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Officer Who Shot Black Man Outside of Wendy's Charged with Felony Murder; Could Face Death Penalty if Convicted; Attorney for Second Officer: He has not Agreed to Testify; Contradicts District Atty Who Said He would be a State Witness; Trump Admin Ignoring Reality of Coronavirus Pandemic as 10 States Are Seeing Highest Average of Daily New Cases; Fauci on Whether He Would Attend Trump Rally: "Of Course Not". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 17, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Vivian, thank you very much for that report. And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news, charged. The former officer who shot a black man in a Wendy's parking lot in Atlanta charged with felony murder and if convicted he could face the death penalty.

Plus, the President insisting on a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma as coronavirus cases in that state rise. Republican Senator from that state tell some of his residents just stay home. Sen. Lankford is OUTFRONT.

And the John Bolton book, Trump's former National Security Adviser says Trump asked the President of China to help him get re-elected. That's what he said happened. More details from the reporter who read an advanced copy.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, death penalty. That is what fired Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe could be facing if convicted in the deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot. The Fulton County District Attorney announcing 11 charges including felony murder against Rolfe for this deadly confrontation with Brooks, which was caught on multiple cameras and I warn you is disturbing.

It started with an encounter that was initially peaceful. Brooks was found in his car in the drive-thru lane, asleep. He then took a sobriety test. The officers talk to Brooks without incident for nearly half an hour. You see this. Then eye witness video shows the incident taking a turn as Brooks and the officers struggle over a taser.

Then, surveillance video shows Brooks running away and shooting the officer's taser into the air at which point Rolfe, you see that happening there, Rolfe then shoots his gun and hits Brooks twice in the back. The DA saying it could mean life behind bars or death for the fired officer if convicted and that Brooks actions never warranted being shot at.


PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Mr. Brooks on the night of this incident was calm. He was cordial and really displayed a cooperative nature. We concluded and considered it as one of our important considerations that Mr. Brooks never presented himself as a threat.


BURNETT: The other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, is facing three lesser charges and the DA actually initially said the Brosnan had agreed to cooperate as a state witness to testify against Rolfe, his partner. His attorney now though says that is not the case.

The deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks sparking a new wave of protests across the country, tonight no different. These are pictures out of Atlanta where protesters are once again in the streets, calling for justice and that is where Victor Blackwell is OUTFRONT to begin our coverage.

So Victor, look these charges surprised many. What is the reaction where you are to the charges?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So first telling you where I am, I'm right across from the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed on Friday night. And once those charges were announced, that did not do anything to calm or quell the protesters who were here.

In fact, let's look up here to the intersection of university and prior, a crowd has moved up there to block the on ramp onto Interstate 75 and 85 here. They've been up there for about 20 or 30 minutes, but earlier what they did on this street right in front of the restaurant is they had their cars barricading the road here, just maybe two minutes ago, one car moved and cleared two lanes of this road.

But what we know about these charges, 11 charges against now ex- officer Garrett Rolfe. One count of felony murder, four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, four counts of violation of oath, one count of criminal destruction of property, also a count of aggravated assault we're told for allegedly kicking Mr. Brooks when he was there after the shooting and this is what we learned also from the district attorney today.


BLACKWELL(voice over): A felony murder charge and 10 other charges for former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe who shot and killed 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.


HOWARD: We've concluded at the time Mr. Brooks was shot that he did not pose an immediate threat of death. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL(voice over): Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard also charged the other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, with aggravated assault and two other charges for violating police rules. Both officers face charges for their actions after the shooting, including waiting more than two minutes to provide medical attention to Brooks.


HOWARD: During the two minutes and 12 seconds, that Officer Rolfe actually kicked Mr. Brooks while he laid on the ground, while he was there fighting for his life.

Officer Brosnan actually stood on Mr. Brooks' shoulders.


BLACKWELL(voice over): Brooks' wife said she was appalled when she learned that Rolfe allegedly kicked her husband.


TOMIKA MILLER, WIFE OF RAYSHARD BROOKS: I felt everything that he felt just by hearing what he went through and it hurt. It hurt really bad.


BLACKWELL(voice over): Police were called to a Wendy's restaurant Friday night after a 911 caller said that a car was blocking the drive-thru lane. Brooks was found by police seemingly asleep at the wheel. Police body camera video show the 20 minute interaction between Brooks and the two officers was calm. The officers conducted a sobriety test on the 27-year-old.


RAYSHARD BROOKS: I know (inaudible) ...


BLACKWELL(voice over): Brooks failed the breathalyzer test and as Rolfe began to arrest him, the struggle began. Brooks resisted arrest. All three fell to the ground and Brooks got away taking the other officer's taser with him. A chase ensued and Brooks turned back towards the officer pointing the taser. That's when Rolfe shot Brooks in the back. He was hit twice according to the medical examiner.

The attorney for the family said that he saw reason for hope today.


L. CHRIS STEWART, ATTORNEY FOR RAYSHARD BROOKS FAMILY: This isn't like a celebration or a victory lap of watching these officers get charged. Nobody is happy, nobody is celebrating because this never should have happened. We shouldn't have to celebrate if African- Americans when we get a piece of justice like today.



BLACKWELL: And Erin, you said at the top of this broadcast accurately that the District Attorney Paul Howard said that Officer Brosnan would be cooperating with the investigation and potentially would testify in the prosecution against ex-officer Rolfe. Well, we receive the statement from officer Brosnan's attorney which says that he has not agreed to testify, has not agreed to plead guilty and has not agreed to be a state's witness.

We also heard from the attorney for the ex-officer Garrett Rolfe who says that the shooting was justified. Of course, they've got until 6 pm tomorrow according to the DA to turn themselves in. These protesters want them to be proactively arrested and that's why they are still here, Erin.

BURNETT: Aaron. Victor, thank you very much.

I want to go now to our legal analysts Joey Jackson and the former Chief of police for DeKalb County, Georgia, Cedric Alexander. Good to have both of you with me tonight.

Joey, 11 charges for the officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, felony murder one of them, which means the death penalty is on the table, your reaction?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: My reaction, Erin, is that we're in a new era of accountability. The question was whether or not an officer would be charged. We see the officer charged here and so we're talking about this. Remember, in the broader context of what's going on around the country, people feeling that they're not safe around the police, people feeling that police do things with impunity and are not held accountable.

So the first reaction was whether or not, hey, will the DA charge him and we saw the DA did. We do know that as a result of that charge, it carries where he's eligible for the death penalty. Now, that's not to suggest the DA would do it. It'll be up to him.

However, let's understand that what the DA, if you take the analysis, it's on the table, why? You look at the immediacy of the threat that was posed to the officer at the time, the DA apparently believing there was not an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer. You look at the proportionality of force. Apparently, the DA said that you can't even shoot a taser at a person who's running away much less a firearm, so that's significant. You look at the question of reasonability, Erin, and the DA suggesting that this was unreasonable.

Last point, if you want to get the death penalty on the table, you have to look at what aggravating circumstances would justify that. I think one of them might be the shooting of the back if the DA wanted to use that and say it was particularly inhumane. Another would be the firing of a weapon in which other witnesses potentially could have been harmed than if you put other people in harm's way. That's an aggravating factor as well. There are a number of others.

So whether the death penalty will be applied is not the issue. At this point, the issue was they were charged and accountability. Let's let a jury determine if it goes that far whether or not there'll be a conviction here.

BURNETT: So Chief, what was your reaction when you heard that, when you heard the death penalty was on the table in this case? I know you've made it very clear that Rayshard Brooks should still be alive. But when you heard these charges, were you surprised?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, an incident such as this in - and you heard the attorney said earlier, there should be no victory laps (inaudible) around this particular case. We are moving into a whole new area of accountability. We're moving into a whole new era of police reform and we're going to see some different training come forth.

But I would move be remiss to say here tonight, Erin, that in spite of what happened in Atlanta and what we see going on across this country, we cannot and we should not forget to good men and women who are doing this job every day. And right now for a great many of them because of these events that have taken place whether they'd be right or wrong, that'll be determined by the jury, is that many of them are really feeling humiliated and really many of them are feeling as if they don't matter, but they do.


And I'm someone who's a 40 year veteran Chief to two police departments in this country. I think it's important that we acknowledge the fact that the men and women who are out there doing that job tonight and tomorrow and the day after, we have to still applaud them, we have to still support them, because this is a very challenging and difficult time for them as well because they in many communities are seen as bad guys and they're not bad guys. They're good guys.


ALEXANDER: And for many of them, it is important that we hold them up and I would remiss not to say that.

BURNETT: I think it's important that you did and coming from you it makes a big difference.

I mean, Joey in the in the case that we're talking about here, there were a couple of other things that we found. One was the DA saying that for two minutes after Brooks was shot, the police did not provide medical attention, OK, They didn't provide it and the officer who shot Brooks kicked him on the ground while he was laying there, and that's also in the video. The other officer was standing on his shoulders. Now Brooks' attorney did speak about this today and here's what he



STEWART: You don't kick people when they're down. What you saw and what we all saw is one officer standing on a man who was dying, standing on top of him and then the other officer literally kicking him while he was on the ground dying.


BURNETT: Joey, is their behavior after he was shot as this is described as we see in the video kicking him while he was laying on the ground after he had been shot as he was dying, how significant is that when you talk again about something like the death penalty?

JACKSON: I think it's very significant overall and let me be clear on my statements, my father was an officer, again, understand or at least I did in my childhood how difficult of a job they have. Again, I salute officers who are out there every day and twice on Sunday keeping us safe.

That however is not the issue here. Here we had officers who did something that amounted to a crime such that the DA feels that at least one of them should be death penalty eligible. To your question, when you look at the situation and you have someone who's down, and you have one officer standing on their shoulder, another officer kicking them and saying, I got him and then you add to the equation that the aid is not rendered to save a person's life, that's troubling.

And to your question, Erin, final point, put yourself on that jury, put yourself thinking after all of the facts, you heard the DA say that for 41 minutes and 17 seconds you saw cooperation. Obviously, it escalated to the point where it got violent thereafter, but you understood they weren't armed et cetera and now you add to the fact that someone shot in the back twice and now you're kicking him, standing on him saying I got him and waiting to render aid. I think it's very troubling and it will not be lost on a jury of 12 who have to ultimately evaluate this case should it get that far.

BURNETT: Yes. And Chief, to make it clear some who look at this say it complicated it all by the fact that he had stolen the taser, gotten the taser and was trying to discharge it at the officers, could he have possibly stunned one of them and gotten the weapon, would that add up, they were very clear today that it was fired twice by Mr. Brooks in which case the officers knew it could not fire again and therefore he was no danger to them. That seems pretty clear.

ALEXANDER: Well, I can tell you this being a police officers that may be clear to some people, but of course, in the very stressful fight that you're in and you're losing, it may go off twice, once, twice, you don't know. The unfortunate part of all of this we have a loss of life that I wish certainly could have been prevented. And tonight, we have two officers that are going to be indicted and

the evidence that had been put forth by the DA is very troubling when it comes to a kicking in the head and standing on his shoulders. People don't like that. But I will tell you this, there are good cops out there that don't like that either and they're just as much disheartened by this.


ALEXANDER: But here again I want to make sure to say to all men and women now to keep your heads up, because there's a lot of communities that still support you and your elected officials.

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

ALEXANDER: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, the President appearing to ignore the rise of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in America. How dangerous is this? Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Jonathan Reiner OUTFRONT.

Plus, calls growing louder tonight for Trump to postpone that rally in Tulsa. Health experts on the ground are sounding the alarm about the spread of COVID-19 locally. Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford is my guest.

And John Bolton sensational claims in his new book that the White House does not want anyone to say so much that they're suing, Bolton says Trump asked China to help with his reelection directly to the President of China, that he endorsed concentration camps and asked if Finland was part of Russia.




BURNETT: Tonight, the Trump administration trying to mislead the nation and ignore facts about coronavirus. Here are some of them, 21 states are seeing an increase in cases compared to a week ago, 10 states with their highest seven day average of new cases per day since the crisis began.

The vice president though claiming, "The media has taken to sounding the alarm bells over a 'second wave' of coronavirus infections. Such panic is overblown." Of course, this would not be a second wave, this is the first wave continuing across the country and these are the numbers. Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): Despite the message coming from the White House and its allies, the COVID crisis in the U.S. has not abated.


DR. ZEKE EMANUEL, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE HEALTH POLICY ADVISER: It does seem that the administration wants to move beyond coronavirus. But the virus isn't going to cooperate.


JONES(voice over): In fact, new coronavirus cases are surging to record levels in several states that reopened swiftly and experts say too soon or without sufficient precautions.


DR. ALI KHAN, FORMER DIR., OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS AT CDC: We've not changed the basic biology of the disease. The virus is out there, 95 percent of Americans continue to be susceptible.


JONES(voice over): Reported infections now falling in 21 states and holding steady in eight, but rising in 21 states with 10 seeing more than 50 percent jump in new cases, including South Carolina, Alabama and West Virginia.

Florida, Arizona and Texas have set records for new cases in recent days with hospitalizations hitting new highs in Texas, North Carolina and Arizona raising concerns for health care providers.



JULIA STRANGE, VICE PRES., COMMUNITY BENEFIT AT TUSCON MEDICAL CENTER: This week, we did hit our capacity in our COVID designated ICU unit and so we have been participating in that surge line to transfer patients who we believe will need ICU care within 24 hours.


JONES(voice over): And as the debate over masks rages on, American Airlines asking a passenger to deplane from a flight from New York to Dallas after he refused to wear a mask.

In Montgomery, Alabama, a push for masks in the hardest hit city in the state coming up short.


DR. KIM RUDOLPH MCGLOTHAN, JACKSON HOSPITAL: But until you actually mandate because people don't believe the hype, we won't be able to stop it.


JONES(voice over): The city council failing to pass an ordinance requiring them. Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urging people to take precautions.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R) TEXAS: COVID-19 hasn't suddenly magically left the state of Texas.


JONES(voice over): This as the mayors of Texas' biggest cities call on Abbott to allow them to require face covering. And in yet another indication of the outsize toll the virus is taking on minority communities, a new Brookings study shows blacks are dying at 3.6 times the rate of whites, while Hispanics are dying 2.5 times more than whites according to CDC data.


JONES: Those Brookings findings are stunning, but they illustrate something we've been talking about for months, blacks and Hispanics are the most at risk from messaging and policies that downplay the dangers of the coronavirus or the need for mask, social distancing and other precautions. It's a reminder but that the truth is never more important than when it can save lives, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Athena, thank you.

And I want to go to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Jonathan Reiner who advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush. Thank you both.

So Sanjay, cases are going up as Athena said by 50 percent more than in 10 states and in 21 states total. Just to be clear, this is not something that someone could dismiss by saying there's more testing, correct?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Correct. I mean that is true. In fact, if you look at some of the states like take Oklahoma, because it's in the news, obviously, a lot this week, that's an example of a state where the cases have gone up, despite testing going down. And just to be clear, it's a bit of a counterintuitive point, if you're doing more testing and you're getting to the right level of testing, cases should actually be going down not up because you find people, you can isolate them, so they're not transmitting the virus.

So that is a false message that the only reason that's going up is because we're doing more testing. That's simply not true.

BURNETT: Well, I think it's important you just lay it out loud and clear like that, so people understand. People need to hear that.

Dr. Reiner, this comes as the public updates from coronavirus from the task force have stopped right, the four doctors who were giving those regular updates have stopped doing so. Why? Why do you think we're just not hearing from them at all or very little just I guess a couple of maybe online interview? JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Because they're doctors and by

nature they tell the truth. And the truth is that the pandemic is still very, very active in the United States and that we're not getting back to normal and there are difficult things that the public has to do.

The most essential thing that this administration could do, the Vice President in his op-ed, yesterday, spoke about that he not only Marshall, the whole of government, but a whole of America response to this, but he really hasn't. If he was doing that, if the administration was doing that. They would ask the American people to do something very difficult which is to protect each other.

And the way we protect each other is through social distancing and wearing masks. And it's hard to do and it's decidedly abnormal, but that's the way we put this pandemic down. That's what Japan did. Japan's first case was four days before the United States first case on January 16. Japan is a country of about 40 percent of population in the United States, they've had less than 1 percent the mortality, because everyone in that country wears a mask. It's expected. They all do it and that's the simple maneuver to put this virus down.

BURNETT: So, Sanjay, Dr. Fauci said the other day that he had not directly spoken to President Trump in about two weeks and I know you have some new reporting, given this gap, given that we're not hearing from these doctors about how the task force doctors are functioning now.

GUPTA: That's right. I mean, so April 27th was the last official briefing from the coronavirus task force, seven weeks ago and what I learned yesterday is that there's this doctors group that is essentially formed as sort of an offshoot of the coronavirus task force. Four doctors; Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield, who heads the CDC, Dr. Hahn from the FDA and Ambassador Birx. They get together two to three times a week by phone and discuss a lot of the issues that Dr. Reiner is talking about.

The middle ground, if you will, everyone says either you're shut down or you're open, there could be a very effective middle ground in terms of actually accomplishing things reducing mortality, reducing these new infections.


That's what they're talking about. We understand they briefed Vice President today at four o'clock as well, about these rising rates of infections and I'm sure offered some counsel on what to do about it.

BURNETT: OK. Well, certainly, his op-ed doesn't reflect anything that they're saying. I mean, there's that deeply disturbing dissonance. All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

And next, Dr. Anthony Fauci says of course not when asked if he would go to Trump's rally in Tulsa. He's among many health experts, including those on the ground in Tulsa warning about holding the rally in a state where cases are rising even as testing is going down. Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford is my guest.

And John Bolton's stunning claims in his new book. There are many of them. One of them that Trump asked the Chinese President to help his reelection. So why did John Bolton wait until now to say that instead of during the impeachment trial?



BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump plowing ahead with plans for an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa Oklahoma next week despite risk to his supporters. Even Trump's top infectious disease doctor saying tonight that he wouldn't go. Dr. Anthony Fauci telling "The Daily Beast", quote, no, I'm in a high risk category. Personally, I would not, of course not. He was referring to his age.

And the health (ph) of the Tulsa health department sounding the alarm today as well.


DR. BRUCE DART, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TULSA HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Let me be clear, anyone planning to attend a large scale gathering will face an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.


BURNETT: They know the situation on the ground. And here is the situation. Oklahoma's number of confirmed cases has been increasing, 3 percent increase since just yesterday. In Tulsa itself, today was a new record for total daily positive cases. Cases have been going up as testing is actually dropping in the state of Oklahoma.

But the White House today still down playing the risk to rally-goers.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They will be given a mask. It's their personal choice of individuals as to what to do.


BURNETT: Of course, it shouldn't be a personal choice to wear a mask at a crowded rally inside. Dr. Fauci and other top experts have been clear again and again, right? You protect yourself and also others by wearing a mask. So, despite what the president and those around him say, it is clear deep down by the way that they know this too because if really it wasn't an issue, they would not have this, right?

Take a look at this waiver. All attendees that go to the rally have to agree to this, they can't sue the campaign or the president if they get sick or even die from coronavirus after attending the rally. Obviously, you don't make people agree to that kind of waiver if there's absolutely no risk. You just don't do it.

Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT from Tulsa.

And, Martin, you're there on the ground. So, what else have Tulsa officials said today about the rally?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'll get to that in just a second. Let me show you this behind us.

That's the line of people waiting to get in. That line started forming last Saturday. The gates don't open until this coming Saturday. You can say they're dedicated supporters of the president, but the health department here would say they're in danger if they go inside the OK Center here.

Let me point out just reiterating what was said by Dr. Bruce Dart because what came out of the press conference today from health officials is downright scary. First of all, they already reported 96 new cases, that is a record daily increase in Tulsa. It sub-plants the previous record which was set on Monday, that was 89. On top of that, they got 595 confirmed active cases, 64 deaths. Early last week, they said they began to see a marked increase of new cases. Since June 6th, they have seen significant increase in hospitalization.

So, the red flags are flying, the red lights are flashing, the alarm bells are going off. Health officials are saying they've got a full- blown coronavirus spike in Tulsa right now and into that this weekend will come about 100,000 people who will attend the rally.

I asked the director of the health department for the county, that being the case why has he not gone to city officials and said, you cannot hold this rally because it's a danger to public health? Here's what he said to my question.


DART: I recommend that it be postponed until it's safer, until the data tells us that it's not as large a concern to have people indoors and enclosed spaces with the threat of COVID 19 transmission. So, if we could push it back to when it's safer, those are my recommendations. That's what I would like to see happen. It's here, so let's focus on staying safe while it's here.


SAVIDGE: His response basically is that he tried to get it delayed. That push by health officials essentially fell on deaf ears, Erin.

By the way, the Trump campaign says they will be checking everyone's temperature as they go in. They'll also be handing out masks and giving hand sanitizer, but there is no requirement for anybody to social distance.

And in fact, there's no requirement that they wear the face mask. So, you're going to have tens of thousands of people in a very close environment not just for the length of time that the president speaks but for hours, maybe nine or eight hours, shouting, cheering, and no doubt health officials believe spreading corona and then taking it home -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Martin.

I want to go now to Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma.

Senator, look, Dr. Anthony Fauci, you know, has said he wouldn't attend the rally. You heard the Tulsa health director, he's been pleading for it to be postponed. The Republican mayor of Tulsa has expressed his discomfort. He says he will not be attending.

And, you know, you hear no social distancing, masks optional, many hours in close quarters, for up to 100,000 people. Do you think it should be postponed, sir?

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): Well, let me -- let me start -- no, I do not think it should be postponed, and also, it's certainly not 100,000 people. The arena seats 19,000 people total. And so, I heard that number thrown around --


BURNETT: My understanding is there's an overflow area.

LANKFORD: There is an overflow area, but it may seat 8,000 people in a separate building in a different location. It's a very, very large facility.


So, you're still not near or approaching 100,000 people.

Saying all that, the Oklahoma state -- you talked a lot about the Tulsa health officials. The Oklahoma state health officials have put out the information, same thing, everyone needs to be attentive to this. If you're at high risk, which I completely agree with, you're high risk or high risk category, you shouldn't attend this rally. You should watch it on TV.

There's also 80 testing sites that had been made available and I encourage anyone that's attending the rally to go early this week, to go get tested before they actually attend the rally and then hand sanitizer, masks, then temperature checks as folks are coming in, trying to do as much as you possibly can.

But just like protests weren't unlimited, most of those were outside, some were inside in the protests, restaurants were open, retail locations are open, they're -- we've been through phase one, two and three as a state, and we've seen the numbers increase in our state in the last week.

BURNETT: Yes, they certainly have.

LANKFORD: It's disappointing to us. They absolutely have. But they're also -- we're pushing people to be attentive on this.

BURNETT: OK. Do you think it's right then for the Trump campaign to have this rally indoor and not require masks and not require social distancing and have people sign a waiver saying if they get coronavirus, that they can't sue the campaign or the president or anything, it's on them?

LANKFORD: Yes, I think the waivers are going to be a new reality. If we don't deal with the liability issue, just about every business I've talked to, whether you're a small restaurant or whether you're a university, they're all dealing with this issue of if someone as an employee or someone that comes through contracts coronavirus, how do they connect it back to this spot? And this liability issue is going be a very significant issue for workers who need to be protected but for also businesses that are fearful of the lawsuits will be --


BURNETT: So, that's definitely true. That's definitely true, but do you think it's responsible of the president to do that? And do you think it's responsible in an indoor enclosed space with thousands of people and no social distancing to have masks be optional. I know you yourself, sir, have been wearing one.

LANKFORD: I have. Everywhere I go that in Oklahoma, I wear one. I wear one when I'm in Capitol. I took one off when I approached here because I'm at a safe distance from the cameraman here.


LANKFORD: But, yes, that's -- that's the reality. So, I wear it, I encourage people to be able to wear it and have it. It will be its own unique challenge.

Same for me when I fly on an airplane back and forth. I'm seated next to someone for 3-1/2 hours on the way up. And --


LANKFORD: -- these are all decisions people have to make.

BURNETT: So, you know, does it -- does it disturb you at all that the president of the United States refuses categorically to wear a mask and sets that example and makes it optional for people in that space?

LANKFORD: Yes, for the president and vice president it's a different issue because they're being tested frequently and they're being kept isolated. Obviously, we wear a mask to protect other people for fear that we have coronavirus --


LANKFORD: -- and we're spreading it to someone else.

We know they do not, so they're not spreading to someone else. Encouraging other people to be able to do it and to be able to do wear it out I think is a key thing.

BURNETT: What about the example it sets though? LANKFORD: I understand the example it sets, but you're also wearing

it to protect other people. If it becomes an impediment, then it's an impediment on that.

So, it's one thing to say I'm setting the example. It's another thing to say, is it medically necessary? For them, it's not because they're tested frequently.

BURNETT: So, I want to ask you also, you mentioned the protest. You know, you worked on the police reform bill, Senator Lankford, and you have said publicly there should be a ban on chokeholds. The bill obviously doesn't outright ban them. It withholds funding to departments that do not ban it themselves.

The House speaker today called your reform bill toothless. Those were her words. What do you say to her?

LANKFORD: I think it's sad to jump out on to it. I wonder if she's read it or her staff member told her what to say on it. I have no way of knowing that.

We released it out at 10:00 a.m. today. When we let everyone get a chance to be able to read it, we went through a lot of aspects of this trying to be able to evaluate. We took some items actually from the House bill that we thought those are very common sense things that we should adopt and to be able to work through.

And we consider this a non-partisan open hand. Let's start the debate in the Senate as debate should happen in the Senate. Let's open that up next week. Let's have amendments. Let's walk through a real dialogue and not try to get into a partisan food fight in this.

Let's try to actually solve the problem, so at the end of the day, we can take another step in our long journey towards being a more perfect union.

BURNETT: All right. Senator Lankford, I appreciate your time. It's good to have you back, sir.

LANKFORD: Sure, thanks.

BURNETT: All right. And next, much more on the other explosive claims in John Bolton's new book from a reporter who has read an advance copy. Bolton writes that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump was, quote, full of bleep, and, of course, there's also the allegation that he pled with the Chinese president to help him win re-election.

And police officers across the country reacting tonight to the charges against an Atlanta officer, one charge could carry the death penalty.



BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton speaking out moments ago about explosive new allegations he is leveling in his memoir about the president. NBC News asking Bolton about the president's relationship with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle. I think Putin is smart, tough. I think he sees that he's not faced with a serious adversary here. I don't think he's worried about Donald Trump.


BURNETT: CNN obtaining Bolton's book where he also claims Trump asked China, the Chinese president directly for help with his re-election. Bolton says that during a meeting with President Xi Jinping, quote, Trump stunningly turned the conversation to the coming presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win. And those were the operative seven words.

OUTFRONT now, Josh Dawsey, White House reporter for "The Washington Post".

Josh, you have read this book. This is pretty stunning. I mean, pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win.

Tell us about that conversation with the Chinese president.

JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: In John Bolton's memoir, he alleges that at a dinner in Osaka, Japan, he overheard the president say to Xi Jinping that he wanted him to ramp up agricultural purchases from China to help the president's political fortunes and that he needed China to work -- well, he pleaded with him, according to the book, that he needed China to help him win re-election.


And Bolton says he could not divulge exactly what Trump said because of the White House's pre-publication review process.

As you know, the White House is alleging that there's classified material in the book and is fighting with Bolton right now about it.

BURNETT: So, Bolton also says, Josh, in the -- in the book he found Trump to be erratic, his words, stunningly uninformed, also his words, in his encounters with foreign leaders.

What examples stood out to you?

DAWSEY: Well, one prime example is he says in a call with Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Putin uses Hillary Clinton and the 2016 election to manipulate the president, and Bolton's telling to back Maduro, the dictator of Venezuela and not Juan Guaido. They talk about a call with the Saudi Arabians where Bolton says both he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described it as proverbial near death experience, horrific. He recounts his call, in Bolton's tone again, and the White House has

a totally different tone here where the president is unprepared, he's willing to do favors in his mind for Turkey's Erdogan, the president of Turkey, for Xi, for Vladimir Putin, and far for critical towards allied officials like Trudeau of Canada or Macron of France.

BURNETT: So, Bolton also claims other members of Trump's cabinet agreed, he says about a conversation he had with the president and Pompeo on North Korea. This is sort of what you're referencing. At this point, Pompeo passed me his note pad in which he had written, quote, he is so full of s-h-star-t. I agreed.

And he says former of chief of staff John Kelly, the quote is, what if we have a real crisis like 9/11 with the way he makes decisions. Obviously, we are -- we are here now with the coronavirus pandemic.

You know, how damning is this? I say it in the context, Josh, of the fact he could have said all this during the impeachment hearings and he didn't. And John Bolton can't really come out here of some paragon of virtue of bravery in terms of how he handled this?

DAWSEY: Well, what's interesting today, even Adam Schiff, you know, frequent Democrat critic of the president, said John Bolton is no patriot. Tonight, Rudy Giuliani says he never mentioned any of his concerns to me. Why didn't he bring it up with me?

So, that's going to be a attack you see repeatedly from the White House, they're going to say he's just out to make money. "Book deal Bolton" is a catch phrase they're going use. Well, it will be interesting to me to see if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or Attorney General Barr or other officials say to depict those conversations.

We know of John Kelly, the former chief of staff, had a dim view of the president. We know that Jim Mattis who came out recently quite critical of the president is not his biggest fan. It will be interesting to see if Pompeo or Barr say anything publicly because the president has long-loved Mike Pompeo. He's one of his favorite cabinet secretaries. And is book claims that Mike Pompeo in private has a far more dimmer view of the president than he does publicly and we have not heard from Mike Pompeo yet.

BURNETT: I'll be shocked if we hear anything other than this is all untrue. But let's see.

DAWSEY: We'll see.

BURNETT: All right. Josh Dawsey, thank you so very much. I appreciate it. Good to see you.

DAWSEY: Thank you. .

BURNETT: And next, the charges against the Atlanta officer who fatally shot a black man in a Wendy's parking lot sending shockwaves to police departments across this nation.


BURNETT: Police officers across the country reacting to the felony murder charge against the former Atlanta officer that killed Rayshard Brooks. That officer now possibly facing the death penalty if convicted.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.


POLICE OFFICER: Blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, stop.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A former Atlanta police officer charged with felony murder in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks. If convicted, that officer could face the death penalty. The possibility sending shock waves across police departments nationwide, already dealing with low morale in the wake of protests and calls for reform.

Darrin Porcher is a retired New York City police lieutenant. He says many officers feel as though they are on trial.

DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER NYPD LIEUTENANT: They feel as if they're not wanted. They're not needed. Nor are they being accepted.

CARROLL: That morale is one reason why officers are resigning and in some cases, joining together to speak out.

In Louisville, Kentucky, police demonstrated over what they say is little support from city leaders and a lack of respect from the community. This after a police monument there was defaced.

GEORGE RODMAN, RETIRED LMPD OFFICER: The fallen officers' names on it was vandalized due to the stand down order. That's a slap in the face to ever former, current and fallen officer and their families. My son's name is on that wall.

CARROLL: In South Florida, ten officers resigned from the department SWAT unit over safety concerns. The final straw, officers unhappy after commanders took a knee with activists during a demonstration. Officers in a statement saying they have been minimally equipped, under-trained and often times restrained by the politicization of our tactics.

In Minneapolis, the epicenter of calls for change, at least seven officers resigned from that department in the wake of protests over George Floyd's death. In Buffalo, 57 officers standing by their decision to resign from the forces' emergency response team following the suspension of two officers who appear to shove an elderly protester to the ground.

PORCHER: I think this is a time for a poignant discourse between community leaders, elected officials and police executives.

CARROLL: In New York City, change has already begun. The nation's largest police force is disbanding it plain clothed anti-crime unit. The unit is credited with getting illegal guns off the streets but has also come under scrutiny after a number of civilian complaints alleging abuse of power.

The officers will be reassigned within the department. The city's chief of patrol supports the decision but also says good officers need the public's support.


POLICE OFFICER: Let's not forget that all police officers, they are human beings. They have the same stressors that we all -- we all have, the general public has.


CARROLL: Erin, other than a national standard for how police should operate going forward, those we spoke to say what needs to happen going forward is that police departments need to engage more with the communities that they serve, communities need to engage more with police departments and in this current climate, they say just not enough of that is happening right now -- Erin.

BURNETT: Yes, a lot of fear on all sides.

All right. Thank you very much, Jason.

And we'll be right back.


BURNETT: All right, of course, these developments with protests around the country with the charge with the death penalty possible in Atlanta.

Thank you so much for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere. You just have to go to CNN Go.

In the meantime, Anderson Cooper with "AC360" takes over the coverage right now.