Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Clinical Trial Could Help Determine What Fully Vaccinated People Can And Cannot Do; WSJ: NY A.G. Subpoenas Dozens Of Cuomo Administration Officials; Dominion Sues FOX News For $1.6 Billion Over False Election Claims; Trump Falsely Tells FOX On Capitol Riot: "There Was Zero Threat"; Sharon Osbourne Leaving "The Talk" After Controversial Comments; Protesters Rally In L.A. To Support Asian- American Communities. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired March 27, 2021 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(MUSIC)

[16:00:05]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Thanks for joining us live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

In the state of Georgia today, public anger and public protests against what the voters there call a deliberate attempt to keep certain people away from the polls, and what President Biden calls an atrocity.

I'm talking about Georgia's new sweeping elections bill, now passed into law. It's the response to record voter turnout in Georgia that flipped that state blue and gave the Democrats control of the Senate. Some powerful Republicans, including the former president, still insist without any evidence that those elections were stolen, rigged, that there was cheating. It's the big lie.

Briefly here is what Georgia's new voter access law does. It limits the use of ballot drop boxes, puts them inside election offices. It cuts down the hours they can be accessed. It requires new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots. It even makes it a crime to give food and water to people waiting in line to vote.

That part, President Biden, says is especially egregious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's an atrocity. The idea -- if you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they pass a law saying you can't provide water for people standing in line while they're waiting to vote? You don't need anything else to know this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can't provide water for people about to vote. Give me a break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: President Biden says the Justice Department is now reviewing this new law in Georgia.

Let me take you live to Atlanta now, the Georgia state capital, and CNN's Natasha Chen.

Natasha, people there are angry and they say this new law is simply not fair.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Ana, they are calling it Jim Crow 2.0. And just now, a speaker addressed the very serious issue of the state election board now allow to do take over local election boards. So they're very concerned at what would happen in those situations.

I want to bring in Marla Cureton. She's with No Safe Seats, a suburban activist group. And Marla was actually at the Capitol when Representative Park Cannon was arrested for knocking on the governor's door trying to witness him signing the bill.

Marla, what was that moment like for you when you saw her taken away in handcuffs?

MARLA CURETON, CO-FOUNDER, NO SAFE SEATS: It was frightening. I was there as an activist. And we are waiting outside the governor's office.

And Park Cannon came down with Representative Erica Thomas, and they saw us, and she came over and she knocked on the door, gently. She was not disruptive.

So to have the incident happen right in front of me and to end for it to see her being taken away, it was horrific to watch as a black woman, to watch her taken into the elevator and to watch the doors closed. It was triggering, it was frightening.

I felt her pain. I felt her terror. I was holding back Representatives Erica Thomas, who was understandably frustrated and angry to see this happening for no reason, for a knock on the door.

So I'm here because I felt it as a black woman. I felt that happening to me. I think that's why a lot of people are here.

Beyond just the voting rights issue, which is, you know, why we were there as activists, because the bill is egregious. The bill is horrific. And the fight never ends.

And so, we're here to support Cannon, to support Park, to say we're not going to support it, we want the charges dropped, and we're going to keep fighting for voting rights.

They thought they could go behind doors, sign the bill and that would be the end, but there's no way. We're never going to be quiet. We're never going to stop fighting.

CHEN: And when you went to the jail that evening, to support her. Now, you're seeing this crowd, what's your reaction to seeing the people who are here? CURETON: I'm not surprised. It's beautiful. There are a lot of people

there that night, because we knew she didn't deserve to be there. And this is the movement. That's always been in Georgia.

It's the movement that flipped Georgia blue. It's the movement that elected two Democratic senators. It's that same movement, and we're reignited. We had a moment to rest and I think what they did is they have -- they made a mistake, and this is only the beginning.

CHEN: Marla, thank you so much.

And as you can tell from what she's told us as well as the speakers, you can hear their voices in our background here, very passionate about making sure that this doesn't impede the voters' rights in coming elections, Ana.

CABRERA: Natasha Chen, thank you.

This law in Georgia isn't a one-off. There are more than 250 bills across 45 states that aim to restrict voting access.

[16:05:01]

All of them grown out of one big lie, spread by former President Trump and his allies that the election was rigged.

Sara Murray reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWD: Protect the vote!

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Governor Kemp signing a dramatic overhaul of the state's election laws, the first GOP victory in restricting voter access in a major battleground state.

GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R), GEORGIA: After the November election last year, I knew like so many of you that significant reforms were needed.

MURRAY: The law puts new voter identification requirements on absentee ballots, limits drop boxes to indoor locations during business hours, allows state officials to take over local elections boards and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to provide food and water.

KEMP: Well, it wasn't a voting rights bill. It was an election security bill that actually increases early voting opportunities on the weekend here in Georgia.

MURRAY: The legislation doesn't include earlier effort to get rid of no-excuse absentee voting, and it allows expanded weekend early voting, but advocates say it is still riddled with restrictions that make it harder particularly for minorities to vote.

DONNA MCLEOD (D), GEORGIA STATE HOUSE: This is despicable and disgusting and it creates more barriers to our voters so they're not having access to the ballot box like they should. To actually say to people you can't give somebody food or water, that's just cruel and inhumane.

MURRAY: It was a striking scene Thursday as Kemp huddled behind closed doors with a handful of white men to sign the bill.

MCLEOD: This Jim Crow 2.0 is represented in that picture. You see those men, there's no color in them. There's just pure white males trying to basically hold on to power with their life.

MURRAY: Just outside Kemp's office, Park Cannon, a black state representative, was arrested and marched out of the Capitol by several police officers after she knocked on Kemp's doors trying to gain access to the signing ceremony.

Cannon now out of jail and facing two felony charges, which her allies say she intends to fight.

ERICA THOMAS (D), GEORGIA STATE HOUSE: We are now praying for her strength to get through this strength to get through this, and we are definitely lawyered up to defend her in ever way we know how.

MURRAY: Georgia's law just one of hundreds of bill Republicans are pushing nationwide, as they hold tight to baseless claims of fraud amid their 2020 electoral defeats. Even Kemp who defended Georgia's election integrity last year appears to be buying into the big lie, as he braces for a big reelection fight in 2022.

KEMP: There's no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled. And those problems understandably led to the crisis of confidence in the ballot box here in Georgia.

MURRAY: Former President Trump meantime still parroting his fact-free claims.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: If you look at the last election, it was disgraceful. It was a third-world election. It was a disgrace.

MURRAY: As the fallout of the big lie spreads, Fox News facing a $1.6 billion defamation suit from Dominion Voting Systems for spreading lies that the machines were linked to election fraud.

STEPHEN SHACKLEFORD, DOMINION LEGAL COUNSEL: Fox gave life to these lies. Fox took the small flame and turned it into a raging fire.

MURRAY: This as former Trump legal team member Sidney Powell defends herself in her own defamation suit from Dominion, claiming in a court filing that that even though she spread voter fraud claims, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY (on camera): And in a statement Friday night, Donald Trump congratulated the Georgia legislature, saying in a statement, they learned from the travesty of 2020 presidential election which can never be allowed to happen again. Too bad these changes could not have been done sooner. Meanwhile, there's three civil rights groups already challenging that new Georgia law in court.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Joining us now, Tia Mitchell, Washington correspondent for "The Atlanta Journal Constitution", and April Ryan, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "TheGrio".

April, when you see the juxtaposition of these two images from the day this bill was signed, you have Governor Kemp surrounded by six men, as he signed that into law. Of course, the painting in the background has also been noted, and then you have State Representative Park Cannon on the right getting arrested for simply knocking on the door during that Georgia bill signing. What goes through your mind?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: History shows me and shows this nation and the world that this is racism and voter suppression 2.0.

I just heard the last report talking about what former President Donald Trump said, that the past election was a third-world election. Well, this behavior is third-world behavior.

What happened this week is a travesty to democracy, it's a travesty not just to black voters and black and brown voters, but also Democrats who are of other races and cultures who vote early, who stand in long lines, who dare to stand in long lines to let one vote count.

[16:10:14]

And when it relates to Representative Park Cannon, even the state troopers got it wrong in their report. They said she was beating on the door. If you look at the video, she politely knocked on the door twice.

And looking at what she did versus what happened on January 6th, and she was aggressively detained and arrested with two felony counts? And then those on January 6th, there were 40,000 people who rushed the Capitol. They could only account for 300 so far? Racism, hypocrisy in government, in Georgia.

And what's happening is there are other states that are gong to do the same. Texas is on its way. So when President Trump -- former President Trump said that, once again, this was third-world election, this is third-world politics in play --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Tia, this is how Governor Kemp defended this, just today, on Fox.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEMP: I can, you know truthfully look in the camera and ask my African-American friends and other African-Americans in Georgia to simply find out what's in the bill versus just the blank statement of, this is Jim Crow, or, you know, this is voter suppression, or this is racist, because it is not.

It expands early voting in Georgia. It also further secures the ballot with the photo ID requirement. I would urge them to do just that, and ask themselves, who is being truthful to you here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Tia, this state was flipped blue last year, we know in large part, because of African-American turnout. Could this maybe further energize that voting bloc and actually hurt Republicans in 2022 and 2024?

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: I definitely think Democrats are further energized. They were energized because of the victories in 2020, but now they're energized because they believe Republicans are so concerned, so scared that they passed these new laws.

And, you know, I think Governor Kemp is perhaps having his own blinders on if he thinks that Democrats are only upset because they don't know what's in it. I think -- I've hard from many Democrats who are upset about the law, citing provisions in the law.

And so, you know, I don't know if it's a winning strategy for Republicans to just say, oh, the law is fine, you don't know what's in it, because there are a lot of voters, and not just Democrats, but folks more in the middle, some of your swing voters that I think look at what was passed in Georgia, and they feel like it's solving problems that don't exist. I think that would be hard for some Republican candidates to answer when they're on the ballot in 2022.

CABRERA: Especially when you consider that the governor, the Republican secretary of state, local election officials, all, you know, continued to over and over again defend the integrity of the last election. There was no widespread voter fraud, there was -- nothing that would have changed the results there in Georgia.

But, April, there is this new provision in the law that we pointed out about it becoming a crime to give food or water to people who are waiting to vote, sometimes for several hours, often in the hot sun. I think in the last election, we reported it was up to eight hours in some places. It's part of a long list of sweeping changes, of course.

But I was speaking to former Congresswoman Mia Love last hour, and she said, you know, they could backfire on Republicans. It's not just going to make it harder for some Democrats to vote, it's going to make it harder for their own supporters to vote. What do you think?

RYAN: It's true, because you have people who are energized to vote as there are obstacles, hurdles and hills to climb. And they will stand -- we saw people not only standing for eight hours, people stood in COVID with their masks on. People were supporting them, bringing them food, bringing folding chairs, bringing them water. What this is is inhuman. It's not only just inhumane, but it's

undemocratic. I'm not talking about the Democratic Party. I'm talking about democracy, what this nation was founded on.

It somewhat goes back to what happened in the '50s and '60s. The 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed for just things like this. It was gutted during the Obama years by the Supreme Court with Shelby v. Holder.

And at the end of the day, preclearance, what needs to happen is HR-4, to prevent all of this.

[16:15:04]

It's something that the Supreme Court is deeming for Congress to take hearings on to secure the right to vote again.

And what happens is, if you get preclearance back, the Justice Department will supervise all of these election changes to stop this mayhem, this third-world behavior.

CABRERA: Tia, President Biden has called this un-American, he said it's sick what is being done. Where do you expect this fight to go from here if.

MITCHELL: Well, as you noted earlier in your report, it's already going to the courts, but also, it's also going to Congress. As April just mentioned, there's HR-4, which is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. You also have HR-1 and S-1, which is the For the People Act, which has other election reforms, campaign reforms, redistricting reforms.

And, you know, those bills, the question is, of course, whether it can pass in the Senate, whether, you know, there will be Republicans willing to compromise. Joe Manchin and President Biden have both indicated, you know, they want to see it pass, but they would like to see it done in a bipartisan way.

But if that doesn't happen and Republicans say they won't support these measures, then you start talking about whether there should be changes to the filibuster, and I believe that because of the widespread concerns about what's happening in Georgia, that is increasing the calls for, again, HR-1 and HR-4, but also therefore making it more possible for the filibuster to be changed or eliminated.

CABRERA: We shall see. Tia Mitchell and April Ryan, thank you, ladies.

RYAN: Thank you.

CABRERA: It's a sober reality check. Dr. Deborah Birx telling CNN every COVID death after the initial surge here in the U.S. could have been mitigated or substantially decreased. That's next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:21:11]

CABRERA: One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx have become household names as two of the top doctors who led the Trump administration through this once in a century pandemic. Tomorrow night, you will hear from them and the other pandemic doctors as you've never heard them.

It is a fascinating two-hour special with our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

And, Sanjay, you have some frank conversations.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, over the last few months, I sat down and talked to six doctors who are really at the heart of the COVID response. Really amazing conversations, illuminating, and sometimes horrifying.

I approached this with each doctor that I think was tough, I think, but familiar as well, as an autopsy, to really dissect what exactly happened over the last year, how many of these deaths were preventable, for example. But most importantly, what lessons can we learn for now because we're still in the middle of this pandemic, but also for the future.

Here's a little bit of my conversation with Dr. Fauci.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: Was there a moment when you thought, okay, this is the big one?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty percent increase in New York hospitals in just 24 hours. That's a big number.

FAUCI: When I saw what happened in New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Refrigerated trucks are now being mobilized as makeshift morgues.

FAUCI: -- an almost overrunning of our health care system, it was like, oh my goodness, and that's when it became very clear that the decision we made on January 10th to go all out and develop a vaccine --

We had a number of vaccine candidates.

-- may have been the best decision I've ever made in regards to an intervention as director of the institute.

GUPTA (voice-over): The lifesaving and record-breaking vaccines that Dr. Fauci oversaw were a giant success for the doctors, for science and for the world. But, remember, a vaccine does nothing for the patient on the table. In this case, the hundreds of thousands who perished before science could save them. When you look at your data now and you think, okay, had we mitigated

earlier, paused earlier, and actually done it, how much of an impact do you think that would have made?

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR UNDER TRUMP: I look at it this way. The first time we have an excuse, there were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA (on camera): Ana, it was more than 20 hours of interviews between these six doctors. It was fascinating, at times, as I mentioned, it was illuminating, at times, it was infuriating. But we get a better sense of exactly what happened over this past year, talking to people like Dr. Hahn and Dr. Redfield, understanding the pressures that were going on behind the scenes and how people were reacting to all of that.

It was tough to hear some of these things, but I think very important as well, because they are lessons to be learned. You don't want to just look backward, you want to see if the lessons can be applied now, because we're very much still in the middle of the pandemic, but also for the future. And I think that's what we really tried to get at -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Thank you, Sanjay. You do incredible work.

And you can catch that special tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern, here on CNN.

For now, let me bring in Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He's a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, and someone we have all relied on during the last year.

Doctor, what goes through your mind when you hear Dr. Birx say that all COVID deaths after those first 100,000 here in the U.S. could have been, quote, mitigated or decreased substantially.

[16:25:08]

Is she right? I mean, we're talking about 450,000 lives here.

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: She's right, and it makes me angry because it's happened on her watch. She was the White House pandemic coordinator. This was her job.

And if things weren't being done to her liking, her duty was to stand up and speak up. So, you know, when I think about how many lives could have been saved, I think about some of the countries in Europe, some of the countries with rather mediocre pandemic responses, like Germany.

Germany has been sort of a middle of the road, not the best response. They've had 76,000 deaths. They're a quarter of the population of the United States.

When you do the math, that means about -- if we used Germany's rate, we would have about 300,000 deaths. A terrible toll, but a quarter of a million Americans would be alive today. That's with not the best response.

So, I do believe hundreds of thousands of Americans have perished who did not need to die.

CABRERA: It's so hard to grasp that, just the sheer number of people, the numbers of lives lost and families who are now without those loved once.

Dr. Fauci also said, on a much lighter and more optimistic tone and moment, that he believes they decision on January 10th to start creating a vaccine was the best medical decision he has ever made.

Here we are now more than a year later with a vaccine, in fact we have three that have already been proven safe and effective, and now are authorized for emergency used. President Biden announced a new goal this week of 200 million vaccinations by April. Is that doable?

REINER: Oh, it's certain -- this administration doesn't set goals that they can't meet. We are averaging about 2.6 million shots per day. For the last couple days, we have been giving 3.4 million shots a day. So, we will easily beat.

A hundred days ends at about April 30th, I believe. If we do 3 million shots per day, which we have shown the capacity to do, than in that first 100 days, we would have given 230 million shots. So, we will certainly surpass that number.

CABRERA: And given the pace we are on, then, do you feel like vaccine supply or demand is the bigger concern at this point?

REINER: No, we have all the -- right now we have a surplus in the community. There are 40 million now unused doses, already distributed, more on the way on this coming week. We have a lot of vaccine. We'll have more over the next month. No, the challenge is to get the shots in the arms and to convince the hesitant to get the shots.

So there are a lot of things that we can do. First of all, as I've said, on your show before, we need to vaccinate the young, because they're propagating the transmission of this virus. For colleges that have students in residence now, and about a quarter of the colleges in the United States do, I would vaccinate every one of those students before they -- before they go home.

We have the ability to achieve herd immunity in about three months if we can get to about 3 million shots per day and we convince the hesitant to take the shots. We can do this. If we -- we just have to roll up our sleeves and get it done.

CABRERA: Literally roll up our sleeves. And you mentioned the important of getting college-age student vaccinated, and that brings me to the new trial that we learned about from Dr. Fauci yesterday, new clinical trial, aiming to answer the question about what fully vaccinated people can and cannot do and they're going to be doing this trail on college campuses. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: So, we hope that within the next five or so months, we'll be able to answer the very important question about whether vaccinated people get infected asymptomatically, and if they do, do they transmit the infection to others?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: There has already been data out there that might answer that question, right? I mean, there were just two new papers this week published in "The New England Journal of Medicine" that supported the argument that vaccines are effective in preventing infection. So, given that, why is there still enough concern out there to warrant this clinical trial?

REINER: You know, I don't think this trial is necessary. I think it actually raises interesting ethical question. So, you're right, there were two studies published this week that do suggest asymptomatic transmission is dramatically reduced by these vaccines.

[16:30:00]

Probably the biggest valuation comes out of Israel, which has shown, in their really very robust, you know, best-in-world vaccination ever, a 94 percent reduction in vaccinated people, in terms of asymptomatic infection.

I don't think we need to do this again.

The ethical question is, at this point in the pandemic, in our knowledge about these vaccines and the efficacy of these vaccines, I don't think you can ethically enroll a group of patients to the placebo arm.

Half the group of college students in this trial will get placebo for four months. So it's basically a laboratory to see how much virus they transmit.

I don't know. I think we have the data from these very large, real- world databases to show that these vaccines are very effective at preventing both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection.

So far be it from me to differ at all with Dr. Fauci, but I'm not sure this trial is necessary.

CABRERA: Dr. Jonathan Reiner, as always, I appreciate your time. Thank you for your guidance over the whole last year. Really appreciate it.

REINER: Good luck on your new show.

CABRERA: Thank you. Don't miss this unprecedented event with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, when the

medical leaders of the war on COVID break their silence. You can watch the special report, COVID WAR, THE PANDEMIC DOCTORS SPEAK OUT." It's tomorrow night at 9:00, only on CNN.

Still ahead this hour in the NEWSROOM, reports that dozens of officials in New York in Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration have been subpoenaed as part of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations. The details are after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:36:04]

CABRERA: We have this just in. "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting the New York attorney general's office has subpoenaed dozens of officials in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration as part of its investigation into sexual harassment allegations. The governor has denied any wrongdoing.

CNN's Athena jones is following this.

Athena, what are prosecutors asking for?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. We know the investigators, according to "The Wall Street Journal," with the attorney general's office, are asking for documents.

They have subpoenaed these dozen officials of the Cuomo administration psychology for documents. This to be expected in any sort of investigation.

They may be subpoenaing not only documents at this point but eventually testimony from witnesses and any other evidence that may help them in this investigation.

The attorney general's office declined to comment on the "Wall Street Journal's" report.

And a lawyer who's representing the Cuomo administration in this investigation declined to confirm that Melissa DeRosa, who was a top aide to Governor Cuomo, was among those officials who have been subpoenaed.

But we did get a statement from that lawyer and another lawyer, who are together representing the Cuomo administration in this matter.

They say, "No one should be surprised that the A.G.'s office is issuing requests for documents and interviewing witnesses, including several who work for Governor Cuomo. That happens in every investigation. And it's wildly premature to speculate what it means. Go, thorough, and fair investigations take time."

That is what we hear from the lawyers representing the Cuomo administration, saying this is just to be expected, not a surprise. But this is important in the context of the several investigations that the governor is facing. This is just one of them. This investigation by the attorney general's office.

He's also facing a federal investigation being led by the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn into how his administration handled nursing home data related to COVID.

And an investigation by the State Assembly Judiciary Committee into a series of allegations of wrongdoing, not just sexual harassment and misconduct allegations but also nursing home data among other things.

So a lot going on, a lot that the Cuomo administration is facing. "The Wall Street Journal" reporting on this expected step in these attorneys general investigations -- Ana?

CABRERA: Athena Jones, thank you.

FOX News is facing a $1.6 billion lawsuit now for misleading and lies about the election. Details right after this.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:42:31]

CABRERA: The big lie sparking another big lawsuit. This time, Dominion is suing FOX News to the tune of $1.6 billion for propagating false claims that Dominion was involved in voter fraud during the 2020 election, a lie that former President Trump peddled along with his allies after his decisive loss to Joe Biden.

I want to bring in CNN's chief media correspondent and anchor of "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter.

Brian, fill us in on what the claims are in this new lawsuit?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": This also claims that FOX spread the lies about the election for profit, for money, that there was a financial motive.

That's what I think makes this the most interesting and the most damning.

It goes on for dozens of pages alleging that FOX's hosts, like Maria Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs, kept talking about claims that Trump actually won the election, that it was stolen from him, all of that nonsense from November.

The lawsuit claims that it went on for weeks and weeks because FOX was trying to amp up its ratings and win its viewers back and make a lot of money for the Murdoch family.

Now the Murdoch family is facing these lawsuits both from Dominion and from another voting company, called Smartmatic. These suits I think will go on for quite some time. They're not the frivolous suits that media companies swat down and they go away after a couple of weeks. I suspect it will be with FOX for quite some time.

CABRERA: Yet, the lies keep coming. Earlier, we played what the former president said on FOX News just this week about the riot, falsely claiming it was all hugs and kisses at the capitol during the insurrection. He said there was zero threat.

I'm not even going to play it again, because it's such a lie. We saw rioters using flagpoles to beat officers. There was an officer who died because of this attack.

Brian, especially in light of the Dominion lawsuit, how risky is it for FOX to continue to give Trump a platform to speak these lies?

STELTER: At this point, it's largely about the ethics of the matter. The lawsuits have been filed. They're careful not to bring up Dominion or Smartmatic anymore.

But at the same time, Trump is still on the air trying to create this lost-cause narrative, trying to convince his fans that actually he was the rightful winner and it was stolen.

At this point, it's about ethics and morality. Why would an interviewer sit there basically silently and let this go on? Why would they not stand up to a clear lie that has damaging implications? I think it's about the ethics.

[16:45:02]

And unfortunately, even though most people don't buy what Trump is selling, some people do. It speaks to how polarized the country is.

There was never any mainstreaming of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Those were rightly rejected by the populace 20 years ago.

But now, after 1/6, there are these conspiracy theories and this revisionist history. It speaks to the power of negative partisanship and the desire by Trump to get people to move on and not look back at what went wrong.

But obviously, Ana, because of all of the prosecutions that are working their way through the courts, people will look back and see what went wrong on January 6th.

So in that way, it's like the Dominion lawsuit. It's using the courts to seek justice and make sure people don't forget what happened that day.

CABRERA: And having that accountability for what is put out there --

STELTER: Yes.

CABRERA: -- for what you say because we know words matter. I want to ask you about a new racial reckoning that we're seeing now

across the entertainment industry this week. Sharon Osbourne has now parted ways with "The Talk" after an intense on-air debate with a co- host.

Tell us what happened.

STELTER: That's right. And the approximate cause, the official cause of this is because she was, you know, on the air in the immediate aftermath of the Harry and Meghan interview and she was kind of taking Piers Morgan's side, Piers Morgan bashing Meghan Markle.

But here's how things always go. Once there's a controversy that erupts on air, then there are follow-up stories and allegations against Sharon Osbourne for being racially insensitive, for mistreating her co-hosts at the show.

CBS took this serious enough to shut production down, to take the show off the air temporarily while it stopped doing episodes to look into this further.

Because all these major companies, they want to make sure they feel they're on the right side of history and not supporting the kind of inappropriate behavior or offensive behavior that Sharon Osbourne was alleged to have been doing.

So she's off the air. She's off "The Talk." I'm sure she'll tell her side of the story and talk it out somewhere.

But this is another example of companies trying to have high standards, trying, as you said, to have accountability, whether it's in the governmental space we're talking about or now in the corporate space with CBS.

CABRERA: And we're seeing individuals, people like Jay Leno and Meghan McCain, who are apologizing for past remarks that they made --

STELTER: Right.

CABRERA: -- that impacted the Asian-American community, too, especially after the shooting that we saw happen in Atlanta, the shooting spree there.

Thank you, Brian Stelter, for the time, as always.

STELTER: Sure.

CABRERA: Always appreciate your reporting.

Be sure to catch Brian on his show, "RELIABLE SOURCES." That's tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., here on CNN.

Up next, we'll head live to Los Angeles where a rally to stop Asian hate is underway.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:52:26]

CABRERA: Happening today, demonstrators are rallying in Los Angeles to stop Asian hate, and to show support for the Asian-American community. It's part of a growing wave of protests erupting across the nation after last week's Atlanta spa shootings.

Eight people were gunned down, including six Asian-American women. Some of their families this week holding memorial services to honor their loved ones killed in the senseless violence.

I have to bring in CNN's Paul Vercammen now in Los Angeles.

What did you see from demonstrators today, Paul?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We saw and heard a lot of pure emotion. Behind me, Olympic Boulevard running again. They just ended the rally.

But when you spoke to people here today, they really wanted to get out the message that this hate against Asian-Americans has reached an all- time low for them.

We were speaking with some Vietnamese nail salon owners and they wanted everyone to hear parts of a vile racist letter sent to several salons throughout California.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAM NGUYEN, NAIL SALOON OWNER: We've had Asian, Vietnamese saloons throughout California receive this nasty letter. This is not OK.

My mom and dad came here to give my sister and I a better life. Right now, it doesn't feel that way. It's a tough time to be Asian.

I want to read this. It says, "To all Asians, hey, you nasty, ugly, smelly, disgusting pancake-faced, stir-fry cockroach eaters, dog, cat eaters, toenail cleaners, raw monkey brain eaters, go home."

TED NGUYEN, CO-FOUNDER, NAILING IT FOR AMERICA: Enough is enough. That's why we're here in Koreatown, to unite with all people to say this is enough is enough. This shall not and will not be tolerated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERCAMMEN: Among the speakers, my colleague, Lisa Ling, the host of "This Is Life" with Lisa Ling," also an author. And a theme through the day -- Lisa highlight this as well as others -- that it's not an Asian culture to jump up and down and make a lot of noise and waive your arms and scream.

But Lisa was saying now is the time for Asian-Americans to speak out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING": We are part of this incredible tapestry, with stories and histories from every corner of the globe. If one thread comes loose, we can all fall apart. So we have to protect each other.

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERCAMMEN: This was a peaceful rally. It was extremely efficient. They sealed off the streets here in Koreatown. You could see a lot of Asian-Americans in red or yellow shirts. They disbanded it rather efficiently, as I said, reopening this boulevard.

[16:55:03]

But it was interesting to see just a great cross-cut of people, whether they be Vietnamese-American, of course, Korean-American, Japanese, Chinese. And even there was somebody in his traditional Indonesian garb. Quite a scene here with all those colors.

Back to you -- Ana?

CABRERA: It sounds beautiful. And we should be celebrating the diversity of the cultures that make America that what it is. We are all part of that.

Thank you, Paul Vercammen. I appreciate your reporting.

There is the truth about what happened on January 6th, and then there's this from former President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): It was a zero threat right from the start. It was zero threat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Are those comments making America less safe?

Stay with us. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)