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IDF: Hamas Hostage Video Is Attempt At "Psychological Warfare"; Soon: House Convenes To Vote On New Speaker. Aired 11:30-11:55a ET

Aired October 17, 2023 - 11:30   ET



PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: This is proof of a live video of one hostage. And you know, we've seen Tony Blinken go to -- go to Qatar and speak to the Qatari government, which I think is probably the most fruitful way that this might be resolved in some way. That is, you know, the safe release of the hostages, the Qatari government that -- was very helpful getting five Americans out of Iran last month.

They have sent hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza in recent years. They have relations with Hamas. However, of course, you know, the political situation and the -- and the military situation are all very, very complicated. But if there was going to be a peaceful resolution to some of this for the hostages, the Qatari Government is the most likely venue.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Peter, it's a staggering number of hostages -- potential hostages from a wide range of countries, not just Israeli, but countries all over the world. Why do you think Hamas did it? Are they getting what they want out of it? And is there the international outrage that you might have suspected from it?

BERGEN: Well, what they're getting out of it is first, for human shields. If you go back to the first Gulf War, Sudan did something -- Saddam Hussein did something very similar, which is he gathered literally hundreds of human shields to prevent any kind of attack against him. This is not quite on that scale, but very close to where you've got at least 200 hostages, it seems.

So, A., the -- you know it's kind of dissuading any kind of Israeli military action is part of it. Two. Obviously, some deal down the road. Hamas has nothing to show for this conflict you know, in terms of any real political goal.

If they can get some prisoners back, obviously, that's you know something that they want. And maybe that was the intention at the beginning of this. Obviously, the operation became you know much bigger, and they killed more people, perhaps than they initially went in thinking that that was would -- that would -- that was the plan.

And is it getting the international attention? I think the short answer is yes. I mean, you got apparently 30 nationalities of various kinds. And there seems to be a great deal of concern around the world, including from the United States about these hostages. And hopefully, there can be a successful resolution starting -- let's start with the children and the -- and elderly, and the -- and people who are sick, and see if they can be released first.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Peter, Israel has said that they at least -- you know, the public statement is that they are not going to be negotiating around with regard to the hostages as you know Israeli leaders seemed you know point too that they say this is where the leadership of Hamas has come from, from the release of members of Hamas from Israeli prisons in the past, which presents exactly what you're laying out, which is, what are -- what is the best scenario then?

BERGEN: Well, I don't know. Look. I mean, for government -- this is a huge dilemma for governments. You know, the state of positioning the United States for instance will make no concessions to terrorist groups.

While in practice, we will make concessions, we'll do prisoner exchanges, you know, the -- with governments that we don't recognize like Iran, we'll do prisoner exchanges with terrorist groups like the Taliban, as we've done in the past, and Israel has had a long record of doing prisoner exchanges. So -- I mean, the politics -- the politics around this right now may prevent them doing anything at all in having any kind of communications with Hamas. But, you know, this -- and, Kate, this can go on for many months.

The military operation in Gaza -- you look at the -- if you remember the attack in Mosul against ISIS, it took many, many months, almost a year of planning for the Iraqi army and the U.S. Air Force and U.S. special forces advising on the ground to extirpate ISIS from Mosul, which is a not dissimilar kind of operation than what we're going to see unfolding in Gaza. So -- I mean, we could be -- this is not something that's going to be over a matter of days.


BERMAN: Peter Bergen, great to have you on this morning. Thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. House Republicans. They're about to head to the House floor. Does Jim Jordan now have enough support or enough momentum maybe, is the question to win the position of House Speaker? The major negotiations happening behind the scenes right now on Capitol Hill around that man, Jim Jordan. That's coming next.




DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you'll hear will be Speaker of the House. He's a fantastic young man. He's pretty young still, and very strong, very -- he's very proper opinions about our country. He loves our country. He wants to see it do well. And I think he's going to be confirmed sometime soon. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Young, strong, and proper opinions. That was Donald Trump just now outside of court in New York throwing his support behind Jim Jordan with regard to who will be the next Speaker of the House. Moments from now, House members are heading to the floor to once again try to fight this out in public. But a big question is, does Jordan have the votes this time? Does he have the momentum this time to get enough votes to win?

BERMAN: Let's find out. CNN's Manu Raju, our chief congressional correspondent is on the Hill counting those votes. So, where do we stand, Manu?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Right now, he is short of the 217 votes he needs to be elected speaker. In this vote series that's going to happen after noon, we're going to be able to get a sense of just how widespread the opposition is. That is the first key question.

The second key question is how long Jordan plans to fight this out on the House floor. Will he try to go as long as Kevin McCarthy did back in January when McCarthy went 15 ballots that over -- that last over several days ultimately being elected speaker, or will the opposition continue to stiffen?


That's one of the questions too. Will those people who are going to come out and vote for somebody else, change their mind in any way as the pressure ultimately grows? When I just asked Congressman Jordan about his strategy, about whether he will continue to go on, he said, whatever it takes to get a speaker elected today. So, suggesting that he is ready for the fight on the floor to continue to drag out.

But the math right now is not working in his favor. Yes, he has closed the gap. On Friday, there were 55 House Republicans in the secret ballot election who voted against him. He has significantly narrowed that gap down to perhaps the six who are firm no's. And then another six were leaning now. Others who are still haven't said how they will come one way or the other.

So, this key vote will be a test about how much support he ultimately has, and whether this House that has been completely paralyzed amid the Republican infighting and the ouster of Kevin McCarthy can actually move ahead. Huge question still as Jordan plans to fight it out. But how close is he to 217? That is a question we'll learn in just about an hour, guys.

BOLDUAN: Yes. We're going to learn soon enough. There's a lot of uncertainty around it but we will soon have some sense of where this is headed. Everyone there on the steps of the Capitol cheering for Manu Raju.

BERMAN: Absolutely. And to be clear, six firm no's is enough to keep Jim Jordan from the speaker's chair. Six no votes on the first ballot means he will not get it. The question is --

BOLDUAN: I am bad at math, but that seems to be it.

BERMAN: It -- he can only lose three because there's one Republican missing. So, six is enough to sink in. The question is will that six hold through multiple ballots? Will there be shrinkage which you know, is a bad thing, or will that number grow? Will people join in to oppose Jim Jordan? Much more just ahead.




RAJU: Mr. Jordan.



REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I feel really good.

RAJU: How many ballots are you willing to go? Will you do as much as Kevin McCarthy?

JORDAN: We needed to get his speaker today. And we feel really good about where we're at. I'm sorry, I'm going over to meet with them.

RAJU: Does this -- does this mean ballot after ballot by the way McCarthy did?

JORDAN: Whatever it -- whatever it takes to get the speaker today.

RAJU: Will you go to a second ballot right after the first?

ALI VITALI, CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: What are some of the concerns that you've still heard from members this time?

JORDAN: I've -- We've been picking up support every day. And so, it's been --

RAJU: Have you spoken --

JORDAN: I feel -- I feel confident.

RAJU: Have you spoken to President Trump? Have you asked him to help you with this vote?

JORDAN: I haven't talked to President Trump. I have not talked to the president for a couple of days.

RAJU: (INAUDIBLE) There's been going?

JORDAN: Very good. RAJU: Why would you -- why would you say to Ken Buck that the election was stolen in 2020 that was not stolen? Do you still think it's stolen?

JORDAN: All right.


BERMAN: So, Manu Raju there chasing down Congressman Jim Jordan.

BOLDUAN: Kind of speed walking.

BERMAN: Speed walking. Jim Jordan wants to be Speaker of the House within the next few hours. There will be a vote on the House floor very shortly.

Just to explain what Manu was asking about. Colorado Republican Ken Buck is one of the people we have listed as a firm no right now because Ken Buck has asked Jim Jordan to acknowledge that Donald Trump lost the election in 2020. And Jordan wouldn't do it right there and apparently wouldn't do it in private to Ken Buck. So, that is notable.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And what that means if Jim Jordan then becomes the next Speaker of the House? Standby to standby.

Joining us right now is CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief for the Boston Globe, Jackie Kucinich. It's good to see you, Jackie. What is your --


BERMAN: -- best guess of what is going to happen today? Because Jim Jordan saying there that he'll do whatever it takes to become a speaker and get it done today. Yes, that might speak to how many rounds he's willing to go. But also, to wheel and deal, which is what got Kevin McCarthy into trouble.

KUCINICH: Well, that's the question, right? I mean, Jim Jordan is not known for his willingness to wheel and deal. But that's kind of part of the job as a speaker. Particularly this latest, I think breed of speaker, you really do have to make a lot of deals in order to -- and have a lot of humility, I guess with all those votes that could happen to get this job.

Kate, now, I think some of the things you've already heard about, he's willing to have a vote on Ukraine and Israel funding. Again, none of this is in writing. But that's what we've heard from members who are talking about what Jordan has promised them should he become speaker.

And you -- but again, he's going to have to answer to right-wing media. Right now, he's very friendly, but that's because they're doing what he wants to do. They're used to a certain Jim Jordan. Will there be a new Jim Jordan that we're not familiar with on the other side of this? That is the question.

BERMAN: Look. He has to answer a right-wing media who's literally endorsing him.


BERMAN: I mean, there are people at Fox who have endorsed his speaker bid. But there's the other side of that too, what 18 districts that Joe Biden won that currently have Republican members.


BERMAN: We had Democrat Dina Titus on a short time ago and she said moderate Republicans, we're coming for you if you don't stand up to Jim Jordan right now. Donald Trump just endorsed Jordan publicly. Does that help or hurt Jordan with the swing district Republicans?

KUCINICH: Well, some of them have already said that they're going to vote for him which is quite -- I mean, they're -- perhaps they're worried about primary challengers. Perhaps they're worried about getting funds to run for reelection. But it really does put them at a disadvantage with Democrats or with independents in their district who might not be a big fan of Trump and perhaps the way he politics, which Jim Jordan is very much in lockstep with. So, it is a -- definitely, if they're putting themselves out there, that's a risk.

The other thing, John, and Kate, I think you've got to look at these moderates who are holding out right now. They're usually the first ones to give up the ghost when it comes to whether they're going to change their vote from a no to a yes. They're the ones who are most susceptible to that pressure. So, I think a lot of us, our eyes are going to be on them and to see what happens if there are -- if there are more than one speaker vote.


BOLDUAN: Look. We're going to see this. Jackie, thank you so much. And we're going to see this all play out very soon. There are some -- you know, in alphabetical order, in the beginning of the alphabet, there are some of those holdouts so we could know pretty early on where they stand, though you got to wait to the whole vote happened.

BERMAN: There literally might be three or four no-votes by the time you get to D or E, right?


BERMAN: No, seriously, and it's alphabetical, so Kate is absolutely right. Listen, we're going to start seeing members of Congress walk into the House chamber soon. We could get a sense of where this vote is headed. We're all over this. Our special coverage continues right after this.