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Orlando Investigation Focusing on Killer's Wife; Air and Marine Units Searches for Missing Toddler; U.K. Referendum Debate; Obama and Clinton Slam Trump's "Dangerous" and "Shameful" Rhetoric; Muslim Blood Donor Calls for Unity against Terror. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 15, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Ahead at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, new questions surrounding the Orlando gunman's wife.

An alligator snatches a toddler at a Disney resort.

And U.S. President Barack Obama and Donald Trump trade attacks on national security.


ASHER: Hello and welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Zain Asher.

As loved ones mourn the 49 lives taken at a Florida night club, investigators are piecing together the gunman's activities before the

attacks, specifically they're looking into Omar Mateen's wife.

Investigators want to know what role, if any, she may have played in preparing her husband for the attack. Here's our Jim Sciutto with more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know your husband was going to do this?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning authorities are zeroing in on the killer's wife, 30-year-old Noor

Salman. A law enforcement official says she admits she knew about her husband's interest in carrying out a jihadist attack.

SHERIFF JERRY DEMINGS, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: She has been very cooperative with the authorities.

SCIUTTO: Salman claiming she tried to dissuade him from doing anything violent, according to the FBI. She denies knowing anything about the Pulse

nightclub as a target for the massacre.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that your daughter-in-law here helped your son commit this crime?


SCIUTTO: Authorities are now looking into whether she should face charges for knowing about his intentions but not telling police.

This as we're getting our first look inside the couple's apartment. Clothes and children's toys scattered on the floor. Investigators seizing

electronic devices from the home as new evidence is emerging that suggests the gunman may have considered other targets.

DEMINGS: Suffice it to say that he had probed multiple locations before he chose that -- that spot.

SCIUTTO: CNN has learned he visited this Disney shopping complex, as well as the Pulse nightclub, all at the beginning of June. Investigators say

his wife traveled with him, the dates coinciding with Gay Days, an annual event that attracts thousands of LGBT people to Disney parks. Disney

security officials told the FBI they believe the shooter was scouting the Disney World park when he visited there with his wife in April, as well.

DEMINGS: We are trying to understand all of his travels in the recent past. SCIUTTO: The June scouting missions occurring around the same time


when the killer purchased the weapons he used to carry out the attack. This as we are now hearing from first responders at the nightclub.

LT. DAVIS ODELL, ORLANDO FIRE DEPARTMENT: I won't forget the steady pow, pow, pow.

SCIUTTO: A lieutenant at the fire station just 300 feet away from the club describing the hundreds of clubgoers frantically trying to escape the

barrage of bullets.

ODELL: There was groups of people in front of the fire station, hiding behind the wall over there, crying and screaming. Kind of sick to think

about it, but each time he's shooting, he's shooting somebody in there and what's more, you know, going about his business as methodically as he was

at a gun range.


ASHER: All right. That was our Jim Sciutto reporting there.

I want to turn to our Polo Sandoval who's in Fort Pierce, Florida, for an update and a little bit more about the investigation.

So, Polo, we know that Omar Mateen's wife, we know that she knew something.

But what specifically did she know about her husband's plans?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, the first and most important point here to tell you about is that no charges have been filed against and

even no --


SANDOVAL: -- point -- as you mentioned -- there haven't been any arrests made here. But investigators would definitely have to take a close look at

that. So would prosecutors in Orlando.

Now based on the details of the investigation of -- have been released so far, it doesn't seem to indicate that they would go as far as to actually

name her as a co-conspirator by any means.

But at the same time, they do have to carefully consider not just the interviews but also the hard evidence that was recovered at this location

to try to find out to what extent did she actually have knowledge.

But again, would she actually be charged as a co-conspirator in this case if or when she does get arrested?

Well, that likely wouldn't be the case. But again the first step would actually to be charges filed, which, as you mentioned, as we mentioned

today, has not happened yet.

ASHER: You know, there's a delicate balance that police have to strike because they may end up needing to file charges but they still need her to

fully cooperate in this investigation as well.

SANDOVAL: Absolutely. Again, we are told that she's cooperating with federal investigators and so is Mateen's father, too, who lived not far

from here. So they definitely want to keep that line of communication open with the famously.

Obviously the gunman is not around to answer questions anymore. So they have to rely heavily on those that knew him the most. The Feds -- the FBI

have already called this "terrorist inspired," which means that he likely did not have any direct connection to any foreign terrorist organizations,

which means that the wealth of information will likely come from this place, not just from where he lives but also from the scene of the attack

in Orlando.

Now I have to tell you and last thing I should note is people are still in shock, in what is a quiet community. This is one of the old-town nostalgic

feelings that you get when you're in a city like -- in a town like the one that we are in here.

So people are still trying to understand exactly how an individual that lived so close was capable of carrying out such a brutal attack -- Zain.

ASHER: All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much for bringing that to us. Appreciate that.

SANDOVAL: You bet.

ASHER: Now elsewhere in the Orlando area, police are frantically working on another case. They say a 2-year old was wading at the edge of this



ASHER (voice-over): Take a look here -- when he was attacked by an alligator. Here's our Boris Sanchez with more.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A desperate search underway at a luxury Disney resort near Orlando by air and in the water, for a 2-

year-old boy snatched and dragged away by an alligator at Disney's Grand Floridian resort. The toddler was wading near the shore of a man-made lake

with his family nearby.

CHAD WEBER, OFFICER, FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE: We're putting every effort into locating the child and trapping this alligator.

SANCHEZ: The toddler's father jumping into the water to try to pull his son from the grips of the gator, to no avail. The tragic incident

occurring shortly after 9:00 pm, according to law enforcement officials.

Social media lighting up with horrified Disney goers, watching the frantic search unfold: "Police putting up yellow tape outside of the Grand

Floridian directly across from the Magic Kingdom in Orlando," and "Praying for this family. Ground and air crews continue the search."

The young boy was on vacation with his family from Nebraska and had been staying at the resort since Sunday. Disney is fully cooperating with the


JACQUEE WAHLER, VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT: Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic

accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.

SANCHEZ: With each passing hour, a harsh reality is setting in for rescuers desperately trying to find this young boy.

DEMINGS: We're not leaving until we recover the child.


ASHER: And our Boris Sanchez is at the lake, where the search continues. He joins us live now.

So, Boris, after almost 11-12 hours, this is still a search and rescue operation.

The family is clearly not giving up hope?

SANCHEZ: Right. The family is not giving up hope. Officials here are also strong in their belief that they will find this young boy, though, I

will tell you, that when we asked them to give us an example of a previous case where a child this young was attacked by a gator and was gone,

missing, for this long, had survived, they struggled to do that.

So you can imagine it's a very difficult thing to believe that, after all these hours, they can still have success in recovering this young boy. But

no one has given up hope just yet.

ASHER: Explain to us, what protections are there around this lagoon?

Are there signs telling you to keep out?

Is it just simply "no swimming" signs.

What protections are there?

Can Disney have done anything differently in this case?

SANCHEZ: That's something you can bet investigators will certainly be looking into. From what I've heard from people that were --


SANCHEZ: -- at the scene, there are signs that say "no swimming." And they are posted throughout the lagoon.

However, this is a beach area that appears to be very inviting, so the family was not alone, from what we've heard from witnesses. There were

other families there. And the child wasn't submerged in the water. In other words, the child wasn't actually swimming, from what the sheriff's

office is telling us. They were wading in about a foot of water.

So the water came down no higher than the child's knees when the gator sprang up and took him.

What we can say that Disney is doing right now, they're really appearing to go above and beyond what needs to be done in a freakish case like this;

from what we've heard, they have shut down all the beaches at the Walt Disney World resort.

Keep in mind, these beaches are not designed for swimming, first off.

Second off, this attack in itself is extremely rare.

While alligators are very common across all of Florida's fresh water, you know, fresh water lagoons and lakes and canals, this kind of an attack, for

an alligator to come out of the water and attack a human, is something, as I just heard one sheriff's deputy describe, "something freakish," it is

something completely out of the norm.

ASHER: All right, Boris Sanchez, do keep us updated on the investigation. Appreciate that. Thanks so much.

And animal expert Jeff Corwin spoke with CNN a little while ago. He explained to Alisyn Camerota how hard it is to fight an alligator and why

the Disney resort had any gators in its lagoon at all.


JEFF CORWIN, ANIMAL EXPERT: This is so gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. Here this family is on the ultimate vacation in a place which is the

ultimate when it comes to safety and this tragedy unfolds.

It is incredibly hard to open an adult alligator's mouth. Even if you're a human being, an adult male like myself, it would be impossible for me to

physically pry open the jaw of an adult alligator.

CAMEROTA: Jeff, how surprising is it that an alligator would be in this lagoon, a manmade lagoon on this hotel property? I mean, how would an

alligator get in there?

CORWIN: That's a great question. But here's the reality check. Alligators just a few decades ago were critically endangered, but because

of good conservation they've rebounded and have recovered incredibly well. There is well over 1.5 million alligators living in Florida.

Keep in mind that although this a manmade lagoon, it is surrounded by thousands of acres of estuaries, of swamps, of rivers, of wild habitat. So

it would be impossible no matter how well you attended and micromanaged this lagoon, to keep alligators from naturally sort of migrating and

flowing into this water habitat.

What typically happens is that the wildlife experts will watch this area and when they see an alligator that's getting a little bit too big, they'll

often remove that animal.


ASHER: That was animal expert Jeff Corwin, speaking with us earlier.


ASHER (voice-over): Coming up: forget watching the game; all eyes are on the stands at Euro 2016 to make sure this doesn't happen again. Fighting,

the violence we saw there earlier on in the week. We're going live to Lille, where a tense match is underway.

Plus: the British prime minister faces questions on next week's E.U. referendum. What he had to say to members of parliament about the impact

of a vote to leave. That's next.





ASHER: There has been more courtroom drama at the sentencing hearings for Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius took off his prosthetic legs and stood on his

stumps while his lawyer described the night at Valentine's Day 2013, when he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through that bathroom door.

The defense, by doing this, is basically trying to convince the court that Pistorius -- the man you see there -- is far too vulnerable to be sent back

to prison. He could be facing up to 15 years in prison.

After a few minutes, the Olympian, of course known as the Blade Runner, broke down and began to weep. Now Reuters is reporting the judge will

sentence Pistorius on July 7th.

Now at this hour, Russia battles Slovakia in a tense Euro 2016 football match. But much of the tension is off the field this time in the stands.

This is the first game since UEFA threatened to disqualify Russia unless its fans stopped the violence and behaved. Our Fred Pleitgen has more from


So, Fred, just explain to us, how seriously are Russian fans taking this threat from UEFA?

Have you seen a change in their behavior?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly. It certainly seems to us, at least, and we've been, Zain, out here for, I

would say, about five, six hours so far and there really is quite a peaceful atmosphere.

This center of Lille where I'm standing right now was full of Russian and Slovakian fans earlier today. And there wasn't anything that would

indicate that there would be any sort of tensions, any sort of violence.

We did speak to a Russian sports journalist, who said that he believed that after the violence in Marseille, a lot of the Russian hooligans, who of

course had no doubt been a part of that and in many ways leading that, have either stayed down in Marseille or have actually gone back to Russia.

Many of them, he said, are quite frankly afraid of being arrested and then deported.

So far, again, what we've been seeing here from the center of Lille is that it has been fairly quiet and peaceful.

What's gone on is that throughout the earlier part of the day, this was full of Russian and Slovakian fans. Now most of them, of course, have gone

to the stadium because the game is going on.

Now this is English fans who are very much in the majority here. You can tell that they are quite loud and they're having a lot of fun. But it

certainly is not a very threatening atmosphere here in the downtown of Lille at this point in time, which also has to do with the fact that the

police is actually very well organized here. They are letting their fans have their fun.

But also whenever the situation seems to be getting a little bit tense, you do see a lot of riot police moving in, immediately making clear to the fans

that that is not something that is going to stand.

And the other thing that's also going on, Zain, is that there are heavy restrictions on where fans are allowed to drink alcohol here in the city,

there's certain zones, certain bars where that can happen, only out of plastic cups. But there's no alcohol in open containers around the city at

this point in time.

So it certainly is a situation where the authorities are really becoming tougher on a lot of this. But also you really do notice that, especially

the Russian fans seem to be heeding the advice, heeding the warnings of their national federation and of UEFA and the certainly the situation

really is very easy-going, at least at this point in time. We'll wait and see what happens after the game though, Zain.

ASHER: That's right. After the game, obviously things could change.

You mentioned the fact that there's no violence as of yet.

But I mean, is Lille -- is the French authorities prepared for what could happen later on in the day?

PLEITGEN: Yes. Well, they certainly seem to be better prepared than they were in Marseille and that's something that we've also heard from

supporters of English football, also from the Football Supporters Federation.

They say it seems as though the police here has it a lot better under control. There's a lot more cops that are on the street here.

And the other thing that is, however, or could be a problem is the fact that while England and Russia aren't playing each other here in Lille, the

fans of both teams are actually converging here on the city because the England venue, malls (ph), has so little in the way of accommodation for

fans that most of the English fans have to come here as well.

So there certainly is the potential for tension but it does appear as though the authorities have things under control at this point in time and

seem pretty well prepared, should there be any issues later in the day -- Zain.

ASHER: All right. Fred Pleitgen, live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

Now the U.K. is just over one week away from a crucial vote on whether to stay --


ASHER: -- or leave the European Union. That vote happens on June 23rd. British prime minister David Cameron faced some tough questions on the

referendum from lawmakers earlier in prime minister's questions.

Our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, joins me live now from London.

So, Nic, we have honestly seen some scaremongering on both sides. This time you had George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, talking about

this economic black hole if Britain leaves the E.U.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. That's what David Cameron was echoing today. He did face tough questioning, prime

minister's question time.

But at the same time, there were a lot of MPs out there, who were in the Remain camp, keep Britain in the European Union, the same as David Cameron,

and they were sort of rolling at him softball questions, if you will, which were essentially, you know, the Scottish MP, Welsh MP, somebody from middle

of England, asking, you know, tell my constituents, tell my voters what it is that could happen if Britain leaves the European Union.

And this issue of a budgetary black hole, that the British economy would have a significant downturn, was a message that David Cameron kept

returning back to. This what is he said.


DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: Many companies come to Britain and invest in Britain for many reasons. But one of the most

important is access to the single market of 500 million customers. And next week we have the opportunity to put our place in that single market

beyond doubt.

And I hope that we wake up on June the 24th, knowing that businesses are going to invest more in our country, create more jobs in our country, see

more growth in our country because that will help the families of our country.

And the unemployment figures today, another welcome fall in unemployment, we can see continued progress. Let's keep our country moving forward.


ROBERTSON: But what he also talked about was that black hole, that he's at a $42 billion black hole that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the finance

ministry if you will, has said can only be filled if there's a Brexit vote by an emergency budget, an emergency budget that would cut spending to the

health care services, cut social services spending, have to raise taxes as well.

But this is almost backfiring on David Cameron because 57 of his MPs today and the opposition party, the Labour Party, who would be required as well

to vote for that emergency budget, have all said that they wouldn't support it.

So it comes across potentially for some voters that this is scaremongering tactics by the government, a figure they plucked out of thin air, they

would say, without the ability to follow through -- Zain.

ASHER: All right. Nic Robertson, live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

And as the referendum approaches in just over a week from now, our Richard Quest has hit the road to see where voters stand. He is traveling to

several cities, including London and Liverpool. He is stopping all over the English countryside. And his latest stop was in Cambridge. Take a




RICHARD QUEST, CNNMONEY EDITOR AT LARGE (voice-over): Eighty kilometers north of London is Cambridge, one of the world's best-known university

towns, here at this ancient academic institution, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Lord Byron pondered the greatest issues of their day

EDDIE IZZARD, COMEDIAN: I don't know if you know (INAUDIBLE) 75 percent of people are going to 35 are positive about Europe.

Interesting, isn't it?

QUEST (voice-over): Now it's the turn of the comedian, Eddie Izzard, to urge students at the prestigious Students Union to make their voices heard

on the biggest issue facing Britain today: the vote on membership of the European Union.

IZZARD: I'm here talking to young people to put forward the ideas and ideas are more complicated, our ideas are saying, yes, we're proud to be

British, we're proud to be U.K. citizens.

But also we like to look out and say, well, who are you?

Are you French, you're German, you're Italian?

And what do you do?

Can we learn from you, can you learn from us?

Well, let's keep working on it. Let's keep seeing what we can do. We're trying to head forward and put out our hands rather than pull back, put up

a wall and put up our fists. That is a more negative viewpoint.

I'm just going out there.

QUEST (voice-over): For these students, born and brought up over the decades of Britain's E.U. membership, they're being asked to help make a

decision about a totally different future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The short term, the economy, if we leave, it will definitely be damaged. And it seems senseless to leave such a powerful

economic union.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being a student and (INAUDIBLE) somebody who studies economics looking to go into the financial services sector (INAUDIBLE), I

think there's putting more benefits to remain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a eurosceptic but I believe that economically the case is stronger than the political case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm basing Leave because I think that we need democratic control in this country.


QUEST (voice-over): The university, too, has a lot at stake. Nearly a quarter of Cambridge University's research budget comes --


QUEST (voice-over): -- from the E.U.

Dame Athene Donald (ph) is the professor of experimental physics and master of Churchill College at the university. She's one of 150 scientists who

signed a letter, expressing grave concern for the future of the U.K.'s universities in science.

DAME ATHENE DONALD (PH), PROFESSOR, CHURCHILL COLLEGE: I am terrified that we will leave, I really am, because I think the knock-on effects could be

just catastrophic and unmanageable for probably all of Europe.

QUEST: What is your fundamental fear here?

DONALD (PH): My fundamental fear is that (INAUDIBLE) in the U.K. is fantastically strong. We're often rated only second to the U.S., despite

the size of the country. And we get a very substantial part of our funding from the E.U.

And in terms of what the government itself puts in, the -- we're rather low down the lead table.

QUEST: If the vote is to leave, I mean, the argument of the other side would be, well, the U.K. government will have more money that it's not

putting into Europe; therefore, it can make up the shortfall.

DONALD (PH): Indeed, that is the argument the Brexiters makes but there is no evidence that that is what they would do. The government has made the

right noises (INAUDIBLE) but it isn't really investing.

So why should we believe that they will suddenly change their policy and up the level of funding into research just because we've come out of the E.U.?

QUEST: Kings College Cambridge, founded in 1441 by King Henry VI, it is the prospect of losing large sums of money from E.U. grants and funding

that has created this sense of almost panic amongst academic institutions, whether of ancient origin like Cambridge or newer institutions.

The reality is that for universities and colleges like Kings, having survived for centuries, they're now facing perhaps the biggest threat right

to the bottom line.

QUEST (voice-over): Cambridge, the university and the cluster of companies that have built up around it is the closest thing Europe has to Silicon


With more than 1,500 tech companies employing over 60,000 people, there is little doubt that Cambridge stands to suffer if the U.K. leaves.


ASHER: All right. Still to come on the INTERNATIONAL DESK: a war of words between Donald Trump and the U.S. president, Barack Obama. Why they

are both criticizing each other's response to the Orlando night club shooting. That's next.





ASHER: Welcome back to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Zain Asher. And let's get you caught up on your headlines.


ASHER: And Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are holding campaign events in the coming hours. It is expected to basically be round two of their war of

words over the response to the Orlando night club shooting.

Now Clinton and President Barack Obama basically have joined forces to attack Trump and Trump fired right back. Our senior Washington

correspondent, Joe Johns, joins me now.

So, Joe, yesterday we saw President Barack Obama basically started his speech, focusing squarely on ISIS and then unleashed this tirade against


Just explain to our audience, what exactly was Trump's response and what was the Republican reaction?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you'll see in a moment, Trump's response essentially was that the president was expressing

more anger at him than he was against the individual who did the shooting in Orlando, which is where all of this has arisen.

The issue in Orlando has fully become part of the presidential campaign. The president hammered Donald Trump for seemingly taking an un-American

approach to immigration, among other things, and Trump fired right back.


JOHNS (voice-over): Donald Trump going after President Obama.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I watched President Obama today. And he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter.

JOHNS: Accusing the president of being angrier at him than the man who carried out the terror attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

TRUMP: The level of anger, that's the kind of anger he should have for the shooter and these killers that shouldn't be here.

JOHNS: Trump lashing out just hours after President Obama's fiery speech, defending his strategy against ISIS and his refusal to use the term

"radical Islam."

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? There's no magic to the phrase --


OBAMA: -- "radical Islam." It's a political talking point. It's not a strategy.

JOHNS: The president's speech, his sharpest rebuke against the presumptive presidential nominee, slamming his rhetoric as dangerous and un-American.

OBAMA: That's not the America we want. It doesn't reflect our democratic ideals. It won't make us more safe. It will make us less safe.

JOHNS: Flanked by his National Security Council, including the nonpartisan chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs, the president lambasting Trump's

renewed push to ban Muslims entering the U.S. and calling out Republican leadership left squirming by Trump's views.

OBAMA: 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.

JOHNS: Trump appearing unimpressed.

TRUMP: Nobody at that speech understand anything other than, boy, does he hate Donald Trump.

JOHNS: Democrats mounting a calculated one-two punch.


JOHNS: With Hillary Clinton simultaneously unleashing her rebuke of Trump in Pittsburgh.

CLINTON: When Donald suggests I won't call this threat what it is, he hasn't been listening. But I will not demonize and declare war on an

entire religion.

JOHNS: Clinton also denouncing Trump's conspiracy theories about President Obama after the terror attack as shameful.

CLINTON: Even in a time of divided politics, this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president.


JOHNS: What we've heard less about this morning in the midst of all this back-and-forth is the end of the Democratic primary process. Hillary

Clinton won the final contest here in Washington, D.C. She and her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, met quietly last night here in

Washington. But so far, no concession on the part of Sanders -- Zain.

ASHER: All right. Joe Johns, keep us posted on if that changes. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.

Well, you'll see Prince William on many magazine covers but he hopes one in particular makes a difference in the lives of the LGBT community. That

story coming up next.




ASHER: Welcome back, everybody.

Prince William is about to become the first British royal to appear on the cover of a gay publication.

"Attitude" magazine will feature William on the cover and an article condemning bullying of people in the LGBT community. The Duke of Cambridge

also invited the magazine's editors to bring members on that community to Kensington Palace to talk about struggles with bullying, depression and


Also hoping to make a very real difference, the hundreds of people who have been lining up to donate blood in the wake of the Orlando night club



ASHER (voice-over): One of those donors is Mahmoud ElAwadi, this Facebook post -- take a look here -- about his donation has been widely shared. In

it, he calls himself "a proud Muslim American" and he urges unity as well. Mahmoud ElAwadi joins us live now from Orlando.

So Mahmoud, I hope you don't mind; I'm going to read some of your posting for everyone because I think it's really touching.

In it, you write, "Yes, I'm sad, frustrated and mad, but a crazy guy claiming to be a Muslim did this shameful act."

You also talk about standing in solidarity against hate. This is a post -- (INAUDIBLE) -- this is a post that's been shared hundreds of thousands of

times. It is really moving.

What prompted you to write it?

MAHMOUD ELAWADI, MUSLIM AMERICAN BLOOD DONOR: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on your show.

A couple years ago my son was going through leukemia and he needed blood. He had very low chance to make it, to survive. Every day he needed two

bags of blood. There was hundreds of people lined to donate blood for my son. His name is Mohamed (ph). At that time he was 9 years old.

Now that blood that came to me didn't matter what was the color of the donor, what was his religion or what was his sexual orientation --


ELAWADI: -- or what was his political view or what I cared about that I want my son to be survive.

That was the same obligation I felt when I get the news about the casualties and all the innocent lives that we lost a couple buildings far

from here. I felt, as a human being, as an American citizen and as my duty toward this country, that give me the opportunity to raise my kids here, I

had go and donate blood.

Didn't matter that I was in Ramadan, it didn't matter I was fasting, I couldn't eat or drink. I wanted to help save at least one life. And the

reason why I posted online, I wanted to encourage the rest of the Muslim and Arab community in Orlando and around Florida to come and donate and

show that this is the true Islam.

ASHER: Yes, the fact that it's Ramadan, a time when you're fasting, you can't really eat or drink as much and you decide to wait several hours in

line, in the heat, to donate blood for the survivors of that attack, I want to ask you, as a Muslim yourself, I cannot imagine the level of anger that

you must feel, that someone claiming to be part of your religion would do something like this.

How do you make sense of this?

ELAWADI: Well, number one, you have to understand like, yes, anyone should be angry, OK, Muslims and non-Muslims. Non-Muslims should be angry that

someone just decided to walk into a place where people were just having a good time and decided to take their lives away.

And as Muslims, we get to pay the price twice. So I paid the price, being an Orlando resident, OK, where I raised my family, where I have my kids,

that I get to be scared for their lives. I was fear like what's going to happen here in Orlando. I woke only two blocks away from the incident.

And as a Muslim American, we get to also pay the price by all being labeled bad for one shameful act, for one crazy, mentally sick individual.

ASHER: And you know, Mahmoud, President Obama has been talking in no uncertain terms about the fact that he does not want to see any backlash

against Muslims. It's one thing, of course, to talk about it, to say it in a speech.

But how do you actually make sure that it doesn't happen?

ELAWADI: Well, there's no way for you to make sure like it doesn't happen. Again, like it took only one individual to bring us to where we are today,

so there might be one individual out there who has so much hate against Muslims and Islam and he might backlash of us, so backlash at a mosque


And it have been happening, so many incidents over the past years. But the only way we can deal with that, when we have a president saying there's no

point of using the word "radical Islam," he is right.

I am from the Middle East. I grew up in Egypt. I'm Muslim. When you use these kind of hate words or words that discriminate us or associate Islam

with radical Islam or extremists and all that kind of stuff, you only create more enemies. And no one wants to create enemies with 1.6 billion


One in every four humans on this Earth is a Muslim. Islam have been in existence over 1,400 years. No one have heard anything about Islam except

for the last 20 years, when our religion got hijacked by extremists, that they had the money, they had the ignorance, they were extreme.

So it feels really disgraceful when you find one of the presidential candidates coming on Sunday, a few hours after the incident and the

victims' blood haven't even dried yet and, you know, he's trying to use this to score political gains.

ASHER: Yes. But what you mentioned about using the term "radical Islam," President Obama has made it clear that he does not want this to be a war

against an entire religion. His war is solely against ISIS, as he mentioned in that speech.

OK. Mahmoud ElAwadi, thank you so much, appreciate that.

And that does it for us at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Zain Asher. "WORLD SPORT" with Christina Macfarlane is up next. You're watching CNN.