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The Lead with Jake Tapper
McCarthy Removed As House Speaker In Historic Vote; Rep. Tim Burchett, (R-TN), Is Interviewed About Kevin McCarthy's Oust As Speaker; Rep. Maria Salazar, (R-FL), Is Interviewed About Kevin McCarthy's Oust As Speaker; Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Is Interviewed About McCarthy Removed As House Speaker In Historic Vote; Judge Issues Limited Gag Order, Rebukes Trump After Social Media Post Attacking Court Clerk. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired October 03, 2023 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): One was leadership and one was fiscal maturity over the last 20 years, so it cuts both parties. But I was elected to do that, to be fiscally responsible. And dad gummit, that's what I'm going to do.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: So, who do you think might have the votes to be speaker of the House? Because in order to for you to proceed on a mature fiscal path, as you're saying, you need a leader. Tom Cole, Tom Emmer, Steve Scalise, who do you think might have the votes to lead your party and the House?
BURCHETT: All three of those would be excellent choices, and I think they could do an excellent job. They're honorable men to me, at least. They've never openly mocked me anyway, and they sure as heck have always kept their word to me. And there's several others that have whispered in my ear during all this. And of course, I don't want to out them.
I understand that they have to keep their secrecy about them, but there are several milling around that are very interested in doing this. Another Mark Green from Tennessee is somebody that people have been talking about. So there are several out there that people are talking about.
TAPPER: I'm sorry, but I just find this so shocking. What exactly did he say to mock your faith, sir?
BURCHETT: It really doesn't matter. It was just the fact that I publicly stated on your station, I think, this morning that I was praying about it, and I was -- you know, I had two paths to go, either go with my friend or go with my conscience. And I was praying that God would tell me what to do, which he does.
You know, my daddy fought in the Pacific in the Second World War, and he talked about prayer a lot. And we are -- the Burchetts are praying people. And so, I asked God to show me what -- the right thing to do. And I'm not proselytizing to you, I'm not trying to save your soul, but that's the path I go down on a lot of bills. I pray for my wife. I pray for my daughter. I pray for my enemies. I pray for the speaker. I pray for this president, you know? And when things come up, I pray for his son.
And as a Christian, that's what I'm supposed to do. But when someone mocks me like that and mocks my religion and honestly, the Bible is pretty clear about God being mocked. So that's what sealed it right there for me. I said, this is not the quality or the character of person that I want as speaker of the United States.
TAPPER: Yes, I can understand that at all. Do you expect that before you go to bed tonight, sir, that you'll have a new speaker?
BURCHETT: I have no earthly idea, brother. I do not know that. I can -- if you know that, you're a bigger insider than I thought you were.
TAPPER: Thanks for coming on, sir. Good to see you.
BURCHETT: Thank you, brother. It's always a pleasure.
TAPPER: All right. Let's talk this over with my fellow. Look who's here, Kaitlan Collins. I didn't even know you were here. Good to see. Oh, yes.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Well, acutally, that was -- I was speaking with Congressman Burchett last night, and he was one who said he was leaning forward to moving to oust McCarthy, but he was praying about it, and obviously he meant it. He wasn't saying it ironically.
TAPPER: No, I don't even understand why -- look, I wasn't there, I didn't hear the call. But obviously, this is a man of deep religious faith, and obviously whatever now former Speaker McCarthy said to him he thought he was being mocked.
COLLINS: Well, and it didn't -- I mean, he was leaning towards that way. He said he did not see his vote changing in the next 20 -- 48 hours. But I mean, potentially there could be. And so, I mean, we haven't heard Kevin McCarthy's side of this. But if you are trying to keep your job as the House speaker, maybe mocking someone for saying that they're praying about it is not necessarily the way to go.
TAPPER: If you're watching The Lead right now, just to reset here, because it's the top of the hour. You're watching the lead on an incredibly momentous, incredibly historic day. It has never happened in the history of this great republic, the greatest country in the history of the world, if I may say so, that a speaker of the House has been ousted by a vote of his colleagues. It has never happened, ever. And yet that just happened minutes ago.
Former speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, ousted by a motion to vacate. Now, there has been a motion to vacate before, that did happen in 1910, but Speaker Cannon survived that vote, speaker -- now former Speaker McCarthy did not. Kasie Hunt.
KASIE HUNT, CNN HOST: And of course, Cannon has the most historic House building named after him. I doubt we're going to see that here. TAPPER: I don't think we're going to see a McCarthy house building. Yes.
HUNT: So, look, I just want to take a step back for a second. You know I'm picking up in my sort of conversations and looking at the chatter that's going on from people who are close to Kevin McCarthy. I think that they are preparing for him to step back and to not be a part of this conversation. That is what I read into -- what I'm hearing from them. They're talking about those who are close to him saying he was a great speaker and talking in a real way that says, hey, we think he's leaving the stage.
There's also reporting coming in from our Hill team that basically says Republicans that support him have no idea what's going to happen next. And I think that's another area where, I mean, Dana, you and I have both done this long enough to know that the number of times where things happen and you really actually have no idea what's going to happen next especially in the House, it's extraordinarily rare. And it kind of really means, I think, that anything could happen. And it was very interesting to hear Matt Gaetz talk about the names, I mean Patrick McHenry is extraordinarily close to McCarthy, he said --
TAPPER: Yes, but he did not (INAUDIBLE).
HUNT: No, he did not.
HUNT: And he said we would need a real meeting of the minds there when it comes to McHenry. He did talk about Steve Scalise. Of course, Scalise is definitely somebody who's wanted that gavel, but he's also somebody who's in the midst of a battle with cancer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HUNT: And so, that is another thing to consider here. And I just think we are in unprecedented territory here on this set in the halls of the House of Representative in that GOP conference room.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Congressman Emmer, if we're throwing out names, is somebody who got up and spoke, a Republican from Minnesota. He not only is the chair of the conference, meaning he is in charge of communications on behalf of the conference. He is -- excuse me, he's not chair, he's whip.
COLLINS: He's the whip.
HUNT: He's the whip. Yes. Number three.
BASH: Even more so, he is in charge of talking to people about where their votes are. The point I was making was before that, his first go round on leadership, he was the head of the NRCC, meaning he was the guy who was in charge of getting Republicans elected. So he has a lot of relationships. Just going back to what you were saying about Kevin McCarthy, Manu rightly has been trying to get McCarthy and people around McCarthy to answer the question whether or not after this he is going to go back. There will be a speaker's vote, and he could try to get nominated again and just kind of roll the dice since he did it 15 times before. My sense, like yours, is that the people around McCarthy think that that likely won't happen. There certainly are very big McCarthy fans in the conference who might try to push him that way, but I would not hold my breath for that to happen.
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN HOST: I think that we finally reached Kevin McCarthy's capacity for political humiliation. We didn't know that we would get there, but we're here. I've seen him stop on a dime to talk to Manu in the hallway. So, watching him sort of blow past was an interesting moment.
You know, I also want to say that like fundamentally it is a shock because this isn't someone who was voted out. This isn't when someone who stepped back from the speakership and didn't seek reelection. We have seen people leave under sort of pitiful circumstances. This is a self-own, fundamentally, the party did this to itself nationally for everyone to see. And watching them put themselves back together I think will be the challenge over the next few days.
TAPPER: What do you think?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think this is a huge gift to Democrats. I mean, this morning I woke up and one of the first poll numbers I saw was for the first time since 1991, Americans believe Republicans would better than Democrats on the economy by a wider margin than they have since 1991. And that is not what Republicans on the Hill are going to get to talk about, not until this is resolved. And so in some ways -- I was laughing about this earlier, there's that line from Diehard, you asked for a miracle, Democrats, I give you the GOP.
But in this case, only a handful of members of the GOP. The vast majority of the conference is pretty united. But with such a slim majority and with such bizarre and terrible incentives in our politics today, the weakness of our party is allowing this to happen.
TAPPER: Yes. And Anderson Cooper, as I invoke history and remind you that the last time there was a motion to vacate was in 1910, and Speaker Cannon did survive that, unlike now former Speaker McCarthy. But I will tell you that in 1912, the Democrats recaptured the House.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we've certainly never seen a day like today. Jake, thank you. I want to bring in Republican Congresswoman Maria Salazar of Florida, who voted in support of Kevin McCarthy to remain as speaker.
Congresswoman, thanks for joining us. What do you say to your eight GOP colleagues who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy?
REP. MARIA SALAZAR (R-FL): Well, you know, democracy is messy. I represent the city of Miami, and we are in love with the American political system. It's not a very happy day for that political system. I was a little bit distraught with what happened, but I have to respect what the other members of Congress who decided to vote against Mr. McCarthy have to do, because that is the way democracy works.
But now we don't have a speaker. But we still have the same problems that we had yesterday and the day before, spending and the border.
COOPER: Is this a problem of the American political system or is a problem of today's Republican Party? And how do you heal this problem? How do you fix it?
SALAZAR: And I agree with what you're saying, that we have few members that are just not in line with what the Republican Party represents, moderates and conservatives. And that has been debated in conference all throughout this month. But let's look forward, because what happened, it's not what we really wanted to happen, but maybe something good comes out of it. I am an eternally optimist.
We have a problem with the border, and we have a problem with spending. As you know -- and that was all we heard in that debate. McCarthy has tried to do what he could within eight months. We have a major fiscal issue, $6 billion a day that we are spending. We need to stop that, Democrats, Republicans, Independents. And we have a problem at the border.
And I want to just share with you because this is the first time that we talk and you're one of the big boys of CNN is that Salazar has presented something that could definitely help Democrats and Republicans, which is called the Dignity Act, which seals the border and at the same time gives dignity to those people who have lived here in the shadows. So, there is something --
COOPER: But nothing's going to get done -- let me -- nothing is going to get done --
COOPER: -- until there's a speaker and there's no sign of how that's going to happen. What are you hearing about what the Republican conference does next? I mean, will there be a speakership vote tonight?
SALAZAR: There will be a speaker soon. McCarthy, as I'm sure you know, left a list. Apparently, that is the way the rules work that --
COOPER: There's a pro tem speaker right now, Patrick McHenry.
SALAZAR: Which is Patrick McHenry. And if McCarthy decides not to come back, as they were explaining in the panel few minutes before --
COOPER: As a supporter of McCarthy, would you like him to come back?
SALAZAR: Well, listen, if -- let's go into conference and let's decide what's going to happen. What we do know is that this bickering cannot continue because we have eight more appropriation bills that need to be passed in order to fund the rest of the government.
COOPER: But you're a supporter of McCarthy, would you support him if he wants to become speaker -- try to become speaker again? Or are there any other Republicans you would support to become speaker?
SALAZAR: I would support the Republican that can move the conference forward, that has the votes to continue what I just said, the people's business. We may -- the average American that is watching us, just who I --
COOPER: But who do you think can vote -- who would have the vote? I mean, do you have -- is there anybody on your radar?
SALAZAR: Hey, no one really knows who has the vote. So now we're going to go through that exercise right now and see who has our support and has enough credibility in order to move this card forward.
COOPER: Does this hurt Republicans' credibility just among electorate? I mean, people who want stuff to actually get done? The act you talked about that you're supporting on the border, I mean --
SALAZAR: Of course.
COOPER: -- Kevin McCarthy has been in power for a long time, there's not much new that they proposed on the border that's gotten pass. I mean --
SALAZAR: Well, we were having conversations.
COOPER: -- does this damage Republicans?
SALAZAR: Well, it's not the best optics for Republicans, but at the same time, we don't run our conference the way Nancy Pelosi did, which was a lot more less democratic. That is -- I -- that's why I said to you a few minutes ago, democracy is messy. And --
COOPER: I'm guessing Speaker McCarthy wishes he had run things like Nancy Pelosi did. No? He would still be in power.
SALAZAR: Well, yes, but the thing is that is a longer conversation as to why he was not able to do it. And I'm sure that you know the answer to that. But going back to the regular American guy --
COOPER: Competence or shrink?
SALAZAR: -- and I don't think it's competence. I think it's other issues that I don't think we should be discussing right now, because this is the moment of reckoning for the Republican Party.
SALAZAR: But I repeat, the American audience that is watching us has problems, they have to pay rent, inflation is very high. I don't have to explain to you the state of the economy.
COOPER: Yes, yes. SALAZAR: So what is it that we need to do? We need to lower the spending, we have to create more jobs, and we have to seal the border, which is number one for everyone, including the Dems. Look what's happening in New York City. So, I repeat, there are solutions out there, and I have introduced the legislation, bipartisan.
COOPER: Got it. Got it.
SALAZAR: I'm one of the most bipartisan members in Congress, and at least the solution is out there. But I know that you want to talk about the speaker, let's see. No one really knows. Whomever tells you, oh, yes, I know who it is, no one really knows. But I can maybe advance some information later on after we go to conference.
COOPER: Congresswoman Maria Salazar, I appreciate it. Thank you so much.
SALAZAR: And to you, Anderson.
COOPER: A busy day here. Back with the team in New York. Alyssa.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen, a historic day. You can't understate it. You know, we talked a lot about John Cannon, who was the last speaker that faced emotionally vacate. But actually, in 2015, I was working for Mark Meadows when he introduced one against John Boehner. Ultimately, it did not lead to John Boehner's ousting.
It wasn't taken up on the floor. He eventually retired. But what I would note about this, John Boehner made the calculation that he didn't care if he was not a darling of the right wing, if he was considered a rhino, if his legacy within right wing Republican politics was going to be that he's a sellout, if it meant passing bills and keeping his conference in order. Kevin McCarthy made a very different decision. He allowed Republicans to create the weaponization of the Justice Department Subcommittee on Oversight.
I mentioned the Tucker Carlson tapes, the concessions he made to the right flank, only for them to knife him, not even in the back, in the front. I think it was a miscalculation of his own leadership. I would actually disagree with our friends in D.C., I wouldn't be surprised if he puts his name forward to be the speaker again, though. There are so few who could get 218. He's among those who could get the most votes.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that that's an important point. We'll see what happens, and I'm sure we'll find out if he makes his way to Manu Raju at some point with a microphone.
COOPER: I'm sure he's dying to make --
PHILLIP: Dying to talk to our friend Manu. But he controls a lot of this process from going forward. A lot of the names that are being floated are allies of Kevin McCarthy. So they would have to be confident that stepping to the side in order to put their names forward, that's not dissimilar from what we saw earlier this year when he became speaker. And we're asking the same questions, who else?
There were those same names being put forward, but none of them would do it until McCarthy stepped to the side. So he has to make that decision, and it will be pivotal for this process.
COOPER: But if McCarthy puts his name forward again, does he have to -- I mean, he doesn't have to stand by the same concessions he made the last time, would he?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He'd have to make more, I would imagine.
PHILLIP: He could --
COOPER: Have to make more?
PHILLIP: Yes. I mean --
PHILLIP: Well, he would have to make more to either the hardliners or really strike a deal with the Democrats, which seems off the table at this point.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the chickens have come home to roost, right? Matt Gaetz is now sort of an avatar of, in my opinion, everything that's wrong with the GOP, unserious, uninterested in governing, attention seeking, not interested in solving problems, obsessed with identifying heretics instead of converts. And Kevin McCarthy capitulated to this guy and really empowered Matt Gaetz and that destructive, self-destructive wing of the party and had to play by his rules and live by the rules, die by the rules. And so that's where he's at now. And it's sort of ironic to see Kevin McCarthy pointing at Matt Gaetz as you've broken the party. McCarthy is responsible for Matt Gaetz in a lot of ways.
JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, Anderson, it is amazing as a Democrat to sit here and watch what the Republican Party is going through, because we think of ourselves as being the disorganized ones with everyone having their own opinion. But I think what we're watching is a large major American political party come apart at the scenes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SIMMONS: They've got a nominee or almost nominee for president who has been indicted four times. His got -- you know he's been -- his business is probably going to be taken away from him in New York City. Then we've got a speaker of the House who just has been deposed and taken out. How is it that we're supposed to have any kind of bipartisan kind of reckoning and come up with good policy when there really is no partner at the other side of the table? I think this is actually a moment for the American public to sit back and take a breath, because we just can't continue to go on in this way where we don't have a governing partner on the Republican side. PHILLIP: It is also an indictment of our political system. Minority of one chamber of one branch of government is basically grinding everything to a halt. And the reason that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Intentionally.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
PHILLIP: And the reason that that minority is so empowered is because we have a political system in which the Republican conference is more or less run by people who will never see a real primary challenger. Those districts are only going further to the right. So this problem is not getting any better.
PHILLIP: It's only going to get worse. And it's -- the tyranny of a minority of a minority within this country stopping anything from happening. I'm not -- there's no judgment about whether it's good or bad things --
COOPER: It's bigger than that.
PHILLIP: -- but nothing is happening.
COOPER: It's also bigger than just the, you know, the primary. Something that -- it's the filibuster. There's a whole series of things which empower the minority in a way that does not happen in other countries.
PHILLIP: Yes. Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gerrymandering, redlining, all of that.
SIMMONS: If you think about what it is they want, what it is they're talking about doing, they're talking about stopping people from coming across the border, right? We see in the courts conservatives are trying to take away affirmative action, take away women's rights in their -- about -- control over their bodies. We see the President going around the country basically challenging institutions everywhere he turns. It's as if the modern society that we spent maybe almost 100 years, certainly 60 or 70 years trying to build is the thing that they're against. It's not like we're just arguing over how much we're going to spend on this thing or that.
We're arguing over what kind of country we're going to be in this minority of minority that Abby just mentioned is standing up saying we're not for the country that the establishment Republicans and the Democrats seem to be for.
GRIFFIN: Well, if I may, even in a moment with the congresswoman you just spoke with, there's this cognitive dissonance where they essentially say, you know, that the majority of House Republicans, we want to secure the border, we want to lower spending, we want to deal with our fiscal House and get it in order. But that's not actually what the focus has been of this Congress by any means. And of course, this notion that going through a full aid appropriations process, which we really haven't done in over 25 plus years is the answer to everything, not the fact that you have divided government, a Democrat run Senate, and a Democrat in the White House. There is just a reality check that needs to be woken up to, and it's not coming anytime soon.
I would say this, though, I think what you're most likely to see is one of three or four of those who are already kind of in Kevin McCarthy's inner circle that are going to put their names for it. There's not a reality where you're going to see a Freedom Caucus member elected as speaker. And they're going to run into the same reality, which is in 44 days, we have to fund the government again. Are they going to pull the motion to vacate again when you inevitably have to cut a deal with Democrats?
PHILLIP: Well, I would also say we should not underestimate the degree to which some of this, as Kevin McCarthy has said, is a personality dispute. OK? Matt Gaetz does not like Kevin McCarthy. Some of these individuals do not like the guy, and they might be willing to work with someone else who is not named Kevin McCarthy even if they share basically the same politics, that is possible too.
COOPER: Matt Gaetz has mentioned Steve Scalise several times. Is that --
CUPP: I think that's probably true. There's a lot of personality going on here. But Matt Gaetz wants to be famous no matter what. When this fight is over, whether he wins or loses, he'll go on to pick another one to get more attention, raise more money. That's his raison detre, he's not alone.
I think Trump ushered in a lot of candidates and elected officials who were there just to be famous and get attention. They're not there to govern. They're definitely not there to solve problems. And it's hair on fire for conservatives like me, because when Matt Gaetz gets up and talks about the deficit and lowering the debt, things that I really care about, this was absent in the era of Trump. This was not important to Donald Trump, who exploded the debt. All the things --
COOPER: And Republicans went along with him.
CUPP: Absolutely. Mike Pence the most deficit hawk I've ever met, right, is sitting in the second chair watching this all to happen. So, it's a little -- it's a little rich for me.
COOPER: Let's go back to Jake in Washington. Jake?
TAPPER: All right, Anderson, thanks so much.
The first thing we're going to do is go to Manu Raju who is going to bring us the latest from Capitol Hill, where tempers intentions are riding high. Manu. MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. I've been talking to members outside of here. Republican members just angry, hearing Republicans who support Kevin McCarthy, attacking what they're calling so called conservatives who have went after and took McCarthy out of the speakership. Then you're hearing one McCarthy detractor after another, criticizing the speaker, including Congresswoman Nancy Mace, one of the members who did vote to oust him, saying that McCarthy broke his promise to her about dealing with issues involving women's rights, and she was furious on the steps of the Capitol.
But we do expect in sometime around 06:30 p.m. Eastern Time, House Republicans will gather behind closed doors to discuss their way forward. We'll see what ultimately comes out of that closed door meeting. That is -- we have reporting from our colleagues Melanie Zanona and Haley Talbot. They are hearing that this meeting will happen tonight. And that was -- could be a significant moment as well, because the question remains, what will Kevin McCarthy do?
Will he decide to run for speaker? He has not said. He refused to answer questions when he walked off of the House floor. He walked back into the speaker's office, and he is still huddling with his advisors at this moment.
There is a groundswell of support among McCarthy's allies for him to run again. And talking to a number of them, they will say they are sticking with him no matter how long he wants to go. But the onus is on him to decide how to proceed. If he does decide to go forward, it's clear he does not have a majority of the House to elect him as speaker. The Democrats will vote for Hakeem Jeffries.
The McCarthy detractors will vote for somebody else, and nobody will get a majority. But if McCarthy steps aside, who is that consensus pick? That is not decide -- that is -- there's no unanimity on that as well. There's sharp division about who will lead their conference. So these are some of the key questions that they will be grappling with behind closed doors tonight.
And Jake, the question also is, when will the next speaker's race be? We're told unlikely tonight. We'll see if it happened as soon as tomorrow. But that is a very significant decision here because the House cannot do anything until there is a speaker who is elected here. One institution of the federal government in complete paralysis after this vote, historic vote today to remove Kevin McCarthy as the speaker of the House. Jake.
TAPPER: Yes, a completely self-inflicted wound by the House GOP, the majority party in the House of Representatives. Manu Raju, thanks so much.
So to reiterate, the House Republican Party, the House Republican Conference is going to have a meeting of all of their members this evening, likely around 06:30 p.m. Eastern, according to sources, though it's not an officially scheduled meeting. Sources also told CNN that any sort of election vote to vote for a new speaker is not expected for this evening as of right now. So, let's talk about this right now. Jonah Goldberg, the first thing I want to do is play some sound from January 7 of this year when Speaker McCarthy got through -- former Speaker McCarthy got through 15 rounds of votes, and he was asked about this very difficult process. This is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you expect to govern this way if it has been taking this long to get the conference united?
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: See, this is the great part, because it took this long, now we learned how to govern. So now we'll be able to get the job done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So that didn't age well.
JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, neither did all of his sort of bring it on tweets and whatnot. Look, this is one of the most unsurprising shocking stories in a very long time. It's very Aesopian, right? Speaker McCarthy -- erstwhile, Speaker McCarthy knew what Matt Gaetz was a scorpion, right? But he just had to like play the story out. And this is how sort of I think everybody sort of knew it was going to --
TAPPER: Go ahead, get on my back, I'll take you across the river.
GOLDBERG: Yes. And then boom. And one of the weird ironies of all this is McCarthy did more for sort of the broader House Freedom Caucus, for the bomb throwers, for the Matt Gaetz types than any speaker in Republican history. And it just wasn't enough, because the incentive structure for a fundamentally irreducible number of them is simply the performative aspects of this. Matt Gaetz gets everything, Nancy Mace gets everything they want out of this.
Because -- and look, I actually agree with almost everything Matt Gaetz said on the floor about regular order and spending bills --
TAPPER: Oh, sure.
GOLDBERG: But the thing is --
TAPPER: Thirty-three trillion dollars in debt, of course.
GOLDBERG: The guy who voted for Donald Trump to be speaker in January is not actually concerned with any of those things. It's all performative nonsense and he just comes out of this a winner if he doesn't get beaten to death by the other members in the House gym (ph).
ANDERSON: Yes. There's no plan for what's next. I mean, I found it very amusing when he was asked by the scrum of reporters around him, you've never seen someone so happy to be talking to a scrum of reporters. He was thrilled, he was in the limelight. He's surely going to fundraise off of this. He's got his eyes, supposedly, on being governor --
TAPPER: He's sending out the text right now to fundraise his acts (ph). Yes.
ANDERSON: But when asked, well, would you put your name in for speaker? He said, oh, no, absolutely not. Nobody's interested in leading. They're all interested in bomb throwing, they're interested in trying to make a name for themselves on social media. But leadership is really, really, really hard.
And as we're going to see, I suspect, over the next coming days, finding someone who can be that leader for the full caucus is going to be very challenging. And remember, funding for the government runs out in, what, 45 --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-five days.
TAPPER: Not even 43 now.
ANDERSON: This is looming out there. And every day that this consumes the House's time is less time to pass regular spending bills without having to kick that can down the road again.
TAPPER: And Paul, Congressman Don Bacon, who's from the Omaha area of Nebraska, he is a more moderate Republican. He told CNN that he would love to have Gaetz out of the Republican Conference. He said, quote, "he shouldn't be in the Republican Party." But when asked if he would be the one to make the move to kick him out, he said, I don't know. We'll talk about it privately.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, Bacon's a moderate. He had a district that went for Biden. He's a retired general. He's not one of the nihilists at all. Right?
But what does it say about the Republican Party and their leaders? Apparently, you can brag on tape about grabbing women by the privates and they'll stand by you. You can foment an insurrection at your own Capitol, and they'll stand by. You can be indicted 91 times, you could be adjudicated by a civil court for sexually abusing a woman on Fifth Avenue, they will stand by you. But God forbid you annoy Matt Gaetz and pass a CR that's too big, you're out.
TAPPER: Well, he was indicted.
BEGALA: He defines their party in a not very --
TAPPER: Just for the record, Trump was not four times or 91 counts.
BEGALA: Sorry, 91 counts, four indictments.
TAPPER: Four indictment, yes.
BEGALA: You're right. TAPPER: Well, I'm five if you count the superseding indictments. But anyway, Kaitlan -- I take your point. Kaitlan Collins, I guess the big question now is whether the House GOP like, what's going to happen? Who are they going to pick? Are they going to pick Tom Cole? Are they going to pick Tom Emmer?
Are they going to pick Steve Scalise? And why are they not voting tonight?
COLLINS: I think it's because there is no plan, and there is no alternative. This -- and for people who say, well, why would you do this without having that? That's what a lot of conservative voices are saying right now, without having that backup plan, their goal was to get rid of McCarthy. It was not necessarily to install someone else, they didn't have someone else in mind, their goal was simply they didn't like what McCarthy was doing. It was as clear as day, this was the most predictable thing ever.
It's actually kind of surprising Kevin McCarthy lasted this long --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
COLLINS: -- I think, in the speaker. If you remember back to when we were watching, those 15 rounds of voting and what he agreed to. And it is true that he did make agreements with the White House and then went back on those agreements, so there's no love lost for him anywhere else in Washington. And so I think that's the question here.
And also one thing that I'm watching, because Trump felt like he had this outsized influence on McCarthy finally getting the gavel in January, a lot of Republicans who were initially no's and then voted present don't believe that, but Trump himself is weighing in and saying, well, why are Republicans fighting each other and not fighting Democrats? Even Trump is saying that.
TAPPER: Well, on that --
COLLINS: He hasn't weighed in because he's been in court today.
TAPPER: On that subject, you might remember in the closing hours of the 15 rounds of balloting, Marjorie Taylor Greene getting a message, and it said DT and who, you know, and Donald Trump, you said, taking credit for it. Dana Bash you reminded me of this moment. Here is Kevin McCarthy, newly Speaker Kevin McCarthy, I believe, on January 7th of this year, talking about Donald Trump and expressing his appreciation for his help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: I do want to especially thank President Trump. I don't think anybody should doubt his influence. (END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Where was he? Where was he today?
BASH: In court, trying to defend his businesses and his name.
TAPPER: Not trying to defend his Kevin.
BASH: No. I mean --
CORNISH: That's the problem with trying to appease a constituency of one, especially when that one can't be helpful when you need them the most.
BASH: It is a one way street with Donald Trump, and this is just exhibit Z of that.
TAPPER: Joining us now, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Congresswoman, I appreciate you not bringing what I expect was a big tub of popcorn that you were holding earlier today. The Democratic Party united in voting to remove Kevin McCarthy. But I have to say the institution of the House of Representatives does suffer, does it not?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, you know, Jake, we had extensive conversations within the Democratic Caucus on this, and I think we really thought through this very carefully. I don't think any one of us actually takes any joy in this. I had this very strange feeling sitting on the House floor. I didn't feel like cheering. I didn't want to clap. I don't think any of us did, because the reality is that we need a Congress that runs efficiently, but we cannot be responsible for a governing party that cannot govern.
And this Republican Party has been unable to govern for a long time, and really in the nine months that they've been in office. And it has constantly been chaos and driving us to the brink of despair and shutdown and, you know, threats about all kinds of things, not to mention the polarization, the division, the racism, all of the things that this extreme Republican Party stands for.
So we don't take any pleasure in this. But let's be clear about something. The Republicans have the majority in the House. It is their job to pick a speaker. They cannot come to us and say, you pick a speaker. That's not our responsibility. If we're picking a speaker, we have our speaker. It's Leader Hakeem Jeffries, soon to be Speaker Hakeem Jeffries when we take back the majority.
But as long as Republicans have the majority, they have the responsibility to pick a speaker. They have the responsibility to govern. And if they can't govern, then turn it over to us. And we Democrats will govern in the same way that we governed for the last two years when we had the majority with a very slim margin under Speaker of America, now speaker then Pelosi, we were able to get a tremendous amount done for the American people. Let's just be clear, it's their responsibility. TAPPER: A 100 percent. The majority party is in charge of picking their own speaker. No disagreement at all. But they're having a problem. They have somewhere between five to eight members who are not going to pick Kevin McCarthy and I don't know, I assume they're going to be able to pick somebody. But hypothetically, if they came to you and said if a majority of them said, look, I know you don't agree with let me just pick. Tom Cole or Tom Emmer, somebody for whom I assume you disagree with all of his politics, but maybe you at least think he is a respectable person on the other side of the aisle.
If we made some concessions in terms of power sharing, would 10 or 20 Democrats be willing to support this just so we can function as a House of Representatives? Maybe not you as a member -- as the chair of the House Progressive Caucus but is that a reasonable turn of events do you think?
JAYAPAL: Look, it's too hypothetical?
TAPPER: Not really.
JAYAPAL: It's too hypothetical because, again, five Republicans could come over right now and help us to elect Hakeem.
TAPPER: Right. I guess that's true.
JAYAPAL: And, you know, that is the question you should be asking five so called moderate Republicans because I'll tell you something else about these so called moderate Republicans. They have voted with the extremist MAGA Republican Party every single step of the way. And I don't think we should give them a pass by calling them moderate Republicans. There's nothing moderate about voting every step of the way for all the things that this Republican Party has stood for. Steep cuts, taking us to the brink of a shutdown, you know, taking us to the brink of defaulting on the debt, taking us into polarizing divisive, horrific conversation about a nationwide ban on abortion.
Let's just go through the whole thing. And let's just be clear that when you talk about Speaker McCarthy, these people who elected Speaker McCarthy to be their speaker elected somebody who on January 6th, Jake, stood on the House floor and said that, you know, Trump admitted that Trump was responsible for helping to start an insurrection and then went and voted in the exact opposite way. This is a pattern. And these so called moderate Republicans that you're naming, including some of the ones you name, and I have great respect for all of my colleagues, but let's just be clear, this is not -- let five of them come over and vote with us for speaker --
TAPPER: I hear you. Let me just ask you one quick question, which is, I know that Kevin McCarthy is someone for whom, let us say, many Democrats, your respect knows bounds, let's put it that way. Do you think that if this situation, hypothetically speaking, had happened to a Paul Ryan or a Tom Cole or a Tom Emmer, that it would have played out the same way, somebody that you disagree with but? JAYAPAL: It's never our responsibility as Democrats to elect a Republican. It just isn't. Now, if you want to talk about power sharing, that's a different question. But that is -- we are far away from anything like that would really give control back to Democrats. And so I just think that it's what really needs to happen is, you know, ask those five so called moderate Republicans or the ones that are in Biden districts. Where are they?
TAPPER: Yes, I don't think --
JAYAPAL: And ask them, where are they.
TAPPER: I don't I've ever called them any of them moderate, to my knowledge, but maybe I'm wrong. Democratic Congresswoman Jayapal, always good to see you. Thanks so much.
Let's bring back the panel. The question I asked just a second ago about where is Donald Trump who helped get Kevin McCarthy elected speaker according to Kevin McCarthy. Let me just ask you, where was Donald Trump? He is the leader of the Republican Party. I get he was in court today being reprimanded for posting smears about the judge's clerk, which is a whole other story that we can get into later. But where was he? I mean like his, the House Republican Conference is enthralled to him.
He could have told Matt Gaetz cut it out. He could have told Kevin McCarthy it's time for you to go. He could have played any number of roles.
ANDERSON: I don't know that he actually could have gotten Matt Gaetz to stand down. That's an interesting hypothetical and a what if. I think Donald Trump wants to stay as far away from this as possible because his brand has always been, I'm an outsider. I'm not part of the establishment. I'm not part of that mess that goes on in Washington. Despite the fact that he was the President of the United States and is ostensibly the leader of the Republican Party, he still very much tries to convey this, I'm an outsider.
And so for someone like him, I actually think what we just saw is only going to help Donald Trump in this presidential race to say, look at those normal establishment Republicans. They can't do anything. You need to continue to have someone like me. I would never have lost. I'm a winner. I think this just completely feeds into his narrative by him taking 10 steps away and saying, this is not my problem.
TAPPER: That might be true, but also, where was Donald Trump?
CORNISH: I mean, he could have been tweeting about this instead of tweeting something or posting something that would get him in trouble with the judge. There was a path there you could have taken that would have made a lot of people's days a lot easier. So is this the end of the relationship between him and my Kevin? That'll be interesting. Tonight's meeting with the Republicans, is it going to be a festivus airing of grievances before they get to the business of figuring out who could be next? Is there going to be an effort to expel Matt Gaetz? There's actually a tremendous number of questions going into this evening.
COLLINS: What's interesting is who they pick next. It could actually potentially happen much faster than what we saw in January when it took those 15 rounds, because when you've asked those hardliners and obviously Tim Burchett a few moments ago did not tell you who he had in mind. He said he has no idea. But they've thrown out several names, so it seems like there are several people that could actually get their support. So if they do coalesce around someone, it could potentially happen faster than we think.
JOHN GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So it's an interesting thought experiment to ask what would happen today's vote if they still had the practice, which they had from 1789 to 1839, which was all votes for speaker were secret ballot. And I think you could have gotten some Democrats to vote, to keep Kevin McCarthy in there.
TAPPER: Just for the sake of stability.
GOLDBERG: For the sake of stability, to punish Matt Gaetz and the sort of craziness stuff. But they can't go on the record. I mean, they can't publicly be seen to doing that. But I also don't think Nancy Mace would have voted for it. I don't think maybe some of the other ones who voted to oust McCarthy would have done it because they want the credit for having done it. And if it's a secret ballot, the risk, you know, what's the point of it other than to go out and say that you did it?
And this is one of the areas where, again, the incentives, because of social media, because of cable news, because of small donors, because of all sorts of things, the incentives reward all of the people who set their hair on fire and punishes moderates who try to govern. And if you had a secret ballot, I think you'd actually empower those people and punish and deter the crazy.
TAPPER: It's become a cliche in this town. Democrats in disarray or Dems in disarray, right, because literally for decades, that has been, you know, something that happened. I have to say the transformation of leadership in the House from Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn to Hakeem Jeffries and Aguilar and Clarkson --
TAPPER: And Clark. Those three, well, obviously, I'm still getting to know them. It was remarkable and quick. It was array. It was Dems in array. But it was like all behind closed doors. I don't know what deals were cut. Obviously, the same happened with the presidential contest in 2020. That's another story. But obviously it was remarkably smooth, at least in public. This was coming for months.
CORNISH: Yes. The word you're seeking is discipline. I can feel you reaching for it.
TAPPER: Is that what it is?
CORNISH: I think that is something that --
TAPPER: It's tough to say when associated with Democrats. That's why I'm having trouble with it.
BEGALA: Kevin McCarthy, ex-Speaker McCarthy was exiting the House floor. Manu was chasing away the camera on him. He walked past in the corridor, the statue of Will Rogers, state of Oklahoma, put up to honor their greatest son. And Will Rogers famously said, I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat.
BEGALA: Well, now, I think it's particularly in the House, largely because of Nancy Pelosi. She used to say this every meeting. She would say, our diversity is our strength, our unity is our superpower. And she had the same slim majority as Kevin McCarthy and passed the Inflation Reduction Act and the COVID Act, the CHIPS Act, to that bipartisan infrastructure plan and help for veterans and healthcare.
TAPPER: I got to interrupt, so one sec. let me go to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill. Manu?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX): Who is the next speaker going to be? And in the meantime, we lose all the floor time to get the preparations bills passed to get what's good for the nation. It's the first time in history this has ever happened. So it's a very historic day, but a sad day for America.
RAJU: How does it reflect on your majority, do you think?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: All right. That was the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Mike McCaul, a Republican of Texas. Anderson throwing it to you.
COOPER: Jake, thanks very much. I want to see if do we still have Manu to go to? All right, let's -- Manu let's check in with you, talk about what you just heard from Congressman McCaul.
RAJU: Yes. I just to -- you may have caught when I heard -- talked to Congressman Mike McCaul. He's really reflecting what a lot of Republican members are saying. The ones who are aligning themselves with Kevin McCarthy, which is a vast majority of this House Republican Conference, are saying it is a sad day. It shows that they cannot govern. It is something that they are concerned about that could be reflected poorly upon them as they try to keep their House majority.
I've heard from a number of vulnerable Republicans in particular, worried about what this may mean for their seats. There is a finite amount of time for them to get their legislative agenda through. There's very little time to avoid the next potential government shutdown by the middle of November. Nothing can happen now. In fact, there were supposed to be votes tonight on some other issues. They can't even vote on those issues because there is no speaker of the House.
They need to elect a speaker of the House. That is one of the next order of business here. That's why they will be meeting behind closed doors in just about an hour or so on the House GOP to try to pick up the pieces, try to figure out what's next, and try to figure out whether or not Kevin McCarthy himself is running for speaker. That is still an unknown. There's no answer to that question at this moment. What will Kevin McCarthy do? That is significant.
Because if he runs, he will have a sizable amount of Republicans, we probably have more than 200 Republicans voting for him to become speaker, but he will not have 218 Republicans. That is the magic number. Who can get 218 Republican votes at the moment? Nobody, especially if McCarthy runs again. So, so many questions right now about what is next.
McCarthy himself not answering questions. He's huddled up, meeting with his advisors, his close allies in the Speaker's office at the moment. But we'll see what he has to say if he goes to that conference meeting, if he makes himself a candidate for speaker, if he's ready to fight it out. But a lot of these members, Anderson, just don't want to give Matt Gaetz a scalp of sorts, don't want to give him a victory.
They are furious at Gaetz. They believe he has thrown this institution into disarray. And the last thing they want to do is give him a victory. But that could only mean if McCarthy runs, things will be bogged down and paralyzed for some time.
COOPER: So the Republicans are going to be meeting tonight, this evening. Can you just talk, Manu, what you are hearing from Democrats about the Democrats decision not to throw a lifeline to Kevin McCarthy?
RAJU: Yes, this was an interesting moment because, Anderson, we had been reporting up until today about the deliberations that were happening behind the scenes. Democrats were keeping their powder dry. They didn't know exactly what to do. They were weighing whether or not to get concessions, try to broker some sort of agreement with Kevin McCarthy perhaps that they could get more power in this chamber, as the minority party typically has virtually no power, as the minority party gets some more power. They weighed all these different options.
But at the end of the day, when they went behind closed doors this morning, one Democrat after another made absolutely clear they had no interest in saving McCarthy. They were angry at the way he's handled a whole host of issues and the way he has attacked them. It went even over the last effort to try to keep the government open.
And at the end of the day, many of them just said to me, there's no way they could have voted to save Kevin McCarthy. But as a result, here, leadership crisis in the House, lots of questions about what's next.
COOPER: And was it comments that McCarthy made on television over the weekend, on Sunday in particular about blaming Democrats that particularly was sort of the final straw?
RAJU: That was one big reason why they did play that interview that McCarthy had on Face to Nation on Sunday. That set the tone for a meeting in which members railed on a whole bunch of grievances that they had. Some members, including Zoe Lofgren, told me that she was angry at McCarthy for not testifying before the January 6th Committee in the last Congress.
So there are a whole host of issues that Democrats have. And what's clear is that McCarthy did not have deep seated relationships with a lot of Democratic members. He was in a positive relationship, actually, with Hakeem Jeffries, a Democratic leader, but not with the rank and file members. And McCarthy of course, going after many of those vulnerable Democrats, raising a ton of money, targeting them in their races, so there's no love lost there, Anderson, perhaps one reason why they voted to oust him.
COOPER: All right, Manu Raju, thank you. I want to go to Lauren Fox also on Capitol Hill. Lauren, you just spoke to one of the eight Republicans who voted against Kevin McCarthy today. What'd you hear?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, what you're hearing from many of these Republicans is they're relieved that McCarthy is gone, and yet there's no clear alternative of who is going to take the helm of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives right now. I just got done speaking with Representative Matt Rosendale, and he also went off saying that whoever takes the job next has to take the demands of conservatives more seriously. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT ROSENDALE (R-MT): If you guys don't take anything else away from this, what I'd like you to take away from it is I'm tired of being lectured by people that have been here for decades, OK, and have put us in $33 trillion in debt, and they're going to tell me how to do my job. I think we need to try and do things a different way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOX: Of course, the question is, who is going to take the job next? And we also pushed Representative Matt Gaetz on that, you know, it's interesting, when I asked Rosendale, who do you think should get the gavel next, he said, well, the king was just ousted at this point, so it's open consideration right now. Basically, they believe these hardliners believe that because now no one is in the job, more people might be willing to come forward.
Of course, the looming question, does McCarthy try again to get back the gavel? And if he does, what does that mean for alternatives like Steve Scalise or others who some conservatives have cited by name, they think would better at this job. Anderson?
COOPER: Lauren Fox, appreciate it. Thank you. Back with the team here in New York. Alyssa, I mean, for Republicans, if there are Republicans who want to actually get things done and there are many Republicans, obviously who want that both in the country and in Congress, how does this get fixed because you can't have this small group holding everybody hostage.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Well, it's a shameful day for Republicans, and frankly, this should have been able to be worked out in a House conference tonight. That's what we're going to see. I've been in many House Republican conference meetings, and basically it looks very similar to what we saw on the House floor. It's a lot of arguing, giving speeches, probably some heated debates. I am hearing from Republicans that there is growing sentiment about trying to actually remove Matt Gaetz from the House conference, which he can do, but I'm keeping an eye.
COOPER: What would that actually mean?
GRIFFIN: It essentially means he can't serve on committees. I believe he still maintains his vote. I would have to check on that. But he would lose committee representation. But I think Kevin McCarthy may still try to pull this through. He's got a -- what made him Speaker, one of the biggest things was his massive political fundraising basis. He raises more than anyone else in the House. He turns that over to the NRCC. So he's helped some moderate stay in the House and win the majority, even by the slimmest hair.
He's also -- the Speaker's got over a 50 person staff. This is a huge team around him that is going to be encouraging him stay fight. And his allies are saying, if you step aside, then you are letting Matt Gaetz win. And you are empowering that. So I could see this dragging out for some time.
PHILLIP: Yes, I was thinking to your question about exactly the same thing. The reason that this is an impasse is because the people who forced McCarthy out don't really care whether or not anything happens in the House. And if you are among the people who do care, then you're more willing to make concessions because it's important to you whether business in the House moves forward.
Under those circumstances, it's hard for me to see how the moderates win out here. Even the folks who are the sort of only McCarthy group in the House, they're in a tough spot because they are not going to be willing to do this forever. And that is what, frankly, Matt Gaetz is banking on. But to me, that is one of the questions. There are those only McCarthy folks who are so angry with Gaetz and want to make sure that he doesn't win.
What do they do now? How do they extract concessions? Frankly, I'm not saying that there's a great way for them to do it, but you get the feeling when you talk to some of them, they are so angry, they do not want to see the arsonists win out in this situation.
CUPP: And I think it's important to put some of this in a historical context. Looking at sort of the history of conservatives in the Republican Party, there's nothing inherently wrong with having disagreements inside the party. The Republican Party has historically really leaned into intellectual diversity, lots of wings of the party, a big tent. But what is not happening today is a fight over ideas and principles. They're fighting over destruction, how to destroy it and who can destroy it, and how quickly can we destroy it. It's theater. So we've gone historically now a Republican Party from a big tent to sort of a goat rodeo. And the chaos and destruction is the point. The principles, the ideas matter almost not at all.
SIMMONS: You know, Anderson, there may be something else afoot. The bazaar may not be closed, meaning Kevin McCarthy could run again, and now he could be ready to do a deal with Democrats that he was not willing to do before. And so I am hearing from some folks on the Hill that Democrats may now be willing to see if Kevin McCarthy is ready to talk a little more in a way that he wasn't willing to talk a couple of days ago and see what might be on the table.
CUPP: Well, to that, I just got another quote in from a Democratic congressman who said, had Kevin even bothered to attempt to work with us at any point this year, then today probably wouldn't have happened. Instead, he spent this whole year bending over backward to try to appease the crazies, and today is the natural end result of that.
COOPER: So what --
CUPP: -- are some personal --
COOPER: What would Democrats look for? I mean, Democrats in the House, what would they look for from McCarthy if they wanted to?
SIMMONS: It could be anything. You could change the formula on committees and bring more Democrats up. You could give minority rights and allow the minority to be able to, you know, have more say in legislation and what gets on the calendar or not. There are all kinds of things that could happen. The question is whether or not McCarthy is willing now to come to the table with Democrats and have a real discussion that he wasn't willing to have.
PHILLIP: It's a math problem because he will lose some Republicans, probably more than he would like to. Yes, I mean, that's inevitable. But how many could Democrats bring over if they win some of those concessions? It could be a couple dozen, which might be enough.
COOPER: I want to bring in CNN's Melanie Zanona who is on Capitol Hill. Melanie, you have some new reporting about very -- about the frustration there on Capitol Hill among Republicans.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, the frustration, the fallout and the fury right now inside the House Republican Conference. I am told that Republicans on the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, this is a bipartisan group, are considering quitting the group in mass, according to one of my sources, because they're frustrated with their Democratic colleagues who are in that group, these centrist members who opted to vote to remove Kevin McCarthy.
In the hours leading up to the vote, republicans on that group were desperately trying to get their Democratic colleagues to come to their side, to step in and bail out McCarthy. Some centrist Democrats had been considering it, had been toying with the idea of voting president. They ultimately did not. But this is just one of many examples of how this decision to remove McCarthy is now reverberating on Capitol Hill.
Don Bacon, another Republican, also told my colleague Annie Greer, expel Matt Gaetz. So you just get a sense of how frustrated Republicans are right now and what they're trying to do in the aftermath of this historic vote. Anderson?
COOPER: Yes. Melanie Zanona, thanks for that. Alyssa?
GRIFFIN: Well, I'm speaking of the 18 Republicans who won in districts that Joe Biden carried, people like Mike Lawler in the suburbs of New York, who this puts them in a very tough place as they're trying to navigate their reelection bids. They're saying, I serve in a House that can't even function. We can't even get our own leadership elected, much less pass bills and deliver for our constituents. That -- this is what is so just chaotic about the Gaetz approach to this is it's a problem without any sort of a solution in hand.
He is going to jeopardize the Republican majority in these efforts that he's done underway, that he's put underway. And I don't know that there's any quick fix coming in terms of if it is someone like a Steve Scalise that steps into it's going to be only a matter of time before they use the same mechanism --
COOPER: I mean, can any speaker last with a system that they agree to where know it takes a few people to bring them down?
GRIFFIN: It was never meant to be. It was a Jeffersonian era tool. The motion to vacate was never supposed to be lowered to this threshold for precisely the reason if it could just drive the House to a screeching hall.
PHILLIP: And here's the thing. I think that when you listen to Matt Gaetz, as we have all afternoon, He -- what he is saying about the process of the House being broken is not wrong. I mean, the House and the Congress has not actually been doing their jobs, passing budgets, so on and so forth. Here's the problem. The problem is that he only wants a budget that meets his needs. And that is not how Congress works. It's a bipartisan system right now.
The Senate is run by the Democrats. The House is run by Republicans. And there has to be a scenario in which some speaker can come to an agreement that is fundamentally bipartisan. He will never be on board with that. That is why all of the talk about process is only one part of the picture fundamentally underneath the process are demands that are on the far right of even the Republican Party and really are going nowhere in this Congress.
COOPER: The hardest thing for anybody in Congress is to be a moderate really?
CUPP: Oh, yes. It's a very lonely place. It's hardened life as well, trust me. But I think this is why Matt Gaetz has worked so hard to paint McCarthy as basically one of the Dems now, because this is the project, again identifying heretics, calling out the disloyalty. It's so much more important to people like Matt Gaetz and Donald Trump to weed out the disloyals in the Republican Party than it is to actually pick fights on policy with Democrats.
COOPER: We are following breaking news out of New York. A judge has issued a partial gag order in Donald Trump's civil fraud case. Kara Scannell is outside the courthouse here in New York. So talk about what led to the order and what does it include?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Anderson so, after the lunch break, the judge came back and said that he was issuing a gag order in this case. And that came after Donald Trump had issued a post this morning linking the judge's clerk to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer without any evidence in that post. And he also emailed that post out to a lot of his big distribution lists.
And the judge saying that he was imposing a gag order on all parties, saying that none of them could make any public statements about any of his staff. And he said that if they violate this order, there would be serious sanctions, and that could include anything from financial penalties to even potentially jail. So, you know, the judge drawing a fine line here, trying to cut down on some of the rhetoric that Trump has made, particularly targeting his clerk, who is a constant presence beside him, who is very active with the judge.
But he didn't extend that to the judge or to the other parties. And Trump today was out making statements against Attorney General Letitia James, who's brought this case. He made comments about her walking into the courthouse, continuing the refrain that this is a witch hunt and criticizing this investigation and this litigation. Anderson?
COOPER: So, Kara, just to be clear, if the former president violates this gag order and who knows if he will, what happens? I mean, obviously, it's up to the judge, but is there any scenario in which the judge would actually jail the former president?
SCANNELL: That would be a huge step. I think it would have to be something really extreme that Trump would have to do in order to trigger something like that. But the judge said he warned the parties yesterday about the rhetoric, about what they were saying, and then today, because Trump had made comments about his clerk as he was walking into the courtroom, yesterday, was caught on camera.
But then Trump doubled down today making these statements on his platform, which has millions of followers, his Truth Social post, and then also an e-mail distribution list making these unfounded claims about his clerk. And that is what tipped the judge to saying, OK, now there is a gag order. If anyone violates this, it will be serious. That was his word, serious sanctions.
He didn't describe what that would be. But first step is usually financial. It would be a big leap for him to jail him, particularly given his position. But this is also not an uncommon terrain for the former President. He has had other judges warn him about his rhetoric and warn him about statements that he's making about people in the case. Anderson?
COOPER: Kara Scannell outside the courthouse appreciate it.
Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett pick up our coverage next in The Situation Room.