DON LEMON, CNN HOST: John, 31 states now seeing a rise in new coronavirus cases. The CDC thinks there may be 10 times as many cases as reported. But here is what the president was focused on for an hour of propaganda on Fox News tonight.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can’t. Look, Chicago is an example. It’s like, worse than Afghanistan. You say, is that a racist statement. It’s not racist. Frankly, black people come up to me and say thank you. Thank you, sir for saying it. They want to help. The cities, it’s like living in hell.
It’s very controversial to say stop and frisk. Stop and frisk. Rudy Giuliani started stop and frisk and he did a great — it was a great thing he did for New York.
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LEMON: The president is downplaying the pandemic as some kids with sniffles and rambling about race and black people thanking him and on and on. I would like to know who those black people are. But, why? Why is he doing this?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don, the president is fixated on two distinct ideas. One is that he had this strong economy that was going to, he was going to surf to re-election until he was hit out of the blue by this pandemic.
Now, he didn’t build the greatest economy in the world as he says but he is fixated on that. So, what he is trying to do is get back to that by in essence wishing the pandemic away trying to avoid focus on it and shift back to the economy.
The second thing he is fixated on is the idea that racial conflict works for him. It worked for him in 2016 to get the Republican nomination and the presidency. And so, he is beating that drum. Trying to alarm white voters about black and brown people in the United States.
The problem that he has is that the polls show it’s not working, in particular it’s not working among whites. He carried whites against Hillary Clinton by 20 points in 2016. In the polling that gap narrowed substantially for — in the direction of Joe Biden. He’s got big problems.