Return to Transcripts main page
Fareed Zakaria GPS
Interview with Petro Poroshenko; Interview with Ehud Olmert. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 21, 2020 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.
ZAKARIA: Today on the show, the Bolton bombshell. The former National Security adviser's new book has new revelations about the Ukraine scandal that got President Trump impeached.
I will talk to the former president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who rarely speaks about these issues.
Also, Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said if he was put back in office, he would annex parts of the West Bank. That dramatic act could happen just days from now.
I will talk to Netanyahu's predecessor, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who said it is proof that Israel today does not want peace with the Palestinians.
Then a new series on GPS, best practices on beating COVID-19. This one from an unusual location, the original epicenter, Wuhan, China.
And finally, Malcolm Gladwell on race, racism and policing in America.
ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take. John Bolton's book tells us very little that we didn't already know about Donald Trump's foreign policy. He paints a picture of a president who is ignorant, unaware, for example, that Britain is a nuclear power and that Finland is not part of Russia. Trump had few fixed foreign policy views. At times he's been inclined to invade Venezuela, at other times losing interest in the country all together.
But Bolton does reveal, according to the excerpts and reports published so far that the real problem with Donald Trump is not his ignorance or his policies but his character. President Trump has, for the most part, settled into conventional Republican policies. He has cut taxes for the rich, rolled back regulations, appointed conservative judges, and lavished money on the Defense Department. He departs from the Reagan formula in two major areas -- immigration
and trade. And on these issues, he has changed much of the Republican Party, which is now comfortable with tariffs and subsidies and mercantalism as well as severe restrictions on immigration.
Now I don't agree with many of these policies, but what has always worried me much more is Trump's character. He's clearly a man for whom his own personal and political interests are paramount and override any other concerns of decency, of morality, even of law.
Bolton is not the first top aide to dissent. Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and John Kelly have all made clear their low opinion of Trump, but he is the first to provide details and the details are damning. The book says Trump promised to remove federal prosecutors who were going after a Turkish bank because President Erdogan asked him to intervene.
Trump insisted that the Ukrainian government hand over incriminating information about Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden before he would release congressionally approved aid to that country. Bolton know that he and the secretaries of State and Defense tried eight to 10 times to press Trump to release those funds, but Trump refused.
Now, Ukraine might be the most impeachable offense but Trump's dealings with China are the most troubling. U.S. policy toward China is the most important business any president will conduct. It will set the stage for peace or war, the preservation of American interests and the security of America and its allies for decades to come. And Donald Trump treated this relationship almost entirely as one to be used, manipulated and altered to serve his personal interests, specifically to boost his re-election prospects.
Bolton describes Trump's willingness to reverse prosecution and even criminal penalties against Chinese firms as personal favors to President Xi Jinping. He casually reduced tariffs on Chinese goods in return for a deal that would make him look good in November, pressing Xi to have China buy agricultural products so that Trump would poll well in midwestern states. He praised Xi for building concentration camps in Xinjiang.
Bolton describes Trump as pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win re- election. Most strikingly, the Chinese understood with whom they were dealing and openly played to Trump's personal political ambitions. Xi expressed that he would like Trump to remain in office for the next six years. Trump responded that people were saying, his favorite way of expressing his own views, that the two-term limit on U.S. presidents should be waived for him.
Bolton's conclusion regarding the deal with China and Trump's foreign policy more generally is breathtaking. He writes, quote, "Trump commingled the personal and the national not just on trade questions but across the whole field of national security. I am hard pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my White House tenure that wasn't driven by re-election calculations," unquote. For those who have been willing to support Donald Trump because of
particular policies they've always wanted -- Supreme Court judges or tax cuts -- Bolton's book makes clear the cost is high. Donald Trump will pay any price, make any deal, bend any law, to assure his own survival and success.
Go to CNN.com/fareed for a link to my "Washington Post" column. And let's get started.
In his book, John Bolton backs up testimony from the House impeachment hearings that President Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars of security assistance from Ukraine to try to get Kiev to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 election.
My next guest, Petro Poroshenko, was president of Ukraine from 2014 to 2019. In that time, he worked with both the Obama and Trump administrations.
President Poroshenko, it is a pleasure to have you join us.
PETRO POROSHENKO, FORMER UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, indeed, Fareed, for this opportunity.
ZAKARIA: President Poroshenko, in reading Bolton's book, or the parts dealing with Ukraine, one learns again something that one has known. This came out in the impeachment hearings. President Trump believes that Ukraine or some elements within Ukraine don't like him. And he feels that very strongly. In fact, he says it in words that I cannot repeat on television. He feels very strongly that the Ukrainians were trying to mess with him, let's say.
What do you think gave him this view? It seems as though he feels it starts with the leaks of certain documents that ended up getting Paul Manafort, the chairman of his campaign, indicted and things like that. What was going on in Ukraine? You were president. That led Trump to believe Ukraine was against him?
POROSHENKO: First of all, I want to use this opportunity to thank the United States of America because me as a president enjoy extremely important and powerful bipartisan support from the United States, both from Democrats and from Republicans. And believe me, Ukraine now in the world, one of the most pro-American nations in the world, no matter it is Republican or Democrats.
We are definitely very much appreciate for, frankly speaking, for giving us such important support to protect our sovereignty during the Russian aggression. To protect our totalitarian integrity, to protect our independence. And Ukraine now is in a war. And this is a Russian scenario just to break unity between Ukraine and U.S., and definitely this is not in the interest of Ukraine and definitely this is not in the interest of the United States.
ZAKARIA: To be clear, President Poroshenko, you are saying that the leaks that came out that made the Trump campaign or Donald Trump think that Ukraine or Ukrainians were against him were Russian leaks or this was a Russian intelligence operation designed to sow discord between Ukraine and the United States?
POROSHENKO: First of all, Fareed, I want to say that I was the witness, starting from my first appearance in the United States Congress and the 18th of September, 2014, when I enjoyed as a representative for the multimillion Ukrainian people a strong and enormous support in the United States Congress, which was bipartisan.
I think that Ukraine united United States. Ukrainian matter united both Republican and Democrats in their strong support for freedom, democracy and the rule of law, and the basic values of democratic societies. And I'm not exclude that definitely this is in Russian interest to launch a scenario that OK, Ukraine are against Trump or Ukraine are against Biden or Ukraine against Obama.
Ukraine is for Ukraine. Ukrainian is for the United States. And definitely this is not in the Russian interest.
ZAKARIA: You spoke with Vice President Biden many, many times over the course of the period when you were president, he was vice president. He pressed you on many issues. Did he ever bring up the topic of Burisma, the company that employed his son as one of his -- as one of its board of directors?
POROSHENKO: So, my excellently clear answer, no, never. But I also cannot accept that neither President Obama, Vice President Biden, no President Trump, no Vice President Pence, never pressed me.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about what is going on in Ukraine right now. You have actually just lost your father, but you are also in the middle of a struggle in which you are being investigated for corruption charges. Can you explain it to us?
POROSHENKO: Fareed, this is completely not true. That I am investigation for anything like that. First of all, thank you for sympathy, talk to me over the loss of my father. But the investigating of that is my action as a president of Ukraine for protecting Ukrainian sovereignty, totalitarian integrity, and independence.
I want to thanks a lot the -- our foreign partners, including the United States, including the United Kingdom, including Germany, including Canada, and many, many other countries who have strong warning to the Ukrainian authorities to stop political motivated prosecution because this is exactly we fighted against all five years of my presidency.
This is exactly against democracy. This is exactly against rule of law. This is exactly trying to use the state machine against the political opponent.
ZAKARIA: President Poroshenko, pleasure to have you on, sir.
POROSHENKO: Thank you, Fareed. Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear he intends to have Israel annex parts of the West Bank. Governments around the world have warned against it. But will that stop him? We will get the latest from Israel from a former prime minister.
ZAKARIA: Israel may be about to do something that could permanently alter the prospects for peace in the Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu campaigned on a plan to annex portions of the West Bank, which is recognized as Palestinian territory. And the U.S. peace plan has emboldened Bibi Netanyahu to fulfill this campaign process. Just days from now Israel may start taking the land.
Jordan has warned of a massive conflict if Israel proceeds and Europe has told Israeli it considers the move illegal. Does Netanyahu care?
Joining me now is the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert.
Welcome, Prime Minister Olmert.
EHUD OLMERT, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I'm honored.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you, as a former prime minister, as Bibi's immediate predecessor, is there a national security justification which is the one the prime minister is providing for this move?
OLMERT: Well, quite frankly, I don't recognize such a security problem for Israel. Historically the Jordan Valley was a very sensitive, but this was in 1967 when there was a very strong Jordanian army just across the river and much further to the east there was a very powerful Iraqi army.
Today Jordan is an ally of the state of Israel and there is no Iraqi army and there is not any essential sensitive or immediate security problem for the state of Israel on the east side. There is no eastern front anymore. And therefore, there is not really any serious need for any -- certainly not for any steps regarding the Jordan Valley.
ZAKARIA: And what about the politics of this? You negotiated with the Palestinians. You know how complicated and difficult that is. What would a move like this do to the prospects of -- for Israel's political future and, obviously, the prospects of the Palestinians?
OLMERT: Number one, Fareed, I must say that to the best of my knowledge, and I think I'm quite familiar with the Israeli scene, I don't know if any serious security expert in the state of Israel, any former general or senior person in the security establishment of Israel which thinks that there is a need, certainly not at this time, to take unilateral steps and annex the territory.
So, there is a very serious and deep controversy in the state of Israel between I think the majority of Israelis who do not understand why in the middle of the battle against corona we need to start a new battle against the Palestinians, which is entirely unnecessary.
I think that it will create a serious controversy, but also I'm seriously concerned that if there will be a unilateral step to annex any part of the territories, this will ruin the chances for any further direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authority. Now I'm familiar with the Trump plan. And that, you know, there might be different opinions about parts of these, but this is the plan that was presented by President Trump to both sides.
And it is based on two major principles. One is the creation of a Palestinian state. Another is that there will be changes in the territorial vision as a result of negotiations. But there ought to be negotiations and both sides must accept the two principles. The creation of a Palestinian state and that there might be some territorial changes.
I haven't heard yet that there is any attempt to establish a process of negotiations. And I think that it is incumbent upon the prime minister of Israel. And I'm talking from my side, I'm the Israeli side. I care for Israel. I care for the security of Israel. I care for the future of Israel. And I care for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
So, it's incumbent on us to say that we accept both principles of the Trump plan, which is the creation of a Palestinian state and the territorial adjustments, which are part of it. I haven't yet heard it from Netanyahu and, therefore, there is a certain feeling of discomfort, to put it mildly, that somehow the attempt to annex the parts of the territories on a unilateral basis is an effort to bypass the need for direct negotiations between us and the Palestinians, something which I think will shatter the foundation of stability in the Middle East, and I'm very much concerned about it.
ZAKARIA: Why do you think Bibi Netanyahu is doing this now? Does this have something to do with his relationship with Trump, with the November elections? What are your thoughts?
OLMERT: I think, quite frankly, that if he does this, what it reflects in my mind is growing concern on the side of Netanyahu that Trump will not be re-elected. Everyone says that this is an opportunity for us because Trump supports Israel, but if Netanyahu is confident that Trump will be re-elected, why hurry up now? Why not wait until after the elections and then while Trump is president and being re-elected, he can coordinate it with the Americans.
The feeling that he hurries up is because he may not be confident that Trump will be re-elected. I think that this is, unfortunately, you know, in 2012, the Israeli prime minister was very much involved in what appeared to be an attempt to support the then Republican candidate Mitt Romney against President Obama.
I don't think that Israel should be part of the election process in the United States. The support for Israel is bipartisan. It should stay so. And we should not intervene. Certainly not in any way to help the president in his re-election bid or to help Joe Biden, who is a great friend of Israel and a great supporter of Israel, in his bid for the presidency. We should stay out and we should leave the Middle East outside of the political scene of the United States of America.
And I think that if we will take these unilateral measures at this point, it might be devastating. I think it will ruin the state status of Israel in many places across the world, in Europe as well as in many parts of America. And, of course, in other parts of the world. But also it can destabilize the entire region.
I am not certain that I know what might be the reaction of Jordan. I know King Abdullah II. He is a great patriot of Jordan. He is a great supporter of the solution of two state or the creation of the Palestinian state, and he's a great friend of the state of Israel. Why should we want to compromise his position at this point? I don't know. I don't understand. And I haven't heard yet from the prime minister of Israel any expression of -- or any explanations that can clarify this.
ZAKARIA: That's wise words, Prime Minister. Thank you so much for joining us.
OLMERT: Thank you so much, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, Malcolm Gladwell on race, power and policing.
ZAKARIA: Forty-one, that is the number of times an unarmed black man named Amadou Diallo was shot by the New York police in 1999. The police had thought he might be a criminal they were looking for. He wasn't. They thought he had a gun in his hands. He didn't. It turned out to be a wallet. Diallo died in police custody.
This is one of the first cases of police violence my next guest looked into and he's been thinking about race, policing and power ever since. The mega bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell joins me now.
Malcolm, let me start by asking you about that case which you wrote about. Because we can see in the case of George Floyd, this was -- struck me as essentially premeditated murder but the Diallo case is more interesting because we're often told that police are trained. And when you think about 41 shots one's reaction is, well, they don't seem to be trained very well because that seems like a lot of emotion and not a lot of training.
What is going on in those moments?
MALCOLM GLADWELL, HOST, "TALKING TO STRANGERS": Well, the one thing -- I did a podcast episode last season from my podcast "Revisionist History" on police shooting and I met with a forensic sort of analyst, one of the leading -- one of the country's leading experts in analyzing these things, and he said, every case is different. I think that's something important to keep in mind.
The Diallo case, you're quite right, is quite different from George Floyd. There I think it was some jumbled combination of a racist impulse, the idea that a young black man is, by definition, dangerous and a potential criminal, in combination with some very questionable training. The -- you know, I detail in that chapter in my book "Blink" all the things the officers did wrong. Principally that they rushed the encounter.
Whenever you have officers who are speeding up instead of slowing down, you magnify the possibility of some kind of fatal error. And I think a lot of -- if you look at a lot of these cases of police encounters that go awry, the speed element is a big part of it.
The case in Atlanta, you know, there was -- that could have played out over half an hour. Instead, it played out over a matter of minutes. There's just no reason for things to be accelerated when that makes the chances of making a mistake greater.
ZAKARIA: So, let me take a page out of that book "Blink" and say, couldn't police officers say that they're doing what you described in "Blink," which is making a very quick, snap decision, informed by what they know about the circumstance, the neighborhood and things like that. How do you get them not to make a snap decision like that?
GLADWELL: Yes. Well, the book "Blink" was a book about both the good and the bad of snap decisions. And that's very clearly -- excuse me -- a case where we don't want police officers making snap decisions.
You know, in my last book "Talking to Strangers" which is structured around the story of Sandra Bland, another encounter between an African-American and police officers gone awry, there's a case where the police made a series of -- the police officer in the case made a series of snap decisions about Sandra Bland, almost all of which were 100 percent incorrect. She was distressed and he read that as malice. He thought she was dangerous. She was upset. He couldn't tell the difference between fear and an attempt to harm or anxiety and an attempt to harm. That is the kind of thing you cannot tell in a handful of seconds. You need to slow down and have a conversation with someone before you draw a conclusion about exactly what emotional state they're in.
I think this issue of -- like I said, this issue of speed is huge. It's a structural issue that police officers speed things up for, in many cases, for a reason. One of the reasons being that we give them too many responsibilities.
ZAKARIA: Finally, let me ask you, Malcolm, about another essay you wrote about. Because I read somewhere that you said, as many have, that they were hopeful that this time would be different because you have a broader coalition, people seem genuinely not to let this -- be willing to let this go.
You wrote a very interesting essay in "The New Yorker" once about how it's all very good to have moral outrage but you need very systematic, organized, disciplined movements that then translate that outrage into political achievement. You were referring to Martin Luther King and groups like his and John Lewis'. We have the outrage now, but do we have the organization and the movement?
GLADWELL: Not yet. Although, what's interesting though is that over the last 10 or 15 years, there has been the creation of an extraordinary body of research about what we can do to improve policing.
I think we're a lot smarter than we were even when I wrote my book "Blink" about the Amadou Diallo case. And I think it's incumbent on us to sit down with those people who have studied this and try and figure out what are the 20 things we need to do to make the situation better? And I say 20 for a reason.
There isn't one thing we can do to make it better. It's going to be 20 different things, each of which will have a -- make a marginal difference. And at the end, hopefully we'll have a structural change in the way that police officers behave.
ZAKARIA: Always learn from you, Malcolm. Thank you so much for joining us.
GLADWELL: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, a tale of two cities. Wuhan, the one-time epicenter of COVID-19, is now all but free of the disease and some 10 million people were recently tested there. Now Beijing is in the midst of its own outbreak. What in the world is happening in China?
ZAKARIA: Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, is about 500 miles west of Shanghai. The city was not well known outside China until it became known as the original epicenter of the COVID crisis.
In the end the city endured a 76-day strict lockdown and reported more than 50,000 infections and almost 4,000 deaths. And now the city has done something rather extraordinary, administered a COVID test to almost all of its 11 million residents.
Joining me now is Vivian Wang, who has been reporting on this story for "The New York Times." This is part of a new series on GPS called "Best Practices for Beating COVID-19" in which we examine what went right in the fight against the pandemic. Welcome, Vivian.
VIVIAN WANG, CHINA CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Thanks, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Vivian Wang, explain to us the -- you know, what sounds like a breathtaking enterprise. The Chinese decided that they were going to test 6.5 million people in Wuhan. How did they do that?
WANG: It's actually more than 6.5. By the end of their testing push, they had tested 9.9 million people because their goal was to get basically all 11 million residents tested with the exception of young children and people who had recently gotten a test. So, yes, it was even more astonishing than you just described. And the way they did it is essentially that each neighborhood in Wuhan, like basically every city in China, is divided on a neighborhood level. And each of those neighborhoods has a neighborhood committee. It's a relic of the Mao era. And each of those neighborhoods were really the infrastructure of this testing push.
They were in charge of setting up the tents and the stools. They were in charge of making sure that every resident got a text message or heard a broadcast telling them to get tested. They were in charge of, you know, really making sure that hopefully nobody slipped through the cracks. And that was really key to Wuhan's ability to do this really extraordinary task.
ZAKARIA: You point out that they were doing this mass testing, trying to test almost everybody, partly for health reasons and to be able to monitor outbreaks, but a lot of it had to do with their reopening strategy and instilling public confidence.
WANG: Absolutely. So, China has really emphasized two goals throughout the past couple of months which is, number one, getting the outbreak under control, of course, but number two, getting the economy going again. It's really the bedrock of the communist party's legitimacy.
And so a big reason that this testing push was implemented was because many Wuhan residents were still very scared to go outside. They, you know, rightfully were scared of asymptomatic infections. They just didn't know if it was safe for them to be outside, to be working, to be shopping. And so in the government's mind this was a way to reassure people that it was safe to restart life again.
ZAKARIA: When you look at this, do you think that the Chinese government, the local government in this case mostly, did they use kind of authoritarian methods, coercion, in order to achieve these results, or was it, as you were talking about neighborhood groups and things like that? Because we know that democracies did some of the same things, Taiwan, South Korea. How would you assess the degree to which it was China's authoritarian system that made possible the success in Wuhan?
WANG: I would call it a mix. So, first of all, it was China's authoritarian lockdown that led us to the situation in the first place where Wuhan had a low incidence of cases. Although as you said, there were democracies that did not have such draconian lockdowns that were able to, you know, keep their cases low or get them low after an initial outbreak.
As far as the testing push itself, there weren't necessarily, you know, workers going door to door, dragging unwilling people out of their homes to be tested. And there were certainly residents who were very happy about this testing push because they wanted that measure of reassurance, as I mentioned.
On the other hand, I did talk to residents who were scared about the idea of going to wait in a long line in potentially close proximity to their neighbors for, you know, what to them felt like an optics show. And so, there were some what you could call subtle courses of measure.
So, one resident told me about hearing an audio announcement in his neighborhood that basically said, if you don't come get tested, your green health code is going to get downgraded to yellow. And in China your health code is really what allows you to get around after this outbreak. You use it to be allowed to enter banks, to be allowed to enter supermarkets. So, the idea that your health code would be downgraded if you didn't get tested would certainly be a pretty big stick to a lot of residents who might have been a little bit hesitant at first.
ZAKARIA: Now, tell us about the latest news coming out of China, which is that Beijing is seeing an outbreak. It is tied once again, again we think, to a wet market, a big wet market that supplies almost 80 percent of the produce in Beijing. What's going on?
WANG: So, over the past week there has been an outbreak in Beijing. Last I checked, I think it was about 180 cases that had been confirmed. So, China is, of course, very, very fearful of a second wave and it's especially fearful of an outbreak in its capital because of the symbolic weight that that would have.
So, what we have seen is the government really kicking to gear and they have shut down the market. They have locked down dozens of neighborhoods around the market. They have closed schools. They have restricted the ability of people to leave Beijing.
So, we're really seeing, you know, the lessons that they took from Wuhan and from the rest of the country coming into play here. At the same time, I think it's important to emphasize, this is not a Wuhan- style lockdown. The entire city is not under lockdown. It is really just the area around the market that has been restricted the most. In the rest of the city, my colleagues have reported that life actually feels somewhat normal as long as you're not trying to leave Beijing or not trying to go anywhere near the market.
ZAKARIA: Vivian Wang, thanks so much. Terrific reporting.
WANG: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, the politics of COVID as it travels from blue states to red ones right here in America.
ZAKARIA: Now for the "Last Look." In normal times yesterday evening's rally at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, arena with Trump fans screaming out support for their hero would have seemed like any other campaign event, but these are unusual times and the promised overflow of support never materialized. For those who did attend, temperatures were taken at the door, masks were distributed but not required. And it seemed that few attendees were wearing them. The president included. Oklahoma is one of the many red states experiencing an uptick in new COVID-19 cases. Daily new cases are up some 300 percent since the beginning of June. Similar spikes have much larger numbers overall can be seen in Texas, Florida and Arizona. All states, by the way, that voted for Donald Trump. In fact, across the country, COVID-19 has moved from initial hot spots in densely populated Democratic strongholds like Seattle and New York, into Trump territory.
Take a look at this graph from "The Washington Post." More and more new cases have been emerging in counties that voted for Trump as the enormous numbers seen early on in the counties that supported Hillary Clinton begin to fall off. Part of this is the nature of the virus. It will spread first in heavily trafficked areas and then to the suburbs before eventually getting to rural areas. Those latter places, of course, tend to be more Republican leaning.
But there's more to it than that. Everything from mask wearing to social distancing has become politicized. From the beginning Republicans have been taking their cues from a leader who dismissed the science, proposed his own remedies and explained that despite his own government's recommendations he would not be wearing masks nor has he accepted a simple rule that all experts agree on -- no large gatherings.
Cellphone data analyzed by "The New York Times" in mid-May showed that residents of counties that voted for Trump were staying home much less than those in Clinton-supporting counties. To be fair, as many of these counties are far from urban centers, residents have to travel more for essential services. They are also less likely to have jobs that allow for working from home.
But some Republican governors are also defying scientific warnings and reopening their economies without having mass testing in place. Even as infection rates hit new records in the thousands, states like Arizona and Florida are continuing with their plans to fully loosen restrictions.
Meanwhile, President Trump claims that Democratic governors who have moved cautiously to reopen are doing so to hinder his re-election bid with a troubled economy. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the U.S. curve has never really dropped off in the way that the European Union did. And remember, Europe is more densely populated than America. In fact, as numbers increase today, many experts say we are still in a first wave that was never really properly dispatched from botched national testing efforts to mixed messages on masks, the U.S. started off on the wrong foot and it has never really caught up.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my show this week. I will see you next week.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Brian Stelter. Happy Father's Day. This is RELIABLE SOURCES, our weekly look at the story behind the story. And on this Father's Day two dads are intervening to defend their toddlers from the president. That's right. Why this distorted video shared by POTUS doubles as a demand for media literacy.