Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Hamas Offers Counterproposal to Hostage Deal; Appeals Court Rules Trump Can Be Prosecuted in Jan. 6 Case; House GOP Fails to Impeach Mayorkas in Stunning Defeat. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired February 07, 2024 - 07:00   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The burning question, Phil, has been bothering me about since 3:00 this morning. Will Taylor Swift be able to kiss Travis Kelce?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: That's all I think about.

HARLOW: That's all he thinks about. Hanako, thank you very much.

And CNN This Morning continues right now.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: No immunity. Donald Trump's claims outright rejected by a federal appeals court.

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Trump expected to appeal this decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They narrowly crafted the opinion to deal with one circumstance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a landmark decision that will be cited for many years.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The stunning defeat for House Republicans who failed to impeach Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: The Senate's immigration deal on the verge of collapse.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Divisions within the ranks, making governing this chamber incredibly difficult.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: He'd rather weaponize this issue than actually solve it.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): It's Trump's party and they just want to blow everything up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We find the defendant guilty of involuntary manslaughter. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mother of a Michigan school shooter found guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A game changer not only in Michigan but throughout the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people spoke. That was important. That's our system at work.


MATTINGLY: Good morning, everyone. It's the top of the hour. I'm Phil Mattingly with Poppy Harlow in New York. Thank you for joining us.

We have brand new details this morning about a counterproposal from Hamas for a potential hostage deal. The group has put forward a three- phase plan lasting several months, pushing for a full Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza and the delivery of humanitarian aid in exchange for the release of hostages still being held captive.

An Israeli official familiar with the negotiations tells CNN that, quote, there is no way Tel Aviv will agree to that.

HARLOW: Also this morning, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is holding critical meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and key government officials there behind closed doors in Tel Aviv. Blinken had earlier called the Hamas response, quote, positives. We'll see where this goes. And President Biden took a slightly different take, calling this proposal, quote, a bit over the top.

Our Jeremy Diamond starts our coverage this hour live from Tel Aviv. I mean, the momentum is there. You've got a proposal on the table. You've got Blinken having all these key meetings. But the ask, according to this reporting, may be too big for Tel Aviv to agree to.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. It's clear that there are still major differences between where Israel is and where Hamas is over a potential ceasefire over the release of hostages. And that's mainly because Israel is still rejecting this notion of a permanent ceasefire, whereas Hamas is very much looking for an end to this war all together as part of these hostage negotiations.

But if you dive into the details of these proposals, and particularly when you look at phase one that Hamas is proposing, there are a lot of similarities between what their counterproposal is and where Israel has been over the last week-and-a-half.

And that's because each phase here would last 45 days. In this first phase, you would see the release of women, children, the sick, the elderly in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, an intensification of humanitarian aid and a temporary ceasefire with Israeli forces withdrawing from key population centers. That is very similar to what Israel had agreed to as part of this broad framework.

But when you dive into phases two and three, this is where the problems start to show up, and that's because Hamas wants to negotiate over a permanent ceasefire. They want the completion of those talks in phase two, the release of male hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. And, critically, in phase two, they also want to see the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

And that is where an Israeli official today is drawing the line, saying that there is no way that Israel will agree to a ceasefire and the withdrawal of all forces as part of these hostage negotiations.

Now, the major question is whether or not these two sides can agree to a phase one deal here and then continue talking, continue negotiating as we start to see a pause in the fighting, the release of hostages as outlined in that first phase of the agreement.

There's no question that the ball is now very much in Israel's court as well as in the United States court. And that's where we find Secretary of State Tony Blinken in Tel Aviv today meeting with top Israeli officials.

He met earlier today with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. As we speak, he's meeting with the chief of staff of the Israeli military and he'll be meeting with the Israeli president and other officials later in the day.

But the ball is in Israel's court. The question is how they will now respond to this latest counterproposal from Hamas.

HARLOW: And keep us posted through the day as we learn more. Jeremy, thanks very much for the reporting from Tel Aviv.

MATTINGLY: Well, also this morning, in a major blow to former President Trump, an appeals court ruling unanimously said he does not have immunity from the federal charges against him alleging he plotted to overturn the 2020 election, that Trump has long claimed he cannot be prosecuted for acts he says fell within his duties as president.

But in a strongly, very strongly worded opinion, the three-person panel says, quote, Trump's stance would collapse our system of separated powers by placing the president beyond the reach of all three branches. Now, Trump has until Monday to file an appeal.

Let's turn now to CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig.


Elie, I think let's just start by walking through it, because it was such a -- the scale of what was put into the actual opinion itself underscores just how strong it is.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's a really remarkable, Phil. This is why we go to law school, by the way. This stuff is so interesting.

MATTINGLY: I didn't go to law school.

HONIG: Some of us. MATTINGLY: Okay.

HONIG: Poppy. Because this is about how our government functions.

So, just to orient people, this is Jack Smith's federal election interference case based in Washington, D.C., against Donald Trump relating to the 2020 election.

So, let's look at the three main pillars of the argument and the decision that we saw yesterday. First of all, Donald Trump argued that he has blanket immunity, that as president, nothing he did can be charged criminally. And the court, we just saw this quote, rejected that very clearly. They said, former President Trump's stance would collapse our system of separated powers, collapse the system. That's a very dramatic refutation of that defense.

The second argument that Donald Trump made is that, well, okay, if I don't have blanket immunity, I at least have immunity for things that I did within the scope of my job as president. Donald Trump, of course, was president. He said, what I was doing when I was calling other state officials, when I was calling members of Congress, I was acting within my official job as the president.

And the court firmly rejected that. They said, no, you weren't. In fact, what they said that what you were doing was not only outside the scope, but probably criminal.

And then the third argument that Donald Trump made that the court rejected was this sort of unusual creative argument that Donald Trump's team came up with, that the only way a president or former president can ever be indicted is if he is first impeached in the House of Representatives then convicted in the U.S. Senate. And only then can the president be prosecuted.

And the Court of Appeals said, no way. That's apples and oranges. They have nothing to do with one another. So, a very firm rejection of all of Donald Trump's arguments.

HARLOW: Literally all of them. Talk about what happens next.

HONIG : Yes. So, really important, we are here. This decision came out of the Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit. The district court, the trial court, they have been what we call stayed, meaning on pause since this appeal started back in December.

Now, the key date to keep in mind is this coming Monday, February 12th. If nothing happens, then the case goes back to the trial court and they can get back on the game.

However, what Donald Trump is likely to do is go up to the U.S. Supreme Court, say, we want you to take the case, we want you to keep everything else paused.

So, we're going to hear whether the U.S. Supreme Court is willing to stop this very quickly. If they are willing to stop this and take the case, that's going to push this trial date way back. But if they say, we're not taking the case, it will be back in the district court and we very likely will then see a trial at some point before the 2024 election.

HARLOW: You dream about that?

HONIG: I don't if it's nightmares. Yes, I dream. I dream about all of this.

MATTINGLY: Yes, it's that in the calendar.

Thanks, buddy. I appreciate it.

HARLOW: This morning Republicans are reeling after a day of dysfunction and defeat on Capitol Hill in a stunning and embarrassing loss. The House Republicans failed to impeach the Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, after three Republicans broke rank.

Listen to the reaction when this happened on the floor of the House.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): On this vote, the yays are 214 and the nays are 216. The resolution is not adopted.


HARLOW: Meanwhile, over in the Senate, Republican infighting and pressure from Donald Trump has effectively killed the most significant bipartisan border security bill in decades. Mitch McConnell now admitting it doesn't stand a chance as the Senate prepares to vote just a couple hours from now.

MATTINGLY: But wait, there's more. Back in the House, Republicans then failed to pass their own standalone aid package for Israel.

Also, we've learned RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is now offering to step down in the middle of a presidential election year as Trump pushes to replace her. And Nevada's GOP primary, which happened last night, Nikki Haley, lost by more than 30 points, not to Donald Trump or anyone else, but to the option of none of these candidates, seriously.

Let's bring in CNN Congressional Correspondent Lauren Fox. Lauren, I'm just trying to get a sense of what Mike Johnson, the speaker of the House, never thought he had an easy path to begin with, but where does he go here? How did this happen, particularly on Mayorkas?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think the Mayorkas vote is really worth paying attention to, in part because this was such a historic moment for the House Republican Conference. This was a moment that they had been marching toward for several months.

And despite the fact that the votes were always going to be really close, you don't take a gamble on something so significant as impeaching a cabinet secretary. This was going to be a moment where Republicans could talk about the border. This was going to be a moment where they were going to be able to have some contrast with the Biden administration and provide that contrast for their members on the campaign trail, but there was a simple math problem.

Basically, they thought one Democrat was absent. It turned out that Democrat showed up just in time for this vote on impeachment in the House of Representatives.


Al Green wheeled into the chamber, according to our colleagues who were witnessing this, had no shoes on for this vote. And certainly that caught Republicans by surprise. They knew that they had three no votes, and that is obviously something that they just didn't have any more room for air. But, again, you got to count the votes. You got to know who's present. And that includes the folks on the other side of the aisle.

Now, Republicans are saying that they are going to bring this back up when their numbers, you know, come back. Basically, they're waiting for Steve Scalise, the majority leader, to return to the Capitol. He's receiving cancer treatments and has been away. Once that happens, they are adamant that this is going to pass.

But it's an embarrassing moment. And it's a moment that could have been avoided. And, of course, it comes paired with the fact that they were not able to pass that Israel aid bill. They tried to pass it under suspension of the rules, which basically means you need a large number of Democratic votes earlier in the day.

Democratic leadership made clear they were urging their members to vote against it not because they're against the aid in principle, but because they say that this needs to be part of a larger package related to Ukraine as well.

So, obviously, a lot of moving pieces here, but I think what it says is that Mike Johnson is still really new at this.

HARLOW: Yes. As John Avlon was pointing out, a lot of failures and a condensed amount of time.

What about on the Senate side? So, they're going to take up this immigration bill that Mitch McConnell, you know, who supported it, says, it's dead. What happens now?

FOX: Yes. So, they're going to have this procedural vote that includes the border security provision. That is going to fail. And then we have new reporting that Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, will then move to try and advance a bill that just includes the security supplemental piece. So, that means aid for Ukraine, aid for Israel, aid for the Indo-Pacific. And that is expected to have a pathway forward, because Republicans, despite the fact many of them wanted to see more border security, they still acknowledge that this Ukraine aid is so essential. Now, even if this can get through the United States Senate, it's just important to keep in mind where is it going in the House of Representatives. Mike Johnson, again, has another huge question to deal with.

HARLOW: Lauren Fox, thank you for all the reporting.

Also this, a stunning new report finds the key bolts were missing on the Boeing 737 MAX 9 plane that lost a door in the middle of the flight, what else investigators discovered.

MATTINGLY: And a historic ruling against the mother of the Michigan school shooter, Jennifer Crumbley found guilty of manslaughter. The details of that verdict, next.



MATTINGLY: Well, a landmark verdict, a jury convicted the mother of a school shooter on all four counts of involuntary manslaughter. A Michigan jury has unanimously convicted Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of Ethan Crumbley, who killed four of his classmates in 2021.

HARLOW: This is so significant because this is the first time that the parent of a school shooter has been held responsible for their child's actions. Ethan's father, James, is facing the same charge. His trial begins in March.

And our Jean Casarez has been following this from the beginning. She joins us live from Pontiac, Michigan. It is a verdict that not only is significant there, but really for the entire country, right?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. You know, Poppy, this community has been through so much. They have experienced a mass shooting and all of the emotions that go through that. This jury is from this community and they spoke loud and clear.


CASAREZ (voice over): A historic verdict --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We find the defendant guilty.

CASAREZ: -- in the manslaughter trial of Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of a teen who killed four students at a Michigan High School in 2021. The jury unanimous in their verdict after more than ten hours of deliberation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jury seat number 12, was that -- is that your verdict?


CASAREZ: Jennifer Crumbley had pleaded not guilty to four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count for each student her son murdered. She faces a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison for each count, which would run concurrently and will be sentenced in April.

On November 30th, 2021, Ethan Crumbley killed Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, Justin Shilling, and Hana St. Juliana at Oxford High School using a gun his parents gave him.

The case is a novel one and unprecedented in testing the limits of whether a parent of a mass shooter can be held accountable for the attack.

SHANNON SMITH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This case is a very dangerous one for parents out there. It just is, and it is one of the first of its kind.

CASAREZ: The jury forewomen said one detail stood out in deliberations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The thing that really hammered at home is that she was the last adult with the gun.

CASAREZ: The family of one of the victims reacting to the verdict just outside of the courtroom today.

CRAIG SHILLING, FATHER OF CRUMBLEY VICTIM JUSTIN SHILLING: It was a long time coming, but it's definitely a step toward accountability. It's not really about winning or losing. It's about making it apparent that this has to stop in society.

CASAREZ: During the trial, prosecutors painted Jennifer Crumbley as grossly negligent, giving her son a gun and failing to get him the proper mental health treatment despite warning signs.

KAREN MCDONALD, OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: The question about why Jennifer Crumbley didn't take one of these small, small actions, secure the gun, find out where the gun is. It looms large in this courtroom. There is no one it looms larger for than the victims and the family members of those kids who were killed on that day.

CASAREZ: But the 45-year-old's lawyer argued her son's actions could not have been predicted.

SMITH: Can every parent really be responsible for everything their children do, especially when it's not foreseeable?


And this clearly was not foreseeable to Mrs. Crumbley because there's no one in the world, including Mrs. Crumbley, who wouldn't let a school shooting happen.

CASAREZ: Scenes from the day of the shooting were shown in court while the jury heard from those who survived it.

MOLLY DARNELL, OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: I had texted my husband, I love you, active shooter. And then I started feeling blood dripping down my arm. CASAREZ: Jennifer Crumbley took the stand earlier in the trial during the defense of the case and appeared to shift some blame onto her husband.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is responsible for storing the gun?


CASAREZ: Jennifer's husband, James Crumbley, is scheduled to go to trial on the same charges in early March. He too has pleaded not guilty.


CASAREZ (on camera): And Jennifer Crumbley will be sentenced on April 9th in this courthouse right behind me. Under Michigan law, it is not only allowed, but it is encouraged to have victim impact statements.

It will be an emotional day because the victims in this particular case, once again, those four students, the families that were gunned down by Ethan Crumbley in November of 2021.

As far as James' trial, it is set on course at this moment for March 5th. We'll see, though, how that develops.

HARLOW: And we just showed all four of those victims. It is so important that people listen to what their families say and those victim impact statements.

Jean, thank you very much.

Politics, Nikki Haley losing in the Nevada primary, even though she was the only major candidate on the ballot.

MATTINGLY: Not great. Also the man, the myth, the legend of the map, John King, he's going to go to Haley's home state of South Carolina, take the pulse of the voters on that GOP primary. That's next.




CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER 2024 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's not running against Donald Trump. And, you know, I think that the people who support me in this enterprise expect that if I'm going to support someone, they're going to be as aggressive and as honest and direct about Donald Trump being unfit for the presidency.


HARLOW: So, that is former presidential candidate Chris Christie explaining why he has not endorsed Nikki Haley. Christie told CNN it doesn't look good for Haley in her home state of South Carolina ahead of the primary there a little bit later this month. MATTINGLY: Well, good for us, CNN's John King recently traveled to the state to see how the actual voters are viewing the race. And John King is with us right now.

So, tell us, this is the big question hanging over the Republican Party now. Is there a real pathway for Nikki Haley?

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's almost mission impossible when you visit the state you realize just how complete the Trump makeover the Republican Party is even in her home state.

When I started doing this, Ronald Reagan was president. The keys to success in South Carolina, lower taxes, less government, strong military, lower taxes, less government, strong military. And Nikki Haley is running in a state now where, yes, she was elected twice as governor, where the main question Republicans ask is, you know, where are you on Trump. It's not about ideology anymore, it's all about Trump.

So, can she do it? She has to convince a whole lot of people who are now voting for Trump to change their minds. That's hard. She has to convince a whole lot of Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans who normally don't show up for Republican primaries to come out and vote because any registered voter can vote in the primary as long as you didn't already vote in the Democratic primary. She really needs a time machine. She needs to go back to a party that I don't think exists anymore.

HARLOW: Let's talk about what you heard when you were on the ground there from voters.

KING: What you hear is Nikki Haley was a good governor but -- and there are some people who some people even people who voted for Trump in the past who say, I'm done with this. But the main takeaway was we like her but we love him.


KING (voice over): The South Carolina shoreline is spectacular. Island Treats Ice Cream Shop, a popular stop in Polly's Island.

Just one scoop of moose tracks, that's good.

Joy Rendulic cashed in her 401(k) eight years ago to buy the place, leaving Pennsylvania behind.

JOY RENDULIC, SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN VOTER: God brought me here. I tell everybody, He brought me here.

KING: Rendulic served her first scoop back in 2016. Nikki Haley was governor then, and Rendulic was impressed.

RENDULIC: Yes, she was a very good governor.

KING: But then and now, Donald Trump is her vote for president. RENDULIC: I totally believe that God has assigned him to this position. That was my true belief.

KING: Assigned him to be the president of the United States?

RENDULIC: Yes, and that he'll be president again. I've been saying that for a long time.

KING: What happened in 2020 then?

RENDULIC: That was a mess. That was some illegal, some improper cheating happening.

KING: No judge in any state or federal judge found any evidence.

RENDULIC: I think so many people hate Trump and that --

KING: Even judges appointed by Trump, even Trump's Supreme Court that rejected them in the end, three of his justices there?

RENDULIC: I just know that there was a whole lot of cheating.

KING: If it was God's plan for Trump to be president, why would God let that happen?

RENDULIC: Because right now, the time happened -- okay, what happened is what happened, and I believe Trump is coming again.

KING: Such, Trump is best no matter what sentiment, is easy to find in South Carolina, a big reason the former president is heavily favored in Haley's home state.

RENDULIC: He's even more ready now.

KING: Mark Sanford is out of politics because he has a very different take on Trump. Sanford was the Republican governor here before Haley. Then he won his old House seat back in 2013. But Sanford lost a Republican primary in 2018 because he criticized Trump's spending and sometimes his tone.

FMR. GOV. MARK SANFORD (R-SC): I would say, well, I'm for Trump in this area, but I'm against him in these different areas, but people didn't want nuance. They want, are you for or against him.

KING: Sanford nods in agreement when Haley criticizes Trump for all the chaos and all the deficit spending. Yet he expects a big Trump win here.

SANFORD: That which has traditionally worked in GOP politics isn't so much working these days.

Yes, I've seen this erosion. You have to -- you go from Tea Party, sort of Perot Movement, to Tea Party, to Trump. It's metastasized in every aggressive forms.

And what started out is a lot of well-meaning Americans saying, look, we got to do something about politicians doing what they said they were going to do into something much more strident is their religion.

I mean, I don't know how else to explain it.


KING: Hartsville is two hours inland from the coast. Bill Pierce (ph) here for 70 years except for stint in the Navy is another piece of the Trump comeback puzzle.