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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Investigators Eyeing Gunman's Visit to Disney Location; Orlando Gunman Was on Watch List in 2013; Man Who Attended Mosque With Gunman Speaks Out; Shooter Called 911 to Pledge Allegiance to ISIS; Trump on Terror: Obama Has "Something Else In Mind". Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 13, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:14] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Our deepest condolences. CNN's breaking news coverage of the Orlando terror attack continues right now with Erin Burnett, "OUTFRONT."
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news. The Orlando nightclub shooter making a trip to Disney before the massacre. Was he scouting it out?
Plus, Omar Mateen's ex-wife speaks out. She's OUTFRONT. Why she thinks he targeted a gay nightclub. She is my guest tonight. And one man's harrowing tale of escape. How he managed to get out of that club alive. We are live in Orlando tonight with the very latest. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening to all. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight from Orlando, the breaking news. Investigators looking tonight into a trip that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, made to Disney. The visit was just two months ago. There are questions about whether he was scouting out the property as a potential terror target. That is one of the many new details in the investigation into the deadliest shooting in American history that we are learning tonight. In this massacre, 49 people murdered. Fifty three more wounded. The horrific scene just behind me, the Pulse nightclub.
Investigators tonight are following multiple leads as they try to track this down. Find out whether others might have been involved. We are learning Mateen has received extensive firearms training as a student at a law enforcement academy. And that he left there under a cloud. The FBI chief tonight saying they are highly confident he was radicalized in part on the internet. And just into CNN, first responders dealing with the horror of multiple injuries and hostages inside that nightclub. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got some walking wounded, some greens that we're going to start getting off the scene, as well but we're possibly up to 15 remaining in the club. They're barricaded in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Today I went to Mateen's hometown, that's about two hours south of where we are standing tonight, a very rural area. I visited the mosque where he regularly worshipped, building that they were telling us used to be a church, a very small community. And I spoke with the man who worshipped with him as recently as Friday. A man who has known Mateen since he was a child.
We're going to bring you that interview, along with our conversation with Mateen's ex-wife, all of that this hour in just a moment. I want to begin tonight though with Jim Sciutto, he is here with me in Orlando with much more on the investigation. And Jim, what more can you tell us right now about this Disney visit?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Investigators now looking at other possible locations that he may have targeted or considered as possible targets, including the one of course he chose in the end. This includes Disney. There are many Disney properties here. We know he visited a Disney property in April with his family. There is an innocent explanation of that, just a trip with his family. But of course in light of what happened, also nefarious explanation, that that was another possible target for the kind of attack we saw on Saturday night.
BURNETT: And what else are you learning? Obviously these details now coming in very quickly here late today.
SCIUTTO: Here's the thing. Was this a terror attack? Yes, it was a terror attack. Was it a terror attack directed from abroad? The information now is it was not. He did not have, there is no evidence now that he had contact with terror groups abroad, including ISIS. We do know that he expressed allegiance to ISIS the night of the attack. But we also know that prior, in previous years, he expressed allegiance to not just to ISIS, but to the Nusra Front which is now tied to that group. The Hezbollah which is a Shiite groups. These are groups that are actually opposed to each other. It doesn't make any sense. And that's one of the reasons that the FBI when they were investigating him determined that he was not a real threat. But he didn't have -- they believed he didn't have the ties and he claimed to have in his groups.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much. Jim Sciutto with the very latest reporting tonight.
And we are also learning some new information at this hour about what exactly happened inside the Pulse nightclub. Which you can actually now see. It is right behind me, we can see the sign, Pulse, right here on what feels like a suburban street. You can imagine what it might have been like on a normal day, and now, of course, the world forever changed. Forty nine people lost their lives right there.
BURNETT (voice-over): 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Near closing time at the Pulse nightclub. The music is blaring. The place is packed. More than 300 people celebrating Latin night. Suddenly, there is gunfire. Twenty five-year-old Amanda Alvear, snap chatting with friends, records that moment on her phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was one after another after another after another and it could have lasted a whole song.
BURNETT: The shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, armed with an AR-15 rifle, and a handgun. Exchanges gunfire with an off-duty officer working security at the gay club.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. They are all shooting back and forth.
[19:05:06] BURNETT: More officers respond inside the club, the shooter keeps firing. People on the dance floor and the bar drop down. Many escaping through an exit behind the bar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At first, it sounded like it was part of the show.
BURNETT: 2:06:00 a.m., Eddie Justice, an Orlando accountant, wakes his mother with a text. "Mommy, I love you. In club, they shooting." A minute later, "trapped in bathroom. Call police." 2:09, a Facebook post from the club. Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running. The shooter retreats to a bathroom, taking several people hostage. An additional 15 people hide in another nearby bathroom. 2:22, Mateen calls 911. Pledging allegiance to ISIS and mentioning the Boston bombers.
2:39, Eddie Justice texts his mother again. "He's coming. I'm going to die." Minutes later, "Still here in bathroom. He has us. They need to come get us." Hours pass. At least 100 officers, S.W.A.T. teams, the bomb squad, surround the club. One woman takes refuge in a bathroom hiding herself under dead bodies. 5:00 a.m., three hours after the first shot rang out, police storm the building.
CHIEF JOHN MINA, ORLANDO POLICE DEPARTMENT: We used our armored vehicle, the bearcat armored vehicle, to punch a hole in that wall and defeat the wall.
BURNETT: Dozens rush to safety through that hole. 5:05:00 a.m. Police set off a controlled explosion to distract the shooter. 5:15 a.m. Mateen still armed with his rifle and handgun emerges from the same hole. Another firefight breaks out. Police shooting and killing the gunman. Among the 49 innocent people who lost their lives, Amanda Alvear and Eddie Justice.
BURNETT: Florida Governor Rick Scott is with me tonight. And Governor, it's impossible to comprehend. You're talking about this is a street you have known for a long time. It feels like a suburban street. So many people massacred, young people, in the prime of their lives. You have spent your day with their families. What do they want for justice?
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Well, I think one individual, one father I talked to, says, look, just make sure this doesn't happen to anybody again. You know, the stories. I talked to a young man that had three gunshot wounds, and he's -- he was still fortunate to be alive. And had a family that they thought their son had died. And they found out today he hadn't. They were just so happy.
BURNETT: Oh, gosh, what a story and miracle.
SCOTT: Yes, and I talked to a mom that heard the story from somebody else about how her son passed away. And so you just -- and then you think about the people. I mean, I was at the universal studios the other day at Harry Potter World and there was one young man that worked there. He had passed away. A young lady, KJ, who just moved here to take care of her grandmother and mother. These are people just like your family and my family.
So, I spent the day talking to families, making sure they're getting everything that we can, making sure that if there is any problem in the process, because they're starting to make funeral arrangements. Let's be clear. This is not terror. This is evil. ISIS is evil. We have evil in our world. We've got to figure out how to destroy ISIS.
BURNETT: So when you talk about how to destroy, you have been briefed regularly on this investigation. We are now hearing that the shooter visited a Disney property here in Orlando with his family. There are questions about why. Was he scouting, did he scout other locations? What are you able to tell us?
SCOTT: I know there's more coming out from law enforcement. As they go through this process and as they learn more. The -- and what I'm -- my goal is to make sure that we are as transparent as we can. Especially with the families to get them all of the information they have and let them figure out how they're going to grieve, because they're going to grieve. But also make sure we share all these services. Law enforcement is working well together. They'll continue to have more things to come out.
BURNETT: Was he looking at other places and plotting some other attacks and settled on this one? Is it clear at this time?
SCOTT: Not that I know of. But, you know, whatever they did. I mean, we're -- you know, we are a wonderful state. We have so many people coming here. And they like to come here because our amusement parks, beaches, we have wonderful people, restaurants and so many things. And so we have to as a country -- always think about how do we share information. How do we make sure this doesn't happen again?
BURNETT: And on that issue, I was -- went to the shooter's hometown, small town. Feels very rural. A church that had been converted into a mosque, a very small church, small mosque-type community. You have two young men that came out of that mosque and became terrorists out of one small mosque. You also -- the Tsarnaev Brothers, to whom Omar Mateen declared allegiance. They had a friend who died in a shootout with the FBI right here in Orlando. Are you worried about the possible terror network here in Florida?
[19:10:14] SCOTT: We've got to take this seriously. I mean, let's go back to Steven Sotloff, the journalist in Miami. He was from Miami. So, it's impacting our entire nation. This is not an attack on one club, it's not an attack on Orlando. This is a clear attack on our country.
BURNETT: True, but are you worried about here in Florida? SCOTT: I worry every day about, you know, that -- are we -- are doing
enough to destroy ISIS? Because that's what we have to do. If we're going to stop this, there's evil, there's evil -- radical Islamic, this evil of ISIS. That is evil. And we have to really get serious about how we're going to destroy it. And we're not going to destroy it by just sitting in our own country. We've got to destroy it from where it starts.
BURNETT: Before we go, I have to ask you about Donald Trump. You, of course, are a supporter. You and I have talked about that before. He talked earlier today about President Obama and Islamic terrorism. And here's exactly how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He doesn't get it. Or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other. And either one is not acceptable. We're led by a man that is either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anyone understands. What the heck is he saying?
SCOTT: Well, here's what I think we all agree on. One, we have to get more serious about how we vet and how we share information. We have got --
BURNETT: All that may be true, but as a supporter of Donald Trump, what is he saying there? What is he implying about our president?
SCOTT: I think what he is saying is, we have to have a president that is going to focus day in and day out on something that's important to our country. That is destroying ISIS. I support Donald Trump, because I believe he's a business person, he's going to get the economy going. But he also is going to focus on how do we destroy ISIS, and I think that's what he's signify.
BURNETT: All right. Governor Scott, thank you very much. I appreciate you taking the time in the midst of this horrible story.
And OUTFRONT next, the shooter, an Islamic terrorist. An angry bigot, an abusive husband. All questions for my next guest. You will see her here, Mateen's ex-wife joins me OUTFRONT.
And then my exclusive interview with a man who went to the same mosque as the shooter has known him since childhood. Their last meeting, just Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: There are two young men who have committed horrific acts of terror who are part of this small community. I know it's shocking to you to hear that. Do you worry that there could be others?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And you will hear his answer.
And Donald Trump raising a lot of eyebrows with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: People cannot -- they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts. There's something going on. It's inconceivable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:16:05] BURNETT: Breaking news, we have new details tonight about the man behind the worst terror attack and the biggest mass shooting in American soil since 9/11. We now know that Omar Mateen had received extensive firearms training and he did this as a student at a law enforcement academy during this rampage, he called 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS. So how did an American become so filled with hate?
Brian Todd is OUTFRONT.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, a portrait of a mass killer with a deadly mixture of hate and radicalization.
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: But we are highly confident that this killer was radicalized and a list in some part through the internet.
TODD: FBI Director James Comey says the FBI first became aware of Omar Mateen in 2013 following reports of threats and inflammatory statements. And from that time to the night of the massacre, Mateen gave vague and conflicting indications of allegiances to terrorist groups.
COMEY: First he claimed family connections to Al Qaeda. He also said that he was a member of Hezbollah, which is a Shia terrorist organization that is a bitter enemy of the so-called Islamic State. ISIL. He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself.
TODD: The FBI tracked Mateen, looking for terrorist connections, for ten months before closing that case. Questions tonight, whether Mateen should have been tracked more closely.
COMEY: We're also going to look hard at our own work to see whether there was something we should have done differently. So far the honest answer is, I don't think so. I don't see anything in reviewing our work that our agent should have done differently.
TODD: Investigators are looking into what led him to this horrible act. But all indications suggest preparation and premeditation for a mass killing.
(on camera) At this gun store in Jensen Beach, Florida, a manager who didn't want to go on camera told us in recent weeks Omar came here looking to buy level three body armor. Experts say, that's military grade, offering protection that police officers don't even get. The manager here says they don't sell body armor of any kind and Mateen was out the door in about five minutes. But a U.S. official briefed on the investigation tells CNN that suggests to investigators that Mateen might have been planning the attack for some time.
(voice-over) The owner of this gunshot confirms that Mateen legally purchased the weapons at his store in Port St. Lucie.
ED HENSON, ST. LUCIE SHOOTING CENTER: An evil person came in here and legally purchased two firearms from us. If he hadn't purchased them from us, I'm sure he would have gotten them from another local gun store in the area.
TODD: Mateen was born in New York, the son of Afghan immigrant. His father, seen here in a Facebook video he posted while dressed in military garb, speaking to the media, the elder Mateen gave no concrete answers as to why. Others who knew Mateen describe him as unhinged, homophobic and racist.
(on camera): But you don't know why he did what he did?
SEDDIQUE MATEEN, FATHER OF ORLANDO SHOOTER: I am not aware at all. I wish he was alive, I could ask him the same question that you have. And I cannot tell you. Why? Why he did do such act? This is against the principle of me and the whole family.
TODD: Now the security firm that Omar Mateen worked for, G4s secure solutions has told CNN during his time there, almost nine years, he received two extensive background checks, one in 2007 when he was hired and another in 2014. And Erin, they told us that in each case, those background checks involved extensive psychological screening - Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, very much, Brian.
OUTFRONT tonight, the shooter's ex-wife Sitora Yusufiy. Sitora, thank you very much for being with me tonight. What went through your mind when you heard the man you had been married to, your ex-husband was the shooter?
SITORA YUSUFIY, EX-WIFE OF ORLANDO SHOOTER: Shock, to say the least. I was shocked. I really couldn't believe it.
BURNETT: Could you believe he would ever do something like this, Sitora?
YUSUFIY: No. No. Not from the time that I was with him. Because this is too -- this is too huge. BURNETT: When you think in your head Sitora about what happened, in
the brief time that you knew him, you were husband and wife. His family has said he was not religious. People around the nation, people around the world, the grieving families, they are all desperate to hear what could have caused him to do this. What do you think it was?
YUSUFIY: Well, you know, our marriage -- I mean, my experience with him was in the beginning a normal relationship. He was normal, he was funny, joking, very open. After we married, he -- after about a month, he -- of marriage, he began showing another side of himself that I had never seen before. He had confessed to me that he used steroids before, and at that time had stopped. And after that, I started noticing his emotional instability. That he would get angry.
[19:21:24] One minute he would be fine and another minute, he would be really angry, violent, and would have his fists clenched. And in the beginning, I thought maybe it was just that, and that was just part of his personality, and, you know, he's just a very difficult person. But then these incidents began evolving into physical abuse towards me. And so, you know, the reason why I was actually rescued is because we saw that he was not stable as a person to be with another person, because he was abusing me.
And, you know, that just showed some somebody's instability, somebody's disturbance within themselves. I don't know any healthier balanced person that would want to abuse another human being, much less their loved one. So for me, that's the only, you know, relation that I see that instability, the mental illness that was already evident back seven, eight years ago that just evolved to this insanity.
BURNETT: Sitora, the "Orlando Sentinel" reports that he visited the nightclub Pulse, where we are tonight, at least a dozen times. Why do you think he was going there regularly to a gay club?
YUSUFIY: Well, you know, when we had gotten married, he confessed to me about his past that was recent at that time. And that he very much enjoyed going to clubs and the night life, and there was a lot of pictures of him. So, you know, I feel like it's a side of him or a part of him that he lived. But probably didn't want everybody to know about.
BURNETT: Do you think he was gay?
YUSUFIY: I don't know. He never personally or, you know, physically made any indication while we were together of that. But he did feel very strongly about homosexuality.
BURNETT: What do you say to the victims, to the families who have so tragically had their lives changed completely, people who have lost their lives?
YUSUFIY: You know, in the beginning, when I first heard the story, this news, it was really difficult for me, and I couldn't stop crying, because more than anything, that's what I felt. The pain, the intensity and the questions that are going on from all the loved ones, all the families of the victims. And it took a lot, but I knew that if I would share my experience and maybe share some light and some insight to them, knowing -- and trying to understand why anybody would do this, that maybe it could help their healing process. Because I feel for all of you. And I pray every day for all of the souls that are transitioning, and everybody that is healing.
BURNETT: Sitora, thank you so much.
YUSUFIY: You're welcome. Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, I'm going to take you to the shooter's hometown inside the mosque. That's where we spent our day. My exclusive conversation with a man who has known the shooter since childhood.
Plus, Donald Trump's sparking intense criticism after saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And tonight, vigils across the United States, around the world. These are live pictures of crowds gathering here in Orlando, and in New York City, all to remember the loss.
[19:29:37] BURNETT: Tonight authorities are searching for answers into what led Omar Mateen to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in American history. We are also learning tonight the Mateen visited Disney just a couple of months before this massacre. Was it another target? There are so many questions as investigators are now trying to run down every possible line of questioning.
Earlier, I went to where he lives, I went to the mosque where he has worshipped since he was a child.
[19:30:00] And I talked to a man who has known him since he was a child and he told me he is worried about others following suit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Bedar, how long have you known Omar?
BEDAR BAKHT, WENT TO SAME MOSQUE AS SHOOTER: Since I would say '98. I've been on and off, I knew him coming to the mosque.
BURNETT: So --
BAKHT: As I kid, I knew him and his parents. A nice child, a naughty kid.
BURNETT: So, as Omar grew up, did you ever notice anything change in him?
BAKHT: I think when he grew up, and he became a teenager, I would say 14, 15, I saw changes in him. He was more into religion. More inquisitive, more asking questions. More argumentive. No, Islamic says this, that. I saw the changes inhim, he was very active in the religion part.
BURNETT: When was the last time you saw him?
BAKHT: Last time I saw him was on Friday when we have our congregation and he was there right in front of me.
BURNETT: He was here to pray?
BAKHT: He was here to pray and he stayed through the whole prayer until 11:45, 11:50. And after that, he just walked away and went away at the end of it. Because I'm so busy, I didn't get the chance to talk to him. But a week before that, I saw him with his son. And I was playing with his son.
So, when he was walking away, I looked at him and said, look your son reminds me of my son when he was at this age. Do you remember playing with him? And he goes, yes, I miss him. And I said that's why I was playing with your son. And he hugged me kind of. A casual hug. And the he just walked away.
BURNETT: That sounds like it was very unusual.
BURNETT: To have the physical contact with him and what you describe as he was emotional. Right, very unusual. He wasn't even speaking. At that time, he just stood there and talked to me.
BURNETT: This is a mosque I know is very important in your life. You are devout, you come to pray, you volunteer during the holy month of Ramadan, where now to help with the cooking, you and your wife. And yet, of course, the country hears about this is a mosque now that two terrorists have come out of, and it's a very small community.
BAKHT: Right. Very small, yes.
BURNETT: People is such trouble understanding how that could happen. What is this mosque like? What sort of preaching do you hear?
BAKHT: It's like any other mosque. We are very simple, friendly. I mean, our imam is very good at explaining things. We never hear any stupid things coming out from anybody. I mean, very low-key, basically.
So, for two kids to be growing up like this is very, very strange for me, too, because I knew that first kid too. He used to come here, and helped me cook at night.
BURNETT: During Ramadan, he would help volunteer with you. BAKHT: Yes, he'll volunteer and help set up the tables and this and
that. And he -- I remember he used to like shrimp for some reason and he said I like shrimp, can you cook it for me. And when I was in Maryland, I heard the news and I saw his picture.
BURNETT: That he had killed himself in Syria.
BAKHT: I was blown away. I said, what is going on here? So, yeah, it was a shock.
BURNETT: Do you worry that there could be others?
BAKHT: Yes, I do worry. Very much. And from now on, I will be keeping an eye on our youth, talking to them more frequently. I feel the people who talk more, they are more easy to understand. Because you know what they're saying, where they're coming from. And if you hear something bad, then you can always report it.
But the people who are quiet, those are the ones who are --
BURNETT: Like Omar.
BAKHT: Like Omar. He was very quiet. I mean, those are the people who are dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, our law enforcement analyst, former assistant director for investigations at the U.S. Marshals, Art Roderick. Also with me, national security analyst, former assistant secretary of homeland security, Juliette Kayyem.
Thanks to both.
You heard this interview, Art. This man knew both terrorists. And I want to say, this is a really small mosque. It was a church. It was converted into a mosque. It's very small. It's rural area.
There are only a couple hundred families he was saying belong to this mosque. And he is now worried. As someone who is -- a devout man that knew these young men, didn't see the signs, but there could be others.
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, this was -- he put on a lot of information and that was a really good interview. And for him to say that he's concerned should really frighten us. I mean, I think the FBI has got to respond to this immediately, do interviews, find out who he thinks -- if he's saying in his head he must have some people that he possibly suspects could have reached the point that this individual -- or at least is very outspoken about their beliefs.
BURNETT: And, Juliet, you know, I asked and said, well -- because there is so much criticism in this country. Why doesn't the Muslim community do anything? What would you do? Would you know what to do, if you suspected someone?
And he said no, I wouldn't know who to call. I wouldn't know what to do.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY, DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I think that's -- I think that's a failure of law enforcement, of not reaching out and saying, here, we're here.
[19:35:01] If you see something, say something. Many mosques are involved with law enforcement at this stage. So this may be an aberration.
BURNETT: So, Art, what do you make of what he was saying, in the final days. So he saw the shooter on Friday, saw him regularly. He attended mosque. Saw the shooter a week ago with the shooter's young son, 3 years old. They had that conversation.
And Omar Mateen touched him, hugged him. What he describes as an emotional moment. And he said struck him as so strange, even at the time, because Omar never wanted to interact.
RODERICK: Right. Yes. As we get more and more information, we're finding a lot more out, about the personality of this shooter. And I think there's going to be a lot more to come out. But that is a bizarre scene, that he specifically remembers that. That stuck in the back of his head to this day that obviously with the shooting that just occurred a couple days ago, and he's thinking about that particular emotional contact he had with them. Something going on in the shooter's mind at that particular --
BURNETT: I mean, it almost sounds like a farewell, right? Farewell to a man who had known him.
KAYYEM: Right. And around teenage years, or the change in personality.
BURNETT: That's when he said, started quoting verses from the Koran.
KAYYEM: Right. What triggers that, and you wonder about sexuality and questions about his own sexuality that have come out in media at this stage. There's going to -- we're going to learn a lot about him over the next couple days. So, I think the fact that that was around puberty makes you wonder.
RODERICK: And also, you know, what -- how close was that to him purchasing weapons? We're only talking a couple weeks. And if he had this contact with him a week or ten days ago, had he made his mind up he was going to do this? And, you know, we have heard now that he possibly could have been staking a lot of these types of clubs out even in the gay community. Then you have this emotional contact with the -- yes.
BURNETT: All right. And thank you both very much. I appreciate it.
RODERICK: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump under fire tonight for remarks about President Obama, and terrorism. And a live picture, we'll show you of people around the world who are
mourning and remembering, and honoring. This is in New York City, the "We are Orlando." something as I have stood here, I have stood in Brussels, I have stood in Paris and it's we are Paris, we are Brussels, we are Orlando. It is enough of hearing that and saying that of this horror happening.
I'm going to speak to a close friend of a young woman who died to tell his story. Her and how he is alive tonight.
[19:41:28] BURNETT: Breaking news on the Orlando massacre in which 49 people were killed. Tonight, the presidential candidates are responding to the tragedy. Hillary Clinton breaking from the White House, saying the words radical Islamic for the first time. Trump is suggesting that the president may sympathize with the terrorist.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: In dueling speeches.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: When I'm elected, I will suspend immigration --
ZELENY: From critical battleground states.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: As president, I will make identifying and stopping lone wolves a top priority.
ZELENY: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton offering a stark night and day view of the world in the wake of the Orlando rampage. Presidential campaigns are job interviews. And Americans are getting a side by side look in real-time of the choice facing them in November.
She didn't mention his name.
CLINTON: Attack in Orlando makes it even more clear, we cannot contain this threat. We must defeat it.
ZELENY: He couldn't stop saying hers.
TRUMP: Yet Hillary Clinton for months and despite so many attacks, repeatedly refused to say the words "radical Islam" until I challenged her yesterday.
ZELENY: But hours earlier, on CNN's "NEW DAY", Clinton signaling she wouldn't be backed into the corner.
CLINTON: Whether you call it radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I'm happy to say either.
ZELENY: Semantics aside, she said it was wrong to taint an entire religion. Their differing leadership styles and tone on full display.
Today on FOX News, Trump suggesting something nefarious about President Obama's background.
TRUMP: We're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind.
ZELENY: Offering a full-throated defense on , Trump overlooking the fact the killer was born in New York.
TRUMP: The killer, whose name I will not use, or ever say, was born in Afghan -- of Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States.
ZELENY: Such rhetoric Clinton argues fueling only more hate.
CLINTON: It plays right into the terrorist's hands.
ZELENY: On guns, their views even more polar. Trump inaccurately saying Clinton wants to ban guns.
TRUMP: Her plan is to disarm law-abiding Americans, abolishing the Second Amendment, and leaving only the bad guys and terrorists with guns.
ZELENY: In fact, the plan she outlined in Ohio pertaining only to assault weapons, which polls show a majority of Americans agree with.
CLINTON: I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets.
ZELENY: And tonight, Trump is digging in on those words, those four words specifically about President Obama -- there is something going on -- suggesting that he is identifying with radicalized Muslims here in the U.S. He said on a radio interview tonight with Howie Carr in Boston that people can make a decision for themselves but the president seems more angry at Donald Trump than at ISIS.
Now, all of this has created a bit of a media stir, as well, Erin. Donald Trump tonight saying he is going to revoke the press credentials from the "Washington Post" which has covered him aggressively, certainly, particularly for this story here.
Now, all of this is giving a lot of Republicans so much concern, Erin. Here in Cleveland, where I am tonight, in one month's time, that's when they nominate him to be the nominee of their party. All this talk about terrorism certainly is not sitting well with many Republican leaders tonight -- Erin.
BURNETT: I'm sure not. Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much.
[19:45:00] I want to go straight now to our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.
Gloria, let me start again, just to make sure we hone in here on exactly what we're talking about. What Donald Trump said, specifically, about President Obama and this massacre here. Here he is, the specific part again.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: He doesn't get it. Or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other. And either one is unacceptable. We're led by a man that is either not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Gloria, what is the reaction among Republican leaders tonight, when they hear him say this, that certainly sounds like he is implying the president sympathizes with terrorists, at the least?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, you know, the insinuation is there. I mean, Donald Trump tried to walk it back a little bit, later on this morning. He said, well, the president o see what's happening.
And the Republicans I talked to, they're no fans of Barack Obama. Let's get that clear. They don't like him. They don't like his foreign policy. They don't think he's been strong enough on ISIS.
But putting that aside, they see it as a -- as a point of contention about how he has run his State Department, how Hillary Clinton ran her State Department, how he ran his foreign policy. But you know, there is no insinuation that somehow the president doesn't share the values of most people in this country of wanting to defeat ISIS.
And, you know, they kind of wince when they hear that, as Jeff Zeleny was saying, here the party is trying to unite behind this candidate and last week on the issue of race and this week on this, I think they're all shaking their heads and trying to figure out a way to continue to move ahead towards Cleveland, and a united party. And this doesn't help.
BURNETT: And, Gloria, Trump also revoking "Washington Post" press credentials he says because of a headline that read, Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting. "New York Post" which obviously endorsed Donald Trump, likes him, has a headline that reads "Trump: Maybe Obama sympathizes with the terrorists." Sounds pretty much like the same headline.
BORGER: Yes. Look, I think Donald Trump is going to have to walk his way out of this, one way or another. If he has a bone to pick with the "Washington Post", which he does, revoking their credentials is trying to prevent them from doing their jobs as journalists and never hurts from his point of view to pick a fight with the press. But, you know, to not let the press do their job is, you know, unhelpful in the long-term.
But, you know, he is going to have to figure out a way, and I think he is probably trying to do it, to walk this back. And because more and more Republicans are going to come out there and say, you know what, that's not what he meant to say. He's just making them uncomfortable, and he needs them in Cleveland, and in the fall. BURNETT: Yes. All right, thank you very much, Gloria Borger.
And OUTFRONT next, live pictures of these vigils, thousands gathering to honor the lost. New York Stonewall Inn, the beginning in many ways of America's gay rights movement. People gathering there tonight.
And then 25-year-old Amanda Alvear, shot this video on her cell phone, just before she died.
Coming up, I speak to one who was in the club with her, one of her best friends. He is alive tonight. He has lost three of his friends. He'll be with me next.
[19:52:20] BURNETT: Breaking news at this hour, right now in New York indeed in many places around the world, but in New York, you can see thousands are gathering for a vigil outside the Stonewall. It's a bar symbol of gay rights since the 1960s in this country. Many people are struggling to make sense of the terror attack.
Everyone is, including my next guest, Josean Garcia. He managed to escape the club during the shooting. He has his life free of his friends tonight, Mercedes Flores and Amanda Alvear. You saw her video earlier in our program inside the club. It's horrible.
Josean, of course, have one other friend, though, who is in surgery and we hope will be blessed and will survive.
But let me start by asking you about Mercedes, about Amanda, your friend who died.
JOSEAN GARCIA, ESCAPED MASSACRE IN CLUB: Yes.
BURNETT: We have, of course, a video of you together but also the video that Amanda took on the dance floor in the last moments of her life. To so many they see this, and it is impossible to understand. Tell us about them, about these girls that were your best friends.
GARCIA: I met them when I was in middle school. We became very good friends, and onto high school and after high school. Basically, my life revolved around them, and my immediate family, but they are my second family. My weekends were around them, my vacation, my music career and other things, everything was with them. It revolved around them.
BURNETT: They were very special.
GARCIA: Very special. Everyone knows -- if they know my name, they know those girls' names.
BURNETT: And as people tried to understand what has just happened. What do you want them to know? You're going through an incredible tragedy, you're blessed, you're alive, but your life has changed. It has completely changed. I really don't call anybody except my grandmother in Puerto Rico, you know, my family, meet up on the weekend, go to the mall, to go out to eat. They were on speed dials, they're the girls that I went with.
BURNETT: What happened when you were there? You were obviously standing with your friend Brian who was shot, in the hospital tonight, going through another procedure, you're about to go visit him. They were in another room.
When did you realize something was happening?
GARCIA: Me and Brian were on the main dance floor. We were actually on the stage when we heard the gunshots, and I was (INAUDIBLE) deejay here, I worked for a few months, almost a year.
[19:55:06] And I knew those sound effects, and they didn't sound like the sound effects I knew, and when I looked around, I saw people ducking and the lights went out, the music is off, I know it was real and we jumped on the floor. We were very close, shoulder to shoulder. I heard the gunshots one after the other after the other, it didn't stop.
BURNETT: And you haven't been able to (INAUDIBLE)
GARCIA: No, here and there, an hour, 30 minutes, I'm nervous. It's -- I'm still grieving from other things in my life that recently happened and now, my two best friends are gone.
BURNETT: Josean, thank you so much for talking to me and for talking to everyone watching and sharing your grief, just a small bit of it with us. Thank you.
Josean Garcia, a survivor of the attack at the nightclub here from the suburban street right behind us.
We'll be right back.
BURNETT: Thank you all for watching. Our breaking news coverage of the Orlando terror attack continues now with "AC360".