to get your bearings, and to really find that confidence again.

So, she likes to be methodical, in the way she approaches things. She likes training, and to feel that confidence, in her training. So, I'm sure she's just going to take her time, be really smart about it. She's got plenty of years of racing left ahead of her, so, no reason to risk, at this point.

COLLINS: For people, mere mortals, like us, who are not Olympic and gold medal skiers, I mean, it looks almost kind of easy, sometimes, watching you all do this, because you do it is so perfectly.

I mean, what's even going through your mind, when you are crashing, like that? Is it happening so quickly that you don't even -- how long does it take to like, realize it almost?

VONN: Yes, I mean, it's happening so fast, you most of the time, don't have much time to react. Most of the time, when I was crashing, I was trying to find my bearings, and see OK, can I move my body, so I don't hit the fence as hard, or, you don't want to ever hit the fence with your head first. You don't want to be twisted or contorted, when you hit anything.


So, you try as best you can, to fall in a good way. But there's honestly no good way to fall. You just have to try to stay loose, and when the dust settles, feel everything out, see what's happened. But that's a part of our job. That's a part of ski racing.

I think a lot of people would be incredibly nervous, to be in your position, to be on television. And for you, it's normal.

For us, going 85 is normal, crashing is normal, and it's just about getting -- getting back up and getting back on the horse.

COLLINS: Yes. I'll stick to the studio, over the slopes.

Lindsey Vonn, it's great to have you, on THE SOURCE. Thank you, for doing this, tonight.

VONN: Thanks for having me.

COLLINS: We also have some breaking news, tonight, for you, on WWE founder, Vince McMahon, after a former employee accused him of sexual assault, and other very disturbing actions, ahead.


COLLINS: A major update, just in, on the wrestling mogul, Vince McMahon, who has just resigned, as the Executive Chairman of WWE's parent company, TKO.


This comes amid disturbing new allegations, of sexual assault, trafficking and physical abuse, that were made against him, in a lawsuit that was filed by a former WWE employee.

McMahon has denied the allegations, and said he's prepared to defend himself in court. But in a statement, tonight, he said he is resigning, quote, "Out of respect for the WWE Universe."

I want to thank you so much, for joining us, tonight, on this very busy news week.

You're going to get some great legal perspective coming up. "LAURA COATES LIVE" starts right now.