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EARLY START

Trump Tulsa Rally on Track, Despite Surging Case Numbers; Trump's Tulsa Rally; Former Officers Charged in Brooks' Death Turn Themselves In; Bolton Asks Court to Dismiss DOJ Suit Over Release of His Book. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 19, 2020 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:20]

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Trump supporters are right now lined up for the campaign rally in Oklahoma, despite a surge of new coronavirus cases in that state.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Florida also seeing a spike in new cases and its intensive care hospital beds filling up fast.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, this is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. It's Friday, June 19th. Happy Friday, Juneteenth. It's 5:00 a.m. here in New York.

And this morning, the Trump campaign is forging ahead with plans for a huge rally in Tulsa on Saturday, despite surging coronavirus numbers in Oklahoma. The line of Trump supporters waiting to get into the BOK Center tomorrow still growing this morning.

Maybe hard to accommodate them all, last night, Tulsa police confirmed the city's convention center will not be used as an overflow site as the campaign had planned.

Meantime, COVID cases in the state just saw their largest single day increase since the start of the pandemic. But that's not deterring the president when asked by "The Wall Street Journal" what happens if your supporters get sick at one of these rallies, he said, well, people have to know that, yes, you do. It's tiny. You know, it's a very small percentage.

But a leading health expert says the president is endangering public health and is urging people not to go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JONATHAN REINER, PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: What he's doing in Tulsa is criminal endanger meant. He's intentionally exposing people to risk of acquiring a deadly virus just for a photo- op. I'm begging the people in Tulsa, don't go to this. Watch it on television. Watch the president on television. You be safe at home. Do not go. (END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: We get the latest now from CNN's Martin Savidge in Tulsa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, we're now just one day away from President Trump's rally inside the BOK Center here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The line of people trying to be among the first in the door only continues to grow. I can tell you that they are sick and tired of being asked the question about whether they worry about getting sick with coronavirus because of attending the rally.

They said they have no more fear than they do in their daily lives. Many of them were not wearing masks and many of them seem to indicate they don't plan to. There won't be any social distancing inside the BOK Center which, by the way, holds over 19,000 people. Could be in very close proximity to one another, shouting, screaming, cheering, singing, all of them not wearing a mask with the potential of spreading this virus.

And that's the concern that the health department has, because their numbers showing up in this city comes exactly at the moment the city is seeing a spike in local coronavirus cases. In fact, already twice this week, they have set new daily records for coronavirus.

So, the concern is that people coming from other places will bring it with them inside the arena and those who leave here will go home and take it to where they came from, which is why health officials have now begun fearing this could become a super spreader event.

On top of that, there are the usual concerns that come with any presidential visit. Security the top of the tremendous amount of police and state police that will be here, the National Guard as well. So, protests potentially on the outside, celebration on the inside, all of it very worrisome from the medical community's point of view -- Christine and Laura.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: In a "Wall Street Journal" interview, the president also said people wearing masks in some cases is a sign of disapproval of him so people are doing it because they don't like Trump, not because they're trying to stay safe.

Twenty-three states are showing a growth in new coronavirus cases this morning. Here are the five with the single biggest day increases. California just reported more than 4,200 new cases, Texas more than 3,500. And 3,200 new cases in Florida where 3/4 of the intensive care beds are now full.

New York's governor said he's thinking of quarantining people coming into the area from Florida.

CNN's Erica Hill is in New York. She has the latest on the pandemic. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, good morning. Here in New York City, the word from Mayor Bill de Blasio comes your way on Monday, and also means outdoor dining for a number of restaurants in the city.

They can apply to use that outdoor space they wouldn't use. Sidewalks, curve lanes, even additional patio space to allow for more diners in those restaurants.

Meantime, Governor Andrew Cuomo also announcing an executive order that businesses who violate the rules and regulations for reopening could lose their liquor license. He was also asked specifically about travelers from Florida and whether he's concerned given the spike in cases from that state.

[05:05:01]

He says it's been recommended to him that he might want to consider a 14-day quarantine on travelers from Florida into New York, and he said he's considering it.

As I mentioned, in Florida, record high numbers on Thursday. More than 3,200 new cases recorded. Record high day for new cases being reported in Arizona as well on Thursday. Those are certainly two of the states that officials are focused on.

And in California, Governor Gavin Newsom announcing that face coverings will be required statewide. This can actually supersede any local orders. Of course, you need to maintain that social distancing. If you're not close to somebody you can take the face covering off.

But the governor saying he was putting the mandate into place because he didn't want to lose any of the progress that's been made there.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: Erica Hill, thank you so much.

Well, President Trump is now echoing a troubling misconception on coronavirus testing. He told "The Wall Street Journal" in that interview, quote, I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history. He added that more testing in the U.S. led to an increase in confirmed cases that, quote, in many ways makes us look bad.

Looking bad or not is not the point. It's a sentiment directly at odds with epidemiologists who say the numbers should actually be going down with greater testing as health officials should be able to trace more cases and slow the spread of the virus.

ROMANS: All right. To Atlanta now, former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe is expected to appear in court this afternoon. Rolfe faces felony murder and 10 other charges in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. He's being held without bail, and the charges -- amid the charges, an unusual number of officers are calling out sick.

CNN's Ryan Young has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, it was day two of police officers calling out sick and having less staff throughout the city. We're told by the police department they were able to meet the needs of most of the calls throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area because of all the facts of the extra officers, they were able to surge in certain zones.

But the big stories was that two officers who are charged by the district attorney's office who had to turn themselves in. Devin Bronson turned himself into jail, but he knew he was getting out, he did his signature bond and then his attorney basically gave a comment saying they believe their client is guilty and they think the charges were going too far.

The other officer, Garrett Rolfe, is going to stay a lot longer and apparently, he's already been moved from the Fulton County jail for security reasons. But we did learn from the district attorney, he doesn't plan to seek the death penalty. In fact, take a listen to what he told our Wolf Blitzer.

PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We charged it based on the facts and I'm hoping the people in this country will get away from the little criticisms and understand the broad picture. This is a 27- year-old man who's dead. He didn't have to die.

YOUNG: There are concerns about the weekend and staffing within the police department. We also know that Officer Rolfe has his court appearance today at noon -- Laura and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: Former national security advisor John Bolton is now asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department. That lawsuit seeks to block next week's public release of Bolton's new book, even though plenty of people already had their hands on it. A court hearing is scheduled later today on all of this.

Meanwhile, Bolton accuses the White House of trying to prevent him from sharing embarrassing details about President Trump and President Trump has been attacking Bolton over on Twitter.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement this about his former White House colleague, quote: I've not read the books but from the excerpts I've seen published, John Bolton is spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods. It's both sad and dangerous that John Bolton's final public role is that of a traitor who damaged America by violating his sacred trust with his people. To our friends around the world, you know that President Trump's America is a force for good in the world. Pompeo, though, not confirming or denying the claim he once passed

Bolton a note calling President Trump full of an expletive we won't say.

ROMANS: All right. Everyone is looking for signs the economy is turning the corner, but the latest unemployment claims show the recovery in the labor markets could be slow. Another 1.5 million workers filed for unemployment for the very first time last week. That's double the worst week of the Great Recession. More than 45 million people, 45 million people over the past 13 weeks have either been laid off or furloughed.

And some states have been hit harder than others. Look at Georgia, more than half of its labor force has filed for benefits since the crisis began. In Kentucky, it's more than 46 percent.

Workers in Kentucky still waiting for a check. For a third day in a row, hundreds of people lined up in Frankfurt, trying to get help. Frustrated workers crowded the state's capitol demanding answers. The state's education and workforce development cabinet said it has received more than 900,000 unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic.

These numbers simply unprecedented. With the slowing pace of declines, that's welcome news. It's heartening though, the numbers overall are still so stubbornly high.

We look at something called continuing claims. It counts workers who filed for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, that number stuck at just over 20 million.

Economists say look at that number for signs that hiring is starting to come back, it's not just there yet, Laura.

JARRETT: Yes, you know, just scenes those lines, it's hard to get our heads around those numbers.

ROMANS: Yes.

JARRETT: But you can see how people are just angry and just trying to apply and get things through.

All right. Still ahead, the Supreme Court's conservative chief justice knocking down the Trump administration once again for not following the law. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right. Welcome back this Friday morning.

Conservatives are outraged this morning and emergency advocates relieved after the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration's attempt to end DACA.

The 5-4 ruling halts at least temporarily the prospect of deportation for hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

[05:15:02]

CNN's Jessica Schneider has more from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, a flurry of push back from the president and even condemnation from conservatives about this court's ruling on DACA. For the second time this week, the Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberals and blocking the Trump administration's plan to end DACA. That, of course, is the Obama era program that protects about 7,000 so-called Dreamers who came here to this country before the age of 16.

Ever since 2012, they've been protected from deportation. They've been allowed to work here and get those DACA renewals every two years. The president tried to get rid of it in 2017, but he has since been blocked by the courts and now blocked by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court saying the Trump administration just did not end this program the right way.

The chief justice saying this: We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for the action.

Here, the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues on whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship of DACA recipients. That was something the chief justice stressed at oral argument, was putting forth a humane approach to resolving this issue.

Conservatives, of course, have slammed the chief justice. Senator Cruz even said Justice Roberts' opinion was lawless. And, of course, the president fired off a series of tweets in the hours after this decision came down, saying that the decision was politically charged and even promising to put together a list of Supreme Court nominees that he would nominate if he's elected to a second term.

Now, as for Vice President Biden who is expected to be the Democratic nominee for president, he called this ruling a victory and he said that on day one, he would submit a bill to Congress to make DACA permanent because, of course, now the chief justice saying in this ruling that the Trump administration, they could, in fact, end this program, they just did not do it the right way. So it remains to be seen whether or not the Trump administration may end DACA. But for now, the 700,000-plus recipients are safe -- Christine and Laura.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: Jessica Schneider, thanks so much for that report.

Coronavirus cases, they're climbing sharply across Latin America as the region becomes the pandemic's new epicenter.

CNN has reporters all around the world to bring you the latest developments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers in Mexico City. Further south in Brazil, more bad news there as the country nears a grim and new milestone. It was Thursday evening that health officials there reported roughly 22,000 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That brings the overall total to roughly 978,000.

And given what we've been seeing as of late in terms of newly confirmed cases each day, it will not be a surprise if Brazil, as soon as today, passes the 1 million case mark. Also, we are expecting in the coming days to see Brazil surpass 50,000 total deaths.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matthew Chance and Russia is indicating sharply higher numbers of medical workers killed by coronavirus. Health official suggesting nearly 500 deaths so far, off from about 100 just last month. If confirmed, that would be more than 6 percent of the overall nationwide death toll, underlining concerns expressed by many doctors in Russia, the lack of protective equipment throughout this pandemic has left them dangerously exposed.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Lisbon where health authorities here in Portugal say that one of the reasons why they have a low death toll might be because they have been treating patients in ICUs for coronavirus with a method that the World Health Organization now says could be a break through.

Doctors at coronavirus wards have been using steroids to treat patients who are on ventilators and they say the death toll from coronavirus on those ICU wards is fairly low. Many other countries here in Europe, Portugal is also now emerging from the crisis and opening up its economy.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman in Venice, Italy, where residents are getting used to life after lockdown. This city normally over run by tourists is welcoming visitors once again, although only a few have come and only from elsewhere in Europe.

The economy in Venice is heavily dependent upon tourism and for more than three months as Italy struggled to bring the coronavirus outbreak under control, no one came here. Now the tourists are trickling back in. It's hardly a return to life as normal, but it's a start.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Ben Wedeman, thank you so much for that.

Coming up, what you will not see at the capitol on this day, Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:24:32] JARRETT: Today marks Juneteenth, the day honoring the end of slavery here in the United States. And ahead of the holiday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had four portraits of former House speakers who served in the Confederacy removed there. The move comes amid a wave nationwide to purge public spaces of historic symbols of racism. Speaker Pelosi says there is no room in Congress for memorializing men who embodied their grotesque racism of the Confederacy.

ROMANS: Amy Klobuchar taking herself out of the running to be Joe Biden's vice president.

[05:25:02]

The Minnesota senator citing the ongoing national dialogue about racial injustice offered Biden a suggestion for his choice of a running mate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): After what I've seen in my state, what I've seen across the country, this is an historic moment and America must seize on this moment and I truly believe, as I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Klobuchar had been touted by some as a promising VP candidate. She suspended her own presidential bid back in March and threw her support to Biden.

JARRETT: Interesting move there for sure.

ROMANS: Yes.

JARRETT: Well, a school resource officer in Ohio going beyond the call of duty during the pandemic, making hundreds of house calls to give graduating high school seniors their due.

CNN's Brynn Gingras has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When a sheriff's deputy knocks on a teenager's door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I was in trouble or something.

TODD HART, OHIO DEPUTY: How are you doing?

GINGRAS: But this visit, a special one.

HART: Congratulations for graduating high school.

GINGRAS: Ohio Deputy Todd Hart made the personal visit to Andrew McHale (ph) and for the past several weeks to every Green High School senior. All 317.

Hart has been the resource officer at this high school for 12 years. The coronavirus stripped the class of 2020 of prom and formal graduation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't get to see my friends for the last time or teachers for the last time.

GINGRAS: Hart wouldn't let the chance to say good-bye be on that list.

HART: You see people day in and day out. You build the relationships. You wouldn't let your kid to go off to college and not say good-bye to 'em. So, that's basically what this is for me.

GINGRAS: In years past, Hart would make it a point to high five or shake hands with each graduate as they received their diploma. But COVID-19 forced the deputy to improvise. For some, the socially distant house call feels much more personal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's pretty cool. You know, it is some form of congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is great. I love Deputy Hart, all he does for us. I see -- I used to he is him in the hallway every day.

GINGRAS: And Hart pushed for a little more, recently deciding with the town that a drive-thru graduation could be possible. Hart was able to greet the students again, this time leaving them with a bit of advice.

HART: My grandmother always told me: go see the world. Make memories.

GINGRAS: Hart's gesture, a memory these graduates won't soon forget.

Brynn Gingras, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: What a great story. Thanks for bringing it to us, Brynn.

The abandoned bus made famous by the book and move "Into The Wild." Look at that, it's been airlifted out of Alaska's back country. State officials say too many people were putting themselves at risk. They were trekking to the remote site, a site that became known as a dead lure for tourists.

The 25-year-old adventurer Christopher McCandless, the subject of that book and film, died there in 1992.

EARLY START continues right now.

(MUSIC)

ROMANS: Trump supporters right now lined up for tomorrow's campaign rally in Oklahoma despite a surge of new coronavirus cases in that state.

JARRETT: Florida also seeing a surge of new cases and its intensive care hospital beds are filling up fast.

Good morning. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It's just about half past the hour here on this Friday morning.

The Trump campaign is forging ahead with its plans for a huge rally in Tulsa tomorrow, on Saturday, despite surging coronavirus numbers in Oklahoma. The line of Trump supporters, look at this, waiting to get into the BOK Center for tomorrow right now is still growing. It may be hard to accommodate all of them.

Last night, Tulsa police confirmed the city's convention center will not be used as an overflow site as the campaign had planned. Meantime, COVID cases in that state just saw their largest single day increase since the start of the pandemic.

And that's not deterring the president, though. When asked by "The Wall Street Journal", what happens if one of your supporters get sick at one of those rallies. The president said, well, people have to know that, yes, you do, but it's tiny. You know, it's a very small percentage.

But a leading health expert says the president is endangering public health and the expert is urging people not to go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JONATHAN REINER, PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: What he's doing in Tulsa is criminal endanger meant. He's intentionally exposing people to risk of acquiring a deadly virus just for a photo- op. I'm begging the people in Tulsa, don't go to this. Watch it on television. Watch the president on television. You be safe at home. Do not go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The latest from CNN's Jeremy Diamond at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Laura.

President Trump eager to get back out on the campaign trail.

END