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Ambush of L.A. County Deputies; Stimulus Deal Unlikely; Pennsylvania Election on Hold; TikTok Partnering with Oracle. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired September 14, 2020 - 09:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Are this morning still in critical condition after they were shot while they were just sitting in their vehicle in what authorities there are calling a complete ambush. Now there is a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the shooter.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Josh Campbell joins us now from Compton.

Josh, first question, their condition, right? How do they stand? And do we have any information about the shooter?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim and Poppy, we learned some positive news last night. The two sheriff deputies are out of surgery, they are recovering in the hospital here behind me. We also heard the sheriff here say that although the long term impact of these injuries are still unknown, he expects them to pull through. So a bit of good news there.

Of course, this stemming from that very violent encounter on CCTV footage. You see these deputies in a patrol vehicle outside a metro station. A man approaches, appears to be walking by, but he stops, fires into the passenger side of that vehicles, turns and fleeces. Those officers, those deputies, taken here to this hospital with very serious injuries.

As far as that gunman, the manhunt continues at this hour. Authorities have not yet released any details, have not indicated whether they have any leads. A $100,000 reward is now being offered for any information leading to his arrest. Jim and Poppy.

HARLOW: Before you go, josh; obviously there is a lot of talk as well about what happened. And some of the horrible chants by a few about the -- about the officers as they were being taken into the hospital. And then, subsequently, it looks like -- it appears that there was at least one reporter that was arrested. Do we know why, on both accounts?

CAMPBELL: Yes, you know, this happened where I'm stand right here outside the hospital on Saturday night. These -- the deputies were taken here by ambulance. And there were a group of protesters, authorities say, who showed up. Now, we're not sure how many. But authorities say that some in the crowd were chanting some disparaging things about the deputies, including indications that they wanted them to die, which is just, you know, quite baffling.

There were a group of people, a small group, that we saw on video that appeared to be blocking the entrance. Authorities saying that stopped the ingress/egress of ambulances. Authorities attempted to make an arrest of one of the individuals.

Also caught up in that, a reporter, a local reporter here in the Los Angeles area, was also taken to the ground by deputies, placed under arrest. Now, that has caused great controversy. The sheriff's department has a lot to answer to at this hour because they issued an initial statement saying that that reporter failed to identify herself as a member of the press, saying that she didn't have press credentials.

However, later, both video from the reporter herself, she was actually taking at the moment, as well as bystander video, appears to show her identifying herself, screaming out the outlet that she worked for here. Again, that running contradictory to what authorities came out and said. There's also a controversy regarding one video that she had where you -- it appears to show a deputy stomping on her phone.


CAMPBELL: Again, a lot of unanswered questions there. A lot to answer for from sheriff's deputies about that encounter.

HARLOW: OK, Josh, thank you very much for that and we're thinking of those deputies and glad that the surgeries, it sounds like, were successful. Appreciate it very much.


HARLOW: For the millions of Americans struggling in this pandemic, waiting and waiting on Congress for aid and help, don't count on it before the election. Why a deal is just very unlikely.



HARLOW: Well, Congress is back from break today, but no break appears to be coming for hard-hit Americans as this pandemic hammers the economy. The chance of another stimulus deal before the election, that is near zero this morning. This despite the fact that some 30 million Americans are still receiving some sort of jobless benefit and this morning the Treasury secretary spoke about the need for more aid.


STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: It's very important that we have stimulus that helps the areas of the economy that need support. I'm more concerned about small businesses that are particularly impacted by the slowdown.


HARLOW: Margaret Anadu is the head of Goldman Sachs' Urban Investment Group and joins me now.

Good morning, Margaret. Thanks for being here.


HARLOW: I'm well, but I'm disturbed because the Democrats say we have to get something done and the Republicans and the Treasury secretary say we have to get something done. And Larry Kudlow said this on Friday.



LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR: I don't think the recovery hinges on this bill. The reality is it would help, OK?


HARLOW: What is the real life impact for very average Americans that nothing is likely going to happen to help them in terms of more stimulus for the next two months at least?

ANADU: The impact is so real. I think, Poppy, what's helpful is almost to just take a step back, right? In the best of times, in our base case, 57 percent of American families can't even stomach a $500 emergency. All right, your car breaks down, you need to get to work, lose your job, you know, snowballs into eviction, these are serious issues.

So the idea that, oh, hey, you know, additional stimulus would help, but these are real people's lives, these are real issues, these are small businesses that are continuing to lay off people. There's real life impact and it's urgent.

HARLOW: The numbers that Goldman Sachs came out with just a few days ago in its reporting on, you know, nearly a thousand different small businesses, what was striking to me is 36 percent said they're going to lay off workers or cut wages if there's not more aid in the next two and a half weeks, 30 percent will exhaust their cash reserves by the end of the year. And then for black owned businesses, Margaret, it's way worse, it's 43 percent are going to run out of cash reserves.

So, I mean, I don't understand what Congress is not understanding about this.


These things will happen. ANADU: They will. And I think it's important to sort of just really

almost peel back these types of small businesses, right? So You mentioned, you know, the disproportionate impact that we're seeing amongst back businesses. Ninety percent of black small businesses in the U.S. are sole proprietorships, right? These are individuals who are providing services to their communities, to their families, and really going it alone. These are not businesses that came into this pandemic with significant cash reserves or massive balance sheets.

And so when you take, you know, effectively five months of revenue out of a business that didn't come into this pandemic with significant reserves to begin with, you're going to have those real-life impacts of continued layoffs, closures, not even having the access to capital to reopen in the places where that is possible. And so the -- you know, the data continues to be incredibly disturbing.

HARLOW: Is your analysis then -- because there's so much talk about coming out of this recovery with a new, more just, more equal economy -- but when you still have black unemployment at 13 percent, even with overall unemployment down at 8.4 percent, that's not the story for black Americans -- do you think -- is y our analysis that we're likely on a path to come out of this with perhaps an even more unjust economy?

ANADU: You know, I think -- I think so much depends on the next few weeks and months.


ANADU: I mean I think what's telling -- it's almost even as -- even as you talked about this data, right, going down to 8 -- 4 percent, 13 percent for black Americans. I think what we're struggling with is almost data that's fairly confusing, right? July and August, you know, there -- there was lots of encouraging data. Even the jobs data that just came out. But you have to peel it back. We saw, you know, better data than we thought, but it wasn't like there was way more hiring than was expected, it was just less layoffs.

And to your point about the -- you know, the black businesses, the aggregate data that we're all watching in this recovery that in certain ways is better than expected just doesn't tell the story for certain geographies, for certain individual and certainly different business types.

HARLOW: I don't totally get it because it seems like in some ways Congress is shooting itself in the foot here and not heeding -- and I blame both parties, by the way -- and not heeding the results and the advice of Ben Bernanke, who warned just recently, don't make the mistake we made in the Obama administration by not pouring enough into recovering out of the Great Recession.

ANADU: I -- I --

HARLOW: And 1.3 million -- I was just going to say, 1.3 million state and local government employees have lost their jobs since March.

ANADU: Right.

HARLOW: And there's this fight over state and local aid. So I -- Do you -- do you worry we're going to make the same mistake again as a country?

ANADU: I definitely worry we're going to make the same mistake because I don't think -- I don't think we're paying enough attention to the data. I mean one of the stats that came out of the Bureau of Labor that I thought was really telling, even with the improvements that we saw in July and August, if you just look at the cumulative decline, where we sit today, in payroll, we are worse than the worst moment of the Great Recession. What other -- what other information do we need? There has to be more stimulus. It's important on a macro level. It's important on a micro level.

And I think if we really don't get additional stimulus done before the election, we're certainly not heeding the advice of Ben Bernanke and I just don't think we're paying enough attention to the data.

HARLOW: Margaret Anadu, it's good to have you. Thank you very much for bringing us sort of the -- the real perspective on what's going on. We appreciate it.

ANADU: Thanks for having me.

HARLOW: Well, it's 50 days only, folks. Fifty days before the election. And Pennsylvania's mail-in ballots, they were supposed to go out today. Problems are forcing this key battleground state to wait, next.



SCIUTTO: Ballots should start being mailed to voters today in the key swing state of Pennsylvania, but they won't be. With less than 50 days until Election Day, the final version of the ballot there is yet to be approved, putting the start of the election in that state on hold. Pennsylvania, to be clear, is not the only state where there are deep battles underway over voting access. This could affect your vote.

I'm joined now by Wendy Weiser, she's director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Wendy, good to have you on this morning.


SCIUTTO: So for folks who, like myself, are having trouble keeping track of all the court decisions, legal disputes, lawsuits taking place in states around the country, just big picture, tell us what's happening nationwide and should voters be concerned about a deliberate effort to block or limit voting access here?

WEISER: Well, we are undoubtedly in a very chaotic election season this year, and there's a perfect storm of factors that is making it difficult to run a safe and accessible election. We are in the midst of a pandemic. Election officials are facing severe budget shortages.

We have hyper polarization and a president who is undermining confidence in our elections. Foreign adversaries are trying to meddle in our election. We have widespread disinformation. All of this amidst lawsuits across the country that are going to impact what are the rules and processes for voting this November.


WEISER: Election systems -- election time is already upon us right now. In many places absentee ballots have already gone out. Soon, early voting is going to start. And so it's critical that in the next few weeks we resolve all these remaining outstanding questions about how voting is going to happen so we can get to the business of voting.


SCIUTTO: Is that realistic though given, you know, the president is very deliberately talking about questioning all mail-in voting, right? So can we have these crucial questions settled before Election Day, or are we now set up for a disputed Election Day?

WEISER: Well, we have right now 170 lawsuits that have been filed since January of this year about the voting process. Most of these have to do with changing the rules in order to -- so that people can vote safely during the pandemic. Some of these are lawsuits by the president and some of his allies that are trying to undermine voting access at the same time. Those have not been successful to date. We are starting to see decisions come down now and over the next two weeks wrapping up what the voting rules are going to be.

What the president is doing, and that is unprecedented for a sitting president of the United States to try to sow chaos and undermine confidence in the election is -- it's just not right. Our system is actually stable. It's going to work.

Mail voting is safe. In-person voting is going to be safe this year, too. Election officials are taking dramatic steps to make sure that they comply with all of our health mandates. And so, yes, there's going to be chaos. Yes, there's a lot of work we still need to do can, but Americans should still be confident going out to vote this year.

SCIUTTO: OK, what do folks at home need to do right now to -- to have the best information but also ensure that their vote, whether mailed in or done in person at a polling station, that they'll have the option to do that, right? What should folks do right now to ensure that they have that?

WEISER: So, people need to get correct information. Your correct information is from your local election officials or your state election officials. There's a lot of misinformation out there.

You need to, right now, make sure that you're registered to vote and check your registration. And however you're going to vote, do it early. In most states you can vote in person early. And it's important to flatten that voting curve. If you're going to vote absentee, if that's your safest way of voting, apply now so that you can do it as early as possible.

That's the way we're going to be able to avoid some of the worst problems like what we saw during the primaries this year with long lines, delayed ballots and really some chaos at election offices. I think we're learning from the mistakes. Election officials are trying to do this all a lot earlier. But voters need to act early, too.

SCIUTTO: Yes, act early, ignore --

WEISER: If you -- (INAUDIBLE) ballot -- yes, you can track it, too.

SCIUTTO: Yes, and that's important.

WEISER: And that's -- that's important to know.

SCIUTTO: And ignore the disinformation.

Wendy Weiser, thanks so much.

What I'm going to do, folks, as you're watching now, I'm going to get a website from Wendy and I'm going to share it on Twitter so you can go there to help find what the truth is, because there's a lot of mistruths out there.

And we'll be right back.



SCIUTTO: American tech giant Oracle will partner with TikTok now to keep the popular Chinese app running here in the U.S. The announcement comes after a potential sale to Microsoft fell through.

HARLOW: TikTok is one of the most popular apps in history. As you know, it's been downloaded 315 million times in just the first three months of this year, but the Trump administration threatened to stop it completely from operating in the United States over cyber security and national security concerns.

Let's go to our tech reporter, Brian Fung. He joins us live.

Well, this was a surprise. I think most people thought this thing was going to go to Microsoft with Walmart's involvement. But it's not a done deal, right? Explain what this means, why Oracle, and then also what -- what does this do to TikTok's lawsuit against the Trump administration trying to prevent this completely?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECH REPORTER: Sure. As you said, this is not a done deal. There are a lot of moving parts involved.

What we know about the Oracle deal is still kind of hazy, but our sources tell us that this deal, well, is not looking like an outright sale, which could raise questions about whether or not this deal will pass muster with the Trump administration. As you might recall, Trump signed an executive order last month that would seek to ban TikTok from the United States by September 20th and, in a separate order, he has ordered the -- the company to find a buyer by November 12th.

Now, of course, we're less than a week away from this ban. It's still to be determined whether or not the administration might lift or suspend that ban as a result of this news we're hearing from -- about Oracle and TikTok.

Now, of course, you can't talk about this deal without talking about how unusual it is to see Oracle, a company that doesn't sell, you know, consumer technology to Americans but to -- sells business technology to corporations.


FUNG: And -- and, you know, of course, Oracle's chairman, Larry Ellison, is a major Trump support and donor. Is there a connection there? We don't exactly know, but we're going to try and find out.

SCIUTTO: And Bill Gates of Microsoft, of course, has been a target of the president and his supporters here.

We saw some questions about politics about DOJ opposition to the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner, of course, who owns CNN. Have there been questions from Microsoft in this circumstance whether politics got in the way?

FUNG: Well, we haven't seen questions from Microsoft exactly, but I do think that the way that this deal is going forward, it will raise a lot of questions as to whether or not, you know, Ellison's relationship with Trump may have played a role here.


And that certainly fits a pattern with Trump.