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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Joins CNN This Morning; Blinken Heads Back To Middle East To Press Hostage Deal; Soon: Jury Deliberations In Case Of School Shooter's Mother. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired February 05, 2024 - 07:30   ET



GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): And state governments working to secure the border. And then I've been down there -- unfortunately, in times like yesterday where you have a state having to act on its own because this president will not act.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: I want -- I want to get a little bit further into that in a minute. But in terms of what's happening right now in Eagle Pass -- what Gov. Abbott is pursuing right now -- there are legal scholars who have raised concerns about what it means constitutionally. About what it means for states -- you know, say, a Democratic state -- as Steve Vladeck, a CNN analyst and legal expert said of the Democratic states. That we're in a war with pollution and all of a sudden, decide to try and usurp the federal government.

Are you concerned about that precedent and what this means going forward?

KEMP: Well listen, I'll let Gov. Abbott and his lawyers speak to the law. I mean, he made some very powerful points yesterday during our press conference. You know, we obviously had a briefing on the legal side of Texas' argument but also a briefing from their law enforcement officials and their adjutant general of the National Guard about what they're doing.

And what I saw on the ground was a lot different than the pictures you've seen a week, two weeks ago when you had literally thousands of people that were coming across illegally into our country where yesterday -- I mean, basically, nothing is happening down there other than people going back and forth legally on the bridge ahead of where we were standing next to the riverbank.


KEMP: So, obviously, what Gov. Abbott is doing is working for them. The problem is he is one state. We need this president to act and protect the whole southern border across multiple states in our country.

MATTINGLY: Isn't, though, 12 governors showing up as a show of support to see what's happening on the ground -- isn't that at least implicitly if not explicitly supporting where Gov. Abbott is on the law itself, which you said you're going to leave to him?

KEMP: Well, there's no doubt that we are standing with Greg Abbott. I was thinking to myself yesterday what would I do if I was governor of Texas? What would any of the other 24-25 Republican governors that signed the letter supporting him do? What would Democratic governors do if this was happening in their state? I mean, that's why the American people are so upset.

This is not a partisan issue. You have got blue state mayors or blue city mayors --


KEMP: -- lining up, complaining about this influx of illegal people that are coming into our country, along with the Republican governors. And you have a president and an administration that either doesn't get it or just simply does not want to act.


KEMP: I mean, this is something I mentioned in my -- I mentioned in the Q&A yesterday.


KEMP: This is not just an election-year tactic. We've been pushing for this for well over a year --

MATTINGLY: No, and I have --

KEMP: -- and longer.

MATTINGLY: There's no argument on that and I think everything you're laying out. This is a very different moment than it was both politically and policy and from an immigration perspective than it has been in many years. I think everybody can agree on that.

But to that point, that's exactly why there is a bipartisan bill that's now on the table. The White House is behind it and supporting it. Democrats have moved to a place on policy that I've never seen them be before in covering this issue for more than a decade.

Is that something you'd like to see signed into law?

KEMP: Well, I think that shows you how political and concerned the Biden White House is because they know the vast majority of the American people are just really upset about what's happening at the southern border. I would remind you that the Biden administration had complete control of the Congress from 2020 to 2022 and did absolutely nothing because they did not care about this issue.

So I don't know what's going to happen on the bill. You know, I was on an airplane trying to get back to the great state of Georgia last night so I haven't seen all the specifics. I know there's pushback. So, I mean, I don't know if something gets done or it doesn't --


KEMP: -- but that doesn't really matter. The president can act regardless of the legislation with policies that will stem this flow of illegal immigration into our country, and that's all we're calling on him to do.


KEMP: Look, we stand ready to work with him on this issue.


Can I -- switching over to politics now because all Republicans generally want to know where you -- your head is at on various political issues.

There's been a significant push not just from the Trump campaign but for other aligned Republicans for Nikki Haley to get out of the race to make Donald Trump the nominee. Do you think Nikki Haley should get out of the race?

KEMP: Well look, I -- if I was in the Trump campaign's position I'd be doing the same thing, and I -- if I was Nikki Haley I'd probably be doing the same thing she's doing. I mean, there's a process that we have. As a Republican, I don't think we need to be dictating who our nominee is going to be. That's got to be done through a process. That will help us at the end of the day unite and beat Joe Biden.

And so, we'll see what happens. A long way to go still to South Carolina and it doesn't look like anybody is budging right now.

MATTINGLY: Yeah -- no. I think it's very true. You know, you have answered this question several times but if Donald Trump is the nominee and he's against Joe Biden, you would vote for the Republican nominee. If Donald Trump is convicted, either in your state where there's a lot going on with the case, or in any of the federal cases, would that change your mind at all?


KEMP: Well, we'll see what happens with all the court cases that are going on. I think polling shows that if he is, indeed, convicted there is -- there could potentially be real problems with his ability to win. But as you know, everyone in this country is innocent until proven guilty.

MATTINGLY: Would you be among those that would be part of that problem for him?

KEMP: Well, I think that I would definitely have concerns about voting for someone that has been convicted.

Now, let me be clear, too.

MATTINGLY: Please. KEMP: I think a lot of these things have been politically motivated so we've got to let the process play out, and I wouldn't want to speculate on one potential case over another.


Governor Brian Kemp, we appreciate your time, sir, as always. Thank you.

KEMP: Have a great day.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now back in the Middle East for the fifth time since the war between Israel and Hamas began. The impact his visit could have as U.S. involvement in the region continues to increase.


HARLOW: Welcome back.

Well, this morning, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the Middle East once again. This is his fifth trip to the region since October the 7th. Blinken will once again try to salvage a deal for the release of dozens of remaining Israeli hostages still held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza and try to bring this war to an end.

MATTINGLY: But a deal, so far, has been elusive and the Biden administration, yesterday, made a point to keep expectations somewhat low.



JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I can't say it's imminent but ultimately, these kinds of negotiations unfold somewhat slowly until they unfold very quickly. And so, it's difficult to put a precise timetable on when something might come together or, frankly, if something might come together.


MATTINGLY: Joining us now to discuss, former IDF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. He is also a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Appreciate having you here.


MATTINGLY: We've spoken to you often over the course of the last several months.

To start with, the trip by the Secretary of State. The administration has made a point of regularly sending officials over to consult. When it comes to the hostage deal, do you feel like this is a moment where that will help move things forward or is there some different intent here?

CONRICUS: Well, I think there's the hostage situation, which is a very sore point that Israel, of course -- there's a lot of international involvement here. There's the U.S. leading efforts, but then there's Egypt, there's Qatar, there's a lot of other players involved here.

But then there's Hamas making demands that are nonstarters to begin with. And the reports that I have are that Hamas are making demands that will make it extremely difficult for Israel even to start negotiating about. And that's why I am concerned the fate of the 136 Israeli hostages that have been held now for more than 120 days in Hamas captivity.

And I think it's a priority for Israel to get them out, but there are certain limitations to how much Israel will be willing to give to Hamas in order to get them out. And I think that it's very important for us to have American involvement in it, but I think that Sec. Blinken will also be coming in order to prevent an escalation into a regional war.

We have Hezbollah knocking at our doorsteps and we have Iranian pressure from various fronts. And I think the hostage deal is one part of it but also preventing regional escalation is probably the most important art.

HARLOW: Would you not already call this a regional conflict --


HARLOW: -- given how many countries are involved and how many terror groups?

CONRICUS: Yes, definitely correct. But I think that the intensity of the conflict still unfortunately has a lot of lethal potential. Hezbollah and Israel -- I think we're at a 10 or a 20 out of 100. They have lots more firepower and many more rockets with longer range that they can deploy and fire into Israel and threaten Israeli civilians. And, of course, Israel has far more capabilities to continue to defend itself. And so far, both sides are deciding strategically not to escalate the situation.

But we are nearing a situation where Israel may be forced to do more because Israel has more than 100,000 civilians out of their homes from Northern Israel. That's an unprecedented situation.

MATTINGLY: I was struck -- when you talk about the conflict that's been ongoing inside Gaza, it has been significant. It has been high- intensity and has triggered back a little bit. But what we heard from a former U.S. Central Commander -- a former commander of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie. He said this.


MARGARET BRENNAN, MODERATOR, CBS "FACE THE NATION": How do you judge the level of success of Israel's campaign? GEN. FRANK MCKENZIE, FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Well, it's very limited, so far. You know, I think they set themselves a goal of removing the political echelon and the military leadership echelon of Hamas when they went in. They have not been successful to date at doing either.


MATTINGLY: You were -- you were intimately involved in the beginning stages of this. I'm interested in your view of that assessment.

CONRICUS: Not entirely sure on which update that the intel of that assessment is based on. What I can see is a Hamas fighting force that has been decimated about two-thirds of their fighting capabilities are no longer. Two-thirds of their fighting combatants, many of their rockets, substantial parts of their tunnel network.

And we are not talking about an easy challenge here. Yes, Israel set out to kill the terrorists and kill the political leaders. That has not yet been achieved. But in terms of military achievements on the ground and below the ground, very significant achievements. And I think that there are other Americans who assess it differently.

HARLOW: Jonathan, let me ask you about The Wall Street Journal reporting that U.S. intelligence estimates just 20 to 30 percent of Hamas terrorists have been killed, and the goal has been destroy Hamas. When you look at a number like that, that doesn't appear to be close to destroying Hamas four months in.

CONRICUS: Yeah, that was a few weeks old and it was from an unconfirmed, unofficial, unnamed source a the Pentagon. Usually, when I see something unofficial and when someone doesn't have a name behind it, I'm cautious as to believe it.

HARLOW: What do you think those numbers are?

CONRICUS: We are talking about official IDF estimates of more than 65 percent of Hamas combat capabilities either killed or severely injured. Those are substantial figures that will make it difficult for Hamas, first and foremost, to continue fighting and threatening Israeli civilians and to rebuild their capabilities.

And the IDF is hard on Hamas' tails. We're dismantling in Khan Younis where the main fighting is now in Southern Gaza. And the next stage will be rougher.


Once the IDF gets its hold on Raffa and dismantles the tunnels that go and bring all the weapons from Egypt into Gaza, then that will be a very severe blow to Hamas' ability to continue to threaten Israeli civilians.

MATTINGLY: Jonathan Conricus, thanks so much for coming in -- appreciate it.

CONRICUS: Thanks for having me. Good morning.

MATTINGLY: Well, later this week, the Supreme Court hears the case that could determine Donald Trump's 2024 ballot eligibility.

HARLOW: And it is a new trend taking over TikTok saying the quiet part out loud about money, literally. How "loud budgeting" is changing the way Gen Z approaches their finances.


LUKAS BATTLE, COMEDIAN AND WRITER: It's the opposite of quiet luxury. If your friend texts you "I want to hang out," you say "I don't want to spend gas money on coming to you to hear you talk about your ex for three hours."


MATTINGLY: You may have heard of quiet luxury -- now, the opposite is trending. It's called loud budgeting -- seriously -- and it's making saving money cool and transparent.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich explains.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): In an online world where opulence is king --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was sad, so I went shopping.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): -- this was a joke.

BATTLE: Loud budgeting is a new concept I'm introducing for 2024. It's the opposite of quiet luxury. If your friend texts you "I want to hang out," you say "I don't want to spend gas money on coming to you to hear you talk about your ex for three hours."

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Comedian and Gen Zer Lukas Battle inadvertently started a new financial trend.

YURKEVICH (on camera): What is loud budgeting?

BATTLE: Loud budgeting is kind of new terminology for people to use when they don't want to spend money. And I think it's a term people can use that doesn't make talking about money awkward.


YURKEVICH (voice-over): The joke took off with his more than 600,000 TikTok followers, financial influencers, and even himself.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Were you surprised by how many people have related to it?

BATTLE: Yes, only because -- and I would love to say I'm a genius brilliant economist but this is like a concept that's been around. And I really do think the loud part in front of it is what people are kind of drawn to.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Gen Z and millennials especially feel the burden of inflation, expensive housing, and student loan payments. Budgeting has been around since the beginning of time but in just the four weeks since Battle came up with loud budgeting, more and more people are feeling they now have permission to talk about it.

YURKEVICH (on camera): What do you think about that -- being transparent about the fact that you're on a budget?

JAMES SAMPSON JR., SOCIAL WORKER: I think more so it should be normalized about budgeting and saving.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Why do you think so many people are resonating with it?

VIVIAN TU, FOUNDER, YOUR RICH BFF: Because for so long we have been shamed into silence. Loud budgeting is amazing because instead of having to hide and, like, be ashamed about the fact that you have debt or need a budget, or want to save for certain things in your life, you can proudly say them and share them with your friends.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Gen Z and millennials, social media's most active users, were either entering the job market or working when the pandemic hit. Despite having the lowest financial literacy of any generation, recent economic uncertainty has made them the hungriest for information.

TU: With the social mediafication of society, keeping up with the Joneses is no longer the Joneses. We're keeping up with the Kardashians. So we're starting to get visualizations of wealth that most regular people will never ever see in their lives. And so, if I'm a young person and I'm in an environment where I feel like it's going to be challenging for me to succeed, I want to arm myself with as much information as I possibly can to give myself that leg up.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): And that makes it cool to talk about money -- not just on social media --

BATTLE: It draws attention, which I love. I decided that I didn't want to become an economist, which means that I'm going to have to push Janet Yellen (INAUDIBLE).


YURKEVICH: Not a bad career to aspire to even if it just is -- just is a joke.

But loud budgeting is actually part of a bigger trend on TikTok -- something called FinTok -- financial TikTok. It's where millions -- billions, actually -- 4.7 billion people have engaged with this -- with this hashtag called FinTok. And it's where they go -- people go for advice and also where people give advice on finances.

However, you have everyone from your stay-at-home mom who is excellent at budgeting to someone who is more certified in finances. Vivian Tu, who we spoke to there, is a Fin-fluencer. These are what

you find on the financial TikToks of the world. She says if you're getting any kind of information -- financial information from social media, just double-check it.


YURKEVICH: Check it with a reputable news source. Check it with a study or research paper just to make sure it's the best financial information for you.

HARLOW: I love that piece. It was so interesting, Vanessa. Thank you --

YURKEVICH: Thank you, guys.

HARLOW: -- for bringing it to us.

MATTINGLY: Well, jury deliberations are set to begin in the manslaughter trial of Jennifer Crumbley. We're going to be live on the ground in Michigan next.



HARLOW: Well, just about an hour from now, jury deliberations will begin in the manslaughter trial of Jennifer Crumbley whose son Ethan shot and killed four students at Oxford High School in 2021.

MATTINGLY: Prosecutors say she was grossly negligent by giving her teenage son a gun as a gift and then ignoring warning signs about his mental health.

CNN's Jean Casarez has been following this case very closely. She joins us now from the courthouse in Pontiac, Michigan. Jean, what happens today on this first day of jury deliberations?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me take you through it. The jury should arrive about 9:00 this morning and the first thing is that they will hear the jury instructions from the judge, which is the law that they must follow.

And then there are 17 of them altogether right now because there's five alternates. And nobody knows who the alternates are -- even the jury doesn't. So they're going to just sporadically pick five names. Those people will be the alternates. They will stay at the courthouse. They'll be secluded in another area. And then, the 12 jurors will begin to deliberate.

And, of course, just as you said, this is a homicide case. This is a charge of involuntary manslaughter that Jennifer Crumbley was grossly negligent in ignoring a known risk that her son could carry out a mass shooting and it was foreseeable. She knew it was a possibility he could carry out that mass shooting.

Now, I want you to listen to a little bit of the closing arguments -- powerful on both sides. Take a listen.


SHANNON SMITH, JENNIFER CRUMBLEY'S ATTORNEY: I am asking that you find Jennifer Crumbley not guilty. That James was the parent responsible for all of the storage of the guns. Jennifer Crumbley barely knew a thing about them.

KAREN MCDONALD, OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: She was worried and she was concerned, and she was panicked until after. And then, it's a different story. Why? Because she knew she had done something wrong.


CASAREZ: So the prosecution had 21 witnesses. They had over 400 exhibits. The defense had one witness, Jennifer Crumbley. But, of course, all eyes will be focused on was she telling the truth.