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Sources: Atlanta Officers Not Responding to Calls to Protest Charges; COVID-19 Isn't "Dying Out", It's Surging in Ten States; Bolton Makes Bombshell Claims About Trump in New Book. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 18, 2020 - 05:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Sources tell CNN some Atlanta police officers were calling in sick or refused to answer calls after charges were announced in the Rayshard Brooks police shooting.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: The Trump administration is now seeking a court order to keep former national security advisor John Bolton's book from coming out.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: Nice to see you. Good morning.

I'm Christine Romans. It is Thursday, June 18th. It is 5:00 a.m. in New York.

New this morning, multiple sources within the Atlanta Police Department are telling CNN officers are not responding to calls in three of the city's zones. The sources say they're protesting felony charges against an officer and former officer in the death of Rayshard Brooks. The department says the problem is that not enough officers are showing up for their shifts.

It issued this statement: Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone have walked off were inaccurate. The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of callouts with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations and remain able to respond to incidents.

Here's what Atlanta's mayor told CNN.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: There's a lot happening in our city and our police officers are receiving the brunt of it quite frankly. But what I will say is this, is my administration's had a great working relationship with our officer. And so, what I would say is, in the same way our administration has made that commitment to our officers, we expect that our officers will keep their commitment to our communities. (END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Former Officer Garrett Rolfe charged yesterday with 11 counts, including felony murder for the shooting of Rayshard Brooks. He also faces five charges of aggravated assault.

Officer Devin Brosnan who is now in desk duty faces three charges. One count is aggravated assault for allegedly standing on Brooks shoulder as he laid on the ground. Brosnan's attorney tells CNN his client was just trying to control the situation.


DON SAMUEL, OFFICER DEVIN BROSNAN'S ATTORNEY: He put his foot on the arm to make sure he didn't have access to a weapon. He still had within reach the Taser that he had taken from Devin. And like for six or seven seconds, he puts his put on the arm until he can make sure that he doesn't grab a weapon, and then he takes his foot off. And the D.A. says that's an aggravated assault, which is -- it's ludicrous.


JARRETT: At the news conference, the district attorney revealed a photo he said shows Rolfe kicking Brooks after he had been already shot.

Rolfe's lawyer tells Fox News that's not what happened.


LANCE LORUSSO, ATTORNEY FOR GARRETT ROLFE: My client never kicked Mr. Brooks. If there was a video of my client kicking Mr. Brooks, you would have seen it.

He shows a still and that one leg is planted and the other one is bent. He could be leaning down to try to give him first aid. It could have been when he was trying to evaluate whether he needed handcuffs. And this officer gave him CPR, monitored his pulse prior to that, talked to him to try to keep him breathing, and called for EMS and coordinated other efforts on the scene.


JARRETT: The prosecutor says videos show the officers were not behaving as if they were in any danger themselves.


PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We were able to conclude that based on the way that these officers conducted themselves while Mr. Brooks was lying there, that the demeanor of the officers immediately after the shooting did not reflect any fear or danger of Mr. Brooks. But their actions reflected other kinds of emotions.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: Both of the officers involved must now turn themselves into police by 6:00 p.m. tonight.

ROMANS: Attorneys for Rayshard Brooks' family say they are not celebrating the charges brought against the two officers involved in his death. They say the move is just step one. His widow visibly shaken by new details from prosecutors.


TOMIKA MILLER, RAYSHARD BROOKS' WIDOW: I couldn't imagine being there because I don't know what I would have done if I would have seen it for myself, but I felt everything that he felt just by hearing what he went through. And it hurt. It hurt really bad.


ROMANS: The family's lawyers say step two is convictions.

The Brooks family attorney called the charges step one.

JARRETT: And to coronavirus --- new this morning, COVID-19 is surging in ten states. Daily new case totals in those states have spiked to their highest level since the pandemic began, yet President Trump says coronavirus is disappearing.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look, the numbers are very minuscule compared to what it was. It's dying out.



JARRETT: It's not true. It's not going away. It's just moving.

And one new model suggests Florida could become the next big epicenter of the pandemic.

CNN's Athena Jones has more now.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Laura.

Despite the message coming from the White House and its allies, the latest numbers show the COVID crisis in the U.S. has not abated. In fact, new coronavirus cases are surging to record levels in several states that experts say reopen too soon or without the proper precautions, as states like Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia seeing huge increases in new numbers and hospitalizations hitting new highs in Texas, North Carolina and Arizona.

And meanwhile, as the debate over masks rages on, American Airlines ask that passengers deplane from a flight from New York to Dallas after he refused to wear a mask. And in yet another indication of outsize toll the coronavirus is taking on minority communities, a new Brookings study shows blacks are dying at 3.6 times the rates of whites while Hispanics are dying 2.5 times more than whites according to CDC data -- Christine, Laura.


JARRETT: All right. Thanks so much, Athena.

We've been saying it for weeks now, the coronavirus pandemic is not going anywhere.

Join Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta for the latest on COVID-19 and how to stay safe. "Coronavirus: Facts and Fears", live tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

ROMANS: All right. A bombshell in John Bolton's book. The Trump administration is scrambling to get an emergency restraining order to stop the publication of that tell-all book by the former national security advisor John Bolton. The White House claims the book reveals government secrets that could potentially damage national security.

Even if a judge grants the order, the book's contents have become public. Here's what's public. Bolton writes: President Trump asked China's President Xi to help him in the 2020 election and told Xi it was a good idea to continue building concentration camps.

President Trump told "The Wall Street Journal" Bolton is a liar. He also claimed on Fox that Bolton broke the law.


TRUM: But he broke the law. Very simple. I mean, as much as it's going to be broken, this is highly classified -- that's the highest stage -- it's highly classified information. And he did not have approval, that's come out now very loud and very strong.


ROMANS: Bolton is hitting back. He tells ABC, he thinks President Trump is badly outmatched by his Russian counterpart.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: How would you describe Trump's relationship with 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. And I think he sees that he's not faced with a serious adversary here. I don't think he's worried about Donald Trump.


ROMANS: CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more on what's in that book. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


One day after the Trump administration sued to try and block John Bolton's forthcoming book from publishing, Ambassador Bolton, a former national security adviser, releasing several significant excerpts from his book, both in an op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal", as well as in some advanced copies that were obtained by "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post".

Bolton makes a series of stunning claims, both about how life works in the White House, the chaos that has been reported so thoroughly by many reporters and by other former administration officials who have since written books, but also making some serious allegations about the president's conduct with foreign leaders, including one instance in which John Bolton says that President Trump essentially solicited help from the Chinese President Xi Jinping for help in the 2020 election as he was negotiating that trade deal with China.

Ambassador Bolton writing in this adaptation in "The Wall Street Journal", Trump said approvingly there was great hostility to China among the Democrats. Trump then stunningly turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.

Bolton also writes: I would print Trump's words, but the government's prepublication review process has decided otherwise. That's the Ambassador Bolton alluding there to the facts that he did go undergo at least part of a prepublication review with the White House's National Security Council and that the book underwent some significant edits because of classified information that the White House says was contained in those pages.

There's also this other comment that Ambassador Bolton is making in the book. This is saying that president Trump expressed a willingness, both with China and with Turkey to, quote, in effect give personal favors to dictators he liked.

Ambassador Bolton writing the pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life which we couldn't accept. At least one of those cases involved the Turkish President Erdogan appealing to Trump directly about a case involving a Turkish firm that the U.S. government was pursuing, to try to get the president to essentially wipe that away.


And President Trump, according to Ambassador Bolton, expressed a willingness to do that.

Of course, we should note that Ambassador Bolton was unwilling to testify in the House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Despite that fact, Ambassador Bolton in his book apparently criticizes House Democrats for not going far enough in that investigation. But he doesn't say that either way, he would have been willing to testify in the House -- Christine, Laura.


JARRETT: All right. Jeremy, thank you.

Sources say the White House officials who initially reviewed Bolton's draft manuscript and determined after edits that it didn't contain classified information, well, she's lawyering up. That official, Ellen Knight, it cited in the Justice Department's suit to stop publication of the book.

The case really raises a host of interesting First Amendment questions. But taking a step back, CNN national security and legal analyst Susan Hennessey noted this fact, quoting - tweeting, actually: One interesting wrinkle for the government is that in order to claim elements of Bolton's book are classified, the government must admit the information in question is true. There's no such thing as a classified lie.

ROMANS: All right. To money now -- good news for homeowners and renters dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic. Foreclosures and evictions are being put on pause for two more months. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will extend the moratorium on single family homes until August 31st. The Department of Housing and Urban Development will also extend loan forgiveness for homeowners with FHA ensured single family mortgages until the end of August.

Now, homeowners who can't make payments may look for payment forbearance through the CARES Act. Under that bill, homeowners can delay or reduce payments for up to a year, and they're not required to make a lump sum payment at the end of the forbearance period.

This is a big break for homeowners and it's important right now. New data from apartment lists shows 30 percent of Americans missed their housing payments in June. That's just slightly below the 31 percent in May but still up from 24 percent in April. The survey found renters, younger adults, low income households and people who can't work from home were most likely to miss their payments.

JARRETT: It seems not having to make the lump sum payments could be a real game changer there, because, you know, the payments are still accruing. They're not going anywhere.


JARRETT: So they're going to have to be paid at some point, it's just a question of how to do it.

All right. Well, coming up, the White House is getting pressed about the safety of holding this indoor campaign rally this Saturday in Tulsa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Will the president or White House take responsibility if people get sick and catch the coronavirus at this rally on Saturday?


JARRETT: The administration's response, next.



JARRETT: Welcome back.

The city of Tulsa is bracing for President Trump's indoor campaign rally this weekend and the potential health threat that it poses. Oklahoma is one of nearly two dozen states where coronavirus cases are now rising. In Tulsa County itself, COVID-19 cases have grown to record levels. Reporters are pressing the White House press secretary on the concern about potentially exposing thousands of people who are going to attend this rally.


REPORTER: Will the president or the White House take responsibility if people get sick and catch the coronavirus at this rally on Saturday?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So the campaign is taking certain measures to make sure that the safe rally temperature checks, hand sanitizer and masks. So, we are taking precautions.

REPORTER: But you're not requiring people to wear a mask?

MCENANY: They will be given a mask. It's up to them whether to make that decision. CDC guidelines are recommended but not required.


JARRETT: No masks required.

Well, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was asked if he will attend the rally, he tells "The Daily Beast," quote, no, I'm in a high risk category. Personally, I would not. Of course not.

More now from CNN's Martin Savidge in Tulsa.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. Good morning, Laura.

Behind me here, the line of people already waiting to get into President Trump's rally that is scheduled for Saturday. This line started forming last Saturday. Many already there hope to be in the very front row. You can say they're dedicated but county health officials say they

could be in great danger because they fear that this rally could become what they call a super spreader event when it comes to the coronavirus.

Let me give you some of the numbers that came out of the health department from the briefing they held. There were 96 new cases in Tulsa County reported as of yesterday. That's an all-time high since they've been keeping track of coronavirus. It supersedes the previous record which was set only on Monday at 89 cases. They've got 595 confirmed active cases in the county, 64 deaths and they said early last week they began to see a marked increase of new cases, and since June 6th, they've seen a significant increase in hospitalization.

In other words, the red flags are flying. The red lights are flashing. The alarm bells are going off. It is a full-blown coronavirus spike into this community into which 100,000 people are anticipated to come to the president's rally this weekend.

So, I asked the director of the county health department, why is it he didn't recommend that this event be canceled or stopped? Here's what he said to my question.

DR. BRUCE DART, DIRECTOR, TULSA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: I recommended 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 in enclosed spaces with the threat of COVID-19 transmission. So, if we could push it back to when they tell us it's safer, that was my recommendation.

That's what I personally like to see happen. It's here. So, let's focus on staying safe while it's here.

SAVIDGE: Trump campaign officials say they will be checking everyone's temperature as they go inside of the center here.

They'll also be handing out masks, but it won't be mandated they wear them. There will not be mandated social distancing. They will be giving people hand sanitizer.

But here's the thing: tens of thousands of people are going to be inside a relatively closed space for hours at a time. And health officials say, make no doubt coronavirus will also be in there with them, which means once the event is done, they all go back home to where they came from, and the fear is they'll take coronavirus with them -- Laura and Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Martin. Thank you so much for that.

Chinese officials have tracked down and tested thousands of people in connection with a new coronavirus outbreak that has plunged half of Beijing back into lockdown.

CNN has reporters around the globe covering the latest developments. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA COREN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. Authorities in China are scrambling to contain the latest outbreak of coronavirus in the nation's capital, stemming from a food market, as the number of cases rise to 161. Three of today's new cases are outside Beijing with the most alarming, a 22-year-old man who works as a dishwasher in a hotel. He has no travel history nor has he come into contact with any confirmed or suspected cases.

The capital itself remains on soft lockdown, with dozens of high risk communities completely shut off. More than 350,000 people have been tested and contact tracing is underway. Authorities are stopping anyone from leaving the capital unless they test negative for the virus within seven days.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nic Robertson in London where the French President Emmanuel Macron will be making his first visit overseas since the pandemic struck the globe. Boris Johnson will make his first visit since recovering from COVID- 19. The pair expected to compare and contrast how their countries are coping with the pandemic, also likely to talk about Brexit, current stick points there.

This visit by the French president to commemorate the call to arms during World War II for the French resistance from the French leader, General de Gaulle. That was the 18th of June 1940.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Alex Thomas where we see English Premier League action for the first time in more than three months. Suspended by the coronavirus, it resumed with another major global issue front and center, wearing "Black Lives Matter" on the backs of their jerseys instead of their names. Every player took a knee just after kickoff in both of the Wednesday's games, an unprecedented gesture during these unprecedented times.

So fitting perhaps that star forward Raheem Sterling, a vocal anti- racism campaigner, scored the opening goal here as Manchester City beat Arsenal.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Atika Shubert in Mallorca, Spain, where holiday hotels are taking extra coronavirus precautions, masks, of course, but also gel disinfectant to wash your hands.

And take a look at this, that's a thermal camera there taking the temperature of every guest that walks into the hotel. If you can keep it cool and keep your mask on, you get the green light to go on. If you have a fever, reception desk gets a red alert.

Now, all of this is part of a pilot program to welcome 11,000 German tourists. If all goes well, Spain says it will be welcoming many more next month.


JARRETT: All right. Thanks so much to all of our correspondents for those updates.

Still ahead, one-time star of a hit TV series now charged with raping three women. Details up next.



JARRETT: Actor Danny Masterson who is starred on "That 70 Show" is now charged with raping three women. Masterson was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles. Authorities say the incidents occurred separately between 2001 and 2003 at Masterson's home in Hollywood. He could face up to 45 years to life in prison if convicted.

Masterson's attorney says he's confident his client will be exonerated when all of the evidence comes to life and witnesses testify.

EARLY START continues right now.


JARRETT: Sources telling CNN that some Atlanta police officers refusing to answer calls after charges were announced in the Rayshard Brooks shooting last night.

ROMANS: China is now responding to John Bolton's accusation that President Trump asked President Xi to help Trump in the 2020 election. Bolton book bombshell.

Good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. Twenty-eight minutes past the hour here in New York.

New this morning, multiple sources within the Atlanta Police Department are telling CNN officers not responding to calls in three of the city's zones. The sources say they are protesting felony charges announced against an officer and a former officer in the death of Rayshard Brooks.

The department says the problem is not enough officers are showing up for their shifts. The department issued this statement, quote, earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job are inaccurate. The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of callouts with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations and remain able to respond to incidents.

Here's what Atlanta's mayor told CNN.


BOTTOMS: There's a lot happening in our city and our police officers are receiving the brunt of it, quite frankly. But what I will say is this, is my administration's had a great working relationship with our officers. And so what I would say is in the same way our administration's made that commitment to our officers. END