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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

GOP Tensions Hit New Peak: Claims Of Punching, Violent Threats; House Passes GOP Funding Bill To Keep Government Open; Hamas Repeatedly Denies Operating Out Of Gaza Hospital; Today: President's Biden & Xi To Meet In SF Bay Area; 3 Ejected Moments Into Warriors- T'Wolves Game; U.S. Women's Soccer Team Hires Emma Hayes As Coach. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 15, 2023 - 05:30   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never seen you were fighting children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's not the size of the opponent, Elaine, it's the philosophy.


KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: So, your United States Congress is on a path to diverting a shutdown as of Tuesday. But that does not mean that they have their acts together. They are still spoiling for a smackdown. It was one of the more bizarre days we have seen on Capitol Hill in recent memory. It started with the first two you just saw Republican Congressman Tim Burchett among the eighth House Republicans. Yes, there he is. Who voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as Speaker accused McCarthy of elbowing him in the kidneys? Here's the moment. It was caught on tape on the on an audio tape by National Public Radio.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it went. All right.

REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): Sorry, Kevin didn't mean to elbow. Why'd you elbow me in the back, Kevin?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, it felt so bad.

BURCHETT: Hey Kevin, you got any guts? Jerk.

What kind of chicken move is that?


BURCHETT: You're, you're pathetic, man. You are so pathetic. (END AUDIO CLIP)

HUNT: McCarthy denies the allegation. And he told reporters that if he had hit Burchett, quote, he'd be on the ground, end quote.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): No, I didn't not elbow him, no I would not elbow him. I would not hit him in the kidney. I guess, a reporter was interviewing Burchett or something. I guess her shoulder said, because Burchett runs up to answer. I didn't know what he was talking about. So, reporters asked me. I did not run and hit the guy. I didn't kidney punch him.

BURCHETT: I forgive him. I've, I've said several prayers for him today, ma'am. I something's really inside his heart right now. And it's and he's going to he's going to continue doing these type of activities. And it's going to continue causing him embarrassment upon his family and his district and, and, frankly, the Republican caucus.


HUNT: A former Speaker of the House having to deliver lines, such as, I did not kidney punch him.

Now, you'd think that that might have been the worst thing that would have happened along these lines. But at a Senate hearing yesterday. This happened. This is a Republican senator. Now we should note he is a former mixed martial arts fighter Markwayne Mullin and the Teamsters leader Sean O'Brien.


REP. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-OK): You want to run your mouth. We can be two consenting adults, we can finish it here.


MULLIN: You want to do it now?

O'BRIEN: I'd love to do it right now.

MULLIN: Let's stand your butt up then.

O'BRIEN: You stand your bum out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, hold on. Stop it.


HUNT: OK, if that wasn't enough, the House Oversight Chairman James Comer, also unleashed on freshman Congressman Jared Moskowitz for pressing him about his own financial dealings after Comer has accused President Biden of corruption.


REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): That is bullshit. You look like a Smurf here, just going around and all this stuff.


HUNT: OK. Let's bring in John Bresnahan, Co-Founder of Punchbowl News.

John, what the hell is going on? Like what is this?

JOHN BRESNAHAN, FOUNDER, PUNCHBOWL NEWS: You know, just listening to it again, it's impossibly stupid. I think there's a couple things. One is the House has been in session for 10 straight weeks. That is an extremely long period of time. Members hate each other. After a couple of weeks, they get the nail there. They're clashing with each other. They're, they're butting heads because of what happened with McCarthy, because of the time he was forced out and had to find a new speaker. The House has stayed in session for 10 straight weeks is an extraordinary long period of time for them actually be here, you know, together. So, I think this is part of it.

I also think there's a deeper malaise in the House. I think for a lot of If you go back remember when McCarthy was, you know, had to get through the speaker vote January, you had you know Mike Rogers, a congressman from Alabama, he had to be grabbed on the floor because he was going to go punch by Matt Gaetz --


HUNT: Right.

BRESNAHAN: -- or something. You know.

HUNT: Right.

BRESNAHAN: I mean, this whole Congress, we've seen these kinds of -- there's kind of a motion in the House, especially House Republicans. It's just, it's right there. It's right beneath the surface. And, you know, it just comes out in myriad ways. It's really kind of unbelievable.

HUNT: Yes, I mean, only that last exchange was a pure Republican against a Democrat in Congress, which is what we are used to seeing. Markwayne Mullin, also, I mean, you're talking about the House and the tensions there, it makes sense. He ultimately -- Bernie Sanders actually had to intervene and say, hey, man, like back off, let's not do this. But Mullin went to the cameras and said, you know what, he -- he's not done with this. Take a look at what he said later.


MULLIN: Keep in mind, too, this isn't anything new Andrew Jackson challenged two people or nine people to a duel when he was president. And he also knocked one guy out at a White House dinner, there's been canings (ph) before and the Senate too. Maybe we should bring some of that back, you know, keep people from thinking they're so tough and make us sit at a table. And we can actually work out our differences without poking at each other and want to run a cameras and call people names.


HUNT: So apparently, he wants to take us back to the era of Andrew Jackson and also bring back canings on the Senate floor. I mean, like, what is that?

BRESNAHAN: You know, look, I think there's been a coarsening of American politics. It's clear, you know, Donald Trump is responsible for a lot of that, you know, he, you know, he, he uses his language, he threatens people, you know, you know, deserve --

HUNT: He makes it OK, kind of in a way.

BRESNAHAN: -- (INAUDIBLE) good eating and everything. You know, also remember, like, things are different now. After January 6th, we can't dismiss these kinds of incidents. I saw fistfights in the past, I saw drunken members, I saw stuff like that. It didn't get on camera. And it wasn't as prevalent as it is now. And I really think after January 6th, we can't just dismiss this stuff. Look at what's happening right now. The attacker of the person who you know, broke into the Pelosi's home and assaulted Paul Pelosi is on trial right now.

HUNT: Yes.

BRESNAHAN: Like these things are all linked together. You can't just dismiss it out of hand is dominance, tribalists it is. The course thing of American politics, it plays out because the public, for whatever reason, thanks to the internet and social media doesn't see these things as just, you know, little specks, that, you know, they take these things personally. And sometimes it turns into real violence.

HUNT: Well and that's kind of what Mullin was advocating there. You know, returning to that.

Very briefly (INAUDIBLE), the shutdown, it looks like it's going to be averted?

BRESNAHAN: Yes, there's not going to be shutdown, that there was never really going to happen once Johnson came up with this plan. The Senate is going to take up this bill, the White House is -- they're going to extend government funding through January split up between January and February, the White House has signaled that President Biden would signed this thing. But you know, it's just kicking the can down the road. They haven't solved their, their spending problems. House Republicans as we know, Punchbowl News this morning.

You know, this doesn't that just buys them some time. It doesn't really get them anywhere. It doesn't solve what they're where they're at. They're going to have to go back and give in and compromise at some point. And so far, they don't compromise with each other. They certainly do want to compromise with Democrats in the White House. HUNT: That's for sure. All right, Punchbowl News's John Bresnahan, thank you very much for being with us this morning. I really appreciate it.

All right, let's turn now to the war between Hamas and Israel. Israeli radio now reporting the military has so far found no hostages inside Gaza's largest hospital Al-Shifa, as the IDF conducts an ongoing operation there.

Israel and U.S. officials have accused Hamas of hiding a command center under the facility, a claim both Hamas and doctors there have denied.

CNN's Max Foster joins us live now from London.

Max, good morning to you. Thanks for being here. We're still looking at details here. But this is obviously an incredibly sensitive situation, this hospital the sight of that that picture that you know, I -- everyone basically who's awake and paying attention has seen of those premature babies. What is going on here and what are the risks for Israel?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have three sources of information here, really. We have the Israeli military and government who say there is a command center, Hamas command center under the hospital. We have Hamas saying that's not true. We have people in the hospital who we've been speaking to, you've been speaking to nobody who's operated in the hospital or seen any military equipment.

So now we have a situation where the military has gone in anyway because they're convinced it is command center. They're interrogating staff according to local reports. And it's a big test I think for the Israeli military because it is under international humanitarian law -- war law if you like. Hospitals are protected, they lose that protection if they are used as military bases. So, the Israelis have gone in on that basis.


So far, they say they haven't found any hostages, we'll wait to see whether or not they find the tunnels or the equipment or the any sort of signs of being used as a military base from now. But I think it's pretty harrowing for the civilians inside right now who've been through an awful time and are now being interrogated as we understand.

HUNT: Very, very difficult situation. All right, Max Foster in London. Thank you very much for that report. I really appreciate it.

All right, up next year, President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping sitting down for a highly anticipated face-to-face meeting today. With the White House hopes will happen. Up next.

Plus, hostage negotiations between Israel and Hamas inching closer to a deal. How Israel's hospital rate could impact that progress, ahead.


HUNT: Welcome back. Later today, President Biden sits down face to face with Chinese President Xi Jinping somewhere. They're not saying exactly where in the San Francisco Bay Area. The meeting comes with U.S.-China relations at their lowest ebb in years over Taiwan, Chinese espionage and disinformation campaigns, among other things. U.S. officials say the main aim is to ease tensions and restore communications, especially between the two militaries.

CNN's Marc Stewart is live in Beijing for us. Marc at bringing us up to speed on the view from China.

MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the view from China is certainly all of those topics you mentioned. But I want to show you since this is a morning program. The front page of China Daily, it's the state publication in English that people in Beijing woke up to about 12 hours ago. A big emphasis here is about the economic cooperation between these two nations. There's a big chart in the center. So, we're going to hear a lot of that discuss today.

And this is a tricky relationship between the United States and China. First of all, analysts point out the United States has been really trying to restrict its, its reliance on Chinese manufacturing, we saw what happened during the pandemic was very hard to get products to and from, from Asia. So, expect for China to make a hard sell to the U.S. into companies to -- to make products here in China, especially because the cost of doing so is so low, and other obstacle which China is likely to bring up is restrictions on technology and access to chips. That's been a big concern in the U.S., especially about intellectual property and perhaps technological secrets. And should these be shared.

Also, the business environment in China right now is very difficult for American companies. They have seen a lot of restrictions, they're actually have been raids and detentions and involving foreign companies. So, expect Xi Jinping to let President Biden know that China is going to be an open and welcoming place for these two economies. The trade between these two economies is tremendous. And that's why we've heard so much discussion by Janet Yellen in particular about de-risking, and not necessarily de-coupling.

Also, Kasie, on non-military issues, expect to have discussion about the Fentanyl crisis, as we've been reporting, some kind of agreement as near as well as with the climate crisis, both nations are likely to pledge more production and more focused Kasie, on renewables.

HUNT: Very interesting, always love a good newspaper, front page, Marc. So anytime you want to bring that on, please do it. Thank you very much for that. I appreciate it. See you soon, I hope.

All right, for more on the Biden-Xi meeting and what's going on in Gaza, let's bring in Shawn Turner, He is the former Director of Communications for U.S. National Intelligence. Shawn is always good to see you. Thank you very much for being with us this morning. I mean, we know that expectations are always kept in check with these type of meetings. I want to show you what Biden had to say about what he has -- what he hopes to get out of the meeting with Xi. Watch.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: To get back on a normal course of corresponding, being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another as a crisis, being able to make sure our military still have contact with one another.

As I told you, we're not trying to de-couple from China. But we're -- what we're trying to do is change the relationship for the better.


HUNT: So, Shawn, you have an understanding of how these kinds of military-to-military ties can impact relationships between countries, potentially avert crises that might be stumbled into accidentally? Can you help us understand what a country learns from these kinds of communications and why they're important?

SHAWN TURNER, FMR DIR OF COMMUNICATIONS, U.S. NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Yes, absolutely. And thanks for having me this morning, Kasie. So, I think that what President Biden was doing is he was really communicating a low bar for success for this meeting. But what we want to accomplish in this endless meeting is extremely important. As you point out the military-to-military communication for the United States and China is extremely important, and avoiding conflicts, misunderstandings, and actually avoid -- avoiding instances in which the two militaries might come into contact.

And so, what happens behind the scenes with regard to these meetings is we sit down, we talk about the fact that there are lots of common interests, lots of shared interests, on economic issues, on trade issues, all the things that were in that last report, but the most important interactions that exist between the United States and China are interactions related to the military and our national security in each country. So, these meetings will focus on those.

And I think that what we can expect to see coming out of this meeting is not so much discussion about those shared interests, those common interests are the kinds of things that we would typically see coming out of these meetings, but discussions that will calm concerns in both of the both of our nations about our military-to-military communication. And basically, the message will be, we've been giving each other the silent treatment for a long time. And we're back to a point where we're talking to each other. And I think that's really important for our national security here in the United States.


HUNT: For sure. I want to switch gears a little bit and ask you about what's going on in Gaza, because we do have this breaking news around the Al-Shifa hospital, or the Israelis have launched this operation inside the hospital there. They've told Israeli radio is reporting that so far, there's no sign of any hostages. But there is this -- has been this back and forth the past couple of days about how Hamas is using it. And of course, this poses very real risks to the patients that are being treated in that hospital.

I mean, how should the Israelis be balancing this? And, you know, what do you know about how this hospital is used? And what kind of military tactics might be necessary for the Israelis to try to accomplish their mission without doing future or more harm, further harm?

TURNER: Yes, and you know, I think, I think the most important thing for people to understand is that there's little doubt that from the Israeli perspective, there's some connection to the hostages, and the Al-Shifa hospital, they see something there. Now, it's also important, important to point out that there's been some reporting that suggests that no hostage hostages had been found in the Al-Shifa hospital or in the tunnel system that's underneath that hospital. While that's important, it does not mean that there's not information there, intelligence evidence that the Israelis can collect that they could find it might get some clarity, or some sense of where those hostage -- hostages are being held, or whether those hostages -- as hostages have been there.

So, it's still important, and we know that the focus on Al-Shifa is really about Hamas. But I think that the key here is that this hospital is, is like a lot of other hospitals being used by Hamas, people in a war with no those hospitals are being used as human shields. And that's something is really defensive. We'll just have to focus on.

So, we may not find hostages, but there still might be valuable information there.

HUNT: All right. Shawn Turner, thank you very much for being with us this morning. I always appreciate your perspective, sir.

TURNER: Thanks, Kasie.

HUNT: All right, coming up next eight juveniles charged with murder in the beating death of a high school student. How police are responding to this disturbing attack. Ahead.

Plus, emotional testimony from the man accused of attacking former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband. Details of his conspiracy theories involving former President Trump coming up on "CNN This Morning."



HUNT: Two torn up jerseys, one chokehold, three objections all in under two minutes. Was this Congress or was this the NBA game between the Warriors and the Timberwolves last night?

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hi, Andy. ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hey everybody, Kasie. You know, we're used to seeing scuffles, you know towards the end of game you know, when someone might be frustrated the night didn't really go their way it was a long battle. This was just 100 seconds into the contest between Timberwolves and the Warriors Optimus shot by Anthony Edwards here. Klay Thompson and Jay McDaniels, they get all tangled up and then they just get into it. So, Rudy Gobert runs it and try to break it up when Draymond Green comes over and just puts him in a headlock and drags them away. After the officials looked at it all Klay and again, those were both rejected and so was Draymond.

The Warriors they were already playing without Steph Curry was out knee soreness so they didn't have Steph, Klay or Draymond, basically this whole game. T'Wolves that ended up winning 104 to 101. Afterwards, Gobert said Draymond's actions work, quote, clown behavior while Steve Kerr, suspended his guys.


STEVE KERR, HEAD COACH, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: There's no way Klay Thompson should have been thrown out of the game. I mean, he's running up the floor and he -- the guy grabs his jersey and he's pulling on him and so Klay pulls back. And then the Draymond piece of it, if you watch the replay, Rudy had his hands on Klay's neck and that's why Draymond went after Rudy, but it was, yes, a bizarre way to start the game a minute and a half in.


SCHOLES: All right, so the league will be looking at that. The U.S. Women's National Team meanwhile making it official hiring Emma Hayes to be the team's next head coach. Hayes one of the top women European managers led English club Chelsea to 14 major trophies since 2012. Including six Super League crowns and five FA cups. In the statement Hayes called, getting U.S. job a dream come true. Hayes is going to stay with Chelsea the rest of their season through May 4 before taking the reigns with U.S. That means she's going to have less than three months to prepare for the Paris Olympics.

All right, the Washington Capitals meanwhile, partnering with the Pedigree Foundation to host canine night players showing up to the arena with a bunch of adorable and adoptable puppies. And it was an awesome night for Billy. She was being fostered by Capitals center, Connor McMichael and ends up being adopted by his teammate Hendrix Lapierre. So, it was great night all-around Capitals beat the Golden Knights three to nothing.

And finally, 22-year-old Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams creating the latest food debate. So, he posted his McDonald's meal. And yes, that's an McDouble cheeseburger with Oreo McFlurry poured on it. Kasie, I asked you is this acceptable behavior?

HUNT: I mean, those are two very delicious foods by themselves. I'm unclear on whether what tastes good. But, you know, what --

SCHOLES: You know, people like to dip fries in Frosties, like at Wendys.

HUNT: I do that.

SCHOLES: I'm not --


HUNT: It's delicious.

SCHOLES: -- in for any of it. You do?

HUNT: I do, do that.

SCHOLES: Fried -- I'm not into the fried food into the ice cream. I'm just not, not with it.

HUNT: No. See --

SCHOLES: Or a burger for that.

HUNT: -- I'm -

SCHOLES: Don't want it, I don't want ice cream on my burger.

HUNT: I will say, you know, you don't cover politics the way I do but I've spent a lot of time at the Iowa State Fair where they fry the oreos, so it's kind of like all the same thing -

SCHOLES: I'm fine with that, we can - I just want it all fried, I want it all fried or I want it all cold and ice, you know, I don't want them mixed.

HUNT: All right, I love learning more about you Andy Scholes, thank you very much for being with us this morning, I'll see you tomorrow.

SCHOLES: All right.

HUNT: And thanks to all of you for joining us, I'm Kasie Hunt, don't go anywhere. CNN This Morning starts right now.