Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Trump Holds Rally in Battleground State Pennsylvania; Sources Say Donald Trump Abruptly Ends 60 Minutes Interview. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 20, 2020 - 20:00   ET

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


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a slice of the electorate. It's not necessarily predictive of how this is going to swing. But clearly both parties have work to do with this very passionate, reliable voter -- these voters, black women.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Well, all right, thank you so much, Kate.

And thanks very much to all of you for being with us. AC 360 starts now.

[20:00:18]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. With the President down in the polls two weeks to Election Day and the pandemic just a week away from a quote, "rapid acceleration" according to a former F.D.A. Commissioner, we begin with the question: is the President of the United States on that and other subjects just saying and doing whatever he wants instead of what actually might help him win?

Whether deliberately or because he just can't help it, is he going scorched earth in the closing days?

As we look at the President's rally tonight in Erie, Pennsylvania, I want to read you some of what Republican pollster, Frank Luntz just said on the subject. It is he says, " ... the worst campaign I've ever seen. They're on the wrong issues. They're on the wrong message," he said, and he is not alone among conservatives.

In a column today titled "Trump is giving up," conservative "New York Times" columnist, Ross Douthat accuses the President of disregarding what he called the obvious fall campaign strategy. Quoting now, "Push more relief money into the economy, try to ostentatiously take the pandemic seriously and promised the country that mask wearing and relief dollars are a bridge to a vaccine and normalcy in 2021."

Instead, Trump has ended up with the opposite approach, which is what you're seeing here in Pennsylvania.

The President ostentatiously not taking it seriously, even though the First Lady pulled out of this appearance tonight because she is still sick. Not even that and certainly not regarding his own illness, nothing is deterring him from holding yet another potential super spreader event in yet another state where cases are climbing. None of it is stopping him from saying what he loves to say about the

pandemic, even though new polling suggests it's -- he is simply not trusted on the subject.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The recent poll just came out, 56 percent of the people want to be here, not four years ago, they want to be with us in what we're calling -- we're rounding the turn on the pandemic, 56 percent and it's a record, epic job growth, safe vaccines that quickly end the pandemic -- and the normal life. That's all we want.

You know what we want? Normal life.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

TRUMP: Normal life will finally resume and next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: This was Pennsylvania's 15th straight day of more than a thousand new cases. In Ohio just next door, hospitalizations today hit their highest rate since the pandemic began.

In Wisconsin, where the President held a rally over the weekend, authorities reporting nearly 4,600 new cases, and on that polling, which actually was reported today, it shows that even after the President's bout with COVID, 70 percent of Americans have little to no trust that he will provide them accurate information on the subject.

And they are right. He just keeps talking about it though and he just keeps bad mouthing the country's most trusted expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TRUMP: He is a Democrat. He is actually a very good friend of the Cuomo family. He is a -- but he has been there for a long time. I'll leave him there. And he's a nice guy, but he's been wrong.

Reporters like him because they think he is against me. He's not really against me.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, it's true. He is not really against the President. Dr. Fauci has always gone out of his way to not be partisan. He has gone out of his way not to attack the President. He has been doing the same job for 36 years under Presidents in both parties.

So if winning trust on the central issue in most people's lives is what the President wants to do, attacking a trusted scientist doesn't seem like the way to go. Yet, he keeps doing it and keep saying the same things that lead to greater distrust. People can see that we're not rounding the turn, as the President

likes to say. The country is climbing toward a third peak. As we mentioned at the top, a former F.D.A. Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says we're about a week away from a period of rapid acceleration in cases.

All the estimates show that by February, another 200,000 or so people will die. He adds, there really is no backstop.

Yet, in the face of that the President keeps saying things that are obviously not true.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TRUMP: And we've saved millions of lives by the decisions I've made. We closed up our country in the midst of the greatest economic boom in history and saved millions of lives. Now it's opening.

So we did -- we did the right thing, and we're doing much better than Europe and we're doing much better than everyone else, and our recovery is the strongest in the world.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: Everything you heard flies in the face of what you can see for yourselves in your own lives, which can't help but undermine the President's credibility whenever he says it. Yet, he still says it, just as he keeps hammering away on Joe Biden's son, Hunter and calling on the Attorney General -- calling on the Attorney General of the United States to go after his Democratic rival right before the election, just like he asked Ukraine's President to go after him.

[20:05:10]

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TRUMP: We've got to get the Attorney General to act. He's got to act. And he's got to act fast. He's got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election.

This has to be done early. So the Attorney General has to act.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: Getting back to what Republican pollster Frank Luntz said about the campaign being stuck on the wrong issues and messaging. He says, quote, "Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide healthcare or solve COVID. Donald Trump spends all of his time focused on that, and nobody cares."

Now he is also picking fights with reporters, calling them criminals yesterday, attacking the moderator of the next debate and today, after reportedly abruptly ending a "60 Minutes" interview, he is now going after Leslie Stahl, more on that shortly. First, let's go to CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the Trump rally in Erie.

We played a little bit there in the intro. Anything else the President particularly has been talking about tonight?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, you've heard the President talking about coronavirus, telling the people of Pennsylvania to get their governor to open up the state because he says that they want to get back to normal life and his policies, the President, is saying are going to be the ones to bring that about.

And of course, he repeated that claim that he has made so many times that he believes we are rounding the corner when it comes to coronavirus, even though that is something that Dr. Anthony Fauci, another person that President has picked a fight with this week, also recently disputed.

So, of course you've just the President disputing his own medical experts there, continuing to repeat that and he is also talking about that "60 Minutes" interview that he did with Leslie Stahl, encouraging his supporters on that, though, Anderson, you know, when you speak to the President's political advisers, that is not the closing message they had planned with two weeks left to go.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, there's still no talk about healthcare plan, I mean, which, you know, Americans seem to want -- care about. People seem to care about their healthcare and be concerned about it. No talk about that. He is talking about Leslie Stahl of all things.

The First Lady was supposed to be there tonight. She is not because of lingering symptoms from COVID. Certainly, wish her the best. What's the latest from the President on her health?

COLLINS: Well, the President hasn't said anything about it. He didn't speak to reporters as he left the White House and he hasn't mentioned it yet tonight. But Anderson, it is unusual, because we got a statement from the First Lady last week saying that she had tested negative, talking about the symptoms she had previously.

And then today, only hours before this rally, that's when her Chief of Staff announced that she was canceling them. She was no longer going to attend the rally with the President and didn't announced that they're going to come to any of the subsequent rallies which of course the President has multiple of them planned and they said that was due to a lingering cough that she had from recovering from coronavirus.

Though, we don't believe she was expected to have a significant speaking role here tonight. And Anderson, it is unusual because the President is trying to build up support with women voters, something that he has suffered from, of course over the last several years, and his wife Melania Trump is not someone who often joins him on the campaign trail and actually hasn't since July 2019, I believe.

COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. Thank you.

Perspective now from CNN political analyst and "New York Times" White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, who wrote recently about the President's closing tactics under the headline, "Trump runs the kind of campaign he likes but not the one he might need."

Also with us, CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger; and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So Maggie, what is the atmosphere in the White House these days given the direction President Trump has decided to take the campaign? And I'm wondering where your sense of -- where his head is at or is it all just -- I mean, is he thinking about this as -- is there a strategy here? Or is it just rage and grievance?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very rarely a strategy, Anderson and we've seen that repeatedly over the years now. Within the White House, there is an attitude of mixed of resignation and frustration, some are still hopeful that they can see him pull this out the way he did in 2016, that the polls will be wrong.

But the knives are out for each other among staff, which is, frankly, what happened last time right before the President's surprise victory.

Look, the President is very angry, and I don't think that that's a surprise. If you'd look at his Twitter feed, you can see how angry he is. He is lashing out at the media. He is lashing out at his critics. He is calling on the Attorney General to take criminal action against his political opponent ahead of Election Day, which I don't think we should let get lost in this torrent of things that he is saying.

Look, the race is not over. People should not call the race. But all the polling suggests this is not the same as 2016, where he didn't have this level of early voting and absentee balloting going on. Roughly a quarter of the 2016 vote has already been cast at this point in this race and that's a very different feel.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, Gloria, to Maggie's point. The idea that the sitting President of the United States is publicly saying that his Attorney General has got to do something to stop Joe Biden and he has got to bring charges against them and make an announcement about it.

[20:10:10]

COOPER: Just as he asked the President of Ukraine to do it, which has led to his impeachment. It is extraordinary. I mean, it just seems normal and people -- it just seems like oh, yes, there's just another of those tweets and there are the things that he says.

But I mean, that's -- I mean, that's like something from, you know, some country where they change leadership every couple of months at the point of a gun. I mean, that's nuts.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. He says the quiet things out loud, doesn't he? And there's so much coming at you every day from Donald Trump, that you're almost tempted to kind of pass it over. But you shouldn't pass it over.

This is a President of the United States, asking his Attorney General to effectively set up some indictment, if you will. I mean, we don't know if it would get to that. But he wants to announce an investigation into Joe Biden because he feels that's the last arrow in his quiver, almost.

And what we're seeing here is really remarkable, because if you go back to 2016, when he won, he was talking to American voters about their grievances. He was talking to them about well, you feel left behind. You feel that the Democratic Party has become too elite.

They have negotiated bad trade deals. They've let in too many illegal immigrants and they shouldn't have done that. But he was talking to voters.

Now, he is talking to voters about his own grievances, not theirs. He is talking to voters about his grievances against Joe Biden, you know, his grievances against Democrats who tried to impeach him, and who did impeach him. He's talking to them about a rigged election.

He is talking to them about the way he has personally been treated by the media, by scientists, by Tony Fauci. But the question is, where are the issues the voters care about as you were talking about earlier? Or as Frank Luntz was talking about earlier, about healthcare? About what's going to happen with COVID? About what's going to happen with the economy? That seems to be missing because it's all about him.

COOPER: Sanjay, infectious disease expert, Peter Hotez, Dr. Peter Hotez said today that we're likely to see up to 70,000 cases a day here in the next two weeks, and that Americans should take steps to protect their mental health, as well as their physical health.

We heard former F.D.A. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said the U.S. is about a week away from what he calls a period of rapid acceleration. The estimates show by -- you know, Chris Murray estimate shows as many as you know 400,000, dead by February 1st. I mean, we're not rounding a turn.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean -- no, but you know, I think when you hear this sort of, we're rounding the turn, that's the expectation. And then at the same time, we see the numbers going up, that's part of the mental distress that people have.

I mean, you know, this is obviously a terrible situation. But being clear, on the expectations, I think, is part of actually helping allay some of those anxieties that understandably come with this.

You know, I look at those rallies, you know, and I think, you know, 14 days away now, this is one incubation period essentially away now from a diagnosis, right? There are people at those rallies now that will be diagnosed after the election.

Now, it's -- I mean, that's the reality of this.

As far as the acceleration goes, I mean, what Dr. Gottlieb said -- what Scott Gottlieb said, it's interesting, because we can show the United States compared to the European Union, there's all these comparisons that people make.

But if we show that if you go back to, you know, April, sort of timeframe, you'll remember, we were sort of looking at that graph and looking at Italy, I don't know if you can tell there, but the green is just about a week ahead there.

COOPER: The green is the European Union. The orange is the United States.

GUPTA: The United States. That's right. And so remember, we were watching Italy and seeing those numbers go up thinking is that going to happen here? And certainly it did. And then the European Union was able to bring the numbers down for quite some time.

But look to the far right of the graph. Now, the European Union has once again, jumped over in terms of case numbers the United States, and they are about a week or two ahead. So that's why Scott Gottlieb is saying that, you know, we're sort of tracking the European Union and there's a significant acceleration of growth when we go into exponential growth.

And at the same time, everyone says, okay, the number of cases, but is that translating into hospitalizations? And it is. I mean, we're seeing many hospitals -- many hospital systems now around the country that are far more full at this time of year than they typically are. And we're about to go into flu season. We're about to have worsening COVID disease, that sort of twin-demic.

So that that's the concern here, Anderson, going over the next several months.

COOPER: Maggie, have you heard anything? I mean, or under what scenario do you see the President accepting -- I mean, if the President does not win the election or you know, through the vote, you know, electoral -- through Electoral College, do you see the person accepting the results of the election if he loses? I mean, there's been so much talk about that. Is that -- is there a scenario you see?

[20:15:18]

HABERMAN: I have personally been of the opinion, Anderson that not much about the President's body language suggests that this is a job that he actually wants to do for four more years, at least at many points in time. He seems fairly tired of it.

And so I think that that's a factor and I think it would depend on what the conditions are like. And I think it would depend on how much he lost by. I think that part of the reason that Republicans will privately say that, if he loses, they hope that it will not be a close election, they hope it will be a pretty big margin for Joe Biden, because it makes it easier for the Republican Party candidly, to step away from their President and from their party leader.

So I think it's a hypothetical. It's pretty hard for me to answer. But I do think that there is an irresponsibility by the President of the United States saying -- leaving open the idea of whether he would accept the election results.

COOPER: Gloria, you know, the President is saying we're rounding a turn, I guess that's his message just to get him across the election line, and then if he remains President, and there's, you know, and the death toll, you know, 200,000 more people die by February 1st, he'll just say, well, this and that happened. We were rounding the turn, and then we weren't.

You have reporting that the President's friends tried to get him to use his illness to his benefit?

BORGER: Right. When he was ill in the hospital, he was called by friends, and I was told by a source familiar with the conversations that one of them said to the President, at least one of them said to the President, look, you know, we want you to get well and now you can come out of this. And you can tell the American public that yes, you understand COVID better now, and you know what they are feeling and that you can take this because the public, of course, doesn't trust him on COVID. They know the polls -- and turn that around.

And they talked to the President about that. But then the moment he walked up those steps on the balcony at the White House and ripped off his mask, like it was a sticky Band-Aid and turned to the American public and breathed heavily. They knew that of course, he doesn't have the ability to reset.

He has never done that in his life. And of course, he didn't do it this time.

COOPER: Yes. Gloria Borger, Maggie Haberman, and Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

One quick programming note, our coverage of the second and final presidential debate begins Thursday night seven Eastern right here on CNN.

Next tonight, the President is -- well, he watches "60 Minutes" all the time, but apparently not all went the way he wanted in interview he just taped with "60 Minutes'" Leslie Stahl. What he said about it just moments from now.

And later, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on how close or how far lawmakers in the White House are from a stimulus deal that so many Americans desperately need.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:21:52]

COOPER: Breaking news tonight. The President has been known to walk out of press briefings when the questioning is not to his liking. He abruptly ended the "60 Minutes" interview he was doing with CBS' Leslie Stahl. A short time later, he taunted her online and just moments ago, he talked about it at his rally in Erie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Oh, and you have to watch -- you have to watch what we do to "60 Minutes." You'll get such a kick. You're going to get a kick out of it. Leslie Stahl is not going to be happy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: CNN's chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter joins us now with the latest. So Brian, what more are we learning about why the President abruptly left this interview?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The President cut his interview short according to sources at CBS, first reported by CNN's Kaitlan Collins. He walked away and did not do the walk and talk, the usual video segment where Leslie Stahl would walk with the President.

Then he started taunting her on Twitter, as you mentioned, posting a video -- a short video snippet showing Stahl not wearing a mask at the White House.

Well, there's an obvious explanation for this Twitter video. It's that she wore a mask right up until the interview, took it off to conduct the interview, and then had to go back to her bag to put it back on afterwards.

But the President is trying to portray her as the latest media enemy.

And it's worth remembering, Anderson that Leslie Stahl said in 2018, the President once said to her, "Why do I pick fights with the media? Why do I attack you? Or why do I just credit you? So that people won't believe what you say."

And yet of course, he always wants the attention from the press. He wants the attention from Leslie Stahl, so he tries to have it both ways.

COOPER: We should also point out, I work part time also at "60 Minutes." Do you know -- did he actually like cut the interview short? Like did he actually walk out of the interview or is it just he didn't show up for the walk and talk?

STELTER: Yes, it was a lengthy interview. But he did cut it short. CBS will not say whether that moment was captured on camera. Trump is claiming he might release the video himself. But CBS says the White House only recorded the interview for archival purposes. So if they suddenly publish the interview online, they would be breaching that agreement.

Look, Trump is telling a deep story here. It's about Trump against the elites, the elite media, right? And as much as he wants the attention from "60 Minutes," he also wants to rail against it.

But he knows, as you know, Anderson, "60 Minutes" is the most watched news program in America with lots of people, including lots of senior citizens watching. Trump needs this attention, which is supposed to air this Sunday, by the way.

There's a Biden interview and a Trump interview. Both will air this Sunday. So we will see what actually happened. In the meantime, though, the President rails against elites, but there is no one more elite than the American President.

COOPER: Yes. Brian Stelter. Appreciate it. Thanks.

The President's tactics continue to drive away big name Republicans. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele today endorsing Joe Biden. He joins the former head of Special Operations Command retired Admiral William McRaven. John McCain's widow Cindy McCain, obviously, another longtime Republican, including former Republican senator and Obama administration, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who joins us now along with CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.

Dana, first of all, I just want to get your reaction to whatever this was -- the President pulling with Leslie Stahl, what do you make of it?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That it's classic vintage Donald Trump. As you mentioned, we have seen him walk out of press briefings when he gets a question he doesn't like. Back in the day, when he was still doing interviews as a candidate before he became President, I've had the experience of him walking away from me during a gaggle after a debate, and I'm not alone.

[20:25:12]

BASH: This is the way he operates, and then on top of that, a big reason why the President has been going after Anthony Fauci the way he has, is because of the words that Fauci used on "60 Minutes."

COOPER: Right.

BASH: And so we don't know exactly the content of what happened. But he is obviously in a very bad place. He is lashing out. That is been evident in public, but it's also been some of my reporting from people to talk to him in private.

COOPER: It's also possible he just wants to drive up the ratings for "60 Minutes" for his segments so that his ratings will be better than Biden's ratings in "60 Minutes." That's entirely within the realm of possibility, in my opinion.

Secretary Hagel, despite serving the Obama-Biden administration, you're a registered Republican. You served as a Republican in the Senate. When you see other longtime members of your party, particularly those who have served in the military or worked in National Security saying they're voting for Joe Biden, urging the defeat of President Trump, do you feel like the Republican Party you knew is gone?

CHUCK HAGEL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Anderson, the Republican Party I knew and cast my vote -- my first vote in 1968, when I was in Vietnam for is no longer the party we have. It's the Trump Party.

And I think most of us feel pretty strongly that this business of politics, yes, it's a tough business. But it's an honorable business, and when you have a national leader, our national world leader, who has left dignity behind, decency behind, honesty, integrity behind them, that's where you start. The character.

Yes, you can get into policies and you differ. When I was in the Senate, I differed all the time. Whether it was with Joe Biden, or Barack Obama, other Democrats, but we made things work, because we put the country first.

And I think this latest episode with President Trump with "60 Minutes," as Dana just said, is so typical. It's all about distract and distort. And to me, this is a very clear picture of a very desperate candidate who knows he is losing.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, you're not talking about healthcare, you're talking about "60 Minutes." You're not talking about your actual plans and what you're going to do in a second administration, you're talking about, you know, Hunter Biden, or, you know, Leslie Stahl again.

Secretary Hagel, what do you think will happen? Say Joe Biden becomes the President, what do the Republicans in the Senate or what is the -- what happens then? Is it -- does it continue to be the party of Trump? Is this the way it just is now? Is there a period where, you know, people sort of pretend like it never happened, and try to go back to some other way?

Will there be a possibility of bipartisanship? Or is that -- you know, are those days done?

HAGEL: Well, the first part of the question, Anderson, what happens to the Republican Party? There is going to be some severe reckoning and review, and a top-down, break it all down and asking themselves, who are we? What do we believe in? What do we stand for? Are we bigger than just one person? Isn't the party bigger than a President or any one individual? Yes.

That's going to happen. I've talked to some Republican senators about this, as a matter of fact. They're going to have to redefine who and what the Republican Party is. And it's been coming, Anderson, it isn't just Trump, but it's been coming over the years.

As to the second part of your question, I know Joe Biden pretty well. I've worked with him. I've been all over the world with him for 25 years. I know how he thinks and how he governs. He is going to try to build a governing coalition, which will require some Republicans. All Democrats won't be happy, I suspect.

But Biden is a uniter. He's not a divider. He is someone who understands you've got to bring the country together. There will be differences as should be. That's a democracy. But in the end, you've got to make a work. You've got to compromise and do what's right for the country. COOPER: Dana, the President claimed yesterday that all these tight

senate races are not tied to him, connecting him to them is quote, "highly overrated," he said. I mean, A, that's ridiculous. B, we've seen some of his G.O.P. Senate allies start to inch away from him. What do you -- what did you make of his comments?

BASH: That it's ridiculous. And Senator Hagel, as he said, talks to some of his old Republican colleagues, and knows that as well and has been in an environment and speaking of environment, that's kind of the code word that that some of the Senate Republicans who are in tough races and certainly the operatives who are trying to get Republicans elected, that's what they refer to this right now as, as a bad investment.

That is code for Donald Trump is killing us right now out there. And in so many of these incumbents are in tough races not because they don't have good name ID or they haven't kind of delivered for their constituents the way they promised, but because they have been in this position for the past four years of having a feeling that they have had to toe the line because they didn't want to make their base mad because their base equals Donald Trump's base.

[20:30:28]

But now they're in a position of still having that situation but not reaching out to any people who they also need to, you know, actually win in their state, especially some of the purple states, or some of these centers are out there.

And I just want to tell you one example of how frustrated these Senate Republicans are. I was told that a republican ally of the President called him today and said that attacking Anthony Fauci the way he is the dumbest thing in the history of politics. Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Dana Bash, thank you. Secretary Hagel, a pleasure. Thank you very much.

Up next --

CHUCK HAGEL, FMR SENATOR: Nice to see you Anderson.

COOPER: -- our breaking news from Capitol Hill. Can Democrats and the GOP agree to a new stimulus bill before Election Day? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joins us with his tape when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:35:05]

COOPER: With more breaking news, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she's hopeful a deal can be reached on another round of economic stimulus by the end of the week. That's after she met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin today for about 45 minutes to hold more talks tomorrow. Multiple sources on the Senate side, say Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has told his fellow Republicans that he's advised the White House not to reach a deal before Election Day because it would badly divide their caucus. There are many differences in many areas, including funding for schools and jobless benefits for millions of Americans.

Joining me now, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Senator Schumer, thanks for being with us.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Hi, Anderson.

COOPER: Why should the American pleat people believe that a deal is actually going to get done at the end of the week if one hasn't been done so far? Do you think it will happen?

SCHUMER: Well, you know, leader, Speaker Pelosi is trying very, very hard. There are real needs that the American people have, the devastation out there is awful over 200,000 people have died, people more -- millions getting sick, people losing their jobs, they can't feed their kids, they can't pay the rent. We don't have a testing and tracing regime. So when the second wave comes, we will not be prepared. So, we feel an urgency Speaker Pelosi, myself, our Democratic caucus to get something done. The problem, as you pointed out at the beginning has been Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell, his doctor, no, he doesn't want to get a deal done. his caucus is totally divided. If you can believe this, Anderson, there are 20 members, almost a majority of the Republican caucus who don't want to spend any money, one of them said not one dime. We have the greatest economic crisis since the depression. We have the greatest healthcare crisis since the Spanish flu pandemic, people are hurting everywhere. And they don't want to spend a dime. Because the people who control them actually the hard right wealthy people who don't want to pay any money in taxes, who don't want to see any federal government involvement seem to be running the show.

Now, will McConnell relent? I hope that American people put pressure on him and all the Republican senators, because they're the ones standing in the way of getting anything done. And it's clear, it's clear to the public that that's the case. They know that Democrats want to help that Biden wants to help, but that Trump and particularly the Republican Senate to standing in the way.

COOPER: It is, I mean, obviously the devils in the details, but is a compromise on a smaller deal better than no deal at all?

SCHUMER: Well, you know, there are so many needs to the American people. And we're not even at that stage yet. The only bills McConnell will put on the floor are so -- they're not small, they're not skinny, they're emaciated, they leave out testing and tracing. They leave out helping kids open up the schools, they leave out helping people with their rental. We can't have a deal that has virtually nothing, even the one thing they say they might be for, which is some small business relief. They leave out relief to restaurants, they leave out relief to our independent venues, our stages, they leave out relief to nonprofits, they really leave out relief to our rural hospitals, which definitely need help.

So they can't bring themselves to do anything. So we're not even at the stage of talking compromise. Here's an example. Let me just give you this. I don't know if you've heard this. So, Mnuchin and the Appropriations Committee has a good chunk of this deal. Pelosi said we need 143 billion, Mnuchin said we'll live with 119 billion, now we're getting close. So they said let's give it to the Appropriations Committee, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee. They got there. The Senate Republicans said we don't want on for 119. We're for zero. That's where we're starting. We don't have any permission to negotiate. That's the dilemma here.

COOPER: So you're saying it's not even a choice between a compromise smaller bill at this stage that that's not the stage in this negotiation is at?

SCHUMER: No, because McConnell has said no and his caucus is paralyzed. What he does is he puts a bill on the floor. And here's what he does. It's not a real bill. He -- it's a motion, he makes a motion to table. And then they vote against the motion to table. It's a stunt. He's trying to show that they are doing something and they can't do anything. So they come up with these stunts which everyone sees through. It's not even a real bill.

COOPER: It's clear on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, on the confirmation to the Supreme Court. It's obviously pretty much assured. Some Democrats have been critical of Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein as you know, for praise of Chairman Lindsey Graham's handling the hearings. Earlier today, you said you had a quote long and serious talk with Feinstein. Can you say whether Senator Feinstein will remain the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee?

SCHUMER: All I'm going to say is I had a long and serious talk with Senator Feinstein and leave it at that.

COOPER: Can you say were you pleased with how the talk turned out?

SCHUMER: I said what I'm going to say.

COOPER: OK. We mentioned earlier that former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that we're about a week away from what he's called a rapid acceleration in coronavirus cases. The fact that you're still talking about contact tracing and needs for contact tracing is insane. Eight months is, you know, into this pandemic.

SCHUMER: Yes.

COOPER: How do you square what Gottlieb is saying? With these rallies the President is holding and the President saying we are rounding the turn. We may be rounding and turn seems like there's we're rounding the turn into a truck coming straight at us.

[20:40:07]

SCHUMER: Exactly. Well, the President has been derelict, totally derelict in his responsibilities here since the very beginning. I asked that he declared a national emergency on January 26th. They did it in dallied for a month before they even began to do. And let me tell you something that people don't know. In the original bill, we passed the $2 trillion bill called the Cares Bill back in April, there was money, some money to be given to the states for tracing and testing. This government hasn't just -- the Trump government hasn't distributed. There's $9 billion still sitting there right now, that could be distributed tomorrow. It's been passed and legislation signed into law, they don't do it. I have never seen such gross, obnoxious and cruel ignorance and not caring in any administration. It's pulling what they have done here.

And we're going to have a second wave and we're not prepared for it because this administration is doing such a bad job. The governors are trying, my governor, my mayor, they're trying but without federal help, you can't really solve the problem.

COOPER: Senator Schumer, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

SCHUMER: Thank you. Thanks, Anderson. Bye, bye.

COOPER: Early voting numbers are breaking records across the country with two weeks to go before the election. Started hit (ph) I'll talk to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer about that and the President's fierce criticism of her continued criticism of her even after the alleged kidnapping plot against her.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:45:38]

COOPER: Early voting around the country shattering records with exactly two weeks to go before Election Day. Take a look at these numbers, more than 32 million. That's the estimated number of people who've already cast their ballots across the country. 640% is the percentage increase for mail-in ballots in Georgia compared to 2016. Georgia's seen 142% increase in early person voting compared to 2016. Two million is the number of ballots already cast in North Carolina that number in 2016 was 700,000. According to the Raleigh News & Observer that pay state election officials say that means as many as 80% of the vote will be cast before Election Day. And in Michigan, the Secretary of State says more than 3 million people have requested absentee ballot, it's already a million and a half had been returned. She says to have reached that benchmark with two weeks to go is her word remarkable. All this is the President continues to attack the Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and the repercussions of the alleged kidnapping plot against are still ripple across the state.

Governor Whitmer joins me now. Thanks so much for being with us.

When you heard the crowd at President Trump's rally over the weekend chanting lock her up referring to you. I don't know if it surprised you given all that you have been through and come to expect but the fact that that's where this has sunk is and that the President still continues to attack you in the wake of this is just stunning.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): It is, it is stunning. And Anderson, I think you know, we all have come to know that people like Dr. Fauci now have to have security because the rhetoric in this country has gotten so out of control. I've been confronting death threats since April when sights were first set on me. And, this is the culmination of this rhetoric and inciting and demonizing leaders, public servants who are just trying to save lives. It's a dangerous moment. And I am remain hopeful that people of goodwill on both sides of the aisle can stand up and take it on and insist and demand that America is not a place where we take, you know, give comfort to people who are domestic terrorists.

COOPER: That, you know, the video was released in recent days of these, you know, allegedly would be kidnappers training with weapons to conduct a planned assault on you. The idea that, you know, this wasn't just a bunch of people talking about doing something, they're actually planning things out, they've done reconnaissance. Do you worry about there being other groups like this out there in other states, planning this kind of stuff, or, you know, preparing for this kind of stuff against other people.

WHITMER: But I do worry about it, Anderson. In the last four years, we have seen an increase in hate speech, we've seen an increase in hate crimes, we've seen an increase in anti-Semitism. I mean, the intolerance has come, it's been bubbling. And it's been increasing exponentially over the last four years. And I think this is a moment where we really need as a country, a leader who can bring us together can speak to our highest aspirations, and will not stand for this kind of criminal activity that we saw play out, and we're continuing to see play out as more information about this plot, kidnapping, and they're going to put me on trial and apparently execute me was their plan.

We have seen hateful language and acts taken against governors across the country. Democratic and some Republicans as well, who have called and shared their stories with me. And we're just trying to do our jobs and save people's lives. This is a moment where we need to come together as a nation. And that's why I do think that Joe Biden can do that. And that's why I'm really hopeful that come November 3rd, we're ready to start a new chapter.

COOPER: With so many people attending Trump rallies not wearing mask, not social distancing in your state. Is their contact tracing done on people when they get sick so that if somebody from that rally got sick, would there be contact tracing done on them so that other people in -- they could kind of trace how many people from a rally like this get sick?

WHITMER: Yes, absolutely. And we have been doing contact racing. And we have seen from some of the rallies that the Trump campaign has held in Michigan that there's been COVID spread. I mean, it's not surprising, right? I mean, if you listen to the epidemiologists and public health experts, it's coming together, it is, you know, expressing yourself loudly and without a mask on being closely packed in together. These are the things that we know, contribute to COVID spread. And it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

[20:50:18]

And the fact of the matter is right now, whether it's in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan, we are all seeing our COVID numbers continuing to rise. And I think that's what reinforces, hopefully, for many Americans is that we still don't have a national strategy around testing. We still don't have a national strategy around how are we going to distribute vaccines when they're available? How are we going to ensure all of our hospitals and frontline workers never run out of PPE again, it's been states on their own? And as we go into the second wave, if you can even call it a second wave --

COOPER: Yes.

WHITMER: -- because that as soon as you get your arms around the first one as a nation, which we haven't, it is still a very dangerous reality that we're all confronting.

COOPER: Just for -- those who are worried about voting on Election Day. And for those who are going to be voting on Election Day, you know, we saw armed guys break into the statehouse in Michigan, screaming at -- legislators screaming at police. You know, this is I guess, where some of the people involved in the plot against you actually kind of got together and met the President said liberate Michigan. Are you worried folks like that are going to show up on Election Day, essentially, you know, saying they're poll watchers or, you know, whether it's that or to intimidate people? Are you -- or is Michigan prepared for that sort of thing?

WHITMER: We are preparing. I am fortunate that we have a great Attorney General Dana Nessel and our Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. We're working closely to make sure that every voter who waits until November 3rd and wants to go vote on Election Day is safe and knows that their ballot is going to be counted. And so, we are running tabletop exercises in preparation for this.

But I also think it's important to remind people, you can vote right now in Michigan. So, to my fellow Michiganders who are watching, I encourage you to vote now and if you have an absentee ballot, don't toss it in the mail. We're getting too close to the election. You should drop it off at the many drop boxes or at your clerk's office now.

COOPER: Governor Whitmer, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

WHITMER: Thank you.

COOPER: We have more breaking news, just ahead. A key decision from a judge and whether the grand jurors can speak in the Breonna Taylor case, when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:56:06]

COOPER: There's breaking news now from Louisville. The judge has ruled that two anonymous grand jurors who deliberated the case against the police officers who serve a no-knock warrant to Breonna Taylor's apartment the night she was killed are allowed to talk. The juror is represented by attorney Kevin Glowgower and he joins me now. So Kevin, it's rare that we ever see a statement from grand jury members as they're usually intended to remain secret. Why did your clients believe was so important to get approval from a judge so that they could speak out?

KEVIN GLOWGOWER, ATTORNEY: Well, Anderson in this action, I think when their services a grand juror was over their civic duty took over, they felt that they were called to action to make sure that the public was getting the full truth and that there was transparency and the grand jury proceedings for the public-at-large.

COOPER: The Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron released a statement responding to claim the grand jury didn't have the chance to consider homicide charges and reads in part, quote, as special prosecutor was my decision to ask for an indictment on charges that could be proven under Kentucky law, indictment obtained in the absent -- absence of sufficient proof under law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone. So, I want to give you a chance to respond on behalf of your client.

GLOWGOWER: Well, I think on behalf of our clients, what's important there, Anderson is the Attorney General Cameron made that decision. He didn't put that to the grand jury, although he put out to the public shortly after the indictment was read out loud for all to see that it was in fact their decision. So that public trust was eroded a little bit. And I think that awaken that duty within our clients to try to speak out and file the action that we did. And now they're trying to help set that record straight.

COOPER: When you surprised the Kentucky Attorney General decided not to appeal the judge's ruling to allow your clients to speak, because he had fought for the grand jury proceedings remain secret.

GLOWGOWER: To some extent we were surprised they thought it at every step they possibly could. But I think at this point with the statement that was released in the grand jurors letting it be known that didn't make those decisions. I think maybe the Attorney General realized there was nothing left to fight.

COOPER: Legally are there other options out there? I mean, could there been another investigation -- any other options?

GLOWGOWER: Legally, I think the family for Breonna Taylor and their legal team will be exploring those options. Once an individual is presented to the grand jury and no charges come out of that presentation. That's not precluding any future indictments or presentation. So at least in theory, another grand jury could hear more evidence involving Detective Hankison, Sergeant Mattingly and Detective Cosgrove and decided to put more charges out there. But that's something that remains to be seen.

COOPER: Do your clients have a message to the family Breonna Taylor?

GLOWGOWER: The message from our clients is just that they want to make sure that everyone got truth. I think the ruling today from Judge O'Connell was very thorough, very well written and I think it's providing a better chance for that truth to come out. We hope that helps that family heal a little bit.

COOPER: Was this their first time serving on a jury for your clients?

GLOWGOWER: It was, yes, it was our first time serving as grand jury.

COOPER: Do they feel justice was served?

GLOWGOWER: I don't think they really wanted to weigh in on the justice aspect of what happened at that proceeding. I think what they wanted to do was make sure that people knew what really happened. Who made decisions and why.

COOPER: Kevin Glowgower, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

GLOWGOWER: Thank you. It's a pleasure.

COOPER: And that's it for us. The news continues. I want to hand things over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME". Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right. Thank you Coop. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to "Primetime".

Fourteen days until Election Day, and divided we stand. The two presidential campaigns are complete opposite realities. Trump has us wondering if he's OK. And wondering where Biden is?

[21:00:07]