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Fired Atlanta Police Officer Faces 11 Charges Including Murder In Rayshard Brooks Shooting; Rayshard Brookes In His Own Words; Justice Department Again Asks Judge To Stop Publication Of Bolton's Book; Coronavirus Cases Spiking In Oklahoma Ahead Of Trump Rally; Ten States Seeing Their Highest Seven-Day Average Of New Daily Cases. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 17, 2020 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: You can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere. You just have to go to CNNgo. In the meantime, Anderson Cooper with AC360 takes over the coverage right now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Erin, thanks very much.

Good evening. Obstruction of justice is a way of life. I want to repeat that sentence. Obstruction of justice is a way of life.

Now, who do you think that sentence is referring to? A mafia boss under indictment? Perhaps a corrupt judge? No.

The phrase is being used in reference to President Donald J. Trump and it's not by Adam Schiff or Nancy Pelosi. No, that sentence was written by John Bolton, the President's own handpicked national security adviser and former Fox News pundit.

Bolton says that of Mr. Trump in his new memoir, which we've obtained a copy of. In the book, he also says that Mr. Trump is quote, "no patriot." And he details the things he says that he saw that led him to that conclusion.

Also, tonight, the President is refusing to budge on his Saturday rally in Tulsa even as the city, the state it is in, and the states all around it are all seeing cases of coronavirus rising like they've never seen before.

Plus part of my conversation with "The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah about race and injustice in America as seen by someone who grew up where racial injustice, apartheid, was once the law of the land.

First though, charges in the killing of Rayshard Brooks that could lead to a death sentence for Garrett Rolfe, the now fired Atlanta police officer who shot him twice in the back as he fled during a stop at a Wendy's drive-thru Friday night. Capital charges against the police officer.

There were moments in the room -- in the courtroom where those charges were announced that made people gasp, such as when Fulton County DA Paul Howard Jr. showed a still frame of Mr. Brooks on the pavement dying and Officer Ralph kicking him, not rendering medical assistance, not checking to see if anyone else had been hit by his gunshots.

For some of the last moments of Rayshard Brooks' life, as goodness knows what was going through his dying mind, a man who had taken an oath to protect the public was kicking him when he was down and dying, and other officer, Devin Brosnan was standing on him.


PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We were able to conclude that based on the way that these officers conducted themselves, while Mr. Brooks was lying there, that the demeanor of the officers immediately after the shooting did not reflect any fear or danger of Mr. Brooks, but their actions really reflected other kinds of emotions.


COOPER: Garrett Rolfe, the shooter has been charged with 11 counts including felony murder which carries anywhere from a life sentence to life without parole to the death penalty.

Officer Brosnan faces three charges including aggravated assault for standing on Mr. Brooks. Neither has been arrested. They've been told to turn themselves in by tomorrow evening.

Late today, CNN obtained a statement from Officer Rolfe's attorney saying in part, quote, "The loss of life in any instance is tragic. However Officer Rolfe's actions were justified."

For his part, Officer Brosnan's attorney says his actions Friday night were quote, "exemplary."

And then there's this video obtained by CNN of Rayshard Brooks interview just before or just this year, just months before he was shot, talking about what it's like to have been in prison and what it's like out when you get out of prison.


RAYSHARD BROOKS, SHOT DEAD BY POLICE: I'm 27 years of age, you know, full-time carpenter, you know, I have three beautiful daughters, you know, and being incarcerated, it has -- it has impacted my family by, you know, just me not being there at the time.

You know, the bills -- the -- you know, me -- me just being there, you know, for my kids. You know, teaching them, helping them with their homework, you know, helping raise them, you know, and my daughter sometime -- you know, I have to -- you know, it just -- you know, like, it's kind of hard, you know, because by me being incarcerated, you know, it's taken away from them as being me being present, you know.

And when you're away, you know, the -- it's like the saying out of sight out of mind. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Joining us now is Chris Stewart, attorney for Mr. Brooks's family. Mr. Stewart, what's your reaction to the charges today? Are they appropriate?

L. CHRIS STEWART, ATTORNEY FOR RAYSHARD BROOKS FAMILY: Yes, Anderson, aren't you tired yet, of having to fight so hard, marching the streets, fight all of the negative statements and things just to get an arrest in what can easily be viewed factually and legally as an unjustified shooting of an unarmed man running away?

Every case is not going to be George Floyd, where we represent his daughter, but that's the world we live in.


COOPER: How -- I'm wondering, I mean, is this kind of what you expected just in terms of charges?

STEWART: Yes. I mean, like I said, I leave the criminal matters up to the District Attorneys in every case, in every city that we have a situation like this and just hope that they look at all the facts and do their job and come to their conclusion.

I mean, we've had situations where we've been heartbroken by the announcement and we've had somewhere, it's step one towards justice and you just have to let the Criminal Justice System play out and not be angry and not be upset on either side. Just let the system play out how it is, just like in any case of murder.

COOPER: It certainly seems that the District Attorney believes gives that emotion -- anger, perhaps, embarrassment that they had a taser taken away from them, whatever -- that there was a range of emotions that were leading these officers or at least this one particular officer to pull that trigger, even though the man, Mr. Brooks was known by them to not have a weapon other than the taser that he had taken from them.

STEWART: Yes, that was mind blowing. Today, his wife actually had to leave the courtroom when we found out that Officer Rolfe kicked him after he was already on the ground dying.

To me, as a lawyer, that shows his mental state. It wasn't fair for his life. He was enraged. He was angry from that scuffle and kicked him, which you know ...

COOPER: The second police officer who did not shoot Mr. Brooks, according to the DA has agreed to be a state witness. But tonight his attorney put out a statement saying his client has not agreed to testify or be a state witness, and is pleading not guilty. Does that make sense to you? I mean, do you know anything more about that?

STEWART: No, but it makes perfect sense. I saw the statement. It said that he is cooperating, but hasn't technically agreed to be a state witness or whatever it is. The District Attorney apparently already met with him and got whatever

statements or evidence or agreements that he needed. So I'm sure that the officer and his team are stating that now, but I understand the pressure that he is probably under.

Everybody in the world is probably calling him, especially the unions to get him to not, you know, testify or partake in this situation to get Mr. Brooks justice. I understand the pressure and the hate that he is probably under.

So I'm not shocked by it.

COOPER: But you know, I mean, you know, people are talking about reform. Nothing reforms unless ...

You know, we hear from police unions all the time that you know, nobody hates a bad cop more than a good cop. But yet, we don't see time and time again good cops stepping forward and saying, oh, yes, we all know who the bad cops are. We know who the people we don't want to go out and patrol are.

Nobody seems to step forward and actually stand up when it was announced that he actually was going to be testifying that that gives some people, I think, some hope.

And now obviously, that seems to be not the case, or at least it doesn't -- he doesn't, at this point, wouldn't do that.

STEWART: It gave me a lot of hope. And it made everything worth it when I always say that there are some phenomenal police officers out there, and I catch heat for even acknowledging the good officers out there.

But then I catch heat for going after officers that kill somebody unjustly and it gave me hope that while the time is really changing where officers are going to step forward and say no, no more.

You know, we see changes happening, I'm going to be part of the change, even if I have to take personal loss.

We're just not there yet.

COOPER: Yes. And it seems like the system doesn't allow that.


COOPER: There are a lot of officers who would like to be able to do that, but it doesn't seem -- it seems like the officers who do, do that, they are the ones who end up getting punished.

STEWART: No, the system does not allow that. You know, and I just see it all too often where I've had officers want to testify or have to get me information secretly or privately, because they're scared of the repercussions of publicly supporting something they know what's wrong. Just look at the information that just came out that Officer Rolfe was

involved in in 2015, where he shot another black man and that was hidden in a report.


COOPER: Chris Stewart, I appreciate you being with us. We'll continue to follow. Thank you.

Much more on what we heard today from the District Attorney. It was remarkable the way he walked us at great laying through the basis for charges. The photos, not arresting Officer Rolfe immediately despite capital charges against him. Officer Brosnan's attorney denying that his client is turning state's evidence.

We are going to try to make some legal sense out of it. Our legal analyst and former Federal prosecutor Laura Coates joins us. What is your reaction these charges and this kind of back and forth on the other officer?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all the idea that right now, we have an officer who is facing the death penalty for shooting a black man who did not have a gun on him and he was aware that he did not have a lethal weapon in the form of a taser on his person is really astounding, not to mention that you have cooperation to some extent, from a fellow officer.

We're often aware of that sort of blue code of silence and how it impacts prosecution, or we're seeing a lot of that unravel today and to see that there's not only charges against the officer who shot, but also charges against him, not just involving Rayshard Brooks, but three people who were in the line of fire who were sitting in a car in that drive-thru. It chose a very comprehensive pursuit of justice in this case.

And I've got tell you, when I heard that the officer not only shouted "I got him," but also kicked him rather than rendering aid in that two-plus minutes that he was lying on the ground, it made my stomach turn, and a lot of other people, but we know what made me really raise my eyebrows, Anderson, was the fact that normally what protects police officers is this idea of giving a benefit of the doubt by using a reasonableness standard for officers.

What's reasonable to an officer in that situation? Well, the prosecutors looked at the manual and said, they were fired. But he was fired for having excessive force. You can't shoot a taser at somebody who is running away, much less shoot a firearm.

And so because that was excessive and for other factors, they tied it all in together and this could be a serious challenge though we've considered long term being a very hurdle based Supreme Court precedent in a case they cited today called Graham versus Connor.

COOPER: Laura Coates, thank you. Rolfe, immediately, despite capital charges against him, pled not guilty. Officer Brosnan's attorney denying that his client is turning state's evidence. Here to help make sense of it all is -- well, actually, we just talked

to Laura. We're going to take a quick break, but coming up, next, we're going to have more of Rayshard Brooks' own words from just a few months before his killing on the effects of an earlier encounter with the Criminal Justice System and his struggle to transcend.

And later, what we're learning from John Bolton's book. What it says about the President, what it says about an author because the kind of chutzpah to say the lawmakers should have made a better case against the President even though at the time, you may remember, he refused to help.



COOPER: Given the news tonight that one fired Atlanta police officer has been charged with a capital crime, another also faces serious charges in the killing of Rayshard Brooks, the next item is haunting.

You'll see what might have been a story of struggle and perhaps redemption. In video obtained exclusively by CNN's Van Jones, Mr. Brooks talks about life after incarceration, the impact it's had on his family, the family that he's trying hard to do right by.

Trying for redemption, which he can see within reach, in which he cannot know will never come.

More from our Randi Kaye.


BROOKS: Now, I'm 27 years of age, you know, full time carpenter.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): That was Rayshard Brooks in February this year, just months before he was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer.


BROOKS: I've always been the type of person to, you know, if you do some things that's wrong, you pay your debts to society.


KAYE (voice over): Brooke shared his story about navigating the Criminal Justice System with a group called Reconnect.


BROOKS: Well, I just feel like some of the system could you know, look at us as individuals. We do have lives, you know, where you just -- a mistake we made, you know and you know not just do us as if we are animals. You know, lock us away. When I did get arrested, you know, it was for a false imprisonment and

-- and financial credit card fraud. I got sentenced to do one year in prison.


KAYE (voice over): When he got out, Brooks had no money, no car and a mountain of debt.


BROOKS: For one individual to try to deal with all of these things at one point in time, it's just impossible. You have court cost, probation -- probation -- just a lot of -- you would have to have a lot of money.

And I'm fresh out of jail.


KAYE (voice over): Fresh out of jail and in need of a job.


BROOKS: You go to filling out your application and you get to this question, have you ever been convicted of a crime? Or have you ever been arrested?

You know, you sit in there like, oh my god, you know, it just breaks your heart. It's hurting us. But it's hurting our families the most. You know, so as we go through these trials and tribulations, we made mistakes. And it just causes our kids to be angry inside. You know, and that's -- that's -- that's a hard feeling to stomach.


KAYE (voice over): All of this Brooks says impacted his mental health.


BROOKS: It hardened me at a point, you know, to like, hey, you know, I have to have my guard up because the world is cruel. You know, it took me through seeing different things and you know, in the system, you know just -- just makes you hardened to a point.


KAYE (voice over): What Brooks needed most was help from the very system that locked him up.


BROOKS: Probation is not there with you every day, like a mentor or something. They're not taking you out to find a job. You have to do these things for your own, you know, and I feel like it should be a way for you to have some kind of person, like a mentor assigned to you to, you know, keep your track, keep you in the direction you need to be going.

We can't get the time back, but we could make up for it. You know, so I'm trying. You know, I'm not a tough person to give up.

You know, and I'm going to keep going until I make it to where I want to be.


KAYE (voice over): Randi Kaye, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.


COOPER: That's Rashard Brooks. Joining us now with his thoughts on the video, in this case and how it fits into his own efforts to bring about criminal justice reform is Van Jones, CNN political commentator and CEO of Reform Alliance, and its stated mission is, quote, "Reducing the number of people unjustly under the control of the Criminal Justice System."

So Van, that I mean that video, you know, there's power in hearing Mr. Brooks hearing his voice, seeing him as someone not just in grainy footage from a police body cam.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, you know, the opposite of criminalization is humanization. That was a dad, you know, he made a mistake. He admitted he made a mistake. He was doing everything that he could to try to get back on his feet.

But this is not just a policing story. This is a story about probation as well. Why did he run? We have no idea why that police officer chose to shoot somebody in the back? We'll find that out in court.

But why did the guy run in the first place? He was on probation, and our probation system is so punitive that anybody with any contact with a police officer at all is going to go back to prison.

So he's there. He is drunk. You know, he shouldn't have been sleeping in the car. But he realized this whole life is about to be thrown down to the gutter. He's going to lose his job, his apartment, his kids and everything, and so he ran.

We have this unbelievable irony colliding on that parking lot right there, where you have police with too much power and too little oversight, and then people coming home from prison with too little opportunity and too much oversight.

So that literally any mistake that they make, they go right back into the system, even if they're not committing any new crimes or some minor infraction. You can go back to prison when you're on probation, just if you have contact with an officer, even if there's no crime.

If you're late to a probation officer meeting, if you don't pay a fine or fee, you go back to prison and you lose everything you've been scratching for. And so, if we're going to change the system, it's important to talk

about police. It's important to talk about prisons, but you have 4.5 million people in the country on probation and parole in his situation, and that system is a spider's web, Anderson, of Catch 22.

So good guys like that, who did a dumb thing, who was trying and scratching and clawing, trying to get back, trying to be good, trying to help their kids, trying to get a job, they can't do it. They just can't do it, Anderson.

And it's not just him. You have too many people in prison -- caught up in prison. You've got 4.5 million people caught up in probation and parole who cannot get back on their feet. And it's -- when I saw this, I broke down because I've met so many young men like this.

We have no idea. He could have -- if he could have just been able to turn it around. He could have been maybe a great dad. He says he is a great carpenter, maybe could have been an entrepreneur. He could have helped other people.

But it's not just the police, the probation and parole system has to change as well.

COOPER: You know, there's also so much talk now, obviously about, you know, it doesn't need to be police who show up all the time on incidents that frankly, a lot of police officers would prefer not to have to be involved with. Things that don't require a gun. You know, social issues and family issues.

And obviously, sometimes police officers are absolutely necessary and is life-saving. But you know, I think all of these things have got to be looked at.

JONES: Yes, I mean, one of the things I'm glad about, I'm hearing from both Republicans and Democrats, from people in Congress and people in the White House, about the need for what they're calling co- responders, having people who can show up in a situation like that without a gun and talk somebody down rather than shooting somebody down.

You know, listen, law enforcement -- I'm from a law enforcement family, as you know. Cops don't want to have to do all this ticky- tacky stuff, but you've got some, they get on such a power trip when they're given these assignments, that they begin to use too much force and they don't respect people. They don't respect the law.

But you know, they're -- I think in this case in particular, I think the reason people in Atlanta are so upset is because this guy didn't have to die. He was trying to turn his life around.


JONES: I'm glad that there are charges against this cop, but we need to change the system that made him so desperate that he ran in the first place.

COOPER: Yes, Van Jones. Thank you. You can read a piece from Van about all of this up on right now.

Up next, what CNN has learned from a copy of John Bolton's new memoir we've just gotten hold off, the former National Security Adviser claiming the President is erratic, foolish, and a lot more when we continue.


COOPER: We mentioned at the top of the broadcast the words that might have been written about a mob boss, but are instead being written about the 45th President of the United States.

They're in john Bolton's new book, "In the Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir."


CNN has obtained a copy. Tonight the Justice Department has gone to court for a second day seeking to stop publication. And tonight Bolton spoke with ABC News about the President and Vladimir Putin.


JOHN BOLTON, FMR NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle. I think Putin is smart, tough. I think he sees that -- he's not faced with a serious adversary here. I don't think he's worried about Donald Trump.


COOPER: CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger has been reading the book. She joins me now. Gloria, I mean, this is epically fascinating of all the bombshells that seem to be in this book is the one that stands out above the rest.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. There is to me, Anderson, of course, we first have to say, makes you wonder why John Bolton didn't talk to Congress about this, but that's a debate for another time. The first thing that is most stunning to me, is that the President actually pled with President Xi of China to help him win the election.

And let me read this to you, they were having a conversation about American politics. And then he says, Trump then stunningly turn the conversation to the coming U.S. Presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win.

He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump's exact words he says, but the government's pre publication review process has decided otherwise.

In other words, he was muzzled about it. And then let me give another example to you, Anderson. And then this is a conversation with Xi, in which the President apparently thinks that those internment camps for a Muslim minority in China were actually a good idea. He said at the opening dinner of the Osaka G20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.

And by the way Anderson, today the President signed a bill that punishes China for those human rights abuses against the waivers (ph).

COOPER: Wow, what a --

BORGER: It's hard to believe.

COOPER: Yes. What a coincidence that he happens to do that, just as --


COOPER: -- the book is detailing this. I mean, obviously, Bolton's --

BORGER: Exactly, exactly.

COOPER: -- background and foreign policy. And let's just remember, I mean, this is some read the President pick from Fox News to be his foreign policy adviser. It is a very important position that this man had, how much does he describe the extent to which the President views everything through getting reelected through a domestic political lens? Because it seems like everything.

BORGER: Everything, everything, and I think it may have come as a surprise to him. In a way he said that securing a second term with all that mattered, and I'm going to give you another example here so much that he was carrying about re election so much that he wanted to keep his family out of every controversy.

And this is particularly damning Anderson. He says that when you remember this in November of 2018, Trump came under fire for writing an unfettered defense of the Saudi Crown Prince, littered (ph) with exclamation points over the killing of the Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and we have spoken about that so much on this network.

But according to Bolton's book, The main goal of the missive was to take way attention from a story about Ivanka Trump using her personal e-mail for government business.

And here's the quote, this will divert from Ivanka Trump said according to the book, if I read the statement in person that will take over the Ivanka thing.


BORGER: it's unimaginable.



COOPER: I mean --

BORGER: A shogi murder. Yes.

COOPER: I mean, it went on -- I mean, I'm not that surprised as clearly Ivanka is, you know, the star child that that gets the focus from him and always has. But the fact that he actually thinks beyond his own needs, you know, I guess maybe that's a way to look at that as being kind of a sweet gesture that he's trying to help his daughter.

BORGER: A sweet gesture. Yes.

COOPER: I mean, I'm just trying to be, you know, I'm trying to look for something.

BORGER: You're trying to be nice.


BORGER: It's just it's just remarkable. This is the murder of Khashoggi

COOPER: Yes, and President of United States. This is the President of United States.

BORGER: (INAUDIBLE) It's a small story.


BORGER: This is the President of the United States whom by the way, Bolton also described as stunningly uninformed, asking, for example, if Finland were a part of Russia, and asking whether in fact, our oldest ally Great Britain actually had a nuclear weapons. So there you are.


COOPER: Yes. Ruler of the free world. Gloria stay with us, I want to bring in CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

Jim I mean, I guess, you know, it's not necessarily even that there's a ton new although, I mean, asking she and praising the, you know, telling me you should build constant -- continual concentration camps. Obviously that is startling. But the fact that all this is coming from John Bolton, you know, no, no liberal, you know, member of the, the deep state.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, absolutely not. And I will tell you, Anderson, you know, White House officials have sent out some talking points to their surrogates this evening. And it is pretty weak tea. I have to tell you, I mean, at this point, what they're saying about John Bolton's book is that it is rife with classified material.

That's one of the reasons why the administration has filed a temporary restraining order tonight to try to block publication of the book. But Anderson, you know, much of the book is already out there. It's already been written about, it's been in these. So --

COOPER: They're confirming that's real.


ACOSTA: Essentially, yes that's right. And they only took a meager attempt at these talking points to say that there are some items in the book that aren't true. Pointing to a tweet from the President and another statement from Mick Mulvaney's lawyer for a White House chief of staff. But Anderson, I mean, this is damning to have this kind of material coming from a former national security adviser.

And when you add to it, the fact that the former chief of staff John Kelly, the former defense secretary, Jim Mattis, have all had a pretty critical things to say about this President in recent days. I mean, that goes to show you even though the President has had said in the past that he only hires the best people it turns out, these best people have terrible things to say about this President.


ACOSTA: One other thing we should point out Anderson and that is this. At this point, the White House is really just not, trying to, you know, shut down this book in any measurable way. They're trying to block it in court, obviously But Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary just put out some tweets a few moments ago essentially saying, well, John Bolton had said things praising the President in the past.

Whereas this John Bolton now well, you can read where John Bolton is now, he goes through his, Gloria was just saying, chapter and verse through so many different episodes. And when you add to what we know about the Ukraine controversy that led to the President's impeachment where he sought a quid pro quo with the President of Ukraine.

This additional overtures to the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, for help in the 2020 election after asking for the Russians help to get Hillary Clinton's e-mail in 2016, we now have a quid pro quo trilogy that spans the entire Trump. Yes, first term in office, it's pretty remarkable.

COOPER: When you say we heard from Mick Mulvaney, his lawyer, you know, someday we'll hear from Mick Mulvaney, when he writes his book, as soon as this is over, you know, maybe it'll be called, you know, got kicked out of the room when it happened.

Jim Acosta, thank you --

ACOSTA: Lots of book now occurred.

COOPER: Yes, that's right, exactly. Gloria Borger, thanks so much.

Long lines in Tulsa, Oklahoma already awaiting President Trump's rally there Saturday. According to new analysis, new coronavirus cases are spiking Oklahoma and at least nine other states details when we continue. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


COOPER: President Trump preps for his rally in Oklahoma Saturday we have new information about just how irresponsible and potentially dangerous the rally could be for public health. According to CNN analysis, Johns Hopkins University data 10 states are now seeing their highest seven day average of new daily cases since the pandemic began. Almost all are along the Sunbelt of the U.S. and they include Oklahoma, which the analysis said has seen a 91% increase in new cases from just a week earlier. Only Alabama saw a bigger spike.

In a separate report, the Health Department in Tulsa site of the rally said today the city just set a new Daily Record for total positive cases. We should also know the Dr. Anthony Fauci, member of the President's Coronavirus Task Force that doesn't speak with the President anymore, at least not the last two weeks, said he would not attend the rally due to his age and the risk of virus spreading.

Earlier, Joe Biden held the campaign event in a Philadelphia suburb and hammered the President for holding the rally.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You sure you to get back in his campaign to his campaign rallies. That will put people at risk as everyone's pointed out.

He's ready to do it, as long as I was standing CDC guidance, as long as the people showing up sign a waiver, promising, you know, not hold the campaign liable. Oh man.


COOPER: Joining me now to talked about the pandemic in Oklahoma is Dr. Jabraan Pasha with University of Oklahoma Physicians. He also author letter signed by local healthcare workers asking the mayor to postpone the President's rally. The mayor has said he will not. Dr. Pasha, thanks for being with us.

So this letter you wrote to the mayor reads in part, as our city and state COVID-19 numbers climb at a rate previously unseen. It's unthinkable that this is seen as a logical choice. Yet the rally is still proceeding. What do you -- what is your concern here that's going to happen?

JABRAAN PASHA, INTERNAL MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA PHYSICIANS: You know Anderson, there's some things that you don't really need a lot of data to take a look at a situation and, and make a decision and without looking at the data. You can get a sense of risk that a large gathering like this puts all of us in.

You can also look at the data. And we know now that we're seeing numbers that we haven't seen previously during the pandemic, in terms of our daily new cases. We are in a spot right now where even without a potential gathering of this size, we're concerned with the trajectory of these positive cases.

COOPER: When asked about the rally today, the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, I want to play what she said.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are doing temperature checks, hand sanitizers, masks. When you come to the rally, as in any event, you assume a personal risk. That is just what you do. When you go to a baseball game, you assume a risk. That's part of life. It's the personal decision of Americans as to whether to go to the rally or whether or not to go to the rally.



COOPER: Apologize for the audio and that sounded like she was at a rally, But would it -- what's your -- I mean I'm curious to know if she is going to be down in the crowd with the tens of thousands of people milling around, cheering, yelling. I, I would be surprised. But we'll wait and see is -- I suppose the concern you also just have from a medical standpoint is it's not just local impact this might have on people who live in Tulsa.

I mean, these are very likely people who are coming from other states as well and are going to go back to those other states. And in weeks, we could very easily, you know, see the results of this in a number of states.

PASHA: Yes, you know, you take a look at some of the surrounding states, specifically Northwest Arkansas, they're having a huge spike in cases. You know, you go to the south, with Texas having a huge spike in cases and we have all of these people coming into our city being packed into a 19,000 person arena and maybe more if they extend it into the convention center. And then go back to their communities. I mean, the potential harm for this is very worrisome.

COOPER: Dr. Jabraan Pasha, I appreciate what you do every day. Thank you.

Joining me now is our chief medical correspondent --

PASHA: Thank you.

COOPER: -- Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay is the President moving forward this? What is the reality of coronavirus right now? I mean, where do things really stand?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, in the United States, you know, this story started several months ago with, you know, the big cities along the coasts, such as Seattle and cities in California in New York, having patients come in. And over the last several months, we've seen what has happened, there was spikes and in those areas initially and we can show sort of the status of things now here in the country. You see the green line, that was the Northeast, the spikes, but look

at these other lines, Anderson, has that green line has come down the yellow line for example, the South is coming up. And you get Arizona, which is about a third the size of New York in terms of population that is soon going to probably surpass New York in terms of patients hospitalized with COVID.

So it was these waves across the country. We were hearing these waves terms a lot lately, but it started off with these waves and certain big cities, primarily coastal cities with big international airports. And now you're starting to see these patients in other parts of the country.

You mentioned already 10 states have the highest rates now infection since this pandemic began, 21 states are trending upward. So this you know, this is we're still very much in things here for sure. I remind people that, you know, when you're looking at the case rates overall, that you look at the number of infections, but also hospitalizations, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, are having some of their highest hospitalization rates as well. So you've had Michael Olster (ph) on a lot, he's always says that we're in like the second inning of a nine inning game. That's probably where we are still.

COOPER: What so kind of hypocritical or manipulative, I guess is hearing from the President also now the Vice President, who told governors, you know, when you talk about this, you should stress that with the reason things look like they're going up is because we're just testing so gosh, darn much that we're going to have more positive cases, because we're testing, which is, I mean, it had there's a certain idiotic logic to it, but it's just not the case. I mean, people aren't going to the hospital with COVI, because there's more testing.

GUPTA: Right. I mean, you just have to take one layer off of this argument, this gosh, darn argument, and you'll see the truth to this. I mean, first of all, it may be counterintuitive, but you do a lot of testing, to bring down the numbers not to have them go up, because you find people who are infected the isolate them, you slow down the transmission of the virus, that's the whole point.

But you take a look places I think we have some of the examples here. But in New York again, for example, where you are Anderson, as testing went up over time, what happened, the case rate started to actually come down. So there you see the testing. That's actually gone up over time. And then in the next graph, you see that the actual cases have come down. That's what should happen. Increase in testing should lead to decrease in cases.

By the way, if you start to talk about what is the right amount of testing, we're doing about 500,000 tests per day, roughly. Some say we should be doing 5 million tests per day in order to get more of those sorts of scenarios like New York, so 10 times as much what we're doing right now.


GUPTA: So yes, we're testing more than we used to, but we were testing in abysmally small amount before.

COOPER: Yes, Sanjay, I had hoped we wouldn't have to have another town hall, because we'd hoped this obviously would have gone away, been dealt with but we're going to be doing another town hall on this topic tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. I'm glad we're doing because there's a lot of information we got to get out there. And this is still around. It's got to be taken seriously.


Sanjay, look forward to seeing you then.

My conversation coming up, with comedian and Daily Show Host Trevor Noah. His thoughts and the charges announced today against the police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks.


COOPER: It's busy night, let's check with Christ, see what he's working on. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right. We've had a lot of changes in like the last hour or so Anderson we have some extraordinary access inside the Rayshard Brooks case. There's apparently a potential revolt going on by police in Atlanta because of the charges against the two officers.

Today, dozens and dozens of officers according to our Ryan Young, are not responding to calls are calling in sick. This is a -- you know basically their reaction of not wanting to work if this is what's happening.


So we have the mayor of Atlanta tonight. We also learn today a couple of interesting things in the charges. One was that the prosecutors don't see Rayshard as the only victim. They listed other ones. One of them is a Melvin Evans. He was there. He saw everything that happened in real time. He is with us tonight.

We also have the attorneys for the other officer involved not Ralph, the one who did the shooting. But officer Brosnan, who was the first officer to encounter Rayshard Brooks that night. His attorneys are here to clear up whether or not he's working with the state or going to be a witness. There'd been reporting that he would be, then there was a statement put out the attorneys by the attorneys that he would not be and then what Brosnan did that night was exemplary. They're here tonight as well.

COOPER: All right, for that, that's about four minutes from now, Chris. Thanks.

Still to come, we're going to talk to the Daily Shows Trevor Noah, his thoughts about the charges against a police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks.


COOPER: Moments after the murder charges against the officer who killed Rayshard Brooks was announced. I sat down with Trevor Noah host of The Daily Show. He had -- we'd hoped to bring you some of his comments tonight, but we ran out of time. We apologize for that. You can see the whole interview Friday 9:30 p.m. Eastern, plus an extended version of the interview on Sunday at 10:00 p.m. here on CNN news.

News continues right now. I hand over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME". Chris?