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Mueller Meets Behind Doors with Senate Intel Committee Leaders; New Details on Congressman's Shooter; Interviewr with Rep. Jack Bergman; Interview with Rep. Rodney Davis. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired June 14, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I want to get to Manu Raju. We have breaking news from him.
Catch us up. What's new?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. As you know, Brianna, the Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating the issue of Russia meddling and any campaign coordination that occurred between Trump associates and Russian officials, and we have learned that Bob Mueller, the special counsel, that was named to investigate this issue, has met privately with the Senate Intelligence Committee leaders. Just moments ago, Bob Mueller left a classified briefing with Chairman Richard Burr and the top Democrat Mark Warner. Take a listen. He did not want to answer questions as he left this briefing but we tried to catch up with him after this classified briefing.
And we can show a little bit of that video -- Brianna?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Any comment about the probe? The president thinks it's a witch hunt. Is there any way that you can respond to that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: So as you can tell, not wanting to answer questions. I asked about the president's concern that this is a witch hunt, as well I wanted to ask about the Comey memo and Comey testimony. I tried to ask him those questions as well. He did not respond to those questions. But it's significant because their meeting to try to figure out how the special counsel's investigation will go forward and how it will work hand in hand with the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation. A very highly anticipated meeting, a secret meeting but one we found out ended moments ago -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Thank you, Manu Raju, for that breaking news.
We have more on the other breaking news we're following. A gunman opening fire on Republican Congressmen as they played baseball this morning. We're now learning more about the shooter's background, including anti-Trump rants on social media. We're going to speak live with one lawmaker who was there during the attack.
Plus, emotional moments from Speaker Paul Ryan as all House members got together on the floor in the chamber there.
We'll have more of CNN's special live coverage next.
[14:36:33] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin coming to you live from our nation's capitol.
Right now, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, the third ranking member of the House Republican leadership, is in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the hip. The man who shot him is dead. Scalise, the Republican majority whip, was one of five people shot at this early-morning baseball practice just across the river here in a quiet suburban park, a very residential and beautiful area of Alexandria, Virginia. A lobbyist, a congressional aide and two members of the capitol police were also shot before police ultimately took down the attacker who had opened fire from behind one of the dugouts with some kind of rifle. Now investigators are trying to pinpoint why he did this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JEFF DUNCAN, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I actually left right before the shooting happened and had an interaction with who, I believe, was the shooter, based on the profile that I saw on TV. I've given a statement to the Alexandria Police Department this morning after I heard about the shooting. They asked me to come down there because I did have an interaction with someone in the parking lot who asked me if the team practicing was a Republican or Democrat team, I told them they were republicans, and he said, OK, and turned around. And I got in the car and left and then found out that my colleagues were targeted by an active shooter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The dead gunman has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old from Belleville, Illinois. The FBI says it's too early to know whether or not this was an act of terror or whether these lawmakers were targeted for assassination.
Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks was there this morning and used his belt as a tourniquet to help one of the victims. He has given us some of the most riveting account of this morning's horror. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MO BROOKS, (R), ALABAMA: I was on the third-base side of home plate. getting ready to have batting practice. And the first shots were pretty much past the third-base dugout, maybe 10 or 15. Hard to ascertain for sure. I'm looking at it from an angle. And I hear a big bam and I thought it was a car backfiring at first until I see the rifle barrel and a white male taking careful aim at congressmen, staffers, whoever he could get a hold of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Also at the scene this morning at baseball practice, Congressman Jack Bergman. He joins me now.
Congressman, thank you for being with me.
And I am so sorry for what's happened to you and our members of Congress this morning. Just now that it's several hours that have transpired, how are you doing this afternoon?
REP. JACK BERGMAN, (R), MICHIGAN: Well, I tell you what, number one, I'm doing fine. Our prayers and thoughts are with all those who were wounded. Speaker Ryan said it well in our short meeting in the House, that when you attack one, you attack us all. I believe this is a sad event but a positive opportunity for us as in the House and America to stand together.
BALDWIN: I know that you are very close to Steve Scalise, the Congressman who was hit in his hip, and the hospital has just tweeted that he is listed now in critical condition. Have you spoken with any members of his family? How are they doing.
[14:40:00] BERGMAN: I have not yet. We've been, as you might guess, a little busy, especially those of us at the baseball practice this morning, interacting with media and interacting with police and everything else to make sure they get all the details possible.
BALDWIN: Congressman Bergman, you are a three-star general, in the Marines, and this happens this morning in beautiful Alexandria, Virginia. Can you just tell me -- I know this is just past 7:00 this morning and you were practicing for the big game here tomorrow night. Walk me through the first few moments when you heard gunshots.
BERGMAN: Well, I was next in line to go into the batting cage so I was standing to the side of the cage when the first sound went off. Again, it was, what is that? A couple seconds later, when the second round went off, those of us who have ever shot a weapon know it was gunfire. And people started scrambling. In a nanosecond, my assessment was that the guy was behind the third-base dugout and I needed to get out of the potential line of fire. Myself and others were scrambling to get behind the first-base dugout and that was our first step. Next step was he worked his way down the third-base line behind the chain-link fence. We moved around to stay out of his line of fire and that's when capitol police engaged, and we were able to scramble into the dugout with the rest of our teammates.
BALDWIN: So you scrambled into the dugout. Where was Congressman Scalise? Was he down at second base?
BERGMAN: He was down at second base, because where the gunman had his line of fire, he was looking straight down the third base and second- base line, so he was looking at people at third base, shortstop and second base. That was his line of fire in those initial shots.
BALDWIN: I had read it was Congressman Wenstrup, also a veteran, also went straight into a military response and grabbed a belt to help try to stop the bleeding eventually. Did you try to help?
BERGMAN: I was out there just as we were taking the belt off. Dr. Wenstrup, Congressman Wenstrup, was assessing. They had pulled down his trousers down to the point where they could expose the entry wound and then between Senator Flake (ph), myself and one other, we pulled the belt off so the doctor could apply it.
BALDWIN: So you saw the wound up close. How bad was it?
BERGMAN: Well, it's an entry wound. An entry wound from a rifle are really not -- well, none of them are good, but the bad -- it comes in very quickly. It's where -- what happens when it goes into the body and when it exits where it gets quite intricate and potentially dangerous.
BALDWIN: Was he speaking? Was he trying to communicate with the two of you at all as you were helping him? Could he?
BERGMAN: I would suggest that he was in a mild state of shock, which you would expect. Doctor Wenstrup was doing an excellent job of speaking in a calm voice and controlling it, so I know Steve could hear us and that he was calm knowing that he was being carried for.
BALDWIN: In the meantime, over along the third baseline where the shooter was behind the fence, was he shouting anything, saying anything?
BERGMAN: I didn't hear anything at all from him. Again, if he did, I didn't hear it because I was down by home plate.
BALDWIN: So all of this is happening, and then, from what I understand, had Congressman Scalise, the number three Republican in the House, not been there, there would not have been that sort of security detail who eventually took him down. Am I correct?
BERGMAN: That is correct. They were there because they are the whip's security team. Thank god, they were there.
BALDWIN: Thank god, is right.
How close are they to the shooter, sir?
BERGMAN: They were moving from their car, where they engaged them from where their car was. They were moving at him. They were moving forward towards him. I didn't see their final engagement with him, but their car, to where he was eventually down, was probably no more than 50 to 60 feet.
BALDWIN: I understand there was a 10-year-old. Was it a member of Congress' son who came out for baseball practice?
BERGMAN: Right. He was with us and he was with us behind the dugout, and being a 10-year-old, he didn't quite understand what was going on. But he paid attention when his dad and myself and maybe one or two others gave him some very direct directions to keep his head down.
BALDWIN: Were they able to shield him?
BERGMAN: Say that again?
BALDWIN: Were they able to shield him?
BERGMAN: He was on the other side of a chain-link fence under a car. So we were on one side of the fence, he was on the other side of the fence, but he was able to get -- when we broke, he was able to come around and come through the gate, and then we could shield him in the dugout. His dad was shielding him.
[14:45:04] BALDWIN: And so, Congressman Bergman -- stand by, gentlemen.
We've got a couple of other guys coming on in a moment.
We're talking a lot today about security. There are a lot of questions coming out of this horrific incident which happened this morning, one being, should anything change in terms of securing all of you. Do you think you should?
BERGMAN: I think we have to be realistic about the new challenges, security challenges that are present across our country and across the world. As an airline pilot -- I flew for Northwest Airlines for 25 years -- my whole life changed on 9/11. That was a wake-up call for the airline industry and what it meant for security. I believe we're at a point, unfortunately, or, fortunately, because it gives us an opportunity to make the adjustments necessary to secure all of our citizens, not just those in Congress.
BALDWIN: Congressman Bergman, how are people supposed to respond? I took a peek at this person's Facebook page. The cursing and the politically charged rhetoric towards our president, towards perhaps Republicans. And by the way, there are many people in this country on the left and right who espouse these kinds of sentiments. Where are we left after this horrendous thing has happened?
BALDWIN: What are we supposed to do?
BERGMAN: Well, I think you could follow the example of the freshman class here of the 115th Congress. Both Democrats and Republicans, three weeks after we were sworn in, we signed a commitment to civility, which meant we would argue and debate the issue but not attack the other people, and we would do it civilly. A recommitment by this country to civility would be a great first step. And I think the media can play a great role in helping us get that message out.
BALDWIN: Civility. I hear you loud and clear.
Congressman Jack Bergman, thank you so much, for your service to this country and for your quick thinking. I'm glad you are OK.
Our thoughts and wishes and prayers are with the victims and the families. With me now to talk more about this morning's attack is Charles
Ramsey, CNN law enforcement analyst, former Philadelphia police commissioner and former Washington, D.C., police chief; and Art Roderick, CNN law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the U.S. Marshal Service.
Gentlemen, you just heard my conversation with Congressman Bergman. He makes the point on civility, but let's talk about security, practicality.
Art, to you first.
You're in Alexandria. From what we know about how this unfolded, we're reporting that this was deliberate. Does this appear to be a targeted attack, from your perspective?
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It does. In order for this individual to come here and specifically pick this ball field, it seems to me that this was a targeted hit. He knew where he was going and what he was doing, and came to this specific location.
As far as protection goes, I've actually done protection details based on their requests, especially away from Washington, D.C., and I think what they've got to do is take the model that the U.S. Marshals use to protect the federal judiciary, which is threat-based, based on threats going on. But also any time you have a larger gathering of Senators, there should be a larger protection detail at those types of gatherings.
BALDWIN: All right.
And then, Chief, over to you.
We've learned a little bit about the gunman today. We know he's from Illinois, married, small business owner, 66. Not on the radar of Secret Service. We know about his political rants on social media. What stands out to you and what is this country supposed to do with what appears to be a politically motivated attack?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the political rants that they found on either Facebook or Twitter, obviously, it's a problem. But the bigger problem for law enforcement -- I mean, there are millions of messages floating around in cyberspace. We can't pick them all up. The public needs to help us. Whenever they see something like that, that is a threat -- and the comment he made towards President Trump in my mind is clearly a threat -- notify law enforcement --
BALDWIN: Forgive me for interrupting. But if every single time someone from the public spoke up about how someone spoke ill of our members of Congress or our president, that would be a lot of phone calls.
RAMSEY: Well, it's one thing to speak ill of, and it's another to make a threat. This was a threat that I saw that he had posted on social media. So your local police are going to have a play a role along with federal authorities. We have to take these things seriously to see if we have someone that could potentially cause harm to someone.
[14:50:00] BALDWIN: And I say that, I mean, with all due respect to members of Congress. And that would apply to members of the media as well. I'm just saying, practically speaking, how are we supposed to handle this?
Stand by, guys.
Let me bring in another member of Congress who was at the ballpark in Alexandria, witnessed the shooting. He said, if it wasn't for the capitol police, things would have been much worse.
He is Congressman Rodney Davis and he's with me now on Capitol Hill.
Thank you so much for joining me.
I saw you on TV with my dear friend, Brianna, in your cleats and in your bloody pants. You've cleaned up a bit, but still, I'm sure this morning is etched in your mind and will be for some time.
How are you doing?
REP. RODNEY DAVIS, (R), ILLINOIS: I'm doing fine. You know, obviously, you don't expect to go to a baseball practice for one of the most bipartisan games, things we do in Washington, a game for charity, and be shot at.
My thoughts and prayers are with Steve Scalise and Matt Mika and David and Krystal, and the others injured. This is a tragedy. The ratcheting up of political rhetoric has got to stop.
BALDWIN: I want to get to that. I was talking to another congressman and he said you all sign up for civility and we all need to be talking way more about that.
I got an update on Congressman Steve Scalise. He is out of surgery. His condition is still critical.
Have you -- I know you day has been madness. Have you had a minute to catch your breath, talk to your family, talk to any of the survivors' families?
DAVIS: I have not talked to Steve Scalise or his family. When I -- I was up to bat when the shooting occurred or began, and I heard what I thought was a loud bang and then --
BALDWIN: You think it was gun shots you heard?
DAVIS: I thought it was a construction site, dropping a big piece of metal. And then I heard, "Run, he's got a gun." And I did. I saw the heroic acts of our capitol policemen fighting back against this madman. When the gunshots let up, I went out into the street and was able to make it into an apartment building. A good Samaritan opened the door and told three of us to come in.
BALDWIN: That's when you were able to call your family.
DAVIS: That's when I was able to call 911. They had already been called by then, I'm sure. But I called my wife and my kids. Those are phone calls I never thought I'd have to make in my life.
BALDWIN: Did she believe you? It's 7:00 in the morning and you were just playing baseball.
DAVIS: She's probably more cognizant of security threats because of what I do than I am. She believed me immediately and that was the most tragic part of my morning.
BALDWIN: And this afternoon, how has this hit you?
DAVIS: You know, I think this is our time that we, as Americans, have to take a step back and take a deep breath. As we see reports of this individual who, unfortunately, makes me nauseous, came from my home state of Illinois, traveled out. The pictures you see show that he's been engaged in politics and in policy and protesting. We can't let our policy differences tear this country apart with polarization. It's up to us to say enough is enough. We can protest our differences. Let's settle that at the ballot box. I've been yelled at and spat at walking in the streets in Illinois. I've had protesters come saying our policies are killing people.
BALDWIN: But to have someone pull a gun.
DAVIS: That's what I mean. And you hope and pray that never happens but I saw it today, and I saw my friend, not just a friend but a dad of two young kids, Steve Scalise, laying motionless in the outfield. And I was helpless. All of us were helpless to help.
BALDWIN: Have you allowed yourself to -- I think and I agree, kudos to the capitol police. Because as a member of leadership Congressman Scalise was there. But had he not been, had Speaker Ryan needed him this morning and he happened to not have been at the ballpark, those capitol police officers would not have been at that ball park, those capitol police officers would not have been there.
DAVIS: They would not have been, and there would have been a massacre of epic proportions.
Let's keep in mind, this ball field is around a dog park and other facilities and there are innocent women and children on the field.
BALDWIN: A 10-year-old was there.
DAVIS: I mean, this is what we, as Americans, have to do to come together to know that somebody thinks it's OK because of political differences to bring a gun to a ballpark and indiscriminately kill, shoot at innocent people. Luckily, not kill anyone, but to shoot innocent people, women and children. That's something that we, as Americans, not just members of Congress, as Republicans and Democrats, we've got to take this day as our day to put an end to it, and that means all of us, the media, social media. Let's come together and discuss our policy differences, but let's not make it so personal, which obviously led to this.
[14:55:10] BALDWIN: But how do we do that? I mean, the rhetoric has been nasty, and that's not news.
BALDWIN: The rhetoric has been nasty. And I don't want this one day, when everyone comes together -- the moment from Leader Pelosi and Speaker Ryan, it was a beautiful moment this morning when they spoke, to have everyone coming together because of this tragic incident. And for us to walk away at the end of the evening and go back to partisan bickering is wrong.
DAVIS: It is. That's why I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that we take this lesson, that we can't go back. One of the most humbling thing I had after we listened to the great speeches by Ryan and Pelosi, I had my Democrat friends, many of my Republican friends come up and give hugs. I had one good friend -- people would think we -- we disagree on a lot of policies, but she said, I've been calling you immediately on your phone, and my phone is still out in the crime scene. My wedding band is, too. I'm hoping they get that for me.
DAVIS: But she said, I just wanted to know you're OK. And that's what we see here in Congress. Most of what we do is bipartisan but the areas of disagreement are settled in the ballot box and in our voting cards here, and that's what we have to accept, because that makes America great.
BALDWIN: I think what a lot of people maybe getting caught up in the details of the shooting. From what I read this morning, you were playing in honor of the victims of Manchester and in honor of that attack, and now you're victims of violence. The game is going on, and you guys are going up to Nat's stadium tomorrow night.
BALDWIN: You raised all this money, which is amazing. But all eyes will be on that game tomorrow night. What do you want people to take away, baseball aside, from all of this?
DAVIS: Republicans and Democrats do get along. We do work together. And I want this game tomorrow to be the biggest and the best game that we've ever seen. $600,000-plus has already been raised for the local D.C. charities. I want to challenge every one of your viewers to login, help us out, and let's double that.
BALDWIN: We're going to go. We're going to go.
DAVIS: Go to the congressional baseball game Facebook page. Go there. Make this game what it should be, a reminder to anybody who wants to take a part in what I now call political rhetorical terrorist acts and let's send them a message that we're together. We're here to govern. We may have our differences, but we can get by those differences, and we can do what our forefathers told us to do in this Congress, and I want to make sure that we do that and show that to everyone in America tomorrow night.
BALDWIN: Batter up.
Congressman Davis, thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you're all right. I hope you get that wedding band back.
Thank you for taking the time.
DAVIS: Thank you.
BALDWIN: We have new details at this hour just coming in on this shooter's background. Also, the condition of Congressman Steve Scalise. We're expecting a news conference from the charity these great men and women of Congress have been playing for.
You're watching CNN special live coverage. I'm Brooke Baldwin, here in Washington.