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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 29, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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a week ago. this is how victory sounded and looked. the incident disrupted the supply chain of everything, tvs, furniture, fuel, the effects will be felt for months. thanks for watching. it time for "ac 360." good evening. jim sciutto here sitting in for anderson. it is sad to think that this time last year george floyd had just two months left to live. two months later, his death caught on camera during an arrest by minneapolis police officers would shake the country, the world, it would send millions into the streets in the middle of a pandemic. that's how galvanizing, unifying it was. and how in the
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simatic it was of the original infection, chronic and often deadly institutional racism. the events of that fateful moment just 3:00 p.m. on the 25th of may, the corner of 38th and chicago avenue reignited a national reckoning of race and pitted mostly peaceful demond demonstrators against a president who turned troops on them to have a photo op and forced a re-examining of policing nationwide and in minneapolis, it brought an enormous civil settlement to mr. floyd's family, which is not the same as justice. the search for that began today. joining us just outside the hennepin county courthouse in minneapolis, cnn national correspondent sara sidner. tell us what you're seeing there
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tonight. >> reporter: well, a little bit of wind here, jim. we heard very poignant and pointed testimony today from a 911 dispatcher from someone on the ground witnessing what was happening to george floyd as he was under derrickek chauvin's k and we heard from another witness that talks about exactly what this felt like to him as he watched this happen and we also saw video that the public has not yet seen, and we saw the video that the world has seen and so did the jury. some of them for the very first time. >> on may 25th of 2020, mr. derrek chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force up on the body of mr. george floyd. >> reporter: the prosecution's opening statement tells everything they need to know how
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they want the jury to see this case. >> 929, the three most important numbers in the case. >> reporter: 9:39, the time his neck was under derek chauvin's knee and to help make that point, prosecutor gary blackwell played a video for the jury. >> relax. >> man, i can't bloreathe. my face. >> what do you want? >> he does not let up and does not get up. you will learn mr. chauvin is told they can't find a pulse. >> reporter: the first witness and 911 dispatcher, her may 25th dispatch was played in court showing she was watching surveillance video of floyd being pinned down that day. >> call me a snitch, if you want. >> my instincts told me something is wrong. >> reporter: jurors were told they would also be seeing and hearing the video from bystanders' cameras, two police
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body worn cameras as well as hearing from minneapolis police officers the chief of police medical experts and witnesses on the scene. donald williams was one of the witnesses. williams is trained in mixed marshall arts where choke holds are practiced and what he saw on the street that day alarmed him. >> to get the choke tighter, you hit different shimmies, which i felt the officer on top was shimmying to actually get the final choke in while he was on top to get the kill choke. >> reporter: for the defense's case. >> derrek chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career. the use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing. >> reporter: chauvin's attorney made clear this will also be a battle of experts. >> this will ultimately be another significant battle in this trial. what was mr. floyd's actual cause of death? >> reporter: he wants the jury to look at the whole scene and listen to the use of force and
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medical experts, as well as read the medical reports. >> that revealed mr. floyd had an exceptionally high level of carbon dioxide. dr. baker found none of what are referred to as the telltale signs of asphyxiation. there was no hemorrhaging, there was no evidence that mr. floyd's air flow was restricted. >> reporter: instead, he suggested it was elicit drugs found in floyd's system that aggravated a medical condition that took his life. >> hypertension, the injection of methamphetamine and fenlt until and adrenaline going through his body, all of which acted to further compromise and already compromised heart. >> reporter: there was one thing the dvefense and prosecution agreed on. >> there is no social or political cause in this courtroom. >> so one of the biggest
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headlines today is adding time to when chauvin had his knee on floyd's neck, right? you know, additional almost 40 seconds. i wonder how has the public received the testimony so far? >> reporter: you know, people listening to this are saying that's it, he's going to get convicted. that's what happens when the prosecution has to put their case out there first, but when it comes to the politics of this, you heard the prosecutor and defense both said this is not about a social justice movement and politics, that may be the case inside the court but out in the streets, it is absolutely the case the people out here believe watching this trial and whatever happens in this trial will be either an indictment on the american justice system or show that the justice system works. depending on the victim. jim? >> sara sidner, thanks so much. these are live pictures from
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minneapolis now. the public reacting to events inside that courtroom today. joining us now, floyd family attorney chris stewart, part of the team that won the massive settlement from the city of minneapolis. so, mr. stewart, thanks so much for joining us. you heard the attorney for derek chauvin say he did exactly what was what he was trained to do in reacting to george floyd. elicit drugs in his system. i wonder what you make of that defense tonight. >> i think the police chief who is going to be testifying is going to disagree with the attorney for derrek chauvin. they have to argue something because their client was caught murdering someone. >> the prosecution began today
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by playing the entire video of chauvin's knee on george floyd's neck for a greater period of time. we've thought about 8:46, 8 minutes, 46 seconds and now 9 minutes 29 seconds based partly on new video from an eyewitness, plus also the police camera video. what is the impact of that length of time in your view on the defense and the prosecution? >> i mean, it's heartbreaking to know that the torture lasted even longer. because that's what it is. it was torture. this isn't the standard situation the officer has to make a split second decision and pull the gun and trigger. this was premeditated torture. he smugly sat on top of him and looked at the crowd and puffed
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up his chest. that type of individual can't be walking the streets and wearing a badge. >> one of the star witnesses you might say for the prosecution, the 911 dispatcher, she testified her instincts were telling her something was wrong. in fact, she thought the video from the scene was frozen because the police officer on george floyd's neck seemed to be lasting longer than she thought was, you know, possible, right? i mean, how important was that testimony to you? >> jim, think about it, the mind blowing things that have come out, their own 911 operator called police on the police. there were witnesses screaming you're killing him. george is screaming you're killing him and justice still isn't guaranteed for an african
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american. that's mind gblowing. >> on the flip side, you've heard the defense of derrek chauvin talk about the use of drugs. in fact, the judge allowed a previous arrest from 2019 where the allegation is that inguested drugs prior to arrest and the allegations is prior to this arrest in 2020 he did the same th thing. >> that's natural vent. doing drugs, it's not a death sentence. you don't get executed by a police officer because you made a mistake you're battling in life. it's not like he's a hard core drug addict. he had a drug and was a security guard until covid hit. he had a family. he was a father. they can paint whatever picture they want of him but the reality
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speaks for itself. because someone has issues, they don't get murdered by a rogue police officer. period. >> one thing i noted this morning as i watched this press conference from the floyd family lawyers was them noting the civil settlement prior to the criminal case saying the city is already settled, right, to say that there was a wrong committed here. they noted that in public. that's not by accident. i'm curious the point they were trying to make there. >> they were accepting reality. their officer committed murder. think about walter scott. we settled that case for a historic amount before he got 20 years and he got 20 years. the civil case is separate from the criminal case. it settles when it settles and the city took responsibility. the only person who hasn't taken responsibility is the man sitting there taking notes the
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entire time paying more attention in this case than he did to taking a pulse. >> i understand this, chris. but you know these trials are competitive, right? and you have the defense making their argument here. what's your reaction to the defense argument that george floyd had a history? how do you respond to that if you're in the courtroom today? >> yeah, that history did not have anything to do with being killed with a knee on his neck. derek chauvin has a history. he has multiple incidents of abusing people. what about his history? that didn't seem to factor in when he had his knee on george floyd's neck. it a he said, she said game but the video speaks for itself. >> chris stewart, floyd family attorney. thanks so much. there are a lot of difficult issues and difficult issue we're seeing on the screen. thanks very much.
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sperspective from former federal prosecutor laura coats and cnn law enforcement analyst and top cop in philadelphia before that in d.c., cnn analyst marco mer ra who defended george zimmerman. is there any reason to believe the jurors in this case could see that video of mr. floyd's death and conclude that chauvin's actions were justified. the big headline today that wasn't 8:46, right, it was 9:29. not 8 minutes seconds but 9 minutes 29 seconds where chauvin had his knee in effect on george floyd's neck. >> you know, very rarely in a case of this stature being so high profile do you have the events where the actual facts that come in to trial are even worse than what you thought they
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were in the court of public opinion. normally, it's either the same or there may be a few surprises but to lead off to know it was even worse and of course, jim, that the officers were on notice. it wasn't as if they were unaware that perhaps george floyd was no longer breathing. there were people imploring the officers to at the very least check not only do you know about bystanders calling the police on these officers, but you had police officer -- dispatch woman who was a part of the overall policing law enforcement team in general who also called to say something about this does not look right. my gut and call me if you want to but i felt compelled in someway to call. you add that to the notion persuasion can ebb and flow in a trial depending who is presenting evidence. you have this extra ordinary tha compelling evidence that is key, is there a reasonable amount of force used to repel any act of
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violence or for self-defense? 9:29 for half of which he was basically unconscious? the answer is no. >> it's amazing to think 8:46 is now 9:29. mark, the defense case so far draws attention to george floyds past history or alleged past history as a drug user, right? i mean, in fact, the judge is allowed from the 2019 arrest where drugs were taken in. given your experience here, tell me the relevance of that evidence. >> well, as a defense team, they are going to make as best a job as they can out of it. it really is victim blaming when you look at a case like this. what they're trying to suggest and the defense will focus on is yes, his prior record and had a
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previous event and this murder argument that he takes drugs and therefore the death was his fault. because let fa's face it, they w they have one benefit in their favor. it is very difficult to convict a cop in any courtroom in america and if they can build up that reasonable doubt, maybe it was george, maybe it was his heart or fentanyl or drugs. that will be the focus to see it play out with every witness they present building up to the one thing that the defense has in their favor and that is prosecution does not get their case until they convince all 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt. >> chief ramsey, you've led the police in both d.c. and philadelphia so derrick ek chau according to the defense was doing what he was trained to do. there were standards for police behavior, right, in terms of reacting to for instance folks that are trying to arrest and do
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they resist arrest? tell us based on your experience when you look at this video, now more than we've seen before, frankly. 9:29, not 8:46 but 9:29 based on your experience, is there anything to justify that reaction from a police officer making an arrest or attempting to? >> no. it isn't. an officer has the authority and the right to use force to overcome resistance but only that force necessary to overcome that resistance. when you look at that video early on when you try to put mr. floyd into the car, it looks like he's resisting and they go to the other car to get him in and actually wind up pulling him through, but it does come to a point where, you know, he's under control. he's handcuffed. they get him in the prone position but itself is
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problematic because positional asphyxia, you have to be careful when you have a situation like that and look at three things in police training. is it necessary? is it proportional? is it objectively reasonable? it isn't. he stopped whatever resistance he was putting up, he stopped and the force should have stopped at that time. >> listen, it's a national conversation, right? he gets to the standard of what is allowed in those moments, which are difficult we should grant but mark, charles ramsey, laura coats, thanks very much. let take a quick break and pick up when we come back. the pandemic, new and welcome word how effective the two leading vaccines are in the real world but also a deeply heart felt warning from the head of the cdc about dark days ahead if we do not stick with prevention efforts today. a leading public health expert joins us next.
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>> welcome back. these are live pictures of protesters in front of the cour courthouse. day one of the george floyd derek chauvin case. they will allow testimony from a prior arrest of tlfloyd in 2019 organize any -- original ly wil alawed. the allegation of drugs in ingested. tell us the relevance of this to current charges, is that potentially material
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influential? >> you have to do this thing comparing the prejudice value. the prejudice to the victim is far greater. if there is going to say the fact pattern was analogous and there was some mo george floyd used the ingestion in the police encounter in 2019 he lived and the officers provided medical treatment. if they find it analogous, it shows you even more so there was not reasonable action by the cops in 2020 when they sat on his neck for 9:26. the idea is none ssensinonsensi. they are trying to put george floyd on trial as opposed to derek chauvin. in an event, it is not more probative than prejudice l. whether the officer was reasonable use of force and was
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it a factor to killing george floyd. >> it struck me as i watched this press conference play out live on the air from the floyd family attorneys. they mentioned more than onminn to pay $27 million while the jury was being chosen in fact you might say for folks consuming this news at home this is anned a eadmission of guilt . does that influence the criminal trial of derrick chauvin. >> it does. it would be nice to do this in a vacuum but hasn't been in the
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past year and won't be. what the floyd family team said is look they heard from cops and representative carr and maybe a prior to 2019 event. let get to the other side of the coin, at least one group of people, the city looked at this and said he did so much wrong, chauvin we need to compensate the family for what he did wrong and the team put that out there and i can understand with the negative information with george floyd that has been out there. >> chief ramsey. you've led police departments in philadelphia and washington d.c. the standard for the use of force by police officers in minneapolis and like other places, let's speak about there because this matters here right as threat to the police officer, threat of the use of deadly force by the person involved,
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when you look at this as a police officer, do you have any doubt that chauvin overused his force? right? that it was within what was allowed as an officer of the law? >> it went beyond what was necessary. in the early stages of the arrest as they were trying to put him in the car, you can see some level of resistance. that was overcome and remember, you got four policemen there. they get him in a prone position. he'd been handcuffed. at some point in time he stopped resisting and yet, the pressure continued. it was no need for that. in fact, when you have someone in a prone position, you're in danger of positional asphyxia because the rib cage can't expand when they are flat like that and have weight on the back. as soon as you get them under control, roll them on the side, sit them up, let them start breathing again. they didn't do that.
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the pressure continued. it had to be something that if it didn't cause the death, it was significant in terms of what ultimately happened. >> yeah. listen, news today, right, 43 seconds added to that 8:46. 8 minutes 46 seconds we talked about is now 9:29. listen, relevant to the discussion, laura coats, charles ramsey, mark o'mara, thanks very much. just ahead, why the cdc director has a recurring feeling of quote in her words impending doom as president biden today announced the expansion of covid-19 vaccinations across the country. details when 360 continues. to become dangerous. tide pods child-guard pack helps keep your laundry pacs in a safe place and your child safer. to close, twist until it clicks. tide pods child-guard packaging. every veteran family deserves
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president biden announced today that within the next three weeks, 90% 90% of americans will be eligible for vaccine and also live within five miles of a vaccination site. that's key. it about access. that's because he expects the number of pharmacies participating in the fed eral vaccination program to double. that means something to you. however, with cases now trending
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upward in a majority of states, he called to keep the mask mandates because the battle is far from won. his comments echoed an emotional plea also made today from his cdc director. >> i will lose the script and redpl reflect on the current pending doom. we have so much to look forward to. so much promise and potential where we are and so much reason for hope but right now i'm scared. i know what it's like as a physician to stand in that patient room gowned, gloved, masked, shielded and to be the last person to touch someone else's loved one because their loved one couldn't be there. i know what it's like when you're the physician, when you're the health care provider and you're worried you don't have the resources to take care of the patients in front of you. i know that feeling of nausea when you read the crisis
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standards of care and wonder if there is enough ventilators to go around and who will make that choice and i know what it like to go up to your hospital every day and see the extra morgue sitting outside. so i'm speaking today not necessarily as your cdc director and not only as your cdc director but as a wife, as a matter, as a daughter. to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer. i so badly want to be done. i know you-all so badly want to be done. we're almost there but not quite yet. so i'm asking you to hold on a little longer to get vaccinated when you can so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends. >> just hold on a little longer. joining us is cnn medical analyst. i wonder do you share her fear about what may be coming?
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>> i think dr. walensky is speaking for a lot of us, that we have been there before and know what the catastrophe could really look like and there are a lot of voices that we can be trending in that direction again because we have increasing levels of infection again. we keep talking about, jim, this race between vaccines and variants but i think there is another factor here. that's human behavior because what happens next really depends on what we do and whether we're going to keep on masking and avoiding indoor gatherings until we can get vaccinated. >> yeah. don't stop too soon and i should mention you're the author of the fourth coming book "lifelines a doctor's journey in the fight for public health" essential to what we're facing now. no coincidence that dr. walensky warned of this impending doom in her words. the president said 90% of americans will be eligible for
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vaccines by april 19th. do you think this is the key to turn the country around and standing in the way of a fourth surge before it takes place? >> absolutely. already we have over 70% of those over 65 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. about half of those over 65 are fully vaccinated. that's really incredible. we're making so much good progress here and that's why this is so frustrating because we are so close. and we're getting more and more information that these vaccines are so effective at protecting you against being severely ill b but transmitting the disease. >> we're so close. dr. fauci told cbs this isn't just from variants but people on spring break, traveling around the country, this is the thing. if you were to tell folks watching tonight what to do, would it be hold out a little
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longer? >> i think it's recognizing people are tired and want to see one another. we can't say don't do it. we have to say here is how we can reduce the harm. if you really want to travel, hold off until you are vaccinated and then when you're traveling, make sure you wear a mask the whole time. if you did go on spring break and engaged in behaviors that are risky like you went to a bar, saw friends indoors, when you get back to your home community, quarantine and get tested. at this point, this is not about zero risk but about understanding what our risks are and reducing that risk as much as we can. >> how close are we because all of us want to get to the point, right, where we're more comfortable. kids can go to school. we can travel reasonably. how close are we to that as a
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c country? >> as individuals we're really close. i hope the cdc will issue guidelines soon what it is fully vaccinated people can do. they are saying you can see one another. one family can see another family that's not fully vaccinated but we can do even more because there are such convincing studies that have come out including one by the cdc today saying if you're fully vaccinated, it reduces your likelihood of getting coronavirus and asimilymptomatiy by 90%. >> hold out. we're so close as a country. dr. nguyen, thanks so much. coming up next this hour, a look at those new voting restricts georgia's governor signed into law last week. one of the state's top election officials during the 2020 campaign. join us when we come back.
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and together, we will get through this, safely. the naacp and groups filed lawsuits challenging georgia's new voting laws while state republicans bill it as a voter integrity law. the changes target voters of color after record turnout for both the general and run off elections in 2020. quote, these officials are using racial discrimination as a means
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of achieving a partisan end. the new state law imposes voter i.d. requirements for absentee ballots, limits the use of ballot drop boxes, makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water. it's also part of a larger republican led effort in state legislatures across the country to pass new restrictive voting measures. we're joined by an official, gabriel sterling the coo and cfo for georgia secretary of state's office. we should put out the secretary of state is named in the lawsuit. mr. sterling, these are highly charged new voting laws. you believe there are some good reforms in this new voting law. what is the pressing need? we had a massively high turnout election in 2020.
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minuscule fraud, what's the justification for these restrictions? >> well, there's twofold. some are actual election administration things and some are driven by politics and there is no question about that. the reality i'm having to deal with now and the reason i'm on your show and do so many interviews, when i was dealing in december, november, january, dealing with disinformation, i'm having to deal with disinformation again from the opposite side. none of these things restricts anything especially based on race. it's just not true. but it a really good fundraising tool and a really good way to disturb the motions of people by saying that a vote is being suppressed. putting in the voter i.d. requirement, it was lotted by them trying to do it with the absentee ballot port we put out there and these very same people sued to get rid of signature matches last year and they lost and now they're putting it to defend it. they're trying because they have to have controversy, they have to have lawsuits to raise the money. there is no real -- in fact,
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this expands early voting days. mandatory ones and keeps optional ones there. drop boxes did not exist in the law in georgia. they were done under the covid emergency rules. they were authorized for the first time under this law. there is no real restriction, i keep saying that. the thing about the water, yes. i get it. bad optics except for people are using it to get around the decade's old law you can't do an election within 150 feet of polling location which is the same law everywhere in the united states. >> gabriel, to your credit, in the midst of allegations of non-existent voter fraud in 2020 you held your ground and said this is a valid election. you pushed back. trump's allegations, et cetera. i want to state that for our viewers who might not be aware of that. big picture, though, for folks at home who are asking the question why isn't more voting
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better? right? i voted by drop box in d.c. right? my wife and i, we signed our ballots and dropped our ballots in. no problem with that, right? there is no evidence of that leading to, you know, voter fraud. just make the case for me and for folks at home as to why you need more restrictions when there is no evidence of the fraud that is used to justify these restrictions. >> jim, let me push back on your premise. what you're calling restrictions aren't restrictions. having somebody put their i.d. number on a ballot makes it no longer subject to the subjective decision making of a part-time worker on whether a signature matches or not. this goes to a buyobjective movement. we have 97% of driver's license numbers on our voter registration numbers for everybody plus 99.9% of thes is numbers and date of birth.
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so that in no way provides it. drop boxes were not mandatory and made available. we didn't do it under the legislative intent, under the covid emergency. so 38 counties had no drop boxes at all will be forced to have them. we've added mandatory early voting days. i'm telling you repeatedly they need to have this for fundraising and need to have this for people. there aren't no restrictions, there is expansions how to vote in the state and making it easier for people to vote and counties to administer them. >> okay. so you're a boss. the georgia secretary of state, he was stripped of some of his powers as part of the new law. i watched this closely. i'm an american. i'm not partisan. my general motivation is more people vote, that's a good thing. one of the issues in georgia is taking away the rights of
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nonpartisan state officials from supervising the election, right? and allowing partisan whether it state legislatures and others to possibly intervene. i want to given former president trump's attempts to baselessly claim fraud in this election, right, why should people at home have confidence that giving partisan folks the ability to interfere over folks like yourself, right, who stood -- you know, to your credit, you stood on the line and said these are the facts, i'm going to go with it. why should they feel confident it more safe now rather than before? >> well, jim, you're saying that secretary wr-- >> but he's willing to stand up to a republican president, right? >> yeah, but also, i'm a very
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partisan republican, as well. i'll put that out there. it doesn't stop the ability to follow the truth. this is an issue with a lot of disinformation about. this other person in there has to be nonpartisan in a way to fulfill it. they can't have been paid or involved in a campaign. it a very constrained thing. what we're talking about doing in this has nothing to do with certification. the law has not changed one whit on certification. the secretary of state still certifies elections, counties still certify elections. the other thing people talked about is oh, this state election board can step in and by the way, it's a bipartisan board. so your democrat no matter what, the party will appoint somebody and the republican party will appoint somebody regardless who the partisans are elected to the rules. these are for counties that fail voters. this is for counties that have long lines and don't fulfill absentee ballots and couldn't things and lose ballots and those situations and it's a long process. not like you can snap your finger and the county takes
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over. they have to go through a whole process. there is hearings and investigations and can appeal. it will take weeks and months. this is not about changing election results, it's another red herring designed to insight people to fear. addressed is just as strong a political purpose. >> i appreciate you because i followed your career in this. and you have held your line in the midst of partisan attacks from your own party. so, let's keep up the conversation. this is a contentious issue. i hope we can have you on again. >> thank you. you have a great night. coming up this hour, the chairman of the michigan republican party used a particularly caustic term to describe the three top democratic women elected to office in that state. what he said and how one of those women is responding is next.
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it only takes about a minute. wait, a minute? but what have you been doing for the last two hours? ...delegating? oh, good one. move your xfinity services without breaking a sweat. xfinity makes moving easy. go online to transfer your services in about a minute. get started today. the chairman of the michigan republican party is facing backlash tonight after he used a
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term, "witches," i'm quoting, while characterizing the top three democratic women elected to office in that state. governor gretchen whitmer, attorney general danna nestle and secretary of state benson. this is what ron wilder said while speaking to a local republican group on friday. >> made the decision to continue to serve to make sure we had an opportunity to take out those three witches. >> wilder later tweeted he should have, quote, chosen my words more carefully. later at the same event he was asked how to remove two much mitch republican congressmen who voted to impeach the former president, again quoting here, the state gop leader said, quote, other than assassination -- that's a quote -- i have no other way than voting out. a lot to get through tonight. joining me now is one of those women targeted by his words, michigan attorney general dana
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nestle. so, madam attorney general, this is not a small issue in your state. after all, the governor was targeted with an actual terror plot, right? i mean, we've seen this before. when you heard those comments made by ron wiser last week, you tweeted, quote, as a gay, jewish woman, i have long since learned to respond to hateful rhetoric with humor. but as a prosecutor, i know these remarks are certain to inspire further death threats, which will eventually be acted upon. ron wiser will surely react with shock and deny any culpability. so, you have a lot of experience here. these are -- these words are potentially dangerous. are they not? >> i agree entirely. and in fact he followed that up saying we were witches that needed to be burned at the stake. so, he sort of, you know, implied a little bit more later
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on in that sentence. but it's not the first time. i mean, the party, the co-chair, they've called us evil. they've called us the three-headed monster. you know, they go to great efforts to demonize and dehumanize people. and, you know, that's the entire reason why we had to create not just our hate crimes unit but our domestic terrorism unit, which is flooded with death threats against elected leaders. but it's like saying, oh, i didn't know that calling the governor a dictator over and over would incite people to want to kidnap and murder her. i didn't know that calling covid the china virus would inspire people to murder asians. or i didn't know that saying that the election was stolen would cause people, you know, to mount an insurrection against our government. you mean, we know that words matter and that they incite actions. >> i want to ask you this because personally as a
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reporter, i've covered international terrorism for many years, and i see parallels right now in this country in terms of rhetoric but also the threat of domestic terrorists. for folks at home who might look at this and say, well, it's not that big a deal, right? it's america. this is not going to go anywhere. just tell me how you respond to that point and say, this is real, right? i'm curious. you have a lot of experience here. >> well, we know it's real and we see it every day, and we see it in terms of the threats that are made to public officials, threats that are made to the public. these are -- i don't want to say unprecedented times, but certainly in my lifetime i've never seen anything to this extent. and of course as attorney general of the state, i'm sort of privy to more inside knowledge. so, you see the direct nexus between what is said by whether
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they are higher up elected officials or they were party officials. i see their words repurposed later on by those that are involved in actions to actually harm these elected officials or to harm members of the public. so, there is a direct correlation that you can't separate. but the thing is i don't think that this was a slip of the tongue by the michigan share. i think this was poll tested and that they actually looked at this and this was a strategy to get trump supporters out in 2022 in michigan is to demonize us this way and i think the strategy they're going to hold on to. >> folks at home, if you have not seen the video of the group that tried to target the governor of michigan, gretchen whitmer, look it up online because this is real. attorney general dana nestle, we hope you stay safe. thanks for joining us tonight. and we'll be right back.
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> the news continues, so let's hand it over to chris cuomo. >> reburgt and renewal to you and your family this easter season. i am chris cuomo and welcome to "cuomo prime time." this is the time of rebirth and renewal. jews celebrate the angel of death passing over homes of true believerers. the messag