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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Rep. Steve Scalise, 3 Others Shot During Attack; Washington Post: Special Counsel Investigating Trump for Possible Obstruction of Justice. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 14, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:07] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from Washington.
There's a lot going on tonight, news breaking just on the Russian investigation, and it directly involves the president of the United States. We'll get to that shortly.
It comes at the end of a very difficult day. People are terribly shaken here. Four people who work in the buildings around me, including Steve Scalise, the third ranking Republican of the House, were shot this morning, another was hurt. And many more from one end of this town to the other and around the country as well, they've been wounded in ways that no doctor can deal.
Today, the actions of a would-be mass killer tore apart human bodies, assaulted the body politic and perhaps in the ugly service of some misbegotten agenda ushered the shooter into a disgracefully long line of people practicing violence of every stripe, all of it senseless.
We have been through this before, whether it's Oklahoma City, or Tucson, Arizona, or Gabby Giffords or Sandy Hook. This morning, it happened again, except it didn't just happen, someone did it. He is dead.
The FBI wants your help. If you know anything about him, which is the only reason we're showing his picture, as well as his name, James Hodgkinson.
He was a 66-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter whom Senator Sanders today disavowed completely. Investigators believe he had been in the Washington area, living in his vehicle since March. We are not however making this newscast about him.
Mainly tonight, we'll focus on the survivors and the first responders and everyone else who stepped up and who continue to step up in the wake out mass shooting this morning, an attack on congressional Republicans and staffers practicing for a bipartisan charity ball game tomorrow.
Noah Nathan was walking his dog when the shooting begun. He captured this video, which we've edited somewhat for time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What (EXPLETIVE DELETED is going on? Where is this guy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know where he's at? Do you know where he's at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's behind home plate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you call 911?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I assume people have been calling 911 already?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They better be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, is that guy OK out there? Has that guy been shot? Is he OK? Is anybody talking to him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay down! Stay down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put it down! Put it down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot him!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: When the shoot-out was over, the gunman was mortally wounded. He died later at the hospital.
Congressman Scalise sustained an apparently severed gunshot wound to the hip. He underwent surgery a short time later. He's listed in critical condition right now. Two Capitol police officers were hurt, one was shot. The one suffered
what authorities are calling a secondary injury. Lobbyist Mike Mika was shot and severely wounded.
[20:05:02] Congressional staffer Zach Barth was shot in the leg. He was treated and is released tonight. He works as an aide to Congressman Roger Williams, who came under fire as well, the congressman I spoke earlier this evening.
COOPER: First of all, thank you so much for being with us.
How are you doing?
REP. ROGER WILLIAMS (R), TEXAS: I'm doing good.
COOPER: Yes, your foot's in a --
WILLIAMS: Well, I've got a problem with my leg and my ankle, you know, when I dove into a dugout that was about six foot deep, be like that in a swimming pool with water.
WILLIAMS: That didn't matter. So -- but I'm OK.
COOPER: When the shots began, I understand that you were hitting, what, ground balls to --
WILLIAMS: Well, actually, I was on the third base side hitting ground balls to Trent Kelly. And I finished with him and went around, and at that moment, the perpetrator had to be to 20 yards to the side of me. I mean right there. And I came around and to hit balls to Whip Scalise, Steve Scalise and I hit the ground ball to him and the shots rang out.
COOPER: You hadn't seen the perpetrator.
WILLIAMS: I had not. And then the shots rang out. My first initial thought was, a car was backfiring, but then all of a sudden, they started coming one after another. And everyone started yelling, he's got a gun, time to cover.
And so, just instinct, I dove into the first base dugout with a lot of my colleagues and took cover there. And one of my young men that works for me, Zach Barth was in the outfield, he got hit. And --
COOPER: Was he aware that he'd been hit?
WILLIAMS: He was aware he'd been hit, and when he got hit, he ran -- he ran toward the dugout, too.
COOPER: He was hit in the leg.
WILLIAMS: He was hit in the leg. He dove in and just as luck would have it, he dove on top of me and we both held each other. And then my colleague Jeff Flake and Mo Brooks took their belts off and tie it around his legs to keep him from bleeding any further.
And there's a lot of heroes today, but if the Capitol Police -- if the Capitol Police were not there, I'm afraid we would have all been dead.
COOPER: Yes, they were able to not only returned fire, but also apparently distract the gunman, kind of lead him away.
WILLIAMS: Well, we -- and we had nothing. I mean, we were there -- we were at baseball practice, we had bats. And the shooter just was -- he was trying to get in the field, another blessing was that the gate on the third base side, the gate was locked, so he could not get into the field.
COOPER: Could you see the shooter once you were in the dugout?
WILLIAMS: I never saw the shooter. Now, a lot of my colleagues did, because they were at different angles. But one thing we didn't want to do is raise our heads in the dugout. The dugout was about six or seven -- that's six foot deep. So, it's fortunate that it wasn't a dugout that was not in the ground.
WILLIAMS: It was flat, that was a blessing, too. I did not see it, but I heard it, but must have been 60 rounds. But I cannot tell you, that thin blue line, it worked today, the Capitol police.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, the two capitol police officers, the security details for the congressman obviously were injured in this. Do you have -- were you aware that they were returning fire? I mean, could you hear the volley of shots?
WILLIAMS: Well, it was just -- it was just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and we weren't aware and from my angle looking up, I could see one of the Capitol Police now standing and he was firing. And I remember some of us were yelling, is that our fire or his fire?
And -- but it seemed to go on forever. The police, I think I saw or ahead that they got there within three or four minutes.
COOPER: Right, the Alexandria police.
WILLIAMS: The Alexandria Police, but I must tell you, in that situation, it was forever. And a lot of my colleagues had their cell phones, I didn't have my cell phone, and they were calling 911 to make sure that we got people here.
COOPER: Were you aware that the shooter was down at the end? I mean, what happened after the shots stopped?
WILLIAMS: We were all down, and then the shots just stopped. But nobody wanted to move. But then the police said, let's go, and they took us to a staging area, all of us, so they could find out who was there and so forth. And then, of course, Steve Scalise was taken care of by a few of my -- a few of my colleagues that were there to help him.
And Zach Barth, my young man that works for us. We got him to the hospital.
COOPER: How is he doing?
WILLIAMS: He's doing great. We got his dad up from Houston. So, his dad here together tonight, and he's been released out of the hospital. It's another blessing that we saw today, that he along with the others are safe.
COOPER: Well, it's amazing that he -- I mean, had the presence of mind to get out of the field and get into the dugout
WILLIAMS: Well, he was in right field.
COOPER: So, he came all the way.
WILLIAMS: He came all -- he got shot in right field. We're not sure which bullet that was, but he made it all the way to the dugout and dove in and just saying I'm shot, I'm shot.
COOPER: Interesting also we're in a time where there's nothing wrong with having strong political beliefs, but to not view other people as people, to not -- you know, to have your beliefs make you think it's appropriate to do something like this is just sickening.
WILLIAMS: Well, it is. I mean, our country wasn't built on that. Our country was built on debate, fair and square elections and that sort of thing. So, this is something unfortunately, an event like this, that has brought Congress together.
[20:10:01] It really has. And I think it's a wake up call that we can agree to disagree, but in the end of the day, we're one. We represent the people of America, and America is the greatest country in the world. And America never gives in. America never gives out.
And when you punch America, I've got many, many friends on the Democratic side that we share a lot of common values together, one of which is baseball. So, we're going to play a ballgame tomorrow night.
COOPER: It's important for you that that game on?
WILLIAMS: It think it's very important. I talked to -- I talked to Speaker Ryan today, Congressman Barton and I, Congressman (INAUDIBLE) and we talked to Speaker, we play the ball game.
I think if we don't play the ball game, those that -- they may think they won, that we've lost our will. But we're not. We're going to play a ball game, it's for charity, and I would hope tomorrow night that that stadium be filled to capacity.
COOPER: Congressman, I'm glad you're OK and thanks as well, and all the others.
WILLIAMS: Thank you. COOPER: Thank you so much.
WILLIAMS: I appreciate the Capitol Police very much.
COOPER: Yes, they're incredible. Thank you very much.
WILLIAMS: You bet.
COOPER: A lot of heroic work by law enforcement today. We've just gotten word from the White House that the president is expected to visit the hospital tonight where Congressman Scalise is being treated.
An update now on all the wounded, including the congressman, who underwent surgery earlier.
CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us with that.
So, Sanjay, first, let's talk about Congressman Scalise now, said in critical condition after surgery. What kind of injuries could he have sustained after being shot in the hip? And exactly what does critical mean?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, the types of injuries typically, you know, with the hip, there's no vital organs in that area, but there are blood vessels in that area. Blood vessels could be injured. That's one of the biggest things obviously, all the bones.
And, you know, you could have -- with this sort of injury, you can also have the abdomen affected as well. We don't know the extent of his injuries, what we do know, Anderson, is that at the scene, he was reported by his office to at that time be stable, to be in good spirits, to be talking to his wife on the cell phone.
By the time he arrived at the hospital, via helicopter, just five to ten minutes away, he was listed in critical condition at that point. So, within a few minutes, being described from going in stable condition into critical condition, and that typically means your blood pressure, your heart rate are no longer stable.
It's obviously a much concerning condition. He was taken to the operating room, he seemed that he was in the operating room for several hours and he remains in critical condition. That's how the hospital has sort of described him.
And I should point out, they're not saying that he's in critical and stable condition, which they could describe, but just critical condition. You know, that's obviously concerning. We don't know what that all means in terms of specific injuries, but we know they have been trying to address those injuries most of the day today, Anderson.
COOPER: Right. And there was a handgun, a rifle, both were recovered at the scene, in terms of injuries. I mean, there's different kinds of damage that each can cause.
GUPTA: When you think about a rifle, the big thing to think about here is that because it has a longer barrel, the bullet can just travel much faster. That's the sort of most important point. The bullet travels faster, that speed of the bullet is one of the most important predictors of just the kind of injury that's going to be caused.
So, that's why a rifle injury is going to be much more concerning certainly from a medical perspective than a handgun injury. Even without -- it can cause such -- sort of blast injury to the body that even if it doesn't necessarily come in the range of blood vessels, just the blast can cause injuries that the medical team, the trauma team really has to anticipate and think about. And again, given that he seemed to be described by his office, stable, and then within a short time, five to ten minutes, depending on how long that transport was, was in critical condition, you have to sort of think about what happened during that time, was there bleeding, was there something else that caused them to change his condition?
COOPER: We certainly wish him the best.
Sanjay, thanks very much.
Coming up more on the investigation from our law enforcement experts, including a former chief of the Capitol Hill police.
And also breaking news in the Russia probe, "The Washington Post" reporting that Robert Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation now reaches to the very top.
[20:18:03] COOPER: We're going to return to this morning's shooting in a moment. But there is more breaking news. It is big news tonight.
"The Washington Post" reporting special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation now includes the president and the question of whether or not he obstructed justice. Adam Entous shares a byline on this for "The Washington Post". I spoke to him just before air time.
COOPER: Adam, this is extraordinary reporting, it's your reporting. Explain to our viewers why it's so significant.
ADAM ENTOUS, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think you really need to understand that when Comey spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, he had assured, he explained how he had assured Trump that he wasn't being investigated personally. And so, what we've learned here is that, in fact, there was a change within the FBI and they were investigating him for potential obstruction.
And what we learned also is that there were a series of interviews that the special counsel had arranged with top intelligence officials potentially as part of that investigation.
COOPER: And based on your reporting, that change came about, as I understand it, because of the firing of Comey.
ENTOUS: Right. And, you know, obviously, Comey testified that that was his intention in leaking the memos, detailing his communications with the president. And so, you know, it's what we learned is actually that this decision to open this file if you will on Trump was made actually before the special counsel was actually named, which is just a few days later.
COOPER: But, I mean, for President Trump, the irony is his own actions in firing Comey actually led to then this evolution of -- I mean, it ultimately led to the special counsel, but it also ultimately led to the special counsel, according to your reporting, now investigating him for obstruction.
ENTOUS: Right. I mean, when you think about it, you know, when Comey in his first meeting with then President-elect Trump, he assures Trump that he's not a target, that he's not a target of the investigation that's under way.
[20:20:10] He's trying to reassure him. And at the same time, you know, he's obviously taking notes after the fact of everything that Trump says to him during that meeting and in subsequent meetings.
So, you can sort of understand why Trump was so frustrated. He was getting private assurances from Comey that he was not the subject personally of this investigation. And yet, publicly, Comey would not say these things.
And so, I think you get to the frame of mind here where it's understandable that Trump would have been frustrated. What we don't know is after the FBI decides to investigate potential obstruction in this case, is the president informed? Is there an effort to try to correct this impression, this assurance that Comey had provided to Trump? We don't know the answer to that.
COOPER: You also report that the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and NSA director, Admiral Mike Rogers, as well as Rogers' former deputy, they're going to cooperate with a special counsel. I mean, Rogers and Coats were pretty stand offish with the Senate Intelligence Committee just last week, at least in open session. Is it possible one of the reasons they did not want to go into detail is because they had already been asked to appear before Mueller?
ENTOUS: Yes, yes. We don't know the answer to that. We don't know if -- I mean that makes sense, that's a logical way of interpreting this. I think, you know, Rogers did appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this week behind closed doors and in contrast to his public appearance earlier, in that closed door session, he was more forthcoming about a phone call that he received from Trump towards, in March, in which basically the president had asked Rogers, a similar call was made to Coats, basically asking them to publicly dispute that there was any evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians. COOPER: Mueller obviously now has a lot on his plate, adding this
obstruction of justice investigation, unto it all. Even if he does find evidence of obstruction that the president tried to obstruct justice, it's not clear, and it seems unlikely that the Department of Justice would bring criminal charges against a president of the United States. That would really be something that would be done on Capitol Hill, they would try to, whatever Mueller found, it would really be up to Capitol Hill to figure out what to do with it.
ENTOUS: It becomes a political decision, are there -- is there going to be sufficient movement on the Hill to go with an impeachment option? You know, obviously, I'm pretty skeptical that that step would be taken at least at this point.
I think the thing to keep in mind here, we are reporting tonight that there is this expansion of the investigation to include obstruction, but there was also a previous expansion of the investigation which it was looking into Jared Kushner, the son-in-law to the president and top advisor. And so, you know, obviously, for the special prosecutor, special counsel, to go after Kushner, that would not require -- that doesn't meet the same, you know, high requirements that it would be for going after the president, if such a decision were taken.
And I do want to caution here, that this is obviously something that may never result in accusations being brought in terms of charges by the special counsel. He may take a look at Comey's testimony, he may interview Comey, he may interview these other people and decide there is no obstruction, or certainly no case that he can bring on obstruction. So, it's really -- this is a preliminary moment, we're seeing effectively a file being opened here within the FBI to basically look at obstruction, that doesn't mean that this is -- that's where Mueller is going to go in the end.
COOPER: Yes, Adam Entous, extraordinary reporting as usual. Thank you so much, from "The Washington Post". Appreciate your time.
ENTOUS: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, our panel is going to talk about this, when we come back.
Plus, we're going to have the latest on today's shooting, what we know about the shooter and more about exactly what happened and the condition of the others who were injured. We'll be right back.
[20:28:18] COOPER: Before the break, you heard Adam Entous reporting from "The Washington Post" tonight about Robert Mueller's widening Russia investigation, which could now directly touch the president. Additionally, CNN's Manu Raju and Tom LoBianco have this late word, they're reporting that the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will meet tomorrow with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. A committee source saying he'll testify in close session. His
appearance comes after he promised to answer questions about whether the president pressured him to rebut stories about the focus of the federal Russia probe. There's certainly a lot to talk about.
Joining us now, David Gergen, Jeffrey Toobin, and Gloria Borger.
Jeff Toobin, I mean, if "The Washington Post" reporting is accurate and I think it's based on five sources, how big a deal is this legally for the president of the United States that he is now a subject of an FBI investigation to obstruction of justice?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Anderson, it's a huge deal, and I don't hate to tell you that I told you so. I mean, when you listen to James Comey's testimony about how the president tried to get him to drop the investigation, and then you see that he fired Comey when he didn't drop the investigation, that is evidence of obstruction of justice.
When you combine it with the apparent, and I say apparent, conversations between Trump and the director of national intelligence, the director of the NSA, trying to stop this investigation in other ways, that's worth investigating someone for obstruction of justice. It doesn't mean that Trump is guilty. It doesn't mean there's going to be an indictment, an impeachment or anything like that. But there is clearly evidence that justifies an investigation and this tremendous scoop by "The Washington Post" just makes clear that Mueller is doing his job, and we'll see how it goes.
[20:30:03] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Well, and Gloria, the irony of this is, is the president, you know, was told three times by Robert Mueller that he was not a subject of any investigation by the FBI, by Comey, he is now.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, he is. And this is all kind of self-sabotage when you think about it. Because if he hadn't fired Comey, Comey would not have believed perhaps that the president was obstructing. And as he testified, he said once he got fired, it's clear, he didn't say obstruction, but it's clear that that's what was going on in his mind, and then he decided when the president mentioned there might be tapes, he decided to leak a memo through a friend that wind up in the newspapers and in the "New York Times." And --
COOPER: With the idea of getting a special counsel?
BORGER: Right, because he wanted Mueller to know about this. And that is why a special counsel was appointed. So when you look at this whole, you know, events, all of them, you have to think, that in a way, Donald Trump did this to himself.
COOPER: And David, I mean we're judicious with the Watergate comparisons, you worked for Richard Nixon, it wasn't the burglary itself that brought him down, it was the cover up. I mean it's not -- there may be no Russia collusion, there may be no, you know, improper behavior toward Russia at all, and there may still be obstruction of justice.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Anderson, Gloria's point's well taken, but I think in every case in which there's been a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, it is because the person being investigated has essentially brought it upon himself.
Nixon said to David Frost after he asked the president, what happened he was asked, and he said I gave my enemies a sword and then they ran me through. And Trump may have done something the same thing. This is -- we must be cautious as Adam pointed out, there's been no findings of guilt on any of these things, but there's a "Washington Post" also said this is a major turning point, what a major turning point and what Mueller and the special counsel is doing.
There's now a three-pronged investigation of Donald Trump and the people around him. First is the investigation into Russia and in the meddling was there coordination with Trump and associates. Second, there is an investigation into whether there have any financial crimes committed by any of the parties. And now we have this third prong, investigation of the president himself on possible obstruction of justice. This probe -- and James Comey -- Mueller, we also know has now -- is now hiring a first class, very tough minded team of investigators. Some of the real pros that are out there are coming to join him. So this is taking a major turn and it's a much -- potentially much more dangerous for Donald Trump --
GERGEN: -- than what this started with and that is the Russian issue.
COOPER: You know, Jeff Toobin, Dan Coats and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, they are cooperating we're told now according to "Washington Post" with the special counsel, as well as, obviously, I assume James Comey is, but, you know, Coats and Rogers came under a lot of criticism for not being forthcoming about their conversations with the president. The president didn't invoke executive privilege. They just said they didn't want to talk about it. Is it possible that now one of the reasons they didn't want to talk about it is because they knew this was being investigated by Mueller?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, Anderson, I wouldn't want to read their minds in that way. I don't know what they were thinking. But I do know that they are out of options to refuse to talk about it. Because now that there is an obstruction of justice investigation, if Mueller wants to call them before the Grand jury, even if Donald Trump decides to invoke the executive privilege about their conversations, the court will also almost certainly reject that, because in 1974, in the Supreme Court case of the United States v Nixon, the court said in a fact that criminal investigations, by and large Trump executive privilege. So Coats and the NSA director are going to tell their story to Mueller one way or another. I don't know what that story is going to be, but that story will be told and Mueller will consider it in deciding how to proceed.
COOPER: You know, Gloria, what the president has said all along is, I'm not under investigation, -- BORGER: Right.
COOPER: -- some satellites are, some people in my campaign, --
BORGER: All right.
COOPER: -- but I am not under investigation. I guess he can no longer say that. And in the White House statement tonight from a person involved with his outside counsel. Basically went after saying that these are leaks -- outrageous leaks from the FBI, though, but as I said to Adam based on his reporting, there's no evidence in his article that any of these leaks actually came from the FBI.
BORGER: Right, we don't even know and we don't even know if the White House knows what it read in the "Washington Post" today.
[20:34:59] BORGER: They may not have known that this investigation had expanded. And by the way, to tie this up to Atty. Gen. Sessions yesterday, this is exactly why the president is so mad that the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation because he didn't want a special counsel and he thought, perhaps wrongly, that Atty. Gen. Sessions could put a stop to it. But of course since he wasn't there, he didn't. And now he's got this special counsel, so we have an investigation that started out as Russian meddling in the election and that has clearly expanded to include the president and his staff.
COOPER: -- you know, we've talked about this time and time again. How many times have we seen investigations that start out with one thing and then expand into something else completely different?
GERGEN: Absolutely. What we've been talking about forever has just come true and I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous I think this is for the president. Contrary to what Gloria thinks, I think there's a real possibility that Donald Trump was told he's now under investigation and why we've been hearing rumblings out of the White House that he's thinking about firing Mueller. He's got a lot of push back on that, but given the frustrations.
TOOBIN: It just -- I just also think it's worth remembering what a personal nightmare it is to be under criminal investigation. What it's like to wake up every morning and know that there's a team of skilled lawyers, FBI agents who are looking at the possibility of trying to put you in prison. That is what it means to be under criminal investigation, and now the president of the United States who is a sensitive soul is going to have to deal with that.
COOPER: On top of all this stuff as president, he has to deal with this. David Gergen, Gloria Borger, and Jeffrey Toobin thanks very much.
Coming up, the president calls for unity after the shooting. Plus, we'll hear from the former Capitol Police chief about the work of the Capitol Police today. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[20:40:33] COOPER: We've been learning a lot all day about the man who opened fire this morning on GOP lawmakers, staffers and others at a ball field in Alexandria, Virginia just across the river from here. He was politically active and vocal online, a Bernie Sanders supporter, a harsh critic of the president. His Facebook feed is filled with anti-Trump entry such as Trump is guilty and should go to prison for treason.
On March 22, he first hit Trump as a traitor, Trump has destroyed our democracy. It's time to destroy Trump and co. As for the president, as you know, he's been quick to react after other serious attacks and his coming to criticism for some of what he said. This is certainly not the case this time. Today his remarks drew bipartisan praise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENT: We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's Capitol is here because above all they love our country. We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: More now on some of the police professionals and other heroes who did some of the hard work today. Joining us from the scene is CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Art Roderick and Former Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine.
Chief Dine, Capitol Police officers are certainly getting a lot of well deserved credit for their actions today. Witness say were it not for them, this could have been much, much worse, I mean they were there as part of the security detail for Congressman Scalise.
KIM DINE, FORMER CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF: Absolutely and they deserve every bit of praise that they're getting. As you know what the Capitol Police and police do everywhere across the country is balance safety and security. And they also have to know when to act and when to slow things down, because we always talk about in police shootings slowing things down. But the (inaudible) of act of shooter is actually reacting quickly and professionally and that's exactly what they did today. They are definitely true heroes.
COOPER: Can you explain, Chief Dine, just for a Capitol Police what their regular duties are, and if they get any special kind of training that's different than any other kind of police officer gets?
DINE: Well, we absolutely give them -- I say, we, they get all types of special training, because not only do they do what we would call regular routine police work around the district of Columbia and Capitol Hill, they provide dignitary protection, threat protection, anti-terrorism policing, which is very unique. That security type policing takes a lot of patience, it takes attention of detail, it takes focus, relentless focus to make sure that nothing is strange or out of order so they could react as they did today. We focus on active shooter training as well as a number of other training pieces.
COOPER: Art, I mean I think a lot of people were surprised today to realize that there's a lot of congressmen who don't have, you know, security around them at all times. I mean had those -- that one security detail for Congressman Scalise not been there, it would have been up to Alexandria Police and, you know, the arrival time I think they got there in three minutes which is quick, but a shooter can do a lot of damage in three minutes.
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, especially with an SKS assault rifle. I mean you're right, Anderson, I mean if it wasn't for the fact that the congressman wasn't here, there would have been any shooters at the scene immediately. We have heard reports that APD, Alexandria Police Department, was here within three minutes, but you can do a lot of damage in three minutes. And I think the shocking thing is when listen to that video, that cell phone video, is how extended, how long that shooting scenario went on for. It seem like it went on forever. And I'm sure for the congressman on the ball field it seemed that way also,
COOPER: Yet, Chief Dine, I mean I read studies -- I think that the FBI have done analyzing basically every act of shooting in the United States going back I think all the way to Columbine. And if memory serves me correct, most of the deaths in other act of shooter situations all take place within the first six minutes.
Again, it just emphasizes how important, and even before police get there, how important it was to have that detail there, do you think things are going to change or need to change in terms of rethinking the level of protection that congressmen get?
[20:45:03] DINE: Well, first of all, you're right in terms of that, as you just mentioned, most of those incidents are not only shorter in duration, they're also much closer in proximity. So this was a very, very long duration and extended distance and, again, it just highlights the incredible amount of work that they did today and how professional it was.
In terms of the protection, we never talk about protection details or tactics or safety and security. I can tell you that the Congress of the United States is so incredibly supportive of the United States Capitol Police. That was always wonderful to see, that is one time where things are truly bipartisan and they just received overwhelming support as evidenced today and as they always did we'll continue to do. We'll look at best practices and they will continue to look at best practices and train (inaudible) to see how things can always be done in a different and more effective way. But today, was an example of outstanding, heroic work by these officers the result of good training, good tactics and relentless attention to their mission.
COOPER: Yeah. And we hope they get better soon. Chief Dine thank you, Rod Rederick as well. Thank you very much. We're told that Pres. Trump has arrived to visit Congressman Scalise in the hospital where congressman is considered to be in critical condition after undergoing surgery. We'll have more on his condition as well as the condition of all the others who were injured today.
[20:49:58] COOPER: Well, the president has just arrived in the MedStart Washington Hospital Center where Congressman Steve Scalise is being treated for a severe gunshot wound. He is -- well, as lawmakers and leaders of both parties are praising the police officers kept the tragic situation from becoming a massacre this morning. Two members of the Capitol Police were injured. One shot in the ankle the other is sustaining a minor injury according to a police statement. CNN Alex Marquardt joins us with more about what we know about the officers. What did you learned Alex?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right Anderson. There was actually a third officer out there who was not wounded. The names of the special agents that we've been given by Capitol Police are Crystal Griner, David Bailey and Henry Cabrera. Capitol Police have said that Griner, who is the one who is shot in the ankle, is in the hospital she's in good condition. Bailey they said sustained a minor injury and has been released from the hospital. All, of course tonight being hailed as heroes for stopping what many are calling a potential slaughter.
COOPER: The officers were there specifically for Scalise. I guess -- I mean I mentioned this earlier. But I thin a lot of people are surprised that other Congress people didn't have protection.
MARQUARDT: That's right. Scalise is the GOP whip. He's in the leadership and only leadership gets protection. None of the other 21 members on that field get protection which, of course, begs the question what would have happened if Scalise had not been there. And, of course, should members of Congress now have more security? Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah. Alex Marquardt, appreciate the update. Thank you. Congressman Steve Scalise's wife and two young kids coming to Washington from New Orleans to be with him. The congressman had surgery today after being shot in the hip. The latest report from the hospital is that he was in critical condition after that surgery. As majority whip, Scalise is the third ranking Republican in the House. Randi Kaye has more on the congressman.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Representative Steve Scalise was doing what he loved when he was shot, playing baseball.
REP. STEVE SCALISE, (R) LOUISIANA: Feeling really good. We're defending the title and we're bringing it. We're coming with a hungry attitude. We're competitive people by nature. And when you get to go out on a major league ballpark and play, you know, play kid's game, there's nothing like it. KAYE (voice-over): That was the congressman last week. He is well- known for his love of the game, posting this on Twitter a couple years back as he prepared for that year's big congressional showdown.
SCALISE: Thank you for that.
KAYE (voice-over): Scalise represents the first Congressional District of Louisiana. He was elected to the House back in 2008 replacing Bobby Jindal who ran for governor. He later went in tough battle in 2012 to serve as chairman of the most conservative block of Republicans known as the Republican Study Committee.
In 2014, after House Majority Leader Eric Canter lost his primary, Scalise jumped into the race. But during that campaign, questions were raised about a speech he gave to a group led by former Ku Klax Klan Leader David Duke back in 2002. Scalise told reporters, I detest any kind of hate group for anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous.
He went on to be elected House majority whip making him the third most powerful Republican in the House.
(on-camera) Congressman Steve Scalise is a staunch conservative, an advocate of fiscal discipline, lower taxes and a robust national defense. He supported legislation that would establish English as the official language of the United States and that would de-fund Planned Parenthood. He's also worked to protect constitutional rights like freedom of speech.
(voice-over) Scalise has often railed against Obamacare.
SCALISE: I think you're going to see vote today for -- by a bunch of members ready to go and rescue people from Obamacare.
KAYE (voice-over): He even tangled with Al Gore over the cap in trade energy tax.
And in 2010 after the BP oil spill off the coast of his home state of Louisiana, Steve Scalise was quick to take on the White House.
SCALISE: Where is the president? Does he not understand the magnitude of what is probably the worst environmental disaster in the country? And then we get mixed messages from his various cabinet secretaries who come down and they say, looks like they are satisfied with the coordination going on.
KAYE (voice-over): He's a loyal supporter of Pres. Donald Trump who even recorded a birthday message for Scalise's daughter.
TRUMP: Madison, happy birthday. Just listen to this man. He's a powerful, powerful man.
SCALISE: You listen to the president, Madison. Happy Birthday.
KAYE (voice-over): Before joining Congress, Scalise graduated Louisiana State University and worked as a computer systems engineer. He and his wife Jennifer have two children. And despite his willingness to tackle tough issues, Congressman Steve Scalise never shies away from having some good old Louisiana-style fun. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Wish a speedy recovery. Just ahead I'll speak with Congressman Jack Bergman and Barry Laudermill who survived this morning helped the victims until the BMG arrive. Their stories and an update on those injured ahead.
[20:58:37] COOPER: Welcome back. We're following two stories tonight. One, the Russia investigation, late reporting from the "Washington Post" that it now made directly touch the president of the United States. According to the "Washington Post" special counsel Robert Mueller is mow taking steps to determine whether the president obstructed justice. We will have details later in the program.
In addition to that, we are, obviously, continuing to cover our breaking story, our main story tonight. Late developments in the wake of this morning's shooting that left two people badly wounded, including Congressman Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip and third ranking Republican in the House. The president is visiting the hospital tonight where the congressman is being treated. An official warning we might only spend time with the congressman's -- with the congressman's family because the congressman may be in no condition yet to be seen. He and the others were round on a ball field early this morning in Alexandria, Virginia not far from here. It would be assassin opened fire on lawmaker, staffers, anyone else he could hit as he tried to turn a baseball diamond into a killing ground. After a shootout with authorities, he is the one who is dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots being fired. And there are people running, possibly victims involved.
COOPER: 7:09 a.m., shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've still got shots being fired.
COOPER: It was a congressional baseball team practice for a charity game. That abruptly turned into a morning terror.