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Judge Denies Trump Admin's Attempt To Block Release Of Bolton's Book; U.S. Attorney Refuses To Step Down After Barr Tries To Push Him Out; Trump To Hold Tulsa Rally Despite Concerns It Could Be A Super- Spreader Event; Eight States See Highest Weekly Averages Of New Cases Per Day; Potential Housing Crisis As States Lift Eviction Freezes. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired June 20, 2020 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello again everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We begin this hour with breaking news. A federal judge now ruling that former national security adviser John Bolton's book can hit store shelves, blocking Trump administration push to stop its release.
This as another legal face-off is unfolding. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr making a late night announcement that Southern District of New York prosecutor Geoffrey Berman would be stepping down but Berman is disputing the claim saying, he has no intentions of leaving.
Berman's office has been in charge of prosecuting several of President Trump's allies. All of this just hours before the President takes the stage in Tulsa, Oklahoma for his first rally in months. Crowds of people cramming together for his appearance. Even his health officials warn, it could turn into a super-spreader event. Let's start with CNN's Kristen Holmes who is at the White House. Kristen, President Trump already lashing out over the Bolton book release.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes right and unsurprisingly doing so on Twitter. First, he slammed Bolton and called him names but then he said that this was actually a win and I want to read you part of this tweet. It says big court win against Bolton. Obviously the book already given out and leaked to many people and the media. Nothing the highly respected judge could have done about stopping it but strong and powerful statements and rulings on money and breaking classification were made.
Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for doing so with a really big price to pay. He likes dropping bombs on people and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him. Let's just ignore the bombs dropping there, not clear what that analogy means but it is very clear that President Trump is now taking a new stand which is that this was actually a good thing. So what exactly is he talking about. Well, the judge said that the
Justice Department did not have enough evidence. They were not - their argument wasn't strong enough to actually start this book and essentially the judge's argument was the damage has already been done as you heard President Trump saying there and as we know, Bolton has already sat down for interviews.
Excerpts of this book have already been out there so essentially the damage again, is already done but the larger question here was that the judge left the door open on any sort of punishment that Bolton might face if there is in fact classified information.
In fact, the judge said that he could lose profit. He exposes himself to criminal liability and imperils national security. So interesting there that it wasn't really a clean cut one side win. He's saying here Bolton could still have us some serious punishments as we move forward and we decide if that was classified information or not in that book.
WHITFIELD: All right, Kristen Holmes, thank you so much for that. Right now to the other breaking story. The standoff between U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and a powerful U.S. attorney in New York who has investigated a number of the President's associates.
Moments after Barr announced that Geoffrey Berman was stepping down, Berman denied resigning, insisting that he has no intention of leaving and then CNN caught up with him just moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DIST OF NEW YORK: I have nothing to answer that, this morning. I'm just here to do my job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Here to do his job. CNN's Kara Scannell joining us now so Kara, what more can you tell us about what is going on here?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Well Fred, yes, Jeff Berman has been doing that job since 2018 and while he's been U. S. attorney for the Southern District, his office has investigated multiple cases that have ties to the President.
They investigated and prosecuted Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney. They also have investigated his company, the inaugural fund that was created for the inauguration. They also are investigating Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal attorney and his activities that he was doing you in Ukraine on behalf of the President. They also indicted two of Giuliani's associates who helped him in that effort.
So many investigations by the Southern District of New York that have touched the Trump administration and Donald Trump personally. That has led to a lot of tensions. The President has not been happy with Berman in that position and Bill Barr has himself, both in the SDNY cases and in other matters including Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, those cases, there have been questions raised by some on Bill Barr's activities about whether he is interfering in certain investigations.
Earlier this year in March, Geoffrey Berman was asked by a reporter whether Bill Barr is interfering in the investigation involving Giuliani. Let's hear what he said.
BERMAN: The Southern District of New York has a long history of integrity and pursuing cases and declining to pursue cases based only on the facts and the law on the equities without regard to partisan political concerns. My primary commitment is and has been to maintain those core values and that's how our offices operate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCANNELL: So now this standoff does continue. The big question is does the President fire Geoffrey Berman today or in the coming days or does he let Berman stay in the position until a Senate appointed person is in - has happened by the Senate.
Now Lindsey Graham, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee saying today that he would let the normal process play out which would mean that the senators from New York would nominate, would put forward people that they would like to see in that job.
That could mean that that that there would not be someone senate confirmed in that position through the election. You know as Jeff Berman said, at least as of today, he is there and he is continuing to do his job. Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Kara Scannell, thank you so much for that. Let's talk further about all of this. Joining me now David Swerdlick, Assistant Editor for The Washington Post and CNN Political Commentator and Susan Hennessey, a former National Security Agency attorney and a CNN National Security and Legal Analyst. Good to see all of you.
Before we talk about the Berman case, let's talk about that John Bolton case, the former NSA and so David, this federal judge says essentially the horse is out of the barn. You know material is already out there so just proceed with the book being ready to be sold in bookstores and elsewhere.
The President is calling this - he's trying to turn the table, calling this a court victory.
DAVID SWERDLICK, ASSISTANT EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST & CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if he wants to call it a moral victory and good morning Fred, I suppose the White House can spin it that way but the judge really there is saying something that has a legal underpinning but also just as common sense.
The book has shipped to warehouses, newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times have a hold of it. CNN has a hold of it so the idea that you're going to stop the information from coming out when you have the first amendment is just not going to happen and so the judge is declining to even play that game. That being said, now you have Ambassador Bolton setting himself up
potentially for some other legal jeopardy because the judge also said look, you may have damaged national security and you know there may be some penalties for Bolton down the road. By trying to be sort of too cute by half and not testifying and waiting to tell his story now, Bolton may have though not definitely set himself up for the worst of all case scenarios.
WHITFIELD: So Susan, it's interesting because you know Bolton and his attorney has said that they did provide the manuscript or material to the White House long ago for them to proofread and you know - and now the White House is saying that there may be potentially classified information.
The judge kind of withholding judgment on that. If there is, there could be some penalty you know to John Bolton so you know, help us understand the sequence of events. Is it an issue of someone at the White House dropped the ball or is it simply you know, it's an issue of it is re-election, just a few months away from that and the President wants to do everything in his power to stop any of incriminating, insulting, embarrassing information from being made public?
SUSAN HENNESSEY, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY ATTORNEY & CNN NATIONAL SECURITY AND LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's probably a little bit of both so whenever an individual like John Bolton gets a security clearance, he essentially enters into a contract with the government where he agrees that he's going to let the government in this case the White House, review anything and give him written authorization prior to actually publishing it.
And so John Bolton started that process but he didn't end that process. He never got that written confirmation that the book was - was cleared to go. Now there's a lot of sort of process abnormality here, indications that line reviewer actually said there was no classified information in the book and then a later political appointee coming in who actually hadn't received classification training and saying no, no, no, this is classified.
So it's sort of both sides are potentially wrong do - potentially engaged in wrong doing here. John Bolton didn't fulfill his full obligation as the judge made clear in this ruling today. At the same time it does appear as if the White House was at least partially politically motivated in really trying to delay this book from getting out, not because it contained classified information necessarily but to provide embarrassment to the President.
WHITFIELD: Also Susan, let me ask you about the standoff now between the Attorney General Bill Barr, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who refuses to resign. Who has the power to fire you know, Geoffrey Berman?
Is it the President? Because remember he was not Senate-confirmed or is it the Attorney General? HENNESSEY: Yes, so this is a little bit of an interesting legal
wrinkle because of course, Berman was actually judicially appointed. Donald Trump nominated him. Never put him through that confirmation process. The question is whether or not Bill Barr can actually fire him.
Now there's actually no indication that Barr has taken the step to fire him yet. Instead Barr released this sort of dishonest statement, this misleading statement saying Berman had resigned so I think there is an open question as to whether or not Bill Barr has the legal power to fire Berman. That said, I think it is very likely that the President of the United States himself does have the authority.
But one thing that's really interesting is that the President and the White House and the Attorney General has attempted this maneuver before essentially announced someone's resignation as a way of forcing them out. This is Gregory Berman saying - Geoffrey Berman saying, he's not going to play that game.
He is - if the White House wants him out, they're going to have to fire him directly and so he really is sort of demanding the explicit confrontation.
WHITFIELD: What would be the potential big problem with the President firing Geoffrey Berman, especially since Berman is involved in ongoing investigations and an investigation involving at least one person that the President you know, has a particular affinity for, his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
HENNESSEY: Yes, I think - sorry, go ahead David.
SWERDLICK: Oh no, I was just going to say look, I agree with Susan that ultimately the Justice Department is part of the executive branch. Probably the President can fire him if he explicitly fires. There's an OLC memo but like Susan said, there is a legal dispute. I think though there are two more big picture points.
One is that you have Berman essentially saying you're not going to Juneteenth massacre me, you're going to have to come out here and toe the line and fire me in the open. Number two is, is that when you take this in the context of the serial letting go of various inspectors general from various departments in recent weeks, it does not look good to the - on the President or the Attorney General, whether they have the authority.
WHITFIELD: And then Susan, your point was going to be.
HENNESSEY: No, I mean clearly if the President would actually fire Berman at this point, he would pay a predominantly political consequences. This would be another and is really another stunning example of the politicization of the Justice Department.
That said, you know depending on the underlying facts, the motivation, the actual involvement of the President, I do think there are open questions as there were with the firing of Jim Comey as to whether or not the President is potentially obstructing justice in some way if his intention here is to run move a Berman in order to impede some ongoing investigation.
So the only thing I think we can be sure of right now is that there's a lot more to this story than the White House or the Department of Justice is currently admitting.
WHITFIELD: Right and likely even without Berman, those investigations would be ongoing. David Swerdlick, Susan Hennessey, thank you so much.
SWERDLICK: Thanks Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, still to come, hours from now thousands are expected to gather in Tulsa, Oklahoma for President Trump's rally. This as health officials are worried that the event could be a super- spreader for coronavirus. We'll take you there live. Plus the rush to find the coronavirus vaccine continues as cases rise in multiple states. We'll speak with someone who is volunteering for human vaccine trial. That's right ahead.
WHITFIELD: Right now big crowds of people are gathering in Tulsa, Oklahoma where President Trump is set to hold a rally tonight. It's his first campaign stop since March before nationwide shutdowns over the coronavirus but it comes as new cases of COVID-19 are spiking in Oklahoma. CNN's Martin Savidge is in Tulsa.
Martin, the campaign says they're taking precautions for attendees after a lot of discussion about precautions that were not going to be taken.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. I mean, it's true the campaign has been advising the people if they want to, could wear masks and they're actually handing out masks inside once you get through the fence here. They just open the gates. It was about 45 minutes ago. People have been starting to file in. This is actually sort of a street festival at first and then it will of course and with the speech and rally by the President.
So they're kind of handing out or maybe I should say, they make available face masks and people have been taking them but hardly anybody is wearing them and it's interesting to know that even the people handing out the masks aren't wearing face masks.
Social distancing went out the window a long time ago. None of that is happening. The lines are moving along here. I'll point out, they're also giving out these things, full on face shield. There's a company from New York that has made these and brought these for everyone they claim. They got 40,000 of them.
But again not many takers on that. So the number, they have been spiking here in Tulsa County. Four days this week, they had record numbers of increases in 24 hours. So there's grave concern by health officials but not by Trump supporters. Here's some I talked to.
DOLLY CAMPBELL, OKLAHOMA CITY RESIDENT: I don't mind going into the arena with the pandemic and the spikes because that's the beautiful thing about our country. I know that I am fully taking on the risk of possibly encountering you know or being exposed to it but as an American, that's my right.
LONDY MARRACINO, STEUBENVILLE, OHIO RESIDENT: It doesn't worry me that much because I have my health so I was never really worried about in the first place.
AARON, NORMAN OKLAHOMA RESIDENT: If I think everyone is keeping some hand sanitizer around them you know, little bit and do this a little bit right here, I think it will be all right. I think it - wear the mask, wear the mask.
SAVIDGE: Medical experts don't think it will be all right. In fact what they're saying is that now 100,000 people coming in, in the middle of a spike, all of them cheering and crowded together. It's a recipe they believe for contagion. Fredricka. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, we shall see. Martin Savidge, thank you so much and this breaking news into CNN. An arrest warrant has been issued for a woman who is suspected of starting this fire at a Wendy's in Atlanta soon after the killing of Rayshard Brooks. Details straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: All right, in this break right now CNN has just learned that an arrest warrant has been issued for a suspect who may be responsible for burning down the Wendy's in Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police last week. CNN's Natasha Chen joins me now from Atlanta with more on this. Natasha.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Fred, I just spoke with Sergeant Cortez Stafford of the Atlanta Fire Departments, about 10-15 minutes ago. Now the Fire Department had released images of this person after the burning of the Wendy's, hoping to get the public's help with this. It turns out they did get some public response and with that as along with the evidence they believe they have of this person burning the building and being in the area at the time.
That is what they based their arrest warrant on. It is for 29-year old Natalie White for arson in the first degree and Sergeant Stafford was clear to tell me that he also believes that there - there could very well be other suspects out there. They're still working on this investigation.
At this time he is not aware if Ms. White has any connection with anyone who was on the scene that night, whether she's acquainted with Rayshard Brooks and you know there are a lot of people who were there, a lot of people who shot video and - and that includes a lot of people who were there 24 hours before that fire, the nights that Rayshard Brooks was killed.
We as a team we talked to a couple of the witnesses who were in the drive-thru Friday night, June 12. They described what happened when they saw the very civil conversation take a turn. Here's what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DORAN HICKEY, WITNESS: When they stood over him at first, they nudged his body with their foot to flip him over before they attempted to do anything to try to save his life.
MAGGIE KANE, WITNESS: I feel like I'm in a different reality like I'm in this like sequel of a horror movie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: This is clearly touched a lot of people and we have seen almost daily protests, peaceful protest during the daytime and of course some incidents in the evening like we showed you with the building burning and Sergeant Stafford with the Fire Department said to me, he feels that the Wendy's burning should not take away from what the peaceful protesters are out there for. Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Natasha Chen, thank you so much. All right, grim predictions from the CBC as multiple U.S. states are posting record high case counts of COVID-19 but is that due to increased testing? We'll discuss next.
WHITFIELD: The CDC predicts that the U.S. will surpass 135,000 coronavirus deaths over the next three weeks. Cases are arising in 24 states, that's nearly half of the country. At least eight of those states are seeing their highest weekly averages of new cases per day since the beginning of the pandemic.
A new model says Florida has all the markings of being the next epicenter of the virus. CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me now. So Polo, case trends across the country appear to be going in the wrong direction is that because, you know, there is more testing available or is there something else?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's something that we've certainly heard from some people here. But ultimately epidemiologists disagree. They say there are other factors here to consider, Fred.
In the meantime, yes, you do have those various pockets throughout the country of Arizona, Texas, Florida as well, seeing that significant increase in sentence sharp contrast with what we're seeing here in New York, for example, only about 2 percent of tests coming back positive.
And come Monday, New York will a little -- will look a little bit more like New York with restaurants opening up their doors for outdoor dining.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): From coast to coast, these are the states that seemed to be going in the wrong direction. This week, they recorded their highest seven-day averages.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open wide.
(voice-over): New COVID cases, in Texas, some local officials fear arise and hospitalizations and death rates.
LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE: The spike in or hospitalizations is real and it's more dangerous than it's ever been.
(voice-over): Oklahoma also seeing a steady COVID climb as President Trump prepares to pack an indoor arena in Tulsa. They can hold up to 20,000 of his supporters. With masks on the optional, there's concern that the rally will be a COVID super spreader as it violates nearly all the guidelines set out by the CDC.
But some cities are making masks mandatory. Starting today, Dallas is one of the latest Texas cities requiring face coverings in businesses, violators risk up to a $500 fine. In the Houston area, local officials are pleading with people to put politics aside when it comes to covering up.
HIDALGO: The idea is not to politicize, to express full outrage, to try and have a minute in the limelight. Let's work together. The evidence is clear. Face coverings prevent the spread of the disease.
(voice-over): Masks also a must in Phoenix, Arizona. It's the city's response to a massive jump in COVID cases across the state. Just look at the stats. Arizona saw record breaking numbers nearly every day this week. And you look around this business district in the city of Tempe, there are plenty of exposed faces.
CHARLES GBEKIA, TEMPE RESIDENT: I'm not wearing a mask. I think the masks are good, but I think they kind of act as a placebo to some extent.
(voice-over): Another round of openings are expected in the days ahead, perhaps the most notable and anticipated will be in New York City. It enters face two on Monday, allowing outdoor dining, the reopening of salons and barbershops, as well as some offices.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: If people are thinking about getting together with anyone they don't under -- live under the same roof with, they need to really practice distancing.
(voice-over): There is however a retail giant taking a step back. Apple announced its reclosing some stores in Florida, the Carolinas, and Arizona played the closures on the spiking coronavirus cases.
SANDOVAL: Here in New York City even after Monday, when you will probably see more tables outside of restaurants and on sidewalks, much of the guidance that we've heard from the very beginning, Fred, will continue to stand that is social distancing and also the wearing of masks here.
Authority, certainly hoping that people will continue to adhere to that even though, Dr. Anthony Fauci is saying this week that he is certainly concerned that this anti science sentiment is now leading many people to simply disregard those guidelines. Fred?
WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.
All right, researchers are looking for coronavirus vaccines say, a common vaccine already in use could help prevent the worst effects of a COVID-19 infection.
Researchers want to try giving patients the same vaccine used for mumps and measles, in the hopes that it would boost the body's immune system and also help it target the vaccine.
And there are also currently more than 130 vaccines in the development around the world, including one being tested by Moderna, right here in the US., that one is heading into phase three trials, which includes using it on thousands of human subjects.
Neil Browning is a volunteer participant in Moderna's trial. And we've spoke to him before. Neil, how are you doing? How are you feeling?
NEAL BROWNING, VOLUNTEER PARTICIPATING IN CORONAVIRUS VACCINE TESTING: I'm feeling great. There's literally been no issues at all with me taking this vaccine.
WHITFIELD: So you've had one dose or multiple doses?
BROWNING: I had the first dose mid-March. And 28 days later, I add a second booster dose to increase the efficacy of my immune response.
WHITFIELD: And so you felt nothing meaning, no side effects, et cetera, but what's your feeling about whether it is working, have you, you know, been in crowds or gone about your day to day, you know, business, interacted with people as sort of a your own personal test of whether you would get sick despite the fact that, you know, taking the trial?
BROWNING: So Moderna released some numbers, it hadn't been really peer reviewed or fact checked, saying that the first four people from the first two groups, myself included, produce not just antibodies, but the very difficult neutralizing antibodies, which actually prevents infection or reinfection. So while it does give me a lot of hope that this is a good thing, I still steer clear crowds, I still wear my mask in public because even if I were to be immune, that doesn't mean that I could not still inhale and then redistribute it somewhere else, even if I'm not going to get sick by it.
WHITFIELD: So describe this commitment while you've had the two doses. How much longer, you know, are you a part of this trial and what do you know is on the horizon?
BROWNING: So I'm in the trial for 13 months total, a year after the second dose. And that's to basically gauge how long these antibodies are going to remain in the bloodstream. My next visit is the 7th of July, where they will do a draw. And they will see that I have the antibodies still hopefully and how many are still there?
WHITFIELD: What does your family think about all this?
BROWNING: They really have a lot of hope that this is going to be one of the ones if not the one that's successful. It's the earliest one and hopefully it has the best chance of getting out to a wide variety of people around the globe to help curb if not end this pandemic.
WHITFIELD: And you seemingly have been very optimistic from the very beginning meaning, you volunteered, you know, to do this, how much more hopeful how you become?
BROWNING: The data that they've released is really, really very good at, you know, isn't something that we ought to just say, now the cure is here, throw off our masks, and disregard all social distancing. There's a lot of work to do. It's very encouraging that they're being fast tracked into phase three, and they're still on track for their own press releases that they should have this in the hands of first responders and those most exposed on the front lines, hopefully this fall.
WHITFIELD: All right, Neil Browning, we continue to wish the best for you and everybody who has volunteered to be a human trial. Thank you so much.
BROWNING: Thank you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, we're going to reach out again. We're going to keep tabs on your progress throughout.
All right, Tulsa, Oklahoma, it is the site of President Trump's rally tonight. It is also the site of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history, that story ahead.
WHITFIELD: As President Trump prepares for his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally tonight, America is confronting its racist past including what's believed to be the single worst massacre of black people in America. Tulsa's 1921 massacre involved white mobs killing 300 black residents in their uniquely prosperous community.
CNN's Randi Kaye has more.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1921, the Greenwood area of Tulsa, Oklahoma was thriving. It was an affluent area, home to more than 300 black owned businesses that became known as Black Wall Street.
MECHELLE BROWN, GREENWOOD CULTURAL CENTER: It was an amazing time for blacks in Tulsa.
(voice-over): Despite all the success, African Americans we're still dealing with segregation and deep racial tension. It came to a head beginning on May 30th, 1921, when a 19-year-old African American man was accused of assaulting a white woman in an elevator in downtown Tulsa.
BROWN: The elevator doors closed. And a few minutes, few moments later, there's a screen, the elevator doors open and Dick Rowland runs.
(voice-over): The woman never press charges but Dick Rowland was still arrested.
BROWN: By the end of the day, many whites were claiming that she had been raped in the Drexel building.
(voice-over): By the next day, May 31st, 1921, a white mob had gathered outside the courthouse were Rowland was being held, promising a lynching.
BROWN: Lynchings were also common in Tulsa.
(voice-over): A group of African American men went to confront the white mob at the courthouse. There was a struggle between the black and white armed mobs and shots were fired. The African Americans retreated to Greenwood hoping to protect their property and families. But the white mob followed, killing African Americans and burning down everything in sight.
BROWN: They call it the National Guard, who was told that there was a negro uprising and negros were killing innocent unarmed whites so they fight it with the predominantly white police force.
(voice-over): Nearly 6,000 African Americans were forcibly detained. While they were held, the white mob stole their valuables and burn their homes to the ground. George Monroe was just five years old when the massacre happened.
GEORGE MONROE, 5 YEARS OLD WHEN RIOT OCCURRED: The thing that I remember more than any other thing is when my mother looked out the front door and so four men with torches coming down our sidewalk into our house.
(voice-over): This woman's grandmother lived through it to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was really murder. It was a massacre. My grandmother was awakened at night and just told to run, just get up and run. And they ran. She was only nine, they ran for days.
(voice-over): By the time it was over, at least 300 African Americans were dead. Many were buried in mass graves or piled on dump trucks and dumped in the Arkansas River.
According to the Greenwood Cultural Center, 35 square blocks of property were destroyed too, leaving black families with only the clothes on their backs.
BROWN: This was about racism. This was about envy. They saw that blacks were, many of them were very wealthy. And they were simply envious. They would make comments such as how dare those negros have a grand piano in their home and I don't have one in mine. We will not forget the history of Black Wall Street or the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.
KAYE: To the black community, this was a cold-blooded massacre. But if you look at history, it shows that white Tulsans viewed this as a race riot, and that's what they labeled it and that caused even more problems for black residents there in the Greenwood area because that led insurance companies to deny claims totaling about $2.7 million to black residents because they didn't have a race riot clause in their insurance policy.
So if it had been labeled a massacre or even a murder, it would have been different. So things are even made more difficult for that community. And just as far as the two people who were at the center of this whole thing, Fred, Dick Rowland and the woman in the elevator who he allegedly assaulted that day, he left that community and ended up dying years later in a work related accident.
Sarah Page, the woman, also left the community and was never heard from again publicly. And once again, she never did press charges, Fred.
WHITFIELD: Incredible history, no one should forget. Thank you so much, Randi Kaye, appreciate it. Thanks for bringing that to us.
Don Lemon takes on the hard conversations about being black in America with his new CNN podcast, Silence Is Not an Option. Find it on your Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app.
One of many ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the growing number of people facing food insecurity. Up next, we'll speak with the CEO of the New York food bank on the challenges that they are up against and what they're doing to help families in need.
But first, this Sunday is Father's Day, a great time to catch up with CNN Hero, Sheldon Smith. He is teaching parenting and life skills to young African American fathers in Chicago who want to be better dads.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHELDON SMITH, CNN HERO: The message that I'm trying to spread is that, lack fathers are important. When businesses were closing and doing layoffs, we wanted to just make sure that our fathers knew that we were there for them.
So how many boxes of food you need?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just like one box.
SMITH: We'll give you two.
The young men in our program have beautiful hearts. And they are volunteering their time so that they can be better fathers.
And right now, we're talking about the injustices in America that needs to be changed. We have to continue to believe and work together and not make it about when a death occurs that this is the time we need to stand up. Right now as a country, as a nation, we have an opportunity to change and show the world what we're really made of. Once you invest, build, and believe you bring about a different solution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, thank you so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, to learn more, watch the full story. Go to CNNHeroes.com.
WHITFIELD: As states reopen, freezes moratoriums on rent and evictions are beginning to expire and many who have lost their jobs will now be faced with repaying months of rent back rent payments. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich reports.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Kianah Ashley is being evicted and a nightmare is unfolding for her and her five-year- old son Nazir (ph).
KIANAH ASHLEY, RENTER FACING EVICTION: That's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy because not knowing where you're going to rest your head at for the next day, that's not good.
(voice-over): Up to 23 million Americans are at risk of eviction by the end of September. It's a housing crisis in the making.
ASHLEY: There's not really many options out here for us, you know, when it comes to trying to find a place during this pandemic.
(voice-over): Renters in 42 states have been protected under eviction moratoriums, postponing rent payments as the economy stutters due to COVID-19. But 40 percent of those moratoriums have lifted, and more than 45 million Americans are still without a job.
EMILY BENFER, DIR., HEALTH JUSTICE ADVOCACY CLINIC AT COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL: The United States can expect an avalanche of evictions that will impact the entire community and have a cascade of additional losses, everything from financial well-being, to health, to housing opportunities across the country.
(voice-over): Ashley has a section eight voucher, making her search for affordable housing more difficult. She's one of 50 million people who live in rentals in the U.S., experiencing job or income loss because of the pandemic, with people of color taking the brunt of it.
BENFER: Eviction disproportionately affects communities of color and women with children at the highest levels.
Black households are more than twice as likely to be evicted as white households. So it's a significant impact that we're going to have here.
(voice-over): And that could lead to record homelessness. The Coalition for the Homeless in New York City says its mobile soup kitchens have seen a 100 percent increase in need.
DAVE GIFFEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS: We've never seen anything like this. And, again, we know that this isn't the end. It's not even the middle. This is only the beginning of the crisis to come.
(voice-over): The Heroes Act, passed by the House, but stalled in the Senate, would provide $100 billion in rental relief, including a national moratorium on evictions, keeping people like Ashley out of shelters. She's been there before with her son and doesn't want to have to go back.
ASHLEY: No child deserves to have to go through an experience like that, but it's a -- that's a very big fear of mine because just going through the process of a loop, a loophole of being denied and not knowing where you're going, it's not a good feeling.
(voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: From struggling to keep a roof over the head, how about millions of Americans are also struggling to put food on the table. As the pandemic continues food banks in some states say demand is through the roof and supplies are running desperately low.
Joining me right now on the phone is Leslie Gordon, President and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City.
Leslie, so glad you could be with us. Last time we spoke it was back in April when things were very dire. How are things now?
LESLIE GORDON, PRESIDENT & CEO, FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY: Hi Fredricka. It's so good to be with you. Thanks for having me back.
And yes, Food Bank for New York City, we're one of the nation's largest food banks. And the need continues to be at an all time high, the highest in our history that we've been serving the marketplace, which is around 36 years.
And so before, you know, think about pre COVID, there are about 2.5 million New Yorkers who didn't know we have enough to make ends meet. And food was something they would flex within their budgets.
And so our network has seen about a 50 percent increase across the board and the number of people coming to them. A fair number of those people are, Fredricka, people who have never had to go to a pantry or to a community kitchen for food assistance ever before.
And so for the first time in their lives, as you can imagine, it's a really stressful event to have to think about getting food outside of a grocery store where you would normally go to shop.
WHITFIELD: Oh, it's humiliating. And, you know, we're looking at pictures. We've seen pictures across the country of just lines of people in their cars, New York City, very different. How, you know, are people able to get the sustenance that they need or they can handle for now and where are you all, you know, in greatest need?
GORDON: Sure. So, one of the hardest hit areas in New York City is the Bronx which is home to one of the poorest congressional districts in the United States.