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CNN Live Event/Special
CNN TONIGHT: New Legal Docs: Trump Tried To Send Message To Attorney General Merrick Garland After Mar-A-Lago Search; Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson On Investigation After Video Shows Officers Punching, Kneeing Suspect Pinned To Ground; HUD Secretary On Battle Against Racism In Real Estate. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired August 22, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: One's very bright, and on the left of your screen, and then the other, a little fainter, is to the right, almost where the rings are. NASA says the fuzzy spots, in the lower background, are likely other entire galaxies.
That's it for us, here on Earth. The news continues. Let's hand it over to Laura Coates and CNN TONIGHT.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Well, want to know more about that other galaxy back there. I mean, that's where my mind went, like that's a whole new show, a whole new series, Anderson. Thank you so much.
Everyone, I'm Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.
Look, it's been two weeks, since the Mar-a-Lago search, two weeks. And now, Donald Trump's legal team has gone on the offense, finally. I should clarify, I mean, the offense inside of a courtroom, not the court of public opinion.
Now, they filed this first lawsuit, since the FBI searched and seized items, from the ex-president's home, exactly two weeks ago today. And there's a whole lot to unpack. First, let's begin with exactly what Trump is now asking for in this filing, because, in this new filing, today, there is about four main requests.
Now one is for a Special Master. That's a third-party to be appointed by the court, who oversees the review of evidence gathered on either side of the parties. Another ask, they have is to pause the DOJ, from reviewing the evidence until that review by the Special Master has been completed.
They're also seeking a more detailed receipt, shall we say, of their property that was removed from Mar-a-Lago. And they want DOJ to give them back, whatever was not within the scope of that search warrant.
Now, in this suit, Trump also argues that his constitutional rights had been violated. And now, there is also confirmation, of previous reporting, in this filing, that Trump tried to get some sort of a message, to Attorney General Merrick Garland, three days after the search.
Now let's just say that message was probably equal parts unconventional, and entitled. It says, counsel, for the former President, spoke by phone, on August 11th, to the top counterintelligence official, at the DOJ, and discussed the following message.
And I quote, "President Trump wants the Attorney General to know that he has been hearing from people all over the country about the raid. If there was one word to describe their mood, it is "angry." The heat is building up. The pressure is building up. Whatever I can do to take the heat down, to bring the pressure down, just let us know."
I wonder if that was code for "Back off Garland," or maybe a mixture between a Lin-Manuel song, from "Encanto," and the "Pressure," and maybe a little bit of Ferris Bueller, and not being able to take the heat. That was Cameron Frye, for those of you listening from the 1980s.
This is also the same A.G. that put an exclamation point, by the way, on this statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: No person is above the law in this country. I can't say it any more clearly than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: And he will be asked again, of course, we know.
Well, the DOJ put out a statement tonight saying quote, "The August 8th search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause. The Department is aware of this evening's motion. The United States will file its response in court."
Reaction now from CNN Legal Analyst, Elliot Williams, who was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General, at the DOJ; also here is our Senior Justice Correspondent, Evan Perez; and Doug Heye, a former RNC Communications Director.
Glad to see you all here. I love the smile shots, like a scan, when you are announced, in that moment in time.
Look, it's been two weeks, since the search on Mar-a-Lago. The big question is, I mean, why now, is the filing? Why wait so long? We know there has been a history, in the past, of having a special master review, for privileged documents, in the Michael Cohen case, right? So, why do you think he's waiting so long now?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Look, it's been a mystery. We've been talking about this, actually--
COATES: Yes. PEREZ: --for a couple of weeks. And we, frankly, thought it, it would have been - it would have happened, the day of the search, or certainly in the days afterwards.
What this is, if you read the document that they filed in court is partially a PR strategy, right, which is to air the President's grievances about - the former President's grievances, about the previous investigations. But, there is something here that if he had done it earlier, perhaps actually might have worked. And I'm not sure.
Look, I mean, there still might be a judge's ruling that will help him here, which is to pause the Justice Department, to make the FBI stop what it's doing, and perhaps delay this, while you have a third-party come, and review these documents.
The former President could argue, right, and that people have been successful saying, "Your search warrant was overly broad, and took things that shouldn't have been taken that there's attorney-client material in here that should not have been taken," all of that.
You have people, who succeed, with judges. But, certainly, waiting two weeks is--
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well?
PEREZ: --way too long.
WILLIAMS: It's not just that it's way too long. It's the simple fact is the Justice Department has had access, to this evidence, for those two weeks.
COATES: They probably read it already.
WILLIAMS: They probably read it already. So what if this - even if he had an argument, or even if he has a legal case, for saying, "Look, there were personal documents, in there, or other things that maybe should not have been swept into the search," the Justice Department has reviewed it already.
So were he actually to have done it within a day or two, it might have made total sense. This, I mean, I would go further than you would have, and say, this is largely a political stunt, more than a legal document.
COATES: I mean, that's the thing, right? You're not talking about what makes legal sense. You're talking about the court of public opinion, right?
COATES: Doug, the idea of, when someone's saying, "Here. Hold this ice cream cone. Don't eat anything of it"--
DOUG HEYE, FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, FELLOW, HARVARD INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: Yes.
COATES: --and I'm asking for it a week later? It's all gone!
COATES: Everything I've already had is gone.
HEYE: Whether it's a hot day or not, it's--
COATES: It's hot day or not, it's gone! I mean, if it's me, it's gone.
But the idea here of thinking, what is his end game? Is it to say first, "Look, I want you to release everything. And oh, you know what? They're probably going to look at privileged information." Are they trying to sort of make the case in the public opinion's viewpoint?
HEYE: And well, let me make an argument that one of the reasons that this has gone on for two weeks, before they made this filing, is what we've seen from Donald, Trump over the past several years, is that his legal team is not exactly consistent, and or always diligent.
HEYE: So, they make mistakes. They delay, not intentionally, sometimes. As they try and slow things down, they also just aren't as organized as you would think a former President's legal team would be, or even a current president, when he was president, trying to challenge the election rules. So, I think that's part of it.
But he's done well, in the court of opinion on this. He's done what he's wanted to do, in part, because Merrick Garland gave him a two-day window, to flood the zone of what--
HEYE: --Trump wanted out there, with no response, from DOJ. That's been now bantered back-and-forth. But Trump certainly feels comfortable with this, as a political move, whether it's a legal move or not.
COATES: And, by the way, I mean, on your point about being successful? I mean, the Mar-a-Lago issue was actually boosting Trump, at least in the polling, whether you like it or not, whether you think it's truthful or not.
I mean, there was an NBC News poll that came out, and voters are increasingly saying that they're more a supporter of Trump, than the Republican Party, overall. I mean, look at these numbers. You've got 34 percent, who are - are you a greater supporter of Trump? They're greater now than perhaps they were back in May. That's a pretty big number.
I mean, you think about, is that part of the calculus, Doug that the plan was, "Hey, if I go from the January 6th hearings, when I am looked at disfavorably," to say the least, "I'm kind of persona non grata, in a way. And now, I'm a victim."
HEYE: Yes. Donald Trump plays the victim, very well. Even if unconvincingly, to the broader audience, within the Republican Party, he's victim number one. He's the alpha dog of the party, but also the number one victim.
And so, the way that this was done without a immediate DOJ response, gave Trump that real opportunity, to declare himself the victim and, by the way, raise a lot of money, doing so.
WILLIAMS: Yes. Now look, the Justice Department could do a better job, of talking about what it does.
The problem is, and, having worked there, as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General, for several years, at a certain point, when you open the door, to talking about open investigations, you're opening the door to, number one, jeopardizing witness safety, number two, jeopardizing the case, you're working on.
WILLIAMS: Number three, evidence and so on. So the tactic has been for decades, centuries that, just not to talk about them at all. Now, he could say--
HEYE: I can't talk on pending cases--
WILLIAMS: Yes, I mean, he could--
WILLIAMS: --he could say, "Our folks have integrity. And when the facts in the law lead us somewhere, we'll go there." But it's hard to say what - where that line is.
COATES: And plus, the problem, as you know, Evan, you've got some good reporting, you finished reporting, on an issue, where normally the government is quite secretive, and holding close to the vest, out of necessity, when it comes to say, grand juries, let alone the affidavit ruling by the judge--
COATES: --to say, "Look, it can't all be under seal, something might have to give."
But you've got some new reporting for us?
PEREZ: Well, yes, so this is I think part of the strategy here, is Trump is trying to distract people, from the other investigation--
PEREZ: --which is the January 6th investigation, which, arguably, frankly, is perhaps more perilous for him.
And we learned that - my colleague, Jamie Gangel, and I learned that the Justice Department had sent another subpoena to the National Archives. This is a grand jury subpoena. This is the second one, which is seeking additional documents, in addition to what they had earlier, gotten back, three months ago, which that first request was for stuff that the Archives had produced, to the January 6th committee, on Capitol Hill.
And so, this is a subsequent request, where the Justice Department, and Tom Windham, who is the prosecutor, looking at the broader picture, of what happened here, which was the effort, to impede the transfer of power, getting these fake electors organized, around seven States? They're looking at the higher crimes, right, possible crimes, which could include the former President, and his allies.
And so, this is very perilous for the former President, because you see a prosecutor now, who saw what they got, from the first tranche of documents, and says, "I want more, and I know that there's more that the Archives has that we need to have, as part of this investigation."
COATES: Man, there's a lot of things happening, a lot of juggling all these things.
WILLIAMS: Yes. Pretty interesting.
COATES: Evan Perez, thank you so much. Doug and Elliot, please stick around.
Not that I don't want you to be here, Evan, as well, do love you too.
But listen, ahead, we've got an extremely violent arrest that was captured on video. And it sparked a whole lot of conversations now, about Police, again, crossing the line.
We have two guests here, who we'll dig much deeper, into this incident. An attorney, for the suspect, who was beaten by the three officers, and the Governor of Arkansas, who has called those officers' conduct quote, "Reprehensible," this is his own state and the Feds are now investigating.
All that's next.
COATES: While there's another controversial arrest, recorded on video, and it's reviving a very important conversation, about the use of violence, and the use of force, in policing, in this country.
Now, we're about to play this video. And I'm going to warn you that it's very disturbing to see what is transpiring.
Now, we don't know the full context, yet, behind what sparked this incident. We only know what we can see, with our own eyes, of what happened, after a man was apprehended, just yesterday, outside of the convenience store, in Arkansas.
(VIDEO - SUSPECT BEING PINNED DOWN AND BEATEN UP BRUTALLY, ON A ROADSIDE, BY THREE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, IN MULBERRY, ARKANSAS)
COATES: But look what you're seeing right there. I mean, it's enough to spark a civil rights, a federal civil rights investigation, and for the State, to launch an immediate investigation, as well, enough for two deputies involved, to be quickly suspended, and one officer involved, to be placed on administrative leave, and enough for the Governor of Arkansas, to call their conduct quote, "Reprehensible," even before the full story comes out.
(VIDEO - SUSPECT BEING PINNED DOWN AND BEATEN UP BRUTALLY, ON A ROADSIDE, BY THREE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, IN MULBERRY, ARKANSAS)
COATES: I mean, look what you're seeing, and compare it to what you're seeing, with the man, on the ground, and the number of officers that we're looking at here.
Now that governor, Asa Hutchinson, is going to join us live, in just a few moments here.
But first, we have an attorney, for this suspect, who is seen being brutally beaten, on that video. Now that man was released from jail on a $15,000 bond, just this afternoon. Remember, this happened, yesterday. His counselor, David Powell, joins us now.
David, thank you for joining us today.
I've seen this video, unfortunately, multiple times, as has many, many people.
DAVID POWELL, RANDAL WORCESTER'S ATTORNEY: Yes, ma'am.
COATES: And it's very disturbing to think about the level of force that's being used. And I just wonder, first of all, how is he physically doing, right now? I mean, looking at what sort of violence he is enduring, I wonder about his physical state--
COATES: --right now.
POWELL: Yes. Well, Laura, first of all, thanks for having me, this evening.
Randal's actually, in really good spirits. I visited with him, last night. Visited with him, again today. Obviously, he's sore, as you and your viewers saw, on the video. I mean, he's got three officers, on top of him, pummeling him, punching and kicking him. According to my client, at one point, his eye was gouged. And you can clearly see the injuries.
But believe it or not, overall, Randal is in pretty good spirits. I mean, he's one of the most soft-spoken people that you're ever going to meet. And, he, at the end of the day, we want justice for him, in watching this video, and what happened, and what he endured.
As far as his injuries? There are injuries to his face, his knees, his elbows. One side of his head was really - was really swollen and bruised. He had to sleep, I believe, on his right side, because he couldn't even sleep on his left. You can see one of his ears was purple, and bruised, and swollen.
He was given a shower, yesterday evening, I believe. He had some sort of medical examination here at a local facility. But even today, you could still see some of the injuries. There was blood, still somewhat oozing, from one side of his head, unfortunately.
COATES: Well, let me ask you, David, and thank you for giving us the detail, because it's important to understand. But you were his lawyer, why? You're not bringing - this is not a civil action that you are his defense attorney, because he was actually still put in jail?
COATES: Is that right?
POWELL: That's correct, Laura, yes.
COATES: Why was he - why would they even coming to the--
POWELL: This - it first came to my attention, it was floating around on--
COATES: Oh, I don't want to cut you off. But I do want people to understand, why it is--
COATES: --he was placed in custody.
POWELL: He was arrested at that gas station. And there were arrests on maybe nine - eight or nine different charges, everything from the assault, battery, I believe, carrying a weapon, criminal mischief, whole plethora of charges. He was taken into custody.
And Laura, as of last night, he didn't even have a bond set. We had to reach out to the local D.A.'s office, attempt to get a bond set, and then, as you know, he was released, this morning.
COATES: What do you make of the decision to place these officers, some, on suspension, one at administrative leave?
Has this been communicated to your client? And has it impacted, in some way, the prosecution's conversations with you about - I mean, there's claims here he's trying to resist arrest, I think, is one of them. And obviously we see with our eyes, what is--
COATES: --or is not happening there. Has this had an impact on your conversations?
POWELL: It has. Again, when I first met with Randal, he had no idea that this was - that this was floating around, that the video was floating around. And you can see for yourself that he's not resisting, in what's at least 30 seconds of video there.
And when speaking to Randal, he indicated that this went on, for a couple of minutes, as far as the beating that he was on - that he was - that was taking place. I asked him what sort of commands they were giving him? Were they telling him to put his hands behind his back? He said, "No." They just continued to wail on him.
And Laura, honestly, if that bystander had not been filming this, nobody would know about it. And he'd probably still be sitting, in this detention center, right now.
COATES: I mean, is that the full video we're seeing? Or it seems as though, just from looking at it, as even a cursory review, it's either catching something, in the middle, we haven't seen the beginning, the middle, and maybe the end, but what - is this the full tenure and duration, excuse me, of this entire attack?
POWELL: No, no, I believe that it's not. We have reached out to the local D.A.'s office. And there is other footage available. I believe there may be a dash cam, which we've not been able to see yet.
And I know that at the press conference earlier, the local sheriff's office seemed to indicate that there wasn't body cam. But now I believe that there may actually be at least one body cam that may show the entire incident. So hopefully, we're able to see that in the near future.
COATES: David Powell, thank you for letting us know what's happening. And we'll follow this story as well. We appreciate it.
POWELL: All right. Thank you, Laura.
COATES: And I want to take this conversation next to somebody, who's already been quite outspoken about this. It's the Governor of Arkansas. And we're going to ask Asa Hutchinson, about the investigation, his State has now launched, into this matter. I mean, this is what, a little more than 24 hours ago?
We'll also get his take, the Republican governor's take, on the criminal investigation, related to classified documents that were seized from the former President, Donald Trump's home.
All of that is next.
COATES: So, I want to get now, to the Governor of Arkansas, who frankly has stepped out, in front of this investigation, to call the actions, of what we saw, from those deputies, on the screen, "Reprehensible." He said their response was not proper and not consistent with their training. And I applaud him for getting out in front of the issue.
Governor Asa Hutchinson joins us now.
Governor, welcome to the program. It's nice to see you, although I have to say not under these circumstances. I mean that was a very difficult video, for so many people, to watch, even in the long line of cases, and long lines of investigations, we've seen, involving use of force.
I wonder what was your impression, Governor, when you first even learned, of this happening, just yesterday.
GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): Well, I learned about it, just like everybody else, when it went on social media. And I found it very disturbing. And I issued a statement shortly thereafter.
But I do really applaud the County Sheriff and the Chief that took immediate action, for suspension, with an investigation. The prosecuting attorney, within hours, indicated that investigation was going to take place, asked the State Police, to lead that investigation that is going on now.
And, as I said, we have incredible, wonderful law enforcement officers, in Arkansas. What you see on that video is not consistent with their training, nor does it represent the effective law enforcement we have in this state.
We will see more, whenever we have additional footage that comes out. And so, we do want to wait and see what that shows. But what we saw, just like everyone else, it was very disturbing.
COATES: Well, I could not agree more, about one of the reasons this can be so disturbing, is because it's not what you've come to expect, from somebody, who asked for the opportunity to be a peace officer, right? The idea we're not recruiting and having to assign the role of the Police officer, you want to believe that there are good intentions, and that there are those, who honor the badge.
I'm wondering are you getting any clarity, so far, as to what took place before what we saw, on the video? Has the investigation essentially reaped any information that you have been privy to?
HUTCHINSON: Well, I have talked to the Chief of Police. I've heard a little bit more information. But you obviously know from the charges that were filed, that there's more to the story. And there's actions that preceded the - what you saw on video.
And so, to see the whole story, you're going to have to see what happened before, and also the witnesses that might have been threatened. And so, let's wait and see that.
But regardless, it still concerns me that a law enforcement officer, with proper training, has to be able to control the circumstances. And that was not something that whenever I talked to our training officials, it's not consistent with that. That was, in my judgment, excessive. But let's wait for the investigation to be completed.
COATES: Governor, can you ensure that the body camera footage, if there is some, or dashboard camera, if there is, I mean, available, will be made public, for that opportunity, for the public, to understand what has happened here?
HUTCHINSON: That's really a decision that the prosecuting attorney will have to make. It will be under investigation. And so, generally, those things are held, until the investigation is complete. That will be his determination, as to when and if that is released.
Obviously, there's a public interest, now that this is out there, to be able to see the entirety of it. And it will, at the appropriate time.
COATES: Which honestly, I mean, almost a perfect segue, to what I really want to know about as well, Governor, and the idea of calls for transparency, an extraordinary amount of public interest, one can only think about the - almost now two-week old, officially today, two-week old search on Mar-a-Lago. And you have had quite a lot to say about this issue.
What has been your impression about that decision to search that home of the former President Donald Trump? Do you believe that transparency is still required, and the understanding of having more information than less?
HUTCHINSON: I do. And I concur that the silence of the Attorney General, for two days, was very harmful, in terms of having the public understand what is happening. They didn't have enough information. The former President Trump controlled the dialog, for two days. And so, a lot of public opinion has already been formed.
Hopefully, the judge, and I believe that he will, will soon order that the probable cause affidavit be released. I'm sure that some of it will be redacted, to protect names, to protect certain information. But hopefully that will shed light on what happened and the reasons for it.
The public has to know what is going on here, to have continued confidence, in the Department of Justice, and their actions. And silence is not the right approach, even though that is the normal way, as you well know, that generally the Department of Justice does not comment on these types of searches. But you've got to know, when you go into a former President's home, whenever you do this kind of unprecedented action that you're going to have to say more to the public than ordinary.
COATES: Well, the former President could have been more expressive about what he had, and could have been more in line with what we've heard, from the DOJ, about this issue to date. But I do wonder, what impact do you think this has, or should have going forward?
And we're thinking about, now - I know the midterms are right around the corner. But 2024 seems to be perpetually on the brain of so many people. It's likely on your brain as well. You are now a term-limited governor, well-respected.
I'm wondering if you think this should have an impact on the viability of a potential Donald Trump reelection campaign. And does it have an impact on your own thoughts?
HUTCHINSON: Well, in the short-term, you could almost give the Attorney General, the title of Honorary Campaign Manager and Fundraiser for Donald Trump. Clearly, that is resorted to his benefit, in the short-term.
I think it's important that we keep the public interest in mind. The public interest is making sure that classified information, sensitive public documents are returned to Archives, to their protected environment. It's not appropriate, for these documents, to be running loose, at Mar-a-Lago. That's not appropriate. That has to be returned and secured.
And then, this whole thing needs to be wrapped up. Unless there's something that is totally oblivious to the facts that we know now, this is not something that I see leading to indictments. I don't see that, what needs to be wrapped up.
And I hope that can be accomplished, in the future, so that we can get on with the business of the country, and get the documents restored. And I think that was the motivation of the Department of Justice. But who knows, whenever they have not spoken clearly about it.
COATES: Governor, just on that point, wrapping the whole thing up? If it's clearly inappropriate to possess those documents, and have them holed up in a place, like Mar-a-Lago, as you said, then why wouldn't accountability look like - if there has been a violation of the law, why wouldn't accountability look like an indictment or some sort of prosecution?
HUTCHINSON: Well, that's a great question. And that's exactly what has to be weighed, by the Department of Justice. Accountability is important.
But I do believe, and I've thought a lot about the comparisons, with former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. There was reckless handling of classified information, extremely reckless, I believe was the words. It was investigated. And the ultimate decision was not to pursue any criminal case. That could very well be the outcome, in this matter, in the public interest. And as you know, there should be a high likelihood of securing a conviction, if there is an indictment.
But just as importantly, in the broad public interest, of a former President of the United States, this needs to be concluded. Unless there is such egregious conduct that cannot be ignored? Then we need to bring this to a conclusion, once the public interest in securing the documents is obtained.
COATES: Well, if there is an analogy to be made between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I do wonder how supporters of Trump, will view that analogy, and will be confident, in the same way, and articulate the same way, you have, in a consistent manner, to what they wanted in the "Lock her up!" chants, and what you're seeing now, with the former President.
Governor Asa Hutchinson, thank you so much. Nice speaking with you, this evening.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you, good to be with you.
COATES: Well, we're going to turn to this, in just a moment. The real estate market has been super-hot, in recent months, but not for everyone, who should be enjoying the benefits.
Who in particular? Well, some Black homeowners say they're at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, until they turn to something called White-washing. I'll tell you what that is, in a moment.
We'll have the nation's top housing official here, to talk about, what that means, the larger fight, against racism, in real estate, and more, ahead.
COATES: Now look, maybe when you think of White-washing a home, you're thinking HGTV, a little bit of the Discovery Originals, Magnolia Network, thinking about a new coat of paint. But no.
A Maryland couple says that they White-washed their home, but they don't mean paint. They pretended to be White, in order to get a fair appraisal.
(GRAPHIC IS SHOWN OF NATHAN CONNOLLY AND SHANI MOTT)
COATES: This is Nathan Connolly and Shani Mott. They're both professors, by the way, at Johns Hopkins University, who live in a wealthy neighborhood.
They're suing an appraiser, and a mortgage lender, who initially appraised their home, at $472,000. The couple said that was well below the conservative estimate, and they were denied even a mortgage refinance. So, they decided to get a second appraisal.
But this time, they took down all of their family photos. And they had a White colleague, show their own home. And guess what happened this time around? The value shot up to $750,000. For those of you doing math at home that's really $300,000 in difference!
And this is not an isolated incident. It also happened to this Black couple, in California. Oh, and to a Black homeowner, in Indianapolis.
I want to bring in someone, who is accountable, on the issue of racial bias, in housing. It's part of a new segment, we're calling, the conversation, where we go beyond the headlines, we go beyond the sound bites, and we dig deeper into the very real issues.
Marcia Fudge is Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And she joins me here, tonight.
Madam Secretary, welcome. I'm really glad you're here. Thank you.
MARCIA FUDGE, HUD SECRETARY: Thank you. It's my pleasure to be with you.
COATES: Madam Secretary, I had to tell you, I mean, the idea for some, of this notion, of having to White-wash a home, or even White-washing a home, to get different appraisal? It might be stunning to some.
It's not personally stunning to me. I grew up in a house, where my parents often had - were denied housing applications, rental applications, because they were Black, because we had a Black family.
But the idea it's happening in 2022, is stunning to a lot of people that it's still happening. Can you explain a little bit about what your reaction is this - to this, personally, but what your agency's reaction will be professionally?
FUDGE: I think, professionally and personally, it is an absolute violation of the law. It is a violation of the Fair Housing Law. It is a violation of the Lending law.
And so, what HUD is doing, and what we have done already, is we were tasked by the President, to look at appraisal bias. Because what we know is that it used to be that these things happen only in redlined communities. But now it is pervasive, it is happening everywhere.
And we determined that part of the problem was how appraisers are trained, who was in the appraisal industry, and how they are governed. And so, what we did, in March, was to present a report that showed how deeply, this whole bias situation, is across this country. It is systemic, and it is intentional to some degree.
So, what we have already done, Laura? Because I tried to look at how we can make things better. What we've already done, is had the Appraisal subcommittee, say to every single state, in this country, "The test that you use is no longer valid, because it is a violation of the Fair Housing Law."
COATES: But what was that test?
FUDGE: We've also said to them that you have--
COATES: Excuse me, what was that test? I mean, what test could you be using to give that lower of a appraisal, compared to if a White colleague shows? Is it - are these subjective criteria, and it's not an objective process?
FUDGE: No. The test was to become an appraiser.
FUDGE: That's the test I'm talking about.
FUDGE: But what we have looked at is how data is collected. That's part of the problem, Laura, it's the data. So, they collect data, and the data is not what it should be. They then use the data, in a way that it should not be used. And so, they come up with these biased appraisals.
But as well, when you look at an industry, that is more than 95 percent White, you find that people of color, are treated differently, because there is an inherent bias with a lot of them. And because they collect the data, the data is not good data.
COATES: Now, of course, you can imagine that there are many people, who will look at this, and say, "Well, maybe this is just, isolated incidents," and the idea that that phrase I often hear is the--
COATES: --the plural of data - or anecdote is not data.
But this, as you mentioned, is systemic. And I wonder, to what degree this has even been looked at, before? I mean, I know that you and the position you've in have been very outspoken about this issue. And most people think about these issues, in terms of redlining, exclusively, not in the appraisal.
It is a novel conversation that's happening right now, in this administration that hasn't happened before, or there hasn't been the political will, prior to now?
FUDGE: It has not happened before. This is the first of its kind report. This is the first of its kind subcommittee. It is called Property Appraisal - Property Appraisal Valuation Equity.
What the President has said is that we have to look at everything through a lens of equity. And so, what we have realized is that people selling homes, just as the persons, you were talking about, and even people buying homes, if their appraisal is not correct, what we find, especially as Black people, in communities of color, and underserved communities, is we lose great wealth, just through the appraisal process.
If those homes are appraised the way that they should be Laura, then we look at being able to pass down, significantly, more resources, and more wealth, to generations that follow.
But if we are constantly undervaluing communities of color, either because they are communities of color, or that the person themselves, is in a community that they don't think that we should be in, then we consistently lose wealth in our communities. And that's why this is so important, from an equity situation.
And Laura, let me just tell you about my own home. Can I do that, really quickly?
COATES: Oh, I think, I hope you do.
FUDGE: I live in a - I live in a community that is two doors, from an all-White community. I live in an all-Black community. Two doors literally, from an all-White community.
My lot size is bigger than the house two doors for me, my house is bigger than the house two doors for me. But my home is valued at $25,000 less than the home two doors for me, because I live in an all- Black community. So, not only does it happen everywhere, it is personal to me.
Because we have to find ways to create the kind of wealth that our communities deserve. And if we are constantly being discriminated against - and that is really what this is. We can call it bias, if you want. But it is systemic racism, and it is built within most federal agencies, and those agencies that we oversee.
So, we're tackling it. We are now advising first-time homebuyers, on their rights, if they get low appraisals. We are doing it to people, who sell properties. We are going to train all of the appraisers through fair housing and lending laws. We're going to make sure that the data is collected properly. And we're going to make sure that the right people have the data.
FUDGE: That's our goal, at least in the short-term.
COATES: And in the long-term, I hope that equity will be achieved.
Secretary Fudge, thank you so much.
COATES: I appreciate it.
We'll be right back.
FUDGE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me. [21:50:00]
COATES: Well students are headed back to school, but some teachers aren't actually going back, with them.
In the midst of the nation's teacher shortage - and you can add these headlines here. You got in Columbus, Ohio, teachers are on strike. In Philadelphia, bus drivers could soon be on the picket line. In Chicago, police are conducting active-shooter drills.
And the cultural wars, well, they're alive and well, in Texas, where "In God We Trust" posters are now a mandatory display, in their schools. In Wisconsin, a school district banned the Pride flag, and so much more.
I mean, education is just one issue that seems local, but it's being replicated in States, all across this country. We're taking a look at those stories that happen outside the Beltway, where most of us live, impacting regular Americans, in our new segment, called the State of Play.
Back with me now are Elliot Williams, and Doug Heye, along with Democratic Strategist, Maria Cardona.
COATES: I mean, Maria, when you hear what's going on, one of the connective tissue in part is culture wars. What's your impact? What's your thought?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: My thought, as a parent? And I have two kids that are about to go into school. I think goodness that my kids are going to school, in Washington, D.C., an open progressive city that actually likes the fact that we are a diverse culture that knows that diversity is a plus, not just here in Washington, D.C., but in our country.
It pains me to hear stories of teachers, and I have heard them personally. I have friends, who were teachers, in Florida, and in Texas, right, two of the States, where this is happening front and center, where they say, "I'm going to leave. I'm going to leave at the end of this year, because they're not letting me teach real history. They're not letting me teach that diversity is actually a plus in our country. They're not letting me teach what these kids, my diverse kids, in my school, are living, each and every single day."
And that is a shame. And I think it is not just hurtful, in this country, Laura, and to our kids. But I think it can be dangerous.
WILLIAMS: To take a slightly different approach, I have some sensitivity, to this argument that parents ought to be able to weigh in, to what their kids are taught. Parents ought to have something to say about it. Look, I'm a parent too. It's important.
But when you start looking at what that's meaning in practice, now, and in terms of books that have been banned, across America, number one?
WILLIAMS: "I Am Rosa Parks" has been banned by a school district in York, Pennsylvania, "Maus," by Art Spiegelman, perhaps the greatest book, written about the Holocaust ever, if not, a very important one. And 37 percent of challenges to books now are happening in public libraries, not just schools.
WILLIAMS: This is about taking away material, not just from kids, but from society that's very valuable. That, to me, is corrosive and destructive. And so, schools are just--
COATES: But part of the problem, though, Elliot, though?
COATES: I mean, you mentioned Washington, D.C., you mentioned some States or cities that are, in these metropolitan areas.
COATES: There's a big - I mean, I'm from Minnesota. These are people all over the sort of so-called flyover country, they talk about, who don't share the values, we have just talked about, the input.
COATES: What do you think, Doug, when it happens?
HEYE: Yes. Look, there are political impacts. And we saw this, most specifically, in Virginia, where Glenn Youngkin ran on education, both in opening schools, which had been closed for so long--
HEYE: --and big fights, with teacher unions over that, and what the curriculum was. We need to teach our history. We need to teach the good parts and the bad parts. And the reality is, on either side, you can get to the silly season pretty quickly.
I just read in Texas, today, there's a high school is named after a man named George Dawson, grandson of a slave learn to read at the age of 98, wrote a book about it, at 103. The school's named after him. You can't read his book in the school named after him. That's crazy!
COATES: That is crazy.
HEYE: But we have to - we have to come at a better place, where everything doesn't get politicized, immediately. We used to say all politics are local.
HEYE: They're all national now.
CARDONA: But here's the problem, Doug. You mentioned Virginia. And what Glenn Youngkin did was a huge dog-whistle that put fear in parents. And I can understand that fear. Because if you talk about things, like critical race theory, and the way that he talked about it? By the way, critical race theory, as we all know, is not taught in schools, K through 12.
HEYE: But what did--
CARDONA: But he talked about, like it was, like it was something to be afraid of, like it was something that was indoctrinating the kids. That to me is fear-mongering.
HEYE: But the number one thing that he campaigned--
CARDONA: And it happened.
HEYE: --on education was open the schools, let's let our kids learn in schools. There's a teacher shortage.
CARDONA: I get that. Absolutely.
HEYE: There's also a student shortage. Our kids with their parents are voting with their feet. 2 million kids are not in schools compared to last year, a million college students.
CARDONA: Understood. And--
HEYE: That's a crisis!
CARDONA: And that is a huge problem.
But what is happening way too much, across schools, and specifically in conservative MAGA-agenda-loving Republican governor States, is that they are fear-mongering. They are not looking at what is this country. What does it look like now? Where is it headed?
This is about fear of a demographic that is changing in this country. This is about fear of a country that is becoming majority-minority, and it is about leaders, who don't understand how to solve those problems, and just fear-monger, instead of happen - doing open discussions about the fact that we are all part of this great country.
One of the greatest things that my parents did, when I came from Colombia, when my parents brought us from Colombia, he sat down, in a town, in Florida with all of our neighbors. We were the only Latino family on that block, and in that town. And he invited everyone over to dinner, to make them understand that we were no different from them. We need those types of confessions.
COATES: But the very fact that that had to happen? WILLIAMS: Yes.
COATES: Is really telling, in a country like this, when the idea that there would have been the concern that I must demonstrate to you that I am just like you.
CARDONA: Right, yes.
COATES: And frankly, that's one of the saddest parts to think. I applaud that what you're talking about the initiative, but that's really quite telling--
COATES: --about where we are.
WILLIAMS: Simply saying, convincing people that you're right isn't--
WILLIAMS: --I mean it's more than that. It's a political point--
WILLIAMS: --like you said, Doug.
COATES: Well, so much more to talk about here. I'm glad you all were here. Maria Cardona, Elliot Williams, Doug Heye, thank you so much.
Everyone, we're going to be right back.
COATES: Hey, thanks for watching, everyone. I'll be back tomorrow night.
"DON LEMON TONIGHT" starts right now, with of course, Don Lemon.
Hey, Don Lemon?