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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Trump Vows To Deploy U.S. Military If States Can't Control Protests; Interview With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI); Trump Vows To Deploy U.S. Military If States Can't Control Protests; George Floyd's Death Ruled A Homicide By Medical Examiner; Seventh Night Of Protests Over George Floyd's Death As Trump Vows We Are Ending The Riot And Lawlessness. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 01, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BERNARD SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: Which is to report the news, gather the news and report it. To do it fairly and in a balanced way. That's done 24/7, seven days a week.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, well, Bernie, I appreciate your time. I am grateful for you being here tonight. I know all our viewers are as well. I thank you.
SHAW: Thank you.
BURNETT: And we will all continue to try to do that job as best we can. With that, I hand it off to my colleague who does that every night as well -- Anderson Cooper.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We are witnessing a failure of presidential leadership at a time when this country, when we, the people need it more than ever perhaps in our lifetime.
Tonight, with flashbang grenades going off and teargas in the air, the President of the United States, a wannabe wartime President had what he hoped was his MacArthur moment, his Paton promise, calling himself our law and order President.
He said, he will send active duty military troops into American cities and states to dominate, his words, dominate demonstrators in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd a week ago.
What happened in this pas hour would be comical if it wasn't so dangerous and so destructive. The President spoke from the Rose Garden and even as he declared himself, quote, "the ally of peaceful protesters," troops, Secret Service members and members of police were moving on what until moments before had been a peaceful crowd at Lafayette Park across from the White House.
You're seeing what happened right there. That had been a peaceful crowd.
Throughout his brief remarks, forces of what he called law and order were creating chaos unlike anything seen in Washington in decades. As you listen to what the President said, we're going to show you also
what was happening at the exact same moment just a couple hundred yards away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am mobilizing all available Federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.
Therefore, the following measures are going into effect immediately. First, we are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now.
Today, I have strongly recommended to every Governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.
Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.
If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States Military and quickly solve the problem for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, a lot to unpack there. The President threatening to use unprecedented military force on U.S. soil while offering a preview of it on the streets of Washington.
Now, you might wonder why did the police -- why were they ordered to move on protesters at that moment? Obviously, the President wanted a photo-op. And in a moment right after he spoke, we learned exactly what that photo-op would be.
The President wanted peaceful protesters, the kind he said he just supports. He wanted them out of the way for his photo-op. It was simultaneously outrageous and dangerous.
That's the President starting his very short walk to a nearby church. With him were Ivanka Trump, who you'll probably see at one moment. She is in high heels clutching a white purse. The Defense Secretary was there. Mark Meadows, the new Chief of Staff -- all of them in eye very kind of scattered brain way walking to a nearby church foray photo-op.
And then I want to show you what actually happened once the President got to the church. Even if it meant teargassing peaceful protesters, hitting them with flashbangs, pepper spray and rubber bullets, somebody handed the President that Bible, and then he stood there and that was it. That was the photo-op.
The church itself is shut down. We're a great country. That's my thought. That was his photo-op. And then really awkwardly, he asked the Attorney General, the Defense
Secretary, and really anybody else he could kind of get to come in to, Kayleigh McEnany was dragged into this photo-op.
To stand in front of St. John's Episcopal Church, not to pray, not to confess, certainly. We know the President doesn't do that. You know, he wanted to stand outside, hold up the Bible and have photos taken of himself with his Cabinet members.
It was surreal. A photo-op at the church that he rarely attends. His daughter and son-in-law also on hand.
Let me just say something about what the President has just shown us. The President of law and order as he now calls himself, which is how he pronounced himself, and then he claimed a power he doesn't really have.
He can't send the military into every state. That's not law and order.
COOPER: What the President doesn't seem to know or care is that the vast majority of those protesting, they, too, are calling for law and order.
A black man killed with four officers holding him down, a knee to the neck for more than eight minutes, nearly three minutes of which he was no longer conscious for, that's not law and order. That's murder.
Stopping and frisking a young black man simply because he is a young black man, that's not law and order.
The killing of George Floyd, Eric Garner, the torture of Abner Louima, that's not law and order. The President seems to think that dominating black people, dominating peaceful protesters is law and order. It's not.
He calls them thugs. Who is the thug here? Hiding in a bunker? Hiding behind a suit? Who is the thug?
People have waited for days for this wannabe war-time President to say something and this is what he says, and that is what he does.
I've seen societies fall apart as a reporter. I've seen people dying in the streets while protesting. I've seen countries ripped apart by hate and misinformation and lies and political demagogues and racism. We can't let that happen here.
Of course, violence is no answer, but people protesting deserves answers, and they haven't gotten them. No matter how many black men have been murdered, lynched, imprisoned, mistreated, redlined, blackballed from jobs -- we all know it.
People protesting in the streets, they know it and they're tired of it. And we should be, too. There's a curfew in New York tonight at 11:00 p.m., and we remember
another curfew, August 1943. That was the last time there was a curfew like this in the city and you know what that curfew was caused by? 1943, a white police officer shooting a black soldier.
The years change, the decades go by, and the sad truth remains.
Let's go first right now to CNN's Alex Marquardt who is on the street in the crowd just as the mayhem broke out in Washington, I shouldn't say mayhem broke out, the peaceful protesters were pushed out and that's what caused mayhem.
He is with the protesters now and the police line. Alex, explain what you have seen? What's going on now?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I'm with the few protesters who remain, Anderson.
The President in his remarks said that the 7:00 p.m. curfew would be strictly enforced, and it has been.
This was a curfew that was put down by the Mayor of Washington, D.C., not by the Federal government, of course. And now the streets, at least around the White House where I have been for most of the day, are predominantly controlled -- well, certainly controlled, but predominantly occupied by law enforcement.
What you're looking at here is a row of D.C. Metropolitan Police. We have just been pushed back from the intersection that you can see down there where there's a lot more police.
They carried out this maneuver. It was almost like a lasso, allowing the press to go out, but wrapping around the remaining protesters and presumably arresting them. They are still up there.
Anderson, you were mentioning the made for TV moment that we heard -- that we saw earlier. It was extraordinary in the moments leading up to that speech by the President in which he declared that he was the law enforcement President.
On cue, the police forces in the police, so D.C. National Guard and U.S. Park police along with Secret Service, they pushed forward and started aggressively pushing the protesters away from the park.
They didn't use -- it wasn't just a, please move away, we're getting close to the curfew kind of thing. It was with force. It was with horses, it was with teargas, it was with pepper spray. It was with rubber bullets.
I saw an older man getting cornered in an entryway. He was getting fired upon with rubber bullets.
Protesters going out trying to help him under a hail of rubber bullets. They managed to carry him away. He looked like he was having some heart trouble. So some incredibly disturbing scenes playing out here, Anderson tonight. It is the kind of thing you noted in your remarks earlier, it's the
kind of thing that I have also seen in places like Turkey, in places like Egypt, between Israelis and Palestinian.
These are not countries we should want to be compared to. It was an understatement to say that -- to compare the President's remarks that I was listening to in my ear with the scenes that were unfolding in front of me, to say that that was surreal is certainly an understatement -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, well, el-Sisi is the President's favorite dictator. Apparently, that's what the President said to el-Sisi. Alex Marquardt, thanks very much.
CNN's Jim Acosta watched this from the Rose Garden. He joins us now. Jim, have you seen anything like this?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, Anderson. It was an extraordinary moment, and you know, we were standing there in the Rose Garden waiting for the President to start speaking and you could hear the explosions coming from this police and military action that was taking place on the streets of the Nation's Capital to clear out these protesters from Lafayette Park so the President could have this photo-op.
And then the President launched into his address. He described himself as a law and order President and threatened to use military force to stop these protests if these governors don't use the National Guard, and we sort of saw all of that play out in real time.
ACOSTA: Just before the President's remarks, there were military vehicles rolling into the White House complex. They unloaded those forces, and then those forces cleared out the park so the President could take this walk.
At one point, I asked the President, how can you defend clearing out a park of protesters for a photo opportunity? He did not respond.
A couple of times, I tried to ask that question. He did not respond. But keep in mind, Anderson, and you're watching this video now of the President walking through Lafayette Park. You know, this is a park where the protesters have been lined up for days now protesting against the death of George Floyd and it was just completely emptied out.
It's just extraordinary what was done here. And just to echo what Alex Marquart was saying, we've had this discussion over the last couple of hours of the President potentially using the Insurrection Act of 1807 to help quell a domestic disturbance, that's not what occurred here.
COOPER: Jim, the thing also --
ACOSTA: They were used to create a photo opportunity for the President so he can hold up a Bible. COOPER: Yes, and Jim, and this photo opportunity -- Jim, this photo
opportunity, he didn't know what to do once he got there. This thing was so badly thought out. They just --
ACOSTA: Yes. This was ham handed. No question about it. This was bad reality television. This wasn't even good reality television.
And the sad state of affairs that we are dealing with tonight in the nation's capital, Anderson, is that we have now witnessed the President of the United States operating outside the bounds of U.S. Law and the tradition of what we know to be our democracy, which is the United States government does not use the military against civilians in this country unless there is a damn good reason.
This just wasn't a damn good reason. All we ended up with was the President of the United States looking like a wannabe dictator, so he could walk over to a church and pretend to be concerned about the church. It's just a sad and unbelievable thing.
COOPER: It's like in some small country that's taken over by some low- level lieutenant -- low-level colonel who gets on the airwaves and declares himself the law and order President, and then you know, has a big show of a photo op. But there is no there, there because the church is closed, and he is just standing there with the Bible.
What does the Defense Secretary -- what is Barr doing? What is the Attorney General doing walking over with this? Why is there a uniformed military person walking behind the President going over there, like it's this mob?
ACOSTA: It's a very good question, Anderson. And the Defense Secretary Mark Esper was talking about this earlier today and talking about these protests as battle spaces, as if the people in these areas protesting are enemy targets. They're not. They are American citizens.
And on top of that, you asked about the Attorney General. I snapped a picture of the President walking out with Jared and Ivanka and all of these officials and Bill Barr, the U.S. Attorney General had a big smile on his face.
COOPER: Of course.
ACOSTA: Why is he smiling after they cleared a park of protesters out there with teargas? It's just -- it's hard to wrap your head around. But we are descending into something that is not the United States of America tonight. There is just no other way to put it.
COOPER: Also, at a time when you're trying to kind of reach out to all the people in America, for the President to do this, you know, and his all-white coterie hanging outside a closed-down church.
I don't know what message he thinks he is sending. But it's clear who he thinks he is sending it to and what voters he thinks he is sending it to, which is, you know, I mean, it seems that this is based on, you know, he talked about the Second Amendment. That's the right he is talking about protecting, as opposed to talking
about protecting people's Civil Rights, about protecting the rights of everyday Americans, you know, to not be killed or not be suspected of a crime just because of the color of their skin.
ACOSTA: The right of George Floyd not to be killed by the police, absolutely, no question about it. I think, Anderson, one of the things that has to be remembered in all of this is that President Trump, Donald Trump did not do this by himself tonight.
There were other White House officials, military officials, Federal employees paid for with our tax dollars and our tax dollars were used to teargas fellow Americans. That's what happened tonight in the nation' capital and the entire world was watching.
COOPER: Jim Acosta, thanks. We are going to go to CNN's Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, I understand you have some reporting about why President Trump pulled this stunt.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're learning more about what was behind this last-minute photo op. So last minute, we should note, that Secret Service rushed up here on this balcony where I'm standing right now where CNN has been broadcasting for weeks now without any heads up that they were coming up here because, of course, they wanted to have eyes on the President.
And now, sources are telling my colleague Kevin Liptak, that in part, the reason the President made the trip outside the gates of the White House, a really rare trip where you do not often see the President walk out of the front door of the White House, walk across Lafayette Square and come over here to St. John's was driven in part, that he was upset by coverage of the fact that he had been rushed to the underground bunker on Friday night during the protest that you saw breaking out here ...
COOPER: Oh, my God. Wow.
COLLINS: ... in front of the White House. That is what sources are saying, Anderson, that was in part --
COOPER: We are in --
COLLINS: Part of the decision.
COOPER: We are in trouble. This country is being led by a man --
COLLINS: He wanted to be seen outside the gates.
COOPER: Of course he did. He was taken to a bunker and, you know, he's hiding in a bunker and he is embarrassed that people know that. So, what does he have to do? He has to sic police on peaceful protesters so he can make a big show of being, you know, the little big man walking to a closed-down church. And then, you know, he always talks about the world laughing. That the
world are laughing at the governors right now. They're not laughing at the governors. They're in horror over what is happening.
The only people that the world is laughing at is the President of the United States and this event. As I said, if it wasn't so dangerous and disgusting, it would be funny because it is so low rent and just sad.
I mean, I plan to come tonight, I am trying to be as calm and reasonable as, you know, and straightforward and doing this hour of news, and this happened. And I just can't believe this is what we have.
This is the United States of America. This is the President we have that. They wanted a disrupter. Well, yes, that's what a disrupter -- that's what disruption is.
COLLINS: It's so notable, because Anderson, in the Rose Garden when the President first came out, he said I am an ally of peaceful protests.
But what we watched from up here were these peaceful protesters had been out here for about eight hours, the eight hours that we've been up here and then we watched them of course, they got three really short warnings, and within 10 minutes, it was crowded down here, and then all of the protesters had been moved down the street for the President to come out, walk across Lafayette Square, and go do this church that he has visited a handful of times during his presidency.
Now, we know that that was driven, in part --
COOPER: Yes, they're all for peaceful protests, except never the actual peaceful protest that's happening. Colin Kaepernick, people taking a knee during a sporting event. No, no, no, that's completely inappropriate. That's not the right kind of peaceful protest.
A peaceful protest across from the White House, Lafayette Park, it is a Federal land. That's why they can use Federal sources. No, that's not appropriate.
I mean, I'm mystified by all of these people who say they're for peaceful protests. They don't -- I'm not sure what a peaceful protest is supposed to look like given that everyone that I've seen so far hasn't ended up so well for those who are being peaceful and I am not -- I mean, violence is not the answer.
COLLINS: And Anderson, we should note -- we should --
COOPER: Go ahead. Sorry.
COLLINS: We should note who was missing from this photo opportunity that the President did where he came out here, he posed with a Bible.
You saw the Attorney General. You saw the National Security Adviser. You saw the Defense Secretary. The Vice President Mike Pence was not here. He did not make this trip with the President, neither did the First Lady, Melania Trump.
Really notable not to see either of those figures come with the President over here to this church where the basement caught on fire last night. Of course, a very famous presidential church.
COOPER: I also noticed -- right, I noticed Ivanka Trump was no fool and she didn't get sucked into lining up with the President unless that happened when the cameras had moved or something.
But, from what I saw, it was only Kayleigh McEnany who was the only woman who got dragged into that. The rest was just the Defense Secretary.
I mean, again, what a day. Kaitlan Collins, thank you.
More now on the mechanics, and in a moment, the constitutionality or not of threatening to impose Martial Law in states across the country.
Yes, that's a sentence I didn't really think I'd be ever saying.
CNN Pentagon Correspondent, Barbara Starr joins us now. Just to be clear, Barbara, who has been deployed so far and what powers does the President actually have?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Well, good evening, Anderson. Hello. It's just a confusing picture tonight.
I think we need to start with the troops you are seeing on the streets of Washington, D.C. tonight who are National Guard, also federal law enforcement, civilian law enforcement from the National Capital Region.
We know that about 200 to 250 active duty military are on standby and could be brought onto the streets at the Presidents --
COOPER: Those are Military Police. Is that correct?
STARR: That's right. Those are active duty Military Police. These are units that would deploy to war zones, the units that would deploy to assist Americans in hurricanes.
You and I were both at Katrina. We both remember seeing troops there in support, and trying to help Americans who were in such trouble in New Orleans as that city flooded.
STARR: That's what the U.S. Military does. The U.S. Military does not go onto the streets of this country and engage in law enforcement activities unless a President specifically orders it.
And in terms of what we saw over the last hour or so, this is a real question about who in the White House, I think, is actually understanding and comprehending and willfully understanding or not the authority that as you say, a Commander-in-Chief? We saw a Commander-in-Chief tonight who was joined by a Defense
Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in what many people may decide is a political act rather than a National Security act.
Bring law and order to the streets, yes. Stop the violence, yes. But this were, as everyone points out, peaceful protesters.
I will tell you, earlier today, I was talking to a military official who is equally involved in all of this. He said, we are your friends and neighbors. We don't want to be on the streets doing this.
Another National Guard Commander talked about this as -- to reporters as the job he likes to do the least.
If you're going to put Federal forces, Federal military forces, as the President described them, on the streets of this country, you're going to need the support of the governors, the mayors, and most importantly, you're going to need the support of the American people or you know -- or you have a Commander-in-Chief tonight at the White House who is going to do something that was not supported by the American people.
COOPER: Barbara, let's be real. The way he phrased it makes it sound like he is going to be sending in active troops. It actually is at the request of governors.
STARR: Well, no. I mean, he may phrase it that way, but here's how real life works. He can invoke the Insurrection Act. That would mean he could send in active duty troops to engage in law enforcement.
That means carry weapons to tame American citizens, arrest American citizens. All the citizens that those troops would also put their own lives potentially at risk for. So he can do that under the Insurrection Act.
But that means he has to keep in a practical sense, in the real world, would have to have the approval of governors and local officials or his alternative is to send the U.S. Military into the streets of this country without the approval and support of governors, mayors, local authorities, civilian law enforcement.
There's only two choices here really. You either have their approval or you don't.
COOPER: Yes, we're going to talk more about the legality of this. Barbara, thank you very much.
With the President threatening to send troops in the states, whether the governors want it or not, we're joined now by the Governor of Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Governor, first of all, your reaction of what happened tonight in Washington, D.C., the President is saying he is going to deploy the military, quote, "If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents."
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): It's shocking. You know, I was watching CNN with my daughter and he -- the split screen was, he was saying he stands with peaceful protesters, and on the other side, his police troops were shooting at peaceful protesters.
You know, in this country right now, we need a leader who can bring calm, who can bring unity, who can show the compassion and competence that we need.
If they could put this kind of energy behind the Defense Production Act and start producing swabs, we could do the testing to keep people safe.
If they could just muster some sort of acknowledgement about the pain, the historic pain that is coming to a tipping point right now around criminal justice and what is happening here in this country, it would go a long way.
But the fact of the matter is, what happened in the Rose Garden tonight is only, I am fearful, going to further fuel the animosity and angst and anxiety in this country and I think it is more destructive than what I was hoping he would incite.
COOPER: Can the governor -- can the President send in active military troops to your state without your approval?
WHITMORE: You know, the President -- apparently, there are outreach efforts to ask for acknowledgment of Federal officers in states.
And I can tell you that states -- my understanding is that they can't do it without the approval of the governors, and I can also tell you that it's probably not going to happen in a lot of our states.
COOPER: Would you ask for -- at this point in Michigan, would you ask for Federal troops?
WHITMER: You know what would help take the heat down from everything? A real showing, a genuine showing of concern about the underlying problem here of police brutality, a genuine concern about how we ramp up our testing across the country to combat COVID-19, which has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color.
That's how we get through this moment. Not by looking at one another as enemies and declaring Civil War on one another. That's not going to fix the problem. It's only going to make it worse, Anderson.
And as the governor of a state that is really hurting right now, I'm calling on all leaders, on both sides of the aisle, to come together and to show competence and compassion and give people hope because that's not what we need more than anything.
COOPER: I just have got to ask you again, just because the President has thrown this out there just an hour ago, saying you know that all governors should call on the National Guard, and if you don't, he will act. What does that mean to you? Would you ask for -- I mean, are you in a position right now where you want Federal military forces?
WHITMER: You know what, if it ever came to that moment, it would be because they had just thrown a lot more gas on a fire that is burning.
I don't want that to happen. That's why when you look at the Sheriff in Genesee County whose video went viral because he was actually engaging with people who were hurting, the protesters. That's how we solve the problem, not by throwing more police and military at something that is festering.
We acknowledge it and we try to solve this problem, not militarize this.
COOPER: One of the things that, you know, that has been so encouraging has been scenes of protesters defending stores so that they don't get looted. Protesters defending, in some cases, police officers or at least communicating with police officers.
But we have seen in some cases protesters defending police officers and trying to -- trying to tamp down violence, and not wanting their peaceful protest, not wanting their legitimate protests and demonstrations to be, you know, taken over by elements that are out there with -- are going to break into a store, or take stuff. Because that's not what the vast majority of these protesters are about.
WHITMER: That's right. I mean, the vast majority of people who are showing up to protest really care about the issue. They care about the George Floyds of the world that we didn't hear about because it wasn't filmed.
They care about addressing the issue of police brutality and years of this inequity that is showing up in COVID-19, as we hold a mirror up to the United States of America.
The vast majority of people are doing this out of genuine concern and desire to make sure that we, as a country do better on behalf of all Americans.
And yet we know that there are people with their own agendas that are infiltrating these events and turning them into violence and vandalism and undermining the real cause that they're supposedly there to be supporting, and that's precisely why we absolutely support the right to protest.
But what we want to make sure is that these other forces don't come in and undermine it and make it into something that's dangerous.
And that's why the President words today were so dangerous and so distressing. Both his words to the governors in our call earlier and his address to the nation moments ago.
This is a moment in our country where we need -- we need peace. We need unity and compassion. And we need an agenda that actually fixes the problems we are suffering from. COOPER: Governor Whitmer, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
WHITMER: Thank you.
COOPER: With us now by phone, retired Army Lieutenant General Russel Honore. Also two CNN Legal Analysts and former Federal prosecutors Laura Coates and Jeffrey Toobin; CNN's Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger is with us, so is Ron Johnson, former Captain in the Missouri Highway Patrol and author of "13 Days in Ferguson."
Laura, the President declaring himself, quote, "your president of law and order."
From a legal standpoint, does what the President say he can do, is that something he can actually do?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, frankly, these are supposed to act in concert: the Insurrection Act and also the notion of Posse Comitatus.
The idea this to say that we do not want the military to act as law enforcement on U.S. soil without either some act of Congress or some really good reason to do so. It has been invoked at times during after reconstruction, in terms of with Eisenhower or Kennedy sending troops in to try to enforce the desegregation orders when you knew that the states were not going to do it themselves.
You saw it in some parts with LBJ in D.C. find the assassination of Martin Luther King. And you saw it, of course at the L.A. riots with Rodney King, but that was because the governor actually in California asked George H.W. Bush to help and do this. This is unprecedented at this time to say, without a request, without any request from any governor or anybody asking for the assistance or a militarized presence of these officers and of these military members on the streets to act unilaterally is shocking, especially given the fact that his motivation, it seems he says, initially was about protecting on the one hand First Amendment rights, and on the other hand, trying to encourage the lack -- the Second Amendment rights.
And he seemed to forget the five very important things here, as you laid out. The First Amendment, the ability to have freedom of speech, you're actually taking people off of a public forum where they have every right to be to petition the government assemble, to be able to have the press present as well.
And the final one having religion, he seemed to have gotten that confused by going over to the church as those being all conflated into one principle. But all this goes to say that if you think you're disoriented now by seeing what's happening in your cities and towns, in reaction to the killing of George Floyd and people attempting in some ways to hijack the ideological protests, for self interested reasons, while you're about to be very disoriented, trying to figure out which country we're in, which amendments now apply, and whether the President of United States can unilaterally say, I think I'll send in the military even if nobody asks me to.
COOPER: Jeffrey Toobin legally, what what's your take?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the Insurrection Act itself is very clear that it the military can only come in at the request of the state. And that's what the governor's Governor J.B. Pritzker was referring to earlier, saying we don't want you. Now there are two other provisions that say the military, the President can send in the military to vindicate constitutional rights.
This is what President Eisenhower used to send the troops into Little Rock to integrate the schools. But that's not what's going on here. There is no vindication of constitutional rights, federal court orders. So as I read the law, the President simply cannot do this without the invitation of the governors.
So this seems to me yet another stone whether the President is acting as if he can do something, but in fact, he probably has no intention of doing it. Because the governors aren't going to let him do it.
COOPER: Lieutenant Honore, you know that you, you lead forces in New Orleans and did an extraordinary job there. I'm wondering what you have just witnessed what you make of the President using, you know, federal forces to clear a street in the nation's capitol. So he and the defense secretary and others can stand in front of a closed down church for photo op.
LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE, (RET) U.S. ARMY: Yes, I thought I was watching a scene from something in Turkey and not in the United States. It's either the President don't understand the constitution, or you don't give a damn. This is a very disturbing. I must say this too, our troops must rest well in their families.
He's given another order. He cannot enforce. The suggestion will be that the Congress and the Senate need to come together and put some constraints on this President and the use of force as we move forward to the election.
Our troops need to stand steady. The Congress and the Senate need to understand this man has control of over 3,000 nuclear weapons, and thousands of jet planes, 11, 11 aircraft carriers and 2 million people in uniform. They need to put a check on what he said, he cannot execute what he said.
But the American people need to have confidence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense needs to exercise a right not to go to photo ops like this, and the troops need to have confidence that the Joint Chiefs of Staff will follow the Constitution.
There should be a lawyer from the Pentagon tomorrow morning, following the brief to the Senate and to the White House in a poll via use of the United States active duty, what they did with the National Guard is purely permissible. The National Guard, D.C. accepts the direction of the Secretary of the Army based on the D.C. mayor.
They will on federal grounds they could do what they did. Should they have done it? Probably not. But as long as they're on federal ground, that make an operate with the D.C. and the Secret Service, different types of federal ground, they can bring federal troops in and put them on federal ground inside the White House if needed.
COOPER: Everyone hold on, we've got someone on the phone with, we want to hear from Mariann Budde, the Bishop of the District of Columbia who oversees the church that the President just used as a photo op.
Bishop Budde, thank you for being here. What are your thoughts as you as you saw what happened and as you look at these images now of, of so many Americans, crying out in the streets for law and order, law and order that is applied equally to all of us, regardless of color, regardless of economic status?
MARIANN EDGAR BUDDE, EPISCOPAL, DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON: I want to thank you for letting me be on this. Be part of this conversation. Let me be clear. The President just use a Bible in a sacred text that the Judeo- Christian tradition and one of the churches of my diocese without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus, and everything that our churches stand for.
And to be so as you just said, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church guard. I am outraged. The President did not pray when he came to St. John's, nor as you just articulated that he acknowledged the agony of our country right now.
And in particular, that of the people of color in our nation, who wonder if anyone, ever anyone in public powerful ever acknowledge their sacred words, and who are rightfully demanding an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country. And I just want the world to know that we in the Diocese of Washington, following Jesus and his way of love, do not we distance ourselves from the incendiary language of this President.
We follow someone who lived a life of non violence and sacrificial love. We align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others through the sacred, active peaceful protest. And I, I just can't believe what my eyes had seen tonight.
COOPER: You had no idea he was going to do that?
BUDDE: I have no idea. I was. I was watching the news with everyone else. And as you might imagine, I have been fielding out just phone calls and e-mails and texts of outrage from my people and from people across the country, wondering what on earth did we just witnessed? I -- and I, I hear everything else that has been said tonight, but I was allowed to eavesdrop on the first part of your conversation, which is equally significant in terms of the symbolism of our civic institutions.
But what I am here to talk about is the, is the abuse of sacred symbols for the people of faith in this country, to justify language rhetoric, an approach to this crisis that is antithetical to everything we stand for. Everything that the state stands for.
COOPER: You know, the -- there were so many religious leaders, people from the faith community who took part in civil rights demonstrations who were integral to the success of civil rights demonstrations, you know, year after year, there were faith leaders who not just Dr. King, but members of different faith communities who were killed on --
BUDDE: I know, I know, these are --
COOPER: -- in the city and elsewhere.
BUDDE: These are our heroes, these are our martyrs, right? You know mostly people of color, some beautiful white allies who are we're privileged to stand with them. These are the people that show us what it looks like to live and to walk a life of faith. Right?
That's what it looks like a home and that's the legacy. That's our hope. That's our only hope in this country. And, and so much has -- so much has been gained and so much has been lost in these last 40 years.
And I feel that the soul of our nation is at stake right now. And we need moral leadership. We also need and that was, I think what you all were talking about earlier. We need moral leadership. We also need political leadership because the people of faith in this country cannot, cannot act as a substitute for sound, civic government and moral leadership and effective laws that are justly enforced for all people.
And that is something that all people have faith, all people of goodwill, and all people who have no faith at all but believe in the civic principles of this country can agree and in that public square, we stand and, and we will, we must prevail as the people because what we're witnessing now is the shredding of our national fabric.
COOPER: If I could, we got a we -- I know we have to go, but I just -- before we go, there's a lot of people watching right now who maybe they've been marching in the streets, maybe they have been staying at home and maybe they're frightened about what they're seeing on the television and wondering where it's going and worried about their business, you know, being destroyed or they're worried about their child who is out marching.
And, you know, is that -- is their child going to get killed? Is their child going to get beaten up or tear gassed? And even during regular times, there's a lot of people who, you know, worry about their children and themselves every single time they go outside and are they going to be arbitrarily pulled over --
BUDDE: I hear that. And I --
COOPER: -- what do you say to people tonight? Who are afraid?
BUDDE: Well, I'm afraid, right? I'm afraid. I'm afraid for my kids. I'm afraid for everyone's children. I'm particularly mindful of the fact that those of us who are white have far less to be afraid of than people of color. But I fear for us, fear however, is not an excuse to stand idly by.
I do not -- I mean I grieve the loss When senseless violence and the destruction of livelihoods and the fabric of cities, I'm from Minneapolis, and I'm watching what's happening there, and I'm serving a city now that still bears the scars of what happened in the '60s. I understand the fear.
But I think if we don't look at the reasons at the root causes of the cancers, fins in our nation, we will never get past the symptomatic eruptions, and frankly, the opportunistic district distractions that keep us from our true self. And that's what we have to keep our eyes on and work toward, while we bind the wounds of those who become the -- what's the word, that the collateral damage of a nation that will not face it fin (ph), repents, and heal.
COOPER: Correct me if I'm wrong. You worked in Minneapolis what for was 18 years?
BUDDE: Eighteen years, my family, my, my I have family, friends, my, my son, my grandson are --
COOPER: So as somebody who knows, somebody who knows that city -- sorry to interrupt, but as somebody who knows that city, and I think it's such an important point to make, and you were alluding to this earlier, which is, you know, we're looking right now at, you know, military on the street, we're looking at large numbers of people protesting in Los Angeles peacefully at this hour, thank goodness.
And we focus on these days a lot on demonstrations, because that is what is happening in the streets right now and what our political leaders are talking about, for better or for worse, it threatens to make us focus on just on protests and not on the underlying reasons. Why people feel driven into these streets.
COOPER: And the -- not just the murder, and I use that word murder intentionally of Mr. Floyd. But the lack of law and order applied equally to all citizens for not just, you know, individuals but for community, entire communities of color, black and brown, and not just for this year or last year, but for decades and decades, and frankly, hundreds of years.
BUDDE: Well, you said it as articulately as anyone would hope to I mean, good, good, good, deep seated decades long in justices and embedded systemic racism and the inability to hold officers accountable for their crimes. I mean, these go back. This is embedded in the police force in cities like Minneapolis.
And the racial injustice, please go back. As you know, they go back to policies and practices that were the direct routes of slavery and antebellum and Jim Crow, I mean all of those things, we can look at all of those things.
I mean, this is June 1st for crying out loud. We know what happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma hundred, almost 100 years ago when fire -- when fired community of African-Americans was basically massacred. Right. And theirs and their and their communities destroyed by angry whites of the lackeys. Right. All of that is part of our history.
And one of the responsibilities of people of faith is to know the context in which superficial acts, when I say superficial, I don't mean insignificant, but the ones that are right on the surface, right. We need to understand the deep rooted causes of these things, not to justify individual acts of violence. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that if we don't understand the context, we miss the opportunity to be agent appealing.
And that's what we heard in our President tonight --
BUDDE: -- you know, one opportunity after another after another after another.
COOPER: Yes, well --
BUDDE: And it is.
COOPER: I love that phrase how to be agents of healing. And I think that's something that we should all reflect on in the hours and days ahead of how to, how to be that in our own lives and our own communities. Bishop Budde, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
BUDDE: Thank you. Thank you.
COOPER: Just ahead, we're going to talk with Magic Johnson about what we've just seen and what is happening in his town and his country and our country. We'll right back.
COOPER: Tonight the President of United States had federal forces fire tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters just moments before the same peaceful protesters he was battling to protect. He did it for a photo op at a church. The bishop, the bishop responsible for that church we just talked to her, says it he profaned with his actions.
He profaned the church. He did it according to our reporting, according to our Kaitlan Collins because he was angry at the reporting that he was taken to the White House in bunker during the protest Friday night. That's how small this man is.
Let's go to Martin Savidge, he's following the protests in Atlanta. Martin, how are things there? We've just lost the image, but if you're there -- are you there? No, we don't have Martin Savidge.
Joining us now is NBA legend Magic Johnson, is also Chairman CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. Magic, thank you so much for being with us.
James Baldwin said something, I wrote this down because I just think he's a writer, I idolize. He said, not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. I'm wondering what you think of what we're seeing tonight, what you have been seeing in Los Angeles and all around this country?
MAGIC JOHNSON, CEO, MAGIC JOHNSON ENTERPRISES: Well, you know, the protesters have a right to protest as long as is peaceful. We don't -- Anderson we don't want to see the eluding. We don't want to see buildings and businesses burned down. Because what people have to remember is that minorities probably work in some of those businesses as well.
And then you don't really hear that message as loud and clear when you have a eluding and you have buildings burned. So we want to get back to peaceful protesting, because what we see saw on that video was outright outrageous. George Floyd got murdered by that police officer.
That's why the black community has really never trusted the police is because there's been a lot of joy, George Floyd's in our community that hasn't been reported or seen. And people who live in black America know that only reason, now that we're acting like this is because we're fed up. We're tired of it. We can't take it anymore.
And thank God for cell phones that could video this murder. And what I did enjoy was Terence Floyd, George's brother was on CNN earlier today. And to hear him speak about -- he was tired of seeing and he didn't want to see any more looting and buildings burned. But what he wanted to see was a good, quiet protest. And I think I hope in my heart that all the protesters heard tears, Floyd. And he talked about praying and asking God to protect us all.
COOPER: Well, I think the point you make is so important that, you know, when, you know, some, some folks, you know, use this as an opportunity to, you know, to break into a store or something, it, you know, cameras focus on that. And it does a disservice --
JOHNSON: That's right.
COOPER: -- to the tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of people who have been protesting for days now and frankly, for years and decades, about in justices in this country, and it allows people to not pay attention to the injustice is and to suddenly focus on the obvious wrong of what people shouldn't steal something.
But there's a -- you know, there's a huge injustice and inequality which is facing staring us in the face. And we should not be giving it any opportunity to take our gaze off that because of this other stuff.
JOHNSON: Yes. Anderson racism been going on for hundreds of years. I mean, my grandfather told me about it. My father told me about it, he went through it. Now here I am, 60. I'm going through it. And then my two sons now, EJ, and Andre they're going through it.
And so what we see though, is these young people of all races, not just black people are out there, or race of people are out there. And they're showing their power. And they're letting their voice be heard. Now, they have to do the same thing in November, when the election comes around.
And so I love how they mobilized. I love that today we're seeing more peaceful protesting, and it's been powerful even here in Los Angeles. We've seen that but also to at the same time, I don't think that this is going to go away anytime soon until we see that George Floyd's murder, that police officer is found guilty of that murder.
COOPER: Can --
JOHNSON: And then we'll deal with the other three after that.
COOPER: Yes, I want to ask you a personal question. And if it's too personal, don't answer it. But just as the father of two black young people, you know, every person is a person of color I know has had that conversation with their child of what you do --
COOPER: -- if you're pulled over and it's not a conversation I can tell you anyone ever had with me and, you know, I know the reason why because my -- you know, view my interactions with the police are completely different than most people's interactions with the police frankly, but certainly, most of my friends, interactions with the police. So what is it like to have to have that conversation?
And then probably a lot of people look at you and think, well, your Magic Johnson, you don't have to, you know, your kids are fine. They don't probably have to worry about that kind of stuff, when in fact, this is about people judging others based on the color of their skin and nothing else.
JOHNSON: Well, it doesn't matter if I'm Magic Johnson or not. My kids just like I am still a black man. Right? And, yes, I had that conversation, because it's important that I have that conversation with both EJ and Andre. If you pull it over, make sure, you know, you got your hands out of the window, make sure that you comply.
Well, let's look at George Floyd, he did everything he was supposed to do. And this police officer put all his body weight all his body weight on his neck, right for eight minutes. So if that can happen to George Floyd, it can happen to EJ and Andre, and more black men. And so we're fed up with this. It's got to stop.
And then last but not least, and listen, these young people got to have a voice at the table. They want their voices heard. They want, they want their concerns heard. And then they want action to take place. And so they're going to steal protests for a long time until their voices are heard.
COOPER: You know, one of the things Governor Cuomo said the other day, which I thought was just kind of so sensible and obvious, and yet, I, you know, I think people just kind of accept it is Governor Cuomo saying, you know, why should a young black child in America who lives in a neighborhood that doesn't have, you know, the, the resources of a more economically advantaged neighborhood? Why does that child get an inferior education? Why is that accepted? Why do we think oh, yes, that's just that's just the way it is.
I mean, in this country of all countries, these basic injustices, these basic inequalities, maybe because we've lived with them our entire lives, we think, oh, we have that's just the way it is. But it's not. I mean, it should not be that way. It just seems so obvious. You know, one of your former teammates Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote an amazing op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, I think was really written for --
COOPER: -- people in the white community. But I and I think it was really just so well done. One of the things he said is racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible, even if you're choking on it, until you let the sun and then you see it's everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of clearing -- cleaning it wherever it lands, but we have to stay vigilant because it's always still in the air. I just thought that was so powerful.
JOHNSON: Oh, no question about a Kareem is a very intelligent black man. And one of -- probably the smartest athlete I've ever known in my life.
Let me go back to Governor Cuomo. We need a leader like him. He has been strong. He has had an incredible strategy for the state of New York. He was on top of it. Governor Whitmer of Michigan has been strong.
I know she was on your show. Thank you for protecting my state, Michigan where I'm from Governor. You've done an amazing job. Governor Newsome out here in California has done an amazing job.
You know, we've had strong leadership, right? We've seen it. We've seen those people who say, hey, we got to unite the people. We got to bring people together, not divide the people and right now, that's so important. What comes out of our mouth, because these protesters are serious, and they're not going to stop until their voices are heard and justice is served for George Floyd. That's very important.
COOPER: Yes, justice. Magic Johnson. Thank you. Appreciate it.
JOHNSON: Thank you Anderson.
COOPER: The news continues. I want hit over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME", Chris?