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Chiefs Win Super Bowl In Overtime Thriller; Trump Mocks Haley By Asking About Her Deployed Husband; Key Vote Moves Senate Closer To Passing Foreign Aid Package. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 12, 2024 - 05:30   ET



JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: A very good morning to you and thanks so much for getting up early with us. I'm Jessica Dean in for Kasie Hunt today.

The Super Bowl in Las Vegas hits the jackpot. The Kansas City Chiefs back-to-back champs after an overtime thriller.

Andy Scholes joining us live from outside the stadium with this morning's very early Bleacher Report for you, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Or late -- however you want to think of it --

DEAN: Or late.

SCHOLES: -- Jessica, because if you haven't gone to sleep yet, is it -- is it early or is it late?

But this first Super Bowl here in Las Vegas, Jessica -- it certainly did not disappoint. But it didn't look like that way -- it was going to be that way early on. The first half -- it was a defensive struggle -- punt, punt, punt, fumble, fumble, a couple of field goals. But in the end, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce just coming through for the Chiefs like they always do. And we are watching Patrick Mahomes, an all-time great, right before our eyes. I'll show you how it all went down.

Taylor Swift in the house to support her boyfriend, Travis Kelce. They put her up on the jumbotron at one point during the game and she chugged her drink for all of her fans that were watching.

Now, not a lot of offense in this first half, like I said. Pick it up -- the Chiefs are down 10-6 and they were punting. And this play really changed the game. The ball hits a 49ers player's foot. The Chiefs jump on it. This just completely swung the momentum. Very next play, Mahomes to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Chiefs take their first lead of the game 13-6.

The Niners, though -- they come right back. Brock Purdy to Jauan Jennings. The Niners back on top. But Jake Moody's extra point gets blocked and that would be huge because Mahomes would drive the Chiefs down in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter and they kick a game-tying field goal -- 19-19.

We got to overtime -- just the second overtime in Super Bowl history. Niners get a field goal to take the lead on their first possession. And then Mahomes a chance to go 75 yards to win it all, and he does just that finding Mecole Hardman on this final play of the game to win the Super Bowl.

Chiefs beating the Niners 25-22.

Taylor Swift joining in on the celebrations on the field. Big hugs for her boyfriend Travis Kelce and even some smooches right there.

Mahomes named the MVP of the Super Bowl for the third time. And lots of people counted this Chiefs team out but Mahomes says they are one resilient bunch.


PATRICK MAHOMES, QUARTERBACK, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Battling through the adversity that we battled through this year and guys staying with the process and keeping believing, you just -- you never know how it's going to happen. It was a true road in the playoffs and we were able to come through and be Super Bowl champs.

TRAVIS KELCE, TIGHT END, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Knowing that we were going to everybody's best shot, to have the doubters, to have the road that we went through -- man, it meant everything to even get to this point. But to find a way through adversity yet again for four quarters, five quarters -- man, I couldn't be more proud of the guys.


SCHOLES: Yeah, the third Super Bowl title in five years for Mahomes and Kelce. They're the first to go back-to-back since the Patriots in '05.

And these were the scenes in Kansas City. Fans just having a grand old time and that party is going to continue. They're going to have a big parade on Wednesday. They've already canceled school so everyone can attend, and I imagine that they will.

Now, this Super Bowl -- I mean, it was just great all around. Usher, an awesome halftime performance. I loved the roller skating. It was -- that was so impressive. You had Alicia Keys,, Ludacris, Lil Jon also joining in on the fun. Jessica, I certainly thought Usher's performance was pretty awesome.

And you know what? It actually just hit me, though -- I'm pretty sad. We've got seven months now before NFL football is back.

DEAN: Well, you just need to linger with this moment, Andy. Take it all in. No, that halftime performance was amazing. The roller skates -- what a bold move. Such a key moment.


DEAN: But I saw a tweet. Someone said the elder millennials that really felt a lot of love for this halftime performance.


DEAN: You know, we're finally the key demographic and this is what we get. It's great. Everyone --

SCHOLES: Right, yeah. I think this was definitely I think a 37 to 45- year-old halftime show.

DEAN: Yeah, we love it.

SCHOLES: That's -- it landed for me, that's for sure.

DEAN: Yeah -- me, too. We loved it.


DEAN: All right. Andy Scholes, get some rest or maybe just go out to the Las Vegas Strip. Whatever you want to do. Enjoy it.

SCHOLES: Hey, it's Vegas.

DEAN: That's right. Many options.

All right, have a great one.

SCHOLES: All right.

DEAN: Thanks so much.

Well, with two weeks to go before the South Carolina Republican primary, Donald Trump's attacks against his last remaining challenger in that primary race, Nikki Haley, are becoming even more personal.


During a rally in Haley's home state on Saturday, Trump insinuated her husband, who is completing a one-year deployment in Africa, went abroad to escape her. Haley, in response, hitting back hard.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Where's her husband? Oh, he's away. He's away. What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband? Where is he? He's gone. He knew.

NIKKI HALEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you mock the service of a combat veteran you don't deserve a driver's license, let alone being President of the United States.

It's insulting to military members. It's insulting to military families. And the part that bothers me is he continues to do this. This isn't personal about me and Michael. This is about what it says to every member who sacrifices for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) DEAN: The taunts prompting President Biden to come to Haley's defense, writing that Trump, quote, "Wouldn't no service to his country if it slapped him in the face."

Haley's husband eventually weighing in as well, posting the following message. "The difference between humans and animals? Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack."

So let's bring in Julia Manchester now, national political reporter for The Hill. Good morning, Julia. Great to see you. Thanks for getting up early for us.

What do you make of Trump making this specific attack in his first rally in Haley's home state of South Carolina?

JULIA MANCHESTER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE HILL: You know, Jessica, it reminds me of two things. First of all, it reminds me of 2015 when Donald Trump was first running for president and he essentially mocked and attacked then-Sen. John McCain for his service and when he was a prisoner of war.

You know, almost 10 years later, now Donald Trump has already been president. He's running for another term. And he's continuing to use a similar line of attack.

But it also reminded me of just a few weeks ago in New Hampshire when Haley -- when Haley lost the primary to Donald Trump. They both had those rallies the night of the New Hampshire primary and you saw Donald Trump instead of celebrating the victory in New Hampshire he spent most of the time attacking Haley.

Now, I say that because now that we're in South -- we're coming up to South Carolina, Donald Trump is leading Nikki Haley by -- you know, most averages by over 30 points -- roughly, 31 points. So you have to ask the question why is he making this so incredibly personal? I think he obviously wants to be that presumptive Republican nominee until the RNC, but we've seen it just get very, very ugly over the past couple of weeks with Nikki Haley.

DEAN: Yeah, there's no doubt about that, and it certainly continues to -- he continues to turn up the heat on his personal attacks.

Julia, what do you know about his support among servicemembers -- among military families? Because as you rightly point out, this isn't the first time that we've seen, like, shades of this -- with attacking John McCain and his military service and other incidents over the years. Yet, he continues to do pretty well within that demographic.

MANCHESTER: You're absolutely right. He does do well with that demographic and I think a lot of servicemembers would point to what they say is Donald Trump's record and what they -- what they say is what they like about his foreign policy, his national security. Now, obviously, not all servicemembers and veterans feel that -- feel that way. That's not a monolith by any means.

However, it's not only servicemembers, though, that are curious about with these comments. But a few weeks ago I was on this show and we were talking about his comments about Nikki Haley during the New -- during the New Hampshire primary night when he mocked her dress. He mocked -- he called her 'Bird Brain.'

And it seems like these attacks -- he attacks anyone. You get in Donald Trump's way, you're going to attacked by him. However, it seems like with women and women candidates, women opponents, it is more visceral. And I think -- you know, there are critics who would say that this is another example of that. So I'm curious to see how that plays out with women voters, particularly those Independent voters. Those Independent suburban female voters we talk about so much that play such a critical role in elections.

DEAN: Such an important role. I'm thinking about a state like Pennsylvania. Those collar counties. They -- yeah, they certainly are going to play a major role as we come up on this general election.

I also think it's worth pointing out we see the former president project a lot, and what is interesting is that we've not seen Melania Trump on the campaign trail with him at all since this all began -- since he's launched this newest bid for the presidency. She really hasn't done much for his campaign.

MANCHESTER: That's so interesting that you bring that up, Jessica. Because I was actually at a Super Bowl party last night and someone asked me about that. Where is Melania Trump? Why aren't we seeing her much? And I think we've seen her a little bit over the past few months but she's not front and center the same way.


Now, I don't know exactly why she's not front and center with the president right now. We've seen that his campaign looks a little different from 2020 and 2016 when you saw other families, like Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner with him.

But it's a good point because we know that Melania Trump has been popular with Republican women, in particular. I'm curious to see whether they'll bring her out more in the general election to appeal to more women voters. We'll have to see. But it's a very good point that we haven't seen her.

Obviously, Ivanka Trump isn't involved in politics as much so we see more of -- we don't see the same presence as we have in past campaigns.

DEAN: Yeah.

And before I let you go, just related to the Super Bowl last night. I do want to talk about another candidate who many Americans saw on their TV screens last night if they were watching the Super Bowl. We saw the super PAC that's backing Robert Kennedy Jr. airing this ad during the game. I will be honest with you. I was doing other things and you heard the music, and I kind of looked up and --

MANCHESTER: Yeah. DEAN: -- was like oh, what is this?

It's an ad from his uncle, JFK -- his 1960 campaign. I'll -- I think we -- do we have a clip of it? OK, let's play it and then we can talk about it.


JOHN KENNEDY JR. POLITICAL AD: Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy.

Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy.

Do you want a man for president who is seasoned through and through? A man who is old enough to know --

And young enough to do.

Well, it's up to, it's to you, it's strictly up to you.


DEAN: So, there is a clip of it. And we know that his family members have, in the past, said we don't support him. We wish he wasn't running. We're afraid of what this will do to our family legacy.

His super PAC spent $7 million to air that ad. He said if it caused his family any harm he can't coordinate with the super PAC, so it's not his fault. That was -- and then you see his cousin Bobby Shriver there saying that he's concerned about his candidacy.

Julia, what did you think about this play?

MANCHESTER: You know, I was -- the same party I was at last night, everyone sort of is doing their own thing and turned. It was like, whoa, did RFK or an RFK super PAC just run an ad? I think it was a little unexpected.

You know, look, it's -- it was right before the halftime. It's going to get a lot of eyeballs. I think it shows that he's got a lot of money behind him. But at the same time, it's been interesting to watch the backlash since that ad came up. I think it's ironic that JFK's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, Bobby Shriver, and many of the other members of the Kennedy family -- JFK's grandson, for example -- have endorsed Biden for president and are speaking out against this.

But it goes to show you that RFK is not necessarily a minor player in this. Will he likely be president? Probably not. However, he does stand to take votes away from a Biden or a Trump, and that's what's making Biden and Trump nervous and Republicans and Democrats nervous. They don't know who he's going to take votes away because he has this umbrella of support from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

DEAN: Yeah. And when you go to these states that are likely going to determine this election, those margins are so small over who is winning those states. You know, he really could potentially play a bit of a spoiler there.

All right, Julia Manchester --


DEAN: -- from The Hill. Thanks so much. Great to see you.

MANCHESTER: Thank you.

DEAN: Well, after Republicans tanked a bipartisan Senate deal, one of the president's -- one of President Biden's biggest campaign challenges will be the border. How he plans to hold Donald Trump responsible.

Plus, Senate Republicans defying Trump and moving one closer -- on step closer to passing an aid bill for Ukraine and Israel. We'll talk about it all next.



DEAN: The Senate's bipartisan border deal died last week after a number of Senate Republicans refused a deal they had originally asked for. Now Democrats are making it clear they intend to hold Donald Trump and congressional Republicans accountable for the bill's failure.

President Biden found himself caught between progressives and Republicans who oppose that deal. And he must now address the fact that the border is still a liability for him politically.

Let's bring in national political reporter for Axios, Alex Thompson. Alex, great to see you. Thanks for getting up early and being here with us.

First off, what are you hearing from those around Biden? Do they feel like this was kind of a lose-lose along? Do they feel like mistakes were made? Where are they coming down on this?

ALEX THOMPSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS (via Webex by Cisco): Well, with regard to this specific Senate bill, I think they actually are trying to think of it as a win-win basically by the fact that this was a bipartisan proposal crafted in part by a very conservative senator from Oklahoma, James Lankford, who has worked on border issues for a long time.

They see the -- like, if they had gotten a big bipartisan win, despite blowback from the left, they felt confident that the American people and the Independents would give them credit for doing something on a bipartisan basis that would then help with the really crisis-level humanitarian situation on the border.

And now that the Republicans have rejected it they feel like for the first time, they may have an opening to go on the offense. To basically say we had a proposal to deal with this problem and Republicans rejected it for pure politics. And that's -- they're going to try to see if they can move those polling numbers that show Biden incredibly vulnerable on immigration by using that argument for the next nine months.

DEAN: Yeah. It is an interesting turn of events that they -- it was the most conservative immigration bill that Republicans had in front of them in years and that they didn't go for it because, in part, the former president told them not to and he wants this to be an issue.


But you're going to have to, in terms of messaging, be able to thread that needle to probably Independent voters, frankly, that would be open to this kind of -- look, it was pure partisan politics. If you're Biden, we're the ones that are trying to make this deal.

Do you think that that's a message that they can concisely get out to people?

THOMPSON: I mean, that's going to be the real question over this next nine-month period. And I imagine they're going to spend a lot of money on television ads trying to make that argument.

The real question that you're getting at though is do voters blame Biden for what's going on at the border or do they blame Republicans? And the fact of the matter is that Joe Biden -- the White House is going to say hey, we introduced a huge immigration package on day one of this administration. That is true but they didn't really work that hard to try to get anything done with immigration over the first two years. They were almost never going to get a comprehensive immigration package.

But they did have control of both houses. They did have opportunities to make some changes that may have made this crisis at least a little bit less of a crisis, but they didn't.

And so the question is do voters blame Biden for letting the problem get bad or do they now blame Republicans for not doing anything to fix it because of politics?

DEAN: Yep, that is it, and that will be a key, key question as we head into this general election.

Alex Thompson of Axios. Thanks so much for being with us this morning. We appreciate it.


DEAN: President Biden taking on a new concern -- shrinkflation and big snack companies. And aid for Ukraine and Israel one step closer to passing the Senate, but is there even a chance in the House? That's next.


[05:56:03] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I can't remember the last time the Senate was in session in Super Bowl Sunday. But as I've said all week long, we're going to keep working on this bill until the job is done.


DEAN: And that's Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promising to devote his Super Bowl Sunday to working on a $95 billion emergency aid bill for Israel and Ukraine. The Senate moving one step closer yesterday to passing that crucial foreign package. It's now teed up for a final vote later this week.

All of that despite urging from Donald Trump to block the bill, deploying the same pressure tactic he used to blow up a bipartisan border deal last week.

Let's bring in Mica Soellner, congressional reporter for Punchbowl News. Good morning, Mica. Great to have you here.

First, just catch everyone up on what happened during this rare Sunday session -- I think it's the only time they've been in session with the Super Bowl -- and where things stand now.


So we saw the Senate clear a major procedural vote to pass this foreign aid bill, which was put on the floor after a failed attempt to attach a bipartisan border security solution to it. So this is a good sign I think for the Senate that was grappling with some of the issues in the House, which was following Donald Trump's lead when it comes to foreign policy and his increased influence on that.

So right now, the Senate is on track to likely pass this bill later this week, as you just mentioned, and then the fate of the House is still unknown.

DEAN: And you mentioned the House and we have seen a lot of dysfunction coming out of the House for the last year, really, but especially in the last week or so.

What is House Speaker Mike Johnson going to do with this? Do we know?

SOELLNER: Yeah. I think Speaker Johnson is in a really difficult position. Obviously, he has hardline Republicans that he has to deal with that are strongly opposed to aid to Ukraine.

And I think that a lot of House Republicans are growing more skeptical of giving aid to Ukraine. They're asking for more transparency. They're asking for Ukraine to provide a strategy on how they're going to win this war against Russia. So there's increased skepticism in the House GOP more so than Senate Republicans.

So he's in a really, really difficult position also given the fact that Mike Johnson also has to deal with looming deadlines over government shutdown deadlines that are coming up.

And we already know that members of the House Freedom Caucus and House conservatives are already annoyed at him for a variety of things, and this is not -- if he puts this on the floor, this is just going to be one thing to add to the list of things that could eventually, potentially cost him his job.

DEAN: And we saw this bipartisan border deal just die after -- in large part because the former president really put this thumb on the scale and said I don't want it. I want to make immigration an issue in the 2024 election. Don't pass this. And we saw Republicans really buckle under that pressure.

Do you expect to see that with this aid bill? And what does it say to you as someone who is covering the Hill about the former president's influence not just on the House, which we've seen for a while, but the influence he's beginning to have also on Senate Republicans?

SOELLNER: Yeah. I think it's very likely that we may see something similar happen with this foreign aid bill, which begs the question what is the future of the United States on the world stage when it comes to helping its allies?

I think Trump's influence is huge and it's also telling to show how much influence he's having in a Democratic-controlled Senate right now with Republicans poised to potentially take back the Senate.

So his influence is really, really critical I think, and it's a time where he knows that he's kind of a kingmaker in elections. And he's really playing that up right now kind of warning senators, especially in some of these key races, and House lawmakers as well that they need to be careful in the decisions that they make.


DEAN: Right, and I think so many -- so many of them are looking to them, especially those, as you mentioned, who are going to be up in this year -- those really critical Senate races as well.

Mica Soellner of Punchbowl News. Thanks so much for joining us. Great to see you this morning.

SOELLNER: Thank you.

DEAN: And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Jessica Dean in for Kasie Hunt. And "CNN THIS MORNING" starts right now.