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Trump Hosts "Justice Disparities" Roundtable in Dallas, But Three Key Law Enforcement Officials, All Black, Not Invited; Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) Los Angeles Discuss About His Thoughts on President Trump's Way of Handling the Protests; Tulsa Police Release Body Cam Video of Officers Handcuffing Black Teenagers for Jaywalking; Fmr. CDC Director: U.S. is Failing to Stop Spread of Covid. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 11, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. You can tweet the show @CNNSITROOM.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Trump goes to Dallas for discussion on race and policing, excluding the county's top three law enforcement officials all of whom are black. The County Sheriff who was snubbed is OUTFRONT.

Plus, a black teen arrested and another one handcuffed for jaywalking. Their attorney is OUTFRONT.

And the former Head of the CDC says the United States is failing to stop the spread of coronavirus and warning of a resurgence. He's my guest.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, not invited. The President in Dallas tonight hosting a roundtable on 'justice disparities'. The topic, of course, at the very heart of protests which erupted across this nation after the death of George Floyd, protests that are tonight on their 17th straight today. And in what should have been an important event, the President made a glaring admission, not inviting the top three law enforcement officials in the region.

That is right, not inviting, not including the top three law enforcement officials; the Police Chief, the Sheriff and the District Attorney. We are going to be speaking to Dallas County Sheriff, Marian Brown, in just one moment about that. It does come as Trump described the National Guard breaking up protests as a knife through butter.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They went in and it was like a knife cutting butter right through, boom, there was some tear gas and probably some other things. And the crowd dispersed and they went through by the end of that evening and it was a short evening. Everything was fine.

But if you're going to have to really do a job, if somebody is really bad, you're going to have to do it with real strength, real power. I said we have to dominate the street.


BURNETT: Of course, when you do send in tear gas and the military against peaceful protests who are not armed, it is much like a knife through butter. Power domination knife through butter, those are the images given by the president today.

We begin our coverage tonight in New York City on day 17 of nationwide protests where Shimon Prokupecz is OUTFRONT. And Shimon, I know there was a blocking of one of the major arteries into New York City by protesters moments ago. What are you seeing?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. Moments ago, Erin, we were at the Holland Tunnel, which takes commuters from lower Manhattan into New Jersey and several hundred protesters that you can see here all around, stood in front of the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, stopping traffic.

Police shut down the tunnel and just stood by as many of the protesters chanted and were just allowed to express their frustration. Every night, this group comes out and they march. We went from the Washington Square Park south on the West Side Highway. They took the entire southbound lane of the West Side Highway and they marched down to the Holland Tunnel.

We are now here at Foley Square, which they have filed into a place where many of the protesters have been gathering for the last two weeks. But what's so important in all of this, Erin, is just the energy. We've been out here every night and the energy just seems to grow and grow.

It is hot, it rained today and still, all of these people have been coming out. They came out tonight. They came out last night. And the group behind me which has been organizing this, I spoke to him. One of the guys, he's only 21. His name is Carlos Polanco (ph). He's from Brooklyn.

And every night, he comes out here and he organizes this effort. And you can see hundreds of people night after night still coming out here, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Shimon. Pretty incredible when you think about it, 21 years old to be able to do that.

Let's go to Kaitlan Collins. She's OUTFRONT at the White House. And Kaitlan, the President confirming tonight that he is finalizing an executive order on policing standards after that roundtable, of course, in Dallas where the top three law enforcement officials were not invited. Did he offer any real details on his plan?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No. And so far the White House has been really hesitant to say what they'll support as you're seeing these Republicans on Capitol Hill rush to respond to these overwhelming demands for some kind of police reform. And so the President did confirm that he is working on an executive order.

But Erin, he really only gave broad outlines about what that could potentially look like and the White House has been hesitant to say as well. He talked about meeting professional standards when it comes to de escalation tactics or uses of force, but that was really the most detail that the President got into during that roundtable in Dallas. You talked about what he said about confronting those protesters in places like Minneapolis.

He also talked about confronting bigotry overall in the nation, something that you've seen demands for. But the President said he was also concerned about Americans wrongly being labeled as racist. That was something that he voiced as he was sitting there with those leaders.


And you saw there were law enforcement officials from other towns nearby in Dallas. There were some small business owners, some faith leaders, but there were those three key prominent black officials in Dallas that were not invited by the White House to this event, something that the White House confirmed to us. And that's the Dallas Police Chief, of course, the District Attorney and the Sheriff, all not invited to this sit down that the President had in Dallas tonight.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

And as Kaitlan mentioned, those three top law enforcement officials, I want to go to the Dallas County Sheriff, Marian Brown. And Sheriff Brown, you're one of the three law enforcement officials, the top three in Dallas. You were not invited in the President's event today. Of course, you happen to be black, all three of you happen to be black. The Police Chief of nearby Glenn Heights, who is also black though was invited. So why do you think the President didn't invite you?

SHERIFF MARIAN BROWN, DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS: Well, I'm not sure and so I can't speculate as to why I was not invited. But what I will say is that when you initiate a conversation and you purport that conversation to be about racism and policing in America and you fail to include the top three law enforcement officials in an area where you are speaking, I think that that says a lot and that causes one to raise the brow.

BURNETT: And to make the point, you're elected and you're a Democrat. But if the President had invited you, given that you are one of the top three law enforcement officials, would you have attended because of the nature of the conversation being about policing?

BROWN: I might have considered that simply because it is about policing.

BURNETT: So the President said at that event in Dallas that he's finalizing an executive order and he said it will 'encouraged police departments nationwide to meet the most current professional standards for the use of force, including tactics for de-escalation'. Do you have any idea as to what specifically he's talking about and do you think that there could be police reforms that come out of this president in this White House that could be good for Dallas?

BROWN: No, I don't have any information related to what specific initiatives he's talking about. But again, I say that if you're not getting information from the people who know about policing, if you're not getting their input, and if you're not sharing the information with them, then those are the very people who are going to be affected and those are the very people who can implement initiatives. Those are the very people who need to be included in the conversation.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time, Sheriff. Thank you so very much.

BROWN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And I want to go now to the Los Angeles Mayor, Democrat Eric Garcetti. And I appreciate your time, Mayor Garcetti. You just heard the conversation there with Sheriff of Dallas. The president is threatening your fellow mayor today, the Mayor of Seattle saying, "Take back your city now. If you don't do it, I will."

You just heard him talking about breaking up protesters outside the White House as a knife through butter. But in Seattle protesters have taken over part of the city. So if what's happening in Seattle were happening in L.A., how would you respond to the President? Would you welcome his words and intervention?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D) LOS ANGELES: No, it's political pyromania. This is not somebody who wants to lower the temperature or move progress forward. He wants to turn up the heat. The language that he uses is wrong. The healing energy is not there.

And he has power to do things today. It is his justice department that has not moved forward a single consent decree for police departments, something Los Angeles went through that made us better and helped us reduce fatal police shootings here. Be more community oriented, get more reflective police officers.

This is somebody who's more interested, I think, in scoring political points, in pointing out who he excludes and rather who he includes. And look, as long as he's our president, I always hold out hope at any moment that somebody can do the right thing and I would urge him to get out of his bunker, do the right thing and stop criticizing others when you have immense power to make change at this moment.

You're either going to meet this moment or miss this moment. And so far he's been missing it.

BURNETT: He got a lot of pushback for his call to dominate the streets and I just talked about he used the word dominate. He used the words knife through butter. Here is what he said tonight.


TRUMP: If you think about it, we're dominating the street with compassion, because we're saving lives and we're saving businesses. We're saving families from being wiped out after working hard for 20 and 30 years.


BURNETT: So he talked about dominating with compassion. Do those two words - is there any way that they go together in this context to dominate the streets with compassion, Mayor Garcetti?

GARCETTI: I don't think any of us who exercise compassion try to dominate with compassion. It just shows the heart of what this administration has been about. It's about winning at all costs. It's been about dividing us.


We Need to heal the soul of America right now. We need to step forward into a true multiracial democracy. And we need to look at compassion as something we understand when we listen to how African- Americans, not just with interactions with police departments, but grow up with less wealth, they're more likely to be sick, homeless, under educated, unemployed simply by where they are born and the color of their skin.

If we are serious about moving this entire country forward for all of us and I'm very optimistic there's common ground for the first time in a long time. It's time to actually do that and the federal government, which has the biggest budget of all, instead of giving tax cuts to the most wealthy people in America should be putting that into education, putting that into health care, mental health, putting that into community safety in new and reimagined ways, that would be true leadership.

BURNETT: So there have been calls across the country to defund the police, right? We just saw the signs in New York City. Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles is calling on you to cut the Los Angeles Police Department budget by 90 percent. And you say you don't support that, but you have talked about shifting money from the LAPD to black communities. Here's what President Trump said tonight, Mayor Garcetti, about defunding the police.


TRUMP: We'll take care of our police. We're not defunding police. If anything we're going to the other route. We're going to make sure that our police are well-trained, perfectly trained, they have the best equipment.


BURNETT: So he's making it clear that training and equipment cost money, maybe more money, whereas you're going to be cutting their budget, what's your response? GARCETTI: It's just a false dichotomy that the President put forward.

You can support public safety and reimagine it at the same time. You can make sure that the heroic moments where we need police officers to intervene to help people who have been the victims of violent crime or are caught in sex trafficking or a domestic violence situation are there.

But should we be putting our police officers on the line to solve mental health problems, to deal with homelessness, to solve what need investments in education, health care and social workers rather than just always putting that on the backs of our police officers. So I think he's fundamentally missing this point and missing this moment that this is something that Americans are calling out for every color to say, yes, of course, we want safe communities. We're proud of progress that's been made in many departments.

But still there's a fundamental different interaction that many Americans have with public safety and maybe there's a smarter way that's better for our police officers and for our public to look at the future.

BURNETT: So before the protests began, though, just to be to be clear, Mayor Garcetti, you had proposed a 7 percent spending increase for the LAPD. So now with the protest ...

GARCETTI: Now, the rate of inflation took up our police budget, but we actually were going to be 100 officers down. We've grown by 50 percent. Programs like our youth intervention while the police department has been the same or gone down in terms of the number of people budgets have all grown. Other parts of our budget grew by even more than that, for instance, our homelessness budget by more than 2,000 percent.

But this is a moment that we have to go even more. We have to accelerate even further. If people don't hear that on the streets, if they don't see that in America right now, they're missing this moment. So it's not an awakening, it's an acceleration and I think all leaders need to rise to the occasion certainly from the White House on down.

BURNETT: Mr. Garcetti, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.

GARCETTI: As always, thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, officers handcuffing two black teens for jaywalking. One of them placed under arrest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you putting handcuffs on my (inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All he was doing was jaywalking. We just want to talking with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: The attorney for the teens is OUTFRONT.

Plus, the former Head of the CDC with a sobering message for Americans tonight. The United States is failing in the fight against coronavirus, why and what could be the cost? He's OUTFRONT.

And an update on the 75-year-old protester who was shoved to the ground by police. His lawyer says tonight he has a brain injury.



BURNETT: New tonight, two black teens handcuffed. One of them even placed under arrest for jaywalking. The actions of two Tulsa police officers now under investigation. The scene captured by body camera video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) in the middle of the road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, man, don't do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not doing anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just chill out, bro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were you doing?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you guys doing? Why are you trying to choke him? Why are you trying to choke (inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one is choking him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're choking him, man. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody is choking him. Just chill out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why you got to - bro, chill out, bro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, man, (inaudible) why are you arresting him? Why are you putting handcuffs on him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you putting handcuffs on my (inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All he was doing was jaywalking. We just want to talk with him.


BURNETT: Unlike the first teen who you saw forced onto his stomach, the second teen is also handcuffed but without a struggle while standing. OUTFRONT now Damario Solomon-Simmons, he is the attorney for the two teens in that video.

And Damario, I appreciate your time. So obviously we're seeing there the 48 seconds as this was happening, this altercation, what can you tell us about the events leading up to the video?

DAMARIO SOLOMON-SIMMONS, ATTORNEY FOR TEENS HANDCUFFED FOR JAYWALKING: Well, Erin, thank you for having me on. What I can tell you is that these two young men were not doing anything illegal, wrong and they did not deserve what happened to them. They were simply walking over to a relative's home, minding their own business. They were not jaywalking. They had no reason for the police to contact them. They had no probable cause, it's an outrage.

BURNETT: So the mayor of Tulsa said in a statement and I want to quote, "I want every kid in Tulsa to feel safe to walk down the street in their neighborhood. No Tulsa kid should have to fear being tackled and cuffed for walking down the street. I've viewed that footage last night more as a parent than as a mayor."

He and the police department, they both say this incident is under investigation. So Damario, what do you think should happen to the officers or what would you hope happens to the officers?

SOLOMON-SIMMONS: Well, first of all, I will say that we need our Mayor to be a mayor and to lead and to discipline on these officers. We want these officers to be held accountable for their unconstitutional activity with these two young men.


These are 13-year-old kid and a 15-year-old kid who had unnecessary police contact. Erin, this is how this happens. This is how we see things go crazy with George Floyd or my client turns crutch who was shot with his hands up when you have this unnecessary police contact. So we would like to see accountability here. We want these officers to be disciplined. We want these charges, these bogus false charges to be dropped on my clients and we want the city to pay for my client's medical bills and his counseling.

BURNETT: So you raise the age of these young men, these boys, they're 13 and 15 years old. One of them accusing the officers of targeting because of his race we could hear in the video, but when we talk about the age of these kids I spoke last night to the son of Javier Ambler, right, the black man who died while being arrested by officers in Texas last year. Here is some of what his son told me.


Deavion Gamble, Son of Javier Ambler: I can't see a white officer in the uniform the same way. I can't see anything that was caused in my father's situation the same way. It makes me look at everything different. I don't wish this on nobody to lose their parent.


BURNETT: What message do you think is being sent and when you look at what happened to Javier Ambler, to young black men across this country, people like your clients?

SOLOMON-SIMMONS: Well the message that I hope has been sent to America that we need real police accountability and reform. We need the package of bills that is currently in front of the House of Representatives to pass and be signed into law. We need real accountability. We need this to stop, Erin, and more than anything else, that young man that you just play, hearing his sound, his voice, I've sensed so many homes and clients who've had the same feeling, including these young man.

Now, luckily and blessedly they were not killed, but they feel the same fear. Their lives would never be the same. They have PTSD. Their mother who's a hard working medical professional, working as an essential worker in COVID-19, she hasn't slept in a week. She is so fearful for her children.

This is something that is a epidemic, we know COVID-19 as a virus, but the largest long standing most deadly virus in American history is racism. Specifically anti black white supremacy and discrimination and we need that to end. We don't need any more videos of showing this trauma to black people, period.

BURNETT: Damario, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

SOLOMON-SIMMONS: Thank you so much, Erin. Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, health officials in Arizona say they're running out of ICU beds for coronavirus patients as the former director of the CDC warns the U.S. is failing. Dr. Tom Frieden is my guest.

Plus, America's top General apologizing for appearing with the President in that photo op at a church last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), it was a mistake.




BURNETT: New tonight, the U.S. is failing. That's the stark warning from the former Director of the CDC when it comes to stopping the spread of coronavirus. Thomas Frieden will be my guest in just a few moments. But first Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.



DR. LINDA BELL, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE: I am more concerned about COVID-19 in South Carolina than I have ever been before.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): She's not alone and South Carolina where the average daily case count just doubled inside of a week is also not alone.

In Texas, 2,100 were hospitalized yesterday. The highest number since this pandemic began.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are seeing the appearance of additional infections, particularly in the areas that are opening. If we handle them well, we could be OK. If not, then we really have a significant problem.


WATT(voice over): In Maricopa County, Arizona, a quarter of all of their COVID cases have come in just this past week.


MAYOR KATE GALLEGO (D) PHOENIX, ARIZONA: We have hit so many of the records you don't want to be hitting for COVID-19. From my perspective, we opened too much too early and so our hospitals are really struggling.


WATT(voice over): A reminder of how bad this virus can be, a woman in her 20s with COVID just had a double lung transplant, a first.


HOSPITAL: She smiled and told me just one sentence. She said, "Doc, thank you for not giving up on me."


WATT(voice over): Those well known University of Washington modelers now say the daily death toll across the country will drop in June and July, stabilize in August, then rise sharply. By October one, they now project that nearly 170,000 Americans will be dead, killed by COVID.


DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: And we won't be done. We'll have many, many more months to go. It's really stunning to me that we have this much suffering and death and we're just not doing enough about it.


WATT(voice over): But what can we do as individuals?


ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMIN., CNTRS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: If you get the majority of people wearing masks, the virus really has no place to go.


WATT(voice over): Take this hair salon in Missouri whose six stylists potentially exposed 140 people to the virus, but none of them has since tested positive. Officials think that might be because everyone wore masks.


SLAVITT: If President Trump did one thing, if he wore a mask and encouraged his supporters to wear a mask for three weeks straight, we would be sitting here four weeks from now, five weeks from now, six weeks from now with much of this virus behind us.



WATT: Now, here in Los Angeles County, we have seen our case count nearly double this past month but tomorrow, gyms, museums, movie theaters, zoos, movie production will all reopen. But this could be key, in Los Angeles County, masks were, are and will continue to be mandatory whenever you leave your house, Erin.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, Nick. Thank you very much.

And I want to go OUTFRONT now to former director of the CDC under President Obama, Thomas Frieden.

And, Tom, it's good to have you with. Look, you've been very blunt here with your warnings. Why do you think the United States is failing in how it is right now fighting coronavirus?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: I think we can make a lot more progress. We work in my organization around the world and we see the best practices. And the places that are trusting public health, that are guided by public health and supporting public health are starting their economies sooner and safer.

We need to track a different set of measurements than we're tracking now. We need metrics that matter so we can start safer. And that includes simple things like what was the amount of time between when someone felt sick and they got isolated.

This isn't about shutting everyone down. This is about shutting the virus down. If we do that better, we can start safer, get our economy back, and not have a big resurgence of the virus.

BURNETT: And that's exactly what you think is about to happen. I mean, certainly, we've obviously seen hospitalization rates go up. But is that what you think we're seeing right now, a resurgence or an emergence in certain parts of the country that had not seen it really in a major way before?

FRIEDEN: We're seeing very different trends in different parts of the U.S. and it's important to look past the case numbers. We're only diagnosing 10 percent, maybe 20 percent of all the cases.

So, looking at changes in numbers without looking at trends, percent positive, trends in positivity, where those positive cases are, what the diagnostic criteria are, you're not going to get a good understanding of what's happening.

But there are at least a half dozen case -- states in the U.S. where cases are increasing and we have to take steps to protect people. That means boxing the virus in, testing those with symptoms, protecting the congregate facilities, the hospital, our health care workers, contact tracing.


FRIEDEN: So we warn people that they've been exposed and quarantining contacts so that the virus is in its place and we can get out into the open more.

BURNETT: So, you know, Dr. Ashish Jha, you know, he's in the piece, I know you know him. He -- director of the Global Harvard Health Institute.

He said that we could see another 100,000 deaths by the end of the summer. That would be, you know, the three -- you have the surge, right? The epidemic. Everything was shut down. You had 100,000 deaths in that time.

He's saying in about the same amount of time, you could have the same amount of death. That's a pretty damning thing to say.

Do you think that that's possible?

FRIEDEN: Anyone who predicts what's going to happen with this virus more than a few weeks out really doesn't know much about this virus. What we can say and what we released today is unfortunately and inevitably, within a month, there will be a total of at least 128,000 deaths in the U.S. That's from the people already infected.

What we do know is that models should change what we do. Models aren't about predicting how many people are going to die like some gruesome lottery. Models are about saying if we do this, we can do much better, if more people wear mask.

The three W's, wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. If we can do those things, we can reduce the spread.

And that kind of specific study of what's going on with the virus, when there are exposures, where is it spreading so we can go in and reduce that risk. That's what public health does. It is a road to reopening more safely, Erin.

BURNETT: So, President Trump has spoken about this differently. Obviously, you know, you talk about in that piece hearing if you would just wear a mask. Of course, everyone's been saying that.

Here's what he said less than one week ago about the virus.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We may have some embers or some ashes or we may have some flames coming, but we'll put them out. We'll stomp them out. We understand this now. We'll stomp them out and we'll stomp them out very, very powerfully.


BURNETT: So, what do you say to that? There may be embers or ashes, we may have some flames coming, but we'll just stomp them out.

FRIEDEN: Well, that's what we should be able to do, with strategic testing, effective isolation, complete contact tracing and effective quarantine, supporting patients, supporting contacts, warning people they've been exposed. That is what we should be able to do.

But to do that we need to scale up the systems.


FRIEDEN: We need to monitor the right things. Are we testing the right people at the right time and doing the right thing? If we do that, we can start safer without having increase in cases.

BURNETT: Of course, should -- right. And should is not are. You know, you also have not just the president not wearing a mask but Vice President Pence who leads the coronavirus task force tweeted and then deleted this picture. I'll show it in case you haven't seen it, Tom, of himself and Trump campaign staffers. People are not social distancing. People are not wearing face masks.


What kind of message does -- does this send?

FRIEDEN: When all of us wear a mask, particularly indoors when you're within six feet of somebody else in a community where there's COVID spreading, when all of us wear a mask in that situation, all of us are safer. It's the responsible thing to do.

BURNETT: So, are enough people wearing masks when you look at the protests around the country to make you think that there won't be a surge because of protests or not?

FRIEDEN: When we look at the protests, there are things that make us worried and things that are a little reassuring. They're outdoors. Spread outdoors is by one estimate 19 times less likely than spread indoors. Most people, overwhelming majority, were wearing masks -- helpful.

On the other hand we've seen tear gas, people coughing, people kettled into small locations, people arrested and in jails where we know it's indoors, lots of potential for spread.

But the bigger concern is, do we have the systems -- protest or no protest, do we have the systems in place to track whether we're really doing the right thing?

There are very few places around the country that are publicly reporting the kind of data that we think the public deserves to know whether it's local health department, whether the state health department is doing what it needs to do to keep them safe.

BURNETT: All right. Tom Frieden, thank you very much. Sobering warning of how far --

FRIEDEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: -- how far we need to go, how much more vigilant to be. Thank you.

And next, the nation's top general apologizing for taking part in Trump's church photo-op after those peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared like a knife through butter, as the president said.

Plus, a disturbing update on the health of a 75-year-old man. You know this image, right? Who was shoved to the ground by police in Buffalo, the man that the president said, you know, fell harder than he was pushed, sort of asking, trying to get pushed over by police. Well, his good friend is my guest and this update unfortunately is not what you would want to hear.



BURNETT: Tonight, the nation's top general is apologizing, apologizing for appearing in that photo-op with President Trump. You see him there, following the forceful dispersal of the peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square last week. Here he is.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEF CHAIRMAN: I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved and domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, former U.S. Army commanding general, CNN military analyst.

And, General, I appreciate your time tonight.

General Milley's apology -- look, when he made the apology, he decided to make it, right? He came out straight to camera, said he made a mistake, said he was wrong. That follows Mark Esper distancing himself from the photo-op. How significant is this public clear apology from General Milley?

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), FORMER ARMY COMMANDING GENERAL, EUROPE AND SEVENTH ARMY: I believe it was very significant, Erin, and it was extremely forceful. His words were succinct and direct. And it was a tough thing given the audience he was talking to.

But it was more than just the graduates of the National War College and Industrial Colleges of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University. He was basically talking to the American people as well, reminding them of what the requirements are of a professional soldier in a democratic republic.

BURNETT: Right, right. And he made a mistake, and when he made it, owning. But I guess the question for you then is, how tenable is it General Hertling for General Milley and Secretary Esper, you know, to continue serving in their positions following these public breaks with the commander-in-chief?

HERTLING: Yes, it's going to be tough, Erin, no doubt about it, you know? What you have to consider, what is General Milley's role?

And many Americans don't understand his position as the chairman of the joint chiefs. He not only represents the military. He doesn't command any military forces. He is the represented of the military as the head of the joint staff.

But he also is the key person that provides guidance to the president and to the secretary of defense and the other members of the National Security Council. So, he probably has lost a great deal of credentials with the president that tends to get pissed off very easily and doesn't take advice readily anyway. So, I think he has probably lost a little bit of credibility with the president, but he's reminded the members of the military of what their responsibilities are to the Constitution.

And that is to obey that Constitution and live under the guidance that's in their oath.

BURNETT: So, Vice President Biden said that if President Trump lost the election but refused to leave office -- these are obviously major hypotheticals -- but Biden continued to say he is convinced the military would escort the president out of the White House. What's your reaction to that?

HERTLING: Yes, I saw that comment this morning too and cringed a little bit. What I would say is first of all it's sad that we even have to be in a position that we might be debating and discussing the possibility of such actions. But secondly, it's really the requirement of the American people to hold the president responsible for giving up office. And that's exhibited through the court system, the Congress, and the Department of Justice.

The military doesn't get involved in removing people from position. That happens in dictatorships. What we would have is a peaceful transfer of power, hopefully. That's what we've always experienced. But if not, there's other ways to force a president out of office.

BURNETT: All right. Well, General, I appreciate your time. It is good to see you.

HERTLING: Good to see you too, Erin.

BURNETT: And next the 75-year-old man who was shoved to ground by police in Buffalo now we understand has a brain injury and his friend is going to join me next.

Plus, how George Floyd's death became a turning point in the debate over Confederate symbols and names.



BURNETT: Tonight, Martin Gugino, he is the 75-year-old protester that you see there, when he fell backwards after being pushed, he was seen bleeding from the head. He has a brain injury now. According to his attorney, he remains in the hospital.

His attorney says he's looking forward to healing, trying to figure out what his new normal might look like.

OUTFRONT, Terrence Bisson, a friend of Martin Gugino's.

And, Terrence, look, I'm really sorry to, you know, hear this. I knew he had been in the ICU and got out and we all were thinking he was doing a lot better. I know you're a close work friend of his. You've been getting regular updates.

You know, what's going through your head when you hear his brain is injured after that push to the ground in the protest?

TERRENCE BISSON, FRIEND OF MARTIN GUGINO, PROTESTER SHOWED TO GROUND BY POLICE: Yes, well, fortunately the -- we were so happy to hear in the first part of the announcement that he was able to do physical therapy and that he was feeling better than he felt so that part of the announcement, when we heard that, we were very happy.


And we're hearing these announcements, we can't inquire after his health from the hospital really.

So we get our news through a friend of his who is representing him, Kelly Zarcone. And she, you know, we know that she's concerned for Martin and sympathetic with his situation.

And -- well, if you -- if you read the tributes to Martin, they stress always that he's extremely thoughtful person.


BISSON: And that he's honest. So when he says he knows that he is not back to normal, that's not the surprise -- that's not a surprise to us, that he would say that, and that he would accept what will be will be in his situation. But, you know, it's heartbreaking, of course.

BURNETT: You know --

BISSON: We hope he will recover, that's all we can say.

BURNETT: I mean, yes, you know, President Trump, of course, tweeted that unfounded conspiracy theory that Martin was Antifa, that his fall could have been a, quote, "setup" that he fell harder than he was pushed. It was an awful thing.

You know, what's your reaction to this? The press secretary says the president has the right to ask those questions, the president of the United States, you know, about your friend who was out there protesting. What's your reaction to that, Terrence?

BISSON: It's sort of ridiculous that the president of the United States who has better resources of information at his fingertips, should ask such crazy questions. I mean, if he wanted to know the history of Martin Gugino, he could find that out easily.

Martin Gugino, my job as I see it as his friend is just to make sure that people understand what kind of -- what he was doing and what Black Lives Matter is to him. And what he's going to continue to do to the best of his ability when he's right. You know, he'll live as a thoughtful, consistent person who will speak out and who will not have a -- he doesn't wan to have a spotlight on him. He just wants to stand with him. So --

BURNETT: Terrence, I really appreciate you taking the time. Obviously, we're all really sorry to hear this development. But hopefully this is something -- it will take time, but he'll be able to have that full recovery. And I thank you, Terrence.

BISSON: Yeah, thank you.

BURNETT: And next, President Trump now up against members of his own party as the debate over removing Confederate symbols intensifies.



BURNETT: Tonight, the long debate over removing Confederate symbols. Is this nation at a turning point?

Abby Phillip is OUTFRONT.


PROTESTERS: Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: A national reckoning on race could now mean the end for the last remaining symbols of America's dark history of slavery.

In cities across the South, statues venerating military leaders of the Confederacy are crashing down. After the killing of George Floyd, protests have swept the nation, and prompted fresh soul-searching.

MARC MORIAL, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: I believe it is a sea change. It's a long overdue movement against hate and racism in this country.

PHILLIP: It's the very issue that drew a group of white protesters and militia members to Charlottesville, Virginia, nearly three years ago. But today, a massive shift.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to heal, ladies and gentlemen.

PHILLIP: Virginia's governor seeking to remove an enormous landmark that commemorates the Confederate Army Commander Robert E. Lee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a man of his time to fought to continue the enslavement of black people. And in so doing, set our nation on a course towards destruction.

PHILLIP: The Marine Corps banning the display of the Confederate flag, and even NASCAR following suit, saying fans will no longer be allowed to fly that flag in the stands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So, it starts with Confederate flags out of here.

PHILLIP: The changes are also sweeping through pop culture. On Thursday, the popular country group Lady Antebellum announcing they changed their name to Lady A, telling their fans, we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization, that the name referred to the pre-Civil War period that included slavery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've been brave so long, Miss Scarlet.

PHILLIP: HBO Max saying it has temporarily removed the film "Gone with the Wind" and will return it putting that period of history into context.

And now, a push from military leaders to strip the names of rebel generals from military bases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have an emotional attachment to the names of those bases.

PHILLIP: Former Army General David Petraeus writing, it is time to remove the names of traitors like Benning and Bragg from our country's most important military installations.

But there is also staunch resistance, beginning with president Trump, who tweeted the bases represent a history of winning, victory and freedom and he would not even consider renaming them.

Trump, warning his party not to fall for a bipartisan amendment introduced in the Senate to remove the Confederate names. But it may be too late as some Republican lawmakers say the time for change has come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want to forget what's happened in the past. But at the same time, that doesn't mean that we should continue with those bases, with the names of individuals who fought against our country.

PHILLIP: Abby Phillip, CNN, Washington.


BURNETT: And thanks very much to Abby and thanks to all of you as always.

"ANDERSON COOPER 360" with Anderson starts now.