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CNN Live Event/Special
Soon: Speaker Vote In Pivotal Moment For Jordan; Soon: House Votes For Speaker; Jordan Faces Uncertain Math; In Moments: New Vote For House Speaker; War in Israel Rages as House Holds Speaker Vote. Aired 11:55a-12:30p ET
Aired October 17, 2023 - 11:55 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking at live pictures of the United States Capitol. The country starts the day as it has for two weeks now without a House Speaker. I'm Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Jake Tapper in studio here in Washington. In just minutes, the House will gavel, open the floor proceedings, and we will find out if Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio has the votes to take that gavel permanently. His ascendance to the brink of the speakership marks a real departure for the House GOP conference.
Jordan for one is a 2020 election denier. He is someone about whom former House Republican Vice Chair Liz Cheney warns is an enemy of democracy, and enemy of the U.S. Constitution. To win, Congressman Jordan needs to stay on the right side of a very thin Republican majority margin.
He just hit a magic -- he must hit rather a magic number of 217 votes to win the job if everyone we expect to vote votes, which means Mr. Jordan can only lose three House Republicans in the vote. But heading into this final tally or first tally, we already know of six Republicans who have said they will reject Jordan's bid for Speaker. He can't afford to lose six Republicans.
So, if that happens, if all states voted against him, history and -- histrionics rather, might repeat themselves and thrust the House into another drawn-out floor mess just like what we watched play out in January when it took Kevin McCarthy 15 rounds to win the job. The consequences of chaos are even more pronounced. Now, a leaderless House means that the legislative branch of Congress cannot pass an aid package for Israel at war.
We're going to check in with CNN's Sara Sidner in Tel Aviv, as rockets shoot through the sky there. But first here at home, CNN's Capitol Hill team is tracking all the closed-door cajoling and the fluid fast- moving mission to cement Jordan's bid for the gavel. We're going to start with CNN's Manu Raju. And, Manu, you just caught up with Congressman Jordan. What does he have to say?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He's willing to fight this out. He said that he's willing to go for as long as it takes. And that's the message that I'm hearing from sources that are familiar with the matter that Congressman Jordan, even if he does not get 217 votes in this first ballot, in which he's not expected to get the magic number in this first ballot, that he was willing to fight it out on the House floor. Potentially ballot after ballot, maybe perhaps as long as Kevin McCarthy went back in January.
But this source we spoke to believes that they're closer than Kevin McCarthy was on the first ballot back in January. Remember that time, Kevin McCarthy was down 19 votes? They believe there'll be closer to that in this -- in this vote and the -- that we'll see in a matter of moments.
We do know that at least six Republicans are no's -- are no votes against McCarthy. There are expected to be at least perhaps six more who have leaning no. We'll see how they ultimately come down.
And then there are a whole bunch of other members who simply have not said how they will vote. So, the key question that we will see at the moment is not necessarily whether Jordan get -- does he get 217? No one expects that in this first vote. It's how many members are voting no. And what are their concerns?
A number of them simply are concerned about the -- everything that has happened in the last two weeks, the ouster of Kevin McCarthy, and they don't want to reward those hardliners who pushed out McCarthy by elevating their choice, who's Jim Jordan. Others simply have concerns about some of the things that Jim Jordan said including Congressman Ken Buck who was concerned that Jordan has not explicitly said that the 2020 election was not stolen. I asked Jordan about that too, just moments ago why he has not said that. He didn't respond to that question.
But those are the among the issues, Jake, that are still percolating out there. The question too is when these members vote against Jordan. How long will they withstand the pressure? Will they continue to vote no ballot after ballot?
Jordan's team is getting -- is make -- taking the calculation that ultimately, they will come to his side and that he will be elected Speaker of the House as soon as tonight. But get ready for a drawn-out fight between some of the more moderate members, some of the more established members, and Congressman Jim Jordan if he tries to get the speakership tonight. Jake.
TAPPER: Yes. And just a reminder. He doesn't have the votes, but he's the one that called for this vote. I mean, he is the one forcing this display of chaos, right?
RAJU: Yes. He wanted it, before he had indicated that he would only go to the floor if he had 217 votes. This is what he put himself up in a secret ballot election to replace Kevin McCarthy.
He lost that secret ballot election to Steve Scalise who ultimately bowed out, did not want to go to the floor because he didn't have the votes. Jordan, however, change his approach. This has decided he wants to try to force this and ultimately get these members to come along to his side.
So that is the question, will they ultimately do that? Or they stand firm against Jim Jordan and push for another candidate here? And can another candidate get 217 votes? That is still a huge question. As this leader of this House remains completely paralyzed and unable to act on key legislation.
TAPPER: Right. And he's hoping to use outside political operatives, like Sean Hannity, and Amy Kramer, and some of the others to pressure these members of Congress to vote for him.
RAJU: Yes, that's exactly right. And that is the hope that the ultimately that these members credit will come to his side. Expect, though, that there could be breaks in between each of these votes, we'll see exactly how this plays out.
There's a lot of uncertainty at the moment. But there could be meetings that happened to try to pick off these members one by one. We'll see if they decide to recess for longer than a few hours, or maybe come back the next day. We'll see. But they hope that they can eventually get these members by tonight to come their way and perhaps that pressure campaign, they believe will get them to come to their site.
But one member, Mario Diaz-Balart told me, no one should pressure me, no one should intimidate me because if they do that, I will not -- I will close out entirely. And at the moment, Jake, we expect him to vote for Steve Scalise on the floor, not Jim Jordan.
TAPPER: All right. My colleague, anchor Dana Bash is getting some new reporting on the Hill there. Dana, what are you hearing?
BASH: I just want to underscore based on some reporting that I'm doing one of the aspects of Jordan's challenge. And that is something that is so fundamental, and it is the 2020 election. I spoke to one of the Republican lawmakers who was a holdout, one of those who is having one-on-one meetings with Jim Jordan, as Jordan tries to get votes one by one.
And the ask by this member who I spoke to, was really simple. Will you go out and say publicly that Donald Trump lost the election? And Jim Jordan could not say, yes, I will do that. And that's an example of some of these conversations again, so fundamental, that are happening behind the scenes.
Yes, there are lots of different factors in some of the holdouts, most of them are moderates. Most of them are those who come from Biden districts, meaning districts where Joe Biden won in 2020, and they are Republicans who are trying to grapple with the notion of being very vulnerable in the general election, but maybe vulnerable in the short- term if they don't vote for Jim Jordan, and a potential primary.
But of all of those aspects and all of those factors, one of those fundamentals, that is in 2023, still something that Jim Jordan won't say, which is that Donald Trump lost more than three years ago, is a factor that we should keep in mind. And that's according to a source I spoke with who is a -- who will have a vote and is really interested in Jordan saying that.
TAPPER: Very fascinating, Dana Bash. Thanks so much. And let's discuss with my panel here. You see members of Congress on the floor of the House there. And Kasie Hunt, I mean, this is really bizarre. I mean, it is akin to saying, can you just go out there and say that NASA actually landed man on the moon that the moon landing wasn't faked?
Can you just go out there and say, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, and he's an American citizen, he was not born in Africa, and he's unable to do it. Donald Trump lost the election. This next speaker of the House and all likelihood a Jim Jordan is not able to state a fact, a fact that is, you know, ripping apart this country the denial of which ripping apart.
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Back to the birth certificate thing, it's honestly kind of the beginning of this trend that we have seen in our politics of denying the things that you very much outline. And I mean, it's just so incredibly telling that Jim Jordan doesn't feel like he can do that in public, right. He couldn't feel like there is a political
TAPPER: You're giving him the benefit of the doubt that --
TAPPER: I don't think he believes.
HUNT: I mean, I guess that's true. If you're going to listen to what he says, it's impossible to know what he believes. I have had enough conversations with other Republicans in private that it seems like they pretty much know what's actually going on, but they have to tell their base of voters something else.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Think about what you just said. We don't know what he believes. How do you lead? If nobody knows or trust what you believe. How do you lead a diverse group of people, some of whom are from Biden districts, some are from competitive districts.
The reason we are where we are, is that most of them are from very safely drawn Republican districts where they can say anything, they can continue to deny the 2020 election even though, you know, Tuesday comes after Monday. Donald Trump lost the election. The world is round. The climate is in crisis. Donald Trump lost the election in 2020.
They won't say it because they don't have to, because they go home to safe districts. So, can Jim Jordan get enough of them? He is everything that Trump base loves. He will say anything, he will smear anyone, he will throw innuendo, he will cherry pick facts. He's also everything that has cost the Republicans dearly.
2018 midterms, Nancy Pelosi became speaker. 2020 Donald Trump lost the presidency. 2022 more of a mixed bag depending on where you look in the country, but the Republican performance in the suburbs, in the last several cycles middle America, common sense people, moderates, people who are willing to go both ways, people who think and pay attention who believed Donald Trump lost the election have moved away from the party.
So, will they make as their leader in a leaderless House, someone who you don't know what he believes, but you do know that he's willing to say whatever it takes.
TAPPER: And, you know, you can talk what's interesting, Jamie Gangel, the person who is really pushing this issue is one of the most conservative members of the House Republican conference. It is Congressman Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado, he who is one of the most conservative members.
But he is the one behind the scenes, challenging, Scalise and Jordan, where are you on the 2020 election? Because he just accepts the facts. He's very conservative on fiscal issues. I'm sure a lot of our audience, a lot of Democrats would disagree with him on any number of issues. But he just wants to Jordan to acknowledge that Joe Biden won fair and square, and he won't do it.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIALIST CORRESPONDENT: Right. If Ken Buck, heaven forbid, you just couldn't give the straight answer, the honest answer on this. I also want to add to what John just said, There's one other person who wants Jim Jordan here, and that's obviously Donald Trump, who has endorsed him. We do not know yet how much behind the scenes he's leaning on people whipping for him.
But let's keep in mind something very important about Jim Jordan. He is the single person who spoke to Trump throughout the lead up to January 6. He was his ally. He wanted to find a way to overturn the 2020 election.
TAPPER: Let's listen in. Actually, let's not listen in. OK. David Chalian, one of the other things that's interesting about Jim Jordan becoming this member of the Republican establishment in recent days -- -
TAPPER: Is that, until recently, he was very much a thorn in the side of the establishment. In fact, and this is an uncomfortable word to use, given recent events in Israel, but Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, a fellow Ohioan, a fellow Buckeye, referred to Jim Jordan as a "legislative terrorist," because he only tears things down, he never builds things. It is true that I don't think Jim Jordan has much of a legislative record. That's putting it charitably. And I mean, he has been a real problem for leadership. Now he is, of course, House judiciary chairman. DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And it's, I mean, the Jim Jordan arrival in Congress, he was elected in 2006 gets sworn in. In 2007, you can sort of track his arrival in Washington, with the movement of the Republican Party, and they've been moving in Jim Jordan's direction culminating in a day potentially, if he can swing these final votes, where he becomes speaker, Jake.
You see in Jordan, he comes in, the tea party starts, getting traction, he becomes a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus. He is a thorn in Boehner side. Obviously, Trump's arrival in the party and take over the party, gives Jim Jordan and the likes of Jim Jordan more fuel. And look at what Kevin McCarthy did to become speaker. But he embraced Jim Jordan. He brought Jim Jordan into this moment, make him chairman of the committee. And now the biggest outsider may be on the precipice of being speaker of the House.
TAPPER: Let's bring in Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill right now to give us an update on just what's going on.
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Right now, they have just begun the roll call vote, Jake. And why this is important, is it's really the first opportunity to see the full attendance of the House of Representatives. What we understand from our team's reporting, is that Democrats have full attendance today and that Republicans are missing one member this afternoon. Of course, that is significant because it lowers the threshold of how many votes Jim Jordan could lose on the floor from four to three.
So, that is why this roll call is so important. It probably will take about 15 minutes, then they will begin the actual vote for the House speaker. So, this is a procedural motion, but it is obviously a very important step that they are taking on the House floor right now, before they begin that roll call vote for the speaker of the House.
TAPPER: All right, Lauren Fox, thank you so much. I mean, it is remarkable. Just on its face, Kasie Hunt, that they are voting on Jim Jordan. When you think about the role he played on January 6.
TAPPER: All the calls that Donald Trump made to him. All the answers he refused to give the bipartisan committee that was investigating January 6, the subpoenas he defied, and then as the House Judiciary Committee chairman, he would issue subpoenas without even acknowledgement of the fact that he had refused to acknowledge subpoenas from a congressionally authorized committee.
HUNT: Yes. We probably will never know the full extent of his involvement. I mean, Jamie is obviously steeped in the details of that. I think what I keep going back to is the moment on the House floor that day, where he walked up to Liz Cheney than a member of Congress.
And seemed -- I don't know if he was trying to be a gentleman or what tried to help her get away from a violent mob that was at the door there were, you know, a gunshot that went off, a woman killed through the course of it, and Liz Cheney looks at him and pulls herself away, and says, you effing did this. You did this.
TAPPER: I don't think she said effing.
HUNT: You can Google it. She did not say effing, but I'm not going to say what she said on camera. But look, and I think that that anger reflected kind of the view that, you know, not only was Jim Jordan you know, he played a role in what we saw unfold that day now, beyond just kind of watching it and saying after the fact, you know, excusing it after the fact.
TAPPER: Any minute we're going to see action on the House floor when lawmakers put Jim Jordan's name into nomination for speaker of the United States House of Representatives. That name will be nominated. He'll be nominated by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. He faces uncertain.
Math here as the world is crying out for a functioning U.S. legislative branch. Israel is trying to fight a war. Right now, a war without an American aid package more special coverage from Tel Aviv and here in Washington just ahead. Stay with us.
BASH: Welcome back to CNN's special coverage. You're looking at the House floor live, where in just a few minutes, lawmakers are expected to vote on a new House speaker. Tomorrow, President Biden makes a wartime trip to Israel, just as Israel's military gears up for the next phase of its war against the terror group Hamas.
I want to go to my colleague Sara Sidner, who is with us from Tel Aviv. Sara, you just saw some rockets over you there. What's going on.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Almost every night, and certainly in parts of Israel, you were seeing these rockets. Just a few minutes ago, we had a few come over our way and the Iron Dome as it normally does, was able to intercept them. And you hear those big loud sort of booms that come from the sky. That's actually a good sound in Israel because it means that the rockets have been taken out and render them not dangerous anymore.
We also heard today from the first family who has seen a video of their daughter who was now a hostage in Gaza. It was the very first time that they found out that she was alive when Hamas put that video out on social media.
And that was a very tearful, difficult moment for everyone to witness, a mother mourning or watching -- mourning her daughter really because her daughter is in pain. She could see that she was injured her arm, looked as if it had been broken potentially from a gunshot wound. But was the first time she saw her alive. So, some relief there.
Also, I want to bring in our CNN's Jeremy Diamond. He is in Jerusalem for us. Jeremy, President Biden is leaving for Israel today. We saw Secretary of State Blinken here also trying to make maneuvers to try and help those in Gaza, the civilians who are stuck.
It's going to be a really tough task for President Biden as well. How to sort of balance the unconditional support that he has already pledged for Israel with easing the humanitarian crisis that is getting worse by the hour in Gaza. What do you know about his plans when he gets here to Israel, Jeremy?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You're very right, Sara. And this is also going to be a visit that is going to be rife with both. The symbolic aspects of this visit that show of solidarity with President Biden standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with his war cabinet.
But also, of course, the practical implications of what a presidential visit to this country in this moment ahead of a potential grim, ground invasion, with this ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is still developing. What exactly can the president concretely accomplish with this visit?
We also know that on the symbolic aspect, this is also going to be about that deterrence that we have been hearing from the White House so much about in these last several days. You can really put the president's visit right in line with the other steps that his administration has taken. Sending two aircraft carrier strike groups to the region, us putting those 2000 marines and sailors on high alert for potential deployments.
All of those, a kind of part and parcel of the same message of deterrence. Two countries like Iran and other bad actors in the region not to take advantage of this war between Israel and Hamas, and not to allow this conflict to devolve into a broader regional conflict.
But really, the question will be on the concrete practical implications. What will the president be able to deliver in terms of assuaging the humanitarian situation in Gaza? We know that U.S. officials have been working to create a humanitarian corridor, to get humanitarian aid into Gaza and to getting American citizens out.
And of course, there is also this question of hostages, including about 20 of whom are believed to be American citizens. Will there be any kind of deal? Is there anything in the works right now for the president to get them out? We will see as the president heads to Israel first, and then to Amman, Jordan in the evening to meet with Arab leaders in the region as well.
SIDNER: Jeremy Diamond, there are so many difficult issues and choices that have to be made. Well, the president shows up here, not only for a Prime Minister Netanyahu but for as you point out President Biden. Thank you so much for your reporting on what is to come and what has already happened in this country.
And Dana, I want to toss it back to you. But I cannot help but say this, I probably shouldn't. But it is really difficult from our vantage point here in Israel to see the dysfunction that is happening back there in the United States. When there is a real crisis here, a war going on here, to see things just unfolding the way they are where Congress can't get it together in the United States. It is quite disappointing, Dana?
BASH: Well, that sentiment is not just coming from abroad, it's coming from inside the United States Capitol, from members on both sides of the aisle, the very deep frustration with the dysfunction that has brought us to this moment. Two weeks without a formal speaker of the House.
And as we are looking at the House floor, we should tell our viewers that what we're looking at is a roll call effectively to get everybody into the House chamber. And most importantly, to let everybody know who is going to be there and how many votes there will be? And that will help determine what a majority actually is.
As we look at that and wait for this roll call vote to be completed. I want to bring in my panel here with me. And Doug Heye, I'm going to start with you. Because when I was covering Capitol Hill full time, you for a while were working inside the House Republican leadership, and you certainly never witnessed anything like this.
But you've certainly been involved in some of the tumult that we saw in the past nothing like what we're seeing now. I know you're in touch with people who are on that floor. What are you hearing about the potential for Jim Jordan to get these votes?
DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: A few things. One, they've never been in this situation either. You've covered a lot of these, what we call opening day of Congress, and their celebratory days, people bring their children on the House floor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not the opening day.
HEYE: This is not the opening day. This is like nothing we've ever seen, or anybody who's voted has gone through. So, there is that sort of nervousness. There's cautious optimism, but very cautious that Jordan will get through if not on a first vote, on a second vote. But also, I think what's important here is the alphabet. Not just because some of the early no votes on Jordan are early in the alphabet.
But also, you remember the John Boehner 2013 election very well. We got to the bees Bachmann not present, somewhere in our office in one of these buildings. Blackburn not present. John Boehner won, but we were nervous because there were some parlor games going on within and outside of the chamber. That could happen here as well.
BASH: I mean, she stayed in her office in order to bring the threshold down to make it easier for Boehner to win, but not have to vote.
HEYE: Once it was clear that John Boehner was going to win. Here we are early supportive.
BASH: We are likely going to see some of those. I just want to ask you, Scott, you are very close with the leader on the other side of the Capitol, Mitch McConnell, you worked for him. And what does this tell you about where the Republican Party is right now? Jim Jordan made his name as a flame thrower as a disrupter that now he is the guy, trying to convince enough of his fellow Republicans that he's Mr. Unity.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it's interesting. Two things come to mind for me. One is the nature of the job changing is the for, if he gets it, essentially, he's been a television personality for most Republican. That's why he has such a large national following because of his appearances on Fox News.
He's not known on the Hill as a governing tactician. He's also not a political tactician. You know, Kevin McCarthy, a lot of his Capitol, in the Capitol came from all of the political mechanics that he operated behind the scenes, candidate recruitment, fundraising, that's not really the Jordan brand either. He is a messaging guy.
That's what he does. And he does it on television. And he is one of the most on message people. So, it's changing the nature of the job. And then you contrast that with what you get in the Senate with Mitch McConnell and his leadership team. They aren't really talking heads. They're not really sort of pundits first and legislators second. They're legislators first.
And so the contrast of the way they approach the leadership to me, if they go with Jordan out of this is really fascinating, because all these guys are going to get in the room pretty soon and keep the government open, something that Jordan is apparently telling people he wants to do that he isn't part of the group that wants to shut it all down no matter what.
BASH: Which is remarkable given where he was not even 10 years ago. Ashley, you are the Democrat here, and I'm hearing from Democrats who are focused on 2024 and taking back the House that they would be just fine. You know what, hang on, let me get to Manu Raju.
RAJU: If he falters, would you be -- would you be a -- you'll make a comeback?
BASH: Manu? Manu, it's Dana, Manu, it's Dana. If you can hear me, I know you just were speaking to Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted two weeks ago. Did he tell you anything about how he thinks this is going to go? OK. He can't hear me yet. Welcome to Live TV, where we have a lot of drama, and we don't know how things are going to go.
JENNINGS: That they are meant, by the way, I know he was talking to Kevin McCarthy, you still hear from some members of this conference, this idea that if this all falls apart, there's a few people that still say, well, maybe we can get Kevin McCarthy. BASH: Look, like Mike Lawler, one of the moderates of New York of Republican, which brings me to the point I was going to make with you, Ashley, from the point of view of Democrats, which is that institutionally, maybe they don't want Jim Jordan, but politically, they think that they can use the notion of Jordan who they're calling Mr. MAGA against the moderate Republicans who they need to beat to get the House back.
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. When you think about this vote and what this people are looking at in the speakers. There's the actual governing factor. We have to keep the government open. We are in a world where we can see the conflict in Israel and Gaza, the war in Ukraine. We need to be supporting in that way. And right now, we aren't able to do that because Republicans aren't functioning and able to elect someone to actually leave.
But on the other side, Scott, I agree with you, Jim Jordan is a message person. But what is the message that the results of the 2020 election were not real? He started the Freedom Caucus. He was the precursor to Donald Trump. It's not false for Democrats to say that he is the extreme MAGA candidate. And will he govern in that way?
And if so, in 2024, it does make it easier for Democrats to potentially get back some of those seats because that's not what Americans want right now. They're frustrated with the nonsense here in Capitol Hill.
BASH: OK. Standby because I want to go back to Manu who can hear me now and want to know what Kevin McCarthy told you, Manu?
RAJU: Yes. I asked him about whether or not he believes that Jim Jordan should continue to go ballot after ballot as he does. Kevin McCarthy did himself back in January. And he said that he believes that he should. And he believes that he should continue to fight it out. He says that, essentially that, you know, this is different than January because the rules have changed and the like.
So, he thinks that he can actually get there by fighting it out on the House floor. He also indicated that he is encouraging his supporters to actually vote for Jim Jordan here in just a matter of moments because we do expect that a handful of members will vote for McCarthy here on the floor of the House.
There's some hope among those handful of McCarthy supporters in the Republican conference that he could actually make a comeback, but actually could try to run again, if Jordan falters, I tried to ask him about that. He didn't exactly address that question. McCarthy is endorsing Jim Jordan. But if you were to mount a comeback, then if Jordan falls short of the 217 votes he's needed.
McCarthy himself is also short of those 217 votes because of what we've seen over the last two weeks, those eight Republicans have vote to doused him. And they're showing no signs of reinstating him into that position here. But with the moment, McCarthy encouraging Jordan to fight it out. And what we're hearing from our sources, and that's exactly what Jim Jordan is willing to do, fight ballot after ballot. Hope he gets there today. The question is, will those Republicans who are voting for Kevin McCarthy, will they ultimately vote for Jim Jordan? We don't know the answer to that quite yet. But that's what will play out here in just a matter of minutes.
BASH: OK, Manu. Just steps from the House floor. Thank you so much for that. I believe we have former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger with us and who is now a CNN contributor. Congressman, I really want to get your thoughts on this notion of Jim Jordan potentially going to be the 56th speaker of the House of Representatives by the end of the day. You are not a big fan of Jim Jordan. I think that's probably fair to say.
But talk about it from your perspective as one of two Republicans on the January 6 select committee, in particular given, I don't know if you've heard my reporting earlier, but one of the holdouts, Republican holdout asked him to publicly say that Donald Trump lost the election in 2020, and he declined to do so.
ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, look, this is incredible, because he -- yes, so on his role on January 6, he was really the spearhead in the House of this. When Donald Trump had his, you know, meeting with the Department of Justice officials, and he said, just say the election was corrupt, and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressman.
So, what Donald Trump wanted was DOJ just to put like a stamp of doubt on the election to use their official stamp to do that. And then he and the Republican congressman would do the rest to exploit that mistrust. He was talking about Jim Jordan. Jim Jordan has been one of the absolute worst members of the House of Representatives.
Simply from just the governing perspective, I think he's passed almost nothing if anything at all, almost nothing. He has been signed into law. And he's a true believer, Dana, that the other side the Democrats are evil. He doesn't say that metaphorically.