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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 3, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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for individuals matter a whole lot. hey, van, appreciate you. thank you so much. >> thank you. all right. and thanks to all of you for joining us tonight. don't forget you can watch us at cnn go. meantime, ac 360 starts right now. repulsive and unlawful behavior by the governor. john berman in for anderson. those words game at governor andrew cuomo. they don't come from an unfriendly newspaper common, one of the 11 women accusing him of sexual harassment. no, those are from kathy hochul, his lieutenant governor. and they are not even the most damaging and problematic for cuomo tonight. not by a long shot. those could be found in the new york attorney general's damning 165-page report released today detailing a pattern of sexual harassment and intimidation by
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governor cuomo. new york's two senators kirsten gillibrand and chuck schumer called on cuomo to resign. so have the democratic members of new york's house delegation. so have key members of the new york assembly and state senate who are the power to remove him from office. so has the current new york city mayor and the man likely to be the next new york city mayor. so have, just moments ago, the democratic governors of rhode island, new jersey, pennsylvania and connecticut. so has house speaker nancy pelosi. and finally, late today, so did president biden. a long-time political ally and friend of the new york governor. >> back in march you said if the investigation confirmed the allegations against governor cuomo, then he should resign. so will you now call on him to resign given the investigators said the 11 women were credible? >> i stand by that statement. >> are you now calling on him to resign? >> yes. >> more on the white house reaction shortly.
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it wasn't so long ago that governor cuomo was a potential pick for attorney general. now he is facing the possibility of criminal charges. cnn's erica hill begins our coverage. >> reporter: governor andrew cuomo, sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law. a damning report detailing a pattern of unwelcome i inappropriate behavior by the governor and a hostile work environment. >> it was a culture where you could not say no to the governor. >> reporter: 11 women describing their encounters as disturbing, humiliating and uncomfortable. >> we found all 11 women to be credible. there was corroboration to varying degrees. charlotte let bennett talked to people and texted people contemporaneously. some of her texts were practically in real time. >> reporter: a former aide and health policy advisor to the governor told her story to "the new york times" in february. investigators shared one of her texts when announcing the
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report's findings. >> quote, the verbal abuse, intimidation, and living in constant fear were all horribly toxic, dehumanizing and traumatizing. >> reporter: on tuesday, she called on the governor to resign. he later addressed her in a taped statement. >> i have heard charlotte and her lawyer and i understand what they are saying, but they read into comments that i made and draw inferences that i never meant. simply put, they heard things that i just didn't say. >> reporter: bennett's attorney telling cnn in an email, quote, the governor has a serious problem with the truth. among the other encounters laid out in the ag's 165 page report, two involve the new york state trooper part of cuomo's security detail. >> he took his open hand and ran it across her stomach from her belly button to the hip where she keeps her gun. she told us that she felt
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completely violated to have the governor touch her as she put it between her chest and her privates. >> reporter: and a woman known as executive assistant number one outlining several other unwanted encounters. >> the governor hugged executive assistant number one and reached under her blouse to grab her breast. there were several occasions which the governor grabbed her butt. >> reporter: the governor denied the sexual harassment allegations. >> i never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. >> reporter: while also claiming the report was politically motivated. allegations the ag strongly denied. >> there were attacks on me as well as members of the team which i find offensive. >> what this investigation revealed was a disturbing pattern of conduct by the governor of the great state of new york. i believe women and i believe these 11 women. >> reporter: meantime, calls for
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the governor to step down growing louder. >> for the sake of the state, the governor resigns, he should resign. >> and erica hill joins me now. what do we know about how many people investigators spoke with and why? >> reporter: nearly 200. 179 people were a part of this investigation, including the governor's brother, chris, our colleague here at cnn. speaking with a number of the governor's inner circle, this was part of putting together this investigation, some 79,000 different pieces of evidence. what we know in terms of charges, too, john, a lot of questions about what could come in terms of criminal charges. the a.g. making it clear this was a civil investigation. she doesn't have the authority to bring criminal charges but we can tell you that the district attorney in albany county has said he has now requested materials from the a.g.'s investigation and also has reached out to any other potential victims asking them to come forward.
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>> says he has an obligation to follow up. thank you for your reporting. more now on what president biden had to say about his long-time friend governor andrew cuomo. here is more of kaitlan collins asking the president directly about it late today. >> reporter: are you now calling on him to resign? >> yes. >> reporter: and if he doesn't resign, do he believe he should be impeached and removed from office? >> let's take one thing at a time here. i think he should resign. i under tstand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. i don't know that for a fact. i have not read all that data. >> reporter: he is using a photo of you embracing him in his self-defense to say that these are common place kind of embraces that he made and the allegations against him. do you condone that? >> look, i'm not going to fly-spec this. i'm sure there are some embraces that are totally innocent. but apparently the attorney
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general decided there were things that weren't. >> and kaitlan collins joins us now. always direct and to the point with your questions there and the answer so interesting. the president telling you governor cuomo should resign. a huge break between two long-standing preliminary allies. behind the scenes what does the white house think will happen? >> i think the question is, is governor cuomo someone who going to resign? you saw his statement after the attorney general laid out in detail what those investigators, these allegations against them, which they said they confirmed, the allegations of the 11 women and found them to be credible, based on their interviews with dozens of people, 170 people, i believe. so i don't think it was really an open question for the white house whether or not president biden was going to stand by what he said in march. there wasn't a lot of ambiguity of what this investigation found. that's what he said. if this investigation found these claims were confirmed, he would call on him to resign. and so i think it was an option
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here where he had to follow through on that. so i do think a big question is, beyond just calling on him to resign, what does he think should happen going forward because he did say it's really not for him to determine whether or not he should be removed from office. he also didn't say whether he should be prosecuted. that's a question raised by several factors given that attorney general said that he broke federal and state laws with his actions, referring to governor cuomo. so i think the white house is watching this, but it is significant. >> this is a huge break because this is a pretty strong political alliance that president biden and governor cuomo formed six years ago. so it is notable given that it has got ton this point where today he had to say, yes, time to step down. >> president biden unprompted by the way in that georgeorge steps interview, he raise the possibility of criminal charges then. what are aides saying about that behind closed doors? >> reporter: president biden said he hadn't read the report.
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it's not clear he heard all of the allegations, some of the new claims that came out, especially the one about the state trooper. that is something that i don't think the white house was expecting to come today. so you heard the press secretary jen psaki saying she thinks everyone found those allegations and reports from this investigation abhorrent. president biden hasn't read it yet. he hasn't spoken to governor cuomo. it's not likely i guess going forward given today he said it is time for him him to step down. it was a step in seeing high-profile allies of governor cuomo previously say that, yeah, the time has come for him to leave office. >> kaitlan collins at the white house, thank you. perspective from maggie haberman, who has covered new york politics for years. and former federal prosecutor eli e elie honig.
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the allegations more damdsning d now the spate of calls for resignations louder and quicker than i think people were expecting, including the governors from the fneighboring states that the governor worked closely with on a daily basis. what do you think happens next? >> it's the 64 million-dollar question. andrew cuomo is not known for going down without a fight. in 2002 when he getquit his fir race for governor, that was at the last minute when he had alliances but he fought as long as he could and as hard as he could. i expect him to keep doing that here. he is facing a bad set of options. he is facing a really, really, as you noted, i said earlier, damning report, a lot of people not just in the state but around andrew cuomo were very surprised by the specifics of that state trooper allegation. they specifically pointed to that in conversations with me as what they were surprised by and what they thought was the starkest incident he was facing
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of impropriety, of bringing in this trooper who was not qualified to be on his detail, by her years of service, and requesting she be there. and so all of these facts add up to an impeachment investigation that is going to move quickly from what we understand from albany democrats. it could happen by october. a senate trial in new york state. i don't think andrew cuomo wants to go down in history as an impeached gofrl. i think he will have to decide if things would be better for him if he resigned. there is so little in his texan t dna that is going to want to do that. he is basically isolated in a way we have never seen before. >> minehow small is the politic island? >> very small. there are very few prominent democrats we haven't heard from yet. it's probably on one hand who we haven't heard from. that's it. it's them and him and eventually they will probably say something and at a certain point it's not
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clear that he can do the basic function of government and governing in this state. >> elie, leagally speaking, wha are some of the possible consequences hoo here? >> three possible paths legally. it could go down all, some or none of them. first of all, potential criminal charges. the piece that could be criminal is the allegation that the governor reached up a woman's blouse. that is being looked at by the albany d.a. there is a new york state misdemeanor for forcible touching. the d.a. will have to do a full investigation there, come to a decision. second of all, we will in all likelihood see civil lawsuits. any or all of these 11 accusers who have come forward can sue andrew cuomo, can sue the state of new york for monetary damages. and then, third, there is the political but also legal process of impeachment. it's interesting to hear maggie say that that could be very much on the table and could happen quickly.
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those are the three battlegrounds that governor cuomo dealing with. >> there are differences if you could highlight them, key differences, actually, between impeachment in new york state and a federal impeachment. what are they? >> so it's similar but not identical with the federal impeachment process which we have become sort of too familiar with. first of all, it starts in the new york state assembly, which is the equivalent of the house of representatives. that vote has to be by a majority, but if it happens, the governor loses his power temporarily. it goes to the lieutenant governor, who made a strong statement today. in contrast to the federal system when donald trump was impeached, power didn't go to mike pence. and when get to the trial in the new york state senate, it's the senate plus the seven judges on new york state's highest court, the court of appeals. that body then has to vote by two-thirds to kwigt and remove. it's a similar process but there are important differences there. >> and they don't have the u.s. constitution which lays out high
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crimes and misdemeanors. it doesn't say that in new york. it's more vague. and i guess more subjective, to a sense, in new york. so, maggie, impeachment. you say october. that actually -- that's two months from now, two and a half months from now. that's a fairly long time and there are people looking for something more quickly here. so explain exactly what's happening with the assembly now because the assembly speaker, while condemning andrew cuomo and hoping that he resigns, did say i'm going to hold an impeachment vote tomorrow. >> he said a couple of things. he has been an ally of andrew cuomo and was accused of slow walking this investigation by a number of people, suddenly it's moving quite quickly. impeachment vote quickly. he met with the conference today and clearly took their temperature as to whether people would be favor in this. 76 democrats are needed to move ahead with this. if he is calling a vote, he thinks he has it. it is technically a long time. i think there are procedural
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measures that have to take place. i think they are hoping that cuomo will resign before they have to move ahead with this. this is incredibly distracting for them. they don't want to be engaged in this. they don't want to have to go ahead with this but they will if they have to. this is triggering a process, even if there is a vote tomorrow, there are a lot of pieces to do fall in place. >> no whispers that you are picking up one way or the other that andrew cuomo is going anywhere tonight or anytime soon? >> i don't think he is going anywhere tonight. i don't know what people's definition of soon is. i wouldn't rule out the possibility he will step down. if he decides that's best for him, that is what he is going to do. i expect it will be a defiant pose for as long as he can maintain one. >> thank you both very much. next we will hear from one of the accusers documented in today's report and mentioned by name by the governor today. we will get perspective from two well known players on the new york political scene and later breaking news on covid and the prospect of being evicted from
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welcome back to life's best moments. call 1-800-aspendental or book online today. on new york governor andrew cuomo. charlotte bennett, one of the 11 accusers deemed credible in the report mentioned by the governor spoke norah o'donnell of cbs news. >> do you think he is gaslighting you? >> absolutely. he is trying to justify himself by making me out to be someone who can't tell the difference between sexual harassment and mentorship. we have a report. we have the facts. the governor broke federal and state law when he sexually harassed me and current and former staffers. >> ms. bennett said she feels validated and vindicated today. joins us my what wiley.
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you know andrew cuomo. you supported him in the past. today you tweeted governor cuomo should resign. the investigation was independent. the findings are incredulous and i'm saddened and disgusted by the findings. so do you think he will resign? what do you think is going to happen here? >> i mean, knowing governor cuomo, he'll fight to the end. he'll fight too long and too hard. so i don't know that he will resign quickly, which would be the best thing for the state, quite frankly. if he doesn't resign, i am confident that speaker hasty and leader cousins will impeach and remove him. you know, it's a very sad day, john, for the state to have someone who many of us, you know, really believed in. you know, having it shown that he did these horrible things, i thought he was a great ally to women. i feel completely misled by this
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man. and he needs to get out of the governor's mansion so we can move on as a state, and he needs to face whatever the consequences will be. >> maya wiley, i'm hard pressed to think of a democrat who hasn't come out and said that governor cuomo should resign as of this evening. but what did democrats in new york in your mind, what should they be doing tonight? >> well, i think chris has already said some of it, which is acknowledging just how sad and disgusting these allegations are and how serious. you know, the most important thing i think for democrats, but also for every new yorker because it's not a partisan issue, is to say that abuse of power by anyone in power can't be tolerated because at the end of the day these are allegations that the governor has used his positions in this particular
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case against 11 women, including a state trooper who he had, he hand-picked, did not meet the requirements for the job on his security detail. had them change them in order to put her on the detail. then he, according to her, sexually harassed her. that is abuse of power. as christine said, this is a serious time for the state because of covid, because of the delta variant. it is a time when we need to be focused on what keeps our people safe, and all our lawmakers need to focus on that, and that's another reason why governor cuomo should step aside. he is a distraction and he abuses power. >> christine quinn, what about there are some democrats will say, well, republicans don't do this to their scandalized officeholders. why is it that we democrats, they say, are holding our officeholders to a separate standard? >> shame on those republicans.
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when people in power, when people who are superiors in the workplace, when they harass or abuse subordinates, when they target women who have been victims of sexual assault and then harass them, when people do that, i don't care if they are a democrat or a republican or independent, they need to be called out. we have an epidemic of sexism in this country. an epidemic of sexual assault and rape and harassment. and if we don't call it out, whether it's our friends or those who are not our friends, it will never come to an end. part of the reason i am a democrat is because we stand up for women and girls. we stand against abuse.
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>> so, maya what happens for this movement. how could this be turned into a positive for women? >> well, look, it's a positive for women and, frankly, for every resident if people in power who violate civil rights, because that's what we're talking about right now, violate the rule of law and violate their oath of office do it with impunity and then blame the victims, we all benefit when we stop that because, remember, if a head of a corporation did what governor cuomo did and got away with it, that would be a huge problem. it should never happen. but if the people in power sponcil for ensuring that the laws are being faithfully executed do it, we have very little hope of protecting anyone. and it is important for everyone. i want to make one thing very clear. sexual harassment and sexual assault also happens against men. it happens -- any sexual identity or any sexual
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orientation, and we should remember that it is important to protect every single person. and i also want to say abuse of power, because governor cuomo has some other issues around abuse of power, including sexual harassment, which is investigations on whether he cooked the books on deaths in nursing homes. >> that ongoing, this finding, this report today on the sexual harassment allegations. maya wiley, christine quinn, thank you for being with me. coming up, there is news that a fourth police officer, a fourth law enforcement officer who responded to the january 6th capitol attack has died by suicide. details next. someone once told me, that i should get used to people staring. so i did. it's okay, you can stare. when you're a two-time gold medalist,
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news tonight of another police officer who was on duty at the january 6th riots on capitol hill taking his own life. according to the d.c. metropolitan police, officer kyle freytag died on july 10. his death means four officers have now died by suicide, all of whom served during the insurrection. the others are d.c. officer gunter hashida, u.s. capitol police officer howard liebengood, and d.c. officer jeffrey smith. i'm joined by colorado democratic congressman jason crow, who, of course, witnessed all of the rioting and the
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violence firsthand. i appreciate you joining us. we don't know the specifics of these officers' suicides, but we know based on testimony from other members of law enforcement who were there about the brutality and the trauma of the insurrection. as someone who lived through that day, someone who served the country as an army ranger, what are your thoughts on this moment and your messages tonight to the families of those officers? >> yeah, thanks, john, for having me on. first, just terribly heartbreaking for these officers and their families that are now dealing with the loss of a loved one. and what this shows is that people can't move on from this type of trauma. you know, you just can't sweep this under the rug. you can't expect people to move on like some of my colleagues want to try to do. this sticks with people. when you are in a situation like this and as dark of a day this was and as brutal as the insurrection was, as we have seen vividly in video and testimony in the select
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committee in the last couple of weeks, it has a weight that carries a weight on you as an officer. so we have to make sure we are getting these officers help, we are not sweeping this under the rug, that we continue to try to find truth and accountability to make sure that this doesn't happen again and we do right by them. that's exactly what we are doing with the select committee and exactly what we will continue to do overall whenever my gop colleagues try to turn their backs on this. >> in some cases more than turning backs. there is something insidious happening in right-wing media, which is that after officer michael fanone and others gave emotional testimony, they were openly mocked and ridiculed by these television entertainers. listen to this. >> i am having a real hard time believing a lot of what i'm hearing because the video doesn't back up nearly all of it. one officer said he thought it was going to be the moment he died. well, there were no guns at this place. >> watch fanone cite the
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psychological trauma as an excuse for ditching our bill of rights. >> i have been left with the psychological trauma and emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event. >> the award for best use of an exaggeration in a supporting role, the winners gonele. and michael fanone. >> their very reality is being denied and mocked. my morning co-anchor who is in a military family noted this morning that when engagements in the military, but i think law enforcement is the same thing, become political, it only increases posttraumatic stress. i wonder if you can speak to that. >> it does. it's blaming of the victim. we have a real problem with mental health in america. at large, not just with respect to officers post january 6th. we don't deal with this well as
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a society. it's one of the reasons why we have over 20 veterans a day take their lives pause there is in mentality that somehow coming to get help is a sign of weakness when, in reality, getting help for something that is beyond the normal human experience is actually a sign of strength. it means you can be healthy. it means you can take care of your family, do your job, complete your mission. that's something we have been working on in the military as a member of the armed services committee and veterans advocate. it also applies to officers and first responders. so people blaming the victim actually exacerbates that. it helps contribute to the problem we are trying to combat to save lives. even more so, some of those clips were bad, but there is a much deeper, dasher, sinister element to this. let's not forget that donald trump in his full depravity has encouraged violence, has let
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loose an extremist movement in america. it is a very dangerous time to be a member of congress. michael fanone and others are getting death threats, you know. some officers were shot at. one was killed not too long ago outside of the capitol. there is an extremist and sinister element to this beyond just the sweeping it under the rug where or the blaming of the victim. >> congressman jason crow, thank you so much for being us with tonight. >> thanks, john. next, breaking news in what will be a welcome relief for many, but not all americans facing covid-related eviction. we will take you to a church in maine where the answer to this latest covid surge and the delta variant is to be unmasked and unvaccinated an defiantly unprotected. and here. which is why the scientific expertise that helps operating rooms stay clean now helps the places you go too. look for the ecolab science certified seal.
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more breaking news tonight. vital news to millions of americans facing homelessness. the cdc announced a new 60 day freeze on certain residential evictions after the biden administration allowed a previous moratorium to expire. details now from cnn's phil mattingly at the white house. phil, what exactly will this include. >> reporter: it's more short term. it's not the moratorium that we've seen over the course of the better part of the coronavirus pandemic. this one will be over the course
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of 60 days and directed primarily, almost entirely, to counties with higher substantial community transmission. here is the interesting piece of that. because of the surge in delta cases throughout the country, officials believe that will hit about 90% of the population. so we'll have weide range. it's more hort term for a reason. they hope this will give it nor sound legal footing as they move forward. >> why did this happen sooner? as you know, the biden administration has been criticized by progressive democrats for basically letting this situation happen. >> reporter: yeah, let me frame it the way a house democratic aide put it to me. the last several days have been an absolute mess. i don't think there is any way anyone could say otherwise. the white house allowed this to lapse because they didn't believe they had the legal authority to extend it. they made that clear multiple times publicly and privately over the course of the last several days. house democrats couldn't do anything because they didn't have the votes. not just between democrats and
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republicans. within the house democratic caucus. my understanding is it's not necessarily true that either of those things are changed. what changed was the pressure. immense pressure on the administration from speaker pelosi on down, including private phone calls making clear to the administration there was not a legislative option here. they had to do something unilaterally through the executive branch despite the fact that most of their lawyers had made pretty clear they did not have legal options. they are pushing forward on this order to do a couple of things. one, to try to -- as one person put it, release the pressure they are hearing from capitol hill. two, give themselves some time. it was remarkable. president biden himself made clear he wasn't sure this would pass legal muster earlier today. he also made clear and acknowledged even if it does not, it gives them time to get $46 billion in federal aid out there disbursed to help renters and homeowners. so to some degree if this fails it gives the administration breathing room. the fact that the administration moved forward on something they
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believe they had the legal ability to do 24 hours ago quite a turn of events. >> i have never heard anything like that where the president said i am not sure if the courts w let this through. thanks to you, phil. more covid news now. "the new york times" tonight quoting several sources saying the fda aims for sful approval of pfizer's covid vaccine by labor day. also, new york's mayor, new york city's mayor announced the city will soon require proof of the covid vaccine for indoor dining, entertaining and gyms. in san francisco people vaccinated with the one-shot johnson & johnson vaccine will now be able to get a supplemental dose of the pfizer, moderna mrna vaccine. "new york times" quotes several sources as saying the fda aims for full approval of pfizer's vaccine by labor day. and in maine a different kind of response to covid in the delta surge. unlike the two measures we told
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you about, what the folks at one church in maine are doing will not do a single thing to slow the spread of the virus. our gary tuchman reports. >> reporter: at this church just outside of bangor, maine, there is a prevailing feeling that the extent of the covid-19 pandemic is exaggerated and politicians have no business restricting what takes place in this evangelical non-denominational christian congregation. kevin graves is the pastor. >> we don't need the governor to manage our risk for us. we can do that ourself. >> reporter: so his church ask turns out unsuccessfully for the u.s. scored to block the state of maine from reinstating and enforcing future restrictions. he claims the in-person church outreach to people suicidal, those addicted to drugs is essential and limitations are
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constitutional. >> should the governor? >> if i have heart disease and i breathe on you, i am not going to give you heart disease. if i am infected with covid-19, i can and you could die from it. isn't there a big difference? >> i don't think there is a big difference. in fact, the difference is between those two is that heart disease kills women and more people. the risk is far greater -- >> reporter: if you have it, you can give it sitting next to me. if you have covid, could give it to me. you don't think that's different? >> no. >> reporter: in the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak this church followed some of the state restrictions, but ultimately decided to no longer do so. there are now no restrictions here. maine has done better than almost all states in fighting the virus. but it could change because of the delta variant. the congregants we talked to want no changes. >> i feel safer being here where i know my attorney is in -- no matter when my death happens or
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how it happens. >> i don't think by my means the state should have a role in curtailing -- >> have you been vaccinated? >> i have not. >> reporter: do you have plans to? >> no. >> have you gotten covid? >> i haven't been tested. >> reporter: have you been vaccinated? >> no. >> reporter: how come? >> no. >> reporter: why? >> i have more in my immune system, more confidence. >> reporter: someone could die from it. >> that's true of the so-called vaccine. that's the word now, is that -- >> reporter: with all due respect, it's not a so-called vaccine. this an amazing vaccine. this is basically stop the pandemic in it's track. now we are getting the surge because so many people with all due respect like yourself haven't gotten vaccinated. now you have a delta variant that is spreading again and we are almost in the same situation. it's a shame. just get the shot. that's not how you feel? >> i do not have confidence in the shot. >> reporter: the pastor does say that any congregant diagnosed with the coronavirus is requested not to come to church.
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if they show up, they won't be kicked out. he also says he is not planning to close the church doors again, even with the denial from the u.s. supreme court. there is no part of you that doubts whaur saying? >> none. >> you were at church on sunday. the supreme court refused to take up the case yesterday. what does the pastor have to say about it today? >> reporter: he is not happy, john, but the pastor tells us he is not shocked. and that's because he aware that many people here in the state of maine think right now this is a moot point because there are no restrictions, no covid restrictions in most of the state of maine, including here in penobscot county. that could change. if the it does, he believes the supreme court might be take you will the case. we have already established if he doesn't get that victory, he plans to keep the church open, and he is prepared for the possibility of going to jail if he does just that. >> gary tuchman, thank you very much. up next, more breaking news.
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polls closed in two high stakes special congressional primary races. the latest when we continue. she wished there was a way to make it last longer. say hello to your fairy godmother alice and long-lasting gain scent beads. part of the irresistible scent collection from gain!
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polls are now closed in two special congressional primary races in ohio that are taking the political spotlight. in one race, congress and the democratic race are battling it out, and in the other, conservatives want to see if a candidate of the former president will perform in his race, something that did not happen in texas last week. jeff zeleny joins us with what we know tonight. always great to see you. let's start with this special election primary where former president donald trump did make an endorsement. wh what's that about? >> this is in the columbus area of ohio, and this is steve stiger. president trump's reputation is on the line in this race. someone not well known in this
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district is now in the early stage of counting the votes this evening and is narrowly leading some local establishment stal warts here. this, again, is a test of how president trump is going to fare in primaries across the country. is his base going to come out just because he says so? in this race there are several candidates, almost 12 or 15 candidates or so. it's clear at least in this early stage republicans are splitting the vote, and president trump's favorite is getting a slightly larger share, but still early this evening, the polls closed just about an hour and 20 minutes or so ago, so we'll keep an eye on that. again, president trump's prestige on the line here. is it going to be a sign of things to come in primaries as this year and next year continues. >> he wants this one badly because last week he laid it on the line for a candidate who lost in the race, so this would be a change, proof that he is not dead yet as it were in republican politics, proof he desperately wants, i think.
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the democratic race, talk to me about the stakes for the candidates there. >> this is a fascinating race. this is in cleveland, the 11th district of ohio. i talked to candidates on both sides and sandberg and clyburn were representing the wings. clyburn was representing ms. sh -- sh antel brown. she is running to fulfill president biden's agenda. she talks about president biden again and again. nina turner, a progressive leader, a big supporter in surrogate for bernie sanders who is also campaigning there over the weekend, she is more of a -- certainly a progressive leader, wants to question the biden agenda. she said she would help president biden but wants to push the white house. so basically the bottom line of that is party leaders do not want the squad to grow by any numbers at all and certainly nina turner would fit in that category. so in the early stages of that
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race this evening with early voting coming in, actually, shantel brown, the establishment candidate, is leading nina turner. we should point out early stages. this vote will be so important in the city of cleveland as well as akron south of cleveland. this is going to test whether progressives are going to have a shot at some of these other pro primariep prim primaries. they've fallen short in the new york office. >> the biden wing of the democratic party has been largely successful, which is leading people to believe, well, maybe it's not the -- the democrats aren't as progressive as people thought they were headed. it's not the twitter democratic party, it's something else going on. that is being tested tonight. >> it is being tested. this is one snapshot of this. this won't answer the question, but if nina turner were to win tonight, it would certainly give
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progressives hope in other primaries that would potentially be challenging other sitting members of congress. if shantel brown wins as the other candidate -- and john, the whole leadership of the caucus over the weekend was supporting her in full force in cleveland, so there really is a sense here of establishment versus the progressive wing. john, it's clear that the 2016 campaign with bernie sanders and hillary clinton, even hillary clinton weighing in supporting shantel brown. that race is still a defining moment here between these wings of the party. >> ironically, though, bernie sanders has been working very closely with joe biden throughout this whole time. i'm sure nina turner will do the same thing if she prevails, but we'll see. jeff zeleny, thank you very much. up next, gymnast simone biles back competing in the tokyo games.
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mental health. the 24-year-old won the bronze medal, her seventh career olympic medal, tieing with -- she said she will cherish the medal for a long time. we will all cherish her. let's head over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> the beam is the one event she did not get gold in in the last olympics, so it was special for her. but for her to come back with everything she's dealing with and all the pressure and medal in the olympics, she's amazing. thank you for the coverage. i'm chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." we're focused on covid here, at least until we get the delta variant under control. there is an increasing response from leaders and citizens. the president today went after specif ste