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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Fallen Officer Brian Sicknick's Life Partner Speaks Out; Interview With Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); White House Assesses President's Performance In Geneva; New Bodycam Video Shows Mob Beating, Trampling Capitol Police; Sen. Joe Manchin Proposes Changes To Wide-Reaching Bill Favored By Democrats; Who Are The Cyber Ninjas?; Supreme Court Upholds The Affordable Care Act. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 17, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And obviously, voting is in just a few days. Thank you very much.
KATHRYN GARCIA (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Yes, and I encourage everyone to be voting on Tuesday.
BURNETT: All right, and thanks very much to all of you for joining us and being part of the show.
"AC360" with Anderson begins right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with the facts in the face of one political party's attempt to white wash history at home and abroad. Now, this isn't about policy differences or the philosophical distinctions between Democrats and Republicans. It is simply about fact versus fiction. The G.O.P.'s willingness to cynically embrace fiction and the damage that this is doing.
Now, today as part of the court case against one of the person accused of assaulting police at the Capitol on the 6th of January, the Justice Department released new video. It is bodycam video from one of the officers there that day, assaulted that day. And we are going to play it for you uncut.
It is brutal and it is ugly and contains profanity. And as you watch it, remember the majority of Republicans in Congress do not want a full investigation into this. Some have even said publicly what you are about to see didn't actually happen.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: These are people carrying Trump flags and Confederate battle flags overrunning a police line outside the Capitol. Trump supporters, violent ones, and people willing to beat and trample members of law enforcement. People willing to assault police officers once they got inside.
This, too, is new video. It is a different angle and footage you've probably already seen of one officer getting crushed in a doorway. This is what is now being white washed and the denial is now so deep among the G.O.P. that 21 House Republicans could not -- these folks -- could not even bring themselves to vote for legislation honoring the men and women for the bravery they showed and the sacrifices they made in defending them on that day.
Now, again, this new video was taken by an officer and those 21 people you just saw don't want to honor that officer or any one of them. One of those 21, Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia could not even summon the common decency to shake one of the officer's hands. Clyde is the guy who said the mob behaved like normal tourists -- that guy.
He is lying and he knows he is lying, he was there.
Officer Michael Fanone was badly injured by the mob. He confronted Congressman Clyde yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: I was very cordial. I extended my hand to shake his hand. He just stared at me.
I asked him if he was going to shake my hand, and he told me that he didn't know who I was. So, I introduced myself. I said that I was Officer Michael Fanone, that I was a D.C. Metropolitan Police officer who fought on January 6th to defend the Capitol, and as a result, I suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a heart attack after having been Tased numerous times at the base of my skull, as well as being severely beaten.
At that point the Congressman turned away from me, pulled out his cell phone, looked like he was attempting to pull up like an audio recording app on his phone, and again, like never acknowledged me at any point.
As soon as the elevator doors opened, he ran as quickly as he could like a coward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And no story about Congressman Clyde is complete without reminding you that is him on January 6th, spot shadowed literally barricading the door from the mob, hiding from the mob, concerned about, scared by the mob, knowing that his life and others were in danger from violent supporters of the President he supports, still.
Now, that guy is pretending they weren't really any different than tourists visiting the Capitol.
There's also news about Senator Ron Johnson today -- another profile in courage -- it wasn't a real insurrection because the attackers didn't have firearms. Well, just today, wouldn't you know it, one of the attackers was charged with bringing a firearm to the Capitol on January 6th, not that it matters much anyway, given that the attackers weaponized anything they could get their hands on to beat multiple officers to within inches of their lives -- sticks, pipes, flag poles, Tasers as you just heard from Officer Fanone, batons, you name it. They used it all.
COOPER: So, Senator Johnson is lying and he knows it. So, does Kevin McCarthy, of course, the top House Republican. He knows what the insurrection truly was and on whose behalf it was carried out and we know he knows it because he said so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The President bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A short time after he said that, though, after traveling to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the former President's ring or whatever equivalent thereof he, too, began white washing what happened. He purged Liz Cheney, the only Republican House leader who saw the insurrection for what it was and he let a thousand crazy conspiracy flowers bloom from what used to be the fringe of his party, but is now the face of it.
Matt Gaetz is now retweeting a new theory being peddled on FOX News that the F.B.I. operatives organized and participated in the attack. So, of course, did Marjorie Taylor Greene, Congressman Paul Gosar is claiming Federal officials incited it and says that a QAnon follower killed in the attack was executed by law enforcement.
Their leader, Kevin McCarthy tolerates it all and sets the example. He set the bar pretty high there. Here is what he said about President Biden at the Summit in Geneva -- and spoiler alert, it is also a lie and he knows it.
Quoting from a portion of McCarthy's statement yesterday he said, "President Biden should have used today's summit to stand up for our national interest and send a message to the world that the United States will hold Russia accountable for its long list of transgressions. Unfortunately, President Biden gave Vladimir Putin a pass."
Now, look. You can agree or disagree with the President's Russia policy. I am not here to support any political party's policies. You can raise questions about how the President plans to confront Russia. You can raise questions about how the President plans to contain the threat that Russia poses to this country and to our allies.
You can raise all kinds of issues that reasonable people of all foreign policy and national security persuasions might differ on. But Congressman McCarthy did not do that in that quote. He just lied. And he lied really, I mean, stupidly because whatever else President Biden did when it comes to the Congressman's, quote, "long list of transgressions," it is obviously clear he did not give Putin a pass.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How could I be the
President of the United States of America and not speak out against the violation of the human rights?
I pointed out to him that that's why we're going to raise our concerns about cases like Alexei Navalny and I raised the case of two wrongfully imprisoned American citizens. Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed. I made it clear that we will not tolerate attempts to violate our democratic sovereignty or destabilize our democratic elections and we would respond.
I communicated the United States' unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
I pointed out to him we have significant cyber capability, and he knows it. He doesn't know exactly what it is, but it is significant. If in fact they violate these basic norms, we will respond in cyber. He knows.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Kevin McCarthy also knows. And by the way, Kevin McCarthy critiquing President Biden for in his words giving Putin a pass at the Summit is so brazenly hypocritical that it almost makes you impressed by his complete lack of shame.
I mean, we have seen a President give Vladimir Putin a pass at a Summit in front of cameras on live television, it was the guy who is wasting away in Mar-A-Lago-ville to quote Jim Acosta.
Let us just for reference, look at the tape the former President with Putin in Helsinki after asked about the assessment by America's own Intelligence professionals including his handpicked Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me, and some others. They said they think it's Russia.
I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was in 2018. At the time, Congressman McCarthy was a functioning adult with a working set of ears by all accounts. Also a memory, but irony is dead, so is shame apparently. The lying, that is alive and well and is all part of a scheme to get the public accustomed to even more lies down the road to show their supporters they can lie with impunity and demoralize anyone who still believes that in the public arena, the simple truth can still prevail.
Joining us now is Sandra Garza, life partner of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick who was pepper sprayed, battled rioters for miles, and died the next day.
Sandra, first of all, I am sorry that we are talking under these circumstances. When you continue to see all of these efforts to white wash, to diminish what happened on January 6th, the suggestion that these folks were just walking between the velvet ropes in the Statuary Hall and acting like tourists -- as someone who is still in the midst of deep grief and profound loss, how do you tolerate that?
SANDRA GARZA, LIFE PARTNER OF CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER BRIAN SICKNICK: Well, Anderson, first, I want to thank you so much for having me on your show -- and it is very difficult. It makes me incredibly angry, which is why I continue to speak out.
It enrages me that they continue to gaslight their supporters. They're not doing the right thing. That is the thing that upsets me the most.
They all have an opportunity to do the right thing by not only their constituents, but the American people as a whole. What happened on January 6th should unite us as Americans and they're not doing that. It disgusts me. It is despicable. It needs to stop.
COOPER: These 21 Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Force, what do you say to them? I mean, you know, we keep showing these pictures because I feel like people should see the faces of these people who are not willing to honor heroes because a lot of these folks, Louie Gohmert and others, you know, claim to be big supporters of police.
GARZA: Right, right. Well, like I said, it is despicable and they're all cowards. They could never do what the officers did that day. I think, you know, when you were talking about in the intro about Representative Clyde saying, oh, it was tourists that day, and there are photos of him barricading the door with a desk with his colleagues. I mean, clearly, he was terrified.
You know, it's despicable. They need to -- I loved what you said earlier on, too, about them kissing Donald Trump's ring. If they're going to kiss anybody's rings, it should be the officers that were there that day that saved their butts. That's what they need to be doing.
And I don't know how they can look at themselves in the mirror every day. I don't know how they can sleep at night. It's unbelievable and it's disgusting.
COOPER: You know, you talk about the Congressman being terrified. He should have been terrified. It was a terrifying situation. I'm sure a lot of the police officers that day were terrified. I mean, this is something we have not seen in this country in this way and for those officers it -- I mean, you see that video that was just released today. It's terrifying.
GARZA: Right. COOPER: And yet, they stood there, you know, Congressman Clyde was
terrified and was escorted out to safety by officers. The police officers had to stay there and confront their terror.
GARZA: That's right. That's right. You know. I love Maya Angelou's quote. She says, you know, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. This is who they are. How he treated Officer Fanone yesterday is who he is. What he is doing, what they are all doing and saying is who they are.
I don't know how people can continue to support them after they're doing this. Last year, they were up in arms and very upset and screaming that they supported the police and, yet, now they're stepping all over the police and it's gross. It's disgusting.
Like I said I think it was last week, you know, by all rights, they don't deserve the protection of Capitol Police or any law enforcement for that matter if they are going to be behave this way. It is really terrible.
COOPER: You know, and we live in this time now where people don't just disagree just for that they have different political views and belief, and they disagree on policy issues and debate it and they figure out a way to move forward. Now, everybody demonizes the other person. Everybody demonizes the people who disagree with them as being un- American or unpatriotic or enemies.
And yet, it is very easy to kind of make everything a divide between Republicans and Democrats in this country, but you know, from my understanding you and Officer Sicknick were actually supporters of the former President at one time, and I don't want to bring politics into this.
COOPER: But it is important just to re-affirm that this is not about Democrats looking to score political points. This is, you know, real life. You are a real person and Officer Sicknick, you know, was a real person beyond just a police officer doing a heroic job.
COOPER: If you could speak to the man you once supported, the former President, what would you want to say to him right now?
GARZA: Well, you know, like I said before, I would be willing to meet with him, and it would be to give him the tough questions. I mean, I shouldn't have to reach out to Donald Trump. He should be reaching out to me.
He was the former President. He should be reaching out to me.
You know, I have a lot of questions. I deserve answers. I supported him for various reasons, clearly, that's out the window now. And I want to educate as many people as I can that all of the things that he talked about as far as loving America, wanting to keep America great, supporting the police -- all of this stuff is not true.
I'm a real person. I was living my life, doing my job, living in anonymity, and because I lost someone very important to me due to the events of January 6th, it's forced me -- I shouldn't say forced -- I am here willingly -- but I'm here to come out to say this is wrong. This should not have happened.
He is the mastermind. Yes, those people made choices that day. The people that committed violence made choices. We are all responsible for the individual choices that we make. But Donald Trump was the mastermind of that day. And it angered me when I saw articles or people saying that I was giving him a pass. I would never give him a pass.
But what I'm trying to do is educate people that this is not loving America. What happened on January 6th is far from it. I mean, those people were out there with American flags, blue line flags, beating officers, you know, doing terrible things to them and he has the audacity to say in North Carolina at that rally that he was at that he loves America?
He is not loving America. He's not trying to unite America.
The other thing he said that really upset me was he had the audacity to say, "I love my family. I love my grandchildren." What about my loved one? What about Gladys and Chuck's son? What about Officer Smith's family? Officer Liebengood's family? What about all of the children of the officers that were there that day that fought valiantly, that have to deal with nightmares and flashbacks and physical injuries that are still unhealed and the unseen injuries?
You know, an officer lost an eye. That eye isn't coming back. Officers that lost fingers. Those aren't coming back. Does he care about them?
You know, that's loving America. Caring about the people that you are overseeing.
So, you know, I really want to have my voice out there to say, he is not somebody who symbolizes loving America. He is far from it, and I want people to know that you don't have to go with the Trump clan to perpetuate this because that's what's going to happen. This is not loving America.
We want to, you know, unite America and have people come together and, you know, we already have to work about -- worry about foreign terrorists and what he is doing is he is having his cronies on Capitol Hill further divide Americans. That is not what we want.
COOPER: Sandra, I mean, I hate that you are in a position where you need to speak out, but you are in that position, and you are speaking incredibly eloquently and powerfully not just for yourself.
GARZA: Thank you.
COOPER: But for your loved one, for Officer Sicknick, who is no longer here, and for others who are not -- who can't speak out. So, I appreciate you being with us tonight and I'm sure you're getting threats. I'm sure you're getting people intimidating you. We've seen the parents of children ...
COOPER: ... at Sandy Hook who for years have been intimidated by people simply because they lost a loved one. They lost their child.
COOPER: And they have been harassed for years and years and years. And I hope it's not happening to you.
COOPER: But I'm -- from what I understand, it probably is. And I just wish you strength in the face of all of this.
GARZA: Anderson, can I say one more thing very quickly?
COOPER: Sure. Of course.
GARZA: I am being harassed. I have seen terrible things written about me online. And, you know, Trump supporters are saying I'm getting paid for these interviews. I'm not getting paid a dime. I don't have to get paid to do the right thing. I don't have to get paid to get justice for someone I loved very much and for the people that are continuing to suffer today because of January 6th.
GARZA: But I will say this, no one is going to intimidate me shut me up. So, I really appreciate you allowing me to be a voice not just for Brian, but for everybody else who suffered on that tragic day. Thank you so much.
COOPER: Sandra Garza, thank you.
Coming up next, confronting some of the lies about President Biden at the Summit and new word from Vladimir Putin suggesting even he doesn't believe some of the falsehoods his own state media is spreading about what happened.
Later, can Democrats agree among themselves on key voting rights legislation? We'll ask a colleague of Senator Joe Manchin who offered up a compromise today.
COOPER: This notion Kevin McCarthy has about President Biden flubbing it at the Summit, which we mentioned at the top would come as news to the White House, also to Vladimir Putin.
Joining us now with more on both angles, CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House. So, Kaitlan, what is the White House saying tonight about how the
President's trip went and I am wondering if they are responding at all to Kevin McCarthy?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are obviously praising the trip. They feel it was a good outcome, the outcome they wanted, and there weren't any surprises that they had not seen on the horizon going into President Biden's first trip abroad.
But they are responding directly to Kevin McCarthy, and that is coming from Jake Sullivan who is President Biden's national security adviser and he was asked about this allegation from McCarthy that essentially Biden gave Putin a pass by appearing on a world stage with him, shaking hands with him, having these meetings.
And Sullivan was saying the proof that that is not true is in the fact that Biden did push Putin on things like human rights, Alexei Navalny, the detaining of Americans on false premises, and of course, on election interference and these ransomware and cyberattacks that we've seen. Maybe they didn't get to a resolution of those, but he is saying, at least he did push him on them.
COLLINS: And Jake Sullivan really kind of summed it up by saying he did not side with essentially the Kremlin and their denials of election interference over U.S. Intelligence Agencies on the world stage like we saw Trump do. And of course, when that happened, so many Republicans including Kevin McCarthy were silent about the President's behavior.
But I do think that there are questions to be raised about what Biden's Russia strategy is going to be, Anderson.
COLLINS: Things like when he is waiving those sanctions on the company behind Nord Stream 2 that empowers Russia. Ukraine has complained about it and said it is essentially a loss for them that Biden is doing that.
But when they are coming from people like Kevin McCarthy, I think, often, they do fall on deaf ears given the way that McCarthy and other Republicans looked the other way when Trump was President.
COOPER: I mean, there is completely reasonable criticisms one can make of President Biden's policy vis-a-vis Russia on any issue, but the idea that Kevin McCarthy is an honest observer of this now given his complete fawning for the former President who did give Russia's President a pass, and Kevin McCarthy never said that about the former President. What is Vladimir Putin now saying?
COLLINS: He is actually making some interesting remarks today. Because you know, going into this Summit, there were so many tensions not just between the U.S. and Russia, but also between Biden and Putin given that Biden had called him a killer, and you saw Putin respond saying essentially that the U.S. President is also a killer, murderous, those kind of comments that he was making.
Today though, he was saying this idea that Russian state media has been pushing in the last several weeks and months that Biden is out of depth is wrong. And he gave this remarks today praising Biden at length and talking about him and in part he said, quote, "Mr. Biden is a professional and you need to be very careful in working with him so as not to miss something. He himself does not miss a thing, I assure you, and this was absolutely clear to me."
So Putin there taking statements that his own media, his own state- owned media has pushed and saying they are wrong. Of course, that is also criticism that you have also seen from Republicans, but I think just because Putin is saying this does not mean things are all rosy, and that relationship between the U.S. and Russia has changed.
I think it has deteriorated to a low point and both leaders acknowledged that going into this Summit, and they did not come to a conclusion or resolution on a lot of the issues between them or really any of them. Very few concrete tangible outcomes coming out of this, but I do think it speaks to, maybe they are trying to blunt this downward spiral of the U.S.-Russia relationship is on, but really, Anderson, only time will tell.
COLLINS: Yes, Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. Thanks.
Perspective now from Congressman Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Chairman Schiff, I just want to start with your reaction to the newly released footage of the insurrection released by the Justice Department. Do you think we will have -- I mean, I doubt it will have any impact on your Republican colleagues who continue to try to downplay what happened that day.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It won't have an impact on them. Look, they know the truth, but they feel for whatever reason that aligning themselves with the President's lies is the future of their party and it is incredibly destructive. We really depend on two functional parties in the country. We only have one. And we have a cult of personality around the former President.
But still, it still makes a difference, Anderson, because the public sees it and a great many Americans have come to believe the lies of the former President and the lies of Kevin McCarthy and others and seeing this footage and seeing hose these Capitol Police officers were brutalized and the realization that some of those that were doing the brutalizing are former military, foreign police officers, it's a rude awakening for everyone, but hopefully, it will also help people see the lies of the former President.
COOPER: Back in the old days of the Soviet Union, it was a common tactic of the Soviet leaders and the Soviet government to try to obviously sow division in the United States and to latch on to disagreements in the United States and sort of use those as a wedge to try to, you know, gain some influence or affect policies here. Vladimir Putin is essentially now doing the same thing, only he is
parroting what G.O.P. lawmakers have been saying in terms of trying to white wash the insurrection. I mean, did you ever think a major political party, the Republican Party in this country would be on the same page as the Russian President when it came to an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol?
SCHIFF: No. I certainly didn't, but you are absolutely right. The Russians and the Soviets before them have a long history of sowing discord in the United States and I never thought I would see a situation where some of our political leaders would be in lock step with them, really attacking the foundation of our government and pushing out the lies that are aligned with Kremlin lies.
But look, the paramount example was the former President telling Bill O'Reilly when he was asked why can't you criticize Putin? The man is a killer. And his response was, "Well, are we so different?" That was I think the quintessential example of American political leaders in the G.O.P. adopting Kremlin propaganda themselves.
So, it's not new to the GOP, but it's new since the election of Donald Trump.
COOPER: And I mean again, I just -- the shamelessness of Kevin McCarthy with zero irony, saying that, you know, critic -- critiquing President Biden as having given Vladimir Putin a pass at the summit in Geneva. I mean, he's, you know, he's stood there, while the former president stood on stage with Vladimir Putin, and gave him a pass and not only a pass, but a pat on the back.
SCHIFF: Well, you're absolutely right. I mean, Kevin McCarthy was made for a period like this, where there is no truth, facts don't matter. You can just simply say whatever you want. But it's hard to find a more clear example of this than, you know, the mute Kevin McCarthy, who, well, the former president, I'd states stood shoulder to shoulder with Vladimir Putin, praising the Kremlin dictator, praising the Kremlin murderer, and taking his side over our own U.S. intelligence agencies who was mute, to now find criticism with the next president who stood up to poop and called him out on his interference in our election, the same thing the prior president had denied called him out on his adventure is a military adventurism and invasion of Ukraine, as well as the cyber attacks emanating from Russian soil, violations of human rights, the poisoning of Navalny.
So, you know, look, I think Biden hit all the right points. I think we were right to go into this summit with modest expectations, there wasn't going to be a big breakthrough. But from my point of view, just having a president act like a president, upholding our values and our interests, was awfully refreshing for the last four years.
COOPER: I'm wondering if you've learned anything more about what we learned, I guess it was two weeks ago or so. Or we could go the Justice Department under former President Trump secretly sees personal communications data from House Intelligence Committee members, including yourself, have you learned any more about the size, the scope of any accountability that may be in the pipeline?
SCHIFF: You know, I've learned a little more since then, only because we've learned of additional people that have -- had their records subpoenaed in this way. Because a lot of people Anderson thought it was spam coming into their e-mail accounts.
And this is, you know, one of the concerns we have, which is that we needed to learn about this from a generic e-mail from Apple, rather than the Justice Department coming forward and saying, hey, look, this is what was going on during the Trump era. We want to let you know about this. It was wrong. We're going to prevent this from happening again.
But I will say this --
COOPER: Wait, wait, you learned about it from Apple?
SCHIFF: Oh, yes. Yes.
COOPER: So the government didn't inform you. You just got an e-mail from Apple saying, oh, by the way this happened?
SCHIFF: Yes, the first time learned that my records have been sought by the Justice Department was when Apple sent, you know, me an e-mail. And I'm lucky that I didn't overlook it. But, you know, that, frankly, this is just a very small part of a much larger problem.
Over the last four years, the Department of Justice was horribly politicize. They intervened on the President's behalf to make whole criminal cases go away like that, involving Michael Flynn and twice pled guilty to lying to federal authorities. They moved to reduce the sentence of other people who lied for the prison like Roger Stone.
SCHIFF: And now we learned that they were trying to get the Justice Department including Mark Meadows, the President's former president's chief of staff, trying to get the Justice Department to intervene in overturning the election.
SCHIFF: So -- I, you know, the, you know, Merrick Garland's got a big job in his hands to clean up after the last four years.
COOPER: Yes, Congressman Schiff, appreciate your time. Thank you. Coming up --
SCHIFF: Thank you.
COOPER: -- West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, finding himself squarely in the middle of yet another prickly piece of legislation especially important to his fellow Democrats, some voting rights, the latest state of play amid the fast changing landscape. Next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:37:26]
COOPER: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin told his fellow Democrats today he wanted some changes in the sweeping voting rights legislation that's emerging as a key litmus test in the Senate. The bill includes a mandated period for early voting among many other provisions.
Manchin's proposal would include Republican friendly priorities like voter ID, however there appears to be significant Republican opposition vote to the bill and Manchin's proposal. It's only the latest episode where the senator is found himself either as a key obstacle or key negotiator to his party's ambitions.
Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar is involved in the ongoing talks to find a compromise. She joins me now.
Senator Klobuchar, you co-sponsor the original version of the voting rights bill that I just mentioned, were at the meeting Senator Manchin -- with Senator Manchin, other Democrats today. I'm wondering what do you make the Senator's proposed changes and where things stand on the bill right now?
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Joe Manchin is coming at this with good faith Anderson, obviously I like the original bill. I'm the chair of the Rules Committee, we have gotten that in the place where it could come to the floor. And now we're talking to Joe. And people should know that there are a number of the provisions that he has proposed. That would be really good for the country, when you see over 400 bills introduced to suppress the vote, and to really stopped people's freedom to vote.
Number one, as you mentioned, the early voting two weeks early that gets at what's going on in Georgia, where they're trying to mess around with people's right to vote on the weekend. I think that's why you see Stacey Abrams and Senator Warner, believing in the work that Joe is be doing here and supporting, a number of the provisions he's put forth, allowing you to automatically register if you get your license. If you go to a DMV in your state that would automatically register you.
Making sure that we do something on dark money in politics with the DISCLOSE Act that is in there, every single word of it, something that we worked so hard to get past. So we find out who these big money donors are behind the super PACs.
COOPER: Yes --
KLOBUCHAR: So there's some good things, there's things still being negotiated. But the point is, is we had an excellent discussion today in our caucus heartfelt about how important that says for America to put some federal standards in place.
COOPER: But is there any evidence that this bill, even a modified version, acceptable, Senator Manchin would actually get the minimum of 10 Republican votes needed to break a filibuster? KLOBUCHAR: I'm not feeling that good about that, Anderson, given what Mitch McConnell cynically said today that he was already opposed to it simply because Stacey Abrams liked it. I -- you know, but it's as cynical as making voters stand in garbage bags in Milwaukee in the rainstorm and homemade masks waiting to vote or one voting drop off box in Texas Harris County of 5 million people or racist discriminatory measures that have been passed across the country.
And so, I still believe there's a path. My job this weekend through the weekend is to work with Senator Manchin and Jeff Merkley and others as we try to put this, his thoughts into action here and find something that works for everyone across the country. Once we get a measure like that, if we can get that done, I think a lot of people didn't think it was possible with Senator Manchin's announcement last week. But if we get something that works, done, then we go from there. And we'll figure out the procedures later.
But I think it is really important for the Democratic Party to stand up against what the Republicans are doing here.
COOPER: Do you think Manchin --
KLOBUCHAR: It's so cynical. Go ahead.
COOPER: Do you think Senator Manchin is, you know, if it goes through this negotiation, and still there's not enough Republican support that he'd be willing to make some sort of compromise on the filibuster?
KLOBUCHAR: I take every day at a time with voting rights just as voters to and I believe that failure is not an option here. What's going on is pure evil. What used to be a bipartisan idea in our democracy that we should be able to vote, it's literally being slammed every day and the opening segment of your show set it off, when we have Republicans over in the House that won't even vote for gold medal congressional medals for the very officers that defended us and saved our lives.
And I wanted to tell Sandra, who I have met Officer Sicknick's life partner, that I am leading that bill in the Senate. It's now headed over to the Senate with Senator Roy Blunt. It's a bipartisan effort. And I hope we can prevent what happened in the House with those basically, representatives who aren't even respecting the very officers who defended them that day.
COOPER: Yes. Senator Klobuchar, appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
KLOBUCHAR: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Up next, to follow to report last night about the mysterious firm or person conducting Arizona's so-called audit which is anything but Cyber Ninjas and how it its roots appear to be in Florida but not in actual election audits.
COOPER: Well last night, we brought you one of the many mysteries about this company hired to run Arizona so-called audit and why copies of the state's voter data ended up somewhere in Montana at some guy's house.
Tonight, our Kyung Lah goes entirely different direction quite literally seeking more clues in a far different state about this mysterious company, Cyber Ninjas and whether it's in any way qualified to actually analyze voting data.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Why am I in this Sarasota, Florida business complex chasing an Arizona story?
(on-camera): We're trying to talk to somebody about Cyber Ninjas.
(voice-over): Cyber Ninjas, that's the company hired to conduct the so-called audit in Arizona. It's the little known contractor claiming to be an election auditing firm carrying out this much disputed exercise in Maricopa County. The company is being paid 150,000 taxpayer dollars allocated by the Republican controlled Arizona Senate. Cyber Ninjas is headquartered in Sarasota.
So, we flew the 2,000 miles to Florida. Our first stop Cyber Ninjas legal department.
(on-camera): Suite number 421.
(voice-over): The office listed as a fourth floor suite is a rented mailbox. Inside a UPS store to the state of Florida Cyber Ninjas operates here, but not really.
(on-camera): Are you familiar with that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not.
LAH (voice-over): This is a registered agent company, a place that takes official mail and calls.
(on-camera): But they list this as their office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know but if they're one of our clients, I can't get any information.
LAH (voice-over): We find one other address that Cyber Ninjas use to get a $98,000 PPP loan from the federal government last year. There was nothing inside. Cyber Ninjas left a month after the November 2020 election.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for calling Cyber Ninjas.
LAH (voice-over): No one ever answers the official business phone number.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Press three --
LAH (voice-over): And every extension you press.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Press four, press five --
LAH (voice-over): Gets you to only one ninja.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please leave a message for Doug Logan, Doug Logan, Doug Logan.
LAH (voice-over): Doug Logan is the CEO of Cyber Ninjas. He's led Pennsylvania legislators through the audit floor, lawmakers from a dozen other states have followed. Logan oversees the daily process of this exercise. But there's a major problems as Tony Summerlin, who has known Logan for 15 years working together in cyber technology.
TONY SUMMERLIN, DOUG LOGAN'S FRIEND: He has absolutely no background or skills in the area. He's very smart. But doing an election audit is not the same as doing a cyber audit. He's gone way beyond studying a machine software.
LAH (voice-over): Summerlin says he tried to talk Logan out of the Arizona audit.
SUMMERLIN: It scares me that someone that thoughtful that nice and that bright would fall into this pit.
LAH (voice-over): The pit says Summerlin includes what the Daily Beast and the Arizona Mirror dug up. Logan's now deleted conspiratorial tweets and retweets about a stolen election. Logan also told the Arizona Mirror he wrote this document riddled with lies, like voting machines tied to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who by the way, died eight years ago.
STEPHEN RICHER, MARICOPA COUNTY RECORDER: I either I laugh or cry, depending on the day. Mostly laughs because that's my personality. It's disappointing. It's all just disappointing.
LAH (voice-over): Stephen Richer is the Republican Maricopa County Recorder, who along with the Board of Supervisors was subpoenaed by the Senate to hand over the 2020 ballots.
RICHER: Nobody could have said, oh, that's the group we're going to go with. That's just facially absurd. And so, you'd have to start say, asking, why did they choose that group? Is it because -- did they choose this group, because they knew that they would placate very specific actors that are connected to the stop the steal movement? Did they choose this group because they knew they would provide the results they want?
LAH (voice-over): Logan never did call us back to answer those questions. But he has defended himself in his one and only public press conference. DOUG LOGAN, CEO, CYBER NINJAS: So I know you guys want to pay to me, it's like some bad guy in here. I'm involved in this, and putting everything on the line with my company, because I care about our country. Otherwise, we would be stupid enough to walk into this. Like every individual that walks into any election integrity thing gets butchered by everybody.
COOPER: And Kyung Lah joins us now. I mean, I don't even know where to begin with your trip to Florida. I mean, this is unbelievable. The P.O. Box, the empty offices. I mean, I know they dress, you know, maybe they're like really like ninjas. So you can't even see them in an office. But it just seems like they don't. I mean, it's like, it's fascinating.
Have you -- do you have any indication where this story may take you next? I mean, what do we know about? I mean, can't they just come up with any results that they want and just announce those results? And there's no way to actually check is there.
LAH: No, there's no way to check because it has been so opaque. Now it is supposed to end as far as paper analysis on June 26th. But again, this doesn't impact the 2020 election because the elections already been certified, and then the report how are we going to verify it?
Part of the reason why Gary went to Montana and why I went to Florida is because we're trying to bring some transparency, trying to figure out what's happening here.
LAH: But the more you look into it, the more strange it becomes.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, there's a guy in Montana at his house who's got all these ballots or copies of them and who knows what he's doing with them. Kyung Lah, I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Unbelievable.
Up next, well, actually very believable. Up next, a significant victory for the Biden administration and Obamacare at the Supreme Court today. Details and what's likely ahead, when we continue.
COOPER: The Supreme Court today dismissed a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act leaving Obamacare intact and a decision that saved health care for millions of Americans. In a seven to two opinion authored by Liberal Justice Stephen Brier, the court did not actually rule on the law itself but rather said that the Republican led states along with the Trump administration, which challenged law did not have legal standing to bring the case. It was one of the most watched four cases during the session the court.
And here to discuss, CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama and CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
So David, you wrote that you had cried when the Affordable Care Act passed back in 2010. As someone who spent so much time with President Obama working to pass that law, what's your reaction to the whether Supreme Court has ruled?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, relief? I don't think it -- I think it was a little anti-climatic because most people deduced from the arguments earlier in the year that that the Affordable Care Act would survive, but still this was the last major challenge in terms of throwing the whole act out. That was what was being asked. There are some other legal issues that are rooting around out there that may still surface.
But I think this was a watershed event and for all the people who have benefited from this law and all the people who will. You know, I feel a great sense of relief. The reason I wept was because I had my own battles with a health care system when I have a child with a chronic illness, epilepsy, pre-existing condition, and it was hell to deal with the insurance companies and, and all of the problems that entails.
So, I thought about all the folks who won't have to do that because of this law. And, and it makes me very, very happy.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean, if the court had invalidated the Affordable Care Act, there are 31 million Americans who have health coverage through that, would they have just lost it? And is there any chance that because this was just a ruling based on standing, that this might come back to the Supreme Court.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: You bet they would have lost it, and they would have lost it within days, as soon as this decision went into effect, you know, the stakes in this case. You know, we talked about it in terms of abstractions like standing, it was life or death for people, whether pre-existing conditions, were going to be covered, whether insurance, you know, parents could cover their kids on insurance through age 26. All of that would have gone out the window with no substitute if the plaintiffs had won the case.
Now that -- now it is true, as we've pointed out, that this decision was not on the merits of the claim. It was a procedural exit. But if you read the opinion, I think it comes down to a single word, enough. Enough with the existential challenges to the Affordable Care Act. This is the third one and the Supreme Court by seven to two with four Republican justices, including Clarence Thomas, in the majority, they are not going to strike down this law, again, even --
TOOBIN: -- even with --
COOPER: So do you think the challenges are over? TOOBIN: Well, I don't think the challenges are over. I mean, you know, the Supreme Court is still interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act, I mean, there is a lot of interpretation that will go on. But the idea that the Supreme Court will simply say the Affordable Care Act is off the books, I think those kind of challenges are not going to be heard by the court anymore. This law is here to stay, how it's interpreted, whether it's expanded. All of that remains up for grabs, but the core is intact and will remain intact.
COOPER: Yes, I mean David, do you think this leads to expansion?
AXELROD: Well, I think that's going to be the next battle. Clearly, there's an appetite among Democrats, to expand coverage to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, those of us who were involved in it back in the day, recognize then that this was not the, the panacea, and that there were gaps that needed to be filled. And so yes, I think they're going to be future battles over this.
But Anderson, you know, I think that the real battle over the Affordable Care Act ended, the day that John McCain came out on the floor of this Senate and turned his thumb down and denied Donald Trump, his dream of destroying the Affordable Care Act in 2018. This was an albatross around the necks of Republicans, who were seen as wanting to do away with a law that prevent -- protected people who had pre-existing conditions, protected women, protected older people who were being discriminated against in the healthcare system.
And it really, it really hurt them. And it wasn't really an issue in the 2020 campaign. This lawsuit was sort of an artifact of a previous debate. It was filed several years ago. So yes, I think we're moving on from there, there will be healthcare battles, because there are a lot of people who believe I'm one of them, that health care should be a right and that people should be able to, to get it whatever their circumstances and get the health care that they need.
But -- and there's going to be a big debate about that, but I don't -- but I think the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. And that should be a great relief to millions of Americans. And it's great relief to me.
COOPER: Jeff, do you think there's a fair number of Republicans in Congress who are breathing a sigh of relief that the chaos has not occurred and the GOP won't get the blame for it if the court had ruled the other way. And they don't have to come up with some other health care policy, which they really haven't done at all.
TOOBIN: And, Donald Trump said for four years he was going to come up with a plan and never did to replace it. It's a lot easier to criticize this, the Obamacare to Obamacare than to come up with an alternative. Republicans never have. John Roberts is breathing a sigh of relief tonight, because he now knows this albatross is off the back of the Supreme Court, and the politicians will have to deal with it from now on. The court is out of this game.
COOPER: Yes. David Axelrod, Jeff Toobin is great to have you back. Thanks very much. Quick reminder, we begin tonight's program with that new video from the insurrection. This weekend a comprehensive view of that day. Be sure to watch "CNN SPECIAL REPORT: ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY, THE ROOTS OF TRUMP'S INSURRECTION." That's Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
News continues. Want to hand over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?