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Interview With San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz; Trump Visits Puerto Rico; Las Vegas Massacre Investigation. Aired 3- 3:30p ET
Aired October 3, 2017 - 3:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: It is not the bully pulpit it once was.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.
CILLIZZA: But it can shine a light where a president wants to.
And, unfortunately, for Donald Trump's presidency, he's so often, as he did today, shines a light on himself.
BALDWIN: I'm just left thinking, when you're a president and you talk about what a real catastrophe is, a real catastrophe being, as he said, Katrina, the inference is, of course, saying to Puerto Ricans, this wasn't the real thing.
And as Chris points out and has been there and has talked to the people and, listen, we don't know how deep in the island the president is going to go, but when I heard, at least when I heard him sitting there around that table, you know, pointing out to his chief of staff and the governor and maybe even shaking the hand of the mayor and a lot of back-patting and self-congratulating, I didn't hear him speaking about the need and to the people, Chris Cuomo.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, look, I was at Katrina, all right?
I understand what that scar on our history is all about. I saw the bodies. We understand what the death count was. Yes, that was of epic proportion. And it showed a history of neglect of part of this population that must never be ignored and hopefully some point will be improved upon.
But to equate misery is counterproductive. Forget about tone-deaf, forget about style points. You can't go anywhere on the island. He doesn't have to go deep into the island. He doesn't have to go up into the mountains. He doesn't have to go to Ponce. He doesn't have to go into the remote areas. It is everywhere. They are completely stuck.
And, again, the president at a political convenience early on decided to put this on us and say that it was fake, our reports, and that we were disrespecting the first-responders. It reminded me of back during the war and terror where us reporting on the battle was us disrespecting the troops. It is not true. We respect our first- responders.
We saw it here in Vegas. We saw it in Puerto Rico. They are the angels among us. They are the best of us. They are working hard. They are there for the right reasons, but it is not getting done, and not because of any fault of their own, but there is need. And you don't have to compare it to Katrina.
On an absolute level, it's the worst thing they have ever dealt with here, Brooke. And it's going to be like that for months and years to come.
BALDWIN: Yes. To my Chrises, thank you.
Chris Cuomo, don't go too far. We're going to carry this thing out the next hour.
CUOMO: Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Chris Cillizza, thank you.
We're going to roll on, hour two of our special live coverage here on CNN begins now, as the nation is coping with the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
I'm Brooke Baldwin here in New York. Chris Cuomo is live there for us in Las Vegas. The motive is still a mystery.
Good to have you with us.
The motive is still a mystery. What drove a retired accountant with no criminal history to stockpile 42 guns, bring 23 of them into a Las Vegas hotel room to commit a mass murder?
Police also finding hammers in the hotel room, perhaps to smash out those two windows up on the 32nd floor. Police are also finding ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives, in his car. And we just learned that the FBI is looking into why he wired $100,000 to the Philippines before murdering all these people.
We're also learning more about the 59 people who lost their lives. And these are just some of the faces. They were mothers and fathers and children, a kindergarten teacher, a special-ed teacher, war veterans, police officers, a mother described as the glue in her family, a husband who saved his wife's life, and a wife who died in her husband's arms.
The senseless attack, like so many before it, reigniting the gun control debate. The president saying, hang on, still not time yet to have that discussion as he focuses on another tragedy, the hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico.
Here he is today before heading to Las Vegas tomorrow. And we will bring you more on what the president said there, as we were just discussing, that is upsetting a number of people.
But first let's go to Brian Todd, who is live in Las Vegas for us, who has been digging into a little bit more into the shooter and all trying to help anyone understand why, how someone could have done this.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Brooke.
We're digging into the motive of the shooter, Stephen Paddock, and we're getting some new information, especially about his girlfriend. Her name is Marilou Danley. She's 62 years old. Police believe that she was not involved in the shooting at all, that she was overseas in Japan at the time of the shooting.
A law enforcement official tells CNN she has been cooperating with authorities. And she's expected to arrive back in Las Vegas tomorrow.
She is going to be absolutely crucial to this investigation, because she possibly could speak to his motive, of anything he might have said in the days or weeks leading up to the shooting, maybe any place he might have gone, maybe something about their relationship that possibly could have triggered this, something about his gambling habits that possibly could have triggered this.
She's going to be a crucial person for information about his possible motive in doing this.
We do have a little bit more information about her. Again, I said she's 62 years old. We do have information that she worked as what is called a high-limit hostess at the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa in Reno, Nevada. She worked there from 2010 to 2013.
A spokeswoman there told CNN they have no information about her relationship with Stephen Paddock and that -- quote -- "Ms. Danley left employment with Atlantis several years ago."
Another thing we have just learned, Brooke, from a law enforcement official, that Stephen Paddock wired about $100,000 to the Philippines some time recently. We're not sure exactly when. We're digging on that.
And the recipient is a little unclear at this point. We are also digging on that. But we know that he did wire about $100,000 to Philippines recently, Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK, Brian Todd, thank you, there in Las Vegas.
Let's go now to Puerto Rico, and here's President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have all the way from mayors, to FEMA, the DOD.
General Buchanan is here with us as well.
Mr. President, we couldn't have done this if we didn't have those -- that support. But, of course, we recognize and the president recognizes that we still need to do a lot more.
But we know that we're going to do it together. This is a commitment. By the president and the first lady being here shows a commitment to being here for the long haul, helping us get the emergency help, helping us get stability, and then rebuilding Puerto Rico stronger than before.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congresswoman, would you like to say something now?
JENNIFFER GONZALEZ-COLON (R), PUERTO RICO RESIDENT COMMISSIONER: First of all, thank you, because one of the things that you have may have heard from the mainland is not happening actually here.
People from FEMA and the federal government were on the island before (OFF-MIKE) before during and after. Same thing with Maria. We have been hit by a hurricane Category 5 in less than 10 days, one after the other one.
So, it's not by the Navy, the Army, and the Coast Guard. They are rescuing more than 800 people and still going and rescuing (OFF-MIKE). We're not going to be able to record that. And the efforts of the government, dealing through together with the federal government, Mr. President, it is the first time in history that Puerto Rico got direct communication with the federal agencies, with the governor to deal with this issue.
We never before -- and we are in the path of a hurricane. So, we are used to having hurricanes, but never like this one. This is a major one. This is devastation, but thanks for all the help and all of the resources.
The (OFF-MIKE) you sent to the island (OFF-MIKE) all 36 agencies are on the island are because of you.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) still out of power. They're struggling for food and water. What message do you have for those people?
TRUMP: The power grid, honestly, was devastated before the hurricanes even hit.
And then the hurricanes hit, and they wiped them out. We're getting -- a lot of generators have been already brought to the island. Most of the hospitals are open or at least partially open, but most of them now are open.
And, again, the job that's been done here is really nothing short of a miracle. It has been incredible. And I appreciate, virtually -- this is the mayor from this very important area.
And, Mr. Mayor, I appreciate your efforts, too. And I appreciate what you had to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you on behalf of my people (OFF-MIKE) and on behalf of the 3.5 U.S. citizens over here, because this is a team.
Your people are doing the right stuff for us. We, the mayors, we got to do the -- this is a team. And that's what -- that's my experience over here right now in the helping of thousands and thousands of people.
So, thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.
QUESTION: What did you mean earlier when you said locals needed to do more?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: All right, so, there is one piece of the president there talking to a number of people in Puerto Rico.
We're waiting for now -- this is all -- just this is video that is being rolled into us now. So, we're all seeing this for the first time.
And this is what -- if you were listening to my discussion with Chris Cillizza a moment ago, and he alluded to president starting to pick up food and toilet paper and tossing it to the crowd, I think we're about to see that. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here, one, two, three.
TRUMP: Good. Good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for coming. We appreciate you.
TRUMP: Go ahead. Go ahead. Turn around. go ahead.
TRUMP: Whoa. I have never seen that before.
TRUMP: Who needs a flashlight?
TRUMP: Who needs it?
(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Flashlights, you don't need them anymore. You don't need them anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: All right, we're going to stay on the video, but let's kick back our conversation.
I have got Chris Cuomo in Las Vegas fresh off a plane from Puerto Rico, and also our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, in San Juan.
And so the president is here. He's inside this church in Puerto Rico holding up flashlights, holding up chicken. He's got rice. Obviously, it's a bit of a circus with everyone wanting a photo with the president.
But, first, just, Chris Cuomo, to you on optics and tone. And let me just also -- to be fair, he said -- and I'm quoting the president -- "There's a lot of love in this room. Great people" as he's tossing food and toilet paper. What do you think?
CUOMO: I think it is good that the president of the United States is on the ground in Puerto Rico. I think the island deserves and warrants as much attention as it can get.
I think the resources that have come to bear are impressive. And I think a lot more is needed and to be sustained for a very long time. And the distraction of making this political and making it about any kind of opposition to the president was counterproductive.
And now that he's on the ground there, hopefully, he will recognize the need.
And I have to give it to Sanjay, Brooke, because he was so helpful to me on the ground, getting me to understand the difference between numbers and resources and true recovery when it comes to medical care and the problems now, Sanjay, and the problems that may well be to come in Puerto Rico, as speaking to the need and the kind of energy that's going to have to be put there by the United States for months and maybe even longer.
BALDWIN: So, Sanjay, can you just talk a little bit about that? And also, I understand you went door to door. Obviously, you have been talking to a lot of these doctors, going door to door, tending to people in need.
Tell me about that.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think Chris makes a really good point.
There's no question that there's a lot of energy and frankly a lot of revelry, it seems like, around the president's visit. By now, though, the area that he's in is a suburb of San Juan. It's, I can tell you, one of the wealthier suburbs of San Juan, an area that is going to have more reserve, more resources than many other areas of this island.
And I think that that -- it's an important point, again, Brooke, and it's a hard point to make, but it's a fragmented story, right, as Chris was sort of alluding to. You see a certain picture here. Even behind me, you can maybe hear generators, see some work.
It's different in different parts of the island. And I hope that that doesn't get lost in all that, that people don't look at just these images and say, well, everything is fine.
I'm worried, still, because I think there are still people, I know there are still people who are going without pretty basic things, basic medications. They are not people, Brooke, who are necessarily impacted directly by the hurricane.
They did not suffer trauma, physical trauma from the hurricane. But they are people who are elderly, who are ill, who were already sort of teetering on the edge. And it is all about reaching those people now. And they are not necessarily in places like Guayama. They are in the central part of the island. They are in many other parts of this island.
And those are the people who are, in this time period, the most critical. They are the period -- who are at risk of preventable death.
BALDWIN: So what was it like going door to door?
GUPTA: Well, you know, you saw the job that needed to be done, right?
This is a -- many places are just not accessible by air or by vehicle. The poles are down, the streets are flooded, for lots of different reasons. So it becomes a question at that point, I think a question for relief organizations, a question for any kind of organization that is trying to provide care, so what do you do? What do you do at that point?
Do you say, well, we have to wait until the roads are cleared and we have to wait until things are more stable there? Or do you say, no, we have to go now because people are at real risk?
And we are with an organization, Project HOPE, yesterday, that was going into these neighborhoods door to door, knocking on doors, many of these people, again, not directly impacted by the hurricane. Their homes may have been damaged quite a bit, but they have a roof over their head.
The real concern is they have uncontrolled diabetes. They are lapsing in and out of hypoglycemia, uncontrolled blood pressure, at risk for strokes or heart attack.
These are tough conditions under any circumstance, but treatable, but treatable. But if they don't get the medications and the care, you're going to have, again, I keep using this term, preventable death.
It's the worst thing in hospital, a preventable death. It means that we failed somehow. And there's a real risk of that happening over and over again.
BALDWIN: Awful. Sanjay, thank you so much. I'm so glad you are there and helping out, Sanjay Gupta in Puerto Rico.
Let's go back to Las Vegas and Chris Cuomo -- Chris.
CUOMO: Hey, I will tell you, we need him there so much. Everybody knows Sanjay is the real deal. He's a healer and he understands the policy and he understands the requirements that often give a very different picture than just numbers.
And that is why he's there telling these stories, because that's the only way we're going to learn right now. There are no coms, communications, on that island. People can't get their own story out.
So that brings us back here to Las Vegas. This is still a very untold story. There are still people in the hospital that are fighting. We don't know which way it's going to go for some of them, but we do know this. The first-responders, including the medical side here, in such a big way, they saw such a mass of humanity, 560-plus injured.
We know about the 59 lives lost so far. Who knows if that number is going to change. God forbid that it does.
One of these healers, one of the people who stepped up in the moment is Dr. Stephanie Streit. She's at UMC. She's a surgeon and she's seen dozens of people herself, at least 25, by your count.
Doctor, thank you so much for what you did.
How are you and the staff holding up under conditions that you certainly could never prepare for?
DR. STEPHANIE STREIT, UMC TRAUMA CENTER: Well, you're welcome. And thank you for having me.
I think our team is holding up about as well as can be expected. Fortunately, we are a very big team, so we have a lot of shoulders to lean on.
CUOMO: So the types of injuries that you have seen, take us through the categories that you understand patients to be in, because there's a tendency to think, well, all right, they are injured, they will all be OK. That's not a given, right?
STREIT: No, sir, that's not a given.
The first priority in any triage situation is to identify the patients who need immediate lifesaving interventions. And from those that do get it and those that don't, you know, we proceed with a standard medical evaluation.
We saw all types of injuries, everything from extremity wounds to truly life-threatening injuries.
CUOMO: And we keep hearing from medical professionals they are not typical gunshot wounds, that they resemble what you believe to be like battlefield wounds, but that makes sense.
This man was using very serious weaponry. And he had designed it in a way to rain down on people, having them go as fast as possible, it's going to create the most powerful injuries. His evil is now coming to bear in what you're trying to heal.
We have the senator here with us, Masto, from Nevada, and she said a lot of families have not been able to identify or find their loved ones yet. Why does it take time? Take us through the reality.
STREIT: Well, that would be a better question honestly for the people on scene, but the reality of the first response is at first chaos.
And there's a lot of dust that settles later on. I grieve for the families. I can't imagine what they're going through. And the first- responders on scene as well have truly been through harrowing times and we're immensely grateful for their experience.
CUOMO: Hey, you are one of the people that is keeping some of these families from having the ultimate bad news. You're the one who is healing people and keeping them alive that came in. Nobody can ask to be done, to do more than that.
What can you tell us in terms of how long we have to pay attention to some of these conditions? Is this where everybody gets out in a few days? Are there people that you have seen or heard about where it could be weeks or longer in terms of the kinds of injuries sustained?
STREIT: Sure. Fortunately, a good number of patients have been able to be discharged already. But these -- there are several patients who unfortunately will continue to need medical care for a long period of time.
If you look at the experience of Representative Scalise recently, who was in the hospital for several months, and that may turn out to be the reality for some of our patients. It is too soon to say.
CUOMO: Doctor, I'm sorry to take you away from your duties at all, to be honest with you, but it is so important that we understand all the different facets of this. Thank you for telling people what is going on.
STREIT: Thank you so much for telling our story.
CUOMO: And thank you for the healing work the work that you're doing. You be well, Doctor. Thank you very much.
STREIT: Yes, thanks for telling our story.
CUOMO: Brooke, back to you. STREIT: Thank you.
BALDWIN: From the much-appreciated work there at the hospitals in Las Vegas to the stories of the victims' families, the survivors.
Let's talk about Big & Rich. They opened for headliner Jason Aldean Sunday night and they shared that powerful moment of unity with their fans today.
Big Kenny and John Rich join me now live from Phoenix.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for being here with me.
And if I may just begin with, just describe how you're feeling today and what or who you have been thinking most about.
BIG KENNY, MUSICIAN: Well, we're no doubt, we're -- our hearts are crushed. We feel just terrible that this happened at all.
And right now, all we can do is think about are the families who have lost loved ones and the ones who are there, as you were just describing, struggling for their lives still. We're so thankful, we're so thankful for all of those that came running to help, all the first-responders there in Nevada, the police department there with the amazing job they all did.
All the doctors that are there in the hospital, that they even prepare for stuff like this, I heard the other day, they said they run through drills like this three or four times a year.
BALDWIN: Run drills.
KENNY: And we are just thinking about all these people, the individuals. We're thinking about the young man who was standing there in the meet-and-greet line right before we played that night that was so happy to be there.
And then hearing that, you know, he lost his life protecting his wife, this stuff is just all heart-wrenching. It's heartbreaking. And our hearts pour out to these people and just all the love that we can send. That's what we're thinking of right now.
BALDWIN: Can you tell me a little bit more about the meet-and-greet and how you found out that that young man was killed?
JOHN RICH, MUSICIAN: Yes, so my aunt back in Tennessee, she's a former schoolteacher, and, matter of fact, she's teaching again, my aunt Brenda (ph), right?
She never asked for anything, and she had e-mailed me and said, hey, my best friend's son is coming to Las Vegas. His name is Sonny Melton, and he would really like to meet you before the show. He's coming to his first Big & Rich show, and he's all excited.
I said, you got it. So we hooked him up with meet-and-greet passes. He came back. We shook his hand. You could see just this wide-eyed look on his face. He was excited to be back there to meet Big & Rich and be a part of this great music festival.
And I got word that he had become a casualty in this shooting back through my family members, so back through that aunt that had originally asked for me to get him back there. So it just goes on and on.
The country music fans and country artists like ourselves and country radio stations, it is a very tight-knit group of people. We know a lot of these fans personally, we know their names, we know their faces. We talk to them on social media a lot. We do a lot of these meet-and-greets.
And fan interaction from the stage is a really big thing with our shows in country music. So to see these folks going through what they are going through, it is like literally watching your own family. We know them. We know what their jobs are, we know where they come from.
At this show, this was not just people from Las Vegas or Nevada. There were people there from California, Arizona, Tennessee. Sonny Melton was from Tennessee. There were people all the way from Canada that had come to this show.
And I think when you see that image of 22,000 people singing "God Bless America" holding their iPhones up in the air and lighting up the sky in Las Vegas...
RICH: ... that's one of the most unifying, most pure American moments you can possibly have. And if there was ever a stark transition, a stark reality between good and evil, you witnessed it right there in those two events.
BALDWIN: It is senseless.
But talking to four young people last hour, they just -- they were sitting there, with their T-shirts from The festival line and they just said to me, listen, we love our country music. Country music is countrywide, and they just were saying, we want to continue on with our lives and try not to be afraid.
Big & Rich, it is senseless. And I'm so sorry, but I'm glad the two of you are OK. Thank you so much for your time.
I have got to hop back now over to Puerto Rico.
Our correspondent Leyla Santiago is standing by with an interview with the mayor of San Juan.
Leyla, the floor is yours. What did she say? LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, she's actually
joining me right now for the first time since she wrapped up the briefing with President Trump.
Of course, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz had a back-and-forth on Twitter before today with the president, the president being very critical.
Today, you were finally face-to-face with President Trump. There was an exchange. I saw you shook his hand. Tell me about that exchange.
What did you say?
CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: Well, I told him: "Mr. President, this is about saving lives. It's not about politics."
And that's the only interaction that mayors had with him. Basically, the productive part of the meeting was the second part, where we got to meet with White House staff. And I truly believe that they finally saw the connection or the disconnect between what they were hearing on the one hand and the reality of what is happening on the ground, not only from myself, but from other mayors that are confronting the same situations that I have been talking about for the past two weeks.
SANTIAGO: So, you're saying there were two parts to this meeting.
SANTIAGO: One with President Trump and one without, just his White House staff?
SANTIAGO: Now, in the first part, where he was present, he made some pretty strong remarks. He talked about the budget, that Puerto Rico is sort of throwing the budget out of whack. He even compared what is happening here to a real catastrophe like Katrina.
When you heard that, you were sitting in that room. You have been criticized by him before.
SANTIAGO: What went through your mind as the mayor of the capital here?
CRUZ: Well, look, I think it just goes to prove the lack of sensibility.
You're coming to a place where people are expecting you -- to be comforted. And they are expecting you, frankly, to speak as to which actions are going to happen.
And that is what happened on the second part.
When I heard him say -- and I quote -- "Puerto Rico, you have thrown our budget out of whack for all the money we have spent here," that doesn't make you feel good.
And, again, this is about two things. It's about respect for the Puerto Rican people, and it's about saving lives.
So, I really felt that the productive part of everything was the second part, where I got to meet with people from the Office of Management and Budget. Small business administrator was very, very kind and very astute.
And there's things that I asked for, and I know that Mayita Melendez, the mayor of Ponce, also asked for.
SANTIAGO: What did you ask for?
CRUZ: One is the $350 million that the fiscal control board took for the next two years from the mayors, give it back.
This was money that was taken from cities to pay the debt. And it crippled our ability to deal with situations like this.
Two, let's adapt the standard operating procedures to our reality. We don't have connectivity. We don't have phone lines. So, don't keep telling people to just register on the phone.
Three, we get some CDBG funds and home funds. Give us some flexibility to put all that money into one pot and use it in order to rebuild homes.
Four, we need a robust center -- centers of distribution, a robust supply chain that is not only robust, but it's also consistent.
What is happening right now, and what I heard from the five mayors that were there, is exactly what I have been talking about. You get one pallet of water today.
CRUZ: You don't get one for the next week.