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Report: Federal Indictment of Pulse Gunman's Wife; Mom's Organize Buses to Women's March on Saturday; Obama Surprises Press Sec'y at Final Briefing; Moving Vans Spotted Outside White House

Aired January 17, 2017 - 15:30   ET



JOHN MINA, CHIEF, ORLANDO POLICE: She knew, she aided and could have prevented this tragedy.

BALDWIN: Her family argued that she was abused by her husband. And her uncle passionately defended her outside the courtroom just a short while ago.


AL SALMAN, SUSPECT'S UNCLE: I hope she saw me because we want to tell her that we believe in her.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you explain just how you are feeling right now?

SALMAN: Devastated. This is a poor girl who lost her father. Omar Mateen didn't even allow her to physically come to family and now look what she's going through.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did she know about the attack?

SALMAN: No. She doesn't know. Why everybody -- believe us.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Tell me about her son.

SALMAN: About her son.


SALMAN: He's with the grandmother.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is it heartbreaking for her not to be with her son?

SALMAN: He's told his mother went to get toys.


BALDWIN: Survivors of the nightclub attack watching all these news developments very closely. Chris Littlestar was shot five times, one of dozens injured that night. Thanks so much for coming on. CHRIS LITTLESTAR, SURVIVOR, PULSE NIGHTCLUB ATTACK: No problem.

BALDWIN: I want to get to the news piece in a moment but you were shot five times, how are you doing, where were you shot?

LITTLESTAR: I'm doing good as far as recovering goes. I was shot in the left thigh, the left wrist, the lower right abdomen, the left hip and right hip and as far as recovering goes physically I'm doing really good now, I'm going to be able to walk perfectly fine.

BALDWIN: I'm so glad the recovery is coming along and now all a sudden we have the news of this shooter's widow arrested in San Francisco. You got a phone call from the FBI, did you not?

LITTLESTAR: Yes. I believe all of us victims received a phone call I think.

BALDWIN: Why did they call you? What did they say?

LITTLESTAR: They pretty much called me to reassure us give us some general information as far as her arrest, what she's being charged with and as far as what they plan on doing as moving forward with the case and you know just to provide us a sense of comfort on their end because you know sometimes social media and other things like that can misconstrue words and not provide factual information I guess.

BALDWIN: Good on the FBI to call every one of you all and just to hear that the shooter may not have acted alone, not surprising?

LITTLESTAR: It's definitely not surprising. As far as the wife, whenever they did call and let us know that she was arrested, it did give me a sense of relief, not as far as you know --

BALDWIN: It did?

LITTLESTAR: Yes, it did. I don't know exactly what part she took in the shooting, but I definitely do believe she should be held accountable for her part in anything.

BALDWIN: Chris, you're there in the community, in Orlando, you have never been back to that club area. Too difficult?

LITTLESTAR: No. Yes, as far as recovering goes, physically it's not that hard to recover from multiple gunshot wounds, but mentally the emotional and mental aspect of it is definitely difficult. At first it wasn't hard for me until a few months later down the road, so I have not been back to the club since that day, no, and at this point, I do plan on going back, I just have to find the right time or the right day.

BALDWIN: What -- is there any image when you think about that night an image that comes to mind?

[15:35:00] LITTLESTAR: Yes. There's quite a few images. I mean where I was in the club was one of the most devastating parts of the club as far as I was told from the FBI, so. Yes, definitely a lot of memories and images I can't really get out of my head.

BALDWIN: Worst mass shooting in the country's history. Our hearts are with you, I admire your courage to talk about it. Chris Littlestar in Orlando, thank you.

LITTLESTAR: Thank you.

BALDWIN: We'll be right back.


BALDWIN: Hundreds of thousands of women planning to converge on Capitol Hill with a clear message for the President-elect, we are here, we are watching you and ready to fight. What started a call to action in the form of a Facebook post from a woman in Hawaii quickly formed into the biggest group since the 1970s.

Joining me now three women participating in this march, Allison Busch Vogel a lawyer and mom of three. Patricia Canning a former management consultant and mom of two. And Marietta Zacker works in publishing and is also a mom of three. This isn't just about the moms and the women, it's about the daughters and the sons, so Allison starting with you, you were telling me you were in bed all day the day after.

ALLISON BUSCH VOGEL, ATTENDING WOMEN'S MARCH: I was devastated after Donald Trump won the election and not just because Hillary Clinton lost which was a sad, sad loss but also because of the person it was who was now going to be our President stood for everything that I teach my children not to be. And I felt such a loss that I had a hard time getting out of bed the next day.

BALDWIN: And is that a piece of why you want to be there in Washington marching?

BUSCH VOGEL: That was certainly a trigger, I said to my daughter, today is the day you become a feminist because we are going to have to speak up and speak out and be loud and she understood what I meant and then two days later I heard there was a march happening and I was able to put all my energy and everything I felt for myself and for her into getting organized, mobilized to be part of this historic day.

BALDWIN: The buses, the swag, why do you want to be part of this?

MARIETTA ZACKER, ATTENDING WOMEN'S MARCH: A lot like Allison, I feel like my children, my girls in particular, need to feel empowered like they have a voice and can stand up and say something.

BALDWIN: It's one thing to have a voice, but getting on these buses, all these buses are getting chartered to get in the middle of it. What do you hope to take away from it?

ZACKER: That there's a community of women, that we're able to gather and do something, so I think it's important that they can speak out.

PATRICIA CANNING, ATTENDING WOMEN'S MARCH: For me it was important understood. I have two teenagers now, it was important they realize that they're not victims, that stuff happens and that's what we told them the day after the election, there are ups and downs for eight years we had the most wonderful President we could ever imagine.

And so now we are in the down and so you are not going to be a victim of this, you have a voice, you can do things to change your future, you are part of this narrative and the narrative is not going to be, oh, my god for the next year this is the most horrible thing that's happened. You are in a position to make a change and do something so that's what I hope they get out of it when they see hundreds of thousands of women together with them they understand they have power.

BALDWIN: It will be a powerful day for women, I would agree that some people wouldn't agree that President Obama was the best to be in office and others feel different. And listening to Ivanka Trump even if she doesn't have a post in the west wing that she will have a bug in her father's ear, does that make maybe allay some of your concerns?

BUSCH VOGEL: There's very little about this administration what is being put into place what I predict what's going to happen. There is very little about that.

BALDWIN: But we can't see the future --

BUSCH VOGEL: I haven't felt yet that I feel OK about the pieces that are going into place. Am I happier that Ivanka is a smart woman, that she has a career, that she's a mom, I would like to think that she has interests certainly related to mine, does that matter? I think so but I think a lot of the people that Mr. Trump has put into all the positions of power don't care about women's rights, reproductive rights, rights of women of color, I think there are so many people out there that having Ivanka there, it's not nothing but --

BALDWIN: Let me ask you about this, we keep counting how many members of Democratic Congress are not coming to this inauguration, it's typical that some members of the opposing party, but to have 50 or so, it does say something. At the same time of all people to be there Hillary Clinton and the former President will be there sitting at the inauguration. What sort of statement are these 50 or so members making and what statement is she making by showing up?

[15:45:00] CANNING: I don't know, I can't speak for them, but I feel as though they're people of honor, they recognize this is their role, they have to be there. We are a democracy and showing this is how we pass on power whether we like it or not.

BALDWIN: Just a public perception. Marietta, what do you think?

ZACKER: I think that certainly to what Allison was talking about. There's certainly the lack of inclusivity and the lack of not being included in the conversation.

BALDWIN: Be specific. What do you mean?

ZACKER: Between women. Women of color.

BUSCH VOGEL: Immigrants.

ZACKER: LGBT rights. There are so many things not being talked about in a positive manner and without that we don't really have the platform to say we can't look into the future but it just doesn't look like what we need it to look like.

BUSCH VOGEL: Which is why we're going to march and we're going to be in large numbers and colors and too big to ignore, and we know 400,000 women, 200,000 women whatever it is can converge in D.C. in a matter of two and a half months, we really want an answer to this because it's going to happen again.

BALDWIN: We've been watching L.A., Chicago, here in New York, so women are walking beyond.

ZACKER: There are also a lot of people who can't be there, so it's important to know we represent them.

BALDWIN: Thank you all so much.

Coming up next. Moving vans spotted at the White House as the Obamas are preparing to leave. Hear what happens to their staff and where they are heading on vacation on inauguration day. You're watching CNN.


BALDWIN: A lot of farewells happening this week in Washington as the nation prepares to say good-bye to the Obamas. Today the President surprised his press secretary at his final briefing.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are a couple things I learned about him right away, number one, he's just got that all-American matinee good looking thing going. That is helpful, let's face it. Face made for television. Then the guy's name is Josh Ernest which if someone is speaking on your behalf is pretty good name to have. And I have now known this guy for ten years almost, and I've watched him grow and I've watched him advance, and I've watched him marry and I've watched him be a father, and I've watched him manage younger people coming up behind him. And he's never disappointed. He is not only a great press secretary, but more importantly, he is a really, really good man. Josh, congratulations.


BALDWIN: Meantime, moving trucks, look at them. Having spotted outside the White House ready to usher the Obamas into their new Washington home. Vans are already outside. Swanky D.C. neighborhood unloading eight years of Presidential memories. We also hear the Obamas plan a palm springs vacation. Let's talk to CNN contributor, grace and power of American's modern first ladies, Kate. All right. They're getting out of dodge and heading to someplace warmer. What have other first couples done in those first couple of days at office? KATE ANDERSON BROWER, AUTHOR, "FIRST WOMEN": They do often leave

town. You know, each post presidency has been different. You look at the Carters, they went straight back to plains and embarked on the most successful post presidency in modern history. The Nixons went back to California after Watergate. A very different story. So, each President carves out the space for himself. I think it's interesting looking at President Obama because I've talked to a former Obama staffer who said, look, if Democrats are thinking that Obama is going to lead the charge against Trump, they will be disappointed. That he is someone who is very measured, very careful in his wording and he doesn't necessarily want to take up the mantle of being the Democrats' voice, anti-Trump voice, he's more interested in getting Democrats elected and doing things like that than coming out and being a voice against Trump.

BALDWIN: You know, CNN has this new film about what it's actually like inside the final days of the Obama white house and here's just a clip. This is from the perspective of the White House staff.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies, if you guys are done, please help me take stuff out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. I appreciate that.

ANGELA REID, WHITE HOUSE STAFFER: The staff, they are not political. We are part of a long-standing institution. So, a lot of them have had experiences working for upwards of seven administrations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Bush's father, 1991. And Bill Clinton, eight years, then Bush, Jr., and now is President Obama, eight.

REID: What I think about most when I walk around the house is who has been here, who has done what in this particular space because, you know, there is something that I am able to walk here now and 100 years ago, a President or first lady, they had other guests or some of my ancestors. It gives me a sense of awe, the fact that slaves built this house, and I now work in this house as a leader, something out of my wildest dreams.


[15:55:00] BALDWIN: So, a lot 6 these staffers, they work from administration to administration. Do you know anything about the Obama staffers, are they sticking around?

BROWER: They are. And kudos to you guys for getting Angela Reid because she never does interviews so that's amazing. Yes, they stay on from one administration to the next. I've talked to people now and they have a feeling of we're going to wait and see. I talked to a current butler there who said, I'm willing to wait and see how Trump treats us. I think they are concerned that Donald Trump might bring in some of his own staff because he has cooks that he really likes. He's got butlers. Different from the Obamas, who came in with no staffing. So, but they really are non-partisan and they will stick around. You know, some of them are looking forward to the Clintons coming back simply because they had worked for them before so they knew what to expect from a Clinton presidency.

BALDWIN: I love seeing these behind the scenes clips, this film totally fascinates me. It's called "The End." so, we'll take you inside these last couple of days in the Obama White House. Kate Brower, thank you so much. That airs tomorrow 9:00 p.m. President will announce which bible he will be using when he takes oath of office this Friday. Hear the personal story behind it.

One more note here. President-elect Donald Trump is revealing a special detail about this upcoming inauguration. He will be sworn in Friday using President Lincoln 's inaugural bible, but he will also use a second personal bible given to him by his mother. The Trump transition team tells us that he received the bible when he graduated from Sunday school back in 1955. Lincoln 's bible was also used by President Obama at both of his inaugurations, just a little bit to look forward to for him this Friday. I'm Brooke Baldwin here in New York. I will see you from Washington for the rest of the week. We'll send it there now to my colleague, Jake Tapper.