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Source: Gunman Cased Nightclub, Disney Springs; Obama, Clinton Slam Trump as 'Dangerous, Shameful'; Sources: Investigators Trying to Learn if Wife Knew of Plot; Survivors Reveal New Details of Mass Shooting; What Drove the Orlando Gunman to Attack Nightclub? Aired 5- 6p ET
Aired June 14, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer. He is right next door in THE SITUATION ROOM. Thank you for watching.
[17:00:09] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. The killer's motive. A dramatic twist in the investigation into the Orlando terror attack, including new evidence indicating the gunman himself might have been gay. We're also learning he cased the nightclub and a nearby Disney complex. Plus, new details from survivors. What was the gunman saying as he carried out his rampage?
The killer's wife. In hiding and said to be cooperating with the FBI. Investigators are trying to determine if she knew about the attack and whether a case can be made against her for not coming forward. Did she play a role in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history?
Lashing out. President Obama, known for his steely cool, unleashes a tirade against Donald Trump, denouncing him for what the president calls his dangerous ideas. Hillary Clinton also blasting Trump's remarks in the wake of the Orlando attack as shameful. How are Trump's fellow Republicans reacting?
And vodka-gate. Forty years after the Watergate burglary, hackers allegedly connected to the Russian government break into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, stealing opposition research on Donald Trump. Who ordered the cyber-attack?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following breaking news in the Orlando terror attack. New information about the gunman and apparent surveillance missions he carried out before the massacre. A law enforcement official tells CNN Omar Mateen cased the Pulse nightclub and a Disney shopping complex the same week Disney and other sites were holding annual gay and lesbian celebrations.
And in a dramatic twist, investigators are now looking into claims by men who say they received messages from Mateen on gay dating apps and that he had visited the nightclub a number of times, raising questions about whether Mateen himself was gay. We're also following President Obama's fiery response to Donald Trump,
who restated his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants in the wake of the Orlando attack. And in a sharply-worded speech, the president excoriated Trump, calling his ideas dangerous.
We're covering all the angles of the breaking news this hour with our correspondents, our expect analysts and guests, including Congressman Andre Carson, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. They are also standing by.
Let's get more first on the two major breaking developments we're following. CNN's Michelle Kosinski is over at the White House with more on the president's remarkable speech blasting Donald Trump.
But let's begin with our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, in Orlando. Jim, there's breaking news in the investigation. What are you learning?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. Tonight multiple sources tell CNN that the wife of the shooter, Omar Mateen, is now under active police investigation. The focus: whether she had knowledge of the attacks in advance, including possible targets, and failed to share that knowledge with police.
This investigation is ongoing. There is no conclusion, no charges filed yet, but we know that she is a target of that investigation.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): Tonight, authorities are investigating whether Omar Mateen's wife may have known about her husband's deadly plans to attack Pulse nightclub but did not alert law enforcement before the shooting rampage.
ANGEL COLON, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: He's shooting everyone that's already dead on the floor and making sure they're dead.
SCIUTTO: A survivor of the attack, still in the hospital today, described a chilling scene.
COLON: I look over, and he shoots the girl next to me. And I'm just there laying down. I'm thinking, "I'm next, I'm dead." So I don't know how, but by the glory of God, he shoots towards my head, but it hits my hand.
SCIUTTO: Another survivor, Patience Carter, revealing what the gunman said to her when he entered the club's bathroom.
PATIENCE CARTER, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: He said, "Are there any black people in here?"
I was too afraid to answer. But there was an African-American male in the stall where most of my body was, the majority of my body was, had answered. And he said, "Yes, there are about six or seven of us."
And the gunman responded back to him saying that, "You know, I don't have a problem with black people. This is about my country. You guys suffered enough." He said that the reason why he was doing this was because he wanted America to stop bombing his country.
So the motive was very clear to us who were laying in our own blood and other people's blood who were injured, who were shot, that we knew what his motive was, and he wasn't going to stop killing people until he was killed.
SCIUTTO: Tonight, new evidence is emerging that suggests the shooter may have considered other targets. Officials are tracking Mateen's whereabouts in the weeks and months leading up to the attack. Investigators say cell phone tower data indicates Mateen spent several hours at Disney Springs, a shopping and entertainment complex, on Saturday, just before the attack at the nightclub early Sunday morning.
[17:05:12] CNN has learned that Mateen also visited Disney Springs and Pulse nightclub at the beginning of June, the dates June 1 to the 6th, coinciding with gay pride celebrations taking place at Disney World and other locations in Orlando.
The security officials told the FBI they believe the shooter was scouting the Disney World park when Mateen visited there with his wife in April. At Mateen's home, the FBI seized documents, a Dell computer, a smartphone, and a digital camera.
Analysis of his electronic devices shows searches for jihadist propaganda, including videos of ISIS beheadings and information on Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American cleric who joined al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was killed in an American drone strike.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The killer took in extremist information and propaganda over the Internet. He appears to have been an angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalized.
SCIUTTO: Tonight more new information. We confirmed just moments ago that on May 29 the shooter, Omar Mateen, donated blood at a mobile donation center in Fort Pierce, Florida. They do not know how or why he did this. We know that a staff member there recognized his face from news reports. They were able to confirm it was him who donated the blood, via his name.
Wolf, it's part of an increasingly confusing profile of him. Why he donated his blood just a little more than a week before he carried out the carnage, killing 49 people just down the street here at the Pulse nightclub -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Jim Sciutto reporting with the latest information, thank you.
Donald Trump's reaction to the Orlando terror attack is drawing sharp criticism from Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama. Without mentioning his name, the president excoriated Trump in an unusually fiery speech.
Our White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, is joining us with the very latest. Michelle, the president was visibly angry. Update our viewers.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, he seemed furious about this. This was a rebuke, a rebuttal, a ridicule of his critics, namely Donald Trump. so he took this address that was about the war against ISIS, and he made it as much about a political war of words, what the White House calls the magic words over why the president doesn't say radical Islamic terror.
KOSINSKI (voice-over): President Obama this time confronting his critics head on over the very words they say he refuses to use.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's the key, they tell us. We can't beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists. What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans?
Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.
KOSINSKI: Flanked by his National Security Council, including the nonpartisan chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the president excoriated those who say he has not done enough to fight ISIS.
OBAMA: There has not been a moment in my seven and a half years as president where we have not been able to pursue a strategy, because we didn't use the label "radical Islam."
Not once has an advisor of mine said, "Man, if we really use that phrase, we're going to turn this whole thing around." Not once.
If there's anyone out there who thinks we're confused about who our enemies are, that would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists who we've taken off the battlefield.
KOSINSKI: The usually collected Obama lashed out at Republican rhetoric, and Donald Trump in particular.
OBAMA: There's no magic to the phrase "radical Islam." It's a political talking point. It's not a strategy.
And the reason I am careful about how I describe this threat has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism.
Groups like ISIL and al Qaeda want to make this war a war between Islam and America or between Islam and the west. If we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush and imply that we are at war with an entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists' work for them. [17:10:11] KOSINSKI: Nearly one year to the day after the murder of nine church goers in Charleston, three years after a failed attempt in Congress to mass tougher gun laws following the Sandy Hook massacre of school children, President Obama forcefully called again on Congress to do more.
OBAMA: People with possible ties to terrorism who aren't allowed on a plane shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun. Enough talking about being tough on terrorism. Actually be tough on terrorism and stop making it easy as possible for terrorists to buy assault weapons. Reinstate the assault weapons ban; make it harder for terrorists to use these weapons to kill us.
KOSINSKI: In what appeared to be a carefully choreographed one/two punch, at the same time the president spoke, Hillary Clinton was using much the same language during a speech in Pittsburgh, calling out her Republican presidential rival by name.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He is fixated on the words "radical Islam." Is Donald Trump suggesting that there are magic words that, once uttered, will stop terrorists from coming after us?
In the end, it didn't matter what we called bin Laden. It mattered that we got bin Laden.
KOSINSKI: At times emotional, Secretary Clinton assails Donald Trump for suggesting the president was somehow aligned with Islamic terrorists.
CLINTON: Even in a time of divided politics, this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president of the United States.
KOSINSKI: Donald Trump responded to all of this not in a tweet but in an e-mail statement, saying, "President Obama claims to know our enemy and yet he continues to prioritize our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the American people. When I'm president, it will always be America first" -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Michelle Kosinski at the White House, thank you.
Let's get some more on the breaking news. Democratic Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana is joining us. He's a member of the Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. I know you've literally just emerged from a briefing with the FBI director. Have you gotten any more clarity on if the shooter was directed by anyone overseas? Did he act alone?
REP. ANDRE CARSON (D), INDIANA: I think it's still being combed. I think what is very clear is that there are scores of people, Wolf, who are being self-radicalized and who are dealing with mental health issues. So if you combine the two, you get a terrible result, but that does not remove us from what we need to do in terms of reinstating the assault weapons ban. I think the president hit the nail on the head.
You know, in many ways, our laws were partly complicit. Where someone can get access, the bad guys can get access to assault weapons, it's simply unacceptable.
BLITZER: What are you learning about this terrorist's motive? Could it be connected to reports he actually visited the nightclub several times before the shooting, sent messages via a gay dating app? Why was he targeting the gay community?
CARSON: Well, it's difficult to say. I mean, it is clear that he was a troubled young man who wrestled with many internal issues.
But what's more clear is that this was an act of terrorism. It was certainly an act of hate, and members of the LGBT community should feel safe whenever they go out. Members of any community should feel safe in our country when they're out and about.
But what's more important is that we have to focus our efforts on the administration's initiative with countering violent extremism. We've said it over and over again. We need, Wolf, community stakeholders -- psychologists, educators, parents, friends, loved ones -- to effectively, if you see something, say something, so we can have a cooperative -- even faith leaders from across the religious framework to work cooperatively to keep our community safer and develop safe spaces.
BLITZER: Has any more evidence, Congressman, been recovered on the shooter's electronic devices, whether his cell phone, his laptop, information that could be useful?
CARSON: Well, the FBI, Homeland Security and our other agencies, as well as local and state law enforcement, are looking into this matter very deeply and very rigorously. So I can't speak to that issue at this point.
But what I will say is that our first responders have done a phenomenal job in terms of getting to the root of this. And they've done an even greater job in terms of pulling their assets and resources and tracing anyone who is attempting to copycat what happened in Orlando.
BLITZER: What have you learned, Congressman, about the shooter's visits to that gay nightclub? Was he casing the location specifically, or did he visit the club regularly, as well?
CARSON: Well, that is still unfolding as we speak. What is clear is that what happened was unacceptable. It was an act of hate. It was an act of terror. And going forward we must not castigate one group. We must not demonize one group because of these actions. We have to come together as a community.
[17:15:12] And as legislators we have an obligation, regardless of our philosophies or persuasions. We have to get away from the emotionalism of the day and work toward crafting legislation that keeps American people safe.
BLITZER: What about his visits to the Disney Springs shopping complex there in Orlando? Has anything more been learned about those visits?
CARSON: Well, you know, the nightclub is what is known in the law enforcement community as a soft target. I think that Disney, obviously, for branding reasons, has a larger attraction, and it makes a larger statement.
This young gentleman pledged affiliation to ISIS, al-Nusra, and other groups that are competing with one another. So clearly, he didn't have his talking points in order.
But I'm saying over and over again, we have to come together and not castigate one group over the other. And I commend our law enforcement community and first responders for doing the good work of keeping the American safe during these tumultuous times.
BLITZER: Congressman, please stand by. We're also learning new information about the killer's wife. In hiding but said to be cooperating with the FBI. What did she know about the attack?
There's more breaking news right after this.
[17:20:45] BLITZER: We're back with House Intelligence Committee member Andre Carson. We're going to dig deeper into the terror probe unfolding right now in Orlando.
But first, I want to go to our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin.
Drew, you're learning more about the killer's wife and family. What have you learned?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: They are all cooperating, we are told, with the FBI. Every one of them has been interviewed by the FBI.
But as Jim Sciutto reported in the beginning of your program, none are appearing to be more important than Noor Salman, the second wife of this Orlando shooter.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): She's been largely out of sight, appearing in the middle of the night to retrieve personal belongings at the condominium she shared with her husband, then disappearing. But what Noor Salman knows is key to finding out what happened.
A family source telling us Salman has been cooperating with the FBI from the very moment she learned about the attack. Law enforcement will only say she has talked. The question for investigators: did she know about the attack in
advance? This afternoon the father of the attacker emerged from his home to say he didn't know.
(on camera): Can we just ask one question, related to the news that's broken? It is that Noor Salman is cooperating and that she has told police, the FBI, that she personally went on a trip to Orlando and brought your son to that club.
SADDIQUE MATEEN, FATHER OF OMAR MATEEN: I don't know anything. I don't know. I can't say.
GRIFFIN: Do you think your daughter-in-law helped your son commit this crime?
MATEEN: I don't think so.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): As the father waits to find out, federal investigators are trying to determine if she knew about the attack and whether a case can be made against her for not coming forward.
MATEEN: OK, so we'll wait for the law enforcement.
GRIFFIN (on camera): She hasn't told you anything?
MATEEN: We'll see that. Thank you so much.
GRIFFIN: Is she an accomplice?
MATEEN: We'll wait.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Salman was born and raised in northern California. Her parents are both Palestinian immigrants. According to their marriage certificate, she married the shooter in an Islamic ceremony near San Francisco in 2011.
Friends and family of Noor Salmon tracked down by CNN have refused to say how the couple met, courted or decided to be wed, a family source saying it's private.
It was not his first marriage. His previous wife, Sitora Yusufiy, described a brief and violent relationship with a man from whom she was able to escape only with her family's help. She said he was physically abusive and a steroid abuser.
Back in California, a neighbor told CNN Salman's mother said she rarely saw her daughter since she married and moved to Florida. Salman and her now-dead husband have one child together, a son. The shooter apparently adored him. Picture after picture online show father and son at play, at fairs, at formal engagements, and dressed for prayer. "His son was his world, his life," a family source tells CNN. "We are all in shock. How could he do this?"
GRIFFIN: Wolf, in a strange twist, the father said this afternoon that at 3 p.m. on Saturday, the day before the shooting, his son visited him at his house. He said it was just a normal visit. His son didn't even say he was going to Orlando and they had no idea that 12 hours later he would perform an attack that would be the biggest attack, a shooting in U.S. History.
BLITZER: Thanks very much for that report. Let's get back to congressman Andre Carson of the intelligence committee.
Congressman, what more did you learn from the FBI director? You just emerged from a meeting with him about the shooter's wife. Did she know about this attack?
CARSON: Well, the information is still unfolding. Investigators are on the job right now as we speak, Wolf. But it goes back to my earlier point. We need to have cooperation within the community. Traditionally, there has been deep suspicion because of overreaching of law enforcement.
But I think now more than ever, parents, community stakeholders, psychologists, educators, spouses, friends, if they see something suspicion, they have to report it. Because it allows us to put together this complex puzzle of who wants to do us harm in this country.
[17:25:11] BLITZER: You were a law enforcement officer before becoming a congressman. Could she be held liable -- could she charged if she knew what he was plotting?
CARSON: Oh, certainly, absolutely, without question. You know, I worked in the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and as a supervisor watch officer. And the volume of calls that we get in fusion centers where you're working with the FBI, state police, sheriff's departments and local police departments, the Secret Service and the military, it allows for agencies that would normally be in competition to come together, share information.
What we're seeing now, more than ever, is that law enforcement agencies cannot be at cross purposes with one another. They have to work cooperatively to solve these cases.
BLITZER: The president came out swinging today against Republicans, including Trump, as you know. He says using the term "radical Islam" wouldn't change or accomplish anything. You're one of two Muslims in the United States Congress. Do you agree with the president?
CARSON: I think the president hit the nail on the head. We cannot become obsessed with a certain phraseology.
What is clear is that there are people who claim to be Muslim but who go against the religion itself. There are people who claim to be Christian and otherwise who do hateful and harmful things to other people. So we can't obsess about a phraseology, because it doesn't have any mystical powers.
What is clear is that we need to target these groups and these individuals and dismantle their philosophies and efforts to keep our global community safer.
BLITZER: Congressman Carson, thanks very much for coming in.
CARSON: An honor. Thank you.
BLITZER: Coming up, remarkable and emotional stories from survivors of the Orlando massacre.
BLITZER: We're following breaking news. Today survivors are coming forward, giving new and harrowing details about the Orlando nightclub mass shooting.
[17:31:23] CNN anchor John Berman is in Orlando for us.
John, we now know much more about what the killer said and did during that horrific three-hour ordeal.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed we do, much more, Wolf. Patience Carter, she's a 20-year-old NYU student from Philadelphia, down here in Orlando on vacation.
She went to Pulse with two friends on Saturday night, Tiara Parker and Akyra Murray. Patience was shot in the leg. Today she spoke from the hospital, and she gave us vivid, remarkable new details about what it was like inside during that three-hour ordeal.
PATIENCE CARTER, ORLANDO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: The gunman entered the bathroom and was shooting his machine gun, so we're all, like, scrambling around in the bathroom, screaming at the top of our lungs when he was in there for the first time. And then, you know, people are getting hit by bullets. Like, blood was everywhere.
And then there was a moment where he stopped shooting in the bathroom. And that's when everyone looked around, and that's when I first realized that my leg was shot. There were several other people shot and bleeding in the bathroom. That's when Akyra, who didn't make it, realized she was shot in her arm, and I'm not sure if that was when Tiara also got shot in her side. There were wall fragments hitting my leg, but that was really just the machine gun that he had blaring around the entire room.
And it actually got jammed. He was like, "Damn," like "It jammed."
So with my face under the stall looking, I could see him put down his machine gun and try to -- you could hear him trying to click and fix his handgun.
We laid there for hours and hours, hoping that someone came and got us and hoping that the police would come through at that point in time and just, like, save us all. But throughout that period of hours, the gunman was in there with us. And he actually made a call to 911 from there. Everybody could hear
who was in the bathroom who survived, could hear him talking to 911, saying that the reason why he's doing this is because he wants America to stop bombing his country. And from that conversation, from 911, he pledged his allegiance to ISIS. And he started speaking, and I believe after he got off the phone with 911, he started speaking in Arabic. And now that I know to be Arabic. At first I didn't know what the language was.
And after that, he even spoke to us directly in the bathroom. He said, "Are there any black people in here?" I was too afraid to answer. But there was an African-American male in the stall where most of my body was, the majority of my body was, had answered.
And he said, "Yes, there are about six or seven of us."
And the gunman responded back to him saying that, "You know, I didn't have a problem with black people. This is about my country. You guys suffered enough."
The last shots that went off that he did inside the bathroom while we were held hostage was right before the police bust through our bathroom that we were inside of. So there was like three explosive sounds that went off right before the police actually rescued us.
The last thing that I heard before the police said, you know, "Move away from the walls," because obviously they were about to bust through again, he said, "Hey you," to someone on the floor inside the bathroom and shot them, shot another person, and then shot another person who happened to be directly behind me, who I'm told through the eyes of Tiara that shielded me with her own body to make sure that I wasn't hit.
[17:35:09] After he left off those last three shots, "Hey you, pow, pow, pow," they bust through the wall and start engaging in gunfire. They told him, "Put your weapon down, put your weapon down." He didn't. So they engaged in gunfire. They got him; they shot him dead.
And from that point, because the wall had exploded, the pipes, there was water starting to rise. I was really scared, because I was thinking if they don't get to me soon or something, I might drown sitting in this water, these piles of bloody water.
But I was able to get the debris off my face, and I was able to push myself from underneath the stall wall and come on the other side where the handicap bathroom was, the handicap stall was. And I was able to sit up and pull my leg from underneath the person who just was killed beside me. So I didn't even know I was shot in my left leg until they cut my clothes off in the ambulance and told me, like, "You have another bullet wound under your left thigh."
So, I'm still here.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BERMAN: Three excruciating hours. Patience said at one point the point was so great during those three hours she asked God to take her away so the pain would stop.
She obviously survived. Her friend Tiara Parker, shot in the side, also survived, but Akyra Murray did not survive.
I just can't imagine the strength it took for Patience to tell her story today, Wolf. I was speaking to another survivor who told me that there's been two nights since the attack, and he hasn't been able to sleep at all -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Horrific indeed. A really remarkable young woman, Patience Carter. When you see her, give her our love. John Berman, thanks very much.
I want to bring in our experts, Dr. Lisa Van Susteren, a forensic psychiatrist; our national security analyst, Peter Bergen. His latest book, "The United States of Jihad," is about the threat of home-grown terrorists. Also, our justice correspondent, Evan Perez, is with us; and our national security commentator, Mike Rogers, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Actually, we're getting some new information, some new information just coming in. I want to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[18:41:53] BLITZER: We're following today's breaking news from the investigation into the mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub. Sources say the killer may have actually visited the club on several occasions and may have used gay dating apps.
We're back with our experts. Mike Rogers, you're a former FBI special agent. If, in fact, he was at the club, casing it or whatever, or was on these -- was seen on video footage, the FBI presumably is going to review all that video and interview others who were there who might have seen him to get a better sense of what he was up to.
MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. And so he had some training as a security officer. It was probably very minimal, but he had it. So he knew what to look for in the site.
So there are off-duty police officers that this club would use for protection and security at night. He would be able to identify them and understand their patterns, depending on how often he went back. Clearly, he had taken some time and effort to determine what the security perimeter looked like and what security looked like on the inside. He evaded most of that through the shooting. So those police officers were not in a position to engage the shooter. That tells me he probably knew how to evade those folks.
BLITZER: I'm sure the FBI is looking at the video now and talking to people who frequented that club and some of the people who worked there, as well.
What's the latest, Evan, you're hearing from your sources about his decision to actually target the gay community?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, that's still very much a big focus of the FBI: why did he choose this place, why not perhaps a venue that's closer to where he lived, about two hours away in Fort Pierce, Florida?
He certainly went and cased not only this venue, Wolf. He also traveled to Disney Springs, which is an entertainment complex that's just outside of Disney World. He was there with his family earlier in the year, and he went back at the beginning of June. And so the investigators believe that he was casing the place before he decided where to launch his attack.
BLITZER: Lisa, respond to these reports that this guy actually visited the nightclub on several occasions, was using a gay dating app, if you will. What does that say to you?
LISA VAN SUSTEREN, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, it shows, obviously, that his sexual identity is a little uncertain for him. He's married and he's also engaged in gay relationships.
But mostly what it says to me is that he has this idea, I would believe -- I obviously didn't talk to him -- but that he isn't man enough, and he goes back to the place in a sense, as this gay community, did he not feel macho enough? And if he has self-loathing because he's not macho enough, is he going to go back and take away the lives of those who are doing this to him in his mind? Obviously, very depraved, but that's how you might understand it psychologically.
BLITZER: You've studied ISIS, Peter. Is there a rule that ISIS terrorists should go out and kill gay people?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, certainly in Syria and Iraq we've seen plenty of that. But I mean, this is unusual, to have an attack directed at a gay nightclub in the west. And I don't think we've seen that with ISIS or al Qaeda or any jihadi terrorist group.
We have seen that, by the way; right-wing -- extreme right-wing terrorists. For instance, Eric Rudolph targeted gay nightclubs back before 9/11. But this is very unusual.
[17:45:01] PEREZ: You know, actually one of the interesting things that we've seen in a few ISIS arrests, you might remember some of this from some of your briefings but we've seen the FBI find gay pornography on the computers of some of these guys that have been arrested after they've carried out these things. And it's a very interesting thing. We don't know what to make of it. The FBI has looked at it, has noticed it, but they don't really know what to make on what causes it.
VAN SUSTEREN: I can comment on that. One of the reasons that drives a person to join a club, a horrible terrorist group like ISIS is because you feel very macho and very powerful. If you need to go to such extremes to feel like a real man, it suggests certainly in the view of psychiatrists that deep down inside maybe you don't feel like you're man enough, maybe you feel kind of puny. That's what people do.
BLITZER: How long is it going to take to get to the bottom of this and figure out exactly what happened? You're obviously the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee but you used to work at the FBI.
ROGERS: They'll go back and do a thorough review on both investigations. So there are really two separate instances that caused the FBI to engage in interviews with this individual, Mateen. One where he was not the primary suspect, but he knew the person that blew themselves up, was from Florida, had a relationship with the guy who blew himself up in Syria, and that's what started this longer investigation, this 10-month investigation where they had confidential informant working.
They were clearly concern enough to try to have a longer investigation about what his intentions were. So they'll go back and reflect all of that as they should to determine, did we miss something, or is the policy wrong. Is there something that we found that wouldn't allow us to put them and hold them on a terrorist watch list that maybe we can look at and change. All of that is going to be --
PEREZ: I think if you talk to officials now and announce and I talked to officials in the past couple of days about this, I think they believe that if that case were to be open now, he would have been arrested for something. They would have found a way to get him off the streets.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by. Everybody, stand by, we're getting some more information now on the terrorist's second wife. Stand by, we'll be right back.
[17:51:27] BLITZER: We're back with our experts as we follow today's breaking news in the investigation into the mass shooting at that Orlando nightclub.
Evan Perez had to step out for a moment. He's getting new information. We're going to share that without viewers in a few moments.
But, Peter, the role of women terrorist, it is --
BLITZER: Is it increasing right now? They're investigating right now the role of this second wife. What is anything did she know about that. That's part of the investigation. But how significant are these female terrorists potentially -- female terrorists out there?
BERGEN: It's definitely increasing. In fact the think tank where I work out, New America. We did a study of 600 Westerners who've gone to join a military group in Syria. We found one in seven were women. That's unprecedented, Wolf. I mean, in previous jihads, Bosnia, Afghanistan, women were totally excluded. So these people are not having front line roles but they're definitely having support roles.
BLITZER: This wife, Lise, knew about what the terrorist was plotting -- planning on doing, and didn't do anything or say anything. What does that say to you?
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that she's been co-opted presumably or she's terrified, or that she is a sympathizer. It could mean many things. But I have to say that I want to add that -- but we have seen people doing bad things with guns long before ISIS showed up, all violence begets violence. Any time there was an event like this, you're going to spawn a violent -- an additional violent attack. We need to recognize that it's really access to guns that's the issue. We got to stop just looking at ISIS.
BLITZER: This guy apparently pledged allegiance to various terror groups over the years, not just ISIS most recently but al-Nusra, which is an affiliate of al Qaeda, Hezbollah earlier. What does that say to you?
BERGEN: Well, we saw the same thing in San Bernardino where the husband sort of -- went jihad shopping as it were. He sort of looked into Shabaab, the Somali terrorist group, al Qaeda, and finally he and his wife pledged to ISIS. Of course ISIS didn't exist until 2014 and in both the San Bernardino case and in the Orlando case their interest in militant Islam has been going on for many years.
BLITZER: Psychologically what does it say to you that if he was attracted to various terrorist groups?
VAN SUSTEREN: It says a lot. First of all, just backing up a little bit, he was bullied as a child, he was overweight, he had behavioral problems. This guy has been a ticking time bomb for a very long time. And what people do who have murderous rage is they seek to legitimize it in some say, dressing it up as some political ideology. I have no doubt that this is a part of what is the driving force of what happened.
BLITZER: So if ISIS was looking to inspire someone in the United States, this guy was a prime character?
BERGEN: Yes, I agree with Dr. Van Susteren completely. I mean, typically, and also people who object to American foreign policy and also people with Islamic ultra fundamentalist . Very few people go out and then just murder people. I think so often people with some kind of personal grievance, some kind of disappointment, they dress it up, they become heroes in their own story. They hang their grievances on this convenient ideology. In the '70s they might have been, you know, Black Panthers or members of the Weather Underground. And this a violent evolution ideology that's still around that they can kind of associate themselves with.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by, guys, because there's more information coming in. We're getting new details from the nightclub shooting club investigation including what authorities hope to learn from the killer's wife.
Also President Obama's fiery new response to Donald Trump's call to ban Muslim immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States to bar all Muslims from emigrating to America.
[17:55:04] You hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. Motivation for murder. Growing questions tonight about whether the Orlando attacker was driven by his allegiance to terrorists or inner turmoil about his sexual orientation. We have new information about his personal life and his careful plotting for a massacre.
Did she know? Investigators are focusing in on the killer's wife and whether she had provided any help for the attack or had knowledge that could have prevented it. We're getting new information right now.