Return to Transcripts main page
CNN This Morning
President Biden Gives Oval Office Speech Asking Congress for Funding for Israel and Ukraine; Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) Holds Press Conference on His Continues to Run for Speaker of the House of Representatives after Losing Two Votes; Jim Jordan to Continue Fight for Speakership after Two Failed Votes, New Pro-Palestinian Protests Expected as U.S. Alerts Americans Abroad, Pro-Palestinian Protests Expected in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Pakistan. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired October 20, 2023 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So Powell is not going to go to trial, and there is now, we know, through Nick Valencia in Atlanta, he has learned that Ken Chesebro has been offered a plea deal and is still thinking about what to do. He hasn't decided if he will take that. And so these are two defendants that were going to go to trial first in this 19 defendant conspiracy case that includes Trump. Every person that is offered a plea deal and thinking about it, that could be a domino that falls leaving potentially Donald Trump alone.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. Fascinating.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you.
HARLOW: CNN THIS MORNING continues right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
HARLOW: It is the top of the hour. I'm Poppy Harlow with Phil Mattingly in New York. Erin Burnett live in Tel Aviv, and this morning we are monitoring two big stories developing right now. Jim Jordan about to give a news conference in minutes as he tries yet again to become House speaker after failing multiple times. We are also following several big developments in Israel's war with Hamas. Today President Biden is back from the warzone and calling on Congress to approve a new wartime aid package for Israel and Ukraine. In a primetime Oval Office speech he called it vital for America's national security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know these conflicts can seem far away. And it's natural to ask, why does this matter to America? When terrorists don't pay a price for their terror, when dictators don't pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction. They keep going. And the costs and the threats to America and the world keep rising. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Of course, Congress is paralyzed right now without a House speaker. They can't technically pass anything. This morning, the Israeli military says a majority of the hostages being held in Gaza are still alive nearly two weeks after being abducted during Hamas' massacre in Israel October 7th.
HARLOW: This all comes as Israeli leaders are signaling a ground invasion of Gaza could be truly imminent. Israel's defense minister visited troops massing near the border and told them they would see the, quote, inside of Gaza soon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also visited troops and asked them if they were ready to deliver, quote, a hard blow. And overnight, the Israeli military says airstrikes pounded Hamas's underground tunnels, warehouses of weapons, and command centers. And Israeli forces have been launching deadly raids on the ground into the West Bank to capture Hamas operatives and obtain information about the hostages.
Earlier this morning, our colleague Nic Robertson witnessed increased activity along the border, including flares and heavy machine gun fire. So let's begin this hour with Erin Burnett live in Tel Aviv with so many developments, Erin, including some hopeful news about the hostages being held.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Hugely hopeful news coming from the IDF. They say majority, not clear what that means in terms of the numbers, 203 of them they have confirmed to be hostages. I should say, we heard a couple of thuds earlier this morning. Just worth highlighting, we have been here 10, 11 days now. There were days early on when there were lots of thuds we were hearing in Tel Aviv that you could hear in Gaza. It appears that they have prepared that northern ground for whatever comes next. All of it, as we have seen through the week, has moved further south as we've seen those activities this morning. So we'll see what the day will bring, Poppy, as you have that major news coming possibly on the House speaker dysfunction back home.
HARLOW: Very soon, because, Erin, this is all connected, right. This is about do you have a speaker of the House who can approve a huge aid package that the president needs Congress to approve to help on the ground in Israel. Erin, back to you very soon.
You are looking at the lectern where Jim Jordan where speak. Phil, you reported a long time on the Hill. Surprised that he is holding this address as he pushes forward to still try to become speaker despite multiple failures?
MATTINGLY: Having covered Jim Jordan, it's not a surprise that he is continuing to fight.
HARLOW: He's a wrestler.
MATTINGLY: He is a wrestler, he is known as a fighter on Capitol Hill. I think the difference between fighting when you're a small number in the minority versus fighting against leadership versus trying to become leadership is a very different dynamic. I think right now you heard from Tim Burchett just a short while ago. He is walking in. They want answers and a speaker. Jordan doesn't have the votes for that. So we'll see what he says.
REP. JIM JORDAN, (R-OH) HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: A few years ago, Polly and I got a call from some friends living in the Dayton, Ohio, area. We live about 40 miles north of there, and they asked if we were free to go to dinner with them a few nights later. And we said sure. And they said, before we go to dinner, we are going to tour the Wright Brothers homes. And we said great, we enjoy history. Let's learn about these amazing two Americans.
And so we go there, and we paid the lady at the door $5 from the Historical Society, and you go on this tour and you learn all these amazing things about the Wright Brothers. You learn about the bicycle shop and the other things, the gadgets and gizmos they tinkered with and built. Fascinating tour. Last stop on the tour is Orville Wright's bedroom, and they tell you a few more things about this particular Wright brother.
And then they close the tour out by showing you two pictures. First picture they hold up, they very first flight, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in this thing they called a plane. And you -- first of all, you see that, and you think, how did that thing get off the ground? And the truth is, it barely did. If flew like 100 feet, got a few feet off the ground. And you are thinking about it. Then you sort a remember that picture from eighth grade, ninth grade, whenever they teach you that this school. And I thought that's amazing. They put that picture down, and then they hold up a second picture, 44 years later, 1947, Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in a jet. And I was like, wow, that I didn't know. That's amazing. And 44 years ago from two guys flying 100 feet to another American breaking the sound barrier in the jet.
And literally that was the end of the tour. They put that picture down, and Polly and I start walking out. And as we are walking out that door, it hit me. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Why did they stop there? I represent Wapakoneta, Ohio, Auglaize County, Ohio, hometown of Neil Armstrong, who 22 years after Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier steps on the moon.
Stop and think about it. In 66 years, one lifetime, we went from two guys flying 100 feet to putting a man on the moon. It is a great country. A great country, the greatest country, in my judgment, made up of great people. And right now those people, I think, are starting to doubt and wonder about their government and about where our nation is headed. They see an open border. They see crime in the streets. They know what it cost to put gas in their car. They know what it costs to put food on the table. They see a war in Israel, our strongest ally, Israel, what's happening there and the help that Israel needs. And they see a government that has been weaponized against we, the people. The very government that's supposed to serve us has been turned on the taxpayers who pay for it.
I think the American people are thirsty for change. I think they are hungry for leadership. And frankly, they know that the White House can't provide it. They know the Senate won't lead. And they are looking for House Republicans to step up and lead and make change on these important issues. We got important work to do, important work to do. We need to help Israel. We need to get the appropriations process moving so that the key elements of our government are funded and funded in the right way, particularly our military. We need to get back to our committee work, and frankly, we need to continue the oversight work that I think is so darn important.
In short, we need to get to work for the American people. We need to do what we said we were going to do. We need to do what we told them we were going to do when they elected us and put us in offers. And frankly, we can't do that if the House isn't open. We can't open the House until we get a speaker.
My favorite scripture versus, 2 Timothy 4:7. Paul is the old guy giving advice to the young guy, Timothy. And he says, "Fight the good fight, finish the course, keep the faith." And I tell folks I love that verse because of the action in it, because of the -- Americans aren't timid folks. They are people of action. And the words of that verse, "fight," "finish," "keep," I think it fits the American spirit. Americans expect their government to fight for them. They expect us to finish our work. And they expect us to keep faith when the principles and values that made us the greatest nation ever, made us the nation that could go from the Wright Brothers to Neil Armstrong. That's what we have to keep in mind. And that's the kind of attitude I think we've got to have. The quickest way to get all this working is to get a speaker elected. That's what I hope we can do today.
I'll take your questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lay out your path. Are you just going to call roll call vote after roll call vote today and tomorrow and into the weekend and try to wear your opponents down? Because it didn't seem like --
JORDAN: Stop. You all said that we are going to lose, between the first vote and the second vote, you all said we were going to lose 10 to 15 votes. It stayed the same. We picked up few. We lost a few. I think the ones we lost can come back. So look there's been multiple rounds of votes for speaker before. We all know that. I just know that we need to get a speaker as soon as possible so we can get to work for the American people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Congressman. So just to be clear, you plan to ride this out this weekend if you don't get the votes today? And then, secondly, President Biden, as we heard last night, is sending $100 billion foreign aid package here -- is that something that you --
JORDAN: You're making -- you're making the case for why we need to get the House open, so we can evaluate the package. We can't do that, can't vote on that, can't pass anything in that until we get the House open. So I've got to see the package. But we certainly need to help Israel. But I've got to see the package. But again, we can't do that if the House isn't open. All the more reason we need to get the House open as soon as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Jordan, Mr. Jordan, what do you say to the people of Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu, that you are not able to provide any aid to Israel because the House is so locked up?
JORDAN: Again, I think you are making my case. I got 200 votes, the speaker designee from my colleagues. The sooner we get this accomplished, the better for the American people who expect us to work for them and for our friends and allies like the great state of Israel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In your conversation with members yesterday, were you able to get any of the ones who didn't support your previously to switch --
JORDAN: We had a good conversation. We will continue to do that. But as I point out, the fastest way to get to work for the American people is to elect a speaker so the House can be open and we can get things done.
I will take a couple more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was your intent in the memo to the chief of staff Mark Meadows, suggesting that Vice President Pence --
JORDAN: Just that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That you should -- do you believe the 2020 election was stolen?
JORDAN: I think there were all kinds of problems with the 2020 election. I've been clear about that. My intention in forwarding the email was an argument made by former inspector general for Donald Rumsfeld, accomplished lawyer who laid out an argument from the Federalist Papers. I forwarded it on to him. That was all it was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you walk through what is your plan this weekend, if you pick up any votes on the ballot or if you lose votes on the --
JORDAN: Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible so we can help the American people. Last one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your message for the people of Israel about --
JORDAN: We stand with you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- you clearly don't have the vote to be speaker.
JORDAN: We stand with Israel. I have been there five times. Amazing people, amazing country. We should do everything we can to help them. The quickest way to do that is to elect a speaker.
Thank you all very much.
MATTINGLY: You have been listening to Congressman Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican, who has made clear he is not giving up. He is not dropping out. He will push forward for a third, and potentially many more, round of votes to become the next speaker of the House. He is currently zero for two, lost 20 votes the first time, lost 23, I believe, in the second time. There was some sense yesterday as it seemed like we was bleeding support behind the scenes, more support behind the scenes, that he would drop out. There was a very airing of grievances like Republican closed door conference meeting full of lots of profanity and pushback. But Jordan has made clear he is going to stay in. He's made clear he is pushing forward, and I don't get the sense he feels like dropping out anytime soon.
HARLOW: What was the goal there? Did he say anything different than he has been saying? We knew he was going to keep pushing.
MATTINGLY: If I could analyze from afar, which is a little difficult, he wanted to look like a speaker. In that room, the Rayburn Room, is critical. But also giving a speech, talking about the Wright Brothers, I appreciate him making clear the Wright Brothers Ohio, not North Carolina, we should win that battle.
MATTINGLY: But trying to make it look better and then talking about the need to move forward, especially in the context of the president sending out that aid package. That would be my guess. We'll see. I have not heard some text messages saying this is going to change anything. We will, of course, see.
We do want to bring in CNN political commentator and Spectrum News Anchor Errol Louis, CNN chief national affairs analyst and anchor of EARLY START, Kasie Hunt, and former Republican congressman Charlie dent. Charlie dent, do you think that moves members of your former conference?
CHARLIE DENT, (R) FORMER PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSMAN: Absolutely not. I think that many of these members who voted against Jim Jordan over the past few days are dug in. And I think they are immovable objects, many of them. In fact, the people who are voting against Jim Jordan, these are not -- from what I could tell, these are not gadfly members. Many of these people are very serious, thoughtful members, members of the appropriations committee, including the chair, Kay Granger.
And what is notable about the speech I just heard was that Jim Jordan said that he wanted to get the appropriations process moving. I served on that appropriations committee for many years. I was one of the senior members of the committee along with Kay Granger and the others who are voting against Jordan, and I know why they are voting against Jordan, because they have been working for years to be responsible, fund the government, and do things that must get done only to have, Jim Jordan in particular, and others would undermine their efforts every step of the way when they are in the majority. And now they've said no. And they didn't do this lightly.
They did this because they don't think that Jim is the right guy to help craft the types of deals that will need to be cut, like the one on November 17 to keep the government funding. That's what funded. That's what this is in large part about. They just don't think he's the right guy.
In fact, I know that there are other members who announced yesterday that they would not be supporting Jim Jordan today. I didn't hear anything in that speech that would get any of those folks to flip it.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: So, Errol to you, the same sort of question I asked Phil what was the purpose then and did he fulfill it?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, he's trying, as far as I can tell, to sort of in real-time do a makeover, try to recast himself on the national stage as somebody who could be the know, sort of in the Rayburn Room, talking broadly, talking in a way that is completely at odds with his actual history, his political history and even his legislative history, his history of not passing a bill.
HARLOW: I was going to say that's thin.
LOUIS: Right, it's nonexistent. And so, he's trying to sort of recast himself. Now, we've seen this before. There's any number of people who have remade themselves politically and he's entitled to try. It wasn't terribly convincing. I don't know what his colleagues think about this, but he's trying now to act like a responsible person, not a bomb thrower, not a legislative terrorist, which a former speaker described as Boehner both as a state legislator and in Congress.
And so, with a thin record, with a lot of people who have seen through a lot of his act, with the threats and intimidation, by the way, which he didn't mention, but there are members of Congress who are being threatened from the outside. And this, apparently, is part of some of the strategy, whether it's authorized by him personally or just sort of a wildcat action by his supporters.
There are a lot of pro-Jordan people who were doing stuff that's really out of bounds and that is designed to sort of annoy members of Congress who I don't think we're going to see a big shift in the vote today.
HARLOW: Kasie, one of the questions that was asked, he didn't directly answer it, but do you think the 2020 election was stolen? He didn't answer that directly. He said, "I think there are all kinds of problems with it", but that's one of the reasons why some are consistent in this party about not voting for him.
And it also goes to the point Liz Cheney made about a week and a half ago about where he stood on that election and what he knew and what he did.
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR EARLY START: Right, I mean, Jim Jordan's interactions with the events of January 6 concern an increasingly small group of Republicans in the House of Representatives. But I think you're right to highlight it. Reporters are right to ask about it because we shouldn't ignore it.
But look, I think that the point you're asking is, why did he do this today and what was he trying to accomplish? I heard a couple of different things in his remarks. One, he's trying to underscore to two conservatives that he is with them and that they should continue to approach this the way that they have been, which is they have been opposed to the idea that Patrick McHenry, who has been the temporary speaker of the House, should be empowered with the help of Democrats, right.
They have been trying to underscore, that we need to vote against that. We don't want that. And there are conservatives who are very angry at the possibility of that happening. He's talking to them. Those are his people. He said he wants to focus on oversight. What does oversight mean? Impeachment inquiry into President Biden, inquiries into Hunter Biden's activities, et cetera.
The pitch that he was making to those who had been voting against him was that the quickest way to get what they wanted was to vote for me. He kept saying over and over, that the fastest way to get the House open is to elect a speaker. He's saying, the only person available for that job right now is me.
He wouldn't answer how many times he was going to be doing this, but that was the push. And this was a different venue, as Phil noted, that we have seen from him, he is trying a different strategy, the version that he has of the bully pulpit strategy that we would see come out of the White House.
The big question, obviously is, will it work? Or do the concerns about issues like the election that you mentioned, like, quite frankly, his legislative terrorist tendencies that John Boehner talked about are going to allow the government to continue at mean that's I think the concern that those appropriators have.
So, his strategy is going to mirror what Kevin McCarthy's was, it seems. We're just not sure how long he'll last.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: All right, we will start to figure out in about an hour and 40 minutes when the potential vote starts. Kasie Hunt, Errol Louis, Former Congressman Charlie Dent. We appreciate it, guys, stay with us. Two big stories as we discuss that we're following. We want to go back to Israel right now, where Erin Burnett is continuing to follow what is a very, very consequential day in Israel.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Incredibly consequential day here and across the Middle East as the United States doesn't even have a government in place for all intents and purposes to approve aid. And that's the reality. But of course, Sarah Sidner is in the West Bank, and indeed, we have reporters around the region.
It is Friday, that is a day that people go to the mosque and after there have been calls for mass protests. Sarah Sidner is in Ramallah in the West Bank. And Sarah, what are you seeing? It was quieter earlier when people were attending the mosque. Now they have left. And what are you seeing?
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: It's not quiet anymore. Just a few moments ago, we heard a gunfire, likely from the Israeli military, that is posted up. I'm going to try to give you a bit of a shot of it, but let me show you what's happening here. People came after the Friday prayers, they came to march in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza who are dealing with a humanitarian crisis with no food, no water, and no fuel.
But also, with a crisis of just getting the air strikes over and over and over again, which has killed so many civilians who are not part of the government not part of the government that runs that place, that strip Hamas. So, you are seeing this sort of solidarity that was called for, by the way, by Hamas all over the Arab world and the world alike.
But you are also seeing the journalists gathered here because this is kind of where the clash supporters, you are not welcome here.
All right, you see that people are very angry. They do not like all right, that CNN has been reporting the story. You hear that, but we're fine. But what you are seeing is heightened fear, anger, and frustration with what's happening in general, whether it is us, or the general anger.
People feel that Israel is getting more support than the Palestinians, and the Palestinians feel they're getting bombed and losing a lot of lives. I mean, we're talking upwards of 3000 people now killed, 10,000 or plus who have been injured in Gaza.
Here in the West Bank, by the way, there have been 67 people who have been killed. Watch out, there's an ambulance coming. And every now and then you have tensions flare. This is what happens in this region. But this is different in that there is a full-scale official war that has been declared by Israel and they may, going forward, go into Gaza on the ground.
And there is a huge fear, huge fear from people here that that is going to turn into an unbelievable massacre, much worse than what has already occurred from the airstrikes. That's the situation here in Ramallah. There are very few, actually, comparatively, protesters compared to other places.
Jordan has a huge number of protesters. We're seeing that in Lebanon as this is how people are responding because they feel they can't do anything else but come out and decry what is happening to Palestinians in Gaza, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Sarah, thank you very much. And we're going to let Sarah go. As you can see how tense that situation is and what you know, that man coming up. You are not welcome here, Sarah, of course, moving immediately away, but it gives you a sense of the passion and the tensions of what our ground crews are even experiencing on the ground right now.
I want to go to Amman because I want to give Sarah a chance to move. Sarah mentioned the mass protests in Amman. That's where Nada Bashir is, and she has been monitoring those over several days. Today, of course, was the day mass turnout was promised. Nada, please tell us what you are saying.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, mass turnout was promised, and that is certainly what we saw a little earlier today. An enormous march following Friday prayers in downtown Amman. This march has come to a bit of an end at this point, but we are expecting more protests later this evening, as we have done every night since the outset of this war began.
Of course, here in Amman, there is a very strong feeling of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and with people in Gaza. There is a very strong sense of outrage over the continued aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip by Israel. And there's also anger, just as Sarah was experiencing there over the coverage of this war.
There is anger over the international response. Many here tell us that they feel that the plight of the Palestinian people, the plight of Palestinians inside Gaza, is not being addressed enough. It's being ignored, and look, we've been speaking to protesters every night.
Their message is the same, it is consistent. They want the world to pay attention to what is happening in Gaza, to call for a ceasefire, to bring an end to this war. Take a listen to what one protester we spoke to earlier today had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRO-PALESTINE PROTESTER: Okay so we can actually do something for Palestine, and so the world can actually see what we're doing, so we can let the world hear what Palestine is and how Israel is not actually our country.
BASHIR: What is your message for the world? What do you want them to know? Why are you here?
PRO-PALESTINE PROTESTER: To see that Palestine is one of the strongest countries in the world.
BASHIR: What is your reaction to Israel's airstrikes? What you're seeing in Gaza?
PRO-PALESTINE PROTESTER: It's the most devastating thing in the world, honestly. And I wish we all over the world heard about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR: Now, of course, it's not just happening in Amman, as you heard from Sarah, in the West Bank. We're seeing protests there. We are seeing protests in Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and even Iraq. This is happening across the region.
And in fact, we're seeing that reflected in other parts of the world, too. We're seeing huge protests in Europe, and in the US. This is a cause that has really drawn-out crowds to the street. Many people are deeply angry about what they are seeing in Gaza.
Not just the airstrikes, but the siege, the crippling humanitarian situation on the ground. There is a real sense of frustration and anger here, and we are anticipating that. We will continue to see these protests so long as those airstrikes continue, so long as the siege on Gaza continues.
And it's not just on the popular front. We are hearing this expressed by Arab leaders as well, King Abdullah of Jordan has been vocal in condemning the violence and calling for an end to the siege, as has President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt.
This has been reflected across the board. We are seeing that particularly focused on the Rafah Border Crossing and attempts to get but as the death toll continues to mount in the Gaza Strip, these protests are only going to intensify.
And while we have seen that march earlier today begin to dwindle, now we are nearing the afternoon. What we are anticipating this evening is another enormous show of solidarity with the Palestinians, another enormous show of protest. What we have seen for the last couple of nights is hundreds of people gathering towards the Israeli embassy here in Amman.
A huge security presence, but that has not deterred the protesters, Erin.
BURNETT: Alright Nada, thank you very much. And Phil and Poppy, you know, what Nada is seeing and expecting this evening, but also what we see Sarah dealing with on the ground in Ramallah obviously you know, it is so important, right? These are pro-Palestinian protests, but there is also the perception of where the media stands, where American media stands.
You are not welcome here. There is anger and resentment and rage, and it is real and it is important and it is a part of the story as well. Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli, anti-American. This is often one big, giant soup, and it's very hard to pull those strings apart as that moment with Sarah, I think, just illustrated so well.
HARLOW: It did and Erin, as we're talking to you, these are live pictures out of Ramallah in the West Bank. It is about 3:30 in the afternoon when you just saw our friend and correspondent Sarah Sidner facing extreme opposition to just reporting on the ground there.
Erin, we just had Rula Jebreal, who is a Foreign Policy Analyst speaking, who said even though President Biden last night spoke again about U.S. support for a two-state solution, the Palestinians that she spoke with after the President's address last night believe that they are empty words and they do not see action.
I think you saw that playing out in the encounter Sarah had.
BURNETT: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it is important you know, as Rula said, there is just this groundswell and what you see in Ramallah, we are going to see a lot more of it because we do know Israel is going to do something, it's going to be something notable.
They say they're going to see the inside of Gaza. That's unacceptable on the Arab street, just the other night, right so I'm not even talking about now, but after that Gaza hospital bombing news Phil and Poppy. There were 80,000 people demonstrating on the streets in Adana, Turkey, a place that most Americans have never even heard of, Adana, Turkey.
There's a U.S. Consulate there. There were 80,000 people reportedly outside of it in that consulate. My understanding was certainly closed at that time. I don't know if it's reopened but had been closed because of that. And that is where we are right now.
And it is an escalating cycle, there's absolutely no doubt about that. But we'll see what happens here in the evening, right? People have gotten out of the mosque, that's what you're seeing in Ramallah. We will see what happens in Jordan and in Egypt where, you know, President Al-Sisi had today said there will be millions of Egyptians on the streets if they are allowed to go out and voice their opinion about people from Gaza, refugees from Gaza coming to Egypt right.
That specific angle on this could motivate millions of Egyptians. Protests in Egypt have been banned since we were all there in Tahrir Square. They have been banned by Sisi. He is allowing them back out in light of this.
So, we have all of these places to watch. And as I should say, the Middle East is a region where a lot of things happen at night. People stay up very late. It is a very nocturnal society in many ways. So, when you see protests, they often continue well into the evening and we'll see what happens tonight.
HARLOW: Erin, thank you very much. And such a critical point about Egypt and what we may see unfold there. We will get back to you, and to Sarah very quickly. We're keeping an eye on all of this. Again, live pictures out of Ramallah in the West Bank. Back in a moment.