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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

President Biden Blasts Efforts To Restrict Voting As Unprecedented Assault On Our Democracy; Interview With Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Flynn Claims He Didn't Endorse Military-Style Coup; President Biden In Tulsa; Effects Of Racial Bias On Children; Authorities Ramp Up Search For Gunmen Who Went On Brazen Rampage, Killing Two, Injuring 21; Next Monday: Former President Obama On Fatherhood, Leadership And His Legacy. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 01, 2021 - 20:00   ET


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Nic Robertson, CNN, somewhere over the U.K.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Just fantastic and incredible to watch them. That's just what we do.

Well, thanks very much for joining us. "AC360" starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with what President Biden is calling a threat to American democracy. Yesterday, the President said democracy itself is in peril; and today in Tulsa, Oklahoma, marking the 100th Anniversary of the Greenwood Race Massacre, he spoke out against the state by state effort by Republicans across the country to enact restrictive voting laws.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This sacred right is under assault with incredible intensity like I've never seen, even though I got started as a public defender and a Civil Rights lawyer -- with an intensity and aggressiveness, we have not seen in a long, long time. It's simply un-American. It's not however, sadly unprecedented.


COOPER: With the new they are pushing that are based on the election lie still being told by the former President and today, we got word that the man in Mar-a-Lago is predicting he will soon be returned to office.

CNN political analyst and "New York Times" Washington correspondent, Maggie Haberman tweeting today: "Trump has been telling a number of people he is in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August."

And keeping them honest, there is no such thing as a former President getting reinstated and even if there was, he won't be. The image of a one-term former President milling around in his Florida club, talking endlessly to anyone who will still sit there long enough to listen about phony election results and imaginary ballots is certainly rather sad and pathetic, but it's more than that, it has real world consequences.

Republican politicians in Congress and state legislatures across the country, hoping to be noticed, perhaps by the former President are trying to enact laws based on his lies, limiting voting, curtailing the investigation into the insurrection.

Some followers of the President like retired three-star General and former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn is now selling QAnon merchandise online and repeating QAnon favorite slogans at times, seems to support a coup now against President Biden. Here he is this past weekend at a conference in Dallas to answer your question about why a Myanmar style coup can happen here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here?

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET), U.S. ARMY: No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That's right.


COOPER: Well, just as he has every time, his cute, curious statements have gotten him in hot water, Lieutenant General Flynn is now trying to gaslight people into believing he said the opposite, what you just heard.

A formerly respected military officer casually talking about a coup in America is shocking or it should be. I recently talked with Harvard's Steven Levitsky, who co-wrote a book called "How Democracies Die" about this moment we are in right now.


COOPER: Steven, has there been another point in American history where democracy was as threatened as it potentially is now?

STEVEN LEVITSKY, POLITICAL SCIENTIST AND PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: The Civil War. Beyond the Civil War, no. Certainly, in no one's living memory has -- not Nixon, not Roosevelt, not McCarthyism. Democracy has never been under threat in this way.

There is a -- and we do not consider ourselves particularly alarmist and we are now convinced that there is a serious chance that the Republican Party tries to steal the 2024 election. I think 2020 ended up being a dress rehearsal, in which Republicans learned that there are levers that they can pull to throw out ballots of -- in rival strongholds based on false allegations of fraud or based on technicalities.


COOPER: Professor Levitsky and his co-author Daniel Ziblatt are two of 100 scholars of democracy who today warned that, quote, "Our entire democracy is now at risk." They continue quote, "Elected Republican leaders have had numerous opportunities to repudiate Trump and his Stop the Steal crusade, which led to the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th."

"Each time, they have sidestepped the truth and enabled the lie to spread."

They conclude, by urging lawmakers in this case, largely Democrats to do whatever is necessary, including suspending the filibuster to pass laws guaranteeing the vote to all Americans equally and preventing State Legislatures from manipulating the rules in order to manufacture results.

Quoting their closing words, "Our democracy is fundamentally at stake."

More now from CNN's Kaitlan Collins who is at the White House for us tonight. So, what's the President -- today, he vowed to ramp up efforts to protect voting rights. Are there any more details on that?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he said he not only wants to ramp up efforts to protect them, to get more people registered to vote, but Anderson, he also wants to push back on these efforts to suppress voting rights and to restrict them as we've seen play out in several states following the 2020 election.

And President Biden said part of that involves putting the Vice President, Kamala Harris in charge of getting that push on Capitol Hill to get those major legislation on election laws on voting rights passed through Congress.


COLLINS: But of course, Anderson, that is going to be a very tough job, given they've basically languished after passing the House because now, they are up against a divided Senate and they don't even have all of the Democrats on board something that the President did allude to today.


BIDEN: I hear all the folks on TV saying why don't Biden get this done? Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends, but we're not giving up.


COLLINS: Now, that comment there at the end that was directed at Senator Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin, of course, those are those two moderate Democrats. It's not true that they vote more with Republicans than they do with Democrats. But he is basically saying that they're not always guaranteed Democratic vote.

And we've seen Senator Manchin say he does not support that one bill on Capitol Hill. That's the one that would really change the way you see election law, and so he was basically acknowledging just how tough it is going to be and how tough the job is going to be for the Vice President.

COOPER: What are the next steps? I mean, are there you know, plans that the White House has?

COLLINS: I think the next step really depends on what lawmakers do, because you have seen Senator Schumer say that he is going to bring that election law bill to the floor in a matter of weeks, that's going to increase pressure on a lot of these lawmakers. And so the question is not just: are you going to get these Democrats on board? You'd also still need to get 10 Republicans -- 10 Senate Republicans to vote for this, Anderson. And right now, they do not have this.

So the question is, do they go another route? Do they introduce a new legislation that could actually get Republican support and get those Democrats on board, keep the Democrats on board? Or do they explore abolishing the filibuster?

That is something that you've seen several Texas Democrats call on them to look at because they say it's just so important to get something like this passed through Congress, because otherwise we're going to continue facing these efforts in all of these states, seeing these election laws be introduced by Republicans and potentially even pass.

COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it from the White House. Thanks.

Joining us now, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar, good to see you.

The President is calling efforts to restrict voting on an unprecedented assault on our democracy? Is that how you see it?

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): I do, and I chair the Rules Committee in the Senate and I had to listen to the arguments made by Republican senators, including that putting some basic Federal minimum standards in place so that people can vote safely how they choose, whether its vote by mail or voting early, they oppose that. They claimed it would create chaos.

Chaos is people standing in garbage bags in homemade masks in the rain in Milwaukee, just waiting to vote or chaos is one voting drop off box in the middle of Harris County, Texas, with over five million people. Chaos is what you saw in Georgia when the former President or as you call him, the man from Mar-a-Lago when the former President literally went after election officials, Democrats, Republicans, you name it and put them at personal risk. That is chaos.

And that is why you see growing public support for the For the People Act, including for the provisions on money and dark money and getting that out of our politics and including on the ethics reform. That's a third pillar of the bill.

COOPER: I mean, all this talk about drop boxes and limiting drop boxes. Is there any evidence that you have seen that drop boxes pose a great risk for voter fraud.

KLOBUCHAR: No. This is just another example to quote, Reverend Warnock, who, in his moving maiden floor speech on the Senate -- in the Senate said, this is just about one simple thing. It is some people don't want some people to vote. And most parties when they lose a major election, they change their policies. They figure out how they can reach out to voters better, they change their candidates.

What these guys are doing right now is they're trying to change the voters. They're saying, hey, we didn't like when eight million more people voted federally, we want to make it harder to vote. We're going to roll back some of those provisions that you didn't have to get a notary and have it -- and sign it through a window of a hospital room when you had COVID just to be able to cast your vote.

Those are the kinds of arguments I dealt with on the committee. We got the tied vote we needed. I know that sounds like a small thing, Anderson, but it allows the procedure to take place where Senator Schumer can ultimately get this bill to the floor where I will be advocating and leading the effort along with Senator Merkley to get this done.

COOPER: You heard President Biden kind of taking a poke it at your Senate Democratic colleagues presumably Senators Manchin and Sinema acknowledging the unlikelihood of getting voting rights legislation passed as long as the filibuster is in place.

Do you believe the filibuster should be abolished? And if not, how can Democrats get stuff done?


KLOBUCHAR: I believe it should be abolished. It should be abolished because it is an archaic procedure that was put in place basically, many, many years ago used to try to stop Civil Rights legislation being used again, being used just last week to stop the January 6 Commission, where we could have done a thorough review that we need to do to look at the insurrection. And I guess, these guys are into somehow an endless insurrection at this point, and that's why we need to change the rules.

I'll note that Senator Manchin has signaled a willingness to look at a standing filibuster, which would be very, very different, it would force our colleagues to not hide behind their desk, but to get out there and have to speak day after day, if they want to stop this bill in its tracks.

We also have a number of reforms to give Secretary of States both Democrat and Republican that they asked me to do in the bill, I put together this big manager's package that basically was responding to a lot of concerns from West Virginia, but the Republicans voted it down.

And Joe Manchin is very well aware of the work we've done to try to and what we could do to make changes to the bill.

So I would stay tuned. Once we get it to the floor, it is going to be a jump-all, Anderson, and we need to get this done.

COOPER: What do you hope is the next step? Or is there a next step on the idea of some sort of a commission looking into the insurrection?

KLOBUCHAR: That was one of the saddest days, the fact that we had I think about six Republicans vote with us to move that along, and there are many ways and Speaker Pelosi has outlined these, the President could appoint a commission, you could also have a number of committees deal with it, or they could have some kind of select commission.

I'm open to all those ideas at this point and also open to revisiting the 9/11, but stay tuned, because next week, Senator Peters, Senator Portman, and Blunt and I are putting out our report. It's not a substitute for a 9/11-style commission about January 6, but it has very pointed recommendations and changes that need to be made, the Capitol Police Board changes we have to make legally so that this never happens again.

And there were very -- two very long public hearings on this, where Democrats and Republicans got a chance to ask questions, and we also questioned witnesses in the last few months. So I will be coming out with that. But again, it is no substitute for a 9/11-style commission.

COOPER: Just finally, what your Democratic colleague in the House Congresswoman Luria about these comments by Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former National Security Adviser, retired three-star General. She called it sedition. Do you think it is?

KLOBUCHAR: I can see why she did. I mean he basically is advocating a military coup. He said, oh, that could happen here. I would note that the man from Mar-a-Lago, my new phrase that I learned from you, has basically pardoned General Flynn. He gave him a pardon of all of his offenses. And now you've got him out there engaged in what I call an endless insurrection.

He is continuing to question our democracy, to question the pillars of our democracy. And all of the questions that we've talked about today, Anderson, the failure to do a 9/11-style Commission on January 6, the failure to be willing to do something that's always been bipartisan, which is reforms to our elections to make them work better.

The endorsement basically, of a military coup, this is what is so scary about our democracy right now and I just refuse to believe that we are going to allow an archaic Senate provision called the filibuster get in the way of standing up for our democracy.

This is as Joe Biden said today, this is an assault on our democracy and we must respond and I don't think this is just Democrats talking. I think it is Republicans and Independents.

And I'll just end with this on this, Trevor Potter, the former Chair of the Federal Election Commission, under George Bush is a fervently strong supporter of the For the People Act. He testified for me on this bill at our hearing, because he believes that the dark money from the outside and what's going on with our voting rights, at some point, we stand up for democracy and that's what matters the most.

COOPER: Senator Klobuchar, appreciate it. Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: Thanks, Anderson. It was great to be on.

COOPER: Coming up next, given what we've been discussing, two members of our political team look closer at what can be done to protect democracy when not everyone seems to feel the same urgency.

And later, what Michael Flynn's apparent endorsement of a military coup says to his former commanding officer who will be joining us.



COOPER: We're talking about what President Biden called a threat to democracy manifested specifically in Republican resistance to investigating the most recent assault on it and efforts to pass for restrictive voting laws.

Today in Tulsa, President Biden praised the Get Out the Vote effort in 2020, while also saying it won't be enough this time.


BIDEN: We overcame, but today, let me be unequivocal. I've been engaged in this work my whole career. And we're going to be ramping up our efforts to overcome again. I will have more to say about this at a later date, the truly unprecedented assault on our democracy, an effort to replace nonpartisan election administrators and to intimidate those charged with tallying and reporting the election results.

But today, as for the act of voting itself, I urge voting rights groups in this country to begin to redouble their efforts, now to register and educate voters.



COOPER: Joining us now, CNN senior political commentator and host of "The Ax Files," and "Ax Files," podcast, David Axelrod; also CNN senior political correspondent, Abby Phillip.

Abby, you were there for today's remarks by the President. We played them at the top of the program. It seems to take a swipe at West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Did it surprise you? Because clearly, he needs them on his side.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is a little bit surprising for Joe Biden to do that, because he typically doesn't like to alienate people who he might need for, you know, future negotiations.

He likes to rely on these relationships that he's had, for a long time, especially the relationship he's had with Joe Manchin, but it signals some frustration, not just on Biden's part, but on the part of the White House and Democrats at large with Manchin in particular, and seeing that Manchin has this realization that Republicans are not necessarily willing to come to the table, even on reasonable things.

And yet, there's no movement on, you know, the senator's part to change his approach to legislation. I think that's what Biden was reflecting today in that speech.

The question is: what now? It's not clear to me that the White House is going to dramatically change their strategy on legislation that does not involve their infrastructure proposal, which still remains a top priority for them even after his remarks today on voting and on the January 6th Commission, among other things.

COOPER: Yes. David, what's your take on his remarks?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I was surprised by it. And I wondered whether it was worded precisely the way he wanted it. Because clearly, Sinema and Manchin don't vote more with Republicans than Democrats.

They certainly vote more with Republicans than many Democrats vote with Republicans, but he does need them. I mean, this is something that's lost in the discussion often, which is people say, well, why do they negotiate with Republicans? Why don't they just go it alone?

Well, you can't go it alone, unless you have 50 votes, and Manchin and Sinema are not on board on many of these key things that Biden cares about. And so, he is about the business of trying to, particularly on infrastructure deal by brand and by belief, I think he wants to do that. But he also wants to demonstrate to Senator Manchin that he made a good faith effort to do that, so that he can go back to him and say, now, what do we do? How do we get things done?

But it is a very, very difficult situation, I experienced that when I was in the White House. You know, just because someone has a D next to their name doesn't mean you automatically have their vote. And it does require negotiation, even with your own team.

COOPER: Well, I mean, Abby, much was made of Senator Manchin calling Republican senators unconscionable for failing to pass the January 6 Commission. It's doesn't seem to have agitated him more toward abolishing the filibuster, though.

PHILLIP: No, it really doesn't seem to have changed his overall approach. In fact, he seems just as committed now to this idea that bipartisanship is possible as he was before, but bipartisanship in some form might be possible. The problem is, is it going to be 10 votes? Because that's actually what they need to overcome the filibuster.

And if it's not 10 votes, is there a point at which Manchin is willing to say, we got three or four. That is good enough for me. Let's move this forward. And I think it's not clear whether he is at that point yet. That is deeply frustrating to a lot of Democrats, because everything is being held up here.

And if the January 6 Commission is important to Joe Manchin, I think a lot of Democrats say, then a lot of these issues of voting, which are in deeply intertwined with those with the January 6 insurrection should also be just as important to him.

COOPER: David, I mean, barring abolishing the filibuster, do Democrats really have any other options?

AXELROD: Well, certainly on issues like this voting rights bill, they do not because they're not going to get 10 Republicans to go along with them on that. Really, the infrastructure bill is the best chance that they have and I think Abby is right. I think at a minimum what Biden wants to do is demonstrate to Manchin that a good faith effort was made and they're not there.

But I was interested in Amy Klobuchar's comments a few minutes earlier saying that Manchin has indicated he might support reforms of the filibuster that will make filibustering legislation harder and there has been some talk bouncing around over the last few months about whether there might be a specific carve out for voting legislation as there is for Judges and maybe that will be an avenue, but right now, it's a tough road forward.


COOPER: David Axelrod, Abby Phillip, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, what to make of those remarks by retired General Michael Flynn appearing to call for a military coup in the coming months. Do they qualify as sedition? That's next when we continue.


COOPER: The comments by retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn appearing to endorse a military coup in this country are still resonating tonight. He was speaking at a conference in Dallas over the weekend. Although, we played his remarks early in the program, he was responding to a question from the audience. Here they are again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here.

FLYNN: No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That's right.


COOPER: "No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason." He said. Later after his remarks were roundly criticized, he claimed his words had been twisted, posting a statement on the social media site, Parler, saying, quote, "Let me be very clear, there is no reason whatsoever for any coup in America and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort."

So he says he didn't say there's no reason a Myanmar style coup shouldn't happen here. We're going to let you listen to one more time. You can make up your own mind.



MICHAEL FLYNN, FMR ADVISOR, NATIONAL SECURITY: I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here.

No reason. I mean, you should have no reason. But that's right.


COOPER: So you can make up your own mind if he did say it wouldn't be the first time the former president's National Security Adviser has publicly discussed military action in the United States because the election didn't turn out in favor of the former president. Here's what he said to the conservative network Newsmax about martial law potentially being imposed.


FLYNN: He could alter the -- the, within the swing states. If he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states. So, I mean it's not unprecedented.


COOPER: Well, it is according to The Washington Post fact checker martial law has in fact been imposed at least 68 times during the nation's history, most notably after the Civil War and former Confederate States but never under the circumstances Flynn argued on Newsmax.

Want to get perspective now from retired Major General James "Spider" Marks, CNN military analysts. And Katie Cherkasky, a former Judge Advocate General in the Air Force, any former federal prosecutor. Katie, I hope I did mule (ph) your last name. Did I get it right?


COOPER: OK, good. Thank you. Well, let me start with you, Katie, I mean, is, is this sedition, we talked to a member of Congress last night who said she said she thought it might be or would be?

CHERKASKY: Sure, well, under the UCMJ, the military penal code, there is a crime of sedition. But in this case, you have to be careful about taking appalling conduct and wondering if it's really criminal, you have to look at the actual law. And I think here that comment in isolation is going to be difficult to

charge if you can get there in a military court martial. But certainly there are arguments on both sides because you have somebody that not only made this comment, but has a history, including a criminal history that borders on this sort of idea.

So, I think it would be a difficult case to prove in a vacuum with the comment that we're talking about, but it's not impossible.

COOPER: General Marks you were General Flynn's commanding officer at one point. You told The New Yorker, that when he was under your command, he was smart, humble and funny. You -- do you recognize the Michael Flynn of today? I mean, what he, everybody I've talked to who knew him in Iraq and elsewhere said he was a remarkable officer.

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: He was a remarkable officer, this form of Mike Flynn, I simply do not recognize. It's more than just embarrassing. I would say, you know, Mike enjoyed this incredible reputation in uniform. I was incredible fan and I was blessed to serve with Mike even though he was a subordinate.

I mean, we were better because of him. But this is more than embarrassing. This is taking a great reputation. And it's more than tarnishing that reputation, it's really kind of cratering that reputation. I'm disheartened by all of this. And I'm glad we've got Katie here to answer the question about sedition. I mean, I have no clue whether UCMJ applies to a retired general officer.

It just, you know, and when you take the oath of your commissioning, you know, we swear to uphold the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And in my view of that, that's not some ephemeral kind of adherence. I mean, it's part of our core, our core, we take that forever. So I don't think you just embrace that when you're in uniform. And when you're out of uniform, you certainly can speak freely, but there are certain guardrails that you need to be very, very conscious of.

You know, the military is an incredibly powerful organization, and you learn these incredible skills, but you also have to check yourself. And that's what's good about being a senior officer and that type of training that we get.

COOPER: Katie, who would make the decision on whether charges would or could be filed against General Flynn or any other kind of punishment?

CHERKASKY: Sure, well, it's a bit complicated because he is retired. And so, you can technically bring a retired military member to a court martial, if they are recalled, typically by at least the Secretary of the Army, if not higher.

In the military, as many people may know, the command chain is actually the decision maker for any prosecutorial decisions. It's not the military prosecutors. So, the command chain all the way up through the Secretary and potentially beyond, could be or would be the ones making that decision. But there's a lot of factors there because he is retired. There's currently active litigation regarding the constitutionality of court marshaling retirees in a military court martial. But that's not to say that there's not any sort of accountability because he can be prosecuted by the feds, he can be prosecuted by a state entity just because he's a military retiree.

That's not the only option, but it does pose it does bring other potential consequences that a civilian court system could not impose on him including potentially taking his retirement, to say the least.


So certainly there's a lot of factors there. But to the extent that the military does criminalize addition, military members still have free speech rights, to some extent, even though they're more limited than other citizens. So, you have to look at the line between a thought or a, you know, kind of the idea of something and taking any sort of action.

And so, with sedition, you have to show that there's some sort of revolt or disturbance that's created. And not just that there may be or could be. So if there's more evidence that's out there. There's other planning if there's other ideas, if there's something more than just this comment, which he's walked back on immediately, that may change the landscape --


CHERKASKY: -- significantly.

COOPER: General Marks, I remember speaking to you -- yes, go ahead General.

MARKS: No, I was just going to pile on what Katie just said, which is absolutely spot on. I mean, there's a difference, as we know, between being legally right, right and wrong and exercising good judgment. And this clearly is an example very sadly, of an incredibly gifted guy exercising very good judgment. And it may be totally legal, but it's totally dumb ass, it shouldn't happen. Excuse me.

COOPER: Yes. General Marks, I appreciate it. Katie Cherkasky, thank you so much. Really pleasure to have you on.

(voice-over): Coming up, more from President Biden statements in Tulsa, have more on that about hiding history for future generations -- from future generations.



COOPER: Part of President Biden's message today on the centennial of the Tulsa race Massacre was to underline how those in power, until fairly recently chose to ignore it. And about the kind of message that sends to future generations. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: For much too long, the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness. But just because history is silent, it doesn't mean that it did not take place. And while darkness can hide much, it erases nothing. It erases nothing.


COOPER: The President later said, that's what great nations do. They come to terms with their dark sides, and we're a great nation.

Coming to terms includes understanding how they pass on racial bias, even young children. Back in 2010, before the Black Lives Matter movement, the deaths of George Floyd and Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, and so many others who were known, we began to study the effects of racial bias on kids working with a renowned child psychologist, we recreated and updated the famous doll test from the 1940s that use black and white dolls to ask kids about differences in race.

Instead of using dolls, the folks we work with use these identical drawings of children with different shades of skin color and ask questions like, can you show me the smart child? Show me the mean child? Show me the child who is the skin color most adults like?

We found that children as young as five years old, we're already internalizing and mirroring subtle messages about race that they were getting from their friends, from the world-at-large, from even their families. We check back in with two of those children all these years later, take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): Five-year-old Brielle was part of our study back in 2010.

(on-camera): (INAUDIBLE). Why do you want that skin color?

BRIELLE ELLIOTT, PARTICIPATED IN CNN STUDY ON RACE IN 2010: Because it looks lighter than mine, because this looks a lot like that one. And I just don't like the way brown looks, because the way browns looks, looks really nasty for some reason, but I don't know what reason. And that's all.

COOPER (on-camera): So you think it looks nasty?

ELLIOTT: Well, not really, but sometimes.

COOPER (on-camera): Sometimes. And Brielle they ask what color adults don't like, do you remember what you said? This one? That's right, that's what you said. Why do you think adults don't like that color?


COOPER (on-camera): Dark. And adults, do you think adults don't like dark?

ELLIOTT: Maybe some adults do. But maybe some of them don't.

COOPER (voice-over): And this is Brielle today, 11 years later. She loves music. Sometimes turns her feelings into songs. I spoke to her online.

(on-camera): Brielle, it's so nice to see you again. I feel incredibly old and you looked incredibly young and amazing. So how old are you now?

ELLIOTT: I'm 16 now. Yes.

COOPER (on-camera): I just want to start by showing you some of what you said to me so many years ago, about the test that you took?

This one? That's right. That's what you said. Why do you think adults don't like that?


COOPER (voice-over): Dark. Adults, do you think adults don't like dark?

ELLIOTT: Maybe some adults do. But maybe some of them don't.

COOPER (on-camera): What do you think hearing that now?

ELLIOTT: For me, I was kind of reflecting my thoughts of what I felt was projected onto me if that makes sense. So, how I felt the world saw me.

COOPER (on-camera): Those are the messages you had been getting from the world around you.

ELLIOTT: Yes, exactly.

COOPER: Those are pretty tough messages for a five-year-old to have received.

ELLIOTT: So if it was me, imagine how many other five-year-olds are, you know, receiving the same message.

COOPER: If you had a five-year-old daughter one day and she said that to, you know, some reporter who came and asked her those same questions. What would you want to tell your daughter then?

ELLIOTT: I think that I would just want her to know that it doesn't really matter what if what society assigns to you as long as you know what lies within. She would just need to know that the people who matter know who she is and the people who matter love her and the people who matter are not those people.


COOPER: And she's beautiful. ELLIOTT: Yes. She's amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doing a great job so far.

COOPER (voice-over): In 2012, we conducted another study about children's attitudes on race that included kids as oldest 13.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll have you take that seat there --

COOPER (voice-over): Like Jimmy, different than the subtle messages that Brielle described, Jimmy's experiences were far more overt.

JIMMY LOVE, PARTICIPATED IN CNN STUDY ON RACE IN 2012: Yes, like this morning, it was like (INAUDIBLE) jokes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And what were some of the jokes.

LOVE: Like how do you get a black person down from a tree? Yes, you cut the rope. That one, that didn't find them very funny, but I find funny.

COOPER (voice-over): This is Jimmy today, he moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue a career in dancing.

LOVE: I think about that time, in particular, from 2012 until now, I knew that racism existed. I knew that racism was the thing in the '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, so on and so forth. But in my mind as a kid, racism existed, like it wasn't still relevant.

COOPER (voice-over): Jimmy says he grew up with friends of all different races. Despite some negative experiences, he says supportive friends, teachers and family protected him from feeling the impact of racism. But now, he says the killing of George Floyd by a police officer last year.





COOPER (voice-over): And the movement that grew out of it led him to a painful awakening about race in America and his own vulnerability.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: Black lives matter!

LOVE: It said that I feel like I have to drive my car in fear of being pulled over because my life is on the line. That's the reality that we're living in right now. The reality of what it means to have my skin color is that you can get pulled over for no reason and get shot.

COOPER (voice-over): For Brielle, that's a lesson she says she learned as a little girl, soon after we met 11 years ago.

(on-camera): When did you first realize the difference in experiences with police that many people of color have compared to other races?

ELLIOTT: Early, honestly, because I mean, having a black father, I have definitely had like experiences like that where I'll be in the backseat and I have to see him, you know, go about things wisely. Because situations like that, obviously are life and death. Like couldn't have been too long after that interview that I remember my first experience with my dad being pulled over and being in the backseat.



COOPER (voice-over): Despite that, Brielle says the last year has given her hope.

(on-camera): Are you optimistic about what your life will be compared to what obstacles others faced in generations before you?

ELLIOTT: Yes, I am, because I do see the change that's taking place. I know that it won't happen overnight. And it might not happen in a lifetime. But if what my generation can do ends up pushing things forward for generations to come, then yes, I can be optimistic about that.

COOPER (voice-over): Jimmy doesn't share that same optimism, but is more determined than ever to show that his life matters.

LOVE: If I'm being honest, I don't feel like there's going to be change. So, what I feel like I need to do is be the best black version of myself I can be and glorify my culture the best way I can. Because if you're going to keep killing us, you're going to know how great we are.


COOPER: Oh, I thank both Jimmy and Brielle for their candor and for taking part in the study in the -- that we did all those years ago and talking again, just recently.

(voice-over): Up next, the intensifying search for the gunman who killed two and injured 21 more during that brazen attack at a Miami banquet hall and rented out for concert. That's coming up when we continue.



COOPER: Authorities in Miami say they'll hunt for the gun man who stage a brazen attack that killed two, injured 21 outside of banquet hall is still ongoing tonight.

Our Randi Kaye has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outside the El Mula Banquet Hall where three gunman opened fire over the weekend, the pain is still wrong.


KAYE (voice-over): This young woman spent about an hour at the memorial crying out for a loved one. Others in the community of Hialeah Florida also came to mourn. This woman brought a young child and placed pictures and a placard outside.

With two dead, 21 injured and the suspects still on the run, the community and loved ones are reeling. On Sunday in the hours after the shooting, the father of Clayton Dillard III, a 26-year-old who was killed showed up distraught trying desperately to reach the body of his son.


KAYE (voice-over): Meantime, the search for suspects continues. Miami- Dade Police say they are following up on various tips and looking at several people. Police also tell me they are interviewing the injured who are able to speak. And a spokesman for Miami-Dade Police confirmed they are searching for at least four suspects. The three arm suspects in ski masks who hopped out of the SUV and shot at the crowd plus the driver of the SUV.


This security camera footage The SUV pull up in the alley right next to the banquet hall. Three arm suspects jump out and race down the alley. What you don't see is as they reach the corner, they open fire on the crowd at the front door. The victims were waiting to get inside for a rap concert. It all happened in less than 10 seconds.

Police say some in the crowd were armed and returned fire. Others ran, two never had a chance. The shooters quickly jumped back in the SUV and drove off. Later, a tip from someone in the community led police to that partially submerged Nissan Pathfinder SUV in a canal.

ALFREDO RAMIREZ, DIRECTOR, MIAMI-DADE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're already processing the SUV. Thanks to information received from the community. We were able to locate the vehicle we're in the process of doing a forensic analysis of the vehicle.

KAYE (voice-over): That SUV had been stolen back in mid-May. One hundred thirty thousand dollars in reward money is being offered to anyone who has information leading to arrests.


KAYE: And tonight Anderson, Miami-Dade Police are calling the investigation very active. They say the tips that they're getting so far are turning out to be quite fruitful, so that is good news. But I can tell you that here around the banquet hall, there are so many businesses so I asked the spokesman for that police department if they were able to get any other security camera footage from these other businesses, he wouldn't comment on that.

I also was asked about maybe a footprint or fingerprint or a clothing fiber in that SUV. He said it's too early to tell anyone about that in this investigation. Anderson.

COOPER: Randi Kaye thanks very much.

Just ahead a special programming announcement, we're going to have a preview of my interview with former President Obama.



COOPER: Programming note. Truly before tonight's broadcast, I sat down with former President Obama here in Chicago for a wide-ranging interview about his post presidential life and just being a dad. It's all part of a "360" Special Report airing next Monday, in this hour, the former president discusses fatherhood, leadership, and his legacy. Again, it's next Monday night 8:00 p.m. Eastern time here on CNN.

The news continues. Want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris.