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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Rally for Racial Justice Marches on Washington in Wake of Jacob Blake Shooting; Trump Niece Releases New Tape of President's Sister; Former Pool Attendant On Relationship With Falwells; Granda: Becki Falwell Said Her Husband Jerry "Likes To Watch". Aired on 8-9p ET
Aired August 28, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
What feels like the ten years or so since the Republican convention got underway on Monday, we've seen so much even for these times. A category 4 hurricane hit the Gulf Coast; the loss of thousand more lives to coronavirus; the CDC is puzzling, apparently politically driven change and guidelines on testing.
We've seen the misleadingly optimistic announcement as -- as -- as a yet unproven COVID treatment, and the FDA firing today in the wake of it.
Also, the new estimate that nearly a quarter million Americans will die of the virus by Election Day. A million new jobless claims, and, of course, a massive peaceful outpouring in Washington today after this week's police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, who is now paralyzed from seven bullets in his back.
Fifty-seven years to the day since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the original march on Washington. Tens of thousands gathered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Dr. King son, Martin Luther King III, spoke, so did George Floyd's sister, Breonna Taylor's mother, and Jacob Blake's sister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will not be a footstool for oppression. Black America, I hold you accountable. You must stand, you must fight. But not with violence and chaos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Last night, just steps away, accepting his party's nomination for a second term, President Trump did not mention Jacob Blake, nor the apparent vigilante violence that followed, which left three protesters shot, two dead, and a 17-year-old man with a rifle, charged with murder.
He didn't talk about the fight for equal justice, or the calls today, and throughout, to tamp down violence. Instead, the president focused on the chaos. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is violence, endanger, in the streets of many Democrat run cities throughout America. This problem could very easily be fixed, if they wanted to. Just call, we're ready to go in.
During their convention, Joe Biden, and his supporters, remained completely silent about the rioters, and criminals, spreading mayhem, in Democrat run cities.
In the face of left wing anarchy, and mayhem, Minneapolis, Chicago, and other cities, Joe Biden's campaign did not condemn it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Keeping them honest, that is not true. Joe Biden himself made a video this week condemning violent protests, as well as systemic racism that leads to it, in his opinion.
In addition, whatever you might think of Joe Biden, the president glides over the fact that Biden is not president, the president is, and he's had three and a half years to hash out policies from a conservative perspective for addressing systemic racism, while preserving law and order.
We talk to Jacob Blake's father about his reaction to the president speech, and today's march on Washington.
First, new developments in the shooting, and how police representatives in Kenosha are now framing the encounter. CNN's Sara Sidner is there, joining us with breaking news.
Sara, we're going to speak to Jacob Blake's father in a moment, I understand that Kenosha police officers association has come forward with details, of what they said, lead up to the shooting. Or as we should say, the officials who are leading the investigation, they have not come forward to divide details. This is the police union. What are they saying?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's interesting. We are not hearing this from the police chief, we are not hearing this from the police department, we're not hearing this from the Department of Justice, which is the investigating agency into the shooting. We are hearing this from the police union.
But here is what they are saying now. They are now accusing Jacob Blake of being armed with a knife. They said he was armed with a knife, that officers told him to drop, it and he did not comply. They also say, he was there, and they were called there because he had some keys, and was attempting to steal keys, or the vehicle. That you all saw when he turned his back to officers, and the officer shot him 7 times in the back.
We are also seeing that they knew he had a warrant out for him for a third-degree sexual assault at the time. That he was not complying with them, that they tried their tasers on him, more than once, but the tasers failed to stop him. And they said, look, he was not breaking up a fight with someone. It was him that they were called to the scene for.
Those are all things we are hearing from the police association, and that the van that you see there on the social media video he was trying to get into his three children inside, was not actually his vehicle. Now, what's interesting here, again, is this is not coming from sort of the official investigation. We are hearing these several days later, after the shooting of Jacob Blake, that left him paralyzed from the police association here in Kenosha.
I also want to mention, the uncle of Jacob Blake, his uncle, telling us, look, if that was deadly force, that was necessary, this man was back was turned to police. How is that something that is -- making a police officer so afraid, that made them feel like they had to shoot him seven times in the back.
They are very incredibly concerned about what they are hearing from this association -- Anderson.
COOPER: The association is saying that there was -- that Mr. Blake was fighting with police, and at one point, had a police officer in a headlock. Again, tasers were used, but did not work, or did not stop him, for whatever reason.
Has -- why haven't, and I know the Kenosha Police Department handed this over to state investigators as per their procedure, but why hasn't there been some sort of official explanation of all of these things, even if it is not directly giving up details of about going investigation?
SIDNER: Yeah, I mean, it is unusual. I know you have covered these cases, and certainly, I have covered my share of these cases. It is unusual to not have some of the straight facts, according to police, and then you also have those facts of people on the ground, the witnesses, or giving as well. This time, we hear from the union, but we are not hearing from any of the investigative agencies on any of these details that have been handed out by the association. So, it is very confusing.
I do want to mention something, there was warrants out for Jacob Blake's arrest, but, we learned that just this afternoon, from his local attorney here, that, indeed, those arrests he said, those warrants, have already been vacated. Jacob Blake was actually cuffed to his bed, his legs cuff to the bed, all of this time, until this afternoon when officers took those cuffs away, remove those cuffs.
The family has been very adamant that this is adding insult to injury. Here he is paralyzed, and he's cuff to the bed as if you will get, up and walk away somehow. Police had been also guarding his room, guarding the hospital where Jacob Blake is. They have left the hospital as well, according to his local attorney. So, that is some of the developments that are happening here. COOPER: In the warrant, repeat again, what was it for? Do we know the
details about that? You say it was vacated, does that mean that the charges have been dropped?
SIDNER: Uh-huh. Yes. Vacated, charges dropped, according to his attorney.
However, we know this had something to do with a 3rd degree sexual assault that was in the warrant itself. The details of that, because we do know who put that forward, but will not name the person, because, of course, this is a person who is an alleged victim of sexual assault.
But indeed, these are serious felony charges, and his attorney saying, those have been vacated, and indeed, the police are no longer standing anywhere near the hospital, or they do not have him cuffed anymore to the bed. Again, here is a person shot 7 times in the back by police, who is paralyzed.
The family, disgusted really, having to see him that way, and have the shackle on his leg, in the hospital -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah, Sara Sidner, appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Earlier, I spoke with Jacob Blake's father, about an hour ago. Jacob Blake Sr., about what he wants to see in the wake of the shooting.
COOPER: Mr. Blake, first of all, how is your son doing? I understand he is no longer handcuffed.
JACOB BLAKE, SR., JACOB BLAKE'S FATHER: Yeah, he is no longer handcuffed. They finally set a bail, but they would not set a bail for -- since he was admitted.
COOPER: When you saw --
BLAKE: That's all we've been waiting for --
COOPER: When you saw that he had been handcuffed, just as a dad, what did you think?
BLAKER: Well, Anderson, I had two trains of thought. I had one, a serious thought that had nothing to do with the handcuffs, because, actually, him being paralyzed from the waist down, there was no necessity of a pair of handcuffs. What are you supposed to do, catch him if he fell out of the bed? He can't walk.
So, it was kind of funny, it was more funny that after about 10 hours, I kind of got a little roasted, because they would not set a bond. The minute they set a bond for my son, we paid it, and they squash the warrant.
So, what was the point in demoralizing my son? I couldn't -- you know, I couldn't get mad because they had custody.
COOPER: The police have not released much information about what may have occurred in the minutes before your son was shot seven times in the back at point-blank range.
As you know, the Kenosha Professional Police Association, which is a police union, they said that -- they late today said that Jacob was armed with a knife, didn't comply, that he had fought with police, and put an officer in a headlock.
I know you aren't able to say much about this, but were you aware of this? Is that accurate?
BLAKE: Some people say Brussels sprouts taste good.
COOPER: I don't get the reference.
BLAKE: I hate Brussels sprouts.
COOPER: You don't want to talk about this?
I understand when your -- are you concerned about the fact that the police union is coming out and giving details when authorities aren't themselves?
BLAKE: Look, a union is like a bunch of dudes that pay dues so that they go somewhere and meet to get away from their wives.
COOPER: When you saw your son in the hospital, I understand that he asked you why he was shot. Does he remember anything?
BLAKE: No, he didn't ask me -- he didn't ask me why he was shot, he said, dad, why did they shoot me so many times? And I said, son, they weren't supposed to shoot you at all.
COOPER: Does he, often, when people experience something like this, they have no memory of it. Does he -- did he know why he was there?
BLAKE: He knew why he was there. He knew.
COOPER: You spoke today --
BLAKE: He was in and out -- he was in and out of, what I'll call, it was almost like he was conscious, and then not so much conscious, and then conscious. He had a button, and every time he was in pain, he would hit the button. And then, of course, he'd take the starship Enterprise to the Vega system.
So, he was there, then, you know, they've done so much to his intestines, and so much to his spine, that he would be in a tremendous amount of pain, Anderson. And so, they are trying to handle making it sure that he can handle the pain.
COOPER: I heard you talk at the march on Washington today, and one of the things you said, you talked about two systems of justice in this country. Can you just talk a little bit -- can you talk a little bit more about that?
BLAKE: Well, you don't have to talk about it, but you have your TV show, you saw the white boy at 17 who killed two people, shot a third, shot a man his arm off, the third man. He walked past the police. They gave him some water, and a high five.
Well, they gave my son seven bullets to the back for a so-called knife that nobody ever saw. Who had the x-ray vision to see the knife in the car? Superman was on the scene?
COOPER: You're saying the way that the 17-year-old was treated the night he allegedly shot two people --
BLAKE: He made it all the way back to Antioch, Illinois, Anderson, another state. The police gave him some water, and a high five. They told him, thank you.
Thank you for what? Killing two people? Blowing another man's arm off? Thank you?
Hey, man, hey, if that's not an example of the two systems, then slap me, and call me a woman.
COOPER: Do you know -- I just want to go back to one thing you said. Do you not believe the police union when they say that your son had a knife on him?
BLAKE: You didn't say the police, you said the union.
BLAKE: If you want to believe the union, then you have to go find, what's his name, that they can't find? Find Jimmy Hoffa. Tell somebody who should believe about a union. Union doesn't mean nothing to me.
There's no -- there's no unions in North Carolina, where I'm from. It's the right to work state.
COOPER: You --
BLAKE: Unions (AUDIO GAP) somebody make dues.
COOPER: You spoke with Vice President Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, do you want to hear from President Trump as well?
BLAKE: Yeah, I spoke with (AUDIO GAP), it's too late.
He should have called four days ago, like President Biden, and Vice President Harris called me four days go.
It's too late now. My son has been in the hospital for two weeks. Am I supposed to beg for this dude to call me?
No. I'm cool. My family is cool.
COOPER: What do you want to see from authorities now?
BLAKE: We're going to find justice. Someone out there over the rainbow, you know, in a little house that Dorothy flew in on in the character, the tornado. It will be in the little house, there but will find justice out there.
COOPER: Do you believe there is justice?
BLAKE: Oh yes. There is better health care out there. There is justice.
It's just that we've got try to squeeze it out at white people justice lane. I got my turn signal on now, so I'm trying, I'm trying to merge into the (INAUDIBLE) lane, then maybe, maybe, I may find some justice.
COOPER: Mr. Blake, I am sorry for everything you are going through, and I appreciate your willingness to speak tonight after the day you have had, and, frankly, the last several days you've had.
BLAKE: Thank you so much, Anderson.
COOPER: We have more breaking news, the president's niece, Mary Trump, joins us to talk about excerpts of tape she made, conversations with their aunt, the president's sister, and what she says about the president.
Later, the former hotel pool attendant at the center of the Jerry Falwell Jr. controversy.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: New recordings tonight of the president's older sister, retired Federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, talking about her brother in the first family. They come from conversations with Judge Barry secretly taped by her niece and the president's niece, Mary Trump, a psychologist and bestselling author of "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's," excuse me, "World's Most Dangerous Man".
Mary Trump joins me now.
Thanks for talking with us.
First of all, before we go further, I just want to play a portion of some of these new recordings. This is Judge Barry talking about the president and his approach to money and his church (INAUDIBLE). (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MARYANNE TRUMP BARRY: And then you get Donald, who won't do anything for anybody, unless it's going to, in order to his, I mean, he won't do any publicly. I mean, if you -- anything he did he says, look what I've done. Aren't I wonderful? And he's as tight as a duck's ass. Just like dad was.
The only time Donald went to church that I know of, you know at least when dad wasn't bringing us every Sunday was when he --
MARY TRUMP, PRES. TRUMP'S NIECE: When he got married.
BARRY: Yes and, over the last several years when the cameras were at the church.
MARY TRUMP: Exactly.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: It's so interesting because when you think back to the campaign, before the president won, so much of what he was described as being was incredibly giving in terms of charities and donations and people were throwing around dollar figures and all the money that he gave. Obviously, there has been a lot of reporting since then on how his foundation actually worked and he would be given money into the foundation and he would sort of basically use that money to give -- to give money.
It's interesting to hear his sister say just that, that he basically doesn't give anything unless it somehow benefited him.
MARY TRUMP: Yes, and that's a long-standing pattern, you know? It's sort of amazing that anybody took the claims that he was charitable seriously, or that he was particularly a person of faith.
And, you know, as for the latter, that -- that's not necessarily important or relevant, except to the extent that he pretends otherwise and uses that to convince other people to support him.
COOPER: Well, yeah, on the faith issue, it's very interesting because during the campaign, you know, there was -- they had an event where he was asked about, you know, asking for forgiveness to God. And he said, it's not something he feels the need to do, because there's nothing really to ask forgiveness about, which -- I mean, you know, the whole idea of being humble and asking forgiveness is a central tenet.
And many -- there are many evangelicals who thought well, this is not on him in because this is obviously a core tenet of our faith. And yet, it didn't do him in at all.
Even when he was asked about his favorable passage and he couldn't name one, you know, and said he didn't want to name one, because there were so many. You know, it's pretty clear to anybody who has eyes that this president has just been pretending to be a churchgoing person, when he held up the Bible, you know, and it's interesting because now he's accusing Vice President Biden of saying that Biden wants to harm God.
MARY TRUMP: Yeah, and that one of his surrogates claimed, shamefully, that Joe Biden is a Catholic in name only, as if anybody is qualified to make that assessment of Joe Biden.
You know, I think there are a few things going on. One is that Donald had the support of certain white evangelical leaders, and people listen to their leaders. You know, they take on faith, if you will, their assessments of candidates and act accordingly.
I think also, some voters are single-issue voters and the character of the person concerned is irrelevant as well as long as the issue most important to them, and I imagine this case, it would be women's right to choose, or their desire for women not to have the right to choose being something that their candidate supports.
Also, I think there's a strain of white evangelical Christianity in this country that strayed very, very far from the Bible's original teachings. And that is something that should concern us, especially since we seem to be in an era in this country where the separation between church and state is disintegrating.
COOPER: You secretly recorded her saying these things. Your aunt didn't know she was being taped. Have you faced any backlash from her, from the family, since you released some of these?
MARY TRUMP: No, I haven't heard from anybody.
COOPER: Why did you decide to record your aunt?
MARY TRUMP: Originally, it was for personal reasons. I had no intention of ever releasing them publicly. That was not the purpose of them at all. It was essentially for my protection.
So it wasn't until extremely recently that I made the decision to make the tape, the recordings public.
COOPER: When you say for protection, what do you mean?
MARY TRUMP: Well, you know, in conversations with her, certain discrepancies arose in the context of past litigations we had, that I found disturbing, and I just wanted to have that on record in case I ever needed to, because I understand how this only operates. And, you know, you need to bring the receipts.
COOPER: Did you watch your uncle's speech last night?
MARY TRUMP: I had to, actually, because I needed to comment on it. So, unfortunately, yes, I watched --
COOPER: What do you make of it? MARY TRUMP: Yeah, it's more of the same. Nothing about it surprised
me, other than the delivery or the contents of it. It was a combination of outright fabrications, delusional constructs and a projection.
COOPER: It's often said, you know, Tony Schwartz, who wrote "The Art of the Deal", has often said that the things that the president tweets about, the criticisms he uses to attack other people are actually what he often thinks about himself, deep down inside.
You're a psychologist, I believe, by training. Does -- does that ring true to you?
MARY TRUMP: Yes. It's a very common mechanism that Donald employs, and much of the time, it's -- he's not doing it consciously. But it is remarkably consistent and frequent.
COOPER: Do you think he knowingly lies? I mean, a lie is something that is not true and there's -- you have the knowledge that is not true. He has certainly been told the things -- some of the things he says are not true. Many of the things he says are not true, and yet he continues to say it.
Do you think he just doesn't believe it or doesn't care?
MARY TRUMP: Oh, interesting way of putting it. I think sometimes, he believes it and doesn't care. Sometimes, he doesn't believe it, and then convinces himself is true almost immediately. It's pretty fascinating to watch.
You know, I think it's also fairly easy to know when he is lying or when he -- sorry, when he knows he's lying. I saw recently a clip of him talking about the alleged illegitimacy of the upcoming election in which nobody has yet cast a vote, and I could just tell, he knew he was making it all up as he went along, because of the smirk on his face.
When he's talking about himself, and his -- you know, fictitious accomplishments, I think sometimes, he believes his own hype, and sometimes he knows he is skirting the truth. But then, ultimately, he begins to believe that what he is saying is actually true.
COOPER: We're going to have more. We're just going to take a quick break.
We reached out to the White House for comment after first batch of tapes were released. The president released a statement that read, quote: Everyday it's something else, who cares.
We're going to take a break. When we return, more of new tapes from Mary Trump, this time the president's sister on Eric and Ivanka Trump.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: We're talking tonight with the President's niece, Mary Trump, not the President's sister. Here are two more Maryanne Trump Berry on Ivanka Trump and the height of the President's family separation. At the height of the President's family that Eric Trump's place in the Trump packing family order. Here it is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MARYANNE TRUMP BARRY, DONALD TRUMP'S SISTER: When that (INAUDIBLE) Ivanka puts this picture, the Madonna and child on Instagram, when we the big news of the day was --
MARY TRUMP, DONLAD TRUMP'S NIECE: -- from their families.
BARRY: I couldn't blame I never heard of Samantha before. I couldn't blame what she said. Meanwhile, Eric's become the moron publicly. Ivanka gives a shit. It's all about her.
TRUMP: Yes, she's a mini-Donald.
BARRY: She's a mini-Donald. But yet he's besotted with her. He always has been. She's always been his favorite.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, it's sad. The whole thing is just sad. I mean, can you give us some more context of what your aunt was talking about sort of coming? This has obviously been much discussed among people. It certainly seems to be discussed among the family.
TRUMP: Which I'm sorry --
COOPER: Oh sorry. Just I mean, it's interesting to me that the that that marriage that your aunt seems to have very clearly, a very clear idea of what the President views the rest of his family is being like.
TRUMP: I understand. Well, like many bad parents, Donald is not subtle, about which of his children he favors. So that's part of it. And that's something that's been part of the narrative in the family since they were kids.
COOPER: Obviously, all the Presidents or the President's adult children or they all spoke at the Republican Convention. They are taking a very active political role. It's not, you know, traditionally, people don't really cover the children of people who are in the White House when they're under age. But these -- this is different, obviously, because Ivanka Trump has a role in the White House. Donald Trump Jr. is out on the campaign trail. Eric Trump is, you know, I guess running the organization or involved in it.
You said that his relationship with his kids is very transactional and I mean is that the lens, he views everything through?
TRUMP: Yes, he got that from my grandfather who viewed life and business and his family as a zero sum game. You know, there could only be one winner, everyone else loses. So in order to be the winner, which Donald was absolutely determined to be, you need to figure out how to maximize your advantage in any relationship you have.
COOPER: It's interesting, you know, because Rick Wilson has a book called and I might be butchering the title, but it's a "Everything Trump Touches Dies." And it's an interesting idea to me that he -- or everybody in his orbit, it seems, firms themselves by, in one way or another that nobody survives close contact for long without being diminished, whether it's their reputation, their livelihood, whatever it may be. And I'm wondering, is that something that resonates with you? I mean, do you think that's true?
TRUMP: Yes, it's, you know, I think we've seen example after example of that. And, you know, my cousins are no exception to that. The difference is they know better than most people. Well, and I think Jared Kushner is also included in this they know better than anybody, how to manipulate Donald in order to stay in his good graces. So they have, you know, that's why they're still around.
On the other hand, however, what have they sacrificed in order to do that, you know, these are not independent people. They've never worked outside of the family business. You know, their money is family money. And they in a sense, subsume themselves to their father's agenda.
COOPER: I've never met somebody who is at that at the economic level that the President allegedly is. Who is so easy to sort of pacify. I mean, it's so easy to appeal to, I mean, it's so transparent. You know, all you need to do is say a few one or two nice things about his poll numbers or the size of his crowds. And he -- you can see it at times washing over him, you know. And it seems like then he sort of views -- well, you've said nice things about him and therefore that that is sort of the lens through which he views everything.
TRUMP: Yes, it -- this may sound odd, but that's actually one of the things that's most dangerous about him. And that's down to my grandfather. You know, my grandfather through various mechanisms and made Donald eminently useful to smarter, more powerful men.
And you're right, it's extraordinarily easy to manipulate him with a few choice words. And in the process, get him to do what you want him to do without his actually even knowing it.
COOPER: He gives himself away all the time on this even, you know, when he was asked recently about QAnon, you know, this bizarre conspiracy theory based on anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic tropes. He -- the first thing he said is, you know, well, they say very, I hear they say very nice things about me. And he is used that -- he uses that line all the time, and it's so telling because that truly is the most important thing to him. And it's the lens through which he views it. Oh, this group says nice things about me, therefore, there's no reason for me to view them critically.
TRUMP: Precisely, you know, he did that with David Duke. I mean, although first he claimed not to know who David Duke was, but then it was fine with him because David Duke supported him. And that's literally all he all that matters to him. You know, there has to be some currency involved, that benefits and whether it's praise or some financial benefit.
COOPER: I want to play another recording of your aunt Maryanne Barry -- Trump about DREAMERS (INAUDIBLE).
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, what he did with the DREAMERS, I mean --
BARRY: Oh god, I'm so much in support. You know, he change it --
TRUMP: I know.
BARRY: And but he denies it. I mean, he would deny he changed his mind (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: Well, just like with it with the kids who are now in the facto concentration camps done in Texas. He's blaming the Democrats for it. It's the Democrats horrible policy. So which suggests that he thinks it's a bad thing and yet he's allowed to keep it --
BARRY: His is mind boggling. But that's all about his base. All he wants to do is appeal to his base. He has no principles. None, none. And his I mean, my god if you were a religious person you want to help people, not do this.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: It's always interesting that everything from Donald Trump Jr. at the convention 2000 -- before the election, the last time, you called him I think like the people's billionaire, that he somehow is sort of, you know, really in touch with the working man and has been throughout his life. It seems to me his life is about running as far away from Queens where his father lived as possible, coming to Manhattan as quickly as possible. And surrounding yourself with gold and shiny things. It -- I've never understood that people actually seem to believe that when you look at the actual arc of his life.
TRUMP: It is astonishing. You know, I think Donald would be totally incapable of negotiating the world if he were somehow dropped into it. First of all, and secondly, presenting him as a man of the people is a rather remarkable bit of alchemy. You know, it's up there with claiming he's a man of faith, who cares about other people's faith or claiming he's successful, real estate developer and entrepreneur. I mean, none of those things about him is true. And yet that is how he continues to be sold, just as he continues to be sold. And I think that's a large part of what this convention was about as an empathetic family man. It's all lies, honestly. COOPER: Mary Trump. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
TRUMP: Thank you.
COOPER: Just ahead, Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife Becki, and their lead relationship with a former pool attendant for one of my interview with Giancarlo Granda, when we return.
COOPER: Just before we went on air today I spoke with a man at the center of a scandal involving one of the most important evangelical leaders in the country. Giancarlo Granda is his name. He was a pool attendant in a Miami hotel when he met Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife Becki. Some of their relationship remains in dispute, but both sides agree that Granda had a sexual relationship with Becki Falwell. Granda has said that Jerry Falwell would watch them. Both Falwell's deny that. They say Granda was trying to extort money from them. Granda denies that. Our discussion of all both sets of allegations as well as how we first met the Falwells.
COOPER (on-camera): Let's just start at the beginning of how you came to meet them.
GIANCARLO GRANDA, FMR POOL ATTENDANT Right. So --
COOPER (on-camera): You met them at the Fontainebleau Hotel. What happened?
GRANDA: Yes, yes, Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau Hotel, work shift. I noticed this woman behind me staring at me. She's staring at me. You know, she's flirting back and forth. And she invites me back to her hotel. And she invites me back to her hotel. But before she invites me back to the hotel, she's like, oh, by the way, my husband, he likes to watch. He likes to watch immediately. I kind of -- I pulled back. And I thought it was a little bit odd. I don't like to shame anyone for anything. It's OK. But I did find it odd at the moment. And she's like, don't worry, he's not going to he's not going to intervene. He's just going to watch in the corner of the room. He's going to watching the corner room and I'm like, OK, I'm a 20 year old single guy. I'm like, why not?
COOPER (on-camera): Do you know and they were that time.
GRANDA: I had no idea who they were. They at the end of my work shift, they called me through a block number. And then they told me to meet them at another hotel. And it was right by the phone book. I meet them at this hotel. I walk into the lobby. And Becki's sitting there. She's nervous. I'm nervous, you know, she offers me whiskey to calm down to relax. And then shortly after we go to the room.
[20:50:06] COOPER (on-camera): You're 20 years old.
GRANDA: I was 20 years old. The age of a Liberty University student. Right. That's really important to remember. Go up, and Jerry's laying down. And there's two beds. He's laying down and one of the beds. And he's, you know, he's noticeably drunk and giggling. And then again, I'm a little bit worried, right? I'm like, what am I getting myself into? And then I said, hey, at any point, if you get jealous or upset, just let me know. And I'll walk out of here. No problem.
COOPER (on-camera): You said that to Jerry Falwell.
GRANDA: I said that to Jerry Falwell. He's like, no, just go for it. Right. He encouraged me to just go for it.
COOPER (on-camera): Did you get the sense that they had done this before? I mean, did it seem new to either of them?
GRANDA: In hindsight, look now as a 29-year- old man, I can see how they're very methodical in targeting me. It's very clear now after years I've gone by they told me that I was perfect. I was perfect. You know, and I just I was exactly what they're looking for, is what they would tell me.
COOPER (on-camera): Yes, perfect. Why?
GRANDA: Well, to give context, when I was in high school, I suffered with video game addiction. You know, as I was a bit timid, nervous, and when I was working at the Fontainebleau, I was starting to come out of my shell, but I still had these insecurities and I guess they detected which made me a, you know, an ideal target for them.
COOPER (on-camera): Did Jerry Falwell participate? I mean did he just watch?
GRANDA: He would watch again, I don't want to go too much into the details at the moment. But he would watch and he enjoyed watching me and Becki had sex.
COOPER (on-camera): So he was sexually involved but just not actually physically participating with you?
GRANDA: Right. He would just sit in the corner and yes, he was just enjoying watching us.
COOPER (on-camera): Jerry Falwell, as you know, is accuse you of lying, saying that while you did have an affair with his wife, he was not involved in any way.
GRANDA: Right. That was the game plan for the beginning. That's why I called out the people behind the scenes trying to spin, manipulate. That was the game plan from the beginning, it's to throw his wife under the bus. I think that I mean, that just tells you exactly who they are. He's willing to throw his wife under the bus, and then call me the predator. The 20 year old, you know, again, age of a Liberty University student is the one that targeted them and preyed to them, this power couple that has the political connections, all the money in the world. It's just, it's ridiculous and discussing.
COOPER (on-camera): After that first encounter, how soon did you see them again?
GRANDA: So, that encounter ended, then the next day, they call me through block number again. And they said, hey, you know, come back, and I went back. So that was the second day. And then after that, then we exchanged numbers. And they told me, hey, we like to help young people. And we encourage you to finish school because at the time I was working full-time and going to school part-time just kind of working my way through college. And he encouraged me to, you know, to finish school like that he emphasized the importance of it.
And again, he said that he helped out -- he helps a lot of young people, and that we should stay in contact. And then shortly after Becki is constantly pursuing me, I mean, she was the one that was really pursuing sending me songs. Tell me her favorite songs.
COOPER (on-camera): What do you mean songs? She was like songs that she liked?
GRANDA: Yes, it was like just sentimental songs that mean a lot to her. And that she would call it our song. And this went on.
COOPER (on-camera): How often did you end up seeing them over the course of time? Because you've shared with us photos of you with the Falwell's including their kids. I know you've said you've went on vacations with them from time to time. I mean, do you think it unusual you were introduced to the family, but --
GRANDA: I think that's how they groom you when you're young. They groom you, they bring you into their family. They make you feel special. They make you feel smart, part of this family. And that's what makes it so difficult to say the truth because you feel like you're going to betray this family. So, that that's their strategy. They make you feel special, they befriend your family, it would actively try to befriend people around me. And again, they disarm people with their charm.
COOPER (on-camera): You provided us with a recording of a phone call, you said between you and the Falwell's in 2018. I just want to play this.
BECKI FALWELL, WIFE OF JERRY FALWELL: His new thing is, like, telling me every time he hooks up with people, like I don't know have or something.
JERRY FALWELL, PRESIDENT, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: You're going to make her jealous.
B. FALWELL: Yes. GRANDA: Not trying to do that.
B. FALWELL: Like week ago I was in tears for a frickin' day.
GRANDA: Come on.
B. FALWELL: He's like, I hooked up with this girl on Tinder and then I got her an Uver" and I'm like completely depressed.
GRANDA: Come on. You don't care about me --
B. FALWELL: Maybe the more you tell me, the me I'll get used to it.
GRANDA: You don't care about me anymore, Becki.
B. FALWELL: Huh?
GRANDA: You don't care about me anymore.
B. FALWELL: Yes, really? Yes, obviously.
GRANDA: I just, I just tell you because you're my best friend, right? So.
B. FALWELL: I know, I'm trying to be OK, and open, like, accepting my position, but I'm kind of (INAUDIBLE). So, yes.
GRANDA: It's OK.
B. FALWELL: I'm trying to. I've changed a lot. I've moved on. I've matured.
B. FALWELL: Matured.
B. FALWELL: I'm not as crazy as I used to be. I would think, I don't think.
GRANDA: No, you're (INAUDIBLE)
B. FALWELL: So, yes, this is just -- huh?
GRANDA: No, you're perfect, you've --
B. FALWELL: Yes.
GRANDA: Yes, you're (INAUDIBLE).
B. FALWELL: Yes, it's just new. I don't know. The whole -- I was always (INAUDIBLE). You know, even before. When you weren't dating somebody. Just kind of threw me for a loop.
COOPER (on-camera): So, how did they view this do you think? I mean, what was your sense from them? I mean, do you think they really cared about you?
GRANDA: So, I felt like I was used. Over the years, I felt trapped in this relationship because I'm contractually tethered to this policy. And over the years, they would make me feel guilty if I ever tried to pull away from Becki. It was -- I was conditioned over the years to feel guilty. Every time I would either pull away from Becki or the business, the LLC, I would get a phone call from either Becki crying or Jerry, saying, hey, a certain someone misses you, you should reach out to her. It was just this pattern year after year after year. And I felt like I was I had an obligation to make her happy to text her, even though I didn't want to I just wanted to pull away. But before I realized that I really want to pull away I was ready to trap in this in this business.
COOPER: We'll talk more about that business and the relationship ahead. We'll have more of my interview. Also a fact check about what the President said in his New Hampshire rally tonight. That's when we continue.