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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Visit C.D.C.; Joe Biden Condemns Rising Violence against Asian-Americans; Interview with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL); NY Times: Gov. Cuomo Faces New Claims Of Sexual Harassment From Current Aide; FBI Releases New Videos From Capitol Riot, Seeks "Most Violent" Suspects Who Attacked Officers; Wisconsin Voters On GOP Sen. Ron Johnson's Racially Loaded Claims, Conspiracy Theories; Trump's Private 757 Jet Abandoned And In Need Of Repairs At New York Airport; Those Killed And Injured During Tuesday's Mass Shooting In Atlanta. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 19, 2021 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: They're padding it out to make sure that they're going to get there.

Thanks so much to all of you for joining us. Don't forget you can watch "Out Front," you just have to go to CNN Go anytime you want.

Anderson starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, a lot happening tonight including new sexual harassment allegations against New York's Governor and new COVID forecast offering hope, but also a warning against letting our guard down.

We begin though with the President and Vice President who traveled to Atlanta today. They visited the C.D.C., highlighted the ways in which it's helping the country stop COVID, but their prime focus was on a city and a country in need of a different kind of healing.

President tied the two together today speaking out against anti-Asian violence in the wake of this week's mass killings there, but also making it clear that words and acts of hatred against Asian Americans did not come out of nowhere.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are learning again, we've always known, words have consequences. It is the coronavirus, full stop. The conversation we had today with the AAPI leaders and that we're hearing all across the countries that hate and violence often hide in plain sight.

It's often met with silence that's been through throughout our history. But that has to change because our silence is complicity.

We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act.


COOPER: We have more on the story from the White House from CNN's Kaitlan Collins and from Amara Walker in Atlanta, where there's new surveillance video in the case. Let's start with Kaitlan.

So, the President really wanted this trip -- in his speech to focus on outreach to the Asian-American community, he even canceled another political event. What was the message today?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they didn't want to be focused on politics that is why they had canceled that event that they had scheduled before the shooting had happened on Tuesday night.

And I think really what you heard from him, especially at the end of his remarks, Anderson, was grief for these families of those who were killed. The eight people, but also the six who were Asian women where he was talking about not just those who are directly affected by what happened on Tuesday, but really the national conversation that this has raised.

This is something that we have been talking about in recent months, but that has gotten a lot more attention this week, which is of course the uptick in violence and harassment of Asian-Americans.

And so that was really something that you saw not just President Biden, but also the Vice President Harris talking about as well during those remarks, talking about how Asian-Americans have been harassed and bullied and targeted and even killed.

President Biden was saying there talking about what's been going on really kind of tying it all together with the coronavirus pandemic by talking about what he's been doing, the efforts he's been taking and how he addressed this in his national address last week, but also saying just you know how really this shooting in Atlanta brings it all home for everybody.

COOPER: President Biden did not call the shootings in Atlanta a hate crime.

COLLINS: He didn't, and I think that we had talked to White House officials about really what steps he was going to take there because there were some in the Asian-American community who wanted him to take that step.

Investigators have not, officers have not, and law enforcement has not. They wanted President Biden to do so, but he held back tonight. And I think it referenced really the conversation he had in the Oval Office other day where he said investigators are not ready to go there yet. They have not determined the motive, but kind of the way he's been framing this is yet despite the fact that they have not said what the motive of this shooter was yet and whether it was driven by the fact that these were Asian victims that he was targeting, President Biden said you can't ignore their identities.

You can't ignore the facts here of where these businesses were, who owned these businesses, who the victims were by majority, given that six of them were Asian-American women.

And so I think that was what he was really trying to get at in his remarks.

COOPER: He did take a moment to address the passage of the COVID bill and the voting rights.

COLLINS: He did. He talked about the Coronavirus Relief Bill, of course, that was really what he was going there originally to have basically this bigger political rally and he still had a speech that had some political undertones to it.

But the way he framed it was how this shooting is tied to what we've seen against this rise in violence against Asian-Americans, which of course has been because of the pandemic talking about his response to the pandemic, which of course he is framing as by being all tied to signing of that Coronavirus Relief Bill saying that it is going to change things.

But the voting rights thing was also really interesting because he also met with Stacey Abrams while he was in Georgia. Of course, she has been a major advocate for voting rights. It is something that is happening in Georgia right now, which President Biden referenced.

And he even was thinking voters in Georgia saying you're the reason that we could pass the Coronavirus Relief Bill because of course they have that narrowly majority -- narrow majority in the Senate talking about that. And of course, talking about that narrow margin that he had over former President Trump in the state.

COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, thanks. More now on how the President's remarks were received, how the investigation is playing out. CNN's Amara Walker joins us from Atlanta.

I'm wondering what reaction you heard from President Biden's speech today.


AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a good first step, Anderson. I think I realized by listening to the speech that I had and along with so many of my Asian brothers and sisters, we've had so many suppressed feelings of anger and resentment, and sadness for our community, which has felt so invisible and overlooked for so long. You know, where we feel like people don't think that we deal with racism and that's just not the truth.

And so when you have the President and the Vice President coming to Atlanta to acknowledge the rise in xenophobia, the racism that Asians have been dealing with for so long, and to say, I see you and I understand that this is a community that's extremely afraid for their safety right now, I think that meant a lot to a lot of people in the Asian community. It did serve as some comfort.

But look, at the end of the day, the Asian community, Anderson wants concrete solutions. You know, what are you going to do, Mr. President, and all elected officials to protect the Asian-American community, to prevent these kinds of attacks from happening and also encourage Asians to come forward and report crimes against them?

Because the big picture here is there are language barriers, concerns about immigration status, and the overarching theme where agents feel like their fears and concerns are just not taken seriously.

And experts will tell you, Anderson, that a lot of these statistics are not very accurate. I mean, this statistic of over 150 percent increase in hate crimes or hate incidents against Asians over the past year, experts will tell you that that doesn't capture the full picture.

COOPER: What's the latest in the investigation?

WALKER: So we did just get some new surveillance pictures and from a business right next to Young's Asian Massage there, an app wherein it appears to show the suspect's vehicle pulling into the parking lot right in front of Young's Asian Massage. That is the first of three scenes where this massacre occurred where eight people were killed, including six Asian women.

So, this image is just before the shootings happened. At that spa, four people were killed. One person was injured and has survived. So, the suspect right now faces eight counts of murder, Anderson and one count of attempted murder.

COOPER: Amara Walker, I appreciate it. Thank you.

In addition to putting anti-Asian hate crime center stage, this killing sadly also reveals the difficulty some lawmakers have been confronting the issue. This week we saw Texas Republican Congressman Chip Roy turn the House hearing on the subject into a forum for him to conjure up images of Texas lynchings in a fond way.

Despite several Republican senators speaking out plainly against attacks on Asian-Americans, their Leader Mitch McConnell has not. His wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has.

Shortly before airtime, I talked about how Washington is and isn't responding with Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth.


COOPER: Senator Duckworth, we heard a word from President Biden today about Asian-American hate crimes. He also acknowledged how difficult this past year has been for the community. As an Asian-American, I'm wondering what you thought?

SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): Well, I'm glad that, you know, he is speaking to this issue. It's a big change from our former President who actually encouraged some of the very negative racist rhetoric that led to a lot of the increases in hate crimes.

And so, I'm so glad that President Biden did what he could to try to reset the tone and to acknowledge that. COOPER: Well, I mean, the White House still has not called the

shooting a hate crime in Atlanta. Police have said what they've said. Should -- you see it as a hate crime.

DUCKWORTH: I do see it as a hate crime, and this is part of the issue is that hate crimes against Asian-Americans are severely underrepresented, Anderson.

We know that just in the last year that the numbers of hate crimes against AAPIs have risen by over 150 percent in all major cities.

COOPER: When you heard about the shootings in Atlanta, I understand, you said you were shocked, but not surprised. Can you explain why you weren't surprised?

DUCKWORTH: I wasn't surprised, Anderson, because we have been marching towards more and more violent hate crimes against AAPIs, in this last year in particular, in the past four years under the Trump presidency. We've seen the increase in what people feel is acceptable language.

And then now, you get to a point where we've talked about, okay, there's a 91-year-old Asian man who was attacked, a child was attacked. Asian nurses were attacked even as they were helping people with COVID.

The violence against Asian-Americans is increasing, so I'm not surprised that it happened.

COOPER: Is there more the Department of Justice, the F.B.I. should do to kind of bolster their investigations into hate crimes against Asian-Americans?

DUCKWORTH: Definitely, and just yesterday, I sent letters to both Mr. Wray and also to I'm Attorney General Garland, each of them asking for the F.B.I. and the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the amount -- the number of hate crimes that have occurred in the United States and whether or not they have been underrepresented, whether a crime that has been reported simply as an assault or a theft, or a mugging was really more hate crime related and it was actually one that targeted a person's race.


COOPER: Just this week, we heard the former President continue to use the term "Chinese virus." Representative Rodney Davis said yesterday that he doesn't believe phrases like "Kung Flu" or "China virus" are connected to this rise in attacks. Representative -- obviously, Chip Roy, brought up the idea of lynching as a favorable thing about -- and the good old days in Texas in what we're supposed to be hearing on Asian-American hate, especially from public officials like this, I mean, words matter it seems particularly at a time like this.

DUCKWORTH: Words matter, and I am deeply disappointed in these officials for what they're doing. Frankly, you know, the fact that Rodney Davis and Representative Roy would rather spend their time defending the hate-filled rhetoric of a former President disgraced with two impeachments, instead of coming to the defense of their constituency who are members of the AAPI community is disgusting.

And words matter. Public officials must step up and say this is not acceptable, because when you have Members of Congress who say that this is acceptable, then you are just allowing the hate speech to continue and that very quickly leads to crimes and actual violence against members of the AAPI community.

COOPER: You talked about feeling like an "other," meaning other than American. I'm wondering if you can talk about your experiences, because it seems to me in this day and age, other rising people is -- it seems like it's only growing.

DUCKWORTH: It is only growing, but it is the universal experience among Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders here in this country.

My entire life, you know, Anderson, as recently as just as the debates for my Senate seat back in 2016, my opponent, a United States Senator at the time questioned my ancestry and my American-ness and whether or not I was sufficiently loyal to this country, because my mother is Asian-American.

I often get stopped and you know, asked, "Where are you from really?" I mean, that happened to me, all 23 years of my military service. I was wearing the nation's cloth, Her uniform with Her colors on my shoulders, as stars and stripes going into combat, and I would have people stop me, you know, and ask me.

Well, yes, I guess, you're an American. But where are you from? Really?

You know, I'm sorry. I've been here. My family has been here since before the revolution. I'm a daughter of the American Revolution. And I get asked those questions.

But that experience, Anderson, is pretty universal across all AAPIs in this country where we are often treated as the "other" and often on the one hand treated as well, you're not sufficiently a minority to need any assistance or any additional protection.

But on the other hand, you're really not one of us. And that just sets the stage for these hate crimes to continue and for hate groups to target Asian-Americans and it's not acceptable.

COOPER: Senator Duckworth, I really appreciate your time. Thank you.

DUCKWORTH: Thank you.


COOPER: Well, still to come tonight, more on President Biden's and Vice President Harris's visited to the C.D.C. in Atlanta, which also released new guidelines about social distancing. We will tell you what they mean for school reopening.

And what a key model that predicts the course of the virus says about whether deaths may increase if more people unmask. Also, congressional vaccinations, the question is who is getting them,

who isn't and who won't say.

Later, a "New York Times" report about new allegations of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, this time coming from a current aide. Details when we continue.



COOPER: As we've touched on earlier, the President and Vice President toured the C.D.C. in Atlanta today. The President thanked staffers for their work in the pandemic.

Back in Washington, his COVID team announced it has met the President's hundred million shots in a hundred days 42 days early. Vaccinations, officials report are now averaging two and a half million a day and today, the C.D.C. relaxed its guidance for social distancing of schools, which could have a direct impact on school reopening.

Students can now be three feet apart instead of six. If everyone is masked and heeding safety guidelines, the local transmission rate isn't high.

Now all of this comes as a key model for predicting the course the virus says deaths and daily cases are declining despite a decline in mask usage.

However, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington said deaths could begin to rise if too many people stop wearing their masks. The report predicts a total 596,000 COVID deaths by July.

Joining us now our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the Director of the Institute, Dr. Chris Murray. So, Dr. Murray, your model projects in an overall decline in cases and deaths. Can you just walk us through which variables you include to lower those numbers?

DR. CHRIS MURRAY, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: So the key thing driving these trends right now, Anderson, are the scale up of vaccination that you just spoke about, you know, we're coming out of the winter season. But on the reverse end, what has the potential to drive up transmission is the spread of the U.K. variant. You know, it's really, in places like Michigan, we're already seeing the impact of that variant, and of course, what people do.

And it's -- you know, mask use is probably the most critical thing and we've seen both upticks in mobility recently in the U.S. and some declines in some states in mask use.

So it's the balance of those and you can easily make the U.S. look like Europe and have a pretty big upswing in cases and deaths. COOPER: And Dr. Murray, your model has a worst case scenario that

shows an additional 64,000 deaths by July 1st and that scenario includes states opening too quickly, increased mobility and lower mask use. We are seeing states loosening restrictions all over the country and air travel being up and mask mandates easing.

So is -- I mean, is your worst case scenario a likely one or can you not say?


MURRAY: You know, it's really hard to predict how the American public is going to respond to the situation and that is sort of why we put out, you know, both what we think is most likely, but we think the worst scenario is really quite possible.

We are quite worried by the trends in Europe where they have stricter lockdown than we have right now, and yet, the cases and deaths in most countries in Europe are steadily rising for the last three weeks. So that's a worrying -- a worrisome sign.

COOPER: Sanjay, I mean, why wouldn't what's happening in Europe happen here?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, it could. I think that, you know, part of this is exactly what you're talking about, but also the vaccinations.

I mean, you know, we are seeing this rapid rollout of the vaccinations, a hundred million doses, as you mentioned, from this administration within 58 days --

COOPER: And a lot of European countries are not doing as good a job with that.

GUPTA: No, they're not -- some of them are not doing as good a job of that. But countries that are like if you look at Israel, for example, about half the country, roughly, I think, is vaccinated. And you do see the impact of that. There's been rapid declines over there.

So, I think you know, that that is encouraging. Also, you know, we talk about the total number of vaccines, but you have roughly two thirds of people who are over the age of 65 who have at least received one shot, now 40 percent are fully immunized, long term care facilities, where, you know, a third, roughly, of the deaths have occurred in this country, 75 percent of residents in long term care facilities are vaccinated.

So, it's not just the total number of vaccines. It's who has been vaccinated as well, and we're not there yet. I don't mean to suggest that.

But, you know, we are increasingly vaccinating the most vulnerable, which I think will make a difference ultimately.

COOPER: Sanjay, do you think we're out running the variants now? GUPTA: I think it's -- I think it's hard to say. You know, I think

about this all the time, I mean, so 55,000 cases roughly per day right now. The majority of the country, despite what we were just saying, majority of the country is still not protected, still doesn't have immunity against this, and we are seeing these new variants.

So, when you look at the vaccine trials, the vaccines seem to be very good at protecting against hospitalization and death, whether it's a variant or the more wild type virus.

But people can still get sick, the virus could still take hold in some of those people and mutations could still develop.

So, I don't know how to measure, you know, the actual race, but, you know, I think it's close right now.

COOPER: Dr. Murray, there was an exchange on the Senate floor yesterday between Dr. Fauci and Senator Rand Paul, who says that wearing a mask or double masking is theater. You've been mapping out how many lives can be saved by strict mask wearing for months now. What more can you say or do to convince people like Rand Paul, or people who may listen to him that masks actually are effective?

MURRAY: Well, Anderson, we know that masks are effective both at the population level. You know, if you go back and look at the relationship between how much transmissions there has been, there's a really strong relationship between mask use, and we know at the physical measurement level that masks block people transmitting to others. And depending on the mask you wear and the quality, protect you as well.

So we know it works and we also know that right now, it's really easy to lose the race, in a sense, as Sanjay said, so that we have deaths and cases going up in, you know, over the next month or two.

But it's also going to be easy if people are careful and wear their masks and be cautious during the scale up of vaccination that things just keep getting better towards the summer.

So, it's super important to keep vigilant over this period of time.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, I should have been more precise. I mean, Rand Paul was talking about the idea of people who have been vaccinated don't need to wear masks. What do you make of that?

MURRAY: Well, I don't agree with that view because we know that amongst those who are vaccinated, the vaccines, you know, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, particularly are very good at preventing severe disease and hospitalization. We think there's less clear evidence about how much transmission blocking it is, but it's probably pretty high. It's probably 80 to 85 percent.

But that means that 15 percent or maybe 20 percent of those who are vaccinated can still get infected and likely still transmit. And so that's where wearing a mask just makes sense. At least, you know, while there is still, you know, community transmission ongoing. COOPER: And Sanjay, these three feet, the new guidelines, distance

guidelines for children in schools today from the C.D.C. That does not apply to non-children outside of schools. I mean, it's still six feet for the rest of us. Is that right?

GUPTA: Yes, six feet for the rest of us still. I mean, there's been this drumbeat of evidence around children and in younger children in particular, even when you get to high school students, I mean, three feet can apply. But there's more caveats because they are likely to transmit more like adults.


GUPTA: And within schools, staff and teachers, they still say six feet among adults -- between adults and children.

So may be that evidence will change. The World Health Organization, as you know, they say, one meter is the physical distance they recommend around the world. So that's just over three feet.

But for now, it's mainly three feet for children and students.

COOPER: Sanjay and Chris Murray, appreciate it. Thank you.

More on the political climate that any discussion of public health measures now seems to involve whether it is school reopening, mask wearing or even getting vaccinated. One bright note this week, the former President finally admitted that getting vaccinated is a good idea, especially in light of today's partial closing in Mar-a-Lago due to a COVID outbreak.

That said, his long-standing reticence and the degree to which he and Republican lawmakers have politicized public health issues are still causing eruptions on the public stage.

This one, we just noted with Sanjay and Dr. Murray from yesterday over mask wearing.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): ... vaccines and you are wearing two masks, isn't that theater?


PAUL: What proof is there that there are significant reinfections with hospitalizations and deaths from the variants? None in our country. Zero.

FAUCI: Well, because we don't have a prevalence of a variant yet. We're having one -- can I finish? We are having 1.1.7 that's becoming more dominant.

PAUL: That's conjecture. You are making policy based on conjecture. FAUCI: No, it isn't based on conjecture.

PAUL: ... the point of the variants, so you -- you want me to wear a mask for another couple of years.


PAUL: You've been vaccinated, and you parade around in two masks for show.



COOPER: Whether or not Senator Paul's questioning smacks of trolling, it certainly speaks to how politicized anything COVID related is getting, including getting vaccinated, which got us thinking about the views that lawmakers have on rolling up their sleeves.

CNN's Lauren Fox joins us now from the Capitol with her reporting on that. So I know you caught up with Members of Congress today and asked about whether or not they've been vaccinated. What did they tell you?

LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, remember, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have had access to the vaccine since December. So that's about three months that lawmakers have had an opportunity to go to the office of the attending physician and go ahead and roll up their sleeves like you said and get the vaccine.

So, CNN wanted to know how many lawmakers have actually gone ahead and done that. So we conducted a survey in the House and we talked to Senate members about whether or not they had been vaccinated.

What we learned was that there are many offices that simply didn't respond to CNN's requests. There were 29 Democratic offices in the House for whom that was the case. There are then more than 140 Republican offices that simply didn't respond.

So, over the last several days, I've been in the halls trying to get some of those Republican members on the record about whether or not they're vaccinated or not.

Some lawmakers pulled out their vaccine card. They wanted to show me that they'd gotten not just one shot, but two shots. Other lawmakers told me it was none of my business. Here's what one of them said.


FOX: Congressman, have you been vaccinated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate that, but I don't ever answer any medical questions.

FOX: Can I ask why you don't want to talk about being vaccinated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not of your old business, that's first rule.

FOX: Thank you.


FOX: And Anderson, of course, this isn't just a question of personal health. This is also a question of logistics up here on Capitol Hill.

Right now, a vote in the House of Representatives has taken about 45 minutes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that number could go down for how long it could take, but it requires members to go ahead and get their vaccines -- Anderson.

COOPER: At this point, do we know just how many Members of Congress have not been vaccinated?

FOX: Well, given how few members from the Republican side of the aisle actually responded to this survey, we have a glimpse of how many members have and haven't been vaccinated.

I'll tell you that in the House, we know of 14 Republicans or excuse me, 14 members in total who have not been vaccinated, 13 of them are Republicans, and one of them is a Democrat.

In the Senate, we know that every Senate Democrat has been vaccinated, as well as the two independent members who caucus with the Democrats. We also know on the record, that there are five Republican senators who aren't vaccinated.

Now, some of them are saying that they will get vaccinated. They didn't want to jump ahead of their constituents in the line. Of course, I would say, Anderson, there is a separate vaccine access up here on Capitol Hill for members. It is not the same access that constituents back home would have.

So the question of course is when will those members go ahead and get vaccinated. Some of them told me they do have appointments in upcoming weeks and days -- Anderson.

COOPER: Lauren Fox, thanks very much.

Next, a report just in, more sexual harassment claims against New York's Governor.



COOPER: When the week began, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was defiant refusing to step down in the wake of sexual harassment allegations from several women. It ends with the governor facing more. The New York Times broke the story.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is in Albany for us tonight with more. So, what are these new allegations? BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, Anderson, this is pretty significant because this is the first time, we're hearing from a woman who has allegations against the governor who is still working in the Cuomo administration. They come from 33-year-old Alyssa McGrath and as you noted, she talked to the New York Times. And she says she was part of this pool of executive assistants within the administration who would be summoned in a rotation to go work for the governor on the weekends in the governor's mansion. And she noted in the story, one particular time where she wasn't in a one on one interaction with a governor where she looked down to take some notes and she noticed the governor wasn't saying anything. So she looked up and she says she believes the governor was looking down her shirt and then he quickly asked a question about made a remark about the necklace that she was wearing.

Now, it was a sort of these interactions that she summarizes as basically mixed flirtatious remarks with personal questions, personal comments saying that she was beautiful with ciao bella to her that made her feel uncomfortable. I want to read one thing that she did say in the Times. She said, quote, he has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you're his friend, but then you walk away from the encounter or conversation in your head going, I can't believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York.


And she says that all of the things that sort of happened to her in the three years that she's worked in the administration, sort of amounted to what she believes is sexual harassment. Though it's important to note Anderson, she does not -- she says she did not have any sexual contact with the governor which there has other been -- there's been allegations reported by other news outlets about that.

COOPER: Did the governor's office have a response?

GINGRAS: We reached out to the governor's office to get response specifically to the New York Times reporting and they actually only gave a response to the New York Times that I'll quote for you from his lawyer. It says the governor has greeted men and women with hugs and a kiss on the cheek forehead or hand. Yes, he has posed for photographs with his arm around them. Yes, he uses Italian phrases like ciao bella. And it goes on to say none of this is remarkable, although, it may be old-fashioned. He has made clear that he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone.

And of course, this is consistent what we've heard from the governor himself when other allegations have come forward against them in these last couple of weeks.

COOPER: Brynn, stay with us, as we're bringing CNN senior political correspondent Abby Phillip.


COOPER: Abby, this is the first current aide as Brynn said to speak out. How does that play into the investigation and possible workplace culture that still exists today allegedly?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's just one more allegation. And I think it also, there are a couple of things that strike out at me. One, you know, one of the arguments I think a lot of people make, and I expect that you will hear from Cuomo and his attorneys is that maybe these women are disgruntled, maybe they parted ways under bad circumstances. This is someone who is currently working in his office and is painting a very similar consistent picture as these other women.

And so, when you're looking for patterns here, you're looking for, in some cases, contemporaneous corroboration. This woman discussed talking about remarks he may have made to with her parents, so she talked to other people about them, it adds up to this picture that is very consistent and very damning for the governor.

COOPER: There's also the question Abby of whether the governor can still be effective when he's lost the support of his own party and is facing these, you know, questions and allegations every day.

PHILLIP: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I think the avalanche of calls for him to resign from national Democrats is really, it's unlike anything that we've seen, really, in recent years. And it goes to show that many of them believe that this is a political problem they would rather not have, and he ought to just step aside and make room for someone else. But if you're Cuomo, he is citing his poll numbers in the state, which to be to be clear, are going down, but are still relatively high. Many New Yorkers want him to stay exactly where he is. He is surrounding himself with political allies, whether it be, you know, women officials in the state or African American officials of the state.

So, I think he's trying to kind of keep it within New York and surround himself with as much as he can, even while national Democrats largely abandoned him.

COOPER: And Brynn, do we know what the governor has planned for his official schedule?

GINGRAS: You know, he has been just saying that it's basically business as usual. We have been seeing him really go around continuing to have vaccine rollouts and really go back to his bread and butter of what kind of made his star rise a year ago, which was focusing on the coronavirus and this state's response. So, that is what he's sticking to. And to know Abby's point put under like underline that, essentially, he knows those polls about voters in this state who say they don't necessarily think he needs to resign with these allegations.

And so, that's giving him a little bit more momentum as well. And of course, we just continued to see if more accusations come out, if that changes the tide for anyone else, but for now, he's just continuing to go about his business as usual, sort of like.

COOPER: Brynn Gingras, Abby Phillip, thanks so much. Appreciate it. (voice-over): Up next GOP Senator Ron Johnson denying his racist for comments (INAUDIBLE) connection with the Capitol riot. With voters back in Wisconsin think of his words, when we continue.



COOPER: Reminder, the FBI is asking for the public's help in identifying suspects accused of quote the most violent attacks on federal officers during the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Investigators have released these videos showing suspects hitting officers and spraying them with some type of chemical.

Now keep in mind just last week, Republican Senator Ron Johnson said during a discussion on conservative radio that he wasn't frightened during the attack because in his words, quote, those are people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement would never do anything to break the law.

Johnson also added he would have felt more threatened if Black Lives Matter and Antifa were behind the riot. And he's been dealing in ever since denying charges he's racist. We wanted to see how that and other comments he's made recently are playing out back at home with his constituents in Wisconsin. CNN's Sara Murray reports.


MARY ELLEN LAPORTE, FRANKLIN, WISCONSIN: I believe that he is a racist.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Milwaukee Democrats like Mary Ellen LaPorte are eager to be rid of Senator Ron Johnson.

LAPORTE: He comes up with conspiracy theories at that that don't make any sense and they are who we are.

MURRAY (voice-over) The Republican senator hasn't announced if he'll run for reelection next year in Wisconsin, but he has drawn national backlash for his conspiratorial and racially loaded claims, saying this about the insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol on January 6.

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Now, had the tables been turning, Joe this got me in trouble. Had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters. I might have been a little concerned.

MURRAY (voice-over): His remarks widely considered racist. A charge Johnson denies.

JOHNSON: There were no racial undertones to my comments.

MURRAY (voice-over): All of this comes after Johnson also promoted conspiracy theories about who actually led the mob. JOHNSON: A very few didn't share the jovial, friendly earnest demeanor the great majority, some obviously didn't fit in and he describes four different types of people, plainclothes militants, agents provocateurs, fake Trump protesters and then discipline uniform column of catchers. I think these the people that probably plan this.


MURRAY (voice-over): There is no evidence of that. Democrat Michael Migliaccio, it says spreading these falsehoods is breeding divisiveness.

MICHAEL MIGLIACCIO, FRANKLIN, WISCONSIN: There was a complete malarkey, it was fabricated, it was a lie what he said. Find out what went wrong that day fix the situation, so that it never happens again.

MURRAY (voice-over): But in Milwaukee's more conservative suburbs, some are still supportive of Johnson.

CHAD DEZNANSKI, PEWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: I like his policies. I like what he stands for.

MURRAY (voice-over): Even if they don't stand by his latest comments about January 6,

DEZNANSKI: That seems a little radical.

MURRAY (voice-over): Others say surely the senator has the facts to back up his claims.

MICHAEL SCHAFER, WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN: I have not heard his specific comments, but I'm sure whatever they were, they're probably appropriate for his observations of what actually transpired on January 6.

MURRAY (voice-over): That kind of blind faith worries some longtime Republicans like right Wisconsin editor James Widgerson.

JAMES WIDGERSON, EDITOR IN CHIEF: He is still seeing himself as a leader of a Republican Party in Wisconsin, that supports them and believes in them, and he doesn't see the damage that he's doing.

MURRAY (voice-over): Widgerson says Johnson certainly has a base of support in Wisconsin, but plenty of other Republicans are ready to see him retire.

WIDGERSON: I'm getting e-mails from people that were longtime Republicans that are saying, what the heck happened to Ron Johnson and what is going on with our Republican Party.


COOPER: Sara Murray joins us now. It sounds like some constituents weren't even aware of Johnson's recent remarks.

MURRAY: Yes, that's true. That's right. We talked to a number of folks who did not want to be on camera because they just felt like they didn't know enough about what Ron Johnson stood for, or what he's been saying recently. And that's a concern for Democrats here in Wisconsin, they say they feel like Ron Johnson has been able to win reelection in the past because he's sort of flown under the radar. And when it comes time to campaign again, he casts himself as a sort of sensible, conservative businessman. You know, in 2016, a lot of folks counted him out. And he managed to win reelection.

So, even though Johnson hasn't said whether he's going to be running for reelection in 2022, Democrats are already looking at him as a top target. And their view is that they're not going to let Ron Johnson fly under the radar. If he does run for reelection, they're already taking steps to try to amplify some of the comments, the most controversial comments he's made to make sure voters in the state of Wisconsin have a better idea of what their senator has been up to in Washington. Anderson.

COOPER: Sara Murray, thanks very much.

Up next, what happened to what was once upon a time the high-flying symbol the former president's gold plated life? Tell you ahead.



COOPER: The former president no longer gets to fly on Air Force One of course and turns out he won't be flying his own private Boeing 757 anytime soon. The giant jet that he wants to boast about is grounded and according to our Kate Bennett, it has seen better days.


KATE BENNETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the ultimate status symbol, Donald Trump's Boeing 757.


BENNETT (voice-over): A regular presence on the 2016 campaign. At his marquee events, there was his plane.

TRUMP: They've never had anybody that owned a Boeing 757 before.

BENNETT (voice-over): From rallies to KFC. Today, however, the mass of jet sets abandoned at an upstate New York airport. One engine mostly missing, one wrapped idle in apparent disrepair. According to records, it hasn't been flown in months.

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: It has been sitting on the ramp for at least a year or two. And the left engine has been taken off to probably for service.

BENNETT (voice-over): The crown jewel of Trumps fleets now future unknown. The cost to fix it says one aviation expert well into the six figures if not more. SOUCIE: That engine goes out for service. It's going to need anything from could range from the low $100,000 up to nearly a million dollars if it had to be replaced.

BENNETT (voice-over): An asset that Trump is apparently setting on the sidelines, and though it's unclear why it's grounded, it comes at a time when some of his businesses have racked up losses.

SOUCIE: It really is a vintage aircraft.

BENNETT (voice-over): The plane built in 1991, Trump purchased it in 2010.

SOUCIE: There are thousand little bits over thousands of these aircraft built and almost all of them are out of service right now.

BENNETT (voice-over): A Trump sanction documentary about the plane says he paid $100 million for it, similar 757s are up for sale at a market price of about seven to 10 million. But Trump did trick it out covering every metal surface from seat belt buckles to doorknobs even the faucets in 24 karat gold. Price tag 250,000 for that alone, according to the interior design company who outfitted the entire plane.

Seats, the finest leather, ceiling panels and cream suede, embroidered Trump family crusts and gold thread. Fabrics flown in from Paris customized from the master bedroom to the private dining room.

On the campaign trail in 2016, the plane was the ultimate marketing tool. The tangible symbol of Trump's success. Promising he could do the same for the country.

TRUMP: When I fly on that big plane. I'm paying for it.

BENNETT (voice-over): Behind the scenes a gilded expense. And for four years in the White House with access to Air Force One, the 757 was grounded.


COOPER: That was Kate Bennett reporting. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Today, the identities for more victims killed during the Atlanta area shootings were released. Want to take a moment to remember the lives of all those who are taken from their families and loved ones. I tell you a little bit about what we've learned of them.

Today, we learned of the death of Soon Chung Park who was 74 years old and Hyun Jung Grant who was 51. According to one son, she was a single mom who had quote, dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I. He called her one of his best friends. He and his brother now the only two members of their family in the United States. Also identified today, was Suncha Kim who was 69 years old and Yong Ae Yue who was 63 years old when her life was taken from her. On Wednesday we learned about 33-year-old Delaina Yaun, she was recently married and the mother of two children including an 8-month-old daughter. Her sister told us CNN her family came first everything was family. Her husband was also present during the shooting but made it out safely.

We also remember 54-year-old Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan who was 49 and own the salon where she was killed. Friend tells CNN she was loving and unselfish. They will call each other family. And 44-year- old Daoyou Feng. Six of the eight killed Asian women. There was also one person who has survived their injuries, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz is now in intensive care. He was shot in the forehead. The bullet traveled down his lungs and into his stomach. His 9-year-old daughter actually watch medics load him onto the ambulance after the shooting.


It is certainly a lot to talk about and take in that's why we're going to bring you a one hour special Monday night "AFRAID: FEAR IN AMERICANS COMMUNITIES OF COLOR." Victor Blackwell, Ana Cabrera, Amara Walker will join me for a conversation focused on the shared fear and concern felt by so many right now. That's Monday 9:00 p.m. here on CNN.

News continues, want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris?