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Congress at Standstill Amid GOP Revolt Over Speakership; Hamlin Still in Critical Condition after Cardia Arrest; Suspect Arrives in Idaho to Face Murder Charges; Prince Harry Says William Attacked Him. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired January 05, 2023 - 06:00   ET




REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): Kevin McCarthy does not have 218 votes. Kevin McCarthy will not be speaker.




HANNITY: I asked you a very specific question.

BOEBERT: -- does not have 218.

HANNITY: If by Friday, you don't have 30 --

BOEBERT: Listen, this right -- I will not, Sean. I will not withdraw.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, it's really uncomfortable when Mommy and Daddy are fighting. They are fighting.

The U.S. House is completely frozen right now, with a rebellion under way by far-right Republicans.

Good morning, everyone. Don Lemon with Poppy Harlow. There you see Kaitlan has moved back to Washington. We had her in New York for a little bit, but now she's in D.C. I don't know. Was it us?


LEMON: Are you holding up there?

COLLINS: Yes. It's just remarkable this morning to see what's going on here.

Kevin McCarthy no closer to becoming speaker of the House. Even as of this morning, Congress is still without a leader, any sworn-in new members. So what is McCarthy's new strategy to end the chaos? That's a big question this morning.

LEMON: And he voted for McCarthy six times. Straight ahead, Kaitlan is going to speak with Republican Congressman-elect Ryan Zinke. What he thinks the new efforts to win over the party hardliners. What's he going to do with that?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We also do have some new details this morning on a royal feud between Prince Harry and Prince William. The younger brother says the future king, quote, "knocked" him to the ground. We'll take you live to London on that. And is the palace responding?


COLLINS: We start, though, this morning with the Republican leadership drama that is very much still playing out here on Capitol Hill, even intensifying.

The far-right Republican rebellion has paralyzed the House for another day as Kevin McCarthy has made several major concessions overnight to that group of 20 hardliners who are blocking his path to the speakership.

That comes after he suffered another three humiliating defeats in a replay of exactly what happened on Tuesday, except this time after another appeal by the former president for all Republicans to vote for him.

McCarthy lost ground yesterday when the Congresswoman Victoria Sparks went from supporting him to voting present, withdrawing that backing of him, though not supporting another member.

The big question today is whether the concessions he made overnight are enough to get him to 218.

CNN's Lauren Fox joins us now this morning.

I guess -- Do you know the answer on that as of 6 a.m. this morning?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No one knows the answer to that. I mean, we are on day three, potentially our seventh ballot. Still no answer on if Kevin McCarthy is ever going to be the speaker of the House.


FOX (voice-over): Chaos on the House floor --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I move that we adjourn.

FOX (voice-over): -- after Congress adjourns for a second day without a speaker elected.

REP. BRIAN FITZPATRICK (R-PA): We have a third -- one of our three branches of government offline right now. That is a very dangerous thing for our country, and it cannot continue much longer. FOX (voice-over): Representative Kevin McCarthy failed to secure the

job after three more votes took place on Wednesday. The California Republican now losing six votes in two days.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I think it's probably best to let people work through some more.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you have a deal with those guys right now?

MCCARTHY: Not yet, but a lot of progress.

FOX (voice-over): The failure to elect a speaker means members cannot be sworn in, leaving Congress paralyzed until the standoff is resolved.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): None of us has seen anything like this disrespect for the institution in a most cavalier, frivolous way. It's quite sad.

FOX (voice-over): Twenty holdouts rallied their support for Republican Representative Byron Donalds.

REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): For the first time in history there have been two black Americans placed into the nomination for speaker of the House.

FOX (voice-over): Sources tell CNN that McCarthy is continuing negotiations with the group of opposing lawmakers and met separately with freshmen holdouts.

REP. FRENCH HILL (R-AR): I'm sure there's some that may be "no" permanently, but Mr. McCarthy is not treating them that way. Everyone is engaged in these meetings and discussions, and he's open to hearing from all of them.

FOX (voice-over): Republican sources tell CNN McCarthy proposed more concessions, one including a rules change that would allow one member to call for a vote to oust the speaker; and to appoint more members from the Freedom Caucus to the Rules Committee, which dictates whether Bills come to the floor.

McCarthy may concede to a vote on a Bills proposing term limits for members and a border security plan; although even with all those concessions concessions, Republican sources say McCarthy would still not have enough votes.

BOEBERT: Kevin McCarthy does not have 218 votes. Kevin McCarthy will not be speaker.

HANNITY: And you have 20.

BOEBERT: I -- Kevin McCarthy does not have 218.

HANNITY: I asked you a very specific question. If by Friday you don't have 30 -- BOEBERT: I will not, Sean. I will not withdraw.

HANNITY: Why not?

BOEBERT: Our asks were not petty of Kevin McCarthy. They were not self-serving. We simply were asking for commitments on what the American people want to see.


FOX: The key question right now is whether or not these concessions actually move support away from Kevin McCarthy on the moderate side as those members who have been sticking with him might fear this makes the House completely ungovernable, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes. I mean, it has been pure chaos. And it just even says even if he gets the speakership, what that will look like and, of course, what the next two years are going to look like.

Lauren Fox, thank you so much. We'll see what happens today. It's just remarkable.

We're also going to speak to three of the Republican lawmakers involved in this today: Montana Congressman-elect Ryan Zinke, Congressman Warren Davidson of Ohio, and West Virginia Congresswoman Carol Miller. All coming up this morning.

LEMON: All right. Kaitlan, thank you. We'll check back.

And this morning, the Buffalo Bills say their beloved teammate, Damar Hamlin, is showing signs of improvement. Hamlin still in critical condition in intensive care after suffering cardiac arrest following a tackle and collapsing on the field.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus, live with us in Cincinnati this morning with more.

Adrienne, good morning. Doctors are saying that Hamlin's condition is improving? What are they saying?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That was the last update we received from the Buffalo Bills, saying that Damar's condition improved during the day yesterday and overnight prior.

Meanwhile, we know that he is still in the intensive care unit in critical condition.

We spoke with his family member, his Uncle Doriann, earlier in the week. And when I talked to him, he shared with me that his nephew was turned over on his stomach. That was a move, he says, by doctors to help alleviate the pressure from his lungs.

He also told us the next step was that doctors wanted to get Damar breathing on his own. It's unclear this morning where Damar's medical team is regarding that step in their process. Meanwhile, yesterday, we did hear from the NFL's Troy Vincent. He was

on a Zoom call, speaking and addressing members of the media. However, he didn't appear on camera, but as he spoke his voice trembled. And he said, in part, there is no playbook when it comes to managing these real life-threatening events.

He says, "This game of football is guided by best practices and policies, but the only practice that mattered was the reaction of those first care responders." Listen in.


TROY VINCENT, EVP, FOOTBALL OPERATIONS, NFL: That evening was outstanding. You gave our brother Damar another day to live. Another chance to fight. And I think we all have to recognize the power of prayer.


BROADDUS: And he was talking about the emergency action plan carried out by those first responders. So, Don, it's still emotional for everyone involved. Folks waking up today hoping to hear some good news.

LEMON: All right. Adrienne, thank you very much. Appreciate that.

HARLOW: Well, you just heard the emotion there from that NFL executive, very emotional. Also denying some accusations that the league officials ever planned to restart the game after Hamlin's devastating injury.

This comes because ESPN has been reporting that both teams were given a five-minute warm-up notice after Hamlin left the field in an ambulance.

Coy Wire is live in Buffalo, New York, with more.

Coy, good morning to you. Explain to folks why that matters, because the NFL is vehemently saying, No, we never, you know, thought about restarting this game.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT: I think a lot of people are looking for answers. Was right done by Damar Hamlin in that situation? Was the NFL correct in their emergency action plan as they call it?

And this issue just doesn't seem to be going away. You know, after a game broadcaster at ESPN says that they were told that players were instructed to start warming up again.

Troy Vincent, the executive vice president of football operations, vehemently denied that.

And I was on the media call at midnight of the game. At that time this is what Vincent said. He said, "There was no time period for the players to get warmed up. The only thing that we ask was that Shawn" -- as in Shawn Smith, the head referee -- "communicate with both head coaches to make sure they had proper time inside the locker room to discuss what they felt best. I was the one communicating with the commissioner. Frankly, it never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That's ridiculous. That's insensitive. That's not a place we should ever be in."

Now, when asked about it further, yesterday Vincent got emotional, doubling down. Here's what he said.



VINCENT: It was insensitive. And frankly, it lacked both empathy and compassion for Damar's situation, who is still in the woods and fighting for his life to this day. It was just so insensitive to think that we were even thinking about returning to play.


WIRE: Those emotions are real. I was on an hour-and-a-half conference call with former Bills players. And there was a lot of emotion just like that. This is a difficult, I think, as former players. I say that as a nine-year NFL veteran.

You know, Vincent played in the NFL for 15 seasons. Three of those were played here in Buffalo at the same time I was here. We sat in the same position meetings for half of our days, playing safety just like Damar Hamlin. I've reached out to Troy for comment but have not heard back.

HARLOW: I think, Coy, that's one of the things that is so striking. At least it's been to me, to see these, you know, tough, larger-than-life guys breaking down.

You saw all the players on the field there. Because you see how it hits them in the heart, their humanity, right?

And that begs the question of what do they do this weekend, Coy? Do they play -- not just the Bills/Patriots, does the NFL have games scheduled this weekend?

WIRE: It's a good question. And current players have been asked about this, including Joe Burrow, who was the quarterback of the opposing team the night Damar Hamlin suffered that tragic injury.

And Joe Burrow said that he believes the locker room is split; that if there were a question as to whether or not the NFL as a whole should resume play for the final week of the regular season this weekend, he said that he personally would want to get back out there, because he would prefer for things to get back to normal as soon as possible.

And that's an understandable answer. As athletes, you're trained to have a next-play mentality. You focus on the moment. You move on, and you try not to let anything negative influence you for moving forward.

But he also said that he feels there are a lot of guys that wouldn't feel right going out there completely, to be able to continue to play after what they witnessed.

HARLOW: Yes. And if that's the case, will they be given the grace to not play? You know, what's going to happen? So many questions.

Coy, we'll get back to you soon. Thanks.

LEMON: This morning, quadruple murder suspect Bryan Kohberger is in Moscow, Idaho, to face charges. He was booked into the Latah County jail last night, transported by air after being arrested in Pennsylvania.

Kohberger is accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho students on November 13.

Let's go to Veronica Miracle now, live in Moscow, Idaho, for CNN this morning.

Good morning to you. What's what happens now, Veronica?

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, it was a long flight over, and today we do expect a hearing, though that hearing time has not yet been set.

The courthouse here opens at 17 -- 7:15, rather, and it is in the exact same location as the Latah County jail. That's where Bryan Kohberger was quickly taken yesterday after that long flight, with multiple stops.

Once he arrived at the airport, it was a quick exchange from the Pennsylvania State Police over to the authorities here. They booked him, once they got him here, on four counts of murder and one count of burglary.

Again, we're still waiting to hear exactly what time the hearing is, but we do expect that it will be sometime today -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Veronica Miracle. We appreciate it.

HARLOW: The heir attacked the spare. That is what Prince Harry is claiming. What he says led to things getting physical between the two.



HARLOW: So, wow.


HARLOW: Wow. Damming new claims from Prince Harry, now accusing his brother, Prince William, the future king, of physically assaulting him. This is according to reporting in "The Guardian" newspaper in the United Kingdom.

It reports, from Harry's book "Spare" that comes out next week, that the two princes confronted each other at Harry's home in 2019. Harry writes that William called Harry's wife, Meghan, quote, "difficult, rude and abrasive," and then later grabbed Harry by the collar and threw him to the floor.

CNN anchors Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo join us now. I mean, wow, guys.


HARLOW: "The Guardian" says this is in the book. And I want to read you a little bit more from it.

Harry offers -- so this is -- apparently Harry said this altercation ensues. Then Harry offers William some water, and this is what happened, quote. "He set down the water, called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog's bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I laid there for a moment, dazed, and then got to my feet and told him to get out."

He goes on to say that later William came back and apologized.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes. I mean, what I will say is, I mean, all of this is coming from Harry's point of view. Williams' side not saying anything about this; they're not addressing it. This is part of their policy, really, with all of these revelations.

So there you've got Harry's point of view.

The other thing I'd say is, it is two brothers, and there was tension. I have heard stories about tension. I haven't heard about it getting physical. It doesn't completely surprise me.

But I mean, it is a massive expose of that relationship. And it's all going to be in the book.

What I will tell you, as well, is that another British newspaper has just managed to get hold of a copy of a book, so it's going to be lots of more revelations today, I think.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, maybe you guys probably -- this is for William or -- and Harry to answer but, I mean, why? Why would you --

HARLOW: This is what we were talking about in the break. Why put it out there is what you're saying?

LEMON: Yes. To me it's just -- I don't know. I mean, look, we have -- everyone has a family. I have arguments in my family. Am I going to put that out there for the whole world to see? I just don't understand why on earth he would want to put that out there. I know he's selling a book, but to me it's just -- what is the word that I'm looking for? It's just not done, you know.


NOBILO: Don, that -- that's the question that a lot of people in the United Kingdom and further afield.

LEMON: Gauche is the word. Sorry, Bianca. It's gauche to me. That's the word.

NOBILO: Right.

LEMON: It's not done. Sorry, go on.

NOBILO: Because especially when you consider that Harry, in these interviews, which were prerecorded before the release of the book, which is upcoming. He says that he wants his family back. That he wants to have a father and a brother and that his door is open. We've just heard him say that quote in a trailer that's just been released by ITV, which has conducted one of the prerecorded interviews.

So, especially if he genuinely does want to have a rapprochement, wants to rebuild those relationships with his family, it's definitely an interesting strategy.

But he said also that he doesn't think that being silent will make anything better. But when you combine that with the level of allegations and these reports in the book, as you said, wow, they are dramatic. You do wonder how he thinks that could be achieved.

LEMON: And what -- and what could be achieved? What is -- what exactly is he achieving by putting -- by airing family dirty laundry? That's the question.

FOSTER: Yes. Well, a huge amount of frustration has built up. He talks about not being able to control his narrative. So the palace controlled his narrative.

If you look at the book, as I understand it from people who have managed to get hold of it, is it's all -- you know, it's called "Spare," and it's all about his frustration with being the spare heir, always running second. And that was accentuated when Meghan came in, as well.

The reality is, it is -- he was a spare. It is a hierarchy. That is the -- you know, the system, the monarchy. So he's got an issue with the monarchy system, effectively.

I mean, William's side would say he did always try to give Harry an elevated role, but Harry didn't feel that. And he -- the way it trans -- you know, the way it plays out, is that if there are briefings, they tend to fall on side of the more senior royal. And that's what frustrated him.

So he is trying to put everything out there in his own words on these various platforms, but you know, he's controlling the narrative as he wants it. But we're not getting William's narrative anymore. So --

NOBILO: It's also culturally and historically, it's very common for the person who is technically the spare to feel frustrated or for that to be a difficult relationship to manage. Because what is the responsibility, what's the role? Sometimes they want quite a bit more opportunity and want to be able

to have more freedom than the mainstay of the palace would like to allow.

So it's not the most unusual thing for there to be resistance in this dynamic, and it's certainly something which Harry. as a member of the royal family, would have known about and would have -- you would presumably think, would expect.


LEMON: We're kind of at a loss for words.

HARLOW: We'll see.

FOSTER: When people look at it, I mean, particularly when he talks about Diana, you can absolutely understand his frustration.

HARLOW: Of course. Of course.

LEMON: Yes. You can understand this frustration with his mother. You can understand if there was racism and they treated her differently. But to talk about a family physical fight to me is just like -- I wouldn't. That's just me. I would not.

HARLOW: I hear you. Guys, we appreciate you. I think you're going to be up, you know, reporting on everything else in that book now that two papers have it.

LEMON: And nice job with the pope's ceremony, too, as well.

HARLOW: Yes. Very good job to bring that.

LEMON: Very good job. Thank you.

HARLOW: Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes. Back here in Washington, House lawmakers are set to return for a historic third day, not historic in the good way that Kevin McCarthy wanted, amid this high-stakes stalemate for the speaker's gavel. Ahead, we have a McCarthy-supporting Republican congressman-elect, Ryan Zinke, who's going to join us.

HARLOW: Also, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, obviously, the former House speaker, caught reading a magazine article about McCarthy during the fourth round of voting. More surreal moments from the House floor next.




STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE NIGHT HOST: As a never Kevin voter, Good told reporters that, in order to find a speaker who isn't McCarthy, it's worth taking a few days, or a few weeks. A few weeks! They're going to keep voting like this for a few weeks. It's going to be, like, Groundhog's Day, and not just because Kevin McCarthy looks like a groundhog.

JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT HOST: They still don't have a speaker of the House, which means Congress can't convene or swear in new members. Which means we don't have a functioning government right new, which means, no rules!


COLLINS: I don't know what late night is going to do when this is all resolved.

After the second day of voting and six rounds, Kevin McCarthy is still not speaker, as you heard there. As Congress is waiting for an outcome, we have seen some surreal moments play out on the floor this week including this one, as Republican Chip Roy was nominating, actually, one of Kevin McCarthy's opponents, someone who withdrew his vote from McCarthy to applause from McCarthy.


ROY: Today I'm rising to nominate Byron Donald for speaker of the House of Representatives.

And for the first time in history there have been two black Americans placed into the nomination for speaker of the House.


COLLINS: Also on the House floor, as these votes continue to fail, you saw Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz huddling with other members in between votes: members who were voting for McCarthy, members who were not supporting McCarthy, as these votes were dragging on yesterday.

Several other moments also playing out. House Speaker Pelosi -- former House Speaker Pelosi was seen catching up reading a "New Yorker" article on Kevin McCarthy, titled "What Kevin McCarthy Will Do to Gain Power."

Then there was this moment with Lauren Boebert, who has rejected former President Trump's call to support Kevin McCarthy for speaker.