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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  September 30, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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u can tweet the show @thelead. our coverage on cnn continues right now. i will see you tomorrow. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." tonight, nearly 24 hours after the most disastrous presidential debate in recent history, president trump is once again refusing to explicitly condemn white supremacists as he desperately tries to clean up his panned performance. joe biden is calling the president's behavior at that debate, and i'm quoting him now, a national embarrassment. and the commission in charge of the debate just announced it's coming up with new protocols for the next presidential debate to prevent another shameful display like the one we clearly saw last night. in just a few moments i'll speak live with the legendary journalist bob woodward who spent hours behind the scenes with the president over the last
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year while writing a devastating account of his presidency. stand by for that. but first, let's begin our coverage this hour with our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. he's on the campaign trail with president trump right now in minnesota. jim, the president is obviously very desperate right now to try to clean up the mess from last night. >> that's right, wolf. president trump is doing some damage control claiming today he doesn't know anything about the fringe right-wing group "the proud boys," adding he's always condemned white supremacy. but that's not true. privately some trump campaign advisers are nervous about the fallout. one trump campaign adviser was furious that the president botched the question on white supremacy, as this adviser put it, and this is a quote, f the proud boys. after turning the first debate of the 2020 campaign into a dumpster fire, president trump is trying to put out the flames before they torch his re-election chances. the president is insisting he's not familiar with the proud
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boys, the same organization he declined to criticize when he refused to condemn white supremacy at the debate. >> i don't know who the proud boys are. they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work. >> reporter: the president gave the group a pass in a moment that even had fellow republicans cringing. >> you want to call them -- what do you want to call them? >> white supremacists and right-wing -- >> proud boys, stand back and stand by. but i'll tell you what. somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left. because this is not a right-wing problem. >> how do you like the proud boys now? [ cheering ] >> reporter: a violent group embracing racist views said they are standing by. gop senators quickly called on mr. trump to clarify his remarks. >> i think he misspoke in response to chris wallace's comment. he was asking chris what he wanted to say. i think he misspoke. i think he should correct it.
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if he doesn't correct it, i guess he didn't misspeak. >> reporter: the president's decision to clean up his comments came after white house officials maintained mr. trump's response was perfectly fine. >> because they're celebrating it, the group. >> i don't think that there's anything to clarify here. >> reporter: still, one trump campaign adviser was outraged telling cnn, f, the proud boys, there i said it not that hard. the president said he's always denounced white supremacy. >> i've always denounced any form of any of that. >> reporter: democrat joe biden's message on the subject was more succinct. >> my message to the proud boys and every other white supremacist group is cease and desist. >> reporter: as for the rest of the debate, there were so many interruptions, mainly from mr. trump. >> question is -- >> the question is -- >> the radical left -- will you shut up, man? >> who is on your list, joe? >> gentlemen, i think we've
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ended this. >> reporter: that the presidential debate commission released a statement saying additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. one member of the president's debate team said mr. trump probably went too far. >> and, yeah, i think on the trump side it was too hot with all that heat, as you said before, you lose the light. that potentially can be fixed. maybe, maybe not. >> reporter: the president also played fast and loose with the facts claiming he's paid millions in dollars in taxes. >> millions of dollars. >> reporter:>> the republican leader of the senate together with donald trump are in the spirit of hypocrisy trying to push through a nominee while the american people are voting. and so joe has been really clear, let's focus on what's
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happening right now. deal with later, later. >> reporter: and the president claims he's receiving tremendous reviews for his performance at last night's debate, but not everybody in trump world feels that way. it was a great night for joe biden, one source told me. wolf? >> all right, jim acosta reporting for us. thank you. let's get some more on the latest developments in the campaign from cnn political correspondent mj lee. mj, what does joe biden think about possible changes to future presidential debates to keep them from going totally off the rails, as clearly happened last night? >> well, wolf, the debate last night was so utterly chaotic. there isn't really anybody in the biden campaign who thought that that kind of chaos was a public service to the voters. many of them wanting to hear from the two candidates last night on very serious issues. and earlier today we heard joe biden describe donald trump's conduct last night on the debate stage as a national embarrassment. he also said that he hoped that
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the debate commission could find some way to ensure that future debates going forward could be a little bit less out of control. here's what he said earlier. >> i just hope there's a way in which the debate commission can control the ability of us to answer the question without interruption. i'm not going to speculate on what happens in the second or third debate. my hope is that they're able to literally say the question gets asked if trump has a microphone, no one else has a microphone, the president of the united states conducted himself the way he did, i think it was just a national embarrassment. >> now, in terms of what joe biden's day today has looked like, he is on a multitour, multi-stop tour i should say on a train through parts of ohio, parts of western pennsylvania,
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and tonight he is going to end up here in johnstown, pennsylvania, for his last stop, he is going to be doing a drive-in rally of sorts. and just keep in mind, you know, these are parts of those two states where donald trump performed very well back in 2016 when he was competing against hillary clinton. so we are seeing joe biden really making an appeal to these white working-class rural voters. just in terms, wolf, of what the joe biden campaign feels like happened last night and whether it went their way, they basically are saying, look, this could not have been a more stark contrast between biden and trump on the debate stage. they did not feel like president trump was able to get out a clear message, a clear vision, and there are two things that they are pointing to in particular that they feel like donald trump failed to do last night. the first is talk clearly about the coronavirus pandemic that has caused so much suffering across the country. and second, of course, is the issue of white supremacy and the fact that president trump failed to disavow white supremacists on
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the debate stage last night. wolf? >> mj lee reporting for us, thank you. let's get some analysis right now from bob woodward. he's the associate editor at the "washington post" and author of the bestselling book "rage." you've covered presidential debates for decades going back to the nixon presidential debates. have you ever seen any debate like we saw last night? >> nothing. it's extraordinary. but people are talking, wolf, about the debate commission. the debate commission is not in the constitution. we now have a constitutional problem. the executive branch is the president. he clearly can not stabilize the electoral process. in fact, he's stoking -- let's make it unstable, the supreme
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court really has no power at this moment. but the congress does. and it seems to me it's reached a boiling point. i mean, we are teetering here. and the congress needs to step up. maybe mcconnell and schumer from the senate, pelosi and mccarthy from the house getting together. i mean, they can't get together on a covid relief bill. but this now is important, and they need to sit down and say what -- the ball is in their court. they have to do something to stabilize this. maybe they could come up with the bipartisan agreement on constitutional and electoral stability and actually say this is what we need to do, this
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candidates to pledge. listen, with all this talk and all of the uncertainty we are heading right into, they've got to find some way to get this calmed down. >> because -- >> what are you going to do -- i'm sorry. >> i was saying what you were saying is that the country right now, the u.s. democracy needs some adult supervision because, what, because of the president -- you saw that headline in the "new york times." debates showed the biggest threat to the election is trump himself. so what's the point, bob, that you're trying to make about the danger to the american constitutional system, the elections, the u.s. democracy right now? >> well, it's teetering, wolf. and it's obvious -- i mean, look
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at what the president has said. to reiterate, it's not debate commissions, the absurdity about white supremacy, and so forth. i mean, that's so embarrassing. but the basic issue is can you go out and vote in some coherent way? can there be the high expectation if not the inevitability that your vote is going to be counted? the congress has to do something. they can't just sit by and say, oh, not our problem. now, you mentioned adults. these people are adults. they understand the broad responsibility they have. and somehow somebody has got to get some spine and step up and say this rests with us because
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it does. executive branch, that's trump. he's not doing anything. the supreme court, there's no case before them. they can't step in, in any way in the short term. so, where is the spine and where are the brains and where -- sorry to use this, where is the moral compass for the country? congress has it, and they can do something instantly if they can reach agreement. good luck. >> well, do you have any confidence in members of the cabinet stepping up to the plate and doing something right now? clearly you're concerned that if the leadership in the house and the senate are the adults, what i hear you saying is the president may be the child. >> well, you know, i mean, it's not even -- you can't label it. it's just become irrational.
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he's got no sense of what his responsibility is, unfortunately. the cabinet under the twenty-fifth amendment could do something, but they're not going to do that. they're too slow-moving. they, i mean, it would have to be organized by vice president pence. i mean, that's not in him. talk about not having spine. congress has -- i remember having a discussion, wolf, with many years ago with justice scalia. and we were at some reception, he came out and said how come you always write about presidents? and i said because that's where the power is. and he lectured me in his very unfriendly way. no, no, no. what is article i of the constitution? the legislature he said. see, that's article i of the constitution. but in the modern times the
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president has exercised his power in an extraordinary way. it's time in the name of justice scalia for the congress article i, the legislature to step up and do something. you ought to call them, wolf. you know how to get in touch with them and say what are you going to do? >> well, what happens, bob, if let's say mitch mcconnell, chuck schumer can't get together, can't reach some sort of agreement, nancy pelosi, mccarthy can't reach some sort of agreement to do something at this critical moment only a few weeks before the november 3rd election? what's your worst-case fear? >> well, i mean, they don't do something and we just, you know -- i mean, the electoral process is running around the edge of a cliff that goes into an abyss. there should be pressure on mcconnell in my book "rage," a
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talk a great deal and have many scenes of lindsey graham, chairman of the senate judiciary committee. now he is a big trump supporter. but i have scene after scene in the book where he tries to bring trump down to earth and say, you know, you're always playing for division, you are doing things that are hurting your own case. maybe republicans in the senate could get together and say let's do something here. anyway, this is where we are. you do the situation room, wolf. it is teetering. and the walls are crumbling, or about to crumble. and somebody better think about it, and just to repeat myself, where's the spine? it's called leadership and courage. sorry, but that's the way i see it having done this for 50 years. >> the president granted you 18
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interviews, totaling nearly ten hours for your book "rage." is the man we saw on stage last night the same person that was described to you by his advisers, what we saw last night was that the same man behind the scenes working with his top advisers, at least as your reporting showed? >> a great and important question. but like many leaders, there are many faces that trump has. the one that -- as i watched the debate last night, as i've said, getting texts from our daughter diana saying what the hell is going on in this debate? trump, as you always, you know, let's see exactly what trump said when the impeachment and mueller came up, he's just in an endless rage about this.
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it almost disables him in a way. and i had a talk with him about it, and i said you are letting that get in the way of you doing your job, particularly on the coronavirus. and he doesn't really want to talk about it. but there is that side to him where he is in a rage. he can make a case that he was treated unfairly. fine. you got to move on. and we saw again last night, i mean, that's the moment for trump when he says they did all these things on his campaign. they spied on him, the hoax, and so forth. and this has been explained but not to his satisfaction. as we learn in our own personal lives when something calamitous happens, something that is just
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so unfair, people -- anyone in our business, wolf, people say things that are unfair or that we disagree with. my wife elsa says have a glass of water and move on. we have a president who can't intellectually and emotionally move on. so, hard times. i'm sorry to be so pessimistic. but, you know, if we can't get the electoral system to work, if there can't be some sort of predictability and fairness and certainty, what are we going to have, wolf? you know, you've done this for almost as many years as i have. >> and many years ago you and i worked together on some of these stories. so we go way back. what do you think america's -- you helped me with that.
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what do you think america's -- >> no, no, you helped -- >> when i was reporting, you helped me when i was reporting for "the washington post" about that case. i remember you worked closely with that. >> no, you helped me. you had facts. you were in israel. you were digging and finding out what really was behind this. at the "washington post" we learned a lot from you, not from ourselves. >> well, thank you. i was a young reporter. and you guys and ben bradley. >> how old were you then? >> who knows. but i was in my 20s. but, in any case -- >> you better know. >> you were in your late 20s when you broke watergate with carl bernstein. that seems to be a great age for journalists to break stories. what do you think america's adversaries, bob, took away from that debate last night, whether they were watching in russia or china or iran or anyplace else? >> i thought maybe they thought
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it was the late night comedy show "early" or something like that. they could make no more sense out of it. the problem, as you so well know, under the constitution the president controls foreign relations. he is the face of the united states to the world. and -- i mean, joe biden now running for president, i don't think he can go abroad now because then there will be questions he's trying to subvert the president, he's trying to act like the president. the president has such control on foreign relations, and he's decided, let's have good relations with putin, with china for a while he was subservient. now he realizes what he was told the end of january by his national security team that the
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chinese lie, the chinese can't be trusted, and the chinese did not protect the world from the coronavirus. and so we have trump with all of this domestic power, all this foreign relations power. and i hope somebody's going to find some way to work out something so we don't -- you know, the chaos now is not having an immediate impact. wait till we get to november 3rd. then the chaos is going to say, gee, do we have a functioning democracy? big worry. >> yeah. >> we better be worried about it. >> you're absolutely right. this is really, really scary stuff right now. let's hope we get through this smoothly. bob woodward, as usual, thank you so much. and thanks for writing your new book "rage." there's the cover. it's a huge bestseller, as it
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should be, a really amazing book bob woodward of the "washington post." thanks very much. >> thank you. up next, president trump tries to clean up his failure to condemn a right-wing group at last night's debate. i'll discuss with the president of the naacp derrick johnson. plus, the latest on the coronavirus pandemic now headed in a very worrisome direction. at least 26 states are now reporting a spike in new cases. we'll be right back. it's made for him a veteran who honorably served and it's made for her she's serving now we also made usaa for military spouses and their kids become a member. get an insurance quote today. we also made usaa for military spouses and their kids [bir♪ chirping] [female announcer] food delivery just got more rewarding. now that grubhub gives you rewards when you order your fav foods. [dog barks] want a hamburger, some fries, a drink, nuggets? then, boom! rewarded, with a wendy's '4 for $4' perk. [talking sounds] ordering chipotle for the family?
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we're following breaking news. president trump today tried to clean up some of his debate comments about white supremacists but still won't explicitly condemn those groups. let's talk about it with the president and ceo of the naacp
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derrick johnson along with cnn chief political analyst gloria borger. the president was given a lot of opportunity last night to denounce white supremacy. he didn't do it. what's your response to this most recent refusal for him simply to condemn hate? >> wolf, when i stepped into this role in 2017, i said it then that this president is a racist. he had all the signs of being a racist. and last night the question was simple. would you condemn white supremacist groups and he could not answer the question. here we are some 14 hours later and he still has not answered the questions. we have a problem as we walk into this election cycle. >> gloria, the president now says he doesn't even know this far-right group, the proud boys, as it's called. but just last night he told them to, in his words, stand back and stand by. i don't know what that means but
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a longtime trump adviser who was furious with the president's response told cnn, and i'm quoting him now, f-the proud boys, adding that it's not that hard simply to say the right thing and condemn this group. so what does that tell you? >> well, first of all what the president did not say was cease and desist, which is what chris wallace gave him an opportunity to say. and when he came out today and said i don't even know who they are, you have to ask the question, even if you believed him sort of last night, which i personally don't, but say you believed him last night, do you think that after that debate when he went back to the white house when he talked to his advisers today that the topic of the proud boys did not come up? and if the president did not know, again i believe he did, but if he did not know, you think that it wasn't explained to him who exactly this far-right neo-fascist group is?
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of course it was. and what he was doing today was what he has always done, which is to sort of say, oh, i don't even know who they are. when jake tapper asked him about david duke and condemning david duke back in 2016, the candidate trump said i don't even know who david duke is. he knows exactly what he is doing. he did not tell them to cease and desist for a reason. >> you know, derrick, the damage already is done because these comments are out there, these groups clearly have been emboldened. is that what you're seeing? >> well, he has been embolding white supremacist hate groups ever since charlottesville. they exist because he created the space.
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hatred, xenophobia. he still had steve miller in the white house. the question was simple, would you condemn white supremacist groups? he still has not kwered that question. we have a problem. he's counting on these terroristic groups to protect his presidency. we are on the brink of something that we should not be looking at in this country. our democracy will not survive another term of this president. i am afraid that our democracy is being stretched to the limit and the outcome of this election must be as wide a margin as possible to send a clear, clear message from all americans, not just african-americans that racial hatred, tribalism, division should not be a part of the consideration for this presidential campaign. >> you know, gloria, the president also used last night's debate to sow distrust in the u.s. electoral process, again refusing to accept the results of the election. you heard what bob woodward was just saying, how concerned he
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is, how he's calling on the leadership in the house and the senate, democrats and republicans to get together and to save the u.s. democracy, the electoral system. what sort of damage is potentially out there from your perspective? >> well, there's a tremendous amount of damage. and first of all, let me say i agree with bob woodward. and what republicans in particular ought to be doing is trying to save the democracy. instead they're trying to save themselves. they're running for re-election and they're afraid that they're going to lose. you have a president, think about it, who in a debate that was watched by 65 million people refused to tell his supporters not to incite violence. and then he came out and said if he were to lose, he said this is not going to end well. wolf, what does that mean, this is not going to end well? is that threatening? should people be scared of going to the polls? should they be afraid of what's
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going to happen? should donald trump lose? i mean, this is a president of the united states who is threatening our democracy. and as bob said, i think members of congress need to get together and say what can we do to ensure that this election not only is fair, but that this election is safe for the american public. >> gloria borger, derrick johnson, we're going to continue this conversation, obviously a critical moment in american history right now thanks to both of you. coming up, how president trump politicizes face masks during the debate, again, mocking joe biden for wearing one so often. and as the president schedules more rallies, his coronavirus task force is warning people to maximize their social distancing. but will his supporters even listen? he's got a big indoor rally later tonight. we'll be right back. so what's going on?
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breaking news. the u.s. sadly once again heading in the wrong direction on the coronavirus, at least 26 states are now reporting a spike in new cases as the american death toll now surpasses
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206,000, another 914 americans died yesterday from the virus. cnn's erica hill has more on all the late-breaking developments. >> we have got to put the brakes on this pandemic. >> reporter: wisconsin just reported its highest daily number of coronavirus related hospitalizations. >> we're in deep trouble. over the last three weeks we have had remarkable surge in covid patients. >> reporter: the white house task force recommending the state increase social distancing to the maximal degree possible and boost testing at universities. >> it's safe to assume that the virus is everywhere. so everyone needs to be -- to change their behavior. >> reporter: it's one of 26 states reporting an increase in new cases over the past week. nearly the entire northern half of the country. >> and those trends indicate increased activity, increased transmission of the disease, and places where we really need to test and trace and lock down and make sure that we get it in check. >> reporter: new york city focusing on several neighborhoods where cases are
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surging. >> the numbers can change rapidly in the right direction. so, we're going to keep working daily, hourly, to make that change. >> reporter: hundreds of police officers and city employees dispatched to those areas offering free masks and reminders about how to stop the spread. meantime, restaurants can now open for indoor dining at 25%. >> we need more to survive. but this is a step in the right direction. >> reporter: new numbers from the cdc show infections in 18-22-year-olds increased 55% in august and early september as many return to campus. >> colleges have been frankly a real challenge point for transmission. >> reporter: an outbreak among notre dame's football team spread like wildfire after a pre-game team meal. at least 39 players are now in isolation or quarantine. ohio's largest public school district plans to start in-person learning october 19th. miami-dade staggered re-entry begins october 5th.
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>> we should always try to get the children back to school. the risk of going back is really dependent on where you are. >> reporter: researchers say phase one data from moderna's vaccine trial shows an immune response in older adults, as seven former fda commissioners warn. the trump administration is undermining the agency's credibility and public confidence. political intrusion, they write, only prolongs the pandemic and erodes our public health institutions. we learned today a fourth tennessee titans player has tested positive for the virus. that's in addition to five staff members. of course, titans were set to host the steelers on sunday. that has been until at least monday or tuesday. and the nfl sending a memo to coaches reminding them that they need to follow the rules and wear face coverings, noting if there is not compliance in that department, they could face suspensions, even forfeitir of a draft pick.
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today, five coaches and teams have been fined for not wearing masks. >> let's bring in our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta for more analysis. sanjay, during last night's debate, the president contradicted the experts on when a vaccine might be available. i want you to listen to this. listen. >> i've spoken to the companies and we can have it a lot sooner. it's a very political thing because people like this would rather make it political than save lives. it is a very political thing. i've spoken to pfizer, i've spoken to all of the people that you have to speak to. we have great moderna, johnson & johnson, and others. they can go faster than that by a lot. become very political because the left or, i don't know if you'd call it the left. >> so you suggest that the head of your "operation warp speed." >> no, i disagree with both of them. >> so, sanjay, you have actually spoken with the head of
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"operation warp speed," d dr. slaoui. >> he is somebody who has developed vaccines in the private sector. and this question was raised a couple weeks ago, how quickly could the vaccine be available to the general public? take a listen. >> so, i think we're missing that. basically what he said is that after the trial is completed, it still takes a period of time to analyze the data, the fda is recommending even up to two months to make sure that there's no adverse effects, that sort of puts you end of november, early december. at that point you might have 10, 20 million doses available but it would be next summer before you'd really start to be able to vaccinate the general public. so ready for who? ready for the general public? still talking some time away, wolf. >> and if you need two doses that even takes longer to get through it. and if it's only 70% effective, that means 30% of the people who
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do get the vaccine will still potentially be eligible for coronavirus. the president also, and this was very disturbing, sanjay. he actually again mocked joe biden for wearing a mask as his task force is currently trying to convince americans to simply do the right thing and wear masks and save lives. how important is it that the american public take these precautions seriously, cover their faces while this virus still remains such a serious threat? >> yeah. well, it's very important, wolf. and i think there's two main points. and i think maybe a lot of people realize this. but the guidance around masks did change. and it changed because the science evolved, mainly that we understood that people who don't even have symptoms who are asymptomatic can spread the virus and that they were a large source of the spread of the virus. typically you think of respiratory viruses, wolf, you're coughing, you're sneezing, that's when you're spreading the virus. in this case something very unusual by the end of march, you
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know, middle of march, end of march, it was clear that this could spread asymptomatically. and that's why the guidance changed to recommend masks. i think we may have these numbers to basically say viral transmission with a mask on, without a mask. people like numbers. so if you're wearing a face mask, what's the chance you're going to transmit the virus if you have it? 3% roughly. if you don't have a mask, 17.4%. so roughly six times greater. maybe that gives it more context, wolf. but it's clear places where you've had mask mandates and mask usage, you've had less spread of the virus for that very reason i showed you. >> we'll see how many people wear masks tonight at the president's rally out there in duluth. sanjay as usual, thanks very, very much. coming up, how president trump claims he always denounces white supremacy despite his repeated failure to explicitly do so. i'll discuss that and more with the mayor of chicago lori lightfoot. we'll discuss when we come back.
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president trump is in major damage control mode after he refused to condemn white supremacists at last night's presidential debate. let's continue the conversation right now with the mayor of chicago. mayor lightfoot thanks so much for joining us. here is what happened last night when president trump was specifically asked to condemn white supremacist and far right groups. watch this. >> i'm willing to do anything.
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i want to see peace. >> do it sir. >> say it. >> you want to call them, what do you want to call them? give me a name. >> white supremacists and -- >> stand back and stand by but i'll tell you what. i'll tell you what. somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left. >> the president now says this far right group should stand by and let law enforcement do its job and specifically asked if he condemns white supremacists he said he always condemns any form of what he calls that. do you buy his explanation? >> no i don't and in particular where has he been? these groups have been threatening elected officials, public health officials all over the country. in michigan they went to the capitol armed and ready for a fight because the governor of michigan was trying to do the right thing to protect the
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residents of her state. they've been in california, seattle. they've been in portland. he had many opportunities to condemn these folks. tell them to stand down. that he was going to take action and never has. when he had the opportunity in primetime to make a statement and separate himself from the white supremacists he utterly failed in anything. he incentivized them even more. this guy has been blowing the dog whistle on white supremacy from the moment he came down that escalator in 2015 claiming all the things he said about the latinx community and he never stopped because in his heart that's where he is. let's not forget what he did after charlottesville that caused many in his inner circle to just shutter in disgust and some to just leave because they knew it was hopeless. this guy is not going to change himself. he thinks that is his constituency. that is the base that he's
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playing to. >> joe biden's running mate senator kamala harris said the president is, quote, dog whistling through a bull horn. what do you think is the intended message that he is trying to send out there to his supporters? >> well, look. when you prepare for a debate you try to play up your strengths and really highlight your opponent's weaknesses. you can't win on leadership. he can't win on policy. he can't win on the economy. what did he do? it was a scripted attack to create chaos so that no message that joe biden gave, tried to get through. that was what he -- that was clearly a planned attack. i think we'll see more of that. we've got to make sure the moderators step up, lay down the law, and then are prepared to enforce the rules of engagement throughout the next debates. if not, we'll see more of the same. people left that with utter disgust whether you're republican, democrat,
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independent, undecided you didn't get anything last night other than glimmers that joe biden was able to break through. it was a disgraceful display. i've never seen anything like it. >> as you know the president keeps pointing to shootings in your city of chicago to make the case that he is the law and order candidate. murders are up about 15% over the last year. do you hear any specifics from the president or the democratic presidential nominee for that matter how they would address help you address the violence? >> look, i think joe biden has a plan and what i also know is that he is not going to demonize cities. he is going to reach out his hand in partnership. we've had enough discussions both informally but also in other groups that i don't worry about a biden presidency. i welcome it. but look. this is all happening on president trump's watch. i've sent him a letter on july 20th outlining specific things that the federal government is
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uniquely qualified to do to really help cities address this rampant problem of gun violence. i still have not gotten a response because the guy just isn't serious. all he thinks he can do is ramp up his base, scare suburbanites, and cause -- create this picture of cities that is unrecognizable from what we truly are. and, look. in chicago we're tough. we've seen goofs before. we've seen people try to take our name in vain. we're not going to stand for it. we know who we are. yes we have our challenges. but we're not going to stand back and be coward by somebody like donald trump who really doesn't have any desire to be helpful to urban centers anywhere in the country. we are the heart of america. and so when he attacks us he attacks america. >> mayor lightfoot of chicago good luck to you and all the folks in chicago. thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf.
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>> coming up president trump tries to clean up some of the political mess caused by his debate performance last night. but he still won't explicitly condemn white supremacist groups. able to get a bank account that helps you master your budget. virtual wallet® for digital banking from pnc. it's time to get more from your bank. i had this hundred thousand dollar student debt. two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars in debt. ah, sofi literally changed my life. it was the easiest application process. sofi made it so there's no tradeoff between my dreams and paying student loans. student loans don't have to take over
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this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room with breaking news on the fall out from the disastrous trump/biden debate thrown into chaos by the president's ugly and unruly performance tonight mr. condemn white supremacists doubling down on one of his worst debate moments even as he seems to be attempting damage control. the former vice president joe biden is denouncing his opponent's debate tactics as a national embarrassment. the commission that sponsors the debates now promises to change the format in hopes of bringing order to the next two presidential face offs all this as the nation remains in the grip

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