Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Iran Condemns Airstrikes; 66th Grammy Awards; Look at the Presidential Race Politics. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired February 05, 2024 - 06:30   ET



BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, for instance, we know that the Houthis, after these strikes over the weekend, made it clear that they will continue to target navigation in the Red Sea. In fact, we have a statement from Mohammad Abdulsalam, who's a Houthi spokesman, who said that "The continuation of the American British aggression against our country will not achieve any goal for the aggressors but rather increase their issues and problems at the regional level. Yemen's decision to support Gaza is firm and principled and will not be affected by any attack."

It's important to keep in mind that the Houthis have decades of experience fighting militarily superior foes. And I was reading in "The New York Times" this morning a quote from an analyst who said that taking on the Houthis is like fighting against the fog.

Now, as far as Iran is concerned, we've heard from Nasser Kanaani, who's a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, at their daily press conference they described the U.S. strikes as a clear violation of the United Nations Charter and an attempt by the United States to divert attention away from the central crisis in the region, which he said is Gaza.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Natasha Bertrand, Ben Wedeman, thank you.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the time for an interest rate cut is coming, but he is asking Americans to be a little bit patient. In an interview with "60 Minutes," Powell affirmed that the U.S. economy is strong and central bank will likely lower rates later this year, it's just not going to happen next month, like many on Wall Street want it.


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD CHAIRMAN: Almost all of the 19 participants who sit around this table believe that it will be appropriate in their most likely case for us to cut the federal funds rate this year.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MATTINGLY: Now, Powell's comments come just after last week. The Federal Reserve held rates steady for a fourth time in a row, at a 23- year high. Meanwhile, the U.S. national debt topped $34 trillion for the first time ever, last month, and Powell says the government needs to make this a priority now because the economy cannot go on this way.


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD CHAIRMAN: In the long run, the U.S. is on an unsustainable fiscal path. The U.S. federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path. And that just means that the debt is growing faster than the economy.

SCOTT PELLEY, HOST, "60 MINUTES": I have the sense this worries you very much.

POWELL: Over the long run, of course it does. You know, we're -- effectively we're borrowing from future generations. It's time for us to get back to putting a priority on fiscal sustainability.


HARLOW: So you can hear his concern there about what -- you know, you hear politicians say it a lot, look what we're leaving our children. You can hear his concern there.

He did say overall that the view of he and the other central bankers is that the economy is in a pretty good place writ large, right now.

MATTINGLY: It's striking how almost candid he was in that assessment both last week and last night. Everyone was wrong last year.


Well, Scott Pelley has a way of making officials like Jerome Powell say things that make news.

MATTINGLY: Very true.

HARLOW: All right, ahead on CNN, this morning we'll head back to southern California where rain and flood water is rushing through communities there. Just look at that video.

MATTINGLY: And we have a recap of music's biggest night. The big wins, the historic moments and a surprise announcement.


TAYLOR SWIFT, SINGER-SONGWRITER: I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I've been keeping from you for the last two years.





The rain in southern California did not stop music's big night, but it did drench it. The 66th Grammy Awards happened as heavy rain moved through the Los Angeles area. Some celebrities got soaked by the rain. Some were even delayed getting to the venue. Miley Cyrus was one of them. After winning her very first Grammy, she said she almost missed her big moment because of the weather. And that wasn't the only big moment last night.

Here is our Elizabeth Wagmeister.



ELIZABETH WAGMEISTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: From "Anti- Hero" to history maker. Taylor Swift becoming the first artist to win Album of the Year four times. Stunned and overjoyed, Swift accepted the award for her 2022 album "Midnight."

TAYLOR SWIFT, WINNER, ALBUM OF THE YEAR: I would love to tell you that this is the best moment of my life, but -- the award is the work. All I want to do is keep being able to do this. I love it so much.

WAGMEISTER: An award presented by the legend, Celine Dion, who shocked the crowd with her unannounced appearance. The Canadian singer has been open about her health issues.

DION: When I say that I'm happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart.

WAGMEISTER: Swift, now a 14-time Grammy winner. Her first win of the night for best pop vocal album. Then making a surprise announcement.

SWIFT: My brand new album is called -- it's called "The Tortured Poet's Department."

WAGMEISTER: Music's biggest superstars made the biggest headlines in a night filled with historic performances. As 80-year-old legend Joni Mitchell performed for the first time on the Grammy's stage.

JONI MITCHELL, SINGER (singing): I really don't (INAUDIBLE) at all.

WAGMEISTER: Billy Joel rocking the crowd with his first Grammy performance in 30 years.

BILLY JOEL, SINGER (singing): Turn the lights back on.

WAGMEISTER: Earlier in the night, the crowd sang along with Tracy Chapman, joining country star Luke Combs.


TRACY CHAPMAN AND LUKE COMBS, SINGERS (singing): I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.

WAGMEISTER: SZA had the most nominations and took home three Grammys, including best R&B song.

SZA, WINNER OF THREE GRAMMYS: I came really, really far. And I can't believe this is happening.

WAGMEISTER: Miley Cyrus celebrated her first win with the powerful performance of "Flowers," complete with a tribute to Tina Turner, which wasn't the only tribute to the legend.

Fantasia Barrino, part of a star-studded memorial to those music lost.

FANTASIA BARRINO, SINGER (singing): Rolling on the river.

TONY BENNETT, SINGER (singing): Know I'll be strong.

WAGMEISTER: As Stevie Wonder sang with archival video of his fallen friend Tony Bennett.

And Annie Lennox fought back tear remembering Sinead O'Connor.

Jay-z awarded for his lifetime of work with wife Beyonce looking on, accepting the award with his daughter Blue Ivy, and taking aim at the recording academy for never awarding Beyonce Album of the Year.

JAY-Z, LIFETIME AWARD, DR. DRE GLOBAL IMPACT WINNER: Think about that. The most Grammys never won Album of the Year. That doesn't work, you know.

WAGMEISTER: But, ending with a powerful message.

JAY-Z: You've got to keep showing up until you - until they give you all those accolade you feel you deserve, until they call you chairman, until they call you a genius, until they call you the greatest of all time. You feel me? Thank you.


MATTINGLY: And after winning three Grammy award, rapper and social activist Killer Mike was arrested. We've seen video of this. The Los Angeles Police Department said that Killer Mike was detained and handcuffed after a physical altercation near the Grammy Awards venue. He was booked on a misdemeanor battery charge. When asked about the innocent, Killer Mike told "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution" over text message, quote, "over zealous security, but I am good. Three Grammys good."

Well, developing this morning, raging wildfires in Chile have killed at least 112 people. At last check there are as many as 161 active fires across the country. Officials told CNN that firefighters have controlled 102 of those fires but are currently battling 40. Chilean officials fear the death toll will only rise.

Well, in politics, Nikki Haley made a surprise campaign stop in New York. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our next question comes from someone who describes herself as a concerned South Carolina voter.

NIKKI HALEY (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, hello. My question is, why won't you debate Nikki Haley?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God, it's her.


MATTINGLY: We'll have more of her "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" appearance and the dig she made at Donald Trump and President Biden. Thanks next.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joel Osment. Nikki Haley. Joel Osment we call her. "Sixth Sense." Remember that one? I see dead people.

NIKKI HALEY (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, that's what voters will say if they see you and Joe on the ballot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that - yes, that's not very nice, Nikki.


HARLOW: One of those actually is running for president.


HARLOW: One of those people actually is running for president. That was indeed Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, swiping at both Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a very surprise appearance on "Saturday Night Live." Haley brought in $16.5 million in January. Her best month yet for fundraising according to her campaign. And that campaign saying a major uptick in that fundraising came after Trump said he would bar anyone from MAGA world who gives her money. Gives campaign money to her.

John Avlon, S.E. Cupp, Jamal Simmons are back with us.

I -- can we just start on the Nikki Haley going - I mean it just seems like she's having a good time here.


HARLOW: Right.


CUPP: Look, when you don't have to go back and be governor, like Ron DeSantis had this problem, right?

HARLOW: Yes. Sure.

CUPP: She's done. She's good. She's unleashed. And she feels like a liberated version of herself, right? And I know her. And -- so I've watched her a long time. This is like Nikki at her best. Nothing to lose. I'm making money by going after Trump. I'm convincing Trump alternative voters that there's still someone around for them.



CUPP: You know, for their -- for those buyers. And she's making the most of this very long month between New Hampshire and South Carolina.

HARLOW: Yes, it really is a long month, isn't it?

CUPP: It's a very long month. Yes.

HARLOW: I'm serious.

CUPP: It is.

JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But this used to be how it was, right?

CUPP: Yes.

SIMMONS: Like, this used to be the normal thing. We would like have these contests and we'd kind of talk about it for a while.


SIMMONS: We're just so used to everything being so compressed.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

SIMMONS: I thought she was fantastic. One of the things that's really good, she was self-deprecating in a moment where you don't often see a lot of politicians be willing to be self-deprecating when they feel themselves on the verge of something so important as the presidency. But it conveys such self-confidence when you do it.

I would advise, like, all these public figures - public figures and public officials, do this. Find a way to make fun of yourself, because everybody else is making fun of you. Either get in on the joke or get run over by the joke.

AVLON: Uh-huh.

CUPP: Well, and, Nikki Haley, listen, you know, I -- my friend, Charlamagne tha God,r ight, has a very successful, maybe the most successful radio morning show "The Breakfast Club." She goes on - that's a tough -


CUPP: Place to go for any Republican, especially -

SIMMONS: I was very surprised by that.

CUPP: Oh, me too.

SIMMONS: I'm not sure what the data showed.

CUPP: But I think that speaks to the confidence that you're talking about.


MATTINGLY: Two -- observation and then two data points. Observation is, unlike other Republicans who have been in like the kind of death watch moment against Trump --


MATTINGLY: Which I think everybody has perceived because of where she stands in South Carolina and going forward, she's calibrated her, like, no holds barred, I feel freed. Like, this is not small hands and Marco Rubio, you know, self-destructing on the stage.

CUPP: Right.

MATTINGLY: Like, she is still running a real campaign. Not like a -- I'm -

CUPP: Kamikazi.

MATTINGLY: So frustrated I'm giving up.

CUPP: Right. Right.

MATTINGLY: Like that campaign. And I think that's one thing.

The other is the money. You got money, you stay in the race.


MATTINGLY: Raising 16.5 is a big deal and that's - you don't know where her super PAC is at. And then there's this, the Republican primary, Haley at 19 percent, Donald Trump at 79 percent. And I don't say that in a condescending way, but like how do those things net together? I'm not totally sure.

AVLON: Well, I think you see that Donald Trump has captured currently the Republican Party. We know there are a couple levers that could change that. One of which would be a conviction, which is not on any timeline that corresponds with the elections.


But the fact that Nikki Haley is a happy warrior right now, the fact that she is raising a lot of money after all the campaign threats from Donald Trump, including small dollar donations crucially, I think indicates that she has a constituency, she has a cause and that itself is clarifying.

And on the flip side, you get in one weekend Donald Trump saying things like China's going to interfere in the elections, Xi is my good friend, and I don't know what I would do if China invaded Taiwan.

HARLOW: With Taiwan.


AVLON: And then also that, you know what, I wouldn't reappoint Jerome Powell, who, by the way, I appointed -


AVLON: After he's pulled off a soft landing for the U.S. economy, putting us in the best position of any other industrialized nation.

HARLOW: Don't forget the 60 percent -- higher than 60 percent tariffs on China.

AVLON: And then higher - yes, in trade wars. But - and, by the way, not just China. He wants to do a trade war against the rest of the world.

MATTINGLY: Yes, a baseline 10 percent there.

AVLON: So - so, let's talk about the policies, you know, and not just the stylistic points and say that over time that's going to hurt to the extent that people start paying attention because this is - this is somebody who is promising chaos as well as self-agandraiement (ph). Someone who's promising a more authoritarian agenda than we've ever seen a president campaign for. And - and treading into very dangerous waters.

Under that context, absolutely keep campaigning. Offer people a sane alternative as an off ramp for this crazy. That's a cause worth fighting for at the end of the day.

CUPP: And remind people that she beats Joe Biden. Remind people that she beats Joe Biden.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes, by much wider than the margin of error.

CUPP: Right.

HARLOW: Jamal.

SIMMONS: Well, she knows - this is the thing. I don't want to blow past this. She knows who she is. It's very obvious when she's doing this that she is very comfortable with who she is.


SIMMONS: And that, I think, is different than the Marco little hands and all the other guys who tried to come after Trump.


SIMMONS: They were trying to be Trump to go after Trump. It's like she's being herself to go after Trump.


SIMMONS: Now, I disagree with her on a lot of policy. I want to say that. You know, abortion and taxes and all that.


SIMMONS: But, I think, as a public official, as a person who's running for office, you just - you can't overvalue self-confidence and security. It's a very attractive --

CUPP: Yes, and authenticity.

SIMMONS: And authenticity.

CUPP: Yes.

SIMMONS: It's a very attractive quality for people who are watching this at home.

CUPP: Yes.

HARLOW: President Biden said something I think everyone has been thinking about how odd this has been.

Let's listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's the weirdest campaign I've ever been engaged in. It's even worse then -- in terms of his behavior than the last time in 2020.


HARLOW: It's just the fact -- his use of the word "this is the weirdest." I mean it really is in every way.


MATTINGLY: I mean the guys been in politics for five plus decades, too. So, that's a big statement.

AVLON: For our collective lifetimes. And, yes, so, you know, and there's Hunteresque Thompson (ph) quality to what he's saying.

HARLOW: Well, thank you for making us so young, John Avlon.

AVLON: You know, just ballparking it. But look, you know, this is - this is a palpably weird campaign.

You've got two ex-presidents. You've got, you know, a guy campaigning as an authoritarian.

SIMMONS: Well, one guy's an actual president. The other one's an ex- president.


AVLON: Ex-president. One ex-president and one -

SIMMONS: Just for the record.

AVLON: No, 100 percent. I'm sorry I misspoke there.

HARLOW: We've got weird robo calls that sound like you. I mean everything's making it weird.


AVLON: Well, yes, robo calls and everything.

And I think it increases the stakes. And it's why exactly we need to pay attention to the governing, the policy, as well as the personalities and the daily - the thrust (INAUDIBLE).

And, you know, Biden's got a record to run on if he can, you know, make that case in a compelling way.

CUPP: Well, I think, in 2016 a lot of Republicans I knew that were running, you know, sort of had to dodge wrenches all of a sudden. Like, this was a new way of campaigning. They couldn't stick to the traditional things that they had done and been preparing to do. Now, so many years later, we know a little bit more what to expect from Trump, but it's still weird. He's running with 90 plus charges against him.


CUPP: How do you confront that when he's rising in the polls? So, it's still weird.

SIMMONS: The one thing that -

MATTINGLY: You raise a critical point, though, if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

CUPP: I know what I was doing there, Phil. I know what I was doing there, Phil.


MATTINGLY: You're welcome.

CUPP: Exactly right.

SIMMONS: Nothing is sure.

HARLOW: No one better than the man to my left.

S.E. Cupp, John Avlon, Jamal Simmons. Thank you all very much.

MATTINGLY: Thanks, guys.

HARLOW: Well, let's get back to the severe weather on the west coast. Right now life threatening atmospheric river bulldozing through southern California. Our teams are standing by. They're live on the ground in Ventura County.

MATTINGLY: And we'll dig a little bit deeper into that long awaited bipartisan border bill that could dramatically change immigration law. What's in it and why the House speaker says it's, quote, dead on arrival.



MATTINGLY: Love me some countdown clock. Six days, 11ish hours to go until Super Bowl Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Both teams touched down in Vegas yesterday. The 49ers and Chiefs met in the Super Bowl four years ago in Miami but that was long before Chiefs' Travis Kelce started dating Taylor Swift. Travis Kelce arrived in Vegas, while his girlfriend, Taylor, won Grammys in Los Angeles.

HARLOW: And Taylor is scheduled to play in Tokyo on February 10th, leaving her enough time to travel from there to Vegas to see her boyfriend play. In fact, the Japanese embassy, just wanting to make sure you know there's plenty of time, put out an official statement. The message to be, quote, "fearless" that she will make it in time.


That is pretty amazing.

MATTINGLY: When you're like Japanese embassy famous, that's - that's -- she's famous.

HARLOW: Yes. Go, Taylor.