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New Day Saturday

Federal Judge Overturns California's ban on Assault Weapons; Cyber Criminals Target Vital Infrastructure and Businesses; CDC Director Urges Parents to Vaccinate Adolescents; FDA Advisory Panel to Meet Next Week to Discuss Vaccines for Children Under 12 Senate Sergeant at Arms Calls Cyber Security a "Much Greater Concern" Than Another Capitol Mob; Black Lives Matter Protesters Run for Office. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired June 05, 2021 - 06:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez. Good morning, Amara.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Boris. Thanks for having me back.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: I'm Amara Walker in for Christi Paul. Breaking overnight, a federal judge overturns California's ban on assault weapons. State officials vow the fight is not over.

SANCHEZ: Plus, uphill battle. The country getting closer to President Biden's goal of having 70 percent of adults vaccinated by July 4th. We'll show you how states are shifting their strategies, trying to reach those still not vaccinated.

WALKER: Increasing threat, the urgent message from officials and cybersecurity experts as hackers take aim at American businesses and cities.

SANCHEZ: And from activism to action, how the social justice movement over the past year is inspiring people across the country to run for office.

We are grateful that you're joining us this Saturday, June 5th, bright and early. Always a pleasure to be with you, Amara.

WALKER: Thank you. I'm in a great mood. I had some good coffee this morning, so I'm ready to go.

SANCHEZ: Oh, yes. We're going to need it.

WALKER: And we are following breaking news out of California where a federal judge has overturned the state's three decade old ban on assault weapons. U.S. district judge Roger Benitez ruled Friday that the ban violated the Second Amendment's right to bear arms and he compared the AR-15 rifle to a Swiss Army Knife as the, quote, "Perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment."

SANCHEZ: Kind of an odd choice for a comparison and California Governor Gavin Newsom called it a disgusting slap in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence and a direct threat to public safety. California's attorney general has 30 days now to appeal that decision.

We want to get to a rising national security threat from abroad now, from faceless cybercriminals targeting key American infrastructure and businesses. The White House blaming Russian-based hackers for an attack this week on JBS, the world's largest meat supplier and of course last month's Colonial Pipeline attack that sent gas prices soaring across the eastern U.S.

WALKER: Thursday, FBI director Christopher Wray compared disruption in vital services to the September 11th attacks and the issue is expected to dominate talks when President Biden meets with European leaders later this month, especially during his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. CNN's Alex Marquardt has more.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The cyber threats against the United States have grown so much it's like dealing with terrorism after 9/11. That urgent message from the head of the FBI, Chris Wray, adding his voice to the alarm being sounded by the Biden administration over the growing ransomware attacks here and around the world.

"There are a lot of parallels," Wray told "The Wall Street Journal," "The scale of this problem is one that I think the country has to come to terms with."

JOHN HULTQUIST, VICE PRESIDENT, MANDIANT THREAT INTELLIGENCE, FIREEYE: Before long, we are worried that some people will get hurt, especially when you consider all these incidents that are affecting healthcare.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Healthcare, schools and most recently the Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods, which is the biggest meat producer in the world. Those two recent attacks caused gas shortages and beef plants to shut down.

MICHAEL LEITER, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: I think the country does face some really existential risks to its critical infrastructure, its economic well-being, its securing of technology and individual's privacy. So I think it's critical that people understand how far reaching this risk really is.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): The Justice Department announced Thursday it will implement practices used for terrorism cases, telling prosecutors to share more information and coordinate efforts on ransomware attacks, which is when hackers take control of a network and hold it hostage, demanding money. The attacks and the amounts paid have skyrocketed. The Justice Department says ransom payments, often in cryptocurrency, last year went up 300 percent.

The White House, on Thursday, released a rare open letter, pleading with companies to strengthen their online defenses, saying they can't fight the threat alone, but experts say the government also needs to find a better way to take down the attackers and deter them from even trying.

SHAWN HENRY, PRESIDENT, CROWDSTRIKE: It really requires the government to take additional actions. They've got to work collaboratively with foreign law enforcement agencies to take these people off the field, to use law enforcement efforts, intelligence agency efforts, economic sanctions to disrupt and deter these actors.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Most of the recent major attacks have come from Russia, government hackers in the case of a breach like SolarWinds and criminal hackers striking the pipeline and food companies.


Today's comparison of cyber and ransomware attacks to terrorism and 9/11 is one that has been made for years, including in 2018 from the country's head of intelligence.

DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It was in the months prior to September 2001 when, according to then CIA director George Tenet, the system was blinking red and here we are two decade -- nearly two decades later and I'm here to say the warning lights are blinking red again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.


MARQUARDT: Those warning lights are now doing more than just blinking. They are on. I'm told this is going to be a significant part of President Biden's upcoming trip to Europe, both at the G7 and then in that one-on-one summit with President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. President Biden will make clear to Russia that they have to take action to crack down on these ransomware groups and tell Putin that they are fundamentally destabilizing to the U.S.-Russia relationship.

Biden has repeatedly said that he wants a stable and predictable relationship with Russia. Boris, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Alex Marquardt, thank you so much for that. Russian President Vladimir Putin is responding to the accusations. In his words, they're hilarious. CNN's Matthew Chance breaks down the Kremlin's response.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Boris and Amara. Vladimir Putin sharply rejecting allegations that Russia is in any way implicated in recent ransomware cyberattacks in the United States, describing them "nonsense," "ridiculous," and "just hilarious." U.S. officials say two recent attacks on a crucial U.S. fuel pipeline and on a major meat packing company were carried out by cyber criminals based in Russia and has called on the Kremlin to crack down. The suggestion, of course, is that the Russian authorities are currently allowing the cyber gangs to operate with impunity. President Putin made his remarks in an interview with Russian state television on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Take a listen.


PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA: It's just ridiculous to blame Russia for this. I think that the relevant U.S. services should find out who the scammers are, not Russia for sure. For us to extort money from some company, we are not dealing with some chicken meat or beef. It's just hilarious.


CHANCE: Well, strong words there from the Russian leader and they come, of course, less than two weeks before he's scheduled to meet U.S. President Biden in a face-to-face summit in Geneva, Switzerland. Hacking and cyber warfare is just one of the many fraught issues on the agenda which is also likely to include sanctions, Russia's treatments of Kremlin critics and its military threats against its neighbors.

President Putin says he hopes the meeting will be held in a positive manner, but that he does not expect any breakthrough in Russian- American relations. Amara, Boris, back to you.

WALKER: All right. Matthew Chance, thank you for that.

SANCHEZ: Pivoting now to the latest on the coronavirus pandemic. As the United States pushes to vaccinate more Americans, the FDA now plans to meet next week to discuss authorizing COVID vaccines for kids aged 11 and younger.

WALKER: Yes. The meeting comes as the CDC director is urging parents to get their teens vaccinated amid a recent uptick in adolescents getting hospitalized with COVID-19. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has more on this.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Boris, Amara, new data out from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows why adolescents need to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Sometimes people think this is a virus that doesn't really affect young people but take a look at these numbers. Unfortunately, they show that that's not true.

This new CDC data shows that between January and March of this year, 204 adolescents in the United States, that's ages 12 to 17, were hospitalized with COVID-19, 64 of them ended up in the intensive care unit. Now, if we look back from October of last year until April of this year, adolescents in the U.S. had higher hospitalization rates for COVID-19 than they did for flu for the past several flu seasons.

And of course, even if a teenager gets COVID-19 and feels just fine, they're still capable of spreading the virus to other people. So that's why they need to get vaccinated and there's a ways to go in that department. Only about 20 percent of people ages 12 to 15 have gotten one shot, even just one shot, of the COVID-19 vaccine. For 16 and 17 year olds, that number is a bit higher. It's 37 percent, but still a way to go. Boris, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much. Joining us now to discuss the latest from the CDC and all things COVID, CNN contributor Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. He's an epidemiologist and former health commissioner for the city of Detroit. Dr. El-Sayed, always a pleasure to have you early on Saturday mornings.


We appreciate you getting up for us. As we're learning more about the danger that coronavirus poses to kids specifically, a lot of school districts across the country have already started relaxing mask mandates, the governor of Texas even banning requirements in public schools. I'm curious what your thoughts are first on the CDC's warnings and whether schools should be moving to relax these rules.

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it is an important reminder that children can get this disease too and early on in the pandemic, as we were watching our seniors get hospitalized and too many of them pass away from COVID-19, I think we got this assessment that this was a disease of older people or people with pre-existing conditions and that kids were immune.

And it's true that kids had lower rates of COVID-19, lower rates of hospitalization and thankfully lower rates of death, but that doesn't mean that they are immune, it just means that they had lower rates thankfully and so as we've gotten more and more of our seniors vaccinated, more and more people with pre-existing conditions, more and more people who may be healthy and younger, the question now becomes how do we protect our children too?

We have a safe, effective vaccine. It is critical to do that thing and in the interim, while children cannot be vaccinated, it's really important to make sure that people are wearing masks in those spaces because of course while they may have lower risk, they can still get it and they can still spread it amongst each other and so there is still risk for those outbreaks that we saw popping up in schools across the country who reopened earlier and we have to protect our children.

I have a three-year-old. I think a lot about how to keep her safe and, you know, when we're outside and we're away, it's OK if she takes off her mask, but when we go inside, all of us put on a mask so that she doesn't feel uncomfortable wearing hers and I think if we thought a little bit more about each other and particularly our most vulnerable, our young people perhaps would be a little bit better at this.

SANCHEZ: That's so important to set an example for young kids, as you said. I want to talk to you about the big picture. The average daily vaccination rate back over 1 million yesterday. It dipped below that earlier in the week. The White House, they're facing an uphill battle in this month of action, as the president calls it, trying to get to 70 percent of adults with at least one dose of the vaccine by Independence Day, a month from yesterday.

There are all sorts of incentives out there, free beer, free guns in West Virginia. How confident are you that these incentives will help the United States get there?

EL-SAYED: Yes. I'm not so sure about trading guns for vaccines, but ...


EL-SAYED: ... I will say that incentives do matter and, you know, there are two sort of sides of the coin now in terms of getting vaccinations in arms for people who haven't gotten them yet. One side is ideological, and one side is logistical. For a lot of people, they say, well, you know, I would love to get vaccinated, I just can't take time off of work, I can't figure out what to do with my kid, I don't have childcare and what the Biden administration is trying to do is solve some of these logistical challenges for people for whom this may be a hurdle.

For other people who are ideologically opposed, it may be then pitting, you know, the joy of having a free beer or potentially winning a lottery or knowing you could against the sort of ideological opposition to having gotten vaccinated because of course the whole history of politicization of this pandemic and I think that matters too. And so, you know, we really are trying to sprint to the 70 percent number that the president has laid out, the administration has laid out. We're at about 64 percent now.

It seems to be working a bit, but, again, these last folks who haven't gotten vaccinated yet, it's going to be harder and harder to get more and more of them vaccinated and of course we live or die collectively, right? This is a pandemic that has challenged us all together and it really has challenged our public trust and our trust in each other and unfortunately people have used that to divide people and it's showing up in these less-than-impressive vaccine numbers.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And those numbers, geographically speaking, are uneven, right? There's a CNN analysis that shows that at least three states are on track to fall short of vaccinating even half of their adult residents by July 4th. The National Institutes of Health, the director, Francis Collins, recently called states well below the 70 percent vaccination target "sitting ducks" for the next COVID outbreak. Is it really only a matter of time before we see cases start to go up again in certain pockets of the country?

EL-SAYED: You know, there are a couple of things I'm worried about here. The first is that we're going to have two post pandemics. There's going to be the post pandemic for communities where a high proportion of people have gotten vaccinated, and folks can start going about their merry way without having to look over their shoulder and worry about getting infected or infecting someone else.

And then there are going to be communities that unfortunately have not gotten vaccinated and you're going to still see outbreaks, there are still going to worries, but of course because of the ideological opposition that has been mounted against the idea of a pandemic or against the vaccine, folks are going to say, well, that's a cost of doing business and unfortunately, it's not. We have a safe, effective vaccine you can take to protect yourself and your family and your community.


The other piece of this is that we are watching as this virus continues to show us that it can mutate and as it mutates, it can take on capacities that even, you know, the original garden variety wild type coronavirus did not have and so I worry about not just people continuing to be vulnerable to infection, but what the nature of those infections may be as we're seeing new variants come online and this virus try and wile away from what we've done to prevent it.

SANCHEZ: And that's why it's so important to keep an eye on what's going on around the world, right? In places that don't have access to the vaccine where coronavirus can mutate, and we can see all sorts of variants and they may wind up affecting us later on down the road. We have to leave the conversation there. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, always a pleasure to have you, sir. Thank you.

EL-SAYED: Boris, thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: A $700 billion gap separates Democrats and Republicans as the two sides attempt to hammer out an infrastructure deal. Why this Monday could be a key date in those negotiations. We'll be right back. You're watching NEW DAY on CNN.




SANCHEZ: We are 20 minutes past the hour and we're talking about $700 billion. That's roughly the gap between what the two parties want to spend on an infrastructure bill right now. President Biden saying the latest concession from Senate Republicans, an additional $500 billion, is simply not enough.

WALKER: And with both sides just so far apart, there are signs the president could be ready to pin his hopes on what a bipartisan group of senators can come up with. His economic agenda is hanging in the balance and the president argues Congress needs to, quote, "Seize on the economic momentum."

SANCHEZ: We have our reporters at the White House and on Capitol Hill this morning tracking where negotiations stand and the hunt for the ever-elusive bipartisanship that Joe Biden is looking for. Let's get to the White House and CNN's Jasmine Wright. Jasmine, good morning. There was a chance for a bipartisan breakthrough for President Biden after his meeting with Senator Shelley Moore Capito at the White House this week. Instead, it seems like he's looking for a deal somewhere else.

JASMINE WRIGHT, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Boris, and it really comes at a critical time for the president as these two sides are really far apart and however President Biden proceeds could determine what priorities he gets passed before midterms when we know there is going to be a fight for Congress.

So yesterday, President Biden rejected the latest offer from Republicans that totaled about $950 billion and included that $50 billion increase for new spending, making that total $300 new spending, but that fell short of what President Biden wanted, right? He wanted $1.4 trillion for this bill with $1 trillion in new spending.

So yesterday, President Biden spoke to Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the Republican lead for negotiations, and in a statement released afterwards, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, she wrote that, "The current offer did not meet his objectives to grow the economy, tackle the climate crisis and create new jobs. He indicated to Senator Capito that he would continue to engage a number of senators in both parties in the hopes of achieving a more substantial package. They agreed to speak again on Monday."

So Monday is going to be a key date, June 7th. That is when the House Transportation Committee starts marking up a transportation and infrastructure bill that totals about $500 billion over the next five years. That is for that more traditional infrastructure, railroads, bridges and roads.

President Biden also spoke with Congressman DeFazio yesterday, the committee chairman, and in that meeting, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that there are -- excuse me -- "There are realities of timelines, including the fact that Congressman DeFazio is leading the markup of key components at the White House Jobs Plan next week, key infrastructure components where this -- where there is a big overlap."

So, Boris and Amara, if both sides feel like they cannot bridge that very large gap, the next question really is is, you know, who is going to walk away from this deal first because we know that both sides, Democrats and Republicans, want to look like they really put in their hardest effort, specifically for President Biden and Democrats who know that those moderate Democrats are going to want a deal and they're going to want to see that effort.

WALKER: Yes. Is there a will for some kind of compromise? Jasmine Wright, thank you so much for your reporting. All right. Let's turn now to Capitol Hill now to CNN's Daniella Diaz. I mean, yes, President Biden is kind of in this darned if you do, darned if you don't situation and it's not just the Republicans the Biden administration is contending with on infrastructure. The president's been vocal about some in his own party.

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes, Amara. He can't just work with Republicans. He has to also work with members of his own party that are completely divided about how to approach this issue of negotiating a deal on infrastructure. You know, on one hand, you have Senator Bernie Sanders who really wants Democrats to go at this alone and try to pass a deal using budget reconciliation, which means they only need Democrats to pass this, but then on the other hand, you have Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia who is very adamant about trying to reach a bipartisan negotiation with Republicans on infrastructure and he holds a lot of power right now because Democrats need his vote even if they wanted to pass this along party lines.

You know, Manchin is really devoted to this idea of stability and cooperation in the Senate and that's not that different from President Joe Biden who really made negotiating with Republicans and bipartisanship a landmark of his campaign for the 2020 election and his presidency, but Republicans are very -- are not eager to negotiate with Democrats if it means handing Biden a win or it doesn't advance their own agenda for the midterms.


But that's not stopping Manchin from where he stands on this issue. He really believes that Democrats need to take the time to negotiate with Republicans to reach a deal, especially on key items of Biden's agenda, including infrastructure. Take a listen to what he told our Manu Raju this week.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): And I know everyone's in a hurry right now. If anyone understands the process, it's President Joe Biden with 36 years of experience or more here. He understands and gets it well. I hope his staff understands it also, what we're trying to do. We've got to bring our country together. We can't continue to split and go further apart. We just can't do that, and we've got to work together and that takes a lot of time and energy.


DIAZ: And meanwhile, you know, my colleague, Jasmine Wright, talked about how the White House rejected this offer from Republicans. Now a new bipartisan group is starting to negotiate a new proposal for infrastructure which could come as soon as next week. So these negotiations continue, but of course this is all coming from Manchin who is part of these negotiations to try to reach a deal on infrastructure, a bipartisan deal, that could pass through the Senate.

WALKER: All right. Daniella Diaz, appreciate your reporting from Capitol Hill there. Let's talk more about these ongoing talks. Joining us to discuss is CNN political analyst Errol Louis. He's also a political anchor for "Spectrum News" and the host of the "You Decide" podcast. Good morning to, Errol. Always great to have you. All right. So, we just heard there from Daniella Diaz, the good news is, yes, a bipartisan group is still actively working on a infrastructure proposal that could be unveiled as soon as next week, but to what end? I mean, is there even a will for compromise?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, one would hope that there'll be some of the forward movement on this. These are really important items that we're talking about here. I mean, the politics are hard, to be sure, but the payoff is going to be immense if they can, in fact, get some infrastructure built and not just roads and bridges and traditional infrastructure, but some of the expanded ideas that the president campaigned on.

And, Amara, the real politics here that are going to matter is that the president made several promises on the campaign trail, and they weren't just about bipartisanship. That's the thing that we all like to focus on and talk about, but he also made some promises to move the country forward. He made some promises to make key investments in slices of the country that voted for him in a big, big way. So, he's got to -- he's got to come through.

There's a progressive wing and a progressive base to the Democratic Party. They are expecting him to make good on his promises to actually tax the wealthy, to tax some of the profits that major corporations have made overseas and bring some of that money back home. These are things that he's going to have to do and he's going to start feeling the heat from other parts of the whole political universe, not just the Republican holdouts who, in many ways, are going to, I think, kind of spin their wheels and kind of take up a lot of time.

But in the end, you know, Mitch McConnell is going to determine whether or not there's going to be a deal and he has signaled in every possible way that no deal is going to be forthcoming. So, you know, we'll play this out, but the reality is I don't think anybody should be surprised if the talks fall apart in the next few days.

WALKER: Yes. And on that note about the Republicans spinning their wheels, I mean, there's been a lot of questions, especially as we heard from the New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman about, you know, whether or not the Republicans are even negotiating in good faith. He's been leading the progressives on these talks, and he's been weighing in on the president's rejection of that new GOP offer and whether he should re-up his price tag again. Here he is.


REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): Biden ran on an infrastructure bill that was north of $2 trillion.


BOWMAN: Because that was the number, progressives organized across the country to make sure Biden won the election, specifically in Georgia and Michigan and places like Pennsylvania. To go from over $2 trillion to $1.7 trillion should never have been done and to try to cut it further definitely should not be done.


WALKER: I mean, yes, we know President Biden has made significant concessions and as you hear there, progressives are clear that they've seen enough from these negotiations. Maybe they think the president has gone too far. I mean, what's it looking like when it comes to President Biden's best option at this point without really stalling his agenda further?

LOUIS: Well, you know, look, there's going to be a period of time. I mean, as has been pointed out by many, the president spent 30 plus years as a senator and so he knows that the process can sort of play out for a while, probably longer than regular people are used to, certainly longer than a progressive freshman Democrat like Jamaal Bowman would be comfortable with.


But at the end of that process, again, I think, you know, you're going to have to go back to the leadership and what Mitch McConnell will and will not allow his conference to put forward. You know, to a certain extent, these negotiators don't necessarily have the clout to make a binding deal. And I think the president knows that, frankly. So, we're going to sort of go through this process, we saw a lot of this happen during the Obama-Biden administration where the president is going to want to come out of it saying, look, I tried, and I've got receipts. So, I've got evidence that we met hour after hour after hour.

In the end, are they going to strike a deal? I just find it very hard to believe. I mean, again, Mitch McConnell who's going to have the final say on the Republican side has signaled over and over again, he says he doesn't want this president to have any victory, any win, any progress on anything.


LOUIS: And I think we've learned over the years that when he makes those kinds of threats, he really means it.

WALKER: You were mentioning President Biden knows what it takes -- what it takes to make a deal. And so does Senator Joe Manchin. I mean, what's your take on his calculus, especially as he wields so much power?

LOUIS: Yes, well, I mean, look, Joe Manchin is in a ruby red state, it's kind of a minor miracle that he wins re-election, right? I mean, the state has moved far to the right. And so, he both believes in the institution, he also of course believes in the politics of his own re- election. So, he is not somebody who is going to budge, you know, he run out of there, possibly even in a Democratic primary, if he were to move too far in the direction of where the rest of the party has gone. On the other hand, you know, he is sorely testing the patience, not only of his confidence, but of the White House. So, he's the man in the middle. This is his moment.

He wanted to be on the historical stage with a big decision to make, that's who Joe Manchin is right now. It's a little bit perplexing to the rest of us that one man with so much clout is reading history so much differently than the rest of us after what happened on January 6th, after what happened over the last four years. You know, he acts as if he has a negotiating partner that is far more rational and willing to compromise than the Republicans have shown themselves to be. I wonder who he thinks he's going to cut this deal with. You know, they have shown their hands over and over again that they like to say bipartisanship. But that's not at all how they vote or how they act. I would think that Joe Manchin would get that, but we'll see how it plays out.

WALKER: It's hard to see which way he's playing. Errol Louis, I appreciate you talking with us again this morning. Thank you.

LOUIS: Thank you, Amara.

SANCHEZ: Up next, the Senate sergeant at arms says a repeat of the January insurrection is not the biggest threat to the U.S. Capitol. There's another ongoing threat that she's more concerned about, an important conversation ahead.



SANCHEZ: Listen to this. The Senate Sergeant at Arms says that it's not another riot or insurrection that keeps her up at night, but the threat of a cyberattack on the U.S. Capitol.

WALKER: CNN's Pam Brown sat down with Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson in an exclusive interview. Pam, what else did she have to say?

PAM BROWN, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. I sat down in an exclusive interview with the chief law enforcement officer of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms, General Karen Gibson. She took over the reins in March. And I asked her about what security on Capitol Hill looks like now, nearly five months after the insurrection. And what she said may surprise you, because her number one concern isn't necessarily another insurrection happening.


KAREN GIBSON, SENATE SERGEANT AT ARMS: I worry a lot more about cyber security than I do about another mob attacking the Capitol. Certainly, our networks are -- have attempted intrusions every single day. And so, cyber security for me is a much greater concern than the prospect of thousands of people storming the west terrace.

BROWN: Christopher Wray, the FBI director compared the current cyber threat with ransomware to the terrorism threat around 9/11. Do you view it that way, too?

GIBSON: I think whether it's ransomware or other cyber security threats, yes. I actually -- again, I see cyber security as my greater concern than a mob attacking the Capitol. I think members have sensitive information that they would not necessarily want to have disclosed. That may be in documents, much of what we do is public and meant to be so. So, you know, committee deliberations, hearings, that's intended to be public. But I would worry about, I think, nation-state actors or others who might try to just really cripple the government's ability to function by locking down cyber communication networks.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: Sergeant at Arms Gibson said she has a highly capable cyber

security team and chief information officer. But despite this robust team, it is still a top concern for her. We also talked about what the security landscape looks like now nearly five months after the insurrection, and how political rhetoric plays into all of this now and what led to the insurrection, the political rhetoric, and the lie about the election, how that is still ongoing. Her reaction and more coming up this weekend between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

WALKER: Very interesting stuff. Pam Brown, thank you for that. Coming up, many people who took part in the Black Lives Matter protests last Summer have been inspired to run for public office. How George Floyd's death can lead to lasting changes at city hall.



WALKER: More than a year after the death of George Floyd, many of the activists in the Black Lives Matter movement are now using their voices in a different way.

SANCHEZ: Yes, they're taking their fight for change from the streets to city hall and running for public office. CNN's Leyla Santiago has more.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): If you could say something to George Floyd today, what would that be?


SANTIAGO (voice-over): To understand that pause --



SANTIAGO: To understand that pain.

ALEXANDRE: I'm sorry.

SANTIAGO: Is to understand their drive, one year after the murder of George Floyd.

LATONYA TATE, CANDIDATE, BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 9: We can no longer ignore what is going on. You know, we've got to have these hard conversations whether people want to have them or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want!

SANTIAGO: They marched in New York.


SANTIAGO: Alabama, Florida, protesting police violence and demanding change. Today, they're taking the next step for a movement seeking greater political power.

OSSE: My name is Chi Osse, I'm in my 20s, yes, we need young people in office, right?

SANTIAGO: Chi Osse is running for running for City Council in Brooklyn, New York, District 36. If elected, he would become one of the youngest, and one of the first self-described queer candidates to win a New York City Council race.

TATE: Well, I'm LeTonya Tate, and I'm the only woman in the race.

SANTIAGO: A retired law enforcement officer and founder of a social justice advocacy group, LaTonya Tate is running for City Council, District 9 in Birmingham, a city with a history of violent police aggression against civil rights protesters.

ALEXANDRE: My name is Francois Alexandre --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're running for city --

ALEXANDRE: Yes, running for office, brother.

SANTIAGO: 35-year-old Haitian American Francois Alexandre is running to be the next commissioner for District 5 in Miami, home to Little Haiti. These protesters-turned candidates say the decision to take their fight to the polls was fueled by George Floyd in that horrifying cell phone video.

OSSE: It filled me with anger and fills me with this passion to stand up and do something about it.

ALEXANDRE: For me, it was just a bit more personal that George Floyd's life didn't have to be taken nor did I have to be beaten.

SANTIAGO: He tells us Floyd forced him to relive his own experience with police violence nearly eight years ago. CNN reached out to the Miami Police Department, they declined to comment due to the case being opened pending litigation. Alexandre is still waiting for his day in court, acknowledging he gets a day, Floyd did not.

TATE: I saw this police officer, you know, with his knee on this man's neck. I was, like, that's unacceptable, you know, being a law enforcement myself.

SANTIAGO: It's not what Tate learned in training to be a parole officer, she believes she's a strong candidate now, not only because of her experience in law enforcement, but also because she comes from a long line of civil right activists.

TATE: I'm just picking up the mantle, and I'm just a young generation that's behind, they're looking down and saying, go, girl.


SANTIAGO: The next step for this generation of protesters, systemic change.

ALEXANDRE: You're going from protesting and advocating on an issue to now wanting to be the man that solves it.

SANTIAGO: From policing strategies --

TATE: Community policing where we've got to, you know, build that trust back.

SANTIAGO: To gentrification and affordable housing.

OSSE: It's never truly affordable for the people in the community.

SANTIAGO: For them, the protests were just the beginning. The fight continues at the ballot box in local government, something they all wish George Floyd could be here to see. Because if they could say just one thing to him today, a year after a police officer killed him on that street in Minneapolis --

ALEXANDRE: Yes, I love you. Yes, that I love him.

TATE: You definitely still should be here. He deserved a chance just like everybody else.

OSSE: I'm so sorry, but I wish no black person was killed by law enforcement. But what he started is something that's going to create some everlasting change for individuals that look like him and look like me.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Leyla Santiago for that report. Hey, if you missed it earlier this week, do not miss it tonight. A repeat showing of the CNN film "DREAMLAND: THE BURNING OF BLACK WALL STREET". It tells a story that has been historically suppressed of a wealthy black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was decimated by a violent white mob a 100 years ago. "DREAMLAND" airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Stay with us, we'll be right back.



WALKER: As the NBA playoffs roll on, a former champion is inspiring the next generation of hoops hopefuls.

SANCHEZ: And Coy Wire is here with this week's difference makers. And Coy, this difference maker, a bit of a troublemaker when he was on the court.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and he's making sure the future doesn't go that route, Boris. The four-time All-Star Rasheed Wallace using his vast knowledge of the game and wisdom to teach some high schools very best, not just the excess in those, but how to succeed in the game of life as well. We caught up with Rasheed recently running the show at the Allen Iverson Classic in Memphis.


RASHEED WALLACE, FOUR-TIME NBA ALL-STAR: Always a wonderful thing, man. It's gathering some of the greatest high school players in the country from all over and bringing them here on this -- on this stage right here to show their talents to the world.

Be! You all go act like you're going to set the screen. Whoever side you go through and slip through the basket. You're going to go through this adversity in life. You might not get that job, are you going to stop looking for one. You know, the boss yelled at you, now, are you going to quit? We don't know, you've got to fight through adversity. So, that's what we're trying to teach them out here.

For this thrill, when you're going full court, no reason, slide your feet on up and out! Slide your feet is for a reason! Go!

PAOLO BANCHERO, WILL PLAY FOR DUKE NEXT SEASON: It's top notch. You can't just find this anywhere. She -- I've been seeing she got Nike Camps as all the freshmen, so me and him, we built a good relationship over the years, so I'm just thankful to be here. Thankful to be here around all these great players and coaches. Like, you know, a lot of kids don't get to do this, and I'm just trying to soak it all up and try and learn.


WALLACE: We're trying to teach these young men and women the good things in life, as far as you do the right things, you know, you'll get rewarded. Hard work, good to push through, perseverance. Just overall life issues. You know, basketball and things with life have a lot of relation.


Just touch somebody, just touch somebody! Good work! Good work! Good work! Good work!

It's all about the whole educational process, because if I help lift you up, right, it's going to be contagious. You're going to help lift him up, vice versa, vice versa, and so on and so on and so on. So, that's what we're looking for, just to try to make them better young men and women.

You got it?

CROWD: Yes sir.

WALLACE: Go, bring it! Hear me on three, one, two, three!

(END VIDEO CLIP) WIRE: Now, Paolo Banchero, you just heard from there signed with Duke,

he says he hopes to help get legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski a sixth national title in what will be his 42nd and final season at the school. But you've got to love that passion by Rasheed Wallace to help the future stars shine brighter.

SANCHEZ: It hasn't died down in the least. Coy Wire, thank you so much. Stay with us, we'll be right back.