tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN May 23, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
confirmed cases, others under investigation. here in the u.s., new cases investigated in florida, utah and new york come just days after the virus first confirmed in massachusetts, telling news that cases are going to rise in the coming days. ac 360 starts now. good evening, we begin tonight with the facts, sometimes politicians even within the statement party cannot stand one another, probably more common than you imagine but because most do such a good job of keeping personals quiet, we never see it on display, never in the way we see today, a former president broke out with former vice-president and lashed out at him in a way that is without modern precedent, ahead of georgia's republican primary, governor who
trump hates doing campaigning with the former vice-president held in quiet until now. trump's an plusity, or not endorsing kemp or not endorsing january 6th or both is out in the open. a statement he put out from his spokesman about the former vice-president, quote, mike pence was set to lose the governor's race in 2016 before he was plucked up and political career salvaged, now desperate to not lose relevant, pair chuting into races, the reality is president trump is already 82-3 with his endorsements and nothing stopping him from saving america in 2022 in beyond. the former president has done in a number of states including georgia, when he first endorsed purdue to run against kemp in the primary, governor would not help the president overturn the vote in his state which the president narrowly won and that
predictably, earned the governor this. >> your rhino governor bryan kemp who has been a complete disaster. he sold you out. this guy's a disaster. a complete and total disaster. he's absolutely nothing. bryan kemp is a turn-coat, a coward, he's a disaster. i'm ashamed i endorsed him. brian kemp let us down, we can't let it happen again. >> that kind of open hospitilit was expected, what was not is a former president and vice-president split into a chasm. maggie haggerman, i mean, this rift is growing. does this statement is -- assume it takes it to another level. >> it's very intense, very personal. it's the kind of thing, i mean i was thinking about, a, there's no precedent for this in modern history with a former president and vice-president i can think of but i was trying to think of the last time you heard trump really criticize pence and of
course, it was around january 6th, in 2021 in really stark terms. i think part of what trump is reacting to is not just what pence is doing in georgia but the fact that pence told my colleague jonathan martin he was not ruling out running in 2024 and i think that's the big thing trump is reacting to. >> i also want to bring in two political cnn commentators, former obama senior adviser and david urban, former trump campaign strategist. do you think this is the last we'll hear from the former president against trump? >> against mike pence? >> excuse me, against mike pence, yeah, sorry. >> yeah, listen, anderson, it's predictable, look, mike pence got in georgia, i think if the president really wanted to irk him just ignore him. that would be the biggest insult, no insult for president donald trump like him ignoring you. that's what when you know you really ignored him this is
predictable. this is the worst kept secret in washington that donald trump doesn't like mike pence since the vice-president did the right thing on january 6th and upheld, you know, sat there, upheld the vote, you know, it's no secret that donald trump has been lashing out at him since then and the same thing with governor kemp in georgia so not surprised. >> do you think it matter for him to georgia voters? >> i don't think it matters at this point. the whole mess we're in is because donald trump just couldn't do what we want our kid to see do which is to accept that you lost and do better next time. instead, it's, you know, everybody has to bow down to me and agree that, you know, the ref was wrong, umpire was wrong, i deserve -- and here we are a year plus later and have to deal with this stuff. >> but not everybody, van, i was going to say, not everybody, right, that's why the vice-president is getting the blast he s that's why governor kemp and governor ducy and i can give you a long list of people
who haven't bent their knee. a long list of republicans. >> not long enough, but i agree. >> maggie, do you have a sense when the last time trump and pence spoke? >> i think it's been quite a while anderson, spoke a number of times as i understand last year, one of which around when pence had his book deal and that became public and trump i think was reacting when he started insulting pence in front of donors at a republican national committee retreat, i think it was in reaction to pence getting a book deal, i think their conversations petered up soon after that and i don't expect any in the near future. >> if trump's candidate can't pull this off in georgia tomorrow, what does that say about the former president, about his power? >> nothing, look, if you look, there is a recent poll out that says donald trump's still incredibly popular with georgia republican primary voters, i think something, you know, high 70s, maybe low 80s, like the former president, they just don't care much about his endorsement, doesn't matter much about them, they like governor
kemp better. candidates matter here as you saw in nebraska, herbster went down and lost, as you see in my state of pennsylvania, a recount here with dr. oz and dave mccormick so the president's endorsement matters in certain instances. >> i want to play something david purdue said today about an event about stacy abrams, obviously the presumptive democratic candidate in georgia. >> you hear what stacy said this weekend? georgia is the worst place in the country to live. hey, she ain't from here, let her go back to where she came from. only thing she wants is to be president of the united states, she didn't care about the people of georgia. that's clear. when she told black farmers you don't need to be on the farm and told black workers in hospitality and all this, you don't, she is demeaning her own race when it comes to that, i am really over this. she should never be considered
governor material for any state much less our state where she hates to live. >> what's your reaction. >> a, it's disgusting and he's demeaning the human race talking that way, first of all he's lying, she never told black farmers other thing, said there should be jobs other than hospitality and agriculture in georgia, but she didn't make it racial, he made it racial and for him to say she should go back where she came from, you know, she spent most her life in georgia. this is the kind of stuff, you know, he's failing, losing, and losing for a reason. he jumped in based on a lie and still lying. >> maggie, in terms of the purdue race, do you know how the former president is feeling or viewing this privately? is he going to change endorsement strategy going forward? >> there is some talk about the idea he is going to lay off jumping into a lot of these races, i don't think you're going to see something like this but this was a pretty unique situation because of how trump feels about kemp, he's not happy, ultimately blaming purdue
then telling people this race is still winnable unless you're unable to read polls, it's clearly not winnable for purdue. it's not likely to force a run-off and it is a reflection on trump no matter what he says, i was struck by the number you read in that statement about 82-3 is his endorsement record, that's not his endorsement record, i don't know what that number is supposed to be but a number of other races he endorsed and candidate lost starting last year and they keep trying to rewrielt the number. >> trump has this huge wad of money he raszed through donations. has he been spending that for these candidates? >> almost on -- except for purdue, coworker reported this week i think it was 2 million overall to purdue, that was a rarity. in general the complaint has been trump is hoarding the money and not doing a lot to help other republicans. >> so david urban, is it wise, if you're a trump supporter, is it wise for the former president to be getting involved in these races? to be endorsing or should be more selective?
>> no, no he, if the president, if he would listen to me or anybody, he would husband those endorsements right, and not really hand them out as freely as he does. they -- listen, endorsements really matter in these close races like you saw in ohio and in some congressional races, they really can swing a district pretty easily. some races, you know, the president should just sit out like in pennsylvania, i think the president injured his brand in pennsylvania by going in making endorsement, made a lot of people unhappy in the senate race, a lot unhappy in the gocgochb governor's race, for what, you get maybe one person with dr. oz if he does get elected, only need 70% of the republican base in the state of pennsylvania so at what cost? i don't think the juice is worth the squeeze on it some of these. >> david, if purdue loses, do you think the former president would say the race was rigged? >> i don't think he'll say the race was rigged, he'll say david purdue ran a bad race.
you know, you're talking about resources, anderson, i think the president has $180 million i think in the super pac, somewhere in that number, maggie probably knows better but $2 million gets ah week of tv in georgia, it's an expensive media market so if he was all in for david purdue would have burned some of that cash if he was serious about it. you know, it's, put your money where your mouth is i think in that instance. >> appreciate it, david urban mentioned the pennsylvania primary, get the latest on that specifically, yet undecided republican senate race, dr. mehmet oz who the former president is backing, still holding on to a slim, david mccormick as the votes are being counted. joning us from state capitol, harrisburg, how likely the race head to see a recount? >> oh, anderson, almost certainly. recount would be automatically triggered if the race is within half a percentage point and the margins here continue to be razor thin, currently dr. oz
leads mccormick by about 977 votes, that's smaller than when we started today so a tight race, getting even tighter and there's not that many votes left to be counted. fewer than 10,000, that will continue over the next day or so, so we should know pretty soon whether this is indeed headed to a recount. >> so 900 vote difference between them, fewer than 10,000 votes to be counted. is there still, a i don't know exactly where all those 900 or where those votes come from, is there still a path to victory for mccormick? >> reporter: well, there is a path. it's narrow but there is a path. he would have to out perform his own margins when it comes to the remaining absentee ballots, his campaign also hopeful the military and over seas ballots will benefit mccormick then the other x factor which is undated ballots so ballots submitted on time, received on time, but submitted without a date hand-written on the envelope. david mccormick's campaign is fighting in court to have those
kinds of ballots included in the count, cited a recent court ruling related to a local race in pennsylvania from last year. it's unclear how many of those undated ballots are out there, could be a couple hundred, unclear at this point but dr. oz's campaign is opposing that effort, so is the pennsylvania republican party. they also say it wouldn't change the outcome of the race and again, we are talking about a very small number of potential votes but in a race this close, they could prove crucial, anderson. >> and any update on the health of the winner of the democratic primary lieutenant governor john fetterman? >> reporter: yeah, as you know, days before election night, fetterman suffered a stroke, had to check into the hospital but yesterday got good news out of his camp. he was released from the hospital, seen in a video from twitter from his wife walking on his own and put out a statement saying he's feeling good, taking time to rest and recover and hope to see return to the campaign trail soon. >> appreciate it. next, russians protesting
the invasion of ukraine in more than one venue. hear what they're chanting there at a punk rock show in russia. we'll tell you about that and a dissenting voice that could carry a lot more weight because it came from a long-serving russian government official. and a damn report on sexual abuse allegations in the longest prototestant denomination and t reckoning it's bringing within the faith.h.
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history of opposition to the war and the audience appears to share their view. then this from a russian diplomat quitting in protest over the invasion. posting a statement on social media, and i'm quoting from it now, for 20 years in my diplomatic career seen different turns of our foreign policy but never been so ashamed of my country as on february 24 of this year. far from all he said, from cnn's nick roberts, what do we know about this russian diplomat. >> reporter: he was a senior russian diplomat. he had been in the russian mission in geneva for several years. he worked in arms control and nuclear deproliferation so he was a diplomat with a lot of experience and he was also a diplomat in a mission where we know there's already been affected by russia's war in ukraine, because this was the mission that the russian represented over the united nations human rights council used to be.
but they were thrown off that council, russia lost that position to another country, so this is a collection of diplomats that has seen on their own turf, amongst their own, the cost of putin's war. and, you know, he's calling this an aggressive war. this would be language that would land him in jail if it was back in russia. clearly, he's a long way from home at the moment, but potentially in danger because we know that russia and putin in particular doesn't like anyone speaking out against him. his future at the moment must seem very uncertain. >> it's highly unusual to have a member of the russian diplomat core resigning as a matter of principle, isn't it? >> it really is. and to do it with such fanfare making it so public, the criticism is damning for president putin saying that those who have organized the war, orchestrated the war are willing to lay down any number
of russian live to see stay in power. and that's a reality that i think a lot of russians on the street, even if they're patriotic recognize that putin is that type of person. the diplomat goes on to say that these people who have taken the country into war live in tasteless, pompous palaces, that really resonates with what alexi navalny's the figure putin put in jail couple of years ago, that was one of the revelations he exposed years ago, with putin's palaces, that will again, resonate. but there are other areas too, very critical of sergei lavrov, minister of foreign affairs, essentially saying he's gone off the rails in the past few years and is no longer into diplomacy, is into hatred and war monger and get that also has to resonate with other diplomats, you know, his fellow diplomat and see he will know their temperature and their mood.
>> i assume this diplomat is not returning to russia or not planning to return to russia. has there been any response from the russian government? >> we're not seeing anything yet and it will be interesting to see if the spokeswoman says anything on her weekly briefing on wednesday. lavrov in the past has said that all his diplomats have been in line. this clearly strikes a very negative chord. you know, and it's going to be interesting to see how russia handles it. if you remember the news editor who got up behind one of the anchors with an antiwar banner a couple months ago, it was an expectation the russians would throw the book at her but they didn't, they let it slip by and may be by drawing attention to boris -- if they do that, they make again, this, a bigger issue for themselves. but there's no doubt that if he shows up at a russian diplomatic mission, he is not going to be a
welcomed figure. >> nic robertson, appreciate it, tomorrow brings a bit of normality back to kharkiv, ukraine's second biggest city, the subway system which has been used as a network of bomb systems since the war began goes back to being a way around town, begins service on reduced schedule tomorrow morning. war still waging on, western observers say the momentum tipping towards russia though to what degree and how long is unclear. what is clear, though, in the flood of western military aid, continues to be westerners volunteering to fight for ukraine, sam kiley meets one of them, an american, in this exclusive report. >> reporter: how would you know where to go? >> we didn't. we just knew the enemy was this way. >> go, go, go. >> hop through these backyards, clear through here. >> reporter: it's not as straight forward as it sounds. veterans of years of counter
insurgency warfare, this small team of american and british fighters is under ukrainian command. and they now look at war down the other end of all the barrel, and asked us to conceal their identities for their own security. this is a war that has a moral clarity for these volunteers in ukraine's international legion. >> you know people keep saying you're doing it for democracy, it's really not. it comes down to good versus evil. i never figured out why they were killing women and children and it wasn't by accident, it was murder. we found many people just up the street, bound together, and shot, thrown on the side of the road. >> reporter: many in kevin's team, ex-special forces operators have had millions spent on their training in the west, in countries that won't send troop to see war with russia. among the first into irpin they took over this house behind enemy lines. he said the team killed dozens of russians in the path below. he says the fighting and the
shelling and russian killing of civilians was relentless. as kevin's team advanced says they got trapped in this hell spot for several days, torn apart by russian artillery. >> this was the house of hell, four miserable days of really little sleep, really heavy artillery. really heavy infantry presence from the russians. >> reporter: kevin's small team is funded largely by donations to the ukrainian legion. it operates mostly behind russian lines and they were stunned at first of being on the receiving end of air strikes and heavy artillery, but they're applying the lessons of iraq and afghanistan to russia and believe they're having an effect on the enemy. >> there's definitely a psychological aspect to it, we do know the russians were talking about hey, like we can't figure out where they're at. we don't know what's happening. we're being artilleried so
heavy, we put this chair here so we could jump out the window if we had to in a hurriy. >> reporter: deeper into the spot, he comes across evidence that russia plays dirty, even in local defeat. >> so a lot of the russians came through these places and remind them, put booby traps, you can see this cable goes back into the ground where it's been intentionally buried and then it's tied off here. >> reporter: so far, this group has not lost a soldier. >> definitely a nightmare. >> reporter: but that time may come. it's a risk, he says, he's prepared to take because for the west's former warriors in the war on terror, ukraine has given them something back. >> one way or the other, they've either been lost or lost everything so this is giving them another chance, you know, to come back here and it's like they've put their life back together. >> and sam kiley joins you should from kyiv tonight. what is their assessment on the state of the war? >> reporter: they're very
guarded, really, about what they reveal in any kind of detail about the extent of the war, but i think that essentially, they recognize and indeed president zelenskyy has reinforced this in the last 24 hours or so, saying that the war in the east is taking a heavy toll. 50 to 100 people being killed everyday, that's combat people on the ukrainian side, according to the president, i think that is an estimate that the foreign fighters that i've spoken to been involved in those combat operations there in the south too would endorse. they are saying the ukrainians are getting hit and hit hard, but they're also saying that the material difference that the nato equipment that is coming in, the more sophisticated equipment than the russians have deployed is going to, is having a material effect, a positive one from the ukrainian perspective. >> sources tell cnn the biden administration is considering a proposal to send u.s. special forces to ukraine as a defensive detail to protect the american
embassy which has reopened in kyiv. what do you know about the proposal? is there obviously concern that russia could see that as some sort of escalation? >> reporter: well obviously, the normal protection at least in terms of the overt protection is provided normally by the u.s. marine corp, by sending special operators it is inevitable russians would seize that as nato escalating, america getting deeply involved. haven't yet accused foreign fighters they've captured, captured at least three britains i'm aware of, for example, but haven't accused them of being formal members of the british armed forces and therefore, seen as some kind of an escalation, but there's no question special forces operator that is are here that if the u.s. embassy is operational here, or planning to be operational, will be doing reconnaissance of that nature anyway. i don't think it will come as
any particular surprise to the russians, but certainly the presence of special forces operators here guarding an embassy would be something they would try to make hay out of, also incredibly high investment in terms of the top, most elite personnel, not something the americans would want to sustain over any period of time, i don't think, anderson. >> sam kiley, appreciate it. we go to japan next and comments over seas about president biden said about the chinese and white house officials scrambling, tell you what he said about taiwan and what the white house has had to walk back a third time. that's j just ahead. r nose. or... his nose. it's 5:00 a.m., and i feel like i can do anything. we've got apples and cabbage. 7,000 dahls, vegetables, and brisket for dinner. this is my happy place. we've been coming here, since 1868. my grandmother used to say,
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third time in recent months white house officials having to clean up president biden's marks about having to protect taiwan militarily from an attack from china, stance deviates from more typical vague language of u.s. presidents. this comes from his first visit to asia as president. >> you didn't want to get involved in the ukraine conflict militarily for obvious reasons. are you willing to get involved militarily to defend taiwan if it comes to that? >> yes. >> you are? >> that's haa commitment we mad >> correspondent kaitlan collins in tokyo following the president, what's the reaction been from the white house today? >> reporter: well, anderson, i think it depends if you're asking privately or publicly,
because privately, officials are acknowledging they were caught off guard by biden's comments, weren't expecting him to be that forceful because you saw at the beginning of that q&a he had with cbs news there at the end, he did say the policy on taiwan had not changed, reiterated a lot of the language you heard before but it was that follow-up at the end where he made the comment that caught some of the aides off guard and even some of the ones in the room were kind of watching president biden very closely as he was answering that question but publicly were saying this isn't a change in the policy they had, that he hasn't really taken any kind of different stance than what they said before, but anderson, it is a clear change, because, of course, the statement before, the stance before was that they would provide taiwan with defensive weapons should they come under attack by china. and the president went further than that, and nancy even specifically asked if this is different from ukraine, drew that distinction of where the president has been with ukraine,
supplying weapons but unwilling to put troop on ground and asked if he would otherwise with taiwan, answered in the affirmative. >> not the first time the president answered something like this with taiwan, we did a town hall with him, can you walk us through what he said in the past. >> reporter: yeah, he veers off script a lot, obviously, anderson, and this subject has gotten there three times before. of course yesterday in tokyo, in that town hall he did with you, in a third comment where he made clear where his stance is on the u.s. military getting involved should taiwan come under attack by china and this is a conversation that has take on an lot more importance, a lot more urgency ever since russia's invasion of ukraine and i think that is part of why you saw the president be so clear in his remarks yesterday because the way he was framing it is, of course, given what russia, what has happened with russia, china is watching that very closely, so are allies in the region. and every time, anderson, you see aides come out and walk back
the president's comments, i believe during your town hall did it while the town hall was still going on saying he was not expressing a change in united states policy, did it minutes after the press conference wrapped yesterday, sending off that generic statement often attributed to no names, jen psaki answered from the podium but no names on the statements but it becomes clear the president is the one who sets policy and when the president multiple times in public on the record, makes clear what his stance is on getting the u.s. military involved if china invaded taiwan, it's clear what the united states policy is and it's what the president says, not what the white house is distributing in a statement on backgrounds. >> appreciate it, coming up, damning report on how the nation's largest protestant denomination handled sexual abuse allegations for decades. police searching for a suspect in a possible love triangle in the cycling world,
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has been implicated. details tonight. >> reporter: for america's largest protestant denomination the report is a blistering take down of top church leaders saying they repeatedly met allegations of sexual abuse with clergy and staff with resistance, stone-walling and even out right hostility. among the survivors, krista brown says she was assaulted by a minister more than 30 times. tweeted at the parsonage, after one of his worst rapes he put me in a shower at 16 years old and yelled a me to clean better down there. i only knew to cry. he knew to destroy evidence. >> this is an apocalypse, unveiling a meltdown and people are reeling all over the country now not just baptists but also the entire evangelical world. >> reporter: sbc responds to the survivors we are grieved by the
findings and doing all we can to prevent future instances of sexual abuse in churches to improve response and care and improve reporting road blocks. executive committee staff member kept a list of hundreds of names of accused people with tie to see the church since 2007. yet, some leaders were so focused on avoiding lawsuits, they did nothing. accusers were ignored, disbelieved, their claims called a satanic scheme, even if it meant the convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church of congregation, victims groups long called for accountability. >> it needs to be a stripping down to the basics of everything you stand for, everything that you claim to represent. >> reporter: one senior leader named in the report, johnny hunt was himself, accused of sexually assaulting another pastor's wife
in 2010, his reply, to put it bluntly, i deny the circumstances and allegations, i have never abused anyone. in less than a month, sbc meets for annual convention and will decide if there are consequences. >> that will require not just bad people to be held accountable, although that's true, but for good people to not look away. >> tom foreman joins us, what is expected to happen next? >> reporter: tomorrow the executive committee will respond to this or consider this in some fashion, bit of a test, anderson, remember the overall body of the sbc demanded this independent investigation and said the executive committee can't do the investigation because they're being investigated so their response tomorrow, even if it's the private response isn't really going to matter. >> and the third party conducting the investigation gave the sbc recommendations what did they suggest?
>> they want a data base of people alleged defenders, proven to be defenders, those with allegations against them so next church has some idea what's going on out there, would like a group within the sbc to oversee reforms moving forward, they think is important and most of all, want to get rid of secret deals and nondisclosure agreements that keep all of this in the dark. saying get all this out in the open, let's see what the problem is. the victims deserve it, and the church deserve it is too, anderson. >> we'll see what happens next, tom foreman. now, on going hunt for suspects in a texas murder, following tonight what some are calling a l love triangle in the competitive world of professional cycling. >> we never had this happen before. >> reporter: tonight, this woman is a fugitive. she is 34-year-old caitlin marie armstrong, u.s. marshalls say she is on the run, wanted for
first degree murder charge in connection with fatal shooting of 25-year-old anna mariah wilson, according to arrest affidavit, wilson, elite cyclist was gunned down at a friend's home, shot multiple times. >> if she knew she would be wanted for this, probably had a five day head start. >> reporter: motive may be a jellous rage, affidavit said both women were in a romantic relationship with the same man, another cyclist named collin strickland, anonymous tip to police said arm strong made statements with desire to kill wilson, on the day of the murder, says wilson and strickland spent the afternoon swimming together and had dinner afterwards. strickland said he dropped her off at friend's house afterward and did not go inside. later that night, wilson's friend returned home to find her bleeding and unconscious in the bathroom, officers found bullet
casings on the floor and wilson appeared to be suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, despite cpr efforts, announced dead at the scene. zeroed in on as a suspect after showing surveillance of an suv similar to arm strongs near the home wilson was staying just a minute after wilson was inside, also says ballistic evidence at the scene shows similarities to bullets test fired from a sigsaur handgun strickland recently purchased for a armstrong, police say the potential the fire arm was involved is significant. >> looking, she does have criminal history, residing here in texas with her boyfriend. >> reporter: still, the arrest affidavit showed armstrong had a jellous streak. strickland told investigators, while dating wilson, arm strong called wilson saying she was the
one dating strickland, also had blocked the other's number in his phone and had the change the woman's name in his phone so armstrong didn't know who he was speaking to. strickland also admitted lying to armstrong about his whereabouts that day so she wouldn't know he was with wilson. in the statement, he and wilson had only a brief romantic relationship about a week or so in the fall of 2021, he said about a month after dating wilson he resumed his relationship with armstrong. anna mariah wilson's family also released a statement reiterating she was not in a romantic relationship with anyone at the time of her death. >> now, what's the latest on the search for armstrong? >> reporter: anderson, it seems she's vanished without a trace. investigators say she deleted all social media accounts, hasn't been seen or heard from and what's so interesting, anderson, is investigators hadar had in their sights, the day after this murder brought her in
for questioning, wanted to know why her vehicle, jeep cheroke was in the area of that murder on that day. they brought her in on an old arrest warrant that was no longer valid and had nothing to do with this murder case but were able to question her. she didn't answer their convections and they didn't have enough evidence or probable cause to hold her so she was free to go, which she did. now, of course, she's on the run. u.s. marshalls say still driving that jeep cheroke we saw on the surveillance video where the victim was found and that is a black jeep cherokee with texas plates, ldz-5608, that is the license plate if you have any information, austin police or marshalls would like to hear from you. coming up more on the closely watched primary races in georgia, early voting there surging, state's new election laws, the details, next.
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that's despite the state's new election laws or some cases reaction to them. here's amara walker. >> i've never been so excited to stand in line. and this has me feeling really good and very optimistic that the numbers are in. people do care, and we're putting our votes where it counts. >> reporter: georgia primary voters are turning out early in record numbers. >> georgia voters, you know, now they know that the nation looks at them as a state to pay attention to. >> reporter: during the three-week early voting period that ended last friday, more than 850,000 people cast a ballot in person or by mail in the georgia primary, a 168% increase compared to the same time period of the 2018 primary, including republicans and democrats. it's good news, says secretary of state brad raffensperger. >> as you'll recall, everyone said it was going to make it hard for people to vote. the numbers prove them wrong,
doesn't it? >> reporter: the turnout defying predictions from many democrats and voting rights activists. president biden and stacey abrams, who's running unopposed in georgia's gubernatorial primary, both likened the bill to jim crow last year. >> voter suppression isn't about stopping every voter. it's about blocking and impeding those voters who are considered inconvenient. >> reporter: new voter requirements for absentee ballots, limits the use of drop boxes and the hours they're available, restricts how voters can be provided food and water near a polling location, and it adds an additional saturday of early voting, while make it optional for countings to have two sundays for early voting. >> this actually expands access. >> reporter: the republican controlled georgia legislature approved the law after joe biden became the first democratic presidential candidate to win in georgia in nearly three decades. >> we are clear that that was
voter suppression and intended to intimidate voters. they are, like, whatever they try to do, it's not going to work. we are going to show up and show out. >> reporter: this man, with the new georgia voter project founded by abrams says the new law may be mobilizing voters but it's creating obstacles. >> how do we hand out ponchos and not get arrested. >> reporter: while it's hard to measure the impact of georgia's voter law, it's clear enthusiasm for the georgia primary remains high. >> yes, there was a lot of hyperbole about sb 202. the question is will those tweaks impact voters in ways that could influence the outcome of a close race. >> reporter: now, overall election officials here in georgia do expect a record turnout for a primary. the last time a record was set was during the 2018 georgia primary, where i'm told about 1.3 million people turned out. but, look, there could be rain
in the forecast. and as you know, anderson, that could change some people's voting behavior, anderson. >> amara walker, appreciate it. you can join cnn for live coverage of the primary races tomorrow night 7:00 p.m. the polls close across the states, so we'll be busy from the start. up next, history made today in new york city, and it has to do with that thing you see on the screen there. kids, in case you don't know what that is, just ask your parents or just stick around. the more information i found, got me more curious.
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it's because we're doing it every single day, all day. how do you like learning at home? i kind of don't like it. i kind of don't like it either. i just want you to have everything. everything that you want in life. ♪ ♪ ♪ as a life long new yorker, this one's a big deal. today, the last city-owned public pay phones were removed from the 7th avenue near times square. the last of more than 6,000 disconnected in recent years to make way for wifi kiosks. before cell phones, this was a connection to family and friends and germs if you needed a place to call. all for the cost of a dime or a quarter. these two pay phones will not end up in the dump, however.
they have a new home in the museum of the city of new york as part of the new exhibit called "analog city." for those who love the nostalgic phones, you can find a few private phones, including superman booth, in upper west superman booth, in upper west side. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> you know, my 9-year-old son once asked me, why do we say, hang up the phone. i felt so old in that moment. i'm probably going to be prehistoric. i'm like, you hang up the -- oh, god. forget it. you feel old too now too. i know. i'm laura coates, and this is cnn tonight. for a while, with the pandemic we are kind of all in bill murray's perpetual "groundhog day" movie. we can all agree on one thing, that we are both old enough and young enough to remember when trump and pence were on the same side. after all, they were running on the same ticket for re-ele