Return to Transcripts main page
Biden Meets With World Leaders At First G7 Summit As President; White House: Biden Will Have "Direct" & "Candid" Face-To-Face With Putin; YouTube Suspends GOP Senator's Account Over COVID Misinformation; Denmark V. Finland Euro 2021 Soccer Game Suspended After Player Collapses, Is Resuscitated On Field; FDA Authorizes Production Of Around 10 Million J&J Vaccine Doses At Baltimore Plant; Vaccine Rates Stall As Misinformation Spreads. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired June 12, 2021 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I come from a Christianity background, that it's taught to be wrong. And as a parent, I know like who to talk to. It's just like that's just stuff you don't talk to people about.
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: So, how did you come to terms with it? It sounds -- it seems not you --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It took a while. We had a rollercoaster relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Be sure to tune in for that. The finale of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" airs tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m., right here on CNN.
MARQUARDT: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Alex Marquardt, in for Jim Acosta on this Saturday. Thanks so much for being with us.
What a difference, three years and a new president make. This is weekend, we're watching President Biden at the G7 Summit over in England in good spirits, in the company of other world leaders, who were also in similarly good moods, posing there for the extended family photos as its known and then watching that fly-over by the Royal Air Force acrobatic team.
Now, compare that to this photo from the 2018 G7 summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders hobbled over a desk where the then-U.S. President Donald Trump sits alone with his arms crossed. The U.S. seemingly alone there against the world.
That summit that -- those summits were then full of awkward handshakes and remarks, now replaced by embraces. French President Emmanuel Macros saying that Biden is, quote, part of the club.
Even Queen Elizabeth asked about this year's tone. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH: Are you supposed to be looking as if you're enjoying it?
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Yes, definitely. We have been enjoying ourselves in spite of appearances.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Of course, it's not all fun photos and chummy meeting, and all of this precedes what will almost certainly be a contentious and tense meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And Putin is already speaking out ahead of that summit with President Biden on Wednesday, and he's praising Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Even now, I believe that former U.S. president, Mr. Trump, is an extraordinary individual, talented individual. Otherwise, he would not have become U.S. president.
President Biden, of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He's spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics. Just think of the number of years he spent in the Senate. A different kind of person.
And it is my great hope that, yes, there is some advantages, some disadvantages. But there will not be any impulse-based movements on behalf of the sitting U.S. president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: I'll have more on that, previewing that meeting with the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, in a moment.
But, first, let's go to Falmouth, England, where CNN senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly is standing by.
Phil, the G7 is wrapping up. It looks like it's wrapping up on a very positive note. We know the president met with his French counterpart today. What has happened?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it wasn't a state secret going into the G7, that the president had a dramatically different approach, dramatically different feeling about the G7, about the western alliances, about the value of the post-World War II consensus and construct when compared to his predecessor Donald Trump.
You showed that picture from the 2018 G7, where you recalled former President Trump refused at the last minute to sign the communique, the joint statement that everybody agrees to, that kind of punctuates all of these meetings. President Biden is very much pushing towards, he will certainly sign
it, it's safe to say, and pushing the group towards a communique that largely reflects his priorities going into the G7.
You mentioned that sit-down with French President Emmanuel Macron, and somebody that President Trump or at least try to have one of the more solid relationships amongst these group of leaders with President Trump and see how all of that went when it came out in the wash, and you want some signal to that -- well, listen to how he framed things today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: What we need is cooperation and I think that it is great to have a U.S. president part of the club and very willing to cooperate. And I think what you demonstrated is that leadership is partnership.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED STATES: The United States, I've said before, we're back. The U.S. is back. We feel very, very strongly about the cohesion of NATO, and I for one think that the European Union is an incredibly strong and vibrant entity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Now, Alex, I know you are a keen observer of diplomatic speak, but you don't need to be a keen observer of diplomatic speak to see how not subtle those comments were in terms of President Biden being in the club, in terms of the leadership he was howling and just his participation in general in this group.
You know, and I think it's important to know. There are issues between these countries that won't be resolved by this meeting. There are differences of opinions on the approach to China. There's some differences of opinion on the approach to Russia. But this is showing a unified front, which is an important aspect of President Biden's goals going into this week and obviously going into that meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a number of days.
MARQUARDT: Yeah, and the British Prime minister calling President Biden a breath of fresh air, even though he was very close to the former U.S. president as well.
Phil Mattingly in Cornwall, thanks very much.
Now, the White House says that Biden will be going into that meeting with Vladimir Putin next week with, quote, the wind at his back after the G7 and upcoming NATO meetings. This is a cover of "Time" giving a nod to that big meeting, showing with Biden there with Putin reflected in his signature Aviator sunglasses.
As for what Biden plans to say, he's not giving that away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Mr. President, what's your message to Putin?
BIDEN: I'll tell you after I delivered it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Joining me now is someone who knows President Biden very well, the former director of national intelligence under President Obama, James Clapper.
Director Clapper, thank you so much for your time this afternoon.
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Thanks, Alex.
MARQUARDT: Now, there's a lot that Presidents Biden and Putin have to discuss. We know that the Russian government was behind the SolarWinds breach last year. There are criminal hackers in Russia launching ransomware attacks on the U.S. Putin has built up troops on the border with Ukraine. And, of course, Russia still has two Americans in jail on suspicious charges.
If you were advising President Biden, what do you hope that he will walk into that meeting and say first?
CLAPPER: Well, first, as Phil outlined and I think this is important, the stark contrast between President Biden and President Trump, and I think the timing of having the G7 meeting first and then the meeting with Putin was right on, because the president arrives and confronts Putin with the unity of the G7.
So I think in terms of the topics that are important that he would cover and I would advise he cover, I think, you know, not in any particular order here, but certainly human rights generally, you know, the Americans incarcerated in Russia, clearly there needs to be a message about cyberattacks, SolarWinds, the Colonial Pipeline, meat processing ransomware, that kind of stuff which is just completely unacceptable. And it is not acceptable for Putin to hide behind that these are criminals, I don't have any control over them, which in Russia is baloney.
Arms control I think would be another good topic. We only have one agreement left that addresses arms control, and that is the START, the strategic agreement --
CLAPPER: -- that was extended for five years, but we don't have -- we back out of the Open Skies, which probably weren't (ph) a big loss, and of course, the INF treaty.
So I think probably we should try to rekindle discussion about that, because that is our mutual interests.
MARQUARDT: Yeah, but the White House --
CLAPPER: And, of courses, any number -- I'm sorry, go ahead. MARQUARDT: Sorry, go ahead. No, no, finish it.
CLAPPER: I was just going to add that, of course regional issues abound, notable Russian pressure on Ukraine, you know, the demarche, if you will about Ukraine, from Putin about Ukraine and NATO, the Arctic region and the competition there, and if there's time, Syria.
Now, just remember, from a mechanical or administrative standpoint, that the length of time it takes to go through all these topics, you have to divide it by half because of the time required for translation. So, those are the topics I would suggest, but fitting them all in could be a challenge.
MARQUARDT: Yeah, I'm chuckling because there are so many. And the White House, I should have said, has certainly said human rights will be front and center. Alexey Navalny, his poisoning, and then his incarceration.
All those subjects, you know, you hope will be raised, but there's difference between raising those subjects and accomplishing something.
We heard from the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, he said not to expect deliverables, rather it's about communicating what America's intentions are and capabilities. So, for you what would be a successful summit between these two men?
CLAPPER: Well, I think Jake was right -- exactly right to kind of lower expectations. I think what is important to me, in terms of a deliverable I message. I think the substance and manner of delivery of the message.
And just to make the point, there is a new sheriff in town, and not one that's so compliant with Mr. Putin. So I think conveying the message is the important thing. Most of it I suspect will roll off Putin's back like water off a duck.
MARQUARDT: The last summit between a U.S. president and a Russian president, you will remember perhaps better than anybody, when Trump stood next to Putin at that Helsinki summit and sided with Putin's version of events over the U.S. intelligence communities, saying that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election.
Here's part of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: You have not called the now president a voracious consumers of intelligence. Do you expect President Biden to reassert his confidence in the U.S. intelligence community? Is that something that's important for the men and women serving to hear?
CLAPPER: I absolutely do. I -- if that issue comes up, I have no doubt about President Biden reaffirming his confidence and trust and belief in what the U.S. intelligence community says, if that issue were to come up. Of course, the Helsinki thing is just -- I'll never forget that. It just blew me away, as it did many others.
MARQUARDT: Yeah, it certainly did.
All right. Former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, thank you so much for your time, sir.
CLAPPER: Thanks, Alex, for having me.
MARQUARDT: Next, a senator's YouTube channel has been suspended. Why? That's next.
MARQUARDT: We're following a story just into CNN. Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has been suspended from YouTube, after posting COVID misinformation.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has been following this story for us on Capitol Hill.
Suzanne, what more can you tell us about this?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alex, this really just contributed to the debate over misinformation in public health, and whether or not you can protect the public from misinformation. This is YouTube taking a stand on this, basically suspending his account for a week, this is Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. He was making comments at a virtual event for the Milwaukee press club, and this was regarding some dubious and discredited treatments regarding COVID-19.
So, YouTube saying that this is against their COVID-19 policy, putting out a statement, explaining this, saying that we've removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don't allow content that encourages people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus.
Now, my colleague, Daniella Diaz, tracked down Senator Johnson's office to get his take in all of this. As you can imagine, he has quite angered by this. He put out his own statement, decided there's only one medical viewpoint allowed, and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies.
YouTube's ongoing COVID censorship proves they have accumulated too much unaccountable power, big tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives. As you can imagine, many medical professionals disagree with that, and
you may recall that it was in July of 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and some others that they found were not effective and not safe when it comes to treating COVID or preventing COVID.
And as you can imagine, Senator Johnson, he joins a number of Republican lawmakers, including the most famous, the former President Trump, who is banned from various social media outlets, again, because of this ongoing battle over misinformation and public health -- Alex.
MARQUARDT: And the former president also pushing the use of hydroxychloroquine.
MALVEAUX: That's right.
MARQUARDT: Suzanne Malveaux on Capitol Hill, thanks very much.
Joining me now are CNN global affairs analyst, staff writer for "The New Yorker", Susan Glasser, and staff writer for "The Atlantic" and former Bush speechwriter, David Frum.
David, I want to start with you. Before we get in to other things, what Suzanne was just reporting there about Senator Johnson being suspended, do you think that helps or hurts other Republican candidates when they get taken off of these social media platforms?
DAVID FRUM, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: This is a big bowl of delicious tasty cream put before Senator Johnson, just perfect. Republicans do not want to talk about economic issues, the Biden agenda is, so far, quite popular. So far, the American economy is reviving. Those issues don't work.
What does work is the politics of grievance and especially the politics of grievance can be pointed against these enormous tech giants. So, it's perfect. I suspect you'll see more of these deliberate provocations of these companies by Republicans who want to say, I was canceled, I'm a victim, support me, because they're coming for you next.
MARQUARDT: And we've seen with others making hay out of that as well.
Susan, I want to switch gears to something that really does seem unimaginable here in the U.S. We have learned that Trump's Justice Department demanded metadata for 73 phone numbers, 36 e-mails addresses from Apple, all connected to Democratic lawmakers be handed over, staffers, their families.
And the former Attorney General Bill Barr told "Politico" that he was, quote, not aware that they were looking at any of those cases. And he said he doesn't discussed leaked cases with President Trump, but the president was out there shouting from the rooftops about what he wanted. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I've actually called the justice department to look into the leaks. Those are criminal leaks.
The leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it. And the leaks are absolutely real.
The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake.
We're going to find the leakers. We're going to find the leakers. They're going to pay a big price for leaking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: They're going to pay a big price for leaking.
Susan, was that a clear directive from President Trump?
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, look, I think this is a clear-cut example, frankly, yes, not only was it a directive from President Trump, but though those -- there were many of them who said President Trump is just outrageous with his rhetoric. This is an example where the words, and I think we'll find out as the historical record will ultimately show, words and deeds were connected, far more so than President Trump's enablers obvious wanted to be the case.
It's interesting that former Attorney General Bill Barr says, you know, he wasn't responsible, former Attorney General Sessions, who was the first attorney general when this leak probe apparently began, he also apparently says he wasn't responsible. It's interesting that nobody is responsible, and yet you have the former president right there on tape essentially giving the order.
So I think this is a major escalation. It is just one of the norms that were shattered by the president and his administration that have to do with the politicization of the Justice Department, and basically ending the reforms of the Watergate era that were designed to protect the justice system from exactly this kind of political meddling.
MARQUARDT: I do want to get back to the president's trip to Europe this weekend, and as he heads over to Brussels in the coming days and then on to Geneva, and really highlight again how different these scenes were, between how Biden was received, versus how President Trump was received primarily by European and other close American allies.
Look at this picture, President Trump, in 2018, his armed crossed, surrounded by frustrated leaders from all around the world. You can see the Japanese and German leaders right there.
Now, compare that to President Biden, what we've seen the past few days, walking with his arms around the French president, elbow bumping with Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson, for his part, even brushing off the fact that Biden had once called him a Trump clone.
Let's listen to part of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He also referred to you as a physical and emotional clone. I just wonder how you responded to that and whether the relationship is in a better place now.
JOHNSON: The relationship is in extremely good order. I think that the -- the premise of the U.K. and the -- has a job to do to get on with whoever is the president of the United States. That's what we do, but in this particular case, I want you to know the relationship is extremely good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: So, Boris Johnson brushing it off there.
David, of course, the headline out the G7 there in Cornwall is going to be that, you know, everything is back on track, Biden was welcomed back with open arms, but in terms of the substance, what do you think was accomplished and maybe not accomplished?
FRUM: Look, everyone in the G7, I'm sure, welcomes a more normal kind of relationship with them, or a more normal kind of president. But let's remember, what the G7 is about is above all a gathering about promoting and enhancing world trade. And in President Biden, the United States has the most trade skeptical president since the war.
The Biden administration has made clear it's not interested in trade expansion, and we are, and that is especially critical, because we are emerging from the greatest shock to world trade in memory through COVID-19. And even before that, we were in an area of slowbalisation, where world trade growth was moving much slower than it had in the 1990s and the early 2000s.
This is a big problem for American prosperity, for everybody's prosperity. The Biden agenda is trade skeptical, not interested in new agreements, maintaining many of the Trump trade barriers, and generally thinking that he can somehow keep raise American leaving standards by excluding foreign goods.
MARQUARDT: Susan, I also want to get your take on this trip, and what we've seen over the past few days.
You wrote in "The New Yorker" that President Biden's objectives for this trip, quote, the main accomplishment of the Biden trip, however, will not come from the policy debates that inevitably occur between allies. The win here is that it's happening at all. The fact that Biden, and not Trump, is president, virtually guarantees him as successful international debut. All Biden has to do in some sense is show up.
That's what I was just talking and asking David about. But given that it's very easy to have that win with European leaders, do you think that he should have tried something a bit more challenging, going out to Asia to talk about China? Going out to the Middle East where there are countless issues? Or are you glad that he started with the Europeans?
GLASSER: Well, there's no doubt it's a low bar for President Biden to jump over in terms of restoring a relationship with European allies. But remember that he and his foreign policy team see this as key to their agenda when it comes to Asia, when it comes to things like climate, that they need to rebuild the partnership between Europe and the United States in order to tackle some of those harder problems.
And the contrast all week long, I just keep remembering Donald Trump's first trip as a foreign leader not to talk with our allies and partners, but to go to the Middle East, to go to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, remember the sword dance and glowing orb, and message to the autocrats in the Middle East which was I'm not here to lecture you.
So, I think that, you know, politically, it is sending an important message. Just to David's very important point about trade, I would say, it's not just Biden who has an agenda that it's not clear how it would be executed yet, but remember, his key partners there are Germany and France in the European Union.
And, you know, both of those are looking at an enormous period of political disruption. Chancellor Merkel is leaving, this is her final G7. Macron in French faces a very difficult reelection next year. So this isn't a moment for big policy shifts on the part of his counterparts either.
MARQUARDT: Well, it's not over. He still has significant meetings coming up with both the E.U. and NATO before he heads to Geneva for that famous summit with President Putin.
Susan Glasser, David Frum, thank you both for joining me.
FRUM: Thank you.
GLASSER: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: And coming up, terrifying moments during a European soccer game after a player collapses and needs to be resuscitated on the field. That's coming up.
MARQUARDT: There was a very scary scene today during Denmark's opening match of the Euro 2020 against Finland. The Danish star, Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field shortly before the end of the first half. You can see it there.
Teammates and fans looking on, stunned, as medical staff rushed over, working frantically to try to resuscitate him with CPR and a defibrillator.
CNN's "WORLD SPORT" host, Don Riddell, joins me. Don, can you give us the latest on Erikson's condition?
DON RIDDELL, CNN HOST, "WORLD SPORT": It seems to be good news. Certainly, a lot better than many of us feared when those events played out a few hours ago.
They worked on him for some time on the field. His teammates formed a protective cordon around him to protect him from the pries eyes of the broadcast cameras and the photographers.
And he was taken to hospital, and which point UEFA, European football's governing body and the organizers of this tournament, and the Danish Football Association confirmed he was doing OK and is receiving treatment.
It has been reported he spoke to his teammates via Facetime, and that's why they agreed to come back and continue the game.
It must have been so different for them. The scenes were ones of absolute devastation. The players on the Denmark team understandably distraught.
The players on the Finnish team very distraught. The fans in the stadium were weeping and hugging each other. It felt like an eternity it went on for.
And we now seem to be in a situation where the news is good. But it didn't seem that way for a while.
MARQUARDT: Look at the looks on the faces of those players. There was that picture of him, his face looking up when he was on the stretcher.
So that's good news. A welcome turn of events.
It's great they were able to finish the match at the start of a very important international soccer tournament.
MARQUARDT: Don Riddell, in Atlanta, thanks very much.
Take a look at this terrifying video out of Texas. Four people had to be rescued after their boat got dangerously close to the edge of a dam in Austin, perched on the edge.
Officials saying they used a roped to attach the boat to another one while rescuers flying a helicopter overhead lowered life vests into that boat.
After about an hour, they were able to put the stranded boat off the dam, into the open water to safety. Remarkable. Happy ending to that story.
A quick break. We will be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:37:47]
MARQUARDT: In the ongoing fight against the coronavirus, Johnson & Johnson is making positive strides this week. The FDA has authorized around 10 million doses to be produced at a plant in Baltimore.
Where, until now, not a single J&J shot had been approved because of a quality control issues. That was back in March. The shelf life was also extended this week to four and a half months.
Joining me now is CNN medical analyst and the former Baltimore health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen.
Doctor, you got the J&J vaccine yourself. So for anyone who might still be on the fence, what would you say?
DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: We have three vaccines here in the U.S. that have been proved to be effective. Johnson & Johnson has the benefit of a one-dote vaccine.
If you're a young woman under the age of 50, you may consider either of the other two.
But all of the investigation thus far I think should reassure the American people that our federal health officials are prioritizing safety, first and foremost.
The plant that's, in part, producing the Johnson & Johnson here in Baltimore, where they found some doses are not able to be used, but some are, that shows the regulatory processes are working.
MARQUARDT: There are fears that the Delta variant, first identified in India, could be the dominant strain here in the U.S.
What concerns you most about the Delta variant?
WEN: Here's what we know about the Delta variant. It's extremely contagious. In fact, the most contagious variant to date. We have the Alpha variant originating in the U.K.
And in the U.K., the Delta variant has already taken over, crowding out that already extremely contagious variant, the Alpha variant. That could happen here.
The Delta variant also is more virulent. Meaning it's more deadly.
So I really worry about the unvaccinated individuals here in the U.S. They tend to be more vulnerable, even though the levels of infection has declined throughout the country, which is fantastic news.
Those who are not -- and if we have a variant more contagious and more virulent, those individuals could be at higher risk.
MARQUARDT: So many of our fellow citizens are not getting vaccinated, because they are listening to the wrong information. They're being served with disinformation that frankly is getting out of control.
I want you to listen to something an Ohio nurse, a nurse, told state lawmakers earlier this week.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOANNA OVERHOLT, REGISTERED: Yes, vaccines do harm people.
By the way, so I just found out something while I was lunch and I want to show it to you.
You were talking about Dr. Tenpenny's testimony about magnetic vaccine crystals. So this is what I found out. I have a key and a bobby pen here.
Explain to me why the key sticks to me. It sticks to my neck, too. So if somebody can explain this, that would be great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Well, it did not stick to her. But one of the more shocking things is to hear the hesitancy from medical professionals.
When you, Dr. Wen, hear conspiracies like that, and that what they are, how do you think we can do that that?
WEN: First of all, we have to say it's not true, right? I've been vaccinated. Metal objects are not flying to me somehow. It's just not true.
We could laugh it off and say it's ridiculous but it's really sad. So many people, millions of people around the country and around the world who have fallen prey to conspiracy theories they are believing it.
And as a result, they are not getting vaccinated, spreading the word to their loved ones or patients even, to not get vaccinated.
Those people who listen to them could very well get infected and die from something that's entirely preventable.
As a physician, it really makes me angry, frustrated and sad at the same time.
We need to counter misinformation, to approach individuals with empathy, not with judgment.
And as much as possible see that that we are the most trusted messenger to someone. Someone out there's listening to us as individuals.
Our brother, sister, children, friends, neighbors, someone is listening to what they are saying. And to give them accurate information.
That's all of our obligation.
MARQUARDT: Yes, it's sad, dangerous, in a country where we have so many vaccines available, which cannot be said for other countries.
Folks, get your shots.
Dr. Leana Wen, thanks so much for your time.
WEN: Thank so much.
MARQUARDT: Imagine getting messages like this, quote, "You and your family will be killed very slowly."
According to a report from Reuters, that is some of the, frankly, disgusting messages that, Trisha Raffensperger, the wife of Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, got after the election, because her husband decided to uphold the law and refused to find votes, per Trump's instruction overturn the election.
Here is Amara Walker.
AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): "You and your family will be killed very slowly." "We plan for the death of you and your family every day." And a warning that a family member was going to have a very unfortunate incident.
The death threats came by text to Tricia Raffensperger, wife of Georgia secretary of state, detailed in a Reuters interview. The messages coming in April, many months after Donald Trump lost the election.
Earlier threats even forcing them into hiding for nearly one week.
Trisha Raffensperger telling Reuters, "Brad and I didn't feel like we could protect ourselves."
She said she canceled weekly visits at her home with two grandchildren, 3 and 5 years old.
"I couldn't have them come to my house anymore. You don't know if these people are actually going to act on this stuff," she said.
She described to Reuters how intruders in late November broke into the home of their widowed daughter-in-law.
Secretary Brad Raffensperger spoke about the threats to CNN in December, as Trump attacked him incessantly for standing by the election results in Georgia --
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's an enemy of the people.
WALKER: -- where Joe Biden won by a slim margin.
RAFFENSPERGER: Tricia got the first ones. For some reason they targeted her.
I think that, you know, the first one was like tell Brad to step down, you know, and that type of thing.
But then, they just really, you know, ramped up. And then, went to stage two, they just got vulgar and rude.
WALKER: Trump's baseless accusations of voter fraud in Georgia also led to an election worker getting threatened with a noose.
GABRIEL STERLING, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE: A 20-something tech in Gwinnett County today has death threats and a noose put out saying he should be hung for treason.
WALKER: These incidents led Gabriel Sterling, a Georgia election official, to angrily call on Trump and Republican leaders to stop the disinformation and condemn the threats.
STERLING: Someone is going to get hurt, someone's going to get shot, someone's going to get killed, and it's not right.
WALKER: Still, during a speech before the North Carolina Republican Party last week, former President Trump didn't skip a beat, still promoting false claims of election fraud.
TRUMP: I am not the one trying to undermine American democracy.
WALKER (on camera): Some federal judges overseeing the January 6th insurrection cases have expressed concern over Trump's rhetoric, that it could possibly inspire more threats of violence.
There's also worries over the impact that misinformation can on election workers and officials during the 2022 midterms.
In the meantime, Trump is being investigated here in Georgia for alleged election interference, including that January phone call to the Secretary of State Raffensperger, pressuring him to overturn the election results.
In Atlanta, Amara Walker, CNN.
MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Amara Walker for that very, very disturbing news.
Now, we take you "OFF THE BEATEN PATH" in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now, we're at Falling Water State Park, which is exciting. I've never been here before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to see the Falling Water.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Falling Water.
It was swimming, camping, picnicking, just enjoying an entire outdoors experience.
DOROTHY ODOM, LOCAL HISTORIAN: There's another state park here in the area, Florida Cavern State Park. They have a half-mile tour through the caverns.
While you're there, you can appreciate 68 degrees temperature constant. If it's a hot summer day, that's the place to be.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Welcome to Cypress Springs.
TAYLOR ELLIOTT, OWNER, COLDWATER EXCURSIONS: If you come to the Florida Panhandle, this is a must see. Right behind me, you can see the water bubbling up. Cypress Spring comes up at 90-feet per minute. Enough to fill four Olympic-size pools in an hour.
The water temperature is 68 to 70 degrees year-round. There's snorkeling. There's also a tunnel you can swim down. If you're brave enough, there's a rope swing out here.
The only way to get to see Cypress Springs is paddling down Holm Creek. That keeps it secluded. You're surrounded by nature, which I love. It's my favorite place in the world to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: YouTube has just suspended Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson for sharing COVID misinformation.
Our chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, is here to help us understand what happened.
Brian, how did this suspension come about?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": This is due to the Senator promoting -- sharing videos promoting Hydroxychloroquine.
You remember those debates from 2020, the discussions about whether it was an effective treatment about COVID-19.
President Trump and some of the Republican took the position that it should be used, possibly a miracle drug.
The FDA and Oregon government agencies said, no, that's not the case. Doctors said that was harmful information.
YouTube has a policy in place that removing disinformation about COVID-19.
They say they do this for the health and well-being of users. They don't want lies and misinformation spread about COVID cures or treatment.
The real answer for COVID-19 is the vaccine, as you were discussing.
Johnson's page was suspended for a week, but there seems to be an attempt to somehow prove Trump is right, that it's secret information being covered up somehow.
So Johnson says YouTube does not have a right -- it's too powerful to suspend an account.
It is still pretty rare for them to -- it's remarkable to see them doing it against a politician.
MARQUARDT: Brian, this news broke while I was on the air. I asked David Frum, the former speechwriter for George W. Bush, and whether this decision helps or hurts.
Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRUM: This is a big bowl of delicious, tasty cream put before Senator Johnson. It's just perfect.
Look, Republicans do not want to talk about economic issues. The Biden agenda is, so far, quite popular. So far, the American economy is reviving. Those issues don't work.
But what works are the politics of grievance. And the politics of grievance can point against the enormous tech giants. It's perfect.
I suspect you'll see more of these deliberate provocations of these companies by Republicans who want to say, I was cancels, I'm a victim, support me, because they're coming for you next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Brian, we only have a couple seconds left. But it seems like, if you're a social media company, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't.
STELTER: Yes, it's tough either way. These companies are siding on the position they are looking after their users, protecting their users from bad information.
The definition of bad information is always evolving. And Johnson can use this against the company. MARQUARDT: They certainly have a responsibility to take this stuff
Brian Stelter, thank you very much.
That will do it for me. I'm Alex Marquardt. Jim Acosta returns tomorrow at 4:00 Eastern time.
Up next, it's Pamela Brown, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Have a great night.