'This Week' Transcript 3-24-24: Sen. Marco Rubio & Vice President Kamala Harris

This is a rush transcript of "This Week" airing Sunday, March 24.

ByABC News
March 24, 2024, 9:40 AM

A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, March 24, 2024 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.


ANNOUNCER: THIS WEEK with George Stephanopoulos starts right now.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC "THIS WEEK" CO-ANCHOR: Terror in Russia. Over 100 killed in an attack on a concert hall near Moscow. ISIS-K claiming responsibility. This morning, Martha Raddatz with the very latest, and Senator Marco Rubio, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, joins us live.

Cash crunch.

DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a lot of cash and we have a great company, but they want to take it away.

KARL: The former president scrambles to obtain a half a billion dollar bond by tomorrow as the New York attorney general moves to seize his assets.

LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: We are prepared to make sure that the judgment is paid to New Yorkers.

KARL: How will Trump come up with the cash, and what does it mean for his business and his campaign? The latest reporting from Aaron Katersky and our expert panel.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): Democracy's messy. It's particularly messy right now.

KARL: Congress passes a $1.2 trillion spending bill to avert a shutdown, as hard-right Republicans threaten mutiny against the speaker again.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): The clock has started. It's time for our conference to choose a new speaker.

KARL: With more members of Congress calling it quits, our powerhouse roundtable talks about the future of the GOP.

And --

RACHEL SCOTT, ABC NEWS SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe that Netanyahu was an obstacle to peace?

KARL: Rachel Scott is one-on-one with Vice President Kamala Harris, an ABC News exclusive.


ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it’s THIS WEEK. Here now, Jonathan Karl.

KARL: Good morning. Welcome to THIS WEEK.

It's a high-stakes week for former President Trump as he races to meet a deadline of tomorrow to put up nearly a half a billion-dollar bond or face the seizure of some of his prized assets by the New York attorney general. This while he appeals the fraud verdict against him, his eldest sons, and the Trump Organization.

Meanwhile here in Washington, more chaos on Capitol Hill as yet another Republican speaker is fighting to keep his job. His transgression in the eyes of some of his colleagues, striking a deal with Democrats to keep the government from shutting down.

We'll get to all that this morning, but we begin with the horrific news out of Russia where the terrorist group ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for an attack that has taken over 130 lives at a popular concert hall near Moscow. This same terror group also claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 13 American service members in Afghanistan in August of 2021, and another attack in Iran earlier this year that killed nearly 100.

American intelligence officials tell us that the United States warned Russia that they had received information that ISIS-K was plotting an attack in Moscow. It was a warning considered so serious that the U.S. embassy put out a security alert on March 7th saying that it was monitoring reports that extremists had imminent plans to attack large gatherings, including concerts.

Vladimir Putin spoke out about the attack this weekend and appeared to suggest with absolutely no evidence that Ukraine was somehow involved.

All of this is raising concerns about what ISIS-K may do next. We begin this morning with THIS WEEK co-anchor Martha Raddatz. But we do have to warn you, some of the images are disturbing.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC "THIS WEEK" CO-ANCHOR (voice over): This morning, the smoldering aftermath of one of the deadliest terror attacks in Russia’s recent history at one of the largest concert and shopping complexes in the country. Four ISIS terrorists, armed with automatic weapons, slaughtering at least 130 men, women, and children, and injuring hundreds more. Two of the men taken into custody by the Russians shown on state TV, but not independently verified. The armed men making their way into the concert hall, killing anyone in the way.

The audience inside just arriving for a rock concert when they heard the gunfire erupt. People shocked, screaming, rushing to get out, trying to hide under the seats, all the while hearing the relentless, terrifying burst of automatic weapons fire.

This concert eyewitness saying the terrorists were not shooting at the ceiling, not into the air, but shooting directly into the crowd of people. Another witness saying, when the shooting was over, the ISIS gunmen hurled Molotov cocktails inside the complex. Within minutes, black smoke and flames pouring from the facility, trapping many inside and caving in the roof.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing the nation Saturday, not ever mentioning ISIS, instead blaming Ukraine for the attack with no evidence. Claiming the four gunmen were heading towards Ukraine when they were caught. This despite ISIS taking credit for the attack and the U.S. confirming it was the Islamic terror group responsible.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC "THIS WEEK" CO-ANCHOR: And Martha Raddatz joins us now.

So, Martha, let's begin with Putin’s claim that they apprehended these suspects as they were headed towards Ukraine. There is nothing tying this attack to Ukraine.

RADDATZ: Absolutely nothing tying it to Ukraine. And he said they were – they were apprehended going in the direction towards Ukraine, which is hundreds and hundreds of miles away. So, that is not exactly a great escape plan for – for whoever did this.

KARL: And what do we know about ISIS-K, and why would they attack Russia?

RADDATZ: I – I think that's the first question I had as well, Jon, why, who, what are they doing? ISIS-K is – is just a branch, an affiliate of ISIS. It's all the bad guys. They do not like Russia. They want revenge. Russia sides with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which is where ISIS-K is from. And they also think they have mistreated Muslims, any way the kind of Muslims that ISIS-K likes.

KARL: What about this warning that the U.S. says that they gave Russians ahead of time? That – I mean it’s oddly specific. They seemed to have really good intelligence that something like this was going to happen. But we've also heard from the Russian ambassador of the United States denying there was a tip-off given. What – what – what's the truth here? What's going on?

RADDATZ: The – the – U.S. – U.S. officials say are adamant about this. And, as you know, Jon, it was a public warning that something would happen in Russia. A very specific warning in a concert hall, they thought. This came out on March 7th. The – the United States did what's called duty to warn. They did this to Iran a couple of years ago when there was a terrorist attack there as well.

KARL: By ISIS-K as well.

RADDATZ: Exactly. It's a duty to warn. If we have intelligence that people are going to be injured, we will tell them. The Russian ambassador saying they didn't get it. Putin pooh-poohed all of the warnings at the time. None of this is good for Vladimir Putin.

KARL: All right, Martha, thank you very much.

In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Rachel Scott, Vice President Kamala Harris weighed in on Putin’s suggestion of a possible Ukraine connection to the attack.


RACHEL SCOTT, ABC NEWS SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Vladimir Putin is already trying to link this to Ukraine and say that Ukraine is responsible. Does the U.S. have any evidence to back that up?

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. And first, let me start by saying what has happened in an act of terrorism and the number of people who have been killed is obviously a tragedy and we should all send our condolences to those families.

No, there is no, whatsoever, any evidence, and, in fact, what we know to be the case is that ISIS-K is actually, by all accounts, responsible for what happened.


KARL: We'll have more of Rachel's interview with the vice president later in the program.

Now I am joined by Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Senator Rubio, thank you for being here.


KARL: Let's start with what happened in Russia. First of all, no doubt that this was ISIS-K?

RUBIO: Yes. I mean they've claimed responsibility. They were warned this was going to happen. ISIS-K, ISIS-Khorasan, is largely the Afghan wing of ISIS. It's reconstituted itself as we warned would happen when we had this disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. One of the reasons why we didn't want to withdraw precipitously is because you gave them operating space to reorganize themselves and plan externally. And since that time they've attacked inside of Afghanistan.

They're responsible for the Abby Gate, the loss of 13 Americans, and at – service people right outside the gate of the airport. They conducted an attack inside of Iran not too long ago, and now this one in Russia.

And they'll do it here in the homeland. And we’re very – I think we should be very concerned as the FBI director confirmed to me that there is a wing – there is a trafficking network out there that specializes in moving people. They do it for profit, moving people and migrants around the world, including across our southern border who have links to ISIS.

I think common sense tells you, if they run a trafficking network of people, they would most certainly use it to move operatives into the United States. So, I'm not claiming there’s an imminent threat to the U.S., but I am saying that border situation and that existence of that network is a threat to the United States. If they could do what they did in Moscow in the United States, they would do it in a heartbeat. They want to do it.

KARL: And it’s extraordinary that they’ve taken on two of our main adversaries, Iran and Russia, and also the United States in what seemed to be pretty sophisticated, or at least deadly, effective attacks. How -- how concerned are you that they are kind of in the growth industry here?

RUBIO: Well, they’re -- if you think back to the end of 2020 under the Trump administration, ISIS was basically out of business. I mean, they were -- they were down to less than a thousand fighters or so forth. And now, they've reconstituted themselves.

And part of it is, once we leave Afghanistan and we're no longer there to conduct regular strikes, they can now operate openly. No matter how much the Taliban wants to take them on, they can't. They don't have the capability to do it.

And these guys have found a place to operate from. They need real estate. They need land and places where they can organize and do external plotting.

Now, it’s a lot easier for them to get into Iran. It’s a lot easier for them to get into Russia and do these things.

But their aspirations go beyond Russia and Iran. They would love to do what they did in Moscow here inside the United States. And it's something we have to be very vigilant about when we have a border in which 9 million people have come across in the last three years.

KARL: Let me turn to the war in Gaza. As you know, members of the Israeli war cabinet are here in Washington starting today meeting with senior national security officials in the White House. I know you’ve been harshly critical of President Biden's approach to this, and also what Senator Schumer had to say.

How concerned are you that support for Israel, which has long been the ultimately bipartisan issue, has become a part -- or is becoming a partisan issue?

RUBIO: Well, I continue to do everything that I can from my end to keep it from becoming that.

I’ll be frank. I think the president is worried about losing Minnesota and Michigan. He's getting a lot of pressure from the pro-Hamas wing of the Democratic Party, a lot of activists and people like that.

You know, he's getting heckled at speeches. He's hearing a lot of complaints and so, I think he's trying to have it both ways, still stick with Israel to some extent, but also do things that signal to these people and try to appease them.

I saw yesterday, Secretary Blinken was overseas. Protesters outside of his hotel. I saw at the State of the Union where these pro-Hamas people were trying to block the president from getting to the State of the Union. They’re under a lot of political pressure and that’s what’s happening here.

But Israel has to win. They have 90,000 displaced Israelis in their own country just in the northern region because of Hezbollah, and who’s going to move back to any of these kibbutzes near Gaza unless Hamas is eliminated? You cannot have a country in which this threat continues to exist. They have to finish this job.

And this fighting can end tomorrow. You want a ceasefire in Gaza, it's very simple. Hamas, just surrender.

No one is calling for Hamas to surrender and lay down their arms. That would end the conflict. That would end the conflict immediately.

KARL: I want to play you something that President Trump said this week about Democrats and Israel.

Take a listen.


TRUMP: Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion. They hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.


KARL: I assume you don't agree with that.

RUBIO: Look. I think there's an argument -- there's a difference between being, you know, pro-Israel, and there are people, you know, being your religion and being pro-Israel can be two separate things. And then there’s people that are pro-Israel but maybe don't like Netanyahu, or what have you.

At the end of the day, my view of it is pretty consistent, and that is if you are out here, if you are claiming, if you are on the side of anyone who wants Israel to stop, in my view, given the realities of the world, if you want Israel to stop, what it basically means is that Hamas will continue to be able to threaten Israel, and so will Hezbollah.

This is not a fight over land. This is not a territorial dispute. This is an existential battle.

And anyone who doesn’t understand that is, frankly, whether they know it or not, an enemy of Israel, unless on the side of what could lead to the destruction of the Jewish state and that is something that I think is untenable. And I hope people will reconsider that are out there arguing that Israel should somehow stop at this point.

KARL: I want to turn to politics. There were reportings this week that you are possibly under consideration to be Donald Trump's running mate. I don't put a lot of stock in this reporting right now. We're early.

But you said it would be an honor to be offered a spot on this ticket. Really?

RUBIO: I think anyone who is offered the opportunity to serve this country as vice president should be honored by the opportunity to do it if you are in public service. I’m in the Senate because I want to serve the country. Being vice president is an important way to serve the country.

But I’ve also been clear. I’ve never talked to Donald Trump. I’ve never talked to anybody on his team or family or inner circle about vice president. That's the decision he's going to make. He has plenty of really good people to pick from.

KARL: I mean, the reason I asked, I mean, look what happened to the last guy. I mean, a mob stormed the Capitol, literally calling to hang Mike Pence.

RUBIO: Listen --

KARL: And Trump defended those chants of “hang Mike Pence”.

RUBIO: I will tell you this, that when Donald Trump was president of the United States, this country was safer. It was more prosperous. We had -- we had relations, for example, in a part of the world that I care about called the Western Hemisphere that we’re very strong, we had a lot of good things done there.

I think the country and the world was at a better place when he was president, and I would love to see him return to the White House compared to the guy who's there now, Joe Biden, who’s been a disaster economically.

Look at the world, every single day we wake up to a new crisis, to a new conflict. Everything has gone on fire since the time Joe Biden took over. Afghanistan's gone down. Ukraine has been invaded.

Now, the Philippines and the Chinese are on the verge of something bad happening every single day. Not to mention the threats to Taiwan. And we have this blowup in Haiti going on in our very own hemisphere. We take up every single day, terrorist attacks, 9 million people across the border. That’s what matters to me.

KARL: But – but – but you’re – but -- I mean – I mean you’re not suggesting that’s all happening because of Biden and everything?

RUBIO: Absolutely I am.

KARL: But – well, let me –

RUBIO: Absolutely I'm suggesting it’s happening because of Biden. He’s president and his weakness and his –

KARL: Just because of Biden that – that Russia invaded Ukraine?

RUBIO: Absolutely.

KARL: It’s because of Biden that – that – that Haiti – OK, let – let –

RUBIO: Absolutely. I mean Putin is sitting there saying, these guys can't even stand up to the Taliban and they have to fly people hanging off the wings of these airplanes. Now is the time to go. It – and, by the way, the –

KARL: I mean Trump's – I mean Trump’s the one saying that – that – suggesting that there should be a deal that gives – effectively gives Putin what he wants in Ukraine. But let – let – can we take a quick –

RUBIO: Well, that’s not true. He – what he has said is he wants the conflict to end, which is striking to me that people – why wouldn't people want peace?

KARL: But –

RUBIO: What I've said there is going to be a negotiated – so, Russia's not going to take all of Ukraine –

KARL: Can – can we take –

RUBIO: And Ukraine's not going to push Russia back to the – where it was in 2014. I want Ukraine to have the upper hand in any negotiation.

KARL: Can we take a quick trip down memory lane while we’re talking about this? This was you in 2016.


RUBIO: What we are dealing with here, my friends, is a con artist. He is a con artist. First of all, he runs on this idea that he is fighting for the little guy, but he has spent his entire career sticking it to the little guy. If your friends are thinking about voting for Donald Trump, friends do not let friends vote for con artists.


KARL: Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.

RUBIO: It’s a campaign.

KARL: You could I could have gone on. I could have played more.

RUBIO: Yes, but so – so why didn't you play the clip of Kamala Harris basically insinuating that Joe Biden was a segregationist on the debate stage and she’s now his vice president?

KARL: Yes, well, -- well, we’ve – we’ve – we’ve – we play that.

But – but – but let me ask you –

RUBIO: Well, you didn't play it now.

KARL: That was then.

RUBIO: Yes, that was then. But it was a campaign.

KARL: OK. OK. But – but let me ask you right now, where we are right now. Donald Trump is making the case, and he's going to do it before the Supreme Court, that the president of the United States should have absolute immunity, should effectively be above the law for virtually anything that a president does while in office. You don't agree with that, do you?

RUBIO: Well, I don't – so, I don’t think that – on the case of immunity, there's two separate issues here. One is, can the president do anything? Can he go out and basically, you know, kill one of the members of the staff overnight inside the White House? Obviously, that's an absurd outcome and that's a common crime.

But I do think there's a legitimate issue here that we need to talk about writ large, especially after what we've seen the last three years and is, do we want to live in a country where basically the opponents of a president can – can – can extort them, can have leverage over them during their entire presidency and say, don’t worry, once you're out of office, we're going to prosecute you, we’re going to come after, we’re going to charge you for this crime, we’re going to charge you for that crime.

KARL: Yes, but he's saying absolute – he’s – he’s saying absolute immunity. It’s immunity – I mean –

RUBIO: Well, we'll see. I mean we’ll –


RUBIO: You know, this goes before the Supreme Court. There are going to be oral arguments and we’ll hear what –

KARL: Yes, yes, but I'm saying as a guy that’s supposed to run for president.

RUBIO: Yes, but his – but he’s – but he’s not representing himself at the Supreme Court. Lawyers will make that argument.

KARL: Um –

RUBIO: But we're living in a country now where basically, if you’re president, now you have to think to yourself, I've got to be careful what I do as president, not even legal or illegal, even on policy, because if I upset the wrong people, as soon as I leave, some state prosecutors are going to –

KARL: Well, you should be – you should be careful not to break the law as president.

RUBIO: Well, but – but you look at these prosecutions that are coming about. You've got this lady (ph), clear partisan in New York –

KARL: Yes.

RUBIO: Who's basically prosecuting the president over loans, something that's never been done to anybody before? The banks, who are supposedly the victims of what they claim --

KARL: Well, nobody’s done what –

RUBIO: Are all saying, we're don’t even relying on what the president's statements are? We do our own internal investigation to see if the properties are worth what they're worth.


RUBIO: And you've got a judgment on him. That's just one example of trying to bankrupt him and jail him.

KARL: OK, but – but – but – but give me this, you don't think that the people that attacked the Capitol are absolute patriots like Trump says and should be pardoned, though?



RUBIO: What I do think is the people that went into the Capitol and committed crimes of violence, had, you know, zip ties and all that, are different from someone who walked in through an open door. I think they should have prioritized and only prosecuted the people who committed acts of violence and (INAUDIBLE) –

KARL: But these are not absolute patriots, as – as Donald Trump has said?

RUBIO: Well, if you attack a police officer or you go into the Capitol, no.


RUBIO: But there are people that have been charged, in some cases egregiously charged, for simply walking in. Not – they didn't attack anybody.

KARL: Yes.

RUBIO: Why didn't they do that for the people that set all those fires in Portland?

KARL: All right, Senator Rubio, thank you for joining this morning.

RUBIO: Thank you.

KARL: We appreciate it.

RUBIO: Thank you.

KARL: Up next, with a $464 million deadline looming tomorrow, can former President Trump come up with the cash, or will he lose some of his prize properties? We'll be joined by the guy who literally wrote the book on Trump's finances.

We're back in two minutes.



LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: Donald Trump's fraud is staggering, and so too is his ego, and his belief that the rules do not apply to him. There cannot be different rules for different people in this country, and former presidents are no exception.

TRUMP: You build a great company. There was no fraud. The banks all got their money. If I weren't running, none of this stuff would have ever happened. None of these lawsuits would have ever happened.


KARL: That was former President Trump responding to New York Attorney General Letitia James last month after the multi-million-dollar judgment against Trump, his eldest sons and the Trump organization for fraud. With interest added, Trump now owes $464 million by tomorrow or he faces the seizure of some of his prized properties.

So does he have the cash? ABC's senior investigative correspondent Aaron Katersky has the latest from New York.

Aaron, good morning.


Former President Trump is due here at court for a hearing tomorrow in his criminal case, accusing him of falsifying business records to conceal a sex scandal from voters in 2016. The prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney's office are expected to ask the judge to move forward, putting Trump on trial next month with no further delay. But as you say, he faces a much more urgent legal threat, the possible seizure of his assets if he can't come up with hundreds of millions of dollars, due now in less than 24 hours.


KATERSKY (voice over): If Donald Trump doesn't come up with the $464 million bond by tomorrow, New York Attorney General Letitia James is prepared to begin seizing some of his prized assets.

TRUMP: And, you know, we have great properties. We have the Mona Lisas of properties.

KATERSKY: The massive fine comes after a judge found Trump overvalued his real estate and exaggerated his net worth. Trump has denied it and is appealing. And in the meantime, he's asking the appeals court to pause the judgment or accept a smaller bond.

TRUMP: We have a lot of cash and we have a great company, but they want to take it away, or at least take the cash element away, billions of dollars in value, billions of dollars in properties.

KATERSKY: The New York Attorney General registered the court's judgment in Westchester County, a sign she may be eyeing his Briarcliff Manor Golf Club and Bedford estate known as Seven Springs, in addition to properties in Manhattan, like 40 Wall Street and his apartment in Trump Tower.

The potential seizure is something James told me last month she'd do to make sure Trump pays.

JAMES: If he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek, you know, judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets.

KATERSKY: But Trump's lawyers argue he's facing insurmountable difficulties. They say more than 30 underwriters refused to accept real estate as collateral, and Trump lacks enough cash. Trump balked at the idea he could sell real estate to raise money.

TRUMP: They want you to put up money before the appeal. So if you sell a property or do something, and then you win the appeal, you don't have the property.

KATERSKY: His lawyers calling obtaining a bond of such enormous magnitude "a practical impossibility."

Yet on Friday, Trump may have undercut that very argument when he claimed he does have the money; he just wants to spend it elsewhere.

"I currently have almost $500 million in cash," Trump wrote on social media, "a substantial amount of which I intended to use in my campaign."

But Trump hasn't offered any proof he actually has $500 million in cash, and he hasn't put any of his own money into his campaign since 2016. There is a new potential source of cash. Investors just voted to take Trump's social media company public. The former president's stake is about $3 billion. But that's on paper. Without special permission from shareholders, Trump can't turn it into cash for six months.


KATERSKY: And ultimately, Jon, there's a real question about how much Truth Social is actuallyworth. It brought in a few million dollars in revenue, but lost tens of millions in the first nine months of last year -- Jon.

KARL: Doesn't exactly sound like a $3 billion or $5 billion company.

So, Aaron, walk us through this. How exactly will this play out tomorrow?

KATERSKY: You know, we know more about how it's not going to play out. The attorney general, Jon, is not going to be showing up at Trump Tower with padlocks for the doors or stickers for the windows that say, seized. But she could start to identify accounts to freeze or move to file liens on certain properties, or she may ultimately opt to wait a bit, allow the appeals court to decide whether Trump deserves any kind of a reprieve.

Seizing assets is a slow process, and as you know, Jon, Trump is likely to fight every step of the way.

KARL: No question about that.

All right. Aaron, thank you for joining us.

Let's bring in our expert panel, New York University law professor Melissa Murray, co-author of "The Trump Indictments", and "New York Times" investigative reporter Russ Buettner, co-author of "Lucky Loser: How Donald Trump Squandered His Father's Fortune and Created the Illusion of Success." That's out this fall.

Russ, let me start with you. Can you help me understand? We heard from the legal team that Trump could come up with about $100 million, that’s what they said on Monday, that he couldn’t come up with more than that. And then Trump himself on Friday said he has, you know, almost $500 million in cash.

What's the truth? What does he have?

RUSS BUETTNER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: The truth is always a moving target with Donald Trump's cash. As near as I can figure out, he had some windfalls over the last couple of years. He sold a money-losing operation, the hotel in Washington, D.C. his gain on that sale before taxes was about $125 million, and he also benefitted from a refinancing of a property in which he has a passive investment that brought him a windfall of about $185 million. There's some extra cash he might have had in there.

So I would guess at some point last year, he had $350 million, but usually what we see is this cash dwindles over time because he has money-losing operations. So, this is really a steep hill for him to climb to try to meet that $450 million figure.

KARL: Money-losing operations and a lot of legal bills.

Melissa, let me ask you, as a -- as a lawyer, what does it mean when your client is saying one thing, and the legal team is saying the opposite? I mean, his legal team said he could only come up with $100 million.

MELISSA MURRAY, LAW PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Well, I think there's a big difference if your client also happens to be running for president and a big part of his appeal to his base is his financial acumen and his success as a businessman. So, the two are definitely not in alignment here and it's clear that the lawyers understand that this may be a more financially strapped time for the former president, but on the campaign trail, he's trying to project the illusion of success.

KARL: And he had tried to go to the full court of appeals to prevent this step to make it so he wouldn't have to put all this up while he appeals the overall case. Is there any chance he gets a last-minute reprieve on this, and they knock it down?

MURRAY: It could be the case that the intermediary public court lowers this somewhat. He also could appeal this to the highest court in New York, the Court of Appeals. He's also vowed to appeal this all the way to the United States Supreme Court on the view this judgment is excessive and punitive.

And he may get some relief, but again, it's an almost $500 million judgment. And it's going to be quite significant even if it is reduced somewhat.

KARL: And what do you think of the overall prospects of that appeal? I mean, the judgment does to the naked eye, look excessive, nearly half a billion dollars. Is it?

MURRAY: It's hard to say. Again, the point that Judge Engoron made in this judgment was that Donald Trump had overstated the value of many of his assets and in doing so, had defrauded the real estate market. Donald Trump says that this was a victimless crime. There's no real victim here and it's just sort of semantics and real estate fluctuates and speculation and speculative values are part of the deal.

But again, it depends on the nature of the panel. It depends on how the court views this. It does seem that Judge Engoron was sending a very pointed message here. But whether or not an appeal toward beliefs that it’s too pointed, that's an entirely different question.

KARL: And, Russ, help -- help me understand another thing. The Truth Social which is now going to be merged with this public company beyond the stock exchange.

So, he's got on paper, $3 billion on that, but you've heard Aaron say that the company had $3.4 million in revenue the first nine months of last year against a much higher amount of expenses.I mean what -- what is that company actually worth? I mean, how is it valued at three plus trillion dollars?

BUETTNER: It's remarkable. This was sort of a, it's called a Blank Check Company, where there's one company that says it's going to raise money in a merger with another company. It's not divulged. They didn't handle that just right. But it created a tremendous amount of interest for people who really didn't know what it was going to result in.

And so, there's a -- and then there's been extra value on it as it's sort of led up to this big merger. But it is a remarkable thing to think that a company that is losing the last report I saw was $50 million last year, and has the revenue of like a really successful shoe store, he's going to somehow be worth billions and billions of dollars, right? Donald Trump can't sell that stock for at least six months, unless he has some special permission from the board. If he does do that, just imagine that the impact that would have on that stock, that it would just literally collapse it if he sold enough to do it. He can't get his hands on it quickly, without a really extraordinary sort of permission from that board again.

And I think what may happen here is that at some point, investors may look back to the last time Donald Trump had a public company, which was his casinos. And he -- he the investors in those companies lost tens, or hundreds of millions of dollars, and Donald Trump gained, and the stock had a steady decline throughout his tenure there. And that was kind of what this looks like, in the making here that there's not much of a company there. They don't have a great business plan. There's not been a lot of interest in it. And it's hard to imagine that within six months, or a year that valuation on a publicly traded stock is going to stay at the same level.

KARL: And Melissa, we're almost out of time. But -- but quickly, there's also been speculation that Trump could go and get money from billionaires that would put up the money or maybe even foreign sources, Saudis or Russians or whatever. Could he actually do that? Is that legal? Would it have to be disclosed?

MURRAY: I think that he would have to definitely disclose those assets. I mean, there's certainly lots of requirements in terms of federal law around receiving money from foreign intermediaries. And again, this is a major issue going into the campaign. Let's could be considered campaign contributions in some respects, and then you'd have to think about all of those different kinds of legality.

So, I think it is much more difficult here. I mean, the easiest option facing Donald Trump is the prospect of bankruptcy, but again, that's an unappealing prospect for someone who professes to be a successful businessman on the campaign trail.

KARL: It would not be on brand, but it also wouldn't be new. All right, Professor Melissa Murray, Russ Buettner, thank you both for joining us.

Up next, ABC's Rachel Scott goes one-on-one with Vice President Kamala Harris. We're back in a moment.


KARL: Vice President Kamala Harris visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, six years after one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings. Harris was there to talk about the administration’s latest efforts on gun safety. And that’s where our Rachel Scott caught up with her. She began by asking the vice president about Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.


RACHEL SCOTT, ABC NEWS SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Leader Schumer was very blunt in his remarks on the Senate floor. He called Netanyahu an obstacle to peace. He's calling for new elections in Israel. The president called that a good speech. What did he mean by that? Does the administration believe that there needs to be new elections in Israel?

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I will not speak for Senator Schumer, but we are very clear that that is on the Israeli people to make a decision about when they will have an election and who, of course, they elect to lead their government. That's for them to say.

SCOTT: Do you believe that Netanyahu is an obstacle to peace?

HARRIS: I believe that we have got to continue to enforce what we know to be and should be the priorities in terms of what is happening in Gaza. We’ve been very clear that far too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. We have been very clear that Israel and the Israeli people and Palestinians are entitled to an equal amount of security and dignity. And, frankly, we have been very focused on also getting the hostages out and getting aid in.

SCOTT: Netanyahu appears to just be flat out ignoring President Biden’s warning about an offensive in Rafah. Is that a red line for your administration?

HARRIS: We have been clear in multiple conversations and in every way that any major military operation in Rafah would be a huge mistake. Let me tell you something, I have been studying the maps. There's nowhere for those folks to go. And we're looking at about 1.5 million people in Rafah who were there because they were told to go there, most of them. And so we’ve been very clear that it would be a mistake to move into Rafah with any type of military operation.

SCOTT: A mistake, but would there be consequences if he does move forward?

HARRIS: Well, we’re going to take it one step at a time, but we’ve been very clear in terms of our perspective on whether or not that should happen.

SCOTT: Are you ruling out that there would be consequences from the United States?

HARRIS: I am ruling out nothing.

SCOTT: I want to ask you about the border. Did you watch that border video down in El Paso? And does that send a message to Americans that the border is secure?

HARRIS: We are very clear, and I think most Americans are clear, that we have a broken immigration system and we need to fix it. Members of the United States Senate, those considered to be very conservative, with others came to a bipartisan resolution, but they're refusing to put it up for a vote. And in large part because we know the former president would prefer to run on a problem instead of fix a problem.

SCOTT: As of right now, is that executive action on the border still on the table? Could we see that?

HARRIS: That does not absolve the fact that the real fix is going to be when Congress acts.

SCOTT: Still on the table though?

HARRIS: Yes, for consideration.

SCOTT: I do want to ask you also about TikTok. We know that bill cleared the House. You have expressed national security concerns over TikTok. So has the president. Why does your campaign then have a TikTok account when you're encouraging Americans to follow it?

HARRIS: So, let's start with this, we do not intend to ban TikTok. That is not at all the goal or the purpose of this conversation. We need to deal with the owner, and we have national security concerns about the owner of TikTok, but we have no intention to ban TikTok. In fact, what it serves, in terms of it's an income generator for many people, what it does in terms of allowing people to share information in a free way and a way that allows people to have discourse is very important. But we do have concerns about the national security implications of the owner of TikTok, and that has been our position in terms of what I think we need to do to address those concerns.

SCOTT: The ban could happen if its Chinese parent company does not sell the app. Should your campaign stay on TikTok, with those national security concerns that you're voicing?

HARRIS: Well, we'll address that when we come to it. But right now, we are concerned about the owner of TikTok and the national security implications. We do not intend to ban TikTok. And we understand its purpose and its utility and the enjoyment that it gives a lot of folks.


KARL: Up next, a now former congressman who was so frustrated with dysfunction on Capitol Hill that he just resigned. He joins the powerhouse roundtable. We'll be right back.



REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE, (R) GEORGIA: We need a new speaker. This is not personal against Mike Johnson, but he is not doing the job. The proof is in the vote count today. He passed a budget that should have never been brought to the floor, did not represent our conference, and it was passed with the Democrats and without the majority of the majority.

REP. MIKE LAWLER, (R) NEW YORK: I think it's not only idiotic, but it actually does not do anything to advance the conservative movement, and, in fact, it undermines the country and our majority.


KARL: That was Republican Mike Lawler responding to Marjorie Taylor Greene's threat to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson.

Let's bring in the powerhouse roundtable, former DNC chair Donna Brazile; former RNC chair and Trump White House chief of staff Reince Priebus; former -- now former Colorado congressman Ken Buck, who just left office on Friday; and Washington Post congressional reporter Marianna Sotomayor.

So, Congressman, let me start with you.


KARL: You left Congress as of Friday, just as that was all going down. I guess that didn't cause you to rethink your decision.

BUCK: Not at all. Not at all.


BUCK: No rear-view mirror, happy to -- happy to move on. Dysfunctional place.

KARL: I mean -- I mean, you must have been pretty intensely frustrated to not only not run again but to -- but to leave early. And you're not alone, obviously. Mike Gallagher just said he's leaving, too.

BUCK: Yeah. Well, you know, since this Congress started, there have been efforts to impeach the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president, the attorney general, the FBI director, and, in fact, did impeach the director of -- secretary of homeland security.

Serious problems with setting priorities. We have a -- a very tragic circumstance in Ukraine. We have spiraling debt, all kinds of out-of-control problems, and we focus on messaging bills that get us nowhere.

KARL: Is there anything you disagree with what he just said, Donna?

DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER DNC CHAIR & ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, I want to thank the congressman for his service. We talked in the green room. I was a Capitol Hill staffer, came to Washington, D.C. as an intern. So, I respect the fact that he has served his constituents and his state, and he's absolutely right. There's chaos. There's so much division.

Congress is on record, this is 118th, of being the least productive in our lifetime. So I agree that things need to change, but that bill that was passed and I guess, you supported it, right? It was a compromise. No one got what they wanted.

KARL: He voted against it.


BRAZILE: Well, still it was a compromise.

KARL: Yeah.

BRAZILE: It was (inaudible) -- I'm not going to take back my words. It was a compromise. No one got what they wanted. The American people get to see their government work for a change.

KARL: But, Reince, how do Republicans run on this? I mean, you had control of the House and look.

REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER RNC CHAIR & FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF & ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, first of all, I'm a fan of Ken Buck's, and I think we need more Ken Bucks out there. Here's our problem.

KARL: Now, you have one less.

PRIEBUS: We've got -- but, here's the deal though, and it's happening all over the country. 435 House seats, only 20 are in play. Meaning -- what that means is that they're almost all really, really Democrat or really, really Republican. Now second problem, division is pure profit, unity's a loser, and clicks and money, it all works together. The two top grossing probably members of the House or the Senate is AOC and Marjorie Taylor Greene because division is pure profit.

And there is no real majority. There's no real majority. I mean, you have eight or ten people that run around the Capitol and cause chaos for the speaker. And last thing, the speaker rules just create a very weak speaker -- the -- by rule. All of that together creates this is chaos.

KARL: So, Marianna, it was extraordinary to see Mike Johnson do basically something that would normally be totally ordinary, you know, come to an agreement with Democrats to compromise. Republicans don't control much right now. He got some wins. He got some -- there were some losses obviously. How real is the threat to his speakership?

MARIANNA SOTOMAYOR, WASHINGTON POST CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, it could become more real. I think when Republicans, Democrats come back to the House next month, they're now going to be facing the question of helping Ukraine, Israel is real, the Indo-Pacific, possibly addressing the border. That has been the big question.

And Congresswoman Greene has said since earlier this year, she would actually move that motion to vacate threat against Johnson if he puts a Ukraine bill on the floor. That is going to happen.

KARL: And he seems like he's going to do it, right?


KARL: I mean, he is -- he sounds like Biden frankly on the importance of coming to Ukraine's support, you know, aid on this.

SOTOMAYOR: Yeah, and that is --

KARL: -- and the threat of Putin.

SOTOMAYOR: Absolutely, and that is part of Mike Johnson being an institutionalist. He does respect the House trying to function, and here's the thing. If Marjorie Taylor Greene does move this resolution in a privileged manner, meaning the House must vote on it, you know, I have been hearing from some Republicans, far-right Republicans including some within the Freedom Caucus, who say they don't want to support it simply because they don't like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

But if that question is posed to them, they're going to have to consider because they are very upset with Johnson just for compromising with the reality of a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President in the White House.

KARL: And the margin now with you gone, Congressman Buck, with Mike Gallagher announcing that he'll be gone effective in a couple of weeks, you're down to -- you can only afford to lose one member on any given bill. I mean, the Republican majority seems to be evaporating.

BUCK: It is evaporating, but the reality is also that there's very few votes that are decided by one or two members. And so, other than the Mayorkas impeachment, I can't think of a vote that went one way or the other because of one member. They typically have to be bipartisan at this point.

KARL: I mean, are we effectively looking at a coalition? I mean, because, once again, if this motion to vacate goes through, Democrats, Donna, are saying they're not going to allow Marjorie Taylor Greene to rip up the House again. They're going to basically support Johnson.

BRAZILE: Yeah. I mean, why should Democrats bail out the Republicans unless Democrats can get something out of the deal? I mean, give Democrats a little bit of power as well because Democrats have been providing the vote. Look, I think Hakeem Jeffries, like Nancy Pelosi, has done an amazing job on keeping the Democratic caucus together despite the fact that we have some hot shots and some other ones.

But at this hour, I think the Democrats should do what they have been doing best which is to fight for the American people and let all of this pettiness go by the wayside.

PRIEBUS: The voters out there aren't paying attention to this stuff. They're not paying attention to whether Ken Buck resigned or Mike Gallagher resigned in this chaos. What they see is chaos and they see it. They see it.

KARL: I mean, it proves (ph) Congress is down to like (ph) 10 percent.


PRIEBUS: And it's been like that for as long as I can remember.

KARL: But, it's historically low now.

PRIEBUS: But wait a minute -- but what's missing is leadership. What's missing is the President of the United States saying, look, the border is a disaster. I mean, Kamala Harris just admitted it's a total train wreck. We'll do something about it. Either strike a deal, not throw Langford out there with Schumer and run around for a month, stand up there and say, I'm here, I'm going to -- I'm going to bring back remain in Mexico, I'm going to help build this wall. I'm going to put people across the border that commit a felony, they're never going to cross. And I want Ukraine funding and I want to take care of what's happening in Israel. That's not -- that doesn't exist.

BRAZILE: The President has --

PRIEBUS: That's -- that's why people don't support --


BRAZILE: The chaos is causing a lot of angst among the American people. Congress is as popular as a root canal. But that doesn't -- that shouldn't stop Congress from addressing the problems that are facing the American people. You cannot just sit back and say I want to throw rocks because it will get across the goal line. You got to lead and the President has been leading on the board and --


KARL: All right. We've -- we've got to take a quick break. When we come back, big news this week on the third-party front.


KARL: We're back with the Roundtable.

So, Marianna, I want to ask you about the -- the No Labels movement. There have been so much discussion about their plans to get a bipartisan third party ticket. But it seems like they're having a hard time finding a candidate.

What's going on?

SOTOMAYOR: Yes. There was this movement, always speculation of, you know, who are they going to get? They haven't been able to do it yet, and here's the problem with that. Because they have been rejected by so many different politicians, whether it's from the right or the left, they're now facing a deadline of just when a candidate can actually be on the ballot.

To actually be competitive, they have to have a candidate to just be able to compete across the many --

KARL: To actually get the ballot access to allow them to be a -- have an impact on the race.

SOTOMAYOR: Yes. Exactly.

KARL: And yet, Donna, Democrats were for a long time really worried about no labels. Maybe you're more worried about Cornel West right now or maybe Jill Stein again. And the DNC is launching this effort to try to keep these candidates or challenge their efforts to get on the ballot, Bobby Kennedy Jr.?

BRAZILE: Well, look, there are technical issues involved in getting on the ballot. We all know that. So if you by (ph) -- you know, don't make the deadline, don't have the appropriate number of signatures, of course, you have citizens in those states that will, of course --

KARL: This is the DNC. This isn't citizens in those states.

BRAZILE: And let me just speak up for the DNC if this is their effort.

KARL: Yeah.

BRAZILE: 2000, 2016, we slept through those third-party candidates and look what -- look at the results, whether it's the 537 in Florida that Ralph Nader competed in, or Jill Stein in 2016 in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. So yes, focus on these third-party candidates because they could draw from Mr. Biden.

KARL: Congressman, what do you think? You've expressed frustration with the Republicans. You are a Republican. I mean, is there an appeal here now?

BUCK: I think there's a great appeal. I hear from all kinds of constituents, not just in Colorado, but across the country, that these are the two worst presidential candidates in modern history. And so, there is a great frustration and appetite for a third-party candidate. Do they stand a chance? Absolutely not. But, can they draw away from some of the candidates depending on which side of the spectrum they come from? Absolutely.

KARL: Reince?

PRIEBUS: It's a deadly situation for Democrats because in 2016, Trump got 46 percent. 2020, he got 47 percent. He is locked in at those numbers, and any introduction of a third party, Jill Stein is now on the ballot in Wisconsin --

KARL: Bobby Kennedy's going to announce his running mate on Tuesday.

PRIEBUS: Right. And so, the Trump vote is locked. You've got a president, you know, 25 percent right track and now you're going to introduce people to other options?

KARL: OK. All right. We are out of time. We'll be right back.


KARL: Thank you for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "World News Tonight," and have a great day.