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State of the Union

Interview With National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow; Interview With Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN); Interview With Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC); Interview With Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 14, 2020 - 09:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is demanding change.

We begin with breaking news out of Atlanta, violence and protesters and dozens arrested after another black man was killed by a white policeman. The facts of the case are under investigation right now.

But we know that Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot and killed outside a Wendy's drive-through after a struggle with police. The head of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said that Brooks fired one of the officers' Tasers at them, then turned, presumably to flee, after which he was shot and killed.

The mayor of Atlanta has said this was not a justified use of force by police.

Within 24 hours, Atlanta's police chief has stepped down, and the officer who killed Brooks has been fired.

But the swift action has not been enough to quell the anger, the fear, and the frustration reverberating across the country and throughout Atlanta, one protester overnight telling CNN -- quote -- "I thought the message was clear, but, obviously, we're still not heard" -- unquote.

This news comes as President Trump beats a rare retreat, rescheduling his return to the campaign trail in Tulsa, Oklahoma, originally scheduled for Juneteenth, Emancipation Day. Still not clear what role the White House would play in policing reforms that are sweeping the nation and gaining momentum on Capitol Hill.

As lawmakers on both sides of the aisle work on legislation to address a demand for change that only appears to be growing, joining me now to discuss this, the House Democratic Whip Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.

Majority Whip Clyburn, thanks so much for joining us today. We have a lot to get to.

But I do want to start on the shooting of Rayshard Brooks. The Atlanta police chief has now resigned, protesters very angry. They have been tear-gassed. Some set fire to a Wendy's there.

What's your reaction when you saw the video of that police shooting?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, thank you very much having me, Jake.

I -- I was very incensed over that. And you wonder, sometimes, when you're dealing with an issue like this out here for two or three weeks, and then you see a police officer still being insensitive to the life of a young African-American man.

Now, the fact of the matter is, he was drinking, fell asleep in the Wendy's drive-through. So, how -- and they have already patted him down. He had no weapon on him.

Where did they think he was going to go? So, he's running away. My goodness, you got his car. You can easily find him. Get back up. But, no, you fire bullets into his back. That is not what you call corresponding force.

And so I think the mayor is right. This did not call for lethal force. And I don't know what's in the culture that would make this guy do that. It has got to be the culture. It's got to be the system. You have got an African-American woman mayor. You have got a woman police chief.

So, the sensitivities that we look for in people are there, but it's not ingrained in the institution. That's why I have been saying you have got to restructure our judicial system, restructure our health care system, restructure our educational system.

We know that. All of these things have been put together in order to maintain suppression of African-Americans all the way back to 1865. People forget, Reconstruction didn't last for 12 years. All the stuff that we talk about Reconstruction, that's not Reconstruction. We institutionalized second-class citizenship of black people during the Jim Crow era.

I get a little upset when I hear people say, well, you know, the civil rights movement was the second Reconstruction. Come on now. What you have is a second Confederacy, is what you have got. The first one reacted to slavery.

Now we have got -- we have a second one in the '60s reacting to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. And now you have got another one taking place. I would just say this is the second part of the second one.

TAPPER: Let's talk about policing reform.


You have introduced a bill in the House. Senate Republicans, led by Senator Tim Scott, are poised to introduce their own bill this week.

When I talked to Senator Scott on Friday, he told me that the Democrats in the House vs. the Republicans in the Senate are taking two different paths on a couple items, reducing the number of choke holds.

Your bill would just ban them. They would disincentivize them, I suppose. He also said you're distances away on this issue of qualified minority, which would make it easier to sue police in civil court.

Is their bill a nonstarter for you, or do you see a potential for compromise?

CLYBURN: I never call anything a nonstarter. There's always potential for compromise, in my opinion, when you're trying to do legislation.

Our system is designed that way. We were designed to have a House do its business. The Senate will do its business. And we try to come together in a conference to see, can you work out the differences?

I have seen conferences produce a better result over a compromise. So, let's just let both houses do whatever they're going to do, and then let's get down to the serious business of reconciling our differences.

Once again, we have got a Senate that is made up totally different, one African-American Republican, two African-American Democrats, and then 97 others. So, we need to bring those others and these three together and come up with something that we over in the House, with 53 African-Americans, can do something to reconcile, well, three -- 54 -- 53 Democrats and one Republican.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about the defund the police movement, which is an issue in the Democratic Party, in the progressive movement right now.

Some organizers on the left say that the only way to reduce police violence and police brutality is to slash police budgets, cut the number of officers.

One activist, Mariame Kaba, wrote in "The New York Times" this week -- quote -- "Yes, we mean literally abolish. The police efforts to solve police violence through liberal reforms like these have failed for nearly a century. Enough. We can't reform the police. Why on earth would we think the same reforms would work now?" -- unquote.

What is your message to her? What is your message to those in your caucus, the Black Congress, such as Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who we're talking with shortly, who is also saying defund the police?

CLYBURN: I would simply say, as I have always said, nobody is going to defund the police.

We can restructure the police forces, restructure, reimagine policing. That is what we are going to do. The fact of the matter is, the police have a role to play. What we have got to do is make sure that their role is one that meets the times, one that responds to these communities that they operate in.

I didn't grow up in fear of police, even in a segregated environment. We never feared the police. But, all of a sudden now, I do fear the police. The young blacks fear the police.

Why? Because we have built in a system that's responding, once again, to Brown v. Board of Education and everything that comes with it. When I was growing up, we didn't have black police. And I remember when the first black policeman -- remember his name to this day, two of them. One name was Gilliard (ph). One name was China (ph).

The fact of the matter is, this is a structure that has been developed that we have got to deconstruct. So, I wouldn't say defund. Deconstruct our policing.

TAPPER: All right, Majority Whip James Clyburn from South Carolina, thank you so much for joining us this morning. We really appreciate your time and your experience with a lot of these issues.

CLYBURN: Thank you very much.

TAPPER: The Trump campaign is asking supporters not to sue if they contract coronavirus at his upcoming indoor political rally. What precautions should people be taking if they attend?

Plus: A key economic lifeline is about to run out for millions of Americans. Will it be extended?

We will talk to a top White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, next.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

The nation seems to be facing three urgent crises.

One has to do with the killing of black Americans by police that has spurred demands for policing reforms. There is, of course, the deadly pandemic that is still killing hundreds of Americans every day, with cases on the rise in more than a dozen states. And then, of course, tens of millions of Americans are out of work amid fears of a lengthy recession.

Joining me now to discuss all of this, but mainly the latter, is the president's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow.

Mr. Kudlow, thanks so much for joining us.

So, let's start right in. The federal government program for unemployed Americans gives them an extra $600 a week in benefits. But it's slated to run out in six weeks. Now, obviously, the health effects and economic effects are going to last longer than that.

Should American families that are receiving these extra $600 checks right now expect that money to stop in August?

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Well, unemployment benefits will not stop in August.

What may well stop -- and this reform is necessary -- almost all businesses, frankly, on both sides of the aisle -- or mostly both sides of the aisle -- understand that the $600 plus-up that's above the state unemployment benefits that they will continue to receive is, in effect, a disincentive.

I mean, we're paying people not to work. It's better than their salaries would get. And that might have worked for the first couple of months. It'll end in late July. I think that returning to employment, we are, in the administration, the president is looking at a reform measure that will still provide some kind of bonus for returning to work.


But it will not be as large, and it will create an incentive to work. You know, that goes along with the other incentives we have generated, the tax rebates and, most particularly, Jake, the PPP, the Payroll Protection Program, which I think was a huge success, $500 billion of forgivable loans.

And that's what the May job report showed...


KUDLOW: ... three million people, surprised everybody.

So, we want people to go back to work. Temporary layoffs and furloughs can go back to work. That was in the job figures. Unemployment insurance, the weekly numbers, Jake, falling 10 consecutive weeks. So, I think we are on our way. We are reopening, and businesses are coming back.

And, therefore, the jobs are coming back.


KUDLOW: And we don't want to interfere with that process.

TAPPER: I understand that there might be some Americans who see the $600 extra a week as a disincentive, but I have a tough time really believing that people don't want to go back to work, they would rather stay at home, because I just think the American people, that's just -- maybe that's some, but for a majority of the American people, I think they want to go back to work.

But a lot of them, those jobs aren't coming back.

KUDLOW: Well, look. I think that's a fair point. I think -- I personally agree with you. I think people want to go back

to work. And I think they welcome the reopening of the economy. And I think they're anxious to get out and about.

However, at the margin, incentives do matter. And so we have heard from business after business, industry after industry, and there's already some evidence that this effect is taking place.

Now, mind you, let me repeat, we are not going to remove unemployment benefits. That will still continue. And there will be some return-to- work benefit. It won't be quite as substantial.

This is a turning point in the economy. Besides the great jobs numbers, you have had a lot of positive green shoot indicators, Jake, and we don't want to interrupt that. Besides the job figures, you're going to get big, big retail sales numbers reported next week on Tuesday.

Already, department and merchandise sales week to week are above year- ago levels. You have got an Apple mobility index that's practically pre-pandemic, showing that people are traveling.

TAPPER: Right, but...

KUDLOW: You have got new business applications are skyrocketing. And, by the way, small businesses are now about 80 percent reopening. So this is all positive news coming off the pandemic.

TAPPER: Right.

KUDLOW: We are in the recovery stage.

TAPPER: Right. I mean, there are still 40 million Americans unemployed, and we are in a recession.

I -- you brought up the PPP program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided loans to companies to keep people employed.

Secretary Mnuchin originally promised full transparency about who was receiving these loans during the crisis. But, this past week, he reversed course, and he said the government would not release the names of those companies.

Now, look, I can understand why the Trump administration might think that a company that receives a $25,000 loan doesn't need that information released. I get that. But some companies are getting millions, if not tens of millions of dollars.

Don't the American people have a right to know where their money is going?

KUDLOW: Well, look, I think, in terms of those that shouldn't have qualified, a lot of them have returned the money, and some of those have been named.

But I think when Secretary Mnuchin talked about transparency, he talked about the transparency of the process of making the evaluation for the loan and then the distribution of the loan. By the way, for what it's worth, the Congressional Budget Office just put out a report complimenting the Treasury and the administration for getting all these forms of assistance out in a very rapid time.

There's been nothing like it. It's the biggest rescue in American history. And the efficacious distribution, the whole system, which is transparent, there is an I.G. that's going to watch over that. That's what the secretary was talking about.

You know, we have a tradition, whether it's the Federal Reserve...

TAPPER: But he said, we will be reporting to the public -- no, no, no, sir. I'm sorry.

He said, we would report to the public. That's what he said: We will be reporting to the public. That's us, the American people. And we have a right to know where these tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars have gone.

If there's no problem with it, if everything's fine with it, great. But, I mean, otherwise, it is about as swampy a deal as I can ever imagine, the government giving out hundreds of millions of dollars, and the American people don't even get to know who got it.

KUDLOW: Well, I don't know that I would judge it that way.

I don't think it was sloppy. Again...

TAPPER: Swampy. Swampy.

KUDLOW: ... I repeat, the Congressional Budget Office, which is nonpartisan -- nonpartisan, said, this is the most efficient distribution of emergency rescue funds ever. All right? That's the CBO. That's nonpartisan, Jake.


Now, insofar as naming each and every company, I don't think that promise was ever made. And I don't think it's necessary. I think what is necessary is to make sure that the legalities were observed, that the process of credit and lending was observed, and that people who could qualify will, in fact, get it. There are appeals.

We have sent out about $510 billion. And it has, judging by the jobs numbers, which surprised everybody on the upside, three million new jobs in May, it has worked. It's probably one of the most successful rescue packages in American history. So, I'm afraid I push back on that just a little bit.

TAPPER: He said -- he said, we will have -- he said, we will have full transparency in everything we do.

And now the administration is backtracking on that. And I understand, again...

KUDLOW: Well, I don't -- I don't know, Jake...

TAPPER: ... that maybe some -- maybe some of the companies -- $25,000 loan, you don't need to get that -- you don't need to explain why that local business got that.

KUDLOW: That's correct. That's correct. That's exactly right.

TAPPER: But the big -- but the big loans, the big companies, more than $500,000, I think the American people have a right to know.

KUDLOW: Well, I -- I don't know that.

Look, again, there is a certain privacy element here. That's the way business operates. I'm going to let Secretary Mnuchin, who, in my judgment, has done a brilliant job administering this program and creating this program with bipartisan support, I will let him make whatever technical adjustments he needs to make.

As you know, we worked with Congress. The president signed the bill last Friday that would lengthen the time period to 24 weeks and reduce the payroll protection to 60 percent of the loan. So, that will give them more room for overhead.

Look, this economy is now in the recovery phase. That's the key point I want to make this morning. We're going to get big retail sales, department store sales, general merchandise sales. We have always had online sales. Again, mortgages are going up. People are buying new homes.

New businesses applications are going up. Existing business, small business, almost 80 percent and rising, according to the Chamber of Commerce.


KUDLOW: And I want to say, Jake, I think there's a very good chance you are going to get the V-shaped recovery.


KUDLOW: And I think the second half of the year, referencing the CBO and others, will be a good 20 percent economic growth. The unemployment rate will fall.

TAPPER: Right.

KUDLOW: And 2021 is going to be another solid, solid year.

TAPPER: I hope you are right.

I think there is a lot of concern that, because coronavirus is still a pandemic -- there are projections that we're going to lose up to 200,000 Americans by September -- that perhaps there is going to have to be a retraction in some states, because the approach has seemed to be in too many places, let's just go back to work, let's just not social distance, let's not wear masks. And that is ultimately going to hurt the economy again, as some

business -- as companies and some cities have to retract and reinstitute guidelines.

Is that not a concern?

KUDLOW: Well, yes, it is a concern. And I will repeat, I think your view is right on this.

People must observe the safety guidelines, OK, must. The social distancing must be observed. Face coverings in key places must be observed.

Now, we do know a lot. I have spoken to our health experts several times in the last few days, including this morning before your show. We have had an increase in cases in some states. I don't want to hide that. That's a fact.


KUDLOW: I think Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina and Florida. There have been some small metropolitan areas that have had an increase.

Now, remember, Jake, we are now testing at about a hundred times the rate we were back in March, when the pandemic first exploded.

TAPPER: Yes, some of it is testing. Some of it is absolutely from increased testing.

KUDLOW: So, you're...

TAPPER: But one of the issues is increased deaths...

KUDLOW: That's right.

TAPPER: ... and increased hospitalizations. And that's not from increased testing.

But I'm glad to see you calling for people to wear masks. And I assume that that also means...

KUDLOW: Absolutely. I mean...

TAPPER: ... at the Trump rally in Tulsa. People should be wearing masks at the Trump rally in Tulsa this Saturday.

KUDLOW: Well, OK, probably so.

I want to also say, though, that hospitalizations may be going up, but that's because elective procedures are now permitted. And maybe, most importantly, Jake, although the case rate has increased a bit, we're not talking about a second round here.

TAPPER: We hope not. We hope not.

KUDLOW: But fatality rates, fatality rates, Jake...


KUDLOW: ... continue to be very low. That's probably the ultra key metric.

TAPPER: Right.

KUDLOW: And the country has got to open. The cost of not opening may exceed the cost of closing down.

TAPPER: Larry Kudlow, thank you so much.

KUDLOW: So, I think we're on the right track here.


TAPPER: I hope you're right, sir.

Larry Kudlow, thank you so much for being here this morning. We appreciate it.

KUDLOW: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Democratic leadership is not embracing calls to defund the police, but Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, she supports the movement. I will talk to her next.

Plus: a rare retreat by President Trump, changing the date of his Oklahoma rally, after fears that could inflame racial tensions.

Stay with us.


TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Activists and protesters around the country are rallying around a slogan, defund the police. But that push is also running up against steep opposition, including in the Democratic Party.


Joining me now, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who represents part of Minneapolis, also the author of a new book, "This Is What America Looks Like."

Congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us this morning. We have a lot to get to.

But before we do, I do...

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): Happy anniversary, Jake.

TAPPER: Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

It's the fifth anniversary of STATE OF THE UNION with me. So, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

I want to start with this horrific video of Rayshard Brooks. He was shot and killed by a white police officer in Atlanta on Friday night. Atlanta, a lot of protests and more.

What was your reaction when you saw the video?

OMAR: It's, again, a reminder that, you know, police officers can't continue to be judge, jury, and executioner.

We're not only seeing cases where there is, you know, mortal danger to police officers where they might take a shot, but the cases of people who are subdued being killed by police officers, people who are being shot in the back. It's just really quite disheartening to see the continuation of images like this appear.

And I think it's a reminder again why, you know, trust in the system as it is right now is so low.

And I think this is really our opportunity to listen to the voices of the mayors of, like San Francisco and others who are really putting forth bold ideas of what it looks like, not only to move away from fully investing in this kind of public safety measures, but also those like Minneapolis who are committing to the dismantlement of a department that is beyond repair, so that the community has the space to come together to reimagine what public safety should look like.

TAPPER: So, let's talk about that, because you have talked about the dismantling, the need to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.

What takes its place, and -- if you could just decree what takes its place? Who investigates crimes? Who arrests criminals? What happens?

OMAR: Yes.

So, Minneapolis unanimously just voted on a resolution that will engage the community on a one-year process of what happens as we go through the process of dismantling the department and starting anew.

A new way forward can't be put in place if we have a department that is having a crisis of credibility, if we have a department that's led by a chief who's suited for racism, if we have a department that hasn't solved homicide. Half of the homicides in Minneapolis Police Department go unsolved.

There have been cases where they have destroyed rape kits. And so you can't really reform a department that is rotten to the root. What you can do is rebuild. And so this is our opportunity, you know, as a city, to come together, have the conversation of what public safety looks like, who enforces the most dangerous crimes that take place in our community.

And just like San Francisco did, right now, they're going -- they're moving towards a process where there is a separation of the kind of crimes that solicit the help of officers and the kind of crimes that we should have someone else respond to. TAPPER: Well, just...

OMAR: And so this is really -- this is, again, just the process of going through this together.


TAPPER: You're -- just to be clear, though, you're not saying that there's nothing that takes its place. You're not saying...

OMAR: Absolutely not.

TAPPER: ... that if a woman is raped -- a woman is raped, there...

OMAR: I think that's really where the conversation is going wrong, because no one is saying that the community is not going to be kept safe.


OMAR: No one is saying crimes will not be investigated. No one is saying that we are not going to have proper response when community members are in danger.

What we are saying is, the current infrastructure that exists as policing in our city should not exist anymore. And we can't go about creating a different process with the same infrastructure in place.

And so dismantling it, and then looking at what funding priorities should look like as we reimagine a new way forward is what needs to happen. And that is truly why you have 13 members unanimously on a city council vote to start this process.

And I know that there are many places where a process like this is needed, many places where they might not go through the drastic process of dismantling.


But just like in Camden, they realized that there was just a department that was beyond reform, as it was. They dismantled it, and they figured out a different way to move forward as a community in regards to providing public safety for one another.

TAPPER: Yes. So...

OMAR: And that's what needs to happen in Minneapolis, and that's what we're committed to.

TAPPER: So, there are a lot of Democrats, as you know, who disagree with what you're talking about.

I just spoke with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who has come out in opposition to the defund movement. He's talked about the need to reform. But he said defunding could -- quote -- "hijack the movement." In addition, Joe Biden has said he does not support defunding the police. And, in fact, he's proposing $300 million more for community policing. What's your response?

OMAR: Well, it sounds ludicrous to me to have people pour out into the streets asking for the system to be transformed, and for us to say, in order for that transformation to happen, we're just going to give more money to the system, without really doing any kind of systematic change.

If you had a company that wasn't producing, you wouldn't just pour money, more money, into it, so that it would produce. You would step back and say, what -- let's look at what works, what doesn't work, and how do we move forward?

And so I think, for people who really are questioning and talking about this movement, they're not paying attention to what the people are asking for.

And, to me, we're -- this is not for members of Congress. This isn't for the president. This is a municipality issue. This is a state level issue. And so I happen to represent a city that is eager and ready to take on this call and deliver.


OMAR: And there are many other cities that are doing this.

TAPPER: Right.

OMAR: And so we do more damage when we say to these people that they're -- we don't believe in their ability to govern their cities and serve their constituents.

We do better when we say, what do you need in order for you to provide for your constituents a way forward? And we're going to be there to support you and cheer you on as you figure out how to keep everyone safe.

TAPPER: Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, thank you so much for your time today. We really appreciate it.

OMAR: Thank you for having me, Jake.

TAPPER: Inside the Republican plan to reform U.S. policing. Is there any hope for consensus?

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma joins me with the latest next.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

President Trump will take the stage July (sic) 20 for a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally. That's a new date, after days of criticism that the event was scheduled for Juneteenth, Emancipation Day. Also, the 1921 Tulsa race massacre looms large.

Joining me now from Oklahoma, Republican Senator James Lankford.

Senator, thanks so much for joining us.

President Trump said the rally's date and location -- quote -- "wasn't done for that reason," to commemorate Juneteenth. And then he changed the date -- quote -- "out of respect" for the holiday.

You talked with him and suggested that he change the date. Tell us about that conversation. What did he say to you? What did you tell him?

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): Yes, there were several folks that talked to the president about it just to be able to raise the issue, not only the sensitivities in Tulsa that were 99 years after the largest race massacre in American history, where a white mob ransacked through the Greenwood district, what was called at that time the Black Wall Street, and killed up to 300 people, and just burned that part of the city to the ground.

So, there are special sensitivities there in Tulsa. But Juneteenth is a very significant day. So my encouragement to the president was to be able to pick a day around it.

Actually, interestingly enough, when I talked to him, I called him on a different reason. He raised it to me and said: "What do you think about this? I'm thinking about it. Other people have asked me about it."

I suggested, yes, I think that would be a great idea and it would be very, very respectful to the community. His immediate response was: "I don't want to do anything to be able to disrespect the black community in this," didn't see this -- he didn't see it as disrespectful to be able to do it on Juneteenth. Other people interpreted it differently.

And so he moved the rally date. He actually asked me to be able to call some of the folks in Tulsa that were organizing the Juneteenth event to be able to see which day would work better for them around that.

I did. I called them and found out they didn't have a preference between Saturday or Thursday, either one. And the rally is now moved to Saturday.

TAPPER: Let me ask you about the rally. You're planning on attending it.

That arena in Tulsa has canceled or postponed all events through July, except for this Trump rally, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump adviser Larry Kudlow just told me that he thinks attendees should -- quote -- "probably" wear masks.

CDC guidelines say that you shouldn't go into a packed arena indoors, but, if you do, you should wear masks.

Are you going to be wearing a mask? Would you encourage other attendees to wear a mask?

LANKFORD: So, I haven't decided on that.

In Oklahoma, we're way ahead of the rest of the nation in many ways on this. We have seen an uptick on some of our cases just in the last week. Obviously, we have been through phase one, phase two, and we're finished with phase three of our reopening.

Our hospitalizations continue to go down. Our death rate continues to be able to go down. So, we have a few more cases in the last week, but we assume that with going through all three phases and being open. Our -- we have had protests, like other areas of the country have had. So they have had a lot of people gathered in rallies and such.


So, we will be interested to be able to see what those numbers look like in the next couple of days. But Oklahoma is far ahead of the rest of the country in many areas as far as declining numbers.

TAPPER: Right, but you still do have coronavirus in Oklahoma.


TAPPER: You're not sure if you're going to wear a mask? I mean, I have a mask right here just for walking the halls here at CNN.

I mean, don't you think it's just common sense? You don't want to spread it. You don't want to contract it. It's what the CDC says everyone should do.

LANKFORD: So -- so, I have been home all of just about a day-and-a- half now.

Over the weekend, I went out to one restaurant. It's the only one place I have been out. I wore a mask at that spot. I wear a mask everywhere that I go currently and have for weeks and weeks and weeks when I'm out at all here at Oklahoma.

And so I assume I'm going to have it. I'm trying to figure out the best way to be able to do this.

You see actually very few masks in Oklahoma now, because our numbers have declined so much and because we have been through all three phases. There are still some that use masks. But we encourage people strongly, if they're high-risk individuals, if they're older individuals, if they have other health issues, not to get out even with a mask, not to get out. And we will continue to do that.

TAPPER: OK. Dr. Fauci says people should wear masks. But I want to move on.

I want to ask you about your legislation on policing reform. You are working with Senator Tim Scott to introduce it next week. The second ranking Democrat, Democrat Dick Durbin, told CNN this week that he doesn't think your legislation goes far enough.

One of the main sticking points is a ban on police choke holds, which Democrats want, and your legislation incentivizes to reduce it, but doesn't ban it. At least 20 cities and municipalities have already banned it.


TAPPER: Do you support a national ban on police choke holds?

LANKFORD: I do, actually.

It's interesting for someone to be able to mention that our legislation doesn't go far enough, when our legislation's not even going to be released until Wednesday. So I don't know who has read our legislation yet, when it's not even public, it's not even finished at this point.

We have been gathering ideas from all across our conference, across the nation, calling police chiefs. I have been on the phone with a lot of police chiefs in my state. Been on the phone talking to a lot of activists and other folks to be able to interact, to be able to find, what are the best ideas and how can we actually get something done?

Democrats have put out a proposal. The president is putting out a proposal. We're going to put out a proposal from the Senate. Those will all be combined. And we will try to get good legislation done.

But I do believe choke holds should be banned. If you go back to the consensus opinion from law enforcement from 2017, there was a ban on that. And most departments already have banned choke holds on that, where they don't train for it at all and say, don't use things that you haven't been trained for.

So, this is something that's grown for a very long time and should be completed.

TAPPER: Senator Lankford, come back and talk to us more about the legislation. It looks like there really could be some bipartisan work here. And we want to talk more about it with you and Senator Scott.

Thanks for joining us this morning. And have a meaningful time at church this morning.

LANKFORD: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: It has been a rough period for President Trump and the military leaders with his former defense secretary, retired Marine General James Mattis, assailing him for dividing the country -- a sentiment given an amen by Trump's former chief of staff, retired Marie General John Kelly -- not to mention criticisms from General Colin Powell, Admiral Bill McRaven, General Martin Dempsey, General John Allen, Admiral Mike Mullen.

The president and his supporters have had plenty of nasty things to say about these men who have served our country, of course. No need for me to report them. You all have access to Twitter.

There is one group of generals, however, that the president is standing firm with, dead racist losers -- more specifically, the Confederate commanders after whom 10 Army bases are currently named.

Days ago the Pentagon said that they wanted to begin a bipartisan conversation about renaming these 10 bases but the president shut that down. He wants to continue to honor them. He wants to continue to honor, for example, John Brown Gordon the namesake of Fort Gordon in Georgia. Major General Gordon is believed to have headed the Georgia Ku Klux Klan, essentially in that era a terrorist organization.

The president wants to continue to honor General Henry Benning, who was, in the words of General David Petraeus, quote, such an enthusiast for slavery that as early as 1849 he argued for the dissolution of the union and the formation of a southern Slaveocracy, unquote.

He wants to continue to honor Braxton Bragg, a slave owner who resigned ignominiously after losing the Battle of Chattanooga. And on and on -- you get the point.

Men who declared war upon the United States to fight for their right to own and rape and kill Black Americans.

Now the White House cannot defend the fact that a U.S. military base is named after someone believed to have headed the Georgia Klan, so instead they talk about how we won two world wars with soldiers trained on those 10 bases. Four of these forts were named in the 19- teens (ph), six of them were named in the 1940s.

These bases were not named after the civil wars in attempt at national reconciliation. They were named in the 20th century as a way of honoring the racist lost cause that the generals fought.

The key word in that phrase, lost. They lost. And rightfully so. Their cause was immoral.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, arguing that the bases should not be renamed, asked hypothetically this week where does it end? Do we take away honors to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson? And that's a fine question. And I don't have an answer.

Washington and Jefferson had slaves, though their careers were not built on fighting for the right to own slaves. In other words, their honored despite the hideous parts of their histories, not because of the hideous parts of their histories.

But before we talk about where this all ends, it does not take much moral clarity to understand that a good place to start would be for the United States to stop honoring traitors and terrorists.

Finally, before we go today, today marks five years since we launched State of the Union. I want to thank all of my team for all their hard work. Thanks for spending your Sunday mornings with us.

Fareed Zakaria starts next.