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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Officer Involved in Killing of Breonna Taylor to be Fired; 8 States See Highest 7-Day Average of New Daily Cases; Federal Judge Expresses Doubt in Stopping Publication of Bolton Book. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired June 19, 2020 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people learning the history of this holiday, which largely was a Texas holiday to celebrate a Major General Gordon Granger marching in Galveston and informing slaves over two years after Emancipation that they were free, their masters hadn't told them.

[16:30:04]

So, it's a holiday of deferred liberty and justice. And over a century and a half later, a lot of people still motivated by the idea that it is deferred liberty and justice for all.

And what was long a Texas holiday, unofficial New York state holiday. All employees of the state and the city given the day off today.

The city is just now beginning to open up in phase two of the coronavirus lockdown. So, a lot more traffic in the streets. It'll be interesting to see as the night progresses. But over this last month, Jake, the detente between protesters and NYPD has gotten to a place where it's almost routine now. But the passion, the righteous anger shows no signs of slacking any time soon.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right. Bill Weir in the streets of New York, thank you so much.

One of the Kentucky police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor is getting fired. The Louisville mayor released a statement that he was, quote, initiating termination procedures for Officer Brett Hankison who was one of the three police officers who raided Taylor's apartment back in March with a no-knock warrant as police were searching for someone they had already arrested at a different address, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Breonna Taylor's mother.

I want to bring in CNN's Athena Jones.

And, Athena, what do we know about this officer? And do we know what will happen to the other two cops who conducted this deadly raid that night?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jake. Well, we don't know what's going to happen to the other two police officers. But this officer, Detective Brett Hankison, is the one who fired ten rounds into Breonna Taylor's apartment. And so, we know that the family has wanted the Louisville mayor to fire this officer. He's argued that he needs to have due process.

We now have our hands on a memo and letter from the chief of police spelling out the ways that Hankison violated procedure. He said the chief of police says these are extreme violations of the department's policies saying that Hankison wantonly and blindly fired these ten rounds into Taylor's apartment and that he showed extreme indifference to the value of human life in doing that.

And there are other points that the chief makes. He says that, look, Hankison fired into this apartment without being able to discern whether there was any direct threat to him or the other officers. In fact, he fired through a patio door and a window that was covered with material that wouldn't allow you to discern who was really inside, whether there was anyone innocent inside.

The chief also mentions that Hankison fired shots that ended up in the apartment next door, which endangered the lives of three people there.

So, some pretty stern warnings or words, I should say from the chief of police regarding this detective, Hankison. But we are still waiting to see what happens with these other two officers -- Jake.

TAPPER: And I understand we have some reaction from Breonna Taylor's family attorney.

JONES: We do. They see this as a good first step among many steps.

Lonita Baker speaking about how Breonna Taylor's mother Tamika Palmer took the news of these proceedings. Listen to what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LONITA BAKER, BREONNA TAYLOR FAMILY ATTORNEY: She said this is the best news she's gotten today. So, she is definitely pleased with that information. But, you know, we're still got a ways to go and there is still a lot to be done until we have justice for Breonna.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: And so, Breonna Taylor's family and friends and the people protesting in the street, they want to see all three officers fired and all three officers facing charges -- Jake.

TAPPER: And there is a movement also in the U.S. Senate to get rid of no-knock warrants.

Athena Jones, thanks so much.

Coming up, the legal battle between President Trump and his former national security adviser John Bolton. What a judge just said this afternoon about the release of Bolton's quite damning book. That's next.

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[16:38:14]

TAPPER: In our health lead today, President Trump has said falsely that coronavirus is fading away. That is certainly not the case in Florida and Arizona. Each state reporting nearly 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 just today.

Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis has blamed this on increased testing. But that's not the whole story. Take Orange County, Florida, which is the Orlando, Florida, area, which less than two weeks ago was reporting that 2 percent of those tested had the virus.

But yesterday, Orange County reported a 15.1 percent rate of positive coronavirus tests.

As CNN's Nick Watt reports for us now, confusion and inconsistencies with re-opening measures across states may be at least partly to blame.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, scene of tomorrow's Trump rally, all setting records, seeing the most new cases in a day since all this began.

DR. ALI KHAN, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: We are in the midst of the greatest public health failure in American history. And if we're going to continue to open up and not open up safely, we're going to continue to see increased cases.

WATT: These eight states, home to roughly a third of all Americans, right now seeing their highest ever average new case counts.

Apple now closing some stores in Arizona, the Carolinas, and Florida. The Phillies just shut down spring training in Clearwater after five players tested positive.

This is not over. Masks work, those are facts. But they're now politicized. Take the governor of Nebraska reportedly now withholding federal coronavirus emergency money from any county mandating masks in government buildings.

Dallas County, Texas, now mandating masks in the workplace. But the governor of the state won't.

[16:40:00]

Orange County, Florida, now mandating masks for all. But the governor won't.

KHAN: It's simple. No vaccine, no treatment. All you need is test and trace of good public health, combine it with good personal responsibility. Masks, social distancing, hand washing. Put the two together and you can become New Zealand, go to zero cases in this country.

WATT: You heard that right. New Zealand routinely reports zero cases in a day, small country, sure.

So let's take Europe. A steep drop and now fewer than 5,000 new cases a day. Here in the U.S. nearing five times that and climbing.

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: What Europe did differently is they stayed locked down a bit longer, a bit more uniformly.

WATT: The day Florida started phase one re-opening, there were fewer than 1,000 new cases reported in the state. Today, nearly 4,000. A new record high.

MELISSA MCKINLAY, COMMISSIONER, PALM BEACH COUNTY: I don't think we can scale back how we've opened. But we can simply slow down how we move forward and put these precautions in place like wearing a mask.

WATT: The governor thinks the spike in cases is down to more testing, so does the president. But even his own adviser disagrees.

KEVIN HASSETT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: There are about 18 states right now where the positivity rates are going up, which means if the cases are going up, it's not just because you're doing more testing.

WATT: But the Northeast is doing well lately, so pushing ahead with re-opening today was the New York governor's last daily COVID briefing.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Today, we are seeing the virus spreading in many places. More people will die, and it doesn't have to be that way. Forget the politics. Be smart.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: But, here is an example of just how charged the whole issue of masks has become. Yesterday, the boss of AMC theaters told us we want to keep the politics out of our theaters. So, they were only going to encourage, not mandate, movie theatergoers to wear masks.

But they got such a backlash online that they have now changed course. You will now have to wear a mask when you go to an AMC theater. The CEO today saying it's clear from this response that we didn't go far enough regarding the usage of masks -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Nick Watt in Santa Monica, California, for us. Thanks so much.

In our politics lead today, a federal judge expressed doubt that he could stop John Bolton's book, which I am holding in my hands right here, from reaching readers. You think he can keep it from reaching readers? The judge saying that in a D.C. court today, the horse, as we used to

say in Texas, seems to be out of the barn. It certainly looks difficult to me about what I can do about those books all over the country. Books like this one that I'm holding in my hands right now.

The judge did not make a final decision today during the two-hour hearing and says he will review the classified parts of the book before deciding how to proceed. Bolton has accused the White House of attempting to censor him and his book over political reasons, arguing in a court filing Thursday night that the Department of Justice was attempting to stop publication which goes against his First Amendment rights.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond joins me now live from the White House.

And, Jeremy, the White House press secretary today defended President Trump's decision to hire Bolton.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: She did, Jake. That's because in recent days, the president has derided Bolton as dumb as a rock, a whacko, overrated. But, of course, it was the president who hired John Bolton in the first place.

And so, the White House press secretary defending that, saying that the president likes to have countervailing viewpoints and likes the model of having a team of rivals like Abraham Lincoln.

But let's be clear, Jake, that is not at all what's happening at the White House. The president, sure, he likes to encourage the infighting, some of the chaos that happens with these different personalities at his White House and his administration. But that doesn't mean that he likes people who disagree with him. He certainly doesn't necessarily like ideological diversity of viewpoints.

This is a president who has empowered his former body man Johnny McEntee to purge the Trump administration of officials who are not sufficiently loyal to the president. In fact, Jake, a new questionnaire for political appointees, not only asks these folks about their ideology, but it asks them what part of the president's campaign message most appeals to them.

So, very clear here, Jake, team of rivals is not exactly what's happening here.

TAPPER: Yes, that's not what is happening at all.

Something else on the campaign front that's interesting. President Trump tweeted out this meme, this video last night which had a fake CNN graphic showing a black toddler running away from a white toddler. It was this kind of twisted meme. It was later labeled by Twitter manipulated media. The video has been floating around since 2019.

The father who took the original actual video which shows the toddlers running towards each other, he is upset with how President Trump used it. DIAMOND: He is. The father of one of those toddlers, Danny Cisneros

(ph), he took to Facebook to say he will not let the president turn this loving, beautiful video to further his agenda.

[16:45:07]

And he actually requested that Facebook remove that video from its platform. Facebook has actually gone ahead and done that. Twitter so far has labeled the video as manipulated content, but has not removed the video.

And, Jake, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, she was asked about why the president went ahead and posted this manipulated footage. She described this moment, this moment between two toddlers, which was once something heartwarming, completely apolitical, she said that she thought it was quite funny for the president to take this video and twist it in the way that he did -- Jake.

TAPPER: I'm sure she did.

Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up: vice presidential hopeful, once vice presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar pulling herself out of contention. Who does she want Joe Biden to pick?

That's next.

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[16:50:03]

TAPPER: In our 2020 lead: She's out again.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota bowing out of the running to be Joe Biden's running mate, saying that he should pick a woman of color. Klobuchar is just the latest to join the rising chorus of voices pushing Biden in that direction.

Let's bring in CNN's Jessica Dean.

And, Jessica, Biden has not committed to picking a woman of color, although he has said he will pick a woman. Right now, who are the top contenders for the V.P. slot?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, as is typical, the Biden campaign keeping their mouths very closed about exactly who they're looking at.

But there are a number of names that keep coming up, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Congresswoman Val Demings. These are some of the names that we're hearing.

As you mentioned, Biden has committed to picking a woman, but has not committed to picking a woman of color. But interesting that Amy Klobuchar made that direct point when she bowed out of contention last night, announcing that she would not seems to be his running mate, taking herself out of the running.

It'll be interesting to see, Jake, what that means for Elizabeth Warren, now that she's added -- now that Klobuchar has added her voice to a number of people, a chorus of people who are pressuring the former vice president and his team to select a woman of color and put her on the ticket.

Regardless, Jake, the former vice president is looking toward the fall, when he's going to be having to turn out different bases that President Trump was successful in turning out last time, suburban women, black voters in cities. These are some of the demographics that they're going to be looking at.

And we will see who he ultimately picks as his vice presidential candidate -- Jake.

TAPPER: He also has an enthusiasm gap to make up with President Trump as well.

DEAN: That's right.

TAPPER: Jessica Dean, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

We have got some breaking news on the coronavirus out of Arizona coming up next.

Stay with us.

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[16:56:33]

TAPPER: A massive jump in new coronavirus cases for Arizona, more than 3,200 new cases just today, this as the state sees its highest seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitalizations also climbing with this sharp rise.

As CNN's Kyung Lah, despite this all, many people in the state are refusing to wear masks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pandemic? What pandemic?

(on camera): What do you see when you look at that bar?

AMANDA HAY, TEMPE RESIDENT: Obviously, they're definitely not social distancing and not wearing masks. Those are my friends over there.

(LAUGHTER)

HAY: If they have coronavirus, I have coronavirus. LAH (voice-over): This is the next state to host a presidential

rally, Arizona, a growing COVID-19 hot spot and home to a fight over masks. Look up and down the street, and the impact of the virus is everywhere, some businesses still shut down. Bright signs warn to socially distance, one bar worker in a mask, but about many of these Tempe, Arizona, residents?

CHARLES GBEKIA, TEMPE RESIDENT: I think the masks are good, but I think they kind of act as a placebo to some extent.

DR. MURTAZA AKHTER, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: It angers me. And I'm trying to hold -- be calm for this interview and for the camera.

LAH: Dr. Murtaza Akhter is an emergency room doctor in Phoenix, where he's seeing a dramatic increase in COVID patients, just like the rest of the state. This is what what's happened to cases in Arizona since March.

The number of new cases continues to break records nearly every day this week. Arizona was among the first states to reopen, businesses back. The gatherings followed, like the protests of police brutality. And masks in public, as we saw in Tempe, not always used.

AKHTER: To tell the whole world that basically I'm a social Darwinist, if you die, I don't care, I just want my beer and burger, is really -- I mean, even kindergartners have more empathy for other people. It's really upsetting.

LAH: Dr. Akhter is one of more than 3,000 doctors and nurses to sign this letter. The goal, to get Arizona's governor to issue a statewide mandate requiring masks, writing: "Please stand up and help educate, as well as protect those who do not understand the importance of masks."

Doug Ducey instead says he will leave those policies to each mayor.

AKHTER: The governor of our state is saying, I'm going to let the mayors decide. I mean, the mayors could potentially say, I'm going to let the neighborhoods decide.

And, as you can imagine, that breaks down pretty quickly.

LAH (on camera): So, ineffective?

AKHTER: Not as effective as it could be.

LAH (voice-over): Publicly, Governor Ducey has shifted. Last week, at his weekly news conference, he carried his mask in his pocket. This week, he arrived wearing it.

As Ducey prepares the state to host the perpetually maskless president on Tuesday for a rally at an indoor mega-church, the governor says the White House protocol will call for masks. Ducey stressed the 3,500- capacity event should go on.

GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): We're going to protect people's rights to assemble in an election year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: Now, the city of Phoenix just this afternoon passed an ordinance requiring masks in public places.

So, will this impact the Trump campaign when they arrive here on Tuesday for that rally? The short answer is yes. If the president or attendees are not wearing masks, does that mean that they could be subject to tickets?

Well, a source at the city of Phoenix tells me, unlikely. If you look at recent history, Jake, they're using education. They're only ticketing repeat offenders.

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