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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Mobilizing U.S. Military To End Riots And Lawlessness; Tear Gas Fired At Protesters Near WH As Trump Made Statement; Active Duty U.S. Military Forces Nearly To Bolster Security; Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D-IL) Discusses About The President Calling The U.S. Military Forces Deployment To Solve The Problem; Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D- NY) Is Interviewed About His Take On President Trump Deploying The U.S. Military. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 1, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Now we know the President is going to have a photo op over at this St. John's Church right across the street from the White House.
Our special live coverage continues here on CNN with "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT."
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
This is the breaking news, coverage continuing as you see, violence rocking Washington is just steps from the White House. You're looking at St. John's Episcopal Church right now. This is a live picture.
The President is anticipated, part of a photo op he wants to do to be walking over there in just a couple of moments. Just moments ago, you saw while watching Wolf, police fired tear gas on protesters, rubber bullets. You could hear that. You could hear that actually in the Rose Garden where the President then went and gave his brief comments.
Military Police are now on the scene surrounding parts of the White House. This unrest is taking place even though a curfew as I speak is now 45 seconds into effect, starting at 7 pm. The chaos taking place at the same time. As I said, the President was just speaking. He said about himself, "I am your president of law and order."
Saying he will deploy the military, the United States Military on domestic shores to control the protests if state governors do not activate the National Guard. Basically saying that he is going to go ahead with an act back from 1807 for the first time, mobilizing U.S. military troops on American soil for the first time since 1807. This is how he chose to address the violence and protests that have racked Minneapolis, Washington and other cities after the death of George Floyd just one week ago.
I want to go straight to Alex Marquardt who is OUTFRONT live right there in Washington. Obviously, Alex, you've got some places still marching. They forcibly clear that area by the church, the curfew in effect, people are still out. What have you been seeing?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin, I can't overstate what a dramatic moment we just witnessed and experienced. If the President was looking for a made for TV moment, he certainly got it. Moments before he took the microphone, you had this whole massive set of federal officers, U.S. Park Police combined with D.C. National Guard who started pushing protesters out of the park as the President was speaking.
They were using forces. They were firing tear gas. They were firing pepper spray rounds as well as rubber bullets to push all of these protesters out. I'm just going to ask my cameraman Peter Morris to come around. We are now at Farragut Square.
This is, at least, part of the protest that was out in front of the White House. And I got to tell you, (inaudible) at those federal officials. Now it is important to note there is a difference between federal law enforcement and local law enforcement at Lafayette Park right in front of the White House, that is federal land.
It is controlled by federal officers including U.S. Park Police and they have been the ones who are pushing. pushing these protesters out. There is now a curfew as you mentioned, but there's a whole series of Metropolitan (inaudible) they are not moving (inaudible) --
BURNETT: So you can hear --
MARQUARDT: -- deeply disturbing scene as we're (inaudible) --
BURNETT: All right. You can hear Alex as we get his audio back. Everyone, this is what you're seeing. You're seeing President Trump now walk across the street from the White House going to St. John's Episcopal Church. As you saw an incredible use of force there; tear gas, rubber bullets, you've heard the explosions. All of this to clear the space for the President to go across the Straight to St. John's Episcopal Church.
I want to emphasize that the protesters who are outside the White House were peaceful. There had been nothing violent at all about what they were doing. So this use of force that they just did to clear the space was not forced to stop violence. It was forced to stop peaceful protesters who were protesting as they were allowed to do.
So that is very important here to emphasize. Now, on your screen, you see - the President, obviously, from the White House on the one side, you see protests in other parts of Washington, D.C. on the other, just a block or so away. The curfew did just take place at seven o'clock and obviously it is not not being adhered to.
As we wait to see what the President's going to do there and the protesters, I want to go to Kaitlan Collins overlooking the church where the President is headed now. So Kaitlan, what have you been able to see here?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. Well, this is really notable because we've been up here. We saw these protesters moved so quickly out of this park here. I mean it was maybe minutes. They gave three warnings. Those warnings came within minutes of one another. [19:05:06]
And then you started seeing these officers who have been standing in the park all day start to move in on these protesters. And then they started to move them down the street and there were several lines of officers, Erin, some on horse, some on foot, they had batons, shields, tear gas and flashbangs. And they move to these protesters almost all of them out of in front of the White House within 10 minutes.
It raised questions of whether or not they were doing that because the President was out to speak in the Rose Garden. And now we're learning it's because the President wanted to come over to this church right here that is behind me. I'm going to step to the side so you can see St. John's Church right here.
This is what part of it caught on fire last night. The director said today it could have been much worse than the damage they actually fared. You see, you can't see a ton of damage from the front though the back half - we are told the backside of it was on fire. But it's notable that the President is coming over here after they just moved all of these peaceful protesters out of the way.
They had been chanting George Floyd's name, chanting that black lives matter, but there had not been any acts of violence or aggression that we saw. And Erin, the Secret Service just came up here where we are. You can see them. You can see the Secret Service is up here on the roof with us now of the Hay-Adams hotel. This is where we've been broadcasting live from.
We did not have any heads up that the Secret Service was going to be coming up here and now they're over here looking over the streets. And I want to note right over here to my left, I'm seeing there are mounted horses and you can still see some protesters. To the right, you see the President and several officials and, of course, a massive security detail walking through the park. We're going to move our camera over a little.
There is a helicopter flying overhead, two of them actually, that we can see right now. And this is notable, I'm not sure the President has ever walked over from the White House to St. John's before. I believe the last time he came here he was in a motorcade and now you can see a ton of Secret Service and aides walking through the park as the President is making his way over to visit this church that was part of the fires last night?
BURNETT: All right, Kaitlan, so please stay with us here as we watch this and everyone you can see the cameras trying to catch up the President doing this unprecedented moment in so many respects breaking up peaceful protesters with flashbangs and rubber bullets saying that he is going to invoke for the first time in more than 200 years an act allowing U.S. Military deployment on U.S. shores against Americans. You see the President walking there.
Jeffrey Toobin is with me on the phone. So Jeff, obviously, see the President walking across the St. John's Episcopal Church, all of this massive security presence around him. This is an unprecedented moment. JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It certainly is and I think
it's important when we talk about the President's authority to draw a distinction here. The President basically has carte blanche to bring the military into the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia is not a state and the President can bring in the military if he liked.
It's a very different story in the 50 states. The Act he's talking about has the name, the very evocative name of the Insurrection Act of 1807 and it says the President can bring in the military. However, it says it must be at the request of a state government. So I don't know exactly what their justification is if they think they can just send the military in to a state because that is not allowed. It's well- established.
Another similarly rule of law called The Posse Comitatus Act, which says that the American military cannot be involved in law enforcement. The Insurrection Act is a kind of exception to that, but it is only at the request of a state government. And as far as I'm aware, no states including, of course, Minnesota have asked for the military to come in.
BURNETT: No. No, and perhaps --
TOOBIN: So we'll have to see how that develops.
BURNETT: To your point, Jeffrey, and you just explained it so perfectly, it does explain his phrasing, right? He brought them into Washington. It looks like he may be about to speak here. We will watch that as well. But he did say that every governor must deploy their full National Guard and if they don't, he will deploy the U.S. Military and quickly solve the problem for them. That's what he said.
Now he's standing there looking around after what was frankly a pretty undignified approach to St. John's Episcopal Church. Looking that he's holding up a Bible, walking by some graffiti saying no justice, no peace and FTP which people can figure out what that stands for.
Holding up a Bible.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a great country. That's my thoughts. This country is (inaudible) --
It won't take long. It's not going to take long. Let's see what's going on. It's coming back. It's coming back strong. It'll be greater than ever before (inaudible) --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) --
BURNETT: Shouted out questions to the President as he is there across the street, as we said, with his staff, massive security detail holding up a Bible. I'm just listening here along with everyone else, just to pause here for a moment of the President setting up this photo op for himself dispersing peaceful protesters to do so in front of a boarded up church, which had that fire due to the protests last evening.
You can see him standing there. I think it's important just to talk about the image. He sees this as his big photo. You saw him sort of caring about the moment and the photo, now bringing everybody in here for his photo op. That's what this is all about for him.
It's Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. As he does this and I will - Bill Barr, the Attorney General who we saw coming in. We're going to continue to monitor this and listen. While we do that, I'm going to bring in the Governor of Illinois, Gov. J. B. Pritzker.
Governor, you were on the phone with the President today. You had some strong words. I want to ask you about that, but first what do you say? You just heard Jeffrey Toobin, president saying he is going to mobilize the U.S. military to go into states, deploy them quickly to solve the problem for them if they won't do it, that they are the governors. You are one of them. What do you say to the President?
GOV. J. B. PRITZKER (D-IL): Well, first of all, I reject the notion that the federal government can send troops into the State of Illinois. The fact is that the President has created an incendiary moment here.
He wants to change the subject from his failure over Coronavirus, a miserable failure and now seeing a moment when there is unrest because of the injustice that was done to George Floyd, that he now wants to create another topic and something where he can be the law and order president.
He's been a miserable failure. What I talked about on the call today was the fact that his rhetoric is inflaming passions around the nation. He should be calling for calm. He should be calling for bringing the temperature down. He's doing the exact opposite.
BURNETT: Well, Governor, what he just did was hold up a Bible, making it clear that that's what he stands for. I mean, I don't know what words would you put on it? His god is behind him. He's the president of law and order and of godliness? What do you make of that very bizarre moment?
PRITZKER: Look, he continually lies. The fact is that God is on the side of those who stand up for American values, those who stand up for freedom, those who stand up for the rights of everyone in our nation. And that means standing up for the peaceful protesters. You saw what he did to the peaceful protesters. Those are federal troops under his command.
He obviously wanted them push back. He wanted to create a moment. He wanted tear gas in the streets in Washington, D.C. so that he could look like he needs to bring order to the nation. And the fact is that he should stay out of our business. We are working hard in the state of Illinois to bring down tensions. And, look, every day he has inflamed racial tension.
BURNETT: Is there anything, Governor, that would in your mind justify what just happened which is peaceful protesters were - there were rubber bullets, there was tear gas. They were flashbangs. They were moved out, right?
They were peaceful. There been nothing indicating anything otherwise. But that is how they were moved out so that he could walk across the street with his staff for that moment with the Bible.
PRITZKER: It's precisely the wrong way to handle that. Peaceful protesters have a right to be there. I saw what happened. I was watching CNN when all of a sudden the troops move forward and then they started pushing the protesters throwing tear gas canisters.
This is not the way we behave in the United States. Our law enforcement are out there on the streets trying to protect people. They're not at least here in Chicago, we're not in the business of trying to put down peaceful protest.
BURNETT: Governor, tell me more about your phone call that you had with the President today.
PRITZKER: Well, we listened for a while as the President said some frankly outlandish things, crazy things.
He talked about dominating the streets in all of our cities today and then after he said all of that, there were a few governors, mostly Republican governors who got on and said positive complimentary things about the President and I couldn't believe that nobody was calling him out on his rhetoric. And so when I was called on, I just had to say what I said, expressing the values of the people of Illinois.
We're a state that produced Barack Obama and the presidency. We produced Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant. We have a long history of standing up for equality and against racial injustice. And it's time that more people stood up and said something, because this president every day and I've said it from the beginning, the man is a racist, a misogynist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, he's got to go.
BURNETT: So I want to play as we're watching this your exchange with the President, when you called out his rhetoric, his inflammatory rhetoric as you called it and what he said in response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRITZKER: I'm extraordinarily concerned with the rhetoric that's been used by you. It's been inflammatory. The rhetoric that's coming out of the White House is making it worse. And I need to say that people are feeling real pain out there and that we've got to have national leadership in calling for calm.
TRUMP: Well thank you very much, Jay. I don't like your rhetoric either, because I watch (inaudible) coronavirus and I don't like your rhetoric about it either I think you could've done a much better job, I think, but that's OK, we don't agree with each other.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So what did you want to - then, tonight he comes to the Rose
Garden and you heard him. He refers to it as an angry mob. He says, "I'm your president of law and order." Did anything he say in the Rose Garden show that he, in any way, heard what you said?
PRITZKER: No, it's clear that he doesn't listen to anyone that tells him the truth. I did tell him the truth. This rhetoric, this inflammatory rhetoric is bad for the country. When we had the riots in Ferguson, President Obama started to bring the temperature down. He talked about calling for calm.
When Martin Luther King was killed, Robert Kennedy stood up and talked about seeking justice and bringing the tension down within the country. This president doesn't understand any of that. He probably hasn't read any of that. Knows no history and doesn't understand the job of the president to truly speak to the values of the nation.
BURNETT: So you said on that call, he said that you all needed to dominate the protesters. That's what he said and that's what he just said here. But I just want to be clear when he says every governor should deploy the National Guard in full, that's what he said in the Rose Garden, that's what he wants you to do. I guess the first question is do you plan to do that, Gov. Pritzker?
PRITZKER: Well, we have called out the National Guard to be a support mechanism for our local law enforcement and they're doing that, frankly, and they're doing a good job. We also have our state police, assisting local law enforcement all across the state, wherever they have requested it.
So the President just doesn't know what he's talking about. And when he says in every state, well, what if there aren't any riots in every state? What if there isn't any violent behavior looting? I think he just wants to create a tone in which it's law and order versus people standing up for their rights and he just assumed run over people's rights.
BURNETT: So Governor, what will you do if he does as - he says he's mobilizing U.S. Military, but he says that if you don't solve the problem, he will deploy the U.S. military quickly and solve the problem for you. You've categorically said you reject his ability to send U.S. Military to the state of Illinois, but what will you do if he tries to move forward with that?
PRITZKER: Well, that's illegal. Jeffrey Toobin just confirmed what I have known, which is it's illegal. He can't do it. We won't request military assistance here in the State of Illinois. I can't imagine any governor is going to do that and it's ridiculous. The situation that we're in today is one which requires a leader who will stand up and meet the challenge by the way of addressing police accountability, making sure that we're standing up for peaceful protests.
Yes, of course, we want looters to go to prison, to jail. We want to make sure that we're catching people who are lighting fires or causing any violence. But the vast majority of people who are out there in Washington DC, and here in Illinois are standing up for peaceful protests and stay up against what happened in Minneapolis to George Floyd.
BURNETT: All right. Gov. Pritzker, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much, sir.
Don Lemon, of course, my colleague joins me on the phone along with Ben Jealous, the former President of the NAACP.
You know, Don, to the point that the Governor was making, the President wanted this photo op and he wanted to disperse that crowd, because he wants an image of all of these protests being one thing, which is violent, which of course is not accurate.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. And, listen, we work in television. We know when someone is producing a moment and we know this president. This president comes from a reality show background. And the fact that he says that he is going to protect protesters, peaceful protesters and then sends in military or police officers to push them away when they're being peaceful, it's just really outrageous.
And, Erin, we're near New Yorkers, Donald Trump standing in front of a church with a Bible, really? Let's just be honest here. When was the last time Donald Trump saw church even before he was President of the United States? When was the last time he cracked open a Bible?
I'm just saying, this is all for show. Donald Trump is pretending in this moment to be a president. Let's just all be real about this. He's pretending to be a president. He is mimicking in the person that he adores, his hero, George Patton, and he wants to return to some sort of 1950s sort of dominance for America. That's what he's doing. This is all acting. It's all a show and he is performing it country - what he thinks a leader should be like and what he thinks a President of the United States should be like?
But guess what, this is a very, very dangerous game. He is Possibly igniting tension, that possibly, he is igniting tensions I know more. I hope this doesn't turn out to backfire on him, because if it does, it's not going to play out well for many people in the United States beyond the President of the United States.
But if it does, we will watch those images play out on our television screens and America will see this. This is all about getting reelected in November of 2020. I'm not sure how much this is going to help the President, because this may rah-rah to help his base, but sensible Americans will realize and they know America is not a dictatorship. America is not a police state.
When people are crying out to be heard, when they are protesting on the street. That means they are angry. They are hurt and they want to be heard. We have the strongest biggest military force in the world. We have very, very strong, very big police forces all over cities and municipalities in this country.
We can stop rioters anytime we want. We can stop looters anytime we want. We can stop people who are breaking laws anytime we want. But what we can't figure out is how to deal with people who are hurting Americans who are just like us, who live in the same community. It's not adjacent communities, who share the same land and the same values.
We cannot figure out how to get along with them, bring them into the fold and as the President of the United States, represent those people and engage those people without seeking the military on them and armed forces on them. There is a problem and a lack of understanding and empathy coming from the highest office of the land and the person who holds that office is Donald J. Trump.
BURNETT: Don, I'm just going to interrupt you for one moment to go to Brian Todd who is on the ground here with what you see in Washington, 7:23, the curfew at seven peaceful protesters there with police. Go ahead. What are you seeing, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, an extraordinary development here in front of the Philadelphia Police Station. Just moments ago, police officers over there in a tense standoff with demonstrators took a knee in solidarity with the demonstrators. It drew cheers. It actually disperse the crowd. It was peaceful and it was very positive.
Not five minutes later, they have police in tactical gear. Look over there, you've got heavily armored police in tactical gear in armored vehicles coming in here. Some of them wielding tear gas guns. These Police also wielding buttons and helmets as if - we do realize there's a curfew going on. We do realize that the police want to enforce the curfew.
But I just think it's an extraordinary development that really only a couple minutes after police over here took a knee in solidarity with the protesters and drew cheers and gratitude from the protesters. And then they move in with the show of force.
You wonder what message the police want to send here and now it's very silent, but it's very, very tense. We don't really know what's going to happen. The protesters are simply standing here silent, holding up signs. They're not taunting at the moment. They're not provoking.
We have to see what the police want to do, Erin, but it's just an extraordinary development here. I mean, it literally was maybe five minutes after police took a knee and drew some very positive cheers from the crowd that this happens.
BURNETT: And so now Brian, it's just a matter of who bends at this point.
TODD: It really is and you know what, these situations often don't end well. If it remains like this and who knows how long it's going to remain like this, somebody probably will start something or make a movement. It could be the littlest thing. We've seen that before.
But the police have already, I have to say, they've already acted very aggressively tonight. We were there at an overpass at 676 when protesters went onto the highway, police fired tear gas down onto them from an elevated position when protesters were on a highway under an overpass, they were all packed in there. They were trying to just get through the overpass and possibly get down the highway.
They were blocking the highway, but the pattern is on these things often when they go onto highways, they exit them pretty quickly. So the police though decided to fire tear gas at that moment and it became a complete chaotic melee. Some people were hurt. We were tear gassed. Everybody just - it was a stampede out of there. There were people injured. The police did act very aggressively.
The question is now, Erin, are they going to act aggressively here and pretty much destroy a positive moment that happened about 10 minutes ago.
BURNETT: I think that's so important what you say that positive moment is when the police is getting on on a knee, taking the knee, showing their solidarity in such a peaceful way and then now you have this standoff and these moments that somebody's got to give.
So as we watch this here with you, Brian, and we're going to be keeping you up, keeping your shot up here. The other side of your screen everyone you see Washington, D.C. the curfew there was seven o'clock. It's now 7:27 Eastern Standard Time. You have a protester there. That line of police, there are obviously protests are still around --
TODD: (Inaudible) --
BURNETT: -- OK. Thank you, Brian. So you can see his shot there as we see what happens. So you've got Philadelphia on one side of your screen and Washington, D.C. on the other. These images are stunning, I think, for all Americans to look at, to think that this is our country.
Jeffrey Toobin was explaining, you do have the mobilization of the U.S. Military in Washington, D.C. which the President has the right to do. It is not a state. The President did though, also, moments ago in the Rose Garden say that every governor needed to fully deploy their National Guard that he is mobilizing the U.S. military for the first time since 1807 under the Insurrection Act to go into the states, to deploy them and quickly solve the problem for them. If the cities and states refuse.
Joining me now on the phone as we keep these images up and I apologize in advance, Gov. Cuomo, if I need to interrupt you as something happens here with the standoff in Philadelphia. But the governor of New York Andrew Cuomo is with me right now.
Governor, what do you say to the President, he'll deploy the U.S. Military, he will solve the problem for you if you don't do it.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I'd thank you, but no, thank you. How are you tonight, Erin? Look, the President wants to recreate reality here. Even the pictures from Washington, D.C., you had a number of protesters, they were peaceful protesters, they were young people, largely white crowd in Washington, D.C., who are offended at what they saw with a Floyd murder, which they should be.
It's actually a beautiful thing that you have people all across this nation saying enough is enough after what happened to Mr. Floyd. So that's actually a positive.
Now, do you have in these situations, people who exploit the moment and people who have criminal activity and looting and extremist groups that pose anarchy? Yes. But the protesters themselves have been making a very valid point, wake up America, we're killing people based on the color of their skin and it is a real issue.
The President wants to make it a reality TV show of god and country, call out the military and then I go to church and hold up a Bible. Yes, we understand who he's trying to appeal to and the base he's trying to rally with the military and believe in God and I hold the Bible. But that's not what's happening in this country today.
BURNETT: So Governor, the scenes we see in Washington and Philadelphia right now, of course, there's decision to be made in terms of enforcing these curfews and what police are going to do.
You have a curfew of 11:00 tonight in New York, in New York City.
How strictly will you enforce it?
CUOMO (via telephone): Look, the curfew is to help us separate the peaceful protesters, which are the overwhelming majority, from people who are looking to exploit the moment by looting, et cetera. In New York City, they looted high end stores with high end merchandise. That wasn't a coincidence.
CUOMO: There were people who knew what they were doing. If you wanted to commit a crime, Erin, that was the time and the night to do it, right?
And you do have these extremist groups that just want to propose anarchy.
But the majority of people are making a very valid point.
CUOMO: And it is a point in this nation's history where we should finally end this discrimination and abuse by police. I'm old enough to remember. I was in Los Angeles for the Rodney King aftermath. And I lived through Amado Diallo in New York City and Abner Louima and Eric Garner.
How many people have to die? And the names change but the color stays the same. And it's right that enough is enough. And let's take this moment and actually change. BURNETT: So, Governor, the president tonight, you've mentioned these
extremist parts which we all know are part of this. The president specifically in the Rose Garden said that professional anarchists, rioters, Antifa, he mentioned specifically -- would you agree with how he characterized it? And how big are these elements in what you're seeing in New York?
CUOMO: Look, you have extremist groups on the left and on the right in this country, and everyone knows that. They are -- they are the small minority in what's going on, but they are destructive. The looting, the criminal activity is intolerable, and from a law enforcement point of view, you need to weed them out, but they are intermingled with the protesters.
But what the president today did was he called out the American military against American citizens. That's what they did. They used the American military to push back a peaceful protest, which everyone watched on TV, just so he could have a photo-op of walking to a church.
When was the last time you saw the American military called out against Americans? Is that --
CUOMO: Yes, is that Americana? Is that making America great? I don't think so.
BURNETT: So when you saw the moment tonight, Governor, with the president obviously because he wanted to have that picture in front of St. John's Episcopal Church with the Bible, they forcibly cleared the protesters who were there.
As you point out those protesters were peaceful. They were by and large young. They were by and large white. They were cleared out with rubber bullets, tear gas, flash bangs, and he went and held up the Bible.
What was your reaction when you saw him do that? You saw him stop and pause and hold up that Bible.
CUOMO: I've seen a lot of things but I was shocked at what they did. I was shocked at the force they used to move the protesters who could not have been more peaceful. And from their signs, they were all there to make a legitimate point about the killing of Mr. Floyd. And it was just for a photo opportunity.
I mean, it is -- it is amazing, calling out the American military for a photo opportunity. That's what it was. I mean, it was shameful. It was really, truly shameful.
BURNETT: Governor, before we go, were you on that call today with the president where he spoke to the governors? And if so, what can you tell us about it?
CUOMO: I was on for part of it. It is as you reported. The president takes every situation and puts it through his public
relations lens. He wants to make this about looting because he doesn't want to talk about the killing of Mr. Floyd. He doesn't want to talk about that. And he doesn't want to really talk about racism and discrimination.
So he wants to make it about looting. And his answer is always the same -- dominate, dominate, use the military to dominate. That's what this -- not what this nation needs.
This is actually -- these protesters are making a legitimate, inarguable point. How do you kill Mr. Floyd with the video cameras running? How do you do that? And how when this is who we are and how do we get better?
This is a historic problem of racism and discrimination and inequality and injustice, and they want this country to be better, and the country should be better. But rather than deal with the truth, Mr. Trump wants to create his own truth, that these are bad people and looters and thugs, and they have to be put down.
But the American people saw the video. Those were not thugs and looters. These are young people who still have idealism and want to make this nation better. And that's a good instinct, and it should be encouraged.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Governor Cuomo, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
CUOMO: Thank you very much.
BURNETT: So, everyone watch here for a moment. This is Washington, D.C.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're grown men, we're grown men just like you. We're grown men, we're grown men just like you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're serving your country, right?
BURNETT: So this is a tense moment unfolding in Washington. We are seeing others like it in Philadelphia where our Brian Todd is. Curfew is 7:00 Eastern in Washington.
We also were showing you moments ago pictures of crowds, protesters in Dallas. These are the tense moments that you're seeing in part because of these curfews. This is Dallas, and you can look in the middle of your screen. You can see those protesters coming through right in the center. It's 6:36 p.m. Central Time, of course, in Dallas.
As we continue to watch these images across the country on a night when the president has said he will mobilize the United States military for action on U.S. shores using an act from 1807, the Insurrection Act, you just heard two governors say they categorically refuse his right to do so to deploy U.S. military troops to U.S. states. He does have the right to do it in the District of Columbia, he did it there tonight.
I want to bring in now as we watch these again, I apologize in advance to you, Ben Jealous, if I interrupt you, as watch these images. Ben Jealous, the former president and CEO of NAACP, joins me along with our own Dana Bash.
Ben, let me ask you what you made of the moment there the president walking across the street after forcibly clearing peaceful protesters and holding up a Bible in front of the church after saying I am your president of law and order.
BEN JEALOUS, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: It's really, really quite simple. What we're looking at is a president who really has no moral authority when certainly most of this country's young people and probably most of the country. So he's grasping every bit of positional authority and then to the use the U.S. military against peaceful protesters for a photo-op that's probably for his campaign is deeply disturbing on every level.
But one thing I want to go back to what he said earlier of being a law and order president. That of course comes from Richard Nixon, the 1968 campaign. The difference between Nixon and Trump is that Nixon could credibly convince people in the suburbs that he could keep them safe. And I really think that Trump has had a very hard time in most suburbs in this country convincing people that he's capable of anything other than creating chaos.
BURNETT: Dana, I think Ben points out, this was a campaign moment. That is exactly what it was.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And if we can just think about the imagery that the president clearly concocted from his reality TV sensibility that we had been talking about since we saw it, going over not to have any kind of empathetic moment with the protesters, any kind of connection, no inkling of an "I feel your pain" moment at all.
Instead, it was the law and order going over, standing in front of the church, holding a bible, forgive me, but -- and then asking his aides who were standing there with him, all white people and only one woman to stand in front of the cameras. Never mind the fact that in order to get to that point he had to disperse the crowd.
That is what happened, and that is the remarkable moment that we saw -- unprecedented moment. But, again, what didn't happen is almost as important. No -- he made a little bit of a reference in the Rose Garden to what happened to George Floyd.
But no mention of what Governor Cuomo just said or what others have been saying because that reflects reality, which is that there are protesters out there who have very legitimate concerns and anger and despair and disgust. And the fact that he is not even trying to connect to them and instead he's -- he sees strength and weakness and black and white and that is it.
And that is all he wants to communicate, which is why I agree with Mr. Jealous about the fact that he's obviously trying to follow the Richard Nixon re-election model, but it is a very, very different situation.
BURNETT: And, Ben, you know, what was your reaction? Obviously, you know, he doesn't -- the president does everything for a reason and he's thought things through. He knew full well when he had all those people stand around him that every single of one of them was white and he was standing with a bible when he was talking about a issue that had to do with a black man being killed. It wasn't -- it wasn't a mistake that that happened.
JEALOUS: No, no. Look, it absolutely wasn't. And this president really made a name for himself in New York and politics by insisting that the Central Park 5 were guilty, and he's maintained that even after DNA has freed them from prison and proven their innocence.
And then he went onto attack the legitimacy of President Obama's birthright to be citizen -- to be president. And so he's run on kind of racial rhetoric for a very long time, and he shows every time that he plans to do this fall (ph).
BURNETT: All right, both of you thank -- thank you very much.
As we watch Washington, D.C., again, you can see some of these moments. You've got the line of military police. You have protesters. Obviously, you know, this is very peaceful.
There were a couple of tense moments. If you were watching a few moments ago you saw one of them. The police did not -- did not respond, and we are also as we said now watching protests across this country, the curfew in Washington, D.C., among the earliest, it was a 7:00 curfew. So, these people are now in defiance of it. The police at this time are showing restraint.
This comes as the family of George Floyd is releasing their autopsy report. They have determined Floyd died from asphyxia, from sustained forceful pressure, a homicide. The report comes as the county has released its formal autopsy report as well.
Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT live in Minneapolis.
Sara, two reports both concluding that he would not have died had this not have happened.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, both concluding that George Floyd was killed, both saying that it was a homicide. The difference is exactly what killed him. The family's pathologist is saying that he died of asphyxia and that they found no apparent heart condition.
The Hennepin County medical examiner's office found that actually he did have some heart issues and that, you know, they're not exactly sure but they certainly said that he did have some heart issues and that, you know, he died of a cardiopulmonary situation with his -- with his heart.
And so, these are very different ideas exactly how he died. But what is consistent is actually the fact they say, yes, he was killed. This was not an accident. This wasn't something that happened just because of a medical condition. But that he was actually kill by someone.
And you know that autopsies don't say who necessarily is the person who killed him, but definitely the person was killed. So that is very stark. That is something that, of course, the prosecutors will seize on after they have already charged one of the officers in this case, that Officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested. He's been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.
And we are expecting today actually to see him in court for an arraignment, but that got postponed to a bit later next week, in the week. But there are a lot of folks here looking at this and saying, OK, so now you have homicide what about those other three officers?
Those three officers that were fired, they were fired by the police chief here for not following policy. They were fired as the police chief himself said they were complicit in this.
So why aren't they being charged? And we know legally it is much harder potentially for them to get a conviction potentially on these other officers. But, again, a community doesn't really understand how there can be a homicide determined by two pathologists and that those three other officers involved are not in any way charged with any kind of criminal act -- Erin.
BURNETT: So, Sara, when you talk to protesters there on the ground how important are charges to them for those other officers in terms of why they --
SIDNER: They're everything. They're everything. They're everything.
That -- they want to see justice. They don't just want an apology. They don't just want a firing. They want to see the same kind of justice that is meted out on people of this community if they do something, right?
And so, they're not seeing -- they don't feel they're seeing an equal play here when an officer is considered to have done something criminal and when a regular citizen is considered to have done something criminal. So they want to see the conviction.
Now, that is up to a jury ultimately. If this goes to a jury trial that will be up to the jury, and that is not something that the prosecutor nor the police can, you know, can have a huge impact. The jury will look at all the evidence and decide if this goes through a jury trial. But the people here want to at least see charges. And I want to mention something else. As we were here all day, Terence
Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, one of his brothers came here for the first time and saw the place where his brother lost his life. And he sat down, he broke down and then kneeled and prayed.
But he said to the protesters, those of you who are being violent, stop it. You're not doing this in our name. We want you to peacefully protest, and we want you to do something further than that, and that is vote -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Sara, thank you very much.
I want to go now to the Floyd family attorney, Tony Romanucci.
And, Tony, we talk about these two reports. The medical examiner's office tonight released a report saying Floyd's death was a homicide resulting from being restrained. It listed the cause of death as being a cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual restraint arrest and compression. They go onto say Floyd died from experiencing a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officers.
Does that much up, their words, with what you found?
ANTONIO ROMANUCCI, FLOYD FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, thank you, Erin. And on behalf of the Benjamin Crump legal team and myself, we want to express how upset we are what's happening out there and we endorse the peaceful protests.
However, what happened to George Floyd was nothing short of murder. And what you see with what the Hennepin County examiner released after our press conference, why wasn't this done earlier? Why weren't the citizens given the opportunity to comment on this earlier?
Our press conference today was a form of a peaceful protest, and indeed you see what happens. Action takes place. Now, their finding was homicide. Our findings were homicide, death by the hand of another. When you look at the subtleties of what they found, cardiopulmonary arrest as a result of restraint and neck compression you can see the brutal, painful method in George Floyd died.
That means that his heart was starved of oxygen -- I'm sorry, his brain was starved of oxygen, his heart was starved of blood. The blood wasn't returning to his heart from the jugular and the blood was going up to his head because of the pressure of the carotid artery. This man suffered from minutes and minutes while he was in the ground because of the neck restraint and also he was being held in place by the other two officers, as we see on the other angle.
He died painfully and brutally. These officers killed him. They should all be charged with murder.
BURNETT: And the medical examiners report, Tony, there's a section labeled other significant conditions. And in that, they list fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.
Do you think any of that is relevant?
ROMANUCCI: None of that is relevant to this. As I said earlier, this is "but for" argument. But for police compressing and kneeling on his neck and holding his body down, George Floyd would be alive. Whether or not he was intoxicated or had medications in his system is irrelevant to the cause of death which is homicide, which is death by the hands of another.
And we recently released some of the findings, written findings of our medical examiner, Erin, and those findings conclude that no matter what the toxicology report is, the end result, which is George Floyd's death, would not be any different. There is no other diagnosis here other than death by the hands of another, and that's because of the neck constraints, the compression on his back and his inability to breathe.
BURNETT: So, you obviously said you want those other officers to be charged.
You also said you want a first degree murder charge for Derek Chauvin, do you think there's any indication he'll get? There is any indication he'll get?
ROMANUCCI: Look, we know -- we know that the attorney general is now looking at this and I am hopeful and prayerful that the attorney general will be transparent in his investigation of this, that he will be -- that he will look at the totality of the circumstances.
He will look at what the conclusions of not only our medical examiners are, but the county's, and that he will reach the same conclusion. You'd -- any grade school child knows that if you continue to press your hands or choke somebody, that the ultimate result will be death.
Derek Chauvin not only knew what he was doing, but he doubled down. When George Floyd moved or pleaded for his mother or pleaded for breath, or when the witnesses were saying to stop, you could see that he was repositioning his knee to constrain the airway even more, to limit the amount of oxygen he was getting to ensure the end result. That's not --
BURNETT: All right, Tony, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
As we are watching these protests unfolding across the country. Again, Washington, D.C., on your screen right now. Cities have been on fire against the backdrop of a pandemic where you have unemployment of 20, probably 25 percent. If you look at it realistically, the pandemic that has killed 105,000 Americans.
Next, legendary CNN Anchor, Bernard Shaw is OUTFRONT.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: You're looking at live pictures of Washington and Philadelphia. Police pushing protesters back. You've got Philadelphia on the left. You've got Washington on the right. You see our Alex Marquardt in the front.
As we watch these scenes unfold, someone out front now who really needs no introduction to our CNN viewers and people across this country, legendary CNN anchor Bernard Shaw joining us on what happens to be CNN's 40th anniversary tonight as well.
You know, Bernie, you're in Washington. You know, we've seen this incredible scene play out moments ago right outside the White House. The president wanted to speak in the Rose Garden. Rubber bullets, flash bangs, tear gas deployed to disperse the crowd, a peaceful crowd. And then the president became clear he did all that so that he would be able to walk across the street for a photo-op with members outside Saint John's Church where he held up a Bible.
How did you feel as you saw all of this unfold?
BERNARD SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: I was thinking that the critical focus of history will judge Donald Trump as a presidential aberration. Walking from the White House through the tear gas-laden Lafayette Park to the steps of the church of the presidents, Saint John's, and holding up that Bible would have made P.T. Barnum proud.
BURNETT: And what do you make, Bernie, of his read of this? I mean, he -- before he did that, he said, I am your president of law and order, and he said, you know, invoking an act not invoked since 1807 to deploy U.S. military troops on American soil, which Jeffrey Toobin pointed out he can't legally do. But that was the tone he set.
What do you make of that tone? This is his read of the moment.
SHAW: That tone is not surprising. This man has a total preoccupation with one thing, and that is getting re-elected in November. I think of what he said about the people in Charlottesville -- there are good people on both sides. You recall that.
BURNETT: So, so, you have the George Floyd murder. You have Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor. You have all of these stories now, and on top of that, a pandemic causing pain and anxiety across this country. But in terms of death and mortality hitting the African-American community more than any other, you have unemployment across this country of 20- plus percent, and in some of the communities affected here, probably significantly higher than that.
What do you make of these two unprecedented historical moments happening at the same time?
SHAW: The American people, this great country of ours is under assault. For four years, I proudly wore the uniform of the United States Marine Corps. I am proud of my country. I love my country. I love my fellow citizens. But our great nation has fissures and it is flawed. Donald Trump wants to be re-elected, but right now upwards of 40
million Americans are without jobs. Do you really think that between now and in November, our economy is going to turn around? That these 40 million Americans will have their jobs back?
They cannot pay their mortgages. They cannot pay their rent. They cannot pay their bills. They struggle to get food for themselves and their families.
The American people are going to make their judgment. They're going to make their verdict known to the world in November. And I think what's going to happen -- what's going to happen is that the Democrats, because of all of this ferment (ph), will regain control of the Senate, will keep their majority in the House of Representatives, and the Trump/Pence ticket will be defeated by landslide proportions.
That's what I think is the upshot of what is going on right now because we are on the threshold of a new movement in our country. There's a new movement, a movement against hatred. And the elements of that hatred include racism, which traces its roots back 400 years. It includes anti-Semitism. It includes sexism and xenophobia.
There is a new movement, fresh blood, white Americans realizing that they must step in and they must do their part, as they have been doing, most of our citizens. African Americans, people of color, brown people, black people. There is a new movement being born right now.
The '60s had the civil rights era. There's a new movement underfoot, underway in our great country right now.
BURNETT: And, Bernie, before we go, I want to ask you. You know, I remember the first time I saw you. I was -- I was a young child with my parents at a restaurant in Washington. They were star-struck by seeing you.
It's our 40th anniversary today and we do just have a little time left. But you were at this network 20 years. The Gulf war, Tiananmen Square, the 2020 recount, the list goes on and on -- what stands out to you the most?
SHAW: All of that. And, of course, the attempt by John Hinckley Jr. to assassinate President Reagan. CNN was very young. It had a cadre, a core of about 300 women and men who worked very, very hard, much as you and your colleagues do today, not only in the United States, but around the world.
And never once have people at CNN forgotten their mandate, which is to report the news, gather the news, report it, to do it fairly and in a balanced way. That's done 24/7, seven days a week.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Bernie, I appreciate your time. I am grateful for you being here tonight. I know our viewers are as well. I thank you.
SHAW: Thank you.
BURNETT: And we will all continue to try to do that job as best can
With that, I hand it off to my colleague who does that every night as well, Anderson Cooper.