Return to Transcripts main page


Friend of Shooting Victims Speaks Out; Focus on Orlando Shooter's Wife; FBI Issuing Heightened Awareness Bulletins to Orlando Gay Clubs; National Security Key Factor in 2016 Election. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired June 15, 2016 - 23:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

[23:01:01] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The breaking news is the wife of Orlando -- the Orlando killer Omar Mateen telling investigators conflicting stories of what she knew about his husband's plans to commit murder.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon, live from Orlando.

Mateen's wife could face charges. A grand jury is expected to consider evidence and decide if she'll face criminal prosecution. Noor Salman denies knowing about the attack, but sources say she was with Mateen on at least one occasion to buy ammunition.

Want to get straight to the very latest now on the investigation. CNN's Pamela Brown joins us now with that.

Pamela, a lot of new information in this investigation. What are your sources telling you tonight?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. Not only have we learned, Don, that the gunman made those three 911 calls, but he called a TV producer during the shooting and called a friend to say good-bye. But we're also learning that he was searching Facebook about the shooting during the entire three hours. He apparently searched the terms Orlando Pulse shooting, and he was posting on Facebook as well according to this letter from Senator Ron Johnson that was sent to Facebook.

In the letter it talks about the fact that he was posting and searching Facebook before and after -- before and during, I should say, the shootings, talking about ISIS, and saying that America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic State, I pledge my allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. May Allah accept me.

He goes on to say, during the shooting posting this, remember, the real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the West. You kill innocent women and children by doing U.S. air strikes. Now taste the Islamic State's vengeance. In the next two days, you will see attacks from the Islamic State in the USA. So these are of the posts that he put on his account, and according to

this letter sent by Senator Ron Johnson, there were five different accounts at least associated with this gunman, so there is certainly a lot more to learn in that regard. We know that the cell phone from this gunman was damaged in the attack is now being analyzed by the FBI, some data has been pulled from that to piece together a timeline and what he was doing in the hours leading up to the attack -- Don.

LEMON: Pamela, let's talk about the wife now because the U.S. attorney could present evidence against his wife to a grand jury so bring us up to the date on everything you know about her and what she has told investigators thus far.

BROWN: That's right. We know investigators are trying to build a case right now. They're considering charges against the wife for not coming to authorities and speaking up as she thought her husband could commit a crime. We're told that for months if not years he expressed interest in doing an act of violence that she claimed she didn't know his specific plans. And she changed her story apparently.

According to our law enforcement sources she initially said that she didn't have any inkling of what he was going to do the day of the shooting, and then she sort of made a contradictory statement later on in the interview saying, well, I have this suspicion he may do something bad, he may commit an act of violence, I didn't know the specifics. I tried to talk them out of it. But of course, Don, she did not call police.

We've also learned from our sources that she went with him to buy ammunition on at least one occasion and as you know, she also went to the Pulse nightclub with him on one occasion at least in early June so of course the question is, how much did she know? To what extent? She is still under intense scrutiny tonight, Don.

LEMON: And then we have this new video, Pamela, of him appearing in a documentary called "The Big Fix," working as a security guard. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one gives a (EXPLETIVE DELETED), no one gives a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) here. Like everybody just get out to get paid. They're like hoping for what will to come out and more people to complain so they'll have jobs. Because once people get laid out here, it's going to suck for them. They want more disaster to happen because that's where their money-making is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It's all about the money, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All about the money. Exactly.


LEMON: Tell us about this. What's going on here?

BROWN: Well, it's just a fascinating glimpse into this gunman several years ago in this documentary was being made about the BP oil spill.

[23:05:06] The company he was working for, a private security guard company, confirmed that this is him. And you hear him talking really for the first time that we've heard, and this of keen interest to law enforcement. We know that the documentary, the people who made this documentary contacted law enforcement when it was brought to their attention he was in it, and so law enforcement is now -- has taken this as evidence and it's just one piece of the puzzle, one layer of many layers in this very complicated case where it's still unclear exactly what set the gunman off to do what he did on that day, Don.

LEMON: Pamela Brown, with the investigation. Pamela, thank you very much.

I want to bring in now George Cruz, lost a friend in this massacre, another is in intensive care, battling to survive right now. And George is with me now.

Your friend is right here in intensive care, right?


LEMON: He's in an induced coma. And then your friend Javier died in this. How are you holding up?

CRUZ: You know, today, it's been a tough three days, very tough three days. Today we had our viewing. We just came from the viewing of Javier. With his family, I had the opportunity to join him and his family. That's probably one of the hardest things I ever have to do in my life.

LEMON: You're here with friends, and some of your friends are behind you, you're all wearing black and you're coming from the memorial service, and clearly, it's a very emotional time for everyone. There's a lot of love as well, right?

CRUZ: We have so much love and support from my friends, family, the community. Yesterday, we had attended a vigil at the Dr. Phillips Performing Art Center, and we all came together as a community.

Javier was a co-worker, a friend, like a big brother to me. This is just unbelievable that it happened in our backyard.


CRUZ: It's hard to believe.

LEMON: Who are these folks with you?

CRUZ: I have my fiance.

LEMON: Come over here.

CRUZ: Fernando.

LEMON: Come on. CRUZ: Of 16 years.

LEMON: Come on.

CRUZ: Javier actually introduced us many years ago. Fernando.

LEMON: Come on. Don't want to come in.

CRUZ: And I have my friend.

LEMON: I understand.

CRUZ: Yes.

LEMON: But they are all here, and they are all supporting you?

CRUZ: Yes.

LEMON: You guys. Yes.

CRUZ: And we're here for the community here.

LEMON: Yes. And we get -- you know, we get sick of talking about, you know, this guy. I want to know about you and your friend. You guys are -- I see you're all dressed and I noticed that you're wearing the Gucci loafers. You are known as the Gucci boys. All of you?

CRUZ: No. I worked for Gucci. Javier and Leo, we got the name -- I was with the company for 11 years. The name came across as the Gucci boys because as a community not just in the LGBT community. The Gucci boys represented many of the organizations in Orlando from the Hope and Hope Center, the Runway for Hope, the Bridges of Light Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphomic Society.

Just last month Javier, Leo and I were involved in the LLS campaign. Attending the gala supporting and two week after that we were at the runway for Hope gala.


CRUZ: So, you know, although we are part of the LGBT community, we live in this community, we support the entire community.

LEMON: Yes, yes. Runway for Hope is a great cancer -- raises money for cancer for children.

CRUZ: And all three children's hospitals here in central Florida. All three. And we have been support them, Mark and Josie, for at least seven years now.

LEMON: Yes. Yes. Mark -- who's often on our show. So I want to talk about, you were -- do you go to Pulse every Wednesday? Do you guys --

CRUZ: We pretty much go to Pulse on Wednesdays and Saturdays. LEMON: This is what people don't know. Pulse is -- it is a gay club,

but not necessarily that only gay people go there. Straight people go there. The music is great, the atmosphere is great so you go, right?

CRUZ: Honestly for us, we were just having this discussion at dinner, my friends and I, after we left the funeral of Javier, you know, that name calling Pulse a gay club for us, Pulse is exactly what it is. Pulse. It's like going to clubs in Orlando called Vice or Vanity, when we decided as a group of friends what we are going to do for -- what we're going to eat, where to go, we just say the name of the location of a restaurant. We're not -- we don't just say we're going to a gay bar.


CRUZ: Pulse welcomes everyone. Pulse was founded by Barbara Palmer on behalf of her brother in 2004. I spent most of my time there in my 20s along with Javier, along with Leo, many of us who live in this community.


CRUZ: Pulse opens its doors to everyone, gays, straight, it does not matter.


CRUZ: We go there for the music, for the drinks.

LEMON: Yes. Everywhere I go here, and people say, you know, it's -- it's open, it's a pretty open and welcome society here in Orlando. I've only spent a limited amount of time here, and I have gone out here, but gay and straight people for the most part get along well here, and go to each other's clubs if you want to say that for a lack of better terms, and it's not a big deal here.

[23:10:06] CRUZ: It certainly isn't. We live downtown. We've been living downtown since 2011 and as a community, yes -- I mean, yes, we have a lot of gay friends, but to be honest with you, 50 percent of our friends are straight and when we go to Pulse, it's probably three or four of us, me, Javier and Leo and Fernando, and we have 10 of our other straight friends, and vice versa when we go to their bars and their clubs.


CRUZ: But we just go there to have a good time. We're not there to put a label on anybody or anything.

LEMON: Yes. You were supposed to go on Wednesday? Or you were supposed to go -- I'm sorry. You were supposed to go this weekend, on Saturday, and you didn't go?

CRUZ: I was supposed to be there Saturday, but I was attending the Belmont Stakes because of work. So I spoke to the guys on Friday. And then they texted me on Saturday. Leo went to meet Javier and a couple of our other friends and unfortunately, they were there while I was at the Belmont Stakes and I woke up on Sunday getting the phone call while I was in New York City.


CRUZ: What had happened.

LEMON: Yes. Are you -- what's your background? Are you Puerto Rican?

CRUZ: I am Puerto Rican. Yes.

LEMON: So you guys just took a trip to Puerto Rico, right?

CRUZ: Me -- Javier actually arranged a big trip.

LEMON: Where did you go?

CRUZ: We went to -- we stayed at La Concho. One of our coworkers, Nina, he planned her a bachelorette party.

LEMON: You're in San Juan.

CRUZ: So we were in San Juan.


CRUZ: We stayed in the Concho and Javier planned the entire weekend. And when we all left Monday he decided to stay last minute so he can surprise his family.

LEMON: Right.

CRUZ: And his mom. So we said good-bye to Javier and he stayed to surprise his family.


CRUZ: And pay them a visit.

LEMON: You are glad you got that moment, I am sure?

CRUZ: Yes. I had 18 great years with Javier.

LEMON: Can we talk about Leo? He's is in an induced coma. Do you know how he is doing?

CRUZ: Yesterday were told by the family that he had opened up his eyes at 4:00, and today at the funeral we met with the mom and the brother and the father, and they had mentioned that the doctors performed tests and he was responsive with his legs and his arms. So have hope that he will make it through.

LEMON: It's a tough question. Have you been able to say good-bye? Have you said good-bye tonight?

CRUZ: To who, Javier?


CRUZ: I did say good-bye to Javier today, and that was very --


CRUZ: I did it.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you.

CRUZ: Every story has an end, but in life, every end has a new beginning, and I think that for us, the new beginning for our families is for us to come together as a community. As a whole gay, straight, it does not matter. And I think that for me what I learned today, that's probably the biggest lesson.

LEMON: Yes. We have to get over that.

CRUZ: Yes.

LEMON: We have to get over that. And not only in this country but in the world.

CRUZ: Yes.

LEMON: Thank you, ladies. I know that you didn't want to come in. Thank you very much. I appreciate you guys coming down with these guys. Thank you so much.

CRUZ: Thank you.

LEMON: Best of luck to you.

CRUZ: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

CRUZ: Thank you.

LEMON: We will be right back.


[23:16:27] LEMON: We are outside of the hospital where victims of the Orlando massacre are fighting for their lives as authorities try to determine if the killer's wife had any role.

I want to talk about this now with Juliette Kayyem. She's a national security analyst. Mark Nejame, an Orlando community leader. And then Mia Boom as well. She's a professor at George State University and the author of "Dying to Kill."

Mia, I need to start with you. We have talked about women becoming radicalized or women helping out in this -- you know, in these particular incidences or incidents. What do you think? Do you think that she possibly knew more than she

let on in the beginning?

MIA BLOOM, PROFESSOR, GEORGE STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, certainly what we've seen is that the story is changing as she has been interrogated by the police and she's been asked a number of questions. It's a moving target. So at first she admitted that she knew he bought a gun. Then we have her on videotape that she's helping him buy ammunition. Then we know that she drove him to the club to (INAUDIBLE) or scope it out.

And so we don't know whether she's a conspirator and complicit or she's just a coward and didn't come forward. But either way this is not, you know, a nice -- this is not a good person. A good person would have come forward and prevented this atrocity.

LEMON: So, Juliette, you know, she -- would you characterize her -- how would you characterize her level of involvement?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I don't think we know yet. I think we -- this family is a complicated family. The father with his domineering personality, the wife not speaking up. I think we don't know yet.

LEMON: Mark, do you think that she was an accomplice or co- conspirator or just an abused wife who was going along with her husband because she felt that that's what she had to do?

MARK NEJAME, COMMUNITY LEADER, ATTORNEY: We don't know the specifics. We do know that it was an extremely dysfunctional family. And the dynamics we're going to be finding out. It is interesting, though, that they are going to the grand jury so quickly. That suggests that they got some significant evidence that they want to get out there because of the high profile of this case and the destruction that occurred. Normally, it would take much longer than this to get to a grand jury. This is quick.

LEMON: Do you believe she'll be indicted?

NEJAME: Do I think so? Yes. I mean, as a criminal defense lawyer for many, many years, I actually think she'll be indicted.

LEMON: What's the standard of guilt under the law?

NEJAME: Well, you're not dealing with guilt with the grand jury. I mean, basically, it's for them to come down with an indictment or not.


NEJAME: So the fact of the matter is that the level of proof is far less for a grand jury than it would be for beyond a reasonable doubt when you go to trial. And a prosecutor is not going to be making the mistake of taking this to a grand jury without having sufficient evidence. Remember, seemingly she's been under the control of or in the presence of FBI agents from the onset. I am sure that they've used every technique that they know to get as much information as they can.

And you know, there's a saying in this business, you can't catch a fish if its mouth is closed, and I suspect she's been talking for days.

LEMON: Yes. So you said this is going fast?

NEJAME: It's going exceedingly fast. This happened Sunday morning. This massacre happened Saturday morning, and Wednesday we're talking about going to a grand jury.

LEMON: Mia, why on earth wouldn't she report it to the police even anonymously?

BLOOM: The study that I cited in this morning's "Daily Beast" that was based on 119 lone act of terrorist showed that 64 percent of the time families know specific information about a plot, and they don't come forward, and this is cross cuts terrorists group, Islamic groups, extreme right-wing, neo-Nazi, all of the groups. And so we do have a long history where families don't come forward either because they don't, you know, want to get themselves in trouble.

[23:20:07] They don't want to be considered a person of interest. But also, what if the person is not serious? And this is where I make the distinction between potentially -- you know, making statements in anger, like, I should do something versus going and buying a gun, and then helping your husband buy the ammo for the gun.

LEMON: So, Juliette, we heard from -- I spoke to his ex-wife. His ex-wife said, you know, he tortured her, he held her hostage. You know, he beat her, he dug his nails, all sorts of things. So what is -- I mean, is there enough fear there as a level -- could be a level of exoneration?

KAYYEM: It could be, depending on what she's charged with. And I think that's the question here. They may be going -- moving this fast just to get her to tell the truth and maybe there is others involved. I think -- I think I find it hard to believe that no one besides him knew that this was going to happen. In all these cases, someone had some knowledge. This is killing 50 people. He wanted to be known, and so I just -- I think part of what we're seeing is trying to get people to come forward and speak up.

LEMON: And she -- if she was being abused in some way, could that possibly exonerate her?

NEJAME: It might be all she's got is a duress defense. And you've got to show an awful lot in order to have duress. But then the question becomes, what could she be charged with? And under federal conspiracy law, if she's done any act in furthering this conspiracy, simply driving him to the ammunition where he is going to get a gun or he's going to get bullets, assisting him in any way large or small can make her equally culpable for the acts of her husband.

LEMON: So how do they figure out what the killer's real motive is? Because they said today, the U.S. attorney today said that this was a hate crime and a terror attack. How do they -- either one of you.

KAYYEM: Well, they don't need to. I mean -- just some of the evidence we've seen so far. The anecdotal evidence and the statements by people, there is multiple motivations. This guy was motivated by hate, he was going to find a reciprocal for his hate, whether it was, you know, anti-LGBT, it was hatred towards his wives and women, it was -- and then it was, you know, this ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah combination that he seems to agree with.

So, I mean, the idea that we're going to have this --

LEMON: All competing sort of --


KAYYEM: Yes. We're going to have a eureka moment like that's it, and if we could only solve it that way, that we're going to stop all terrorism. I mean, we need to also look at the capacity of these guys to get these weapons, walk into these bars or wherever else and kill people quickly. It's -- we're not going to solve the motivation problem like that.

LEMON: You are -- for you are, this is -- is a bigger issue for a gun issue?

KAYYEM: Look. There is only two ways to stop terrorism. Get after the motivation or get after the means. I want to do both. I want to do both. And the idea that we're having conversations about motivation, and not looking at -- you know, how they are able to kill people is -- you know, we have soldiers abroad trying to stop ISIS, trying to stop them from getting weapons, and then here in this country, some guy is interviewed twice by the FBI, and he -- you know, it's like, and here's a gun. Right? I mean, it's just crazy.

NEJAME: There's a million reasons why people will want to get a gun and assault weapon. I mean, we left out, I think, the big one, self- loathing which might be a motive. But the reality is we got all sorts of issues here with people running through their minds, they can get guns, they can get automatic weapons, semiautomatic weapons, and take out hundreds of people.


NEJAME: In minutes. And unless we address that and unless the politicians stop cowering to the NRA on every single gun issue, we're never going to get an answer.

LEMON: You're saying no matter what the motivation, whether it's terror or whatever it is, or if -- mental illness, or whatever the means --



KAYYEM: Walked into the elementary school and killed a bunch of kids. LEMON: I understand what you're saying.

Hey, Mia, I want to get to these. I want to bring in. This is some of the Facebook posts, and I was looking at my phone because here they are. We're learning about tonight, made before and during the shooting.

"America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic State, I pledge my allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. May Allah accept me. The real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the West. You kill innocent women and children by doing U.S. airstrikes. Now taste the Islamic State vengeance. In the next few days, you will see attacks from the Islamic State in the U.S."

Mia, what do you make of this?

BLOOM: I mean, right now when we first saw the events of Saturday night, Charlie Winter and I went into the ISIS chat room, and ISIS didn't start claiming this attack until we said it was ISIS. But it also doesn't fit some of the standard operating procedures, and so what we'll need to see is a contrast between this attack and Bataclan. Maybe this was closer to San Bernardino, where this individual is doing things in the name of ISIS but that doesn't necessarily means he's being directed by ISIS.

And this where we make the distinction between in the name of ISIS or at the behest of ISIS, which is something that Charlie has been writing about.

[23:25:05] So part of it is the pledge of allegiance is only half the battle. Baghdadi has to accept your pledge. So it's not enough that you say, I'm with ISIS, and automatically now you're part of the organization. So my position on this is I'm a little bit circumspect given the fact that he was on the -- on the app, on the gay apps, that he has been involved in the community. There's a lot going on that we need to know more whether this is genuine radicalization, or whether this is the kinds of behavior we see are in psychology that's called, you know, sort of the covering behavior when you are engaged in camouflaging your real identity.

You talked about that earlier, Don. So, you know, I think we need more information or it could also be a combination. I asked Charlie, what happens as far as ISIS is concerned if we find out that he actually was involved in the gay community and doing all this, and as far as ISIS is concerned, the moment he shot the first person at the club, he became a Muslim again.

LEMON: Interesting. We have wondered whether the, you know, whole ISIS thing was thrown in at the end as a ruse to throw off people about his sexuality. I mean, it could -- you know, maybe it was terrorism. They say it's terrorism, it could be a combination of all things. Yes.

Everyone, stay with me. We're going to continue to discuss.

Up next, fear of retaliation against the Muslim community. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:30:34] LEMON: Our breaking news is tonight. The FBI is issuing bulletins to Orlando area gay clubs to be on a heightened sense of awareness. Back now with me Juliette Kayyem, Mia Bloom and Mark Nejame.

Let's continue our conversation now. Juliette, I want to ask you, you know, the FBI putting out this be on heightened alert, but they're also putting out a call for the public health today in this investigation, what are they looking for?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The crowd sourcing. They looking for more information about who he may been with, who he may talk to, who he may have expressed interest in this kind of violence to, and hopefully figuring out if anyone else knew. As I said, someone always knows in these cases, San Bernardino, other cases. So that's what they are trying to do, is to crowd sourcing.

LEMON: And people have been coming forward, we hear?

KAYYEM: Yes. But I think part of it is they be coming to the media first.

LEMON: Which happens a lot, which happens a lot.

KAYYEM: So hearing stuff ...

LEMON: So does that affect the credibility or what?

KAYYEM: No. I think is that they need to take an appropriate interview with notes and have it written down, and follow up, and stuff. And so, I think part of it is, instead of hearing that with you, or another network they want to hear it.

LEMON: Mark, the FBI said that there are threats made against the Muslim community. Here is the U.S. attorney -- what U.S, attorney said, listen.


LEE BENTLY, U.S. ATTORNEY: Making these threats is not only wrong, in most cases making these threats is illegal. Stop it. Any threats like this detract from what we are doing in law enforcement. We want to spend 100 percent of our time investigating the crime that occurred in Pulse Nightclub and facts leading up to it. Don't distract us from what we need to be doing.


LEMON: So emotions in Orlando and around the country are really running high. And, you know, you are very close to Muslim community here. You can speak about the Muslims here, do they feel under threat? Are they afraid?

MARK NEJAME, CNN ANALYST: I'm actually meeting with 20 or 30 tomorrow, and they are concerned. They are was wonderful about those, they are arm and arm with the gay community as one in Central Florida which is so wonderful to see. But beyond that, they are concerned about their children, they're concern about their homes and their businesses. They are concerned as some of the horrible things that are being said, some by politicians are inciting the public to believe they have something to do with this.

What people fail to realize is that the vast majority of the people that ISIS are killing are Muslims, and in another part of the world, but killing Muslims. They're killing true Muslims.

LEMON: They're doubly targeted.

NEJAME: This is not the radical fringe that we are addressing here. So everybody that I know, and I have dozens and dozens of Muslims friends in the community. They are active in the community. They are businesspeople. They are family people. They are sickened by this.

LEMON: You have been to the community center?

NEJAME: I've been -- my heritage is Lebanese so I was baptized in the Catholic Church. But I have many, many friends of all races and religions, all races. And we have been a bridge builder. It really started after 9/11 when there so much confusion, and the communities got together and we continue to do that.

So we're helping them with the overall community to get involved. And they're becoming involved. They are absolutely abhorring what has in fact has been done.

LEMON: Because people say that, you know, moderate Muslims don't speak out when this happens, and that is a load of ...

NEJAME: Well, a lot of time simply not covered. Now, what's being organized right now is they are getting together in mass to make a public statements or anybody who would suggest such a thing will be proven wrong.

LEMON: Yeah.


NEJAME: All Muslims that I know are moderate. I don't know anybody that -- even comes close to thinking that any of this is correct.

LEMON: And you're right, we can do a better job of giving a platform to those who do speak out on these issues because we hear about them, we read about them, but they are not necessarily front and center on television.

Mia, I want to talk about -- I'm sorry. Mia, I want to talk about the father because I interviewed the father yesterday, I'm not sure or did for you so I'm sire if got a chance to watch it. But he deny that his son was a jihadist or was, you know, extreme in any way. And that he was violently against his ex-wife, is this plausible or do you think he is denial or just not telling the truth? MIA BLOOM, PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: There's a distinction between what he first posted on Facebook in Dari and then he took it down, and then what he said in English.

[23:34:57] In Dari, he said, "Oh, my son is a good boy. He just killed 49 people". I don't think so. Then he used an extremely negative and pejorative way to refer to gay people basically like the f-word for gay people.

And then, so I'm thinking to myself the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He definitely had radical views, and he was anti-gay, and the people who worked with Mateen at G4 said that he had expressed racist, anti-semitic, homo phobic, misogynistic, all of these attitudes. And, you know, children aren't born with these attitudes, they absorb them usually from family members and parents. And so when the father came out to say such a pejorative term about the gay community, in the aftermath of this massacre.

LEMON: He said he was misquoted by the way, Mia.

BLOOM: He said it in Dari, and so we listen to it in Dari, we didn't translated into the English. So I don't know if he was misquoted, it is his own Facebook post.

LEMON: I want to get this in -- because it is the Orlando Police Chief speaking to Anderson just a short while ago about the timing of the police entering the club. Here it is.


CHIEF JOHN MINA, ORLANDO POLICE: So we had an extra duty off duty police officer working in full uniform. He responded to the shots fired right away, exchanged gun fire with the suspect right away.

COOPER: So pretty much right away?

MINA: Right away. So our officer was outgunned, he only had a handgun, the suspect had a long gun, a rifle. He waited for backup. As soon as enough arriving an officers responded with enough backup, and there were three to four of them I believe. They made entry into the club right away within minutes.

COOPER: And that standard procedure now since columbine.

MINA: Active shooter training we go in right away, as soon as you have enough backup. So they went in right away, exchanged gun fire with the suspect within those first few minutes, and that's important because it caused the suspect to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom where he is now isolated and contained. From that point on, until 5:00 in the morning, there were no shots fired.

But during that time while he was in the bathroom, our officers were saving people, getting injured people out, getting many, many people out of the doors.

COOPER: So there were officers and anybody who believes this there were not police inside helping the people during the three hours, that's a misperception. There were officers inside in that -- those other rooms, helping people get out?

MINA: Correct. Our officers were inside from the very beginning helping to get people out.


LEMON: So what he is saying, he saying police acted properly, but does this, you know, we've been hearing a lot about this good guy with the gun thing, is this knock that down in your ...

KAYYEM: There were guns. The guy had gun and he still killed. So this idea that we just armor people, there won't be terrorism as ridiculous. It is ...

LEMON: And so, they were outpowered?

KAYYEM: They outpowered. They didn't know if he had other. He's killed 49 people at this stag. And so, you know, that's the idea if we just armed people and they went to the bar on a Saturday night, and everything would have been OK. There were armed policemen in the bar, and he was still in there, because ...

NEJAME: The guy had semiautomatic weapon.

KAYYEM: And because they didn't have situational awareness, they didn't know if there were bombs or what else was going on.

LEMON: Go ahead, Mark.

NEJAME: You know, it's insane. You want to say everybody seeing in a bar, so one person says, "Oh, your date is cute", the next thing you know, we are at the "OK Corral", and everybody shooting everybody.

LEMON: I thought the point you're making he had an automatic weapon.

NEJAME: Oh yeah, the automatic weapon, which can take out ...

KAYYEM: And he also control the situational awareness. He knew where everything was and ...

NEJAME: And they didn't know what's going on because he did mislead them by all accounts, you know, whether those four people, whether there were suicide vest and whatever else. But the fact to the matter, it was so wonderful about what we heard from the Chief Mina is that, the police had gotten him so that he was corralled in the bathroom.

Now, sadly for those people in the bathroom, that was an issue. But it allowed all these other people to get out which we've all been wondering about. So seemingly, the FBI and law enforcement conducted most in this investigation and now are telling us this. But that's how so many people were seemingly got saved.

LEMON: Thank you, Mark. Thank you, Juliette. Thank you, Mia. I appreciate it.

Up next, Democrats trying to take down Donald Trump through the issue of national security. We'll be right back.


[23:43:04] LEMON: Massacre here in Orlando, highlighting the importance of national security in the fall election. Here's CNN's Dana Bash.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This approach isn't just wrong, it is dangerous.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Democrats are going full throttle against Donald Trump on national security.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we're fighting.

BASH: And its new presidential campaign terrain for a party that tends to more be more comfortable fighting on domestic turf. In 2004, the first president election after 9/11, George W. Bush and allies so aggressively painted Vietnam veteran John Kerry as weak on national security.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: He lacks the capacity to lead.

BASH: It likely sealed Kerry's defeat. Now, Democrats are plotting the 2016 presidential race to mirror their 2006 takeover of Congress, trying to make it a referendum on the Republican who shouldn't be trusted as commander in chief.

REP. STEVE ISRAEL, (D) NEW YORK: People were so concerned where President Bush and the policies that they viewed as reckless and not particularly thoughtful that they opened up the door to Democrats in national security, and that is happening now. People view Donald Trump as reckless, antagonistic and uninformed and they are opening the door to Democrats.

BASH: Congressman Steve Israel in-charge of message strategy for House Democrats delivered a behind close doors briefing this week on why national security should be Democrat's 2016 calling card.

ISRAEL: There is a vivid contrast between Hillary Clinton who is strong and smart on keeping us safe, and Donald Trump who is reckless.

BASH: National security was the subject of Clinton's first major speech of the general election before the Orlando massacre.

CLINTON: A trump presidency would embolden ISIS. We cannot take that risk. This isn't reality television, but it is actually reality.

BASH: But new polling from Bloomberg suggests that it is hardly a slam dunk message. [23:45:05] Trump is five points ahead of Clinton on the question of who is best to handle terror threats at home and abroad.

TRUMP: Hillary is a rank amateur. She's been doing it forever, and she is still doesn't get it.

BASH: Trump is banking on building support with his tough talk, and the contrast with Clinton's more cautious approach.

TRUMP: We've seen that political correctness is deadly. They don't want to talk about the problem.

BASH: And even the Republicans not thrilled with Trump say that not so fast, and especially since Clinton is so tied to President Obama.

What Democrats I talked to argue is they argue that when it come comes to experience and judgment, Hillary Clinton is a better candidate than Donald Trump. And your response is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think clearly on the experienced. That is -- it would be hard to argue that she didn't have the experienced. Having said that, just because they have experience doesn't mean that you're right. The experience has led us down a very awful path, I think.

BASH: The fight over national security is likely to play out just like other issues, a stark choice between the different but unknown versus the experienced but with a record.

Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: All right. Dana, thank you. Up next, more about Trump versus Clinton on the issue of national security.


[23:50:15] LEMON: We're back here live in Orlando where a grand jury is expected to look at evidence to determine if the wife of the killer played any role.

I want to bring in now CNN Political Commentator Kayleigh McEnany who is a Trump supporter, Matt Lewis a Senior Contributor to "The Daily Caller" and Bob Beckel with me as well.

So Bob -- excuse me, Kayleigh first, a little while earlier we heard the police chief say that the officers who responded had handguns, but they were outgunned by the shooter, but Donald Trump said something different about that earlier. I want you to listen to this.


TRUMP: I'm going to save your second amendment, OK? I'm going to save your second amendment. If some of those great people that were in that club that night had guns strapped to their waists or strapped to their ankle, and if the bullets were going in the other direction aimed that this guy who was just open target practice, you would have had a situation, folks which would have been always horrible, but nothing like the carnage that we all as a people suffered this weekend.


LEMON: Well, Kayleigh, the good guys did have guns in this case, and the police chief said that they engaged but they were out powered, it didn't help.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure, but at the moment in the club when this guy started shooting, Donald Trump is exactly right that if someone had a weapon to engage back, it could have ended a lot differently.

I mean, there is no -- it's not accident that since 1950 every mass shooting except for two have occurred in gun-free zones, it's because killers go where citizens are helpless. And if citizens have guns and the ability to engage back, it could have ended a lot quicker.

LEMON: But, Kayleigh, with all due respect, he just said that the officers and the security in club engaged with -- there are officers in the club who had guns, it didn't work.

MCENANY: But it can work and that's the thing. I don't know specifically those officers if they were shot and they no longer had the ability to engage back, if they were in fact dead. I don't know the specific situation that happened there, but if you had citizens who were armed and able to engage back, and able to the carry their guns if they had a concealed carry license, it could have ended a lot differently.

There's a reason that people go to these places, maybe one person had a gun, but I can guarantee you this, if 10 people maybe had a gun, that guy would have been taken down a lot quicker than he was.

LEMON: And he did scope the place out. I mean, he had been there, and whether he was there because he wanted to, you know, he was gay and he wanted to be with other men, whatever, but he had been there before, so he knew the procedures. Bob, do you think that the good guys with a gun would have made a difference?

BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. And I think the idea of putting guns in people's hands in bars is about the craziest idea I've heard of. A lot more than 50 people would be dead in the course of a year if you have people armed inside bars.

People get drunk, and fights breakout. Now, if everybody is armed? Think (ph) about that. And I -- that the fact is I don't -- I think those chiefs, said that these officers were not killed. They did have guns and they did fire at the guy. Now, you know, I think that the rest of it is pure but ...

LEMON: He said he had more firepower than them.

BECKEL: Yeah, yeah, yeah, because he's an assault weapon which should be illegal.

LEMON: Yeah. Matt, you're -- why are you laughing? Do you think it's a bad idea to arm the citizens in the bars to be armed?

MATT LEWISS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, DAILY CALLER: Yeah. Well, I'm really Pro-Second Amendments and -- but, I have to defer to my friend Bob Beckel on this one.

I could just say speaking personally, you know, you get a couple of drinks in somebody, you know, a punch to the jaw might turn out a lot more fatal if everybody. Let say, it would be literally the Wild West if everybody at every bar was, you know, was packing heat.

LEMON: Yeah. Let's talk about -- this is interesting.


MCENANY: But I don't think Donald Trump was ever advocating that. We're talking ...

LEMON: Go ahead, Kayleigh.

BECKEL: What was he advocating?

MCENANY: I -- you know, there's a process you can go through to carry a gun, and you can get a concealed carry license. He is not for arming people mostly in a bar, and everyone just be able to take in a firearm.

There are people who have concealed carry license. Since they are able to carry it around, there's obviously a procedure that you have to go through. He never he is for everyone in a bar having a weapon at all times. He never said that.

BECKEL: But, if you will listen to that tape ...


LEMON: OK, let's listen one more time.


TRUMP: I'm going to save your second amendment, OK? I'm going to save your second amendment. If some of those great people that were in that club that night had guns strapped to their waists or strapped to their ankle, and if the bullets were going in the other direction aimed that this guy who was just open target practice, you would have had a situation, folks, which would have been always horrible, but nothing like the carnage that we all as a people suffered this weekend.


[23:55:23] LEMON: Yeah. Go ahead, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: Yes, some of those people, and that's the thing. Who are those some? Responsible citizens, perhaps officers, people with concealed carry licenses. He never advocated the whole bar arming up that would obviously be a silly idea.

He said some people, because it is a fact that shooters go to gun-free areas and that is where they wreak havoc because there is no one there to take them out.

LEWIS: I think -- any part of -- I think part of the issue here is frankly, Donald Trump because of his rhetorical style where he is shooting from the hip constantly is not doing conservatives or defenders of the Second Amendment a lot favors here (ph). He could be a lot more precise and I think more compelling.

LEMON: All right, thank you everyone. Fascinating conversation. We'll be right back.


LEMON: So, victims in the hospital behind me and they are hanging on for their life and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

That's it for us. Make sure you stay with CNN for continuing coverage of the Orlando massacre. I'm Don Lemon.