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Man Arrested after Severed Head Video; Biden Holds Slight Lead; Low Favorability Rating for Trump and Biden; Pat Mahomes Sr. is Interviewed about His Son. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired February 01, 2024 - 08:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: As far back as 2016. He believed the government was, quote, "out to get him."

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Now, in the video, Mohn unleashed a tirade against the Biden administration, immigration, and called his father a traitor because he was a federal employee. His video was up for more than five hours before YouTube removed it. In a statement to CNN, YouTube says the video was taken down and Mohn's channel was terminated, quote, "in line with their violent extremism policies," and they're working to remove any re-uploads of the video now.

HARLOW: With us now is our chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller.

My goodness, what we have learned about this guy and his motivations and what he'd done prior and warning signs. It's so much more than we knew yesterday when we learned of this news. It's really scary about what is driving this kind of violence.


On December 23rd local police were sent to do a wellness check after his former employee -- employers had gone through his stuff and found what they called a violent manifesto. We don't know what the results of that wellness check was, whether they were able to talk to him or his family. But commonly in these things, unless you've broken a law and you say, yes, I'm good, there isn't a lot of action that they can take without the help of the family or direct intervention.

There was also an investigation by the U.S. Marshals in that he was making what was considered threatening statements against one of the judges who had dismissed multiple of these frivolous lawsuits, including the lawsuit saying, I'm suing the federal government because they gave me the student loan that allowed me to go to college that made me not as successful as I hoped I would be and now they want to pay it back.

But what we're seeing here is familiar to us. You know it, too. Think about what we've seen in just recent history. A man in Arlington, Virginia, blows his house to smithereens after filing multiple ridiculous lawsuits and living in a world of paranoia and not getting the kind of intervention that he needed. An individual storms the FBI office in Cincinnati because he's mad that the FBI are arresting January 6th people who stormed the Capitol. Every few weeks we see one of these.

What the behavioral science experts call an injustice collector, everything is going wrong in their life, none of it is their fault, it's the deep state, it's the migrants, it's that they're a white male or some - some other thing that in these echo chambers, in these chat rooms on the internet. People kind of egg each other on about somebody's got to step up and do something.

MATTINGLY: The video was up for hours. Several - four or five, six hours. YouTube has since taken it down. Are there concerns inside law enforcement that this becomes a copycat type of situation? Somebody sees this and wants to mimic it?

MILLER: Well, it's already a copycat situation in that, that is not a type of offense with a video component we've really seen before domestically.


MILLER: It's borrowed from the halls of ISIS and, you know, beheading American prisoners and so on. But what you're seeing is, domestic, violent extremists borrowing the propaganda examples of foreign extremist groups because everybody needs their five minutes, or in this case their five hours of fame to say, no one was listening to me, I stepped out and took action.

And remember, when Mohn is arrested after jumping the fence of a secure military installation he's carrying -


HARLOW: With a weapon.

MILLER: A Sig Saur P230, a sophisticated handgun that goes for between $800 and $1,000. And we don't know what his intention was next except that he didn't resist.

HARLOW: John Miller, thank you.

MATTINGLY: Thank you.

Well, we're going to show you live pictures from the National Prayer Breakfast. You see President Biden right there, sitting next to Speaker Mike Johnson. He's expected to speak at any moment. We'll bring you those comments live.

HARLOW: Let's also take you live now to brussels, where farmers are protesting outside of the European Union there - the European Union parliament, I should say. Farmers have started fires outside of the parliament as they argue they are not paid enough, and the rising taxes are just unfair. Also coupled with unfair competition from abroad. Their businesses are hurting. Quite an image there. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


MATTINGLY: Well, we're moments away from President Biden speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on Capitol Hill. We will take that to you when he starts.

Biden's going to hit the campaign trail after that. A new poll finds that he is edging out Donald Trump in a head-to-head matchup. Some of his best numbers we've seen in a long time.

CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten is here to break it all down for us.

So, head-to-head, this Quinnipiac poll, what are we looking at here?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, what does this Quinnipiac poll show? So, it shows that Joe Biden at 50 percent to Donald Trump's 44 percent. You hit it on the nail earlier, Phil, that is Biden's biggest lead in a national poll in over a year. Nikki Haley is actually ahead of Joe Biden, which might make the case that she can make that electability argument. Of course, GOP voters are not buying it in the primary.

Why is Joe Biden ahead? Well, one reason why, the most urgent issues facing America at this point, economy is actually number two. What's number one? It's preserving democracy, which, of course, is a case that Joe Biden has been making over and over and over again, that democracy is on the line. It does seem like, in this poll, it is breaking through for him.

MATTINGLY: So, is he getting more popular? Why the turn in the number?

ENTEN: Why the turn in the numbers? Phil, this is something I've been talking about a lot.


ENTEN: Favorable view of Biden or Trump. Just 40 percent of registered voters have a favorable view of Joe Biden. Just 37 percent have a favorable view of Donald Trump. It's this 24 percent that we've been watching that have a favorable view of neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden. And how are these voters going? This is the key block that I'm going to be keeping my eye out on in poll after poll after poll. Choice for president among voters who like neither Biden nor Trump, Joe Biden ahead by 13 points. That is why he's ahead in this poll.

MATTINGLY: You think this is kind of the ballgame on some of them, right?

ENTEN: This - this -

MATTINGLY: Given where things stand.

ENTEN: Even where things stand. If this number holds, Joe Biden will be re-elected. Of course, it switches from poll to poll.

MATTINGLY: And whoever wins that number likely to be president of the United States.

ENTEN: Exactly.

MATTINGLY: Harry Enten, I appreciate you, my friend. Thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you, my friend.

HARLOW: All right, let's talk about it with Phil Bump, national correspondent for "The Washington Post." Astead Herndon is here as well, CNN political analyst and national political reporter for "The New York Times."

Good morning, gentlemen. Thank you for joining us.


HARLOW: Phil, let me start with you. You've got a really interesting piece this morning on all of this. And you go through - you sort of take us back to 2016 and the unfavourability of those, Clinton and Trump, and then you take us to 2020. But you say, let's sort of get to the point here. The unfavourability of Biden and Trump -

BUMP: Right.

HARLOW: Far surpasses the favorability of both of them.

BUMP: Yes, and both of them are really unpopular. And we've had this weird couple of cycle here. So, 2016, you're right, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, both broadly unpopular. Obviously had their fans.


But that was the defining characteristic of that election. Donald Trump won those voters who liked neither of them pretty handily, right? And that actually probably made the difference in swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

2020 was different. People still liked Joe Biden then, right? So there was a very small fraction of the electorate which didn't like both of them. But then Biden became president. He became much more unpopular. And here we are once again. Harry just pointed to those numbers showing that gap in favor of Joe Biden. That's actually grown since the last time Quinnipiac did this poll, or most recent -- the most recent numbers I've looked at, which was in October. Then he was ahead by a couple points. Now he's up in double digits. Again, this is a very favorable poll for Biden. Quinnipiac has tended to be favorable for Biden. So, definitely some grains of salts here.

But it makes sense, right? If you are someone who has lived through the past four years and you voted for Biden in 2020 because you didn't really like Donald Trump, you probably haven't changed that position. So, it makes sense that if you didn't like both of them still, perhaps you would still be leaning towards the president.

ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that was my big takeaway from the poll is that it kind of proves the Biden administration's, the campaign's premise correct. You know, they think that when this becomes a clear choice of stakes between Trump and Biden, that those people who might be saying to a pollster right now, I don't like any of -- either of those options, will come back home to Biden, as they did in 2020. That's what's really driving the campaign confidence at this point. And they'll point to things like this Quinnipiac poll and saying, as things get closer, as the reality of Donald Trump sinks in for people, and I would also say as kind of economic numbers have kind of trended in their direction, they think that they'll get results that look more and more like this one.

MATTINGLY: Yes, I mean, look at the spirit for women voters in this poll in particular.

HERNDON: Exactly.

MATTINGLY: Which I think drives a large part of the gap to some degree.

I want to ask you about Michigan. Not because Phil and I hate it as Ohio State fans.

HARLOW: I love it.

MATTINGLY: I just think -

HARLOW: Sorry.

MATTINGLY: Obviously the president's heading there. There have been the battles over UAW's endorsement. Trump talking to the Teamsters. The union element of this, and also the war element of this.


MATTINGLY: The war in Gaza. The Biden campaign's operation up to this point, as he's about to head to the ground there, where do things stand for them in Michigan?

HERNDON: I think Michigan is a really interesting place. They've been trying to make that union pitch specifically. Obviously, that lends itself to Joe Biden. They got the UAW endorsement last week.

But to your point, we can't think of these as kind of separated issues. When he was at the UAW event last week, even the president, who endorsed him, got some pushback from kind of rank and file members who think that they should be doing more on issues, like the war in Gaza or pressing him on that. He was disrupted a couple times at that event.

And I think it links back to 2016. There was a big split between kind of union leadership and kind of where they were and rank and file voters. That's where you have Trump still pitching himself to the Teamsters. He knows he's not going to get probably that top line endorsement, but he's trying to have a kind of brand recognition so that he can pull off enough people there.

I think that might be a little tougher because, you know, to Phil's point, Donald Trump has lost some branding with that kind of moderate, working class person from 2016 to now. But there's still the kind of push that he is making.

I think Joe Biden feels good about where they are and kind of their relationships on the ground, but I think specifically you are going to have a big kind of Arab American population on -- today on our podcast we have the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, who is saying -

HARLOW: Oh, I can't wait to listen to that.

HERNDON: Yes, we have the mayor of Dearborn, Michigan, who's saying he thinks he -- Biden has a real problem in the state specifically because his lack - his lack of willingness to call for a ceasefire.

And so, you know, I asked him very directly if this leads to a Donald Trump presidency? If people sit out, do you wake up the next morning after Election Day and feel differently? And he says no. And so I think that's the real tension point that is driving a lot of that consternation in Michigan.

HARLOW: It really echoes what Governor Whitmer was warning about just a couple weeks ago about her state. I mean and you look at the margin that she won by and then you look at what Biden is facing in the polling there, it's not about Democrat versus Republican, it's about like Biden -


HARLOW: And her, and she had a number of pieces of advice for what Biden needs to do on the ground there.

I wonder what you think he needs to do when he goes.

BUMP: Well, I think -- I think the fundamental issue here, the undergirding aspect of both of these - these lines of discussions is, will Biden voters actually bother to vote, right? And so it may be the case that - that a lot of those voters about whom Astead is talking just stay home. They don't bother to go out and do anything, right? And it may be the case that those people who dislike both Biden and Trump are like, to heck with it, I'm not going to go out and cast a ballot this time around. That, I think, is probably a fundamental concern for the Biden campaign, right?


BUMP: They need to get young voters out. They need to get these other voters out. And if people feel antipathetic about him, they're not gong to do it. They're just going to sit home. They're not going to bother casting a ballot. And I think over the course of the next nine months, that's what they're going to be focused on.

HARLOW: Need to give them something to vote for.

BUMP: Exactly.

HARLOW: Thank you both.

MATTINGLY: Than you.

HARLOW: Can't wait for the - I have a flight today. I'm going to listen to your podcast, first thing I do.

HERNDON: I appreciate it.

HARLOW: Thanks so much.

Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas says there's a new - there is a new America's team in football. It is the Kansas City Chiefs. I am sorry, Phil Mattingly. Our next guest might agree. The father of superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes joins us next on his son's success and meeting the Chief's newest fan, Taylor Swift.

MATTINGLY: Plus, Trevor Kelce defending that romance with Taylor Swift and explains why he won't be joining her at the Grammys this weekend.


TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT END: We're two people in a relationship supporting each other and having fun with it, man.


It's nothing more than that. And how - how much the world wants to paint the - paint the picture and make us the enemy, we just have fun with it. And we -- we enjoy every single bit of it. And sure enough, I love it when Taylor comes and supports me.

I wish I could go support Taylor at the Grammys and watch her win every single award that she's nominated for. But, unfortunately, I got to get ready for this big old Super Bowl that we've got in a week.




BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think the Chiefs now, it can safely be said, are America's team. The Dallas Cowboys have had that monicker for a long time, and they're still a glamour franchise, but they haven't been to the Super Bowl since the mid '90s.

They have the best quarterback in the game, even though there are others really -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patrick Mahomes. Yes.

COSTAS: Who are really good. He's exciting.

[08:50:00] He improvises. He's charismatic. They've got him.


MATTINGLY: That's Bob Costas. He knows things about sports. He was on "King Charles" last night, wrongly crowning the Kansas City Chiefs as America's team. One thing I will not dispute, his praise for quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the team prepares for their fourth Super Bowl game in five years. Now Mahomes and Travis Kelce, the rest of the Chiefs squad, face off against the San Francisco 49ers a week from Sunday. The Chiefs wanting to defend their Super Bowl title.

HARLOW: And Phil is very right about Mahomes. He is shattering records along the way. He is the first quarterback to ever reach four Super Bowls before turning 30, and the youngest player ever to win a Super Bowl title and an MVP award.

With us now is his dad, Patrick Mahomes - Patrick Mahomes' dad, Pat Mahomes Sr. He is a former professional baseball player who also hosts "The Big Mahomes Show" podcast.

We are so happy to have you this morning. Congratulations. Although I know you've been through this before. This is your fourth trip to the Super Bowl in the last five years. But it never gets old, right?

PAT MAHOMES SR., FATHER OF KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB PATRICK MAHOMES: Oh, never. You know, any time you get to see your son perform at the highest level, you know, it's always great to be in attendance and be there and to be there to support him. And that's what we try to do.

MATTINGLY: Pat, being a former professional athlete, we were joking during the break, I think all the Mets' fans on our team want to talk about your 9-0 season in 1999 that elevated them to the playoffs. But to watch - to watch your son, knowing the work that it takes, the pressure that he feels to be a professional athlete, I want to play something from after the Super Bowl last year.

Take a listen.



PAT MAHOMES SR.: Hey. I ain't never seen nothing like you! You (INAUDIBLE).


PAT MAHOMES SR.: I love you too (INAUDIBLE). You know I do. (INAUDIBLE).


PAT MAHOMES SR.: No, you're good.


MATTINGLY: It's such a cool moment as a dad. There's also a bunch of them in the Netflix special on quarterbacks, too. But it's different because you know what it takes to be at that level. And to say, you've never seen anything like him. What's it feel like as a dad?

MAHOMES: Well, to compete at the highest level, you know, is something that is rare and very special. And for him to have the amount of success that he's had this early on, you know, in his career, it's just surreal. You know, it's kind of - you know, it's kind of crazy. And I really haven't never seen anything like him, you know?

I've been around a lot of great athletes and - and A-rod and Rickie Henderson and all these guys. But to be at the top of your game so quickly and continue to repeat it year after year, it just makes it that much more special.

HARLOW: We're looking at all these great pictures of you -- let's keep rolling them -- with him when he was really little. There's this one of you with the Minnesota Twins and you're holding him in like a carrier and he was barely a year old. You had this feeling that he would go pro, be a professional athlete, from the time he was six or seven years old. That early. Is that right?

MAHOMES: Oh, that's correct. I mean the things that he was doing at such an early age, I knew that was different. I knew that was special. And I knew if he continued to move in that fashion, and continued to keep working every day, that he was going to have a chance to be a professional athlete.

But with me and him, it's - it's always been very special. I mean, I never seen, you know, a kid that worked as hard as he did, that grinded every day to try to make himself better. Like he says, each and every day. It was just crazy. I -- we would be out, you know, shooting baskets 10:00, 11:00 p.m. at night and I would tell him, I said, ain't nobody out here working but, you know, me, you and Michael Jordan. We're the only three guys that are out here working, trying to get better. And he took it and he ran with it. And for him to get to the pinnacle of where he is now is just - it's just outstanding and amazing.

MATTINGLY: It is such a good story. I literally have shown my kids the Netflix series of him doing workouts before practice, before he ever went to the facility, trying to engrain in them some of the talent that your son has.

I have to ask, because I think the reason Bob Costas was now adding the monicker to America's team to the Chiefs is in part because of what everybody's seen the last several months with Taylor Swift.

I know you've been in the box with her. You've seen her. You've interacted with her. What -- the scene right now around this team that's been so successful, how would you describe it?

MAHOMES: Well, it's exciting. I mean Taylor has always been very, very nice and pleasant to me. I actually was in the box with her only one time. I've went over and seen her after games and stuff like that, but she's always been pleasant.

But the buzz around the Chiefs is real, man.


It's real. I mean any time you can get back to the Super Bowl as many times as they have. And it's not just Patrick, it's the whole team, you know. And every sporting team, their goal is to get to their final game. And they've been fortunate enough to get back now four times. And hopefully we can finish it off right this time.

MATTINGLY: Can I ask you real quick, because this is a breaking news show, and this has been breaking news, the dad bod photo that seems to have fired up your son on social media, have you seen it and are you recommending they need to hit the gym more?

MAHOMES: No, I - I did see the - I did see the photo. We actually talked about it last night. But, yes, man, Patrick works hard, man. He's at the gym all the time. He works out, you know, three times a week. He's just unfortunate. He got that from me, too. That's in his DNA. We just don't - we don't get the muscles like DK Metcalf and some of the guys that are built like rocks and statues. You know, we just got this natural dad bod. But, hey, we're represented.

MATTINGLY: Hey, it's working. It's working.

Pat Mahomes Sr., we really appreciate your time. Good luck at the Super Bowl. Thanks so much.

MAHOMES: All right. Thank y'all for having me.

HARLOW: That was amazing.


Well, President Biden is expected to speak at any moment at the National Prayer Breakfast on Capitol Hill. We're going to bring you his speech as soon as it happens.

"CNN NEWS CENTRAL" starts right after this break.