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New Day

Don Lemon Speaks with Chauvin Trial Jurors; Disappointing Third Quarter Numbers; U.S. Military Briefs Space Companies; "Reality Check" on Nazi Salutes at School Board Meetings. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 28, 2021 - 08:30   ET



NICOLE DETERS, JUROR: I mean I think we've got to because of systemic racism within the system, right, because of what's been going on. That's how we got to (INAUDIBLE) courtroom in the first place. But when it came down to all three verdicts, it was based on the evidence and the facts 100 percent.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now to discuss is CNN's Don Lemon, who is the author of "This is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends about Racism."

Don, fascinating interview. I can't wait to watch the entire interview tonight, but also that race never came up. That is surprising.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, "DON LEMON TONIGHT": It was, you know, the movie "12 Angry Men" where you get sort of an inside look at what happens in the jury, I felt -- in the jury room, I felt that way when I was interviewing these jurors, the seven of them, the five and then two alternates. It was fascinating because here we were on the outside talking about race, right, and it's race and it's what happened -- what happened with George Floyd and what happens with police departments around the country, systemic racism and on and on and on. And that really -- never really came up.

I think most of the jurors obviously know the history of the country and the times that we're living in. They picked the right jury, Brianna and John, because they were -- they stuck to the facts. They said as soon as it was over, we got in. We did an initial, you know, sort of test vote of what happened, and then we went from there, just going through the testimony and the evidence. It was not based on emotion.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I have to say, this is a big deal. I think this is a really important interview you've done. I had no idea this was happening. And when I saw that you had this, I was, like, wow.


BERMAN: I think it will be instructive for the American people because you're already starting to see this suggestion, you did right away, oh, juries are scared, you know, juries are intimidated by what's happening in the outside world. They'd be afraid to deliver a not guilty verdict. Did this jury say they were scared?

LEMON: They weren't afraid of what was happening in the outside world. They knew that it was a big deal. They knew that they had a mission and they had a task and they knew that it was -- someone had died and then someone else's life really was hanging in the balance, so it was -- their freedom was hanging in the balance so to speak. But they were not scared.

Now, afterwards, they have concerns about their safety. They have to live in that community. They don't -- you know, they're concerned that the police department may not be looking out for their best interests because they ultimately decided against this police officer. So, it remains to be seen. Their names are coming out soon. The reason they wanted to do this is because they wanted to do one interview, they said, and they don't want to be hounded by the press, they don't want question after question after question and to do multiple interviews. They want, we all want to sit down together. We want to do this one interview. We want people to know how we feel and we're done with it.

And, you know, the interesting thing to me is that we didn't hear from Derek Chauvin during testimony. They wanted to hear -- I think we have that sound bite. I don't know if we have time for it. But if we have time for it, I would like to play the sound byte where they talked about wanting to hear from Derek Chauvin.


NICHOLE WILLIAMS, JUROR: I mean, I think the way the video, just how many times we did see it, was the importance of the video and it was -- it was traumatic for sure.

LEMON: Was it the first time -- did anybody see it for the first time in the courtroom?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In entirety, yes.



LEMON: You saw it for the first time in its entirety and -- and?

JODI DOUD, JUROR: I almost wanted to shut my eyes. It bothered me so much that -- and it was mainly, how could somebody do that to someone else. And it was a slow death. It wasn't just a shot -- gunshot and they're dead. It was a slow death. And you are doing this. And it bothered me to the fact that a person can do this to another person. And I had felt for George. I just -- I'm, like, oh. And it just got to my core.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: That was -- that was -- wasn't the one that we were talking about, but, still, they do talk about that. But this one was about what was interesting to me is that they said, it wasn't what he did, what Derek Chauvin did, it's what he didn't do. And I think that their minds, you know, may have been -- may have gone the other way, the verdict may have gone the other way if it was about what Derek Chauvin did. If it was about the knee being on the neck. But he -- they said they found that he was in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department and never in their care. And they had a duty to take care of him, especially when they saw the video. They saw the video for the first time again in its entirety and they talked about the life leaving George Floyd's body. And they had to sit there, even in the jury room, and look at the video over again for the time that the life was not in his body and they did not offer care.

And so one of the jurors said, I -- you know, guys, isn't really -- isn't it about what he didn't do, what they didn't do, because these police officers had a duty it take care of George Floyd, anybody in their custody, regardless of, you know, behaviors before or after or what have you and they didn't do that. And I think that was a deciding factor in all of this.

But, yes, can you imagine having to watch that -- that video over and over to make the decision? We were watching here --



LEMON: You know, on the other side saying, OK, emotionally, all right, enough, I found myself talking to the television, and I'm sure you did, OK, get off of his neck.

KEILAR: And for them to watch Derek Chauvin and want to hear from him and not.

But I do want to ask you about something near and dear to your heart --

LEMON: Sure.

KEILAR: Which is Dads on Duty.

LEMON: Oh, yes.

KEILAR: This is a group of dads that is just doing amazing things in your home state of Louisiana.

LEMON: Forty dads from Louisiana, because there were, I think, 23 fights within four days within this high school in Shreveport, Louisiana. And they said, enough. And they decided that they were going to be dads. First they said they wanted to be paw patrol -- Pops on Patrol or something --


LEMON: And they said, no, it sounds too much like "Paw Patrol." And so they said we decided that we were going to go patrol --

KEILAR: What's the matter with that?

LEMON: And become the dads of the school and take care of these kids.


LEMON: Here it is. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got kids. They come to the school. One day they're angry. One day they're happy. There's something fluctuating at home (ph). So when you reach that part, where they actually listen to you and open up, you done a big thing already because a lot of kids don't respond to people. You know, they going through a lot. They shut off.


LEMON: They want to take this nationwide. They said at first the kids who are -- the kids said, you know what, this is our territory, why are you here and wouldn't speak to them. You know, sort of, you know, giving them the big shoulder, like you can't, you know, come into our school. And now they're happy to see them. If they have a bad day, they talk to them. They're starting to open up to the dads. There have been no fights at the school since the dads have been there.

KEILAR: Amazing.

BERMAN: That's so cool.


KEILAR: Oh, I love it. And I cannot -- I cannot wait to see this interview tonight. Thank you so much for doing it. It's just so important to give us this inside look.

So you can tune in to that at 10:00 tonight on CNN for a special "DON LEMON TONIGHT" inside the jury room.

Don, thank you so much.

LEMON: Thanks, Brianna.

Thanks, John.

BERMAN: All right, I just took a walk and we have breaking news. Brand-new GDP numbers for quarter three released just moments ago. I've got no idea what they are.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans does.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Two percent. That is less than expected. And it's a downshift from the spring when we had a really robust 6.7 percent economic growth. And I'm going to tell you why. No surprise here, the delta variant was

surging, so there were new restrictions that people put on themselves, frankly, because of the delta variant. Supply chain bottlenecks, rising prices, and that acute worker shortage. All of these things were at play in the quarter.

So, John, look at the trajectory here. This is 2.7 percent. It's a sharp deceleration from what we saw in the spring before we had the delta variant.

And, look, this is the whole COVID nightmare, right. The economy crashed. It bounced back sharply. We wanted to see this continue to move higher. But now you're looking at a 2 percent range is just about what we had kind of on average during the Trump administration. So we would be looking for something sharper and more robust.

I will remind you, though, this is still a bigger economy today than it was after the pandemic hit. So we are now at least in positive ground, but you wanted to see a bigger number than that.

BERMAN: Low, slow growth. What's the market saying to this?

ROMANS: The market's not moving very much right now. People are wondering, what is this going to mean for the Fed and what the Fed's plans are to try to tap down on inflation. But I think a key here is this is rear view mirror, right? If we feel that maybe the delta variant has been tackled for now and vaccinations are rising and kids are back in school, you might see this number get better into the fall.

So a reminder, this is always a rear view mirror picture of the economy. But 2 percent is certainly not what many economists wanted to see. They feared that it would be a number like this. They wanted to see something a little more robust.

BERMAN: Any way to tell any signs about Q4 at this point?

ROMANS: At this point there's no way really to know. We know that confidence might be coming back just a little bit. Consumer confidence might be coming back. And we know there are big changes in how people are spending their money. The consumer is really important here. The consumer is buying goods like crazy, but not services, because of delta, and that's probably going to continue into the end of the year. There are also these, you know, product supply snafus that can be holding things back.

I will make one other point, the government noting here that the government payments to citizens slowed dramatically and dried up. That might be one reason here. You had an economy, quite frankly, an economy that was being lifted by Congress and by the Fed and by the government, preventing a depression because of what happened in the coronavirus pandemic and now that aid is slipping away and so you'll see growth that's more along the lines of what we saw in the Trump administration.

BERMAN: Yes, stand by over the next few hours. You'll hear Democrats say this is a reason to pass social spending plans --


BERMAN: And new investments. And you will hear Republicans say the exact opposite, this just shows that, you know, they shouldn't pass it.

ROMANS: You nailed it. That's exactly what the argument will be for the rest of the day.

BERMAN: All right, Christine Romans, fascinating stuff. Thank you very much.

In moments, President Biden headed to Capitol -- maybe on his way there already as we speak. A big moment where he talks to House Democrats. He is going to present a framework that he hopes gets his social agenda over the finish line.


Plus, U.S. military asking for help from the private space industry to help defend national security.


KEILAR: The U.S. Space Force is trying to get a boost from the private sector after military officials revealed a large number of national security threats from space.

CNN's Kristin Fisher is joining us on this.

This is fascinating. Tell us what's happening here.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, this was a highly unusual classified meeting on two fronts. First, the amount of classified information that was shared, threat models, with space and defense companies. And, two, the timing of when the Space Force brought the private sector into these deliberations. So, instead of just handing out a contract and saying, hey, guys, go do this, the Space Force is trying to bring the private sector in on the front end and really allow them to help shape what the Space Force's future capabilities are going to be.

Now, this event, they actually called it a business fair, was hosted by the Space Force's Space War Fighting Analysis Center.


It was a six-hour long classified discussion at a classified facility in Chantilly, Virginia, and the idea here was to allow a sort of discussion between these defense companies and the Space Force as they build this Space Force's force design and architecture.

And so I talked to two folks that were in the room that participated in this briefing and they say that hypersonics did come up, along with anti-satellite weapons, missile tracking, and missile tracking. And, you know, all of this, of course, is really important given the

fact that there have been these reports that China just tested the world's first hypersonic glide vehicle, which is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. And so the folks that were at this meeting, Brianna, they say that this really reflects a new way of doing business. Here you have the Space Force, the nation's newest military branch, trying to change the way that these contracts are handed out.

And the reason this is so important is because the Space Force believes that these space-based threats are just changing so rapidly and quickly that you need to bring the private sector in this early to use their level of kind of ingenuity and innovation to make the Space Force as ready as it can possibly be to handle these threats, like hypersonics, like anti-satellite weapons, which are becoming an increasing threat to U.S. national security from countries like China and Russia, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, it is -- it makes sense, but it is really unprecedented.

Kristin, thank you so much.

And coming up, why is Ted Cruz so passionately defending a Nazi salute? Your "Reality Check," next.



BERMAN: So why are Republican senators going to such great lengths to defend dangerous behavior at school board meetings?

John Avlon with a "Reality Check."

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Someone ought to tell Senator Ted Cruz that when you're defending Nazi salutes at school board meetings, you're already losing.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Well, the Nazi salute, that's one of the examples, my God, a parent did a Nazi salute at a school board because he thought the policies were oppressive! General Garland, is doing a Nazi salute at an elected official, is that protected by the First Amendment?



AVLON: Of course the issue here isn't the First Amendment. The issue is the galloping insanity that's infecting our civic life where even mock Nazi salutes can be rationalized because they've been normalized, in large part by right wing members of Congress performative outrage over mask and vaccine mandates during America's deadliest pandemic. This drumbeat of disinformation has resulted in unhinged accusations, harassment and threats, directed at school board members across the United States.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can leave freely, but we will find you and we know who you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are. You -- you -- you will never be allowed in public again!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know who you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm going to come for everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, as you can see, fists are now flying. All of this on live television.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are allowing child abuse. You with your snotty little face, you're allowing it as well.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Tommy (ph), please don't resist. Tommy, don't resist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys, this is -- this is an unlawful arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: and because I chose to speak, I'm now being arrested.


AVLON: None of this is normal. Not this side of desegregation debates anyway. And it was in response to these reports, as well as a request from the National School Board Association for federal help that Attorney General Merrick Garland released a memo on October 4th ordering federal law enforcement to meet with state and local authorities to discuss strategies for dealing with this disturbing trend.

And in the very first paragraph, Garland wrote that, while spirited debate about public policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.

But the order was intentionally mischaracterized as part of a government plot to designate concerned parents domestic terrorists, a distortion that was repeated over and over again on right wing talk TV over the past few weeks.

And because many Republican senators seem to get their information mainly from partisan echo chambers, at yesterday's hearing with Garland, they kept referring to those mischaracterizations as fact rather than apparently actually reading the memo.


SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): I just have to ask you, would you really, honestly put parents in the same category as a Terry Nichols or a Timothy McVeigh?


BLACKBURN: Then why -- why would you ever release a memo?

It is so over the top.

GARLAND: Senator, there's nothing in the memo that in any way draws any comparison, anything like that. This memo is about violence and threats of violence. It's not -- that's --

BLACKBURN: Sir, I have to tell you that that may be your opinion, and, you know, many times perception is reality.


AVLON: And that's in some ways the crux of the problem. There is no reference to parents or terrorism in the Garland memo. None. And that's not a matter of opinion. That's a matter of fact. And as the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to remind us, everyone is entitled their own opinion, but not their own facts.

But that's what we're missing in America right now, common sense and common decency and common facts. And that's a result of this hyper partisan misinformation efforts that create a perception of oppression unrelated to reality. Those false perceptions can then be used to justify irrational rage.


It's an extension of why bowing down to the big lie is still so dangerous, because only fanatics don't care about facts.

And that's your "Reality Check."

KEILAR: I mean, I guess if you believe that take, you might believe that Ted Cruz actually went to Cancun just to drop off his kids during a deep freeze. So --


KEILAR: It's pretty -- it's a stretch, John Avlon, is what I'll say.

AVLON: It's a stretch.

BERMAN: It's just a warped reality.


BERMAN: I mean they're just making stuff up.

KEILAR: Totally.

BERMAN: U.S. senators making stuff up during a committee hearing, pure and simple.

KEILAR: She said the truth, though, that perception is reality, that's the point.

BERMAN: To her. To her, yes.

KEILAR: That is the whole point.

AVLON: It's all in addition for a sound byte on Fox News at this point. It's not actually about conducting a hearing or an inquiry to the truth. And that's what's so dangerous and pathetic.

BERMAN: All right --

KEILAR: Thank you.

BERMAN: We are just a few minutes away, at this point, from a huge moment in the Biden presidency. These are live pictures of Capitol Hill. Somewhere in that building, not long from now, the president of the United States will show up on a rescue mission, right?

KEILAR: Yes, is he going to be able to do it though, right? A lot of skepticism, a lot of distrust, even among his own Democrats.

CNN's coverage continues after the break.