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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Calls House GOP Agenda "Extreme"; Internet Sleuths Fill Social Media With Theories And Misinformation On Idaho Murders; Bill Richardson Speaks On His Negotiation Of U.S. Detainee In Russia. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 13, 2023 - 07:30   ET





LEMON: Because I want to move on to a different subject. Do you want to go ahead?

HARLOW: I do want to ask you about the debt ceiling.

LEMON: Go on.


HARLOW: Because how sure are you?

If we could pull up the sound from Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan, this week. Here's what he said. Because you really explained it in Main Street terms. This is what actually -- we do have it or we don't? OK. But -- they'll let me know if we have it.

SCHUMER: He said it would be very bad, I presume.

HARLOW: Here -- just listen to him and then I want --

SCHUMER: OK, go ahead -- yes.

HARLOW: -- your take on the other side.


JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: I understand why Republicans might want to use it to get some stuff. And I'm not talking about the fight before the debt ceiling. I'm talking about on the day that America can't pay its debt. That has potentially disastrous outcomes.

American debt doesn't cross-default but it's cumulative. If the T-bill defaults, and next week the T-bill defaults, and the next week T-bill defaults, pension plans have to sell. It is so potentially dangerous we shouldn't get anywhere near it. And after all the shenanigans of politics, we're going to have to fix

this. I think it's very bad for the nation to be constantly looking at this type of thing.


SCHUMER: -- together, avoid brinksmanship and get this done. And not go right up to deadline.

HARLOW: I couldn't agree with you more. Tell me how you're going to do it. Because I remember --

SCHUMER: We're going to --

HARLOW: -- covering in real time the crisis of 2011, watching America's credit rating get downgraded. How are you going to do it so you don't --

SCHUMER: I think --

HARLOW: -- take America to the brink?

SCHUMER: I think Republicans learned their lesson. They suffered. We won the election after that. And they will hopefully come and work with us and get this done in a bipartisan way. That's what we look to do. No brinksmanship.

LEMON: So you spoke of the MAGA Republicans and you said going over a cliff. You used the "Thelma --


LEMON: -- & Louise" --


LEMON: -- analogy there.


LEMON: So let's talk about George Santos. He is remaining defiant.

Kevin McCarthy is refusing to say that he should step done. He goes, it's left to the people. It's left to the people. Listen, I don't want to play this sound bite because I want -- I just want to hear.

Do you think that he should step down? Because he is saying that he is doing the work of the people. The people sent him there. But they sent him there on false pretenses.

SCHUMER: Look, he's told series of series, lie after lie after lie. Now there are several investigations going on and some of the charges are very, very serious.


SCHUMER: And so, I think we should let these investigations go forward and see what they produce.

LEMON: But you don't think Kevin McCarthy should stand up to say because --

SCHUMER: I want to see what the investigators show. They may show -- they may show all kinds of things. These are serious charges, including misuse of campaign funds and stuff like that.


HARLOW: Paul Ryan said something really interesting to Jake Tapper yesterday about -- he said he -- I think I had too much power as speaker.

SCHUMER: (Laughing).

HARLOW: You laugh. And he talked about ultimately, four people making all the decisions. So you're one of those four people.

SCHUMER: Yes, the majority leader.

HARLOW: Do you agree with him?

SCHUMER: Well, you know, the way I do it is I have complete consultation with my caucus. When we came up with this bill -- the recent omnibus bill -- I let the committee chairs and the committee members on all the relevant committees have the input into the bill. So I don't think that they feel there were closed out. If, in the Republican side, they haven't done that, they should.

We've had a lot of cooperation and overwhelming support for this omnibus where we got a lot done, again, on a bipartisan bill.

We passed the ECA -- the Electoral College Reform Act and straightened that out. We passed the Fairness to Pregnant Workers so that women who were pregnant would be treated fairly in the workplace. We got increases in funding to feed kids during the summer when they weren't going to school. We got increases for law enforcement. We got increases for Ukraine and defense.

We had a great bipartisan bill by consulting lots of people. And on my side, I do it all the time. I leave it -- I have very good members and great chairmen and I leave it up to them -- a lot of the decisions.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: I have a question for you on the makeup of the Senate, but one last one on the debt ceiling. Can Biden raise it unilaterally?

SCHUMER: Well, there's some discussion of that. I don't know -- I don't know how real it is.

COLLINS: Could it come to that?

SCHUMER: Who knows? Who knows? Let's hope it doesn't -- no brinksmanship. For the last four times, despite all the early rhetoric, we came together when Republicans had power and when Democrats had power. I think that's what has to be done. You heard what Jamie Dimon said.

Interest rates -- if we -- even if we get close -- excuse me -- and there's brinksmanship, it could raise your mortgage rate --


SCHUMER: -- you car rate, your credit card rate --

COLLINS: Yes, it would be devastating.

SCHUMER: -- your college debt rate. It's terrible.

COLLINS: Katie Porter announced she's running for Dianne Feinstein's seat. Dianne Feinstein has not said she is retiring.


COLLINS: What's happening there?

SCHUMER: She has not said she's retiring, so --

COLLINS: Is she retiring?

SCHUMER: That'll be up to her. And --

COLLINS: Do you support Katie Porter?

SCHUMER: No, I -- it's much too early. Dianne Feinstein hasn't even said she's stepping down.

So I'm working right now with Sen. Feinstein to get aid to California with the terrible fires and flooding and all of that they've had.

COLLINS: Should Katie Porter have waited?

SCHUMER: That's up to her. Dianne Feinstein hasn't stepped down yet.

LEMON: If -- have you spoken to her about it? In your conversations, do you discuss that with her -- the possibility of stepping down?

SCHUMER: You know, she's going to make that decision on her own.


LEMON: So as you are sitting there in the Senate and you're watching what's happening in the Congress --


LEMON: -- with Kevin McCarthy --


LEMON: -- or whatever, what is going through your head as --

SCHUMER: What's going through -- LEMON: -- careers?

SCHUMER: -- my head is as majority leader, I think I've led the most successful two years in the Senate, certainly since the Great Society and maybe since -- wait, wait. Yes, let me finish. Maybe since the Great -- maybe since --

LEMON: But I mean -- but what's to come for -- I mean, what's to come for the American people with all of this?

SCHUMER: -- the Great Depression.

I am hopeful and working towards a -- we may not have as much success as the last two years but the same kind of bipartisan things -- we helped -- we dealt with gun safety. We helped our veterans who had burn pits problems. We got the aid to Ukraine. We did so many -- so many -- we did the biggest change on climate to go -- to go against the carbon that goes into the atmosphere in history.

We got a whole lot done. I'm not giving up the hope of getting that done now.

HARLOW: Do you think you can get --

SCHUMER: I don't want to just have them investigate and have them pass these crazy bills that are led by a few extremists.

And I do believe, again -- Don, let me just say this again. I do believe not in the next two weeks but in the next few months many of the mainstream Republicans -- when you talk to them privately they despise what these MAGA folks have done -- will come back. And that will give McCarthy some ability to come back and negotiate and get some real things done for the American people. Plain and simple.

LEMON: All right.

COLLINS: Bills-Dolphins -- who's going to win Sunday?

SCHUMER: Bills-Dolphins? Bills, please.

HARLOW: That was definitely -- why not Vikings-Giants? That's should be the question he's rooting for.

COLLINS: I know who questions this table.

LEMON: Oh my God.

SCHUMER: I'm a Giant -- I've been a Giant fan since Chuckin' Charlie Conerly and Yelberton Abraham Tittle. I saved the Bills from moving out of Buffalo. I love them.

The only dilemma I would face -- and don't ask me the answer -- is if it's Giants-Bills. Otherwise, I'm Giants NFC, Bills AFC.

LEMON: Listen, thank you very much for that, and we hope that you'll come back as this whole -- COLLINS: Classic --

LEMON: -- as this whole classified document thing --


HARLOW: We're not going to say classic.

LEMON: -- plays out.

SCHUMER: I'll come back with the Bills' Super Bowl pennant.

LEMON: No. But seriously --

COLLINS: I was going to say --

LEMON: -- we want you to come back when this mess --


LEMON: -- is -- this classified documents thing plays out.

SCHUMER: You know, we talked about this --


SCHUMER: -- when I was last here right after the election, and I said I hoped the Republicans won't go extreme and work with us. We're keeping -- we're following through on that.

LEMON: Thank you.

COLLINS: I was going to say classic politician taking two positions.


SCHUMER: No, no, no.

COLLINS: The Bills-Giants.

SCHUMER: Well, they're great. It's not two positions. I root strongly --



SCHUMER: -- and strongly for the other.

COLLINS: Senator Schumer --

SCHUMER: If it came to a Super Bowl, God knows.

LEMON: Senator, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

HARLOW: I didn't know it was -- thank you. SCHUMER: Thank you.

COLLINS: Thanks so much.

LEMON: The suspect in the murders of four college students in Idaho was in court again. We are living in Moscow, Idaho with a report and the online speculation and, sometimes, misinformation about the suspect.



LEMON: The man charged with first-degree murder in the stabbings of University of Idaho students in November back in court while police continue to seek any new information about Bryan Kohberger.

Our national correspondent Gary Tuchman is in Moscow, Idaho this morning. Gary, good morning to you. What are you learning about Bryan Kohberger?


Bryan Kohberger remains in this county jail here in Moscow, Idaho. We saw him in court yesterday for a status hearing. He waived his right to a speedy trial, so we won't see him in court again until his preliminary hearing at the end of June.

All over the world, people are following this case closely, but for some, it's become rather all-consuming.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Police and prosecutors are being required to stay quiet outside the courtroom about the University of Idaho murder case. But on the internet, there is no such prohibition --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, TIKTOK: We have uncovered what we believe are some old writings of Bryan Kohberger.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): -- and most of it on TikTok, Facebook, and other places is speculation and hypothesizing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, TIKTOK: The evening following the murder, Kohberger's phone was pinged in Johnson, Idaho, which is three hours away from Moscow and conveniently next to a national forest.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): How prevalent is internet sleuthing? Consider this. This Facebook group, University of Idaho Murders-Case Discussion, has more than 225,000 followers. And this is just one of many groups discussing and hypothesizing about this case online.

Prior to the arrest of Bryan Kohberger, a user who goes by Pappa Rodger was a prolific contributor on the site, with many creepy and insensitive posts and what turned out to be incorrect speculation, such as the white Elantra is a red herring. But he also declared, "Of the evidence released, the murder weapon has been consistent as a fixed-blade knife. This leads me to believe they found the sheath."

The fact that he got the detail correct about the sheath despite getting so much else wrong is one of several reasons many on social media think Pappa Rodger was Kohberger. This person saying, "I really think Pappa Rodger was BK!" -- Kohberger's initials. And this person, "OK, this Pappa Rodger stuff is wild. How would anyone besides him know some of this? Very unsettling."

There is no indication Facebook or the police believe Pappa Rodger, who is no longer in the group, is Kohberger.

Then there is this video taken at an Idaho prayer vigil for the four murder victims prior to Kohberger's arrest, with many people hypothesizing online.

ASHLEY GUILLARD, "ASHLEY SOLVES MYSTERIES," TIKTOK: People think that the Idaho murderer attended his victims' vigil.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This person commenting, "Bryan Kohberger. Spotted. Prayer vigil. Moscow, Idaho. And this person, "Sure looks like the psycho."

But a T.V. crew from the newsmagazine "INSIDE EDITION" was at the vigil and has videotape of the man close up. It's definitely not Kohberger. We are not showing his face to protect his identity.

And then, there is this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, TIKTOK: A lot of people have been asking who is Rebecca Scofield?

TUCHMAN (voice-over): A woman who calls herself "Ashley Solves Mysteries" has posted scores of videos on TIKTOK accusing a University of Idaho professor of participating in the killings. Never mind the police said the professor was never a suspect.

The TikTocker, whose real name is Ashley Guillard, posted this video about two weeks before Kohberger's arrest.

GUILLARD: We need to dig deeper into her personality so we can understand her beliefs and who she is so that we can further understand her motives for the murders.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): We reached out to Guillard. She did not respond.

But Professor Rebecca Scofield has responded. Her attorney filing a defamation lawsuit against Guillard.


The lawyer, Wendy Olson, saying, "The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and simple. What's even worse is that these untrue statements create safety issues for the professor and her family. They also further compound the trauma that the families of the victims are experiencing. Professor Scofield twice sent cease and desist letters to Ms. Guillard, but Ms. Guillard has continued to make false statements, knowing they are false. Thus, this lawsuit became necessary to protect Professor Scofield's safety and her reputation."


TUCHMAN: The preliminary hearing will begin on June 26. It could last several days. We expect prosecutors to reveal much more evidence.

Last week, we learned that DNA was found on a knife sheath on a bed in the home where the four college students were murdered. Authorities believe that DNA is Kohberger's -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Gary Tuchman, thank you.

COLLINS: All right. Also this morning, we have another American who has been released from Russia. Coming up, we're going to talk to the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson. He helped negotiate his release.




An American who had been detained in Russia for nearly a year was released yesterday. Taylor Dudley, a Navy veteran, was in Poland last April attending a musical festival, was detained by Russian border patrol police after crossing into Kaliningrad, a Russian territory that lies between Poland and Lithuania. It's not clear why he crossed the border. But there is good news to share this morning that he is home.

Joining us now, one of the people who negotiated his release, former New Mexico governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson. Ambassador, thank you. Good morning. You literally -- like, two hours ago -- just got back, so thank you very much for joining us.


This was a good news event. We brought back Taylor Dudley, the hostage. His mother went with us to the Russia-Poland border.

This is not a high-profile case. It wasn't like the Griner case, which we were involved in, the Taylor (sic) Reed case.

But the good news is that through local efforts with local Russian officials in Kaliningrad, which is far away from Moscow, a more grassroots effort resulted in the deportation and we were able to bring him home. The good news, I think, is that it shows that the Russians, on some of

these humanitarian cases like the Trevor Reed case, like Griner, how with Taylor, and hopefully, with Whelan -- that they're ready to negotiate. They're ready to deal with these issues. I think that's the good news. And they deserve credit for turning Taylor over to us yesterday without much incident.

HARLOW: You were there on the ground -- on the border with his mother. How is he doing, physically? What is his health? How is his condition? How is he mentally processing this?

RICHARDSON: He's doing well. It was a very traumatic moment with Shelley, his mother, watching him cross -- almost like the "Bridge of Spies" movie process -- the walk.

He's a very nice young man. He's a Navy veteran. He is somebody that has spent -- it's been six months and it was the family that contacted us to help because there was difficulty in the American embassy in Moscow, which is very far to visit him, to deal with him. And so, we were involved in getting the lawyers and doctors to help him through this legal process, which resulted in this deportation.

HARLOW: So I wonder what you think this tells you about Russia's willingness here, especially as it pertains to others being held there, including former Marine, Paul Whelan. The fact that Taylor Dudley was not released -- there was no prisoner swap here. Has something changed in Russia that indicates to you that it may be more likely than not that Paul Whelan is coming home?

RICHARDSON: Well, I believe that what we used -- the very grassroots support -- a legal process using attorneys from the region -- and we had worked on this case when we were working on Griner and Trevor Reed, mentioning at high levels in Moscow. But this was more rural grassroots attorneys that helped us -- Igor Bushamanov (PH), Andre Ballikan (PH) in Kaliningrad.

I think this was -- this was a unique effort that resulted not in a prisoner exchange. It was just a --

HARLOW: Right.

RICHARDSON: -- deportation.

So I don't think the Russians necessarily are changing their mode, but their -- but their different cases require different approaches.

HARLOW: Well, I ask you --


HARLOW: I ask you, Ambassador, because we all remember when Brittney Griner came home and the president spoke publicly about that. He said for some reason -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- essentially, Russia is unwilling to make a similar deal for Paul Whelan. They are, in his words, treating the case differently. RICHARDSON: Yes, and I think the good news here is that the big -- the big high-profile important Paul Whelan case -- because he's an American Marine -- he's been there four years -- he's suffered -- that is the next effort. And we're very engaged in that, as is the Biden administration. Unfortunately, I think that is going to take another prisoner exchange. I don't think it's going to be a straight case like this one with Taylor.


But it gives me hope. I think this is a good news story. This -- to me, it's important to focus on the positive. And despite the horrendous relationship that we have with Russia right now because of Ukraine --


RICHARDSON: -- there are still little positive initiatives like these humanitarian cases -- Trevor Reed, Griner, now Taylor -- that are being resolved.


RICHARDSON: They're being resolved and they're reuniting with their parents and families.

HARLOW: And thank goodness for that. And thank you for bringing us the good news and the hope, and for all you do on all of these cases, Ambassador Bill Richardson.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

LEMON: Well, that was then, this is now. Hear how Republicans and Democrats reacted to Biden's classified document case versus Trump's.

COLLINS: Also this morning, Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of the rock icon Elvis, has died. We're going to remember her life and take a look at it, next.