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Vote Republicans Hold in House of Representatives to Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Fails; House Republicans Reject Bipartisan Senate Immigration and Border Protection Bill; House Vote to Provide Aid to Israel Fails; Hamas Proposes Three- Phase Plan Lasting Several Months; Tucker Carlson Wraps Up Interview with Putin in Russia; Jury Convicts Mother of School Shooter in Michigan. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired February 07, 2024 - 08:00   ET




SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): You want to fix the border, or do you want to keep the border a mess in order to help Donald Trump?


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: This is where we are. Good morning, everyone. So glad you're joining us. A day of dysfunction for Republicans. They failed to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, appeared to kill the border deal they negotiated. And the party leader might resign this morning. What is next on Capitol Hill filled with chaos?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Also new overnight, Hamas responding to the proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza. What it wants in exchange for releasing the hostages and why Israel is already rejecting it, at least on its face.

HARLOW: Yes, and Donald Trump faces a second historic case hours after an appeals court unanimously rejects his claim of absolute immunity. His new legal strategy as the Supreme Court prepares to take up the ballot battle tomorrow. This hour of CNN THIS MORNING is now.

HARLOW: This morning, Republicans are reeling after a day of embarrassing defeats and dysfunction on Capitol Hill. In a stunning loss, the House GOP to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after three Republicans broke ranks and voted with Democrats. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the yeas are 214, and the nays 216. The resolution is not adopted.



MATTINGLY: And just hours from now the Senate is set to vote on a major bipartisan border security deal, developments Republican demanded. Mitch McConnell already admitting defeat after intense Republican infighting and pressure from Donald Trump. On top of all of that, House Republicans also yesterday failed to pass their own standalone aid package for Israel. And also, the RNC, we learned party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is now offering to step down in the middle of a presidential election year as Donald Trump seeks to replace her.

There's more, though. And in Nevada, the GOP primary happened last night. Nikki Haley lost by more than 30 points. The winner by an overwhelming margin was none of these candidates. Notably Trump's name was not on the ballot.

Let's start off with CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox. Lauren, this impeachment FOX, it's an embarrassment. It's stunning on a whip count level. It's stunning on a how do you not move this messaging thing forward. How did it happen?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Phil, I think that that is the question that Republicans are asking themselves this morning. This was really sort of a last-minute moment where Democrats had a one up on Republicans. Essentially, Republicans had had a vote right before this Mayorkas impeachment vote to sort of check where the numbers were, double-check where the numbers with. And they believed there was one Democratic absence.

Then, the Mayorkas impeachment vote begins. And toward the end, you have Al Green, a Democrat, who is wheeled into the House chamber to vote. This person did not vote in the previous vote series, and then all of a sudden appears. That set off a problem for Republicans because they already had three of their members voting against these articles of impeachment against Mayorkas.

So it was, in part, an opportunity for Democrats to embarrass Republicans. But in part, it was a problem where they just didn't have their numbers right. And this is such a historic moment, to go into a vote with margins this tight and to not have everything locked down is obviously an embarrassment. Now, Republicans are saying that once Steve Scalise, the majority leader, is back in Washington, they will hold this vote again and it will pass. And that is certainly going to be the case. But the reality is, it's still an embarrassment in this current situation.

And it's an embarrassment because you had so many Republicans who had been working toward this for so long. It's not ideal to have three members of your own party voting against it in first place. Then to not get it across the finish line, that's another problem entirely.

MATTINGLY: It's a remarkable ability to fail at things that aren't going to go anywhere anyway. They are doing them purely for messaging and know they can't pass, and they still not being able to pull it off.

I do want to ask you. Look, I don't actually care about the whip count on the immigration package in the Senate. It's a procedural vote. You and I love that stuff. Normal people don't. What I care about is, what happens next? There is still $60 billion for Ukraine aid that's outstanding. There's still $14 billion for Israel aid. There's Indo- Pacific aid, there's still the border. Is there a plan b here?

FOX: Yes, there is a plan b. And you're going to start to see it today, Phil. So they will hold this procedural vote on the border supplemental package. It will fail because Republicans are not going to be backing it, despite the fact that they were the ones who originally pushed for the border package. Then there will be another procedural vote on just that aid for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo- Pacific. That bill we do expect could advance because you had McConnell yesterday signaling that despite the fact that the border deal was falling apart, he still wanted to see, and a lot of Republicans wanted to see that critical aid for Ukraine and Israel move forward.


I think the next question, though, is where does this go in the House? Even if the Senate gets it out of their chamber, you then have yet another question for Speaker Mike Johnson. Is he going to put a standalone aid bill on the floor of his chamber knowing that there are a number of conservative members who in his conference are not voting for this, and might threaten his job over putting it on the floor? Phil, Poppy?

HARLOW: Thank you, Lauren, very much. We'll get back to you soon.

Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Jared Moskowitz of Florida. We really appreciate you being here. Let's start with just you were there, being in the room yesterday for all of this, what was it like? And Republicans say they're going to bring this again. Do you think this just ends up with what they wanted, which is the impeachment of the Homeland Security secretary?

REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL): Good morning. Thanks for having me. No, look, this continues the chaos of the 118th Congress, which so far for its historical purposes has expelled a member and removed a speaker of the House, which hadn't been tried in over 100 years and actually had never been accomplished. In this vote, they are trying to remove a cabinet secretary, which hasn't happened in 150 years, and in fact, failed.

Look, they should always believe that Democrats are going to have all of their members. This idea that oh, they thought we were down one so they could get it passed, that's amateur hour. They should always believe that every Democrat is going to be in the room, and they should plan for those contingencies. But they didn't. And so now it's an embarrassment.

Look, there were a couple of Republicans there that still believe in the Constitution and the fact you have to have a high crime and misdemeanor. They may not like Secretary Mayorkas. They even think he might have been doing a bad job. But that is not a rationale for impeachment. We might recall, by the way, former President Trump hated half of his cabinet secretaries. Rex Tillerson was dumb as rocks. His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, he hated. No one was talking about impeaching them because the president didn't like them or Congress didn't like them or the American people didn't like them. So this unfortunately just continues the chaos of the 118th Congress.

HARLOW: Some of the Republicans you are talking about are folks like Mike Gallagher, right, who wrote about why he voted against this impeachment in "The Wall Street Journal" this morning. He writes "Impeachment not only would fail to resolve Mr. Biden's border crisis but would also set a dangerous precedent that would be used against future Republican administrations." I wonder what you thought when you read that, when you listened and saw his vote yesterday.

MOSKOWITZ: That's exactly right. We are continuing to break the place. It just devolves every single solitary day. A new norm falls. And then yes, it's going to be repeated. We see this in Washington. Democrats got rid of the filibuster on federal judges. Republicans got rid of the filibuster on Supreme Court judges. Democrats censure a member. Republicans censure three members. They are going to go and impeach Mayorkas. You can guarantee that there will be two or three cabinet secretaries impeached next time.

And no one is going to want to be a cabinet secretary if this idea is you can be impeached because the opposite party doesn't like you or thinks you're doing a bad job. That doesn't rise to the level of impeachment that is enumerated specifically in the Constitution. And so no, I think those three Republicans got it right.

HARLOW: Let me ask you more broadly about the border crisis, because you told Jake Tapper last week that Republicans, quote, have been highlighting the border for a long time. And you went on to say and we, Democrats, were late. You are one of 14 Democrats who voted for a Republican resolution that denounced Biden's open door policies. How much blame do you think Democrats right now deserve for this crisis?

MOSKOWITZ: Well, look, that resolution doesn't mean anything. I was voting for it because I was trying to show my colleagues across the aisle that I'm serious about trying to secure the border.

HARLOW: What do you mean --

MOSKOWITZ: I think the --

HARLOW: Hold on, Congressman. This is the resolution, denouncing the Biden administration's open border policies, condemning national security and public safety crisis along the southwest border, and urging President Biden to end his administration's open border policies. You are saying it doesn't mean anything, but did you agree with that?

MOSKOWITZ: No, what I'm saying is it's not a bill. It is not like it becomes a law. It's a resolution. It's a messaging tool. And so Republicans were using it as a messaging tool, which is really what all they have done this 118th Congress. And so what I wanted to say is, listen, I agree that we need to secure our border. There are Democrats that agree that we should secure our border. And there are Democrats who think that there is a crisis at the border.

And so at the end of the day, what I was saying to Jake Tapper is both things are true. And the American people understand this and know this, which is, look, Republicans have been yelling about the border, OK, and Democrats were slow to respond. But now that we are at the table, and the most conservative border bill comes forward out of the Senate -- in fact, Republicans said we're not going to do Ukraine or Israel if we don't secure or border.


So we said, OK, put it all together. This is what they wanted. This is their border bill. The most conservative border bill comes forward in a generation, and all of a sudden, they are like, oh, my God, we can't actually fix this situation, because Donald Trump needs a crisis at the border for his campaign. And so that is also true now, that they are walking away from fixing the border, that they ginned this up, and now they are showing the American people that they're not serious about fixing it. They want the crisis to continue so that they can use it in the next election.

HARLOW: Congressman, before I move, just two points of fact. I hear you. There are a number of Republican senators who were for this. But also the fact that it is President Biden who put forth combining them in his supplemental.

Let me talk about the standalone Israel aid package that the House has put forth. President Biden said he would veto it, and the way the White House explains that is basically saying, look, we put something forward, we bipartisanly negotiated, we want it tied together. And then the White House says this bill is another cynical political maneuver. You voted for it. So I wonder what you make of the president's veto threat?

MOSKOWITZ: Well, look, the president has to do what he feels is right. I serve in the House. I have to do what I feel is right. And based on the fact that this is the least productive Congress in 30 years, the most chaotic Congress in 30 years, I can't plan for this beautiful bill that might come to the House. I have to vote on what's in front of me. And so what's in front of me is an Israel aid package.

I support Ukraine, and I support securing or border, and I support doing humanitarian aid for the Palestinians in Gaza. So I support the big bill that the president is pushing. And I hope we eventually get there. But with everything dying, and right now my colleagues across the aisle showing the world that they don't want to stand with Ukraine and giving Putin a win by struggling to pass this Ukraine aid, I don't want to send a message to the other part of the world in the Middle East that we are walking away from Israel while the United States right now is fighting Iranian proxies in the region because they are killing American citizens.

And so that's why I supported the bill for Israel. Israel right now is in the middle of negotiating getting 100 plus hostages back in exchange for a prolonged cease-fire. We need to stand by our number one ally in the Middle East. And that's why I voted for it. And if they bring it back under rules -- this was under suspension as you know. If they bring it back under rules, it would have passed the House because it wouldn't have needed two-thirds.

HARLOW: Congressman Jared Moskowitz, thank you, and we're going to get right to that breaking news that you are referencing there. Appreciate your time this morning.

MATTINGLY: It is the breaking details on the Israel-Hamas war as Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. What's in the Hamas cease-fire proposal, and why Israel is already saying no. Our chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour joins us to talk about all of it next.



MATTINGLY: New this morning, a counterproposal from Hamas about a potential hostage deal. The group is proposing a three-phase plan lasting several months. It includes a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, massive humanitarian effort, and freedom of movement throughout Israel in exchange for the release of hostages held in Gaza.

Now an Israeli official familiar with the negotiations tells CNN that: "There is no way Tel Aviv will agree to that."

HARLOW: And the news broke just as Secretary of State Antony Blinken was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister's Office described it as long and in-depth.

With us now to discuss all of this and a lot more, our chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour.

So glad you're with us.

Even if the deal as a whole is rejected. Is there a chance parts of it live, Christiane?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, look, it's hard to tell. I mean, the news was, you know, breaking for us, but obviously the parties have had these proposals and papers for at least 24 hours.

It seems in, you know, sort of, if you talk about big picture, what Hamas' counterproposal suggests, an end to the war. What Israel's proposal suggested was a temporary pause to get hostages back, obviously, with the release of Palestinian prisoners, and to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

So it looks right now as if these two, you know, places are quite far apart. And as you said, an Israeli official told CNN that this will not fly.

But remember, of course, the coalition of Benjamin Netanyahu that he depends on for staying in office does not want an end to this war, before the maximalist goals are achieved, if they can ever be achieved. And those are as articulated by Netanyahu, the complete defeat of Hamas, and the removal of Hamas from Gaza, and also the total, you know, release and rescue of all the hostages.

Now, most people do not believe that those two goals can happen at the same time, that they are in actual opposition to each other. You cannot get the hostages back by force, it hasn't happened yet.

The only time the last hostages were released was during a negotiated truce, and a pause, and that is when they got hostages back and they swapped with Palestinian prisoners.

So, these are the outstanding issues. Now, maybe -- maybe some of the proposals might happen. If anybody is prepared to allow parts of any kind of negotiation to succeed, instead of the broad picture. Clearly, clearly, Gaza needs a huge amount of humanitarian aid. And clearly the Israeli people put releasing their hostages, and their family members front and center of what is going on.

They want that to happen. And they want it -- it appears from public support inside Israel, they want that before an end to the war. In other words, they want that as their top priority.

MATTINGLY: Christiane, I guess, my biggest question is, are we at a tipping point where the political considerations, the coalition considerations that the prime minister has had to take into account, it is just the reality, if he wants to stay in power, will start to give way to the international pressure of the internal domestic pressure, the pressure from one of the few key central allies they have left behind-the-scenes in the US, is that what will trigger this? Is that the only thing that will open the door to a new deal?

AMANPOUR: It's really interesting because what we're hearing from reporting inside Israel, whether it's from Western organizations or Israeli organizations is that there may be a tipping point in Netanyahu's grip on the coalition.


As you've seen over the last several weeks, there's been open fragmentation, open dissent from within the War Cabinet, the so-called unity or emergency cabinet, with Gadi Eisenkot, a former military chief, saying elections need to happen now and Netanyahu needs to tell the people the truth. And he basically meant that the truth is, you can't get the hostages out if you're also carrying out this massive counteroffensive. The two will not happen simultaneously.

The idea, as we are told by Israeli officials that only maximum pressure on Hamas will get the hostages released has not borne true. That hasn't actually happened. It's only negotiations that have released at least, you know, a hundred or more back at the end of November.

So if there is an election, which clearly Netanyahu is resisting, then he is likely to lose according to internal reports, because of the rock-bottom ratings that he has, and he doesn't want that to happen. He wants to stay in power. You've had increasingly very prominent Israeli writers and journalists

saying that Netanyahu' lifelong political aim of not having a Palestinian state is something that the Israeli people are going to have to understand will not bring them peace, that there needs to be a negotiated solution that gives rise to the Palestinians' security and rights to the Israelis, and once and for all, ends this, because increasingly, Aluf Benn, who is a major Israeli writer, his latest article is that that's the only way to end this cycle of violence.

HARLOW: Cristiane, moving to Russia and Vladimir Putin, Tucker Carlson has now interviewed Vladimir Putin. He made an inaccurate claim that no other Western journalist has bothered to try to interview Vladimir Putin. What do people need to know ahead of this interview being released?

AMANPOUR: Well, you know, of course, that is so ridiculous that even Vladimir Putin's press spokesman --

HARLOW: Right.

AMANPOUR: Dmitry Peskov, a very powerful man in the Kremlin, close associate of Putin said that that wasn't true, because he knows that all of us have been, you know, knocking down his door to try to get such an interview. But he said, well, maybe, maybe Carlson didn't know that.

You know, that's the sort of nonsense that Carlson is trying to justify this interview. But let me just read for you what some -- you know, what some Russian journalists have said, if I can find that, in fact, I will look for it. Basically, somebody like Yevgenia Albats, who is a prominent journalist, has been very angry at this notion that only Carlson can interview Putin.

She said, "Unbelievable. I'm like hundreds of Russian journalists who've had to go into exile to keep reporting about the Kremlin's war against Ukraine. The alternative was to go to jail." And then she adds a little bit of an expletive against Tucker's position there.

But I think what's really important to know is Tucker Carlson suggests that the American people, the rest of the West don't understand Putin, don't understand the Russian military action, the war, the invasion. Well, again, that's clearly untrue, because if you saw polls in the United States and around the world, even at the UN, everybody understood that this was an illegal invasion of a democratic and sovereign state and the polls were very, very much -- and these are people, not journalists, for the defense of Ukraine and the values it is upholding for all of us, and that is a fact.

Now, obviously, the longer it goes, the more difficult it is to keep up that support, particularly as you've just been reporting, the unbelievable shenanigans that are going on in the US Congress that simply will not send support to a country that is trying to fight not just for its values, but for all of our security.

So I think that Tucker Carlson, as you know, has said over the years, many, many things that are very supportive of Vladimir Putin, even after the annexation of Crimea, suggested the Putin was never a threat to the United States or to US interests, has called Zelenskyy, you know, an authoritarian and a dictator, worse than -- you know, is as bad as Lenin, et cetera.

So, you know, this stuff just doesn't hold up. Why he's doing this interview now, obviously for the Kremlin, it makes sense if they want to talk. It's a friendly -- it's a friendly voice, but we will keep trying our best to actually commit journalism.

HARLOW: Yes, you'll never stop trying, Christiane, thank you for all of that this morning.

A historic verdict in the trial of the mother of a school shooter. The jury convicts Jennifer Crumbley for her role in the mass murder committed by her son. How this ruling could influence other mass shootings cases, ahead.




JURY FOREWOMAN: Regarding Hana -- Hana St. Juliana, we find the defendant guilty of involuntary manslaughter.


MATTINGLY: It was a historic first inside a Michigan courtroom that could have legal ramifications across the country: A jury convicting Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of school shooter, Ethan Crumbley on four counts of involuntary manslaughter, concluding she is responsible for the deaths of four students murdered by her son. Her son, Ethan, is serving life in prison without parole for the shooting at Oxford High School in November of 2021 that killed Madisyn Baldwin, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, and Hana St. Juliana.

Prosecutors argued Jennifer was "grossly negligent" in giving a gun to Ethan and failing to get him proper mental health treatment despite warning signs.

Joining us now to talk about this, Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel.

We appreciate your time this morning, when you heard the verdict, when you saw how this ended up playing out, were you surprised?

DANA NESSEL (D), MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: No, I wasn't at all, and in fact, I think the jury got it right.

MATTINGLY: What do you think this means? The reason I ask that, I know you know this quite well, there isn't precedent for this. This is a kind of a landmark case in terms of what it means going forward: What is your read of what it means going forward? How do you view what this has changed in the law?

NESSEL: Well, first of all, I don't know that it's changed anything significantly.

In Michigan, on February 13th, due to a change in the legislature and perhaps in response to this horrific set of circumstances, we now are going to have a law that mandates that parents and guardians have to safely secure and store firearms and it happens to be the exact same penalty as this involuntary manslaughter.

But in this case, you have to remember, there is a very extreme set of circumstances here, you know? Here the parents, it was proven during the course of this case or at least, I'll limit this to Jennifer Crumbley, since her husband hasn't yet gone to trial.