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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Trump Hosts Far-Right Putin Ally Viktor Orban At Mar-A-Lago; Trump Posts Nearly $92 Million Bond In E. Jean Carroll Case; Rep. Wild: "Why Should We Have Politicians Or Judges Making Decisions" For Women? Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 08, 2024 - 21:00   ET



TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're basing a lot, on the idea of new technology, better search methods, may be that will help out.

They sent a statement, to us, where they said, "We've been working with many experts, some outside of Ocean Infinity," which is the company, "to continue analyzing the data in the hopes of narrowing the search area down to one in which success becomes potentially achievable."

That is a really tall order, Anderson, because the whole problem all along is this is a vast, vast area out there. But if they succeed, it could be more than just ending a mystery, and relief to these families. It could also help solve a puzzle, for the aviation industry, one that still is potentially a threat out there, because they don't know what happened.


FOREMAN: If, if they can succeed.

COOPER: Yes. Tom Foreman, thank you.

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


The State of the Union on steroids, Biden goes for the jugular, again, as Trump hosts Vladimir Putin's buddy, at Mar-a-Lago, a strongman accused of turning his country's democracy into his own personal dictatorship.

And there's a giant reality check, on that floating pier, to rush emergency aid into Gaza. Blocked by land, now months delayed at sea. And there's word, tonight, of a deadly accident, while dropping aid from the air, as Biden is caught on a hot mic, revealing what he wants from Netanyahu.

And my frank conversation, with four women in power, fighting back in the flashpoint, over abortion rights, sharing four very personal stories. I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

Joe Biden went there tonight, the President bringing the heat, as he kicked off a march through battleground states. This time, he dropped the whole my-predecessor stuff that you heard 13 times, last night, in the State of the Union.

Now, he's just calling out Trump by name, all while the presumptive Republican nominee is welcoming a new house guest, who just happens to be the man redefining what it means to be a modern-day dictator.

The incumbent president shows no signs of slowing down, his fiery combative State of the Union message, from last night. Tonight, his plan of attack is on full display. Joe Biden wants to cast the 2024 election in no uncertain terms.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES7: Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are trying to take away our freedoms. That's not an exaggeration. Well guess what? We will not let him.


BIDEN: We will not let him.

The Alabama Supreme Court shut down IVF treatments. Do you know why it happened? I'll tell you why. One reason, Donald Trump.

When you ride down the street, and there's a Trump banner with an F-U on it, and a little -- and a 6-year-old kid putting up his middle finger.

It demeans who we are. That's not who America -- that's not America.

He thinks Putin is a strong, basically, he's a decent guy.

You know who he's meeting with today, and -- down in Mar-a-Lago?


BIDEN: Orban of Hungary, who stated flatly he doesn't think democracy works, he's looking for dictatorship.


COLLINS: I want to bring in two top political minds, to start us off, tonight, Democratic congressman, Ro Khanna, of California, and Republican strategist, Rina Shah, both here on set.

And Congressman, I mean, there was a lot of Democratic anxiety, going into the State of the Union, last night. Biden's age has been a big concern for voters. How did you feel coming out of that?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): President hit it out of the park. I mean, he was brilliant. I thought the best part was actually when he talked about how his lifetime of experience gave him a moral clarity. In his whole life, he has been standing up for compassion, dignity, decency. And those are the values that are at stake, and what he's going to fight for, for America's future. It was a rationale for his whole candidacy.

COLLINS: What do you make of how he was not saying Trump's name at all, last night, just my predecessor, my predecessor?

And now, today, I think it was like nine times, he had no issue going after him today in Pennsylvania.

KHANNA: I think one of the things people don't appreciate about the President is he's an institutionalist, and he's quite traditional.

And I think he honors the State of the Union. So, he didn't think it was appropriate, probably, to use that, at the State of the Union. It's appropriate on a campaign trail. And my guess is that's why he's willing to use it on a campaign stop.

COLLINS: Yes, I mean, Republicans, though, as you saw them, last night, they were saying, you know, their complaint initially had been Biden's too old to be president. They were basically waiting for him to trip, walking down the aisle, to get up there. But then, they were complaining that he was loud. They said he was divisive, that it was too political of a State of the Union speech.

RINA SHAH, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes. I went in with really low expectations. I was expecting to sort of even lose engagement, at some point. But he kept me engaged, the whole night. I was really surprised.

So, very surprised, also that early on in the speech, it was like, whoa, what am I listening to? It was very a la Donald Trump, at a podium, without all the other divisive talk and the name-calling.

And there was a moment also, where I got what I wanted this week. Because I started Republican Women for Biden in 2020, with the expectation that I would vote for a Republican, this time. And this past week, I cast my vote for Nikki Haley, proudly casting my first vote ever, for a woman as president.


So I will say, I was thinking to myself, what do I want to see from this president? How do I not want to see him fail, as somebody that cares about this country, and wants to put country over party? I wanted data points. And I got exactly that, on the economy, primarily is what I was looking for.

But also, one part, where I wanted a little bit more, and I didn't get it, Kaitlan, was the border, immigration, because that's where I felt the Republicans were throwing it in his face, last night, with Laken Riley, tying that to crime and public safety, the border issues and immigration.

COLLINS: Can Republicans still legitimately use the age thing, after seeing how he did, last night?

SHAH: I think they can. Because he's not aging in reverse. There are going to be moments, in this next many months, where he's going to look tired, like humans do. Somebody who's 80 is not going to have the vigor of somebody who's in their 50s. And that's just the challenge.

But hey, this can happen for Trump as well. What the Biden campaign needs to keep doing is reminding folks, of the moments, where Donald Trump seems cognitively impaired that he's just three years his junior, Biden's junior.

So, again, age is going to continue to factor in. But the cognitive ability, he certainly showed he was up to the mark, last night. It's how he continues the momentum.

COLLINS: Well, that is the question. I mean, Biden, Republicans set the bar so low, for him, last night, that it was just easy to essentially walk over it. But the question is, can he keep up that momentum? Is that something, how -- what are Democrats saying about that? And what that looks like for the next eight months?

KHANNA: There was enthusiasm, this morning, in the House Democratic Caucus. I mean, people, it's no secret that there were some people, who were murmuring, is he up to it? And he decisively answered that, at least for Democrats.

But he did something more than just show energy. I think he took this age issue, and did a jujitsu.

He said, at a time in this country, where we're polarized, where we're anxious, where there are people, who are talking about hate, let me tell you, my lifetime of experience tells me what it means to be an American. I was born in World War II, where we stood up for freedom. Those are the values that help define me, and those are the values that I'm going to fight for.

I think he showed that it can be an asset at this moment.

COLLINS: Is that an effective tactic, you think? Is that what his argument about his age should look like, going forward?

KHANNA: I do. Look, Jeffrey Katzenberg, his Chair, has been saying, go embrace your age, like Harrison Ford does. He can't be Harrison Ford. But I think he found a way to explain why experience, why statesmanship, why a lifetime of living America's story matters, at a time where America's story is being attacked, right?

There are two different visions that he's saying, here's the story I grew up with, here's why I want to fight for these values. It's given me a clarity of why we have to be an inclusive society.

COLLINS: You mentioned polarization. And you heard President Biden today.

One thing, it was just surprising, because when you're a reporter, who's traveling with him, you're always wondering, does he notice what you're noticing, on the way to the events, which is a lot of supporters, but also a lot of protesters, because they know where the President is coming.

And he's talking about the 6-year-old, giving the middle finger. I mean, it does speak to the moment that we're in, as a country.

SHAH: Yes.

COLLINS: Does a vigorous speech making difference, I guess, or something like that.

SHAH: Look, I think the President got a lot of things right, last night. His motorcade was rerouted because of the protesters out there calling for a ceasefire, which he's already says he wants now. To me, it's a little late.

But look, I'm an interesting different voter on all this. My biggest gripe with the President, right now, as somebody who has a family history, where my family escaped a dictatorship, and that's squarely why we're in this country. We had to escape Idi Amin in Uganda. And I know what that's like. So, when you have that personal experience, with dictatorships, and defending democracy, you understand it.

But not everybody feels this way. I've had numerous conversations with Republican operatives even, who don't feel like the defending- democracy message is good. And they also feel like what kind of democracy do we even have? So, I think the President needs to pivot and talk more about kitchen-table issues.

COLLINS: The border and immigration?

SHAH: Indeed.

COLLINS: We'll see if he does that.

Rina Shah, Congressman Ro Khanna, great to have you both here, on a Friday night, on set.

KHANNA: Thank you.

COLLINS: And meanwhile, as we noted, at the top of this show, and this bigger conversation about democracy, not just in the United States, but on the world stage, the strongman Hungarian Prime Minister, is in the United States, tonight, but not to meet with anyone from the White House. He didn't get an invitation, to sit down with President Biden, we are told, by White House officials.

But Viktor Orban did meet with someone that he is certainly hoping could be in the White House soon. Donald Trump.

Today, at Mar-a-Lago, Trump hosted the man, who I should note is responsible, for busting democratic institutions, and tightening his grip around the throat of his nation's government, a meeting that we have learned Trump's team says was about 90 minutes, and a casual catch-up. Here tonight, to talk about that, is the Co-author of The New York Times bestseller, "How Democracies Die," and a new book, titled "Tyranny of the Minority," Daniel Ziblatt.

Daniel, I just, you know, when you look at these two leaders, they have this long history of admiration, for one another.

And I wonder what it says to you that for the first time, since Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, this week, with Nikki Haley's exit, what it says to you that the first leader he's meeting with is this European autocrat.


DANIEL ZIBLATT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: We have to put it in context. Hungary is a country that exited communism, in the 1990s, and for the first part of the 21st Century was a pretty robust democracy.

Viktor Orban had been in power, was voted out, and very parallel to Trump. Came back into office a second time in 2010, promising to himself that he wouldn't lose another election.

Since 2010, Hungary's democracy has plummeted. The Freedom House, ranks democracies, plummeted it to a score of 65, which basically puts it on par with the Dominican Republic and Senegal. So, this is no longer a democracy. And the fact that Donald Trump views this as a model is kind of shocking.

COLLINS: Yes, what does it say to you that he doesn't get an invite to the White House, but he does get an invite to Mar-a-Lago?

ZIBLATT: Yes. So, Hungary is part of the E.U. It's part of NATO. But it's really the weakest link in NATO. And I think what this shows you is that really, there's a potential alliance here, between Trump and other kind of autocratic countries.

This is somebody, who's -- Viktor Orban is somebody, who was elected to office. But once in office, really adopted the authoritarian playbook, which is something that Donald Trump has said he admires. This means, going capturing the referees of the state, the impartial institutions, the judiciary.

One of the first things that Orban did when he came into power was to capture the court system.

The second thing he did was he went after opposition players. He attacked the media. He made it -- had his friends buy up opposition critical media.

And then, the third thing Orban did, to squelch democracy, in Hungary was, to tilt the playing field, to make it so as hard for the opposition to vote him out of office. And in particular, what Orban did was he gerrymandered the election system. So, it really was very difficult for his party to lose.

From Donald Trump's perspective, this is something to be -- as a model. And so that should frighten all of us.

COLLINS: Yes. Do you think we could see echoes of that, if Trump does return to the White House and have a second term?

ZIBLATT: Yes. I think we really need to think about what this means concretely, for Americans' lives, you know? So, in many ways, we know abortion rights are under assault, in red states, in particular, in the United States. But this is really the only the tip of the iceberg.

One of the things that's happened in a lot of countries that where autocrats have been elected is actually abortion rights have come under assault, and other kinds of freedoms. And this means very specific things, for Americans, and American lives. And it's not just an abstract kind of debate, about a democracy.

And the thing that I think we have to remember again, here is that Trump and his allies have said this is really a model.

And so, American democracy is more robust than, I would say, Hungarian democracy. We have a federal system. But we certainly should not take our democracy for granted. And I think we really need to learn from other countries.

COLLINS: And it just shows you, because this is not how other European leaders, in that block, view Trump. They're much more skeptical of what a Trump return to the White House would mean, for them, for their alliance with the United States, and just for the U.S. foreign policy on a broader scale.

ZIBLATT: Yes. If you look at other countries, in Europe that have the highest democracy score, is more like the United States, Switzerland, Norway, these are countries -- and outside of Europe, New Zealand. These are the countries we should be emulating and be friends with. These are countries that have high democracy scores that have robust -- that are robust democracies.

And people that are the leaders of these countries, and citizens of these countries are quite worried what this means, in particular, in Europe, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The idea that we might have somebody, in the White House, who doesn't take the NATO alliance seriously, as Viktor Orban is, again, probably the weakest link in the NATO alliance, who tried to block Sweden from joining NATO?

This means, a lot of like to go to -- you know what this means, very specifically? Again, this is not an abstract issue. People like to go to vacation to Tuscany in Europe. What does this mean, if NATO is not there to defend this? I mean, this really affects people's lives. This affects people's lives, in Europe, everyday citizens. And so, again, we need to really take this seriously.

COLLINS: Daniel Ziblatt, great to have you on. Thank you for joining.

ZIBLATT: Thank you.

COLLINS: Up next, it turns out that the President's latest plan, to get more aid into Gaza, could actually take much longer than expected. It could go on for months. And it would require also almost a 1,000 U.S. troops to set it up and put it in motion.

We're live with a top house progressive, who has been pushing the President to do more.

Plus, Donald Trump has found a way to finally cough up about $90 million. That means only $450 million more to go.



COLLINS: President Biden, taking his State of the Union message, on the road today. The President and the Vice President both hit the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Arizona. The rest of the cabinet is expected to be all over the map, quite literally, in the next few weeks.

Tonight, here on THE SOURCE, we have two key voices on the left, as we dig into two issues that the Biden team knows, could be problems, for his reelection effort.

We're going to start in Gaza, where even trying to feed hungry people there, is now carrying the risk of death.

We are told tonight that at least five people were killed, when air packages, like what you see here, these aid packages that are now being airdropped, fell on them, in the camp, west of Gaza City. The U.S. Department of Defense says that those deaths were not caused by U.S. airdrops, I should note.

But this comes as today we found out just how hard it is, and how it's not changing really, to get aid into Gaza. We are now told that it could take several months, and a 1,000 U.S. troops to build that temporary port, near Gaza, to deliver more aid, into the enclave, as the Israel-Hamas war is raging on.

My next guest told the White House directly that this issue that Democrats could, quote, literally lose this election to Donald Trump, over this war.

Washington Democrat, and Progressive Caucus chair, Pramila Jayapal, joins me now.

Congresswoman, thank you for being here.


We are hearing President Biden speak out more forcefully, on Gaza. But I wonder if these changes are meaningful enough, for you and for other progressives.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Well Kaitlan, it's always good to be with you.

Look, I think that there is progress. But it isn't sufficient. I think what the President was trying to do, last night, in announcing

this new plan, which I think we all wondered, frankly, how it was going to happen quickly enough, for the urgency, the emergency conditions that we're seeing in Gaza today, with 500,000 people on the brink of starvation, 30,000 people dead, 21,000 of those are women and children. I think the President has been slowly moving his rhetoric, and trying to show that he deeply cares about what is happening in Gaza.

But at the end of the day, why are we airdropping? The first drop was 38,000 meals, 500,000 people starving? Why are we airdropping into Gaza?

We are the largest funder of military aid to Israel. And I think that there is going to come a time, very soon, when there needs to be a policy decision and, in my view, a policy shift, to utilize the funding leverage that we have with Israel, to make sure that we actually can get humanitarian aid in immediately, that we can get the hostages released, and we can clear the decks for some sort of a long- term solution for peace, for Israelis and Palestinians.

And I really believe that the only way Israel is going to move to that is if we utilize our funding leverage, and really shift our position towards Israel that we've had so far.

COLLINS: I've heard you say that, that you believe there will be a time soon, for that change, for that shift. Why is that time not now?

JAYAPAL: Well, we've been saying it should be now. I've called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. It has taken time, to push the administration. And I think that they are beginning to hear us. It's late. And too many people have died.

And the reality is we have stated positions of the United States, whether it's a two-state solution, whether it's no settlement expansion in the West Bank, whether it's not having a ground incursion into Rafah, and pushing Palestinians, again, away from where they were told to go in the first place.

All of those things have been opposed, by Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Israeli government, the current Israeli government. And I think that we have to understand that at this point, this Israeli government, under Netanyahu, has no intention of aligning itself with stated United States' policy goals.

So, I agree with you. It needs to be immediate. And I don't think we have very long to wait. And that's just from a pure humanitarian perspective, as well as a peace and security perspective.

But, of course, Kaitlan, there's also a political perspective here, which is we don't have much time, to really hold together what was always a fragile coalition, in 2020, and will be a fragile coalition, again, politically, for us to be able to win this election.

COLLINS: So, you're doubtful about this idea of this temporary port that could take a month, maybe two, to take? You are casting doubt on the airdrops, which I think a lot of people are, because who's catching these, and who's helping disperses? And is it even enough to feed the hungry people on the ground?

And President Biden was on a hot mic, last night, saying this to Senator Michael Bennet, about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.


BIDEN: I told him, Bibi -- don't repeat this -- I said, Bibi, you and I are going to have a 'come to Jesus' moment.


COLLINS: He said that he is going to have to have a 'come to Jesus moment' with the Israeli prime minister.

I mean, when you say he has no intention of aligning himself with what President Biden, and what the U.S. is seeking here, what does that moment mean? And do you think the White House realizes that?

JAYAPAL: I think they do. I mean, I don't know exactly what that meant, from the President.

But I know, in my conversations, with the White House, we have been making it clear that this shift in policy needs to come extremely quickly, yesterday. But I was hoping I would hear it in the speech, last night. But I was pretty sure that I -- I was pretty sure that we would hear what we heard, which was still progress, but not sufficient.

COLLINS: So, when does it hit the breaking point for you, I wonder?

Because there's doubts that there's going to be a ceasefire in place, by when the holy month starts, Monday. And I think there's real concerns about violence in East Jerusalem, as a result of that, and what that looks like.

I mean, when is that breaking point for you, Congresswoman?


JAYAPAL: I mean, to be honest, Kaitlan, the breaking point was some time ago. That's why I started speaking out publicly, after speaking very privately to the White House. But I think we've continued to see this lack of respect, for what we say we want.

And frankly, I think, even if you only cared about Israelis? And I know the President cares about Israelis and Palestinians. But even if you only cared about the security of Israel? We have had a number of experts, who are from the Israeli perspective, talking to us about how this is no way, to get to any kind of peace and security in the Middle East. It is not going to help Israel to be able to live with security.

So, I can't answer the question for you, about when the breaking point is, because frankly, for me, it was some time ago. That's how I feel. And that's why I have been pushing so actively, publicly and privately, to say to the White House, to the President, that this needs to come immediately.

And we -- you know, I think that was true, from a humanitarian perspective, from a security perspective, in the Middle East, for peace. But also, as I said, from a political perspective.

You saw what happened in Michigan.


JAYAPAL: You saw that there was a 19 percent uncommitted vote in Minnesota. We have an uncommitted ballot in Washington State.

And I think that you are seeing Black clergy coming out. That's why the Vice President's speech, at Selma, was very important, when she said we need an immediate ceasefire. Now, she said for six weeks. And I believe it should be an immediate permanent ceasefire. But I think you are starting to see the shift.

And I agree with you. We don't have -- we don't have time. This needs to happen urgently, because thousands of people are dying, literally, as we wait, week after week.

COLLINS: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, thanks for joining us, here on THE SOURCE.

JAYAPAL: Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: And now, to turn to another issue that the Biden campaign knows it's going to be confronting, over the next eight months, one that impacts every single American. Money, the economy.

President Biden looked to capitalize on the support that he has been building, from labor unions, as he welcomed the head of the UAW, to the State of the Union, last night.

And I'm joined now, by the President of the United Auto Workers, Shawn Fain.

Great to have you back here on THE SOURCE.

It's very clear that a big test, in this election, is going to be how voters feel, about how President Biden is handling the economy. Right now, of course, we know they don't think he's doing enough. What do you think he needs to do, over the next eight months, to change that?

SHAWN FAIN, PRESIDENT, UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS: Well, I think the President's done a lot. I think we have to look at his presidency as a whole.

I mean, I think first off, we have to look at what he walked into. He walked into a situation, where the former President was denying that COVID even exists, and that it was just a farce, and that was fake. And the President embraced that, and went after it, and helped us move forward.

And let's be real. I mean, I think the right likes to blame a lot, of what happened with inflation, the economy, on President Biden, which is just untrue. The inflation that happened was flat-out two words, corporate greed. It was consumer price gouging, and companies took advantage of that.

And, but you look at the economy, and what the President's done. I mean, he's revived the community that was written off for dead. A plant was going to close. And now, there's two plants going up there. I mean, he worked with us, to fight for those things. He's worked with us to, with a just transition for the battery EV industry.

And I think he really did a great job, last night, of just showing the difference. To me, last night, Joe Biden made it very clear that there's only one candidate fit to be President of the United States, between the two that are the front-runners. And that's Joe Biden.

COLLINS: You talk to White House officials and Democrats, and they agree with you on that.

But the problem is when they look at the numbers, that it just doesn't seem to sink in with voters, that they don't feel it. And that, when you look at some of the recent polls, they trust Donald Trump more, with his stewardship of the economy, than they do Joe Biden.

I mean, why do you think that is?

FAIN: I think a lot of this -- I mean, look, Trump's a -- he's a con man. That's what he's always been. He's a con artist. He tells people what they want to hear, tries to make people feel good. But at the end of the day, I'll just be blunt, his results suck.

I mean, look at -- look at what the President talked about, last night. Donald Trump, every year of his presidency, tried to push for cuts in Social Security and Medicaid, Medicare. Joe Biden was very clear about that last night that he will not stand for that.

You look at working-class issues, things that matter to people, good wages, good benefits, retirement security, those -- health care, having adequate health care coverage.

And when have you ever heard a sitting president talk about corporate greed and a billionaire class that's not paying their fair share of taxes? I mean, Joe Biden talked all those things, last night.


Donald Trump, when he was president, 80 percent of the tax cuts he gave went to the top 1 percent, which doesn't benefit anyone.

COLLINS: Yes, but can I ask you on that front?

FAIN: So. Yes.

COLLINS: I mean, so much of this could just come down to really the margins. And we've seen how small they are, in a very small sliver of states. And since the last time you and I spoke, Michigan had its primary. FAIN: Yes.

COLLINS: A very strong, uncommitted vote, which was Democratic voters, there, protesting how President Biden has handled the war in Gaza and with Israel.

FAIN: Yes.

COLLINS: We also saw it in Minnesota.

And I wonder if you're concerned that those numbers, and the support that he has, with auto workers, in places like Michigan, will be overshadowed or eroded by what's happening in Gaza, right now?

FAIN: Look, I'm not concerned. I look at that issue. And obviously, something has to be done. And the President is shifting. And they are -- they are moving more towards, they're calling for a ceasefire. I mean, he's looking at getting more aid, humanitarian aid.

And the thing is, I mean, I do believe that the reality is this. One of these two people are going to be President of the United States. And if anyone that is concerned about the Palestinians, or what's going on in Gaza, thinks Donald Trump has the answer to their problems? I don't know what to tell them.

So, I do believe come election time, those people will come around and vote for Trump -- for Biden. And I do believe Biden will win Michigan. Auto workers are going to vote overwhelmingly, for President Biden.

COLLINS: Shawn Fain, as always, great to have you. And we'll have you back soon. Thanks for joining us.

FAIN: Great to be here. Thank you.

COLLINS: Up next, a look at the numbers, as Trump has now found a company to float him nearly $92 million, but not without some serious strings attached.



COLLINS: Time is money. And just before a $92 million deadline, Donald Trump barely escaped disaster, today. But he didn't come up with the cash himself.

The former President managed to find someone, willing to put up the bond, for the damages, in part that he owes E. Jean Carroll, plus a 10 percent bond fee, for good measure. He has vowed to appeal. But that can be an uphill battle, as we know.

And he also has another deadline rapidly approaching, $450 million, for years of business fraud that is coming due.

I want to bring in former Assistant U.S. Attorney to the Southern District of New York, and CNN's Senior Legal Analyst, Elie Honig. Elie, I mean Trump didn't like just walk into a bank, with a bag of $92 million.


COLLINS: How does this process actually work as this appeal plays out?

HONIG: So, we're going to break this down nice and simple. And I asked the team to put together a little visual aid for us, if they could pop it up.

COLLINS: That we need to play.

HONIG: Yes, it'll help.

So, there are three relevant players. There's Donald Trump. There's the court. And then there's the middleman, which in this case, is a bond company that's part of the very large insurance company, Chubb. There are two relevant deals here.

The insurance company has assured the court in a way that can be legally enforced, if Donald Trump doesn't pay whatever he owes, at the end of this, we are liable for it. You, the court, can come get it from us.

But of course, the second part of the transaction here is Trump has to make promises, to the insurance company. And Trump has to post some amount of cash, not the full 92-amount -- $92 million, we don't know how much, plus other guarantees, could be deeds to some of this property, something like that.

And as you said, he has to pay interest. I mean 10 percent of $90 million. We can do that math is $9 million. That's an awful lot. So, it's costly, but this is the only way he can realistically post it.

COLLINS: Well, and the thing is, it's not the only thing that he has to pay. He also has the other $450 million coming his way.


COLLINS: We know that he may be forced to put up properties to, in order to pay that. I mean, what does this kind of look like as this, like -- and the deadline's actually happened?

HONIG: Right. So, he's going to have to post five times the amount. I don't know whether this same insurance company is going to be willing to do a similar kind of deal for him. But ultimately, he's, I think, going to have to.

You know, how you, when you play Monopoly, if you're out of money, you have to sort of mortgage your properties, and mortgage--


HONIG: --your houses, and the hotels? COLLINS: I don't know, because I've always won in Monopoly. But yes.

HONIG: I'm sure you'd be devastating. I mean, I'm not playing you Monopoly.

But you have to put your properties, essentially in hock. And then, if you can't pay your debts, they can come get your houses, your properties. And I think it's lucky, for Donald Trump, that he has these properties that he can use, because I doubt -- I mean, I'm not the financial expert on him. But I doubt he's got $400 million liquid.

COLLINS: We always talk about what happens if he is reelected, and the federal trials go away.


COLLINS: The trial -- the case in Georgia potentially doesn't work out.

What happens with this, if he becomes president again? How could he potentially be inoculated by being back in the Oval Office?

HONIG: So, the answer should be nothing. You are not protected from a civil lawsuit, and certainly not from collection on a civil lawsuit, because you're president.

The case that gave us that was Paula Jones versus Bill Clinton. The Supreme Court said yes, a sitting president can be sued. That led to, of course, eventually the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Now, it's complicated, because you don't want a president, who goes into office, tens or hundreds of millions and dollars in debt, to anybody, never mind a court, because heaven knows what he might do, what he might be susceptible to, in order to get that money together, to pay it off. So, it's a tricky situation.

COLLINS: Yes. People have said it could be a national security risk.

HONIG: For sure.

COLLINS: Elie Honig.

HONIG: Thanks, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Great to see you on this Friday night.

HONIG: You too.

COLLINS: Thank you very much.

Also, I do want to update our audience. We have breaking news, tonight, because a U.S. military helicopter has crashed near the southern border, killing two soldiers, and one U.S. Border Patrol agent. The helicopter was assigned to a border support mission, wand as conducting operations near Rio Grande City, in Texas.

Right now, the cause of what happened here is still under investigation. We will bring you those updates, as we get them.

Up next here, on THE SOURCE, an interview that you will only see here, at 9 o'clock. An exclusive sit-down with four Democratic women lawmakers, why for them the fight over IVF, abortion, and other reproductive rights, is not just political, it's personal.



REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): It's personal to me, because bodily autonomy is something that we should all be striving for, for each and -- and we shouldn't even have to ask for it. We shouldn't have to beg for it.



COLLINS: Today, in cities across the world, demonstrators filled the streets, to mark International Women's Day, a celebration and a call to action, to keep up the fight for women's rights.

Here, in the United States, in a post-Roe America, women are fighting judges and politicians, just to make personal decisions, about their own bodies.

I sat down with four female lawmakers, at the frontlines of this fight, in Washington. Democratic Whip, Katherine Clark, and Representatives Terri Sewell, Susan Wild and Cori Bush, each of them sharing their own stories, and why this battle for reproductive freedom, is so personal, and what it could mean for future generations.



COLLINS: Thank you all for being here.

There's a reason we're all here. It's International Women's Day, of course, today. And reproductive rights, is an issue that's personal to each of you, I know. And I'd like to begin by just having you talk about why this is such a personal issue to you, why this fight matters to you so much.

I'll start with you.

REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): Oh, thank you so much, Kaitlan.

And this year, on International Women's Day, it is really a stark reality, for women, here in the United States that we are seeing reproductive freedom being eroded, right in front of our eyes.

And so, I shared my story of having a miscarriage, and receiving the health care I needed, without question. Now, as we're looking at states, like Texas, and other states that have put these bans in place, women can no longer get that health care, that fundamental health care. When their doctors say they need it, they still are being told to wait.

COLLINS: And Congresswoman, what about for you?

REP. TERRI SEWELL (D-AL): Old battles have become new again. I would have never thought that in this day and age. I thought our mothers and grandmothers won that fight.

And I just thought it was really important, to represent the women of Alabama, who are not -- you know, who really understand that this is about health care, and limiting their reproductive freedom was something that they just weren't going to take.

REP. SUSAN WILD (D-PA): So, I have to say Roe versus Wade was decided when I was in college. And I had gone to high school, with a very close friend, who had had an illegal abortion. It was highly traumatic for her. Years later, she learned that she was infertile, as a result of that abortion.

But I thought that Roe versus Wade was the settled law of the land. That's what we were being promised, by candidates for the Supreme Court, who were being examined by the Senate, in connection with their confirmations. But, of course, we now know that it was not settled law. And so, when the Dobbs decision came down, I couldn't help but think back to my friend, in high school.

I had been fortunate not to ever have to have an abortion myself. But I had known some who had. But what really resonated with me, were the number of women well into their 70s, 80s and 90s that reached out to me, and told me their story of illegal abortions, which I had never heard before.

COLLINS: Congresswoman, I know that from other perspectives and things, that you've been willing to share, publicly, also about how personal this is for you, based on your own experience.

BUSH: Yes. I think about before I was ever elected to Congress, in Missouri, we were working on reproductive justice. We were -- we had the right. We had the access. But not everybody had the actual care.

And as someone, who knows what it's like, to be in a position, where I needed that, not only the right, but I needed the care? I was -- I suffered a sexual assault, when I was 17, and had an abortion when I was 18. And I didn't understand.

First of all, I didn't understand what happened to me in the sexual assault. I just thought I did something wrong. I'm like I don't even know what I was supposed to do, in this situation. I didn't understand it, didn't know who to talk to.

But I remembered, when I found out I was pregnant -- and didn't even think I could be pregnant, like I -- it was just like, this is what my friends say you do, and you miss your cycle, and I took a test. And it was, I was like, what?

But I remembered my friends saying that, you call this place, and they'll, you know, you can have an abortion. And I literally went to the thick Yellow Pages, at the time, I went to the thick Yellow Pages, opened up the book, called -- got the phone number, called, and they set up an appointment. And then, within days, I had my procedure.

And so, it's personal to me, because bodily autonomy is something that we should all be striving for, for each and -- and we shouldn't even have to ask for it. We shouldn't have to beg for it.

COLLINS: Well and when there's no exceptions for rape and incest--

BUSH: None.

COLLINS: --as there are in several states, it must scare you--

BUSH: In Missouri, yes.

COLLINS: --your experience.

BUSH: Yes.

COLLINS: I mean, Alabama, yes.

BUSH: Yes. Missouri has no exception for rape or incest.

COLLINS: What do you make of that, when we hear from some lawmakers, like Senator J.D. Vance, who say, on the idea of some states that don't have any exceptions? Two wrongs don't make a right. And the question is not whether a woman should be forced to bring a child to term. It's whether a child should be allowed to live. Because there are Americans who share that view.

BUSH: It is up to the person, that pregnant person to make the decision, about what they want to do with their own body. When the child is born, no one is going killing a child after it is born. That does not happen. It is up to that person.


And, at the end of the day, there should not be, especially in so many of these states, there should not be White men in red states telling people across this country, telling women and pregnant folks across this country, what we can do with our own bodies.

COLLINS: So, without federal legislation, for something like IVF, what's at stake here?

CLARK: Everything's at stake. And they've made it very clear, they are going to challenge contraception, just as Congresswoman Wild said, they are going to challenge IVF. And they have already gone after abortion.

And J.D. Vance has given away the game. It's not about children. It's not about families. It's about control. WILD: Right.

CLARK: And he wants control.


COLLINS: More of that exclusive interview, right after a quick break, including a warning, from those four women lawmakers, about what a second Trump term could mean.



COLLINS: Back now, on THE SOURCE, more of our exclusive interview, with four Democratic lawmakers, on the future of reproductive freedom, in America, and the two realities that the country is now facing, depending on who wins the White House, come November.


COLLINS: We are on the verge of a potential, of seeing Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, now that Nikki Haley has exited the race. What do you believe a second Trump presidency, would mean for these rights that you all have described as fundamental for women?

WILD: Well, I think they've been saying the quiet part out loud, quite frankly. I think we know what it would hold. I think we are looking at a rollback of women's rights.

And as Congresswoman Sewell said, what this really comes down to, and I also want to address the fact of what you said, about some people do believe that abortion is wrong, that it's taking the life of a child? And the answer to that is those people are not being required to have an abortion.

Abortions are needed, in all different kinds of situations. And why should we have politicians or judges making decisions that bear on all of these individual decisions?

SEWELL: And this is why representation matters.


SEWELL: Just think we now have a critical mass of women that are in Congress. We should have more.


SEWELL: But the reality is that when we're at the table, we are bringing up things that are -- that are personal, and that are shared by so many.


SEWELL: And so. COLLINS: And we've even seen -- of course, you're all Democrats. We've seen Republican congressmen, congresswomen, who do agree with you as well, maybe not in the majority.


COLLINS: But on this, and given what your--

WILD: What you're saying, not a single one of them has signed on to my IVF bill. They can say that all they want. But they need to put their money where their mouth is--


WILD: --and sign on to the IVF bill, if they really believe that it should be a fundamental right.

COLLINS: Given the stakes that you laid out, if there is potentially a second Trump presidency, or just what this looks like, as a matter of Congress, are you all endorsing President Biden?


CLARK: Wholeheartedly.

SEWELL: Absolutely.

WILD: Yes.

BUSH: What I want to say is what we need, right now. And what I'm hoping that President Biden can do, will do, is get us the ERA, right now, the Equal Rights Amendment that would give us gender equality, in the U.S. Constitution, because if something does happen, and if we don't have a Biden presidency coming up, we need those protections, right now.

COLLINS: And so, you said yes. You said, yes.


COLLINS: You are endorsing President Biden?

WILD: Yes.

CLARK: And can I just?


BUSH: I'm endorsing the ceasefire, right now. So, that's what I want to see. And then, after that we -- right now, the President is in a -- is still in a primary phase, so bearish--

COLLINS: Can I ask you about that, though? Because voters, when they go to the polls, they do prioritize issues. Not every voter has the same issue. But a lot of voters, they'd see what is the most important to them, and they vote on that. If there's a voter who has these concerns, about abortion access, reproductive rights, but is also concerned about what's happening in Gaza, what would you say to them?

BUSH: We need to make sure our President knows, because this -- in the same way, as an elected official, my people let me know what they want. They let me know what they want to see, these are the things that I need.

And if we have a president that listens to us, if we have a president that cares about the things that we care about, that could harm us, or where he can mitigate harm, or where he can -- where he can help? Then, I think that we should make sure he knows that he understands the depths of that.

That's what this whole interview that we're talking about is about--

SEWELL: Absolutely.

BUSH: --making sure that that is known what women need, what people like us, queer folks, LGBT folks, what we need. And so, if we keep our mouths closed, a closed mouth will not get fed.

CLARK: I just want to say this about abortion access in this country. The GOP is on a march. They're telling us this. You can see it in the bills that they are sponsoring and signing on to. The 194 members of the House Republican Party, who voted against legal contraception. Let that set in.

And there is one presidential candidate, who is for equality, who is going to restore this fundamental access to health care, for women and families, in this country. And that's Joe Biden.

SEWELL: And Donald Trump has already shown his hand. He was the one, who picked three justices, last term that overturned Roe versus Wade.


SEWELL: So, we know it's a binary choice. It's--

WILD: And would undoubtedly affirm the Alabama decision.

SEWELL: Absolutely. And so, we know what kind of administration Donald Trump will have, and what effect it will have, on women, and our reproductive rights, our voting rights, our environmental injustice rights. I mean, you name it, name it.

CLARK: Right.


SEWELL: And so, I think that it's really important that we sound the alarm, because it's IVF, today, but it could be contraception, tomorrow.

COLLINS: Representatives, thank you all, for being here, and for talking about this very important issue.

SEWELL: Thank you.

BUSH: Thank you.

CLARK: Thank you, Kaitlan.


COLLINS: And happy International Women's Day, to all of you.

Thank you so much, for joining me, tonight.