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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Threatens Protesters with 10 Years in Prison; Rayshard Brooks Honored at Historic Church; NASCAR Drivers, Crew Show Support for Bubba Wallace; U.K. Prime Minister Office Asked About CNN Race Polling; Saudis Say Hajj to Begin with Limited Numbers; Tributes Paid to Victims in U.K. Terror Incident; Lockdown Breathes New Life Into Day Trading. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 23, 2020 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[04:30:00]

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ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening protesters with serious prison time after demonstrations near the White House Monday night.

He tweeted this out not long ago warning they could face ten years for vandalizing a statue.

Protesters in nearby Lafayette Park tried to tear down a monument of 19th century President Andrew Jackson before police cleared them out. That statue in Washington, D.C., is one of many in the United States honoring controversial figures which many want to see replaced or moved into museums. President Trump slammed the idea and said he will try to block those efforts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a disgrace. Most of these people don't even know what they're taking down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anything you can do to add to the national -- ?

TRUMP: Yes. We're going to do an executive order and we're going to make the cities guard their monuments. This is a disgrace. Now for the most part they're not federal. If it was up to them, they're already talking about Thomas Jefferson.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Rayshard Brooks was remembered Monday in a public viewing at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, one of the most historic churches in the United States. Brooks was killed by police in a fast food parking lot on June 12. His death fueled even more protests in Atlanta. Tensions were already running high after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. The senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church has this to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, SENIOR PASTOR OF EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: This is bigger than the police. Rayshard Brooks was not simply running from the police, he was running from a system that entraps people who are trying to have a second chance, a shot at redemption.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: The bond hearing for the former police officer charged with the fatal shooting has been moved. It had conflicted with Brooks' funeral scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Well, NASCAR fans were allowed to return to the racetrack for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic on Monday. However, the highlight of the event wasn't the photo finish but the remarkable show of support for Bubba Wallace, the sports only black driver one day after a disturbing racist incident. CNN's Dianna Gallagher reports from Anniston, Alabama.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DIANNA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a truly unprecedented show of support as NASCAR's top drivers, crew members, really the entire garage walked along with Bubba Wallace's number 43 car, pushing it along pit road as they gathered around the vehicle as he became really overcome with emotion.

NASCAR legend Richard Petty came over to comfort his driver. He owns the 43 car. As they stood around him during the national anthem. After the race where Bubba finished 14th, he talked about what this meant to him in light of what happened.

BUBBA WALLACE, NASCAR DRIVER: The sport is changing. The deal that happened yesterday, sorry I'm not wearing my mask, but I wanted to show whoever it was that you're not going to take away my smile and I'm going to keep on going.

GALLAGHER: Now according to NASCAR officials, a crew member of the number 43 team found a noose in their garage stall on Sunday afternoon. They say that Bubba Wallace himself never actually saw that noose.

[04:35:00]

It was the President of NASCAR who broke the news to him before the sport contacted the FBI to help investigate.

Now what is key here is the fact that where this was found is a restricted area, meaning that the only people who had access to it were credentialed. We're talking about NASCAR team members, officials, security and medical personnel. NASCAR has said that once they find out who did this, that that individual will be banned from the sport for life.

Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Anniston, Alabama. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And racism is not a uniquely American problem. Exclusive CNN polling has revealed a stark racial divide in the United Kingdom where black people are twice as likely as white people to say there is discrimination in policing media and politics. 58 percent of black Britons think the Conservative Party is racist. CNN reached out to the Prime Minister's office for reaction. And CNN senior international correspondent, Nima Elbagir is back with that. Good to see you, Nima. So what did the Prime Minister's office have to say and what has been the overall reaction on CNN's polling on racism in the U.K.?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Prime Minister's office, the Prime Minister's spokesman's response really what goes to the heart of this issue, which is it was both generic and remarkably flippant, Rosemary. It was a collection of talking points that they have wheeled out before. That the Prime Minister is committed to seeing justice done but they refuse to engage on any of the specific issues. They refuse to even confirm that the Prime Minister had been shown this incredibly important data.

We're already hearing from opposition politicians. Diane Abbott, a member of the opposition Labour Party, has said this is typical of the government's lip service when it comes to these issues. And when it comes to the broader black British experience in this country and the way that the Conservative government, the party in power, really seemed to be part of the institutional racism that black British respondents to our poll said they felt they had been targeted by.

Online, Rosemary, the response has been incredibly emotional. People feel that this data has finally shown in really stark terms what so many of them had felt to be true in their own lives, that to be black and to be British essentially is to live in a different country from white people -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, understand that. Nima Elbagir, bringing us the latest reaction to that CNN polling. Many thanks.

Well as investigators search for a motive in a deadly terror attack in the U.K., we are learning more about the victims of this tragedy. A special tribute to them just ahead.

[04:40:00]

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible misery and suffering on the good people of that country.

I just want to see Venezuela straighten out. I want the people to be safe. We're going to take care of Venezuela.

The dictator Maduro is a Cuban puppet protected by Cuban bodyguards hiding from his own people. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Well despite the U.S. President's unfavorable opinion of Nicolas Maduro, the embattled Venezuelan President says he is willing to talk with Donald Trump. Maduro said he would meet respectfully with his U.S. counterpart like he has done previously with former Vice President Joe Biden during the Obama administration. President Trump has previously the only meeting he will have with Maduro would be to discuss a peaceful exit from power. But in an interview over the weekend the President said he was never opposed to meetings.

And Saudi Arabia is drastically limiting Hajj pilgrims this year in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Officials announced that the Hajj scheduled to take place next month will only be open to Saudis and foreign nationals already residing in the kingdom. More than 2 million Muslims performed the Hajj last year. 1.8 million of them were international travelers.

And CNN's Sam Kiley has covered the region extensively. He joins us now live from Abu Dhabi to talk more about this. Good to see you, Sam. So this will of course be a very different year for the Hajj and for all the participants. How will this work exactly?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, it's not a surprise. The Saudi Arabian kingdom about two months ago now issued guidance to a potential Hajj pilgrims, particularly to the specialized travel agents that organize the Hajj from pilgrims from right across the world. As you say there in your introduction, some 1.8 million more or less people would be normally expected to travel for this very important event to Mecca starting next month.

Now the Saudi authorities said please don't take any bookings some time ago because it is likely that we will either postpone -- well, not postpone but suspend the Hajj for this year. Now what they've come up with is a compromise, the sort of compromise that we also saw during the recent Ramadan period in which there are people who will be representing the wider winder Islamic community at these important rituals in mecca and elsewhere during the period of the Hajj. Specifically foreign nationals who are residents of Saudi Arabia and Saudis themselves can apply to go, but their numbers are going to be extremely tightly restricted.

And that is because right across the Middle East there have been signs of a second wave of infections of the coronavirus. Even during Ramadan here, for example, Rosemary, the local authorities even though there were very strict regulations, indeed, that meant there were no Ramadan prayers, no collective prayers allowed, people did have them in a clandestine way. And they were able to detected even then a relatively small but nonetheless detectible increase in the rate of infections. Saudi Arabia's recently lifted a lot of the local restrictions on commerce and movement inside various cities but still keeping it very tight, particularly in terms of international travel -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, Sam Kiley joining us there from Abu Dhabi. Many thanks.

[04:45:00]

Well the U.S. Justice Department announced several charges against an army soldier on Monday, including providing material support to terrorists in a plan to attack his fellow Americans. The soldier is accused of planning a mass casualty attack on his own unit. The indictment lays out his alleged communications with a neo-Nazi white supremacist group. It says the soldiers shared information related to his unit's deployment location and security details in order to facilitate an attack. The U.S. Army and the FBI said they thwarted the attack in May and they arrested the soldier on June 10th.

And we are learning more about three men who were killed during a terror attack in the U.K. on Saturday. CNN's Nic Robertson spoke to a friend of the victims and as Nic discovered, the men all shared a special bond.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Joe Richie Bennett from Philadelphia, James Furlong, a teacher and David wales if you are long, a teacher and David Wales, all dead in Reading's terror attack Saturday. Martin Cooper knew them all. Friends in Reading's pride organization. Joe, the best of all.

MARTIN COOPER, CEO, READING PRIDE: Joe, now there's a character. Very bubbly, vibrant. Flirty at times but a genuinely nice guy. Always will pick you up if you are ever feeling down or low.

ROBERTSON: He is still processing the horror seen in videos posted online.

COOPER: I've literally witnessed my friends dying and that's not going to get of my mind now. It was horrific. So, Yes, I would say please don't share that sort of footage.

ROBERTSON: Joe had sent him a text message that morning.

COOPER: You know, the text I sent back was in the evening saying I hope this wasn't you. Please tell me you're safe. And obviously I didn't get a reply back so it's a very poignant moment.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Was there a moment when you realized that could have been you?

COOPER: Well, Yes. And it could have been anybody. This appears to have been a random attack.

ROBERTSON: Not targeted at LGBTQ community?

COOPER: I just don't know.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): At I high school gates where James taught, tributes pile up for a much-loved teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Walking into his class was like the best thing on a Monday morning. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was really kind and really funny. He

encouraged curiosity in all of his lessons to other people and it was our privilege to be taught by him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He really made history fun because last year I had a rubbish teacher and he did -- my grades improved this year and he did make it enjoyable.

ROBERTSON: At the scene of the attack community leaders showed solidarity, brought witness to the grief of victims' families.

MATT RODDA, BRITISH MP FOR READING THE EAST: You cannot imagine what they're going through, and I'd just like my deepest condolences to them and the town --and the town are thinking about them at this difficult time. This has been the most dreadful, awful incident.

ROBERTSON (on camera): But a dark moment, the flowers are a reminder of happier times and brighter days to come.

Nic Robertson, Reading, England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[04:50:00]

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CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well believe it or not, some people have been sitting at home during the pandemic with too much time on their hands and more money than they know what to do with. Clare Sebastian shows us what happened when they took that cash and rolled the dice on Wall Street.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVE PORTNOY, FOUNDER, BARSTOOL SPORTS: If I lose half a milli -- (BLEEP) of spirit because I go bankrupt so be it.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the beginning of May, sports blogger and social media celebrity, Dave Portnoy, invested a million dollars in Spirit Airlines. He says at almost the same time as this news broke.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Taking flight, Warren Buffett reveals Berkshire Hathaway has sold its U.S. airlines stocks.

SEBASTIAN: Warren Buffett's decision, we should note, was based on his view that it would take years for air travel to recover. Still as Spirit's stock doubled over the next month, Portnoy didn't hold back.

PORTNOY: I said, Warren Buffet, that old man, he doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm better than he is. It's a fact.

SEBASTIAN: Before the pandemic Dave Portnoy founder of website Barstool Sports, was better known for being thrown out of the Super Bowl and harassing female journalists. Including a year's long campaign against ESPN host Samantha Ponder. He dismisses this saying his style is to make jokes online.

PORTNOY: Half a mil of chewy. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

I've always been an avid sports gambler and once corona hit and sports kind of stopped, I was looking for something to do. Something to create content with.

SEBASTIAN: In March he put $3 million of his own money into an E*TRADE account, came up with a name for his new trading operation, Davey Day Trader Global or DDTG and coined a simple mantra.

PORTNOY: Stocks always go up.

SEBASTIAN: And for several months, the S&P 500 proved him right. As the markets surged from its March lows, Portnoy both tapped into and somebody helped fuel a flood of amateur investors into the stock market. Commission free trading platforms like Robin Hood, E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade reported big increases in trading volume and account openings.

PORTNOY: What Dave Portnoy has done is he's made investing fun. Not just because it's fun doesn't necessarily mean you should take it lightly. It's money. You should take it very, very seriously. It's not gambling.

SEBASTIAN: these investors have taken risks including piling into bankrupt stocks like Hertz. And yet some experts say the amateurs, especially younger ones, were quicker to call the bottom.

PORTNOY: Way back in March when this first started, the cruise lines, we saw our millennial clients start to buy Carnival Cruise. The rest of our population, you know, the more traditional if you will, population didn't really start to buy it until mid-April.

SEBASTIAN: One of these millennials was Shawn Cassity, a 29-year-old employee at a defense contractor. Also in the past a sports gambler. In early April he took his tax refund and government stimulus check and put it all into his E*TRADE account.

[04:55:03]

SEAN CASSITY, AMATEUR TRADER: A lot of travel stocks. Definitely a lot of what Dave Portnoy has talked about, you know, the cruise stocks, the airline stocks. Life is going to get back to normal stocks. You've got to just hope that things will get back to normal and when that happens, people are going to fly again. People are going to go on cruises again.

SEBASTIAN: So far, he's seeing a 50 percent return on his $6,000 investment. He follows Dave Portnoy but says he takes a lot of his advice with a grain of salt.

PORTNOY: You just take a couple letters, you motion together, you press buy, buy, buy --

SEBASTIAN: And even Portnoy himself admits his winning streak may not last.

PORTNOY: If you told me I had a guarantee that stocks would go up every single day it does for the next decade, well then, I'd quit my job and just do this because there's nothing more profitable. But I don't think that's the case. I think eventually it'll stop. I just don't know when.

SEBASTIAN: Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: He's having a very different experience to the rest of us, right?

Well for the first time since the pandemic shot things down, opera is back in Barcelona. But don't expect to hear a bravo or even a round of applause from this audience. Musicians at the opera house will perform a concert for a roomful of potted plants. More than 2,000 of them. Each filling the red velvet seats and no doubt eager to take in the sounds of Puccini's Elegy Chrysanthemums. Which is what the string quartet has chosen to play for the special guests. After the event, the opera will donate the plants to health workers to show their appreciation for their hard work during the pandemic.

And thank you so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "EARLY START" is up next. And you're watching CNN. Have a wonderful day.

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