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NFL Players Express Concern About Playing Games On Sunday; Reported Excerpt: Prince Harry Says William Attacked Him; House of Representatives Still Has Not Elected House Speaker; Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV) Interviewed on Kevin McCarthy's Continuing Attempts to Gather Enough Votes to Become Next House Speaker; Reports Indicates Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin Showing Signs of Recovery after Collapsing on Field. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired January 05, 2023 - 08:00   ET





REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, (R-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I think it's probably best that people work through it some more. I don't think voting tonight will be any different, but I think the vote in the future will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a deal with those guys right now?

MCCARTHY Not yet, but a lot of progress.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning, everyone. You see Poppy and I are here. Kaitlan is on Capitol Hill now following day three -- we'll get to her in a moment -- day three of the speaker election. And there she is. Kaitlan, how you holding up there? Listen, we have been saying since day one that you were there Tuesday, that it could go longer, and it is playing out exactly as you said.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it was supposed to be one day. Now, of course, here we are. We expect it to likely go longer and now it has. The question is, of course, when does it end?

LEMON: Kevin McCarthy's desperate bid to become speaker drags on for a third day of voting. The historic stalemate has effectively paralyzed the House. A big question today whether concessions McCarthy made to Republican lawmakers blocking his path, whether that is enough to get him to the 218 votes needed to become speaker.

The slow road to recovery for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. The team says he is showing signs of improvement even as he remains in critical condition. We'll update you on that.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Also, Prince Harry with a really stunning allegation in his new book, claiming he was physically assaulted by his older brother, the will-be king, Prince William. We're live in London with details.

COLLINS: First, to hear Kevin McCarthy tell it, his glass is half full. Twenty Republican lawmakers still opposing his bid for House speaker when he can only afford to lose four of them. He's failed six times over the last two marathon days to reach the 218 votes needed to become speaker. Today is day three of the leadership drama. The House will reconvene at noon. The big question is whether or not we'll see more of the same. CNN's Lauren Fox is live on Capitol Hill. Lauren, what are we expecting to happen in the next few hours? We just heard from Warren Davidson say that the hardliners are going to be meeting right now at this moment. But what's next for the broader Republican Party?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, that meeting that you are referencing is critical to seeing whether or not McCarthy is going to be able to cement enough of these hardliners to actually vote for him on the floor of the House, or at least vote present. One of the key questions this morning is whether or not the concessions are enough. One of those concessions, lowering the threshold of how many individuals it would take to call for a vote to oust the speaker from five to just one person. I am hearing this morning from one moderate who said that this discussion is ultimately going to make the speaker so much less powerful than they have been in the past. This person telling me, "I don't like the rules, but I'm willing to hear the discussions. I think they're a mistake for the conference. These handful of folks want a weak speaker with a four- vote majority. The public will not like what they see from the GOP, I fear."

And that is the concern this morning from a lot of rank and file members who do not want to empower these rabblerousers on the House floor to get everything they want, not just when it comes to the speaker but when it comes to future legislation, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: All right, Lauren Fox, we'll see if those concessions are too much for some of these lawmakers who think maybe the hardliners are getting too much in these negotiations.

HARLOW: Kaitlan, I think everyone at home has got to be asking this morning, saying I can't believe it, this is our government. But b, what does this actually mean for me? So here's what it actually means that there is no speaker as the house begins its third day without one. How does it work or how doesn't it work, rather? Without a speaker, no House members can be sworn in, which means the legislative process grinds to a halt, no rules can be approved, no committees can be formed, no bills can be passed. And that means the House can't respond to, say, an emergency, a crisis. And right now no House members even have their own security clearances. So that means none of them can receive military or intelligence briefings.


REP. BRIAN FITZPATRICK, (R-PA): We have a third, one of our three branch of government offline right now. That is a very dangerous thing for our country. And it cannot continue much longer. I sit on the House Intelligence Committee. We oversee all 19 intelligence agencies. We are currently offline.


REP. JIM COMER, (R-KY): These two days isn't going to be the end of the world. I would prefer that we got to 218 yesterday. Unfortunately, we did not.


HARLOW: So without a speaker and members, there can be no House oversight, no investigations like the kind Republicans want to launch on President Biden and his son Hunter.

One last thing to think about this morning, the speaker is normally the second in line to the presidency. Right now that job is empty. So Patty Murray, the president pro tem of the Senate of the Senate second in line to the presidency behind Vice President Kamala Harris. Kaitlan?

COLLINS: It's remarkable to see. You even talk to people who have been on the Hill for decades, lawmakers who have been around for a long time, Poppy, and even they say this is just a moment where people like Zinke earlier saying they do think it's embarrassing for Republicans.

So joining us now to talk about the state of all this, where it could potentially go, is Republican Congressman Carol Miller of West Virginia. She has voted for Kevin McCarthy all six times as the drama has been playing out. Do you expect that you'll vote for him again today if there is a vote?

REP. CAROL MILLER, (R-WV) SUPPORTS MCCARTHY'S BID FOR HOUSE SPEAKER: Absolutely. As long as he's a candidate, I'm voting for Kevin McCarthy.

COLLINS: Do you think he'll stay a candidate? That's a big question, how long he will stay in the race.

MILLER: I certainly hope so. We've got almost 90 percent of our conference strongly behind him. And this is a democracy. So we need to understand that we aren't ruled by the few.

COLLINS: And that's been a concern that we've heard from some of the Republicans who are voting for Kevin McCarthy is they say if they do give in, if he does bow out, then it is giving in to those hardliners here, and they fear, Mick Mulvaney compared it to an extortion attempt, he said. Maybe that's dramatic, but --

MILLER: I love Mick. The important thing is Kevin listens, and he has always listened. I've known him for over four years. He is a true leader. And whenever there was a problem, he met it head on. He would listen. He would make a decision and move forward. And that's exactly what he's been trying to do here. COLLINS: Part of that is he's been making concessions overnight, some

pretty big concessions, including the one about having a one-vote motion to vacate the chair, to essentially oust him potential as speaker. Is that a concession that you're comfortable with?

MILLER: I don't like it. He has two years to prove himself. And that goes by very quickly. So I think we just need to get on with the business that the American people have sent us here to do, and that is to govern. It's to take care of our border. It's to get spending under control. It's to be leaders.

COLLINS: If this does ultimately happen and Kevin McCarthy does become speaker with these concessions he's made, how much more difficult does it make it to do those things that you say you've been put here to do?

MILLER: I think part of what I've heard from people like Chip Roy is they want to have a voice. Everybody wants to have a voice. Democracy is messy. So it may take us a little longer to do what we're going to do, but everyone will have their voice. And I think that's been part of their breaking point.

COLLINS: Do you think it's time to stop with the concessions and to go from there?

MILLER: Well, I wasn't in the meetings last night. I'm not in the meeting this morning. But it's time to get to work. I think everybody in America should call their representatives and tell them, let's get this over with. Let's choose our speaker. Get Kevin McCarthy and let's start doing what we're supposed to be doing.

COLLINS: How much longer do you think this could go on?

MILLER: I don't have a crystal ball. But let's hope we finish this today.

COLLINS: And if it doesn't finish today, does that change the calculus, you think, of the other Republicans like you who are supporting McCarthy?

MILLER: There are more people who have said only McCarthy than there are the no McCarthys. So that remains to be seen, how we will handle that as a group. But we are a majority, and that's the important thing. We need to think ahead and move on and stop getting hung up on the small things. Move forward. Do our governing for our country.

COLLINS: Do you think Kevin McCarthy should stay in this speaker's race?

MILLER: I do. I do. I've watched him for four years. I watched him put together with other people the commitment to America. As I said, he's a listener and he's a good leader. I've watched him deal with a lot of different problems in a very logical way, and I think he's the one for the position.

COLLINS: If it's not him, is there any effort under way to find a candidate who could get 218 votes?

MILLER: I'm sure there would be, but hopefully not at this point because we want Kevin McCarthy to be our speaker.

COLLINS: Can I ask you one last question before you go. The former president yesterday said all Republicans should vote for Kevin McCarthy.


We did not see Kevin McCarthy gain any support. What does that say about the influence that Trump has on Republicans in this disagreement?

MILLER: I don't think he said that before that last vote. But President Trump has a lot of appeal, and he has a lot of influence on many, many people. And he was our president, and so people will listen to him.

COLLINS: Does it surprise you they didn't listen to him yesterday?

MILLER: Well, I don't know when he said it, so I can't tell you if he said it before the last vote or since the last vote.

COLLINS: He said it yesterday morning before those three failed votes came. And actually, we saw Victoria Spartz say she was just going to vote present. She didn't vote for another candidate, but she withdrew her support for McCarthy.

MILLER: From what I understood it was because she wanted us to have a conference yesterday morning, and we didn't. That was my understanding of why she voted present.

COLLINS: We'll see if she does the same today. Maybe other members do. Congresswoman, we know that there's a lot of drama happening here. Thank you for taking time to talk to us about it.

MILLER: Quite welcome.

COLLINS: Really appreciate it. Don, Poppy, back to you.

LEMON: Kaitlan, thank you very much.

We turn now to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. He remains in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital. But he is showing, quote, signs of improvement. That's according to a statement by the Buffalo Bills. I want you to listen to what NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said during an emotional conference call.


TROY VINCENT, NFL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, FOOTBALL OPERATIONS: And Dr. Sills and to the medical professionals, first responders, the physicians, the trainers, the EMTs, that evening was outstanding. You gave our brother Damar another day to live, another chance to fight. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Obviously very, very emotional statement. So joining us now is National Insider for NFL Network and, Ian Rapoport. Ian, thank you so much. I know that you were on that call. Let's just start with some news that we just got and get you to respond to. Damar Hamlin's father Mario Hamlin addressed the entire Bills team on a Zoom call on Wednesday, we're told, to personally update everyone in attendance on his son. That's per a source. Mario Hamlin informed the Bills that Damar was making progress, and in the words of one source, the team needed it. And I know that you have been closely, you were on that call, and you have also been in contact with the family. So what do you know, and what do you think of this call by the father?

IAN RAPOPORT, NATIONAL INSIDER, NFL NETWORK AND NFL.COM: First of all, as far as the call by the father, I was talking to a source explaining to me that it was pretty powerful. It was certainly something where the team felt it.

This has been progressing over the last day or so, because his uncle talked to NFL Network I'd say about 24 hours ago about originally needed 100 percent oxygen, now down to needing 50 percent. This is all good. Things are heading into a positive direction. I talked to Jordon Rooney who has a family spokesman over the past 48 hours, very close to Damar Hamlin, told me this morning things are heading in the right direction. I would expect a statement from the family at some point today, updating us on that.

But the emotion that Troy Vincent showed is something that you've seen all across the NFL. This is not something that affects Bills fans. It's really not something that affects football fans. It's something that has affected everyone. And Troy Vincent kind of encapsulated that. And on that call, so much of the focus was on how fortunate they are, how fortunate Damar Hamlin is, the unbelievably quick medical response and how integral that was just in essentially saving his life. It has been, it has really been an incredible thing to see, to witness, and to cover.

HARLOW: To see, to hear a 15-year veteran of the league who is now a high ranking executive at the NFL break down like that, and so many players so distraught in ways, I think it's fairs to say, we've never seen them before, right, what does that mean about this weekend? Do they play? And I don't just mean just the Bills and Patriots. I mean the NFL.

RAPOPORT: First, as far as the schedule goes, week 18 is on as scheduled. The Bills-Bengals game hangs in the balance. That's a whole separate issue, but the games will go on as planned.

HARLOW: I'm asking you -- you've been covering this for so long, so in depth, and we've never seen a moment like this. You don't think that changes?

RAPOPORT: I would say players being able to deal with the emotional part of this is what makes them different, frankly. They go out there, they put everything on the line. It is intense. It is emotional. It is physical. They know the risks, and they go out and play in a way that so many of us probably couldn't. To watch that humanity play out on the field was incredible. And I think the broadcast did a great job showing the close-ups of Josh Allen and Joe Burrow and so many of these tough dudes who were watching a player fighting for his life in a way that they've never seen.


And that's why you have so much of the discussion of like, where are they going to continue playing the game? No. Nobody on the field wanted to play a game. Sean McDermott saw -- the Bills coach --

HARLOW: Coach.

RAPOPORT: Told Jack Taylor, the Bengals coach, I should do with Damar in the hospital. I mean, it was clearly different. That said, the player's ability to compartmentalize and go out and do the job, it's one of the things that makes him special.

LEMON: OK. But the -- to know the risk, right, and to actually experience it are two different things.


LEMON: But people train for it to be in a war zone, they may be trained for an emergency situation. You know, it's just training.


LEMON: But then when it actually happens, it could change things. I've been asking everyone this morning who you know has said anything to do with this. Is that going to change for the players to having experiences and seeing the reaction around the country really, and around the world?

HARLOW: Like what Aaron Rodgers just said.

LEMON: Yes. When you go out there, and you like -- what, man, that makes hit, it could be me.

RAPOPORT: Yes. And you know this is something that the players know. It is, unfortunately, something that -- you know, it's pretty infrequent but it does happen. We've seen some tragedies on the field. Ryan Shazier will be one, from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It happens rarely. It is something players are aware of. It is something they know when they go out there, and you know this is what -- this is what these guys do. This is what they've been doing their whole life. It is what they trained for. It is also my job to do something they love.

LEMON: Not --

RAPOPORT: And Nothing --

LEMON: Not an inflection point, for them? RAPOPORT: It doesn't feel to me -- now the emotional part of it has been amazing. And I think getting all of us who love football and I cover it as my job and also love it, to realize that these are humans out there with so much at risk so we can watch them, right? That has been incredible and something that I don't know that I needed to have a certain perspective. I know it's just football.

But being reminded that there is life and so much more I think was an important thing. But because it was such a random event that happens, those kinds of things happen 100 times a game, 200 times a game. It just so happened that in that moment, something happened to Damar Hamlin's heart and so the Chief Medical Officer for the NFL said there was a possibility it's commotio cordis, which is a condition that can happen to a person's heart. But again, the most important thing this happened, the response was so fast, so incredible, probably saved his life.

LEMON: Ian, thank you.

RAPOPORT: Thank you. Appreciate it.

HARLOW: Thanks, Ian.

RAPOPORT: Thank you.

LEMON: Prince Harry claiming he was shoved to the ground by his brother Prince William in his new book. That is next.




A new report says in Prince Harry's upcoming book, Spare, he describes an incident where his older brother Prince William physically assaulted him. The Guardian which is a newspaper in the United Kingdom, says the royal siblings were arguing over Harry's wife, Meghan when Harry says William "ramps him by the collar and knocked him to the floor."

CNN anchor Bianca Nobilo joins us live in London with more. Wow. This is the -- I think like they -- you know there's racism allegation, which is huge. And then there's this. This is really stunning.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, I completely concur. I think those are the two most dramatic allegations that we've had from the Sussex camp throughout this entire debacle, this period of tension between the two brothers. I'll just read the entire quote that we've had published by The Guardian for our viewers because it really is salacious and full of detail.

He -- Prince Harry described, he sat down the water, he being Prince William, 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 piece is cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.

Now, Prince Harry goes on apparently to say that Prince William did come and apologize looking being quite saddened and aggrieved. He also said that he didn't tell his wife that would have happened immediately and that she actually noticed some of the visible signs on his back. These cuts that he refers to when he fell on that dog bowl.

Now, this is a very difficult thing to report on because this is simply Prince Harry's version of events. He's given pre-recorded interviews to accompany the release of his book, Spare, which, as the title would suggest, is heavily focused on the treatment that he received, as not the heir to the British throne, but he's what's often referred to as the spare, the person who won't be king.

And we can expect more of these details to come out. But we've Kensington and Buckingham Palace remaining (INAUDIBLE), we're not hearing anything from them. It's quite difficult to get a real handle on exactly what happened. But as we were discussing this morning, the fact that Prince Harry says that he would like to rebuild those relationships and restore that trust with his family, with these details being released concomitantly, I am really not sure how that's possible.

HARLOW: Bianca, thank you. I'm not sure how either. Thank you.

LEMON: Well, some Republicans invoking race and civil rights leaders as they make their case against Kevin McCarthy. Former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, he's going to join us live to discuss next.



LEMON: So, what is it, was day three, right, of this whole speaker thing? Day three of the House speaker drama. CNN reporting that it is now clear -- it is now clear vote will happen today at noon.

HARLOW: Not clear?

LEMON: Not clear. Yes, that is wrong where the (INAUDIBLE) --

HARLOW: Not clear.

LEMON: Not clear, the vote. Thank you very much. Republicans may need more time to negotiate before a seventh ballot as 20 GOP holdouts continue to oppose Kevin McCarthy's bid. They named the civil rights leader Dr. Marcus King Jr. and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, they were both invoked as they nominated for the Republican Byron Donalds, a black lawmaker for a speaker as the alternative to McCarthy. Listen to this.


REP. SCOTT PERRY, (R-PA): And we can also make history today by making the first -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will the House be an order?

PERRY: By electing the first black Republican Speaker of the House. Now, as my colleagues probably know, the first black members of Congress to serve in this body were Republicans. As a matter of fact, you probably also know that Frederick Douglass who went and work with Abraham Lincoln to emancipate the people of color in this country said he would never be anything but a Republican.

REP. CHIP ROY, (R-TX): We do not seek to judge people by the color of their skin but rather by the content of the character. Byron Donalds -- Byron Donalds is a good man raised by single mom who moved past adversity, became a Christian man at the age of 21 and has devoted his life to advancing the cause for his family and for this country.


LEMON: Well, joining us now is CNN senior political commentator -- new CNN senior political commentator Adam Kinzinger. He served six terms as an Illinois congressman and has been outspoken about McCarthy's impact on the Republican Party during his time on the January 6 committee. We're happy to have you.