Return to Transcripts main page
Report Indicates Attempted Cyber Attacks to Influence U.S. Election Tied to Russia; Five GOP Senators State They Cannot Vote for Current Senate Health Care Reform Bill; Jury Deadlocked in Samuel Dubose Police Shooting Case; Bill Cosby Reportedly Going on Tour to Discuss Sexual Assault. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 24, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:35] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning, and welcome to Saturday. So grateful for your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. Welcome to the CNN newsroom.
President Trump is facing two big stories this morning. First Russian hacking allegations reportedly pointing directly to the Kremlin, and an uphill struggle to get enough Republican votes for his signature health care plan.
PAUL: In about weeks he could be face-to-face with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 meeting in Germany. But right now he's calling out the Obama administration. As this "Washington Post" report suggests, former president Obama knew about Moscow's attempts to hack the U.S. elections but didn't do enough to stop them. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election and he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that. The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even you know, before the election. And I hardly see it. It's an amazing thing to me. In other words the question is, if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Meanwhile, more skeptical senators are weighing in on the Republican health care plan. Take a look at all of them there. Right now it doesn't look as though they have enough votes to pass the Senate. A fifth GOP senator, Dean Heller, has come out against it, saying, quote, "It's simply not the answer."
BLACKWELL: CNN's Ryan Nobles is at the White House live for us. Ryan, what is President Trump saying about the health care plan this morning?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, the president up this morning tweeting, and talking about the GOP health care plan. And he's trying to make a pitch that the Republicans need to push this bill through because of the problems with Obamacare. Look at what the president tweeted this morning. He said, quote, "Democrats slam GOP health care proposal as Obamacare premiums and deductibles increase by over 100 percent. Remember, keep your doctor and keep your plan?"
But what's interesting about the president's tweet here this morning is he's going after Democrats. His real problem, though, is with Republicans. As you guys pointed out, there are at least five Republicans that have voiced concerns about this bill, saying they can't support it in its current form, and then another two who are also very concerned about it. Among them is Dean Heller. He's a moderate from Nevada up for reelection in 2018. He gave a press conference yesterday where he slammed this health care proposal. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DEAN HELLER, (R) NEVADA: I'm telling you right now I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. You have to protect Medicaid expansion states. That's what I want. Make sure we're that taken care of here in the state of Nevada.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: So essentially what the president's argument is this morning in a tweet is that they need to pass this health care reform because Obamacare is worse. But it's some of these Republicans that are making the argument that perhaps that's not true. Even the Republican senators that are opposed to this bill have described it as Obamacare- lite. This is really the problem now for Republicans, can they bring together these warring factions of their own party, the conservatives on one side, the moderates on the other, to make enough changes to this bill to push it through? Keep in mind, Victor, Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on this bill before the Fourth of July recess. That would mean they need to vote on it by Friday.
BLACKWELL: Five working days there, Ryan. Thank you so much.
PAUL: Let's talk about the Russia hacking story now this morning. Rebecca Berg, CNN political analyst and national political reporter for Real Clear Politics is with us as well as Ron Brownstein, CNN senior political analyst and senior editor for "The Atlantic." Thank you both so much for being with us here.
First of all, Ron, to you, again, in this "Washington Post" this morning they're saying that in early August the CIA told President Obama that President Putin specifically himself directed the election cyber-hacking. Your reaction to that report?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think we've had intimations of this before. This is a remarkably detailed report. And I think it just goes to show how uncertain the Obama administration was about how to respond. Certainly the president -- it's not true that the president did nothing. There have been indications before he talked directly to Vladimir Putin. They made their displeasure known in other ways. They were focused I think primarily on the question of safeguarding the actual voting. That would seem to be the top priority throughout this.
[10:05:07] And there's the other kind of cloud hanging over all of this was their fear of being seen as interfering in the election. And I think the pivotal moment probably in this whole story is when he the intelligence chiefs go up to the Congress in September of 2016 looking for kind of bipartisan support for a stern response. And instead Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, basically says he doesn't believe the underlying evidence to begin with. And I think -- I think that kind of cloud hung over them throughout, the fear that if they acted, they would be seen as meddling in a very contentious election.
PAUL: Yes. Now, Donald Trump, remember, came out, the president came out several hours ago, saying "Just out, the Obama administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia, did nothing about it. Why?" So you spoke to the fact that he, it's not that he didn't do anything about it. He did do some things about it. But let's listen together to Jeh Johnson, the former homeland security secretary, of course, as he was talking to the House Intel Committee about why they didn't go public with this at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: One of the candidates, as you'll recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way. And so we were concerned that by making the statement, we might in and of itself, be challenging the integrity of the election process itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So he's basically saying what you were alluding to, Ron, that they didn't want to compromise the election or be seen as doing so. Rebecca, is there, though, something that could have been done about this in the Obama administration?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, certainly if the president had raised this issue and talked about it publicly in a more sort of aggressive way than he did, this would have elevated the issue beyond what it was and maybe lent it some more credibility, because during this election it became a political football between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She was suggesting in her campaign of course that he was a pawn of Russia, that his campaign was being used by Russia and they were trying to promote his campaign, which of course we now know to be true.
But Donald Trump at the same time was talking about a rigged election. He was talking about the hacking being completely a hoax. So you had these two, it was sort of a he said/she said dynamic. If President Obama had started talking about this in a more proactive way, he would have elevated perhaps this discussion about Russia hacking beyond the normal campaign noise. But at the same time, there was that concern in the administration that that would look like it was politically motivated, like he was putting his thumb on the scale. And then you also had concerns about just public faith in the election
process in general. And when you had Donald Trump out there talking about a rigged election, having Democrats and the president come out and say, well, Russia is also trying to interfere in this election, that wouldn't necessarily restore the public's faith in whatever the outcome was going to be.
PAUL: We should point out there's no evidence that it actually affected the outcome of the election. I want to be clear about that. But now as we look forward to you know, a lot of people saying we've known Russia has done this for years in terms of their hacking, didn't know that the U.S. was immune to it. Let's listen to Representative William Hurd from Texas and what he says about moving forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. WILLIAM HURD, (R) TEXAS: An attack on the DNC is an attack on all of us. And this was an attempt, a covert influence operation, and we should be making sure that we're talking about, how do we do a counter covert influence? This is something that we've shown that we're not prepared for, and the Russians are going to do it again. They've been doing it for a couple of decades in eastern Europe. They did it in our election last time, and we should expect to see them again in '18.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So Ron, any indication that the Trump administration has a plan to thwart more Russian intervention?
BROWNSTEIN: Quite the opposite. One of the most remarkable things about all the congressional hearings so far is the attorney general of the United States testifying that he has not had any briefing on the underlying threat of Russian interference in the election.
I think also we have to be very careful when we talk about the impact because I think what you referred to is it had no impact on the outcome. You meant it did not alter the actual votes. But whether the disinformation and the leaking affected the way that voters made their choice, even if Russians did not manipulate the votes results themselves, that is a very different question.
I just go back to the critical congressional role here, and I think that when the history of this period is written, I think history is going to look back on the pivotal role of Mitch McConnell in so many of the choices that have really redirect, reshaped the direction of the country. The blockade on the nomination of Merrick Garland, the decision this week to unveil without hearings or any committee action a health care bill that could take health care from 20 million people, an unprecedented, I think, process for a major Senate legislation.
[10:10:09] And then this pivotal moment when the intelligence community was looking for a bipartisan kind of statement of support for defending the integrity of the American electoral system. He immediately kind of put it in a partisan lens and said I question the underlying evidence. And by the way, if the administration had done more, there would be no
question I think that Donald Trump during the campaign would have been attacking them for precisely what Rebecca said, arguing they're attempting to put their thumb on the scale, calling it fake news. So it's got to be kind of an ultimate example of crocodile tears now for him to be saying they didn't do enough last year when you can imagine how he would have reacted if they did.
PAUL: But it does make people wonder what's going to happen moving forward to make sure 2018 isn't affected, 2020 isn't affected. Rebecca, we know next month he's going to be face to face with the G- 20 in Germany with President Putin. How should President Trump approach him?
BERG: We know when the president met with Russian officials in the Oval Office just recently, he didn't raise this issue with them. He didn't mention anything, according to the reporting we have, about this meeting with Sergey Kislyak and the Russian foreign minister. We don't have any reporting to suggest that President Trump even gave them a stern talking to about the Russian interference in the U.S. elections.
And so it doesn't really suggest that President Trump, that this issue would be top of mind for him when he's having a discussion face-to- face with Vladimir Putin. And let's remember that although President Trump seems newly interested in this issue now that he has seen these reports that President Obama maybe didn't do enough to address Russian hacking in the moment and Russian interference in the moment during the election, President Trump has called this a hoax. He has suggested that it's all something that has been created, so to speak, by Democrats as a political tool. So he hasn't previously really seemed concerned about the Russian interference at all. And because he does feel that it would suggest that, or question the legitimacy of his victory, he doesn't really like to talk about this as a potential issue.
PAUL: Really don't know that it's so much about the outcome of the election, but national security issue perhaps more so. Rebecca Berg, Ron Brownstein, so grateful to have both of you here, thank you.
BERG: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: The president firing back after a fifth Republican senator comes out against the Senate GOP health care bill.
PAUL: Is the measure going to suffer an embarrassing defeat? Will the president keep pushing for a change? We're going to talk to one of his staunchest supporters, Jack Kingston, about where they go from here.
BLACKWELL: Plus, Stephen Colbert having a good time on Russian television. His big announcement, and what surprised him most about his visit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": To the beautiful and friendly, I don't understand why no members of the Trump administration and --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:17:27] BLACKWELL: Add another senator to the list of Republicans saying no to their bill to replace Obamacare. There are now five Republicans who say they cannot support the bill in its current form. GOP leaders can only afford to lose two members of their caucus in order for the bill to pass by their self-imposed July Fourth deadline. The latest voice to oppose, Senator Dean Heller of Nevada. A blue state Republican, Democrats are targeting his seat in 2018. He spoke about his problems with the bill. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HELLER: I'm telling you right now I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. You have to protect Medicaid expansion states. That's what I want. Make sure we're that taken care of here in the state of Nevada.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN political commentator Jack Kingston. Jack, good morning to you.
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Senator Heller also said that one of the biggest lies in health care is that your premiums are going down with this piece of legislation. There isn't anything in this piece of legislation that will lower your premiums. You say to that what?
KINGSTON: Well, I say there are mechanisms that let the market play a bigger role, which will bring down the cost, for example, expansion of health savings accounts. And then letting individuals actually not have a mandate but letting them be incentivized by tax credits. I believe that's going to put more competition in it.
You've got to remember there's something like 1,200 counties right now where there's only one exchange. And when you talk about premium increases, the average exchange increase, the average since inception is 105 percent. Right now the state of Maine is looking at a 40 percent increase, Delaware looking at 33 percent, Michigan at 31 percent.
So premiums are going up. Where we are right now is not sustainable. And I understand Senator Heller's issue with Medicaid expansion states, they're in a different situation than states that did not. But I think giving states more flexibility, block granting Medicaid and letting them have the ability to run it themselves is going to bring down the cost of Medicaid as the administration will be less.
BLACKWELL: Jack, let me jump in there, because we're still days out from the Congressional Budget Office's, their estimate, their score of this bill, how much it will cost, how many people potentially could lose coverage because of the legislation. What role do you expect that will play? Already you've got five no's, and three who are considering leaning no.
KINGSTON: Well, you know, I think it is still very fluid.
[10:20:00] But I've personally spoken to Rand Paul and to Ted Cruz about where we are as a party, what our promises are on repeal and replace. And both of them have said we want a bill, we just don't want this bill in its current form. And when members are saying that, what they're saying you've got to move a little bit closer to my philosophy or my state's needs or whatever. So I think Dean Heller was very adamant and probably, I don't know if we can get his vote. But I think the others are still in play. And you know people like Rob Portman, he wants more money for opioids, and I think we can get there.
BLACKWELL: The problem is if you move too far to get Heller's vote, you lose Ted Cruz. If you move to Ted Cruz, you may lose Heller.
Let me get to another element here. Let's put up a tweet, guys. This is from a pro-Trump super PAC. This is America-first policies targeting Senator Heller. "Hold Senator Dean Heller accountable for turning his back on voters after a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, #Hellervoteyes." As I said at the top, this is a vulnerable blue state Republican. They have a narrow margin in the Senate. Is this appropriate?
KINGSTON: I think it is. You know, politics is a very tough, and freedom of speech allows groups to come in there from all sides. You get attacked from the right and the left. But that's what you're paid to do, and sometimes passing legislation, you're going to have some members who, it he could each cost them their job. But you really still --
BLACKWELL: And potentially Republicans, the majority. Is that worth it?
KINGSTON: It's potentially. But remember, there are far more Democrats who are on the spot than there are Republicans as respects the Senate. I think it's something like 25 Democrats seats that are up.
But we've seen this dance. And it's not a dance, it's not something unique to Obamacare. But in the House, every time you pick up five votes, you lose three. So it's a matter of math, which direction does Mitch McConnell move to.
BLACKWELL: Jack, let me jump to another issue here. The White House started this week with its first on-camera briefing in eight days, ended it with a live audio, no pictures briefing. Why is the White House going to these lengths to prevent just on-camera, traditional briefing. We had to send a Supreme Court sketch artist over there. Why did this happen?
KINGSTON: I don't think it's permanent. I think that the White House is trying to figure out what is a better format, what maybe a way to get a fair shake by some of the adversaries in the press. But I don't think this is going to last that long.
BLACKWELL: But what's the point? Why is this happening?
KINGSTON: I think the president wants to be sure that his message isn't just, you know, when he goes out and 56 percent of Americans right now say that they're tired of hearing about Russia, I think you saw it in the Karen Handel campaign where John Ossoff was running anti-Trump, Russian collusion kind of campaign, and people are sick of it. And I think the White House is saying you know, we want to be talking about infrastructure, health care, tax reform, other issues. But the press does seem to be obsessed with Russia. Even though we've had everybody say from Democrats to Republicans there was no collusion.
BLACKWELL: It's not as if they say anything different. It's just live pictures or audio on tape or live audio and no pictures, no audio, and we have got to send a sketch artist. The American people deserve to see their leaders in person and on camera. Jack Kingston --
KINGSTON: I give it three more days, maybe five.
BLACKWELL: All right, we'll check in next weekend. Thanks so much.
KINGSTON: Yes, sir.
PAUL: There is a desperate search under way in China this morning where more than 120 people are missing after a landslide. Take a look at some of the latest pictures we're getting in here. According to Chinese state media, five bodies have been found in that rubble. Emergency responses have been activated. More than 1,000 people are on the scene, they're digging as you can see there, through the debris and the mud and the rubble there. The landslide hit a village in the mountains, burying at least 60 homes.
BLACKWELL: Still to come, consider this -- there's a journalist who says that Russia is practicing cyber-attacks in Ukraine that could potentially be used here in the U.S. We'll have that journalist with us, next.
[10:28:11] PAUL: Welcome back. So grateful for you. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning.
President Trump has a full plate this weekend. First the "Washington Post" report linking Vladimir Putin directly to the hacking of the 2016 election. Plus the GOP may be voting on their health care plan in the Senate by Thursday. But the numbers are not in their favor right now. Look at this. This
slate of senators, you've got a fifth senator threatening to vote no. And you see three there who are expressing some strong concerns.
PAUL: Also President Trump taking aim at former president Obama, questioning why he didn't act on the Russia information that the "Washington Post" reports he knew about in July of 2016. The President Trump tweeting "Just out, the Obama administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia, did nothing about it."
Now as more details unfold surrounding the Russian meddling into the 2016 election, there is a journalist who says some experts are now looking at Ukraine as the blueprint for what's to come in the U.S. He says the country is suspected of being Russia's cyber-war testing ground, so to speak, ultimately to perfect attacks. We spoke with a former undercover KGB agent a little bit earlier this morning who said that Russia's technology is far from perfect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK BARSKY, FORMER UNDERCOVER KGB AGENT: This is the more serious topic we should be talking about, cyber-war and our vulnerabilities and in that respect.
Yes. And if I, if I were to bet if it ever came to a cyber-war exchange, we would win. Historically the Russians and Soviets have always been behind technologically. It doesn't mean that, you know, they're sophisticated in some areas, they can hack and all that. But overall, we are way ahead of them and have always been in technology.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:30:03] PAUL: Let's talk about it with senior writer for "Wired" magazine Andy Greenberg. This is the subject of the cover story, "Lights Out, How an Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyber- War." It's in next month's issue of "Wired" magazine. Andy, thank you so much for being with us. I know that you report experts say Ukraine has been the victim of a cyber-assault unlike any the world has ever seen. Why do you, or why do they believe that, I should say?
ANDY GREENBERG, SENIOR WRITER, "WIRED": Ukraine is facing, I think it's fair to say a cyber-war. And it's very clear, well, it's very likely at least that Russia is behind all of this. Ukraine is at war with Russia. And we've seen every sector of Ukrainian society be hit by cyber-attacks, from finance to the transportation being shut down to hundreds of computers being destroyed in the Ukrainian media to the election in Ukraine being hacked in 2014. And then finally we've seen these unprecedented attacks on the Ukrainian power grid. We've seen on two occasions over two years hackers actually shut down, caused blackouts for hundreds of thousands of people. And it's never happened before in history.
PAUL: We just heard Jack Barsky there saying that the U.S. is far more advanced technologically than Russia. So is there a gauge of how much of a threat this is to the U.S.? GREENBERG: I have no doubt that America's hackers, the NSA hackers,
are the best in the world. But Russia seems capable of doing this. They've proven now they can take down the power grid. And not only that, the important thing is that they're willing to actually do it. America can do all kinds of magical things with hacking and probably disrupt all kinds of countries' infrastructure, but we generally haven't as far as anyone knows. Russia is brazen. The Putin regime is willing to do things that other countries won't. They did hack the Ukrainian election, then they hacked the American election. So then you see that they've hacked the Ukrainian power grid, and you have to ask, is the next logical step is that they're going to try these attacks on western Europe or even the United States?
PAUL: Why do experts believe, though, that Ukraine is a testing ground, so to speak? That's a pretty bold accusation.
BLACKWELL: For one thing, we've seen a kind of cyber-war in Ukraine that we've never seen anywhere else. We have got good evidence that it's Russia behind it. Some of the malware that they've used has actually been linked to servers where you can find Russian-language how-to documents for how to use this malware.
But the really scary thing that we've seen is the kind of progression in these tools that Russia seems to be testing for taking down the power grids in Ukraine. In 2016, for instance, the second of these two attacks, we saw them use a really sophisticated piece of malware. We now call it crash override. It's designed to be an automated grid disruption tool. And it's not only attacked a transmission station, which we've never seen before, sort of going up the circulatory system of the power grid, but it was a reusable and adaptable weapon for doing so. So you can swap out components to adapt it to other countries power grids if you wanted to.
In fact, that attack only took down the Ukrainian grid in Kiev, the capital, for one hour. You're not going to build a tool this sophisticated just to cause a one-hour blackout. That tool was built to be evolving and adaptable and to be used again. So it's likely that we will see it used again.
PAUL: Andy Greenberg, really interesting, senior writer there for "Wired" magazine. We appreciate you being here, Andy. Thank you.
GREENBERG: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Stephen Colbert diving into the political fray in Russia. The late night host made an appearance on Russian late-night TV to report that he's considering a 2020 presidential run. The announcement came after a few shots of vodka.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020.
COLBERT: And I thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just tell the Russians myself.
COLBERT: If anyone would like to work on my campaign, in an unofficial capacity --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Stephen Colbert is in Moscow working on material for an upcoming segment of "The Late Show."
PAUL: Bill Cosby plans to head out on a speaking tour. This is according to a publicist who says obviously that this is a topic, saying how to avoid sexual assault charges. You can imagine there are a lot of people enraged about this. The lawyer for some of his alleged victims is with us to react to this news and also talk about the possible retrial. Stay close.
PAUL: Plus another deadlocked jury in the Samuel Dubose shooting case. That makes three officers tried in a single week for shooting a black man, not one convicted.
[10:38:58] PAUL: It's 38 minutes past the hour right now, and a second trial and a second deadlocked jury in the case of an officer who shot and killed a man during a traffic stop two years ago.
BLACKWELL: A former University of Cincinnati police officer, Ray Tensing, shot Samuel Dubose in July of 2015. He was fired from his job, arrested after the shooting. He's free on bail, though. The victim's mother, Audrey Dubose, thanked the community for its support and called for another trial. Tensing was the third U.S. law enforcement officer in a week to be tried for shooting a black man and not convicted. That prompted this response from Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIOT ISAAC, CINCINNATI POLICE CHIEF: This is something that nationally we're going to have to look at and really roll up our sleeves and look at it from a legal perspective as to how these cases should be charged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: In her statement, Dubose's mother called for solidarity with the family of Philando Castile. His case got some new attention with headlines this because of this video. It shows the two people who survived that shooting last year. Castile's girlfriend and her daughter, they were in the car when he was shot. Later a police camera caught this interaction. Watch and listen. This is in the back of a squad car.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:40:16] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK. I'm right here with you. Mom, please don't do this. I don't want you to get shooted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Kiss.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can keep you safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, I'm OK. I can't believe they just did that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wished I was safer. I don't want to be like this anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, Lord, just give us a sign that Phil is OK. Please Lord, I just need a sign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell God that we need him right now, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Joining us to talk about this, Wesley Lowery, CNN contributor and national reporter for the "Washington Post." Wesley, good to see you.
WESLEY LOWERY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having me.
BLACKWELL: You know, this video, so compelling, and from the very beginning the Facebook live video that we saw from Castile's girlfriend got so much attention on this case. But I wonder if, you know, just the medium of television and Internet news, that we lose focus of how many shootings happened like this off-camera as well.
LOWERY: Of course, and the reality is a year ago, two years ago, this is something we were talking about every single day. Right now it's not something we're talking about every day because there's a lot going on. We make decisions and different priorities of what we talk about, you know, here on the air, what I'm writing about.
But the reality is, my colleagues and I have spent three years tracking fatal police shootings for the "Washington Post." And every day there are two three people who are shot and killed by the police. Now many of those cases are cases of someone who is armed or is attacking the officers. But many of them are cases where there's some questions, where there are gray areas, where perhaps a little sunlight or attention would help surface more information about what happened. It's, like I said, I think very often when these things are not right in front of us, when there's not a new viral video or a new moment, we think this just isn't happening. But the reality is, it is, every single day.
BLACKWELL: Let me turn to what we heard from the Cincinnati police chief, Eliot Isaac. He said that we need to think about how these cases are charged and why we're not seeing convictions. Does it come down to the charging or the five-word phrase we hear from these officers, "I feared for my life"?
LOWERY: So it's a combination of a few things. The first is that it's unquestionably true that based on the laws as they are written as well as the latitude that we give police officers under those laws, it's remarkably difficult to even charge an officer who kills someone while they're on duty, but much more difficult to convict them. Statistically we know it almost never happens. Police officers are charged in less than one-half of one percent of the fatal shootings that occur in the United States of America, and they're convicted even far less than that.
But I think there's a combination of both the laws, what do we actually, when what recourse is there for officers who kill? But beyond that, there's also a question of culture and society. While we've heard very often from police groups that they worry about so much coverage of these things hurting their public perception and causing distrust, the reality is we live in a country where most people trust the police, most people give the benefit of the doubt. And it makes it very difficult to instruct a jury that's willing even with compelling video evidence to convict an officer of a crime, to send them to prison.
BLACKWELL: That video we played at the top, just heartbreaking, whether you believe that officer should have been convicted or not, that video has got to make you feel something. Wes Lowery, thanks so much for being with us.
LOWERY: Any time, thank you.
PAUL: Switching gears here, fresh off a mistrial, Bill Cosby is apparently, according to a publicist, going back on tour. It's not what you think. This time he says his plan is to educate America on sexual assault.
But first this week, staying well features the benefits of dancing. A new study finds dancing could actually be good for your brain, and there's a Colorado couple who says they're living proof.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I dance because I love it. I love everything from the motion and the music, to the feeling of dancing with others.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suddenly I have a place where I could fit in with people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel that dancing has slowed the deterioration of my memory.
AGA BURZYNSKA, NEUROSCIENTIST, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY: Dancing is so special because it's a physical activity that connects us to other people. Over 200 people took part in our study, and some of them did brisk walking. One group did stretching and toning. And one group did dancing.
[10:45:07] And all of them participated for six months, and all other groups, we saw the typical age-related deterioration of their brains. In the dancing group we observed some improvement in one of the brain regions that is involved in memory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swing, swing, swing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll do probably ten to 12 different dances, each one of which we need to learn.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The big thing for me is it's a puzzle. You're putting the pieces together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dancing has been a big contributor in helping me stay younger feeling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:50:12] PAUL: Bill Cosby is preparing for a possible retrial if his sexual offense case. And they've made an announcement about something that's coming up here. Apparently while he waits he's planning on hosting a series of town halls. He's doing so to teach young people about sexual assault charges and how to avoid them. Cosby's publicists say it's important to educate people.
As you can imagine, a number of women's advocacy groups are calling the plan, quote, "outrageous and disgusting." Attorney Gloria Allred is with us. She represents one of Cosby's accusers, Linda Kirkpatrick, also with us. She accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Ladies, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate you being here. Linda, first of all, I wanted to get your reaction to these town halls that they're saying he's going to go out on.
LINDA KIRKPATRICK, ACCUSED BILL COSBY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: Well, him having a town hall meeting on educating people on sexual assault is the same as Jeffrey Dahmer hosting a town hall meeting on the joy of cooking, neither of which I will be attending.
PAUL: Gloria, Ms. Allred, I want to read to you what the publicist said as he was trying to explain to CNN what this is about. He said "This is not a sexual assault tour. It's an educational tour. It's easy to be falsely accused of sexual assault. If it could happen to Bill Cosby it could happen to anybody. So people need to be aware of the definitions and perceptions. Ms. Allred, do you believe there's confusion about the perceptions and definitions of sexual assault?
GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS' RIGHTS ATTORNEY: No, there shouldn't be. I think first of all, this is a very transparent and slick effort potentially by the Cosby defense team or its supporters in order to confuse the public, to try to suggest and advance the theme that Mr. Cosby has been falsely accused. But that's not what the jury in the first trial found. They didn't acquit him, nor did they convict him. There is a mistrial. There was a deadlock. He's going to be tried again. And most women underreport rape and sexual assault rather than making false allegations. It's a very underreported crime. And to suggest that women make false allegations is, first of all, untrue, and secondly, it's misogynistic.
PAUL: The assistant director of PAVE, which is a group that helps sexual assault survivors called these town halls victim-blaming. Ms. Kirkpatrick, do you agree with that?
KIRKPATRICK: Absolutely. Only two percent of women that claim to have been raped are false accusations, two percent. And 70 percent of perpetrators are known to the victims. It could be a family member, a neighbor, or a hello friend. To victimize -- what we were wearing, what did we think was going to happen. Women have a right to drive. We have a right to vote. We have a right to wear whatever we want to wear, and we have a right not to be raped.
ALLRED: And that's an important point that Linda just made. And one of the jurors who was interviewed from the first trial apparently is suggesting, well, perhaps it wasn't rape because there was no stain. And yet, Mr. Cosby himself, admitted in his deposition, his testimony under oath in Andrea's civil case, that in fact he had digitally penetrated Andrea Constand, that he had used his finger in her genital area. He admitted giving her pills, three pills. The only issue is consent, not whether he did something sexually to her. He's admitted it. And he's also admitted that Andrea Constand is a truthful person. So why the juror would say somehow there needs to be a stain to prove that there was sexual activity is very, very mystifying.
PAUL: Gloria Allred, Linda Kirkpatrick, I'm sorry, we've run out of time. But we're grateful you took the time to talk to us this morning. Thank you so much.
ALLRED: Thank you.
KIRKPATRICK: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you. I do want to make a note that we have reached out to Bill Cosby's attorneys. We are just waiting for a response. Victor?
BLACKWELL: This week's CNN hero has a passion for empowering adults with disabilities to find employment. Watch.
AMY WRIGHT, CNN HERO: People with disabilities are the largest minority in the world. And yet they're an invisible minority because most of them are so used to being in the shadows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your first latte of the day.
WRIGHT: Our 40 employees are proud to be employed by Bitty and Beau's Coffee, and they will shout it to the rooftops. It's given them a sense of being valued and respected in ways that we take for granted.
[10:55:09] BLACKWELL: All good, all good. To find out how Amy is making this happen, go to CNNHeroes.com. While you're there, nominate someone who is changing the world to be a 2017 CNN hero.
PAUL: We are always so grateful to share our morning with you. Thank you for being here. We hope you make good memories today.
BLACKWELL: There's a lot more ahead in the next hour of CNN newsroom. We turn it over to our colleague Boris Sanchez after this quick break.