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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 26, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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because, as we learned from the covid-19 pandemic, if we don't protect them, we're actually putting ourselves at risk. thanks for watching. good night. it is, admittedly, hard to say good evening at the end of a week that saw the worst day, yet, in terms of new coronavirus cases in this country. or the worst day ever, by far, in the state of florida. with nearly 9,000 new infections there. it is tough to end the day with 32 states now showing rising case counts. and just seven with declining numbers. harder, still. to look at that green line there for new cases in this country, and compare it to the european union, in pink. late today, diplomats told us that american travelers are unlikely to be allowed into member countries when they begin to open up.
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in a larger sense, though, the gap between the green and the pink lines on that graph there is what a failed national policy looks like. and tens of thousands of preventable deaths. that's right. deaths that the science shows us, were preventable. against that backdrop, the president's task force briefed today, for the first time since the 27th of april, when the president, you may remember, suggested injecting disinfectant. and shining light inside people's bodies to stop the virus. somehow. he has, since, taken to flouting his own task force's guidelines, at every turn. holding mass indoor rallies, in hot zones in the country. not wearing a mask. a simple step. modeling behavior that gets people killed. so has the vice president, who led that briefing today, as well, and as he has on similar occasions, he looks straight into the camera. and, frankly, did not tell the truth. here is what he said about that rising u.s. case curve, which
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we'll leave on the screen as the vice president speaks so you can make the judgment, yourself. >> we slowed the spread. we flattened the curve. we saved lives. >> those were his words. we flattened the curve. it's a lie. plain and simple. the line is not flat, in fact, it's going up. the vice president also talked about the skyrocketing cases in states such as florida, arizona, and texas. here, they are, and here is the vice president's disingenuous explanation. >> we want the american people to understand, it's almost inarguable that more testing is generating more cases. to one extent or another, the volume of new cases coming in is a reflection of a -- of a great success in expanding testing, across the country. >> this is the falsehood that he was caught on tape pushing to state governors, to tell themselves. it is, also, a very lightly
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sanitized version of the line, which the president uses. perhaps, the vice president, too bright, or simply too ashamed, to state it as openly as his boss has. >> so we have more cases because we do the greatest testing. if we didn't do testing, we'd have no cases. other countries. they don't test millions. so up to almost 30 million tests. so when you do 30 million, you're going to have a kid with the sniffles, and they'll say it's coronavirus. whatever you want to call it. >> keeping tonight, whether said plainly or sprinkled with phrases such as almost or inarguable or to one extent or another, the implication this is all due to more testing, simply, does not hold water. it belies -- it's belied by the facts. in the real world, for one, positivity rates. that is, the percentage of people who test positive for covid, are also going up, which means that more people are getting infected. and, crucially, hospitalizations rates are, also, rising. in arizona and texas especially,
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hospital icus are now reaching capacity. >> all along, data and evidence have driven our decision-making, when it comes to our work to contain the spread of this virus. and what the data says is indisputable. our hospitals, the largest medical center in the world, are using 100% of their base-operational capacity, right now. and are beginning to have to rely on surge-contingency plans. >> that, right there, is the top-elected official in harris county, texas. home of houston, where the situation is now so dire that the city's children's hospital, this week, opened its doors to adult patients. the children's hospital. icus in california today reported a record number of covid patients. this is not what flattening the curve looks like. it's the opposite. and, again, in addition to being dishonest about that, the vice president today, also, defended, frankly, the worst possible
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behavior in the midst of a pandemic. >> all the experts within the task force are stressing the importance of social distancing. and also, the threat of crowds. yet, your campaign has held two massive rallies, no social distancing, no masks. can you tell me -- even dr. fauci has talked about not gathering in large crowds -- can you tell me how -- why you continue to do this? why the campaign continues to hold these rallies? >> well, the -- the freedom of speech. the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the constitution of the united states. and we have an election coming up this fall. and president trump and i believe that taking proper steps. as we created screening at recent events and -- and giving people the very best counsel that we have, we still want to give people the freedom to
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participate in the political process. and we respect that. >> well, the bill of rights, as the late supreme court justice robert jackson once wrote is not a suicide pact. it's, also, pretty cowardly way of dodging what was a very simple and direct question. dodge it twice, in fact. >> so how can you say that the campaign is not part of the problem that dr. fauci laid out? >> well, i want to remind you, again, that freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the constitution of the united states. and, even in a health crisis, the american people don't forfeit our constitutional rights. >> the vice president went on for another two minutes and 44 seconds but did not answer that simple question. and he closed the briefing. two months since the last one and four months, to this day, since this briefing and these words. >> when you have 15 people and the 15, within a couple of days, is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job
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we've done. >> and they are still saying they've done a good job. four months. nearly 2.5 million cases. nearly 125,000 deaths later. the vice president, today, reminded us of someone who denied reality, to the point of becoming a punch line. baghdad bob. you may remember back in 2003, famously claimed that iraq was winth w winning the war, even as u.s. tanks rolled into baghdad behind him. history overwrites even the best propaganda. joining us now, director of strategic communications for the trump campaign. mark, good to have you on tonight. we do appreciate you taking the time. so the cases in this country. they are going up. the deaths in this country are going up. the states who have a rising number of cases is going up. it's now most of them. and, to be clear, the positivity rate, that is the percentage of people tested, who test positive for covid, is going up as well. how can the vice president and
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the president claim that the u.s. is beating this virus? >> well, as you heard from dr. fauci, you heard from the vice president, and dr. birx today. in 34 states, we are seeing a decrease in terms of the positivity rate, even as the amount of testing and numbers are going up. it's the positivity rate that's going down. we have a problem in 16 states. >> it's not going down, nationally. we have the gracphic. let's show the positivity rate, nationally, in this country that belies that claim there. because, in fact, i believe we have a graphic. nationally, it's going up. >> you can try to average this out, nationally, to try to shift the numbers as -- as you wish. but what he was saying is 34 states, those numbers are going down. in 16 states, we have the problem of -- >> what's wrong with averaging the -- what's wrong with averaging out, nationally? if you are talking about a response to a pandemic, nationally, and the federal government's national response, nationally, the positivity rate is going up.
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so how can you claim -- and as you know, the death toll is going up, every day. how can you claim to folks listeni listening tonight, that that's a win? >> very easily, jim, because what's going on in miami is not the same that's going on in montana. and we need to be honest with the american people, in that this is a -- this is a virus that is very different, in differing parts of our country. by this administration and this president is reflective of that. so while we are monitoring -- >> the three most populous states in this country. you mention montana. a relatively sparsely populated state. the most populated, florida, texas, california, where most people live, the rates are going up. >> absolutely. and it's something we need to be cognizant of. it's something they are very aware of. they have people on the ground but because what we are seeing going on in some of these states, primarily in the sunbelt states right now, does not mean that we have to do national
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things that don't, necessarily, also, relate to the other 34 states where the rates are going down. so this is not a one-size-fits-all situation. you see the administration -- >> okay. if you are seeing nationally, it shouldn't be one size fits all. and the -- grant us this if you can -- in the states where cases rising, positivity rates up, should there be statewide measures, like wear a mask, that doctors say had save lives? >> not necessarily because even in the states that were wearing masks shown today by dr. fauci, by dr. birx. even the response rates, the positivity rates are differing in various parts of each of these states. southern florida is very different than maybe bhawhat's going on in the panhandle. or rural parts of texas are much different than what's going on in houston. so that's why we leave to the states, the governors, and the local executives to make decisions that are right for their states. >> mark, it's about lives.
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the latest model from the university of washington says that 33,000 lives, in this country, 33,000 americans, their lives could be saved by october, if 95% of people in america wore masks. if that was a national -- a national habit. what do you say to that data? is it not worth -- is that simple step, of wearing a mask, not worth saving those lives? >> it's a projection and it's an estimate. i, also, remember the estimates being that we were going to have 1.2 to 1.5 million people die. >> since then, 125,000 people died. who -- who got the model wrong? >> well, right now, because what they were saying is that it was going to be 100,000 to 250,000, if we didn't slow the spread. >> the president said zero and 125,000 americans have died since then. who got it wrong? >> what we're talking about is we have slowed the spread. we have cut that rate down from
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2.5 million down to now 126,000. and every single one of those lives a tragic loss. >> you can say it as often as you want. but the numbers -- the numbers don't back you up, mark. i mean, the graphics behind their heads as they were speaking today contradicted what the president was saying. i do want to ask you because you and the vice president have said, and you and i spoke about this earlier in the week, you know, we don't want to get in the way of people's constitutional rights. when, for instance, they go to trump rallies, for instance. i just want to ask you a question. so don't require masks inside the rallies. as they drive to the rallies, should people wear seatbelts? >> that is something that most people do. it's a requirement. it's a law, in most states. >> should they? okay. should they -- >> they should follow the laws in their state. >> what if there was no law? would you tell them forget about the seatbelt? >> well, i remember back in the time there wasn't a law and, still, most people chose to wear
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>> we do ask them . again, for their safety and fellow americans' safety. mark lotter, i do appreciate you taking the time and the hard questions tonight. >> good to talk to you, jim. >> next, the facts from dr. sanjay gupta and a top disease
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this number we just learned. truly alarming. 40,173 new cases of coronavirus reported. that makes this the worst single day of the entire pandemic. right now, the first victory lap the vice president did at today's first coronavirus briefing. joining us now, dr. peter hotez, he is dean of the school of tropical medicine at the baylor college of medicine. also, chief cnn medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta.
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sanjay, i heard you today following that briefing. really exasperated by what you expected, i think quite reasonably, the task force to say, we got a problem here and this is what we're going to do about it. but that's not what they did. they said there is no problem. >> yeah. that's what i fully expected. you know, the first press conference after two -- two months. and with the numbers going up, as people have seen. and how much the numbers have gone up even since the last press briefing. there wasn't even acknowledgment of the significance of this problem, let alone a path to go forward. i mean, people look at this graph. that is a problem what we are seeing here. potentially, going into exponential growth which means you are going to wake up in the morning one day and say, wait, i can't believe the numbers i'm seeing now as compared to yesterday or the day before. it's really striking because i remember a month ago, six weeks ago, saying you see what's happening in new york but
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florida's fine. governor desantis, at the white house, taking a victory lap. we got through this fine. and now you are hearing them say montana is fine. we're not even focusing on the problem. we are pointing to a couple areas around the country that haven't been hit yet. this is the united states. i think what dr. fauci was saying. i know you spend a lot of time talking to him, jim. is that even new york, any place, really, in the country, is still vulnerable because we haven't had a federal policy. and -- and -- places that -- where the virus is still spreading could, still, have significant increase in cases. >> dr. hotez, you're in one of the places that is experiencing an alarming increase. houston. houston, texas. and you were on this program on wednesday, warning of this being on the verge of being apocalyptic. tell us what you have learned in the last couple of days. and is that the direction it's headed there? >> yeah, jim. you know, i was, also, on with sanjay this afternoon. and, you know, you just pointed
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out today's the single -- the record for the largest number of cases we've had, yet, in the u.s. tomorrow, we're going to break that record. the day after that, we're going to break that record. the day after that, we're going to break that record. we are going to see a significant, dramatic increase in trajectory. and the reason it's happening is because six of our largest metropolitan areas, spread across the southwestern united states. l.a., phoenix, dallas, san antonio, houston, austin, are having this incredible level of acceleration of number of cases. they are in exponential growth. what that means is, after the recovery, it was flat. and now, it's going up vertically. in houston, now, we've got -- you asked about -- we have 1,300 cases -- new cases per day. the models indicate that, if we
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continue along the same trajectory, within a few weeks, we'll be at 4,000 cases per day. and all of those major metropolitan areas that i've just mentioned will be the same. so we are in the middle of a crisis. and unfortunately, the white house task force briefing today gave the impression that they just can't get their arms around, either the scope and magnitude of the situation, what the plan is going to be, and how they'll implement. >> sanjay, it's clear, pretty clear, we're not going to get national leadership here, right? i mean, it appears that the white house, the president, is doubling down on this strategy. given that sad fact, what do states and metropolitan areas, such as houston, have to do now, i mean, to save lives, right? because that's what we are talking about here. we're talking about saving lives. >> yeah. jim, i'm not sure that we can avoid having to shut down in
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some of these places again. and i hate to be the one to say that. i know it's not what anybody wants to hear. but the fact of the matter is we have to get control of this exponential growth that dr. hotez is talking about. if we don't, it's going to be hard to implement the testing-and-tracing sort of policies that have worked well in other countries. if you got 40,000 people, who are newly diagnosed every day, how do you contact trace that many people in this country? you can't. and, therefore, you are going to have people out there who are, then, continuing to spread the virus. the reason you wanted a 14-day downward trend before you started opening up was that you could get it to a manageable level, before you could start implementing these other strategies. obviously, masks and physical distancing. things that people have been wearing about for months now. that has to be done. i mean, we're trying to put water on a fire here, you know, and we're not sure we can extinguish this fire the way things are. so we got to throw everything we can at it, or it's going to become uncontainable. so, yes, look. if it's not the policies, if it's not coming from, you know, our leaders, i think the people
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have to rise up here and do the right thing. >> yeah. yeah. it's -- it's on us. in fact, dr. hotez, in texas, governor abbott, making a 180, to some degree. he has paused any further phases to reopen texas. he is urging people to stay at home. but he did say, the other day, quote, closing down texas again will always be the last option. and of course, no statewide requirement to wear a mask. no statewide stay-at-home order. from a public-health perspective, set aside the politics for a moment here, is that enough to stop the exponential growth? >> well, we don't know. we've -- we've never been in this situation before. remember, this is probably the first time in the united states where we've implemented social distancing and a shutdown. we opened it up. and now, we're starting to put pieces back together, again. we've never seen how that actually turns out with this virus. so it's a very unusual situation.
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but the governor. i don't know if he's done a 180 but maybe he's done a 95-degree. he's definitely -- we're in a better position now than we were a few days ago, at least in the metro areas, we've got people wearing masks now. we've got -- the bars are closed. we have got some advocacy coming out of the county judge and the mayor with the red alert that's not enforceable but at least provide some advocacy so it's better. but i don't know how much this will really slow this incredibly aggressive rise. it's like trying to stop a train coming down the tracks. >> didn't have to be this way. dr. hotez, sanjay gupta, thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> now, florida, which is also seeing a big spike in cases. nearly 9,000 new cases, in just one day. we'd like to ask the governor about it but that is almost impossible. our randy kay, who is in florida, has been trying to figure out why. >> and, jim, i tried to catch up
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with the governor today. i wanted to ask about his future plans, i wanted to ask him about whether or not he thinks the state of florida reopened too soon. but by the time his office alerted his schedule for today, it was 6:20 p.m. that's when i got his schedule for today, not tomorrow, but today. and, by that time, about all of his events and schedule for the day was over. in fact, his last event had -- had been 90 minutes before that e-mail even went out. and that's how it goes. this governor seems to just not want to be caught up with. he does not want to answer questions about why he's not mandating masks in the state or about the spike in numbers. and it's not just me who is getting these very late alerts on his schedule. it's many of my cnn colleagues who i spoke with are finding the same thing as well. and we, also, talked with a couple affiliates here. one in tampa, one in miami. they, also, get the schedule alert at the end of the day. so let me show you exactly what i am talking about here. we have one e-mail i received from the governor's office at
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6:38 p.m., telling me what his schedule was, again, for that day, not the next day. so more than two hours after his event is when the schedule is being alerted via e-mail. another example, 7:59 p.m. is when i got this e-mail. long after the governor's day and events had ended. and one more, jim. i got this alert for his schedule at 8:22 p.m. for that day. that was more than an hour after his last event of the day. >> yeah. well, it was only a month ago, here, in washington, he was happily crowing about how well florida has done. now, apparently, doesn't want to talk. randy kay in florida, thanks very much. >> sure. >> next, we are going to tell you about a study on -- and it's a remarkable one on the connection between watching conservative media, which has played down this virus, and believing things about it that, frankly, could get people killed.
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our breaking news tonight. the u.s. has, once again, set a single-day high for most coronavirus cases. that should come as little surprise to many. it has been heading that way all week. it might, though, to the viewers on fox news, be something different. in fact, earlier in the program, you saw the president, in his happy place, on fox news last night. where he did not mention these massive spikes in covid cases. only, how well he is doing. >> and when you do tests, you have cases. but what they don't say is there are fewer deaths than there have been. way, way down. and our mortality rate is among the best countries in the world.
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>> so, keeping them honest, that's just not true. according to data from johns hopkins university, per capita, the u.s. has the ninth-highest mortality rate in the world. again, you wouldn't, necessarily, know that, watching last night. and the new study suggests that people who watch conservative media are, also, more likely to believe conspiracy theories about the seriousness of the disease being exaggerated or that it was spawned as a weapon in china. we should note the study only shows co-relation, not causation. joining me now is the co-editor of that, joan donovan. joan, good to have you on tonight because these numbers are fascinating. so, first, let's start with the big picture, here. how much does a person's choice of where they get their news affect their -- their broad understanding of covid-19. >> yeah. so i just wanted to say thanks for having me and the study that we're discussing was produced
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out of the university of pennsylvania, and is available on the harvard kennedy school misinformation review website. but you're right to say that, if someone is consuming a bunch of homogenous media or failing to access a diversity of sources, then, they do tend to end up in what we call an echo chamber. and in that echo chamber, there can be polarizing politics, as well as bias in the media. so recent studies that have come out related to media bias are showing that people who are tuning into fox news are getting a different story, entirely, about the risks posed by covid-19. >> okay. let's talk about something specific. mask wearing. how that has become political. what does the research show about how fox news and others contribute to the polarization over wearing masks? how they report the need for that and the effect of that? >> when it comes down to it, the
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way in which news is created has a lot to do with the leadership and the political leadership, right now, is not wearing masks in public. not advocating that people wear masks. so when you do watch a program and you are, you know, tuning in and trump is saying, oh, a mask, i'm not going to wear that. it does tend to have, what we call, metrickle-down effects. where it really isn't about the mask. it's really about people's perception of risk and they perceive risk differently, based on the information they get. >> the president has repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine, anti-malarial drug which, since then, has been shown to not have a positive effect in terms of treatment. did you see people changing their behaviors, as they heard from the president and others touting this? >> yeah. i wrote an article about this for "nature." and when i was looking into the problem of early signs of different treatments,
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hydroxychloroquine was on the list. but it was actually not the leading drug that doctors and physicians and researchers were looking at. so it was surprising to see the first coverage of it on fox news, as this positive. really, blowing it way out of proportion, the ability for this drug to act, proactively, as a protective agent. and, as a result, people did start changing their behaviors. we saw, immediately, a spike in searches for hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine. and as a result, someone did actually pass away by ingesting chemicals that had it in the list of ingredients. and i will make one other point, which is that pharmacists and doctors started to become alarmed at the rate by which people were prescribing and hoarding this drug. and it really affected the medical supply for people with lupus and other diseases that require this medicine.
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>> yeah. a big national stockpile of it but not a lot of use for covid at this point. joan donovan, fascinating research. thanks very much. >> thank you for having me. >> up ahead. a closer look at social justice reform since the police killing of george floyd. his family's attorney, ben crump, he will join us to talk about the protests, what may come of them and, also, the prosecution of the officers involved. can i find an investment firm with a truly long-term view that's been through multiple market cycles for over 85 years? with capital group, i can. talk to your financial professional or consultant for investment risks and information.
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it has been one month and a day, if you could believe it, since george floyd was killed by a police officer in minneapolis. the city council there, today, voted to begin the process of replacing its police department. floyd's death has spurred nationwide action on social justice and racism. protests, still, ongoing. not only demanding police reform, but toppling and removing statues, that memorialize the confederacy. how far will this all go? still up for debate, as evidence by the partisan standoff continuing in congress over passing some sort of police reform legislation. joining me to talk about where we stand, the family's lawyer, ben crump. mr. crump, good to speak to you again this evening. >> good to speak to you, jim. >> first things first, if i can. of course, it's been a month and a day. how is his family doing right now?
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>> you know, as his family often says, they are trying to get through it. it's very difficult because they can't unsee that video. none of us can. >> yep. the country cannot. i'm curious, of course, the legal process, moving along. serious charges. including murder, felony murder, here. are you confident that the officers will be convicted of those crimes? >> the family and i are very confident in attorney general keith ellison, who has a storied history as champion civil rights in these type of matters. and he, also, has talked with the family. and told them there is an ongoing investigation, and if they discover other evidence, he is, very much, amenable to
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upgrading the charges. >> okay. we will watch that, closely. you mentioned the trial, now set for early next year. i'm sure you have been watching the events here in washington closely. the house just passed the george floyd justice and policing act. but, mostly, along party lines. does not appear -- and i have spoken to senators of both parties -- to be much overlap here or hope that they come to agreement. i wonder what your reaction is, to see that happen, here, on capitol hill? >> well, the familily was very relieved that the house passed the george floyd justice and policing accountability act, which really speaks to the systematic reform, that we desperately need, to avoid other black people being unnecessarily and unjustifiably killed. now, this partisan politics is worrisome, because we do believe this is the time, jim.
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if ever we're going to have systematic reform and policing to change the culture and the behavior of policing in america, it is now, in the aftermath of the killing of george floyd and so many others. >> do you worry that that moment might pass, if they punt this? and it looks like that's what may happen until after the election. that's months away before congress gets in early next year. do you worry that the momentum of this moment, that the public outrage and outpouring of this moment will be gone? >> well, i think this is different. and what i believe, all those young people who were marching in the streets. black, white, hispanic, everybody, multicultural coming together to say we can't breathe
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until we get justice for george floyd. and the people who are not trying to do justice for george floyd's family, and for the country, as a whole, will be held accountable at election time. so our advice is do something now, or you you may find yourself out of a job. >> what's next, in the meantime, if the action is not going to happen on capitol hill for a number of weeks, months, what needs to be next, in your view? >> well, i am encouraged, in the city of minneapolis, they're starting to do things on the local level. there are several states across the country who have started passing state legislation, in the jname of george floyd and breonna taylor and ahmaud arbery, so we can prevent these things from happening in the future. so that's a step in the right direction, that things are happening, locally. we just have #
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let check in with chris to see what he's working on "cuomo prime time." tonight, chris, what do you got? >> how are you doing?
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we'll take on the politics of what is happening with texas with the congressman from there, mike burgess, and speak truth to power about why things are the way they are, especially in light of what we're hearing from the vice president. we're also going to take a look at the political implications. harry enten, the wizard of odds as i call him, is taking a look at which polls matter and why and we'll test that a little bit. and then i want to dive into this mcclain case in colorado, about why it's being reopened by the governor. we have a representative from the family to give insight into who elijah was and the context of whether or not the story police tell makes sense. also i have to tell you watching that interview that you did at the top of the show, the book that you have coming out in august about how people feel about the level of rhetoric and the level of truth and trust in the white house could not come at a better time, my brother. >> yeah, it's called "the madman theory." it's a consistent response and
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consistent description frankly from inside this administration, senior administration officials about how this president makes decisions. political interests over national interests. it's disturbing. it's disturbing. i'm glad for you and all you do. >> i'm wowed by your productivity, brother, but man am i happy you're working so hard because we need to have this book right now. >> i've got a patient wife, like you. >> true. we married up. >> thanks so much, chris. i'll be watching just ahead this hour. new reports said russia offered afghan militants bounties to kill u.s. soldiers. the administration's nonreaction when "360" returns.
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when added to statins, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. ask your doctor about an advancement in prescription therapies with proven protection. visit we end tonight with an alarming breaking news story from "the new york times" about how the trump administration has not responded in this case to a report from u.s. intelligence that russian military intelligence units offered taliban-linked militants bounties to kill u.s. and nato troops in afghanistan. for more we're joined by "the times" eric schmidt who shares the byline. eric, bounties. the president didn't respond. >> that's right, jim. we've been working on this story for several months. it turns out the u.s. intelligence community has known about these reports of bounties, that russian military intelligence unit, a notorious one, had provided to taliban or taliban-linked fighters in
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afghanistan to kill u.s., british and other coalition forces. the u.s. administration has known about this for months and yet the most they have done so far, according to our reporting, is develop options, including possible sanctions against russia and other things. but for now the president has been silent on this. >> and remarkably since learning that, he tried to get russia back into the g-7. there is any indication, do we have evidence that these bounties were paid and resulted in the death of any american soldiers? >> there is evidence that some of the monies have been paid. it's unclear, however, how many of the deaths, if any of the 20 or so american deaths last fall, last year in afghanistan, may have been attributed to this program. we're still digging into that now. >> do we know what options were given to the president to respond to this that he did not take up? >> well, again, the options so far is our understanding that have been laid out to the president from his advisers are everything from a strong letter
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of reprimand, condemnation of this, basically urging moscow to stop, eslatory ladder going up to moscow sanctions if they don't stop. striking expansion of russian advances against american forces in afghanistan via the partnership with the taliban. >> not even a protest, that's remarkable. i imagine you pressed white house officials as to any explanation why after learning of this the president continued his outreach to russia including the g-7 invitation but also removing u.s. troops in germany, which benefits russia? >> that's right. we started pressing the administration officials, both at the white house, state department, defense department, intelligence community and got no comment along all these lines.
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this has been a very closely held program, understanding, that is from these intelligence reports, and the administration obviously is wrestling with how to deal with it given the president, as you've noted, jim, and his affinity for vladimir putin apparently. >> did the white house protest this story? did they have a comment on this story, deny it? >> not at all. after i posted this story this afternoon i went back to the white house and said do you have anything to say at all? they said, no, we are standing by our no comment for right now but they did not push back. none of the agencies pushed back on the information we had in this story. >> notable. senior writer of the "new york times", eric schmidt, great story, thanks very much. >> thanks. i've got a book coming out in august called "the madman theory" and i asked several senior trump administration officials throughout to explain the president's deference to russia over time. the only explanations i can get is, one, he does not recognize russia as a significant threat and, two, he has an affinity for, an admiration for the russian president vladimir putin.
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not particularly comforting, it's out august 11th. it would be an honor if you'd have a look at it. news continues, i'm going to hand it over to chris cuomo for "cuomo prime time." >> we will do it on the radio show i have, we will do it on "prime time" because your reporting warrants it. and we do go back a long time, brother. great work, jim. >> thank you. >> have a great weekend, you and the family, god bless. everybody, i am chris cuomo welcome to "prime time ". for all of the unknowns of covid-19, we are now painfully aware of why we continue to struggle with cases. and here is the answer. >> all 50 states and territories across this country are opening up safely and responsibly we slowed the spread. we flattened the curve. the reality is we're in a much better place. >> the reality. wonder what color the sky is in pence's reality? cases are popping up in so many places and the twist