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CNN Tonight

CNN Reports About The 14th And 15th Votes For House Speakership. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 06, 2023 - 23:00   ET





TAPPER: That will not be enough to deliver the speakership to Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy needed Matt Gaetz to vote yes. They needed -- present votes don't hurt. It's at least a nod in the right direction. But they needed three of the of the holdouts to vote present --


TAPPER: -- not two. Let's listen in.


TAPPER: Gosar voted for McCarthy as well as we expected.

UNKNOWN: McCarthy.

UNKNOWN: Graves of Louisiana.

UNKNOWN: Graves -- Graves of Louisiana?

REP. GARRET GRAVES (R-LA) (voice-over): McCarthy.

UNKNOWN: McCarthy.


UNKNOWN: Harder of California?

REP. JOSH HARDER (D-CA) (voice-over): Jeffries.

UNKNOWN: Jeffries. David Scott?

REP. DAVID SCOTT (D-GA) (voice-over): Jeffries.

UNKNOWN: Jeffries.

UNKNOWN: Oh, he walks off the floor.

TAPPER: Kevin McCarthy walks off the --

UNKNOWN: He does not look happy.

UNKNOWN: It can change.


TAPPER: Kevin McCarthy walks off the floor.

UNKNOWN: No, he's --

TAPPER: I'm sorry, he walks up the floor, rather. Matt Gaetz, he needed him to vote yes, not present.

UNKNOWN: He's trying to convince him.

TAPPER: He appears to be trying to convince Matt Gaetz to vote yes and not present.

UNKNOWN: Or Boebert.

UNKNOWN: Also -- right. If he could get Lauren Boebert to change from present --

UNKNOWN: We haven't seen him doing this personally on the floor. He's obviously been doing it behind closed doors. But until this moment, we have seen his deputies do this. This is -- this is it. I mean, this is do or die for him.

TAPPER: Doesn't look like the guy is saying yes to Kevin McCarthy.

UNKNOWN: What a sight to see.

UNKNOWN: Incredible.

TAPPER: This is quite a sight to behold.

UNKNOWN: And votes --

TAPPER: Kevin McCarthy needs one vote to become speaker of the House.

UNKNOWN: He does not look --

TAPPER: Matt Gaetz does not look like he is willing to acquiesce and change his vote from present to yes.

UNKNOWN: The young guy in the back who was --


UNKNOWN: -- about to yell at Gaetz in a pink tie and another member pulled him back.

UNKNOWN: McHenry seems to be trying to talk Kevin down -- Kevin McCarthy down a little bit here. McHenry, of course, is the ally who made a nominating speech that made it sound like this was a foregone conclusion.

UNKNOWN: Look at that --

TAPPER: He looks dejected. Look at that.

UNKNOWN: Compared that to how he walked in there, smiling.

UNKNOWN: They thought that they had -- they all -- I'm sure you guys were hearing the same things that I was hearing. They thought they were going to get at least three present or one present within one flip or two flips, and one of those combinations would have worked.

Manu Raju, what are you hearing?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What they are debating and negotiating right now. Matt Gaetz wants to adjourn this chamber until Monday. That is what he has been asking for through the course of this vote. This is according to sources telling me and also my colleague, Annie Grayer. This is the discussion right now in the room.

Now, it's not entirely clear why he wants to come back on Monday but that is what he has been pushing for. So, he -- that's why he voted present here. Perhaps, his vote may change on Monday. It's really unclear but that is what is causing all this tension on the floor right now.

A remarkable scene here as Gaetz is sitting next to a number of his allies, a number -- people that he talked to for some time, members of the leadership as well talking to him. It's unclear if he is going to budge at this moment. He does have an opportunity to change his vote before they officially close this vote. But Matt Gaetz wants to adjourn until Monday.

The leadership does not want to do that. They want to finish this up right now. Kevin McCarthy is on the brink of the speakership, all in the hands of Matt Gaetz, who is not willing to give it to him right now. Jake?

TAPPER: I should also note that I don't see any action going on in terms of the four individuals who voted for other candidates.


Any one of them voting present would also deliver the victory. And that is Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, Bob Good or Matt Rosendale.

UNKNOWN: Our producer outside the chamber has just reported that they were talking outside the House doors.

UNKNOWN: They walked out.

UNKNOWN: They just walked back on to the floor.

TAPPER: Those four?

UNKNOWN: The three of them, Rosendale, Good and Biggs. This is according to our producer, Nicky Robertson, who is standing outside the House chamber right now.

TAPPER: If one of those four who voted for someone else change their vote just to present, then Kevin McCarthy will become speaker. I've never seen anything like this. This is the kind of thing --

UNKNOWN: None of us have.

TAPPER: -- that -- that we imagine goes on behind the scenes. But Kevin McCarthy walking up the hall of the chamber, walking up the aisle, going to Boebert and mainly Gaetz and --

UNKNOWN: Did you see Mike Rogers from Alabama? They had to -- he was like going towards him and pulled back.

TAPPER: Mike Rogers was yelling, and I believe it was Richard Hudson who had to kind of hold him back and put his hand over his mouth.

UNKNOWN: Annie Grayer is saying that he -- Mike Rogers of Alabama lunged at Matt Gaetz --

UNKNOWN: Mike Rogers was --

UNKNOWN: -- after McCarthy walked away.

UNKNOWN: That tense Tuesday meeting was when they intend to pull people off their committees if they did not vote for McCarthy.

UNKNOWN: It's beyond embarrassing at this point. It's humiliating to Kevin McCarthy. But remember when they broke earlier and took this break and said they were going to come back this evening, he said they asked him why he was confident. He said, because I count. Again, he has failed at his number one job, counting. He and his have one job, count.

UNKNOWN: But he's dealing with -- he's dealing with some people who are -- unpredictable would be putting it mildly. Matt Gaetz, I think, in this moment, you could say that he is not acting in good faith. And it's just a sense of pretensions in this room.

There are several people in the room, members, who came back to Washington. Wesley Hunt. Ken Buck due to health issues, they had -- (INAUDIBLE)'s wife is in the hospital.


UNKNOWN: He just had a baby who is premature. People not just want to go home. A lot of these people need to go home.


UNKNOWN: And what is Matt Gaetz's endgame?

UNKNOWN: I get your point that it is hard because you have this very unpredictable --

UNKNOWN: Yeah -- UNKNOWN: -- but this is his job.

UNKNOWN: He is not acting.

UNKNOWN: He is not the only one, though, guys. There are other people in that group who could change their -- I never thought I would say the words, in fairness to Matt Gaetz.

TAPPER: But in fairness, Boebert and Gaetz voted present.

UNKNOWN: Boebert is sitting there. She's not changing her vote to Kevin and the other --


UNKNOWN: Any Biggs and Rosendale back on the floor right there.

UNKNOWN: They're not changing their vote to present or for McCarthy. So, yes, Gaetz went last, it was dramatic, Kevin McCarthy -- but all -- the whole group is responsible.

TAPPER: This is just -- honestly, it is sad. It is embarrassing.

UNKNOWN: Not that -- he didn't know why Boehner and Ryan walked away. Now, he knows.

TAPPER: It's sad. The fact that it almost came to fisticuffs. It's like I went to the House of Representatives and a hockey game broke out.

UNKNOWN: Based on Manu's repoting, if Gaetz was -- was -- I'm not changing my vote, this is -- this is what it is, that would be one thing. But he wants to hold this over until Monday. So, that's why my attention is focused on Gaetz because he has -- he has an ulterior motive here, and it might end up with the same outcome. But he wants to drag it out, and the dragging it out is what is causing the just sheer anger and frustration to bubble up and explode.

UNKNOWN: He just said rules package as part of this conversation. That's the only two words I could make out. Maybe he still wants to see it all in writing.


UNKNOWN: We are watching a civil war in the Republican Party play out on television on the House floor at 11:00 on a Friday night.

UNKNOWN: On January 6th.

UNKNOWN: Have you ever seen anything like this, Dana Bash?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Never. For lots of reasons, not the least of which is that we have this view of the House floor, which we never get to see because there is not a rules package, because there is no speaker yet. And the C-span cameras are giving us exactly what we want, a literal split screen of Kevin McCarthy and his camp and the people who are keeping the speakership from him at this point in his own party.

TAPPER: We have never seen anything like this in the House of Representatives, nothing of this magnitude. This is historic. It might be for the wrong reasons historic, but it is historic.

UNKNOWN: There is Marjorie Taylor Greene now approaching a hold out here. It is -- you know, I mean, Jake, we are speculating earlier that perhaps Gaetz wanted to take a moment for the spotlight and sort of save the day, but I think what has happened is that he has been put in this position where they need him to actually go back on all of the words that he has said for months now and very publicly in the last few days.


If their idea in the past, as we have been reporting and hearing, was that there would be three people who would be willing to present, and now there is only two, you know, that puts Gaetz in a tough spot if he says -- he has asserted McCarthy is never going to be speaker and now they want him to be the one person who actually puts him over the finish line, that actually is kind of a tough ask, and I think shows you why there so many people, you know, involved in this conversation right now.

UNKNOWN: This also -- you know, we've discussed this a lot over the last couple of days. It was ugly from the beginning. It is ugly tonight when it looked as if they were at the end. But it also portends what Kevin McCarthy is going to be facing down the road. This is not going to change.

And I was just looking back at notes from earlier this week when former Republican speaker of the House who we're not naming but Kasie can guess --


UNKNOWN: -- said to me, you get one -- you get one guess -- said the suicide squad is locked in. It is like watching someone burn down their own house because the flames excite them. It's where we started the week and it's a smaller group but still going on.

TAPPER: Let me also just say, we've talked about this before, about how the -- a lot of the people plotting this opposition. This isn't just Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs and others.

There is a group of individuals, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, including Trump's former budget director, including former Republican Senator Jim DeMint, including Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, there are a number of individuals plugged into MAGA world even if they are not part of Trump's inner circle per se at least right now, who want Matt Gaetz and Andy Biggs and Crane and Good and Rosendale, want them and will reward them for what they're doing right now.

We don't see it right now, and it's certainly not present among the House Republican Conference, but there will be applause for them at CPAC or whatever.

UNKNOWN: Yeah. I mean, there is 100% vote for that. And Rosendale went up and patted him on the shoulder, I think, after that happened, if it speaks to what we were talking about earlier, what Rosendale was going to do. Rosendale also got a call from former President Trump earlier today urging him to vote for McCarthy, did not work. So did Eli Crane, I'm told. Obviously, did not work.

TAPPER: Every description I've heard of those calls, though, I've heard Trump is described as being cursory or half-heart.

UNKNOWN: That's definitely what I heard earlier this week. I don't know about the calls today. But it does speak to what you're saying there, Jake, the split and what's been created here and how it's kind of out of control. And --

UNKNOWN: It's going to be like this for every successive vote that Kevin McCarthy has to get on the floor.

UNKNOWN: Kevin McCarthy is saying earlier they learned how to govern today, and hours later --

UNKNOWN: I don't think McCarthy really understood what this was going to be like until this moment. And not only that, he's only negotiating with himself at this point. He's not even in a position where he has to negotiate with the other chamber, the Senate or the Democrats.

I mean, it's going to be like this but so much worse every single time anything of substance comes before the House of Representatives. And, yeah, McCarthy had to learn that. He did learn that.

UNKNOWN: They thought they had a deal.

UNKNOWN: Exactly.

UNKNOWN: They trusted people who can't be trusted.

UNKNOWN: Exactly.

UNKNOWN: That's exact -- took the words right out of my mouth.

UNKNOWN: The irony --

UNKNOWN: Whether it was --

UNKNOWN: -- they claim they can't trust Kevin McCarthy, and that's the problem they had all along.

UNKNOWN: And this is the --

UNKNOWN: McCarthy people thought they had this figured out. And who did they think was going to vote --

TAPPER: They're gaveling back in so let's listen in. But I would love to know, did they give names of who they thought was going to vote? Was it Rosendale? UNKNOWN: Some of them believe Rosendale would go along with the present.

UNKNOWN: Would vote present.

UNKNOWN: Exactly.

UNKNOWN: He didn't. He gave an angry Andy Biggs yell, I think.

CHERYL JOHNSON, CLERK, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The tellers agree in their tallies that the total number of votes cast is 432, of which the Honorable Kevin McCarthy of the state of California has received 216.


JOHNSON: The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries of the state of New York has received 212.



JOHNSON: The Honorable Jim Jordan of the state of Ohio has received two. The Honorable Andy Biggs of the state of Arizona has received two. No member-elect having received a majority of the votes cast. A speaker has not been elected.

UNKNOWN: Gentleman from North Carolina?

REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): We do now adjourn until noon on Monday.

JOHNSON: Will the gentleman repeat his motion?

MCHENRY: I move the House do now adjourn until noon Monday.

JOHNSON: The question is on the motion to adjourn. All those in favor?


JOHNSON: The ayes have it.

UNKNOWN: All those in favor say aye.

JOHNSON: All those in favor say aye.


JOHNSON: All those oppose say no.



JOHNSON: In the opinion of the chair, the no's have it. MCHENRY: For the ayes and nays (INAUDIBLE) for the ayes and nays.

JOHNSON: The yeas and nays are requested. Those favoring a vote by yeas and nays will rise. A sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered.

UNKNOWN: He does not want to be humiliated.

TAPPER: All right, so, this is what is going on right now. Kevin McCarthy has lost for the 14th time in a row. He has never been closer in his life to winning the speakership of the House of Representatives. But he needed either one more yay vote or one more present vote.

And the two people voting present, Congress people Boebert and Gaetz. And the four people voting against him for other candidates, Congress people Biggs, and Crane and Good and Rosendale would not play ball.

So, right now, lieutenant for McCarthy, Congressman Patrck McHenry of North Carolina, who has done so much to try to wrangle votes for McCarthy, has made a motion to adjourn Congress until Monday at noon Eastern.

And we are seeing, if that happens, it seems likely that it will, given the fact that Matt Gaetz was asking for the adjournment until Monday and the McCarthy people were also asking for adjournment until Monday.

UNKNOWN: I would like to first give you my apologies.

UNKNOWN: I don't think our viewers know that I have the 14th ballot down as the most likely.

UNKNOWN: There is --

UNKNOWN: McCarthy would become speaker.

UNKNOWN: It has been (INAUDIBLE). Look, each of these six members had the possibility of making this happen, and they didn't. I would like to add one other person to that, and that's Kevin McCarthy himself, because we are here today in great part because of his trying to appease this group for a long, long time.

It was not just the trip down to Mar-a-Lago to try to get Trump's support. He has been playing what I would say is a dangerous game with this group.

UNKNOWN: Let's also just, I think, call this what it is, which is the most stunning defeat for Kevin McCarthy yet through this process.

TAPPER: They thought they had the votes, but they really thought --

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Onto this floor with jubilation, Patrick McHenry, his top vote counter, the man who honestly can count the votes in this House better than anyone at this point, gave a speech that sounded in many ways like a wedding toast, as we were discussing, talking about -- telling stories, cracking jokes about McCarthy only to see it fall apart because they clearly did not understand what was going on with these hardliners.

And unlike all of the votes we have seen where over and over again, he has said stubbornly, we're going to figure out, we're going to figure it out, we're going to go to the next thing, this one was supposed to be the end and it wasn't, and now all bets are off.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And this is supposed to be the easy one. They have a very narrow majority. Nothing will be easy. Of all the things they have to do, this was supposed to be the easiest, picking a leader.

What about the time of national crisis? What about raising the debt ceiling? What about any other things? All spending bills have to originate in the House of Representatives.

Kevin McCarthy can't -- they are not even congressmen and women at the moment. They are congressman and women-elect at the moment because all the previous terms expired.

And so, we don't have a House of Representatives at the moment. And the fact that we are having this conversation on January 6th and the Republicans almost came to blows on the floor of the United States House where two years ago on this night, more than a hundred of them, including the man who wants to be speaker, including his number two, and including his number three, were trying to help Donald Trump steal an election, the irony of history on the anniversary of history, chaos on the anniversary of disaster --

BASH: We know that there is almost no respect for Kevin McCarthy among that group. But it has been taken to such a level that it is even hard to fathom right now. It's not just about Kevin McCarthy right now. It's about the institution. They are just messing with him.

UNKNOWN: I mean --

BASH: It's not as if -- it's not as if he -- I was just getting text from some people who are in McCarthy's camp who still believe that even after what we just saw, he will eventually become speaker. Maybe Matt Gaetz just wants him to twist in the wind for two more days, so for Monday.

TAPPER: He just needs one of these guys to --

BASH: The fact that this -- that this is -- they are making him walk over hot holes, swim with sharks, do everything you possibly can in the most painful, torturous way to get to this point.

TAPPER: Can I just -- I mean, I don't know if you guys can get this image on this camera -- this is what -- if you could put the camera back. This is an image put out by the McCarthy team. Okay, there we go. This is an image put out by the McCarthy team. It says, game time. This was put out right before 10 p.m. tonight. It is Kevin McCarthy walking to the chamber. Game time, 9:59 p.m. This was put out by McCarthy's team.

BASH: He got screwed by these guys. It's not the first time. It won't be the last.

TAPPER: Can I just say also, I mean, you're being outsmarted by Matt Rosendale and Matt Gaetz.

BASH: Yeah, that's what happened.

TAPPER: Okay. But you want to be speaker of the House.

BASH: I know that outsmart -- okay, is outsmarted the same as just lied to?

TAPPER: What is the difference?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Here is the thing, when you have a narrow majority, any handful of people can screw up your best laid plans, and that is what he is living through.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: We are missing something. We are missing something. We went from that appearance on Sean Hannity tonight where Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz were calling --


COLLINS: -- McCarthy speaker designate, and then they came to the floor. Something happened in between. We don't know. There is something that changed clearly.

KING: That's the lack of trust and respect thing that Dana is talking about.

COLLINS: Exactly.

TAPPER: They did change to votes to present. They did change their votes to present.


COLLINS: -- what changed in between exact moment --

HUNT: They were expecting a third --

COLLINS: Correct.

HUNT: -- present vote.

COLLINS: Correct.

HUNT: And that did not materialize. So, one of the other four --

COLLINS: Matt Rosendale.

HUNT: -- should be the focus here because one of the other four clearly had indicated to the McCarthy team that they were willing to vote present which would have handed him the gavel.

TAPPER: All right, Erin, we have a game of clue here. Was it Congressman Rosendale in the House chamber with a false promise? Back to you.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: A night of treachery and an image of what happened. All right, just to give some context to this, that moment on the floor, I want to show everyone the video, when you saw Mike Rogers of Alabama appearing to have to be physically restrained.

UNKNOWN: Right on the face. Somebody grabbed him.

UNKNOWN: Physically restrained.

UNKNOWN: Watch the face. Watch his face.



UNKNOWN: As Kevin McCarthy is (INAUDIBLE) walking away. This is treachery.

UNKNOWN: Absolute -- first of all, I would like to thank all of our viewers for watching CNN's exclusive screening of snakes on a plane part two.


UNKNOWN: I have never seen the amount of treachery, not since 1856 when Preston Brooks (INAUDIBLE) have we seen this treachery under the Capitol dome. This is --

UNKNOWN: Was that on C-Span?

UNKNOWN: This is crazy.

UNKNOWN: And they have not passed the rules package (ph).


UNKNOWN: This is absolutely high drama, crazy stuff. I can't imagine how McCarthy and McHenry, who I was heaping praise upon earlier for their, you know --



UNKNOWN: -- how much they --

UNKNOWN: Bu as you said --

UNKNOWN: Wait a second -- UNKNOWN: Somebody lied to them.


UNKNOWN: Right when it happened, people were telling me, Rosendale committed the first act of treachery. But now --

UNKNOWN: He was supposed to vote present.

UNKNOWN: It looks like maybe they were all in it together.


UNKNOWN: We can make all of the jokes we want, and we will. This is despicable. This is a despicable display of a failure of leadership of exactly what the American people believe they voted against. As John King has mentioned, two years to the day in some of the same hours, quite frankly, when some of these very extremists were trying to hold our country hostage.

Every single time -- no, no, no. Let me finish. Every time we talk about back to the civil war, think about where our country was during the civil war in terms of the divisiveness. Do you want to talk about treasury? Guys, this is just despicable.

UNKNOWN: Can we go back two years because Kevin McCarthy stood on the floor of this House at this time and denounced the president of the United States for provoking an insurrection at the Capitol.

Weeks later, he went down and bended his knee to Donald Trump. And that was reflection of weakness. And what we have seen all this week is weakness. The reason people feel they can be treacherous is because they don't believe he is a strong leader. This would not have happened to Nancy Pelosi or any respected legislator.

UNKNOWN: Can I just say something?

UNKNOWN: We would never see -- we are actually seeing this.

UNKNOWN: That's the thing. I mean, it's crazy that we are seeing it play out in front of us. This is the beauty of the advanced technology that we get to watch this all on our phones.

I got to say another thing about Kevin McCarthy's leadership to piggyback on what has been said here already. Kevin mccarthy, to a certain extent, owns the shape of this conference, because two years ago, he knew that 147 of his members did not vote to certify the election. He had an opportunity in those two years to go out and do what he did.

He took a victory lap around the loss of Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina 11. If you guys remember, North Carolina 11, Madison Cawthorn was primaried by an absolutely reasonable, respectable conservative Chuck Edwards, who knocked Madison Cawthorn off in the primary. And now, you got Chuck Edwards, a reliable vote for McCarthy, not an election denier, not a conspiracy theorist. If Kevin McCarthy had actually really focused on republican primaries and had tried to prevent the Boeberts and in the Gaetz and the Biggs from getting those nominations, I know that is an orthodox, but that is what a real leader should have done. He should have work to shape the party so it was responsible, full of responsible Republicans, not conspiracy theorists.


UNKNOWN: You and I both know there is plenty of ways to shape the conference.

UNKNOWN: He did play a large part. That is why a few days ago --

UNKNOWN: Not large enough.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, GOP STRATEGIST, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: It was an issue. Congressional leadership funds said they would stand out at primaries. Yeah, PACS said he would not do it. That garnered some support. Listen, what you are seeing tonight is a failure of epic proportions. This is an institution that is in crisis right now.



UNKNOWN: That's right.

URBAN: This is a very sad moment for America.

UNKNOWN: At is his own contribution. You know what? Kevin McCarthy owns part of that.

URBAN: It's a sad moment for America. People are not taking this seriously. I think some of these folks like Rosendale, if you give someone your word, you stand behind it. That is what Kevin McCarthy expected tonight. Well, listen, we will find out who it was. This is not an attack on Kevin McCarthy at this point. The House is in chaos. Of course, it is.

BURNETT: What happens at this very moment?

JENNINGS: This thing is losing right now. The motion to adjourn --


JENNINGS: And 11 votes, there are 11 people. It's down by six. There are three minutes left in this vote. Four Republicans have voted no. I mean, we don't know what's going to -- by the way, human dignity for a minute.


JENNINGS: Let me just say a word for the people who came back. Wesley Hunt came back.

UNKNOWN: His baby is in the NICU.

JENNINGS: His baby -- got a new baby who is sick. Kevin Hern has a funeral for his mother. Ken Buck had a medical procedure. Roger Williams, his wife had a stroke. All these people were lured back into this chaos by these people who committed this treasury. Not a single shred of care --

UNKNOWN: Decency.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And that is the perspective. That's the right thing to bring up right now because ideally, all of this public service is about to be something bigger than yourself, your personal (INAUDIBLE).


AVLON: But that is not where politics is today in part because of what the Republican Party is today. Kevin McCarthy is trying to triangulate his way to speakership.



AVLON: He came close on the 14th ballot. As much as I love historic parallels, I want to stay -- keep us focused on the moment, because what we saw tonight was itself historic. We have never seen that kind of cajoling on the (INAUDIBLE) of speakership. We haven't seen a speaker fight like this since 1855, since before the civil war. But we got to see in real time the arm twisting, the attempt to lean, the betrayal, the treachery. That is an unbelievable display we saw.

It does show not the glory of democracy but how dysfunctional this institution is right now. Kevin McCarthy came incredibly close. The fact that he was betraying people on politics should not be a headline in our era.


BURNETT: But in this moment, here is the thing, they have a decision, right? They are going to be there.


BURNETT: You got to keep going to subsequent rounds.


BURNETT: You can't trust when someone tells you they're going to do something.

JENNINGS: At this point, whipping, vote counting, it means nothing because these people will obviously lie right in your face. DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR

ADVISER: This is why they wanted to adjourn. I just want to point out that this afternoon, Kevin McCarthy stood before the cameras and he said --

UNKNOWN: I was dubious.

AXELROD: He said, we -- I think what we have seen this week is the republican caucus learned how to govern, learned how to govern.


AXELROD: And now we have this.

URBAN: You know the headline in China is today right now? Democracy, not so great. That's what the headline around the globe is right now.

BURNETT: Certainly, you know, all this -- it's sort of spinning, that they were saying, oh, this shows, Jake, how things -- this isn't bad, this isn't chaos, this is democracy and action, this is good. Now, here we are. This is not good.

TAPPER: Oh, man.

UNKNOWN: Three people left the voting.


UNKNOWN: I haven't seen anything.

TAPPER: This is just moment by moment. Now, the motion to adjourn is failing, it is failing. It hasn't failed yet, but it is failing, 213 yeas, 260 nays right now for the motion to adjourn. What are you saying, John?

KING: Sixteen, 216.

TAPPER: Oh, 216. Okay, I'm watching.

BURNETT: They were waiting for this --

UNKNOWN: Those two Republicans.


TAPPER: We will see what happens. But in any case --

BURNETT: What do you do?

TAPPER: You want to go there?

UNKNOWN: Yeah, it just passed.

TAPPER: The motion to adjourn just passed. Let's -- that means, of course, for those watching at home, so we have gone to a 14th ballot, and Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has now lost the 14th ballot. There will be a 15th ballot, but it will not be until Monday.

Joining us now, fresh off of voting against adjourning, Congressman Jim Himes, a Democrat of Connecticut. Congressman, we are watching right now. We are watching right now on the floor. Kevin McCarthy is raising his hand. Hold on, something is going on. I'm sorry, Congressman Himes. We're going to go back to the floor of the House and try to figure out what exactly is going on because McCarthy and Gaetz came to some sort of --

UNKNOWN: All the Republicans are changing.

TAPPER: (INAUDIBLE). Now, they are all changing their votes. They are changing their votes --

UNKNOWN: Not adjourn.

TAPPER: -- to not adjourn.


TAPPER: It looks like they are changing their votes to not adjourn.

UNKNOWN: This must mean that there is some movement that they want to vote again.

TAPPER: You're saying it looks as though maybe they -- maybe they made some sort of deal. I don't know if Jim Himes is still there. Do you have any idea what is going on?


UNKNOWN: Why is it, congressman?

REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Yeah, so, it is a real time bit of craziness. You can tell a couple of things from what just happened. Number one, a lot of glass got broken in the last 20 minutes. To be in the center of that chamber -- when the chairman of the Armed Services Committee had to be restrained from going after Matt Gaetz, that moment and all the finger-pointing, I don't know if you noticed it in the video, but a staff member actually sort of went at Matt Gaetz, that is unheard of on the floor of the House of Representatives.

A lot of glass got broken. And so, I think what happened was they thought, let's adjourn, and then they realized, if we adjourn under these conditions, two more days of terrible press, come back on Monday, who knows what happens? Instead, let's keep working on those four or five rebels and see if we can get them in the wee hours of this morning.

I will tell you that what happened in the last 20 minutes, I think, knocked down a lot of what they build up today because tempers were so high. You can hear obscenity, you can see the finger-pointing. So, McCarthy, he may still win this thing, but he has got a lot of rebuilding to do based on what just happened in the last half hour.

TAPPER: This is madness because what happened is McCarthy's forces asked to adjourn until Monday at noon and Republicans fell in line. And then McCarthy, who is smiling for the first time in an hour or so, holding up the finger indicating one.


TAPPER: I don't know what that one means. One more time. One more time, he saying. Okay, John King, our resident lip reader, says that they said one more time. And so, it looks like you're going to go to a 15th ballot this evening, congressman. And I don't really know what to say because every time I say something, everything on the floor changes completely.

HIMES: The holding up of the one, that is just the language on the floor for don't close the vote. If someone yells, you know, one or holds up a finger or voting or whatever, they will not close the vote. That was just designed to stop the vote from being closed, which would have adjourned us until Monday.

They made an on the fly decision to reverse their decision to adjourn. It's hard for me to believe that was not driven by the absolute catastrophe press that would have played out in the next 48 hours before Monday at 10 a.m.

TAPPER: So, Congressman Tom Cole, a fairly -- I think it's fair to call him a widely respected Republican from Oklahoma and a part of the establishment there, a part of the governing caucus such as it is, just said, according to our own Ted Barrett, I was shocked, I was told we had the votes when I came down here. Someone has not been honest with whips. The whips are pretty shocked. They have their counts pretty good. Jamie Gangel?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: I just heard from a Republican member who said there is a change.

TAPPER: There is a change.

GANGEL: So, there is someone who has changed the vote. It may be Gaetz. It could be one of the others.

UNKNOWN: Here is an interesting -- our team has just -- this is a tweet from a "Bloomberg" photographer who managed to snap Marjorie Taylor Greene trying to get Congressman Rosendale, one of the four who were watching on the phone, with someone called DT.

TAPPER: DT as in Donald Trump.

UNKNOWN: So, I just want to point out that that's out there. We are, you know --

UNKNOWN: Right before McCarthy ran up with the red slip to change his vote, he was talking to Matt Gaetz.

UNKNOWN: Matt Gaetz.

TAPPER: Right.

UNKNOWN: He patted him on the shoulder.

TAPPER: Right.

UNKNOWN: And then he ran up, and he had a bunch of his deputies come with him, and then a whole bunch of other McCarthy's force came up, and that is when he turned around and said we have enough. We have enough, meaning to keep the House in session. We have enough Republicans who changed their votes to keep them in session. And then he pulled another one of his allies apart and he said one more time.

TAPPER: One more time. So, Scott -- I don't know if Congressman Himes is still here. Thank you for bearing with us. I assume you are because it doesn't look like you're going anywhere for any time soon. Anyway --


TAPPER: But -- it looks as though Kevin McCarthy, and boy, I'm reading a lot of tea leaves right now, it looks as though they want to not adjourn after all even though the McCarthy forces are the ones who called for the adjournment, thinking they were doing so at the desire -- upon the desire of Matt Gaetz as well as an effort to at least get a good weekend out of this since nothing else is going to happen.

Now, it looks as though perhaps they think they do have the votes. Either somebody, one of the four who voted against McCarthy, is going to vote present or one of the two who voted present is going to vote for McCarthy.

Since we don't know exactly what is going to happen, Congressman Himes, let me ask you the big picture. Have you ever seen anything remotely like this in your life as a legislator?

HIMES: Well, I've been here for more than a decade. I will tell you that this is in my top three of exciting moments on the floor, exciting moments on the floor. They don't happen that often. Since we did not adjourn, what is going to happen now is another vote.

You are speculating they flipped someone. They might have, but remember, they came to the floor today without certainty. They started this whole process at the beginning of this week without certainty. They continue to believe that they can just apply pressure, the pressure of public glare, people back home making phone calls. We will have another vote. I would not necessarily assume that it is a done deal right now.

TAPPER: Oh, I am not assuming that. I assure you, congressman, I am not assuming that anything is a done deal. Right now, we are seeing Congressman Matt Gaetz talking with someone who is generally a compatriot of his, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, although she has been firmly in team McCarthy this entire time.

I saw sardonic-looking Congressman Crenshaw looking at Gaetz and Congressman Brian Mast, the fellow Florida Republican, talking to him briefly. It is interesting. And another thing, Congressman Himes, that I have to ask, the near fisticuffs that we saw and the cursing that some of your colleagues have told me was vociferously being made in Matt Gaetz's direction by his fellow Republicans. F-U Matt Gaetz was the basic idea. How often do you hear that kind of thing or see that kind of near coming to blows?

HIMES: You never see that.


HIMES: I have not seen that kind of anger and rage on the floor. Since exactly two years ago when we came back at about this hour to certify the presidential election, tempers were brutally hot there. I saw a couple of near fistfights. I have never seen what I saw tonight.

And again, it's going to take some time to rebuild it. I don't know if you noticed, but at one point, it got so hot that a lot of Matt Gaetz's and Lauren Boebert's compatriots, Harris and Biggs, sort of went over to sort of provide a shield to them. It got very hot there tonight.

TAPPER: Yeah. Congressman, thank you so much. I'm going to go to Melanie Zanona right now who has some reporting on Matt Gaetzp. Melanie, what do you got?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yeah, Jake, just in to CNN, sources tell me and my colleague, Annie Grayer, that Matt Gaetz has agreed to flip his vote to yes. That's why you have seen another stunning turn of events on the floor. House Republicans were planning to adjourn, then they somehow got a deal with Gaetz and got an agreement for him.

That is why you saw House Republicans flip their votes, and now they're going against the motion to adjourn so that they can move to another ballot for speaker, because deal was worked out with Gaetz. That's the buzz on the House floor right now.

Of course, it all came down to him. In the last speaker's vote, he voted present. You saw that angry desktop (ph) -- remarkable desktop (ph) on the floor involving Gaetz.

But it appears that in the moment since, maybe cooler heads prevailed, maybe something else was worked out. We don't know the details of why he agreed to flip, but we are hearing that that is the case. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Melanie Zanona and -- who is your colleague? Annie --

ZANONA: Annie Grayer.

TAPPER: Thank you to those two reporting. What we also thought was going to happen during the 14th ballot, that Matt Gaetz was going to flip his vote to get some attention. We just underestimated the gentlemen's love of showmanship.

BASH: Well, I don't know --


UNKNOWN: Or not.

TAPPER: Or not, right. Assuming it happens.

UNKNOWN: I don't want to say it, to be fair to Matt Gaetz, but it is possible.

UNKNOWN: Rosendale was --

BASH: Our reporting is that the impression that McCarthy and his vote counters and getters had was that Matt Rosendale of Montana was going to be the one --

TAPPER: Who voted present.

BASH: -- who voted present --

TAPPER: Right.

BASH: He was the one who surprised everybody. What we just saw, the reporting that Melanie and Annie just gave us, we saw that happened with our own eyes. As you were talking to Congressman Himes, we were watching, John, you described it, the moment when Kevin McCarthy was once again talking to Matt Gaetz and realized he had him move from present to yes, which means that he did not have to adjourn, and he ran down to the well with the red card saying, I don't want to vote to adjourn, let's change.

He said one mot time, meaning we can vote for a speaker one more time, the 15th time, because he believes now that Matt Gaetz who you are seeing there talking to Sheila Jackson Lee very much across the aisle --

UNKNOWN: Has voted.

UNKNOWN: In and on itself is an interesting conversation.

UNKNOWN: Does any member wish to change their vote?

TAPPER: They are gravelling back in. Let us -- they are ending their votes to adjourn which failed spectacularly and --


TAPPER: And what we expect to happen right now after this is we expect the McCarthy supporter to rise. They asked for what purpose does the individual from wherever stand. He or she will nominate Kevin McCarthy on the 15th ballot. We will see what happens. I'm not going to predict anything. We will see what happens on the 15th ballot. Certainly, Kevin McCarthy appears to believe 15 will be the charm. Does anyone want to put money on it? No? All right.

PHILLIP: I will say that -- the wild thing that has been happening over the last however many minutes, in addition to all of this chaos, Trump has been calling around. He called, in that photo that Kasie was talking about, trying to reach Matt Rosendale who seemed to not what to talk to him. Rosendale didn't flip. Gaetz went back and changed his vote to a yes on McCarthy. We will probably see -- let's -- who knows what will happen?

If it is McCarthy, Trump will try to take credit for it all. He was in there in the last few moments. It's not entirely clear that he made anything really move on the floor.

HUNT: We talked about Gaetz being a showman and wanting to grab the attention and the spotlight. I don't think there is anyone who is more interested in that than the former president of the United States.

TAPPER: I know. So, as the motion to adjourn this gavel to a close, we are waiting now.

JOHNSON: The yeas are 155. The nays are 279. The motion is not adopted. For what purpose does the gentleman from Arkansas rise?

REP. BRUCE WESTERMAN (R-AR): Madam Clerk, I rise to nominate Kevin McCarthy as the speaker of the House.




WESTERMAN: In the eyes of the world, the eyes of America, are on this body right now. What America needs, what this body needs, is a lot less talk and a lot more action. And at the direction of the Republican Conference, I advance the name of Kevin McCarthy as the next speaker of the House om the 118th Congress.


JOHNSON: For what purpose does the gentleman from Minnesota tries?

REP. DEAN PHILLIPS (D-MN): Madam Clerk, I rise to say, wow!



PHILLIPS: And, Madam Clerk, I rise to place in the nomination for election to the position of speaker of the House of Representatives the esteemed and wonderful leader of House Democrats, Mr. Hakeem Jeffries of New York.


PHILLIPS: Friends, our nation's first president, unanimously elected by the electoral college in 1789, keeps watch over us every single day right here in this chamber. And in his inaugural address to our new nation, he spoke of, and I quote, a form of government for the security of our union and the advancement of our happiness. The security of our union and investment of our happiness.

But 234 years later and after 14 rounds of balloting and a ridiculous war for personal power across the aisle, we the people still find ourselves without a constitutive government, our security neglected, and the advancement of anything is impossible.

And happiness, suffice to say, Americans are unhappy by the nonsense and the dysfunction playing out on this floor, particularly those who need us the most, who rely on our offices, and I mean every single one of our offices, for services and support, not to mention the unhappy GOP and Democratic ranking members and chairs of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Armed Services Committee and the Intel Committee.

TAPPER: No offense to the Democratic congressman from Minnesota, Dean Phillips, but we have some fresh reporting from Kaitlan Collins right now about a certain phone call made to Matt Gaetz. Kaitlan, please tell us.

COLLINS: I just want to note that whatever that was playing out on the House floor, the former president. Obviously, they believe Kevin McCarthy would secure the speakership. It appeared that he is not going to get it tonight, adjourned until Monday.

I'm told the former president called Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz, speaking with them as this was going on. Part of that message, I believe, was urging them to wrap this up tonight. Of course, we have talked about his influence on this race so far. He's watching this as it is playing out and placing calls to these members, trying to get them to vote for Kevin McCarthy.

TAPPER: Okay. Interesting. John?

KING: The history books are going to have an interesting time with January 6th, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years and 100 years from now. One of the entries will be that Donald Trump, two years to the day after he tried to steal an American election, called in the very same House chamber where Kevin McCarthy was trying to help him steal that election, help Kevin McCarthy become speaker of the House and leader of the House Republican Party.

PHILLIP: To paraphrase Congressman Phillips, wow. What a moment we are in. It is very much like Trump to -- first of all, he is now wrapped up with Kevin McCarthy. He also doesn't want to lose.

TAPPER: Yeah. Let's listen back into Congressman Phillips.

PHILLIPS: One of the very finest of those Americans is Hakeem Jeffries of the great state of New York.


PHILLIPS: And it is the honor of a lifetime to place his name into nomination for speaker of the House.


UNKNOWN: The reading clerk will call the roll.

TAPPER: Here we go with the 15th ballot. And while we wait for the readers to come forward and while we wait -- there it is. (INAUDIBLE), the congresswoman from North Carolina, the voting has begun. We are waiting to watch, obviously, some key members of Congress, the same six that we were watching last time: Biggs, Boebert, Crane, Gaetz, Good, Rosendale. Right now, all that is needed is one of the nos to vote present or one of the presents to vote yes, and Kevin McCarthy certainly seems to think that that is going to happen to him.

UNKNOWN: Jake, just to follow up on what John King was saying about Trump calling in, for context, Biggs, Boebert, Gaetz, Good, Rosendale were among the Republicans who voted to sustain one or both of the objections to the 2020 election two years ago after Congress came back into session.

TAPPER: Yeah. Well, so is Kevin McCarthy.

KING: And Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik, the entire House Republican leadership.

UNKNOWN: And here we are.

TAPPER: Yes, it is a number of individuals who lied about the election getting promoted. They are being helped after having their journey complicated by the people who have the most extreme elements of what happened two years ago today.

HUNT: Yeah. Well, I just -- I mean, imagine, I'm still stock on what we just witnessed play out in public on the House floor. I mean, the images, we're starting to get some of the still images of that video that we have been playing on a loop where Mike Rogers was physically restrained from going after Matt Gaetz.

You heard Jim Himes say that there was potential someone who also went after Matt Gaetz on the floor, the obscenities were hold. This is the kind of thing that we nowadays theorize happens in politics.

I mean, it used to happen on the floor back in some of the types of years we have been talking about when things like this happened on speaker's ballot back in the civil war era. It really spilled out into public view here and I think just provides a very ugly preview of what -- assuming Kevin McCarthy can pull this out --

TAPPER: Hold on one second, I'm sorry. Let's listen to Andy Biggs.

UNKNOWN: Jeffries.

UNKNOWN: Jeffries.



UNKNOWN: McCarthy.



REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): Present.

UNKNOWN: Present. That's all --


TAPPER: Andy Biggs voting present. If everyone votes the same way this time the way they voted last time with the exception of Andy Biggs who just changed his vote from an anti-McCarthy vote to a present vote, then Kevin McCarthy will finally on the 15th ballot win the speakership. Let's listen in. We still have some more votes. We have Lauren Boebert to listen to.

UNKNOWN: McCarthy. Bishop of Georgia.

REP. SANFOD BISHOP (D-GA): Hakeem Jeffries.

UNKNOWN: Jeffries. Bishop of North Carolina.


UNKNOWN: McCarthy. Blumenauer.


UNKNOWN: Jeffries. Blunt Rochester.


UNKNOWN: Jeffries. Boebert.


UNKNOWN: Present.

TAPPER: Lauren Boebert votes present, which is what she did last time. Again, if Matt Gaetz continues to vote present or if any other of the holdouts switch, that's it. It does look, I have to say --


TAPPER: I hesitate to make any predictions. But if I were Kevin McCarthy right now, which is a tough thing to imagine, but if I were, I would think, okay, finally, we got all of the (INAUDIBLE).

HUNT: You know, it's funny. We were talking about the unprecedented things we saw on the floor. McCarthy has been very careful with how he conducts himself on the floor throughout this whole process.

TAPPER: Until one hour ago.

HUNT: Until about an hour ago.


HUNT: And to see the top Republican leader in the House, which he is, regardless of if he is speaker or not, he is still a top Republican, he scrambled down to that dais with the red card in his hand followed by his leaders to try and change the vote at the very last second, to see him actually scramble like that on his own behalf, it was pretty remarkable to me. I think it sets up the moment relatively nicely, which is to say maybe this chaos is fine.

UNKNOWN: McCarthy.

HUNT: It is chaos that is --

KING: It is what comes after this. Again, this is difficult because they have a narrow majority. It was difficult for Nancy Pelosi. I think that is another thing, what we are seeing. We will see if -- how long this lingers.

Kevin McCarthy before he was humiliated again said Republicans have learned how to govern through this experience. He was wrong. But for 14, maybe they have figured something out now.

I think the flip side of this is when we get to the hard stuff, the policy, not just the leadership, the policy, what we have also seen, we've seen the republican dysfunction and chaos and mistrust and distrust and animosity.

We've also seen the new democratic leadership on the floor and the new democratic team on the floor. As of these early days, they have their act together. I was about to use another word. They have their act together.

You have seen -- Jeffries has not spoken because he is the one being nominated, but mostly Pete Aguilar, his deputy. You just saw Congressman Phillips. We did hear Congressman Clyburn earlier today who is moving on from the leadership.

But mostly what we've heard is the new, younger generation of democratic leadership. They remember January 6 very well. They are well organized against this republican majority which is an interesting contrast because these Republicans are getting off on the wrong foot. Let us see if they can fix it. Sometimes, you put things behind you.


BASH: The ugliness we are seeing today is going to permit everything. What you said about the Democrats, it's an important point. Our colleague was texting me and saying, you know, even on the 15th vote, which nobody expected to happen, the Democrats had to prepare a speech ready to go. Dean Phillips was ready to go. I don't think wow was in the remarks, but that was warranted.

I also want to note that today is about to become tomorrow. It's 11:57 practically on the East Coast. So, Kevin McCarthy, if he does get the votes to become speaker, it will happen on January 7th and not January 6th.

KING: It is 3:42 a.m. on January 7th when Mike Pence finally gaveled the Congress out.

TAPPER: I think it coincides. I think it's basically -- it's basically --

PHILLIP: I think this is the beginning of what we will be seeing, a Congress on the House side that is going to be marching forward in a completely different direction than even their colleagues on the Senate side.

It is part of what happens when you have a bunch of people who don't think the last presidential election happened. They took a whole different set of lessons from that. They were emboldened by it because they don't think that they lost.

We will see what that looks like when it comes to governance. But from the looks of it, it's going to be a lot of chaos. It's going to be run by some --

TAPPER: Let's listen in. Hold on one second.


TAPPER: We are listening for Eli Crane, which is next.


REP. ELI CRANE (R-AZ): Present.

UNKNOWN: Present.


TAPPER: Eli Crane also voted present. So, there is more of your pal (ph). This is what they need last time before Congress --

PHILLIP: The only -- the only two people who did not vote present for McCarthy would be Bob Good and Matt Rosendale at this point.

TAPPER: Yeah. Assuming everybody votes --

PHILLIPS: Of the holdouts.

TAPPER: Yeah. Assuming everybody -- we are waiting for two going forward, votes in this 15th ballot, this vote will end with Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the house.

COLLINS: Biggs has not voted present before. That comes after that call with Trump.

HUNT: The reality is these three presents, that's enough. Even if all the rest, the holdouts, the other three, were to vote no, even if they decided they were not going to vote present anymore, that is all he needs. He needs three present votes to get the gavel here. TAPPER: Yeah. So, it does look as though -- it feels a little anti- climactic. I have never seen anyone win uglier than this ever. I mean (INAUDIBLE) but this is pretty bad.

PHILLIP: The point I was also making, it is not just the ugliness of the win, but just on the backs of who. These characters are really the fringe of the fringe of the republican Congress. They're running the show tonight. That's a preview of what it is going to be like. Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert who barely won her last race.


PHILLIP: You know, Scott Perry who is deeply -- his tax messages are being subpoenaed.