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Source: Intel On Russian Plot To Put Bounty On U.S. Troops Was Included In President's Daily Brief; Interview With Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Coronavirus Cases Rising; Texas Governor Warns Of Very Dangerous Virus Spread; Arizona Governor Closing Bars, Gyms, Movie Theaters, Water Parks And Tubing For 30 Days. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired June 29, 2020 - 18:00   ET

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


JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Hot spots, including Florida, Texas, and California, are emerging all across the country, forcing at least 14 states to pause or roll back plans to reopen.

[18:00:05]

First to CNN's Nick Watt in Los Angeles.

Nick, California Governor Gavin Newsom says the state has seen a 45 percent jump, 45 percent jump in the total number of coronavirus cases testing positive in just the last week.

Tell us more.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, we are now in record territory here in California, our average daily new case count at a record high, our hospitalizations average at a record high.

Now, apparently, we are told by the governor that the hospitalization rate has climbed more than 40 percent in just the past couple of weeks, and, as you just mentioned, the positivity rate on tests up over 40 percent in just one week.

That is why Governor Newsom now says that they are going to start enforcing restrictions with a bit more gusto. And he is also rolling back. Bars here in L.A. and six other counties are now closed.

And, listen, there's a similar situation developing plenty of other places in this country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATT (voice-over): Because of this, this and this...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had to change a tube on somebody that has no oxygen. He could have died.

WATT: ... we are now hearing this:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arizona is on pause.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): We will continue to take action based upon the data.

WATT: Fourteen states now pausing or tweaking their reopening plans.

ALEX AZAR, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: The window is closing for us to take action and get this under control.

WATT: And in states that still won't mandate masks, some mayors now making that call, in Nashville, Kansas City, Tupelo, and now Jacksonville, where the president had hoped to hold an unmasked convention later this summer.

Is his no mask mantra now evolving?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety, but he did say to me he has problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you.

WATT: Meanwhile, long lines for tests in Florida, where the new case counts are now more than six times what they were a month ago. So, South Florida's beaches will be closed again for the Fourth of July.

In only four small states are new case counts actually falling, while, in these six states, COVID-19 hospitalizations are now at an all-time high. Bars across Texas have closed again.

DEE MARGO (R), MAYOR OF EL PASO, TEXAS: Forty-six percent of our policies were 20-to-30-year-olds. And we think that was a direct result of congregations in the bars.

WATT: At least 80 cases now connected to one bar in East Lansing, Michigan. Staff were masked, but:

RUTH BEIER, MAYOR OF EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN: They did not require masks for entry. And they did not enforce wearing masks inside. Trying to keep masks on young people in a dance bar is probably a folly.

WATT: And infections among a younger crowd create a problem.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: What you're seeing is community- based spread where 20 to 40 percent of the people who are infected don't have any symptoms. So, the standard classic paradigm of identification isolation, contact tracing doesn't work, no matter how good you are.

WATT: We need, say the experts, around 30 contact racers per 100,000 people. CNN has learned that right now Florida has about seven, Arizona about five, and Georgia as few as two.

Dr. Fauci now says he'd settle for a vaccine that's 70 to 75 percent effective, but maybe not everybody would be willing to take it, making herd immunity.

FAUCI: Unlikely. And that's one of the reasons why we have to make sure we engage the community, as we're doing now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: Now, I Just want to talk briefly about Los Angeles County, home to about 10 million people and the epicenter of this pandemic here in California.

We just heard from the county that they are worried that they could run out of hospital beds here within the next few weeks. And they say that, unless we put the brakes on, this could be a runaway train -- Jim.

ACOSTA: Let's hope not. Nick Watt, thank you very much.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is at the White House with more.

Jeremy, at least 14 states are rolling back or pausing plans to reopen. What's the latest there?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim, and those numbers make very clear that this coronavirus pandemic is worsening across the United States.

But the president, he seems to be focused on anything but that. Faced with several crises on several different fronts, we're instead seeing the president revert to a familiar playbook, stirring up the culture wars, attacking Democrats and the media.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DIAMOND (voice-over): With the coronavirus surging to record levels in the United States, President Trump is talking about anything but the pandemic, instead inflaming racial tensions between Americans, attacking Democrats, and knocking down reports about an alleged Russian plot to kill American troops.

[18:05:17]

With cases climbing in 31 states, the president referencing the coronavirus in just two out of more than 100 tweets since Saturday.

AZAR: This is a very, very serious situation, and the window is closing for us to take action and get this under control.

DIAMOND: And Vice President Mike Pence making a rare plea for Americans to do the same.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas. Wearing a mask is just a good idea.

DIAMOND: Those comments a notable shift, after he and President Trump rallied thousands of maskless supporters indoors just last week, and where campaign staffers removed stickers urging attendees to socially distance, according to this video obtained by "The Washington Post."

As for the president: KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's the personal choice of any individual as to whether to wear a mask or not. He encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety.

DIAMOND: But the president is still refusing to lead by example.

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): I wish the president would wear a mask when it's appropriate, because millions of Americans admire him and they would follow his lead.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Real men wear masks. Be an example to the country and wear the mask.

DIAMOND: The White House is also confronting reports that Russian intelligence officers tried to bribe Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops. The White House press secretary disputing a "New York Times" report that Trump was briefed on the intelligence, but struggling to explain why he was not informed.

MCENANY: There was not a consensus among the intelligence community. In fact, there were dissenting opinions within the intelligence community, and it would not be evaluated to the president until it was verified.

DIAMOND: But that's not true, according to a former CIA officer who has conducted presidential daily briefings.

DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA OFFICER: You don't put things into the president's daily brief only when they are completely corroborated and verified, because then it's not intelligence anymore. Then it's fact.

This is the kind of thing that is designed to go to the president of the United States.

DIAMOND: Trump has taken to Twitter to decry reporting about the intelligence, claiming: "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible and, therefore, did not report it to me or V.P."

But McEnany said Trump still had not been briefed on the intelligence, even as the White House briefed eight Republican members of Congress today. The White House press secretary also defending the president after he approvingly retweeted this video of one of his supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White power! White power!

DIAMOND: McEnany claiming Trump didn't hear that racist slogan.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) video before retweeting it?

MCENANY: He did, and he did not hear that particular phrase.

DIAMOND: But Trump had previously said he always knows what he's retweeting.

QUESTION: Did you notice that when you retweeted it? DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I notice everything.

DIAMOND: Trump deleted the tweet three hours later amid widespread criticism.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): Well, there's -- there is no question he should not have retweeted it, and he should just take it down.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DIAMOND: And, Jim, there does appear to be a slightly more serious tone from members of the president's administration, both the vice president there urging people to wear masks, the secretary of health and human services saying that window is closing to take this seriously.

The vice president, for his part, he had a couple of campaign events scheduled in Florida and Arizona. He's still going to travel to those states to get a briefing on coronavirus, but he's not going to be having those campaign rallies.

But, Jim, again, all of this comes from the top, and the question is, when will President Trump start to take this more seriously and give those same kind of serious messages that many in his administration are beginning to give now, Jim?

ACOSTA: A lot of Americans are waiting for that. Jeremy Diamond, thank you very much.

Let's get some more analysis from the former acting CDC Director Dr. Richard Besser.

Dr. Besser, thanks for joining us.

When you compare a map of coronavirus cases in the U.S. on Memorial Day to cases today, it's stunning. We're clearly in a much worse position tonight than we were on Memorial Day weekend. What does this indicate to you?

DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Well, Jim, you know, I think what it indicates is that, in parts of this country, this has not been taken as seriously as it should be by all of the residents.

You know, when you look at where we were Memorial Day, so many states moving in the right direction, with numbers of cases going down, parts of the country really trying to use public health guidance as the road map to opening up the economy, and then, in other parts of the country, the message being, get back to work, go out, enjoy your social life, there's nothing to worry about with this COVID pandemic.

And when you see that clash of messages between some political leaders and then every public health leader taking this so incredibly seriously, when you see that clash of messages, this is the outcome.

[18:10:05]

ACOSTA: Do public health experts like yourself feel like saying, I told you so?

BESSER: No. It's never about, I told you so. It's about, what can we do now to change the trajectory?

Because you look at the models going forward, and they predict certain numbers of death, but it's not a crystal ball. And what we do now as a nation, do we pull together? Do we see that, when I wear a mask, it's helping to protect you, when you wear a mask, it's because you care about me?

If we can get that spirit going, then we can see the same decline in the United States that Europe is seeing, that so many Asian countries are seeing. It's not inevitable that this is going to continue in the trajectory it's on, but it is inevitable if we don't make significant changes.

ACOSTA: And, Dr. Besser, 14 states are now taking steps to slow down their reopening efforts. From your perspective, did these states begin to reopen too quickly in the first place?

BESSER: Not all of them.

So, I'm here in New Jersey. And I'm on the Restart and Recovery Commission. And our governor just announced that we're not going to open restaurants for indoor dining this week, as forecast. And that's because of seeing what's going on around the country.

Going slowly, going carefully is the way to go, because what we're seeing in these numbers, Jim, I think, is masking a far deeper crisis, when you look at who's been hit hardest to date, black Americans, Latino Americans, low-income workers, essential workers who have to go back to work.

In places like Florida and Texas, where you're just seeing these overall statewide numbers, I think, in some communities, it's far worse than what we're seeing overall.

ACOSTA: And what metrics should state and local officials rely on as they make decisions about relaxing restrictions? Everybody wants to relax restrictions, but what metrics should be used, do you think, by those officials?

BESSER: Well, you know, I think the reopen metrics were put out by the White House a long time ago.

And that's seeing a couple of weeks of sustained declines, making sure you have got room in your hospitals. But, beyond that, we need to see a breakdown in the number of cases, the number of hospitalizations and deaths, and the number of tests that are coming back positive.

And you need to break it down by race, ethnicity, and neighborhood, because you may find, and I think you will find, that certain neighborhoods are getting hit harder than others, and there are steps you can take to make sure that everyone has what they need, especially as you look forward to the summer.

And the federal supports for unemployment insurance, the $600 a week that so many people were getting, that goes away. The protection for mortgage foreclosure and eviction, that goes away. People are going to be forced into the workplace.

And if you're not looking at data at the community level, people are going to be hurting, and you're not going to be able to adjust and meet their needs.

ACOSTA: And how can more comprehensive data help these states protect their populations, do you think?

BESSER: Well, I think part of it is pointing out the problems and then holding public health and your elected officials accountable.

A big part of the issue to date is the protection of essential workers, people who have to go back to work. Early on, our focus was so much around making sure that health care workers had masks and the other equipment they needed.

But what about those people who are working in grocery stores and transportation and food production? You know, if we have data down to the community level and we're seeing who's being hit hard, we can ensure that everyone's needs are being met.

And if we're seeing increases in particular communities, is it because there's not enough medical care there? Is it because people aren't giving -- being given the support they need to isolate and quarantine, because they're living with multigenerational households?

It can tell you so much. It's data for action. It's not data just to describe. But it's data so you can adjust and move forward in a safe way, so you don't end up seeing these big spikes in cases that can overwhelm the success.

ACOSTA: And, Dr. Besser, you have been a trusted voice on this for so many years. People know you around the country.

What is your response to people who refuse to wear a mask -- I'm sure you're surprised by this yourself when you're just out going to the store -- either for political reasons or because they doubt the science about the effectiveness?

What is your message to those Americans who just say, I don't want to do it, I don't think it's necessary? What is your message?

BESSER: Yes.

You know, it's one of the reasons why we need to hear from the CDC every day. We need to hear from state public health officials every day. So many of them are under assault, you know, verbally, physically, because of the work that they're trying to do to keep people safe.

What I say to people is, you know, wearing a mask, keeping six feet away, washing your hands, it's a small thing to do to try and protect the lives of those people who are really at risk, you know, the elderly, those with medical conditions, those who must go back to work.

It's a small thing to do. And, you know, it's the American way. The more we can try and take the politics out of this and make it as a national effort, a national unity, the better we're going to be and the more we will get this under control.

[18:15:06]

ACOSTA: It's the American way to look out for one another.

All right, Dr. Richard Besser, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Just ahead, we will take you inside a hospital in Houston straining to deal with a surge in new cases.

And the mayor of Houston is standing by. I will ask him about efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: As new coronavirus cases climb in 31 states, forcing many to pause or roll back reopening plans, the president is downplaying the growing crisis and still refusing to wear a mask.

Let's bring in CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip and CNN White House correspondent John Harwood.

Abby, coronavirus cases are now climbing in 31 states. Does the messaging from the president match the crisis that we're watching unfold right now?

[18:20:05]

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, you almost wouldn't even know that these -- this was happening in the same sort of timeline as what the White House seems to want to talk about.

They are very focused on their law and order messaging. They're focused on these Confederate statues, but rarely these days do you hear the president proactively talking about the measures being taken to address the coronavirus problem, which is still ravaging the country, and, in fact, as you have pointed out, getting worse.

And so, no, it's clear that this is a president who does not want to talk about this, because, in his view, it is bad news. He's not even really talking so much about reopening, because, as you know, reopening has been sort of in reverse in some parts of the country for the last several weeks.

Instead, he's on a completely different subject matter, which is very important to him, but for the tens of thousands of Americans who have lost loved ones, there's just an absence of precautionary messaging coming from the president of the United States directly, not just from his surrogates and deputies who are in the task force, including the vice president.

The president himself is not speaking on this.

ACOSTA: And, John Harwood, Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force, was seen without a mask this weekend. I think he was wearing it at other times.

Why is this issue of wearing a mask becoming so politically complicated?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, as you know, Mike Pence is seen so often without a mask, the news this weekend was when he was, in fact, wearing a mask.

But in terms of why it's become so politically complicated, I think there are a couple of different reasons. The first is, as both you have guys know very well, President Trump is personally vain. He thinks he doesn't look good with a mask on. Secondly, he thinks it makes him look bad politically, because it suggests things aren't going well in the fight against coronavirus, which they are not.

Third, he doesn't want to admit he was wrong not to promote mask wearing before. He has suggested that he thinks that mask wearing is a sign of opposition to him. For all of those reasons, he can't, won't embrace mask wearing.

In addition to that, you have a Republican Party that has evaluated opposition to government mandates and directives into one of its highest principles. And on the fringes, you have got a bunch of people -- and you can see them every day screaming in online videos -- who think it's some sort of dastardly plot against their freedom to ask them to wear a mask.

And you put all of that together, it's very difficult to get this Republican Party around it and its elected officials around it. You have got people like Pence and Deborah Birx over the weekend who tried to push it forward, along with Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, as if the president wasn't there, but if the president is not participating, very hard to get it done.

ACOSTA: It's almost like they had to sneak around to encourage mask wearing.

HARWOOD: Exactly.

ACOSTA: Abby, the president retweeted a video this weekend of a Trump supporter shouting "White power."

The White House says the president somehow did not hear that part of the video. What do you make of that justification?

PHILLIP: Well, if you happen to watch that video, as I did, you know that the part where this man who just saw in the golf cart screamed "White power," he did it twice, and he did it in the first 15 or 20 seconds of the video.

So, even if the president conceivably didn't watch whole thing, he would have seen it, because it was in the first part of the video.

And beyond that, I think we have got son used to the bar being so incredibly low on things like this. There is a very high bar for the president to be retweeting imagery like this and messages like this. And this is sort of beyond the pale.

As Senator Tim Scott, the Republican senator from South Carolina, put it this weekend, it's indefensible, in his words. And the White House didn't even bother to say that he denounces that kind of language. They only said that he didn't hear it and that he was looking mostly at the way in which his supporters were sort of defending him or promoting him in that video.

ACOSTA: And, John, is that believable, that the president didn't hear that part of the video?

HARWOOD: Jim, the president says he -- or the White House says on his behalf he didn't see that part of the video.

He pays attention to what he pays attention to when he wants to pay attention to it. That's how you preserve plausible deniability. And so these denials from the White House, oh, he didn't know that's what it was, that's about as credible as all the times they say he is joking about some statement that he's made, and then the president says, oh, no, I wasn't joking.

What we know is that race-baiting has been at the core of Donald Trump's political identity from the beginning. Lindsey Graham told us that in 2016. We have seen it in pretty much all the messaging he has done since the George Floyd protests.

He also, of course, retweeted a video with white people holding guns as protesters walked by their house. So this is highly unlikely to have been an accident foisted upon an innocent president here.

[18:25:06]

ACOSTA: And perhaps a distraction that the White House welcomed in the middle of all of these questions about Russian bribes in Afghanistan.

Abby Phillip, John Harwood, thank you very much.

Just ahead: Hospitals in Houston are straining under a surge of new coronavirus patients. We will take you to the front lines of the epicenter. We will also get some answers from the mayor of Houston about the fight against the virus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:30:00]

ACOSTA: Texas Governor Greg Abbot is warning residents that the spread of the coronavirus has taken a swift and very dangerous turn. CNN's Miguel Marquez is joining us from San Antonio, Texas, with details.

Miguel, the Houston area has emerged as an epicenter for the outbreak. How are hospitals there handling this surge in patients?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are just holding on right now. Across the entire state, hospitalizations, the rate of individuals testing positive, all of that is rising. It is an absolute surge of cases and hospitals in the state of Texas now in a full-blown state of emergency.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Houston, Texas, now home to a major coronavirus outbreak. A procedure all too common when treating the most seriously ill with the virus, this patient on a ventilator, the breathing tube being replaced to improve oxygen flow to the lungs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three. --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? No, I just thought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay.

MARQUEZ: The tube pulled out, caked with dried secretions from the lungs' rife with the coronavirus.

The new tube immediately improves oxygen flow.

JOSEPH VARON, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER: That's the first one for today.

So that was -- we have to change the tube that is somebody that has no oxygen. People could have die if his tube was malfunctioning, it has a balloon at the end that was ruptured, so he wasn't getting enough oxygen.

MARQUEZ: United Medical Memorial Center, a 117-bed hospital serving a mostly working class community in North Houston.

VARON: For the last three weeks, I have seen more admissions on sicker patients than on the previous ten weeks. So it's been an exponential increase on the severity of illness and then the number of cases that we admit.

MARQUEZ: Its COVID unit expanding way beyond its intensive care unit by turning whole sections of the hospital into temporary airtight chambers, creating negative pressure zones to keep the airborne virus moving up and out.

Protective gear now so abundant that everyone triples up, some employees getting through eight sets or more of PPE in a single shift.

In the 100 days they've been treating patients with coronavirus, only one nurse has developed the sickness. She is now being treated by her own colleagues.

You are the frontline worker in the battle against COVID and you now have it.

TANNA INGRAHAM, ICU NURSE, UNITED MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER: Yes. And it's -- I wouldn't wish this on my own enemy.

MARQUEZ: The isolation of the disease difficult to deal with even for someone who knows what to expect. Her thoughts now with her nine and ten-year-old daughters.

What would you say to Madeleine and Abigail right now?

INGRAHAM: Baby, mommy loves you and misses you. I hope you're having a great time in California. Okay. I'm done.

MARQUEZ: Dr. Varon, who has now worked for more than 100 days without stop.

VARON: In Houston, there are two types of patients, those that have COVID and those who will get COVID. My concern as a healthcare provider is that when they get sick, they all come to me at the same time, which is what's happening at the present time. And that's what's going to kill patients because we won't have enough resources.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now, this is the same thing that New York saw a couple of weeks ago, or a couple of months ago, is that the virus kills people, certainly, but when you have that many people seeking treatment at the same time, which is what Texas is seeing right now, literally, people can't get in the hospital and they will expire in the parking lots, they will expire looking for a place to get care. That's what hospitals are looking at right now. That's what the State of Texas is concerned about right now, as well. Jim?

ACOSTA: And, Miguel Marquez, thank you for taking us inside that hospital, very alarming stuff. We appreciate it.

We're joined now by the Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner. Mayor Turner, thanks for joining us. You just saw our Miguel Marquez go inside a Houston hospital with just a powerful report there. What goes through your mind when you see a frontline healthcare worker like the one he was just profiling there a few moments ago when you see what they're up against right now?

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER (D), HOUSTON, TX: Well, I mean, it points out the severity of the situation that we're facing. I know Dr. Varon. I was just with him only yesterday. So we recognize that the number of people who are testing positively and that has increased. The positivity rate in Houston, at one point, let's say in April, May, was 3 percent, now is about 13 percent.

[18:35:00]

The number of people going to our hospitals is going up. The number of people in ICU, the utilization rate is going up.

And so it points out that we need to work much harder to blunt the progression of this virus. We are in a very serious situation right now. ACOSTA: And, Mayor, Texas Governor Abbott says over the past two weeks, the daily number of cases in your state has spiked from an average of 2,000 to more than 5,000 cases per day. How are you confronting this crisis in your city?

TURNER: Well, number one, I'm appreciative to the fact that on Friday, the governor closed bars and clubs. That was a step in the right direction, moved back from the occupancy of our restaurants from 75 percent to 50. I think that was a step in the right direction.

We now can require businesses and their employees and customers to put on masks. I would want to go a step further and apply that mandate across the board, because we know that masks work. The tools, for example, that cities and counties had in March and April that worked, I would ask that those tools be returned back to us so we can take additional steps that may need to be taken.

We need to blunt this virus. We know it worked for us in March and April and May. And the same tools that we had then, we need to have the utilization of those tools now.

ACOSTA: And, Mayor Turner, is there a plan in place if hospitals in Houston reach capacity?

TURNER: There are surge plans. What the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, which you'll notice, it's the largest medical center in the world, what they're telling us right now and are telling me is that they have sufficient capacity to handle the increased number of cases at this point. But the question is, will the rise continue? Will it continue to go up exponentially? If the rise continues, if we're not able to blunt the progression of this virus, then your healthcare delivery system certainly can be overwhelmed.

But for now, for today, what they are saying to me is that they have sufficient capacity. They can still go to their surge capacity, go beyond where they are. But we need to work feverishly to bring this virus back down to a manageable state.

Today, for example, I announced one roughly 1,300 new cases for Sunday and today. So the numbers continue to go up. We're averaging in the City of Houston probably over 700, 750 cases a day.

ACOSTA: And the governor now says bars in your state opened too quickly. You're adding businesses to what you call a wall of shame if they don't promote safe practices. Has this been effective, do you think?

TURNER: Yes. Well, I'm hoping that it will be effective. Look, I've said in the early part of May that I thought we opened too fast, too quickly. You know, so I agree with the governor in that assessment. But recognizing that the question is now what do we do? And what is important is that we work collectively. This is the City of Houston. We have that can-do spirit.

But we need to recognize that wearing masks, that works, the social distancing works, the proper protocol on call in terms of proper hygiene, all of those elements work. And it's going to require all of us, not just businesses, but all of us to work collectively to do those things that we know work for us so well in March and April.

I would hate to see that all of the sacrifices that we've made be undone because we are now starting to re-socialize and open up as quickly as we have.

ACOSTA: Okay. Mayor Sylvester Turner, we hope the people of Texas can get on top of this. Thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

TURNER: Thanks for having me, Jim.

ACOSTA: Just ahead, breaking news from Arizona, where the governor just ordered new business closings, including bars, as of tonight. Stand by for details.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:00]

ACOSTA: And we have breaking news in Arizona, where the Republican governor just ordered a major new round of business closings because of the surge of coronavirus cases in his state.

CNN's Stephanie Elam is in Phoenix. Stephanie, tell us more about these new closings.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, this is a progression for the governor. Looking at how there has been a ramp up in cases, a record number of cases coming to this state, as they've reopened here at the end of May. They're saying there's a lag time of about two weeks and then they have seeing these numbers really begin to skyrocket, with record numbers of hospitalizations and also use of ICU beds.

But 8:00 local time tonight, there are going to be a series of changes. And I want you to hear Governor Ducey himself. Take a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): Today's executive order will pause the operation of bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: Now, he went on to say that the targeted date for reopening for these businesses would be one month. But that date could be adjusted based on what they see with the numbers. They're seeing that they're going to monitor the data and let that lead them.

Also here, he's saying that, there will not be anymore large gatherings over 50 people that will be allowed, although he did say local municipalities could decide to let those happen if social distancing measures are being followed. Also noteworthy here, besides of the closing down of pools, of course, is the idea that they are saying that schools will now delay their first day of school and push that first day of school back to August 17th.

[18:45:09]

And they say they will continue to re-evaluate this date. But obviously, here, when you take a look at the numbers and you kept emphasizing how people need to wear masks and how people need to stay home, this has been an evolution from what we've seen here, when you take a look at the numbers and here, when you take a look at the numbers and kept emphasizing how people need to wear masks and people need to stay home, this has been an evolution from what we've seen from the governor, who at one point wasn't wearing a mask to the briefings and started showing up wearing masks to the briefings. So we're seeing a change here.

But obviously, when you take a look at these record numbers that are coming through, this is something that he felt he had the need to deal with. And, Jim, he did say there that we are always looking at livelihoods and lives and when it comes down to, they're going to err on the side of lives.

ACOSTA: All right, Stephanie Elam. It sounds like they really have to slam the brakes on reopening there in Arizona. Thank you very much. An alarming rise in cases in Arizona. Stephanie Elam, we appreciate that.

Just ahead, we'll go live to Minneapolis where the former police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd appeared in court today.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:50:39]

ACOSTA: Breaking news, a source tells CNN's Barbara Starr that intelligence on a Russian plot to put a bounty on U.S. troops was included in the president's daily briefing earlier this year.

We're joined now by Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

Congressman Kinzinger, I guess, first of all, what is your reaction to that new report we have coming in, just in the last several minutes, that this information about bounties, Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan was included in the presidential daily brief?

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Well, the question was it in the briefing book or was it briefed to him, because it's two separate things. You have a briefing book that goes out every day. It goes to a cabinet level folks, and then typically what happens as I understand it, I never worked in the White House, is these intel agencies then basically take the most important parts of that and brief it verbally to the president. So, that's the question. Everything I understand is that the president was not briefed about

this. Now, if it was in his book, that's one thing. Maybe he didn't read it, there's -- most presidents don't read the entire book every day. They rely on intel to brief them.

So, I think there is probably a lot more to that than just what the headline sounds like.

ACOSTA: And, Congressman, you were one of eight Republican lawmakers briefed on this intelligence today. You said that it shouldn't have risen to the president's level at that point because there was conflicting intelligence. But shouldn't the commander in chief be briefed about a threat to U.S. troops, Russian bounties on U.S. troops even if the intelligence gathering is still in progress or if there is conflicting information? It sounds serious enough where it should rise to the level of telling the president.

KINZINGER: Yeah, so, I don't -- I don't think it shouldn't have been told to the president. But what I said and what I meant if I didn't quite say it right is there was conflicting evidence. So that's where you have to make a decision, especially on something as big as Russia.

Do you want to present the president with the idea that Russia has put bounties out on U.S. troops if you don't fully know yet and if there's conflicting intelligence, or is it better to gather the rest of that?

We're in a gathering phase and now with the story out there, obviously, I think some of those trails may be wiped up if in fact it's true. So, but, you know, I think that's a question for who makes the decisions to brief the president on what. That's typically a career person.

But it's not a scandal and the point of the president knew and he didn't do anything about it. The real issue here, though, is if it's true, and we know --

ACOSTA: Do you know that to be the case, Congressman, that the president did not know about it?

KINZINGER: Yes, that's what I've been told if I was told inaccurately, then, no, but I think he -- he wasn't briefed on it, that's for sure. And from what I'm told, so.

But I do know that, look, if the Russians in fact, and they have meddled in Afghanistan for quite some time, if they were doing this, let's let this come out, and then the president needs to take aggressive action at that point. But you can't really do it if you don't know.

ACOSTA: Right, but don't you think that this is so serious, Congressman, the Russians, putting bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, if you were in that situation, wouldn't you have briefed the president about this?

KINZINGER: Yes, quite possibly. I'm a Russia hawk, right? But I also know what the intelligence was, I know what the conflicts were. I can't say 'em here.

I can tell you it is a tough decision you have to make at that point, because it's not just cut and dry. It's not, you know, you're not reading Vladimir Putin's book where he wrote he's put a bounty out there. There's an art to this.

So, the question is when do you bring it up?

That was a decision made not by the president, not anybody political, by career people who make the decision on what they want to highlight to the president. So --

ACOSTA: And let me ask you this, congressman, you were among the Republicans who were briefed on this earlier today. How is it that no Democratic lawmakers were briefed on this, doesn't that politicize this entire situation when the Republicans in the House up on Capitol Hill are briefed on this before Democrats?

KINZINGER: Yes, you'll have to ask Steny Hoyer because last night Mark Meadows called him and invited him to the briefing to do a briefing. In fact, I guess they're now doing it tomorrow morning. But as of our briefing, he made it clear he hadn't heard back from Steny Hoyer.

So, look, if you're -- you know, if somebody wants to use this as a political thing, it's fine. Everything is political nowadays. Where I'm at is we need to --

ACOSTA: Right, but, Congressman --

(CROSSTALK)

KINZINGER: -- process where we can get to an answer.

ACOSTA: You say everything is political nowadays. But there's nothing political about the Russians putting bounties --

KINZINGER: Right, that's my point.

ACOSTA: -- on the heads of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

KINZINGER: Yes.

ACOSTA: Isn't this the type of situation where it shouldn't be red state versus blue state?

KINZINGER: I totally agree.

ACOSTA: The Democrats should have been brought to the White House and briefed on this.

KINZINGER: Yes, I fully agree. We were brought up. The Democrats were offered and they didn't go. Steny Hoyer didn't respond.

That's a question for him.

[18:55:01] It's not a question for me.

From what I understand, too, they've now decided to do it tomorrow morning. So hopefully they see the same thing we did. And, you know, we'll all come out and look at this and say we're united against any Russian threat to the United States of America.

ACOSTA: And you feel the president is in that category as well?

KINZINGER: Yes, certainly hope so.

ACOSTA: All right, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, we hope so too. Thank you very much for joining us.

KINZINGER: Yes.

ACOSTA: More news just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: A quick programming note tonight, a CNN special report, Trump and the law, after impeachment, hosted by our Jake Tapper. That's tonight at 11:00 right here on CNN.

I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

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