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Interview With Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN); Can Congress Avert Government Shutdown?; March For Israel Rally in D.C.; Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza Grows; President Biden Set to Meet With Chinese President. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 14, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Throughout this process, he said that DePape was telling him he was looking for Nancy Pelosi, his wife, that she was the leader of the pack.
Eventually, Paul Pelosi said he was able to negotiate DePape downstairs, and that's when police finally arrived. He said he didn't know what was going to happen next because DePape had a hammer in his right-hand and also recognized that the police had just arrived.
So, when that happened, he turned and tried to also put his hand on the hammer. You can see that in the body camera video that was released back in January. And that's when he said, Pelosi said that DePape pushed him aside and hit him on the head.
He told the jury that the next thing he remembered was waking up in a pool of his own blood. We are expecting this federal trial to wrap up later this week, and then the next state trial will happen. He is facing, David DePape is facing decades in prison if convicted on all of the state and federal charges -- Fredricka.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Veronica Miracle, thank you so much.
CNN goes back inside the war zone, this as the U.N. now says the only hospital still able to treat patients in Northern Gaza is on the brink of collapse.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: An FBI investigation, the New York City mayor under scrutiny, and the questions he's about to face from reporters. Will Mayor Eric Adams offer any answers?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: So, they took plea deals, and now we're learning some of the things two of Donald Trump's former lawyers are telling prosecutors in Georgia.
I'm John Berman with Kate Bolduan. Fredricka Whitfield is in for Sara today. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL.
BOLDUAN: Moments from now, President Biden is set to leave the White House. He's headed to San Francisco for a summit, but the main event is a much-discussed, much-anticipated face-to-face meeting with China's President Xi Jinping. It also marks the first time that Xi's been -- will have been back in
the United States since 2017.
CNN's David Culver is in San -- is in San Francisco, if I could only say it, David.
BOLDUAN: There is a lot.
The last time -- a lot has happened since the last time these two leaders met face-to-face. What are you expecting from this meeting?
DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Kate.
Yes, there has been a lot over the past year. And, really, when we look at this relationship, it's been characterized as complicated. No, this is damaged between the U.S. and China. This is going to take a lot of back and forth to bring any sort of repair between these two countries.
Yet, folks are looking at this as, yes, a step forward, step in the right direction to perhaps bring some sort of stability in a world that desperately needs it right now.
But if you go back a year and where we were with the G20 and these two leaders, President Biden and President Xi Jinping meeting on the sidelines in Indonesia, there was a hope for stability coming out of that. What did we see a few months later?
We saw a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the U.S. That, in turn, then derailed a planned trip from Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing. That then led into a breakdown in military communications between the U.S. and China during a time when there are certainly rising tensions and deserve that back-and-forth dialogue.
But it all seemed to come to a crumble. And so then, in the months that followed and leading up to today, we have seen back-and-forth communications from the Cabinet and minister levels, in hopes of trying to restore some of this dialogue to bring these two leaders to the table.
And there is good news in that front, because we know that President Xi Jinping, according to state media, is on a flight and headed here to San Francisco. So what are the areas of potential cooperation? And I know it sounds strange to think of cooperation between the U.S. and China right now, but there are some spaces to look at, one being fentanyl.
We know this is a major crisis in the U.S. We have tracked, some of my colleagues and I doing some reporting, some of the fentanyl precursors. Those are the ingredients to make the drug go from China to Mexico. Then the cartels are putting them together and smuggling them into the U.S. So having China stop it on their end would be a very significant move
in cracking down on this crisis. The other area that they're looking at for communication would be these military comms and restoring that dialogue. As I said, it had really fallen apart over the past few months. Bringing that back together would help ease some of the tensions.
And then, Israel and Hamas, seeing that conflict right now, wondering where China will play a role, perhaps it'll want to assume that role of global peacemaker. That's certainly how they like to position themselves. That will be among the discussion topics that they're going to go through.
And then, ultimately, you heard President Biden just a few minutes ago talking about climate. That too will be one of the agenda items that they're going to go back and forth to discuss.
So that is the hopeful aspect of all of this, Kate, that perhaps there will be some sort of cooperation and resolution on those areas, but there are so many points of contention, that folks are really just waiting to see what the readouts will be.
BOLDUAN: David Culver in San Francisco, thank you so much -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: This morning, only one hospital of the 30 in Northern Gaza is able to receive patients, according to the U.N.
At the Al Shifa Hospital, new video shows the moment premature babies were taken off of incubators after the hospital ran out of oxygen. The IDF now says it will bring incubators to that hospital, but the military has not made it clear how these incubators will be delivered or even powered.
And then at the al-Quds Hospital, hundreds of people are still trapped inside as fighting rages just outside the doors. The Palestine Red Crescent Society says they haven't been able to reach their staff for six days now. And now they fear that they may be dead.
And at the Rantisi -- Al-Rantisi Hospital children's hospital, CNN got access inside with IDF, where they claim they found Hamas tunnels and weapons. The Israeli military showed our team evidence of what they called an armory under the hospital and signs of where they think hostages may have been held. The hospital's director has denied these claims.
CNN's Nada Bashir joins us now from Jerusalem.
Nada, with only one hospital still functioning in Northern Gaza, help explain to our viewers how dire this situation is in Northern Gaza.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, we have been talking about the deteriorating situation for some time now, and really all hospitals are on the brink of total collapse. As you mentioned there, one hospital left in Northern Gaza now able to
provide that urgent care needed for so many in the region. But this is a situation, a crisis which hospitals across the Gaza Strip are facing because of that ongoing siege on fuel getting into the Gaza Strip.
Many hospitals are now without power or quickly running out of power, certainly those in Northern Gaza. And, of course, as we have seen, they are working without electricity. Doctors have been seen operating and providing care in total darkness with many around them carrying their phone torchlights in order to be able to see what they're doing.
They are running out of medical supplies, of essential medicine, including not being able to use anesthesia while carrying out operations.
And, of course, as we know, in addition to the hundreds of patients inside some of these hospital, thousands in total, there are also thousands of civilians now taking shelter on the complexes of these hospitals, particularly concern over the Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital, where, as we know, there are hundreds of patients, hundreds of medical staff, but also thousands taking shelter outside of that hospital.
We have been hearing from medical teams on the ground who have described their morgues as being completely full, bodies piling up on the outside of the hospital, one doctor saying that civilians are taking it into their own hands now trying to bury their dead wherever they can as quickly as possible.
So you could imagine how desperate the situation is now in Northern Gaza. And, of course, it's not just the situation inside the hospital that is a point of concern, but it is the ongoing, relentless bombardment around these hospitals. As we know, on-the-ground fighting is edging closer, encircling many of these hospitals, but also those airstrikes are edging closer.
As you mentioned, the IDF says that they are targeting Hamas positions. They claim that there is a Hamas command-and-control center beneath Al Shifa. This has been echoed by a U.S. official, but Hamas has itself rejected those allegations. Doctors on the ground have denied those allegations as well.
And there is continued concern that civilians, patients in these hospitals could become a target as this war intensifies -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Nada Bashir, thank you so much -- John.
BERMAN: All right, thanks so much, Fred.
So, crowds are gathering on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at this moment for this afternoon's March for Israel. Tens of thousands are expected to show their support for Israel and to condemn antisemitism. Security has been increased to the highest level.
CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is standing by where the rally will be taking place. Shimon, we talk about security being increased. How many precautions
have been taken there?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I mean, there's a ton of precautions being -- taking place there.
I have seen the National Guard is out here, John. There are dumpster trucks blocking streets. We're now seeing the mounted -- the Park Police mounted officers coming through our live shot here.
But I just want to start to show you, John, the crowds. They are coming. Some of the organizers say they expect up to 100,000 people here. One of the security measures here, John, I want to show you are magnetometers. They're using these magnetometers as people come in into the Mall area, and they're stopping people, and they're going through these magnetometers.
This is one of the entry points. And inside, they are prohibiting people from bringing items in, such as you would expect at any large event, something like New Year's Eve. This level of security is something we see at very big events like the Super Bowl, and it's very similar here.
And as these crowds continue to pour in here, John, you can see that the line is starting to stretch here for several blocks up this way, and then folks are just coming in through this area here. There's also an entrance on the other side. But, certainly, we expect these crowds to increase as the hours go by.
About 1:00 or so is when the events here are supposed to kick off. And, certainly, we're going to start to see even a bigger security presence as we get closer to that. Obviously, everyone here from law enforcement is on high alert, given the events overseas. There's a lot of concern for any kind of counterprotests.
So far, we have not seen any issues. The police say there are no specific threats, there are no credible threats. But, certainly, certainly, John, they're not taking any chances. And by just what we have seen already, there is so much security here. And, certainly, that's going to increase as the day goes.
BERMAN: Yes, given the surge in antisemitic incidents, you can understand why security has been increased so much.
Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much for being there. Keep us posted as to what you see -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: All right, we are standing by. We're watching to see and waiting to see as President Biden is set to depart the White House very soon. Will he speak to reporters as he is leaving to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco?
Also have our eyes and cameras waiting for the New York City mayor. He's expected to be facing reporters, meeting with reporters, and will definitely be facing questions this hour about the FBI investigation into his campaign fund-raising and possible foreign influence.
First, we're also going to head back to Capitol Hill, where the new House speaker just took questions from reporters about the big vote this afternoon to avoid a government shutdown. What is going to happen there?
WHITFIELD: All right, this breaking news into CNN.
As the House pushes to avoid a shutdown, things are getting a little tense on Capitol Hill. We're just getting word of some very tense moments.
Let's go to CNN's Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.
Manu, you just heard from the House speaker last hour, but that's kind of now in the shadows of all that's taking place there. What happened?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's been apparently a tense interaction in the Capitol hallways with Congressman Tim Burchett, who is one of the eight Republicans who voted out Kevin McCarthy from the speakership, and apparently had a bit of a dust-up in the hallways himself with Kevin McCarthy.
And I have Congressman Burchett with us here right now.
So, Congressman, explain to us what happened with you and Kevin McCarthy.
REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): Well, I was doing an interview with Claudia from NPR, a lovely lady. And she was asking me a question.
And at that time, I got elbowed in the back, and it kind of caught me off guard, because it was a clean shot to the kidneys. And I turned back, and there was -- there was Kevin. And I -- for a minute, I was kind of, what the heck just happened?
And then I chased after him, of course. He's a -- as I have stated many times, he's a bully with $17 million in a security detail. He's the type of guy that, when you're a kid, would throw a rock over the fence and run home and hide behind his mama's skirt.
And he just -- he -- he -- from behind, that kind of stuff, it -- that's not the way we handle things in East Tennessee. We -- if we have a problem with somebody, I'm going to look them in the eye and talk to them.
RAJU: OK, so he walked down the hallway, hit you in his -- with his elbow? And then...
BURCHETT: Yes, you can -- you can go on Claudia's Twitter account. It pretty much -- or X account.
BURCHETT: It's very accurate.
RAJU: OK. So, then just explain.
So you chased him? What do you mean you chased him?
BURCHETT: Well, I just ran after him. I was like: "What the heck? Why'd you do that?"
Because it was -- like I said, if you have ever been hit in the kidneys, it's a little different. You don't have to hit very hard to cause a little bit of pain, a lot of pain. And so I -- and he just -- of course, as he always did, does, he just denies it or blames somebody else or something, you know?
And it was just a little heated, but I just backed off, because there wasn't any -- I saw no reason. I wasn't gaining anything from it.
BURCHETT: And, then, everybody saw it, so it didn't really matter.
RAJU: But he responded to you?
BURCHETT: Yes. Yes, he just acted like, what are you talking about, you know, who are you to -- that kind of thing.
And it's just -- I think that's symptomatic of the problems that he's had in his short tenure as speaker.
RAJU: And were you face-to-face when you had this interaction?
BURCHETT: Yes. Yes. But there's security detail, and I get it. They had to -- they were doing their job, so it wasn't exactly like -- he didn't -- he wouldn't turn around and face me. He kept scurrying, trying to keep people between me and him.
RAJU: And then so, what did he -- were you...
BURCHETT: And I just let it go at that point. It wasn't...
RAJU: Were you yelling?
BURCHETT: He was -- yes, I raised my voice to him. I thought it was appropriate.
And I -- you just don't expect a guy who was at one time three steps away from the White House to sucker -- hit you with a sucker punch in the hallway.
RAJU: And did he raise his voice back to you?
BURCHETT: Yes, just that high-pitched kind of thing, I believe, and that was about it.
RAJU: And did he walk into his office? How did this end?
BURCHETT: No, he just kept on walking down the hall. I don't know where his office is now.
And he had his detail and his posse, so to speak, was with him.
RAJU: So did his detail try to stop you?
BURCHETT: Do what?
RAJU: Did his detail try to stop you?
BURCHETT: Well, the detail kind of got -- they -- one guy got between us there towards the end.
But I wasn't looking to knock him out or anything. I just wanted to let him know I -- I know it was him.
RAJU: Were you injured?
BURCHETT: I don't know injured, man. I...
RAJU: Does it -- I mean, did it hurt?
BURCHETT: Yes. Yes. As a matter of fact, it still hurts, because it was a shot to the kidneys. And it still hurts, oddly enough.
It's not anything I'm going to -- I'm not going to -- probably not going to do an ethics complaint on him. He's not worth it. He's going to be gone here either after Christmas or next year. And like I said, he's got the $17 million, and he's going to keep -- he will be -- he's already messing in everybody's races. And we all know that.
RAJU: Are you accusing him of assault?
BURCHETT: Am I accusing him?
RAJU: Of assault?
BURCHETT: I don't know. I -- ask a lawyer. It's over, as far as I'm concerned.
RAJU: He said to our colleague Melanie Zanona that this is a tight hallway. He denies this interaction. He says: It's a tight hallway, and I bumped into him.
He says that this was not an intentional thing.
BURCHETT: There's 435 congressmen. I was one of eight that voted against him.
That hallway was -- there's plenty of room. You can walk four side by side. He chose to do what he did. And it's -- it'll end right here. I'm sure it'll just be a little -- little asterisk on his storied career.
RAJU: And he said -- he told me last week you are only concerned about press and policy. That's why you voted him out. You're just concerned about the press.
BURCHETT: Yes. And that's why he held a exclusive press conference with CNN.
RAJU: What do you mean?
I mean, he doesn't think that you did it for any real reason, other than to bolster your own profile.
BURCHETT: I have gone through all the reasons. He just doesn't -- he doesn't keep his word.
And I think that's -- this is pretty much -- it shows what he did. It just shows what he did. And it's just -- it's just the way it is with him. He's not -- he could have gone out on top, and he's chosen to go this route.
BURCHETT: And I -- and, actually, I feel sorry for him. I pray for him every day. You might not believe that, but I do. I pray for him, and I hope he finds some happiness in his life.
RAJU: OK. All right, I will let you go. Others want to talk to you as well.
RAJU: Thank you. Thanks for your time.
And, as you can hear there, Fred, if you're still with me, if you're still with me...
WHITFIELD: I am.
RAJU: So, pretty remarkable -- pretty remarkable scene there.
WHITFIELD: Very remarkable.
RAJU: But the congressman from Tennessee, one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy, detailing something that you really don't see, a physical alteration -- altercation in the halls of the Capitol from the former speaker of the House, of hitting him and leaving him in some pain, saying he had hit him in the kidney, not going as far as accusing him of assault, but saying that he's still in pain, and they were -- he went and chased him down the hallway and tried to push back.
But it is important to know that Kevin McCarthy is denying this, as I asked the congressman right there, just telling our colleague Melanie Zanona that he -- it was a tight hallway, and they had -- they accidentally bumped into each other. But it just shows you the level of anger that is still in the House GOP Conference over the ouster of Kevin McCarthy. When I sat down with him last week, he made perfectly clear he is still angry about it, he's still angry at people like Congressman Burchett.
He was surprised by Burchett's vote, said they only care about the press, only care about policy -- they did not care about policy. That's all they care about is themselves, but just a pretty remarkable moment here in the Capitol, with the former speaker getting into quite a physical altercation, in the words of Congressman Burchett here just moments ago.
WHITFIELD: Right. I mean, the level of intensity, the level of emotion, and now it's physical. Wow, that was an incredible account.
Manu Raju, thank you so much.
All right, back to you, John and Kate. Where do we go from here? My goodness.
BOLDUAN: We're going to talk about it.
BOLDUAN: Joining us now is CNN senior political analyst and anchor John Avlon and CNN political commentator and host of PBS News' "Firing Line" is Margaret Hoover.
Sorry. I'm tripping over all of it, because we're just going to process this.
Would you like to do a dramatic reading?
BERMAN: Yes, listen, so what Manu was just describing there in the conversation with Tim Burchett was this altercation that took place.
It all began during an interview with an NPR reporter, Claudia Grisales, who just live-tweeted the play-by-play of what happened.
BERMAN: And what she says is that McCarthy walked by and apparently elbowed Burchett.
And now we're going to begin a dramatic reading of the play-by-play.
BOLDUAN: A slight dramatic reading, because Burchett says, go to her feed, and she detailed all of it.
It really begins with the kidney shot heard around the world and Burchett saying -- I'm sorry -- Burchett saying -- where is it? Oh, there you -- sorry.
"Hey, Kevin, why'd you elbow me in the back, Kevin? Hey, Kevin, you got any guts?" BERMAN: "Burchett then looked back at me and said, 'Jerk,' referring to McCarthy. I asked if he had done that before. Burchett said no. That's when the chase ensued. Burchett took off after McCarthy and his detail. I chased behind them with my mic," Claudia says.
BOLDUAN: And then, she says: "Burchett yelled after, catching up to McCarthy: 'Hey, Kevin, why'd you walk behind me and elbow me in the back?' Kevin says: 'I didn't elbow you in the back.' Burchett says: 'You got no guts. You did so. The reporter said it right here. What kind of chicken move is that?'"
BERMAN: "Burchett continued: 'You got no guts. You did so.' Burchett starts to walk away from Kevin and tells me," the reporter says, "'What a jerk,' and then yells back: 'You need security, Kevin.'"
BOLDUAN: "That's -- Burchett tells me that's the first point of communication with McCarthy since Burchett voted for his ouster last month. 'That's just it' for communication since ouster vote. He's just a jerk. He's just a childish little" ellipse.
BERMAN: All right. That was the former speaker of the House and a Republican member of Congress.
What do we make of that?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Great job, everybody.
It's so pathetic and petty and ridiculous. People sometimes compare Congress to high school. This isn't high school. This is junior high. There are elementary school students who are better behaved than this. It's just -- it's absurd. This is a former speaker.
BOLDUAN: What does it speak to, though, one, that it would happen, two, that Burchett then comes out and says he wants to -- he says that it's over, but he's very happy to do an interview with Manu about it to detail it and to talk.
What is it?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, look, there -- by design of the founders, there are two houses in the legislature. There are two branches in the legislature. There's the Senate, the esteemed, highbrow place. It's the most sophisticated debating society in the world. And there's the people's house.
And this was a demonstration of the people's house. By the design of the founders, this is just ordinary folks who are trying to work it all out.
AVLON: The people are better than this.
HOOVER: And sometimes we have good moments and sometimes we have bad moments. But what it is all -- what we are focusing on is not actually -- sort of the icing on the cake. The point is, they're about to stop the government from shutting down
on Friday, good news, by doing the exact same thing that Kevin McCarthy did, getting Democratic votes to prevent the republic from coming to a standstill once again.
So, Speaker Johnson gets a little bit of a honeymoon. We got a little bit of a sideshow, and we kick the can down the road.
BOLDUAN: And maybe Kevin McCarthy is a little upset.
AVLON: Well, yes, because he lost his job for making a deal with Democrats and now...
BOLDUAN: Doing the exact same thing, being in the exact same position as Mike Johnson is now.
HOOVER: But he has a honeymoon period. He's got a little bit...
BOLDUAN: Is it a honeymoon period?
HOOVER: Yes, actually, it is. It is.
BOLDUAN: I disagree.
BOLDUAN: I don't think it's a honeymoon period. I think it's actually Republicans realizing that disaster left a real mark, and they need to stop living on their -- like, living and dying on their -- quote, unquote -- "principles." They needed to get past it. They can't do that again.
AVLON: This isn't about principle.
HOOVER: Well, that's partly right. You say tomato, I say tomato.
HOOVER: But what's really happening is the same thing over and over again.
And I just wish -- there used to be fiscal conservatives in the House of Representatives, and now it is only right-wing crazies who are talking about actually really important public policy questions that, by the way, centrist Democrats should be talking about, and all of us should be talking about, frankly.
AVLON: And there are bipartisan commissions and bills. I mean, Manchin and Romney just came out yesterday saying there should be -- that's the way you handle people who are genuinely concerned, not these sort of stunt politics that lead to, if not government shutdowns and defaults, to downgrading the U.S. credit.
BERMAN: So I'm going to try to raise the level of discourse here.
AVLON: That would be great.
BOLDUAN: This is raising it?
BERMAN: But use this as an example. Is this an example, perhaps...
BOLDUAN: I love wherever you're going here.
BERMAN: ... of the descending level of discourse in our body politic right now, that a former speaker of the House and a current sitting member can get into a physical altercation?
And I also add to this -- right? Do we need to play the sound again?
BOLDUAN: I think we should.
BERMAN: All right. This is the leading Republican contender.
BOLDUAN: Different sound. It's a windup.
BERMAN: The leading Republican contender for president of the United States.
AVLON: Oh, great.
BERMAN: Just listen to the way he talks about some of his political opponents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (R) AND CURRENT U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In honor of our great veterans on Veterans Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country, that lie and steal and cheat on elections, and will do anything possible, they will do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American dream.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, how much of a line is there between language like that and throwing elbows or haymakers in the halls of Congress?
AVLON: They're related. And it's because one is sort of pathetic sandbox politics, right? It's
petty and it's personal. The other is -- is dangerous to our democracy.
BERMAN: And the one that wasn't physical, you're saying, is more dangerous.
AVLON: The one that -- yes, much more, because -- because it's not just calling opponents vermin.