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CNN NEWSROOM

Police Accuse Gangs & Locals In Riots, Contradicting Trump Claims;; Friends Of Elderly Activist Shoved By Buffalo Police Are Speaking Out; A Look At Reopening Of States Across The Country; Bob Garber, Major League Soccer Commissioner, Discusses Leagues Returning On July 8th; Trump: Will Not Remove Confederate Leader Names From Bases. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 10, 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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[14:31:46]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Law enforcement groups investigating the violence and looting that occurred in cities across the country' height of the George Floyd protests say they have identified those responsible for the damage inflicted and they are gangs and local criminal group.

This directly contradicts the president's claims left-wing extremists are solely to blame.

Minneapolis police chief was asked about this today and here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEDARIA ARRADONDO, CHIEF, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: I know that early on there was information that potentially there were other outside influencers that had arrived in our city during the protests and riots and what have you.

I believe some of that to still be true in terms of the percentage or amount of how many were from out of state. They are still looking at that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Evan Perez is our senior justice correspondent and he has more on this.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, the reality we're hearing from New York and Philadelphia and, east to Bellevue, Washington and Los Angeles, is that it's not quite what you hear from the politicians and certainly from the president, who blamed a lot of mayhem or all of the mayhem really on leftist groups anticipate specifically called out AntiFa, which is an anti-fascist movement.

We hear from law enforcement officials that, you know, what they are seeing is criminal gangs, street crews, people who were taking advantage of the peaceful protests and they saw these crowds gathering in the streets and using it as a crime, especially at a time of opportunity to be able to carry out some of their crimes, looting high-end retail locations and pharmacies coast to coast.

So what we hear in this building, of course, from the attorney general, Bill Barr, and from even from the FBI, is that they are still looking for indications and they are seeing indications that AntiFa and other leftist groups were behind some of this violence.

And we're told, Brianna, that they still expect that they will be able to bring some cases showing that. But at this point they brought about 50 cases against people who were charged with different aspects of rioting. And so far, all of those cases have not shown any AntiFa involvement.

What we've seen is involvement of Boogalo Boys, a group on the right. And they were involved in a case in Las Vegas trying to instigate a riot using Molotov cocktails trying to set up a situation where the cops and the demonstrator would be able to essentially go at each other.

That, so far, Brianna, is what we've seen so far.

KEILAR: All right. Thank you so much. It's been a question everyone has had watching all of this as we've seen these accusations swirl. Evan, thanks for getting to the bottom of it for us.

An elderly community activist pushed to the ground by two Buffalo police officers and then accused by President Trump, baselessly, of being an AntiFa provocateur. He's now reported in fair condition.

Video showed 75-year-old Martin Gugino being shoved there to the ground as he was talking to police. They were trying to enforce a curfew. Gugino hit his head on the concrete. And he was left there on the ground bleeding as dozens of officers stepped over him to pass by.

[14:35:07]

Now the two Buffalo officers who you saw -- incredible there -- are charged with felony assault.

Friends of Martin Gugino are speaking out.

Terrence Bisson is a friend of Martin Gugino and is joining us now to talk about this.

And there's a picture of your friend, right? Can you first give us a sense, just tell us how, how he's doing? Can you give us an update on his condition?

TERRENCE BISSON, FRIEND OF MARTIN GUGINO: Well, it's actually hard for us to get the information directly from the hospitals. They don't want to give any information.

So we fortunately his friend who is Kelly, who is acting as his legal representation is able to regularly visit him. She visited him on Sunday and it was very sad but we appreciated hearing. He found lights very painful. He couldn't move his head without being in excruciating pain.

When she wanted to read -- she wanted to read some of the emails of support that had been coming in and he was too tired to, to listen for these things. You know. So he's having a hard time. But --

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: Having a hard time. OK. That's good news.

But clearly he's in a lot of pain. He's been in a lot of pain. He's been in very serious condition. And when you first saw that video of him, being pushed to the ground and then just being left there bleeding, what did you think?

BISSON: Well, one thing we thought we wish some of us had been with him, standing with him.

But because, you know, it was sad that he decided perhaps on the spur of the moment to go down there and to talk to people, which is in question maybe perhaps what they wanted, whether a curfew was the right way to resolve free speech issues and whether a militarized police was the best way to confront civilians.

He was asking a question, we're absolutely sure of that. And tragedy, all of it.

KEILAR: His lawyer says that Martin Gugino hold no ill will towards the president over those baseless remarks. But when the president comes out and -- sorry, what is your reaction?

BISSON: You know that's great and that's very much what I would, what I know of Martin. What a great guy he is.

KEILAR: He accused -- the president accused him of being part of AntiFa. I mean what do you say to that? I know -- I think I month the tans but is he?

BISSON: Yes, well, you know, I say Martin stands always on the side of nonviolence and is a follower -- even though is influenced by Martin Luther King and by Jesus, OK. So if they are anti-fascists then so is he.

But in the peaceful strain, so it's a terrible and cruel thing for someone in power to say that about a man who can't defend himself because he's been left sick by the whole situation.

KEILAR: But to be clear, Terrence, he's not part of this fringe group that calls itself AntiFa?

BISSON: No. He's part of the peace movement. And in some cases, the peace movement includes a lot of different voices. And I don't think he would want someone to say, oh, I reject one part of the peace movement. But, you know, it's harder for me to speak for him. Let us just say

everything I've done with him and everything he stood for has been for vigils that are difficult for him to do, to stand silently in witness to causes that he believes in.

And that is not -- that's not what people mean especially the people that wrote that tweet. That's not what they are talking about. So he does not fit at all what they were trying to say. And then for them to have added conspiracy, which are crazy conspiracy things to it, makes it even stranger.

KEILAR: Yes. It was very strange.

Terrence, thank you so much. We, along with you as you, you're sort of holding vigil, I think, for your friend, Martin, and, you know, we're with you. We're thinking of you and him and his family. Thank you for coming on.

BISSON: Thank you.

[14:40:02]

KEILAR: One of the coronavirus vaccines in development is slated to start human trials next month.

This as we learn hospitalizations are up since Memorial Day weekend.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the WHO is not correct, that asymptomatic spread is rare.

Everything you need to know about the virus, next.

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KEILAR: The state of Vermont just announced it will fully re-open pre- K through 12 schools this fall.

And news on the coronavirus vaccine front. Johnson & Johnson announced today its early stage of human trials will begin in the second half of July, which is earlier than expected. If it's a success the company said it is committed to the goal of supplying one billion doses globally through 2021.

CNN national correspondent, Erica Hill, is in New York.

Erica, tell us how the first phase of re-opening is going there.

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's moving forward today. Mayor de Blasio announced he's expanding testing and wants everyone in the city to get tested.

I can tell you, Brianna, there's another state that will hop schools in the fall. The governor of Rhode Island announced a short time ago schools will re-open for in person learning on August 31st.

Much of what we're seeing around the country, it will look different. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILL (voice-over): Beaches in Miami-Dade County are open today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I missed it. It's the reason I live here.

HILL: The Mall of America also re-opening and more Americans are getting out.

New CNN polling finds half said they left home in the last week to visit family, friends or neighbors. They are still split on returning to their regular routines and already the worse is behind us.

Women are more likely than known exercise caution. Just 38 percent say they are ready to resume those routines as new research finds lockdown restrictions should be lifted gradually to avoid a spike in new cases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What concerns me is do we have the systems in place to ensure that a case in our community doesn't lead to a cluster, doesn't thread an outbreak, doesn't thread a health care system once again getting overwhelmed.

HILL: Since Memorial Day weekend, the number of COVID related hospitalizations has increased in at least a dozen states.

In Arizona, health officials say 79 percent of the ICU beds are currently in use. The director of health services asking hospitals to activate their emergency plans and reduce or suspend elective surgeries. More than half are also among the 18 seeing a rise in new cases over the past week.

FAUCI: When you open, that doesn't mean that everything is OK and you just can do whatever you want. You still have to practice a degree of caution.

HILL: The U.S. government says it will fund and study three experimental vaccines this summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even with the vaccine, there may be other steps we have to continue to take to control coronavirus.

HILL: Face coverings and social distancing likely here to stay.

Meantime, Major League Soccer will return on July 8th as the MLB Players Association propose July 10th for opening day of a shortened season.

And new cases are reported among football players at Florida State and the University of Central Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HILL: Now NASCAR will be welcoming fans at Homestead in homestead, Florida, this weekend.

We should point out once again Dr. Fauci, this morning, expressing concern about protesters and folks mingling so closely together, saying it's likely we'll see more positive cases coming out of these events.

KEILAR: All right. Erica Hill, thank you for that report from New York.

As Erica noted, Major League Soccer among the pro sports returning soon. The commissioner of that league will join me live to explain how that will work next.

Plus, the president makes a proclamation over the debate of renaming military bases named after many Confederate commanders.

Stand by.

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[14:50:57]

KEILAR: Soccer fans rejoice. Major league soccer announced it is coming out of the shutdown and will resume play on July 8th at the Walt Disney Resort outside of Orlando.

Don Garber is joining us now. He is Major League Soccer's commissioner.

This is exciting news for all sports fans who have wanted to see some live games.

Tell us how this is going to work and then tell us what happens when, because it is probably a when not an if, a player tests positive for coronavirus.

DON GARBER, COMMISSIONER, MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER: It starts with returning to play, and finally, after only two weeks of our season starting with what was the beginning of our 25th season, which was shut down with the pandemic.

And many months later, we brought all of our teams and our players and owners together to try to find the right to return to play plan. That will bring us to Walt Disney World where all 26 teams, 800-plus players and several thousand in total who will work to try to create the safest and most exciting environment.

We'll have 26 teams playing in a group format and then they'll going into a knockout tournament and ultimately the winner will be of the tournament will be receiving both prize money but also recognition for winning and earning the right to compete in this important tournament that exists later in the year.

This has been a long time --

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: Don, I'm sorry, it sounds cool. I'm going to give you that. It sounds great. But what do you do if someone tests positive? GARBER: No different than what every league will do. If we have a

positive test, that player will be removed from the tournament and go into quarantine. We'll contact trace anybody that that player has had exposure to and then ultimately those players would get tested regularly. Regularly.

So all players will be tested before arriving in Orlando, and while competing in the tournament and all of those people around them will get tested as well.

KEILAR: Do you have any fear that when you have asymptomatic players together, what is the determination that it isn't safe, that maybe play might need to stop completely, do you have a plan for that?

GARBER: Even if a player is asymptomatic, they'll be tested so if they test positive they'll be removed from the tournament and put into quarantine. And similarly the staff that is around them is going to be tested.

So we don't have any plan to shut the tournament down if we have a positive test and I don't think you'll see that with other tournaments that are going to be launched in the time period to come.

But we will have to manage if we have multiple players that test positive, we're going to have to manage that should we face it during the tournament.

KEILAR: And your league does not have rules against anthem protesting. According to ESPN, the United States soccer federation is now considering a repeal of its policy which requires national team players to stand during the anthem.

Would you be supportive if some players decided in light of what we've seen in the last couple of weeks that they want to kneel, take a knee during the anthem.

GARBER: We had a policy that we passed several years ago, 2017, that said we will respect any players right to compress their right to free speech and if they wanted to kneel during the national anthem we would support that. That policy hasn't changed.

If any player in this tournament or throughout the year wants to kneel during the anthem or at any other expressions, then we'll support that.

KEILAR: Don Garber, thank you so much. The Major League Soccer commissioner. We're looking forward to having the league back.

GARBER: Thank you.

KEILAR: Just in, not 24 hours after we learned the Pentagon is considering renaming dozens of installations that bear the name of the Confederate commanders, the president said that is not happening.

[14:55:09]

I want to bring in Kaitlan Collins and Barbara Starr.

Kaitlan, to put this into context, you have military leaders who say they're open to a bipartisan discussion of this renaming and many former military top brass say they would like to see this. What is the president saying, Kaitlan?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He is telling them that is not going to happen.

Let me tell you what happened in the last few minutes. The briefing was supposed to start at 2:00 p.m. and it was delayed until 2:30 and the president tweeted and they handed out a printout of the president's tweet to reporters in the room a few minutes before the briefing

And the press secretary came out and also read the president's tweet where he said, in part, "These monumental bases have become part of a great American heritage and a history of winning victory and freedom and therefore my administration will not consider the renaming of these magnificent military installations and our history is the greatest nation in the world will not be tampered with." He said, "Respect our military."

Now if you noticed over the last few days there have been discussions about this. The president had been completely silent. Which was raising questions among some of the adviser as to how he was going to respond to this.

The press secretary said he worked on the tweets for quite a while and it reminds me that you'll remember in 2017 after the Neo-Nazis protested in Charlottesville, the president came out against the removal of Confederate statues then and believed it was foolish.

And now the president is telling his defense secretary they are not going to be renaming these bases.

KEILAR: There's this debate, Barbara, about the symbols of southern heritage but on the other hand you have something like Fort Bragg, which is in North Carolina, which is the center of the military universe as it is called.

But it is named after a Confederate general who, you know, frankly, sucked at his job and it is sort of a wonder that he even was held up as someone who is a real a good general. And he was a slave owner.

And so it really just makes you wonder, as the military is trying to deal with the fact that, yes, they do pull a lot of recruits from the south, but then le also kind of have some of this why is this base named for this guy, how is the military handling this?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, here is where we are right now. And I think it could not possibly be overstated.

The president of the United States has just told the defense secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of the Army, and several members of the Joint Chiefs, if not all of them, to basically forget about it, to not even think about it, not going to happen.

What is so mystifying as it always is with President Trump's tweet is why he says some of the things he does. Respect our military. It is the military leaders in this country who want this open debate, this bipartisan conversation.

I could tell you they are already had been talking about establishing a blue ribbon type commission of people who are very respected in the United States to think about renaming these bases, how they would go about it and how they would actually work with the state, local governments, the cities where these bases are located. They wanted to be able to do it the right way.

This is a question for some of southern heritage, for many of honoring Confederate generals who took up arms against the United States and were responsible for killing American troops. Very divisive issue. Very controversial.

But what the president told the defense secretary and Joint Chiefs, don't come to me to even talk about it -- Brianna?

KEILAR: It is not an easy discussion. The Marines have banned the Confederate flag this spring and the Army and the Navy is looking at following suit. But these are serious issues that need to be discussed and the president suspect shut it down.

Kaitlan Collins, Barbara Starr, thank you so much to both of you.

[14:59:10]

And we have breaking news from the Minneapolis police chief. Why he's cutting off negotiations with the local police union. And what he thinks of the accused officers planning to use their rookie status as a defense strategy.

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