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Relief For Millions Of Struggling Americans On Verge Of Final Passage With Zero GOP Support So Far; Queen: Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's Racism Claims Are Concerning And Taken Very Seriously; COVID Long Hauler Update; Royal Family Isn't Denying Explosive Claims By Meghan Markle & Prince Harry In First Statement Since Interview. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 09, 2021 - 21:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you, Coop. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

Question, why is the most sweeping legislation in decades to help lift them Americans out of poverty just hours away from passing, but without any support from the right side of the aisle?


The answer, Meghan Markle and a dollop of Dr. Seuss. Let me argue, many of the rights party's constituents are struggling from a pandemic that they long denied. But with a president they want to lose, they're making a choice. Duck, real problem solving in favor of culture fights.

Be a true opposition party, one that opposes whatever it can as a proxy for getting anything done. They are simply against and the top of their list is against owning the reality of racism. If that's not true, why else is there this Markle madness on the right? Why are they so concerned about this story and whether or not it's true?

After four years of empowering the biggest liar in presidential history, now, you got to think for truth? Doubtful. Tonight, the Queen doesn't deny accusations of racism from Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry against the royal family in the family's first public statements since the bomb drops.

But people here on the right, continue to savage Markle and her story. Something struck a nerve with them. Was it a multiracial woman speaking out against an institutional white royal family? Oh, no, no, it's not about that. Well, then what is it about?

The Royals aren't questioning what Markle says about a race being used against her by some of them? They don't even deny her and Prince Harry's allegations about conversations with an unnamed someone questioning how dark the skin of their unborn child would be. So why are so many here on the righty fringe unable to accept the story?

Could it be that the opposition party is passing laws that disenfranchise minorities that are all but a constructive fraud regarding election fairness, as their strategy to oppose racial progress and to help their chances of winning elections? Is it any better reason that now they don't want to help people out of poverty? When they know a disproportionate number of those people are minorities?

Though there are way more poor white folks who are also going to be caught up in their opposition obsession. Is this why this notion of just be against? Is this why they would rather debate books I've never heard of from Dr. Seuss, than deal with the reality of January 6?

A white supremacist terror attack about which they have decided to spin a tale stranger than anything Seuss ever wrote. Let's take this idea to the better minds. Van Jones and Natasha Alford. Thank you both. Natasha. You're new to the show. So I'll give you a chance to say I'm wrong first.

What do you make of my suggestion that I don't get why political actors on the right in America care so much about Meghan Markle's story, even after the Royals have decided not to question it in substance?

NATASHA ALFORD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think doubting racism is almost an American pastime. It makes people feel better about the sins of this country, and it allows them to continue to do nothing. And in this case, we see that Stephen Miller, who was a former Trump advisor, was very quick to dismiss and deflect from what Meghan Markle said in her interview.

And I think that that reflects a general approach of the GOP when it comes to racism. We saw this with Donald Trump in Charlottesville playing both sides. We saw this with the Proud Boys when he told them to stand back and to stand by. And the reality is that, that struggle of racism and the empathy that's required to truly understand it, that doesn't play nicely to their base.

They want to play to people who feel victimized by actually having to hear marginalized people that they never had to listen to before.

CUOMO: Right.

ALFORD: They want to play to people who don't want to change. And so that's why this is not really surprising to me.

CUOMO: Because Van, you know, look at it, these laws across the country. Yes, they're going to catch up a lot of white voters, Republican voters, too, especially if they mess with early voting, but disproportionately, it will affect minorities. This bill, this Pandemic Relief bill disproportionately affects minorities.

And look, you're always looking to find some common ground. What is the common ground for them in going after Meghan Markle?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, this is the there is no common ground. This is the worst nightmare; I think for a lot of people who are on the racial right. First of all, it turns out that there is a queen who has a lot of power. Her name is Oprah Winfrey. She is the queen.


CUOMO: They even go after Oprah.

JONES: Exactly.

CUOMO: Who does that in good conscience?

JONES: You know, you're desperate? You know, you're in bad shape when you got to go up against the real Queen, Oprah Winfrey. And - and but what does that - what does that suggest? It suggests that a woman of color, who goes into an institution, who does not go along with the script, of you're going to have to put up with whatever you put up with.

You're going to have to grin and bear it, you're going to have to go be loyal to an institution that's not loyal to you, that not only can that woman of color, say not this time, not this time, I'm not going along with it.

But then she can also bring in another woman of color, Oprah Winfrey, to fire cannon balls back across the ocean that are hitting harder than the British tabloids on the global stage. So this listen, I don't understand all the stuff about titles and--

CUOMO: Me neither.

JONES: So listen, there are people who are saying that, you know, some things she says were not accurate, etc. But from a deeper point of view, the nightmare for black women has been I'm going to get in these institutions. I'm going to be mistreated. I'm going to have no recourse and nobody's going to care about me.

Meghan become somebody who went in and stood up for herself so she becomes a hero. And then I think the nightmare on the other side is somebody's going to do this and get away with it. Meghan Markle is getting away with it. And that's why you're having this reaction.

CUOMO: And look, again Natasha, I would love to be wrong about this, OK? Because I really want us to be better than this. And just if it's so off, because I know on the right there, I'm sure they're savaging me right now, why did Trump say this? Just last year?


DONALD J. TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not a fan of hers. And I would say this, and she's probably has heard that. But I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he's going to need it.


ALFORD: It's such a racist, sexist caricature, right? Make her out to be someone who was a bully, someone who's an aggressor, someone who can't be trolled, controlled, and make it seem as if Harry is somehow you know, at her whim somewhere. CUOMO: Well, you got to give him a break Natasha, because he couldn't - he didn't have his go to. He couldn't make fun of how she looks.

ALFORD: Right?

CUOMO: He was working with what he had here, he had to go with the bully thing with a little bit of a racial underplay. Because you can't say look at her. She's ugly. You can't do that with Meghan Markle.

ALFORD: But so many so many black women and women of color experience these types of microaggressions and outright aggressions in the workplace. And we're told that you can come into the room, but just remember that you are not one of us, right? You can be celebrated as a Duchess, but don't get too comfortable or expect the same exact treatment that someone else would get for their child.

And, and, you know, even--

CUOMO: And don't complain, be happy that we let you in here.

ALFORD: Exactly. And Meghan completely flipped that on its head and she owned her story. She- she used her power by ending the silence. And it's going to be really hard for them to react to this. You saw the weak statement that they put out today, acting as if they were just learning about it for the first time, the full extent when they were actually the perpetrators.

So I love that, you know, black women came together, Tyler Perry came in and stepped in. I mean, we really this is what community is we know how to do this. Right? We know how to step up and push back. And you're seeing that politically, in Georgia, you're seeing that with voting. You're seeing people who expected Stacey Abrams to just go away after that governor's race.

And she said, no, I'm coming back with more voters. And so now what do they want to do? They want to change the rules of the game now that Democrats are actually winning. Black people showing up to the polls, and they're saying, hold up, wait, we need to see IDs, no more souls to the polls on Sunday. So people who are used to being the referee and the player, they can't stand losing.

And this is the moment that we're in. And that's why we have to be vigilant and watch what's happening.

CUOMO: And right, look, my analogy is always it's not about taking pieces of pie from other people. It's about making more pie. Tyler Perry is a perfect example of that. He builds a movie studio, he creates new markets, you know, he had, you know, it's just more pie.

It's just more people to work more money to be made, more entertainment to be enjoyed. And yet then there's a flip. Then, if we look at the numbers between 2016 and 2020, and who voted for Trump, not big numbers, but black men, Latino men, he went up in both in this election.

If I am right, and that their opposition is so obvious, and the animus is so plain. Then why did the votes go that way?


JONES: Well, there's cross currents and cross pressures when it comes to gender, when it comes to immigration, when it comes to a lot of other issues. Frankly, though, having a little bit more competition for the black vote is better for the black community and, frankly, better for both parties.

But here's what you're seeing now. You know, we're in a situation where the Republican Party had an opportunity to look in the mirror, post-Trump and to say, listen, some of the stuff that we were doing, maybe got a little, a little bit of ground, let's be more open, let's try to have more opportunities for more people to come in.

And instead, the party is trying to close the door on voting. That is a signal that I don't care if you're a conservative, liberal, independent Green Party, if you're African-American, when people start closing the door on voting, that is a sign to go the other direction.

And so I think he did have a party that was at least trying a few little things to see if they could get more black votes. I think they're moving in the opposite direction now.

CUOMO: You know, it's interesting and look, the worst three words that we ever have to say right, we will see. And yet the supposition is they're doing this for one simple reason. It works. Now, have they pushed it too far? Is the opposition too ugly? Is the Animus too obvious? Is it too offensive to too many? We'll have to see.

But Van Jones, Natasha Alford, thank you for starting the conversation. Natasha, welcome to the show. Van as always. I love you, brother. Be well.

JONES: Love you too.

CUOMO: All right, we're continuing this important conversation ahead because I do think there's no small irony that a woman of color may have blown up the royal family in a way that no white person ever has before. Think about that.

But first, the Biden Rescue bill is likely hours away from the President's desk and the opposition party led by McConnell are acting like victims instead of helping actual victims of the Pandemic that they denied for so long. And many of the people who are hit hardest are the constituents of the same who reject relief.

A key Democrat takes the opposition on next.




CUOMO: President Biden gearing up for a big push to sell you on the COVID relief plan. But most of you already like it. After he signs it, he's planning a primetime address Thursday night, you will see it right here and probably everywhere.

Then he's going to spend weeks traveling to highlight the impact around the country. The White House says he's going to hold this first formal news conference this month after waiting longer than any president in the last 100 days. Last 100 days, 100 years. Anyway, finally, he's expected to speak to a joint session of Congress next month.

And of course, Congress still needs to actually get him the bill to sign. Let's discuss the state of play with a senator from Connecticut, Democrat Chris Murphy. Good to see you, Senator.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Yes, thanks for having me.

CUOMO: Am I wrong to suggest that this process makes plain that these people in the opposition party are not going to work with you under any circumstances? Because this bill is good for their own people, and they know it, and they still won't do it.

MURPHY: Yes, President Biden promised on a you know, he had a campaign promise to unite the country around an agenda to beat the Pandemic and to get the economy back to recovery. And that's what he did. He put on the table, the American rescue plan that's supported by 70 percent of the American public.

The last poll I saw suggested that 60 percent of Republicans supported and I don't know that it's his fault that not a single Republican is willing to support something a majority of their party out there in America.

CUOMO: Not saying it's his fault.

MURPHY: Yes, I mean, listen--

CUOMO: I'm increasingly blaming all of you for continuing a ruse of working with people that, you know, don't want to work with you. I had Joe Manchin on last night, Senator from West Virginia, I believe, I believe, you believe what, every time you go near them, they punch you in the face. You know, I get that you want, it would be better. It would be better. OK?

But it's not happening. And now you have the most important piece of legislation. This H.R. 1. If you guys don't pass it, Senator, I don't need to tell you this, you know, your knitting as well as anybody. There will be a wave of legislation across this country that will take free and fair elections back half a century. Can you allow that?

MURPHY: No, we can't allow that. I mean, listen, democracy can't survive, if people don't have the ability to vote, if state legislatures can rig elections so that only voters sympathetic to Republicans are allowed to get to the polls. So of course, if we don't pass a new Voting Rights act in this country, we're leaving democracy to die. Of course, we've got some work to do to persuade 50 vote - 50 votes in

the Senate to change the rules. But yes, you're right. This Pandemic relief bill was proof that Republicans are not willing to work with us, because guess what, everything in this bill was essentially just an extension of funding streams and programs that Republicans and Democrats approved together in 2020.

So Republicans were very willing to fund small business relief and direct checks to consumers and money for schools back when they were running the Senate, but now all of a sudden that Democrats are in the White House and running the United States Senate, they claim that these things are unnecessary. So you know, the script is flipped. But unfortunately, you know, Republicans are all of a sudden back to sitting on the sidelines.

CUOMO: I mean, their argument is, yes, we're in favor of these things. You're just putting too much money into it at a time that things are too hard for us from a revenue structure. Is there anything to their criticism?

MURPHY: Yes, but they didn't make that argument consistently. Right? I heard that occasionally from Republicans, but here's what I mainly heard. They went down to the Senate floor. For a week straight and said 90 percent of this bill isn't COVID Relief. They essentially said that unless you're putting shots in people's arms, this doesn't count as COVID Relief Bill.


So saving small businesses or making sure that schools can reopen safely, all of a sudden, that's illegitimate in the eyes of Republicans. That's totally insincere, because they categorized all of that as COVID relief back when they were in charge of the Senate. So I'm not saying they don't have any legitimate criticisms of this bill.

They clearly would have written something different. But the criticisms that they lodged on the floor of the Senate, it's not COVID relief, it's too partisan. It's too expensive. None of these hold water because A, the American public supported Republicans and Democrats, it wasn't too expensive back when they were in charge.

And they thought all of this stuff was legitimately important to spend money on when they ran the Senate.

CUOMO: Do you think there's a chance that at the end of the day, you don't get rid of the filibuster, the Republicans become nothing but the opposition party, and you don't hold 50? On your own side, that you have 1-2-3 that don't like the Biden agenda as presented as the party and it winds up being your own party that stops Biden from getting things done?

MURPHY: Well, listen, I think it's really hard to imagine how we can get everything done through reconciliation. I mean, ultimately, you know, things like universal background checks, something that I care deeply about that the House will vote on--

CUOMO: You - filibusters in what 2015, 2016, 15 hours.

MURPHY: We had, we had 50 - and we had 55 votes for that measure, and couldn't get it passed in 2013. So, you know, ultimately, there are parts of this agenda that can't go through reconciliation, and you either get need to get Republican votes, or you need to modify the rules.

CUOMO: Manchin says I'm not modifying the rules.

MURPHY: Well, I mean, listen, we've got to sort of show our caucus, that Republicans are going to consistently stand in the way of change. I think there are, you know, members of our caucus who believe that the filibuster incentivizes bipartisan cooperation. I think we are going to have to test that theory over the course of the next few months and see if Republicans are willing to come to the table on things like infrastructure and background checks, immigration reform.

My hope is that they will, my guess is that they won't. But let's put that theory that some of my colleagues have to the test. And then if they are wrong, we'll make that argument.

CUOMO: Well, I think your best hope may be what the President is doing right now, but in reverse, meaning, you know, you're probably going to get this bill through or you should on relief, and now he's going out to sell it. He should probably go out on the hustings and campaign for H.R. 1, and let everybody know what the bill is what it will be stopping and then put pressure.

We'll see if he does it. I know you'll be fighting the good fight. You have a platform here to do so. Senator Chris Murphy, thank you for being with us.

MURPHY: Thanks a lot.

CUOMO: All right. Now, I want to talk to you about the Pandemic. But I want to talk about it from an angle that you don't hear a lot now, but you are going to hear so much in so many ways that it will blow your mind a year from now. Long haulers.

You've heard it a little bit, I talked about it here. It's so much worse than you know, than I know, than we know. Long haulers are still getting sick. If you need more incentive to get a vaccine, I'm telling you, you can get this virus not even know you have it and then develop long haul symptoms or syndrome or whatever they wind up calling it that will ruin your life. Proof. One of the first COVID patients that I had on this show is back with what's going on in her life and the reality of long haul. She is now my COVID sister. Next.




CUOMO: I totally get why most of you are fixated on what's happening right now. I totally get it. But please trust me when I say that the story of the pandemic is going to have a very bad chapter about a year from now. And that will be the long-haul chapter.

We just can't focus on it right now. We don't know enough. We're developing our understanding. People are getting confused diagnoses. But it is so real. I hear it from so many of you all over the world. Now there's a study and there will be so many more.

This one's from California, out of more than 1400 people 27 percent said they struggled with shortness of breath, chest pain and other symptoms more than 60 days after their infection. And I'm telling you I know people I'm one of them. OK, I'm an easy case. I'm one of the fortunate.

They've gone six - seven - eight months, and they still have it. One- third of those in this survey, were originally asymptomatic. So what does this mean? Even if you get a light case, you could then have moderate to severe, long haul symptoms.

And I'll tell you what wasn't caught in this that I'm hearing a lot about anecdotally but also in different research. Brain fog, depression, and a lot of other mental components and anguish. It makes the Vaccine - Vaccine effort that much more important, OK? Because if you wanted another reason not to get it, because now you're like oh if I get a case may not be that bad, right?

A lot of people don't have it that bad. You can still get this. Let me bring in my sister, my COVID sister, Lauren Thomas, Mendel, mother of four, got COVID last April. Now nearly a year later, she had it, her husband had it. One of her kids is still battling symptoms a year later.

It's good to see your face my friend.


CUOMO: So Lay it on me. What's - what is the status quo?


MANDEL: The status quo is I'm still struggling. I was just diagnosed about three weeks ago with asthma. They don't know if it was from the COVID. Or if it was just brought about from the COVID. But I still can't breathe. I'm back on my inhaler, which gave me other problems.

I have a little bit of brain fog still, I have flushing in my face when I get like either really excited or really not excited. Kind of I'm so all over the place. I'm really still all over the place.

CUOMO: Are you the only one with the long haul? Or is your husband who as I remember, is a doctor or one of your kids?


CUOMO: Are they dealing with any long haul?

MANDEL: So the 18-year old still, it's been a year, still does not have his taste and smell 100 percent back. It's there but faintly, and my husband, I mean he's working. We're both you know, out and about. But he still has some tingling throughout the body, a little bit of brain fog, shortness of breath. I don't think this shortness of breath, though, for him is as bad as it is for me.

CUOMO: Now, when you go to the doctor, and you're talking to all these different clinicians all the time, they've got nothing for you. Right?

MANDEL: Pretty much.

CUOMO: And at least--

MANDEL: They don't know.

CUOMO: They don't know. But at least they're starting to believe you now. Right? In the beginning, it was everybody looked at you like you might have been a little off with these things. Like maybe it was psychosomatic or something like that. But are they hearing about more Laurens now?

MANDEL: I think they are. I mean, the pulmonologist kind of is not completely convinced that the Asthma is from COVID. But I work at a daycare high, I'm running up and down hills in 102-degree weather and I never had a problem in my life, went to the gym never had a problem breathing. And since March, you know 26, that was my - that's my anniversary, I have had trouble breathing.

And I have trouble getting up the steps still. If I work out, it's there like all the time, sitting and watching TV. I just need that. I can't get that breath in sometimes, it's hard.

CUOMO: Cardiologist, pulmonologist.


CUOMO: Allergist?


CUOMO: What do they say?

MANDEL: The cardiologist is the first one that's telling me I have to push myself and take it slow. So for people who do not have COVID, this sounds like very bizarre, but I started at the New Year, walking on our elliptical at two and a half minutes, I'm up to 15 minutes. It sounds weird. I did take steps back. I got the vaccine.

The first vaccine caused a little bit of issues and took me a few days off of my game and had to go backwards. And the second one totally wiped me out for about a week or half, like week to two weeks. So you know, now I'm getting back on it. But I'm up to 15 minutes. I feel proud of myself that I can do that.

CUOMO: Yes, yes, you got to take progress where you find it. And you have - remind me, where - you have four kids?

MANDEL: Yes. CUOMO: So you know, you've got it all working, you've got all this

stuff going on. You've maintained a pretty good attitude. But isn't this scary? And isn't it worth talking to? You know, I keep asking Lauren to come on because one you know, I want to check in. But I could do that off TV. People don't want to get this vaccine.

They don't think it's going to be that bad. They'll just get mild cases, they'll be asymptomatic. It'll be no big deal. And isn't it scary that a year later, we're still dealing with this? You worse than I am. And so many others like us, growing numbers all the time. And still people don't take it seriously.

MANDEL: No and the worst part for me is I am losing my hair.

CUOMO: Me too.

MANDEL: So party came out in August. In August, I had like a mini bird's nest and the first time that happens you kind of freak out and panic. It's getting better, but I hate washing my hair. It's like you know you have to go in and get on you know, it's like a whole mental game before you do anything.

CUOMO: Now I will tell you this. I've heard from a lot of you know, usually - you wanted to come on TV. I really appreciate you doing that many of the people I talked to, I keep them anonymous. I have talked to many famous, OK, fashion, acting, music you know, people who are known for how they look women who lost hair. But every woman I've talked to it came back.

Now I know that's not true for everybody. But that is one of the symptoms. I didn't talk to a dermatologist about it. And it has been coming back. I know that something small on a vanity scale, but it matters to people. You know you need - but it matters. But I just wanted to check in and say thank you and let you be a reminder to people that they got to take this seriously.

And I really do hope that the baby steps continue and you get to a better place and I'm here for you if you need anything.

MANDEL: Thanks.

CUOMO: All right. All the best to your husband, your son, your other kids and you. I'll talk to you soon.

MANDEL: Yes, OK, you too.

CUOMO: All right. Listen. I've always marveled at her, her attitude through all this has been phenomenal. It was a big boost for me in dealing with it, seeing how she was dealing with worse but with the kids and the job and the husband and everything going on.

Don't - it's not a joke. I know very few people die but it still turns out to be a half a million or maybe a million by the time we're done with this. Get the vaccine. Take it seriously. If you get sick, you don't know what's going to happen. Trust me, trust me on this.


Back to the Queen's response to the interview that popped eyeballs across the globe and may have changed things in a big way. My next guest says she believes Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, that their account of racism within the Royals, she believes because it hits home close to her experience. She too, has biracial kids, she too wants to share her experiences to open minds and talk about the impact Meghan may make. Next.


CUOMO: This Meghan Markle thing is having massive fallout, even here. You know, it's such a big deal that it's playing on race and animus in America but certainly in the UK. In fact today, a guy who used to hold this position at CNN at 9pm on one of the most well-known UK TV personalities stormed off set live on air and then resigned amid searing criticism because of his continuous negative take on Meghan Markle. Take a look at this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that you don't like Meghan Markle. You've made it so clear a number of times on this program. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don't think she has but yet you continue to trash her.



MORGAN: Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, I'm being.

MORGAN: See you later. Sorry, can't do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is absolutely diabolical behavior.


CUOMO: I got to tell you, I get worse than that from my own team. But Piers Morgan walked off, then came back, then resigned. One British journalist joins us now who says the racism that Markle experienced is no surprise to her? Because she's experienced that her entire life. Ateh Jewel, welcome to Primetime. It's good to have you.

ATEH JEWEL, JOURNALIST & BROADCASTER: Hello, thank you for having me.

CUOMO: So help me understand what happened with Piers. Was he fired? Or did he resign?

JEWEL: Well, the official take is that he quit. But I know there was 41,000 complaints about his very aggressive take on Prince Harry and Meghan, especially when it came to denying her experience of institutional racism, and also her experience of mental health and suicidal thoughts.

So there is a huge call for him to be removed. Whether he quit or he was asked to leave, it's haven't really been confirmed, but the official line is that he quit.

CUOMO: If that decision was somewhat of a managerial one, would that have been done just by his network? Or does the British government have any reach into that particular outlet?

JEWEL: I would imagine it would be from the network or--

CUOMO: Because he's not on the BBC.

JEWEL: Yes, I would admit, I - this is such a hot topic in the UK. It is such a polarizing topic as well. People are furious on both sides. People like me who believe Meghan, people who think this is about the truth and about changing society and social equality.

And then the other side of our society, which think that this is a huge disgrace, and that Piers Morgan is a victim of woke cancel culture.

CUOMO: Do you think he was canceled?

JEWEL: I don't think he was canceled. I think there's rumors that he was asked to apologize. He didn't want to, so he walked. Does that sound something that Piers Morgan would do? That's for you to decide?

CUOMO: So the idea of Meghan Markle, not telling the truth. I always have a very easy question. Why lie? OK. And usually it pops up to you exactly why somebody will. But in this circumstance, why would she lie? What was gained by this? It blew up her life, it blew up, you know, the stability of her husband, with the family, they had to move.

It created all of this. Why do you believe she's telling the truth?

JEWEL: I believe she's telling the truth, because I completely relate to her situation. I've walked in her shoes, as a woman of color in the UK, I have experienced that very nuanced, 21st century racism. You know, people get very confused because no one's screaming the N word in her face, because there's no burning crosses in her garden.

People think that she's not a victim of racism. In my life. I have had it all through my, from school, where I went to a very privileged, private girls school in a very fancy neighborhood in central London, where my principal told me, don't bother applying to Oxford. They don't want your kind. You know what I'm talking about, too.

When I first started my career as a beauty journalist in the UK, I worked at Vogue House. And to get into the building, I had to go through the head of HR, who asked me, you're very well educated, does that make you feel that you're white? And then she also asked me about gang warfare in London. I told her I don't really know about gang warfare. My father is a

Nigerian diplomat for the UN and I live around the corner from Vogue House. And that was what I had to suffer. It was offensive and racist. And that's what we're talking about. It is Princess Michael wearing a blackamoor brooch to a to a lunch to meet Meghan.

They're probably thinking, possibly that that was a nice gesture, when in fact, it was offensive and racist. So when she talks about institutional racism, I completely understand what she's talking about. And I find it very frustrating that people who haven't lived her experience or my experience, are so quick to shoot her down and deny her truth.

CUOMO: And especially even folding it over to what she describes as her pain. They invalidate that as well. That is also very dangerous because when you deny a reality, racism, the pain of illness, it suppresses people from speaking their truth and things can get worse.


And to be very clear, the royal family has not denied any of the allegations. The strongest thing they've put out is recollections may differ. So the question becomes, why are so many people outside the royal family questioning Markle even more than she is if it has nothing to do with race? Ms. Jewel, thank you very much best to you, your kids and your career. Thank you for joining us.

JEWEL: Thank you so much. Goodbye.

CUOMO: Be well. Happens everywhere. But again, my acute awarenesses Why do people here on the right fringe - fringe mostly people, desperate for attention again, why are they picking on Meghan Markle? Think about it. Now, where does that take us? That race and systemic inequality infiltrates everything and every problem that we're dealing with here.

The murder trial, and the case that sparked global protests for racial equality is closer to starting. Only three jurors have been seated. This is always a very delicate process. It's called (var da) or your say. But this trial of the officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes will be covered here extensively. Why?

These are rare occurrences, these types of trials, and it has huge implications, and it must be fully understood. The first issue for us is understanding the charges and what's going on there. I've got the insight for you on that. Next.




CUOMO: Three jurors have now been seated in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the man whose name will forever be tied to that horrific moment we all know well. George Floyd uttering his last words, I can't breathe, while beneath Chauvin's knee. We still have a long way to go before the trial even begins.

Jury selection, two-three weeks probably. And there's now a third charge for third degree murder and additional charge. It's in limbo. An Appeals court ruled that the trial judge must reconsider a motion to reinstate it. Top legal mind, Laura Coates joins us now. Let's talk people and then we'll talk policy. Thank you for joining us, my friend.

Juror number one, man, Caucasian, mid 20s, or 30s. What do we know about him that makes him interesting to you?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, in a case of him, you had the idea that he says, look, he believes in the Black Lives Matter movement, we're told. He doesn't believe in the organization. But the idea of thinking about the equality of our lives.

He watched at least part of the video and to some respect. And he's also able what you're looking for as a prosecutor or defense attorney to have some objectivity in the receipt of the information. So that's pretty impressive to think about the notion that he's willing to talk about the idea that he believes and actually wrote, I think that Derrick Chauvin killed George Floyd which demonstrates that he does assign some culpability there.

What extent he does and whether it will follow the actual evidence that's presented remains to be seen.

CUOMO: What does it mean that they seated him even with him saying things like, in my opinion, the phrase that he was killed when Chauvin knelt on his neck area means that Floyd died because of something that, at least in my impression, out of his control? Why do you sit that guy, if you are - if you are the prosecutor, if you are the defense?

COATES: Well, you know, if you're the prosecutor, why you seat him, right? You want somebody who's already been thinking of those things. If you're the defense attorney, though, remember, it's going to be a very difficult proposition to find someone who does not have an opinion of what happened in those eight minutes and 46 seconds across the globe, let alone in the actual state of Minnesota.

So the idea of trying to get a juror who is totally ignorant of all of the facts is an improbable proposition. But the idea of having somebody who's very forthcoming about their views and also willing perhaps, to be persuaded through the objective presentation of evidence.

You want somebody to have that immediate sense of credibility that can be assigned to them of saying, look, this person may, in fact, follow the instructions, which is to only hear the evidence that comes through this courtroom and rule accordingly.

CUOMO: I remember that, it's always worse - it's always worse when you think this person is not telling you how they really feel about it. Besides, remember, the defense just needs one to go their way. All right, juror number two, a woman, person of color, biracial, 20s, or 30s. A lot of energy in the courtroom said I was super excited to get my summons.

COATES: In fact, you know that she actually registered to vote just because she wanted to go to jury duty. She said awesome when she was chosen, which is not knowing the response of somebody who's on a jury, usually at the idea of Oh God, I'm on a jury. But in this case, she says that she has I believe an uncle who is a police officer in a neighboring town.

But she hasn't seen this person very often, she talked about the idea of having watched the video and believing that there has been some obvious issues in the criminal justice system, believes that there is a disparate impact and tougher crimes against people of color.

She talks about that very freely, which again, shows you again, the idea of not ignorance being the standard, not not having any inkling of what the issues are about and about why this is a momentous occasion and a monumental trial. It's the both sides saying look, we want people who are willing to again, listen to the evidence as presented but are not going to pretend as if they have no idea what's going on, and are going to say oh, I've never really thought about issues of blue lives versus black lives or the idea of the role of the police.

Because it's very hard to find any juror frankly, who is not going to give almost automatically as a knee jerk reaction the idea of giving police officers the benefit of the doubt, Chris. Most people don't think despite what everyone tells you, most jurors are always asked the questions about what you think of the police because (inaudible) wasn't thinking that an officer is intending to kill somebody that day?

So when you have that idea of the benefit the doubt, you want a very clear and concise and honest answer about their views.


CUOMO: The third one checks every one of those boxes as well. Caucasian male in his 30s. He says he has not seen the entire Floyd video. That to me was impressive. Otherwise, he already checks every box that you just said. I know Black Lives Matter, I like it, I don't like everything. I don't like everything about Blue Lives Matter either.

I don't know that it's necessary, I don't necessarily believe cops more than anybody else. Pretty out front about everything but hadn't seen the video that's got to be a rare commodity.

COATES: Well, the entire video is the word to use I believe and the idea remember, this is how disturbing it is. We don't know why he didn't watch the whole video. It's very difficult to watch eight minutes and 46 seconds of somebody being suffocated to death with a knee on their neck.

And so the idea of turning away you can imagine might have been one of the reasons he has not watched it.

CUOMO: True.

COATES: But he didn't suggest somehow that he simply didn't watch it because he thought no big deal. It was just the idea that he hadn't watched the whole thing. He will during this trial though.

CUOMO: That's true. He will know it all and he will know it well. Laura Coates, so will you and I. I look forward to coverage on this. Hopefully I can get you as often as possible. There's nobody better. Thank you for tonight. We'll be right back.

COATES: Thank you.