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Biden Visits the U.S. Southern Border for the First Time As President; Police Arrest 400 As Bolsonaro's Supporters Storm Capital; Buffalo Bills Win Game As Damar Hamlin Expected to Get Out of Hospital. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired January 09, 2023 - 05:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Right now on EARLY START, President Biden's firsthand look at the crisis on the border. Will it lead to any solutions? Echoes of January 6 in Brazil. Capital buildings stormed by the supporters of the ousted president who had challenged election results.

And what could be better than the bills winning for number 3, Damar Hamlin himself expecting to get out of the hospital.

All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, I'm Christine Romans, good Monday morning to you. President Biden on the border visiting the U.S.-Mexico border area, Sunday, for the first time since he became president. He spoke with border patrol officers, he visited a migrant center in El Paso.

Well, the president apparently did not see or meet with any migrants. CNN's Jasmine Wright for us this morning from Washington. Jasmine, Republicans have been criticizing this president for not coming to see the migrant crisis firsthand until now.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Christine, and it's unclear whether or not President Biden's Sunday trip to the border as first as president is actually going to end that criticism because of what you just said, because he did not see any migrants while on the ground for several hours.

Now, we did see him talking and meeting with border patrol, assessing the security situation, which is what the White House said that the president wanted to do. We saw him looking at equipment and meeting with elected officials here. We've seen him coming off the plane. But we did not see him, despite him going to that migrant center, meeting with any migrants.

Now a senior administration official told CNN that, that was purely coincidental. And of course, I have to note that while the president was in El Paso, the city which is known really as Ground Zero of the migrant crisis because of the influx of migrants that they've seen over the course of the last few weeks was having a low dip period in border crossings and in border apprehensions. But still, it really demonstrates, Christine, how kind of politically

fraught the migration issue has become for the president, and what a political liability it has come -- it has become. Now, while on the ground there, reporters asked the president the key question, what he has learned from his time on the ground. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hi, that they need a lot of resources and we're going to get them for them.


WRIGHT: So there we heard from the president. And now, over the last few weeks, we have seen him really trying to walk a fine line by showing compassion to those migrants who would flee their country to come to the U.S., but also by showing that he can enforce border -- closed border policies.

Now, that has drawn some ire from his own allies, not even just Republicans, but his own allies, own immigration advocates who say that the administration has been too harsh in trying to enforce these policies particularly when it comes to Title 42, that Trump-era pandemic policy.

And when it comes to what the President Biden just announced a few weeks ago, which was to increase migration from key areas like Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, while also punishing more severe consequences for those who try to circumvent the rules. Now, of course, this will be something that looms over the president's head over the next two days as he is in Mexico where he wakes up this morning, and he will meet with the president to talk mostly about immigration.

ROMANS: All right --

WRIGHT: Christine?

ROMANS: Nice to see you this morning, thanks, Jasmine. Overnight, officials in Brazil declaring the riots are over. The governor of Brazil's capital district announcing at least 400 right-winged protesters were arrested, the presidential palace was broken into. Protesters also occupied Congress and the Supreme Court building. It was an eerie echo of January 6th in this country.

More on the violence in Brazil's capital from CNN's Rafael Romo.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Brazil boiling over. Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed key buildings in the country's capital, Sunday, breaching security barriers and temporarily occupying the country's congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court.

Masses of protesters flooded the country's seat of power, many dressed in the colors of Brazil's flag, yellow and green, fueled by anger and distrust over Bolsonaro's defeat in a run-off election last October where he lost by less than 2 percentage points to current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Protesters threw objects and scaled the roofs of buildings while clashing with police who responded with tear gas. At least, one protester was seen sitting at the desk of Brazil's congress president.


CNN Brazil reports the floor of the congress building was flooded after the sprinkler system activated when protesters attempted to set fire to the carpet. By evening, police began dispersing the rioters from buildings and arrested hundreds of people who were detained in buses before being taken to the police station.

President Lula da Silva who was inaugurated just a week ago described the events as barbaric, and vowed to punish the people responsible.

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, PRESIDENT, BRAZIL (through translator): Those people that we call fascists, we call them everything that's abominable in politics. They invaded the government headquarters and they invaded the congress like vandals, destroying everything in their path.

ROMO: President Lula da Silva also blamed his predecessor for the lack of security in the capital where Bolsonaro supporters have been camped out for over a week. Bolsonaro who is currently in Florida denounced what he called the depredations and invasions of public buildings in a tweet, adding that peaceful and lawful demonstrations are part of democracy.

But critics say Bolsonaro may have stirred up the crowds by repeatedly saying without evidence that he questioned the integrity of the country's electronic voting system.

(on camera): The intensity of Sunday's protest shows that last year's presidential election still unfinished business for some Brazilians and a sign of just how divided the country is. Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


ROMANS: All right, the husband of a missing Massachusetts mother of three under arrest this morning. Authorities say Brian Walsh misled detectives when they took him into custody as part of their investigation into his wife, Anna Walsh's disappearance. The Norfolk County DA's office says police continued to search Anna Walsh's home for evidence in her disappearance. Brian Walsh is expected to be arraigned today.

All right, Bills safety Damar Hamlin is expected to be released from the hospital in coming days. A source with the team tells CNN. Carolyn Manno has morning's "BLEACHER REPORT". And what an amazing opening storybook opening to that game too. CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely. The kickoff

returned for the touchdown. I mean, his recovery has captivated the entire country all week long, and so it's great to see. He has a long way to go, of course, but what a way to end the week for both him and the Bills after what has been such an emotionally-draining couple of days.

Just six days after Hamlin collapsed on the field, the emotional epicenter of the NFL was in Buffalo. The perfect ending as you put it, Christine, to such an incredible day. Everywhere you looked, there were reminders of the Bills' 24-year-old safety, his number 3 stitched onto his teammates' jerseys, on the flag they captioned, Josh Allen carried onto the field, on the countless home-made signs by fans.

And the Bills training staff was also honored before the game as you saw for that life-saving effort six days prior very first play of the game against the Patriots, Nyheim Hines sending the stadium into a complete frenzy, taking back the opening kickoff, 96 yards for the touchdown. And the first kickoff return for the Bills -- and get this, three years and three months.

Really, truly, I mean Damar Hamlin loving it, tweeting from his hospital bed in Cincinnati. He said that God's behind all of this, no coincidence. And Nyheim Hines, by the way, not done. They were trailing by 3 in the third quarter, he does it again. This time, 101 yards for the score.

Hines saying after that this day was bigger than him or anybody on the field, but he was at the center of all of it. Buffalo wins 35-23.


JOSH ALLEN, QUARTERBACK, BUFFALO BILLS: You can't draw that one up, write that one up any better, and i was just told by Kevin Kearns, it's been three years and three months since the last kickoff return, so it's pretty cool.

TREMAINE EDMUNDS, LINEBACKER, BUFFALO BILLS: I'm extremely happy for him, extremely happy to see, you know, how he, you know, continues to progress through this thing, man, and I know he's happy and I can't wait to talk to him, man, and this one was for sure, for 3.


MANNO: You have to give these players, Christine, just so much credit. You see the emotion is still right there, just right at the surface for Josh Allen and the rest of these guys to go through a walkthrough, to prepare for this game. There's close to 20 teams that entered the final weekend at the NFL's regular season with a chance to go to the playoffs, but this was where the focus was.

And so for them to come out, execute opening kickoff return for a touchdown, you know, nobody wished for any of this to happen, but to have it be punctuated this way, and to know that Damar Hamlin is going to be out of the hospital in a couple of days --

ROMANS: It's just --

MANNO: It's amazing.

ROMANS: It's just amazing. My house was screaming.

MANNO: Every house --

ROMANS: It was amazing --


MANNO: Captivated us all.

ROMANS: All right, nice to see you. Thank you for coming in, Carolyn. All right, just ahead, the new Republican-led house representatives, how will they work together after almost coming to blows? Well, an avalanche turns deadly in the Colorado mountains. And did Prince Harry burn too many bridges with the rest of the royal family?


ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Can you see a day when you would return as a full-time member of the royal family?




ROMANS: All right, it took longer than any time since the civil war, but there is a new speaker in town. When the house reconvenes this morning, Kevin McCarthy and the new Republican majority will begin the business of actually governing. It comes after McCarthy survived a party revolt to win the gavel. We get more of this morning from CNN's Eva McKend.

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine, all eyes on the newly Republican-controlled house now as Speaker Kevin McCarthy works to keep his party unified ahead of voting on a house rules package today. House Republicans, they spent much of the weekend essentially in cleanup mode, trying to reassure Americans that despite the chaotic episodes and a near brawl that we all saw play out last week in a brutal effort to rally behind the speaker, that the next two years won't be defined by this type of infighting.

Ohio Republican Jim Jordan who's slated to chair the House Judiciary Committee said democracy is messy, and that is how the founder sort of intended it.


Steve Scalise, he of course, is McCarthy's deputy on Capitol Hill. He argued these types of open disputes are healthy. But to be clear, McCarthy, he's on thin ice. It can just take one member to trigger a vote that could potentially lead to him being ousted from the job. You've got freedom caucus members, they know that they have that tool at their disposal. And they're kind of coy about what it would take for them to take such a dramatic step. Take a listen.


REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): I'm not going to play the what if games on how we're going to use the tools of the house to make sure that we enforce the terms of the agreement. But we will use the tools of the house to enforce the terms of the agreement.


MCKEND: In addition to voting on a rules package, Republicans will also have to select their remaining committee chairs. Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Eva, thank you so much for that. Let's bring in Camila DeChaulus; "Washington Post" congressional reporter. So nice to see you, Camila. You know, listen here, here's Republicans Chip Roy and Dan Crenshaw on that turmoil of that speaker fight. Listen.


ROY: A little temporary conflict is necessary in this town in order to stop this town from rolling over the American people.

REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): It is important to get some of this out, to get some of these grievances out at a time like this because it does shock people a little bit, and it does get you into this phase where, you know what? We do need to bring everybody in on some of these issues much earlier.


ROMANS: But here's the view of the House Minority leader about this. Listen.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, our general concern is that the dysfunction that was historic that we saw this week is not at an end. It's just the beginning. What is going to be a problem is if the American people will be held captive over the next two years to the extreme MAGA Republican agenda that apparently has been negotiated into the house rules and the functioning of the Congress.


ROMANS: How does McCarthy put all this ugliness, this turmoil behind him and get to work?

CAMILA DECHALUS, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: What you saw last week with all the back-and-forth between McCarthy trying to make concessions with members of the house freedom caucus and more hard right conservatives is just a small glimpse of what you're going to see play out in the next two years.

And that is that, he just because Republicans have such a slim majority in the house, he's going to need every vote he can get from members of his own party to actually get things done. There are so many things on their priority list right now that they need to focus on like raising the debt limit, and keeping the government open.

And so, he knows there's an uphill battle right now and there's going to be a challenge just because of the concessions he made, but also because house members of the house freedom caucus have made it very clear that they have upper hand, and that they know that he needs the votes.

ROMANS: I mean, this is sort of a critical week really for them. You know, they've got to decide on a rules package over the Senate. That those rules roll over year after year. The house has to decide on a rules package, and we know they want to bring bills to the floor, targeting Texas, the IRS, abortion, energy, and they want these two house select committees, one on the Chinese Communist Party and also investigate the DOJ and the FBI.

DECHALUS: And that's correct. I mean, look, for the last two years when they were in the minority, McCarthy laid out everything that he wanted to do. But now, the reality has set in that he can't do any of that unless he has Republicans more unified on that front. This is something that more moderate Republicans have kind of lamented and expressed their concerns about is that, OK, now that we're in the majority and we have upper hand, now what?

And now they're really seeing the reality set in that nothing can really get done that much, if they know that they don't have the votes that they need to actually pass legislation, that they really want to solidify into law.

ROMANS: You know, knowing it only takes one person to trigger a vote that could replace him as speaker, how does he toe the line? I mean, one of -- one of his opponents famously said that he had agreed to all these concessions that would essentially keep him in a straitjacket. Is he in a strait jacket as house speaker right now?

DECHALUS: McCarthy's position has definitely weakened because of the concessions he made last week. There's no doubt about it. In fact, it only takes one vote to replace him and to take him out of that position. That's very telling. So, he knows that.

Before anything can get done or before he introduces a bill to the house floor or actually puts it to a vote, that there's a lot of conversations that need to take place within -- between members of his own party to make sure everybody is on the same page or to get it done.

I mean, we saw that time and time again when the votes here was just taking place for house speakership, that you know, one person would have vote and support him, but then other people would have remained strong and hold out because they wanted things in there to actually get done or concessions to be made. And so, what we're going to see is that there's going to be a lot of

behind-the-door conversations that need to be had before anything can really get done, and he knows that he needs every single vote.


And so that's going to be something that we're going to see before any vote to be taking place, that he's going to have to have those conversations with more hard-right conservatives to make sure that they're all on the same page.

ROMANS: What does this entire episode say about the partisan divide in the country right now, do you think?

DECHALUS: It's been very telling watching this all play out when you see that Republicans, especially after the midterm elections were very excited, and they're very boisterous about just what they wanted to get done, but there was a small set of lawmakers who are very serious about saying they're laying out their demands.

And so, I think what you see in this is that members of the house freedom caucus almost have more leverage because of the concessions that were made. And what it all says about the partisan divide in this country is that there's just a lot of factions within both parties. And what you saw play out in these last few days is seeing exactly that.

That you have even Republicans, more moderate, not really agreeing with more conservatives. And then, you also saw them saying that, you know, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. We need to get things done and this is preventing Republicans from actually getting things done if we can't even agree on who the house speaker should be.

ROMANS: All right, Camila DeChalus of the "Washington Post". Camila, thank you so much, nice to see you this morning. Have a great day.

DECHALUS: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, quick hits across America now. Search crews have recovered the body of a missing snowmobiler who was buried in the corners of the mountain after an avalanche this weekend. He's the second known person to die in that avalanche. A Virginia teacher is in stable condition after she was shot by a 6-year-old student on Friday. The boy was taken into custody, police investigators say it was not an accidental shooting.

Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse officially resigning from the Senate, Sunday, to become the University of Florida's next president. Nebraska's governor will make a temporary appointment to fill his seat. Ukraine says Russia's latest battlefield claims are simply nonsense. Our reporter on the ground tells us what's really going on, next.

And Prince Harry's sparing no secrets as he gets ready to drop his new memoir.



ROMANS: All right, Prince Harry filling in new details of the strive he's described within the royal family. His new memoir "Spare" comes out today on "CBS'" "60 Minutes" last night, he told Anderson Cooper he hopes for reconciliation with his brother, Prince William and his father, King Charles III. But he says the ball is quote, "very much in their court".


COOPER: Do you speak to William now? Do you text?

HENRY CHARLES ALBERT DAVID, PRINCE OF SUSSEX: Currently no. But I look forward to -- I look forward to us being able to find peace.

COOPER: How long has it been since you spoke?

DAVID: A while?

COOPER: Do you speak to your dad?

DAVID: We haven't spoken for quite a while. Not recently.

COOPER: Can you see a day when you would return as a full-time member of the royal family?

DAVID: No, I can't see that happening.


ROMANS: CNN's Bianca Nobilo joins us live from London. Bianca, Harry also accused Camilla, the king's wife of leaking negative stories about him and his wife, Meghan, to the British media. What is he saying?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Well, you've identified one of the most incendiary claims in the book, and that refers to queen-consort Camilla, who of course is the wife of King Charles III. He suggests that because she was aware of her villainous reputation, because ever since Princess Diana had famously said in her Panorama interview that there are three people in her marriage, and actually that tarnished Camilla's reputation.

He said that members of his family got into bed with the devil, why he gave stories to the British tabloids and British media if it would help their reputation. And so the implication being that if she felt that she could get better press for herself, she would be prepared to allow other people's reputations to be jeopardized.

That's the essence of the claim. And beyond that, too, Harry also suggests that the royal family were not welcoming when Meghan became a feature in Harry's life, and that they, in fact, were guilty of stereotyping her. Take a listen. I don't think we have that sort, Christine. But essentially, Harry was

explaining that he felt that people accused Meghan of being a witch because he seemed to change in temperament and personality when he met her. He says that he was no longer falling out of clubs -- I think we've got the sound now. Let's take a listen.


DAVID: A large part of it for the family, but also the British press and numerous other people, is like he's changed, she must be a witch. He's changed, as opposed to, yes, I did change. I'm really glad I changed because rather than getting drunk, falling out of clubs, taking drugs, I had now found the love of my life, and I now have the opportunity to start a family with her.


NOBILO: Beyond the deep family drama and pain which is apparent from what we've heard of Harry and this media blitz he's doing, accompanying the release of his book which would be midnight, tonight in the United Kingdom is the question of what impact will it have on popular support for the monarchy.

Constitutionally, what would that mean for the United Kingdom, and it's interesting because a biographer of King Charles III had said that she thinks this could be the beginning of the end if the royal family doesn't address the indications of misogyny or sexism or racism that are implied or outright suggested in this book, Christine.

ROMANS: Fascinating. All right, Bianca, nice to see you, thank you so much. And there's more of Prince Harry's interview with Anderson here on CNN. His split with the royal family, all those allegations and all of the drama, the Harry interview begins tonight at 8:00. Well, Ukrainian officials are dismissing Russia's claim that it killed more than 600 Ukrainian troops in an attack last week.

They're calling the claims simply nonsense.