tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 28, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
starts here in the napa valley is that the 2020 vintage will be remembered as the one that tastes like smoke. >> all right. bill weir, thanks so much for that report. be sure to tune in sunday morning to cnn's "state of the union." the guests include ron johnson, karen bass, fema administrator pete gaynor, and republican sparks power ford nneka objection gwumi kerkke. it's at 9:00 and noon eastern. our coverage here on cnn continues right now. thanks for watching. >> announcer: 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." we're following multiple breaking stories, including thousands of people taking part in a march on washington amid nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality. relatives of jacob blake, the black man shot by kenosha, wisconsin, police last sunday were among the speakers. blake, meanwhile, is no longer
under guard skmaband shackled t bed in a hospital after a previous arrest warrant was vacated. in an emotional and exclusive cnn interview, blake's father asked why he was so the hot so times. and the u.s. death toll tops 181,000 people, a key university of washington model is now forecasting more than 317,000 u.s. deaths by december 1st. amid all of this, president trump is out there on the campaign trail already, fresh from the republican convention last night, and his acceptance speech before a large and mostly unmasked crowd, then and now remaining largely silent on the crisis facing the country. let's begin this hour in kenosha, wisconsin. cnn's omar jiminez is on the scene for us. some major developments in the police shooting of jacob blake. update our viewers. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. for starters, jacob blake is no longer shackled to his hospital
bed, his attorney says. and that's because the previous felony warrants against him have been vacated, again, according to the attorney. and previously, the sheriff had given the explanation that anyone with those types of warrants would have been treated that way, despite, in this case, him being paralyzed. but it's not just about kenosha here. jacob plablake's story is one o many that motivated thousands to descend on the nation's capital today. >> hey, hey, ho, ho. >> reporter: a march on washington bringing thousands to share and represent the pain of those who have become household names. >> jacob blake! jacob blake! >> reporter: for all the wrong reasons. >> you must stand. you must fight, but not with violence and chaos. >> reporter: among those in attendance, the family of jacob blake, who's now conscience after being shot in the back seven times by a kenosha police officer. >> he said he was just counting shots. he said, he was counting them.
>> reporter: it all played out on a video that the nation has sce seen, but five days later and not a confession, not the kenosha county sheriff. >> i have not seen the video. >> reporter: and the officers may have known about an outstanding sexual assault warrant for blake. it's why the sheriff's office says jacob blake would have woken up shackled to his hospital bed, a move the family called cruel and the sheriff called protocol. >> he's paralyzed from the waist down. why do they have that cold steel on my son's ankle? he can't get up -- he couldn't get up if he wanted to. so what was -- that's a little overkill. >> reporter: the warrant has now been vacated and the shackles removed, a blake family attorney said thursday. blake's shooting led to days of protests in kenosha. tuesday night, two were killed and one wounded on the back end of demonstrations. kyle rittenhouse, 17 years old,
is in custody for the shootings, after allegedly shooting and killing the first person, 36-year-old joseph rosenbaum, another male approaches and the defendant turns and begins to run away from the scene, as the defendant is running away, he can be heard saying on the phone, i just killed somebody, according to the criminal complaint. rittenhouse now faces six charges, including first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. his attorneys say he was acting in self-defense. but he was not arrested at the scene. even as he walked away with an assault rifle around his neck. >> it might have been abnormal two weeks ago, it's no longer abnormal. >> that 17-year-old caucasian shot and killed two people and blew another man's arm off. on his way back to antioch, illinois. he got to go home. my son got icu and paralyzed from the waist down. those are the two justice systems right in front of us.
you can compare them yourself. >> reporter: rittenhouse remains in custody. as for the officer who shot jacob blake, officer rusten shesky, that investigation continues. now, as that investigation continues, the kenosha professional police association is releasing their own information. among that information, saying that officers knew about jacob blake's open assault warrants prior to getting to the scene. they say he fought with officers prior to the shooting. they also say that he wasn't unarmed. they say that he had a knife, that they weren't aware of until they were on the passenger side of the vehicle. that, of course, goes against what we had heard from jacob blake's attorneys and from even some eyewitnesss on the scene. and it's also important to note that the official investigative body here, the department of justice, for wisconsin, has not commented on that, except for saying that jacob blake admitted to having a knife at some point throughout this and that a knife was recovered from the floorboard of the vehicle. wolf? >> we're going to be speaking
later here in "the situation room" with jacob blake's attorneys. we'll get their reaction to this statement coming in from the kenosha police officer's association. that's the union of the police officers there. all right, thank you very much for that, omar. let's get some more on the march taking place here in washington. our brian todd is on the scene for us there. the demonstration comes, brian, what, 57 years to the day after martin luther king jr. gave his "i have a dream" speech. so what's the main message coming out today? >> wolf, the message from speakers and from marchers alike is that this is the moment. if police brutality is going to end in this country, if police reform is going to happen, this is the moment to get that done, in the wake of the jacob blake shooting, the wake of the george floyd killing and everything that happened this summer. those were the messages that were delivered so powerfully today, at two of the most iconic civil rights sites in america, the lincoln memorial and here at the martin luther king memorial, where people are still giving speeches and playing music. some of the most powerful deliverers of those messages were the families of george
floyd and jacob blake. we heard from jacob blake's father and sister and george floyd's brother and sister. here's what they had to say. >> my brother cannot be a voice today. we have to be that voice. we have to be the change. and we have to be his legacy. >> our leaders, they need to follow us, while we're marching to enact laws, to protect us. >> every black person in the united states is going to stand up! we're tired! i'm tired of looking at cameras and seeing these young black and brown people suffer. >> black men, stand up! stand up, black men! educate yourself and protect the
black family unit, period! >> we're not taking it anymore! i ask everyone to stand up. no justice! no justice! >> now, the marchers themselves have some very powerful messages to deliver today. i spoke to two lads from columbus, ohio, both african-american ladies who tell me that they have continuous discussions with their sons and grandsons about how to behave when they're stopped by police and they say they're stopped by police all the time. they say they have to tell their sons and grandsons, keep your hands on the wheel, tell the police officer exactly what you're reaching for if you have to reach for something, do exactly what the police officer says. they're very frustrated at having to do that. and what's frustrating most of all, wolf, one of them told me that the youngest member of their family, who they have had to deliver that message to is a 9-year-old boy. wolf? >> you were there. you saw the thousands of people gathering near the lincoln memorial. were they socially distant? were they wearing masks? we saw on the stage, a lot of
the folks weren't wearing masks. >> reporter: well, wolf, we sa the vast majority of people wearing masks, but the problem at the lincoln memorial and here at the mlk memorial were these were very tightly packed crowds. at the foot of the steps of the lincoln memorial, the crowds were very tightly packed together. not much distancing there, because they couldn't help it. same here when they came here for a brief period, but the people who showed up here quickly moved on. the distancing problem wasn't as acute here, but at the lincoln earlier today, i can say people were packed in pretty tightly although almost everyone we saw were wearing a mask. >> brian todd, thank you very much. let's get some more on that. the president and ceo of the naacp, derek johnson, joining us. derek, thanks so much for joining us. as you know, we heard some extremely emotional testimony from the family and the victims of police violence at the march on washington. what was it like to hear those stories on such an important day? >> well, it is heartfelt, this
today is the anniversary of the lynching of emmitt till. 65 years later, we're still dealing with this problem. and it's a problem that can only be solved once we move from protest to the ballot box, and then hopefully have the momentum to get public policy changes to create a society where police are held accountable and the role of policing in the black community is one in which we are proud of and we can respect. >> derek, police brutality was certainly a major theme if you listen to all the speeches at the march today. how has this issue galvanized the modern civil rights movement? >> tremendously, if you look at the young people, we have people who left because they recognize what has taken place in louisville, kentucky, is one in which the murderers of breonna
taylor, they have still not been brought to justice. those officers have not been charged. we are looking at an opportunity for this nation to move forward, to this election. get policy makers in there who care about the american public. black, white, and everyone alike, because if we don't, i don't know what the rest of this country is going to take. you have anger, you have fear, you have pent-up frustration from so many people who live in communities where policing is not something you look for to see, policing for far too many communities, in which young, black men fear. >> jacob blake's father, as we heard, he spoke about what he called two justice systems here in the united states. one if you're white, one if you're black. are we seeing the reality of those two justice systems play out right now? >> you know, if you look at the vigilante killer, and i call him a vigilante killer, because in his mind, because of what's
taking place on facebook, that he can go there and fortify the role of a police officer. walking down the street with an assault rifle. but when you look at the victim in that same scenario, now we're hearing about the fact that he could have had a weapon. you and i, we've seen the video. he may not have been compliant with their orders, but we didn't see a weapon in hand. weapon didn't see him turn around in aggression. we didn't see any aggression. what we did see was the police being the aggressors. we see the police grabbing the back of his shirt and we see the police shoot seven times, point-blank range. there was no weapon drawn. and this narrative that he has a warrant or this narrative that he had a weapon is a narrative that we've heard far too often in the black community. fortunately, we have video footage that he was not posing a threat and they used unnecessary violence to paralyze this young
man. >> yeah, as you heard, kenosha police officer's association issued a lengthy statement saying he was armed with a knife. the officers did not see the knife initially. the officers first saw him holding the knife while they were on the passenger side of the vehicle. they claim he did have a knife and we'll speak to the lawyers for the blake family coming up here in "the situation room," so we'll see what they have to say. but that's what the police officer's association of kenosha are alleging right now. >> it's inconsistent. he was grabbed and shot on the driver's side. both of the officers were on the driver's side. and if there was a knife on the passenger side and he was meaning to get the knife and cause harm, he wouldn't have walked past the passenger door, all the way around the front of the car, to get on the driver's side with his kids in the back. this is a common narrative. you first deny the occurrence
and then secondly accuse the victim of being the predator. he was not posing a threat to these officers. these officers were ill-equipped to de-escalate the scenario. here's a man who pulled over to break up a fight, when you had another person, young, white male, cross state lines with an assault rifle. they hear shots, they see him, they walk past him. he stops at a car, talking to law enforcement, and nothing is done. >> yeah. >> there is no justifiable rationale with the reactions or the actions of this police department. we must have a different standard for law enforcement in our communities. >> yeah, that subpoe17-year-old was walking down the street with an ar-15. derek, we'll continue this conversation with you down the road. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you for the opportunity. just ahead, we'll have more on the new projection on what some 317,000 coronavirus deaths here in the united states by december 1st. we'll be right back. (gong rings) - this is joe.
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president trump right now getting ready to head back out on the campaign trail after wrapping up the republican convention with a precedent-breaking speech over at the white house. let's go to cnn's chief white house correspondent, jim acosta. has the president, jim, had anything to say about today's march on washington? >> no, he has not, wolf. president trump is on his way to a campaign speech in new hampshire and he's hoping for some momentum to carry him out of this gop convention. the president is not commenting, though, on the other big event in washington today, as thousands of protesters are demonstrating on the national mall against police brutality. in a bit of counterprogramming from the white house to the march on washington down on the national mall, president trump held a surprise photo op in the
oval office, where he issued a full pardon to alice johnson, the same criminal justice reform advocate whose prison sentence he commuted two years ago. >> we are giving alice a full pardon. i just told her. we didn't even discuss it. we just -- you were out there, i saw you in the audience last night. >> reporter: but the president refused to comment on the march and the protesters' hopes to end police brutality in the u.s. his aides shouted over our questions. >> mr. president, what is your message to the thousands of people on the mall -- >> come on! let's go, guys! >> thank you. >> let's go! >> reporter: a subject vice presidential democratic candidate kamala harris addressed in a virtual message to the demonstrators. >> as we continue to see black men and women slain in our streets and left behind by an economy and justice system that have too often denied black folks our dignity and rights, they would share our anger and pain, but no doubt, they would turn it into fuel. >> reporter: the president and his team are trying to have it both ways, with mr. trump
hammering away at his law and order message. >> we can never allow mob rule. in the strongest possible terms, the republican party condemns the rioting, looting, arson, and violence we have seen in democrat-run cities. >> reporter: while his staffers insist mr. trump is actually a compassionate leader, ignoring his record of race baiting, stretching back decades. >> i just wish everyone could see the deep empathy he shows to families whose loved ones were killed in senseless violence. >> reporter: the president also tried to pull a fast one on the coronavirus, insisting he's just following the science in the battle against covid-19. >> my administration has a very different approach. to save as many lives as possible, we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data. >> reporter: but that's not true. just look at the audience for his speech. hundreds of supporters sitting side by side with few masks in sight. as one senior white house
official told cnn, everybody is going to catch this thing eventually. chief of staff mark meadows all but said attendees were there at their own risk. >> obviously, anytime you have people together, there's the willingness that you make choices individually. >> reporter: the rnc revealed four people have already tested positive for the virus after attending convention events down in charlotte. another example of gop officials ignoring the administration's own health experts. >> any crowd, whether it's a protest, any crowd in which you have people close together without masks is a risk. >> reporter: there's more turmoil over at the food and drug administration, as the agency fired its top spokeswoman, emily miller, who was part of the controversial rollout of convalescent plaza, a covid-19 treatment that received emergency authorization this week. fda commissioner stephen hahn initially declined to answer whether he was pressured to approve the treatment. >> was there pressure on you, dr. hahn, to authorize this? dr. hahn? >> reporter: and despite the health risks, campaign officials say the president will be
holding more big events in the coming weeks with large crowds like the ones we saw here last night at the white house. and just as we saw after a rally in tulsa over the summer, campaign officials will be learning in the coming days whether staffers or other attendees at last night's speech were infected with the virus. wolf, not everyone was tested before last night's speech. >> and there'll be a big political rally in new hampshire tonight, a thousand or maybe more people will be gathered for that. we'll see how that goes. thank you very much, jim acosta, for reporting. let's bring in our chief political analyst, gloria borger and our cnn correspondent, abby phillip. the president still silent on the shooting of jacob blake, hasn't even acknowledged the march on washington happening right outside the white house today. what does that say about his priorities? >> wolf, one of the things that i think is a good indication of where the white house and the campaign are on this, our colleague, ryan nobles tweeted a photo from the rally in new hampshire, where it said, this is a peaceful protest. that is basically a summation of
where the white house is. they believe that the real peaceful protesters are the ones who are attending his rallies, not the ones out in the streets, either participating in the march on washington or protesting outside of the white house last night. i do not think that the president has -- sees any political advantage to identifying with or acknowledging those protesters, because it runs totally counter with his campaign objective, which is to make those protesters basically akin to anarchists and mobs that he has said he believes are running rampant in the streets of american cities. >> gloria, he's also silent on the killing of the two protesters in kenosha. why is he choosing to ignore something that would be relatively simple for him to condemn? >> well, it gets a little complicated for him, because the person who's charged with the killings is apparently a trump supporter and i think the president doesn't want to touch it. i mean, what he should do, and this might benefit him also, is
come out and say, no matter what side of the political equation you're on, taking the law into your own hands is exactly what we do not want in this country. whether you are a supporter of mine or you're a supporter of somebody else. but the president does not want to do that, as abby was saying, it just doesn't fit his narrative. the people who are in the streets right now are the people he believes, you know, are enemies, even if they are protesting peacefully. he believes that if you're in the street, you're not his supporter, and he's playing up the law and order issue, because he thinks it works for him. and it just might, wolf. >> you never know what's going to happen. we'll see if he gets a bounce in the polls out of this republican convention. those polls will be coming in, in the next several days. thanks, guys, very, very much. there's more breaking news we're following. as the u.s. coronavirus death toll tops 181,000 here in the united states, a disturbing new forecast of 136,000 more deaths in the u.s. by december 1st. find your keys.
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death toll, now topping 181,000 people and a new very disturbing forecast of 136,000 more deaths here in the united states by december 1st. cnn national correspondent jason carroll has the latest. >> a grim prediction about the toll coronavirus could take on americans. more than 317,000 people in the united states are projected to die from covid-19 by december 1st, according to a university of washington model previously cited by the white house. that marks an increase of about 8,000 deaths from the previous estimate just one week ago. this afternoon, the department of health and human services echoing the president's promise to have a vaccine by the end of the year, but getting it to the masses is the challenge. >> we're dealing with a very, very complex logistical task when it comes to vaccine distribution. and here's why.
we don't know exactly how many doses we're going to have. we don't know at what time you're going to have those doses, as we approach the end of the year. and we don't know yet in which subpopulation those vaccines are going to be efficacious. >> reporter: in the midwest, coronavirus cases continue to increase this week. surges in the dakotas, minnesota, and iowa. the governor there ordering all bars, breweries, and nightclubs closed in six counties. business owners concerned they will not survive another shutdown. >> this is really the third punch. and unfortunately, it's going to be the knockout punch for some of them. >> reporter: across the country, more than 8,700 covid cases and colleges and universities, a dorm at the university of connecticut, now under quarantine due to an outbreak there. already the school year a disappointment for this senior. >> i came back to ames, i'm not
from here, so i want to enjoy the senior year with classes and everything, but the college experience is part of that and they're taking that from us. >> reporter: on the medical front, a new south korean study showing children carry coronavirus in their noses and throats for weeks, even if they don't show symptoms. adding to concern about the so-called silent spread of the virus. and today, more questions about whether a person can be reinfected with covid. this after researchers in nevada identified a 25-year-old man who appears to have been infected twice, first in april, and then apparently again in late may. the white house, meanwhile, moving ahead with its purchase of 115 million rapid covid-19 tests, with hopes that faster, wider, and inexpensive tests will help keep businesses and schools open. but health experts worry about the accuracy of the abbott rapid test. >> i'm very concerned about the
hype over the last 24 hours about a new test from abbott has come out, that this particular test is cheap, it's quick, and it's effective. >> let me just be really clear about this. i would not want to use this test on someone with clinical disease. >> and wolf, louisiana's governor weighing in on the crisis, with concerns about testing in his state in the wake of hurricane laura, despite all the devastation and destruction there, he says it's crucial that health officials there do not lose sight of the importance of tracing and testing. wolf? >> jason carroll, reporting from new york, thank you very much. let's bring in our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, as you heard, and as you know, a new projection from the university of washington's ihme model now forecasts 317,000 american deaths by december 1st. they say, though, that 67,000 americans could be saved if 95% of the american public simply wore masks. but at the white house last
night, we saw a big crowd for the president's republican national convention speech. a few people wearing masks. we also saw a very large crowd gathered here in washington, the march on washington today. a lot of people were wearing masks today, but not everyone. and people were jammed in close together. how concerning is that to you? >> well, those are both very concerning scenarios, wolf. the virus doesn't care, right? the virus is the virus. it's just trying to find willing hosts, so in the middle of a pandemic, i think anytime you aggregate people together, it's a problem in terms of the virus being able to spread. as you point out, wolf, masks do make a difference. we know that now. if you look at the data and say, well, look, how big a difference do masks make? they probably decrease transmission some six-fold. we also know, for example, the event at the white house last night, people sitting next to each other, so the distance was just, you know, not 6 feet, obviously. but also the duration, if you're next to somebody for more than
10 to 15 minutes, that's considered a close contact. so there's all of these different factors that go into play. so wearing a mask, moving, marching, versus standing still. that's going to, you know, decrease the likelihood, but they're both of concern, wolf. there's no question. in the middle of a pandemic, bringing people together. that's what the virus wants. that's not what we want. >> a lot of concern, especially if you're screaming, speaking loudly, potentially, that represents a further danger. let me get your reaction on another sensitive issue, the white house telling reporters today, sanjay, that he says, we're absolutely, this official, absolutely on track, if not a little ahead in the race to have a vaccine by the end of this year. do you think that's realistic? the president last night in his speech flatly said there will be a vaccine by the end of this year. >> look, i think we're going to -- the terminology is going to matter here, wolf. i think when people hear that, what people are wanting is, when does a vaccine become available
to me, right, to the general public. and i think pretty clearly, and we talked to folks within the manufacturing world of these vaccines, we talked to scientists. pretty clearly, that's not until next year that's going to be available for the general public. it might be as part of phase iii trials, that high-risk individuals such as health care workers start receiving the vaccine by the end of the year. but to get to that point where you have an approved vaccines that's available for the public, it's pretty clearly, that's next spring, summer, at the earliest. >> and the public has to have confidence that the vaccine is safe and effective. they've got to be assured of that. the cdc's updated testing guidelines, sanjay, are drawing more condemnation today, this time from the american academy of pediatrics, which just called them a dangerous step backwards. why is the cdc so out of sync with so many outside medical experts? >> this is -- this is really concerning, wolf. first of all, you're right. i think that's a very fair
characterization that the cdc is out of sync with so many public health experts, which even believe i'm saying that. because a year ago, it was public health experts going to the cdc, get their guidance from the cdc, checking the cdc's website to figure out what they should do. and now you do have the situation where public health officials we've talked to in all of these various ideas outside of government are in lockstep that this was a bad change for the guidelines. there's a lot of people who carry this virus and don't have symptoms. they are asymptomatic. 50% of the spread, roughly, of this virus in this country is coming from those asymptomatic people. these are just important things. everyone should just look at those numbers. if half the spread is coming from people who are asymptomatic and you stop testing asymptomatic people, that's going to make the problem worse. i think this is just a fundamental issue. why, though, is your question, is the cdc so out of sync? i don't know. i mean, ashish jha said yesterday, it's heartbreaking to
see the cdc politicized this way. it's not science, it's not evidence, it's something else, wolf. >> not just heartbreaking, but potentially very dangerous if the american public loses confidence in the cdc and the fda for that matter, as well. sanjay, thank you very, very much. coming up, professional basketball poised to resume after the boycott of the police shooting of jacob blake. and is there a connection between the way president trump handles racial justice issues like kenosha and the way he handles the threat of white supremacy and right-wing extremism. i'll speak with a former trump administration official who has strong views. verizon knows how to build unlimited right. start with america's most awarded network. i'm on my phone 24/7. then, for the first time ever, give families more entertainment with disney+, hulu, and espn+ now all included, we're a big soccer family. handmaid's tale. i love "frozen." then, give families plans to mix and match, so you only pay for what you need. you get so much more than just a great network. with plans starting at just $35. the network more people rely on gives you more.
we have more breaking news we're following. men's and women's professional basketball resuming after the boycott over the police shooting of jacob blake. let's get some more from cnn's sports analyst, "usa today" sports columnist, christine brennan. christine, let me begin with your thoughts on the nba players agreeing to resume their season tomorrow. they gained some commitments from the league, including a promise to use empty arenas as voting sites and the establishment of what they're calling a social justice coalition. how significant are these concessions? >> wolf, very significant, potentially, when you look at these voting centers, they're talking about atlanta, houston, detroit, cleveland. if that really increases the opportunity for people to vote in those cities and areas, swing states of ohio and michigan, potentially swing states of
texas and georgia welcome that could have an impact lasting far beyond anything that they have imaged. lebron james, as you know, started this initiative a few months ago, wanting to make sure that those in affected communities, the black communities, et cetera, urban communities, had a chance to vote. and because of the events in the last week, it is now front and center on the nba's plate. and i think it could have an extraordinary impact in this election and wouldn't that be fascinating, if that's what comes out of this? >> yeah, because people are anxious to go to those arenas. they're huge, so there will be opportunity for social distancing, as well. what does it tell you, christine, about the power that these players, these basketball players hold right now? >> wolf, no surprise that it's the nba leading the way and the wnba. obviously, majority black leagues, both of them, with many players who understand the concerns that are being voiced in wake of the shooting of jacob
blake, and of course, george floyd's death and all of the other tragedies and horrors we've been looking at. and i think it's accumulated over time and it's just gotten to the point where enough is enough. and also, both of these leagues have been in bubbles. and without the distractions of life and all of the things that are going on, i think it was -- they were able to focus in a way that they maybe would not have, even though one would hope we would always focus on these terrible things, but that had everyone's attention. and being in that bubble, i think, forced them to act quicker, and you've got a league led by adam silver, where i think the best commissioner in pro sports, and michelle roberts is the executive director of the player's union and she and adam silver have been in constant contact, wolf, and i think that communication has led to what we're seeing here today. >> i think you're absolutely right. christine, thank you very, very much. coming up, president trump focusing in on the border, while ignoring the threat of domestic extremism. we're going to talk about that with a former trump administration official when we come back. hi, i'm pat and i'm 75 years old.
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jacob blake but quick to condemn protests over police brutality that turned violent. more from the homeland security secretary who endorsed joe biden for president. thanks so much for joining us. based on your experience working along with president trump and the secretary of homeland security, is there a direct connection between the way he handles racial justice issues like kenosha and the way he handles the threat of white supremacy and right wing extremists. >> first of all, thanks for having me. but the answer is absolutely. early in this administration the president was not prioritizing white supremacist violence. we and the fbi said this is a major threat. the white house said we don't want you to use those terms or talk about right wing extremism
or domestic terrorism and we are not going to include it in the counterterrorism strategy. i was the one going to the white house and saying we have to have this be a major focus of the counterterrorism strategy and we were told no. there were one or two sentences in the document on the subject and to show how much the president doesn't surprise this, how many times he has gone down in the last few weeks to visit the border wall. there is nationwide unrest and the president is going down to visit the border wall. white supremacists are not coming in down in droves at the border. the president has his priorities misplaced. >> even if he largely ignores the threat of domestic extremism he is very focused on the border and heard a lot about it in the speech last night. you talked about some of his more outlandish ideals including
the idea of building a moat filled with alligators along the border. >> i wish i could say the moat and alligators and snakes were a joke. he called us saying i am going to need a cost estimate on this. that is a story for another day. really beyond the semi comical eneck do anecdotes the wall wanted to be able to maim migrants and he wanted us to be able to shoot migrants back at the border saying if you don't have to shoot the kill but could you shoot them in the leg to slow them down. he said i understand you have to take some asylum seekers.
he said that i only want you to take the good ones. he looked at us and said don't take the ones missing toes and have funny foreheads. that is a quote from the president of the united states, don't take asylum from those missing toes and those with funny foreheads. this is a man that lacks compassion. >> let's continue the conversation down the road miles. thank you very much for joining us. more breaking news, thousands march on washington to protest racial injustice and police brutality as we learn new details into the police shooting of jacob blake.
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♪ >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i am wolf blitzer here in the situation room. thousands have been taking part in a new march on washington, demanding racial justice as the police shooting of jacob blake adds to the outrage and urgency and we learned that blake is no longer shackled to his hospital bed hours after his father's exclusive interview with cnn suggesting his paralyzed son was being treated as an animal. the u.s. coronavirus death toll now surpassing