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Trump's Return to the Campaign Trail Goes from Bad to Worse; Trump Wanted Testing Slowed Down, Used Racist Term for Coronavirus; Six Trump Campaign Staffers Working on Tulsa Rally Test Positive for Coronavirus; Firing of Powerful New York Prosecutor Appears to Be Latest Move to Protect Trump; More Atlanta Police Calling Out Sick; Shooting in Seattle Protest Zone Leaves One Dead; U.N. Warns Aid Flights Could Be Grounded; Parisian Chefs Adapt to Welcome Diners. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 21, 2020 - 00:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world, I'm Michael Holmes. Thank you for your company.

It was controversial before it even began but Donald Trump's reelection rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was marked by one jaw-dropping remark after another and a smaller crowd than planned.

In two hours, he defended Confederate monuments, this in a city that's saw a massacre of blacks in America's worst episode of racial violence a century ago. He also said he wanted to ban flag burning, put people in jail for it, which the Supreme Court ruled is a protected action by the U.S. Constitution.

Perhaps his most stunning comment were about the coronavirus in which he used a racist slur. Listen to what he said about testing as well.


TRUMP: You know, testing is a double-edged sword. We've tested now 25 million people. It's probably 20 million people more than anybody else, Germany's done a lot. South Korea's that a lot. They call me they said the job you're doing.

Here's the bad part. When you test stuff -- when you do testing to that extent, you're going to find more people, you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.


HOLMES: Mr. Trump revealing there that, in the face of a pandemic that has killed 120,000 Americans, he told officials to slow down coronavirus testing.

A White House official later told CNN that the president was quote, "obviously kidding," as if that was something to kid about. Mr. Trump also bashed protests that have been going on nationwide, including those right outside his rally.


TRUMP: Our incredible success in rebuilding America stands in stark contrast to the extremism and destruction and violence of the radical left we just saw outside. We just saw it outside. You saw these thugs that came along. These people call them protesters. Isn't it beautiful?

It's so beautiful. They're so wonderful.


HOLMES: And the president blaming those protesters in part for a lot of the empty seats that we saw inside the arena.

We have been covering this rally all evening from both inside and out. CNN's Gary Tuchman was in a nearby spillover area that was meant to be a spillover area. But first let's go and check out the scene inside a short time ago.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ryan Nobles inside the BOK Center, where the president just ended speaking at his first campaign rally since March. And the big story has got to be the crowd size or the lack thereof.

The president hoping to pack this place and bring in at least 20,000 people. They felt far short of that and there was also hardly anyone outside. They were planning for as many as 40,000 people outside as well.

The president blaming that on a number of different things. He said protesters outside prevented people from coming in. There were not reports of that. Our reporters didn't see that.

Also saying that the media had played a role in all of that because of our coverage of it leading up to the coronavirus. Regardless, he got his message out there and made a strong case for him to deserve four more years in office. We will see if voters respond as his campaign kicks back off.


HOLMES: Let's take a look at what was happening outside the arena in Tulsa. The president was set to speak to an overflow crowd outdoors before the main event. His campaign said there could be 40,000 people turning up for that. But it ended up being canceled because hardly anyone turned out. Here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the overflow area outside of the BOK arena. People now streaming out of the arena. It's far more crowded here now than it was during the speech. And the idea was for it to be very crowded during the speech.

The idea was for President Trump to speak on that stage before he went inside the arena, before thousands of people standing on the street. But because the stadium wasn't full, this ended up not being full. And the decision was made to cancel President Trump's speech outdoors.

There was a big screen TV behind me that was on during the speech but there were only about 15 or 20 people there watching the speech.

We can tell you one thing is people did not think that the rally should be held, a lot of people, including the health director here in Tulsa County, because COVID-19 rates are at their highest in this county since this all began.


TUCHMAN: But it did take place. So that's a victory for the Trump campaign but it's not a victory because they thought there would be a huge turnout. They talked about 1 million people coming and it turned out they couldn't even fill up a 19,100-seat arena.

But it was held. People were checked for their temperatures, they were offered masks. Most people didn't wear the masks. President Trump didn't have a mask, either, but he didn't have to stand around five or six hours around lots of people for multiple hours -- this is Gary Tuchman, CNN, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


HOLMES: Let's go to CNN's Ron Brownstein, senior political analyst.

Let's start with Tulsa. Despite the turnout, a lot of people did put their health on the line for the president. You pointed out that two- thirds of people say that the president cares more about himself than the country.

What is in the president's mind that makes him forge on with the political rally that virtually every medical expert said puts lives at risk?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it was pretty revealing of his vision --


HOLMES: Ron Brownstein, we have lost your audio and we will come back and pick up where we began.

We will get Ron Brownstein back because he is worth hearing. That rally was in Oklahoma, of course, where COVID-19 cases have been going up. Health experts calling for more testing. But President Trump says he wants the opposite.

Also when we come back, another political controversy in the Trump White House, the firing of the top federal prosecutor who had been investigating Trump and his associates. Critics say that is not a coincidence. We will break it down.






TRUMP: I just -- by the way, it's a disease without question, has more names than any disease in history. I can name Kung Flu, I can name 19 different versions of names.


HOLMES: A racist comment there from the U.S. president and civil liberties groups are warning that some of those names are leading to racist attacks on Asian Americans.

Public health experts also worry that the rally in a state where COVID-19 cases are already surging will in fact be one of those superspreader events. That's when a lot of people get infected all at once in one place.

Coronavirus, of course, hasn't disappeared in the U.S. because some people got bored with it. Far from it. Some case of states have actually been hitting new case records this week.


HOLMES: Dr. Jonathan Reiner is a CNN medical analyst, he's also director of a medical laboratory at George Washington University. He joins me now from D.C.

Let's start, Doctor, great to have you, by the way. Let's start with Tulsa. The city had a fifth record in a week for cases. We had several Trump rally organizers testing positive, for goodness sake. And despite that low turnout, what do you think could happen in a few weeks as a result of this gathering?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Good evening. So despite the relatively low turnout, there were probably 10,000 people in that arena. And, from looking at the crowd shots, I would say 90 percent of the attendees there were not wearing masks.

So if you think about it, the president had an advance team in Tulsa, probably for about a week and six people on his advance team contracted the virus, probably in Tulsa.

So what does that tell us about the likelihood that quite a few people in the arena unmasked and probably asymptomatic have the virus? Probably very likely. So you know, I'm very concerned that we will see, in 2 to 3 weeks, a big spike in cases in Oklahoma. It takes about 7 to 10 days for a person to develop symptoms, if they're going to become symptomatic. Usually, people become sick about a week after that.

So we are looking at 2 to 3 weeks for hospitals to start to see a significant rise in cases. I'm worried about it, I think, it's a very real risk. And I think it was reckless. Earlier in the week, I called this rally a criminal endangerment and I stand by that.

HOLMES: For a political rally, the urgency of which is dubious. The U.S. still being criticized for a lack of testing compared to countries that have done it well. There was a remarkable moment at the rally where the president said, he said testing is a double edged sword and then he said this and we will just play it.


TRUMP: when you do testing to that extent, you're going to find more people, you're going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.


HOLMES: "I said to my people, slow the testing down."

Joking or not, what is the messaging of that?

REINER: Well, it's clearly not funny. Our lack of testing is one of the reasons why the U.S. has 4 percent of the world's population and about 25 percent of its mortality. The first COVID positive patient tested positive in the United States in the state of Washington on January 20th.

And it took 51 days for the United States to test the next 20,000 people -- 51 days. That's 10 days short of 2 months. And during that time, the virus rode airplanes all around this country and in the New York City subways, up and down our highways and now over 2 million people in this country have been infected,120,000 people are dead because for a large part how slow we were to test.

Many must have thought that the lack of speed of ramping up testing in this country as we say not solely incompetence.


REINER: We heard the president confirm that tonight. The president has repeatedly mentioned he does not like to see the numbers rise. And to hear him articulate that is disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful. Thousands of people are dead because of that kind of incompetence.

HOLMES: It's like saying the unthinkable out loud. When you compare it to Japan, South Korea and other countries are tested well and have, compared to the U.S., miniscule death rates compared to this country. One other thing that's been striking and you talk about this as well,

Donald Trump has long demonstrated a disdain for science, reason, the advice of experts like you, especially if it conflicts with his political goals.

Tony Fauci this week lamenting that lack of belief in science among a segment of population.

How worrying is that in a societal sense, a portion of the population listens to people like you and thinks, yes, I'm not buying it.

REINER: Right. And a significant part of the population listens to the president.

So when the president says testing is a double edged sword, first of all, it's a single edged sword. The more people we find, the more people we can isolate and the less transmission there will be.

But when the president says things like that or when he doubts the efficacy of masks, he does great harm. And a significant part of the population believes him.

And there was an interesting series of graphs this week, that have shown what has happened in this country, based on whether the states are primarily Republican or Democrat.

What we started to see over the last month is a substantial rise in the number of cases in, you know, what we would call red states. And my concern is that part of that is due to maybe ill-advised early opening. And part of that is due to the fact that the majority of people in those states listen to the president, who has doubted the need and efficacy for masks and who has touted debunked drugs like hydroxychloroquine and also doubts the need and efficacy of testing.

And that's why, throughout Florida and Texas and Oklahoma and now Arizona, we are seeing dramatic rises in the number of cases.

HOLMES: We're almost out of time but I wanted to squeeze this in here. There are now about 25,000 new cases a day in the U.S., hundreds of deaths.

Do you get the sense that the administration, by painting a rosy picture of sorts, is sending the message that that is OK?

It is tolerable, going forward; 2 jumbo jets of people dying every day is somehow an acceptable price.

REINER: You know, the man who once said there were 15 cases and will soon be zero, today, at his rally, he said, oh, if it weren't for him to be millions of deaths. So there is a great deal of revisionist history.

The truth of the matter is, when the truth is finally told years from now, we will see that systematic errors and the president's inability to face reality have resulted in the really needless deaths of tens of thousands of people in this country. And we are not out of the woods yet.

HOLMES: You get the sense history won't be kind on how this was handled in the U.S. Dr. Jonathan Reiner, I really appreciate it. Thanks for your expertise.

REINER: My pleasure, be well.


HOLMES: OK, we have paid the bill, fixed our connections to California and so, I'd like to go to CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein.

Ron, let's start with the Tulsa optics.

What is in the president's mind that makes him forge on with the political rally that virtually every medical expert says puts lives at risk?

BROWNSTEIN: I think, Michael, it tells you quite a bit about the way he thinks he's going to get reelected because, by any normal political calculus, you would say a president who is already facing the possibility of the weakest number for a Republican ever among college educated white voters, would be hesitant about undertaking a rally that every public health official is telling him not to do.

One of his problems with those white collar voters is that he disdains expertise. He doesn't trust science. He thinks he knows more than the experts.

But what you see -- and by message, with the heavy repeated emphasis on demonizing cities and attacking immigrants and going after Democratic women of color and NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, all of that says to me that Trump pretty much has given up on the idea that he can win back some of those metro white collar voters, who moved away from the GOP since 2016.


BROWNSTEIN: And his one path toward a second term is turning out even more of the small town non urban rural voters, non-college whites, evangelicals, who are drawn to his message of cultural and racial division. I think you saw that very much on display tonight and Tulsa.

HOLMES: No doubt. The president said that this rally was his election campaign launch.

So what did we learn in terms of where he is headed?

You tweeted, just after, that, quote, "Trump was running to be president of America in 1968."



BROWNSTEIN: -- flag burning tonight, I believe the first time Congress passed legislation on flag burning was, in fact, in 1968.

There was nothing about this rally tonight that would reassure anxious Republicans or really worry Democrats. What you saw was, after weeks of having time to think about what his message was going to be to relaunch his campaign, Trump showed us again that there is really no second act to him.

The core of his vision of how he gets elected is to foment racial and cultural division and to try to stoke greater turnout among his groups.

But as I said before, his strategy is based on improving his margins, bigger margins among shrinking groups, groups that are shrinking in society at the price of driving away the parts of society that are growing.

I go back to the urban focus tonight. Over and over again, "cities are out of control, they are dangerous, they're being controlled by leftists."

He lost 87 of the 100 largest counties in America by a combined 15 million votes in 2016. Given what happened with the pandemic and the post-George Floyd protests, he'll probably lose them by even more.

Are there enough non-voters left in small town America to overcome that?

He will test the proposition.

HOLMES: You also wrote something to me earlier today, we were emailing back and forth about the interview. And I want to quote you because it was so interesting. It refers to what you were talking about there.

You said, "Whatever you do that's extreme enough to motivate millions of non voters who agree with you is usually also extreme enough to motivate millions of non voters who disagree with you. It is hard to get a turnout surge on one side without provoking it on the other."

Ron, so you see this as the risk in his strategy, doubling down.

BROWNSTEIN: We saw it in 2018, right?

When you saw this enormous suburban turnout that caused Republicans to lose ground in white collar suburbs everywhere across the country.

Before the 2018 election, Republicans had 43 percent of the House seats, where there were more college graduates than average. After the election, they had 25 percent. That is the type of trajectory that Trump has put the party on.

I think what you saw tonight, with kind of a greatest hits of '60s and '70s backlash against all those familiar targets: cities, immigrants, Ilhan Omar and AOC and Mayor Bowser in D.C. and NFL players who protest, you saw his vision of how he stirs up his base. But what was clear in 2018 and I think is going to be clear again in

2020 is that there are millions of Americans who find that vision deeply offensive. Everything about taxes or regulation or some of the issues that may have normally drawn them to the Republican Party, he is drawing a different line through the electorate.

And he is forcing people to decide which side they belong on. And right now, if you look at the polling, it is pretty clear that he is playing to the short side of that field.

HOLMES: I did want to get your take on the firing of the Southern District of New York attorney Geoffrey Berman. This is a man who leads a team that has been looking into cases that directly impact this president, his allies, his business interests.

Now with his deputy in charge, perhaps the power move failed.

But what were the optics of the attorney general's move of someone looking into the president?

BROWNSTEIN: You can lay this directly at the door of Susan Collins and 51 other Senate Republicans, who decided not to sanction him in any way for his actions when extorting the government of Ukraine to try to help him during the election.

Whatever else you say about Trump, he is a student of people and a student of power. And he took from the impeachment lesson that there is no line that he cannot cross, that Republicans in Congress will feel comfortable constraining or rebuking him.

Everytime he breaks a window, they obediently sweep up the glass. And since the impeachment, we've seen a very steady campaign to undermine any source of independent check and balance that he believes can threaten him.

You can only see this firing in the context of what he has done with inspectors general or what Barr has done to intervene extraordinarily in the cases of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.


BROWNSTEIN: These are all the actions of a president who believes he cannot -- there is no line he can cross that will cause Congress to impose any consequences. and so it comes up to the voters because if nothing else, he's giving Americans a very clear idea of how he will behave in a second term.

If this is the way he feels he can act when he still has to face the voters in November, what will he be like in the unconstrained environment of a second term?

HOLMES: Yes, and whether Republicans will pay for that obsequiousness to the president. If Barack Obama did any of these things, what would be the reaction?

(CROSSTALK) BROWNSTEIN: One thing quickly about that, Michael, every Senate election in 2016 for the first time in American history went the same way as the presidential race in that state.

So they are bound to him and you may see some of them like Cory Gardner and Martha McSally in the Southwest going down in pretty solid defeats because they have decided to defend Trump so unequivocally.

HOLMES: Interesting. Ron, always a pleasure, thank you very much. Ron Brownstein, good to see you.

Coming up on the program, a judge says the tell-all book written by the former U.S. national security adviser can be published against the wishes of the White House. But the Trump administration is still claiming victory. We will tell you why after the break.




HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers here in the states and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. President Trump's rally in Tulsa now over.


HOLMES: Only time will tell if the warnings about a big indoor rally during a pandemic, where masks were optional and seldom worn and social distancing nonexistent, come true. This was his first big campaign event since the coronavirus and the social justice protests began sweeping the nation.

It was the usual Trump litany of false claims, grievances and red meat for his base.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our monuments, our beautiful monument, tear down our statues and punish, cancel, and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control. We're not conforming that's why we're here, actually.


HOLMES: The crowds, "the huge crowds" that the Trump campaign promised, they didn't show up. Have a look at that image there, entire sections with empty seats. The campaign claimed protesters blocked supporters. But that isn't what CNN's Martin Savidge witnessed. Here's his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are the largest crowds of protesters that we have seen today, actually. And the numbers of protesters actually began building after the president started speaking.

Throughout much of the day, as the rally was being organized and people were starting to make their way in, there were only about 200 protesters. They were greatly outnumbered by Trump's own supporters.

But then several hours later, you began seeing the streets fill up with protesters. Most of them representing Black Lives Matter or causes like those that have been demonstrated against for the past couple of weeks, who were running right into, of course, many of those who were inside for the president's rally.

So a potentially dangerous mix but, so far, it has been peaceful. It's boisterous, it's loud and, yes, there are a lot of face to face confrontations. But the protesters continue to work their way through the streets, blocking traffic but really nothing more, so far -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Tulsa.


HOLMES: Meanwhile, a source familiar with President Trump's thinking says he is frustrated that another political scandal had overshadowed his rally. It concerns the standoff between U.S. attorney general William Barr and top federal prosecutor in New York, Geoffrey Berman.

One day after unsuccessfully trying to push Berman out of office, Barr told him that President Trump had agreed to remove him on the attorney general's advice. Berman said he will step down effective immediately but the dramatic episode has caused uproar among Republicans and Democrats alike. Evan McMorris-Santoro explains the saga.


GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, SDNY: I'm just here to do my job.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Saturday morning, Geoffrey Berman walked into his Manhattan office, vowing to keep working as one of America's highest profile federal prosecutors.

By late afternoon, he was replaced by presidential order. In between the dramatic battle between Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William Barr, the U.S. attorney general.

Berman refused to step down Friday after Barr issued a surprise statement, announcing Berman had resigned, a move Berman said never happened.

On Saturday afternoon, Barr sent a letter to Berman, saying that because he refused to step down, the president had fired him and replaced him with an assistant U.S. attorney.

Berman is an experienced federal prosecutor and former defense attorney. He's also an active Republican. He donated $5,400 to President Trump's campaign in 2016, worked on the president's transition team and was a former law partner of Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Berman was appointed to the influential position of U.S. attorney in 2018, after his predecessor, Preet Bharara, was fired after he refused to resign. The same thing has now happened to Berman.

After initial concerns over his past associations with Trump, Berman continued the Southern District's tradition of independence.

BERMAN: Politics does not enter into our decision-making on charging a case. We bring a case when the case is ready to be brought.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): The office has overseen prosecutions of high profile figures in Trump's orbit, including his former lawyer, Michael Cohen; Representative Chris Collins and two associates of Giuliani.

Friday night, Berman said, "Our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption."

All this comes as the Trump administration is actually removing government employees who have investigated and prosecuted Trump officials. Independents counsels have been removed by federal agencies. Federal prosecutors have alleged meddling from Barr in cases against Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and campaign adviser, Roger Stone.

Trump has been considering removing Berman since at least the middle of 2018, two sources tell CNN. And now Berman is out of a job. Trump fired him but told reporters the ouster was Barr's call.

TRUMP: That's his department, not my department.


TRUMP: But we have a very capable attorney general, so that's really up to him. I'm not involved.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Now that he's gone, what happens next is anyone's guess -- Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: As we just heard, U.S. president Donald Trump says he was not involved in Geoffrey Berman's firing. He says it was all Barr's doing. But CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says that is impossible.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: One thing is clear: Barr, himself, the attorney general, did not have the authority to fire him on his own.

So overnight, what the attorney general said in a letter is, we got the president to do it. And under a 1979 opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the in house lawyer for the department, the Justice Department said the president himself does have the power to fire a court appointed U.S. attorney.

That's not a Supreme Court ruling; no one really knows how binding it is. But Geoffrey Berman decided to honor the firing by the president himself, which is what Barr said in his letter.

What makes this so bizarre and what makes the incompetence of the Justice Department so clear is that the president, as you pointed out, said, well, I had nothing to do with it.

Well, late in the day, the president's aide said, well, actually, he did agree with it. But the idea that Barr said it was the president who fired him and the president said, I had nothing to do with it, I think that crystallizes how incompetent and embarrassing this whole episode is for the Department of Justice.


HOLMES: John Bolton, the former U.S. national security adviser, claims that President Trump offered to help Turkey's president with an investigation that Geoffrey Berman was leading. Berman's office was looking into a Turkish bank that was suspected of violating sanctions and that bank has ties to the Turkish president.

Bolton says Trump made an extraordinary promise to him.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The president said to Erdogan at one point, look, those prosecutors in New York are Obama people. Wait until I get my people in and then we will take care of this.

And I thought to myself -- and I'm Department of Justice alumnus myself -- I've never heard any president say anything like that. Ever.


HOLMES: Now a U.S. federal judge has ruled that Bolton can publish his political memoir against the wishes of the White House. But the judge blasted Bolton for going forward with the book before getting White House approval to make sure he wasn't publishing national security secrets.

The ruling says the book does contain classified information and Bolton could be held criminally liable, President Trump claiming victory.


TRUMP: He had a very good decision (INAUDIBLE) John Bolton book case. The judge was very powerful in his statements on classified information and very powerful also in the fact that the country will get the money, any money he makes. I hope a lot of books sell, I probably don't hope that. But whatever

he makes, he's going to be giving back. In my opinion, based on the ruling. He's going to be giving back.


HOLMES: Investigators have issued an arrest warrant in connection with that fire that destroyed a fast food restaurant in Atlanta, the scene of a deadly police shooting. Two investigators are looking for and how the suspect might be connected to Rayshard Brooks , the man police killed. We will have that when we come back.

Also, we will take you inside Seattle's autonomous zone, set up by protesters, demanding, among other things, police reform; now the scene of a fatal shooting. Stay with us, we will be right back.





HOLMES: Atlanta, Georgia's, interim police chief reassuring residents that police are responding to emergency calls. But he says the force has been, quote, "stretched" because of demonstrations and unrest. He also spoke about why there has been an uptick in police not turning up to work.


RODNEY BRYANT, INTERIM CHIEF, APD: 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.


HOLMES: Atlanta fire investigators have issued an arrest warrant in the case of a Wendy's restaurant fire last Saturday. That, of course, is where Rayshard Brooks had his fatal encounter with a police officer.

They say the woman in this image here, her name is Natalie White, is wanted for first degree arson. In body cam video, Brooks is heard telling officers that White is his girlfriend. Investigators say more suspects could be involved. We are keeping across that.

Meanwhile, no arrest has been made so far in a fatal shooting earlier on Saturday morning, in Seattle. It happened in what's become known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Police responding to a shooting call in the area.

They say a violent crowd prevented them from getting to the victims. One of those victims is a 19 year old man, who died at the hospital; another man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Now that zone in Seattle developed, of course, after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Heated protests prompted police to evacuate a precinct in the area. Protesters have held the space in the name of the people ever since. CNN's Elle Reeve reports from inside the zone.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to get right with God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has a right to speak and say what he wants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our job is to de-escalate and share the space.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). Welcome to CHAZ, enjoy your stay.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the idea is this is what society could be without police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, we are 3 days deep, so, forgive us if it's not as organized as we wanted to be. We wanted to show that people can police themselves. People can take care of themselves.

ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the Capitol Hill autonomous zone, also known as the CHAZ. It's a 6 block area being controlled by protesters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): After Seattle police abandoned their East Precinct. Now police don't dare enter. And are under orders not to answer any calls in that zone unless there's a mass casualty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once they left, it just kind of took on a mind of its own. We are finally safe and we finally don't have to worry about police brutality.

REEVE (voice-over): But it wasn't always like this. The CHAZ was born after violent clashes with police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The medics gave me this, because I got shot in the chest with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell you what happened that night?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was about to get on my knees, we all had our hands up and then they shot me. And the medic couldn't get a pulse 4 times and we were unarmed. We were unarmed.

Why do they feel so threatened against us?

REEVE (voice-over): The SPD says this incident is under investigation. And if policy or law violations have occurred, they will take proper steps to address it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the people are here for each other. Like, we don't want any violence at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's peaceful, man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you create the rules for the CHAZ?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is leadership out here. We communicate as best we possibly can, right?

And you know, it's just human decency.

How you doing, what's up, family?

Put your joint out, hand it off to somebody and come here and talk to me real quick. Yes, try not to curse, either.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it going to always work?

Absolutely. I think statistically if you look at the amount of people that are here and the amount of violence that is occurring, it's so minimal, that it reflects very positively on this experiment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The CHAZ is a poor reflection on Seattle. This is a result of elected officials that are failing to enforce the rule of law. But if I were to go 50 yards to my west, I would not be allowed in there. In fact, I would be concerned about my safety.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say it's quite peaceful, it's kind of like a party in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the reports that we have is there are armed people inside. But I would love for you to stick around until 2 or 3 in the morning, I would love to see all your footage and maybe you can document the unreasonable activism that's going on in there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, it's 2:30. What's the scene?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is for the most part people picking out where they're going to camp out for the night. People are winding down, just (INAUDIBLE) peaceful and call it a day.

REEVE (voice-over): There are still a few bursts of confusion and anger when a suspicion person comes through. They're still figuring out how to make their own law and order in a cop free world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The long term strategy is to stay here and protest and be a demonstration. If the PD want their precinct back, if they are keen to return and not suppress our right to protest and to not engage in war tactics to do it, we are more than happy to have them back here. REEVE (voice-over): Elle Reeve, CNN, the CHAZ.


HOLMES: At this time of anti racism protests around the world, CNN has conducted an extensive poll on attitudes about racism in the U.K. We are going to have the results in and analysis for you starting this coming Monday.

Quick break; when we come back, restaurants starting to reopen in France. The country that put high cuisine on the map, how they're welcoming back patrons while trying to keep the coronavirus at bay.





HOLMES: Welcome back. The United Nations is warning that its critical aid flights could be largely grounded by the end of next month because its resources are being drained by, yes, the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials say they don't have enough money to operate the flights and the slow reopening of air traffic is also limiting the areas they can reach.


ELISABETH BYRS, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: This is a response on a scale never seen before and with the pandemic showing no signs of abating, it is crucial that the response doesn't stop now, when it is needed most.


HOLMES: The U.N. says it only has a 5th of the money it needs to continue its aid flights for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, voters in Serbia are heading to the polls this Sunday to elect a new parliament. That is the first national election in Europe since the coronavirus lockdowns began 3 months ago we.

Polls are supposed to open a short time from now. But many are afraid there won't be much of a turnout because of the potential for virus infection.

Spain is ending its state of emergency over the pandemic on Sunday and it's also opening its borders to most of the Schengen area. Officials are hoping this will help the tourism industry but Spain won't open its border with Portugal before July the 1st. There had been some miscommunication between Madrid and Lisbon a few weeks ago. They'll sort that out, though.

French gastronomy is a cultural treasure; even UNESCO says exactly that. So France without restaurants because of a pandemic doesn't feel quite right. Chefs are now getting back to work, trying to keep their best to keep everyone safe. And the more successful of them may have an advantage, as CNN's Cyril Vanier explains.


CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For the first time in 3 months and 4 days, the maitre d' at Le Grand Vefour in Central Paris is expecting customers, making sure all the waiters have their face masks on and the tables are just so.

This two-Michelin star gem in the heart of the French capital, like all Paris restaurants, is scrambling to reopen after the French president declared the first phase of the coronavirus crisis over. Emmanuel Macron says France can return to its joie de vivre (ph) ...



VANIER (voice-over): -- French for enjoying the pleasures of life.

And so, Guy Martin, the revered chef of Le Grand Vefour and one of the faces of French gastronomy, is back in the kitchen, doing what he does best, tweaking, finessing, perfecting his dishes.

Here, pan fried duckling filet, acidulated cucumber and a hint of Szechuan pepper.

"There's some nervousness," admits the chef. "But the team is as good as ever."

The kitchen brigade of 20 people -- that's more than one cook per patron.

VANIER: Let's not kid ourselves, it's not possible to fully respect social distancing at all times in a kitchen, in any kitchen. But restaurants like Le Grand Vefour are better suited to it than most because, even before the coronavirus, people were already held to the highest professional standard.

VANIER (voice-over): Sources are cleaned repeatedly, each spoon discarded immediately after use.

We are asked not to film the patrons to preserve an immaculate dining experience. But by all accounts, the reopening is a success.

And I learned an important lesson: never ask a Michelin chef if he's happy with his food.

GUY MARTIN, LE GRAND VEFOUR CHEF: Positive (ph), you say, OK, yes.

But in my head, I said, "Guy, can you do better? Can you..."

I'm not really satisfied 100 percent.

VANIER (voice-over): The very best, it seems, never are -- Cyril Vanier, CNN, Paris.


HOLMES: I can't believe he got away with that.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael Holmes, do stay with us, I'll be back with more news in just a moment.