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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Border Crisis Consumes White House As Migrant Crossings Surge; Ukraine: Russian Strike On Shop, Cafe Kills At Least 51; Trump Considers Capitol Hill Visit As GOP Searches For Speaker; Urgently Needed Ukraine Aid Stalled Amid House Chaos; Clinton Calls For "Backlash" Against GOP "Extremists"; Civilians Paying The Price For SWAT Raids. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired October 05, 2023 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: What a comeback. She is truly inspirational. Super human. My goodness.
Best of luck to her. We'll be rooting her on.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Yeah, look forward to more in the very inner future.
Hey, thanks so much for joining "NEWS CENTRAL" this afternoon.
Pam, great for you to be here. You're back tomorrow.
BROWN: I'm back tomorrow. Don't miss it.
SANCHEZ: Look forward to that.
Yeah, THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts after a short break.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Donald Trump heading to the scene of those January 6th crimes.
THE LEAD starts right now.
Sources tell CNN that the former president wants to go to Capitol Hill, where he wants to add his two cents on the debate over who should be the next speaker of the House. Do Republican lawmakers want him there?
I'll talk to a Republican who has been in touch with him this week.
Plus, one of the deadliest strikes in Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's invasion. A horrific scene of Putin's war. More than 50 civilians killed after a missile strike hit a grocery store.
But first, for years, Donald Trump said, build the wall. Now, it's President Biden picking up on the new construction.
TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We're going to start today with our world lead, and a number of major developments happening right now, involving the immigration crisis and the chaos at the U.S. southern border. In just moments, we're going hear from top Biden cabinet officials who are down in Mexico for meetings about the surge in migrants entering the United States, along with the flow of fentanyl and gun trafficking.
This meeting comes just hours after the Biden White House announced it is waiving dozens of federal laws in order to build more border barriers. It's a move that President Biden tried to defend this afternoon after a number of critics pointed out that he promised not to build one additional foot of wall while he was running for president.
Also today, a federal court heard arguments over the state of Texas's decision to install buoys on the Rio Grande river after the Biden administration sued the Lone Star State, trying to get them to remove them. Texas official claims that the buoys are meant to deter migrants from crossing the river, which can be deadly.
All of this as governors and mayors across the U.S. are sounding the alarm about the increase in migrant arrivals in the U.S., depleting the state and cities' already scarce resources. Republicans and Democrats begging the White House and the federal government for more help.
CNN's M.J. Lee starts off our coverage today with a closer look at the new barriers coming to the southern border, and why President Biden says he was forced to make this move.
MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The contentious political issue of the border wall --
CROWD: Build the wall, build the wall, build the wall!
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Don't worry, we're going build that wall.
LEE: -- back in the spotlight. The Biden administration announcing that it is waiving 26 federal laws in order to green light the construction of a border wall in South Texas.
The wall will be built using previously appropriated funds specifically earmarked for this purpose under the Trump administration. But the building of the wall clashing with this explicit promise that Biden made as a presidential candidate.
BIDEN: There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration.
LEE: His then opponent Donald Trump made construction of a border wall a major rallying cry in his reelection campaign.
TRUMP: And we are now building that beautiful wall. And this powerful voter wall is going up at record speed.
LEE: The administration's decision coming amid a surge of migrants a the U.S. southern border. The administration facing intense pressure, including from some Democratic lawmakers to get the situation under control.
SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): I am from a border state.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's true.
KELLY: And, you know, it's been a crisis on the border, you know, on and off for decades. You know, we spent a lot of money on it. But we could always use more resource, money for border patrol.
LEE: President Biden himself defending the move on Thursday, saying he was powerless to stop the use of the funds.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The border wall money was appropriated for the border wall. I tried to get them to re- appropriate, to redirect the money. They didn't. They wouldn't. And in the meantime, there is nothing under the law other than they have to use the money for what it is appropriated for. I can't stop that.
LEE: But Biden also bluntly rejects the efficacy of a border wall.
REPORTER: Do you believe a border wall works?
LEE (on camera): And, Jake, just one issue with that last answer we just heard from President Biden that he doesn't believe that a border wall is effective is that that appears to put him directly at odds with his own DHS secretary, Secretary Mayorkas wrote that there is an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers to prevent unlawful entries into the United States.
I think all of this is just one more reminder of what an intractable problem the border situation has been for this White House as they have really tried to show that they are trying to take a humane approach when it comes to dealing with migrants, but at the same time, they are just trying to get a better handle on the situation at the border -- Jake.
TAPPER: So Mayorkas thinks that the barriers work, but President Biden does not. Interesting.
MJ Lee, thanks so much.
Let's bring in CNN's Alex Marquardt and Priscilla Alvarez. Alex, what is the tone and message that these high-ranking Biden
officials are trying to deliver? It doesn't seem like they're on the same page necessarily.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a lot of agreement, but there is also a lot of tension and some disagreements. They're certainly trying to convey the message that the various topics they're discussing are of the utmost importance and that's convey by the fact they sent some of the senior most members of the cabinet, and these are issues that need to be addressed immediately. They're sending the message also that this is a unique relationship, Mexico, of course, on our southern border, our immediate neighbor, our biggest trading partner.
But you have these extraordinary issues, very important issues in the surge in migration, in the fentanyl crisis, in gun trafficking that have to be addressed immediately. There is a sense on the American side that Mexico could do more when it comes to what the Biden administration does say is a historic migrant crisis. They do think -- we also heard from the Mexican president earlier today about the new border wall section that's going up. He criticized it, calling it regression and irresponsible. So there is some disagreement there.
And then on the fentanyl crisis, you have U.S. officials raising the alarm about all the fentanyl that's coming across the southern border that they say is made in Mexico that kills tens of thousand of Americans every year, the biggest killer of American adults between 18 and 49. The Mexican president saying in fact it's not made in Mexico, that it's not the cartels and the gangs, in fact it comes from China.
So you have major disagreements there. But these are all issues that they all agree must be addressed. We're not necessarily expecting any kind of major resolution or initiative, but we are going to be listening closely now to this press conference to see if they did make any progress, is if there is anything they're going to be pushing forward.
TAPPER: Most of the fentanyl comes through ports of entry, not smuggled by the undocumented immigrants that are crossing the border illegally.
MARQUARDT: Correct, a lot of the precursors come from Mexico.
TAPPER: Yeah. Of course, and, Priscilla, you have information about deportation flights being restarted?
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: This policy really captures the entire problem for the Biden administration. We now know from senior administration officials that they are going to restart the direct deportation of Venezuelans to Venezuela.
Why does this matter? There are 7.7 million Venezuelans who have fled the country. Many of them have moved north. It is a unique challenge for this administration. In fact, they are dealing with a historic wave, and that has been the issue for the administration. They didn't -- weren't really able to deport them to Venezuela. TAPPER: Because we had such a bad relationship.
ALVAREZ: We had frosty relations. So they had to release them in the U.S. as they went through their immigration proceedings. Now we are learning they are actually going to deport them back to Venezuela. We're not clear yet why Venezuela is accepting them now. It has been years since we have done this. So the why now is still questioned in terms of why Venezuela agreed to this?
But this is really a moment that sheds light on the issue this administration faces, which is unprecedented mass migration of populations that previous administrations didn't necessarily have to grapple with, and hopes that they can start to lower those border crossings after, of course, leaning on Mexico repeatedly to try to stem that flow.
TAPPER: All right. Priscilla Alvarez, Alex Marquardt, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
Joining us now to discuss, Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas. He represents the district where these border barriers are a being built.
Congressman, thanks for joining us.
You call the border barriers, quote, a 14th century sluice to a 21st century problem. Why do you think it's bad idea?
REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D-TX): If you look at it, look where they put a fence down here, about a quarter mile away from the river banks. As you know, the middle of the river is actually the international border itself. So if you have a fence that's a quarter of a mile or a mile away, all you have to do is let people touch the river banks, walk a quarter mile, walk half a mile, and they're asking for asylum.
In fact, heat maps that we sent to you, you will see that most of the people coming across, there is already a fence because the fence is not in the middle of the river. So I want to see more personnel, more technology. But I will ask you to look at 2015 and 2019, Obama and Trump.
Why did the numbers go down in those years? That's because we leaned into Mexico. We got Mexico to do more, and they stopped them before they came over here.
And plus, President Obama was doing deportations.
This administration is doing some deportations, but that will show them. They're afraid to show people going back like President Obama and Secretary Jeh Johnson did. You've got to show repercussions, and you got to show video of people going back, and not just streaming across over here.
TAPPER: Why do you think they're afraid to show the repercussions? Why do you think they're afraid to show people being deported and going back south of the border?
CUELLAR: I'll tell you, I had a conversation with somebody there. And this is what they said. We don't want to get our immigration advocates angry at us. That's it. That's what somebody told me there.
So, again, the immigration advocates, with all due respect, that's one stakeholder. What about the men and women in green? What about more importantly the border communities?
We here at the border communities, and I'm in Laredo, people tell me we got to do something about the borders. And my district is 80 percent Hispanic, and they're saying control that border. And now that New York, now that Chicago, now that Washington, D.C. are seeing what we have felt for so many years, now this voice about we got to control the border is being magnified because the mayors of New York and the governor of Illinois, they have a bigger megaphone than some of us down here at the border.
TAPPER: Have you spoken with anyone in the Biden administration about your opposition to this move to construct more border barriers in your congressional district?
CUELLAR: Well, yes, I have. And there is two questions to ask here. One is the president is right. He had to do and spend the money.
It's the 1974 Impoundment Control Act fight between Congress and President Nixon at that time. I understand that. They have to do this before September 30th. I understand that.
But the question they have not answered to me is why waive the immigration laws? There is nothing in the law that I know of that forces them to waive it. And I didn't know about it, and you will see that every president or every secretary that has done that has been all under Republican administrations except the current one that just did it yesterday.
I don't understand the waiver itself. I understand the Impoundment Control Act, but I just don't understand why they waived the environmental laws.
You know me. I'm strong on border security, but I want to make sure that we do it right. Have repercussions at the border, have more personnel at the border, have knowledge. I tell you, the Mexican cartels have more drones than we do, and they fly them to watch what we do. They watch, they pass a small package over here.
We've got to give homeland security the tools and the equipment and the personnel to fight this problem.
TAPPER: House Republicans passed their version of a border bill HR-2 earlier this year. Every Democrat voted against it. Are there aspects of their bill that you agree with that could possibly turn into bipartisan legislation if the Senate takes up some sort of border bill, and it could all be hashed out in conference committee? Are there parts of it that you could vote for? CUELLAR: Yes. And before I answer that question, I also remind my
Republican friends that the last two appropriation bills that we passed, except for two Republicans who are still serving, there were nine, but seven are gone. Two Republicans are serving in the U.S. House voted in favor to add $2.4 billion to homeland. That's a 15 percent increase.
They all voted against supporting 2.4. So they only see their version. Now, to answer your question about HR-2, I looked at it. Some of the things that I've asked for, stone guard, money for local government, local police, getting rid of Carrizo cane, river roads, technology, there is a lot of things that we agree on.
There is just a few things that they need to sit down, and I'll be happy to sit down with them. Because I don't come and visit the border for a few days or a few hours, I should say.
I live here. And I talk to the men and women in grown. There are things that we can agree on. I remind them for the last two appropriation bills, they voted down except two Republicans who are there right now, they voted down $2.4 billion for CBP monies.
TAPPER: What grade would you give President Biden for his handling of the border crisis?
CUELLAR: There is improvement. And I did talk to the president.
TAPPER: No, I don't want to grade school grade. I don't need -- I don't need needs improvement. A, B, C, D, F?
CUELLAR: Again, I'm not going to give you an A, B, C. All I can say is he can do better, and I'm ready to work with him to make it better.
TAPPER: All right.
CUELLAR: What we have to do is what at what we've done in the past and what works.
TAPPER: Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas, good to see you, sir.
Thanks for joining us today.
CUELLAR: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: There are devastating images out of Ukraine today. A missile obliterated a cafe, killing dozens of innocent civilians, including a small child. CNN is on the screen.
And that strike -- that vicious strike comes as lawmakers here in Washington are fighting over whether to keep sending money and armaments to help Ukraine. In just a moment, I'll have a Republican congressman here, and we'll talk to him about all this.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Back with our world lead. While the U.S. government is hobbled currently by its House Republican dysfunction, and future aid for Ukraine is up in the air, today, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia successfully tested a nuclear-powered cruise missile. Putin also falsely claimed that Russia didn't start the war, a war that obviously began with his invasion of a sovereign nation.
Most horrifically today, Russian forces fired a cruise missile strapped with a one thousand pound warhead at a small eastern Ukrainian village, hitting a cafe and a shop. The missile killed more than 50 civilians, including a child, according to local officials.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen takes us to the scene of the carnage. A warning. Some of the scenes we're about to show you are disturbing.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Utter destruction and chaos after the massive explosion.
As night fell, bodies still strewn across the area as search and rescue crews scoured the debris.
This man weeping in front of a body bag, too shaken to talk to us. We learned his name is Sergei, and the deceased was his wife.
As you can see, this building was completely annihilated when it was hit by the missile. The Ukrainians are saying that this was an Iskander missile launched by the Russians. That is a very heavy missile that is normally used to destroy large troop formations or even armored vehicles. And as you can see, it completely devastated this building right here.
The Ukrainians say more than 50 people were killed. It's very difficult for them to identify some of the bodies because they are in such bad shape.
They also say what was going on here was an event around a funeral. And they say that the people who were attending that event were all local folks.
There was chaos, the chief investigator tells us. There was a fire which was extinguished by firefighters. Of course, evacuation measures were taken to get people out of the rubble.
Obviously, all of this is still very fresh, and a lot of the search and rescue cruise crews are still very much at work. We can see over there, that some of the first responders are still busy sort of doing the forensics on the scene here and also still putting bodies into body bags. There's a lot of them laying around here and a lot being taken way by some of these crews here. One of the other things that we can see over there is that, obviously,
this was some sort of recreational area. There still seems or the some sort of playground that was also heavily damaged when the missile hit.
Ukraine's president visiting Spain pinning the blame on Russia.
Tragically, because of this inhuman terrorist attack, 50 civilians were killed during a funeral. Russia does this every day in the Kharkiv region, and only air defense can help.
But that help will be too late for Sergei's wife and the others killed. The only thing he can do for her now is help the crews lift her body to be taken away.
PLEITGEN (on camera): So, Jake, really some devastating scenes that we saw play out here. As the rescue crews were still working.
I can show you now, we're still here at the scene at this building. It really was completely obliterated. It's the rubble that normally you would see after some sort of massive earthquake. This house completely destroyed.
The rescue crews actually, Jake, in the meantime have stopped working here. They say that they've realized there is absolutely no one that they're going to be able to say. They also say that some of the bodies that you just saw there in our report, those are now being brought to a morgue and then certainly they're going try to do some identification. But they say because the bodies are in such bad shape, that alone is going to be extremely difficult. This was indeed a very powerful missile strike, Jake.
TAPPER: CNN's Fred Pleitgen in eastern Ukraine among the carnage, thank you so much.
Coming up next, I'm going to talk to a congressman questioning how much we should send to Ukraine. Does today's missile strike change the calculations?
I'm also going to ask him about the new race for House speaker and Donald Trump's influence since this congressman has been in touch with the former president.
Also ahead, innocent Americans caught up in SWAT team action. The lead digs into why some are not being compensated when their homes and businesses are destroyed.
TAPPER: In our politics lead, guess who may finally take the long- awaited trip to the U.S. Capitol that the U.S. Secret Service refused to allow him on January 6th, 2021. That's right, former President Trump. This time, he wants to meet with House Republicans as they try to figure out who should replace Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. That's according to a source familiar with the discussions.
With me now to talk about this, Republican Congressman Max Miller of Ohio who once worked as an aide to former President Trump before being elected to the House last November.
Congressman, thanks for joining us.
Cleveland.com reports that you spoke to Trump three times on Tuesday as McCarthy was being kicked out of his speakership by your fellow Republicans. Republican Congressman Mike Lawler told my colleague Jim Sciutto he does not think Trump should come to Capitol Hill and interfere in any way in the speaker process.
Do you know how Trump plans to weigh in, or whom he might try to support?
REP. MAX MILLER (R-OH): All of those are really great questions. And look, my colleague Mr. Lawler from New York is a great friend of mine. I can understand his hesitation.
But President Donald J. Trump is still the leader of the Republican Party. In terms of his influence in who he would like to see as speaker, he has yet to make that clear. I know very much where I would like to see the conference go, in what direction. But under, you know, President Donald Trump's policies, he has been a great president, but I believe to get to 218 votes within this conference, it's going take a lot of us to come together and to be comfortable with the uncomfortable dealing with a lot of these issues.
And I believe that we can get there. But I don't know if that would be the most helpful thing. I certainly welcome the president's presence, if you would like to come up to Capitol Hill, I'd love to see him. I'm a big fan of his. Other than that, I believe we should work together as a conference to sort this out to elect a speaker to 218 votes.
TAPPER: So who do you like? Scalise or Jordan or some third option?
MILLER: So, I want to be abundantly clear for a couple of things. I am all for Jim Jordan. He has been a tremendous individual in our organization. He has done a phenomenal job as the chairman of the judiciary committee. And I believe that he's brought real answers to the American people holding the Biden administration, the Democrats accountable.
And I also believe that he can unite our conference underneath to get to 218. And as a way forward in this as well, Jake, you know, I'm going lose a lot of friends with this. I would like to see all Republican leadership change in the House of Representatives, from top to bottom.
Jim Jordan, right now, he's not in leadership. That's why I'm supporting him. I would like to see him be speaker, but I would also like to see a new minority leader. I would like to see a new minority whip, and I would like to see a change of guard here in the House of Representatives in our conference. TAPPER: So you want just a complete changing of the guard for all
Republican leadership right now. Is that Trump's position as well? Or are you only speaking for yourself?
MILLER: No, Jake, I'm speaking for myself. Being a freshman, being in Congress over the last ten months, I believe that I have been one of the biggest team players within the body, within the Republican conference, doing everything that I could for Speaker McCarthy. And I want to make something very clear. He did achieve great conservative wins throughout his leadership in the House of Representatives.
MILLER: And that is something that I am never going to back down from. Ninety-six percent of our conference stood behind that man while 4 percent in the gang of eight, who in my opinion are cowards upended government and did something incredibly disturbing. But that is my position. And I believe that we need a new face of Republican leadership that is going to take our conference into the same direction under the America First agenda and to continue to achieve the incremental wins we already were achieving under Speaker McCarthy.
TAPPER: So, let me ask you. Kevin McCarthy credited Trump with his getting elected speaker in January. Why didn't Trump do anything to help him keep his speakership Tuesday? Surely, Mr. Trump holds sway with the eight Republicans who voted to boot him?
MILLER: Well, I -- Jake, remember in the very beginning when we went through the speaker fight.
MILLER: In the very beginning of this Congress, and it took 15 rounds. You saw Matt Rosendale, a congressman out of Montana reject the president's phone call. I believe that you remember that and the American people do as well.
MILLER: President Trump did absolutely nothing to oust Speaker McCarthy. In fact, he released a Truth Social post, Jake, that said Republicans need to stop infighting in Congress.
TAPPER: Right. But he didn't help him either. That's my point. He didn't oust him, but he didn't help him.
MILLER: Correct. He didn't do either. But my point is this.
When I talk to him, and I can tell you what my conversation was with him, Jake, which is -- if I good down to the House floor, Mr. President, and I say I just got off the phone with President Donald John Trump, and I'm still voting for Speaker McCarthy, and that's where the real MAGA conservatives are, that's everything that everyone needs to know about my conversation and phone call with the former president and the next president of the United States and President Donald J. Trump. TAPPER: So, you did not want to see McCarthy ousted. You made it
clear you called Matt Gaetz, quote, one of the most hypocritical individuals you've ever had the displeasure of meeting and working with. Some of your colleagues are reportedly preparing a motion to expel Gaetz from the Republican conference. Are you going to support that?
MILLER: I'm seriously inclined to. I have yet to make up my mind because we have an individual like George Santos that still sits within our conference that should have been removed from our body several months ago. So, I would have to take a harder look at that.
But, Jake, I want to make something abundantly clear, to everyone who is watching and you as well. The MAGA banner, let's talk about make America great again and President Donald j. Trump. The reason why I love President Trump is because he had a vision, he had great policy that took care of this country, and that he was a disrupter.
The biggest difference between someone like me and liking President Trump is I'm in here for all the right reasons to benefit the American people. What Mr. Gaetz is doing, and why he alliance himself with President Trump and uses the MAGA cloak as a banner to hide himself in as a shell, that's the closest he'll ever be to power. And he knows that.
And that's why he is doing the upsetting things that he is doing, but let's look ahead here. The Kevin McCarthy chapter is closed. We need to look ahead to new leadership within the Republican conference and find a way forward to bring this country together. You know, we're here to build this country back up. Not break it down by reckless individuals.
TAPPER: Let me ask you one quick question because we're running out of time, Congressman. While the House is speakerless, action on Ukraine funding is in limbo. The White House wants $24 billion in additional funding.
You were one of four House Republicans who made a surprise visit to Ukraine a few months ago. You met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. After the trip, you said you were for supporting Ukraine specifically with weaponry, but not with funding.
Where do you stand now as they continue the burn through ammunition and other countries are slow to resupply. And do you think it's important that the next speaker support Ukraine one way or another?
MILLER: I think those are lat of tough questions. I'm happy to answer them directly. Look, when it comes to the war in Ukraine and when it comes to continuing the war efforts and supporting them, I've asked President Biden in this administration to provide us a framework and a strategy of how they're going to win their war in Ukraine.
Jake, when I was over there and when I met with President Zelenskyy, President Biden had met with him the day before. And when I sat in that room, I asked President Zelenskyy what did he want?
He said I want F-16s, right? I said what do you want the F-16s for? He said for cruise missiles and drones.
You don't need F-16s for cruise missiles and drones. You need ATACMS, air to surface that are actually going to help be kinetic on the battlefield. The reason I'm bringing this story up is because President Biden isn't helping the Ukrainian people in my opinion. He hasn't sat down with them to give them a framework of how they can win the war in their own country without us spilling American blood on their soil.
This is something that every American should deserve. And I want everyone should agree with me. We need a strategy from President Biden.
TAPPER: So, do you want them to get ATACMS? Do you want them to get attack ATACMS?
MILLER: I would be open to it if the president was. But I got to tell you something, he needs to have our military generals if he is serious to figure out a framework and strategy of how to win the war. I don't think anyone American can sit here and agree that we should be writing blank checks to Ukraine and billions of dollars while our southern border is a mess, our economy is in free fall, our supply chain issues are broken and we have a labor shortage within this country.
We have serious issues we have to deal with here first. But President Biden isn't taking this seriously. I implore the media, you, how he is going the win the war in Ukraine, and I think you'll find more conservatives to be more receptive to the war and the efforts.
TAPPER: Republican Congressman Max Miller, thanks so much for your time today. We really appreciate it.
MILLER: Thank you.
TAPPER: With us is Florida Democratic Congressman Jared Moskowitz. He's on the Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees.
Congressman, you just heard me talking to Republican Congressman Max Miller about the hesitations he has over Ukraine funding and as you know, Republican Jim Jordan, who Congressman Miller supports for speaker has previously said he is against more Ukrainian aid. He elaborated a bit more on that today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I've been clear that there are two fundamental questions that need to be answered. What's the goal? Is the goal some negotiated peace? Is the goal some -- to get them out of eastern Ukraine?
Is the goal to get them -- the Russians out of Crimea which they've had, they took during the Obama administration, they've had now for nine years? What is the goal? What is the objective? Second question, if you tell us what the goal is, how is the money being spent?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Those seem like fair questions. Can you answer either of those questions in terms of what the Biden administration policy is?
REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL): Thanks, Jake. Appreciate it.
I think those are fair questions. There is nothing wrong with asking for an accounting of how the money has been spent.
As far as what the goal is here, the goal is very simple. And the president has clearly articulated this. The goal is that Ukraine doesn't become property of Russia. That is the goal.
The goal is, is that to prevent Russia from going to Ukraine then Poland. That is the goal.
And so, and I -- listen, Chairman Jordan knows that, but he's got a problem within his caucus because he's got a growing number, not one or 10 or 20, he has 100 members that don't want to vote for Ukraine funding.
But let's be clear. We're going to have a vote on Ukraine funding, because there are enough Democrats and enough Republicans to do what's called a discharge petition. If you get 218 on the discharge petition, we'll be voting on that issue.
TAPPER: Very quickly, you served with Matt Gaetz for years both in Congress and the Florida state legislature. Have you been in touch with him lately?
MOSKOWITZ: Yeah, I talked to Matt on the floor.
TAPPER: And what's your take on all this, and what's your take on whether or not he is afraid of being kicked out of the Republican conference, as you just heard Congressman Miller talking about?
MOSKOWITZ: Well, look, Max is a friend. I heard his perspective. That's an internal Republican matter. That's the Republican conference. They got to make this decision, whether or not they want to remove a member who removed their speaker.
So, I'm not going to weigh into their internal discussions, because quite frankly, I don't know what's happening in their caucus because I'm not invited to their meetings. But this was predictable, Jake.
MOSKOWITZ: When they made this deal with Matt Gaetz, and every single solitary Republican voted for rule change, every single solitary Democrat voted against the rule change. That was to give one member the ability to make this motion. Every Democrat voted against that. Every Republican voted for it. They gave Matt the weapon. They build it, gave it to him for him to
eventually use this. And everything that happened was well-known before then. Matt held up the speakers vote for 15 rounds. They thought he was never going to use this.
So, this was inevitable. This is something that was talked about. It was whispered about, when is Matt going to do this? Is he going to be able to find the votes?
And, look, no one should be celebrating. This is a, you know, a terrible moment in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, and our institutions are in peril. But it's not because of Democrats. It's because of Republicans gave their MAGA wing, the Donald Trump wing of the House of Representatives this tool.
TAPPER: It will be interesting what Democrats do in terms of whether or not you exact concessions from Republicans who want to get rid of that motion to vacate.
Democratic Representative Jared Moskowitz of Florida, good to see you. Thanks so much.
One influential Democrat says there needs to be a backlash on the runs on who helped push McCarthy out of office as speaker.
We're going to hear more from her, next.
TAPPER: Continuing with our politics lead, former senator, secretary of state, and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is weighing in about the historic dysfunction on Capitol Hill among Republicans.
She sat down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour who joins us now.
So, Clinton is calling for backlash against the eight House rebels who got rid of Speaker McCarthy?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So, she is basically saying and admitting that American democracy is in deep trouble, and this kind of small group of extremists as she calls them and many others call them is holding the rest of the party and in fact Congress hostage. And I asked her specifically about speaker McCarthy and what happened, and whether, in fact, Democrats should have helped keep, quote/unquote, the devil they know instead of the devil they don't know.
And this is what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So should the Democrats have saved him so to speak? Should they have voted to keep him in?
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: You know, that was a very tough call for the Democratic Caucus, but the problem was for them, as I understand it, he was totally untrustworthy by any measure. He immediately after they did help him keep the government open, as you know, began to blame them for all kinds of, you know, extraneous matters. And at some point, a leader who has lost all credibility in dealing with the opposition where you want to have an open line of communication, you want to be able to trust his word is going to, you know, ask for their help and not get it.
AMANPOUR: It's said that the main contenders for his position are Jim Jordan, who you knew very well from Benghazi hearings.
CLINTON: Oh, I don't know him well. I watched him and stared at him for 11 hours while he made stuff up about me. I don't know him, but I've seen him in action.
AMANPOUR: So, what will it mean if he gets the speakership?
CLINTON: Well, I mean, he is one of the principle ringleaders of the circus that has been created in the Republican Party for the last several years. I have no inside knowledge about what the Republicans will do, who they will end up voting for, but when do they put the country first? They do not represent a majority of even the Republican Party, when you look at the extremists in the House. They certainly don't represent a majority of the country.
And, you know, somebody has to stand up and say enough. You know, we could have disagreements. I'm all for that. I was in the Senate for eight years. I work with a lot of Republicans, and you know, oppose them when I didn't agree.
But at some point, there needs to be a backlash against the control that this small group of extremists have. And I don't know who will lead that, but let's hope whoever becomes the new speaker will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And honestly, she went on in blistering form. She talked about the leader of these extremists who clearly is Donald Trump. And as you've been reporting, he may be considering a trip to Capitol Hill amidst the new speaker selection.
And she said this has to be defeated. They have to be defeated at an election, and this cult is bad for the country and, again, has to be defeated. She also talked very strongly about Ukraine. And, of course, that breaking news with the massacre at the coffee shop.
TAPPER: Just horrifying.
AMANPOUR: Horrendous. And supported President Biden making a strong speech, apparently planned for some time soon.
TAPPER: And where can people see the rest of the interview? AMANPOUR: So, we're going to have a little more coming out this
weekend, also tomorrow on CNN this morning. And then the long interview will be on my program on Monday.
TAPPER: Okay. Great stuff. Christiane Amanpour, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Coming up next, who pays if a SWAT team law enforcement inflicts severe damage on your property and you weren't even involved in any crime, even remotely? Well, you might find the answer frustrating.
TAPPER: In our national lead, what is the responsibility of the government when police in the course of doing their jobs accidentally destroy the property of innocent bystanders? Well, it may surprise you the lengths to which the governments of counties and municipalities tell those innocent civilians, tough break, you're on your own.
CARLOS PENA, OWNER, NOHO PRINTING & GRAPHICS: When I saw the shop, the first feeling I had, I said to myself why didn't this guy shoot me?
TAPPER (voice-over): It took a lifetime for Carlos Pena to realize his American dream and build his business, a print shop. It took mere hours for an L.A. SWAT team to destroy it, through no fault of Pena's.
Last August, a fugitive violently forced his way into the shop and threw Pena out the door.
PENA: Out of thousands of businesses in north Hollywood, you know, this guy picked mine.
TAPPER: The fugitive barricaded himself inside. During an hours-long standoff, a SWAT team fired more than 30 rounds of tear gas, Pena says.
PENA: It felt like a war in there. I thought they were gunshots.
TAPPER: The fugitive got away, leaving behind a disaster caused by the cops, with serious damage to all Pena's equipment and the building. It even reeked of tear gas.
PENA: The second I went inside the shop I was going to pass out.
TAPPER: Pena's inventory ruined. His equipment unusable.
PENA: All the work of my life had gone down the drain, for one guy.
TAPPER: Pena's insurance policy, like most people's, did not cover acts of the government, leaving Pena on the hook for the more than $60,000 in damage and the tens of thousands in lost business. The Los Angeles City government would not reimburse Pena for the destruction police caused. So he sued.
PENA: I don't need that they were doing something wrong, but in the process they are making me pay for what they do.
TAPPER: The Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
Now, some federal courts have ruled that government actions taken under, quote, police powers are not subject to the Takings Clause, but there have been multiple lawsuits such as Pena's.
VICKI BAKER, HOME DAMAGED BY SWAT TEAM: I can't really explain the devastation that a person feels, and I guess it's because of the injustice.
TAPPER: Vicki Baker also sued over a police raid. A Texas SWAT team heavily damaged her McKinney home during a fugitive barricade situation in 2020.
BAKER: Everything was thrown out. I mean, linens, dishes. You name it. Everything went.
There were so many wonderful things that I had -- family history, first edition books. It just -- it all got thrown away. And of course they put no money value on any of that.
TAPPER: Baker says her dog Bandit, a Chihuahua, was blinded and lost his hearing because of the raid. She says Bandit had so much pain and trauma he eventually had to be put down.
BAKER: Bandit was probably the worst piece that we had to lose.
TAPPER: A federal judge awarded Baker about $60,000 to cover the damage. But the city of McKinney, Texas, is appealing. The city says they initially offered Baker $55,000 and she declined.
BAKER: I will tell you this, that if we don't win this is going to go all the way to the Supreme Court. I -- this cannot continue to happen to individuals.
TAPPER: CNN reached out to the Los Angeles mayor's office. We have not heard back. We were inspired to do this story by a piece we read in "Reason" magazine.
Stunning details out of Wisconsin. Officials say a man showed up with a handgun and demanded to see the governor. Then, another shocker, even after that man's arrest.