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Cuomo Prime Time

Accused Capitol Rioter Claims "Foxitis" To Blame For Actions; Charlie Crist Running To Be FL Governor Again; FBI: Russia-Based "DarkSide" Gang Behind U.S. Pipeline Cyber Attack. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 10, 2021 - 21:00   ET




MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Los Angeles, one was killed, five more injured. Four were injured outside a night club near Sacramento. On the same night, two young men were killed, two others injured in Compton.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.



All right, the news continues. So, let's hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME."

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, John, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

Now tonight, we're going to take on the toxic cause and effect, the root cause of everything that is wrong with our politics that literally makes people not just think, but do horrible things. There's now a term for it. It's called "Foxitis."

And tonight, you are going to hear a man that calls what happened to him, "Foxitis." And he's going to come on the show, with his lawyer, and explain to you why, what he watched, and what he heard, led him to start thinking and believing in a way that led him to drive 11 hours to Washington D.C.

This man never even voted in 2016 or 2020! How did he get Foxitis? What does that really mean? Is this a joke? He says "No, it's no joke." And he knows lots of people who fall into the same category.

And it's very interesting, because even if you don't do the terrible things, you don't commit the felonies, you're not one of the people, the hundreds, arrested at the Insurrection, you can still have the same sickness that leads you to believe the absurd.

Listen to this woman. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You guys both genuinely believe the election was stolen?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would they have all those ballots hidden under tables? Why did that man drive that truck all the way across state lines--

O'SULLIVAN: But it wasn't like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --with ballots?

O'SULLIVAN: Even the ballots, that's all been proven to be false, no?





CUOMO: She didn't watch it on TV. She watched it on Fox, OK? She watched it on Hate TV. She watched it on a place that is in the business of propaganda. "Oh, all the media is!" It's not true and it needs to stop. You have to take every platform one by one.

We're in a bad place, OK? I have countless conversations, on the radio, derivative of this show, just living my life on the streets, where people don't believe basic things about the vaccine, basic things about the Pandemic, basic things about the election.

It is a big lie. And yes, it's very effective. But, at some point, we have to examine the price.

Now you look what's happening in what used to be the Grand Old Party. Again, you guys think I'm joking. I don't know what to call it.

My friends who are Republicans won't own it. They say "I am not about that. Stop saying "You, you people, you people," it's not me. It's not me. OK? I'm not one." Well, then what is the party now?

One of the last truth-tellers about the election, in Congress, from that party, Liz Cheney is about to be voted out for just that, refusing to echo the "Big lie."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, remember, this guy called in a panic, during the Insurrection, begging Trump to call off his dogs. He told people he said that. He told people he cursed to Trump. And now, he's just lying to you. He's just changing the facts to make Trump a good guy. And he's one of the only ones, who will actually talk about the

Insurrection. The rest of them say "It wasn't Insurrection. They weren't really armed. It's not that big a deal," but they just don't mention it.

So McCarthy is now leading the effort to cleanse the ranks of anyone who challenges the "Big lie." He sends out a note, about the upcoming recall of vote, on Cheney, and then explains the recall vote by saying "We are a big tent party. And unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate."

Left has problems. Us saying, "Right" and "Left" is proof of the problem. We don't even talk about the parties anymore.

You know that I have said many times, and I believe that it is time for you guys, to start talking about something better than a two-party system. You just don't have enough stakeholders that are given the empowerment of party right now. And us talking about ideological opposites is the proof of that.

Now, the absurdity is of course, whatever's going on the Left, and there are problems there, it's nothing compared to this.

This guy feels that he literally can get away with calling himself "The party of ideas, and debate, and big tent" in the same note announcing the recall of someone, for embracing the truth, and he thinks it's OK.


Again, this is not the Grand Old Party, OK? This is not about being conservative. It is about being reckless. And the problem isn't just the rhetoric. It's the real life implication.

The "Big lie" has states across this country, echoing the animus in Congress, restricting voting rights, potentially for millions of Americans, and a disproportionate number of them are minorities. That's the truth.

Realities are getting ignored because of the "Big lie," how? You know there are big spikes in gun violence, OK? If you talk to people, who own guns, like I do, you will rarely meet someone, who says they don't believe in background checks. For all transactions, go ahead.

Most of the people I know think you should be trained in how to use a gun before you get one, and you should have to recertify, and you should have to show that you know how to store it safely. And if you don't store it safely, you should get as big a price on you as whatever that gun does.

Now, the "Big lie" has made it so that none of that gets dealt with. The "Big lie" has the election problem get dealt with in 43 different states, and in Congress, and it's not true. And what is true gets no attention. You see, it's not just talk anymore. The "Big lie" isn't laughable. It is the linchpin that is keeping the wheel on the Crazy Train. And my first guest would have never thought about getting off that

Crazy Train until he wound up facing five federal felonies, one of hundreds charged for the Insurrection so far.

So, let's bring them in, the accused Capitol rioter, Anthony Antonio, and his lawyer Joseph Hurley.

Counselor, thank you for being with us.

Anthony, thank you for being with us.



CUOMO: Now, to be very clear, I am not here to try your case, OK? I want you here to explain how you ever got in that place. And you say Foxitis is real. You started watching Fox. It then became Newsmax, because Trump said it was more credible than Fox.

But what was it that you were hearing that developed this kind of irrational animus that led you to go to Washington D.C.?

ANTONIO: Well, sir, what happened was, so when I was 18-years-old, I was saved by Jesus Christ. I dedicated my life to the Lord.

And last year, I honestly put a man above Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I believed a man. I believed what was being told to me. He was the President of our United States. And I believed him, because he's the President of our United States.

And so, because of that, I went to Washington, like he called us to, having no clue what to expect, having no clue what was about to happen. I just knew that the President of our United States told me to go there.

CUOMO: Hey, Joe, when you first heard this--

ANTONIO: Now, what happened--

CUOMO: Hold on a second. I want to get back to you, Anthony. But I just - I want to have a little conversation here.

Because this is very hard to believe, especially from somebody who says that they have come to the reality that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior, the idea that Trump would somehow went out that position from Jesus, is hard to accept.

But, Joe, when you first heard this - I'm not saying you're wrong, Anthony. This is your truth.

I'm just saying, Joe, as a lawyer, and somebody sober-minded, and been around lots of stories, when you heard this, and then realized that it was being echoed by other people, who had gotten collared that day, when did it start to resonate as something other than a bad cover story? HURLEY: Well, let me tell you that I had vowed I would never represent any of the thugs that went down there. They all ought to be in prison for more years than I can count.

Anthony came in sort of under the radar. I didn't know what his charges were. And he was with his father and himself. And I saw them. And I tried to figure out "What's this guy doing in here?" And he began to tell me his story.

And I first realized, because of his truthfulness, his calmness, and his tears, particularly when he talked about the police officer being bounced down the steps, and he was too cowardly to get involved, he, Anthony, to save him, that this is a bird of a different feather.

And I realized this guy is being straight-up honest. And he was honest, from the first moment, and honest through the time with the FBI, and honest through the time of talking to the court, and will be honest with you.

CUOMO: So Anthony you--

HURLEY: So, I realized it instantly.

CUOMO: OK. I'm watching - you're watching Fox. Now what was it that you started to hear that impressed you so much, that it made you forget your faith, and replace it with faith in Trump?


ANTONIO: I would say basically, I believed the President of the United States. I mean, ever since I was a little kid, I was told the President of the United States is the man that you look up to, all right?

As of right now, we've only had a man in the White House as the President. And so, that's who you look up to. That's who you follow. The Bible causes us to follow government.

And I kind of wrapped up in, in what was being told to me, and in what was - what was on the TV, what the media was proclaiming.

CUOMO: Not the media. Fox. It's a distinction with a difference.

What were you hearing and seeing be reinforced, that made you so revved up?

ANTONIO: I would - I would basically say, I really got into it when the election started. When, when election night happened, and everything was going on, I truly believed that Trump won the election.

As of right now, I acknowledge, and I know that Joe Biden is our President. That's not a mystery. That's a fact. But I felt like, you know, maybe I believe that America was being robbed of, of a president. And I now know that that was a lie.

CUOMO: Did you not read or see anything else except what was on Fox, and Newsmax, and that whole ilk of right-wing propaganda?

ANTONIO: I can't recall everything that I saw. I will be honest. We're now how many months from it? This is my first time on live TV, too. So, it's one of those things where it's that I can't recall every single thing that I saw, that I heard, and everything like that. I can just say I believe what was being told to me.

CUOMO: Do you blame Fox? Do you blame--

HURLEY: Chris, may I say something?

CUOMO: Yes, hold on one second, Counselor.

Do you blame Fox? Do you blame former president Trump? Who do you blame?

ANTONIO: I blame myself. I take full accountability for my actions. And because of that, I have gone to God, and asked for forgiveness. I've praying "God, please forgive me. I take full responsibility for my actions."

I'm not - this isn't a cop-out, right? God tells us to come to him, and beg for forgiveness. And that's what I've done. And that's what I ask for America. I ask for America, to please forgive me.

I shouldn't have been there that day. I shouldn't have been involved on those Capitol steps. You've seen the pictures. There's no secret. But I pray like I pray to God that you please forgive me. And that's all I can really say.

CUOMO: When did you realize you had been misled?

ANTONIO: I've realized I've been misled a few days after, immediately after. What happened that day should not have happened. And I don't care who you are. What happened that day, and what I saw that day, should not have happened.

We should not attack law enforcement. We should not attack our American government. The Bible does say no violence. The Bible does say to follow the government, whether you believe them or not. And that's the stance that I hold.

And I regret my actions that day. I take full responsibility for them.

CUOMO: Counselor, I'm sorry, I cut you off. What did you want to say?

HURLEY: Don't be sorry for cutting me off.

What I wanted to say is, and what has been totally overlooked, in my presenting him to the public, for the purpose not of saying "Let him go," but for the purpose of saying the guy that walks away with the orange face is the guy that ought to be standing up here, and having the guts to admit what he's caused.

What Anthony did that has been overlooked is, and it's on video, on YouTube, he stood at the Capitol steps after telling the Police that he was going to try and calm the crowd down.

And you hear his voice crying out, "Be quiet, quiet down," and somebody hands him a bullhorn, and he says "This is supposed to be a peaceful demonstration. This is supposed to be a peaceful demonstration. Sit down."

They start circling him. They say "Are you a cop?" And he got out of the way for a moment.


You then see Anthony positioned in a doorway with his back towards the surging mob, and the Police standing in front of Anthony, as he's trying to use his body to prevent the crowd from getting to the Police. And that is in video. Your eyes will not lie to you.

CUOMO: No, it's true.

HURLEY: So, this guy that went down there, with no weapons, went down there, and tried to do the best he could. And like other rest of us, there was moments of weakness, where he didn't do just--

CUOMO: Well but--

HURLEY: --the right perfect thing.

CUOMO: Again, I'm not here to litigate the case, not because I can't, but because it's frankly not my interest. My interest is, understanding the motivation.

But to be very clear, Counselor, it's the moments of weakness, are all that matters, right? The client was also there doing lots of violent things with a tactical vest on and a Three Percenter badger, which is a question for you, Anthony.

I get one thing if you say "I'm a passive observer of all this information, I'm not even into politics. I didn't even vote in 2016 or 2020. But this was a, you know, the kind of faith that I had invested in myself with religion, that became misapplied." Then why did you have a tactical vest on? Why did you have a Three

Percenter badge? It's a bad group of people.

ANTONIO: So, to comment on the Three Percenter badge first, I honestly had no clue what that group was, or if that it was still a group.

I enjoy history. In school, I excelled at American history. And I had just assumed that Three Percenter meant people that, you know, I want to say basically founded America. I honestly really didn't fully understand what it meant.

And I will say, after that day, I fully ripped that off, and regretted every minute of having that on my vest.

CUOMO: Do you consider yourself--

ANTONIO: Tactical vest. CUOMO: Do you consider yourself a "White Pride" person? You think White people are--


CUOMO: --better than non-White people?

ANTONIO: No, absolutely not. I think--

CUOMO: Because that's what they're about. You know that right?

ANTONIO: --in God's eyes--

CUOMO: And I don't care how they define themselves.

ANTONIO: I did not know that.

CUOMO: Look, I know what we are in Jesus' eyes.

ANTONIO: I did not know that.

CUOMO: Everybody should know what we are in Jesus' eyes.

ANTONIO: I did not know that.

CUOMO: All right, because that's the point.

ANTONIO: Yes, we're all created equal.

CUOMO: Right. That's the problem, Anthony, is that you wound up doing something that is anathema to your faith. And I know that there were a lot of people in that crowd with you--

ANTONIO: I understand that.

CUOMO: --who call themselves "Christians." But anybody can call themself a "Christian." I could call myself an "Imam" right now.

ANTONIO: Absolutely.

CUOMO: It doesn't mean anything. We only know what we show.

And so, to the people who are going to watch this, tonight, and I'm one of them, who will say, "Yes, you're saying the right thing now. You're coached by a good lawyer, who's telling you this is your only way," what do you want to say to them?

ANTONIO: I wasn't coached by anybody.

CUOMO: "Well you got - you got a good lawyer."

ANTONIO: And I'm going to say I wasn't coached.

CUOMO: "So, he's telling you - so he's putting you in the right position."


CUOMO: What do you say to people who say that's what this is?

ANTONIO: I wasn't--

CUOMO: Positioning.

ANTONIO: Yes, I wasn't coached by anybody. I wasn't put in a position.

I want to say that I made a mistake. I truly made a mistake, a mistake that I wish I could take back. And I know I can't. But what I can do is show to people that if you've made a mistake, it doesn't define you, OK?

What defines you is how you are in God's eyes. And that's the stance I take through and through. That's coming straight from the heart that it doesn't that what you've done in your past does not define you, as long as you turn from it.

I'm not a white supremacist. I'm not a Three Percenter. I'm not all these things that the media is trying to paint me. I made a mistake. I put my faith in something other than God, and Jesus Christ. And that is the God's honest truth.

And I pray today that people can truly see that in me, because I wake up every day, with the faces of the people. And I regret it every single day of my life.

CUOMO: What do you want the--

ANTONIO: And that is the God's honest truth.

CUOMO: What do you want the people over at Fox, and what do you want the former president to know?

ANTONIO: Honestly?


ANTONIO: That we need unity that this world needs to unify. This country needs unity. And we need to stop being divided. And we need to come together, show love, show God's love, and be unified as one. And that's coming straight from my heart.

And that's what I not only want Fox, CNN, president - past president Donald Trump, I want the world to know because I understand the world's going to see this that we need unity, and we need to stop being divided.

And I understand that I was a part of what divided a lot of us. And I, again, beg for forgiveness every single day.

CUOMO: Anthony, I appreciate.

HURLEY: Chris, can you give me 30 seconds?

CUOMO: You - well yes, I'll give you the last word. Go ahead.

HURLEY: 30 seconds. That's all.

CUOMO: Go ahead.


HURLEY: I followed your career. I bought this shirt three years ago, because in 2001, I got kicked off of MSNBC, when they were auditioning me, as a legal correspondent, because I said BS, but I didn't use the initials.

I bought this shirt three years ago, and I thought "Someday, I may end up on Chris Cuomo's show," because I've watched your career. You're an excellent cross-examiner. You would have been a fantastic prosecutor.

Number one, I'm not a good attorney. I am a superb attorney. Number two, I am an honest attorney. Number three, I did not coach one single word or put it in his mouth. It's him and him alone.

Number four, in your leading question, you said "Well you've done a lot of violent things."

One, he got a facemask, to put it on, so he wasn't getting juiced in the eyes.

Two, he threw a bottle at a protester, who was going to pummel that cop. And because it went in the direction of the cop, they said he threw it at the cop, who was being dropped down to the ground.

Number three, he climbed in a window, and tried to put furniture up against the door, so the Police wouldn't come in, because he heard that somebody had been shot dead, and he was trying to prevent violence.

That is not doing a lot of violent things. Excellent questions, leading questions, but not accurate.

CUOMO: The answer goes to the accuracy.

HURLEY: Thank you.

CUOMO: Five felonies speak for themselves. I didn't mean "Coached" in terms of "Told what to say." But a good lawyer helps somebody how to put on their best representation of themselves in a case. That's what I mean.

Counselor Hurley, I appreciate you being here.

Anthony, thank you for taking the opportunity, OK?

ANTONIO: Thank you, sir.

HURLEY: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, be well. My next guest says the GOP was hijacked, and that this is part of the same dynamic, and that it is no longer the Grand Old Party and, in fact, it cost him his job. Charlie Crist is a Democrat now, and he's trying to unseat one of the loudest voices in the MAGA movement.

What does this mean about what's happened and where we're heading? Next.









CUOMO: So look, you only have to open your eyes, and see what's happening with Liz Cheney.

And again, be clear. I'm not canonizing Liz Cheney. I'm not saying that she's somehow some kind of perfect virtue-signaler for what our politics should be about.

I'm just saying she's an actual Republican, a conservative, who is unwilling to peddle the "Big lie." That's her virtue. That's what everybody given her this gold star for. She's just telling the truth about an obvious situation, and that warrants the death penalty in her party right now.

That's the only question is going to be, you know, after she loses her Conference leadership post, if that happens this Wednesday, well, then what? Can she even get elected again in that party?

This vote comes less than two weeks after Cheney and President Biden shared a fist bump, before his address to Congress. Now, some would see that as what it was, which was simple respect, right? But not these days. Not these days. It made her a target in Trump-land.

This is like when Governor Chris Christie, in New Jersey, hugged Obama, after Superstorm Sandy, for coming to the state, and recognizing the need.

Reminds of somebody else, you know who else knows the price? Florida Governor Charlie Crist. He was once Republican through and through. Everything about what he wanted, how he thought it should get done, and how he talked the talk.

Then he hugged Obama. And Chris says that hug killed his career as a Republican. He would go on to run unsuccessfully for Governor again, as a Democrat. It was a tight race. But the price was paid.

He's now a congressman. And he's trying once more to win the nomination for governor, and take on Ron DeSantis, who is strong in Trump-land. He joins us now.

It's good to see you, sir.

REP. CHARLIE CRIST (D-FL): Good to see you, Chris. Thanks for having me.

CUOMO: That kid Anthony is scary, OK, who was just on the show.


CUOMO: There are a lot of people, they won't put it the way he did, but they see, they hear, and they believe with a devout adherence.

And someone like you, you hug Obama, "that closet, Muslim, non- American, hater, and this and that," and all the other BS they get fed there, and how surprised were you at how real they take the delusion?

CRIST: Pretty surprised. I was raised here in St. Petersburg, Florida. My mom and dad raised me and my three sisters, to treat other people with respect, with decency, frankly, to practice the Golden Rule, you know? Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

And the notion that I would appear with a Democratic president, an African-American Democratic President, as a Republican governor, and the backlash I received from that, that was used in my subsequent campaigns against Marco Rubio, against Rick Scott.

That photograph of being hugged by the President, as a derogatory photograph, it was pretty shocking. I would have hoped that we would have been much more beyond that kind of politicization or utilization of race as a factor in a race.

But Chris, the harsh reality that we all know, I think, is that systemic racism does still live in our country, and it breaks my heart. I mean, all you have to do is look at the George Floyd case. And we know it's real. It's very, it's very sad.

CUOMO: Now, is it true that you don't really believe much differently, in terms of policy, concept of good governance, what should be demanded of taxpayers, that that's not you.


You didn't have some revival and decide that you want to be the next incarnation of the big deal. This is about what for you, changing parties, and wanting to take on DeSantis?

CRIST: Well, I changed parties about 10 years ago. And, as I said then, I'll say again now, I didn't leave the Republican Party. It left me. And look at it today. I mean, it's truly metastasized, if you will. What's happening to Liz Cheney is unconscionable. She's being demonized because she's being honest. I mean is that what it's come to? Evidently, so, at least temporarily, I hope. It's unbelievable.

No, I haven't changed. I am who I am. And I have always believed in trying to keep taxes low, supporting public education, I'm a public school kid, protecting the environment. It's hard as a Floridian not to care deeply about the environment. It's inextricably linked, after all, to our economy, tourism.

These kind of things I've not changed on. I really haven't. But I feel much more comfortable being a Florida Democrat than I did with my prior party.

And there's good Republicans. Don't misunderstand me Chris. And I believe they're out there, I know that they are, moderate, reasonably- minded people. But they're getting intimidated, as Liz Cheney is being intimidated, as we're watching this play out. And it's disturbing, and it's sad.

CUOMO: You think you can win the governor's race in Florida, if you say the words "Systemic injustice," or "Systemic racism"--

CRIST: Of course.

CUOMO: --against Ron DeSantis, who is making hay--

CRIST: Yes, well--

CUOMO: --by saying it doesn't exist.

CRIST: --so you got to factor that in Chris. But I really do believe in the goodness of people.

And I certainly believe in the goodness of my fellow Floridians. And I know there's more of them that believe in being decent to other people, whether you're gay, straight, Black, White, whatever country you come from, Greek immigrant grandfather, like mine.

It's really boils down to being good to each other. And I believe most Floridians believe that. I know it in my heart and soul.

I went shopping tonight at the Publix. I had to pick up a sandwich to get dinner. I've been campaigning all day, and on the phone.

And, so I go there, and people are incredibly kind, very nice, warm, frankly. And I don't know what party they were. They were just good Floridians. And I love them. And I appreciate them very much.

CUOMO: How strong a signal you're getting sent about what you're up against, in terms of how people see you as, I guess, what would you be, you'd be a traitor, you're a turncoat, whatever it is, and wanting to go against one of Trump's guys.

How strong is that feeling towards you? CRIST: To be honest, I don't feel that really at all. I mean, there's an element of it, Chris. I'm not naive. And I understand that that still exists to some degree.

But like I say, that's been about a decade ago, almost a lifetime ago, in politics, if you will. And I think people recognize that I'm a Florida Democrat. I'm still a fiscal conservative, social progressive. I really haven't changed.

I believe the things that I believe. I believe in doing unto others. And I believe in a bright future, certainly for the Sunshine State. And I know that Florida deserves better than what we're getting right now. We don't need a mini Trump in the Governor's Mansion.

CUOMO: DeSantis plays--

CRIST: And we do have that now.

CUOMO: --a lot of the same games.


CUOMO: Hearing that kid Anthony Antonio, again, people will believe him, or not believe him, whatever. I think that he is instructive of the point. I've heard of a lot of people, who are exactly like him. So, he's not a one-off.

What do you want the former president, and the current governor of Florida, to know about the tactics that are involved here, and what they're producing?

CRIST: That they're shameful. I mean, they really are.

I mean, our Governor signs the bill last week, that makes it harder for people to vote in our state, suppressing the vote, just what happened in Georgia, and what's happening in Texas, as you know.

If you're doing that, and you're the governor of the third largest state in the country, you're anti-democracy.

You're trying to keep people from voting, by making it harder for them to use mail-in ballots. I mean, my 88-year-old father, my 86-year-old mother love to use the mail in ballots. It's really anti-democracy and anti-seniors here in Florida.

I think it's a big political mistake, if you want to know the truth. Whenever you do things like that, and you overreach, and you try to suppress too much, or you don't listen to women, and their right to choose, these kinds of things come back to you. And I think that's going to happen in this race.

And if anybody wants to help, please go to, because we need the help.

CUOMO: I'll tell you who you're going to have against you, is the man who endorsed you in 2005 as being a great governor, Donald Trump himself. And that's something you'll have to contend with in this race if it gets competitive.

And we'll see how you do with that. And you will be welcome here to make your case to the people throughout.

CRIST: Thank you, Chris. I appreciate it very much.

CUOMO: Congressman Crist?

CRIST: Great to be with you.

CUOMO: Be well.

A cyber-attack, linked to a Russian criminal gang has crippled a key U.S. pipeline.

Now, I know this isn't getting the resonance. I know there's nothing sexy about attacking a pipeline. But you do understand, if you can manipulate the infrastructure of a country, you will bring it to its knees.


This pipeline controls the flow of fuel to most of the East Coast. Do you know what happens, if they had really brought it down, and not just compromised it for a while, for gas prices, the lines, the inconvenience, the anger?

It's one of the reasons infrastructure matters. And it's one of the reasons that stopping Russia from doing this really matters.

Now, the Senator, who's kind of like the godfather of cyber security, has been talking about this forever. And everybody always says, "Oh, yes, well, we all do it." Well, now what? Next.








CUOMO: The FBI says a criminal group, based in Russia, known as "DarkSide" is responsible for the cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline. Colonial Pipeline is the company that delivers nearly half of all the fuel used on the East Coast. The pipeline is still largely shut down as a result.

But the big concern, specifically, is going to be that you're going to see a spike in prices, why? Supply and demand, you get that. But, what about, the bigger price, of this happening again, and again, and more seriously, more seriously, because our infrastructure, really, isn't set up for this?


Ransomware attacks are on the rise. They're getting bigger, more sophisticated, outpacing anything we're doing to stop it. And as far as the FBI knows, this isn't even a state actor. It's just a criminal gang.

Now look, they know this stuff better than I do. And I've worked with the Cyber guys there for many years. But I have to tell you, there's not a lot that happens in Russia that the Russian government doesn't somehow have to tacitly or openly endorse.

The perfect guest to dive into this is Senator Angus King. He's Co- Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

Good to have you.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): Hey, Chris, good to be with you.

CUOMO: Yes, it's been too long. I hope you're well. I hope all the mothers in your life got their due yesterday.

KING: We had a great brunch with a lot of mothers, it was wonderful.

CUOMO: So let's do this Socratically. "I don't care. This is what people do. People hack all the time. America hacks. Japan hacks. North Korea, South Korea, Russia, you all do it to each other. This is what it is. And it's just not worth getting that upset about. They'll figure it out."

KING: No, it is worth getting upset about because Chris, we keep getting these wake-up calls, and we're not waking up.

I said somebody the other day we're looking at the longest wind-up for a punch in the history of the world. And we got one over the weekend. And we learn how vulnerable this pipeline system is. This is something I've been concerned with.

In New England, we get 60 percent of our electricity from gas that's brought into the region by pipeline. And yet, they don't have the same level of standards of cyber protection for the pipeline system that we have for the grid.

But Chris, there's another - there's a bigger picture here. Remember, we've all seen those posters from World War II. "Loose lips sink ships. Do your part. They're doing theirs" that kind of thing.

This is a new kind of conflict, where it's not battleships, and airplanes and armies. It's the private sector infrastructure that's at risk. 85 percent of the target space, in cyberspace is in the private sector. And that's what we saw this weekend. And we're about to see the kind of disruption. And if you want another sample, it's what happened in Texas, when the weather brought the grid down. But that could have just as easily been a cyber-attack. And that tells you what the kind of impacts it could have.

CUOMO: So, why is this the only kind of attack that never gets anybody angry, in America?

If this had been human beings, who did this, with any kind of Russia connection, we would be on the brink of Military conflict? God forbid, if this had been Arabs, or if these had been Muslim extremists, we would be on the brink.

But when it's cyber, nobody seems to care. Is there something--

KING: Well--

CUOMO: --we could do to stop it?

KING: Yes, we can quit being a cheap date. We can start responding. We can start imposing costs. And actually, the Biden Administration, about a month ago, did impose some serious sanctions on Russia, for the solar winds attack, last year. But we've got to up that game.

The sad truth is cyber is cheap. Putin can hire 8,000 hackers for the price of one jet airplane. So, what they're doing, they're going to keep doing now.

We don't know. As you pointed out, this is supposedly a criminal gang. But I'm not sure how you distinguish that, from whether or not they have some connection to the Russian government.

Actually, it was sort of humorous today. Apparently, this criminal gang has a website.

CUOMO: Right.

KING: And they went on their own website to say "We didn't have anything to do with the government. We just want the money." So it was pure ransomware.

Now, we can't confirm that whether it had anything to do with the government. But the point is people who are doing this kind of thing to our country should pay a price. And they should know that they're going to pay a price. And that's the only thing that will deter it.

Now, if this was a private - if this was a gang of some kind in Russia, if Russia was a responsible player, on the world scene, they would impose penalties. They wouldn't tolerate this happening within their border. And that's part of what has to happen here.

CUOMO: My promise, let's do another segment on this, when you figure out the right fixes.

For instance, Biden's got a huge price tag on the infrastructure bill. There is money for the power grid, but it doesn't address specifically cyber security. And you also have 85 percent of the infrastructure is privately-owned. So, you got to figure out how to get them to work in their own interests with government help.

I know you're going to be on the answer side of this. When you figure it out, when you want to come on, the answer is yes. All right, Senator?

KING: Will be there. And I've got - I've got some suggestions. We'll do it in phase two, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you, Senator Angus King, be well, always a pleasure.

KING: Thank you, sir.

CUOMO: All right.


The guy - let me tell you something. If you had a 100 Angus Kings, we would not be in the situation we're in right now. He's an Independent. He caucuses with the Democrats. But I've just known him for years. The guy is always straight. It is such a precious commodity now.

All right, there's not one Republican in Congress, who've voted to help Americans with Pandemic relief under Biden's watch. That is a fact, OK? Now, governors are trying to take aid away from the jobless, and the list is growing.

So, I have a BOLO for you, especially as Republicans are celebrating with one hand that they passed this, at home, and then taking it away with the other one, next.








CUOMO: Republican governors are seizing on Friday's job report to cut off aid to American workers.

We saw it today. Alabama, North Dakota, Mississippi, they joined Arkansas, Montana, South Carolina, all of them cutting off the extra $300 a week to unemployed Americans that comes as like the vig from the federal government.

The President is trying to push back with the power of the bully pulpit like this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So let's be clear. Our economic plan is working. I never said, and no serious analyst ever suggested that climbing out of the deep, deep hole our economy was in would be simple, easy, immediate, or perfectly steady.



CUOMO: The Treasury Secretary said the same thing, Friday.

Look, soon, we saw how disappointing April's job numbers were, right? You see that this isn't going to be a quick fix. Anything that takes a long time to get in, it's going to take the time to get out.

When you separate the R and the D, on this one, and look at the reality, you're going to see this rush to oppose. "The White House is playing politics with people's lives." That money matters for Americans, OK? It's a reflection of need, and also a reflection of how few people are paid well.

People are literally starving in this country, still. Look at the numbers. They are starving in a way - in a way we've never seen since we've been alive. That's the impact of $300 a week. It can keep you out of that.

When you get past the noise, you see people at the bottom, who need the $300 the most. They are the ones getting up and going back to work quicker.

That's because there are more hours available to work, especially at places like restaurants. Just because people pay $15 an hour, which again, is not like some king's ransom, doesn't mean they give you 40 hours.

Take a look at the spike in April. We're still not talking about 27 hours a week, right, for the average worker, much less 40, OK? So, it's time and money.

If the slowdown in April was about paying people too much, in unemployment, then how come in states that already cut assistance, we don't see better hiring numbers? The answer is more complicated than a politician chasing a headline.

Too many schools and daycares remain closed. What does that mean for parents? They got to wait. They can't work. They got to take care of their kids. Too many still don't feel safe going back to work. Why? Because the Pandemic was real, all right?

Think about every one of those videos you've seen on social media, people screaming at workers over masks, what kind of jobs to all those workers have? Lots of hourly workers are taking abuse. They're having a hard time. And they're scared, and for good reason. And most of them don't have the vaccine. For the bulk of the workforce, we're still talking about a third, around a third of people under 50, being fully vaccinated. Go back a month, those numbers are half of what they are now, OK?

So, it's not the extra $300. It's not all it is. Of course, it factors into people's decisions, especially when you don't have any money. It's taking that money away, especially right now, when they need it so much, because you think you're going to get them to stop being lazy?

It is so broken and so obvious. So, they got to choose between a virus that they're not really equipped for, and going back to a place where they're probably not getting paid as much, and relying on strangers for food and record numbers?

You want to talk numbers, let's talk numbers. I have somebody who knows them as well as anybody, Catherine Rampell.

What do you make, my friend? Good to see you. Happy Mothers' Day. What do you make of the idea that "You lazy bums! You're just on that government teat. And we'll get you off it, and get back to work." That's the argument. Do you buy it?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, WASHINGTON POST OPINION COLUMNIST: I think it's reasonable to believe that there are some workers who might be factoring into their decision, whether they go back to work, and what kind of jobs they take, what their outside options are.

And one of those outside options, of course, is to remain on more generous unemployment benefits than had been the case before the Pandemic.

So yes, I think it's reasonable to think that it's a factor that workers are considering, particularly, if the kinds of job offer or maybe even paying less what they could get on unemployment benefits.

But that said, it's one factor among many, that workers are probably weighing. You laid out a few of them, right?

If you don't have access to childcare, if schools are closed near you, or other childcare facilities are not really operational, don't have slots for your kids, it doesn't matter if there's a job on offer, doesn't really matter how well it pays, if there's no one to watch your 7-year-old, while they're doing their remote schooling, or what have you.

If you can't get to work, because a lot of areas of the country have cut back on public transit, hopefully, some of that will be reversed.

But in the meantime, if you are being offered a job that requires you to take a two-hour commute, on multiple buses, or whatever, it still may not be worth it to you, even if the job is offering $9 an hour, instead of $7.25 or whatever they had been offering before.

And then, as you point out, there are a lot of other reasons why jobs may not be super-attractive right now, or at least public-facing jobs. There's the risk of illness, particularly, if people aren't vaccinated, the workers themselves aren't vaccinated, or customers aren't vaccinated.

Workers have been kind of conscripted, whether they like it or not, into the culture wars, over mask-wearing. As you point out, there a lot of these high-profile videos of consumer - customers screaming at workers, even sometimes assaulting them.

There are a lot of reasons why these jobs may not be super-desirable to go back to.


You can change some of the financial calculus here. You can say, "OK, we'll take away your $300 a week financial supplement." But if there's still no one to watch your kid, then it will be very difficult for that particular worker to go back to work.

So, the compensation matters, particularly relative to unemployment benefits. I don't want to pretend it doesn't. But all of these other things matter too.

CUOMO: And it's also about why it matters, OK? It's as much a lens into how low the pay levels are, for workers, in these job spaces, as it is anything else.

Catherine Rampell, good to see you again. Appreciate you.

We'll be right back.

RAMPELL: Thank you.








CUOMO: I hope all the mothers and the mothers in your lives got their due yesterday.

Here's my mama. She got to see me. She's vaccinated. We're vaccinated. We don't have to keep the same distance that we had been. It was so good for the kids. But I'll be honest, it was better for me.

Mothers' Day really mattered this year. You know why? It's been so hard, one, right, in order to be with your loved ones. But the instruction and kindness, at the end of the day, what we all

value about our mothers, so much and so well, is that they've shown us love in action, and they've shown us how to deal with bad situations without being bad in them. And we need so much more of that right now.

I have my mom. And I want to bring in the big shot from "CNN TONIGHT," D. Lemon, because my wife absolutely likes him more than she likes me.