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Six Trump Campaign Staffers Working On Tulsa Rally Have Coronavirus; Interview With Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA); Arrest Warrant Issued For Suspect In Atlanta Wendy's Arson; Standoff Between Barr & U.S. Attorney Ends With Trump Firing Berman. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired June 20, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATION CORRESPONDENT: CNN NEWSROOM continues next.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I am Ana Cabrera in New York.
And we are following breaking news out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, with just hours go before the president holds a massive campaign rally. We have just learned six campaign staffers doing advanced work on this event have tested positive for coronavirus.
Let's get a look at the Bank of Oklahoma Center. Even before this news about the staffers, we know health experts have warned the rally had all the makings of a super spreader. You can see on the left where people will eventually end up on the right there is what we're told is the overflow crowd outside.
Now, think about it this way. The plan is to pack thousands of people inside the arena for hours shouting, chanting, they don't have to wear a mask, but they do have to sign a waiver promising they won't sue if they get sick.
The City of Tulsa also bracing for as many as 100,000 people just outside the venue, all of this as we learn Tulsa County is reporting a new daily record of coronavirus cases.
For more on our breaking news, let's get out to Abby Philip just outside the Bank of Oklahoma Center. So, Abby, what else do we know?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, these six campaign staffers who have now tested positive for the coronavirus is a new -- a wrinkle to an already tricky situation for the campaign. They were going to have 19,000 people, they are planning to have 19,000 at the BOK Arena behind me, but now they appear to be in the process of ensuring that none of the people who were in contact with these staffers are around inside of this event or around any of the people attending, and including lawmakers, the president and the vice president.
I do want to read this statement or part of this statement from the campaign communications director. It says, per safety protocols, campaign staffer tested positive for COVID-19 before the event. Six members of the advance team tested positive out of hundreds of tests performed and quarantined measures were immediately implemented.
Now, just to help the viewers understand what we're even talking about, advanced staffers work for the campaign and arrive at a city like Tulsa a couple of days before the event, even over a week or two before the event to ensure that everything that is going to happen they know where it's going to be, they inspect the sites, they make sure there is a plan for all of the events and all of the security. So those are the individuals who were tested positive.
It's not clear how long they've been long in Tulsa. It's also not clear when they received this positive test and how long the campaign has had to find any of their potential contacts. Ana?
CABRERA: And, Abby, as we reported, there was a new record set today for daily coronavirus cases in Tulsa County, the fifth time this week they hit a new high. What do we know about the precautions the campaign is taking for this event tonight?
PHILLIP: Yes. Cases here in Tulsa have been steadily rising. They have been leading the State of Oklahoma in new coronavirus cases, even as the state is actually in phase three of reopening. There is a lot of stuff happening that is open here.
The campaign has said what they're going to do is they're going to do temperature checks once individuals are coming into the event. They're handing out hand sanitizer and they are handing out masks. However, it is not clear whether any of these people will decide to wear their masks during the event. The campaign has already said they're not going to force mask-wearing.
We've even heard from campaign -- I'm sorry, from White House staffers, like the press secretary, Kayleigh McEnanym who said yesterday she's not going to be wearing a mask inside of this arena. A lot of times, what the White House will say is that people around the president are regularly tested.
These advanced staffers are regularly tested in the same way, but at the same time, six of them are now positive and it takes some time for symptoms to present themselves, even if people are infected with the virus.
CABRERA: Okay. Abby Phillip, we know we will be checking back with you. And I was looking at those pictures. It doesn't even look like people outside are trying to social distance. Most of them that I could see were not wearing masks either, few in that crowd we can maybe see are, but very, very few.
Let me turn to CNN's Gary Tuchman who is at this event as well. Gary, I know you have been speaking with Trump supporters waiting in line. Did they have any concerns about their health?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, I talked to some people who have some, I talked to no people who have serious concerns. This behind me at the BOK Center, this is where President Trump will be making indoor (INAUDIBLE) his speech.
This is a hockey arena. (INAUDIBLE) plays here. They canceled the season in March because it's too dangerous to have 19,000 people inside there. But now, at the highest point of COVID cases here in Tulsa County, there will be 19,000 people inside there. And this gives you an idea of how people really aren't paying attention to any of the guidelines.
You could see the people along this rail, a couple of people in masks.
If I would go for a percentage, I would say 10 percent of the people, I'd say, most have masks on and they're all standing right next to each other.
The fact is most people don't seem to care. There are some people who think it's an absolute hoax, COVID. Other think it's no different than the flu. And other people say, well, hey, it's my responsibility. I'll take personal responsibility for it. If I get sick, I get sick.
I want to talk to a couple nice people who I met earlier, grandmother and grandson. This is Isaiah, he's ten, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: He just turned ten. And this is Carrie, his grandma.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: How come you decided to come here with your grandson today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a historical day and I just wanted him to see it.
TUCHMAN: Are you concerned about the health issues? For example, respectfully, neither of you are wearing masks right now. And you were given masks when you came into this block party area outside of the stadium.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we were going in there, we would have them on.
TUCHMAN: You're not planning to go inside?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
TUCHMAN: So you're just here for the block party part of it. But you would if you were inside?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Does the coronavirus concern you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but I'm not so concerned with it outside. There's a lot of fresh air, a lot of breeze. So a lot of people have them on, but if we were going to be in close, in quarters, yes, we would have them on.
TUCHMAN: How does it make you feel that so many people are standing here right next to each other without a mask on? Like I wear my mask so I don't get you sick. God forbid, I get you sick, you're only ten, Isaiah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we came in, I said, don't touch anything. They gave us bottle after bottle of hand sanitizer. I said put it in your pocket, use it. You know, if you're -- if you think about what you're doing, you should be okay. If you go in there and you don't wear your mask, I pray for you.
TUCHMAN: This is a public service announcement from Carrie, the grandma, and Isaiah. Thank you for talking to us. We really appreciate it.
And this is a block party, they're going to have some bands playing here. Donald Trump will be speaking at another outdoor area before he goes into the stadium and faces the 19,000 people most of them, we assume, without masks. Ana, back to you.
CABRERA: Okay. And we saw people are filing into that arena. You're right, Gary, I don't see there are many masks. We'll keep watching these images while bring in our doctors here. Dr. Celine Gounder is with us. She's a former Assistant Commissioner of Health in New York City and the host of the Epidemic podcast. Also with us Dr. Jonathan Reiner, Professor of Medicine at George Washington University.
Dr. Gounder, what's your reaction to this news we got about six Trump campaign staffers who worked on this Tulsa rally now testing positive for coronavirus?
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: Well, Ana, the way I think about it is like Swiss cheese. And so like think about every slice of Swiss cheese has many holes, but if you layer a whole bunch of slices one on top of another, you eventually have a solid slice.
And it's a little bit like that with all of these public health interventions. None of them is perfect. And this goes to show you that even with consistent and aggressive testing of these staffers, there are loopholes, there are blind spots, and there's still a way for people to get infected and to break through.
So I think what we really need to be doing is emphasizing the need not just for testing, but also for masking and social distancing, the whole package.
CABRERA: Lots of people are testing -- or touching the railings as they're walking into this arena. A lot of people, you know, standing close together, sitting right next to each other.
Dr. Reiner, the Trump campaign says no COVID positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today's rally or near the attendees or elected officials who may be attending. How does this change the risk for people who are attending the rally, including the president? DR. JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION LABORATORY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, I think we don't know where these staffers acquired the virus. If they've been in Tulsa for several days, they likely acquired it in Tulsa. The virus is surging in Tulsa.
But also remember the photo op the vice president had about a week ago at Trump/Pence headquarters when he visited several dozen staffers in a large room who were shoulder to shoulder, none of whom were wearing masks. My concern is that if these are staffers who have recently come from a headquarters, they've come from an environment in which no one wears masks at work.
So we're seeing a culture that has de-emphasized what has really become a standard public health precaution, which is wearing masks, and now we're seeing multiple staff members infected.
CABRERA: Dr. Gounder, the rally basically violates every one of the CDC's guiding principles for gatherings, putting it in the high risk category. It's large, it's indoors, social distancing just simply won't be possible and the Trump campaign isn't making masks mandatory and, clearly, people are choosing not to wear them. How real is this concern that this event could become a super spreader?
GOUNDER: Ana, I'm really concerned about that. And, I mean, imagine if I were at the hospital to say to my patients, you know, I don't believe in hand washing. I think it's a hoax. Or I'm not going to put on gloves when I take your blood. I just -- that's my political statement. It's not just about your own health, it's also about the health of all of those other people you come into contact with, including your family and your friends.
And if you go back to World War I, they actually had this great expression. They called them slackers. And they said, people were slackers if they tried to dodge the draft and if they did not wear a mask to prevent the flu.
And I think we need to get back to that's what it means to be patriotic and to protect your family and friends and your community is to be wearing a mask, doing social distancing. It's not about politics. This is about the health of our country.
CABRERA: And it's not about protecting yourself necessarily, because you point out it's about protecting the people who are around you and perhaps family members they'll be returning too after this rally tonight, those masks are protecting others, not necessarily ourselves.
The president gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal in which the subject of masks was brought up. And I want to read you what he said. He said, the mask is a double edge sword. And I see it.
People come in, they're talking through the mask for hours, they probably don't clean them after, then they take the mask, they put their finger on the mask, they take them off and then they start touching their eyes and touching their nose and their mouth. Dr. Reiner, is that a good enough reason to forego masks entirely, in your view?
REINGER: It's so incredibly destructive. What he's really doing is he's planting in people's minds some sort of nefarious role for masks. It's sort of like telling a young driver you realize, of course, if you get into an accident and you're wearing a seatbelt, it might be hard to get you out of the car, right? That's the message that he's delivering to his supporters.
So what he's really telling his supporters is he prefers the photo op of people without masks, right, and he doesn't really care about the welfare of the people that are coming to see him. The truth of the matter is that masks will prevent the spread of this virus in the community.
They also will protect the wearers somewhat, depending on the kind of masks they're wearing, and everyone who goes out in public needs to have a mask on. And that should be the consistent message from our leadership, not this mixed message that we're hearing day in and day out from the Trump administration.
CABRERA: Well, the Trump campaign says they are taking precautions, Dr. Gounder. They're doing temperature checks, we're told. They're giving out hand sanitizer. How far will that go in protecting people?
GOUNDER: Well, the problem is that about 30 percent of the transmission is occurring from people who do not have symptoms on to other people. And it may be because they have a very mild case, have basically no symptoms, or it may be early in the course of infection before they have developed symptoms. But either way, you have a lot of people who may not have a fever or any other symptoms who are infectious. And so that's a big hole that you're -- a big risk in terms of ongoing transmission.
And it seems that the respiratory transmission is really the bulk of what we're dealing with here, not necessarily the hand hygiene. And while that's important, wearing a mask is probably the number one, two, and three most important things people could be doing right now.
CABRERA: Dr. Reiner, we've also learned that despite pleas to cancel, the president is pushing forward withholding a big 4th of July celebration. Last year's event brought up huge crowds. If you could say something to the president, what would it be?
REINER: Protect the public. Put the public's welfare ahead of your own welfare. You know, we know that there probably is a differential in risk between having an indoor event like this massive rally in the arena today and outdoor events.
But, still, if you were to have an outdoor event, why would you have it during the time of the pandemic? It makes no sense. What is the benefit for having an outdoor event? If it's to stroke your own ego or for your own political benefits, save it for a later time.
CABRERA: Dr. Jonathan Reiner and Dr. Celine Gounder, thanks for sharing your expertise with us.
REINER: My pleasure.
CABRERA: Thousands of people are about to pack this arena to see President Trump speak tonight despite the risk of coronavirus. Should this level of enthusiasm worry Democrats? We'll ask political experts, next.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: Back with our breaking news out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and live images inside the arena where the president will speak in just hours. This massive campaign rally that's planned, and we've just learned six campaign staffers doing an advanced work on this event have now tested positive for coronavirus.
This arena can hold nearly 20,000 people. Think about that. Thousands of people packed into an arena in the middle of this coronavirus pandemic. Masks are optional, but waivers are required. Attendees must agree they won't sue if they get sick.
Joining us now is former Republican Congresswoman of Utah Mia Love and Angela Rye, former Executive Director for the Congressional Black Caucus and Host of On 1 With Angela Rye.
So, Congresswoman Love, the president has called this rally tonight the start of his re-election campaign, but is this the way to begin, with people getting sick and potentially thousands more also in danger of getting sick?
MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes, it's certainly not ideal, it's not a good idea. I'm actually really concerned about not just the people that are going to potentially get sick but how it's going to hurt families. We've got over 21 million unemployed right now and if there is another major outbreak, then you're going to see that people are going to suffer quite a bit more than just the virus.
They're going to suffer economically. They're going to have a hard time putting food on the table. So I think that if they're going to do this rally, they should really take some major precautions and make masks mandatory, at least warn people and let them know there are people who have tested positive. I think that they could be doing a little bit more.
CABRERA: Why do you think that the Trump campaign is proceeding forward in the way that they are?
You just laid out exactly why maybe this isn't a good idea. And as you know, Oklahoma is a state the president needs to win over. It's solidly behind him. LOVE: Well, I think that he's seriously concerned about making sure he rallies his people. As you can see, there are people that are coming in, they don't care that there's a potential outbreak. They just want to see the president and he wants to be able to get his base and rally his base before elections.
So this is something that I think is purely for the campaign. He wants to get his people together and rally them and he's leaving it up to them and saying, I want you to come, but I just don't really think it's a good idea right now. I think he could wait a little bit, but I'm not on the campaign. So --
CABRERA: Okay. Angela, you look at the images and people have been lining up for days ahead of this rally. Local affiliates say some people have been in line since Sunday or Monday. So there is clearly excitement there. Should that level of excitement worry Democrats?
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I think what should worry American people overall is the way in which this president traffics in racism, the ways in which he engages in (INAUDIBLE) politics.
I'm hardly concerned about the numbers of people who, you know, continue to support -- well, I should say I'm very concerned about the number of people who continue to support Donald Trump not only in the wake of the coronavirus crisis but in the wake of the other crisis that I think Mia Love also identifies with, it's a pandemic within a pandemic. It's called racism. It's called white supremacy. It's called systemic oppression.
And the fact that Donald Trump is in Tulsa, I don't want us to just kind of paint broadly about the fact that he's in Tulsa, which is known to be Black Wall Street, which 99 years ago was burned to the ground by people who traffic in the same type of rhetoric, racism, racist policies that Donald Trump pushes.
So I don't want to just kind of, you know, turn a blind eye to that. Sure, he moved the rally back a day, but Juneteenth was yesterday. Donald Trump is crediting himself with making Juneteenth famous and he hasn't, right?
I think instead of focusing on trying to get folks in danger, you know, themselves health-wise, including the six staffers on his advance team, he should be trying to figure out how to lean in to what it means to be an oppressor himself and figure out how he's going to not only garnish support for whatever's left in his term but also turn a page to being a person who is an ally and a conspirator for what is right instead of trafficking into what is so very wrong.
CABRERA: Congresswoman, what do you make of that tweet the president sent out lumping together protesters, anarchist, agitators, looters or lowlifes, that's a quote, and basically saying they wouldn't be afforded gentle treatment if they gather at his event?
LOVE: You know, I have some major issues with the personality of the president. I think it's unfortunate. I think that the Twitter usage gets exhausting. It's horrible in so many cases. But a president of the United States should be a president for all people. And the lowlifes that he talks about are still the people that he represents.
And I've mentioned this over and over again, that a president should be uniting. You cannot unite the American people by shoving a wedge, continuously shoving a wedge between the American people. And I think that we are more divided than we have been in a very, very long time. And it's really unfortunate. I wish that the Twitter would go away and somebody would be -- he would be a little bit more presidential.
And I can say this also, that in the many years that I've been in politics serving as a mayor or as a member of Congress, not one time, and I criticize President Barack Obama quite a bit, he actually never came after me publicly. He realized that he had this -- that he had to make sure that he represented all of us. And so I think that that is -- you know, Republican or not, you have to still be presidential and you have to represent the American people regardless.
CABRERA: Quickly, because I want to get Angela back into the conversation, but I do want to just follow up real fast with you, Congresswoman, which is, after all that has transpired recently, do you still support this president? Will you vote for him in November?
LOVE: Well, I have not said if I'm voting for anybody. I have a hard time with Joe Biden and some of the policies and even some of the statements that he's made. So I have not -- I don't even know who -- who, if anybody, I will be voting for.
CABRERA: Okay. Angela, go ahead. I know you wanted to get in but I have another question if you want me to ask you instead.
RYE: I'm not confused. I'm just trying to take a minute so that I can be effective in what I want to say next. I think it is a mistake of the people to merely put this aside as personality. We're talking about someone who has just an extreme amount of power in their role.
I think it is unfortunate for us to compare the policies, the verbal lashings, the harassment, the statements that Donald Trump has made from calling NFL players who kneel sons of bitches, to calling protesters who are literally on the streets fighting for their survival lowlifes. I refuse to traffic in that.
And I know, like I'm the first person to acknowledge I've written op- eds about it, Joe Biden is no, like, Michael the Archangel. But what I won't do is make it seem like this is two sides of the same coin.
And so I hope that all of us on this segment and all of us sitting at home can understand the importance not only of this election, but of our political power and that we never use it to turn a blind eye to someone who is this dangerous. He is dangerous. And we have to call it what it is.
I don't want to sit on segments and talk about how it's abnormal. It's more than abnormal. It is dangerous. People are on the streets because they're fighting for their lives. And it is time for to us pay that type of attention and that type of respect to the people who are using their platforms in the ways in which they are.
CABRERA: Angela and former Congresswoman Mia Love, I really appreciate both your perspectives. Thanks for being here.
RYE: Thank you.
CABRERA: There's a battle brewing between the U.S. attorney general and a federal prosecutor who has investigated a number of people close to Donald Trump. William Barr said the top prosecutor in Manhattan resigned but that prosecutor says he's not going anywhere.
We'll explain this controversy next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: We are following another developing story. A standoff between Attorney General Bill Barr and a powerful U.S. attorney who has investigated a number of the president's associates.
Now, late last night, the attorney general abruptly announced that the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, was stepping down and would be replaced. He said he resigned.
Now, Berman fired back hours later saying he didn't resign and that he had just learned of his purported exit from a press release.
He writes, "I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption. I cherish every day I work with the men and women of this office to pursue justice without fear or favor. And intend to ensure that this office's important cases continue unimpeded."
Berman and his team have led the charge on corruption recently involving the president's inner circle. They successfully prosecuted the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen. They've also been investigating Rudy Giuliani and his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. And sources tell CNN the president has grown progressively more upset with the office.
Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, of California. He sits on the House Judiciary Committee.
Congressman, you describe what happened last night as a 16-alarm fire. Why do you believe that's the case? Why do you think is happening at the Justice Department?
REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Thank you for your question. We have a strong pattern of corruption here where Donald Trump and his neighbors are intervening in legal processes to protect themselves and their friends against investigations.
We've seen Trump fire the FBI director. He's fired numerous inspectors general. We saw Secretary Pompeo get an inspector general fired because he was investigating the secretary.
We've now seen Bill Barr intervene in cases against Roger Stone and Michael Flynn to protect them from prosecutions. And now we have this firing or attempted firing of U.S. Attorney Berman, whose office is investigating Trump's allies.
This is outrageous behavior. And we on the House Judicial Committee are looking at options to hold them accountable.
CABRERA: The chairman of your committee, Jerry Nadler, tweeted, "America is right to expect the worst of Bill Barr, who has repeatedly interfered in criminal investigations on Trump's behalf. We have a hearing on this topic Wednesday. We welcome Mr. Berman's testimony and will invite him to testify."
Democrats have been making this case for a while that Bill Barr should be impeached. Do you think your Republican colleagues will be swayed at all by what happened last night?
LIEU: I'm disappointed that my Republican colleagues haven't found their spines. But we'll continue the work that the American people want us to do, which is to hold this administration accountable and get the facts and evidence.
So this Wednesday, we're going to have two whistleblowers testify about what they've seen in the Department of Justice. Bill Barr has really perverted this department to do the president's bidding instead of the work of the American people.
Bill Barr could show up any time before a committee and explain himself. So far, he's afraid to do so. We do invite U.S. Attorney Berman to show up. Hopefully, he will.
CABRERA: Today, a judge denied the Trump administration's request to block John Bolton's new book.
One of the things that he alleges is that the president told Turkish President Erdogan back in 2017 that he would help end an investigation by the SDNY into a Turkish bank by replacing people in that office. Bolton also alleges that the president asked China for help winning re-election.
Do Democrats in the House need to subpoena John Bolton?
LIEU: We're going to be exploring all those options.
And the case with the Turkish bank is another example where the allegation is you have a bank breaking the law. The Southern District of New York is investigating it. And all of a sudden, we see the U.S. attorney try to be fired. And that raise suspicions that either Bill Barr or Donald Trump is trying to stop that investigation. And we have to get to the bottom of it.
CABRERA: Is there any reason not to subpoena John Bolton at this point?
LIEU: In my opinion, there's no reason not to subpoena him. I believe we should subpoena both John Bolton and Bill Barr both, absolutely.
CABRERA: Bolton declined to testify during the impeachment probe and Democrats were concerned about how long a fight over the subpoena would take. In the book, Bolton accuses Democrats, accuses your party of committing impeachment malpractice for not broadening the probe.
What was your reaction to that?
LIEU: I almost fell out of my chair. So we didn't know about this China incident where Donald Trump pleaded with the president of China to help Trump win re-election.
Well, guess who knew about that? John Bolton. And he refused to come to House and testify. He could have told us about that incident and we could have investigated it. So this is squarely on John Bolton's shoulders.
At the same time, I do look at the excerpts from his book and they are very damning of this president. It shows that Trump puts himself in above American national security and above the American people.
CABRERA: We're just a few hours away from the president's rally in Oklahoma. Both the campaign and local officials tell us, even in the middle of a pandemic, they had more than a million requests to take part in this rally. Some people lined up days in advance to get in.
We're seeing them now going into this arena. There's a large overflow crowd. Clearly, these people don't share your concerns about the president's conduct. Why?
LIEU: I can't explain why people think that way. I do wish them well. I hope they don't get sick.
However, we do know that one of the easiest ways to get COVID-19 is in an indoor place with lots of people being together for long periods of time. That's exactly what this rally is.
You are going to have people get sick. And some of them may die. And the president just doesn't seem to care. That is deeply disturbing.
CABRERA: I want to ask you about party. Who would you like to see join the ticket with Joe Biden to take on President Trump?
LIEU: A number of folks that are under consideration are my friends. I think any of them would be great.
At the end of the day, the American people are going to make a choice, do they want four more years of chaos and a president who puts his interest above those of American families or do they want Joe Biden who cares for American families and wants to bring our country back to normal again.
CABRERA: Quickly, given the moment that we are in, how important is it that the former vice president pick somebody who is a woman of color to be his vice president pick?
LIEU: I believe it's really important that we have a woman of color who is the vice-presidential pick.
We know that the Trump administration still doesn't get it. We had Vice President Pence who could even say the words Black Lives Matters.
Of course, all lives matter, but the reason we say Black Lives Matter is because our system dramatically undervalues black lives. And we've had government systemically murder black Americans for generations. That's why we say Black Lives Matter.
If you can't say it, it shows you still don't get it. Joe Biden gets it. And I hope he picks a vice-presidential candidate who is a woman of color.
CABRERA: Congressman Ted Lieu, thank you for being with us.
LIEU: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: New developments in Atlanta this hour. Investigators have named one of the suspects in that fire at a Wendy's where a black man was killed by police. And they've issued an arrest warrant in the arson case. The latest, next.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: More breaking news. In Atlanta, an arrest warrant has been issued in connection with the fire last week at the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police. The suspect, according to Atlanta fire investigators, is Natalie White, seen here in surveillance images.
I want to bring in CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, who is outside that Wendy's.
Shimon, you're learning that Natalie White may have been in some kind of relationship with Rayshard Brooks? Tell us.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's according to our colleague, Ryan Young.
We're actually not outside the Wendy's here, Ana. We're outside the third precinct where a lot of protesters have been gathering here, especially late at night. We were here last night late when a couple of protesters, several dozen protesters, not a very large crowd, showed up.
So we are outside here where police have been worried, certainly, about being -- having their facility here under attack. So they've set up these barriers. And then, at night, they come out here in force and they are lined up across the precinct. As you said, that new reporting, police are not exactly saying how
they are related, what the relationship was, but they are investigating the relationship between Rayshard Brooks and the person that they're looking for, Natalie White.
She's also mentioned on the body camera footage that police released by Rayshard Brooks. He talked about her on the body cam video.
So using some of that information and perhaps other information, police are saying that they believe there's some relationship between the two.
And as you said, Ana, they are now looking to speak with her in connection with the fire at that Wendy's.
CABRERA: OK, Shimon Prokupecz, thanks for that update.
Quick break. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR & ANCHOR (voice-over): The auto sector faces an uncertain future. But there might be a bright spot -- electric vehicles.
The International Energy Agency predicts 2.3 million could be sold in 2020, slightly more than last year.
That's good news for the environment, as the adoption of more electric cars is needed to drive down CO2 emissions and air pollution.
CHRISTIAN BOLD, SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER, INTERNATIONAL, BOLD: That's the size of one to push electric mobility.
DEFTERIOS: There's growing pressure on governments to feature green energy initiatives in any coronavirus economic recovery packages.
TIMUR GUL, DIRECTOR, ENERGY TECHNOLOGY POLICY, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY: Electric car market will need sustained and committed and support by policymakers.
DEFTERIOS: The coronavirus pandemic will prompt challenge for most of the world. An opportunity for electric vehicles to drive a new chapter in our global energy transition is taking shape.
John Defterios, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:50:33] CABRERA: We're back with breaking news now involving that standoff between a powerful U.S. attorney and the attorney general, William Barr.
Let's get straight out to CNN's Evan Perez.
Evan, what's happening?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the standoff appears to now be over. The president of the United States has fired Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, who had refused to take orders from the attorney general, who had refused to step down from his office.
If you remember, yesterday, the two men had a meeting in Manhattan. They apparently left the meeting with different understandings of what was going to happen next.
Bill Barr, the attorney general, put out a statement saying that Berman was stepping down, and laying out a series of changes for the office, including installing the New Jersey U.S. attorney to temporarily hold the office and then nominate someone, the chairman of the SEC., to take it over permanently.
That was not the understanding that Geoffrey Berman had. He put out a statement later that evening, last night, in which he said that he was not going anywhere because the attorney general didn't have the power to fire him or to remove him from the office.
So, here we stood today. The attorney general now says in a letter to Geoffrey Berman that the president has now fired him and it appears that this is going to be the final answer. We'll wait to see whether Berman agrees with it or not.
But here's a part of what the letter says. It says that -- obviously, the two men had a meeting yesterday, Ana, in New York, and according to Barr, "Unfortunately, with your statement last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service."
This is an accusation he makes directly at Berman, who made a comment that he was going to make sure that any sensitive investigations were going to be handled properly.
Barr has an answer to that, by the way, Ana. He says that if there's any indication that people are interfering improperly with any investigations being handled in Manhattan, that the -- those allegations could be sent over to the inspector general here at the Justice Department and that the inspector general will take a look and will investigate any such allegations.
As you know, he's handling -- this is an office that's handling a lot of sensitive investigations, including the one into Rudy Giuliani, the president's attorney. And that's why there's so much sensitivity over this firing.
CABRERA: And so, of course, the big question that remains is, why. Why did Attorney General Barr or the president want Geoffrey Berman to step out?
CABRERA: It doesn't sound like it was his choice.
Evan Perez, thank you for that.
CABRERA: Another quick break. We'll be right back.
CABRERA: Tomorrow is father's day, recognizing the important role that dads play in all of our lives. And for the last decade, "CNN Hero," Sheldon Smith, has been dedicated to teaching parenting and life skills to young African-American fathers in Chicago who want to be better dads.
When COVID-19 hit, he mobilized to make sure they had the resources and support they need. And now, in the fight for equality and justice, his work and message are as critical as ever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHELDON SMITH, CNN HERO: The message that I'm trying to spread is that black 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many boxes of food do you need?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just, like, one box.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll get you two.
SMITH: The young men in our program have beautiful hearts and they are volunteering their time so that they can be better fathers.
SMITH: And right now, we're talking about the injustices in America that need to be changed.
We have to continue to believe and work together and not make it about when a death occurs, that this is a 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)
CABRERA: To see the full story about Sheldon's efforts, go to CNNheroes.com.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: Hello, again. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.
We begin with breaking news out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. And with just hours to go before the president holds that massive campaign rally, we have learned six campaign staffers doing advance work on this event have tested positive for the coronavirus.
It's coming directly from the campaign. And they say in a statement, "No COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today's rallies or near attendees elected officials."
But even before this news about the staffers, health experts had warned this rally had all the makings of a super spreader.