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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

RNC Abandons Promises of Convention Full of Light and Optimism; RNC Tout Trump's Handling of Pandemic with Death Toll at 177K and Climbing; Republican Convention Takes Dark Turn on Race; Republican Convention Kicks Off; Republicans Gloss Over Trump's Failure to Battle COVID-19; Video Shows Wisconsin Police Shooting Unarmed Black Man Multiple Times in Back. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 25, 2020 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And here we are. Once again, another week of Don Lemon, along with Chris Cuomo. Welcome to our very special coverage of night one of the Republican convention. Republicans, really, Chris, abandoning all their promises of a convention full of light and optimism.

Remember?

The Democrats were so dour and down. They were supposed to be optimistic. And they were trying to convince people that the president isn't racist.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: They went full carnage. And look. We have to be mindful. This is a country, divided. There are many Americans who want to believe that this president is not who he, often, seems. Is not who he is painted as and pointed to as.

But they weren't given a lot of reason to believe in Trump, the virtuous president. Trump, the good man. Even the president's own son couldn't seem to come up with anything that would humanize his own father.

Instead, this was a typical, political play, even from the president's son. Ignoring the problems of this man by saying but the other guy is a bum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: He's pledged to repeal the Trump tax cuts, which were the biggest in our country. After eight years of Obama and Biden's slow growth, Trump's policies have been like rocket fuel to the economy. And especially, to the middle class.

Biden has promised to take that money back, out of your pocket and keep it in the swamp. That makes sense, though, considering Joe Biden is, basically, the Loch Ness monster of the swamp. For the past half century, he's been around in there. Then, he disappears and doesn't do much in between.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Just one thing. When you say, "often painted as," he's painted -- he does a pretty good job, Chris, of doing that, himself. I don't think anyone is painting him as anything, don't you think?

CUOMO: Well, I think both happens. I think that he is often described in the negative, because that's what his mouth and his deeds warrant.

LEMON: Well said.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: You're welcome. Got three hours of it, brother.

LEMON: I know. Let's see. So but listen, there is a lot of talk about -- we also have to talk about, come on, the coronavirus. That is -- that is the big issue of the convention, as well it should be. It is big news.

The coronavirus death toll, in this country, passing 177,000. The president, Chris, is trying to rewrite that history. Glossing over the terrible toll of this virus. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To every frontline worker, I offer the salute of a nation that is forever in your debt. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

These are my friends. These are the incredible workers that helped us so much with the COVID. We can call it many different things, from China virus. I don't want to go through all the names because some people may get insulted but that's the way it is.

These are great, great people. Doctors, nurses, a fireman, a policeman, we want to thank you all. You have been incredible. And we want to thank you. And all of the millions of people that you represent. Thank you, all, very much. Great job. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you all, very much. So tell me a little about your stories. How about, we'll start with you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a postal worker.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deliver to the senior community during COVID-19.

TRUMP: Good. And we're taking good care of our postal workers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.

TRUMP: That, I can tell you. Believe me, we're not getting rid of our postal workers. They like to sort of put that out there. If anyone does, it's the Democrats, not the Republicans. I want to thank you very much and thank everybody in that whole, beautiful post office system. We appreciate it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Now I do have to say, Chris, those people at the White House tonight, they are heroes. Those are the people we talked about, who kept our country going in the middle of this pandemic. Among the countless American heroes who have risked their own health to help the rest of us.

And they deserve our thanks and they deserve praise, as well, don't you think?

CUOMO: Yes. And they deserve to have a voice. Instead of tell us your story, she says I'm a postal worker and he says I'm taking good care of you, aren't I?

LEMON: OK, great. Now what do you do?

And why are you here and what's your name?

CUOMO: Enough about me. Now let's hear you talk about me.

LEMON: Why -- why was he there to interview those people?

CUOMO: To humanize himself. To show that he has a connection to people, which is a fundamental aspect of being a leader. And frankly, this is a man who wouldn't even shake other human's hands until he ran for president, which we both know. We understand what they're doing. They are just at a deficit.

[00:05:00]

CUOMO: They can't talk about the biggest issue facing this country because they are at a deficit. And yet -- and yet -- there is so much frustration and disaffection in this country.

People are right to feel that the country isn't working well for them, Black and white, if they are working-class people. So there is a lot of resonance there.

But to ignore the 177-plus-thousand dead as a wartime president, you know, a self-appointed one, what kind of commander in chief doesn't talk about the dead, in a battle of any type of consequence?

It was very notable.

LEMON: But I, also, think it was very notable that, for every time coronavirus was mentioned, it was a rewriting of history. Even in the videos. People wearing masks. I think they were wearing MAGA masks and Trump -- Trump masks and saying that the president did this. And he did that. And he shut down.

It wasn't the travel ban. There were travel restrictions from China. All of that is being -- has been a rewriting of history of this. The president didn't take it seriously.

We could play a number of sound bites, going back from February to March to April to May, June, July, August of the president not taking it seriously. Saying it will go away. Saying he doesn't want to wear a mask behind the Resolute Desk. You can do it, if you want. But I just don't see it, for myself. Setting the example for how other people, how Americans, would conduct themselves during the coronavirus.

You hear it from the commander in chief. You see it from the top. That has to trickle down, especially to people who support you and who voted for you.

CUOMO: Well, you have to be right. Anecdotally, right, you have to be right empirically because here's what you and I both know, where we live. There have been a number of Trump rallies, where we live, recently.

And why are these people mocking masks?

Still.

Some wear them. Some actively refuse to wear them as an unreal restriction on speech or as a fake device to hurt the president.

Where'd they get that?

LEMON: How is that a political statement?

How is a mask, how has science become political?

How does one plus one equals two become political?

I don't really understand it unless you don't believe in science. You don't believe in math. You don't believe in reality. Then you follow someone who does.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I think the opportunity in the election will be who can speak to the people, who have a legit frustration and anger.

LEMON: I agree.

CUOMO: With the most truth and the best plan for going forward because as we both know, that's what demagoguery is. When people are angry, if you can give them a message that blames other people for what they, rightly, are worried about, that's demagoguery at its best.

LEMON: I got to tell you. You know, they kept saying -- I kept hearing the president, his apologists, conservative media, all saying, my gosh, the Democrats. Their convention was somber and sad and America is terrible. Excuse me.

Did you hear anything that would cheer you up tonight?

CUOMO: No. But you know what? LEMON: I was scared and I kept saying why is Kimberly Guilfoyle yelling at me?

Why are you yelling?

Why was she yelling?

CUOMO: Let's listen to her yell.

LEMON: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, DONALD TRUMP JR.'S GIRLFRIEND: Believe in yourself. In President Trump. In individual and personal responsibility. They want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom.

They want to control what you see and think and believe so that they can control how you live. They want to enslave you to the weak, dependent, liberal, victim ideology, to the point that you will not recognize this country or yourself. From the beginning, when President Trump spoke about making America great again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Huh?

Sorry. I was thinking about. I -- I didn't recognize her. I don't mean physically. I mean I didn't recognize that person. I -- listen, I don't know Kimberly Guilfoyle well. I certainly knew her socially, for a bit. She was very kind, always very kind to my mom and me.

We'd see her out -- I don't know who that is and I don't know why she's yelling. I didn't get it. That was terrible. Terrible.

CUOMO: It is an interesting rhetorical device, to be at the top of your lungs in an empty convention center. But you know, look, style. Everybody will have something. For me, it's the substance. This is about scaring people. If you don't vote for Trump, they are going to destroy our culture. And I'll tell you --

LEMON: Chris.

CUOMO: -- a lot of ears.

LEMON: Let me ask you, though.

CUOMO: Please.

LEMON: I'm glad you said that.

[00:10:00] LEMON: I kept wondering, how is what's happening on Trump's watch, now, everything that's happening -- the coronavirus, the economy, the riots, the protests, the police brutality.

How is that Joe Biden's fault, when it is happening, right now, under this president, on this president's watch?

It -- this is -- he is president. Joe Biden's not even president.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: They're making -- they're making it all happen. They're lying about coronavirus.

LEMON: Joe Biden doesn't want to defund police.

CUOMO: Well, he's the head.

LEMON: He is saying I want to give police more money. I want -- I want them to -- to be -- I want them to be trained in community policing.

How -- it is a Jedi mind trick that I don't understand how people are not getting this.

CUOMO: Jedi mind trick?

This isn't even R2-D2 --

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: But that's politics, Don. Running for this party, I am demonizing this party. Everything that's bad is your fault. Everything that's not going well on my watch, you are either lying about or you're engineering, somehow, on the sneaky side.

And again, well, who are people going to believe?

We'll see who makes the better case. And, yes, you can fact check it to death. We could fact check this convention all night. People were saying, you didn't fact check the Democrats.

They are not lying, the way Trump does.

Do politicians lie?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Of course. Do both parties engage in it?

Yes. I'll give you the full Guilfoyle. But not like Donald Trump. Nobody lies the way this man does, has and will, that I've ever seen in politics. So he's lying to you.

LEMON: He's lying. He is lying. And it's --

CUOMO: And these people are all his echo. I mean, one's his son. You know, the other one is his son's girlfriend. You know, so, OK.

But Tim Scott. You know, look. They're carrying water for him. You know, Tim Scott was very careful about what he didn't mention. His personal story is compelling.

LEMON: That he -- that he -- well, he's very careful about what he didn't mention.

CUOMO: That's right.

LEMON: And that he all but avoided the 2016 convention. Why?

All of a sudden, Donald Trump is his best friend but he all but avoided it. I think maybe he went to a South Carolina caucus or something or a few things.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: But that happens when Don Lemon runs against Chris Cuomo and then Chris gets the ticket and Don says look, he's our best bet.

LEMON: Tim Scott?

CUOMO: But what I'm saying Don Lemon -- we've never heard Don Lemon say, look, don't vote for Chris Cuomo not just because of the policy. This guy, he is a lying demon, who is going to hell.

That's what Lindsey Graham called him. You know, Ted Cruz called him a pathological liar and a person of no morality. You know, these people knew who Trump was. And now, they're pretending it's OK. It's a tough sell.

LEMON: Lindsey Graham called him racist and a lot more things. And a lot of other people, who are now his best friend.

But we will talk about that more. We have a whole lot to get to. A whole lot of what we heard at the Republican National Convention tonight. It was just plain dishonest. It really was. We've got a lot to fact check. That's next.

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CUOMO: First night of the RNC. Speakers had to make a choice. They can't talk about the pandemic.

Why?

Because the president is not handling it well. So they went after, if you think that's bad, look at the other guy. That's very typical in politics. It is as effective as it is true. So

let's bring in CNN fact checker, Daniel Dale. And then, we'll expand the discussion on what's happening here and what needs to happen.

We have political analyst Toluse Olorunnipa, a White House reporter for "The Washington Post." And political commentator, Mike Shields.

Good to have all of you. Thank you very much.

Daniel Dale. First, defend yourself. The charge is you didn't fact check the Democrats.

Why are you fact checking the Republicans?

DANIEL DALE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I did fact check the Democrats. I was right here, in this very studio, watching very closely. I filed the piece on the first two nights of the DNC. My colleagues filed a piece on the second two nights but I wasn't on TV, Chris, because the material didn't warrant it.

There were a few items where they missed context, maybe were a bit misleading but there was not a parade of false claims like we had tonight. This one night of the RNC featured more dishonesty than the entire four nights of the DNC.

So I think, as journalists, we need to say when things are not equal. And frankly, they were not equal here.

CUOMO: What are your big three?

DALE: Big three lies from tonight?

CUOMO: Yes.

DALE: Well, I think the biggest thing was the suggestion that -- well, there was the suggestion that Trump is doing well on coronavirus. But also, the suggestion that he, unlike Democrats, did not play down the pandemic.

Trump played it down for months. He's, arguably, still playing it down. But he said, into March, you know, this was going away. It was under control. It was like a flu, et cetera. There was extreme hyperbole about Biden, inaccurate hyperbole, that he wants to abolish the suburbs, dismantle, defund the police. Even though you will not be able to see any doctor under Joe Biden's healthcare plan.

And I think a third thing is the attempt by some speakers to pretend that the pandemic never happened and never affected the economy. So they'd say things like lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.

Well, that was true under Trump, at one point. But it's not even close to true anymore. Those records have been obliterated by the pandemic. We're at 10.2 percent unemployment.

So you can tout the record. And then, say, well, we had some tough times. It's no longer true. But they didn't say that last part. CUOMO: Mike Shields, how'd you feel about your party?

MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good evening. Look. I thought it was a fantastic first night. It was a smashing success. Logistically, it came across well. The diversity of it was incredible. The messaging was incredible.

He had real Americans, not Hollywood stars. You had real people, business owners, people who are nurses, people that are in the White House that are heroes. I thought the president was really speaking to the voters that helped him win in 2016.

[00:20:00]

SHIELDS: A group of voters that the Democratic convention, really, didn't speak to last week. And it was a huge contrast with what we saw last week.

CUOMO: Toluse, it was interesting. You know, they had the president in a clip there with essential workers. You know, one of the problems for minority communities is that they are disproportionately essential workers, which is one of the reasons they are getting more sick. They didn't have a diversity basis around the president, tonight.

How did that play for you?

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, clearly, the president was trying to show that he can stand, toe to toe, with Joe Biden. We saw, last week, all of the various speakers say Joe Biden is a decent man, that he is empathetic, that he reaches out to people.

You saw the president trying to show that side of him, to the extent that it exists. Especially, since, you know, the vast majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the president.

They don't think he is honest and trustworthy. They don't think he cares about people like them. They don't think he's an empathetic person. So he tried to play that up. And he tried to, also, showcase some of the diversity within the Republican Party, which is, you know, as a whole, lacking in diversity especially, when you compare it to the Democratic Party.

But they took some various candidates for -- for congressional office, some state lawmakers from Georgia and tried to show that the Republican Party is willing to showcase its diverse voices.

It's a sign that President Trump wants to try to compete for some minority voters. But he also wants to compete for a lot of the suburban voters, who are, you know, sort of dismayed with the sort of blatant racial offensiveness of this presidency.

And they are trying to show that, you know, the president who has said, you know, both people on both sides in Charlottesville, you know, were very fine and the president who told certain Congress members to go back to their country is not a racist. That was sort of the goal of today. CUOMO: Well, the bigger discussion that they're going to have in this

convention and with the country is that, boy, if Biden gets in there, things are going to get scary.

And the face of that was the McCloskeys, who, of course, came to America's attention when people broke in down the street on their block and they came out with weapons. I had Mr. McCloskey on the show with his lawyer, right after it happened. Here is a piece of the sound from them at the convention tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICIA MCCLOSKEY, ST. LOUIS HOMEOWNER: What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country. And that's what we want to speak to you about tonight.

MARK MCCLOSKEY, ST. LOUIS HOMEOWNER: That's exactly right. Whether it's the defunding of police, ending cash bail so criminals can be released back out on the streets the same day to riot again, who are encouraging anarchy and chaos on our streets.

It seems as if the Democrats no longer view the government's job as protecting honest citizens from criminals but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens. Not a single person in the out-of- control mob you saw at our house was charged with a crime.

But you know who was?

We were.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now I got to say, Mike, when I had him on the show, you know, the whole kerfuffle came up that he and I were supposedly fighting about his -- that was BS. I asked him how he felt about Trump making him the face of white resistance to Black Lives Matter because that's what happened when Trump put the video out there.

That's just a matter of fact. And, at the time, he was so resistant. Now he's at the convention, being exactly that.

What's the play here?

SHIELDS: Well, first of all, I'm glad the way you set that up which is that they broke their fence down because a lot of times, the way this is communicated in the media is there just happened to be some protesters walking by and these people came out and pointed guns at them. And that's not what happened.

CUOMO: That is not what happened.

SHIELDS: Right. And so, they wanted to defend themselves. And I think they speak to a larger issue in the country, which is the unease that a lot of Americans have when they see the police seizing entire blocks of cities and Democratic politicians too scared to take on those mobs because they are scared their own party's going to say you're not sensitive enough to what they are talking about.

So they back their police off and cede entire neighborhoods to people. So we went from very justifiable protests over the death of George Floyd, which opened up a massive, cultural moment in our country that was really necessary. And unfortunately, it got taken over by the mobs.

And people said, wait a minute, this is no longer a peaceful protest. There are people that are just mobs and the police are just backing off.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: But, Mike, you think it's -- you don't think it's a fair characterization. Yes. I just want to get this one point. I just want to get this one point straight. Then, I got to go.

When you say they were taken over by mobs. You don't really believe that any kind of ratio you could come up with, in any way, equates the mobs with the legitimate protesters, right?

You don't really believe that, numerically, you had --

SHIELDS: No, that's not what I was saying at all.

CUOMO: Well, you said they were taken over by mobs.

[00:25:00]

CUOMO: No, the mobs took over the media narrative on the Right. It wasn't numerical, though, Mike, and we both know it.

SHIELDS: No but Democratic politicians should have created a space for us all to say, hey, we agree with the peaceful protesters. But instead, Democratic politicians didn't want to fight.

They ceded neighborhoods in their cities and now, the peaceful protest. The whole narrative was taken over by people who wanted to burn and destruct. And then they had the police just backed off and that scares people.

CUOMO: After Seattle, which was a weird situation, that the mayor there called the summer of love, which was a mistake. Overwhelmingly, in cities --

(CROSSTALK)

SHIELDS: This happened last week in Chicago, too.

CUOMO: But the overwhelming amount. It's what you focus on and, of course, if you commit a crime, you're not a protester, you're a rioter.

But I think we got to be careful, at least on this show, about making it seem like it started as one thing but it then became something else. No. It's a fight for equality and against systemic racism in this

country.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: That's what it is. The president won't even say the words. Mike, I got to go. Not to cut you off but we'll continue this conversation. I got -- I got to stay online. You are always welcome to discuss it.

Daniel, thank you for the facts.

Toluse, welcome to the conversation. Haven't had you on before. I look forward to having you on again. A lot more of this first night of the Republican National Convention.

I just think we got to be careful about Black Lives Matter. The idea that it's a Leftie movement and that, somehow, if you talk about Black Lives Matter, it means it's OK to also talk about MAGAZINE, well, why would anybody want systemic racism in this country to be owned by the other political party?

Are people really against equality?

Does the president really want you to think that he's against equality?

So he wants you to see Black Lives Matter as somebody else?

Somebody else's thing?

Really?

We are going to have somebody on who, not only knows the president well, he worked in the administration. The Mooch, Anthony Scaramucci. Ooh, handsome. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Day one of the Republican National Convention in the books right now. Lots to fire up the base, but it was there anything else for independent voters? Was it effective? Will it work?

[00:31:14]

Let's discuss now with former White House press secretary or communications director, am I right? Mr. Anthony Scaramucci. How are you, sir?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm great, Don. Good morning. Listen --

LEMON: Good morning. What did you think? What did you think? What stood out to you?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I mean, you know, I mean, listen, I'm trying to be fair about this. I think that they're -- they're trying to make an argument that they don't have, and so that's where the chasm and the gaslighting comes in.

So they failed on the pandemic. They had healthcare workers lying about it. They failed on law and order, so they lied about the unrest in the cities, and they tried to blame it on Vice President Biden and the Democratic Party when he's actually running the country.

And so there it's sort of this weird Rubik's cube in the Republican Party. They're spinning to try to find the right message and the right narrative.

But ultimately, what it came down to, Don, tonight when I watched the whole thing was they're just trying to get voter participation up in their base. They recognize that the majority of the country dislikes the president's handling of the COVID-19 crisis and also dislikes what happened to the economy as a result of his handling of the crisis.

And so they're hoping they can get voter participation up in their base, that they can racially charge and blow dog whistles out at, and see if they can continue to gaslight.

That was my assessment of tonight. There were some weird speeches tonight, too, as you know.

LEMON: We're going to talk about that.

SCARAMUCCI: Some of that stuff was very head-scratching.

LEMON: It was very head-scratching. But also, in the last segment, they talked about the diversity. And I saw the diversity in the videos, and you know, there were some speakers of color tonight. More than I see in the cabinet and in the administration and definitely more than you see, usually, at a Trump rally. Was that all show, pomp and circumstance? What was that?

SCARAMUCCI: Don, listen, I mean, you know, back in the Nineties, you had a lot of these corporations on their annual reports. They would put lots of tokenism in place, and everybody on the front cover of the annual report didn't look like the people that were in the boardroom.

And so it seemed like we were back in the Nineties and the sort of annual report photography. So I didn't -- I didn't like that either. But that -- that's not really the thing here. The thing here is, is there enough Trump base supporters? Can he increase the percentage of them in terms of the turnout? And can he --

LEMON: Well, what's the answer to your question?

SCARAMUCCI: Oh, no, he's going to get -- he's going to get annihilated. I mean, he's -- he is going to get annihilated. He's going to get annihilated in a way that I think will actually be humiliating, because this is an instinctual thing. This is about a feeling. It is -- People vote for the presidency based on how the presidency makes him feel, and we know that the injustices that are going on, we know that the grifting that's going on, we know it's not our best. We know it's not what we want America to be in terms of the ideals of America.

And so he has a very small minority of the people that are still with him. You're seeing lots of swathes of people in the Republican Party, myself included, the Lincoln Project, Republicans are voting for Joe Biden and moved away from him.

And ultimately, Don, the great irony here is that Steve Bannon was right. Steve Bannon said a few months back, if you hive (ph) off 3 to 4 percent of the Republican Party, it is over because the president can't, quote unquote, "create that inside straight again." And if you look at the four or five swing states, the differential was about 110, 120,000 votes. He doesn't have any room on the table anymore to make those maneuvers. He's alienated too many people.

LEMON: OK, but people --

SCARAMUCCI: Those people are going to be working very hard over the next 70 days.

LEMON: OK, but listen, people want to believe in something, right? Whether you think that what happened tonight was propaganda or whatever; the videos, they were misleading, the things they were saying; lots -- left lots for the fact checkers to fact check; but people do want to believe. Republicans usually come home. And so I'm not so sure that he's going to be annihilated. I mean, that's your assessment. Listen, you're great at numbers. You worked in the administration. You're in the Republican Party.

I'm going to bring Chris in, because I think, Chris, it's a perfect conversation for you to participate in, as well. I'm not so sure. Do you think he's going to be annihilated, Chris Cuomo?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: No. And look, I know Anthony very well. He's a friend of mine. And he's much smarter than I am. He's much better with analysis, but politics is new for Anthony. You are used to, Anthony, politicians calling you up and asking for money.

You know, now, you've taken a very different tact. And, Anthony, you know, you became known for having this conversion of thought. But just think about how long it took and how many people were in your head about why you were supporting him and what worked and, eventually, I think some of your basic values and what you were hearing in doublespeak overwhelmed you. And some of the people in the pictures behind you, I think, helped overwhelm you with logic and emotional reason, too.

LEMON: Meaning your family?

CUOMO: Well, yes. But just think -- And I know Anthony's family. They're beautiful people. And good heads, good hearts. And I'm sure many people in his family still support the president, which is not different than my own family, by the way. Why?

People are upset, and they can easily be seduced by the idea that he represents traditional values. And Anthony, there's a big audience for that in this country. SCARAMUCCI: OK, so I'm going to push back, with all due respect, and

you're right: I am newer to politics than the Cuomo family, certainly eucharist (ph). But let me tell you something, OK?

You've got 67 percent of the American people that dislike the way he handled the COVID-19 crisis. You have 31 million people that are looking for work. You have 177,000 people that have died from the coronavirus, and likely 250,000 will be dead by November the 3rd.

And so the overwhelming tsunami of that is going to blow him onto the ash heap of history. And so when I say annihilated, it's sort of like a 53/47. It's a 54/48.

Remember the Carter election with Ronald Reagan? It was very tight, Chris, until the end. And the debate, and Reagan says, "There he goes again." And all of a sudden, people went to the polls and said, I don't feel right. I am not better off than I was four years ago.

There are very few Americans -- maybe the tippy-top, through tax cuts and the corporate sort of graft and welfare and all that stuff that went to the corporations, maybe they did well. But the average American has not done well in the last four years.

He has destroyed the economy. So he's running on the economy, but he destroyed the economy because of what cabinet members said to me in my office last October. He cannot manage. And therefore, he will not be able to handle a crisis. And if a crisis comes, the executive branch of the United States will be immobilized.

So I hear you. Polls will tighten up a little bit in September. They may even get tighter in October.

CUOMO: In the places that matter.

SCARAMUCCI: But they are going to spread on November 3 --

LEMON: OK.

SCARAMUCCI: -- because of the sentiment, Chris. That's my opinion.

LEMON: I've got to end this. I know you two can go on. I could go on, as well. But Chris, remind me --

CUOMO: I actually owe you a meal, Anthony, so I'll be calling you.

LEMON: Remind me to tell you about all the predictions. Anthony told me something a year ago, and everything he's told me has come true. Do you remember that conversation?

CUOMO: Didn't he tell you you were going to lose 20 pounds?

LEMON: No. He told me that you would gain 20 pounds. And he was absolutely -- he was a little bit off on that, because it was 30.

But Anthony and I had a conversation on an airplane.

SCARAMUCCI: On a seaplane. On a seaplane.

LEMON: A seaplane. And everything he said has come true. So anyways, I'll end with that. We'll continue to talk.

SCARAMUCCI: I love that. I mean, we can go right to commercial right now.

LEMON: Say hello to the wife and family. Thank you. Good to see you.

SCARAMUCCI: God bless you guys. All right (ph).

LEMON: Republicans glossing over the president's handling of the coronavirus in tonight's kickoff at the -- to the RNC, glossing over it so much they painted a picture that just doesn't match the facts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:43:30]

CUOMO: Look, political conventions are about spinning the message to the audience and trying to get as much support as possible. The Democrats did it. The Republicans are now doing it.

But that doesn't make everything equal, OK? In this country right now, we are living in a pandemic, OK? You should not be glossing over that, as they did on night one of this convention. It's not about politics. You can't be left and right about a pandemic. You must be reasonable. Let's bring in Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore City health commissioner.

Now, the idea of, look, we're not focusing on it that much, because you know, the media and the left have exaggerated, paralyzed Americans. And really, the numbers are going down, Doctor. So we're not going to focus on it exclusively. There's more to life than this virus. That's their case. Response?

DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: This is the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes. The numbers may be going down a little bit right now, but they're peaking at a really high level. We're still seeing more than 40,000 new infections every day. At this rate, we're still having 1,000 people dying per day.

And look, there actually are some things that the Trump administration can be proud of. They could be proud of their work on telemedicine, making telehelp available. They could be proud of the vaccine efforts that are really expediting things.

But there's a lot that they need to answer for, as well. What is happening with testing. We keep on talking about this, but why don't we have testing for all people who need it and want it? And I think there needs to be an acknowledgment that no other country in the world is looking at the U.S., saying, You guys did a great job. We want to be like you.

[00:45:11] We're leading the world in infections and deaths. And there was no talk today about any of the other things that these other countries have done, like masks, social distancing, these proven interventions that we can still have in the U.S. to save lives.

CUOMO: They say, overwhelmingly -- again, this is their case -- overwhelmingly, the deaths are really just the elderly and it just came from the nursing homes. And you know, our death as a function of the population is one of the lowest in the world. So what are you upset about?

WEN: Well, I would say that, first of all, it is a major problem that older people in this country are dying. These are not random people. These are our grandparents, our great-grandparents. And we know that this is a disease that affects everyone. There are children who have died. There are young people who haven't died, who have recovered, but may be left with -- with permanent kidney failure, who have strokes and are unable to speak and to walk again.

I mean, this is something that's affecting all of us. And I think there needs to be an acknowledgment that there were missteps that were made, but that now we need to move forward and do these things that actually are effective.

CUOMO: Long-haul syndrome, we're going to be hearing about it. I have it. It's going to be a problem that we deal with for at least the next year, just in getting our hands around what it will mean for years to come.

So the president says, Look, all of this is just negative talk, because plasma is going to change everything.

Now, you and I agree -- I agree, because I listen to you -- that plasma is a great thing. For people who are really sick, with the idea that you're going to get a plasma shot, and you know, your beautiful new child will get a plasma shot and you'll be fine, you don't have to worry about anything, that's not true.

WEN: It's not true, Chris, and we also just don't have the data. There is not a randomized controlled trial that's comparing plasma to placebo. And that's what we need to aim for at this point.

I mean, there is a real danger when we politicize science, and I do worry about the sequence of events and how we got to getting this emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma.

At the end of last week, we had Tony Fauci, Dr. Francis Collins from the NIH saying they don't think that there is enough data to support this emergency use authorization.

But what happened over the weekend, there wasn't new research that was done and published. There was some kind of political interference. And public health depends on public trust. That public trust is broken when we are politicizing science instead of following scientific process. CUOMO: And, you know, people should know. You know who can get that

research done the fastest? The federal government. If the president said, I think hydroxychloroquine is the right move, he could have commissioned studies done by this government. They would have gotten it done and fast. He could do the same thing with plasma. He could do it with anything. It's up to him and what decisions he decides to make. That's the politics.

The science will keep clear with people like you, Dr. Wen. Thank you. God bless. Stay healthy.

WEN: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, look, you can't both sides it. You can't equivocate on the pandemic, OK?

Now, on what has happened in response to the wrongful deaths of black Americans, now that's been highly politicized. Protests on the streets, but also violence and riots.

Now what are you seeing on night one? They're made equal at the Republican National Convention. Oh, all of us believe that you should protest, but they've become this ugly thing. Says who?

So tonight in Wisconsin, we see it once again. Why? A black man was shot in the back by police. They're not going to be sending and throwing flowers. They're angry. All right? Should they be throwing things at police? No. Do you have to understand where that anger is coming from to address it? Yes. But we're not having that conversation.

According to the family's attorney, this all happened as this man's three kids looked on. We're going to go to Kenosha in Wisconsin, and look at this. Because this is our reality, and we have to be better than this. Why isn't this what the convention is all about? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:53:15]

LEMON: Perhaps you've seen the video. You heard Chris talking about it just moments ago. Protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, tonight. That after officials say a 29-year-old black man, Jacob Blake, was shot in the back at least seven times by police.

Officials are saying that Kenosha police were called to a domestic incident that was on Sunday night, but it is unclear who called 9-1-1.

Witnesses say Blake was trying to break up a fight, a fight between two women. After the police arrived on the scene, they followed Blake to the front of his SUV. That's according to the family attorney, who was Benjamin Crump. You've seen him on all the networks.

Well, three of Blake's children, ages 3, 5 and 8, they were all in that vehicle, and this is when a man in an apartment across the street starts filming. And I really have to warn you, OK, that this video is very graphic, and it's disturbing. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD NOISES)

(GUNSHOTS)

(CAR HORN HONKING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Really, really hard to watch. Children in the car, can you imagine?

The Kenosha Professional Police Association issued a statement, asking for people to hold their judgment until all the facts come out, saying that the tape does not capture the entire incident.

Well, Jacob Blake was airlifted to a hospital in Milwaukee, where he remains in the ICU. Let's discuss now. From Kenosha, CNN's Sara Sidner, covering another one of these stories.

Sara, I can see the fire behind you. The police presence and so on. This is the second night of protests in Kenosha. What's it like on the ground there? The National Guard were called in, correct?

[00:55:04]

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: National Guard called in. You've got a smaller group of protesters across from the courthouse, but what you're seeing is the fire is one of them that is burning here. That is the state of Wisconsin Department of Corrections, at the field office here in Kenosha. That is completely burned through.

There is a furniture store just a block up. That has also completely burned through. There's another building on the street burned through.

This is the result of an explosion of anger after seeing that godawful video that you just showed there. Some people were witnesses to that in person. Others saw it here in Kenosha by seeing it on their phones and on their -- on their screens.

And for many, many people, this was really hard to watch, and it created a great deal of anger and a deep-seated fear. And a lot of pain, as you know that is wrapped up in all of this, seeing yet another black man shot and killed by police.

Now, we do not know what happened before this incident, but a lot of folks watching that, that was enough for them to feel that this was unjust.

The people feeling the most pain, though -- and you know this very well yourself -- is the family.

LEMON: Right.

SIDNER: The family that is currently at the hospital. We know that Jacob's mom has been at the hospital. His father is on the way.

We were able to talk with his uncle, Justin Blake, who said, Look, Jacob is a strong kid. He was a wrestler at one point. And he believes he will pull through this. And we know that at this point he's in stable condition. But he said that phone call to the family and the one that he got is a parent's worst nightmare.

LEMON: Yes. Let's listen to some of that, Sara.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN BLAKE, JACOB BLAKE'S UNCLE: This is like all that black parents talk about. It's that phone call you don't want to get. And we got it.

So you have to sort of be strong for each other, let your faith lead the way. And so after talking to his mother, she and my brother are asking people in Kenosha and around this nation to protest. But protest nonviolently.

We want justice, and we're going to get justice. We're going to demand justice. But we're going to do that without tearing up our own communities.

SIDNER: What did he say to you when you first talk to him?

BLAKE: That it was going to be all right. And it is. But what's all right when someone's life was just totally changed? Thank God he's alive. So we're just praying for a great recovery, that he may have a great quality of life and that his father, my brother can enjoy him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The conversation, Sara, really, that black families fear, and some of them -- many of them inevitably end up having about their family members.

Sara, thank you. We look forward. We know we're going to see the -- the rest of that interview tomorrow morning on NEW DAY. And we look forward to seeing it. Be safe out there, and we'll see you soon. Thank you, Sara Sidner.

Chris, again, it's -- here we are covering another one of these stories. And we've got to see what the facts are to play out, but boy, that video was just awful.

CUOMO: It's still going to come down to a fundamental question that I believe leans towards a problem we have with training in this country.

LEMON: Absolutely.

CUOMO: You have multiple cops on the scene. There's no question that he's not complying with instructions.

LEMON: They're supposed to de-escalate.

CUOMO: But now what happens? LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: You know? And we have reached this really perverse binary situation in terms of common people's analysis of these cases, which goes like this: Hey, if you don't listen, then you're asking for it.

Asking for what? The death penalty? I know he's not dead, this man. God willing, he pulls through. But it's so you listen or you get shot?

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: That's what it is? Obviously, no.

So let's bring in CNN's senior legal analyst, former federal prosecutor Laura Coates.

It's good to see you, as always. I would say not under these circumstances, but you know what? This is when we need you most. We have to go through these situations. We have to understand. What we see is the victim of the shooting here is not listening to the police. He circles back around. He goes to the car. They say don't go, don't go. They are not able to stop him. It doesn't look like they really, you know, had any plan to stop him. He tries to get in the car. As he reaches in, the officer bang, bang, bang.

We know what the officer's going to say. I thought he was reaching for a weapon in the car. I told him to stop five times. What else am I supposed to do? Analysis?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, what else are you supposed to do? First of all, can you imagine, Chris and Don, that we are in a situation in a world where the person who is shot seven times in the back is one of the lucky ones in an officer-involved shooting that he is not, at this moment in time, deceased? His family is able to see him at some point?

His three children were in the car. He was going to an area where his three sons.

END