tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 5, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
20:2525.33 >> i why. >> and, again, watching it without sound. at this point did you see what appeared to be someone's -- a reflection in the back of the squad car there? >> counsellor, i did not. it might just be because of the brevity of the video. >> yeah, it's unfortunate. if you look in the upper left-hand corner at the bumper of the squad video. >> use the cursor -- the cursor, the stylus to. >> i forgot will all this fancy technology here.
>> do you see the legs of someone reflecting in. >> yes. >> and so you would agree that this appears to be a short clip from one. officer's body worn cameras on may 25th of 2020? >> yes. >> you've seen these before. you see what appears to be mr. floyd's arm there by the back of the squad car, right? >> yes. >> so i would offer exhibit 1008. >> any objection? >> no objection, your honor. >> 1008 is received. >> and if i may publish. >> on the sidewalk. >> we need you to keep some distance. >> sorry. >> do you hear a voice say we've got an ambulance coming? >> yes.
we'll reconvene around 3:20. thank you. >> welcome to "lead. "i'm jake tapper, and the courtroom just broke there, you saw. we are starting with our breaking news in our national lead today and the very closely watched trial in minnesota just moments ago. you heard the minneapolis police chief testify against his own former officer derek chauvin who is, of course, charged with murdering george floyd last may. police chief arredondo said chauvin did not use a reasonable amount of force when restraining mr. floyd and that his actions went against police training. the chief also testified that officer chauvin violated department policy multiple times, including by not de-escalating the situation and by failing to render medical aid to mr. floyd. this is the same chief who fired chauvin last year calling what happened to george floyd murder. let's get right to cnn's omar
jimenez. he's in minneapolis covering the trial for us. omar, explain what we just saw and heard from the police chief. >> yeah, jake. so this is really the start of week two of testimony here in this trial, and this was a highly anticipated witness here. the current minneapolis police chief arredondo testifying in the trial of derek chauvin, his former officer, and the most critical part of the testimony is when he was asked if he had a belief or an opinion on when the actions chauvin took on may 25th, 2020 should have stopped and critically he said once there was no longer any resistance and clearly when floyd was no longer responsive. to apply that level of force to a person prone, handcuffed behind his back is not part of policy training and not part of the ethics or values of being a minneapolis police officer. we had clues as to what he was going to say based on prior messaging that he put out. he released a letter in the weeks after firing these officers, of course, within 48
hours of thpg happening, calling what happened murder, and then when you come to opening statements of this trial, the prosecutors had said that the chief was going to testify. this was not part of police policy, and specifically they were asked or they asked the chief is this a trained department tactic, and he definitively said it is not, and this also gives the start of what we are going to see over the course of this week. last week was primarily focus on establishing what happened on may 25th. this week will be trying to prove that case of what derek chauvin has pleaded not guilty to, the murder and manslaughter charges. we're going to see that move forward with the use of force dialing in on whether that was necessary and what happened there. we've seen it with the chief now and later on we're going to see it from the commander who heads all of the training from the minneapolis police department. >> all right. omar jimenez, thanks so much. let's discuss with our panel. shan, you say the police chief's testimony is crucial for the prosecution. explain why. >> they need to get that
testimony in to show how he was -- how chauvin was violating the police procedures and training and that's critical to all the convictions but particularly critical if they want to convict him of that second-degree murder channel because that's real going to be a high burden. they need to convince the jury that he knew that he was committing a crime, so the first point is you've got to get to the point of he had to have known, no reasonable police officer would have thought he was complying with police procedure. that's what they are setting this foundation for with the chief's testimony. >> you know, it's interesting. i read a commentary that suggested that policing itself is on trial here, but the chief is saying no, emphasizing how many police policies chauvin broke according to -- to his point of view. there is, of course, a difference between violating policies and knowingly committing a crime, and that's what shan was just talking about.
>> well, first of all, i hope every police officer, every police chief and every police commissioner in the country watches this police chief. this is the professionalism that people have been begging for for 20 or 30 years, at least in my career. he showed an understanding of this balance between trying to, you know, keep order but also trying to keep the trust and respect of a community. you heard him talking about how to deal with people in distress, how to deal with people from the lbgtq, gender began conforming communities. he had a level of command over the full range of what you want from modern policing, and it was on full display for the world. if every police chief acted like this and every police officer followed the rules and the policies and the training from a police chief like this, most of what you see happening in the country wouldn't be happening, and so this -- look, i thought that dish mean, my mouth was hanging open is this guy from
hollywood? where did we get this police chief and the idea that -- i understand now why he -- he was -- had no hesitation about firing those officers because none of what he's talking about is something the officers were doing. >> shapp, it's interesting. we've done this a lot, covered a lot of trials and obviously there's been a lot of focus on abuse by police but i can't recall a police chief ever testifying against a former officer. it doesn't happen that often. >> i agree, jake. this police chief, i'm not sure the timing, but he did wear in the case where an officer shot an australian woman in the alleyway. i agree with van. he's really what we hope to see in police leadership. he's unafraid to call out what is wrong and completely
unjustifiable. i thought what was interesting about the notion of police culture, one of the thing he admits to is police officers do get irritated with citizens properly using their first amendment rights to film them. i think that's an interesting display of what happens in that police culture because that's something they should be trained on. that shouldn't be irritating to them. that's not obstruction. >> van, yesterday i spoke with minnesota democratic congresswoman ilhan omar who is obviously one of the many people watching this trial very intently. i want you to take a listen to what she had to say about the emotions and the community in minneapolis-st. paul are going through. >> it's been, you know, retraumatizing. it's been really hard. i've tried to avoid watching. i know a lot of us here in minneapolis have done that, but it's -- it's hard, right? you also want to know the details and want to hear from
the witnesses. >> our own nia-malika henderson wrote a very powerful op-ed how she's not watching the trial because it's triggering to use the word. you've talked about the emotional stress on many americans, perhaps especially in the black community. >> well, i mean, it's -- it's terrible, and i think that for those of us, african-americans and our allies who when you see a george floyd and see all the community members, you're seeing your friends, you're seeing your family members and you're seeing yourself and a year later we're still trying to figure fought this is a crime it just takes a lot out of you. these are police officers that have body cameras. why should they be mad that civilians also have phone cameras? mean, you're dealing with a clash over and over again, and most of the time if you're african-american you know no matter what you have done and who you are you're going to be on the losing side so to have
this over and over again on television is very stressful. i will say today they didn't have to rely so much on the videos. today was easy to watch because you have a police chief acting like a chief of police, not -- not somebody who is going to be, you know, the excuse-maker in chief but who is going to be the chief of the police and the person who will make sure the police will obey the law as much as the citizens obey the law enforcement today i think was an easier day to watch than the others. >> thanks to both of you. appreciate it. some medical experts say the united states about to be hit with a fourth surge while others say that's not the case. that's next, and then only cnn allowed inside myanmar where people are being arrested just for talking to journalists following that country's military coup. we're going to go there live. stay with us. ♪ limu emu & doug ♪ liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. thank you! hey, hey, no, no limu, no limu! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ open talenti and raise the jar.
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cnn analysis. 40% of all adults in the u.s. have had at least one dose according to the cdc but with hospitalizations rising and new variants spreading one expert warns that the u.s. is at the beginning of a fourth surge potentially as cnn's alexandra field reports. >> reporter: air travel up more than tenfold from a year ago on sunday. the surge fueled by the holiday weekend and an itch felt everywhere to get back out thereto. >> i feel like because people are just probably tireded of being at home. >> reporter: at so many rush to push the pandemic behind them new covid-19 cases are rising across the country for a fourth week running according to the cdc. >> we know that these increases are due in part to more highly transmissible variants. >> reporter: but health experts are still divided over whether we'll see a true fourth wave. >> we really are in a category 5 hurricane status with regard to the rest world. at this point we'll see in the next two weeks the highest number of cases reported
globally since the beginning of the pan demic. >> the spread infection in the u.s. now happening among young people. >> what we're seeing is pockets of infection around the country particularly in younger people who haven't been vaccinated. >> reporter: former f-did i commissioner dr. scott gotlieb confident the increasing rate of vaccinations will head off another surge. >> i don't think it's going to be a true fourth wave. >> reporter: but that doesn't mean it's time to let up on the precautions. >> do your part. wear a mask. socially distant, get vaccinated when it's your turn. >> reporter: more americans are for the first time over the weekend, more than 4 million shots were reported a ministered in a single day. nearly one in four adults are fully vaccinated. for them dr. anthony fauci says updated guidance on what you should and shouldn't do will come when the data it is in. >> you're protecting yourself and you're very, very unlikely will get sick if you get vaccinated but also it will give you a freedom of getting back to some degree of normality. >> reporter: long-awaited but amid so much suffering still, a
new model estimates covid-19 has taken a parent from nearly 40,000 u.s. children. jake, that number represents so much heartbreak. it also represents some of the disparity we've reported on so often over the course of the pandemic, black children make up just 124 14% of the children's pop haitian in the united states. they make up 20% of the children who have lost a parent to covid-19. jake? >> thanks so much. a member of the fda vaccines advisory committee joins me now. doctor, good to see you. michael off the home says that the u.s. is just at the beginning of this fourth surge but not everyone agrees. the former fda commissioner scott gotlieb says the rate of vaccination should be enough to protect against a fourth surge. what do you think? >> i actually agree with dr. gotlieb. there are a few things working against this virus. one is increased vaccination rates and two is a significant amount of the population, 25%
has already been infected with the virus so they are likely to be immune and three is the weather. if you look last summer, the number of deaths from this virus decreased for when it first came in, stayed down until we came into fall and winter, so i think those three things work against there being a fourth surge. that said it really doesn't matter. we still have tens of thousands of cases every day and hundreds and more than 1,000 deaths every day. that's enough to scare people so we either get vaccinated or if we haven't had a chance to get a vaccine yet wear a mask and social distance. >> what would a fourth surge in the u.s. look like were it to happen given the fact that 18% of the population is already fully vaccinated? i mean, most of them that are vaccinated are 56 and older so would it mean less death, less hospitalization? what would a fourth surge mean? >> i think it would look like more cases, perhaps more hospitalizations, but i don't think you'll see an increase deaths. that's basically michigan's
story, right you? see a dramatic increase in cases in michigan but not deaths in michigan because as you know, about 55% of seniors, people over 65 are already vaccinated. >> do you think the rate of vaccination is giving people a false sense of hope given the fact that there are these variants spreading? >> right, and we're not there yet. i mean, we're going to need to get to 58% population immunity either by population or immunity. you're right. i think this vaccines right now will protect against severe critical disease caused by the variants but, you know, may not protect against mild or moderate disease as has been shown in some studies. >> what can you tell us about the new variant strain first identified in india? it's been reported in california. what do we know about it? >> right. it does look like it has the kind of mutations that put it into the variant of concern category, like the south african strain and the brazilian strain and the new york strain.
to date we don't know that the variants have completely escaped for immunity, where if you've been naturally infected or immunized you may be in a icu or die. that hasn't happened yet so we haven't cross that had line yet. >> always good to see you. thank you so much, and i know you're happy about the phillies. >> it's a law pitting the gop against baseball and coca-cola, another multi-million dollar businesses. i'll talk to the man in charge ever georgia's elections about the state's new legislation. plus, donors say they were duped into giving the trump administration far more money than they thought they had signed up for. why the campaign is refunding tens of millions of dollars. that's ahead.
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we're back with the politics lead and the face-off between the georgia gop over the new restrictive voting laws. major league baseball moved it out of the state and executives of delta and coca-cola. the law gives voters less time to request absentee voters and imposes a new voter i.d. requirement and bans officials from sending absentee ballot applications to all voters. for in-person voting it makes it
illegal for non-election workers to hand out food and water and bans mobile investigate sites unless the governor declares an emergency. now there are some other ways in which the law allows expanded early voting but let's talk about it all with secretary of state republican brad raffensperger. good to see you. republicans say that this law is necessary to boost election integrity, but as we saw november's presidential election in georgia you had record turnout you and the governor and the lieutenant governor said repeatedly there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have changed the election in any way. why did the election laws need to be changed? it seemed like your elections and the runoffs in january were a huge success. >> going back in history, stacey abrams never conceded defeat and we had the same thing happen in 2020, this time on the republican side, and in both
cases they -- the elections were run fairly, honestly and accurately, but there's a shot to the confidence of voters and the accuracy, and so on one side the left was saying it wasn't a fair fight and then in 2020 then the republicans were saying the same thing so now we really needed to address confidence-building measures, and i looked at the bill. there's many good things in the bill and i've also heard your beginning, and you make viewpoints from the other side, but at end. day it's never been easier to vote in the state of georgia and we still have accessibility. we also have balanced that out with security. >> i know that you have issues with stacey abrams and what she said after she lost the gubernatorial race in 2018 but let's be clear here this. law is happening because of the big lie spread by former president trump, his enablers in congress, maga media, all of this stuff that this election was stolen from him t.resulted in that horrific attack on the capitol on january 6th.
the election was not stolen from him. you've affirmed this many times as well, received threats because of your integrity on this issue. why are you willing to go along in any way with that law? does that not lend credence to the fact that -- to this big lie? >> there are slow good measures in the bill. one of those is we've been sued both by the democrats and republicans on signature match so we've taken that off the table and now you use a very objective measure of dries ends number and birthday, day, month and year. it's vittert lit same process as they are using currently in minnesota so it's real something that's used in red states and blue states and it's good policy and i support that measure. >> after the ceo of delta criticized the law the georgia house of representatives voted to strip delta of a tax break worth about $35 million.
the senate didn't vote on it so basically the measure died. you're a republican official. should elected officials in the state be using their governmental power to punish corporations if ceos criticize laws they don't like? >> georgia's had a long history encouraging businesses to move here, to expand here and my method to be really to reach out and have conversations with ceos. i'm very grateful that delta you know, is here. i'm grateful that we have ups, home depot, a lot of great corporations, coca-cola because they are creating jobs for georgians. also the international headquarters, and so i would like to have more conversations, really explain the bill and where there are issues of concern, sit down with them and just sit down and reason with them, but we've expanded early voting. we've gone from a minimum of now 16 days up to 17 days plus two on sunday, so that's not been heard at all. we've also made sure that the counties are going to shorten lines. we'll have a maximum of one-hour wait time.
in the november election after we worked with the counties and gave them some objective measures and objective criteria, we had an average of two-minute wait time on tuesday afternoon on election day. that's the type of performance we need to see at all 159 counties. >> but with respect, don't you think it's an abuse of power for the georgia legislature to strip delta of a tax break because they don't like the ceo criticizing them. i mean, that's just dish can't imagine -- if that became the standard in this country, legislators saying oh, you're going to criticize my bill, well, therefore i'm going to -- to do this from my position of power because i don't like your criticism, i mean, that's -- that's hideous. >> georgia's motto is wisdom, justice, moderation, and i believe that calm voices, conversations are much better. i think since the november election i can take the gap but
i can also still respond appropriately but also with sound judgment and really with the facts. at the end of the day i think that's much more helpful for georgia. >> this law also targets you. it undermines your power as secretary of state. you are no longer the chair of the elections board. instead, it's going to be an individual that the legislature appoints to that position so now the state election board has the power in addition to suspend county election officials. i have to say this part of it seems like it was designed to avoid what happened last time when you demonstrated integrity. you refused to undermine the election even though you were being pressured by donald trump and republican officials. this seems like setting the stage for an unelected bureaucrat to help corrupt politicians undermine an election in 2022 or 2024.
>> that's one piece of legislation that's bad policy. when you have an unelected chairman who is going to hold him accountable? what i do as secretary of state i'm held accountable to the voters. i stated my point. i don't support that piece of legislation. the speaker has actually stated his. he wanted to use that as retribution for me mailing out all -- to all registered active voters absentee ballot applications when we were in the middle of a pandemic. i think i did the right thing and i'd do it again. >> don't you think that your party is confronting a situation where instead of trying to appeal a more diverse america that is happening all over the country but certainly in georgia, north carolina, arizona, instead of trying to appeal to those voters, and by the way donald trump showed that he did have an ability to
increase his vote with black voters and latino voters and other groups, instead of doing that, they are trying to make it harder for those people to vote. isn't that really what's going on? >> well, when we make any movement on election bills, we need to make sure we touch all the corners, all the stakeholders. that's why when we had house bill 360 two years ago i reached out to the king center and talked to bernice king and had her test the machines in private testing in our office, secretary of state's office but then we took the machines at king center. she's very gracious to us, but i wanted to make sure that we had rapport with our key stake holders. we have a legacy in georgia that isn't very bright at times, and we need to be very mindful of that. that sometimes what we say carries great consequence and they may read into it things we didn't mean and, therefore, i tried to be very cautious and very mindful of my speech and very respectful of people who have done a lot more long before i was here in georgia. >> georgia secretary of state
brad raffensperger, thank you so much for your time. appreciate it. >> thank, jake. cnn on the ground live in one of the most mysterious places in the world after a bloody military coup claims hundreds of lives including those of children. that's next. aliens are real, alright. there's just too much evidence. kill weeds not the lawn with roundup for lawns products. [sfx: psst psst]
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in our world leader, a cnn exclusive. we're on the ground in myanmar following a coup as the military detains thousands of protesters as part of their brutal and bloody crackdown including at least 11 people who spoke to cnn just minutes before getting arrested. protests across the country started after the military overthrew the elected government in february, and since then one advocating group says more than
500 people have been killed, including children. the military cut off internet access and no international journalist has been allowed into the country until now. cnn's clarissa ward is live for us in myanmar with the permission of the military. they are escorting the team on the ground. clarissa, explain why it's so important that you're there. >> reporter: well, jake, i want to underscore that no independent international journalists have opinion allowed in this country in the last two months since the bloody coup took place. as you said, rights groups saying more than 550 people killed. this is a massive protest movement that really came about after the military ousted myanmar's democratically elected government, the people coming out into the streets in the millions, and the more they protested and the more animated those protests became, the more the military tried to suppress
them. the military here really does not have the popular support of the people of myanmar, so we felt it was essential even though it is a difficult situation when you're in a country with the permission of the in this case the military, the main oppressors in the situation. we felt it was very important to be on the ground, to see for ourselves whatever we could and to tell the story of the people of myanmar. jake? >> what's it been like to report there? have you had the freedom to report whatever you want to report? >> so, we've had the freedom to report what we want to report. as you can tell right now, we're going live to you from here in myanmar. we are though very controlled in terms of how we can move around, who we can talk to. i'm here in a military compound. we wanted to stay in a hotel, and we were told simply that that was not possible. every single place we go to we go with a huge amount of security. we have minders following our every move. they are constantly filming on
their iphones every conversation we have, and mows conversations, by the way, are real limited because we haven't had a huge amount of access to ordinary people from myanmar, and i just want to give you a little bit of a sense if i can get this clip of what it's like trying to report here. take a look. >> what's this poster here? we see we support crph. >> okay. >> with the three-finger salute. that's from people who are against the military. is that saying that the people in this area are against the military? >> yeah. the some demonstrators go around and shout demonstrations. >> reporter: can we maybe talk to some of the people and ask them? i'm wondering, there's some people over there. maybe we could go over there and
talk to them. >> we the security forces told me we should stay here for our further. >> for our security. >> reporter: one, two, three, six trucks full of soldiers accompanying our every move. and i talked there about that three-finger salute, the so-called hunger games salute. this gesture has become the symbol really of resistance against the military coup, and even when we were out on the streets with all that military -- military people around us. people would come up and any available opportunity and flash that salute. they want the world to know what they are going through and and
tell their story. >> why would the military let you in. >> the military has their side of the story too. they want the world to know that the protesters have become much more violent. the protesters are using molotov cocktails. they are using slingshots which, again, is no match for the assault rifles that the myanmar military is using but they are trying to cast the movement as a violent mob of anarchists that needs to be suppressed. they took us to a number of factories that have been burned down. they said they said they were responsible. the protesters said they were not responsible but that's very much the narrative that will take shape, that somehow it's the protesters and when you take a look at the protests that are turning into massacres you can see that one side has a human
advantage terms of its arms and of its level of, you know, weaponry and funding and there's certainly no match, jake. >> you sat down with a senior member of the military leadership in myanmar. no other journalist has been able to do that. the what did you ask him? >> well, we had a lot of things to ask him. it was a pretty up comfortable interview. we wanted to particularly drill down on the number of innocent civilians who have been killed. more than 550 protesters, pro-democracy protesters, most of them unarmed. among them 44 children, jake. that's according to the united nations, so we really wanted to get some sense on how on earth the military could justify this. we want to him specifically at one point with a very specific piece of video that shows a young activist being killed in cold blood to give him a sense to explain how on earth such a brutal killing could possibly be
justified. take a look. this is cctv footage of a 17-year-old going past a police convoy. you can see the police shoot him on the spot. his autopsy later said that he suffered brain injury as a result of a cycling accident which i think we can all see is not a cycling accident. how do you explain this? >> translator: if that kind of thing occurred, we will have an investigation into it. we will investigate if the video is real or not. there may be some videos which look suspicion, but our forces do not have any intention to shoot innocent people. we will investigate if it's real or not.
>> we also pushed him hard on what the game plan is here. how can this violence possibly end, this awful cycle of violence and when will the people get to have their voiced heard? he said that the military's plan has always been to allow for another round of elections sometime in either the next year or possibly up to two years, but it's really important to underscore here, jake, that the whole reason that this coup took place in the first place is because there were free and fair elections back in november. there were independent election monitors there who did not see any problems in terms of fraud or any significant problems, and that election was won in a landslide by the nld party, the military's party suffered a humiliating defeat and that's what appropriate tated this coup in the first play, so i think people are very unwilling to believe the idea that there will be another round of free and fair elections and that their candidate, their choice who is
right now under arrest in prison aung san suu kyi will be allowed to become president if she did indeed win again, or frankly no one believes that she will be allowed to run again because she is facing these trumped-up charges. >> clarissa, tell us about the people who talked to you and then were zebs subsequently arrested. >> you know, jake, this is always your worst nightmare as a journalist, right? we were finally able to negotiate access to a public space, not a controversial space. it was a space that the military actually picked, but minute we got to this market and we were just shooting video of people going about their daily business, once they saw their cameras and they knew that cnn was in town and they had been writing a lot about it on social media, a lot of people came up to us. they flashed that three-finger hunger games salute that i told about, they talked about wanting justice. threat talked about wanting democracy. they talked about wanting freedom. more than that, so many talked
about how frightened they are, jake. soldiers coming into their neighborhoods every single night dragging dead bodies away, and what we found out was that shortly after this trip to the market at least eight people by cnn's count were arrested for the simple crime of just having spoken to us and said that they were afraid. we pushed the general really hard on that. he admitted that 11 people in total were arrested. he said that they shouldn't have been arrested to give him credit and that they would be released and we can now confirm that they have indeed been released which is a huge relief for us and also we're grateful to the military for releasing them. >> and we should note, i mean, when people talk to you or they flash you the -- the hunger games salute, threet-fingered hunger games salute that i'm holding up right now in solidarity with them, i should say. they are -- that's an act of civil disobedience at great risk. what other acts or forms of civil disobedience have you
witnessed? >> well, this is it, just it. the military is trying to control the country through brute force, but what they can't do is make people work, for example, so there's a huge civil disobedience movement. most of the country's workers are striking. they are not going to work, whether it's ministries, banks. you go by the banks here. there's long, long lines outside of every single paining. that means that the economy is grinding to a halt. there's garbage in the streets. it's very difficult for the military to kind of keep up with this charade that this is a functioning society now. as long as people refuse to, would. as long as you don't have the support of your own populace, and let's be very clear here. we've seen no evidence that the military has any real popular support here in mine marks and as long as that conditions, even if you are shooting at non-protests, even if you are killing children, it becomes very difficult and challenging to actually run a country, jake.
>> yeah. clriesa ward in-mile-per-hour mar for us, thank you so much. really appreciate your courage. >> thank you. make america gristed again, a new report says the trump campaign ripped off millions from his own supporters, some left with drained bank accounts. that story next. open talenti and raise the jar. to gelato made from scratch. raise the jar to all five layers. raise the jar to the best gelato... you've ever tasted. not everybody wants talethe same thing.jar. that's why i go with youliberty mutuald. — they customize my car insurance so i only pay for what i need. 'cause i do things a bit differently. wet teddy bears! wet teddy bears here! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
one of the grand hypocracies of the maga movement is how often its leaders fleeced the very folks they claimed to be fighting for. case in point, throughout 2020 many trump supporters thought they were making a one-time donation to the trump campaign only to find out later
that their bank accounts were being repeatedly drained leaving some of these so-called men and women unable to pay their basic wills. the trump campaign donation site tricked donors with shady
language and pre-checked boxes into make rhett curing donations setting off a flurry of fraud complaints and forced refunds as first report by the "new york times." a look now at how the former president bank rolled his campaign even after he was vote out of office. >> i was mad. i was sure it was some sort of a scam. >> reporter: last september russ blatt's brother stacy contributed $500 to the trump campaign. wan month stacy blatt was bouncing checks, his bank account drained. >> we saw the six withdrawals of $500 totals $3,000 that had been taken from his account starting in mid-september and over the course of a month it -- they took $3,000. >> reporter: russ had become his brother's financial power of attorney due to his father's failing health. the blatts realized then that stacy was signed up to make recurring donations to the trump campaign.
stacy blatt died of cancer in february. >> they just kept taking money out until there was no money left. >> reporter: stacy was not alone. a "new york times" investigation revealing the alarming extent and reach of a calculated trump campaign scheme to get supporters signed up for reoccurring donations by default and later adding a second pre-checked box to double a donor's contribution. according to "the times" the trump campaign internally called it a money bomb, a tactic that experts say is intentionally designed to to be easily overlooked. when supporters contributed online a yellow box to make a donation came pre-checked requiring donors who wanted to make a one-time donation to opt out and it wasn't easy to spot. >> he didn't remember seeing anything like that. he thought he was giving a one-time $500 donation. it seemed like it was deceitful. >> reporter: thousands overlooked it and the trump campaign ran with it. >> in the fall or the late
summer as the trump campaign faced financial pressures they made a real important change is they took that box and instead of taking donations out every month they began taking them out every week. >> reporter: banks and credit card companies have been flooded with calls from donor, "the times" reports leaving the trump campaign and rnc to refund a massive amount of money. the "new york times" reporting that from the period of mid-october through december of 2020 the trump campaign and the rnc made more than $530,000 refunds, amounting to more than $6 had million. by comparison the biden campaign and dnc refunded 37,000 donations amounting to $5.6 million. >> we did very well with the fund-raising stuff but a lot came in small donations. >> the boost of money that came with the recurring donations came when president trump was in need of it the most just weeks before the election and short an cash. >> so that money that they took from donors through recurring
donations really does add up functionally to being a de facto loan with no interest from their own supporters. >> reporter: and refund only after the election with funds the campaign collected to promote baseless claims of election fraud. democrats used these same sorts of programs but not to the extent of how the trump campaign managed this. now the former president trump is pushing back on the "new york times" report. in a statement he says the fund-raising efforts were all done legally, and he adds, quote, many people were so enthusiastic that they gave over and over and in certain cases
where they gave too much we would promptly refund their contribution or overall dispute rate was less than 1% of total online donations adding, jake, he says, a low number. >> mm-hmm. >> thanks so much. we'll be right back.
according to the capitol police union chair calling on congress to hire hundreds of new police officers. one capitol police officer was killed just on friday. another right around january 6th. the union says they are staffed below the authorized level, and the shortage hats only been exacerbated by the january 6th insurrection. our coverage on cnn continues right now. i'll see you tomorrow. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the second week of the derek chauvin murder trial is now under way. we just heard from perhaps the highest profile witness yet, the minneapolis police chief arredondo who fired the officer chauvin soon after george floyd's death. during several hours of testimony the chief told the court that chauvin absolutely violated his department's neck