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Federal Prosecutor Fired; Arrest Warrant Issued In Atlanta Wendy's Arson; Soon, Trump To Hold Tulsa Rally Amid Coronavirus & Racial Unrest; Trump Will Continue To Fight Against DACA Despite Supreme Court Ruling; Trump Campaign Rally Held Near Greenwood, Place Of Horrific African-American Massacre; Six Campaign Staffers Working on Trump Rally Have Coronavirus. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 20, 2020 - 17:00   ET


ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: It reported 136 new cases overnight. A new record bringing the county total to more than 2,000. CNN's Ryan Nobles is inside the rally and Martin Savidge is outside the rally with protesters.

Ryan, first to you. What more are you learning about those campaign staffers who tested positive for the coronavirus?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. What the campaign is telling us is that this is an example of how they're taking safety seriously when they're putting on this rally and packing some 19,000 people into this arena today.

And this is what campaign communications director Tim Murtagh told us earlier today. He said, quote, "Per safety protocols, campaign staff are tested for COVID-19 before events. Six members of the advance team tested positive out of the hundreds of tests performed, and quarantine procedures were immediately implemented. No COVID positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today's rally or near attendees and elected officials.

As previously announced, all rally attendees are given temperature checks before going through security at which they are given wristbands, face masks and hand sanitizers. And I can tell you, Ana, from our experience coming into the arena, we did get those temperature checks. We were given wristbands. Here's mine right here.

In addition to that, there was the offering of hand sanitizers and masks. But once you get inside this arena, those masks are optional. And there are very few people who are here as rally goers that are actually wearing those masks.

Now, we did spot one person wearing a mask connected to the Trump campaign, and that is campaign manager, Brad Parscale. He did a quick run through the arena not too long ago. He was wearing a mask. However, the president's son, Eric Trump, was also up here. He did a few local media interviews. He was not wearing a mask.

So, it's very hit and miss, depending on who you're talking to and depending who those folks are. Most folks here in the press area are wearing masks. But we have to keep in mind, Ana, that one of the things that the folks that are dealing with public health in this community are most worried about is social distancing. And social distancing just isn't possible in an environment like this.

These seats are right on top of one another. And when you bring this many people into a venue this size, it's impossible to stay six feet apart. Still, though, the arena, the BOK Center, does have signage throughout the building that tells people to take COVID-19 precautions, including washing hands and practicing social distancing when possible.

Now, what the Trump campaign believes is that it is time to reopen the country. It is time to have events like this throughout the country, and that we are on the back end of the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, that doesn't necessarily fall in line with what public health officials are saying, even the public health officials here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

But, Ana, we are at the stage now where there's no turning back. This rally is happening tonight, no matter what. And we expect the president here in just a few hours -- Ana.

CABRERA: We saw him leaving the White House this afternoon. Ryan Nobles there in Tulsa. Thank you.

Let me turn to Martin Savidge because, Martin, you've been among rally goers and protesters today. Tell us what you've been seeing and hearing.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we're trying to monitor is the circumstance right behind us here. This is one of the entry points. It had been the way that the crowd had been getting into the rally.

But, now, it appears that there are protesters that have shown up at this particular checkpoint, and it's interfering with the ability to, apparently, get people in safely. So, the authorities dressed in riot gear are now confronting the crowd. They're essentially saying, you've got to move back. You've got to move back, because we will not open the gates until you do.

So, this is a community that is not only dealing with unrest. It's a community that's also dealing with a spike of Coronavirus. And then, on top of that, now with security concerns that come at any time you have a presidential visit like this. You can start to see that the police are moving in here. There have been reports of tear gas being used earlier.

For the most part, these protests have been peaceful, but the confrontations are directly in your face. There's not a whole lot of social distancing on the part of protesters either. But many of them do wear masks. Some don't. It's very similar to the kind of confrontations you have with supporters for the president.

So far, we've only heard of one arrest. It was in this area. It was earlier today. So, it's clear, getting in is one of the flash points for confrontation right now -- Ana.

CABRERA: Obviously, this is an emotional time for people, and emotions are high there. We'll see what happens. Martin Savidge, thank you for your reporting.

President Trump speaking to reporters just before leaving for his rally. And he was asked about that attempted Friday night firing of Manhattan's top prosecutor.

And CNN's Kristen Holmes is live at the White House with more on this. What a turn of events. First, the attorney general announces a U.S. Attorney has resigned. The U.S. Attorney says, no, I didn't. The attorney general now today announcing the president has fired the U.S. Attorney. The president saying just a few minutes ago, I'm not involved. So, what's going on?


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a great question, and, of course, we have reached out to the Department of Justice and to the White House to get some sort of clarity.

Now, we were waiting to hear if President Trump would talk about Geoffrey Berman, who is that U.S. Attorney who you mentioned, who was fired just hours earlier. This is exactly what he said. I want to play this for you, Ana.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you fire Berman?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, that's all up to the attorney general. Attorney general Barr is working on that. That's his department, not my department. But we have a very capable attorney general, so that's really up to him. I'm not involved.

HOLMES: I'm not involved. Well, that's very interesting because I'm holding up the letter here that was sent to Geoffrey Berman. And it says, from Bill Barr, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so. This, of course, is the letter that went to Berman to fire Berman, saying that the president was the one who was actually doing it.

And I want to note, there were some questions as to whether or not he could because it's an appointment. Well, obviously, that sets that clear. And one other thing to point out is that President Trump has expressed interest, behind closed doors, in replacing Berman since the middle of 2018 at least, possibly before then.

Now, he was upset with the office about their investigation into Michael Cohen, President Trump's long-time fixer and lawyer, as well as the investigation into Rudy Giuliani, which sources said the president believed was meant to diminish him politically. That that -- he want -- they wanted to attack him politically.

And there have been a number of other investigations that this office has been looking into that involve President Trump's associates as well as President Trump's inaugural committee. They were looking at the finance records there. So, this has clearly been a thorn in the president's side. And as we know from sources, he has discussed this behind closed doors. So, the idea that he's not involved at all in any of this is questionable right now, just based on those discussions.

But, really, the big question mark here is where the conflict is. Where the disconnect is between the Department of Justice and the White House. The president of the United States who just issued two completely opposite statements. One of them saying, I wasn't involved at all. The other really pointing the finger at the president saying he's the one who ended up doing this.

CABRERA: OK. Kristen Holmes, obviously a lot more digging for all of us to get to the bottom of the truth here. Thank you.

Joining us now is former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. Anthony, good to have you with us. I don't even know where to start, to be honest with you, because there's so much to discuss. Let's just begin with this breaking news, the firing of that powerful federal prosecutor, Geoffrey Berman.

Barr said he was stepping down last night. Berman saying, no, I'm not. Now, Barr says President Trump has fired him, but the president just contradicted that this afternoon. This particular prosecutor had been investigating Michael Cohen. He had been investigating Giuliani. How do you see this playing out?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, remember, that is always President Trump's tactic. When he's close to the fire or the bomb is close to him, he doesn't know anything. Never met the guy. Barely knew the different people that he hired and so forth. So, that's always the move that he's going to make, even though it's contradicting Attorney General Barr.

But I applaud Mr. Berman. I think he -- I think he's a patriot. I think he recognizes that the rule of law now is being questioned. I think all of us are wondering where the outrage is. Certainly, the World War II generation, when Archibald Cox was fired on a Saturday night, they stepped forward. Guys like Howard Baker said, enough is enough.

Where are senators, like Rob Portman? Great midwestern values. Principled man. Why doesn't he step up, now at this point, and say, enough is enough? And so, what I am hoping is this last act of egregiousness, this last act of full lawlessness will wake some people up about what the ideas of America and what the foundational principles are of our Constitution. And they will step into this thing and intercede.

And let's find out what the SDNY knows. What does the SDNY know and when did they know it, Ana? I think that's a big question on the mind of the American people right now.

CABRERA: And my biggest question is, why? Why would the president want him fired? Why would attorney general Barr want him fired?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, they --

CABRERA: He is a Republican.

SCARAMUCCI: -- got the goods on --

CABRERA: He was a Trump donor.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, they've got the goods on three or four different people. He's trying to be an impartial guy. He's trying to do the job with a level of impartiality that they don't like. This is full-blown cronyism. And this is the sign of something that happens in a Banana Republic.

So, again, there were checks and balances put in place for a reason. But I think it's very fascinating, Ana, that President Trump has figured out a way to inoculate himself from 54, 53 people. You know, let's take Mitt Romney out of there, because he did vote to convict him. He somehow inoculated himself from these people or silenced them at a moment of crisis in the United States.


SCARAMUCCI: And so, hopefully, people will wake up. They'll call their senators and congressmen and say, OK, do we really want to go down this road now? This sort of craziness, where we're going to be firing law-abiding attorney general -- U.S. attorneys that are prosecuting people in the SDNY?

CABRERA: Well, let's see. As we wait for those Republican lawmakers to speak up, the president goes into tonight's re-election rally after what could be considered one of his worst weeks in office. He claimed the Coronavirus was dying out, even though several states are reporting a spike in cases, including Oklahoma.

He suffered a couple of stinging losses at the Supreme Court on DACA, on LGBTQ rights. His former national security advisor, John Bolton, wrote in a tell-all book that Trump asked China for help winning re- election. And that book, now a judge saying today, will be released. They can't stop the sale of that book. And we have unrest still continuing in cities all across the country. You know Trump, the salesman, very well. How does he spin all this tonight in Tulsa?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, he'll go on a -- one of those run-on sentence rants about everybody. He'll attack everybody that attacks him. I mean, that's been his strategy his whole life. He'll try to deflect away from the disease and the wreckage of the economy and his mishandling of it.

And he'll make this a cultural, tribal war. Instead of uniting the country and acting with selfless and responsible leadership, he's going to try to pit one part of the country against another part of the country. And what he's failing to recognize, the reason he's going to lose, is that the mosaic of America is coming together.

And as, once again, America renews itself and we reset up the culture and make it more fair and more inclusive, it won't matter what color you are. Everybody will be included. Everybody will have that aspirational opportunity. And he's going to lose this battle because it's a small group of people that are tethered to him that think the other group of people are going to ruin their lives or ruin their culture, none of which is true.

And so, the battle, come November, is to explain to those people that he's a systemic danger to the society and we'll do that. We'll do that. There's a coalition building of Republicans and Democrats that will take him out of office in November. But his move right now, Ana, is a tribal warfare move. Let's split the country. Let's divide the country. And let's create levels of hatred and anger to see if I can get the vote out on that base of people that voted for me in 2016. That's the strategy. That's the move.

CABRERA: Ahead of this rally, the president's been, --


CABRERA: -- you know, tweeting. He's threatened protesters in a tweet, saying any protesters, Anarchists, agitators, looters or low lifes, he groups them all together, who are going to Oklahoma, please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene. What does that type of talk accomplish?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen, that's the threats of an insecure man. But, again, he's trying to signal to people, through intimidation and bullying, again, one of the 45-year strategies. I mean, this guy bullies suburban house wives. He bullies civilians. He's just -- you know, that's his strategy. And so, that's also to suggest that if something goes wrong there, you know, he'll have that as a platform or a foundation.

He'll try to look for somebody to blame tonight if something goes wrong. Moreover, if people get sick in that arena, he'll say nonsense like, you know, it was perpetrated by people that are opponents to him that got those people sick, rather than the fact that he brought those people together inappropriately and irresponsibly.

So, those are the moves. That's how the guy operates. That's why guys, like General Mattis and General Kelly and Ambassador Bolton and people like myself, are, like, hey, guys, are you -- are you not listening? I mean, enough is enough. Of course he's going to have acolytes and sycophants and accomplices.

That's what people like this throughout history have always had, those people. But there are always a group of courageous and principled people that are going to stand up to this nonsense. And so, -- and we're going to build that coalition. We're going to recruit those people and we're going to beat him.

CABRERA: You know, we're looking at these images, and it's just this giant crowd filling in this arena in Tulsa. And it's hard to remember that we are in the middle of this Coronavirus pandemic. I guess that is what the president wants to project. He wants people to forget that that's the case.

But more states are taking action now when it comes to the election because of the pandemic. They're, you know, moving toward mail-in voting. The President told "Politico," he sees mail-in voting as the biggest risk to his re-election. And that begs the question, why does he fear more Americans voting?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, first of all, I think that's probably one of the first honest statements that he's made in the last three months, so I want to applaud him for that. Because the more people that vote, the more likely that he's going to lose. And so, their strategy is to gin up their base, increase the participation on the base.


SCARAMUCCI: And do everything they possibly can to suppress voters and reduce polling in areas where he knows the people can't stand him. And so, I actually think that's a pretty honest statement that he's making.

If you had universal voting in the United States like in Australia, he would already be measuring for new curtains and so forth at the Mar-a- Lago. And so, he's got to start beginning the process of planning the move. But since we don't have that, and this is going to be a battle about potential voter suppression and potential miscreant or inappropriate behavior, we'll have to see what happens on November third.

But I still think he's going to lose. Even if they do suppress the vote and even if we don't get the necessary mail-in ballots, that would be Democratically appropriate in our society, he'll still lose. But I do applaud him for finally saying something truthful.

CABRERA: You told "The New York Times" of Trump, quote, "He is the modern LBJ where everything has gone wrong and none of his skill sets are effective at what's gone wrong. And you told "The Times" you don't think he likes the job. So, why is he running for re-election?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, because it's an ego-base thing, and his acolytes want him to run for re-election. And let's face it, he'll view himself as a loser. I mean, he's a little bit of a fraidy cat. At the end of the day, he's like a keyboard worrying coward. I mean, he never really stands up to people and confronts them directly.

And so, you know, he knows that if he loses, he'll be completely and totally humiliated, in his own mind. And he'll see himself as a failure one-term president. And so, his ego's requiring him to step forward, despite the fact that he probably hates the job.

I do think he hates it because nothing has gone right. His skill set is not appropriate for the job. You can't lie about the science and pretend that the Coronavirus doesn't exist or make wearing a mask a political issue. OK. This is all nonsense.

And so, all of that stuff that he's used to doing, Ana, doesn't work in an environment like this. And so -- and that's what happened to LBJ. If you read Robert Caro's book, LBJ had great skills but he had a lot of self-loathing. And, ultimately, when things were going wrong, the self-loathing comes to the top, and the skill set starts to diminish. And that's happening to President Trump right now, and it will continue to happen into November.

CABRERA: Anthony Scaramucci, thanks for your insights. Thanks for being here.

SCARAMUCCI: Hey, good to be here. Thank you.

CABRERA: And happy Father's Day in advance.

SCARAMUCCI: Thank you.

CABRERA: Up next, back to Tulsa.

SCARAMUCCI: To your family, too. Thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you.

We're going to take you back there to the 10s of thousands of people crowding together amid this deadly pandemic. Just how risky is this? We'll talk about your health. We'll talk about safety. Our doctors will weigh in next. Live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: Welcome back. You are looking live at the scene of President Trump's big campaign rally, still a few hours before it all gets underway in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But you can see people showed up early. They have their seats. They're close together. They're not wearing masks, at least most of them aren't.

Health experts have been warning the president against holding this rally, fearing it could be a super-spreader event. And, this afternoon, we learned six Trump campaign staffers in Tulsa have now tested positive for Coronavirus. This as Oklahoma continues to set record highs in the number of new daily cases.

Joining us now is Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Chief of Massachusetts General Hospital's Infectious Disease Division.

So, Dr. Walensky, the fact that six members of Trump's advance team tested positive for Coronavirus, does that tell you anything about the risk of being at this event tonight in Tulsa?

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CHIEF OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE DIVISION, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: Good afternoon, Ana. I wish I could say I was surprised. I mean, we see that these -- we see the conditions under which people are working in Tulsa. I imagine the campaign staff have been working under similar conditions, close together, no masks, indoors. We see cases rising. We know that the number of positive tests in Oklahoma has increased over this past week. It was four percent just a week ago. It's increased every day. It's now up to 5.9 percent. So, this is a set-up for positive cases. And, in fact, if people are not taking the precautions to prevent them, I just can't say that I'm surprised.

CABRERA: Dr. Reiner, we have a picture of the sign at the entrance to the Trump rally. Warning, do not enter if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier this week, you called Trump's rally tonight, criminal endangerment. President Trump's campaign communications director saying otherwise today. Here's what he told CNN's Michael Smerconish this morning.


TIM MURTAGH, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN: We've chosen Oklahoma because it is practically the most open place in the country. And we will be providing masks to attendees that they can wear if they want. And everyone who comes in will get a temperature check. Anyone with a temperature will not be permitted inside. We'll also have more hand sanitizer than any group of people could ever possibly want. So, all of the precautions are in place.


CABRERA: Dr. Reiner, is that good enough?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: No, obviously, it's not. First of all, we know that a surprising proportion of people who are infected with the Coronavirus are asymptomatic. Probably as high as 40 percent. And there was some, actually, interesting data this week that suggests that asymptomatic people with the virus shed the virus as avidly as people with symptoms or maybe even a little bit more.

So, many of the people who have the virus don't know they have it. Also, people talk about taking temperature. That's, actually, surprisingly, a less common symptom of symptomatic people with the virus. So, it's really a false sense of security to simply screen for temperature at a venue like this. If six people who have been in -- on the advance team and have been in Tulsa likely for about a week, have contracted the virus.


REINER: Think about how many people out of 20,000 will have it in that arena, aerosolizing that virus for hours tonight. It's a -- it's a scary prospect.

CABRERA: In that -- and in that same interview, Murtagh said, people have a choice. They don't have to go inside. They can stay outside with the overflow crowd. But from what we saw, people were packed in there right now. They're not social distancing. So, what would you say, Dr. Walensky, is the difference in risk, if you're inside there versus outside?

WALENSKY: Right. This is really key. I think the set-up for the rally is currently a confluence of conditions that lead to thriving of the virus. People are inside. They're close to one another. They're wearing masks. They're yelling. This is exactly the condition in which the virus can really spread quickly from one another -- to another that leads to super-spreader events.

And so, I would say I suspect that most people who are going to the rally want to see the president. They want to be inside and be close up. But I would say, for safety purposes, being outside in a mask is. by far, a safer -- a safer way to go.

CABRERA: Dr. Reiner, the Trump campaign, again, is not requiring masks. They have been handing them out for free, we understand. But what have we learned about just how effective masks are in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus?

REINER: Yes, it's the most effective public health measure that we have. Look at a country like Japan. All right, Japan has about 40 percent the population of the United States but 130 million people. And the virus came to Japan almost exactly the same time it came to the United States.

Japan has had less than 1,000 deaths. The United States has had over 100 times that. And the crucial difference between the virus in Japan and the virus in the United States is that everyone in that country wears a mask. And it saddens me that we could have done the same thing.

You know, a mask is a dollar. All that we're asking people to do is when you go out, wear a mask. And it -- and, in fact, the administration should be pushing this. This is the fastest way to get this country back towards more of a normal life is simply to wear a mask, which will drop the reproductive number, which will dramatically reduce cases. It's very simple. And I just don't understand why the administration can't embrace this.

CABRERA: Dr. Walensky, I want to put up a graphic and take what could happen if people in attendance tonight have the Coronavirus. We already talked about the ability of asymptomatic spread to happen. If a hundred people arrive to this rally infected, you know, their temperature checked. No red flags there.

But if they come and they, you know, start to yell and cheer and they spread the virus, it could result in 800 to 1,000 new infections just when you, you know, play out the modeling. What do people need to do after this rally?

WALENSKY: Right. It's a really key point. And I want to emphasize something that Dr. Reiner said. Not only do people come with asymptomatic -- with -- people may have asymptomatic infection, but people start shedding virus before they have symptoms. So, even if they were going to get a temperature, they may be shedding tomorrow, they are likely shedding virus today.

And so, I think that that graph is sobering. And what I really want to convey now is the clock starts now for the Department of Public Health of Oklahoma, for the healthcare systems of Oklahoma, and for the hospitals of Oklahoma. Because you have exactly two to three weeks to massively scale up testing.

You're going to need 19,000 of them plus everyone that those folks have contacted. You're going to need massive amounts of contact tracing. You're going to need emergency department personnel. You're going to need ventilators, and you're going to need staff to man those ventilators, respiratory therapists. And you have, kind of, three weeks to get it together. CABRERA: All right, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, good

to have both of you here. I thank you.

WALENSKY: Thank you.

CABRERA: Next, to Atlanta. An arrest warrant has been issued for the woman suspected in the arson that burned down the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police. And we're learning, she may have known Brooks. A live report is ahead.




CABRERA: We're back with more breaking news. In Atlanta, an arrest warrant has now been issued in connection with the fire last weekend that destroyed the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police. The suspect, according to Atlanta fire investigators, it's Natalie White, seen here in these surveillance images.

I want to bring in Shimon Prokupecz.

Shimon, you're learning that Natalie White knew Rayshard Brooks?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And according to our Ryan Young, who's been working the story and talking to sources on this case, he was told that they believe that Natalie White and Rayshard Brooks had some kind of relationship that they knew about.

And of course, we're talking about the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was killed by police. The area has become a makeshift memorial. A lot of people there have been gathering since the shooting. It's been a place for friends, people who knew him to gather and sort of they've taken over the entire area now. And that is where they've been gathering.

Police, obviously, after that fire and fire investigators have been working to find out who started that fire. And now they say that they believe that she's one of the people who is responsible for the fire. And that is why they've put out this warrant seeking to arrest her -- Ana?

CABRERA: I want to play a tense moment from a protest in Atlanta early this morning, Shimon. A protester appeared to be forcibly thrown to the ground by a Atlanta police officer during a confrontation. It happened after protesters moved metal barricades that were set up to protect the police precinct.


This comes as we have been reporting an unusually high number of Atlanta police officers have called out sick in the last few days, which the interim police chief just addressed. What did he say? PROKUPECZ: Yes. He did just address it. And I want to show you, Ana,

this is where that happened, behind us, this incident with police last night here at the third precinct.

This has become a meeting spot for some of the protesters here in Atlanta. It's been a hot spot here. Confrontations between a lot of the protesters and police have -- as the one early this morning, I was here that happened this morning, there have been others, you know,.

And also, as you said, a lot of the officers here are tired. I was speaking to a female officer here outside of here last night who was telling me that they are exhausted.

And then having to deal with some of these protesters obviously brings a level of stress, a level of anxiety.

The police chief today, the interim police chief, as you said, addressed some of the officers and the concerns over the fact that they're calling out sick.


RODNEY BRYANT, INTERIM CHIEF, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: The explanation for calling out sick vary and include officers questioning their training, officers being challenged and attacked, and unease about officers seeing their colleagues criminally charged so quickly.

What is admittedly evident is that officers feel ordinary undue process steps and usual investigation of complaints against them have been abandoned. And some are questioning how to execute what has been taught to them.


PROKUPECZ: And so, Ana, outside here, again, outside the third precinct, we are expecting protesters here later tonight. As you can see, the police already. We don't see them yet but we do see these orange barricades here. And we're told there will be some protests here later tonight. And of course, we'll be here for that.

CABRERA: And we'll see what happens. We'll check back as that gets under way.

Thank you for that latest reporting, Shimon Prokupecz, in Atlanta.

Just in a few hours, President Trump will address thousands of supporters in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But six of the president's campaign staffers working on this rally have tested positive for coronavirus. Stay with us for the latest.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[17:41:23] CABRERA: Right now, President Trump is gearing up for his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his first rally since the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted minority communities, and with the backdrop of weeks of racial injustice in America.

I want to bring Elia Calderon. She's a Univision anchor and author of "My Time to Speak, Reclaiming Ancestry and Confronting Race."

Ilia, great to have you joining us.

The country is in pain right now. The president has said few words to try to heal and unite.

According to the latest CNN poll, 42 percent of voters say race relations are extremely important as we head into the election. The issue, in fact, is now on par with the economy and healthcare.

Does that surprise you?

ILIA CALDERON, UNIVISION ANCHOR & AUTHOR: It doesn't surprise me, Ana. Thank you for having me.

Interest in Latino votes are completely different from what everybody thinks. They used to call Latino vote as the sleeping giant. But that sleeping giant is very awakened now.

And our vote, the Latino vote, is not monolithic. They need to think as the Latino vote, as a very diverse vote, and people with different interests, economic, housing, education.

Of course, immigration is a very important issue for us. But due to the pandemic as well, the health has become a very top issue for Latinos as well.

CALDERON: Right. Latinos and African-Americans -- again, the protests across the country have drawn people from all races and backgrounds.

And I want to read from an op-ed signed by more than 40 civil rights organizations in the "Miami Herald" called, "Latinos Must Acknowledge Our Own Racism and Pledge to Fight It."

They acknowledge that they have grappled or failed to grapple with anti-blackness that exists in their own community, writing, "We have been raised in families who refer to blackness in the diminutive, negrita."

"We have remained silent when our tias have encouraged us to partner with people who have lighter skin than we do. We have hated ourselves for our skin texture, our skin color, our curves and our accents."

"Our faith traditions, the schools we attend, the families we love, the music we listen to are anchored in blackness and our indigenous roots. But we obscure that with whiteness."

You yourself are Afro-Latina. Do you agree with that experience? CABRERA: It's absolutely right. As being Afro-Latina -- and I'm proud

of being a woman of black race and Latino as my ethnicity. And I'm proud to be in both.

But what the article says is absolutely right. It is very common in households to make jokes about the skin color, the curly hair, offensive phrases, for example, like the ones I hear sometimes when they tell me, you're black but you are beautiful.

No, the stigma exists. Hispanics must acknowledge this problem, accept that this is here, that racism is a part of the upbringing in Hispanic households, and we must act immediately to stop it in our Houses and institutions, in schools, and of course in the corporate world.

But it's absolutely true what the article says.

CALDERON: The current administration has been anti-immigrant. And so perhaps it should be no surprise how this president is responding to the Supreme Court's ruling this week, blocking the administration's efforts to end DACA, the Obama-era program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.

President Trump is vowing to continue to fight against DACA, even though he previously said he loved DREAMers. How significant was that Supreme Court decision? And how do you see it playing in the election?


CALDERON: It just gives the DREAMers a little bit of rest or a little bit of tranquility.

But remember, the President Trump, between 2017 and 2018, a bipartisan act was sent to him and he tried to negotiate with more money for the border wall. And you know, it only shows that the president doesn't want immigrants here.

But they are not trying -- not tired of fighting. They are going to keep fighting for a path to citizenship for them and for their families.

They locked the doors at the White House. They have locked the doors at the Congress. They have locked the doors at the Supreme Court.

And they are not getting tired, because this is their house and they are going to stay here.

CABRERA: Ilia Calderon, thank you for joining us.

CALDERON: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: Up next, we head back to Tulsa where the president's rally is close to getting under way. It was originally scheduled for yesterday but was rescheduled after the president learned about Juneteenth and Tulsa's history with race.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: Tonight's Trump rally is taking place near a neighborhood that recently marked 99 years since one of the most horrific acts of racial slaughter in our nation's history, in the area then known as Black Wall Street. It's a moment many Americans never learned about in school.

Today, CNN's Randi Kaye shows us why we should have.

But a warning, some of what you are about to watch is graphic. It may be hard to watch. But we believe it's important to bring you history as it really happened.


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.

KAYE: 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.

KAYE: The woman never pressed 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.

KAYE: By the next day, May 31, 1921, a white mob had gathered outside the courthouse were Rowland was being held, promising a lynching.

BROWN: Lynchings were also common in Tulsa.

KAYE: 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 in 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.

KAYE: Nearly 6,000 African-Americans were forcibly detained. While they were held, the white mob stole their valuables and burned 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 saw four men with torches coming down our sidewalk into our house.

KAYE: 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.

KAYE: 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.

Thirty-five square blocks of property were destroyed, too, leaving most 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: Randi Kaye, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.


CABRERA: And now we are just a couple of hours away from the start of President Trump's rally there in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tens of thousands of supporters have gathered. As we've learned six Trump campaign staffers in Tulsa have tested positive for the coronavirus. These are live images inside that arena. We will take you there live when we come back.


Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining me. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.


Tonight, in the midst of a pandemic and a national racial reckoning, President Trump is tempting fate by holding a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Now we are learning six Trump campaign staffers doing advance work on this rally have tested positive for the coronavirus.