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Source: Intel on Russian Plot to Put Bounty on U.S. Troops Was Included in Trump's Daily Brief Earlier this Year; Rep. Will Hurd (R- TX) is Interviewed About Intel on Russian Plot to Put Bounty on U.S. Troops; Judge Warns He May Move Floyd Murder Trial Out of Minneapolis. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired June 29, 2020 - 19:00   ET


JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for watching.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT front starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, cases and hospitalizations spike. One state moments ago announcing it is reverting to a partial shutdown. This as the White House ignores its own advice in handling the pandemic. Is it now costing lives?

Plus, 28 members of one family test positive for coronavirus. I'm going to talk to a member of that family who is recovering after losing his father to the virus.

And the President tweets two videos, one of man saying white power, another of a couple pointing a rifle at protesters. What's the real story behind these incidents? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, shutting back down in Arizona. Gov. Ducey now warning a partial shutdown closing bars, gyms and theaters as infections and hospitalizations spike there and across this country tonight. The nation's most populous state, California, if you on the map now seeing a nearly 50 percent increase in cases since just last week.

In fact, only four states are now reporting a decline in cases. But from the President on this issue silence, a silence that speaks a thousand words since the President refuses to wear a mask. So tonight others are speaking for him. His Press Secretary says don't listen to what he says or pay attention to what he does trust her. The President is all for masks.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He did say to me he has no problem with mask and to do whatever your local jurisdiction request of you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So she says he got no problem with masks. Kayleigh McEnany

is talking about the very same man who has been seen time again, time again, time again, time again with people all around him wearing masks when he refuses to wear one. In fact, he said he would never wear one because it's just not for him.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don't know, somehow I don't see it for myself.


BURNETT: Of course, all of those world leaders now wear them. He won't wear one and millions of people took note. They watch him and they refuse to wear them too, saying it's about personal freedom when it is not. And the President hasn't just set an example of refusing to wear a mask, he has made the people around him afraid, trepidatious, ashamed, whatever word applies to each individual, but it applies to them not wearing masks either.

I mean, take this picture, you'll see what's wrong with it. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas praising Dr. Deborah Birx's response to coronavirus stressing, "Wearing a mask and social distancing whenever possible." Well, not seen in that picture. This is, of course, the same Dr. Birx who has had this message just hours before the picture was taken.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: I'm really appealing to every Texan to wear a mask.


BURNETT: Look, that's a message that was echoed by Vice President Pence while he was also in Texas today where Texas, of course, reported nearly 4,300 new cases and a record 5,900 hospitalizations.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wear a mask wherever it's indicated or wherever you're not able to practice the kind of social distancing that would prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Wearing a mask is just a good idea.


BURNETT: OK. What he said is a hundred percent accurate and he said wear a mask when you can't social distance and yet on that very same day that he said those important and accurate words, he attended an event at a church in Dallas, where we will show you a choir of more than 100 people were not socially distancing and were not wearing masks and they were singing.

OK. Singing in a choir is a super spreader event and we know this unfortunately, because two people died 50 others became infected in Washington State after a choir held a single rehearsal there in March. And I spoke to the director of that choir, he had this warning.


ADAM BURDICK, WA CHOIR CONDUCTOR, CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS ALONG WITH DOZENS OF MEMBERS: I would not have wished this on any other words organization, but it's frustrating that happened to us. And I want people to pay attention to those warning signals and that's our message is for people to pay attention.


BURNETT: Well, at this point, it doesn't appear that the President cares. He hasn't shown that he does. He has barely said a word or typed a tweet in four days about the pandemic, 125,000 Americans are now dead. He won't wear a mask. He has though been busy. He's tweeted about poll numbers. He retweeted the racist video of a supporter yelling white power.

Four days ago, he appeared on TV with his friend Sean Hannity. He spent three minutes of the hour long broadcast actually talking about coronavirus. Just three minutes when you have states reshutting down in a country now lit up again in red with the spread of a virus. It is reckless and it has deadly consequences.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House tonight. And Kaitlan, the president is actively not engaging on coronavirus at this point.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He's happy to leave the public messaging to other officials like the HHS Secretary how you saw on yesterday morning that the window to get this under control is closing and closing quickly. But Erin, it's not just publicly that the President isn't talking about coronavirus anymore, he's also not really engaging privately either.

You saw that there was that coronavirus task force meeting on Friday before that briefing that happened. There was another one on the schedule today, but we are told that the President himself has not attended a formal coronavirus task force meeting since the month of April. That's quite some time and the White House defended that by saying it's the Vice President who heads it up.

But it does show a change from where the President didn't used to attend maybe once a week, once every week and a half or so when they were having them on such a regular basis. And so it's just changed but people around the President are concerned that this could have political implications for him.

It's not just the health officials that are worried about this discombobulated message coming out of the White House, but his own political advisors are looking at these polls that show voters rejecting how he's handled coronavirus so far. And they're concerned about the fact that he's just leaving it behind in the way that you've seen where he's not really talking about it and he's not really engaging.

And lately, we've even seen confusing messages coming out of the White House with the Vice President himself, who is the head of the task force. You saw yesterday in Dallas, he said, wear a mask where it's required, where it's mandated, where it's advised. But on Friday, at that briefing, he went out of his way to not say to wear a mask.

He ticked off all the CDC guidance except for wearing a mask and when he was asked by a reporter about how it's somehow become a political statement to put a mask on, the Vice President, again, was just urging people to listen to local guidance, and also urging them to pray as well.

So, of course, that has been the concern that I think health officials have had is how these messages coming out of the White House have at times been just so disjointed.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you.

And I want to go now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush, currently at the Cardiac Cath Lab at GW.

So Sanjay, you know have Arizona coming out and halting and actually reverting on some of this reopening. And this is what we're - it now looks like we're going to be seeing in place after place, you have a map, that a week or two ago, Memorial Day, had a lot of green on it in terms of things getting better and now it's all orange and red.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I look at that map and I look - I think of the country as a body, as a human body back in near Memorial Day, there was obviously some localized disease, if you will, in the country and areas that you'd want to focus on. And now I look at what's happening today and I think the entire body is vulnerable, obviously, a widespread disease, but I don't look anywhere at that map anymore. I don't think there's a place that's not vulnerable because this is a contagious virus and there's been so much spread in these areas, because the basic guidance has not been followed.

The gating criteria were not followed, that choir situation you just met there and I watched that interview that you had done at that time, I mean, there was CDC guidance that came out after that, that said, those are potentially super spreader events. That guidance was then removed from the website. I mean, 53 people got sick, two people died. Look, what is going on here?

We don't even know what we don't know anymore. It's really quite ridiculous and so I'd like to think that we're making progress, but I worry that we're going backwards.

BURNETT: Well, and Dr. Reiner, at the same time here you have the choir, which we showed, that's where Vice President Pence was. Meanwhile, the President this weekend was playing golf. He did not talk about the pandemic. He did, obviously, tweet out that video with the guy on the golf cart yelling white power that he had to delete, but that's it, that's what's happening is that map lights up in red and now Republican governors are pulling back and holding back these openings.

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Right. The federal government has really ceded any kind of responsibility for the management of this pandemic. They've done it in a piece by piece way, maybe it's time for them to officially do that and maybe we need a new task force, under the auspices of the different state governments to really get this done, because that's what we're seeing on the ground.

We're seeing governors like the Governor of Arizona today, like the Governor of Texas starting to ratchet down without any guidance from the federal government. Yesterday on State of the Union, Secretary Azar said that we're in a much different position today than we were a few months ago and he's right.

A few months ago, there were 3,000 deaths in the United States and about 160,000 cases. Right now we have almost 126,000 deaths and over 2.5 million cases. And this is why - during this time, the federal government has ceded management of this to the state. So maybe we should officially do that and have a national task force with the people who maybe kind of (inaudible) ...


BURNETT: So you just mentioned Secretary Azar and Sanjay, wanted to play for you what Alex Azar said to Jake this weekend. Here he is.


ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY OF THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: This is a very, very serious situation and the window is closing for us to take action and get this under control.


BURNETT: I mean, I don't want to read anything into his look, but he looks exhausted and resigned, Sanjay. But maybe that message is to the President, right? That was the person who could have seized that window, but now we're hearing this from his own Secretary of Health and Human Services.

GUPTA: Yes, I heard that. I watched that interview. I wasn't entirely sure what he meant by that. I mean, the reality is that we have to act at this point. I mean, as Dr. Reiner saying, I mean, we can see what's happening here as medical professionals. We see how this disease is progressing and we're sort of watching it sitting on our hands a little bit here. It's very frustrating, I think, and maybe you were sensing some of Secretary Azar's frustration as well.

The window is, I guess, closing. Sure. But this is not an elective operation anymore, this is an urgent matter that needs to be taken care of. And if he's suggesting, look, at some point, it'll be too far gone. We can't get a hold of it anymore. I guess I don't ever want to believe that. But I do think that we need to act now and the earlier we act, the more of an impact that we'll have.

BURNETT: And Dr. Reiner, what can be done among leadership?

REINER: Erin, let me just say that ...

BURNETT: Yes, go ahead.

REINER: Let me just say that it's not a mystery why the virus is spreading so rapidly in the south and southwest. They had inadequate testing. I mean, Texas is 42nd in the country in testing. They opened too soon and they had a policy where they really didn't push the public wearing of masks.

That's not rocket science. We can turn that around. It just takes the will and the leadership to do that.

BURNETT: Yes. All right. Thank you both very much as always.

GUPTA: Yes, thank you.

BURNETT: And next 28 members of one California family test positive for coronavirus. How did it happen and how can you prevent it from happening to you? We're going to speak to one member of that family.

Plus, breaking news, a CNN exclusive, senior officials convinced that Trump pose a danger to national security, over hundreds of classified phone calls with foreign leaders showed he was outplayed.

And the judge in the George Floyd murder trial warning he may move the murder trial out of Minneapolis. Wow. Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Floyd family is my guest.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Texas reporting a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations, nearing 6,000 patients. Democrats urging the State's Governor, Greg Abbott, to allow some cities to issue mandatory stay-at-home orders. Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): At least a dozen states pausing or rolling back reopening plans. The country's Health Secretary warning the window is closing to get the virus under control.


AZAR: This is a real call to action. We have all got to as Americans act responsibly.


CARROLL(voice over): New Jersey canceling plans to allow indoor dining while Florida now leads in New Coronavirus cases. Starting Today, Jacksonville, the State's largest city inside of the republican convention, mandating masks indoors and outdoors. Bars in the state now closed for the second time and some beaches closed ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.


MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ (R) MIAMI DADE COUNTY: We're seeing a rise in the infection rate of young people. They will then in turn eventually bring it in and to their parents and their grandparents and then we're really going to have a problem.


CARROLL(voice over): In Texas, health experts seeing a sharp increase in infections among young people there as well. The Governor says over the past two weeks, the daily number of new cases have spiked from an average of 2,000 to roughly 5,000. Some people now lining up and waiting hours for a COVID test.


JUDGE CLAY JENKINS, DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS: Hospitalizations here in Dallas have doubled for COVID just this month and also in our region. We're at the tipping point down in Harris County where Houston is.


CARROLL(voice over): One bar in East Lansing, Michigan shows just how infectious the virus can be. The health department is asking patrons who visited Harper's Restaurant & Brewpub earlier this month to self quarantine after roughly 85 people contracted COVID-19. Bars ordered to close in seven counties now in California. It was one of the first states to issue a stay-at-home order and now sounding the alarm after seeing a surge in cases there.


LT. GOV. ELENI KOUNALAKIS (D) CALIFORNIA: We're not out of the woods. We have to continue to take every single possible precaution.


CARROLL(voice over): New data obtained by CNN shows some of the hardest hit states including Texas, Florida and Arizona do not have the amount of contact tracers they need to stop the spread of the virus. Contact tracers follow and monitor contacts of an infected person to see whether they become ill.


CARROLL: And another look at California, the state now reporting that they've seen a 45 percent increase in the number of COVID cases just within the past week and if you take a look at Los Angeles, for example, they're saying if things continue the way that they've been seeing so far. They're going to be running out of hospital beds in just a few weeks. Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jason, thank you very much.

And I'm joined now on the phone by Richard Garay, one of the 28 members of one Southern California family who tested positive for coronavirus. He joins me on the phone. We have a little bit of technical issue as you know happen these days, so I'm sorry you're joining me on the phone, Richard. But I'm glad you're here and I'm so sorry about your loss. So our viewers know you lost your father to coronavirus the day before Father's Day. Truly heartbreaking and I am so sorry.

What has happened to your family, Richard, can you can you tell me about the moment when you realized that this virus really has had spread through your family?

RICHARD GARAY, TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 ALONG WITH 27 FAMILY MEMBERS: Hi. Thank you, Erin. I just wanted to say thank you for your condolences. We - I noticed when I was actually in the hospital when I got all of the information from my wife and she told me that my father had been transported to the hospital.


I found out that my kids ages five and two were also positive for my COVID and my disabled mother, my younger brother, I found out that my other brother in a different household, his pregnant wife, my two- year-old nephew, we were all positive. My extended family; aunts, uncles, cousins, were all tested positive. I didn't know any of their condition when I was in the hospital which was a very difficult in the process.

BURNETT: Well, and I know you were very sick with your father. I know you decide to quarantine together. You both found out you had the virus, so the two of you decided to quarantine together. And then as we know with this horrible virus, a few days later some people get better and some turn for the worse.

You got so sick, you had to call 911, paramedics came and I know that was the last time you saw your father. What did you say to him?

GARAY: So when I was calling 911, my father used all of his energy to sit up in bed. Mine you, he can't even move himself and (inaudible) in Spanish, hijo estas bien, which translates to son, are you OK. And the last thing I ever told my father and then my father ever saw was me suffocating and me telling my father, I don't think I'm going to make it and those are my last words to my dad.

BURNETT: I am so sorry and, of course, he did not. I mean, I know, Richard, people want to understand what happened. I mean, I know, your family didn't have a big party, you didn't have some single event where anybody was violating anything that would have caused 28 people to get sick at once. That it sort of happened bit by bit. I mean, how do you think the virus spread around your family?

GARAY: So I know there's a lot of misinformation out there, my family (inaudible) we actually follow protocol and guidelines. I just believe it happened through minimal contact. And it happened because we had few visitations where my father was, I believe, infected but wasn't showing symptoms yet.

One of which (inaudible) that came by to pick up gardening tools. He was here for no more than 10 minutes and no less than five. They had a brief conversation. Neither of them were wearing masks and I believe that my father was infected at that point, having that small conversation and feeling comfortable, led to my uncle taking it to his household (inaudible) who was a caretaker of my disabled mother, same thing.

She (inaudible) my mom and my dad and I believe that my father had an interaction with her and potentially infected her without my father knowing that he was contagious. And then an aunt, who happen to be here to two weeks prior to my father's passing or three weeks prior to my father's passing because we had just lost our aunt, which is mom's sister to a non-COVID related illness. And she was here grieving with my mother and was around my father as well. So that's three separate households.

BURNETT: Well, it just, I hope, it powerfully explains to people how small minimal contact can do this as - so people don't get complacent. I am, Richard, glad you are better. I am so sorry for your loss and for your family's loss. The loss of your Father, please be well.

GARAY: I did want to share something with everyone that is listening.


GARAY: I didn't want my father's death to be (inaudible) I want my father to just be another COVID statistic, and this is why I'm spreading awareness because through my father's death and our suffering, we can save one life for hundreds or thousands, then my father didn't die in vain. And I just hope that people can hear this message. And I just want to say god bless you to everyone that has been supporting this and that have been here for us.

BURNETT: I hope people do hear it and I think some will. I know it's not easy to talk about it, but I think you will make a difference for some and thank you, Richard.

And next, the breaking news, President Trump claims he did not know about intelligence reports that Russians put a bounty on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. CNN has learned now though that this was included in his daily brief earlier this year.

Plus, the judge in the George Floyd murder trial threatening a gag order also a change of venue. Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Floyd family response.



BURNETT: Breaking news, CNN is learning intelligence on a plot by Russian operatives to pay Taliban militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan did make it to the West Wing. According to U.S. official with direct knowledge of the latest information, the plot was included in the President's daily brief this spring. That means the daily brief that goes to the White House to the Oval Office.

The White House today was asked specifically if the information was included in the President's daily brief and this was their response.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you say that he wasn't brief, does that mean it wasn't in the PDB either?

MCENANY: He was not personally briefed on the matter. That is all I can share with you today is that both the CIA Director, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff can all confirm neither the President or the Vice President was briefed.


BURNETT: But, of course, it was included in his brief, his daily brief. Barbara, breaking the story. I mean, this appears pretty stark, what can you tell us?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's explain to people the President's daily briefing is a notebook of information essentially that he is given every day. It's up to him to decide how much he wants to go into at all, how much he wants to read. He gets briefed on key matters and now two officials are telling us this Russian plot, in fact, at some point was included in what you call the PDB, the President's daily brief, but that he was not briefed on it.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The question is, why? And that's still to be determined.

Apparently, the -- the White House's reasoning is because the intelligence was not fully verified and corroborated.

But here's something else -- we have also learned that the national security staff had a meeting about the plot to decide and to begin to discuss some potential response options that they could have eventually take to the president.

So, if it wasn't verified, if it wasn't corroborated, if it wasn't all that serious -- well, the NSC staff was already looking at response options.

We've talked to a number of officials across the government about this, and, Erin, what they say tonight is, it's a little bit still mystifying why the president hasn't asked more about this. This involves the fate, the death of -- potentially, of U.S. troops on the front lines. It involves their families, perhaps wondering if their loved ones were killed at the hands of Russian cash being spread around Afghanistan. So, there is still quite a bit to answer here, why wasn't the

president told and why if he wasn't told didn't he express more interest in finding out what was going on --Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Very real questions.

All right. Barbara, thank you.

And I want to go to Republican Congressman Will Hurd of Texas. Obviously, he's a congressman. He's on the committee here, but also former undercover CIA agent who was stationed in Afghanistan.

So you understand this in a way that pretty much no one else does. And you now heard Barbara's reporting. It was in the presidential daily brief, he may not have been audibly briefed about it, but it was there for him to read.

What is your response?

REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): Well, I think your reporter had it right. Why wasn't it escalated to an in-person brief versus just a physical document?

Now, I can't confirm or deny whether it was in the PDB, but this would be information that should get escalated to the senior levels of government. And even if there was some kind of question about intelligence, like something like this, then you would still, you know, put caveats around the information.

And why is, you know, Russians paying for scouts, and doing his bounty -- why is this an issue? Why does this matter? It would show an escalation of Russian activity in Afghanistan.

You know, we know they have been Afghanistan. We know they're supporting the Pakistanis. We know they're supporting groups like -- you know, some of the other groups operating in Afghanistan, in Pakistan.

But, you know, when you're usually fighting for a policy objective in these places. But when your only goal is to kill Americans, that's a completely different -- that's not what a nation state does, that's what a thug does, and the Russians are thugs.

And I don't have to -- you know, this doesn't change my opinion of them. They're not our allies, they're our adversaries, and we should be doing everything to stop them. And this is important that the timing of, you know, this kind of information --


HURD: -- is why we're trying to negotiate a peace process.

And can you trust a peace process, people supposed to be involved in supporting the peace process if you know that this type of stuff is happening? And guess what, the Russians have done this kind of stuff before. We know all the cases of what they have tried to do in Europe. But

unfortunately what is happening right now is that the Russians are winning because now we're continuing to sow mistrust and lack of trust in all our institutions and the questions around this. And, unfortunately --


HURD: -- I have more questions than I have answers to some of your questions, but this is something -- and when did the Oversight Committees know potential information and did they have access to this type of information?

These are valid questions because the -- that's why you have civilian oversight to make sure that you're asking questions.

BURNETT: Well, so when I hear your frustration, right, on a lot of levels. You explained things that a lot of people didn't understand, which is why the Russians doing this would be an escalation and would be different and would be very significant from what they were doing in Afghanistan prior to that.

But the outrage that you have is very different than the president's, right? He says he wasn't briefed and he made this about that.

Now, again, it's in the presidential daily briefing, I'm just going to say in my view, if it is handed to you and you choose not to read it, that's still on you. I understand he did not get verbally briefed.

But his response to this is: Intel just reported to me they did not find this info credible, therefore did not report it to me or at VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia hoax maybe by the fake news "New York Times" wanting to make Republicans look bad.

But as we now know, they had meetings. They talked about sanctions. They talked about reprisal.

What do you -- what do you say to that, that his response isn't, I want to know what the heck happened, I want to know why I wasn't briefed, and I want to do something about it, but instead was to be yelling about fabricated hoaxes and fake news?


HURD: And, again, I'm not going to confirm or deny, you know, intelligence --


HURD: -- but if something this sensitive was out there, I'd be pissed that nobody brought it to me or didn't raise their hand and be, like, hey, boss, read in that, you know, there is some information you need to read today, make sure we cut out time in your calendar in order to do that. So, that would be the question that I would be asking.

And then if there was some kind of conflict, in the veracity of the information, what are we doing to clarify that?


HURD: What are we doing to understand this? What other things would we possibly know if this information, if we had access to this kind of information? Oh, and, by the way, are we telling our allies?

Because, you know, we can't do this alone and we had some amazing allies. And even if you have this type of information, and you had some questions on his veracity, you would still overshare, it doesn't hurt to overshare and in this case, to make sure that if indeed something like this was true, you would be able to protect yourself.

So these are the kinds of questions we should be asking to make sure that our men and women that are serving, in order to make sure that we don't have al Qaeda coming back, that we don't have ISIS plotting and planning threats on our homeland, why this is important in order to bring civility to Afghanistan, in the middle of an alleged peace process --


HURD: -- these are -- these are some of the questions that we should be getting -- we should be getting answers to. And it shouldn't take months to try to figure out answers to those questions if there is months gone by between collecting this information and having debates around it.

BURNETT: Right, it's true, because we understand that it was in the presidential daily briefing this spring, which I know does leave a broad time frame here, but in the spring.

All right, thank you very much, Congressman, I always appreciate your time. Thank you.

HURD: Erin, I want to say, thanks for your last segment with that young gentleman talking about the family of coronavirus. I lost a loved one to this, a family member and it's serious, and that segment should be replayed over and over. So thanks for that.

BURNETT: Well, I'm really sorry for your loss. I am.

HURD: Thank you.

BURNETT: It touched so many. Thank you.

And next, the former officers charged in George Floyd's death appear in court. Their attorneys saying their right to a fair trial has been jeopardized and the attorney for Floyd's family responds.

And Trump retweeting two controversial clips, including one showing a couple pointing guns at protesters. What was really happening behind the scenes?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: New tonight, a Minnesota judge warning he may move the George Floyd murder trial out of Minneapolis, the judge saying he will consider a change of venue, also threatening a gag order if officials or attorneys in the case continue to discuss it publicly.

The warnings during pre-trial hearings today for all four officers charged in Floyd's death, two of whom you see here arriving for court.

OUTFRONT now, the attorney for the Floyd family, Benjamin Crump.

And, Benjamin, I appreciate your time.

What's your response to this, that they're saying about possibly moving it if -- if people keep talking?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, GEORGE FLOYD'S FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, it is the hope that the judge will evaluate that this matter is a global matter, that it has galvanized people around the world after seeing this horrific and unjustifiable death. And the fact that you want to make sure that there is equal justice for the police officers, but you don't want to do that to the detriment of the family of George Floyd getting equal justice, I mean, is not really understandable to the family of George Floyd because if the roles were reversed, we don't think anybody would consider moving the venue.

BURNETT: So, in other words, so you think it is important to keep speaking out and you're going to continue to do so?

CRUMP: Well, we're going to speak out for a change in the behavior and the way we do policing in America as it relates to black people. But that is our First Amendment right and we believe we cannot be silenced because they keep killing our children, Erin.

BURNETT: So what are you going to do if they, you know, they're saying comments from the police chief, the attorneys for the officers, I'm sorry, to be clear, Benjamin, that comments from the police chief and other officials have specifically jeopardized what they say is their client's ability to have a fair trial. One of the officers' attorneys today says that he's going to -- the reason they're going to ask for the change of venue specifically is because of that.

Do they have a point at all when it comes to comments by the police chief or anything like that?

CRUMP: Well, I'm sure that the Attorney General Keith Ellison and the prosecutors and the city officials are going to address that. I speak on behalf of the George Floyd family. And all I know is we will be very measured, and our comments in the media to relate them just to George Floyd and that he deserves justice. I'm sure the attorneys who represent the police chief in the city will advise them appropriately.

BURNETT: Absolutely. So I want to give you a chance to respond. I just found this out.

Ben, our Josh Campbell has been in the courtroom, and he was there today. And an attorney for one of the officers, he says, accused the Floyd's family legal team of leaking information about the case. They're saying that you might have learned this from private conversations with the state attorney general's office and you leaked it out apparently, according to him, they explicitly are making that accusation, and I wanted to give you a chance to respond to that.

CRUMP: I don't believe anybody on our legal team has leaked any information. And the truth of the matter is that there is so much information that has been divulged on this case that everybody -- Erin, you all at CNN and all the other media companies are trying to get information. And you know why you're trying to get information? You saw what happened in New York with "I can't breathe" case there.


And you know that it's important to be transparent. If you're not transparent, and we don't have accountability, we continue to have mistrust. We continue to have these protests, and the cities continue to have riots, not because of what we're doing, but because police brutality is going unaccounted for.

And that at the end of the day, I'm sorry, black people are losing our lives and everybody else is trying to play technicalities. No, we can't accept that, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, well, I appreciate your time, and, of course, we will continue to try to get all that information as you point out. And I appreciate your time. Thank you so much, Ben.

CRUMP: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Trump retweets a video of a supporter chanting white power. The White House talking about that tweet tonight.

Plus, how did the U.S. become the new Italy, even after warning, this warning at the height of the outbreak.


JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Do we just want to keep going on with business as usual, and end up being Italy?




BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump tweeting a video of a white couple in St. Louis pointing guns at protesters marching outside their home.

But there's much more to this story.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. White power!

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Of all the president's recent tweets, these two fierily clips raised the summer heat the highest.

But like so much on social media, the full story is more complicated.

Start with the video Trump retweeted from ABC News showing a couple in St. Louis brandishing guns as protesters move past a private street. The man holding the gun explained to a local TV station.

MARK MCCLOSKEY, SEEN IN VIRAL VIDEO BRANDISHING WEAPONS AT PROTESTERS: I was terrified that we'd be murdered within seconds, that our house would be burned down, that our pets would be killed.

FOREMAN: But the demonstrators were not targeting that house according to a reporter at the scene. They were going to the mayor's home nearby to demand her resignation after she publicly announced the names and partial addresses of some people who want police reform.

MAYOR LYDA KREWSON, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Have zero go to the police. So that's (AUDIO DELETED).

FOREMAN: The mayor apologized for that even as she maintain as strong law and order stance.

After all, her husband was murdered in a carjacking attempt 25 years ago in front of her home.

But was this protest threatening anyone?

AVERY RISCH, PROTESTER: I think that's ridiculous.

FOREMAN: Avery Risch took video of the armed couple and simply does not believe they were menace in any way.

RISCH: These people are coming out to disrupt the peace and to bring attention to a cause but no way are they coming out to insight violence.

FOREMAN: The other video shared by the president shows supporters rallying in Florida and clashing with others who oppose his reelection. Trump calls his backers in the video great people even with one saying.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. White power.

FOREMAN: The video triggered immediate outrage from a Republican senator.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): I think it's indefensible and we should take it down. That's what I think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White power! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. White power.

FOREMAN: The white power comment comes loud and clear just a few seconds in, but the president's staff portrays the post as an honest mistake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMAEL: Did he accidently tweet that?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So, the president did not hear that phrase in that portion of the video and when it was signaled to him it was in there, he took that tweet down.


FOREMAN: This, of course, is something we've seen many times before. The president does something that ratchets up tensions and inflames passions and at least seems to encourage racism and violence and then his team or he says -- well, he's not a racist at all and of course, he never meant any of that -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Tom, thank you very much.

If you watch any part of the video, you heard it. It's impossible not to hear it. So, I'm going to say it like it is, like any American that clicked on that video.

Thank you, Tom.

And, next, American officials once pointed to Italy as the model they didn't want the U.S. to follow. Now, Italy, well, there is the Italy curve on the bottom. What the heck happened to the U.S.?



BURNETT: Tonight, the U.S. government once warning America can't turn into Italy but now Italy is fairing incredibly better against the coronavirus than the United States.

Ben Wedeman is OUTFRONT in Rome.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Italy was the canary in the coronavirus coal mine, proof that the virus would not stay in China, I saw it firsthand.

(on camera): You just need to look at the death notices here. This woman died on the 7th of March. This man died on the 8th of March. This woman died on the 7th of March.

(voice-over): Americans looked on in horror. The U.S. surgeon general warned them to take heed.

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We have the same number of cases now that Italy had two weeks ago. And we have a choice to make. Do we want to really lean into social distancing and mitigation strategies and flatten the curve, or do we just want to keep going on with business as usual and end up being Italy?

WEDEMAN: Comparing the two countries from the start of their respective outbreaks, it's clear American cases spread much faster.

Today, Italy has flattened its curve. The United States has not.

And while the death rate in Italy was slightly higher, American health experts say it's just a lagging indicator.

DR. ASHISH JHA, FACULTY DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: It's turned out that America took it even less seriously than Italy, and while we did lockdown earlier, we just -- we didn't sustain the lockdown. We didn't really ramp up our testing as much as we needed, and then we opened up way too early and way too aggressively.

WEDEMAN: Just like Italy before then, some American hospitals are now running out of beds reliving Italy's mistakes. But the government in Rome took on a centralized response.

We managed, the prime minister says, to get through the lockdown because we developed a national plan.

JHA: What we have right now in the United States is a president and a federal government that has decided to throw in the towel and let every state figure this out on their own.

WEDEMAN: Life in Rome is slowly returning to normal. The cafes crowded with patrons sipping tea.

(on camera): Why did the United States see what was happening here and learn those lessons?


WEDEMAN (voice-over): Dr. Walter Ricciardi advised the Italian government throughout the crisis. He has confidence in American scientists, America's leaders maybe not so much.

RICCIARDI: Some of the best researchers and professionals are the United States, but I think some decision-makers under estimating the severity of this disease.

WEDEMAN: Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.


BURNETT: And thanks so much for joining us. Anderson starts now.