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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Stormy Daniels Testifies About Alleged Affair With Trump; Stormy Daniels Says She "Hates" Trump; Israel Seizes Rafah Border Crossing As Ceasefire Talks Continue. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 07, 2024 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Just about 9 PM, here in New York, day 13 in the Trump hush money criminal trial, now history, including the former President today facing the woman he denies having an affair with, denies buying her silence, and denies cooking his company books to cover it up.

Stormy Daniels, who testified in great detail today, so much so the defense moved for a mistrial, which the judge, though displeased by some of it, did not grant, meaning the defense got their first chance, to cross-examine her, this afternoon, managing their points to raise questions about her credibility, which in the end, will be up to the jury to decide. There's going to be more cross-examination on Thursday.

At one point, Judge Merchan also ordered defense attorney, Todd Blanche, to speak to his client, Donald Trump, who he said was audibly cursing at points, during Stormy Daniels' testimony, behavior the judge called contemptuous.

As for Daniels, she'll be back on the stand, when the trial resumes Thursday.

Back with the panel, right now.

Joining us CNN Legal Analyst, Elie Honig.

And Norm Eisen, who served as Special Counsel to the House Democrats, during the first Trump impeachment, and is the Author of "Trying Trump: A Guide to His First Election Interference Criminal Trial."

So, you've been writing courtroom diaries, Norm. What stood out to you today? What are the biggest takeaways from her testimony?

NORMAN EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Stormy Daniels is not a critical witness to the prosecution, unlike Michael Cohen, who's coming up. She's principally a corroboration witness, to provide additional evidence, because all of the witnesses we've seen have credibility issues.

I thought she was actually more effective, on cross-examination, just watching the jury. Under the pressure of questioning from defense counsel, her toughness and steel came out. She pushed back on some of the aspersions that were cast upon her.

And she did provide corroboration about the 2006 sexual encounter that kicked off this whole case, then the critical 2016 alleged campaign finance conspiracy, and then its cover-up. And you need that conspiracy, and the cover-up. She centered on the conspiracy. She brought us back, after a very dry documents day.

COOPER: So, you're saying she was better on cross-examination, because she was more natural and sort of authentic, as opposed to her initial testimony, which was, I mean, it was certainly rushed from what we heard from outside the court.

EISEN: I felt that she was not as effective. It's unusual. But sometimes, witnesses do perform better on cross. It was a challenge to her. And her genuine persona came out. If the -- she's a writer. She writes scripts. She's a performer. And I felt that the direct was a little bit too performative. She was more genuine, on the cross.

COOPER: What do you -- what do you make of the defense calling for a mistrial?

EISEN: Well, we -- Elie and I were chatting about this. There was no chance that they were going to get a mistrial. They wanted to make a point. The judge did agree with them that the testimony went too far.

But -- and Donald Trump cannot have been too happy about this. The judge pointed out that the defense had failed to object at certain points that he had to, sua sponte on his own, object, at one point.

It did go too far, Anderson. There were too many extraneous issues. A reporter asked me, did she talk too much? I said the problem wasn't talking. It was a failure to listen. She was not hearing the questions and responding to the questions. She was going over that script.

But I do think, in the end of the day, just watching the jury, in the afternoon, the prosecution continued to advance its case. This today was more of three yards and a cloud of dust. And both sides got things that they wanted, from today's examination.


ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, it's interesting because I was doing our live coverage, following along with our minute-by-minute updates from inside the courtroom. And I had the exact opposite impression.

Now, you had the benefit of being in the courtroom. So, I will defer to that.

But we do also have to be careful when we play sort of amateur psychologists to the jurors' movements, right? No, they were leaning forward. They were taking, I mean, taking notes. OK, they could be taking notes, because they think this is a great point. Or they could be taking notes because they think this makes no sense, and I don't believe it. So, let's just all be cautious in reading into the jurors' physicality. My impression was she was plausible on her explanation of what happened in that hotel room. It's hard for me to believe that a juror heard that and thought, this is entirely made up. There may well be some embellishments with Arthur -- Arthur, I think, pointed out effectively in the last hour. But I think it's quite clear they had sex in 2006 in that hotel room.

But the cross-exam, boy, her responses were disastrous. I mean, do you hate Donald Trump? Yes, of course she does. That's a big deal. When the witness hates the person, whose liberty is at stake? That's a big damn deal.


And she's putting out tweets fantasizing about him being in jail? That really undermines the credibility.

The fact that she owes him $500,000. She, by order of a court, owes Donald Trump a half million dollars, and said I will never pay him, I will defy a court order? The defense is going to say she's willing to defy a court order. Why -- she's not willing to respect an order of a judge, why is she going to respect this oath she took?

So, I thought it went quite poorly on cross-exam. At the end of direct, I thought, OK, they got what they needed. But I think the cross is making real inroads.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Can I ask you both about part of the cross that has been a theme of the defense, which was this whole thing is just extortion. These are people, who had a way, of extracting money from Donald Trump. And that's what they did, with the threat of disclosing stuff he didn't want disclosed.

How do you think that plays into this case?

HONIG: You go first. You were there.

EISEN: Look, I thought that the importance of starting with Pecker, who makes clear that there is an agreement. And he was very persuasive.

And the rest of the case, including -- put the documents half of the case to the side, the cover-up to the side. Stormy didn't have anything to say about that. The rest of the case is all a follow-on to Pecker establishing the contours of this campaign finance, election interference, conspiracy.

So if -- Jeff, if Donald Trump himself set up the arrangement that was later executed? That rebuts the extortion point.

And Elie, to your point, it's not the note-taking that I found so telling on cross. It was that they didn't take notes. They paid attention. They listened. And she showed her steel.

What are you supposed to do? She did do that tweet. She does hate Donald Trump. HONIG: Yes.

EISEN: I think juries, if you're honest with them, that is the one thing they want. You can -- Arthur has made a very good living off of this principle. If you are honest with them?


EISEN: They will trust you.


EISEN: They will believe you.

AIDALA: You can't lose cred--

COLLINS: On that point?

AIDALA: You cannot lose credibility.

COLLINS: On that point, there was one confusing line of questioning, where she didn't seem to have a solid timeline, on why she signed the agreement where she shifted from saying that it was not out of desire for money. It was out of fear that she signed this agreement.

She said that she didn't want the story to get out. But then she said that she just wanted the story to get out.

AIDALA: Right.

COLLINS: And then she said she signed it because she figured it was just easier to do this, to stay quiet, to let them buy her silence.

I thought that was a little bit confusing given that is actually what gets to the heart of this, which is the catch-and-kill aspect of this. And the fact that she couldn't get out there with her story, what they've been leading up to, with David Pecker, Karen McDougal, and now to Stormy Daniels. That was something that didn't get a lot of clarity in the courtroom today for the jurors.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: I don't -- I mean, the more I sort of marinate on this testimony, maybe the strategy is, in part, to show, frankly, with all due respect, how messy of a person Stormy Daniels is.

And from Donald Trump's perspective, even his demeanor, in the courtroom today, the way that she really gets a rise out of him, it makes it very easy to explain, why he would think it is extremely important, to keep this woman's story from coming out, at the exact moment that she was threatening to tell the world.

She would have been a character that would have absorbed all of the energy in the campaign, had she been out front in that particular moment. For whatever it's worth, the jury saw that today.

And for all its good parts and its bad parts, Stormy Daniels is who she is. And she's not a clean witness, in the sense that she's not always telling a straight story. She's not always coming across as credible. Maybe she's acting sometimes. Maybe she's not.

There was definitely something that happened. But the degree to, the nitty-gritty details, you're not really sure how much of it is true. And all of that is part of the package. And you can see why Donald Trump didn't want that to come out.

COOPER: Kaitlan, the -- you know, you've talked to -- well, I mean, the former President has denied any kind of sexual liaison with Stormy Daniels. Do most Republican supporters and others believe him?

COLLINS: It's hard after today, I think, especially. I think a lot of people said, well, she's coming forward, because he's running for president, and look at this.

But there's all these instances of Donald Trump denying this. I mean, there are countless, from when he was in the White House, in briefing rooms.

And there's one where even after he was confronted by a reporter, he denied it.


REPORTER: Why did you change your story on Stormy Daniels?


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not changing any stories. All I'm telling you is that this country is right now running so smooth. And to be bringing up that kind of crap and to be bringing up witch-hunts all the time? That's all you want to talk about.

REPORTER: You did not--

TRUMP: You're going to see--

REPORTER: But you said on Air Force One--

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me.

REPORTER: --that you did not know anything--

TRUMP: No but you have to--

REPORTER: --about the payments.


TRUMP: Excuse me. You take a look at what I said. You go back and take a look. You'll see what I said.


COLLINS: To Catherine Lucey's credit, she was the one who asked him the question on Air Force One, where he's in the hallway, and he denies. And no, you have to ask Michael Cohen about that. I don't know anything about that. Obviously, we later learned that was a lie. He did know about it.

I think the one thing that we haven't talked about enough today is his level of anger inside that courtroom. I mean, I have been watching Trump as he was in there with Keith Davidson, the moments where he was closing his eyes, and not really paying attention, or trying to kind of pretend like the testimony wasn't happening.

He made no illusions of not listening, today. He was glued to that screen. He had a scowl on his face the whole time. When he walked in and out of the room, he was downright angry.

The only time he didn't seem really furious was as he was exiting the courtroom, at the end of the day, after Susan Necheles had delivered a pretty brutal beginning of that cross-examination.

But Trump's anger in watching Stormy Daniels, and the two of them being in the room, for the first time in 17 years? They have not seen each other since 2007. It was palpable. Even from where I was in the very, very back corner of the room, you could see how angry he was, the longer her testimony went on.

AIDALA: You can see how happy he was, as you just said, when he left the courtroom, because when he came outside, his statement today was you could see this case is falling apart.

Because I forget I think what you--

TOOBIN: But he shows that every day.

AIDALA: No, no, he doesn't, no. He says every day that I can't get a fair trial, the judge is, it's not fair. The jury is not fair.

But today, because I think what Kaitlan just said, Susan Necheles came right out and said this wasn't about money? You said this wasn't about money? And of course, it's about money.

And I think -- I think Abby said, we're going to focus, push it away from the sex and go about money, money, money. This was all about money for you.

COOPER: Jeff, before Stormy Daniels testified. I don't want to suck all the air out of the room. But before she testified, the jury heard from this publishing executive and it was actually really interesting.

The prosecutor had her read a number of passages, from two different books. One was how to be a billionaire. One of the quotes was, this is Donald Trump in this book, which was ghostwritten says, "As I said before, I always sign my checks so I know where my money's going. In the same spirit, I also always try to read my bills to make sure I'm not being over-charged."

Another time in how to be a billionaire, he wrote, as I said before -- oh, that's the same thing. "As I said... I always sign my checks." TOOBIN: This is what the case is about. This is the charge in the case, which is that he made false business records. So, I thought that was extremely incriminating.

Now, what I thought was sort of hilarious and fascinating, was his Charles Barkley defense. Now, you may not understand that reference, is that Charles Barkley, the basketball player and broadcaster, wrote an autobiography.

COOPER: Even I know who Charles Barkley is.


TOOBIN: I know. But, Anderson, I always want to be careful on the sports issues.

And he claimed -- he wrote an autobiography, and he claimed he was misquoted in his own autobiography. The cross-examination was effectively that, is that well, Trump doesn't really write his own books. I think that's going to be a tough sell for the jury.

And that, I mean, that's not going to seal the case. But that meticulous attention to his own bookkeeping, is something that is very important, in this case, goes right to the issues, and I think is going to be a big problem for him.

HONIG: Let me -- let me give you an Amen to that.

PHILLIP: And it corroborates the testimony from yesterday.

HONIG: I thought Sally Franklin -- that's her name. Let's remember. Sally Franklin, to me, the legal nerd in me, she was the star of the day.


HONIG: I mean, that testimony about what Donald Trump himself wrote in his book is devastating.

Remember, last night, when you were talking about, well, but does he know? Does he know about the accounting? Is he familiar with the invoices?

She quoted him saying, you have to check out every invoice, you have to know every paperclip. To me, that was a much, certainly better witness for the prosecution, and ultimately, less dynamic, but more important. I know. It sounds ridiculous but.

PHILLIP: Yes. But it doubles down on what--


PHILLIP: --the jury heard yesterday, from another person, who knows Trump's practices very well, who said the same thing.

HONIG: Yes. PHILLIP: That Trump would get invoices and be like, don't pay this, like go back and make it less.

COLLINS: I hate to tell you all. But not one juror is going home, today--


COLLINS: --thinking about what Sally Franklin testified--


HONIG: In closing. In closing.


COLLINS: --any of this.

HONIG: That's going to be up on the board.


PHILLIP: They have.



COLLINS: But I'm just saying right now--


COLLINS: --like the jurors.


AIDALA: But Elie, Elie, the fact that--

PHILLIP: We don't think it's a mistake on the prosecutors. But to me--

TOOBIN: Thank you for the reality check.

PHILLIP: --a huge distraction for the--

COLLINS: Thinking it's all better now.

COOPER: I don't know. I mean, if I thought I'm thinking about it?

COLLINS: Anderson's jumping about it.

COOPER: If you're thinking about it?


COOPER: And somebody's -- I assume somebody on this jury.

HONIG: Sally Franklin, remember that name.

AIDALA: Right, but the fact Elie that just -- just it's Trump, like the quote from the book, right?


AIDALA: Make sure you're not getting over-charged, look at the bill, and make sure you sign and you're paying the right amount of money.

As you know, Mr. Prosecutor, that's not enough to prove any element of this crime, correct?

HONIG: Oh, it goes to a very important aspect of this.

AIDALA: What's the aspect?

HONIG: Which is he was aware of the whole check scheme, the reimbursement scheme to Michael Cohen. It's on point, today.

AIDALA: OK. But it's not -- and it's not recorded anyway. It's got to still--

HONIG: It's recorded in his book.


AIDALA: It's -- no, he's not signing the book. He doesn't have the book. This is just him signing a check. It's got to go, where -- where is this book that it's being recorded in? He's -- Donald Trump signature's in the check, on the check.

HONIG: Right.

AIDALA: He does not know--


AIDALA: --that Allen Weisselberg put it down--

HONIG: They're the -- yes.

AIDALA: --as a campaign expense or some other legal expense.

COOPER: Well we don't know that, I mean.

AIDALA: We don't know that.

COOPER: Right.

HONIG: But the book--

AIDALA: Sally doesn't prove that.

COOPER: Right, yes.

HONIG: --the book is saying Donald Trump saying, this is my practice. This is how I run my business. I check every invoice. It's not him saying, I checked the Michael Cohen invoices. That would be, you know.

COOPER: There was also a quote in one of the books about Allen Weisselberg, and how he's been there by his side for 30 years.


COOPER: And how close they are.

EISEN: And the book, another page of the book corroborated this story that we heard from Jeff McConney, you're fired, because he did not feel he was monitoring Trump's cash positions closely enough.

For me, the most -- this is real legal nerdery. But the most fascinating part of the examination of the publisher was the redirect, because the prosecutors laid a trap. On cross--

COOPER: Yes, it's interesting.

EISEN: --Blanche said well, wait a minute, there was a ghostwriter. There was a co-author. And then, the prosecutors came back with all of the personal details of the acknowledgement.

COOPER: Right. And the co-writer was like this young--

EISEN: And Trump's mother who was quoted in there.


EISEN: And it just hammered.

COOPER: But also, the co-writer wasn't like an established writer, who would have just invented all this stuff. It was somebody, who was like, part an assistant--

COLLINS: She works at Trump Org.

COOPER: --who works at Trump's Organization, and sits outside his desk.


COOPER: So, the idea that she is making up all these quotes seems highly unlikely.

COLLINS: Also fun fact she's--

EISEN: However, Kaitlan is totally right. Not a single juror remembers--

COLLINS: But can I just say one fun fact of this woman?

EISEN: --what happened this morning, none.

COLLINS: She works for the Trump Organization. She's a staffer there. I think she's like in her 70s now. She's the one who helped Melania Trump write her RNC speech in 2016 that plagiarized parts of Michelle Obama's speech. And she had to apologize. And she took the blame for that.


COLLINS: Just to bring this all full-circle--

HONIG: Nothing could be easy.

COLLINS: --that we're still living in 2016--


COLLINS: --at this moment, but.

COOPER: Wow. So on -- so Thursday, Stormy Daniels is back. How long? I mean, if you are the defense attorney, where do you go?

AIDALA: Oh, wow. What they've done before, OK? So this is how it works. Months ago, they take everything Stormy Daniels has said everywhere, and you put it -- I mean, I'm old school, so I just do it on paper. But they put it on Excel spreadsheets. And it's by topic.

What did she say about how she met Trump? What did she say in the book? What did she say to Anderson Cooper? What did she say here? What did she say there? So, you have all those checklists, and all these different topics. And then, on this side, it's like, all these different interviews.

And then look, you have to have it so memorized, so in your soul, when you're the lawyer, standing up there that you're reacting. You don't have time to say, all right, hold on Madam witness, let me look at this.

You have to be like, oh, really? That's what you're saying today? Well, do you remember giving an interview to Anderson Cooper in 2018, when you said this? So which time were you lying? You're lying to these 12 jurors, or you're lying to Anderson Cooper?

TOOBIN: But what -- but what is--

AIDALA: But you have to know it like that.

TOOBIN: But what is the core lie that you want to establish? I mean, do you really want to establish that they didn't have sex? I mean, what -- what is--


TOOBIN: What is? See, this is why I find her--

AIDALA: You just want to--

TOOBIN: --an entertaining witness. But I don't think she's all that important.

AIDALA: I agree with you.


AIDALA: But you know -- you know who you're attacking without attacking them? The prosecutor.

COOPER: But by the way?

AIDALA: You can't trust them. This is the witness. This whole case is about Stormy Daniels. If Stormy Daniels never met Donald Trump, none of us would be here. And they're the ones, who put this whole case. We're only here because of this woman. And you can't believe her, because she told this lie, that lie, this lie, this lie, that lie. And if you can't believe any of those lies, then you're going to walk him right out of this courtroom.

COOPER: Elie, I mean, there's no question, after Stormy Daniels testimony today, there's no way Donald Trump is testifying.

HONIG: Oh, my gosh, no.

COOPER: I mean, there wasn't before but--

HONIG: Probably it went from 0.0 to 0.0.


HONIG: Yes, I mean, there is just no reason for him to testify, strategically. I don't think you will find a rational defense lawyer, or prosecutor, on the planet, who would say he should testify. He doesn't need to.

This is a reasonable doubt defense. Arthur just articulated it quite well, and quite passionately. I can't wait by the way to see Michael -- well, you on Michael Cohen night. Let me put that to side.


HONIG: But I mean, basically the pitch is they haven't proven their case. And they're basing this on the word of two people, Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, who you cannot believe beyond a reasonable doubt. To take the stand would just be absolutely self-destructive.

COOPER: We got to take a quick break, next. Now, we've gotten the full trial transcript. John Berman's back with more of the standout moments from today.

And later, Clarissa Ward, from Jerusalem, on Israel's move to take over the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, and where this leaves ceasefire negotiations for both sides.



COOPER: Before the break, Arthur mentioned the degree to which the defense is focusing on the consistency of Stormy Daniels' statements over time. Today, at least her accounts of her conversations with the former President about his daughter, Ivanka, and possible opportunities beyond "The Apprentice" do square substantially with the ones she gave me in 2018.


STORMY DANIELS, PORNOGRAPHIC FILM ACTRESS AND DIRECTOR: He's like, wow, you -- you are special. You remind me of my daughter. You know -- he's like, you're smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.

COOPER: At this point, was he doing The Apprentice?

DANIELS: Yes. And he goes, got an idea, honeybunch. Would you ever consider going on and -- and being a contestant?

And I laughed and -- and said, NBC's never going to let, you know, an adult film star be on. It's, you know, he goes, no, no, he goes, that's why I want you. You're going to shock a lot of people, you're smart and they won't know what to expect.

COOPER: Did you think he was serious? Or did you think he was kind of dangling that to get you to want to be involved him?



COOPER: Back with the panel.

And John Berman, who's got more from the trial transcript.

What stands out?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, we've had a chance, now that we have the full transcript, to go over the cross, and put a little meat on the bones of what you've all been talking about here, on how the defense really went after Stormy Daniels, right out of the gate.

On page three of the cross-examination, this is when Susan Necheles, the defense attorney, says to Stormy Daniels, am I correct that you hate President Trump?

Daniels: Yes.

Necheles: And you want him to go to jail, right?

Daniels: I want him to be held accountable.

Necheles: You want him to go to jail; am I correct?


Daniels: If he's found guilty, absolutely.

Necheles: And you tweeted in the past that quote, "I won't walk, I'll dance down the street when he selected to go to jail;" correct?

Daniels: Can you show me that's exactly what I said? That's not--

Necheles then says, can we please pull up J-2, exhibit J-2, only for the witness and the parties, please.

The exhibit's shown. She looks at it. She goes, uh-huh, and Daniels laughs.

Susan Necheles says, did you just laugh?

Daniels says, selected is in quotes because I'm quoting something that someone else said. Because I knew you don't get selected to go to jail.

Necheles says, you just laughed about that; right?

Objection, from the prosecution.

Daniels says it's a typo.

The judge says overruled.

Stormy Daniels says that's why it's funny. You don't get selected to go to jail.

Daniels says it's not because you think -- this is a typo.

It's not because you think it's funny at all, Susan Necheles asks.

And then Stormy Daniels says no. Absolutely not.

So that you get a sense of how tense it was. Obviously, you get the part about Stormy Daniels hating her. But you also get the defense leaning in to the idea that Stormy Daniels was laughing on the stand.

HONIG: You know how rare it is, to ask a witness on cross-examination, you hate the defendant? And the witnesses say yes, I do.

I mean, it's better that she's honest about her bias. But this is overwhelming, what lawyers call bias. She hates him. And again, if I'm the prosecutor, I'd rather have her just come out and admit what's obvious.

But that's a big deal. The jury is allowed to take that into account. And that is very stark testimony. I think it will stick in their heads.

COOPER: Do you think the defense will ask Michael Cohen, do you hate Donald Trump?

HONIG: Oh my goodness. Hate is not the right word. I mean, it's his entire livelihood, it's entire --

AIDALA: Yes. It's how he makes--

HONIG: --his entire persona.

AIDALA: It's how he makes a living--


AIDALA: --Your Honor.

HONIG: There is a some poor intern on the defense, he would see--

COOPER: Do you think he'll answer--


COOPER: Do you think he'll answer yes? Or do you think he'll try to--

HONIG: He's going to--

COOPER: --give a nuanced answer?

HONIG: Oh, Michael Cohen embraced -- yes, right. He's going to embrace this. I mean, some poor intern, on the defense team, is probably listening to every podcast this guy's ever done, every TikTok he's ever done. It is over the top. I've never seen anything like the level of personal hatred and bias that Michael Cohen will have.

TOOBIN: And Michael Cohen wrote an entire book called "Revenge."

COOPER: Yes. Yes.

TOOBIN: So, you don't really have to look that hard--

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: --to find his motivation.

COOPER: I'm just wondering if he would cop to it so freely or you know?

TOOBIN: We'll see. But I--

AIDALA: He's going to have no choice. And he's--

TOOBIN: Yes, yes, I don't.

AIDALA: And don't forget. He's getting prepped and prepped and prepped.

But Anderson, can we just touch about how sick it is that Stormy Daniels said that here's Donald Trump hitting on her, wants to have sex with her, and he's like, you remind me of my daughter? That's weird stuff, man. That is--

COLLINS: Well she was saying it was because she's smart that--

PHILLIP: Pretty--


COLLINS: When she said she was--

AIDALA: OK. When you hit on a girl--

COLLINS: Now, can I say?

AIDALA: --you don't say you remind me my daughter.

COLLINS: But -- but to--

AIDALA: That's nuts.

COLLINS: To that point--

AIDALA: It's disgusting.

COLLINS: --one thing that stood out to me, as someone who's covered Trump since even before he was in the White House, watching him sitting there, and having to listen to the way she talked about him? It wasn't just what she said and the salacious point.

She was so derisive. She was mocking him, basically, at several points. She was saying, he was old enough to be my dad. He was older than my father. She was 27. He was 60. She was saying she didn't enjoy it. She didn't want to be there.

She's had all these points, where then in the cross-examination, she was like, yes, I do hate him, and I do want to see him held accountable. And she was not shying away from her past statements about him.

Trump never has to sit there, and listen to someone talk about him like that, or talk to him like that, and describe him as arrogant and pompous. And today, he, I mean, he had no choice. He was just sitting there.

Speaking of what this trial has done to him, regardless of the outcome, seeing him sit there at that table, and just have to kind of take it, is remarkable.


PHILLIP: And this is one of the things that he has always been the most sensitive about, this Stormy Daniels allegation in particular. Kaitlan knows this actually really well, because asking him about this, at the White House would be like World War II for the White House staff. They absolutely hated this line of questioning.

And it really gets to -- it reminds me of how he responded to the Access Hollywood tape. That's definitely him, right, on the audio tape? But he still likes to deny it. And so when he's confronted with the sort of worst parts of himself, he really reacts very strongly, and very negatively. And that's what this whole case is about. However, I do think Stormy Daniels, the way that she conveyed that. Trump is going to make the argument. And I don't know what his lawyers

are going to do. But he's already been making the case. This is a concocted case, to dirty him up, before the election, to make him seem bad, in front of the American public, even though there's no like legally -- illegal thing that happened here. That's his argument.

I don't know that Stormy Daniels helped the prosecutors, in batting that down, because she seemed to have a personal vendetta against him. It may be justified. But that's what it seemed like, based on the facts.

COOPER: Well the defense, when they cross-examined her, I mean, they attacked her motivations about talking about these.

BERMAN: They tried, many ways. One, there was the hate issue, also the financial motivation, and they lean into that.


On the one hand, you all mentioned before. Stormy Daniels had said that she refuse to pay Trump, the money that she owes him in the lawsuits.

This is where Susan Necheles, the defense attorney picks up. Now, while you've been refusing to pay President Trump the money that you owe him, you've also been making money by claiming you had sex with President Trump; right?

Daniels says, are you talking about the book? Yes.

Necheles: And, you've been making money by claiming you had sex with Donald Trump for more than a decade; right?

Daniels: I have not been paid for interviews in the United States if that's what you mean.

Necheles: Well, that was not my question. My question was, you've been making money by claiming to have had sex with President Trump for more than a decade; right?

Daniels: I've been making money by telling my story about what happened to me.

Necheles: And that story, in essence, is that you say you had sex with President Trump; right?

Daniels: Yes.

And that story has made you a lot of money; right?

Then Daniels says, it has also cost me a lot of money.

TOOBIN: And that's -- that point about costing her a lot of money. And this is the thing I spent a lot of time talking to Stormy about, which is, because Michael Avenatti filed this libel lawsuit against Trump that the judge in California said was frivolous. He awarded attorney's fees to Trump, which is assessed against the client, not the lawyer.

The amount he now -- she now owes him with interest and penalties is $670,000. She owes Donald Trump $670,000. You can see why that makes someone really angry.

And there does seem to be a measure of injustice, because her lawyer, who is now in prison, for other reasons, is responsible for her being in this gigantic debt, which is much more than the money she made out of this whole thing.

AIDALA: But there are other reasons that he's in jail, Avenatti. But they're very similar that right? He's in jail for extortion. The defense's theory here is somehow is going to be have to do with extortion. But getting his--

TOOBIN: Well he's also in jail for stealing from Stormy.

AIDALA: Yes, that's true.

TOOBIN: I mean, so.

AIDALA: But to Kaitlan's point about, Trump having to sit there? He did -- he didn't explode. But he reacted in a way today that caused the judge to tell his lawyers, you've got to rein this guy in.

Because the judge does have the power. I mean, there's the Confrontation Clause, which is tantamount in a trial. So, the way the judge can put him in jail, the judge also can throw him out of the courtroom. It's very hard, if a witness is testifying. Unless he just acts so disruptively, then they could put him in another room, with a videotape, because he's forfeited his right to be there.

COOPER: Do you think -- did the defense mention the amount of money that she owes him to, already?

COLLINS: Yes, they asked her. They--

TOOBIN: Oh, yes. Yes.

COLLINS: That was actually right when it began that she was going.


COLLINS: I mean, John has the transcript. But Susan Necheles was going line by line of what she owes Donald Trump--


COLLINS: --and what she says that she's not paying him.

AIDALA: Does she owe him money for violating the non-disclosure agreement?


TOOBIN: No, it's for this-- PHILLIP: Yes.

TOOBIN: It's for filing the frivolous lawsuit.

AIDALA: No but there's no -- usually a non-disclosure agreement--

HONIG: You want to sue.

COLLINS: Trump didn't even sign it though, remember?


COLLINS: There was no lawsuit. But also Trump's--

TOOBIN: They never did.

COLLINS: --whole argument was void--


COLLINS: --because he never even signed it.

PHILLIP: She talks at length about why she won't pay it back. And there was an implication that she could, but she won't, because she thinks it's unfair. So, they talked at length about that.

BERMAN: This is a -- and isn't it true that you're hoping that if Donald Trump is convicted, you'll never have to pay him the more than half a million dollars you owe him?

It's out there. It was in this trial.

HONIG: And even beyond that, both Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen, even putting aside this judgment against Stormy Daniels, they do have direct financial interest here. If Donald Trump is convicted, they're going to both sell more books, get more views, get more downloads, be on TV more.

If he's not convicted? What if this jury? I don't think it's at all likely they come back not guilty. Might hang. But if they come back not guilty? The bottom falls out on the Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels market.

So, in addition to over-admitted personal hatred, they have a financial motive as well.

AIDALA: And that will be drilled, drilled, drilled to her and to him and to the jury at the end. They have millions of reasons to lie to you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.

COOPER: John Berman, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Obviously, the jury heard a lot from Stormy Daniels today, as well as anger from the judge, about some of that testimony. Coming up, we'll talk to a jury consultant about it all.



COOPER: Want to discuss more about what the jury saw today, especially from Judge Juan Merchan. Juries often take cues from judges. And today, this jury saw a judge, particularly in the early session, visibly frustrated with prosecutors, and the witness, Stormy Daniels.

Her early testimony included details about sexual positions, and whether the former President used a condom, and he didn't. This judge later said there were some things, quote, "Better left unsaid."

However, those details and other denials or things that Daniels talked about may boost the credibility of her claim of having sex with the former President. It's a claim he's consistently denied, and lies at the heart of the charges against him.

Joining us is jury consultant, Alan Tuerkheimer.

How do you think the jury responded to Stormy Daniels' testimony?

ALAN TUERKHEIMER, JURY CONSULTANT: Jurors sacrifice a lot. They give up their time, their families, their jobs. And it's difficult. They have to hear the information in a case. They don't get to sit around and talk to people about it. It's stressful.

And when I talk to them, after verdicts, the number one thing they usually tell me that irks them about the process is that time was wasted or when something was inefficient.


TUERKHEIMER: That really bothers them.

And I think they're looking at the testimony today. I think there was some extraneous testimony that she went into, some of the details that you just highlighted, maybe a few jokes, which I don't think should ever be made in court. And so, I think that bothered the jurors.

Now, they would tend to give her a free pass, unlike somebody like Michael Cohen, who would do the same. But I do think it bothered them.


And if you think about it, the prosecution, in its opening statement, had some pretty stark language. They've talked about a conspiracy, cover-up, scheming, that kind of thing. And so, they really want to elevate, and have jurors think that this is serious stuff.

So anytime there's a moment of frivolity in the courtroom, or if that goes on for a while, I think that hurts the prosecution and helps the defense.

COOPER: There was reporting that Stormy Daniels was addressing the jury, and made sort of jokes, and they didn't seem to respond. And people in the courtroom said, and Kaitlan, you can talk about this, that it didn't seem to land well with the jurors, right?

COLLINS: Because it was such a tense environment, and such a serious subject that she was talking about.

TUERKHEIMER: Yes, I just -- I don't think there's really any circumstance. I know you mentioned earlier, if something--


TUERKHEIMER: --isn't planned, and there's little humor? Yes, it's a good time to release. Jurors can laugh at that.

But any kind of planned humor, it's just the courtroom is not the place for that. And I think they probably picked up on that. And if they maybe smiled or looked at each other, whatever happened, I don't think that they appreciated that.

COOPER: When in cross-examination, when she was asked if she hated Donald Trump, and she said, yes? Did jurors appreciate that honesty, you think? Or how -- I mean, or do they suddenly now question her motives?

TUERKHEIMER: I think some of them -- I think a little bit of both. I think they probably appreciated it, but also thought, well, what is her reason for testifying? What is she here for?

And I know there was the discussion earlier about cross and direct. Maybe she was more credible? I mean, Norman, and you were talking about this.

I think, to me, the big thing is that if your demeanor changes from direct to cross, the jury is not going to think that you're that credible. They're going to question how truthful you are, how believable you are, and how likable you are.

So, whether or not whatever she said, during the -- during the cross that maybe she didn't touch on during the direct, if the demeanor changes, and it's a different person? That's going to hurt her credibility.

TOOBIN: Apparently she was at times talking directly to the jury.

Do you have a view? Some witnesses, in answering questions, answer to the jury, and others answer to the lawyer. Do you think one of those is the correct approach?

TUERKHEIMER: I think being natural is the best. So, I like it when a client, if somebody says, could you explain to the jury? Then, you look at the jury.

I think it's unnatural, and jurors get a little weirded-out by it if the lawyer and the witness are talking, and then, every time there's an answer, they pivot and look at the jury. I don't think that's natural.

I think it's good to try to at least elicit and prompt them to look at the jury, so that the jury feels like--


TUERKHEIMER: --we're having a conversation.

AIDALA: Can I ask your opinion about having two lawyers on the jury?

TUERKHEIMER: Yes. So, it was not inadvertent, certainly. And it's very interesting. This is a white collar type of logical, accomplished jury. There are sales--

AIDALA: Yes, oh yes.

TUERKHEIMER: --sales people, business people.

AIDALA: It's not a Bronx jury. That I can tell you.

TUERKHEIMER: Yes, it's yes, so maybe not that atypical for a New York County.

But yes, the other lawyers are going to have probably undue influence. It's interesting that there're two. Now, I don't know -- they didn't run out of strikes, because they were chosen in the first seven. So maybe one side thought the other would burn a strike on a lawyer and then -- or the other.

Either way, though, I think maybe the thinking is these lawyers are going to strictly adhere to the law--

AIDALA: What would you counsel--

TUERKHEIMER: --not going to get--

AIDALA: --the Trump attorneys, regarding the lawyers? Would you have told them to strike them? Or would you say I think, in this case, it's OK to keep them on?

TUERKHEIMER: I think it's -- I think it's OK. I think that a lot of times lawyers, they've been -- they've seen situations, where ethics maybe were questioned, and maybe some shady thing's going on. And they can distinguish that between illegality. And maybe that's the hope. They're not going to get bamboozled by some of the salacious details of what's going on in this case.

So, it's always risky. And it's interesting that there's not only one but two lawyers on this jury, for sure.

COLLINS: Susan Necheles, the Trump attorney, at one point, during her cross-examination, said to Stormy Daniels, you aggressively rehearsed for this, with the prosecution, didn't you?

And Stormy Daniels pushed back on the characterization. She said she did go over her testimony with them.

I wonder though, how the jury hears that, people who may not know what did -- how prosecutors do work with the witnesses, that they call, of what they're going to say.

TUERKHEIMER: I think most jurors know that witnesses do prepare. And in a way, it shows that they're taking it seriously. Now, I know they didn't get into that. So, I don't think that was too much of a surprise.

But most jurors do make that inference that if you're going to get up and testify case like this, you're certainly going to prepare for it. And rehearse is a word maybe she wanted to use. That wouldn't be the word that Stormy Daniels would use, but.

COLLINS: I think that's a Susan Necheles tactic.


AIDALA: Yes. Yes.

TOOBIN: So, I've heard judges say when that line of cross-examination comes up, judges just interject. There's nothing improper about--

AIDALA: Objection, Your Honor. Objection. I didn't ask -- and nobody asked you to say that judge.


AIDALA: No one -- no one asked -- no one asked you to interfere, Your Honor.

PHILLIP: You'd object to the judge?

AIDALA: There's no question.

HONIG: You can't object to the judge.

AIDALA: Judge, what are you doing?

PHILLIP: I'm not a lawyer here. That's not--

AIDALA: Judge, what are you doing, judge? Nobody asked you--

HONIG: So, speaking of -- speaking of judges, I think it's accurate--

TOOBIN: I have no idea what he's talking about.

Did you answer my question?

TUERKHEIMER: I'm not sure. Well I think the one thing -- this was your question. But the one thing I think in terms of that that's related to that, I think when Hope Hicks said that she was nervous? That's something that I think is, and you've heard that, I'm sure, where that's something the jury can relate to. So when that's elicited, the jurors can appreciate that. That brings them down to earth a little bit.

And it's true that someone like her, she's not used to testifying. But there's a -- there's a fine line between that, and saying, now you rehearsed for this, and you're -- basically the implication is, your attorneys either told you what to say, or you know what to say, and they told you how to say it.


AIDALA: Well, often the first thing I say, if it's not my witness, and if it's cross-examination, I'll say Miss -- Miss Daniels, really, this is the first time you and I've ever spoken, correct?


That's not true with the prosecutor, correct?


Could you tell me approximately how many times have you met with them? And on what dates? And what was the first time you met with them? What was the second time?

And the best part is if they're like, well, I don't know.

So, you met with them so many times that you don't even remember how many times?

COLLINS: But you as defense have a right to meet with them, and to talk to them about their testimony, which the Trump team hasn't done with all of the witnesses here.

AIDALA: Yes, but they usually, Kaitlan.

TOOBIN: Usually but -- yes.

AIDALA: They usually say--

TOOBIN: They say no.

AIDALA: --no.

TOOBIN: They usually say no.

PHILLIP: They'd like to ask--

AIDALA: They say, no, thank you.

COLLINS: But why would a defense -- why would the defense counsel not want to meet with--

AIDALA: Oh, you would.

COLLINS: --some of the other witnesses?

AIDALA: You would definitely want to. But usually, they say no.

COLLINS: So, why didn't they?

AIDALA: They say no, I'm not going to meet with you. I'm not going to talk to you.

The lawyer doesn't reach out himself. The lawyers--

COLLINS: But what if there's no outreach?

AIDALA: The lawyers -- that there's no way for that to really get -- I mean, I've never -- I don't recall a prosecutor saying, well, did Mr. Aidala ever try to talk to you? That's--

COLLINS: No. No. I'm asking, if Todd Blanche and Trump's other attorneys have the right to reach out to some of these witnesses that we've seen, to talk to them about what they're going to say on the stand, and they didn't do that? Why would they not have done that?

AIDALA: Well, I don't -- I don't -- can't answer that question. But usually, I would ask my investigator, hey, pick up the phone and see if Stormy Daniels will talk to us. One out of a 100 times, a witness says yes.

COLLINS: But do you think it's a good idea, is what I'm saying?

AIDALA: Oh, absolutely. If you can, if they're willing to talk to you. But they usually don't.

But about the nervous thing. When I put a witness on the stand? I would say, are you nervous, right now? They'll say, yes. I say, you know what? So am I a little bit. But we'll get through this together.

HONIG: It's humanizing.

PHILLIP: So, Alan, I keep coming back to what you were saying about the jury, and all the angst that went into constituting this jury, in the first place. They understand the stakes of this case. And I think a lot of them probably understand how their lives are probably going to change after all of this.

When Stormy Daniels inserts this implication that there is -- there are vendettas at play here, hers, maybe Michael Cohen's later? How does the jury react to that when they know that there is -- maybe they're not following the news, but the President of the United States, the guy who used to be president, is sitting right there? They know that there's a political implication.

TUERKHEIMER: Right. I think because of who these jurors are, and they've lived here for -- they've known Trump for 40 years. And so, I don't think that they are shocked by that. The conscience of the jury is not shocked, when they hear that information.

It's something that if they hear once or twice, they might think, oh, wow, that's interesting. And they want to know how it relates to the case. But to that, I just don't think it's that big of a powerful point that they're trying to make.

I do think the jurors are wondering how everything's going to connect to the verdict questions that they're supposed to answer. And that'll be really interesting. COOPER: Yes.

TUERKHEIMER: I haven't seen those actual questions. I want to know what they are. Because you might have a jury that is prone to convict, or they think maybe the -- they side with the prosecution. They read the law verdict form, and they don't want to -- or the other way around, they side with the defense, and they read the questions, and think well, maybe this means that we should convict. So, that'll be really interesting too.

COOPER: Alan Tuerkheimer, thank you so much, really good to have you.

And everybody in the panel, thank you. Appreciate it.


COOPER: Ahead, how President Biden today condemned a surge of anti- Semitism in the U.S., since the October 7th Hamas attack. That and a report from Israel and the state of the war and ceasefire talks, next.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So heinous, so horrific, so grievous.




COOPER: At a Holocaust remembrance ceremony, today, President Biden said we (ph) will not forget what happened in Israel on October 7th. He also reiterated his quote, "Ironclad" commitment to Israel's right to exist.

Meantime, the IDF today seized the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing, a vital entry point for aid into Gaza. That as uncertainty remains over a ceasefire proposal that Hamas claims to have accepted.

CNN's Clarissa Ward is in Jerusalem, with the latest.

Clarissa, what gaps remain between what Hamas agreed to yesterday, or say they agreed to yesterday, and what Israel is willing to accept?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So Anderson, there seem to be two key areas of disagreement here.

The primary one relates to the 33 hostages, who would be released, as a part of this deal. That was supposed to include women, female soldiers, the elderly and the sick. But Hamas are saying that in the agreement that they signed on to, essentially, that some of those 33 could be dead bodies, if they're not able to locate those hostages alive. And the Israelis have said that that is completely impossible for them. So that's the key area. Then another issue is this issue of whether Israeli forces would pull out of the Gaza Strip entirely. Hamas has said again, in the proposed agreement that they signed on to, that it would entail Israel completely pulling out its forces. Israel has said there is no possibility of that happening.

Now, while it sounds like there's a lot of daylight between the two sides, U.S. officials have said, and we heard from White House spokesperson, John Kirby, today that he believes the gaps can be closed.

We know there has been a flurry of diplomatic activity talks, ongoing in Cairo, today. CIA Director, Bill Burns, who was in Cairo, will be flying to Israel tomorrow, to meet with his counterpart, David Barnea, at Mossad, also to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

So, even though there is still some real distance on these core issues, there is a huge amount of diplomatic pressure, and efforts going on, to try to get the two sides, to come together in a lasting deal, Anderson.

COOPER: I mean, what's the latest about what's happening in Rafah?

WARD: Well, there have been airstrikes, today. We know, according to health officials on the ground, that at least 27 people were killed, including six women and nine children. The IDF also reporting nearly 20 rockets were fired from that Rafah area.

The Israelis are now in full control of that Rafah -- Rafah border crossing area, which means that that border crossing is closed. Kerem Shalom is also closed.


And so, you're hearing a lot of concern from aid organizations, who say that unless that aid is able to get in, unless those trucks with fuel, with food, with medicine, are able to get in, that you're going to be looking at a dramatically worse humanitarian situation.

There has been a huge flight of people, some 100,000, who are already on the move, according to the head of UNRWA, some 200 people moving every single hour. Hospitals in the eastern part of Gaza, some of them been forced to close, among them, Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital. That is a hospital that treats people with dialysis, who have kidney issues.

So again, very real fears that what Israel is describing, as a sort of surgical precision anti-terror offensive, could turn into something broader, and that this will have a devastating impact, on the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, Anderson.

COOPER: Clarissa Ward, thanks so much.

The news continues, including CNN's special primetime coverage of the Trump hush money trial, right after a short break.