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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Senate Voting to Confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court; Donald Trump Holds Three Rallies in Pennsylvania while Joe Biden Makes Surprise Stop in Battleground State; Trump Holds 3 Rallies In PA; Biden Makes Surprise In Battleground State; Trump Attacks On "Kamala"; Soon: WH To Hold Barrett Swearing-In Event As Pence Team Faces Coronavirus Outbreak With 5 Staffers Positive; Supreme Court Rejects Democrat Attempt To Extend Wisconsin Mail-In Voting Deadline; Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner Threaten To Sue Over Times Square Billboards. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 26, 2020 - 20:00   ET

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


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: AC 360 with Anderson begins right now.

[20:00:03]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: And good evening. If you are wondering what it looks like when the White House truly goes all out to get something done, here is the result: the confirmation vote on Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to be the newest member of the Supreme Court.

The administration and Senate Republicans truly sparing no effort, focusing on a goal and on the cusp of achieving it. If all goes as expected, Judge Barrett will be sworn in tonight at the White House. And yes, you heard that right, the White House, site of her nomination/super spreader event last month, which was quickly followed by all the highlighted people in the photo here contracting COVID.

Oh, and the site of a new COVID cluster as well, at least five people close to Vice President Pence now have the virus including his Chief of Staff, and two sources tell us, his so-called body man, which only underscores how even when his supporters might see as a triumph by the President, is infected literally, in this case by his greatest and most consequential failure.

Here's what that looks like. New coronavirus infections are now averaging close to 70,000 a day and that figure is rising, not as the President likes to claim because we are testing more, as you can see, the number of people sick enough to need hospital care has been climbing as well.

And if you look at a map of the country, you'll see there is not one single state in which case numbers are dropping. Thirteen states are holding steady, 37 show rising infections, six show them spiking by 50 percent or more.

It's a picture of failure and you might think it would result in a call to action, but there isn't any such call by the President, not even -- he is not even talking about making an effort. Instead, at one potential super spreader event after another, he is modeling the most dangerous and selfish kind of behavior imaginable and saying things like this just today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we're rounding the turn, you know, all they want to talk about is COVID. By the way on November 4th, you won't be hearing so much about it.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

TRUMP: COVID, COVID, COVID. They think they're going to inflict harm and bad numbers. Our numbers are so good. Our comeback numbers are the best anywhere in the world.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Unclear whether he was referring to virus numbers or economic figures, because he muddled them both together in the moments surrounding that clip, but neither is true.

He is again trying to gaslight everybody, which brings us to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who took a different tack. He said the quiet part out loud to Jake Tapper yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: So here is what we have to do. We're not going to control the pandemic, we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation --

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Why aren't we going to get control of the pandemic?

MEADOWS: Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.

TAPPER: Yes, but why not make efforts to contain it?

MEADOWS: Well, we are making efforts to contain it.

TAPPER: By running all over the country and not wearing a mask? That's what the Vice President is doing.

MEADOWS: We can get into the back and forth. Let me just say this, because what we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: "We're not going to control the pandemic," he said yesterday morning. Now, here's what he said today, I won't indulge him by using traditional Washington speak and say he tried to walk it back. That's BS.

What he did was first mock mask wearing and then lie repeatedly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEADOWS: The only person waving a white flag along with his white mask is Joe Biden. I mean, when we look at this, we're going to defeat the virus, we're not going to control it, and we will try to contain it as best we can.

If you look at full context of what I was talking about is, we need to make sure that we have therapeutics and vaccines.

So any suggestion that we're waving the red flag, I mean, the white flag is certainly not in keeping with this President. You know him. He doesn't give up and he is not going to give up until all Americans are safe and we've defeated this virus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He doesn't give up with super spreader events and he doesn't give up mocking masks and encouraging people not to wear them, not really to social distance.

Keeping them honest, what Mark Meadows said there is just not the case. You notice, there is no evidence the White House is really trying to defeat this virus. He said they can't control the virus.

He now says, oh, to contain it with the therapeutics and the vaccine. But the vaccine is not going to end the virus. The therapeutics will treat people who already have it, hopefully, will get more effective treatments. That's what we all want, of course.

But there are ways to contain the virus that the White House doesn't talk about, that Mark Meadows there doesn't talk about because he knows the President doesn't believe it, the President doesn't do it -- wearing a mask, distancing.

Pushing scientists to come with a vaccine and treatments, that's a way to contain the virus, to stop the spread of the virus.

But another way, is encouraging mask wearing and distancing. It would also help defeat the virus or contain the virus to have a national testing and tracing policy and aid to hire for states, to hire contact tracers.

There's no sign the President even takes his own COVID Taskforce seriously anymore, if he ever did, except that is for one member, radiologist, Scott Atlas, who is not an expert on pandemics at all, and the President likes to undermine confidence in everyone and everything except for him and himself and perhaps his daughter, Ivanka, is now targeting doctors in this country and claiming the COVID death tolls are fake.

[20:05:19] TRUMP: You know, some countries they report differently. If somebody

is sick with a heart problem, and they die of COVID, they say they died of a heart problem. If somebody is terminally ill with cancer, and they have COVID, we report them and you know, doctors get more money and hospitals get more money. Think of this incentive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Not only is that not true, it is just such a punch in the gut or a slap in the face or however you want to term it to anyone who has been working grueling shifts, trying to save people's lives, to doctors and nurses and technicians and lab techs. People have been holding dying people's hands, the hands of strangers because their own loved ones aren't allowed to be in the same room while they are dying.

Some doctors and nurses and medical personnel even being laid off. Far from making more money, doctors, nurses and staff in some areas are losing their jobs because hospitals can no longer do the kind of elective procedures that keep them afloat.

So no, what the President has said is worse than not true. And so is this, as all those truly essential workers are dealing with this new surge, the Vice President is now flouting the recommendations of his own Taskforce under the guise of being an essential worker.

The Vice President is campaigning today. Apparently, that's an essential job of the Vice President. He is not quarantining, which is what anyone should do with five close contacts infected with COVID, including reportedly his body man or close personal assistant.

The White House says Pence is, quote, "essential personnel." Essential to what? He is the Vice President. He was once the head of the Taskforce, but that seems to have been abandoned or relegated to a meaningless job now. That doesn't seem essential to anyone in the White House anymore, the whole Taskforce.

Mike Pence, the former head of the Taskforce and now himself modeling dangerous behavior, as he and the boss, he says he is so proud to serve keep holding dangerous mass gatherings in one hotspot after another. It's just complete recklessness.

And make no mistake, they are dangerous, not for Mike Pence or the President, because as you know, the President has said, he is far away from the crowd. But it is for all those people who don't have the health insurance that Mike Pence and the President have.

Officials in Minnesota today said they have now linked three outbreaks to three separate campaign rallies, including this one in Duluth, in which the President himself might have already been infected. The one Hope Hicks got sick on the flight home from.

Three rallies, three outbreaks and the White House no longer even pretending they are trying to keep the virus under control.

And that's with the limited contact tracing that's being done in this country. Contact tracing isn't being done for a lot of these. There's just too many cases. States don't have the resources and don't have the organization to do it.

Well go to CNN's Kaitlan Collins in the White House shortly, but first, as expected, the Senate has just voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court. Phil Mattingly joins us now from the Capitol. So, what was the final vote?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the gavel just dropped 52 to 48, Amy Coney Barrett is now an Associate and will soon be sworn in as an Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

It is a cornerstone achievement for the Trump administration. It is a cornerstone achievement for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader who has now ushered in over the course of the last three and a half years, more than 220 judicial nominations, including three Supreme Court Justices.

Anderson, those three Supreme Court Justices have now tilted the court in conservative favor, a six to three conservative majority, most conservative majority in probably more than 80 or 90 years.

Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed by the United States Senate. All Republicans except for one, Senator Susan Collins voting for the nomination. Collins joining every single Democrat including Senator Kamala Harris, who came off the campaign trail, the vice presidential nominee for the Democrats to vote no.

Collins making clear she is voting no on procedural and process grounds, not on the nominee herself. But Anderson, all that is left now for Amy Coney Barrett, before being seated on the court is to be sworn in in just a short time.

COOPER: Phil Mattingly, thanks very much. We are going to go next to Kaitlan Collins at the White House. Kaitlan, what more are you learning about what's taking place at the White House tonight?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, they are eager to celebrate that confirmation that Phil is talking about. They want to tell this in the days leading up to the election, of course, so you're going to see them hosting this celebration out there on the South Lawn tonight. A lot of pageantry flags out there.

The President, we know that Cabinet members have been invited, as well as lawmakers and other officials in the administration, as well as allies of this administration and you're going to see Justice Clarence Thomas swearing Amy Coney Barrett in.

As Phil noted, that as the last step left, and of course, we should note this comes exactly one month after the White House held a similar celebration when the President announced he was going to be picking Amy Coney Barrett to be on the Supreme Court.

[20:10:07]

COOPER: And any word on how it is set up? I mean, I don't know, social distancing, are people told to wear masks? Are they encouraged? Are there masks available for people to wear?

COLLINS: The White House is telling us that masks are going to be required. The question is, we've seen that before, so do they actually keep them on while they're at the event because before they come through security, they keep the mask on then and then they take it off when they get on the South Lawn.

So two things will be different than the last event they held for Barrett, soon to be Justice Barrett, there is going to be social distancing. You've seen the chairs on the South Lawn, we have seen them. They are spaced out from one another.

And of course, it's on the South Lawn, not in the Rose Garden, like that last event, but they are not testing every single person who comes to this event. And by my count, looking at a picture that my photographer just sent me, there's at least over a hundred chairs on the South Lawn.

And so they say they're only going to be testing the people who come into contact with the President. And of course, Anderson, you'll remember Chris Christie said that was one of the reasons he was lulled into this false sense of security at the last event because he thought everyone around him had been tested and people were not wearing masks. They were not social distancing. They were shaking hands. They were hugging.

So we'll see if they actually change their behavior, given how many cases of coronavirus were later tied to that event.

COOPER: Why are they not testing people who come to the White House? So I mean, why not?

COLLINS: They only test the people they say who come into contact with President Trump. They don't really explain why don't they don't test every single person who walks in the door.

Of course, it is a lot more people. Those would be a lot of tests to go through. But that could be a precaution that the White House could take, but that's something that really is not a change protocol since the outbreaks we've seen at the White House.

They've been doing that and testing the people who come into contact they say with the President, though, of course, remember they also told us they were testing the President on a daily basis, and we later learned that was not true.

COOPER: Yes, and now Pence's team is infected. Kaitlan Collins, thanks very much. Perspective now from CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and our CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen and CNN chief national correspondent, John King.

Dr. Wen, you were very candid last month and said the Rose Garden announcement of Justice Barrett's nomination looked like a potential super spreader event, which of course, seems like it very well could have been, it turned out to be.

As we wait for this event at the White House to begin tonight. I mean, the White House masks are going to be mandatory, and there will be social distancing. But as we saw before, they had been mandatory before and once you get in, people take them off.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Yes, and Anderson, I just cannot believe that this event is taking place at the White House today. I mean, there are active outbreaks that are ongoing at the White House.

The White House itself is a hotbed of infection. If this were a business or a school, and they had this many cases linked to it in recent weeks, it would be shut down. There would be case investigations that are going on until practices can be changed, and that's not what's happening.

So I really worry about the individuals who are going to be there. I worry about the people they will come into contact with, but also worried about the message this is sending to the American people, too.

I mean, we are on the verge of exponential spread here in the U.S. We're asking people not to see their loved ones and not to have social gatherings. How is it that the White House can have this kind of event today?

COOPER: Yes. And Sanjay, I mean, the Vice President came in direct contact with the least one person who is sick. He is disregarding C.D.C. guidelines, refusing a quarantine, claiming he is an essential worker.

I mean, is that what the C.D.C. had in mind? I kind of thought they meant doctors and nurses and frontline workers, firefighters, police officers, grocery store workers, et cetera.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: All the people who keep the country running and take great risks to do so, no, I don't think that's what they had in mind at all, Anderson.

I mean, he would not be considered an essential worker by the C.D.C.'s criteria. One thing to keep in mind, as Leana was just talking about that previous Rose Garden event that was turned into a super spreader event. There was always this concern that Vice President Pence had had close contact with people who were then subsequently diagnosed with COVID.

At that point, they said he didn't need to be quarantined, because you remember, at that point, close contact was defined as at least having had 15 minutes of close contact with somebody within six feet. His doctor said he did not meet that those criteria.

Now as you know, the criteria have changed. You know, even since that time that Rose Garden event, saying it can be a cumulative sort of exposure of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.

And obviously the Vice President has had that as so many members of his staff have been infected. But let me show you that the definition of essential worker critical infrastructure worker basically has to do with you know, carrying out responsibilities that protect and preserve national security and public health.

Now, interestingly enough, what he is doing, you know, not to sound too ironic here, but what he is doing is probably the opposite of that. To your point, Anderson, he is not preserving public health and he may be a source of actual spread here. A negative test which he has had we're told does not -- does not basically say for certain that you could not still be carrying this. You could test positive the next day after you've tested negative.

[20:15:09]

GUPTA: So he should be quarantined. He knows that. The doctors around him know that. And as Leana said, I mean many other people who would, in that same position would be in quarantine right now.

COOPER: Yes. John, if anything, I mean, it seems like a Vice President's essential work would be, you know, chairing the Coronavirus Taskforce and some emergency meetings or something as opposed to out campaigning.

So the decision, John to have him defy the administration's own recommendations, it certainly plays well with Trump's base, I suppose. Does it help them with, you know, undecided, moderate voters that the campaign would still like to attract in the next week?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is absolutely zero evidence that it does. Dr. Wen and Dr. Gupta make the very important critical, more important public health points about this, but if you want to make the political point, this is why Kamala Harris, Senator Harris came off the road for four days, because two people around in her orbit tested positive, so she followed the guidelines and she did virtual events.

The Vice President could do virtual events, but the President wants him out there because tough it out is the new Trump campaign theme. Tough it out. The president says, I got COVID. I'm good.

Jared Kushner said earlier today, most of the cases are benign. Most people in America don't have access to the care and the doctors the President and the Vice President have, but Anderson, remember, it was eight months ago today, what I call the briefing that will live in infamy when the President of the United States said "Everybody, calm down. We have 15 cases. We will soon be down to zero. Testing is fine. Don't worry about it." That was exactly eight months ago today.

From the beginning to now, they have defied the science, defied the facts and defied the recommendations of their own people. As Dr. Wen just said, the C.D.C. is telling us "Do not invite your siblings. Do not go to their house. Do not go back to your childhood home for Thanksgiving. Don't do that. It's dangerous. It's risky."

The President is inviting a couple hundred of people onto the South Lawn, steps away from an event that one month ago was a super spreader. COOPER: Dr. Wen, you wrote an op-ed in "The Washington Post" today.

You said that that Chief of Staff Mark Meadows statement that the administration isn't going to control the pandemic. It can be summarized with one word, "surrender."

I mean, the fact you know, he is saying he is focused. He meant to say, you know, we're going to try to contain it, you know, looking at therapeutics and vaccines. He doesn't mention masks. He doesn't mention distancing. He doesn't mention all of the things that are -- something that all Americans can do, and we know will save tens of thousands of lives just in the next couple of months.

WEN: That's right, the Trump administration has been pushing out this false choice between shutting everything down, being locked in a basement for months, versus literally doing nothing and that is a false choice because we know that there are simple actions that we can be taking, that other countries have successfully implemented that we in this country have done, too, with great effect, including wearing masks, practice of social distancing, and avoiding crowds.

COOPER: Yes.

WEN: We can do these things. We have a very narrow window of opportunity right now, and it's just heartbreaking that we know what needs to be done, but the administration is meeting this public health moment with a shrug, and history is going to look at this decision with shock and horror.

COOPER: Yes, Sanjay, Dr. Leana Wen, John, thanks so much. We're going to go back to Kaitlan Collins in just a bit when they let her on the lawn so she can see up close. John King is going to stick around, because we want to go over the magic wall and talk about Pennsylvania, which is obviously an incredibly important battleground state and whether President Trump sees an opening there, despite being down in the polls.

He made three stops in the Commonwealth today, and then Joe Biden scheduled one in the last minute this afternoon. What does that tell us about where the campaigns -- how the campaigns view Pennsylvania.

Later, they are public figures and they are supposed to be public servants, so why is Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner threatening legal action over a billboard accusing them of doing a lousy job against COVID. Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:22:28]

COOPER: We are looking at live pictures on the South Lawn of the White House where Amy Coney Barrett will be sworn in as the third Supreme Court Justice confirmed on this President's watch.

The President as you know is back from a three-stop swing from Pennsylvania where he mocked the very idea of focusing on what he now derisively is calling COVID, COVID, COVID. So anyone gets -- some guessed the "Brady Bunch" reference or as the insensitivity to even think it.

Joe Biden also made a stop today in Chester, Pennsylvania, just south of Philadelphia. And John King is back to talk about where the race now stands in the Commonwealth and across the map. So John, explain why both candidates are now laser focused on Pennsylvania.

KING: Twenty electoral votes. They were key to the President's win four years ago. If Joe Biden wins it there and he is leading now, he thinks he blocks it.

This is the 2016 map, Anderson. Let's explain Pennsylvania here and now. The President had three rallies in one state. That is out of the question, usually, in the final week of a campaign. Why did the President do that? Because he is getting shellacked in the early voting.

In the early votes, return in Pennsylvania so far, 70 percent of them have been returned by Democrats. Seventy percent. It doesn't mean all of those Democrats voted for Joe Biden. But we know from polling, most of them did, 70 percent Democratic ballots returned; 20 percent Republicans.

The President is getting whooped in the early voting. He is there trying to find new voters and turn them out.

Here is one way to look at it just in Pennsylvania. This poll is from Elections Research at the University of Wisconsin that came out today. It shows Joe Biden winning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan all those states carried by President Trump four years ago.

Let's just look at Pennsylvania. Early votes, it says Joe Biden has a 78-point lead, Anderson, 78 points. Yes, among those who have yet to vote, President Trump wins by 21 points. But this is not rocket science. If you have a 78-point lead now, you need a whole lot of people to turn out if you're winning them by 21 percent to make that up. Most pollsters think the math isn't there.

The Trump campaign says it has registered all of these people in Pennsylvania. We will see, but the President is losing that's why he spent three stops in one state. He is losing badly right now.

COOPER: What are the key states you're looking at?

KING: So let's take a couple quick things we look at. Again, we'll use the 2016 map as our template because we're heading into the very final week. First, nationally, I often say at this point in the campaign, stop watching the national polls, right?

But Joe Biden has a 10-point lead in our Poll of Polls, and he's above 50 percent, so this is significant.

Four years ago, it was five points, right? You'd rather be 10 than five. That's simple to look at.

But let's look at the key states if you break it out in the battleground. Ten states here on this graphic all carried by President Trump four years ago. He leads and only by a tiny margin in two of the 10: Ohio and Texas.

Joe Biden, comfortably Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. Looks like he is leading in Arizona, competitive, he is ahead in Arizona and North Carolina --

COOPER: Wasn't Hillary Clinton though ahead in a lot of these same states?

KING: Yes, she was and I can show you a couple of those. Let's just try to compare those. Let's look at Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina. You're right. You're right. This is why Democrats get nervous about these things, Anderson.

Florida, Joe Biden is up four. It was a tie four years ago. In North Carolina, Joe Biden is up three, Hillary Clinton was up four at this point four years ago.

[20:25:15]

KING: In Pennsylvania, Joe Biden's lead is bigger. On average, it's plus seven versus plus five. You're absolutely right. Now, the pollsters say this race is different. Remember, Donald Trump is the incumbent. You go deep into the polls, white and blue collar workers, gender gap and everything else. There's a lot more.

But this is one of the reasons Democrats are still nervous, but this is a different map. Deep in the polls is different. But yes, Democrats are nervous but make no mistake, it's advantaged Biden.

COOPER: John, stay with us. I want to bring in CNN political director, David Chalian, and CNN political correspondent, Abby Phillip.

David, what do you think about talking about this, you know, comparison to Clinton, with this many days left, the fact that she actually, John, what was that she was ahead in Pennsylvania than Biden was?

KING: She was. He is ahead by a little bit more. Bring it up here.

COOPER: Oh, seven to five, right?

KING: Yes, yes. That's close enough. Close enough. Trump would say, Democrats say it's different.

COOPER: So David, why did she lose Pennsylvania if she had five points with this little to go?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I mean, she lost Pennsylvania because Donald Trump was able to go into rural territory into that T across Pennsylvania and drive up turnout, especially among white non- college educated voters in ways that he was just superseding what like Mitt Romney did when he lost that state to Barack Obama.

COOPER: So, the Trump campaign clearly believes that Joe Biden's -- you know, his talk about fracking and oil, that that is an opportunity in that area in Pennsylvania.

CHALIAN: They do and here's the thing, John just said, he made three stops in Pennsylvania today, because he needs it, right? And here's also a difference if you want to look at 2016. When you look at where they are traveling, right, Joe Biden popped up in Pennsylvania today, briefly, because I don't think he wanted the headlines that he was off the trail entirely when President Trump was campaigning aggressively all day.

But he did, and he has been to Pennsylvania more than anywhere else, because of the proximity to Delaware. He has also announced that he is going to Wisconsin.

Now, that is something Hillary Clinton did not do. So while Joe Biden is clearly going to places like Georgia and Iowa to try and expand the map, he is also not forgetting that he has to still work those Great Lakes States that are going to be the thing if he keeps them -- if he makes them blue, again, to prevent Donald Trump from a second term.

COOPER: Yes, Abby, wasn't there a lot of talk in 2016 about Hillary Clinton expanding the map, too? And weren't they playing in states they didn't normally play in?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think they wanted to actually play in the same way that I think Democrats are eyeing Georgia and Texas and even North Carolina four years ago, but the biggest difference between now and four years ago was that there was a tightening of the polls in the final days of the campaign four years ago. There was a late shift.

And some of these late deciders broke for Trump. That might be the biggest difference between four years ago and today is that there is not as much evidence that there is a late breaking shift underway. If there is any momentum for the President, it is small.

But the Trump campaign doesn't have many options out there. They really do have to work with a map where they have a lot of holes that they've got to plug.

The most important of them is probably in Pennsylvania, where maybe they have a chance to kind of tighten those polls. They've got to try, and so these rallies are just massive turnout machines for their campaign. It's one of the last resorts that they have at this stage.

COOPER: And John, to people who say, well, look, are there -- you know, aren't there people who say one things to pollsters about who they are voting for, and then, you know, in the ballot box, they decide to vote differently.

KING: So, assume there is a small percentage of that, right, assume it's what -- maybe it's a point, maybe it's two depending on the state we're talking about. That's why that 10-point national lead matters so much. It just does. That's why it matters.

I know, it's a different race. And I know, you know, we lived through 2016 and Trump came back, but this is just a different map, Anderson. Yes, there are some of those people.

But look, Joe Biden's -- we lean in Arizona Joe Biden's way. As Abby and David were just talking about, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, leaning his way. Yes, we had them leaning that way four years ago. But we've also learned the lesson. We studied more deeply.

We have people in the places. The pollsters have learned. The data people have learned. They're looking at this all the more closely.

If you look at the map right now, let's assume there's a secret Trump vote out there. Right? And so what I showed you those states, yes, they were close like Florida, like North Carolina with Biden ahead, let's assume he wins them all.

If Donald Trump carries all the toss up states we have on our map: Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, holds Texas, all conceivable. They are Republican leaning states. He won them four years ago.

Even if he did that, he would be 22 short. That would get him to 248, which again, if you're Joe Biden, as David just noted, first you protect. You protect. You're leading in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

If you're protecting and you're confident about that, you have this huge fundraising advantage. You can take a little bit of time to test.

He is going to Texas. Texas? Really? Democrats say the early voting is off the charts. Go for it. He is going to Iowa, a state that leans Republican. It also has a key Senate race. Test it. Yes.

The Clinton people get haunted by this. She tried to stretch the map. He's also going to Georgia. She did this. She tried to stretch the map.

And as David noted a key point, he is also going to Wisconsin. He is not ignoring this to test that. We have a week left. It's going to be fun.

[20:30:18]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And John did the events that the President is holding, you know, people who believe COVID exists and are concerned about COVID and believe social distancing, and believe the scientists will look at those and say this seems incredibly reckless and as emblematic of the President's recklessness on this issue. his supporters say he's, you know, strong in the face of a life threatening illness and is immune and it's everybody's choice to go to these things. Do this work, these kind of big rallies work for him?

KING: The polling tells you the Republic -- I talked to a half dozen Republican pollsters and campaign managers, people involved in the other key races, not the presidential race over the weekend. They all see zero evidence. They see a little movement on the margins toward the president, mostly among Republicans and Republican leaning independents who don't like the president who so they go off, they go off until late in the campaign, then they come back and say I'm a Republican, I got to do it. And they vote for him. They do not see any fundamental shift.

And to your point about COVID, we know this. We know this from the polling. It's the number one issue in the campaign. The President's own illness made his poll numbers worse. The case numbers, as we talked at the top of the show are going through the roof right now. The most inconvenient truth to this President is COVID is surging to new heights, not just heights, but new heights smashing records at a time he says it's over. We have turned the corner. No, there's nothing in the data. His only chance is to bring more new voters than most people think is possible out of the woodwork with these rallies. Who's at a Trump rally, not an independent, they're true believers.

COOPER: John King is fascinating with the map, thank you. Abby Phillip, thank you so much, David Chalian as well.

Coming up next, look at when a President Trump's go to attack lines but with the new twist, attacking vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris over her name, and now her gender. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joins us to discuss when we continue.

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[20:36:00]

COOPER: President Trump's campaign speeches these last few days and weeks have included some other on subtle attacks against Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, for instance, going so far as to attack her for being a woman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Biden's running mate, the most liberal member of the United States Senate. By the way, Kamala will not be your first female president. She will not be your first female president. It's not the way it's supposed to be. We're not supposed to have a socialist. Look, we're not going to be a socialist nation, we're not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president, we're not going to have it we're not going to put up with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Now keep him honest. Harris is not a socialist, although that's not really the point of the attack. According the President who appeared to be laughing as he said it, we're not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president. You may have also recognized something he did in that clip that's become popular among both the president his allies. Senator David Perdue of Georgia or the President's eldest son, and that's to mispronounce her first name.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: By the way, you know, whose further left and crazy Bernie? Kamala, Kamala, Kamala.

Biden even shows as his running mate the most liberal senator in America. Kamala Kamala, Senator Kamala Harris, is a sponsor of the socialist green new deal.

Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris.

You pronounce her name wrong. She goes crazy Kamala and like a comma.

The Biden-Harris, Kamala, you like Kamala?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Obviously not something he's done just once or twice. It's like kindergarten, remember, everyone used to make fun of other people's names, happens again and again, and again, much like how to this day he still emphasizes President Obama's middle name Hussein.

Perspective now from Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

Congresswoman, when you hear the President make these comments about Senator Harris saying, you're not going to have a socialist president, especially female socialist president, the whole, you know, name mispronouncing intentionally. What's your reaction?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Well, thank you, first of all, Anderson for having me. Desperate people do desperate things in desperate times. Unfortunately, the American people are facing desperate times with COVID-19. But this President is in desperate times. The inner circle of his administration are suffering from COVID-19 positive tests, including the Chief of Staff of the vice president. The nation, as Joe Biden has said, is not living with COVID-19. They are dying with COVID-19.

So, what you do is you use mockery and sarcastic humor. And you don't recognize the storied record and history of Senator Kamala Harris. We know her history. We know the successes, Anderson that she has had. She is an outstanding lawyer, a proficient and compassionate prosecutor. And as well, a successful elected official who secured many victories as attorney general for the state of California. That's who we know her to be an a patriotic American.

COOPER: The President made one of those comments just minutes after pleading for suburban women to love him, which is something he does that almost every rally lately, it seems. It's -- I mean, there's such a disconnect this whole idea of, you know, literally pleading for suburban women, you know, who often this term suburban housewives to love him and then going after a prominent female candidate using her gender against her. I mean, it is very much I don't know that what he thinks it gets him.

JACKSON LEE: Well add to that Anderson, a woman of color, descendant, if you will, of Indian heritage, Indian-American heritage and African- American. Her father was a professor at Stanford, a mother was a cancer researcher. And they raised their daughters, the mother raised their daughters, their beloved mother raised her daughters Meyer and herself to be success stories.

[20:40:17]

But, what stuns me is how kind the Biden-Harris campaign has been. And that is, we were reminded of the remarks coming out of a trailer in the 2016 election. Some of us still remember 17 plus women who challenged this president for baseless basic sexual assaults or comments. So, I don't know why he thinks he can go to a space that insults a woman of color. And as well, tries to get suburban women who are collectively bright, energetic and caring about their family and role models for their children to love him. Because as he speaks ill about Senator Harris, Kamala Harris, he speaks ill about women, and we hear it and it is a loud sirene across this nation.

And first of all, I think, as we move into this election, we've seen more women come out, but we also seen women express their viewpoints, on wanting a real COVID-19 plan, making sure that they have insurance for pre-existing conditions. So, he's not speaking to any of our issues. And now he wants to take us on with mockery with humor. And it's not funny.

COOPER: I want to play something that Senator Harris told 60 Minutes and interviewed there last night, when asked if she views these attacks and presidents racist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, this is not the first time in my life, I've been called names. And, you know, it was predictable sadly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think the President is racist?

HARRIS: Yes, I do. Yes, I do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: You know, again, this comes, you know, the last week's debate, the President calling himself the least racist person in that room, and you know, more around I guess.

JACKSON LEE: Well, one thing about it, vice presidential nominee Harris is a very honest person, she said it before. And I'm proud of her for saying what so many of us have said, but she's the vice presidential nominee. And what we want is someone who is fair, and factual. And she is factual. He is racist. And there are too many listings of action. You know, we could call the roll. And I know you know them from New York, making sure that individuals that were black did not get to rent his properties, not wanting a black man to count his monies. In his Atlanta casinos, which don't exist anymore. Then as well to name -- I was on a virtual with the African community, African-Americans, and I mean, African-Americans from Africa. And they know that he called their continent asshole countries. He's taken after African-American women, members of Congress.

You know, we're all women -- COOPER: Yes.

JACKSON LEE: -- whether we're Latinx, whether we're white women, whether we're Southeast Asian, whether we're African-American, and we have a kindred spirit together. And we find this particularly offensive, and I don't know who he thinks he is being attractive to, or whose votes he's trying to go after. But in actuality, the vice presidential nominee was very accurate, he is racist and to ask the question, or to answer a question, that he is the least racist person in the room is so offensive, because all of the platitudes and the make belief issues that he says he has done that is destroyed by saying that good sides, good people on both sides in Charlottesville.

COOPER: Yes.

JACKSON LEE: And never having the capacity to condemn white racism, right nationalist at all.

COOPER: Yes.

JACKSON LEE: And it's very sad. And as I said, desperate people do desperate things during desperate times.

COOPER: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, appreciate your time. Thank you.

JACKSON LEE: Thank you for having me.

COOPER: Just ahead more on that White House celebration of Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation, as at least five top aides who the vice president test positive for the coronavirus.

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[20:47:29]

COOPER: Want to check back into the White House and our breaking news this evening where Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be sworn in any moment given conservatives a 63 majority on the Supreme Court. Back with us, White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

So, Kaitlan, described the scene there. Who's in attendance and is there a social distancing?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson this is probably the first time in a White House event where you've actually seen the chairs are spaced out on the lawn. This is not what it looked like at the Republican convention or other events that we've been out here. And there are also people wearing masks, it seems like most people are that we should note we have seen a few people not wearing one most of the attendees that are standing behind me are wearing them. And of course, that is something that the White House said was going to be required. But we were still questionable about whether or not they'd actually keep them on. Because in other events, you've seen people come in and a mask and not keep it on while they're here. And the chairs, there's about 200 of them. And so they're a little bit spaced out. But there are about 200 chairs out here. And then on the other side of the lawn, you've got a band playing, you can see all the pageantry behind me as they're getting ready to have this swearing in for Amy Coney Barrett.

I mean, the White House is obviously trying to tell just days before the election. But of course, seeing this event, seeing Amy Coney Barrett here is just going to remind people of the event that they had just exactly a month ago today. Were of course, so many cases were later tied to that event where people were not wearing masks, they were in the Rose Garden, a more constrained area. And also, of course, not social distancing at that event either, Anderson.

COOPER: And you mentioned earlier that not everyone there was tested. It's obviously a pretty -- I imagine, you know, kind of highfalutin crowd in terms of, you know, folks from Capitol Hill and stuff. Why wouldn't everybody get tested?

COLLINS: It's not clear because it's a lot of White House officials. A lot of Trump allies, of Republican lawmakers, of course are invited though. Several of them have said they're not coming people like Senator Ted Cruz, which is kind of notable since it is -- so supposed to be such a big cornerstone event for the administration. But Anderson --

COOPER: I just saw -- I think I just saw Ted Cruz.

COLLINS: Did you see Ted Cruz?

COOPER: I don't know, he was wearing it? Well, there was a guy wearing to look like and was wearing a big Texas mask. So I think it was Ted Cruz. I think we were just looking at him see that. But yes, I might be wrong.

COLLINS: Yes, we'll double check. We'll double check, because earlier, we had already wasn't covered -- coming in some of the Republican lawmakers. One big question, though, is the Vice President Mike Pence going to come since he did not go to preside over that vote like he was scheduled earlier.

COOPER: Sorry, I think that's Ted Cruz if I'm not wrong. Yes. That is Ted Cruz. OK. So he did show up.

COLLINS: OK.

COOPER: Kaitlan, appreciate it. Thanks very much. As all of this has been happening the conservatives on the Supreme Court have issued a new decision on mail-in voting deadlines, this time pertaining to Wisconsin ballots. Five conservatives on the court said the state may not extend the deadline to receive valid past Election Day.

[20:50:06]

Chief Justice John Roberts sided with his fellow conservatives last week in a kind of similar case involving Pennsylvania's deadline, Robert sided with the liberals on the court. Here with his analysis is Rick Pildes, a CNN election law analyst and constitutional law professor at NYU. He's also a former clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Rick, thanks for being with us. Wisconsin, obviously, a key battleground state. How significant is this? And why is this different than the ruling that we saw last week?

RICHARD PILDES, CNN ELECTION LAW ANALYST: So, in terms of its significance for Wisconsin, we have yet to see, we will have to see how many people vote in that six-day window that will now mean their votes are invalid. The Biden campaign has been very conservative about this ballot deadline issue. They have been educating their voters to get those ballots back by Election Day, regardless of these court decisions. So we'll have to see what the consequence is or isn't in Wisconsin.

In terms of the law, these are very significant opinions. The most significant opinion the court has written since the April primaries in Wisconsin. Up until now the court has been issuing stays or vacating stays, but it hasn't written opinions. This is a 35-page 35 opinion for justices writing, laying out their views on the law that will have implications for voting rights going forward well past this election,

COOPER: But it doesn't apply to -- there are challenges in a number of states. It does -- does it apply now, is this case law, does it apply now precedent, is this apply to other states? Or was it because it Wisconsin it was a federal court a lower federal court ruling as opposed to a state court ruling?

PILDES: Well, I think we've known from a number of the actions the court has taken that it was not going to uphold the extension by federal courts of these ballot deadlines. That's the pattern over a number of these cases, this result was anticipated. To the extent any of these still come to the court before the election. I think it's clear the courts not going to permit lower federal courts to extend the election deadline for receipt of absentee ballots.

COOPER: And was that the rationale that the court decided on that the majority decided on?

PILDES: Well, part of what's fascinating here is that the last time they faced a similar issue, they were four to four, no one wrote. This time five to three whose vote change Chief Justice Roberts. What does he say a kind of enigmatic paragraph that just says the action of the lower court, the district court was improper. That doesn't tell you exactly what the legal reason was. There are opinions from other justices who tell us to expansive the reading of the right to vote too late in the day for a district court to change state election law and state legislatures. And this is a very big issue for the future. Only state legislatures can regulate national elections, including the presidential election, not state courts, not state constitutions, not federal courts, maybe not Governor's. That's what Justice Gorsuch and justice Kavanaugh were prepared to endorse today.

COOPER: All right. The bottom line is people should check in their own states about when they have to get ballots in or drop them off directly. Rick Pildes, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Next, the --

PILDES: Thank you.

COOPER: -- battle over billboards in Times Square. Billboards the President Trump's daughter and son-in-law, do not like.

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[20:57:03]

COOPER: Pair of billboards in New York City's Time Square attracting far more interest than the normal advertisements. They were paid for by high profile group or Republicans oppose the re-election of President Trump. Randi Kaye tonight has the fallout.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look up from New York City's Times Square and you'll see Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump smiling down at you. But the couple isn't happy about that. The billboards featuring them are the work of The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans fiercely opposed to Donald Trump and his reelection. The billboards went up just days before Election Day,

RICK WILSON, CO-FOUNDER, THE LINCOLN PROJECT: If you're going to mess with the generals in the other in the opposing army, do so on the eve of battle.

KAYE (voice-over): And that's how The Lincoln Project sees this as warfare. The image of Ivanka was taken from a tweet she posted back in July promoting the Goya brand, but instead of a can of beans. The billboard shows her smiling next to the growing death count of New Yorkers and those around the country from coronavirus. Kushner's adjacent billboard includes what looks like bodybags under a quote that reads New Yorkers are going to suffer and that's their problem. That quote is from a September Vanity Fair article, citing an unnamed person who claimed Kushner said it while criticizing New York's governor for his response to the pandemic. CNN has not independently verified Vanity Fair's reporting.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are apparently so enraged by the billboards. They're threatening to sue. Their attorney sent a letter to The Lincoln Project calling the billboards false, malicious and defamatory. The letter goes on to say Mr. Kushner never made any such statement. Ms. Trump never made any such gesture. And The Lincoln Projects representations that they did are an outrageous and shameful libel. In response to Kushner's denial of the quote.

WILSON: He's a lying liar who lies that's my assessment of it. So if they want to go and make this case that he never said such a thing, then they've never tried to get the Vanity Fair article taken down until the state. They never tried to go out and contest the quotes about that. KAYE (voice-over): The couple's lawyer is threatening to sue for enormous compensatory and punitive damages. CNN reached out to their lawyer but still no response. The Lincoln Project, meanwhile, has no plans to take down the billboards.

WILSON: This is all bluster. It's all performative, it's all hollow. We will continue to have those billboards up as long as we can keep them up. And we will continue to prosecute this line of attack as long as we can, because Donald Trump's daughter and his son-in-law are public figures. This is protected political speech of the highest order.

KAYE (voice-over): The Lincoln Project plans to keep the billboards up until November 5th, two days after the election.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Riviera Beach, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, Election Day, just eight days away a week from tomorrow. Join us for all day reporting from the first votes, the critical count, get a breakdown of what's happening in your state and across the country. Our election night in America special coverage will start at 4:00 p.m. Eastern next Tuesday.

[21:00:07]

The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME".