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New Day Saturday

Joe Biden And Donald Trump Make Pitch To Voters In Key Midwest Battleground States; Kamala Harris' Travel On Pause After Two Staffers Test Positive For Coronavirus; Trump And Biden Battle For Arizona, Which Hasn't Backed A Democrat Since 1996; COVID-19 Infections And Hospitalizations Surge In U.S.; Rudy Giuliani's Daughter Endorses Joe Biden; "Washington Post:" White House Was Warned Giuliani Was A Target Of Russian Misinformation; Kentucky Attorney General Releases Breonna Taylor's Grand Jury Audio Recordings. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 17, 2020 - 06:00   ET






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a little more than two weeks until Election Day.

TRUMP: Seniors will be the first in line for the vaccine and we will soon be ending this pandemic.

BIDEN: It's not disappearing. In fact, it's on the rise again. It's getting worse, as predicted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pay attention to the facts. It is a deadly, highly contagious virus. The virus is now winning.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than 20 million Americans have already voted according to data from 45 states and Washington D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see it as probably being one of the most important elections in my entire lifetime going forward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think more of the Millennial and younger are a little bit more aware and maybe are more wanting to get out there and vote.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Beautiful shot of New York at the top of the hour. Good morning to you. So good to have you with us. A little more than two weeks until the election and this weekend, both President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are focusing on first the key Midwest battleground states.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Today, President Trump's campaign is taking him to Michigan and Wisconsin. He's scheduled to host two large rallies with thousands of people. We understand masks are optional. There will be no mandated social distancing. Both of those states, it's notable, are seeing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases.

BLACKWELL: This morning, we start at the White House with Sarah Westwood. Sarah, good morning to you. The President, busy schedule, focusing on keeping those two chunks of the Blue Wall that he tore away in 2016, but it looks like he's going to have a tough time holding on to them

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Victor and Christi. That's what the polls are showing. With just a little more than two weeks until Election Day, the Trump campaign is in full force right now. It seems that he's eager to make up for lost time from the more than a week that he was out of commission basically while he was struggling with coronavirus.

Today he is scheduled to go to Wisconsin and Michigan, two Midwest battleground states that he badly needs if he has hope for reelection, but in Wisconsin, for the second day in a row, records were set in terms of coronavirus cases. So that state is seeing a surge as the President is set to hold a campaign event today in Janesville. Yesterday, speaking to seniors at an event aimed at seniors, the President struck an empathetic tone and he claimed that the U.S. is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.


TRUMP: My heart breaks for every grieving family that has lost a precious loved one. I feel their anguish and I mourn their loss. I feel their pain. I know that the terrible pain that they have gone through and you lose someone and there's nothing to describe what you have to bear. There's nothing to describe it. My message to America's seniors today is one of optimism, confidence and hope. Your sacrifice has not been in vain. The light at the end of the tunnel is near. We are rounding the turn.


WESTWOOD: Now, we are not exactly rounding the turn here. In fact, on Friday, just yesterday, the U.S. had the highest one-day total for new cases since July with more than 68,000 new cases registered across this country, but nonetheless the President has stuck to this strategy of trying to downplay the virus heading into Election Day. That has characterized his approach to the pandemic all along, but clearly that message has struggled to resonate with many voters as the President is trailing in many battleground polls, but also nationally. Joe Biden is leading him by a wide margin.

Now, as you guys mentioned, at some of these campaign events that we saw throughout this week, masks were not necessarily required of guests and in fact, at some points, you could see many in the crowd not wearing them and the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, her press secretary released a statement encouraging everyone attending the President's rally in Michigan today to wear masks. I want to read you part of that.

"We always are concerned when there are large gatherings without masks and social distancing. There is a risk of an outbreak when this happens, so we encourage people to wear their masks and practice social distancing."

Of course the president is on this sprint as we head into November. Just two weeks away from Election Day, the President has some ground to make up, so we will see him hit the campaign trail nearly every day until then, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much for the wrap. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: So let's focus on Michigan and Wisconsin especially in the context, as Sarah just mentioned, of the coronavirus cases. Those states where the president will be holding his rallies, they're seeing spikes in coronavirus cases. Yesterday, Michigan recorded more than 2,000 new confirmed cases, 14 deaths.


The U.S. surgeon general says that cases in Wisconsin are going in the wrong direction. right now, at least 31 states are seeing a rise in cases compared to last week. Fourteen states reached their highest ever seven-day average of new daily cases.


BIDEN: He said we have turned the corner. As my grandfather Finnegan might say, where here he said (ph) he's gone around the bend. Turned the corner. My Lord. It's not disappearing. In fact, it's on the rise again. It's getting worse, as predicted.


PAUL: Former Vice President Joe Biden there as he was reacting to President Trump's comments that the U.S. is, quote, as you heard it, "rounding the corner" when it comes to coronavirus. Now, Biden was campaigning in Michigan yesterday. He's expected to be in North Carolina tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Jessica Dean has more on the former vice president's message and the surrogates who will be campaigning for him in the next few days. Jessica?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Former Vice President Joe Biden traveling here to Michigan on Friday where he made his final pitch to Michigan voters and really centered in on healthcare and the Affordable Care Act. It's a through line that the campaign believes applies to so many issues in this campaign, including the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court and Republicans' efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

And remember, back in 2018, Democrats made their messaging all about healthcare and they were able to regain control of the House. The Biden campaign believing that again this is a very effective message that they want to keep the Affordable Care Act and expand upon it.

In the meantime, surrogates are going to be spread out all across the country voicing their support for Biden and encouraging people to early vote whether in person or by mail. We're going to see Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail, Andrew Yang, even Magic Johnson hitting the campaign trail for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and also we learned that next week, the campaign's biggest surrogate, former President Barack Obama, will be doing his first in-person campaign event for Joe Biden traveling to Philadelphia in another critical battleground state, Pennsylvania.

All of this as vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris remains grounded from any traveling over the weekend, this after two people, her communications director and a non-staff flight crew member, tested positive for coronavirus. The Biden campaign saying that they were never at risk in terms of being close to one another. They were never more than six feet toward each other, never near each other for longer than 15 minutes and always wearing an N95 mask and that all of that was before these two individuals tested positive.

Still, out of an abundance of caution, the campaign keeping Harris off the campaign trail until Monday, Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Jessica Dean, thank you. Seventeen days now until the end of the 2020 election. Already more than 20 million votes have been cast in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Both the Trump and Biden campaigns are watching the numbers, especially in the closest of six swing states that President Trump won in 2016.

Let's go now to Lauren Gambino, political correspondent for "The Guardian." Lauren, good morning to you and you've been focusing recently on one of those six states, Arizona. Let's put up the numbers. Monmouth has a new poll out that shows, with high turnout, and that's what we've been seeing in early voting, that Biden has a 7- point lead over President Trump. What is driving that Democratic lead? And we should remind people that President Trump won that state by 3.5 points back in 2016.

LAUREN GAMBINO, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE GUARDIAN: He did and that was actually a narrower margin than we'd seen past Republican nominees win the state before him and so we know that this state is changing, especially after 2018. They sent a Democratic senator to Washington for the first time in decades.

So, you know, some of these changes are very long-term things that have been happening slowly. You have a big population of young Latinos in the state, many are turning 18, have turned 18 since 2016 and they are activated and say they're ready to vote, but you also have what we've been seeing across the country in suburbs, you know, in all these swing states. You have especially women walking away from the Republican party and they -- you know, they will point squarely at Donald Trump.

These aren't, you know, suddenly liberal, progressive women, but they are so tired of his conduct, his behavior. You know, I talked to several women, everyone has sort of a different off ramp when they -- when they left the President and, you know, by extension, the party, but these women are just very frustrated with how Trump has handled his presidency and especially lately, obviously, the pandemic.


Arizona's a state that was really hit hard ...


GAMBINO: ... and so there's a lot of blame for the Trump administration and for Republican leadership in the state.

BLACKWELL: So I wonder who has the coattails here because Mark Kelly, the Democratic nominee for Senate there, according to this Monmouth poll with high turnout, has a 10-point lead over the Republican senator, Martha McSally. Is he riding the national coattails of Vice President Biden or is it the other way around?

GAMBINO: It's hard to tell there, right? I think it's interesting in the Senate race because Mark Kelly is running against someone who lost in 2018 and then was later appointed to a Senate seat. So she lost to the Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema, in 2018. So voters kind of know her and so I think there is a specific dynamic, while it's a very nationalized race.

Certainly, some of Senator Martha McSally's problems extend from the fact that she -- that voters view her as very close to Donald Trump, too close, in fact. I think the Monmouth poll actually pulls that out. While she's tried, you know, to say that her opponent, Mark Kelly, would just be a rubber stamp for Democrats, but actually the poll, I think, shows that, you know, that's not really how voters view him.

He's actually been pretty consistent and good at messaging and saying he'd be an independent voice for the state, while unfortunately she's been sort of tagged as sort of a loyalist to Donald Trump and that has hurt her in a state that is moving away from Trump and his style of politics.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's broaden this out now. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, in a call with constituents, had some really harsh criticism of the President. Let's listen to a bit of that recording of the call and then we'll talk.


SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE): If young people become permanent Democrats because they've just been repulsed by the obsessive nature of our politics or if women who were willing to still vote with the Republican party on 2016 decide that they need to turn away from this party permanently in the future, the debate is not going to be, you know, "Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?" It's going to be, "What the heck were any of us thinking that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?" It is not a good idea.


BLACKWELL: I mean, really strong words. We've heard him sporadically criticize the President. We heard Ted Cruz not too long ago talk about a bloodbath potentially for Republicans, not in the context of the President personally, but are we seeing Republican senators broadly express some jitters or are we still just one or two senators here and there?

GAMBINO: I think you're just getting a taste of the conversations that happen behind the scenes. You know, for a long time actually you've had, especially among Senate Republicans, you've had them privately express doubts with the President, but of course publicly, you know, align with him or at least just not want to get on his bad side.

We even saw that with Senator Sasse who is one of the few Senate Republicans who are more critical of the President, but, you know, when he was running in his primary this cycle, he needed the President's approval, he needed Trump and he did eventually get that.

And so I think what you're seeing now at the end of the race is polling looks bad in several states and we're starting to see, as we just talked about, you know, this migration of women especially away from the Democratic party. You're seeing young people really, you know, just completely, you know, upset with the way Trump and Republicans have supported Trump and so there are these sort of existential questions for the party about, you know, how you go forward if Donald Trump loses.

You know, where do you begin? Do you have to sort of start over with your outreach to these -- to these really disaffected voters and will they hold you accountable for not standing up to the President? And so I think you're starting to see that with someone like Ben Sasse who has been more outspoken publicly than other senators.


GAMBINO: You're starting to both see the concerns he has for the future post-Trump, if that's what happens in November, and just real jitters about what Trump has done sort of down ballot. You know, he's very, very conscious that (ph) ...

BLACKWELL: That really is the question for a lot of Republicans is if Trump does not win reelection, what will then happen to Trumpism? Will they hold on to that or will they try to recast themselves with the electorate? Political reporter with "The Guardian," Lauren Gambino, always good to have you.

GAMBINO: Thank you.

PAUL: So we're going to give you some clarity on these alarming new signs of the new coronavirus surge across the country. There are several key trends in multiple states. We're going to look at what that means for the days and the weeks ahead as we're 17 days from November 3rd.

BLACKWELL: And Rudy Giuliani is President Trump's personal attorney, part of his inner circle, but his daughter says the President should not get four more years in the White House. Why Caroline Giuliani is supporting Joe Biden.



BLACKWELL: So the resurgence of coronavirus cases that experts have warned us is coming, appears to be here now across this country.

PAUL: Yes. The U.S. added more than 69,000 cases yesterday. That is the largest one-day total since the end of July. Now the rate of tests coming back positive, the number of people in the hospital due to COVID-19 also spiking.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Polo Sandoval is with us with the latest now. Polo, good morning to you. You know, we're just about 10 percent off ...


BLACKWELL: ... the all-time number for new cases in a single day and the cold weather that experts said would initiate this boost really hasn't set in everywhere.

SANDOVAL: Yes. Especially if you look at the numbers here, Victor. Test positivity, for example. It's becoming very clear that in some states it is much worse than others, talking about states like Idaho, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota as well. Those states seeing a number exceeding over 20 percent. So it's certainly deeply concerning.


Yesterday, the nation's surgeon general saying that it's important to identify these spots and do everything they can to try to reverse those infection rates.


SANDOVAL: The United States surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Friday. The death toll is quickly approaching 220,000. Case numbers are steadily increasing daily according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Health officials from coast to coast are scrambling to contain the rising rate of infections.

CHRIS MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: If you look at the map in the U.S., what's happening is exactly what we expected, is the whole northern half of the U.S. transmission is on the upswing.

SANDOVAL: At least four states, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina and Wyoming, reported their highest daily COVID-19 case count to-date just this Friday, state of health officials said. North Carolina, where President Trump spoke to maskless crowds on Thursday, set a new record for cases on Friday.

Florida now averaging nearly 2,800 new cases a day. That's up from 2,400 a week ago. Wisconsin now has a positivity rate of more than 26 percent. United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams warning that Wisconsin is a COVID-19 red state.

JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: I want you all to be aware that Wisconsin is currently one of our red states, meaning your positivity rates are over 10 percent and going in the wrong direction.

SANDOVAL: President Trump taking his campaign to Wisconsin today, a state where coronavirus cases are now at an all-time high. An infectious disease physician in Green Bay, Wisconsin says gatherings create a risk.

AGNES KRESCH, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: At this point, we are really recommending not to have any kind of gatherings and even to the point of family gatherings where people from different households getting together is a risk too.

SANDOVAL: Earlier on Friday, President Trump said seniors would be the first to get any vaccine once it's approved. Officials also confirmed Friday that CVS and Walgreens pharmacies have been designated to distribute free coronavirus vaccines once they're approved to long- term care facilities.


SANDOVAL: Back here in New York, the NYPD monitoring what a spokesperson describes as an "uptick" in officer COVID cases. About 54 uniformed members of the department as well about 18 civilians at the NYPD testing positive and out sick this morning, Victor and Christi. The police commissioner saying they're doing everything they can to not only conduct contact racing, but also remind its employees and its officers to continue taking those steps that we've all been taking for the last several months now.

PAUL: Polo Sandoval, really appreciate it. Thank you so much. And of those more than a dozen states that are reporting their highest-ever seven-day averages of cases is New Mexico. Listen to what the governor there had to say.


GOV. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM, (D) NEW MEXICO: We're not succeeding at combating the virus. The virus is now winning. The reality is we're in unchartered waters. This is the most serious emergency that New Mexico has ever faced.


PAUL: Dr. Saju Mathew, primary care physician and public health specialist in Atlanta, with us now. Saju, it's good to see you. Johns Hopkins saying that the U.S.' one-week average of new cases, that it's increased 55 percent in just over a month. So when you couple that with what doctors are calling this "twindemic," the COVID and the flu together, with then indoor gatherings because of the cold weather and the holidays, first of all, as a doctor, how confident are you that we can keep this under control and that the medical community is prepared to deal with another escalation?

SAJU MATHEW, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN, PUBLIC HEALTH SPECIALIST: Yes. Good morning, Christi. Just a terrible situation. This is exactly what physicians all over the country have dreaded. We're not even in the thick of the cold and flu season and the cases are 60,000 new cases already and if you look at the right of our screen, you can actually multiply those cases by 10 unfortunately. We know that for every one COVID case that's diagnosed, there are 10 people that go undiagnosed.

And recently, Christi, the IHME model was predicting what's going to happen as the surge continues. Are hospitals going to be ready? If you look at the current number of beds in the U.S., we have about 1 million and get this -- we're going to need 4 million beds by January.

So to answer your question more specifically, you know, obviously we all want to be optimistic. We have to deal with the numbers, we have to deal with the surges. It's back to what we've always been saying. Everybody has to really kind of tighten the grip and unfortunately we're going to take off linearly in the next few weeks. It's going to get worse.

PAUL: The medical community has been through this. All those front line people and professionals have been through this already. What is the emotional sense going into this season?

MATHEW: I think one word that I could describe is a sense of fear and I think also just not really feeling prepared.


Do we have enough PPEs? Are we going to be able to manage patients that get into the ICU? What kind of medications really help patients with COVID? Right now we're sort of throwing the kitchen sink out there in terms of what's available and recently with the whole Remdesivir study that probably shows that it doesn't work, I think it's just a sense of feeling hopeless, but we have to do the best that we can.

PAUL: I wanted to ask you about that Remdesivir report because there had been -- I feel like there were professionals who were saying -- medical professionals who were saying there is some indication that it works. This is a report from the WHO. Have you seen Remdesivir personally, have you seen it work and what do you make of this new report?

MATHEW: I think the biggest problem is, sort of like I mentioned earlier, when patients come into the hospital and then get admitted to the ICU, obviously these are patients that are getting sicker by the day, by the minute. What we do right now is we throw the kitchen sink at them. We give them Dexamethasone, if the monoclonal antibody therapy, if it's available, they get that as well, maybe antibiotics if you have pneumonia. And what ends up happening, Christi is if these patients get better, we don't really know if they got better specifically from Dexamethasone or from Remdesivir. If they get better, we're happy about it. Now with this WHO study sort of throwing caution on Remdesivir, I think we just have to go back and look at the numbers again and specifically see is it true that it doesn't improve patient mortality? And unfortunately, the study's also suggesting that it doesn't help patient recover faster from the ICU which is what we thought earlier would happen.

PAUL: There is some new information regarding blood type and COVID, we want to point out, that patients with either O or B blood type are less susceptible to either catching the virus or having severe symptoms if they do. How reliable is the evidence suggesting this and what does it mean for treatment?

MATHEW: You know, I think this is going to end up being a good trivia question in the next few years with pandemic 2020. Ultimately there's nothing we can do to change our blood type. I think it's interesting to know that if you have a blood type O, that you have decreased days in the ICU and get this, you might also have a decreased risk of getting COVID-19.

If you look at the genetics of what type of blood type you have, you get that directly from your parents. There are certain proteins on the surface of these red blood cells that determine which blood type you have. Well, you're not going to be able to change your blood type and it's not like I can tell patients with blood type O, take off your mask and you can go to the bars and live freely. Ultimately it doesn't matter what blood type you have. You've got to pay attention to safety measures.

PAUL: Dr. Mathew, your expertise is very valued here, sir. Thank you for being with us.

MATHEW: Thank you, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Giuliani is urging Americans to get out and vote, but not for President Trump.


CAROLINE GIULIANI, DAUGHTER OF RUDY GIULIANI: A lot of people's behavior is symptomatic of this toxic environment that he's created and it's gotten worse every year since he's been elected.


BLACKWELL: That's Caroline Giuliani. She says she's voting for Joe Biden.



PAUL: Thirty-two minutes past the hour on this Saturday morning. Good to have you here. Federal investigators are looking into whether e- mails published by the "New York Post" are a part of an ongoing Russia disinformation effort, targeting the Biden campaign. The "Post" obtains the e-mails apparently from two of President Trump's confidants, former chief strategist Steve Bannon and the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

BLACKWELL: The White House was warned last year that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president. Here's CNN's Alex Marquardt with more.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: We are being told by two people who have been briefed on what the FBI is doing is that they're looking into whether these unverified e-mails about Hunter Biden published by the "New York Post" about foreign business dealings are a part of the bigger Russian disinformation effort which is well under way in these final days of the 2020 race. The intelligent community has said for months that Russia is very actively engaged in a disinformation campaign in the 2020 election, in particular against Joe Biden to denigrate his campaign in favor of President Trump.

The "New York Post" says that they got these Hunter Biden e-mails from Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon, that they were found on a laptop left in a repair shop in Delaware, which according to Giuliani's lawyer then reached out to Giuliani, Bannon according to the paper indicated that he knew about the Hunter Biden e-mails last month.

For a long time, Giuliani has been openly working to dig up dirt and promote disinformation on the Bidens. One person he has teamed up with is a Ukrainian politician whose name is Andrii Derkach who has been named by the U.S. Intelligence community as a Russian agent and has also been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.

So, here have you Rudy Giuliani openly working with a known Russian agent, and now "The Washington Post" is also reporting that the intelligence community was so concerned that the Russians were using Giuliani to feed Russian disinformation to the president that they warned the White House about it last year. Giuliani, as you can imagine is denying this. Take a listen.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: No one in the intelligence community warned me. President didn't say that to me. This is the first time I'm hearing that.


GIULIANI: And I have a pretty good idea where it's coming from, and these are people who are trying to tear down Donald Trump --


GIULIANI: And destroy his presidency --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Mr. Mayor -- GIULIANI: Inside the intelligence community of which there are many.


MARQUARDT: So again, that classic deep state argument that we hear time and time again from Trump and his supporters. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: Alex, thank you. Rudy Giuliani's daughter Caroline is speaking out against her father's client, saying that she will not vote for him, but instead is endorsing his rival.

PAUL: Yes, this isn't a piece for "Vanity Fair", she called on Americans to quote, "end this nightmare" by voting for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: For any family, you know, all families have differences of opinion and political differences and, you know, this is maybe on a different scale. But how do you normally deal with it? Is it something you just choose not to talk about politics with, you know, he is your dad, after all or do you -- I mean, in the article you talk about at times you feel like you have no other choice but to address certain issues.

CAROLINE GIULIANI, DAUGHTER OF RUDY GIULIANI: Yes, I think those things boil up and at a certain point, you can't -- at least, I couldn't repress them, right. It was definitely give-and-take throughout my whole life. I just think that now we've come to such a point of crisis that I just had no choice but to say something. This toxic and environment of bullying and vicious sniping needs to be turned around, and I really think that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can do that. I absolutely love Kamala Harris. I --


COOPER: Joe Biden was not your first choice --

C. GIULIANI: Not initially, but I was keeping my options opened and seeing what people had to say, and I was a huge fan of Kamala, and when Joe Biden picked Kamala, I got so excited because it just -- I feel like it reflected that he is willing to have people who challenge him around him, and that is the way to break up the echo chamber of yes men, and which I think is a huge problem right now.

COOPER: When you see "The Washington Post" report that, you know, the White House was warned that your dad, you know, was quote, "being used to feed Russian disinformation to the president", just seeing that in the news. What goes through your mind as I can't imagine it?

C. GIULIANI: No, I choose to focus on what we can do to fix this problem. I think that that's where we all need to be focusing our energy. And I think that, that is by making sure that everyone votes and chooses to elect someone who has empathy and will start to turn this country around.


BLACKWELL: Now, this is not the first time that Caroline Giuliani has publicly supported a Democratic presidential candidate. She endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. In 2008, when her father was a candidate for the presidency, she joined a Facebook group that supported Barack Obama for president.

PAUL: So stay with us because there are new questions in the Breonna Taylor case after the Kentucky Attorney General released hours of audio recordings from the grand jury hearings. The "LEGAL BRIEF" is next.



PAUL: Forty-two minutes past the hour right now, and let's talk some legal aspects here. We want to take a close look at the Breonna Taylor case today. None of the officers have been charged in connection to her death. The Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has refused to say if he recommended the grand jury not indict any of the officers. Now, Cameron did release grand jury recordings in an attempt to provide some transparency here, it didn't include juror deliberations or prosecutor's recommendations and statements. Now, the attorney general also refusing to allow jurors to make public statements about the case.

That's despite his holding several news conferences regarding the proceedings. Criminal Defense Attorney Janet Johnson with us now. So, Janet, here is what we know and good morning to you. An anonymous juror has filed this motion to speak about this court proceedings. What in that case -- what would a judge consider in deciding whether to grant this motion?

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning, Christi. Well, there is a rule in Kentucky as in most states that the grand jury proceedings are secret, and no one can discuss them. So, that's why the juror went ahead and filed this motion because otherwise, he or she could be held in contempt, could be fined, could be locked up.

So, the judge has the authority under the rule in Kentucky to waive that secrecy to allow somebody to speak about the case. Attorneys are allowed to speak about the case if it goes towards the disposition, but jurors generally don't, and the attorney general says in Kentucky, this would be unprecedented.

So, the judge has to decide, do I want to set a precedent? Do I want to start opening a floodgate where jurors can talk about secret proceedings when the rule basically says they shouldn't unless I deem it necessary. So she'll consider, is there a public interest in hearing about what happened in that jury room? Is there an interest in the secrecy of other jurors in not opening the flood gates?

And the juror claims that one of their concerns is if someone finds out that they were on this grand jury, will they have questions about why they didn't indict the officers, and can they explain that to people and explain that maybe it wasn't even presented to them, that, that was an option.

PAUL: So if the motion is granted, can it be appealed? I mean, does that open up the possibility that some jurors, obviously, could remain anonymous if they so chose?

JOHNSON: Well, Attorney General Cameron said he would appeal. He's already said that. So it would go on for a little while even if it is granted. And what he said is, there are some federal investigations under way, and this could damage that investigation.


And it also could have a chilling effect going forward because other grand jurors might think, you know, it says that this is secret, we don't have to talk about it. But if this judge lets this juror talk, is my secret anonymity going to be waived in the future? So he says he will appeal, and the judge is still thinking about it. So obviously, that's weighing heavily on the judge. And I think the judge if she allowed it, would let the other jurors remain anonymous because obviously, there is no interest in making everybody come out and talk about it.

PAUL: Right, Janet Johnson, thank you so much for walking us through it, appreciate it.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, the NBA season is over. But players are still working toward now a different goal to get their fans out to vote. We'll show you how a former all-star is making a difference during the election.



BLACKWELL: Well, only two and a half weeks left in the election, and the NBA is encouraging people to vote and do it early if they can.

PAUL: Yes, Carolyn Manno is here with more on how a former all-star is using his voice to try to get you to the polls. Good morning.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: That's right. Good morning to you both. You know, between the launch of which works to register new voters and poll workers and also the participation that the league used in National Black Voter Day, Black in September. They're trying to create awareness and education as much as they possibly can. And for this week's difference makers, we sat down with two-time all-star Caron Butler who shared more about why this is so critically important.


CARON BUTLER, TWO-TIME NBA ALL-STAR: You see these all lives, you see these -- you know, hours and hours of wait periods, and you're just feeling like, is it really worth it? And for the life of me, I didn't understand it when I was younger. But I understand it now. We are the new ancestors. This is extremely important that all of us be engaged from the top down and drive change. So since, you know, the death of George Floyd, we immediately came together and we talked about what are the specific calls to action, right?

In the NBA, and the National Basketball Association committed to taking a league-wide action and supporting it to -- like civil engagement in efforts to span voting access and voter awareness. To date, we've got 21 teams that have committed their (INAUDIBLE), their practice facilities to you know, give us access for voting poll stations. Everybody is engaged in just giving us a space where you can safely come in, you're not harassed, you know, you're not going through the voter suppression. So now, they're showing that we're true partners in this fight together.

And I love the fact that when you think about our players association, more than 90 percent of the eligible players that's able to vote are registered to vote for this 2020 election, and I love the fact that our players are standing behind the message. So, to see vote and all those things on shirts and on public display, that's powerful. And you know, young people being engaged, young stars being engaged, that's extremely powerful.

And the only reason why we're having this discussion on national outlets is because people from all walks of life said, this is not OK, enough is enough. Let's pivot in this direction and drive for change, and strive for it, and that's what's happening in real time.


MANNO: And Christi and Victor, as you know, the league putting their money where their mouth is as well, which is critically important, donating $300 million over the next decade to help spur economic growth in black communities.

PAUL: Good to know, Carolyn Manno, thank you so much. Good to see you.

BLACKWELL: All right, Joe Biden and President Trump with these dueling town halls. Learn more about those ratings. Who came out ahead and what will it matter anyway in the fight for the White House. CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter has the numbers for us next.



BLACKWELL: Social distancing has protected a lot of elderly people during this pandemic. But being cut off from their family and their friends has drained them mentally and emotionally.

PAUL: Since 2014, CNN Hero Carol Rosenstein, she's been using music to help people who battle dementia and Parkinson's and other neuro- generative diseases. But her work is more crucial than ever now.


CAROL ROSENSTEIN, USES MUSIC TO HELP PEOPLE BATTLING WITH DEMENTIA, PARKINSONS & OTHER NEURO-GENERATIVE DISEASES: COVID just makes this doubly difficult for people to sustain their levels of wellness because they've got so much isolation going on, we are going to see people deteriorating faster.


ROSENSTEIN: But we can provide a great substitute, it is -- keep us healthy and well during quarantine.


Music is medicine for the mind.


The complexity excites so many centers in our brains. All of that excitement miraculously pushes neurotransmitters that help us function. Medicine with a side effect or just pure joy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is my Kleenex?



PAUL: Right, that is awesome. For more on how Carol is using music to fight the impact of coronavirus isolation. Go to




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a little more than two weeks until the election day.

TRUMP: Seniors will be the first in line for the vaccine, and we will soon be ending this pandemic.

BIDEN: It is not just spreading, in fact, it's on the rise again! It's getting worse as predicted.