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State of the Union

Interview With Rep. Val Demings (D-FL); Interview With White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro; Interview With Los Angeles, California, Mayor Eric Garcetti; Interview with Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired September 13, 2020 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Up in flames.

Wildfires ravage California, Washington, and Oregon, displacing families and destroying homes. Are these apocalyptic fires the new normal? Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joins me to discuss next.

And facing facts as the election nears, new revelations about what President Trump knew about coronavirus.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I didn't lie. What I said is, we have to be calm. We can't be panicked.

TAPPER: With health experts saying life might not be normal until the end of 2021, who will voters choose to lead them through this pandemic?

I'll speak to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro next.

Plus: on the road. The presidential candidates are out campaigning -- my exclusive interview with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know what the job takes.

TAPPER: But is President Trump's law and order message resonating? Democratic Congresswoman of Florida Val Demings ahead.


TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is worried about the West Coast, images that look almost apocalyptic, fires raging up and down the West Coast, burning huge areas in California, Washington state, and Oregon.

At least 33 people are dead across the three states. And Oregon officials are warning of a -- quote -- "mass fatality incident."

As smoke produces dangerous air quality conditions, the governor of California says the debate is over on climate change. Just come to the state of California. And President Trump now will visit California, after criticism about his silence on the issue.

The president addressed the fires at a rally Saturday night, saying the fires are -- quote -- "about forest management."

All this as the president is coming off, frankly, a brutal week for his reelection campaign, after details in audiotapes from Bob Woodward's new book show the president well aware of the dangers of the coronavirus, expressing those concerns in private in early February, as he was publicly dismissing and downplaying the threat of the disease to the American people.

We're going to begin right now going straight to California, which is facing, of course, record-breaking wildfires, more than three million acres burned.

Joining me now live, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Mayor Garcetti, thanks for joining us.

We're seeing these horrific scenes out of the West Coast, the Bobcat Fire burning fewer than 25 miles outside of Los Angeles. As of yesterday, that fire had destroyed almost 30,000 acres. It's only 6 percent contained right now.

President Trump is going to travel to your state tomorrow to meet local officials. He approved disaster relief for your state three weeks ago.

Are you satisfied with the Trump administration's response?

ERIC GARCETTI (D), MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: Well, we always have great cooperation with our federal agencies. And I want to thank them for that, because they do step up, whether it's coronavirus or whether it's fires.

But I think leadership at the very top needs to be earlier, stronger,. And from the president. I wish that we would get as much attention, not based on an electoral map, but just purely on being Americans and the need for leadership to be from the White House for all of America, you know, whether it's twin hurricanes on the Gulf Coast or fires here on the West Coast.

We're one nation. And, sometimes, looking at the leadership that comes out, it's easy to forget that. It's taken three weeks. I'm glad he's coming, but we need much more help. When we have firefighters dying on the line, and Washington refuses to help states and refuses to help local governments that are the first responders to emergencies like this, it's unconscionable.

So, instead of hitting the golf course or going on vacation, the president and Congress respectively should sit down this week, and finally make sure that there is assistance for these brave men and women who are protecting our lives and protecting our property.

TAPPER: Well, I just want to be clear here. What exactly are you saying President Trump, in your view, would have

done differently if California were, say, a Republican state, like Louisiana or other states in the Gulf Coast Texas? What -- would have done differently?


TAPPER: Because he did declare disaster three weeks ago.

GARCETTI: Absolutely. And I always say that. That's very important that those agencies respond, we get good coordination.

But there's a refusal to, in a blaming blue states over red states in his mind, I mean, I remind people there's a million Republicans that live here in the city of Los Angeles. Even if you're a partisan, you should be stepping up with empathy. You should be stepping up with helping with a new CARES Act, when people are slashing local government and state government, laying people off.

This is bad for our economy. This is bad for our emergency response. It's terrible for our coronavirus response.

And so we need leadership that is equal across this country, instead of being partisan and divisive. And it's very clear, this president seems to divide more. He's going to come out here and probably tell us, I'm going to send you rakes, instead of more help.

We need actual help, material help, not based on our party affiliation or how we voted. Leadership isn't about grudges. It's about governing for all.

TAPPER: Well, let's talk about that, because, at his Nevada rally last night, President Trump repeatedly told his supporters that containing the wildfires is all about forest management.


And, as you note, he's frequently criticized California for failing to rake the forest floors to prevent wildfires.

What's your response? What are the facts behind this?

GARCETTI: Well, I listen to fire professionals, not the president of the United States or a politician, when it comes to actually what causes these fires.

It's been very clear that years of drought, as we're seeing. Whether it's too much water and too much rain in parts of our country right now or too little, this is climate change. And this is an administration that's put its head in the sand, while we have Democratic and Republican mayors across the country stepping up to do their part.

This is an administration, a president who wants to withdraw from the Paris climate accords later this year, the only country in the world to do so. Talk to a firefighter, if you think that climate change isn't real.

And it seems like this administration are the last vestiges of the Flat Earth Society of this generation. We need real action. We need to actually reduce the carbon emissions that we have. And we need to make sure we can manage that water.

And this is not about just forest management or raking. Anybody who lives here in California is insulted by that, quite frankly. And he keeps perpetrating this lie.

TAPPER: Well, let's talk about this, because, as you note, a lot of people -- there's consensus in California, Democrats and Republicans, that the forest fires and the -- and we should just note, the scientific community also says that a lot of this has to do with climate change. And Governor Newsom said California is facing a climate emergency.

In recent weeks, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has broken with climate change activists over the issue of fracking, which releases not carbon, but the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. Environmentalists want to ban fracking. Biden has repeatedly said he does not support banning fracking.

I know that you think that Biden is much better for the environment on climate change than President Trump. But, on this issue, fracking, is Joe Biden on the wrong side?

GARCETTI: Well, it's very clear to all of us that we have to wind down our dependence on fossil fuel, from Joe Biden through myself and mayors across the country and across the world.

You look at the markets, they're not investing in any new oil and gas projects. And when they do, it costs three times as much in terms of the interest rates as renewables. So, I think we know where we're headed.

And Joe Biden has put probably the boldest plan I have ever seen in my lifetime, to be, by 2035, carbon-neutral for all of our electricity generation. That's a bigger and braver and bolder goal than I have ever seen.

I think he was referring to what's existing today, whether it gets shut off or whether we rapidly wind it down. That's clear to me, that all of us, in a decade-and-a-half, will be looking at, as we have here in California, where L.A. is the number one solar city in America, where we are investing in renewables, where we have sold power, actually, during some of the outages to the rest of the state, that we can do this and create jobs.

And I think Joe is committed to that transition. And that's what he's talking about, those folks who work there today, making sure they have a job tomorrow.

TAPPER: I want to ask you, overnight, a horrible scene, two Los Angeles county sheriff's deputies ambushed, shot, seriously wounded, apparently completely unprovoked, and targeted. According to the sheriff's office Twitter account, at one point,

protesters went outside the hospital and were shouting, "We hope they die," blocking entrances.

What can you tell us about the deputies' status? And what goes through your mind when you hear about protesters blocking hospitals saying that we hope that deputy sheriff's die?

GARCETTI: There's no place in civilized society for anybody to draw an arm and to shoot our law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line.

And I won't ever let a couple of voices that not only are uncalled for, but it's important to say something like that when we have two deputies who are sheriff deputies in grave condition.

My offers and my thoughts are not just with those two deputies, but with their families and everybody in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office that is hanging on. Of course, there's an important conversation going on about policing in this country, but these are folks who put their lives on the line for us, and we will find justice for them.

And I pray for their recovery. Americans are united about that, that this is a country in which that sort of behavior is unacceptable, abhorrent. And we do pray that these folks will recover. And I hope that everybody listening today will unify around them.

TAPPER: This week, we learned from reporter Bob Woodward that President Trump was aware of the serious threat posed by the coronavirus in early February, even as he repeatedly downplayed it and dismissed it in public.

You issued your first stay-at-home order more than a month later, March 19. Do you think, if you had known in early February what we now President Trump knew, you would have acted sooner?

GARCETTI: Unquestionably.

And, look, you put it great in the opening. This was a rough week for the president, because he's failing on the basics, the basics of supporting our troops, the basics of responding to a fire, the basics of managing the worst health pandemic that we have had.

We were the first city to close things down, the first city to offer widespread testing. But we had to go it alone. And we heard that consistently. That's up to the states. That's up to the local governments.


I had firefighters providing tests to people, volunteers who would give their time because we had no leadership at the national level.

And, yes, if we had known and had leadership that didn't say, calm, but actually allowed us to do the work and provided us the resources to do so, we would have taken action much earlier, and thousands of lives in my city and, obviously, maybe tens of thousands, if not 100,000 lives in America could have been saved.

TAPPER: Mayor Garcetti, thank you so much for your time today.

Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with all the people in California, as well as Oregon and Washington and with those two deputy sheriffs. Thanks for joining us today.

GARCETTI: Thank you. God bless. Strength and love to you and to all of America.

TAPPER: Thank you, sir.

Why was President Trump misleading the American people on COVID-19 in February? A top Trump adviser will respond to the brand-new allegations in Bob Woodward's book next.

And are Americans struggling to feed their families being abandoned by Congress, Democrats and Republicans?

Stay with us.



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

Last night, President Trump kicked off a campaign swing through the Western U.S., after a challenging week in his reelection campaign, with new revelations about his decision to downplay the threat of the coronavirus.

Joining me now, White House trade adviser and assistant to President Trump Peter Navarro.

Mr. Navarro, thanks so much for joining us.

So, you just heard Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles saying that they work well with federal partners, but it does seem like the response from the federal government, especially the attention and enthusiasm from President Trump, depends on whether or not it is a red or blue state suffering from a disaster.

What's your response?


If you look at what President Trump did, for example, for the city and state of New York, it was an incredible transfer of resources up there, ships, PPE. Everything that New York wanted, they got.

So, please, Mr. Garcetti, take care of Los Angeles better than you are doing.

I would -- if -- one of the things I'd like to do before we get started, though, is, I would really like to congratulate President Trump on being nominated for the Peace Prize, the Nobel Peace Prize, because this last week, if you look at the signal, rather than the noise, he brokered a second...


NAVARRO: ... deal with Bahrain. We have got Mike Pompeo, a real warrior for peace, in Qatar trying to broker a deal to get us out of Afghanistan.

TAPPER: So, I -- OK.

NAVARRO: We're withdrawing troops from Iraq.


NAVARRO: And we have relative stability on the Korean Peninsula.


NAVARRO: So these are big...

TAPPER: I understand.

NAVARRO: ... issues that I think is important.

But go ahead.

TAPPER: All right, I want to keep talking about the fires in your former home state of California.


TAPPER: I want you to listen to what California Governor Gavin Newsom had to say about what's happening in his state.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): The debate is over around climate change. Just come to the state of California. Observe it with your own eyes. It's not an intellectual debates. It's not even debatable any longer. This is a climate damn emergency. This is real. And it's happening.


TAPPER: Now, I don't think I have to convince you of this, because, in a paper that you co-wrote 20 years ago, when you were a professor at U.C. Irvine, you called climate change -- quote -- "one of the most important environmental problems of our time."

Unfortunately, I think you might be alone in the White House in holding that view that is scientific consensus.


TAPPER: Is anyone at the White House listening to you on this issue? NAVARRO: I think what's important now, as the entire West Coast is

suffering from these fires, is to think about how to manage these fires.

And I equally believe that what we have seen in California -- and I have seen this firsthand -- is that, for many, many years, particularly because of budget cutbacks, there was no inclination to manage our forests. That's actually a real issue, Jake.

And whether or not it's 10 percent or 90 percent...

TAPPER: Isn't climate change also -- isn't climate change also a real issue?

NAVARRO: Look, I'm not -- that's not my expertise, Jake.

And, really, I came here to talk about a lot of things.


NAVARRO: That was the last on my list.

TAPPER: Well...

NAVARRO: Let's pray for the people of California right now. And once we put the fires out, let's have that debate.

But I -- one of the things I do want to talk about -- and Garcetti said something about this which I think was wrong -- is this thing about the Woodward's seriousness issue, OK?

And let me -- let me explain something here.

TAPPER: Well, let's talk about that.


TAPPER: Fine. You want to talk about, let's turn to that.

NAVARRO: Yes, let's turn to that.

TAPPER: Let's turn to the revelations from Bob Woodward's book, which comes out on Tuesday.

NAVARRO: Sure. Sure.

TAPPER: I want you to take a listen to what President Trump told Woodward in private on February 7.

NAVARRO: Great. That's a great day to start.


TRUMP: You just breathe the air, and that's how it's passed. It's also more deadly than your -- your -- even your strenuous flus.

This is more deadly. This is 5 per -- this is 5 percent vs. 1 percent and less than 1 percent. So this is deadly stuff.


TAPPER: So, that's February 7.


TAPPER: He's stating that the coronavirus...


TAPPER: ... is five times deadlier than the regular influenza.

Now, here's what he was saying publicly two weeks later. Take a listen.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President, you talked about the flu and then in comparison to the coronavirus. The flu has a fatality ratio of about 0.1 percent.

TRUMP: Correct.

GUPTA: This has a fatality ratio somewhere between 2 and 3 percent. Given that and the fact...

TRUMP: Well, we think -- we think -- we don't know exactly what it is.

GUPTA: Based on the numbers so far...

TRUMP: And the flu is higher than that. The flu is much higher than that.


NAVARRO: All right. Now...

TAPPER: So, just to be clear -- I'm going to give you the mic in a sec, but just to be clear for people watching...



TAPPER: ... on February 7, he was acknowledging to Bob Woodward behind closed doors coronavirus was five times deadlier than the flu.

Less than two weeks later, he was saying the exact opposite in public to Sanjay Gupta. He was misleading the American people. Why?


NAVARRO: OK. Let me -- now that I have the mic, give me -- give me a minute to walk through the timeline, because I think this is really important.

On January 31, that was basically the starting gun to fight this virus that came in from the -- from the Chinese Communist Party. Let's not forget where this started. And that was a signal from this president that that was -- this is a serious, serious matter. He's taking down flights from China.

He was called a xenophobe and a racist by Joe Biden...

TAPPER: No, he wasn't.

NAVARRO: ... who later had to apologize.

TAPPER: No, he wasn't. And he didn't apologize.

NAVARRO: Well, I will -- we will do the fact-check on that. I watched that.

TAPPER: I just did.

NAVARRO: All right. Well, you're wrong.


NAVARRO: So, January 31, pulls down the flights, saves probably hundreds of thousands of American lives.

Now, what happened then, Jake? Here's what's important. This is breaking news for you.

In that first week of February, leading up to February 7, we here at the White House started a strategy. It basically was, hope for the best, prepare for the worst, stay calm, and begin to attack this virus from China on four different vectors.


NAVARRO: Hang on. Let me have the mic here.

TAPPER: Well, I'm not just -- I'm not giving you 10 minutes to do this.

NAVARRO: PPE, therapeutics, vaccines...

TAPPER: Uh-huh. OK.

NAVARRO: ... and -- and therapeutics, OK?

So, what happened? So, on February 7...

TAPPER: I'm specifically talking about what President Trump was saying to the public...


TAPPER: ... in February and March. NAVARRO: You're not -- Jake, not fair here. Let me finish here.

TAPPER: You're not answering my question.

NAVARRO: So, on February 7, President Trump talks to Woodward.

What happens on February 9? This is the most important thing.

A memo -- I write a memo that goes out to the task force here that basically outlines President Trump's strategy for dealing with the virus. And, in this memo, it brings to the effect that we need N95 masks, that we need to go after thera...

TAPPER: Did your...

NAVARRO: Hang on. Hang on. Let me finish this, Jake.

TAPPER: No, because you're not answering my question, Peter.

NAVARRO: Jake, I am.


TAPPER: The question is, about what is the president -- you're talking about what you were doing privately.

NAVARRO: Jake, Jake, Jake...

TAPPER: Let me -- let's posit right now...

NAVARRO: Now, hang on, Jake. Jake...

TAPPER: On January 29, you were issuing a warning.

NAVARRO: Jake...

TAPPER: You were saying behind closed...

NAVARRO: This is not fair, Jake.

TAPPER: You're not answering...

NAVARRO: You're constantly interrupting me, and you're not letting me talk.

TAPPER: You're not answering my question. Why was he misleading the public?

NAVARRO: I am answering it. You just don't like the answer, Jake.


TAPPER: I understand your memo. We have talked about this before on this show.

NAVARRO: No, no, no, not this memo, not this memo. February 9 -- this is breaking news. This is not the memo I wrote on

January 29 in support of the president's decision to pull down the travel ban, which saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

This is a memo, Jake, that said, among other things, that if we start right now, we could have a vaccine by the end of the year.

And my point here, Jake, is that we're in the fog of war. We have got some people, including the medical professionals, saying, it's no worse than the flu. We have got others saying that this could be a very serious pandemic.

And the president is absolutely right. What he needed to do is be calm, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, and attack the virus on these four vectors, PPE, therapeutics, vaccines, and testing.

TAPPER: We have heard -- we have...

NAVARRO: And that's what we did.


NAVARRO: And, so, look...

TAPPER: So, we have heard government officials say that the president should have been straightforward with the American people, and he was, not just Democrats, by the way.

NAVARRO: The president...

TAPPER: I want you to take a listen.

NAVARRO: Look...

TAPPER: Here;s Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, followed by Democratic Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey. Take a listen to them.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): The American people can take hard facts.

And he had an obligation, as president, to be straightforward with them.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): If we had known that earlier, we would have shut the state meaningfully earlier. It's inconceivable to me that we wouldn't have been able to save lives as a result of that.


NAVARRO: All right, may I respond now, Jake? May I respond?

TAPPER: Bipartisan consensus, bipartisan consensus yet -- that the president should have been straightforward.


NAVARRO: Can I respond here, Jake, OK?

Yes, go back to February and March. We're in the fog of war from the China virus. There are competing views as to whether this is simply the flu or whether this is very serious.

TAPPER: What are the competing views?

NAVARRO: And we go through -- hang on.

The scientists said -- look, you had...

TAPPER: You're talking about something else.

NAVARRO: You had Nancy Pelosi dancing with scarves in Chinatown at the end of February, saying, come on down. You had de Blasio and Cuomo in March saying, come on down.

You had Dr. Fauci saying that there was low risk.

TAPPER: Why wasn't the president straightforward with the American people? Why...

NAVARRO: He was straightforward.

TAPPER: No, he wasn't.

NAVARRO: There was -- look, look, Jake, Jake, I'm telling you what our strategy is.

TAPPER: Just answer the -- it's a very basic question.

Right. You want to talk about what you want to talk about, OK?

NAVARRO: You're cherry-picking. You're cherry-picking.

TAPPER: No, I'm not cherry-picking.

On February 7, he knew that it was in the air, that it was five times deadlier than the flu.

NAVARRO: You're beating this -- you're beating this thing -- no.


TAPPER: Five times deadlier. That's on the tape.

NAVARRO: He expressed that to Woodward, but, at the same time, he's getting the...

TAPPER: Two weeks later, he's saying that the flu is deadlier than the coronavirus. Why wasn't he honest?

NAVARRO: Jake, you just -- you just don't want to listen, Jake. You just don't want to listen. TAPPER: I want you to answer the question.

NAVARRO: You just -- I am answering your question. You just don't like the answer.

The answer is, in February all the way through the middle of March, when the World Health Organization finally said there was a pandemic and China was hiding the information, finally, that's when we knew that there was a pandemic.


And you know what, Jake? We were at that point prepared for the worst.

In February, we were moving mountains on PPE, therapeutics, testings, and vaccines, so that, in the time that we needed those things, we got those things.

And it's a miracle what we have been doing on vaccine development. We have a possibility of getting a vaccine by the end of the year. And I put that right in a memo on February 9, under the advice of the president, in terms of getting on this situation...


NAVARRO: ... because it might be serious.

You can't have it both ways, Jake. You simply can't.

TAPPER: I'm not trying to have it both ways. I...

NAVARRO: In February, nobody knew. No, nobody knew...

TAPPER: You just saw the president February 7.

NAVARRO: ... not the president, not you, not Nancy Pelosi, not Bill de Blasio, whether we...

TAPPER: He knew it was deadlier than the flu, and he was lying to the American people two weeks later.

NAVARRO: He expressed -- no. Jake, Jake, you're cherry-picking, OK?

TAPPER: I'm not cherry-picking.

NAVARRO: Well, you can say -- look, I think...


TAPPER: Look, here it is.

NAVARRO: All of this is asked and answered, Jake.

Look, here's the thing. It's like...

TAPPER: He was not honest with the American people. You're not answering the question.

NAVARRO: ... you guys -- that -- that -- you're wrong. You're not honest with the American people. CNN is not honest with the American people.




NAVARRO: You -- you want to go there?

I mean, CNN -- we can do that.

TAPPER: I said, you're not answering the question.

NAVARRO: I have answered your question. I have answered your question.

TAPPER: Here's the thing.

Thank you, Peter Navarro.

We just played tape. You didn't answer -- you didn't answer the question.

NAVARRO: I have answered -- no, you can't say that.

TAPPER: You didn't answer the question. No, you didn't.

NAVARRO: I answered the question repeatedly, Jake. You just didn't like the answer.

TAPPER: OK, Peter Navarro, thank you so much. I appreciate your time today. Thank you so much.

NAVARRO: You didn't like the answer.


TAPPER: And I would just like to remind the American people watching...

NAVARRO: I answered the question. I am reminding...

TAPPER: ... that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, and the United States has more than 20 percent of the world's coronavirus deaths. That is a fact.

It does not matter how many times he insults CNN.

With seven weeks until the election, voters in a handful of key Midwestern states are about to see a lot of President Trump and a lot of Joe Biden.

I asked Biden about winning back those Trump voters in my exclusive interview next.



PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, what do you think, the USMCA, what's better that or NAFTA? Well, no, the USMCA is better. Was that Jake Tapper? I like Jake Tapper, was that ... I don't think he was doing ... I don't think he likes me too much, but that's okay. They said what's better, they said, what's better. He goes, "USMCA. Well, that's the deal that Trump made. Oh, it is? Oh."


TAPPER: Not exactly what happened, but that was President Trump last night going after Former Vice President Biden at a rally in Nevada, attacking Biden for answers that Biden gave me about his record on trade in an exclusive interview in the critical swing state of Michigan.


TAPPER: We're in Macomb County, Michigan right now. This is a county that President Obama and you carried twice, and then President Trump carried by 12 percentage points in 2016.

You're a son of Scranton, you're somebody who likes to talk about the working class, the middleclass. Why do you think so many of these folks turned against the Democratic Party in 2016?

BIDEN: Look, I think, number one, a lot of them was taken for granted. When we ran, I spent a lot of in Macomb County, a lot of time in Detroit. I was given the responsibility getting it out of its bankruptcy and getting it on its feet.

I was the guy that was asked - the Recovery Act, make sure we made sure we were in a situation where we saved General Motors and Chrysler.

I come from Claymont. You know Claymont, you're a Philly guy. Claymont's a working class neighborhood, it used to be -- have 6,000 steel workers in Claymont. It shut down, Worth Steel.

But the point is that I think it was the feeling that they were taken for granted. I don't know that for fact. And I think that he used that dog whistle on race, now it's a bullhorn, and I think that -- look, the neighbors I come from, and I think, presumptuous of me to say, you come from, people don't want a handout, they just want a fighting chance, just give me a shot, I've been looking for a shot.

TAPPER: So now when you ran for president and when Barack Obama ran for president, you both, you both said you would renegotiate NAFTA. You didn't. He did. Nancy Pelosi said that the USMCA, which President Trump signed into law, is a quote "Victory for American workers."

Does he deserve credit for that?

BIDEN: No, I think - remember, he didn't -- he wasn't the one that pushed that particular one that passed. The House amended the bill, amended the bill, so he couldn't

TAPPER: He signed it.

BIDEN: (inaudible) a big deal though. Here's what he -- they amended. He was giving pharma a way out, giving them a gigantic break, just like he's doing now with pharma.

If you -- they are building plants overseas and getting tax breaks for it. That's what it was about with him, and they said, no, no, we're not going to do that. We're not going to --


TAPPER: -- renegotiated NAFTA and you didn't, is the point.

BIDEN: Because we had a Republican Congress that wouldn't go along with us renegotiating.

TAPPER: But doesn't he deserve some credit for that? It's better. USMCA is better than NAFTA.

BIDEN: It is better than NAFTA, but look what the overall trade policy has done, even with NAFTA. We now have this gigantic deficit in trade with Mexico -- not because NAFTA wasn't made better, because his overall trade policy and how he deals with it made everything worse.

TAPPER: I guess my only point is, I'm a blue collar guy sitting in Macomb County, Michigan, if I were that person.




TAPPER: And I'm sitting here listening to your pitch and I'm thinking, I like what he has to say, but he's part of the establishment that's been selling my jobs down the river. He supported NAFTA, he supported - let's most favored nation status for China. And Trump did renegotiate NAFTA and Obama and Biden didn't.

BIDEN: Well, I'll tell you what we did do. We inherited the greatest recession short of The Depression. The president put me in charge of that to do something about it.

In the process of that, I was the one who was given responsibility to make sure General Motors and Chrysler didn't go bankrupt. And so we made sure they didn't, brought 80,000 jobs here to Michigan and to the automobile industry - 80,000 good paying jobs came back. He's lost 50,000 of those jobs since he's been president.

The fact of the matter is NAFTA was not a deal that was sold. When Bush said they were going to have enforcement mechanisms in NAFTA, they didn't do it. That's why after it passed and he did not insist on that, I was against NAFTA. We tried to begin to change it, because it didn't keep the deal that was made. There was not -- the enforcement mechanisms were abandoned.

And so - but look, here's what else he's doing -- we're talking about trade -- what has he done with trade to create more jobs in the United States? What's happened with this trade policy? Look what he's done with China. It's a disgrace.

What he's done, he's allowed the corporate America to be able to make money by continuing to export American jobs.

TAPPER: One last question for you, Sir. If you're elected, you would be the oldest president ever, and I know you've said it's fair for anybody to ask questions about anybody over 70 and their health. The American people have been lied to before by presidents about the president's health -- FDR, JFK, Ronald Reagan. We don't know still what happened with Donald Trump in his visit to Walter Reed last year.

Will you pledge that, if you're elected, you will be transparent about your health --


TAPPER: -- all facets of your health, with urgency , so that -


BIDEN: Yes, when it occurs -- when anything occurs. Anything can happen, anything can happen.

That's what I did, I laid out my health records in more detail - pages and page of it even when I became vice president. I laid it all out; everything, my entire background relating to my health.

I've laid out my health records in terms of this time around and the investigations in my health made when I was at Walter Reed, in terms of by Walter Reed docs, by my docs right now, and thank God I am in good health.

But here's the deal, anything can happen. I've become a great respecter of fate, a great respecter of fate. I've seen too much of it in my family related to accidents alone. And so I guarantee you, I guarantee you I will be totally transparent in terms of my health and all aspects of my health.

And when it comes to Donald Trump versus me, just look at us, OK? Just look at us. Who seems to be in shape? Who's able to move around? I mean this idea of, you know, slow Joe.


BIDEN: Anyway, I shouldn't laugh about it, because -- anyway, Donald Trump -- just look at us both, watch us, and determine whether or not you think I'm misleading anyone -- not you, personally but the public.

Look at me, judge me based on -- I know what the job takes. I've sat for hundreds of hours in the Situation Room. For eight years I was vice president in every major decision. I know how difficult this job is.

And one more thing I'll do, I'll take responsibility, I'll acknowledge my mistakes when I make them, and I'll level with the American people.

TAPPER: Thanks for your time, Mr. Vice President.

BIDEN: Thank you.



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

If you have been waiting at home for more financial relief from the U.S. government, it now seems clear that help is not coming anytime soon.

This week, a Republican stimulus plan was blocked by Democrats in the Senate, who want a bigger package. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are indicating that another deal is unlikely before the election, even as millions of Americans remain desperate for additional unemployment benefits or relief for small businesses.

Joining us now, Democratic Congresswoman and former police chief Val Demings of Florida.

Congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us.

Let's start right there with what the American people need, the people who are still suffering economically from this pandemic.

On Thursday, Senate Democrats -- pardon me -- blocked the slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill put forward by Senate Republicans. They said it didn't go far enough.

I get that the bill passed by House Democrats was far more generous, but the end result now is that Americans are getting nothing. How is that better?

REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Well, Jake, it's good to be back with you.

And let me just start here. None of us planned COVID-19, but our response to it makes all the difference in the world. We thought we would be out of this by now. We are not.


The American people are suffering, through no fault of their own. We know the numbers in terms of those who have contracted the virus, those who have died from the virus. Millions of people are out of work. We're afraid to send our children back to school and back to university.

And so why are we always -- are the GOP, quite frankly, always pushing to offer the American people the crumbs from the table?

TAPPER: Right.

DEMINGS: We need to give them relief that really helps them to carry on.

They're worried about being able to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. We need to pass a meaningful bill. And, quite frankly, if the GOP is interested in helping American families, the HEROES Act is sitting right there.

TAPPER: Right.

DEMINGS: Take it for an up-or-down vote.

TAPPER: But, Congresswoman, with all due respect, Democrats control the House. You don't control the Senate. You don't control the White House. You need to compromise.

Isn't something, even the slimmed-down Senate bill, isn't something better than nothing? Because that's what the American people have right now, nothing.

DEMINGS: I say, the American people deserve more than the crumbs from the table.

And, quite frankly, our leadership has been there, as you well know, for weeks negotiating. There has been movement on our side. But the Republicans have, quite frankly, been ridiculous in their negotiations.

And it must be nice to maybe not feel like -- or know the feeling of having to struggle to make ends meet.

I talk to people every day in my district who are doing just that. And we need to give them relief that is meaningful. And we intend to do that.

TAPPER: All right, but wouldn't they prefer an additional -- I'm just going to make up numbers now, OK? But wouldn't they prefer an additional $200 or $300 a week extra in unemployment benefits from the federal government, which is the crumbs you refer to from the Republicans, than zero, which is what they're getting right now?

DEMINGS: You know, Jake, you see what's going on.

And I'll use this analogy with you. We see what's going on with our post office. We're in a fight to save the most reliable, the most trusted institution in the history of our nation.

Would it make sense to save half of it, as opposed to making sure that the American people have a good, efficiently run and operating full- service institution? And so I say again that the American people deserve better than the crumbs from the table. And we will continue to push a relief package that's meaningful to these families that are struggling.

TAPPER: Let's turn to November.

You represent a slice of the great state of Florida, which is obviously going to play a pivotal role in November, as it always does.

A pair of polls out of your state this week showed President Trump -- pardon me -- narrowly leading Joe Biden among likely Latino voters, Trump leading among Latino voters in Florida. By contrast, Hillary Clinton, who lost Florida, won the Florida Latino vote by 27 points.

Why is Biden doing so poorly with Latino voters in Florida? And what, if anything, can you do to fix it?

DEMINGS: Well, let me say this.

The Biden team from the beginning has made it clear that they are taking nothing or no one for granted. And we all know that polls are a snapshot in time.

And we are not paying much attention to what the polls say, whether they have Vice President Biden up or the president up. We are continuing to work hard with what I believe is a very effective ground game, touching each of our voters, to make sure that they are able to vote.

We're fighting voter suppression efforts that you're seeing all over, unfortunately, in our nation. We're taking no one for granted. We're touching the voters. We're communicating with them. And we want to make sure that people have the information that they need to get out and vote for the person who supports a people's agenda.

There's only one team who does that. And that's Vice President Biden and Senator Kamala Harris.

TAPPER: Well, OK, you can say you're not paying attention to polls, but I know people on the Biden campaign, and they're paying attention to polls.

Let me bring up another number. A "New York Times"...

DEMINGS: Well, Jake, let me just say this. Let me just...


DEMINGS: What I'm saying is that their actions are not being driven by the polls.

TAPPER: Right. OK.

DEMINGS: They are not relaxing too soon and taking anything for granted up to Election Day.

TAPPER: Well, I would -- I would hope not, for their sake. It's a competitive race.

A "New York Times"/Siena College poll that came out this weekend shows that 70 percent of voters over 65 in these four incredibly important swing states, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, 74 percent of them view crime as a major problem. By a 20-point margin, those same voters say that Biden has not done enough to condemn the rioting.


Now, I know that Biden has condemned the violence and the rioting and the looting, but, apparently, it is not breaking through enough. Does he need to do more?

DEMINGS: I think, as a nation, we all need to clearly communicate that we want to reduce crime and keep Americans safe.

And what I know, as a former law enforcement officer of 27 years, as you know, served as the chief of police, all communities, regardless of the color of their skin or their economic base, want to live in safe neighborhoods.

Let me just say this. I have heard multiple times Vice President Biden strongly condemn any criminal behavior. He's also talked about accountability on both sides with the police and the protesters.

But he will continue to communicate that message, as I said earlier, up to Election Day. I know he's going to do that, and we're going to help him.

TAPPER: In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Black Lives Matter protesters were seen accosting and harassing innocent bystanders sitting outdoors at restaurants in Pittsburgh.

Now, you can just say or people could just say this is just a few isolated incidents. But voters living in and around Pittsburgh saw these images widely covered by local media in Pittsburgh.

Again, I know this represents a minority of protesters, but when you see images like this, are you concerned that some protesters are chasing voters into Donald Trump's arms?

DEMINGS: Well, let me just say this.

Number one, we don't absolutely know that those are protesters that are associated, are a part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

But the bottom line is, Jake, when we see crimes being committed, our responsibility is to hold law violators accountable. And that's what we have to do...


DEMINGS: ... regardless of the circumstances.

TAPPER: Congresswoman Val Demings of the great state of Florida, we really appreciate your time today. Safe travels. And thanks for joining us today.

DEMINGS: Thank you. Take care.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Perhaps like so many Americans you've been trying to find a way to spend some time with your family, your children, safely engaged in some form of recreation. Education in a time of pandemic can be really tough and nothing is more clear about our government's failure to protect us then the fact that for so many American kids it's considered unsafe to go into a classroom.

The virus has not been contained. The widespread quick testing needed remains elusive. It's a huge failure by President Trump on down.

So then maybe you seek this respite and you subscribe to Disney Plus, Disney's streaming service, and you turn on their new live action film Mulan, fun, nice, family-friendly. But maybe you stay for the credits. And you see Disney thank the propaganda authorities of the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Jinjang.

That's right. Not only did Disney film this move, Mulan, in the epicenter of the part of China where the U.S. State Department estimates the Chinese government has detained as many as 2 millionth ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in internment camps, places China claims are for re-education and job training, but the U.S. government says they are subjecting Uyghurs to torture and cruel and inhumane treatment.

But not only did they film Mulan there, Disney also thanks a local police department in their credits, a police department that was sanctioned by the U.S. government for its role in running these concentration camps.

Now, Disney's CFO says it's standard to, quote, acknowledge in the film's credits the national and local governments that allowed you to film there, unquote.

Really? How standard is it to film in an area where the local government has concentration camps and is being accused of genocide?

I guess we should be happy no parts of Fantasia needed to be filmed in occupied Poland.

And, look, it's not just Disney. The star of the film went on Chinese social media and shared a Chinese state media image expressing support for the police in Hong Kong cracking down on pro-democracy protestors.

Of course, that's just one person, a young actor. That's not the big problem. The big problem is Disney thanking people accused of committing genocide. Why? Money.

So, who cares about the concentration camps, right? It's an immoral position and one we've seen from the NBA, which was forced to cancel a training camp held in the same region of China. And, of course, sadly with President Trump who, John Bolton writes in his book, told Chinese President Xi Jinping, that China should continue building these concentration camps for the mass detention of Uyghur Muslims because President Trump thought that, quote, was exactly the right thing to do, unquote.

This summer two Uyghur organizations lodged a complaint against the government of China at the International Criminal Court accusing the Chinese government of genocide, torture and crimes against humanity.

This is the government to whom the NBA is bowing and President Trump is giving approval and Disney is openly thanking.

After a horrible genocide, the Holocaust, the world came together and pledged never again, never again. The NBA, President Trump and the Walt Disney Company, they're making those words meaningless.

Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us. The news continues next.