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Las Vegas Gunman Aimed at Festivities; Russia Probe Counsel Not Distracted by Events. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired October 5, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: We're showing new clues in the investigation of the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Here is what we're learning right now. Gunman Stephen Paddock may have been casing other possible targets before he even checked into the Mandalay Bay, he rented an Airbnb room at a Las Vegas condo that overlooked the life is beautiful music festival.
And back in August a person named Stephen Paddock reserved a room in Chicago overlooking the Lollapalooza festival. What we know for sure. The deadly chaos the gunman he unleashed when he fired on the Route 91 Harvest Festival Sunday night. This video shows the heroic efforts to save the wounded and I warn you, it is graphic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring the guy in the chair with a chest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And one there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here. Come in here. Come on this side, on this side right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go in there. Go in there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has to stay with me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lay down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has to stay with me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come with me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We've got some people -- I'm taking shot, people. I'm taking the people who are shot, dude. Where is the guy with the double shots? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know for sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has a through and through in his arm and he has a shot in both sides.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Anybody else?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more. One more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in the truck. Get in the truck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get behind the wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not right this second. Hang on a second. What's that? Give it to him, OK, this is important, OK? Have we got a driver for this thing? I'm sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, bud. Load up a few more...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got you, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Load it up with a few more and then we've got to handle...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We got a couple more. I'll go get a few more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Boy, it is shocking video. I want to bring in now CNN's Alex Marquardt who is live for us in Las Vegas tonight. Alex, good evening to you. The latest tonight?
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Don, there is some troubling new developments in this case. The first that as you mentioned off the top there that Stephen Paddock may have been scouting out other major concert venues where he could have carried out this massacre.
As we all know he ended up settling on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 people. But two weeks ago, we know that he rented a room at the Ogden Hotel. It's a condo and he went it through Airbnb from a private owner. From that vantage point he could see another concert venue, the Life is Beautiful Festival, another three-day festival over the weekend of September 22nd. Much bigger than the Harvest Festival. Around a hundred thousand
people attending. Some huge acts like Lord and Chance the rapper. Thankfully we know that nothing happened at that festival.
But we're also finding out now that a man by the same name, Stephen Paddock, got a hotel room in Chicago in August, the same time as the Lollapalooza music festival. That's held in Grant Park every summer, and the room was, again, overlooking Grant Park.
Now, we have not confirmed that the Stephen Paddock who got the room is the same Stephen Paddock who carried out this massacre. What we do know is that the person who got that room never showed up. So, chilling nonetheless the possibility that this, that Stephen Paddock might have been going around scouting out these different locations. Don?
LEMON: Alex Marquardt with the latest on the investigation, live in Las Vegas. Thank you, Alex. I want to bring in now CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick, Chris Swecker, the former FBI assistant director for the criminal investigative division, and Sam Rabadi, retired special agent in charge of the ATF in Philadelphia.
Art, you first. I mean, we keep getting lots of information, especially coming from these press briefings. Law enforcement officials who have been briefed on this investigation told CNN on Thursday that they had no knowledge of an accomplice for Paddock. But then when you see Sheriff Lombardo in there saying that let's assume that Paddock had some help. Is this a difference in terminology, help, you know, versus, help versus knowing accomplice?
ART RODERICK, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, CNN: It could be but it's almost like the sheriff is dropping hints. He dropped hints that there was a message left inside the suite that he was in when he started shooting.
So, I mean, his press conferences have been somewhat confusing at times. But what's really interesting here is this case gets more complicated every single day. Now we know that he that he, you know, scoped out other locations.
You know, probably decided on this particular location because the Life is Beautiful concert, I think that was too close, but that one building he was looking at was basically right on top of it and the individuals would have been able to see where the rounds were coming from a lot quicker.
He wouldn't have been able to play on the panic of the people as he did when he fired from the Mandalay Bay location. So, this gets more complicated every single day. This is going to be an interesting case to find out exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it.
[22:05:04] LEMON: Usually in these cases there is some clue by now as to what it was, if it was directly terror, they'd know it.
RODERICK: I mean, we've covered so many of these at this point.
RODERICK: Usually within 24 to 48 hours we have a motive.
LEMON: Chris, to you first. You know, if not a suicide note, what else do you think the note left behind could be?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Well, it could be his plans. We know him to be meticulous. He's an accountant. We now know he was considering a variety of targets. So it wouldn't be unusual for him to write some notes down to himself. Maybe a note to his girlfriend.
You know, we're getting drips and drags from the sheriff here and I think we're seeing just the tip of the iceberg and I doubt very seriously if the FBI is going to tell him anything they don't want leaked out to the press. I think they know that he's a pretty quick conduit out to the press.
But I believe the FBI knows a lot more than what's coming out right now. I think they have a pretty good sense of the motive and a lot of his movements and some of the things that have gone on over the last couple of months.
LEMON: Hey, Chris, before I get to Sam, I mean, what are the odds that you have, you know, someone with the same name checking into trying to check into hotels that overlook venues? I mean, it could happen, but I mean, what are the odds of that?
SWECKER: Yes. I think the odds there are astronomical. I think a good investigative speedy sense would tell you that that's him.
SWECKER: And I think we're going to find out that it was.
LEMON: And speaking of that, let's just give the dates. Alex reported, Sam, that we know he was in Las Vegas on September 22nd to the 25th. Staying in a condo. It was across from this Life is Beautiful music festival.
What do you think that was? So if it was indeed him, do you think he was casing the place? Could this musical festival, could that have been his original target?
SAM RABADI, ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Sure. You know, in looking at all the different items that he had with him over the last few days, the variety of the high-powered rifles, the bump stock, the information we now have about the approximately 50 pounds of Tannerite, you know, it's interesting to note that Tannerite remained in the car.
I kind of feel that he probably had some additional plans with the Tannerite, whether it was to be used in the scope of a vehicle borne improvised explosive device or even just having it in the containers and being able to detonate it in the vicinity of that concert area to inflict even more damage of the concertgoers or simply to even create chaos.
So I believe just from everything that we're seeing he was pretty methodical and just trying to plan out what was the best way to get the highest body count.
LEMON: All right. Art, and that's just something that you carry around, right.
RODERICK: No. I mean, we said from day one what's he doing with this stuff in his vehicle? I mean, you don't just buy it and leave it in your car and then drive around in Las Vegas with it with Tannerite.
RODERICK: I mean, we've seen what that can do. That will create a nice little crater for you.
LEMON: Yes. Hey, Chris, we received more stunning video today of the shooting. First as we look at it, what stands out to you and second, how will law enforcement use all of these videos to help in training? Because they have to be using these.
SWECKER: Yes. I mean, we have -- they have so much video to work with. They've got the hotel video from the hallways, from the elevator, from the entrance to the hotel. They have all the amateur video. They have the venue video. They've got a lot to work with here.
We're going to get an incredible amount of detail when they pull this whole montage together and they build that mosaic of what happened from a to z.
And I watched the evidence response team today from across the street, looked to me like there were at least two or three teams just going through every -- they've gridded out that fairgrounds. They're going through every step there. They're going to know exactly how many shots were fired. They're going to know everything about this case.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate your expertise. More breaking news tonight. We're learning that the east side casino gun show that was planned in Las Vegas this weekend has now been canceled. Officials saying it was a mutual decision with the show's organizers.
When we come back, much more on the gunman who unleashed a deadly attack on thousands of concertgoers in Las Vegas. His high roller casino life and what the FBI may have learned from talking to his girlfriend.
Plus, a CNN exclusive. Robert Mueller's team finally meets with the man behind the infamous Russia dossier full of salacious details. What does a former British spy know about possible Russian collusion.
[22:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: There is more breaking news in the investigation of the Vegas massacre. The gunman's hair stylist revealing what he told her several weeks ago.
CNN's Kyung Lah talked to her exclusively. Kyung joins me now. Good evening, Kyung. You spoke with Stephen Paddock's hairdresser today. What did she tell you?
KYUNG LAH, SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The reason why we're interested in what she had to say, Don, is because it helps build a timeline, what he was doing in the weeks and the months before this rampage.
We met Kallie Beig. She is a hairdresser in his hometown in Mesquite, Nevada. This is where the gunman had his primary residents. She works at the Great Clips and she says that she didn't directly engage the girlfriend.
The person she dealt with primarily, the one she spoke with was the gunman. From the period of the summer 2015 to 2017, she says she came in three times. Other people in the saloon also saw him and the girlfriend there, and when she spoke to him she said she didn't see necessarily any red flags but he was memorable.
She said he recalls that he told her two months, the last month she cut his hair, two months before this rampage that he was planning on sending his girlfriend to the Philippines and he would be alone for a while. Here is what he told her.
LAH: So the last time you saw him.
KALLIE BEIG, STEPHEN PADDOCK'S HAIRDRESSER: Yes. Yes. I remember the last time I saw him. The last time I saw him was probably only two months ago. It was just about two months ago.
[22:14:59] He came in and he got his haircut and again, smelled of alcohol. And his girlfriend was with him. And again, just kind of doing her thing and he sat down and was telling me about her leaving to go to the Philippines and he was going to be home alone hanging out for a while by himself. But you know, it wasn't -- it wasn't anything weird or it wasn't anything that seemed off.
LAH: One thing she did notice as well is that you know how close you are to your barber or your hairdresser. When she put that cape on him to right before the haircut she noticed that he did always smell of alcohol. That was notable to her because she was working the morning shift. The store opened around 8 or 9 a.m.
And he said that he had been gambling all night and she could smell the scent of hard alcohol on him, whiskey. She says all of this has been extraordinarily upsetting, Don, just because of her proximity to this and what happened two months later. Don? LEMON: Absolutely. Thank you so much for that, Kyung Lah.
Now I want to bring in Mary Ellen O'Toole, a former senior FBI profiler, and Anthony Cutis, a professional gambler and publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor. Good evening to both of you. Thanks for coming on.
Marry Ellen, still so many questions tonight, but we are getting a profile of Paddock as a gambler. A New York Times article described Paddock's video poker playing like this.
It says, "For experts like Mr. Paddock who had played the game for 25 years, his brother said, each hand required only a few seconds of time. Ten hands could be played in a minute. The computer kept track of the financial tally. It is a game of coldly calculated probabilities played without hunches or emotion."
So, without hunches or emotion. You also say extremely high risk. You see extremely how risk, how does that fit with his profile, Mary?
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER SENIOR FBI PROFILER: Well, it's consistent with the behavior that we saw displayed in the crime scene. I mean, just the tremendous amount of damage that he was inflicting on the people below, and that was so very cold and callous behavior, and he was able to continue to do it for upwards of nine or ten minutes, which also suggests that he was, you know, cool, calm, collected and very laser -- very laser focused on what he was doing.
And he was able to think methodically going from window to window and swapping out weapons. So the same kinds of behavior that he displayed while he was gambling seemed to also be displayed while he was committing the crime itself.
LEMON: Mary Ellen, the hairdresser, I'm sure you heard Kyung's report just before, the hairdresser mentioning them on two occasions he smelled of alcohol. Does that have any significance here?
O'TOOLE: Well, as I was listening to that I thought he had been up all night drinking and that's interesting because he was -- if he does that routinely, then he's still able to engage in high risk behavior where he could stand to lose thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars and he's using alcohol at the same time.
And so just to be able to continue to do that high risk behavior while he's compromised I think really shows his ability to function under stress. I also thought it was -- it was important to note that he made a comment two months before he even apparently bought the airline ticket that Marilou was going out of town and he says that right in front of another woman.
So his disregard for Marilou seemed to come out in that particular situation. Whether or not Marilou even heard it or not just to say that to another woman.
LEMON: Yes. Anthony, you know people who know Paddock. What are they telling you about him? How good of a gambler was he? ANTHONY CURTIS, PUBLISHER, LAS VEGAS ADVISOR: It's very difficult to
tell how good he was just on, you know, observation, seeing him play. You don't stand over somebody's shoulder and watch what they're doing.
The level he was playing, he was definitely playing at a high level. He appears to have been well studied. I publish gambling products and he's on our mail list and he had bought products from us. Very significantly, tutorial type products for sure.
LEMON: Let's talk about the type of games that he played. What type of games did he play? How much money are we talking about? Was he making a living off of this or doing it for the comps? What was going on?
CURTIS: Well, here is the interesting thing about video poker. Video poker is one of the few games in a casino where you can make a living off of it. You can get to the expert and professional level where you actually can make more than you lose. Was this guy able to do it? I don't think so.
It looks to me like he was playing at a high level, a high enough level to be a high roller in the casino and in the VIP program. And he feasted off the comps, the things that he got.
[22:19:59] I would guess that he was a net loser overtime. He was playing good games and he was studied, so probably not too much compared to the comps that he was getting.
LEMON: Mary Ellen, also according to the New York Times, the room at the Mandalay Bay was calm and Paddock called security to complain about the noise, country music coming from the room below him twice the night before that shooting. Does that tell you anything about his confidence level at that hotel?
O'TOOLE: It really does. And it also...
CURTIS: Well, he -- sorry.
O'TOOLE: ... lends itself to the idea that that may have been why the house cleaners who knew him, if he had stayed at that house -- that hotel before, had not questioned the fact that he had multiple suitcases there.
I mean, he was a familiar entity there at that hotel, and it certainly also suggests that the comps that he got and his treatment from that hotel, because he was a gambler, that was extremely important to him. He got status from that. And I think that that was one of the reasons that he continually came back because of those perks.
LEMON: Anthony, what did you want to say?
CURTIS: I agree. I think that the status and the perks were very important to him. There were certain players that do play for a living. There are certain players that play advocationally. And they, you know, for them it's the comps. For them it's the extras. Gor them it's being a big shot. It sounds like he was -- Paddock was a player of that ilk.
LEMON: Did anybody tell you about any incident that happened to him over the last year that might trigger this, Anthony?
CURTIS: No. The people that knew him that I know that knew him sort of ran across him by running in the same circles. They said he was very quiet. You know, we were talking earlier about the alcohol. They said he drank a lot, but he did not interact much with other people. But that's not really -- that's not abnormal for people in the high roller realm. They tend to be sort of introverted and keep to themselves.
LEMON: Anthony and Mary Ellen, thank you both. I appreciate it. This terrible attack cut down so many people in the prime of their lives. Brian Fraser was a father of four from La Palma, California. One of his sons said Brian was too good for this world. His favorite singer, Jason Aldean, was playing his favorite song when shots rang out.
Denise Cohen was from Carpinteria, California, was at the festival with her boyfriend Beau Taylor (Ph). She was active in her church. They both lost their lives. Austin Davis from Riverside, California leaves behind a girlfriend of nine years. He was at the concert with a friend and her family.
The friend's father, Thomas Day Jr. was also killed.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
Breaking news, a CNN exclusive. We're learning the special counsel in the Russia probe met with a former British spy who put together a controversial dossier about Russia collusion.
CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez broke the story along with Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown. And Evan joins me right now. Evan, what are we learning?
EVAN PEREZ, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Don, investigators working with special counsel Robert Mueller met this past summer with Christopher Steele. Steele, as you remember is the former MI-6 officer who put together a series of memos detailing Russian efforts to help Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Now, the special counsel as we all know is working to determine whether any of the series of contacts between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives broke U.S. law. We don't know what information Steele may been able to provide to Mueller's team, but we do know that Steele has previously provided the FBI information to try to verify some of the sources that he used to put together that dossier.
We're also learning, Don, that late last year top officials at the FBI, the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence discussed actually using parts of this Steele dossier in that official intelligence document that detailed the Russian meddling. Sources tell us that the intelligence community didn't want to include
it because they didn't want to explain that parts of the dossier that they had been able to corroborate. They also were concerned about revealing sources and methods that they had used to do that.
So, you know, while the President Trump has called the dossier a hoax, among other things, it appears his intelligence agencies at least have a different view, Don.
LEMON: Evan Perez, thank you very much for that. I want to bring in now CNN contributor Frank Bruni, op-ed columnist for the New York Times. Good evening.
FRANK BRUNI, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Hey.
LEMON: Doing OK? What are your thoughts on this new reporting?
BRUNI: Well, you know, the Mueller probe from the beginning has been extremely comprehensive. And so it doesn't surprise me to hear that this conversation took place. I think that we forget because other news events come along that this Russia probe is very much alive.
But, you know, it's clear every time we get a news bulletin like that that Mueller is taking his job very, very seriously, that he's casting his net wide. You know, he's staffed up with top attorneys at the beginning. So this is something not to forget about, keep an eye on.
LEMON: Absolutely. Let's move on and let's talk about the horrible events in Las Vegas because the NRA is now coming out in the wake of another mass murder calling for a review of the times of weapons used.
And here's what they're saying. They're saying, "The National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices design to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations." And they're talking about the device.
BRUNI: The bump clip.
LEMON: The bump stock. Is that an attempt, do you think, to dodge legislation on Capitol Hill by asking the ATF to handle it? Are they putting this off on someone else?
BRUNI: A 100 percent, yes. They're not calling for legislation. They're calling from regulation from, you know, something within a federal government they assume is going to be friendly to them.
On top of which this is a no-brainer, you know. Who could possibly oppose this device that turns a semiautomatic into something much more deadly? I worry that by coming out and saying we're willing to do something about this by getting republican lawmakers to do the same it will mean that nothing beyond it happens. That they will use doing this as a way to say, we're not intransigent.
We want to -- we want to solve problems when our gun control problems, I mean, our gun problems are much, much bigger than this. And the gun control measure we should be considering go well beyond this.
[22:30:00] LEMON: Well, that's the one thing that everyone is saying, you know, people are saying, well, at least they're talking about gun legislation. But not really. They're talking about this one particular thing which by the way is selling out. I don't know if you can even get it online.
BRUNI: Well, that's right. And retailers have been embarrassing some of them stop selling it.
[22:30:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Well, that's the one thing that everyone is saying, you know, people are saying, well, at least they're talking about gun legislation, but not really. They're talking about this one particular thing which by the way is selling out. I don't know if you can even get it online.
FRANK BRUNI, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, that's right. And retailers have been embarrassed and some of them have stopped selling it. But you're exactly right. This is such a discreet, tiny thing it. It happens to be crucial to this particular horrible massacre.
But it's a very, very small part of our problem. And so this gives people an opportunity to say, hey, I am flexible. I will do this. There's a lot more we need to talk about.
LEMON: But the public is much more open to legislation and to working on issues as it pertains to guns and what kind of guns should be available and what sort of equipment should be available with those guns than the actual lawmakers.
BRUNI: Right. Being open to something and voting on that issue are two very, very different things.
LEMON: Yes. OK. In your piece today, here is what you write. You said, God bless America where a whole class of sellouts, Donald Trump, prime among them, lack the character -- hang on, I don't have my glasses on -- lack the character to stand up to the death merchants of the National Rifle Association.
At the group's April convention, Trump told them, "You came through big for me and I am going to come through for you. Tit for tat and forget about the lives potentially sacrificed to the deal." It doesn't sound like you have much hope that anything is going to change when it comes to gun control or gun laws.
BRUNI: How can anybody who has been watching this for years have any hope. You know, five years ago we saw 20 school children killed. That same year, if my calendar is correct, we saw a Democratic congresswoman in Arizona shot down. More recently we saw a Republican congressman in the Washington, D.C. area shot down.
Please tell me about the meaningful gun reforms, restrictions we've seen in the wakes of these tragedies. We haven't. So I don't think the number 58 is suddenly going to change anything.
LEMON: It's interesting because this happened on Sunday. I mean, this is just day four and, you know, usually when these things first started to happen like after Columbine and there was another shooting, and there's shooting, and another shooting. You know, there would be nationwide outrage for two weeks, sometimes three weeks.
LEMON: It's been three or four days and it seems that the public sentiment and the outcry is sort of moving on. Have we become immune to it? What's happening here?
BRUNI: I think part of it is we're becoming (INAUDIBLE) is the news cycle is now so rapid, the metabolism of it. And so it's up to people like you and me to keep people focused on it, to keep showing them the numbers.
This country is exceptional not only in the number of guns it has but the number of people who die every year from gun violence. We are well beyond any other country like us. And the fact that we don't look at that and say we have got to attack that as aggressively as possible.
This is not something we want to lead the world in. I don't understand why we can't stay focused on that and just take some very sensible steps.
LEMON: I said it earlier in the week and I'll say it now. Every time I hear it and I see more video of it, it makes me angry because I can't believe that we give someone that much power, someone who is not wearing a badge or a uniform, that much power to take that many lives in moments.
LEMON: It's unbelievable.
BRUNI: Right. I mean, this fetish for the Second Amendment, I mean, we seem to care not that much about the Fist Amendment these days, but the Second Amendment.
LEMON: Yes. I haven't met one person who is anti-Second Amendment. I think the thing is when people say we should talk about gun legislation and you know, what's smart and what's not, you're anti-the Second Amendment, you know. You're a left wing loon. That has nothing to do with it. It's Second Amendment.
BRUNI: But it's a ludicrous thing for anyone to say because that amendment, the words in that amendment were written at a much different era. They did not anticipate the circumstance we're talking about now. That amendment is not about what we're seeing, dozens and dozens of firearms that can be made into automatic weapons, you know, in someone's hotel room. That amendment was about a hedge against government tyranny. That's not --
LEMON: -- the possibility of drones being able to fire, that sort of, I mean, you know --
BRUNI: So it's a really easy how to say but the Second Amendment, but the Second Amendment.
LEMON: Yes. Whether it's a catastrophic hurricane or a mass murder or ratcheting up tensions with the Iran president, President Trump can't seem to resist tweeting. And he says, why isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the fake news networks in our country to see why so much of our news is just made up, fake.
John Kelly was supposed to rein in his message. I don't know if he knows what the actual fake news is and he's actually been the purveyor of what is actually fake news. So what's going on?
BRUNI: You and I know what his definition of fake news is. It's news that he doesn't like. It's news that's unflattering to Donald Trump. I mean he was just saying a couple of days ago that it was fakes news that Rex Tillerson called him a moron, but everyone is reporting (INAUDIBLE) that out and anybody that's been watching the serial humiliation from Rex Tillerson can absolutely believe that Rex Tillerson called him a moron.
LEMON: Starting, I mean, Flynn was fake news.
BRUNI: Everything's fake news.
LEMON: Scaramucci was fake news. The -- what's his name -- Sean Spicer was fake news. A number of the people who have been let go from the White House, oh, I have confidence, its fake news.
LEMON: So what's real news?
BRUNI: If we went back and
[22:35:00] looked at every claim of fake news he had made and then saw within days or weeks was it proven true or false, I'm a 100 percent sure that his fake news cries would all be clearly just Donald Trump mouthing off because he doesn't like the coverage he's getting.
LEMON: It's amazing something I've noticed is, you know what projection is, right.
LEMON: He will say something about someone else or an event or have an observation about something and then the -- it will show, it will come to fruition that is ultimately about him, about e-mails and about whatever. It's on and on and on.
BRUNI: A 100 percent. He's a projectionist. I mean, Crooked Hillary, Donald Trump's got plenty of crooked in him. Low energy Jeb. How much time is Donald Trump spending at his weekend retreats and his golf courses? It seems like almost everything that he says about someone else, you know, that he tries to hang on them is what he fears he is or what he knows deep down he is.
LEMON: Do you think there's projection somehow going on with the Russia investigation?
BRUNI: In terms of?
LEMON: In terms of him saying that it is fake news when he says, you know, this Russia thing, I don't know anything about Russia. That's how he says it. Do you think there's any sort of projection when it comes to that that he knows that -- because he said going into my finances, that's a red line.
BRUNI: Right. Well, I think he doesn't want anyone there. But B, I think he's scared, you know, because this is -- this investigation gathers steam as we were talking about earlier, it's being taken very, very seriously by the special counsel. You see this all the time.
I think he doesn't know what they'll find and he's trying to condition the public to believe that no matter what comes out, it's not credible.
LEMON: All right. Frank Bruni, thank you. I appreciate it.
When we come back, we're going to talk about the hero who saved his girlfriend's life after she was shot in the heart during the Las Vegas massacre. He's going to join us, next.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: There are so many stories of bravery and heroism amid the carnage of the Las Vegas shooting -- people springing into action to save those who are wounded. One of them is Kelly Culbertson, an EMT who saved the life of his girlfriend, Christina, who had been shot in the heart. Kelly joins me now. Thank you so much for joining us. How is Christina doing tonight?
KELLY CULBERTSON, SAVED GIRLFRIEND DURIN G VEGAS SHOOTING: Tonight she's doing really well. She did have her second surgery for her to repair her humerus and she's just resting right now.
LEMON: How are you dealing with this?
CULBERTSON: Slowly. I have -- a lot of my family is here. A lot of her family is here as well as some of her friends and mutual friends that we have. And the support group that we've had here has been amazing. Not only that but everyone in Las Vegas here has been amazingly accommodating as well.
LEMON: Yes, absolutely. I just left there this morning and I can attest to that. Do you mind taking us through when you heard the gunshots, just tell us what you saw and heard and then we'll move on and talk about the people who are helping.
CULBERTSON: OK. Well, when the first set -- I don't know if other people have said it, but to me it sounded a lot like firecrackers. So we heard the firecracker and noticed a lot of people move out of the way in front of us and I thought it was kind of interesting to bring firecrackers to a festival and we kind of went from there.
Unfortunately, there was another set of that same sounding firecrackers and it dawned on my girlfriend that it was no longer easy for her to breathe. So we ended up looking at her and that's when I noticed that she had gotten shot. So we hit -- all four of us hit the ground and kind of covered over her so, that's what we ended up seeing.
LEMON: You're a firefighter and EMT and you --
CULBERTSON: I am.
LEMON: -- said that your skills immediately kicked in once you realized what had happened. Talk to me about that.
CULBERTSON: So a lot of the things that we need to do is we're hoping for the best, but preparing for the worse. And with that it was a conglomeration of a lot of efforts on a lot of people that were already there. There were four of us in total. I was actually with two other firefighters, and we covered up one of the places that we saw.
One of the other people that was with me, she had told me, hey, cover- up her lung right here on her left-hand side and I did covered over her and made sure she was OK and we all kind of crowded over her to protect her as much as we can, try to protect ourselves.
And one of the people there, he ended up getting shot in the foot. And then we heard the stopping of that and from there we ended up just moving her to cover, which was going to be one of the emergent stalls. Covered her up. Another barrage of the firecrackers started going out and we ended up finding another little beer cart that was off to the side. Cleared off the beer cart, we picked her up, put her on the beer cart and we ended up finding a truck that was outside and ready to go.
LEMON: And that's how you finally got her to safety because she was shot in the arm and into her heart and lung and that's how you got her to safety is on the beer cart, correct.
LEMON: Doctors say it's a miracle that she survived and I'm sure that you're very happy about that, but I mean, those types of wounds, you've been out there. You know.
CULBERTSON: Yes, sir.
LEMON: To have her life right now is just incredible.
CULBERTSON: It's breathtaking to say the least. And I'm definitely very happy that she's still here.
LEMON: Let's talk about --
CULBERTSON: Beyond that and there's no words for it.
LEMON: How people can help. The Go Fund Me page set up to help Christina and her family with medical costs. I had been talking to people who say that this won't deter them from going, and we have the page up right now. It won't deter them from going to music festivals or outdoor events. Do you feel the same?
CULBERSON: I'll be more cognizant about it. I think I'll be a little bit more aware of my surroundings, I guess.
[22:45:00] I mean, worst case -- this is the worst case scenario, but I feel like I'm going to be a little bit more skittish around a lot of these festivals. Would I like to go to another one? Eventually.
LEMON: Yes. Well Kelly, thank you for what you did. Thank you for coming on and give our best to Christina and everyone else, all the other friends that you were with. Thank you so much.
CULBERTSON: Thank you for the support. Really appreciate it.
LEMON: When we come back, another harrowing story from the Vegas shooting, a family enjoying the concert suddenly showered with bullets. The father shot in the leg. The son directing people to safety. The family tells me their story, next.
LEMON: I want to bring in CNN's Stephanie Elam now live from Las Vegas with an incredibly story of a hero in the midst of Sunday's massacre. Good evening to you, Stephanie. You spoke to an off-duty firefighter who was at the concert, jumped into action help save people. What did he tell you?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Don, you hear these stories and we know that there were a lot of off-duty first responders that were there but getting to hear their stories, you just feel it in your chest when you hear what they were going through.
[22:50:00] Clark County firefighter Travis Haldeman was there with his friends, with his wife, Haley, enjoying the concert. They're big country music fans, having a good time when they first thought it was fireworks like many other people did when they heard the gunfire start off and then they realized it wasn't that. And so Travis knew he had to get his wife to safety.
Haley ran but he stayed and he stayed and while there were still bullets being rained down on that concert venue site, he managed to pull three people to safety and bring them into the medical tent and there's one in particular that he bonded with, this young woman who was shot in the back. Take a listen to what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRAVIS HALDEMAN, FIREFIGHTER, CLARK COUNTY: The three that I was taking care of, the most severe was the woman who was shot in the lower back right midline. Her feeling in her legs was really touch and go at times. She was very scared and nervous, as anyone would be in that situation.
ELAM: Was she by herself?
HALDEMAN: At this time, yes. This little 18-year-old girl just by herself. While I'm treating her, her father, who had just got done taking other people to the hospital in the back of his pickup truck, unbeknownst to him that his daughter had been shot, showed up in the medical tent. I insisted that we needed to wait for a backboard. This wound was way too close to what could be real damage.
So, her father went off and it was a real quick moment later, he showed up with an actual backboard. From where, I'll never understand. I think that's a miracle in itself. We put her on the backboard, picked her up and loaded her in the back of his pickup truck. I jumped in the back with her and we left the venue on our way to the hospital.
I just got word from her stepdad who actually is one of my brother's on the Clark County Fire Department, that she stood up for the first time yesterday so, that was a really, really cool, uplifting moment. I cried about (INAUDIBLE) but it was not because I'm sad. It's because I'm so, so proud of her for being that strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: It's hard not to be moved every time I hear that, and Haley put it the best, his wife saying that some people needed to be heroes and some people need heroes that night. And I've talked to so many first responders and they all hate the word hero. They all hate it. But no doubt about it, Travis was cool, calm, collected in that moment and without him, that 18-year-old, whose name is Riley Goldguard (ph), without him, she might not have made it. It may have been a different story. But she's on the path to recovery, Don.
LEMON: Wow. How are they dealing, Steph, with the trauma after all of this?
ELAM: Well, the one thing that I can tell you is that they have each other and they seem to have a very strong bond, the time that I spent with them today, and that's very helpful. They've got family here around them, they've got the firefighting family around them as well and talking about it has really helped them and that's something they feel very strongly about, that the people who have been there that were at the venue.
That they talk to somebody, they find a way to heal, to get it out and speak about it. Haley really feeling very strongly about that as well, that this is something that people need to go out and get the help that you need and that is something that they've been doing and surrounding themselves with comfort and love. And you know what else is interesting Don, too, they also say they love country music. They're not going to not go to concerts. They will still be out there living their lives. They're not going to live their lives in fear because of this event.
LEMON: Stephanie Elam, appreciate it. Thank you so much.
We're learning much more tonight about some of the 58 people who lost their lives in Sunday's massacre. Dana Gardner, her family says she stood for everything good in the world. She leaves behind three children, two grandchildren, her three sisters, her mother and father among other family and friends.
Thirty-one year-old Carrie Parsons was also killed in the shooting. Her aunt, Barbara Parsons, said she was the life of the party and had the biggest heart.
[22:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Tropical Storm Nate taking aim at Louisiana and the Gulf Coast this weekend. Our meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, tracking the storm in the weather center. Derek, here we go again. What's the latest?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, just literally within the past 90 seconds, the National Hurricane Center hoisting hurricane watches from the central Louisiana coast eastward all the way to the Mississippi and Alabama border. This includes New Orleans as well as Lake Pontchartrain. There are tropical storm watches extending further east and that just outside of the Panama City region.
That information is new to us. We don't even have the graphics prepared to show you so I'm verbally telling you what is the latest here from the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Storm Nate not looking that convincing on satellite as we speak but looks can be deceiving. The storm has now just exited the coast of Honduras.
It is moving over warm, open waters across the Caribbean. And I want to show you this graphic because this is one of the latest ensembles, the European models, and it's showing a high probability of tropical storm force winds at the minimum for the Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama coast, especially as we head into Saturday night overnight period and into the day on Sunday.
So that is the timeframe we are looking for across the Gulf Coast states. But in the mediate term, the short term here for Honduras, Nicaragua, life-threatening flooding in the next 24 hours. We have tropical storm to hurricane-force winds for the Yucatan Peninsula that includes Cozumel and into Cancun. And then again, as we head into the day on Sunday, that's where we expect a potential Category 1 hurricane impacting the Gulf Coast states.
[23:00:00] A lot to monitor here Don to say the least. Here we go again.
LEMON: All right, I know you're on top of it. Thank you very much, Derek Van Dam. We appreciate it. This is "CNN Tonight." I am Don Lemon. It is just past -- it's 11:00 as a matter of fact from the east coast.