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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Trump Threatens To "Take Back" Seattle Amid Protests; Trump Holds Dallas Roundtable On Race Relations & Policing, Fails To Invite Top Black Local Law Enforcement Officials; Key Model Projects 170,000 COVID-19 Deaths In U.S. By October. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 11, 2020 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Mass gatherings of people while his State is still battling the Coronavirus. The news also comes as the President announced his first big campaign rally next week, as we reported, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, another mass gathering of people.

And the man famous for making employees sign non-disclosure agreements is requiring that Rally attendees sign a liability waiver. The invitation sent by the Campaign has this language toward the bottom.

"By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Incorporated" as well as others liable for any illness or injury.

Currently, there are more than a 113,000 dead from this virus. And, as we reported earlier, that number could reach 170,000 more deaths by October.

The news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Hey, Anderson, thank you very much.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

All eyes are on Seattle. And Trump sees an opportunity to make everything that's happening there, and really everywhere, about his political opponents and their radical ranks.

His move? Calls to dominate the people on the streets, dangling troops, again. Wonder what effect that will have on people who say they are tired of being dominated.

On the same day that the Head of the Joint Chiefs apologized for even the suggestion of military presence in our politics, Trump tone-deaf once again, doubled down. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Seattle would be so easy to solve.

We have to dominate the streets. You can't let that happen, what happened in New York City, the damage they've done. You have to dominate the streets.

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TRUMP: If you think about it, we're dominating the street with compassion because we're saving lives.

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CUOMO: "Dominating the street with compassion," if that doesn't tell you everything that Trump doesn't know, I don't know what will.

When I say he is tone-deaf, I mean the calls for equity and justice. That is because he is singing a different tune. It's more like a dog whistle, right, to his base. And too many of them want to see the people who are begging for change put down.

The Governor of Washington, however, is pushing back, saying his State won't allow threats of military violence from the White House. The Mayor of Seattle calls it a "Threat to invade," and is calling on Trump to go back to his bunker.

She is going to have more to say to us in just a moment. But first, let's get to the streets of Seattle. Dan Simon is there.

Dan, what's the situation?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well hi, Chris. This is the Seattle Police Station that has essentially been taken over by protesters. And you can see it's been totally defaced.

Look where we used to say the Seattle Police Department, it now says the Seattle People Department, and all the windows are boarded up because the officers who work in this station essentially abandoned ship.

Let me explain how this all came about, Chris. You had several days of violent clashes between police and protesters, in front of the station, and there was teargas deployed. It was a terrible situation.

And officers within the Department made the calculated decision that they wanted to try to de-escalate things. So, they decided to pack up and leave. And when that happened, you had a void, and protesters filled that void. And that's what you've had since Monday.

Now, despite the fact that this all began violently, right now, it's entirely peaceful. In fact, you can see these protesters behind me. And, in fact, let's pan the camera around, Chris, because it really has the feel of a street festival. They're serving food down there. They're giving out free food. There's

medical tents. People are camping out. They have movies at night. There is live music. So, that's what the situation is like now.

But right now, Chris, there appears to be no strategy in place on the part of the City to take back this Police Department. We don't know how long this is going to go for. But - but they seem to be content at the moment just to let them have the run of the place, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Dan, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Be safe. Check back with us, if there's something we need to report, during our watch.

Let's bring in the Mayor of Seattle now, going toe to toe with the President today. But let's deal with her own problems at home in her backyard first.

Jenny Durkan, welcome back, Ms. Mayor. It's good to have you.

MAYOR JENNY DURKAN, (D) SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Good to see you, Chris. Glad you're back and healthy.

CUOMO: Thank you. Thank you for the good word.

So, I don't have to tell you about the situation on the ground in your City. But, in terms of how it looks, to the rest of the country, and the President, teeing it up as basically ineptitude, the ability - inability to control your own streets, is that fair criticism?

DURKAN: So, I know it will shock you that the President is perhaps not giving an accurate or truthful picture.

We've got four blocks in Seattle that you just saw pictures of that is more like a block party atmosphere. It's not an armed takeover. It's not a military junta. We will - we will make sure that we can restore this.

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But we have block parties and the like in this part of Seattle all the time. It's known for that. So, I think the President - number one, there is no threat right now to the public. And we're looking - we're taking that very seriously. We're meeting with businesses and residents.

But what the President threatened is illegal and unconstitutional. And the fact that he can think he can just tweet that, and not have ramifications is just wrong.

CUOMO: The counter will be block parties don't take over a municipal building, let alone a police station, and destroy it, basically thumbing their nose at any sense of civic control.

Do you believe that you have control of your City and that you would be able to clear those streets because you haven't?

DURKAN: We do. And the Chief of Police was in that precinct today with her Command Staff looking and assessing on operational plans.

But we saw that it was a point of conflict night after night between the Police Department and protesters, and we wanted to de-escalate that.

And what we decided was the best way to do that was reopen the streets, and that itself ended up with some ramifications for the precinct, to remove anything that was valuable from out of that building.

But we will make sure that all of Seattle is safe where we take Public Safety seriously. But the description the President has given is not only wrong. But if it were right, his remedy is wrong. You don't dominate.

Remember why we're here. You know, we're here because the nation saw Mr. Floyd murdered, and that lit a match across this country. And we have to acknowledge and know that we have a system that is built on systemic racism, and we have to dismantle that system piece by piece.

We have to empower the Black community and communities of color and we have to invest in their health, and their safety, and their education, and opportunity.

CUOMO: Mayor, the other counter by the President, and many people on the Right, will be "Well of course, Durkan has a "D" after her name. She's going to be OK with this because these are her people.

These are these Left-wing anarchists and radicals, and they're letting them run free on the streets. You barely see any Black or African- American faces on those streets. This is about Lefty radicalism run amok in your City, and you seem OK with it."

DURKAN: So, Chris, as you know, I was the United States Attorney here in Seattle. And during that time, as United States Attorney, we investigated and prosecuted a whole range of bad actors, including militia groups, and drug cartels, anarchists and the like.

We are - we have our Public Safety approach in one way. And during this time, a number-one priority every American City has is to protect the First Amendment right.

Our country was born out of protest. The right to gather, the right to protest, the right to challenge government, when it's wrong, is our most fundamental constitutional right. It's a reason it's the First Amendment.

And, as a Mayor of the City, I will do everything to protect that right, and balance the Public Safety. I think not only can we do both, I think we have to do both.

CUOMO: And what is the response to the President's call to "Dominate with compassion?" He says solving your problem would be easy if you were strong and not weak.

Your response was "You want to help? Go back to the bunker." Tough words!

DURKAN: Look, we know the last time I spoke with you we're talking about the pandemic.

And I would yearn for just one positive thing the White House would give us, either on that public crisis, or the public crisis we're facing right now, on systemic racism.

We need a President engaged to bringing America together, to heal, and in the case of Coronavirus, to literally heal, to give me, as a Mayor, the testing capacity I need, the ability to have the drugs that can treat it, and when vaccines come to be fully safe and free for people. I want PPE for my nurses and firefighters.

Instead, I'm searching the globe for those things, so that we can have testing and treatment for people here in Seattle. So, I would say to the President that if you want to do good for America, start doing good for America. We need you in that fight.

We need a - we can harness the beautiful innovation of American manufacturing, and workers, to build a system that actually produce enough testing, so that we can control this virus.

We know we're going to see an uptick in it. This President's not in the fight. Instead, he just wants to start a fight.

CUOMO: Well look, what's happening on your streets isn't going to be helpful to the caseload either. You know that.

We do see people with masks. But obviously, the big risk is as we move back out into public, and reopen, having people in tight spaces like this can't be helpful. It's outside. That's one mitigating factor. But you know there's risk.

I want to just get a clear sense of this though, Mayor.

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Why do you believe the President chose to talk about domination in the face of what's happening, not just in your City, but in many instances, when it comes to what the remedy is for the unrest in the country right now? What do you think this is about for him?

DURKAN: I think it shows a complete lack of understanding and why people are in the street. They're in the street fighting a system of domination. And he doesn't understand that.

And his response is always one that's bellicose and militaristic. But he doesn't honor the military in that way either, as you've seen from the line of Generals that have disputed him.

So, I think he says "Dominate" because he is totally does not understand what is happening in America, and he is desperately trying to start the old fights and the old divisions that put him in power in the first place.

CUOMO: How long do you think Seattle in those few blocks looks like this?

DURKAN: I don't know. We could have the Summer of Love.

CUOMO: Well tell that to the Police who was supposed to be in that precinct though. But I understand your sentiment, Mayor. I wish you well. We'll stay on the story. You'll always have this platform to talk about it.

DURKAN: Hey Chris, the police will be - be policing in there. I want to be very clear on that. Our Chief of Police was in there assessing today.

We take Public Safety very seriously. We met with businesses and residents today. We don't have to sacrifice Public Safety for First Amendment rights. Both can exist, and we'll make sure that both exist in Seattle.

CUOMO: We'll be watching to see how it unfolds. The best to you, good to see you, thank you for being on the show.

DURKAN: Thank you, Chris. Take care.

CUOMO: So, how do we get to a better place? Well you know you have to have conversations. But most acutely, you have to have discussions with and among the powerful, right?

Noticeably absent from Trump's Roundtable, I don't know if you heard about it. He had a Roundtable today on Race and Policing in Dallas.

Now, three top law enforcement officials in the County, the Dallas Police Chief, the Sheriff, and the District Attorney, all Black, they weren't there. They weren't invited. Why not is the question?

And guess who we have? One of them, to tell his side of the story, next.

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CUOMO: So, remember where we are, as if you need reminding. We are in the midst of a national outpouring over systemic racism. And for those of you who believe it doesn't exist, I have something special for you that the team and I did, later in the show. The President, however though, today said this.

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TRUMP: We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear. But we'll make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racist or bigots.

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CUOMO: So, his concern is for the feelings and impact on the people who aren't being discriminated against. But he has still said nothing about what led people to take to the streets.

Even the words that are written for him are remarkably hollow on this. Remember, he didn't write that. He's reading it with some effort. Even then, the message falls flat, why? That's the big question for us.

Today, they hold a Roundtable in Dallas on Race Relations and Policing. And instead, again, of taking an opportunity, to speak about violence against Black people, at an event promoted as discussing justice disparities, he lauded police forces, which he should, OK?

There's no reason to bash the police as an institution. We need them. It's about how they do the job for everybody the right way. And he described those who use excessive force as mere bad apples. But the bad apples, in an orchard, that has problems. And you have to address it.

But more importantly, how could you expect to address that, in Dallas, if you don't have the people at the table who are doing the job right there? The three top Black law enforcement officials in the region, the Dallas Police Chief, the Sheriff, and the District Attorney, they weren't there. They weren't even invited.

Dallas County District Attorney, John Creuzot, joins me now.

Sir, thank you for taking the opportunity.

JOHN CREUZOT, DALLAS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well thank you and we're happy that you're better and well.

CUOMO: I appreciate it. I've done a lot of good work with your Office and the police in Dallas, over the years. Always welcome there, and always welcome on this show as well.

And just to be clear about the record, Mr. District Attorney, am I right that you were not invited, not that you didn't go out of protest, that you were busy, you had something else?

CREUZOT: No, I was not invited. I didn't hear anything from his Office or anybody about going there.

CUOMO: How do you explain it?

CREUZOT: Well I guess my viewpoint is not valued by the President or his team.

I, quite frankly, don't understand how you could come to a large metropolitan area as this, one of the largest in the United States, we've had protests, we've had a little bit of violence, but a lot of peaceful protests, and we've come together as a community.

And we have policing issues, and problems, just like other major metropolitan areas. And to not to have the interest to talk to the individuals, who are in the midst of this, who are administering criminal justice in the community is just unthinkable to me. And I can't imagine why he wouldn't want to hear from us.

CUOMO: What do you make of one of his main Economic Advisers saying there's no such thing as systemic racism, and the President saying this problem begins and ends with just a few bad apples?

CREUZOT: Well that's not reality. I think any serious person who wants to be honest about these issues understands that there is systemic racism, not only in police institutions, but in most of our American institutions.

And to hide from it, and to deny it - and to deny it is, once again, to put people of color, and people of conscience, in an awful spot that their President and his advisers seem to not deal with reality.

And it's not what we want. It's not what we deserve. And I just hope that we can, sometime in the near future, do much better.

CUOMO: The President looks at a situation like Seattle, or what we had here in New York City, and says the answer is clear. "Dominate. Bring in the military. Show them who's boss. Might makes right."

What do you think of that approach to what is bringing people to the streets?

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CREUZOT: Well it sounds like post-Reconstruction in a different form and fashion.

You know, "We're the power, and we're going to tell you what to do. If you have anything to say that's contrary to what we think, or what we want, we're going to suppress it. And if it means violence, then that's what we'll do. If it means bring in the military," which thank God that they're resisting those efforts of his, but it's just that same strongman type of talk.

And it's not American. It's not our values. And it should be rejected by everyone.

CUOMO: Look, in all likelihood, you weren't invited because there's a "D" after your name. And he is pretty clear about who he wants around him.

He wants people that he knows are going to tell him the right thing. And maybe he didn't think he'd be getting that, even though he was sitting in a City with none of the people in charge at the table with him.

But let's do this, District Attorney. You do have a seat at this table. You always will. This show and this Network exists to have this kind of discussion for the American people.

So, you are welcome back on this show. We have to have a lot of conversations about what needs to change, to make this country a more perfect union. You are invited, Sir.

CREUZOT: Well thank you, Sir, and good luck to you.

CUOMO: Thank you very much, District Attorney Creuzot, good luck to you. God bless the family.

All right, also in Dallas County, another reason that it was interesting for the President to be there, and give no voice to another pressing concern, a new record-high for COVID cases in a single day was just set in Dallas. What a coincidence!

The virus is also now exploding in one of the first states to reopen last month. Is there a connection between those two elements? The new hotspots, what it means for all of us in this fight?

We're learning more. Let's share it, next.

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CUOMO: OK. Please listen up. 20 states right now are seeing a rise in Coronavirus cases, some more sharply than others.

Let's look at South Carolina. It saw its highest number of cases reported in one day, doubling its daily average count this week alone.

Arizona, this is increasingly a hotspot, and something we have to look at. A quarter of all its COVID cases, so one in every four cases it's had, came in the past week, during the warm months. You know, it's a different season there. But what is this about? The State's now telling hospitals, to activate emergency plans.

And for those who tell you, these numbers are all fugazi, because it just means we're testing more, first, that's illogic. More cases are a concern. Period! And this is not just about testing. Look at Texas. More than 2,000 people there were hospitalized, hospitalized yesterday. That's the highest number since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations are not about testing.

And now, Dallas County, where the President was today, hit a record- high in positive cases, and he said nothing about it. Wonder why! Why doesn't he dominate that?

If you think this is all over, that it's time for us to race back, it's summer, we're getting a break from COVID now, it's just not the reality. In fact, the cases aren't even coming down the way we expected them to. So, why? What does this tell us about the new projections about where this pandemic could be headed?

We have a top Health Authority, next.

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CUOMO: Everybody wants to reopen. But be clear, reopening does not mean that the COVID pandemic is over. Cases are climbing. We're past the 2 million case mark. And this is not about simply doing more counting. It's about contagion. Let's look at hospitalizations.

Vaughn, put the graph up.

Look at these hotspot states, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona. I'm going to get you a graphic on them.

In all three of those places, South Carolina not - not so impressive. But Texas and Arizona, you're going to see big growth in hospitalizations. That's not about counting. It's about contagion. And, of course, the death toll continues to rise, OK?

You see here. This is in Texas. You see? Hospitalizations, OK? You see up, up, up, up, up, up, all right? That's not about counting.

Put up the next State. All right.

Arizona, you'll see same kind of thing. South Carolina, you'll see it more flat. I'll show you both. Don't worry about it, all right?

Look, there's Arizona, OK? I mean pretty scary. We're going to dig deeper into Arizona. We have to figure out what's going on there. This isn't just rolling across the country. There's something else going on there. We'll look at it.

And then you have to, of course, focus on death toll. The latest model used by the White House is predicting the toll could hit a 170,000 by October. That would be 50,000-plus more lives lost in just the next four months.

Let's bring in Dr. William Schaffner.

Always good to see you, Doc.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, CDC ADVISER: Good to be with you, Chris.

CUOMO: The idea, of why this is happening, this should not be a surprise. We were hoping to get a break in the summer months.

But reopening can kind of cancel out the break that you thought you'd get, by being outside, and having better weather, for transmission advantage, if it's not done correctly, yes?

SCHAFFNER: Oh, for sure. COVID's not taking a summer vacation. It's actually having new opportunities to spread.

But, of course, we knew that would happen once we opened up, and we were talking about how you had to balance that, opening it up for all the economic, social, and cultural advantages, which was absolutely necessary.

But we had to do it carefully, in order to not make too much medical and public health damage, at the same time. This is a tricky matter. And if people are carefree, rather than careful, well then you'll see an increase in cases.

And I'm with you. I think these hospitalization numbers are the ones that are the most ominous and reliable. Then going up here, there, not everywhere yet, thank goodness, we have to be on the alert.

CUOMO: The projection that the White House relies on that shows 57,000 more people projected to die from COVID in the next four months. What does that suggest to you, in terms of why that would be happening?

SCHAFFNER: Well obviously, more opportunities for people to get close to each other, whether in small groups, or larger groups, that's an opportunity for this virus to spread.

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It loves to get close to people, and spread from one to another. And if you do it in groups, it can spread widely and more quickly. So, that's a substantial, it's just a model, but nonetheless, it's a substantial number anticipated during what we're supposed to be or hoped for the quieter months.

CUOMO: Hey, you know, Doc, one of the reasons I rely on you, and we've talked about this before, on- and off-camera, is this stuff gets really confusing really fast for people. And that's if everything that's told to them is accurate.

You know, we've had a change in masks. We've had a change in distance. We've had a change in viral load. We've had a change in duration. You know, everything keeps changing as you guys learn about things. And I understand that. But it's confusing for people.

And then today, the CDC Director, Tom Frieden, said we're not focusing on the most important trends. We're giving too much weight to numbers that have little meaning, case count numbers, number of tests conducted, obviously former Director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, he'd be out in an afternoon, if he was in there right now, talking this way, if you're not on - on the bus with Trump, you're out, test positivity rates.

Are we focusing on the wrong things? And if so, why, and what are the right things?

SCHAFFNER: Well I think it's an accumulation of things. And I think testing provides some information. But you got to look at it with care. Whom are we testing?

Are we focused on high-risk populations? Then we have to take that into account because we'll find many, many more cases. If you start testing people who have no symptoms, and are at low risk, obviously you won't find as many cases.

But you and I both like that number that we just talked about, people who are hospitalized, with laboratory diagnosed-COVID, because for the last several months, we've had enough testing capacity to test those people. And so, those are good hard numbers. Watch those trends.

As we say, it's a bit of a lagging indicator. It lags a little bit behind the actual infection by a week, week and a half. But it's a solid indicator of how we're doing. And it also is a measure of the stress on the healthcare system. So, that's a very useful indicator.

CUOMO: Yes. I totally agree with that because that lets you know what your capacity is, in terms of what else you can handle, and those are the real cases.

Not to disrespect anybody who had it, but I include myself in that disrespect, if that's what I'm doing. There were a couple of days where I was afraid I'd become one of those hospitalizations, but I didn't.

And if people can deal with this at home, that's one kind of illness. If you have to be in the hospital, it's a whole different layer of potential outcomes. That's why I think it deserves acute focus.

Dr. Schaffner, thank you very much. I'll probably call on you, if not tonight, tomorrow morning, to get your help on Arizona.

SCHAFFNER: Will be glad (ph). CUOMO: What's - what's happening there is worrying experts. We've got to take a deeper look. I'd love to get your help on that. God bless. Have a good night.

SCHAFFNER: Good night.

CUOMO: All right, now again, you know, what do you do in a time like this, if you're a leader?

Trying to send the right message about the pandemic, and what's going to happen. You're telling people to wear masks. You're telling them to go slow. You're telling them to be careful. You're telling them to watch what's going on, right? All deliberate speed.

Not this President!

Rally Time! The worst thing you could do in the middle of this pandemic. And, by the way, he's having people sign a release form. Isn't that nice? "Please come. But if anything happens, go away."

What a familiar situation for so many of his business endeavors? He's taken a lot of heat. But he doesn't care. He doesn't care. And the question becomes, where is he going to kick it off, and on what day?

Juneteenth, in Tulsa, do you know what Juneteenth is about? Do you know what happened in Tulsa, the site of one of the worst race massacres in American history?

But some are saying "No, no, no, you have it wrong. The President's doing the right thing." We have one - one of his defenders, a Congressman, who represents Tulsa, next.

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CUOMO: All right the President's going to be back to preaching to his base, in person, next week, at his first rally since this pandemic exploded. Is that a smart move to have a rally during a pandemic?

And then you get to the more sensitive issue. He's having it in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Juneteenth, OK?

Tulsa, of course, the site of one of the worst racist massacres in our country's history, Juneteenth, a holiday marking the emancipation of slaves, specifically in Texas, the last holdout in the Confederacy to make that move.

So, joining us now is Republican Congressman, Kevin Hern. He represents Tulsa.

Hey Congressman, I appreciate you taking this conversation on.

REP. KEVIN HERN (R-OK): Chris, thank you for having me tonight.

CUOMO: The first concern is we're in the middle of a pandemic. You guys aren't out of the woods. We're trying to help people do things in the smartest way.

A political rally, like checks every box of risk. Trump Campaign knows that. So, he's having people check one more box, which is a release that if they come, they don't have any recourse against the Campaign, if anything happens.

You think that's a good mix?

HERN: Well let's - let's take the first part of that first, about coming to Oklahoma. It is, to your point, it is a strong base for him. The President won all 77 counties the last time around.

All the statewide races are - our offices are filled with Republican leadership, very strong base here. He has a favorability among his base of about 91 percent. So, he's coming here.

The Oklahomans are doing a great job. We are, you know, the Governor has pushed to be a Top 10 State in opening, in everything he does. He's a former business guy.

I've been in business 35 years before getting into Congress for this first term. And you want to look and reward people who have done a great job for you.

There won't be any Democrats at the Rally, I'm sure. The Republicans will - will decide whether they feel like that they should go or not.

CUOMO: Right. But - but Congressman?

HERN: Particularly at their own risk--

CUOMO: Congressman? Just, forgive me, but I don't care about any of this.

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You're not encouraging people to go to concerts. I'm glad that he has 91 percent approval. I'm glad that Oklahoma is a strong base for the President. That's irrelevant, in my question.

My question is you're not letting people have concerts, and go and have big gatherings. Why let the President do it? HERN: Well we're in phase three now, so that you - the gatherings have expanded. We've opened back up our baseball field. So, you have thousands of people. Baseball and soccer is huge here. You have larger gatherings that are going on.

While we have seen an uptick, we have a lot of increase in, in testing going on. We have about 70 people hospitalized across the State. And so, about 357 deaths, which is tragic. Every death is tragic.

And I know you - you had the COVID-19 virus. And it's - it's devastating.

But people wanted to make a decision to get back out. And - and those who want to choose to stay at home can do so.

CUOMO: Understood.

HERN: Those who are wearing masks, it feels - yes, so you know what it's like. And - and they've made a decision that they want to - they go on - go see the President.

CUOMO: Right.

HERN: If they don't think, they can stay home, watch it on TV.

CUOMO: Right. Of course. I'm not going to have you answer for the fact that he's having them sign a release. If it were a State issue, if you guys were doing--

HERN: Well I'd love to - I'd love to - I'd love to speak to that.

I mean, if you go to the BOK concert, any concert ticket you go to, whether it's a basketball game, a hockey game, or if you go to a baseball game, if you read the fine print on that ticket, it says "If you get hit by a broken bat, you're responsible. The team is not."

CUOMO: It's different. It's different.

HERN: That's not - it's - well--

CUOMO: It's different. It's different.

HERN: It's - you could - well--

CUOMO: COVID-19 is not an inherent threat of the assumed liability that you have in going to a sporting event.

In baseball, it is a natural occurrence that a bat may break, a ball may fly, and God forbid somebody gets hit. COVID-19 is not something that we just assume people take the risk on. But let's not get too in the weeds on that.

Tulsa and Juneteenth, do you think it's incumbent upon the President that if he is going to hold a rally in that City, during that time that he must address the systemic racism that is putting people on the streets all across this country, and do it in a way that shows deference to the problem, and not pretending that it will just disappear?

HERN: I do. And I think it's a turning point for the President to have an opportunity to come here. I think that - I haven't talked to the President personally about this. But I think that's part of the strategy for coming here, is to have - be in an environment.

I mean, as a business person, and what we know about this President, whether you, or others, don't like him, is that he's willing to take on the tough battles. We've seen that with trade. We've seen that with China. We've seen that with Iran. We could go on and on.

And racism in America has been around for hundreds of years. We - we fought a war. We lost more men and women in a war than we've ever lost in all the other wars, almost combined. We have seen what's happened.

The President has - knows very vividly what happened here 99 years ago on May 31st to June 1st. And I think if you're going to tackle the worst problem that's - its immediately in front of you, you'd go to where it is the most prevalent, and it's the most obvious.

And right now, we just commemorate the 20--

CUOMO: But then you have to speak to it. Then you have to speak to it, Congressman.

HERN: You do. You do.

CUOMO: And he has never done that.

And, just to make the record very clear, if I didn't like the President, I just wouldn't talk to you about him. I talk to him - about him because he matters. It's not a personal situation. I'm sure I've known him a lot longer than you have.

HERN: You have.

CUOMO: Our mothers used to get their hair done at the same place. So, it's not a personal thing. It's about his responsibility. I do wish he didn't sick his followers on my kids, as often online as he does, but I digress.

What I'm saying about this is he hasn't spoken to these issues, and you know it. And he's going to be walking into a City where the Police Chief just said "All the research says we're shooting African- Americans about 24 percent less than we probably ought to be based on the crimes being committed."

Do you back up that statement?

HERN: OK. Well, first of all, let me - let me change - fix your story there. It wasn't the Police Chief. The Police Chief is Wendell Franklin, who is just newly-elect, or appointed, or hired by the Mayor, just a few months ago. And he's an African-American.

He was referencing - you're referencing a Major that spoke and - and an individual-- CUOMO: Tulsa Police Department Major Travis Yates.

HERN: Yes, that's right. So, and he was--

CUOMO: Not the Chief. Not the Chief.

HERN: Right.

CUOMO: Tulsa Police Department Major Travis Yates. Do you back up the sentiment now that we have the right mouth that it came out of?

HERN: Well the Police Chief is very much understanding of what needs to happen, as far as mending relationships, and doing what other leaders have not done in the history of this country, not Barack Obama, not Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush, or we can go backwards.

CUOMO: What do you think of this sentiment in that statement? Do you agree with it or do you disagree with it?

HERN: I think it was a terrible statement to be made. And I think, you see the Police Chief come out, and quickly condemn that. You saw the Mayor say that.

I didn't hear it personally, when he said it, I read it, just probably like everybody else did. But that's clearly either he misspoke or he clearly has an opportunity to correct a record about what he said.

CUOMO: I appreciate you speaking to it directly and to the situation.

[21:50:00]

And I hope the President takes your advice, and discusses what's happening on the streets of this country, and why they're there finally, because we need leadership on this issue to get anywhere that is even approximating a better place.

Congressman Kevin Hern, I wish you the best.

HERN: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you for taking the opportunity.

All right, there's been a new awakening about systemic racism in America. A top White House official isn't buying any of it. He says it doesn't exist. So, once and for all, you want to know whether or not there's systemic racism? Give me about five minutes, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TEXT: CLOSING ARGUMENT.

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CUOMO: The argument starts here with Trump's Economic Adviser saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KUDLOW, ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: I don't believe nowadays we have systemic racism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you don't believe systemic racism exists in the United States?

KUDLOW: I do - I do not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At all in the U.S.?

KUDLOW: I do not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't think there's any systemic racism against African-Americans in the United States?

KUDLOW: I will say it again. I do not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:55:00]

CUOMO: All right, this isn't believing in something like the tooth fairy, all right? It's about fact. He is wrong. It's not a matter of opinion. It's a matter of fact. And it is fact that you see everywhere you look in black and white.

The immediate proof is in the Cabinet. Trump has one Black cabinet member and one Black Domestic Policy Adviser. Kudlow is the President's Economic Adviser. So, let's start with the economy.

White people make more money than Blacks do. Period! Even if they have the same level of education, even if they're in the same jobs.

In fact, that fundamental divide is as wide now as it was the year Dr. King was shot, so much for Trump's economy being the "Best-ever" for Black people. Not relatively. And relativity matters.

Black people are not only more likely to be unemployed, they're also more likely to be underemployed.

For all Mr. Kudlow's talk about the stock market, Blacks don't invest nearly as much as Whites. Even when you include 401(k)s, systemic racism extends to government programs as well.

Going back to the New Deal, the Federal Housing program that helped build the suburbs was often off-limits to Blacks. Lending practices, redlining, you know, drawing an area around Black neighborhoods, illegal, but their effects linger.

Blacks are far less likely to own a home than Whites, a gap that's only widened since 2004.

And those that do buy a home have to put down more money, the equity cushion it's called. And they have to pay for a higher mortgage, meaning what, that even when banks do lend to them, they have tougher terms, even when similarly situated to Whites.

Then, there is the question of how you get between work and home? The highway system, this may not seem like a big deal, but just think about it, in terms of your existence, a marvel of American ingenuity by White America, but its design skipped over Black neighborhoods.

Even if there were as many on-ramps in their communities, many people of color are less likely to own a car because of incoming credit challenges. Thus, they're more likely to depend on public transportation. We invest in buses and trains at a fraction of what we spend on the highway. So again, systemically, they are disserved.

Then there is the question of what to do with your kids. Black families work more and, as we've seen, earn less. What does that mean? It makes taking care of your kids harder. You don't have the time and you don't have the money. Childcare, tough decision.

Once they get into the school system, and this is big, because this is all about the roadway to opportunity. The impact of history still hangs over their head.

58 years between Plessy versus Ferguson, separate but equal, and Brown versus the Board of Education, mandating integration, that period wound up influencing how our school system works, more arguably than the 62 years since the Little Rock Nine.

And here's the proof for that suggestion. Districts with mostly students of color get $23 billion less in funding than White school districts, despite serving about the same number of kids. Less money means less power, right, less pay for teachers, less access to extra- curriculars, and services and systems, right?

We generally pay for schools with things like property taxes, right? And Black communities can't support the kind of tax base that power schools in many White communities. And even when you adjust for poverty, more is still spent on White students. Why? Systemic racism.

Even how we discipline kids in schools is affected by systemic racism. How do we know? A White kid gets in trouble, a fight at school, the results often look like this, trip to the Principal's office.

Black kid gets in trouble at school, more likely to be disciplined. How? Suspended. Wind up in juvenile justice. Why? Systemic racism, built into the fabric of the nation, is built in as the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Why? Because they are all worse in places of poverty.

Remember Flint, the faces of that suffering? They still suffer today. The faces are still the same color.

Even how we connect, it doesn't matter how much you get paid. If you're Black, you got less access to the internet. It's quite literally a matter of life and death as well.

Look at the Coronavirus pandemic. Who is getting sick the most? Who's dying the most? Who are the largest percentage of essential workers, working in the midst of this risk, in our healthcare system? Minorities.

And they're less likely to have insurance. They're less likely to have access to good care. They have more premature births. They have shorter life expectancy. They check more of the boxes of chronic conditions.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, last year, identified the root cause of health problems, over a lifetime, is racism, not race itself, the disparities caused by race-ism.

Finally, the Black communities' ability to change these disparities should be through our democracy. But their voting rights are compromised.

Gerrymandering, OK, voter suppression, this is what Trump should be talking about, but he doesn't. Not "Mysterious Illegals," but real legalities like we arguably just saw in Atlanta.

And then, yes, there is policing. I don't say "The Police" because this is about more than people or bad apples. It's about the orchard. It's about the system.

And again, systemic policies and tactics work against Blacks disproportionately. Cops are more likely to pull over Black drivers, even when you adjust for daytime and nighttime stops that may make it hard to tell who is driving.

People of color are more likely to be searched while stopped, even though Whites are more likely to actually have drugs on them. Our prisons, overcrowded, filled with a disproportionate number of Black faces.

END