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Trump On Call With Governors: Most Of You Are Weak; Nearly 4,000 Arrested Nationally Since Death Of George Floyd; Health Experts Fear Protest Will Cause Cases To Spike; Florida Keys Reopen As Hurricane Season Starts. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired June 1, 2020 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It got so bad a few nights ago that the people wouldn't have minded an occupying force. I wish we had an occupying force in there. But for some reason, I don't know what it is, governors don't like calling up the Guard. When we have 350,000 plus in the National Guard and nobody wants to use them and their cities are ransacked and they're disgraced all over the world. All over the world they're showing it.
What happened in Los Angeles with the (INAUDIBLE), Philadelphia, and New York was a disaster. I don't understand what happened to New York's finest.
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BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: He also tried to shame Minnesota for its initial response to the protests.
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TRUMP: What happened in the state of Minnesota -- they were a laughing stock all over the world. They took over the police department. The police were running down the street, sirens blazing, the rest of them running. It was on camera. And then they wiped out. They'll probably have to build a new one, but I've never seen anything like it and the whole world was laughing.
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KEILAR: CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta joining me now. I mean --
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
KEILAR: -- Jim, I'm just -- I'm struck by -- it just -- it's an abdication of leadership. These kinds of comments are more becoming of someone yelling in Lafayette Park than they are of the president speaking from the White House.
ACOSTA: That's right, Brianna. And, you know, the President was clearly lashing out at these governors. He's not happy with what he's seeing on national television that's been playing over the last several days, almost nonstop. His critics are pointing out that he's talking tough in this phone call with these governors, but yet was in his bunker on Friday night as a safety precaution.
Now, I mean, obviously some of the things that the President said on the call are outrageous, but he, you know, he capitalizes on using that kind of rhetoric in these types of moments. Just to run through some of these comments, in the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is being asked about some of these comments. Right now the President saying at one point on the call, you have to dominate or you'll look like a bunch of jerks. The President said at one point during this phone call with governors.
The only time these protests are successful is when you're weak. And most of you are weak, is what the President said of these governors. And he went on to say that the whole world was laughing at Minneapolis over its police station being burned. And that the state of Minnesota was a laughing stock all over the world. Now, the governor of Minnesota Tim Walz took issue with that at a news conference at the conclusion of this phone call that the President had with the governors. And here's what Governor Walz had to say.
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GOV. TIM WALZ (D), MINNESOTA: Saying the world was laughing at the states who aren't taking action, I said, no one's laughing here. We're in pain. We're crying. We saw a man lose his life in front of them. And our challenges is that this is about social trust, social compacts and re-establishing faith in the people who are there to serve them.
And I also shared with the President that a posture of force on the ground is both unsustainable militarily. It's also unsustainable socially, because it's the antithesis of how we live.
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ACOSTA: And so you have the President on this phone call, essentially telling these governors that they need to go out there and crack some skulls. And you hear Governor Walz there and other governors who were on this phone call saying that force alone is not going to solve this problem.
Now, Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat from Illinois took issue with the President on the phone call, and we could put this quote up on screen. He said that he was having problems with the President's rhetoric. He says, "I've been extraordinarily concerned with the rhetoric coming out of the White House, making it worse.
People are feeling real pain out there. We have to have national leadership and calling for calm". So there was at least one governor on this phone call confronting the President when it comes to his rhetoric that he's used over the last several days.
The question has been raised over here at the White House, Brianna, as to whether or not the President is going to have some sort of Oval Office address to the nation. Some sort of address to the nation. We're told by our sources that the President is interested in that idea, but the plan hasn't come into shape just yet.
But there are sources close to the White House and advisors to the President inside the White House and outside of the White House, who have taken issue with the President's rhetoric telling us that they don't feel that what the President has been saying over the last several days has been very helpful.
But Kayleigh McEnany, the Press Secretary, just a few moments ago was asked about this prospect of giving a speech. And she said that a speech doesn't stop anarchy. And that the President has made some comments about all of this over the last couple of days, for example, when he was down at the space launch in Florida.
So it doesn't sound like they're leaning in that direction of a speech. But, of course, it's 2:00 in the afternoon, we can hear the protests on the streets of Washington. The day is young, Brianna.
KEILAR: It's hard to imagine and I wonder sort of what their consideration is here. And this actually speaks, you know, as the President talks about strength, maybe this speaks to a weakness that he has in this situation, that it's hard to imagine he's having an address, doing anything other than either not doing anything to the situation or making it worse, Jim.
ACOSTA: That's right. And what we've seen so far is the President, you know, throwing gasoline on the fire, referring to the protesters last week as thugs talking about when the looting starts, the shooting starts. You know, I've been out there on the streets just a bit here and there, Brianna, and you talk to some of the demonstrators out there. They are very aware of what the President is saying. And there -- many of them are disgusted by the President's comments.
And so, yes, you can put the President on a teleprompter. Yes, you can give him a script to read in an Oval Office address. But if he goes off script says something that exacerbates the situation, there are people out on the streets who are paying very close attention to what they're hearing from the President. And, you know, they're not happy about it by and large. And so yes, Brianna, there is that real risk that the President could make matters worse, no question about it. Brianna?
KEILAR: Yes. And this discussion of force really in the name of force is the origin of this giant conflagration that is engulfing our country at this point in time. Jim Acosta, thank you so much from the White House for us.
Next, two law enforcement officials who are sympathetic to the protesters message will join me live. How they think policing in America should change. And growing concern about a surge in coronavirus cases as people gather and mass for these protests. Often they're gathering without masks. You're watching CNN special live coverage. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KEILAR: Systemic racism is only part of the national crisis that's afflicting the country right now. The other is the policing of America. But both are intertwined and for centuries they have shaped parts of the American landscape.
Some officers on the frontlines of the protests are trying to change that narrative. They're joining in these demonstrations. Some of them taking a knee in a sign of support. And then there was this statement from White House Security Adviser Robert O'Brien.
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ROBERT O'BRIEN, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I don't think there's systemic racism. I think 99.9 percent of our law enforcement officers are great Americans. But you know what, there are some bad apples in there and, you know, there are some bad cops that are racist.
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KEILAR: The President's National Security Adviser there. And joining me now are Sergeant Paul Kelly, with the San Jose California Police Department who's also the President of the San Jose Police Officers Association, and Marq Claxton, Director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance, and a retired NYPD detective.
I'd like to get both of your responses to what the President's National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said there. Do you agree with his remarks, that there's no systemic racism in the nation's police force, and there's just some bad apples?
SERGEANT PAUL KELLY, PRESIDENT, SAN JOSE POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: I think that there's no doubt that we must do a better job with our communities of color. It takes trust. And you can't have that trust without good cops calling out bad cops. And that's what's happened because we came out another association leaders across the nation very quickly, condemning the actions of these officers.
MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: I think it's quite clear that the National Security Adviser is in a large state of denial. He is ignorant of history, he is unaware of the current condition that black and brown communities find themselves in as it relates to law enforcement within their communities. He is in denial about the existence of the institutional racism. And the threat that it is -- that it represents the black and brown communities across the board.
And it's that type of thinking, and that belief structure that prevents positive movement forward, it's that type of thinking and that belief that will always resist reform and improvement. And it's dangerous and it will result in further tragedies moving forward because we can't help allow those people in the highest levels of office to be in complete denial and refuse to accept the reality that black and brown communities have been expressing for decades.
KEILAR: I wonder Sergeant Kelly, moving forward, what do you think are changes that police departments need to make? Do you see any cultural changes that they need to address and how do you think they should go about doing that?
KELLY: Well, I can tell you that we have the wrong people at the table. We continue to have attorneys, politicians, chiefs of police, and we need the rank and file to sit at that table to make quick, concrete steps. You had an NBA Hall of Famer on your network, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Chief Rodney King (ph) in that issue and he said, you know there hasn't been a change for 30 years, and I thought to myself, I may not completely agree with that.
But if he feels that way, and families feel that way, and our communities of color feel that way, that's a strong statement that we have to accept and get to the table, the right people at the table, rank and file, the leaders of the associations across America and fix whatever problems, policies, jobs, education, it's all intertwine, but you've had the wrong people at the table the whole time.
KEILAR: Marq, I wonder what your reaction to that is about getting the rank and file at the table, but also that sentiment that things haven't changed.
CLAXTON: Yes. Well, things haven't changed for 30, 40, 50 years. I mean, the enforcement model seems to be stagnant. And that is for a heavy-handed, over militarized, a push away from community relations and enforcement. And that's been occurring for the past 30 years at least.
But let's be clear about something if you really want to change the situation where you have black and brown people being killed by criminal police conduct -- criminal misconduct, then what you have to do is prosecute the criminal. And so many times that is the police officer -- until police officers are arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and spend time in jail. You'll have minimal incremental changes, but not significant enough to shift away from the culture, the very culture of law enforcement, which has been corrupted, and is fed -- has fed the prison pipeline so to speak.
And listen, it's an obvious answer and the solution is you have to, of course, incorporate those people who are impacted and affected with other people who are actually the practitioners of the institutional racism.
KELLY: Yes, I would agree with some of what he said. He's talking about bringing the right people to the table as well. Those four officers in Minneapolis don't represent the American police officer. It's crunched contrary to everything we're taught. Every incident an officer encounters should be handled with a reverence for life.
KEILAR: But Sergeant, don't -- can I just -- don't they represent some of them? I mean, we've seen videos over and over, and maybe it's certainly not all police officers. But it's an -- it's enough because we see videos of it. That, I mean, there's a problem that -- there's a pattern over and over that we're seeing that is prevalent and needs to be addressed.
KELLY: You know, I would say that if there's something you see visibly with your own eyes like we did, in George Floyd's case, that you do need to speak out. You do need to take that step and say something and do something and take action. There's absolutely no doubt about it that the American police officer across the nation, I would think those the same way.
KEILAR: Sergeant, thank you so much. Marq, we really appreciate you being with us as well. Thank you. Thank you to you both for that conversation.
CLAXTON: Thank you.
KEILAR: Some huge crowds from coast to coast, protesting in the streets, but there's worry that demonstrations could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.
KEILAR: It is June 1st in the U.S., still has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. Right now, the U.S. quickly approaching two million cases and more than 104,000 deaths. Despite the numbers, many cities across the country are reopening to some extent today.
CNN Correspondent Nick Watt is in Los Angeles and he's joining me now. And Nick, I know there's also some concern that these mass protests across the country could lead to a coronavirus search.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Listen, we know in some cities they are saying that perhaps these protests might well complicate the already complicated process of reopening. Just because our focus is elsewhere, the coronavirus it's still spreading.
WATT (voice-over): Georgia opening bars and restaurants today, one of 23 states where new case counts are falling. Nationally, painfully slow decline in those numbers for now. As we'd seem to be taking social distancing less seriously, and beaches, bars and elsewhere, case counts are rising in California and a couple other western states also in Texas and across some of the southeast. As California reopens, cases have climbed 11 percent in just five days. Another new daily high set Sunday, 3,705 new cases reported.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: We went from the worst situation on the globe to actually reopening. That's where we are. We should be very proud of what we've done. Just don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
WATT (voice-over): In the race for a therapeutic to treat this, today we heard human trials will begin in New York of one of the drugs developed with the blood from people who've recovered from COVID-19.
DR. DAN SKOVRONSKY, SENIOR V.P., CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, ELI LILLY AND COMPANY: It's important to have a few different antibodies to test. So this is the first. We have a few more behind it that will all be entering clinical trials really in the coming weeks.
WATT (voice-over): When it comes to a vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci didn't like one developer, Moderna, putting out a positive press release, he calls premature. "What we would have preferred to do, quite frankly, is to wait until we had the data from the entire phase 1." Fauci told Stat news. A vaccine by the end of the year, he said is aspirational, but doable.
Florida's keys reopened to tourists today after 10 long weeks, but Miami Dade postponed its planned beach reopenings. The fear, protesters and rioters across the country are now spreading this virus.
WALZ: I am deeply concerned about a super spreader type of incident that we've seen after this. We're going to see a spike in COVID-19. It's inevitable.
WATT (voice-over): And hurricane season starts today. It's forecast to be active.
Florida prepping socially distance, evacuation centers, stockpiling 10 million masks and 5,000 thermometers, 200 hotels ready to house vulnerable evacuees. Louisiana's Cajun Navy, which often helps during hurricanes, will do things differently this year.
TODD TERRELL, SPOKESMAN, CAJUN NAVY: We're going to make sure that everybody gets a bottle of hand sanitizer as we take them to a shelter.
WATT: And of course many sports leagues figuring out how to come back for the sake of our collective sanity and for their own bottom lines. The NBA is looking at four options, could be straight to playoffs, could be a shortened season. They say their board is going to take a vote, Brianna, on Thursday.
KEILAR: Our collective sanity. I like how you put that. Nick Watt, thank you so much, in Los Angeles for us.
Minutes from now the attorney representing George Floyd's family is expected to release the results from an independent autopsy. This comes as President Trump calls for more National Guard troops to crack down on the protests, telling many governors, they have been weak in their response.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN on this Monday. Thank you so much for being with me.