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@THISHOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Vegas Investigators Look for Shooting Motive; Malaysian Team Heads to Australia to Plan Next Phase of Flight 370 Search; Silver Explains Why NBA Waited to Take Action Against Sterling; Possible Torture Faced by Bergdahl; Hillary Prepping Run for 2016?
Aired June 9, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Investigators in Las Vegas trying to make sense of something so senseless, @THISHOUR, we are learning more about what might have driven a couple to proclaim a "revolution" before killing two police officers and a civilian.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Nine days after being freed from captivity, Bowe Bergdahl still has not spoken to his parents.
So what's the psychological damage from years of being beaten and caged by the Taliban?
PEREIRA: And Hillary Clinton weighs in on the Bergdahl controversy, saying no troops should be left behind.
BERMAN: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.
PEREIRA: You're not excited about Monday?
BERMAN: I am. Happy Monday, I'm very excited. That's why I say hello.
PEREIRA: It did feel very forceful.
Good morning to you, I'm Michaela Pereira. It's 11:00 a.m. out East, 8:00 a.m. out West, those stories and much more, right now, @THISHOUR.
Investigators in Las Vegas are desperately trying to figure out the motive behind a shooting spree that killed three people. The man and woman, a married couple, ambushed these two police officers -- both of them were killed -- both of them married with children -- as those officers were taking a lunch break on Sunday.
Witnesses say the pair shouted something about "revolution."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had a backpack, and I saw their gun in their hand, and he just told me to tell the cops that it was a revolution, and he had just killed two cops inside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: They then took their mayhem to a Walmart killing a civilian there, and then all ended violently, as violently as it began, with the woman shooting the man, then apparently shooting herself.
So now we're learning it turns out shooters left some writings at the scene, along with a pair of backpacks and flags that might somehow symbolize their beliefs.
Let's get more information about this, because this information, just coming in this morning. Let's go to our Dan Simon in Las Vegas.
Dan, what can you tell us about these clues?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think when you add it all up, John, it seems like there was an apparent and deliberate attack to target police officers.
If you look at their online writings, they express anti-law enforcement views. The question is why did they target these particular police officers? Were they in fact targeted? Why did they go to this pizza restaurant. Was this a crime of opportunity?
Those are some of the lingering questions here but no question when you look at the manifesto, when you look at the fact that they had a flag with some type of insignia that they left at the scene, they thought about this ahead of time, but the question is was this a crime of opportunity or did they target these particular police officers, John.
PEREIRA: We understand that you've been having a chance to talk to and other media outlets have had a chance to talk to the neighbors. They've had some pretty interesting and upsetting things to say about these people, this couple.
Do people know them well where they lived?
SIMON: They didn't know them well. They just said they were a little kooky, for lack of a better word. They were described as people who were angry. Investigators are apparently looking to see if they had any ties to white supremacy groups.
But no question these people left quite a trail behind them and if you look at the social media sites, there are a lot of writings there, and no question that they were both anti-law enforcement and anti- government.
BERMAN: Deeply troubling. And of course we know they hit those two police officers having lunch.
What about the third victim, the woman killed at Walmart, Dan? What do we know about her?
SIMON: We don't know anything about her at this point. Authorities haven't released her identity.
What we do know in terms of the chronology of all this, this happened about 11:22 a.m., so that's when the suspects, this married couple, they go into this pizza joint. They shoot and kill these police officers.
They then take their gun and ammunition. Then they walk across the street to the Walmart, and as they're going in, apparently, the male suspect tells everybody to get out, but he confronts this female victims and shoots her dead or somebody shoots her dead near the front of the store.
Police then converge on the scene, and there's some kind of shootout, but apparently, the couple had a suicide pact. The woman shoots the husband and then the woman just shoots herself, John.
BERMAN: Disturbing, to say the least.
Dan, hang in there for a second right now, because right now, I believe we have Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman on the phone with us.
Mayor, thank you so much for being with us. We're just getting details of this in here, this couple with apparently troubling writing, suggesting they had issues with law enforcement, killing these two police officers, family men, while they're having lunch.
Help us fill in the blanks of this investigation. What are you learning?
MAYOR CAROLYN GOODMAN, LAS VEGAS (via telephone): We're learning that we're a community in tears here. I will tell you these were wonderful officers. This has been such a safe community and will continue to be.
But I think it was just a cowardly, evil, and sick act which seems to be repeating itself across the country, senseless inhumane acts of people who are angry or crazed and don't know any other way to express themselves other than through violence.
And I think it's time that all of us make sure that we're doing everything we can on an individual basis to ascertain people who have these types of issues and problems and not just pass it by as move on.
These were two wonderful officers and family men, as you know. Officer Beck had a family of three children and 13 years with law enforcement. And Officer Soldo from our northeast area command is a new father.
It's just simply insane and tragic, and the entire law enforcement and fire and rescue marshals just were brought to their knees. It just so tragic, a lot of prayers.
Our trauma unit again stepped up to the plate and did everything they could, but sadly, we lost these wonderful officers.
PEREIRA: And we're seeing video of one of your officers there, very shaken up by this, when you lose one of your own, especially when you think about the fact that these two men were not on a call.
They weren't going to a situation where danger might be meeting them. They were sitting having lunch. They were essentially ambushed. It makes it all the more distressing.
Mayor Goodman, have you had a chance to reach out to the families? Have you had any word about how they're doing?
GOODMAN (via telephone): I can assure you they're not doing well. We certainly intend to pay personal respects but then also trying to give them some space.
To imagine young people and a family finding out your husband or wife has gone off to work, and that's it; they're gone. Even this poor lady who went off to Walmart to make a purchase, not to come home, innocent, because we've got these sick, sick, cowardly people out there that just decide to express themselves all the time with bullets, and we see it repeatedly across this country.
And for all of us who are part of communities, we need to be alert, aware, and make contact in someone is really strange and doing something and hoarding guns and we know it.
It just -- it's a consistent anger and anger by people. And it's intolerable.
BERMAN: Mayor Goodman, it goes without saying our hearts go it out to families of these police officers and your entire community.
Do you have any sense there was something wider going on? There are these two troubled people who believed to have perpetrated this crime on the officers and that one other woman.
They have these troubling writings. Does it go beyond these two people right now in this investigation?
GOODMAN (via telephone): Here in Las Vegas, I mean I certainly would rely on our fusion center and sheriff and our emergency management, but at this point, I think that was it.
I'm not saying there aren't angry people in our community and elsewhere, but from everything I'm understanding, this was just one of those random acts of hate. And there's some sick people in this country.
PEREIRA: We certainly send our best to you and your city. We know that this is a terribly trying time to see this kind of act of violence perpetrated in your city, on your city streets, at a Walmart where so many families go, at a pizza counter where so many people sit to have a moment's break in their busy day.
Mayor Goodman of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman, thank you so very much. Dan Simon, our thanks to you as well for the terrific reporting.
Want to encourage you at home to stay with CNN for more on this story. It is developing. We'll have more coming up at noon Eastern. Ashleigh Banfield will actually speak to a friend of one of those murdered officers that will be coming up next hour on "LEGAL VIEW".
BERMAN: Troubling, the community there trying to heal as we heard from the mayor there.
PEREIRA: Absolutely. BERMAN: Let's look at other stories we're looking at right now.
It sounds like something out of an action movie, if Canada had action movies. Three prisoners escape from a detention center in Quebec City by helicopter. It happened Saturday night and police are still searching for the men.
Get this -- this is the second time in just over a year that inmates busted out of the Canadian jail by chopper. My advice, Canada, you may want to be on the lookout for this.
PEREIRA: You think?
BERMAN: One, I think, is beyond the statue of limitations.
PEREIRA: A team from Malaysia is now going to be heading to Australia tomorrow to help plan the next phase of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It's not clear exactly, though, where they'll be looking.
Now, keep in mind we're three months in now. The "Wall Street Journal" is reporting investigators may plan to shift the search area based on recalculations of the plane's speed, flight, path and altitude.
I had a chance to speak with Sarah Bajc -- her partner, Phillip Wood, was a passenger about the plane -- about that very possibility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRAL Is this promising to you, or does this feel like they're grasping at straws?
SARAH BAJC, PARTNER OF FLIGHT 370 PASSENGERS: Your words not mine but I would totally agree with that. It feels like they're grasping at straws.
On the one hand, I think it's terrific that we can advance the state of using satellite data to position an airplane and certainly something that we need to look at.
But as an isolated way to track where an airplane went, it's just a ridiculous proposition. We all believe that there is some other kind of intervention involved here, and we need to go back to the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: The next stage of the underwater search won't start until late July or August, at the earliest.
We should also point out that some of the family members have started a crowd-sourcing fund to try and raise $5 million to either support the investigation or also maybe encourage a whistleblower to come forward.
BERMAN: A whistleblower, yeah, we'll give you 5 million bucks to give us information. That is an interesting development.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, talking exclusively to CNN about the drama that all began with Donald Sterling's racist comments and could end with Donald Sterling and his wife selling the Clippers, Commissioner Silver tells our Rachel Nichols why the NBA waited so long to take action, saying that banished billionaire was accused of racist behavior before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: It didn't come to our attention in the same way. It seemed maybe even beyond our authority.
But I don't want to make excuses. Clearly there's a different standard now, in part because of social media and in part there's a much greater awareness now of how that behavior can affect people and impact our league.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The commissioner says Sterling is a little bit notorious for backing out of deals just before they're consummated there, so the commissioner says he's holding his breath until all the documents are signed.
You can see this whole interview with Rachel Nichols. It's really interesting. It's on "UNGUARDED WITH RACHEL NICHOLS," Friday night at 10:30 Eastern, right here on CNN.
PEREIRA: Yeah, he says, wait till the ink is dry on that document.
We're also getting details, new details, about what Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl went through in five years of captivity. A senior U.S. official says he was beaten and even held in a cage, all the details in a live report from the Pentagon.
Also, we'll talk to a psychologist about why Bergdahl hasn't yet spoken to his parents. We'll look at it all when we get back.
BERMAN: Physically abused, encaged by the Taliban is what we're hearing that Bowe Bergdahl endured during five years of captivity and now his parents are receiving death threats.
PEREIRA: I want to bring in our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr and also Terry Lyles is a psychologist and combat stress coach. Barbara, talk to us about what you're hearing from your sources about this torture that Bergdahl may have suffered.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, U.S. officials are being very cautious and very circumspect with their precise wording about all of this. It is what Bergdahl apparently is telling his team. This young man has suffered five years of psychological trauma. You know, it's very difficult to sort it out exactly. What we are hearing is that he is reporting that he was physically abused and they have every reason to believe that that certainly is the case, five years in Taliban captivity would not exactly be a walk in the park for anybody. So they believe that's very accurate.
You know, you only have to remember those videos where we saw him urging his own release. He appeared also in this, still, unreleased video to be in declining health. One of the indicators there when intelligence experts looked at it they saw him cradling an arm. They believe that was a potential injury. He was not focused. He was not able to speak clearly. All of these signs pointing toward physical issues toward the end of that five-year captivity. Right now he remains at Landstuhl. Has not spoken to his family yet. His physical health, we are told, is returning, but again a man with obvious psychological trauma after five years in captivity.
BERMANL: Of course, all of this trauma and all these accusations that are swirling now, including from some who serve with Bergdahl, or near Bergdahl, in Afghanistan who suggest that he may be a deserter. Earlier today, right here on CNN, a family friend was defending him. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)
MATTHEW HOH, FORMER STATE DEPT. OFFICIAL IN AFGHANISTAN: If you look at what he did, five years in captivity, the suffering, the torture, the isolation, and he did it and didn't bring shame on himself, didn't bring shame on his country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say no video statements denying the country -- Especially if he's a sympathizer.
HOH: You would figure he would have been out. This is an organization, as you know Taliban, al Qaeda, these groups are very good in their propaganda skills. I was in an, actually in an al Qaeda video one time. These guys are very good at it. By taking things and manipulating them and changing your words around and putting you out there. So the fact that that never occurred, and he was there by himself for five years. He didn't have anyone else to lean on. These reports coming out now about possible torture, the isolation, it will break you. I don't know how he didn't break.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Terry Lyles, I want to bring you into this discussion. Based on what we now believe to have happened during Bowe Bergdahl's captivity, what's the right strategy in treating him and when do you think they might finally allow him to know about the controversy that's really sprouted up surrounding him?
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, you know, that's a great question. The truth here is slowly because any kind of recovery takes time. If you went through a major surgery and had any kind of complication, that recovery time is going to be lengthened because of the physical, emotional, psychological trauma that's there. He went through five years of up and down and who knows what really, so it's going to take a long time for him to adapt. You have to move very slowly. You have to prepare people to say, look, move slowly. Parents, family, because he doesn't know where he's at. He knows where he's at physically. I don't think he knows everything that's gone on yet. He's probably just now learning some of that still.
PEREIRA: I imagine it's one of those baby step forward, gigantic leaps backwards. You kind of have to take this slowly and have to redo things. Just even making his world seem safe and normal again is such a huge proposition and then what you mentioned about his family, you would think he would be so eager to talk to them but I imagine they want to make that happen very, very carefully. They haven't spoken yet.
LYLES: Absolutely, and that's not uncommon. I've said many times. You know, when you go through that kind of trauma, any trauma that's lingering that long, it's very tough to know what normal is. He's trying to figure out what normal is now being debriefed and cared for by medical people and psychological people. When he sees his family, he is going to have another transition of what normal is, because what was normal before is not normal now. He has to create a new normal every day until he stabilizes, which is going to take some time.
BERMAN: Terry the reports now that he's in the hospital he doesn't want to be called sergeant. He was promoted while he was in captivity. He apparently wants to be called private first class. What do you think is driving that decision?
LYLES: You know, I think that's probably some of the shame that goes along with what he's been through. I mean, the humiliation of being in captivity and only knowing what they put him through just beats a person down. I mean, it beats you down in your confidence, in your awareness, in your ability to take care of yourself or even care to. I've seen people go through a lot less than that and be traumatized for long periods of time. Even through traumas in storms and car accidents and so forth. This was ongoing for five years. His ego structure is very, very fragile. It's going to have to be built back and repaired very slowly with good people around him.
PEREIRA: Let's hope they take all the time he needs, because certainly there's quite a maelstrom waiting for him and their family when they get back here to the United States. Barbara Starr, Terry Lyles we appreciate you both. Thanks for the great reporting Barbara. Terry Join us again soon.
BERMAN: Ahead for us @THISHOUR, the political brain wars. Karl Rove kind of implied that Hillary Clinton suffered brain damage. What does she now have to say about his brain? That's next.
PEREIRA: My brain is better than your brain
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I have to make the decision that's right for me and the country.
DIANE SAWYER, ABC, NEWS ANCHOR: But is the party frozen in place waiting for you to make it?
CLINTON: No. People can do whatever they choose to do on whatever timetable they decide.
PEREIRA: Hillary Clinton pushing back when asked by ABC's Diane Sawyer if she's waiting too long to announce whether she'll run for the presidency. Clinton's personal deadline is a little iffy, but it sounds like 2015.
BERMAN: So tomorrow the former Secretary of State's new book "Hard Choices" hits the bookstores and I'm sure that's will be the last you ever hear from her. No. Maybe not.
Joining us now to talk about this, our political commentators Sally Kohn and Ross Douthat. Sally, I want to talk about those comments the secretary made to Diane Sawyer about how she has to make her own decision on her own time frame. Well then Sally what do you do if you're a Democrat thinking about running? If you're Martin O'Malley, if you are Joe Bidden, If your Elizabeth Warren. What do you do, do you sit around and wait?
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You pretty much do. Look, I don't know. This is going to be an interesting thing for the history books one way or another whether she runs or not. I Think everybody's jury is out on this. Is this good for the party? Is it not? On one hand if she ultimately runs, she's avoided this period of all of the attacks and instead she's gotten to the benefit, and the party by extension gets the benefit, of everybody's curiosity. Obviously, right now it is going to sell books. But in general it keeps her in a sort of favorable light. And, possibly, if she doesn't run, again, it precluded this extended period for attacking all the other Democrats who might run. On the other hand, you know, you can have some downsides to. So it's like we are waiting to even analyze whether waiting is a good thing. It's just a lot of waiting going on.
PEREIRA: It's interesting. You think of book tours as maybe a good litmus test. Check it out while you are out there, how the campaign trail would be. I don't know, good measure. I want to talk to you Ross about something else that we hard her talk about. Karl Rove, of course, made a lot of waves with the comments about her brain and potential brain injury. Let's play this sound and then we will get you to react to it on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAWYER: So no lingering effects?
SAWYER: No lingering effects of any kind. You would release your medical records if you ran for president?
CLINTON: I would do what other candidates have done, absolutely.
SAWYER: And what would you like to say to Karl Rove about your brain?
CLINTON: That I know he was called Bush's brain in one of the books written about him and I wish him well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: I wish him well. Is this enough to put this whole Rove controversy to bed, Ross, in your estimation?
ROSS DOUTHAT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it puts that particular controversy to bed. I think what Rove was trying to do is just sort of inject, not so much the specific medical issue but just the age issue in general into the conversation. And I think it's a sign, in a way of in this sort of weird waiting period we're in, how uncertain Republicans are and how they should be talking about Hillary Clinton at all. I think the, sort of, age narrative is a very conventional way to go after older candidates. You saw it with Mondale going after Ronald Reagan, you saw it with Bob Dole in 1996 and I'm sure you will see it again if and when Hillary runs for president. I don't think it is going to be the major issue unless there is some actually medical development, which I think if there were a major medical development, she probably would end up not running for president. It's probably going to be a moot point.
BERMAN: I agree with Ross. And I retroactively disagree with Sally just a little bit on her comment before. She was saying Mrs. Clinton is somehow forestalling being treated like a candidate, because I already thing, in a way, she's in this situation where she is always treated like she's running for something right now. In that light, I want to play you one more bite that is causing a lot of controversy on the twitters right now where Mrs. Clinton talks about the Clinton family finances, and the paid speeches that she and her husband have been giving since -- he's been giving since he left office and she's been given since leaving Secretary of State. So lets listen to what she told Diane Sawyer.
(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)
CLINTON: We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt. We had no money when we got there. We struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education. It was not easy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: It is certainly true that Clintons didn't have any great riches to speak of when they went to the White House or when they came out of the White House Sally. But to suggest they were scraping things together after the Clinton presidency, I just wonder if that might be a little tone deaf.
KOHN: Well, I think we play the rest of the clip and she kind of catches herself a little bit in that. Certainly there's two parts to this. One is, Hillary Clinton, this is why she, if she's going to run, or either way whatever her next public incarnation is, she's been isolated politically for the last couple years in the state department and this an opportunity to be out there and remember what it's like to connect with voters and not just diplomats and other people in Washington. And to road test those messages, particularly around economic justice and other things she hasn't been talking about as much lately.
The other reality is, it's a good reminder, while now we do think of her as part of the political elite, it's a reminder that once upon a time they were the candidates, her husband and by extension herself, who were not the moneyed Washington power structure. And it would be nice to have people that can, sort of, remember and hearken back to that in politics again. That is a point that she should be reminding voters about.