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Record Cases and Deaths as Outbreak Consumes India; Giuliani Reacts after Feds Raid Home and Office; Washington Post: Advisers Say Trump Fixated On 2020 Recount In Arizona's Largest County; Cindy McCain On The Republican Party; Cindy McCain Speaks Out About Her Battle With Opioids; Biden: "I Don't Think The American People Are Racist"; "United Shades Of America" Premieres Sunday At 10 p.m. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 29, 2021 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, be sure to tune in "The Story of Late Night" premieres Sunday at nine.

Thanks for joining us. It's time for Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening, we're going to start tonight with a story that we wish we were not doing and with pictures and video we wish we had not seen.

There is a lot else in the program. There are new developments in the case against Rudy Giuliani in the wake of yesterday's search targeting him including what he had to say about it all just this evening.

We'll also talk with Cindy McCain about what's become of her Republican Party and what she thinks about possibly serving the Democratic President's administration.

We begin though seemingly a world away from those things except what is happening right now across India isn't far removed.

COVID has shown that every move the virus makes is potentially a local story, too, to everyone anywhere in the world. But interest in this latest horrific uncontained outbreak goes beyond the biological fact that pathogens travel, or the demographic fact that this country has a large and thriving Indian American community with strong ties back home.

There's also the larger human truth that empathy also travels, compassion flows forward, outward, along with the tools and initiative to harness it.

So right now, with India reporting record 3,645 new deaths and nearly 380,000 new cases, we begin with a deeply troubling but badly needed report from CNN's chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward who joins us now from New Delhi.

Clarissa, what have you been seeing? CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this

is truly a terrifying and epic crisis. I mean, it's just staggering the amount of suffering. People are struggling to breathe. They're literally dying on the streets, and there's just no end in sight to this tragedy.


WARD (voice-over): In Delhi, now, you're never far from heartbreak. Almost everyone in this city has been visited by grief. At the seam, a Puri crematorium, the loss weighs heavily in the smoldering air, and the dead are piling up.

WARD (on camera): There are bodies literally everywhere you turn here. I've honestly never seen anything quite like it. And the organizers say that pre-COVID, they might cremate seven or eight people a day. Today alone, they've already cremated 55 bodies and it's not even lunchtime.

WARD (voice-over): Just months ago, India's leadership boasted that the country had effectively defeated COVID. Now, it has set global records for new cases as a terrifying second wave ravages the country.

Jitender Singh Shunty says he and his men don't even stop to take breaks, and still they can barely cope with the flow. A volunteer approaches, they have run out of tables for the bodies, he says, then adds but his mother died from COVID the night before.

WARD (on camera): You must be tired.


WARD: Do you believe the government figures? The death tolls? The COVID figures that they're giving? Or do you think the real figures are much higher?

WARD (voice-over): "The numbers that you're seeing on television are the numbers of people who are dying in hospitals," he says. "They're not factoring in the people who died at home in isolation. If those numbers are added, the actual number will go up by three times."

To keep up with those mounting numbers, the crematorium has been forced to expand, creating an overflow area in a neighboring carpark.

Sham Sharma is saying goodbye to his 45-year-old younger brother.

SHAM SHARMA, BROTHER DIED OF COVID-19: Last night, I was thinking that his health is improving. But suddenly, the phone of doctor came on my mobile phone that your brother has expired.

WARD (on camera): Do you think his death could have been prevented?

SHARMA: Yes, yes. I think he can. He can save -- we can save him at better health hospital. WARD (voice-over): INDIA'S healthcare system is at a breaking point,

unable to cope with the scale of the crisis, its people left to fend for themselves.

This crowd has been waiting for six hours for the chance to get some oxygen. They can't rely on the state.


WARD (on camera): Your mother? How old is she?


WARD: Is her oxygen very low.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is very critical condition.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty eight percent and we are trying to since morning, but we are not getting the oxygen anywhere.

WARD: How many places have you been to?


WARD: Nineteen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since morning, since 6:00 a.m.

WARD: Have you tried taking her to the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no beds.

WARD: There are no beds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before three or four days, we have tried so much, but we didn't get any beds.

WARD (voice-over): Priya Srivastava was lucky enough to find her mother a place in a hospital, only to find out there was no oxygen.

PRIYA SRIVASTAVA, MOTHER HAS COVID-19: Around 10 days, I have seen in front of my eyes. What should I -- and I am so scared what's going to happen with my mom?

WARD (on camera): Are you angry?

SRIVASTANA: I'm so angry because of disorganization. Our government is so careless. They even don't care about what public is suffering. They don't know what -- from which thing we are suffering. There is so many people who are standing over there and fighting for this thing.

WARD (voice-over): Her mother is now in critical condition. Like many here, she feels completely overwhelmed. For those who can't source their own oxygen, this is the only option. A drive-in oxygen center by the side of the road.

A woman arrives unconscious in a rickshaw. Several hospitals have already turned her away. They simply didn't have the beds. Now, she is relying on the kindness of strangers. Her sons work desperately to try to revive her.

WARD (on camera): This isn't a hospital or even a clinic. It's a Sikh temple. But for these people who have already been turned away from so many hospitals, this is their last chance at survival.

WARD (voice-over): The leader of the Sikh Charity that runs this facility says it gets no support at all from the government. He says he already had COVID twice. But he and his volunteers continue to work 24 hours a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to save their lives. This is our heart's voice.

WARD (on camera): It must hurt your heart to see the way your people are suffering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, madame. Many times, we cry also. What is going on?

WARD (voice-over): It is impossible to escape the tragedy of this vicious second wave. Coronavirus is ravaging the old, but it has not spared India's young.

The Prime Minister has announced that everyone over the age of 18 can get the vaccine. But with less than two percent of the country inoculated, that offers only a distant home.

So, India's capital continues to burn, suffocated by the rampant spread of this deadly virus. A city and a country brought to its knees praying for respite.


COOPER: Clarissa, it is stunning to see this. People searching for oxygen in the streets, the hospital bed shortages. Has the government taken any steps to try to figure this out? Or what have they done?

WARD: So, the government has just announced something called Oxygen Express Operations essentially trying to use India's railways to deliver that precious liquid oxygen to the cities that need it most. They implemented this just about a day ago.

But honestly, Anderson, we haven't seen yet that it's making any kind of a real impact. We visited a hospital today after it put out a tweet saying they were about to run out of oxygen in the next one to two hours jeopardizing the lives of the 70 COVID patients who were being treated at that hospital. So, this is not a problem that's going away fast.

COOPER: Clarissa, stay with us. I want to bring in chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, I mean, first of all, what do you make of this situation here in India? I mean is this -- I know there's some talk, you know, some have blamed possibly a variant. But there's other factors as well.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT Yes, I don't know that we can -- I mean, the situation just -- it's devastating. I mean, that's really heartbreaking, this piece that Clarissa is reporting.

I don't know that we can say this is due to the variants. We just don't have -- there's not enough sequencing that's happening over there. We know that this one variant, they're talking about, b. It has mutations, of which we've seen these mutations in other places around the world and South Africa, even here in the United States in California.


GUPTA: So -- but they've only sequenced, you know, one percent of the patients who have actually had COVID. So, I just don't know this is -- this is the basics, as Clarissa is talking about, you know, large numbers of people coming together, a country that basically declared an end game in March.

I think last year, there were many people I would talk to in India, who were somewhat surprised India had done as well, frankly, as they had done. But now, we're sort of obviously seeing these numbers, which, you know, Clarissa asked the question to the one gentleman about, do you believe the numbers?

I mean, you have a 20 to 25 percent positivity rate, more than 300,000 people being officially diagnosed, which suggests that the numbers of new newly infected people every day could be over a million, if you do the math on that.

And we know that the number of people who are diagnosed a few weeks after that is when you see the real surge in hospitalizations, and then a few weeks after that, the surge in deaths, so the hospitalizations are what they are now.

I mean, what are the next four to six weeks going to look like? This gets a lot worse.

COOPER: And Clarissa, have you met a lot of people who have been able to get a vaccine?

WARD: Yes, I mean, roughly two percent of the population has been able to get a vaccine, not younger people up until basically today, when the Prime Minister announced that anyone over the age of 18 will be able to go ahead and get it.

But you know, like so many scenes here, it's chaotic, Anderson. There's not a coherent system. There's lines everywhere. People who are healthy are afraid to go to places like hospitals that might offer a vaccine because they are worried that they could contract the virus.

And then on top of this, you have the Prime Minister here, Narendra Modi coming out and urging people to go to the polls today, in West Bengal; this, is after he's already faced so much criticism for allowing members of his government to hold big political rallies and state elections across the country and he continues to face a lot of criticism that his government is trying to clamp down on and put a stop to by putting pressure on social media platforms.

COOPER: Sanjay, there are 29 Air India flights arriving from India into the U.S. every day. Air India now says that by May 11th, they're going to raise that number to 32 flights per day, which I think is about pre-pandemic levels. From a health perspective, should those flights be coming directly to the U.S. right now?

GUPTA: I think this is a complicated question, Anderson, in part because, you know, when you look at the real utility of these types of travel restrictions, and really, because I think a lot of people will look at that and say, well, obviously, you'd want to restrict travel internationally. But the issue is twofold.

One is that, we know that these mutations that we were just talking about, they already are around the world. I mean, one of them is predominantly in South Africa; another one is in California, we know that these mutations already exist.

So you do have to ask yourself, what are you accomplishing, first of all? And are you possibly causing further harm by also as a result of travel restrictions? Is it going to also potentially make it more difficult for supplies to get into a place that really desperately need supplies?

I mean, we talk about the vaccine and that's critically important. But right now, you're in an acute situation over there where you know, Delhi is in lockdown until May 3rd, but looking at Clarissa's piece, I don't know what lockdown really looks like. It looks like there's still a lot of people out and about.

You know, they really have to bring the situation under control quickly, and that's going to involve just basically trying to get the virus to stop spreading within that country.

Whether you know, the travel restrictions help at this point, I'm not sure that they do.

COOPER: Sanjay and Clarissa Ward, thank you so much. Clarissa, you and your team, remarkable reporting. Thank you.

Coming up next, Rudy Giuliani weighs in on the Fed's raiding his home and office, plus the latest in the fallout and further implications from one of the reporters who broke the story and a former top F.B.I. official.

A big night as 360 continues.

Later, Cindy McCain joins us on her new memoir, her husband's legacy and what he'd make of the Republican Party today.



COOPER: There is breaking news on the Rudy Giuliani investigation. Moments ago, he gave his first extended public comments after Federal investigators raided his home on -- raided his home on Wednesday, and also his office, part of an ongoing two-year investigation to whether he illegally lobbied Ukrainian officials while pursuing investigation linked to Joe Biden.

One person with knowledge of the matter tells "The New York Times" that agents seized Giuliani's electronic devices.

Giuliani served as the former President's personal lawyer, of course. He hasn't been charged, denies any wrongdoing.

This afternoon on a radio show, he said quote, "The search warrant is one act of failing to register as a foreign, failing to file as a foreign agent which is completely false."

He just told FOX News that the evidence that the investigators seized was quote, "exculpatory."

I am joined now by "New York Times" Washington correspondent, Maggie Haberman who helped break the story and former F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, both CNN analysts.

So Maggie, you've got some reporting on how the former President's advisers pushed him not to comment on Giuliani, obviously, that didn't happen. What more did you learn?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, they've been trying to get him, Anderson, to not say anything. It's worth recalling that after another of his former lawyers, Michael Cohen, had his hotel room apartment and office searched by the F.B.I., Trump called Michael Cohen. I think it was within a day and possibly sooner than that. They've been trying to get Trump not to do that.

As far as we know, they have not spoken and they really are not talking very much since the White House ended for the former President, but he did say something on FOX News this morning, Trump did, you know Rudy Giuliani is a quote-unquote "patriot."

That's the kind of endorsement of him that Trump's folks have been hoping he would make in this way. We will see if he can stick to just saying that and nothing more.


COOPER: Andrew, I mean, there has been a lot of talk about attorney- client privilege. How absolute is that? I mean, if there was evidence of criminal activity, does the privilege go away even with an attorney?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the attorney client privilege is one of the strongest and most inviolable privileges you can have. And there is no doubt that the search warrant scooped up a lot of material from Giuliani's office that is likely privileged.

But there is a process in place to make sure that that stuff is filtered out. So everything that was taken from this search will first be reviewed by a team that is simply looking for privileged material, those matters will be taken out, and the remainder will be given back to the investigative agents and prosecutors.

This is something that the Department of Justice and the Southern District of New York does all the time. I'm sure that plan was part of the approval that came out of the Justice Department to move forward with the search warrant. And let's face it, this has happened before. It's exactly the same process that they went through to search Michael Cohen's house. So it's not without precedent.

COOPER: Maggie, Giuliani said on his radio show today, he said, "You're not going to stop me. You're not going to convict me of some phony crime." He talked about his accomplishments and said investigators are, in his words "jealous" of him. Is there a reason to think he actually has a -- I mean, does he have a legal strategy here?

HABERMAN: I mean, look, his legal strategy is what you're seeing, Anderson. It is important to note that he has denied any wrongdoing. He has not been charged with anything yet.

Although certainly, yesterday was an escalation from what we had seen before in this investigation. His strategy is to keep saying it as a witch hunt, which is really what we saw former President Trump do throughout his entire tenure.

We saw Rudy Giuliani do that during not one, but two impeachments. We saw him do it during the Robert Mueller investigation. It is important to remember that Giuliani has been present or somehow connected to nearly every major controversy around President Trump while he was in office, whether he was defending him or whether he was connected to the events that were -- the former President was impeached for.

I think you have a lot of people around Giuliani, who, you know, either former advisers or people who worked in his administration, who are very despondent over what they are seeing, because what they have said to me privately is they don't recognize the person who is talking right now and saying the things that he is saying, and that they are hoping that he gets perhaps sounder legal advice than he is getting right now.

COOPER: Andrew, the fact that they had enough information to get warrants to be able to do this. I mean, what does that tell you? You know, is this some phishing expedition?

MCCABE: It is definitely not a phishing expedition. You know, they -- I would expect, Anderson, that they have a very solid case, probably on the FARA charge, and that was enough to get them the warrant and get them the high level D.O.J. approval they needed to go forward. This is incredibly sensitive matter, searching a law office and searching the attorney who you know, represented the former President.

But what they're expecting to get, I would guess, is all kinds of other information that might lead to evidence of other crimes. The FARA charge in and of itself is not that substantial, but the question now is, where does this investigation go? There's all kinds of things that could have been in that office or that residence, communications with other people, documents, contracts, all sorts of things that might indicate or substantiate many of the different allegations we have heard about Rudy Giuliani over the years.

So I think Mr. Giuliani should be pretty concerned right now.

COOPER: Maggie, the President's other -- you know, former attorney, Michael Cohen was on CNN today saying he told Rudy Giuliani that the former President doesn't care about, quote "anyone or anything," and that he would be, quote, "the next one to be thrown under the bus."

Do you believe there is any scenario in which Giuliani would cooperate against the former President?

HABERMAN: I mean, I can't read into Giuliani's mind. At the current moment, I think that he will say that that would never happen. And again, I want to be clear that I don't know what they would be pressing him on in terms of Trump, we are at several steps down the road right now.

But certainly, Giuliani is in a difficult situation right now, and if Trump is the longer term target, there is going to be growing pressure on him. That is certainly something that some folks around Trump are worried about right now and we'll see where it goes.

But remember, Michael Cohen, very early on, said he was, you know, he was not going to succumb to pressure and then his wife was faced with getting indicted and then he did. So we will see where this goes.

COOPER: I just want to play a clip of something Giuliani said on FOX a short time ago.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: They got perturbed, as at the end of the search when they hit taken about I'd say seven or eight electronic items of mine, which is what they took and two of someone else's, they weren't taking the three hard drives, which of course, are electronic devices. They just mimic the computer.

I said, well, don't you want these? And they said, what are they? I said, those are Hunter Biden's hard drives. And they said, no, no, no, no.



COOPER: Andrew, what do you make of that?

MCCABE: Well, it's always tough interpreting what Mr. Giuliani says. But I think it's important for your viewers to know that search warrants are written very specifically. You have to tell the judge exactly what evidence you think you are -- you'll be able to find at the location being searched.

So it's certainly possible that the parameters of the search warrant might not have included Hunter Biden's hard drives or anybody else's hard drives other than Rudy Giuliani's. So that's simply one possible explanation as to why they might not have taken something, but honestly, I'd rather get that right from the agents than take Mr. Giuliani's version.

COOPER: And Andrew, just -- I mean, what is happening now in any kind of investigation like this, obviously, we don't know about this particular investigation, but just in general, what is happening now? They've taken the stuff, now what happens?

MCCABE: So now because of the unique situation of it being attorney's possessions and things, an attorney's office and home that research that filter I talked about has to go on for -- so all that stuff needs to be reviewed by people who are not a part of the investigative team, and what's considered not to be privileged then makes its way to the investigators.

They will then go through everything with a fine-tooth comb, and they will be looking at specifically Mr. Giuliani's communications with other people that might indicate all sorts of other activity.

Remember, he was implicated or at least referred to in the indictment of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. He was known to have signed a contract with them over the fraud guarantee endeavor, which we now know is a fraudulent theft of $2 million.

So, there's all kinds of directions that this might go and I'm sure those investigators are just waiting to get their hands on that material.

COOPER: Andrew McCabe and Maggie Haberman, appreciate it. Thank you.

Just ahead, the former President's obsession with the 2020 recount that is dividing Republicans is controversial both for why it is being conducted and who is performing the audit.

Also, Cindy McCain joins us to talk about the future of the Republican Party, as well as her new memoir about her nearly four-decade marriage to former Senator John McCain.



COOPER: Tonight, the Washington Post is reporting that unnamed advisors to the former President say he's fixated on a Republican led audit of the 2020 vote currently underway in Arizona's largest county. One source says quote, he talks about it constantly.

Kyung Lah joins us now with the latest on this controversial recount. So, what's the latest?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I want to start Anderson by saying what we're learning here about what's happening in Maricopa County. First of all, irony is not dead. And the reason why I'm starting there is because what you're seeing behind me is a carnival. This is called the Crazy Times Carnival at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. It just kicked off about 30 minutes ago. And then over here, I could throw a rock and hit it is where this review of the 2020 ballots is taking place. But this is unlike any tally you have ever seen before.


LAH (voice-over): This is yet another tally of the nearly 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County. But this so-called audit is unlike any other. These are ballot counters heading into a shift.

(on-camera): Have you ever done election counting before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. But it's there's nothing to it. It's pretty obvious.


LAH (voice-over): Most don't want to talk. Others?

(on-camera): We're just trying to do a story about the town --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't trust you.

LAH (voice-over): Openly partisan as you see displayed on some cars and in what they say.


LAH (on-camera): I'm sorry, what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What news group are you from?

LAH (on-camera): I'm from CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are wondering what to look out for in that audit.

LAH (voice-over): OAN or One American News Network is the small far- right wing outlet that is promoted false claims that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. OAN is also live streaming the event and its hosts have helped raise funds for this exercise.

We were initially told we could not enter the publicly owned Arizona State Fairgrounds. But when we tried again another time.

(on-camera): Hey, I'm Kyung Lah with CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN. OK. You guys will be on the second level.

LAH (on-camera): So, we can get in? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

LAH (voice-over): We follow the officers' instructions.

(on-camera): There is media parking.

(voice-over): But then.

(on-camera): Hey --

(voice-over): These guys showed up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not authorized to speak to the press or the media.

LAH (voice-over): Even though these uniform men look like police. They're not. They're a volunteer group call the Arizona Rangers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you're trespassing.

LAH (voice-over): This man talking to me is wearing a badge from Cyber Ninjas. That's the Florida based company being paid $150,000 by the GOP controlled state Senate to conduct this election review. But here's what Republican Jack Sellers, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman thinks about Cyber Ninjas.

JACK SELLERS, CHAIRMAN, MARICOPA CO. BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Everything they're doing is just so unprofessional, that it's really bothersome. I don't really feel that it benefits me I need to get into the weeds too far on all the craziness that I see going on.

LAH (voice-over): Sellers knows the difference. He leads a Republican Majority Board of Supervisors, they already conducted two audits with bipartisan observers in public view that found no evidence of widespread election fraud. The Board of Supervisors fought the State Senate in court to keep the ballots but lost and turned over the ballots.

SELLERS: When you accept responsibility for an election, it can't be about a party. It can't be about a person. It has to be about representing all the voters.

LAH (voice-over): Arizona news agencies and their lawyer fought to get a reporter into the site where the count is happening and days into the audit got in. A news camera then caught the unusual process of ballots being scanned with UV lights. In a news conference, the hired representative for the Arizona State Senate struggle to explain why.


What are the UV lights for?

KEN BENNETT, ARIZONA SENATE LIAISON, MARICOPA COUNTY: UV lights are looking at the paper and its part of several teams that are involved in the paper evaluation.

LAH (voice-over): For what, what purpose?

BENNETT: I personally don't know,

KATIE HOBBS, ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: It's really, it's an efficient expedition for stuff that we know doesn't exist.

LAH (voice-over): Arizona Secretary of State warns what's happening in Arizona may just be the next page in the playbook of the big lie.

HOBBS: They cried and cried for an audit for months, and they finally gotten it. And they're going to try to use this and get it other places too.

LAH (on-camera): So, you think that what happens here will impact other places?

HOBBS: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.


COOPER: It's really stunning. I mean, it's crazy times as you the name of the carnival, you're standing in front of. Are there any legal battles here?

LAH: Oh, absolutely. You have a number of people trying to stop this process, the Arizona Secretary of State, Public Interest Groups, a member of the Board of Supervisors, it's a lot of people to try. But so far, the judge has allowed this audit to continue saying that he wasn't completely convinced that there was significant damage being held to those ballots. But on those, we are learning a little bit more process because the judge said you got to tell us something. Cyber Ninjas gave us a somewhat woefully inadequate explanation. So we still don't know exactly what those UV lights are looking for. But they were used Anderson and, you know, expect more legal day by day. Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Kyung Lah, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

I'm joined now by Cindy McCain, who along with two others was censured by the Arizona Republican Party in January for refusing to support overturning Biden's win there. She is also author of the newly released memoir, Stronger: Courage, Hope And Humor In My Life With John McCain.

Ms. McCain, thank you so much. Such a pleasure to see you and having --


COOPER: -- on the program again. I want to talk about your book, but I just -- didn't we just came out of the Crazy Times Carnival with Kyung Lah. I wanted to ask you about the state of the Republican Party. First of all, what do you think of this recount that's going on, which is essentially an extension of the big lie.

MCCAIN: Well really, the only thing I can say is that we inaugurated a president in January. And we have -- we've been through this recount thing before. I just think there's better ways to spend time and money and certainly not a recount that's months and months and months and months old. With that said, I also understand that, that that voters, there are some voters who do not believe this, that the election itself was not correct.

I think it's time to move on. And I think it's time to remember that we should be here working for our country and not our party. And that's the kind of things that John McCain stood for, and the kind of things that I hope that I can help represent his legacy with.

COOPER: When you found out you were being censured. What went through your mind?

MCCAIN: Well, my husband was censored, too. So it's the first husband and wife to ever been censored in Arizona. So --

COOPER: Oh, then it's a badge of honor.

MCCAIN: -- (INAUDIBLE) nothing of it. Believe me, I think nothing of it.

COOPER: Has it ever been clear to you why the former president was so seemingly fixated on your husband in the point of going after your husband's legacy, even after he died.

MCCAIN: I really don't know any of that. You know, my life has moved on. So far from that those particular moments that were so difficult. And more importantly, what you know, what we are working on and what we stand for us what's good about America, and it is time to move on. And it's time for both of our parties, but particularly the Republican Party, to take a look at itself and remember that we used to be the party of inclusion. We used to be the party of Abraham Lincoln. And we're we've strayed, and it's time that we gather ourselves and put ourselves back to where we were, which is, which was a party that was for good, the good of all people, not just the slim few.

COOPER: You know, things are so polarized these days. But for democracy to work, we need multiple parties, we need at the very least two parties who are functioning and who are responsible and who, you know, can clash an ideas. And that's where the best solutions come from it. How does the Republican Party get back to the party that you see it shouldn't be?

MCCAIN: Well, obviously, I as I talk in my book about the act of civility, the act of kindness, the act of empathy and cooperation between both parties until we start living those ideals again, and working together both at as people on Capitol Hill but also people around the country, we're just going to be in a stalemate forever.


And so, that's why I talk a great deal about what John stood for, and in his acts of civility and his willingness to work across party lines, it for the good of the country. He didn't always agree with people. And I don't always agree with people either. But you do what's right for the country. And that's what leadership is all about. COOPER: It's also now such a society where there are many people in Congress and on both sides of the aisle, who, you know, our expert tweeters, and there's, you know, social media seems to be, you know, you see some of the, you know, the QAnon curious Congress, people who are serving now, who seemed to be all about just raising money and raising their profile by, you know, being extreme on social media with it doesn't seem it's about actually getting things done.

MCCAIN: Well, I truly believe that voters have the only obviously the only key to all of this, and I think voter voters are smart people. And I believe when they see people being selfish and not working for, first of all, their district, let alone their state and the country. Voters can make a good decision and throw the throw the bums out. And so, you know, there's an election coming up in two years. And that's something that will all pay attention to and hopefully see some more changes occur.

COOPER: Had your husband been at the Capitol on January 6? I mean, what do you think he would have done, said, thought about what we witness?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all, he would have been very disappointed. That's not the government and the Senate or House that he grew up in, more or less, I mean, as a senator and a House member. But I also think knowing John McCain the way I did, and the way many people knew he probably would have barged out the doors and gotten their faces about this, I have no doubt he wouldn't --


MCCAIN: -- (INAUDIBLE) have kept quiet. But, you know, it's so much it has happened since then. And, and the reality that somehow this could happen within the borders of our own country is very, very disheartening

And so, I think it's time I think people are seeing this for what it is, and it's a few select people misbehaving and, and not doing what's good for the country. And I think you'll see things change.

COOPER: You write about Sarah Palin in your new in your new book, addressing why -- you address why she wasn't at your husband's funeral. She was, of course on the ticket with your husband, you wrote, he had put her on the map and she didn't even send him a note of good wishes when he was down. You went on to write that is not someone you invite to a final farewell. I think Palin disputes that series of events called a gut punch. I'm wondering, would you say to that?

MCCAIN: Well, you know, the people that we wanted to have around us, and particularly John, because he's the one that really made those decisions, or people that we knew, we loved, they loved us. It was a very difficult time. And so, we wanted to be surrounded by people that we knew had been good friends, and that we loved and, and would see him to his final days and also remember his legacy and take care of his legacy. COOPER: I want to ask you about Senator Lindsey Graham, who you write about his friendship in the book. And in the past, I know you've said, you know, you have nothing negative to say about Senator Graham and I think that says a lot about you and your family. Do you -- you know, do you reconcile -- I mean, you have found a way to reconcile his dedication to your husband and his dedication to the former president, clearly.

MCCAIN: Lindsey said -- he's not just a good friend, he's like a member of our family. And he is someone that I love, like a brother. So, I have nothing else to say of Lindsey, or any, you know, anybody. He's made his choices. And that's fine. Wednesdays and again, I say a member of our family, he's been with our children a lot. I mean, he's someone that my son, he visited my son's overseas when they were in Afghanistan and Iraq. So I just can't really address that I'm -- he's, he's too close to a member of a family to me.

COOPER: Yes, the title of the book is Stronger. And I really -- there are so many examples of strength and so many different kinds of strength is shown in this book, you write about struggle with opioid addiction, which is something obviously so many in this country have struggled with. It was landed in the spotlight during the 2008 election and you write, illness is not a scandal and it never should be.

I think is such an important thing that you are open about this and it gives strength I think to a lot of other people. How was the process of dealing with that and dealing with it in the public, the public eye?


MCCAIN: Well, it was a series of things honestly because what I never wanted to do humiliate my husband in any way, or any member of my family. And by not talking to my husband about the issues that I had, and the problems that I had it made it even worse. There's -- there are so many ways that nowadays that people have the opportunity to get help, including physicians themselves and not prescribing these drugs.

I was, you know, in a woman in earlier years, where it was very easy to say, well go home and take these 100 bucks -- this bottle full of 100 pills and have a drink. I mean, that was literally what was said to me one time.


MCCAIN: And so, nowadays I look at it as I would never want anybody to endorse what I endured, and that was to be publicly humiliated. That's the worst thing you could do to an addict or an alcoholic, it drives him under and could possibly kill him. And so, I look to all of you in the media, which you have to remind people this is a disease. It's not a weakness, it's a disease and it needs careful care like anything else.

COOPER: Cindy McCain, I really appreciate your time tonight. The book is Stronger -- MCCAIN: Thank you.

COOPER: -- and I hope a lot of people go ahead and read it. Thank you so much.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

COOPER: Take care.

Coming up, what President Biden is saying after Republican Senator Tim Scott said last night the U.S. is not a racist country.



COOPER: Some news now following President Biden's address to Congress in the nation, you recall, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott in the Republican rebuttal last night said, quote, hear me clearly America is not a racist country. The suggestion being that President Biden perhaps believed it was. NBC News talked about that with the President.


CRAIG MELVIN, NBC NEWS HOST: He said, among other things, America isn't racist. Is it?

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: No, I don't think the American people are racist. But I think after 400 years, African- Americans have been left in a position where they're so far behind the eight ball in terms of education, health, in terms of opportunity.

I think the overhang from all of the Jim Crow, and before that slavery have -- had a cost and we have to deal with it.


COOPER: The President spoke as the nation continues to see high profile incidents, obviously involving law enforcement and people of color.

Joining me now is W. Kamau Bell, whose new season of the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" premieres this weekend on CNN. First episode looks at policing in America. Kamau it's great to see you. Do you agree with President Biden?

W. KAMAU BELL, HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: I mean, I think we have to ask who are you defining as the American people? Because I think that's the thing that I get hung up on is, we have to understand that this country was built on racism. And currently, racism is running this country in many ways. And you look at like the policing system. And you look at the mass incarceration system, you look at how schools and black neighborhoods and Latinx neighborhoods are not as well funded as schools and white neighborhoods. So, the system of America is racist, and that does benefit people. And also Anderson, I'm old enough to remember when we had a president that was a full on racist just a few months ago.

COOPER: The question that Biden was asked, or the Biden said, is that the American people are not racist. How would you address that? Do you agree with that?

BELL: I mean, again, who are we defining as the American people? Are there people in this country who are racist? Yes, there are. Are the people whose country who are who run the country are in power positions, who are racial -- who are racist, or racial opportunists have even put it? Yes, they are.

So, the question for me is like, are we calling the American people racist? I don't know. But the system of America is based in racism and runs in many ways on racism. So for me, I feel like we're getting caught up in like rhetorical games here that aren't focusing on whatever the people are, the system certainly promotes racism.

COOPER: For those, you know, there are a lot of people in Congress, there are people in other networks who say there is no systemic racism, they don't see systemic racism in the United States. What do you say to that?

BELL: And that's a part of the nature of racism in this country as that we can prove it. There have been many studies that prove racism. We have episodes this season about economic disparity, economic inequality, we have an episode about how black people are not educated enough in elementary school so that we can even get into STEM careers at the same rate as white people do.

So there's -- so the fact is, is that the racism in this country is so hard for some people to see and some people are allowed to not see it, that then we get caught up in like whether it's true or not when it is provable, that it is true that this system is racist.

COOPER: You know, it's so interesting to look at what the initial statement put out by the Minneapolis police was about George Floyd's killing, in the light of what we obviously now know, and very quickly, afterwards knew and how the initial statement which was solely based on the officers report, initial reports was just completely, it was just inaccurate. And, you know, it said that they noticed there was a medical incident and they called an ambulance. That was sort of the tone and the tenor of it.

Yesterday, a judge in North Carolina ruled the police body cam footage in the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. will not be released to the public anytime or anytime soon, it can be finally shown to his family with certain conditions attached. They only seen a 22nd clip previously. How do you square that sort of ruling with the concept of transparency?

BELL: Well, yes, and we're also doing with a similar thing here in the Bay Area, a man named Mario Gonzalez, a 26-year-old Latin ex man was killed by the police. Apparently he was drunk in the park. And they initially said that there was a fight. And now we've seen footage to show that he struggled with the fact that he was a drunk guy getting harassed by cops, so -- and he's now dead.

So I think that's why we've talked about the system in place, because a lot of times with policing want to talk about the good apples versus the bad apples, when in fact, it is the system of policing that has systemic racism through it, which means it doesn't even matter so much if you are an individual race in the system. It doesn't even matter so much of individual Americans claim to be racist or are not racist. The system that we live in is racist.

And so, I say until we actually examine the entire system of policing and have the wear with all and the appetite to really create a new system that really is about safety for all of us and looking out for all of our best interests. We're just nibbling around the edges of reform.


COOPER: The premier episode this weekend, you look at policing the police. Can you talk about what we'll see?

BELL: Well, yes, a lot of this episode is based on the fact that last summer, a lot of people in the country first heard of defund the police. And as somebody who lives in Oakland, and has been surrounded by a lot of incredible activists and academics, I had heard about that movement from a few years ago. So -- and much like many people, I had the same sort of like, oh my stars, why would we defund the police, I had that same reaction.

So, this episode, in part is for me to explain to people what defund the police actually is, why it is something people are looking towards, and also to talk about, as we said earlier, in this interview, the racist history of policing, policing has many parts based in slave catching.

So again, we have to look at the whole system where it came from where it is, and then we have to have the appetite to imagine new systems or elsewhere I think we're doomed.

COOPER: I have not heard, oh, my stars in quite some time. W. Kamau Bell, thank you. Appreciate it.

BELL: (INAUDIBLE) surprises.

COOPER: I look forward to (INAUDIBLE). The new season "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" premieres this Sunday 10:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Our news continues. Let's hand over Chris "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris?