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Rapper Artist, Raz Simone, Discusses Seattle Mayor Calling On Protesters To Leave Autonomous Zone; Washington, D.C. & Wisconsin Call In National Guard To Protect Statues; High School Student Athlete Refuses To Wear Jersey Until School Name Is Changed; Trump's Administration Debunks His Claim The Obama Administration Left "No Ventilators". Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 24, 2020 - 14:30   ET



RAZ SIMONE, RAP ARTIST: It's one of those things that's frustrating because that area is already a hot spot for issues. There have been multiple shootings in that area on that block already, just in the history of -- in the last decade or whatever.

That's already a place of activity, where all the bars and everyone leaves the bars and congregates in this area already. So, to attribute it to Raz is not fair.

But at the same time, the protesters of CHAZ have targets on their backs and that is an issue. Because we have had numerous white supremacist groups who have come in and ran over people, attempted vehicular homicide. That's happened over a dozen times.

We had a guy who drove up and tried to plow through the whole crowd and hopped out and shot one of the protesters. And it ended up being he was the brother of an officer that worked in a precinct. So, that was sad. The shootings that happened, the white dude in the white van that pulled up and shot someone.

Now, it has targeted a lot of peaceful protesters are being harmed. So, it's sad that's where we're at in America. But that is what it is.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: You describe it being a target. It's also become -- it's become controversial, as you know.

It's become a target rhetorically as well. You're aware conservatives want to have their constituents think that this is something beyond Seattle. That is, if Donald Trump were to lose the White House, this is what the whole country will be, a lawless autonomous zone, the images you're going to see all over the country. I wonder what you think about that.

And I wonder -- I wonder what you think about it having become such a target. If this is something that might be hurting the Black Lives Matter movement.

SIMONE: No, definitely. I think it's so sad to see how unethical people are. And you hear this in politicians. But politicians, back and forth, both sides or whatever, the ethics, they black it completely.

It's sad to see the media gets behind this just to get a good story/to push an agenda someone is lobbying for. To turn me into an African war lord and a war lord terrorist. They've spread all these different lies.

They said I was getting Palestinian Air Force to come through, all kinds of things. And people are eating it up. They're eating up this media. It's sad.

Even the autonomous zone, none of the protesters call this autonomous zone. None of us took over the police precinct. The police never left. There's still a police presence in there.

They've been acting like they're all the way gone. Acting like we strong armed the police. How did we do that when we were saying "hands up, don't shoot?" That's not the case at all.

And they love to jump on that scene with me carrying an A.R.-15, as black man and tried to act like I'm taking over the city with this one gun. No, that was as protectionary measure because we just had a protester get shot and a bunch of people ran over.

And then we had, on police scanners, they said there were 30 white supremacists walking up with Confederate flags armed with A.R.-15s and coming towards us. That was a protectionary thing, saying we're not going to be scared if something happens. We're here and I will have a conversation with these men with guns.

And in my mind, I'm thinking probably find more things we have in common and I'll probably walk away and assess the situation and realize the country is probably not under attack and I'm exercising my second amendment right just like they are.

KEILAR: I know that conservatives have seized the imagery out of Seattle for their purpose and they've run with it.

But I also wonder, have you considered that perhaps you are enabling some of what they're doing or that you are doing damage to the larger Black Lives Matter movement. Is that something you thought about?

SIMONE: No. The things that my mom has told me, you're not doing something right if people, a bunch of people don't hate you. When you're standing up for what's right, people are going to hate you on all sides.

It is frustrating. The media is definitely putting a blemish on the whole movement.

Me? No. I pulled out this gun to protect people for less than an hour, put it back. That's only time it's been out.


And it's just crazy to me. It's polarizing of how deeply rooted racism is in this country. Because even as a black person, there's so much racism for black people inside everyone's body, as a white person or whatever. You are not racist, like you don't hate people, but there's racism deep rooted in your body.

When you see an image of a black man with an A.R.-15, I just need to know -- and then you see thousands of white men marching into court rooms, and that's illegal. You're not supposed to go into courtrooms with a gun and different things like that. And I'm completely legal with everything.

When I handed my friend --


KEILAR: I -- can I ask about that though? We've seen on the other side of the political spectrum, we've seen images of white militias, for instance, in New Mexico and they were carrying weapons as well.

And you know, look, a lot of people looked at those images and were uncomfortable with that and then they look at the images for instance of you carrying a weapon in Seattle and of you handing a weapon to someone else and it also is something that certainly is -- it's uncomfortable, at the very least, and cause for alarm for a lot of Americans watching.

SIMONE: Again, none of them got called Arian war lords. It was me and one person. You have a thousand people militias and they're white and people are a little uncomfortable but no headlines.

It's not this crazy militia they have to make a new name for the militia. They didn't say they're trying to take over the country. I didn't say all of those things and they say that about me.

It's like the Black Panthers. There were -- there were not a lot of Black Panthers, about a dozen of them with rifles on their back. The whole country, world went crazy because these black men with guns. They didn't go crazy in other times.

That was the one time the NRA tried to ban guns, take away some of our rights for guns. That's the one time and that's frustrating.

I try -- I'm all about the Second Amendment, right? It is frustrating when you see these articles, things pop up. And the weight people put on seeing this image of me versus all the images of white men doing the same thing.

Again, I'm not mad at the white people. It's just frustrating they see this and run with it.

KEILAR: Is the autonomous zone over? Have police entered the area? Is this coming to an end?

SIMONE: It's not an autonomous zone. Never was. And that was another media thing. Out of nowhere, we see a sign pop up, autonomous zone, CHAZ and things that say CHAZ. And news casters right there videotaping it. I want to ask everyone that was there, did you call it CHAZ? Did you

put that up? No one did.


KEILAR: Let's not get hung up on this.

This geographical area --


KEILAR: -- are people leaving? Is this coming to an end?

SIMONE: I think a lot of people are leaving.

Again, I just listen to what people say and I try to convey a message and put that out there. I think a lot of people are leaving. I think there are a few people are going to try to stand there and peacefully keep on protesting because that's what a protest is, peacefully --

KEILAR: Are police coming in? Have police come back in?

SIMONE: I'm not sure. I don't know. We'll see. Probably in the next couple of days maybe they will.


Raz Simone, thanks for joining us. We appreciate it.

SIMONE: Thank you much.

KEILAR: We have more breaking news. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announcing travel restrictions for anyone traveling in from states with high infection rates.

Also, after the president's threat and a night of unrest in Wisconsin, the National Guard in D.C. and Wisconsin on standby to protect statues and monuments from protesters.


And I'll speak live to a high school runner who refuses to wear the jersey with the name of her school, Robert E. Lee.


KEILAR: As protesters topple statues of Confederate soldiers and slave owners across the country, the D.C. National Guard is being called in to protect the city's monuments. Unarmed guards will provide additional security for those landmarks.

The Wisconsin governor, Tony Evers, is also considering calling in the National Guard after protesters tore down multiple statues there and damaged the state capitol building overnight.

Let's get to CNN Correspondent, Omar Jimenez. Omar, tell us what else you're hearing from the Wisconsin governor?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, right now, the governor says both statues have been recovered. And they're currently assessing the damage to state property that happened over the course of protests last night.

And the central reason that sparked the protests that we saw take place in Madison, Wisconsin, the state's capitol, was over the arrest of the black man seen carrying a baseball bat and yelling through a bull horn inside and outside the restaurant.

And during the protest, that is when we say some of the statues toppled, including one of someone who fought for the Union during the Civil War and another that designates freedom -- excuse me, progress as well.

But also during the protests, we saw Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter, who was on the scene trying to take a picture, and says he was assaulted by some of the protesters.

In fact, one of the local stations, WKOW, say their crew had to call 911 for an ambulance for the State Senator after he was punched and kicked in the head repeatedly.

A day later, Governor Tony Evers says they're assessing some of the damage.


He released a statement through his office on how they're going to proceed in their mindset, saying, quote, "What happened in Madison last night presented a stark contrast to the peaceful protests that we've seen across our state in recent weeks, including significant damage to state property."

"I want to be clear, violence against any person, whether in the middle of the street in broad daylight, at home trying to sleep, going for a run or happening upon a protest as was the case last night, is wrong. It should never be tolerated. The people who committed these acts of violence will be held accountable"

And a crucial aspect is that Governor Tony Evers is prepared to call in the National Guard to protect some of the state property and infrastructure as well.

He also says the capitol police reported multiple people trying to breach the capitol last night.

And it's all part of conversations they're now having with local and state law enforcement on how to handle this particular situation if it continues into another night or further nights -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Omar, thank you so much. Omar Jimenez, reporting from Chicago.

A student in Tyler, Texas, is calling on her high school to find a new name. A top runner, Trude Lamb, has won several medals for her cross- country team. And she's now refusing to wear her jersey until the name on the front of it changes. You can see a shortened version on the jersey in an old photo. "Tyler Lee." The long version, "Robert E. Lee High School."

And Trude and her second mom, Laura Owens, will join us right now.

Trude, you wrote a letter to the schoolboard asking for the name to be changed. Tell us what your letter said and how you were inspired to take this stand.


LAURA OWENS, TRUDE LAMB'S "SECOND MOM": Do you want her to read part of her letter?



OWENS: Or --

KEILAR: Please.

LAMB: I am one of your true African, first-generation African - I am one of your first-generation African-Americans students at Robert E Lee. I'm from Guiana, Africa, where slavery first began. I came to American in 2014.

I have studied the slave castles and seen the three-foot urine and feces stain on the wall where my brothers and sisters were kept.

I have seen where the tiny holes at the top were brought through. I have walked through the gate of no return where over 12 million of my brothers and sisters were kidnapped, never to return to their home.

I have worked the very fields for my family in the very places my people were kidnapped.

KEILAR: And the letter is so moving. And you read this at the schoolboard meeting. How was it received?

LAMB: They haven't done anything yet.


KEILAR: Did you feel, Trude and Laura, like they were sympathetic, like they were understanding where the letter is coming from?

OWENS: The school board has not responded at all to her email, the letter she sent. They have not responded to any of our emails at all. No statements whatsoever about her or the students that are pledging to not wear the name.

KEILAR: Students, plural?


OWENS: Absolutely. It's a movement.

KEILAR: Yes. Tell us about that, Trude. Tell us how your cross-country team friends and runners are also responding to this.

LAMB: So, what we did was cover up the name, Robert E. Lee, and they won't let us do that. It was an unattached racist and our coach support us and stuff.

KEILAR: So, he supported you.

I wonder, Laura, as a mom, what's your reaction watching your daughter take this stand?

OWENS: Honestly, those who know Trude know she is very quiet, soft spoken. She doesn't speak in front of people easily. It's hard for her to -- even in class to get up and speak in front of people.

So, when she wrote the letter from her heart, I shared it, with her permission.

And just the response that we've gotten from the community has been amazing. That means a lot.

The school board has the opportunity to be on the right side of history. They would never name a school Benedict Arnold. So, why name a school -- or keep the name?

We have a multimillion-dollar new building. And two years ago, they were given the opportunity to change the name before anything was printed or engraved, and they didn't even call a vote. And it sends a very message to our students of color at this school.


KEILAR: Trude, do you think it will change?

LAMB: Yes, I want it to change. I'm hoping they will change it.


OWENS: From an economic standpoint, we have businesses who -- Tyler is a wonderful place to live and businesses come in and see five Confederate-themed middle and high schools here in our district. And I just can't even imagine the economic impact.

So the fact that the school board, the response is that some people are typically friends of ours with M.D. and PhD after their name and they got responses and they said it is a money issue.

Well, let's think about how much money Tyler might lose. Businesses not wanting to come here.



KEILAR: Laura Owens, Trude Lamb, thank you so much.

It was great to hear your letter, Trude. We really appreciate it.

Thank you, guys.

OWENS: Thank you.

LAMB: Thank you.

KEILAR: President Trump says he was left with no ventilators by the Obama administration. That claim is now being debunked by the president's own administration.


KEILAR: As the coronavirus pandemic sent the country into lockdown, governors were left to fight among each other over life-saving supplies. President Trump laying the blame on the previous administration.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We didn't have ventilators when we started. The cupboards were empty. The previous administration left us empty cupboards.


KEILAR: Actually, they did not. Trump claimed he inherited no ventilators. Also not true. And now his own administration has released figures to prove it.


A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said there were more than 16,000 in the stockpile ready for use in March.

I want to bring in CNN Reporter and fact-checker, Daniel Dale, joining us now to break this down.

We knew that that claim was false. But now we're getting the numbers from this administration itself, Daniel.

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: That is right. These are the first official numbers we've gotten.

So that spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told me that there have been for quote, "many years, about 19,000 ventilators in the national stockpile." And they said 16,660 were ready for immediate use in March before the Trump administration started buying more.

And when I asked them how many of those 16,660 were purchased by the Trump administration and they said none of them. All of those, every single one was inherited.

This does two things. It blows up the president's narrative that he was left nothing at all. And the spokesperson, number two, told me they've distributed fewer than 11 throughout the pandemic crisis.

So they had 16,660 ready to use and they distributed less than that. That is important information.

KEILAR: That certainly is, Daniel.

Thank you so much for breaking that down for us.

And we're back in a moment.



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: You are watching CNN on this Wednesday. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.

Health officials are now warning that the coronavirus is, quote, "spiraling out of control," as more states report record cases.