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Cuomo Prime Time

Rep. Cheney: I Will Not Sit Back In Silence; Congress Demands Answers From CDC On Shifting COVID Guidance; Brown Family Views Additional Bodycam Footage. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 11, 2021 - 21:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: It's a very important night. This is a pivotal night. And we're going to see which way it takes us. But the choices are pretty clear, and the determination of one side of the aisle is now more, clear, than ever.

Appreciate the coverage, Anderson. It's important to share this night with you. I'm privileged to be here.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

We have lived a lot of history in recent years. But you're going to have to remember tonight. Tonight, you witness the moment that the GOP decided to turn its back on self-government, and to become something less than that. We don't know what yet.

Liz Cheney gave a speech tonight in defense, not simply of her own fate, as number three in the leadership, but the fate of her party, and in a larger sense, our way of life.

Now, be clear. I'm sure the media will hype what she said. It was not revelatory. That's why it's so important. This wasn't about Liz Cheney, identifying ideas that we had never imagined, rhetoric that took us to a different place.

It was simple. She gave a simple statement of reality. Trump lost. And the big lie is just that, a lie. And when leaders refuse to stand for anything, all those whom they lead will fall for anything.

I want you to hear her main argument. No one who wants her out, remember this, has even tried to counter what you are about to hear. In fact, the entire Conference reportedly, the entire right side of the aisle walked out during her words.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Today, we face a threat America has never seen before, a former president who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol, in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence. Millions of Americans have been misled by the former president. They have heard only his words, but not the truth, as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.

Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution.

Remaining silent, and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that.


CUOMO: "Remaining silent and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar." We have all lived this truth. What they have ignored, on the Right, about Trump, they have now empowered, and they are owned by it, OK?

None of them stayed to listen to her speech. None of them are open to any idea other than what they are told to believe. And we'll discuss why.

One member, Representative Buck, was there. One member has come forward and said, since Buck, I don't even know what he thought of it, "Hey, I support what she said." One!

An insurrectionist openly admitted, on this show, last night, what Cheney is trying to get people in power to understand. Trump is a con. Listen to him.


ANTHONY ANTONIO, ACCUSED CAPITOL RIOTER: 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.

I went to Washington, like he called us to.

Maybe I believed that America was being robbed of - of a president, and I now know that that was a lie.


CUOMO: His excuse will be ignorance. The men and women in power do not have that excuse. Their explanation is only this, arrogance of self- interest. They know better.

The difference between these, that guy knows now that believing the lie got him in trouble, so he wants to talk about it. For the politicians, in Trump's pocket, they believe the opposite that supporting the lie is the way to avoid trouble in primaries.

Just listen to one, who has fallen the farthest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): To try to erase Donald Trump from the Republican Party is insane. And the people who try to erase him are going to wind up getting erased.



CUOMO: He is exactly right. Lindsey Graham is exactly right. He once condemned Trump as a con, and warned he would destroy the party. Now he is a Craven co-conspirator. But he just told you the truth.

The party has capitulated to the Man. Graham wants to stay in power, so he will not counter the Man. Say what you will about that decision. It is obviously a shameful bargain to strike. But it is exactly the kind of deal that Donald Trump loves to make.

And right now, the Party of Trump, and that's all they are now, Party of Trump, PoT, a pot filled with Trump tripe. I say this, not out of some sense of desire for more confrontation. We have plenty.

This is for the real Republicans out there. You are better than this. You are people who believe that conservativism means something, certainly something more than empty opposition.

Liz Cheney does not represent some far flung notion of you. That used to be what you all were. And now there is one? Your party is now all about supporting a lie, and destroying anyone who dares speak the truth. That's never what you said you were about. Never!

How can you stand for this, and for what gain? Who among you will make a stand for something bigger than Trump? You have the facts in your favor.

Tonight will not go away. It will be remembered, and not for the grandiosity of the moment, but for how low people were willing to go, and for what. It is not about the truth, it never has been.

Tomorrow, Trump's own former Acting Attorney General is expected to reaffirm the truth to Congress. How do we know? CNN obtained Jeffrey Rosen's prepared testimony.

He says in it, "During my tenure, the DOJ maintained the position publicly announced previously that the Department had been presented with no evidence of widespread voter fraud at a scale sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election."

You know what? I don't even like the statement. Why? "We were presented with no evidence." Oh, so you didn't look? "Evidence sufficient to change the outcome," oh, so there was proof.

You see where you are right now? You see where you are? You're in a position where nothing will be enough. Nothing!

Andrew Brown's family has been putting this untenable position of having to tell us what happened in that moment. You think there's any description that they can give that people on

your side of the aisle will not immediately say "Well, look at who said it. It's not true. Unless Trump says it, it's not true."

The facts are clear. But you are no longer about that. You are about what is desired. What do you desire?

The Party of Trump desires fear and division. MAGA itself was always a suggestion of going back. It was inherently regressive. "Great Again," when? When? When in America's history, has she been more free, more accepting, more understanding of what we're about here, when? Tell me.

Because we know where you want to go now. And I have to say you because this is your party, and until you stand up and say, "No, it isn't," this is where you are, this is who you are.

You are going back to the days, when this country was explicitly about color and class. You have 47 states, under your influence, of your party, introducing more than 360 bills to suppress the vote, particularly in minority communities.

Don't smile so fast, Red Hat brigade that is struggling to make it work. Yes, poor Black folks are going to get hit by this, but so are a lot of you. Poor is poor, my brother and sister.

And these are not about color, these laws, just like Jim Crow. They weren't explicitly about color. They were color-neutral. But class catches you just the same.

And you guys, White and Black, are going to be on long lines, long lines, with fewer people, and less time, to exercise your right, to fight for anything better in your life. You're going to be put in the back of the line again.

And then the Party of Trump defending a move like this means doing what they do most, and best, lie like Trump's main minion did today. Listen to this.



SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Those Jim Crow laws were drafted by Democrats. They were implemented by Democrats. And they kept Democrats in power.

This legislation, to use a phrase that has been popularized on the media recently, is Jim Crow 2.0.


CUOMO: This man is proof that politics makes you stupid. This is a debate champion, Ivy League twice over. And that is one of the stupidest arguments I can imagine.

He's right. They were Democrats. You know what they also were? Bigots. That's what they were. And you know who now owns that mantle? He does, because he stands for laws that are nothing but discriminatory, based on class, face and place.

Jim Crow laws were aimed at making it nearly impossible for Black Americans to vote, without ever mentioning color. The remedy is sitting in the House and the Senate, the For the People Act. It is the only way to change redistricting.

Why do you think you have 50 senators, on the Right side of the aisle, that represent less than 25 percent of this country? Think about that. 50 senators, half the Senate, a quarter of our population, why? Redistricting.

It's also why they are so extreme, because they're playing to a minority. And as long as they rig the game to have the districts the way they are, they can do that.

And the only thing that would stop them is some idea of pride, or higher purpose, or principle. And those are gone, because they have decided to mirror a man, who has never said those words, in deference to himself, while telling the truth.

The Rules Committee deadlocked tonight on whether to advance the voting rights bill. Democrats say they still have a procedural avenue to bring it to the floor. I hope they do.

People need to see where you are on this law, and why. This is not both sides. Oh, yes. Nobody's got a stranglehold on lowering our expectations and feeding our disaffection. That is for sure.

Left and Right give way to reasonable far too often, but not now. This is about one side aside being the worst I have ever seen. Never has one man, bent on lying, had so much power, over so many, at a time that mattered so much, in our modern history.

Liz Cheney tonight will be remembered for being the one person, a woman, to stand up and say to a group, of largely men, "You are cowards. And you have forgotten why we are here." The only question is what's going to happen next.

CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raja was there. I am right that it was just Buck in attendance? Nobody else would be there for it, is that true?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he was the one that was there. There were a handful of other Members, about five to 10 or so, who were on the House floor, who later left.

It's not totally unusual for that to happen. Typically, these speeches do happen late at night. When they do happen, there are not Members there. Members are typically only on the floor, during votes, themselves.

But one member who was not in the chamber, Chris was Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House, who had actually told me, earlier in the evening that he had spoken to Liz Cheney, just a few days ago, even as he is orchestrating her ouster tomorrow, something that will happen with also the support of Donald Trump. But what is interesting with Cheney's remarks is that she seemed to be making it very clear. Part of that was aimed at Kevin McCarthy himself.

She had said that "I will not sit back and watch in silence, while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law, and joins a former president's crusade, to undermine our democracy."

And I asked her, as she came off the floor, "Were you referring to Kevin McCarthy?" And she said, "I think my remarks speak for themselves. They're pretty clear about what's happening."

CUOMO: Right.

RAJU: So, it's clear what she intends to do, going forward too, which is call out her party, call out her leadership, but we'll see how they ultimately respond to that, Chris.

CUOMO: One quick thing. Of course, you're right, Manu, that ordinarily, as you get later into the night, you have less people.

This was no ordinary night. They know what's happening here. They have to understand the stakes. They knew these words were going to matter. They chose not to be present. I think it is going to be seen as exceptional, not more of the same.

What can you tell us about how the speech was received by the Conference? And how big a factor do you think it is that as with all leadership votes, in the Conference, it will be in private? Is there a chance that them not having to be shamed in public might save her?

RAJU: It's unlikely because in just talking to a wide array of Republicans, even the ones who had supported her last time, they're making pretty clear they want her out.


And they, even though, they will say that even if some might actually agree with her, to the election, "No, it was not stolen, and that yes, Donald Trump is lying about the election," they view her, her fight with Donald Trump, as a distraction.

Rightly or wrongly, that is their argument going forward. And that means that ultimately they are going to ultimately join the efforts to oust her.

And Cheney recognizes that this is happening too, Chris. She is not trying to whip votes behind the scenes. She sees where this is going. She sees Kevin McCarthy working the vote, and expecting this to go down.

And Chris, I'm expecting - I'm hearing that this is going to go pretty quickly tomorrow.

It's possible that this may not be a long drawn-out affair, like we saw the last time, when she did survive that vote, in February. And she did work that behind the scenes, for weeks, as she - after she voted to impeach Donald Trump, knowing this effort to ouster was coming.

This time, she sees the writing on the wall. The Republican leadership has turned against her. The former president has rallied support on his side. And everyone sees what's happening here.

Then the question is going to be her likely replacement, at least Stefanik, who is going to be likely vote on later this week, Chris, but also she is facing some backlash, from the Right, over her more moderate record. But still, that is still enough most members will look past that for one reason, and one reason why.

CUOMO: Right.

RAJU: She has the support of Donald Trump.

CUOMO: As soon as he says this is the person, they will all shut up. You and I have seen this in other countries. We've never lived it, as obviously as we are living it right now. And I never thought I would.

Manu Raju, thank you very much.

And let's be very clear. Before the cynics among you say "Hey, come on. Look? It's politics. She's fighting with the main guy, and she's got to go," I know. I grew up in the game, brothers and sisters, all right? I know it. I'm living with my brother's situation right now. I get politics, and how it works.

What I'm saying is, this is about somebody standing up to say "You're lying to people," OK? This is different than anything else we've ever seen. It's never been "He wants to tax. I don't want to tax. He wants to go to war. I don't want to go to war."

He is lying about the fundamental exercise of our democracy. And they all know it. None wants to stand. Mr. Big Brain Cruz, he did not get up and say "Here are the facts, and she is wrong."

Who will rage against the dying of the light in what used to be the Republican Party?

When we come back, we'll talk to people who were there. We're going to go to members of relevant station, and we're going to figure out what this means, because tonight will matter. Stay with CNN.








CUOMO: Now, we want to talk about why this is happening.

Liz Cheney gave this speech tonight. It's going to be remembered as a pivot point for a long time, the one woman to stand up and tell the truth. The one woman who would stand up and tell the truth, and it's going to get her kicked out of the party.

18 percent of the U.S. population affects 52 percent of the U.S. Senate. They are fighting for a shrinking slice of people, who are afraid, mostly White, and mostly fed misinformation. They are trying to do the same thing on the House side with redistricting.

Obviously, you know how Congress works. The Senate, two people for every state. But the states, 18 percent of the population of those States, 52 percent of the government. That's what's motivating this, is that they are fighting for a small slice. That's what explains it.

95 percent of Republican districts in the House of Representative are majority White. That's why they are fighting for the districting and redistricting. They want to control the game, and they want to demonize the other.

And we have seen this before. We just didn't think we'd see it again, not this way. But we have. And where will it lead us?

Jamie Gangel. Ana Navarro.

Now, Jamie, you have some reporting about the vote scheduled for tomorrow. I had suggested that "Maybe because it was a leadership vote, and in private, it may help her stakes." Manu Raju says "No."

What do you know about her planned disposition and anything else?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: She fully expects to be ousted tomorrow. She expects it will be a lopsided vote.

Earlier, someone was talking about, Chris, maybe it was Manu, that the GOP Conference wants her out because she's a distraction. I would say the word is "Embarrassed." They do not want to be reminded day in and day out about what she's saying.

And I think the most important thing about the speech tonight is she believes Donald Trump remains a threat. That's why she gave this speech. It was dignified. It was confident. But it was really a speech of conscience.

CUOMO: Understood. And I accept the premise. But I think it's actually a little bit darker than that.

And that's why I'm very lucky to have my friend, Ana Navarro, with me tonight, because you grew up in a place. You know exactly what's happening here. You know what happens when everybody is afraid of one. And he looks at

them and says, "What are you going to do about the others?" That's what's happening here with Cheney, Ana. I know you've seen it for some time.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You're right. Listen, I grew up in Nicaragua. And I fled communism and populism. And I live in Miami, where there are so many Cuban political prisoners, people who stood unconscious, and who paid the consequences.

She referenced a Cuban political prisoner in her speech today. What I saw today was a display of courage that we barely ever see on the floor of Congress anymore.


And listen, Liz Cheney was speaking not to her colleagues. They have no shame. They can't - they can't even be embarrassed because in order to be embarrassed, you have to have shame. And those cowards lost their spine and their shame a long, long time ago. It's in storage, in Mar-a-Lago.

Today, she was speaking to the American people. She was speaking to other Republican voters. But I also think she was speaking to history. I saw a woman at peace.

And you know what, it reminded me, Chris, of Margaret Chase Smith, another woman, who was the first - the first senator, who spoke up against Joseph McCarthy, in 1950.

And it reminded me of Lawrence Hogan, the father of Governor Hogan, who was one of the only Republicans, to break with Nixon, and recommend the articles of impeachment.

And so listen, Donald Trump's name is already in infamy. Kevin McCarthy, he's going to be a pimple on the butt of history.

But Liz Cheney will be remembered as a profile in courage. And her children, her five children, Grace, Kate, Philip, Elizabeth, Richard, will be very proud to be her children, will be very proud of their mother.

And in the future, we will be speaking about Liz Cheney, the way we speak about Margaret Chase Smith today, the way we speak about Lawrence Hogan.

And the others? The others are not even worth mentioning. They're just an embarrassment to the country, to democracy, and they don't deserve the title of Congress people or leaders.

CUOMO: Well, they have them. And the only concern I have is that Senator Margaret Chase Smith that you're talking about, she came in when McCarthy was about running out of steam.

This is just getting going, Jamie. This is just getting going. This is their newest motivation to put into place Trumpism. And that's what it's going to be.

Now, you have heard that this is actually part of a strategy for Cheney, not that she wanted to get ousted, but that she has no intention of going away, and that she believes there is a play to be had here. How so?

GANGEL: No question. This is part of a long game. And she is going to keep going after Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy, and anyone, in the Republican Party, who tries to propagate the big lie.

The real question is, look, she is clearly, as Ana just said, effective. She is in the Republican Party considered a true conservative. But Donald Trump either hijacked the Republican Party, or the Republican Party was sitting there waiting to be hijacked.

I think the question now is can anyone, even Liz Cheney, wrestle the Republican Party back from Donald Trump?

Or will this be an effort to take all the disaffected Republicans, the Never-Trump Republicans, the people who used to be registered as Republicans, who now call themselves Independents, and possibly have to start a new party?

CUOMO: Hey, Ana, let me do us a solid here. I was - I was looking this up.

I was listening, Jamie. I can do things - two things at once. I'm only half as dumb as I look.

Margaret Chase Smith, this was June 1, 1950. Senator--


CUOMO: --Senator from Maine. This speech was called the "Declaration of Conscience." And in it, she said a very famous line.

"To displace the Democrats with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation.

The Nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on "the Four Horsemen of Calumny - Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear."

Those are the words that ring as true today, and are being revisited upon us. You got three people on your screen right now, have lived a lifetime of politics.

Ana grew up at a place like this. Never thought she'd see it again.

Jamie and I have never seen anything like where we are tonight.


CUOMO: Thank you, my friends. I appreciate the perspective. And thanks for reminding us of what bravery has looked like in the past, and once again tonight.

We're going to take a break.

NAVARRO: Chris, send me a link to that - send me a link to that - to that--

CUOMO: You got it.

NAVARRO: --sentences you just read.

CUOMO: You got it.

The CDC - look, all of this flows together, OK? Because once you decide that you can tell people not to believe whatever you want, when it suits your convenience, that's exactly what happens. And that's why this Pandemic has taken so damn long.


However, what is our job? You got to call it straight. And you have to show where there are inconsistencies, and where it should have done better. Here's one for you.

As you know, I've been saying here, I think they're too tight on people who get vaccinated. I don't think that the numbers suggest the kind of caution that they're asking us to keep up, especially when they want to incentivize people. So, what's the basis for it?

Risk of outdoor transmission, OK? They say "It's low, but you know it could happen." Maybe that's not true. Maybe they're being too conservative. Maybe the reality of the science, as we know it, suggests a little bit more of an ambitious nature than we're getting from the experts.

Let's talk to Dr. Osterholm. He knows. Next.








CUOMO: Look, facts matter. Truth matters. And that means that you don't cover for an agency just because it's under attack by people who are trying to push lies. You got to keep it straight, as this.

"The New York Times" reporting that the CDC's numbers, on the risk of catching COVID outdoors, are misleading at best, what does that mean? Well, we've been working on the assumption that, quote, less than 10

percent of transmission happens outdoors. However, it is just as likely that the transmission percentage is less than 1 percent.


Why? Why didn't they update it? Is this about them Big Brothering us, and trying to keep it safer, longer? I could understand it. But it's not honest.

Remember, it also took them months to update the guidance, telling us COVID is airborne. Remember, aerosolization, the word we all had to learn how to say, and that it wasn't all about wiping down surfaces.

Now, look, I know that all of us still live in an environment, where all these new helpful people cleaning everything off, everything's getting cleaned all the time. But now, the guidance is that that's not really what it's about. Guidance for summer camps, and masking.

I submit to you playing it too cautious and confusing, look, better than lying about the risk. And I know this is dangerous to do, because you got the other side trying to pretend that there is no risk. That is the danger. But we have to play it straight.

Now here are the Republicans, even moderate ones, now taking shots at the agency.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I used to have the utmost respect for the guidance from the CDC. I always considered the CDC to be the gold standard. I don't anymore.


CUOMO: Now, here's my problem with Senator Susan Collins. I have much respect for her. I've dealt with her for many years. I keep inviting her on the show. She doesn't come.

The CDC is not the gold standard anymore for you, Senator. I understand. But you sit quiet, while your party takes the gold standard, and makes it a crap standard, where you're all about pushing a lie.

You don't stand up and say anything that brave about it. And I know why. I know you had trouble home. I know you think there's more trouble to come. I know it's easier to keep your head down.

And I'm not accusing you of anything Craven. I've seen you stand up. I've seen you be brave. But now is the time to be counted.

And I don't understand where you believe that you're on high ground, talking to the CDC, about them playing it too safe, when you belong to a party that wants people to believe that there was never any risk. I don't understand it. And you're free to come on and explain it.

For some more context on the numbers, let's bring in Dr. Michael Osterholm.

Doctor, good to have you.


CUOMO: You're not a politician. I understand the influence of wanting to play it safe, in a pandemic.

But when you look at the lag in suggestions about you can get it on the surface versus it's aerosol, and outside it's 10 percent, really, it's 1 percent, how do you explain the distinctions?

OSTERHOLM: Well, first of all, I think you've said it very well. And it's sum - you can sum it up by saying "Just tell the truth."

And when you know what you know, state why you know it, what the data do - are the support that. And if you don't know, say why you don't know it, and what you're going to do to find out the information.

And all of us, who want very much to have a strong, and well-respected CDC would say that they've had a rough year.

They have, unfortunately, not updated their information, whether it be about the aerosolization, and aerosols, whether it be about surface contamination, and what that risk that pose, and even about the issue of outdoor air.

And so, this is the time that I hope that Dr. Walensky and others in CDC will take a close look at themselves, and say, "We must do better. The Nation depends on it. And this is what we're going to do to make it better."

CUOMO: Now look, they won't admit this, but you've been in the game for a long time. And this is what happened.

They got banged on the mask. They got banged on the mask. In the beginning, they said "No, don't wear a mask. Save it for the people who only need it. This doesn't work that way."

And the Republicans have been beating them over the head with that ever since. And they don't want to give them any more opportunities. But see, but that's playing politics, not science.

And now the risk is, by questioning the CDC guidance, you embolden people on the Right who say, "See? See? Listen to Osterholm. He agrees with us. They've been lying to you the whole time. There's never been any risk. Let's all go back and get back out to life."

What do you say?

OSTERHOLM: Well, first of all, they didn't lie. Let's just be really clear about that. And you can ascribe whatever motive you want. But their science surely didn't keep up with what was evolving, in terms of our own studies, and the facts that we had, about the virus. So that part is true. They needed to do a better job of communicating. I mean, you and I would say there are days that we don't do the best job of communicating. We can do better. They must do better.

This does not give anyone license to say that somehow there has been cheating, or that there has been some intentional effort not to tell the truth. They just have not given us the most current evolving information. And that's got to change.

CUOMO: To people who will take this, weaponize it, and say, "And this is why you shouldn't take the vaccine. You can't trust these guys. They don't even know what they're talking about. They're going to tell you in five months, it may give you bumps on the top of your head," what do you say?

OSTERHOLM: Well, I think we've all been telling the truth about this vaccine.


Frankly, it's one of the most amazing public health accomplishments, in my career, to think that we have now over 280 million doses, in people's arms, and the safety record of the mRNA vaccines, and even to the extent the adeno vaccines, the number of cases that we're preventing every day of COVID-19, and the number of deaths.

Look what's happened with those 65 years of age and older in this country, and particularly those in long-term care, the death numbers have plunged, because of this vaccine. So, I think we just have to keep coming home, hitting it with data.

I learned a long, long time ago, as a young boy, in Iowa, "Just tell the truth and it always work for you." And I think that's what you just keep doing with the vaccines, just tell the truth.

CUOMO: Dr. Michael Osterholm, thank you very much.

OSTERHOLM: Thank you.

CUOMO: Now the problem is we're in an environment where the truth is called a lie, and it's done out of convenience. And if you say it enough, and you get enough people to believe it, then what becomes the truth? That's the scary part.

And we're living it in different places, the Pandemic that's been at play. Trump told you it was a hoax. Why? Because it suited him. He made the wrong play.

Had he not bet on the economy, seeing how you don't really vote on that anyway, and voted on the Pandemic, and he decided to own it, he'd probably still be president.

We even see it in our policing. Andrew Brown, now the family has been able to see a lot more, like 18 minutes of video. They have hours of video. But they got to see 18 minutes. Why was the family put in the position of having to be the arbiter of what happened, for the rest of this country?

So, we have somebody, who knows what they saw, to discuss what they believe the facts are. And we'll have that discussion, next.









CUOMO: So, what is the truth of what happened to Andrew Brown in North Carolina? His family members and their attorneys finally got an extended look at the bodycam and dashcam footage, from Brown's deadly encounter, with Sheriff's deputies, nearly three weeks ago.

A judge only allowed them to view a 20 minute approximately portion of nearly two hours of available footage. Why?

Still, the Brown family after seeing what they saw maintains this was an unjustified killing.


CHANCE LYNCH, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: When the first shot fired, he was sitting in his car, and then he began to back up. At no time did we see him go towards a Sheriff deputy at any time.

The first shot was fired. And what we saw was after it was fired, he began to back up, because he wanted to get out of there.

And when his car was clearly across the yard, at all times, what we saw were Police officers standing on the pavement, unloading their weapons. They - there were so many shots, that we found difficulty in counting the number of shots that his vehicle received.


CUOMO: Now look, this is what we heard from a neighbor across the street, right after the incident. The question is why can't the rest of us see it?

For more, on this, Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, one of the attorneys, for the Brown family.

Thank you for joining me, Counselor.

CHANTEL CHERRY-LASSITER, ANDREW BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me - for having me, Chris.

CUOMO: Counselor, what's your best reckoning of why a judge carved out a relatively small amount of the overall body of information, and limited the number of people, who could see it, even within the family.

CHERRY-LASSITER: I'm not sure, Chris. This has been going on, from the beginning.

When we first saw this - the snippet, the 20 seconds that they first showed the family, it was a lot of confusion about who could go in, and how long we could be in, and different miscommunications, from the information that we were given.

And here again, today, we were able to see more of the footage, but it was still redacted. And again, co-counsel, Chance Lynch, was able to go in with the two sons, the two older sons, and to still see a small portion of this two - approximately two hours or more that could have been shown, but we saw, again, a snippet, still.

CUOMO: Do you think that you saw enough to make a determination about whether or not this was a justified shooting?

CHERRY-LASSITER: From what we saw, it was not - it was very unjustified. And we did see, again, the same - the same thing that we saw last time. It was the direct shot to the back of the head, as he was driving away, so that that was still shown today.

CUOMO: The prosecutor, not that it is his job to do so, introduced and offered it up to the public, in court that Mr. Brown went at the officers, in his vehicle, and as you well know, and the audience should know, a vehicle can be considered a deadly weapon, when used that way, twice.

Was that confirmed by anybody in anything that was seen today?

CHERRY-LASSITER: No, Chris. That was not confirmed. It was not confirmed when I saw the video. And it was not confirmed today either.

The footage that was shown to the family today show that Mr. Brown in no time made any contact with the officers. He backed away from the officers. It seems he intentionally tried to avoid the officers.

So, he did not make any purposeful contact with the officers, as was stated by the District Attorney.

CUOMO: Two more things. One, how do you justify - not justify - how do you explain, in your experience, in what you saw here, why there was such a field of fire put against this man, who was well-known to Police.

They've dealt with him before. They knew him well enough to say he had a history of resisting arrest. Just heard Counsel say that it was almost a countless number of bullets.

What do you think accounted for that degree of force? CHERRY-LASSITER: We are not sure. Even the fact that he was backing away, and trying to save his life, and leaving the scene, not sure what - how they felt they need to unload their weapons onto a man that was clearly not a threat. Not sure what that process was in that situation.

CUOMO: What do you make of the family being put in this position, where they have to make the case, to the public, about what happened to their own loved one, because nobody else is allowed to see the video?


CHERRY-LASSITER: This is very - I said earlier, it's very traumatizing. The older son, Khalil, had to go through this twice, so he had to watch his father be shot to death, more than twice, because he watched the video a number of times, but on two separate occasions.

So, he went with me, when we watched it together, back on in April, on the 26th, and then again today, he was in there again. So, very traumatizing for a young man to see his father murdered over and over again.

I can't imagine how he's feeling, how the other son that was in there, Jha'rod, is feeling, seeing this over and over again. It has to - it has to be a traumatic experience for them.

CUOMO: Yes, we're trying to get state authorities to bring the video up. I mean, look, they absolutely have the right to see it, as the victim's family. I just don't know why they've been put in the position of being the only ones to see it. It seems like an undue burden.

Counselor, thank you very much for being with us, I appreciate you.


CUOMO: Send my best to the family.


CUOMO: All right. We'll be right back.







(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: BOLO, Be On the Look-Out. Gas stations all across the Southeast are running out of fuel. Drivers are making things worse by panic- buying, at the pump. Why? The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. The 5,500 mile system moves nearly half of all the fuel on the East Coast.


Stocks tumbled, as gas prices ticked up, $2.98 today, highest level in nearly six years. It's one of the hardest hit thing on a household.

Hoarding feared. Some are feeling the impact more than others. Demand jumped up by more than 40 percent in Florida, Georgia, Virginia and The Carolinas. Unlike the Gulf Coast states that can rely more on shipments from tankers, these states in much of North Florida have limited options, in terms of delivery.

Tonight, four States have declared a state of emergency that allows governors to do things like lifting fuel regulations to help with supply, suspending gas taxes.

But this is all about something bigger. It's about security. How vulnerable are we? The Homeland Security Chief said today the threat isn't imminent - it's not imminent. It's now. It's upon us.

The number of attacks are growing. The longer we fail to shore up our infrastructure and cybersecurity the more vulnerable, the more of this you're going to see. Hey, Congress? How about on this, can you do your damn job? BOLO.

We'll be right back.








CUOMO: One quick thing about how you process tonight. This isn't about Liz Cheney telling us something we didn't know. The truth is obvious. It's not about everybody getting on the same page with the truth. The truth is obvious.