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CNN TONIGHT: Alex Jones' Liar Mouth Landed Him To More Trouble; Alex Jones' Show Continues; Republicans Gathered For Their CPAC With Viktor Orban; Justice Came Late For Breonna Taylor's Family; President Biden Declares Health Emergency Over Rising Monkeypox Cases. Aired 10- 11p ET

Aired August 05, 2022 - 22:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Hey, welcome back, everyone. Don Lemon is off this evening, but I'm still wearing like lemon yellow for you in his absence. I am Laura Coates, and this is CNN TONIGHT.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay even more to the parents of a 6-year-old little boy who was killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school. Forty-five point two million dollars more in punitive damages on top of the more than $4 million in compensatory damages already award at the civil trial just yesterday for those deeply harmful lies that the shooting was a hoax among many other completely false and outrageous claims.

Now, under Texas law there are limits on punitive damages of $750,000 per plaintiff. So, it seems he won't be forced to fork over quite that much yet. He's still facing two more defamation trials, and one of them is in Connecticut. But it appears the jury did listen to this plea from the attorney for the Sandy Hook family.


WES BALL, PLAINTIFFS' ATTORNEY: We ask that you send a very, very simple message. And that is stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies.


COATES: An economist who testified at Jones trial today estimated to the jury that Jones may have a net worth of as much $270 million but has been trying to hid his wealth with personal loans and shell companies. Now, Jones said at trial he faced financial ruin if there was an award of more than $2 million. More lies on top of lies, perhaps?

Scarlett Lewis is the mother of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis who was killed at Sandy Hook, after the jury's decision today she referenced her beautiful son's courage when describing how she confronted Jones during her own testimony.


SCARLETT LEWIS, JESSE LEWIS'S MOTHER: You know, when I got up on the witness stand and I looked at Alex I thought about Jesse. You know, I had been so nervous. I think that was obvious before I faced Alex, but once I looked closer to his eyes, I realized that's exactly what Jesse did to the shooter that came into his first grade classroom after just having murdered his principal and guidance counselor, and he stood to his, the bully and Adam Lanza and saved nine of his classmates lives. And I hope I did that incredible courage justice when I was able to confront Alex Jones who is also a bully. And I hope that that inspires other people to do the same in their own lives. We all have the capacity for the courage that Jesse showed. And sometimes it does take courage to choose love, but we all have that capacity.


COATES: Courage, indeed. Reaction now to this new decision by the Jones jury from former Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams and CNN political commentator Alice Stewart.

I'm glad that you're all here. Because there's a lot to unpack about that idea, and one of the things to keep in mind, Alex Jones he's still on-air. It's not as if he's been silent. In fact, part of the trial in that face has been about comments he continues to make.

And so, I just wonder your impression about the idea of how there is claims that, you know, he's being silenced by all this. He's still talking.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He is. And let's just say to that mother and the other mothers and fathers of these children you are doing courage and justice for your children by speaking out and going against people that are making up this nonsense.

Look, in America we have freedom of speech. We can all say what we want. We also have free markets. You can sell goods and services. This is the bad side of that. This is someone who is using his freedom of speech to peddle conspiracy theories and he's selling it on the marketplace.

And unfortunately, the law of supply and demand when he's selling these conspiracy theories there are people out there, many people who are willing to buy this. And he will continue to do so until he has stopped in a greater way than this.


Fortunately, what these parents are doing is they are finding a way to monetize his misinformation and lies. And he's being held accountable for the lies and misinformation he has peddled at the expense of these poor victims.

And while this is only $50 million, and we know that he has $270 million, I hope that the next case that comes before the courts and the next and the next delivers the same message that we cannot have these types of lies peddled in the marketplace. COATES: But here's how it's being spun a little bit. I mean, I know

lawyers are going to lawyer. Right? They are going to lawyer. But here's a lawyer for Alex Jones who says this is really about the first amendment. Well, I'll let him speak for himself.


ANDINO REYNAL, ALEX JONES' ATTORNEY: Alex Jones will be on the air today. He'll be on the air tomorrow. He'll be on the air next week. He's going to keep doing his job. His reaction was that, you know, he'd been found guilty before he ever had a chance to defend this case on the merits, that, you know, the first amendment is under siege and that he looks forward to continuing the fight, the freedom of expression.


COATES: Well, first of all, Elliot, right, it wasn't like he didn't have a chance to defend himself. It was default for a reason.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Because he did not defend himself literally, so they issued a default judgment against him. And you know, so much of this, the discussion around it has been about defamation, about hurting someone's reputation of someone and we haven't talked as much about intentional infliction of emotional distress, which is literally when you can see someone for hurting another person in an extreme and egregious way.

This was just not protected speech by any stretch of the imagination, whether you were causing someone financial harm, which is what defamation is or literally saying things are so egregious and so shocking that you ought to pay $50 million for them. So, no, this is not about the first amendment. It's a distraction. It's a red herring to that. He knows that. He's a lawyer.

COATES: And politically though, there's as much an appetite for conspiracy theories, unfortunately, as there is an appetite for, hey, you are trying to shut me up and this is the government -- and this is not the government. These are the parents of a young boy who was killed, but the government is trying to silence my viewpoint, my right-wing viewpoint, I'm a conservative. What do you say?

FMR. REP. ABBY FINKENAUER (D-IA): Well, I mean, heck, you saw him being defended today at CPAC, Marjorie Taylor Greene sitting there and having his back and defending his piece of human garbage. And it is despicable that there are people that, one, will listen to the guy, but there are. He has a base; he has a platform and he's going to keep getting money from it as long as he's allowed to.

And you also still have people in the Republican Party willing to sit there and have this guy's back. It's absolutely disgusting.

COATES: But when I hear the words earlier, we had this comment -- conversation about how some of the comments and support of him are about the phrase you'll find familiar, a witch hunt, which to me harkens back to many other conversations about lies that are spewed and about monetizing that very notion. Is there a risk that he becomes a political martyr?


STEWART: Not in the space --


COATES: You say no.

STEWART: But so many of the nonsense he's put on that site he talks about the origin of the COVID vaccine. He talks about the election fraud. He talks about all kinds of conspiracy theories. This is not going to make him a martyr.

This case -- if you look back to the origin of why he started this nonsense it was because he felt as though this was the government's way of taking your guns away from you and he's appealing to the second amendment crowd. But you don't do it on the backs and at the heartstrings of parents and children in a mass shooting like this. This is wrong on so many levels, and this is not the hill he's going to die on.

WILLIAMS: For the first time tonight, I think we're going to have a little bit of a disagreement here. No, I think he does become a martyr here. He's already on info wars tonight talking about this garbage, and there are people who are listening to it and actually think that this individual is some sort of hero.

So, he is somebody who the deep state and the lefties or whomever else who are coming after you -- you Americans, they are now taking $50 million away from Alex Jones. So, I think the martyrdom complex is starting, it will be in full effect it's not going anywhere. And like you said, Laura, he's still got his platform and he's still going.

COATES: Well, the thing is -- I mean, because we know the notion of a martyr and martyrdom is some -- in some instances successful, not that he deserves to be. Let's be very clear, no one is saying that.



COATES: But the idea of him using it as a way of saying, look, you know what? This was not about the comments that I made as deplorable as they are about Sandy Hook, it's because I make comments about other things, that they -- the boogeyman -- they do not like, and that's why I think about the idea of how this is even broader discussion about whether this will be a blue print or will it be deterrent.


FINKENAUER: I mean, they're always the victim. Right? And honestly, again, it's not really that different than former President Trump, always the victim, right? Always the victim, but let me just keep pushing more lies, more conspiracies and get more money out of people who want to believe it. And it's just sad that this is where we're at. But, again, I really

hope people are paying attention to the fact that there are consequences. You are, again, entitled to your opinions, but you cannot just make up your own facts and terrorize people with them like we've seen with Alex Jones.

WILLIAMS: And the fact that Texas has a cap on damages doesn't mean that Connecticut or New Jersey --


WILLIAMS: -- or anywhere else somebody in the future might be sued for this kind of nonsense might still actually have to pay up. The thing is, it varies state by state wherever we are.

STEWART: And there are other consequences that I think will come out of this, too, whether or not this has to do with info wars or not. The fact that his attorney turned over his text messages for the last two years to the opposing counsel, if that information ends up in the hands of the DOJ, he could face other charges that could be potentially much more damaging than $50 million. So that's the next shoe to drop with regard to him.

COATES: I mean, the deterrent, the idea of accountability, these are sword -- they used to be this sword of Damocles that people feared. People become emboldened when they're not held accountable.


COATES: That's what -- that's the risk here. More on this in a moment. Everyone, stick around, there are a lot more to talk about. And remember next hour CNN's Drew Griffin takes a deeper dive on this with his special report. It's called megaphone for conspiracy, the Alex Jones story. It's coming up right after us at 11 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Now, if you are convicted of a federal crime and you're awaiting sentencing how do you spend your Friday night? And if you're Steve Bannon you -- you headline CPAC. We're in Dallas with a look where the conservative movement is headed after weeks that saw a defeat on the abortion battle but key victories for Trump supporting election deniers. All of that next.




STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: We're at war. We are at war. We're at a political and ideological war. You can say anything else you want about it, but we're at war. Think about after high noon on the 20th of January 2021 when an illegitimate impostor took over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and took over an administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: A fresh round of baseless election denialism from Steve

Bannon and talk of war. He's on stage right now at CPAC, the conservative Political Action Conference being held in Dallas. He's got a few months left, which true, before learning his jail sentence after being convicted for contempt of Congress.

Remember he was found guilty of defying a congressional subpoena from the January 6th select committee. Now Bannon is one, frankly, of many election deniers finding a very welcome audience this weekend like the My Pillow guy.


MIKE LINDELL, FOUNDER, MYPILLOW: Over 54 countries have now been taken by the machines or are getting taken by the machines, and you never get to go back. Venezuela, Australia, they're gone. You don't get to vote out the machines once they're there. Once they're there, you don't get your country back.


COATES: Also, on display in Dallas a performance art jail cell depicting a January 6th defendant. And along with all of that some of the next wave of Trump acolytes fresh from primary victories this very week.

Kyung Lah is in Dallas where the former president himself will address the CPAC crowd tomorrow night. And Kyung joins us right now. Hi, what are you looking at?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Laura, what we really have seen over the CPAC conference is at least electorally a victory lap for the candidates who Trump endorsed. This was a week of primaries in Arizona and Michigan, in particular where election deniers came out on top, a good week for them but also for Donald Trump.


LAH: Fresh off a Republican primary victory for Arizona's governor Kari Lake arrives to a hero's welcome at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas.


LAH: In her home state she is leading in every single county, centering her campaign on Donald Trump's lie about the 2020 election, a position she pledges she will not pivot away from.

LAKE: We outvoted the fraud. We didn't listen to what the fake news had to say. The MAGA movement rose up and voted like their lives depended on it.

LAH: Trump-endorsed election denying candidates won up and down Arizona's ballot Tuesday. U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters and Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem who says he wants to eliminate all voting machines. MARK FINCHEM (R), ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE CANDIDATE: Paper ballot

and hand counting on one day. We can do that. We used to do it.

LAH: Election experts say that would mean months' long counts. Twenty-twenty deniers despite no evidence of widespread fraud won, and not just in Arizona.


LAH: But in Michigan this week Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon.

UNKNOWN: Yes or no, do you believe that Donald Trump legitimately won in 2020 in Michigan?


LAH: Now, Dixon is dodging that question.

DIXON: In Michigan there were some things that happened in Michigan that didn't happen in other states, which are very concerning.

LAH: These wins are just the latest in the steady advance by those sowing distrust in U.S. elections being put on the November ballot. In Nevada, Jim Marchant is the Republican nominee for secretary of state running to oversee his state's elections. He told us this earlier this year.


JIM MARCHANT (R), NEVADA SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE: I believe it was stolen, yes. I mean, I believe that there were enough irregularities that we need to do an audit.

LAH: And then there's Michigan's Kristina Karamo, another secretary of state candidate who doesn't believe the 2020 results. Election liars on state ballots show Trump's grip on the GOP celebrated by far- right propagandist Mike Lindell at CPAC.

LINDELL: Everybody is going to go vote these great candidates like Kari Lake and override the machines --

LAH: On the CPAC agenda --

UNKNOWN: They stole the 2020 election.

LAH: It is relitigating 2020, also looking ahead to November and beyond.

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): They want to rig elections, institutionalize voter fraud. We're not going to allow it.

LAH: I see your hat there.

RAY MYERS, TEXAS VOTER: Yes, yo bet. LAH: How important is it for you to talk about 2020 as we look at 2022?

MYERS: He won. He won in 2020 hands down across the nation.

LAH: What is to say where the party is in this country?

UNKNOWN: MAGA. They're with MAGA. They're with Trump. They're Trump followers.


LAH: Now Kari Lake is such a big star among the far-right that she is scheduled to speak again at least per her Twitter account. She tweeted that she will be the last scheduled speaker before the big guy himself, Laura, Donald Trump. Laura?

COATES: Wow. That's interesting, Kyung. And you know, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, he actually spoke yesterday, and he recently said something about wanting to prevent Europe from becoming -- and these were his words -- becoming a mixed-race continent. Here's what he said last night.


VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER: We have to be brave enough to address even the most sensitive questions -- migration, gender, and the clash of civilizations. Don't worry a Christian politician cannot be racist. If you separate western civilization from this Judeo- Christian heritage the worst things in history happen. Let's be honest, the most evil things in modern history were carried out by people who hated Christianity.


COATES: I mean, Kyung, line byline you can go through that and scratch your head, be offended, wonder where the facts are to support any of statements, but I do wonder in the audience how is he received.

LAH: Very well. You know, very, very well. This was a crowd that received him warmly. They applauded, and they got exactly the kind of rhetoric that they wanted. Now, let's remind you of exactly who they heard from. Viktor Orban is the head of a country that has been making a steady incremental step to authoritarianism over the last decade or so. That his government has managed to assail the rights of the LGBTQ community, women, academics, the media.

Human Rights Watch has laid all of this out in a 2021 report. And the media that he's talking about, the vast, vast majority of it in Hungary is controlled by Orban or his allies. So, the electoral system even, Laura, is bent and has been rewritten in order to favor the ruling class.

If this sort of system does not sound like any sort of democracy that the founders of America wanted for this country, yet this is who CPAC invited to speak on the stage, and this is a stage where 30 members of Congress are going to be speaking on, the same stage as the leader of Hungary.

COATES: And this is a place where he was warmly received. Kyung Lah, thank you so much for your reporting.

Coming up, major developments in the police killing of Breonna Taylor, the feds take action in a case that includes allegations of a cover up. But why did it take so long for prosecutors to even reach this point? That's next.



COATES: News of federal charges in the Breonna Taylor case bring with them questions of why the family had to wait so long for this moment.


UNKNOWN: You all learning what we been seeing that's the truth that they shouldn't have been there.


COATES: Four current and former Louisville police officers facing various charges. Three accused of lying to get the warrant. The one who opened fire accused of violating her civil rights. The charges coming not from the local or state prosecutors or even the administration that was in office when Taylor was killed.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the charges -- get this -- 874 days after Taylor's death.

Let's talk about it now with the long and the long legal road it took to get to this point with the great Van Jones. Van, it's so good to see you, but on this it is heart breaking to think about just that number, the amount of time the family has waited to even have the needle moved in any direction after much disappointment. Tell me, why did it take this long to get here? I recall that there was first initial there was nothing wrong.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right, right. Well, listen, ordinarily in these cases the police they move to protect their own. The difference between this case and say what happened with George Floyd is in that case you did have at the state level some leadership. You had Keith Ellison who at the state level was willing to say this was wrong what happened with George Floyd, and he took action.

You didn't have the option of that at the state level here. And so you just had this long delay. And you've got to give credit to the mother. She just refused to let this thing go. And she fought day after day after day after day. And can you imagine you can't even rest and honor your daughter's death because you have to fight every layer of government and two administrations just to get the obvious charge. And don't forget, people may not remember, Breonna Taylor was

literally doing nothing wrong. She was asleep-in her bed, people kicked in the door and started shooting. She was shot eight times, and they were trying to serve a warrant on someone who was already in custody.

So, from the very beginning this thing was a stench in the nostrils of God. It never made any sense, and it took a new administration and Merrick Garland to finally do the right thing. But the credit goes to the mom and all the activists like Tamika Mallory and others who just refused to let this thing go.

COATES: And remember, just if you think about the then-attorney general of the state of Kentucky, Daniel Cameron talking about these issues about whether the grand jury was going to prosecute or whether they had been charges on the officers who were there on scene as well.

If you think that was just sort of in the past conversation, Van, today he made these comments. I want you to listen.


DANIEL CAMERON, KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think it is worth repeating again that our investigation found that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker. According to Kentucky law the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves.


COATES: Do you think it bears repeating?

JONES: It's just outrageous because why was this young brother firing? He was firing because somebody kicked in the door and they were shooting from the beginning, and he's trying to protect himself. He gets on the phone and when he calls 911, he doesn't say, hey, a bunch of cops -- he goes somebody kicks in the door and shooting and now my girlfriend is shot.

He doesn't even know when he was calling 911 that there were cops shooting. He still thinks while his girlfriend is dying that he's the victim of a home invasion.

So, for someone like Cameron to not acknowledge the basic facts here, that this was a no-knock warrant, an unjustified no-knock warrant executed badly and then 20 rounds shot off and an innocent woman dead, look, this is the difference between somebody like him at the top levels as a top cop versus a Keith Ellison as a top cop. Keith Ellison saw the facts and got the prosecution. This guy is still spinning nonsense even after the federal government has finally come in.

COATES: And just so we're clear, we're talking about, I mean, this is in part about the idea of why they were there in the first place. The substance of the reason to even get the warrant, the information contained in the warrant to lead them to being at the home. And that's part of why DOJ is there, and not just investigating this aspect of it, Van.

They're investigating the Louisville Police Department in its entirety. This is not uncommon to look into police departments for the pattern --


JONES: Pattern and practice.

COATES: -- or practice of civil rights violations.

JONES: Right. And that's why, listen, that's why we have three levels of government because often people can't police themselves. The reality is a pattern and practice of this conduct, you know when you have an innocent woman shot to death in her bed, killed and they actually then charge her boyfriend at first with a -- you're dealing with a police department that is not capable of policing itself, then you have the failure at the state level, then finally some justice at the federal level.

And look, Merrick Garland has come under a lot of criticism from people on left saying he's not doing enough, he's not going fast enough. They don't think he's doing enough on January 6. But I'll tell you, people across the country finally had a sigh of relief today when some justice was finally done.

COATES: My heart still just goes out to the family of Breonna Taylor. And you're right, the consistent fighting and not being able to rest until there's some semblance, some move towards the acknowledgement that this was somebody who is asleep in her bed. Van Jones, thank you so much.

JONES: Thank you.

COATES: Well, what happens now with the Biden administration declaring monkeypox a public health emergency? I wonder if that's going to satisfy critics who say the White House waited way too long to respond and is splitting the vaccine into smaller doses. Is that the best way to deal with the vaccine shortage? A leading expert will join me next.



COATES: The Biden administration declaring the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. With more than 7,000 confirmed cases across the country, and the majority of cases among men who have sex with men. While there haven't been any monkeypox deaths reported here in the U.S., there's a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety amid difficulty to getting a vaccine to guard against it.

Here to discuss, Dr. Michael Osterholm, director for the center of infectious disease research and policy at the University of Minnesota. Good to talk to somebody in my hometown.


But, doctor, I've got to tell you, I mean, this is increasingly nerve- wracking for so many people. We heard about the comparisons being drawn to what if we were to have an infectious disease and of course the pandemic of COVID-19 comes to mind. Where should people view and how do we assess the level of anxiety that should be there for monkeypox?

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICIES: Well, you raise a critical point, and I think it was highlighted today when the administration also declared this a public health emergency because it left many people believing that now monkeypox was coming to their house.

And, in fact, it is a very important public health problem. And as you just noted in the lead it is still really primarily an issue in gay men who are men having sex with men, at the behavior and who are having multiple anonymous partners. There are many gay men who are not at increased risk because they are not experiencing those behaviors.

For most people in this country this is not ever going to be a public health emergency of any kind for them in their homes. What the emergency designation does is it provides the government the ability to actually take some different routes to bring vaccines forward through emergency use authorization, to be able to work with drugs in a way that they otherwise couldn't. So I think it's important not to have everyone feel like, my, monkeypox is here like COVID. This is very different than COVID.

COATES: I'm also very glad that you point out the existence of the potential for a stigma and why people should not be thinking or adhering to that very notion with monkeypox in particular.

But, you know, I have to say, I mean, you -- when you think about vaccines here is Dr. Fauci just earlier talking about the possibility how to address or resolve if there is a vaccine shortage with this area. Here he is.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I think if you can show -- and there are studies that do show that -- that if you administer in it in a different way, for example, intradermal versus subcutaneous that you can get a comparable response at maybe one fifth of the dose. So, I think it's something worth pursuing. Whether they actually are going to be able to do that, I'll leave that up to the FDA. But to approach that as an alternative way I very much am in favor of.


COATES: Are you in favor of that the idea -- I mean, my initial -- I'm not a doctor as you know, but the idea I just think of is the potency, is the efficacy, is the -- I mean, what -- would that impact any of that by reducing -- I would assume it would. OSTERHOLM: It sure could. And in fact, three weeks ago, I wrote an

editorial with a colleague in the magazine of Science, in which we actually proposed that this is should be something that should be immediately explored. For those who don't understand, intradermal is where you administer the vaccine just barely under the skin which is rich in certain cell types that can give you a better immune response versus intermuscular where you have the longer needle that goes in.

And so, you can use less vaccine and still likely get a similar response, but we still have to confirm that. But right now, we need to do everything we can to extend these vaccines. We have right now by CDC's own estimation today at least 1.7 million men who have sex with men in this country who we really need to get vaccine to in terms of protecting them against this virus.

At the same time, we are going to be far, far, far short of that. And remember also, right now, 90 nations in this world have reported cases of monkeypox. All of them want the same vaccine that this one single manufacturer in Denmark is trying to make.

So, we're going to be long on vaccine for some time, and we've got to do whatever we can to reduce risk, to extend the vaccine, to make sure that we try to get those people first vaccinated who are at highest risk of serious illness, HIV infected individuals, people who are immunocompromised. We have a lot of work we have to do with this.

COATES: You know, it occurs to me why do we keep stepping on the rake. I mean, people hear the idea of it's one manufacturer and one country doing something. Is that because of propriety aspects of the drug or the vaccine, or is that just because it has not been something that pose that worldwide threat to up and increase the production?

OSTERHOLM: Yes, you nailed it with your latter comment here. Don't forget that we wouldn't even have this vaccine but for the U.S. government and their efforts over the course of the last seven to eight years to actually develop a new vaccine.

Remember monkeypox had gone by way of you might say historic norms. It was gone. Well, it wasn't because after 40 years of not vaccinating in these countries in Africa where it's actually a virus in animals, we now have 370 million people in these countries under age 40 who have never been vaccinated against smallpox which provided protection against monkeypox, so we're going to see a lot of more of this come out.

The reason why we don't have more vaccine is because, again, who would pay hundreds of millions of dollars to make and stockpile hundreds of millions of doses that something that people said, well, it doesn't even occur.


And so, of course we're trying to play catch up. But at least we do have this new vaccine. Our problem is going to be it's going to take months and months to satisfy the needs of the world. COATES: You make a good point, the idea of not -- of not having to

create and reinvent the wheel is there. It's just getting the ball rolling down the hill. Thank you, Dr. Michael Osterholm.

OSTERHOLM: Thank you.

COATES: I appreciate it. And hello to Minnesotans everywhere out there.

A heavy week of news to be sure. We're going to lighten things up a bit even if that gets us into a pickle. I'll tell you what I mean in a moment.


COATES: I want to correct something that we said earlier. Earlier I said that the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron spoke today about how the actions of two officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor's were justified. I want to be clear the timing we said was incorrect. He actually made those comments not today, not even this year but in September of 2020.


All right, let's turn to a much different story, one that might give you a little bit of a smile this Friday or at least an appetite for a certain snack.


UNKNOWN: Goldfish, if you're seeing this, I think we need to create this flavor. A little dill pickle, shout out to us.

UNKNOWN: Cheers.



COATES: So, look, this mother-daughter duo is just one of many and I mean many TikTok -- TikTokers -- excuse me, going viral for relishing -- I didn't write that -- for relishing in this summer's hit flavor the dill pickle. Some are adding powdered pickle seasoning to all kinds of random foods at home.

So while big snack brands floods stores such as pickled almonds, and pickled potato chips, that sounds good, even pickled infused falafel, and wait for it, pickle pizza. Nope. What started out as a novelty is now a big dill.

Bump, dump, dump. I'm here all week. Tip to waitresses, try the fish, people. I got to ask you, first of all, have you tried the sorts of crazy flavors? Do we have these sorts of moments? I mean, pickle, this pickle green.


COATES: No? Pickle jar liquid green?


FINKENAUER: Yes, for lemon.

COATES: That was a test. It's just fabulous.

WILLIAMS: You know, I'm courageous as an eater but I haven't mustered the --

ENTER: My God.


COATES: Harry. Harry.

ENTEN: I don't have any puns. I'm not that good at English. I'll merely say that, you know, I'm used to having pickles with a pastrami sandwich, going there to the Jewish deli, going there perhaps to celebrate the Sabbath Shabbat. That to me is what pickles are about. You have it with the side of the sandwich. You don't have it in your chips.

They don't become -- we're infusing everything. I feel like the kids today are out of control.


ENTEN: That's what's going on.

WILLIAMS: Woke culture has just destroyed everything.


WILLIAMS: And ruin pickles.


COATES: Is there woke pickles? What? What? I mean, seriously I do -- I try a lot of different things. We are in the season, of course, of state fairs so I will try -- I've had deep fried pickles. I've had all the deep-fried stuff.


COATES: It's -- well, this is the I win in the Minnesotan taco --


COATES: Do you have a flavor -- what is your state fair food?

FINKENAUER: Deep fried, I have -- well, deep fried pickles are pretty extraordinary. There's the fried butter, which is basically like a cinnamon roll.

COATES: They're just blinking at fried butter.

FINKENAUER: No, it's like half a stick of butter --

ENTEN: I'm trying to figure out what's going on here.

FINKENAUER: It's a half of stick of butter, they bread it, they drop it in a fryer and then it's just literally a very buttery cinnamon roll.

WILLIAMS: The -- see, the New Yorkers here are just sort of wondering where the irony and the sort of bitterness and resentment is.

FINKENAUER: Well, get in Iowa.


ENTEN: I mean, I've been to Iowa. I don't recall -- I remember speeding down a highway at 80 miles an hour. My old boss was really into tacos and we had to get from eastern Iowa where you're from back to Des Moines or something --


ENTEN: -- for this great Mexican food and we were going at 80 miles an hour.

FINKENAUER: Tasty tacos?

ENTEN: It might have been tasty.

FINKENAUER: I bet it was.

ENTEN: And that was --

FINKENAUER: Jason Momoa is a big fan.

ENTEN: That was my memory of Iowan food.


WILLIAMS: You know, all this talk of snacks and merriment, today is also national beer day.

COATES: Really?


COATES: You are really excited about national beer day and Friday night. Good luck.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, look, and you might see the full Windsor here and think I'm into the prissy dudgeon of -- no. I just --

(CROSSTALK) COATES: Only because you called it a full Windsor --


WILLIAMS: Well, that's good, Laura. All I want is a Miller lite all the time, just, it both taste great and it's less filling on a national beer day.


ENTEN: Boy, thank you for the ad. I'll give you an ad for ANW root beer. That would be more of my sort of flavor. I like, you know, my diet sodas, root beers, cream soda, not so much into the alcohol. I like things that taste sweet.

COATES: A cream soda. Are you 90, really?


ENTEN: My father was born in 1927 so I like to think that I have the body or at least the mind of like a 95-year-old Jewish man.

WILLIAMS: It's all Jewish deli with you, Harry.

ENTEN: I am who I am, and I figure at 10.53 in the evening on the east coast if I'm not who I am, then who am I? I have to be me. I've got to be me as another famous Jewish and my favorite junior once said.

COATES: My God. I was going to say I will sing Sammy Davis.

ENTEN: Please.

COATES: that's one of my hype songs. I know it will (Inaudible) like Sammy Davis -- you know, I won't go in because the winds are not -- I'm going to ask you this. There is a really fun story too. I mean, away from cream sodas although I was a soda jerk one summer. I was a jerk part of it.

Let me ask you there was a puppy that was lost and you remind me of just warm and cuddly things, Harry. So, tell me about this.

ENTEN: So, there was a dog that was found hundreds of miles from where he was taken. He was stolen and they had microchipped the dog, and sure enough they scanned the microchip and years after this dog was stolen, they were able to reunite the dog. I believe the dog's name was Shiba, with the dog's owner.


And that to me is such a lovely thing because I'll be perfectly honest with you. While I love everyone on this panel, I love dogs even more.


ENTEN: And when I can hear a story of a dog being reunited, what I would give to be reunited with my childhood dog. And that dog wasn't stolen. Unfortunately, past these dogs too, but I will love him forever.

COATES: Well, all dogs go to heaven. I saw you lean-in. You're a dog person, aren't you?

FINKENAUER: Yes. Actually, so this last week -- so I'm from Dubuque, Iowa, and there was this story of this family they were on vacation and their dog went missing I think one of the parents maybe was watching it, and the entire town, I swear to God, just went out and tried to find this dog.

And it was about two days, and they did. And it was the happiest thing. There were three little girls that just love this dog so much. It was the sweetest story.

WILLIAMS: But the best story involving Abby Finkenauer and friends she has from Iowa is the phone call she got as we were sitting in the greenroom, which was the President of United States --

FINKENAUER: The president -- yes.

WILLIAMS: -- called her as we were sitting there today because that's who Abby Finkenauer makes friends with.

COATES: He found your dog?

WILLIAMS: This is the baller we have --


COATES: Well, you know what they say I want to know more. You know what they say in Washington if you want a friend, you get a dog.

Thank you all, and thanks for watching, everyone. Back to more serious matters after this break. It's the CNN Special Report, Megaphone for Conspiracy, Alex Jones, and it's coming up next.