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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 1, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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cnn forgotten their mandate, which is to report the news, gather the news, report it, to do it fairly and in a balanced way. that's done 24/7, seven days a week. >> all right. well, bernie, i appreciate your time. i am grateful for you being here tottenham. i know our viewers are as well. i thank you. and we will all continue to try to do that job as best we can. with that, i hand it off to my colleague who does that every night as well, anderson cooper. >> good evening. we are witnessing a failure of presidential leadership at a time in this country when we the people need it more than ever perhaps in our lifetime. tonight with flash bang grenades going off and tear gas in the air, the president of the united states, a wan a be wartime president, had what he hoped was his macarthur moment, his paton promise, calling himself our law and order president. he'll send active duty troops
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into american cities and states to dominate, his words, dominate demonstrators in the wake of the poli killing of george floyd a week ago. what would be comical if it wasn't so dangerous and destructive. the president spoke from the rose garden. even though he called himself the ally of protesters, troops were moving on what until moments before had been a peaceful crowd at lafayette park across from the white house. you're seeing what happened right there. that was -- had been a peaceful crowd. throughout his brief remarks, forces of what he called law and order were creating chaos unlike anything seen in washington in decades. as you listen to what the president said, we're going to show you also what was happening at the exact same moment just a couple hundred yards away. >> i am mobilizing all federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting
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and looting to end the destruction and arson and protect the rights of law abiding americans, including your second amendment rights. therefore, the following measures are going into effect immediately. first, we are ending the riots and lawlessness na has spread throughout our country. we will end it now. today i have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the national guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. if a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then i will deploy the united states military and quickly solve the problem for them.
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>> so, a lot to unpack there. the president threatening to use unprecedented military force on u.s. soil while offering a preview of it on the streets of washington. now, you might wonder why did the police, why were they ordered to move on protesters at that moment. obviously the president wanted a photo op. and in a moment right after he spoke, we learned exactly what that photo op would be. the president wanted peaceful protesters, the kind he said he just supports, he wanted them out of the way for his photo op. it was simultaneously outrageous and dangerous. that's the president starting his very short walk to a nearby church. with him were ivanka trump, who you'll probably see at one moment. she's in high heels clutching a white purse. defense second was there, mark meadows, new chief of staff. all of them in eye very kind of scatter brain way walking to a nearby church foray photo op. then i want to show you what actually happened once the president got to the church. even if it meant tear gassing
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peaceful protesters, hitting them with flash bangs, pepper spla and rubber bullets, somebody handed the president that bible, and then he stood there and that was it. that was the photo op. the church itself is shutdown. we're a great country. that's my thought. that was his photo op. and then really awkwardly, he asked the defense secretary, general, anybody else he could get to come into, kayleigh mcenany was dragged into this photo op. not to pray, the president doesn't do that. he wanted to stand outside, hold up the bible and have photos taken of himself with his cabinet members. it was surreal. a photo op at the church that he rarely attends. his daughter and son-in-law also on hand. let me just say something about what the president has just shown us. the president of law and order as he now calls himself, which
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is how he pronounced himself, and then he claimed a power he doesn't really have. he can't send the military into every state. that's not law and order. what the president doesn't seem to know ore care is that the vast majority of those protesting, they, too, are calling for law and order. a black man killed with four officers holding him down, a knee to the neck for more than eight minutes, nearly three minutes of which he was no longer conscious for, that's not law and order. that's murder. stopping and frisking a young black man simply because he's a black man, that's not lieu and order. the killing of george floyd, erik gar garner, abener luima, the president thinks dominating black people law and order. he calls them thugs. who is the thug here? hiding in a bunker, hiding behind a suit, who is the thug? people have waited for days for this wan a be war-time president to say something.
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and this is what he says, and that is what he does. i've seen societies fall apart as a reporter. i've seen people dying in the streets while protesting. i've seen countries ripped apart by hate and misinformation and lies and political demagogues and racism. we can't let that happen here. of course, violence is no answer, but people protesting deserve answers, and they haven't gotten them. no matter how many black men have been murdered, lynched, mistreated, we all know it. people protesting in the streets, they know it and they're tired of it. and we should be, too. there's a curfew in new york tonight at 11:00 p.m., and we remember another curfew. august 1943. that was the last time there was a curfew like this in the city. and you know what that curfew was caused by? 1943, a white police officer shooting a black soldier. the years change, the decades go by, and the sad truth remains.
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let's go first right now to cnn's alex marquart on the street in the crowd as mayhem broke out -- shouldn't say mayhem broke out. peaceful protesters were pushed out and that caused mayhem. alex, explain whucat you ha seen, what's going on now? >> reporter: i'm with a few protesters who remain, anderson. the president in his remarks said the 7:00 p.m. curfew would be strictly enforced, and it has been. this was a curfew that was put down by the mayor of washington, d.c., not by the federal government, of course. and now the streets, at least around the white house where i have been for most of the day, are predominantly controlled -- certainly controlled, but predominantly occupied by law enforcement. what you're looking at here is a row of d.c. metropolitan police. we have just been pushed back from the intersection you can see down there where there's a lot more police.
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they carried out this maneuver, it was almost like a lasso, allowing the press to go out, but wrapping around the remaining protesters and presumably arresting them. they are still up there. anderson, you were mentioning the made for tv moment that we heard -- we saw earlier. it was extraordinary in the moments leading up to that speech by the president in which he declared that he was the law enforcement president. on cue, the police forcement in the police, d.c. national guard and u.s. park police along with secret service, they pushed forward and started aggressively pushing the protesters away from the park. they didn't use -- it wasn't just a, please move away, we're getting close to the curfew kind of thing. it was with force. it was with horses, it was with tear gas, it was with pepper spray, it was with rubber bullets. i saw an older man getting corner in an enfriday way fired on with rubber bullets. protesters going out trying to help him under a hail of rubber
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bullets. they managed to carry him away. he looked like he was having some heart troubling. incredibly disturbing scenes playing out here, anderson, tonight. it is the kind of thing you noted in your remarks earlier, it's the kind of thing i've seen in places like turkey, like egypt, between israeli and palestinian. these are not countries we should want to be compared to. it was an understatement to say -- compare the president's remarks i was listening to to the scenes unfolding in front of me was surreal is certainly an understatement, anderson. >> he is the president's favorite dictator, to ceci. jim accosta watched this from the rose garden. jim, have you seen anything like this? >> reporter: no, anderson. it was an extraordinary moment. , and you know, we were standing there in the rose garden waiting for the president to start speaking and you could hear the explosions coming from this police and military action that was taking place on the streets
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of the nation's capital to clear out these protesters from lafayette park so the president could have this photo op. then the president launched into his address. he described himself as a law and order president and threatened to use military force to stop these protests if these governors don't use the national guard. and we sort of saw that play out in real time just before the president's remarks. there were military vehicles rolling into the white house complex. they unloaded those forces. and then those forces cleared out the park so the president could take this walk. at one point i asked the president, how can you defend clearing out a park of protesters for a photo opportunity? he did not respond. a couple of times i tried to ask that question. he did not respond. but keep in mind, anderson, and you're watching this video now of the president walking through lafayette park. you know, this is a park where the protesters have been lined up for days now protesting against the death of george
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floyd. and it was just completely emptied out. it's just extraordinary what was done here. and just to echo what alex marquart was saying, we've had this discussion over the last couple of hours of the president potentially using the insurrection act of 1807 to help quell a domestic disturbance, that's not what occurred here. >> jim, the thing -- >> reporter: create a photo opportunity and hold up the bible. >> jim, this photo opportunity, he didn't know what to do once he got there. this thing was so badly thought out -- >> reporter: no question about it. this was bad reality television. this wasn't even good reality television. and the sad state of affairs that we are dealing with tonight in the nation's capital, anderson, is that we have now witnessed the president of the united states operating outside the bounds of u.s. law and the tradition of what we know to be our democracy, which is the
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united states government does not use the military against civilians in this country unless there is a dam good reason. this just wasn't a dam good reason. all we ended up with was the president of the united states looking like a wanna be dictator so he could walk over to a church and pretend to be concerned about the church. it's just a sad unbelievable thing. >> it's like in some small country that's taken over by some low-level lieutenant, low-level colonel who gets on the airway and declaims himself the law and order president. has a photo op. there's no there there because the church is closed and he's starndi star standing there with the bible. what does the defense secreta secretary -- what is barr doing, the attorney general doing walking over with this? why is there a uniformed military person walking behind the president going over there,
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like it's this mob? >> reporter: it's a very good question, anderson. and the defense secretary mark esper was talking about this earlier today and talking about these protests as battle spaces, as if the people in these areas protesting are enemy targets. they're not. they're american citizens. and on top of that, you asked about the attorney general. i snapped a picture of the president walking out with jared and ivanka and all of these officials and bill barr, the u.s. attorney general, had a big smile on his face. >> of course. >> reporter: why is he smiling after they cleared a park of protesters out of there with tear gas? it's just -- it's hard to wrap your head around. but we are descending into something that is not the united states of america tonight. there is just no other way to put it. and >> at a time when you're trying to reach out to all the people in america, for the president to do this, you know, and his
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all-white coatery hanging outside him with this closed down church, i don't know what message he's sending. but it's clear he's sending it to and what voters he thinks he's sending it to. it seems this is based on, you know, he talked about the second amendment. that's the right he is talking about protecting, as opposed to talking about protecting people's civil rights, about protecting the rights of everyday americans, you know, to not be killed or not be suspected of a crime just because of the color of their skin. >> reporter: the right of george floyd not to be killed by the police, absolutely, no question about it. i think, anderson, one of the things that has to be remembered in all of this is that president trump, donald trump did not do this by himself tonight. there were other white house officials, military officials, federal employees paid for with our tax dollars and our tax dollars were used to tear gas fellow americans.
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that's what happened tonight in the nation' capital and the entire world was watching. >> jim accosta, thanks. cnn's kaitlan collins. you have some reporting about why president trump pulled this stunt. >> reporter: yeah, we're learning more about what was behind this last-minute photo op. so last minute, we should note, that secret service rushed up here on this balcony where i'm standing right now where cnn has been broadcasting without any heads up they were coming up here. of course, they wanted to have eyes on the president and now sources are telling my colleague kevin, in part, the reason the president made the trip outside the gates of the white house, a really rare trip where you do not often see the president walk out of the door of the white house, walk across lafayette square and come over here to saint john's was driven in part, that he was upset by coverage of the fact that he had been rushed to the underground bunker on friday night during the protest that you saw breaking out here. >> wow. >> reporter: in front of the white house. that is what sources are saying, anderson. what part of the decision. >> we are in trouble.
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this country is being led by a man -- >> reporter: he wanted to be seen outside the gates. >> of course he did. he was taken to a bunker and, you know, he's hiding in a bunker and he's embarrassed that people know that. so what does he have to do? he has to sick police on peaceful protesters so he can make a big show of being, you know, the little big man walking to a closed-down church. he always talks about the world laughing, laughing at the governors right now. they're not laughing at the governors. they're in horror of what is happening. the only people they are laughing at is the president of the united states. and this event, if it wasn't so dangerous and disgusting, it would be funny because it is so low rent and just sad. i plan to come tonight and trying to be as calm and reasonable as, you know, and straightforward and doing this hour of news, and this happened.
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and i just can't believe this is what we have. this is the united states of america. this is the president we have that. they wanted a disrupter. well, yeah, that's what a disrupter -- that's what disruption is. >> reporter: it's so notable. in the rose garden when the president first came out, he said i am an ally of peaceful protests. these peaceful protesters had been out here eight hours, the eight hours we've been up here. they got three really short warnings. within ten minutes, it was crowded down here, and then all of the protesters had been moved down the street for the president to come out, walk across lafayette square, and go do this church that he's visited a handful of times during his presidency. now we know that was driven, in part -- >> they're all for peaceful protests, except never the peaceful protest that's happening. colin kaepernick, people taking a knee during a sporting event. no, no, no, that's completely
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inappropriate. that's not the right kind of peaceful protest. a peaceful protest across from the white house, lafayette park. federal land, he can use federal sources. no, that's not appropriate. i mean, i'm mystified by all these people who say they're for peaceful protests. they don't -- i'm not sure what a peaceful protest is supposed to look like given everyone i've seen so far he'saasn't ended up well. go ahead. sorry. >> reporter: we should note who was missing from this photo opportunity the president did. he came out here, posed with the bible. you saw the attorney general, the national security advisor, the defense secretary. the vice president mike pence was not here. he did not make this trip with the president. neither did the first lady, melania trump. really notable not to see either of those figures come with the president over here to this church where the basement was caught on fire, famous presidential church. >> ivanka trump was no fool. she didn't get sucked up into lining up with the president
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unless that happened when the cameras had moved or something. from what i saw it was only kayleigh mcenany who got dragged into that. the rest was just the defense secretary. i mean, again, what a day. kaitlan collins, thank you. more now on the mechanics, in a moment, the constitutionality of not of threatening martial law in states across the country. that's a sentence i didn't think i'd be ever saying. cnn penta gon barbara starr. what power does the president have? >> reporter: it's a confusing picture tonight. we need to start with the troops you are seeing on the streets of washington, d.c. tonight are national guard, also federal law enforcement. civilian law enforcement from the national capital region. we know that about 200 to 250 active duty military are on
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stand by and could be brought onto the streets at the presidents -- >> those are military police. is that correct? >> reporter: that's right. those are active duty military police. these are units that would deploy to war zones, the units that would deploy to assist americans in hurricanes. katrina, we remember seeing troops there in support, in trying to help americans who were in such trouble in new orleans if that city flooded. that's what the u.s. military does. the u.s. military does not go onto the streets of this country and engage in law enforcement activities unless a president specifically orders it. and in terms of what we saw over the last hour or so, this is a real question about who in the white house, i think, is actually understanding and comprehending and willfully
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understanding or not the authority as you say, a commander in chief. we saw a commander in chief tonight who was joined by a defense secretary and a chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in what many people may decide is a political act rather than a national security act. bringing order to the streets, yes. stop the violence, yes. but this as everyone points out, were peaceful protesters. i will tell you, earlier today i was talking to a military official who is equally involved in this. he said, we are your friends and neighbors. we don't want to be on the streets doing this. another national guard commander talked about this as -- to reporters as the job he likes to do the least. if you're going to put federal forces, federal military forces, as the president described them, on the streets of this country, you're going to need the support
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of the governors, the mayors, and most poerntly, you'importan going to need the support of the american people. or you have a commander in chief in the white house who is going to do something -- >> barbara, let's be real. the way he phrased it makes it sound like he's going to be sending in active troops. it actually is at the request of governors. >> reporter: well, no. i mean, he may phrase it that way, but here's how real life works. he can invoke the insurrection act. that would mean he could send in active duty troops to engage in law enforce: that means carry weapons to tame american citizens, arrest american citizens. those troops would also put their own lives potentially at risk for. he can do that under the insurrection act. but that means he has to -- in a practical sense, in the real
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world, would have to have the approval of governors and local officials. or his alternative is to send the u.s. military into the streets of this country without the approval and support of governors, mayors, local authorities, civilian law enforcement. there's only two choices here really. you either have their approval or you don't. >> we're going to talk more about the legality of this. barbara, thank you very much. with the president threatening to send troops in the states, whether the governors want it or not, we're joined now by the governor of michigan, governor gretchen whitmer. governor, first, your reaction of whoopd tonight in washington, d.c., the president saying he's going to deploy the military, quote, the city or states refuse to take the action to defend the life and property of their residents? >> shocking. you know, i was watching cnn with my daughter and he -- the split screen was he was saying peaceful protesters, on the other side his police troops
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were shooting at peaceful protesters. you know, in this country right now we need a leader who can bring calm, who can bring unity, who can show the compassion and competence that we need. if they could put this kind of energy behind the defense production act and start producing swabs, we could do the testing to keep people safe. if they could just muster some sort of acknowledgment about the pain, historic pain that is coming to a tipping point right now around criminal justice and what is happening here in this country, it would go a long way. but the fact of the matter is whoopd in t what happened in the rose garden is going to fuel the animosity and angst and anxiety in this country and it is more destructive than what i was hoping he would say. >> can the governor -- can the president send in active military troops to your state without your approval?
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>> you know, the president -- apparently there are outreach efforts to ask for acknowledgment of federal officers in states. i can tell you that states -- my understanding is that they can't do it without the approval of the governors, and i can also tell you that it's probably not going to happen in a lot of our states. >> would you ask for -- at this point in michigan, would you ask for federal troops? >> you know what would help take the heat down from everything? a real showing, genuine showing of concern about the underlying problem here, of police brutality, a genuine concern about how we ramp up our testing across the country to combat covid-19, which has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color. that's how we get through this moment. not by looking at one another as enemies and declaring civil war
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on one another. that's not going to fix the problem. it's only going to make it worse, anderson. and as the governor of a state that is really hurting right now, i'm calling on all leaders, on both sides of the aisle, to come together and to show competence and compassion and give people hope because that's not what we need more than anything. >> i just have to ask you again, because the president has thrown this out there an hour ago, saying that all governors should call on the national guard. and if you don't, he will act. what does that mean to you? would you ask for -- i mean, are you in a position right now where you want federal military forces? >> if it ever came to that, to that moment, it would be because they had just thrown a lot more gas on a fire that is burning. i don't want that to happen. that's why when you look at the sheriff in genesee county went
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viral, he was engaging with people who were hurting, the protesters. that's how we solve the problem. not throwing more police and military at something that is festering. we acknowledge it and we try to solve this problem, not militarize this. >> one of the things that, you know, that has been so encouraging has been scenes of protesters defending stores so that they don't get looted. protesters defending, in some cases, police officers or at least communicating with police officers, but we have seen in some cases protesters defending police officers and trying to -- trying to tamp down violence, and not wanting their peaceful protest, not wanting their legitimate protests and demonstrations to be, you know,
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taken over by elements that are out there with -- are going to break into a store, or take stuff. because that's not what the vast majority of these protesters are about. >> that's right. i mean, the vast majority of people who are showing up to protest really care about the issue. they care about the george floyds of the world we didn't hear about because it wasn't filmed. they care about addressing the issue of police brutality and years of this inequity that is showing up in covid-19, as we hold a mirror up to the united states of america. the vast majority of people are doing this out of genuine concern and desire to make sure that we as a country do better on behalf of all americans. and yet we know that there are people with their own agendas that are infiltrating these events and turning them into violence and vandalism and undermining the real cause that they're supposedly there to be
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supporting, and that's precisely why we absolutely support the right to protest. but what we want to make sure is these other forces don't come in and undermine it and make it into something that's dangerous. that is aop w that's why the president's words are so dangerous and distressing. his call to the governors and address to the nation moments ago, this is a moment in our country where we need -- we need peace. we need unity and compassion. and we need an agenda that actually fixes the problems we are suffering from. >> governor whitmer, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> with us now by phone, retired army lieutenant honore. jeffrey toobin, gloria borger, former captain and missouri highway patrol and author "13 days in ferguson." laura, the president declaring himself, quote, your president of law and order.
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from a legal standpoint, does what the president say he can do, is that something he can actually do? >> well, frankly, he's supposed to act in concert. the insurrection act and the posse comatides, we do not want the military to act as law enforcement on u.s. soil without some act of congress or some really good reason to do so. it has been invoked at times during -- during reconstruction in terms of with eisenhower or kennedy sending troops in to try to enforce the orders when you knew the states weren't going to do it themselves. you saw it in part of lbj in the assassination of king. and california asked george h.w. bush undo this. this is an unprecedented time. without a request, without any request from any governor or anybody asking for the
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assistance or a militarized presence of these officers and of these military members on the streets, to october unilaterally is shocking, especially given the fact that his motivation, it seems he says initially, is about protecting on the one hand, first amendment rights. then on the other hand, trying to encourage the second amendment rights. he seems to forget the five very important things here you laid out. the first amendment, the ability to have freedom of speech you're taking people off of a public forum where they have every right to be to petition the government, assemble, to be able to have the press present as well, and the final one, having religion. he seemed to have gotten that confused by going over to the church as those being all conflated into one principle. it all goes to say that if you think you're disoriented now by seeing what's happening in your cities and towns in reaction to the killing of george floyd and people attempting in some ways
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to hijack the ideological protests for self-interested reasons, you're about to be very disoriented trying to figure out which country we're in, which amendments now apply, and whether the president of the united states can unilaterally say, i think i'll send in the military, even if nobody asks me to. >> jeffrey toobin, legally, what's your take? >> well, the insurrection act itself is very clear. the military request only come in at the request of the state, and that's what the governors -- governor j.b. pritzker was referring to earlier, saying we don't want you. now, there are two other provisions that say the military -- the president can send in the military to vindicate constitutional rights. this is what president eisenhower used to send the troops into little rock to integrate the schools. but that's not what's going on here.
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there is no vindication of constitutional rights, federal court orders. so as i read the law, the president simply cannot do this without the invitation of the governors. so this seems to me yet another stun where the president is acting as if he can do something, but, in fact, he probably has no intention of doing it because the governors aren't going to let him do it. >> general honore, you led forces in new orleans and did an extraordinary job there. i'm wondering what you just witnessed, what you make of the president using federal forces to clear a street in the nation's capital so he and the defense secretary and others can stand in front of a closed-down church for a photo op? >> yeah, i thought i was watching a theme from something in turkey, not in the united states. it's either the president
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doesn't understand the constitution or he doesn't give a dam. this is very disturbing. i must say this, though. our troops must rest well and their families. he's given another order he cannot enforce. the suggestion would be that the congress and the senate need to come together and put some constraints on this president and the use of force as we move forward to the election. our troops need to stand steady. the congress and the senate need to understand, this man has control of over 3,000 nuclear weapons and thousands of jet planes and 11 aircraft carriers and 2 million people in uniform. they need to put a check on what he said. he cannot execute what he said. but the american people need to have confidence. and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the secretary of defense need to exercise their right not to go to photo ops like this.
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and the troops need to have confidence that the joint chiefs of staff will follow the constitution. there should be a lawyer from the pentagon tomorrow morning filing the brief to the senate and to the white house, inappropriate use of the united states active duty. what they did with the national guard is purely permissible. the national guard is at the direction of the secretary of army based on the d.c. mayor. they were on federal ground. they can do what they did. should they have done it? probably not. but as long as they're on federal ground, they can operate with the d.c. and the secret service to protect federal ground. they can bring federal troops in and put them on federal ground inside the white house if needed. >> everyone hold on. we've got someone on the phone we want to hear from. the bishop of the district of columbia who oversees the church
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the president just used for the photo op. bish bishop, thank you for being here. what are your thoughts as you saw what happened and you look at the images now of so many americans crying out in the streets for law and order, law and order that is applied equally to all of us, regardless of color, regardless of economic status? >> i want to thank you for letting me be -- be part of this conversation. let me be clear. the president just used a bible and the sacred text of the judeo christian. one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of jesus and everything our churches stand for. and to do so, as you just said, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard. i am outraged. the president did not pray when he came to saint john's.
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nor, as you just articulated, did he acknowledge the agony of our country right now. and in particular, that of the people of color in our nation who wonder if anyone ever -- anyone in public power will ever acknowledge their sacred worth, and who are rightfully demanding an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country. and i just want the world to know that we in the diocese of washington following jesus and his way of love do not -- we distance ourselves from the incendiary language of this president. we follow someone who lived a life of nonviolence and sacrificial love. we align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of george floyd and countless others through the sacred act of peaceful protest, and i -- i just can't believe what my eyes have seen tonight. >> you had no idea he was going to do that? >> i had no idea.
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i was watching the news with everyone else, and as you might imagine, i have been fielding out phone calls and emails and texts of outrage from my people and from people across the country wondering what on earth did we just witness. i hear everything else that has been said tonight. i was allowed to eaves drop on your conversation which is equally symbols of our civic institutions. what i am here to talk go is the abuse of sacred symbols for the people of faith in this country to, to justify language, rhetoric, an approach to this crisis that is antithetical to everything we stand for. everything that this faith stands for.
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>> you know, there were so many religious leaders -- people from the faith community -- who took part in civil rights democr demonstrations, who were integral to the success of civil rights demonstrations. >> right, right. >> year after year. there were faith leaders who, not just dr. king, but members of different faith communities who were killed on -- >> i know, i know. yes. these are our heroes. these are our martyrs, right? mostly people of color, some beautiful white allies who i was privileged to stand with them. these are the people that show us what it looks like to live and to walk a life of faith, right? that's what it looks like. and that's the legacy -- that's our hope. that's our only hope in this
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country. and so much has -- so much has been gained and so much has been lost in these last 40 years. and i feel that the soul of our nation is at stake right now and we need moral leadership. and we also need -- that's what i think you were talking about earlier. we need moral leadership. we also need political leadership because the people of faith in this country cannot -- cannot act as a substitute for sound civic government and moral leadership, and effective laws, that are justly enforced for all people. and that is something that all people of faith, all people of good will, and all people who have no faith at all, but believe in the civic principles of this country can agree. and in that public square we stand and we must prevail as a people because what we are witnessing now is the shredding
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of our national fabric. >> if i could, i know we have to go. but before we go, there's a lot of people watching right now who, maybe they've been marching in the streets. maybe they have been staying at home and maybe they're frightened about what they're seeing on the television and wondering where it's going and worried about their business, you know, being destroyed or they're worried about their child who is out marching and, you know, is that -- is their child going to get killed? is their child going to get beaten up or tear gassed? and even during regular times, there's a lot of people who worry about their children and themselves every time they go outside. are they going to be arbitrarily pulled over. >> i hear that. >> what do you say to people tonight who are afraid? >> well, i'm afraid, right. i'm afraid. i'm afraid for my kids. i'm afraid for everyone's children. i'm particularly mindful of the fact that those of us who are
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white have far less to be afraid of than people of color. but i fear for us. fear, however, is not an excuse to stand idly by. i grieve the violence, the senseless violence and the destruction of livelihoods and the fabric of cities. i saw minneapolis and i'm watching what's happening there and i'm serving a city now that still bears the scars of what happened in the '60s. i understand the fear. but i think if we don't look at the reasons, at the root causes of the cancers, sin in our nation, we will never get past the systematic eruption and the opportunistic distractions that keep us from our true selves. and that's what we have to keep
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our eyes on and work toward while we bind the wounds of those who become the -- what's the word? the collateral damage of a nation that will not face its sin, repent, and heal. >> correct me if i'm wrong. you worked in minneapolis for, what was it, 18 years? >> 18 years. my family, my -- i have family, i had friends, my son, my grandson, our -- >> so as somebody -- as somebody who knows that city -- sorpry t interrupt. as somebody who knows that city -- it's an important toint po make and you were alluding to this earlier. we're looking at military on the street. we're looking at large numbers of people protesting in los angeles peacefully at this hour, thank goodness. and we focus in these days a lot
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on demonstrations because that is what is happening in the streets right now and what our political leaders are talking about, for better or for worse. it threatens to make us focus on just on protests and not on the underlying reasons why people feel driven into these streets. >> exactly, exactly. >> not just the murder -- and i use that word murder intentionally of mr. floyd. but the lack of law and order applied equally to all citizens for, not just individuals, but for entire communities of color, brooke land black and brown, not just this year, but decades and decades and frankly hundreds of years. >> well, you said it as articulately as anyone would hope so. the deep seated decades long injustices and embedded systemic
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racism, and the inability to hold officers accountable for their crimes. i mean, these go back -- this is embedded in the police force in things like minneapolis. and the racial injustices go back, as you know, they go back to policies and practices that were the direct roots of slavery and antebellum. we know what happened in tulsa, oklahoma, an entire community of african americans who were basically massacred, right? and their communities destroyed by angry white vigilantes. all of that is part of our history. one of the responsibilities of people of faith is to know the context in which superficial acts -- when i say superficial, i don't mean insignificant, but the ones that are right on the surface, right?
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we need to understand the deep-rooted causes of these things, not to justify individual acts of violence. i'm not saying that. i'm just saying that if we don't understand the context, we miss the opportunity to be agents of healing. and that's what we heard in our president tonight. >> yeah. >> we miss one opportunity after another after another after another. >> yeah, well -- >> and it is -- >> i love that phrase, how to be agents of healing. i think that's something we should all reflect on in the hours and days ahead, of how to be that in our own lives and our own communities. bishop, thank you so much. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> just ahead we're going to talk with magic johnson about what we have seen and what is happening in his town and his country -- in our country. we'll be right back. don't bring that mess around here, evan! whoo! don't do it. don't you dare. i don't think so! [ sighs ] it's okay, big fella. we're gonna get through this together.
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and 24 hour relief from symptoms caused byn. over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens. like those from buddy. because nothing should come between two best friends. feel the clarity, and live claritin clear. tonight the president of the united states -- just moments before the same peaceful protesters he was vowing to protect. he did it for a photo op at a church. the bishop responsible for that church, we just talked to her. says he profaned with his actions. he did it according to our reporting, according to our kaitlan collins, because he was angry at the reporting he was taking to the white house bunker during the protest friday night. that's how small this man is. let's go to martin savidge who's
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following the protests in atlanta. martin, how are things there? we just lost the image, but if you're there, can you -- are you there? no, we don't have martin savidge. joining us now is nba legend magic johnson, also chairman and ceo of magic johnson enterprises. magic, thank you so much for being with us. james baldwin said something, i wrote this down. thi i think he's a writer i idealize. nothing that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed unless it's faced. i wonder what you think of what we're seeing tonight, what you've been seeing in los angeles and all around this country. >> well, you know, the protesters have a right to protest as long as is peaceful. anderson, we don't want to see the looting. we don't want to see buildings and businesses burned down because what people have to remember is that minorities
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probably work in some of those businesses as well then you don't really hear the message as loud and clear when you have looting and you have buildings burnt. we want to get back to peaceful protesting pause what we saw on that video was outright outrageous. george floyd got murdered by that police officer. that's why the black community has really never trusted the police is because there's been a lot of george floyds in our community that hasn't been reported or seen and people who live in black america know that. only reason now that we're acting like this is because we're fed up. we're tired of it. we can't take it anymore. and, thank god for cell phones that can video this murder and what i did enjoy was terrency
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flo floyd, george's brother, was on cnn earlier today. to hear him speak about -- he was tired of seeing and didn't want to see any more looting and buildings burned but what he wanted to see was a good, quiet protest. and i think -- i hope in my heart that all the protesters heard terrence floyd. he talked about praying and asking god to protect us all. >> well, i think the point you make is so important that, you know, when, you know, some folks, you know, use this as an opportunity to, you know, to break into a store or something, it -- it, you know, cameras focus on that and it does a disservice -- >> that's right. >> -- to the tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of people who have been protesting for days now and, frankly, for years and decades
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about injustices in this country. and it allows people to not pay attention to the injustices and to suddenly focus on the obvious wrong of what people shouldn't steal something, but there's -- there's a, you know, there's a huge injustice and inequality which is facing, staring us in the face, and we should not be giving it any opportunity to take our gaze off that because of this other stuff. >> yeah, anderson, racism has been going on for hundreds of years. i mean, my grandfather told me about it. my father told me about it. he went through it. now here i am 60. i'm going through it. my two sons now, e.j. and andre, they're going through it and so what we see, though, is these young people of all races, not just black people are out there, all race of people are out there and they're showing their power and they're letting their voice
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be heard. now they have to do the same thing in november when the election comes around. and so i love how they mobilize. i love that today we're seeing more peaceful protesting and it's been powerful, even here in los angeles. we've seen that, but also, too, at the same time, i don't think that this is going to go away any time soon until we see that george floyd's murder, that police officer is found guilty of that murder. and then we'll deal with the other three after that. >> yeah. i want to ask you a personal question, if it's too personal, don't answer it. but just as the father of two -- two black young people, you know, every person of color i know has had that conversation with their child of what you do -- >> right. >> -- if you're pulled over and it's not a conversation i can
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tell you anyone ever had with me and, you know, i know the reason why because my, you know, view, my interactions with the police, are completely different than most people's interactions with the police, frankly, but certainly, most of my friends' interactions with the police. so, what is it like to have to have that conversation and then probably a lot of people look at you and think, you're magic johnson, you don't have to, you know, your kids are fine, they don't probably have to worry about that kind of stuff. when, in fact, this is about people judging others based on the color of their skin and nothing else. >> well, it doesn't matter if i'm magic johnson or not. my kids just like i am still a black man. right? and, yes, i had that conversation because it's important that i have that conversation with both e.j. and andre. if you're pulled over, make sure, you know, you got your hands out of the window. make sure that you comply.
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let's look at george floyd. he did everything he was supposed to do. and this police officer put all his body weight, all his body weight on his neck, right, for eight minutes. so if that can happen to george floyd, it can happen to e.j. and andre and more black men. and so we're fed up with this. it's got to stop. and then last but not least, anderson, these young people got to have a voice at the table. they want their voices heard. they want their concerns heard. and then they want action to take place. and so they're going to still protest for a long time until their voices are heard. >> you know, one of the things governor cuomo said the other day which i thought was kind of so sensible and obvious and yet, you know, i think people just kind of accept it, is governor cuomo was saying why should a young black child in america who
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lives in a neighborhood that doesn't have, you know, the resources of a more economically advantaged neighborhood, why does that child get an intoferi education? why is that accepted? yeah, that's just the way it is. in this country of all countries, these basic injustices, these basic unequ inequali inequalities, may be because we lived with them our entire lives we think, oh, that's just the way it is, but it's not. it should not be that way. it just seems so obvious, you know, withone of your teammates kareem abdul-jabbar wrote an amazing op-ped in "the los angeles times." >> yep. >> i think it was written for people in the white community. i think it was really so well done. one of the things he said is racism in america is like dust in the air, it seems invisible even if you're choking on it until you let the sun in then you see it's everywhere. as long as we keep shining that light we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands, but we have to stay vigilant because it's always still in the air."
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i just thought that was so powerful. >> no doubt about it. kareem is an intelligent black man and probably the smartest athlete i've ever known in my life. let me go back to governor cuomo. we need a leader like him. he has been strong. he's had an incredible strategy for the state of new york. he was on top of it. governor whitmer of michigan has been strong. i know she was on your show. thank you for protecting my state, michigan, where i'm from, governor. you've done an amazing job. governor newsom out here in california has done an amazing job. you know, we've had strong leadership. right? we've seen it. we've seen those people who say, hey, we got to unite the people. we got to bring people together. not divide the people. and right now, that's so important, what comes out of our mouth because these protesters are serious and they're not going to stop until their voices
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are heard and justice is served for george floyd. that's very important. >> yeah. justice. magic johnson, thank you. appreciate it. >> thank you, anderson. news continues. i want to hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." chris? >> really important conversation, anderson. thank you very much. let's continue anderson's conversation that should be going on all over this country. welcome. i'm chris cuomo. this is "prime time." george floyd as you may know was killed one week ago today. tonight i fear what's happening may make everything worse. if you want to see this country get to a better place, you can't just watch the coverage. you're not going to be led to a better place. i hope that is something you're aware of now and that it's not frightening. everything that matters most in this country has always been bottom-up. whether it's the pandemic. whether it's how we