tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN March 17, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
detained him. vice president harris wasn't there and a bulletin originated in the state of texas. the news continues right now. we'll hand
it over to chris cuomo for "prime time." >> i appreciate it, there is no question there has been a surge in violence and hate against asian americans. anti-asian crimes surged by nearly 150% in 2020. and we know the increase spiked there ut the pandemic and we know just yesterday trump went on hate tv and spewed his anti-asian hateful covid slur. and did it again to deflect blame for the virus he chose to spread across our country. here's what we don't know. we do not know if this massacre at spas in georgia that killed eight, including six asian women was racially motivated. >> it's still early. but he does claim defense not
racially motivated. he apparently has an issue, what he considers -- sees these locationings as something that allows him to go to these places. it was a
temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate. >> now on the one hand, is the analysis as simple as the sheriff makes it? again a certainty here is just what happened, just this pointless loss of life for so many and so many families affected within the asian and american community, is certainly fueling widespread fears in the asian american communities all over this country. a lot of new information is emerging about the suspect today. according to authorities has confessed as you just heard from the sheriff, he is charged with eight counts of murder, one count of attempted murder. but no hate crimes. that is going to take more of a process of investigation he didn't help by admitting it as that. one victim did survive this nightmare. now, a former roommate of the
suspect tells cnn that the suspect did feel tortured by a sex addiction and was in rehab last year. investigators are still trying to pinpoint motive as i keep repeating. that's a key part of the analysis. regardless, this has to put renewed focus on what has been happening in our country. the coalition tracking violence and harassment against asian americans reports nearly 3,800 racially motivated attacks against asian americans from last march to this one. some of you hear this and say, yeah, it's not all white people who are attacking him. so that makes it okay? that was time i checked. you don't care who it is or who is hurting you because of what or who you are. that shouldn't be relevant. in the past few months, asian americans report eight times higher and it's higher among
asian women. president biden condemned the attacks. and his spokes woman was clear about this. >> i think there is no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that we saw during the prior administration blaming, you know, calling covid, you know, the wuhan virus or other things led to, you know, perceptions of the asian american community that are inaccurate, unfair, to have raised, you know, threatening -- elevated threats against asian americans. >> well, it did come from china, that's all he means. no, actually the entire east coast of this country was infested from europe. does he call it the rome virus? another point of proof here, about which should be obvious. the u.s. government declassified a threat assessment for 2021 today on domestic violent extremism.
we will delve into it later in the show.l among the key take aways is violence on the homefront, particularly motivations against minority populations has been quote galvanized by recent political and societal events. so, how do we counter this hate? st. patty's day, right? what do we do? we drove the snakes into the sea. how do we attack the snakes that are driving hatred in this country? what do we do? let's take it to the better mind. counter terrorism phil mudd, am la walker at one of the crime scenes. good to have you both. amela, what is the latest we understand, specifically the asian community there? >> reporter: well, chris, i can tell you the fear is real. it is palpable. i'm afraid for my own family. i've spoken with a couple people here in the asian community in atlanta. i've spoken with asian people who work at spas and nail salons
and restaurant owners and they tell me that they're extremely afraid for tear safety. they're hypervigilant. they're looking over their shoulders. a lot of me telling me, they're changing their daily routines. i've had this conversation with my family, i tell my elderly parents, don't go on that daily walk. you mention api hate, the coalition that's been tracking hate crimes against asians across the country and a huge majority of them have been harassment, there have been violence against asians. i would venture to say any asian you talk to in this country will tell you they have experienced some kind of microaggression or racism, rather it was, hey, go back to your country, being spat on, being coughed on deliberately or just being told that they don't belong in this country and this has been happening since this pandemic. so these attacks of eight people being killed across three spas
in atlanta, this is traumatizing a community that has already been traumatized as a result of what's been happening since this pandemic began. >> does it make any difference within the community that the suspect says, no, no, no, it wasn't a hate crime. it's about an affliction that he has? >> reporter: i'm glad you asked that, chris. because, experts that you speak with, academic, i can tell you asians take issues with this statement. because just because a client may have been sexually motivated, it doesn't hurt the possibility that it may have been racially motivated and i speak from experience as an asian american woman. these things are deeply intertwined, sexism and racism. you look at the media, hollywood, the perpetual stereotypes, hypersexualized women as fetishs and sexual objects. these stereotypes experts tell
you dehumanizes asian women and makes them uniquely vulnerable to violence and racism. >> he may not understand his own motives, by the way. very good points, appreciate the reporting. thank you, stand by, you will weigh in as you hear this part of the analysis if something doesn't scare with how you understand it, pop right in. the idea of the simplicity of the analysis, he says that's not what it was. is that the end of the analysis? and how do you anticipate and support within an investigation mixed motives? >> boy, it has been really frustrating today, chris. we are just under 24 hours into the investigation. i seen people on tv saying, i understand what this is. i believe hate crimes should be charged. let's get into the investigation. the first question is getting into the find who might not himself know what he did this i need his social media, his text,
e-mail, interviews with friend, family, former roommates. i need to go back years and look at his google search history. then i need to look at things that are aberations. one friend says this, one says that, they don't square how do i do a next interview tomorrow? to understand the determination of somebody like this and whether the motivation is clear, sexual, racist, takes a little while. we will not understand over time. i will tell if you he is honest, if we having a says to his social media, to his google search history, to his sex, text, pardon me and his e-mail to interviews with friends and family, they're honest, we'll figure it out. not within 26 hours, chris, that's too fast. >> i have to dell you what bothers me about it, phil, give me your head on this, we can go anyplace and find sex workers. i don't indict the business. i'm going along with the suspicion he said to the police. these space and massage players,
aroma therapy. he said he had an addiction, he didn't have to pick asian women. he could have killed lots of different people. it makes me wonder if over time you go to this implicit, this unconscious, you go to the fact that he is just absorbb aing animous. >> first of all, there are stories out whether he was going to visit locations in florida. my first question, which i haven't seen answered, where does places that were run by asian americans, at that point i start to say, this looks way too suspicious. the second point goes right to what you said. let's say this individual believes himself and is telling investigators, this was a sexually motivated crime. but let's say after several days of investigation, we start to
determine, he identified sex with asian americans. the story starts to change and again going back to the question of how quickly to determine motive. he may not know, himself, exactly why he did this. we got to pick into the blaine of somebody who might not himself understand why he did this. >> let's listen to something else the sheriff said today get your take on it. go ahead. >> he understood the gravity of it. he was pretty much fed up and at the end of his rope and yesterday was a really bad day for him. this is what he did. >> you know, everybody's jumping all over this. because it's obviously insensitive. but to the community behind you, and what you've heard, how does this play? >> he was just having a bad day. i think a lot of asian americans hear that. and they're hurt by it.
i believe that was the authority, the sheriffs county department downplayed what happened. i mean, eight people killed in three spas across atlanta. six of the eight were asian. you understand, six of them, all six of them were asian women. so when you downplay it to, he was just having a bad day, again, we're going into the realm of dehumanizing these victims. >> mitigating the significance. would he have said the same thing if airplane all white, if the guy targeted white victims? would he have elicited the same thing? a non-cha lance or not a good speaker. we are sensitive right now to these kind of things. it can't mean nothing that there has been a spike in these kind of attacks, assault itself, verbal and physical against asian americans during a pandemic, during a time when there has been hot political rhetoric especially out of trump's mouth about asian blame for our sickness. quick take.
>> you know, i think that's correct. let's step back for just 30 second. look, let's say whether we determine whether this was just was sexually motivated. if you are asian american you take comfort of that. the bottom lean you have to ask with the fbi, state and local law enforcement. the question is, are people out there looking at this and saying i don't care what his motivation is. i hate asian americans, too. i will do something else tonight. i think the answer you are looking at is dead on. it doesn't matter if it's perfectly clear. if you are asian american, you want protection, that's appropriate. >> phil, as always, thanks for the analysis. last word to you. >> reporter: just because, you know, there is this frustration that asian american community that we are an invisible minority. those comments make asians more invisible. there is a myth that they don't deal with racism. the reality is racism isn't new,
that aggression happens on a daily basis. the more you downplay it the more it makes them for invisible and vulnerable to attack and for authorities to take crimes against asians seriously. >> understood. that's why we have to make sure we are on at this time. thank you for your head and thank you for your heart on this i am sorry for the hurt you are dealing with, even in your own family. i appreciate you reporting on it, it will help, thank you, both of you. appreciate it. all right, there is a few declassified government assessment warning. what the warning says is, the biggest threat to us from inside and outside this country. the findings have the opposition party quiet as church mice. you want to know why? the house intel chair is here to tell you. next .
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. what does it tell you when a set of politicians is quiet about a threat? that's the session we have to unpack right now. homeland secretary told lawmakers today the biggest floor threat to the u.s. comes from inside our borders. >> at this point in time domestic violence extremism, the lone wolf, the loose affiliation of individuals following ideologies of hate and other ideologies of extremism that are willing and able to take those ideologies and execute on them, violent race, it's our greatest threat in the homeland right now. >> a related u.s. intel report
warns extremism was lightly boosted by trump and his enablers, bogus election fraud claims that will quote almost certainly is their language, spur more violence by domestic extremists. so why does the opposition party say they hate terror, right? why are they so quiet? why is the opposition party once again opposing even on this? how so? a dozen from that party voted against the bipartisan licenselation to honor the capitol police who kept them safe during the infamy of the insurrection on january 6th, which was a terror attack. why? at least one of them says he is even against the language in the bill calling january 6th an insurrection. listen. >> i'm all for the metal but the
speakers legislation contain language that was neither fair nor accurate. we now know there was no armed insurrection. nobody had arms. >> if they beat you to death with a stick, if they spray something in you that make us die, does it really matter that it wasn't a bullet? i mean, how tortured a defense of that day will these people give? the opposition goes to reality. this is a laughable, except it should make you cry, because gohmert says it with a straight face. now is it shocking? >> no. gohmert had to say similar things just days before on a right wing network discussing a failed election lawsuit. listen. >> but the bottom line is, the court is saying, we're not going to touch this. have you no remedy. basically, in effect, the ruling
would be that you got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and blm. >> this is where we are. do you understand? it is all related. with the asian community is dealing with. because of what was said in the pandemic by the prayer. how they are spinning with january 6th was not at all anything benign. just another protest gone awry. with the efforts to sponsor es the vote. this is all us and them. that's what they're playing at. let's discuss with the head of the house intel committee, congressman adam schiff. good to see you, mr. chairman. >> good to see you. >> how do you attack a problem when half of your number refuses to acknowledge it for political convenience? >> well, that's a very good question and it's impossible, frankly, because when what we do
with them becomes a partisan issue when there shouldn't be. there ought to be a bipartisan defense to fight terrorism wherever it comes from, particularly when it comes from within. but, sadly, the gop is no longer a party of an ideology. it's a party of donald trump and trump has made that party about, as you pointed out, vilifying the other. it is the party of bereavement and increasingly a party of white agrievement against everyone else. and so speaking out about this domestic violence threat from white nationalism, some in the republican party in congress feel they are speaking out against their base and the president's base. you know, i would like to think that's not the majority of their base. but they are building a party around disenfranchising people of color and they're unwilling to confront their demons and that leaves us very vulnerable. >> in this new intelligence
assessment, it seems as though russia but also the trump folk doubled down on their initial efforts in 2016. russia interfered again, even more so, that the trump administration didn't address the threat, but, instead, focused on misleading china information that was, in large part, fed to them by russian agents, including rudy guiliani and the white house was warned that this was happening. and rudy said, i don't care what they say. what does all that mean to you? >> well, there is a real consistent through-line here. in 2016, of the campaign chairman for donald trump is paul manafort. manafort was meeting secretly with a kremlin intelligence agent name constan stin -- he was giving the intelligence internal campaign polling data as well as other strategic
information about their targeting. this was very useful to the russians because the russians were engaged in a clan deposition tinned campaign to help elect donald trump. that pretty graphic evidence of manafort and the campaign trying to collude with the russians. flash forward four years, have you rudy guiliani. >> rudy put manafort to shame, congressman, in terms of what he did. >> and the thing is four years later, it was all in the opened. they didn't need to hide it anymore the way with paul manafort. guiliani was willing to do it in the open. part of it is the president had been impeached. he had been acquitted. i think he felt liberated to be quite overt about his efforts to cheat. as we would see with his call to join the secretary of state his promulgation, a big lie, guiliani, following the leader of the boss is working with people with no associations with the kremlin and they were only too happy to do it.
>> and warned by u.s. intelligence officials, rudy, stay away from this guy. he is meddling thing. what the russians were meddling is exactly what rudy was selling. now it's on your watch and president biden says putin is a killer. he will pay a price for those efforts. you do have a part of the price in this s1 hr-1 people's act bill that you are trying to get through. there is some election hardping there. putin pulse back the ambassador from the united states in retal retaliation. what does this mean coming from president biden? is this an escalation against russia? >> well, you know, russia has escalated against the united states over the last several years and i think that president biden is doing exactly what he should do, which is pushing back forcefully, number one, calling out putin in a conversation, telling putin that i don't think you have a soul. being very straight and strong
with him. and they're contemplating what sanctions to-i have on russia for their election interference and hacking of solar winds and other maligned leaders, navalny, the opposition leader. so the president is doing exactly what he should and at the same time president biden is making it clear, look, there will be some common interests like new start and eliminating nuclear weapons. we will push back hard. the russian say they want u.s. certainty, they will get it. they may not like the certainty, though. i have to say, chris, it's refreshing to get a readout of the presidents conversation with putin and fought have to cringe but be proud of what the u.s. president is saying. >> you can save the criminal himing for my last question. we dealt with the country's business first. there is reporting that with ba cera leaving the ag post in
california to be the secretary at hhs, there is an opening the governor can point and people are pushing you for that position. are you considering becoming the attorney general of california, sir? >> you know, i'm not commenting. but i appreciate the question. i am very gratified to see it looks like hunter ba cera will be confirmed tomorrow and i am confident the governor will pick a worthy successor. >> you know that's not going to be enough on this show, congressman. i know are you not commenting. that means are you not ruling it out, yes? >> i am not going to comment, chris. >> by not commenting, you understand that was an opportunity to say i'm not going to do this. so we'll see how it place out. i appreciate you. you got a better legal mind than i do, i will not debate you. i'll leave it at that, good luck going forward. >> thanks, so much, you take care. so, will the democrats stop the country from a wave of jim crowe law, that's not fair, put
it on the democrats, this is on the republicans, only the democrats can stop it. only. momentum is building within their ranks. the latest boost came today and it is a double shot from president biden and georgia's first black senator. who would likely not be senator if the proposals that georgia wants were already in effect. next. not everybody wants the same thing. that's why i go with liberty mutual — they customize my car insurance so i only pay for what i need. 'cause i do things a bit differently.
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rights unlike anything we've ever seen since the jim crowe era. this is democracy in reverse. >> that is the most junior member of the u.s. senate making a most important case. is our democracy going to get stronger or weaker? that is senator rafael fael w ernock. a fact made possible because of overwhelming support of black voters who may be disenfranchised, who may be incapable of electing somebody like warknock. 43 states have bills to restrict voting. the only single step to stopping the wave is to pass a federal
law called the for the people act. aka, hr-1 in the house. house resolution 1, s-1 in the senate. what does it do? it expand and creates an automatic right to absentee voting. it expands voting access and, therefore, it forbids you to contr constrict. now, what is the challenge? the filibuster delays in the senate. why? it requires 60 votes to get to a vote on the bill. that itself democrat's obstacle. but president biden has finally soon the light of a potential way past the problem. look. >> you are going to have to choose between preserving the filibuster and advancing your agaenda agenda? >> here's the choice. you have to do what i did back
when i got to senate in the old days when we used to be about there. the that is in a filibuster, you had to stand and command the floor. you bring back the talking filibuster. i am, that's where we're supposed to be. it's almost getting to where, democracies is having a hard time functioning. >> you know, it's interesting, i actually see the politics on both sides of that. you either ver to go for the laws or for the filibuster. no, it's a false premise. there has always been a modification route. the filibuster has been changed several times. so biden's answer should have been, no, not yes. he doesn't have to choose and they have to stop talking that way. the binary thinking is polarized. needless to say, after the president gave that guidance, what does schumer do? he introduced s-1. not known as a big risk-taker. he must know this is a little safer path. is it?
democrat senator elizabeth warren tells cnn the plan is to put the bill on the floor, that's schumer's job, make mcconnell use the filibuster to block it. then we'll see, the opposition is going to do what it does, oppose. and that democracy will be in the democrat's hands and, hopefully, that will force them to think about history here and modify the filibuster, which the democrats can do, on their own, if all the members in the senate go along. right. because it's just a simple majority. then they would have a simple majority vote to secure voting rights. so what's the but? the but is one democratic senator, at least, senator joe manchin from west virginia. he has been clear he sees it as a way to protect the voice of the political party that is in the minority. therefore, he wants to protect the 60-vote rule. but there is an odd paradox at play, with protecting the minority here in the senate as
senator warnock pointed out. >>s the a contradiction to say we must protect minority rights in the senate while we are refusing to protect minority rights in the society. it's true. >> it's true. and, in fact, mcconnell wants to protect his right to be a minority, so he can help efforts to suppress the rights of minorities. the political truth is that the 50 votes may not be the number of democrats needed to focus on here. after all, warnock is not the only democrat that needs the support of voters. biden wouldn't be in the oval office after the 87% support he got. if they haven't figured that out, you better believe, maga nation has. >> can a republican win again if hr-1 becomes law? >> if they allow that to happen, if it's allowed to happen, i
think your republicans will have a very hard time getting elected. >> no one knows, of course, a republican can get elected. trump is just playing to division. if you only play the white fight and demonizing people of color, yeah, you won't get elected if they have a say. the answer is to get their say out of the way. democracies is either about to become more or less inclusive on our watch. these bills in the house and senate are the only way to protect minority voters. president biden, if you are listening tonight, if this could be passed on to you, this situation resonates with words that mean so much to you. the palm, the cure of troy, this may be the once in your political lifetime that the long four title wave of justice can rise up and hope a history can rhyme. so hope for a great c change on
the far side of revenge. will those words resonate among democrats? because, if not, democracy will be injured on their watch. it takes us to today. a lucky day on the calendar, right? luck is not getting us out of the pandemic. we are seeing what's happening all over europe again, despite there will be our reality if we don't do the right thing. that's exactly the first time. what are the odds of another surge? next. by over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens. try claritin cool mint chewabls for powerful allergy relief plus a cooling sensation. live claritin clear. i think the sketchy website i bought this turtle from stole all of my info. ooh, have you looked on the bright side? discover never holds you responsible for unauthorized purchases on your card. (giggling) that's my turtle.
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the cdc now lists five different strains as quote variants of concern. three as variants of interest. the good news is right now it looks like the vaccines can handle all of them. any lead time we had, gone. 15 states cases headed back up. here's the risk, doing too much, too stupid, too soon. packed bars, full of maskless people celebrating st. patty's day. this has always been the hardest variable to account for, us. let's bring in dr. lena wen, what do you think we have another widespread surge? smr unfortunately, chris, i believe we are on the cusp of
that fourth surge we have been dreading. you mentioned 15 states or so have seen an increase in the number of infections. we are increasing a higher baseline of infections and we have the variable that we now have these more transmissible variants being dominant in the u.s. very quickly. all is across the backdrop of states lifting restriction, especially mandates, so i think we are going to see a surge in the number of infections. i think what helps this time though is the most vulnerable, particularly nursing home residents, people that are older are vaccinated. so we may prevent a spike in hospitalizations and deaths. we will see an increase in infections as the vaccine rollout is speeding up. >> because again the vaccine, the surge doesn't matter as much, that's what people are saying? >> well, this is a concern. i really think what is happening in europe with lockdowns and
restrictions, that's not going to happen here. there are so many governors that have made it clear that they're not going to be anything with regard to increasing mandates of any kind unless their hospitals become overwhelmed. >> they don't have the vaccines like we do. but in europe, they don't have the vaccine like we do. so we don't have to worry the way they are. >> i think we still need to worry, this time, unlike before, what we will see in hospitals are young people, previously healthy people dying who would otherwise be alive if we only did the right thing. again, i'm not asking for businesses to be shut down again. i think all we in public health is asking for the masking, physical distancing, the things we know are helpful and will work in keeping us, tiding us over until the vaccines can begin. >> schools, i talk about them often, have we been lumping them altogether? should there be more of a push to open elementary schools? i already feel the fall is
getting iffy again, in terms of what i am hearing? so high school is something different than a higher case rate. elementary schools, should they be broken out and a big push to get them opened full time in person? >> gentleman. for two reasons. one is that we know younger children should submit coronavirus than older children. older children teens and above tend to transmit at the same rate adults do. younger children are likely to transmit to each opts and adults. the other reason is younger children need in-person learning even more. one could argue being in person is more essential. i do agree we should be looking at 3 feet instead of 6 feet when it comes to physical distancing in schools. unless we can switch to 3 feet, we will not be able to get schools back at home. >> value added as all, appreciate it. so attacks on asian americans have risen during this pandemic.
now the shootings in georgia have, of course, put if asian american community even more on edge. multiple asian women murdered yesterday. no matter what the motive, it is horrific and it reminds us that people amongst us, our own, are in pain. a powerful voice in the asian american communities actor and friend of the show, daniel day kim next .
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i am sorry, we are in the middle of this. if we don't talk about it, how do all those things hit your ears? >> well, i think mr. dunn in your earlier segment really hit it. do we take this man at his words and what his motives are? if he's quote on quote "having a bad day"? does he know what his motives were? one thing you can say even if he says explicitly that it was not racially based, all you have to do is peel away a layer and ask the question, why is temptation in the form of an asian woman? why then would you go to an asian massage parlor, three of
them to target them? if this were a synagogue or a black church, would people have the same impression that clearly there is no connection to race when seven of the eight people who were killed are asians and six of them are women. this is about many issues, how we feel of asian women. they are now to the point where they can be disposable and we are looking at someone and we are making someone committed these murders already a victim by saying he's having a bad day and we are down playing it. this is similar to something happened to me personally, chris, i never told the story before. but, my sister who's a victim of hate crime in 2015. she was running, she was a marathon runner and she was
running in her own neighborhood when a man driving a car came up to her and yelled at her to get on the sidewalk when she was running on the shoulder. she said she would do that and the man backed up and hit her with his car. my sister turned around and was shocked and told him that you just hit me? he backed up the car and as my sister was walking away hitting her again and knocking her to the ground. this man had a history of violence towards asian women but when it got time to prosecute him, the da was telling my sister that we'll never get a hate crime and you should hopeful of whatever you can get. he ended up getting convicted of reckless driving when he used his car as a weapon to kill my sister and there was no one in the system who was willing to
help her with this case to the appropriate justice. >> this was 2015 by the way, not 1950. this is 2015 and the judge said something that hit your heart when you heard the word of that sheriff today. what did that judge say? >> this man was having a bad day. the judge in the case with my sister said "i can understand why this guy was frustrated, i get frustrated too" and that's what he said and that was when the verdict was brought down that this would be reckless driving. it harkens back to the judge of vincent kim. the judge says these are not the kind of men that you put in jail. they never served a day in jail
who was mistaken for a japanese person. so this is apart of our history, chris. so i am a bit skeptical when i hear there is absolutely no connection between race in these mur mur murders. >> we are on it. you are speaking tomorrow to congress and you will always have a platform here. nothing but love for you brother, we'll be fighting the fight with you. >> i appreciate you, chris. truly. >> be well and good luck tomorrow, speak truth to power. >> thank you. we'll be right back. [sniffing] is the salmon wild-caught? she only eats wild caught. [cash register beeps]
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even if it is a sex thing? why did it have to be them? why were they the object of his desire or affliction? >> i can tell you. >> it is not your time now. >> even if the analysis is strange, you know it caused fears with brothers and sisters with the asian american communities. we have to recognize it. it is on the rise. >> i can tell you why because he not only saw these women as fetishes but he saw them as obstacle. they were expendable by mass