Return to Transcripts main page

Cuomo Prime Time

Gov. Mike DeWine Tested Negative; President Trump's Laziness to Read Briefing Reports; President Trump Talks About God; Accuracy of Test in Question; Women in the Men's World; Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) Was Interviewed About Mail-in Voting. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 06, 2020 - 22:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Hey, everybody. I'm Chris Cuomo. Welcome to a second hour of Prime Time. I'm in for D. Lemon this week.

And we do have breaking news tonight.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has just tested negative for coronavirus after testing positive for coronavirus before he was scheduled to meet with President Trump today.

Here's what we're told. DeWine was supposed to meet the president on the tarmac, but the rapid testing that Trump relies on detected that DeWine was coronavirus positive. So, they never crossed paths. Good. Thank God the governor is OK. And a second test just came back negative.

This is part of the problem. OK? Now, how do we deal with this? Better testing. More targeted. Having rapid testing, which may not be accurate. That's why they got a false positive on DeWine, we believe. But if you did that every day, you would still get a higher percentage of people who have this.

Say, I just spoke with DeWine on the show yesterday about rapid testing. And he is actively trying to secure it for his state, combining with other governors to do it because the federal government isn't making it happen for them.

They are making it happen for themselves. Trump has rapid testing for people like DeWine who are going to be around him and his staff. And the Congress called for it for themselves and for the media that covers them and the people who are essential workers there. But what about the rest us?

More rapid testing, more quickly getting results, means more freedom. It is the key to getting back to school. And of course, back to normal.

Let's bring in Andy Slavitt. Welcome back to Prime Time. Obviously, you understand these kinds of government protocols. People will hear this and say rapid testing sucks, gave him a false positive. You need the real test. But it's a compromise, isn't it, Andy, because you will never get those results back as quickly. So, what is the argument for the right way to do this?


CUOMO: Thank you, brother.

SLAVITT: It is a big one. Look, I think we have some hopefully good testing news around the corner. It's easy to be impatient with where we are today, which is not in a good place. But I suspect in a few months this is going to turn out to be more and more like pregnancy tests. We will be able to use saliva. We will be able to use paper.

I think the FDA is about to approve a test that the NBA has worked on that will have -- that will use saliva that will be easier. But most importantly, it will just be a few dollars a test. The problem now with the $100 PCR tests that take seven or eight days -- we'll never -- we'll never get there.

I don't know what the truth is about what Governor DeWine had given those two tests. I would take another PCR test if I were him.

CUOMO: PCR is what?

SLAVITT: PCR is sort of the big granddaddy test that they -- that all the major commercial labs run, that's currently now taking seven or eight days format.

CUOMO: Swab test? Blood test?

SLAVITT: Typically, saliva -- typically, swab. Although I think we'll be able to move to saliva because we have some data now which will show that saliva can do this. We are going to want to find that -- you probably want to use different types of tests for entry into places that's low cost, you can use at colleges, versus more rigorous tests if somebody is actually sick.

So, giving someone a quick antigen test then following it up with a PCR test is not a bad protocol. The problem is you've got to -- it leaves you confused until you test other time after leaving (Ph) this.

CUOMO: Now, also, you know, they ran DeWine's PCR test this granddaddy test as you call it, on two different platforms today. And they got results today. So, obviously, you can get this stuff done fast if you are willing to, what, pay for it? Limit the amount of testing they have to process? I mean what's the -- what is the quotient here?

SLAVITT: Well, there's two questions. One is how do -- can you do it physically as an individual, yes.


As a country, though, when you have hundreds of thousands of cases and 50,000 to 60,000 more every day, there is just no -- there is no testing capacity in the world that will take that. So, until we start wearing masks, contact tracing, social distancing, closing bars, we are just going to be overwhelmed.

When we bring that down, we should be able to get back to a place where even the PCR tests can be done in one or two days' time.

CUOMO: But see, that's why I like those rapid tests for school. Because look, that's where I am. I don't mean to be selfish about this. I know we have lots of different aspects of this that are affecting our lives. No question. But I don't see a bigger metric on the table right now than schools.

Because I believe it's interconnected to everything else we want. Because if you can't get the kids in school you can't get people back to work the right way. Because they are going to have to make compromises, they are going to be the most likely to get fired unless we get them protection. They are going to have some home cost and serves a care for those kids that somebody is going to help from pick up. And there is none of that on the horizon.

So, if we were doing that with kids, these clearer rapid tests like the kind they ramp up in the U.K., I know U.K. has its problems but they are getting that part more right than we are. Then even if it's 40 percent accurate, Andy, every day you are getting a decent call on who you have in those classrooms. So even if it's at 40 percent but if you can do it every day and get it back in almost real time, you're better off getting back to school than doing the stupid hybrid stuff that we're doing right now.

SLAVITT: That's right. I think I'm most excited about is what the NBA has done with Yale with a test that I think the FDA is going to approve in the next day or two. They've got themselves to a point test every single player and everybody associated with the NBA every day. And they are down to zero cases. The test is about four hours to run.

So even if you make a profit, it's a 10$10 test not a $100 test. So, you can imagine if you are a teacher going to a school, saying hey, I want all 25 or 30 kids to take this test. Fine, I'll show up in class. But if that doesn't happen, how do these teachers do that safely.

CUOMO: But they are in a bubble in the NBA. And doesn't that -- I mean, that's why they are having success or whatever, lack of cases the way the NFL and the MLB are not having. NHL is also doing well. But they are also in a bubble of their own. Isn't that as important as the testing?

SLAVITT: Yes, it's all important. I mean, -- you -- I think what they tried to do is show that there is a protocol you put together which essentially for the rest of us would feel like good social isolation, getting rid of hot spots and then making sure when cases happened -- because cases will happen. We shouldn't be scared of a case or two.

It's a case or two that happens that we don't see that a week later is 10 cases and then another week later is 100 cases. So, you still have to test even if you're in the bubble because, you know, even bubbles are penetrable, people do come in and out. So, it's been -- they still --they still find the odd case every now and then but they immediately isolate people. CUOMO: Now let me ask you about one other thing, then I will let you

go, Andy, and thank you.

COVID-19 patients not showing symptoms may have similar viral load as those who do show symptoms. I thought that -- now I'm confused again.


CUOMO: Because when people don't have the anti-bodies or the anti- bodies go away quickly, you guys have been saying -- yes, I am blaming you, Andy. You've been saying that's because you didn't have such strong symptoms. But now this study seems to say that that's not true, that symptoms aren't necessarily correlated of viral load.

SLAVITT: Yes. So, you are referring to a study out of South Korea. Very interesting study. And let's remember, every study is just one study. We are in the middle of a scientific process. We are going to get studies that are going to appear to be conflicting.

I think what this says is a little bit surprising. It says that you are shedding the same amount of virus, i.e., you are just as infectious whether you are showing symptoms or not. I don't think that's what people thought. I think people thought well, if you are infectious, you're sneezing you are going to be more infectious than otherwise. This study indicates otherwise. But it's one brick in the wall of our knowledge base that we are going to keep building.

CUOMO: All right. Andy Slavitt, thank you, brother. I appreciate you helping us understand this situation. Look, hopefully the saliva test takes us to another step as long as we get it to as many people as possible all over this country. You know, the test is only as good as it is extended and available.

Andy Slavitt, thank you very much.

And look, you know, why do I keep naming the president? Because he's our leader. He labelled himself a wartime president. And his war is coronavirus. He defined this challenge for himself. Not us. And we see how that's turned out, right?

So how would the commander in chief handle threats from abroad if he were given military options? Remember, this election is about who is most fit to help us deal with these big problems. Did you know that his own advisers were afraid to give him the military options? Because of what they thought he would do with them? How do we know?


Jim Sciutto uncovered it in reporting in his new big deal book. What it is, why he has it, next.


CUOMO: So, we are in the middle of a pandemic. It is literally making us sick. It is literally killing us. Millions are out of work. No matter who the president is, that person needs to make the most informed decisions possible.

So, that's where our own Jim Sciutto comes in. You know him as a CNN anchor in the morning. Also, he is all over the place, especially with his international news. He has remarkable insight into how vital information is handled with this particular president. It's part of his new book, must-read. "The Madman Theory. Trump Takes on the World." Goes on sale next week. It's good to see you, Jimmy.


CUOMO: So, give us the headline. What did you learn about how people who ordinarily give everything they know to a president handle this president?

SCIUTTO: This was one of the most remarkable and telling instances in this presidency. And it was repeated frankly.


But at the height of tensions with North Korea in late 2017, the president's military advisers were so concerned about his decision making and his unpredictability that they hesitated to give him military options because they were concerned he might use them and he might take this country on the path to war.

You might remember the time, there was discussion of a bloody nose strike, some sort of limited military action that would send a message to the North Koreans, right, and kind of bring them to the table. The fact is, no one this the Pentagon thought that such a thing existed, because any attack would likely be interpreted by the North Koreans as an attempt to end the regime. So, they hesitated.

And beyond that, Chris, they even conveyed to their North Korean counterparts that they didn't know what the president was going to do. Because they were concerned that the two countries were on the path to war. And it didn't stop with North Korea. At some of the most tense moments.

With Iran, the same thing happened, hesitation to give military options. But also, communication to adversaries in the midst of this, in fact our toughest adversaries that they did not know what the president was going to do. And they were concerned what path that would lead this country on.

CUOMO: Now the quick counter would be, yes, that's why Trump is good, because you are able to go to your adversaries and say we don't know with this guy, he might come out swinging.


CUOMO: So, you better check yourself. People will say, yes, Trump, strong, thanks, I like him. Thanks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Here's the thing. This is the origin of the title of the book, "The Madman Theory." It actually relates back to Nixon, because Nixon attempted to use a similar strategy against the north Vietnamese. He had Henry Kissinger to communicate in no uncertain terms to the north Vietnamese that he was just crazy enough to order a military strike on north Vietnam. He didn't intend to do it but he wanted to gain leverage in those negotiations.

Fact was, it failed. You know how that war turned out.

CUOMO: Right.

SCIUTTO: Trump's madman theory, the difference is that he applies it not just to adversaries but to his own allies in this interaction and often to his own staff and advisers, that he keeps them on -- they don't know what the next play is. And therefore, they are playing catch up.

There's a -- you know, the national security decision-making process follows the president's decision. It doesn't -- it doesn't come in advance. And I spoke to senior intelligence officials --


CUOMO: That's an important point. They can't hit you over the head with the unnamed sources thing.


CUOMO: Bannon, Navarro, McMaster, Susan Gordon, Fiona Hill, and others went on the record for you in this book.

SCIUTTO: That's right. I made a point in this book -- I spoke only to current and former Trump administration officials because I wanted to get a view inside this administration.

And frankly, if you do me the honor of reading the book, you'll see that I give credit where credit is due. And I give every opportunity to the president's critics and supporters to explain what they support and that they don't support.

And there are instances in this book where the president, frankly, deserves credit. Standing up to Chinese malign activities, stealing of intellectual property, you know, things that were tolerated before he drew a red line under.

The question is -- and this is a question I attempt to answer in the book on all of these national security challenges, are we in a safer place today than we were four years ago? And the sad fact is that when you look at a North Korea or an Iran, who have made progress in the nuclear sphere, no, we're not.

When you look at Russia, it is more aggressive, not less aggressive. And that's the real test here. You can claim that the madman keeps everyone on edge. But if you are not making your country safer, then that strategy has failed.

CUOMO: The one thing that troubles me that's in the book is that you document that intel officials intentionally reduced briefings to bullet points because he only really reads the first two and that they also intentionally keep negative information about Russia from him.


CUOMO: The second one is more troubling than the first. Why would they do it?

SCIUTTO: Well let me start with the first, because it is telling.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

SCIUTTO: In his term when H.R. McMaster was his national security adviser, and I spoke to him for this book as well, he and his team realized that the president was not reading his briefing materials. That they would go and they could tell as they were discussing Iran, North Korea, et cetera, that he was hearing these things for the first time.

So, they developed an idea where they would boil the briefings down to note cards with three bullet points on them and hope that he would process that information. What they came to discover over time is he wasn't reading all three of them. He was just reading the first two.

So, they adjust and they concentrate the most salient information in the first two bullet points and the third one a throwaway. Over time they realize he is not reading them either. And listen, if you are making these kinds of decisions, you need to be informed.


Now the other point you mentioned, is that the president often bristled at information and intelligence he didn't want to hear. Particularly on Russia. So many times, his briefers would go in and they should talk about a Russian threat not just to elections but to other areas, other U.S. interest, he wouldn't want to hear it or he wouldn't believe it. And we've seen this in his public comments as well.

And that sadly led them to brief him less on Russia. Because they have to keep these lines of communication open. And if they brief among these threats and the president closes his eyes and ears to them, you know, they are not doing their job either.

But what that led to is another problem which is then the president became less aware of the threat. And that of course is not what you want your commander in chief to do.

CUOMO: They may want to add some phonics on those flash cards so that he gets the tie in Thailand instead of saying Thailand, which is something you probably can't fix in briefing.

Jim Sciutto, congratulations, and thank you for doing the work to help everybody else understand this situation better. The book is called "The Madman Theory: Trump Take on the World" on sale next week. Thank you, Jimmy.

SCIUTTO: Thanks, Chris. CUOMO: OK, so we could see nearly 300,000 of us dead from COVID before Christmas. These the projections that are coming through the White House. And in that context, how does the president spend his time? Is he all-out and urgent about these rapid tests? Because they are probably our best chance to stave off that fate? No.

He is busy making wild accusations about Joe Biden hating the bible, wanting to hurt the bible, and hurt God. Does he really want to get into a faith contest with someone who actually has it? Biden just answered back minutes ago. Where this campaign is going, next.



CUOMO: Now, something occurred to me earlier today. See if it fits with your own perspective. Every time someone comes on my show to defend the president, they say, you don't know what's in his heart. And yet Trump is saying he knows what's in Joe Biden's heart. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: He's going to do thing that nobody ever would ever think even possible, because he's following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything. Hurt the bible. Hurt God. He's against God. He's against guns.


CUOMO: Look, even by the standards of political desperation, this is pathetic. Hurt God? Is he thinking straight? Is this really the same man who has no answer for his favorite bible verse? He just didn't even know what it was? The man who said, I've never needed to ask God for forgiveness? Does that sound like a Christian to you?

Do you know any Christian who has ever said that about himself? Even Jesus asked God for forgiveness. The man who you must examine through the lens of what he does -- he gassed protesters for a photo op with a bible. He put kids in cams because he liked the message of harshness. And now he wants to talk about vote for me, I'm the Christian?

Listen, let's talk about this from a reporting perspective with one of our best. And I'm only saying that to not to hurt everybody else's feelings. Dana Bash joins us right now. It's good to see you, my friend. I'm glad that the healthy --


CUOMO: -- that the family is healthy.

BASH: Thank goodness.

CUOMO: Tell me, what is the play? What is going through his nutcracker that -- go after him about the God thing, faith, devoutness. That's our play. Why? BASH: He started out with the radical left. And that is still the

biggest play that they have, accusing Joe Biden of being part of the radical left. And he clearly -- you could kind of see the wheels turning, right? He clearly took that and took it way further than anybody in his camp had hoped or intended.

I mean, yes, you can say he wants to take away your guns. That's kind of a standard Republican line. But on the God front, it absolutely made no sense. As you said, for any reason. Number one, given the messenger. But most importantly, given who he is talking about.

Because you can say a lot of things about Joe Biden. You can't say he's Godless. He has a very, very deep faith. As you know. The same faith -- you share the faith that he does. He's a very staunch Catholic. Has been his whole life and it did get him through some very, very tough times -- losing members of his family, two children and a wife.

CUOMO: Yes. I mean, look, anybody who knows Joe Biden those questioning his faith is a mistake. He's got flaws and weaknesses like everybody, probably drives his faith. But as a politician you got plenty to go after him, it's probably not deep sand for this president.

Also, another play that they are making that I want to hear what your perspective is on it from the reporting -- the idea of questioning whether or not the election will be legitimate. It didn't work for me as a logic play because if you are so worried about how things will be in November. That now, things are good, but in November they may not be then logically his argument should be to move the election up. Now of course, Congress can do it if McConnell doesn't want to. But what is their play in questioning the outcome of the election?


BASH: Yes, no, there is no logic about it. It's pure politics. And there is absolutely no hiding it. There is not really much of an attempt to. It is the president feeling as though he needs to lay the groundwork for an attempt to call it rigged. He's already calling it rigged, even before any votes are cast.

That's the way he was acting, if you remember, in 2016, when he thought he was potentially going to lose. And then he changed his tune immediately afterwards, if you remember.

And so, look, you know, Chris. You know him better than I do. And you've known him for a very long time as a New Yorker. That's the way he operates. He attacks systems. And you know what, attacking a system got him to the presidency. Because he fed into a very, very real feeling out there that the system is messed up and needs to be attacked.

But now he is a big part of the system, and he is not only attacking it, but he's not doing anything to help it if he claims that it has problems. And as president, that is a responsibility he has too. CUOMO: You know, I've changed my posture. I no longer recognize the

man who is the President of the United States. I have known him a majority of my life. The families have known each other. I've seen him in a lot of different iterations of his life. I never saw any of this in him to this pronounced degree.

When his niece came on and said you are wrong, he is not just a demagogue. He is a bigot. I heard the way he spoke about blacks and Jews. I heard how his father spoke about him. You're wrong. I was -- I've never seen that before. And people where I grew up, Dana, you have to understand, you don't -- you don't run down minorities, you don't run down Jews and people like that in Queens and look the same for very long.

So, it was surprising to me. So, I don't recognize what he's about right now in his desperation. But I'll tell you what I do recognize, greatness -- and the reason that I pomp you up so often is, you deserve it in your work and how you do your work. And it's not just me saying it. Watch this film on HBO Plus about -- HBO Max about Dana and others on the trail. Watch.


BASH: When I got my job on air, I was 31. And that still felt young to me. I went on the road. I worked my butt off. By the time I got to really focusing on having a family -- so hard. The idea of having kids late, it just kind of happens to a lot of women in my business. It's not intentional it.

I know how hard it is to be a woman in this business. You can have it all, but not always at the same time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what we call hell week.

BASH: My God this feels so nice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On a normal day I do three events a day. Hello, Amy and Noah.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, I move here with bad --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn't going to work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why can't we go down?

BASH: I met (INAUDIBLE) embed by stalk presidential candidates for a living.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me just get in there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I run around with a 20-pound camera, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There she is. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Documenting everything that a presidential

candidate is doing. Right now, I'm covering Senator Elizabeth Warren. I've been traveling the country with her for eight months, full time, non-stop, providing the base for coverage to our company.


CUOMO: I want to bring in Daniella Diaz right now. You saw her there in the film on BHO Max. So, this is a beautiful way to capture the reality of what brings coverage together. The reality of what you do. Nobody works harder than the producer, P.J.s out in the field reporting and capturing the raw material that allows us to shape our understanding that Dana, nobody brings home better than you with your sourcing and perspective.

So, I love that the film is capturing this dynamic, specifically through the experience of being women doing these jobs. Dana, on a wide scale, the difference in your experience from male counterparts, what matters?

BASH: A lot. A lot. But I'll tell you, the thing that has been so terrific and it's happened more and more as the years have gone on, Chris, as I've covered -- just been a journalist in general, but specifically campaigns is that there are so many more of us.

We're not there yet. There is not parity. We don't have total equality, but we have a lot more numbers, and there is a real sisterhood. And I get to work with and really learn from people like Daniela, who has a completely different perspective than I.


Yes, she's a woman. But she's a lot younger than I am and a lot more fearless than I am. And has perspective of being -- and you can speak to this, Daniella, a Mexican American. And that's an important perspective that we get to have from her. Just like other perspectives from others who come from all different walks of life.

CUOMO: So, Daniella, give us a sense of two thing. One, this is a first for you, covering it in such a deep way, but just being around this process in this way. What has it changed in you, this duration, this depth of that process?

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN POLITICAL EMBED PRODUCER: You know, Chris, I feel like it's changed everything about me, to be able to cover a campaign from the ground. I have been -- I learned how to multitask. I learned how to shoot. I never knew how to shoot on a camera. I was already a digital reporter before this. It was a new skill that I added to my resume.

But I wanted to say that -- Dana talks about, you know, these fearless women. She's incredibly fearless as well. Like, I want people to know that us embeds we look up to women like Dana who paved the way for us. This is a new generation of embeds that are covering this election, super diverse. And it couldn't have happened without reporters like Dana. CUOMO: And the ethnic experience. The goal of diversity in journalism

is not to just have people who look different on camera. It's to have people who bring different life experience to the questions they ask of people in power. What does that mean to you in doing your job, Daniella?

DIAZ: Chris, it means everything to me. I mean, I can't do my job without always considering my background. I am a Latina. My parents are from Mexico. I grew up in McAllen, Texas. These are all things that contribute to everything I do every single day. I think it's a strength of mine. I see it as a positive of being a bilingual woman covering politics. You know, move to D.C. and be able to cover this election across the country and bring the skills to what I do every day.

CUOMO: You know, I want to say this. You should watch the film. It's called "On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries". It's on HBO Max. It's streaming now.

And Dana, Daniella, I want to thank you, and congratulations on the great work. I'm very proud of you that you are having it represented in the film. And Dana, I've known you a long time. I was raised in the business by your father. And this is something that will matter to him.

So, I am going to say it. For a parent to see their values encapsulated and improved by their kid is the blessing that every parent wants for their children. And your fathers, too, has seen that in you. And he must be so proud. And I hope you know how proud you have made your parents, and all of us in your family here at CNN. I wouldn't want to work with anybody else. To both of you, congratulations, and thank you for representing us at our best.

BASH: Thank you, Chris.

DIAZ: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Be well.

The president is so worried about this upcoming election, mail-in balloting specifically. Why? It's access, it's access to the masses. It makes it easier to get in the game. That he didn't bother to see where it's actually the norm. He got out over his skis.

Colorado's governor is here to tell us why he's shocked that anyone would have a problem with what they are doing. Their entire election is done this way in Colorado. They are not alone. The reality next.



CUOMO: The president doesn't want you to vote by mail unless you live in a place where he needs more votes. Now what is this about? Ugly politics from someone who increasingly is going to lose to the scrutiny of whether or not he is hitting on all cylinders with some of the things that's coming out of his mouth. They make no sense. They don't even benefit him.

Five states have been voting almost entirely by mail for years. Now I'm sure he doesn't know that. They have no substantial fraud. And more people there vote as a result of their process.

My next guest runs a state that's been called the gold standard for voting by mail. Colorado Governor, Jared Polis. Welcome to Prime Time, Gov.

GOV. JARED POLIS (D-CO): A pleasure, Chris.

CUOMO: Can't vote by mail. Wracked with fraud. Don't know who anybody is. Can't verify the signatures. You send all the ballots out all over the place. It's terrible. Absentee, that's good. But what you do, horrible.

POLIS: It's so bizarre to anybody in Colorado or the states that have been doing this for years to hear this national discussion, frankly, Chris. It's the way we've been voting, it's been the default since 2012. But long before 2012 we had a majority of our voters vote by mail. And I voted by mail essentially my entire adult life. I think I have been to a precinct polling place maybe twice in my life.

But I mean, if you talk to Coloradans that's the way we vote and we're happy to vote that way. Republicans, independents, and Democrats. When we put this on the ballot in 2012 and we went to the default being mail-in it got 70 percent of the vote, Chris. I mean, try to get 74 percent of the people to agree on anything.

CUOMO: The people who don't want to show up in person is sneaky and you don't really know who it is that's signing that ballot. Can't make sure. Response?

POLIS: We have signature verification on all of the mail-in ballots. We have secure drop boxes all over town. You can also put them in the mail. People call the mail-in ballots by the way, then most of the people actually drop them off at drop boxes or at voting sites.

But you can't put them in the mail. And it's been a wonderful experience. We've increased voter participation. No major instances of voter fraud. Not controversial. Republicans, independents, Democrats all strongly supportive of voting this way.


Because Colorado is one of the states where we have a lot of initiatives on the ballot, Chris. So, you might get asked 10, 12 different questions between state and local. And if you are going to a voting booth you might be in there two hours. So, people like to do it at home, research it on the internet, cast an informed ballot and get it back in.

CUOMO: It is not easy to answer a negative but let's see if you can. Do you have proof that you haven't had fraud?

POLIS: Well, yes, as you said, it's hard to answer a negative. I think that there's a, you know, there are instances of fraud in any election system. What I can assure you is that there is no more fraud the way we're doing it than a conventional way of people having to go in place.

And by the way, there's actually less fraud in a sense. Because there's two kinds of fraud in voting, Chris. One kind of fraud is you fraudulently cast a ballot. The other kind of fraud is you fraudulently deny the right to cast the ballot. And we have less of that latter type of fraud in Colorado without having more of that first type of fraud.

CUOMO: So, what do you think this is about for the president?

POLIS: You are asking me to get in the president's head, Chris.


POLIS: I have absolutely no idea, as no one else does. But I can tell you this is common sense in Colorado. He should talk to Republican friends in Colorado that he has. They will all say of course we vote this way. We elect Democrats and Republicans. We are a purple state. We have a Republican senator, a Democratic senator.

We have four members of the House who are Democrats, three who were Republican. They were all elected this way. And there is really a wide support across the aisle because it's a simple reform that makes it more secure and safer to vote.

CUOMO: But I'll tell you what, it would also do if he could got it in people's minds that it's bad. It would reduce turnout. In 2018, mail ballot 95.3 percent, in-person total, 4.7. If you can keep people from thinking that mail-in ballots are the way to go you would drop participation.

Now the irony for the president is there are a lot of places that have mail-in voting where he has voters. And now his own people don't want to come out and use it because they think that's somehow supporting him. Do you think this is something that could backfire for the president?

POLIS: I do. I certainly don't think it's strategic. And what you have is the people that might be inclined to listen to his so-called words of wisdom would be more hesitant to vote by mail and then therefore less likely to vote. Those who disregard his opinion about the integrity of mail-in balloting are going to vote that way anyway.

And in Colorado where we've had this experience for well over a decade a majority of our voters since the early 2000s, I think people largely just ignore and strike it -- strike it up to the president being ignorant on the topic.

CUOMO: Governor Jared Polis, thank you for giving us a perspective on how mail-in voting works with a lot of experience and a lot of turnout, and frankly, buy in from a major state's population. Thank you very much. God bless, stay healthy.

POLIS: Thank you. Take care.

CUOMO: All right. So, fourth installment tonight of life lessons. I'm turning 50 at the end of the week. Can't have a big party. So, I'm kind of celebrating with you with what I've learned over these years. They are lessons that I believe are as rational as they are relatable.

I think they are things everybody figures out after some time on this earth. And yes, I am trying to make so there is a little bit of a conflation a dovetail, with what we deal with personally and how it plays out politicly. I have a next one for you. Ready? It's you only control your ability to do the next right thing. Why does that matter? Next.



CUOMO: I'm going to be 50. I've spent a lot of time in my life regretting what I've said, what I've done, what I haven't said, what I haven't done. The past -- I've lamented it, I've damned it. I've dreamed of going back. I've talked to people about it. A lot of us do that, right?

And then we have a tendency to go from what you did and how upset you are about it or how you wished you did it differently and we jump to the future and we start to dream and project about how we'll be different and how it will be different the next time and what we'll do.

And what do we skip when we do that? The only thing we control. Life lesson number four. You must focus only and always on doing the next right thing. History, right, the past is a mystery -- the past is history. The future is a mystery. But today is a gift, and that's why it's called the present.

I got that from "Kung Fu Panda". Now, what is the genius of it? All we have is the now. People talk about meditation about being present and teaching you to be here. You do that on your own. It works for me. It may not work for you.

All you can control is doing the next right thing. Now we don't do that. Why? Because there's an indulgence to want to beat ourselves up for the past, to say, sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry is a word, being better is an action.

Remember, you are only what you do. So, if you are sorry about the past instead of projecting onto a future that you don't know what will be, focus on now. Do the next right thing. That's the only way you get away from a flawed past, it's the only way you get toward a better future.

I hurt her feelingless. I hurt his feelings. I broke his heart. Do something good for him now. Personally, I know this is true. It's not always easy, but it is more helpful than anything else. Politically we see it also. We see politicians all the time -- this president. I did a great job. We're doing better than everybody else. We're going to have more of this. We're going to do more -- what are you doing right now?


You screwed up. Focus on doing the next right thing. He can't. He may not be able to. You are. I am. It's not easy, but it's easier than spending our time lamenting what we can no longer control and dreaming about what we don't know is going to happen.

The past is history. The future is a mystery, but today is a gift, that's why it's called the present. Focus on doing the next right thing. Easy to say, hard to do. Lesson number four. We'll be right back.


CUOMO: It is time for CNN Tonight. And there on the other side of your screen across from the old man is the upgrade, Laura Coates in for D. Lemon.


LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't see an old man. I see a man with wisdom. I'm loving your lesson. I'm loving. I was talking to my parents earlier who say, and they said, you know, you got break the cycle.