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Goldman Sachs Cuts U.S. Economy's Outlook As Cases Soar; Jon Last, Sports And Leisure Research Group President, Discusses Study On People Ready To Reengage In Leisure Activities; Mary Trump Book To Be Published Early Due To High Demand; President Trump Enflames Racial Tensions, Speaks Out Against NASCAR's Ban Of Confederate Flag. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired July 6, 2020 - 13:30   ET

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


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[11:33:34]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Sad news on another life lost to the coronavirus. Tony nominated Broadway star, Nick Cordero, died after battling the virus for three very difficult months. His wife chronicled the experience on social media. Amanda says her husband battled for 95 days and faced a series of complications, including a leg amputation. Chloe Melas described Cordero as a bright light and everyone's friend. Cordero was 41 years old.

I'll be speaking with a 37-year-old who's also been battling coronavirus symptoms for months. Hear what she is going through.

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[13:37:40]

KEILAR: The resurgence of coronavirus cases is pausing reopening plans for many states, delaying an already shaky economic recovery for the country.

Now banking giant, Goldman Sachs, is slashing its third-quarter forecast and warning consumer spending will likely stall in July and August.

Jon Last is president of the Sports and Leisure Research Group joining me now.

And, John, you are doing a really interesting study as you kind of trying to gauge where Americans are as they're looking at reopening and trying to get back to normal. We have seen this bubble of optimism appearing to have burst coming to a quick rebound in the U.S. economy.

Tell us about what you've found.

JON LAST, PRESIDENT, SPORTS AND LEISURE RESEARCH GROUP: Yes. Exactly. We began tracking this in partnership with Rock Solutions back in March. And we saw a very steady increase in people ready to reengage in leisure activities. And that has really eroded over the last two waves. We do this every other week. We've seen people's overall consumer confidence dip right back to where we were at the end of march.

KEILAR: What type of leisure activities are we talking about, restaurants, sporting events, gyms, movies, what kind of things?

LAST: We really cover a very wide array. We do everything from travel sectors, air, hotels, casinos. We have looked at live sporting events with regularity. We've looked at restaurants. And even looking so far as people's willingness to go back to the dentist or doctors' offices.

[13:40:07]

So we really captured a lot of activities and tracked that on an ongoing basis since initiating the study.

KEILAR: What are people telling you about their concerns coming to reengaging in the activities?

LAST: It is interesting. We have really found a kind of dichotomous response.

There's a big segment people, from the get-go, are just ready to go without any further assurances. But almost equal to that are the percentage of folks, about a third, who will not get back to these normal activities absent a vaccine or proven medical protocol. And then a smaller group looking for perhaps more localized assurances, be it from government or local authorities.

And it's been interesting and consistent throughout the consumer pulsing that we've had these three very consistent sentiments and the composition of those within those sentiments has seen shifting as well.

KEILAR: Of course, you are doing this, you have I know a lot of sort of trade organizations who are subscribing to this. They, of course, want the know where peoples' heads are as you do this every two weeks.

Right now, I think there are a lot of companies that are thinking, OK, if we bring people back -- certainly, they want to bring people back to work. They want to get things reopened. They need the money to survive. And there are some people who, of course, want to get back to work but, as you mentioned, not all of them.

So as you have companies worried about what does it mean to tell the employees they have to come back to work, what are you finding among workers?

LAST: It is an interesting set of responses from workers. First, there's a real division in people's perspectives. And that's driven a lot by age. So as one might surmise, the older workers are more hesitant to going back.

We've finding that workers stay, for example, if we go back to the office and still have meetings on Zoom or Skype, why go back to the office in the first place?

Amongst those gung-ho and ready to go back to the office, they're recognizing that there's a very reasonable and large group of people not comfortable. And we have seen throughout this study that there's a real strong support for continued work from home where that can be possible.

It is going to be very interesting to see how companies ultimately deal with that.

And then there's the liability issues that --

KEILAR: Sure.

LAST: -- have also kind of reared their heads within this.

KEILAR: The liability issue. What your numbers seem to be showing is reason for companies to be concerned about that.

LAST: Absolutely. Obviously, the possibility of pursuing legal action is a lot easier said than done. But we've been tracking peoples' sentiment to actually pursue legal action, whether it's against employers or other businesses, and we're hearing from that is a real concern.

About a third of folks that say they would consider it if there were to go back and then somebody else would be diagnosed with COVID-19 and then they caught it.

We even find that, in those circumstances where people say they would be signing liability release waivers, they might pursue legal action.

And it's caused a lot of reasonable concern in the business community amongst those prescribing to the barometer, and even for people like myself, in running a small business.

KEILAR: Jon, thank you so much for walking us through this. It is just so important to see where everyone's heads are on this. And we thank you for sharing it with us.

LAST: Thank you so much for having me.

KEILAR: Just into CNN, the publishing date for Mary Trump's book has been moved earlier due to extremely high demand. President Trump's niece has written a tell-all book about the family.

We have CNN chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, with me to discuss this.

So this is being moved up?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR; It was coming out at the end of the month, and now next Tuesday, July 14th. Of all Trump tell-alls, you can see the subtitle about the world's most dangerous man, saying the family created the world's most dangerous man and describes the president as a damaged man with lethal flaws. And she says it goes back to the childhood and the relationship with his father, Fred. And now this book will be available for sale in about a week.

KEILAR: Robert Trump, who's the president's brother, led a legal effort to block the book. And you spoke to Mary Trump's attorney on the show.

STELTER: That's really the backdrop of why it's rushed to bookstores because there has been a legal battle with the president's brother, Robert, trying to stop it from being published.

Robert Trump says that Mary is violating a confidentiality settlement that they reached about 20 years ago. Mary disagrees. And her attorney is challenging that in court. But for the time being, Mary Trump is subject to a temporary restraining order and cannot speak publicly for now.

In the meantime, though, here's what her spokesman is saying, a brand new statement coming out from her spokesman, saying, "This act by a sitting president to muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors, which has already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic. If Mary cannot comment, one can't only help but wonder, what is Donald Trump so afraid of."

[13:45:11]

That's a statement from the spokesman for the president's niece, an extraordinary thing to say, challenging the president very publicly and, I think, the preview of what this book tour will be all about.

But like I said, it is the president's brother, Robert, who is officially challenging Mary. It is not technically the president. But both brothers do share the same attorney.

KEILAR: Interesting.

All right. Brian, thank you, from New York for us.

A revolt at one university that is not requiring masks. I'm going to speak with a professor who is livid about this.

Plus, he is known as the Grim Reaper. A lawyer in Florida who walks beaches to warn people. Well, not everyone appreciated the lecture this weekend. He'll join us live.

President Trump enflaming racial tensions again. This time, demanding a black NASCAR star apologize as the president supports the Confederate flag.

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[13:50:49]

KEILAR: President Trump is rebranding the Republican Party. The party of compassionate conservatives, fiscal responsibilities and family values is really no more. Instead, the president is blatantly selling racial divisions as a campaign strategy and embracing the Confederate flag.

Just look at his tweet today. This is what he said: "Has Bubba Wallace apologized to all those great NASCAR drivers and officials who came to his aid, stood by his side and were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out the whole thing was just another hoax?"

"That and flag decision" -- that means NASCAR's decision to pull down Confederate flag imagery - "has caused lowest ratings ever."

So he is going after the only black driver in NASCAR. Bubba Wallace, to be clear, did not report this noose. He didn't see the noose. But it was hanging in his garage stall in Talladega.

So, when something like that happens in the only stall for the black NASCAR driver, it's cause for alarm. Turns out, the noose had been there for months.

But here's the thing. That's not an exoneration of this situation. That a garage pull, fashioned like a noose -- look at it there -- hanging in Talladega, the site of one of the premier events of NASCAR, hanging during a previous NASCAR race earlier? And no one thought to say anything until a black driver was assigned to the stall? So that is the problem.

And a reminder, there was no other garage pull that looked like this one, not just Talladega, but all of NASCAR. So, this was purposely a noose.

The president is missing the point. And folks saying Bubba Wallace wasn't the target, so there's no problem, are missing the point.

They're arguing, if the noose hangs in the garage, as long as a black driver isn't around to be offended by it, it's OK. By that logic, someone could tell a racist joke, use the "N" word as long as there's not a black person around to offend. That's what they're arguing and they're wrong.

And he's calling for Bubba Wallace to apologize. For what? He has nothing to apologize for.

And let's talk about NASCAR's Confederate flat imagery ban. NASCAR, which traces its origins back to boot legers strapping up their cars to deliver moonshine, has banned the Confederate flag. It's a moral decision but it makes business sense.

They're following American's lead. This is what polls show Americans want. And NASCAR, who's ratings have been declining for two decades, have seen them spike incredibly since banning the flag.

The president cannot say the same thing. Moments ago, Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the president's staunchest supporters, pushed back against the president's inflammatory tweet.

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SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) (voice-over): NASCAR made a decision to ban the Confederate flag inside the infield and at NASCAR arenas. They're trying to grow the sport.

And I've lived in South Carolina all my life. And if you're in business, the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business.

The idea that Bubba Wallace, who is the only, I think, African- American driver, was upset by somebody finding a noose in the garage, made perfect sense to me.

So, what I would tell people from outside of South Carolina that NASCAR is trying to grow the sport. And one way you grow the sport is you take images that divide us and ask that they not be brought into the venue. That makes sense to me.

I don't think Bubba Wallace has anything to apologize for. I do say this about the drivers. Even though it was a noose created to hold the door open, in the times in which we live, there's a lot of anxiety.

So, what did you see? You saw the best in NASCAR. When there was a chance that it was a threat against Bubba Wallace, they all rallied to Bubba's side.

[13:55:02]

So, I would be looking to celebrate that kind of attitude more than being worried about it being a hoax.

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KEILAR: So, as the president calls for an apology from Wallace, let's talk to someone who is well overdue for an apology from President Trump. Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five, once referred to as the Central Park Five.

He was just 15 years old when he and four others were falsely accused of attacking a woman in New York's Central Park. He spent nearly seven years in prison before the convictions were overturned.

And then, citizen, Donald Trump at the time, had taken out a full-page newspaper ad calling for the death penalty in this case. That read, quote, "Bring back the death penalty, bring back our police."

Thank you so much for joining us.

Yusef, thank you so much for joining.

And as you see the president calling for an apology from Bubba Wallace, I wonder what your reaction is?

YUSEF SALAAM, MEMBER, EXONERATED FIVE, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE: Thank you for having me. You know, I am looking at this rhetoric and realizing that what we're

seeing is someone saying the victim is to be blamed. And that's the worst thing in the world.

You come in a sport, you're trying to do your best, and you find this thing that ties everything back to a really, really dark place in society.

And yet, the people in that sport, the teammates, people around you rally in support of you, saying this is wrong. And I think that's the most important thing, for people stand up and use their privilege.

Someone used their privilege to help me in the past. And now we're seeing people use their positions to push privilege in the face of justice. And that's the part that's important.

KEILAR: You heard Senator Lindsey Graham making a rare, and it sounded pretty heartfelt, certainly, a long pushback against the president's racially-tinged tweet. And he was talking as a southerner about this, someone from South Carolina.

If other people in the Republican Party don't call the president out for this kind of statement, how do you think he'll be held accountable?

SALAAM: You know, the part that's really troubling is who that statement is really speaking to. It's speaking to the people in the most sinister, darkest places of society, asking them to come out and cause mayhem on people trying to be together, trying to be a part of the kaleidoscope of the human family that we're seeing. We're seeing people stand up in support of us all.

I know far too well, because Donald Trump took out the full-page ad 31 years ago calling for the death of not only myself, but my brothers as well. We look at that, and the fact that he did this terrible thing in the past, that he could have apologized for in the present, but still continues to stand on the bricks that he is placing to rise up this ladder. It's a really, really sad thing.

And I think more people should come out in support, regardless what party you're in, of what's right, what's morally correct, saying this is wrong. We, the people, need better in America. And we, the people, need change.

KEILAR: Can you speak a little bit to the -- you know, it seemed like the president and supporters of the president, when they found out that garage pull that was a noose had been in the garage stall for months, that somehow it wasn't targeted specifically for Bubba Wallace, and so it seems like they're arguing but then it's OK. I mean, they're missing the point.

If you can kind of speak to that idea they're creating that the noose is fine as long as it's not purposely put in the garage stall of a black man?

SALAAM: You know, the problem with the symbols being used is what they represent. And I think that's the part that's important that we all are seeing and understand.

But they're trying to tell us, no, it's not that. This is just how we pull the garages down. Even if it was on all the NASCAR driver's doors, that would have been wrong.

But the fact it was on Bubba Wallace's garage door, in particular, added more fuel to the fire. It added insult to injury, especially in the place we find ourselves in America, a place where people are talking about all these Confederate monuments, talking about states' rights, but failing to connect states' rights to what? To own slaves.

And as we see all these policies come down, things Donald Trump is saying about wanting to have more private prisons, we know prisons is slavery by another name. I was there. We look at the 13th Amendment. It is clear as to what's going on in America.

[14:00:00]

We need change. And right now, we're on the brink of that. And everybody is collectively pushing their shoulders down to push forward, not for one thing to change, but for the whole system to be changed.