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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
House Approves Historic $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill; Interview With Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA); Texas Attorney General Demands Austin Drop Mask Mandate Or Face Legal Action; Reuters: Trump's Former Fixer Michael Cohen Met Again With Manhattan DA In Trump Probe; Meghan Markle Filed A Formal Complaint With ITV Over Piers Morgan's Comments About Her Mental Health; How One Republican- Leaning County In West Virginia Is Welcoming Pres. Biden's $1.9 Trillion Covid Relief Bill; Five Jurors Now Selected In Trial Of Former Officer Charged In George Floyd's Death. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 10, 2021 - 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: Don't suffer silently. You aren't alone. So many other people are going through it right now.
So for more information about mental health resources, we have a place, so please go cnn.com/impact. I hope that you will take advantage of that.
Thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. It is a historic day in the fight against COVID and the physical and financial struggles it has created. On the day President Biden's signature domestic policy issue passed, a nearly $2 trillion COVID Relief Bill, the President also announced plans for a deal with Johnson & Johnson to produce a hundred million more doses of its one shot vaccine. He also says America should have enough vaccine for every adult by the end of May.
Now this as cases are declining again. Well, we're going to have more on that in just a moment.
We want to start though with that COVID Relief Bill that passed. Now, whether you applaud the nearly $2 trillion bill as House Democrats did immediately after its passage or you loathe its price and priorities, this legislation is a big deal, a very big deal that sets the tone and agenda in Washington for at least the next two years with direct payments going to about 90 percent of households, plus more money for the unemployed, families with children, and those who need healthcare coverage, or who can pay rent or bills.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): This is the most consequential legislation that many of us will ever be a party to. Who knows what the future may bring? But nonetheless, on this day, we celebrate.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Now, whether it's a success may depend on what happens next,
though, a massive messaging blitz and sales pitches now underway.
Tomorrow, President Biden holds his first primetime address, on Friday, he signs the bill at the White House, and next Tuesday, he stops in his home state of Pennsylvania, which narrowly won last year, Republicans today rolling out their counter arguments as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We're doing damage to the future of this country, spending dramatically more money than we obviously need.
We're about to have a boom, and if we do have a boom, it will have absolutely nothing to do with this $1.9 trillion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, as you probably know, not a single Republican lawmaker voted for the bill. According to new CNN poll, 61 percent of people favor the economic relief bill. Now, to put that in perspective, it's actually 10 points higher than the President's approval rating in the CNN poll.
As to whether it'll help or hurt the economy, 66 percent of Americans say it will help; 28 percent say a lot and 38 percent say some.
Today, President Biden called it a historic victory and said it proves we can do big things.
Perspective now from our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, and chief national correspondent, John King.
John, a $1.9 trillion COVID Relief bill. It's what President Biden asked for coming into office, it's his 50th day as President. He got it. This is obviously a major win for him. The scope and scale of the legislation, I think is really huge. And maybe a lot of us haven't even kind of wrapped our arms around how big it really is, how much do the President and the country have riding on it?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the country has a lot riding on it when you think about the COVID toll, whether it's on the economy, whether it's the case count, whether it's the death, whether it's distress on the American psyche, after the last year we've all lived through.
Will this help in food lines, for example? We've seen long lines of food banks. All the experts say this is going to help poverty, especially children who are going hungry across America right now.
What does the President have riding on this, Anderson? This is a giant win on Day 50. The question is, when we get into next year, a year from now, what does this big win do to shape the 2022 midterm climate?
Is the economy back? Are most Americans vaccinated? Are schools open? Are people going to baseball games? This all comes together. This piece of legislation though, we focused a lot, understandably, progressives were arguing, why are you taking out the minimum wage? Why you're targeting these benefits? Why are you shrinking a little bit those unemployment payments?
So we focused on the fights. When you look at what's in the final bill, this is Lyndon Johnson, this is FDR. This is a giant progressive rewrite of the Federal safety net and a giant roll for the Federal government. All the Republicans voted no.
If the economy bounces back, and we get out of the health part of this pandemic, the President and the Democrats will be able to claim credit for it. That's the if.
Now, they have to implement it, and that's hard. Joe Biden said he knows how to run the government. Now, he has to prove it.
COOPER: Gloria, I want to read something that the Republican Senator, Roger Wicker of Mississippi tweeted today after the bill passed the House. He tweeted: "Independent restaurant operators won have $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief. This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll."
It sounds like he's all for it, and it was part of passing it. He actually voted against the bill as did every single Republican in the Congress. What does it say to you now that he is boasting about part of it?
I mean, he says it's not, you know, he can do both that, yes, he didn't say that he voted against it. But he liked this part of the bill, but he didn't like the cost of the whole thing.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: There's a technical term for what he did, and it's called chutzpah. How can he do that? He voted against the bill, but he wants to tell restaurant owners in his state that yes, this is really going to help you.
BORGER: And this really is the entire Republican problem in messaging right now. I mean, they're pushing a ball up the hill, and what he is trying to do is say, yes, just because I didn't vote against, you know -- because I voted against the whole thing doesn't mean there weren't parts of it that I didn't like.
Remember, after Barack's Obama's stimulus bill, I remember all those Republicans who were going to ribbon cuttings at new projects, even though they had voted against the stimulus, and that's what I think you're going to see here.
You're going to see Republicans in whatever way they can, if this is a success, try to take credit for it even though they voted against it. I mean, it's completely absurd. But what else can they do?
COOPER: They were against it before they were for it.
BORGER: Well, right. Yes. I've heard that one, too. Yes.
COOPER: Yes. John, so Democrats saying President Obama didn't get the credit he deserved for the stimulus bill back in 2009. They want to avoid that happening here. It's why President Biden, or I guess part of the reason why he is going to hit the road to promote the bill across the U.S.
How challenging is it going to be to make sure that the execution of this new law is both, you know, efficient, and fast?
KING: So there's two important pieces of it. One is the inside Washington Park. Can the I.R.S. do all the work it has to do to make sure people get those tax credits? Can the other Federal agencies do all the work they have to do to make sure those checks run smoothly?
President Biden cannot afford a rerun of the Obamacare website, if you will. You are launching a new program. It's a signature piece of your presidency. You promised in the campaign, I can run the government, I get it. I'm going to bring a team in that can perform on day one. They must perform in implementing this.
Then you have to sell it outside of Washington. As Gloria notes, Republicans in Washington are saying no, some of them may show up at ribbon cuttings or show up to say, wow, look at the vaccine roll out. Wow, look, the schools are open.
But the Republicans in Washington say no, Joe Biden has to talk to Republicans as well as his own voters, suburban voters, African- American voters, Latino voters out in the country. He has to get out.
The Democrats got timid early in the Obama administration. It took a long time for the economy to bounce back, and a lot of Republicans said the stimulus wasn't working. Obamacare took a long time to kick in. It's very popular now. It was unpopular at the beginning in 2010 and 2011.
Democrats were timid then, Joe Biden was Vice President. He is telling Democrats now, help me. Don't make me the only salesman Democrats have to do this in unison, Anderson.
Look, Republicans are going to try to hang it around their neck, Democrats have to try to say it's a trophy.
COOPER: And glory, the predictions for what it's going to do to the economy, you know, I guess are mixed, some economists say it'll be great. Others are saying it'll be too much and lead to inflation. How much of this bill's story is yet to be written and how much of this is going to shape its legacy?
BORGER: You know, I think, in a way, all of it is yet to be written. There are some important parts of this, like child tax credits that have to be renewed. You'll see what happens in the future. And it's really important how this is implemented.
You know, Biden was in charge of the implementing of the stimulus package, and they used to call him the Sheriff around the White House, because he was so involved in every single detail, making sure that the money did not go to waste. That there was no fraud in the implementation.
You don't want the stories coming out that the states have been given all this money, and they are squandering it and they are not spending it properly. They are wasting your money.
So you know where his head is at because he did it once before. I mean, maybe he'll tell Kamala Harris to be the person who does it this time.
But that's what the part of the legacy will be about and no one can predict, of course, what's going to happen with the economy.
COOPER: Gloria Borger and John King, thank you.
We're joined now by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Congresswoman, thanks so much for being with us.
So Speaker Pelosi called this the most consequential legislation that many of us will ever be party to. I'm wondering, what is your message tonight to Americans out there who are desperate for help and pinning a lot of hopes on this bill?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): My message tonight and it's great to be with you, Anderson. My message tonight is help is on the way real, tangible help. Money in your pockets.
A family of four is going to get checks for $5,600.00. You've got two kids, you're going to get another $6,000.00 in child tax credit. If you're on unemployment, and you're worried that your unemployment is going to go away, we extended that unemployment to $300.00 and it'll go through the beginning of September.
But on top of that, we've got rental assistance in here. We have, you know, the biggest investment in childcare. We've got money for schools to open so parents can have some hope, again, that their kids are going to be able to go back to school and be supported.
We've got money for state and local governments, a lot of money for vaccine distribution because we've got to crush the virus if we're going to be able to resume our activities. So that's my message.
It's really simple. Help is on the way and it's going directly to the people, every single piece of this package.
COOPER: So it didn't have Republican support, though at least one G.O.P. senator is now taking credit for some of the bill's potential impact. What does that tell you? I mean, are you skeptical about the prospects for bipartisanship down the road, if something this big and seemingly popular at this stage, if you look at the polls, couldn't bring Republicans on board? JAYAPAL: It's a very big tactical mistake for Republicans and that's
why I think you see some of the Republicans trying to claim credit for some of the things that are in this bill, because they're going to have to go home to their constituents, and this bill has 76 percent approval across the country and they're going to have to try to explain why they voted no on a package that puts money in people's pockets and that helps people survive this terrible set of crises that we're in right now.
So I think, you know, they're going to have to make a decision if they are going to continue to obstruct us every step of the way, or if they're going to roll up their sleeves and be part of the solution. But we're not going to slow down what we do. We're not going to make what we do less, because the crises are too important.
And I think President Biden understands that that's why he came out with $1.9 trillion. That's why he stuck to that. That's why we, progressives push so hard to make the bill as progressive as it is, and we are really committed to delivering for the people.
COOPER: One question not about the bill, today, you called for Ethics Investigations into Republican Members of Congress, Lauren Boebert, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar based on what you allege were their roles or potentially played a role in what you called instigating and aiding the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
We should note, they've all denied any wrongdoing. Do you believe they intentionally put lives at risk? Do you think they knew what was going to happen?
JAYAPAL: Well, I've asked for an investigation for exactly that reason. I do fear that that is the case. But the proper way to go about it is to call for an investigation, which is what we did.
So I sent letters to both the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Ethics Committee, because they both have the ability to investigate this.
And I would like to know and I gave a lot of evidence that's public, but I think there's a lot of private evidence, Anderson, that we haven't seen yet. And the House Ethics Committee and the Office of Ethics will be able to look at all of the evidence and make a determination on the conduct of these individuals.
Because I will tell you that having people who say the things that have been said, who go to the kinds of events that they go to, who promote the ideas and conspiracy theories that they promote, is dangerous for all of Congress. It undermines our credibility as a governing branch.
And I think that is inappropriate, and I think it does not match our ethics standards of conduct that are clearly articulated in our House rules.
COOPER: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, I appreciate it. Thank you. Still to come tonight, more political fights over COVID including one
over a deadline in Texas that just passed setting up a fight between state authorities and officials in Austin over local mask mandates, the Mayor of Austin is going to join us.
And later, new developments in two legal matters confronting the former President, one involving his former attorney, Michael Cohen, the other, a taped conversation after losing the election, former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean is here to talk about both when we continue.
COOPER: There is news breaking out of Texas tonight where a legal fight over mask mandates is heating up between the State Attorney General and local officials in and around the City of Austin.
Just a short time ago, a deadline from the Attorney General passed for those officials to rescind a local order requiring face masks. This was their response to the end of the Governor's mass mandate which occurred today.
Now, the State Attorney General says he will sue if local officials do not comply. Austin area officials, including Mayor Steve Adler, who is going to join us in a moment have said they will not back down. It's just one example of how increased vaccinations and declining cases have put some State officials at odds with local officials and private businesses over the best way forward.
More now from our Ed Lavandera.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Feelings of frustration and dread as businesses are allowed to fully reopen and the statewide mask mandate in Texas is lifted.
This Houston restaurant owner says he doesn't understand why Governor Greg Abbott is turning him into the mask police.
AL JARA, HOUSTON RESTAURANT OWNER: We've been hurt the most and requiring us now to take a side on the mask isn't right in my opinion.
LAVANDERA (voice over): For some, it's triggered an emotional reminder of what's been lost in the last year. Thirty-eight-year-old Jonathan Martinez died of COVID. His mother says the Texas reopening is a kick in the stomach.
CATHERINE RODRIGUEZ, MOTHER OF COVID-19 VICTIM: My son left six children behind, two of the youngest are six and four-years-old. They don't understand why their daddy isn't coming home.
LAVANDERA (voice over): Other states are now pushing ahead to reopen as well. Utah will lift its mask mandate on April 10th. In Maryland, starting this Friday, capacity limits will be lifted for
restaurants, retail stores and other businesses, but masking and spacing protocols stay.
Health officials are urging caution as more than a dozen states are easing restrictions with more in the coming days and weeks.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: When you start doing things like completely putting aside all public health measures as if you're turning a light switch off, that's quite risky. We don't want to see another surge.
LAVANDERA (voice over): The renewed fights over mask wearing come as the race to vaccinate Americans continues to speed up. An average of 2.2 million people now getting the shots every day.
Alaska is becoming the first state to open vaccinations to people 16 and older.
GOV. MIKE DUNLEAVY (R-AK): And we have a real new possibility of hitting herd immunity before any other state.
LAVANDERA (voice over): More guidelines will be released as more people are fully vaccinated.
FAUCI: What about travel? What about going out? What about getting a haircut? What about doing things like that? That's all imminently going to be coming out.
LAVANDERA: And as the country enters Spring Break season, the University of California Davis is offering 500 students $75.00 to choose a staycation instead of traveling as a way to slow the virus spreading.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is better than nothing, and I think it helps people maybe on the fence of staying or not staying.
LAVANDERA (on camera): And so Anderson, as you mentioned, once again, this mask mandate highlighting what we have seen here in Texas for much of the last year, this wide gap between big city leaders in Texas, mostly Democrat and State Republican leadership of the City of Austin pushing back on the Governor's Executive Order, insisting that the mask mandate should remain in place.
But the Attorney General in a childish tweet this afternoon saying that the mask in Austin must be depriving city leadership of oxygen and that he was planning on suing.
That was supposed to happen a little over an hour ago. We're still waiting on word on when that lawsuit will be filed -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ed Lavandera, thanks very much. We are joined now by the Mayor of Austin, Texas, Steve Adler.
Mayor Adler, thanks for being back with us. So the State Attorney General gave until 6:00 p.m., Central Time to rescind Austin's mask mandate. Where do things stand now?
MAYOR STEVE ADLER (D), AUSTIN, TEXAS: We're not going to rescind anything. You know, we told our community that we would always be guided by the data and the doctors, and we're going to continue that. The health authority in this area like doctors and all over the country, medical professionals are telling us that we need to keep the mask mandate in place. That's what he has ordered by his rules, and we're going to enforce his rules.
It's going to be what it takes to really hold on to the gains that we've gotten, and we're going to continue to do what's right for however long we're able to do that.
COOPER: So in Austin, what now is the rule that you are that you're holding on to?
ADLER: Our health authority, Dr. Escott has said that masks should be mandated when people leave their homes and when they're around members of the public. You know, so in retail establishments, when people are together in small groups.
The orders that he put into place last summer are still in place and we're still -- they are still enforceable here in the city.
COOPER: As Ed Lavandera, our correspondent mentioned in a tweet, the Attorney General said in part, "City County leaders must not be thinking clearly, maybe it is oxygen deprivation from quintuple masking." What do you make of that tweet? I mean, besides -- you know, it's pretty snarky, the quintuple masking thing.
ADLER: You know, the Attorney General tweets at me a lot, and I try not to engage at that level. These are serious challenges and serious problems, we still have a lot of people that are dying.
We're trying really hard to open up our schools to more and more students in person, we're trying to open up businesses to a greater extent without a risk of rolling back. We have essential workers that are on the frontline now being confronted with people potentially that aren't wearing masks. This is serious.
We're going to stay serious. We're going to continue to follow the science and the data and the doctors for however long we can here in Texas, and we've been doing this since the beginning which is why Austin has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. That is hard earned by the people in this community.
I am so appreciative of the number of people in businesses that insist that they're going to stay with the mask mandate.
COOPER: It puts businesses in a really difficult spot, you know, to have whether it is the bartender or the person at the grocery checkout, having to enforce, you know, what the business rule is if the company says, you know if the business says that they want mask for -- it falls on just, you know, people who are probably not earning a ton of money to be the mask police and they get treated badly because of it.
ADLER: It's really unfortunate and absolutely unnecessary. You know, our businesses, all of them have the mask mandate by and large because they want to protect their employees as well as their customers.
When the Governor removed the mask mandate, I had a lot of businesses reach out to me very frustrated and upset because they were -- they had been able to say to customers when they came into the store, hey, you have to put on a mask. Hey, it's not me. It's the law.
And when the Governor took that away, he created an ambiguity as to whether or not masks are important, if they work; whether there should be no ambiguity.
These businesses are helped by having a law in place that says you have to wear masks. That's what we have now in Austin, and we do it in part to be able to protect those retail establishments and those workers that should not be put in the position of being the mask police.
COOPER: Mayor Adler, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
ADLER: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: More breaking news coming up. Two more signs of possible legal jeopardy for the former President. A story that Reuters first broke, his former lawyer Michael Cohen, once again talking to prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
There's also new reporting from "The Wall Street Journal" about an audiotape of the former President talking to another Georgia election official, all of that when we continue.
COOPER: There is breaking news tonight: two developments that could potentially mean new legal trouble for the former President.
Reuters was the first to break the story. His one-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen was interviewed once again today for a seventh time by prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, which is pursuing an investigation into the former President.
Cohen told her Reuters reporter that he believed today's interview was on the heels of a Supreme Court decision allowing the former President's tax returns and other documents to be handed over prosecutors.
Plus investigators are interested in the Trump organization's Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Will you be speaking with the DA about Trump's family and Allen Weisselberg?
MICHAL COHEN, FORMER PERSONAL ATTORNEY TO DONALD TRUMP: Sometime later today.
QUESTION: And then do you think Weisselberg will cooperate with the DA's office?
COHEN: If he is smart, he would.
QUESTION: How important will the tax records and financial statements, you know, the DA's office received after last week's Supreme Court decision, you know, to the investigation.
COHEN: Yes, that sounds to me like the Holy Grail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And the Wall Street Journal tonight is reporting another audiotape as surface of the former president talking by phone with an investigator for the Georgia Secretary of State's office, a phone call different from the one he had with the Secretary of State himself, which you've probably heard.
So, a lot going on. Joining me now is former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, a CNN contributor. So John, you tweeted about this report in Reuters saying, quote, from personal experience as a key witness, I assure you that you do not visit a prosecutor's office seven times, if they're not planning to indict those about whom you have knowledge. It's only a matter of how many days until DA advance indicts Donald and co, end quote.
How can you be so confident in that? I mean, is it the fact that they brought him in for seven time, couldn't you also read into it that they're sort of just fishing?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, not likely at this stage. What they're doing could be a couple things. One, is the prosecutor is trying to get familiar with their witness. More likely, in this instance, because of the treasure trove of information that came from the subpoena, they recently obtained the evidence from his to get guidance and insight into what some of those documents mean, give them more people who might know about various affairs that are revealed by the documents.
An insider as I once was, can give insights the prosecutors can't otherwise get. And that's why you don't you're not going to do this to find exculpatory evidence at this point, given the amount of time it's been in this investigation. They're really narrowing their case, to decide exactly what they're going to bring against the president, and possibly his family. COOPER: The allegation of hush money paid to Stormy Daniels porn star, for example. Obviously, that's not going to be something as glaring as a line item deduction on the former president's tax returns. In fact, it's a -- has potentially campaign finance issue. Could Michael Cohen be helping guide investigators and how things might be labeled or documented within the Trump Organization?
DEAN: Absolutely. As I said, that's the sort of thing insiders would have information to. He knows how he was paid. He knows who signed those checks. They have copies of most of those checks, I think, at this point. So he can tell them why they came in the form they did and why some were signed by apparently Don Jr., some were signed by Weisselberg, the Chief Financial Officer. It's just invaluable to a prosecutor to have an insider who can guide them through the evidence.
COOPER: I want to talk with this other investigation. You just heard the Wall Street Journal tonight reporting another audio tape that surfaced of a phone call between the former president and an investigator for the Georgia Secretary of State's office. I want to listen to some what was that?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I won everything but Georgia and I, you know, and I won Georgia know that by a lot. And the people know it. And, you know, something happened, I mean something bad happened. And if you can get to Fulton, you're going to find things that are going to be unbelievable. Fulton is the motherload, you know, as the expression goes Fulton County.
FRANCES WATSON, INVESTIGATION SUPERVISOR: I can assure you that our team and the GBI that were only interested in the truth and finding, you know, finding the information that's based on the facts.
TRUMP: It never made sense. And, you know, they dropped the ballots, they dropped all these ballots. Stacey Abrams, really, really terrible. I mean, just a terrible thing. And I will say this when the right answer comes out, you'll be praised.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: I wonder what you made it the general tone of what was said by the foreign president. I mean that observers, pretty much him kind of rambling, as I'm sure he did often on this topic.
DEAN: It's a little bit reminiscent of Nixon leaning on people in my memory bank, where, you know, he knows how far to go, but not too far, particularly when he's on the phone and he knows he's being recorded, and to some of those conversations. So, Trump doesn't know he's being recorded in this instance.
And one of the telling things, Anderson, to me, is the fact that these people were recording these calls. As I recall, it was in November, late November that Lindsey Graham denied that he'd had the conversations he'd had with the Secretary of State and Georgia who had, in essence said he called and told him to throw out ballots. And Graham denied that after that.
After that they started recording the calls. We don't know how many calls we -- this one was reported earlier, we'd never heard it, but there may well be other calls that have been recorded. And what they're looking for, I think is part of the RICO case they're developing now.
The Fulton County prosecutor has hired the best expert in the state who helped her with a prior RICO case. And RICO cases are very serious Anderson these are stack on lots of penalties.
COOPER: That's what was used very effectively against mob families.
DEAN: Absolutely that's -- a friend of mine actually wrote the statute for that purpose fellow (ph) by Robert Blakey years ago, law professor from Notre Dame designed it to effectively go after the mob. And it was a powerful tool. It has since gone on to be used very effectively against people who commit criminal patterns of behavior. And it's been used at the state level as well.
So, I think that's the case they're building. These phone calls that they have multiple records of now are going to be dynamite.
COOPER: I think I saw a documentary than I guess your friend was in it, because it was fascinating and he was like a professor. And they he started he got called in and whenever the FBI and external explain this way, or the Justice Department and when explained this way of what RICO could do, and it was kind of -- it was eye opening for them.
DEAN: It was and it that statute has since become highly perfected over the years. It's quite broad. You find predicate acts of behave -- misbehavior, if you will. And those constitute the racketeering activity, and they stack on serious penalties as a result of that.
COOPER: John Dean, appreciate it. Thanks.
(voice-over): Up next, the royal family says it'll handle the crisis over Meghan Markle's interview privately. Tonight there's some very public fallout, Meghan Markle's has made a formal complaint against one of her critics who she is upset with. I will tell you why. When we continue.
COOPER: There's new fallout tonight linked to Prince Harry Meghan Markle's exclusive interview over the weekend. CNN has learned at the Duchess of Sussex, formerly complained to British broadcaster ITV over comments made by one of its hosts about her mental health that host Piers Morgan has now quit his job at ITV's Good Morning Britain, where he made those comments.
More in all of this from CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster.
MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: You know, I share this because there are so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help. And I know personally how hard it is to not just voice it but when you voice it to be told no.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The raw and intimate revelation by the Duchess of Sussex that she not only contemplated suicide, but got no help from the firm. Thrusting the topic of mental health squarely into the spotlight, a spotlighted grew even hotter. When controversial morning show host Piers Morgan, a known critic of Meghan said this.
PIERS MORGAN, TV PERSONALITY: OK, and let's have the names. Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I'm sorry, I don't believe a word she says Meghan Markle.
FOSTER (voice-over): Those comments met with a swift backlash from viewers more than 40,000 filing complaints against Morgan with the broadcast regulator, which is now investigating. The Duchess of Sussex herself, CNN understands launching her own formal complaints directly with ITV not because of the personal nature of the attack, but because of her fear his rhetoric could cause others with mental health issues, to be too ashamed to get help.
Mental Health Awareness groups also weighing in about the importance of not undermining those who speak up about their own struggles. Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind saying this in a statement, we found that when celebrities and high profile individuals speak publicly about their own mental health problems, it can help inspire others to do the same. Sharing personal experiences of poor mental health can be overwhelming. So, it's important that when people do open up about their mental health, they're met with understanding and support.
Then Morgan attempted to walk back his comments, saying it wasn't the Duchess's suicidal thoughts he questions but the royal family denied her health.
MORGAN: A mental illness and suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things that should be taken extremely seriously. And if somebody is feeling that way, they should get the treatment and the help they need every time.
FOSTER (voice-over): But the damage was done resigning from ITV after a meeting with top executives. By Wednesday, Morgan was back in front of the cameras outside his home railing about his right to free speech.
MORGAN: Probably even freedom of speech. I believe in the right to be allowed to have an opinion. If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that's entirely their right. I don't believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage is done to the British monarchy, and to the Queen of time and Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous, and, frankly contemptible. FOSTER (voice-over): Morgan's bombastic attempt to change the focus, ironically highlighting the caustic nature of the UK press. But the Duke and Duchess revealed as one of the reasons their mental health had suffered in the first place.
FOSTER: Now the Queen is determined to deal with this family crisis within the House of Windsor privately but that's very difficult to do when this introduced part sparked so much public debate about issues that affects everyone. And also when the Sussexes have shown that just won't be silenced about issues that they care about, Anderson.
COOPER: Max Foster. Max, thanks so much.
I want to get perspective now from Bonnie Greer. She covered Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding with me and the rest of the CNN team. And writes about the royal family and other topics for The New European newspapers. She's also the host of in Search Of Black History available on Audible.
Bonnie, it's good to see you again. I don't really want to talk about --
BONNIE GREER, COLUMNIST, THE NEW EUROPEAN: Good to see you.
COOPER: -- Piers Morgan because I -- it hit there's so much to unpack with that one. But it is interesting to me that the way, the media in England has in general responded to this to the criticisms leveled by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The, you know, the union I guess for the media came out with a really stunning it was the director of the Society of Editors And The Executive Director has now resigned, but the Society of Editors, which represents much of the British tabloid media, they had denied that the UK media that there was racism or bigoted attitudes, they also had said that it was not acceptable for the Duke and Duchess to make claims otherwise without proving any supporting evidence.
There was a huge backlash among people of color working in British tabloids I think it was like 150 or 160 of them signed on to a letter and now saying that, you know, how can you say this essentially? And then they put out another statement, this society saying, well, of course, you know, essentially backtracking on the statement they made. And now that seems the executive director has stepped down.
Is this a time where you think there will actually be reflection in the UK, and everywhere, I mean, media about portrayals of issues like this.
GREER: You know, Addison, thank you for asking me to come back to see you again, and very grateful. This is extremely complicated, of course, one of the issues is that the royal family is not just a bunch of people, it is a system, it is literally a class system, they stand on top of the pyramid of privilege, they stand on top of a mountain of people who actually stand in front of a lot of other people. And so, when they're criticized this, a phalanx that's below them has to react, because if they don't, they're in the barrel as well. So that's part of what's going on.
And what Meghan has done, which I think is brilliant, I'm sure she didn't even think she was going to do this is literally walked the foundations of the state. Many people are really surprised at how the royal family or where reminds them, and let's face it, they have a phalanx of people smoking, call the royal household, and you think somebody in there could figure out how to respond to this in a human way. We're in a situation where we have all been undone by this pandemic, we will not go back to any kind of normal that we we've understood.
So you think that in this position, this premier family with their advisors would be able to find a response to a situation within not only their own family, but the national family, and now the world family. And it goes also to the root of the situation, that that we black women are not supposed to have any pain. We're not supposed to complain about interior pain, because we're supposed to have a higher pain threshold. So that this woman of color comes out and speaks out, shakes a lot of foundations a lot.
COOPER: And I mean, there is a history of how the royal family deals with things, controversies. And it is not. I mean, clearly, they do not want to deal with this in front of cameras.
GREER: Well, they have a motto, don't explain, don't complain. So, as I said before, they are the last of the silent film actors. They walk around, most of us never hear their voices, not really. And so, we project what they project onto them. And the projection now is of a evil cabal. And they have no idea how to deal with this. Because there's not anybody on the inside. Who functions in the real world, the real world where people are suffering. They're not there.
COOPER: Bonnie Greer, more to discuss. Thank you very much time.
GREER: Thank you. Good to see you.
COOPER (voice-over): Coming up. We'll have more on the breaking news from Capitol Hill. You'll likely remember Democratic Senator Joe Manchin for the COVID relief bill on hold at one point. Now it has passed both Houses. So, what voters and Republican leaning county in a state think of what he did, and of the bill itself? That's next.
COOPER: Breaking news from the top of the hour President Biden expected to sign the nearly $2 trillion COVID relief bill on Friday. This after the House approved the historical legislation this afternoon. That might have been the easy part, the hard part getting it out to America where it is needed, which is why we sent our Gary Tuchman to Mingo County, West Virginia coal country. The counties tied for the second highest unemployment rate in the state at just over 11%. About 85% of voters in Mingo County voted for the former president in the 2020 election. Only one other county in the state gave him a higher percentage of the vote. This is clearly Republican voters.
So we wanted to see how the relief bill is being received there. Here's what Gary found.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Economic life has long been challenging in the mountainous towns of West Virginia coal country. The COVID outbreak has made things much worse.
KEVIN JOHNSON, COAL MINER: Stuff for my kids for, you know, my wife, my whole family in general. I mean, I got my -- a lot of my family's out of work.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Kevin Johnson is a coal miner, but like many other people in this area, lost his job.
JOHNSON: I love the mines. I mean, it's good money, really good money, good money, good living.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): How hard is it right now?
JOHNSON: It's a struggle right now.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Here in Williamson, West Virginia, the seat of Mingo County, the COVID relief bill is a huge relief for so many people. Garland Thompson is a restaurant dishwasher.
GARLAND THOMPSON, RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE: I'm excited about it, you know, anytime you can help areas depressed is Mingo County in West Virginia and give people $1,400. Hopefully that'll -- it's going to help a little bit.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): Help you?
THOMPSON: Yes, sir. Help me. Yes, me and my wife.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): There is great awareness among people in Mingo County that their senior U.S. Senator Joe Manchin could have brought down this bill if he wanted to bet he is an effective kingmaker. And many people we talked to hear like that.
(voice-over): Charles McGuire says he almost always votes Republican, including for Donald Trump. But he respects the political moves made by his conservative Democratic senator.
CHARLES MCGUIRE, RESPIRATORY THERAPIST: Multiple times he just speaks his mind and he speaks what is truth.
CHARLIE HATFIELD (D) MAYOR, WILLIAMSON WV: I think central mentions done very well in helping us do this. TUCHMAN (voice-over): This is the mayor of Williamson, Charlie Hatfield, who is an ancestor of the famous Hatfield family that feuded with the McCoys in this very area back in the late 1800s. The conservative Democratic mayor who doesn't want to reveal if he votes Democratic or Republican in national elections, does reveal he very much likes this bill.
HATFIELD: I think it's a good thing. And I can tell you, from what I've seen, the city alone will probably get about a million dollars.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): And what that portion of your budget is there?
HATFIELD: Oh, it would represent almost a third, you know, yes.
TUCHMAN (on-camera): So this is big money.
HATFIELD: It's big money.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): We did meet a couple of people in town who agree with Republicans in Congress who all gave the bill a thumbs down.
BUTCH BECKETT, MINGO COUNTY RESIDENT: Like none of us have turned around right now. There's a lot of waste in the money.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But almost we talked to hear feel differently. Sherran Ray Justice has a disability and hasn't been able to find a job.
(on-camera): How do you feel about the fact that no Republican senators voted for this COVID relief bill? They all said no to it.
SHERRAN RAY JUSTICE, MINGO COUNTY RESIDENT: Yes. That's the move, as to how was moved there. I mean, they should. I mean, yes my language rotation. Loosen up a little bit, you know what I mean.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Kevin Johnson, the laid off miner says he voted for Donald Trump, and usually supports Republicans, but disagrees with how the GOP has handled this. With this aide he says he will now be able to --
JOHNSON: Pay up the rent, pay up the bills because people are behind, you know, as well as everybody else. I'm sure I ain't the only one that's got a tough time.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Tough times for so many. And now the hope things will start getting better soon.
TUCHMAN: We asked Mayor Hatfield what he'd like to do with these million dollars or so, he says, if at serious infrastructure problems here, so we'd like to take a big chunk of the money, improve the roads, improve the overpasses and also fix up the underperforming water system and sewer system. Anderson. COOPER: Gary Tuchman. Gary, thanks very much.
(voice-over): Up next, an update on the trial to former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd.
COOPER: Two more jurors were selected today in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who's charged in the death of George Floyd, that brings the total number of jurors selected to five with a total of 14 jurors needed including two alternates. According to a pool reporter one man selected say appears to be Caucasian in his 30s or 40s.
The other black man also in the 30s or 40s. The remaining jurors chosen appear to be Caucasian, of black man and a biracial woman. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to secondary unintentional murder and second degree manslaughter charges influence death which was captured on camera of course and sparked demonstrations across the country.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Supreme Court' today clear the way for the trial judge to consider reinstating a lesser third degree murder charge against the officer Chauvin. The judge says he would address the matter when court resumes in the morning.
A reminder, don't miss "Full Circle" it's our digital news show, gives us a chance dig in some important topics have in depth conversations. You can catch it streaming live at 6:00 p.m. Eastern at cnn.com/fullcircle or watch it there and on the CNN app at anytime On Demand.
That's it for us. The news continues. Let's head over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME". Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Anderson, its right to pick up on the composition of this jury.