Cornel West: Have to recognize that white people have always been part of black freedom movement

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 19, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you, Bill, very, very much. Have a good vacay.

So, far things are stable at protests combination celebrations across the country to honor Juneteenth -- Juneteenth, as you know, the annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Many people didn't know about this holiday, particularly the white community, but, over the last couple of days, they have. And there's a move afoot even by some Republican senators to go ahead and make it a national holiday.

Ben Carson, of course, just telling our own Bill Hemmer that he thinks that's a good idea as well. They are moving for that as well.

We're following these developments, of course, because, peaceful now. They expect right now this to continue throughout much of the evening, ahead of what's going to be a very busy weekend, the president, of course, planning to be in Tulsa, Oklahoma, tomorrow at an event where it'll be jam-packed, close to 20,000 in the House.

Let's get the latest from Mike Tobin in Minneapolis, where they are also recognizing this day, and for obvious reasons -- Mike.

MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And those obvious reasons, Neil, are that the Juneteenth celebrations are getting momentum because of what happened here in the Twin Cities.

Where I'm standing is one of 13 different marches, events, demonstrations that are taking place today. This is located in the parking lot of that Target that was looted during the riding very near the 3rd Precinct building that was overrun by rioters.

This is billed as a family-friendly event. You can see the numbers aren't that great because it's just getting started. But it's not just here. Much like the rioting, these Juneteenth events are spreading all across the nation.

In New York, the event manifested as an anti-police march, with demonstrators chanting, "How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D."

Similar marches in Oakland, California, and Chicago, George Floyd's death motivating people both white and black to recognize when the Union Army showed up in Galveston, Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and essentially put it into effect, freeing the slaves.


JESSE HOLLAND, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: There has been an effort to try to make Juneteenth a federal holiday and/or a state holiday for decades. But now major companies, like Google, major universities like Georgetown University, are making Juneteenth a holiday.

So this is why more and more people are talking about it, because, frankly, a lot of people didn't know it exists.


TOBIN: And the one thing we're hearing from people in Minneapolis is that the tragic death of George Floyd is motivating people, both white and black, to talk about problems with race.


GYANGELO BRADDEN, CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH: You look at 1950s, there probably would have not been that many white people out here. But it's 2020 and there are more white people out here than black people. So there's definitely a change. And I think, in due time, it will change.

BRAD ROBINSON, CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH: It's a beautiful thing, seeing a lot different races out here to come together on this magical day of our freedom, our independence for African-Americans.

I'm here with my co-workers that I brought out here. So we're having a good time.


TOBIN: And that last person you just heard from, Brad Robinson, wrote a letter to the bosses at his property -- a property management company, asking them, asking the company to recognize Juneteenth. And the bosses agreed -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Mike, thank you very much, Mike Tobin.

Ditto in Chicago, where you're seeing a lot of businesses recognize the day by essentially closing and let their workers go outside and celebrate it.

Matt Finn is there right now.

Hey, Matt.


Chicago-based Grubhub tells us that 2,700 employees have off today. Also, Lyft is now recognizing Juneteenth as a corporate holiday. And then Kraft Heinz, which is based in here in Chicago, tell us that corporate employees are off today. And Kraft Heinz is encouraging those employees to focus on service today.

And there are several Juneteenth marches here in Chicago. Governor Pritzker and Senator Dick Durbin just led one of the faith-based marches right here in the heart of Chicago.

And today's marches were celebratory and jovial with marching bands and dancing to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday honoring the liberation of those who had been held as slaves in the United States.

But also in today's marches, we did see anti-police sentiment and more calls for defunding police. And then back here live in Chicago, we want to show you some of the businesses that are still recovering from the recent riots and looting here. They are boarded up. And the city is allowing takeout service and outdoor dining.

But, unfortunately, some of these places probably cannot do that because of the damage to their storefronts. Right now, on a typical beautiful Friday afternoon like this is in the heart of the loop, this area would be shoulder to shoulder with workers, corporate employees, tourists and families.

So you can only imagine the hit that these businesses continue to take because of the pandemic and also some of the damage from the riots and the looting -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Matt, thank you very, very much.

Dr. Cornel West, who really needs no introduction, had cited a lot of these crowds not too long ago, particularly after the tragic death of George Floyd, as a promising sign, in that so many whites were among those participating.

The professor, bestselling author with us right now.

Doctor, that is an encouraging development. We're seeing even more of it today in cities across the country, recognizing a day that very few whites knew about little more than a week ago. What do you think?

CORNEL WEST, PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Well, it's always a beautiful thing to see human beings, no matter what color, bearing witness and being a force for good, for justice.

But we have to recognize, my brother, that white brothers and sisters have always been a part of the black freedom movement. You know John Brown. There's Lydia Maria Child. There's Elijah Lovejoy. There's Theodore Parker.

It goes all the way up to Anne Braden and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, that non-black brothers and sisters have chosen to be persons of integrity and generosity, concerned about justice for everybody.

And it's always gone hand in hand. What is different now is that we have larger numbers, no doubt about that, larger numbers. But keep in mind even the March on Washington, when brother Martin Luther King Jr. told America about a dream that he had, you had a whole wave of white brothers and sisters standing there in Washington, D.C., alongside blacks and browns and Asians and indigenous people.

CAVUTO: You know, Doctor, there's been a good deal of attention paid to making this day a national holiday.

Republican Senator John Cornyn, among others, for that, HUD Secretary Ben Carson just saying that. Do you think that should happen, make this a national holiday?

WEST: I think it's a good idea, but I don't like the fetishizing of symbols.

Symbols matter. I understand that. And I think it'd be a wonderful holiday. But we are really much more about substance.

We're really much more about trying to ensure that we not only stay in contact with the rich humanity of black people, but each and every one of us trying to make an effort to be forces of good for justice, whatever forms of injustice that we're focusing on, so that I'm a little leery of this notion of making this a holiday, as if this becomes a major concession, as opposed to fighting poverty, trying to eliminate the dilapidated housing, low-quality education systems with not resources, not enough jobs and so forth.

We have to keep in mind that when we're talking about race, we're always talking not only about hatred, but we're talking about greed. We're talking about economic systems that don't allow black people and others to gain access to resources.

CAVUTO: You know, there's been a move by some of these protesters to try to defund police departments, and some to get rid of them altogether.

How do you feel about that? Do you think that's going too far? What do you think?

WEST: Well, we have to keep in mind, my brother, that there's been a defunding of social programs, a defunding of the social net to sustain people, a defunding of the ability of regulating corporations, a defunding of money of showing that we have regulation and environmental protection.

So defunding has to do with priorities. When people say defunding the police, what they're saying is, we have got to talk about public safety. We have got to talk about people who are guardians in the community, with community control and civilian oversight.

It's not a matter of trashing. It's a matter of shifting our priorities. We have been living the last 40 years where the police, as well as the Pentagon, have assets to nearly unlimited resources, but austerity for all the other parts of the budget.

So, we just need a shift in priorities. And that's exactly what Martin Luther King was talking about when he said, we need a revolution in our priorities, a revolution in our values, and then the kind of transfer of democratic sharing of power.


CAVUTO: Oh, well, I don't believe that he ever talked about just disbanding police departments.

But I do want to get what you think is going on where a number of police departments across the country have said, wait a minute. We're not all awful. We're not all doing what happened to George Floyd. There's even talk of a sick-out coming on July 4 of law enforcement security types who feel that they have now been just painted all as awful human beings.

What do you think of that?

WEST: Well, I think we have got to resist any monolithic views of any institution or peoples. Of course, there's always going to be decent people in whatever institution, whatever color, whatever group.

But the problem is, when you have a whole culture, let's say in a police department, where the police will not render each other accountable, knowing that there's chronic to systemic mistreatment, abuse of civilians.

You see, that's a larger institutional problem, so it's not just a matter of bad apples and good apples in that regard. But -- and keep in mind, though, remember that any time you're talking about fundamental transformation, you have to be very, very subtle and nuanced in the language that you use, so that when any time you're using slogans...

CAVUTO: Let me ask you about that, though, Professor, if you...


CAVUTO: I apologize here.


WEST: No, no, no.


CAVUTO: I did want to get your sense of where all of this is going.

An issue that's come up again and again is whether the president is helping or hurting the problem. I know you have been critical of his response and his outrage to the black community. But he has said that he has done more for African-Americans as a president since Abraham Lincoln, and that prior to the virus and the shutdown of the economy, no president -- and he says this -- has done more to bring down the black unemployment rate and to create more jobs for the minority community in general, and that he was a big reason for that.

So, do you think the criticism of him that he doesn't care, or worse, targets African-Americans, is justified?

WEST: Well, no, you have got LBJ. You have got Abraham Lincoln. And, of course, Obama symbolically did much for black folk, but I don't think he did enough substantially.

But all three of those presidents could be easily pitted against brother Trump himself.

You know I have been very hard on brother Trump. I just think that he's got these gangster sensibilities, such that it's not just a matter of the name- calling. Look, I mean, when we're calling them black people sons of B-I-T- C-H-E-S, you see, that -- he's talking about my momma. You see what I mean?

So, how in the world any black folks are going to...


CAVUTO: But I think he was -- wasn't he referring at the time to NFL players?

No, no, Reverend, wasn't he talking at the time about NFL players who kneel during the national anthem? I didn't -- I don't think he was making a generic statement about African-Americans.

WEST: Well, but Colin is my brother. You know what I mean? Colin is my very dear brother.

To call his momma that is in some sense the principle of transitivity, so I feel a certain hit and a certain hurt in that regard. But that's just the beginning of it, the greatest attacks on sister -- my dear sister from Los Angeles, caught attacks on her. Well, I won't even dignify them.

But the point is. There's no doubt that there has been, prior to the virus, a reduction of the levels of unemployment. And that is significant.

I do. I give him credit. That is significant. But it's completely undercut by tone, temperament, vicious name-calling, unbelievable attacks and assaults, the S-H-I-T-H-O-L-E-S associated with black people. Those are brothers and sisters of mine too in those Third World countries.

That kind of xenophobic, racist language simply cannot in any way be -- allow him to view himself as somehow making grand contributions to the black freedom -- freedom struggle. And that's just the beginning. You can imagine....


CAVUTO: You mentioned -- you mentioned Barack Obama. You mentioned Barack Obama, Doctor.

And I -- obviously, his vice president is the Democratic nominee, all but complete now.

WEST: Yes.

CAVUTO: And there's strong pressure on him to pick an African-American woman. Do you think that's important? Would you be disappointed if he did not do that?

WEST: Well I'm no -- no great fan of brother Joseph Biden. I'm going to vote for him because I want to push Trump out. I'm part of an anti-fascist coalition, but I'm no great fan of Biden.

And so, if he does choose a black sister, of course, it's going to be a high-quality candidate. We shall see.

But I'm not really holding my breath one way or the other in that regard.

CAVUTO: All right.

WEST: I have a critique of the system as a whole, as you know.

And, therefore, I'm just...


WEST: At this point, I just want to make sure that Trump makes his exit.

CAVUTO: Yes, I think I know where you're coming from.


CAVUTO: Doctor, thank you very much, Dr. Cornel West, Harvard University professor, bestselling -- bestselling author.


CAVUTO: We will have more on this, including Pastor Darrell Scott, who has a read on the significance of this day that goes way beyond politics and who is ever in control of a police department, or a mayor's office, or governor's mansion -- after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: Well, combination protests, celebrations, whatever you want to call them, across the board, fairly peaceful right now.

On the left of your screen, what's happening in New York City, on the right, I believe this is San Francisco, guys? What are we seeing here? I think so.

But, again, these are happening across the country right now to remember Juneteenth, the date we recognized formally the end of slavery, when Union forces remind some Texas slaves of that, visiting the state shortly after the end of the Civil War.

Many slaves at that time had no idea that Abraham Lincoln had freed them years earlier. By that time, when they were informed, he had been assassinated.

That was then. This is now, the message of this is day, including one from the president of the United States, who -- earlier today: "It is both a remembrance of a blight on our history and a celebration of our nation's unsurpassed ability to triumph over darkness."

Pastor Darrell Scott with us right now. He's co-founder of The New Spirit Revival Center and CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for President Trump.

Very, very good to have you, Pastor.

I'm wondering. You might have heard what Cornel West was saying a little bit earlier, that he doesn't think the president shares these goals and looks after or has much interest in the black community.

How do you feel about that?

PASTOR DARRELL SCOTT, NATIONAL DIVERSITY COALITION: Professor Cornel West is -- he knows better than that, but for the sake of his own political expediency, he tries to deny the obvious.

If you don't like a person for the words that they speak, then look at the works that that person has done. The works are undeniable. Me being a man of God, me being a pastor, the Bible says that Jesus showed himself alive by many infallible proofs, infallible proofs.

Now, I'm not trying to compare Trump to Jesus. I'm simply saying, he's done so much, so many positive initiatives. You have criminal justice reform. You have prison reform, historic funding for HBCUs, urban revitalization, Opportunity Zones, the FIRST STEP Act.

He did -- he's had -- he's also done some symbolic gestures, such as designating Martin Luther King Jr.'s home as a national landmark, pardoning the first black president -- excuse me -- first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson.

And so there are things that he's done that obviously demonstrate the fact that he is not anti-black, that he is pro-black. But, also, he is the president of all Americans, just not black Americans.

The fact that Donald Trump will not pander for certain black leaders in the Democratic Party, it irks them, it irritates them. And so he is who he is, and he's done what he's done, and he's continuing to do more. He's been a great president for the black community.

I have said it myself, that he's been the most proactive president for the black community in my lifetime. I was born during Eisenhower's administration. He's the 12th president that I have lived under. And he's done more proactively for the black community than any other president that I have known.

CAVUTO: All right, if you were born under the Eisenhower administration, you're almost as old as me.

So, man, I give you a lot of credit. You look great.


CAVUTO: So, let me talk a little bit about the economy and all of that, because many of your religious colleagues, particularly in the African- American community, Pastor, don't like the tone of the president or that he uses divisive language, when, in fact, his heart might be in the right place, but he sends a mixed signal.

What did you think of that?

SCOTT: You know what? He has a tone in public that a number of people have in private, and they just don't like the fact that he's transparent enough to be the same person in public that he is in private.

That tone is just an excuse. When you're looking for an excuse to not like somebody, you will pick anything out of the air. They're not upset about Donald Trump's tone, my colleagues. And they're upset that he will not pander to our community and he will not pander to others.

And so he's his own man. He is who he is. And we know that about him. And it is what it is...

CAVUTO: All right.

SCOTT: ... like I said, especially with my colleagues.

CAVUTO: Pastor, got it. All right, thank you, my friend, very much.

SCOTT: I said, especially -- especially with my colleagues.

CAVUTO: Stay who you are. And stay young. And stay young. All right, I got it.

Thank you very, very much, Pastor Darrell Scott. The president couldn't ask for a better friend and a more loyal reverend, at that.

In the meantime, the president is getting ready to go to Tulsa tomorrow. How does that look?

After this.


CAVUTO: All right, the scene right now in Tulsa, Oklahoma, thousands lining up for a chance to be among the 19,000 to 20,000 who will get a chance to hear the president tomorrow at a rally that is scheduled there.

The president's encountered some criticism for having this and the risk of certainly virus risk and exposure there. But, again, as the White House pointed out, there were no such criticisms about people who had planned demonstrations and the like and didn't properly distance themselves, back and forth on this.

And in the middle of it all, Casey Stegall in Tulsa.

Casey, what is it looking like there?

CASEY STEGALL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Neil, we have got a little behind-the-scenes look for you.

We're not terribly far from the BOK Center, where you talked about people lining up. But I want you to look at this. We have been watching all day, and even in last night, as businesses in some of these areas have been boarded up, because they are anticipating to have a tremendous amount of people converging on this area.

The BOK Center is just on the other side of this building. And some of the business owners told us that they are just not taking any chances. The city of Tulsa estimates some 100,000 people will converge on this spot tomorrow, not just those attending the rally, but those who can't get in, because you know the venue only holds about 19,000 or so, and also counterprotesters, people celebrating Juneteenth, unhappy the president is here.

There was a curfew that was implemented, but we learned just in the last hour-and-a-half or so that that has since been rescinded. There are folks already in line. They have been here, even though it's pouring rain in Tulsa today on and off, people excited to see the president back on the campaign trail.

Multiple local and federal law enforcement officials are on the ground here. They say the name of the game is keeping every single person safe. Then you fold in the health concerns as well that we have been talking about, as Oklahoma and Tulsa in particular have seen recent record spikes in the number of new COVID cases.

The venue's manager asked the Trump campaign for a health plan ahead of tomorrow's event. The campaign responding that masks and hand sanitizer will be handed out. Temperature checks are going to be taken of all of the people that are allowed to go inside.

So, you have an awful lot of moving parts here on the ground. But the masks will be recommended, though not mandatory for people inside the rally, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you, Casey, interesting times.

Casey Stegall in Tulsa.

The mask thing to which he alluded has become a front-and-center topic this week. Many in the airline industry are saying, you do not have a choice. Put the mask on, or not only do you not fly. You might not fly for a while.

Sara Nelson is the Association of Flight Attendants, the president.

I would assume you support that position, Sara?

SARA NELSON, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: Yes, we do support the position. And we have actually asked the federal government to make this a mandate.

CAVUTO: Now, a lot of passengers say, once we're on the plane, we have our meal or whatever, we don't think we need to wear it on the plane, getting to it, getting off it maybe, but not on it, especially for a long stretch. What do you say?

NELSON: Well, what I have to say is that there's no way to properly socially distance on a plane.

And so we have to have other safety procedures, just like other things that you're not used to doing in other places, like having to wear your seat belt and put your bag underneath your seat and put your tray table up.

These are all requirements when you travel in the air, because this is not a normal space. And there are certain requirements to keep all of us safe. If everyone is wearing a mask, what public health officials say is that that will decrease the risk.

If one person is not wearing the mask, that puts everyone at risk. So we all have to be in this together, and that's why the mask policies are in place. Now, let's be clear. People are going to have to take a drink. They're going to have to probably eat something. Not all flights are just an hour so.

And so there are exceptions. And that's where we are saying that it's really important to have federal guidance here, so that there is consistent training for the people on the front lines, so there's clear communications to the traveling public.

But what I will tell you is that the masks are critical, not only for public health, but also for my job and for the economy. The airline industry is simply not going to rebound if people do not have confidence in traveling safely.

CAVUTO: You know, I'm just wondering, too. Now planes are getting a little more crowded. I guess they're going a lot more grounded.

You're going to run into a lot more agitation. Are you and your attendants ready for that?

NELSON: So, we have seen it already, although I want to be really clear.

Most people come to the door of the airplane with real kindness in their heart and a desire to have a flight without event. Most people come and wear masks. Some people have been led to believe that this is a political statement and have willfully said that they don't want to wear the mask.

And that's just not the way that you can operate in aviation. We have to really have the spirit of, we're all in it together to safely get a plane from one point to another.

CAVUTO: All right.

NELSON: There's always going to be exceptions.

CAVUTO: All right, Sara, thank you very much.

You started something here, because it is a trend, and people are sticking to it, Sara Nelson, the Association of Flight Attendants president.

I only mention that, because, coming up next, the big fuss over theaters that are reopening. Remember when AMC said, we're reopening, you don't have to wear the masks? All of a sudden, then they said, you know what, you have to wear the masks.

I think that woman started this -- after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: It's not only happening on airplanes. It's happening at the theaters, Regal Cinemas the latest to join AMC and say, you can come see the show, but you better have a mask.

We're back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: You know, a lot of these movie theater chains, they have been on the ropes and not able to show movies, not open for business for the better part of a few months now.

Well, slowly, but surely, they're all reopening. And next month, most of them will be reopened. AMC was first kicking the idea around: We're open. You don't have to wear a mask. Now saying: We're open. You better bring the mask.

Regal Cinemas now indicating the same.

The Cinemark CEO, Mark Zoradi, is here right now.

Mark, I guess it's an obvious question for you, then. The mask policy at your theaters, what will it be?  MARK ZORADI, CEO, CINEMARK: Neil, thank you very much for having me.

We have been thinking about this since the day we closed. And we have just put so many health and safety protocols in place. And we have thought about this very, very much.

And we are going to be requiring that all of our employees wear both gloves and masks. And we're also going to be requiring that guests, our customers, wear face masks where they're locally or state-mandated. We're going to strongly encourage all guests to do in states where they're not required.

Wearing a mask, we think, is especially important in all the common areas, the theaters, the lobbies, the hallways, the restrooms, the restaurants, et cetera.

And we feel so strongly about this. And we have been working on it so hard, that we have five beta test sites that we're just opening up today just to get a feel for, what does the consumer think? What are all the ramifications for our employees as well?

Clearly, all the employees are. And, like I said, we're going to require it of guests and strongly encourage it even where it's not required by state law.

CAVUTO: All right, but if you have a big old tub of popcorn and some other goodies and all, I mean, you can take the mask off for that while you're watching the show, right?

ZORADI: Of course you can. Of course you can. You are going to get to get into the theater, and maybe you're going to have a Coca-Cola drink and some popcorn. And, yes, you can. Yes, you can take it off.

We recognize how important it is. And when I tell you that we have been working on this, we have had teams on this. We're going to spray every theater in the morning with a disinfectant. Then we're going to go back between every show.

We're going to put special technology buffered seats. So, when you buy a seat at a Cinemark theater, it's not going to allow people to sit next to you. It's going to automatically put buffering around you on both left and right and front and back, if necessary.

CAVUTO: Oh, wow.

ZORADI: And most of our theaters have those big luxury recliners, so we got a lot of room.

CAVUTO: So, it's every other seat. In other words, is it every other seat? Is that how it's going to work, and that's the capacity?

ZORADI: No, you -- no, you could go with your family.

So, you're with your (AUDIO GAP) of four, and then we're going to -- we're going to buffer you to the right.


ZORADI: And we're going to buffer you (AUDIO GAP) and we're going to buffer you to the left.

But if you're with a group that you came with, you can you next to those people.

CAVUTO: So, in the theaters themselves, what will be the capacity rule, 25, 50 percent? I guess it depends on the state, doesn't it?

ZORADI: Yes, it does.

There's -- most states are starting out at 25 percent. And then they're -- after two, three, four weeks, they see how it goes. And then it increases.

And so we're going to clearly (AUDIO GAP) those rules. Again, we have the technology to be able to basically turn on a 25 or 50 percent capacity as needed.

And one other thing that we have done in these theaters is, we have designated in every location a chief clean and safety monitor to make sure that every surface is wiped down every 30 minutes, the bathrooms, the door handles, the hard surfaces. We have installed special additional air ventilation, special high-tech vacuum filtering system as well.

We have done extensive training for all the thousands of employees that we're hiring back with modules. And they will come and understand that health and safety is our number one priority at Cinemark.

CAVUTO: All right, we will see how it goes, because a lot of people, you can watch movies at home. You can -- there's nothing quite like that theater experience.

So, I hope it all works out. We shall see, Mark Zoradi of Cinemark, the big cheese there, the CEO.

We have a lot more coming up, including keeping an eye on these celebrations, recognition of Juneteenth, a day that may -- might have been widely known in the African-American community, but many, many more white Americans and those of other persuasions have gotten very familiar and up to speed with it, and joining in marches, where they say, you know what, let's make this recognition of the end of slavery a federal holiday.

They're moving fast on that -- after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: All right, these Juneteenth protests, recognitions, celebrations, it's a racial mix of crowds across the country recognizing this day formally ending slavery back in 1865, making it a federal holiday right now, that is the latest push.

This comes at the same time there's a move afoot on Capitol Hill to come up with some police department reform legislation, Republicans, Democrats working together on that -- well, at least two different ideas, but hopefully working together.

Senator Marsha Blackburn joins us right now from the beautiful state of Tennessee.

Senator, first, if you don't mind, I want to get into what you folks are doing right now, fellow Republicans, on this police package here.

But on this make Juneteenth a federal holiday, your colleague John Cornyn of Texas, fellow Republican, said, yes, we should. Ben Carson said, yes, it's a good idea.

What about you?

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): I think it's a good idea.

And I understand that Senator Cornyn is working on legislation, and we will look forward to seeing that when he gets it finished.

CAVUTO: All right. So, let's then talk a little bit about all this at the same time Republicans announced, led by Tim Scott, with a measure that would, I guess, quasi-police police departments.

Critics of that, Senator, as I'm sure you're aware, Democrats saying, it doesn't do enough of that. They think it's kind of going nowhere. What did you make of that? Where do you stand on all of it?


Well, first of all, I think we have to say, most people feel like that this defunding the police is not is a -- not a discussion that is going to get us where we need to be.

Our police departments need more funding. As we have had a hearing this week, and called in different police chiefs, individuals that work in law enforcement, they have all said, we need some national standards, where are all of these 50 different police academies in the country are training to the same standard, where we are encouraging our police, where we are giving them proper de-escalation training, where we are giving them the tools and the equipment they need to properly do their job, which is to uphold that oath and to keep the public safe.

And that is where our emphasis needs to be. People want to see real and meaningful reforms.

CAVUTO: Well, the argument, I guess, of some of the ideas so far espoused, Senator, is that it doesn't do enough to crack on what critics say is consistent cases of violence and, furthermore, cases where no one ever finds out that there were officers...


CAVUTO: ... with a record or problems. How do you address that?

BLACKBURN: That's right. Yes.

And you're right about that. And when it comes to George Floyd, everybody wants there to be justice in that case. And it's proper for DOJ to investigate it. Along with the national standards and training, what the police chiefs told us is, they need a national registry for police officers who have been the certified, so that they can be on that registry, and not go to another jurisdiction or another state and get hired.

And it's interesting, Neil, that that has never been put in place. That ought to be there.

Now, where -- one of the areas where we, as conservatives, differ with the Democrats is, that they would like to have a federalized police force. And we don't want that. Local jurisdictions should be able to have their police force. They all should be properly trained.

We have got 18,000 police jurisdictions in these 50 states. But standardizing the training, making certain that they have the proper tools to do their job is important.

When I talk to Tennesseans, they say, we want equal to mean equal. We want everyone to be respected under the law. We're a nation of laws. We abide by the rule of law. And we want there to be equal justice, equal treatment for everyone.

And I really appreciate the fact that so many people have stepped up and said, let's address this, and let's do something that is meaningful, thoughtful.

CAVUTO: All right.

BLACKBURN: Tim Scott deserves an incredible amount of credit for this.

CAVUTO: Indeed.

Senator, thank you very, very much. Be well.

BLACKBURN: Thank you very much.

CAVUTO: Senator Marsha Blackburn.

BLACKBURN: You too. Thank you.

CAVUTO: Same here.

Well, apparently, I don't want to break any news here, John Bolton has a book that's controversial. And unfortunately for a lot of people who want to shut it down, it's kind of everywhere. So now there's a push to slap it down and make sure no one else gets it.

How do you do that, when the whole world knows what's in it?

After this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  CAVUTO: All right, well, Bolton still jolting the White House. They don't like that his book is out.

Even though a lot of people have their hands on it, they want to make sure no one else gets their hands on it, and that it's quashed, period.

Kristin Fisher at the White House with more on how all of that's going.

Hey, Kristin.


But this judge started today's hearing by noting that, to some extent, whatever damage that would likely be caused by this book being released has already been done, because so many excerpts have already been released to the media. Many members of the media already have the book in its entirety.

So the judge said -- quote -- "As we like to say, in Texas, the horse seems to be out of the barn."

Now, attorneys for the Justice Department argued that Bolton should not be rewarded for the brazenness of his actions and worry about the precedent that this could set for other former government officials with access to classified information.

But Bolton's attorney made the case that speech cannot be unspoken and echoed the judges opening remarks -- quote -- "To say the horses out of the barn is an understatement."

Bolton's attorney also argued that the government did sign off on this book, a claim the Department of Justice attorneys called hogwash. So, now the decision is squarely in the judge's hands, and he has to make a decision pretty soon, because, remember, Neil, this book is set to be released on Tuesday -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Yes, and, like you say, the genie is kind of out of the bottle here. I don't know how they ram the genie back in. But we will watch it closely.

Kristin, thank you. Good catching up with you, Kristin Fisher at the White House on this.

The president, of course, himself will be in Tulsa tomorrow, a big campaign rally, the president getting ready to be back on offense on this.

Given some recent polls, it couldn't come a moment too soon -- after this.



MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you worried about this going into the election? Are they going to censor information going into a presidential election?

WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yes, I am worried about censorship.

I'm worried about a number of things going into the election, one, the censorship of robust debate. I'm also worried about undermining the public confidence in the integrity of the elections.

The thing we have going for us, especially when there's intense division in the country, is that we have peaceful transfers of power. And our way of resolving it is to have an election.

But when government, state governments started adopting these practices like mail-in ballots that open the floodgates of potential fraud, then people's confidence in the outcome of the election is going to be undermined.


CAVUTO: Bill Barr with Maria.

You can catch her show, "Sunday Morning Futures," getting to the bottom of that. But he's worried. He's worried that social media and other issues are blinding the press to fair coverage of this president.

Karl Rove joins us right now. I think you're quite familiar with the bestselling author, the former White House deputy chief of staff.

But, Karl, there does seem to be a growing concern coming out of the White House and the administration about these polls, some the president used to like, others, like our own, that I guess he never likes.

But the fact of the matter is, the trend is not his friend with these. Now, that could change, but what do you make of them?

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, it's right. The trend of recent is not is his friend.

RealClearPolitics average of recent polls is 8.8 points for a Biden lead, almost nine points. About six weeks ago, it was about five. So, there's been movement over the last, say, month-and-a-half in the direction of Joe Biden.

This latest RealClearPolitics average, the polls that go into it show a Biden lead of between seven and 14 points. Now, the last time the president was tied in a poll was a poll was a poll that came out at the end of April. That's 30 polls ago. The last time he led was in the 18th of February, when he was up by two in an Emerson poll. That was 65 polls before -- ago.

So, look, the president is behind. Now, we have got 137, 138 days to go. Plenty of time to reverse that. But you can't solve a problem until you acknowledge a problem. And the president's position has deteriorated, particularly in the last five or six weeks.

And the White House can -- has to begin turning it around through the campaign. Now, the good news for them is, they got some advantages. He's president. As a result, he's got the biggest megaphone, and he started to use it this week with the executive order on police reform, and by coming out full-throated in favor of police reform.

But he's got to be thinking about how to use that bully pulpit in a way that advances him. Getting in an argument with a CNN reporter is not a good thing. Spending a lot of time on the Bolton book is days wasted in a conversation that isn't going to change people's opinions.

The second thing that he's got going for him is jobs and the economy. Even in these recent polls, he leads on the question of which person...

CAVUTO: All right.

ROVE: ... Biden or Trump, is better able to deal with the issue of jobs.

He's also got plenty of opportunities to contrast. And Biden's got fundamental weaknesses as a candidate. But he's got to get organized and disciplined and focused.

CAVUTO: All right. Thank you, my friend. Sorry to cut you short.

We did save a lot on graphics, though. Thank you for the whiteboard.


CAVUTO: Karl Rove, always a pleasure, my friend, out of Texas.

We will be following that rally tomorrow, and previewing it with Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. He will be at that rally -- what he says about that tomorrow.

Here comes "The Five."

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