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CNN This Morning

House to Vote on Impeachment Mayorkas, Bipartisan Border Bill; Deadly Storm Unleashes Record Rain, Floods in California; King Charles Postpones Public Duties for Cancer Treatment; CNN Poll: Most Want Trump Election Trial Verdict by November. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired February 06, 2024 - 06:00   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. Good morning, everyone. So glad you're with us. I'm Poppy Harlow with Phil Mattingly in New York.


Congress preparing to vote on a Republican resolution to impeach the homeland security secretary for failing to secure the border. Meanwhile, a bipartisan bill to help secure the border may now be doomed in the Senate because of relentless attacks from some Republicans and Donald Trump.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: And Prince Harry on his way to the U.K. to see his ailing father this morning. King Charles pulling back from his public duties while he undergoes treatment for cancer.

And breaking overnight, country star Toby Keith has died at the age of 62 after a battle with stomach cancer. We're going to take a look back at his life.

CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.

HARLOW: Here's what we begin. We're about to see two very different votes on Capitol Hill as the crisis at the Southern border continues to escalate.

Just hours from now, House Republicans will try to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And overnight, the White House denounced the impeachment effort. They called it unprecedented, unconstitutional and political retribution with no basis in law or fact.

MATTINGLY: Now, at the same exact moment, Donald Trump and GOP relationship launching an all-out war to kill the only bipartisan bill to actually address that unparalleled surge of migrants on the border. And it's already on the brink of defeat before a key vote in the Senate tomorrow.

Trump is issuing a new warning for Republican senators who support the deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it probably would mean the end of their career. This is a Democrat trap. It's a trap for Republicans that would be so stupid, so foolish to sign a bill like this. This bill can't be signed.


MATTINGLY: And even if the Senate manages to pass a border deal -- and that's a huge "if" right now -- Speaker Mike Johnson making it abundantly clear the House won't even consider it.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): We did read through it, Laura. And it did not take long to realize that this is dead on arrival. There's no way we could bring this through the House.

What it would do is actually further incentivize illegal immigration. The bill itself would actually do more harm than good. And that's why we've said it's a nonstarter over here in the House.


HARLOW: Let's bring in CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox. Lauren, good morning. Will the vote be close today?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the expectation from Republican leaders is they'll be able to get this across the finish line. But we are watching really closely, because you have people like Representative Ken Buck, who are opposed to moving forward with impeaching Secretary Mayorkas.

One thing is sure: Senate Democrats are going to have to make a decision, if the decision is made in the House to impeach Mayorkas, as to what they're going to do in their chamber. Specifically, are they going to try to move to dismiss this very quickly? Are they going to try to hold a quick trial in the Senate? Are they going to try to move this to a Senate committee in order to try to clear the deck and not take much time on the Senate floor, which is very precious, to deal with this impeachment?

A lot of Senate Democrats that I talked to last night said, you know, they think that this is blatantly political. But at the same time, there are constitutional considerations, procedural considerations that they have to make.

So, we expect that this will be approved in the House tonight. Where it goes from there, I think, is still a very open question. Senate Democratic aides are still reviewing past impeachments of non- presidents to try to make a decision to look at the precedent and see whether or not they have any maneuvering, any room to really try and move this along pretty quickly.

MATTINGLY: Lauren, when it comes to the bipartisan border package, House Republican leaders have made very clear, they're not going to put it on the floor. That's a kill shot in and of itself to the legislation.

My bigger question right now: are any Republicans going to vote for it in the Senate? A bipartisan deal negotiated by a Republican, are they all going to vote no?

FOX: Well, it's really interesting. I'm standing outside of that Republican conference meeting last night where they were talking about this bill. And inside that meeting minority leader Mitch McConnell does what we know him to do often, which is he told members that they should vote their conscience. If they feel like they aren't ready to vote to advance this bill on Wednesday in a procedural vote, that they shouldn't feel obligated to do so. They can vote against it.

But it's really fascinating, because Senator Lankford, who's worked for months on this, was also talking about the fact that a lot of members aren't ready. Phil, you've been around for a long time on Capitol Hill. You know, often more time does not make the political situation any easier. And I think more time is only going to do the inevitable which is to kill this effort that they have been working on for several months now.


HARLOW: He's not -- he's not that old, Lauren.

MATTINGLY: She called me old.

HARLOW: He's not that old.

MATTINGLY: She called me old.

FOX: I didn't say you were old.

HARLOW: I will always be --

FOX: Just that you've been around the Hill. An expert on the Hill.

HARLOW: -- a year older than Mattingly.

Thank you, Lauren.

MATTINGLY: Thanks, bud.

HARLOW: Next hour, we'll be joined by the House minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries, about this upcoming vote to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. So stay with us for that.

MATTINGLY: Well, there's more rain on the way in California this morning after an atmospheric river unleashed vicious storm and record rainfall. It impacted travel and power. At least two people were killed by trees that toppled during that storm.

Flash floods and landslides sent buildings and vehicles down rivers of mud. 35 million people remain under flood threat right now. Meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking all of it from Los Angeles.

Chad, what are you seeing right now?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm seeing a lace that picked up 11.81 inches as of 10 p.m. Last night, and it hasn't stopped raining all night long. So that may be over a foot of rain.

Something else I'm seeing, this brick in the mud. Don't know where it came from. Hopefully, it was a brick walkway and not something more substantial. This is the mess we're dealing with here. As the water went up the canyons, down the rivers and even in the streets. Some of the pictures are quite striking.


MYERS (voice-over): An onslaught of rain pummeling California, killing at least three people and there's more rain on the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like thunder, like whoosh. And then the sound of trees, I thought, snapping like twigs. And it was just this house, just completely disintegrating.

MYERS (voice-over): The National Weather Service is calling this atmospheric river weather event one of the most dramatic weather days in recent memory in Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded like a plane crashing or maybe of a freight train or something like that. Just boulders and mud.

MYERS (voice-over): In Los Angeles, mud slides left cars stranded in impassable streets and left homes destroyed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the foundation of 10334 Caribou Lane. And this is where the house sits now.

MYERS (voice-over): One hundred and twenty mud slides were reported in this highly populated city, marking the third wettest two-day stretch on record.

Flooding was also a factor, after this massive rain event slammed into Southern California, leaving roads like raging rivers.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is seen here lowering down to grab a man from the flood waters after he jumped in to rescue his dog. The dog was also rescued and is safe.

President Biden pledging his support for California during this state of emergency, by calling into a press conference with Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via phone): We'll get any help on the way as soon as you guys request it.

MYERS (voice-over): Downed trees were a concern in this Santa Cruz community, with one hitting a mobile home. Luckily, no one was inside at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just looking out the window, and it just starts falling down. Just kind of screamed and kind of hide, hoping it wasn't going to hit the house.

MYERS (voice-over): And in the small community of Boulder Creek, one man was killed when this tree fell on his home. His neighbors heard the moment of impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing we heard was somebody screaming. But then the screaming stopped. Like, if you've ever heard a wounded dog, like that. But it wasn't a dog. It was human.

MYERS (voice-over): And this atmospheric river is reaching all the way into the Sierra Nevada mountains, where heavy snowfall is helping the season's snowpack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll take it where we can get it.


MYERS (on camera): The heaviest rain right now this morning is headed down to San Diego County. This is just light rain. This is not going to make more flooding. But there's just no place for this to soak in. Any more rainfall is just going to run off.

It literally sounds like I'm standing near a waterfall. All the water rushing down this road still this morning.

MYERS (voice-over): Yes. Still. "Still" the key word there. Stunning pictures. Chad Myers, thank you.

HARLOW: Yes. All right. So breaking news this morning, some sad news to tell you about. Country singer Toby Keith has died after a battle with stomach cancer.


TOBY KEITH, COUNTRY SINGER (singing): I should have been a cowboy. I should have learned to roll around.


HARLOW: His family released a statement overnight, saying that he died peacefully surrounded by his family.

MATTINGLY: Keith was diagnosed in 2022. The family says he, quote, "fought his fight with grace and courage."

Toby Keith was 62 years old. He's survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren. We'll continue to remember his life throughout the morning.

Well ahead, a majority of Americans want Donald Trump's federal election subversion trial decided before the November election. Is that even possible? We're going to break down the new CNN polling.

HARLOW: Also, Prince Harry rushing home to see his father, King Charles, as he begins cancer treatment. We have new details on the king's diagnosis ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


HARLOW: Britain's King Charles stepping back from public duties after his cancer diagnosis. He was treated last month for an enlarged prostate, but a royal source tells CNN that the king does not have prostate cancer.

Now, Prince William, who is next in line to the throne, will return to public duties after taking time to support his wife after her own surgery.

Prince Harry also heading to the United Kingdom to see his father.

Anna Stewart joins us from London. I mean, everyone praying and hoping that he makes a full recovery and that he is OK. Obviously, there's a lot of privacy when it comes to health issues. But what do you know this morning?

ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was interesting, actually, to be given the information from the palace that this is a cancer diagnosis. Because with the late queen, of course, we got very little information when it came to health concerns. To this day, we still don't know what the cause of death was for Queen Elizabeth II.

So we've had some information. The palace put out a statement yesterday and said that they hope that this information would actually prevent sort of speculation in the public and in the media as to his condition.

But, of course, it has really sparked even more questions as to what type of cancer this is, what stage it might be at, what the treatment plan will be. And we simply don't have that information.

We know that the recovery -- sorry, the treatment plan is starting imminently. And so that's all we have to go on.

The newspapers that we have here, from the tabloids, just show the shock, I think, of the nation. "King's Cancer Shock" from "The Mirror."

And here in "The Daily Mail," "Charles is so grateful they caught it early." Now, this is a line that we didn't really have confirmed from the palace yesterday. But interestingly, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, spoke to the BBC earlier today and also repeated that line, that it has been caught early. So perhaps that's some good news for the public.

MATTINGLY: Anna, King Charles won't be doing any public appearances, at least for the moment. But I think the question, given the public nature of the role, what becomes -- if he's too ill to work, what happens?

STEWART: Yes, the public nature of the role but also the constitutional role that the monarch has in the U.K. It's a moment like this that you remember that in the U.K., the monarch actually gives royal assent to new legislation, new laws, appoints prime ministers, dissolves Parliament. Many constitutional roles.

Now, at this stage, the king is going to be able to perform all of those roles. He's simply taking a step back from public-facing engagements, and other members of the royal family will help fill those in.

However, just so everyone is aware, I mean, there is the Regency Act in the U.K.; multiple acts, actually. So there is a line of succession. There is a way that monarch can appoint people to fulfill his constitutional roles, if he needs it. But he doesn't at this stage.

HARLOW: OK. Hoping for the best. Anna, thanks for all that reporting.

MATTINGLY: And joining us now, CNN royal commentator and royal correspondent for "Hello" magazine, Emily Nash.

Emily, thank so much for being here. To kind of pick up on what Anna is talking about. There are processes in place. There are very few things that the royal household is not prepared for. What is the kind of scale of preparation for a moment like this?

EMILY NASH, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, people are always prepared behind the scenes. We know that the heir to the throne is also privy to a lot of paperwork, for example, that goes to the monarch. That happened when the king was Prince Charles under his mother. And I'm sure that's continuing with the Prince of Wales now.

The complicating factor, of course, is the Prince of Wales himself has been taking a bit of time out to help with the recovery of his wife, Princess Kate. He's now coming back to engagements this week, and he's going to be shouldering more responsibility than ever as a result.

But there are, you know, systems in place. We have counselors of state who can step in, should they be required, if the king is incapacitated in any way. But we're being told that that's not necessary at this point. And the king is going to continue with his constitutional duties. It's just the public facing activities that he carries out on a day-to-day basis that we won't be seeing from him until he's recovered.

HARLOW: And we saw Prince William step back from those public-facing duties that he had while he was taking care of everything at home, while Catherine was in hospital for two weeks.

Obviously, we'll see a lot more of him now, and he'll be joined, Emily, by Prince Harry, his brother. Do we know what that might look like?

NASH: Well, we don't have any information on whether the two brothers will be spending time together. But I'm sure there will be some communication here. This is a major event for the royal family. And like any family cancer diagnosis comes as a big shock and people will want to rally around and rightly the priority has to be supporting their father.

But we'd all like to see a healing of relations after a very difficult period in their -- in their relationship as brothers. But I think, you know, that primarily, the Duke of Sussex will be here to spend time with his father. They've not been able to spend any meaningful time together for the last couple of years. So I think it's really important.

MATTINGLY: There have been no shortage of stories over the course of the last several decades about how the country views King Charles. What's their reaction been to the diagnosis?

NASH: It's been one of concern and great sympathy, you know, and a real outpouring of support from members of the public but also world leaders. We've seen -- you know, it's easy to forget just how much of an impact he's had on public life, even as heir to the throne, you know. He has earned this respect over many, many decades.

And his first year, the first 18 months have gone very well. I think, you know, people expected there to be perhaps some kind of sea change after the late queen's death. It hasn't really happened. He's really been able to steady the tiller and has done very well. And I think people are all just really wishing him well here.

MATTINGLY: Emily Nash, thank you.

Well, in a final attempt, Donald Trump is urging the Supreme Court to keep his name off of Colorado's -- keep his name on Colorado's ballot. Find out what he's now accusing of pursuing a, quote, "anti-democratic case against him."

HARLOW: Also, Nikki Haley has applied for Secret Service protection. We've got details on what led to that request. Stay with us.



HARLOW: Welcome back. What a beautiful sunrise here in New York. Good morning, everyone.

New polling shows that a majority -- this is a new CNN poll, by the way, of Americans do want to see Donald Trump's decision in the federal election subversion case before the election. Forty-five percent of Americans think Trump's efforts to overturn the election were illegal. Another 32 percent found his actions unethical but not illegal.

MATTINGLY: Joining us now, former Republican strategist and pollster, Lee Carter; CNN political commentator and Spectrum News anchor, Errol Louis; senior Washington correspondent for Bloomberg, Saleha Mohsin; and CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Elie Honig.

Elie, let me start with you, because I'm watching everything. Not a lawyer. Blissfully. No offense. Is there any way these cases, that case in particular, will be resolved by the election?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: There is a way. It's going to be pushed back. It's been officially pushed back, right?

So for months now that case, the federal election subversion case has been on the calendar for March 4, which is four weeks from now. That clearly was not going to hold for various reasons, including the fact that we still have a pending appeal on the immunity issue. It's now been sitting with the D.C. Circuit for a month since it was argued.

And as a result, Judge Chutkan properly said this is not going to go forward on March 4.

But here's the question: can they still get it in? The answer is going to be dependent on how long this appeal takes. I still think there's a chance. If this appeal ruling comes within the next few weeks, depending how quickly things move through, potentially, the Supreme Court, I still think they could get this trial in over the summer, maybe starting in May or June, carrying through July or August.

Now, that's tricky. You guys know. Conventions are in July. And they'll be in the heat of the general election campaign. So far from ideal but still possible.

HARLOW: One thing, Errol, that's really interesting in this poll is the lack of trust for the Supreme Court's decision on these crucial issues, since truly, the future of all of this sort of hangs on the Supreme Court in multiple ways.

Looking at the polling, only 11 percent trust the court a great deal on this, on the election decisions. Twenty-three percent, not at all. And 31 percent just moderately. Just some is 35 percent.

I just wonder your thoughts on that for democracy, this country writ large.


HARLOW: However they weigh.

LOUIS: I don't think the members of the Supreme Court are sitting around looking at polling data. But if they did --

HARLOW: No, I mean the public. How the public feels. Whatever they decide, what do these numbers tell you about what the public is going to do with that?

LOUIS: Well, I mean, what the public does with it, I think, is a separate question from whether or not the Supreme Court has lost a critical amount of trust for a lot of different reasons. Some of which have nothing to do with this particular case.

But the institution itself is -- it cannot be, must not be seen as just an adjunct of the major parties or the candidates that are running for office. And to the extent that they are, which is what this poll suggests how

people are seeing this, they're a problem. They don't -- the court is not supposed to be just one more institution fighting partisan battles inside the Beltway.

And to the extent that people think that that's who they are, it becomes impossible for them to really sort of do their work. Because ultimately, we've all got to trust and believe that what they're doing -- that they're playing straight. That it's -- you know, the rule of law is to be followed.

And that everybody down to election commissioners in all of the different thousands of counties understand that what they're doing is right and in accordance with the Constitution.

To the extent that they lose that trust, we all have a big problem.

HARLOW: One thing that could really help them regain that is much more transparency when it comes to ethics.

People should listen, by the way, on Thursday to these oral arguments. Listen. You can't watch it. You should be able to watch it; no cameras there.

But you know, sunlight helps when you have an issue of trust. That's for sure.

MATTINGLY: Lee, there was one number in the poll that I read past a couple of times, because it seemed obvious. And I went back to it and thought, wait, that's not great that I think that's obvious.

The idea that people were asked if Trump would concede if he loses. And 75 -- 74 percent said no. And 25 percent said yes. And I'm kind of questioning where they were in 2020.

But the idea that 75 percent of Americans think the guy who's almost certain to be the Republican nominee, if he loses, is not going to concede; and you kind of read by it, because you're almost numb to it at this point. That seems bad.

LEE CARTER, FORMER REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST AND POLLSTER: Well, it certainly speaks to the -- to the support that Donald Trump has. And people say that they like him because of who he is. And this is-- people hate him for who he is, too.

But, you know, this idea that he is defiant, that he is a fighter, that he is not going to go down without a fight is something that is really appealing to his base.

And so the same thing that repels so many people is the very same thing that people love about him. And I think that's really, really confusing to understand.

There are so many things about this poll that I find fascinating. When you look at only half of Americans are saying -- only half of Americans are saying it's very important we understand if a verdict is reached in this case before I vote for the guy. I mean, it's unbelievable.

And when you look at the polling shifts, there are other polls that came out this week, Trump is ahead by Biden by five points. If he's convicted, he only loses by two points. That's within the margin of error. You can't imagine, if he is convicted, we're not -- he's not losing that much support, which is absolutely astounding.

It speaks to the strength of his support. It speaks to how people trust the Supreme Court, trust the system. So many people believe the system is system is rigged, and his message has really taken hold.

HARLOW: Saleha, talk about that and also, you know, where Trump is in terms of the power that he wields. He's -- he's displaying it right now when it comes to any potential progress on the border.

SALEHA MOHSIN, SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG: Absolutely. He refers to himself as the president because he was the president. So he's not running as just a candidate. He is running as President Donald Trump.

HARLOW: Let's listen to him on the border and talk more about that. Here he was.


TRUMP: This is a Democrat trap. It's a trap for Republicans that would be so stupid, so foolish to sign a bill like this. This bill can't be signed. And it's not only that, it's massive amounts of money going out of town, as we say. Going out of town.


MOHSIN: I mean, one thing to remember is that just because people are saying that they might not vote for Trump if he's convicted, does not mean that those votes will go to Biden. It is possible that we see those people stay at home. To me, that's a number to look at. Who is going to stay at home? How many people are going to stay at home?

Because it used to be thinking that if I stay at home, I've wasted my vote. You've wasted your vote. I used to say this to teenagers as they're signing up to vote and talking to young students.