Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Investigations Into Trump Heat Up; Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) is Interviewed about the House; Looming Debt Ceiling Fight; New Revelations from Prince Harry. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 06, 2023 - 06:30   ET



PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Some of which has not even been opened yet according to sources familiar with the probe. Smith himself fired off a round of subpoenas to officials in seven key battleground states and received a trove of documents and this voicemail from someone claiming to work for Trump's post-election legal team seeking access to voting machines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a lawyer with Rudy Giuliani's team working for the president. And we need access to some Dominion machines, which we understand may be something that you could help us with.

REID: Federal prosecutors have been increasingly focused on Trump's state of mind after the 2020 election, but in an interview with CNN, Trump's lawyer, Tim Parlatore, said they are not worried, at least about the evidence gathered by the committee.

TIM PARLATORE, TRUMP LAWYER: They've outlined a few charges here, all of which are completely legally insufficient. And so, yes, we kind of look at it as, you know, it's political noise but it doesn't really have any effect as of right now on our defense.


REID: The January 6th committee ran into obstacles with key witnesses like Mark Meadows, but the Justice Department has additional tools, including going to court to try to compel these witnesses to cooperate. But time is of the essence here. There is a lot of concern that this could go too far into the election cycle. So, Smith is under a lot of pressure to move this along and make these decisions as soon as possible.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Paula Reid on Capitol Hill, thank you very much.

And here we are, two years out, and now this is what we have in Washington, Kaitlan.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it's kind of remarkable to see this playing out on the two-year anniversary. And we'll see President Biden speaking today, Don.

Obviously also happening here today on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are going to resume with still no speaker in place. And without a speaker, the House cannot convene and cannot begin official business. And that means, among other things, that no classified briefings for lawmakers, who oversee the nation's national security agencies. And there are some of them who are raising concerns about what that means for the period of time that we're in right now.


REP. MIKE GALLAGHER (R-WI): Technically, I don't have a clearance. I'm a member of the Intel Committee. I'm on the Armed Services Committee, and I can't meet in the SKIFF to conduct essential business. My point is, we have work to do that we couldn't do right now.

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 can't continue much longer.

Well, I sit on the House Intelligence Committee. We oversee all 19 intelligence agencies. We are currently offline.


COLLINS: Joining me now is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Jason Crow. He saying the security situation in the Capitol is undermining lawmakers' ability to do their jobs.

Good morning. Thank you for being here.

You know, what kind of concerns do you have about the effects, the real effects that this gridlock is having on the ability to do things like monitor national intelligence and security and look at those matters?

REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Yes, Kaitlan, I sat on the House Intelligence Committee and the House Armed Services Committee in the last congress. I really made national security a focus of my work here. And we're not receiving briefings. We're not able to have the discussions with the administration.

I actually tried to go to the White House and lead a group the other day and they wouldn't allow me in because I'm a member-elect and technically not a member of Congress right now. So, there's a lot that's happening that's preventing oversight, preventing us from doing all the normal work, and that's not good. I mean the work of the national security apparatus here on The Hill has really ground to a halt at this point.

COLLINS: So because of all this, you had issues getting into the White House?

CROW: That's right.

COLLINS: That's remarkable. Has that ever happened to you before? CROW: It's never happened before. But, you know, I'm going into my

third term in Congress. And if I've learned anything, it's that there are pretty unprecedented things that have happened every term.

COLLINS: Yes, one big question about how this is going to look today is, last night we saw they adjourned until noon today. Some of them want to keep adjourning until they can actually make sure McCarthy has the votes or however this ends up. Do Democrats -- are they going to fight to stay here throughout the weekend, do you think?

CROW: Yes, we will. I mean we're here, ready to do the work.

Listen, I am entering my third term in Congress. And every single time I've started a new congress, whether in 2019, when we had the nation's longest shutdown, 2021 when we had the insurrection, and now 2023 when the Republicans are unable to elect a leader and convene a congress. Democrats have been here. We've been ready to do the work. Our sleeves are rolled up. We're here. We're ready to go. I have a whole slate of legislation that I have for my constituents and for the American people. Let's do the work and let's get it done.

COLLINS: There have been some questions over whether or not Democrats could ever support a moderate Republican, if that name was put forward for speaker. Do you think that that's a scenario where that could happen, where you could support a moderate Republican?

CROW: No, I'm not going to support a Republican for speaker of the house. I'm going support Hakeem Jeffries.

COLLINS: No Republican.

CROW: I would not support a Republican for speaker of the House. I will support Hakeem Jeffries, because he's in the best interest of the American people. I'm a proud Democrat. The Republicans have proven at this point that they are unwilling and unable to govern for the American people.


And, you know, whether -- regardless of who they put up, they have acted irresponsibly. And until they have the personal reckoning that they need to have and find principle again as a party, I'm not going to support them.

COLLINS: So, there's no concessions that any Republican could make to you that would pull you across the line?


COLLINS: OK. One thing that we did see happen yesterday, when you talk about the names that have been put forward, is someone put forward former President Trump's name. Obviously, that's not going to happen. I think he only got one vote. But what did it say to you as someone who was here on January 6th for that to happen, you know, the day before the two-year anniversary on that day? CROW: Well, I was there on January 6th, as you know. I was trapped in

the House gallery surrounded by that mob that killed a police officer and brutally beat over 100 others. It was a terrible day. It was a really terrible day.

You know, what I've learned right now is that you have a group of Republicans who have forsaken their oath and their duty. They're more interested in power, more interested in supporting a - frankly, a sociopathic ex-president than they are in doing the work of the American people. And these people are sitting in the House, right. That is just the reality. But I've been sent here to do work, to do a job, and that's what I'm going to do.

COLLINS: Some people have said Kevin McCarthy kind of brought this on himself because he went down to Mar-a-Lago after Trump was being, you know, condemned by a lot of Republicans after January 6th. Do you think that that's the case here?

CROW: Well, what I think is when somebody forsakes principle and they are focused more on the pursuit of power, and they're willing to make a deal with anybody in pursuit of that power and they lose sight of their moral compass, that eventually that catches up with them. That's what I think.

I think that's what you're seeing with Kevin McCarthy. He has a reputation, on both sides of the aisle, as somebody who is interested in raw political power. And when you don't have principle and you don't stand for anything, then you don't have a foundation. And I think that he is floating around in space without any base of support right now and you're seeing that coming back to bite him.

COLLINS: Yes. On a logistics (INAUDIBLE), do you think it's odd that he's in the speaker's office given he is not the speaker? This has been a complaint that some of the rebels, the hard liners against him have raised. But in practical terms, is it odd for him to be in the speaker's office?

CROW: Well, I personally think it's odd. But if there's one thing I've learned about Washington is that ego and hubris can explain a lot of what happens around here, unfortunately. Certainly was putting the cart before the horse and not something that I would have done. But, you know, I think he's learning his lesson here.

COLLINS: Jason Crow, thanks for joining us. You might have a long weekend ahead of you, so we really appreciate you taking your time.

CROW: Thanks, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes, Don, you just see the moments here of what we're seeing play out. That these are actually having real-life implications on staffers (ph). I talked to a staffer of a new member yesterday. They could not even get their cell phone because of what's happening here. They cannot have these basic duties that normally a new member of Congress or a member who's just won re-election would normally have in these early days here in Washington in January.

LEMON: And they haven't even started to govern yet. So - yes.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. And he couldn't get into the White House, Kaitlan. Geez.

COLLINS: Yes, really remarkable I mean just to see like these -- the effects that this is having on so many members.


COLLINS: Not just Republicans who are in these negotiations.

HARLOW: Democrats.

COLLINS: The Democrats as well who have been in the chamber every day.

LEMON: Yes. All right. We'll check back, Kaitlan. The inability of House Republicans to elect a speaker raising alarm in both parties over the fate of the economy. Christine Romans explains, next.




ADAM KINZINGER (R), FORMER ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN: What I truly worry about, besides the internal dynamics, I worry about this debt limit.

Everything else, ye, it's going to be messy, government's messy. The debt limit is the thing that can have a massive impact. Look back to 2011, by the way. Look at what the stock market did when we approached the debt limit.


HARLOW: He's right. That is former Republican lawmaker, and now CNN senior political commentator, Adam Kinzinger on what worries him so much about this divide in the Republican Party in the House. No speaker. They can't get anything done. With lawmakers unable to even decide on a speaker, raising the debt limit, or the debt ceiling, as you've heard it called, this morning could be earlier harder.

In early December, well before this congressional "Groundhog Day," Goldman Sachs warned that the upcoming effort to do that could be almost as bad as the months' long crisis in 2011 that cost the United States its perfect AAA credit rating.

So, let's take a look at what was then, that chaos.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (May 13, 2011): Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has vowed to take, quote, extraordinary measures the allow the U.S. to continue paying its creditors, including borrowing from federal pension plans. Because of this, the U.S. will not default on its debt immediately. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (July 26, 2011): We

are just one week now from the deadline that could wreck America's economy and reputation.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (July 31, 2011): Leaders of both parties, in both chambers, have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR (August 2, 2011): Stock prices take a nose dive today. The Dow Jones industrials closing down more than 265 points an hour ago. This losing streak now continuing in its eighth day, continuing even after the federal government avoided default on its debt.

ROMANS (August 7, 2011): They Standard and Poor's downgraded the U.S. from a AAA to AA Plus rating.

HARLOW (August 6, 2011): And this has never happened in the history of the United States.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (August 7, 2011): They already feel fed up with Washington politics, even on this side of the planet, because it's having a true economic impact here in Asia Pacific. Tokyo is the largest stock market here in Asia. It is also the second largest holder of U.S. debt.

LEMON (August 6, 2011): The guy from S&P said that, you know, hey, Washington couldn't get their act together fast enough.

HARLOW (August 6, 2011): And the question is, could it have been avoided if Washington had?


COLLINS: Yes, it could have, and it can again be avoided.

CNN business correspondent Christine Romans is here with more on what we can expect.


I think a lot of people don't actually get what the debt ceiling is.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Look, this is America's credit card borrowing limit, right? It's really incredibly important here. And we have raised it, I think, 11 times since that crisis in 2011, 20-some times since the beginning of the 2000s. We go over and over and over again. There's a debt ceiling that has been set to keep borrowing in - in control, and Congress keeps spending and cutting taxes. And so spending just keeps rising. And then they thrash about how to - what to do with that debt ceiling. And it gets raised again, and again, and again. But that uncertainty every time - every time that they try to raise the debt ceiling or they fight about it causes a loss of reputation in the U.S. And the U.S. is the safe haven for the world. Our Treasuries are the gold standard, to mix a metaphor, for the rest of the world. It's just not good. This is not a Washington story. This is a main street, Wall Street money story.


ROMANS: It is an international story. It is a loss of American creditability. To be playing this game is dangerous. And the question is, if they can't even - if we can't even get Congress started to start the year -

HARLOW: Started.

ROMANS: How are they going to handle the big stuff?

HARLOW: That's right.

So, that was 2011. And then, again, there was another standoff two years later, 2013 over the debt ceiling.


HARLOW: We were like around the clock covering it. And in the middle that I interviewed Warren Buffett.

ROMANS: I remember.

HARLOW: And this is what he said. This was almost a decade ago. Here's what he said about weaponizing it.


WARREN BUFFETT, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: I think the first thing that should be done is that both sides should say, we will not use the debt limit as a weapon anymore. In fact, we should get rid of it entirely. We can't just keep playing this sort of game. And it's detrimental to the economy, it worries people unnecessarily. It - and if they want to keep the debt down, just don't spend more than they raise in revenue.


ROMANS: Boy, isn't that -- if you want to keep the debt down, don't spend so much money. Don't cut taxes. Don't do the things that they have been doing to run up that limit. This is what happened -

HARLOW: He said it a decade ago.


HARLOW: And then he said get rid. And they've done neither.

ROMANS: They've done neither. And this is what happens if you don't raise the debt ceiling. All of this could happen. And it is destabilizing, it is dangerous, it can hurt the economy, it can hurt American jobs, it hurts American credibility, it can drive up interest rates even further, which makes it more expensive to fund our debt.

And, remember, the reason why we're piling up all that debt is because we run on credit in this country.

HARLOW: Of course. Yes.

ROMANS: We spend more than we bring in. And that's why we consistently go up that chart.

HARLOW: Self-imposed crisis.

ROMANS: Self-imposed. Self-imposed. It's just playing with fire. It's so stupid. It's the - it is the most stupid thing that happens in Washington.

HARLOW: It's so stupid is the headline of the morning.

ROMANS: And there are a lot of stupid things in Washington.

HARLOW: All right, Christine, thank you for helping us understand.

ROMANS: You're welcome.


LEMON: I just - you know, people don't realize that we get to see ourselves age on television.

HARLOW: You look better now, Boo (ph).

ROMANS: Wait, we have not aged a day, Don Lemon. Take it back.

LEMON: You guys haven't, but I noticed I was a lot thinner then, and younger.

All right, speaking of younger and thinner, Prince Harry is telling it all in his new memoir. What he reveals about fighting his brother and his concerns about his father marrying now Queen Consort Camilla. That's next.



LEMON: So, the revelations keep coming from Prince Harry ahead of the release of his new memoir "Spare." New this morning, he is talking about the bigotry aimed at his wife. I want you to listen closely, especially to what he says at the end.



PRINCE HARRY: What Meghan had to go through was similar in some part to what Kate and what Camilla went through. Very different circumstances. But then you add in the race element, which was what the press, the British press jumped on straight away. I went into this incredibly naive. I had no idea the British press was so bigoted. Hell, I was probably bigoted before the relationship with Meghan. ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You think you were bigoted before the

relationship with Meghan?

PRINCE HARRY: I don't know. Put it this way, I didn't see what I now see.


LEMON: And, that's not all that we're learning, including more about the time that he says his brother, the future king, hit him.

There you see him there on your screen, our royal correspondent Max Foster, and the anchor of CNN {NEWSROOM."

Max, hello to you across the pond.

Listen, it's very interesting. I mean you heard Harry tell Anderson that he, you know, was -- he didn't see. And so he didn't really say that he was bigoted, but he said he didn't see what he saw until he met Meghan, which is typically the case when people - you know, especially white people get into interracial relationships, they see things that they didn't normally see. If it doesn't exist to you if you don't have to experience it.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he's talked in the past certainly about his unconscious bias. I think that's what he's going into more detail with Anderson there. And he realized that when he met Meghan. But more so, actually, when he left the royal fold and he's looking at it effectively from California.

So we're getting lots more detail. Also lots more revelations. I mean you made headlines, Don, around the world yesterday with your comments about many of these revelations being gauche. Since then far more detail. Everything from how Harry lost his virginity behind a pub, injured his private parts on an expedition to really serious matters, to him killing 25 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, which has really blown up here because former members of the military are saying you don't reveal details like that, it creates a security threat. So, there's so many things coming through.

But this is before the publicity round, effectively. This is promotional parts of the interviews which aren't running until the weekend and leaks from the book, many of which came out of a Spanish version that went on sale accidentally.

LEMON: Yes. Max, take a listen, specifically, though, what I was talking about was a fight with his brother. I mean, you know, I have family members and I fight with them, and I'm not surprised that two men are having a fight.


Most brothers fight. And I didn't understand why he -- someone would reveal that.

But what I also did say in that -- when I spoke with you guys, it's his story to tell. It's his and Meghan's story to tell. Listen, I can, as a member of the media, criticize them or, you know, at least offer some perspective about how I feel. But the other thing, listen, it's their story to tell, but no one picks up on that when I say it's their story to tell. And I'm sure they won't pick up on me saying, you know what, if you are not a person of color, then you probably don't understand these things because it doesn't exist for you. So, it's their story to tell but I did not think it was some huge revelation that he had a fight with his brother because we often fight with siblings. It's just a family thing that happens. I don't understand why he was revealing that.

FOSTER: Yes, he talks a bit more about that in an ITV clip that was released as well. That's another interview coming on Sunday, where he talks about this red mist that he had had in the past and he saw it in William in that moment at Kensington Palace and he felt that William wanted Harry to hit him back, but he refused to do that.

LEMON: Max Foster, thank you. I appreciate it.


HARLOW: You made a headline?

LEMON: I know. No, I was surprised. I didn't realize I made headlines around the world, but I guess I did.

HARLOW: I didn't either.


HARLOW: But I hear you.

LEMON: Well, there you go. Yes.

HARLOW: All right.

LEMON: All right, Kaitlan, speaking of headlines around the world, this certainly is.

HARLOW: Right.

COLLINS: Yes, there's a lot of heads -- kind of been the same headline every day here in Washington. We'll see if that changes today. You know, there have been three days, 11 rounds of voting. That is still not changed.


COLLINS: We are going into day four. Kevin McCarthy, right now, is still no closer to being the House speaker. He says there's no timeline, but a big question for his Republican allies is whether or not his window is closing.