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Three Green Berets Killed in Niger Ambush; Senate Intelligence Committee Looking for Hint of Collusion; Son Remembers Mother Killed in Shooting. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired October 5, 2017 - 10:30   ET



[10:30:58] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Breaking overnight U.S. Special Forces attacked in Africa while conducting counterterror operations. Three members of the Green Beret killed, two others injured. This was in an ambush near the Mali-Niger border.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Now the Pentagon says they are searching for the attackers.

Let's go to the Pentagon, our correspondent Barbara Starr joins us.

What happened and any trace this morning of those that carried out this attack?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the word that everybody is waiting for, John and Poppy, good morning. Very significant developments overnight. As you say, three U.S. Green Berets killed in action, two wounded, the wounded have been evacuated to Landstuhl military hospital in Germany where so many from the front lines have been treated over the years. They are said to be in stable condition.

This team of Green Berets was working with local Nigerian forces in this remote area. Their mission out there is to help advise and assist local forces to go against al Qaeda elements and other insurgent elements that the local forces are trying to fight in this remote area of west Africa. It's been an ongoing mission because it's such a remote area. It's not publicized a lot. A lot of people don't know that U.S. troops are out there, but they have been there in small teams off and on over the years and it is a mission with some risk.

Right now, what we know, is that U.S. and other forces in the region are conducting and continuing to conduct operations at this hour. They are looking for whoever perpetrated the attack against them.

We're not getting any word from the Pentagon yet on anything further about how that part of the operation is going. But very, very difficult there for the Green Berets and those military families this morning. Three U.S. military members killed in action in this very remote area -- John, Poppy.

HARLOW: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, please keep us posted. Thank you for that. [10:35:02] Meantime, the Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence

Committee says there is still a lot more work to do to try to figure out whether there was any collusion with the Russians during the 2016 election.

BERMAN: The committee says it's expanding its probe with plans to conduct more than two dozen new interviews. This after they reached a conclusion that the intelligence community did months and months ago that Russia did, in fact, meddle in the 2016 election.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz joins us from Washington with the very latest -- Shimon.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, that's right, John. So the two leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee really offered no big reveal yesterday in their press conference. As they say they are unable to answer the key question of collusion. The committee as you say has interviewed over 100 people and say they plan to continue interviews and now the new issue for them is how Facebook and Twitter were used to sow discourse, divide and target key voters in states that were largely undecided.

The question about the effect of these Facebook ads, now the big focus before the committee and Twitter and Facebook say they will appear before that committee on November 1st. One key issue the committee certainly agreed on, as you say, is that Russia meddled in the election, really no surprise there, and actually the number two at the FBI, Andy McCabe, the deputy director, offered some rare candor on this yesterday speaking at a conference, and here's what he had to say.


ANDREW MCCABE, FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: I think that in some ways we were surprised by the activity, but in other ways we should not have been. We sort of should have seen this coming. The fact is that Russians have been targeting us with everything they have over the last 50 years in an unremitting way.


PROKUPECZ: Right. And the Russians, the targeting, the meddling of the -- into the election, is certainly the continued concern for the FBI and the intelligence community. The threat from the Russians, if they plan to continue -- this is what intelligence officials have told us, this is what the FBI has told us, but the big question on how we defend ourselves remains unanswered.

BERMAN: Shimon, how does this all effect, you know, this announcement, this news conference from the intelligence community and the revelations insofar as there were any, how does that affect the Mueller investigation?

PROKUPECZ: Well, that's a good question because certainly the Senate Intelligence Committee does not want to in any way interfere in that investigation and we've seen that through some of the witnesses that they brought before the committee. They in some ways worked with Mueller on some of the key questions, some of the witnesses that they were going to bring before them, but Mueller really, and the special counsel, are the ones who are going to ultimately decide where this goes in terms of criminal charges and as we've been reporting the two key people right now, Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign, and Michael Flynn, the former National Security adviser, are both the big focus of the grand jury and we've been told witnesses continue to go before the grand jury and we just don't know -- you know, these grand jury proceedings are so secret, we just don't know when Mueller plans to conclude that investigation. But, you know, there is activity ongoing, witnesses almost weekly appearing before the grand jury.

BERMAN: Shimon Prokupecz in Washington. Shimon, thanks so much for your reporting.

HARLOW: So we're also learning about, of course, all of those lost in the Las Vegas massacre. One of them, a mother, a mother of four, a mother of a six-week-old baby, as well as one of her sons you see there, her son will join us next to help remember his mom.


[10:42:52] BERMAN: On your screen right now you're looking at Rocio Guillen Rocha with one of her sons. She's the mother of four children. She was in Las Vegas with her fiance to celebrate a friend's birthday this past weekend.

HARLOW: She was shot in Las Vegas. She was attending the country music concert with her fiance. She made it to the hospital but she did not survive.

With us is her eldest son Marcus.

Marcus, thank you for being here. And we just want to remember, all of us, your mother, four kids, six-week-old baby at home. You're now the oldest really helping lead your family through this. Tell us about your mom.

MARCUS GUILLEN, SHOOTING VICTIM'S SON: You know, she was such a hard worker, a fighter, everything she did inspired us. Just to be a better person, you know. It's going to be hard without her.

BERMAN: You have a 1-year-old sister, a six-week-old baby brother. It's going to be up to you to tell them about their mother, about your mother. What do you want them to know?

GUILLEN: That everything that she did she fought for. I remember when she was paralyzed having my brother, she had a blood clot in her spine, and the doctor said she would never walk again and she proved everyone wrong. She was able to walk. After that she ran half marathons. She did everything she could, she always fought for us. So I want them to remember just how much of a fighter she was and how much she worked and how she provided for us.

HARLOW: We have a picture we can pull up of her with your younger brother Chris in his football gear. He's, you know, 13 years old and he said his favorite moments were hearing his mother cheer him on from the stands in his football games. What is it like for him right now and for you as you comfort him?

GUILLEN: It's really hard for him. You know, she was always his biggest supporter and everything that he did, if it's just from playing video games to being on the field, just to doing homework inspired him to do everything.

[10:45:05] I'm always going to be there for my brother. I love him a lot. And we're always going to stick together.

BERMAN: Your mother I know would count on you to do just that. It was your birthday yesterday, Marcus. What was it like to spend your birthday without your mother?

GUILLEN: It was really hard at first, but just the way that everyone came together to support me, friends, family, from both sides, people I have hardly talked to, came just to support me. In the last two days that's what everyone has been doing. It could be someone I haven't talked to for three years, came to talk to me for two hours. People I've been with every day just came for, you know, the whole day just to come spend time with me. It's really hard without her, but it's -- it's comforting having everyone here. But it sucks that it has to take this to have everyone come together and be one big family.

HARLOW: Of course it does. When -- you know, when this is no longer in the headlines and the news cameras are no longer there, what do you want people to be talking about? I mean, what do you -- what conversations do you want this country to be having?

GUILLEN: Everything good, you know. It sucks seeing headlines having like mass shootings, massive deaths, big earthquakes, major deaths. It's sad to see that when you turn on the news now. I'd rather have it being, you know, local person helps out homeless or something nice in the news, you know. It sucks just to turn on the news and see all sadness and everything. I'd rather just all be happiness.

BERMAN: Happiness like your mother gave you. It sounds like there was so much strength there. Do you remember the last great time you had with her, the moment you'll try to remember most going forward?

GUILLEN: Every moment was great with her. I remember the last moment, she took us to Outback actually, she picked us up from school, and she said you know, where do you want to go eat and instantly my brother said let's go to McDonald's, let's go somewhere fast food, just to pick it up real quick but she insisted let's go to Outback. Let's have a nice dinner. And I remember after Outback she took me to get my haircut and it took us 45 minutes to get the car seat out just so I could sit down, but, yes, it will be a great moment I will always remember, just spending time with her. Even if it was five minutes to three days or the whole month, just yes, every moment with her was a great moment.

HARLOW: That is a dedicated mom, indeed. I'm so glad you guys had that time together. Marcus, we're thinking about you, we're thinking about your siblings.

Thank you for sharing a bit about your mom with us.

GUILLEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Her name was Rocio Guillen Rocha. She was a mother of four. She will not be forgotten.


[10:52:53] BERMAN: One of the NFL's biggest stars facing a firestorm deservedly after comments he made to a female reporter.

HARLOW: Coy Wire has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report."

And Coy, when Berman told me this story I couldn't actually believe it really happened but it did.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes. It's unbelievable and infuriating, you know, to say the least, Poppy and John. Good morning to you. This "Bleacher Report" presented by the new 2018 Ford F-150.

We're talking about Panthers quarterback Cam Newton under fire for this response to a female reporter.


JOURDAN RODRIGUE, REPORTER, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes, and making -- getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of an enjoyment to see him kind of truck sticking people out there?

CAM NEWTON, PANTHERS QUARTERBACK: It's funny to hear a female talk about routes, like -- it's funny.


WIRE: Now Panthers spokesman said Newton and the reporter Jourdan Rodrigue spoke afterwards and said that Newton expressed regret but Rodrigue says that Newton did not apologize. She's a beat writer for "The Charlotte Observer" and she said, quote, "I was dismayed by his response which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs," unquote.

The Panthers have an open locker room at 1:45 this afternoon. We will see if Cam Newton makes himself available for that.

Let's move on to a celebration from the Minnesota Lynx outlasting the Los Angeles Sparks last night. Last year the Lynx lost in a last second shot to the Sparks so this was sweet revenge this time around. Minnesota ties the Houston Comets with a record four WNBA titles.

UNLV will wear special black helmets when they play San Diego State in Las Vegas on Saturday. The decal will be a red ribbon with Las Vegas printed on it. The team is also going to hand out stickers of that ribbon to fans at the game to honor the victims and the first responders in a ceremony before the game.

All of UNLV sport teams this year will wear that ribbon in some form or fashion on their uniform for the rest of the season.

The Arizona Diamondbacks held a moment of silence before their game last night honoring the life of Christian Duarte, a former team employee. She was a victim of the Las Vegas shooting.

[10:55:08] Arizona was taking on the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild Card game. And wild it was. Relief pitcher Archie Bradley hit a triple in the seventh inning knocking in two runs. The 25-year-old bearded wonder from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, hadn't had a hit all season. The Diamondbacks advance with a 11-8 victory and face the Dodgers starting tomorrow in Los Angeles. That's on our sister network TBS -- Poppy, John.

BERMAN: Archie Bradley. Reliever with a big hit. Red Sox starts today. Do you have them in three or four, Coy?

WIRE: Three, of course, John, because that's your team -- our team.

BERMAN: That's the right answer. The right answer.

Coy Wire, thanks so much.

WIRE: You're welcome.

HARLOW: Thank you, Coy.

Ahead, did someone help the Las Vegas shooter? Big questions from the sheriff right now. They're looking into that. Stay with us.