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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Trump Praises Supreme Court's Speed As He Slows Immunity Case; Biden Biographer: He's Physically "Slower" But Mind "Unchanged"; Jason Kelce Tearfully Announces Retirement After 13 Seasons. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 04, 2024 - 21:00   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Legal jeopardies as just that lawyer face, right now, Zach?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: We know, Chesebro has already pled guilty, in Georgia, where the, Fani Willis, the D.A. there, is investigating efforts to overturn the election results. He is an unindicted co-conspirator in Jack Smith's indictment of Donald Trump.

I'm told that the Feds, the federal investigators have not reached back out to Chesebro, since he informed them he was going to take a plea deal in Georgia. He's interviewed with, again, about five different state prosecutors, in his time, since taking a plea deal. So, we're going to have to see.

But lying to state prosecutors, or not being fully truthful with state prosecutors, can be a problem.

KING: Learning more, all the time. Zach Cohen, really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.

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

He is on a roll. Hours from an expected Super Tuesday blowout, Donald Trump has just won big at the Supreme Court. But inside the unanimous decision, there's a blistering warning, about the consequences that were just unleashed.

Also, a shot across the bow of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Vice President meeting behind closed doors, today, with a top member of Israel's war cabinet, who just so happens to be Netanyahu's biggest political rival, in Israel.

And also, there was not a dry eye, in the City of Brotherly Love today, as Jason Kelce bid an emotional goodbye to Philadelphia, with Travis looking on in tears. But there's not a whole lot to cry about for these two. Our friend, Bob Costas, is here live, on the business of being the Brothers Kelce.

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE. The Supreme Court has not played this direct of a role, in a presidential election, since Bush v. Gore. And tonight, the ruling is unanimous. That's how history will record Donald Trump's 9-0 victory today.

But inside that same ruling, it is exposing deep cracks, in that united front, on the Supreme Court. The justices offered very different ways of explaining the same result. But they did, in the end, agree that Donald Trump will remain on the ballot.

And of course, this came just 24 hours before the first Super Tuesday polls, are about to open now, just about nine hours from where we are, at this moment. The biggest primary night. And Donald Trump is expected to rack up blowout wins, and buckets of delegates, from coast to coast, putting him within reach of the Republican nomination.

The question of whether he engaged in an insurrection? Remember the one that the Colorado courts found? Well, that was left untouched, entirely today, too hot for the High Court, kind of.

Put a pin in that because we have a lot to discuss. And we'll get to that in just a moment.

The other thing that stood out from this, though, was how Justice Amy Coney Barrett sided, at one point, with the court's liberals, and their uneasiness, about the potential consequences of the reach, just how broad it was, of this ruling.

But she also chastised Sotomayor, Kagan and Jackson, for their language, warning about turning down the national temperature, not cranking it up. She wrote, at one point, quote, "This is not the time to amplify disagreement."

But we are hearing from our sources tonight that Trump's bigger concern is not what happened today. It's of what's to come from the Supreme Court. His claim of absolute immunity, of course, looms on the horizon. But right now, it's really giving him what he wants, from this court, more time, to delay his potential trials.

That's why it was so surprising to hear him today, hours after we found out what the Supreme Court had decided, praising them, for moving so quickly.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They worked hard. And frankly, they worked very quickly on something that will be spoken about a 100 years from now, and 200 years from now, extremely important.

I have great respect for the Supreme Court. And I want to just thank them, for working so quickly, and so diligently, and so brilliantly.


COLLINS: We'll see if that's still how he feels, when he hears from them again, on his immunity ruling.

But for now, we're digging into what this ruling means, with CNN Legal Analyst, and former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams; and NYU constitutional law professor, Kenji Yoshino.

But we are going to begin, with a conservative attorney, who has argued in front of the Supreme Court, and with people on this show, about this very issue. George Conway is here.

George, you initially said that you thought the Supreme Court would have a difficult time. Your quote that I looked up today was "Avoiding the consequence of the plain language of the 14th Amendment." It was obviously a 9-and-0 call today.

So I wonder, what you made, of this ruling, and if you feel differently now.

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER: Yes, I think I -- no, I don't feel differently.

I think they did have a very difficult time with it, because I don't think any of the three opinions make any sense whatsoever. I think these opinions are fundamentally incoherent, and they're fundamentally arbitrary.


And I think that -- I think it just shows the difficulty the court had, in trying to select an-off ramp here. I mean, they totally rejected the Trump -- Trump's principal arguments, which were that -- that the President is somehow not an officer of the United States, and the other argument, which was that he did not engage in an insurrection. And the latter, I think, is the most important takeaway from this.

Notwithstanding Donald Trump declaring victory, he remains an adjudicated insurrectionist, after this opinion, because the Supreme Court did not, in any way, undercut, or contradict, or suggest, in any way, there was any infirmity, in the factual findings, made by the lower courts.

COLLINS: Why do you think that was?

CONWAY: Because -- because he's unquestionably an insurrectionist. There really wasn't -- I mean, it would have been absurd, for the court to try to redefine what it means, to engage in an insurrection, and to engage, and what an insurrection is, to try to fit it, to get Donald Trump off the hook.

And that's what -- that's what the court was terrified about. They didn't want to go there. And you can see that sort of the terror, in the opinions, in the concurring opinions. I mean, Justice Barrett was just, you know, it just -- her opinion just exuded fear, of the political consequences of the decision.

And frankly, the dis -- the concurring opinion, I know, they, you know, they're perceived as having attacked the majority opinion, for going too far. But the problem was, it was an overreach, by the majority, it was under-reach, by all nine justices. And the concurring opinion, frankly, it's criticisms of the majority opinion, actually, end up undermining the concurrence's own opinion, as to -- as to that -- as to the result in the case, which was to affirm, so.

COLLINS: Well, that's interesting, because I wonder then what you made of this line, because -- of what the liberal justices said, about the majority, that stood out to me, where they said, quote, "They decide novel constitutional questions to insulate this Court and the petitioner from future controversy."

CONWAY: I don't, honestly, I cannot figure out exactly what they are talking about there. And it may be a circumstance, where the opinions were so quickly written, that some of that language is held over from -- was held over from an earlier draft of the opinion.

As far as I can see, what the majority held was that states cannot enforce -- state -- whether it be state officials or state courts, cannot enforce Section 14 -- Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, against any person, running for federal office, and the basis for that -- without a congressional enactment.

I don't think there's anything in that opinion that actually holds, and that couldn't be, because it's not -- it wasn't presented by the case, that there is -- that somehow insurrectionists are completely immunized, from any kind of federal action, to apply Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. I just don't see it in the majority opinion.


CONWAY: And maybe it was there in a draft, I don't know. But I can't make heads or tails, frankly, out of the concurring opinions, any more than I can make heads or tails out of majority opinion. It's just--

COLLINS: Yes. And the concurring opinions--

CONWAY: --it was just all shoddy legal work, all around by all the justices.

COLLINS: Yes. The concurring opinions are definitely worth reading.

But there was also this moment, today, where Trump was scheduled to give remarks, right after this came out. His team had a pretty good idea of what was coming, when the Supreme Court said they were going to announce an opinion today.

And I think the idea was that he was going to be touting this victory. But he ended up spending more time, defending his immunity case. Here's part of what he said today.


TRUMP: And another thing that will be coming up very soon will be immunity for a president. And not immunity for me, but for any president. If a president doesn't have full immunity, you really don't have a

president. Because nobody that is serving in that office will have the courage to make, in many cases, what would be the right decision. Or it could be the wrong decision.


COLLINS: You heard, between that, and what he said earlier, praising the court for its brilliant and diligent work, I mean, how much do you expect that would change from today, what he said, to what we could hear as soon as maybe June, on how--

CONWAY: I don't think--

COLLINS: --they'd rule on immunity.

CONWAY: Look, I don't think he's going to be a happy camper, in May or June, whenever the immunity case comes down, because I think this court, which was clearly motivated, by fear of applying the law, is going to be fearful of not applying the law, in the immunity case, because it would be such a horrible and terrible decision.

I think there's no legal expert feels otherwise, than to suggest that the President has the kind of absolute immunity, from criminal prosecution that Trump asks for.

And it may be true that there are some circumstances, hypothetical ones, where Congress could pass a law that's designed to infringe upon the -- upon the President's ability, to carry out his offices, and uses a criminal sanction to do that. But that's just not this case.


This is a case, where the President tried to extend his term of office, and violate the very clause of the Constitution, the Executive Vesting Clause, that says he has the executive power, and, you know, but he only has it for four years. And it's just if the -- if the President can't be prosecuted here, then he can never be prosecuted.

And it's got nothing to do, as Trump suggests, with the presidents having courage to do the right thing, on the behalf of the country, because he wasn't trying to do the right thing, on behalf of the country. He was trying to do the wrong thing, for the country, but for his own personal benefit.

COLLINS: Yes. He claimed today that the presidency would become a ceremonial position, without that immunity.

We'll see what they decide.

George Conway, we will bring you back, certainly when that decision happens.

CONWAY: Thank you

COLLINS: Thank you for that. And for more on this, and looking at what these concurring opinions said, I want to bring in Elliot and Kenji back into the conversation.

Elliot, let me start with you. Because you said this five -- this was a 5-4 decision, you believe, in unanimous-decisions clothing. Tell me what you mean by that.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the takeaway is certainly the court was 9-nothing, and it was an unsigned unanimous opinion. But there was such difference, between the four justices that wrote concurrences, in how far the opinion went here.

And, yes, they are nominally in agreement, on the underlying question here. But they're not. And, particularly, in the back-and-forth, between Justice Barrett, and the other three justices, it was clear that there were some differences, and maybe even some hard feelings, over how this opinion came out.

COLLINS: Well, and Kenji, when you look at these concurring opinions, I mean, if you read them closely, they kind of look more like dissents, sharply-worded ones, at that. And there was one point where, as George was referencing there, Sotomayor, Kagan and Jackson, were basically saying the court has gone way further than what they needed to do.

All they needed to answer was who can enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. And that instead, they went way further than that, saying only an act of Congress can bar someone, from being on the ballot, a federal officeholder

KENJI YOSHINO, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW: That's exactly right. And in fact, they jabbed at Chief Justice Roberts, by quoting that Dobbs concurrence, back at him, where in Dobbs, he said, we have to be minimalist here. We can't go as far as Justice Alito goes, in his majority opinion.

And they quoted his concurrence, back to him, in their concurrence, and they said, you said you're supposed to be a minimalist, and look what you've done today.

COLLINS: That is fascinating. I mean, what do you think -- how do you think Chief Justice John Roberts reads that?

YOSHINO: I think he definitely reads it as a jab. And it's really hard for me not to look at the language that you quoted earlier, Kaitlan, which said, it looks like the court is trying to insulate itself, and the petitioner, meaning Trump, from further controversy.

That's really telling language, in that liberal justices' concurrence, because what they're really saying is, you're trying to protect Trump. And I think it's a look ahead to this executive immunity case, to say, don't try to protect this individual too much.

In the oral argument, Justice Sotomayor, and I suspect it was she, who wrote the joint concurrence, because Mark Joseph Stern has done some legwork, looking at metadata-- COLLINS: Yes.

YOSHINO: --to suggest that she--

COLLINS: Saw that.

YOSHINO: --wrote the dissent, as a partial dissent, before she flipped it into concurrence. So, I think you're reading it exactly right.

But I think that what she's saying, in the oral argument, or what she did say in the oral argument is, isn't this rule kind of gerrymander, to protect one person, again, saying to the argument, of Trump's lawyers, aren't you just trying to create a rule, that will protect Trump and George Washington, because they're the only two individuals who swore the relevant oath.

So, I think she's bringing back the argument, and leveling it on a different claim, against Chief Justice Roberts, to say, don't just try to protect this president, like don't create rules, that are only going to protect this president, above and beyond what you strictly have to do to decide a case.

COLLINS: Well, and Elie, can we -- Elliot, can we talk about the other part of this, that really stood out was Amy Coney Barrett siding with the liberals, at parts in here.

But also, she had this short, but really interesting concurrence, where, in another part, she was urging the public, to look past the fact that four of the court's members, herself included, disagreed with how broadly that this decision was made. And she wrote, "In my judgment, this is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency."

WILLIAMS: Oh Lord, Kaitlan, save us the sanctimony. Has Justice Barrett read any if any -- frankly, any opinion written by Justice Thomas, or Justice Alito, over the last, frankly several decades?

Has she read Justice Alito's opinion, in Dobbs, the case that overturned Roe v. Wade? Justice Alito's opinion, in the Mifepristone case, where he -- the abortion pill case, where he all but accused President Biden, of seeking to violate the law, by not following the Supreme Court?

The idea of Supreme Court justices, using sharp language, to express their views, with opinions they disagree with, is nothing new. And the idea that all of a sudden now, we're going to wag our fingers, at three dissenting or concurring justices, over the tone of their opinions, is just silly.

And, I guess, I'll use the word again, it's just it's a little bit sanctimonious. And the more I've thought about it, over the course of the day-to-day, as we've been talking about, I just realized, wow, what a head-scratching line that was, in that opinion.

COLLINS: Well, she is the second newest justice on the court. Maybe she's trying to change these opinions. We'll see. WILLIAMS: Tone it down.


COLLINS: Elliot Williams, Kenji Yoshino, great to have you both here. Thank you.

YOSHINO: Thanks.

COLLINS: And as I noted, with hours to go, before the biggest primary day, this election season, President Biden is now using one of Donald Trump's favorite insults, against him, in a rare new interview. And we'll tell you what he said.

Also, Trump's rally playlist is shrinking again, the strongly-worded demand from one artist estate, to stop playing her songs, at his campaign events. No, Trump reporters, it is not "Gloria."



COLLINS: We are now just hours away, from a critical Super Tuesday, for former President Donald Trump, just after the Supreme Court handed him a victory, keeping him on the ballots that voters will be casting tomorrow, a decision that he is embracing tonight.


TRUMP: I really do believe that will be a unifying factor, because while most states were thrilled to have me, there were some that didn't. And they didn't want that for political reasons. They didn't want that because of poll numbers, because the poll numbers are very good.


COLLINS: Tomorrow's primary contests are a chance, for Trump, to get even closer to what has seemed in like it's inevitable, which is becoming the Republican nominee, also, closer to setting up that 2020 rematch that so many Americans are dreading, with President Biden.

Joining me now to talk about it, two friends of THE SOURCE, former Republican congressman, Adam Kinzinger; and former Senior Adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod.

David, I think some people, if you looked at this six months ago, may have found it hard to believe that Trump was going to be in this position, where he's getting these victories, at the Supreme Court. By delaying one thing, they're also giving him -- giving him another victory, and he's about to have what's expected to be a pretty good Super Tuesday.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, no, there's no doubt about it. And I'll tell you something, Kaitlan. The thing that he's selling, in

this race? And look, I think we have to stop and acknowledge the sort of moment that we're in, where a guy, who engineered an insurrection at the Capitol, is on the verge of being his party's nominee again. And I don't want to, in any way, brush that point aside. But he is selling strength.

And in a weird way, all of these legal travails that he has all, of these indictments, all of these lawsuits and so on has given him a chance to look indomitable, look strong, look resilient. And that's actually, in some ways, helped him. Now, the main cases haven't gone to trial yet. That could be a different story. But he's actually used these to propel himself to this moment.

COLLINS: Yes, well, what do you make of this moment, just after having been on the January 6 committee--


COLLINS: --investigating this, looking at every moment of this, and seeing today, the court didn't even touch the idea of whether or not he incited the insurrection?

KINZINGER: Well, after seeing his clip there, I just feel so unified now, such a unifying factor, Donald Trump is, in this.

Like, no, I mean, it's funny, so right after January 6, Fred Upton, who's on this show, sometimes, said to me, I think Donald Trump runs again. And I'm like, dude, no, you're nuts, like, there's no way he runs again. Fred's always right. That's one thing I've learned. I'm still--

AXELROD: He told me that actually.

KINZINGER: Yes, I mean. And it's, we always called him the Upton prophecies, because he would always be right.

But we, like, I still am in disbelief that we're at this moment, you know? And I think part of it, when you're talking about that strength? Donald Trump is actually truly the weakest man, to ever occupy the presidency. That's not just my opinion.

I mean, he's always a victim. I mean, even today, he said, if that statement would have gone on longer, how he's a victim, and people are coming after him and poor him. But for some reason, he's really good at turning that into, he's the tough guy.

So yes, I mean, and it's worked. The party looks for strength. He's projected fake strength. And I am still just blown away, as a Republican myself that we're at this moment. And, I guess, we just have to deal with it and make sure he doesn't win the Oval Office again.

COLLINS: Well, he also claimed in there that the polls were very good for him. I mean, if you're looking at the general election matchup polls, they're not. They're pretty close. I mean, he's edging out a little bit, in some of the latest ones, from NBC and the New York Times.

But this all comes as this piece just came out in The New Yorker today, by Evan Osnos, who has reported on Biden for forever.


COLLINS: And he was just on with John King. One part, obviously, that puts Biden weaker, in those polls, is because of his age.

And Evan was talking to John King, about what he observed, about President Biden. This is what he told him.


EVAN OSNOS, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Look, on a physical level, he is slower, in his movements, in his gestures, no question about it. His mind seemed unchanged to me. He didn't bungle a date, or a name, or anything like that. I was looking to see any signs of that.


COLLINS: That's someone, who saw President Biden up close.

But this New York Times poll says 73 percent of all registered voters believe he's too old to be effective.

AXELROD: Yes, well, look, I accept that he is doing the job competently, and well. I mean, I believe that.

But the reality is he is not in front of a camera, projecting that. And that's how most Americans see their president. In front of the camera, he looks -- he looks old. He looks slower. He does mangle words at times. And it has fit a meme, and that meme has been sold, as you know, by the Republican Party, since he entered the race four years ago.

But it has taken root. And it's a real obstacle for him, because people, they don't see him as someone, whose driving things. So, they don't give him credit for his real accomplishments. But they give him credit for everything that goes wrong, and that's a bad place to be.

KINZINGER: Can I -- and one of the ways he can show strength, is daily, right now, be attacking the Republicans--

AXELROD: Yes, yes, yes, a 100 percent.


KINZINGER: --for having been on vacation for three weeks, while the Ukrainian frontline is collapsing.

He's been begging, for six months, six months, for the Republicans to pass this aid. And again, they're now away on a long weekend. They punted just one week government funding.

AXELROD: Yes. KINZINGER: He went to the border. He should be attacking them on tanking the border bill, and going to war with them.


KINZINGER: And instead, Ukraine is collapsing. And frankly, the President will own that if Ukraine collapses.

AXELROD: You and I have talked about this.

But it was baffling to me, after the -- after Trump tanked this bill, with aid to Ukraine, aid for Israel, and this very, very strict border reform law, that they weren't, on the air, the next day, pummeling him that. There wasn't like a full-court press on all Democratic surrogates, and that the President didn't go down to the border then.


AXELROD: And what I -- what concerned me, about that piece was, the President expressed confidence. That's fine. But there was this strange lack of urgency, about this race, like we got this.

Well, look, you're right, nobody's got this. Trump doesn't have it. Biden doesn't have it. It's a close race. But it's going to be a very difficult race. And you've got to fight it every single day.

COLLINS: Well, I'm interested, because I mean, this piece is also talking about just Trump himself.

And Biden says that he doesn't think Trump would concede the election, if he loses, that he was saying that he totally would try to -- the quote was, he says, "Losers who are losers are never graceful. I just think that he'll do anything to try to win. If -- and when -- I win, I think he'll contest it. No matter what the result is."

But even though that Mike Donilon, one of his top campaign advisers now, wants to focus on democracy, you said, people in Scranton aren't talking about democracy, in the district.

AXELROD: Yes, look, I think -- I feel desperately concerned about this issue.

You were there. You saw what happened on January 6th.

I think Trump 2.0 will be the delta variant of democracy. I think it will be that much more difficult to contain.

All of that said, I think that the people, who are sitting around their kitchen table, talking about this, are people, who aren't concerned about what they paid for the groceries that are on the kitchen table. That, if you're living with, the concerns about inflation, and sort of the day-to-day concerns of life, if you're -- if you don't have the privilege not to, then you're probably not talking about that.

And so, I think he should continue to talk about this issue. I think it's an important issue. But he has to talk about other things as well.

KINZINGER: Yes, you can walk and chew gum on this. You can, on the one hand, talk about the importance of democracy, and on the other hand, talk about the importance of American strength, and how Republicans are blocking you from projecting the American strength, that's going to protect Taiwan, and push back against China.

COLLINS: It's so interesting. He carries around that little card, of Trump's most alarming comments to him that he pulled out.

AXELROD: Must be a big card.



COLLINS: Let's see how long it is. We didn't -- Evan Osnos didn't write that.


COLLINS: David Axelrod, Adam Kinzinger, great to have you both here tonight.

Also tonight, you heard what we mentioned earlier. The estate of the late Irish singer, Sinead O'Connor, has now just joined the list of roughly two dozen artists, banning Trump from using their songs, at his campaign rallies.




COLLINS: That was, of course, her iconic version of the Prince song, "Nothing Compares 2 U," playing at one of his events.

In a new statement, today, her estate and record label said, quote, "It is no exaggeration to say that Sinead would have been disgusted, hurt and insulted to have her work misrepresented... by someone... she herself referred to as a 'biblical devil.'"

Trump has not responded yet to CNN's request for comment.

Up next here, on THE SOURCE, a longtime ally of the former President's is going back to jail, still staying far more loyal though to his former boss.

Also just in tonight, quote "My secret informant love." You have to see the messages revealed from a dating website, where an Air Force employee allegedly gave up classified secrets, and is now facing new charges.


COLLINS: Tonight, a longtime ally, of Donald Trump's, has found out the price of blind loyalty, to the former President is jail time, again.

Here in New York, the former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg -- yes, him -- has now reached another plea deal, with prosecutors. This is the second time.

This time, he is admitting that he lied, in sworn testimony, about the size and value of Trump's triplex apartment. His 2022 plea that sent him to jail was for tax fraud. Both pleas though, are nearly identical, both landing him in jail, for five months.

Now, I should pause here, to remind you. And you're wondering how could this happen twice. He signed a $2 million severance agreement, with the Trump Organization, to not testify, unless he was legally required to do so. But now, this new plea makes him a repeat offender, on the list of people, in Trump's orbit, to face jail time.

Here to talk about that is former White House Counsel, for President Richard Nixon, John Dean.

And John, I just think when you look at this, I mean, I think, people, who have known the Trump Organization, for a while, are surprised this is the second time this is happening.

But I wonder if you think this guilty plea could actually strengthen Alvin Bragg, the District Attorney, here in New York, and his hand, when that case against Trump, in New York, starts later this month.


JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Indirectly, it certainly strengthens his hand, because it tells others, in the Trump Organization, they risk not to lie, because they'll be prosecuted, if they do.

And there's -- it wasn't clear that Weisselberg was going to be a witness. There was rumor that he might testify. But he's clearly been disqualified, as a witness, now with a perjury rap. So, they don't dare bring him, and put him on the stand. So yes, in that sense, I think Bragg has strengthened his position.

COLLINS: Well, I wonder what you make of the response, from Trump's legal team. They're saying that Alvin Bragg, and others are -- they're accusing them of engaging in prosecutorial misconduct, for pursuing these perjury charges, against him, and not pursuing them against Michael Cohen, this longtime ally, turned witness against Trump.

DEAN: Well, first of all, Michael Cohen was a witness, for the Southern District of New York. That's where he worked out his plea arrangement. And the reason they didn't do a plea deal, per se, is that Michael was unwilling to tell his entire life story, and his father-in-law's life story, and everything. But he did reach an accommodation on what they had. And I think he's been so truthful so long, that it qualifies him as a good witness. He has testified in grand juries. He's testified before the Congress. So, he's a known quantity.

But this case that they're bringing is not a witness-heavy case. It's a document case. And all they do -- so Michael, and all the witnesses, will be heavily corroborated. And that's the strength that the jury looks for. And they're just looking at documents, and getting somebody, to fill in what they mean.

So, I don't think that this is any negative, for the prosecutor. And it's standard operating procedure. It's not surprising they accuse it of -- being accused of prosecutorial excesses. That's standard for defendants, in most instances.

COLLINS: You know?

DEAN: But this is not. This is standard operating procedure.

COLLINS: The other thing here is Allen Weisselberg, I think is actually a bit younger than Trump, by a few years. But whenever he went to jail, Trump was very shaken by it, we heard from sources, because he just kept saying, I can't believe they sent that old man to jail. That was the quote that he would relay to people, privately.

But when you look at the big picture of the fact that this is the second time it's happening to him, it reminded me of something that Trump's Attorney General, Bill Barr, said to me, last summer, about the dangers of people who are loyal to Trump.


BILL BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Their lives turned upside down, by Trump, to pursue, this caper of his. And he leaves in his wake, ruined lives, like this, the people who went up, to Capitol Hill, these individuals, many of the people, who served him, in government that got sucked into things, and he just leaves all this carnage, in his wake.

COLLINS: Do you think he cares about that?

BARR: No, he doesn't care about that. Loyalty is a one-way street for him.


COLLINS: Is that how you see this here, John, learning about this second plea deal for Weisselberg?

DEAN: Well, just watching Trump over the years, we know that's the case that loyalty is a one-way street. He's almost never does anything, for anybody else, other than himself, or it's transactional, and he's doing something for that reason. He is not a natural leader. He is a natural strongman with the -- he's the natural bully, who wants it his way.

So, Weisselberg has made a deal with the devil, and he's paying a very steep price.

COLLINS: John Dean, thank you, for joining tonight.

DEAN: Thank you.

COLLINS: As we mentioned, this story, tonight, that is breaking, is quite remarkable. It's about a retired Army lieutenant colonel, who is now facing 30 years in prison, after he was apparently catfished, into giving up classified military secrets.

63-year-old David Slater has just been indicted. He works for the Air Force. He had a top secret security clearance. And now, the Justice Department says that for months, he has been exchanging messages, on a foreign dating website, with someone, who claimed to be a woman living in Ukraine.

The messages that were exchanged, from this person, who is identified, as his co-conspirator, are messages like this one.

"Dear, what is shown on the screens in the special room?? It is very interesting."

"My sweet Dave, thanks for the valuable information."

And "You are my secret informant love."

He is now -- he was arrested on Saturday, is now facing charges. We'll continue to keep you updated, on that development.


Up next here, the White House hosted -- Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, his top political rival today, much to his frustration, all as the Vice President is making her most explicit push yet, for a ceasefire, an immediate one at that.


COLLINS: Vice President Kamala Harris met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu's main political rival today, one day after she called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.





HARRIS: The conditions are inhumane.

There must be an immediate ceasefire.

(AUDIENCE CHEERS & APPLAUSE) HARRIS: For at least the next six weeks.


COLLINS: You heard that crowd cheering. It was notable. We had not heard that language yet, from the administration.

But tonight, sources are telling CNN that Benny Gantz's high-level meetings, in the United States, are aggravating Prime Minister Netanyahu, back in Israel.

I want to bring in Evelyn Farkas, who has spent decades working on foreign policy, including as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.

And it's great to have you here.

Between hearing that comment, yesterday, from the Vice President, which was explicit, without a doubt, the strongest one, that we've seen from this administration, between that, and these meetings, with Benny Gantz, that he's not just having with Harris, but also with the Secretary of State, the National Security Advisor, what signal do you believe the White House is sending?

EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RUSSIA: Yes, Kaitlan, I think the White House is finally coming out, although still not using the President, but using the Vice President, to very publicly signal to the Israelis, that they need to get behind a ceasefire. And if it's not going to be permanent, then at least make it six -- what did she say? Six weeks.


FARKAS: So, this is different, because the administration has been trying this policy, of basically hugging Israel in public, and speaking firmly in private. And this worked for them in 2021. But it hasn't been working now.

And I say, 2021, because there was another 11-day conflict, in Gaza, then, under this administration. That's how they handled it, then. They thought probably that they could handle it this way now. And it hasn't worked, obviously, to the great tragic end result that we see in Gaza, now.

COLLINS: That's a really interesting point of a tried and true tactic, they believed then, how it's -- how it's working this time, because the other thing she mentioned yesterday was more aides -- more aid needs to get into Gaza now.

And over the weekend, we saw the U.S., after that chaotic and deadly moment, last week, where Gazans were killed, either because the IDF opened fire, or they were run over, by aid trucks, as they were leaving and fleeing the scene, there were airdrops happening, over the weekend, into Gaza.

And I wonder what you make of the fact that it's gotten to this point, because obviously, airdropping aid is not the most logistically sound or safest way, to get that aid, to people, who so desperately need it.

FARKAS: Right. And Kaitlan, you're not usually airdropping assistance in, if your ally controls access to that territory.

I mean, Israel has three potential areas of entry into Gaza, where you could bring trucks in. And they've been in charge of the process, of course, with the Egyptians, on the southern side. But they should be able to get more assistance. And that's been made abundantly clear, by a lot of critics, from the outside.

So, the airdrops are really a very sad kind of recognition that we're not -- we don't have enough leverage, with the Israelis and others.

COLLINS: The other development today is the United Nations report -- a team from them reported that they have clear and convincing information that hostages were raped, some of them gangraped, on October 7th. And they said that they found that they do believe sexual violence is likely ongoing, and has found clear and convincing evidence, that the hostages, who are being held still, in Gaza, were being assaulted.

I wonder what you make of the impact of this report.

FARKAS: Well, one, it doesn't surprise me, Kaitlan, because we have been hearing reports of this.

Dan Senor has a podcast, where he interviewed one of the women, who found the bodies of the women. So, there are teams of Israeli women, who go in and take the Israeli women soldiers and hostages, and they found evidence of rape, and already sort of just had discussed that.

But now that the United Nations has gone in and said, OK, we did a study, and we, the independent neutral arbiter, if you will, of experts in this, has said that this was the case, the world can't turn away and more needs to be done.

And clearly, these poor women, who are still being held, their circumstances may be quite dire, to include potential pregnancy, or something like that. So, I think that does complicate matters, on all levels, and maybe best not to speak too much about it, until they're home safely.

COLLINS: Evelyn Farkas, as always, glad to have your expertise on the show.

FARKAS: Thank you.

COLLINS: Coming up, back here in the United States, a notable announcement, in Philadelphia. Bob Costas will be here, as a Kelce brother announces that he is retiring from the NFL, in an emotional press conference today. What's next for Jason Kelce?


[21:54:38] COLLINS: Today, brotherly love was on full display, as Jason Kelce, the longtime center, for the Philadelphia Eagles, announced that he is hanging up his cleats, after 13 seasons, and one Super Bowl ring.

In an emotional press conference that went on for about 45 minutes, before he got to what he was there to announce, he tearfully paid tribute, to the fans, to the former coaches and, of course, to his younger brother, Travis, the boyfriend of a singer that you may or may not have heard of, Taylor Swift.



JASON DANIEL KELCE, FORMER AMERICAN FOOTBALL CENTER: There is no chance I'd be here without the bond Travis and I share. It made me stronger, tougher, smarter, and taught me the values of cooperation, loyalty, patience and understanding. It's only too poetic I found my career being fulfilled in the City of Brotherly Love.


COLLINS: Here tonight, legendary sportscaster, Bob Costas.

And Bob, I mean, that last moment there, where he was talking about how obviously he spent his 13-year career, entirely with Philadelphia, and was talking about his passion, and being there, matching the city's passion, for that team.


COLLINS: It was amazing.

COSTAS: Philadelphia sports fans are passionate. Sometimes, they're very, very tough. They've broken players in every sport, baseball, football, basketball, hockey. But if you can endure it, and if you excel, they embrace you, not just while you're playing.

He's a Philadelphia sports hero, for the rest of his life. Obviously, he and his brother, Travis, both being football players, they have a tremendous bond, and they have helped to lift each other. But Travis plays the more glamorous position, tight end.

Even though the Eagles have twice been to the Super Bowl, one's against Travis' Chiefs, and once against Tom Brady's Patriots, and they won that one in 2018. Even though Jason has been there twice, Travis has been there four times, winning three times. And the Chiefs have kind of taken over as America's team, at least for the time being. And as you mentioned, Travis is now connected to Taylor Swift.

All of that has lifted Jason Kelce's fame. And I'm sure he'd be the first to acknowledge it.

When Travis Kelce guest-hosts Saturday Night Live, Jason Kelce shows up in one of the sketches, and the audience immediately recognizes him. And the two of them do podcasts together. So, while Travis is certainly going to have a higher Q-quotient, recognized by more Americans, Jason, you know, that high tide lifts those boats. I'm sure that they'll be doing appearances, and endorsements, together, for the foreseeable future.

COLLINS: Yes. What does a post-NFL life look like for him, do you think? Because I mean, yes, you did see his brother sitting there, in the front row. They embraced as soon as he was -- he was done.


COLLINS: You mentioned their podcast, which is one of the top podcasts. They're in commercials together. They're doing--


COLLINS: --they're having bobbleheads, at the Cavaliers game, tomorrow night. They grew up in the Cleveland area.

I just wonder, you know--


COLLINS: --with something like that, that is relatively new actually, to America, to see their brotherhood and their friendship, what is next for someone like that?

COSTAS: Yes. Well, he's a very well-spoken and likable guy. And now, he has a relatively high profile. So, broadcasting is always a possible path.

He's got a young family. He's got three children, unlike Travis, who is a carefree bachelor, connected to perhaps the world's most famous single woman. So, there's a difference between the two of them, there.

Also, a difference in the position they played. Center is a brutal position. The game itself is brutal.


COSTAS: But if you want to talk about blood, sweat, and tears, that's what Jason went through. And that was part of the emotion, he showed today. He was only a sixth-round draft choice. He was always kind of underrated. He always had to prove people wrong. It's not a glamour position.

And here he is, likely five years from now, to wind up in the Hall of Fame in Canton. Every center who has been all Pro or gone to the Pro Bowl as often as he has, in past NFL history, has wound up in the Hall of Fame.

COLLINS: It is a special moment to see two siblings, in any sport, not just football, we've seen it in other sports, at the top of their games. These two brothers obviously playing different positions.

But to compare them to the Manning brothers, or Venus and Serena Williams, where we've kind of seen this phenomenon play out, of these siblings that everyone loves to watch that, and it's just, it's added to that by the fact that there's two of them from the same family, competing at the highest levels of the same sport.

COSTAS: Yes, and once they happen to meet, in the Super Bowl. Just a year or so ago, they met on the Super Bowl. I remember, Mama Kelce saying, thank goodness, they both play offense. So, they're never on the field against each other. They're never going to collide, with each other, head-to-head.

And it was a very close game, as you may remember. And Kansas City won it over Philadelphia. And then, you see that scene of the two of them embracing.

In a different way, Jim Harbaugh going back to the NFL now, with the charges, after winning the National Championship with Michigan.

COLLINS: Don't bring up Michigan. Come on.

COSTAS: Yes. Well, I know it hurts to bring up to a Crimson Tide rooter like you.


But a decade or so ago, he was the coach of the 49ers. And his brother, John Harbaugh, is still a coach of the Ravens. They coached against each other in the Super Bowl. The game went down to the very last play, heartbreaking defeat for Jim. And then, you see the two of them embrace, and they say to each other, I love you. I mean that's a bond that's greater than teammates, greater than the game.

COLLINS: Yes, it is. It's great to watch. And it was a nice moment, today, to see his brother, sitting there, in the front row.

Bob Costas, great to have you back on.


COLLINS: Thank you for joining.

COSTAS: Thanks a lot.

COLLINS: And thank you all, so much, for joining us.