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GBI: Brooks Appeared To Point Taser At Police Before Being Shot; Inside Seattle Overtaken By Protesters And Free From Police; Trump Reschedules Tulsa Rally "Out Of Respect" For Juneteenth; Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) Is Interviewed About Trump Rescheduling Tulsa Rally And On Potential VP Picks For Biden; Protesters Marching In Brooklyn For 19th Day; CDC Warns Pandemic Not Over. Aired on 4-5p ET

Aired June 13, 2020 - 16:00   ET



CHERYL DORSEY, RETIRED LAPD SERGEANT: Well, there's some things that are unknown. First of all, what is the distance between the officers and the person who was shot? Would the -- would he be able to reasonably reach an officer if he fired the Taser, first of all. Is the Taser even operable? You know, there are so many things that we don't know.

Now, listen, a Taser is not a deadly instrument for officers, and so what comes to mind as I'm listening is that perhaps maybe the officers could have set up a perimeter. This is something that we did all the time when I was working patrol as an officer and as a supervisor. When someone would flee, you set up a perimeter and you give a description and direction of travel and you try to contain that person.

And so if this is just a matter of, he's got my Taser, I get why you're mad and maybe a little embarrassed that that could happen, but was it necessary to use deadly force against someone who's running away from you with your Taser?

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: So, based on the investigation and where it goes moving forward, we heard the director say he wants it to be thorough but expeditious. What would that look like?

DORSEY: Well, they're going to take their time because, listen, this is a hot button issue right now, and you know, there's a certain element out there who think police should never use deadly force. Deadly force is inherent to police work, and so they're going to do their job and they're going to be thorough and they're going to ask everyone that needs to be asked about their participation, involvement, what they know, what they saw.

And at the end of the day, they're going to have to make a determination as to whether or not the officers had other alternatives, like I said, set up a perimeter, contain him. I don't know if this was a matter of them just wanting to punish in young man because he had their Taser and he's running. Did they have other alternatives?

And so those are the questions that come to mind for me right now, not having seen anything, hearing this for the very first time, along with you. But it sounds like there were other alternatives that the officers may have had an opportunity to deploy.

CABRERA: And just to remind our viewers, this all began, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, with a call to this Wendy's for somebody who was reportedly potentially inebriated and sleeping in the car of a drive-through and was interfering with the business at that Wendy's was having.

So, Natasha, now we have the Georgia NAACP branch calling for Atlanta's police chief, Erika Shields, to be terminated immediately. Is there any update on that?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is not at this time, and in fact, some of the protesters that we saw outside of the Wendy's location were specifically chanting about, where is the mayor on this? Where is the police chief on this? They were really hoping to hear from the city, and I think the NAACP here also echoed those sentiments.

They're really questioning this silence so far that they're getting from city leaders. So, we're waiting to see how that may play out. We may hear from city leaders throughout the day, and we, of course, have asked for a response from the mayor's office as well. One person who did show up, a city leader came to the Wendy's location, had a conversation with protesters, and that was council member Joyce Shepherd.

Now, she talked to the protesters about what she saw in the videos that have been circulating. From what she sees, it is her opinion, she said, that this man did not need to be shot. That is her strong opinion, that this did not need to happen.

And in her conversation with the protesters who asked her specifically about the issue of defunding police, a phrase you've heard throughout the country over the last couple of weeks, it was the council member's position that we need law enforcement to, of course, handle crime in the community, but that there needs to be serious reform, and she is pointing to a task force here in Atlanta that is designed to do just that.

CABRERA: OK, Natasha Chen and Cheryl Dorsey, thank you both for being here with me, ladies.

In the meantime, this is happening on day 19 of the protests following the death of George Floyd. Let's go to Seattle now and CNN's Dan Simon.

And, Dan, protesters have set up, I guess, a kind of -- I don't know, you describe what it looks like in this part of the city.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Ana. We are in the heart of the occupation area or the Capitol Hill autonomous zone, as protesters have called it.

Let's show you what things look like. It has this sort of street festival vibe. You can see all these folks here on the street, and that is the police station that has effectively been taken over by the protesters. You can maybe see the graffiti there on the sign where it says, the Seattle people department.

And this has been going on since Monday. As you know, you had violent clashes taking place in Seattle between some of the protesters and police, tear gas was deployed. It was a really ugly situation. And the city made the calculated decision that they were going to try to de- escalate the situation.


So they left, and that created a vacuum, and that vacuum was filled with protesters.

The mayor seems to be in no hurry to want -- to get this situation to end. She is saying that this is an expression of democracy and she's advanced no plans in terms of how or when this occupation might end. In the meantime, I want you to hear from one protester we spoke with who is responding to some of the fiery rhetoric from President Trump, and you're also going to hear from a police officer who has acknowledged that the Department has made some mistakes. Take a look.


MARK HENRY, JR., PROTESTER: I'm not scared of Donald Trump, no, and I'm not scared of this these police officers either. We're going to stay outside this building whether they come here or not. We're going to take this building over whether they're outside threatening us or not. We're about to fight to them on their front lines and push their line back. We're not afraid of them.

LT. TAMMY FLOYD, SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We want to die like we want to communicate, right? But if the public is so angry at us, how do we start that? How do we do better? People expect better. We need to be better.


SIMON: Now, Ana, in terms of what these protesters want, there is a whole laundry list of demands. But among the primary things, this will sound familiar, they want to see the police department defunded, but they also want to see this police precinct turned into a community center.

Now, one of the problems that has arisen as a result of protesters filling this area and the officers leaving that precinct is that according to the chief of the department, it has increased the response time, triple. So in other words, what used to take five minutes to respond to a situation or a police call in this area is now taking 15 minutes. So that is worrisome, and that's why the chief wants to see this situation come to an end as quickly as possible -- Ana.

CABRERA: OK, Dan Simon in Seattle, thank you. President Trump gave the commencement address at West Point today. It

comes after he did an about face regarding his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week. That rally was originally scheduled for June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery. Now the rally is scheduled for June 20th, the following day.

CNN's Kristen Holmes joins us from Bridgewater, New Jersey.

And, Kristen, earlier in the week, the president defended holding a rally on that date. Do we know what went into this decision to change the date?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, a lot of political pressure went into the decision. I want to note a couple of things. It was not just that Juneteenth date. That was a huge part of it, but it also was the location, and full disclosure, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is also my hometown, and it is the location of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the country.

Back in 1921, hundreds of African-Americans who lived there were killed in a days-long race riot when a white mob tore through what was then the most successful black community in all of America, and in some ways, this city never fully recovered, and certainly not the African-American community there. So it was this combination of both the day and the location that led to this political backlash and it was a swift backlash.

Now, as you said, President Trump originally doubled down. He said that the day was significant, that people should view this rally as a celebration of Juneteenth, but since said last night -- and we have heard that this was a last-minute decision. It was made shortly before he tweeted this out. But said that he had heard from black supporters and friends that were black who had encouraged him to possibly change the date out of respect, and that is why he ended up doing so.

And we really want to note here, this is a rare reversal for President Trump. As we've seen over the last four-plus years, when the president is criticized for something, he almost always doubles down on it, which, again, is what he originally did, but this marks a noted shift here in his response, and we have to take a look at this over the overall backdrop of what we've seen.

President Trump has really not issued any sort of meaningful message on unity and racial issues in America at a time where this is a country in crisis. There is a real reckoning over race in the country right now, and we still have not heard President Trump really address that in any way -- Ana.

CABRERA: And the president is still not backing off his refusal to rename military bases that are named after Confederate leaders.

HOLMES: Well, that's right, and he doubled down on that. Now we're at a position in which these top military officials don't really know the next steps. There had been a conversation which we had learned that these top officials were willing to have a bipartisan conversation on the renaming of these Army bases, but it looks like that just is not going to happen.

Now, after the president surprised officials by tweeting out that he was completely opposed to any sort of renaming, Ana.

CABRERA: OK, Kristen Holmes, traveling with the president this weekend -- thank you.

Joining us now is the highest-ranking African-American in Congress, the House Majority Whip, Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Congressman, always good to have you with us. Thank you for being here.

First, your reaction to the president changing the date of his rally.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC), HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Well, thank you very much for having me.

Well, I think that cooler heads have prevailed. I have no idea who the possessors of those cooler heads are, but Juneteenth means something. It is a demonstration once again of the failure to communicate because the fact of the matter is, Emancipation Proclamation became effective January 1, 1863. Juneteenth occurred in 1865, two years and a half later.

It means that the failure to communicate allowed a whole group of people in the state of Texas to stay in slavery for another two and a half years after they were freed. And so that is a very sensitive issue with the African-American community, and I am now pleased that somebody in the White House understood that. Not to mention the fact that Tulsa is where the -- maybe the most horrendous racial riot to ever take place, and that racial riot was directed by white people against black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

And to have such callous disregard for that sensitive part of our history, something was a bit much for many of us to take, so I'm pleased that somebody either in the White House, some influencer of the White House, prevailed and they changed their minds about this, and I am very pleased about that. I would hope that they -- I'm sorry?

CABRERA: Please go ahead.

CLYBURN: I would hope that the same kind of thought process would get into Jacksonville. Remember, I'm a student of those cities of the 1960s. I remember Ax Handle Day in Jacksonville. I remember sitting at lunch counters in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

I remember Lester Maddox, the governor of Georgia, wielding ax handles against peaceful demonstrators, and anybody that will do something on the anniversary of Ax Handle Day in Jacksonville, Florida, that, to me, sends a signal. This president has a real blind spot when it comes to the real history of this country and whoever prevailed over this idea in Tulsa, I hope that they will double down and do the same for Jacksonville, Florida, as well.

CABRERA: And for our viewers who may not know exactly what you're referencing, I mean, you're talking about the date the president is expected to give his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for presidency as part of the RNC convention coinciding with the anniversary of Ax Handle Saturday.

So he has changed this date in Tulsa and his rally there, but as we also talked about with Kristen Holmes, he is digging in, in his defense of Confederate statues and military bases named after Confederate leaders.

Again, you grew up in the Jim Crow South. You marched during the civil rights movement. Are you surprised that in the year 2020, after everything we've seen, we are still fighting over statues and flags of the Confederacy?

CLYBURN: No, I'm not surprised at that because the whole thing is a false pretense. Look, these statues were erected not after the civil war. These statues were erected, meaning they were put in place, during the 1950s and '60s, as a way of saying we will resist your becoming a part of this pursuit of happiness in this country.

If you look at the Confederate battle flags, when states changed their flags, those flags were not original. Clemson University just yesterday, I'm very proud of Clemson University, they are now going to take their dormitory or that building on the campus that was named for a -- Pitchfork Ben Tillman. They want to take not a new name, take it back to the name that it was before they named it for Tillman.

So, those --these buildings, many of these squares, had names before.


They changed these names and put these Confederate soldiers and Confederate folks' names on them as a sign of resistance to integration, a resistance to the Earl Warren court that gave us Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. That's what started this.

1954 Supreme Court decision started this foolishness. It didn't come out of the -- this stuff about heritage. It's not about heritage. It is, in fact, about hate.

CABRERA: You're giving us -- a lot of us a history lesson. Thank you for that.


CABRERA: I do want to ask you about the protests today and the, you know, events that have occurred since the death of George Floyd. We have heard calls to defund the police. That's been a bit of a rally cry at some of these protests across the country. The president and other Republicans are now seizing on that, turning it into a line of attack, politically.

But you yourself, I know you are not a fan of that slogan. Why?

CLYBURN: Simply because I do not believe that those who are working very hard to have some reform, to restructure these systems, restructure our law enforcement system, restructure our judicial system, restructure our educational system, our healthcare system, we do not wish for this battle to be lost on sloganeering.

I was there along with many, John Lewis included, when we were doing the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, we were working hard to desegregate lunch counters, working very hard to integrate public transit. These things were legitimate issues.

Then all of a sudden, we woke up one day, there's a slogan out there, burn, baby, burn. What the heck does that mean? We know what it conjures up.

So, all of a sudden, you give the opponents of the issues a cover, and that's -- that's all I'm afraid of here, that we start talking about defunding the police. No, let's restructure law enforcement. Restructure judicial systems. Not defund, because you know all that will do is give Donald Trump the cover he needs.

I've been saying to people all the time, if you allow yourself to play the opponent's game, you're going to lose and the opponent will win. Let's not play his game.

He is about violence. He is about sloganeering. He is about what I like to say, really, insulting.

That's not who we are. The family of George Floyd have made it very clear that George Floyd's family said, please honor our brother, our son, our uncle, our daddy. Honor his memory with positive, proactive activity that will reform law enforcement.

That's what they want. That's what we should want. Let's not allow ourselves to get caught up in sloganeering, sound bytes, and if we do, we will lose the issue. Any time you've got to explain what you're saying, you will lose it, whatever you're fighting for.

CABRERA: Let's talk about President Trump's opponent for a moment because you have said Joe Biden, picking a black woman as VP is not a must but a plus. But you also said this is a very tough moment or this is very tough timing for Amy Klobuchar.

Can Biden's campaign realistically capture the energy of this movement without having any racial diversity at the top of the ticket?

CLYBURN: I think Joe Biden's doing a great job with that. His comments day before yesterday, two or three days ago, I thought were spot on. I do believe that having -- he promised to put a woman on the ticket and I believe a black woman would be a plus and I think that we ought to really take a serious look at all the women involved in this.

And Elizabeth Warren is a good woman. I like Amy Klobuchar. All I said about Amy Klobuchar was you got to know that all of this stuff surrounding Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a problem, and timing cost me an election once, so I understand this whole thing about timing.

But I think that people like Karen Bass out in California as well as Kamala Harris, they're great people to look at. People like Stacey Abrams down in Georgia, as well as Keisha Lance Bottoms, they're great woman to look at.

But I'm not going (ph) to say that they're a must. But they certainly would -- Karen Bass would be a big plus. A former speaker of the house in California? That's got to be a plus.

CABRERA: Is she -- is she your front runner in your mind?

CLYBURN: She is a great person in my mind. I work with her every day. Val Demings is a great person. But so are the others that I speak about.

I just think that we ought to let Joe's committee do their work, let them do the -- all the investigations, do their vetting, let them do the polling, and then come back to the vice president with their results, and then I want the vice president to take a look at it and with his heart and his head do whatever is necessary to deliver for him what he calls simpatico.

CABRERA: OK. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, thank you for your time. Thanks for being here.

CLYBURN: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, protests are continuing across the country. Again, it is the 19th day as demonstrators push for racial equality. We will take you live to this protest in New York next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: Welcome back.

We want to go straight to Brooklyn, New York, now, where you can see protesters are marching and we have CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro there with them.

Evan, set the scene.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Well, I'm -- nice to see you again.

I'm back here on Flatbush Avenue, where I have been for many a weekend during this protest movement. This rally, this started as a rally at the Barclays Center, the arena at the center of downtown Brooklyn that has been such a base for these protests and once again we see another of these peaceful civil disobedient protests marching down the street.

Now, that's news any time, but it's particularly newsy today because of the press conference this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo said to marchers, look, look at the reforms I've passed, look at the things that I'm trying to change and police. You've won. You don't need to protest anymore. And as you can see, that message is not received by the protesters. People here still think there's a lot to talk about and once again, Ana, they're marching down the street.

CABRERA: So what do they want? What are they hoping to accomplish?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, the governor of New York and the mayor of New York have talked about changes to the police budget, changes to the way the police work. Protesters have been continually talking about structural changes to the way the country functions when it comes to race and it comes to class in some cases. And so, for now, they're still angry and they're marching, again, in a peaceful way just to make that point heard despite the move in politics that's happened so far, Ana.

CABRERA: And keeping the issue alive, certainly. Thank you very much, Evan McMorris-Santoro. We'll check back with you.

A quick programming note. Join Laura Coates with four of the nation's top mayors, D.C.'s Muriel Bowser, Atlanta's Keisha Lance Bottoms, Chicago's Lori Lightfoot, and San Francisco's London Breed. "Mayors Who Matter", a CNN town hall on race and COVID-19. That's live tomorrow night at 9:00 here on CNN.

Coming up across the country, protesters marching, calling for equality, for an end to racial injustice and police brutality. This is in the nation's capital at this hour. You can see the signs and Black Lives Matter, the chants of that. Silence is violence is another sign we've been seeing.

All of this on the 19th day of nationwide protests. We'll bring you the very latest. Don't go anywhere.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: We are continuing to monitor the nationwide protests on the 19th day as thousands take to the streets to call for racial equality. These are live images from Boston and the protest that's under way there at this hour.

Meanwhile, the CDC is warning the pandemic is far from over, and they are urging people to not let down their guard and to wear face masks, to socially distance, to use caution when traveling and in public.

Meantime, President Trump is returning to the campaign trail for the first time since the pandemic. And despite downplaying the threat of the virus, attendees at his rally next weekend in Tulsa will have to sign a waiver saying they won't sue if they get the virus at the event.

With us now is CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine at George Washington University, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. Dr. Reiner, what is the risk like for those attending a huge public

gathering right now?


The CDC yesterday just issued guidelines on how to gauge the risk of gatherings like this. So, the first thing they look at is the size of a gathering. The bigger the gathering, the riskier. The president would be the first to tell you that his turnouts are large.

The second is how long do these gatherings last? The more exposure, the riskier, and these rallies go on for a long time.

The third is, what is the opportunity to social distance? Not so much at these rallies.

And then finally, they look at what is the incidence of COVID-19 in the community, and Tulsa just had its -- a record single day number of cases. So this is a high-risk event. And it would seem that the only people that this really benefits is the campaign.

CABRERA: And my understanding is this event will be indoors.

REINER: Right.

CABRERA: We're looking at live images of a demonstration happening in Boston, which is obviously outdoors. And we are seeing a large gathering across the country at all these demonstrations. We have seen, in some cases, people wearing masks. In other places, not as many.

Does indoor versus outdoor matter, and how much do masks matter?

REINER: Well, masks should be mandatory any time you leave the house. We know with certainty that they reduce the spread to your neighbors or anyone else that you encounter.

Yes, and we do think that the -- it's riskier indoors where air flow is less robust. So, all these features are problematic.

And this administration hasn't exactly promoted the use of masks, so we don't know if masks will be mandatory at these rallies, but they should be.


CABRERA: The World Health Organization walked back a claim this week that it made about asymptomatic patients rarely transmitting the disease. Dr. Fauci said that was not correct. Today, we even heard from the U.S. surgeon general, saying that coronavirus has a high degree of asymptomatic spread.

Given how much has been said this week, just bring us the facts. What do we know about this?

REINER: So, the facts are these. First of all, a lot of COVID-19 is in asymptomatic people. We think up to 40 percent of people who are infected with the virus have little or no symptoMs.

We do know that people are probably most infectious when they do develop symptoms, the day they develop symptoms, but they are contagious probably two to two and a half days before they develop symptoMs.

But the data for asymptomatic spread comes out of places like Italy, where they tested people in small towns at multiple time points. They were able to trace the specific viral genomes and they found that asymptomatic people did, indeed, transmit the virus.

There's also some data from cruise ships and also some from China that all point in the same direction.

We think a lot of the viral transmission in New York probably occurred via the subway. Many of that from people who were asymptomatic, riding the subways.

There's really no doubt in most people's mind that this virus is transmitted both symptom -- by symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers.

CABRERA: OK, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, I really appreciate your time. Thank you. Thank you for being there.

REINER: My pleasure.

CABRERA: Coming up, we continue to monitor the protests happening across the country. This is the 19th day of demonstrations. You're looking live at a demonstration happening in Chicago as protesters are demanding racial equality and an end to police brutality.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: President Trump says he is rescheduling his rally that was originally set to take place on June 19th. That comes after widespread criticism that he chose to restart his campaign rallies on that date, known as Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery here in the U.S., a very important day for African-Americans. Now the rally will be held the following day, June 20th, he says.

But it will still be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has a troubled racial past. It was the site of a massacre of as many as 300 African- Americans by a white mob in 1921.

With us now is presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, the author of "Leadership in Turbulent Times."

Doris, the president says this rally wasn't originally booked on Juneteenth in Tulsa on purpose. And yet, our reporting is that he remains convinced that stoking these culture wars is a winning re- election strategy, betting on the idea that the people who make up his base are angry at or feel alienated by the change happening right now. I just wonder, historically, though, have more presidents won

promising a return to so-called normalcy or have more won promising major change?

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN & AUTHOR: Well, the interesting thing is the presidents are probably not the ones that are in charge of major change. It usually comes from social movements.

I mean, we're having, right now, an interesting situation in Boston where there's a statue of Abraham Lincoln, called "Emancipation," and a slave is kneeling at his knee, and there are petitions to the mayor, which I think he's going to agree with, to somehow remove it.

Lincoln would be the last person to say that he was a liberator. He said, don't call me that. It was the anti-slavery movement and the union soldiers that did it all.

So, I think we're in the grip of something larger than whatever President Trump is trying to do right now.

This movement out there, which is so diverse and so large, perhaps the largest that we have had in our history, is a powerful thing, and it has to connect to people in power.

And there will be leaders at all levels, whether it's governors or mayors or city councilmen or sports leaders, that are already responding to this movement.

And the sad thing for me is there's a similar movement like that, the civil rights movement in 1965.

And when we saw images of Bloody Sunday, when John Lewis and Martin Luther King were going across the bridge, it created such an emotionally reaction in the country at large that LBJ went to a joint session of Congress to give a talk about voting rights.

He said something that is so relevant today. He said, every now and then, history and fate meet at a certain time and a certain place. So it was in Lexington and Concord. So it was at Appomattox. So it was in Selma, Alabama. And one could add today, and so it was in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

So the real challenge now is for leaders at all levels, if the president's not going to do that, to understand the power of this movement and move towards the systemic change that the movement is calling for.

CABRERA: It gave me chills when you said that about Minneapolis being one of these moments, and so it was in Minneapolis.

You mentioned Abraham Lincoln, which is interesting, because the president brought Lincoln up as well as he talked about what he has done for African-Americans. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I've done more for the black community than any other president. And let's take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good, although, it's always questionable. You know, in other words the end result --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Well, we are free, Mr. President. He did pretty well.

TRUMP: You understand what I mean.


TRUMP: So I'm going to take a pass on Honest Abe as we call him.


CABRERA: Doris --

KEARNS GOODWIN: It's just mindboggling.

CABRERA: -- just a reaction to that.

KEARNS GOODWIN: It's just mindboggling. The idea that somehow he's done more for black Americans than any other president. And then take a pass, maybe I won't include Abraham Lincoln. And then whatever he's talking about is inconceivable. But the end result was questionable? What? Emancipation was questionable?

But this is one of the things you wish from a president is a sense of history. The more presidents understand history -- it's like we as individuals grow when we acknowledge errors and learn from our mistakes. By studying history, we learn how our nation made mistakes and we grew and we triumphed through them.


And you need a president to be able to look back and feel that sense. And we have had not a great sense of history from President Trump. At one point, he said Andrew Jackson was angry at the Civil War when, of course, he was no longer alive. And Frederick Douglass seemed to be moving around and doing good things.

And it's not funny because what you really hope -- as I say, when I looked at the guys I studied in "Leadership in Turbulent Times," Lyndon Johnson had a hero in FDR. FDR's hero was Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy's was Lincoln. Lincoln's was Washington.

They all recognize that they were standing -- it's like a relay race. The presidency goes from one person to the other. You leave things unfinished. You try and take it the next step.

But when you try to take something backward, if you're not going to be able to move forward, I don't think this movement is going to allow that to happen. I think there's strength out there and, hopefully, it's peaceful strength, and we can connect to leaders of power of all levels of the society right now.

Things are changing. I just feel hopeful when I see this, having lived through other movements before.


KEARNS GOODWIN: Being old enough to do that.

CABRERA: President Trump really has had a history of mixed messaging when it comes to parts of history he holds sacred and the parts of history he claims ignorance on.

For example, he doesn't want military bases named for Confederate generals to be named. But here's what he said about "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."



TRUMP: So, that's an expression I've heard over the years --


UNIDENTIFIED NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Do you know where it comes from?

TRUMP: I think Philadelphia, the mayor of Philadelphia.

UNIDENTIFIED NEWS CORRESPONDENT: No. It comes from 1967. It was from the chief of police in Miami. He was cracking down. And he meant what he said. And he said, I don't even care if it makes it look like brutality, I'm going to crack down. "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."


UNIDENTIFIED NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That frightened a lot of people when you tweeted that.

TRUMP: It also comes from a very tough mayor, who I might have been -- police commissioner at the time. But I think Philadelphia, named Frank Rizzo. And he had an -- an expression like that. But I've heard it many times. I think it's been used many times.


CABRERA: Doris, how important is it for the president to understand this country's history, especially given the platform he has?

KEARNS GOODWIN: I mean, it's absolutely essential, because, you know, as I say, a president is only building on what's come before. And to be able to just pick statements out -- I mean, Frank Rizzo's statue was taken down so this is not any better for him to say that versus the other person.

I just wish that, you know, sometimes if I could bring my guys back and they could sit with him, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt and old George Washington and just talk to him.

The interesting thing that Lincoln said, he was worried when the revolutionary people were dying, the people who had participated in the revolution. And he was worrying that the ideals of the revolution wouldn't be absorbed as much by the current generation.

So, he wanted every mother, every preacher, every teacher to talk to the children about the ideals of the revolution. And that was civics education. That's what we used to have more than we have now. And, boy, do we need that now. And I think it would be great for our president to have it at the same time.

CABRERA: No doubt.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, it's great to have you with us. Thank you very much.

KEARNS GOODWIN: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.

CABRERA: Thank you.

Nationwide protests are continuing this afternoon. We'll bring you the latest on these demonstrations next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: Amid nationwide protests, are we also seeing a warning sign from a key swing state ahead of this year's general election?

CNN's Kyung Lah reports.




KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the Republican stronghold of the North Phoenix suburbs --


LAH: -- signs of a party split.

RAWLES: We're not at home in our party. We're not Democrats. We don't have anywhere to go.

LAH: So self-proclaimed Independents, Linda and Tom Rawles, went to a street corner to hold their own small protest. That hasn't exactly been welcomed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every life matters. L. RAWLES: Yes, have a good night.

LAH: There are frequent obscene gestures.

L. RAWLES: That was a finger there.



LAH: But some supportive ones.

L. RAWLES: Thank you, guys. Have a great night.

TOM RAWLES, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: I think the last three to six weeks have been a turning point.

LAH: The coronavirus pandemic, historic unemployment --

CROWD: Black Lives Matter.

LAH: -- and the sustained nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd.

L. RAWLES: All of these things together are allowing a few people to have the moral courage to speak up.

We'll support Biden not because we agree with him on issues -- most issues I don't agree with him on. I'm not a Democrat philosophically. But he's a decent, kind, sane man.


LAH: The shift among Independents is a warning sign for the president. In 2016, Donald Trump narrowly won Independents. A recent series of national polls show him trailing Democrat Joe Biden among that group, a trend that's mirrored here in Arizona.

These suburbs are the battlefield in the fight for those votes.

CROWD: Black Lives Matter.

LAH: Hunter Henderson, protesting nightly in Tempe, sees an opportunity with Independents. He works with Vets Forward, a group that hopes to convince moderates to vote Democratic.

HUNTER HENDERSON, CO-FOUNDER, VETS FORWARD: The problems of our society are right in front of them now. And now is the time to, you know, really capitalize and have those conversations.


CAROL COONS, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: Yes, I voted for Trump in 2016. But many Republicans who did vote for Trump don't feel comfortable even saying that because of this polarization. LAH: Carol Coons is a self-described moderate and a nurse working the front line of Phoenix's COVID crisis. But it's not her job that's making her think about voting Democratic. It's the protests.

COONS: We have to come together as a people. And we need a leader, a world leader, a national world leader that's going to help us do that, not poke the bear, if you will.

LAH: As far as voting Republican in November?

(on camera): What are you going to do?

COONS: I honestly don't know yet.

LAH: Would you say it's too late for you?

COONS: No, no, I wouldn't.


CABRERA: Our Kyung Lah reporting there.

We'll be right back.