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Trump Defiant As Cultural Change Sweeps America; Another Man Dead After Telling Police He Couldn't Breathe; An Inside Look At Houston Schools As They Plan For Reopening. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 12, 2020 - 05:30   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racists or bigots.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A defiant president doubling down on his culture war in the face of sweeping demands for change nationwide.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And another case of a black man killed after telling police he couldn't breathe. Now, one city takes actions to end a police tactic that led to an EMT's death.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans this Friday morning. It's exactly 30 minutes past the hour.

And we begin with this. The more America embraces change, the harder President Trump fights it. It was a populist wave that swept the president into office but he doesn't seem to see the one crashing down around him right now. As Republicans and Democrats work to find common ground on police reform President Trump denies systemic racism even exists.


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.


JARRETT: Quietly but consistently, some of the president's closest allies are starting to abandon him with their own jobs on the line in November.

A GOP-led Senate panel passed an amendment to rename military bases currently named for Confederate generals. Only two Republicans oppose that idea. But the president is still refusing to even entertain the idea even though his own defense secretary was open to it.

ROMANS: And for the second time in two weeks, a top military official expressing regret for his role in the debacle at Lafayette Park. Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's most fierce defenders, backing the apology in substance and spirit. Even with growing pushback to the president's strongman tactics, he's not given up stoking a culture war.


TRUMP: I made the statements we have to dominate the street and they said oh, that's such a terrible thing. Well, guess what -- you know who dominated the streets? People that you don't want to dominate the streets, and look at the damage they did.

So, I'll stick with that and I think most of the people in this room -- maybe every person in this room will stick with that. And we're doing it with compassion if you think about it. We're dominating the street with compassion.


JARRETT: Corporate America is making changes. Even NASCAR moved to ban the Confederate flag, a move unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

The president, though, is so thirsty for approval from his base he can't even count on Fox anymore. This week, he relied on a fringe right-wing media group to spread a baseless conspiracy about an elderly protester in Buffalo who was shoved to the ground by police. Martin Gugino is about to start physical therapy for a brain injury.

So as much of America moves in one direction, the president, though, is still holding on to this idealized past that he hopes will carry him to victory in November.

ROMANS: Now, there are some areas of agreement emerging this morning on the issue of police reform. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy says he supports the Democrats' proposed ban on police chokeholds.

President Trump making his first appearance on the matter in Texas, without a mask, despite a big uptick in Covid-19 cases around the state. Now, the president says executive action is being planned on excessive force and other steps include economic development and tackling health care disparities in minority communities.

JARRETT: The president, though, offered very few specifics on reform -- no tangible ideas. He had this to say on Fox about policing.


TRUMP: The sad thing is that they are very professional. But when you see an event like that with the more than eight minutes of horror -- that's eight minutes of horror -- it's a disgrace. And then people start saying well, are all police like that? They

don't know? Maybe they don't think about it that much. It doesn't make any difference.

The fact is they start saying well, police are like that. Police aren't like that.


JARRETT: It's also important to note who wasn't invited to President Trump's event on justice disparities on Thursday -- three key officials -- the region's police chief, sheriff, and district attorney -- all of whom happen to be black.

ROMANS: All right, disturbing new video of a black man who died shortly after a violent arrest in Oklahoma. Now, this video shows some of what happened when three Oklahoma City officers arrested Derrick Scott. They were responding to a call that a black man was arguing with individuals and brandishing a gun.

Now, body camera footage shows Scott appearing to cooperate with police by putting his hands in the air -- both hands in the air -- just before he turns and runs.




SCOTT: OK, well --

POLICE OFFICER: Get your hands behind your back.


TIPTON: Get your hands out of your pockets.


POLICE OFFICER: Give me -- no.


POLICE OFFICER: I'm going to tase you.

SCOTT: I can't breathe, please.

TIPTON: I got it, I got it.


JARRETT: Nearly a minute later, one female officer can be heard yelling he's acting like he's unconscious. One hour after Derrick Scott was taken into custody he was dead. [05:35:03]

CNN talked to his mother and said he had asthma. According to the medical examiner's report, Scott's manner of death was undetermined.

ROMANS: All right.

Louisville's Metro Council has unanimously voted to ban no-knock search warrants. That's the warrant used by police who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home in March during a narcotics investigation. The man police actually wanted wasn't even there -- was miles away.

The measure will be known as Breonna's Law.

Here's Breonna's mom on CNN last night.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: What do you think Breonna would think about what's happening?

TAMIKA PALMER, BREONNA TAYLOR'S MOTHER: She would be amazed to see the world changing.


ROMANS: The change requires all Louisville Metro officers to be equipped with an operational body camera when executing a warrant. None of the three officers involved in the case has been charged.

JARRETT: Well, if you want to attend the president's rally next Friday some strings are going to be attached. The Trump campaign making rallygoers RSVP for the event and agree not to sue the campaign if they later contract coronavirus. Covid cases in Oklahoma had been declining but spiked again in the last two weeks.

ROMANS: It's unclear what safety measures will be in place for this rally. Oklahoma's governor recommends people minimize time in crowded environments but doesn't place limits on group gatherings.

The White House also pushing back on criticism over the rally date -- June 19th, known as Juneteenth. That marks the end of slavery in the U.S. And the location, Tulsa. Tulsa was the site of a 1921 massacre, one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history.

JARRETT: All right. Still coming up, come this fall, will your kids be in front of a screen or in a classroom or some mix of both? What changes await when they get there? New insight from some cities and states.



ROMANS: All right. Millions of Americans are out of work, coronavirus cases are rising, and a key model estimates a spike in the fall. But, Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin says pushing the pause button on the economy is not an option.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: We can't shut down the economy again. I think we've learned that if you shut down the economy you're going to create more damage. And not just economic damage, but there are other areas -- and we've talked about this -- of medical problems and everything else that get put on hold.


ROMANS: Mnuchin said another trillion dollars will be pumped into the economy over the next month. He reiterated the next round of funding from the Cares Act will focus on some of the hardest-hit industries, including travel, entertainment, restaurants.

And the Treasury secretary said he expects the restaurant industry to take up a bunch of the remaining funding from that Paycheck Protection Program.

Earlier this week, Mnuchin told Congress he has continued to loosen the rules of that PPP program but he does not ever plan on releasing the names of the borrowers to the public. That's drawing an outcry about transparency of taxpayer money being pumped into the economy.

JARRETT: Yes, that's pretty interesting.

Well, more and more cities are deciding what school will look like in the fall. Rhode Island and Vermont plan to have full in-person classes. New York City's mayor says schools should prepare for a mix of in-person and online classes.

And, CNN got a firsthand look at changes in store for Houston where Covid hospitalizations are at their highest to date. Here is Bianna Golodryga.



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (voice-over): This is how students are Harvard Elementary School in Houston, and likely other schools across the country, will be greeted when doors eventually reopen --

LATHAN: Ninety-seven, seven.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): -- mandatory temperature checks.

Next, they follow a carefully marked path to the PPE station where each student is given their own face mask that must be worn throughout the day.

Interim Houston superintendent Grenita Lathan, who oversees the largest school district in Texas with about 210,000 students, has quite literally weathered many past storms.

LATHAN: I want to remind people we're still recovering from 2017 when Hurricane Harvey hit. And now, we're being hit by Covid-19.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): But safely reopening schools in the middle of a pandemic is no doubt her biggest challenge yet.

LATHAN: This virus has stumped me -- I will tell you the truth.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): She gave CNN a firsthand look at just how daunting that challenge is by walking us through the city's oldest school to show us how educators, together with health officials, are preparing guidelines for what students and teachers can expect to see when they return.

LATHAN: So this is one of our classrooms.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Classrooms will be significantly smaller with two or even one student per table.

LATHAN: As we think about having just about 11 students in a classroom at a time.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Cafeterias will be less crowded with some meals served in classrooms instead. Those familiar tables meant to seat a large group will now be used by just a few students at a time.

LATHAN: Initially, I believe it's going to be a prepackaged lunch.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Hallway traffic will be regulated and instead of students filing out together when that bell rings, it will be teachers transitioning from class to class.

And then there's the question about recess.

LATHAN: Recess will look differently, and the way it will look is we will have a reduced number of students out on the playground. We'll need to make sure that we're cleaning all of our playground equipment throughout the day.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): It's a blueprint being modeled in other large school districts, including for the two million students in Los Angeles. The L.A. County Office of Education released its guidelines that include staggered days, one-way hallways, and solo play.


It's not just schools that are being refitted. Approximately 480,000 school buses transport more than 25 million students to and from school each day across the country. This is how social distancing will look for many of those passengers.

LATHAN: As you can see, we've labeled our seats so where we would space students out.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): All of this change comes with a hefty price tag.

GOLODRYGA (on camera): We can figure in schools, we can figure in school buses. All of this costs a lot of money. How does this play out in the end?

MICHAEL CASSERLY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COUNCIL OF THE GREAT CITY SCHOOLS: Well, a little bit of federal money is starting to come down to take care of at least some of those initial costs. But on the horizon, it is costs that are much, much larger.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Most experts envision the school year beginning with a hybrid of both online and in-person classes. The priority, they say, is opening their doors for the most vulnerable.

CASSERLY: We're most worried about students who are economically disadvantaged, students who are English language learners, students with disabilities, and students who don't have Internet at home.

GOLODRYGA (on camera): We're seeing this backdrop of that playground and I'm sure children will be seeing that and say I want to go back to school. I want to see my friends.

What is your message to those kids and their families?

LATHAN: To be patient. Allow us an opportunity to finalize our plan to ensure that students can be on the playground, they can be in the classroom, in our cafeteria, on our buses. But just to be patient with us.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): For CNN, Bianna Golodryga, New York.


JARRETT: All right, thanks to Bianna for that story.

We will be right back.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

The Republican National Committee has voted to make no changes to its platform from the 2016 to the 2020 election -- a cautionary tale of the dangers in a copy and paste job. Some of the language in the platform is highly critical of the quote "current administration and current president." That language was, of course, written to insult President Obama -- but as the current occupant of the White House, it means President Trump.

As it stands now, the platform includes more than three dozen unflattering references to the person in power at the White House. And big business is committing big bucks to combat racism in America. The NFL now pledging $250 million over the next decade. The league says it will work with players to support programs that address criminal justice and police reform, and economic and educational advancement.

And, Apple and YouTube are each committing $100 million to combat racism. Apple plans to invest in education and criminal justice reform. YouTube hopes to amplify the voices of black creators and artists.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Friday morning. Global markets trying to stabilize after yesterday's big sell-off. You can see European shares have bounced here. On Wall Street, futures are also higher here.

Thursday was an epic reality check for investors who have been flying high. It was the worst day since mid-March after a sober assessment from the Federal Reserve and crossing the milestone of the two millionth case of coronavirus in the U.S.

The Dow closed down 1,800 points -- down below 26,000. The S&P down nearly six percent. These are huge one-day gains. The Nasdaq -- one- day losses, rather. The Nasdaq, which recorded three record highs this week, closed 5.3 percent lower.

Microsoft says it will not sell facial recognition technology to police departments in the U.S. until there is a federal law to regulate it. Earlier this week, both IBM and Amazon announced limits on their facial recognition services. Microsoft's decision puts pressure on lawmakers to respond to protests around the country focusing on racial injustice and police brutality.

Studies have shown racial recognition algorithms frequently misidentify minorities and people of color.

Nike has joined the growing list of companies making Juneteenth an annual paid company holiday. Nike's CEO acknowledged while Nike has relied on black athletes to build its brand, the company's culture may not be as welcoming to black employees.

Twitter, Square, and Vox Media also plan to make that day a paid holiday for employees.

Nike said it also plans to set targets to diversify its workforce with a focus on black, Latino, and women.

JARRETT: All right.

Well, we end with some good news for country music fans. Garth Brooks is coming to a drive-in theater near you.


GARTH BROOKS, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Singing "Callin' Baton Rouge."


JARRETT: The legend is announcing plans for a one-night live concert on June 27th to be broadcast at 300 drive-in theaters across the country. The exact locations will be revealed on Monday. The tickets will cost $100.

Drive-in concerts are popping up everywhere -- in Europe, in the U.S. Keith Urban and DJ D-Nice were among the first major artists to do drive-in shows.

ROMANS: What a great idea. I'd go to that.

JARRETT: Absolutely. A good way to spend the summer.

ROMANS: Good, old-fashioned fun.

All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You're seeing Republicans and Democrats try to hammer out some kind of answer for the demands for police reform. There is an executive order in the works at the White House.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The idea of someone that would have a chokehold when somebody is handcuffed or others, there should be severe consequences.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We will not rest until it becomes the law. We will not rest until the changes are made.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By October one, they now project that nearly 170,000 Americans will be dead, killed by Covid.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: We are seeing the appearance of additional infections, particularly in the areas that are opening.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, June 12th. It's 6:00 here in New York.

And this morning we wake up to a new list of changes -- big changes taking place across the country. Changes that have been decades and decades in the making. Changes that now seem to be coming in a wave in just weeks. A Republican-led Senate panel approved a plan to remove Confederate names from military bases. Louisville voted to ban no-knock warrants blamed for Breonna Taylor being fatally shot by police. More and more members of Congress, including the top House Republican, are coming out in support of a ban on police chokeholds.

The country group Lady Antebellum changed its name to Lady A, saying they're embarrassed.