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California Sees Another Daily Record With 5,000 New Cases; Minneapolis Police Union Chief: We Are Becoming Scapegoats; Seattle Mayor: Time For Protesters To Leave Autonomous Zone; E.U. Could Bar Americans From Entering Member Countries Due To High Virus Cases In U.S. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 23, 2020 - 14:30   ET



DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's people getting together in individual homes, that we all need to think about how we're leading our daily lives. And this is so hard because it's been going on for so long.

But just because we want to be able to, you know, have a graduation party for our children doesn't mean that we should.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: I think we're all seeing that anecdotally where we live, Elizabeth. I see in Washington, D.C., you can tell that people are getting tired of being cooped up. The weather is getting warmer.

I wonder what you've seen where you are.

COHEN: Yes, I definitely see when I drive by, for example, parking lots that used to be empty and then they were a little bit full. And I'm talking for strip malls. And now they're very full. So, yes, you definitely see more people going out and about.

I will also say, when I take walks in my neighborhood that people, if they see you coming, they will cross to the other side of the street. I cross to the other side of the street. I go up on people's lawns so I avoid the person in the sidewalk.

I think many people -- it's almost as if the nation is divided in two. Actually, poll shows this, is what's interesting. Many of us are saying, you know what, I'm still going to socially distance as much as I can. But many of us are saying I'm tired of this. I'm just going to go about my life like I used to.

KEILAR: I think you're right, Elizabeth.

Thank you so much for that.

More breaking news. CNN is learning the defense secretary is raising concerns about the militarized appearance of police in response to the protests across the nation.

Plus, we're getting word of another shooting in the no-police-zone in Seattle, which the mayor says protesters must abandon. Stand by.



KEILAR: The head of the Minneapolis Police Union is speaking out about the aftermath of George Floyd's killing at the hands of police as the city prepares to enact major reforms.

The police chief says his union has become scapegoats and has accused Black Lives Matter organization of engaging in, quote, "domestic terrorism."

CNN security correspondent, Josh Campbell, sat down with the union leader and some of the board members.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, after nearly a month since George Floyd's death and multiple requests for comment, the city's powerful police union is finally breaking its silence.

I sat down yesterday for an interview with the union's president and some of its board members for a wide-ranging interview about the Floyd case and policing reform we've heard calls for across the nation.

It's interesting that these officers are not going out of their way to defend Derek Chauvin, the senior officer who has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

I asked one of the board members what went through his mind when he saw the video of Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck. He said he was horrified.

We hope to hear from Chauvin's attorney on his defense strategy when he appears in court this coming Monday.

It's worth pointing out, the theme from this interview appears to be a shifting of blame from the police department to city officials. The union saying it's city officials and leadership that are largely to blame for much of the destruction we saw from riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The police union president offering what some will see as controversial comments about the group of Black Lives Matter, equating some of them to domestic terrorists. Listen.


LT. BOB KROLL, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE UNION: We've become scapegoats in this. We, as our federation, our federation board, myself. And it's unjust. Since the fallout of the Floyd death, the people to blame lies squarely on the shoulders of our political leadership.

CAMPBELL: You've also made very pointed comments about groups like Black Lives Matter. You've actually referred to them as a terrorist organization. Do you believe Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization?

KROLL: There are portions of it that certainly have participated in domestic terrorism. Look, not just in Minneapolis but the other cities. That's not them exclusively. There was Antifa there doing the same thing. There are incidents where at Black Lives Matter events, certainly terrorist activity takes place.


CAMPBELL: The union president appears to be lumping together the peaceful movements as well as those with people who actually cause destruction. The overwhelming majority of protests across the country, especially those organized by Black Lives Matter, have been peaceful.

As far as where we go from here, there have been a number of pieces of legislation have been working their way through the state capital, calling for police reform.

The union board saying they haven't had time to read through all those bills but nevertheless they say they want a seat at the negotiation table.


CAMPBELL: Is there any type of reform being pushed that you could support?

SGT. ANNA HEDBERG, DIRECTOR, POLICE OFFICERS FEDERATION OF MINNEAPOLIS: Additional training for officers, 100 percent. We have to have the resources to handle the situation and the calls the way the public wants us to do it.

CAMPBELL: But if you look at the George Floyd situation, Officer Chauvin, the senior officer, had been on for two decades, the most trained person there.

Doesn't that fly in the face of the training argument, that it's not just about training, that there may be some other cultural issues at play within the department, if someone can stand there on video and, you know, allegedly murder someone?

HEDBERG: I think to get it right, we have to take the time. If we rush it through, it could have ramifications that we're just not looking to see.

KROLL: Let's have a thoughtful process that takes place over a period of time where we have dialogue from community leaders, where we have dialogue from police leaders and the administrative side and the union side.

But let's do it. Let's not do it in a vacuum. Let's not rush to get it done overnight or in a week in a special session.

We have more of a focus on safety and security of the citizens of Minneapolis right now than defeating bills they want to rush through in the cover of darkness. We need time. Everybody has to take a breath.



CAMPBELL: Everybody's got to take a breath.

Those comments likely to be seen as very controversial, especially in the case of George Floyd and those who have been calling for drastic police reform here in the city of Minneapolis -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Josh Campbell, thank you.

Late night host, Jimmy Kimmel, apologizing moments ago for performing in black face. Hear his apology.

Plus, the world's number-one tennis player testing positive for coronavirus. Hear how he believes he was infected.


KEILAR: The Seattle's mayor has a message for protesters who have taken over a six square-block area in that city. The so-called Capitol Hill Organized Protest Zone had been relatively peaceful until this weekend when there were three shootings.


While officers plan to return to a precinct in the neighborhood they had abandoned, the mayor says protesters will not be forced out. Instead, she's looking to black-led community groups to encourage people to leave voluntarily.

With more now on what Seattle's mayor is saying is Kyung Lah.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, it's time for people to go home. That is the message from Seattle's mayor after three shootings in weekend in the area known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protests.

This is a zone in the city that protesters had taken over in early June, and that included a police precinct that the police had abandoned.

The city says, during this weekend's shootings, first responders could not quickly reach the victims, including a 19-year-old who was killed.

The mayor now says the city will work with black-led community leaders and organizers in the zone to convince protesters to leave.

This is a significant shift from what the mayor had said earlier. She had indicated that peaceful protesters could stay -- Brianna?

(END VIDEOTAPE) KEILAR: Kyung Lah, thank you.

Senior Pentagon officials are becoming increasingly worried about police looking more and more like U.S. troops in combat as they respond to protests, these militarized uniforms, gear and equipment. All sparking concern. So much so that the defense secretary, Mark Esper, has raised this issue with Attorney General Bill Barr.

I want to bring in senior Pentagon reporter, Ryan Browne, to talk more about this.

Tell us more about why Pentagon officials are worried about this, Ryan.

RYAN BROWNE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, one of the primary reasons this sparked concern is confusion that was sparked when protesters were forcibly cleared from Lafayette Square.

One thing, a lot of folks thought the U.S. military was involved in that action due to the uniforms and the equipment being worn by the law enforcement officials that cleared that area.

Now, there were U.S. troops present, National Guard forces, but they weren't involved in that. It led many to confuse the two groups. Defense officials taking that confusion very seriously.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper raised this issue with Attorney General Bill Barr, saying this is something that needs to be looked at.

And a senior defense official telling CNN, when these forces go out to clear protesters, we don't want them looking like us. That is, they don't want them to be confused between law enforcement officials and the U.S. military.

Some lawmakers have long said that the police forces in this country have become too militarized, pointed to programs that transfer surplus military equipment like armored vehicles, firearms, night-vision goggles, to police forces that's something that need to be curbed. They don't transfer uniforms, things of that nature.

But this comes as there's growing concern about the militarization of the police. And the Pentagon now expressing it's concern, saying they don't want to be confused for police forces -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Thank you for that, Ryan.

More on our breaking news. Dr. Fauci and the CDC director contradicting the president on testing and slowing testing, saying the U.S. needs more, not less.

Plus, the question that clearly annoyed Fauci during this hearing. You might be surprised.

And the president's administration and his campaign said he was joking about slowing coronavirus tests in the U.S. Well, today, he completely contradicted that, saying he does not kid.



KEILAR: Jimmy Kimmel is apologizing for his black face impersonation of former NBA star, Karl Malone. The late-night host is on a summer hiatus from his show after video clips from his previous impersonations began making the rounds on social media. In the late '90s, Kimmel did a recurring impression of Malone wearing black face on TV.

Today, Kimmel said he is sorry if he hurt or offended anyone by the makeup that he wore and the words that he spoke. In his apology, Kimmel said, quote, "I believe that I have evolved and matured over the last 20-plus years and I hope that is evident to anyone who watches my show."

Also breaking, it's an enormous development in the coronavirus pandemic. CNN is learning that the European Union could bar Americans from entering its member countries because of the high coronavirus case count in the U.S.

Joining me now to discuss this is CNN's Kylie Atwood, Fred Pleitgen and national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem.

Kylie, this is a referendum that -- they're considering this, this is a referendum on how the virus is taking over the United States.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is really a reflection of a reality. If you think about it, Brianna, what I'm being told by E.U. diplomats is that, as the E.U. prepares to open borders to travelers, it's considering not allowing American travelers back into the E.U.

Now that is very, very big news because it is going to allow travelers from other countries to come to the E.U.

But the criteria for which it determines which countries are allowed to allow travelers to come into the E.U., I'm being told, is based on how many cases -- the source of the coronavirus cases in those countries.


Because there's a surge in the United States right now, the E.U. is considering keeping American travelers out of the E.U. when they allow other international travelers to come into the country.

They're also considering a number of other countries whose visitors would not be allowed into the E.U. And we are expected to hear a final decision on this early next week ahead of the July 1st deadline.

KEILAR: And, Fred, you're there in Berlin. What are you hearing?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I certainly think that that is something that could happen, that the U.S. travelers could still be barred from entering the European Union.

And we have to keep in mind, when the European Union opens -- first of all, every member state does their own thing, which people from which countries it lets in.

Of course ,the E.U. is going to want to do all of this on a European level. They want to be having a common approach and that is something they've done in the past as well.

And certainly, the thing that they are going to look at is ow strong the virus is in the countries. And again, the science in the E.U. here is what it comes down to.

What they do is give preferential treatment to counties affiliated with the European Union.

Like, for instance, right now, travelers from the United Kingdom are being let in from the European Union and Norway and other countries. But some countries that are not necessarily part of that Schengen area, that common European free travel area are allowed in.

However, Brianna, one of the things that I have heard from many German officials over the past months that we've been dealing with this coronavirus crisis they have not been impressed with the way the Trump administration has been dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

In fact, it was a top German official who, a while back, said, look, in Germany -- Germany has done very well by enlarge in dealing with the crisis. We could be very happy that we don't have a situation like in the United States where there's a lot of German politicians who believe the crisis is not fully under control in the United States.

Of course, that is also something that plays into these decisions as well. If you look at Germany for instance, it is probably the European country that is most similar to the U.S. as far as politically structured and strong federalism.

And Angela Merkel is seen as strong in dealing with state governors, working with state governors to try to get this crisis under control, get the pandemic under control.

And German politicians have been looking to the United States and saying, they haven't seen that same level of cooperation from the Trump administration to the extent that you've seen it here in Germany -- Brianna?

KEILAR: We just heard, Fred, from one of the major experts on vaccines who said it almost appears like the U.S., at this point, has kind of given up on really managing coronavirus when you look at the moves the administration is taking.

Juliette, when you look at what the E.U. is discussing here, the "New York Times" is reporting that the U.S. would be lumped in with, for instance, Brazil and Russia.

And then it said that European nations are haggling over acceptable visitors based on how countries are doing with the virus, both include China and developing nations like Uganda, Cuba and Vietnam.

So what does that say about how the U.S. is being perceived here in their response?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So this is consistent with the actions taken globally against the United States.

Now we talk about a wall here, sort of keeping people out. They are building a wall around us. Everything from poultry exports, because of the illness in our supply chain for meat, to the cruise lines.

Yesterday, they voluntarily said we're not coming into U.S. ports because they see our numbers to now the E.U.

This is the summer of exclusion, is how we have to think about it. The United States has failed to effectively manage the coronavirus and the rest of the country -- the rest of the world sees that. But in particular, parts of world that have managed to not only flatten the curve but to get way down on that slope as they anticipate a potential second wave.

So for Europe, they know it is not over. But what they can do is manage the risk between now and, say, October, if there's a second wave.

The United States as a whole, every single citizen now is seen as a potential risk factor.

So it is completely, I will say this, rational for the E.U. to exclude us at this stage given our numbers. I'm not happy about. But we could do the same if we saw the E.U. numbers looking like ours and ours were in a better place.

It is the nature of a global pandemic. You have to make border decisions based on science. And our science is showing half of the states are still in the first wave and heading up. That is not the E.U.'s fault. That is the fault of management by the White House.


KEILAR: Juliette, Fred, thank you so much to both of you on that.

CNN special coverage will continue now with Brooke Baldwin.